Spring Recipe: Fresh Radish Butter Spears        

You don’t need a fancy recipe to enjoy eating fresh spring produce. But a great Spring recipe is hard to ignore – especially when healthy seasonal ingredients are right at your fingertips. To enjoy real spring flavours while maintaining the full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients, keep your preparation as light and breezy more...

The post Spring Recipe: Fresh Radish Butter Spears appeared first on Natural Factors.


          Elite Screens Spectrum 106" 16:10 projectiescherm        

Normale prijs: € 335,00

Aanbiedingsprijs: € 305,00


          Fawkes        
I can see it already, see the news casters explaining in their school-grade English and fake smiles that ‘Spartacus is back, with his first blog post in six months’. I can hear the fake excitement, can see the drab backgrounds and cheap suits. As I write this, I know what people will think. The second they hear that I’ve made another post, they’ll flood to the Spectrum, expecting to hear tales of gallantry, of daredevil antics. Tales of heroism, bravery, and unabashed awesomeness. They’ll expect some vids of me, swooping the Hershaw in and out of enemy fire, twin badger repeaters turning Cutlass’, Hornets, Gladii to slag, the gleam of their shattered hulls a dull red, superheated metal twinkling in the void of space. But that’s not what you get. Not today anyway. Today you, my dear reader, you and every other of the 1.5 billion readers of this blog are in for a treat; for something truly special. Today I’m going to talk about taxes. I’m sure the rest of you are having problems as well. I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. I have problems too. So does Edwin Charles, whose new film ‘Glory Hornets’ is fantastic, by the way. Go see it. He’s got problems too this tax season. And he and I aren’t alone, either. Maxine Waters, three-time winner of TTC – Terra’s Turtle Cup – you wouldn’t believe the problems she’s having this year, with her fleet of MISC Razer’s. What it all comes down to is Fawkes. I know, dirty word, I apologize. The UEE’s Fawkes system is a joke. A complete, total, utter, miserable joke. It doesn’t work. At all. Hell, here I am with only three ships – the Hershaw, the Nebuchadnezzar, and the Bowie, and the bloody Fawkes system is taxing me as if I had 13. Seriously. And somehow they’ve listed them too. Here, here’s their listing. You all know my ships. Let’s see if you can spot the errors in this list. MISC Gladius – What? How do they even… RSI Aurora – Do people even still own these?Anvil Hornet Ghost – Yeah, sorry Fawkes, I’m not that much of a loser.MISC Prospector – No, though one might not be a terrible idea…Drake Buccaneer – There’s the Nebu at least.MISC Gladius – Again? Really Fawkes?RSI Constellation Phoenix – There’s the Bowie at least…MISC Freelancer MIS – No. Just no.Drake Cutlass Blue – Ha. As if. MISC Gladius - … I’m speechless.Consolidated Outland Mustang Beta – Sadly, I do not own a Bangin’ Wagon.MISC Gladius – Fawkes…MISC Gladius - *Facepalm*Anyone notice something missing? Yeah. They didn’t even include my freaking Hershaw. And seriously, let’s take a little aside here, but MISC Gladius? Who even coded this system? How do you… I… I am speechless. Literally speechless. And do you know how much they expect me to pay in taxes for my ships? 33,000 credits. Thirty. Three. Thousand. It’s… it’s… It’s unconscionable. It’s robbery. It should be downright illegal. But can we fight back against it? No. Call the ‘support line’ all you get are automated response. It’s literally impossible to talk to a real person. And sure, I’ve got the money to pay for an Accountant to properly file forms XP23-C, and to fill out and file form XD42-A through CU. But not everyone does. So I’m using my pulpit. And I’m calling you out, UEE. Fawkes is a joke. Get rid of it. Trash it. Start with something new, something better. It’s the right thing to do.
          Still feel unhappy with the Turnbull Government's policies on underground, land surface and marine waters? So you should        

“Dead zones are hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas in the world's oceans and large lakes, caused by "excessive nutrient pollution from human activities coupled with other factors that deplete the oxygen required to support most marine life in bottom and near-bottom water.” [US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration]

Every Northern Hemisphere Spring this dead zone occurs in the Gulf of Mexico and increases in size over time.



It is only one of more than 400 hypoxic areas world-wide which were mapped in 2008.


Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), Andrew H. Altieri et al, 2017, Tropical dead zones and mass mortalities on coral reefs:

Oxygen-starved coastal waters are rapidly increasing in prevalence worldwide. However, little is known about the impacts of these “dead zones” in tropical ecosystems or their potential threat to coral reefs. We document the deleterious effects of such an anoxic event on coral habitat and biodiversity, and show that the risk of dead-zone events to reefs worldwide likely has been seriously underestimated. Awareness of, and research on, reef hypoxia is needed to address the threat posed by dead zones to coral reefs.

Degradation of coastal water quality in the form of low dissolved oxygen levels (hypoxia) can harm biodiversity, ecosystem function, and human wellbeing. Extreme hypoxic conditions along the coast, leading to what are often referred to as “dead zones,” are known primarily from temperate regions. However, little is known about the potential threat of hypoxia in the tropics, even though the known risk factors, including eutrophication and elevated temperatures, are common. Here we document an unprecedented hypoxic event on the Caribbean coast of Panama and assess the risk of dead zones to coral reefs worldwide. The event caused coral bleaching and massive mortality of corals and other reef-associated organisms, but observed shifts in community structure combined with laboratory experiments revealed that not all coral species are equally sensitive to hypoxia. Analyses of global databases showed that coral reefs are associated with more than half of the known tropical dead zones worldwide, with >10% of all coral reefs at elevated risk for hypoxia based on local and global risk factors. Hypoxic events in the tropics and associated mortality events have likely been underreported, perhaps by an order of magnitude, because of the lack of local scientific capacity for their detection. Monitoring and management plans for coral reef resilience should incorporate the growing threat of coastal hypoxia and include support for increased detection and research capacity.

Anyone still in favour of allowing an expansion of coal mining in the Galilee Basin, Queensland?

Anyone still comfortable with the amount of agricultural/industrial run-off into the Great Barrier Reef, marine protected areas and Australian coastal waters, which is allowed under state and federal policies?

It’s not just our rivers and aquifers which are suffering from political inaction and vested interest greed.

BACKGROUND

The Australian Government’s OzCoasts website states:

A reduction in dissolved oxygen concentrations is amongst the most important effects of eutrophication on aquatic organisms [4]. Hypoxia can cause direct mortality, reduced growth rates and altered behaviour and distributions of fish [4] and other organisms. In addition, bottom-water hypoxia can interact with elevated water temperatures at the surface to produce a "temperature-oxygen squeeze" effect, which can greatly reduce the amount of summer habitat available for some species [12]. Eggs and larvae of fish (and crustaceans) may be particularly susceptible to this effect because these life history stages are less able to avoid unfavourable conditions, and because they live in near shore areas, such as estuaries, where too-high water temperatures and too-low oxygen conditions often occur [5]. Changes in fish assemblages and crustaceans in response to hypoxia and & anoxia can render these organisms more susceptible to fishing pressure, and can increase the abundance of non-targeted species in by-catch [4].

Dissolved oxygen status also influences the uptake or release of nutrients from sediment. When oxygen is depleted, the nitrification pathway is blocked, and efficiencies may be lowered. As a consequence, more nutrients (e.g. nitrogen and phosphorous) are released from the sediment in bio-available forms [7]. These nutrients help to sustain algal blooms, and therefore continue the supply organic matter to the sediments [7]. With organic matter (energy) diverted from invertebrate consumption to microbial decomposition, the natural pattern of energy flow is altered, and pelagic and opportunistic species are favoured [8]. Indeed, an increased ratio of planktivore:demersal fish biomass is an important effect of eutrophication [11]. Low bottom water oxygen concentrations are also conducive to the build-up of toxic compounds such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia gas, which can also be harmful to benthic organisms and fish. Even short-lived anoxic events can cause the mass mortality of fish and benthic organisms [10].

Overall, anoxic and hypoxic events can cause large reductions in the abundance, diversity and harvest of fish in affected waters [4], and can contribute to an overall loss of bio-diversity[9]. However, the extent to which bottom water anoxia causes declines in overall fish production depends on a balanced between the negative and positive and effects of eutrophication in the full spectrum of habitats within the system [4]……

Major research institutions, universities and government (local and State) agencies gather oxygen data for specific research studies. Some information on anoxic and hypoxic events in Australian coastal waterways was compiled during the National Land & Water Resources Audit. In most cases, no data was available. However, localised or short-lived periods of hypoxia were reported in the Derwent and Huon estuaries (TAS) and in the Tuggerah Lakes (NSW). Prolonged and extensive anoxia is experienced in the Gippsland Lakes.

Note:

Anoxia is an extreme form of hypoxia.

          Re: Re: Welcome to unlicensed spectrum!        
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          Welcome to unlicensed spectrum!        
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          Master & Dynamic MW50 Wireless On-Ear Headphones Unboxing Review @masterdynamic        
MasterDynamic.com These are incredible sounding headphones with the sound spectrum I love with their wired MH40s. Smaller than their bigger Bluetooth’s but a great set of headphones. They build these...
          House Rural Broadband Caucus Urges FCC to Support TV White Space Broadband        

Recently, the economic disparity of the urban-rural divide has garnered substantial attention, especially as it relates to Internet and technological expansion. Rural economies suffer from a lack of Internet connectivity relative to urban areas, with rural adults being 10 percent less likely to have broadband or smartphones than urban adults.

The House Rural Broadband Caucus (HRBC), a group of legislators seeking solutions for the digital divide between rural and urban America, believe that TV white space broadband could help close this gap.

The HRBC announced its support for TV white space broadband in a bipartisan letter signed by 43 members of the caucus sent today to the Federal Communications Commission. Among these members were conservative stalwarts, Reps. Rod Blum (R-Iowa), Tom Garrett (R-Va.), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), and Mark Meadows (R-S.C.). The HRBC sees TV white space as a solution for the lack of Internet service providers and expensive or non-existent cable deployment in rural communities.

TV white space is unused high propagation radio frequency spectrum that, if allowed, could provide devices with Internet connectivity at low infrastructure costs. Technology companies believe that it could provide Internet connectivity through TV white space at 20 percent of the cost for cable broadband. The technology is proven, as hospitals, mega-churches, and schools already legally use white space spectrum for unlicensed devices.

To create a private market for TV white space broadband, providers would need three available channels totaling at least 18 megahertz of unlicensed spectrum. The HRBC letter requests the FCC to set aside a third channel in addition to the two white space channels already authorized for unlicensed use. If the FCC were to accept such a proposal, rural Americans could see the cost of broadband access plummet.

FreedomWorks Foundation has already filed comments with the FCC and wrote about the benefits of TV white space. In accordance with the HRBC, FreedomWorks believes that TV white space is a formidable market solution for expanding competition, lowering prices, and closing the urban-rural divide in connectivity.

FreedomWorks supports the HRBC’s endorsement of TV white space broadband and urges the FCC to consider allocating an additional channel for unlicensed white space use.


          Simulate wet surface with screen space reflection        
A wet surface will reflect some of the light, but reflections are computationally expensive. Using a deferred shader, it is possible to simulate this reflection (fresnel reflection) to the second stage. The basic idea is simple: If a pixel should reflect, a ray tracing algorithm is used to compute where the reflected ray will hit the background.

We don't want to trace the ray through the real geometry, which would be expensive. Instead, it is computed what pixel it corresponds to from the G-buffer of the deferred shader. The data we need from the defered shader is: World position, normals and colors.

To do the actual ray tracing, an iterative algorithm is needed. The reflected vector is first computed, and then incrementally added to the world position of the point we start with. This is repeated as long as needed.

There are a couple of problems that limit the use of this technology:
  1. The reflected ray can point backward to the camera and hit the near cutting plane of the view frustum.
  2. The reflected ray can point sideways, and go outside of the screen.
  3. The reflected ray can hit a pixel that is hidden behind a near object.
  4. The increment used in the algorithm should be small to get a good resolution of the eventual target point, which will force the use of many iterations and high evaluation costs.
These all sound like severe limitations, but it turns out that wet surface reflection can still be done effectively:
  1. The Fresnel reflection has the effect of reflecting most for incoming light at large angles to the normal. That means that light reflecting backward toward the camera can be ignored.
  2. Wet surfaces are typically rough. This can be simulated with some random noise, which can hide the effect where some ray reflections couldn't be determined.
  3. The iteration can start out with a small delta, and increase it exponentially. That way, it can be possible to get good resolution on short distances, while still being possible to compute long distances.
The following is an example fragment shader to help calibrate the constants:

// Create a float value 0 to 1 into a color from red, through green and then blue.
vec4 rainbow(float x) {
float level = x * 2.0;
float r, g, b;
if (level <= 0) {
r = g = b = 0;
} else if (level <= 1) {
r = mix(1, 0, level);
g = mix(0, 1, level);
b = 0;
} else if (level > 1) {
r = 0;
g = mix(1, 0, level-1);
b = mix(0, 1, level-1);
}
return vec4(r, g, b, 1);
}

uniform sampler2D colTex; // Color texture sampler
uniform sampler2D posTex; // World position texture sampler
uniform sampler2D normalTex; // Normal texture sampler
in vec2 screen; // The screen position (0 to 1)

layout(location = 0) out vec4 color;

void main(void)
{
vec3 worldStartingPos = texture(posTex, screen).xyz;
vec3 normal = texture(normalTex, screen).xyz;
vec3 cameraToWorld = worldStartingPos.xyz - UBOCamera.xyz;
float cameraToWorldDist = length(cameraToWorld);
vec3 cameraToWorldNorm = normalize(cameraToWorld);
vec3 refl = normalize(reflect(cameraToWorldNorm, normal)); // This is the reflection vector

if (dot(refl, cameraToWorldNorm) < 0) {
// Ignore reflections going backwards towards the camera, indicate with white
color = vec4(1,1,1,1);
return;
}

vec3 newPos;
vec4 newScreen;
float i = 0;
vec3 rayTrace = worldStartingPos;
float currentWorldDist, rayDist;
float incr = 0.4;
do {
i += 0.05;
rayTrace += refl*incr;
incr *= 1.3;
newScreen = UBOProjectionviewMatrix * vec4(rayTrace, 1);
newScreen /= newScreen.w;
newPos = texture(posTex, newScreen.xy/2.0+0.5).xyz;
currentWorldDist = length(newPos.xyz - UBOCamera.xyz);
rayDist = length(rayTrace.xyz - UBOCamera.xyz);
if (newScreen.x > 1 || newScreen.x < -1 || newScreen.y > 1 || newScreen.y < -1 || newScreen.z > 1 || newScreen.z < -1 || i >= 1.0 || cameraToWorldDist > currentWorldDist) {
break; // This is a failure mode.
}
} while(rayDist < currentWorldDist);

if (cameraToWorldDist > currentWorldDist)
color = vec4(1,1,0,1); // Yellow indicates we found a pixel hidden behind another object
else if (newScreen.x > 1 || newScreen.x < -1 || newScreen.y > 1 || newScreen.y < -1)
color = vec4(0,0,0,1); // Black used for outside of screen
else if (newScreen.z > 1 && newScreen.z < -1)
color = vec4(1,1,1,1); // White outside of frustum
else
color = rainbow(i); // Encode number of iterations as a color. Red, then green and last blue
return;
}
The shader doesn't implement the actual reflection, but will show color coded information. White is used to indicate a reflection going back to the camera, yellow indicates a pixel hidden behind another object, black indicates we got outside of the screen. Finally, a rainbow code is used to indicate the number of iterations needed to find the target. Red is 1, then green and finally blue for maximum.

The example code will do at max 20 iterations (increment i with 0.05). Notice how the delta gradually is increased (incr is increased by 30% every iteration at line 50). Starting with a color texture as follows:
Original
And then applying the shader above, the result is:

Calibration mode
Please ignore the red and yellow sky, and look at the big block in the foreground. Much of it is white, because that reflects mostly back to the camera. The left side, however, has several colors. Black indicates a ray that goes outside of the picture, but the spectrum from red to blue indicates successful ray tracing. The bottom is red, which is logical as the reflection will immediately hit the near ground. The trees are found at median distance, indicated by green. And the sky is blue, which means a maximum number of iterations was needed to hit the sky pixel.

Notice that the single monster is reflected twice, at two different iterations. This is an effect of iterating in big steps.

Next is a picture from inside a cave, with no reflections enabled:
Caves without reflections
The same view, but with reflections enabled:
Caves with reflections
In this picture, the normals were manipulated randomly, and the original pixel color is blended with the reflected color depending on the angle. The final fragment shader source code for this is:

// Create a float value 0 to 1 into a color from red, through green and then blue.
vec4 rainbow(float x) {
float level = x * 2.0;
float r, g, b;
if (level <= 0) {
r = g = b = 0;
} else if (level <= 1) {
r = mix(1, 0, level);
g = mix(0, 1, level);
b = 0;
} else if (level > 1) {
r = 0;
g = mix(1, 0, level-1);
b = mix(0, 1, level-1);
}
return vec4(r, g, b, 1);
}

// Return a random value between -1 and +1.
float noise(vec3 v) {
return snoise((v.xy+v.z)*10);
}

uniform sampler2D colTex; // Color texture sampler
uniform sampler2D posTex; // World position texture sampler
uniform sampler2D normalTex; // Normal texture sampler
uniform usampler2D materialTex; // Material texture sampler
in vec2 screen; // The screen position (0 to 1)

layout(location = 0) out vec4 color;

// #define CALIBRATE // Define this to get a color coded representation of number of needed iterations
void main(void)
{
vec4 origColor = texture(colTex, screen);
uint effectType = texture(materialTex, screen).r & 0xf; // High nibbles are used for modulating factor
if (effectType != 1) {
color = origColor;
return;
}
vec3 worldStartingPos = texture(posTex, screen).xyz;
vec3 normal = texture(normalTex, screen).xyz;
vec3 cameraToWorld = worldStartingPos.xyz - UBOCamera.xyz;
float cameraToWorldDist = length(cameraToWorld);
float scaleNormal = max(3.0, cameraToWorldDist*1.5);
#ifndef CALIBRATE
normal.x += noise(worldStartingPos)/scaleNormal;
normal.y += noise(worldStartingPos+100)/scaleNormal;
#endif
vec3 cameraToWorldNorm = normalize(cameraToWorld);
vec3 refl = normalize(reflect(cameraToWorldNorm, normal)); // This is the reflection vector
#ifdef CALIBRATE
if (dot(refl, cameraToWorldNorm) < 0) {
// Ignore reflections going backwards towards the camera, indicate with white
color = vec4(1,1,1,1);
return;
}
#endif
float cosAngle = abs(dot(normal, cameraToWorldNorm)); // Will be a value between 0 and 1
float fact = 1 - cosAngle;
fact = min(1, 1.38 - fact*fact);
#ifndef CALIBRATE
if (fact > 0.95) {
color = origColor;
return;
}
#endif // CALIBRATE
vec3 newPos;
vec4 newScreen;
float i = 0;
vec3 rayTrace = worldStartingPos;
float currentWorldDist, rayDist;
float incr = 0.4;
do {
i += 0.05;
rayTrace += refl*incr;
incr *= 1.3;
newScreen = UBOProjectionviewMatrix * vec4(rayTrace, 1);
newScreen /= newScreen.w;
newPos = texture(posTex, newScreen.xy/2.0+0.5).xyz;
currentWorldDist = length(newPos.xyz - UBOCamera.xyz);
rayDist = length(rayTrace.xyz - UBOCamera.xyz);
if (newScreen.x > 1 || newScreen.x < -1 || newScreen.y > 1 || newScreen.y < -1 || newScreen.z > 1 || newScreen.z < -1 || i >= 1.0 || cameraToWorldDist > currentWorldDist) {
fact = 1.0; // Ignore any reflection
break; // This is a failure mode.
}
} while(rayDist < currentWorldDist);
// } while(0);
#ifdef CALIBRATE
if (cameraToWorldDist > currentWorldDist)
color = vec4(1,1,0,1); // Yellow indicates we found a pixel hidden behind another object
else if (newScreen.x > 1 || newScreen.x < -1 || newScreen.y > 1 || newScreen.y < -1)
color = vec4(0,0,0,1); // Black used for outside of screen
else if (newScreen.z > 1 && newScreen.z < -1)
color = vec4(1,1,1,1); // White outside of frustum
else
color = rainbow(i); // Encode number of iterations as a color. Red, then green, and last blue.
return;
#endif
vec4 newColor = texture(colTex, newScreen.xy/2.0 + 0.5);
if (dot(refl, cameraToWorldNorm) < 0)
fact = 1.0; // Ignore reflections going backwards towards the camera
else if (newScreen.x > 1 || newScreen.x < -1 || newScreen.y > 1 || newScreen.y < -1)
fact = 1.0; // Falling outside of screen
else if (cameraToWorldDist > currentWorldDist)
fact = 1.0;
color = origColor*fact + newColor*(1-fact);
}

The source code for this can be found at the Ephenation ScreenSpaceReflection.glsl. The snoise function is a 2D simplex noise that can be found at Ephenation common.glsl.
          The Place of Internet Marketing        

By Monica Kumar

Several developments in Technology have completely transformed the world and made life easier for people in the transaction of business and work. Notable among these is what is called "internet marketing". In essence, this activity enables buyers and sellers of goods to get their tasks accomplished without the necessity to travel. It may be defined as the marketing of products and services over the internet. Among the benefits, we can mention the low cost of distributing information to a wide audience and advantage in the form of instant response.

Features of Internet marketing

1) It straddles the entire world and people from widely dispersed geographical locations can transact business with each other.

2) Business organizations can reach a large clientele for a fraction of the traditional advertising budget and thus it is less expensive.

3) Thanks, to the nature of the medium, consumers can conduct research while browsing, and purchase products and services according to their own convenience.

There are various fascinating facets associated with internet marketing and one of these form a link between the creative and technical aspects of internet technology. It is natural that design, development, advertising and sales activities come under this category. Again the methods cover a wide spectrum such as search engines, display advertising, email marketing and affiliate marketing.

Many business models that can work in tandem with internet marketing are now available. Prominent among these is e-commerce in which goods are sold directly to the customer or business houses. Secondly, lead based websites where an organization generates value by getting sales leads from their site. Besides there are several other models which depend on the specific needs of individual or businesses launching a campaign for internet marketing.

How does Internet marketing differ from "off Line Marketing"

There are several ways by which internet marketing differs from traditional or what we call off line marketing.

a) Customer browses the internet on their own with the net result that marketing messages reach them personally. The users, for instance locate advertisements for specific products or services with the help of specific key words. This is one to one versus one to many approach.

b) In an online marketing campaign, it is possible to trace measure and test almost all aspects of the campaign. It is possible to identify the messages or offerings which are more appealing to the target audience. Here the advertisers pay per banner impression or per click of the mouse or per action or result that is effective. This feature ensures "measurability".

c) In internet marketing, the users access the products of their choice by activity on their part, whereas traditional off-line marketers target their markets according to age group, sex, geography and general criteria.

d) All initiatives connected with internet marketing require the users to click on the message, go to a website and perform a specific targeted action. Hence the results of advertising campaigns are at once tracked and measured. By contrast, in traditional marketing, it is extremely difficult to measure the actual readership and even actual impact of an advertisement.

There can be no doubt that internet marketing has grown considerably in the last 3-4 years even in the developing countries of Asia. In the US, the UK and Europe, it has almost become a routine, thanks to widespread availability of personal computers, laptops and internet facilities on mobile phones. Today, every

Mobile professional has the need to remain connected with the world, while on the move. He can easily avail the benefits of Internet Marketing from his cell phone. Moreover he can also get in touch with the company through emails. These days there are various options available which allow users to free access to emails form their mobile phones. Like one can easily send an email through free mobile email services by clients like gmail, email@mobile, etc

Thus the trend of internet marketing is most likely to inject a greater sense of accountability on both the advertising agencies and their clients.

Monica is a vetran in the field of writing and loves to share her views with her readers. Please feel free to contact her at monika@emailatmobile.com


          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.


          Tattoos to Toes        
Some objects from the Tattoos to Toes EduKit

Travel to a Japanese tattoo parlour, and drop in on an ancient Egyptian party! Through the examination of a variety of ROM objects and museum reproductions, students are introduced to the language and art of body decoration, across a broad spectrum of cultures and peoples.

Contents: 

Seven activity centres, including: scarab, Menorah ring, Byzantine cross, Thai ankle bracelet, photo cards, student activity booklets and teacher's notes.

Level: 

Intermediate
Senior

Best Grade Connections: 

Grade 8
Grade 11
Grade 12

Subject: 

Arts - Exploring and Creating in the Arts
Arts - Visual Arts
SS&H - Equity Studies
SS&H - Family Studies

Available Languages: 

French
English

Case Category: 

B - Regular

Case Size Information: 

51 cm x 57 cm x 21 cm

Weight: 

35 lbs

          So how did I do?        
As it's the end of the stash and UFO bust-along round 1 it seems like time for a little update on progress so far.

My main aim for this project was to complete my trellis scarf which I started last May and had let languish and after that I wanted to make a sweater from a packet of blue alpaca which had been sitting in my stash for a good while without telling me what it wanted to be.

Kicked into gear by this KAL and Project Spectrum I have finished the scarf and made the Refined Raglan from last winter's IK and I love both of them.

I still have things on the needles but I'm somewhat inconstant in my project affections particularly if I have something with a deadline - hence the current obsession with a baby blanket with the baby due on May 14th. At the moment there is about 1 inch of a fairisle sock that I'm figuring the pattern out for, my pink aimee which I'm aiming to finish within April/May seeing as it matched the Project Spectrum colours, a tired roses silk scarf which I cast one while waiting for the baby blanket yarn to appear, the blanket itself and I'm about to cast on a pair of socks for my husband!

However, in addition to the two main projects I have also made a mitten and hat set, 4 pairs of socks for me and 4 pairs of socks for a friend's bookbooksecret. All of that (apart from the test socks) came from stash yarn and I had made quite an indent into the stash....

.... I say had because whilst I was very good during the stashbustalong with my only yarn purchase being the baby cashmerino for the blankets, both of which are gifts, and that was a purchase on 14th April, I have been on a yarn binge over the last two days and there is now quite a bit of sock yarn either in my house or on its way to my house!!

I think to continue this forward I will continue to focus on what I have in the stash in terms of lined up projects but I would like to be able to buy yarn for a number of projects that I have in mind for over the summer, perhaps one at a time though!

I've really loved seeing everyone's projects over the past few months and I hope that aspect of this blog continues even if our credit cards get a little more exercise than of late! Plus there's a wonderful sense of community from reading a certain blog, spotting a picture and thinking "I know that sweater!" - full credit to Cece for (a) finishing marmalade and (b) being featured by a knitting legend!
          A New Investigative Report on Wat Phra Dhammakaya for The Bangkok Post        
Journalist Nattha Thepbamrung has a new investigative report on Thailand’s Wat Dhammakaya, the hugely successful but also controversial Buddhist organization, at the Spectrum section of the Bangkok Post this week. Since it came out with its esoteric teachings on Buddhism in 1970, the secretive Dhammakaya temple and its adherents have been rumoured to be involved in […]
          Dictates of Conscience and the Humanitarian System        

From my forthcoming review essay for Humanity of two recent books on humanitarian action, Hugo Slim's Humanitarian Ethics and Liisa Malkki's The Need to Help:

"Like its charitable precursors in previous eras, today’s humanitarianism is born of a privileged asymmetry of resources. Then as now, the compassionate own the terms of assistance: they determine who deserves what, when and how. Program design, financial accountability and ownership are all largely extrinsic to the disasters where humanitarians intervene. While aid agencies may not explicitly pursue political empire or capitalist expansion, the self-justifying rationale that compassion and solidarity are universal goods is born neither of consent nor dialog with afflicted populations.

Researchers across the spectrum—political scientists to anthropologists—have in the last thirty years begun scrutinizing humanitarian action as an expression of the West’s moral universalism, revealing its asymmetries, Eurocentric projections, and neo-colonial qualities. This field of critique includes many aid veterans and current practitioners, and is in no way a purely scholastic exercise. Yet defenders of humanitarianism appear in print less often than critics because as field practitioners their performance metrics do not involve the peer-review publications common to academia."





          Arochi Faces Wide Spectrum Of Sentencing Possibilities        
After 17 hours deliberating on a verdict, the jury received a few days off, but when they return to court next week the decisions they have to make are challenging.
          30 Impressive Colour Spectrum and Rainbow Wallpapers        
colors, raibow, and wallpaper image
          We Don’t Have a Golden Rule…and yet…        
Years ago, when I was in a Cooperation Circle of the United Religions Initiative, there was an interfaith-y poster of how religions across the spectrum of spirituality had their own version of The Golden Rule–Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done Unto You. There were very similar mottos from lots of different creeds but […]
          dale.io v4        

I recently decided that my personal site needed a tune up. No longer happy with the current design, I decided to throw it away completely and to start from scratch. Here are a few things I thought about during the process of re-writing the website.

Choosing a backend

Right off the bat, I knew that I wanted to continue using a static site generator for my homepage. Tools like WordPress and Ghost are interesting but for my use case I found both to be overkill. After taking a look at some of the most popular static site generators1 around and playing around with them, I had a better idea of the current tool landscape at the time.

There are a bunch of static site generators these days written in a variety of languages. I took a look at a few JavaScript-based ones, such as Hexo and Metalsmith - both on opposite sides of the feature list spectrum. Metalsmith is completely barebones to the point where all functionality is added via plugins. This is a pretty neat idea but I was looking for something that was more balanced between features and do-it-yourself mentality. When I was initially researching static site generators, Metalsmith had a lot of issues with plugin version rot as well. The idea of everything being a plugin is pretty neat - as long as these individual plugins are maintained! On the other end of the feature spectrum, Hexo reminds me a lot of Jekyll but written in JavaScript and more of an emphasis on blogs. This wasn’t enough to pull me away from Jekyll, a tool I already knew.

On the Ruby end, I took a look at Middleman and Jekyll. Middleman is a great competitor for Jekyll with some neat features. It allows for incremental building of your site, a feature that Jekyll will be lacking until its v3 release. I have not had much of an issue with build times with Jekyll but I can see how a huge site with thousands of pages would not scale well without incremental builds. Middleman also offers more in the way of a default template and such. However, in the end I stuck with Jekyll. Recent additions to Jekyll such as collections make building non-blog and hybrid websites with Jekyll much easier.

Choosing a colour palette

I am not a designer - I think the previous designs of my site show as much. As much as I wish I did, I just don’t have the eye for colour. Working with designers in the past always blew my mind as to how easy it came to them. I know I could take the time to learn colour theory (and perhaps I will someday) but at the time I was more focused on redesigning my site quickly, not leisurely learning something new. This made the simple task of choosing a colour palette a long and tedious process. There are a few tools available to help one come up with a colour palette, such as Paletton or Adobe Color CC, formerly Kuler. After fiddling for them for a few days on and off and having no success, I decided just to choose a colour I liked: blue. Once I had a colour chosen for the header, I was able to build the rest of the site off of that.

While I’m pleased with how the header turned out, I still feel as if the rest of the site can possibly use a splash of colour here or there just to make things a bit more appealing. I couldn’t really see any place to fit these accent colours in a way that felt natural. This will probably be something that will to be iterated on over time.

The Holy Grail that is Flexbox

Flexbox is the best thing to happen to CSS. I’ll scream it from the mountain tops if needed because it’s true. As long as the only browsers your site needs to support are IE11+ or an evergreen browser, you can (mostly2) say goodbye to hacky CSS rules to position elements on a web page.

The great thing about Flexbox is that it’s flexible (yet another surprise!) and will adjust its size across different screen sizes if the developer desires it. For example, the page header makes use of flexbox to make sure it looks great on both large and small screens. All I need to do to get my header to scale the way I wish is use the following CSS rules on the wrapper for my header block:

.nav-wrapper {
    display: flex;
    justify-content: center;
    align-items: center;
}

This sets the wrapper rendering box style to flexbox and centers all the elements along both axis. When the screen width is below a certain size, we can use the following rules to change the direction of the main axis from a row to a reversed column so each header element has room to breath and appears in the proper order:

@media screen only and (max-width: 600px) {
    .nav-wrapper {
        flex-direction: column-reverse;
        align-items: stretch;
    }
}

I’m using a few more rules to align individual items, but that is the basics of it. Flexbox has enabled me to re-arrange the entire site with just a few CSS rules and I think that is awesome. I’m using it for any part of my page that requires even a tiny bit of element positioning and it’s been very easy to both learn and use. Offloading a lot of the grunt work to the browser while providing a fewer set of CSS rules was definitely a smart move, and I’m excited to see what further revisions to the spec bring.

Consistency between old and new

In the redesign, I decided to make better use of header tags to denote subheading rather than bolded text. Unfortunately, a few of my older blog posts made liberal use of the old and bold way. I took this opportunity to flex my bash and regex muscles and see if I can come up with an elegant way to fix this in one swing.

My first step was to construct a regular expression that would find all the old headers. The old headers took the form of bold text which, in Markdown, meant the text was surrounded by two asterisks on each end. The header would be the only string of text on the line. With this information, I came up with the following regular expression and used it to find all headers in my _posts folder:

git grep '^\*\*.*\*\*$'

This regular expression looks for any length of characters in between two literal asterisks that bookend the entire line. After testing that the regex worked, I used a combination of the find and sed commands to do a massive search and replace with the following command:

find _posts -type f -exec sed -i '' 's/^\*\*\(.*\)\*\*$/\#\#\# \1/g' {} \;

The above command looks for files in the _post directory, and for each file runs a sed command asking it to edit files in-place without a backup3. The regular expression now creates a group around the header text so we can use it in the replace with the proper symbol denoting an h3 tag: three literal pound characters. Now all blog posts with headers will conform to the new style.

Design & organization choices

Aside from choosing site colours, I spent the most time thinking about how I wanted to layout my website. My previous v3 design was bland and didn’t make the best use of available space. I spent a lot of time looking at other Jekyll blogs for some inspiration but I found many of them to be overly busy or overly minimalistic. I would draw layout after layout on paper until I came to the one you see now. Moving the persistent navigation block from the side to the top allows me to take advantage of all the below space: this comes in handy when scaling the site to work on multiple resolutions.

Since the beginning of 2015, I’ve been writing reviews on the games I have finished for fun. After deciding to add these reviews to the site. As of the launch of the redesign, only one of the eight reviews I have written are published but I’ll be editing the others and getting them online shortly. Right now, they are a separate entity from the other blog posts and I’m not sure if this was the best idea. This home page is a place for me to talk about what I love doing. For the past few years, this has solely been about programming. I’d like to expand that to writing about other subjects but dividing posts up into ‘blogs’ and ‘reviews’ may limit myself in the future. I could (and probably will) just treat everything as a blog and use tags or categories to group the related info. Design choices like this are what I spent the most time on during this redesign. Implementing the ideas I come up with are no problem but deciding whether I’m making the right choice on certain decisions is an area where working on a team definitely benefits.

There are a bunch of other small but useful additions I’ve made. If you haven’t noticed, I tend to go off on tangent mid-paragraph. Making use of footnotes allows me to do this without breaking up the flow of content, and the Kramdown markdown renderer used by Jekykll makes usage of footnotes very easy. Some posts can have a header image, such as this one. If you’re reading this on a small device, you may not see it - I’m currently thinking of a good way to display the header image without making all of the above-the-fold content on a mobile device nothing but headers. Most of the small additions are there to make writing content easier for me and for said content to display correctly, no matter the screen scale.

In the end

I’m pretty happy with the layout I ended up with. I find easier on the eyes than previous designs. Standing here with the project finished, I already have a list of things I’m no longer happy with and will work on for the next iteration. Personal projects like home page redesigns give me an opportunity to experiment and play but if I don’t limit myself and consider the project ‘finished’, I’ll never release it. Do you have any suggestions about the design? Love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments!

  1. According to StaticGen which ranks generators based off of GitHub stars and forks. 

  2. While much better than the old way of doing things, Flexbox itself is not perfect. Check out Flexbugs for more info. 

  3. Not recommended. 


          Comment on All because it was humid by embracingthespectrum2016        
Your final photo is beautiful!
           Meaning, Education, & Sustainability: Building connectivity through dissociation         
Graham, Peter (2014) Meaning, Education, & Sustainability: Building connectivity through dissociation. Masters thesis, Concordia University.
           On the Illusory Nature of Sustainable Development: A case study of a Montreal Suburb         
Graham, Peter (2010) On the Illusory Nature of Sustainable Development: A case study of a Montreal Suburb. Masters thesis, Concordia University.
          rocking like pele back in his hayday...        

my apologies for MIA, but it has been a string of long, over-stimulated days of tramping around like a hobo with a pogo. let�s talk about spectrums for a moment. i started last week sleeping under an overpass in berlin eating other peoples� "trash" (don�t worry, mom...i still haven�t gotten herpes from this behavior) - to this week, waking up in a posh flat that overlooks all of stuttgart with a fridge full of beer, jello and cheese. the floors are all marble, too, so i feel like liberachi or sigmund and roy - without the tigers and the gay sex of course.

ok, moving on: top news...1) buying two overpriced tickets for italy v. ghana from some sleeze-ball italian guy named "salvatore" who had the chinese character for "trust" tatooed on his neck. turns out the tix were legit and my brother and i fulfilled a childhood vow to make it to the world cup together to see the azzuri play the game that we love. 2) meeting a talented, tramping welsh girl named faye who lives out of her van and busks enough money from playing songs with her guitar to get to her next temporary destination. a few of my new favorite english terms: minging - which means �disgusting� / rum - which means �risky� / see your ass - which means �to be humiliated ...another great comment she had concerning england was "soccer is the game that england gave to the world and now we can�t get it back." this was to describe a great english futbol song that talks about "thirty years of hurt" - england last won the world cup in �66.

the flybar continues to bring the people together and bring the kid out in those who are "rum" enough to hop on. one observation...though soccer has brought the world together this month in germany, all of the jerseys, flags and �ber nationalism keeps most of us at an arm�s length...until people start drinking, dancing, or flybarring. this is why i am doing what i am doing. i am addicted to seeing a tunisian hug a spainard after they have jumped around together for a few minutes in a sea of onlookers. stay tuned for some pictures- as soon as i figure out the damn website stuff. also, thought of the day: does hosting the world cup heal any residual guilt and shame from the nazi era?




          Buy Womens Health Supplement england        
A new breakthrough secret is all you now need in order to forever shed countless pounds, stay healthy, and add many years to your life!

A lady doctor from Arizona has blown the lid off the best-kept secret in weight loss ever discovered -- and this has the whole diet food and drug industries turned upside down and in nothing less than a torrential uproar.

Her name is Dr Suzanne Gudakunst, and she's marching to the beat of a different drum.

And no, nothing about her "secret" is difficult -- nor does it require that you do something completely out of the ordinary or anything unnatural.

Instead, the Arizonian boasts proudly "...this is something that I caught onto just before 2002 when there was so much research and exploration going around concerning the human colon and digestive system working in harmony with nutritional absorption, and I started doing independent studies just to test things at first ... but which I later expanded on after seeing some fantastic results."

This same woman medical practitioner went on to accurately determine a definitive correlation between harmful plague and parasitic infestations of the human bowel tract, and people suffering chronic obesity -- and who despite intense diet and exercise appeared to be unable to lose any weight whatsoever.

Over the course of six years the Arizona doctor developed a number of natural treatments for the removal of these same harmful, even life-threatening plaques and rapidly reproducing digestive parasites -- and when applied to even worse-case patients suffering extreme obesity (98% of which were in immediate danger of dying) she saw a 100% effectiveness and success rate.

She then borrowed from her research on the severely obese, and applied the same strategies on milder cases of overweight persons -- only to find the same effectiveness and quality results as described above (although the individual weight loss per subject wasn't nearly as much as those obese patients 100 lbs to 200 lbs or more overweight).

So powerful is her secret that she's able to reverse diabetes, rid illness altogether in people suffering from cancer (linked directly to poor diet and overweight factors), as well as an elimination of an entire spectrum of serious and otherwise life-threatening diseases.

Nearly 100% of all her case subjects were told in the alternative by "conventional doctors" that they either had just months or years to live, or they would never live a life anything resembling remotely a "normal" existence -- yet after applying Dr Suzanne's treatments saw a complete contradiction to others doctors' prognoses.

Again, nothing about her secret is unnatural or requires someone to do any major action or modification in their lives.

In fact, her entire treatment is based completely on built-into-nature 'protection agents' scattered throughout the world in the form of select herbs, extracts, and organic constituents, and which can be found in a variety of plants -- but when combined in specific combinations and carefully chosen amounts make for a solution to what is perhaps the world's worst ever plague: OBESITY (and the illnesses and diseases resulting from it -- or at least severely aggravated or exacerbated by it).

Now to everyone else's great gain, whether suffering from just a few extra pounds and inches, to those extremely fat and overweight, this brave, bold lady doctor is releasing to the general public her secret for forever destroying the tight unrelenting closed-fist of obesity's stronghold over the now more than 40% of Americans labeled obese, and others worldwide.

But she's not promising any of us for how long.

Some experts and sociologists suggest that in the bigger scheme of things, the world will never tolerate a discovery of such magnitude, any more than it would be realistic to expect a car that runs on water (even if very real) to ever become commercially available to the general public for day-to-day use.

One well-respected and famous diet & wellness author wrote years ago that if anyone ever "truly unlocked the keys to permanent fat loss, they may actually suffer the same fate as JFK."

It is currently available at:

=> http://www.buywomenhealthsupplements.com

...so you may want to head on over there now and get it and before someone or "something" gets it forever yanked out of ever getting in YOUR hand at least.

It's in a very easily readable format and is quickly and readily understood and mastered by anyone with even a 4th grade reading level.

While you're there, why not scroll down and review for yourself the huge successes others are now having with this incredible breakthrough in rapid, massive weight loss and extremely improved and enhanced health, now made freely available to the rest of us?

-ian
          Both the Left and the Right are at war with science        
Michael Shermer on why neither side of the American political spectrum gets a pass when it comes to acceptance of science. Includes this interesting (and often overlooked) detail from recent national polls — 41 percent of Democrats are young-Earth Creationists.
          Restorative Practices Workshop        
Restorative Practices Workshop

Hosted by the Colorado School Safety Resource Center

 

Date: Thursday, August 10 - Friday, August 11

Time: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM each day

Location: Wheat Ridge Recreation Center, 4005 Kipling Street, Wheat Ridge

Description: Day one of this workshop will provide a philosophical overview of restorative practices in schools and the rationale as to why this will help with discipline issues, positive school climate, data tracking and aligning your RTI/PBIS programs. Designed particularity for administrators.

Day two of the workshop will focus on communication skills, restorative practices and practical strategies that can be used immediately by teachers, counselors, security and administrative staff that want to improve relationships, behavior, and reduce discipline incidents in the classroom and hallways. This interactive workshop presents a spectrum of restorative techniques, offers implementation ideas, and explains how the process works. Designed for teachers and others who will be implementing restorative practices in their schools.

Kerri Schmitt holds a master’s degree in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from Creighton University School of Law. She works with schools and court systems to create alternative responses to disciplinary code infractions and juvenile crime. She co-created the highly successful restorative justice program used in Colorado Springs reducing recidivism to less than 6%. Her “Restorative Dialogue” program has been taught to over 1,000 educators and is the primary restorative justice curriculum used in the Dept. of Youth Corrections.

 

Registration: Click here for more information and to register.


          The World until Yesterday vs The Foraging Spectrum        
In all of the discussion lately about Jared Diamond’s new book, The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies, I haven’t heard anyone bring up the book that keeps coming to my mind, so I figured I … Continue reading
          From Hyundai to Tatra: today's slice of the atuomotive world!        
Well my initial intention was to do a bit of an in-depth analysis of Fiat-Chrysler's new long-term plan, but so many automotive journalists have already weighed in that I didn't really think it was worth my time.  Probably the most important thing to remember is tat the company that makes your Caravan (which is slated for the chopping block) also makes Ferrari.  Which means, this new Dodge Challenger Hellcat should be AMAZING (although also not long for a world where fossil fuel preservation is a key issue). 
On the less amazing front, but still fairly important, the newly redesigned Hyundai Sonata is going to cost about $300 less than the current version.  Of course after taxes, dealer fees and set of snow tires, it isn't really much in the way of savings.  Then again $300 is $300.  Of course it could be a rebate for the decrease in horsepower across the board.  I'm not too sure if there is a big market for slower cars, but if there is Hyundai is sure going to tap into it. Having driven Sonatas with both motors, the power on the turbo version is going to be missed by some.  It was a blast to drive.  

Speaking of speed, the new Mustang is doing well in Europe already.  The first 500 units slated for European soil were spoken for in 30 seconds!  Having spoken to some Europeans regarding American cars, I do know for a fact that there is a huge market for classic USA muscle.  Just like we covet the vehicles that are only released in foreign markets, those foreign markets covet the vehicles that are only released here.  We're not so different after all. 

On the Eastern front of the performance car spectrum, apparently Mitsubishi will continue to sell it's four door rally monster, the Evo, for another model year.  Originally, the company had stated that there was going to be no 2015 Evo.  However, the gods of fun said "nay!" and the uber-boosted riot on wheels gets one more crack at the can. 

Now on to Mitsubishi's rival, Subaru.  Their BRZ (twin of the Scion FRS and the Toyota F-86) was universally applauded for its amazing handling and low traction tires that allowed for a "safe" level of hooliganism with relatively little power being produced under the hood.  Thus, despite what looks on paper to be a lackluster effort, the BRZ scores super high on fun scale.  However, just about every review I've read mentioned that the car could certainly benefit from a few more ponies under the hood.  Most cite the WRX and STI as potential power plant sources for this as-of-now-imagined turbo powered BRZ.  Well, if you were hoping that the new Blue edition would be the answer to that hope, you better be sitting down.  Although the car is peppered with STI badging, the BRZ Blue does not benefit from that car's awesome motor.  Bummer. 

And last but not least, it looks like Roman from TFLCar made it to Prague to buy himself a Tatra that he will now have to bring to Pebble Beach in time for the annual car show their.  The good folks from my favourite Colorado automotive blog had been trying to raise money for this adventure for some time.  The last time I had checked out their kickstart page they weren't even close to raising the money needed to do the trip right.  I'm glad to see that things seem to have worked out somehow and Roman can now make his dream a reality.  You can visit their site here to see a list of posts that cover the journey TFLCar has taken to get this project from concept to reality.     

TTFN!
          Muslim Liberals Caught in No Man's Land        
Originally published in Huffington Post
Muslim Liberals Caught in No Man's Land
"Islam is the motherload of bad ideas." - Sam Harris
"That's just a fact." - Bill Maher
When the host of Real Time on HBO, Bill Maher, tag-teamed with 'new atheist' Sam Harris, to lead an assault on Islam last week, it was Batman-to-be Ben Affleck who stood up as the inexplicable first line of defense against the disjointed attack. Rounding out the panel of record, was New York Times activist Nicholas Kristof and Republican-lite Michael Steele. The debate - in which, of course no Muslims participated - quickly went viral. In the messy aftermath, Sam Harris even claimed that the media reaction vindicated him and proved his point. 
While Maher and his sidekick, Harris - and for that matter the entire Dawkinsian crew - may not be the bigots that Affleck accused them of being, they certainly should not feel any sense of self-absorbed vindication. They are not emissaries of the truth nor do they represent the vanguard of neo-enlightenment. Rather they come across as pseudo-intellectual bullies driven by a vain desire for celebrity, feigning any concern for the 'victims of Islam' they cite in remarks branching from their central diatribe against the religion. In effect, they silence the very Muslim liberals and champions who are leading the charge for a more just, equal, and tolerant (i.e. liberal, I guess) Muslim world, forcing on them a Faustian and false choice between identity and values. 
Just today, Malala Yousafzai, the ardent campaigner for girls' education from Pakistan and a proud Muslim, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, five of the last twelve recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize have been Muslim. These five alongside millions of others seek to promote progressive and positive change in the Muslim world. They constitute everyday Muslims, not necessarily Islam incarnate. The reason this distinction is important is that treating as equal the Muslim world and the ideology of Islam is a misdirection that confuses an evolving 1,400-year philosophy with a disaggregated non-body politic of 1.5 billion people. As I wrote on these pagesseveral weeks ago, it does not mean ignoring a problem but diagnosing it accurately: 
"There is no crisis in Islam. But, there is, conversely and unmistakably, an existential crisis (or crises) in the Muslim world...The approach of religious discourse divorces us from what is the larger crisis facing the Muslim world, which is one of being mired in a political, social and economic malaise, characterized by hollow leadership and disintegrating states, an environment into which extremism seeps."
Malala and others are the vanguard in the fight being waged by Muslim liberals, one that is just unfolding, and which contests a broad range of injustices, inequalities, and intolerances in Muslim-majority countries. Yet, these individuals are also caught in a tripartite 'battle' that is ongoing: within the West, within the Muslim world and between the West and Muslim world. These battles are not clear-cut by any means, but each places the Muslim liberal effectively in no man's land. 
Within the West, we are witnessing the rise of xenophobic and anti-immigration sentiment broadly in the conservative movement, and in the United States, most acutely, on the fringes of the Republican Party. This has been exacerbated by the War on Terror, in which, domestically, the Muslim constitutes the ubiquitous bogeyman. So mainstream is this sentiment, that a series such as Homeland entertains many Muslim Americans, even though it not-so-subtly portends that every Muslim from a secular journalist to a CIA agent could be a threat, simply because he or she is Muslim. More tangibly, in terms of everyday consequences, each new mosque in the U.S. now faces anti-Sharia protestors, including from sitting politicians (who conveniently forget the meaning of the First Amendment). 
In Europe, however, while there has been similar sentiment from the conservative side of the spectrum, such as from political parties such as the UKIP or BNP in the United Kingdom, it has often dovetailed with a similarly xenophobic liberal view, such as that espoused by Sam Harris. Much akin to the convergence of the liberal humanitarian perspective with the neoconservative movement in recent years (e.g. prior to the Iraq War in 2003), this neo-liberalism is partly a revivalist movement of the White Man's Burden. Overall, within this battle, Islam is portrayed as a flawed essence, and there can be no equivocation. When an assured liberal such as Reza Aslan appears on CNN, he is forced to choose between Islam and liberalism, and asked to re-confirm that indeed Islam is the threat. Meanwhile, the anchors (on CNN) fail to realize that this would mean he would be asserting that he himself (and many members of his family) have an essentialized evilness about them. Whether or not a person like Reza Aslan is liberal is cast aside due to this inability to disavow Islam.
Yet, it is not just Muslims on the American side of the Atlantic who are caught up in this game. In the Muslim world's own multi-dimensional civil war, we see hyper-nationalists and Islamists battling it out, overlaid with a layer of sectarian strife. Muslim liberals - a term used loosely without weighing the religiosity of individuals - are often the last ones in the streets pushing for open societies. Take the example of the exemplary Alaa Abdel Fattah in Egypt, who, fresh off from being released from prison on bail after being charged for encouraging a demonstration, had his nomination for the prestigious Sakharov Prize revoked. He, like all Muslims, inevitably faced the pro-Israel test, and (two weeks ago) failed. Already under threat of condemnation from within their countries, Muslim liberals within Muslim countries are abandoned in their hour of need by the haughtier-than-though 'critics' in the West. Muslim liberals may be fighting for democracy, against gender discrimination, and for the rights of minorities, but they likely have not reconciled with Zionism. Ask Malala for her views on Israel: you may not like the answer
Finally, since 9/11 (and before as well), Western countries have increasingly been at war in the Middle East and within other majority-Muslim countries. The recent strikes against ISIS are just one recent example. In this battle, again the Muslim liberal is caught in no man's land. On one hand, he or she will surely be in favor of crushing the cancer that is ISIS but not by any means necessary nor will this mean broad support for the securitization of the interaction between the West and the Muslim world. When a recent video surfaced on Fox News from the Harvard campus, where many students alleged that the U.S. had a more detrimental footprint, overall, on the world stage than ISIS, the headline read, "Twisted Ivy: Harvard students say US bigger threat to world peace than ISIS." Imagine, a Muslim making the same statements as in the video. Game over. 
When Bill Maher and Sam Harris pontificate from their plush perches, criminalizing a faith, which has 1.5 billion adherents, they think they are doing the world a big service. Nothing could be further from the truth. It should be pointed that Muslim countries are not uniquely in crisis and that broadly there are many countries in crisis in the developing world. In addition, America's homophobia is only now beginning to subside for example, and in many ways is still real (so no real claim can be made of some type of civilizational superiority). And many of Burma's Buddhist monks would have something to say about religious militancy being the dominion of Islamists only. Nevertheless, there are indeed a myriad of unique problems within the Muslim world, which is in a deep crisis. Yet, there are also countless Muslim leaders, intellectuals, clerics, philanthropists, and others, facing these problems, and trying to stand-up to illiberal phenomena in their communities and societies. They already are well aware of the challenges in front of them and do not need lectures from people far-removed from the very violence they face. 
Maher's (and others) self-titillating orgies of intellectual masturbation demonstrate a total lack of awareness. Perhaps they'll be comforted by the controversy they spawn, indulging their egos as they eye retweets and dollar signs. As for the Muslim liberals on the frontlines? Once again they are caught in No Man's Land.
Original Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/taufiq-rahim/muslim-liberals-caught-in_b_5965546.html

          On Identity & Post-Identity: Reflections of a Brown Man (Part 1)...        
This post comprises a set of reflections peppered with professional musings about geopolitics and the world around us. 


There's probably an entire television series I could write simply based on 'interactions' that I've had at the airport. Whether it's been in Central Asia, the Sub-continent, the Middle East, Europe or of course, North America, I've never felt more brown than when I've walked into an airport. It's as if I spend a few extra hours in the sun on the days I travel. I'm crispy and a shade darker. Every Muslim - or Muslimish - male likely has a special razor he uses for long-haul flights, lest his 5 o'clock shadow becomes a security-risk mid-flight.

Brownness it seems is an odd curse in our world. There are entire industries dedicated to de-browning people. Literally. The leading products are those from our friends at Fair & Lovely, who politely inform us that our skin could get in the way of a dream job. There are also more 'intimate' concerns as well (for down there that is). Estimates are that the global skin whitening market reaches upwards of $18 billion in just Asia alone. Yet, it's not just an Asian (West or South) trend, our darker shaded brethren also partake in the habit. The Economist reported that a whopping 77% of Nigerian women use some form of skin-lightening product. And why not - from your personal life to your professional life, there are countless studies that shows being a little lighter and whiter can make your days brighter. In Mexico, it appears that dark skin can limit your socio-economic status. Nevertheless, who wants to live a life not comfortable in your own skin?

I think I've always been comfortable with 'brown' even if others have always been ambivalent about the term (and my own level of comfort with it). UPS' branded slogan, "What can brown do for you" was my slogan when I ran for student government at the Kennedy School of Government (n.b. never run for government at a school of government). This was to the chagrin of some of my latino-associated 'browns'. You see, 'brown' is an amorphous word that can encompass a range of individuals from across the religious, ethnic, and racial spectrum. Hispanic. Latino. Indian. Pakistani. Middle Eastern (Arab to Persian). Even Black. From there. Originally from there. Kind of from there. It's a catch-all term that belies ascription or description. It is a self-definition. There is much more of a tendency of society, Eastern & Western, global and local, to avoid the obvious or conversely assume while oblivious. It is why, the term Black when entering into popular consciousness is still uncomfortable in contemporary American society, even though many feel that it is the term that refers most closely to their being.

Our mass media culture is much more comfortable failing to acknowledge difference or accentuating it without understanding it. President Barack Obama is an African-American - even though he is half-white, raised by White grandparents in White America. Everything else is too complicated. The world looks for static and stereotyped identities when the truth is our own sense of self is much more fluid and dynamic. 'Brown' is at once simple and sophomoric while at the same time nebulous and nuanced. I've found that whether you like it or not, others will seek to define you along the lines they would like you to fit within - it's your choice, however, to live inside or outside those lines.

Growing up in the West, you are automatically attuned to your racial identity. In Canada you are a jigsaw piece to a mosaic multicultural puzzle. What exotic element do you represent? In Vancouver over 50% of respondents identify themselves as non-white. There, 'brown' is part of the visible majority (visible in being dark I guess) rather than a visible minority. In the U.S. you are expected to blend into some type of melting pot. There, across the nation, over half of children born in the country are born to ethnic and visible minorities.

Some people run from their background. It's an immigrant story not just specific to the brown-folk. Afshin turns into Sean, Mohammed into Mo, and the list goes on. That well integrated Muslim may be shaving, but he mysteriously disappears around prayer time on Fridays. I once had a friend who thought that 'Mosque' was the name of some club I went to every week. True story (actually true). One of the key things is to not speak like your parents, depending, of course, on how your parents speak. In my case, at 12, I still had trouble pronouncing the letter 'V'. For whatever reason, I would also mix up my 'Vs' and 'Ws' - being from West Vancouver, it was a bit of a problem.

Yet, as much as there are people trying to wash the brown away, there are others who soak in it. They bask in the familiarity of their likeness. Other brown-folk get the jokes. The inside jokes. About why the house may smell like curry spices. That at least one relative is an illegal immigrant. That you don't understand why white people can't dance (although your Bollywood numbers would cause you to question your own moves).

And all the while, whatever the second-generation immigrant choice, the society around you has already made its own decisions. For the former group, one day they'll walk into a room and realize: we're brown. It may be that your true name will be discovered. Once, when I came to my grade 7 science class, my teacher excitedly looked at me claiming he had seen my namesake in the movies over the weekend. He had just watched the Lion King and pointed at me saying 'Rafiki'. The fact that I actually do have East African roots, and relatives who live in Kenya was not known to him; he was just amused by the exoticism of the phonetic connection. It happens to the best of those hiding in plain sight, when they are asked to speak for a 'group'. You can run all you want but you are always an outsider to some people. After 9/11 all types of brown people who had never even contemplated their brownness were swept up - literally and figuratively - in the hysteria.

Yet, even the latter group, that seeks to withdraw into a bubbled existence of sameness, realizes the folly of that path. Going back to Mumbai. Or Baghdad. Or Cairo. Or Karachi. It's much more going until returning than going back. The first thing that normally happens is your language is bit off. That Hindi isn't really that good. You never quite mastered how to read Arabic. And there's that aunt who's kind of laughing at the fact that you aren't really brown anymore but white. What? Exactly.

Neither here nor there is the place of the East-West hybridity that is many of us today. You can be confused. And the world around you will be confused. Living in Dubai and working in the wider Middle East (another strange term of history) has only heightened the absurdity of dissonance for me. While in the West, your compatriots may give you the colour-blind benefit of the doubt, there ain't no leniency back East. The moment I get into a cab, the fellow brown driver (Nepali, Indian or Pakistani) tries to make the 'original' connection. But it's worse with your socio-economic classmates. With the cavalry of cacophonous colours collecting in the city, disaggregating the rainbow appears to be priority number one. There is no priority for understanding complex identities. As if you could wash the colour away with one generation (even if that was not what you were trying to do)? In Canada or the U.S., I'm a hyphenated identity or a misunderstood one, but in Dubai, I'm - Indian or Pakistani. Is it worth it to confuse people? To tell them your father is from Uganda - ah but he's not Black! Or that you are born in Canada - but you're not White! Or that you feel connection to India as much as Pakistan - but you're Muslim!

Being 'brown' really is a euphemism for what is really our ability to define our own identity. I'm Brown not Indian or Ugandan or Pakistani or Muslim or Eastern or Western. There's more to that identity than just pronouns and assumptions. And while people may feel it's inventive or counter-cultural, is it more so than the modern form of nationality? Until 1945, there was no such thing as the United Nations and most the developing world was the 'third world' under colonial rule. India and Pakistan didn't exist when my father's family immigrated in the late 1800s and early 1900s to East Africa - it was British India. Canada itself only became a country in 1867. There's a myth that migration is new and borders old. It's the other way around.

So then, what is my identity? How can you embrace a multitude of discrete faces without becoming unrecognizable? And can society and the world accept what confounds conventions?

These are some of the questions that I'll address in subsequent posts in the coming days. Yet, one thing I'll say:

Each of us has a multitude of identities we are always balancing that weave together to form our individual tapestries. We are a blend of ethnicity and language, religion and philosophy. Our parents and grandparents often have varying geographical roots and in our lives so far we've traversed many more. Where we settle isn't always where we started. For me, finding how this comes together becomes important for understanding my own individiual path. Yet, for society, and especially transitional societies, understanding this complexity of identity becomes formative in building stable nations in the 21st century.








          The Miami Mess        

When I first heard about the Yahoo! Sports report that a Miami booster provided cash, cars, jewelry, use of mansions and a yacht, prostitutes, bounties for taking out the opposition, and an abortion for Miami football players, I had three immediate thoughts: 1) Holy balls, Miami knows how to party, 2) This wouldn’t even be that big of a deal if the NCAA weren’t an unprecedented and corrupt cockblock that gets away with a  multibillion dollar scam year after year, and 3) Having said that, the rules are the rules and – if the allegations are true – I’m not sure there has ever been such a flagrant breaking of NCAA rules in the history of both the NCAA and their explicit rules against soliciting prostitution and boosters paying for abortions.

Let’s start with what’s really important – the partying.  Now, thanks to depictions of Miami in all sorts of TV shows and movies (and at least one music video), I’ve always thought that I had a relatively good idea of just how much the city likes to party.  I mean, anyone who has seen Will Smith rocking a wifebeater while hollering at hoochies, Tony Montana burying his face in a heaping mound of blow, Ace Ventura talking out of his butthole, Horatio Caine smoothly putting on his sunglasses after pausing midsentence, and Dexter Morgan saran wrapping criminals to a table and driving a knife through their chest before dismembering their bodies, putting the remains in a bunch of garbage bags, and dumping the bags in the Atlantic Ocean should fully understand that the city of Miami is all about having a good time.  But even with all of these depictions of Miami being a zoo fully packed with party animals, I was still pretty surprised when the Yahoo! report came out and revealed that the average Miami football player apparently breaks the BYU Honor Code 14 times before they even eat breakfast.

What made the report so surprising to me is that even though the fact that this all took place in Miami shouldn’t make it all that shocking, we’re still talking about 18-22 year old kids here.  Sure it seems like “18-22 year old kids” and “partying” are synonymous, but if you really think back on your days in college, I’m guessing “partying” just meant drinking a bunch of cheap beer, listening to music that was turned up way too loudly only because whoever was hosting the party wanted to show off their sound system, crossing your fingers that the girls you were hitting on were too drunk to notice how ugly you were, and drawing penises on the foreheads of your friends who passed out before you did.  Every now and then maybe there were people passing around a joint or two, but for the most part that is what a typical college party entails. 

Nowhere in that description did I mention yachts, mansions, cash, jewelry, or – most importantly – prostitutes, which is why the Miami allegations are shockingly awesome to me.  According to US census data taken in 2010, less than 1% of American citizens have ever partied on a yacht or with prostitutes, so for a bunch of Miami football players to allegedly have done both before they were even old enough to legally rent a car  is truly a remarkable thing and is something I won’t hesitate to admit makes me jealous (hell, I’m sure a lot of them went to these parties before they were even old enough to legally drink).  Then again, I guess all of this shouldn’t have been much of a surprise considering the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about Miami emphasized how wild the Hurricanes were back in the 80s and 90s, and the 7th Floor Crew song in 2004 (very NSFW language) revealed that dorm room gangbangs are apparently as much of a current Miami football tradition as pissing and moaning about a pass interference call from almost a decade ago.

Anyway, now that we got the important and fun part out of the way, let’s discuss what is rapidly becoming the bane of my existence – the NCAA’s steadfast refusal to let athletes profit from their own abilities even though those same athletes’ abilities are the reason the NCAA and the schools the athletes represent rake in billions every year.  As a guy who had to wear the NCAA handcuffs for four straight years (although, let’s be honest, since I was a walk-on my handcuffs weren’t that tight) and couldn’t even accept a free sandwich if I was offered one, I think it’s nothing short of ridiculous that the NCAA continues to cockblock their athletes. 

As far as I’m concerned, the Miami football players getting cash, jewelry, cars, access to yachts, etc. shouldn’t even be an issue, just like the Ohio State football scandal should have never been an issue, because there’s no logical argument as to why the athletes shouldn’t be entitled to all those things (the OSU scandal especially shouldn’t have been a big deal since I’m of the opinion that the players technically earned the things they sold).  Now, the prostitutes and the bounties that were allegedly paid to Miami players to take out opposing players are obviously a big deal, but I’m focusing on the free cash and gifts right now.  As shady and corrupt as college sports may seem, at the end of the day the superstar athletes that generate millions for their schools have every right to accept all the cash and gifts they want because they aren’t anywhere close to being as fully compensated as they deserve to be.  That’s right, I said it – it’s criminally unfair that college athletes (read: football and men’s basketball players) aren’t paid.

The prevalent argument against paying players is that the players are already getting paid in the form of a free education and a monthly stipend, but I have two issues with this argument. First, from experience I can tell you that the stipend is basically just enough money to survive on and typically isn’t a large enough sum of money to result in very much discretionary income for the players, so really it isn’t even worth mentioning (as I’m sure you all remember me infamously discussing in a certain earlier blog post). In all honesty, when you think about all the hours the players put into their respective sports, the stipend is probably just a little bit higher than minimum wage. Obviously there are many people in America who are living off of minimum wage (or in this economy, no income at all), but these people also aren’t bringing in millions upon millions of dollars for their schools and conferences like the star athletes are, so it’s not exactly fair to just say “if other people can make it work, college athletes should be able to also.”

Secondly, while you and I might place a high value on a college education, many superstar athletes are in college solely because they want to prepare for the pros, so a free education doesn’t really mean much to them. I mean, if you really think about it, the fundamental purpose of college is to gather all the knowledge and skills needed to enter the workforce in your desired field. Keeping that in mind, for a lot of these guys the sport they play is essentially their major and taking classes and graduating is really just their form of an extracurricular activity.  Much like how you wanted to be an accountant so you went to college and majored in accounting, these guys want to be NFL linebackers so they go to college to major in breaking spines and ripping the heads off of timid receivers coming across the middle.

This notion is obviously a stereotype and doesn’t apply to everyone who is a shoo-in to make it to the NBA or NFL, but for the most part the All-American college athletes really only care about their education to a certain extent.  At the end of the day, their primary focus is making it to the big leagues, so while a free education would mean a great deal to people like you and me, for the superstar athletes who are likely going to leave college early anyway, a scholarship is the equivalent of being a paraplegic and being given a brand new motorcycle.

People who are against paying college athletes and have a hard-on for protecting the concept of amateurism also often cite the fact that NCAA athletes know what they’re getting into because they sign all sorts of forms that explain how the system works, so they have no right to complain about anything.  But having gone through this form-signing process four times, I can assure you that it’s not nearly as simple as signing a contract with, say, a cable or gas company might be.

When I was at OSU, we would have compliance meetings at the start of every academic year where we would be given a stack of papers to sign.  I specifically remember a handful of times when our compliance person would explain what the form we were about to sign meant and I would consequently think, “This is BS. I don’t want to sign this.”  On one occasion, I actually said this out loud to the compliance person and his response was, “Well, then you’ll be ineligible.”  So really, my hands were tied because my choices were to either sign the forms or essentially quit the team and miss out on the plethora of poon that comes with being an Ohio State athlete.  Negotiating was not an option so I had no choice but to sign the forms as they were.

Now, I wasn’t really all that worked up and was mostly just trying to be a pain in the ass with the compliance people to screw with them a little bit because I knew that giving Ohio State and the NCAA the right to use my image and whatnot wasn’t really that big of a deal since, well, frankly I knew that they would never actually use my image to promote anything.  But at the same time I couldn’t help but think how pissed I’d be if I were someone who was a big time Ohio State athlete like, say, Terrelle Pryor.  Pryor was essentially forced to sign the same forms I had to, only when he was signing them, he was signing away thousands if not millions of dollars in potential earnings. 

So for someone like him, the choices are either to not play or to let the school and NCAA profit boatloads of money off him while he gets essentially nothing in return.  In other words, for all intents and purposes, all college athletes are pretty much forced to sign these papers, especially since the fact that the NBA and NFL both require draft entrants to be a certain age leaves these guys with no viable alternative to playing in the NCAA (football in particular since high school kids can at least play professional basketball overseas instead of going to college while foreign football leagues versus big time college football is as laughable of a comparison as Qdoba versus Chipotle).  So the “they have no right to complain because they know what they’re getting into” argument holds no water from my perspective.

I guess we could argue about whether or not college athletes should be paid until we’re blue in the face, but in the end it won’t really mean much because the NCAA isn’t going to change their ways anytime soon. The fact of the matter is that the only real way to get the rules changed seems to be for the players to essentially just go on strike and cause a lockout. But this will never happen because the players simply aren’t around long enough to make it happen.

It can be assumed that the upperclassmen and the superstar freshmen and sophomores are the ones who are missing out on the most money (simply from the fact that they’re the ones who put butts in the seats at the games and would likely be the ones getting endorsements and whatnot), but by the time they realize that they’re getting screwed and they actually get upset enough to take action to stop the exploitation, they are already gone to the pros or have graduated and moved on to more important things in their lives. After those guys leave, the carousel continues to spin as a new crop of college athletes comes in and goes through the same cycle of sitting on the bench for a couple of years, finally playing toward the tail end of their careers, and not realizing that they’re getting exploited until it’s too late and they’ve got other things to worry about (and most importantly no longer have any motivation to see that college athletes are justly compensated).

Because the athletes can never get enough traction to seriously challenge the NCAA, nothing gets changed and the exploitation continues. The NCAA knows that they will always have this advantage over the players, which is why I’m fairly certain they all sit in their offices and just cackle, rub their hands together with malevolent glee, and twirl their mustaches all day. I can’t decide if I think everyone involved with such a corrupt organization should be thrown in prison for eternity or if they should be congratulated and given some sort of award for successfully pulling off a multibillion dollar scam on unsuspecting kids year after year (the real irony here is that the NCAA – an organization that profits from screwing people out of money – is most likely going to punish the Miami kids for hanging out with a guy who screwed people out of money).

But I digress.  The bottom line is that, if the allegations are true (it’s more fun to just assume they are, isn’t it?), the Miami players knew exactly what they were doing and knew that what they were doing was a blatant violation of NCAA rules, so it’s impossible to feel all that bad for them (especially if the stuff about the hookers and bounties is true – that really is indefensible).  Sure the rules are archaic and unjust, but ultimately they’re the rules and until they change, it’s probably best to just abide by them and not choose to break them in the most ridiculous and flagrant ways imaginable.  In the meantime, until the rules change, all us fans can really do is just sit back and hope that someday we can all look back on this era of college sports like we now look back on Prohibition (and will most likely look back on the illegality of marijuana and the concept of age of consent) and wonder, “What the hell were the people in charge thinking?”

The world is a better place when yacht parties featuring hookers are plentiful and that is a fact.  The sooner the NCAA realizes this, the better off we’ll all be.


It’s inevitable that at least one of you will think my hatred for the NCAA stems from the fact that I was forced to donate all the money from my shirt sales to charity when I was playing at Ohio State, so I thought I’d address that real quick.  First of all, let me say that the money went to a remarkable charity and was no doubt put to great use and I couldn’t be happier to have been somewhat responsible for that (I know it’s cliché to say that and you probably don’t believe me, but screw it – it’s the God honest truth).  At the same time, though, of course the selfish side of me would have loved to have had that $50,000 to spend on whatever I wanted.  You’re lying to yourself if you think for one second that some part of you wouldn’t feel the same way.  Who in their right mind wouldn’t want $50,ooo just handed to them while they were in college?

But the reason I wasn’t all that upset that I couldn’t get that money and the reason I’m not necessarily pissed at the NCAA for that is because I knew that I wasn’t being exploited since I was a walk-on benchwarmer.  It’s not like Ohio State or the NCAA was making tons of money off of me, so I really didn’t have that big of a problem with me not being able to make money off of me either (I still thought it was dumb, but I wouldn’t say I was ever “pissed” about it). 

No, my hatred for the NCAA comes from the fact that they use their athletes to gain a profit (which is completely understandable and fine) but won’t allow the athletes to use themselves to gain a profit (which is complete horseshit).  It sucks that I couldn’t make money from selling my shirts, sure, but the idea that Jared Sullinger won’t be paid a single dime for singlehandedly selling a bunch of tickets and jerseys this upcoming season is pretty disgusting to me.  I know this kind of thing goes on with corporations all over the world, but since I played college basketball and was around the NCAA’s exploitation on a daily basis, this particular instance is the one that I really get fired up over.  Pair my anger with the breaking story about Miami and the fact that I really don’t have anything better to do with my time and it explains my motivation behind this blog post.


This is your last reminder that I’m writing a mailbag post on Friday, so don’t be a doucher and send me an email.

Also, we’ve got a few more additions to my list of things that make people lame if they aren’t good but complete badass if they are good.  Here are a few more of my favorites that the Trillion Man March sent in:

Drinking Beer

From Laine:

“Shotgunning a beer – if you've never done it before or if you're bad at it, it can squirt all over you (that's what she said) and make you soggy and smell like beer all night. If you're a pro, you take it down in one gulp and game over (again, that's what she said.)”

From Evan:

How is drinking in college not the gold standard for novices sucking and experts being amazing? Everyone wants to be like Frank the Tank and hammer that beer bong all night at the party. Depending on the size of your wood, you may or may not want to go streaking through the quad, but that's only a problem for those who can survive a night long of heavy chugging first anyway. But the kid who just got to the party, shotgunned 2 cold ones, and is already passed out puking in the bathroom? He's the biggest loser douche at the party and is going to wake up to shame and a lot of Sharpie dicks drawn all over his body.

A related subject, beer pong. The guy at the party who always lets his partner shoot first because he never misses and will hit any cup is pretty awesome and can definitely keep that hot streak going all night right into some hot mama's bed. But the guy who can't hit a cup and then is running around the house naked showing off his tiny schlong because his team got shut out? Not so cool to be him.”

Criminals (specifically thieves)

From Trevor:

“In real life, its fairly common to hear about people who try to rob a convenience store and end up getting held at gunpoint by the guy at the counter while the cops come. This is lame, even I could do better than that. On the other hand, real (ok, mostly fictional) hard core criminals are incredibly badass. Kaiser Soze? His nickname is the devil, pretty hardcore. Then there are all the other bankrobbing movies, The Oceans (11 through 13) Inside Job, etc. Then in real life you used to have Jesse James and all the wild west types. There just aren't cool robberies anymore really, its almost a pity.”

I also thought about this one when I heard about the Miami football story and Nevin Shapiro’s Ponzi scheme and couldn’t help but think, “Even though that guy screwed a bunch of people out of a ton of money and should no doubt be locked up for a very long time, a small part of me is kind of impressed.”  I feel the same way about guys like Pablo Escobar, D.B. Cooper, Al Capone, etc.

Cops

Also from Trevor:

“Now on the other side of the spectrum, we have cops. There's the stereotypical cop, drinking coffee and eating donuts, kinda pathetic. Then you have supercops, like in the movies. I assume that the CIA and FBI are pretty intense in real life too, but I don't really know what they actually do.”


Proud to Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder


          Adding Android to the Embedded Mix        
By Dan Noal Wind River just hosted a webinar titled, “Adding Android to the Embedded Mix" and saw a great attendee turnout. There were a broad spectrum of companies represented, not just the traditional smartphone and tablet manufacturers.  This is a...
          SDR IQ Files of London Hyde Park Bandscan 18-07-2015        
Why Am I Doing This?

1 - To archive bandscans of the FM dial in different places and different times, in an interactive way (as opposed to just watching somebody else tune through FM on a Tecsun via YouTube)
2 - An experiment to see if anybody else is interested, and try and get other people doing the same thing
3 - I'm insane?

A Lesson In SDR

Software Defined Radio, as a lot of you may already know, allows you to see a chunk of radio spectrum and click on signals to tune into them. It also allows you to record the chunk of spectrum to a huge .wav file called an IQ file. I sat in Hyde Park with a portable SDR set up (thin wire dipole, dongle and Win 8 tablet running SDR# which is free SDR software) and recorded about 17 gigs worth of IQ files covering 87.5 to 108MHz. The dongle is a cheap £15ish Freeview dongle, nothing special. The magic comes in the 3rd party 'Zadig' drivers which allow it to tune from 24MHz upwards. There are even DLLs and mods you can do to go lower into SW, and in some cases into MW. These things aren't perfect, they are wide open to problems from images and they have spurs which look like blank carriers and mess up your reception. They are cheap though, fairly portable, and a proper SDR will set you back £100s if not £1000s. So, can't complain really! You can get slightly better SDRs between £100 and £200 which are a bit cleaner, but you might have trouble powering them from a tablet.

It wasn't working it's best during this scan. There is one section of the band that was quite noisy and full of images. That said, I don't think it got in the way of too many stations.

The Files

I've rar'd all the .wav files to crush them down a touch and I've managed to keep all of them under a gig in size. You'll have to unrar them first. There are .txt files with descriptions of the content which are handy if you want to know what's in a file before you download it. The filenames show the time the recording started, and the center freq. of the chunk.

The files are in this folder on mega.nz as I don't know anywhere else that would allow me to store up to 50GB online for free...
https://mega.nz/#F!3UUUnSiD!WLhWZ3ff4f4Pi7Ko_zcodQ

What You Need - SDR# (SDR Sharp) / HDSDR

Install this software first, otherwise you can't play the files.

http://www.sdrsharp.com/#sdrsharp

When the .zip has downloaded, go into it and click the 'unzip' file, it should now unzip itself. Go into the unzipped folder and click the 'install' file, which will then extract the software into it's own folder. SDR# doesn't attach itself to windows through the registry or anything, it just works from the folder.

Alternatively, you can use HDSDR but it's not 100% compatible with the files. It doesn't have RDS built in, so you need to pipe the signal at 192k 24 bit to RDS Spy via VB Audio Cable Asio Bridge. This will give better RDS results than SDR# though.

http://www.hdsdr.de/
http://rdsspy.com/
http://vbaudio.jcedeveloppement.com/Download_CABLE/HiFiCableAsioBridgeSetup_v1007.zip
Link above taken from http://vb-audio.pagesperso-orange.fr/Cable/index.htm

How To Play The Files

Start SDR# and select IQ File (*.wav) from the Source drop-down. It will immediately ask you to locate an IQ wav file to play.
Make sure you tick 'Correct IQ' or you will have a massive spike in the centre of the display.
Snap to 100kHz for easy tuning.
Make sure you have WFM selected.
Press play.
Move the tuner around by clicking / dragging with the mouse and adjust the filter by dragging the edges.

          Security & Intelligence Services shares retreat after fairly decent start        
It was a fairly good start for debutant Security and Inteligence Services (India) Limited shares on the Indian bourses this morning. But the stock, after gaining about 8% early on, retreated and slipped below the IPO price of Rs 815, to trade around Rs 825.

The stock is currently hovering around the IPO price of Rs 815.

On the National Stock Exchange, more than 6 million shares have changed hands so far at the SIS counter today. On BSE, the SIS counter has clocked a volume of around 9.26 lakh shares so far in the session.

The company, which came out with its IPO earlier this month, mobilised Rs 780 crore through the issue. The offer comprised of fresh issue of equity shares to the tune of Rs 362.25 crore and an offer for sale of up to 51.2 lakh equity shares, diluted by investors and promoters. The issue, with a price band of Rs 805 - 815 per share, was oversubscribed more than 7 times.

Security and Intelligence Services, which provides security services both in India and Australia with diverse solutions across the security spectrum, has a portfolio that includes security design and solutions, fire safety, event security, VIP protection, aviation security, emergency response, investigation work and integrated technology solutions providing man-tech solutions.

The company reported consolidated net profit of Rs 91.28 crore for the financial year ended March 2017, up 20.53% compared to the year-ago quarter. Net sales increased by about 19% to Rs 4567.09 crore in the financial year, over sales in the previous year.


          Claude Shannon, geek        

@Woo wrote:

The man who is mostly to blame for computer science was one of us:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/claude-shannon-tinkerer-prankster-and-father-of-information-theory

I think his theory is about 'data' rather than 'information' but I'm not sure that the distinction was as clear then as it is now.

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          new: Forma        
Spools

@FormaSounds is an appropriate Twitter name for the synth-obsessed Brooklyn trio. While their sound is reminiscent of grüvier side of Kosmiche, their contemporary styling isn't as much a nod, as it is a reinterpretation of the effervescent modular sounds produced in Deutschland in the 70s. I recently had the pleasure of seeing Forma score a few experimental films at PS1, and one score in particular, their audio contribution to a Maya Deren's film At Land, left me in mental shambles. The film found Deren meandering on a vacant beach, waves rolling in reverse. Forma played from behind the audience but sounded like they were rising from an oceanic abyss. Their textures were so organic it was hard to think of them as modular creations, as they sounded so much like field recordings. Anyway, I just jammed their debut on Spectrum Spools and it is a subterranean portal into a lost future. Take the pill. Jump down the wormhole. Go in below. (Buy the LP here.)

FORMA: FORMA by alteredzones
          show: MIST, Driphouse, Forma + more        
Twin Lanes
Just came across this, but it's hard to resist. Tomorrow night at the Schoolhouse in Bushwick, MIST (Sam Goldberg [Radio People] + John Elliott [Emeralds, Outer Space, Imaginary Softwoods]), Darren Ho's always stunning Driphouse, and Forma, who are about to drop a record on John's Spectrum Spool imprint. Coincidentally, MIST are also about to unleash an LP on Spectrum Spool, which is operating under the inimitable Editions MEGO. Show will also feature DJ sets by Dan L (Chuck Person, OPN, Celtics fan) and Vibes.

"TWIN LANES" by MIST from upcoming 2xlp "House by spectrumspools

NNA011: Driphouse "50/50" [sample] by nnatapes

FORMA - FORMA237B by spectrumspools
          Lennar Selects Baldwin® Hardware, Kwikset® for World’s First Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ Smart Home Design Program        

New Homes Available in July will Feature Baldwin Evolved and Kwikset Touch-to-Open™ Technology   LAKE FOREST, CA — (Marketwired) — 06/27/17 — Baldwin® Hardware and Kwikset®, leading brands of the Hardware and Home Improvement (HHI) division of Spectrum Brands, Inc. (NYSE: SPB), today announced they have been selected by Lennar, one of the nation’s largest […]

The post Lennar Selects Baldwin® Hardware, Kwikset® for World’s First Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ Smart Home Design Program appeared first on The Open Door by Lennar.


          Garbage In, Garbage Out - IDOS-opiniepeilingen        

Paramaribo - Geliefd en verguisd. Dat is het beste om John Krishnadath te typeren. Zijn opiniepeilingen spelen deze verkiezingen een belangrijke rol. Vooral een psychologische. Hoe betrouwbaar zijn de IDOS-peilingen? "Ik had niet eens iets onderzocht en toch werd het IDOS verdacht gemaakt."


Tekst Iwan Brave/dWTfoto Werner Simons - de Ware Tijd, 10 mei 2005

Menig politicus zegt: "De ware peilingen zijn op 25 mei." Een waarheid als een koe en toch wishfull thinking tegelijk. Voor wie het uitkomt, zijn de DWT/IDOS-peilingen een dankbare houvast. Voor wie er bekaaid afkomt, zijn ze ‘onbetrouwbaar'. Neem bijvoorbeeld Desi Bouterse, die in februari de peilingen nog prees, toen zijn NDP als grootste uit de bus kwam in Paramaribo. Maar het kan verkeren. Vorige week, tijdens de afgelopen massameeting in Ocer, insinueerde Bouterse dat ‘niet-integere' wetenschappers de peilingen uitvoerden. Na de Amerikaanse verklaring was de NDP in Paramaribo flink teruggevallen. Maar Bouterse is niet de enige die zulk ambivalent, of misschien wel beter gezegd schizofreen gedrag toont ten aan zien van de DWT/IDOS- peilingen. Zelfs de doorgaans ingetogen Marten Schalkwijk werd het te gortig. Die besloot zelf maar over te gaan tot een opiniepeiling via zijn Nikos in opdracht van Dagblad Suriname.
In 2001 was Pertjajah Luhur-voorzitter Paul Somohardjo, toen minister van Sociale Zaken en Volkshuisvesting, ook al niet te spreken over het resultaat van een IDOS- opiniepeiling, toen bleek dat 80 procent van de kiezers in Paramaribo wilde dat Somohardjo, Rakieb Khudabux van Volksgezondheid, Dewanand Balesar van Openbare Werken en Siegfried Gilds van Justitie en Politie wegens ‘gebrek aan daadkracht' het veld moesten ruimen. Volgens Somohardjo is Krishnadath "gefrustreerd zijn omdat hij geen ministerspost heeft gekregen".
Leuk is anders, maar echt raken doet het Krishnadath al lang niet meer. "Ik ben al vijftien jaar bezig. Er is nog geen enkele politicus of partij geweest de me nog niet heeft uitgescholden, maar er is ook geen enkele die me nog niet de hemel heeft ingeprezen, als een peiling ze uitkomt."
De reden waarom Krishnadath met zijn peilingen begon, is ‘dienstverlening en service' naar de samenleving toe, en uit ‘dankbaarheid'. IDOS is namelijk een bureau voor marketingresearch. Grote klanten willen informatie hebben over het koopgedrag van de consumenten, en zonder hun antwoorden en medewerking kan IDOS zijn product niet leveren en dus niet verdienen. Vandaar dus die dankbaarheid. "Ik verdien er niets aan, behalve door de een uitgescholden en de ander geprezen te worden", zegt Krishnadath over de peilingen. "Toen we in 1990 startten, was dat ten ondersteuning van het democratisch proces. Opiniepeilingen is toch wel een van de eerste dingen die je ziet als een maatschappij de overgang maakt van dictatuur naar democratie."

Stank voor dank
Maar het is stank voor dank, gezien de reacties van politieke partijen en hun leiders. Maar Krishnadath is er de laatste die ermee zit. Hij moet zelfs een beetje lachen, om die commotie. Als het hem enigszins stoort dan is het wel van mensen, "van wie je zegt dat ze beter moeten weten; van mensen die weten dat ik niet rommel", vertelt hij. "Soms denk je dan wel: ik stop er maar mee. Want je doet de politiek een genoegen met de peilingen en je krijgt er vervelende opmerkingen voor terug. Maar als je niet uitkomt met een peiling is het ook niet goed, dan klagen de politici ook. Een keer toen de komende halfjaarlijkse peiling door omstandigheden langer uitbleef, werd er gezegd: ‘omdat het slecht uitkomt voor de regeringspartijen, durft hij de resultaten niet te publiceren'. Ik had niet eens iets onderzocht en toch werd het IDOS verdacht gemaakt."
Overigens vindt hij dat elke partij het recht heeft om zijn peilingen te becommentariëren. "Je moet goed gek zijn als politicus om te zeggen dat het IDOS gelijk heeft als uit een peiling blijkt dat haast niemand op je partij zal stemmen. Als je dat bevestigt kan je direct ophouden" Hij heeft vrij lang geduurd – bijna een half jaar – voordat hij een besluit nam om over te gaan tot de DWT-IDOS-peilingen. Normaal werden de peilingen alleen in Groot-Paramaribo verricht en geheel zelfstandig door het IDOS gefinancierd. Maar in samenwerking met DWT zou er ook landelijk gepeild kunnen worden. Er worden geen winsten gemaakt met deze peilingen. Voor IDOS was het al aantrekkelijk genoeg dat de directe kosten door de opdrachtgever werden gedekt en een voorwaarde was dat DWT ook de gegevens aan de andere media ter beschikking zou stellen. "Verder was het zo dat DWT ons volledig onze gang laat gaan zoals altijd het geval is geweest", vertelt Krishnadath. "De krant bemoeit zich dus niet met de te stellen vragen of wat wij neerschrijven. Het werkt heel goed."
Eigenlijk bevreemdt het Krishnadath een beetje, alle commotie die is ontstaan over de kiezerslijsten. Hij had reeds in een vroeg stadium in een artikel geschreven dat steekproefsgewijs bleek, dat het in Paramaribo om 4 procent ging om lege percelen, onbewoonde huizen of niet bestaande straatnummers bleken te zijn. "Dan praat ik nog niet eens over de adressen waar wordt gezegd: ‘die mensen wonen hier niet'." Als meest idiote voorval vindt hij een adres van een kiezer aan dr. Sophie Redmondstraat. Het bleek dat het bijkantoor van het CBB er staat, niemand die daar woont.


BVN-Nieuws

Omwille van neutraliteit maakt het IDOS bewust geen analyse van de peilingen en volstaat Krishnadath met te vermelden wat er in het veld door de enquêteurs is gesignaleerd. "Je zal mij nooit zien schrijven wat ik denk of wat ik uit de gegevens haal, of wat de reden is een van bepaalde stijging of daling van de percentages. Maar als je het mij persoonlijk vraagt, dan heeft bijvoorbeeld de recente terugval van de NDP te maken met het zware offensief van de VS en de Nederlandse politiek. Het gehele Nederlandse politieke spectrum heeft zich de afgelopen twee weken uitgesproken over wat de gevolgen kunnen zijn met Bouterse als president. Anderhalve week lang het BVN-nieuws met de uitgesproken meningen van de Nederlandse politici via diverse media in de samenleving gepompt. Hoewel gezegd werd dat het Surinaamse volk vrij is om te kiezen, heeft het wel degelijk zijn invloed gehad. En de NDP is een partij waarin je bij uitstek de weerspiegeling vindt van de etnische verhouding van onze samenleving. En als er één groep is die bang is voor isolement, dan zijn het de Hindoestanen. Een creool laat zich in dat opzicht iets moeilijker intimideren. Je kan ook stellen dat Hindoestaan nu al de eventuele sociale en economische gevolgen overdenkt."
Ook Krishnadath plaats vraagtekens achter het officiële aantal kiesgerechtigden van ruim 335.000 op de kiezerslijsten. Hij plaatst dit aantal tegen het voorlopige cijfer van de laatste volkstelling, dat uitkwam op ruim 480.000 inwoners. Daarvan zou tweederde deel 18 jaar en ouder zijn, dus zouden er ongeveer 310.000 kiesgerechtigde moeten zijn. Krishnadath: "Maar als het CBB beweert dat er 335.000 kiezers zijn – wat nog altijd tweederde deel van de bevolking is – dan zou 3/3 deel ongeveer van 520.000 personen zijn. Dus of het ABS heeft verkeerd geteld of bij het CBB is er iets niet goed. Maar ik ben verplicht mijn calculaties voor DNA-zetels te maken aan de hand van de CBB-cijfers. Het is dus: ‘garbage in, garbage out' als er iets niet goed is aan de cijfers. Ik heb toen ook gezegd dat de politieke partijen later ermee geconfronteerd zullen worden en dat je dan dyugu dyugu zal krijgen. En dat gebeurt nu."

Brandende vraag
Een brandende vraag is dan toch wel: hoe betrouwbaar zijn die peilingen? "Als het om percentages gaat, zullen de peilingen er niet veel naast zitten", zegt Krishnadath. "Het enige wat ik nu achterwege zou moeten laten, is het berekenen van het aantal zetels per partij. Bij de vorige verkiezingen zou, bijvoorbeeld, A1 met 4.200 stemmen in Paramaribo genoeg hebben voor een zetel. Maar op basis van de huidige kiezersaantallen voor Paramaribo – als je ervan uitgaat de kiezeropkomst net als voor heen 70 procent is – zal het A1 vijf tot zesduizend stemmen nodig hebben voor een zetel."
Maar nu al durft Krishnadath op basis van de fouten in de kiezerslijst, die het IDOS door middel van de steekproeven achterhaalt, te stellen dat het aantal kiesgerechtigden veel lager zal blijken. "De opkomst bij de verkiezingen zal dus veel lager uitkomen dan normaal het geval is en dan haalt A1 in Paramaribo misschien ineens wel voldoende stemmen om een zetel binnen te halen. Voor de grotere partijen maakt dat niet zoveel uit omdat de verhoudingen min of meer gelijk blijven."
Hoe betrouwbaar de kiezers de peilingen acht, wilde Krishnadath zelf ook weten: doorgaan of niet? Deze vraag werd meteen meegenomen in een peiling. Negentig procent zei: ‘doorgaan'. "Maar dat kan ruis zijn omdat het het IDOS zelf is die de vraag heeft voorgelegd", zegt Krishnadath. Vijftien procent vond de peilingen onbetrouwbaar. Een deel van deze personen vertelde ook waarom. Niet zozeer het IDOS of de enquêteurs werden onbetrouwbaar bevonden, maar het antwoord van de mensen die geinterviewd werden, deze zouden vaak niet de waarheid spreken. Er is nu sprake van een grote groep zwevers, zo'n 30 procent. "Vroeger was dit percentage een maand voor de verkiezingen in de districten laag en in de stad hoog", zegt Krishnadath. "Vermoedelijk bij deze verkiezingen, met name in Coronie, zal je een heel erg emotionele uitgebrachte stem hebben bij een belangrijk deel van de kiezers. Dus als iemand met de verkeerde been uit bed stapt, zal hij op partij A stemmen en als hij met het goede uit bed stapt op partij C. Of de mensen wachten een excuus om helemaal niet te gaan stemmen. Het niet hebben ontvangen van een kaart zou dan een goed excuus zijn. Nu zijn velen teleurgesteld. De reden laat ik buiten beschouwen. Maar in principe kan je niet stemmen voor iets waarin je teleurgesteld bent. Dan kan 30 procent veel uitmaken."

Brand switching
De enquêteurs van het IDOS gaan te werk met een hand held-computer, waarin alle vragen en mogelijke antwoorden geprogrammeerd zijn. Het antwoord van de ondervraagde bepaalt de volgende vraag. Met een pen wordt het antwoord aangestipt en meteen elektronisch opgeslagen. Dus van enige invloed van enquêteurs die subjectieve vragen stellen, is geen sprake. Krishnadath demonstreert dat handzame apparaatje. Ook de vraag op welke andere partij men zou stemmen indien zijn of haar partij niet zou meedoen, was geprogrammeerd. En die vraag werd aan een ieder gesteld; ook als je de NDP of de NPS als voorkeurpartij opgaf. Het was Shailendra Girjasing van UPS-DOE die er gewag van maakte dat er in Commewijne een enquêteur ‘gekleurd' zou hebben gevraagd: ‘Nee, maar als UPS-DOE niet meedoet, op welke partij zou u dan stemmen?'
"In marktonderzoek praat je over brand switching; wat ga je roken als Morello niet meer verkrijgbaar is", licht Krishnadath deze vraag toe. "Als je dat weet, dan weet ook waar mobilisatie van een bepaalde stem naar toe kan plaatsvinden. Die vraag – wat is uw alternatief? – hebben we aan een ieder gesteld. Ik moest erom lachen, omdat die opmerking van iemand kwam die uit de zakenwereld is; iemand die producten aan de consument wil slijten Voor zo iemand is het belangrijk om te weten waar een klant op overstapt als zijn product om een of andere reden even niet te krijgen is. Een opiniepeiling is in feite niets anders dan een marktonderzoek voor politici, alleen weten we hier niet voldoende wat we ermee moeten en kunnen doen."


          Music Breath, OOO sort Spectrum Analyzer v8.3.6        

iPhone, iPad / Outils / Analyse : ANALYSE précise de l'intensité du son VISUALISEUR du micro audio Types différents de graphiques et diagrammes Spectrum Analyzer est un outil précis pour mesurer le niveau de son, qui offre aussi l'analyse harmonique multicanal et la représentation ...


          lcd vs plasma..??        
lcd vs plasma...

Plasma displays
uses a matrix of tiny gas plasma cells that are charged by precise electrical voltages to emit light and hence to create the picture image. In other words, each picture element in a plasma TV display acts as a miniature light source. More on plasma displays can be found in our article: How-it-Works: Plasma Display Panel.

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) panels - work by trapping a liquid crystal solution between two sheets of polarized glass. When an electric current passes through the liquid crystals, they change the polarization of the light passing through them in response to the applied voltage – as a result of which, more or less light passes through the polarized glass to reach the face of the display. LCD panels do not generate light - rather they filter or subtract light generated by a back-light source to create the image on the panel surface. More information on LCD displays can be found at How-it-Works: Liquid Crystal Display Technology.

http://www.powerfloe.com/media/Plasma%20-%20pics/plasma-tv-1c-web.jpg

It is not the scope of this plasma vs LCD comparative guide to go into the actual details of how these different display technologies work. After all, what matters in the end is not what is going behind the screen, more important is how these different display technologies perform as a television screen.

At the same time, one cannot but keep in mind that it is these same differences that give each of these display technologies, its strengths and weaknesses, and that therefore render one more suitable than the other under certain circumstances.

Plasma vs LCD TV – Which flat-panel display technology is right for you?



We apprroach this plasma vs LCD TV comparative analysis by taking a detailed look at three main areas of concern, namely 'price and size', 'picture' related issues, and 'functional' considerations.

We believe that this approach should help better bring out the main differences between these two technologies, and therefore, make it easier to determine where either of these display technologies fit best.


http://www.dexigner.com/database/images/designs/lcd_tv_series-01.jpg

Plasma vs LCD TV: Size and Price


Size ADVANTAGE: This depends on screen size in that when it comes to compare plasma vs LCD TV sets, both technologies are playing on level ground though you have more available options within the plasma TV domain for screen sizes greater than 50-inch. This is partly explained by the fact that though production costs and retail prices have come down for both technologies, yet plasma still has the edge as far as production cost and capacity go.

On the other hand, at the smaller screen size end of the spectrum, i.e. 37-inch, LCD is the dominant technology while anything smaller than 37-inch implies LCD if what you want is something stylish and slim (at under 4" in depth).

Price ADVANTAGE: Here, the playing field is leveling at a fast rate. Up to very recent, plasma was the obvious choice for all screen sizes where collision between these two technologies occurs; this is no longer the case.

In general, plasma still leads by a good margin only at the bigger screen sizes - 50 inch and upwards - with this pricing advantage getting more pronounced as one approaches the 60-inch diagonal. But then, against this higher price tag, LCD HDTVs come with more pixels per display panel.

At the smaller end of the screen size (37-inch up to 44-inch), the price advantage when it comes to plasma vs LCD TV sets, starts to shift more towards LCD TVs since even though plasmas and LCDs are practically selling at the same price tag, LCD TVs delivers more pixels for the same screen size.


http://static.flickr.com/45/139710309_6b4342d41e.jpg

Plasma vs LCD TV: Picture Considerations

Overall Picture Performance ADVANTAGE: Here our thumbs up in this plasma vs LCD TV comparative analysis go to plasma televisions even though both technologies are extremely close in terms of overall picture performance.

In other words, both plasma and the latest high contrast TFT-LCD flat panel displays are capable of producing excellent picture quality - with bright, crisp clear images, high contrast levels, and excellent color reproduction. This means that both technologies are suitable as a TV screen, but...

Plasma TVs still have an edge over their LCD counterparts when it comes to displaying deep blacks - thus enjoying better contrast and detail in images where lots of dark and light content is being shown simultaneously.

Generally, Plasma color richness and naturalness will prevail in rooms with controlled lower to normal lighting, while LCDs will be better in brightly lit rooms due to their inherent anti-glare technology.

Plasma vs LCD TV Viewing Angle ADVANTAGE: What used to be a clear advantage for plasma displays is becoming more and more a non-issue especially with the latest generation of LCD televisions, however...

Do not always assume that viewing angle is no longer an issue when comparing plasma vs lcd TVs, especially if the viewing angle is not specified. The tendency – in particular with the cheaper LCD TV sets from unknown manufacturers - is that the deterioration in picture quality with off-axis viewing is more accentuated with LCD than with plasma displays.

Our advice: It is always best to check especially when buying some cheap 'unbranded' LCD TV. If you are buying online, check first the return policy, and opt only for a reputable brand. Buying online is cheaper and safe, but ensure that you follow the recommendations detailed in our Online Buyer's Guide.

Viewing Distance ADVANTAGE: This is a non-issue when it comes to plasma vs LCD TV sets in that none carries any advantage as long as you are within normal viewing distance for your screen size and your viewing distance is more than approximately 9 feet away from your TV screen. More on viewing distance can be found in our article here: TV Viewing Distance.

However, the pixel size and shape of an LCD panel renders a smoother picture than an equivalently sized plasma panel for the same pixel count. This means that if you have a too short TV viewing distance, an LCD television may render itself a better option as its pixel structure is less visible.


          Yes We Can Can!        
Where exactly do you fall on the political spectrum Secretary Clinton? Stalwart Progressive, as you told us last July? “I take a backseat to no one when you look at my record in standing up and fighting for progressive values.” A Centrist like your dear husband, as you told us last month: “You know, I get accused of being kind of moderate and center. I plead guilty.” Butt really, what difference, at this point, does it make? Especially since your opponent is a xenophobic, Islamophobic sexist pig.  *cough* *cough*I mean, Hillary could be a Marxist and apparently many former Republicans...
          Exterminate the Brutes: Fighting Back Against the Right        
by
Robert Markley
1996-04-01

Michael Bérubé’s essay on the politics of selling out is an eloquent investigation of the dilemmas confronting left intellectuals seeking to survive the long dark night of irrelevance. My only concern is that I wish Bérubé had provided more advice about how to sell out, while, at the same time, winning political converts and influencing influential people. While there is much that is admirable in Bérubé’s piece (originally delivered in March 1995 at the Cultural Studies Symposium at Kansas State), particularly his discussion of the Right’s negation of the “public” in the name of the “people,” I would like to sketch briefly an alternative to the politics of selling out by putting pressure on the term “intellectual,” the blind spot in many romantic calls to action by left cultural critics.

A crucial point: nobody cares about intellectuals, except other intellectuals. More to the point, unless intellectuals have another source of income, most of them wind up subordinating intellectual interests to the pursuit of livelihoods, or convincing the powers that be that intellectual activity can be profitable (see Bacon, Francis). Few people, for that matter, understand, care about, or are willing to spend the time and energy to follow the intricacies of rational discourse. Think of the sad history of presidential elections since World War II. The Democrats, admittedly a poor excuse for a left of far-right party, nominate Rhodes Scholars, Pulitzer Prize Winners, nuclear engineers, and so on for President; the dominant mode of communication for Clinton, Dukakis, Mondale, Carter, McGovern, Kennedy, and Stevenson has been explanation - a dubious strategy because the hegemonic rhetoric of multinational capitalism is the assurance that Life is Simple: advertising slogans, biblical homilies, capsule news summaries, crossword puzzles, billboards, true-false tests, and click on one of the following options all reinforce the belief that there are always “right” answers to be had, and that these answers can be summed up in a few words: “just say no”; “you deserve a break today”; “life is good.” Can you remember a Republican candidate for national office (since, say, John Lindsay) trying to explain anything to voters? Nixon, perhaps, but Nixon’s explanations were always corrosive and evasive.

The most successful Democrat since Roosevelt was, significantly, the least intellectually gifted and, if you have read the first two volume’s of Robert Caro’s biography, the most vicious, brutal, and amoral. What Lyndon Johnson understood far better than most cultural critics is that intellect (not to mention morality) is a handicap in politics: the purpose of policy is not to achieve moral clarity or intellectual rigor but to perpetuate networks, connections, positions of power, influence, and of course to accumulate symbolic capital and cold hard cash. The most successful, in many ways, of the handful of Left political leaders (broadly defined) in the past half century, Martin Luther King, did not analyze the semiotics of race, despite his Ph.D., so much as he evoked a religious vision: “I have a dream.” Dreams may have their own semiotics, but they do not, for audiences glued to Sightings, require complex modes of intellectual elucidation.

In my mind, then, our concern about the role of the public intellectual is misplaced. The arena in which the Left has to contest the Regime of the Right is not in the pages of The Nation or even The Village Voice but in the much devalued realm of cheap, anti-intellectual “entertainment”: tawdry talk shows, infomercials, trade shows for would-be entrepreneurs, tabloids, the Psychic Hot Line, etc. Bérubé reports that his editor at Harper’s suggested that a successful article renders the experience of reading almost non-cognitive; in any consumer culture, the separation between logic and rhetoric returns with a vengeance. In such a world, the Left needs to counter the vicious, mindless, kneecapping of the Right with vicious, mindless, kneecapping of its own: not nostalgia for JFK but a reinvigoration of the Realpolitik of LBJ.

Who better to contribute to public policy than college and university professors who are paid to study rhetoric and semiotics? Think of all the energy that cultural critics have devoted to interrogating racist, homophobic, misogynist, and classist rhetoric, values, and assumptions during the last fifteen years. This knowledge can and should be used to counter racism, sexism, homophobia, and the politics of privilege, but such an undertaking requires precisely that “we,” left erstwhile intellectuals, relinquish our stubborn faith in rational argument. Rational argument is what we do on our jobs; it is not necessarily an essential, unchanging measure of our intrinsic worth as human beings. You cannot argue morality; you can successfully challenge prejudice only by exploiting a complex psycho-social matrix that is largely unresponsive to causal reasoning. All of us know that, to varying degrees, it is often an uphill struggle to get students to distinguish between reason and bias. The mush-headed right, at least since George Wallace, has accumulated political capital by tarring and feathering “pointy-headed intellectuals” - cashing in on a politics of resentment by redirecting economic anxieties away from the unequal distribution of wealth to the distribution of specialized knowledge. For many Americans, elitists read poetry, not The Wall Street Journal. The Left will be more successful, as it has been in the (dim) past, by counterattacking the Rush Limbaughs of the world, not by noting inconsistencies in their presentations.

As Bérubé points out, the practice of left intellectuals attacking other left intellectuals for elitism, obscurity, and impracticality is old enough to have passed from history into the dark backward and abysm of myth. If the left seems doomed to repeat rituals of self-immolation, it is, in part, because we remain obsessed with the value of distinction, discrimination and purification rather than with the always impure strategies of success. What follows, then, are some suggestions to ensure that we sell out successfully:

1 Coopt the rhetoric of values, and beat the Right over the head with it. No self-styled Leftist should be allowed to offer political pronouncements without chanting the following mantra: greed, hypocrisy, and sin. Pro-Lifers who refuse to demand that the government raise taxes to provide funds for education, medical and dental care, food, clothing, shelter, and so on for each and every child who is “saved” are (repeat after me) hypocrites. Fundamentalists who ravage the environment to make money are sinners. Pat Buchanan has no values except greed.

2 Deploy the language of prejudice and exclusion by (for example) insistently feminizing right-wing males. Elected stooges of multinational capitalism are “whores”; candidates who turn a blind eye when workers are “downsized” into lower paying jobs are “cowards”; men who harass women on the job are “wimps who can’t get a date.” Officials who claim they cannot or should not intervene to help the homeless, the sick, the dying are “impotent.” The NRA should be ridiculed for playing with phallic symbols to compenstae for their psychosexual dysfunctions. Obviously, reproducing such rhetoric tends to reinscribe the dynamic of prejudice and exclusion that many of us are dedicated to overcoming. But politics is not about purity: the squeamish need to ask themselves whether living through the jihad that President Buchanan would visit upon us is a price worth paying for claiming the supposed moral high ground.

3 As Bérubé argues, the Left’s basic problem is that it lacks the financial resources of the Right; this unequal distribution of wealth and power is unlikely to change soon. Consequently, it becomes imperative for progressives, feminists, radicals, greens, pinkos, and reds to concentrate their financial resources in areas likely to have the most benefit. My suggestion, then, is that we scale back our commitments to worthy causes (ACT UP, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, battered women’s shelters, the United Negro College Fund, Ducks Unlimited, NPR, you name it), pool our resources, and…buy CBS. I wish I were kidding. But the ideology of corporate command, control, and communication renders us little choice if we want to sell out successfully enough to buy a fair share of political power and cultural capital. Left-Wing TV might bring back Gore Vidal to prime time as a Commentator on the CBS Evening News, offer variations on programs such as X-Files by hiring the best writers and producers to promote left-wing conspiracy theories: sexy agents combating corporate skullduggery; white supremacists in league with hostile aliens; mysterious conspiracies at the highest levels of telecommunications; and lonely forest rangers fighting off evil corporations intent on gutting the environment. There should be sympathetic portrayals of lesbian police officers, gay physicians, African-American labor organizers, and so on. If the Left is to counter the cultural dominance of right-wing talk shows, it needs the cultured voice of Gore Vidal intoning nightly that the political spectrum in the United States runs from the Right to the Far Right.

4 Get our own house in order by taking back our universities. One example of effective collective action. Imagine the end of the Fall Semester 1996. Professors all over the country rise up and give every scholarship basketball player in the country a real set of finals: “Discuss the influence of Hegel on Kierkegaard.” “Analyze the significance of Walter Lippman’s concept of the stereotype on the image of the African-American athlete.” “What are the implications of Coase`s theorem for negotiations between professional athletes and franchise owners?” This may sound like a vicious case of harassing the pawns by asking scholarship athletes (a high percentage of whom are African-American) to do work that almost all of their peers would fail abjectly to do, but such collective action could be the springboard to insist that scholarship athletes who generate hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue each year be paid stipends (much like research assistants). Think, too, of network executives (spending a half billion dollars a year on college basketball) stuck with a Final Four tournament that consists of walk-ons and white guys shooting two-hand set shots on national TV. Most educated Americans - doctors, lawyers, corporate chiefs - have little idea of the wages and working conditions of most college and university instructors, particularly part-timers. Instead of the disinformation campaigns presented at half-time of basketball and football games - half nostalgic images of ivy-strangled halls and half glitzy promos of hi-tech venture capitalism, show lines of students trying to get into closed out classes.

5 The African-American athlete is sadly underused by the Left. Michael Jordan, Shaq, Grant Hill, and so on exist for most Americans in a depoliticized state of glamorous consumption, as though their multi-million dollar contracts and highly publicized lifestyles negate the economic and cultural disadvantages of millions of African-Americans. A trivia question for cultural critics: who is Kellen Winslow and why am I bringing up his name now?

6 Finally, counter the Right’s simplistic slogans with simplistic slogans of our own. A general purpose campaign slogan to use against Republicans: “Your jobs going overseas.”

Irving Howe? Russell Jacoby? Shana Alexander? Alexander Cockburn. Hunter Thompson. Molly Ivins. Left intellectuals need to resist the blandishments of a rationalistic politics that remain tied to models of cause and effect, to the siren song that we can reason our way into cultural and political significance. How’s this for a slogan for the resurrection of the Left? “There’s only one Party in this country, and you’re not invited.”


          Emma Read-Along: Week 1 Discussion        

Welcome to Week 1 of the Emma read-along! You can learn more about the read-along schedule in this invitation post.

Today we're going to discuss chapters 1-14 (Volume I). If you came prepared, go ahead and share your thoughts in the comments section or in your own post! (Feel free to use the image above, linking back to the Emma read-along tag.) If you still have to catch up on some reading, you're welcome to check in later this week or whenever you're ready. :)

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

~ ~ ~

Emma Volume I: Chapters 1-14

Discussion Format: One favorite quote, some general impressions, and four questions for each week's reading.

Favorite Quote

"Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief. Nothing so easy as for a young lady to raise her expectations too high." ~ Mr. Knightley

General Impressions

It's too bad Jane Austen has another book with "pride" in the title. Because I'm thinking this book might be deserving of such a title! We could call it Pride and Power or Pride and Performance. Emma does put on quite a show, doesn't she? ;)

The thing is, as much as Emma gets on my nerves now and then, I can't completely hate her character. For one thing, she displays a genuine love and protectiveness over her family (her father and sister), which we especially see during her sister's visit, when Mr. John Knightley puts Emma on edge.

She also displays rare moments of authenticity and vulnerability.

After a visit to "a poor sick family"...

These are the sights, Harriet, to do one good. How trifling they make every thing else appear!—I feel now as if I could think of nothing but these poor creatures all the rest of the day; and yet, who can say how soon it may all vanish from my mind?
(She displays real compassion to this family, we're told, and she's affected by the visit. But she also acknowledges how easy it is to move on and lose sight of the misfortune of others.)

And during her argument with Mr. Knightley about Harriet Smith and Robert Martin...

I know that such a girl as Harriet is exactly what every man delights in—what at once bewitches his senses and satisfies his judgment. Oh! Harriet may pick and choose. Were you, yourself, ever to marry, she is the very woman for you.
(This is in response to Mr. Knightley saying, "Better be without sense, than misapply it as you do." Perhaps I'm reading too much into Emma's reply, but I sense almost a bitterness here. She knows that Harriet has a "real, thorough sweetness of temper and manner, a very humble opinion of herself," which she feels is something men truly desire. And I think Emma is self-aware enough to realize that her character in this regard is very different than Harriet's. In fact, she even jokingly tells her little niece in Mr. Knightley's hearing, "Little Emma, grow up a better woman than your aunt. Be infinitely cleverer and not half so conceited" [emphasis mine]. I just wonder if she feels that she isn't entirely what men desire...if perhaps there's a self-consciousness and fear beneath all the logical reasons she gives for not being married.)

Emma is smart, funny, loving, and very much human, and so I like her character for these reasons. But I feel like I have a lot to learn from the very-much-human side of her that displays a LOT of pride and vanity.

A farmer can need none of my help, and is therefore in one sense as much above my notice as in every other he is below it.
How can Emma imagine she has any thing to learn herself, while Harriet is presenting such a delightful inferiority?
I must see somebody very superior to any one I have seen yet, to be tempted [to marry]... I would rather not be tempted. I cannot really change for the better.

I know there is plenty more in the story to talk about (and I'm curious to hear what stood out most to you!), but since I feel like humility is a running theme in my life (as something I need to continually learn and grow in)—it's even in my blog title :) —I wanted to take a moment to address Emma's pride.

How easy it is to let pride creep into our relationships. To feel like it's all about us and our accomplishments and the things we feel we "deserve." Granted, there is the other extreme that always gives without being restored and refuses to stand up when things are wrong. But I think I find it easier, myself, to fall into the prideful spectrum. I think this line from the first chapter is something I can relate to...

The real evils indeed of Emma's situation were the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself.

All that to say, I see Emma's tale as a bit of a cautionary one, and I'm sure there's a lot still to learn from her story!

Discussion Questions

Feel free to answer one, two, three, or all four of these questions in the comments section or in your own blog post!

1. What are your first impressions of Mr. Knightley and his relationship with Emma? Do his words about her and his attitude toward her suggest genuine care or a sense of superiority?

2. Mr. Knightley tells Emma, "You have been no friend to Harriet Smith" (ch. 8). To what degree do you agree or disagree with this statement based on Emma's thoughts and actions?

3. Who is your favorite secondary character so far? (Someone besides Emma or Mr. Knightley.) What do you admire or find interesting about that character?

4. Which Woodhouse do you most closely match: Emma, her sister (Isabella), or her father?

Join us next Sunday for our second discussion! 
(Vol. I: Ch. 14-18 and Vol. II: Ch. 1-10)

          Coming up for air        
I'm trying to take a moment to come up for air. So far I've been working for 8 days straight and don't really see myself taking a day off in the next week, possibly for 2 weeks. Because of the fact that I've spent most of my past days in meetings, I've had to spend evenings and a good part of the weekend getting my classroom ready for the first day of school on Wednesday.

Tomorrow is another morning of meetings, and then I head over to my school to try to pull together a simple lesson plan for Wednesday. The meetings have hit all parts of the the spectrum as far as their usefulness. At the top of the usefulness index would be the meetings presented by the publisher of our new textbooks. This was informative, to say the least. Going lower down on the scale of usefulness would be the county's presentations. This vacillated between very useful and 'wake me up when we are done.' Finally, at the very bottom, was the presentation by the state representative on standards. Seriously, dental work would have been less painful.

What I have been both delighted by and grateful for is the support being given to me by my colleagues. These are truly wonderful people. Not only do I have the great fortune to have an amazing mentor assigned to me, but our department head and another senior teacher have taken me under their wings.



          The Gaping Holes in the Gap Theory        

Scripture gives us a complete—albeit contested—account of God’s work on the first day of creation.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (Genesis 1:1–5)

Verse 1 is a general statement. The rest of Genesis 1 unfolds the sequence of God’s creative work, starting with a “formless and void” earth.

The Barren Planet

As day one emerges from eternity, we find the earth in a dark and barren condition. The construction of the Hebrew phrase that opens verse 2 is significant. The subject comes before the verb, as if to emphasize something remarkable about it. It might be translated, “As to the earth, it was formless and void.” Here is a new planet, the very focus of God’s creative purpose, and it was formless and void. The Hebrew expression is tohu wa bohu. Tohu signifies a wasteland, a desolate place. Bohu means “empty.” The earth was an empty place of utter desolation.

The same expression is used in Jeremiah 4:23. There, Jeremiah is lamenting the doom of Israel. He says in verse 19, “My soul, my soul! I am in anguish! Oh, my heart! My heart is pounding in me; I cannot be silent.” Why? Because the trumpet signaling God’s judgment of Israel had sounded. “Disaster on disaster is proclaimed, for the whole land is devastated” (v. 20). And he borrows the very words from Genesis 1:2: “I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless [tohu] and void [bohu]; and to the heavens, and they had no light” (v. 23). That is how he describes the condition of Judah under the devastating destruction that was brought upon it by the judgment of God. What was once a fruitful land had become a wilderness (v. 26). It was a wasted, devastated place without any inhabitants. It had lost its former beauty. It didn’t have any form. It didn’t have any beauty. It had reverted to a state of barrenness that reminded Jeremiah of the state of the earth in the beginning, before God’s creative work had formed it into something beautiful.

Isaiah borrows the same expression. Prophesying the destruction that would come in the day of the Lord’s vengeance against the Gentiles, he says their land will be turned into desolation. “He will stretch over it the line of desolation [tohu] and the plumb line of emptiness [bohu]” (Isaiah 34:11). That pictures God as the architect of judgment, using a plumb line of tohu, which is kept taut by weights made of bohu.

So these words speak of waste and desolation. They describe the earth as a place devoid of form or inhabitants—a lifeless, barren place. It suggests that the very shape of the earth was unfinished and empty. The raw material was all there, but it had not yet been given form. The features of earth as we know it were undifferentiated, unseparated, unorganized, and uninhabited.

Reading Eons Between the Lines

Some have suggested that an indeterminate interval of many billions of years is hidden between verses 1 and 2. This theory, known as the “gap theory,” was once quite popular, and is featured prominently in the Scofield Reference Bible. According to the gap theory, God created a fully–functional earth in verse 1. That ancient earth ostensibly featured a full spectrum of animal and plant life, including fish and mammals, various species of now–extinct dinosaurs, and other creatures that we know only from the fossil record.

Proponents of the gap theory suggest that verse 2 ought to be translated, “The earth became without form, and void.” They speculate that as a result of Satan’s fall, or for some other reason, the prehistoric earth was laid waste by an untold calamity. (This presupposes, of course, that Satan’s fall or some other evil occurred sometime in the gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.) Then, according to this view, God created all the life forms that we now see and thus remade earth into a paradise in six days of recreation.

Like other old–earth theories, the gap theory is supposed to explain the fossil record and harmonize the biblical account with modern scientific theories about a multiple–billion–year–old earth.

Most who hold to the gap theory suggest that the sun was not created on day four; it was merely made visible on that day by the clarifying of earth’s atmosphere or the receding of a vapor cloud that had encircled the earth. Other than that, the gap theory has one advantage over most other old–earth views: It allows for a straightforward literal interpretation of the creation days of Genesis 1.

The Gaping Holes in the Gap Theory

But the theory is accepted by relatively few today, because the biblical and theological problems it poses are enormous. For example, in Genesis 1:31, after God had completed all His creation, He declared it “very good”—which would not be a fitting description if evil had already entered the universe. Furthermore, if the fossil record is to be explained by an interval in the white space between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, that means death, disease, suffering, and calamity were common many ages before Adam fell. Yet Scripture says Adam’s sin was the event that introduced death and calamity into God’s creation: “By a man came death” (1 Corinthians 15:21); “Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin” (Romans 5:12). The gap theory also flatly contradicts Exodus 20:11: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.”

The plain meaning of the text seems to be that the barrenness described in verse 2 is simply the original state of the universe in the twenty–four hours immediately following its initial creation. It is not a state of desolation into which the earth fell; it is how the universe appeared in situ (in its original condition), before God finished His creative work.

The picture it conjures up is reminiscent of a potter wishing to fashion a beautiful vessel and then fill it to be used. He first takes a lump of unformed clay and places it on the wheel to mold and fit it to his purpose. In a similar way, God began with raw material. He first created a basic mass of elements that contained everything necessary to make a habitat for the life He would later create. And then using that mass of elements, He carefully shaped it and formed it into the perfect finished work He had planned from the beginning. So aside from the life–forms He created, His work throughout those first six days is comparable to the potter’s finishing work. It was mostly a process of perfecting what He had already created in the beginning.

(Adapted from The Battle for the Beginning.)

       

          Stupid Ranger Memories        
The week before Gen Con 2007, my best friends and I started StupidRanger.com, a blog about D&D, Dungeon Mastery, and roleplaying. When we first launched, we had more plans than just blogging. We had a t-shirt shop. We even had TWO webcomics. As it happened, people liked our writing a lot more than our wide-spectrum […]
          Süper FM        
Süper FM, 90.8 frekansında Ä°stanbul ili merkezli yayın yapan ulusal bir radyodur. 1992 yılında Uzan Grubu bünyesinde kurulmuştur. 2005 yılında Kanadalı Canwest Grubu’na satıldı. 2009 yılında ise Spectrum Medya Grubu’na satılmıştır. Türkiye’nin ilk özel ve en çok dinlenen radyoları arasındadır. Süper FM, “Türkiye’nin En Süperi” sloganı ile, yaklaşık 15 farklı merkezde karasal yayın ve uydudan dinlenebilmektedir. Türkçe Pop müzik […]
          Metro FM        
Metro FM, 97.2 frekansında İstanbul ili merkezli yayın yapan ulusal bir radyodur. 1992 yılında Uzan Grubu bünyesinde kurulmuştur. 2005 yılında Kanadalı Canwest Grubu’na satıldı. 2009 yılında ise Spectrum Medya Grubu’na satılmıştır. Türkiye’nin ilk yabancı müzik radyosudur. Metro FM, “Türkiye’nin En Ä°yi Yabancı Müzik Ä°stasyonu” sloganı ile, birçok şehirde karasal frekans ve uydu üzerinden canlı dinlenebilmektedir. Karnaval radyoları arasında yer almaktadır. Aynı grup bünyesinde yayın yapan Süper FM, Joy FM, Joy […]
          Joy Türk        
Joy Türk, 89.0 frekansından Ä°stanbul ili merkezli yayın yapan ulusal bir radyodur. 2003’te Lokum FM yerine Spectrum Medya Grubu bünyesinde kurulmuştur. Türkiye’nin en iyi slow müzik radyolarından biridir. Aşk, sevgi, özlem ve sitem duyguları en iyi şekilde anlatılmaktadır. Joy Türk, “Aşkı Hisset” sloganı ile, Türkiye genelinde yaklaşık 30 ilde karasal yayın ve uydu üzerinden dinlebilmektedir. Türkçe […]
          UC Davis Study Shows That Whites Receive More State Funding for Autism Services Than Other Racial/Ethnic Groups and Autism-Related Spending Increases with Age        

Whites with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in California receive more state funding than Hispanics, African Americans, Asians and others, new research from UC Davis Health System has found. The study also showed that state spending on ASD increases dramatically with age.

(PRWeb April 27, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/04/prweb13364632.htm


          Comment on "No, John, Let’s Talk About Race", by Spencer Quinn        
Genius. You justified legal sexual slavery for white women. Have you considered, hare-lip, that you're on the low-end of the IQ (Irrelevant Quotient) distribution and even lower on the sexual appeal spectrum for your own reasons? Go out and capture a woman, I know you're thinking about it. Don't actually submit to natural selection yourself....
          Role reversal gone wrong        
Beth Mathison is a Tasmanian businesswoman and the new face of a domestic violence campaign here in Australia. She is being presented as a victim of "financial abuse" by her former partner:
But for 20 years, she was financially trapped, controlled by her abusive partner. It was this relationship which ultimately led to her losing everything.

But what are the details of her case? She admits that she grew up "in a bubble of private schooling and scholarships." So no financial abuse there. She then quickly became successful in business:
I lived in a very beautiful castle, where I had staff working seven days a week looking after my personal needs while I also ran a game park business. I worked intensely seven days a week, had everything I wanted.


Her Scottish castle


She lost the castle when interest rates rose and her business collapsed. Looking back she believes she was a victim of abuse by her partner of the time:
"My motivators were my natural entrepreneurial spirit and a driving desire to take on new challenges, and it was these motivators that Bob used to great effect to control me," she explained.

"They always resulted in me being the only one who worked, often seven days a week.

Bob, it seems, did not go out to work and so did not contribute to the finances. According to new guidelines on domestic violence, this makes him an abusive partner.
The guide lays out what constitutes financial abuse -- a wide spectrum which includes refusing to help with household expenses

(In the guide to "financial abuse" one of the indicators of abuse is "refuses to contribute financially to their partner".)

Further blame is heaped on Bob because after Beth divorced him she had to pay him spousal maintenance:
It took Beth five years to find a better job and divorce her ex-husband, which also cost her $150 a week in spousal maintenance because he refused to work.

I hope readers know where I am going with this. If you are a man you will be scratching your head because usually it is men who are in Beth Mathison's position. Usually it is a wealthy husband who buys the grand home, has a so-called trophy wife who doesn't go out to work and who therefore doesn't contribute to the finances, and it is usually the husband who, on divorce, has to pay the wife large sums in alimony and child support.

What Beth Mathison discovered is that the masculine role in life is not as privileged as she might have imagined it to be. A man can go out to work, earn the money and yet look back on a marriage or relationship feeling that he was the one who was exploited.

The response to Beth Mathison's situation is confusing. How can "not contributing to the finances" be defined as domestic violence? This would put the traditional family outside the law. And why is there only sympathy when a woman like Beth Mathison is put in the same position as tens of thousands of men?

In other words, if we are supposed to sympathise with Beth Mathison, shouldn't we then sympathise with what the majority of men go through when they are divorced by their wives?
          How to Prepare Your Child for the First Time MAPS Pediatrician Visits?        

It has never been easy for parents to visit the doctors for their children with autism spectrum disorder or ASD, rather it has been a scary thing for the children. After all, they are going to experience something for the first time. When a child is going to meet the pediatrician for . . . → Read More: How to Prepare Your Child for the First Time MAPS Pediatrician Visits?

The post How to Prepare Your Child for the First Time MAPS Pediatrician Visits? appeared first on Autism Mom Blog.


          AUTISTIC CHILDREN HELP COMPANY DESIGN FIRST SENSORY ONESIE        

 

 

(Press Release) A Northumberland company is following in the footsteps of M&S by creating clothing suitable for children on the autism spectrum.

Last year the High Street giant worked with the National Autistic Society to produce an “Easy Dressing” school uniform.

Now the charity has teamed up with The All-in-One Company of . . . → Read More: AUTISTIC CHILDREN HELP COMPANY DESIGN FIRST SENSORY ONESIE

The post AUTISTIC CHILDREN HELP COMPANY DESIGN FIRST SENSORY ONESIE appeared first on Autism Mom Blog.


          What Pediatricians can Know by Joining MAPS Pediatric Courses        

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has affected a large population of children in America and other countries. Pediatricians are faced with the job of providing proper treatment and care to such children to help them cope up with their challenges and thrive. To offer quality care and treatment to autistic children, pediatricians need to equip themselves . . . → Read More: What Pediatricians can Know by Joining MAPS Pediatric Courses

The post What Pediatricians can Know by Joining MAPS Pediatric Courses appeared first on Autism Mom Blog.


          Children’s Defense Fund: Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute        
The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry provides spiritual renewal, continuing education, inter-generational movement-building workshops, and networking as Christians from across the denominational spectrum explore how their Christian faith calls them into ministries of child advocacy and guides, shapes, and sustains them in their work with and for children. – See more at: […]
          CARF Connection - We too are storytellers - People own the stories told from their perspective - 2012 - PDF        
The Spectrum Network in Decorah, Iowa, recognized numerous and diverse storytelling voices when it published From My Perspective: Essays About Disability. The book celebrates the stories of persons with disabilities, their parents and caregivers, and rehabilitation professionals.
          Soul S2.0 wheelset        

Fresh to UK shores is the S2.0 wheelset from Singapore based brand, Soul,  lightweight aluminium clinchers that aim to combine pretty much everything you could want in a wheel, being light, stiff, fast and easily serviceable. Okay maybe they don't major on comfort and though they are billed as all-rounders we'd put them at the racier end of that particular spectrum… maybe the roads are smoother in Singapore.

Taking the wheels out of the box, the first point was successfully ticked off. At a combined1353g for the pair, and a mere 7g more than the claimed weight, this is a noticeably light set of wheels. A lot of the weight seems to have come off at the hubs, the neatly machined, needle like cylinders have a good quality finish which would leave you pleased with your purchase before you've got them in your bike. Red anodised hub caps complete a tasteful and understated set of wheels in black or white.

Inside the hubs are Japanese sealed bearings, whether that makes them better than other countries of origin is up to you. An important consideration when buying a set of wheels is whether you will be able to get them serviced, especially coming from a new brand in the market. Thankfully Soul have designed the hubs so that the push-fit bearings can be accessed with a couple of allen keys. The freehub can be popped off in a similar manner. The wheels remained tight and smooth rolling over the course of the test - Soul suggest replacing the bearings at 5000km - and are covered by a 1yr build warranty (spokes, bearings, true). The freehub is a six pawl design; the pawls in a hub are what engage in one direction and allow the cassette to separately spin in the other. The norm is two or three but the six here provide super quick engagement and an expensive sounding, high frequency buzz.

The 25mm section, 20mm width, aluminium rims, have been hand-built to the hubs using 2.3mm, bladed, stainless steel spokes. The hand-built part is usual coming from the East and they seem to have been built well, with none of the spokes losing tension or wheels going off true during the test. Similar to the bearings, by using standard parts from a wheel builders inventory, if you do break a spoke or need a true, you can be confident your local bike shop will be able to service them.

So what are they like to ride? In one word... stiff. Swapped with the Mavic Aksium wheels on a CAAD 10, the difference in stiffness was immediately noticeable. Corners become rails, sprinting presents no hint of winding or brake block deflection and a spring was added to my climbing step, due also in part to their weight. The lightweight rims combine with the overall stiffness to create minimal spin-up and a very capable set of wheels.

As one of the stiffest wheelset I have used, I would be pleased to have them on a carbon race bike but the stiffness also gives you something to consider. Sould bill the S2s as a general wheelset - for racing and day to day riding - that is a hard, if not impossible, niche to fill without sitting smack bang in the middle of everything in terms of performance, comfort and weight. The S2s are definitly not middle of the road wheels in terms of the performance on offer when you're wanting to thrash it.

Nor do they sit on the fence when it comes to comfort. The poor British roads and at the moment, all the fallen sticks, became much more noticeable than on the Aksiums. I wouldn't mention it except for the fact that they are described as all round racing and training wheel - the amount of road feedback you get from the S2s is a given really on high performance race wheels like these. Obviously, they are strong enough to be used every day and there is nothing stopping you making them your sole wheels (pun intended), just expect a racier ride. I would expect someone buying these to be keeping their old wheels for training anyway.

Verdict

The S2.0 wheels are impressive, especially considering the RRP of £575. Their common serviceability techniques make them more attractive them some more expensive wheels, big brand wheels too. Wheels are the first point of call if you are looking to upgrade your bike's performance and you will certainly notice the upgrade with these

road.cc test report

Make and model: Soul S2.0 wheelset

Size tested: Black

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

'It took us 4 years and 5 variations of the S2.0s to get here! deeper and stronger, at an actual weight of 1330g/pair. It is also now built with a deeper rim at 390g/ 25mm. It is one of the lightest full aluminium clincher wheelset in the world'

I can't backup the lightest wheelset in the world remark but they must rank right up there and represent great £/g.

'They are built strong enough for everyday training and light enough for climb specific races.'

Can't argue with that, just expect to feel more of the road if you use them everyday.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Hand built 25mm section aluminium clinchers onto sealed bearing hubs with 2.3mm bladed spokes, 6 prawl freehub design, 1330g/pair, easy to service, 95Kg (15st) rider weight limit, 1yr warranty.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

The machined hubs are pleasing to the eye and the hand building seems to be of a high level.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Quick spinup with the light rims and rapid freehub engagement.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Spokes didn't loose tension or require a true, bearings remained tight and smooth over 30 day test. Recommended replaced after 5000km.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10

I wouldn't personally want them on my sofa like winter bike.

Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

RRP of £575 presents an excellent £/g compared to other lightwheel sets.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Can't fault them as a lightweight, stiff set of wheels.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The hub finish.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The slightly jarring ride.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 23  Height: 184cm  Weight: 66kg

I usually ride: Orbea Onix (Carbon) - Summer, Orbea Asphalt (Alu) - Winter  My best bike is: Orbea Alma G10

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Semi pro

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, club rides, mtb,

 

Price: 
£575.00
Contact: 
tinyurl.com www.bikesoul.com
Product Type: 
Road.cc rating: 
9
Weight: 
1,353g
Road.cc verdict: 

Light, stiff, and strong, a fantastic bangs per buck aluminium wheelset


          CARF Connection - How an organization transformed its vision into reality - 2011 - PDF        

Midwest Special Services relied on careful planning, good communication, and support from its stakeholders when it created a program tailored to the unique needs of persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).


          Sacred Body Modification        
For a long time, there was a stigma around many types of body modification.  Western society finds some types of body modification (like women piercing their ears) acceptable, while others (like branding or scarification) are not.  Some things (like tattoos) fall somewhere in the middle, and are rapidly becoming more acceptable with a wide range of people.  What types of body modifications are socially acceptable is also modified by where in the world you life, your socioeconomic status, your gender and where on your body the modification is.

I love that we are living in a world that is moving more towards acceptance of these types of body modifications.  I got my ears pierced after high school, and one of my main reasons was so that I could wear stone earrings and match the type of stone to the energy I wanted to carry with me that day.  I also loved that there are so many varieties of earrings, so I could absolutely pick symbols that not only were beautiful but that also had personal meaning for me.

My first tattoo was also a spiritual thing for me.  As much as I love beautiful body art, and may someday get a more photographic piece, symbols speak much louder to me, and I absolutely love the idea of marking significant symbols of personal meaning right on my body.  It becomes a statement of belief.

Some of the common warnings about tattoos are that 'they are permanent, are you sure you will want that still when you are 80, what if you change your opinion about what you got tattooed.'  But I have always taken the road map perspective.  I do things to mark where I am at in my life when a thing happens.  If my circumstances change, that doesn't change the past, and I will always bear that memory as a part of my life.  I do think long and hard about the things I would get tattooed, but ultimately, if someday I change my beliefs, I'll still have a visible memory of an important period in my life.

I find the stigma around scarification (a form of body modification where cuts are made with the intent of making scars) rather interesting.  Much like branding, it is a more extreme form of modification in some ways, but in other ways it is more subtle.  I think one of the big concerns is definitely one of safety, especially if it is something you are doing yourself, and of course you want to make sure you are doing things with the right impulse (self-harm and body modification through scarification are not the same thing, they are rooted in different impulses).

But almost all forms of body modification have been used in sacred practice at different points in history and in different religions and cultures.  Tattooing was a pretty common way of marking sacred initiations (but both scarification and branding were also used).  I also feel very strongly that just because something has deep spiritual meaning to you doesn't mean it can't also have layers of personal meaning or just plain asceticism.  If you have a great love for a particular tv show, find meaning in a symbol, saying or image from the show, you can have a tatoo that expresses both your fandom and your spirituality!

One thing I find that can make body modification sacred as well is how you approach the pain.  Almost all body modification involves pain of some sort.  Rarely are you given ways to bypass the pain, and it becomes part of the process.  This can definitely be approached as a form of sacrifice, or as a personal initiation.  The experience of getting the modification done can be spiritually enhanced by entering into a meditative state or focusing on the significance of the modification as it relates to you as it is being done.  After-care can also become a spiritual practice, adding in a mantra or focusing on the intent as you follow your care instructions (such as cleaning a piercing site or putting ointment on a tattoo).

I very much like the fact that the face of spirituality is being challenged by the spectrum of body modification that is becoming accepted as well.  We see spiritual people who have very traditional and demure body modification, perhaps only pierced ears or only temporary things (such as henna).  But we also see deeply spiritual people who fully embrace the extremes of body modification, marking their beliefs on their skin, altering their appearance to reflect what they feel their inner truth is or simply loving body modification while still being spiritual.  And we have everyone in between.  What I think is truly beautiful about this is that it is showing the world that anyone can have sincere and deep spirituality, and that how society perceives (and judges) you based on your external appearance has nothing to do with the kind of person you are on the inside.

I also love that obviously spiritual tattoos of all sorts are becoming more mainstream.  If you have a lotus flower or sacred geometry symbol tattooed on your skin, people may not even realize that it is a spiritual thing.  Deities of all flavors are popular as well, and many people will not know that the image you have on your body is one you are devoted to.  Even some of the more well known and often misunderstood symbols (like the pentagram) are becoming more accepted as they are embraced by popular media (in shows like Supernatural) and desired by fans.

The other thing that I think is really powerful about things like body modification, is that it is an artistic process.  You can either create your own design or work with an artist to create whatever you can imagine.  You can work in whatever imagery or symbols that are important to you, and really create a one of a kind piece that represents you.

If you are considering getting some kind of spiritual body modification, think about what you want it to mean.  Will it represent an initiation of some sort that you went through or celebrate a spiritual event?  Will it honor a deity or energy that you work with regularly?  Will it be a spell that you carry with you always?  Will it be a reminder about a lesson that you are working on or a spiritual truth that you want to be mindful of?  Is it something beautiful that represents you, your spiritual life or your path?  All of these (and more I'm sure) are wonderful reasons to get body modification done.

You also definitely want to consider your own pain threshold and make sure you do your research on both the process of the modification as well as any after care.  Modern tattoos are often quick and can be relatively pain free (depending on where you get them done).  But if you decide you want a traditional tattoo, that process is very different, and the experience (and result) will also be different.  Neither way is better, it's just a matter of deciding what is better for you (for this particular piece).  The same goes for piercing, there are different ways and different places to get pierced, and you want to figure out which one is the one that fits your needs best.

If you aren't very familiar with the modification you are considering, definitely do your research.  Look it up, read about it, talk to people who have had it done, and speak with the person who you are thinking about getting to do the modification.  If you have any questions or concerns....ask! 

You may want to work the modification experience into a ritual observance.  Depending on who is doing your modification, you may be able to do an actual ritual around the modification itself, but even if you are getting your modification done at a tattoo shop or piercing parlor, you can still do personal ritual preparation before and ritual acknowledgement afterward.  Marking the occasion spiritually can add great meaning to an already meaningful experience.

Whatever your reasons, and whatever modification you choose, there are many options available to you.  You can be discrete and keep your modification in a place where the general public will not see it or you can display it for the world.  You can tell other people what it means to you or simply let them wonder (it is your body!  if you want to say 'I got it because I liked it' that is your right!)  So, if you feel called to Sacred Body Modification, find the one that fits your needs, your life and your desires!
          Morning and Evening Routines        
Recently, the idea of daily practice was brought up again, in one of my groups.  This is something that comes up fairly regularly in many different places, and something that I've responded to in various degrees of thoroughness many times over the years.  But I thought I'd make a proper write up about my morning and evening routines!

My evening routine started amazingly enough, back in grade school.  I was part of the Signet program, which was an advanced program where once a week we were bused to another school and we got to take fun courses (like sign language or horses).  One of the courses I took was Tai Chi.  This was where I got my introduction to quite a lot of things:  breathing practice, meditation, visualization.

One of the practices we learned was one of relaxation.  You would first go through and tense and then relax all the major muscles of the body.  Then you would go back through and use visualization to further relax them.  I always saw it as painting my body, with a thick, cool paint.  As this was a relaxation technique, I started doing it at night, when I was in bed, right before I went to sleep.

I did this on and off, for many years, and this basic relaxation technique went through many incarnations.  For a while I used a similar brushing visualization, that was more detailed, and would focus on all the major joints and connections in the body as well as the larger areas.

When I was in high school, I read a book (called Life 101 if I remember correctly), that talked about creating a mental sanctuary.  This was a place, in your head, that had many rooms.  There was a media room, with a big projection screen, where you could load up a recording of any experience you had been through and replay it.  There was a medical room, that was filled with whatever kind of medicines, staff or machines you felt you needed to heal your body.  There was a personal room, that was a place you could go to relax and feel safe.  There was an outfit room, which had all kinds of clothes, so you could 'step into' any kind of personality or role you might need that day.  And there was a doorway through which you could invite anyone you wanted, and have conversations or work out issues with them.

I built up my own mental sanctuary, though I think of it as an astral temple, and personalized all my rooms.  This was a place that I went to every night.  I often would visualize being in my medical room while doing my relaxation exercises.  This also led to me working with affirmations in the form of potions.  I had things that I would want to call into my life, so I created potions (in my medical room) that would fit.  I sometimes struggle falling asleep, so I wanted to have an affirmation about falling asleep and waking up refreshed. 

The reason I decided to go with a potion image was that it incorporated many senses.  As I was creating them myself, I could add ingredients (no matter how fantastical) that fit my needs.  So my sleep potion included milk, moonbeams and chamomile.  Each potion I made had a purpose, had ingredients, had a scent, a look and a mouth feel.  I later added special bottles to keep them in, which were all different as well.  Every night I would say my affirmation, see the bottle, smell the potion, and then drink it, tasting and feeling it.

I recently swapped up from the potion idea to a clothing one.  Many of my affirmations have become like shielding during the day, so I think of them in terms of armor that I might wear to protect myself. 

As my night time routine grew, I also started to develop a morning routine.  It started with just Sun Salutation, but I soon added some simple Tai Chi stretches and meditation, as well as prayers.

Right now my morning routine starts by Greeting the Day.  This is a prayer based off of an old Norse prayer, and I saw a modified version (it is of course translated into English, so some of the words are different I believe) that I liked.  This is what I say:

"Hale Dagr, Hale sons of Dagr
To Nott and her daughters Hale,
With loving eyes gaze upon us
and here sitting grant us weal.
Hale to the Reign and Hale the the Alfar
and Hale to the bounteous mother Jorth and Nerthus
Words and Wisdom grant us
And praiseworthy deeds
And healing hands, while we live."

The word hale not only indicates a greeting, but also a wish of health and wellness, which I think is lovely.  So I greet the day (Dagr) and night (Nott), and ask they look upon us with love and blessings of health.  I left it in the plural, because I think of my morning prayers as speaking for my household.  Then you greet the gods (Reign and Alfar, though Alfar could also include elves and/or fae), and the earth (Jorth and Nerthus).  I like the feel of this prayer, and the fact that it speaks to my Norse leanings.  I say it while looking out my back window, at the field behind my apartment.  It gives me a moment of connection with nature and what is going on in the world that day (weather/season wise).

After that, I do my Tai Chi stretches.  I do one called Lifting the Sky alternating with one that I call Following the Moon (I couldn't find a link to this one, but your hands form a circle like the moon, and you lift them up to the sky, then open your arms wide, sweeping them down until you are touching your toes.  Then put your hands together to make the moon again and reach up to the sky).  After three repetitions of those, I do my Sun Salutations.  I used to do these three times each side, but found it generated too much heat (I don't like to start my day off sweaty, as I'm an evening shower person), so I do it twice, leading once with each leg.  These stretches help me shake off any tightness from sleep and wake up.

Every morning I draw a Futhark Rune, and this I use in my meditation that I do after my Sun Salutation.  I sit in half lotus (because that is my most comfortable sitting position), and take a deep breath.  I start by breathing into the chakra of the day, greeting the deity of the day, and asking to see the wisdom of the rune I drew throughout my day.  I read about working with a different chakra each day a while ago, and that really resonated with me.  I thought about it for a while, and liked how they lined up if I started with Sunday at the base and ended with Saturday at the crown.  This not only fit my understanding of daily energies, but also how my life flows.  So my daily associations are:  Sunday-root-Sunna (Sun), Monday-sacral-Mani (moon), Tuesday-solar plexus-Tyr, Wednesday-heart-Odin, Thursday-throat-Thor, Friday-third eye-Freyja, Saturday-crown-Loki.

Then I do a short loving kindness meditation.  When I do this, I breath up through my spine to my crown along the back of my body, then exhale down through the front of my body into the solar plexus area.  This is a breathing form I learned to help not only regulate personal energy but build up your total energy as well.  I always find it very soothing.  I repeat, "I am full of loving kindness, I am well.  I am peaceful and at ease, I am happy."  This is my favorite version of the loving kindness statement, and I think it really speaks to things I want in my life.  I repeat this three times (three is my own personal power number, and has been special to me since I was a child).

Next come my affirmations and shielding.  With each section I visualize putting on the piece of clothing, and calling upon it to bring the things I am speaking about into my life.  "May my feet take me where I need to go, and protect me from harm along the way."  I am not a fan of shoes, so my foot clothing is a long bandage, wrapped around the arch of each foot, then crossing over and around up the ankle and then tied (sort of like the ties on ballet shoes).  "May my pockets be always full,"  My lower body clothing isn't always the same (and amusingly don't always have pockets), but are often shorts or a wrap skirt.  "May my allure be firmly in my control."  I have always had a strong view of my own sexuality, but sometimes I have trouble with lines being blurred and not being able to create the boundaries I should....so this affirmation is about being the master of my own body and my sexuality (and not being the victim of it).  This affirmation goes with a wrap shirt. 

"May I have the strength to do what is necessary, and the courage to do what is right."  This affirmation actually goes with two daggers, which I see as tattoos on my arms.  The left one (for what is necessary) is a black dagger, and the right one (for what is right) is pure silver.  These represent the hard choices we have to make.  I think there are a lot of things in life that we have to do because they are necessary, but they aren't always pleasant and they may have repercussions...but we do them anyways because we have to.  On the other end of the spectrum, the 'right' action, the moral choice, the choice we can live with ourselves when we make it has it's own struggles.  So I have two reminders to be strong and brave and make the right choices.  "May my hands act upon my will."  My hand clothing is another bandage wrap (like you might use for martial arts) or lace up finger-less gloves.  I have a thing about my fingers being free (I am a very touch-heavy person).  This affirmation is a reminder to act with intent, so I am not taking actions that are thoughtless.

"My guardians are always at my back."  This one is another weapon, a sword this time.  I have always been a tool-loving person, and a blade-gal, so it never surprised me that my protections include multiple blades.  This one becomes a tattoo on my back, with the hilt up at my neck, running down my spine.  It is a reminder that I am never alone.  I have lots of people who have my back, both human people and spirit people.  "I am always of the shadows, and only show what needs to be seen."  I've been a people watcher all my life, it's something that I love doing.  People fascinate me, and many times I am quite content to stick to the sidelines and observe.  But I also think of my path as being shadow based:  not quite light and not dark, but somewhere in the misty middle.  I think that life is complicated and things aren't always as clear cut as they appear.  I have many sides to me, and I become who I need to be in the moment.  This affirmation goes with a hooded cloak.  "My mind questions all that is."  This affirmation is tied to a simple silver circlet.  I am always looking to learn, and I think that when we stop asking questions we stop thinking for ourselves.  It is through the asking, the seeking, that we find the truth.

The last part of my morning routine is a modification of an incantation know as the "Sith Galdor" from an eleventh-century manuscript.  I changed the wording from God to Odin, as I felt it more suited the piece and my own practice.

"With this sphere, I gird me round
By Odin's grace may I be bound
Against sore stitch, against sore bite
Against all horrors that haunt the night
'Gainst dread that folk fear everywhere
and loathy things that here would fare
Sig-galdur I chant; a sig-rod is my stay
Word-sig and work-sig ward today
No nightmare do my spirit harm
No foes oppress nor fear alarm
Nor wight nor weather threaten me
From danger defended I will be
I bid great Odin victory give
Guarded so, safe shall I live."

As I say this I either do or visualize specific movements.  The first line I trace a clockwise circle around myself, and on the second line I open my arms wide to the sky and then cross them over my chest.  During the third and fourth lines, I turn to each of the four directions in turn and trace a Sowilo rune (like a jagged S or lightning sign, it's the rune associated with Sig in the chant).  I repeat those sets of movements twice more, and finish with a final circle and arms open then crossed.  This incantation to me protects against so many things, and it is my regular daily protection.  In the same book I read about this (Trance-portation) two shorter centering chants are given for practice, and I really liked them, so they have sort of stayed in my practice long after I was done trying them out.

"North and South,
East and West,
In the center,
I find my rest."

"Before me,
Beside me,
Behind me,
Beside me,
Above me,
Below me,
Within me,
Without."

I absolutely love both of those, they are simple and just feel right to me.  After that, I often sit and just breathe for a few moments, or say any other affirmations I'm working with.  And that is my morning routine...which really isn't as long as it sounds, I swear!

At night, I have a different routine.  It starts with checking the doors.  I have a chant I say at the front and back doors (our only two that lead outside), but I also physically check to make sure they are locked.  At the back door I say:

"Night has fallen, Day is flown
Holy Frigga, bless our home
With joy and laughter, love and song,
Frigga keep our family strong."

The back door is by the kitchen, and I feel Frigga would be most at home here, and in many ways it is the heart of the house, so I feel this part fit this door.  At the front door I say:

"Night has fallen, Day is flown
Holy Hammer, ward our home
From trolls and thurses- Thunor keep
Our family safe that we may sleep."

Thurses are giants, and Thunor is another name for Thor.  To me, the front door needs a stronger protection, so I like this one here.  After warding the doors, I'll brush my teeth, and head to bed.  If I am alone, I will light a candle on my bedroom altar and do my prayers, but if hubby is home, I do them later.  For me, prayer is a deeply personal and private thing.  It's not that hubby wouldn't give me privacy, but more that I just feel like it needs to be something that is just between me and Odin (he is who I pray to at night).  So it feels right to do prayers out loud when I am alone, and in my  head when I am not.

My prayers to Odin are not a rehearsed thing.  I rarely ask for anything other than strength for a difficult task ahead or guidance about something I might be unsure about.  Most of my prayers are me talking:  about how my day went, about things that are coming up or about anything else that might be on my mind.  I struggled with prayer for a long time, and part of it was that I didn't feel my relationship with the deities I worked with really fit well with petition prayers or adoration prayers or any of the other types of prayer I was familiar with.  Instead, I fell to conversation.  To me, my relationship with Odin is more like that of father/daughter than anything else, so I talk to him, and I share my life with him.  I always end my prayers with some silence, some time to just be open.  A good friend of mine once said that when we pray we should leave as much time for silence as we spent talking:  to let the gods speak back.  That thought really stuck with me.

Once I am in bed, I start by recalling my energy.  This was something I read about a while back, and I feel it is especially important for me as I am highly emphatic, and often end up spreading myself pretty thin if I'm not careful.  So I call back all my loose energy, not only energy that I have sent to other people or places, but energy that is invested in random projects, things unfinished or whatever else it may be tied up with.  For this I say, "I cut all cords that tie me down."  The image of cutting cords works for me. 

I follow it up with, "I release all energy that is not mine."  The mental image for this is my own energetic body, but looking for bits of energy that don't match the rest.  My favorite analogy is that of a puzzle...with pieces that don't belong.  I see my own energy as a black and silver smoke, with the smell of rain and a match that was just extinguished.  So I look for energy that doesn't match and let it go back to whomever it came from.  I think we pick up energy all the time, from things we touch or things we interact with (even digitally).  And holding on to energy that isn't ours can make us feel unbalanced or lead to feelings and issues that aren't ours.

The last step of this process is recalling my own energy.  "And recall all energy that belongs to me."  This is one of the reasons why I use the cutting cord analogy.  By both releasing the extra energy (which also makes room for my own), and recalling mine, I am really shepherding my energetic body and thoughts.  I don't like the idea of leaving bits of myself all over, so I call them back.  If I think of a puzzle with mismatched parts for the releasing section, for recalling I think of filling up any places that are still empty.

This three-fold process serves as centering for me, and I follow it with a quick chakra balancing.  In the morning I focus on just one, whatever the chakra of the day is, but at night, I run through them all quickly.  I use a very simple mantra for each, one inhale and one exhale.  I start at the root and work my way up to the crown.  "I am, I feel, I do, I love, I express, I perceive, I comprehend."

After that I do a sort of reverse shielding.  I think that I need different things at night, the things I protect against during the day are not needed at night.  So I work my way through the protections I put up in the morning and take them off.  At night, I start at my head and work my way down to my feet.

"My mind is calm and at piece."  I take off the circlet.  If there is one thing that tends to keep me from sleep it is when my mind gets caught up in thinking about something.  It could be a worry, it could be excitement about something that is happening the next day, or just an idea that I had that leads to lots of crazy thought.  So if I can get my mind quiet and calm, that leads to a more peaceful night.  "I take down any masks I put up during the day."  I see myself taking off a mask (like a harlequin mask), and the hooded cloak.  I think that we all wear different masks in different situations.  But at night, I don't need them. "My guardians watch over me while I sleep."  I actually don't remove the sword, but I touch it as a reminder that it is always there.

"My hands lay down their burdens and rest."  This is a reminder that my work is done for the day, and that it is time to sleep.  I take off the gloves.  "May my will," I touch the left knife tattoo, "and my honor," I touch the right tattoo, "be at peace."  I cross my arms so the tattoos touch.  This is a reminder that both halves of me need to work together.  "May my body be rested and innocent as a child's."  I think there is something really special about watching a child sleep.  They seem to be completely out, and almost always wake with boundless energy, so that is how I want to sleep too.  I also want to embrace that innocent body sense that children have, before they have woken to the idea of sexuality.  Night seems the right time to call this forth, especially as I remove the shirt.

"May I not be concerned with monetary or physical problems."  This affirmation is tied to my pants, as that is where my pockets are, and the physical problem part often refers to body problems in my mind.  Money is definitely one of the things I think about a lot, and this just reminds me that I don't need to stress out about it.  Worry doesn't help solve things, and letting my thoughts dwell on problems just creates more problems.  "May my feet rest along their path."  As I take off the foot wrappings, I remind myself again, that the work of the day is done and it's time to stop and rest.

This is where I will pray, if I haven't done so already.  The last thing I do at night is pick some kind of little story to play with.  This is something I started doing in car rides, where I would make up a situation and just let it play out, with myself as one of the characters in the story.  At night, I may do that, or I may play with a story I'm working on writing.  It's just a little pre-dream play (sometimes the stories do end up transitioning right into dreams), that lets me drift off easily.  I find it works better for me than trying to clear my mind.  It gives me a soft mental focus, something easy to play around with, something fun, that distracts me from any deep thinking (which typically keeps me awake).

Again, my night time routine isn't nearly as long to do as it is to explain, Whew!  But what I really love about it is that it is completely portable and discrete.  I've done a version of it for over two decades now, and it is my one constant practice that I do everywhere.  The only times I skip it are when I am so exhausted that I literally fall asleep as soon as I hit the bed...and even then, I almost always get the first bit done.  It gives me a great sense of comfort to have that continual practice, even if many of the details have changed many times over the years.
          What a 184% Increase in Readability Could do for a Fortune 50 Company        

Overview

In this edition of Copywriting Tune-ups, we target the webpage copy of a bona-fide Goliath – The Thomson Corporation. As of this writing, Thomson Financial is #34 in the Global Fortune 500.

Company literature claims the products and services of Thomson Learning are in use at 80% of Fortune 100 organizations.

Thomson Learning solutions draw upon the resources and expertise of the Thomson family of companies. Among the best known holdings of Thomson Learning are NETg and KnowledgeNet.

A revamp of the Thomson Learning Overview presents several challenges:

  • Shift the perspective from "us, we, our" to "you, your, yours"
  • Emphasize action
  • Retain a corporate tone

Copywriting Tune-up

Before
After

For more than a century, Thomson Learning has created award-winning content in collaboration with leading experts for higher education, library reference, corporate, government, and professional customers. With our proven methodologies and expertise across many disciplines, we deliver:

  • Insight into your unique needs with your proven track record of over 100 years
  • Market-leading positions in the majority of disciplines in which we participate
  • Learning solutions to 80% of Fortune 100 companies
  • A vast array of products and services delivered in multiple learning formats

We have assembled - in one portfolio - all the critical content, technology and expertise required to deliver education and training services tailored specifically to your needs. We understand the learning process and deliver the full spectrum of support to ensure that you and your organization achieve your specific educational goals.

We deliver our education and training solutions through the expertise of our businesses and brands.

Take advantage of over a century's worth of leadership in solving learning challenges. Work with experts in business, government, academe, and professional services. Use proven methodologies to:

  • Identify your unique needs
  • Build on lessons learned from numerous engagements with Fortune 100 companies
  • Roll out solutions in your preferred formats

Tap into a broad and deep portfolio of content, technology, and expertise you can tailor to your specific education and training needs. Team up with experts in the learning process who can deliver the full spectrum of support to ensure your success.

Power your education and training solutions with the combined strength of our businesses and brands in publishing, learning, and information services.

Learn More.

Readability Statistics

With this Copywriting Tune-up, the ease of reading index skyrockets 184%. There are two other noteworthy points:

  • Total number of words plummets 22%
  • Minimum grade level needed to understand the passage drops by one year

Why Make the Shift from "We" to "You"?

As mentioned above, Thomson Learning products and services penetrate 80% of Fortune 100 companies. It’s reasonable to say, "They’re doing just fine with self-centered marketing literature so, why change it?"

My reply?

"Thomson Learning will capture the remaining 20% if it’s easy-to-read, especially if they place the needs and desires of their target audience ahead of dense, self-laudatory language. What’s more, the value derived from the jump in sales will far exceed the cost of improving the literature."

Avoid Confusion - Use Second Person Voice Consistently

The Before snippet opens with a long sentence and no mention of anything "other" directed until the last word, "customers." In this case, "customers" refers to a third party and not the reader.

To make matters more confusing, the writer front-loads "customers" with an 8-word adjective. Interpreting the meaning of this sentence is not easy. I come away with 3 possibilities where Thomson Learning:

  1. Supplies experts from its own ranks whom are experienced in the same sectors as Thomson Learning customers
  2. Sources leading experts from outside of Thomson Learning whom have expertise in the same sectors as Thomson Learning customers, or
  3. Works with experts supplied by its customers.

The After snippet starts with the verb phrase, "Take advantage," so the reader will understand the vendor is trying to serve their interest. With this added clarity, the benefit of accumulated experience in solving learning challenges comes across more forcefully. The second After sentence interprets the first Before sentence as Thomson Learning supplying experts from its own ranks.

Delivering Benefits or Reminiscing?

"Deliver" is a loaded word. It screams to the prospect, "get what you came for and go home happy." The Before snippet uses it as a verb to be repeated with each bullet point it precedes. This could be a powerful technique but it fails for several reasons.

These bullets are self-focused and congratulatory. Any tie there is between methodology and expertise as inputs and these bullet results as outputs is muddled.

Bullet #1

The first bullet is on the right track when it utters the words, "your unique needs," but it fizzles by surrounding it with vague terms like "insight" and more customer-could-care-less bravado about Thomson’s number of years in business. The first bullet in the After snippet opts for a "less is more" approach focused solely on benefits to the customer.

Bullet #2

In the Before snippet, try reading the lead-in sentence and then skip to the second bullet. Does this make sense? Are satisfied customers the reason Thomson Learning occupies leading positions in the disciplines it pursues? If so, what made those customers satisfied? This is a very obtuse way of touting a high customer satisfaction rate.

Bullet #3

The third bullet almost cuts it. No doubt, 80 customers in the Fortune 100 is impressive. But, from the prospect’s standpoint, how learning solutions delivered to others makes life easier at his company is unclear. The second bullet in the After snippet makes an explicit connection between the quality of work one can expect from Thomson Learning and their previous experience satisfying demanding customers.

Bullet #4

Given this is an Overview and not a more specific or technical document, with the fourth bullet, it’s fair to ask several questions:

  • "Do prospects care about a vast array of products in multiple learning formats especially when they view their problem as unique?"
  • "What is a service delivered in a learning format?"
  • "What is a learning format and is it some variation of ‘general formats?’"

The final bullet in the After snippet keeps this benefit easy-to-understand and generic enough for an Overview. One way to make this bullet more concrete is to list some of the formats.

Focus on Action and You’ll Adopt Your Prospect’s Perspective Automatically

Recall, the first two objectives of this tune-up are to:

  • Shift our perspective from self to prospect
  • Emphasize action

Interestingly enough, the more we focus on action, the easier it gets to be other-oriented.

The paragraph following the bullets is the best one because it makes the greatest effort to speak in the second voice. It hits on "your needs" and "your specific educational goals." Unfortunately, the writer muffles the full impact this can have by starting each sentence with "We." The After snippet makes the broad and deep resources of Thomson Learning less intimidating and easier for prospects to grasp by starting each sentence with a verb so they can "see what’s in it for them."

Start Sentences with Verbs – Early and Often

Notice how every sentence of the After snippet begins with a verb. This is deliberate. Starting sentences with a verb is the best way to move your prospect to action. As mentioned above, it has the added benefit of simplifying the important takeaways in your message. This makes it easier for your prospects to take action or, at the very least, remember your offer.

The final paragraph is cryptic unless we follow the link. This is more likely to cause a prospect to abandon the link than it is to make them curious and click on it. Another reason is there are no verbs from the prospect’s perspective.

In the After snippet, we start with an action verb from the prospect’s point of view. Not only is it less cryptic, we reduce fuzziness about the businesses and brands by listing the major categories in which they operate before showing the link. We encourage prospects to click the link by using the verb phrase "Learn More."

Ironically, the Thomson Learning homepage link to this Overview also reads, "Learn More." It would be a good idea to use verb-centric hypertext links consistently. It’s hard to go wrong with "Learn More."

Wrap-up

The prospect thinks you’re only as good as what you can do for them now.

Yes, they’re inclined to deal with vendors sporting an impressive track record, but if the track record and resources you can bring to bear overwhelm your message, the prospect will likely choose the player with a similar record of accomplishment and a benefits-oriented message.

Call me crazy, but I really do think if Thomson Learning adopted the principles outlined here, they’d capture the remaining 20 companies in the Fortune 100 they haven’t already.

To your marketing success,

Eric "Rocket" Rosen
Clear Crisp Communications
Tel: 408.506.0719
Fax: 814.253.5142
Email: eric.rosen AT clearcrisp.com
Web: http://www.clearcrisp.com
Blog: http://copywritingtuneup.blogspot.com
ROCKET Response Copywriting Services
Polished Marketing Materials in 24, 48 or 72 Hours

          JD Force Of Nature, Pack 2: Light Effects        

Add to Cart

Light Effects is bold. Unpredictable. Unique. These overlays are chock full of drama, attitude, and artsy appeal, and will pump up even the simplest of images. Discover the magic of the rainbow spectrum, the playfulness of lens flares, and the unique aesthetic light leaks add. This pack is perfect for urban and vintage processing, teen sessions, edgy boudoir shoots, and anything else that might require a powerful punch of personality. Join me in recreating the fun of “artful accidents” as I harken back to the days of the Diana camera. Take the plunge. Discover the Force of Nature: Light Effects. 

To see detail on the overlays in the pack, please click here

Technical Notes:


• Overlay files work with all versions of Elements, Photoshop, and GIMP (a free editing program, click here to check it out).  This product is not compatible with Lightroom.

• The Bonus Actions will work ONLY in CS2 and up and PSE 6 and up.

• All overlay files are high-resolution jpegs sized at 40 x 60 inches at 72 dpi. This translates to 14.4 x 9.6 inches at 300 dpi or 4320 x 2880 pixels. As I former graphic designer and art director in charge of producing printed boxes and advertisements, I am extremely picky about resolution and detail. I personally have used these textures to print on large (40 x 60") canvas with no issues with dpi resolution.

• Payment is required via Paypal or a credit card. Once your payment clears, you will receive an email with a link where you can download your textures. Due to the nature of this digital product, all sales are final.

• The files come compressed in .zip format and must be unzipped to work. There are many free unzip programs for both Mac & Windows that will allow you to expand the files once they've been downloaded.



Legal Information:


By purchasing or acquiring this product (contest winner, product tester, etc), you must agree to abide by the terms of the End User License Agreement / Terms of Use.

Here are the simple rules for using my overlays and actions:

1) These textures / actions are licensed to one user only for their personal and/or professional use. I work hard to make them pretty inexpensive to discourage "sharing". Each download comes with a unique watermark. Please be respectful and do not share with others. Should your unique watermark appear on a piracy site, I reserve the right to seek financial damages for any / all illegal downloads.

2) These textures may not be re-sold, re-purposed, re-used, or redistributed in any way whatsoever without expressed written permission of Jessica Drossin. You may not use my textures to make "new" textures, actions, or overlays, should you do this, I will seek damages. It also a violation of my copyright and this license to use my textures, overlays, actions, etc., in anyway to re-create items such as textures, frames, vignettes, or brushes for redistribution or resale. Any repurposing or redistribution is illegal and is subject to prosecution.

3) You must use these textures integrated with your own artwork and photography -- ie. do not post them as they currently appear to Flickr, etc., unintegrated with your art as this would make them easy to steal. You may use these textures in client work, but may not post or redistribute them "as is" on your blog, in your mentoring class, etc.




          The gops privatization policies that         
When it comes to the commanding officer of the single world, I want my voice heard by the politician and the get-together that I make up one's mind. However, I agnize that politically, I don't be there.Now, I'll flat with you... as far as intrinsical get-together attitude go, I am much than indubitable that everybody would point me into the Democratic family. After all, I understand in tax rearrange in kindness for the innermost class, more than programs - whether university or otherwise - set up to guarantee that the less good luck can get out of their prevalent situations and I am an desirous fan of broad-spectrum health care.So what's the problem?Post ads:spy instant messages / 1 call private detectives / cheating spouse kids / how do i find out if my boyfriend is cheating on me / digital voice recorder editing software / how to deal with cheating husband while pregnant / big brother surveillance technologyWell, I am what I like to bring up to as a Conservative Democrat, which consequently, doesn't look to fashion by a long chalk undergo these life. With all of the Blue candidates and their ultra-liberal attitudes toward well-bred unions and rift of Christianity from governmental decision-making, it tends to stereotype everybody with my Judeo-Christian values and predilection for society of the less tax bracket in an abnormal buoyant.
          Long Haul Flight Skincare        

Looking flawless after a long flight? Well, it is possible! Whether you are heading home to visit your family or escaping to an exotic overseas vacation, most of us have plane travel on the books this holiday season. Flight journeys can be a real drag as it can dry out your skin, the lack of moisture or very little oxygen in enclosed or encapsulated environment in the plane’s recirculated or recycled air actually can pull water out of the top layer of your skin, which can result in dryness and inflammation. Not to forget, the stress of travel on its own can aggravate pesky skin problems. So, how can we avoid arriving at our destination with dull and dry skin? All you travelers need intense moisturizing during long air travel to give your skin the room to deal with the low humidity. 
Folks, when it comes to the seriously long haul, flights over six hours it is imperative to take care of your skin. And while you are at it, watch out for turbulence and don’t shy away from looking silly! Here’s how you can keep your flight entertaining and walk off the plane as a glowing goddess instead of a zombie! 

 In-flight beauty regimen to avoid dehydration and tight skin. The makeup has to come off before you get comfortable on that seat. Avoid wearing makeup to flight. Give your face a few good spritzes or rose water post makeup removal session, for extra layer of hydration and to be a fence between your face and the nasty recycled air. If you have puffiness or swelling in your eyes, try using ice or even a soda can on the area. Slather on a translucent sleeping or overnight face mask, soothing eye patches they hydrate the skin for hours. You can also apply a hydrating lip balm. Don’t we all love a beauty sleep on the go? For natural DIY packs, you can get sliced cucumbers and put them on your eyes. While for the skin you can apply some organic aloe vera gel, shea butter, whole milk cream or honey to keep the skin hydrated. After hydrating your skin from the outside, how about hydrating it from within? It is time to steer clear of coffee, alcohol and aerated drinks, rather energize yourself by embracing water, herbal tea, green tea, flavoured water, fresh juices or electrolyte-replenishing beverages no matter how tempting the mini-bottles of diet sodas or liquor can be. Remember to have one regular sized or half litre bottle of water per hour in flight lest you are left dehydrated. Also stay away from salt and junk food to avoid bloating. Carry along plain unsalted nuts, fruits, yogurt, kale salad to feel fresh, light and easy. Embrace anti-oxidant rich snacks to counter the radiation and keep toxins away. If possible avoid watching movies or chatting up with your neighbor instead get in some sleep to ward off jet lag, besides your skin looks best when it is rested and rejuvenated. Getting some quality sleep in a flying tin can pretty uplifting we bet! After a good sleep and slightly closer to your destination, try to mist or wipe your skin gently, it will refresh your face from the stale air and add more hydration. Don’t be scared of slathering yourself with face oil or rehydrating serum, regardless of your skin type as they work to add sheer moisture back to your skin, rebalancing the skin’s way of oil production and making it look less slick. You may focus on your cheeks, forehead, and chin, gently massaging it into your skin. Time to prep your skin and look fresh faced for the outside weather, so you should mist and wipe your face clean. Apply moisturizer and your SPF as a base and then your makeup, blend it well. Avoid Skin Ageing During Flight Travels 

Divya Mehta, of Epique gives us a few guidelines on inflight skincare.
‘The suitcase lies open. Last minute packing is just that. Last minute. You run through the checklists in your head. Whether it is for business or a much-awaited holiday, air travel has become a part of our lives. But, like most things in the modern world, flying too has its effects on mature skin. Here are 4 things to do to maintain that perfect skin for your next flight.

 1. The UV Moisturizer and serum probably don’t make the cut to fly in the front with you and are most likely packed into the check in luggage. In-flight conditions are extremely drying and your skin needs to be constantly hydrated. So make sure you include these in your handbag. Most brands now carry travel size options that are easily available. Remember to always pack a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB moisturizer, skin oil, good quality facial wipes, your favorite Serum, eye cream and a lip balm.

 2. Hydrate and Nourish your skin with a Serum
Since airplane cabins have low humidity, low pressure and are dry, the recycled air robs moisture from your epidermis (the top layer of the skin). This makes your skin look shallow, dry and tired. To help your skin, the best thing to do is to load your skin with as much hydration pre-flight as possible. Prep your skin with a serum to hydrate and nourish it before applying your UV moisturizer. This will help lock in moisture and get your skin flight ready. 

3. UV Protection is a Must
: The most important product in today’s urban conditions is a minimum SPF 30, broad spectrum UVA and UVB moisturizer. This becomes even more of a necessity as you fly at 30,000 feet above sea level. The intensity of UV rays on an airplane is twice that as found on the ground. In fact for every additional 3000 feet increase in altitude, there is a 15% increase in the amount of UV radiation. Airplane windows filter only the UVB rays but only minimally filter the more harmful UVA rays. So don’t forget to apply that UV moisturizer liberally on the face, neck as well as the sides of the neck. Another option is to apply mineral powder with SPF protection. However, a moisturizer is more effective for mature skin. 

4. Opt for an Aisle Seat: 
UV radiation is the number one cause of premature ageing, wrinkles and pigmentation. So try and opt for an aisle seat whenever possible. By sitting away from the window and avoiding the direct harsh rays of the sun, you avoid the sun’s harmful effects on mature skin. If you do find yourself on the window seat, try and keep the shade down as much as possible.’

Bon Voyage!

The post Long Haul Flight Skincare appeared first on Glossy Post.


          China Vietnam relations fall to a one year low over new Maritime dispute        

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphjennings/2017/07/31/china-vietnam-relations-fall-to-a-one-year-low-over-a-new-maritime-dispute/?c=0&s=trending#576e5ec61365

An anti-China activist holds a poster saying '74 (Vietnamese) martyrs live forever' during a rally marking the 42nd anniversary of the 1974 naval battle between China and then-South Vietnamese troops over the Paracel Islands, in Hanoi on January 19, 2017. (HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images)

After a world court tribunal ruled last year in July that Beijing lacked legal rights to claim most of the South China Sea, it stepped up talks with the chief maritime disputant Vietnam. Vietnam and China contest sovereignty over the sea’s two major island chains and a lot more. Both remember deadly naval clashes in 1974 and 1988 for control over some of those islets. Three years ago, anti-China riots broke out in Vietnam after Beijing let a Chinese offshore oil driller park a rig 240 kilometers east of the Vietnamese coast.

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Now they’re at it again despite all the talking. This dispute has pushed Sino-Vietnamese ties to a one-year low that will probably last a while yet not lead to any use of force.

The latest problem began when Vietnam and a Spanish contractor set out in June to explore for oil or natural gas beneath the seabed near Vanguard Bank, which is under Vietnamese control, say analysts who follow Southeast Asia. Beijing says that feature in the Spratly chain rightfully belongs under its flag. It may separately resent the influence of India, a not-so-pro-China country without a claim of its own to the disputed 3.5 million-square-kilometer sea. Vietnam this year extended a deal with the overseas subsidiary of India’s state-run firm ONGC to explore for fossil fuels in a tract that China contests.

China says about 90% of the sea is its own, including tracts that overlap the exclusive economic zones of Brunei and Malaysia. It has landfilled disputed islets for military installations to bolt down its claims. Five other governments claim parts of the sea. Vietnam, which has also fought China over a land border, historically has been the most outspoken.

In June a Chinese Central Military Commission vice chairman cut short his visit to Vietnam, the official Xinhua News Agency in Beijing reported. It didn’t say Vietnamese oil exploration prompted the official to leave early, but experts call that the chief reason. In late July China strongly pressured Vietnam to withdraw from the tract near Vanguard Bank, analysts believe.

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“China’s reported threat to Vietnam forms part of a pattern of increased bellicosity from China,” Carl Thayer, emeritus professor at The University of New South Wales in Australia, says in a July 25 research note. “At the extreme end of the spectrum, China could fire warning shots at the exploration vessel or, as threatened, take some form of limited military action against one of the features that Vietnam occupies.”

Neither government wants another clash by force, so analysts expect them to keep talking, possibly at the Communist Party-to-Communist Party level at first. But that dialogue would only dampen the dispute, not solve it. The core disagreement just runs too deep.

Vietnamese officials say the world court ruling gives it rights to Vanguard Bank, while China rejects the whole ruling. Vanguard Bank had loomed as a sticking point in 2011 too, when a Chinese fishing vessel cut a Vietnamese boat’s cable there. “Vietnam may withdraw its rig this time because it has completed operation, or to defuse tension, but it will not give up its claim there,” says Le Hong Hiep, research fellow with the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore. “Future waves of tensions over this area should be expected


          Pfizer to participate in Human Vaccines Project        

Pfizer has decided to play a part in the Human Vaccines Project, which seeks to develop vaccine protection for infectious diseases such as HIV, dengue fever and cancer.

“Over the last decade, we’ve seen unprecedented technological advances in our understanding of the biology of diseases -- and new tools in designing vaccines including therapeutic vaccines,” Kathrin Jansen, head of vaccines research and development at Pfizer, said. “Yet, the translation from preclinical to clinical vaccine research has often been hampered by a lack of understanding of the desired human immune responses required to obtain optimal vaccine protection. With our strong heritage of translating scientific findings into the development of medicines and vaccines, Pfizer is proud to contribute to the consortium’s research efforts.”

Public and private research groups are teaming up on the project. The groups seek to apply the latest in medical technologies and knowledge to fight infectious diseases.

“We look forward to Pfizer’s contribution to the Human Vaccines Project as we launch an unprecedented public-private partnership in human immunology discovery, to decipher the human immunome and principles of protective immunity, to usher in a new era in global disease prevention,” Wayne Koff, founder of the Human Vaccines Project, said. “The human immune system holds the key to preventing and controlling a broad spectrum of infectious diseases, cancers, autoimmune diseases and allergies. By bringing together leading vaccine researchers, institutions and biopharmaceutical companies -- and harnessing recent technological advances in molecular and cellular biology and bioinformatics -- the project may potentially enable accelerated development of vaccines and immunotherapies for some of the most devastating diseases of our time.”


          If Vodacom got more spectrum, customers would have a better experience        
If the government released high-frequency spectrum, everyone on Vodacom’s network would have a better experience.
          Cellphone network quality will suffer in South Africa without more spectrum        
If the government and ICASA don’t release spectrum in the next 6-12 months, there will be congestion on the country’s mobile networks.
          Time To Say Goodbye        
Ever since he's been home I've struggled with keeping this blog up. I wanted to stop blogging right after he came home, but I kept at it. I wrote about real food, a Biblical diet, parenting, marriage, romance, life. I connected with readers and loved them and poured my life out to them in an effort to have some sort of positive impact on their lives. In the last year, I've written about parenting a son on the autism spectrum and living life with a daughter old enough to date. It's time to say goodbye.
          As Investigations Intensify, Israel Imagines Life After Netanyahu        
As an ex-aide turns state’s witness, Israelis across the spectrum are trying on the idea of the curtain coming down on Mr. Netanyahu’s career.
          Autism Research Steps Out of the Lab        

Matthew Dandurand loved the Red Sox. He was a talented online gamer, and gave his family much joy during his brief 16 years of life. But Asperger’s Syndrome made communication dif­ficult for Matthew, known affectionately as “Matty-O,” and he struggled to navigate the complex interactions required by human relationships. His father, Ken Dandurand, PAH’78, and mother, Patty, PT’80, saw how hard socialization was for their son. Fortunately, the Dandurands found potential solutions for others like him in the research of Northeastern professor Matthew Goodwin (pictured at right). Goodwin, an experimental psychologist on the faculties of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences and the College of Computer and Information Science, got involved in autism spectrum dis­order (ASD) research in children in the mid-1990s, when public awareness of the condition was rising. At the time, the research literature did not reflect his own clinical observations. “Most of the science was either phenomenological armchair conjecture or purely lab experimentation—nothing in between,” Goodwin says. One reason the science didn’t match up, he hypothesized, is that more severely affected people with ASD don’t react well to the laboratory environment. “This got me thinking about using wearable biosensors to study kids outside the lab,” Goodwin says. These sensor technologies can dis­creetly measure physical activity, heart rate, and sweating, potentially helping caregivers determine which situations cause negative behavior and sending alerts for support before a tantrum or meltdown. Goodwin’s focus made sense to the Dandurands, who created the Matthew Dandurand Autism Research Fund—aka the Matty-O Fund—to support Goodwin’s work and honor their son, who died of un­related causes. “It’s important to us to help people who, like our son, face challenges com­municating with the world,” says Ken. The Dandurands intend to raise money for the fund in an ongoing manner. Goodwin wants to use data he is gath­ering with sensor technology to learn which kinds of autism are suitable for which interventions, to fill a big void in the ASD field. “We’re building data-collection systems in kids’ homes and turning them and their parents into citizen-scientists,” he says. To add to his investigations, Goodwin introduced some design thinking to the Dandurands, piquing their interest with what the three now call an “Un-hack­athon.” Their idea: Bring the ASD com­munity together in teams of clinicians, researchers, parents, and even kids with ASD for a brainstorming session at Northeastern. During a two-day span, groups will explore social and emotional challenges, try out technologies, and conduct thought experiments that may benefit those with ASD. Before the first event, scheduled for 2017, Goodwin will initially hold training sessions to identify kids who embrace the process. Says Goodwin, “Why not go straight to the people most affected by ASD for fresh insights and ideas? We hope to come up with new strategies my lab and others can explore.”            
          NHL Awards 2013/14 - meet the contenders        

As the saying goes: "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas until yet another lockout delays the end of the season enough to make it a logistical and public relations nightmare, meaning it goes away from Vegas for a year before it comes back and maybe then stays in Vegas."

2013 saw the Balding Captain and Power Forward Traded By Alberta Team For Bag of Pucks Trophy awarded for the first time in several years

Here is the usual quick rundown of the main awards (those that are voted on) and those in contention:

Hart Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association
Supposed to be awarded to: The player adjudged most valuable to his team
In practice, normally awarded to: LeBron James, due to often liberal interpretation of guidance issued by the PHWA to its attentive voters

Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Finally receiving some well-deserved individual recognition as something more than just an average player with points totals inflated due to being a regular linemate of Chris Kunitz.

Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks)
Sometimes compared to Mark Messier, given his combination of scoring ability and physical play, his size and his Western Canadian origins, although with the parity in today's NHL, his chances of matching #11's number of Cup wins are heavily receding.

Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers)
After opening the season without a goal in 15 games, led the Flyers' recovery the rest of the way by hitting the back of the net 28 times, joining the back of Braden Holtby's head as something hit 28 times to turnaround the Flyers' season.

Ted Lindsay Award

Voted on by: Members of the National Hockey League Players' Association
Supposed to be awarded to: The most outstanding player in the NHL
In practice, normally awarded to: The player voted for by everybody in the NHLPA except Roman Hamrlík

Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)
His 17-point margin of victory over Getzlaf in the scoring race was the largest since the 1998/99 season, when Jaromír Jágr beat Teemu Selänne by 20 points, predictive analysis therefore suggesting that the 2028/29 season will see a Penguin win the scoring race over a Duck by a large margin again and Jágr outscoring Selänne by 60 points.

Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks)
If not for Rangers superstars, Pavel Brendl and Hugh Jessiman, would surely be recognised as both the most successful graduate of the Calgary Hitmen and the best power forward to come out of the stacked 2003 entry draft.

Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers)
After a unsuccessful 2012/13 campaign, suffered an off-season golfing injury, believed to be the most apt Flyers-related accident since Kate Smith was fatally crushed by a goon dropped from the Spectrum rafters by a terrible goaltender.

James Norris Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association   
Supposed to be awarded to: The defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position
In practice, normally awarded to: Nicklas Lidström

Zdeno Chára (Boston Bruins)
His booming slapshot has been officially recorded at 108.8 mph, putting it in a similar speed bracket as a David Ortiz home run ball and a character assassination written by a member of the local press following the trade of a scoring forward by the Bruins.

Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks)
The Manitoban All-Star calibre player with missing front teeth and a cavalier attitude to concussions is nicknamed "Clarkey" by his Blackhawks teammates for reasons that nobody has yet divulged.

Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)
After a 12-month period without addition, has a chance of joining the select list of players signed to a contract by Paul Holmgren winning something while not playing for the Los Angeles Kings.

Vezina Trophy

Voted on by: General Managers of all NHL clubs
Supposed to be awarded to: The goaltender who is adjudged to be the best at this position
In practice, normally awarded to: The Russian goaltender who is adjudged to be the best at owning an unsustainable high save percentage on an overachieving team

Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Already arguably the second best goaltender in Lightning history behind Cup-winner Nikolai Khabibulin, this season's exploits having put him ahead of a moth-eaten curtain, Empty Net and John Grahame.

Tuukka Rask (Boston Bruins)
Although continuing to rack up impressive personal statistics, some believe he still carries the stigma of backstopping Bruins teams that have both blown a 3-0 playoff series lead and conceded two late goals within 17 seconds to lose a Stanley Cup Final elimination game, "achievements" that the goalie tandem of Andrew Raycroft and Justin Pogge have never suffered, according to the Maple Leafs' analytics department.

Semyon Varlamov (Colorado Avalanche)
Controversially acquired at the cost of a potentially high first round draft pick by the then-lowly Avalanche, so faces the pressure of having to win multiple Vezinas to match the probable Hall of Fame-level contributions the Capitals will receive over Filip Forsberg's career.

Host George Stroumboulopoulos indicates how many NHL games
in aggregate the show's celebrity guests have ever attended

Calder Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association 
Supposed to be awarded to: The player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League
In practice, normally awarded to: The player selected as the highest point-scoring forward in what might be his third year of competition in the National Hockey League after what might be no or several years of competition in another professional league

Tyler Johnson (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Undrafted, diminutive scoring forward for the Lightning seemingly not penalised by voters for his intention to petulantly force a trade in 15 years' time to the team closest to his off-season home, the Seattle Coyotes.

Nathan McKinnon (Colorado Avalanche)
Achieved two extremely rare feats that even Wayne Gretzky couldn't manage in his career, by having a 13-game scoring streak as an 18-year-old and by being permitted to take a shootout attempt in a game involving Patrick Roy.

Ondřej Palát (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Led all rookies in scoring in 2014 and plus-minus over the season, as well as blocking 64 shots, thus preventing the most pucks reaching the goal by any NHLer with "Ondřej Pa" in his name.

Frank J. Selke Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association 
Supposed to be awarded to: The forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game
In practice, normally awarded to: The forward who is considered by PHWA members to be the best defensively, based on a balanced analysis of zone-starts, Corsi %, quality of competition, usage and shot prevention while shorthanded and penalty differential, though an insignificant minority might just look at reputation and plus-minus.

Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins)
Famously exhibited his toughness in last year's Stanley Cup Final by playing through a punctured lung, separated shoulder and broken nose, injuries suffered when a Chicago player collided with Brad Marchand's left knee.

Anže Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)
Despite being ranked the top European skater, was to be found in Sweden as the 2005 Entry Draft took place, as coincidentally was a bag containing 45 lottery balls without "Pittsburgh Penguins" written on them.

Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)
Has much in common with Bergeron, being a member of the Triple Gold Club, a previous Selke winner, fluent in English and French and having a name that sounds nothing like a word spelled T.O.E.W.S.

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association 
Supposed to be awarded to: The player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey
In practice, normally awarded to: The player who missed the most games through injury the season before

Jaromír Jágr (New Jersey Devils)
Has remarkably sustained an NHL career longer than each of the three 20-year-old players for whom he was traded by Pittsburgh on July 11 2001, a feat that probably stopped deserving being called remarkable around October 11 2001.

Manny Malhotra (Carolina Hurricanes)
Has made a successful return to the NHL after being let go by the Vancouver Canucks in 2011, a decision described by then-GM Mike Gillis as "the hardest thing I have done in this job", which led to Gillis resolving to avoid making any hard decisions relating to his roster for as long as possible from that point on.

Dominic Moore (New York Rangers)
As his Wikipedia bio states, has at times in his career had to cope with the unenviable handicap of playing with Jason Blake on a "scoring" line and with Ryan Hollweg on a line of any description.

Messrs Linden and Lecavalier proudly display their humanitarian awards for all their tireless work for organisations dealing with disadvantaged goaltending situations 

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association 
Supposed to be awarded to: The player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability
In practice, normally awarded to: The player adjudged to have had the fewest penalty minutes when the voters quickly skim down the list of top 20 scorers five minutes before the deadline to send in their ballot

Patrick Marleau (San Jose Sharks)
Evidence of a high level of gentlemanly conduct and self-control is shown by his tally of only 18 penalty minutes all year and being on the record as having listened to Jeremy Roenick for in excess of 10 minutes in one go.

Ryan O'Reilly (Colorado Avalanche)
Notably only called for one penalty in 80 games played, for inadvertently playing with a broken stick, an infraction considered by his coach to be too vanilla to spoil such a record.

Martin St. Louis (New York Rangers)
Achieves the unique distinction of being a finalist for this award having once signed a contract with the genuine intention of playing for a team run by Jay Feaster.

Jack Adams Award

Voted on by: Members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association 
Supposed to be awarded to: The coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success
In practice, normally awarded to: The coach adjudged to have coached either the most injured team or the team with the best PDO/shootout-fuelled record.

Mike Babcock (Detroit Red Wings)
At one point during the filming of HBO's '24/7' series, kicked the camera crew out of his locker room between periods of one game, a controversial move given the camera crew formed the injury-hit Red Wings' second line at the time.

Jon Cooper (Tampa Bay Lightning)
A dual citizen of the United States and Canada, meaning he alternates between having no idea there is a hockey team near where he lives and wanting it to be contracted or moved to Quebec.

Patrick Roy (Colorado Avalanche)
Successful start to his professional coaching career would normally bode well for a long stay behind the bench, but his combustible personality suggests that a dramatic falling out with the vice president of hockey operations for the Avalanche at some point is almost inevitable.

General Manager of the Year Award

In a departure from previous practice, in recognition of the popularity of vague schedules and the ultimate measure of success being winning two playoff rounds, the finalists will apparently be announced "later this month on a date to be determined" and will be based on voting conducted following the second round of the playoffs.  So Doug Wilson's chances have rather swiftly evaporated.

POST-ANNOUNCEMENT EDIT:

Voted on by: General Managers of all NHL clubs and a panel of NHL executives, print and broadcast media 
Supposed to be awarded to: The top National Hockey League General Manager
In practice, normally awarded to: The National Hockey League General Manager Most Likely To Be Fired Within A Couple Of Years As A Direct Consequence Of Short-Term Moves That Led To Being A Finalist For The Award

Marc Bergevin (Montreal Canadiens)
Leading candidate to extend to two the streak of General Manager of the Year Award winners who willingly acquired Douglas Murray in the previous year, meaning the Best GM:Gritty Hitty Swedish Defenseman:Conference Finalists relationship still maintains a correlation coefficient of 1.0000, stat nerds.

Dean Lombardi (Los Angeles Kings)
Beneficiary of the maxim that acquiring a former 40-goal scorer from the Columbus Blue Jackets is a guarantee of a large quantity of playoff goals roughly two out of every three times.

Bob Murray (Anaheim Ducks)
Despite being a successor to Brian Burke in his role, appears to have the Ducks somewhat behind schedule in becoming entirely dysfunctional and based in Canada.

-----

Awards post archive (a.k.a. look at all the recycled material):

NHL Awards 2013 - meet the contenders
NHL Awards 2011/12 - meet the contenders
NHL Awards 2010/11 - meet the contenders

          Wine tourism to boast tourism in South Africa in 2020.: Safari Uganda , Kenya , Rwanda        

It’s too amazing to see that many countries the have the kenya safari are pouring large amount of money in wine projects yet this is just one example of the growth that is being seen around the world in wine tourism. Wine tourism is expanding in most major wine growing regions, including France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the U.S., South Africa, and Australia.

Besides, South Africa is working towards positioning itself as one of the world's top 20 travel destinations by 2020, the local wine and tourism industry are uniting to present the country's first specialist wine tourism exhibition, Vindaba and the Kenya tour.This resulted from the backing effort of national and provincial government, and Vindaba will be showcasing the best in South African wine-related tourism when it is held in Cape Town in September 2012, targeting the local and international travel trade as well as wine, travel and lifestyle media.

Wine Tourism is known world wide that very most travellers in any Namibia safaris prefer taking wine while on there vacation holidays and also many scholars have written different books with different definitions. According to an Australian researchers Hall and Macionis. They define wine tourism as "visitation to vineyards, wineries, wine festivals, and wine shows for which grape wine tasting and/or experiencing the attributes of a grape wine region are the prime motivating factors for visitors." we have the rwanda gorilla trekking This definition is useful because it encompasses the various venues most frequently sought by wine tourists, and highlights the fact that there are different reasons visitors go to a wine region.

Also the South Africa Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk identified wine tourism as one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative sectors of the global tourism market. Get to visit the gorillas in Africa as the Vindaba, which marks a new spirit of collaboration among tourism bodies, is intended as a launching pad to position South Africa on the world map of wine tourism.

Currently, Cape Wine is considered the most successful international wine trade show in the Southern Hemisphere, the masai mara safari and has been held every alternate year since 2000 with the exception of last year, given South Africa's hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Next year's Cape Wine will be the first in four years and will thus provide an important opportunity for the industry to update its markets on new developments.Such as the It is expected that some 320 wineries will exhibit.

Although cape wine 2012 is conceived as a stand-alone event, it will be staged simultaneously at the Cape Town Convention Centre. Cape Wine also as we get ready for the masai mara tour , hosted biennially by Wosa, exhibits a wide spectrum of South Africa's wines and wine styles to the international wine trade, from buyers to importers and sommeliers in important export markets. It also attracts wine, travel and lifestyle media.

More so, both events will be staged as eco-friendly exhibitions, making use exclusively of recycled and recyclable materials. South Africa is already recognized as a world leader in eco-sustainable wine production. Now it plans to establish a similar reputation for wine tourism by marketing Vindaba as a "green" initiative.

Van Schalkwyk has identified South Africa's wine tourism as central to marketing the country as an attractive long-haul destination. Speaking at a tourism stakeholder workshop in April, he said: along with gorillas and Chimpanzees we have "Wine tourism is a vital product offering in South Africa's tourism product as it helps improve the country's competitiveness against destinations like Brazil, Australia, Kenya and Thailand.” Though Australia has a highly developed wine tourism industry, many of its wine regions are located far apart, unlike South Africa where production is concentrated mostly in the Western Cape.3 day gorilla safari tour

Not only will the two exhibitions feature many of the same producers, but there are other common links. Queen Elizabeth national park , South Africa has been steadily building a domestic and global awareness for the range and excellence of its wines and is now considered a significant wine-producing country. With provenance playing such a strategic role in wine marketing, it makes sense to advance wine-related tourism, so wine lovers are actively encouraged to visit the source of the products they enjoy.Murchison falls national park


          Top Baby Names for 2016 From Spectrum Health        
Spectrum Health just released their list of the top baby names for 2016, and the list of popular boys’ names underwent more changes in 2016 than an infant’s diapers. Seven new names popped up in the top 10―including one with presidential gravitas. Continue reading…
          Don't Go Changin' ~ To Try To Please Me        
That entire song is just one honkin' huge lie.

Just a couple of months after Rick and I started dating, I realized I'd started to change a little and said so to Rick and he said, "Well, that's no good." (Direct quote.) But it was good: I was smoking less -- a LOT less -- and making better dinners and keeping house better, but I was definitely changing. And he totally lied with the "That's no good" because over a year later and knowing him so much better, he really does have issues with housework and smoking, so I'm pretty sure "changing Brenda's certain behaviors" was actually pretty high on his Brenda List of Necessary Requirements.

Just sayin'.

But like I said, they were POSITIVE changes, so I can't really complain about them. Well, I can, and sometimes DO, but I digress...

And then there are those who really, really hate it when you change. They can't comprehend who are you now verses who you were then. They refuse to accept it, and in denying it, they cut all ties. I would understand if I'd become addicted to heroin or dating abusive men: yeah -- cut those ties if she won't help herself because then you're just enabling. But that's the far end spectrum, and it's also on the far negative side as well. When the changes are overall a positive thing, I can't comprehend what is so absolutely horrible that they'd just. . . POOF.

Well, I do know why, if I really, really think about it. I'm a needy person in general, but having Rick who defines FIXER, well, we balance, and in that balancing, I don't "need" certain aspects that were originally part of certain relationships. And I guess in some people's viewpoints, that's a huge negative. I get it, I just refuse to accept it because I find it selfish and foot-stomping-taking-my-ball-and-leaving childish behavior.

So if you have a friend (and I'll let you define "friend" in your own way) and you see him or her changing their life in a positive way -- she's happier, her kids are happier, she's almost found SOLICE -- celebrate with her and still love her. You may have to change your roles in the relationship a little, maybe a lot, but if that relationship meant anything at all to you, if you truly had a selfless love and concern, you don't just up and walk away. You reshape, you redefine, but you still care, you still suppport.

You still love.

But in the end, the change is for yourself and not to try to please another person out there. Swear.
          Transforming the Cleaning Business with Microsoft Technology        
ISS Netherlands wanted to improve its competitiveness in a crowded facilities services market. With the help of Microsoft technology including Windows Azure and Microsoft Office 365, the company has built a solution that automatically notifies workers when facilities need to be maintained, improving client service while reducing customer costs. We recently spoke with Martijn Jansen, Business Technology Manager at ISS Netherlands, to learn how this solution is transforming the facilities services business. Q: Please tell us about ISS Netherlands. Martijn Jansen: ISS Netherlands is part of ISS, which is a leading global provider of facility services. In the Netherlands, we offer services to hospitals, factories, government offices, and companies of all sizes. ISS Netherlands has 12,000 employees who work with a broad spectrum of clients ranging from small Dutch companies to large global enterprises. Q: What challenges were you facing that led you to build a solution using Windows Azure and Office 365? Jansen:   Facilities services is a very competitive market, especially in the area of pricing. In the past few years, the focus has primarily been on pricing, since it’s been hard to differentiate oneself in other areas. With Windows Azure and Office 365, we can easily scale up and down. This was important to us given the changing nature of our business. In addition, Windows Azure and Office 365 enabled us to innovate without a lot of risk to our company.  ISS Netherlands has a relatively small IT department. We didn’t want to make a large investment that would require us to purchase and maintain our own hardware and software.  Instead, we wanted to build a cloud-based solution that was both adaptable and flexible. Windows Azure and Office 365 met all of these needs. Q: What solution did you build? Jansen:   In a traditional cleaning environment, for example an office building, the standard proposition is that you clean each rest room twice a day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year, whether it’s needed or not. So even if no one is there, you’d still clean the toilets twice a day. We wanted to improve our efficiency by only cleaning where it was needed, and doing so right when it was needed. To do that, we created a simple “on-off” sensor that records every time a toilet, soap dispenser, or towel dispenser has been used, and then sends a message to our SQL Server database, which is run as a virtual machine within the Windows Azure cloud platform. We then created business rules so that after a specified number of visits, Windows Azure sends a message to all of the mobile phones used by the employees responsible for working in the area informing them that a particular toilet or towel dispenser needs to be serviced. Using Microsoft BizTalk Server, we send this information to our Financial Management Information System and to our customer SharePoint portals to keep track of our progress. We are using the same system to measure whether a plant needs water, whether a door has inadvertently been left opened at night, or whether a mouse trap needs to be reset. The minute the threshold is reached, we know what has to be done in a specific room of a given building. So we're no longer doing a standard routine of cleaning—only when it’s required. Q: That seems like a lot of information to track. How is the ability to process big data playing into your solution? Jansen:   The ability to cost-effectively process big data has made the solution possible. Each sensor captures multiple messages on an hourly basis, and we have thousands of sensors set up across all the facilities we manage.  Our database holds several terabytes of data, and that quantity is growing exponentially with every customer we add. None of this would have been possible five years ago. The amount of processing power that we would have needed and the amount of data that needs to be stored would have made the investment cost-prohibitive. Q: What role do Office 365 and SharePoint Online play in the solution? Jansen:   We’ve developed a customized portal for each customer using SharePoint Online, which they can view using Office Web Apps. The portal shows when we are coming to service the facility. It incorporates a map with all the inspection points, including mouse traps, toilets, towel dispensers, etcetera. It highlights all current issues as well as those that already have been fixed. And it displays the sensor data as easy-to-read bar charts searchable by topic via drop-down menus. This allows clients to get a high-level overview of what’s happening, while also reviewing the detailed data. So, for example, a manager can get a summary of pest control issues in his building, and then click through the portal to see the status of a specific room or even a specific trap.  We’ve also built a new feature into the SharePoint portal that allows customers to communicate with us. Initially, we’ll be deploying it at one of the hospitals we manage so that our client can inform us when a patient leaves and the bed needs to be made. Most Dutch hospitals have a shortage of beds, so it’s paramount that they be turned around quickly. Once the bed is made, our workers can send a message via their mobile phone back to the SharePoint portal. This will enable the hospital to put its bed space to more efficient use. Q: How has your automated solution improved customer service? Jansen:   It’s improved our customer service by enabling us to offer a higher-quality service at a lower price. By using the sensors, we’re focusing on the jobs that need to be done at that moment and eliminating unnecessary work. For example, we used to visit one of our pest control contacts every week.  But with the sensors, we now know the number of mousetraps going off without actually visiting the site.  So we can now simply visit the site when a mouse is caught rather than checking whether or not it’s happened. That’s reduced our hours and thus our cost to the customer. What’s more, customers now feel we are helping them 24/7 rather than just a few days a month. We’re also providing our customers with better information. With all the sensory data at our disposal, we can tell our clients what’s actually happening rather than using our gut feeling. Customers really like that because they now have precise data that they can present to their managers as well. Q:  What benefits has ISS Netherlands derived from the solution? Jansen:   It’s made us more competitive. By using web portals and other technology we’re on top of the league. With our automated solution, we’ve been able to serve more customers at lower cost with the same number of workers. But we’re not stopping there. Each day we’re examining how we can expand the uses of our solution to further improve our services. Using Microsoft technology, we’ve created a whole different way of managing facilities—one that’s highly efficient and provides top value for our customers. 
          Delaware Trolley House in Albany closing later this month        
Delaware Trolley House, a coffee shop and café next to the Spectrum 8 Theatre in Albany, will close later this month after almost two years in business. Owner Anton Pasquill, who also owns  the 7-year-old Hudson River Coffee House in Albany, tells me, “It’s a tough location, and the numbers just weren’t where they should be. In business you
          Mallrat - "Uninvited" [Pop]        
Uninvited

- "Uninvited" music video by Mallrat
- Added on 10-08-2017
- Genre : Pop
- Description : Mallrat - Uninvited (Official Video) - - @lilmallrat - http://www.facebook.com/lilmallrat - http://www.twitter.com/lilmallrat - http://www.instagram.com/lilmallrat - - A Young Black Youth production - Director: Rory Pippan - Cinematographer: Nima Nabili Rad - - Extra big thank you to my friend Kristen Meaclem for making the pink pants xxxxxxxxxx - - - - - “There’s a new anti-in-crowd anthem on the block: “Uninvited,” an infectious electro-pop gem from Australian newcomer Mallrat” – Vice’s NOISEY - - “The 16-year-old Aussie pop/rap/electro hybrid Mallrat makes fun, flirty jaunts on a sliding spectrum of singing, sing-song rap, and rapping.” – Stereogum - - Australian teen sensation Mallrat (aka Grace Shaw) finally unveils her video for “Uninvited” – the brilliant track that kick started an immense wave of excitement around the unique new talent. - - Leading a charge of singles included on her debut EP, “Uninvited” is Mallrat’s bold mission statement. Alongside other tracks like “For Real” (which was recently used in the Google Pixel ad), “Uninvited” is a typical Mallrat musing on everyday life in all its mundanity, but twisted into a gloriously catchy pop-rap banger. The new video is a fitting visual accompaniment to the track. -
- Tags : 2017, 10s, Mallrat


          CMS: Corporate Associate - 3-8PQE        
Negotiable: CMS: Join our award winning corporate team in Edinburgh. About the role Working as part of a dynamic, experienced and supportive team to advise a spectrum of clients from high profile listed public companies to some of the most exciting start-up/high growth co Edinburgh
          Ordinary is Extraordinary Tag        
Hello,

Here is a tag I made using the flower digital stamp of the Alice Elements Set from The Octopode Factory.

I used Distress Inks in Mustard Seed, Mowed Lawn and Cracked Pistachio for the background. I flicked on some water to create some droplets.

I edged around the entire tag with silver embossing powder.

I coloured the image with Spectrum Noir markers and fussy cut it out. I drew my own stem and attached it behind the flower, which I popped up using foam tape.

I added Glossy Accents to her eyes and some green wide ribbon to the top.

The sentiment is a sticker phrase from Tim Holtz.

Thanks for having a look.

Talk to ya soon xx
          Bonjour ATC        
Hello,

Here is an ATC I made using the stamp set Mimi in Paris from Penny Black.

I used some French scrapbook paper for the background.

I coloured Mimi with Spectrum Noir markers and fussy cut her out.

I added some grey gemstones to the top and edged around the entire ATC with Distress Ink in Hickory Smoke.

I would like to enter this in the following challenge:

Challenge #246: Girly Girl
Check it out here: Wicked Wednesday

Thanks for having a look.

Talk to ya soon xx


          The Octopode Factory ATC Swap        
Hello,

I participated in a group swap on Instagram with the theme of using only Octopode Factory digital stamp images. These are the cards I made for it.

#1:
This image is called Steampunk Lady Audrey. I coloured her with Prismacolour markers and used a red enamel dot for her eye. I used some scrapbook paper for the background and added some black and white dot washi tape along the side. 

#2:
This image is called Easter Lamb Girl. I coloured her with Spectrum Noir markers. I added a sparkly flower sticker to her hair and a silver butterfly sticker. I used some yellow butterfly paper for the background.

#3:
This image is called Whimsical Alice. I used Dylusions spray inks on the background along with a diamond stamp. I coloured her with Prismacolour markers and added a crown sticker to her head. I added a purple flower sticker and some purple enamel dots to her crown.

#4:
This image is called Flutterby Butterfly. I coloured her with Prismacolour markers and added Glossy Accents to the hearts and dots on the wings. I used scrapbook paper for the background and added some washi tape along the bottom.

#5:
This image is called Steampunk Lady Flo. I coloured her with Prismcolour markers. I used a white enamel dot for her eye. I used a cog embossing folder for the background and painted it with purple acrylic paint. I added some skinny washi tape along the bottom.

#6:
This image is called Zombie Love. I coloured her with Primacolour markers and added Stickles to the flower on her head. The heart she is holding is an epoxy sticker. I embossed some tombstones along the bottom and added a piece of washi tape at the top.

#7:
This image is called Whimsical Alice. I collaged some flowers for the background. I coloured her with Spectrum Noir markers. I added some skinny gold washi tape along the bottom. 

#8:
This image is called Steampunk Mabel. I stamped some circles for the background in neon ink. I coloured her with Prismacolour markers. I added a strip of silver washi tape along the side. 

Thanks for having a look.

Talk to ya soon xx 
          2016 ATC Club Instagram Swap        
Hello,

I was in a year-long ATC group swap on Instagram and would like to share the ATCs I have made for it. Each month we had to create 8 identical ATCs following a certain theme. 

January's theme was birds and here is mine:
I used a digital stamp from Vera Lane Studio. I coloured the bird with coloured pencils and gamsol. I used Dylusions Paints in the background.

February's theme was southwestern and here is mine:
I used a digital stamp from Vera Lane Studio. I coloured the background with Dylusion paints on top of book text. I coloured the flower with Prismacolour markers.

March's theme was favourite artist and here is mine:
I based this off on Van Gogh's starry night which is my favourite painting and artist. I used a digital stamp from Vera Lane Studio. I used Dylusion paints in the background and splattered on some white paint. I coloured the moon with Prismacolour markers.

April's theme was black and white and here is mine:
The panda is from the Mama Elephant stamp set Pandamonium. I used Distress Ink in Black Soot through a star stencil for the background. I used skinny washi tape along the bottom.

May's theme was numbers and here is mine:
The rocket is from a clear stamp set called robots from Recollections. I used Distress Inks on the background and Distress Paint in pocket fence through a number stencil. 

June's theme was bohemian and here is mine:
I used a digital stamp from Vera Lane Studio. I added washi tape to the bottom. I coloured her with Prismacolour markers. The flower in her hand is a sticker that I added a gem to.

July's theme was butterfly and here is mine:
I used a digital stamp from the Octopode Factory. I coloured it with Prismacolour markers. I used a Tim Holtz rays stencil for the background with Dylusions paints. I used butterfly washi tape along the bottom.

August's theme was free and here is mine:
I used a digital stamp from the Octopode Factory. I coloured it with Prismacolour markers. I used Distress Inks and a square stencil for the background. I embossed some flowers with silver embossing powder.

September's theme was favorite quote and here is mine:
The quote is from one of my favourite movies, the Crow. I used a digital stamp from Oddball Art Co. I coloured it with Spectrum Noir markers. I used Dylusion paints over a book page for the background. 

October's theme was Halloween and here is mine:
I used two different digital stamps from Vera Lane Studio. I used a mummy body and attached a pumpkin for the head. I coloured both with Prismacolour markers. I added washi tape along the bottom.

November's theme was harvest and here is mine:
For the background, I stamped some leaves and then coloured them in with colour pencils. I used a ticket with a quote in the center.

December's theme was tacky christmas and here is mine:
I used a digital stamp from Vera Lane Studio and coloured her with Prismacolour markers. I used some Christmas washi tape along the bottom as a sentiment. I used Glossy Accents on the bulbs in her hands and on the tree.


Thanks for having a look.

Talk to ya soon xx
          Grilled Cheese Monster ATC        
Hello,

Whew! It has really been awhile since my last post lol

Here is an ATC I made using a free digital stamp called monstrous grilled cheese from wonderstrange.

I used some white polka dot scrapbook paper for the background and edged around the entire ATC with Distress Ink in black soot.

I coloured the sandwich up with Prismacolour markers in the colours: PB-69, PB-17, PB-123, and PM-23. I coloured the city with Spectrum Noir markers in IG4 and IG6.

I fussy cut him out and added Glossy Accents to the cheese and his mouth.



I would like to enter this in the following challenge:

Challenge #223: Anthropomorphism
Check it out here: Wicked Wednesday

Thanks for having a look.

Talk to ya soon xx
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 04-07-2017 with Erin Stereo        
Playlist:

Jordan Allen- 110 Ways To Make Things Better - 110 Ways To Make Things Better Single
Artificial Pleasure- All I Got - All I Got Single
POWERS- Man On The Moon - Man On The Moon Single
Chromatics- Lady - Kill For Love
- voicebreak -
Rufus- Party Til Youre Broke - Party Til Youre Broke
Zebra- Simple Song - Soul Spectrum Records Vol 1
Monk Higgins- Gotta Be Funky - Heavyweight
- voicebreak -
Asheru Blue Black- Jamboree - Soon Come
Dj Ragz- Busta Meets De La - Dj Ragz Edits Vol 2
Black Sheep- Without A Doubt Edit - Without A Doubt EP
NmE- The Ending - Distraction From Distruction
- voicebreak -
KFlay- Cant Sleep - Life As A Dog
GRiZ- Stop Trippin feat IDA HAWK - Say It Loud
HANA- Avalanche - HANA EP
Overcoats- Leave The Light On - Young
- voicebreak -
Don McKinnon- Country Guitar - Country Guitar
Roger Miller- King Of The Road - Greatest Hits Of Roger Miller
Johnny Paycheck- Colorado CoolAid - Johnny Paycheck 16 Biggest Hits
The Expendables- Back Home Again - John Denver The Music Is You Series
- voicebreak -
Tank And The Bangas- WalMart - Think Tank
Erykah Badu- Didnt Cha Know - Mamas Gun
CeeLo Green- Fool For You feat Philip Bailey - The Lady Killer Deluxe Version
- voicebreak -


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2017-04-07
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 10-03-2016 with Nofrendo        
Playlist:

Invisibl Skratch Piklz- Kenny Gs Perm - The 13th Floor
Thundercat- Them Changes - The Beyond Where The Giants Roam
Flying Lotus- Never Catch Me feat Kendrick Lamar - Youre Dead
Erykah Badu- Bag Lady Cheebah Sac Mix - Bad Lady single
Kyoto Jazz Massive- Kudu ReWork - Blue Note Revisited
DAngelo And The Vanguard- Sugah Daddy - Black Messiah
Black Spade Coultrain- B Wit U - Starship 27 Vol 2 Take Off
Madlib- Slims Return - Shades Of Blue Madlib Invades Blue Note
Raphael Saadiq- Ask Of You Austin Dallas Remix - Raphael Saadiq
Miguel AtwoodFerguson- Fall In Love - Mochilla Presents Timeless Suite For Ma Dukes
J Dilla- Mash - Donuts
J Dilla- Time The Donut Of The Heart - Donuts
A Tribe Called Quest- Butter - The Low End Theory
Dead Prez- Mind Sex - Lets Get Free
Samiyam- Donuts With Sprinkles - Producer No 1
Sample OS- Bumm - 3 Minute Blunts
DamFunk- Killdat Aka Killdatmuthafuka - Toeachizown
J Dilla- Dillatronic 03 - Dillatronic
Flying Lotus- Massage Situation - Reset EP
TOKiMONSTA- Playing With Toys - Cosmic Intoxication
GEOTHEORY- Acedia - Tales Untold EP
De La Soul- Pain feat Snoop Dogg - And The Anonymous Nobody
Adrian Younge Ali Shaheed Muhammad- Bulletproof Love feat Method Man - Bulletproof Love feat Method Man From Luke Cage Single
Marvine Gaye- Heard It Through The Bassline DJ AL BoomBap Remix - Dj Al
Banks- Are You That Somebody underbelly Bootleg - Banks
The Chainsmokers- All We Know feat Phoebe Ryan - All We Know feat Phoebe Ryan Single
Alterfix- Change Of Mind - Alterfix
Xperiment- Wait 7 See - Xperiment
Sherrale B- Tell Me Baby - Tell Me Baby
Anderson Paak- The Season Carry Me - Malibu
PterrorFractyl- The White Rabbit - Roddy
PterrorFractyl- Rich Homie James - Roddy
PterrorFractyl- Dip - Roddy
Donald Byrd- Stepping Into Tomorrow - Stepping Into Tomorrow
Roy Ayers- Dont Stop The Feeling - 20th Century Masters The Millennium Collection The Best Of Roy Ayers
Billy Cobham- Stratus - Spectrum
Ramsey Lewis- Fish Bite - Dont It Feel Good
Grover Washington Jr- Mister Magic - Mister Magic


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/5/playlistDate/2016-10-03
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 04-06-2016 with Michael Buck        
Playlist:

Eric Bachmann- Masters Of The Deal - Eric Bachmann
- voicebreak -
Cu- Camadas - Tropix
Laura Gibson- Not Harmless - Empire Builder
Jon Patrick Walker- Hideous Monster - People Going Somewhere
Greg Laswell- Dodged A Bullet - Everyone Thinks I Dodged A Bullet
Tanya Donelly- VavaKaraoke - Swan Song Series
Iggy Pop- American Valhalla - Post Pop Depression
Cross Record- Two Rings - WabiSabi
- voicebreak -
C Duncan- Garden - Architect
The Range- No Loss - Potential
Bonobo- Ghomrassen - Star Wars Headspace
Shearwater- Backchannels - Jet Plane And Oxbow
David Bowie- I Cant Give Everything Away - Blackstar
- voicebreak -
Violent Femmes- Memory - We Can Do Anything
Courtney Barnett- Three Packs A Day - Good For You Milk Records Compilation
Eliza Rickman- Lark Of My Heart - Footnotes For The Spring
EL VY- Need A Friend - Return To The Moon
Talkie- Keep - Hablas
Redrick Sultan- Jest Us - Fly As A Kite
Charles Bradley- Changes - Changes
- voicebreak -
James Supercave- The Right Thing - Better Strange
Yoko Ono- Forgive Me My Love feat Death Cab For Cutie - Yes Im A Witch Too
Thao The Get Down Stay Down- Astonished Man - A Man Alive
Damien Jurado- TAQOMA - Visions Of Us On The Land
Max Stalling- Two Of Us - Banquet
Andrew Bird- Capsized - Are You Serious
Bibio- Petals - A Mineral Love
WIN WIN- Landfall - Primaries
- voicebreak -
Wall Of Death- For A Lover - Loveland
The Lower 48- Walls - Hot Fool
Lowlife- Ramafied - Diminuendo Singles Remastered
Starwalker- Demeter - Starwalker
Hlos- IntroSpectrum - Full Circle
Hlos- Pray - Full Circle
Boogarins- Truques - Manual
Boogarins- Avalanche - Manual
- voicebreak -
Coastgaard- Landmines - Devil On The Balcony
The James Hunter Six- Satchelfoot - Hold On
Ronnie Spector- Because - English Heart
Tacocat- I Love Seattle - Lost Time
Baby Jesus- Nice Walk - Baby Jesus
Heron Oblivion- Oriar - Heron Oblivion
Pet Sun- Web Of Man - Pet Sun


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2016-04-06
          Scientists on the Margins        
by
David Nobes
2005-01-30

INTRODUCTION

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was convened in Geneva in December of 2003. When the World Summit was announced, many in the scientific community questioned why there was no clear or central role for science and scientists. Scientists at CERN, in particular, expressed their concerns because CERN, one of the premier international collaborative scientific institutions, is regarded by many as the “birthplace” of the Internet.

As a result of the interventions of scientists, the UN and WSIS Secretariat proposed to hold an additional, but separate meeting ahead of the World Summit - the Role of Science in the Information Society (RSIS). The Role of Science meeting was also held in Geneva, at CERN, immediately before the World Summit. Many who attended RSIS also attended the WSIS. (The RSIS website is still active, as of January 2005).

The RSIS was intended to provide a forum whereby scientists and science administrators could contribute to the ongoing discussions on the Information Society. The discussions focussed on information sharing - the mechanisms for such sharing, and the impact on society that information sharing could have, because it became quickly apparent that information sharing is one of the primary elements in what we have come to call the Information Society, which I will abbreviate here as IS. Information technology is abbreviated as IT.

At this point, it should be noted that many of the participants, this author included, wondered what influence we scientists might have on the larger World Summit. Because of its separateness, many attendees doubted, sometimes publicly, that we would have much impact on the main WSIS “event” (the term used on the website and in the printed material). Many felt that the meeting was nonetheless useful, but more for the informal networks and contacts that we made, rather than for the formal proceedings. This reflects the nature of the Internet and modern electronic communications, which was nicely and concisely described by Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the browser-based interface, the “World Wide Web,” now concomitant with the popular conception of the Internet. He portrayed the “essence” of the Web as “decentralized” and “fractal.” It was originally designed to fill a need to share information (“data”) that was different in nature, format, and style.

[ For a much different conception of a global informational network, albeit one that has yet to be put into popular practice, see the Home Page of Ted Nelson, eds. ]

At the end of the RSIS was a “Visionary Panel Discussion: Science and Governance.” Most of the panel members who discussed the future of the Internet used outdated and outmoded terminology and paradigms, and I think they missed some of the inherent anarchic and democratic aspects of the Internet. Many of us felt that the panel, with the exception of Berners-Lee, showed a lack of understanding of the Internet and the Web. Indeed, the character of the Internet and the Web in many ways reflect how human progress is made, whether we are discussing science or broader societal aspects. We take steps that wander up many blind alleys and false trails before hitting upon solutions to previously unsolved problems. The solutions are almost always imperfect and almost always later superseded by some better approach. It is necessarily unstructured and chaotic, as any creative activity will be. However, those involved directly, such as scientists, are often excluded from the decision-making processes, which tend to be dominated by politicians and bureaucrats who are in general sadly ignorant of science and its methods. I hope to expand on this theme in the report that follows. The issues raised are no less relevant and important a year on from the meeting. The most exciting and innovative projects described during the meeting emphasised the lack of centralized control over the Internet and the Web, and that such control is nearly impossible. We cannot control what people do with the Internet; instead the main issue should be about showing people how to use the Internet effectively and sceptically.

The structure of this report is simple. It follows the structure of the meeting, which was built around the central RSIS “themes”: education; economic development; environment; health; and enabling technologies. I summarise some of the main points and observations from each session, highlighting those talks, presentations and sessions that seem to have best captured the atmosphere of the RSIS and future of the Information Society.

OPENING PLENARY SESSION - “SETTING THE SCENE”

The opening plenary session comprised a series of presentations that ranged widely across the IS spectrum. Adolf Ogi, Special Advisor on WSIS to the Swiss Federal Council, officially welcomed the RSIS participants on behalf of Switzerland, the host country, and challenged the participants to promote “science for all, without boundaries.” He touched on the issues of control of technology and the role of infrastructure, and the costs associated with both. When we say “costs”, we mean both the cost to society as a whole and the cost to the individual. This becomes, then, a major concern in developing countries where personal monetary wealth is limited, and thus access to modern computing tools is limited.

Two speakers put the Role of Science in the context of the World Summit on the Information Society. Adama Samassékou, President of the WSIS Preparation Committee, addressed the gulf between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” using the now common phrase “the digital divide.” However, Samassékou went beyond these almost clichéd terms and viewpoints to discuss the traditional forms of knowledge, and how in the IS world oral traditions, and the information they transmit, are being lost, largely because we have not had a means to incorporate them into the technology of the IS. He emphasised the goal of a lack of boundaries for the sharing of information, and the need to promote the IS within an ethical framework. In this framework, he included environmental ethics. This theme arose again in the special session on the Environment in the IS.

Yoshia Utsumi, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, emphasised accessibility of IS, but his emphasis was on scientific access. This was perhaps a reflection of the audience, but was then limited in its scope, especially when considered in the light of some of the presentations that came later in the day. He noted the lack of scientific funding in the developing world, and the “problems” in science policy. My opinion is that “gap” may have been a more appropriate word, because few countries, developing or otherwise, have clear policies for the sharing of information, scientific or otherwise. Many that do have such policies, such as the U.S.A., obstruct information sharing for reasons of “security,” even though open access to data and information is often the best defence. However, as Utsumi noted, this was a beginning of the process of discussion and policy formulation.

After the two RSIS context speakers, we listened to three “keynote” speakers, each of whom gave brief talks: Dr Nitin Desai, Special Advisor to Kofi Annan on WSIS; HRH Princess Maha Chakro Sirindhom of Thailand; and Walter Erdelen, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences at UNESCO. These talks touched on issues of citizen-to-citizen communication and the “digital divide” (Desai), the lack of access to IT and concepts of sustainability in the IS (Sirindhom), and the environment (Erdelen).

Dr Esther Dyson, the Founding Chair of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), was listed as speaking on “the promise of the Information Society and the role that science and technology have played.” ICANN is the organisation responsible for mediating domain names. They do not assign names, per se, but monitor the process and the circumstances. They have little power, but unfortunately are often seen, incorrectly, as responsible for the current morass over domain names. Dyson did not speak on the listed topic, but instead talked about the role of scientists themselves, rather than some monolithic “science,” in the future of the IS. She also emphasised that we cannot solve the problems of the Internet in a question and answer session.

Finally, Ismail Serageldin, the Director-General of the Library of Alexandria, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the state of IT use at the Library. It is impossible to cover all of the material he (rapidly yet effectively) presented. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is making use of IT in many ways, and to a large extent (their website is www.bibalex.org). Some of the problems and issues Serageldin identified for the RSIS were, to name a few:

* effective and accessible publication and dissemination of information, specifically research and the results of research;
* peer-review (or lack thereof for online publications);
* copyright and “fair use” of online materials; and
* Internet library loans.

He discussed the rise of anti-science movements, particularly in the context of fundamentalist religious groups, and both here and in his talk he noted that these were not only Islamic but also Christian fundamentalist groups. Some approaches they used to try to counter such movements were:

* the establishment of a BA science “supercourse”;
* reaching children with “My Book”, which placed the child within the book designed and partly written by the child using online resources; and
* the “Hole in the Wall” computer.

This last approach was particularly interesting and revolutionary. The concept is to place a PC secured into a recess in a wall, using a transparent cover to allow visibility and access to the touch screen. Results showed that illiterate people, especially children and young adults, were learning to read by working their way through Internet connections. They would begin by using the symbols to guide their way, but would eventually learn to decipher at least in part the messages that accompanied those symbols.

One unfortunate omission from the programme was the presentation by Tim Berners-Lee, who was delayed by a snowstorm in Boston, and did not arrive until half way through the second day of the symposium.

“THE FUTURE: What the Scientific Information Society Can Offer”

The next session was a bit of a misnomer. It was a mix of topics, ranging from GIS to technological access for urban and rural poor people to sociological aspects. The sociological paper was simply a written paper read aloud, with a singular lack of the use of any of the technology we had been discussing. The sociological presentation simply served to emphasise the growing gap between scientists and some social scientists, and made me uncomfortably aware of why the Sokal hoax had worked so well amongst the social science journals; the presentation was unnecessarily rife with jargon that obscures rather than informs.

As an aside, for those unfamiliar with the Sokal hoax, Allan Sokal is a Professor of Physics at New York University who submitted a hoax article, “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity” to the journal Social Text. As the Skeptics Dictionary says (http://skepdic.com/sokal.html):

The article was a hoax submitted, according to Sokal, to see “would a leading journal of cultural studies publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors’ ideological preconceptions?” It would. Needless to say, the editors of Social Text were not pleased.

What Sokal was attacking was the view amongst some social scientists that “physical reality” is a social construct, whereas the existence of an external “world” is an underlying premise in science. There is insufficient space to explore this issue adequately here, but the reader is referred to the many websites dealing with the Sokal “affair” (especially, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_Affair and http://www.drizzle.com/~jwalsh/sokal/), and Sokal’s own site ( http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/)

[ Amato writes at length of the Sokal Affair in sokal text: another funny thing happened on the way to the forum; and it is discussed in Kilgore’s review of Technoscience and Cyberculture, and Ciccoricco’s Contour of a Contour, eds. ]

In that session, nonetheless, were two presentations that stand out in my mind, those by Lida Brito, the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Technology for Mozambique, and Onno Purbo, an engineer from Indonesia. Purbo talked about how to “Facilitate Fast and Self-Propelled Internet Access: Return to Society,” a presentation that was shifted from the second day into the first day’s programme. His presentation was, in many ways, a useful counterpoint to Serageldin’s, in particular the “Hole in the Wall” PC, noted above. Purbo obtains PC’s at low cost, usually sold cheaply or donated by large companies that are upgrading their computing systems. These PC’s are then made available in “classrooms” placed in poor urban and rural areas so that the local people can use the computers. They also learn to use the Internet. Purbo provides access by, as he put it, “stealing” open frequencies. He uses antennas ingeniously constructed from old tin cans; these are sufficient to provide the signal needed. He uses open source software, and emphasised that mass education is the key to providing a basic education to the broad populace.

His presentation also served to emphasise that education is crucial for informed and useful access to the Internet. Too many people, of whatever socio-economic level, “surf” the Net without any thought about the “information” they are obtaining. The websites they access are often a source of disinformation and misinformation. However, this also serves to reinforce the democratic nature of the Internet. We cannot control how people use the Web, and the fact that there are hundreds of sites devoted to Elvis may or may not be a sad commentary on our society, but it nonetheless also serves to show us how uncontrollable the Internet is.

I present the Elvis example, one noted at the meeting, not to denigrate the use of the Internet and the Web for such purposes. What it shows is that new technologies have become new instruments of entertainment, when the hope was that they would become self-directed teaching tools. My main point is that during many of the RSIS sessions, a number of our “elder statesmen” (and they were almost all male) talked about “control.” They seek to control access, information flow, and the development of the Internet. In this way, our “leaders” show their fundamental ignorance of this creature. I emphasise, again, Berners-Lee’s description of the Internet as a fractal and chaotic thing.

Brito’s presentation was, in contrast, a passionate “wish” list of what she would like to do and see happen, both in Mozambique and beyond. Her list was focussed around the themes of wider literacy and ” relevant ” knowledge.

The session ended with a panel discussion, ostensibly “Reflections on the Role of Science in the Information Society.” The participants each gave a short presentation, with a very brief period at the end for discussion. Most were much as expected, and a number were largely political in nature. One exception was Juergen Renn, of the Max Planck History of Science Institute and ECHO (European Cultural Heritage On-Line), who was concerned that the “core of cultural heritage is largely excluded from information technology” and noted how ECHO was formed to address this. He also briefly talked about the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. (The full declaration can be found at: www.zim.mpg.de/openaccess-berlin/berlindeclaration.html). While the goals of the declaration are laudable, a number of participants were concerned about the lack of copyright protection, citing cases where work done by researchers in developing countries was plagiarised by researchers in developed countries.

So concluded the first day of the conference. A number of us noted a general lack of self-criticism in most of the presentations. There was a lot of vague language and abundant use of clichés, much “looking to the future” and long wish lists. The most exciting presentations, for me, were the ones that discussed concrete examples of taking IT to the broader populace, often in quite revolutionary ways, in all of the meanings of that phrase.

PARALLEL SESSIONS

I attended the session on “Contributions to Environment.” Other sessions were on Education, Economic Development, Health, and Enabling Technologies. All of these sessions had quite active online forums for discussion in the months leading up to the RSIS and WSIS symposiums, and the forums can be reviewed at the RSIS website. Most of us contributed to more than one online discussion group, but attended only one parallel session.

In the Environment session, most of the presentations focussed on technical and management issues. David Williams of EUMETSAT talked about the Global Earth Observation Systems and Strategies, focussing on data management and the move toward an Integrated Global Observation Strategy (IGOS), which seeks a comprehensive integrated effort. Such a move needs a “shared strategy,” and involves the participation of the UN, international scientific and research programmes, space agencies, etc. They seek to develop a common approach to surface and satellite observations. The international weather observation and forecasting network is one successful example where a common strategy and approach has been developed. Williams had many interesting and pithy quotes: “The world is full of data and short on information” is probably my favourite.

Patricio Bernal, of UNESCO and the IOC, talked about the Global Ocean Observation System (GOOS). There are regional GOOS “alliances.” New Zealand, where I am based, is a member of one such regional alliance. Bernal noted, however, that there needs to be an adaptation of international norms for data sharing to facilitate the further development of GOOS. This was a common theme that arose a number of times during the Environment parallel session, specifically, and the RSIS more generally. There are often conflicting protocols for sharing data and information and, as Williams’ quote illustrates, a set of data is not always usable information.

Josef Arbacher of the ESA talked about Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), a programme for monitoring of regional development, management of risk, and the guidance of crisis management and humanitarian aid. The ESA aims to have full capacity by 2012-2015. The EU will be spending 628 million euros in the 2004-2006 fiscal period, rising to 5005 million euros by the 2007-2015 period. Again, the issue of data sharing and accessibility arose, in addition to questions of data verification and transparency of the process.

Stuart Marsh, of the British Geological Survey Remote Sensing Group, talked about Geohazards and the IS. He noted that citizens are the ultimate beneficiaries, and suggested that there are three main user groups of geohazards information: “responsible authorities”, scientists in monitoring and government agencies, and research scientists. They have different needs, e.g., baseline inventory of hazards, monitoring, rapid dissemination of information during a crisis, etc. He noted, as did the others in the session, the need for an integrated approach from surface to space, and the need for but difficulty in bringing together the different types of data. Again, this raised the issue of data management. Marsh’s presentation also highlighted, however, the gap in our knowledge about the scientific literacy of our public “authorities.” Those responsible may well be local or regional officials who are far removed from those who gather and use the data/information. These officials may have no understanding of the processes involved, and their concerns may in fact run counter to the actions that should be taken to avert a crisis. The current crisis in South Asia in the wake of the tsunami illustrates many of these concerns. An early warning system was not in place because of the cost (both for the infrastructure development and for ongoing support) and because of the lack of technical expertise to staff such an enterprise.

This illustrates a major gap in the entire RSIS - there was little or no consideration of how we get technical information to the public officials and to the wider population. The entire issue of scientific literacy was glossed over, and instead most presenters focussed on those who were trained to use the data, when, as I noted earlier, most people are using the Internet in an undirected and uninformed way, so that they are unable or unwilling to distinguish “good” reliable information from poor quality “information” or even from reports that were consciously devised to misinform the “public.”

After Marsh, Stuart Salter, who leads the Species Information Service (SIS) of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), gave probably the most thoughtful of the Environmental presentations. He discussed “appropriate technologies.” As an example to start off his talk, he mentioned an emergency in Belize where large volumes of vaccine were required, but which went bad because of a lack of refrigeration. Those providing the vaccine were unaware of such a lack; it never occurred to them that large parts of the world still lack refrigeration. He used this to highlight the problem when a network of scientists (who he described as “free spirited individuals”), give “information” that needs to be organised in a common format and then propagated up and out into the community. His premise was that complex ICT systems could allow a simple “front end” and often can be configured by users to suit their purposes. He noted the need to change the “paradigm” whereby scientists visit a country, do their research, then leave and publish the results, leaving no net results in the visited country. He emphasised the need for using scientists in regional networks, working in existing well-functioning scientific and conservation networks. Then the data are vertically integrated in a relational database, using a GIS format. This is the mode of operation used successfully by the SIS for decades. The data are controlled by the scientific community, and the quality of the data is overseen by Specialist Groups, of which there are 128 in the SIS. The data are continuously updated. The SIS has thus grown from existing networks, rather than imposed from outside, which explains why it has worked so well.

Finally, Luigi Fusco of the ESA talked about “Emerging Technologies for Earth Observation and Environmental Applications.” He used as his example the wreck of the tanker “Prestige” off the northwest coast of Portugal and Spain. He noted that the satellite data were insufficient to be used alone, and that a wide range of technologies and their associated data, from surface through to satellite observations, needed to be integrated in a complex information management system. This theme of the need for integration of different types of data and information from a range of technologies and scales of observation arose again and again throughout the session.

CLOSING SESSIONS

The closing sessions were in two parts: a series of summaries of the thematic parallel sessions were presented, followed by a “panel discussion,” closing remarks from the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and then the “Key Message” from the RSIS, presented by the Director-General of CERN. Given that the “Key Message” did not differ at all from the text circulated before the RSIS meeting, many of us wondered why we had spent two days talking about the various issues. We concluded that the greatest benefit may well arise from the creation of a network of individuals interested in the issues raised by the RSIS symposium.

The session summaries raised some common themes and issues. One of the primary issues is the integration and sharing of data within complex structures, and the desire to get IT into rural and poor urban communities. The goal to fight illiteracy, generally, and scientific illiteracy, more specifically, is a major obstacle in the building of an Information Society, which requires the wider availability and use of IT, from tertiary institutions everywhere, not just in developing countries, to remote communities.

Finally, the panel discussion amounted to little more than prepared statements from “elder statesmen” (men without exception, all elderly except for Tim Berners-Lee), and was perhaps symbolic of much of the meeting. Berners-Lee spoke for two minutes and encapsulated the essence of the Internet and the Information Society better and more succinctly than any other speaker. It is decentralized and “fractal” in its nature, and inherently uncontrollable and ungovernable. Yet so many of the politicians on the panel, for most were politicians, used outmoded and outdated paradigms and language in their politically motivated speeches. They kept talking about “governance” of the Internet and IT. I can only conclude that our political “leaders” have little or no idea about the Internet tiger they have by the tail. It is fundamentally an anarchic, often revolutionary creature, one that will refuse to be confined and controlled.


          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 08-07-2015 with Tonja Loendorf        
Playlist:

Bjrk- Human Behaviour - Debut
Wasis Diop- Soweto Daal - Toxu
Vieux Diop- Jali - Vieux Diop Via Jo
Bomba Estreo- Amanecer - Amanecer
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Alex Cuba- No Esperes Mas feat Anya Marina - Healer
Various Artists- Girar Y Girar - Miguel Rios Y Las Estrellas Del Rock Latino
Viet Cong- Newspaper Spoons - Viet Cong
Nick Cave The Bad Seeds- Do You Love Me - Let Love In
The Fuzztones- Night Of The Phantom - Monster AGoGo
Mocky- Golden Dream - Saskamodie
Karl Denson- Dance Lesson 2 - Dance Lesson 2
Ratatat- Party With Children - LP4
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Santana- Waiting - Santana Legacy Edition
The Good The Bad And The Queen- Northern Whale - The Good The Bad And The Queen
Courtney Barnett- History Eraser - The Double EP A Sea Of Split Peas
Gorillaz- Last Living Souls - Demon Days
The Goo Goo Dolls- Never Take The Place Of Your Man - Hold Me Up
Vampire Weekend- Diane Young - Modern Vampires Of The City
Low Cut Connie- Diane Dont Point That Thing At Me - Hi Honey
Valentine Six- Rain - Spectrum Red
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Telstar Ponies- Voices From The New Music - Voices From The New Music
Some Velvet Sidewalk- Refuse - Generate
Somebodys Sister- Two Tickets - Post Grunge Glam
Ha Ha Tonka- Colorful Kids - Lessons
The Pop Group- Nowhere Girl - Citizen Zombie
Panda Bear- Butcher Baker Candlestick Maker - Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
Speedy Ortiz- Raising The Skate - Foil Deer
Via Tania- I See You Tiger - Via Tania And The Tomorrow Music Orchestra
WIN WIN- Been So Long - Primaries
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Herb Alpert The Tijuana Brass- The Lonely Bull El Solo Toro - The Lonely Bull
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah- Clap Your Hands - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah 10th Anniversary Edition
Suuns Jerusalem In My Heart- Metal - Suuns And Jerusalem In My Heart
Love- Midnight Sun - Black Beauty
Hot Chip- Huarache Lights - Why Make Sense
- voicebreak -
Stolen Jars- Kept - Kept
Father John Misty- The Ideal Husband - I Love You Honeybear
Jack Eliza- Quarter Past The Hour - Gentle Warnings
Great Lake Swimmers- One More Charge At The Red Cape - A Forest Of Arms
Dengue Fever- Tokay - The Deepest Lake
A Tribe Called Red- The Peoples Champ Ft Hellnback - Suplex EP
Tame Impala- The Less I Know The Better - Currents
The Tallest Man On Earth- Slow Dance - Dark Bird Is Home
They Might Be Giants- Erase - Glean
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playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2015-08-07
          The Future of Pentests, Bug Bounties, and Security Testing        

People are very confused about the bounty vs. penetration test debate. They see fundamental differences that don’t actually exist, and they’re blind to what’s actually coming. The reality of testing needs can be reduced to a few key variables, which exist on a spectrum. Good vs. bad testers Many testers vs. few testers High vs. low business context...

__

I do a weekly show called Unsupervised Learning, where I curate the most interesting stories in infosec, technology, and humans, and talk about why they matter. You can subscribe here.


          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 03-20-2015 with DJ Segue        
Playlist:

Scrimshire- Fuselage - A Free EP Forgotten Songs Vol Two
Sub- 17 - Webdigga WB 40 Loops rare breaks Vol7
Omar Souleyman- Mawal - Leh Jani
Onra- Haterproof - 108
Parva- MosemEGol The Time Of The Blossom - BMusic Drive In Turn On Freak Out
JRocc- The Rhythm Or The Beat - Beats On Tape
Jega- Red Mullet - Spectrum
KDef- I Seen A Blind Bat Bonus Track - One Man Band
Mute Speaker- Swamp Thing - Radio Bokor
Blockhead- The Robin Byrd Era - Interludes After Midnight
Sylvan Esso- Coffee - Sylvan Esso
Iba Mahr- Diamond Sox - Diamond Sox Single
Al Lover- Death Rattle - Cave Ritual
BADBADNOTGOOD Ghostface Killah- Nuggets of Wisdom - Sour Soul
CHLLNGR- Without Yours feat JOSIAHWISE IS THE SERPENTWITHFEET - Form of Release
Slimkid3 DJ NuMark- King featurng Diamond D KNatural Clean - King Single
Slimkid3 DJ NuMark- King instrumental - King Single
The Mighty Sceptres- Sting Like a Bee - All Hail The Mighty Sceptres
DJ Muro- Ultramagnetic Mcs Bait - 7 Inches Of Rap 45s A Gogo
DJ Muro- Biz Markie Make The Music With Your Mouth Biz - 7 Inches Of Rap 45s A Gogo
Nickodemus- Endangered Species Raeo Remix - Wonder World 10 Years of Painting Outside The Lines Mixtape
Ras G The Afrikan Space Program- Cant Hide - Other Worlds
Al Lover- Permanent Now - Cave Ritual
DJ Muro- Gang Starr 2 Deep - 7 Inches Of Rap 45s A Gogo
TM Juke feat Bread Wate- Get it Together - Unfold Presents Tru Thoughts Hip Hop
fLako- With you - The Mesektet 2LP
Mr Chop- Get On The Mic - For Petes Sake
Paul White- The Bright Future - My Guitar Whales
King Krule- Ceiling - 6 Feet Beneath the Moon
DJ Muro- Super Funky Rock Breaks Vol 1 Track15 - Super Funky Rock Breaks Vol 1
DJ Muro- Super Funky Rock Breaks Vol 1 Track36 - Super Funky Rock Breaks Vol 1
Sub Obskuru- Track 29 - DITC rare breaks 2 original tracks Pt 2
Sub Obskuru- Track 40 - DITC rare breaks 2 original
Skull Snaps- Its A New Day - Ultimate Breaks and Beats Instrumentals
Afro Latin Vintage Orchestra- Last Odyssey - Last Odyssey
- peace pipe feat jean shapherd -
Gramatik- Road Trip - SB1
Helado Negro- Invisible Heartbeat - Double Youth
Joy Division- All Of This For You The Drawback - Warsaw
Roots Unknown- Days - We Got it in Nature vol2
mononome- Once Again - Tale Of The Phoenix
Tru Thoughts- Prince Fatty Meets Nostalgia 77 Medicine Chest Dub - Tru Thoughts 2014
- FELIXPict -
King Midas Sound- Lost - Waiting For You
King Midas Sound- Too Long Dub - Dub Heavy Hearts And Ghosts EP
Dub Traffik Control- 04Rebel - BSTRD BOOTS 04
Gregory IsaacsDJ C- Gone A Jail DJ C Remix - Gone A Jail
HEYOKA- Bubble - Whomp Gland
Warrior Queen and Heatwave- Things Change - Soul Jazz Records Singles 20082009
- 02 Dawa Zangpo -
BLONDET Thomas feat MONSOONROOTZ- One Time - One Time EP
Dre Island- What Is Mine Is Mine - Rough Road Riddim Green Lion Crew 2013
MILES BONNY- Fela 7 Master -
Al Fingers- Why We Are Afraid Of Revolution - Whats Going On
Al Lover- Flight Patterns - Cave Ritual
Gypsy Hill- Balkan Beast Album Mix - Our Routes
Akal Wub- Addis Abeba Bete - Sost
Chrissy Zebby Tembo Ngozi Family- Fisherman - My Ancestors
Caribou- Our Love - Our Love
Atropolis- Soubaro Maloya - KoraNYC
Satanicpornocultshop- Sapeur - Snack ep
Heems- Patriot Act - Eat Pray Thug
Alhosine Marrakchi- Side 2 - Alhosine Marrakchi
- RAKIM MEDLEYMASTERED -
Tranqill- Payroll Paul Whites Clean Dub - Presents Wild Angels
Dub Kweli- Away Dub instrumental - Dub Kweli Instrumentals
Bas Lexter Ensample- Lonley Feeling - Tres Greatful Amigos
Doctor Illingsworth- Takingalltypesofmedicine - Rubber Beats volV
CHLLNGR- Inside My Skin - Form of Release
Sylvan Esso- Hey Mami - Sylvan Esso
Wild Belle- When Its Over - Isles
Wild Belle- Shine - Isles
Wild Belle- Its Too Late - Isles
Little Dragon- Blinking Pigs - Fortune Blinking Pigs
Mr Dibbs- The Warpigs Routine - Inducing Panic
Roland Alphonso- Bongo Tango - Studio One Jump Up The Birth Of A Sound JumpUp Jamaican RB
Hi Tech Roots Dynamics- Glendale Dub - New York Dub
Horace Andy- Live In The City - Various Wackies Sampler Vol3 WS3
Johnny Osbourne- Never Stop Fighting - Never Stop Fighting
Sherwood Pinch- Wild Birds Sing - Late Night Endless
Aldo Vanucci Presents Amie J- Naive - Tru Thoughts Covers


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2015-03-20
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 01-23-2015 with 99 & Barry        
Playlist:

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Lili Boniche Bill Laswell- Eli Mektoub - APC Presents Boniche Dub II
Kreidler- Tornado - ABC Deluxe Version
Mutamassik- Mawlid - Definitive Works
Compilation- Yalayala - Globalista Radio Sensual Sonores
Sly The Family Stone- Seventh Son - Funky Roots
The Shaolin Afronauts- Boogie Back Accra - Follow The Path
Dengue Fever- Deepest Lake On The Planet - The Deepest Lake
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Lonnie Holley- Mamas Little Baby - Just Before Music
Aki Takahashi Essential Music Judith Gordon- Another Sunrise I - Peter Garland Another Sunrise
David Byrne- Fuzzy Freaky - The Visible Man
Unknown- Mika Bubble Song - Childish Music
Frank Zappa- While You Were Art II - Jazz From Hell
Takeo Toyama- Hello Friends - Hello 88
Cedric Vuille- AtchaChaCha - Faire
Doctor Nerve- Minor Child - The Monkey Farm
Ergo Phizmiz People Like Us- Moon - The Keystone Cut Ups
The Goastt The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger- Xanadu - Midnight Sun
African Head Charge- The Best Way - Voodoo Of The Godsent Bonus Track Version
The Chinese Fighters- My Chinese Girl Likes Kung Fu Fighting - Kung Fu Fighting
Hassle Hound- Monsters Are Due On Maple Street - Limelight Cordial
Hector Zazou- Pali Kao - Geographies Made To Measure Vol 5
Pardon KimuraDrummers- Hayama Exotica - GEP Good Enough Pocket
Charles Mingus- Tonight At Noon - Tonight At Noon
Tony Williams- Via The Spectrum Road - Emergency
Fushitsusha- Mada Hikato Nazukerarenai Mono - Hikari To Nazukeyo
Mike Watt The Secondmen- Street Fighting Man - I Saved Latin A Tribute To Wes Anderson
Tomahawk- Mescal Rite 2 - Anonymous
Panzerballett- Some Skunk Funk - Tank Goodness
Massacre- Killing Time - Killing Time
Yoko Ono Thurston Moore Kim Gordon- I Missed You Listening - Yokokimthurston
Elliot Sharp Tectonics- Calle Seite - Errata


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2015-01-23
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 12-19-2014 with DJ Segue        
Playlist:

Cast of Sesame Street- I Hate Christmas - A Sesame Street Christmas
Gonjasufi- Holidays - Holidays Candylane
Nina Simone- I Am Blessed Wax Tailor Remix - Verve Remixed Christmas
Clarence Carter- Back Door Santa - The Original Soul Christmas Various Artists
The Jive Turkeys- Get Down Santa - Get Down Santa 7
Booker T The MGs- Jingle Bells - The Original Soul Christmas Various Artists
Shawn Lees Ping Pong Orchestra- My Favorite Things - A Very Ping Pong Christmas
Milly Silly- Getting Down For Xmas - Funk Spectrum Vol 1 Compiled By Josh Davis Keb Darge
Don Smith- Black Christmas - Santas Funk Soul Christmas Party Vol2
James Brown- Lets Unite The Whole World At Christmas - Funky Christmas
I Ray- 02Ahameric Temple - Natty Christmas
Jacob Miller- 01Wish You a Merry Christmas - Natty Christmas
Louis Armstrong- What A Wonderful World The Orb Remix - Verve Remixed Christmas
Tennessee Brown The Silvertones- Little Drummer Boy - Reggae Christmas from Studio One
Carlene Davis Trinity- Santa Clause Do You Ever Come To The Ghetto - Yard Style Christmas
James Brown- Go Power At Christmas Time - Funky Christmas
Amerigo Gazaway- Beanie Weather - A Very Busted Christmas
Tennessee Brown The Silvertones- Real Christmas Rock - Reggae Christmas from Studio One
Ella Fitzgerald - Sleigh Ride The Latin Pr - Merry Mixmas
Billie Holiday- Ive Got My Love To Keep Me Warm Yesking Remix - Verve Remixed Christmas
Home T 4 Trinity- Dub It For Christmas - Yard Style Christmas
Little Jimmy Thomas- Deck The Halls - Santas Funk Soul Christmas Party Vol2
John Hart- O Tannenbaum - Yule Struttin A Blue Note Christmas
Nancy Lee Featuring Al Johnson SoulJers- Xmas Commercial Blues - Santas Funk Soul Christmas Party Vol2
June Christy - The Merriest Thunderball - Merry Mixmas
Johnny Mercer- Santa Claus Is Comin To - Merry Mixmas
Cookin Soul x Gil Scott Heron- Winter in America - The Revolution is being televised tribute
Amin Payne- Winter in Melbourne - Expansion Sound Vol1
Gene Rains- Lonely Winter - Far Away Lands The Exotic Music of Gene Rains
Carol Batton- Intro Winter - Folk Is Not a Four Letter Word Volume 2
Nino Nardini- Winter Wind - LIllustration Musicale IM 21 Nature Nocturne
Kill Emil- Winter Breeze - Lights Shadows
Organic Grooves- Winter Vacation - Organic Grooves 4
DJ Rashad DJ Spinn- Last Winter - Rinse22
Various Artists- Winter dub - Roots Radics Meets Scientist and King Tubby in a dub Explosion
the positive force with ade olatunji- the afrikan in winter - Spiritual Jazz
Paul Winter Sextet- Winters Song - Spiritual Jazz 5 The World
- 11 The Lion In Winter -
Allen Ginsberg- 02 COME BACK CHRISTMAS MacDougal Street Blues - Allen Ginsberg First Blues Rags Ballads and Harmonium Songs FW37560
Dean Martin- Jingle Bells Dan The Automator Remix - Christmas Remixed Holiday Classics ReGrooved
Harvey Averne Band- Lets Get It Together This Christmas - In The Christmas Groove
1st Lieutenant Middle St- Here Comes Santa Claus Dub - A Very Busted Christmas
Bahia Deluxe- Let It Snow - A Very Busted Christmas
Bahia Deluxe- Joy Beats To The World - A Very Busted Christmas
Jimi Hendrix- The Little Drummer BoySilent NightAuld Lang Syne Extended Version - Merry Christmas Happy New Year
The Poets of Rhythm- Santas Got a Bag of Soul - Anthology 19922003
Jah Irie Chorus Featuring Dean Fraser- Sensimillia - Yard Style Christmas
Clouded- Santas Trip - A Very Busted Christmas
Alton Ellis- Christmas Coming - Reggae Christmas from Studio One
The Ventures- Jingle Bell Rock - Mojo Presents Blue Christmas
Shawn Lees Ping Pong Orchestra- Carol of the Bells - A Very Ping Pong Christmas
Steve Gray- Snowmans Stomp - Santas Funk Soul Christmas Party Vol2
Booker T The MGs- Silver Bells - The Original Soul Christmas Various Artists
Tino- Christmas in Hawaii - Jack Dangers Hello Friends
Tipsy- XXXmas - UhOh
Billy May- Rudolph The RedNosed Re - Merry Mixmas
Cast of Sesame Street- All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth - A Sesame Street Christmas


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2014-12-19
          When smart guy meets smarter guy        
The result often looks like road kill, because far too many smart guys, and girls, rely upon nothing more than bluffing and credentials, which only serve to intimidate the midwits and prevent them from noticing that they haven't actually backed up their arguments.
This is straight out of The Autism Spectrum Handbook For Winning Online Arguments, 3rd Ed. and it shows a common weakness of the inadequately socialized: they are rarely satisfied with anything other than a FLAWLESS VICTORY in a discussion despite the relative rarity of said victories. I think it probably goes back to when Zunger was the smartest kid in his classroom and he could easily demolish any argument with a list of pre-memorized facts and figures, seasoned liberally with the I’m-smarter-than-you-and-you-know-it attitude. Many people, including both commenters and authors at this blog, have fallen prey to that temptation, because most people of above-average intelligence have, at one time or another, been the smartest person in the room. Of course, to be the smartest person in your Ohio State Classroom you probably need to be a 95th-percentile intellect, while to do the same at Stanford maybe you’re one in a thousand — and that means there are still more than seven million of you out there.

1.I’m not going to spend any length of time on (1); if anyone wishes to provide details as to how nearly every statement about gender in that entire document is actively incorrect, and flies directly in the face of all research done in the field for decades, they should go for it. But I am neither a biologist, a psychologist, nor a sociologist, so I’ll leave that to someone else.

This “I’m not enough of an expert to explain why I’m right but I’m enough of an expert to know I’m right” business is a smart-guy boilerplate response. It can be ignored. There is plenty of scholarship out there that shows innate differences between men and women in nearly any category of which you could readily conceive. Here is just such a paper, which should appeal to Mr. Zunger because it is both a front-page Google result and a product of Stanford....

It’s plainly obvious from Zunger’s essay that the primary function of Google, as he currently understands it, is to cooperate and collaborate for the social good. It has nothing to do with writing good software or effective software. Anybody can do that now. Code doesn’t matter.

Mr. Zunger is a very smart man, and he is a scientist to boot. But here’s the thing about modern scientists: they are only trained focus on very small things. The days of the Victorian gentleman chemist are past us now. All of the big ideas that could possibly come to a classically-educated man relaxing on the Louis-Quatorze-era chair in his family estate’s library have been discovered. Today’s science is done by putting laser-like attention on finite areas of effort.

The problem with Google, and the problem with other modern software houses, is that they have decided to put their laser-like attention on things other than quality of product. They focus on diversity, social good, various arcane theories of user-interface design, and other things that have nothing to do with writing effective code. Unsurprisingly, they aren’t very good at doing any of those new tasks — and because they’ve abandoned the things that they used to do well, the foundations are slipping out from underneath them.

Today’s Google home page is a slow-loading mess compared to what it used to be, loaded with buggy features and featuring plenty of bugs. Browser-dependent, hugely bloated, more like the old Excite! homepage than anything a Google user would have enjoyed a decade ago. It’s simply not very good anymore. That should worry the people at Google. Fixing that should be a priority above “social good” or “diverse teams”. They should hire the smartest people and have them write the best code. Period. That’s what Google is supposed to do. Whenever Google does that, it succeeds. Whenever they try to change the world, it’s a ridiculous failure.

Which brings me to the funny part. From what I’ve read, Mr. Zunger’s primary accomplishment at Google was…

wait for it..

Google Plus. Which is

a) utter garbage
b) currently serving a user base that is 74% male.
I think one of my biggest advantages as a debater is that I grew up with a best friend whose IQ exceeds mine. I could not say anything without him playing devil's advocate, and promptly ripping to shreds any baseless posturing or unsupported assertions.

Zunger's empty posturing is remarkably common among the cognitive elite, particularly the professionals, who are frequently inclined to opine about matters on which they are not sufficiently informed. That, of course, is why they are so defensive when called out; they realize that the whole edifice will come crumbling down if deference is not paid to them, thereby allowing them to avoid their bluffs being called.

Smart people usually construct their arguments to impress midwits and normal people. Smarter people construct them with an eye to hypothetical critics who may be smarter than they are.
          By: around1905        
Not at all surprising but still fundamentally mystifying. There is all this talk about the dire lack of housing for the middle class, but here we have a SFR, with parking, that came up for sale in a cool neighborhood for under 1M. Did the 'middle class' bite? They did not. Instead, this place has been sucked into the maw of the reno industrial complex and spit out as high-end housing. The 0.5% will live here. What all this really seems to mean is that folks today demand stylish, they demand turnkey, and they want that new house smell. Regardless of where they sit in the economic spectrum. If they are middle class and want to live in a cool neighborhood, they will live in a condo because it has to be reno'd and 'done'. The days of buying a fixer and cleaning it up over time may be over.
          Column: Should companies stay politically neutral?        
People gather to protest outside the Uber offices in Queens, New York, U.S., February 2, 2017.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid - RTX2ZF3C

People gather to protest outside the Uber offices in Queens, New York, on Feb. 2, 2017. Most people think it’s bad for business when companies get political. But Daniel Korschun says research shows otherwise. Photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning immigration from seven Muslim countries has put corporate executives in a bind. Almost from the moment he announced the ban, questions poured in about where those executives stood on the issue.

The media have highlighted a cluster of companies that have made public statements against the executive order. For example, Netflix called it “un-American,” while Ford Motor Company said: “We do not support this policy or any other that goes against our values as a company.”

It may be more dangerous to remain silent than to take a political stand.

But overlooked are the many more companies that tried to distance themselves from the debate. Chevron, Disney, Verizon, GM, Wells Fargo and others have all taken a wait-and-see approach. An illustrative example is Morgan Stanley, which expressed concern and said it is “closely monitoring developments.”

Such responses are no doubt based on the prevailing wisdom that companies need to stay out of politics. Most large corporations have diverse constituencies that draw from both sides of the political spectrum. As a result, executives fear that attracting the political spotlight by taking a stand on the executive order will alienate either the millions of customers who voted for Trump or the millions who voted against him.

My research suggests their fears are misplaced. And in fact, the opposite may be true: It may be more dangerous to remain silent than to take a political stand.

Violating expectations

Consumers today form relationships with a company based not only on the quality of the products and services it sells but also on a set of expectations of how it should comport itself (see also here).

When companies violate these expectations by behaving inconsistently, consumers reconsider that relationship. Obviously, this can have a major impact on company performance if many customers experience a violation.

My colleagues and I at Clemson University and Drexel University have been testing this notion in a series of controlled experiments.

In one field experiment, for example, we exposed study participants to statements about a pharmacy chain moments before they entered one of its stores. Some read a statement in which the company described itself as guided by a set of values (what we call a “values orientation”), while others read that it tries to adapt to whatever market conditions warrant (a “results orientation”).

These statements established participants’ political expectations of the company. We predicted that for a values-oriented company, taking a stand would align with expectations but that abstaining would violate expectations.

Participants then read a short article reporting that the company had either just taken a stand on proposed gun control legislation (we randomized what side of the issue the company took) or had abstained from making a comment. After shopping, participants reported their in-store experience and whether or not they had bought anything that they hadn’t planned to purchase before entering the store. We used the unplanned purchase to indicate the impact of the political stand on the customer-company relationship.

In general, unplanned purchases remained consistent no matter how the company reacted to the political issue. That is, about 18 percent of participants made an unplanned purchase whether they read that the company had taken a position or not.

But when we accounted for expectations set by the company, the effects were stunning. For a values-oriented company, 24 percent of participants made an unplanned purchases when it took a stand, but that dropped to just 9 percent when it abstained – violating expectations. For a results-oriented company, the effect was reversed: Unplanned purchasing was 26 percent when it abstained and dropped to 13 percent when it took a stand (again, violating expectations).

Even after accounting for the personal view of the participant and whether his or her state voted Republican or Democratic in the 2016 election, purchasing behavior was significantly affected if the company went against prior expectations.

Costs of staying silent

Additional experiments reveal that consumers behave this way because they find it hypocritical for a company that claims to be “guided by core values” to then withhold its position on a political issue. The implication appears to be that the company is hiding something and therefore trying to deceive its customer base. Conversely, reinforcing expectations may forge trust and enhance relationships with customers.

Additional experiments reveal that consumers behave this way because they find it hypocritical for a company that claims to be “guided by core values” to then withhold its position on a political issue.

For a real-world quasi experiment on the potential costs of staying silent, we need look no further than Lyft’s and Uber’s respective responses to President Trump’s executive order. Lyft reacted by publicly opposing the order and pledging US$1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union. Uber was more equivocal. In a Facebook post, CEO Travis Kalanick acknowledged concerns and said he would raise the issue “this coming Friday when I go to Washington for President Trump’s first business advisory group meeting.”

As part of a poll I administer periodically to gauge reactions to companies that take political stands, a group of leading scholars were asked to grade Lyft and Uber on their respective approaches. The panel was generally favorable toward Lyft, although conservative panelists questioned whether its actions would have a lasting impact on the political issue at hand.

However, Uber was criticized by scholars of all political persuasions for not confronting the issue. Panelists thought Uber was taking some leadership by reacting quickly, but its lackluster response was not consistent with its purported beliefs as a bold game-changer. It is little surprising, then, that the move motivated many customers to uninstall the Uber app from their phones. Uber received so many requests, in fact, that it had to implement a new automated process to handle all the deletions. The company later announced in an email to defecting customers that the executive order was “wrong” and “unjust.” Kalanick also resigned from President Trump’s business advisory council.

Feet to the fire

The danger of inaction – as Uber’s experience shows – is real. In remaining silent on important societal issues, executives may be harming performance more than they think.

It is no longer enough to engage government solely through private channels, although that will certainly be necessary as well. Consumers are willing to hold executives’ feet to the fire if they believe the executives are betraying corporate values.

This may be especially true for companies that forcefully advocated for free trade, access to a global talent pool, action on climate change and inclusivity for all orientations and religious backgrounds during Barack Obama’s tenure. My research suggests that both liberals and conservatives could view it as a breach of trust to abandon those beliefs by acquiescing to a swing of the political pendulum.

Consumers are willing to hold executives’ feet to the fire if they believe the executives are betraying corporate values.

Though our current political environment is polarized and contentious, most people still find failures of sincerity more troubling than differences of opinion. As long as a company is not being deceptive by obfuscating its beliefs, consumers can be surprisingly tolerant of a company that holds an opposing view.

So to corporate executives: Your constituents are watching. They acknowledge that your company has a distinct set of values. They are asking for you to be forthright. And they want to know that you have the gumption to stand up for your stated values.

The Conversation

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The post Column: Should companies stay politically neutral? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 05-07-2014 with Michael Buck        
Playlist:

Should- Dont Send Me Your Regrets - The Great Pretend
- voicebreak -
Modern Rivals- Angel Bones - Cemetery Dares
For A Minor Reflection- Recite - Live At Iceland Airwaves
Wye Oak- Paradise - Shriek
Quilt- Saturday Bride - Held In Splendor
The Black Angels- The Flop - Clear Lake Forest
Angel Olsen- High Wild - Burn Your Fire For No Witness
- voicebreak -
- Every Grain Of Sand - A Tribute To Bob Dylan In The 80s Volume One
Grizzly Bear- Listen And Wait Bonus Track - Shields BSides
Iska Dhaaf- Even The Sun - Even The Sun Will Burn
Timber Timbre- Curtains - Hot Dreams
Srikalogy- Together Feat Malia Kulp - New Paradigm
Fujiya Miyagi- Rayleigh Scattering - Artificial Sweeteners
- voicebreak -
Lapcat- The Great Escape - Trickster Trickster
Jaune Toujours- Si Jtais Toi - Routes
Musketeer Gripweed- A Train - Floods And Fires
Elliphant- Revolusion - Look Like You Love It
Roberto Fonseca- 80s - Yo
Mac Demarco- Passing Out Pieces - Salad Days
- voicebreak -
William Onyeabor- Atomic Bomb feat Hot Chip - What
Elbow- Colour Fields - The Take Off And Landing Of Everything
Son Lux- Easy - Lanterns
Thus Owls- How In My Bones - Turning Rocks
Gringo Star- Look For More - Floating Out To See
Au Revoir Simone- Boiling Point - Move In Spectrums
Chad VanGaalen- Evil - Shrink Dust
- voicebreak -
Grieves- Astronauts feat Slug - Winter The Wolves
Kelis- Friday Fish Fry - Food
Thomas Blondet- In This World feat Subatomic Sound System - Future World
The Souljazz Orchestra- East Flows The River - Inner Fire
Mark Orton- Diminished Capacity - Nebraska Original Soundtrack
Death Vessel- Velvet Antlers - Island Intervals
Joe Driscoll Sekou Kouyate- Faya - Faya
- voicebreak -
Tacocat- Pocket Full Of Primrose - NVM
Nikki Lane- Seein Double - All Or Nothin
Esme Patterson- Tumbleweed - Woman To Woman
Juakali- Bring Me Home - Feathers Too Bright
Ponds Fleshman- Can I Get A Hit - Better Days EP
Robert Pollard- Find A Word - Honey Locust Honky Tonk
Nathaniel Rateliff- Nothing To Show For - Falling Faster Than You Can Run


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2014-05-07
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 02-26-2014 with Stephen Whitehead        
Playlist:

Dom La Nena- Start A War - Golondrina EP
Au Revoir Simone- More Than - Move In Spectrums
Bombino- Tenere The Desert My Home - Agadez
Obits- Machines - Bed Bugs
Jaune Toujours- Si Jtais Toi - Routes
Cate Le Bon- I Cant Help You - Mug Museum
Manu Chao- Jai Besoin De La Lune - Sibrie Mtait Contee
- voicebreak -
Juana Molina- La Rata - Wed 21
Sarah Jarosz- The Book Of RightOn - Build Me Up From Bones
Those Darlins- The Whole Damn Thing - Those Darlins
Sebadoh- Oxygen - Defend Yourself
Crystal Stilts- Future Folklore - Nature Noir
Meridian Brothers- Eschuchen El Grito Del Tigrillo - Devocion Works 20052011
- voicebreak -
Linnea Olsson- All 4 U - Ah
Ha Ha Tonka- Lessons - Lessons
The Hoax- Talk Is Cheap - Big City Blues
Diane Coffee- Never Lonely - My Friend Fish
Gringo Star- Taller - Floating Out To See
Will Kimbrough- When Your Loving Comes Around - Sideshow Love
Thao The Get Down Stay Down- You Can Have It All - The Feeling Kind EP
Yuna- Rescue - Nocturnal
- voicebreak -
You Are Plural- Rabbit Rabbit - Rabbit Rabbit
John Wizards- Limpop - John Wizards
Major Lazer- Jessica feat Ezra Koenig - Free The Universe
The Family Crest- Brittle Bones - The Headwinds EP
West Water Outlaws- Rising Sun - West Water Outlaws
The Low Frequency In Stereo- Colette Subie Subie - Pop Obskura
The B52s- Hero Worship - The B52s
- voicebreak -
Son Lux- Plan The Escape - Lanterns
The Sadies- The Very Beginning - Internal Sounds
Kurt Vile- Shame Chamber - Wakin On A Pretty Daze
Anoushka Shankar- In Jyotis Name - Traces Of You
The Melodic- Plunge - Effra Parade
Femi Kuti- Carry On Pushing On - No Place For My Dream
- voicebreak -
Courtney Barnett- Anonymous Club - The Double EP A Sea Of Split Peas
Mogwai- Simon Ferocious - Rave Tapes
Damien Jurado- Magic Number - Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son
- voicebreak -
Paul Simon- Gone At Last Demo with The Jessy Dixon Singers - Still Crazy After All These Years


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2014-02-26
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 02-05-2014 with Michael Buck        
Playlist:

Saint Rich- Crying From The Home - Beyond The Drone
- voicebreak -
Michael Franti Spearhead- Let It Go feat Ethan Tucker - Spark A Burning Man Story Day Night Music From Inspired By Film
Anglique Kidjo- Shango Wa - Eve
The Low Frequency In Stereo- Black Receiver - Pop Obskura
Tim Kasher- Life And Limbo - Adult Film
Jaune Toujours- Int Movers Of The Heart - Routes
Robert Pollard- I Killed A Man Who Looks Like You - Honey Locust Honky Tonk
Kurt Vile- Snowflakes Are Dancing - Wakin On A Pretty Daze
- voicebreak -
Damien Jurado- Magic Number - Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son
Los Sospechos- High Noon - Postales Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Gringo Star- In The Heat - Floating Out To See
Coke Weed- Buckets - Back To Soft
- Me And My Arrow - This Is The Town A Tribute To Nilsson Vol 1
Mike Doughty- Sleepless - Circles
- voicebreak -
Akron Family- Everyone Is Guilty - Set em Wild Set em Free
Courtney Barnett- History Eraser - The Double EP A Sea Of Split Peas
The Crystal Method- 110 To The 101 - The Crystal Method
Mogwai- Hexon Bogon - Rave Tapes
Fort Knox Five- The Brazilian Hipster - 10 Years Of Fort Knox Five Remixed
- Time To Say Goodbye Con Te Partir - Sweetheart 2014
- voicebreak -
Cibo Matto- Emerald Tuesday - Hotel Valentine
BEEdEEgEE- Like Rain Man feat Lizzi Bougatsos - SumOne
Bjork- New World - Selmasongs
Anna Von Hausswolff- Sova - Ceremony
Roberto Fonseca- Mi Negra Ave Mara - Yo
Linnea Olsson- Dinosaur - Ah
- voicebreak -
KiTheory- Foot Falls - Kitty Hawk
Juakali- Fittest Of The Fittest - Feathers Too Bright
RJD2- Suite 2 - More Is Than Isnt
DARKSIDE- Metatron - Psychic
- The Chauffeur - Arts Crafts X
Honey Dont- Heart Of Glass - Heart Like A Wheel
Au Revoir Simone- We Both Know - Move In Spectrums
- voicebreak -
Cate Le Bon- I Cant Help You - Mug Museum
Lindi Ortega- All These Cats - Tin Star
Barrence Whitfield And The Savages- Blackjack - Dig Thy Savage Soul
Wavves- Beat Me Up - Afraid Of Heights
The Claudettes- Do You See It Too - Infernal Piano PlotHATCHED
Son Lux- Ransom - Lanterns
The Sadies- Story 19 - Internal Sounds


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2014-02-05
          Tech at Night: FTC gives in on Google. Why the anti-SOPA coalition dissolved.        
Message to The New Republic: The left-right antiSOPA coalition isn’t getting back together because the right half still opposes Internet regulation, while y’all keep pushing stuff like privacy regulation and Net Neutrality. Also, in case you missed it, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai returned to RedState, this time to talk about government’s oversized spectrum holdings. Here’s […]
          Shared vision: Catholicity across the theological spectrum        
none
          Re: A Reminder        
@4 That film is actually not very good--though the freaky stuff it captures is real, it doesn't do a very good job of explaining where its subjects fit within the broad spectrum of christian belief and practice, or whether the practices it documents are fringe or mainstream. Thus terrified lefties are left assuming the worst, and not knowing the differences between evangelicals, fundamentalists, charismatics, Calvinists, emergents, etc. (Not that the practitioners themselves always know either).

Anyway, even the most obnoxious homophobe on capitol hill is only going to be an temporary annoyance. Effective activist strategies need to combat homophobia in their strongholds--transforming the red states and suburban megachurches--and make those places survivable for queer youth. Mars Hill is undeniably awful, but picking on the naive guy with the Jesus beard at Grey Gallery just seems self-congratulatory.
Posted by Kevin Erickson
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 10-08-2013 with Barry Roark        
Playlist:

The Waterboys- Killing My Heart Alternative - Fishermans Blues
Morcheeba- To Be - Head Up High
Special Request- Mindwash Anthony Shakir Remix - Soul Music
Eleanor Friedberger- Tomorrow Tomorrow - Personal Record
Richard Buckner- Surrounded - Surrounded
Belle And Sebastian- Meat And Potatoes - The Third Eye Centre
Daughn Gibson- You Dont Fade - Me Moan
Blitzen Trapper- Dont Be A Stranger - VII
- Bender - PDX Pop Now 2013 Compilation
The Clash- Straight To Hell - Hits Back
Bombino- Tamiditine - Nomad
- voicebreak -
Jimi Hendrix- Easy Blues - People Hell And Angels
The Waterboys- Some Of My Best Friends Are Trains - A Pagan Place
The Waterboys- The Faerys Last Song - An Appointment With Mr Yeats
Television- Call Mr Lee - Television
Wisdom- Breathe - Full Spectrum
Linda Thompson- Mr Tams feat Susan McKeown Dave Swarbrick Martin Carthy Eliza Carthy - Wont Be Long Now
- voicebreak -
Cayucas- Cayucos - Bigfoot
Helado Negro- Arboles - Invisible Life
Longboat- Maybe Rabies - Unpopular Songs For Unpopular People
- Slippery People - 20 Feet From Stardom Music From The Motion Picture
- Please Mr Kennedy - Inside Llewyn Davis Original Soundtrack Recording
IMPACT ALL STARS- Just Another Dub - Forward The Bassdub Fromrandys 19721975
The Walkabouts- Rebecca Wild - Devils Road
The Cactus Channel- Black Flag And Lady Bountiful - Wooden Boy
Kid Koala- Slew Test 2Mosquito Vs Water BuffaloSlew Test 3 - Your Moms Favorite DJ
The Waterboys- Bring Em All In - Karma To Burn
Dr Dog- Nellie - BRoom
- voicebreak -
Last Poets- Black Strong Homesick - Black Strong
The Waterboys- Savage Earth Heart Live - The Secret Life Of The Waterboys 8185
Jake Shimabukuro- While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Gently Weeps
Kid Congo The Pink Monkey Birds- Lamonts Requiem - Haunted Head


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/20/playlistDate/2013-10-08
          Friday Film: Control Room - April 25th at 7:00 p.m.        



Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim (Startup.com) directs Control Room, a documentary investigating the ethics of media-managed wars. This film particularly focuses on the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Noujaim and her film crew travel to the headquarters of Al-Jazeera, the media leader in the Arab world, to find out what the news looks like in Iraq. She interviews several journalists and producers involved in war reporting for Al-Jazeera, including senior producer Sameer Khader, journalist Hassan Ibrahim, and producer Deema Khatib. Noujaim also interviews American correspondents David Shuster from NBC and Tom Mintier from CNN. Control Room premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 as part of the American Spectrum program.


Boston Society of Film Critics
2004 Best Documentary

Broadcast Film Critics Association
2004 Best Documentary

Directors Guild of America
2004 Best Documentary Jehane Noujaim

Independent Spirit Award
2004 Truer Than Fiction Award Jehane Noujaim

Writers Guild of America
2004 Best Documentary
           Cooperative UWB body area networking: channel measurement and diversity analysis         
Chen, Yifan, Teo, Jianqi, Lai, Joshua, Gunawan, Erry, Low, Kaysoon, Soh, Cheongboon and Rapajic, Predrag (2008) Cooperative UWB body area networking: channel measurement and diversity analysis. In: 2008 IEEE 10th International symposium on spread spectrum techniques and applications. IEEE Conference Publications . Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc, Piscataway, NJ, USA, pp. 303-308. ISBN 9781424422036 (doi:10.1109/ISSSTA.2008.61 )
          Instagram Bookbinding Challenge: January / Light        

I've been participating in an online bookbinding community challenge, where each month bookmakers from around the world challenge themselves to create a book on a chosen theme for the month. The theme for January was Light. If you are on Instagram, search the hashtag #areyoubookenough to find all the amazing creations of participating artists. Prepare yourself to be inspired!

For myself, I was inspired by a stack of rainbow coloured Canson Mi-Teintes artists papers I had saved for a few years, intending to make a rainbow book one day. What is light, if not the beautiful spectrum of colours before us?


Don't these torn sheets look gorgeous in this stack? I was tempted to stop there. Sometimes it's hard to use up beautiful supplies!



After cutting and folding and grouping the pages into signatures, I started on the covers. I wanted to make a softcover book with a simple stitched rainbow on the cover. I chose the cover fabric from my stash, because I'm all about using up, recycling, and making do with what you have: a black wool suiting fabric for the outside and a grey wool for the inside.


Choosing thread colours--yup, all the colours of the rainbow are there!


To make the covers a little stiffer, I used a sturdy interfacing between the layers. In this case, I found this crazy vegetable printed interfacing in my stash (not sure where I picked that up!), and started stitching my rainbow.


I was delighted to find a vintage spool of black linen thread in my supplies, and used it to bind my books.


I think the prism button finishes it off nicely, don't you?




I made a limited edition of four of these books, and they are now available in my PrairiePeasant Etsy shop.



          A Little Life        
A Little Life
author: Hanya Yanagihara
name: Melissa
average rating: 4.26
book published: 2015
rating: 4
read at: 2017/01/06
date added: 2017/01/08
shelves:
review:
A beautifully moving book, written in a genuine and poetic style (many comma splices, run-ons, but it works). This book stirred so many emotions in me: not so much pity as sympathy, wonder, melancholy, nostalgia. It reminded me how foundational those relationships we form and build in college are (and how I need to do a better job keeping in touch with those people who were so important to my growth as a person, an adult). At 800+ pages, a reader may expect to lose interest or grow bored with the characters, but the narrative is rich enough and the character development detailed enough that I wanted to keep reading (with occasional breaks because the subject matter becomes so painful at times) and could not fathom how the book would end. Though now I wonder how I could not have seen that the ending was the only one possible, and a satisfying one at that ... if one can really call it satisfying,

A couple of aspects of this book did frustrate me a bit, which kept me from giving it 5 stars. However, I'm pretty sure those frustrations say more about me than about the book. 1) It took me a little while to figure out whose perspective was being represented from section to section. Yanagihara doesn't give many clues but rather immerses you in each character's viewpoint so fully that the narrative becomes oddly seamless even when the perspective shifts. Once I got into that rhythm, I enjoyed hearing from different characters ... but I was confused for a bit (stupid brain!). 2) With all the tragedy embedded in Jude's life, I had alternating reactions to it. On the one hand, I found it hard to believe that everyone he encountered as a youth was an abuser, causing him to move from a bad situation to a worse one, and then yet a worse one. What are the odds? Maybe I'm at a point in my life where I want to believe that the universe houses more kind people than not. Then, just to show how contrary I can be, I also found myself in disbelief about how successful each of the four men became in life. The message seems to be that if you are a good person and work hard, you will find other good people, have a career beyond your wildest dreams, and have benefits flow your way (as well as trauma, I acknowledge). Maybe I'm just bitter because I've worked so hard and barely get by; I can't even dream of the level of success and recognition that each of the main characters achieved.

But more than my own personal demons, I think I was more disturbed by the huge disparity between tragedy and joy in this book. Both appear in abundance, but what is not as noticeable is the quiet, day-to-day in-betweens that happen. Toward the end of the book, I did start to get a feel of that mundane life that exists between trauma and triumph. And perhaps this is an accurate reflection of "a little life"; we don't remember the ordinary so much as the extraordinary, no matter where in the spectrum of heartbreak or happiness it falls.

This is a book that will stick with me for a long while.

          Dreamers Theater - 234914        

The uplifting performance documentary DREAMERS THEATER follows a group of cognitively challenged teens and young adults as they rehearse and stage the original musical, Assuming Assumptions. The play dramatizes the issues faced by individuals with special needs in the hopes of increasing awareness about this population and their capabilities. Members of this Richmond, Va.-based acting troupe live with a variety of developmental disabilities, including autism, Down's Syndrome, Asperger's Syndrome and other high-functioning disorders or differences. Off-stage, Ross Lipstock - the son of show creator Joan Babich Lipstock - lives with an autism spectrum disorder; on stage, he overcomes his social awkwardness and communication difficulties to portray young men dealing with the same challenges he navigates every day - employment, transportation woes, housing, relationships and more. Dreamers Theater formed in 2004 to extend the support when a developmentally disabled individual reaches adulthood. Today, the community-based theater enhances the lives of these young men and women in myriad ways. It enables them to showcase their artistic abilities, practice transferable life skills, build confidence, gain a higher level of independence and to socialize with, and serve as role models for, their peers. DREAMERS THEATER intercuts real-life stories together with similar scenes from the play: a young couple with Asperger's syndrome go on a date, a young man with Down's Syndrome works his shift at a local restaurant and another young man misses his bus stop and loses his way home.

Length: 
00:26:31
Rating: 
TVG
Closed Caption: 
CC
Episode Source: 
APTEX

          Call Me Young Kaleido        
Welcome to Kaleido's psychedelic CMYK world! If you are a Spectrum or Pixel fan, hurry up and try to help this little monster to reach his goal through each one of this challenging puzzle levels. Reach the box using the platforms and changing the colours of the stage background in order to show or hide the blocks. CMYK colours can be switched using number keys on your keyboard and keep in mind you can reset the level whenever you want, and believe me, you´ll need it!
          Pang i sztuka niszczenia kulek        

Z pewnością pamiętacie rekreacyjną grę w Pang z lat dziewięćdziesiątych kiedy wydawaliście całą wypłatę z tygodnia wrzucając do maszyny 25 groszy. Celem było zniszczenie latających pęcherzyków, które zagrażały kilku miastom wokół Świata, począwszy od Fuji w Japonii w celu uratowania całej Ziemi. Pang znany był w Stanach Zjednoczonych jako Buster Bros. Jego historia toczyła się wokół braci Buster, którzy musieli okrążyć cały Świat, aby zniszczyć wszystkie kulki.

W tym roku wydana została wersja na PC, telefony i tablety tej japońskiej gry o nazwie Pang Adventures i opracowana została przez francuzów DotEmui i Pastagames, z zamiarem dostosowania jednego z klasyków Arcade na nowoczesne urządzenia i nowoczesne platformy. W istocie, małe paryskie studio gier wideo Pastagames dostosowuje grę na PS4 i zamierza wydać je na światło dzienne w 2016 roku. Na Paris Games Week 2015, gdzie można było wypróbować tę wersję po raz pierwszy na maszynie Arcade, Naddim Haddad z Pastagames wyjaśnił, że Pang „jest jedną z wcześniejszych gier, których na dzień dzisiejszy już się nie tworzy. Według niego, klasyczny Pang, był grą, której zamiarem „nie było imponowanie, lecz była ona oparta na prostym i skutecznym gameplay, który zmierza prosto do celu”.

Ponadto, ta nowa wersja z 2015 roku zamierza unowocześnij klasyka z końca lat osiemdziesiątych i dopasować go do tej epoki z bronią taką jak karabiny maszynowe lub lasery. Zawiera również ulepszenie w kulkach, które wraz z postępem w grze będą otoczone płomieniami lub elektrycznością. I jako absolutna nowość, Pang Adventures wprowadza nową serię Bossów, postacie, które nigdy nie istniały w serii Pang.  Pierwszy Pang powstał w 1989 roku i został stworzony przez japońskiego dewelopera gier wideo Mitchell Corporation, rozpowszechniony przez Capcom na maszyny Arcade tej epoki i był znany jako Pomping World w Japonii. Został zaprojektowany dla jednego lub dwóch graczy i dzielił się na 50 ekranów w 17 sławnych lokalizacjach na całym świecie, jak miasta w Paryżu, Londynie, Barcelonie, Atenach i Nowym Jorku. Również w słynnych zabytkach takich jak, Taj Mahal, ruiny Majów, Szmaragdowa Świątynia, aby na koniec znaleźć się na Wyspie Wielkanocnej.

Następnie, Pang został dostosowany do różnych platform. W 1990 roku Ocean Software przekształcić grę dla komputerów osobistych. ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Commodore Amiga y Atari ST. Ta gra we wszystkich swoich wersjach nie pozwala na skoki; możesz poruszać się jedynie w prawo, w lewo lub wchodzić i schodzić po schodach, aby uniknąć odbijających się kulek. Poza ich unikaniem musisz również je eliminować, ale nie wystarczy tylko jeden strzał, ponieważ zmniejszają się i mnożą w miarę Twoich postępów. Na szczęście istnieją przedmioty i power-upy, które pomagają Ci je przezwyciężyć, na przykład klepsydra, która zatrzymuje czas lub inna bardziej skuteczna broń, taka jak harpun. Dzięki sukcesowi w formacie Arcade i na komputerach epoki, gra została również przystosowana do Game Boy w 1993 i na PC -Engine CD. Zarówno na PlayStation i PlayStation Portable dla których zostały wykonane kolekcje: Super Pang Collection w 1998 i Capcom Puzzle World w 2007 z odpowiednimi wielkimi ulepszeniami graficznymi, obie wersje uwzględniały następców Pang.

Wśród następców tej udanej gry znajduje się Super Pang,  który ujrzał światło dzienne jedynie rok po wydaniu Pang, w 1990. Gra została również stworzona dla Arcade, ale wkrótce potem, w 1992 roku została dostosowana do Super Nintendo, ale bez opcji dla dwóch jednoczesnych graczy na rekreacyjnych maszynach. Mimo, że gra ma tylko rok, zmiany w Super Pang są widoczne. Gracz mógł wybrać spośród dwóch trybów gry: Tour Mode i Panic Mode. Pierwszy zachował ten sam sposób działania jak jego poprzednik, ale z kilkoma poprawkami estetycznymi i nowościami. Jednak drugi tryb gry całkowicie zmienił to co znane. Był to tryb przetrwania w którym nie było schodów, platform ani zwierząt; jedynie deszcz piłek i kilka artykułów, które pomagały przejść tryb, który nie miał przerw pomiędzy etapami, ponieważ była to gra ciągła, która zatrzymywała się wyłącznie w momencie utraty życia lub gdy pojawiał się Game Over. Pięć lat później, w 1995 roku, pojawił się Pang 3, zwany również Buster Buddies w Stanach Zjednoczonych, na Arcade i zawarty w zestawieniach na PlayStation nieco później. Wersja ta wprowadziła kilka zmian i nowości, chociaż podstawa tej gry była taka sama; zniszczyć kulki. Pierwszą wielką zmianą, która została wprowadzona było renderowanie w grafice dla postaci. Ponadto, postacie te nie były już braćmi Buster z sagi; w grze mogłeś wybrać spośród czterech postaci z różnymi charakterystykami.

Don Tacos był postacią z wąsami i w meksykańskim kapeluszu, który miał podwójny harpun; Pink Leopard, jak wskazuje sama nazwa, był różową panterą, która byłą odporna na dynamit, lód i wrogów. Następnie byli Captain Hog, pirat, którego bronią były kabel, który podczas rzutu, pozostawał zamocowany w ścianie i eliminował kulki, gdy te zderzały się z nim; i Shiela the Thief, złodziejka z Tysiąca i jednej nocy, która posiadała zdolność rzucania dwóch kabli pod kątem 45 stopni.

W Pang 3 celem nie było przechodzenie z miasta do miasta i z pomnika do pomnika w celu uratowania się od kulek. Tym razem mogłeś wybrać pomiędzy trzema trybami gry: Beginner Mode, który służył do szkolenia, Normal Mode i już znany Panic Mode; a gra rozwinięta była z grafiką w tle z wieloma platformami i schodami.

Dopiero w 2000 roku, pojawiła się inna wersja sagi: Mighty! Pang. Jednak, w nowym tysiącleciu, rekreacyjne sale ledwo przetrwały w cieniu domowych konsoli i ta gra została zaprojektowana wyłącznie na Arcade, dlatego też niewiele osób poznało tę wersję. Mighty! Pang powrócił do początków Pang i Super Pang w odniesieniu do historii, grafiki i grywalności, ale wprowadzając bardzo trudny Expert Mode.

Ostatecznie w 2010 roku Mitchell Corporation wydał grę Pang: Magical Michael na Nintendo DS., w którym młody czarodziej Michael musi podróżować po świecie, aby wyeliminować kulki, które powstały po nieudanym eksperymencie. Po raz kolejny, cel jest taki sam, mimo, że historia zmiana się w porównaniu do oryginału. Ponadto, oprócz Tour Mode i Panic Mode można było wybrać Multi Player Mode. Ponieważ gra dostępna była na Nintendo DS, wprowadzono podwójny dotykowy ekran oraz opcję dotykowego ekranu w Panic Mode Touch, która zostaje odblokowana po przejściu poziomu 50 w Panic Mode i pozwala Ci kontrolować kąt nachylenia wiązki podczas gdy postać znajdowała się na środku ekranu. Dostępna była również opcja bezprzewodowych walk z wieloma graczami oraz dostępne były rankingi online. Ta długa historia zasługują na uznanie i Spritted dokonał tego w formie gry. Gun Garden posiada tę samą mechanikę co Pang, ale zamiast eliminowania kulek czy pęcherzyków, należy wykończyć plagę robactwa, która spada z nieba i skacze we wszystkie strony, a gdy do nich strzelasz, zaczynają się mnożyć. Czy zdołasz pokonać wszystkie owady?

Artykuł napisany przez Paula Gil Alonso.

 


          spectrum        










          ZX Spectrum in HTML + CSS        

See the Code - See it Full Page - See Details

While watching videos about 8bit computers I got the idea of recreating one. I chose the ZX Spectrum because of its iconic look and its importance among 80s home computers. You can read about it [HERE.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX_Spectrum) To match the look of the original several fonts are used: Asap, Inconsolata, Syncopate from google fonts and SirClive loaded as a data URI for the Sinclair logo.

This Pen uses: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and


          My take on the gun control debate        
I infrequently dive into the political spectrum, and I know a lot of Americans still read my blog when I do post. Given this debate is so extreme and has even taken over the national news in Canada, I thought I'd offer up my thoughts.

In the latter half of last year, with the increased mass violence in the US, especially with the Sandy Hook shooting, I found myself thinking more and more "What the hell is going on down there?"

Since then, and despite being fed copious amounts of gun control debate, I've come to a conclusion. And surprisingly, my conclusion doesn't let me pick one side of the fence or the other.

That's because this entire debate is absolutely pointless.

As of right now, the debate is focusing on mass shootings and assault weapons and 100 round clips as a direct, knee jerk result of the spike in rampages in 2012. This is expected as the media and politicians thrive on shock value. Despite the tragedy that they are, preventing mass murders is nothing more than a drop in the bucket.

With 14,000 homicides annually and 10 - 12,000 of those estimated to be gun related, you could have a 30 victim rampage every month and it would only amount to 2.5% of all murders. If you could then wave a magic wand and remove every last assault weapon and all 30+ round clips from the country and prevent 100% of mass shootings, you would still have 13,640 people dead by the end of the year. And there isn't even a rampage every month now. Dollar for dollar, you're by far better off ignoring the mass shooting problem and throwing tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars more at trying to prevent drunk driving and diabetes.

The narrative in the US is way off mark. 14,000 homicides per year is 38 people violently killed every single day. That's the equivalent of 3 Aurora incidents. Every day. But everyday news doesn't make the news. The narrative would be on the right track if the major news networks had a "Homicides Today: ___" ticker fed by affiliate updates running in the bottom corner of the screen 24 hours per day.

There's something very wrong when a Western, developed nation is a huge outlier at 3-4 times the homicide rate of other Western, developed nations. I'm not entirely convinced it's the guns alone. There are stark socio-economic differences between the US and Europe that may cause this statistical rift, but Canada should be a much closer comparison by a significant degree:
  • 80%+ of Canadians live within a few hundred miles of the American border.
  • We consume massive amounts of American media.
  • I assume obtaining guns illegally isn't that much more difficult for people that want to commit crimes.
  • Even with the recent increase in minimum sentences for violent crime, we have extremely lax punishment for all types of felonies compared to the US.
So we're basically America-light of the North without the big prison stick, yet have a homicide rate 1/3 that of the United States. Granted, US rates have dropped by 50% since the ludicrously high rates in the 70s, 80s and 90s. There are only three obvious, significant differences I can think of between our countries:
  • Adequate access to mental healthcare.
  • A ridiculous difference in the number of legal guns.
  • The 2nd Amendment.
There may be some additional cultural factors that come into play that I can't really speak to living on the outside. Perpetually being at war, the alleged gun culture, the laughable "video games / music made me do it" arguments... I find there's a big missing link between any of those or other social dynamics and the willingness to actually pull the trigger on someone. I also think the US Constitution is one of the best social contracts ever written, and would never want changes made to it lightly or as the result of knee jerk, emotional responses if I were American.

But as long as everyone's focused on this smallest, niche part of the overall problem instead of honestly figuring out what that missing link is between factor and action, Americans are never going to solve this issue.

          Logitech Prodigy line gives gamers more for entry level devices        
Logitech Prodigy line gives gamers more for entry level devices

Logitech G has made a name for itself with its high-end peripherals. Catering to the whims of the hard-core gamer, these devices offer every conceivable bell and whistle imaginable. The G502 Proteus Spectrum reportedly offers twice the response time of… Continue Reading

The post Logitech Prodigy line gives gamers more for entry level devices appeared first on A+E Interactive.


          Unsanctioned Wanderings: Capturing the Vagrant in Romantic Prints        
December 2014

Unsanctioned Wanderings: Capturing the Vagrant in Romantic Prints

Lucy Kimiko Hawkinson Traverse
University of Wisconsin-Madison

“[. . .] their movement cannot be captured in a picture, nor can the meaning of their movements be circumscribed in a text”

-Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life

1.        Epitomized by Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer Watching a Sea of Fog (c. 1817-18), and the Wordsworthian peripatetic, the gentlemanly or artistic wanderer is integral to the Romantic imagination. Wandering lies at the heart of picturesque sightseeing, blank verse poetry, specimen collecting, and the Romantic cultivation of self. However, these forms of sanctioned wandering exist against a backdrop of less desirable movements that, nonetheless, inform, color, and at times literally converge with, the endorsed amblings of the inquisitive artist-gentlemen. Unsanctioned forms of wandering existed on a spectrum of criminality, which at times included peddlers, actors, shepherds, discharged soldiers, beggars, orphaned children, gypsies, sailors, highwaymen, pirates, and ultimately, as Toby Benis has argued, “anyone on the road without adequate cause” (2). These disparate groups, while often meticulously differentiated, were also increasingly amalgamated as vagrants through a series of common burdens and discriminatory practices, resulting from changing Poor Laws, licensing, and Vagrancy Acts in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

2.        It is not my aim or desire to reproduce here an exhaustive catalog of wandering types. Rather, I hope to sketch some of the strategies of representation used to capture the vagrant body in print. And further, to tease out some of the tensions and slippages between the text as material object and the roaming body it seeks to arrest. To do this I will examine a selection of British Romantic prints, all bound in books published in London in the first two decades of the nineteenth century (1800-1820). Some of these texts explore a signal category of wanderer (e.g., the urban beggar in the case of John Thomas Smith’s Vagabondiana, or, Anecdotes of mendicant wanderers through the streets of London [London, 1817], or the gypsy in the case of Heinrich Moritz Gottlieb Grellmann’s Dissertation on the Gipseys [London, 1807]) while others assemble a variety of eccentric persons, among which can be found wandering types (e.g., James Caulfield’s Portraits, Memories, and Characters, of Remarkable Persons [London, 1819], or G.H. Wilson’s The Eccentric Mirror [London, 1806]). The prints discussed are chosen because they represent different strategies of resistance to the project of containment or arrest, strategies which include signifying in ways that resist the cataloging missions of the text/author, critiquing the text as material object and commodity, representing stasis as a potentially political act, and encouraging the reader/viewer to be cognizant of their complicity in processes of erasure.

3.        The rich body of scholarship interested in Romantic vagrancy tends to focus primarily on Wordsworth’s representation of and engagement with the itinerant poor. The hope of this project is to explore how a more sustained survey of contemporaneous visual representations might alter and expand our understanding of Romantic vagrancy and its relationship both to the artist’s construction of self and the (supposedly) static image. This project resists the impulse to treat as a given the print’s stasis, or to accept prints as a default medium used in the absence of alternative representational technologies. In highlighting the tension of wandering as a space-time practice and the apparent stasis of the published print, I do not mean to suggest that Romantic moving-picture technologies (such as P.J. de Loutherbourg’s Eidophusikon, exhibited in London in 1781) would have offered a more accurate, neutral, or appropriate means of representing acts of unsanctioned wandering. Rather, by examining prints that represent wanderers we are able to explore instances of resistance that complicate a binary understanding of the moving and the still. Prints may seem to “arrest” or “make still” the wandering impulse, but they also reproduce and disseminate the vagrant body. In this way, prints allow for the movement of images even if they are not typically considered “moving images.”

4.        The Romantic era saw the displacement of many people as a result of enclosure, clearances, and revolutions. As Anne Wallace has argued, the resultant increase in pedestrian mobility, not only in the form of those exiled from common lands and sent adrift, but also in the form of “deliberate excursive walking, especially by the relatively well-to-do and educated,” meant increased contact between those wandering for spiritual or artistic refinement and those made mobile out of economic necessity (166). Such contacts feature prominently in the poetry and prose of the Romantic period, as authorial wanderers frequently encounter members of the wandering class, finding cause to celebrate, condemn, or identify with those traversing the landscape in less orthodox ways.

5.        While it may be problematic to assemble such divergent groups into a single category, a series of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century laws and ordinances worked to consolidate the wandering poor and to place them in a particular relationship to a wage- and settlement-based economy, which, I would argue, gave them a distinct class status. Since 1662, poor relief had been largely based on a system of parish charity that took “settlement” (defined as birth, long-term residence, or employment in a given community) as a prerequisite for assistance (22-23, 29). The wandering poor were inherently disqualified from such assistance, as they were not settled and were thus not the responsibility of any particular parish. Furthermore, this system of localized assistance increased hostilities towards the unsettled, as those forced to pay the poor rate were invested in limiting any additional burden on parish funds. Tales of transporting pregnant women in labor over parish lines, the destruction of cottages, and the forced eviction of unwanted dependents suggest (with possible hyperbole) some of the strategies used to decrease the pauper population and its concomitant costs (Lloyd 122; Olsen 23). For the nomadic poor this meant continually enforced movement. Unwilling to take on additional charity cases, many communities set laws restricting the number of days vagrants could camp within parish limits. Simultaneously, a series of Vagrant Laws made the very act of continuous, unsettled movement a criminal offense. Thus, an ironic and illogical system was produced whereby nomadic persons were (through local ordinances) required to move regularly, yet by conforming to these laws they subjected themselves to a variety of state-sanctioned punishments, including whipping, imprisonment, and forced labor (Mayall 258).

6.        If, as Celeste Langan has argued, vagrancy functions as both the paradigm of Romantic movement and thought, and as the structural analogy by which we understand the liberal subject, how does this liberalism relate to the materiality of the book, particularly the encyclopedic volumes of types which both contain and mimic the movements of their subjects (Langan 27)? While wandering may be integral to Romantic thought and action, so too is the desire to capture, record, and classify. Indeed, the most immediately apparent discontinuity in prints of wandering types centers on the tension between mobility and stasis. These are persons defined by their unauthorized movement, and yet, to record them as distinct personalities or types requires a degree of arrest. Thus, we find a collection of images organized around a verb that is largely unrepresented. These figures sit, stand, crouch, pose, gesture, and occasionally step, but they do not seem to wander.

7.        A print of Margaret Finch, “Queen of the Gypsies at Norwood,” from James Caulfield’s Portraits, Memories, and Characters, of Remarkable Persons is particularly striking in its apparent stasis (figure 1). As “Queen of the Gypsies,” Finch is unequivocally a representative of a wandering people, and we are told that she has spent her life “traversing the whole of England, in the double capacity of gipsy and thief.” However, in this image we find Finch boulder-like in her squat immobility and groundedness. Having adopted the custom “of sitting on the ground with her chin resting on her knees,” the author explains, Finch’s sinews became “so contracted, that she could not extend herself or change her position” (Caulfield, Portraits, 247-249). In this way, Finch becomes almost hyperbolically immobile, her body calcifying into a stationary lump. Thus fixed, she becomes a site of pilgrimage, a cause for wandering rather than its practitioner, as “persons from the highest rank and quality to that of the lowest class in life” clog the roads leading to Norwood, hoping to see the “singularity of her figure” and benefit from the “fame of her fortune-telling” (Caulfield, Portraits, 247-249). Her spatial movement restricted, she remains an embodiment of temporal roving, as she is believed to possess the ability to see into the future.

8.         As Michael Kramp has argued, the figure of the deformed and repulsive gypsy hag was a Romantic type constructed to undercut the “threat to heterosexual and labor (re)production” posed by the late eighteenth-century trope of Gypsy femininity as aggressively sexual. The old fortune-teller, the “antithesis of sexual allure,” does not endanger heteronormativity, or pose the threat of miscegenation (Kramp, Reconceptualization, 1339). In her decrepit and static state, Margaret Finch becomes an attraction rather than an attractor, and yet, this depiction also exceeds its presumed project to simply re-present a “type”.

9.         Though unwanted by Norwood (Caufield complains that Surry and Kent are especially “pestered” and “plundered” by gypsies), Margaret Finch appears defiant in her stasis (Caulfield 247-249). The cave-like structure that she inhabits seems to have grown up around her, mimicking her contours and naturalizing her place in the landscape. Her face, the nose of which has been drawn in more dramatic profile than the eyes and mouth, seems to hover between a frontal and side view, and concomitantly between a specific likeness and an attempt at physiognomic typing. Her direct stare confronts the viewer, even as her pronouncedly arched and elongated nose distracts from the specificity of this address by calling upon ethnic stereotypes meant to signal her eastern origins and status as “domestic other” (Nord 5).

10.         Bolstering the potential defiance of this address are details that would signal her irreverence to the Romantic reader. In addition to the predictable advice regarding hard work, religious devotion, and frugality, the poor were often advised to avoid unnecessary dependents, such as pets. In a 1795 article in The Times, we find a curious preoccupation with dogs as signifiers of excess (qtd. in Olsen 21-22). Dogs are presented as luxuries that may be afforded the rich, but are so impractical for the poor that their retention disqualifies their owners from charitable assistance. The presence of not just one, but two dogs solidifies Finch’s status as undeserving of—even defiant toward—charitable aid. Likewise signaling Finch’s “excess” are her tobacco pipe and drink. [1] 

11.         Though Margaret Finch dies in 1740, anchored to a Norwood hovel by a decrepit body, through the reproduction and dissemination of this print, she regains a measure of spatial and temporal movement, persisting through time and “traversing the whole of England” once again. Here, the print seems not to “arrest” or “capture” the subject so much as record an act of defiant immobility—stasis as a political act, in the face of discriminatory laws and practices. The boulder-like solidity of Finch’s form, enveloped by the landscape and seemingly immovable, suggests an insubordinate persistence.

12.         Refusing a teleological and hierarchicalizing narrative, recent scholarship purposes a greater degree of ambiguity, reciprocity, and oscillation between still and moving images. More importantly, such work critically rethinks the implications of stasis. Resisting an easy alignment of stasis with death, or a confusion of “rigor with rigor mortis,” Karen Beckman and Jean Ma advocate the “recursive temporality of the ‘still moving’ ” (5, 11). Beckman and Ma are particularly concerned with the political potential of the recursive and hope that it may provide an alternative to conceptualizing collective political agency solely in terms of “movement” (14). Attempting to forge a model of productive recursive activity, recent scholarship stresses the double meaning of “still,” which may be used to connote an arrest or immobility as well as a persistence or continuation. Significantly, if taken in the latter sense, “the still is on the side of becoming and moving rather than in strict opposition with it” (Kaplan 221). It is this tension or doubleness within “the still” that Jean-Luc Nancy has explored in relation to the logic of concealment (31-47). In a like vein, Jean Baudrillard has interrogated stasis that is not static in diverse instances of “freezing,” arguing that such “immobility is not an inertia, but a paroxysm which boils movement down into its opposite” (67). Whereas Nancy purposes a understanding of (the) “still” which is implicated in movement, Baudrillard insists that even if the still is understood as the antithesis of movement, it cannot be carelessly aligned with inaction or apathy. Rather, it is a particularly concentrated, dense, or “intense” extraction of that movement.

13.         An inaugural plate in Heinrich Moritz Gottlieb Grellmann’s Dissertation on the Gipseys (figure 2), may offer an instance of one such dense freeze. Arrested in the moment of taking a step, a gypsy woman of elongated stature moves from light to shade with an infant and small child. The varied positions of eyes and bodies gives the figure group a varied directionality that seems to work against the suggestion of movement in a particular direction. At the same time, the woman’s movement from light to dark within the hillside scene suggests a true spatial movement through a landscape that is more than a token backdrop. In combination, these aspects of composition and lighting give the scene the odd effect of appearing both spontaneous and posed. A coin in the woman’s outstretched hand (though vaguely delineated) is marked by the simple cross-and-dot pattern of a medieval two- or four-pence (Fleetwood 34-35). [2]  Though ostensibly meant to signal that the woman has received alms, this numismatic anachronism also complicates the temporality of the scene. In conjunction with the figures’ ahistorical dress, the coin suggests a temporal as well as spatial unrootedness, which stands in tension with the print’s claim to have captured a specific moment. In this way, the print seems to present its subjects as simultaneously caught in the act of wandering and performing the act with choreographed exaggeration, and thus gives us a particularly dense extraction of the act that is both specific and symbolic. While acknowledging that anachronistic details fit comfortably with primitivizing constructions of Gypsies as unchanging and timeless, we can still recognize a resistant potential between the supposed temporality of the ethnographic sketch (the claim to have captured) and suggestions of a deeper, un-moored time within the image.

14.        The ethnographic project of containment and classification may be further undermined by the book as material object. Many of the books dedicated to vagabonds, gypsies, and others of the wandering class become themselves strangely nomadic texts. Even a work as seemingly focused as Grellmann’s Dissertation on the Gipseys is notably sprawling and fragmented in its execution. Illustrations are clearly appropriated from other contexts, and gesture more towards their disparate origins than a cohesive narrative. Even the frontispiece, an engraving of a pirate and wanderer by James Heath (1757-1834), apparently after a painting by Richard Corbould (1757-1831) or one of his sons (figure 3), [3]  seems to have been appropriated from another context (as the unrelated volume and page numbers below the caption suggest). Thus, an image intended to introduce a focused treatise on a single topic (gypsies), instead conflates gypsies with other wandering types (pirates) and encourages the viewer to think of other mediums and published contexts for the image at hand. Unfolding pages cut to different sizes, interspersed with plates illustrating themes only tangentially related to the argument of the text, continually push the reader out of the confines of the book to imagine additional sources, narratives, and paths of inquiry. While Grellmann’s text strives to categorize, re-present, and define gypsies in a systematic fashion, its format and diverse content continually undermine this agenda.

15.        Even in seemingly more cohesive ethnographic projects, competing desires to generalize and particularize stand in tension. In Vagabondiana, or, Anecdotes of mendicant wanderers through the streets of London, John Thomas Smith strives to depict the “wanderers” of London, but in order to obtain portraits “drawn from life” he must arrest his roaming subjects. Thus, a vagrant like “Black Joe” (Joseph Johnson) (figure 4) is identified by the specific address of his supposed encounter with Smith, “N4 Chandos Street, Convent Garden.” Ironically, however, this specific location is not articulated in the print, the background of which consists only of non-descript shading. Smith undertakes the seemingly contradictory task of assembling subjects that are both unique and representative. Organized around abstract qualities such as “industriousness,” the text produces as archive of distinct “types” valued for their perceived role as representatives of larger categories. “Black Joe” is taken to represent both the black urban poor (he is one of only two characters in the book identified by a racial signifier) and the particularly creative or ingenious beggar. Thus, Johnson is represented as both a unique subject and a type, and as both emplaced and de-contextualized.

16.        Smith explains that Johnson, imaged with a crutch and cane, has sustained wounds rendering “him incapable of doing further duty on the ocean.” However, as a “consequence of his having been employed in the merchant’s service only,” Johnson is “not entitled to the provision of Greenwich,” and “having no claim to relief in any parish” must glean a living on the streets. Though the elaborate model ship, which Johnson wears affixed to a simple cylindrical cap, is described by Smith simply as evidence of especially creative beggary inspired by his former life as a sailor, between text and image other narratives surface. The author explains that Johnson animates his model ship “by a bow of thanks, or a supplicating inclination to a drawing room window,” thus simulating the “appearance of sea-motion” (33). Johnson’s decision to masquerade as an aquatic vessel may stem from his time as a sailor (one of many, primarily lower-class, occupations available to black Britons in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century), and yet the juxtaposition of a black man and large ship during a time of heated debate surrounding slavery also resonates on other levels.

17.        At the time of this sketch, the British slave trade had (ostensibly) been abolished, but slavery itself was still rampant. Additionally, ships held the threat of deportation, as London officials concocted solutions to the “problem” of the city’s black poor, an effort that culminated in an attempt to ship London’s impoverished blacks to a colony in Sierra Leone (Gerzina 142-173). Though unexplored by Smith, the context of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the possible threat of deportation are difficult to repress. Although we are assured that Johnson’s gestures are “supplicating,” his performance carries a political edge, an edge that may or may not have been registered by the women taking sugar in their tea as Johnson theatrically “sailed” past their drawing room windows.

18.        The fact that Smith’s Vagabondiana could itself enter such drawing rooms, becoming a sort of guidebook to the eccentric characters that passed, further complicates the project of “capturing” Johnson’s likeness. Smith’s impulse to record his own meanderings through sketches of fellow wanderers could be read as an act of violence by which the implied movement of the author/illustrator is privileged, while the subject’s movement is arrested or denied. By assembling an encyclopedic volume of vagrant types, Smith simulates the act of wandering using the conceit of “happening upon” beggars in their native environs and making “sketches taken from life”. Arguably, the disassociative perusing offered by such texts could function as safe supplement for more radical movement.

19.        Romantic sightseeing and landscape texts were likewise invested in simulating the act of wandering in potentially problematic ways. In Humphrey Repton’s Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, the enclosure of common lands and the clearance of undesirables is enacted with the simple lift of a page (Harrison 46). In “View from my own cottage, in Essex” (figure 5), the concluding hand-colored aquatint from Repton’s final treatise and memoir, we find a view of the artist’s own yard. Framed by two large trees, Repton’s view is molested by the traffic of public thoroughfares, which lie just beyond his low lattice fence. More troubling still is the one-eyed, one-armed, one-legged vagrant who leans against this fence. Disabled, elderly, and seemingly exhausted, the man’s mournful eye, long face, and hunched weariness, echoed by the long shadow he casts, seem intended to win our sympathy as viewers. Behind him, in a meager triangle of public green, flocks of ducks scavenge for food, perhaps underscoring the beggar’s own reliant state. Repton’s solution to the aesthetic problem posed by these vagrant scavengers (the beggar as well as the birds) is simple erasure. Lifting the half page reveals an “improved” garden, in which the formerly common green is appropriated and privatized with the use of handsome shrubbery. Plantings and trellises further obscure undesirable aspects of his surroundings (such as the butcher shop) and the beggar disappears altogether. In a final—almost perverse—gesture, Repton offers an empty chair (near the shade of a tree), but only after that weary traveler so clearly in need of such a comfort has been completely expunged. In this way, the "before" and "after" design of Repton’s over-slip illustrations work to justify both the enclosure of common land and the removal of unwanted persons on aesthetic grounds (pun intended).

20.        While the reader/viewer is made potentially complicit in the act of erasure by lifting the page of Repton’s book, it is a process that can be reversed (the vagrant body can be reinserted into the landscape by replacing the over-leaf). Arguably, the nature of “before” and “after” views depend on a certain back and forth comparison between the two images. While the “before” and “after” images are valued differently and their sequencing is meant to suggest improvement and progress, fully appreciating the extent and specificity of the renovation requires that the reader/viewer refer back to the original scene. Likewise resistant to the process of erasure is the inclusion of such a memorable and explicitly damaged body (bearing three distinct wounds), the removal of which is difficult to excuse as an ethically neutral act.

21.        This is not to assume that the injured vagrant is necessarily seeking aid. Certainly, many wandering poor practiced trades and had strategies for living off the land, and were explicitly not looking for charitable assistance or long-term residency in a parish. However, their forced—and simultaneously criminalized—nomadism made almost any action dangerous and suspect. Those who preferred, or were forced into, continual movement were faced with the additional difficulty of navigating lives on rapidly dwindling common lands. In “View from my own cottage, in Essex” we see enclosure on a small scale, as Repton appropriates the apparently public triangle of green for his own purposes, thus alienating both the beggar and the scavenging birds.

22.         Enclosure, the privatization of communal grounds, greatly restricted both the movement and the resources of the wandering poor. The process of consolidating and enclosing commons, wastelands, and open fields into private holdings demarcated by fences, walls, hedgerows, or trenches originated in the late medieval period, but experienced an unprecedented surge in England between 1793 and 1815 (McCalman 496). In many regions the process of enclosure eroded customary rights, including the right to graze animals, gather wood (estover), fish (piscary), cut peat (turbary), and glean wheat or produce left after the harvest (Janowitz 155). Like the agricultural laborers that depended on access to common lands to supplement their meager incomes, for members of nomadic or wandering classes attempting to live off the land, the loss of these customary rights severely affected their ability to subsist. Such rights are explicitly flaunted in an introductory plate from Grellmann’s Dissertation on the Gipseys (figure 6), in which a group of encamped gypsies flaunt their estover and piscary rights.

23.        This depiction of potential theft is exacerbated by the tense relationship between the book as commodity and the vagrant body’s supposed exclusion from commodity circulation. The Gypsy “thirst for glittering Gold” described in Dissertation on the Gypsies is echoed in the glittering crest and gold-coated pages of the book itself, reminding the reader that the artfully-bound volume which collects and contains these observations may itself be an object both coveted and stolen. In this way, the text, which delineates a particular relationship between the Gypsy and personal property, participates in this construction by making the possibility of theft more immediate to the reader—you hold in your hand something that is simultaneously described as desirable to the “dangerous” gypsy vagrant. Thus, the text itself seems to speak the threat of theft.

24.         While vagrants were often differentiated by degree of perceived criminality, I maintain that considering groups as seemingly disparate as beggars, gypsies and highway-men under the umbrella of a threatening un-rootedness helps to clarify how even the most explicitly criminal of these could be appropriated by artists as models, objects of meditation, or catalysts for expressions of empathy, longing, and admiration.

25.        The competing modes of representation we see in “The Trwe [sic] Effigies of James Whitney, the Notorious Highwayman” (figure 7) from James Caulfield’s Portraits, Memories and Characters of Remarkable Persons (1819), speak to an ambivalence toward the Romantic criminal wanderer as well as to a conflation of artistic and criminal types. Though decidedly a criminal—defined (in part) by his roaming, un-rooted movement—Whitney is here seen as a leisured artist or writer dressed as though seated in his study. Comparable images abound in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century portraiture, attesting to what fashion historian Aileen Ribeiro describes as the “well-established, (even hackneyed) convention for artists, men of letters and musicians to be painted in loose gowns” (34). James Maubert’s 1695 portrait of John Dryden (poet, critic, and author of heroic verse) and a 1689-90 portrait of Robert Boyle (after J. Kerseboom) are but two examples of the long tradition upon which Whitney’s “portraitist” draws. However, the engraver clearly plays against these associations as well. Though the dressing gown is understood as comfortable domestic attire for the gentleman who works at home (or, more specifically, the gentleman who does not work, but has pursuits or improves himself at home), it is here coupled not with the usual slippers and study, but with markers of Whitney’s outdoor livelihood: his boots and hat. Further parodying the convention, Whitney directs our gaze not to his accomplishments or objects of study, as we often find in similar images of learned men, but rather to the shackle on his left ankle, underscoring his captivity and criminality. Whitney signifies as both artist-gentlemen and notorious outlaw, and thus the image, while static, moves the viewer along (at least) two separate channels of association. [4]  Thus, the conflation of types inevitably leaches out through competing vocabularies of representation—a process echoed by the fugitive pigments that, with time, leak across the page, allowing the figure to move once again as a ghostly remnant. Though all aging prints are subject to this chemical instability, there is something particularly haunting about this effect in relation to the nomadic body seemingly captured within the text.

26.         Whitney’s “arrest” seems particularly pronounced as he is both literally imprisoned and figuratively captured by the text. Yet, images of cages, prisons, and captives often functioned to inversely signal ideas of physical and mental liberty in eighteenth-century art. As Lorenz Eitner argues, unlike the allegorical representations of previous centuries, the Romantics turned away from the Goddesses of Liberty and Phrygian caps of Baroque art, toward more indirect representations of Liberty, primarily signaled through images of its antithesis. [5]  Compassion for prisoners, images that underscore the pathos of enchainment, sensational tales of prison escapes, and a general public sympathy for the incarcerated seem to pervade the period. Likewise, Eitner points out that “the prisoner’s plight became a favorite metaphor of the isolation or persecution of artists by society” (37). Thus, the importance of liberty is underscored by images that depict its absence: the bound captive, the long-suffering prisoner. Similarly, perhaps, static portraits of wandering types call to mind the mobility they negate.

27.        The representation of “Victor, the Savage of Aveyron,” (figure 8) in G.H. Wilson’s Eccentric Mirror provides another instance of a wandering body both literally and figuratively captured, but makes more explicit the role of text in that arrest. Having wandered the woods unsupervised for many years, Wilson relates, Victor is finally caught by three sportsmen in 1798. Wilson tells us that they find “a disgusting slovenly boy, affected with spasmodic, and frequently with convulsive motions, continually balancing himself like some of the wild animals in the menagerie” (5). And yet, in the portrait that introduces the story, we see the clean, almost classical torso of a boy poised and fully contained within an elaborate set of framing devices. Though supposedly a child of the wilderness, in this likeness, nature is sent to the margins, contained and domesticated in two entwined cornucopias that pour down their bounty as decorative flanking. Far from a threatening or enveloping wilderness, this vegetation is contained and merely ornamental. However, the portrait, in which he is groomed but still naked, introduces an ambiguous temporality. Is this “Victor” before or after his capture?

28.        In a panel below, “Victor” is shown seated with a tutor learning his alphabet. Above, a stylus, paper, and alphabetic flashcards reiterate the theme of literacy. To the right, a badminton racket and birdie indicate a strategy for channeling his “sporadic” movement into organized sport. Together, these symbols suggest the disciplining of the mind and body. However, they also underscore the fraught relationship between the nomadic body and the text as a conduit of literacy, suggesting that “Victor” must be made literate in order to understand his own process of domestication. That is, he must be brought into literacy in order to recognize his own place in the text—a process underscored by the mirror-like quality of the medallion that contains his likeness and the way his gaze is directed at the facing page, on which the narrative of his life commences. The scene may narrate the process by which “Victor” will come to understand his own imprisonment within the text, but it also holds out the possibility of future self-representation.

29.        As a strategy of tying language to static forms that can thus be (at least in some sense) “owned,” the printed word seems inherently at odds with the itinerant subject it strives to depict. The historiated initials (figure 9) that populate John Thomas Smith’s Vagabondiana speak to the anxieties surrounding mobility in relation to the written word as property, and suggest acts resistant to reductive classifications. The small human figures that entwine themselves around inauguratory letters molest, steal, and vandalize the words used to describe them in subtly subversive ways, suggesting that language—even written language—is never stable. The movement of these embodied letters may also speak to what Michel de Certeau has called the “parallelism between linguistic and pedestrian enunciation,” whereby walking (understood as analogous to the speech act) produces the possibilities it executes (99). Thus, walking, as a space of enunciation, can make certain possibilities “exist as well as emerge” (98). Likewise, the man who entwines his body with the inauguratory letter of the word “Beggary” simultaneously presents and performs the word that seeks to classify him. That is, he performs a sort of linguistic theft.

30.        The tensions registered here between nomadic bodies and the texts that strive to anchor them are furthered complicated by the changing understandings of texts as intellectual property during the Romantic period. Emerging from a Kantian understanding of original genius as antithetical to the spirit of imitation, [6]  Wordsworth, Coleridge, and other major literary figures of the period argued for a distinction between original labor and original genius (Saint-Amour 30-31). Ironically, as Paul Saint-Amour argues, “the Romantic conception of authorship revolted against the very market conditions—mechanical reproduction, textual commodification, logics of equivalency, labor-based copyright laws—that had made authorship professionally viable in the first place” (31). Imbedded within this idea was the belief that the artist was ahead of his time. In the words of Saint-Amour, the Romantic conception of Genius “was earliness personified: not only did geniuses do things before anyone else, they antedated even their own comprehensibility and consumability” (32). The Romantic roots of what would solidify into a more self-conscious conception of the avant-garde as the century progressed is worth underscoring as it coincides with changing understandings of intellectual property and copyright law.

31.        Between 1814 and 1842, copyright protection was expanded from 14 to 42 years, and the first posthumous copyright law was enacted, protecting a work for 7 years after the author’s death. A major catalyst for these extensions was the argument, put forth by Wordsworth and others, that true artistic genius could not be understood in its own time and thus required a postmortem window, during which its value could finally be recognized (Saint-Amour 32). While the idea of artistic genius far precedes the nineteenth century, the concern that this genius was unlikely to be sufficiently appreciated during the artist’s own lifetime, that the artist was “out of synch” with his contemporaries (explicitly not co-temporaneous), seems a peculiarly Romantic preoccupation, and is suggestively imbricated with assumptions about the vagrant as having an eccentric relationship to time. Gypsies, and to a lesser extent other wandering types, were consistently assumed to have prophetic powers, as countless representations of gypsy fortune telling and divination attest. Thus, in addition to a sort of spatial eccentricity, members of the wandering class were often presumed to have a temporal eccentricity.

32.        The origins and lineage of vagrants were often (temporally as well as geographically) obscured. Grellmann’s Dissertation, for instance, spends an entire chapter attempting to determine from what country Gypsies originate and at precisely what date they came to be in England. By definition without land or title, vagrants were by and large excluded from the city and parish records that would give them a clear place in hegemonic time (further obscuring questions of origin and lineage). Perhaps a reflection of this ambiguity, the wandering figure is often constructed as a timeless, prophetic figure. [7] 

33.        Through changing copyright laws we find Romantic authors insisting on their lack of contemporanaiety and an attendant need for temporal freedom (through the prolonged life of their works). In this argument for a proto-avant garde I see a sort of temporal wandering, a feeling of disrootedness from one’s own era, a belief that artistic production is not of one time or place, but roams—not unlike those vagrant bodies with whom the Romantic artist so readily identifies. However, we should also note a certain paradox operating within this forced alliance. The Romantic conception of original genius, as a less tangible and heavily mythologized alternative to original labor (understood as industrial and solid), ostensibly resists the labor-based copyright laws it helps to enact—laws concerned with the production and distribution of texts as private commodities.

34.         To state this contradiction more precisely, at the same time that Romantic artists take the wandering, property-less subject as a model for creative production, they advocate for intellectual property laws that draw increasingly rigid boundaries around the intellectual-as-commodity. Concomitant, then, with the land enclosures that help to further dispossess the wandering class, we find a series of intellectual or literary enclosures that privatize texts, removing them from the public domain. As an added insult, these texts frequently contain representations (either literary or visual) of wandering bodies, which they twice alienate: both in their representational arrest, and through their commoditization and privatization as texts operating within a capitalist economy and under the protection of copyright monopolies. And yet, despite this double gesture of appropriation and enclosure, the vagrant body is not wholly confined. Repeatedly, we see it surface, resist, and question the parameters of its enclosure.

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Fleetwood, William. “An Appendix to Chronicon Preciosum: Containing An Historical Account of Coins.” Chronicon Preciosum: or, An Account of English Gold and Silver Money. London: Printed for T. Osborne, 1745. 1-55.

Gerzina, Gretchen. Black London: Life Before Emancipation. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers UP, 1995.

Glajar, Valentina and Domnica Radulescu, eds. “Gypsies” in European Literature and Culture: Studies in European Culture and History. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

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Wilson, G.H. The Eccentric Mirror. London: James Cundee, 1806-1807.

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Notes

[1] The accompanying text suggests that a “mug of beer” may be had “at the place generally called the Gipsy-house” (Caulfield 247-249). BACK

[2] Coins with a similar pattern on the obverse of the monarch’s profile were minted between the reigns of Richard I and Henry VII (c. 1189-1509). Choosing to show the back of the coin further obscures the temporal as a coin’s face changes with each new reign. BACK

[3] Richard Corbould (1757-1831) had two sons, George Corbould (1786-1846) and Henry Corbould (1787-1844). Richard Corbould married Charlotte Heath, a daughter of the Heath family of engravers and their eldest son, George, apprenticed with James Heath (Peltz). BACK

[4] The “gentlemen thief” was a salient category in the Romantic imagination, exemplified by the “Prince of Pickpockets,” George Barrington (1755-1804), a trained actor and London’s most notorious and celebrated thief. Although arrested repeatedly, Barrington was often (supposedly) released on account of his “gentlemanly demeanor and eloquence,” testifying to the slippage between the categories he embodied (McCalman 417). BACK

[5] There are, of course, notable exceptions (e.g., Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, 1830) however, Eitner persuasively argues that, in general, the Romantic period sees a movement away from this type of overt allegory. BACK

[6] As put forth in the Critique of Pure Judgment (1790). See, for example, Kant 150-51. BACK

[7] A popular subject in art of the preceding centuries, the gypsy fortune-teller gained renewed cultural currency in the beginning of the nineteenth century with Sir Walter Scott’s Guy Mannering, or, The Astrologer, published in 1815. The novel’s ambiguous hero, Meg Merrilies, a tempestuous gypsy, and one of the most memorable literary gypsies of the era, famously divines young Harry Bertram’s horoscope. Not only were illustrations of this scene well known through the various prints of Scott’s novel, the figure of Meg Merrilies became the popular subject of paintings and poetry, including John Keats’ “Meg Merrilies,” of 1818. BACK

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Epitomized by Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer Watching a Sea of Fog (c. 1817-18), and the Wordsworthian peripatetic, the gentlemanly or artistic wanderer is integral to the Romantic imagination. Wandering lies at the heart of picturesque sightseeing, blank verse poetry, specimen collecting, and the Romantic cultivation of self. However, these forms of sanctioned wandering exist against a backdrop of less desirable movements that, nonetheless, inform, color and at times literally converge with the endorsed amblings of the inquisitive artist-gentlemen. Unsanctioned forms of wandering existed on a spectrum of criminality, which at times included peddlers, actors, shepherds, discharged soldiers, beggars, orphaned children, gypsies, sailors, highwaymen, and pirates, among others. These disparate groups, while often meticulously differentiated, were also increasingly amalgamated as vagrants through a series of common burdens and discriminatory practices, resulting from the enclosure of common lands and changing Poor Laws, licensing, and Vagrancy Acts in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This gallery seeks to explore some of the strategies of representation used to capture the vagrant body in print—and, furthermore, to tease out some of the tensions and slippages between the text as material object and the roaming body it seeks to arrest.

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Lucy Kimiko Hawkinson Traverse

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          My PRK Experience        
I've been wearing glasses since the age of 5. Because of my severe astigmatism in both eyes complimented with near sightedness my eyes have continued to get worse. I've been interested in getting Lasik since I graduated high school, but didn't get up the nerve to take it seriously until now at the age of 27. After researching several places in the Hampton Roads area including a few places that were recommended to me by friends I decided on Tidewater Eye Center. After reading about their credentials, testimonials, and meeting with the staff I just knew that this was the place for me. When I called to make an appointment the secretary scheduled me for a consultation with Dr. J Tom Edmonds.  I've always had my heart set on lasik so imagine my surprise when I found out that due to my thin corneas and dry eyes I was not a candidate. Instead Dr. Edmonds told me that I was a candidate for PRK. He told me to research the procedure and come back with any questions. Me being well me, I read every single bit of information I could find on the internet via Google and YouTube. Imagine my surprise when I found out that there was not a lot of recent information documenting people's PRK experiences and the ones that were out there, well let's just say the bad far outweighed the good. I was terrified, but after praying and combing through as many PRK stories as I could find I decided to go through with it.

Pre-Op Appointment:

The day of my pre-op appointment basically consisted of having my eyes measured by several different machines, dilation, tear production test, vision test etc. It honestly was not a whole lot different from my yearly eye exams. After thoroughly reviewing all of the information Dr. Edmonds told me that I was still a PRK candidate although I was on the higher end of the spectrum as far as the severity of my astigmatism, dry eyes, and thin corneas.

PRK Preparation:

 I was told not to wear contacts for at least 2 weeks prior to the procedure which was fine because I hadn't worn contacts in months. It was also recommended that I start taking 1000mg of Vitamin C and I was prescribed Restasis eye drops twice a day to help with my dry eyes.An entire list of what I should do and when was provided to me and I followed it to the letter. I truly believe that this makes a huge difference in your recovery so make it easy on yourself and do what you can to help your procedure be successful!

PRK Day of Surgery
After reading so many mixed reviews on PRK I was a bundle of nerves on the day of surgery. I knew what to expect as far as the surgery was concerned but I was a bit nervous about the recovery period, discomfort, etc. I arrived promptly at 3:30 P.M with my hubby and mom in tow because I wanted needed them to be there! After I was called back my consultant explained to myself and the hubby what I would need to do post op, which consisted of several different types of eyes drops, etc. After that she gave me a small does of Valium to help me relax and I waited to be called back. After a few minutes Dr. Edmonds came in to explain exactly what to expect ( he also explained this to me during my pre-op exam) and then we went back. He checked my eyes one last time and inserted corneal tear ducts into each eye to help with tear production and then we went back to the operating room. Honestly the procedure itself was quite cool. They covered one eye, applied numbing drops to the other, applied an eye speculum to prevent me from blinking and got to work. I didn't feel a thing and the entire procedure for both eyes was over in about 15 minutes. There is a ton out there that explains exactly what happens during the procedure itself so I won't bother to explain it but all it consisted of me doing was staring at a red light. After the procedure was done on each eye a clear contact bandage was applied. Dr. Edmonds checked my eyes one last time and then the nurse taped the coolest looking clear goggles on my eyes and sunglasses and I was on my way! Once the procedure was over I was amazed at how much my vision had improved in just 15 minutes. My vision prior to the procedure was 20/200 in both eyes. I was told to go home and go to sleep, which I didn't think I would be able to do since I was wide awake on the ride home, but as it turned out the meds they gave me took care of that. I slept, woke up and ate dinner. Dr. Edmonds called me that night to check in and see how I was doing. After our chat I went back to sleep and slept for the rest of the evening.

Seeing as how this post is already rather long I will do a separate post including the first 7 days of my recovery. I kept a mini diary to document how I was feeling and what I experienced each day. Stay tuned!


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          Suniva and SolarWorld Claim Their Trade Case Will Create More Than 114,800 Jobs        

A game of dueling numbers is playing out over the market impacts of a pending U.S. solar trade case.

An economic analysis released yesterday by law firm Mayer Brown, on behalf of trade case petitioners Suniva and SolarWorld Americas, finds that imposing new tariffs on solar products made outside of America will result in a net increase of at least 114,800 new jobs, and potentially as many as 144,300 new jobs, across all segments of the U.S. solar industry.

“This job growth includes as many as 45,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs in the solar cell and module manufacturing segment and the upstream sectors that cell and module manufacturing supports,” the report states. “It also includes an increase of 98,020 U.S. non-manufacturing jobs, including 65,830 U.S. installer jobs.”

Those results stand in sharp contrast to the numbers put forward in a separate analysis published recently by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), which determined that Suniva’s requested tariff and minimum pricing requirement would result in the loss of 88,000 solar jobs in 2018. The utility-scale market would see jobs shrink by 60 percent, while residential and commercial employment would fall by 44 percent and 46 percent, respectively.

The U.S. solar industry currently employs around 260,000 workers. Manufacturing represents 38,000 or 15 percent of jobs in the sector, according to the Solar Foundation’s 2016 jobs census.

Rational or preposterous?

U.S. solar manufacturing numbers may be slipping. SolarWorld Americas, which recently raised $6 million to fight the trade case in light of its parent company’s insolvency, employed around 1,200 people at its peak. The Oregon-based manufacturer currently has around 300 U.S. workers, following a severe round of job cuts. In late March, Suniva announced “significant” layoffs in Georgia, where it’s headquartered, and in Michigan, where it operates a facility. The company declared bankruptcy in April.

Suniva brought the Section 201 trade case shortly after filing for bankruptcy protection, seeking duties of 40 cents per watt on imported cells and a floor price of 78 cents per watt on modules. SolarWorld joined the petition in May. And the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) took up the case shortly after.

The petitioners blame their financial woes on “a deluge of imports,” which they say has distorted the solar market. Effective remedies under the Section 201 trade investigation can restore the U.S. solar market to an “economically rational state,” according to the Mayer Brown report.

However, SEIA notes that while Suniva and SolarWorld have been confronting serious financial struggles and seeking tariff support, manufacturers in other areas of the U.S. solar sector, such as racking systems, have been adding jobs. “Solar manufacturing already employs more than 38,000 Americans,” the SEIA jobs report states. “The fact that the petitioners are laying off employees doesn’t reflect the growth in American manufacturing jobs.”

"The notion that doubling the price of solar panels would somehow increase demand and create jobs is preposterous," Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA, said in an emailed statement. Careful analysis by SEIA and others bears this out, she said.

"Additionally, SEIA has spoken with dozens of manufacturers in the supply chain who ardently oppose this petition because the projected decline in demand will force them to lay off workers," said Ross Hopper. "SEIA’s members know what impact this will have on their ability to produce jobs; companies working in the solar industry today have been clear that Suniva’s sought-after remedy will be devastating to the American solar industry."

How new tariffs could boost job growth

To conclude there would be a net increase of at least 114,800 jobs under a new tariff scenario, Mayer Brown relied on a publicly available model developed by the Department of Commerce and data from GTM Research -- although the law firm took issue with the latter.

The report cites a recent GTM Research analysis that found the trade dispute could halt roughly half of projected U.S. solar installations through 2022, assuming a 40-cent-per-watt tariff for cells and a floor price of 78 cents per watt on modules. Between 2018 and 2022, GTM Research calculated total U.S. solar installations would fall from 72.5 gigawatts cumulatively to just 36.4 gigawatts under a 78-cents-per-watt minimum module price scenario. If the floor price were set higher, the market impact would be even greater, the analysis found.

According to the Mayer Brown report, the GTM Research analysis suffers from “significant flaws,” because it “fails to account for the impact of any new U.S. manufacturing growth and likely significantly understates the rate of growth in installed capacity that would occur if an effective remedy is imposed.”

Assuming that GTM Research’s analysis is correct, the authors say the proposed trade remedy would still result in significant job growth outside of manufacturing over the next five years. Between 2011 and 2015, the U.S. added 25 gigawatts of new installed capacity, according to GTM Research data. And over the same period, the industry added 102,002 non-manufacturing jobs -- 67,500 of which were installer jobs. Applying a similar trend analysis to GTM Research’s projected 36 gigawatts of new installed capacity over the five-year period from 2018 to 2022 results in an increase of 98,020 new non-manufacturing jobs over 2015 levels -- nearly 66,000 of which are estimated to be installer jobs.

So even in a scenario where solar installation numbers fall, the industry could still add a meaningful number of jobs, Mayer Brown argues. 

“Demand for solar in the United States is growing quickly and will continue to grow for the next five years under anyone’s estimates,” said Timothy Brightbill, partner in law firm Wiley Rein’s international trade practice representing SolarWorld.

Of course, by the same logic, job growth would be much greater if the U.S. market achieved the full 72.5 gigawatts of growth projected over the next five years.

Why a Section 201 trade case is so powerful

To estimate the number of manufacturing jobs, the Mayer Brown report assumes that the tariffs will restore U.S. production capacity to nearly 970 megawatts of cells and 875 megawatts of modules. The analysis also assumes total cell production costs of between 22 cents and 33 cents per watt and module production costs of between 22 cents and 24 cents per watt, citing government and industry data. Using the U.S. Department of Commerce’s “Regional Input-Output Modeling” system, the models show that a trade “remedy” would result in an increase of 12,429 to 16,141 manufacturing jobs, in short order.

Furthermore, “it is highly likely that imposition of an effective remedy and stabilization of price levels in the U.S. would result in substantial new investment in U.S. solar cell and module manufacturing capacity,” the jobs report states.

Assuming that a new tariff and minimum price boost domestic cell production capacity to 3 gigawatts and U.S. module capacity to 2.6 gigawatts, American cell and module manufacturing employment would increase by between 37,515 and 45,491 restored and new jobs, respectively. Economic output and wages paid in the cell and module manufacturing sectors would increase by between $2.5 billion and $3.3 billion each.

An increase in direct solar manufacturing jobs also benefits other sectors, including aluminum extrusions, silicon crystals and electronic components, the report states. This means the cell and module manufacturing sector will exert a strong multiplier effect, resulting in a significant impact on the broader U.S. economy.

“Solar manufacturing jobs generate many additional upstream and downstream jobs -- unlike installer jobs, which are at the end of the value spectrum,” said Brightbill.

“In order to have a strong solar industry, we need to have a strong solar manufacturing industry,” he continued. “Solar is a constantly evolving, fiercely competitive landscape, and innovations happen on the shop floor every day. Innovations are part of the manufacturing process, so if you don’t have the manufacturing process, then all of the know-how, all of the R&D, and all of the investment will go overseas. That’s why we feel so strongly that we need to maintain -- and grow -- manufacturing here in the U.S., especially when demand is as strong as it is.”

To see those benefits, Brightbill said it’s paramount that any trade remedy be comprehensive and apply also to America’s free trade partners, such as Mexico. “I think the worst thing that could happen would be to omit or leave out certain countries from relief,” he said. “That’s why Section 201 is so powerful, because it covers all countries and import sources.”

“Part of our plan is that relief will cause companies to build their next manufacturing plant here, rather than in Malaysia or Mexico. And that, of course, is directly in line with this administration’s goal of increasing U.S. manufacturing and U.S. jobs," said Brightbill.

Meanwhile, others in the solar industry flat out reject Suniva and SolarWorld’s assessment.

Did petitioners bring their business troubles on themselves?

The Suniva/SolarWorld paper “contains no economic analysis and posits a theory that turns supply and demand basics on its head by claiming that raising the price of a product somehow creates more demand for that product,” said Paul Nathanson, spokesperson for the Energy Trade Action Coalition (ETAC), a new group launched to coordinate opposition to the trade case.

“Of course, the opposite is true,” Nathanson continued. Imposing the tariff and floor price proposed under Section 201 would "double the price of solar panels [and] would reduce demand, devastate the solar industry, and result in the loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs,” he said. This is confirmed by SEIA’s assessment and GTM Research’s solar forecast, as well as trade case analyses conducted by third parties.

A Goldman Sachs research note, for instance, states that granting the Suniva and SolarWorld petition would increase all-in costs for utility-scale projects by an estimated 30 percent, and would increase prices for residential projects by 15 percent. “We expect solar installations would fall precipitously in the U.S. on the back of lower returns [resulting from a] higher-priced module,” the firm wrote. In its assessment, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said the Suniva accusations are “riddled with holes and hypocrisies.”

Conservative political groups The Heritage Foundation, the R Street Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council have also criticized the trade petition as a "a step backward" and "the worst kind of protectionism." The three groups recently joined SEIA and others as members of ETAC.

Mounting dissent from across the political spectrum could help convince Republican President Donald Trump to reject new trade barriers, should a tariff proposal end up on his desk in the coming months. But the petition may not make it that far. If the ITC decides Suniva and SolarWorld have failed to show that a rising level of imports have caused them serious injury, the case will come to a close.

In written arguments submitted to the ITC yesterday -- ahead of the commission’s “injury hearing” on August 15 -- SEIA expounded on its criticism, claiming neither Suniva nor SolarWorld had been able to produce enough 72-cell modules to meet the demand in the fast-growing utility-scale solar market. Increasing crystalline silicon photovoltaics imports were then pulled into the U.S. utility market -- rather than flooding it -- to meet that need, according to SEIA.

Domestic producers also missed many opportunities for residential business, the trade group said. “SolarWorld and Suniva failed to fully qualify their product with major purchasers,” according to the written argument. Furthermore, “both experienced complaints from a litany of dissatisfied customers over late shipments, damaged products and general product unreliability,” SEIA said.

The ITC will weigh the validity of these and other arguments in the coming weeks.


          So Delicious Coconut Milk Organic Minis        
Is it ever the wrong time of year for So Delicious Minis? Apparently not, because So Delicious has just released three new Coconut Milk Minis flavors! In the past, there have been Almond Milk Minis and Agave Sweetened & Chocolate Covered Minis (all which were DELICIOUS.) The new flavors are Simply Strawberry, Fudge Bar and Just Java. I'm a sucker for ice cream bars and I love that there's so many options out there now. I appreciate So Delicious sending me a box of each to review. So despite the sub zero temps (in Omaha at least) let's try these Minis out!

Let's start with my favorite, Simply Strawberry. I'm always a sucker for strawberry anyways, but this really was my jam. To me, it tastes like strawberry Julius bars. If you even slightly like s-berries, you'll love 'em. My next favorite is the Fudge Bar, this one is pretty self explanatory. A yummy chocolate bar. Nothing new, but I'm diggin' it. The last of the new Minis bars is Just Java. It's a coffee tinged bar. Not really my style, but you java lovers will be into it. Talk about a wide spectrum of flavors!

So no matter your flavor preference, there is a Minis out there for you.  



          Lightweight Matte Lipstick: Maybelline The Powder Mattes Review        
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Heads up, there’s a new matte lipstick on the scene! Gone are the days of dryness and heavy feeling all matte-girls are more than familiar with as one of Maybelline New York’s newest launches, The Powder Mattes, prides itself as the brand’s first-ever lightweight matte lipstick. Oh yes, the words LIGHTWEIGHT and MATTE are in one sentence – this really must be something! And I cannot wait anymore; let’s get it on with the review…

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True to its name, it gives your lips a really smooth powdery feel that’s comfortable and rather longwearing. I can also vouch for its non-drying properties since my lips remain supple and plump whenever I wear this for an entire day, with little top ups in between.

Not a huge fault, considering they went to the lightweight direction, but I can’t help feeling this fell short of the mark in terms of pigmentation. A single coat only yields just enough color to enhance the lips, but if you want a more even and opaque coverage, 2-3 swipes do the job.

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It consists of 15 exciting shades covering the lipstick colors we all need in our lives: nude, red and pink. This fact thrills me to no end, but that’s a lot of lipsticks to swatch, phew! #bloggerproblems Good thing I’m always up for the challenge; so after dedicating one full afternoon for it and with very sore lips, here are the swatches of Maybelline The Powder Mattes:

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THE NUDES: EVERYONE’S FAVORITE MY LIPS BUT BETTER
(L-R): Touch Of Nude, Make Me Blush, Nude Illusion, Barely There

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Touch Of Nude – A happy medium between nude and pink. It’s the best seller from the collection I believe.
Make Me Blush – Beautiful name and equally beautiful shade. This warm kind of nude is my favorite from the bunch.
Nude Illusion – Yikes! Too light for me, eh? Although this looks like a perfect complement for a full on smokey eye at night.
Barely There – Another not-for-me shade, but do you think you can rock this pinkish nude color?

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THE PINKS: SWEET AND PRETTY WITH A PUNCH
(L-R): Fuchsia Pink, Technically Pink, Pink Shot, Pink Potion, Up To Date, Mauve It Up

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Fuchsia Flush – My pick! A pretty natural pink that I think suits skin tones from both ends of spectrum.
Technically Pink – Rather blue-based, soft baby pink. I couldn’t capture the shade properly. Believe me, I tried.
Pink Shot – You must be scared because it’s B-R-I-G-H-T! Not neon in actual though, another one hard to photograph.
Pink Potion – Vibrant and quite an in-your-face pink but I loooove it!
Up To Date – Darker version of Fuchsia Flush. I used to be chicken for shades like this, but it’s now growing on me.
Mauve It Up – An apricot shade that’s very much wearable.

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THE REDS: WHEN CLASSIC IS YOUR THING
(L-R): Red-dy Red, Noir Red, Cherry Chic, Get Red-dy, Plum Perfection

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Red-dy Red – A warm, almost tangerine red. It’s more opaque in one layer, as compared to the others.
Noir Red – I was expecting a darker hue due to the bullet but this is a soft one, ideal if you are not feeling a full on red.
Cherry Chic – A cherry, pinkish shade (as per the name, duh!). Pretty, but I don’t like that it’s too translucent.
Get Red-dy – This one’s a true classic. It’s not too cool and not too warm, just flattering for any skin tone.
Plum Perfection – A Muted wine shade that oozes sexiness. VAMPY, yes that’s the word for it.

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In terms of price points, performance, and up to date product releases, you can’t go past Maybelline – The Powder Mattes are no exception. I love that the collection is subtle enough to wear on casual days and still has that touch of sophistication for a special event. As far as I am concerned, again, we all need nude, red, and pink lipsticks so take you pick as you’re covered by The Powder Mattes.

PRICE: PhP299
WHERE TO FIND: Maybelline counters nationwide

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          By: francis        
Sorry PaulL, my comment was directed at those who oppose the bailout because they think it's a vehicle to rescue bankers and they want them punished. It's a vehicle, instead, to avert wider economic collapse. I recognise that many here, on both sides of the spectrum, have doubts that the collapse of the banks will lead to that outcome. I disagree with that group. And just one more point. While the debt instuments may be "toxic" to one degree or another, what they service certainly isn't.
          Larry Magid: Obama’s Order May End Spectrum Crunch For Cellphone Users        
President Barack Obama signed a memorandum Friday that frees up wireless spectrum that the government is not using for private sector use.
          Comment on De-Scribed on User-Generated Content by Graham Lally        
Hi Ben, good to see you back in blogging action :) To take each paragraph in turn... I think the concept of 'originality' is probably a key, yet murky concept here. One of my points was that the distinction, between 'context' and 'content' is one that should be accepted thus - in order, possibly, to break out of the 'old content' vs 'new content' hype that seems to proliferate at the moment. That is, fan culture innovation is more prevalent than a culture of *independent* innovation. In trendy buzzwords, a large proportion of the 'long tail' is actually intrinsically linked to the other, mainstream end of the spectrum. To tie in with the second paragraph, then, this cultural 'dependency'/context is the lead-up to an increasing corporatisation of user-generated content. I'll probably blog these soon, but some examples I can think of 1) Nikon providing Flickr-style 'gallery' space for Nikon users, 2) the UK Tories looking to make inroads into social networking systems, 3) MTV possibly looking to buy YouTube and extend control over it. The end result, made not just possible but *probable* by a mass-produced culture, is less of a co-existence, and more of a co-opting of new 'media'. In reality, then, the only thing likely to change 'radically' is simply the 'product' delivery system. Not, as many people would like to think, the whole economic infrastructure or network of control over what we consume.
          brokehack mountain        
i'm completely broke, sadly. this month my partner is no longer employed so much much more of my income needs to go on food and bills and rent, which leaves a lot less than i usually have for unneeded things like experiment materials, the subscription fee for the MMO i play when i have the money, treat food and alcohol, meeting friends etc etc. so unfortunately that means i can't afford to complete my node array this month, although there ought to be enough scrimped up by the end of the month so i can get some good video / photos of a multiple node install for the documentary (they'll also go up here prior). i had hoped to be able to do it this month, but underclass gonna underclass.

i'm also gonna be seeing a psychiatrist tomorrow to see if they think any more talk therapy would help with my depression. as previously mentioned (i think) they don't think i have an autism spectrum disorder anymore, nor BPD - currently i just have "major depressive disorder" and "chronic back pain from spinal lordosis" as the things the government is paying me for while i try and get some qualifications together. i am really hoping it helps but trying not to get too hyped up for it because they might say no, or it might not do anything, you get the idea. more as it happens

L
          Soybean, Tofu, Edamame        
Soy, in its many forms, is a hot topic these days.  It's said to be a very healthful choice for some people although others shun it.  It's instrumental in feeding the world's livestock but we humans often enjoy it as soy sauce on our Asian-inspired foods.  Soybean is the basis for tofu, enjoyed in Asia for millennia but gaining popularity in the Western world as well.  It's also an important agricultural stimulant, planted as part of a crop rotation system to increase the soil's nitrogen content.

The soybean is a legume, often written as soyabean or soya bean.  The bean itself is enjoyed in Japan, where it is known as edamame.  This way of eating the bean (as a bean and not a bean product) is also becoming more popular in the United States as the bean's healthful benefits are becoming more well known.

Soybeans are one of the only plant foods that contain all eight essential amino acids required for optimum health.  The protein from most meats and eggs have these eight essential nutrients and plants usually have some, but not all, of them.  It's the absence of all eight essential amino acids that makes a vegetarian diet so tricky.  Proper food-combining strategies are required for optimum health for vegetarians.

These amino acids are said to be essential because the human body does not manufacture them from the foods we eat.  Therefore, it is essential we consume them from outside sources.  Substituting soybean products for animal-based foods will better ensure a vegetarian diet provides maximum nutritional value.

The full spectrum of the eight essential amino acids makes soybean-based infant formulas ideal foods for babies who are lactose intolerant.  Soy milks, sour creams, and other dairy products can be enjoyed by older children and adults who suffer from lactose intolerance.

The soybean is high in omega-3 fatty acids, is thought to be helpful in reducing the risk for colon cancer, and many women rely on it to relieve the symptoms of menopause.  Soybeans contain small amounts of phytoestrogens, or chemical compounds found in plants that mimic the estrogen humans produce.  Normal consumption is generally safe for everyone but some people are particularly sensitive to any hormone fluctuations, no matter how small, and should consume soybean products with caution.

About 35% of all the soybeans consumed in the world are produced in the American Midwest.
          The Book of Jesus        

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The Book of Jesus: A Treasury of the Greatest Stories and Writings About Christ edited by Calvin Miller. Here is a book I wanted to read for a long time. Surprisingly, I found it in our library, one of the books I mindlessly picked up during one of the conferences held in Chiang Mai last year. The book is edited by Calvin Miller. He is a pastor, speaker and professor. He is the bestselling author of more than thirty books including the enormously popular Singer trilogy.

From the blurb, it says that The Book of Jesus is an essential volume for every Christian library: an all-embracing collection—in style of the The Book of Virtue—of the best stories, poems, essays, and songs about the life of Jesus Christ.

“No two people know quite the same things about Jesus or see him in quite the same way,” says Calvin Miller in the Introduction to this monumental work. “Some see him as judge, coming to scourge the nations. Others see him primarily as a lover of children. Scholars tend to see him in scholarly ways. Poets see him more poetically. Preachers see him as a preacher, teachers as teacher. Carpenters like remembering he was one of them.” The Jesus of Scripture, Dr. Miller says, “is only finished in the individual hearts of those who believe.” In compiling The Book of Jesus, Dr. Miller’s goal is to bring together some of the most fascinating, original observations on the life of Jesus Christ, and the result is truly wonderful.

The Book of Jesus contains hundreds of selections drawn from every era of history, presenting a spectrum of contributors from Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Dickens, Hemingway, and C.S. Lewis to Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, and Desmond Tutu. This broad, eclectic volume also includes works by contemporary Christian writers such as Max Lucado, Elisabeth Elliot, Charles Colson, and Eugene Peterson, and other poems, songs, and essays, traditional hymns, and verse from the Bible.

The selections in this indispensable book, when taken together, present “the Christ of universal reflection, “for many thousands of people who see to find out exactly who is this most important man.


          Investigating where I AM...And Where I Desire To Go        
Bette Midler in Dolly: Bridging the past with the Present
Happiness, it seems, to me, consists of two things: first, in being where you belong, and second-and best-in comfortably going through everyday life, that is, having had a good night's sleep and not being hurt by new shoes. 
-Theodor Fontane, German author (1819-1898)

Happy Monday, August 7th, 2017!
August 7 is the 219th day of the year. There are 146 days remaining until the end of the year.  
Today's blog is a stream of consciousness blog. random thoughts on a Monday. 
It is a rainy day here in New York. I find days like this to be turbulent. Rainy days actually do affect my entire outlook. I work through them, but trust me, it is hard! A friend posted on Facebook today, When I get slammed with a cold I really miss Mom. I can't visit her the way I need to, want to. Well, cold is clearing now. Mom duty begins. Thankful. Holding on tight.
I know exactly what she means!
Nothing seems to be going my way today. I, however, am not regretting or turning back.My horoscope tells me that I'm facing a time of challenging communications, especially in the realms of work and money. It goes on to tell me that creativity is flowing thick and fast, but it will be harder than usual to be heard. I hope that is not the case! It also goes on to tell me that today's planetary movement exerts an energy that might make me feel like my dreams are just out of reach. Aargh!  In addition to the weather, am fighting the flu and as I sat down to begin today's blog, I was listening to Barbara Fasano's CD, Written In The Stars.  

Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce entertaining the lucky ones who can afford a ticket
It is a wonderful mellow CD to listen to on a day like today. Barbara happens to be one of my favorite singers in today's cabaret scene.
There are many artists thriving here in New York City that are not known on a wider spectrum.

It is all because of the times that we live in and the way that the entire sphere of entertainment is so fragmented.

At another time, Barbara would have been a household name.
with Natalie Douglas

Another singer that would also have been a household name is Natalie Douglas. She and beau Billy Joe Young are celebrating twenty five years today. Love them both!
Natalie is going to be a Mystery Guest in Richard Skipper Celebrates!
One of these dates: September 10th, October 8th, December 5th.  You'll have to be there to find out which one!

In the early days of Barbra Streisand's rise, for
Liza in the 70s proving that Life really is a Cabaret
example, there were 'talent scouts' who ventured into the many nightclubs, now called cabarets, seeking talent for the many TV shows that aired live here in New York.
How I would love to go back to the days of Ed Sullivan in which a family (now also fragmented) would sit together on a Sunday night to see the eclectic mixed bag that Mr. Sullivan would present.From Avi Duvdevani: 42 years ago, that August of 1975, when Liza substituted for five weeks for GWEN VERDON, appearing in the Broadway run of the hit show, CHICAGO, opposite CHITA RIVERA.
With only one week of rehearsal time and no public announcement, other than this announcement at each curtain: "Good evening ladies and gentlemen. At this performance, the role of Roxie Hart, normally played by Gwen Verdon .....will be played by LIZA MINNELLI!" And the audience went nuts)
Liza played to standing-room audiences, garnering critical and public acclaim.
Can you imagine?Donna Murphy is not as well known as Bette Midler outside of theater circles but she should be getting the same kind of response. She IS that good! I love her in the role and it is a shame that she is not getting the same kind of acclaim as Bette. Her vocals are so strong that a second CD should be made. Tickets are easier to get on the nights Donna is on. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself. You will thank me!
Broadway Review: ‘Hello, Dolly!’ With Donna Murphy: Variety


My horoscope today also indicates that I may have extra money in my pocket.
LL Cool J and Carol Channing on the Tonys several years ago bridging the past with the present
I truly do not know what it means it have extra money in my pockets. I never have. However, I'm hopeful and if that ever does happen, I most assuredly would be a patron
Looking forward to sharing a stage with Ben Rimalower on September 10th!
of the arts.
I am much happier sacrificing my own gratification for the satisfaction of others. I make a point to get together with close friends and loved  ones AT LEAST once a week.
I am passionate about helping others. I am using the transit to get in touch with what I really desire, so that I am able to take appropriate steps toward achieving that. See, there are daily lessons to be gleaned from our horoscopes whether you believe them or not. I use my horoscopes as daily guidelines. It also tells me that the stars are working in my favor this week and I'm driven to try new things. I signed on, along with my producer Russ Woolley today with a new marketing firm to promote The Richard Skipper Celebrates Show. We will be utilizing them for our September show. If we see major results, we will utilize them all season. I'm really hopeful! It's time to branch out.

We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. - Anais Nin

Thoughts are whirling around in my head and I know I need to change my outlook.

Seven years ago, I was traveling all over the country as Carol Channing. Now, that is very much a part of my past.
Doris, Dear
I never desired to be called either a drag queen OR even a female impersonator. I liked to be called a tribute artist.
However, today, I found an article that puts things in perspective for many. I reached out to my friend Doris Dear, for 'her' perspective. Doris Dear is going to be a Mystery Guest in one of my upcoming shows (see above with Natalie Douglas). You'll have to attend to find out which one. Perhaps we will discuss this!

Well depends on who, I think. I never refer to my professional cabaret self as a drag queen. It reduces me to a bar maiden!
I get marginalized enough for wearing a dress. I am an actor, have been professionally making my living that way for 38 years now.
To reduce me to that is not what I want suddenly because I wear a dress for some of my shows.
But then again, saying you do drag immediately puts it in a  place that people understand.
Female Impersonator always makes me think you are impersonating someone specifically
like Cher or Dolly 

-Doris Dear

Never let a bad situation bring out the worst in you. Be strong and choose to be positive.-Megan Fox

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. - African Proverb

200th Day of our Potus' Presidency and what do WE have? YOU tell ME!

The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new. - Socrates

I'm throwing back the curtain and showing my followers the little man behind the Wizard who is always trying to put forth a positive image of a man. 

Let's Be Friends! I promise you a great experience!


You have the power to change anything, because you are the one who chooses your thoughts and feels your feelings.

Here are a Few Testimonials for Richard Skipper Celebrates: Next One September 10th 1PM Laurie Beechman Theater: Reserve HERE:
w/Ann Dawson, Emily McNamara, Ben Rimalower... AND a Beloved Cabaret Mystery Guest

Dear Richard,
Thank you for the tribute to Judy Garland in honor of her birthday for the American Popular Song Society on Judy Garland's Birthday (6/10/17). The entertaining film clips, the guest performers and your interviews all made for a memorable afternoon.

Ann Dawson, NYC 
See Ann Dawson as part of Richard Skipper Celebrates September 10th

Though I have not have the great fortune to see Richard's show's live (Please come to Vegas!!!)   I do have the great fortune of calling him one of my dearest friends. And that dear ones, is  a great blessing indeed.   Richard is a blessing to all who he encounters.   His positivity will help you through the hardest of days.   Truly one in a million :)  May God continue to bless all you do!
Love,
Jamie Farrar, Las Vegas

What a wonderful afternoon at Richard Skipper Celebrates! I'd had a very trying morning on Sunday, and I wasn't in the best of moods when I arrived, but within seconds of the show starting, all tension slipped away and I could feel the smile creeping across my face, a smile I kept for days after.
Doug Devita, NYC

Sit Back! A New News Cycle Is About to Begin!


Thank you, to ALL who are mentioned in this blog for showing me that it is up to ME to lead by example!

With grateful XOXOXs , 
 






CallonDolly.com
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NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!  
  

Keeping America great through Art!     


Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook
Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
 
TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

 







          Letting Go of those that have a Problem For Every Situation        
Life Is a Banquet and More Poor Sons of Bitches are Starving To Death!
-Mame Dennis

Happy Sunday, July 16th, 2017!
Today is the 197th day of the year. There are 168 days remaining until the end of the year. As I sat down to begin my blog today, I was listening to Linda Kosut sing I Cover The Waterfront. It is a soulful rendition and really sums up where I am, where I've been, and where I desire to go.

The time has come to let go of things, and people, that are no longer of any real use to me. One of my horoscopes is telling me that new projects and new partnerships are coming into being when the Sun changes signs on the 22nd, so clear as much space in my life as I can...and I am! I believe that.
And I refuse to stop growing.
Life is boring if you never improve at anything.

Carleton Carpenter: One of the many players of Call on Dolly!

Trying to rigidly cling to an unmanageable agenda only makes matters worse now.  I am following the course of least resistance and allowing  EVERYTHING to fall like a house of cards.This way, I'm able to pick up those 'cards' that are going to benefit me on some level.   Once the stress of keeping up appearances is gone, I'm available to recreate my life to your liking. Sometimes it takes an unexpected breakdown to experience an undeniable breakthrough. That has been happening over the past few weeks!

I want to begin by telling you about the past two weeks. On July 1st, Danny and I drove up to Buffalo for our nephew's wedding (on Danny's side of the family). When Danny and I met 27 years ago, Joey was running around in diapers.
It was heartwarming to see him start out on the next chapter of his life with his wife after a few missteps along the way.
It was a beautiful wedding on a beautiful day.


Why did I gravitates toward Hello, Dolly! rather than Funny Girl? It starts with Carol Channing!
I flew back to New York the next morning so that I could devote a week alone to work on my book, Call on Dolly! :From Carol  Channing to Bette Midler and Beyond.
Jerry Herman!
A dear friend picked me up at JFK and I came home excitedly to focus on my book. I took a nap when I got home and woke in the afternoon to get going. I've spent seven years on this project.
That has included over 500 interviews and many trips and, thank you, Danny, sitting through MANY productions of Dolly on every level of the spectrum.
So on Monday of last week, I sat down at my computer, booted it up, and I could not access my data base!

I was desperately trying to figure out why I could not get in. Danny's brother, David, who is an IT guy was able to reconstruct it AND retrieve my data base!

 It didn't stop there. My external drive could not be detected.

My entire book project was there! As well as my head shots, family photos, friends, celebrities, interviews, everything! My heart stopped. It truly crippled me. Last week was a lost cause. It was the darkest place I think I have felt in a long time. It zapped my energy. I became lethargic and had no sense of direction and/or what to do next.

My best FRIEND, Russ Woolley, suggested calling a friend of his who is also an IT guy.
He came over and could not figure out the problem.

Another FRIEND, Lisa Egidi-Martinez, contacted a data retrieval company in
Jerry Herman and Lucille Ball as Mame
Stony Point, Rockland County Computer Repair, and they came and picked it up.

I received a text Monday AM of this week that it was looking good and that they were cleaning up some 'junk'.
I'm not exactly sure what that meant. I asked for prayers, positive energy, AND positive thoughts.
Yes! I do believe in that. Well, it worked.
It was returned yesterday and EVERYTHING is intact! Not only did he save all my files, they are now downloaded on to my computer and he even freed up space on my computer ensuring me that I still have plenty of space still on my computer and that I truly don't even need an external drive at this point, a fallacy I have carried around AND been taught for several years.

I am tired of taking one step forward, then two steps back!
Perhaps this is the Universe's way of telling me to step back and take a break.
Ginger Rogers
I was still cautiously optimistic but I breathed a little bit better. So my computer had a near-death experience!
I took the summer off from performing my show to focus on my book and regroup.

I started working on this project in 2011 when my career took an unfortunate turn.


I was trying to figure out what the next chapter would be for me. I had spent 20 years performing as Carol Channing.
It was TIME to move on.

Thus was born Call on Dolly!
Danny and I were vacationing in Palm Springs where the idea hit me like a bolt of energy. 

As soon as I announced on Facebook that I was going to write this book, a friend suggested I contact Roberta Olden, who was Ginger Rogers' personal assistant the last
10 years of Rogers' life. (Today, by the way is Ginger Rogers' Birthday)
I desired to become a writer, blogger and author.

It was never my dream. But it is NOW! I can see it clearly . . .
taste it, smell it, feel it.
I asked where she was and I almost plotzed when he said she was in Palm Springs! He said he would make the introductions.
She called me and told me that she was managing a country club and that would be the best place for us to meet.
Broadway's latest Dolly! Donna Murphy! A holy grail interview
Danny and I went there and I was shocked and  amazed to see she was my age. I expected a much older woman. We sat down to talk and I began to ask her questions. After about 15 minutes, she invited us back to her home.
There she shared so much including Rogers' mom's journal! This detailed an opening night and closing night account of Rogers' run on Broadway. She even had Roger's Harmonia Gardens gown hanging in her closet. It was a great interview and I was off and running!
So for the past seven years,
David Merrick's Bio in the Playbill of the current Broadway Revival

I've been churning out the work through my blogs and the CallonDolly website.
I also have a very big presence on social media. I'm feeling clear, energetic, courageous and that is resulting in
super productivity!
My fans are clamoring for my book to be released or my next blog post to be published based on the emails I receive. I am living my passion and purpose . . serving others . . . fulfilling my potential. Living the dream makes life great. I feel enthusiastic, joyous, and confident. But, so far, my dream of this book being published has remained just that . . . a dream. I haven't achieved my writing
goals or reached the level of success I desire - personally or professionally.

My horoscope today is telling me that I can’t prevent my schedule from falling apart today; random changes demand radical solutions.
I'm listening and making a LOT of changes in my life. The thought for the day is INNER PEACE . Think of this word as your mantra for the day. First apply the word to yourself, THEN apply this word to EVERYONE YOU meet. Think of this word as you respond to EVERY POST you see throughout the day. The thought for TODAY is INNER PEACE . Please pay it forward...
I've been doing a LOT of soul searching lately. Over the last year, I have really been putting together a SUCCESS team, a team of those that support my dream and are propelling me in the RIGHT direction.
Some have been added to that team that are now being removed as I move into the next season of Richard Skipper Celebrates...(the LIVE show).
Did they move me to a new level or bring me down? It is time for me to reevaluate most or there will be NO growth! The foundation of my plan is networking.

Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.
-Buddha

Once you know the combination, the lock will open for you and I am finally figuring out that combination.

When I was in high school, my Biology teacher, Miss. Gerald, ended EVERY single class with, "Read, re-read, and take notes."
Doing the Red Carpet at The Bistro Awards (seen here with Dee Dee Bridgeater)
Even as I write these words, I can see her round tomato face
Who would have thought that my life path would have led me to Carol Channing!
pushing up her glasses and saying those words before we were able to get out of our seats and leave the room.
I had another mentor, Miss Florence Epps, who gave me a high regard and respect for ALL that has gone before me. I have written about Mss Epps many times and if you follow this blog, it may seem repetitious. To those of you who follow me, rather than apologizing, I believe it bears repeating.
Mame was my first show with a theater company and truly began to shape the entertainer I am today.  In Miss Epps' backyard, she had built a little playhouse, a mini-theater.
No one is going to rain on my parade
Miss Epps was called the Fairy Godmother of our local theater in Conway, South Carolina, The Theater of the Republic (TOR). She took me under her wing after my appearance in Mame.She saw opportunities in me and became the first to really believe in my ability.
And before I knew it, not only was I becoming my popular with TOR but other theaters started seeking me out.
The next company I became involved with was Coastal Carolina's Upstage Company. I recently wrote about the events that led up to my doing Marat/Sade with that company. To reiterate, I was given a whole new level of confidence that I truly never had with TOR. I had a great time with TOR, but looking back, I realize I always remained an outsider. I still feel that to a certain extent.

A few years ago, I used to still receive my hometown paper due to a gift from a now departed friend. One day while

reading the paper, I discovered that for the first time in the theater's history that they had hired an artistic director to elevate the status of the theater and elevate the theater to a new level. I went on to read that the theater had several fundraising efforts to raise money for the theater to reconstruct the balcony due to damage from a fire.
I called the lady who was always (and probably still is!) considered the 'first lady of our hometown theater.
She talked for 25 minutes about herself, never once asking me anything about my life since leaving Conway. I listened and then realized that in her life I was insignificant. At the end of the conversation, not once asking me about any other aspect of my life, she asked me if I was still performing! I told her to google me before ending the call!
It reminded me of an interview that Katharine Hepburn gave with Phil Donahue when her book, Me, came out. This interview was rare and a big deal for Mr. Donahue.
At the end of the interview, he asked her to autograph his copy of the book. She asked him whom she should make the book out to. He said to her, "You have no idea who I am, do you?" She did not! When he told her he was Phil Donahue, she didn't believe him! HERE.
She went on to say, "It's pretty humbling, isn't it?" I remember watching that incredulously as my jaw dropped!
No matter how big or important we are, there are MANY who have no idea who we are or what we have accomplished (and/or not). I once asked Carol Channing what advice she had for me. She imparted two important pieces of advice for me. I will share one with you.  She said to me to accept  that for every person who likes me, there are an equal number who don't. That was advice that was given to her by Anita Loos when Carol was slammed by Dorothy Kilgallen over Carol's performance in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on Broadway. Carol was the toast of Broadway. She was on the cover of Life and Time magazines at the same time. She was only the second actress to have that accolade. The first was Tallulah Bankhead, who also shared a birthday with Carol, by the way. Kilgallen decimated Carol in print and it really brought her down. Loos assured Carol that it was ONE WOMAN'S opinion and who cared anyway? Broadway LOVED HER! Still does! The current revival of Hello, Dolly! never would have happened if Carol had not made it such an American institution!  
Some 'critics' think that because they can put pen to paper and make words come out, these words can be compelling, valuable, page turning.

To be continued...Remember, this is a stream of consciousness blog and I am a work in progress!

Let's Be Friends! I promise you a great experience! 


Today's blog is dedicated to Ginger Rogers. Ginger Rogers was born Virginia Katherine McMath in
Independence, Missouri on July 16, 1911

Life is so much better when you stop caring about what everyone thinks, and start to actually live for yourself!!

On June 18th, 2017,  I had the great good pleasure of singing in one of Richard Skipper’s
Celebrating Scott Barbarino in April 2017, Metropolitan Room
Extravaganzas par Excellence at the Laurie Beechman Theater. This one celebrated Father's Day. It was a  terrific show and Richard was, as always, a wonderful host and singer.   The show ran smoothly and professionally and the performance level was exceedingly high.  Upbeat and fun it reminded me of those wonderful TV variety shows of my youth.  But it isn’t an imitation of one of them, it is Richard’s own, unique creation.  If you have never been to one, I recommend it highly, if you are one of the regulars, you are already hooked.

 Mark Watson

With Rick McKay
Dearest Richard,
Thank you for organizing and producing such an amazing show to open our Rockland County Pride weekend. Everyone was blown away by the talent of all the performers! You truly made the weekend of Pride one to be remembered. Your continued support and affirmation of our LGBT Community and the Rockland County Pride Center is something we are eternally grateful for.
Thank you!!

Diana Wilkins, http://www.rocklandpridecenter.org

 Dear Richard,
With the late great Tammy Grime, Sondra Lee, and Nancy Anderson

Thank you for the tribute to Judy Garland in honor of her birthday for the American Popular Song Society on Judy Garland's Birthday (6/10/17). The entertaining film clips, the guest performers and your interviews all made for a memorable afternoon.


Ann Dawson, NYC




Sit Back! A New News Cycle Is About to Begin!


Thank you, to ALL who are mentioned in this blog for showing me that it is up to ME to lead by example!

With grateful XOXOXs , 
 


With Peggy Eason: Please join us on Wednesday Night as Russ Woolley and I Present her at The Laurie Beechman Theater...Click HERE


Please visit CallonDolly.com


NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!  
  

Keeping America great through Art!     


Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook

Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

 
TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com   

   










          Call Me Young Kaleido        
Welcome to Kaleido's psychedelic CMYK world! If you are a Spectrum or Pixel fan, hurry up and try to help this little monster to reach his goal through each one of this challenging puzzle levels. Reach the box using the platforms and changing the colours of the stage background in order to show or hide the blocks. CMYK colours can be switched using number keys on your keyboard and keep in mind you can reset the level whenever you want, and believe me, you´ll need it!
          ÎºÎ±Î¼ μπακ!        
εσκεφτουμουν να παρω προωρη αφηπηρετηση. λαλω, τι βρισκουν να με δκεβαζουν; εγερασα εγινηκα ενα βαρετο ατομο, ακομα τζαι εγω η ιδια βαρκουμε με.
μετα ξυπνω το πρωι σημερα που ενα μηνυμα που τον πεζουνο τζαι ελαλε μου κατι για εναν αδρωπο. λαλω τι ιπιε τουτος πρωι πρωι τζαι εφτεξα του;
μετα που εκαλοξυπνησα, εμπηκα τζαι εδκεβασα την Εγω. λαλω οπας ρε πεδκια επιαν μας οι τουρτζοι εκατσαμε πανω. μετα σκεφτομαι. οκ, μπορει να ειμαι οκ. πρεπει να καμω καμ μπακ. εν πρεπει να παρετησω. ναι αλλα γιατι τους αρεσκω; τζαι μετα εσκεφτηκα μιαν ιστορια πριν αναμισι χρονο.


υπηρχε ο παστουρμας στο spectrum μου, τζαι επια αγγλια να τον δω. αγχωμενη που ουλλα που εγινουνταν στην ιταλια μου τζαι εν προσαρμοζουμε ευκολα σε νεα περιβαλλα, εν ενεργουμουν (οπως λαλει τζαι ο θειος μου.)  Ï„ζαι ηντα τα ηθελε επηρε με τζαι εφαμεν μαχτονας. εγω επαθα 2 φορες ηδη τροφικη δηλιτιριαση που τα  Î¼Î±Ï‡Ï„Î¿Î½Î±Ï‚, αλλα λαλω ντα εννα φαω λιες πατατουες τζαι ενα οκ μπεργκερ. τρωμεν, πρωτη μας μερα μαζι, να παμε σπιτι των γονιων του ξερω γω. ουλλα καλα τζαι ομορφα. ηρτε η ωρα για υπνο, λαλω να παω τουαλετα ενιωθα λιο παραξενα. το κατουρημα εφκηκε μας εμετοι, τζαι οι εμετοι εδιηρκησαν 3 ωρες! εξαντληθηκα ημουν στο πατωμα τζαι απλα εστρεφα οτι οργανο ειχα μεσα μου, εφιαν τζαι τα μαχτονας τζαι οι χολες τζαι εστρεφα χρωματα μετα τζαι ξυθκια.

μπενει η μανα του μεσα,
μετα ο παπας του,
τζινος.
εν σταματω. στρεφω βιρρα. τηλεφωνουν ασθενοφορο (τουτο εμαθα το μετα γιατι τζινη την ωρα εν εποικηνωνουσα) εν ερκεται να με πιαει γιατι εννε τοσο σοβαρο. δαμε ηταν να πεθανω που εμετους and no its not a cool way to die! τζαι εν ερκουνταν.

βαλλουν με μες το αυτοκινητο ποθκια σιερκα, νομιζω ησιε τζαι σιονια γιατι ηταν νοεμβρης κατι, τζαι διουν μου τζαι μια σικλα για να στρεφω τζιμεσα τζαι επιαμε νοσοκομειο.
ειδαν με τζαμε οπως ημουν οπως την ετοιμοθανατη, εβαλαν με ολοησια μεσα τζαι εμπηξαν μου ορρους. ηρτε τζαι ενα μιτσικουρι νοσοκομουιν να μου φκαλει αιμα, εθωρουν τον τζαμε που ετρεμε λαλω εν πειραζει αηστον στη φαση που ειμαι τωρα εν πρεπει να σπαταλω ενεργεια να θυμωνω.

οσο μαστουρωμενη τζαι ετοιμοθανατη τζαι να ημουν, ο μιτσης επερνε πολλυ ωρα που πανω μου. λαλω να γυρισω να δω τι γινεται.
γυριζω.
ΓΙΕΜΑΤΑ ΠΑΝΤΟΥ! ΜΑ ΠΑΝΤΟΥ!
πας την μπλε ξωπλατη νυχτικια μου,
πας το κρεβατι,
ΧΑΜΕ!
πας τα σιερκα μου, τα σιερκα του παντου παντου!
αρα επεθανησκα που εμετο τζαι αιμορραγια.
χμ, καπως γινεται καλλυτερος ο θανατος μου.


ερκουνται ξερω γω σαζουν με κλιουν μου τα γιεματα φκαλουν μου αιμα κανονικα τζαι μετα λαλουν μου, εν ενεργησε καθολου α; λαλω τους οι εχει κανενα μηνα.
εβαλαν μου κατι μες τον ορρο μου ξερω γω. μετα που λιο, με ετοιμοθανατη φωνη λαλω του παστουρμα: θελω τουαλετα.

ερκουνται φερνουν μου μια ΚΑΡΕΚΛΑ να κατσω πανω τζαι να σιεσω τζαμε! ΜΑ ΣΟΒΑΡΟΜΙΛΑΤΕ!!!????? ΔΑΜΕ ΕΧΩ ΝΑ ΣΙΕΣΩ ΕΝΑ ΜΗΝΑ! ΤΖΑΙ ΕΝΝΑ ΑΝΤΕΞΕΙ Η ΚΑΡΕΚΛΑ!?? ΤΖΑΙ ΟΙ ΜΟΝΟ! ΗΤΑΝ ΤΖΑΙ ΟΙ ΓΙΑΤΡΟΙ ΤΖΑΙ Ο ΠΑΣΤΟΥΡΜΑΣ ΤΖΑΙ Η ΜΑΜΑ ΤΟΥ ΜΠΡΟΣΤΑ! ΜΑ ΡΕ ΕΙΣΑΣΤΕ ΜΕ ΤΑ ΚΑΛΑ ΣΑΣ!!!!

λαλω οκ εν θα σιεσω εννα πεθανω που εμετους, αιμορραγια τζαι κακκα εξπλοσιον στο στομαχη μου. τουλαχιστο κανενας εν επεθανε ως τωρα ετσι, εννα ειμαι κκουλ τζαι πρωτοτυπη.

συνεχιζει ο πονος τζαι λαλω οκ εν παει εβρετε μου τουαλετα τζαι εννα παω τουαλετα στο βουννο να πατε!
σηκωνουμε, ισια που επερπατουν ρε πεδκια σοβαρα! ακομα τωρα που το σκεφτομαι πιανει με η καρδια μου. σηκωνουμε με την ξωπλατη μπλε ποδκια, πιαννω τον καθηστερημενο τον ορρο μου, τζαι κοφκο στρατες να εβρω τουαλετα. ο παστουρμας που πισω μου! οι λαλω του φιε! εννα σιεσω πομπα! ΦΙΕ!

Παστουρμας :οι εν θα σε αφηκω να φυρτεις μες την τουαλετα παλε!
Χιονονιφαδα: ΦΙΕ λαλω σου!!!


επηρε με ως την τουαλετα λαλω του οκ τωρα βουρα μα το θεο μεν σταθεις ποξω!

εν επρολαβα να κλεισω την πορτα τζαι να κατεβασω το παντελονι μου ΗΡΤΕ ΕΝΑΣ ΧΕΙΜΑΡΡΟΣ ΟΠΩΣ ΤΟ ΤΣΟΥΝΑΜΙ!


εν θα συνεχισω να λαλω λεπτομεριες.. μετα που μια νυχτα στο νοσοκομειο, ηβρα λιη ενεργεια τζαι επηραν με πισω στο σπιτι του παστουρμα. ημουν στο κρεβατι συνεχεια για 2-3 μερες. (ναι ηθελα να πεθανω που την αντροπη μου μεν νομιζεις οτι ειμαι καμια ξεντιαντροπη. σοβαρα εν ηθελα ποττε να τους ξαναδω μες τα μαθκια)

μετα που λιες μερες που εγιανα, ηταν καιρος μου να σηκωστω τζαι να καμω μπανιο. βοηθα με ο παστουρμας να σηκωστω...

ΠΑΣΤΟΥΡΜΑΣ: μα τι εν τζινο πας το παντελονι σου;


τζαι τζαμε κυριες και κυριοι επεθανα οι που εμετους, αιμορραγια τζαι εξπλοσιον, επεθανα που την αντρωπη μου, επεθανα που την γαμημενη την τυχη μου επεθανα που μεσα μου τζαι πλεον εν ειμαι ξανα η ιδια ΓΥΝΑΙΚΑ που ημουν παλια.

 (ναι πας το παντελονι μου ηταν υπολημματα των σουρτων μου, αφου εν εκαταλαβες ειπα σου το περιληπτικα)


μετα που λιους μηνες, ο παστουρμας και εγω χωρισαμε φιλικα και αποφασισαμε να παραμεινουμε φιλοι. ΔΕΝ ΕΙΧΕ ΤΣΙΑΝΣ ΝΑ ΘΕΛΩ ΝΑ ΜΕ ΞΑΝΑΔΕΙ!

αυτααα. ωραιο καμ μπακ ε;

φιλια τζαι αγκαλιες, σοβαρα τωρα, αι λαβ γιου. 

          ÎŸ Pang και η τέχνη του να σκάει φυσαλίδες        

Πιθανόν να θυμάστε, όταν παίζατε Pang στη δεκαετία του '90 και περνάγατε όλο το Σαββατοκύριακό σας εκεί ξοδεύοντας όλο σας τον μισθό, ρίχνοντας κέρματα στο μηχανηματάκι. Ο στόχος ήταν να σκάσετε κάθε φούσκα που έριχναν οι εξωγήινοι εισβολείς, η οποία απείλησε αρκετές περιοχές σε όλο τον κόσμο, ξεκινώντας με το βουνό Φούτζι στην Ιαπωνία, και καταλήγοντας να χρειάζεται να σώσετε ολόκληρο τον κόσμο. Στις ΗΠΑ, ήταν γνωστό ως Buster Bros., διηθώντας την ιστορία των αδελφών Buster που έπρεπε να ταξιδέψουν ανά τον κόσμο για να σπάσουν τις φυσαλίδες.

Φέτος, η version στα PC, τα κινητά και τα tablet αυτού του γιαπωνέζικου παιχνιδιού θα κυκλοφορήσει. Θα ονομάζεται Pang Adventures, σχεδιασμένο από τους Γάλλους DotEmu και Pastagames, επιθυμώντας να προσαρμόσουν το Κλασσικό Arcade σε μοντέρνες συσκευές και πλατφόρμες. Στην πραγματικότητα, το μικρό παριζιάνικο στούντιο Pastagames προσαρμόζει επίσης τα παιχνίδια στα PS4 και επιθυμεί να το κυκλοφορήσει το 2016. Στα Paris Games Week 2015, όπου θα μπορεί να δοκιμαστεί για πρώτη φορά αυτή η version σε μια μηχανή Arcade, ο Naddim Haddad της Pastagames εξηγεί ότι το Pang "είναι ένα παιχνίδι παλιάς σχολής που πλέον δεν γίνονται σήμερα". Σύμφωνα με τον ίδιο, το κλασικό Pang ήταν ένα παιχνίδι που "δεν είχε σκοπό να εντυπωσιάσει και ήταν βασισμένο σε ένα απλό, αποτελεσματικό gameplay που πηγαίνει κατ 'ευθείαν στον στόχο."

Επιπλέον, αυτή η έκδοση του 2015 στοχεύει στον εκσυγχρονισμό του κλασικού παιχνιδιού της δεκαετίας του '80 και την προσαρμογή του στην εποχή μας με όπλα, όπως πολυβόλα ή λέιζερ, μεταξύ άλλων. Οι φυσαλίδες θα υποβληθούν επίσης σε update-θα μπορούν τώρα να είναι φλεγόμενες ή ηλεκτρισμένες. Και ως απόλυτη καινοτομία, στο Pang Adventures θα εισαχθούν διάφορα αφεντικά, χαρακτήρες που δεν υπήρχαν ποτέ μέχρι σήμερα στη σειρά Pang.

Το πρώτο Pang γεννήθηκε το 1989, αναπτύχθηκε από την γιαπωνέζικη Mitchell Corporation και άρχισε να διανέμεται από την Capcom για τις Arcade μηχανές-με το όνομα Pomping World στην Ιαπωνία. Είχε έναν ή δύο τρόπους αναπαραγωγής, και ήταν χωρισμένη σε 50 επίπεδα για 17 διάσημες περιοχές σε όλο τον κόσμο, όπως το Παρίσι, το Λονδίνο, τη Βαρκελώνη, την Αθήνα ή τη Νέα Υόρκη. Επίσης είχε  διάσημα μνημεία, όπως το Ταζ Μαχάλ, τα ερείπια των Μάγια ή το Ναό του Σμαραγδένιου Βούδα, μέχρι και το Νησί του Πάσχα.

Αργότερα, το Pang προσαρμοζόταν σε διάφορες πλατφόρμες. Το 1990, το Ocean Software έβγαλε μια έκδοση του παιχνιδιού για τους προσωπικούς υπολογιστές ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Commodore Amiga και Atari ST. Σε όλες τις εκδόσεις αυτού του παιχνιδιού, δεν μπορείς να πηδήξει, μπορείς μόνο να πηγαίνεις από τα αριστερά στα δεξιά και μετακινείς προς τα επάνω ή προς τα κάτω μια σκάλα για να αποφύγεις τις εισερχόμενες φυσαλίδες. Όμως, αντί να τις αποφύγεις θα πρέπει να τις εξαλείφεις, αλλά ένας πυροβολισμός δεν είναι αρκετός, δεδομένου ότι πολλαπλασιάζονται όταν τα χτυπάς. Ευτυχώς, έχετε items και power-ups που σας βοηθούν να τα νικήσετε, όπως ζώα που μπορεί να σε βοηθήσουν ή να σε εμποδίσουν, μια κλεψύδρα που παραλύει τον χρόνο, για παράδειγμα, ή άλλα πιο αποτελεσματικά όπλα απ'ότι τα ψαροντούφεκα.

Λόγω της μεγάλης επιτυχίας με τη μορφή Arcade και στα PC, θα προσαρμοζόταν επίσης στo Game Boy το 1993 και στα PC-Engine CD. Αργότερα, θα ήταν ακόμη διαθέσιμο για το PlayStation Portable και το PlayStation σε δύο συλλογές: την Super Pang Collection το 1998 και την Capcom Puzzle World το 2007. Οι εν λόγω εκδόσεις είχαν βελτιώσει σημαντικά τα γραφικά και περιλάμβαναν τους διάδοχους του Pang.

Μεταξύ των διαδόχων του επιτυχημένου αυτού παιχνιδιού είναι το Super Pang, το οποίο κυκλοφόρησε μόλις ένα χρόνο μετά το Pang, το 1990 και στο οποίο, περιέργως εμφανίστηκε το Αλκαζάρ της Σεγκόβια. Επίσης, κυκλοφόρησε για την Arcade, αλλά αμέσως μετά, το 1992 προσαρμόστηκε στο Super Nintendo, αλλά χωρίς την επιλογή two-player mode. Παρ'όλο που υπήρχε διαφορά μόνο ενός έτους, οι αλλαγές στο Super Pang είναι αξιοσημείωτες. Ο παίκτης μπορεί να επιλέξει ανάμεσα σε δύο διαφορετικούς τρόπους λειτουργίας:  Tour Mode και Panic Mode. Ο πρώτος είχε το ίδιο modus operandi με τον προκάτοχό του, αλλά με κάποια οπτική βελτίωση και αλλαγές. Ο δεύτερος τρόπος παιχνιδιού, ωστόσο, ήταν εντελώς διαφορετικός. Ήταν ένας τρόπος επιβίωσης χωρίς σκάλες, πλατφόρμες ή ζώα· μόνο ένα χαλάζι από φυσαλίδες και μερικά items που σε βοηθάνε να νικήσεις αυτό το mode που δεν είχε καμία παύση-εκτός και αν πεθάνεις, τότε φυσικά, ήταν το Game Over.

Πέντε χρόνια αργότερα, το 1995, το Pang 3 κυκλοφόρησε - γνωστό στις ΗΠΑ ως Buster Buddies - για τα Arcade, και αργότερα, επίσης για τις συλλογές του PlayStation. Αυτή η έκδοση παρουσίαζε μερικές αλλαγές και ανανεώσεις, αν και ήταν ουσιαστικά το ίδιο παιχνίδι: έκρηξη φυσαλίδων. Η πρώτη μεγάλη αλλαγή ήταν η χρήση pre-rendered γραφικών στους χαρακτήρες. Επίσης, δεν παιζόταν όπως το saga των Buster Brothers· μπορούσες να επιλέξεις ανάμεσα σε τέσσερις χαρακτήρες με διαφορετικές ικανότητες:

Ο Don Tacos ήταν ένας χαρακτήρας με μουστάκι και ένα μεξικάνικο καπέλο που είχε ένα διπλό ψαροντούφεκο· η Ροζ Λεοπάρδαλη, όπως υποδηλώνει και το όνομα, ήταν μια ροζ λεοπάρδαλη που είχε ανοσία στον δυναμίτη, τον πάγο και στους εχθρούς. Ύστερα υπήρχε ο Captain Hog, ένας πειρατής με ένα ενσύρματο γάντζο που το κολλούσε στο ταβάνι και έσκαγε τις φυσαλίδες όποτε τις άγγιζε με το σύρμα· και ο Shiela the Thief, ένας κλέφτης από τις 1001 Νύχτες με την ικανότητα σκοποβολής δύο συρμάτων με γωνία 45 μοιρών.

Στο Pang 3, στόχος δεν ήταν πια να ταξιδέψει από πόλη σε πόλη για να σώσει τον κόσμο από τις φυσαλίδες. Αυτή τη φορά, υπήρχαν τρεις τρόποι παιχνιδιού: το Beginner Mode, το οποίο χρησίμευσε ως μια καλή εκπαίδευση, το Normal Mode και το γνωστό Panic Mode. Το παιχνίδι περιλάμβανε καλλιτεχνικό υπόβαθρο, και πολλές περισσότερες πλατφόρμες και σκάλες. Έπρεπε να περιμένουμε μέχρι το 2000 για την επόμενη έκδοση του saga: το Mighty! Pang. Ωστόσο, με τη νέα χιλιετία, οι αίθουσες παιχνιδιών θα μπορούσαν μετά βίας να επιβιώνουν κάτω από τη σκιά των κονσολών στο σπίτι. Δεδομένου ότι αυτό το παιχνίδι είχε κυκλοφορήσει μόνο για τα Arcade, λίγα άτομα θα μπορούσαν να το ξέρουν. Το Mighty! Pang πήγε πίσω στις ρίζες του Pang και του Super Pang, όταν ήρθε με την ιστορία, τα γραφικά και το playability, αν και είχε ένα πολύ σκληρό Expert Mode.

Τέλος, το 2010, η Mitchell Corporation κυκλοφόρησε το Pang: Magical Michael για το Nintendo DS, όπου ο νεαρός μαθητευόμενος μάγος Michael έπρεπε να ταξιδέψει ανά τον κόσμο για να εξαλείψει τις φυσαλίδες που προέκυψαν από ένα πείραμα που πήγε στραβά. Για άλλη μια φορά, ο στόχος είναι ο ίδιος, αν και η πλοκή είναι ελαφρώς διαφορετική από την αρχική. Εκτός από το Tour Mode και το Panic Mode, υπήρχε και το Multi Player Mode. Δεδομένου ότι ήταν για το Nintendo DS, υπήρχε το νέο χαρακτηριστικό του παιχνιδιού διπλής οθόνης, καθώς και μια επιλογή αφής στο Panic Mode Touch, που ξεκλείδωνε αφού ξεπερνούσες το επίπεδο 50 του Panic Mode. Αυτή η επιλογή σου επέτρεπε να κατευθύνεις την γωνία λήψης, ενώ ο χαρακτήρας παρέμεινε στο κέντρο της οθόνης. Είχε επίσης ασύρματες multiplayer μάχες και online rankings.

Αυτή η πολύ μεγάλη καριέρα αξίζει ένα αφιέρωμα, και το Spritted από την πλευρά του μας φέρνει ένα παιχνίδι. Το Gun Garden έχει την ίδια μηχανική όπως το Pang, αλλά αντί να νικήσεις μπάλες ή φυσαλίδες, θα πρέπει να πολεμήσεις επιβλαβών εντόμων που πέφτουν σαν βροχή από τον ουρανό και να χωρίζονται κάθε φορά που τα χτυπάς. Μπορείτε να απαλλαγείτε από όλα αυτά τα έντομα;

Άρθρο της Paula Gil Alonso.


          Air Canada Selects B/E Aerospace for $50 Million Fleet-Wide Seating Upgrade        
WELLINGTON, FL--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 31, 2005--B/E Aerospace, Inc. (Nasdaq:BEAV), the world's leading manufacturer of aircraft cabin interior products and a leading aftermarket distributor of aerospace fasteners, today announced that Air Canada has selected B/E to perform a fleet-wide upgrade of the airline's seating on 143 aircraft. B/E will manufacture and deliver its Spectrum(R) family of coach and first class seating for the Montreal-based carrier's Hospitality Service and Executive Class se...
          Religion and the Founders        

In popular culture there are two sharply contrasting views about religion and the founding fathers. One is that the founders were devout Christians who read the Bible and prayed daily. The other is that they were products of the Enlightenment who abandoned religion for reason and science. So, which view is accurate? Neither! If we could take a snapshot of religion in the colonies in 1770, here is what we would find:

  1. The founders were born into a Christian culture. Nearly all of the 3,000,000 residents of the colonies were Christians, nine of the thirteen colonies had an official state church, and nine of the ten existing colleges were founded by religious groups to train their clergy and lay leaders;
  2. Religious diversity was a fact of life. There were over twenty Christian sects in the colonies with strong differences on issues of faith; (2)
  3. Religious toleration was more the exception than the rule. Rhode Island, founded by Roger Williams, and Pennsylvania, founded by William Penn, were the only colonies that welcomed all stripes of Christians and non-Christians; (3)
  4. Deism, which originated in Europe, had infiltrated colonial culture among the educated class and challenged traditional religion. According to Deists:*Reason, not faith, is the path to knowledge;*The universe was designed by God, a Grand Architect, a First Cause whoimbued it with natural laws and then retreated from it;*If one wishes to know God, one must study God’s complex handiwork, theuniverse;*The Bible is a collection of myths and fables triggered by superstition;*Jesus was an inspiring moral teacher but neither a god nor a savior; and*Contrary to the teachings of Calvin, humans are neither depraved norpredestined;
  5. Nearly all of the founders modified their Christian beliefs to a greater or lesser extent to accommodate Deism. As a result, the religious views of the founders were scattered across a spectrum with traditional Christianity on one end and Deism on the other. The founders fell into three groups – traditional Christians, Christian Deists, and Non-Christian Deists. The majority were Christian Deists; (4) and
  6. Despite their absorption of Deism, all of the founders but Benjamin Franklin attended their ancestral church at least occasionally, most of them never abandoned their ancestral church, and the wives and daughters of most of them remained traditional Christians.Thus, the founders were religious hybrids and their religious views were complex and diverse. Commentators who paint a different picture, according to historian Robert Holmes, “revise history to align the founders’ beliefs with their own.” (5)

Given this broad range of religious views, it is all the more remarkable that the founders reached a consensus on key issues as the new nation emerged. They prized personal liberty; they opposed religious dogmatism, intolerance, and coercion; they valued civic virtue; they opposed compulsory support of churches; they sought to separate government from the churches; and they embraced the doctrines of natural rights, government by consent, limited government, the separation of powers, and majority rule.


  1. I rely here mainly on David L. Holmes, The Faiths of the Founding Fathers, Oxford University Press, 2006. Holmes is Walter G. Mason Professor of Religious Studies, Emeritus, at the College of William and Mary. Holmes spent 46 years at William and Mary. Among his other books are A Brief History of the Episcopal Church (1993) and The Faiths of the Postwar Presidents: From Truman to Obama (2012). The Faiths… has won praise among historians but has gotten little notice outside of academe.
  2. Among the sects were Anglicans, Calvinists, Congregationalists, Baptists, Dutch Reformed, Quakers, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Mennonites, Methodists, Moravians, Anabaptists, the Brethren, Sandemanians, Antinomians, Arminians, Shakers, Universalists, Antisabbatarians, Socinians, and Ranters.
  3. For example, Maryland imposed severe penalties by law on anyone who denied the divinity of Jesus, the trinity, or the virgin birth.
  4. Traditional Christians included Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Elias Boudinot, and John Jay. Christian Deists included John Adams, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe. Non-Christian Deists included Tom Paine and Ethan Allen.5. David L. Holmes, The Faiths…, p. 17)
  5. The founders were all deeply influenced by the writings of John Locke (1632-1704), including his Letter Concerning Toleration, First Treatise of Government, and Second Treatise of Government.

          New Atheists        

In a book published in 2006, journalist and author Chris Hedges pilloried religious fundamentalists in America, charging them with corrupting Christianity, undermining the Constitution, and promoting American imperialism. (1). In his most recent book, I Don't Believe in Atheists, (2) Hedges shifts to the opposite side of the ideological spectrum to critique a group which he calls the "new atheists" and which he considers secular fundamentalists. According to Hedges, the new atheists, among them Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennett, are as "intolerant, chauvinistic and bigoted" as the Christian theocrats. (3) And what have these popular critics of religion said that Mr. Hedges finds so disturbing?

The new atheists, Hedges charges, are prisoners to the myth of progress. (4) They see the flow of history through rose-colored glasses, expecting the march of reason and science to unlock all mysteries, solve all problems, and usher in a post-religious global paradise bereft of gods and miracles. They ignore the fact that science is a tool for good and evil and that the selfish, aggressive and destructive side of human nature is here to stay. Based on the historical record, Hedges insists, it is folly for the new atheists to believe in moral progress. In the Twentieth Century, for instance, with ever-more sophisticated weapons made possible by science, humans butchered 130 million other humans and maimed many millions more in various conflicts. (5).

Hedges sees other problems among the new atheists beyond their naïve optimism. "They misuse the teachings of Charles Darwin and evolutionary biology," he writes, "just as the Christian fundamentalists misuse the Bible." (6) They demonize the one billion plus Muslims in the world when only "a tiny subset (of them) are criminals and terrorists." (7) Their knowledge of the Bible and the Koran is "shallow and haphazard" and they "are blind to the underlying human truth and reality expressed through religious myth." (8) In their self-appointed roles as "the saviors of civilization," (9) they exhibit an arrogance and superiority that belies their human fallibility. (10) They fail to understand that religion is indispensable to ethics. (11) And, finally, like their religious counterparts, the new atheists hold up the United States as "the paragon of human possibility and goodness" despite the fact that it is, in his judgment, a nation in decline. (12)

In his book, I believe, Chris Hedges aims to remind seculars that they, too, are human, and to a considerable extent, he succeeds. Yet the book is not without its flaws. In the first place, the author's knowledge of atheism is limited. Most of his criticisms of the handful of new atheists he has studied don't apply to many of the most distinguished old ones, John Dewey, Sidney Hook, and Paul Kurtz among them, none of whom gets even a mention in the book. Next, his view of religion as the foundation of morality has been challenged by legions of philosophers, I believe successfully, since the time of the ancient Greeks. And, finally, he overlooks the fact that there has been moral progress, witness the abolition of slavery and the liberation of women in America and elsewhere.


 

  1. American Fascists: the Christian Right and the War on America, Free Press, 2006.
  2. Free Press, 2008.
  3. I Don't Believe in Atheists, p. 1. (All subsequent references are to this book.)
  4. Page 95.
  5. Page 114.
  6. Page 6.
  7. Page 16.
  8. Page 34.
  9. Page 39.
  10. Page 111.
  11. Page 92.
  12. Page 129. On this subject he writes: "The failed imperialist project in Iraq, along with the maintenance of a costly military machine and the arms industry that feeds off the American state, has likewise begun to take its toll. The United States is dependent on other countries, particularly those in the Middle East, for its natural resources. It is hostage to foreign states, which control the country's mounting debt. Its infrastructure is crumbling, its social services are in decline, and its educational system is in shambles. It is rotting from the inside out. And in the midst of this decline, our secular and religious fundamentalists hold our society up as the paragon of human possibility and goodness." (p. 129)

© 2008 Tom Shipka


          The Spectrum of Opinion About MOOCs        
It’s been interesting to see the incredibly wide variety of opinions about the hot topic of MOOCs the past two years.  As part of a presentation last week at a faculty development conference, I compiled some articles on MOOCs and arranged
          Comment on Updated: Sprint Sued By Non-Profits Over Clearwire Lease For WiMax by Philip        
Sprints response was vague. In fact, so vague that it answered nothing. What terms did Sprint offer to provide the same service as to their best customer (as mandated in their spectrum lease)? I understand that a portion of Wimax abuse is gaming. Such gaming is not educational, and takes data that could be provided to legitimate users. Since the average Mobile Beacon / Mobile Citizen customer uses 40GB, set that as the data limit for high speed, and throttle down to 2 MB/s after that. Since Sprint has knowingly and deliberately withheld LTE modems to keep control in their hands, I recommend that Sprint be compelled to immediately release the 300,000 modems at wholesale cost. If they wait for more than a week after the time of their initial service of the lawsuit, they should be compelled to release them for free. Each week Sprint continues to hold the modems & service hostage, they should be mandated to surrender $50 to each account they hold in limbo. The amount they forfeit, on these terms is solely up to Sprint, based on the time they take for entire & whole & perfect compliance with the terms of their spectrum lease. Used and reconditioned modems (with full warranty) may be provided, at a significant discount. I think that 40 GB at max speed (plus unlimited at 2MB/s) should be adequate for almost every non-profit, Student, etc. Such terms won't be sufficient for gaming or industries, but Educational Broadband Service is not intended for Industrial or gaming use. To repeat: Throttle down to to 2MB/s average speed after 40 GB of usage per month to stop the few who abuse the service, AND maintain your Wimax service until ALL of your subleased customers have received your wholesale/free replacement modems.
          Spectrum Valentine Ball        
Don’t miss out on our annual Spectrum Valentine Ball!  The 2017 Spectrum Ball is a night of dancing and fun for families living with someone on the Autism spectrum.  It’s a fun, safe, and sensory-appropriate event.  Don’t like to dance?  That’s okay!  We have plenty of other activities going on!  Including our amazing Balloon Man […]
          Ed Broadbent testifies to the House of Commons Finance Committee on income inequality        


*CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY*

Last September, the Broadbent Institute issued a major discussion paper Towards a More Equal Canada, which addressed the issue of rising economic inequality. For every $1 increase in national earnings over the past twenty years, more than 30 cents have gone to the top 1% of earners, while 70 cents have had to be shared among the bottom 99%.  Middle class incomes have now been stagnant for thirty years.

Today is the deadline for filing personal income tax returns. It is a day to remind ourselves that our tax system could move us to a more equal Canada if we made the system fairer, with a particular focus on expanding tax credits for low and middle income Canadians.  Canada’s poverty rate is, at 8.2% for children and 10.1% for working-age adults in 2010, far too high and could be reduced significantly through the targeted measures we propose.

Our discussion paper drew upon the work of many distinguished experts, examined the causes and consequences of the growth of economic inequality over the past thirty years, and set out a broad policy framework to reverse the trend and lead us back to a more equal Canada.

We have just released another paper “Union Communities, Healthy Communities” that highlights the importance of a strong labour movement in building a more equal Canada.  And we have also published more than twenty responses to our reports from a wide range of points of view, as well as the results of an independent poll of Canadians that revealed their opposition to the growth of inequality and their strong support for corrective measures.

Extreme economic inequality undermines democracy and the common good. Very unequal societies do much worse in terms of both social and economic performance, including in such fundamental terms as health and life expectancy, social mobility (equality of opportunity for children), crime levels, the quality of democracy, and levels of social trust.

The level of inequality in a nation is ultimately a matter of political choice. While it is true that rising inequality is due in significant part to fundamental economic changes such as globalization and technological change which are difficult to manage, it is equally true that some advanced industrial countries have been able to remain much more equal than others. Political choices matter. The empirical evidence – from Canada, the US, Europe and the OECD – is clear. 

The rise of extreme income inequality has been much greater in those countries which have most strongly embraced a fundamentalist so-called free market agenda, and much less in those countries which have continued to believe in the need for shared progress.

The Broadbent Institute believes that we must, as a society, strike a balance between the roles of the market and democratic government in determining the distribution of economic resources.

The market, properly regulated, is a useful tool for creating wealth. But democratic governments must ensure that that the needs of all citizens, such as access to health care and education as well as the means to secure a decent livelihood, are met regardless of the level of wealth and income acquired through the market. 

A very important goal of democratic governments should be to protect and promote not only political and civil rights but also to promote social and economic rights. This is essential to secure genuine equality of opportunity, and to ensure fair outcomes for citizens. It is why Canada signed on to the two UN covenants that include both categories of rights in the mid 1970s.

Research by the OECD and the Conference Board among others shows that Canada used to do quite well at striking a balance between having a growing market economy and securing a fair distribution of the fruits of economic growth. But cuts to social programs and public services as well as changes to transfers (income support programs) and the personal income tax system since the mid 1990s have compounded the rising inequality which has been delivered by the market economy

Growing inequality of market income has, as shown in our recent paper Union Communities, Healthy Communities, been driven in significant part by the decline in union density and bargaining power since the 1980s. Respect for labour rights by governments enables unions to ensure that the gains of a growing economy are equitably shared with workers, and collective bargaining has been shown to narrow pay differences, especially pay gaps between women and men. 

Another major part of the problem has been the increase in precarious employment, meaning that more than one third of working Canadians do not have permanent, full-time paid jobs. Many fall below the poverty line due to low hourly wages and/or not enough weeks of work. These issues have been highlighted in recent reports from the Law Commission of Ontario and the United Way. Yet we have failed to support these struggling workers and their families through the tax system and through improvements to basic employment standards.

As recognized in the Broadbent Institute discussion paper on inequality good jobs are the basic building block of successful societies, and a successful economy combined with strong labour rights is a major force for equality. It has been well documented that countries with strong trade union movements are much more equal in terms of the distribution of market income, and that such countries also tend to be prepared to invest more to promote greater equality through public services and social programs. Canada’s already acute inequality problem will become much worse if  Canada imports from the United States so called right to work laws, as well as legislation that limits the ability of the labour movement to act as political advocates for their members and all workers. Bill C-377, passed by the House of Commons and now before the Senate, singles out unions for highly onerous reporting requirements under tax law which do not apply to the activities of other associations, including business associations. 

Providing key services to citizens outside of the market mechanism is crucial to promoting the goal of greater equality. Our public health care system provides important rights, and these should be extended by ensuring that all citizens have a right to prescription drug coverage and to home and elder care as needed by reason of disability or old age. There is perhaps no more powerful tool for securing real equality of opportunity than major public investments in education, from child care and early learning through post secondary education and adult learning.

As requested by the Committee and spelled out in the motion, this brief will focus on the role of the tax/transfer system in promoting greater income equality. 

Providing a basic income-tested guarantee to all citizens through a fairer personal income tax system would be a powerful force for greater equality.

The tax/transfer system equalizes income in two important ways first, progressive income taxes mean that the affluent pay to governments a higher percentage of income earned in the market than do middle and low income earners. 

Second, these taxes help finance income transfer programs (such as public pensions, Employment Insurance, child benefits and refundable tax credits) which benefit those who have middle and low incomes more than those with high incomes. The result is that incomes after taxes and transfers are more equal than incomes earned in the market.

Statistics Canada data (CANSIM Table 202-0703) show that the top 20% of Canadian families receive 47.0% of all market income, but a lower 40.0% percent of all income after taxes and income transfers. The bottom 20% receive just 3.4% of all market income, but a higher 7.1% of all income after taxes and transfers. The middle class (the middle income quintile) has about the same share of market and after tax and transfer income (16.0% and 17.2% respectively).

The Centre for the Study of Living Standards calculate that the income tax/income transfer system reduces inequality as measured by the Gini co-efficient by 24%, with the transfer system having about twice as great an equalizing impact as the personal income tax system.

However, while our tax/transfer system remains modestly re-distributive, the fact remains that we still have a very unequal distribution of income after the impact of taxes and transfers has been taken into account. And, according to the OECD, the re-distributive impact of the system in Canada has been declining since the mid 1990s. 

The Centre for the Study of Living Standards has also shown that the inequality reducing role of the tax/transfer system in Canada has been falling, and is now 20% below the OECD average. The major reason for the decline in redistribution has been the cuts to social assistance and Employment Insurance programs of the mid 1990s combined with our failure to respond to the growth of more precarious and low paid work.

What major changes might we make to our tax/transfer system?

The Broadbent Institute believes that we should embrace the goal of a basic income guarantee sufficient to eliminate poverty and to help close the growing gap between low and higher income Canadians.  

This goal should be met by building incrementally on existing income support programs targeted to different age groups and by promoting greater tax fairness.

Step 1:  The Broadbent Institute supports the long-standing position of Campaign 2000, other anti poverty groups and research institutions that the maximum level of income-tested child benefits should be raised to cover the full cost of raising children. 

Canada has a basic income guarantee for children in the form of refundable federal child benefits (with additional contributions by some provinces.)  Child benefits are delivered through the income tax system and are “refundable”, meaning that they are paid even to tax filers who do not have a tax obligation. Benefits are paid on a regular basis and are changed as family income changes from year to year. 

Research by the Caledon Institute among others shows that Canada’s system of income-tested child benefits has been effective in reducing (though far from eliminating) child poverty, and still pays significant amounts to middle-class families to help meet the costs of raising children. The problem is that the maximum benefits paid by Canada Child Tax Benefit and the National Child Benefit Supplement fall well short of the costs of supporting children.

The cost of raising these child tax credits should be offset in part by eliminating the poorly targeted Universal Child Care Benefit.

Step 2:  We should significantly increase the federal Working Income Tax Benefit to support working poor individuals and families and to deal with the growing reality of low pay and precarious work.

The greatest gap in the current architecture of Canadian income support programs is for the working age population, especially the growing part of this population who are employed in precarious and low-paid jobs. The working poor and near poor -– those who move in and out of low paid jobs but often fail to attain a decent standard of living – is disproportionately made up of recent immigrants, especially those belonging to racial minorities, persons with disabilities, women single parents, the single near elderly, Aboriginal Canadians, and young people trying to get into secure employment.

Credit should be given to the present federal government for creating the Working Income Tax Benefit, a new form of benefit which has been shown in the US and elsewhere to reduce poverty while promoting employment as the best path out of poverty.

However, the current benefit is extremely modest (less than $1,000 for a single person and less than $1,800 for a family) and is lost completely at low levels of employment income ($18,000 for a single person and $27,000 for a family).  

The maximum benefit should be increased significantly and phased out more slowly as income rises so that recipients are always better off if they find more weeks and hours of work or find better-paid jobs. 

Increases to the Working Income Tax Benefit should be matched by incremental increases in minimum wages to raise incomes and also to ensure that income supplements for the working poor do not become subsidies to low wage employers. Minimum wages should be set at a level sufficient to ensure that a single person working full time for a full year does not live in poverty.

Improving conditions for low wage workers will also involve raising minimum employment standards covering issues such as hours of work, rights of part-time workers and pay and employment equity, pro actively enforcing such standards, facilitating access to unionization, and greatly expanding skills training programs for unemployed and under-employed workers. 

Canada ranks among the bottom of OECD countries in terms of adequate income support for the unemployed. Our Employment Insurance system currently fails to provide benefits to 60% of unemployed workers even though all workers and their employers pay into the system. We must reform EI so that we provide income security to all persons who experience temporary involuntary unemployment.

Step 3:  Eliminate poverty in old age. 

Canada already has a basic income guarantee for seniors in the form of the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to Old Age Security (OAS). The GIS is gradually phased out as income rises and is currently received by about one in four seniors. The fact that the OAS plus the maximum amount of GIS is very close to the poverty line means that very few seniors live in poverty. Indeed, the fact that Canada has the lowest poverty rate for seniors among the advanced industrial countries is evidence of a very successful public pensions policy dating back to the 1970s. However, the GIS does need to be raised to ensure that provides all Canadian seniors with an adequate standard of living, particularly single women seniors in large urban areas who are most likely to experience poverty.

Step 4:  As a long term goal – and this would clearly involve complex negotiations with the provinces –- we should abolish welfare as it currently exists and replace it with an income support program for working-age adults delivered through the tax system in the form of a negative income tax. This program would deliver regular benefits based on family income, phased-out as income from employment and other sources rises.  

Canada’s income security program of last resort, social assistance, paid for by the provinces, provides meagre and stigmatizing benefits which are, as shown in reports by the recently abolished National Council of Welfare, far below the poverty line for almost all family-types in all provinces.

The aim has been, as in the Victorian era Poor Laws, to ensure that even extremely low wage jobs will deliver more income than does welfare. Yet the evidence shows that the vast majority of recipients who are able to engage in paid work do, in fact, seek to work.

Social assistance is of no help to the working poor. A recipient must be unemployed, have no access to family income, and must have exhausted almost all assets in order to qualify. Benefits are cut off after only a very few days of work. At the same time, it is very difficult for many recipients, especially persons with disabilities and single parents of young children, to climb the “welfare wall” since leaving social assistance often also means giving up health and housing benefits and since the needed supports and services, such as affordable child care, are not in place.

The aim would be to ensure that working age adults with no or very low incomes from paid work, unemployment insurance, disability benefits and other sources receive a supplement which would be sufficient to secure an acceptable basic income. The supplement would be phased out with rising income rather than being turned off as soon as a person starts to receive employment income. Such a supplement could be partly financed by folding in some current tax credits such as the GST credit.

Such an alternative, a negative income tax, has been broadly championed across the political spectrum, including by Senator Hugh Segal in his published response to the Broadbent Institute paper on inequality, and by the late Tom Kent, the prime architect of Canada’s social reforms of the 1970s, who wrote the first paper published by the Institute. 

Without addressing the complex issues, there is also a pressing need for reform and improvement of disability benefits.

Step 5:  Improvements to income support programs could and should be financed by making our income tax system much fairer. 

The incomes of the top 1% have risen from 7% to 11% of the total income of Canadians since the early 1980s, while the incomes of middle-class and working Canadians have increased little in real terms. The rising share of the top 1% is the main reason why market income inequality in Canada increased so significantly from the early 1980s to 2009.

Recent Statistics Canada data show the effective income tax rate on the top 1% has fallen from 39.4 per cent to 33.3 per cent since 2000, and the effective income tax rate on the top 0.1 per cent of Canadians, whose incomes start from $685,000 and average $1,519,000, has fallen sharply from 41.6 percent to 35.4 per cent.  Thus, even as the income share of very high income earners has risen, their effective tax rate has fallen significantly. As we have said before, we should consider changes to top income tax rates.

We should also scale back special tax breaks that deliver huge benefits to the very well off, such as the exclusion of 50% of capital gains incomes from taxes and low tax rates on gains from stock options. (It is reasonable only to tax capital gains above inflation over the period for which assets were held.) We should also be cracking down on tax avoidance by the very rich through offshore tax havens and other means such as sheltering income and wealth within private companies and family trusts. It is time to crack down on the tax cheats who undermine government finances and public belief in the fairness of the tax system, and the present federal government should be commended for their 2013 Budget proposals in this area. Additional revenues can also be gained by more broadly applying the principle of “polluter pay.”  Our current tax system allows corporate polluters to offload risk and current and future payments for cleaning up their mess to individual taxpayers.  This isn’t fair, and needs to be changed.

There is much more to dealing with inequality than reforms to the tax/transfer system. However, changes in this area could narrow the widening gap between the very affluent and the middle class, and also lead us closer to the goal of eliminating poverty in Canada.

In summary, concrete steps can be taken to make our tax system a much more effective vehicle for closing the growing gap in Canada between the very rich on the one hand, and the middle class and the poor on the other. The priority should be to eliminate poverty by expanding refundable tax credits, especially for the working poor who fall through the cracks of our current income support system. Our tax system would also be much fairer if we closed special tax loopholes for the very affluent, ensured that corporations pay to clean up their own mess and cracked down on tax cheaters.


          RELEASE: 1.2 Billion People Living in Cities Lack Access to Affordable and Secure Housing        

RELEASE: 1.2 Billion People Living in Cities Lack Access to Affordable and Secure Housing

WASHINGTON (July 12, 2017) — According to a new report from World Resources Institute Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, 330 million households in cities around the world, equivalent to 1.2 billion people, do not have access to affordable and secure housing. Without immediate action, the problem will become even more critical, as this housing gap is projected to grow by 30 percent to 1.6 billion people by 2025.

“Cities are the engines of economic growth and policymakers need help prioritizing solutions,” said Ani Dasgupta, Global Director of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. “Supporting affordable housing is one of the best ways to help fast-growing cities in the global south run smoother and provide benefits to all residents.

“Two and half billion additional people will be living in urban areas worldwide by 2050, with Asia and Africa seeing nearly 90 percent of this growth. The housing gap has a human cost and is a major drag on the economy and the environment. We need to take immediate action to avoid creating cities that are less productive, less efficient and less inclusive—something that would truly impact everyone.”

The latest installment of WRI’s flagship World Resources Report “Towards a More Equitable City,” which examines whether prioritizing access to core urban services for the underserved will create cities that are prosperous and sustainable for all people, emphasizes housing as one such critical core need.

“Housing is often seen as falling into discrete categories such as public or private, formal or informal,” said Robin King, lead author and WRI Ross Center Director of Knowledge Capture and Collaboration. “But we view housing options on a spectrum that combines different elements of ownership, space, services and finance. In some cases, land may be public while the dwellings on it are private. This spectrum allows a more nuanced analysis of the reality of housing markets in the global south and consideration of a wider range of possibilities.”

“The paper is coming out at a very important time, when the discussion about affordability, adequacy and issues of secure tenure have become very critical in global cities of the south,” said Sheela Patel, founding member and Chairperson of Slum/Shack Dwellers International. “Cities produce aspirations. If you don’t fulfill those aspirations, which start with safe neighborhoods, a good environment, a good education—these are all settlement and neighborhood related amenities and services—you produce discontent.”

The study focuses on three actionable approaches city officials can use to address the housing crisis, while highlighting specific examples from around the world:

  1. Participatory approaches to improving housing without relocating residents to the urban periphery (_in situ_upgrading) Demand for housing has outstripped supply, leading to a proliferation of informal and substandard settlements. “Slum-free cities” is often code for displacement of people to the periphery. Finding ways to accommodate people where they are, rather than displacing them to far corners of a city, taps into community knowledge and energy while retaining links to existing social and livelihood networks. This approach is harmful to the city at large. An example of success: Thailand’s Baan Mankong program directs government infrastructure subsidies, soft housing and land loans to poor communities who then negotiate with land owners for formal tenure and use the funds to upgrade their housing. By 2016, 1,903 poor communities in 345 cities had been fully upgraded under the program; 101,224 poor families had secure land decent houses and healthy living environments.
  2. Expand rental markets for people across all income levels. Home ownership is over-emphasized in urban development, which hurts those who lack the resources to buy a home and those who need flexibility such as those working in the informal sector. Expanded rental markets for people of all income levels, with legal protection for landlords and renters, can help meet the housing needs of the urban poor while maintaining flexibility and encouraging market-driven development. Gauteng Province, South Africa, which includes Johannesburg, tackled a housing shortage of 687,000 units by making it legal to rent out formally illegal informal backyard apartments. This made it easier for low-income people to find places to live and encouraged development of services without government subsidies.
  3. Convert under-utilized, centrally located urban land into affordable housing in cities. Policies that drive the poor to the periphery leaves prime locations under-utilized or totally unused, even as new residents seeking housing come into the city. Political will to address housing needs is critical. By converting this land, especially publicly held land, into affordable housing, cities can avoid sprawl, take advantage of existing resources, and spur economic growth. In Cochabamba, Bolivia, 420 families live in the María Auxiliadora Community on land purchased and held in trust as community-owned property, an approach commonly referred to as a Community Land Trust. Its unique governance structure rotates leadership among women in two-year terms, rejects men who engage in domestic violence and provides community-managed support to families. The land cannot be sold for profit, which keeps the housing affordable.

“These solutions will help urban policymakers in fast-growing cities meet the demand for housing while encouraging economic development and cleaner, safer environments,” said King. “Closing the housing gap by providing access to affordable, adequate and secure housing will benefit everyone, not just the poor and underserved, as cities become more productive, environmentally sustainable, and truly places for all.”

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          Confronting the Urban Housing Gap        

Confronting the Urban Housing Gap

More than 1.2 billion city dwellers―one of every three people living in urban areas―lack access to affordable and secure housing. This housing gap is a major drag on the economy and the environment. The impact is severe in Asia and Africa, where 2.25 billion people are expected to be added to urban populations between now and 2050. If business continues as usual, slums will grow across the developing world, exacerbating inequality and threatening cities’ traditional role as drivers of economic growth.

The latest working paper of WRI’s flagship World Resources Report (WRR), “Towards a More Equal City,” draws on the knowledge of dozens of urban experts to examine whether meeting the needs of the urban underserved can improve the economy and environment.

Sheela Patel on “Confronting the Urban Housing Crisis in the Global South: Adequate, Secure and Affordable Housing.”


Housing is often seen as falling into discrete categories such as public or private, formal or informal, individual or collective. Instead, we view housing options on a spectrum that combines different elements of ownership, space, services and finance. In some cases, land may be public while the dwellings on it are private. This spectrum allows a more nuanced analysis of the reality of housing markets in the global south and consideration of a wider range of possibilities.

While many challenges emerged, we focused on three that city officials can act upon and scale up.

Issue 1: The Growth of Informal or Substandard Settlements

As demand for housing has outstripped supply, informal and substandard settlements have proliferated. Since 1990, even as the proportion of global urban populations living in slums has declined, there has been an increase in the absolute number of people living in these areas.

Solution: Find ways to accommodate people where they are

While some call for “slum-free” cities, this is often code for displacement of people to the edge of town, which disrupts labor markets, social networks and lives and harms the city at large. Instead we suggest finding ways to upgrade existing slum areas, tapping into community knowledge and energy while retaining links to social and livelihood networks. This option is best for cities with large slum populations, except in locations with environmental or geographic risks.

An example is Thailand’s Baan Mankong program, which directs government infrastructure subsidies, soft housing and land loans to poor communities who then negotiate with land owners for formal tenure and use the funds to upgrade their housing. By 2016, 101,224 poor families in 345 cities had been fully upgraded under the program with secure land, decent houses and healthy living environments.

Issue 2: Overemphasis on Ownership

Home ownership is over-emphasized in urban development, which hurts those who lack the resources to buy a home or who need flexibility. People who work in the informal economy are particularly affected. Subsidies meant to encourage home ownership are geared to those with regular, documented incomes, not those who work in activities like recycling, domestic help and construction that do not produce a paper trail in many parts of the world. Moreover, rentals are often not available to the urban poor, or are subject to great uncertainty about rights and responsibilities for both landlords and renters, with unclear processes for dispute resolution.

Solution: Expand rental markets for people of all income levels

Establishing legal protection for landlords and renters, while acknowledging informal sector activity, can help meet the housing needs of the urban poor while maintaining flexibility and encouraging market-driven development. This includes non-standard payment patterns and cooperative housing where tenants collectively purchase land and rent small plots within it. Vibrant rental markets foster a fluid labor market, a necessary prerequisite for economic prosperity in any city.

For example, authorities in Gauteng Province, South Africa, which includes Johannesburg, tackled a housing shortage of 687,000 units by making it legal to rent out formerly illegal informal backyard apartments. This made it easier for low-income people to find places to live and encouraged development of services without government subsidies.

Issue 3: Policies That Drive the Poor to the Periphery

In many cities, land is often tangled up in legal disputes, leaving it under-utilized or unused, even as new residents seek housing in the city. Building and land use regulations often impose costs and limit creative use of incremental improvements and innovative land management tools.

Solution: Convert under-utilized land, especially publicly held land, into affordable housing

Political will to address housing needs is critical. Rather than encouraging sprawl, existing urban land should be used for housing. City officials and real estate developers should revise rules and building standards to expand the availability of housing on under-used land.

For instance, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, 420 families live in the María Auxiliadora community land trust on land purchased and held in trust as community-owned property. The community’s unique governance structure rotates leadership among women in two-year terms, rejects men who engage in domestic violence and provides support to families. The land cannot be sold for profit, which keeps the housing affordable.

These solutions will help urban policymakers in fast-growing cities meet the demand for housing while encouraging economic development and cleaner, safer environments. Closing the housing gap by providing access to affordable, adequate and secure housing will benefit everyone, not just the poor and underserved, as cities become more productive, environmentally sustainable and truly places for all.


          Elearning Promotes Iran’s Civil Awareness        
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Elearning Promotes Iran’s Civil Awareness

IRAN (June 2010) – Taavana, an elearning institute for Iranian Civil Society, jumpstarted its launch with a boost from the Iranian civic activists. The institute, which is a project of the Center for Liberty in the Middle East (CLIME), provides native democrats elearning online and other interactive learning tools on cyber security, democratic institutions and civic leadership.  
   
The E-courses of Taavana include a civic education curriculum developed by the Albert Shanker Institute and Freedom House and a graduate level leadership advance course from the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management.
In addition to e-courses, Tavaana provides case studies of world movements for equality and human rights, video interviews with Iranian and international civic activists, and translations of a public education set of courses, glossaries and dissident writings. Famous Iranian academics and international experts will serve as instructors and trainers for those enrolled.

Tavaana founder and director Mariam Memarsadeghi says that Iranians today have more than ever yearn to be connected to the free world at this kind of set-up. She adds that the project presents a safe space for Iranians to work together with each other and with the most prominent democracy and civil society experts from around the world.

With the elearning online courses providing both self-paced and live training versions, Tavaana is free of charge to all users and is available in English and Persian. Furthermore, it is a complete and comprehensive resource library of Persian and English language on democracy and human rights while discussion boards encourage open dialogue on each learning asset, including Tavaana's media monitor on Iranian civil society. The project will become a construct of this newfound cyber-freedom of expression and connection by offering e-learning online opportunities for Iranian civil society.

Tavaana means "empowered" and "capable" in Persian. It holds a vision for a free and open Iranian society in which each and every Iranian enjoys the full spectrum of civil and political liberties.

CLIME Executive Director Eleana Gordon says that they are excited for the expansion of Taavana on their previous successes using e-learning solutions to train civic activists in the Arab world.

The previously launched Arabic-language Online Activism Institute, a successful project by CLIME, was hailed by Politics Online as one of the “Top Ten Who Are Changing the World of Internet and Politics.”

The internet has become a tool that boosts the appearance of civil awareness. This is bearing fruit in the Iranian society, growing to a rich number of e-communities which are circumventing government censorship to share their ideologies.

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          2017 World Animation Celebration Judges Announced        

The official judges panel for The World Animation Celebration 2017 international short film animation festival have been announced, with pros from across the animation and visual effects spectrum on board. WAC is presented by Animation Libation Studios and Animation Magazine, and will be hosted by Sony Pictures Animation in Culver City, CA on September 30-October […]

The post 2017 World Animation Celebration Judges Announced appeared first on Animation Magazine.


          New leadership center inspired by Gov. Thompson’s legacy        
“Gov. Thompson’s rich legacy deserves such recognition. He is a policy iconoclast who values quality research and analysis from across the political spectrum ,” La Follette School Director Donald Moynihan said.
          The Importance of Accepting All Emotions        

embracing emotionsWe’re so quick to applaud the positive. Happiness is a state we don’t just strive for ourselves but also celebrate and wish for others. But there’s a problem with placing such heavy emphasis and praise on our positive emotions, because from a young age it teaches us to reject the other half of our emotional spectrum. […]

The post The Importance of Accepting All Emotions appeared first on Lupus News Today.


          (USA-CA-Merced) EMT POSITION NOW OPEN IN MERCED!        
EMT POSITION NOW OPEN IN MERCED! Location Merced , CA Type Full Time Share this posting Have you enjoyed working as an EMT...but wish your role involved more skills, better wages, and a viable opportunity for career growth? We're On-Site Health & Safety...an established, twenty-year, multi-state Health & Safety Company, looking for local EMTs in Merced, California, who would like to expand their career and be a part of our growing team. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements below to apply. Positions as our Occupational Health & Safety Technician are available immediately, with paid training provided. Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to: Drug & Alcohol Testing (both new-hire & post injury/accident), Pulmonary Function Testing, First-Aid response (you actually get to use some of those skills you learned!), and Safety Training. Looking for something better? Come join our team! Employee Testimonial Video: Click Here PAY: + Full-Time Position - 4-10s // Mon-Fri + Starting Pay: $17/HR + Plus...After-Hours On-Call Stipends! Benefits: + Health Insurance + Paid Vacation + 401 k + Profit Sharing + Paid Training + Company Vehicle + Fuel Card Minimum Qualifications: EMT 1 year minimum EMT experience Clean Driving Record Technician expectations: + Drug & Alcohol testing (both new-hire & post injury/accident) + Pulmonary Function Testing + First-Aid response directly to our customer’s workplace (equipment is mobile via your assigned company vehicle) + Safety Training You've run calls and treated patients under strict, limiting, protocols, and all with not much opportunity to provide appropriate care, or perform any skills. Like most EMTs nationwide, you are most likely paid low wages for the services you were asked to provide, right? But where do you go from here? Sure, you studied, trained, and got some experience, but now you're stuck with not much vertical growth potential where you currently are. Maybe you've even played the "fire lottery" or considered nursing school...just to be able to earn more money and have more opportunity? Does all this sound familiar? It's time to use some of the skills you already have, as well as acquire some new ones, and open new doors for yourself. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements above to apply. Individuals who receive an offer of employment from OSHS will be required to undergo a drug test and a criminal background check. OSHS offers of employment are contingent upon the successful outcome of a pre-employment background check and drug screen. On-Site Health & Safety On-Site Health & Safety has been in business since 1996 and started with the idea of giving companies the best 24-hour, mobile health and safety services available. They expanded the safety aspects of the company in 1998 and pioneered their 24-Hour First Aid Response program. Now On-Site Health & Safety has undoubtedly the best 24-Hour First Aid Response throughout California | Arizona | Nevada | Washington. Supporting a wide spectrum of industries, On-Site Health & Safety provides essential first aid, safety, and work site resources for employers. We earnestly believe that to offer the best to our clients, we must reflect an exemplary corporate structure within our own organization, creating a business model that provides our employees vast opportunities to grow and develop their own unique skills and abilities, in a supportive and secure team environment. Company Website: www.onsitehealthandsafety.com + +
          The Glenholme School, a Special Needs School, Announces Its Third Annual Run for Autism        

The Glenholme School, a boarding and day school for students with high functioning autism spectrum disorders and various social, emotional and learning differences in Washington, Connecticut is proud to announce its third annual 5K Run for Autism planned for November 2016.

(PRWeb October 27, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Glenholme_School/2016_Autism_Run/prweb13794387.htm


          The Glenholme School Acknowledges Autism Awareness Month and the Need for Inclusion and Acceptance of Young People on the Spectrum        

The Glenholme School, a therapeutic boarding school, joins the autism awareness effort and emphasizes the necessity for inclusion and acceptance of all individuals on the spectrum.

(PRWeb March 29, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Glenholme_School/2016_Autism_Awareness/prweb13295366.htm


          In Light of Autism Awareness Month, The Glenholme School Illuminates the Benefits of a Therapeutic Boarding School for Students on the Spectrum        

The emotional and educational needs of young people on the spectrum are incredibly intertwined. In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, The Glenholme School, a therapeutic boarding school, highlights an educational option for young people on the spectrum.

(PRWeb April 21, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Glenholme_School/Therapeutic_Program/prweb12667070.htm


          The Glenholme School Acknowledges Autism Awareness Month and the Critical Need for Transition Programs Serving Young People on the Spectrum        

The Glenholme School, a therapeutic boarding school, offers critical support for individuals with autism spectrum disorders who are transitioning to post-secondary careers and colleges.

(PRWeb April 07, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/AutismAwareness/Transition/prweb12633368.htm


          ANTI OKSIDANT FORTE        


Anti Oxidant Forte  



Super Potent and wide spectrum formula
Anti Oxidant Forte+ merupakan formulasi spektakuler dari gabungan 11 jenis herbal yang memiliki kandungan anti oxidant yang kuat dan spektrum luas sehingga mampu bekerja secara sinergi dalam memberikan perlindungan dalam melawan kerusakan akibat radikal bebas.
Manggis  sangat menakjubkan  karena  memiliki  43 jenis  xanthones, termasuk  jenis  yang  paling  aktif.   Sementara  herbal  lain  rata-rata hanya memiliki 1 atau 2 xanthones saja.  
       â€œMANGGIS ADALAH ANTIOKSIDAN TERBAIK DI DUNIA SAAT INI ” 
selain xanthones, AOX FORTE di kombinasikan dengan 9 jenis herba lainnya sehingga berkhasiat untuk penyembuhan berbagai macam penyakit.
Manfaat Anti Oxidant Forte+

  • Anti radikal bebas, anti bakteri, anti viral
  • Melindungi dan melawan kanker,Tumor dan pertumbuhan abnormal
  • Menurunkan kolesterol dan tekanan darah tinggi.
  • Mengurangi penggumpalan darah, plak-plak pada arteri
  • Membantu penurunan berat badan, dan membakar lemak
  • Mengatur gula darah dan insulin pada penderita Diabetes
  • Meningkatkan vitalitas, awet muda
  • Mengobati penyakit liver (Hepatitis A,B dan C), meningkatkan pertumbuhan sel-sel baru pada liver
  • Anti piretik (penurun panas), diuretik (peluruh kemih), hemostatik (menghentikan pendarahan)
  • Meningkatkan sistem kekebalan tubuh (immunodulator)  
    • KOMPOSISI ANTIOXIDAN FORTE (AOX FORTE)
    1.Manfaat Manggis/Mangosteen
    ·        Antioksidan
    ·        Mengobati penyakit liver
    ·        Meningkatkan pertumbuhan sel-sel baru pada liver
    ·        Immunodulator/kekebalan tubuh
    ·        Menyehatkan pankreas dll
    2.Manfaat Mengkudu/Morinda Citrifolia
    ·        Menyembuhkan kanker  dan tumor,
    ·        Menormalkan tekanan darah, baik untuk penderita penyakit jantung
    ·        Menyembuhkan Gangguan pencernaan
    ·        Menyembuhkan Diabetes tipe 1 dan 2
    ·        Menurunkan kadar kolesterol darah dll.
     3.Manfaat Milk Thistle: 
    • Menyehatkan dan meningkatkan fungsi hati 
    • Tonik dan Antioksidan bagi Hati, meremajakan sel-sel hati 
    • Mengurangi keluhan Hepatitis dan Sirosis 
    • Menyehatkan fungsi empedu 
    • Mengatasi batu empedu 
    • Mencegah tumor payudara 
    • Mencegah iritasi saluran kemih dll
           4.Manfaat Brotowali/Guduchi
           ·        rheumatic arthritis, rheumatiksendi,
           ·        demam, penyakit kuning, malaria, membersihkan darah
           ·        kencing manis, diabetes,
           ·        serta penyakit luar seperti memar, kudis, dan luka.
5                5.Manfaat Kunyit/Tumeric 
                  ·        Menghambat pertumbuhan tumor dan kanker
                  ·        Baik untuk masalah pencernaan
                  ·        Menyembuhkan usus buntu dan penyakit tifus
                  ·        Mengobati bronchitis dan batuk kronis
             6.Manfaat Pegagan/Daun Kaki Kuda/Gotu kola
            ·        bersifat mendinginkan, memiliki fungsi membersihkan darah, melancarkan peredaran darah, mencegah varises
            ·        peluruh kencing (diuretika), penurun panas (antipiretika), menghentikan pendarahan (haemostatika),
            ·        meningkatkan syaraf memori, anti bakteri, tonik, antispasma, antiinflamasi, hipotensif, insektisida, antialergi dan stimulan.
            ·        Saponin yang ada menghambat produksi jaringan bekas luka yang berlebihan (menghambat terjadinya keloid).
            ·        meningkatkan daya ingat, mental, dan stamina tubuh
            7.Manfaat Kayu manis/Cinamon
            ·        Memperbaiki sel beta pancreas
            ·        Menyembuhkan penyakit kencing manis/Diabetes
            8.Manfaat Akar Alang-alang /Cogon Grass
            ·        Peluruh air seni
            ·        Menyembuhkan penyakit kencing berdarah
            ·        Memperbaiki fungsi organ ginjal,
            ·        Menyembuhkan penyakit Asam urat dan Gout
            ·        Menyembuhkan penyakit ginjal akut
           9.Manfaat Camelia Sinensis/Daun Teh
            ·        Mengobati asma(berfungsi sebagai pelebar bronkus),
            ·        Mengobati penyakit vaskuler perifer, angina pektoris dan penyakit jantung koroner
          10.Manfaat Seledri/Celery
      ·       Seledri baik untuk dinding lambung dan saluran usus.
      ·        Memperlambat proses penuaan(menjaga kemudaan sel)
·        Menjaga kelenturan dan aktivitas otot
·        Mengobati asma
·        Mengobati diabetes
·        Membantu melarutkan kalsium dalam tubuh
·        Melancarkan aliran darah
·        Menetralkan asam tubuh
·        Melindungi otak dan sistem saraf
·        Mengobati arthritis, Mengobati neuritis,mengobati rematik
·        Menurunkan tekanan darah
·