Badshah Masala launched their new ad campaign #HumareYahan        

by Shrutee K/DNS
National: Badshah Masala, this Independence Day, has launched their new ad campaign #HumareYahan, aiming to decrease this divide and pushes notice to how similar these two sister countries are. Badshah Masala believes that despite all the differences we may have, food transcends all boundaries and brings people from different places together. 
In this video, Manno is a traditional Indian mom whose daughter, Dimple, has just returned from US after finishing her studies. Dimple, whilst showing Manno pictures from her time in US, also shows her a picture with her Pakistani friend, Saad. Manno immediately points to Saad being a Pakistani, but is shunned by her young and liberal daughter.  
Dimple then mentions that she wants to meet Saad, an idea which Manno isn't too fond of. After much deliberation, Manno asks Dimple to invite Saad over for dinner so that she can keep an eye on him. Once Saad comes over for dinner, he amazes Manno with what he does.
This video is a testimony to how much the younger generation can influence their parents in breaking stereotypes that have prevailed in modern India. The campaign also communicates a broader message that gets us thinking as to how Indians perceive foreign nationals. It stresses on the importance of respect for an individual regardless of his or her racial background and nationality, and the importance of not judging a person based on our own preconceived notions and existing stereotypes.
Kailash Jhaveri, Managing Partner of Jhaveri Industries, said,”As we are inching closer to a 70th Independence Day, there is no better time to contemplate the ties between these two countries. We are trying our best to close this divide by starting a conversation over something that no one would decline - Swaad.” 
Hemant Jhaveri, Managing Partner of Jhaveri Industries, adds, “Badshah Masala has always been involved in forming connections through food. From the very beginning of this company, we have looked at food as something that can bring people from everywhere together. We are glad that we are taking this opportunity to provide another outlook to the current scenario that our country is facing.” 
Anushree Pacheriwal, Creative Head of Gemius, said, “It has been an incredible experience working for this campaign. From the very start, we were certain that this message needed to be out there, and that shaped the direction that this campaign took.”
The campaign is by Badshah Masala conceptualised by agency Gemius and creative head Anushree Pacheriwal, Story, Saurabh Pacheriwal. The production house is 50mm Media Productions and Director & DOP is Saurabh Desai and Ankit Mavchi. Gemius is co founded by Saurabh Pacheriwal, a marketing professional and Anushree Pacheriwal, a creative professional. Its clientele includes Badshah Masala, World Economic Forum, Just In Time, Baggit, TEDx events amongst others.
·       Campaign Link:
Client: Badshah Masala
Managing Partners: Kailash Jhaveri, Hemant Jhaveri
Agency: Gemius
Managing Director: Saurabh Pacheriwal
Creative Head: Anushree Pacheriwal
Account Management Team: Tanvi Khandelwal, Abhishek Doshi, Varsha Tanna
Story: Saurabh Pacheriwal
Production House: 50mm Media Productions
Director & DOP: Saurabh Desai & Ankit Mavchi
Production Team: Fenil Patel, Siddhant Shah, Nehal Trivedi, Jigar M, Setu U

          Î”εν είναι πλάκα: Δείτε τι ανέβασε ο Π.Καμμένος στο Twitter και πέστε κάτω        
Αυτό που γίνεται δεν έχει προηγούμενο! Αυτή είναι στ' αλήθεια η φωτογραφία που δημοσιεύτηκε λίγο μετά την ανακοίνωση της συμφωνίας στο Eurogroup, στο Twiiter του Υπουργού Εθνικής Άμυνας Πάνου...

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          Accelerate Live! talk: Health-generating buildings, Marcene Kinney, Angela Mazzi, GBBN Architects        
Architects Marcene Kinney and Angela Mazzi share design hacks pinpointing specific aspects of the built environment that affect behavior, well-being, and performance.


During the past 20 years, we’ve witnessed an evolution in building design, from high-performance and energy-efficient buildings, to sustainable and green buildings, and now to spaces that enhance performance and promote wellness and health. 

In this 15-minute talk at BD+C’s Accelerate Live! conference (May 11, 2017, Chicago), Marcene Kinney and Angela Mazzi from Cincinnati-based GBBN Architects talk about their work in behavior change and health-generating design.

Their predictive outcome modeling helps clients make strategic design investments that enhance user and building performance, while minimizing behaviors that can lead to more negative outcomes, such as injuries, poor health, or mistakes.

They also share design hacks pinpointing specific aspects of the built environment that affect behavior, well-being, and performance to help clients get more success out of their spaces.


As Principal and Market Director at GBBN Architects, Marcene Kinney, AIA, LEED AP, leads her team's exploration and focus to do more than merely solve functional architectural problems for clients. Her applied research details fives types of space and their physical attributes that contribute to socialization and gathering patterns within spaces. She has dedicated 17 years exploring how space facilitates social interaction and builds community within the educational environment. Kinney has presented her research-based design work to American Institute of Architecture and Society of College and University Planning audiences and is the recent recipient of an AIA design award for work completed at Northern Kentucky University. Perhaps most important are the satisfaction survey reports by her clients who are reporting increased engagement and retention from their customers.

Angela Mazzi, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, is a Senior Associate and Medical Planner at GBBN Architects, where she focuses on enhancing quality of life through built environments—connecting great design with user needs. Her background in design, business management, and research on socio-cultural contexts provides a unique perspective on how culture is reflected in architecture and user experience. Mazzi serves on the Board of Regents for the American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA), the Board of AIA Cincinnati, the Advisory Committee for the Institute for Patient-Centered Design, and was an Advisory Board member for Arizona State University's Healthcare Design Program in its initial years. Her research linking wellness to design has been published in many healthcare journals and been presented at both national and international conferences.



          Wandoo Planet        

It took me quite a while to get through my backlog of podcasts, so I just listened to a great episode from Chris Bugaj of the A.T.Tipscast.  Episode 132 featured an interview with a former educator spreading the word about Wandoo Planet.  Wandoo Planet is a recommendation engine for children, think Pandora or Netflix.  Basically, kids pick some of their favorite interests, via a fun game, and the website suggests books and/or movies for them to check out.  The goal is to help students find books in their interest and get them reading more, which as we all know, is one of the best ways to increase students ability to read!

I took a few minutes and tried it out myself, and have to say it's fun.  The game is a great way to get children thinking about their interests.  Some students may need to have the interests read to them, and a suggestion to make it more accessible might be to include pictures or text to speech for the interests.  It looks like a fun way to engage students and get them reading!

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          QR Codes for Vocabulary        

Matt Bergman, at Learn, Lead, Grow, shared a great post on ways to use QR Codes to teach and retain vocabulary.  I love the ideas of engaging students with technology to teach this skill.  Check out all his ideas at his blog:

3 Ways to Use QR Codes to Make Word Walls Assessable to ALL Students #UDL

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          Marketing Contractor - Pixability        
Boston, MA - Boston HQ
Who We Are
Pixability is a video advertising technology company that gives media professionals the ability to plan, buy, and report across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Spotify. Pixability?s holistic solution empowers advertisers to deliver
          OMG, Aaron Carter comes out as bisexual, expresses his attraction towards men — Aaron Carter (@aaroncarter) August 6, 2017 It’s Aaron’s party, come get it, boys! Welcome to the club Mr. Carter! SO – who are...
          Casey Muir Joins Octagon As Director Of Football        
According to his Twitter, NFL agent Casey Muir is joining Octagon as its new Director of Football. Muir is leaving Tier 1 Management, where he was the president and managing director of football services. Named a “rising star among the next wave of agents,” by Inside the League Muir has specialized in contract negotiations both...
          The Punt Euros podcast. Monday 13th June        
Euros Punt Podcast: Monday 13th June 0:0019:17 Share on Facebook twitter Google+ Jack Critchley is joined by Derek McGovern, Karl Matchett, Chris Mayer and David Swan to look ahead to Day 4 of the Euros. Including a preview of Belgium v Italy and Rep. of Ireland v Sweden
          How to use Twitter to promote your business online        

Twitter can be a very powerful tool for marketing any business or website online, and by using Twitter, a person can easily reach thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of potential customers consistently.

Tweeting Consistently
Once a person creates a profile for their business or for their website on Twitter, they should tweet consistently and update their profile consistently. Tweeting consistently will ensure that their Twitter followers are engaged in the information that they're posting, and usually, tweeting consistently can help a person to obtain new followers for their Twitter account.

Respond To Tweets
When a person has a Twitter account, people can send them tweets, or Twitter users can direct tweets to their Twitter profile. This is an excellent way for a business to connect with its customers and with its potential customers.

If a person has any questions for a business owner, they can easily ask the business owner those questions on Twitter. In addition, a question that is asked by one customer or one potential customer on Twitter is likely a question that many other people have, so when a business owner answers a question from one person, they are likely answering a question that many other people have as well.

Gaining More Followers

In order to reach a large amount of people on Twitter, it's vital to gain a large amount of followers. There are many ways to gain followers on Twitter, and one of the ways is to buy Twitter followers.

When a business owner buys Twitter followers, they should make sure that the Twitter followers that they bought are real and active. The more active that Twitter followers are, the more successful that the marketing strategy of a business on Twitter will be.

Following Other Twitter Users

In addition to gaining followers on Twitter, a business should follow other Twitter users. Following other Twitter users helps to promote interactivity among users on Twitter, and in addition, a business that follows many other people and many other profiles is likely to gain more followers much more quickly for its Twitter profile.

Posting Funny And Interesting Information

A business owner should frequently post funny and interesting information and content on Twitter. Posting funny, interesting and informative content will help to ensure that a person's Twitter followers stay interested and engaged, and in addition, posting funny and interesting content can increase the likelihood that the Twitter followers of a business profile will retweet the tweets of the business owner.

When Twitter users retweet content that a business has posted, that content can easily reach hundreds of thousands or even millions of other Twitter followers very quickly, and as a result, a business can very easily reach many more potential customers by having its followers retweet content that it has tweeted.

In addition, a business owner should also post deals and discounts for certain products and services sporadically by using their Twitter account. Posting deals and discounts will attract new customers to the business, and these deals and discounts make it likely that customers that have already placed orders with a business will place more orders in the near future. 

About Author: This article was written by Andy G, a tech geek and Linux fan from Austria. At the present moment he maintains firmware 
and driver download website called

          Mobile security infestation [Infographics]        
The explosion in popularity of mobile devices has changed the way that people go about their daily lives. Their reliance on the efficiency and speed of these gadgets has made location--often--irrelevant. However, with the reliance comes risk; the number of viruses and hackers lurking for unencrypted data has risen dramatically over the past few years, a number closely related to the rise in smartphone and tablet usage over that same period of time.

This infographic, provided by, is an interesting look at mobile security, how it is being exploited, and the future of safe usage on mobile an interesting look at mobile security, how it is being exploited, and the future of safe usage on mobile devices.

 Russel Cooke is a journalist based in Louisville, KY. His love of technology often drives his stories, which also center around social media, content creation, and marketing. You can follow him on Twitter @RusselCooke2.

          Why do some men get grouchier as they age?        

Donald Trump, 66, shows his grumpy stripes in frequent Twitter outbursts. Some call it “grumpy old man complex.” Other experts label it: “irritable male syndrome,” a spike in the outward crankiness of guys of a certain age. As more baby boomers hit 60  be ready for more grouchy outbursts, like a Donald Trump rant set to explode.

          Scumland, Absinthe Pandemos        
Vous allez finir par croire que je suis payée par Walrus pour faire des avis sur leurs livres. Et bien pas du tout, juste que quand on aime, on ne compte pas, surtout avec une OPMORSE qui m'a permis de me plonger dans les pulps qui m’intéressaient depuis un moment. Bref, depuis que j'ai découvert la maison d'édition numérique (en 2013), je n'ai jamais été déçue par mes lectures. Eux et moi, on se comprend parfaitement. Et ce n'est pas ce Scumland qui va me faire changer d'avis !

Scumland, Absinthe Pandemos

Editeur : Walrus
Collection : Pulp
Année de parution : 2015
Format : epub

A lire si :
- Vous voulez du saignant
- Vous voulez de la misandrie

A ne pas lire si :
- Vous êtes un gros macho qui ne comprend pas toujours le second degrés et qui se prend la tête pour un rien
- Vous voulez une petite histoire mêmère

Présentation de l'éditeur :

La nature est hostile en dehors des cités, mais la société se porte mieux depuis la révolution misandre : désormais, devenir un esclave castré est ce qui peut arriver de mieux à un « chamallo » (Cisgenre Hetero Male Low Life). Traqués dans les jungles qui bordent les villes, les mâles sont ramenés à leur condition de matière première et servent de cobayes à des expériences souvent sanglantes et rarement pratiquées sous anesthésie. Ainsi exploités, ils contribuent à la survie de l’espèce… et grâce à la technomagie, on n’en perd plus une goutte !
Flora et Maddy sont deux traqueuses bien décidées à aider le SCUM — l’élite des tueuses professionnelles — à mettre la main sur un chamallo errant repéré aux abords de la cité. Armées de leurs machettes et d’une bonne dose de rage, elles enfourchent leurs motos et partent en chasse dans les ruines du vieux monde.

Mon avis

Au fur et à mesure de mes lectures, je me rends compte que je porte un intérêt grandissant pour les thèmes féministes et pour les personnages féminins qui ne sont pas de potentielles "princesse à sauver par un chevalier blanc alors qu'elles auraient pu être bien plus badass que ça".  Alors lorsque je vois un livre comme Scumland, autant le dire, je me jette dessus. Rien que la quatrième de couverture me donnait l'eau à la bouche et cela s'en parler de cette magnifique couverture (comme toutes celles de la collection pulp d'ailleurs). Je le savais Scumland et moi, on était fait pour bien s'entendre. Mon côté féministe parle beaucoup et comme je l'écoute beaucoup, je n'allais pas faire une impasse sur le roman.

Scumland nous plonge dans un monde misandre. Pour les personnes dans le fond qui ne savent pas voici une définition de misandre : Qui éprouve du mépris, voire de la haine, pour le sexe masculin ; qui témoigne de ce mépris (merci Larousse). La société créée après une apocalypse (laquelle, on ne sait pas) est une société féministe et féminine qui se base pas mal sur le SCUM Manifesto de Valérie Solanas (oui, j'ai fait des recherches et on peut le trouver là). Alors du coup, vu le dit manifeste, le roman allait être bien violent, surtout pour les hommes. Et je n'avais pas tord du tout.

Parce que de la violence, il y a en et pas qu'un peu. Rien que les premières pages risquent de faire mal à ces messieurs et réjouir toutes les femmes qui ont pu ou se sentent encore opprimées. Vient ensuite une partie plus calme, où l'on découvre le traitement réservé aux chamallos (aux hommes (enfin aux cisgenre male quoi)) grâce à la technomagie mais aussi le fonctionnement de la société misandre. Une société qui a banni tous ce qui pouvait être masculin (le travail, l'argent par exemple) et qui surtout oppressé les femmes à notre époque. Alors, ça risque pour certain d'avoir l'air totalement surréaliste, malheureusement, ce n'est pas tant le cas que ça. Disons que la plupart des femmes vont parfaitement comprendre le discours de cette société et qu'un certain nombre d'autres personnes vont crier à la misandrie et se plaindre. Bref, les bons machos vont nous lâcher de belles male tears.  Après la dite partie calme, on passe à la chasse aux chamallos et au retour de la violence. Et là aussi, nous allons avoir des male tears. 

Mais la violence n'est pas le point central du roman, juste ce qui le place finalement dans la collection pulp de Walrus. On y trouve plein de chose qui font réfléchir la bébé féministe que je suis. Et c'est là que personnellement j'ai trouvé tout l'interet du bouquin. Oui, le féminisme sur lequel il s’appuie est clairement anti-hommes, mais il me semble que l'auteure joue justement sur cela pour ouvrir un peu les consciences. Du coup, on se divertit beaucoup et en plus de ça, on réfléchit aussi. 

Au final, je l'ai bien aimé ce Scumland. Les personnages sont pas forcément ultra développés mais elles sont plaisantes à suivre, l'univers m'a fait bien plaisir et ça se lit facilement (à condition par contre de connaitre deux trois trucs sur le genre, le féminisme mais franchement, suffit de traîner un peu sur twitter ou pas loin de féministes pour les comprendre et sinon y a google au pire). Un livre bien sympathique et qui donne à la femme un rôle à sa hauteur (celle de personne qui n'a pas besoin d'un mec pour déboîter grave)(je raconte pas comme ça fait du bien ce genre de personnage hein). Bref, c'est du pulp, c'est du Walrus, c'est du bon. Et je m'en vais voir si je peux pas trouver d'autres livres (roman ou nouvelles) d'Absinthe Pandemos de ce pas.

          Where the Eagle Cry, Les Foulards Rouges, saison 3 épisode 7, Cécile Duquenne        
J'ai fini cet ultime épisode ce matin. Et j'ai déjà averti Cécile Duquenne que c'était vraiment pas cool de me faire pleurer de bon matin. Je n'aime pas dire adieu à des univers que j'aime autant. C'est pas sa faute. 

Where the Eagle Cry, Les Foulards Rouges, saison 3 épisode 7, Cécile Duquenne

Editeur : Bragelonne
Collection : Snark
Année de parution : 2017
format : epub

A lire si : 
- Vous avez lu et aimé la première et la seconde saisons
- Vous voulez une série qui mélange les genres avec bonheur

A ne pas lire si :
-... (toujours pas trouvé pourquoi il ne faudrait pas les lires, les Foulards Rouges)
- Par contre, si vous n'avez pas lu les deux premières saisons, autant éviter (tout comme de lire mes avis d'ailleurs)

Présentation de l'éditeur :

Découvrez la fin de l’incroyable périple de Lara et Renaud dans la troisième et ultime saison des Foulards Rouges ! Une épopée qui vous emmène loin, très loin par-delà les étoiles, et qui mêle magie, uchronie, steampunk, mystère et amour avec brio.

Mon avis

Purée que je n'aime pas les fins. Mais vraiment pas. Les Foulards Rouges, c'est une aventure qui a débuté pour le lecteur le 19 février 2014. Déjà. Depuis, nous avons eu trois saisons qui dépotent toutes graves, des aventures, des rires, des larmes, des personnages qu'on avait vraiment envie de suivre tous les mois. Pour son autrice, ça a débuté bien plus tôt, logique, et je suppose qu'elle est un peu dans le même état que le lecteur. Triste et en même temps super heureux. Parce que là, trois heures après avoir lu la dernière partie, je suis juste triste et heureuse. 

Je ne sais pas trop comment continuer mon avis. J'ai envie de parler de ces trois ans de Foulards Rouges, de l'attente des épisodes ou des extraits que l'autrice nous donner parfois sur Twitter, de l’excitation qui ne quittait pas ma lecture, de cette impression que les Foulards Rouges faisaient presque partie de la famille. Il est rare de ressentir ça pour un "simple" bouquin, pour des personnages de papier. Pourtant ça arrive, quelque fois. Et les Foulards Rouges font parti de ces romans qui marquent. 

Mais imaginez tout de même. En février 2014, on découvrait Lara Carax, son caractère de cochon et sa vie sur Bagne. On découvrait aussi Bagne par la même occasion, planète aride où rien ne pousse. Petit à petit, au fil des épisodes, la quête de liberté de la jeune femme et de Renaud, ainsi que des autres Foulards. On les a suivi dans leur évasion, puis sur Terre et enfin de retour à Bagne. On a tremblé avec eux, on s'est posé pas mal de question, on a été soulagé parfois. Bref, trois ans à vivre des émotions avec eux, cela laisse forcément une trace.

Et nous en arrivons à la fin. Une fin que je ne voulais pas forcément tant j'étais bien avec eux. Mais une fin nécessaire. Une fin surprenante aussi dans un sens. Alors que Cécile a maltraité ses personnages durant trois saisons, elle finit par leur offrir leur liberté. Enfin. Mais cela ne se fait pas dans la douceur. Les premiers couinements de ma part sont arrivés rapidement, avec la découverte du prix à payer pour avoir gagné. Un prix dur, mais nécessaire. Après tout, nous n'allions tout de même pas avoir un Happy End merveilleux, cela ne serait pas aller avec le reste. Et puis l'autrice répond à pas mal de question que l'on a pu se poser durant les trois saisons. Et enfin, la fin, la vraie. Celle qui m'a fait venir les larmes. Je vous dirais pas, mais elle va si bien aux Foulards Rouges cette fin. Mais vraiment. 

Alors voilà. Sur des touches un peu plus gaies que les fins des deux premières saisons, nous achevons notre voyage sur Bagne. Pas de cliffhanger de la mort qui tue (qu'est-ce que j'ai pu râlé pendant trois ans avec ça), pas de grosses batailles (du moins pas au sens combat avec mort et sang, parce que finalement, c'est une bataille que nous offre cet ultime épisode). Mais une liberté trouvée et toutes les questions, les difficultés que cela implique. Une belle fin pour les Foulards Rouges donc, mais aussi une manière de ne pas fermer la porte de l'univers. Qui sait, peut-être que Cécile Duquenne reviendra à Bagne pour nous parler de cette libération ou peut-être même sur Terre.

Pour conclure, un petit mot à Cécile Duquenne. Merci. L'aventure a été géniale et j'ai été plus que ravie de la suivre. 

          Ferenusia, Les Outrepasseurs tome 4, Cindy Van Wilder        
L'annonce de Ferenusia sur twitter il y a déjà quelques temps m'avait plus qu'émoustillait. Il faut dire que les Outrepasseurs, la série dont il est quatrième tome et spin-off, m'avait fait forte impression en 2015 (déjà ?). J'avais hâte de le lire.

Ferenusia, Les Outrepasseurs tome 4, Cindy Van Wilder

Editeur : Gulf Stream
Collection : /
Année de parution : 2017
Nombre de pages : 382

A lire si :
- Vous voulez le fin mot de l'histoire des Outrepasseurs
 Vous ne voulez pas de fés à la Disney
- Vous voulez de l'action

A ne pas lire si : 
- Vous voulez des gros monstres
 - Vous voulez de la fée gentille
- Vous n'avez pas lu la trilogie d'origine.

Présentation de l'éditeur : 

" Qui étaient ces êtres, si semblables et pourtant si différents des hommes ? On ne pouvait pas nier leur peau grise, qui se détachait délicatement de la structure de fer à laquelle ils s'accrochaient avec toute l'aisance d'alpinistes chevronnés. Soudain, la caméra bascula sur le buste de la statue de la Liberté. En lettre majuscules, vert sombre, s'étalait le mot : "FERENUSIA" " 
Privé de la magie presque disparue, l'empire des Outrepasseurs se disloque de toutes parts. Seul survivants dans cette débâcle, les Ferreux, des fés réduits à l'esclavage, s'échappent de leurs prisons. Soutenus par Ferenusia, un réseau clandestin, ils n'ont qu'un seul objectif : obtenir les mêmes droits que les humains, dans un monde qui ignore tout de leur existence. Mais leurs anciens maîtres sont prêts à tout pour protéger leurs secrets, quitte à éliminer le moindre témoin de leurs forfaits passés...

Mon avis

Ferenusia est un tome à part des Outrepasseurs. S'il est présenté comme un quatrième tome et une fin définitive de la série, il en est aussi un spin-off. Pas tout à fait hors série donc, mais pas non plus totalement dedans. Du coup, je préfére avertir dès le début, sans avoir lu la dite-série, il vaut mieux ne pas le lire sous peine de ne pas tout comprendre, voire même de se sentir totalement perdu dans l'histoire et avec les personnages. Pourquoi ? Parce qu'il commence quelques semaines après la fin du Libérateur et que l'autrice a décidé que nous avons déjà lu la trilogie et donc qu'il n'est pas totalement nécessaire de nous rappeler qui est qui. Une décision que j'apprécie puisque nous plongeons ainsi dans le vif du sujet mais que d'autres peuvent peut-être voir comme un inconvénient. 

Mais passons à l'histoire. Celle des Ferreux. Car ce tome se concentre sur ce peuple que nous avons pu découvrir dans les tomes précédents. Un peuple de fés qui bien que touché par la disparition de la magie continue de vivre, ou plutôt de survivre. Libérés des Outrepasseurs, les voilà qui plongent dans le monde des humains, un monde qu'ils ne connaissent pas et qui ne les connait pas. Passés du statut d'esclave à celui de Ferreuses et Ferreux libres n'a rien de simple. Encore moins lorsque les Outrepasseurs restant, bien que privés de la malédiction, décident de les poursuivre pour les faire taire, et cela de manière définitive. 

Cindy Van Wilder nous entraîne donc à la suite des Ferreuses et des Ferreux dans leur quête de liberté. Pour cela, elle a choisit de nous faire suivre Red Wing et Smokey, que nous connaissions déjà mais aussi Kalinda, Elween et Owen, qui eux se trouvent en Australie. Des personnages vraiment intéressants et surtout assez différents les uns des autres pour en apprendre plus sur leur peuple. J'ai d'ailleurs beaucoup apprécié les passages australiens, la quête de liberté de ces personnes qui ne comprennent pas ce qu'il se passe. Une opposition assez forte avec Red Wing et les londoniens qui eux ont déjà vu le monde et sont un peu plus apte, grâce Ã  Smokey, a le comprendre. 

Ce qu'il y a de fortement intéressant Ã  prendre les Ferreux comme héros, c'est de pouvoir voir tout ce que peut offrir ce peuple en terme de tolérance mais aussi la manière dont leur nouvelle liberté peut-être vu. Les voilà avec un statut de réfugiés et avec tout ce que cela implique. Si vous avez en tête ce qu'il se passe avec les réfugiés syriens, vous n'êtes finalement pas très loin. Heureusement, l'autrice leur offre une fin qui semble bien plus sympathique que pour les syriens et que personnellement, j'aimerais voir pour ces gens. Même si l'intégration ne se fait pas dans la douceur, après tout les Outrepasseurs essayent toujours de les faire disparaître, les gens "normaux" ont peur de ces êtres différents, elle se fait. Et cela grâce Ã  des personnes qui croient en la différence, en la diversité. C'est un beau message que transmet Cindy Van Wilder dans ce roman.

Et ce n'est pas le seul. L'un des personnage, S., est genderfluid. Je ne sais pas très doué en explication mais en gros, c'est un personnage qui ne se sent ni homme ni femme mais de genre neutre. J'ai apprécié que l'autrice utilise la langue neutre (pronom iel par exemple, conjugaison des adjectif au pluriels pour ne pas mégenrer le personnage). Ce genre de personnage est encore rare et il est appréciable d'en trouver, surtout uns comme S., qui doit faire face à ce qu'iel est mais aussi aux regards des autres et au sien. D'ailleurs, la communauté LGBT+ est plutôt bien représenté avec des personnages bi et homosexuels. Ce qui est encore mieux, c'est que les personnages ne sont pas des représentations stéréotypés de la communauté et que leur orientation sexuelle et leur genre ne fait pas tout le personnage. Ainsi, je ne définis pas S que comme genderfluid, mais comme la personne qui remonte le réseau Ferenusia, qui a une dent contre les Outrepasseurs et une envie immense que tout le monde puisse être libre et égaux. Cindy Van Wilder approfondit plus les relations entre personnages, qu'elles soient amicales ou non, que les relations amoureuses (même si nous en trouvons une dans le lot).

Qu'ajouter de plus pour finir cet avis ? Je suis contente de voir que je n'avais pas "fabulé" une certaine relation qui vient tout en douceur au cours du Libérateur et de ce tome. J'ai encore une fois beaucoup apprécié l'écriture de Cindy Van Wilder, toujours aussi poétique et en même temps percutant. Ce dernier tome est riche, en personnage, en représentativité et en action. J'ai apprécié retrouvé d'anciens compagnons, d'en redécouvrir certains et de découvrir d'autres membres des Ferreux. Au final, le roman aura été un nouveau coup de coeur, comme les autres tomes de la série.

Et je finirais réellement sur un petit avis sur la nouvelle qui accompagne parfaitement le roman, Tsimoka, paru dans l'anthologie Fées et Automates des Imaginales 2016. Une nouvelle qui permet de mettre en lumière une partie du texte du roman, puisqu'elle raconte un événement important de l'histoire des Ferreux. Je les beaucoup apprécié même si elle manque d'un petit quelque chose en plus. Disons que je l'aurais peut-être moins apprécié si je l'avais lu avant Ferenusia.

           Mandatory Reporting Law on Sexual Abuse Not So Mandatory -- Especially for Prep Schools / Abysmal Failures Noted on So-Called Background Checks        

Mandatory Reporting [NOT Really] Column
on Sexual Abuse Cases Generates Range of Comments

Meriden Record-Journal Post 7-18-17 Follows Hearst CT [links below]
& Cool Justice Blog 6-4-17

  • Column via Record-Journal

  • Facebook Tag Leads to Comments

  • State Reports Only 14 Arrests & Four Convictions in Past Seven Years
    Statute of Limitations Just One Year for This Misdemeanor

    By Andy Thibault
    The Cool Justice Report
    June 4, 2017

    Editor's Note: This column may be reprinted or re-posted courtesy of The Cool Justice Report

    Connecticut has been a very safe place to avoid arrest and prosecution for failing to report sexual abuse -- especially if you're a teacher or administrator at a prep school.

    That's just part of the picture.

    Suppose you lose your teaching job after being accused of rape. Just don't put that job on your resume. You'll be fine for perhaps a decade or more. It also helps to amend your full name on the resume. Supposed background checks will fail to detect resume gaps and irregularities.

    But what about that mandatory reporting law compelling teachers and administrators to report suspected abuse to the state? No problem. It hasn't been enforced with any great enthusiasm at the preps: No report, no warning for future employers or victims.

    The revelations come after a series of articles by The Boston Globe Spotlight Team and an investigation by the powerhouse law firm Covington & Burling for Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford. The Globe found that abuse victims routinely suffered retaliation at private schools in New England. The schools in turn covered up the abuse. Choate, for example, failed to report abuse incidents prior to 2010.

    A spokeswoman for Connecticut courts told The Cool Justice Report there were just 14 arrests in the state for failing to report sexual abuse from January 2010 through late April 2017. During the same time, there were only four convictions, according to the data provided via the state Judicial Department. One of the convictions was of a day care operator. No additional data was available immediately.

    There is only a one-year statute of limitations for failure to report sexual abuse claims, and that crime is a misdemeanor. Connecticut Deputy Chief State's Attorney Len Boyle said in a statement there are no plans to try to change that, but he noted there is a five-year statute of limitations for a felony charge if prosecutors are able to cite willfulness or other aggravating factors. Willfulness, like intent, carries with it a significant burden of proof.

    "The one-year statute of limitations," Boyle said, "is largely consistent with the limitations periods for all crimes (i.e.: one year for a misdemeanor and five years for a felony). We have not sought to lengthen it. The more egregious cases of failure to report (willfulness, gross negligence, etc.) are felonies and provide a five year limitations period."

    Boyle's office is investigating whether anyone at Choate broke the law by failing to report suspected abuse, The Hartford Courant reported in April.

    Among the 12 teachers accused of abuse in the Choate report, one went on to become a teacher and administrator at several public schools in Connecticut. He was able to avoid detection partly by amending his name and omitting two teaching jobs at private schools -- Choate and The Gunnery, in Washington, CT -- on his resume. The resume, obtained under Connecticut's Freedom of Information law, also shows some overlap for jobs at public schools in Connecticut and New York.

    This teacher / administrator, Jaime E. Rivera, aka Jaime Rivera-Murillo, resigned as principal of Wamogo High School in Litchfield in April. Before that, he was a teacher and assistant principal at Newtown High School for about 11 years. The first teaching job listed on his resume was at Henry Abbot Technical High School in Danbury, beginning in 2001. That leaves a seven-year gap following his graduation from St. Michael's College in Vermont, where he reported earning a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language.

    The Covington & Burling report says Rivera-Murillo was fired after being accused of anally raping one student and grabbing the breast of another during a Choate field trip to Costa Rica in 1999. Rivera, a faculty leader for the trip, denied engaging in sexual misconduct but admitting drinking alcohol including beer with students and "local moonshine" with others.

    Choate did not report the alleged assaults at the time as required by law. The alleged rape victim told the Covington & Burling team that a female administrator admonished students not to discuss what happened.

    The process for vetting resumes at Connecticut public schools like Wamogo and Newtown high schools and Abbot Tech seems to be check the boxes and wave the guy through with barely a pretense of scrutiny. This abysmal failure of diligence and critical thinking should be alarming to students, parents and all taxpayers.

    "He didn't list Choate as a former employer when he applied," Christine Chinni, the lawyer for Regional District 6 which includes Wamogo, told The Boston Globe.

    District 6 Superintendent Edward Drapp, asked about the committee of 12 that reviewed Rivera-Murillo's credentials and the review process, declined to discuss his procedures for background checks. Besides the resume, which he produced after a formal FOI request, Drapp was also asked to provide documents related to that review committee. Here is Drapp's response: "Attached is a copy of Mr. Rivera's resume. This is the only document in the district's possession that meets the criteria of your FOI request. For the remainder of the school year I will be focused on the students and therefore I am not doing any additional interviews or making any other statements on this matter."

    Drapp's response sounds like the result of bad coaching from an inept lawyer. The assertion that there are no documents regarding the review committee is not credible. Are we to believe the review committee never had a meeting?

    The Globe reported in April that the sexual misconduct at Choate occurred from 1963 to 2010 and ranged from intimate kissing to groping and sexual intercourse. The Covington & Burling report cites 12 teachers. Other Globe stories cited more than 100 private schools in New England with more than 300 former students saying they faced sexual abuse or harassment.

    Just last month, The Kent School was sued and accused of failing to report a 49-year-old teacher who had sex with a 15-year-old student in the late 1980s.

    The student claims her advisor scolded her for spreading vicious rumors. Another teacher allegedly told the student she was a sinner for committing adultery. The suit claims the abuse was widely known at the school and that the student was shunned, called "obviously crazy" and blamed for the teacher's breakdown. During a church service the student attended at the school, the suit asserts, Kent staff openly prayed for the teacher's well being. The teacher subsequently got a job at a private school in Indiana.

    Kent School, founded in 1906, charges more than $60,000 annually for tuition, board and fees.

    Rev. Richardson Schell, the headmaster, said in a statement: "We do not know why [the student] has elected to pursue a lawsuit at this time."

    Schell opened the statement by saying he had reviewed the complaint: " ... I am deeply sorry for the wrongful actions of the former Kent teacher who engaged in an inappropriate relationship with this former student ... as the Headmaster of the school then, I responded immediately and to the best of my ability."

    The statement does not address the school's duty to report the alleged abuse in a timely manner.

    Notably, Schell undertook a massive letter writing campaign some years later when he was annoyed by what he called a TV sitcom's "obnoxious, objectionable content." His letter writing campaign netted responses from 17 companies and he also reached out to publications including Advertising Age and Media Week to generate publicity regarding his concerns about popular culture, The New York Times reported.

    Finally, on the national front, The Associated Press reported that a former president of Penn State and two other former university administrators were each sentenced Friday to at least two months in jail for failing to alert authorities to a 2001 allegation against ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, a decision that enabled the now-convicted serial predator to continue molesting boys.

    Thibault, a private investigator for the Hartford office of Integrated Security Services, is the author of a second collection of newspaper columns, “more COOL JUSTICE”, credited with helping to free a woman unjustly convicted of first degree murder. His public service includes four years on a local board of education. Follow him on Twitter @cooljustice.

  • The Choate Report

  • Short version of column
    Via Hearst CT dailies

  • Danbury News Times

  • Connecticut Post

  • Norwalk Hour

  • Greenwich Time

  • Stamford Advocate


  •           Airing on U.S. TV: Canadian #TrueCrime Documentary Series Features #CT #WoodChipper Case Among Others That Inspired Hollywood Thrillers         

    Update, 6-28-17, shows RESCHEDULED, to air Aug. 6:
    REELZ announces- We will air The Shocking Truth "Fargo" and "Foxcatcher" episodes on Sunday, August 6 at 9pm ET ("Fargo") and 9:30pm ET ("Foxcatcher").

    Editor's Note, 6-17-17: A power outage zapped the servers for The REELZ Channel Friday night. Fargo and Foxcatcher will be rescheduled, a spokesman said.

  • Video Preview 2 -- A Chainsaw in Lake Zoar -- Fargo: The Shocking Truth

  • Video Preview 3: Late PI Keith Mayo …

  • --
    Via Radar ONLINE:

  • 'The Shocking Truth' Reveals 'Wood Chipper' Murderer CAUGHT In String Of Lies!

  • Why would someone be out in a storm with a wood-chipper on the side of the road?

    How did Connecticut state police get a murder conviction without a body?

    Shocking Truth [Fargo - Crafts / wood chipper case] Provides the Answers June 16 on REELZ

    Series Premiered May 21 w/ Goodfellas; Up Next: Exorcist & Amityville Horror



  • WFSB: Woodchipper murder case from 30 years ago was pivotal for forensic scientists

  • Complete Schedule

    (Goodfellas) Sunday, 5/21 at 9:00pm ET

    (Jaws) Sunday, 5/21 at 9:30pm ET

    (Exorcist) Friday, 5/26 at 9:00pm ET

    (Amityville Horror) Friday, 5/26 at 9:30pm ET

    (Conjuring) Friday, 6/2 at 9:00pm ET

    (Silence/Lambs) Friday, 6/2 at 9:30pm ET

    (Psycho) Friday, 6/9 at 9:00pm ET

    (Zodiac) Friday, 6/9 at 9:30pm ET

    During one of The Shocking Truth road trips through the US, a crew drove 1245 km conducting interviews in WI, IL, PA, NY, CT and MA. Dr. Henry Lee was interviewed for his crucial role in the infamous wood chipper murder.

    (Fargo) Friday, 6/16 at 9:00pm ET

    (Foxcatcher) Friday, 6/16 at 9:30pm ET

    (Natural Born…) Friday, 6/23 at 9:00pm ET

    (Monster) Friday, 6/23 at 9:30pm ET

              See & Hear All About It! May 1 @USJCT - Erin Moriarty's Chilling, Blockbuster Report on Stalking @48hours         


  • Preview via WTIC1080

  • Seating

    To ensure seating, please R.S.V.P. to

    Before the event please review the links below.

    Erin Moriarty has been a correspondent for "48 Hours" since 1990. She has covered the death of Princess Diana, the JonBenet Ramsey investigation, the murder of financier Edmund Safra, and the war in Iraq.

    Drawing on her training as an attorney, Moriarty has examined some of the most important social and legal issues of the day, including DNA testing of evidence in death-row cases, the abortion controversy and battered women's syndrome. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine High School shootings and the 9/11 investigation, overseas. Her exclusive behind-the-scenes report on the defense of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was broadcast on "60 Minutes" in 1997.

    Moriarty has received numerous honors, including nine national Emmy Awards.

    "48 Hours" investigates the horrors of stalking
    and how CBS' "NCIS" star Pauley Perrette
    is fighting to change the laws to protect victims

    Victims in sustained fear
    as police responses vary
    including 'victim shaming'

  • STALKED broadcast

  • Moriarty bio

  • Also of interest

  • Solve this case: Who killed Kay Wenal?

  • Photos: Crime scene and clues

  • Solve this case: Can you identify the man in the sketch?

  • Full story

  • Moriarty Twitter

  • "48 Hours" Twitter

  • CBS Sunday Morning Twitter

  • For art's sake: When funding the NEA is in jeopardy

  • Interview w/ Mary Higgins Clark via CBS Sunday Morning

  • USJ Instagram

  • USJ Facebook

  • USJ Twitter

  • USJ website

  • 2017 Spring Speaker Series Debut w/ Poet Kate Rushin

  •           "If you want to know American greatness, go back and read all the work that Jimmy wrote."         

  • Legendary columnist Jimmy Breslin dead at 88

  • Jimmy Breslin, the gravedigger and ‘the bleary day’ they buried JFK

  • In Memoriam, via Twitter

  • Jimmy Breslin's novel in progress ...

  • Video obit via NY Times

  •           Drummer Jonathan Barber, Hartt School Alum, Heads Japan Tour         

    -- photos by Lauren Desberg, Urška Lukovnjak and John Salatto

    Announcement via Jonathan Barber:

    I am thrilled to announce my 1st International Tour under my own name. This tour will be in one of my favorite places in the world..... Japan.

    I shall call this tour the "Drums Around The World Tour." Joining me: Pianist Taber Gable and Bassist Joshua Crumbly. Grateful for this opportunity to share and spread my musical voice across the world.

    May 12(fri) Lifetime / Shizuoka city

    May 13(sat) Body & Soul / Tokyo

    May 14(sun) Le club jazz / Kyoto city

    May 15(mon) Le club jazz/ Kyoto city

    May 17(wed) Star eyes / Nagoya city

    May 19(fri) Swing hall / Musashino city Tokyo

    May 20(sat) Pit inn / Tokyo

    This is just the beginning... Vision Ahead 2017


    More details coming soon...

  • Featured in Modern Drummer

  • Cool Justice photo by JOHN SALATTO
    #KrisAllen Quartet 3-12-16 #ButtonwoodTree, #Middletown CT: Kris Allen, alto and soprano saxophones; #FrankKozyra, tenor saxophone; #MattDwonszyk, bass; #JonathanBarber, drums. Original music from “Beloved” on #TruthRevolutionRecords (June 2016).

  • Jonathan Barber Drum Feature "Moontrane"

  • Barber website

  • Barber Facebook

  •           Protecting Our Houses of Worship: Guest Column by Security Expert / Retired NYPD Detective Sergeant         


    Founder & Chief Executive Officer

  • Integrated Security Services

  • According to the Washington Post, “it’s been a bad 2017 for Jews.” During the month of January, 48 bomb threats were called in to Jewish community centers across the country. Also last month, a neo-Nazi made national news by promising to hold a march in Whitefish, Montana to intimidate the town’s small Jewish population.

    This, of course, was followed by another unprecedented press conference by our President during which two reporters were moved to ask Mr. Trump about the rise in anti-Semitism. Many of us were aghast at the President’s rude and dismissive response, and his unwillingness to address the question seriously. The fact is, the country is experiencing an alarming increase of anti-Semitic incidents, and this has been trending upward since 2015. A security report issued by the Department of Homeland Security on protecting houses of worship stated that the United States has approximately 345,000 religious congregations representing 230 denominational groups and roughly 150 million members. Despite being sanctuaries from the troubles of the world, houses of worship have also been targets as violence has spiked across the country in recent years. The killing of nine people at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina was the largest mass shooting in a house of worship since 1991, when nine people were shot at the Wat Promkunaram Buddhist temple in Waddell, Arizona, northwest of Phoenix.

    [Under relentless pressure, the President subsequently denounced anti-Semitism.]

  • Empathy and action: Muslims unite to help fix vandalized Jewish cemeteries

  • The intent of this column is to generate awareness and provide a short guide which contains security practices for religious institutions, parishioners and our non religious communities to help deter threats, mitigate hazards and risks, and minimize the damage caused by an incident in or around a house of worship, including mass casualty events.

    I preface with the word “short” because there is a wide range of methods from programmatic and procedural considerations to technological enhancements that religious facilities and their leadership may consider implementing based upon the most likely threats to their facilities and their available resources. Basic security principals would suggest taking a blended approach to security and safety with the goal of hardening the facility to deter, detect and/or delay a criminal occurrence before it happens. The next steps are equally important and this is where lives are saved and mass casualties are reduced. Selecting the appropriate response to a threat or armed intrusion will help facilitate a safe transition into an effective recovery and restoration of services mode.

    Identifying Your Threats & Vulnerabilities

    Identifying and evaluating a known or potential threat to a given facility is the first step of a security assessment. The results of which will guide the process of developing a security plan. A proper readiness plan will aim to deter a threat or mitigate a threat by reducing the religious facility’s vulnerability to those threats.

    Natural Hazards vs. Targeted Violence

    As stated before, all life safety solutions should be designed using a blended approach to managing risk. Protecting a religious facility means your emergency management plan(s) must address an all-hazard approach to both natural hazards, e.g., infectious diseases and illnesses, fire, and seismic and weather-related events (hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods) as well as targeted attacks. Spontaneous and pre-planned attacks are likely to occur by individual(s) who use firearms; improvised explosive devices (IEDs); vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs); chemical, biological, or radiological attacks; or arson in order to inflict a number of casualties and damage to religious facilities.

    Protective Measures

    As previously mentioned earlier, a house of worship environment is managed by creating layers of protective measures in collaboration with state and local partners that allow religious institutions to deter, detect and delay threats. These layers also allow an institution to consider a threat as soon as possible and to more effectively respond to, further deter, eliminate or mitigate that threat.

    • Technological sensors such as CCTV surveillance cameras or alarms (fire, smoke, wind, and intrusion detection) will trigger informed decision-making.

    • Barriers, such as locked doors or fixed barriers or uniform security personnel should be in place to deter or delay a threat and afford more time for effective decision making.

    • Having the correct inbound and outbound communication network in place will influence a number key decisions. Time, or the lack of time, is a principle disrupter of effective decision-making. Sound communication strategies such as emergency email blasts, voice activated alert systems, and silent alert systems help to improve response to and during a crisis. An effective communication protocol should expand the window of time available to leaders to make sound decisions.

    Additional Measures to Consider:

    • Reporting Procedures

    • Establishing Collaborative Planning Teams

    • Starting an Emergency Operations Plan

    • Define Roles and Responsibilities

    • Notification Procedures

    • Evacuation Lockdown and Shelter‐In‐Place Policies and Procedures

    • Plans for Diverse Needs of Children and Staff

    • Necessary Equipment and Supplies

    • Common Vocabulary

    • Emergency Drills

    Call us at (212) 808-4153, or write us to tell what you think or how we can be of more assistance and remember, always dial 911 first in an emergency!

  • Integrated Security Services

  • About Alan Schissel

  • Cool Justice Editor’s Note: By way of disclosure, Cool Justice is an occasional denizen of Integrated’s Hartford office and once in a while even does a little work …


  • Hartford PI Stars in Network Real-Life Manhunt Show

  •           #Hartford Private Eye @JBprivateeye @HuntedCBS Featured @betterct @WFSBnews & @hartfordcourant        


  • ICYMI: Entire Hunted Episode Featuring Hartford PI

  • Podcast Analysis of @Hunted: ‘Enemy of the State’ Marries ‘Survivor’ & Procreates

  • We talked to the crew of the show "Hunted" a few weeks ago, now we're chatting with Jacquie Bainer, one of the "hunters" on the show!

  • Better CT Broadcast

  • "On 'Hunted,' people are working in real time the way law enforcement does. I'm used to tracking people down and people hiding from me who don't want to talk about the case I'm investigating, but doing this in real time was just thrilling for me."

  • Hartford Courant Feature

  • Bainer Twitter Feed

  • Integrated Security Services

  • Cool Justice Editor’s Note: By way of disclosure, Cool Justice is an occasional denizen of Integrated’s Hartford office and once in a while even does a little work …


  •           Edna Buchanan, Henry Lee in new documentary about wood chipper case and the movie Fargo #theSHOCKINGTRUTH series        


    Via Calgary Herald
  • After shock: Alberta-shot true crime series Shocking Truth recreates gruesome scenes to find the truth behind iconic films

  • Coen Brothers and Fargo

  • NEW: Podcasts

  • Via Toronto Sun --
    The Shocking TruthDebut

    From serial killers to the paranormal, this explores some real-life events that inspired Hollywood thrillers. It kicks off with back-to-back episodes, featuring The Silence of the Lambs (including an interview with Anthony Hopkins) and The Amityville Horror (including an interview with Ryan Reynolds). Hold me tight.
    When: Monday, Feb. 6 on E!

  • E! Debuts New Original Series THE SHOCKING TRUTH, February 6

  • E! Online Canada

  • Series explores true stories that inspired popular movies

    Shocking Truth
    [Fargo - Crafts / wood chipper case]

    Post via Internet Movie Database:

  • Danish flight attendant Helle Crafts goes [mysteriously] missing

  • Aired March 20 in Canada ...
    Series set for REELZ in U.S. this summer

  • Cast

  • More updates here:

  • the Shocking Truth


  • Pyramid Productions

  • Screen writer Jason Lewis

  •           [updated*] Suggested reading and listening, 2017: THE BLACK BACK-UPS and other poems, by Kate Rushin        

    University of St. Joseph students, West Hartford, CT,
    With Kate Rushin Following Poetry Workshop, 2-22-17 ...

    usjct This afternoon some of our students had the pleasure of meeting successful writer, teacher, and feminist Kate Rushin. We had the pleasure of hearing her read The Bridge Poem along with many others. Thank you Kate for joining us here at USJ today! #usjct #poetry #katerushin

  • USJ Instagram

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  • USJ website

  • Upcoming: Kate Reads Friday, Feb. 24 With Nat Reeves Jazz Combo, 'Nat Reeves State of Emergency,'

    At The Artists Collective, 1200 Albany Ave. (corner of Woodland Street) in Hartford.

  • Details

  • ---


  • Kate joins Colin’s WNPR Nose panel for discussion of "Manchester By The Sea"

  • * Ongoing updates to include
    upcoming appearances

    Plz see links below for poems, articles

  • Leisure listening, Kate Rushin on NPR

  • The Bridge Poem

  • Kate's website

  • News reports:

  • Hartford Courant

  • Harvard Crimson

  • Photos by BOB THIESFIELD

    In photo above the book jacket, Kate fired up a diverse crowd of poets, writers, boxers, students, business leaders, cops and academics with her version of the Ali Shuffle. The event took place Jan. 15, 2010 at The Hartford Club.

    Directly above, Kate joins colleagues Gaby Calvocoressi and Binnie Klein, taking a breather after many rounds of poetry and prose. The festivities -- including writing workshops, two bands and a boxing exhibition -- drew about 150 guests to the Hartford Club

              ICYMI: Actors Sought for Documentary Crime Re-Enactments #WoodChipperMurder #Crafts #Newtown #DrHenryLee #KeithMayo         

    We are currently casting a documentary crime series titled The Shocking Truth that will air in Canada and the U.S. The show explores the true stories that inspired popular movies. We're looking for actors to take speaking parts in our dramatic re-enactments of these crimes. Our production company is based in Calgary, so we are looking to cast in Southern Alberta and to shoot between now and the end of the year ...

  • Complete article

  • Pyramid Productions

  • Breakthrough Entertainment

  •           Resistance at Standing Rock: Dispatches from the Front Lines        


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

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

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

    Story and Photos by John Briggs

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

    Corporate – Government Alliance Versus the American People

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The Legal Case for Blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Environmental Lawyer Explains Standing Rock Legal Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Standing With the Standing Rock Sioux

  • The Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What Dewey does goes way beyond advocacy journalism.

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

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

  • Forcibly removed from prayer at Standing Rock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Media covering the Standing Rock resistance movement:

  • Digital Smoke Signals

  • Myron Dewey, Facebook

  • The Antimedia

  • Democracy Now

  • The Intercept

  • The Guardian

  • Censored News

  • Unicorn Riot

  • Living on Earth

  • The Indigenous Environmental Network

  • Status of Standing Rock court claim

  •           $10,000 REWARD: Missing Person / Cold Case via Integrated Security Services @GoIntegrated         

  • Integrated Facebook page

  • Integrated Twitter feed

  • Integrated website

  • FLASHBACK: Video - Widow Pressed for Answers 42 years ago

  • Brief highlights of Caporino case:

    Excerpts from


  • Chapter 4


    Did Gabe Caporino just disappear or were hidden forces at play? AT


    Gabe Caporino, a 40-year-old corporate executive from Westchester, NY, never returned to his wife and two teenage daughters after a business trip in 1974. The night he disappeared, Gabe Caporino spoke with his wife and daughters, asking about a school parents' night and confirming a dinner date with friends for the weekend.


    There isn’t much of a trail for Gabe Caporino, but we know a good bit of what police did and did not do in the crucial days following his disappearance on Thursday, March 7, 1974. We also know some of what his employer, the General Foods corporation, did and did not do.


    Under pressure from Gabe Caporino’s wife, Grace, now a retired teacher and recognized Holocaust scholar, General Foods sent a team to New Orleans over the weekend. One of them, Bill Bevans of the personnel department, snatched Gabe Caporino’s briefcase from his hotel room. The other GF team members were security director Jack Edward Ison, who had been an FBI agent for nine years; and White Plains, NY police detective James Lynch.

    “Our chief of security Jack Ison will ... take over this investigation,” GF personnel director Frank Dorito told Grace Caporino.

    Indeed, he did.

    On Sunday, March 10, 1974, Ison and his colleagues met privately with New Orleans police, barring members of the Caporino family. This crucial meeting presaged, if it did not predestine, the shocking and abysmal refusal of the New Orleans Police Department to follow up on basic and compelling leads, including the forgery of Gabe Caporino's credit card four days after he was reported missing. This forgery was ultimately documented by the FBI crime lab. Significantly, a Sears employee who witnessed three individuals using Gabe’s credit card recanted after a visit by New Orleans police ...

    ... Officer Roma Kent, who went on to work as a federal public defender, got the clerk to change his story ...


    CBS producer Barbara Gordon, on assignment in 1974, put it this way: “The New Orleans Police Department is holding hands with General Foods and there is a cover-up down here.”

    The Gabe Caporino case was the subject of a CBS documentary produced by Gordon and reported by Chris Borgen, a retired New York City narcotics detective. The program aired beginning in May 1974 on the show Eye On New York. It was rebroadcast in New York and several times throughout the country on local affiliates – but not in New Orleans.

    As the air date neared, Borgen told Grace Caporino the reporting team received threats that GF might pull advertising from CBS. Borgen recounted the phone call from a GF public relations staffer: “This documentary is not in our best interests. We have a significant advertising budget with CBS.”


    New Orleans police ... reported the discovery of Gabe Caporino’s rental car in a way that could not have occurred.

    His rented car was found abandoned about 10 days later in front of a school by Spain and [N.]Ramparts streets with the keys stuck outside the vehicle in the door lock. Police officers told me a car in this location with the keys outside the vehicle might have lasted there up to an hour. Additionally, any fingerprints left in or on the car were wiped off.

    “It is certainly not the kind of place where a new car would sit for a week with the keys in the door,” said Gabe Caporino’s nephew Anthony Emma, who made two trips to New Orleans in 1974. “Certainly not the kind of place a new car would sit even locked up without being disturbed for a week ... I always found that hard to believe.”


    As time went on and the Caporino family struggled to survive, General Foods appealed the awarding of benefits to the widow and children multiple times. At one of the hearings, Jack Edward Ison admitted he was the source of the smears about Gabe Caporino in law enforcement files.

    A hearing officer asked Ison: “How do you know this about Mr. Caporino?”

    “Just things you hear people say,” Ison responded. He was not pressed to elaborate.

    In a particularly disturbing incident on March 16, 1974 – the day that would have been Gabe Caporino’s 41st birthday – family, friends and neighbors gathered at the home in Yorktown Heights. Ison called Grace Caporino. She told Ison family and friends did not want her to be alone on that day. Ison paused and said: “Well, if Gabe has any heart, surely he'll call you on his birthday. Bye, I’ve got to go.”


    October, 2011. NEW ORLEANS, LA – Thirty seven years ago – with several police officers crowding her – Grace Caporino briefly touched and read a number of pages in a 3-inch-high stack of reports about her missing husband. After a few minutes, they forced her to leave. Today, the New Orleans Police Department still doesn’t want to know or hear anything about the Gabe Caporino case – or the reports ... *

    The current New Orleans police superintendent, Ronal Serpas, ignored two certified letters she sent him last year ...

    The New Orleans Police Department – notorious as perhaps the most corrupt and incompetent in U.S. history – has routinely engaged in public executions of civilians. The coroner tends to call these homicides slips and falls or accidents, even when someone’s face and teeth are kicked in and various body parts have hemorrhaged. Officers have worked as cocaine dealers on the job, hired hitmen to kill civilians, stolen from car dealers and held up liquor stores in uniform. Officers have been heard on police scanners saying: “Is he dead yet? No. Kill him now. String him up by the balls.”

    A short list of recent convictions includes two officers who beat and kicked a local man to death, then covered it up. In the infamous Danzgier bridge trial, also this year, five current and former officers were found guilty of shooting six civilians – killing two of them – and covering it up. Those local citizens were walking to a grocery store.

    Civilians filming police assaulting civilians are routinely charged with inciting a riot. After police shot and killed unarmed trombone player Joe Williams, returning from a jazz funeral in 2004, officers broke up a memorial service for the popular member of the Hot 8 Brass Band. Local attorney Mary Howell told the PBS show Frontline police advised her that “merely having a video camera or camera in a situation like this where the police are interacting with the community was considered to be inciting a riot.”

    After Hurricane Kartina, the National Rifle Associaton sued New Orleans Police for stripping law-abiding citizens of their ability to defend themselves. “They just stole people’s guns and weapons,” Howell said.

    The unofficial body count from Hurriance Katrina is upwards of 1,500. “We do not have a clear understanding of how many people were shot and killed by the New Orleans Police Department,” Howell told Frontline.

    Of course, there are also many officers who keep their oath to protect and serve no matter what the risk from criminals and buffoons in the streets or among their ranks and supervisors ...


    August, 2012

    ... the New Orleans Police Department actually admitted it had failed to comply with the Louisiana public records law. This happened through a series of depositions of detectives and other personnel [in a Freedom of Information lawsuit in Parish Court] ... “Nobody has gone digging through those files specifically looking for a file relative to the disappearance of Gabe Caporino, have they?” The question was posed by ... attorney, Brett Prendergast.

    “No, sir,” Detective Gwen Guggenheim responded.

    ... A supervised search of the NOPD “storage area” [revealed the following from] ... a dimly-lit and musty room on the second floor by the NOPD parking garage.

    Most of the boxes of files were covered with layers of grime and old insulation. He had to move evidence including sections of a chain-link fence to get at the boxes.

    The files dated from 1890 to the present. Besides homicide cases, there were also files for juvenile offenses and sex crimes.

    There was not a single missing persons file in storage ...

    ... As recently as 1995, then-Police Superintendent Richard Pennington had a detective review the Caporino case and all the reports and documents. Now, the official word is, the file does not exist – just as missing persons don't officially exist ...


    Retired General Foods investigator Emil Monda, reached ... on the West Coast, said about the Caporino case: “We always thought there was foul play, but never came up with anything.”

    Monda said he did not know why the New Orleans Police failed to follow leads including the forgery of Caporino’s credit card ...

              Amarnath Yatra Terror Attack: Shah Rukh Khan hails spirit of pilgrims for countering dastardly act with courage        

    New Delhi: The entire nation shook with grief after terrorists attacked the ongoing Amarnath Yatra in Jammu & Kashmir. On Monday night as many as seven pilgrims, including six women were killed in the terror attack leaving 19 others injured.

    The terrorists attacked an unescorted bus from Gujarat at Khanabal in Anantnag district on the Srinagar-Jammu highway reportedly. The bus was returning from Baltal to Mir Bazar after darshan. The militants also carried out two attacks on security forces in the area. After such a dastardly act, the entire social media is flooded with condolence messages expressing sadness and outrage at the same time.

    Several Bollywood celebrities too have extended their condolences to the families of the affected on Twitter. Superstar Shah Rukh Khan took to the micro-blogging site and hailed the courage shown by pilgrims in continuing the Yatra despite such a terror attack.

    He wrote:

    Home Title: 

    Amarnath Yatra Terror Attack: Shah Rukh Khan hails spirit of pilgrims for countering dastardly act with courage

    Amarnath Yatra Terror Attack: Shah Rukh Khan hails spirit of pilgrims for countering dastardly act with courage
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              Yêu thÆ°Æ¡ng con người, không yêu lạc thú        
    Abd al-Rahman không bao giờ có thể biết tổng hạnh phúc mà ông có được. Bởi vị vua này không bao giờ biết được công thức đúng để tìm kiếm hạnh phúc.

    Abd al-Rahman đệ tam là một vị vua và một thủ lĩnh Hồi giáo của xứ Córdoba ở Tây Ban Nha thế kỷ thứ 10. Ông là người cai trị tối cao và sống trong sự xa hoa tuyệt đối. Đây là cách mà ông nhận định về cuộc sống của mình:

    “Cho tới bây giờ, ta đã trị vì hơn 50 năm trong phồn thịnh và hoà bình; thần dân yêu thương ta, kẻ địch khiếp sợ ta, và các đồng minh kính nể ta. Giàu sang và địa vị, quyền lực và lạc thú đợi lệnh ta, và ta có tất cả mọi lời chúc tụng trên mặt đất này.”

    Vinh hoa, phú quý, và lạc thú trên cả tưởng tượng. Nghe có vẻ quá hoàn hảo? Ông đã viết tiếp:

    “Ta đã cẩn trọng và kiên trì đếm số ngày mà ta cảm nhận được niềm vui thuần khiết thật sự trong đời mình: chỉ vỏn vẹn có 14 ngày.”

    Vấn đề của Abd al-Rahman, như ông đã nghĩ, không phải là sự hạnh phúc, mà là sự bất hạnh. Nếu điều đó nghe có vẻ như một sự phân biệt không hề có chút khác biệt nào, có lẽ bạn cũng có vấn đề tương tự như vị vua vĩ đại kia. Nhưng với một chút hiểu biết, bạn có thể tránh được sự khổ sở mà ông ấy đã chịu.

    Thế nào là sự bất hạnh? Trực giác của bạn có thể mách bảo rằng “bất hạnh” đơn giản là đối lập của hạnh phúc, như bóng tối là sự thiếu vắng ánh sáng. Điều đó là không đúng. Hạnh phúc và sự bất hạnh chắc chắn là có liên hệ với nhau, nhưng chúng không thật sự là hai mặt đối lập. Ảnh chụp bộ não cho thấy nhiều khu vực của vỏ não bên trái hoạt động mạnh hơn so với với bên phải khi chúng ta cảm thấy hạnh phúc, trong khi vỏ não phải trở nên hoạt động mạnh hơn khi chúng ta không hạnh phúc.

    Nghe có vẻ lạ, nhưng một người vui vẻ hạnh phúc hơn mức bình quân không có nghĩa là người đó không thể cảm thấy buồn bã bất hạnh hơn mức trung bình. Có một bài kiểm tra về mức độ hạnh phúc lẫn bất hạnh, đó là bài kiểm tra Phân hạng Cảm xúc tích cực và Cảm xúc tiêu cực. Tôi đã tự mình làm bài kiểm tra đó. Tôi phát hiện ra rằng, đối với “hạnh phúc”, tôi nằm trong tốp đầu của những người có cùng độ tuổi, giới tính, nghề nghiệp và trình độ văn hoá. Nhưng tôi cũng có điểm khá cao đối với hạng mục “không hạnh phúc”. Tôi là một người u sầu, nhưng u sầu một cách vui vẻ.

    Vì thế khi một người nói, “Tôi là một người bất hạnh,” họ thật ra là đang nói về tổng thể cho dù họ có nhận ra điều đó hay không. Họ sẽ nói, “Sự bất hạnh của tôi là x, sự hạnh phúc của tôi là y, và x>y.” Câu hỏi thật sự là tại sao, và bạn có thể làm gì để làm y>x.

    Nếu bạn hỏi một người cảm thấy không hạnh phúc tại sao anh ta lại cảm thấy như vậy, anh ta hầu như luôn luôn đổ lỗi cho hoàn cảnh. Tất nhiên trong nhiều trường hợp, điều đó có thể đúng. Một số người phải gánh chịu sự đàn áp, nghèo đói hay bệnh tật thể xác, những yếu tố làm cho cuộc sống của họ như một công việc nhàm chán. Không ngạc nhiên khi các nghiên cứu cho thấy rằng phân biệt giới tính làm cho trẻ em cảm thấy không hạnh phúc, và nhiều công trình học thuật chỉ ra mối liên kết giữa sự bất hạnh và sự nghèo khó. Một nguyên nhân thông thường khác mang đến sự không hạnh phúc chính là sự cô đơn, và có khoảng 20% dân số Mỹ khổ sở vì điều này đến độ đủ để xem sự cô đơn là một nguyên nhân chủ đạo của sự bất hạnh trong cuộc đời họ.

    Cũng có những nguyên nhân mang tính hoàn cảnh khác cho sự bất hạnh. Nhà tâm lý học Daniel Kahneman và các đồng nghiệp của mình ở Princeton đã đo “cảm xúc tiêu cực” (các trạng thái tinh thần không tốt) mà các hoạt động và tương tác thông thường hàng ngày có thể mang lại. Họ nhận thấy sự kiện kích động sự không hạnh phúc số 1 trong một ngày điển hình chính là trải qua thời gian với cấp trên của một người (điều này làm cho tôi, một ông sếp, cảm thấy không vui khi được biết).

    Không nghi ngờ gì, hoàn cảnh rất quan trọng. Chắc chắn Abd al-Rahman có thể chỉ ra một vài tình huống trong quãng đời của ông. Nhưng nghịch lý là, lời giải thích đúng đắn hơn cho sự bất hạnh của ông hẳn có thể là quá trình tìm kiếm hạnh phúc của ông. Và điều tương tự cũng có thể đúng đối với bạn.

    Đã bao giờ bạn quen biết một người nghiện rượu? Những người nghiện rượu thường uống để giải toả cơn ghiền hay nỗi lo âu nào đó – nói cách khác, để kiềm hãm một “nguồn” của sự bất hạnh. Nhưng suy cho cùng chính rượu mới kéo dài sự đau khổ của họ. Nguyên tắc tương tự cũng áp dụng cho trường hợp của vua Abd al-Rahman khi ông theo đuổi danh vọng, giàu sang và lạc thú.

    Hãy xem xét đối với trường hợp “danh vọng”. Trong năm 2009, các nhà nghiên cứu từ đại học Rochester đã tiến hành một nghiên cứu, họ theo dõi sự thành đạt của 147 tân cử nhân trong việc đạt được những mục tiêu mà các sinh viên đã đề ra sau khi tốt nghiệp. Một số người có những mục tiêu “nội tại”, chẳng hạn như các mối quan hệ sâu sắc và bền vững. Những người khác có những mục tiêu “ngoại tại”, như đạt được tiếng tăm hay danh vọng. Các học giả đã nhận thấy rằng các mục tiêu nội tại có liên hệ với đời sống hạnh phúc hơn. Còn những người theo đuổi các mục tiêu ngoại tại thường phải chịu nhiều cảm xúc tiêu cực hơn, như sự tủi hổ hay sợ hãi. Những người này thậm chí còn phải chịu nhiều bệnh tật về mặt thể chất.

    Đây là một trong những sự mỉa mai tàn nhẫn nhất trong cuộc sống. Tôi làm việc ở Washington, ngay trong lòng của những cuộc chiến chính trị công khai. Không loại một trường hợp nào, những người không hạnh phúc nhất tôi từng gặp là những người cống hiến hết sức lực cho việc làm cho họ trở nên vĩ đại – các (pundit), những kẻ to mồm trên TV, những nhân vật “biết tất”. Họ tự dựng lên và quảng bá hình ảnh của họ, nhưng thường xuyên cảm thấy tồi tệ.

    Đó là nghịch lý của danh vọng. Cũng giống như các loại thuốc nghiện và rượu, một khi bạn trở nên nghiện ngập, bạn không thể sống thiếu nó. Nhưng thực ra bạn cũng không thể sống với nó. Theo nghiên cứu của nhà tâm lý học Donna Rockwell, những người nổi tiếng diễn tả danh vọng như là “một con thú trong chuồng, một món đồ chơi trong một cửa kính trưng bày, một con búp bê Barbie, một vỏ bọc nơi công cộng, một tượng đất sét, hay, một gã nào đó trên TV.” Thế nhưng họ không thể từ bỏ nó.

    Sự khao khát danh vọng của người thường đã tạo ra nhiều phát kiến đáng kinh ngạc. Một trong số đó là sự ra đời của truyền hình thực tế, nơi những con người bình thường chẳng tên tuổi trở thành những diễn viên diễn về cuộc sống hằng ngày của họ cho người khác xem. Tại sao? “Được chú ý, được săn đón, được yêu thích, khi bước chân đến một nơi nào thì được người khác quan tâm xem bạn đang làm gì, thậm chí là bạn ăn gì cho buổi trưa hôm đó: đó là những gì người ta muốn, theo quan điểm của tôi,” một thí sinh 26 tuổi trong chương trình truyền hình thực tế nổi tiếng “Big Brother” cho biết.

    Và còn đó các mạng xã hội. Ngày nay, mỗi người chúng ta đều có thể tạo cho mình một lượng fan cá nhân nho nhỏ, nhờ vào Facebook, YouTube, Twitter và các mạng xã hội tương tự. Chúng ta có thể “phát sóng” tất cả các chi tiết cuộc sống của chúng ta đến bạn bè và cả những người xa lạ một cách cực kỳ hiệu quả. Điều đó khá tốt để giữ liên lạc với bạn bè thân thích, nhưng đồng thời nó cũng tạo ra một dạng “tìm kiếm tiếng tăm” thứ yếu, nằm trong tầm với của mỗi chúng ta. Và một vài nghiên cứu cho thấy nó có thể làm chúng ta cảm thấy bất hạnh.

    Điều đó hoàn toàn có lý, đúng không? Bạn đăng cái gì trên Facebook? Đăng hình ảnh bạn đang la mắng con cái mình, hay hình ảnh bạn đang bù đầu bù cổ nơi làm việc? Không, bạn đăng hình bạn đang cười toe trong một chuyến leo núi với bạn bè. Bạn dựng nên một cuộc sống giả – hay ít nhất là một cuộc sống thật nhưng không phải toàn bộ sự thật – và chia sẻ nó với người khác. Hơn nữa, bạn tiếp nhận gần như toàn bộ là thông tin về những cuộc sống ảo của những người “bạn” trên mạng xã hội. Chỉ trừ khi bạn cực kỳ hiểu rõ bản thân mình là ai, mình có gì, không thì bạn sẽ khó mà không cảm thấy tồi tệ khi bạn sống hầu hết thời gian để tỏ ra bạn vui vẻ hơn bạn của thực tế, và phần còn lại thời gian thì xem xem người khác dường như hạnh phúc hơn bạn bao nhiêu.

    Một số người tìm sự giải cứu khỏi tâm trạng bất hạnh từ tiền bạc và vật chất. Trường hợp này hơi phức tạp hơn so với danh tiếng. Tiền bạc đúng là có thể giải thoát người ta khỏi khổ sở nếu như nó là phương tiện cho một nhu cầu vật chất đích thực nào đó (như nhu cầu ăn mặc cơ bản của con người – ND, và theo tác giả bài viết, đây là một luận cứ mạnh mẽ cho các chính sách hỗ trợ xoá đói nghèo). Nhưng khi tiền bản thân nó trở thành mục đích, nó cũng có thể mang lại đau khổ.

    Trong nhiều thập kỷ, các nhà tâm lý học đã sàn lọc, biên soạn một lượng lớn các tài liệu về các mối liên hệ giữa các khát vọng khác nhau và sự hạnh phúc. Bất kể các văn kiện này khảo cứu người mới trưởng thành hay người ở mọi độ tuổi, hầu hết các nghiên cứu đều chỉ ra cùng một kết luận quan trọng: những người xếp các mục tiêu về vật chất như sự giàu sang thành các ưu tiên các nhân hàng đầu có khả năng rất cao họ cũng lo âu nhiều hơn, buồn rầu chán nản nhiều hơn, và sử dụng thuốc gây nghiện nhiều hơn, hay thậm chí có các vấn đề về sức khoẻ nhiều hơn so với những người quan tâm đến những giá trị nội tại (những giá trị không chịu phụ thuộc vào các yếu tố bên ngoài để tồn tại và phát triển, ví dụ như các mối quan hệ thân thiết trong gia đình, bạn bè, lương tâm nghề nghiệp, đạo đức lối sống, v.v. – ND)

    Không một ai nổi tiếng hơn thánh Paul trong việc tóm lược những cạm bẫy đạo đức của chủ nghĩa vật chất trong Lá thư đầu tiên gửi Timothy của ngài: “Vì tình yêu đối với bạc tiền là nguồn gốc của mọi tội ác: trong khi họ khao khát nó, họ bị lạc lối khỏi đức tin của mình, và tự đâm xuyên người họ bằng những nỗi buồn.” Hay như đức Dalai Lama dạy rằng, chúng ta nên muốn những gì chúng ta có hơn là có những gì chúng ta muốn.

    Vì vậy, danh vọng và tiền bạc không mang lại cho ta hạnh phúc. Còn các lạc thú của thể xác thì sao? Hãy xem xét lạc thú kinh điển nhất của chủ nghĩa khoái lạc (chủ nghĩa xem sự hưởng thụ các lạc thú là mục tiêu quan trọng nhất của cuộc sống – ND): dục vọng. Từ Hollywood cho tới khuôn viên các trường đại học, nhiều người cho rằng tình dục luôn tuyệt vời, và tình dục với nhiều người khác nhau thậm chí còn tuyệt vời hơn.

    Và ý niệm đó thực ra được gọi với cái tên: “Hiệu ứng Coolidge”, đặt theo tên của tổng thống Mỹ đời thứ 30. Câu chuyện (rất có khả năng là một ngụy tác) bắt đầu với Silent Cal và phu nhân Coolidge trong một chuyến viếng thăm một trang trại gia cầm. Bà Đệ nhất phu nhân nhận thấy có rất ít gà trống, và đã hỏi làm thế nào mà nhiều trứng gà như thế lại có thể được thụ tinh. Người chủ trang trại trả lời bà rằng những con gà trống trong thời kỳ giao phối thực hiện công việc thụ tinh hết lần này tới lần khác trong ngày. Bà Đệ nhất phu nhân liền bảo, “Có lẽ ông có thể chỉ ra điều đó cho ngài Coolidge.” Ngài tổng thống nghe thấy hỏi người chủ trang trại xem liệu có phải một con gà trống chỉ giao phối với cùng một con gà mái. Người chủ trang trại trả lời với ông rằng không, một con gà trống thụ tinh cho nhiều con gà mái. Và ngài tổng thống bảo, “Có lẽ ông nên chỉ ra điều đó cho bà Coolidge.” Ngài tổng thống hẳn đã biết đó là những con gà trống “hạnh phúc”. Và mặc cho những chuẩn mực đạo đức, nguyên lý tương tự cũng đúng đối với con người chúng ta. Đúng không?

    Câu trả lời là không. Trong năm 2004, hai nhà kinh tế học đã xem xét liệu quan hệ tình dục với nhiều người khác nhau có làm cho người ta cảm thấy hạnh phúc hơn. Họ xem xét dữ liệu từ khoảng 16000 người Mỹ trưởng thành đã được hỏi, và giữ bí mật, xem họ đã sex với bao nhiêu bạn tình trong năm trước đó, và họ có cảm thấy hạnh phúc hay không. Kết quả cho thấy, đối với cả nam giới cũng như nữ giới, con số tối ưu là 1 người.

    Điều này có vẻ rất phản trực giác. Suy cho cùng, chúng ta rõ ràng được thôi thúc để tích trữ của cải vật chất, đuổi theo danh vọng và tìm kiếm lạc thú. Làm thế nào mà những thứ này lại có thể làm cho chúng ta không hạnh phúc thay vì hạnh phúc? Có 2 cách giải thích, một theo sinh học và một theo triết học.

    Từ góc nhìn của quá trình tiến hoá, việc chúng ta được “lập trình” để theo đuổi danh tiếng, giàu sang và nhiều bạn tình khác nhau. Những thứ đó cho chúng ta lợi thế về mặt sinh học theo nghĩa chúng ta có khả năng truyền lại DNA của mình cao hơn. Nếu tổ tiên thời tiền sử của chúng ta đã không có được những điều kể trên dưới một hình thức nào đó (ví dụ như tổ tiên chúng ta là những người mài đá lẫy lừng, hay có nhiều lớp “da” khác nhau, tức da thú mà tổ tiên chúng ta khoác lên), họ đã không thể tìm thấy đủ bạn tình để có thể sinh sôi nảy nở và tạo nên dòng dõi chúng ta ngày nay.

    Nhưng đây chính là điểm mà quá trình tiến hoá đã quá trớn: Chúng ta nghĩ rằng những thứ khiến chúng ta cảm thấy bị thu hút đồng thời cũng sẽ giảm mức độ đau khổ của ta xuống và nâng mức độ hạnh phúc của ta lên. Ví như, não của tôi bảo rằng, “Hãy trở nên nổi tiếng”. Nó cũng bảo tôi rằng, “Bất hạnh rất là tồi tệ và có hại.” Tôi ghép hai điều đó lại và được “Hãy trở nên nổi tiếng và mày sẽ bớt bất hạnh.” (?!)

    Và đó chính là trò đùa của Mẹ tạo hoá. Bà không thật sự quan tâm bạn cảm thấy thế nào, hạnh phúc hay bất hạnh – bà chỉ muốn bạn có thể nối dõi tông đường. Nếu bạn gán một khái niệm hết sức chung nhất như “sự tồn tại” với “hạnh phúc”, đó là vấn đề của bạn, không phải của tạo hoá. Và vấn đề không hề được giải quyết bởi những thằng ngốc nhưng hữu dụng đối với tạo hoá trong xã hội này, những kẻ tuyên truyền một lời khuyên mang tính huỷ hoại cuộc sống khá là nổi tiếng: “Nếu làm một cái gì mà làm cho bạn cảm thấy thoải mái, cứ làm.” Trừ khi chúng ta có cùng mục tiêu tồn tại như các sinh vật đơn bào, không thì điều đó thường là sai bét.

    Nếu nhìn dưới góc nhìn triết học hơn, vấn đề nảy sinh từ trạng thái không thoả mãn – tức cảm giác không có cái gì là đủ đầy, và chúng ta không ngừng tiềm kiếm và muốn thứ khác. Chúng ta không thể chỉ rõ chúng ta tìm kiếm thứ gì. Nếu như không cố gắng chiêm nghiệm và rèn luyện tinh thần, chúng ta sẽ trở thành nô lệ cho vật chất, những thú vui xác thịt và sự tung hô của bạn bè cũng như những người xa lạ.

    Chúng ta tìm kiếm những thứ giúp chúng ta lấp đầy khoảng trống bên trong tâm hồn chúng ta. Những thứ đó có thể cho chúng ta sự thoả mãn ngắn ngủi, nhưng nó không bao giờ kéo dài, và không bao giờ là đủ. Và vì vậy chúng ta thèm muốn những thứ khác. Nghịch lý này trong tiếng Phạn gọi là upadana, có nghĩa là một vòng lặp của ham muốn và chiếm đoạt. Như trí đạo trong nhà Phật có nói: “Gieo sự ham muốn của một người vào một cuộc sống không chút ý thức của người đó, nó sẽ phát triển như cây tầm gửi. Như loài khỉ tìm kiếm hoa quả trong rừng, nhảy từ cuộc sống này sang cuộc sống khác… Bất kể ai bị sự ham muốn hết sức tệ hại và đeo bám này chế ngự, nỗi buồn của người đó sẽ nhiều như cỏ mọc sau mưa.”

    Những cuộc săn lùng danh tiếng, những thèm muốn vật chất và việc coi người khác như đồ vật – hay cũng chính là vòng lặp của ham muốn và chiếm đoạt – tuân theo một công thức rất đơn giản, rất hàm súc và cũng rất nguy hiểm:

    Yêu vật chất và sử dụng người khác.

    Đây chính là công thức của Abd al-Rahman khi ông “mộng du” qua những năm tháng của cuộc đời mình. Đó là một phương thuốc của lang băm được rao bán bởi những người tiên phong trong việc tạo nên một nền văn hoá từ Hollywood đến Đại lộ Madison. Nhưng từ sâu thẳm trong lòng, bạn biết công thức đó là một sự tha hoá đạo đức và là con đường dẫn tới những khổ đau. Bạn muốn thoát khỏi những ham muốn luôn đeo bám và khiến chúng ta bất hạnh, và thay vào đó tìm một công thức khác cho hạnh phúc. Nhưng bằng cách nào? Đơn giản là bạn hãy đảo ngược công thức đáng sợ ở trên và biến nó thành qui tắc đạo đức của mình:

    Yêu con người và sử dụng vật chất.

    Tôi cũng biết, nói dễ hơn làm. Để làm được như công thức đạo đức trên cần phải có dũng khí để từ bỏ lòng kiêu hãnh và sức mạnh để yêu thương người khác – bao gồm gia đình, bè bạn, đồng nghiệp, người quen, Chúa trời/Trời Phật và cả những người ta không quen biết hay thậm chí là kẻ thù của ta. Chúng ta chỉ nên chối bỏ tình yêu đối với những thứ thật sự là đồ vật. Và hình thức rèn luyện để đạt được điều này là từ thiện. Có rất ít thứ làm cho ta cảm thấy được giải thoát như việc cho người khác những thứ mà ta quí báu.

    Chúng ta còn cần phải lên án chủ nghĩa vật chất. Đây rõ ràng không phải là một luận cứ dành cho một hệ thống kinh tế nào. Những ai đã từng sống ở một nước xã hội chủ nghĩa đều phải công nhận rằng chủ nghĩa vật chất và sự ích kỷ, dưới chế độ chủ nghĩa tập thể, là vô cùng tồi tệ hay thậm chí còn tệ hơn trường hợp thị trường tự do. Và không có một hệ tư tưởng chính trị nào lại có thể miễn nhiễm với chủ nghĩa vật chất.

    Cuối cùng, chúng ta cần phải tự vấn sâu sắc đối với các ham muốn cơ bản của bản thân. Tất nhiên chúng ta bị thúc đẩy để có được sự ngưỡng mộ, sự huy hoàng và sự tự do sử dụng cơ thể của mình theo ý mình muốn. Nhưng khuất phục trước những ham muốn đó sẽ mang lại bất hạnh. Bạn có trách nhiệm với chính bản thân rằng mình phải đấu tranh. Một khi bạn tuyên bố đình chiến là khi bạn trở nên kém hạnh phúc. Tuyên bố chống lại những ham muốn mang mang tính phá hoại này không phải là sự khổ hạnh hay hay theo chủ nghĩa Thanh giáo (tôn giáo mà những người theo đạo sẽ phải tuân thủ hết sức nghiêm ngặt các qui tắc sống và xử sự – ND). Nó chỉ đơn giản là trở thành một người khôn ngoan biết né tránh những khổ ải không cần thiết.

    Abd al-Rahman không bao giờ có thể biết tổng hạnh phúc mà ông có được. Bởi vị vua này không bao giờ biết được công thức đúng để tìm kiếm hạnh phúc. Chúng ta thì có.


              Early Beginnings         
    Perfumer's Garden - Mountain Path

    Do not mistake my lack of posting for lack of action. It's been quite the opposite - the most action-packed few months of my life. Here is what I've accomplished - to put your minds at ease and satisfy any curiosity that might have remained among those of you who haven't given up on SmellyBlog yet:

    - Designed, planned agonized over and built a new Perfume studio, Pilates studio - and renovated my old home) while making new friends with the builders and architects involved
    - Lived in a yurt for 4 months (November through March) while I was at it - and also found myself adopting a cat of all creatures (not intentional, but seems to work out)
    - Transitioned my daughter into a Hebrew-speaking high school for another two years of education
    - Moved from the yurt to the house
    - Adopted a rescued female Doberman (that was a dream come true)
    - Taught two Perfumery Courses back to back: Fougere and Orientals (while meeting with Dan Riegler - a Canadian- Israeli from Ontario who gifted me with the most incredible incense resins imaginable - more on that in a separate post
    - Became auntie to one more niece and nephew (that was quite effortless!)
    - Continue to try and establish my perfumery studio (and Pilates studio) in the new surroundings
    - Try my best to be with my grandma, who's 93 years young and had a heart event about a month ago. Every moment with her is so pure and precious.
    - Planning and beginning to plant my Perfumer's Botanical Garden, which is truly taking much of my time and is the main reason I haven't been blogging. The photo above is from the section of it that is on the mountain and is dedicated to fragrant Mediterranean plans and medicine herbs.

    I spend very little time around the computer (after months of wifi & electricity-free yurt life and bad battery in my laptop - old habits have been broken to little shreds and I only post quick updates via my phone on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts)
    Hopefully I've gotten to the point when I'm settled down to return to regular blogging - as demanding as life has been all these months, I know deep in my heart that it does do me good to write regularly. It's not just a fragrance/perfumery blog, but also functions as a personal journal to me.
              Comment on [VIDEO/PICS/SNS] 170809 V-Live: KBS2 Manhole Drama’s Early Interview – Jaejoong, UEE, Baro & Hyesung by kris   
              PS Vita's Twitter app shown off in Hong Kong, we go hands-on (video)        
    Here's a little souvenir for Twitter addicts eyeing the upcoming PS Vita: at today's debut event in Hong Kong, we got to see said console's Twitter app in action for the very first time, and we were also fortunate enough to get some exclusive hands-on time with Sony's in-house software. As you can see in our video after the break, the overall design feels very much in line with Twitter's standard ID: the same shade of blue, the usual tabs on the left column, slick elastic scrolling in the timelines, and support for geotagging, hash tags plus photo attachment while tweeting. No surprises here, but hey, the app worked well for us.

    That said, we were told that the app wasn't quite finished yet, and Sony still couldn't confirm whether this -- along with the other dedicated apps like Skype, Foursquare and Facebook -- will be ready for download by the time the Vita launches in Hong Kong on December 23rd (just a tad later than Japan's launch on the 17th). In case you're wondering, the Vita there will cost HK$2,280 (US$290) for the WiFi version and HK$2,780 (US$360) for the 3G flavor, both unsubsidized but cheaper than their Japanese counterparts. Of course, given that the console isn't region-locked, feel free to go do some shopping in Hong Kong then -- just save some for the locals, OK? Also, check out our gallery below for some close-up shots of the Vita's music and video apps.
              #044: So erstellen Sie einen Notfallplan         

    So erstellen Sie einen Notfallplan

    Was passiert eigentlich, wenn Ihnen etwas zustößt? Was ist, wenn Ihnen etwas passiert und Sie sind nicht mehr da? Finden Ihre Angehörigen dann die relevanten Daten und digitalen Dokumente?

    Das sind keine einfachen und schon gar keine angenehmen Fragen. Doch auch Sie sollten sie sich stellen. Denn diese Fragen betreffen nicht nur Unternehmer und Selbstständige, sondern uns alle.

    Hier sind meine Gedanken zu dieser Situation und was Sie tun können.

    So erstellen Sie einen Notfallplan

    In der Folge stelle ich ein paar Fragen, die Ihnen helfen, einen Notfallplan zu erstellen:

    • Wie lautet das Passwort für Ihren Computer?
    • Wie lautet das Passwort für Ihr Mobiltelefon (inkl. PIN und PUK)?
    • Wo befinden sich die weiteren Passwörter?
    • Wie ist die Logik bei der Verzeichnisstruktur?
    • Welche Daten/Dateien sind besonders wichtig?
    • Welche Bankkonti gibt es?
    • Wie lauten die PIN-Codes für die Bankkarten?
    • Wie kann man sich für das E-Banking anmelden?
    • Welche Verträge haben Sie zu erfüllen bzw. müssten gekündigt werden?
    • Welche Webseiten haben Sie und wo sind sie gehostet?
    • Wo befinden sich die (Kunden)Adressen?
    • Wo sind Ihre Termine?
    • Wo haben Sie Ihre Fotos gespeichert?
    • Wie lauten die Passwörter für Ihre E-Mail-Accounts?
    • Wie kann man Mails automatisch weiterleiten oder eventuell eine automatische Antwort einrichten?
    • Wie kann man eine Nachricht auf Ihre Webseite setzen und wie soll sie lauten?
    • Wie soll mit den sozialen Netzwerken umgegangen werden (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Xing, LinkedIn usw.)? Sollen die Profile einfach gelöscht werden?


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

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

    Den Podcast abonnieren

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

              Amazon starts cutting out book distributors, at least overseas in Asia; the issue can matter to some authors         

    Amazon is ceasing to do business with some book distributors, at least in Japan or overseas, and wants to get books directly from publishers. Goodreader has an article on the issue today.  The Japan Times also has a more detailed story.

    In the US, big book distributors (like Ingram, or previously Bookmen in Minneapolis which got bought) have been a main vehicle for both chain and independent bookstores.  POD publishers, such as Author Solutions, have been somewhat aggressive with authors to try to get them to work with bookstores and not get “lazy” with Amazon, and more passive marketing. I suppose that jobs (in bookstores) and literacy initiatives (in underprivileged communities) can be at issue when authors become less interested in their own retailing. It’s also possible for an author to buy copies POD at a deep discount and sell cheaper (probably) than Amazon or BN sometimes (that’s good for the POD publisher) but requires a lot of retail hustle from the author.  Not all books (especially in the policy or personal non-fiction areas) can sell that well. 

              Book publishing site reports that Amazon is aggressive in deleting less-than-valid book reviews of self-published books         

    A site called “Just Publishing” offers what looks like good advice to new authors especially with self-published books, especially POD.

    “Why did Amazon delete my book reviews?  Because there was a problem with how you got the reviews”, link.

    I can certainly understand that paying for reviews is unethical (although you would wonder if people pay for Yelp and Angie's List, which both companies adamantly say you cannot).

    I can understand that family is off limits.  But the article also implies social media friends is a no-no.  That’s getting difficult, and I hadn’t heard that before.  People who network enough to sell their books the old fashioned way probably would attract quality Facebook friends and Instagram and twitter followers.  Such a policy would sound a bit self-defeating.

    It is true that there are industry statistics on the expected reasonable ratio of books sold to reviews – it’s high.

    I’ve noticed something else about the POD business.  POD companies often mark the list prices high, which will be only slightly discounted on the Amazon and BN sites, and perhaps some others.  Then they encourage authors to try copies themselves by buying hundreds of copies at maybe 50% off or so.  An author who really wants to operate her own wholesale (with bookstores) and retail (with consumers) could mark them up to about 60% or so and make a profit.  But that would be so time consuming that the author wouldn’t have time for new material.

    It’s frankly very difficult to sell books, or sell advertising on a blog, unless you have built a reputation first in some niche that relates to something people will pay for.  Fiction sometimes provides an exception, but even then it is often niche-like.  Hopefully it’s legitimate (not porn). Given the “gofundme” culture online today (which has become much more prominent than it was two decades ago when I got into this) there is probably opportunity to “sell” in the special needs area – but I have my own psychological and perhaps moral qualms about this.

              Social Media Update        
    I finally gave up on Twitter. It had been descending into mediocrity and worse for a long time. The provocation that gave me the nudge I needed was dropping in after a few days away and finding my timeline cluttered into uselessness, because their Algorithm (in its ineffable Algorithmhood) had decided to interpret “likes” as … Continue reading Social Media Update
              Trump attacks on McConnell bring rebukes from fellow Republicans - Washington Post        

    Washington Post

    Trump attacks on McConnell bring rebukes from fellow Republicans
    Washington Post
    President Trump aimed a fresh barrage of criticism at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday, escalating an extraordinary fight with a key Republican leader that could undermine the party's ability to regroup and pass shared legislative ...
    Trump to McConnell in latest tweet: 'Get back to work,' 'You can do it!'CNN
    Trump escalates attacks on McConnellPolitico
    Trump Escalates Attacks on McConnell With Suggestion His Job Is at
    NPR -The Hill -Reuters -New York Times
    all 420 news articles »

              200 days in: Obama still on Trump's mind - CNN        


    200 days in: Obama still on Trump's mind
    Bridgewater, New Jersey (CNN) In 1962, as the United States and the Soviet Union wobbled toward nuclear confrontation, then-President John F. Kennedy got his predecessor on the phone. "What's your judgment as to the chances they'll fire these things off?
    FactCheck: Trump misfires on nuclear weapons
    AP FACT CHECK: Trump's unjustified boast about US nuke powerMiami Herald
    Fact Check: Trump's Unjustified Boast About US Nuke PowerNBC New York
    Twitter -The White House -Department of State
    all 113 news articles »

              Women's British Open 2017: In-Kyung Kim Wins Despite Michelle Wie Rally        

    Overnight leader In-Kyung Kim held on to win the 2017 Women's British Open on Sunday, despite a rally from Michelle Wie and a record-tying round from Jodi Ewart Shadoff.

    The latter played a round of eight-under 64, tying Wie's mark set on Thursday, but Kim kept her composure to hold off the pair.

    For the final leaderboard, visit the event's official website.



    Wie started the day on fire, with six birdies and not a single mistake on the front nine. The American star quickly climbed the leaderboard while Kim had yet to start her round, putting heaps of pressure on her opponent.

    Here's a look at one of her many highlights from the front nine:

    Wie set a Kingsbarns Golf Links course record on Thursday, so everyone knew she was perfectly capable of keeping up the tremendous pace. But faced with all that pressure, Kim came out swinging as well, evidenced by her very first shot:

    The 29-year-old opened with birdie and made par on every hole until the eighth, where she made birdie again. For all of Wie's brilliance, Kim's massive lead entering the round meant she was still comfortably ahead.

    Cracks started to show on the ninth, where she dropped her first shot, but Wie's pace also dropped. She made birdie on the 12th but barely made inroads elsewhere, and Ewart Shadoff overtook her midway through the back nine.

    Ewart Shadoff would eventually card an eight-under round, tying Wie's record, per the event's official Twitter account:

    Wie finished at six under, three shots behind Ewart Shadoff, and both sat and watched as Kim started the final four holes with a two-shot advantage. She would make par the rest of the way, finishing one under for the day.

    It marks Kim's first-ever major title and her third LPGA Tour win of the season, continuing her impressive hot streak.

    Read more Women's Golf news on

              Women's British Open 2017: In-Kyung Kim Builds on Huge Lead on Saturday        

    In-Kyung Kim retained control during the third round of the 2017 Women's British Open, posting a score of six-under 66 on Saturday.

    The 29-year-old was smooth on the greens and leads the competition by six shots at Kingsbarns Golf Links in Fife, Scotland, residing on 17 under for the tournament.

    For the latest leaderboard, visit the Ladies European Tour website.

    Kim sprinted out of the blocks on the front nine, seemingly playing without pressure as she sank four birdies in the opening seven holes.

    The 29-year-old was unflappable, and her consistency was world class as she drove off the tee with confidence.

    Birdies on No. 11 and 12 pushed Kim's lead, and she putted at her best throughout the round.

    The tournament's official Twitter account highlighted her finishing:

    Kim played with a smile on her face over the final holes as she headed to the clubhouse, and she will be a big favorite to capture the major title on Sunday.

    Georgia Hall braved the conditions to lead the charge for the British contingent, finishing the day joint-second on the leaderboard with Moriya Jutanugarn on 11 under.

    The English starlet, who turned professional in 2014, suffered a bogey on No. 3 but countered with a magnificent eagle on No. 5 to fight back.

    Three successive birdies on the back nine put Hall within striking distance of Kim, but she dropped three strokes in the final three holes.

    The Women's British Open shared her last birdie of the day:

    After a magnificent couple of days, Kim is in the driver's seat and deservedly so. 

    She last dropped a shot on the opening hole of the second round, and she has navigated the wet conditions with consummate ease.

    Read more Women's Golf news on

              Women's British Open 2017: In-Kyung Kim Leads, Michelle Wie Falters        

    In-Kyung Kim took the lead at the 2017 Women's British Open on Friday, after a round of four-under 68 in dreadful weather conditions. 

    The 29-year-old sits two shots ahead of Georgia Hall and Lexi Thompson, while overnight leader Michelle Wie tumbled down the standings after a dreadful second round.

    For the full leaderboard, click here.



    Kim enjoyed a second solid day in a row at the Women's British Open, finishing Friday's round atop the leaderboard. Her round of four-under golf included an eagle on the 11th and just a single bogey, despite miserable weather conditions as she finished her round.

    Consistency was once again the key, as the Korean star took few risks with her approaches and relied on smart putting to grab the lead.

    Earlier in the day, Hall and Thompson fired themselves to a share of the lead, at nine-under. The former dropped her first two shots of the tournament but had a great run on the front-nine, with four straight birdies, and finished the day five-under par.

    As shared by the tournament's official Twitter account, her short game was on point:

    Thompson struggled on the front-nine but was sensational on the back-nine, opening with five straight birdies and eventually settling for a score of four-under.

    Here's a look at one of her finishes:

    Ally McDonald also finished four-under to position herself one shot behind the duo, as things are tight at the top.

    Wie, who set a new course record on Thursday, endured a horrid day to finish with a score of four-over and tumble out of the top 10.

    The 27-year-old recorded just a single birdie and had a double-bogey on the 17th. Rich Lerner of the Golf Channel noted she did not look smooth in her swing:

    At four-under, she still has a shot at a good finish if she can replicate Thursday's form.

    Read more Women's Golf news on

              Women's British Open 2017: Michelle Wie Takes Early Lead After 1st Round        

    Michelle Wie took control on the opening day of the 2017 Women's British Open, scoring a first round of eight-under 64 on Thursday.

    The American remained motivated and accurate at Kingsbarns Golf Links in Fife, Scotland, as the heavens opened, causing rain delays.

    Wie completed nine birdies to finish a magnificent round and leads by a single shot over the field. 

    For the latest leaderboard, visit the competition's official website.

    According to John Huggan of, Wie recorded a new course record as she produced her very best at Kingsbarns.

    A bogey on No. 2 was soon eliminated from the player's mind, and she went on a credible run on the front-nine.

    Three birdies across five holes set up the second half of Wie's round, but her back-nine was simply sensational.

    Birdies on No.11, 12 and 14 were impressive, but the 27-year-old was on fire as she approached the clubhouse.

    Wie sunk birdies on the final three holes as the weather conditions began to rapidly decline after a sunny start.

    The tournament's official Twitter account highlighted Wie's ruthless streak:

    It was a strong day for the English contingent, with six players within four shots of the lead.

    Laura Davies rolled back the years to shoot a four-under 68, to the delight of the watching crowd.

    Davies hit seven birdies, but she made mistakes that inflated her numbers.

    A double-bogey on No. 15 was immediately followed by a bogey, but her recovery was rapid as she sank important putts.

    A birdie on the final hole made sure she ended the day with a smile and a shot at winning the tournament.

    Davies is no longer the dominant player of yesterday, but her knowledge of links golf will see her well against younger opposition.

    Read more Women's Golf news on

              Dosier completo de Prensa de Dior Homme con Robert Pattinson!        


    *Se pueden ver unas pocas “nuevas” imágnes*
    ¿Te perdiste algo sobre RobDior?
    Post#1 | Post#2 | Post #3 | Post#4 | Post#5 | Post#6 | Post#7 | Post#8 | Post#9 | Post#10

    Diario Twilight
              Kristen Stewart en el Desfile de Chanel - 02/07/2013        

     Kristen Stewart asistió esta mañana al Desfile de Chanel. A continuación podreis ver las primeras fotos de la actriz, que fue muy guapa:


    Twitpics: 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| 6| 7| 8| 9| 10| 11| 12 | 13| 14| 15| 16| 17| 18| 19| 20
    Videos: 1| 2| 3| 4|
    Vía RobstenDreams /
    Todo Twilight Saga
              [NUEVO PHOTOSHOOT] Taylor Lautner para la Campaña de Bench         

     La Firma Bench tiene nueva campaña....y dicha campaña está protagonizada nada más y nada menos que por Taylor Lautner.... Y las primeras imagenes de su photoshoot (BTS) se ven absolutamente GENIALES

    Como información adicional, el actor estará en Filipinas para promocionar la marca... Así que estad atentos! ^^ 

    Fuente: Circuit Mag vía TL-Life
    Todo Twilight Saga 
              Nuevas Fotos Fan de Kristen Stewart en New Orleans         

    Como sabeis, Kristen Stewart se encuentra en medio de un viaje por carretera junto a unos amigos a través de los Estados Unidos. Ayer la actriz fue fotografíada por fans en Nueva Orleans:


    Fuente: 1 / 2
    Vía 1 / 2

    Todo Twilight Saga
              Primer Vistazo a la Campaña de Robert Pattinson para Dior Homme + Detalles sobre la Conferencia de Prensa        
    La espera ha terminado: POR FIN tenemos las primeras imagenes (aunque estén en mala calidad, mejor que nada) de Robert Pattinson en el famoso y esperadísimo anuncio para Dior. OMG tiene muy buena pinta.

    Para ver el video tendremos que esperar un poquito más :(

    Dior: Dior se complace en anunciar que el actor Robert Pattinson es la nueva cara de la fragancia Dior Homme fragrance. #DiorRob

    De la web de Dior Mag

    "El hombre detrás del perfume"
    Él ha vuelto de Autralia dónde estaba rodando la nueva película de David Michod con Guy Pierce, The Rover. Y pronto comenzará el rodaje de Maps to the Stars de David Cronenberg junto a John Cusack y Julianne Moore. Y luego será el turno de Hold On To Me, de James Marsh. Alguna idea? Preciavente, estuvo en Cosmopolis y Water For Elephants. Los cinéfilos deberían haberlo averiguado ya... Y su primer papel? Cedric Diggory en la cuarta entrega de la serie de Harry Potter. Caliente? Y luego... Bueno luego, por supuesto, vino la inolvidable Twilight Saga. No puede quedar ninguna duda, y lo has averiguado: Robert Pattinson dará cuerpo al nuevo hombre Dior, el nuevo Dior Homme.


    • Primeras Imagenes:    

    • Yves Bongarçon: Rob dice en el anuncio: "Sueña como si fueras a vivir para siempre. Vive como si fueras a morir hoy"
    Canción usada para el anuncio:

    Conferencia de Prensa: 

    *Es una periodista famosa aquí en España. Ella escribe para revistas como Vogue y GQ ;)*
    #Dior y #RobertPattinson que combinación para esta noche...

    Tiempo para él
    Estamos listos amantes del tumblr, el anuncio de #Dior con #RobertPattinson es muy sexy
    #RobertPattinson está delante de mí hablando, es agradable, lindo, dulce y dice que le encanta el olor de Londres

    "Como un actor tu estas por tu cuenta" #RobertPattinson

    Lo siento no permiten tomar Fotos de él
    Fiesta de Dior Homme en Soho House





    Sí, Rob esta aquí

    *Este chico se encuentra en la fiesta y efectivamente ha confirmado que Rob ya se encuentra en Soho House :)*
    Cenando con #RobertPattinson. Realmente genial
    *Natalie Portman también se encuentra allí, recuerden que ella es imagen de Miss Dior*


    • De Women's Wear Daily:

    PARIS - Christian Dior Perfumes ha confirmado que el actor Robert Pattinson es la nueva cara de la fragancia de Dior Homme.
    La estrella de "Crepúsculo" se une a una lista de embajadores famosos iluestres para las fragancias de Dior, que incluyen a Jude Law, Alain Delon, Natalie Portman y Charlize Theron.
    El fotógrafo americano Nan Goldin y el director francés Romain Gavrais grabaron las campañas que protagoniza Pattinson, dijo Dior, haciendo notar que serán difundidas en Europa excluyendo UK, y Asia, excluyendo China y Japón.

    • Comunicado Oficial de Dior - De Marie Claire UK

    Después de meses de especulación sobre la colaboración de la estrella con la marca, la casa de Dior ha lanzado un comunicado oficial hoy confirmando la campaña.
    Ellos han dicho: 'La Casa de Dior está encantada de anunciar que el actor Robert Pattinson va a ser la nueva cara de la fragancia Dior Homme'.
    El comunicado después alaba la exitosa carrera de Robert en un gran número de películas de alto-perfil, diciendo: 'Desde su primer papel relevante en 2005 en la 4º secuela de Harry Potter, la estrella de cine Robert Pattinson ha sido más conocido recientemente por su papel en el éxito de taquilla, The Twilight Saga.
    'Desde entonces él ha probado el alacance de sus talentos actorales eligiendo películas tan variadas como Remember Me de Allen Coulter, Water for Elephants de Francia Lawrence, en la que fue protagonista junto a Reese Witherspoon, o con su papel como Bel-Ami, el famoso personaje de Maupassant.
    En el último tributo a su talento, David Cronenberg le escogió para protagonizar su última película, Cosmopolis, adaptada de la novela de Don De Lillo. Un papel sorprendente como el chico de oro que se estrenó en el Festival de Cine de Cannes de 2012.
    Recientemente ha terminado de grabar The Rover, de David Michod, en Australia con Guy Pearce y pronto estará en el set en la próxima película de David Cronenberg, Maps To The Stars. Después, protagonizará Hold On To Me, dirigida por James Marsh y co-protagonizada por Carey Mulligan'.
    Dior Homme añade: 'Hoy estamos emocionados de anunciar que se unirá al privilegiado círculo de caras de Dior. Fotografiado por el artista americano Nan Goldin y grabado por el director francés Romain Gavras, esta nueva campaña publicitaria de Dior Homme será distribuida ahora exclusivamente en Europa (excepto UK) y Asia (excepto China y Japón).



    Y es que acabamos de saber que la maison le ha nombrado imagen de la nueva fragancia masculina de Dior Homme. El 'estreno' de esta nueva faceta lo podremos ver en septiembre, cuando se presentarán el perfume y la campaña con Robert como protagonista.

    Además, Glamour será la primera de las revistas femeninas en tener una entrevista exclusiva con el actor. Será en el número de septiembre, y en ella nos contará todos los detalles de su nueva faceta como embajador de una firma de lujo. No es la primera vez que Robert Pattinson trabaja como modelo (recordemos que los inicios de su carrera fueron posando) pero sí lo es como imagen de una casa como Dior.

    Fuentes 1 2 3 4 5 6
    Traducción: LaSagaRobsten

    Todo Twilight Saga
              Pruitt’s inquiry gives climate science the reality TV treatment        
    This is an attempt to confuse the public and sow doubt about an already-settled issue.


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


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


              Comment on Library Day in the Life 4 – Thursday by Tweets that mention hollysue…who? » Blog Archive » Library Day in the Life 4 – Thursday --        
    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bobbi Newman, Holly. Holly said: Library Day in the Life 4: Thursday Thursday Thursday #libday4 [...]
              The Following        
    • Media Blog Project.
    • Topic #2: TV as a cultural mirror.

         I watched The Following episode 2 "Chapter Two", which aired on FOX Monday, January 28th at 9:00 pm.  The Following is a drama and suspenseful TV show that stars Kevin Bacon who is a former FBI agent that has been asked to come back for a very large case involving a murderer that he put away for life who has amassed a "cult following" to do his dirty work for him now.  In this particular episode, Dr. Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), who Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) has put in jail previously, has had his "followers" kidnap his his son from his ex-wife and Hardy and the FBI agents and police officers he is consulting with are looking for him.  Hardy discovers the house where the "followers" meet and they reconfirm that all of Carrolls symbolism and antics are based off Edgar Allen Poe's writings.  In that house, Hardy was attacked by a man wearing a Poe mask and later at the end of the episode we see a masked Poe man light a man on the street on fire and run away.
         The ads that aired during this episode are pretty much the stereotypical ads that you would expect.  There were ads for cars and car dealerships; including Honda, Kia, Chevrolet, Ford, Subaru, and Buick.  There were also ads for different foods like Lean Cuisine, Campbell's, and Weight Watchers meal plans.  In the category of online dating, notable services were Christian Mingle,, and eHarmony.  Major commercials that were most prominent and were aired multiple times included Ford, Honda, Chevrolet, Comcast, Direct TV, Kiefer Kia, John and Phil's, Guaranty in Junction City, beer brands like Coors, Heineken, and Budweiser, and of course there is always the Fox News ads that feature their anchors for around 15 seconds each time a commercial ends to continue with the program.  These commercials all fit the demographic that the TV show is trying to reach.  Younger adults through mid-life adults.  These are all people who have cars or will by buying new cars in the future, they may be insecure about their weights or just want some food that is not only tasty but healthy or a viewer who is single and wants to find somebody.  The commercials are definitely spot on for their target audiences as far as I am concerned. 
         The Following is meant for more mature audiences and was rated TV 14 for language, images, sexual situations and the like.  The actors and actresses were dressed appropriate for our time period and the authority figures has appropriate looking uniforms.  Most of the men who were FBI agents wore suits and the women wore suits as well.  Compared to other shows like this one, I would say that dress and mannerisms are identical and what you expect and would want to see for a drama/suspenseful TV show.  The main thing, for me, that makes this show different than others is the fact that the whole show is based around an ex FBI agent and the man he put away years before and the this guys "followers" and how they are operating.  I have never seen a show like this one in terms of that.
         A major stereotype that occurred in this particular episode was about police officers.  There were several cuts to them just standing around and drinking coffee around the house they were supposed to be guarding.  Same thing happened when they were shown at the scene of the murders in the sorority house after they had come in and done the initial reports on the situations.  The other stereotype that I noticed, and probably the most prominent, is that the wife of Carroll, who is an attractive woman, had an affair with Hardy who was the main FBI agent that was there when her husbands case was first taking place.  This refers to her being maybe a weak and needy woman who has lost who she thought was her best friend and trusted lover and in walked tough, strong, independent agent Hardy who was not married.  These kinds of relationships always happen in TV shows and movies and aren't always the reality of true real life.  Other than these two outstanding stereotypes, I think the directors and producers have done a pretty good job at trying to be new and different in the ways of how the TV show operates within the story lines and isn't too predictable.  If I were a viewer from another country, I would not think much of the shows Americans watch because I am sure there are many good dramas that air in other country's.  In fact, The Following actually airs in the U.S. plus another 17 countries.  If I were not from here, based on the commercials, I would say that there is a problem with people being overweight and single and everybody is buying new cars.
        I do not watch many crime/drama/suspense TV shows but I would say that this one, as of now (it's only aired two episodes total so far) is a TV show that I am expecting to be kept on FOX and be aired for at least several seasons or until the story is wrapped up and concluded.  What really keeps me interested in this show is that it's not as predictable as other similar shows.  Usually I am able to predict what can happen in a TV show after 15 minutes or so.  I am not so accurate with this one.
        I would tend to agree with the 7.5 stars that IMDB gave them.  If I never watched it I wouldn't feel like a part of my life was missing but if I just stopped watching I would be very curious as to what happened in each episode.  My girlfriend watches the this show with me and what she likes most about The Following is all the plot twists.  I definitely agree.  It's a very engaging TV show.  One thing that all TV shows like this one do is end with a cliff hanger.  That cliff hanger keeps you wondering all week what is going to happen in the next show and that brings back viewers from previous weeks.
        I have seen every single episode The Following! Wait, that's only two episodes.  But still, it is one that I am going to have to add to my list of shows that I try to keep up on.  I am not a user of social media so I don't follow the show on Twitter or on Facebook but I have visited the shows page on FOX and the opening sentence on their page paragraph about the show is very interesting.  "The FBI estimates there are currently up to 300 active serial killers in the United States."  This is a very bold statement and scary statistic.  One thing that the average viewer may not know is that Hardy wrote a book sharing the details of his previous investigation and other factoids about his case regarding Carroll.  If a book like this came out or is already out here in real life, that would be a very interesting and possibly quite controversial book.
        Overall, I would recommend The Following to most normal people who enjoy good TV shows that keep the viewers eyes glued to their TV.  Upon further examination, one could come to the conclusion that TV programs, the ads run, and the particular channel or station that is airing all have very close relation and share the same views and interests. 
              NCAA Football 13 – How To Get Fully Named Rosters (All 123 Teams + Edits)        
    Don’t forget to give this video a “like” ;D Xbox GT: CcAaRrSsOoNn3 OR CK11 PS3 PSN ID: KW1KC OR volstopfan14 Xbox 360 Rosters: PS3 Rosters: Twitter: Facebook:

    Atención Novias!!! Dentro de poquito es vuestro gran día. Os apetecería compartir con el resto de novias vuestros preparativos de boda, detalles del lugar donde se váis a realizar vuestra boda, regalitos que váis a entregar a vuestros invitados... y como no!!! contarnos como son vuestros vestidos de novia...

    Que nos puede quedar mejor?. Vestidos de novia para los que podéis estar buscando tocado?. Tanto si se hace elección desde el principio como si es para cuando os quitéis el velo o mantilla, para dar un toque diferente a vuesto estilismo.

    Pues que mejor oportunidad que esta para resolver vuestras dudas, una reunión de novias (#noviasconencanto) en donde os podré aconsejar del diseño que mejor os quedaría para vestir vuestras cabezas.

    Os enseñare diseños de diferentes estilos, probaremos, aconsejaremos, echaremos fotitos y como no!!! todo bien acompañado de un desayuno. Todo esto será el próximo sábado, 28 de Septiembre  a las 11:00 en mi atelier situado en C/Mayor, 55 Espinardo Murcia.

    Además Sara Moya Gómez experta en pocotoclo en Valisse Eventos nos contará todo lo que necesitamos conocer acerca del protocolo que hay que tener en cuenta en ese día tan especial... Sara responderá todas vuestras dudas.
     Si os apetece asistir a esta Master Class, confirmadlo mediante correo electronico a o mediante mensaje privado a mi fanpage

    Web * Facebook * Bloglovin' * Twitter * Pinterest

              TALLERES JUNIO        
    Para el mes de junio habrán muchas novedades!!!

    Si te quieres apuntar a alguno de los talleres...

      * Escríbenos a:
      * Dinos el taller al que te gustaría asistir.
      * Espera que te confirme la plaza mediante mail!! (responderé con brevedad)

    Taller de Ganchillo XXL

    SÁBADO  01 DE JUNIO DE 11.00 a 13.30
    nivel: cero
    En función del nivel haremos cesto o alfombra. 
    Aprenderemos los puntos básicos de ganchillo para poder aplicarlos a nuestros proyectos. También seremos capaces de leer los gráficos.
    Incluye: ganchillo gigante y trapillo.
    Precio: 35€ 

    Taller de Cuerda

    SÁBADO  08 DE JUNIO DE 11.00 a 13.30
    nivel: cero
    Aprenderemos los nudos básicos para aplicarlos a nuestros complementos de la mano de Pilar Maquilón. En el taller realizaremos un diferentes piezas en cuerda de raso muy coloridas para lucirlas este verano. Incluye: Cuerdas de raso de colores.
    Precio: 35€

    Taller de Automaquillaje

    VIERNES  14 DE JUNIO DE 18.00 a 20.30
    ¿Que os parece aprender trucos como aplicar sombras, maquillaje, aprender a hacer un maquillaje natural o un smookey Eye, conocer vuestro rostro para sacaros el mejor partido?... todo esto de la mano de Daniel Martín face designer de Armani para El Corte Ingles.
    Incluye: Todo lo necesario para realizar el taller. Pero si queréis traeros vuestro neceser con vuestros maquillajes, sombras y demás para aprender con ellos no hay problema.
    Precio: 35€ 

     Taller Carvado de Sellos "Estampación Manual"


    SÁBADO 15 DE JUNIO DE 11.00 a 13.30
    TALLER DE CARVADO DE SELLOS "Estampación Manual"
    Aprenderemos diferentes técnicas para realizar estampación manual sobre papel y tela.Incluye: Todo lo necesario para realizar el taller. Gubias, goma, tintas...
    Precio: 35€

     Taller de Estampación Cerámica

    SÁBADO 22 DE JUNIO DE 11.00 a 14.00
    Quieres personalizar tu vajilla? En este taller aprenderas la decoración  sobre ceramica, mediante la técnica de calcas de bloque de color y calcas digitales.
    Todos los materiales necesarios para la realización están incluidos en el precio del taller.
    Precio: 60€ 

    Web * Facebook * Bloglovin' * Twitter * Pinterest

              TALLERES ABRIL 2013        
    Bueno pues los meses pasan y ya tenemos cerquita el mes de abril, y con el nuevos talleres....

    Detalle de los talleres:

    Sábado 13 de Abril de 11.oo a 13.3o


    Realizaremos diferentes proyectos de decoración, packaging y mucho más utilizando washi tape.
    Incluye todos los materiales necesarios.
    Precio: 35€
    Taller impartido por: Carmen Navarro

    Sábado 20 de Abril de 11.oo a 13.3o


    Aprenderemos a carvar sellos y a como utilizarlos para realizar estampación textil, además de hablar de otras técnicas para la estampación textil.
    Incluye todos los materiales necesarios.
    Precio: 35€
    Taller impartido por: Carmen Navarro

              TALLERES MARZO 2013        
    Aquí os dejo el calendario para los cursos de Marzo... este mes ocupamos el 9 de Marzo con Taller de Ganchillo Gigante donde haremos una cestita ideal y el 23 de Marzo Taller de Amigurumis Nivel Iniciación e intermedio.
    Para mas info y reservas enviad un mail a

    Detalle de los talleres:

    Sábado 9 de Marzo de 11.oo a 13.3o
    Nivel: Cero
    Aprenderemos a uitlizar el ganchillo gigante, asi como los puntos básico y nos haremos una cestita ideal para guardar lo que nos apetezca...
    Incluye aguja, trapillo y patrones
    Precio 35€
    Impartido por: Carmen Navarro

    Sábado 23 de Marzo de 1o.3o a 13.3o
    Nivel: Iniciación e intermedio
    Aprenderemos el anillo mágico, punto bajo, incrementar y disminuir... y todo eso alrededor de una labor.
    Incluye aguja, lana y patrones
    Precio 35€
    Impartido por: Mari Carmen "El Tambaliche"

              TIENDA ONLINE        
    Ya ha llegado la hora... ya ve la luz la nueva tienda online, en la que por ahora podréis encontrar los diseños de la colección "Mis flores en tu jardin..." y "Flores de ensueño" colección de tocados para esta temporada de comuniones que se avecina... 

    Pero aqui no quedará porque poco a poco conforme el tiempo me vaya dejando la iré ampliando a las demás piezas que purulando esta por la tienda y que seguro que os gustará tener la oportunidad de comprar a todas aquellas que os pille un poquito lejos mi showroom.

    Y por supuesto este trabajo no hubiera sido posible a mucha gente... Muchas gracias a todos!!! ♥♥♥
    Espero que os guste!!!

    Web * Facebook * Bloglovin' * Twitter * Pinterest

              TALLERES FEBRERO 2013        
    Aquí tenéis el calendario para los talleres de Febrero. Si quieres apuntarte a algún taller solo tienes que enviar un mail a, diciendo el talleres que te apetece hacer y adjuntanto un nº de telefono.

    Detalle de los talleres:

    Sábado 2 de Febrero de 11.oo a 13.3o
    Nivel: cero
    Aprenderemos a uitlizar el ganchillo gigante, asi como los puntos básico y nos haremos una cestita muy molona para guardar lo que nos apetezca...
    Incluye aguja, trapillo y patrones
    Precio 35€

    Sábado 9 de Febrero de 1o.3o a 13.3o
    Nivel: cero
    Aprendermos a realizar una funda para nuestro ipad en patchwork con la técnica Log Cabin, y ya tendrás las fórmula para coserte cualquier funda... además de conocer todas las técnicas posibles y modalidades que hay en este mundo tan bonito... 
    Incluye telas, guatas, hilos, fornituras...
    Precio 35€
    Impartido por Pilar Maquilón

    Sábado 16 de Febrero de 11.oo a 13.3o
    Nivel: cero
    Aprenderemos a utilzar la lana cardada, a realzar cuentas de lana con diseños diferentes, a trabajar la lana con aguja... Nos haremos un precioso collar y un bonito broche.
     Incluye lana cardada, aguja, esponja, hilos, cuentas... todo lo necesario para nuestro proyecto.
    Precio 35€

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              photoshooting shopper magazine        
    Nos dimos cita en el Teatro Romea para empezar con todos los preparativos, uno de mis diseños era para Lola Talavera... y casualidad!!! a la primera que ví fue a ella. Estuvimos hablando un rato hasta que entramos a la zona habilitada para los azicales y demás... ;) Unos estaban liados con la ropa, otros estaban en proceso de maquillaje con Daniel Martin y peinandose con Kela y Colás. Hasta finalmente llegar a esta foto tan bonita realizada por 4Catorce Photography.

    Estuvimos en la sala de los espejos, lugar precioso para este photoshooting. Pena que no pude quedarme hasta el final, pero el poquito rato que estuve lo disfrute mucho.

    Felix Juan García, Lola Talavera, Eva Abril, Pedro Martinez, Carmen Ramil, Nieves Cremades y Sita Abellán

    Total Look Lola Talavera por Carmen Navarro

    Pedro Martinez (Abarca),  Natalia (Shopper Magazine) y Eva Abril

    Pedro Martinez (Abarca), Natalia (Shopper Magazine) y Juanfra (Presintown Lorca).

    Carmen Ramil (Proyectomania) y 4Catorce Photography

    Lola Talavera y Felix Juan García (Ocio)

    Lola Talavera

    Lola Talavera y Carmen Navarro

    También Nacho, Paco y Fernando profesionales de la comunicación nos deleitarón con un video de algunos de los momentos del making of.

              Waxahachie pitcher excels with one hand        

    Cristian Gonzalez, 15, pitches and plays first base for the Waxahachie Indians. And he does it differently than most anyone you’ve ever seen play the game.


              Touching moment as player honors...        

              High school coach who confronted...        

    SEATTLE -- A high school basketball coach in North Central Washington who was placed on leave after getting into a verbal confrontation with a teacher -- including threatening a "beat down" -- was reinstated last week. The incident was recorded on a student's cell phone.


              Coach fired over social media posts        

    LOCUST GROVE, Ga. -- Just 20 days after he was hired, former NFL corner back Fernando Bryant was fired from the head football coaching job at Strong Rock Christian School because of questionable social media posts, according to his termination letter.







    ART HOUSE納品分↓









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    マネージャーのねこ太さんがインスタにあげてた、オモチャのアコーディオンを弾きまくる姿 ãƒ›ãƒ³ãƒˆã«ãƒ¤ãƒã‚¤ã§ã™âœ¨
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              International Project 2016: Beauty Behind the ‘WOW’ Moments        
    There is much the mind thinks about during, and after, the two weeks we spent in rural India on our Softchoice Cares International Project. All your senses are on fire. Experiences no words in a blog post will ever make you fully and truly understand. I don’t think one can ever truly understand it, until […]

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              International Project 2016: People Are Amazing        
    Dhanyavaad, bhaarat ke Indiya. (“Thank you, people of India”) In the weeks since I’ve returned home from the Softchoice Cares International Project in Rajasthan, India, I’ve come to realize that people are truly amazing. I’ll start this post by stating plainly that India has its challenges. Real. Serious. Challenges. The Caste system, widespread hunger, political […]

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              Softchoice employees up the ante for Kids Health Links Foundation        
    At its core, the mission of Softchoice Cares is to support charities that use technology to improve the lives of others. Through the Power to the People (P2P) program, Softchoice employees across North America can raise money and awareness for a cause they are passionate about, and receive matching funds from Softchoice Cares for every […]

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              Softchoice Cares in India: Follow their Journey        
    From Oct. 8-22, 2016, the Softchoice Cares board is volunteering in Rajasthan, India with Jatan Sansthan. The team will be working to update two computer labs that Softchoice Cares built last year, and train locals from the community, particularly kids, on how to use them – among many adventures. Check this blog post for regular […]

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              Excitement builds as Softchoice Cares prepares for Rajasthan, India        
    Softchoice Cares has carried out a number of international projects over its 10-year history, including ones in Sri Lanka, Bali, Kenya, Rwanda, and most recently, India. In October 2016, the employee-led Softchoice Cares board is returning to Rajasthan, India to build on and expand the work that was completed during our last international project 18 […]

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              Softchoice’s Oakville employees raising funds for ‘Darling’ kids        
    A child draws. Another sings. Another swims. Ordinarily there is nothing remarkable about these activities, unless you are at Darling Home for Kids in Milton, Ontario. You see, Darling Home for Kids is Ontario’s first children’s hospice. Each child has been diagnosed as medically fragile or technology dependent and many who suffer from progressive illness. […]

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              ONEsoftchoice: Why Diversity & Inclusion matters        
    If you were to take a quick scan of media coverage this year, you’re bound to notice an increase in coverage on topics related to race, religion, gender and body politics. This should come as no surprise given the world we live in is diversifying. Populations (especially in the western world) are becoming more diverse […]

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              Softchoice Cares returning to Rajasthan, India in October        
    For over 10 years, Softchoice Cares has worked to ‘bridge the digital divide’ in communities across North America and places around the world. We believe that access to technology opens up a world of possibilities for disadvantaged families – particularly children – to learn and develop new skills, and break the cycle of poverty. This […]

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              Unleashing the potential of Toronto’s next ‘tech hub’        
    I first met Andray Domise, co-founder of Techsdale, in 2014 when he was running for Toronto City Council, and I volunteered to canvas for his campaign. The battleground was Ward 2, better known as the Toronto community of Rexdale in the northwest edge of the city. It’s quite the distance from my home downtown. It […]

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              How do you fight child poverty in the 21st century? One classroom at a time        
    (Students’) success or failure in the public schools will determine the entire body of human capital and educational potential that the nation will possess in the future. Without improving the educational support that the nation provides its low income students – students with the largest needs and usually with the least support — the trends […]

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              Connecting to an international cause close to home        
    I was born in Bangladesh. I lived most of my early childhood in Kuwait. I then immigrated to Canada when I was 12 years old. Our family struggled upon our arrival in Canada as my dad worked to get himself established and give us the opportunity we needed to live comfortably. It was because of […]

              An Escape from Reality – Childhood Cancer Canada and Softchoice Cares Day        
    Softchoice has been working with Childhood Cancer Canada on a number of events, one of which was hosted at Softchoice’s Toronto office as part of our first ever, company-wide volunteer day Softchoice Cares Day. It was an opportunity for kids diagnosed with cancer to escape from their hospital surroundings and have fun being exactly that – […]

              Sorry Customers, Softchoice is Out-of-Office… all 1400+ of us        
    WOW, what a day! This is one of those days that makes me feel so fortunate to be part of an amazing team at Softchoice. Not only do we have a smart, fun, All-Star crew, but we also care. We care about our customers, we care about each other, and today we showed in full […]

              Softchoice employees partner with a like-minded organization to help ‘Bridge the Digital Divide’        
    In June, my colleagues and I from Softchoice’s New York office used one of our allotted volunteer days to support a not-for-profit called Power My Learning. Their organization strikes a chord with us, as they share a very important mission with Softchoice: Help break the cycle of poverty by “bridging the digital divide.” Power My […]

              Something BIG for someone small        
    May 25, 2016 marked the 6th annual IT4CC fundraising event, where people from the local IT community come together for a common goal – raise funds to improve the lives of children with cancer. Over the last six years, IT4CC has raised more than $639,000 for Childhood Cancer Canada. Among the 25 teams and 85 […]

              Softchoice and Lenovo partner up to POWER UP schools in need        
    Here at Softchoice, we believe technology is a powerful learning tool and a means to a better world. When applied to classroom learning, the use of technology challenges children to think critically and to solve problems in new and innovative ways. It connects them with the most current information and interactive learning programs available, and […]

              Growing with Softchoice: The Search for my Dream Job        
    One Softchoice Territory Sales Rep's advice for career-seekers on the importance of a supportive workplace, and its role in professional growth and development.

              Ty’s Tourney: Volunteering for a cause close to home        
    I dedicate my allotted volunteer days at Softchoice to helping others, but three and half years ago my life, and my family’s lives, changed forever. We were all at a loss when my brother-in-law, Tyler, chose to take his life. How could a young, good-looking and funny guy like Tyler want to end his life […]

              Find your Friday: Softchoice volunteers at the Calgary Dream Centre        
    The smell of a freshly waxed floor always brings me back to boot camp. No, not the type designed by some fitness guru, but the real deal. My military baptism – 28 weeks of blood, sweat and tears! When I first entered the massive gates of the Marines barracks at Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, the […]

              Softchoice Cares and Year Up: Unleashing the potential of young adults        
    Two years ago, Softchoice’s Seattle office started to work with a non-profit organization, Year Up.The Seattle office set out to align with Year Up as it directly relates to closing the opportunity gap, helping people realize their potential, and bridging the digital divide. Since its founding in 2000, Year Up has served over 13,000 young […]

              Softchoice Cares & Tokens 4 Change: Enabling urban independence together        
    Six years ago, my friend Scott volunteered at Youth Without Shelter (YWS), an emergency shelter in the Greater Toronto Area. He noticed there was a focus on education and development to enable independence, but realized the cost of transportation stood as a major barrier. Without money, how could residents go to interviews, school, or even […]

              Creating Against All Odds: an interview with SKETCH Artistic Director, Phyllis Novak        
    Softchoice Cares recently had the opportunity to sit down for a conversation with Phyllis Novak, the Artistic Director of SKETCH, a Toronto-based organization that engages street-involved youth through the arts. Throughout 2015, numerous Softchoice employees have been raising funds for SKETCH through the company’s Power to the People program. SOFTCHOICE: “Can you tell us about […]

              10 reasons why Softchoice has been a ‘Great Place to Work’ for 10 years        
    The Great Place to Work Institute just named Softchoice to its list of “Best Workplaces in Canada” for the 10th year in a row! We are just one of four organizations to make the list all 10 years it has been in Canada. To celebrate a decade of recognition as one of Canada’s top corporate […]

              Breaking the Silence        
    “Break the Silence.” “Stop Violence Towards Women.” “Rape is Wrong.” Just a few of the slogans the Softchoice Cares team were asked to paint across the walls of Poprada Village homes. Theese are messages that Jatan is working to bring to all of the villages in the Rajasthan District as part of its larger initiative […]

              India: Finding Harmony Within the Noise        
    The end of the first work week got off to a rough start for me. The spicy and exotic Indian food that was so great the first few days was now losing its charm. The constant honking and swerving to get to the work site did not make for a pleasant morning. Even the worksite […]

              Access to Knowledge is Power        
    Access to knowledge is power. An easy thing to say but a difficult concept to grasp when we in North America live with a device attached to us at all times. We have the power to learn and to explore the world at our fingertips and we often forget how powerful that is – until […]

              India – A Feast for the Eyes        
    Glances out the window reveal life in action. A bare-foot and bare-bottomed boy running down an alleyway using a stick to control a rolling bicycle tire. An old man wrapped in many layers of clothing to ward off the morning cold, lighting his morning cigarette. A young girl, maybe 10, carrying a toddler along the […]

              Unleashing the Hope within Rajasthan’s Local Youth        
    Children scare me. Why and when this fear developed, I’m not 100% sure. I do find them cute, and I do care about kids, but the thought of the responsibility to raise a child tends to bring out the fear in me. Therefore, I typically avoid situations that involve being around kids when I can. So when I learned […]

              When a Once in a Lifetime Opportunity Happens Twice        
    I’ve know from a very young age the importance of helping others and making an impact in their lives.  I remember when I was 10 years old, listening to my best friend’s father share his stories of those he had volunteered his time to support in rural Africa – and of those who still needed […]

              SC Cares International Project 2015: Bridging the Digital Divide in Rural India!        
    The countdown is on as the Softchoice Cares Board anticipates its departure to Rajasthan, India on February 6th for its next International Project! Softchoice’s employees and our partners support and donate time and money to local causes across North America throughout the year. To spread the orange even further, Softchoice Cares also chooses one organization to help bridge […]

              Make the Most of Summer with Employee Volunteer Days        
    Giving back to the communities we serve is engrained in the Softchoice culture. Beyond the activities of the company’s employee-led philanthropic initiative, Softchoice Cares, all Softchoice employees are offered two paid volunteer days a year to give back to their communities in support of any cause near and dear to their hearts.  In true Softchoice fashion, two common elements often emerge. […]

              President’s Club: More than Reward, it’s a Rewarding Shared Experience        
    What defines a company’s culture? Is it being allowed to bring your dog to work? Paid volunteer days? Social beer carts? While all of these examples are benefits of working at Softchoice, a huge part of our award-winning corporate culture is our employee recognition programs. One of our biggest, Softchoice President’s Club, rewards the company’s best of […]

              Top 5 ‘Leading Women’ in Technology        
    “Right now is a great time to be a woman in tech – but there’s not enough women in tech.” –Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, on CNET Whether it’s in the design or manufacture of new technologies, or providing solutions and services around the application of those technologies in the enterprise or consumer market, Marissa […]

              Inspiring Diversity with Softchoice and Girls in Tech        
    Women currently account for just 26% of all tech jobs in the US, which makes recruiting more women into technology a hot topic for many organizations in the industry. With more and more women leaving the industry, as opposed to joining it, how can tech companies attract and retain female employees? Answering this question is not easy, […]

              5 ways to go green and celebrate World Environment Day        
    Forty-two years ago on June 5, 1972, the United Nations launched its Environmental Program, UNEP, and the first World Environment Day was born. Back then, laptops were simply a perch for small dogs, and all people ever got from a cloud was rain. What hasn’t changed is UNEP‘s mission to spread environmental awareness and everyone’s responsibility […]

              Empowering Women in the Workforce        
    Dynamic corporate cultures depend on an inclusive, cohesive team attitude, which is why one of Softchoice’s core values is “We take care of each other.” This value extends beyond our office walls to our clients, our vendor partners, and the communities we serve. With this in mind, Softchoice recently launched a diversity initiative with the […]

              Softchoice Cares: Reflections (Part 4)        
    The following is the final post in a series that has run throughout March. Read the previous posts by clicking here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Softchoice’s corporate giving program, Softchoice Cares, is led by an all employee board. Over an 18-month term, the board supports all employee philanthropic programs in the communities […]

              Softchoice Cares: Reflections (Part 3)        
    The following is the third post in a series of four running every Thursday throughout March. Read the previous posts by clicking here: Part 1 and Part 2.   Softchoice’s corporate giving program, Softchoice Cares, is led by an all employee board. Over an 18-month term, the board supports all employee philanthropic programs in the […]

              How Recognizing Managers’ Success Leads to Overall Success for the Organization        
    You’ve heard the slogan “a company is only as good as its best employees,” and it’s true. Regardless of what industry you’re in, or what product or service you bring to market, having passionate, competent people is crucial to any organizations’ success. But what about the people who manage those people? Quality managers can be […]

              Softchoice Cares: Reflections (Part 2)        
    The following is the second post in a series of four that are running every Thursday throughout March. Read the previous post by clicking here: Part 1. Softchoice’s corporate giving program, Softchoice Cares, is led by an all employee board. Over an 18-month term, the board supports all employee philanthropic programs in the communities across […]

              Softchoice Cares: Reflections (Part 1)        
    The following is the first post in a series of four that will appear every Thursday throughout March. Softchoice’s corporate giving program, Softchoice Cares, is led by an all employee board. Over an 18-month term, the board supports all employee philanthropic programs in the communities across North America, and they plan and execute an international […]

              Launch 2014: Celebrating Leadership        
    At Softchoice’s annual company-wide Launch event, a number of awards are handed out to top performing teams, individuals and vendor partners from over the previous year. The most coveted awards have little to do with sales, revenue and gross profit. The most high-profile awards, the most rewarding ones to win, are for a select few […]

              Planting the Seed for a Softchoice Green Wall        
    They’re known by many different names, among them eco-walls, living walls, and vertical gardens. No matter what you call them, green walls are literally a growing trend in office environments. Green walls are pretty much what they sound like – vegetation growing from a medium that can be arranged decoratively on a wall, completely cover a […]

              How Softchoice Cares Inspired a New Mission        
    It’s part of the Softchoice culture to find ways to give back. It’s contagious even. A single employee-led fundraiser has the potential to inspire new ideas, new ways to give back, and a greater personal connection to the company’s grassroots charitable efforts. Case in point, Softchoice Cares’ international aid missions – in which we leverage […]

              Must Have Checklist for Planning an International Charitable Mission        
    Employee-led volunteer missions are an integral part of our corporate giving program at Softchoice. They’re an incredible way to develop leadership skills, and they provide a life-changing experience that individuals can share with the company, and their friends and family upon their return. I’ve personally been on two such missions, most recently to Maai Mahiu, […]

              5 Rules for Thinking BIG on Small-Scale Fundraisers        
    Large-scale, corporate-wide initiatives driven from the top down are often the standard approach to fundraising. But more and more companies are choosing to cultivate philanthropic goals and activities by engaging employees at a grassroots level. In recent years, we have been encouraging our people to organize smaller-scale fundraising events for causes that are important to […]

              Kenya 2013: Perspectives from the Ground        
    Softchoice sends employees on international charitable missions for a number of reasons, among them are to develop leadership skills, experience the impact of giving first hand, and to help bridge the digital divide – providing computers and technology know-how to help children and adults develop new skills and break the cycle of poverty. Some wonder […]

              3 Ways Social Media Is A Game-Changer For Your Corporate Culture        
    While the debate on restricting personal use of Twitter and Facebook during office hours continues, a lot of organizations are missing the conversation on internal social media. Tools such as Yammer, Digsby, and sites created by your company in-house have the potential to positively impact your corporate culture and raise the bar on your business […]

              Kenya 2013: The Difference Between Giving Aid and Aiding in Development        
    It would be easier to just stay home and send a donation. The thought has crossed the mind of any employee, from any organization, who is planning a charitable international mission. And it’s true. It would be easier. But there are limitations to simply sending aid – and to accomplish what’s simple is never the […]

              Four Steps to Creating a Dog-Friendly Workplace        
    August 26th marks National Dog Day in the United States, a day dedicated to celebrating man’s best friend and the companionship, aid, and unwavering loyalty they bring to their owners. What better way to celebrate our furry-friends than to let them follow us to the office? Not only is it a benefit for puppies (creating opportunities […]

              Why Employees also Benefit from Corporate Philanthropy        
    At Softchoice employees receive two days per year to reach out to their local communities, volunteer time, and organize charitable events. Volunteering has not only become a Softchoice corporate passion, but has become an integral part of our values. With the leadership of the Softchoice Cares board (our employee-led philanthropy program),  volunteering and giving back […]

              Dogs with Heart: Eliminating Heart Disease & Stroke One Paw at a Time        
    Every seven minutes in Canada, one person dies from heart disease and stroke. In fact, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in North America. Chances are, you’ve likely been affected by heart disease or stroke, if not directly, then through someone you know. What can we do to eliminate these killers? A good start is to […]

              Creating a More Strategic Corporate Giving Program        
    Almost 150 years ago, Samuel Morse (yes, the inventor of Morse code), fired off the very first telegraph message between Washington and Baltimore, making him the first to ever achieve instantaneous, long-distance communication. Morse ushered in the era of communication technology that would allow for immediate access to information, better education, and broadened opportunities for […]

              Four simple ways to encourage employees to bike to work!        
    Joseph Byer leading the pack to celebrate Softchoice’s 2012 listing as one of Canada’s Greenest Workplaces by Maclean’s magazine! It’s no secret that in North America, more and more commuters are choosing two wheels instead of four, or giving up their transit pass to avoid the crowded subways and busses. There are many more reasons […]

              Going Green: How Softchoice is making an impact on the environment        
    To help reduce their carbon footprint, search-engine giant Google decided to scrap their lawn mowers and rent goats to munch on their lawns instead. Not only are these goats much more environmentally-friendly than lawn mowers, but as Google puts it, “goats are a lot cuter to watch!” Softchoice hasn’t yet progressed to renting goats to […]

              8 Reasons why Softchoice is a Best Workplace for 8 Years Running        
    It’s official! Softchoice has been named a Best Place to Work in Canada by the Great Place to Work Institute for the eighth year in a row! To celebrate, we decided to take a trip down memory-lane and reflect on what has made these past eight years so memorable. What do our employees value most […]

              Driving Engagement through Employee-led Philanthropy        
    How do you get employees to come out and support a local charitable initiative on Toronto’s snowiest day in two years?  Have them take the lead on the cause!  According to the 2011 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT survey, employee-led volunteer initiatives can significantly improve employee engagement, and subsequently improve productivity.  The activities can create a positive […]

              Employee Recognition that Feels Like Winning an Oscar        
    The hype of Hollywood Awards season may have passed, but making your employees feel like they’re at the Academy Awards can happen all year long! Every year, Hollywood stars celebrate their achievements from the previous year while we watch in awe.  But beyond the glitz, glamour, fashion and box office revenues, why have these awards become so popular? I […]

              Softchoice Cares: Does aid really make a difference? [Video]        
    The first week of February marks International Development Week (IDW) – a time to explore and celebrate the difference volunteers are making around the world. In honor of this year’s event, Softchoice Cares – an employee-led philanthropic program focused on furthering computer literacy – has produced a video documentary of their 2012 trip to Bali. […]

              Five Dog-Friendly Workplace Myths Busted!        
    Ben and Jerry’s, Proctor and Gamble, Google and Autodesk – what do they have in common? If you guessed: ‘dog-friendly workplace’ – you’d be right!  But these corporate giants aren’t the only companies welcoming canines – Softchoice is also proud to be a dog-friendly office! And, according to a study by the American Pet Products Association, nearly […]

              Mergers Fail when Cultures Clash        
    William Wallace, a 13th century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence yelled, “Freedom!” just before he was beheaded for treason. The attempted “merger” of Scotland with England was less than successful because the cultural differences were large enough to cause a war. I have been involved in acquiring four […]

              Volunteering Keeps the Wheels of Change in Motion        
    Today is International Volunteer Day – declared by the United Nations to thank the many volunteers for their efforts and to increase public awareness on their contribution to society. November 29th also marked the first #GivingTuesday in the US.  This national day of giving marks the start of the annual holiday season, and celebrates and encourages […]

              Who Drives Company Culture?        
    I have worked at Softchoice for more than 18 years and one of the things that has proven to be most elusive is to define the company culture.  Who creates company culture? Where does it come from? I recently had Myrna Ain at AchieveBlue debrief me on my impact on Softchoice Company culture using the Management Impact survey from Human Synergistics. I […]

              How the 2004 Tsunami changed the Softchoice Brand        
    The day after Christmas 2004 many of us watched in horror as pictures of the Tsunami in South East Asia filled the press. For Softchoice, it was the beginning of a different kind of wave that changed our Brand.  Softchoice today is known for its corporate giving but it wasn’t always this way. As a […]

              Pooch Profile: Charlie the Vizsla is an aspiring model/actor who loves attention, naps and peanut butter!        
      Name: Charlie “The Lover” Tegtmeyer Age: 10 months Breed: Vizsla (Natural-born hunters, with hearts of gold) Owner: Karl Tegtmeyer, BD – Vendor Sales Specialist, Seattle Charlie’s Position at Softchoice: Charlie is the office ‘nap coordinator’ and an avid ‘attention-seeker’. Everyone loves Charlie, so he expects a lot of attention on a fairly regular basis. […]

              Putting the FUN in fundraising to help youth ‘dodge’ a lifetime of poverty        
    [Softchoice’s Jen Wood raised $1,425.00 to help homeless youth dodge a lifetime of poverty through a  fun game of classic schoolyard dodgeball!] Back in April, the Softchoice Cares Board gave ‘Power 2 the People’ by encouraging employees to nominate a local charity that has impacted their lives. The Softchoice Cares Board allocated a pool of $25,000 to match […]

              Maximizing Potential through Strengths-Based Development        
    Do you remember a time when you were fulfilled at work? Where you felt like you were “in the zone” and time flew by because you were working on something that fully leveraged your skills and strengths? If you haven’t experienced this in a while (or ever), then it’s a good time to dig deep and […]

              Pooch Profile: Gracie the Pug/ Jack Russell Terrier may be small but lives large!        
    Name: Gracie O’Neil Age: 6 years old Breed: Pug / Jack Russell Terrier Owner: Jenn O’Neil, Leadership Development Coach, OD Position: Director of Security / Tennis Ball Regional Manager Tenure at Softchoice: 5.5 years of service, and counting Best Friends at Softchoice: Pooch Co-workers Buddy, Snoop, Shorty and Buster! I also really like Jigs Sachdev, Ian […]

              Pooch Profile: Murphy may be little, but he’s a big star at Softchoice!        
    Name:  Murphy Walker Nicknames:  Murph, Smurf, Murph-Smurf …. Age:  8 months Breed:  Cocker-Spaniel / Poodle, Male Owner:  Jeremy Walker, PreSales Operations Specialist Tenure at Softchoice: 4 months Position and Duties: Jr. Distractions Officer, K9 Sigma Black Belt Certified Best Friend at Softchoice: Fitz McKarney, Carin Terrier Why I love Softchoice: So many dog owners, so […]

              Growing Employees from Within: How to win in the war for talent        
    Savvy organizations know that investing in talent management is essential to a company’s future success. In the war for talent, a great amount of research shows that employee development programs are becoming an increasingly vital weapon to improve employee commitment, business performance and retention. In a recent study conducted by assessment and development consultancy Cubiks, […]

              Six reasons to make man’s best friend, man’s best coworker.        
    Every dog has its day, and on June 22, thousands of canine best friends are accompanying their owners to work for the 14th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day. But at many of North America’s Best Workplaces – including Google, Amazon and Build-A-Bear Workshop – have already unleashed their employees and let them bring their canine […]

              Everyone Wins at Softchoice Cares’ Soccer Championship!        
    Softchoice sports event raises money for local charity through a friendly game of football soccer. The 2012 European Football Championship has just begun and already the excitement is contagious! Early this spring, Softchoice had its own soccer championship in Liberty Village, Toronto. More than 150 employees participated in our week-long tournament.  Twenty-seven games were played and more than one […]

              Why Businesses Should Offer a Green Commute Program        
    Encouraging your employees to leave their cars at home improves more than just air quality   In honor of the Toronto Group Commute’s Bike to Work Day and Bike Month, we wanted to spread the word about green commuting. But biking isn’t the only way! Softchoice employees take advantage of anything from carpooling to public […]

              Pooch Profile: Shorty shares her life as an office dog and napping philosophy        
    Name: Shorty Eddison Nicknames: Shortstax, Shortskins, Nizzles … Age & Breed: Turing 6 on June 15, Husky / German Shepard mix Siblings: Snoop Eddison Tenure at Softchoice: I’m a real office dog. I’ve been here since I was just a 2 month old pup. That’s almost 6 years and counting!  Position: Current Senior Vice President […]

              CSR Programs: Why some thrive and others nose-dive.        
    Your sustainability plan isn’t worth a beaver dam if your employees aren’t engaged in the strategy. This year when Softchoice was named to Canada’s Green 30, I wondered if there was a common thread among the organizations recognized. After reading more about them, I found that their employees’ feedback not only put them on the […]

              It IS Easy Being Green: Tips to More Sustainable Catering        
    Kermit the frog is known for one particularly famous line: “It ain’t easy being green”. This may be the case for Kermit but when it comes to being environmentally ‘green’ – it really can be easy. As a Seneca Green Intern over the past few months, part of my placement was to support Softchoice with sustainability-related initiatives. During this time, I attended […]

              Eight things I learned during our Bali mission        
    Children are inspirational: They are resilient and whatever life throws at them, they take it in stride. They also look towards the future rather than harping on the past. When it comes to team work – whether it’s an IT project, moving dirt and sand, or wall-painting at a construction site – the total is greater than […]

              A volunteer mission with sustainable impact        
    The building adjacent to our guesthouse in Bali is owned by a local church.  From afar, its majestic columns and polished tile stand in stark contrast to the rice fields that surround most of the island’s interior.  Much like Bali itself though, there are constant reminders that this is purely aesthetic.  Small rodents call this […]

              Pass the Bucket: Small Act that Makes a Big Difference        
    I stood looking at several mounds of sand; slightly shorter than all 5’8” of me and about five feet round. “We’re supposed to do what?” I asked. I had actually heard right the first time, but I was stalling for time. Just enough time to store up energy for the long day ahead. We were […]

              Volunteering in Bangli brings a new sense of purpose.        
    The Widhya Asih Foundation is a collection of 7 different orphanages and one office location spread out across the entire island of Bali. Since they are so spread out, we often start our days waking up early for breakfast and then heading out to one of the sites which can be anywhere from 45 minutes to three hours […]

              What’s the measure of a good life?        
    How do you measure if you have a good life, or if you’re happy? If you asked most North American’s that question, their answers would be all across the board.  Perhaps it’s the ability to buy a new car, or graduate from high school or college.  Maybe it’s a new house or that boat you always dreamed […]

              Helping Balinese kids….to be kids.        
    Bali has a way of wowing you with the beautiful scenery and the facade that you’re exposed to traveling around the countryside. Not everyone seems poor. In fact, poverty is not as in your face as I expected. As we drove down the roads, we saw small, road-side family businesses, service shops for scooters, and stores selling building supplies and wood carvings. […]

              Donation of eye glasses brings the gift of sight        
    If you had to prioritize your list of life’s concerns, where would you place your personal health on that list? For many, it’s most likely somewhere near the top. Unfortunately, for many of the Balinese people, life presents so many other concerns that health usually falls to the bottom. We kept this in mind when […]

              Creating memories with the girls of Untal Untal        
    Wednesday night we went to Kuta – a main Bali tourist spot – for a going away dinner for Wayne from Developing World Connections. It was outstanding the difference between here and where we are staying near the orphanage Untal Untal. Immediately everything was more Westernized – lots of nice stores, bars and restaurants.  I now know why […]

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

              Power 2 the People        
    Many companies give back to their communities using the same approach: decisions are generally made by one team or department managing the company’s overall philanthropic activities. Very few involve employees in deciding where their efforts should be focused or even encourage them to get involved. According to an Imagine Canada survey, in 2009 only 18% […]

              Softchoice Cares + 7 IT Companies = A future for 500        
    When I heard about the Softchoice Cares mission to Bali I was intrigued. The thought of twelve employees going half way around the world to build computer labs for local kids is pretty inspiring and rare. But I was even more amazed by the number of partners who were going out of their way to […]

              CSR Reporting 2.0: From Stats to Stories        
    **The following is an excerpt and link to a piece on Communicating CSR that I wrote for Sustainable Brands media outlet… It seems there’s a gap for many organizations in reaping the benefits from their CSR programs. A new Director Notes report called What Board Members Should Know About Communicating CSR, shows that awareness of a company’s CSR […]

              Shiloh, the Husky Lab: A Human Trapped in a Dog’s Body        
    Name/Nickname:  Shiloh Marie Eatherton Age & Breed:  6 years old, female, lab/husky mix Position:  Seattle Office Custodian (Vacuuming/inhaling a few loose snacks here and there…that’s my specialty!) Owner:  Michelle Eatherton, Vendor Marketing Manager Pet Peeves:  Dogs that act like dogs.  Have some class. Talent:  My office  upbringing allowed me to hone my shredding skills.  I started off […]

              Chili Secrets from a Fundraising Cook-off Champ!        
    Did you know that the first documented recipe for chili dates back to 1519?!?! Since then people have been battling for the best chili bragging rights at cook-offs all over the world! Jason Rand is one of those people. As Softchoice’s very own chili champion for three years straight, Jason secured his title last month […]

              Making Traditions Part of Softchoice’s Corporate Culture        
    Traditions are a valuable way to strengthen families and create lasting memories. Often passed on through generations, many rituals can be quite unique; yet also bridge divides and boost the spirit of a family unit. When it comes to the larger corporate family, traditions are also a fantastic way to drive engagement and strengthen coworker relationships. In fact, Human Resources […]

              Five Steps for Achieving Your Goals in 2012        
    With January behind us, many of us have gotten back into a regular routine. But does that include the goals you’ve set for yourself (like staying fit) at the start of the year?  People’s commitment to personal goals seems to always drop off by February. In fact, according to a study by Richard Wiseman from the […]

              A Future for 500: Softchoice Cares 2012 Mission        
    When the idea of heading to Bali on a philanthropy mission first came up, most of us balked. As members of the Softchoice Cares Board, we represent Softchoice employees in every decision we make. Telling the company we were going to spend two weeks ‘giving back’ in a tropical paradise sounded like a PR nightmare. […]

              Pooch Profile: Chewie the Havanese wants to be the boss one day!        
    Name: Chewbacca but most people call me Chewie or Chew-Chew. Age & Breed:1 ½ year-old Havanese. Position: Assessment Services Canine Consultant and Deputy Softchoice Greeter. Owner: Jeff Pamenter, Services Consultant, ITAM Services Pet Peeves: Shiny black dress shoes, high heels, and people who try to make me play tug’o’war. I’m a business dog, thank you […]

              Five Fitness Tips to Stay Motivated During the Holidays        
    The Holidays are fast approaching and you know what that means: parties, family gatherings and a list of delectable treats to over indulge in! Lucky for us at Softchoice, we have the convenience of our corporate gym in Toronto to keep us healthy when we fall victim to the Holiday fare! (Our other employees across […]

              It just got easier to bike to work!        
    Want to bike to work. but worried about the safety of your bike? Well, today the Liberty Village Business Association released their new Bike Here! program which launches twelve new bicycle racks, and three clusters of secure storage lockers, to make Softchoice’s neighbourhood friendlier to cyclists. The twelve new bicycle racks are far from the ones you […]

              Pooch Profile: Director of Peanut Butter celebrates four years at Softchoice!        
    We have many canine colleagues around the Softchoice office, including our main man Lebowski. He just celebrated his four year anniversary (that’s 29 dog years to him!). In celebration of his contributions, he took some time out from shuffling papers, chewin’ a bone and chasing his tail to ‘get personal’ in our new monthly Pooch Profile! Name:  Lebowski “The Dude” Eddison    Age: 5.5 years Breed:  Half dog, half amazing (Bullmastiff) […]

              Volunteer Days: Corporate Marketing flexes their non-creative muscles        
    Softchoice’s Corporate Marketing team is known for such things as organizing great events, coordinating sales training programs and designing spectacular campaigns…but little did you know about the team’s ability to move a whole lotta heavy stuff! Last Friday, October 14th the entire team took one of our volunteer days off together and spent it at a […]

              How to Get the Best from Your Interns        
    If the stories I’ve heard on internships are true, then the history has not been very bright. Often interns are given the menial tasks: they’re relegated to being photocopy robots, coffee runners and errand gofers. They are expected to keep quiet during important meetings and just nod and agree. Oh wait…they are rarely invited to […]

              Join us for A Nightmare on Liberty St!        
    Who says trick or’ treating is just for kids? On October 28th, Softchoice dares you to go door to door in Liberty Village in support of Project Connect – a joint initiative with Habitat for Humanity to put computers in the homes of needy families across North America! For $20 you’ll get to enjoy $1 […]

              The Blog Is Dead. Long Live The Blog.        

    I've become increasingly frustrated with blogging software. I use MangoBlog here. I used BlogCFC before that. I used WordPress before that (a long time ago - but I've worked with it for a few friends more recently). I just don't enjoy using any of it. Back in January, I toyed with the idea of using my Google+ account for blogging but that hasn't really worked out - because I don't much like Google+, even with all its improvements since I last tried using it. So I'm starting a new blog that doesn't need software to publish anything!

    I'll keep this site running since there's a lot of legacy material here that is heavily linked but I won't be posting here any more. I'll probably add redirects to the new blog (with a link back here for Google-friendliness). The new blog probably won't have any CFML stuff on it since, well, I don't really do that any more. I'm still committed to maintaining and enhancing FW/1 - Framework One so don't worry about that but my blog is not really the best place for announcements about that: I'll continue to post to the mailing list and Twitter, and I'll probably set up a I have also set up as a blog and documentation site now that I've seen how is going to work.

              REGRETS AND JEALOUSY        
    I admit it. I am freaking jealous right now. Of all the facebook posts, twitter updates and of the phone calls announcing departures to Brazil. Four years ago, I was certain I’d be one of the privileged fans to witness the matches in person. I had even convinced myself that I would be in Brazil […]
              STRIKING BEAUTY to Bring Politcal Satire to KC Fringe This Weekend        

    The artists have had it and are going on strike! Trouble is, they get the attention of The Man himself (via Twitter, of course) and it becomes a game of one-upmanship as they struggle to define the role of art and artists. The strike quickly generates a Tweet storm of surprising proportion.

    Come join us for a political satire that will question the views on both sides. Only two shows left! Presented by Thespiation! as part of the 2017 KC Fringe Festival, "Striking Beauty" will be performed at Phosphor Studio tonight, July 28, at 9 PM; and Saturday, July 29, at 4:30 PM. Phosphor Studio is located at 1730 Broadway Boulevard in the Crossroads Arts District.

    Thespiation! is an entertainment company more commonly known by its alias, The Mystery Train. After twelve seasons of interactive murder mystery shows, the creator and writer, Wendy Thompson, decided to produce something completely different. This is the company's Fringe debut. To learn more, visit

              Statt Twitter und Facebook: Jodel, der Campus-Flurfunk        

    Die großen Player wie Twitter und Facebook beherrschen den Markt der sozialen Online-Netzwerke. Dabei gibt es mittlerweile eine Menge Alternativen für Nischen und Skurriles. Wir stellen Ihnen in dieser Ausgabe das anonyme Netzwerk „Jodel“ vor. Nicht nur für Studierende.

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              Comment on Thoughts upon returning from the Big Apple by        
    I drop a leave a response each time I especially enjoy a article on a website or if I have something to valuable to contribute to the discussion. It's a result of the passion displayed in the post I browsed. And after this post Thoughts upon returning from the Big Apple | Susan Wilson's Blog. I was moved enough to drop a thought :-) I actually do have some questions for you if you do not mind. Is it simply me or do some of these responses appear like they are written by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are writing on other online social sites, I'd like to follow you. Would you list the complete urls of your social pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?
              STUDIES: FBI Crime Report Shows Murder Rates Remain Higher in Death Penalty States        

    The U.S. Department of Justice released its annual FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2014, reporting no change in the national murder rate since 2013. In the Northeast, the region with the fewest executions, the murder rate declined 5.7%, from 3.5 to 3.3 per 100,000 population. The murder rate was 1.7 times higher in the South, which carries out the most executions of any region. That region saw a 3.4% increase in the homicide rate, and its 5.5 murders per 100,00 population remained the highest rate of any region. Murder rates in the West and Midwest declined by 3.8% and 5.4%, respectively. A DPIC analysis of weighted murder rates found that death penalty jurisdictions continue to have a higher murder rate than non-death penalty jurisdictions (including Washington, D.C.): 4.7 per 100,000 compared to 3.8 per 100,000. Ten of the eleven states with the highest murder rates have the death penalty, while six of the eight lowest do not.

    ("Crime in the United States, 2014", U.S. Dept. of Justice (2015); DPIC analysis posted October 30, 2015).  See Deterrence and Murder Rates.

    REGION 2014 2013
    Northeast 3.3 3.5
    West 3.9 4.0
    Midwest 4.3 4.6
    South 5.5 5.3
    NATIONAL 4.5 4.5

    Rates are number of murders per 100,000 persons.

              FBI Reports Continued Decline in Police Officers Killed        

    On November 24, the FBI released a report on law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2013. Twenty-seven (27) officers were killed in "felonious acts," a 45% drop compared to 2012, when 49 officers were killed, and a 53% decline since 2004. Most (15) of the 27 officers killed were in the South, with Texas having the highest number of any state (6). Six officers were killed in the West, four in the Midwest, and only two in the Northeast. California had the second highest number, with 5. In 26 out of the 27 incidents, officers were killed by firearms. Forty-nine (49) other officers died as a result of accidents.

    (Press Release, "FBI Releases 2013 Statistics on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted," Federal Bureau of Investigation, November 24, 2014). See Studies and Deterrence.