Comment on Ruby Gettinger’s Weight Still Stalled Over 300 Pounds by Pam        
I was hoping that ViSalus products would help her to lose another 200#. It is sad that her 'career' appears to be her journey but it never ends. That type of journey, in order to be successful, MUST end. My journey ended last year when I wrecked my car. I then began a new journey. We have to be prepared to change our plans and prepare for the end of the journey. It does end one way or another.
          Hospice Registered Nurse        
MultiLocation, At Community Health Network, we attract experienced Home Care and Home Hospice RN's who love their work, but want more options in their work life. Community Health Network can fit your career into your life by providing you with the choices of when and where to work and the flexibiity to change that with life's demands. We are a nursing Staffing Agency specializing in Hospice and Home Care for ove
          Skillsoft and MIT Sloan Management Review Partner To Train Next Generation Business Leaders        

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

 by Shrutee K/DNS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Climategate: Follow the Money - By Bret Stephens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which role does technology play in Bella Communities?

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

Do you think technology has changed the way you work?

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

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

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

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

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

How are you measuring the success of this program?

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

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

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

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

          eCommerce Manager - Lux Research        
Mountain View, CA - Location: MOUNTAIN VIEW, CAType: Full TimeMin. Experience: Mid Level
WARNING: Reading this job description may cause you to change your life and embark on a career with tremendous satisfaction and meaning. Proceed with caution.

We?re Eargo and we?re on a mission... to
          Human Resources Director - Lux Research        
Mountain View, CA - Location: MOUNTAIN VIEW, CAType: Full TimeMin. Experience: Executive
WARNING: Reading this job description may cause you to change your life and embark on a career with tremendous satisfaction and meaning. Proceed with caution.

We?re Eargo and we?re on a mission?.to disrupt
          Front End Developer - Lux Research        
Mountain View, CA - Location: MOUNTAIN VIEW, CAType: Full TimeMin. Experience: Experienced
WARNING: Reading this job description may cause you to change your life and embark on a career with tremendous satisfaction and meaning. Proceed with caution.

We?re Eargo and we?re on a mission... to
          Story behind my choice of career :p        

Assalamualaikum.. today i'll tell the story behind why i choose to be a teacher.. opps, not just a teacher. I'm going to be an ENGLISH teacher lah. :) heee. Emm, korg smue mesti ade byk ambition dulu2, betul tk? Klau korg nk tahu, i have lotssss of ambitions yg dikumpul sejak kecil. Haha.. So now, jom kite share story..

Masa umur 5 tahun:
Abah suruh anak2 die (termasuk diriku) utk jadi arkitek.. Klau abah tanye, bile besar nk jdi ape, kteorg adik bradik smue beriya2 jwb... arkitek!! :p Tk tahu lah kenape, tp kteorg mmg suke sgt melukis. Slalu masuk pertandingn melukis, mewarna.. (tp ape kaitan ngn arkitek? haha) tk de kaitan lgsung..., cita2 ni dibawa smpailahhh ke----------------> form 3.

Masuk form 4 :
Aaa, minatnye bahasa Spanish.. isy, abah, tk nk lah amik architecture.. Tgk angah ambik architecture, mcm susah je.. Tk mo lahhh tk mo lahhh~~~ Pastu dh decide. Okay nk ambik bahasa spanish. Nk jdi pakar dlm bidang nie, nk jd translator, nk translate smueeee telenovela kt tv. pergh berangan. haha... Okay, so cita2 ni dteruskan smpailahhhhh-------------------- form 5

Masuk form 5 :
Cita2 nk jdi spanish translator membuak2.. Haha.. Mmg siap plan nk keje ngn duta lg . ==' Emm, pastu dh decide nk ambik course tu kt UM. Dh beli linguaphone spanish, nk blaja spanish la.. Pastu tup2 lepas spm, col UM ( Universiti Malaya), smpai ckp ngn dekan die.. tanye die psl course tu. Tetibe die jwb, eh dik... course ni, kite ambik budak STPM je.. kite ambik org yg mmg dh ade basic bahasa asing. ==' grr, hancur berkecai harapanku... aaaaaaaaaaa..aaaaaaa.......
So, nk dijadikan citer, abah ngn mama gi berjumpe kwn die.. kwn die cite psl anak die ambik Tesl kt oversea... Hmm, balik je umah, mama dn abah mrh2, ckp course Spanish tu tk menjamin mase dpn...dn suruh ambik tesl sbb nia tanak ambik medic, tanak ambik engineering..

Kenape tanak ambik medic??
1.Takut darah, penggeli,.. dn sgt nk pengsan klau tgk drh, haha.. so what's the use amik medic?

Kenape tanak ambik engineering??
1. Sbenarnye, ade trdengar citer dri kawan yg mak die engineer. die kate, mak die smpai balik lewat mlm.. die slalu sunyi sorang2 kt umah.. And, kwn2 kakak pn ade bgtau, yg engineering mostly lelaki.. I dont want to be surrounded by guys.. Takowt la. hehe. Dn, i've promised to myself, i dun wan science stream anymore.. no more burden please. >_<

So, beberape perkara telah dipertimbangkan sbelum mencapai keputusan utk apply A Level TESL :

1. Klau jdi cikgu, boleh jdi isteri dn ibu yg berbakti utk family.. Boleh jdi ibu yg sntiase ade dgn anak2...dn boleh jdi isteri yg baik sbb slalu dpt teman suami. Ye lah, cikgu kn slalu free. Weee, seronoknye! So, ini adalah sebab UTAMA knp nia pilih utk jdi English teacher.

2. Klau amik A level tesl, dpt pegi oversea. Ni lah peluangnye, sbb adik beradik lain smue tk pegi oversea pn. I'm abah's last hope.. so, mcm menarik je. haha.

Jadi, kesimpulannye, dua sebab di atas tu adalah the only reasons why akhirnye i chose to be an english teacher. Ala, tk pe la, lgpun, ni lah peluangnye nk speaking 'cair' . Dulu berangan nk ckp mcm omputeh. So peluang dh terbukaaa~~ WALAUPUN ade beberape cikgu yg mulut kuang aja, they said..." B***H la dpt 10A tp jadi cikgu jgk. pegi oversea jauh2 tp jdi cikgu jgk akhirnye.." And i was like....So?? pendam je. Tk pelah 'cikgu', nti sy buktikn jdi english teacher ni is not a bad thing. Nia lngsung tk menyesal.. Sbb nia tanak kerjaya yg busy.. becuz im just a lady to be, now still a girl kot. hee.. Perempuan ni, tk perlu kerja tinggi2.. nnti kn ade suami. Keje biase2 pn dh okay. :) gembira jgk insyaAllah.. alahai, result spm tinggi2 tapi tk keje professional pn nia tk kisahlah.. It's just SPM je pn. duniawi belaka.. haha. :p Well, setiap org ade reasons kenape die pilih kerjaya yg die nk..
Hee...ade muke cm cikgu tk?? :p

ADVICE FOR TODAY: Believe in what you think best for you.. Ignore other people lah....okay? Gud luck!

          DECEMBER AT THE AUTHOR'S TABLE- James Herbert Smith, 'A Boy’s Life in the Baby Boom: True Tales from Small Town America' @HPLCT @IPNE         

Thursday, Dec. 8, 4-7 pm, Hartford Public Library

A memoir about growing up in the post-war baby boom, which takes us back to a freedom in childhood unheard of today. As the first boomers turn 70 this year, Smith among them… The memoir reminds us of both the travails and the ecstasy of being a kid, a teen-ager, and maturing through failure and success.

James Herbert Smith was born in the first year of the Baby Boom, 1946, and grew up in Pittsford, NY, the setting of this book. As a young father he moved to Connecticut and began a career in Journalism, where for nearly five decades he wrote and edited thousands of stories for what has been called “the first draft of history” in our daily newspapers. He lives in Connecticut with his wife Jacqueline, also a journalist.

  • Hartford Public Library, Events & Exhibits

  • Excerpt, 'A Boy’s Life in the Baby Boom: True Tales from Small Town America'

  • Elm Grove Press

  •           RIGS | Infinite Warfare        






    Some real-time in-engine captures of the RIG suits I had the honour of designing for Infinite Warfare multiplayer. The work done by the character team at Infinity Ward is amazing! It was a career highlight to have my designs realised to such a high level. Posing and lighting the assets in the model viewer and screen grabbing these images was something I was looking forward to doing from day one! Good fun.

              Acupuncture Open House – Its Not Too Late to Join Us        
    Now is the perfect time to explore acupuncture as a healthcare career! Join us at the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture (PIHMA), College & Clinic, as we host an Open House and Information Session for prospective students. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) is among the fastest growing integrative healthcare fields in the U.S. […]
              Dean Koontz's "Moonlight": how a commercially prolific suspense novelist remains relevant as technology and politics change         

    During my first year of employment at USLICO in Arlington in 1990 (what would become my last main job, for 12 years and four owners), I read the Dean Koontz 1989 novel “Midnight”, and shared it (paper, Putnam was original publisher) with a few people in production control in what would become a coffee break book club.

    The novel is remarkable in its huge number of chapters, and organization into three parts each with its own chapter 1.

    The novel starts with a jogger running in a California beach town (Moonlight Cove  -- “In the Moonlight, Do Me” indeed) being attacked by a mysterious alien-like creature, and soon the mystery, somewhat in a “Twin Peaks” -like fashion, is examined from the viewpoint of various characters, whose narratives gradually connect.  (Irving Wallace had used this technique for building plots for Cold War spy novels back in the 1960s).  It seems as though people are getting converted into hybrid creatures and that a sociopathic computer scientist Shaddock is involved.

    I would have thought that this novel would make a good miniseries on a cable channel,, even today, as the premise has less dependence on political circumstances and even technology than most sci-fi suspense novels.  Koontz sometimes gets into Shaddack’s head, anticipating the psyche of a modern terrorist, deflecting the social issues (like gay rights in one passage) in surprising ways.
    I mention the novel because Koontz is often heralded in some circles as the ideal author who writes strictly to sell, and he indeed has a huge career of a long list of novels, divided into various subcategories of suspense.   Literary agents love his approach, because it is so commercial.  So do trade publishers.

    One problem with developing suspense novels is that sometimes they become very vulnerable to changes in world politics, which can come suddenly and be largely unexpected by suspense authors, like the fall of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991.  Today it’s not clear who is the biggest threat: North Korea, Iran, ISIS, Russia, China.

    I’ve had that problem, and my own approach to fiction has to start with my own narrative first.  I make no apologies, despite the disruptive advice and sales calls from others.

              Thanks to donors like you        
    Thanks to donors like you, students are expanding their horizons, following their passions and landing their dream jobs in their chosen career fields. Andrew Huddleston from north Idaho tells you his story in this video.

    Last week I traveled to the Canadian Province of British Columbia where I hoped to fulfill my final requirement for the National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) Canadian Slam by harvesting a Merriam turkey. According to NWTF’s record book only one person, Kathleen Neault, Colorado, has completed this Slam; and I was hoping to become the second. In October last year I had harvested an Eastern turkey in Hastings County, Ontario. These are the only two turkeys needed to qualify for this recognition. This past winter I surfed the net for turkey hunting outfitters in Canada that guided for Merriam and found out that there were very few. Turkey hunting in Canada is fairly new and generally there is little interest in hunting them; but that has been rapidly changing with the continuing increase in the Canada populations of wild turkeys. My choice for this hunt was the Kettle River Guides/Outfitters operated by Tami and Melvin Kilback who have been in business for over 33 years for whitetail and mule deer, elk, moose, bear, cougar, lynx and bobcat. And their trophy wall of successful clients was extremely impressive. And they were eager to add some turkey photos to this collection. Upon my arrival at the base camp I was greeted by my guide, Jamie York who helped me settle in to my cabin and then sat down to discuss the morning’s strategies. We would be hunting the high ground on a vast piece of Crown(public) hunting land and based on what Jamie had scouted we decided that we would get there early and walk and talk our way along the trails trying to solicit gobbles from a love sick tom. As for calling, I handed him a Wilson’s Game Call black walnut box call and told him he could call and I would shoot. According to Jamie 10 years ago in this area turkey sightings were very rare but now the population has increased significantly. Little did we know just how big this population really was. What I liked immediately about the hunt was the fact that we could legally hunt from sunup(5 a.m.) until a little past 8 p.m. And he also said that turkeys could hunt with either a shotgun or a rimfire rifle. And in the spring the limit was just one bearded bird. My choice of gun for this Slam was a new Mossberg model 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun which, for the first time in my turkey hunting career, I topped off with a fixed power, circle and cross hair reticle Maine Vue scope. I was very impressed with this combination at the range. It had worked well on my Ontario turkey hunt and I also used it to shoot several coyotes this past winter. In fact I also shot a dozen or so Canada geese with it during the early September season hunt. So my confidence level with this gun was extremely high. When that target was in that circle it was history. It seemed like I had just closed my eyes when the alarm announce sounded my 3 a.m. wake-up. The things a hunter will do just to chase a wild turkey; but what a beautiful country to do it in. Coffee to go and a banana, and we were headed up a narrow dirt road to Crown (public) land where Jamie had seen a number of Merriam a few day before. We never got a chance to use our walk and talk plan because the birds began to gobble before he had gone 50 yards from the truck and it was still 20 minutes before legal shooting time. There were 4 gobbles coming from 4 different directions so we thought it best to set up as soon as we were out of sight of the truck. With our two decoy hens in place we started to yelp softly and the double-gobbling responses were immediate. I never expected this type of a greeting but I will admit I had visions of calling the airlines that afternoon after the photo shoot of my tom, to see if I could get an early flight home. No such luck because those toms, which continued to gobble for about an hour never came close to us; they just went silent. Something was wrong and I did not know what it was. Moving farther up the ridge about a half mile we called again and got several more responses which sent us scrambling to get set up. And the results were an exact duplicate of our first encounter - they would not come in. For the next several hours we had toms gobbling all over this high country and never got one to come to us. When we headed back at 10 a.m. for breakfast we had 17 responding toms and not one sighting. Now breakfast was a real SLAM prepared by our camp cook, Jeannie. Her breakfast menu was right out of the weight watchers cook book. It included pancakes with 4 kinds of syrup, eggs over easy, home fries, sausage and bacon. And that evening at dinner it too was a 5 star meal. And that is the way it was for the rest of my stay. I never left the table hungry. When we returned to the turkey woods that afternoon it was like a repeat of the morning with plenty of turkey talking and responses but no appearances. The total gobblers heard that day we estimated to be 22. On Day two we awoke to find the ground covered with about 1-2 inches of snow and a very cold biting wind; but it had little or no effect on the turkeys. They were again gobbling and responding to our calls all morning and still no incoming toms. I was beginning to loose my confidence and was definitely confused at what was happening. I did however believe that from what we were experiencing, that perhaps the breeding season was over. Moving on we found an area where we could see where turkey had been feeding and I decided to take off on one set of tracks that headed down the hill. Tracking a turkey in the snow is something I had never done in all my years of hunting turkeys. It was definitely different but unfortunately the trail ended at the edge of a brook after three-quarters of a mile. And at day’s end we had spoken with 16 more toms, and not once did I release the safety on my Mossberg. FINAL DAY If it did not happen today I would have to re-book and wait a whole year to get another chance at completing my Canadian Slam. And to add to the pressure, the blinding snow and occasional rain was constant. I told Jamie to stay warm and dry and just drop me off a quarter of mile from where we had found the tracks the day before. I planned on setting up and sitting there all day in hopes of their return. At sunup they were talking but not moving and after 4 ½ hours of sitting and shivering I called Jamie to be picked up. Time to ride and call and until be got a response. And I will admit that my confidence level was extremely low and I believed it was over until next Spring. But we were not ready to call it quits just yet. At our third stop we got a chorus of gobbling response but again they would not come in. Jamie, who knew this country better than anyone, suggested be try a drive. He would get above the birds and try to move them down to me. I am not confident in turkey drives but, at this point it couldn’t hurt to try. When he got there I heard him softly calling and the turkeys answering but nothing was coming down to me. I was wondering why he had stopped calling when I heard the truck coming. “Ed, I think they are roosted up there,” he said; “want to see if we can sneak them?” Now sneaking and peeking a group of turkeys is next to impossible to do without being busted. But “Why not?” Back up on top we slowly began to move down the snow-covered hill towards what sounded like a flock of toms gobbling; even though we were not calling them. After each step I took I expected to hear the putt, putt alarm and the flapping of wings as they flew off. But Jamie had and idea, which I believe was the whole key to the final success of this hunt, when he moved off to the right of ,me and then down out of sight of the turkey continuing to work the box call softly all the way. By doing this the turkeys were looking in his direction which allowed me a little more freedom to make my move. My plan was to reach a large fallen pine tree which I estimated to be about 20 yards from the birds. When I reached it I shouldered the Mossberg, put my thumb on the safety, took a deep breath and stepped around the tree. My plan was to take the first tom that I saw. But when I did step out I did not expect to see what probably was close to 20 toms; some roosting and others on the ground. Picking out the closest one I got him in the scope and squeezed the trigger. In seconds there were turkeys in the air everywhere; except for the one 2 year old tom who lay on the ground. My quest for the Canadian Slam had ended. When Jamie retrieved my turkey he said that the shot was actually 45 yards. It was a great hunt, in a great setting with some great people. I can assure you that the turkey woods of Kettle River Guides/Outfitters have an abundance of Merriam turkeys. You can check them out at If possible, I plan on returning to British Columbia next April; and if you are interested in coming along drop me an email (

              Works of Heart        
    A tiny Church Hill studio helps artists turn their calling into a career.
              Mulligan, Mary Helen (O'Gorman)        
    MULLIGAN, MARY HELEN (O'GORMAN) whose life spanned the struggles of her immigrant family during the Great Depression, a career in the glory days of...
              Shakib Khan now in film production        
    Popular hero Shakib Khan has started his new work in film arena. He is going to produce a movie. He started his career as film producer by movie Hero – the Superstar. Name of his production house is SK Films.
              Why bad results on Google will hurt your professional career        
              SCC Students Take Advantage of Career Week        

    This past spring, students from SCC and high school districts in St. Charles and surrounding counties participated in the Career Explorations Alliance’s first ever Career Week. The event took place over two weeks in March and April and provided students with opportunities to shadow a variety of professionals in the … Continue reading

    The post SCC Students Take Advantage of Career Week appeared first on SCC Blogs.

              Sephora Careers: What Does It Take To Qualify For A Job?        

    Sephora jobs are all unique and exciting and offer a variety of benefits and opportunities. Sephora has several job and career opportunities that range from a beautician, to cashier, to warehouse associate. The has minimal information on what the benefits of working at Sephora, so we’ve dug up some info on different Sephora jobs […]

    The post Sephora Careers: What Does It Take To Qualify For A Job? appeared first on All Salon Prices.

              How Plastic We've Become        

    Our bodies carry residues of kitchen plastics

    Food for Thought

    In the 1967 film classic The Graduate, a businessman corners Benjamin Braddock at a cocktail party and gives him a bit of career advice. "Just one word…plastics."

    Although Benjamin didn't heed that recommendation, plenty of other young graduates did. Today, the planet is awash in products spawned by the plastics industry. Residues of plastics have become ubiquitous in the environment—and in our bodies.

    A federal government study now reports that bisphenol A (BPA)—the building block of one of the most widely used plastics—laces the bodies of the vast majority of U.S. residents young and old.

    Manufacturers link BPA molecules into long chains, called polymers, to make polycarbonate plastics. All of those clear, brittle plastics used in baby bottles, food ware, and small kitchen appliances (like food-processor bowls) are made from polycarbonates. BPA-based resins also line the interiors of most food, beer, and soft-drink cans. With use and heating, polycarbonates can break down, leaching BPA into the materials they contact. Such as foods.

    And that could be bad if what happens in laboratory animals also happens in people, because studies in rodents show that BPA can trigger a host of harmful changes, from reproductive havoc to impaired blood-sugar control and obesity (SN: 9/29/07, p. 202).

    For the new study, scientists analyzed urine from some 2,500 people who had been recruited between 2003 and 2004 for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Roughly 92 percent of the individuals hosted measurable amounts of BPA, according to a report in the January Environmental Health Perspectives. It's the first study to measure the pollutant in a representative cross-section of the U.S. population.

    Typically, only small traces of BPA turned up, concentrations of a few parts per billion in urine, note chemist Antonia M. Calafat and her colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, with hormone-mimicking agents like BPA, even tiny exposures can have notable impacts.

    Overall, concentrations measured by Calafat's team were substantially higher than those that have triggered disease, birth defects, and more in exposed animals, notes Frederick S. vom Saal, a University of Missouri-Columbia biologist who has been probing the toxicology of BPA for more than 15 years.

    The BPA industry describes things differently. Although Calafat's team reported urine concentrations of BPA, in fact they assayed a breakdown product—the compound by which BPA is excreted, notes Steven G. Hentges of the American Chemistry Council's Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group. As such, he argues, "this does not mean that BPA itself is present in the body or in urine."

    On the other hand, few people have direct exposure to the breakdown product.

    Hentges' group estimates that the daily BPA intake needed to create urine concentrations reported by the CDC scientists should be in the neighborhood of 50 nanograms per kilogram of bodyweight—or one millionth of an amount at which "no adverse effects" were measured in multi-generation animal studies. In other words, Hentges says, this suggests "a very large margin of safety."

    No way, counters vom Saal. If one applies the ratio of BPA intake to excreted values in hosts of published animal studies, concentrations just reported by CDC suggest that the daily intake of most Americans is actually closer to 100 micrograms (µg) per kilogram bodyweight, he says—or some 1,000-fold higher than the industry figure.

    Clearly, there are big differences of opinion and interpretation. And a lot may rest on who's right.

    Globally, chemical manufacturers produce an estimated 2.8 million tons of BPA each year. The material goes into a broad range of products, many used in and around the home. BPA also serves as the basis of dental sealants, which are resins applied to the teeth of children to protect their pearly whites from cavities (SN: 4/6/96, p. 214). The industry, therefore, has a strong economic interest in seeing that the market for BPA-based products doesn't become eroded by public concerns over the chemical.

    And that could happen. About 2 years after a Japanese research team showed that BPA leached out of baby bottles and plastic food ware (see What's Coming Out of Baby's Bottle?), manufacturers of those consumer products voluntarily found BPA substitutes for use in food cans. Some 2 years after that, a different group of Japanese scientists measured concentrations of BPA residues in the urine of college students. About half of the samples came from before the switch, the rest from after the period when BPA was removed from food cans.

    By comparing urine values from the two time periods, the researchers showed that BPA residues were much lower—down by at least 50 percent—after Japanese manufacturers had eliminated BPA from the lining of food cans.

    Concludes vom Saal, in light of the new CDC data and a growing body of animal data implicating even low-dose BPA exposures with the potential to cause harm, "the most logical thing" for the United States to do would be to follow in Japan's footsteps and "get this stuff [BPA] out of our food."

    Kids appear most exposed

    Overall, men tend to have statistically lower concentrations of BPA than women, the NHANES data indicate. But the big difference, Calafat says, traces to age. "Children had higher concentrations than adolescents, and they in turn had higher levels than adults," she told Science News Online.

    This decreasing body burden with older age "is something we have seen with some other nonpersistent chemicals," Calafat notes—such as phthalates, another class of plasticizers.

    The spread between the average BPA concentration that her team measured in children 6 to 11 years old (4.5 µg/liter) and adults (2.5 µg/L) doesn't look like much, but proved reliably different.

    The open question is why adults tended to excrete only 55 percent as much BPA. It could mean children have higher exposures, she posits, or perhaps that they break it down less efficiently. "We really need to do more research to be able to answer that question."

    Among other differences that emerged in the NHANES analysis: urine residues of BPA decreased with increasing household income and varied somewhat with ethnicity (with Mexican-Americans having the lowest average values, blacks the highest, and white's values in between).

    There was also a time-of-day difference, with urine values for any given group tending to be highest in the evening, lowest in the afternoon, and midway between those in the morning. Since BPA's half-life in the body is only about 6 hours, that temporal variation in the chemical's excretion would be consistent with food as a major source of exposure, the CDC scientists note.

    In the current NHANES paper, BPA samples were collected only once from each recruit. However, in a paper due to come out in the February Environmental Health Perspectives, Calafat and colleagues from several other institutions looked at how BPA excretion varied over a 2-year span among 82 individuals—men and women—seen at a fertility clinic in Boston.

    In contrast to the NHANES data, the upcoming report shows that men tended to have somewhat higher BPA concentrations than women. Then again both groups had only about one-quarter the concentration typical of Americans.

    The big difference in the Boston group emerged among the 10 women who ultimately became pregnant. Their BPA excretion increased 33 percent during pregnancy. Owing to the small number of participants in this subset of the study population, the pregnancy-associated change was not statistically significant. However, the researchers report, these are the first data to look for changes during pregnancy and ultimately determining whether some feature of pregnancy—such as a change in diet or metabolism of BPA—really alters body concentrations of the pollutant could be important. It could point to whether the fetus faces an unexpectedly high exposure to the pollutant.

    If it does, the fetus could face a double whammy: Not only would exposures be higher during this period of organ and neural development, but rates of detoxification also would be diminished, vom Saal says.

    Indeed, in a separate study, one due to be published soon in Reproductive Toxicology, his team administered BPA by ingestion or by injection to 3-day-old mice. Either way, the BPA exposure resulted in comparable BPA concentrations in blood.

    What's more, that study found, per unit of BPA delivered, blood values in the newborns were "markedly higher" than other studies have reported for adult rodents exposed to the chemical. And that makes sense, vom Saal says, because the enzyme needed to break BPA down and lead to its excretion is only a tenth as active in babies as in adults. That's true in the mouse, he says, in the rat—and, according to some preliminary data, in humans.

    Vom Saal contends that since studies have shown BPA exhibits potent hormonelike activity in human cells at the parts-per-trillion level, and since the new CDC study finds that most people are continually exposed to concentrations well above the parts-per-trillion ballpark, it's time to reevaluate whether it makes sense to use BPA-based products in and around foods.

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

              Dream It. Do It. Inspires Youth        
    The Dream It. Do It. network aims to inspire youth to pursue careers in manufacturing and also works to educate career influencers, such as teachers and parents, about manufacturing as a high-quality career choice. The network was launched by the Manufacturing Institue in 2005 and since then has engaged thousands of manufacturers, students, parents, and educators. Dream […]
              LSE Literary Festival 2014 - The books that inspired Craig Calhoun [Audio]        
    Contributor(s): Amy Mollett, Craig Calhoun | To celebrate and support the LSE Literary Festival the LSE Review of Books is asking prominent LSE academics and event speakers about the books that inspired them into their academic subject. In this podcast, The Director of the LSE and world-renowned sociologist, Professor Craig Calhoun, tells us about the classical social theorists who inspired him early in his career, and why the most inspiring books are the ones with which you find a multitude of limits and problems. Presented by Amy Mollett. Produced by Cheryl Brumley. Other contributor: Craig Calhoun. Music courtesy of Podington Bear for his song Lilywhite on
              America and the World - After the Election [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Anne Applebaum, Professor Craig Calhoun, Professor Michael Cox, Gideon Rachman | After a closely fought election, this highly topical LSE public debate will look ahead to Obama’s second administration and assess the challenges it faces at home and how it is likely to address them, as well as how its relationships with Britain, Europe and the rest of the world are likely to develop. Author and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum has taken up the post of Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the School for 2012-13. She is the first woman to ever hold this position. Anne Applebaum is the Director of Political Studies at the Legatum Institute in London, and a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate. After graduating from Yale University, Anne Applebaum was a Marshall Scholar at both the LSE and St. Anthony’s College Oxford. She has also lectured at Yale and Columbia Universities, amongst others. Anne Applebaum’s journalistic work focuses on US and international politics, with a particular focus on economic and political transition. Craig Calhoun is director of LSE. He is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Michael Cox is founding director of LSE IDEAS. `Professor Cox is a well known speaker on global affairs and has lectured in the United States, Australia, Asia, and in the EU. He has spoken on a range of contemporary global issues, though most recently he has focused on the role of the United States in the international system, the rise of Asia, and whether or not the world is now in the midst of a major power shift. Gideon Rachman became chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times in July 2006. He joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist, which included spells as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Washington and Bangkok. He also edited The Economist’s business and Asia sections. His particular interests include American foreign policy, the European Union and globalisation.
              Global Financial Regulation: The Essential Guide [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Howard Davies, David Green, John McFall, Sir Steve Robson, Gillian Tett | As international financial markets have become more complex, so has the regulatory system which oversees them. The Basel Committee is just one of a plethora of international bodies and groupings which now set standards for financial activity around the world, in the interests of investor protection and financial stability. These groupings, and their decisions, have a major impact on markets in developed and developing countries, and on competition between financial firms. Yet their workings are shrouded in mystery, and their legitimacy is uncertain. Howard Davies was the first chairman of the UK's Financial Services Authority, the single regulator for the whole of Britain's financial sector. He was a member of the main international regulatory committees for several years, and is now director of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). David Green was head of International Policy at the FSA, after 30 years in the Bank of England, and has been particularly closely associated with the development of the European regulatory system. He now advises the Financial Reporting Council. John McFall MP is Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee of the House of Commons since 2001. He was re-elected to this post in October, 2005. In 1997 John served as a Government Whip and in July 1998 he was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Northern Ireland Office. His portfolio included responsibility for the Department of Education, Community Relations, the Training and Employment Agency and the Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of Economic Affairs. Sir Steve Robson is a former senior UK civil servant, who had responsibility for a wide variety of Treasury matters. His early career included the post of private secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and secondment to ICFC (now 3i). He was also a second permanent secretary of HM Treasury, where he was managing director of the Finance and Regulation Directorate. He is a non-executive director of JP Morgan Cazenove Holdings, RBS, Xstrata Plc, The Financial Reporting Council Limited and Partnerships UK plc, and a member of the Chairman's Advisory Committee of KPMG.
              John Ryder on Career, Training, Saunders-Blandamura        
              The Strange Career of Jim Crow        
    The Strange Career of Jim Crow
    author: C. Vann Woodward
    name: Kristin
    average rating: 4.07
    book published: 1955
    rating: 0
    read at:
    date added: 2010/08/19
    shelves: to-read

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Fine Arts Painter

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

    Joshua Elias
    Artist Statement

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

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

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

    ï¿_ Joshua Elias

    Courtesy of the DCA website

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Simone Gad
    Artist Statement and Biography: 2009

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

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

    copyright Simone Gad 2009 to view Simone Gad’s solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume-you may also get it on by writing in her name or by writing in Simone Gad’s name-



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

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

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

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

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

    Betty H. Glass
    Artist Statement about Animal Art

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    We also support the Monrovia Arts Festival Association which is undergoing a change of name this year. In addition to the changes featured in Monrovia Library Park, with the new Library construction, Monrovia Arts Festival Association is about to be renamed the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts to better define the role of the arts in the community of Monrovia.
    The Monrovia Arts Festival Association will continue to serve the arts and artists as well as the after school art programs in Monrovia as well as surrounding communities and schools. I firmly believe, the younger a child is exposed to the arts, in terms of reading, writing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, digital media, comic book art and art history just to name a few of the variety of arts, the more creative a child will grow into adulthood and the more rewarding our communities will be to thrive in.
              Face of Defense: Soldier Finds Path to Law Enforcement Career        
    Face of Defense: Soldier Finds Path to Law Enforcement Career By Army Staff Sgt. Michael Davis New York National Guard ...

    This is an article summary only. Click on the article's title to enjoy the complete article
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    In honor of Veteran’s Day, and the Pivot network to bring you their segment, “Career, Country”.    How do young vets returning from service integrate into the civilian workforce?  We t...

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              Durbhaagya Haider ka (Kashmir ka rajkumar)        
    Note 1: It is after a long time that I want to write about an (Indian) movie!

    Note 2: Considering that Haider is adapted from a well-known (and arguably the most famous) Shakespearean play, The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, I will go easy with spoilers and without warning. And for those unfamiliar with tragedies by Shakespeare, spoiler alert, everybody dies.

    I knew Vishal Bhardwaj has a fetish for Shakespeare. Haider is the final installment of his trilogy spanning Maqbool (Macbeth) and Omkara (Othello) before this. Shakespeare's influence on him is also evident in his outings not based on plays, most notably in Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola, and less visibly in 7 khoon maaf, and Ishqiya among others. But this is also a man who truly loves cinema and adores the medium. So much that the characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from the original play are depicted as Salman and Salman, a duo which run a VHS rental store, idling their time away to the moves of Salman Khan, the rising superstar from the 1990s. It is a fitting tribute to the time and place in which Vishal Bhardwaj grew up as a filmmaker.

    I mention this because I wager this man is heavily influenced in his style by another man who adores cinema, Quentin Tarantino, a director famous for his revenge epics. With all the bloody gruesomeness that leaves its trail along a saga of revenge, the conflicts, the deliberations, the mess - how cool is it that our home-grown director does homage to Tarantino's trademark trunk shot and ends Haider with a sampling straight from his movies (edit: my bad. The sampling at the end of Haider is from Extreme Ways.)

    Set in the mid-1990s in Kashmir, the story embeds itself flawlessly in the setting, rather than it just being a background setup for the events adapted from the original play.

    Jhelum, jhelum dhoonde kinara
    Jhelum, jhelum dhoonde kinara
    Dooba sooraj, kin aankhon mein
    Sooraj dooba, kin aankhon mein
    Jhelum huya khaara

    This has to be Shahid Kapoor's highlight performance of his career yet. I was skeptical about this casting choice from the trailers, but boy was I wrong. The amount of preparation he put behind this role shows. The monologue scene in front of an audience at the town square is exaggerated just the right amount, and the execution of the play-within-a-play exposition scene from the original is neat. His costumes, makeup, body language, all fit together seamlessly as he owns his character.

    Hai ki hai nahi, bas yehi sawaal hai
    Aur sawaal ka jawab bhi sawaal hai.

    Dil ki agar sunoon to hai, dimaag ki to hai nahin
    Jaan loon ki jaan doon, mai rahoon ki mai nahin.

    And what a find Shraddha Kapoor is! Elegant, charming, poised, controlled, absolutely not afraid to let her eyes to the talking, and leaves you yearning for more. I wish I was there to see her keeping a straight face as she mispronounces 'loved' as 'love-edd' as they were filming it! I, for one, definitely want to see her do meaningful roles in the future. Irrfan Khan delivers a spirited punch during his meager screen time, playing the ghost from the play.

    But the highlight performance in the movie has to be Tabu's, arguably her career's best, atleast in a very long time. A delight she is as she sets the screen on fire bringing her character to life. There is a scene in which she is trying to convince Haider to leave Kashmir for a better future. With her teary, swollen eyes, and a gun pointed to her head, she ultimately gets her way. I cannot imagine another actress from around here who can pull that off with such elegance.

    "Vaishi bhediyaa ban chuka hai wo."
    "Shukr hai aasteen ka saanp nahi banaa."

    Vishal Bhardwaj, with his direction and music (for Gulzar's excellent lyrics), tops himself. Being true to the source material and still making it his own, he comes out triumphant. He is at the top of his game here. Kashmir has been shot so delicately! (I want to go there ASAP! And we we don't need foreign locations!) The gravedigger scene, in particular, is the crowning jewel, a scene which drips with his love and affection for his craft.

    Arre aao na, ki jaan gayi, jahaan gaya, kho jaao
    Arre aao na, ke thak gayi, hai zindagi, so jaao

    I might have profusely appreciated the movie thus far, but the movie is not without its gripes. I'll start with the anachronisms. In one of the best and most important scenes in the movie, the play-within-a-play scene, there is a mobile cellular tower prominently visible throughout in the background. Forgetting for a moment that we did not have cellular networks in the 1990s, its presence is distracting. I would have expected this to come up in post-processing/editing, especially when a viewer is able to catch it in first viewing. This is the kind of attention-to-detail I would expect from a director of his caliber. Then, to depict Bangalore, they used footage of the iconic Domlur flyover here. Again, its construction hadn't started as late as 2003, and the footage of sprawling flyovers plastered suddenly coming from the valleys of Kashmir moments ago is jarring to say the least.

    Also, in my opinion, the Oedipus aspects of the play were overplayed in the movie. It wasn't necessary. Not as much. But my major complaint is how they handled the character of Ophelia. Transforming it into a childhood love, and having scenes of brimming romance between Haider and Arshia feels out-of-place in a Shakespearean revenge epic such as Hamlet.

    But hey, the movie is probably a little too "heavy" already for Indian audiences, and removing the little romance might have aggravated it, so what do I know? I am sure it took enough courage already to deal with the Censor Board's scissors and to release this film pitted against the 24,000-screens-release of multi-starrer blockbuster Bang Bang.

    I can already read some negative Internet chatter around 1) The depiction of Kashmir; 2) It being a heavily political movie; and 3) "maa bete ka rishta". Please, folks, can we let art remain art? Pretty please?

    I cannot recommend this movie enough. Please go watch it, something like this comes rarely in our country. Thank you Vishal Bhardwaj for making Haider.

              Senior Licensed Conveyancer        
    NSW-Sydney CBD, The Client Take charge of your career and join a nationally regarded law firm`s Property team. This firm is known for providing outstanding advice to its clients and valuing its employees, which is essential to its success. The Role An exceptional opportunity is now available for a Senior Licensed Conveyancer to join an active team of lawyers. File management from start to finish including across
              Fostering Growth Mindset: Speech/Language Disabilities        

    Early on in my career working with middle and high school students, one of my biggest challenges was working with students who were so disheartened by learning they were not motivated to try. Carol Dweck’s work on “growth mindset” supported my work as a speech language pathologist because it talked about the difference between and fixed […]

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              Jump-Start Your Self-Publishing Business In 10 Steps        
    10 Steps To Self-Publishing Your First Book Synopsis These ten steps will help you painlessly jump-start your new self-publishing business. Although most of these steps are not difficult to accomplish, I believe that they will help you quickly lay the … Continue reading
              The 10 Reasons That Convinced Me To Become A Self-Publisher        
    Synopsis Here I share with you my favorite reasons for becoming a self-publisher. As I see it, self-publishing can be a great way to enhance your current career and business, but it can, with a lot of work and fortitude, … Continue reading
    Brandon Wright poses at his tea farm in Japan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    For more information on the Tai-an Tea Company go to the website at or Facebook page at Tai-an Tea Co. The Amazon direct shortcut to the product page is: The Facebook page features daily posts and information regarding Matcha or Japanese tea history.


    For Immediate Release: 

    Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                    East Central University Communications and Marketing

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


    Approval has been granted from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for East Central University to institute a new degree option – Sport Psychology - in the Department of Psychology’s Master of Science in Psychological Services (MSPS).

    The area of sport psychology has been a growing field and represents an interdisciplinary science that incorporates various fields including biomechanics, physiology, kinesiology and psychology.  This applied knowledge is needed in the development and use of psychological skills for the optimal performance and well-being of athletes. 

    There is currently no other M.S. degree offered in the area that focuses on this branch of psychology.  According to the American Psychological Association, “sport and performance psychology is a career field that is growing rapidly. Projections for jobs in the field of psychology generally suggest that growth will occur at a rate of 11 percent between now and 2022, with an average of 5,590 new jobs each year.” 

    The program change should align to at least two certifications for candidates; Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP Certification) and Licensed Behavioral Practitioners (LBP Licensure). 

    The curriculum is designed to address the performance and psychological concerns associated with sports involvement affecting athletes, coaches and families as well as the developmental and social aspects of sports participation. The curriculum will consist of 27 hours in psychological and counseling foundation courses and 33 hours in the specialty of sport psychology.  These courses include those such as Sports in American Society, Advanced Sport Psychology, Applied Biomechanics, Sports Performance Enhancement Strategies, and Health Psychology, among others. 

    To lead the implementation of this program, the ECU Department of Psychology has hired Dr. Suzanne Pottratz, who recently graduated with her Ph.D. in sport and exercise psychology from Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. The College of Education

    and Psychology is excited to expand its current master’s options to include the high demand area of sport psychology and is currently enrolling students in the program.


    For Immediate Release: 

    Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                    East Central University Communications and Marketing

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

    Chris Buchanan

    Chris Buchanan, East Central University alumnus and a member of the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS), was recently promoted to the flag-officer rank of Rear Admiral and appointed Deputy Director of Indian Health Services.

    Buchanan also recently served six months as acting director.

    As a senior ranking officer, flag officers exemplify the core values for which commissioned officers of the U.S. Public Health Service are held in high esteem, according to Dr. Patrick Bohan, ECU Environmental Health Sciences professor and Retired Captain of the USPHS.

    “Flag officers provide executive-level leadership within the department and the agencies which they serve,” Bohan said. “Our flag officers also carry the title of Assistant Surgeon General and, as such, we rely on them to support special initiatives and exhibit the highest caliber of public health leadership.”

    Buchanan, a native of Konawa, joins fellow ECU alumnus Rear Admiral Kevin D. Meeks as a high-ranking official within the USPHS. Meeks is acting deputy director of field operations for the Indian Health Service, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services and the principal federal health care advocate and provider of health services for American Indians and Alaska natives.

    ECU has provided more environmental health officers to the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service than any other institution in the country, according to Bohan. The Environmental Health Science program at ECU is one of 31 accredited undergraduate programs throughout the United States.

    “The Environmental Health Science program provided an interdisciplinary foundation that prepared me for my career in Indian Health Service,” Buchanan said. “Environmental health graduates of the program are problem solvers. We use this type of approach to develop skill sets

    that help to constructively review environmental and public health issues and come up with solutions. I have and continue to use these skills in my role as the deputy director of IHS.”

    Buchanan credits the late Dr. Mickey Rowe, former chair and professor of the ECU Environmental Health Science Department, with setting the stage for his career.

    “Dr. Rowe was a force of nature. He left a lasting impact on me personally and professionally,” said Buchanan. “His expectations were high for all his students and former students. He made it clear upon graduation that you would be representing the ECU Environmental Health Program and your environmental health decisions will have an impact on public health. His expectation was nothing short of being the best both academically and in your profession.”

     As deputy director Buchanan, an enrolled member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, leads and oversees IHS operations to ensure delivery of quality comprehensive health services. He ensures that IHS provides for the full participation of tribes in programs and services and helps to establish and track the goals and metrics through which the IHS U.S.-federal-government-operated, or direct service, health care program improves outcomes.

    Buchanan ensures IHS services are integrated across all levels of the agency and engaged with other Operating Divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services and external partners, including states and national organizations.

    He previously served in 2016 as the acting area director for the IHS Great Plains Area, with administrative responsibility for 19 service units serving 130,000 people and 17 tribes through seven hospitals, 10 health centers and two urban Indian health programs, overseeing a complex health care program during a period of change. Previously, Buchanan has served as director of the IHS Office of Direct Services and Contracting Tribes.

    As an environmental health officer in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps with more than 20 years of active duty, Buchanan began his IHS career in 1993, serving in various environmental health positions in the Phoenix, Albuquerque and Oklahoma City areas, including serving as the administrative officer for Lawton Indian Hospital and the chief executive officer for Haskell Health Center. In 2010, he was administrative officer of clinical services for the Chickasaw Nation’s Division of Health in Ada.

    Along with serving on several national IHS workgroups and being deployed to several natural disaster events, Buchanan has received numerous professional awards, including one for National Council of Chief Executive Officer’s Rookie of the Year. He earned a bachelor of environmental health science degree from ECU and a public health degree in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

    Buchanan has seen Indian Health Service improve over the years, evolving in a similar manner as the traditional healthcare delivery model to a more value-based healthcare delivery system.

    “The IHS sees these changes through the administration of a nationwide health care delivery program that is responsible for providing preventative, curative and community health care for approximately 2.2 American Indians and Alaska natives in hospitals, clinics and other settings throughout the United States,” Buchanan said. “An example of this evolution includes emerging technologies such as telemedicine. By utilizing these healthcare technologies, IHS will continue to improve the populations we serve.”

    Telemedicine is the diagnosis and treatment of patients in remote areas using medical information such as x-rays or television pictures, transmitted over long distances, particularly satellite.


    For Immediate Release: 

    Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                    East Central University Communications and Marketing

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


    East Central University has registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) to provide the means of awarding a new business certificate diploma for personal financial planning.

    This certificate compliments the current business administration in finance concentration degree.

    An independent certifying organization, CFP Board owns the CFP® and Certified Financial PlannerTM certification marks, which it awards to individuals who meet its education, examination, experience, ethics and other requirements.  Students completing the financial planning program at ECU will have met the education requirement for CFP® Certification Examination administered by CFP Board.

    “Financial planning is an excellent career choice. The need for qualified planners is great…and it keeps growing,” said Wendell Godwin, dean of the Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business. “Devoting time and energy toward achieving CFP® certification, the highest standard in professional financial planning, can make a financial planning career even more rewarding.”

    CFP® certification is generally recognized as the highest standard in personal financial planning, qualifying financial planning professionals to provide their clients with comprehensive financial advice, according to Godwin.

    “Students completing this certificate will be positioned to take the national CFP® Certification Examination through the CFP Board,” Godwin said. “We are the fourth program approved by the CFP Board in Oklahoma. We are one of only two state universities that offer a program at the bachelor level with the other being Northeastern State University.”

    The CFP Board’s approval certainly pleased Blaine Aikin, CFP®, chair of CFP Board’s Board of Directors.

    “As student interest in financial planning as a career continues to grow, we anticipate that

    ECU’s program will contribute significantly to the number of qualified candidates seeking to attain the CFP® certification, the standard of excellence for competent and ethical financial planning,” said Aikin.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of personal financial advisors is projected to grow 30 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the population ages and life expectancies rise, demand for financial planning services should increase.

    Today, CFP Board partners with over 340 programs at more than 240 institutions. CFP

    Board-Registered Programs are financial planning education programs at the college or university level that meet specific criteria for educating individuals who wish to fulfill the education component for obtaining CFP® certification.

    The mission of CFP Board is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning.  CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial PlannerTM, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.  CFP Board currently authorizes more than 76,000 individuals to use these marks in the United States.  For more about CFP Board, visit


    For Immediate Release: 

    Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                    East Central University Communications and Marketing

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

    Chloe Hull

    Chloe Hull aspires to be an accountant and being a part of East Central University’s Business Scholars Program can only enhance her confidence.

    Hull, a 2015 Moore High School graduate, was recently picked for the exclusive program for not only her solid academic achievements, but her ability to show leadership skills in a manner of being an extension of the university’s faculty through the Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business.

    Those skills are developed in being an event volunteer such as assisting with career fairs, professional trips and student/faculty recruiting activities. Additionally, these students are department hosts or hostesses for professionals who visit the programs and for prospective students visiting campus. They also serve as mentors, providing leadership for the Business Leaders Association (BLA) student organization and working with the younger ECU students in the Freshmen Scholars Program.

    Students must have at least a 3.50 grade-point average before entering the program and must maintain at least a 3.25 each semester to remain in the program. They must also be active in BLA by attending meetings and holding positions of responsibility. Besides being on campus for two or more years, the Business Scholars must be able to volunteer for special projects in the School of Business, participate in the Dean’s Leadership Council, be willing to travel during assigned trips and, once they graduate, give back to the program after graduation as Alumni of Business Scholars.

    According to Hull, being involved in BLA set the stage for the Business Scholars opportunity.

    “The event that I learned most from was the panel with the accounting professors who discussed different careers in accounting,” said Hull. “While I knew I wanted to pursue accounting, I was not aware of many of the career opportunities as a freshman. Last spring, I decided to take a leadership position in BLA and run for treasurer. As treasurer, some of my duties include planning meetings and events, some of which were the annual BLA Roundup and the 2016 Freshman Scholar Retreat.”

    Hull sees this Business Scholars as an opportunity to not only improve her leadership abilities, but to give back through a program which has been a benefit to her.

    Besides being treasurer for BLA, she has served as treasurer for the Student Government Association, played goalkeeper for the ECU women’s soccer team and is a student member of the Oklahoma Society of CPAs and student affiliate of the American Institute of CPAs. Hull was named 2015-16 Stonecipher School of Business Outstanding Freshman and was a Stonecipher School of Business Freshman and Sophomore Scholar.

    “While I have held leadership positions in other campus organizations such as Student Government Association and Business Leaders Association,” Hull said. “I am looking to further enhance my experience here at ECU. Not only will it benefit me now, but also later in my career. I look forward to mentoring and giving back to the Freshman Scholar program, especially since I was fortunate to be part of the first Freshman Scholar class.”



    For Immediate Release: 

    Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                    East Central University Communications and Marketing

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

              New Details on Chris Pratt and Anna Faris' Surprise Split: What's at Stake in Divorce        
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              Finding myself        
    You know back in July of 2007 I had written a blog about finding out who I was and finding a new career. Then a few months back I wrote about finding my niche in life. Reading back in my blogs led me to this one. I still need to find myself totally.
              Night Team Manager (0vernights) - Rona inc - Winnipeg, MB        
    Successful Criminal and Credit backcheck. There is a career opportunity available for an experienced Night Team Manager....
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    Clear Criminal Backcheck required. Hiring a Shipper/ Receiver for a Part-time position in Mississauga.... $17 an hour
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              About the Imposter Police        
    ImposterIt's a funny thing - whenever I mention the Imposter Police, women immediately know what I am talking about, and men look at me as if I have two heads.

    I first encountered this concept when I was a student in the Physics Department at the University of Amsterdam. I helped organise a symposium about women in science, and we called it "Stepdaughters of Pythagoras and Archimedes", talking about how many women feel uncomfortable in the sciences, as if they don't belong there. One successful woman scientist mentioned the Imposter Police, the ones who were going to come and take us all away for impersonating scientists. We all knew exactly what she meant. Despite our demonstrated competence, we are sure that we couldn't possibly be as good as those confident guys (who are probably just as lost sometimes, but would rather die than admit it). It's a problem, and while it is probably not entirely unique to women, it does seem to be more prevalent in that population.

    I know scientists, mostly male, who fit perfectly in their professional skin. They work extremely hard and sometimes get frustrated, but they do not doubt their basic calling. In particular, one scientist told me that he studied physics because he loved it and found it intriguing and worthwhile as a career, and that he did not once pause to consider anyone else's opinion of his choice.

    For the rest of us, struggling with the Lizard Brain, that fear of being found unworthy by whomever judges these things can be incredibly paralyzing. Of course, one could ask who gave those supposed judges authority over us in the first place. I think this connects with the akrasia post from earlier this week - quite aside from physical cravings that could be connected to food addictions such as wheat or sugar, or micronutrient deficiencies such as minerals or salt.

    I would love to delve into the way women sabotage themselves, put themselves down and deliberately destroy their health. I know that men do all these things, too (heck, the Greek philosophers who coined the term were almost all men), but I imagine that the forces behind the behaviour are different - I could be wrong.

    Who is with me on this journey? I would love to hear your thoughts and insights. Especially if you disagree with me!
              Montana Public Radio Hires Health Reporter As News Director        
    Eric Whitney, a radio reporter covering health issues for NPR and Kaiser Health News, will join Montana Public Radio as News Director on September 1st. Whitney replaces Sally Mauk who retired in May.MTPR General Manager William Marcus says the station’s search committee was pleased with the number of highly qualified applicants for the position and that Whitney stood out. “Eric has spent most of his 20-year public radio career reporting from and about the west,” Marcus said. “He’s a proven professional and I’m confident he will carry on MTPR’s strong tradition of excellence in public radio journalism.”Before his free-lance work for NPR and Kaiser Health News, Whitney reported for Colorado Public Radio and started the News Department at public station KRCC in Colorado Springs. He also served as Assistant News Director for High Plains News in Billings.Whitney says he looks forward to his move back to Montana. “I'm really excited about becoming part of Montana Public Radio and look
              Sally Mauk sits down on the OTHER side of the microphone        
    Friday, May 3oth, is a red-letter day for Montana Public Radio News. After more than three decades as our News Director, Sally Mauk is retiring. She's logged hundreds of hours of interviews, on-the-scene fire coverage, long, frantic election nights and news-poor holidays. She sat down with MTPR General Manager William Marcus today to reflect on her career. And even though the tables were turned, she still asked the first question.
              DIY FLOWER WRAPPING FOR HAIR        
    As we all know, it’s wedding/prom season, and who doesn’t love adding a fresh flower to their hair when heading to a special event? Luckily, my best friend used to be a florist and she taught me how to do this early on in my hair career. This trick has come in handy SO many...
              At 54, Medical Student Looks Forward to her Second Career        
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              Wake Forest School of Medicine Transforms How K-12 Students Learn by Offering Problem-Based Learning Training to Teachers        
      The Center of Excellence for Research, Teaching and Learning (CERTL) at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, hosted 175 K-12 teachers from 86 schools in 16 Piedmont Triad school districts this week as part of their commitment to providing effective problem-based learning training to educators. The ongoing training provides local teachers with the tools and knowledge to effectively prepare K-12 students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math – commonly known as STEM.  
              Wake Forest School of Medicine Offers Students First EMS Course in the State to Study Health Disparities        
      In an ongoing effort to better prepare medical students for a career in emergency medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is offering an emergency medical services elective course for fourth year students. The School of Medicine is the first medical school in North Carolina and one of only a few nationwide to offer such a program.  
              Six Griefs of Good Leadership – (6) LONELINESS    under: Career success, Development, Effectiveness Tagged: leadership
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    The title of this article has a dual significance. First, it’s an acknowledgement of my failure to keep this blog up to date. My new role means that I have less time and less headspace for the reflection needed to write this stuff. A lot of my learning at the moment is around how to […]
              New perspectives on career coaching – NICEC journal        
    Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling March 2013 | issue 30 New perspectives on career coaching This edition contains the latest thinking on career coaching. It features the results of a recent survey and papers focused on practice in public and private sector contexts. There are also new conceptual pieces and contributions from […]
              Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are | Video on        
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    A couple of months back someone asked a very interesting question on Careers Debate about how one expresses and demonstrates confidence in one’s area of expertise at an interview whilst avoiding self-aggrandisement. Is it just a question of body language and non-verbal communication, or are there other clues that you can give in the way that […]
              Tic-Talk Tonight: Lonnie Grant         
    Welcome to the newest edition of Tic-Talk, the transcript that follows is the full interview as conducted by Indira Nooyi with our guest interviewee, Lonnie Grant, captain of the Voyager. Interview was carried out on the planet Cascom in the Castra system on 2947-03-12. Indira Nooyi(IN): Good evening and welcome to another edition of Tic-Talk, I’m your host for the evening Indira Nooyi and with me tonight is the captain and pilot of a Freelancer DUR named Voyager. Thank you for joining me tonight, Mr. Grant. Lonnie Grant (LG): Thank you for having me on Indira. I love your show. IN: Thank you. Now Mr. Grant, you just recently discovered a new jump point, would you please tell our viewing audience a little bit about how you came to discover it. LG: Well you see Indira… it wasn’t really the most clever way to discover a jump point. It occurred to me that for the size of the system, Castra has an inordinate number of jump points… I think there were 5. It occurred to me that this concentration might be significant so I started scouring the outer rim of the system with my scanners. After a few days I got a hit on my jump scanners. IN: And upon closer investigation you found this new jump point, correct? LG: Yeah… it took me awhile to triangulate it but eventually I got close enough and she just opened up in front of me. They’re a beautiful sight, jump points. They’re all different… have their own character. IN: Did you immediately travel through it following discovery? LG: It’s always a nervous thing, you know? Plenty of explorers have vanished forever after attempting a new jump point. I guess that’s a long way of saying that I took some time... Wrote out messages for my family and friends and left them in a buoy before I ventured inside. IN: And what did you find on the other side? LG: Well first of all, this particular jump was pleasantly simple to navigate. Some of them can be really nasty. Either way, on the far side I discovered a red dwarf star with 4 major worlds orbiting, along with many other smaller worlds of course. IN: A brand new system then? LG: Yes! This is a fresh jump. IN: So, with that being said this opens up several possibilities to you. What do you see yourself doing with the jump point coordinates? Are you considering selling them to the military or off to a scientific research facility maybe? LG: My plan is to sell the coordinates to the UEE’s exploration and colonization division, and then return to the system to continue my work exploring the worlds it holds.  There’s a lot to learn! IN: That would make you a very rich man, Mr. Grant. Why continue to work and explore when you could retire and live the rest of your life in ease and comfort? LG: Honestly for most explorers… there’s a drive to keep pushing the edge of our knowledge and it doesn’t go away with a full bank account. I will always be most at home on the fringes, searching for the next horizon. Might have to update some of my equipment though! IN: Indeed and you will have the funds to do it. With this being a new system, I know that there is always a push to find new habitable worlds for humanity to colonize. Does this new system have anything that sets it apart from the rest? LG: So this is kind of interesting… This is a tiny star so the worlds orbit close. One appears too close, probably too hot. The furthest planet seems outside the habitable zone… although perhaps some extremophiles could live there. Once again though this is the long way of saying that the middle two planets appear habitable.  One is about the size of Earth and has large oceans covering about 80% of its surface.  The other one is smaller, about the size of Mars, and has limited water - maybe 20% ocean - but appears to support abundant life regardless. I haven’t taken any detailed scans yet… the new equipment would be right up that alley - help me get better quality scans. IN: So, at least two habitable worlds, your find might be more valuable then you consider it to be. If people were to move there today, what would they be calling this system? Do you plan to name it or leave that up to the scientists? LG: Well Indira, you have to understand that it is rare in an explorer’s career that they find anything of really major value. Comets, lucrative asteroids, small black holes… these are common place and enough to keep you going but new star systems are really the dream. I have thought of a name and I will be submitting it, with your approval. I do love your show, so I was going to name the system Indira. IN: Wow, I don’t know what to say, Mr. Grant. I’m very flattered. I only hope that whatever name you choose does the system justice. Sounds like you’ve found yourself a small little paradise. I sincerely wish you luck on your next adventure and again thank you for joining me tonight and sharing your story. Maybe it will inspire the next generation of explorers to go out there and find their own jump point. I’m Indira Nooyi and this has been another edition of Tic-Talk, thanks for joining us and see you next week.  
              The Day Mars Died         
    Trevor Adams woke early on the morning of September 13th, 2125, his alarm ringing loudly in his ears.  Well, I suppose singing would probably be a better description.  Birds.  No birds up here and Trevor loved birds. After an exaggerated morning stretch, Trevor stumbled into the shower and then proceeded to wrap up his morning bathroom rituals.   Trevor whistled one of the bird songs from his alarm as he pulled on his overalls and spacesuit.  No helmet for the fifth straight day… company says they’re still mandatory but not a single worker is wearing it.  Why would you bother if you’re fine without it?   Atmospheric Engineer was his title.  He was proud of it.  Trevor worked tirelessly in school to prepare himself for a career in the burgeoning field of terraforming and here he was. The Mars terraforming project was a great success.  Only 12 years after terraforming technology was first patented, Trevor and his team had already set up a stable breathable atmosphere on Mars.  The achievement was, if you would forgive a brief pun, out of this world. Trevor’s task for this sol was to visit three atmospheric monitoring stations, to ensure the readings continued to be stable, and perform any necessary maintenance on the associated atmospheric processors. Despite the fact that there were almost five thousand people on Mars, Trevor was working alone in an isolated area and had been for several weeks. Munching absentmindedly on a nutrient bar, his breakfast, he strode out of the habitat unit and jumped on to his Marver (some smart ass had decided that Mars Rover = Marver.  I know…).  It was a short and uneventful trip up out of the crater and up onto the south ridge to visit ATMO-63, first workstation of the day. Having finished his breakfast, Trevor took a long swig of water from his flask and strode inside the complex automated station. It took hardly a glance at the display panels inside ATMO-63 for Trevor to understand that something was seriously wrong.   Trevor immediately began working the problem, thinking it was perhaps localized to ATMO-63. Unfortunately, the huge success of the Mars Terraforming mission had led to significant lapses in the duties of the responsible scientists and engineers.  Last night had been a particularly big party at the main hab.  No one else had checked their stations yet on this sol. The fact was that ATMO-63 was not an isolated case.  All of the atmospheric processors on Mars had been malfunctioning for hours.  In order for the system to establish a stable atmosphere, all of the processors had to work together. Trevor worked to isolate the cause of the abnormal behaviour of the terraforming machine while also attempting to contact the main habitat. Before he could get far in his work, Trevor noted something truly terrifying.  Instruments were reading a massive buildup of pure oxygen inside and around ATMO-63.  Trevor immediately turned and started to head for the exit from the station when he heard a deafening WHOOSH followed for just a fraction of a second by the most intense heat he had ever experienced. And that was it. The explosion at ATMO-63 was massive, visible all the way from the main habitat, and almost instantly every other atmospheric processor on the planet overloaded and exploded.  The interdependency that made the whole system work to build Mars’ atmosphere was what ultimately caused the deaths of all 4,876 souls on Mars that day.  Mars’ new atmosphere catastrophically collapsed. Approximately 9 months later, during the investigation into the disaster, Trevor Adams’ body would be found in the Martian sand near the ruin of ATMO-63.   Hailey Jones, a dear friend of Trevor’s, would be among those to find his remains.  She personally dug a grave for her friend and marked it with a small plaque and a tiny audio device.  For many years on calm sols one could hear bird songs drifting over the crater from the south ridge.
              Dombeck receives Ansel Adams Award for leadership in protecting National Forests        

    WASHINGTON — Former U.S. Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck will receive the Ansel Adams Award from The Wilderness Society Thursday night for his major role in protecting the national forests.

    "Mike was a game-changer,” said William H. Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society. “He restored balance to the management of our 155 national forests, making clean water, recreation, and fish and wildlife priorities, as the law requires. He was the main architect of the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which prevented logging and road building across 58.5 million acres of our national forests. It was the capstone of a quarter century of sterling public service with federal land management agencies.”

    A native of Wisconsin with a Ph.D. in fisheries biology, Dombeck served three years as acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management before President Clinton appointed him Forest Service chief in 1997. No other person has lead both of this nation’s largest land management agencies.

    Since leaving the government in 2001, Dombeck has been a University of Wisconsin System Fellow and a professor of global conservation at the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He also directs the Smith Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Conservation Biology.

    “Mike was, in my view, the most independent chief that the Forest Service has had since Gifford Pinchot himself,” said Dr. Jerry Franklin, a University of Washington professor often described as “the father of modern forestry.” Pinchot was the first chief, serving from 1898 to 1910. “Mike broke out of the mold and did really innovative things. He did that by design and force of will,” said Franklin, a long-time member of The Wilderness Society’s Governing Council.

    “As our country grows, we continue to chip away at our wild places, losing acre by acre, day after day,” said Dombeck. “Protecting the remaining roadless areas of our national forests is perhaps this nation’s last opportunity to keep our few remaining wild places intact.

    “They are important habitats and anchor points for native plants and animals in the face of a changing climate. These remote areas provide some of the last best hunting and fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities with at least a measure of solitude. In today’s fast-paced society, these are the places where future generations might experience the land as their forefathers did. It has been a privilege for me to have a career working with people who care deeply about the health of the land. They are the ones who have earned this award.”

    The award that Dombeck will receive is named for the celebrated photographer who, until his death, was an outspoken advocate for safeguarding the nation’s natural heritage. “It is noteworthy that Mike is the third winner from Wisconsin,” Meadows pointed out. The award was presented to Congressman David Obey (D) in 2000 and to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson in 1990. Nelson served the state as a governor and U.S. Senator and spent the final 24 years of his life as counselor of The Wilderness Society.

    Other winners of the Ansel Adams Award include former Congressman Mo Udall (D-NM), former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, President Jimmy Carter, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME), Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT), and former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus.

    The Wilderness Society is the leading public-lands conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 500,000 members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 110 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.

    For a hi-res photo of Dombeck, contact

    May 18, 2010

              Ansel Elgort signs major record label deal        
    Actor Ansel Elgort is taking his music career to the next level by signing a major record contract with Island Records. The “Fault In Our Stars” actor released his first album, “Unite,” in 2014 under the moniker Ansolo, and has been making waves in the music industry with his music ever since, performing at the
              Alternative Jobs for Teachers        
    Teachers don’t have to limit their career options to just working in a traditional setting – inside a classroom – to have an impact in the education industry. There are a lot of education-related occupations waiting to be explored and here
              Local teacher played a role in Hall of Famer’s football career        
              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.

              Securian Winter Carnival Half Maraton        

    I’ve always enjoyed the winter carnival half marathon. It is normally very cold but this year it was very balmy!!  Saturday morning I woke up to 32F!  Wow!  I decided I’d wear light leggings with a skirt, one long sleeved top and a pair of light gloves and light buff. No screws in my shoes! No ice! Yay!

    Last year, due to foot surgery, I wasn’t able to run the race. I was very excited to sign up this year.

    I arrived to the race an hour before start time. I always like to leave plenty of time to find parking and find the race start.  For road races the biggest stressor for me is to find a bathroom as soon as I park. I always have an hour drive or more. Luckily for me, there was a bathroom in the parking ramp. Yes!

    With only a short walk to the pre race festivities, I had plenty of time to pick up my number, shirt and mug. I couldn’t believe all of the people that I knew at the race. With a race of over 1000 people it always shocks me that I can pick out friends whom I have no idea are in attendance.  As I was walking through the skywalk I ran into John,  then Amy and Shawn, then Jeff. Pretty soon it was Dan and Karen. Amazing!  Kate and Brian. Quick fun chats with everyone. 

    With just a few minutes to go before the start, I mosied outside to find a spot among the runners. I decided I’d run between the 200 and 210 pace groups. I was in no rush, this was just a training run to get in some miles on my feet. I wanted to see how my feet would stand up to the asphalt. I’ve entered Grandmas Marathon in June and haven’t really run any asphalt yet since my surgery.  I figured a 915-930 pace would be just great.

    The first few miles were new to the course. We  circled around downtown before we headed out onto Shepard Road to run along the river. There has been a lot of reconstruction of the road and the area surrounding it since I’ve last run this race. The road is heavily slanted and I kept moving around the road, trying to find the place where my feet were on stable ground.  At times this was in the middle of the road and at times it was on the shoulder. Very strange.  I could feel the slant of the road in my ankles and in my knees.

    The sky was blue with bright sun and just a hint of breeze. It really was a beautiful morning. I could hear the jingle of dog tags following me so I turned to look, sure enough, a large poodle was prancing along with a woman. The dog was as happy as could be as I watched the women feed her a cliff bar. They stopped often as the women let her dog drink from her water bottle. So awesome to see.

    I had 4 gels and filled my water bottle once during the race. 

    I was running 915s most of the race, this was  a comfortable pace for me. I was surprised that my heart rate was quite high-my average HR during the run was 162. Too high, really. My highest HR was 182, as I climbed the final hill to the finish line.

    The route is an out and back so I was able to high five and holler out to each of my friends, whom I mentioned earlier. I also saw Kate while we were running.  I did not see her at the start.

    What a blast of a day!  I felt great, I finished in 201 and nothing hurt. Woot!!!  The pavement was OK on my foot so I am feeling good about Grandmas.

    After I arrived home Troy and I went suit shopping for the first time. He has a Career Fair at the U of M, where he attends the College of Science and Engineering. I asked John at the race for a recommendation as to where we should shop. He suggested Men’s Wearhouse so that is where Troy and I went. We were blown away by the high level of customer service and the ease of  purchasing his  suit. We will certainly go back.

    Next up is Psycho Wyco 50K on February 20. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to this one. Looking forward to it!!

              Lyric Opera Announces its 2017-18 Resident Artists        

    General Director and CEO Deborah Sandler has announced the selection of the artists for the Resident Artists Program for the 2017-2018 season. They include: soprano Marlen Nahhas, mezzo-soprano Lauren Auge, tenor Martin Luther Clark, baritone Tim Murray and coach/accompanist James Maverick. Led by Vinson Cole, UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance faculty member and one of the leading artists of his generation, they will perform in various roles throughout the 2017-2018 season on the mainstage at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts as well as at community outreach and education events. The artists were selected after a rigorous national audition of more than 350 singers.

    During their Residency, in addition to appearing in mainstage roles, the Resident Artists will work with visiting guest artists, conductors and directors, participate in master classes, receive career coaching, study leading roles, make musical appearances in the community, and appear in their own intimate musical performances as a part of Lyric Opera of Kansas City's Explorations Series, which will focus on intimate gems of the vocal music repertoire. The Resident Artists have completed their post-graduate education and have some professional experience. The Resident Artists will have a full time 8-month contract for one to two years.

    Meet the Resident Artists

    Sun., Sept. 24, 2p

    Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building

    Lyric Opera audiences will have an opportunity to meet the Resident Artists on Sunday, September 24 at 2p at the Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building for an informal afternoon 'salon'. Through conversation and musical selections including arias, art songs and show tunes, audiences are invited to sneak a first peek at the quartet and pianist who will grace the main stage and our Explorations Series presentations throughout the season. The event is FREE. Seating is limited and RSVPs are required. For ticket information, visit or contact Lyric Opera Ticketing & Patron Services at (816) 471-7344.

    "We launched the Resident Artists Program last year and it has been an unqualified success," stated Sandler. "We join the international opera community in the training of talented, emerging professional young artists. This professional development program involves performance experience and the ability to work with our field's leading conductors, directors and principal artists. Our audiences have embraced our young artists and have been touched by them in a surprising number of ways. I look forward to another season of productive and engaged experiences."

    The program was made possible by a generous donation from the Estate of Richard Hill, Charter Sponsor of the Resident Artist Program.

    About the Resident Artists

    Lebanese-Mexican soprano Marlen Nahhas has been an apprentice artist at Central City Opera for the last two summers where she was awarded the coveted young artist scholarship. The year prior, she was a festival artist at Utah Festival Opera where she won first place in the Michael Ballam International Opera Competition. Ms. Nahhas has been a two-time regional finalist in the Midwest region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. She received her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance and musical theatre at Oklahoma City University and her Masters and Performance diploma from Indiana University under the tutelage of Carol Vaness. Recent roles include the title role in Tosca, Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte and Mimi in La bohème.

    As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Ms. Nahhas will perform the roles of The Page in Rigoletto and Berta in The Barber of Seville.

    Lauren Auge, mezzo-soprano, is described as "offering something transformative to the audience" in her work on the stage. Most recently, Ms. Auge was seen as Jennie in Kurt Weill's Down in the Valley and Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte. Making her mark on the competition scene, Ms. Auge was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Bel Canto Foundation competition, the 2014 winner of Sinfonietta Bel Canto Voice Competition, a finalist in the Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition and a first place winner in the 2013 Pantazelos Performing Artists Foundation Vocal Competition. Recently Ms. Auge was also a Danis Wilson Apprentice Artist at the Sugar Creek Symphony and Song Festival. Previous operatic roles have included Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, The Duchess in Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operetta The Gondoliers, Thelma in Cold Sassy Tree and The Wife in Darius Milhaud's dark opera Le pauvre matelot.

    As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Ms. Auge will perform the role of Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto.

    Tenor Martin Luther Clark is an alumnus at the University of North Texas holding a Graduate Artist Certificate and Bachelor of Music degree, both in Vocal Performance. While at UNT, Mr. Clark studied voice with Dr. Stephen F. Austin and Professor William Joyner. He recently made his Charlottesville Opera debut as a Young Artist singing the role of Borsa (Rigoletto) and covering Curly (Oklahoma!). In May of 2017, he covered the role of Arjuna (Arjuna's Dilemma) with the Dallas Opera. For the 2016 season, Mr. Clark performed roles including Tonio (La fille du regiment) with Opera North, Bastien (Bastien and Bastienne) with the Dallas Opera Outreach, Mozart (Mozart and Salieri) with Opera in Concert, and several others. Also in 2016, he was selected as a semi-finalist in the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition where he was the youngest competitor by two years. Throughout his college career at UNT, he performed numerous roles including Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Count Almaviva (IL Barbiere di Siviglia), Camille (The Merry Widow), and Frederic (The Pirates of Penzance) to name a few. Making his debut at Wolf Trap Opera, he sang the role of Le Fils (Les mamelles de Tirésias) as a Studio Artist.

    As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Mr. Clark will perform the roles of The Peasant in Eugene Onegin and Borsa in Rigoletto.

    Lauded for his "...consistent, attractive baritone" (Opera News) and "...?rm, ?exible baritone" (The New York Times), Wisconsin-born baritone Tim Murray makes his Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut this season as a member of the 2017-2018 Resident Artist Program. Mr. Murray's 2016-2017 season included a return to the Oratorio Society of New York to cover the baritone soloist in Britten's War Requiem, a short-notice Silvio in I pagliacci with Cedar Rapids Opera, Dandini in La Cenerentola with ARE Opera, NYC, and Moralès in Carmen and Ananias in Britten's The Burning Fiery Furnace with Central City Opera as a member of the Apprentice Artist program. Previous credits include the baritone soloist in both Berlioz's Lélio with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Mahler's 8th Symphony with the Oratorio Society of New York. While a student at Manhattan School of Music, Mr. Murray recorded the role of Le Vicomte de Valmont in Susa's The Dangerous Liaisons with Albany Records.

    As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Mr. Murray will perform the roles of Zaretsky/Captain in Eugene Onegin, Guy Cotter in Everest, Marullo in Rigoletto and The Officer in The Barber of Seville.

    Coach and accompanist James Maverick is from Bloomington, Indiana. Most recently, he was Apprentice Coach at San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program and the Coach Accompanist for Indiana University Opera Theater where he worked on productions of La fillé du régiment and Peter Grimes. Mr. Maverick is a graduate of Indiana University.

    About Vinson Cole

    American tenor Vinson Cole is internationally recognized as one of the leading artists of his generation. His career has taken him to all the major opera houses across the globe including the Metropolitan Opera, Opera National de Paris Bastille, Teatro alla Scala Milan, Theatre Royale de la Monnaie, Brussels, Berlin State Opera and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Munich State Opera, San Francisco Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Opera Australia, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Seattle Opera and many more. Equally celebrated for his concert appearances, Mr. Cole has been a frequent guest of the most prestigious orchestras throughout the world and has collaborated with the greatest conductors of this era including Christoph Eschenbach, Claudio Abbado, Carlo Maria Giulini, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, James Conlon, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Gerard Schwarz as well as Sir Georg Solti and Giuseppe Sinopoli. Mr. Cole had an especially close working relationship with the late Herbert von Karajan, who brought the artist to the Salzburg Festival to sing the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier - the first of many performances there together. Their collaboration went on to include works such as Verdi's Requiem, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. Mozart's Requiem and Bruckner's Te Deum. Many of these were issued on recordings on Deutsche Grammaphon. He was the performer on the soundtrack for the film Immortal Beloved.

    As a teacher, he has taught at the University of Washington School of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Aspen Music Festival and School, Glimmerglass Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera. He has conducted master classes for San Francisco Opera's Merola Program and the Canadian Opera Company. Currently, Cole is a faculty member at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

    Mr. Cole, born in Kansas City, studied at the University of Missouri, Kansas City before attending the Philadelphia Musical Academy and the Curtis Institute of Music. In 1977, he won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, the WGN Competition, and was awarded both the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Opera Institute grants. His career took off from there as he went on to perform principal roles with the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opèra National de Paris, Paris Opera-Bastille, Teatro alla Scala, and many more. Mr. Cole became well known for his interpretation of French repertoire after singing in the Manon centennial performances with Paris's Opera Comique in 1984. Since then, he has performed singular interpretations in such roles for Lakmè, Carmen, Don Carlos, and Faust. He has been honored with numerous awards including special invitations to perform with the Harriman-Jewell Series recitals and received an honorary doctorate from William Jewell College. He also received the Alumni Award from the Conservatory at UMKC, plus the Seattle Mayor's Arts Award for outstanding individual achievement and commitment to the arts.

    2017-2018 Season at a Glance:

    * Lyric Opera debut


    Eugene Onegin

    Pyotr Tchaikovsky, 1897

    Sung in Russian with English subtitles

    Saturday, September 30, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, October 4, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Friday, October 6, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Sunday, October 8, 2017 2:00 p.m.

    Director: Tomer Zvulun

    Conductor: Ari Pelto*

    Scenery Designer: Erhard Rom

    Lighting Designer: Robert Wierzel

    Onegin: Morgan Smith *

    Tatyana: Joyce El-Khoury

    Olga: Megan Marino

    Lensky: JoNathan Johnson

    Gremin: Paul Whelan *

    Filipievna: Jane Bunnell

    Monsieur Triquet: Steven Cole

    Zaretsky/Captain: Tim Murray*



    Composer: Joby Talbot, 2015

    Librettist: Gene Scheer

    Sung in English with English subtitles

    Saturday, November 11, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Friday, November 17, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Sunday, November 19, 2017 2:00 p.m.

    Director: Leonard Foglia *

    Conductor: Nicole Paiement *

    Beck Weathers: Michael Mayes *

    Jan Arnold: Sarah Larsen *

    Rob Hall: Andrew Bidlack *

    Doug Hansen: Craig Verm *

    Mike Groom: Mark McCrory

    Guy Cotter: Tim Murray


    Giuseppe Verdi, 1851

    Sung in Italian with English subtitles

    Saturday, March 3, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Friday, March 9, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Sunday, March 11, 2018 2:00 p.m.

    Director: David Gately

    Conductor: David Charles Abell

    Rigoletto: Leo An *

    Gilda: Nicole Haslett *

    Count Monterone: Andrew Gangestad

    Duke: Scott Quinn

    Maddalena: Zanda Šv?de

    Sparafucile: Peixin Chen *

    Marullo: Tim Murray

    Giovanna: Alice Chung

    Countess Ceprano: Lauren Auge*

    Page: Marlen Nahhas*

    Usher: Armando Contreras


    The Barber of Seville

    Gioachino Rossini, 1816

    Sung in Italian with English subtitles

    Saturday, April 28, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, May 2, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Friday, May 4, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Sunday, May 6, 2018 2:00 p.m.

    Director: Michael Shell *

    Conductor: Leonardo Vordoni

    Lighting Designer: Kendall Smith

    Almaviva: Jack Swanson *

    Rosina: Cassandra Zoe Velasco *

    Figaro: Jarett Ott *

    Don Basilio: Brian Banion

    Don Bartolo: Matthew Burns *

    Berta: Marlen Nahhas

    Fiorello: Armando Contreras

    Officer: Tim Murray

    About Lyric Opera of Kansas City

    Lyric Opera of Kansas City was founded in 1958; it is one of the nation's premier regional opera companies and brings high quality live operatic performances to the people of the Kansas City area and a five-state region. Repertoire choices encompass original language performances of standard repertory as well as contemporary and American operas. The Company mounts productions that enrich the community it serves, as well as reflect the highest artistic standards of the profession. Lyric Opera offers innovative and award-winning programs designed to further music and arts education both in schools and in the community, and serves more than 18,000 students and educators each year.

    My uncle was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.

    This has affected our whole family and we are all consumed by worry for him and his family. There is such a feeling of helplessness, because all we can do is learn about this disease and support him.

    And yet life continues on. Nick and I are nearly finished with this fall semester, and as soon as this next week of finals is finished I will be a senior! Finally. Work continues, and the children are all very excited for the holidays, ready for vacation. We are preparing for a family vacation: my family and Nick will be going to Barbados! My brother has joined a new band and performed a few nights ago, and he is looking to further his musical career by investigating music colleges. My parents are remodeling the house and just bought a new TV--a 3D one this time! We are all also doing our Christmas shopping and looking forward to spending time with our family. I will be spending this Christmas with my family instead of Nick's because of Steve's diagnosis.

    We are all so busy in our lives, but sometimes life seems to pause. And we continue to worry.
              Comment on Ridgefield High athletes to play NCAA Division I sports by Cary Nadel        
    Congrats to all 11 seniors who will be continuing their academic and athletic careers in college. Now, what about those girls and boys who will continue their academic and athletic careers at Division 2, Division 3, and NAIA colleges? These divisions all have letters of intent student-athletes can sign. These kids deserve the same recognition at the same time as the others who committed to D1 schools.
              Kirstin-L O V E-(EP)-2017-C4        
    Description: Kirstin is the single-word moniker Pentatonix singer Kirstin Maldonado adopted for her solo career. She released her debut single, “Break a Little,” in May 2017, just when Pentatonix were at the apex of their popularity, but kirstin’s solo music couldn’t have been more different than that of her group. Where Pentatonix put a millennial […]
              Ben Wendel What We Bring 2017-MTD        
    Description: Ben Wendel enjoys a varied career as a performer, composer and producer and is widely respected as the co-leader of the long standing, GRAMMY nominated band, Kneebody. ‘What We Bring’ represents Wendel’s fourth release as a leader and features primarily original music. Wendel dedicates all of the pieces on this album to masters from […]
              By: 7-Day Start-A-Blog Dream Job Writing Challenge Step #1        
    […] Scott Dinsmore, TEDx speaker and creator of Live Your Legend (Change the World by Doing Work You Love) says, “I believe a blog is hands-down the most powerful passion-discovery and career-transition tool on the planet.”  If you have never seen Scott’s TEDx presentation, here is the link: Live Your Legend TEDx […]
              By: Happy New Year: Get Your Career Year Off To A Great Start        
    […] Scott Dinsmore – founder over at talks about ‘the work you can’t not do’. Watch his TEDx talk HERE. […]
              By: How To Get Started To Find And Do Work You Love : The Passionate Work Framework | Quit, Be Free        
    […] year ago, I got the best career advice of my life. Find and do work you love. It blew my mind! I didn’t know if it was for real. Could I do this […]
              Nonprofit professionals gain career-enhancing certification through program offered by the San Antonio Area Foundation and St. Mary’s University        
    By Mary Beth Harrington Multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan have left many military families in need of the type of support that nonprofit organizations provide, such as housing assistance, job training, counseling and many other services. As a result, San Antonio nonprofit organizations are seeing a sharp increase in demand.  This trend is expected
              First Lines of New Acquisitions        

    There are many new acquisitions for Spring 2014, mostly from the Robert Smithson Collection. Each new book and their first sentence is listed below, and starting with:
    1.  The Language of Magic and Gardening by Bronislaw Malinowski:
    The linguistic problem before the ethnographer is to give as full a presentation of language as of any other aspect of culture.

    2.  Seven Types of Ambiguity by William Empson:

    An ambiguity, in ordinary speech, means something very pronounced, and as a rule witty or deceitful.

    3.  Changing: Essays in Art Criticism by Lucy Lippard: (seen above)

    André Ferminier writes: “What has perhaps been most damaging to the art critic is the prodigious gobbledygook that with him takes the place of vocabulary; and the prefaces to exhibition catalogs in particular would provide a classic anthology of the art of saying nothing.”

    4.  The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society by Norbert Wiener:

    The beginning of the twentieth century marked more than the end of one hundred-year period and the start of another.

    5.  Logic Machines & Diagrams by Martin Gardner: (seen above)

    A logic machine is a device, electrical or mechanical, designed specifically for solving problems in formal logic.

    6.  Field Book of Ponds and Streams by Ann Haven Morgan: (seen above)

    Minnows and frogs and brown water beetles, scurrying to cover as we approach the shore of a still clear pond, show us that the water has some very lively inhabitants.

    7.  The Modern Technique of Rock Blasting by U. Langefors and B. Kihlström:

    Within some thousandths of a second after the initiation of the explosive there occurs in a charged hole a series of events which, in drama and violence, have few equivalents in civil technology.

    8.   The Message of the Stars by Max and Augusta Heindel: (seen above, outside + next to its dust jacket)

    It is a matter of common knowledge among mystics that the evolutionary career of mankind is indissolubly bound up with the divine hierarchies who rule the planets and the signs of the Zodiac, and that the passage of the Sun and the planets through the twelve signs of the Zodiac, marks man’s progress in time and in space.

    9.  Field Book of Seashore Life by Roy Waldo Miner: (seen above and with Message of the Stars)

    Protozoa are single-celled animals.

    10.  Tropical Trees of Hawaii by Dorothy and Bob Hargreaves: (seen above)

    High among the list of reasons people love to visit Hawaii is the lovely tropical foliage to be enjoyed everywhere and at all times of the year.
    11.  Geography Made Easy by Jedidiah Morse: (from the Maria Mitchell Library)

    Geography is a science, which describes the figure, motion, magnitude, and component parts of the earth; the situations, extent, and appearances of the various parts of its surface; its productions animal and vegetable; its natural and political divisions; and the history, manners, customs, and religion of its inhabitants.

    For any questions about the Library, Collections or books, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com. 

              Convocation 2012        

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    September 4, 2012

    Amherst marked the beginning of the 2012–13 school year with Opening Convocation at Johnson Chapel on Sept. 3. The first formal gathering of the first-year class, the annual ceremony enables the college’s president and the faculty, dressed in their academic regalia, to officially welcome the new students. Every year, it features a procession, music by the Choral Society and the awarding of master of arts degrees to faculty who have reached the rank of full professor but aren’t graduates of Amherst. (View photos of the entire event at the Amherst College Flickr set.)

    In this year’s Convocation address, President Biddy Martin commended the members of the Class of 2016 for having the courage to learn, to be challenged by new ideas and to “combat our own willful ignorance.” “Critical thinking cannot be programmed, but it can be exemplified,” she explained to the audience of first-year students, faculty, staff and others. “It is our job to exemplify it by turning our analytical skills and our patience outward but also inward toward ourselves. The quality of this institution depends on the willingness of our students and faculty and everyone else who works to put their ‘taken-for-granteds’ at risk.”

    She discussed the relationships the students would cultivate at college and reminded them of the value of their Amherst education as well. The latter, she told them, is “a launching pad or platform for the work that needs to be done to address the monumental challenges in the world—economic, political, cultural, environmental.… It’s an opportunity to learn not only how to think but [how] to relate to people from every conceivable background, how to engage the world and how to lead.”

    Prior to speaking to the first-years, Martin conferred honorary master’s degrees on Catherine Epstein, professor of history and chair of her department; Jeffrey Ferguson, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Black studies and American studies; Caroline Goutte, professor of biology; Amelie Hastie, professor of English and film and media studies and chair of the film studies department; and Nasser Hussain, professor of law, jurisprudence and social thought. She also acknowledged Scott Kaplan ’95, professor of computer science, who was also promoted to full professor but already holds an Amherst degree.

    President Biddy Martin’s 2012 Convocation Address


    Good evening, and welcome once again. We are gathered to mark the beginning of the academic year, to celebrate teaching and learning and to affirm their importance. We are lucky to be learning and teaching in a community of smart, curious and creative people. By the very nature of this event and its rituals, we commit ourselves to one another and to a larger world that desperately needs its Amhersts. We are all eager just to get on with it, but it makes sense to dwell, even if only briefly, on our work, our relationships, and, perhaps, even our fun.

    I know the faculty feels fortunate to be teaching a student body with your talent, curiosity and diversity. You, who are our new and continuing students, are lucky to study with faculty who are contributing to their scholarly fields, creating new knowledge across disciplinary boundaries and investing their creativity in the art of teaching. The Amherst faculty treats teaching with same seriousness they bring to original research. I know from experience that such seriousness is rare. 

    In their senior survey, members of the Class of 2012 reported that their favorite teachers were the ones who had the highest expectations of them, who demanded their best work. This is a place that reveres the life of the mind and challenges us to continue a long tradition, a 191-year-old tradition of setting high standards.

    In a meeting of Amherst alumni in the chapel last spring, I was asked by an alum what motivates serious scholars to spend their careers teaching undergraduates; “What’s in it for them?” I believe he asked. I had a response ready, based on my own experience as a teacher of both undergraduate and graduate students, but I caught sight of Professor Sarat, a political scientist, who happened to be standing in the back of Johnson Chapel; I asked him to come forward and give the audience his perspective—and he was glad to oblige. I want to read the summary account he sent me later, because what he said is representative of Amherst faculty as a whole. I cannot imagine any member of the faculty who would not agree. “Amherst classrooms at their best,” he said, “are places that combine love, challenge and hope. We want our students not just to learn, but to love ideas, images, mathematical equations.”

    “Love,” he cautioned, “cannot be programmed, but it can be exemplified.” We want our students not only to learn, but also to love learning. He continued: “At our best, we try to put our students in a place of productive discomfort … we want to unsettle their taken-for-granteds. We want to challenge their moments of complacency. The return for those of us who teach, of seeing students take up the challenge, venture into that place of productive discomfort, is being inspired by their courage and reminded of what it is like to move beyond our own comfort zones.”

    He concluded by saying, “I guess it is all about what they and we are willing to put at risk.”

    I like the combination of challenge, love and hope. I like thinking about what it means to put our assumptions, even ourselves, at risk, within what is ultimately a pretty safe environment. If anyone among you doubts that it takes courage to question what we think we know or put our beliefs at risk, you need only look at the ideological rigidity in the world around us and consider the tenacious refusal in broad swaths of the public to accept scientific conclusions or listen to the views of others.

    It takes particular courage to combat what we might call our willful ignorance, but we are here to do just that. By “willful ignorance,” I mean the active suppression of knowledge or truth, the kind of ignorance that cannot be changed by the mere addition of new information. In moments of uncertainty and fear, we are particularly prone to indulging our ignorance, and the times are nothing if not uncertain. Our resistance to change is purposeful, but often only at an unconscious level by virtue of our stubborn internalizations.

    Last week, [DeMott Lecturer] David Nevins [’88] told you that the most creative periods in his career have often been the most anxiety-ridden; they have come when he was making the transition from one job to another, before he knew the rules and had not yet internalized them. He encouraged you to take advantage of the transition you are making, giving yourselves permission to think otherwise. Permission of that sort requires a fight, because we are largely unaware of the structure of our ignorance, and our prejudices can be forms of love for those from whom we learned or absorbed them. Critical thinking cannot be programmed, but it can be exemplified, and it is our job to exemplify it. The quality of our institution depends on the willingness of students and faculty, and everyone who works here, to put their “taken-for-granteds” at risk.

    Amherst sometimes seems like a treasured island, a respite from the inanity or insanity or the ugliness in the world, but it is not an island, and we don’t want it to be. We want it to be a platform or a launching pad for the work that needs to be done if we are to address the monumental challenges we face—economic, environmental, political, social, cultural and psychological. Amherst provides an opportunity to acquire the skills and the quality of thought that is adequate to the problems; it is also an opportunity to learn how to engage and build relationships with people from all over the world; it is an opportunity to learn how to lead.

    When I was in London visiting our alumni this summer, I asked some of my interlocutors how they accounted for their love of Amherst. “It’s a place,” said one, “where it was cool to be smart.” We are fortunate to be in a place where it is cool to be smart; cool to be different; cool to be an athlete who puts academics first or finds the right balance between the two; cool not to be an athlete; cool to sing, to dance, to stay up all night studying, even when there is no exam the next day; cool to grasp and appreciate the nature of reality and the complexity of our lives.

    I have lots of wishes for you, but I will emphasize two: first, that you reject the substitution all around us of only dimly related bullet points for genuine analysis. I hope you will use your time here to hone your intellectual skills and use them to reach for an understanding of the world—one that integrates the different modes of thought to which you will be exposed; one that displays close reading, critical thinking, analytical reason, creativity and a commitment to clear, compelling exposition. I hope you take full advantage of Amherst’s commitment to great writing and to other forms of creative expression. I hope you go beyond scattered “bullet points” or decontextualized data to a working understanding, or an approach to understanding, that honors imagination, distinguishes between fact and fiction and remains open to new knowledge.

    Second, I hope you find ways to let your leisure time be inflected by your intellectual development. It is popular here, as well as at other colleges and universities, to oppose play to work. “Work hard—play hard” becomes a kind of mantra, and sometimes a misguided one. I encourage you not to think of work and play as oppositions. Satisfying play is not the absence of work. It, too, takes cultivation and learning. And work is neither successful nor satisfying if it lacks experimentation, whimsy and fun. Play can be deadening when it is conceived only as an escape from thought. It is possible to relax and have fun, even to be a little oppositional, even a little bad, without suppressing all awareness and judgment.   

    You are here to learn not only how to be successful at work but also at play, and much of your playing will occur in relationships with your peers. Indeed, relationships will be a significant focus of your experimentation and growth while you are here—the friendships, love relationships, sexual ones. At least some of you will take an interest in sexuality. Good experiences and relationships cannot be programmed any more than the love of learning can, but they can be exemplified, and they will benefit from the work of thought. I will close with a good example of thought when brought to bear on questions of love and sexuality. In the early part of the 20th century, the German poet Rainer Marie Rilke wrote a letter to a young poet offering advice about the relationship between love, sensuality and work. Rilke warns the young poet against the tendency of young people to abandon themselves in pursuit of love or of one another, and he offers an account of love and marriage that has been cited many times over the past hundred years:

    Like so much else, people have also misunderstood the place of love in life, they have made it into play and pleasure because they thought that play and pleasure were more blissful than work; but there is nothing happier than work, and love, just because it is the extreme happiness, can be nothing else but work. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks; the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation …

    but young people fling themselves at one another, when love takes possession of them, scatter themselves, just as they are, in all their untidiness, disorder, confusion … And then what? Each loses himself [herself] for the sake of the other and loses the other and many others still to come. And loses the expanses and the possibilities, exchanges the approach and flight of gentle, divining things for an unfruitful perplexity…

    Physical pleasure is a sensual experience no different from pure seeing or the pure sensation with which a fine fruit fills the tongue; it is a great unending experience, which is given us, a knowing of the world, the fullness and the glory of all knowing. And our acceptance of it is not what’s bad; the bad thing is that most people misuse and squander this experience and apply it as a stimulant at the tired spots of their lives and as a distraction instead of a rallying toward more exalted moments … In marriage [relationships] the goal is not to create a quick community of spirit by tearing down and destroying all boundaries. A good marriage [relationship] is one in which each appoints the other guardian of his [her] solitude.

    This last sentence is one of the most frequently cited passages in the letter. “A good [relationship] is one in which each appoints the other guardian of his [her] solitude” or separateness. Use your leisure, your play, your relaxation and your relationships with one another as a rallying toward the project of becoming who you are and letting others be engaged in the same work. Respect yourselves, your own boundaries and the boundaries of others.

    Take yourselves and your fellow classmates seriously. And, in the process, enjoy! Welcome and welcome back to Amherst.

              Jonathan Meades on album covers and cooking        

    If you enjoyed film of Jonathan Meades at Marsh Court that I posted recently, here are two more contributions by the great mean that may be to your taste.

    He has reviewed a book on album covers for the Literary Review:
    Three hundred pages of photographs of egomaniacal longhairs trying their utmost to look insolently delinquent (as only the alumni of Harrow, Charterhouse, Haberdashers’ Aske’s, Oundle, the Perse and numerous other public schools can). An introductory essay weighed down by cliché. A commemoration of the last century’s over-denimed, over-flared sartorial nadir. A vanity project that exhumes ephemera – mere record sleeves! – and binds them boastfully in hard covers. That’s one way of looking at this book. 
    Another is to consider this doggedly thorough doorstop as a comprehensive celebration of a gloriously impure mix of photographic surrealism, graphic ostentation, inventive mise en scène, darkroom experimentation (Photoshop was far in the future), palaeo cut and paste (using cowgum, of course), hoary jokes, bricolage, inspired ad hocism and, above all, sheer cleverness.
    And in June he spoke to John Mitchinson of Unbound Books at the London Review Bookshop about his career and in particular his new book.

    You can listen to the evening as a podcast and it is well worth doing so as Meades was in good form.
              Welcome to Edward Garren, LMFT CA License MFC27181        
    "When you're ready for change."

    Edward Garren is a California licensed psychotherapist, offering counseling services to individuals, couples and families.

    "The purpose of therapy is to remove blocks to truth; to help you abandon any patterns of belief that no longer serve you in a productive way; to implement self-forgiveness.
    Therapy can alleviate suffering and open the door to peace of mind. It can assist in separating illusion from reality and even reality from truth.
    Finally, it can help you to learn to make your decisions from internal prompts because you have created an internal locus of control."
    From "A Course in Miracles"

    Mr. Garren has worked in the profession for many years and has a broad range of experiences and "styles" of doing therapy. He has particular expertise working people who are dealing with depression, anxiety, recovering from addiction or alcoholism, desiring to reduce or eliminate use of prescribed psychotropic medications* (*NOTE: any change in one's medication should always be done under the guidance and supervision of the prescribing or other physician).

    Ed has experience providing Counseling, Psychotherapy, Coaching, Career Development and related services to: Individuals Couples Families GLBTQ Community Members Persons living with HIV Persons and Families of mixed heritages Adult Survivors to Childhood Trauma Persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Military and Law Enforcement personnel.

    His office is conveniently located on Rodeo Road, near Western Ave.  This location is within ten minutes of the USC main campus, Downtown Los Angeles, Koreatown, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, View Park, West Adams, etc.  It is within fifteen minutes of Hollywood, West Hollywood, Mid-Wilshire, Los Feliz, Silverlake, Echo Park, Chinatown, East Los Angeles, South Central, South Los Angeles, Inglewood, Playa del Rey, Marina del Rey.

    You may contact Mr. Garren via telephone, (213) 596-9674 , or by eMail

    Fax # is (213) 596-9082 

              L. A. is dying        
    My city has a tumor in its heart, a cancer that is threatening to destroy the host, destroy the state, destroy America.

    The government, more so, the members of congress in their infantile wisdom have handed over a large portion of Los Angeles to the Zombies. It has been named the zombie zone by elected officials and zombie homeland by the degenerate half dead monsters that infest it. Explained to the public as a way of reaching across the aisle and finding common ground on which to base human zombie relations, the zombie zone is a huge blow to humans. With one sinuous line of the governor?s pen, and the president Obazy smiling over his shoulder, a large swath of Los Angeles was given over to the zombies. The creatures flooded the area within days, and the humans that failed to leave beforehand were as cattle at the slaughter. Some humans remained behind to fight for their property, given away by the government without their consent or recompense; others did not have any means to leave, or anywhere to go. The feeding frenzy of the zombies was and orgy of screams heard all around the perimeter of the zone, yet most of America sat secure in their homes, blissfully ignorant of the happenings in the heart of L.A., denying that it could ever happen to them.

    Some citizens learned of what was happening, and in their outrage they went to their representatives in congress begged and demanded that something be done to help those trapped in the zombie zone. Their pleas were ignored. Other citizens begged for congress to send in the National Guard, and once again, congress remained resolutely silent.

    Within days, the zombie zone was declared human free, eradicated as if they were offending vermin. Some few humans clung to life and learned how to survive and fight in the zone. However, they were seriously outnumbered and lacked much to defend against the walking dead.

    I could not sit by any watch this horror without attempting to help, so I snuck in to the zone.

    Throughout my career as a costumed crime fighter, I haunted the night and protected those that ventured into that world. But night in the zombie zone was death for a normal human, so I explored the zone during the day, avoiding darkened areas, as I quickly learned this is where the zombies rested and would awaken at the lest amount of noise. I found that most zombies stayed in large groups and hunted as if in packs. But some, for what reason I cannot fathom, chose to be by themselves. It was one of these monsters I came across, and learned how to tune my fantastic goggle to read what I could from their near black soul. It was from this beast I learned what it took to kill a zombie.

    After my foray into the zone, I realized I would need a better mode of transportation than walking on foot. I went home and bought a 1945 Dodge power wagon and began making some modifications.

    I am the Mirrorman, I protect humans, I protect good citizens, and I hunt zombies. Your doom or triumph will be at your own hand.

              Trevor Wolfe ( and De Wet Swanepoel (hearScreen)        
    5FM — Nick chats to innovators at the pinnacle of their careers. Trevor Wolfe: started his career in New York City working with the world's largest marketing research firm. Now he lives in South Africa where he co-founded (award winning pitch at Ventureburn Pitching Den) after seeing how challenging and broken the creative process is between agencies and brands. De Wet Swanepoel: a professor of Audiology at the University of Pretoria and lead inventor of the acclaimed hearScreenTM App and South Africa’s National Hearing Test App, hearZATM. Since its launch, hearScreen has won numerous awards and accolades as a ground breaking mHealth tool with clinical relevance. Hearing loss is called the silent epidemic because it really is an epidemic. Globally there are more than 360 million people who live with permanent and disabling hearing loss.
              Head Of Payroll (Mexico City)        
    We now Have An exciting career opportunity for an experienced Head of Payroll to join us at our Headquarters to support our payroll function in order to deliver excellence to our employees payroll. Responsibilities will include: . * Prepa......
              Another Blog Hop         
    Many of you may have noticed that there seems to be a blog hop circulating around at the moment. The lovely Tea from Tea Okereke chose me to continue the 'Hop!' So here I go.
    Photo: Michael Dooney Post: My Cut Out Lace Dress Challenge

    Why do you write?
    Writing is not exactly a strength of mine, I am generally envious of many bloggers writing styles. I think that my structured, science-y brain makes me a little dry. But there are a number of reasons for writing my blog
    The main reason is to document my sewing process and hopefully encourage others to take up the hobby. I am a firm believer in sustainable fashion and believe that understanding the making of a garment (from sourcing fabrics, to constructing and finishing details) encourages us to have some insight into clothing production.
    Writing the blog also pushes me to have self imposed deadlines for my sewing. I have realised that I need these deadlines, otherwise I get easily distracted! Having a blog which focuses on sewing and creativity is a wonderful thing for my overly excited brain!

    What are you working on?
    At the moment I am working on opening and revamping my Fickle Sense Etsy store (I have 2 shops one for fashion (Fickle Sense) and one for screen printing(FS Screen Printing))In the Fickle Sense store I am combining my loves for character design, illustration, textile design, screen printing, sewing and sustainable fashion. Having my own fashion label has been a dream of mine.... so hopefully all of my hard work pays off. I am making handmade, organic pyjamas! I have not been posting too much on the Fickle Sense blog as I have been drawing, screen printing, sewing prototypes and sewing my stock for the past few months. This image is a sneak peak into what you can expect. I will hopefully have the shop launched in about 2 weeks! The theme is English Breakfast!

    How does your blog differ from others of its genre?
    I don't know how much I differ from other sewing type blogs, but I can tell you how I like to work... perhaps this makes me a little different?

    My husband and I have a combined love for photography so our photo taking process is very planned out. For 95% of our images we use medium format cameras (either the Yashicha or the Mamiya) and take 5 - 10 frames each shoot  Sometimes we have an idea of what we want the image to look like (e.g. For the photos in the snowy the picture above 'My Cut Out Lace Challenge' I knew that it was going to snow the next morning, so we got up early before work and went to take photos in the fresh snow, when the snow clung to the trees). Or sometimes we take a day trip somewhere so we take photos there. We get the film developed by a one man, local lab. My husband then scans the films for me. So it is quite a long process compared to digital.
    I am also a lover of textile design, so I often create my own prints and textiles. I am hoping to be more experimental and artistic with my outfits in the coming months. So there are more textiles to come!
    I also have a true passion for sustainable fashion. So much so, I have created a website named 'i give 2 hoots' which focuses on sustainable fashion. I am revamping the site ready for more inspiring bloggers. Find out more here.


    How does your writing process work?
    I  have tried to set dedicated times to blog. I was inspired to try this out as many artists such as Nick Cave block out times for writing. This was not so successful for me. I found that I like to jump between projects (e.g. Knitting, crocheting, writing, sewing, drawing, printing) depending on my mood. I generally need to be on a 'writing roll' and I will then write a heap of posts at one time. 

    Thanks to Tea for mentioning me in her Hop. Tea really creates some lovely, colourful garments and I enjoy the stories that go along side her garments on Tea Okereke. I particularly liked this neon pink number below. I was first drawn to it because of the parrot print (I am a bird lover), but then reading deeper into her story, it turned out to be a useful outfit for an archeologist :) You can read her reasoning here.
    Image Tea Okereke
    Now the next two Hops are going to ..... Meg from Made By Meg and Heather Lou from The Closet Case Files.
    Made by Meg, must be the most hard working sewer out there. There are always newly sewn garments featured on her blog with reviews. Certainly one to follow. I also like that she sews for her man. I am a fan of menswear tailoring (I would love to do a tailoring course) and sewing for my husband, so I love seeing others sewing for the special man in their lives. My favourite outfit of hers is the summer bustier

    Image from Meg by Made

    Heather Lou is also an inspiring blogger. My favourite post of hers was a rather personal one, Taking a Leap. This post discusses her new career change where she now makes her own indie patterns for sewers to create; Bombshell Swimsuit, Nettie Dress and Body Suit, Ginger Skinny Jeans. What a brave soul. I also love that she is a true sewing community member where she often writes about others projects. This image below is my favourite outfit of hers: Sallie Silk in Shigawake

    Image from Closet Case Files
    Blog on!

              Payroll Specialist        
    FL-Jacksonville, Swisher International, Inc. has been an industry leading cigar manufacturing company for over 150 years. Our sales mission is to provide customers and consumers with tobacco products that offer complete value and satisfaction through product offerings of the highest quality, that are competitively priced. Our strong brand heritage provides our employees with challenging and rewarding careers, alon
              Cheering out the ugly        
    It's not often, but there have been times, during a race, when I wasn't sure I was going to make it.
    It happened more often earlier in my running "career" than it has of late. I've learned a few things.
    I've learned how to enjoy running more, and I've learned that with that enjoyment comes pain. If you think about it, lots of fun stuff hurts, and that goes for things that are bad for you and good for you.
    I learned how to deal with the pain by repeating mantras, falling in love with lowering my times and pushing myself far beyond what the guy in my 20s thought was possible. But there was something else I learned too. I learned how to accept encouragement.
    I once thought I should be able to get through whatever was thrown at me on my own. You can get through life that way, but only if life is fairly easy. My life was pretty easy until I started running.
    Running brings the pain. I've never been as miserable as I've been during a bad race, even on my worst days of mountaineering. I've fantasized about many things in my life, many wonderful things, and yet nothing left me as longing as much as deep, easy breathing, a calm stomach and toes without blisters when I'm in the throes of a tough race. Yes, there are times when you feel superhuman, and those times are why you run, because more often than not, you feel inhuman.
    You want nothing more than to be done. And then you look up and see someone you usually don't know smiling at you. Holding a funny sign for you. Clapping for you. Cheering for you.
    This is why God made spectators.
    Sometimes they say stupid things. I've heard "you're almost there" two miles from the finish, which is fine, unless you're running a marathon and your legs are cramping. But many times they don't. They say "you're looking strong" or "nice work" or, best of all, they just yell and cheer and clap.
    It always amazes me. Running, unless you love it, is not a spectator friendly sport. I agree with the signs: It really is the worst parade ever. Besides, we runners can be an annoying bunch. We talk too much about it, or at least I do. We post about it too much, too, or at least I do. There's a joke that surfaces on Twitter occasionally, and every time I see it, I laugh a knowing laugh. Unfortunately I'm paraphrasing, but here goes: How will you know when someone is training for a marathon? Don't worry. They'll tell you.
    Yet I wrote a story that ran in today's paper about four runners who ran Monday's Boston Marathon, and all of them said, without a doubt, the spectators were wonderful. I've heard that from others as well. It's one of many reasons why, one day, I want to run there.
    Monday, as you know, was a terrible day. It was one of the worst I've had, and while I wasn't there, I had close friends there, including one who is a training partner, someone I run with pretty often. A few friends and I had no idea if she was safe for almost an hour after we learned the bombs went off.
    The Boston Marathon is one of my favorite days of the year. It's a lifetime goal. It's simply special. Someone could not have hurt me more, at least not symbolically, by attacking it.
    And yet when I talked to those runners today for my story, they talked a little bit about the bombing. They talked a lot more about the crowds.
    I thought about that, and many times, those same crowds cheering me and my fellow runners lifted me up too during a race. Sometimes they even brought me out of the darkness.
    I've been cheered by friends, and there's no doubt it means a little more. But during a painful race, there isn't that much distinction between the cheers from a friend or a stranger. It all helps. It's all wonderful.
    There's been lots of brave talk about not letting terrorism defeat us, and I agree with all that, but you know, this shook me pretty hard. It probably did you too. Monday we all may have felt a little bit like we weren't going to make it. Maybe you still feel that way.
    I'm already feeling a little better, though, and here's why. I've been lifted by this country's reaction to our running community. People wore race shirts to work, and they talked about our runners' spirit in stories and tweets and posts. It's been wonderful. The last time a huge news event clashed with a race, it was New York, and runners were treated like pariahs in some ways. That marathon created divisive debate. Boston seems to be healing a lot more old wounds, even if an attack opened some new ones.
    It makes me think we can all lift each other, still, despite lately feeling the exact opposite about our country. A pat on the back, a smile, even a little hoo-rah can go a long way. All that can get us through the day. They can get us through the next mile.
    Those runners I interviewed did mention how loud, how angry, the explosion was. But they kept going back to those cheers. Those wonderful cheers. They simply must have been louder than the bomb.

              Rock You To Hell (and 24 of the other greatest metal songs of all time)        
    Growing up in high school, I was not a U2 guy, even when everyone else was ga-ga over The Joshua Tree.
    I distinctly remember sitting in the band room before school and arguing, vehemently, about why Helloween was a better band than U2. (No, I didn't get many dates in high school.)
    The thing is, I still believe that, and I'm a reasonably normal human being these days. I just believe that heavy metal is probably the greatest popular music ever created. 
    If you agree, you can keep reading. If you don't, you can keep reading, too, if you're looking to expand your horizons. If you think that's just about the funniest thing you've ever heard, you can keep reading, too, only keep your U2 comments to yourself. Here's 25 of the best heavy metal songs ever.
    Just like last time — and I'm not gonna link it since all you have to do is scroll down like a few feet to see my last entry — there are some rules:
    • I tried to include only one song per group. This was difficult, since honestly I could fill a list of 25 with Metallica, Iron Maiden and, yes, Helloween, but that's not the idea. The idea is to give some pretty great bands their due, and maybe get you to download one or two on iTunes. I had no trouble finding 25 signature songs.
    • This is a heavy metal list, so I stayed away from hair metal songs or groups I've previously mentioned in the last list. I plan on doing a thrash list, since that genre holds a special place in my heart, so RELAX SLAYER/ANTHRAX/ETC FANS I WILL GET TO YOU I PROMISE.
    • Almost all of these songs are 20 years old. That's sad to me. My last list, the thrash list, will have some new (NOT Nu) metal in it, but in terms of good heavy metal, power metal, whatever, it's just not made much any longer. There are some good bands out there, such as Hammerfall, but they're not producing classics.
    • This is MY list, so it's not like some Hall of Fame list of the Greatest Metal Songs Of All Time. It's a geeky, fun list and a chance for me to write about some bands I've loved, OK? These aren't in order either. 
    • Seriously, relax, Slayer fans. I know that's hard for you.
    Here we go:

    • "I'm Alive" — Helloween
    Metal bands sure have some stupid band names. Savatage? Leatherwolf? Megadeth? Really? But no name probably misrepresented itself more than Helloween. People snickered in a sort of scared way when I named them among my favorite bands in high school. HELL-o-ween? Can't you just hear SNL's church lady? SATAN? 
    Yet Helloween never did take itself too seriously. WAY less seriously than many other heavy metal bands, especially those that leaned to the speed metal side (Slayer, for instance, could not find a spoonful of irony in itself despite the fact that the guitarist wore a wristband with spikes long enough to barbecue a turkey).
    No, Helloween was funny. They wrote about Charlie Brown and a prince who couldn't get it up and "Dr. Stein," a scientist who let his funny creatures run into the night. They also wrote this inspiring number. It's the first song I heard from Helloween, an album I bought simply because it got good reviews and there was an advertisement in Hit Parader that made them sound like an Iron Maiden-type band. Their goofiness, just like Anthrax's, never took away from the fact that this band could shred and yet include more catchy melodies than Def Leppard. 
    There haven't been many more consistent metal bands in the last 25 years than Helloween. Their last three albums, starting from the mid-2000s, were all outstanding, and I can't even say that about Iron Maiden. 
    P.S. I'm making three exceptions to my thrash metal list. Iron Maiden, Metallica and Helloween all could be considered speed or thrash metal bands in one form or another, but in many ways they are also heavy metal bands. Besides, they are so great they deserve to be on two lists.

    • "Future World" — Pretty Maids
    Remember what I said about stupid band names? 
    Anyway, Pretty Maids was even stranger than its name. Their lead singer had two voices, a silky classic rock-kind of voice that was nothing special, and some sort of growl that sounded like Joey Tempest of Europe trying to act tough. He shifted from one to another depending on how aggressive the music was behind him. Somehow it worked, especially on this song, because his vocals matched it perfectly. You had a great piano riff, then a guitar, then piano again, and all together, this mess became a great song, one of my favorites of all time. Their whole album, "Future World," was really pretty good, and against all odds, they had a great song, "Savage Heart," on their next album.
    This is exactly the kind of band that would crack non-metal fans up, but you guys thought Erasure was a great group, so that makes us even.

    • "Electric Eye" — Judas Priest
    Yes, I know "You Got Another Thing Comin'" is a great song. I agree. Yet I love the tone this song sets for "Screaming For Vengeance," Priest's best album (even better than the fantastic "British Steel") and easily one of the best metal albums of all time. "Electric Eye" is fast and hard and driving and ominous, especially with that majestic opener (which the band, for some reason, called "The Hellion" but really is just an extension of this track). "Riding on the Wind" follows, which is a great running song and one of my favorites, too. God this band had some great songs. Why isn't Priest in the Hall of Fame again? Well, at least Depeche Mode isn't either. 

    • "Rising Force" — Yngwie Malmsteen
    I really wanted to put "You Don't Remember, I'll Never Forget" on here, and if you want to switch the two songs around, I'm cool with that. But this is the best track from what I consider to be Yngwie's best album. He had actual songs on this album and an actual singer, Joe Lynn Turner from Rainbow (who was not Rainbow's best singer but still was OK), rather than just an excuse to play scales like really, really fast over and over. To be honest, even "You Don't Remember" is that. I always had a soft spot for guitarists who could play really fast, and so Yngwie makes this list even if he's the Dave Kingman of metal.

    • "We Must Carry On" - Chastain
    Speaking of flashy guitarists, welcome to my favorite of the 80s. I don't know if I would put him there any longer, but as I said, in high school, I had a serious crush on guitarists who could rip it. I loved instrumental albums too, and so I listened to Tony MacAlpine and Joe Satriani as well as Yngwie. I discovered David T. Chastain by chance.
    I bought a ton of tapes in high school, and sometimes I would buy an album because it was in the metal section at Musicland and I liked the cover. That's seriously all it took. That's why I bought this Chastain tape, and I remember popping it in and being blown away.
    Chastain, as it turns out, had one of the most aggressive vocalists for a power metal band at the time. A lot of it was screaming, the kind Hetfield did in his "Ride the Lightning" days. It took me a year after wearing out this album, "The 7th of Never," to figure out the vocalist was, in fact, female. She was fantastic and probably responsible for my love for female metal vocalists even to this day (Doro Pesch was another reason).
    David T. had another band, CJSS, which was more of a hair metal band, though it was still far heavier than Poison or White Lion. I preferred Chastain because it was almost thrash but not quite and David T. played about as fast and almost as well as even the flashiest guitarists. He also put out a few mediocre instrumental records. I went back in Chastain's catalouge, as was my habit if I loved a record, and found that Chastain put out two other great records. If you want, head to iTunes. I'd also recommend the songs "There Will Be Justice," "Voice of the Cult," "One Day To Live," "Black Knight" and anything off the 7th of Never, including the title track. These songs, surprisingly, have aged well and could hold their own against many of the modern metal bands.
    Had you even heard of Chastain? I'm curious.

    • "Shot in the Dark" — Ozzy
    Was Ozzy a hair metal group or a heavy metal group? I'm not sure. But I didn't give Ozzy his due last time, and so I figure I need to mention him here. "Crazy Train" is too overplayed for me to recommend it any longer, despite its brilliance, and so I'm going with one of Ozzy's lesser-known but still great hits. This one is catchy, far catchier than most of the hair metal hits, and yet it's heavier, too.
    It's too bad Ozzy is seen as this goofy guy now, the way most people see Stevie Wonder, or at least those who don't know his earlier catalogue. In this case, it's Ozzy's fault, as the drugs have punched too many holes in his brain. Yet Ozzy, like Stevie, was a badass at his peak and a talented one at that.

    • "Rise or Fall" — Leatherwolf
    Leatherwolf sounded like a tough metal band. It's a WOLF. In LEATHER. RAWR! But they were a gimmick. They had three guitars. THREE! Wow! Triple the POWER.
    OK, seriously. It was a little weird, but it worked, especially since they could really play. Their sound wasn't as crunchy, and it was painfully obvious that at times they just got in each other's way, which was inevitable. But they could also sing, and this was one of those huge, vocal tunes that made them sound like a choir (Metal really has serious roots in classical and opera music), in the "Flight of Icarus" vein. Leatherwolf had a much better career than it deserved. Its follow-up album was solid, too, and in some ways heavier and more consistent than its self-titled debut. They still release songs today, but they're not worth buying, save for one, "Behind The Gun." Unfortunately I don't see them on iTunes, and Amazon sells their CDs for about, oh, $50 for an import. I did love my Leatherwolf, but it's not worth that.

    • "The Trooper" — Iron Maiden
    A half-dozen Iron Maiden songs could, and really should, make this list. "Hallowed By Thy Name." "Aces High." "Two Minutes To Midnight." "Moonchild." "Wasted Years." On and on and on, as Bruce himself has sang once or twice. "The Trooper" may not even be my favorite track on "Piece of Mind," and "Powerslave" is probably my favorite album by Iron Maiden. But this song is so iconic. And it's the first Iron Maiden song I heard that made me reconsider the band, which I had ignored for some time in high school (I always thought they were a little weird before I realized how amazing they are). Iron Maiden is my second favorite band of all time. If they don't make the Hall of Fame I'm gonna be pissed, and yet I get this feeling that they won't. I don't think enough people took them seriously enough, which is a shame. Iron Maiden probably was hurt by the heavy metal label more than most, if not THE most, since they had one of the best singers in history and really, really great players and longevity and influence. All the pieces are there. I guess people just can't look beyond Eddie.

    • "Bring Me To Life" — Evanescence
    Remember what I said about female metal vocalists? I know this song probably doesn't deserve to be on the list, and I'll probably take some crap for it, but this is not just a great song, it's a classic. Amy Lee has a powerful voice, one of the best I've heard, male or female, and this song is far heavier than many of the pop metal classics. I think it qualifies, despite the fact that it is a tad overwrought and dramatic.

    • "Rock You To Hell" — Grim Reaper
    Grim Reaper was a goofy metal band known for one minor (very minor) hit, "See You In Hell," before they released this album. The vocalist, Steve Grimmett, sang in a high pitch, as if he was in a hair band, only it had an edge to it, like a wolf's howl. And the guitarist, Nick Bowcott, was actually a great player. So they were good. And then this album hit the shelves. Wow. The album just DESTROYED my speakers. RCA probably wondered what the hell hit them. Great production turned this into one of the heaviest records that wasn't thrash in the 80s, and this song is probably the best of the bunch, although three or four others come close. It compares well with today's metal too. Give it a try.
    Grimmett later sang for Onslaught, a middling speed metal band that got lucky enough to hire him, and as a result, the one album with him as a frontman turned out to be a great one. You'll see a song from that record on my next list.

    • "Enter Sandman" — Metallica
    There are two Metallicas. There's pre-Black album and post-Black album. I seem to be one of the few who loves both. I prefer pre-Black, of course, like most hardcore metal fans, but the Black album is one of the better metal albums of all time, and this song is one of the best tunes. Great, crunchy, catchy riff from a band that still manages to be heavier than any other mainstream rock act in America.

    • "Hall of the Mountain King" — Savatage
    Savatage had two lead singers, and both were great, but I prefer the Jon Olivia era, though the song "Edge of Thorns" almost made the list. Why? Well, this album and its title track are classics, the perfecg balance of heavy crunch and melody. Savatage wasn't afraid of the fact that metal bands owe a lot to classical music, and the real "Hall of the Mountain King" plays on guitar as a perfect lead-in to this song, which contains one of the best metal riffs you'll ever hear. This album also had "24 Hours Ago" and "Strange Wings," and the later on band also recorded the classic "Gutter Ballet" and "When The Crowds Are Gone" and the interesting concept album "Streets" before Olivia left.
    Fun Fact: Savatage's song based on "Carol of the Bells," Christmas Eve/Sarajevo, on its concept album "Dead Winter Dead," is that song you hear all the time at Christmas by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

    • "March of the Saint" — Armored Saint
    Before John Bush became Anthrax's lead singer for a time, he led this band (and I believe he does again), and while Bush was overrated and underrated as a metal singer at the same time, his band did produce this whopper, a hard-driving, somewhat underground metal classic. I almost put Anthrax's "Only" here because I wanted a song sang by Bush, but this one wins out, and like others on this list, holds up well today.

    • "Pull Me Under" — Dream Theater
    Picking my favorite Dream Theater song is really hard. When Dream Theater releases a new album, I'll buy it, no questions asked, and I can say that about only a handful of groups. I love their technical yet melodic songs, even if some are 18 minutes or longer, and their last two albums were outstanding. I have so many other favorites — "In the Name of God," "Panic Attack," "Nightmare To Remember," "Lines in the Sand," plus the whole Metropolis concept album — that picking this one seems almost unfair. It's the band's only real hit, and it's also their least complicated number, something a lot of bands could have done, which you can't say about many other of their songs. But it's also their catchiest and was the reason I discovered Dream Theater, as I heard it on Headbanger's Ball one night.
    I would honestly want to hang out with Dream Theater one day, and it would be in the studio, not backstage, to see their sheet music and watch them play it. I guess Dream Theater brings out the band geek in me.

    • "Eyes of a Stranger" — Queensryche
    Yes, I like "Queen of the Ryche" as well as anyone, but Queensryche had only one truly great album, and it's so great it's one of the best ever, and so I wanted to honor "Operation: Mindcrime," and this is probably the group's best song anyway. Geoff Tate wails on this, and I doubt any other vocalist could have done this song justice, given the highs and lows a singer has to tackle for it to work as well as it does. I refuse to put "Silent Lucidity" on here since it's a great song but also a Pink Floyd ripoff and it's been way, way overplayed.

    • "Rainbow in the Dark" — Dio
    Speaking of epic vocalists...
    I could put 15 Dio songs on here, and a few from his work with Black Sabbath, and no one would blame me for it. Dio would have been a great thrash vocalist, a great hair metal singer and a great hard rock singer, but he did his best work on the kind of grandiose heavy metal songs like the one here. I'm picking this one because it's off his best album, "Holy Diver," and I think it's the best example of how Dio wasn't afraid to use melody almost on a pop music level (this song, after all, has keyboards as a main instrument, not just for flourishes). But he also turned those songs into metal classics because of his fantastic, soaring and sandpaper voice. Dio really needs to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The metal world misses him.

    • "Chop Suey!" — System of a Down
    System of a Down is one of the few modern metal bands that would fit in fine with many of the bands listed here, and yet they don't sound like any other band I've ever heard. At times speed metal, melodic Nu metal and good 'ole hard rock, this song represents them more than any other, though it may not even be their best. All of their albums were excellent, and Serj, one of the better metal vocalists in recent times, had a nice solo career as well.

    • "Rusty Cage" — Soundgarden
    I don't hate the grunge era as much as most hardcore metal fans. There was some great music made, and much of it was harder and more ferocious than most of the hair metal era. Nirvana and Pearl Jam were two of my (obvious) favorites, but I can't put them in the metal category, not really even close. Alice in Chains comes closer, and so does Stone Temple Pilots, if for no other reason than Scott Weiland teamed up with Slash and the Guns guys to make a great Velvet Revolver record. But I can't do it. I like the bands, but I can't do it.
    Soundgarden, though, seems to fit, and this song, which seems born to inspire, not depress me, hangs just fine with the others in this group. Chris Cornell was a badass singer before he cheesed out. The grunge era was not good for metal, but it did produce some good music.

    • "Badlands" — Metal Church
    If there was one band that seemed to straddle the line between heavy metal and thrash better than any other, it was Metal Church. The band toured with speed and thrash metal bands, played it (very) occasionally and never recorded a sappy love ballad (in fact much of its subject matter was as thought-provoking or disturbing, depending on who you were, as other thrash bands). But Metal Church was at its core a heavy metal band, not a one-dimensional thrash band. As a result, it released some pretty brilliant albums. The band, like Savatage, didn't lose a step and may have gained a couple when it lost its original lead singer, David Wayne, who was good, for the great Mike Howe. I chose this song because it's catchy, hard and complex, much like the rest of its excellent work.

    • "Am I Evil?" — Diamond Head/Metallica
    Metallica's remake of this classic is probably why I started to truly love Metallica. I thought they wrote it until I read some interviews about their influences and they mentioned this band called Diamond Head. The original is just as good, though I don't think it's better.

    • "Painted Skies" — Crimson Glory
    If you can get past the terrible name (which shouldn't be too much of a problem given half the band names on this list) and the fact that the lead singer sounds like a much cheesier version of Geoff Tate, Crimson Glory put out a KILLER album called "Transcendence." The album had this song on it as well as "Lonely," and I honestly had a hard time deciding which one to put on here.

    • "War Pigs" — Black Sabbath gets on here by default. I probably should put Led Zep on here too but I don't consider them heavy metal per se, just a killer hard rock band, maybe the best band of all time. Black Sabbath, though, is probably the first true metal band and remains an influence for most bands today. Doom Metal, Black Metal, Speed Metal, Heavy Metal and, yes, even hair metal owe their left nuts to Black Sabbath. I think this is their best song but there are many others that could have made the list, both with Ozzy or Dio.

    • "Highway to Hell" — AC/DC
    AC/DC made the hair metal list, but I never really considered them a hair band, just the song I chose. So I'll put them on here, too, with their finest track, though about 20 others could have made it (including a close second, "Long Way To The Top," because they were ballsy enough to use bagpipes). Probably the only band to have lasted as long as they did without really changing one lick of who they were or their sound. This band, like Slayer, never really experimented, but it's proof of the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" cliche. Quite frankly other bands should have followed that lead (ahem, Metallica).

    • "Sober" — Tool
    Tool's probably the only band that emerged out of the NuMetal/Grunge era that most metal fans respect and even like. Tool seems to attract a different audience. You probably wouldn't find many casual Tool fans at a Slayer concert. But you might find a Slayer fan at a Tool concert. I'm a big Tool fan, both for the musicianship — drummer Danny Carey is one of the best in history, and Maynard's vocals are top-notch — and for the long, complex songs with great lyrics. The album that carries this song is my favorite, though "Aenima" almost made this list for its funny yet fierce lyrics and gut-punching music. Plus no other band sounded like Tool, and that's truly amazing.

    • "In The Fallout" — Fifth Angel
    Fifth Angel probably had no real shot at big commercial success, given its power metal preference, but that's a big reason I liked this band. Ken Mary, the drummer for Chastain, was the drummer here, too, and Ted Pilot's vocals were as good as many bands. This song was my favorite. The lyrics helped feed my apocalyptic fetish as well.

    • "Death to All But Metal" — Steel Panther
    No explanation needed.

              A member of the hair nation picks the best songs ever        
    Hair metal is a loose term, as loose as the women in your average hair metal video (this kind of wit is prevalent throughout this blog, so pat yourself on the back, wise reader, for choosing to read this).
    But it's a term that usually garners at least a giggle from those who remember back in the day. These are the same giggles reserved for skyrocketing bangs, mullets, pink suit jackets with the sleeves rolled up, hoop earrings and thinking "Knight Rider" was a great show.
    Hair metal deserves better. I'm here to give it to you. We shouldn't have to be embarrassed about it. Take me. I have some culture in my music tastes. I've played Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Mozart in symphony orchestras and Miles Davis in jazz bands. I've listened to many of the kings and queens of jazz and own many of their records. I have the box sets of Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan and Led Zeppelin.
    And yet I'm an unabashed fan of metal. Metal forever and metal for life and whatnot. That includes hair metal, which, despite its wild success at its peak,  probably gets teased more than any other era of music except perhaps disco. And as a result I expect exactly two people to read this until the end, including me.
    But here you go. The top 25 hair metal songs of all time.
    I did have to leave out Hall Of Fame bands such as Iron Maiden, Dio, Dream Theater, Helloween, Queensryche, Metallica, Grim Reaper, Armored Saint, Judas Priest, Chastain (obscure band but one of my favorites, probably worth a blog post at some point) and Savatage because they're not really hair metal. They're not glam metal. They're not even hard rock. They are metal, and even if I preferred those bands growing up, that's not the point of this post. If there's any point to this post at all.
    I tried not to repeat bands. That probably means leaving out a lot of great songs, but I was able to find a signature hit, at least in my opinion, from many key bands from the Spandex Era.
    I also didn't put them in order. Maybe I should, but just to make this list is an honor. About as big an honor as a Grammy, I'm pretty sure.
    Speaking of Grammy, er, grammar, I have made the bands plural even though a band is a single entity. It's much easier to read that way. I apologize in advance.
    Let's get to it:
    • "Live Wire" By Motley Crue — Motley Crue was the first hard rock/metal/hair metal band I ever got into. My neighborhood kid friends brought me a tape one day, and I listened to it with a sense of wonder, excitement and fear. The tape was "Shout at the Devil." It seemed kinda evil, and I remember, late at night, becoming a little scared at what bringing this group into my life could mean (I was, unfortunately, kind of a deep kid who overthought far too many things. You MAY be able to see the resemblance to the adult me now.) In fairness, I was in like fifth grade, and this group at the time had just opened for Ozzy Osbourne, who bit the heads off doves and bats and drank their blood like lemonade (at least that's what I heard). My parents didn't take us to church, but that pentagram and the lyrics "Shout at the DEVIL" still made me worry that I was going to want to sacrifice small, cute animals after listening to the tape.
    Of course, I also remember thinking Metallica, when I first heard "Ride The Lightning," was just various recordings of coyotes. Fortunately I got over my pansy ways. Motley Crue was my first step.
    I discovered "Live Wire" later, when you fall in love with a band and check out its older albums. Motley Crue has had many great songs. The first track off their first album remains their best, especially the remix that helped take out some of the sludgy production of the original.
    Shit, this may be a long post. That was a lot of description.
    • "Foolin'" By Def Leppard — Def Leppard's "Pyromania" was one of my first hair metal albums, after the Crue's "Shout at the Devil." I got it in a six-pack of tapes I got from those music clubs that gave you 12 for a penny if you agreed to buy six more at regular (inflated) prices and sacrifice small, cute animals. My other tapes were The Police, Duran Duran and a bunch I can't remember, so you can see where my mindset was at the time. I think "Pyromania" is a nearly perfect hard rock album, and it's by far Def Leppard's best. Def Leppard was at one time a band that sounded like AC/DC, only with catchier melodies and a better singer, and it's a shame that they castrated themselves a bit with "Hysteria," a fine record with far too many ballads and the most overplayed song in history, "Pour Some Sugar on Me." The fact that I've heard that song approximately 40 billion times and my parents' radio station (KUDL, pronounced "cuddle") could play it because it was soft enough and catchy enough not to offend the menopause crowd and yet hard enough to make the station seem "edgy" eliminates the song from my top 25. It was hard to pick between "Photograph" and "Rock of Ages" and this one, but I remember adoring this song when I was younger, and so it wins, even if the other two songs are probably better.
    Yep, this post will be long. Sorry.
    • "You Shook Me (All Night Long) By AC/DC — The OTHER most overplayed song in history, besides "Sweet Home Alabama," and there are many other AC/DC tracks I personally like better, including "Hells Bells," "Highway to Hell" and "It's A Long Way To The Top," but I believed this was the one song I could not leave off the list regardless of my personal feelings for it. It's proof that "hair metal" is a loose term because these guys were pretty much the OPPOSITE of a hair metal band. They were ugly guys who dressed like factory workers, save for Angus, who wore a schoolboy outfit that would probably get him arrested if he went anywhere but a concert hall. Yet this song helped kick off the catchy, radio-friendly-yet-hard-edged hair metal era because of its wild success. Basically every band tried to copy it. The band also featured a smoking hot blonde in the video. I can STILL see her riding that mechanical horse. 
    As an aside, KISS' "Rock and Roll All Nite," which compares favorably with this song in many ways (classic band, overplayed song loved by everyone, catchy as hell), is NOT on the list. It's a great song, but it's really not from the era. And the hair metal era, which boosted the careers of many older bands that actually got their start in the 70s (such as the Scorpions, Van Halen, Sammy Hagar, AC/DC and perhaps even Judas Priest and Iron Maiden) almost destroyed KISS. The band took off its makeup and made mostly forgettable records filled with songs like "Crazy Crazy Nights" and "God Gave Rock and Roll To You" that really sounded like a desperate uncle trying to fit in at one of his nephew's fun parties. Still...
    • "Heaven's On Fire" By KISS — This song was a glorious exception. It's my favorite song by KISS, and I really do love KISS. It's stupid as hell but even catchier.
    • "We're Not Gonna Take It" By Twisted Sister — I was trying to think of perhaps the worst hair metal band in the era simply in terms of ability. I came up with Krokus, Danger Danger and Britney Fox, but I still think Twisted Sister was probably the worst. "Stay Hungry" sounds as if it was played by a bunch of fifth-graders. And yet it's not only a good record, it's a classic. Why? The power of songwriting. Dee Snider was simply a great songwriter. He wrote "I Wanna Rock" and "Stay Hungry" and "The Price," and he wrote this insanely catchy number too, filled with attitude and one of the best choruses ever for a rock song. My DAD liked this one for God's sake. Dee was also a great metal singer. He didn't resort to the "balls in a vice" falsetto that so many other singers had to abuse to fit in. They had a good look, and their videos were hilarious. They didn't take themselves too seriously, a lesson I wish more metal bands learned.
    • "Rock Me" by Great White — A nightclub fire, as horrible as it was, shouldn't mean we overlook this band. Yes, Great White was a ripoff of many better classic rock bands, and yes this song took pieces of a half-dozen Led Zeppelin songs and glued them together, but that still makes for a great song. This band was a bit more no-nonsense than most in the era and would have fit comfortably in the 70s. It has a solid greatest-hits collection, including three off "Once Bitten," the band's biggest album, and that's far more than most hair metal bands. I also liked "Desert Moon" a lot.
    • "Rock You Like A Hurricane" by The Scorpions — The Scorpions are proof that hair metal or pop metal could be really good if a great band played it and wrote it. The Scorpions didn't need the hair metal era to be popular, though there's no doubt they benefitted from it, and here's exhibit A: This song is one of the best songs of the 80s, with perhaps the best opening riff of all the hair metal songs. It's so simple, too: Da-da-da, dudu, dududa, dadaaa. It's also heavier than you remember, and the video is almost kinda scary, not just the band writhing around a hot girl. The centerpiece from "Love At First Sting," a classic album. The Scorpions weren't flashy, attractive guys, but they had at least a dozen great songs, were a great live band (they were the best, I thought, when I saw "Monsters of Rock" with Van Halen and Metallica) and deserve a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
    • "Out of Love" by Blue Murder — Who? Yeah, I know. Blue Murder was a trio led by John Sykes, who actually played guitar on Whitesnake's monster album, not the pretty boys in the videos. This album shows just what a good guitarist (and singer) he was, and it, quite frankly, rocked. This is a sappy ballad, but it's probably my favorite hair ballad ("Still Loving You" and "Home Sweet Home" are the only ones that come close; I really wasn't much of a fan of ballads). This band put out two albums (that I know of), but the self-titled one, the debut, is still worth owning.
    • "Modern Day Cowboy" by Tesla — Tesla opened for Def Leppard on the Hysteria tour, and it was one of those glorious, rare times when I got my socks knocked off by a band I didn't know. They kicked Leppard's butt, and I bought the album the next day. It's still one of my favorites, and it ranks up there with "Appetite for Destruction" as a debut album by a hard rock band. This is the best track on an album full of great ones, including "Little Suzy" and "Comin' Atcha Live".
    • "Down Deep Into The Pain" by Stevie Vai — Marginal hair metal, but Vai played on Whitesnake's "Slip of the Tongue" and David Lee Roth's debut and therefore had a big role in the hair metal era. This is Devin Townsend's debut as well, as far as I can tell, and he's a big name in metal today. I always liked Vai's "The Audience Is Listening" too.
    • "Lights of Heaven" by Joe Satriani — Speaking of instrumental guitarists, here's the best, ever. He performed in this era, so I put him here. Satriani is famous for "Surfing with the Alien," but I think the album that spawned this track is better, and this is his best song.
    • "Wild Child" by W.A.S.P. — I love W.A.S.P. Blackie Lawless was a strange dude, almost too strange, as the band's antics and acting as Tipper Gore's thorn overshadowed the fact that Lawless not only had a terrific metal voice, he wrote a TON of catchy, hard tunes. This is my favorite track, but there are many other great ones, including a song, "Helldorado," that the band released in 1999 (!).
    • "Panama" by Van Halen — One of my best friends who enjoys this kind of music and is probably the biggest Rush fan ever says Van Halen was a hair band. I have passionately disagreed, but I'll give him this point: "1984" was basically a hair metal album, and so I've included what I think was the best track here. Man, "1984" was a great album: "Jump," "Hot For Teacher," "I'll Wait" and this song. Was "1984" Van Halen's best album? I think so.
    • "Cherry Pie" by Warrant — I was not a fan of Warrant, just like I wasn't a fan of many of the marginal glam hair bands that played pop metal more watered down than a free casino drink. But Warrant redeemed itself with this outrageous, horrible hunk of cheese that just happens to feature one of the catchiest choruses in the history of hair metal. One of the best videos, too. I mean, at one point, the band hoses down the incredibly hot blonde. You know, cause she's SO HOT. Get it? I thought you might.
    P.S. I just watched the video. Yeah, it holds up even less than I thought. I really didn't think that was cool at one point, did I?
    • "In My Dreams" by Dokken — If you overlook the fact that magazines loved to focus on the fact that George Lynch and Don Dokken hated each other, and if you maybe ignore the fact that Don Dokken had the personality of a moldy sponge, you'd be left with a pretty damn good hair metal band. Dokken was a terrible live band. You really could see why the guys hated each other, as there was no chemistry at all. Don, who I think was a lot older than he let on, came out for Dokken's Monsters of Rock gig, the same one I saw in Kansas City, and said "Hey, I smell some DOOOOOBAGE," and it went downhill from there.
    Even so, Jeff Pilson, the bass player, could sing, Don had a good hair metal voice and Lynch could really play. They also wrote some great songs. They would have a nice greatest hits collection. "Kiss of Death" is a close second.
    • "Youth Gone Wild" by Skid Row — Skid Row holds a special spot somewhere in my cold metal heart not only for this killer, killer, killer song but for the fact that the band was set up to have a nice, long, cheesy career. The opening track of their debut was "Big Guns," a song about a woman's...never mind. Anyway, the band followed up with a second album, and it was the heaviest I'd ever heard from a supposed hair metal band. Seriously, some pretty fierce power metal bands couldn't match that guitar crunch, and Bach could always scream with the best of them. I'm convinced it destroyed their career, but I admire them for sticking to their roots and not putting out a featherweight product because that's what the label (and unfortunately probably the public) wanted.
    • "The Final Countdown" by Europe — Abused by many sports teams now, this song featured the best keyboard riff in a hair metal song, like, ever. It's a good example of a riff really acting as the chorus, since there wasn't much of a chorus. They just sang the song's name over that sweet riff a few times. It worked, just as it did for "Layla." Unbelievably, Europe, not a great band by any stretch, did have another great song, this one on their first album, called "Wings of Tomorrow." Check it out.
    • "All We Are" by Warlock — Warlock was heavier than most hair metal bands, but I still count it because the video for this song is candy-corn corny. Here's a secret: I really have a thing for metal chicks, and Doro was the metalist chickiest of all. Her pipes were as amazing as her blonde hair that went down to her waist.
    • "Addicted to that Rush" by Mr. Big — Mr. Big hit it big with "Be With You," a pretty awful hair metal ballad that sounded like a ripoff of "More Than Words," Extreme's big one (which is a much better song, but it won't make this list either).  But this song leads off their lesser-known debut album, and it's a shredder, something Racer X might have played (and I just looked it up, and sure enough, the band's guitarist, Paul Gilbert, played in it). Mr. Big also had Billy Sheehan and therefore had more chops in the cushions of their couch than even most power metal bands.
    • "Cryin' in the Rain" by Whitesnake — I was a bigger fan of Whitesnake than the band probably deserved, though David Coverdale could really sing, and they had some good songs even before the monster self-titled album was released ("Slide It In," "Slow 'N' Easy" and "Love Ain't No Stranger" are three of the best). Yes, this album had many whoppers, but I always thought "Still of the Night" was too much of a Zep rip-off, and I never really forgave Whitesnake for releasing a remixed, poppier version of "Here I Go Again." So this is my pick, which features an incredible solo by John Sykes and some tour-de-force vocals from Coverdale. I really would have liked to have seen Tawny slither (see what I did there?) to this one. Whitesnake gets a lot of derision these days, and I have two theories as to why. The first is simple: The band name sucks. The second, I think, comes from the fact that many people love to make fun of this era, as I've said before. I can't blame them. This era, like Disco, really makes you wonder what the fuck we were all thinking. But like Disco, this era put out a lot of great music that's unfairly judged because of all the costumes and hair and overall silliness. Whitesnake absorbs quite a bit of that today because they weren't quite Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Guns and Roses or Motley Crue, bands that people still love today without shame. But Whitesnake was bigger than most other bands such as Quiet Riot, Cinderella and probably even Ratt. They already were a fairly established band when "Whitesnake" was released, and that album sold millions and was huge. HUGE. So people remember them as much as Def Leppard, but they don't carry the same nostalgia as Leppard does and therefore people don't mind throwing darts their way. Whitesnake is probably the Village People of the hair metal era. We can be honest, though: Rudy Sarzo probably didn't need to lick the neck of his guitar in those videos quite that much either.
    P.S. After Tawny kinda wigged out and beat up her baseball husband, it took away a bit of the luster of her on that car, didn't it? Bowling For Soup's "1985" video nailed the parody.
    • "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns and Roses — I honestly couldn't decide between this one and "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Paradise City" and "Rocket Queen" and...I think you get the point. What an amazing album. It still holds up today: Pull out the CD (oh don't lie, you do TOO still have it) and give it a whirl. I chose this song because Slash's solo is one of the best on any song, ever. Slash was hair metal's Jimmie Page, a guitarist who could play solos that matched the songs rather than tossing some fast scales and tricks around for 30 seconds.
    • "Cum On Feel The Noize" by Quiet Riot — Yeah, it's a cover, but really, does anyone associate Slade with this song? (Slade had a big hit of its own. Remember "Run Runaway"? I do.) Quiet Riot proved it could write their own song with "Metal Health," but this by far their best single. Even the verses sounded as good as the chorus. I remember seeing them on the TV show "Solid Gold," and to their credit, they actually chose to play their song live, rather than just lip synch it like 95 percent of all the other groups.
    • "You Give Love A Bad Name" by Bon Jovi — I didn't really get Bon Jovi, even if I thought "Runaway" was a good song. Bon Jovi seemed like a bunch of pretty boys that had zero good songs (besides "Runaway"), and yet all these girls wore their shirts and thought Jon Bon Jovi was dreamy. Then I heard this song and instantly loved it, and I could not BELIEVE it was Bon Jovi. So I sighed, bought the album, popped in the cassette, ticked off the hits, one by one. Sure enough, "Livin' On A Prayer," "Wanted Dead or Alive" and "Never Say Goodbye" (yuck) followed. Classic record. Easily one of the best from the era, and eventually that alone will put this band in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame one day. I was sorely tempted to put "Livin' On A Prayer" in this list too but I wanted to follow my rule.
    I find it interesting that this band still seems to have major credibility. I realize Motley Crue and Def Leppard still tour, but I don't think there's any doubt that most people who go to those shows are there to see them sing their classic hits. Most other hair metal bands only tour small clubs or package themselves with other hair metal bands to land bigger concerts. But Bon Jovi is still seen as more than a nostalgia act and draws big crowds on its own. It had a big hit, "It's My Life," many years after this era (even though the song sounded like it came from the band's hair metal days).
    • "Prime Mover" by Zodiac Mindwarp — What a name, right? Sometimes a band that has no business even making a record drinks some really good gin or smokes a magic mushroom and writes an incredible song that is far catchier than it should be. This is that song, a messy masterpiece that even manages to avoid many of the trappings of the hair metal era and therefore could honestly be on the radio today without too many giggles.
    • "Round and Round" by Ratt — If you forced me to pick a favorite song out of this whole list, this might be it. There's some serious nostalgia here, as this was the first hair metal song that truly hooked me after I discovered Motley Crue and became more comfortable with listening to heavy metal, and the video STILL cracks me up. But it's still an incredible riff, terrific chorus and a great duel guitar solo. Perfect song. Ratt, like W.A.S.P., was a touch underrated. They had almost as good a catalogue as Def Leppard. Seriously. "Lay It Down" is another monster, and there are a dozen others, like "Way Cool Jr.," "Wanted Man" and "You're In Love." But Ratt never had one of those sappy ballads that drew in the girls, and the guys in the band had a bit of a creepy look to them. It seemed to me only the more serious hardcore metal chicks (and I dated a couple) really liked Ratt, whereas everyone, even the cheerleaders, liked Def Leppard.
    Whatever. That's what made me like Ratt even more.

              The Exorcist        
    I did not get into running because it looked fun. I know I talk about it a lot now, and the love affair I have with it is stronger than ever, but when I started, back in 2004, it was not out of love.
    My son was going to be born soon, and I knew I faced a crossroads in my life. To be blunt, parts of my life would have to change. A lot of parents face this. Thankfully, my choices were the kind I could make myself, rather than something I'd have to change out of necessity. I didn't have any nasty habits to kick. But I'd have to give up some things.
    I hate to say it, but music, at least playing it, was easier. After a long career playing it, I was ready to give it up. I could keep my appreciation for it. I could keep writing about it. I could, of course, keep discovering it and listening to it and have it be a big part of my life. But I could no longer play in a band.
    I had to give up late nights playing video games. I hate to say this too, but that was a little tougher. In fact I never did give them up completely. Damn you, Angry Birds. 
    I also realized that my days of climbing a lot of peaks were over. That hurt. Even knowing that I wouldn't have to give them completely, and that, one day, I'd even share them with my kids, it hurt. But climbing takes a lot of time. There was one summer, an especially dry one, when I was chasing all 54 14ers, and with such a limited window to climb them, say, two months, I worked hard to get as many as I could. I was gone basically every weekend. But for some reason, there was one weekend I stayed home, and as we walked out of a movie, my wife said, "It's nice to spend a Saturday with you." 
    Despite that, she didn't care because I was home the rest of the year, but she WOULD care, soon, with a baby around. 
    Well, I was willing to not only limit my trips, especially after I climbed all the 14ers, but really chop down the dangerous ones as well. In fact, with a kid around, a dangerous peak didn't feel exhilarating as much any longer. At times, it just felt foolhardy.
    The only problem? I'd need a challenge.
    I don't know why I need something in my life like running. We introverted, type A people need goals, I guess. This isn't bragging. It's almost a vice. Everyone deals with their shit differently. Some use drugs, some use women, and some use gambling. I was lucky that it was mountains. That it was goals. Believe me, with my obsessive personality, it could have gone to some pretty dark corners.
    I was searching a bit, once Jayden was born, for that something. That probably explains how I got into poker. It also probably explains how, when I was working on a story about a runner, I wandered into his intervals group to get a feel for a part of his life that meant so much to him that he was willing to risk his health to run the Bolder/Boulder despite his blood cancer. And as it turns out, I ran intervals that night with people who were a lot like me. And that may explain why I kept coming back, even after the story ran, and when someone asked me if I was in the group for good, I said yes, without really even knowing what I was getting into.
    I knew and I didn't know. I knew this was what I was looking for. What I didn't know was the battle I was about to enter. It was a war I would fight within myself. I really wasn't prepared for it either.
    • • • 
    If there's one race that I have a love/hate relationship with, it's the Bolder/Boulder. The race always falls on Memorial Day, and really it's the race that started my relationship with running. 
    It's also the race that exposed my weakness the most.
    The Bolder/Boulder is not the longest race I do, but it may be the toughest every year. It's a fun race, with belly dancers and bands and people in costumes and qualified waves of only a few hundred at a time to calm the crowds of 50,000 runners and an awesome finish into CU's stadium. It's also above a mile high with relentless hills, and it's a 10K, which means you have to run hard up those hills for a long time, for six miles. In a half marathon, you have the luxury of taking it easy on the hills because you can make up the time later, but a 10K offers no such freedom if you want a good time. It's always a painful race.
    But a lot of these runners do it, and so, so did I. The Bolder/Boulder, after all, represented what kept me coming back to running. Every year, I improved my time there by a minute. That was progress, in black and white, right in front of me. 
    And every year, I paid for it dearly.
    Years of mountaineering had prepared me for the exhaustion of running, for pushing yourself much farther than you think you can go and for the discipline of it. But it didn't prepare me for the intensity. When you run, you throw yourself into a fire. Your heart feels like it's going to explode, and you can't breathe, and yet you have to keep going or else you wreck your time and your race.
    When the gun to my wave popped, I was always filled with a sense of dread. Here we go, I thought. Into the flames. And for the next 50 minutes, give or take a few, it was all I could do to stay in them.
    • • •
    Mile 1 always went fine. It was downhill. But by the end of Mile 1, because I hadn't learned how to run a race yet, I was a little more spent than I should have been. This is the slow death. By mile 3, it would catch up to me, probably as I was climbing one of those little bastard hills that just keep coming at you, around every corner. 
    At this time, the whispers in my head started. It took me a few years to find a word for them. 
    I call them the trolls.
    They aren't demons. There's some good intentions behind them. Running that hard is painful, and truth be told, I'm not sure it's all that great for you. Recovering from a race takes days or weeks. Hell, after my first marathon, it took me a whole SUMMER to recover. The trolls whisper at you to slow down because they're trying to save you from the fire.
    But wait, I would tell them. I can't slow down. I've worked hard for this! I've trained. I've spent hours dipping my toes in the flames. Sure, I'm waist deep now, but...
    Yeah, you're over your head, actually, the trolls would answer. I'm not asking for much. Just walk a touch to get your breath back. Just dip your toes in again. 
    I'd fight this fight at every race, back and forth, arguing with myself, but the Bolder Boulder was an extended fight, 12 rounds, Ali versus Frazier. To be honest, when I would run in that stadium and cross the line, I'd feel two things: Shocked that I actually PRd, given how painful it was, and pure relief that it was over. 
    I never felt elation. That came later, to be sure, but the rest of that day, I honestly wondered if I would ever do it again. In fact, I thought about quitting twice after Bolder/Boulders. 
    Running wasn't fun. It was something I was doing because I made some wonderful friends in it, and I needed that challenge in my life. And I was addicted to the progress. Because of who I am. I needed it.
    That's why I wasn't bragging earlier. It was something I had to do, like drugs, rather than something I truly enjoyed and wanted. I also felt trapped. I'd worked so hard that quitting would mean losing all that work.
    And then I read an article by Kara Goucher, who is now one of my heroes. She talked about the very thing that I battled. She talked about her battle with the trolls during her racing career. Goucher is immensely talented, the kind of runner I'll never be, a gap, in fact, that was equal to Peyton Manning and a high school quarterback. 
    And yet she was struggling with the very thing I was battling. 
    And not only that, she found a way to beat them.
    • • • 
    I won't go into the article because that's not really the point here. The point isn't how she beat them. It's that she COULD beat them. Running was a painful thing, and the mental struggles were so embedded in it, I just figured they were a part of it, sort of like the kind of hits Manning has to take from linebackers to throw a touchdown. 
    In fact, Goucher's technique, to recite a word over and over that encouraged her, didn't really work for me. I used a word, "Fight," for a while, and it decayed the trolls, but it didn't banish them. 
    What I did, instead, was start to question the purpose of them. If they weren't going to help me during a race, why did I keep them around? 
    Why didn't I, in other words, go tell them to fuck themselves when they started cropping up? 
    So that's what I started to do. I told them, whenever they would whisper in my ear, that they were no longer welcome. 
    I exorcised them.
    This was harder than I'm making it sound. It took years to find something that worked for me. I'll share a few things that helped me, briefly, knowing that you'll have to find your own:
    • I learned to start a race slow, slower, in fact, than my goal pace. I used to start faster than my goal pace, sometimes by 30 seconds per mile, and so inevitably I'd get gassed, and a gassed body is a prime host for trolls. 
    • I learned to run a race with an even effort. This doesn't mean an even pace. It means when I was running up those goddam hills of the Bolder/Boulder, my pace was slower. But my effort was the same. When I was rewarded with a downhill, I'd run faster than my goal pace because it was easier. 
    • I learned to smile during a race. This really works. If you're smiling, you relax, and when you relax, the pain just isn't as bad. Try it sometime. 
    • I also learned to stay positive. As cheesy as this sounds — and believe me, I'm rolling my eyes as I type this, as it sounds SO Mister Rodgers — I tell myself I can do this, good job, see that hill wasn't so bad, etc. I replace the negative trolls with, um, positive angels, I guess. 
    • Truth be told, I got a lot better as a runner. So my pain tolerance increased for it, and I got to a point where I could run a long, long way without it hurting. Running is truly rewarding because it gives you back what you put into it. I can't think of anything else like this. Not even your kids. Maybe your dog. 
    • I also put LOTS of heavy metal in my race mixes. The trolls, apparently, are afraid of a lot of yelling and loud guitars. Someone asked me once how I can stand to have someone yelling at me during a race. They're not yelling at me. They're yelling with me. The trolls don't stand much of a chance.
    • • • 
    I write this blog today, another incredibly long, rambling post, because I ran the Bolder/Boulder in 46:06. That's yet another minute PR, and that's more than four minutes faster than when I began running it seriously in 2006. That may not sound like a lot, and I suppose it isn't. But it's a lifetime in the running world. It's a lifetime for me.
    But it's not the time that gets me so excited.
    The trolls are just a faint whisper now, like a lost child in a deep cave. I barely heard them at all today even as I ran as hard as I ever have. 
    This isn't a war that will end. I haven't conquered them completely. I'll be honest. I had a pacer today. I wonder if my trolls were silenced by his encouragement. I don't think so, but I can't say for sure. I still avoid 5Ks, because a 5K is 20 minutes of hell. And I dodged the mile run last Wednesday. I still hate the mile. It's only six minutes or less, and yet the trolls are not only a whisper in those six minutes, they are a chorus.
    And when I crossed the line today, I felt relief once again, just like I always do. I even collapsed a bit. But I got up. I smiled, got a drink of water, then met my friends to laugh about our time spent in the fire.
    Today's race made me realize something. I don't need the trolls any longer because the fire's been good to me. I don't want to be saved from it any longer. 

              Bright Lights, Big Post        
    Warning: This post is long. I won't apologize for it, but I don't expect you to read it. If you want, you could divide it up to before race day and after, though I think you'll miss the theme if you do. I don't even have it in the headline.
    Enjoy. I guess.

    My life feels like it began after I had kids.
    This is a cliche turned on its head (you see what I did there?) because it's not meant to be a caption for "The Family Circus." My life feels that way because of the way it seems to be rushing by without me getting so much as a glimpse of it. Time flies when you're having fun. It flies even more when you're too busy to have it.
    When Jayden was born six years ago, I began to notice that whole chunks out of the year just seemed to vanish. I distinctly remember three things. Finishing the 14ers, the first time I played online poker for money and Jayden's birth. The rest, even when Kate told me she was pregnant, is a smear. And then life seemed to get smooshed into globs of seasons without any kind of a calendar to mark it. It was hot, then cold, only we were inside most of the time, changing diapers and collapsing into bed. Vacations were the same every year, a trip to Kansas to see Kate's grandmother and my parents. We'd put the tree up at Christmas. Then we would take it down.
    The girls were born a couple years later, and I'll be damned if I can recall much of anything in that first year. I remember being tired.
    Time, by then, was indistinguishable. Songs I loved felt like they were released just weeks ago, and someone had to tell me it was a couple years ago. Metallica's "Death Magnetic," my favorite recent album, came out in 2008. That's a high school career ago.
    My high school career, those four years in high school, still feel like 20 to me. I can tell you what albums came out then and what I was doing every month in my life. I can point out the grocery store that let us buy beer and the other that almost had us arrested. I know all the movies.
    I was busy then, too, almost as busy as I am now. But I marked my life with moments. There were so many moments. There were moments in my life that I'll remember forever.
    I love my kids dearly, but when you're a parent, at least in the first six years I've done it, I've found myself so bent on surviving them, and life, and all the crap that comes in between, that it's easy to forget to have moments.
    There are a ton of milestones, but most of them are your kids', not your own, other than their births. And if you don't have anything to write down anything significant on the calendar, how do you know when it's time to turn the page?
    Which is the longest lede you'll ever read from me, in perhaps the longest blog post I'll ever write.
    Other than a few times in my life, say, Jayden's first day of Kindergarten or my first marathon, I had run out of moments. The #wpbt started to feel that way as well. Even those special trips sort of blurred together. And then I decided to run the Vegas Half Marathon.
    Well, we did.
    That's kind of the point.
    • • • 
    It's hard to explain what the #wpbt is to people, and so I treat it like Fight Club. You know the first rule of Fight Club, right? I followed it.
    My life is so different back home. I don't drink much, play poker much or even stay up past 10 p.m. much. When I had a 40th birthday surprise party, I didn't get drunk, to the crushing disappointment of one of my best friends.
    I also find it hard to explain to people why running has taken over my life. I hated it for so many years. I always thought it was because I had to shave my mountain climbing down to a nub after the kids were born, and I needed something to keep me motivated to stay active. But I've thought about this trip a lot the last few days, and I've come to two conclusions why both things mean a lot to me.
    The first is the milestones.
    The second is the people.
    • • •
    Sure, the roads were snowpacked Thursday morning, even icy in spots, but the thought of my plane being cancelled never occurred to me until I heard it announced over the loudspeaker in the small airport in Fort Collins.
    Running's taught me more than anything else how to deal with adversity. Climbing laid the groundwork, but when you're running, adversity is only a few steps behind. Cramps, side stitches, unplanned trips to the bathroom, hunger, thirst, cold, heat, dogs, wild animals, your balance, your sense of direction, nausea, black ice, injuries, 5 a.m. wake-ups, bad food, your GPS, a leaky Gatorade bottle, other runners and even your very breath (really, especially that) all conspire to screw you over, probably when you least expect it.
    Whatever running hasn't taught me how to handle, being a parent takes care of the rest, like dealing with puke and poop or a bad night's sleep.
    So I can handle just about any situation, and I was handling it. I was handling it like a motherfucker as I shuffled back to my car, until I heard the message that another flight wouldn't be available until Friday evening.
    I was going to miss half the fun after not being at #wpbt last year.
    I was instantly, totally crushed.
    I said so on Twitter.
    Then I started getting tweets back.
    I had to pull over my car to read and respond to all of them.
    They were offers to get me on another one-way flight using their miles.
    I can think on my feet when I'm a reporter, a runner or a climber, but in the rest of my life, I'm a planner. 
    It took me a moment to gather my thoughts.
    I didn't know how I'd get home, and I wasn't sure if I'd get a refund from this flight, and if I didn't, I'd have to suck it up and go Friday night. My head was swimming. Did I have time to get to Denver's airport? Could I still make it that Thursday night? Was it worth it? How much more money would it cost me?
    A small voice whispered to me. This is like the race you are about to run.
    I was home maybe five minutes. I called the airline and (woot!) and got a refund. I was packed, my bag was in the car, and I was ready to go.
    April's offer was the best. With her 25,000 miles, she could get me off the ground at 3 p.m. 
    Book it! I Tweeted, as I was on my way to the airport, in the car, with Christmas music blasting through the speakers. 
    She did. 
    First Class.
    For $75.
    It wasn't lost on me that this reminded me of two other times when people did something completely selfless and unexpected that required a sacrifice, and both those other times involved the same sense of community I got from climbing and get now from running. Once was just after the time a decade ago when I got trapped in a rock avalanche and barely escaped with my life. I was beaten up, bloodied and a bit broken, and I had a long way to go. Eight miles. A quarter-mile into the hike, someone offered me his hiking poles. I turned them down at first, until my Dad chased the guy down after I stumbled down the trail a couple times. I could not have made it without them. We returned them a week later.
    The second was during my first marathon, and I was at mile 20 when I got hit by severe cramps. People gave me their bananas, pretzels and drinks. I made it across.
    In both cases, these were adventures that people planned far in advance, and they brought that food and drink (and the poles) in case something bad happened to them. Instead, they risked their own well being to give them to me.
    April took time out of her day and gave me a shitload of airline miles just so I could get there Thursday night and have dinner with some bloggers.
    I bought her meal that night.
    • • •
    By now you're wondering why I decided to run the race. Or, most likely, you no longer care and have moved on to Angry Birds. I don't blame you.
    Still with me? Wow.
    A couple years ago (oh man, I'm REALLY trying your patience now, aren't I, I mean, how much exposition can one blog have), John, aka Bad Blood, wrote me, wondering how he could run a 10K in 48 minutes. It was for a bet. Rob, aka Gordon, aka um, G-Rob, was losing a bunch of weight, and Blood bet him some pounds against his time. 
    I knew Blood a bit, mostly because we both liked music that scared most people, but I was happy to help because, well, I love talking about running, probably way too much. So I put him on a plan, taught him how to run speed work and tempo runs, and he crushed the race. It was really fun. So when he wanted to do a half marathon, I helped him with that, too, and it turned out to be really, really fun. He got hooked on the running, and I got hooked on the help. We stayed in touch throughout the years.
    When Rock and Roll sent me an e-mail stating that the race would be held that night, I registered, not knowing, or caring, how it would work with #wpbt. I had a feeling John would want to do it too. He did.
    Only he had a surprise. Others were interested too.
    They were only interested at first. Brad, aka Otis, seemed especially nervous about it. I knew Brad a bit, too, as I had met him during a trip two years ago, while Steel Panther blasted in the background, and he was kind of a legend among the #wpbt, and he was a pretty darn good writer and was really supportive of my own writing, which, of course, meant a lot because I tend to write long, rambling sentences with a lot of commas.
    So, OK. I wrote him an email, explaining that a half marathon really, truly, honestly wasn't as hard as it sounded. At least the training wasn't. You didn't have to run all day, every day, while whipping yourself like a monk. Really, for what you get out of the race, it's a pretty good deal.
    John just told Brad to pull his head out of his ass and sign up.
    I'm not sure what worked more.
    G-Rob, fresh off losing 100 pounds, which would leave me weighing about as much as my 6-year-old, and Doc signed up as well. We had a group.
    I volunteered to help right away just like I helped John. Part of me likes being the guru. But mostly I do it because I remembered when I first started running, and so many great runners, people who were destroying me in races, turning in times I never thought I'd run, helped me. They waited for me on group runs, talked to me about different ways to run and introduced me to the concept of runs having a purpose, not just strapping on shoes and getting out there. I remembered that, and I thought it was time to pay them back by (sigh, I hate this expression) paying it forward to others.
    The e-mails among our group started back in the summer. They didn't stop until it was time for the race. They meant far more than I thought they would when they started.
    • • •
    No, I'm not breaking this into parts. Deal with it.
    • • •
    As excited as I was for the race, I felt conflicted when I got there Thursday night. I was eating with Astin, Heather, April, Dawn, Ryan and later Michelle.
    (By the way, I liked how we sort of ditched the nicknames for the most part this year and called each other by our real names. I occasionally referred to them if I needed them or wanted them, aka Bad Blood is such a badass name that it fit before we headed out to the race. But for the most part people went by their actual names. It was time).
    The food was fantastic, but I chose not to drink, and I worried about eating too much greasy or fried pickings. It was like that most of the weekend. Vegas is usually the one place I don't have to be on guard all the time, and yet I had to be. I focused on eating rice, pasta, breads, pancakes and fruit and not drinking, in addition to drinking a lot of water.
    The race doesn't happen until you hit the starting line, but really, it begins a few days before, when you load your body with carbs, try not to eat anything that will screw with your stomach on race day and try to get rest. You also probably shouldn't drink a lot.
    What helped was not only were my running partners following the same program, but many of the rest of us bloggers were too. This time seemed far mellower than any other. I even saw AlCan'tHang sober a few times. I preferred it that way. We're all older now, and it's nice to act like it a little bit. There were no wheelchair stories, and as disappointing as that was, acting like adults does mean sacrificing a little fun.
    So Thursday and Friday were fun, but they involved poker (with Jordan and Carol, mostly, which was awesome). Then Otis came to town Friday afternoon. You all know the story by now. I'll let him tell the bulk of it. But his father died suddenly earlier that week.
    I'd already written him off for the most part, though a part of me, selfishly, really wanted him there. We all did.
    Otis/Brad had really embraced running, and I got as much joy out of coaching him than anyone I've ever helped. He was thankful, of course, but more than that, I could see what it did for him spiritually. I told him for weeks as he got on the program that running really would become enjoyable, and one day, after those many weeks, I got an email from him, explaining how he'd finally had that day. Running, the outdoors and mountain climbing are much more to me than a way to exercise, and finally Brad felt that way too.
    I hoped he was going to go, but our group let him make that decision.
    He sent us an email that he was coming when I was on my way to the airport.
    We spent Friday night, after an appearance at the mellow blogger mixed game, at the Monte Carlo poker room. It's a run-down place, close to the opposite of the Aria poker room.
    It was exactly what we needed.
    John arrived late that night.
    It was good to have our group together.
    • • •
    You won't find many details of the nights here. I"m not afraid to share them, of course, as they were fairly tame, especially by Vegas standards, but this post is long enough, and there were some special times that don't need to make the Internet. We had a wonderful pasta dinner Saturday, the night before the race, picked by Brad, where we reflected on our training and the guys surprised me by buying me dinner. I was so touched I forgot to say no.
    The place was located next to the Palms, and we played a wild game (one of several that weekend, and those wild games meant me picking my spots while they splashed around a lot of chips), and I'll just say two words: Jose Canseco (the guy's kinda a whiner at the table).
    That Saturday was especially mellow: We picked up our number for the race, played the tournament and cheered Brad's min-cash before we went to the runner's Expo that night and then dinner.
    We got in fairly late but slept until 10 a.m. Sunday. After a pancake breakfast, we decided the best thing to do was play a little poker to take our mind off what we were facing.
    I'd never run a night race before, especially not something as ardrous as a half. I grabbed a large Gatorade to drink over the afternoon with Brad. At the last second, he picked up a couple black pens.
    When I sat at the poker table, I instantly pulled off two huge bluffs and was betting like a maniac. In other words, I was playing exactly like I usually DON'T play. What was going on? I didn't even realize what I was doing until someone whispered, "I'm gonna get this wild guy." I laughed to myself and snapped out of it.
    I'm an aggressive runner, and just a few hours before the race, I was ready to tear it up. I was in running mode.
    I switched that off for the moment and settled into my usual careful play, and soon enough, I looked over at Bad Blood, and he nodded at me. I smiled and my mind began to travel down a darkening tunnel. I love it when my brain does that on its own and I don't have to force it. It usually means I'm going to have a good race. Pain, nausea and weariness can't penetrate that zone.
    We got up to go to our rooms. It was time to get ready.
    • • •
    Before the race almost makes racing worth it on its own. The anticipation is incredible if you let it be that way. If you don't let the nerves and doubts take over. Your stomach rumbles, your tapered legs tingle and your lips snarl.
    I told the guys during our incredible dinner the night before that I go over in my head what Kansas' coach Bill Self said to his troops the night before the Final Four, when we eventually went on to win the title in 2008. It sounds cheesy, but when you're going through something like a long race, cheesy works. In this case it's a pretty simple statement, not a Gipper cheer.
    "You can't hope good things happen tonight," he said. "You expect them to."
    There are always things in a race you can't train for. Maybe there's stomach problems, weather, injuries, other runners and the crappy unknown, like a small piece of broken pavement that's just big enough to trip you. But what I've found, and really love, about running is if you do the training, it pays off in a race. It really rewards you with the time you put into it. Many sports aren't necessarily like that. Football and baseball rely too much on the circumstances. Even mountain climbing, my first love, isn't that way because the weather and the altitude play such huge roles in whether you make your goal or not.
    So if you do the training, it's foolish to hope good things happen during a race. You should expect them to.
    You may want to skip this next part. It's a race report and will include my thoughts on my time during the run. You may find this the most interesting part of the blog. But I doubt it.
    • • • 
    Brad and I were silent as we got dressed for the race, which I took as a good sign. It meant he was sure of what he was wearing, carrying and using for the race. That's the first step to keeping your nerves under control.
    I was most worried about Brad. G-Rob seemed to be as self-assured about the race as he is about everything else in his life, including his hair. He wasn't cocky by any stretch, but he seemed to know he would run relatively slow but also that he would finish. Bad Blood looked sharp and was going to run well and fast, and I knew he knew how to focus (in fact, there was an outside chance he would beat me, I thought). Doc was exactly like G-Rob and had already run a half earlier that year.
    But I not only expected Brad to be emotional before the race, I thought he might push it a little hard and let the moment overtake him. I was hoping he'd run an even, fun race where he didn't have to walk. Running an even race is harder than it sounds. I've rarely done it.
    I had concerns about myself, too, namely whether my bitchy hamstring would hold up. I expected it to hurt. I just didn't want it to prevent me from running. I didn't know if the crowds would hold me back a bit. And I really wanted to PR, but a lot has to go right. We'd been up late every night even if we got a good night's sleep.
    The bloggers wished us well, and OhCaptain took over photo, which was sweet, but I was already in a zone. I allowed one smile for Iggy, who shouted my old blogger name as we left. 
    After the promised shuttles didn't deliver, we started walking to the starting line. I tried to look out for my runners as best I could, but I failed miserably as a coach in this spot. We were rushed, as were 25,000 other runners, it seemed, and so it was crowded, and I would like to blame the race officials for that, and I can and will, but ultimately it's up to you to get to the race in enough time. I barely got us there before the start, and Blood didn't even get to check his bag. 
    All this robbed us somewhat of the electricity before a big race. It was still there, but a good portion of it went to worry and concern of us reaching the starting line. It's the one thing I still regret about the way things went.
    I had planned a small speech for them for days, but I also had to pee, bad, and I saw some bushes to the side. It would be my only chance among the crowds. I pulled in my runners and said to them to not start too fast, have fun and remind themselves how thankful they should be before the start of the race to be there. Then I gave them a hug. It was too fast of a goodbye.
    I dashed off to the bushes, hoping an officer wouldn't see me. 
    I was now on my own. 
    I entered corral 2 and was immediately thankful for it. Even the runners corral 3 were bunched together like cattle in the pens, but they let us spread out, and there weren't very many runners. I knew right away that I wouldn't get trapped behind a crowd, and that thought relaxed me.
    I'll admit that I was annoyed at first when Mike McCready from Pearl Jam began to play our national anthem. I use the song as a final way to get focused before what's facing me. It helps remind ME how lucky I am to be at the line. But I shook off the irritation after the first few notes. I mean, look at where I was. I was in VEGAS, about to run the strip at NIGHT, and the guitarist from PEARL JAM, one of my favorite bands, was there, tearing it up. If I have one flaw, it's that sometimes, I forget to have fun. I told myself this, above all other things, would be really, really fun.
    So when I crossed the line, and my chip beeped, and I was off, I held back that first mile, running at a conservative pace of 7:45. It would be the only mile that I didn't run by feel. I held back and held back, almost to frustration, because that's when I have my best races, when I let my body ease into it. 
    I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing it was, even better than I thought, to run the strip. Seeing the lights of Vegas in the middle of the strip makes you realize how overwhelming, and, yeah, beautiful in an obnoxious way, it all is. And the PEOPLE. There were so many people watching us and cheering for us like we were athletes, like we mattered. I've never had half that many spectators. Many people called for my Colorado shirt, and I loved it.
    Iron Maiden wrote about the loneliness of the long distance runner because it IS lonely. You are there, in your head, with your doubts and your courage. Sometimes a little cheer goes a long way to quieting those fears, even from people you don't know.
    And yet, a lot of people I DO know who where there.
    I was silently thrilled, even flabbergasted, at how the #wpbt embraced the race. Not only did they volunteer to talk to us about it (which is dangerous since I might keep you for a while), they seemed generally interested in what we had to say. A good chunk of the group showed up for it, and though I didn't see them, I looked for them as the miles got tougher, and knowing they were probably out there helped in ways I can't explain. I love running, but I also know it's not a spectator sport. I would imagine watching a bunch of runners stream by is probably about as exciting as watching someone play live poker without the hole cards. But they showed up, shook our hands after, and Pauly even told me he had fun being out there. I wonder what he was on. I may want it next year. Drizz packed us beers! Beers!
    Anyway, once I got to mile two and saw the Bellagio on my left, I threw off the shackles and decided to let my body tell me what I could run. I was looking for a pace that was just beyond comfortably hard. A half marathon is a long way, so I couldn't run completely balls out, like I do many times in a 5K, and yet it's still a race. I settled on a pace that left me breathing hard, but not gasping, and that got my legs moving, not straining. It would hurt, bad, to trip, but the motions felt relaxed yet quick. It's probably the same pace I would use if I were dashing away from a pack of zombies.
    I looked at my watch. That pace was 7:15 per mile.
    That's over 8 miles an hour if you're scoring at home.
    Shit. Really?
    I knew I'd run faster. The elevation in Vegas isn't sea level, but it's not 5,000 feet, either. And it's the flattest course I'll run, so I knew I wouldn't bonk on a hill. Still. It was a little scary to see that pace. I have run races too fast at first, and by the end, you're so miserable, you want to burn your shoes. My 10K split was the second-fastest 10K I've ever run. Even in this year, by far the greatest I've had running, I ran two 10Ks that weren't as fast.
    Fuck it, I thought. I know I can finish. I know I can run below 1:45 (I ran 1:40 a month ago in Denver, which was a PR). I know that if I get back to mile 10, I"ll have the Vegas lights to lead me home.
    I took a deep breath. And then I ran.
    • • • 
    By mile 7 and 8, as we darted through the darker areas of downtown Vegas, both in lighting and in humanity, I felt tired, and my chest tightened a bit, but I felt all right, mostly thanks to the incredible, 40-degree weather most of the night. The pace, regardless, was torrid for me and would put me close to a crash. I resolved to do what I could to avoid it. I ripped open a Powerbar gel and gulped it down and hoped for an aid station to take away the taste. I took a salt pill. I did find a station, got pissed when they didn't seem to have any sports drink and tried to focus on the next step. I needed that dark tunnel in my mind back. Arch Enemy came over the iPod. That's what I needed. "Battery low," it chirped at me. Oh please don't give out, I said to it.
    I got caught up in a group as we swerved the corners, and I fought for space with some dude who refused to move over an inch so I wouldn't have to hop the curb. He gashed my wrist with an elbow and got an elbow in the ribs in return. I can be a polite runner, but if someone tries to cut me off, it's Braveheart time. I would never shove a runner - that's like ramming a car on the highway - but I will throw elbows. He got the message and backed off. 
    It turns out I ran a 6:59 mile at this point. It would be my fastest. Things got harder after that. I managed to stay around 7:20 or so, which makes me happy, but probably the toughest thing about a half marathon is also the most obvious: You have to keep running, hard, after you've put on some serious miles. Even at mile 11, when I had the strip back and the bright lights, I knew I was fading. I also knew at this point that I had a shot at 1:37 and didn't want to blow it, and even a pace of, say, 8:30, an aggressive pace for two-thirds of the runners out there, would blow it. I was straining, and my legs felt like a stuffed animal being pulled in a fight between a brother and sister. The only good news was my hamstring wasn't bothering me any longer, which probably was because I was too tired to care.
    I apologize I didn't see the bloggers cheering on the sideline. I was trying so hard not to see anything but the lights and the finish line. I was hurting by that point, just trying to hard to seal away 1:37 and knowing I could crash at any moment. I was floating around a 7:35-7:40 pace and was afraid I could not hold even that much longer.
    And then I saw the finish line.
    I stepped across.
    I didn't celebrate when I finished. I bent over and slowly walked over to grab a foil wrap. I grabbed a water and a drink and tried to breathe. Everyone around me was dead, too, barely able to walk or breathe. It felt good to me to be with them. We WORKED. We nodded at each other or patted each other's shoulder on the way to the exit out of the chute. We'd worked against, and with, each other most of the way. I spent a little time at the trash can, with a coin flip's chance of puking, and then the nausea went away and then I felt a tap on my back. He was the guy I fought at the corner. 
    Good run, he said. You too, I said.
    I waited, far too long, for Blood but knew I'd missed him, and then later Otis and the others. I looked for the bloggers. I finally shivered so hard someone came over and asked me if I needed a doctor, and so I went inside Mandalay to warm up and catch the shuttle. I waited inside there, too, for a long time, but I finally rode the bus home.
    I pressed my nose against the glass when I saw an In and Out Burger.
    • • • 
    I made it up to my room without seeing anyone, which was the plan since I needed to decompress, stretch and become myself again. After touching base via my phone with Blood and Brad, knowing the others wouldn't be far behind, I stripped off my sticky clothes and took a shower. The warm water felt like heaven. 
    I was just about to leave the room, texting my running friends back home anxious to hear my time, when I heard the door open and Brad came through.
    We hugged each other, unabashedly, and then Brad talked like one of my kids for 10 minutes straight. I knew exactly what he was feeling, but it was so rewarding to see it from someone else and know that I helped him get there. It's that crack-like, addicting feeling of accomplishment. Ultimately it's why we run. It was an emotional run for him, as I thought, but it also seemed to be a great, fun experience too.
    And he ran the whole way.
    I came back down and got warm greetings from Blood, who crushed the race, and many other bloggers, which felt great. I was almost embarrassed at how much everyone cared. 
    We had to eat in the food court, and plans didn't exactly go like we had hoped, but they never do. We ate, played some table games (I broke my Pai Gow cherry; that game is fun) and then, finally, had a private poker game at the Monte Carlo. 
    Brad called it an epilogue in an email to us. As usual, he found a great word for it. Though I like to think of that game, the race, really the whole weekend, as something else.
    I think, for once, I've got an even better word than Brad for it.
    I'm calling it a moment.


              Real Life: I'm Back        

    So that was a bit of an unexpected hiatus from le blog!!

    The month of May pretty much kicked my ass and I still feel like my mind and body are recuperating. I had a longer and very stress-heavy business trip in the middle of the month and then within the week of returning back to Cambridge, MA (my home) had to move house. This was a bit of a sad story in the beginning, you see. My lovely, beautiful, and dear friend of a roommate just moved in with me in late December, and within that week, we received noticed that our building was being put on the market. And after trying to win over the hearts of the new owners on several occasions, we realized there was no way we were going to be able to stay without them taking every penny of ours. They've basically treated us like dirt since they signed their contracts, so we knew we needed out. But alas, living in a relatively affordable apartment North Cambridge is like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow… But oh boy, did we find that pot of gold!!! Within 30 minutes of our new landlord putting up her craigslist advertisement, we snatched a viewing and won HER heart over. It's only two blocks away from our old place and our church, but le roommate and I figured that boy, do we have a lot o' shit. So it was time to purge of many of our earthly treasures and move on. So now we live in a beautiful apartment with stainless steel appliances including a DISHwasher (my first ever as an adult) and a washer & dryer! Basically, I feel like I'm living in luxury right now. 


    Since moving, I've started to think ahead (again) which is not a difficult task for me. As I've mentioned throughout this year, there are some major changes happening in my life and music career, and will be sharing with you towards the end of the summer. In the meantime, I'm going to be soaking in as much summertime as I can, get back on track with this blog-situation and bring some fun DIY's & some outfits here and there. During my time off, I've really been thinking about what Tales for Karina Marie is and what I'd like it to be. A lot of bloggers that I follow have been going through a similar thought-process too, I've noticed. "What does my blog mean to me?" "What do I get from it, if anything?" "Is it what I really want it to be or am I trying to give people what I think they want?" As the summer goes on, I'm going to continue to meditate on these questions and make changes as I see fit. 

    So stay tuned for some more lifestyle-based content and maybe some aesthetic-based changes! 


    Follow me on instagram here!

              Ruth Smillie’s “Sleeping Beauty”        
    There was a time early in her career when Ruth Smillie thought of herself as a director-playwright-actor. “Then I had two kids,” she says. Something had to give and sure enough it did. “I just needed to not be a playwright anymore,” she says. ” I had to take that off the table.” It stayed […]
              Scott Penner: Set and Costume Designer for The Last Resort        
    As a high school student in Toronto, Scott Penner had a passion for drama. In fact, he would dearly have loved to make a career of it. But there was a hitch.  “I wasn’t a very good actor,” he says with a smile. “I enjoyed it, I enjoyed it tremendously, but I wouldn’t want to […]
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              A Legend Retires Today.        

    My departing gift to you all.

    Today is the day.  A day that will always be remembered much like the attack on Pearl Harbor, JKF's assassination, the Olson twins 18th birthday, Paris Hilton's sex tape release date and The Fappening.  A day most of you have been waiting for since September 5th, 2011.  Today I officially resign my Tuesday post at the MoneyShot.  Don't all rush out and get me a retirement gift at once.

    As much as all of you begged and pleaded G$ to fire me, know that this was 100% my choice and your demands always fell on deaf ears.  Because all of you are dumb assholes.  I've actually been thinking about this move for awhile now.  Back when I obliterated the competition and ran away with this job, I promised myself that the minute doing this felt like work I would hang up my keyboard and walk away in my prime on my terms.  That day has come.  I'm just not into writing posts as I used to be.  So for my last post here at the greatest corner of the Internet world, I will share my fondest memory of each commenter.

    Dut - Giving you AIDS in the Jolly St. Prick post is the foundation of my legacy.  It'll be hard to knock that out of the top 5 best things every written here and will most likely make my Hall of Fame speech.

    Nibbles - How much your wife hates Ide.  Real, true, passionate hate.

    MUDawgFan - For the longest time I thought you and MUfan were the same person.  Still kinda do.  My favorite part about you is how you get so mad when I blast your teams even though deep down you kinda agree with everything I say about them.

    MUfan - Gonna need that stalker story, bruh.  No matter how embarrassing it may be.

    Burke - Go get me a fucking sandwich.  No onion.  And step on it or your tip will suffer.

    Damman - Making everyone buy into the fact that you only fuck fat chicks was a thing of beauty.  Hopefully that legend will never die.

    Seal - Your blind rage taught me that it's wise to always keep my blood pressure in check.  Whenever I get frustrated with something I just take a couple deep breaths and say, "Don't be Seal.  Don't be Seal.".  Also, I realized that all Kentucky inbreds aren't complete weirdos the night I blacked out with you at that random bar in Dublin after RibFest.

    Cakes - The evolution of Cakes and FUCK YOU CAKES were about the only worthwhile things that came from your comments.  And you probably won't even read this because you randomly vanished like a fart in the wind.

    Lacey - You made me despise Notre Dame more than I ever thought possible.  Opened up hate doors I never knew existed after that bitch fest about a perfectly legit offensive PI call.

    Jeff - You will go down as my last official COTY nomination.  That's something you can and SHOULD put on your resume.

    Prime - You gave me Chip Kelly interviews.  I don't think I need to elaborate.  You were also a valuable asset in the longest post in the history of this site.  The Music Mock Draft - 90's Edition.

    Ide - I will forever regret the day we met.  It still haunts me some nights.  But #IdeLies will be something I use forever.  And paying for ribs from NYC was a pretty baller move even though you bitched out on the zombie run because your pussy had the sniffles.

    Grumpy - If not for your misplaced Steeler bravado and betting with your white trash Appalachia heart, RibFest would have never been a thing.  When you die in a few months from being 200 years old, I will make sure the tombstone properly represents your greatest life's work.  RibFest.  And not once did I ever clean the fucking attic.

    Ace - You set the bar so incredibly low here with shit like May The Forcier Be With You, it was impossible for me to fail.  And where would this website be without your porn post?  Almost non existent, IMO.

    And finally, G$ - The father of this site and the mind numbing ELITE debate.  Born and bred from your wide ginger hips and massive birth canal.  You gave me this thankless job 3 years ago for zero dollars.  Suck Eli Manning's pecker.  It was a great 3 year run and I'm grateful I had the chance to piss people off at an alarming rate.  Now go sucker someone else into this terrible job.

    So what is my fondest memory of myself, you ask??  ELITE question.  After all these years I would say that my fondest memory of myself would be everything.  But if I had to narrow it down and pick a Mona Lisa...that would have to be the creation of the BRAHs.  That is what I'm most proud of.  As far as the void I've left that will, no doubt, be impossible to fill...use today to express interest/apply for the job you'll never do as well as I did.  For my final thoughts on my final post at the end of a first ballot Hall of Fame blogging career, I will leave you with my campaign slogan that won this election by a landslide back in 2011.  "Gmoney/Iceman 2012.  We're gonna titty fuck the world!"  You're God damn right we did.
              The Worst of Conference Championship Weekend Vol.VIII        

    I don't want to sound like Grampa Simpson here but I am currently experiencing lower back pain and it is the worst.  I would rather live with Cakes forever than deal with this for another minute.  I felt it tweak a little bit when I was twerking at the gym two weeks ago and, no matter what I do, the dull and awkward pain remains.  Putting on socks is the goddamn Battle of the Bulge at this point.  It is the hardest thing that I do right now.  The only thing that gets me through the day is that stretch where you look like you're trying to blow yourself/shoving your head up your ass.  I don't want to go to the chiropractor and hope it goes away eventually (LOL NO) but I know that it won't.  Lower back pain is terrible (UPDATE: feeling significantly better!  Complaining about it on the internet seems to be the best medicine).  Don't get old.  Let's talk about shitstack human beings and football.

    409 - The NCAA gave Joe Paterno his wins back on Friday and it was obvz a terrible decision.  I don't know why they took them away in the first place (fucking kids isn't really a performance enhancer...or at least I hope it isn't) but giving them back blows.  The Penn State basketball and hockey teams both wore 409 patches this weekend.  I hate Penn State alums more than anyone ever.  They don't get it and they never will.  It is OK to want them all to die horribly.  They deserve worse.

    Greg Anthony - Arrested in a prostitution ring!  BOO YAH!  I like Anthony so I hope that it doesn't kill his broadcasting career but you know that it will and we will be doomed with a lifetime of Doug Gottleib being a cocksucking thief on the mic forever.

    Jim Tomsula - Watch his interview with CSN Bay Area or whatever.  They basically replaced HarBRAH with PFTCommenter.  This guy is the best and will produce LOLZ forever.  Plus, he looks like Football Ron Jeremy and that is what the NFL needs right now.

    Jim Tomsula Part Deux - The favorite to be the Niners OC is LANE KIFFIN!!!  Jesus titty-fucking Christ.  Does Prime know how lucky he is to live in that area and not be a fan just to listen to the constant bitching?  He can probably drive with his erection while listening to KNBR.

    The NFL - Of course they don't particularly give a shit about beating women and kids but if Beast Mode wants to wear solid gold cleats...HE MUST DIE (or be banned from playing)...because of cleat color.  This is important now.

    Mike McCarthy - When you're on the road and kick two field goals from inside the three then you are a gigantic slop box.  This guy is such an average ass coach.  That might be giving him too much credit because the way that his team folded yesterday was Hall Of Fame shittiness.

    AJ Hawk - Did he get hurt?  Because the Seahawks ran the ball 35 times and the starting MLB had one more tackle than Soda Popinski.

    Pete Carroll - BRAH, your QB totes had a concussion from that savage Matthews hit and no one tested him at all...just put him back out there.  NO MORE!

    Brandon Bostick - The play was bad enough but don't tell the media that you are out there to block but thought that you could catch it so you decided to not do your job.  Poor guy is going to take all the heat while his coaches deserve most of it if not all.

    Russell Wilson - For 55 minutes, this guy was Joe Bauserman on whatever the complete opposite of steroids is.  The punter was showing more ARM TALENT.  And then, like all annoying goody-two-shoes, he came through when it mattered.  Even the passes that he completed looked like they were all due to luck.  What an unreal ending to a pig-poop game.  That wasn't even football for the most part.  I can't believe that the Seahawks won.  They didn't deserve that and Sherman has one arm now.  Oh well, that is why you earn home field in the regular season so that a ton of your fans can leave before the game is over.  LOL!  Go cry some more, Rusty, you dicknip.

    Peyton Manning - I mean, I could laugh at him tucking his jersey into his dad jeans for Papa John's all day long, but I feel like his poop performance last week (calling bullshit on that torn quad FOREVER) ruined what could have been the worst QB game of all time last night.  Pey Pey in the wind and rain might have had 10 picks.  And I feel cheated.

    Andrew Luck - Belichick just owns his ass.  I mean, the Colts had zero chance unless Brady played like Rusty Dubs and he didn't.  It was uglier than Luck's beard.  I'm just glad that it's over.

    Former Browns - Cribbs (or Chronic as someone called him last week) had a GIANT MUFF that effectively ended the game in the first quarter and Trent Richardson didn't even make the trip because he is going through some sort of massive family issue.  I'd bet that whatever is going on in his life is hilarious.

    Not Nate Solder - Typical fucking Patriots running OL pass plays but I will forever love 77s finding paydirt.  It is a known FACT that #77 is the best number in football and seeing the hands and agility of big Solder was refreshing and exhilarating. Mark my words: the first team to get their 77 into the end zone in the Super Bowl will win the game.

    LeGarrette Blount - Fuck this piece of shit.  How is he only ever decent against Indy?  I hate this guy.  More carries to Pat Devlin or GTFO.

    Jim and Feel and especially Mike fucking Carey - YES!  We are officially the longest amount of time away from the next time that we have to hear these fucktards call another football game!  If I was grading this announce team, I would give them a Y minus.  Of course, Carey thought that that TERRIBLE roughing the passer on Brady call was correct because he is awful and that was absurd.

    So here we go with Seattle and New England in the Super Bowl (with thankfully the NBC telecast) and Katy Perry's beefers.  I can live with this.  Actually, I'm all for this.  I don't necessarily want either team to win but these are probably the two best franchises in the game and ELITE respects ELITE.  And yes, both of these teams would kill Ohio Buckeyes, Drew!
              Greenland and the End of Exploration        

    The roving celestial beasts of Lascaux’s Paleolithic hunting scenes and the scurvy-ridden, snow-blinding odyssey of Shackleton’s Antarctic survival may be distant in time and space, but the events and their retelling share a coeval impulse. Remote exploration and extreme risk are palpable vestiges of our intrepid and predatory ways, but that these acts inform our oldest tales about our place in the world seems almost unrecognized today. 

    Among the "uses of adventure" in traditional societies--from Greek mythology, the Upanishads and ecstatic shamanism in Siberia to creation myths across the Americas--individual heroism and group survival often recur, followed by revelations of nature's secrets, the cosmos, and our own origins. Adventure is possibly the oldest, most persistent subject matter we share through our stories. This historical pairing of legendary feats and their retelling appears so intrinsic to our being that we're numb to its remarkable peculiarity.

    In today's literary marketplace, daunting feats in wild nature hold little appeal. How did this reversal come about? We remain fascinated by secrets, yet contemporary writing (fact and fiction) revels in individual experience, where the inner lives of characters are explored as exotic landscapes, conjured or real. Besides this turn toward inner landscapes, narrative style is emphasized equally if not more than the tale recounted--Salinger, Hemingway, DF Wallace are pioneers of this mannered approach. 

    A surfeit of grandiose Everest accounts surely helped dig this grave, but the bulk of adventure writing today is low-brow, unartful or vain, approaching kitsch. Few adventure writers escape the scorn of the high-brow critic--Thesiger, Mathiessen and Gretel Ehrlich are prominent exceptions. A random pick from my Africa shelves reveals Facing the Congo: A Modern-Day Journey into the Heart of Darkness by acclaimed travel writer Jeffrey Tayler. A literary expatriate attempts Conrad's famous voyage, this time in a dugout canoe. Instead he collides with Congo's surreal poverty and extreme destitution, recoils, then finds himself grander for the experience. Self-glorification and the voyeurism of disaster tourism disguised as adventure lit? Little surprise then that the genre feels spent of originality and nuance, resorting instead to spectacle, gimmick or humor. 

    I've started a short survey of expedition writing in Greenland, beginning with Knud Rasmussen's canonical Across Arctic America (1924) through to Gretel Ehrlich's lyrical This Cold Heaven (2001). The series comprises an array of accounts that track the genre's high points in the post-Heroic Age of exploration. Epic exploration effectively died in Greenland, which had long served as a staging ground for attempts on the North Pole and elusive Northwest Passage. Once these prizes were claimed, their sponsors and celebrity explorers feted, exploration's Heroic Age ended with Peary's 1909 contested claim to the pole.

    Undervalued and invisible to the prize seekers of the former era, in Greenland arose a new vision of exploration and the writing it produced. The new crop of adventurers was void of fame seekers, wealthy patrons seeking new lands in their name, nations stalking glory by funding high-risk/high-return expeditions.

    Rasmussen was the first figure to break the lull of this hiatus, famously testing his hypothesis of the continuity of Inuit peoples from Greenland to Siberia over five years of dogsledding, inaugurating a new mode of inquiry and exploration into human origins. Thor Heyerdahl would try a similar approach in the South Pacific (Kon Tiki, 1947), sailing a balsa raft from Peru to Easter Island and demonstrating, he believed, that the culture behind the island's famous monoliths originated not in Polynesia but with Amerindians of South America.

    Subsequent Greenland explorers like Jean Malaurie deepened this appreciation of indigenous peoples as terra nova, inspiring similar approaches in the Amazon (Levi-Strauss) and Congo (Colin Turnbull). Other notable Greenland travelers arrived by accident; their nearly fatal encounters with the island rewrote their artistic careers and legacy entirely (Rockwell Kent). More recent adventurers such as TM Kpomassie (An African in Greenland, 1977and Gretel Ehrlich are more lyrical and romantic than outright expeditionary, but chronicle the deep power of remote and hostile locales to ignite our imagination by testing our physical and psychological limits. In Greenland, art and the trials of endurance have a long synergy. The literature around these efforts avoids the clunky kitsch seen elsewhere, Congo and Everest being the two most obvious examples. 

    I'll be shopping this one around, so stay tuned for the full article. 

              Upcoming publications on Greenland and Jon Turk        
    This site seems quiet but I've been busy with a couple of articles that will appear shortly. I'll post the links here.

    One is a profile and interview with Jon Turk, award-winning endurance sea kayaker and scholar-explorer. We talk about the state of extreme adventure today, the current preference for stunts over long-term expeditions to test scientific or sociological hypotheses, such as early human maritime migration, as Turk has done. This profile will appear in the May issue of Adventure Kayak, successor to the beloved Sea Kayaker magazine, recently discontinued after a thirty year career.

    The other article on Greenland, following my visit there in 2013, will appear on the excellent travel site Roads and Kingdoms as part of a series on breakfasts in obscure locales. We ate a lot of fresh Arctic char on our late morning breaks while paddling Greenland's fjords.

    I'm also working on a survey of expedition writing staged in Greenland, beginning with Knud Rasmussen's canonical Across Arctic America (1924) through to Gretel Ehrlich's lyrical This Cold Heaven (2001).

    Still shopping this one around so stay tuned. 

              Seeing without a State -- Why James Scott matters to foreign aid        

    International development is social engineering, yes, but with a social justice lens. Its success hangs on its ability to translate intention into action, the offer of foreign assistance into local appropriation, application and transformation. Redundancy should be its metric of success, yet international development has become a steady career track for young westerners, many plied with advanced degrees in its theories and operational models. None of this--the academic programs, the career tracks--existed twenty years ago.  The simple vocational appeal of 'working oneself out of a job' is long gone.

    In the increasing professionalization and careerism of foreign aid (development & disaster relief), what is sacrificed are the years of fieldwork needed to cultivate a hands-on appreciation of destitution itself, the human suffering and loss of potential that ensues, and their causal origins in failed public institutions and cynical leadership. Academic degrees now matter more in development than field experience; the truism that local immersion is the best—many would say only—teacher is no longer followed. In my travels and teachings, I notice among students and young development professionals an unspoken disregard for living at the village level or heart of an urban slum for any period of time. There one is bereft of social media, most modern technology and infrastructure. Life must be experienced purely on local terms. Discomfort with vulnerability and perceived risk may be part of this rejection, but personal security is almost always a question of local networks.

    Read the rest of this short analysis over at Medium...

              Comment on rbb Communications Names Srikant Ramaswami to Senior Leadership Team by Dale Miller        
    Having known Srikant since his college days as a good friend of Lee Miller, I have followed his career with interest. RBB has shown great wisdom in adding this amazingly talented man to their team.
              Volunteering: Maine!        
    Allied Whale, the marine mammal research lab of College of the Atlantic located in Bar Harbor, Maine, seeks 4 interns for the 2010 summer field season.

    Two three-month positions (June-August) and two five-month positions (June-October)are available.

    Individuals will assist in numerous research projects monitoring humpback, finback and North Atlantic right whales, including off-shore surveys, data collection on local whale watching boats, tower surveys on our remote off-shore research base,passive acoustic monitoring, and general logistics. Individuals will be able to earn limited income as deckhands. Research responsibilities include photo-identification
    of whales and data collection/entry. Deckhand responsibilities include line handling, vessel cleaning, and passenger safety. Training will be provided.

    The applicants should have a college background in biology and/or zoology. Some knowledge of research methods is an advantage. Knowledge of marine mammals and seabirds is an asset. Previous experience in photography (conventional and digital) is helpful but not required. Applicants must be positive, flexible, able to work independently, and comfortable working offshore on boats.

    These are entry-level research positions designed to offer experience for individuals seeking to develop their professional careers in marine mammal research.

    The positions begin June 1st and applicants must be able to work through with no other commitments (excluding COA students).

    Please specify which position you are interested in.

    Hours will vary depending on schedules, housing is provided and mandatory for a fee (~$100/wk).

    Application deadline is March 22, 2010.

    Please send a cover letter detailing your reasons for applying, a resume, and two letters of recommendation to:

    Interns 2010
    Allied Whale
    105 Eden St.
    Bar Harbor, Maine, 04609
    Or e-mail to:

    Leah M. Crowe
    Allied Whale
    (207) 288-5644

              Volunteering: Gray whale research in Canada!!        


    The Society for Ecological and Coastal Research - SEACR - is a non-profit organization, established in 1998, dedicated to scientific research on the ecology of near-shore marine systems. SEACR is sponsoring several long-term ongoing research projects on gray whale ecology in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia, Canada. The projects are organized and run by the Whale Research Lab of the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada ( ).


    Enthusiastic individuals with a keen interest in nature and science are invited to discover the challenges of marine field research along Canada's coastal rainforest through SEACR's Marine Research Intern Program!

    MRIP is a volunteer program where Research Interns assist experienced and dedicated marine biologists and ecologists with their field research. Through MRIP, Research Interns will live and work at a remote research field-station in the coastal rainforest of Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia, to aid researchers with ongoing field research related to coastal and marine ecology.

    Internships are offered on a competitive basis, at cost and provide invaluable exposure to boat based field work, the Pacific coastal ocean environment, marine mammal research, intensive training and mentoring in marine ecology, and encouragement to work and play hard!

    We are offering 2 or 4 week Marine Research Internships for June 2010. There is no deadline to apply. However, approved applications are reviewed and accepted on a first-come, first serve basis and spaces are quite limited.


    This internship is an excellent opportunity for an individual working toward a career in marine science to gain practical experience in the field. Ideal candidates possess a personal interest in marine ecology and a commitment to conservation research.

    Marine research is difficult and challenging work, so being a Research Intern is not for everyone! Those who wish to participate in MRIP must be in good physical health, especially free of back and leg injuries, as the field hours (in the boat and in the lab) can be long - though very satisfying! This is not a program that certifies individuals in field research. It is, however, an experience that delivers a unique opportunity for education, development of field ecology research skills, travel, and enjoyment of wildlife.


    Flores Island is the home of the Ahousaht First Nations peoples and is nestled in world-famous Clayoquot Sound, in the Pacific Coast rainforest. Flores is an excellent place to learn about marine ecology and the study of nature. Along with learning field and technical skills during the course of work, when the opportunity arises Research Interns may engage in informal talks with graduate students, take hikes along the Wild Side Trail, have beach campfires, and interact with the Ahousaht First Nations peoples. Professors from the University of Victoria, local scientists and previous MRIP researchers will be frequent visitors to the field research station.

    Flores Island's natural beauty, sandy beaches, and abundant wildlife will keep you enthralled. Being here is the experience of a lifetime.


    To qualify as a candidate for the MRIP, see the preaplication process on our website:

    Unlike many other volunteer internship opportunities, SEACR provides and organizes the room and board for our interns at cost. The internship package includes basic accommodations and three meals per day at the research station. Interns and research staff live together and are responsible for cooking and cleaning duties. Rooms are shared with at least one other person. The internship costs do not include transportation to and from the research camp on Flores Island, personal items, or special dietary requirements. A non-refundable $500 deposit is required upon acceptance to MRIP.

    Two week Internship - $ 2200 Cdn
    Four week Internship - $ 3400 Cdn

    If you are interested in applying for a position, please see the details of our application process on our website

    Questions regarding the MRIP application or internships can be directed by email to:

    Christina Tombach Wright
    Intern Coordinator
    Society for Ecological and Coastal Research
    P.O. Box 35052
    Victoria, British Columbia
    CANADA V8T 5G2

              Volunteering: Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Lab!        
    The Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Lab at the University of Southern Mississippi offers an internship to college juniors, seniors and recent graduates. There are three available internship periods each year: Spring, Summer, and Fall.

    Interns work on research projects being conducted by faculty members and graduate students, and will gain experience in both behavioral and acoustic data collection and analyses. Specific experiences depend on the research projects that are ongoing at the time of the internship.

    Summer 2010 Internship: We will be accepting two interns for this internship period. The primary research being conducted at this time involves field abundance surveys and photo-identification of bottlenose dolphins in Mississippi Sound. Applications due March 15th. Anticipated start date is May 1st.

    This internship is an unpaid voluntary position, and interns are responsible for arranging their own transportation and housing. Interns are also required to receive college credit for the internship; enrollment may be with The University of Southern Mississippi or an academic institution of their choice.
    Students interested in applying for the internship are required to send:

    • Complete application form (pdf)
    • CV or Résumé
    • Letter of intent describing your career goals, reason(s) for wanting the internship, and what you expect to contribute to and gain from the internship
    • Unofficial or official copy of your transcripts
    • At least two letters of recommendation (preferably from those who can attest to your academic and scientific abilities)
    All materials should be sent to:

    Internship Coordinator: Courtney Smith
    Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Internship
    Department of Psychology
    The University of Southern Mississippi
    118 College Drive, # 5025
    Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5025

    Materials may arrive separately or together, all materials must be postmarked by the pertinent deadline: Fall - July 1st; Spring - December 1st; Summer - March 15th

    Please direct all information requests and related materials to Courtney Smith at



    Courtney Smith
    MA,PhD Student
    Internship Coordinator
    Marine Mammal Behavior & Cognition Lab
    Experimental Psychology Program
    University of Southern Mississippi

              Goodbye Twenties        
    I have a birthday coming up this week. The "big" 30. I am so ready to say goodbye to me twenties, which although have been full of wonderful things (meeting my wonderful husband, marriage, career, our first home/mortgage), I feel like I'm more than ready to move on and say hello to my thirties.
    It's got to be better.
    These past few years have been, well, horrible. Unemployment, disappointment, and then, loss.
    This past year has been nothing but pain, tears, sadness and loss. I'm not going to get into it, I feel it's still to personal, but 2013, 29, good riddance. I had such high hopes for you, but you really dissapointed.
    I'm ready to move on.

    Have you heard of Jonathan Carrol? Did I mention him before?
    I can't even remember how I heard of him, but I follow him on Facebook, and I always look forward to his posts. (Please follow him here! You won't be sorry!) Most of them are amazing quotes by others, and amazing photographs. Every now and then he adds a quote of his own. I've yet to read his books, but they are on my list.
    This was one is from his feed today:

    "“There are times in your life when, despite the steel weight of your memories and the sadness that seems to lie at your feet like a shadow, you suddenly and strangely feel perfectly okay.” 

     -Kevin Brockmeier

    I'm trying. Sometimes it's just really hard ♥
              Best. STOC. Ever.        
    The Panel on TCS: The Next Decade
    Last week I attended STOC as its first new TheoryFest in Montreal. Pretty much everything about TheoryFest went extremely well and for the first time in a long time I felt STOC played a role beyond a publication venue. Great plenary talks from both within and outside the community. The poster sessions were well-attended and caused our community to talk to each other--what a concept. Senior people took junior people to lunch--I had a great time with graduate students Dhiraj Holden (MIT) and Joseph Bebel (USC). I missed the tutorials and workshops but heard they went very well.

    By the numbers: 370 attendees, 46% students. 103 accepted papers out of 421 submitted. These numbers are moderate increases over recent years.

    The Panel on TCS: The Next Decade talked about everything but the next decade. A few of my favorite quotes: "Hard instances are everywhere except where people care" (Russell Impagliazzo, who walked back a little from it later in the discussion). "I never know when I proved my last theorem" (Dan Spielman on why he keeps trying). Generally the panel gave great advice on how to do research and talk with other disciplines.

    Avi Wigderson argued that theory of computing has become "an independent academic discipline" which has strong ties to many others, of which computer science is just one example. He didn't quite go as far as suggesting a separate department but he outlined a TCS major and argued that our concepts should be taught as early as elementary school.

    Oded Goldreich received the Knuth Prize and said that researchers should focus on their research and not on their careers. The SIGACT Distinguished Service Award went to Alistair Sinclair for his work at the Simons Institute.

    Oded apologized for lying about why he was attending STOC this year. TheoryFest will be a true success when you need reasons to not attend STOC. All happens again next year in Los Angeles (June 23-27) for the 50th STOC. Do be there.
              By: This is a very simple game...        
    Catherine - Not a silly question. It can if you're an elite athlete. What you and I demand of our ankles is different than what he does and it sounds like the scar tissue build up is something else. This surgery is for scar tissue removal. I have a friend with a similar but less severe injury and three years later he still can't run because of scar tissue. For my friend this means he bikes to work out instead of jogging. For Kendrys that would mean the end of his career.
              By: mlblogsstrictlycubsbaseball        
    Kristen, Great post! I feel your pain when all you want to do is enjoy your favorite team and only to have them disappoint you. My Cubs made 4 errors last night leading to 7 unearned runs and a loss. It was terrible! Also, I agree with you 100% that it's better to get Kendrys complete healthy than risk this season and his career. Ron
              Professor Showcases IUP Hospitality Management Programs at PA DECA Conference        
    Professor Stephan Shiring will represent the Hospitality Management Department at the 66th Annual Pennsylvania DECA Career Development Conference at Hershey Lodge, Hershey, PA, February 22-24, 2017.
              Comment on Answering the call by kristina dack        
    A big thank you to Officer John Dickman. I have three newphews that have served several terms in the Marines. A couple of them served many times. One is a career Marine. I had a father that was in world war II and served as a navagator in the Air Corps. I'm so proud of having a family of service men. Again Thank you to John Dickman, you are doing a wonderful thing. Kris Dack
              Dog Day Afternoon in the Bronx: In Which Rickey Ventures Into the Bowels of Hell        
    Hey kids, what do you do when your baseball team of favor vehemently shits the bed? You hop a train down to your cross-town rivals’ stadium and root against them like your very sanity depends on it (because in actuality, it does). And that is precisely what Rickey did this past weekend. Like a pilgrim venturing into an unholy land, Rickey made plans with a friend to attend his first Yankees game in their snazzy new stadium.

    Hearing that the Kansas City Royals were the opposing team, Rickey quickly procured himself a KC baseball cap and deeply immersed himself in Royals knowledge the night before the game. For a team that we weren’t aware was still officially recognized by MLB up until a few nights ago, the Royals certainly have some interesting things going for them. For example, did you know that Brian Bannister is not only alive and well, but actually occupying a starting pitching role for KC? No really, it’s true! Or that Wilson Betemit’s last name is in fact pronounced “Bay-tah-mee”? Crazy!

    But probably the most striking thing about the Royals is how astonishingly bad a baseball team they are. Their heyday seems to have been in the 1980's when they were led by George Brett, a terrifying ogre of a man occupying third base who appears to have achieved Paul Bunyan like status amongst the Kansas City fan base. Things have deteriorated greatly for the Royals since then. In 2007 their team motto was “True. Blue. Tradition.” which inspired them to a 69-93 record. 2008 saw marked improvement as they changed their slogan to “New. Blue. Tradition.” and surged forward to a 75-87 record, marking the first time in five years they Royals didn’t finish last in their division. And then they finished dead last again in 2009. The 2010 season looks to be a turbulent one as KC has replaced their manager with baseball prodigy Ned Yost, whose previous credentials include the roles of obscure backup catcher on assorted 1980’s teams and part time taxidermist in Mississippi. Needless to say, much lamentation is transpiring in the Royals blogosphere.

    And it was into this pit of despair that Rickey happily stepped as he headed off to the Bronx!
    Yankee Stadium’s exterior façade is predictably grandiose. Walking in, one isn’t sure whether to expect to witness a baseball game or Yogi Berra locked in gladiatorial combat with a tiger.

    And look, they even have a flutist to march you in! Apparently he’s there each and every game. Ladies, and gentlemen, the pied piper of the Bronx!
    One of the more amusing sights was the fan tribute to recently deceased Yankee public address announcer Bob Sheppard, the so called “Voice of the Yankees” (the Mouth of Sauron, if you will). Here's his memorial!What a delightfully shitty memorial! When Rickey croaks, he totally wants to be commemorated like this: some soiled clothes strewn about, a bunch of dime store candles, and a few half empty bottles of beer. All that's missing from this picture is a forlorn three legged dog wandering around in the background. Shit, we think there may even be a few half eaten chicken wings in there. A true testament to the proud Yankees tradition!

    After entering the stadium and enjoying two delicious Philly cheesesteaks grilled to perfection courtesy of Carl’s, Rickey and his buddy found their seats, and took in the view. It is begrudgingly impressive. The national anthem was played, and an image of the U.S. flag appeared on the Yanks’ jumbo screen with, we kid you not, the text “The Star Spangled Banner, as written by Francis Scott Key” above it. Well who the fuck else would’ve written it? Is there some Jethro Tull version of the song that we’re all totally unaware of? Mind numbing redundancy aside, the game finally commenced.

    And then the effects of the midday heat sunk in. First off, you need to understand that it was 97 degrees and unbearably humid that day and that Rickey’s seats were in DIRECT sunlight. It might not seem hot in these pictures, but trust us, it was bad.

    Enduring the Yankees’ unbearably loud PA system is bad enough, but when you’ve to put up with it in addition to Ra the ever living sun-god shining his magnifying glass of unrelenting vengeance upon you, things get a bit dicey. 75 SPF sun screen might as well have been Crisco. Unscrupulous vendors sold pocket fans for $20 a pop. Sweat poured from parts of people’s bodies in a manner previously deemed impossible by most medical professionals. Ice suddenly became currency. People were slumped against the stadium rotunda walls like the New Orleans Superdome circa August, 2005. And that’s precisely why, sometime during the third inning, Rickey thought it would be a good idea to power through his nagging case of heat exhaustion with a few beers. Smart, right?

    Hell, Rickey was in hell. You probably can’t make it out in this image, but Rickey’s arm is like a freaking slip and slide. That grey damp mass to the left--that’s Rickey’s buddy’s shirt soaked in back sweat. Good news ladies: he's single!

    The good news was that Rickey was not alone in his Royals pride. On the train ride down to the stadium, Rickey had proudly worn his KC hat and had been asked “are you really a Royals fan?” by more than one onlooker. Why yes friend, Rickey’s been a lifelong Royals fan ever since he discovered they still existed last night! But at the game, Rickey found other Royals fans just like him! People to engage with in highly informed commentary such as “this team sure is scrappy!” and “now that’s ROYALS BASEBALL!” Bottom line, this was a highly enjoyable game for a Yankee hater. The Yanks were undone by poor pitching and the Royals played small ball and capitalized. Here’s the final score Rickey savored while exiting the stadium: For Rickey, there is absolutely nothing more enjoyable than 50,000 disappointed Yanks fans walking dejectedly toward the parking lot. Look at the sad sea of tormented humanity on display in photo, it's like a Hieronymus Bosch painting! Shuffle home fools, YOUR TEARS SUSTAIN RICKEY. We have little else other than that to offer in the way of a recap. We do, however, have a video that Rickey shot of Alex Rodriguez at the plate. When a professional baseball player who commissions a portrait of himself depicted as a centaur is only one homer shy of his 600th career home run, Rickey figures it’s worth recording. And so we did. Behold, stunning video footage of the esteemed Alex Rodriguez NOT hitting his 600th home run!
    The dude squawking "sitdownsitdownsitdownsitdown" is Rickey’s buddy. Funny how Yanks fans suddenly transform into Emily Post when they're at a ball game. The guy who jeers “NOT QUITE!” when Rodriguez blandly pops out? We will give you three guesses who that was… Eat a dick, A-ROD. Eat a big bag of dicks.
              Introducing the New Thing That We Do Now (and will promptly forget to do ever again): BLOGROULETTE!        
    A kindred blogger introduced Rickey to the concept of the “next blog” button on the top of the website and recommended he click it. Apparently by doing so, you’re taken to a blog with similar interests as yours. Click a few more times and you’re taken further down the rabbit hole of randomness. It’s good wholesome fun that provides Rickey the opportunity to do what makes the internet such a special place: ridicule others. So we’re totally making a recurring practice out of this. The concept is similar to Chatroulette, but featuring even more self-aggrandizing pathos! The rules to this game are simple, you click on the “next blog” button thrice, see what comes up, and steep yourself in the awful blandness of it all. We kick off our inaugural installment with…
    At first, we thought that with a name like this, the blog would written by bank robbers from East Baltimore cataloging their hilarious yet socioeconomically tragic hiijinks, but sadly we were wrong. So very wrong.

    It’s a blog about two kids playing baseball (the sports element is what linked Rickey’s site to this one). For bonus internet awkwardness, the blog is written entirely by the DARRINGTON BOYZ’ proud mother and discussing their exploits on and off the baseball field. We’re pretty sure that the milk in Rickey’s coffee curdled while he was perusing this blog. Thank god Rickey’s exploits are a constant source of disappointment and embarrassment for his mother, otherwise he’d probably have to put up with a website very similar to this one…. But enough exposition, here’s what the bright future of America looks like! There are words to describe this photo. Rickey, however, is at a complete loss for them. You can practically see the one on the right just working things out in his head--figuring out the best place to open up a quiet little hotel with some nice stuffed animals on the walls and maybe moving his mom in there to live with him. Oh, and we’re pretty certain that the one on the left is Cthulhu hiding in corporeal form.

    The best part is that the mother is completely oblivious to the bottomless pits of terrifying nothingness dwelling in the eyes of her sons. Naturally, in the face of such alarming vapidity, she’s turned to Jesus. For those sorely in need of a deeply motivational quote to put up next to your “hang in there kitty!” poster, you’ll find the following pearls of wisdom on the blog:

    Live simply.
    Love generously.
    Care deeply.
    Speak kindly.
    Leave the rest to God.

    Well that’s all very touching and whatnot, but Rickey’s would prefer to file his own tax return next year rather than entrust it to the J-Man if that's copacetic with you, honey. It’s a little unsettling how much overt religiosity you’ll find on these family blogs. Rickey’s buddy similarly lamented that his site always leads directly to a never ending supply of Mormon blogs, (presumably because like most other Jews, he uses the phrase "Jesus Christ" a heckuva lot). But Rickey digresses... There are yet more inspirational quotes from Mater Darrington to guide you through your hectic modern life!

    Work as if it was your first day.
    Forgive as soon as possible.
    Love without boundaries.
    Laugh without control and never stop smiling.

    First off, if Rickey “worked as if it was his first day” he’d be queued up on a breadline by now. After seven years on the job, you think Rickey’s superiors would respond well to him suddenly asking where the bathroom was and what kind of 401K plan they offered? And “laugh without control”? Isn’t that what the Joker did to the fair citizens of Gotham? People died from that shit, lady. Not cool.

    But then Rickey saw a blog post entitled “First Snow and Cougar Hunting” we got much more excited. What sort of lurid mischief could the Darrington Boyz be getting up to, we wondered?

    Ah crap, she meant "cougar hunting" literally. Well that’s just not right at all. Apparently that whole “love without boundaries” thing stops short at large mountain cats whose natural habitats encroach upon the Darlington Boyz’ hunting grounds. We guess Rickey missed the section in the new testament in which Woodland Hunter Jesus lectures his apostles (his BOYZ, if you will) on the merits of snuffing out majestic felines for recreational fun. It’s probably hidden somewhere in the back.

    You know what, we’d love to see the Darrington Boyz go toe to toe with a more challenging critter. Rickey recommends THE HONEY BADGER, probably the most fearsome land mammal ever to roam the earth. Take a gander at nature’s version of Winnie the Pooh on crack cocaine:

    [h/t to “Badass of the Week." for making Rickey aware of this relentless beast. The video is all Rickey's doing--enjoy it before Jay-Z shuts us down]

    Honey badger don’t give a fuck. Honey badger will mess your shit up. Honey badger is all teeth, fur, and balls. Ain't no love in the heart of the jungle, baby. Now THAT’S your motivational quote of the day.

    Anyhow, we’d go on to post more about this blog , but it’s pretty much an amalgam of religious poems, insipid birthday parties at P.F. Changs, and the Boyz standing over various carcasses of recently slain wildlife. As for their baseball careers, it’s pretty much a lock that you’ll be seeing them on the Colorado Rockies in the not too distant future. Tune in next week to see what fresh hell Rickey stumbles upon in Blogroulette!
              Your Official 2010 Mets Preview Thread of Rock Bottom Expectations, Rogue Thyroid Glands, and RAGE RAGE RAGE        
    Because Rickey is wholly unable to discuss the New York Mets in commonplace prose format, we’re throwing this one up Q&A style, (now complete with superfluous cultural references!)

    So Rickey, I read that Vegas has the odds of the Yankees winning the 2010 World Series at a formidable 14/5 after the line opened at 3/1. Has anyone calculated the odds for the Mets?

    Uh, yeah, we’ll get Hank from accounting right on that little query… Dude’s not nearly miserable enough. Rickey heard that somebody actually tried to figure out the odds, but promptly committed seppuku when they learned that Luis “Meat Train” Castillo has another 734 games to go until he’s halfway through his contract as a New York Met.

    Well what do you calculate the Mets odds of winning the World Series to be?

    Haha, you’re cute. Rickey admires your doe-eyed tenacity. The odds are about as good as Mrs. Henderson successfully teaching Rickey how to correctly load the dishwasher. What? Why can’t Rickey place the dishes face down on the lower rack? The knives don’t get put in the utensil basket pointy end up? Wood objects don’t go in here? A thousand curses upon you and this infernal machine, you treacherous harpy!

    But you’re still going to attend a few games at CitiField, right?

    Let Rickey tell you a story. Last week, Rickey went into the office men’s room to relieve himself, opened an unlocked stall door, only to find a rather portly man (thankfully not a coworker) sitting on the john with no shirt on. Rickey bolted from the scene and has since avoided that bathroom like the plague. Why wouldn’t the door have been locked? Why did that rotund man feel the need to take his shirt off? What the hell? All Rickey knows is that there’s some seriously bad mojo going on in that bathroom and he hasn’t gone back in there since. The point of this story: Rickey feels pretty much the same way about venturing into CitiField this season. It’s like walking into what you thought was an unoccupied bathroom stall only to find a shirtless fat man sitting on the toilet.

    Aren’t you at least excited about the Jason Bay acquisition?

    Absolutely! And Rickey will be even more excited when he stubs his toe on opening day, blames his .198 batting average on that and sits out the second half of the 2010 season collecting millions of dollars!

    But we can still expect you to blog about the Mets from time to time, right?

    Uh, don’t count on it. Three years since the 2007 debacle, Rickey’s keen satirical eye has waned to tired exasperation. The challenge of mocking this team is gone. Want some amusement? You’re better off writing your own “Choose You Own Mets Adventure” book at this point. Turn to page 118 if Ike Davis gets traded for an injury plagued Orlando Hudson during the 2011 offseason! Turn to page 78 if Jose Reyes’ thyroid goes nuclear!

    What is Reyes’ deal anyway? Is he better now?

    Reports suggest that yes, his thyroid levels have normalized and he will be available for opening day. So that was an interesting little diversion. You know what’s fun? When a news story about the delightfully insane decision to place a shortstop with a .435 career slugging percentage third in the batting order actually gets dwarfed by an even more maddening news story about their thyroid acting up. But yes, Reyes is back, which is good, because as far as Rickey knows, the Mets’ two backup shortstops are Rey Ordonez and Corrado Soprano.

    What of Carlos Beltran? How’s he doing?

    More and more, his tenure as a New York Met resembles that of Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter’s jail stint. The poor guy is so terrified of the Mets’ medical staff that he had his own doctor perform knee surgery on his ailing leg. Not that Rickey doesn’t have the utmost of faith in the Civil War battlefield surgery level expertise of the Mets’ doctors… Ahem.

    So it’s safe to say that the Mets’ fanbase is a little disgruntled?

    Well yes, but that’s generally always the case. This year it’s just a little bit more pronounced. Also, it doesn’t help that 99.8% of Mets fans are completely out of their goddamned minds. It’s not unusual for call ins like this to transpire on Mike Francessa’s show on WFAN:

    “Hey Mike, tanks fuh takin' my cawl. What do you think of trading Beltran to da Cawdnuls for Wainwright and Pujols? I think it's a slam dunk fuh da Mets, why doesn't Omah make dat trade? I'm gonna hang up and listen to youah response.”

    Rickey’s always wondered, why do the WFAN callers always hang up so quickly? Those lunatics spend hours waiting on hold and then they hang up after spitting out 50 words of jibber jabber? Really?

    So what’s your final prediction for the 2010 season?

    If they make it over 76 wins, Rickey will be shocked. If they don't we've got the return of Bobby Valentine to look forward to. Now for that, Rickey will get excited.
              Berklee + Lollapalooza        
    Thursday / August 3, 2017 / 6:00 p.m.
    2430 North Lakeview Avenue
    United States

    Berklee College of Music parents Priscilla and Steven Kersten invite you to their home in Chicago, Illinois, for a community gathering of parents, alumni, and friends of the college.

    Betsy Newman, senior vice president for Student Enrollment and Engagement, and Stefanie Henning, assistant vice president for Career Strategy and Services, will attend along with other Berklee leaders.

    The evening will feature a performance by student band Lady Pills (pictured) ​in a preview of their appearance at Lollapalooza as part of the Berklee Popular Music Institute—an immersive education program that takes students from the classroom to the festival stage.

    Join us for a fun and informative evening with the local Berklee community. Appetizers and beverages will be served. Space is limited. 

    Berklee is grateful to the Kersten family for hosting this special evening.

    For more information, contact Brithney Joseph at or 617-747-6953.



              Introducing the FIU B.A. in Computer Science        

    FIU-computing-BA-Computer-Science-300x200The B.A in Computer Science (CS) is intended for students targeting a career in the computing field. The program provides...

    The post Introducing the FIU B.A. in Computer Science appeared first on FIU College of Engineering and Computing.

              Welcoming Karl Grambow to Coeo        

    After a massive search for our next ‘Mission Critical SQL Server DBA’, I’m very pleased to announce that we welcomed Karl Grambow into our team this week!Rambo?

    Karl joins us from Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) in the UK and started his career as a SQL Server 6.5 Developer before moving quickly into the operational DBA space where he’s been ever since.

    He also dabbles in .NET and SSMS-Addin development and has created a versioning tool called SQLDBControl.

    Outside of work he enjoys photography and Formula 1 and has recently become a Dad for the second time (congratulations!).

    Welcome Karl, we’re all looking forward to working with you!

    Karl will be manning our stand at SQLBits10 this week so if you’ll be there, be sure to say come over and say hi.


    Christian Bolton - MCA, MCM, MVP
    Technical Director - SQL Server Consulting & Managed Services

              Coeo are giving away the entire SQL Server MCM reading list at SQLBits        

    I’m thrilled to announce that we’ll be giving away the entire recommended reading list for the Microsoft Certified Master on SQL Server 2008 certification to one lucky attendee at the upcoming SQLBits 8 event in Brighton between 7th and 9th April 2011.

    Click here to see the full list on

    This dream collection of books, worth the over £500, will be useful to anyone who considers SQL Server to be a significant part of their career and will provide essential preparation for anyone pursuing the certification.

    If you are studying for the MCM qualification or even just thinking about it, make sure you come and visit our exhibitor stand on the 8th and 9th April to share your MCM preparation stories with us and get more details on how to enter the competition.

    Click here to read more about  Microsoft Certified Master- Microsoft SQL Server 2008.

    Good luck!


    Christian Bolton – Coeo Ltd
    Technical Director
    Microsoft Certified Architect: SQL Server
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server
    SQL Server MVP
    Follow me on Twitter|Watch me at SQLBits

    Coeo - The SQL Server Experts

              At Career Fair, Over 30 Local Employers Are Eager to Meet Job Seekers, and Many More Will Hire Onsite        

    Job Seekers Connect with Employers at Goodwill's November 5th Career Fair. Wells Fargo to present $100,000 to SFGoodwill to help accelerate its job placement services to local people ready for a hand up.

    (PRWeb November 03, 2014)

    Read the full story at

              SF Goodwill’s May 21st Career Fair Connects Work Ready People with Jobs; Over 20 Large Bay Area Employers Hiring        

    The Goodwill Spring Career Fair, in partnership with more than 20 of the largest Bay Area employers, directly connects work ready job seekers with employers currently hiring for multiple positions in variety of industries.

    (PRWeb May 20, 2014)

    Read the full story at

              'Coding' Quality Assurance Software Engineer: Java and Shell Scripting and (QTP OR Selenium)        
    NY-Nanuet, Excellent Opportunity with an Expanding Niche Technology (very well established) software firm. Collaborative Team Focused R&D Environment seeks a fast learner with strong computer science background. Tremendous opportunity for career and technical advancement. Please Note: A Degree in Computer Science is strongly preferred. Desired Skillset/Experience: Seeking a Quality Assurance Engineer or Lead
              Bilingual Human Resources Generalist        
    NY-Suffern, Open Positions for Career-Minded People. Raymour & Flanigan, a leading furniture retailer in the U.S., is seeking a bilingual career minded full-time Human Resource Generalist in the Rockland County/NYC area. If you have a passion for people, principles and perspective and are a competent self starter, consider a career with Raymour & Flanigan, where you can grow, contribute at the highest level,
              Beware The Hair: Trolls Hit The Big Screen — And Bring Scrapbooks With Them        
    Troll dolls, those novelty toys with fluorescent Don King hair, are now the stars of their own movie. It's a balance between feel-good fun and the kind of offbeat humor that aims to keep adults in their seats. Tending to these relentlessly charming creatures is veteran animator Mike Mitchell. He's worked with many different, er, species (a sponge, chipmunks, ogres) in his career. Mitchell claims Shrek is the most difficult of all of them. Trolls, he says, are by far the easiest. That's because Mitchell made all of these stubby little creatures — save one named Branch — extremely happy. Think pink, yellow and purple happy. The trolls sing and dance and have regular "hug times." Mitchell says he never collected trolls, so he did some homework. The first Troll doll was made in 1959 by a poor, Danish woodcarver named Thomas Dam. Dam's daughter was afraid of the greedy, baby-snatching trolls who live under bridges in story books. "So he decided to create a new kind of troll, one with
              'Thriller' Songwriter Rod Temperton Dies At 66        
    Rod Temperton has been called pop music's "Invisible Man" because few knew his name. But his songs were megahits in the 1970s and 80s. Along with big hair, wide lapels and bell bottoms, his music helped define the disco era. Temperton died of cancer last week in London, according to a statement from his publisher. He was 66. Temperton wrote such hits as "Thriller," "Rock with You," and "Boogie Nights." But even disco had songs that were layered with great harmonies and robust horn parts. Temperton's ability to craft a song with funk and soul earned him comparisons to Stevie Wonder. Temperton grew up on the northeast coast of England. He said he went to sleep listening to Radio Luxembourg as child. After school he worked at a frozen fish factory. He taught himself how to play drums and keyboards. His professional career was launched when he answered an ad for a keyboard player in Melody Maker magazine. He not only got the job, but the songs he wrote for the band Heatwave were huge hits.
              Blog Post: BeamNG's Amazingly Realistic Car Crashes        

    While I grew up with games like Pole Position and Rad Racer, driving games never really clicked with me until I played Burnout 2 (and more recently Criterion's Need for Speed titles). The risk of crashes and, more importantly, the ability to knock opponents out of the race with well-timed takedowns, made all the difference. Maybe that's why BeamNG's Drive captured my attention.[Excerpt]

    BeamNG has been at work since 2011 on a new soft body physics engine for their in-development title, Drive. As you'll see in the video below, progress is coming along nicely. 

    The title is currently in Alpha, and you can buy in right now for three different locales, including an industrial complex, a tropical island, a more temperate region, and three others. Five customizable vehicles are currently available, and more design-savvy users can edit the terrain using any combination of 3D modeling, image editing, and text editing software.

    BeamNG plans to add demolition derbies, races, delivery missions, police chases, and a free-roaming career mode as development progresses. You can find out more and purchase Alpha access for $15 on the studio's website.


    Thanks, Connor

              By: Steph        
    Congratulations! This is so exciting!! I totally understand your decision. I'm in a very similar position and having similar feelings. I think the ultimate feminism creed should be that women seek the lives they want on the timescale they want. There are multiple timelines for being a mother and having a career, but one or the other needs to come first in many cases. (There was a fascinating article with the central thesis that any woman who says you can have it all is either super-human or lying.) So I appreciate the mindfulness of your choice to be a parent first!
              By: Liz jimenez-cooper        
    Congrats, I agee with a lot of the other posts that say I too had ideas for my life that involved a high flying career then when we decided to have children I found that it was the greatest possible gift God could have given to me. Am looking forward to pregnancy/baby updates!!
              Ada Lovelace Day and The SAP Community Network        
    Thanks to a Facebook invite from the inimitable Sandy Kemsley , I learned about Ada Lovelace Day a few months back.
    Suw Charman-Anderson, herself a fascinating woman wrote: “I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same.”

    By the way, for those of you, who like myself weren’t sure who Ada is, Suw Charman-Anderson explains: “Ada Lovelace was one of the world’s first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums. She wrote programmes for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a general-purpose computing machine, despite the fact that it was never built.”

    Now as a value add in my job as an SAP Community Evangelist, I have the privilege of knowing some of the smartest techies on the planet. So my first and only challenge in role models was finding “A” woman… as in limiting myself to a single role model.

    I found that approach a tiny bit…well…limiting. And soon realized rather than to try to name every remarkable woman in Technology I know or know of, I could introduce people outside my SAP Community Network and perhaps even inside that community, to some of the women of the community I admire. So I’ll name just a few (second huge challenge) of my local heroines and by linking you to their blogs, tweets, or wiki profiles allow you all the pleasure of discovery or perhaps further introduction.

    Bhanu Gupta – I first met Bhanu during SAP TechEd in September 2006, when she attended the first Business Process Expert Day, but I had been a fan of this Business Intelligence nova for a long while before that, as she rapidly became one of the most prolific forum participants on the SAP Developer Network attaining top contributor ranking internationally. She told a great community story as many of the folks in the community didn’t realize she was a woman.

    Anne Kathrine Petteroe – Ann also told a great community story of how twitter facilitated our meeting her in the SAP headquarters during an SCN Meetup in Walldorf – Later, I had the privilege to meet with Anne again when she came to TechEd Berlin 2008 as one of the developers of ESME and a powerful contestant in “Demo Jam”.

    Moya Watson – Technical evangelist and all around SAP superstar, Moya, writes like a dynamo and shepherds software solutions to release. Moya introduced me to the world of digital anthropology through her blog posts on the SAP Developer Network and celebrated women in technology by pointing to the book O'Reilly Goes Live with Women In Technology Series

    Dafna Yanay a tools mentor and community evangelist for Visual Composer . This Israeli who studied industrial engineering garnered comments and followers on her blog posts from every corner of the globe and is a frequent speaker at SAP TechEd.

    Ginger Gatling was my teacher and mentor in a number of SAP related technical courses and has been a colleague for over a decade. Can’t say enough good things about the way she transfers knowledge to thousands of people online and at live events. She has this way of explaining technology that makes you feel “you get it”. She introduced me to Susan Keohan who goes under the code name SAP Workflow Goddess and who is an active ASUG (SAP User Group) volunteer leader who in turn introduced me to Gretchen Lindquist who has been “working in SAP Security since 1997… the lead configurator and technical support analyst for an SAP partner system in her ERP landscape” and somehow it seems like I’ve know forever yet another ASUG leader Karin Tillotson, Technical Lead for Valero’s SAP Data Archiving Project.

    And lastly, one of my newest …and perhaps youngest heroines, another colleague and community member Jen Robinson whose simple list of places you can find her “Elsewhere” belies the depth, maturity and passionate commitment those activities have her engaged in.

    And now since I see my list is already 9 women, I’ll conclude with a warm acknowledgment and shout out to the other techie women in our SAP Community Network, colleagues, mentors, fellow community members whose ranks thankfully are swelling and can be seen coaching Business Expert topics, mentoring developers, coding solutions, supporting process integrations and representing a world of talented women, who have chosen to follow a career path in technology.
              Katy’s McPherson receiving Knoblauch Coaching Award headlines Skeeters Hot Stove Banquet        
    Longtime Katy baseball coach Tom McPherson, who picked up career win No. 700 last season, will be recognized for his service to the Houston baseball community in two weeks as well as share the stage with the next wave of the city talent.
              Local teacher played a role in Hall of Famer’s football career        
              Showbiz Sandbox 369: When the Punishment Doesn’t Fit the Comedy        

    Kathy Griffin and HBO’s Bill Maher learned first-hand last week just how easy it is to cross the line wherein one’s jokes and antics go from being humorous to offensive. But after apologies are issued and near-term financial repercussions are suffered, should the careers of boundary pushing comedians really come to an end because of […]

    The post Showbiz Sandbox 369: When the Punishment Doesn’t Fit the Comedy appeared first on Showbiz Sandbox.

              FIFA 13 INTERNAL-RELOADED        

    Release Date: 7 Okt 2012
    Mirrors: PutLocker | UPaFile | Cyberlocker | BillionUploads
    Uploaded | Rapidgator | Turbobit

    Free Download PC Game FIFA 2013 Full Version - captures all the drama and unpredictability of real-world football. This year, the game creates a true battle for possession across the entire pitch, and delivers freedom and creativity in attack. Driven by five game-changing innovations that revolutionize artificial intelligence, dribbling, ball control and physical play, FIFA 2013 represents the largest and deepest feature set in the history of the franchise.

    • All-new positioning intelligence infuses attacking players with the ability to analyze plays, and to better position themselves to create new attacking opportunities.
    • Make every touch matter with complete control of the ball. Take on defenders with the freedom to be more creative in attack.
    • A new system eliminates near-perfect control for every player by creating uncertainty when receiving difficult balls.
    • The second generation of the physics engine expands physical play from just collisions to off-the-ball battles, giving defenders more tools to win back possession.
    • Create dangerous and unpredictable free kicks. Position up to three attacking players over the ball and confuse opponents with dummy runs, more passing options, and more elaborate free kicks.
    • Compete for club and country in an expanded Career Mode that now includes internationals. Play for or manage your favorite national team, competing in friendlies, qualifiers and major international tournaments.
    • Learn or master the fundamental skills necessary to compete at FIFA 13 in a competitive new mode. Become a better player, faster, no matter what your skill level. Compete against yourself or friends in 32 mini-games perfecting skills such as passing, dribbling, shooting, crossing and more.
    • Earn rewards, level up, enjoy live Challenges based on real-world soccer events, and connect with friends. Everything within FIFA 13, and against friends, is measured in a meaningful way.
    • Access your Football Club identity and friends, manage your FIFA Ultimate Team, search the live auctions and bid to win new players.
    • 500 officially licensed clubs and more than 15,000 players.

    Release NOTE: It internal because the DRM is bypassed using a loader. The game works, but it’s not how we would usually release a crack.

    Minimum System Requirements
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.4 Ghz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+
    • Memory: 2 Gb
    • Video Memory: 512 Mb
    • Video Card: nVidia GeForce 8800 / ATI Radeon HD 2900
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
    • DirectX: 9.0c
    • Keyboard
    • Mouse
    • DVD Rom Drive

    Update Link download (05-05-2013)
    Mirror via PutLocker
    Mirror via UPaFile
    Mirror via Cyberlocker
    Mirrror via BillionUploads
    Mirror via Uploaded, Rapidgator, Turbobit
    1. Unrar.
    2. Burn or mount the image.
    3. Install the game.
    4. Copy the cracked files from the \Crack directory on the disc to the \Game directory, overwriting the existing exe.
    5. Before you start the game, use your firewall to block all exe files in the game's install directory from going online. Use the game setup before starting as well. It can be found in the following directory:\Game\fifasetup
    6. Play the game. While in game, avoid all of the online options. If you have Origin installed, it may start it up. If that happens, ignore the prompt, play offline, and don't login.
    7. Enjoy!

    1. PL, UPa, CL, BU Interchangeable Links
    2. Total part: 10 / 700 MB
    3. Total file : 6.4 GB

    1. UL, RG, TB Interchangeable Links
    2. Total part: 7 / 1.00 GB
    3. Total file : 6.4 GB

              F1 2012-FLT - UPafile        
    F1 ( Formula 1 ) 2012-FairLight
    Release Date: 18/09/2012
    Mirrors: PutLocker | UPaFile | BillionUploads

    FREE Download PC Game F1 2012 Full Version - Racing presents F1 2012, the next game in the BAFTA-winning series featuring all the official drivers, teams and circuits from the 2012 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. Learn the basics and master the challenge of driving the best machines on the planet in the Young Driver Test Experience the next generation in weather system technology where storm fronts move across the circuits, soaking specific areas of the track, as well as racing around the all-new Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, home of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX. Two new quick fire game options: Season Challenge, a complete Career in just 10 races, and Champions Mode Scenarios, where you test your skills against the very best, complete an exciting line up of gaming options which also includes a 5 year Career, Co-op Championship, 16 Player Multiplayer & Time Attack Scenarios.

    • Formula One returns to the USA in 2012 at the all new Circuit of the Americas, located in Austin, Texas, and players can drive on the circuit ahead of the track?s debut in November.
    • Gamers will be introduced to the world of Formula One and learn the nuances of how to drive a Formula One car by taking part in the all-new Young Drivers Test at Abu Dhabi?s Yas Marina.
    • Codemasters? Formula One series has set the standard for weather in racing games and players will be able to experience new enhancements that will raise the bar further in F1 2012
    • F1 2012 will feature all-new lap walkthroughs from Formula One test driver and Codemasters technical consultant Anthony Davidson.
    • Expected to attract 120,000 fans on race day, the Circuit of the Americas will be a spectacular addition to the Formula One calendar and will be recreated in full high definition in F1 2012

    Minimum System Requirements
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.4 Ghz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+
    • Memory: 2 Gb
    • Hard Drive: 15 Gb free
    • Video Memory: 256 Mb
    • Video Card: nVidia GeForce 8600 / ATI Radeon HD 2600
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
    • DirectX: 9.0c
    • Keyboard
    • Mouse
    Recommended System Requirements
    • OS: Windows Vista/7
    • Processor: Intel Core i7 @ 2.66 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 @ 3.0 GHz
    • Memory: 4 Gb
    • Hard Drive: 15 Gb free
    • Video Memory: 1 Gb
    • Video Card: nVidia GeForce GTX 560 / ATI Radeon HD 6850
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
    • DirectX: 9.0c
    • Keyboard
    • Mouse
    Update Link download (15-04-2013)
    Mirror via PutLocker
    Mirror via UPaFile
    Mirror via BillionUploads
    1. Unrar
    2. Mount or Burn it
    3. Install the game
    4. Play

    1. PL, UPa, BU Interchangeable Link
    2. Total part: 14 / 400 MB
    3. Total file : 5.34 GB / 5.30 GB Compressed

              Defending the Catholic Church against ill-informed attacks        
    Fr John Flynn LC

    Anti-Catholicism might be the last acceptable prejudice in many Western societies today, but Canadian author and journalist Michael Coren isn't going to take this situation lying down.

    In his recently published book, Why Catholics Are Right (McClelland and Stewart), he examines a number of common criticisms of the Church and provides telling rebuttals.

    Coren, born into a secular family, with a Jewish father, became a Catholic in his mid-20s.

    Being Jewish has helped him in his career, he says, but as he explains in the book's introduction, his Catholic beliefs have caused two job losses and many closed doors in the media.

    Abuse scandal

    He commences with a topic that he said he didn't want to write about and which he should not have had to write, namely the clergy abuse scandal. He acknowledges the immense damage caused to many people as a result of the abuses, but also argues that some of the criticism has gone beyond what was justified.

    The abuse says nothing specific about Catholicism, Coren insists. Critics who are eager to prove that the abuse was linked to the structures or teachings of the Church ignore the fact that abuse by clergy occurs in other churches and religions at the same or even higher rates.

    As a result of the lessons learned from the abuse scandal the Catholic Church is now one of the safest places for a young person to be according to Coren. These events should rightly lead to a condemnation of the abuses, but not to a condemnation of the Church.

    Another chapter deals with historical events, such as the Crusades and the Inquisition. It's true that the Church did not always act in the best manner, he admits, but overall the Church was mostly ethically ahead of its time and a force for good.

    On the matter of the Crusades, Coren points out that the Holy Land was Christian and subsequently invaded by Muslims. It is wrong to consider the Crusades as some kind of imperialism or colonialism. Far from being an exercise in exploitation and reaping profits, many noble families were bankrupted by the expense of arming a knight and maintaining him and his retinue.

    Modern research has disproved the affirmation that many crusaders were the sons of poor families looking for plunder. In fact, they were often the cream of European chivalry. In the territories conquered by the Crusades the Muslim population could continue its normal life and there wasn't even any serious attempt to convert them to Christianity.

    What can we conclude about the Crusades, Coren asks.

    "They were not the proudest moment of Christian history but nor were they the childish caricature of modern Western guilt and certainly not that of contemporary Muslim paranoia."

    Turning to the Inquisition he observes that the underlying premise is that Catholics are nastier than anyone else and that only the Church could organise something like the Inquisition.

    This is simply ridiculous as for a start more men and women were slaughtered in a couple of weeks of the atheistic French Revolution than in a century of the Inquisition. There were also inquisitions in a number of Protestant nations, he notes, aimed particularly at those suspected of witchcraft.

    The purpose of the Inquisition was to combat doctrinal errors and heresies, with the aim of bringing people back to the Church. Torture did exist, but it was carried out mainly by secular authorities. The Inquisition used it no more and usually less than other judicial bodies of the time.

    Most of the criticism centres on the Spanish Inquisition. In an aside Coren wonders why so little attention is paid to the massacres and torture of many Catholics by Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I in England.

    It is true that in the early days the popes did support the Spanish Inquisition but it soon became an organ of the state and monarchy. After the final defeat of the Muslims in Spain a large number converted from Islam or Judaism to Catholicism.

    Many were genuine, but as it was politically and economically advantageous to be a Catholic some who converted were not genuine. This led to the investigations by the Inquisition about the situation of those who had converted.

    There were certainly abuses committed, Coren says, but while Spain might have been a flawed society it did not experience the bloody civil wars of religion that affected many other European countries. The Inquisition went mainly unnoticed until the mid-19th century when anti-Catholic writers used and distorted it to attack the Church.


    Another frequent criticism of the Church is about its wealth. "We're hit with the old regular that the Church is dripping with money while the rest of the world starves," Coren comments.

    Yes, there is a lot of wealth at the Vatican, in the museums that are open for all to visit. The Church has preserved these works of art for centuries and keeps them as a patrimony for humanity.

    Selling the artwork and giving away the money would just be a one-off event whose benefits would soon be over. Instead, the artistic treasures are kept for the future, available to all, instead of being locked away in private collections.

    Moreover, Coren adds, the Catholic Church builds and runs hospitals, schools and does an enormous amount of charitable work around the world.

    One of the chapters is dedicated to the subject of life and sexuality. The Church is often under attack for its stand on matters ranging from abortion to condoms and contraceptives. The position the Catholic Church takes in this area is not only based on moral beliefs but is also supported by science and human rights, Coren argues.

    The affirmation that a new life exists from the moment of conception has solid biological foundation with the fetus being a distinct human life and as such should having a right to exist. In spite of this, in recent years prolifers have often been depicted as extreme zealots.

    Moreover, while contemporary society considers itself to be more progressive and tolerant than at any time in the past, the disabled or handicapped in the womb are now deliberately targeted and killed.

    Stem cells

    When it comes to the Church's opposition to the use of embryonic stem cells for research, this is used by opponents to accuse it of being an obstacle to a cure for sicknesses and diseases that could be overcome in the very near future.

    The truth is, however, there have been no successful cures with embryonic stem cells, in contrast to the successes obtained with adult stem cells, which is supported by the Church, as Coren points out.

    On the subject of condoms and contraceptives the Church warned decades ago that their availability would be harmful to society. In fact, Coren says, since that warning there has been a steady rise in sexually transmitted diseases, divorce, family breakdown and sexuality has been downgraded from what should be a loving act into a mere exchange of bodily fluids.

    The vilification of the Church and Benedict XVI for being opposed to the use of condoms in the effort to control AIDS is yet another case of injustice, Coren notes. Relying on the use of condoms simply hasn't worked in Africa. Instead, programs based on abstinence and fidelity have had the greatest success.

    Coren's book deals with many other topics and he pulls no punches in defending the Church against what he considers ill-informed attacks. It should prove a useful aid for those interested in replying to the all too frequent swipes against the Catholic Church.

              Syracuse GOP Mayoral Candidate Proposes Mayoral Control of City Schools        
    Syracuse’s Republican mayoral candidate says one of the keys to move the city out of poverty and lagging economic growth is through mayoral control of the school district. Former superintendent and educator Laura Lavine says she’s prepared lead the turnaround. She says the Syracuse City School District’s recent improvement to a 60 percent graduation rate is nothing to celebrate. The statewide average is 80 percent. She says children are not learning and graduating as they should, and teachers don’t feel safe… "This is a crisis. Having 40 percent either not graduate on time or at all is a disaster for our city. We can't go on like this. We need bold, bold action on this, and this is the way to go." Lavine just retired as superintendent of the Lafayette school district after a 40-year career in education. She says mayoral control would add transparency and accountability to a system that sees plenty of turnover among superintendents and education commissioners. " You might have three or
              Six Reasons You Did Not Get the Job        

    Frustrated that you did not get the job you coveted? Perhaps one or more of these reasons on the list played a role in the missed opportunity. Consider what you might do to overcome one of these job-hunting deal killers. You are casting too wide a net. Contrary to what many career coaches or counselors […]

    The post Six Reasons You Did Not Get the Job appeared first on Elephants at Work.


              Contemplating a Career Change?        

    If you are thinking about a career change – you are not alone. There are many reasons why you may be thinking about that career change: You are in a dead-end job You hate or dislike your job You are ready to retire and want to finally do something that makes you excited every day […]

    The post Contemplating a Career Change? appeared first on Elephants at Work.


              Comment on Doesn’t know “quit”. by Daniel        
    In the bigger picture I'm not saying it isn't a flaw. In the wilderness it could easily get him killed. But as a baseball player? That's been his MO his whole career. Seems to have worked.
              Why I want all of my kids to work for independent restaurants        
    My kids are 13, 10, and 7. Here’s what I plan to tell each of them when they are old enough to work…

    "Pick one of your favorite independent restaurants and apply for a job. When you work for an independent restaurant, you work for a business that was once an idea by a member of your community. It was a dream to create a place that you and your neighbors would visit to congregate, socialize, and dine. A place that was unique, that offered something your community was lacking. A place that you would want to return many times per year for many years. A business that would create jobs for members of your community, that would make donations to your community, and where the dollars spent would be invested back into your community.

    Now that dream has become a reality, and that restaurant means everything to to the owner. It’s his “baby,” and he is looking for people who will help them nurture it and make it even better than it already is. There’s a giant amount of financial and emotional and physical commitment being made by her and therefore she will be looking for hard-working, empathetic people to help her restaurant live up to the dream she had when she first opened her doors. She’ll only settle for people who care about the customers and care about teammates, and who are willing to give both of those groups everything they’ve got. The owner won’t care where you went to school or what degree you have, or what color your skin is or where you were born. All that will matter is if you are willing to pour yourself into your job in a meaningful way that makes the business better (There aren't may types of jobs where all of that is true.)

    You’ll work hard, and you’ll often be completely exhausted after your shift. You’ll learn a ton about yourself and how well you are able to navigate dealing with what at times will be highly intense, stressful situations. You’ll learn how to deal with pissed off customers and pissed off fellow staffers and people who are irrational and people who aren’t pulling their weight and people who think they know more than they do and people who like to boss you around. These are great skills to learn because you’ll use them for the rest of your life. But you’ll also have the opportunity to be a part of many special instances, like birthdays and anniversaries and marriage proposals and happy, meaningful occasions for the people celebrating them - occasions you can help make very special and memorable for your customers, and trust me you'll remember those events as well. And you'll work with lots of fun, unique people, passionate people who will work hard and enjoy those moments right along with you, and who will have your back during tough shifts and hard times, just as you will have theirs when they need you. You'll spend time with many of them outside of of work, and make many new friends. You'll laugh together, you'll struggle together, and you'll form a lasting bond with many of them that will carry on long after you've moved on to other things.

    You’ll learn all of this at any type of restaurant, but it’s different being at an independent restaurant because you will be able to interact with the owner, a person who once had an idea and went through long, hard process of turning that idea into a reality, and who cherishes the business more than you can imagine until you've started your own business. You can learn a TON from anybody who has done that. And if you show up to every shift with your focus not on yourself but on how you can help your teammates and serve your customers, you’ll find that each day gets a little easier and you’ll get a little better at what you do. The longer you are there and the more questions you ask and the more initiative you show, the more that owner will want to keep you on the team. And many independent owners will want to keep expanding their business, whether it’s by opening more locations of their current concept or launching new concepts. If you’ve given that owner everything you’ve got and you’ve shown you care about his or her business, you’ll have a chance to be a part of that growth. You’ll get to learn what it takes to start from an idea and go through the entire process of turning that idea into a reality. You’ll have a chance to learn new skills, be creative, and have a hand in building something. That’s very rewarding, and very educational.

    After a while, you may decide you love being a part of a thriving, growing, successful business, and decide to stick around. Or maybe you’ll eventually decide you want to leverage what you've learned to start your own restaurant. If you do, you can bet your owner will support you even while hating to see you go, and he or she will be your first customer on opening night. Or, maybe you’ll decide that the restaurant business isn’t for you and you want to pursue another career. If you do, I guarantee you’ll always look back to your experience working for an independent restaurant and say that’s where you learned many of the most important lessons you know about life and business."

    I'll say these things from the heart because it's absolutely how I feel. I can't wait to have the conversation with my 13-year old in a few years.

              ä¸å®šæœŸML&NLPå ±#4        



    • [1701.07875] Wasserstein GAN
      • GANを含む生成系のタスクは難しいことが知られているが、学習時に使う距離をWasserstein距離というものを使うと学習が安定したという話




    AWS Athenaを使って 30TBのWeb行動ログ集計を試みた from Tetsutaro Watanabe




    Kaggle Tokyo Meetup #2




    機械学習のための連続最適化 (機械学習プロフェッショナルシリーズ)

    機械学習のための連続最適化 (機械学習プロフェッショナルシリーズ)

    関係データ学習 (機械学習プロフェッショナルシリーズ)

    関係データ学習 (機械学習プロフェッショナルシリーズ)

              ä¸å®šæœŸML&NLPå ±#3        



    • [1701.00160] NIPS 2016 Tutorial: Generative Adversarial Networks
      • 最近流行りのGANのNIPSでのチュートリアル論文(資料)
    • [1612.08220] Understanding Neural Networks through Representation Erasure
      • 深層学習の解釈性に関する研究。線形モデルのように重みの絶対値だけでは重要度が分からないので、重みが全部入っているときとある次元dの重みを0にしたとき(erase)の負の対数尤度の差を見ることで、ある次元dの重要度をはかろうというアプローチのようだ





    「HOME'Sデータセット」を活用した不動産物件画像への深層学習の適用の取り組み from Yoji Kiyota

    WebDB Formでの発表資料。深層学習を使った間取りの生成、物件画像の分類(玄関、居間、キッチン、トイレなどの分類)など。不動産物件のデータセットの提供もあって熱い。



    深層リカレントニューラルネットワークを用いた日本語述語項構造解析 from Hiroki Ouchi

    NL20161222invited from Tetsuya Sakai


    第8回入力メソッドワークショップ (IM 2016)



    機械学習のための連続最適化 (機械学習プロフェッショナルシリーズ)

    機械学習のための連続最適化 (機械学習プロフェッショナルシリーズ)

    関係データ学習 (機械学習プロフェッショナルシリーズ)

    関係データ学習 (機械学習プロフェッショナルシリーズ)

              About Jackie Robinson        

    Who was Jackie Robinson?


    Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was the first black Major League Baseball. Robinson broke the baseball color barrier when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to play in the major leagues, (aside from the 1880s, before the MLB was organized) he is most known for bringing social justice to baseball, which had seperate leagues for blacks (the Negro leagues) and whites for six decades. His character and skills are what helped him challenge the traditional basis of segregation, which was prevalent in all areas of American Life, and was a catalyst to the Civil Rights Movement. Robinson was not just any other baseball player, he strived for success and achieved it, as he helped the Dodgers get to six World Series' and win it all in 1955. He was Rookie of the Year in 1947, MVP in 1949 and a six time All-Star from 1949-1954. He was then inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1962 followed by all of MLB retiring the Jackie Robinson Jersey: number 42, in 1997, an honor reserved solely to Robinson. 

    Pre Baseball Life

    Jackie was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, to a family of farmers during a Spanish flu and smallpox epidemic. He was the youngest of five children, after his brothers Edgar, Frank, Matthew, and Willa Mae. He was named "Roosevelt" as a middle name, in honor of former President Theodore Roosevelt, who died earier that month. The Robinson's moved to 121 Pepper Street in Pasadena, California after their father left them in 1920. Their mother worked various jobs to support them as they grew up in relative poverty even though Pasadena was considered an affluent place. They attended Washington Junior High School followed by Muir Tech High School. The Robinsons were superb athletes. Matthew was a silver medalist in the 1936 Olympics and he and Frank inspired Jackie to seriously pursue a career in sports. Jackie played on the Muir Tech football team as quarterback, basketball team as a guard, track team as a jumper, tennis team and baseball team as both a catcher and shortstop. In 1936, he won a Tennis Tournament and played in the Pomona baseball tournament all star team with fellow future Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Bob Lemon. 

    After High School, Jackie went on to Pasadena Junior College where he continued his involvement in sports. He also was elected to the Lancers, a local organization responsible for helping patrol school activities. In 1938, Jackie joined the All-Southland Junior College baseball team and was selected as that years MVP. He also received honors for his outstanding community service, even though he sometimes acted against those around him who seemed racist. While playing football for PJC, Jackie broke his ankle. A few days before Jackie's 19th birthday he was arrested for vocally disputing the arrest of a black friend of his. He quickly earned a reputation for being one who won't shy away from beligerrance in the face of racism.

    After graduating from PJC, Jackie's brother, Frank, was killed in a motorcycle accident which helped Jackie make a decision to move to L.A. where he could console Frank's family. Jackie decided to attend UCLA where he met is future wife, Rachel Isum, and won varsity letters in all the major sports. He won the 1940 NCAA Mens Outdoor Track and Field Championship in the Long Jump,jumping a whopping 24 Feet 10.5 Inches. Ironically, in that year, robinson batted .097 for the UCLA baseball squad. In 1941, he took a job with the NYA as an assistant athletic director, as it would have been impossible for him to get a job as a proffesional athlete due to the color barrier. Later that year he traveled to Hawaii where he had an opportunity to play for the racially mixed semi-pro Honolulu Bears' football team. After that season he would move back to L.A. to play for a local football team, not realizing that the US involvement in World War 2 would sidetrack him for a little while and end his short football career.

    Robinson was drafted to the Army in 1942 and was stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas. Throughout his 3 plus years in the Army, he was always treated as a subordinate by the White controlled military. He still managed to become a second lieutenant in 1943, and joined the Black Panthers Tank Battallion, the first Black tank unit to see combat in WWII. However, jackie was never in combat. After getting engaged to his College sweetheart, Rachel, he was sidelined after injuring the same ankle he hurt back in high school. He would finish his army service as a coach for army athletes until 1944 when he was discharged. While in the Army, Robinson made close ties with boxer, Joe Louis, as they helped each other struggle in the white dominated Army.

    In early 1945, after working some part time coaching jobs, Jackie received an offer from the Kansas City Monarchs to Play professional Baseball in the Negro Leagues. He signed a contract worth $400 a month as he played for the Monarchs for 1 Season. He played 47 games at shortstop batting .387. The Negro leagues were'nt for Jackie as he didn't like their unorganized style. Luckily he received a secret offer from the GM of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey, to come to NY and play for their Minor League team. They offered him $600 a month on the condition that he would be able to take abuse from other players for being the only black, but contain himself from fighting back. Jackie accepted, and immediately left the Monarchs for NYC where he would marry Rachel Isum, who was in NY studying to be a Nurse. Jackie would start with the Dodgers' AAA club in Daytona Beach, FL that next season.

    Baseball Career

    In 1946, Robinson arrived at Daytona Beach, Florida, for spring training with the Montreal Royals of the Class AAA International League (the designation of "AAA" for the highest level of minor league baseball was first used in the 1946 season). Robinson's presence was controversial in racially charged Florida. As he was not allowed to stay with his teammates at the team hotel, he lodged instead at the home of a local black politician. Since the Dodgers organization did not own a spring training facility (the Dodger-controlled spring training compound in Vero Beach known as "Dodgertown" did not open until spring 1948), scheduling was subject to the whim of area localities, several of which turned down any event involving Robinson or Johnny Wright, another black player whom Rickey had signed to the Dodgers' organization in January. In Sanford, Florida, the police chief threatened to cancel games if Robinson and Wright did not cease training activities there; as a result, Robinson was sent back to Daytona Beach. In Jacksonville, the stadium was padlocked shut without warning on game day, by order of the city's Parks and Public Property director. In DeLand, a scheduled day game was called off, ostensibly because of faulty electrical lighting.

    After much lobbying of local officials by Rickey himself, the Royals were allowed to host a game involving Robinson in Daytona Beach. Robinson made his Royals debut at Daytona Beach's City Island Ballpark on March 17, 1946, in an exhibition game against the team's parent club, the Dodgers. Robinson thus simultaneously became the first black player to openly play for a minor league team and against a major league team since the de facto baseball color line had been implemented in the 1880s. Later in spring training, after some less-than-stellar performances, Robinson was shifted from shortstop to second base, allowing him to make shorter throws to first base. Robinson's performance soon rebounded. On April 18, 1946, Roosevelt Stadium hosted the Jersey City Giants' season opener against the Montreal Royals, marking the professional debut of the Royals' Jackie Robinson. In his five trips to the plate, Robinson had four hits, including a three-run home run. He also scored four runs, drove in three, and stole two bases in the Royals' 14–1 victory. Robinson proceeded to lead the International League that season with a .349 batting average and .985 fielding percentage, and he was named the league's Most Valuable Player. Although he often faced hostility while on road trips (the Royals were forced to cancel a Southern exhibition tour, for example), the Montreal fan base enthusiastically supported Robinson. Whether fans supported or opposed it, Robinson's presence on the field was a boon to attendance; more than one million people went to games involving Robinson in 1946, an amazing figure by International League standards. In the fall of 1946, following the baseball season, Robinson returned home to California and briefly played professional basketball for the short-lived Los Angeles Red Devils.

    The following year, six days before the start of the 1947 season, the Dodgers called Robinson up to the major leagues. With Eddie Stanky entrenched at second base for the Dodgers, Robinson played his initial major league season as a first baseman. On April 15, 1947, Robinson made his major league debut at Ebbets Field before a crowd of 26,623 spectators, including more than 14,000 black patrons. Although he failed to get a base hit, the Dodgers won 5–3. Robinson became the first player since 1880 to openly break the major league baseball color line. Black fans began flocking to see the Dodgers when they came to town, abandoning their Negro league teams.

    Robinson's promotion met a generally positive, although mixed, reception among newspapers and white major league players. However, racial tension existed in the Dodger clubhouse. Some Dodger players insinuated they would sit out rather than play alongside Robinson. The brewing mutiny ended when Dodgers management took a stand for Robinson. Manager Leo Durocher informed the team, "I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fuckin' zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded."

    Robinson was also derided by opposing teams. Some, notably the St. Louis Cardinals, threatened to strike if Robinson played. After the threat, National League President Ford Frick and Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler let it be known that any striking players would be suspended. Robinson nonetheless became the target of rough physical play by opponents (particularly the Cardinals). At one time, he received a seven-inch gash in his leg. On April 22, 1947, during a game between the Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies players called Robinson a "nigger" from their dugout and yelled that he should "go back to the cotton fields". Rickey later recalled that Phillies manager Ben Chapman "did more than anybody to unite the Dodgers. When he poured out that string of unconscionable abuse, he solidified and united thirty men."

    Robinson received significant encouragement from several major league players. Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese once came to Robinson's defense with the famous line, "You can hate a man for many reasons. Color is not one of them." In 1948, Reese put his arm around Robinson in response to fans who shouted racial slurs at Robinson before a game in Cincinnati. A statue by sculptor William Behrends, unveiled at KeySpan Park on November 1, 2005, commemorates this event by representing Reese with his arm around Robinson. Jewish baseball star Hank Greenberg, who had to deal with racial epithets during his career, also encouraged Robinson. After colliding with Robinson at first base on one occasion, Greenberg whispered a few words into Robinson's ear, which Robinson later characterized as "words of encouragement." Greenberg had advised him that the best way to combat the slurs from the opposing players was to beat them on the field.

    Robinson finished the season having played in 151 games for the Dodgers, with a batting average of .297, an on-base percentage of .383, and a .427 slugging percentage. He had 175 hits (scoring 125 runs) including 31 doubles, 5 triples, 12 home runs, driving in 48 runs for the year. Robinson led the league in sacrifice hits, with 28, and in stolen bases, with 29. His cumulative performance earned him the inaugural Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award (separate National and American League Rookie of the Year honors were not awarded until 1949).

    Following Stanky's trade to the Boston Braves in March 1948, Robinson took over second base, where he logged a .980 fielding percentage that year (second in the National League at the position, fractionally behind Stanky). Robinson had a batting average of .296 and 22 stolen bases for the season. In a 12–7 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 29, 1948, he hit for the cycle—a home run, a triple, a double, and a single in the same game. The Dodgers briefly moved into first place in the National League in late August 1948, but they ultimately finished third as the Braves went on to win the league title and lose to the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.

    Racial pressure on Robinson eased in 1948 as a number of other black players entered the major leagues. Larry Doby (who broke the color barrier in the American League on July 5, 1947) and Satchel Paige played for the Cleveland Indians, and the Dodgers had three other black players besides Robinson. In February 1948, he signed a $12,500 contract (equal to $120,914 today) with the Dodgers; while a significant amount, this was less than Robinson made in the off-season from a vaudeville tour, where he answered pre-set baseball questions, and a speaking tour of the South. Between the tours, he underwent surgery on his right ankle. Because of his off-season activities, Robinson reported to training camp 30 pounds (14 kg) overweight. He lost the weight during training camp, but dieting left him weak at the plate.

    In the spring of 1949, Robinson turned to Hall of Famer George Sisler, working as an advisor to the Dodgers, for batting help. At Sisler's suggestion, Robinson spent hours at a batting tee, learning to hit the ball to right field. Sisler taught Robinson to anticipate a fastball, on the theory that it is easier to subsequently adjust to a slower curveball. Robinson also noted that "Sisler showed me how to stop lunging, how to check my swing until the last fraction of a second". The tutelage helped Robinson raise his batting average from .296 in 1948 to .342 in 1949. In addition to his improved batting average, Robinson stole 37 bases that season, was second place in the league for both doubles and triples, and registered 124 runs batted in with 122 runs scored. For the performance Robinson earned the Most Valuable Player award for the National League. Baseball fans also voted Robinson as the starting second baseman for the 1949 All-Star Game—the first All-Star Game to include black players.

    That year, a song about Robinson by Buddy Johnson, "Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?", reached number 13 on the charts; Count Basie recorded a famous version. Ultimately, the Dodgers won the National League pennant, but lost in five games to the New York Yankees in the 1949 World Series.

    Summer 1949 brought an unwanted distraction for Robinson. In July, he was called to testify before the United States House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) concerning statements made that April by black athlete and actor Paul Robeson. Robinson was reluctant to testify, but he eventually agreed to do so, fearing it might negatively affect his career if he declined.

    In 1950, Robinson led the National League in double plays made by a second baseman with 133. His salary that year was the highest any Dodger had been paid to that point: $35,000 ($338,091 in 2012 dollars). He finished the year with 99 runs scored, a .328 batting average, and 12 stolen bases. The year saw the release of a film biography of Robinson's life, The Jackie Robinson Story, in which Robinson played himself, and actress Ruby Dee played Rachael "Rae" (Isum) Robinson. The project had been previously delayed when the film's producers refused to accede to demands of two Hollywood studios that the movie include scenes of Robinson being tutored in baseball by a white man. The New York Times wrote that Robinson, "doing that rare thing of playing himself in the picture's leading role, displays a calm assurance and composure that might be envied by many a Hollywood star."

    Robinson's Hollywood exploits, however, did not sit well with Dodgers co-owner Walter O'Malley, who referred to Robinson as "Rickey's prima donna". In late 1950, Rickey's contract as the Dodgers' team President expired. Weary of constant disagreements with O'Malley, and with no hope of being re-appointed as President of the Dodgers, Rickey cashed out his one-quarter financial interest in the team, leaving O'Malley in full control of the franchise. Rickey shortly thereafter became general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Robinson was disappointed at the turn of events and wrote a sympathetic letter to Rickey, whom he considered a father figure, stating, "Regardless of what happens to me in the future, it all can be placed on what you have done and, believe me, I appreciate it."

    Before the 1951 season, O'Malley reportedly offered Robinson the job of manager of the Montreal Royals, effective at the end of Robinson's playing career. O'Malley was quoted in the Montreal Standard as saying, "Jackie told me that he would be both delighted and honored to tackle this managerial post"—although reports differed as to whether a position was ever formally offered.

    During the 1951 season, Robinson led the National League in double plays made by a second baseman for the second year in a row, with 137. He also kept the Dodgers in contention for the 1951 pennant. During the last game of the season, in the 13th inning, he had a hit to tie the game, and then won the game with a home run in the 14th. This forced a playoff against the New York Giants, which the Dodgers lost.

    Despite Robinson's regular-season heroics, the Dodgers lost the pennant on Bobby Thomson's famous home run, known as the Shot Heard 'Round the World, on October 3, 1951. Overcoming his dejection, Robinson dutifully observed Thomson's feet to ensure he touched all the bases. Dodgers sportscaster Vin Scully later noted that the incident showed "how much of a competitor Robinson was." He finished the season with 106 runs scored, a batting average of .335, and 25 stolen bases.

    Robinson had what was an average year for him in 1952. He finished the year with 104 runs, a .308 batting average, and 24 stolen bases. He did, however, record a career-high on-base percentage of .436. The Dodgers improved on their performance from the year before, winning the National League pennant before losing the 1952 World Series to the New York Yankees in seven games. That year, on the television show Youth Wants to Know, Robinson challenged the Yankees' general manager, George Weiss, on the racial record of his team, which had yet to sign a black player. Sportswriter Dick Young, whom Robinson had described as a "bigot", said, "If there was one flaw in Jackie, it was the common one. He believed that everything unpleasant that happened to him happened because of his blackness." The 1952 season was the last year Robinson was an everyday starter at second base. Afterward, Robinson played variously at first, second, and third bases, shortstop, and in the outfield, with Jim Gilliam, another black player, taking over everyday second base duties. Robinson's interests began to shift toward the prospect of managing a major league team. He had hoped to gain experience by managing in the Puerto Rican Winter League, but according to the New York Post, Commissioner Happy Chandler denied the request.

    In 1953, Robinson had 109 runs, a .329 batting average, and 17 steals, leading the Dodgers to another National League pennant (and another World Series loss to the Yankees, this time in six games). Robinson's continued success spawned a string of death threats. He was not dissuaded, however, from addressing racial issues publicly. That year, he served as editor for Our Sports magazine, a periodical focusing on Negro sports issues; contributions to the magazine included an article on golf course segregation by Robinson's old friend Joe Louis. Robinson also openly criticized segregated hotels and restaurants that served the Dodger organization; a number of these establishments integrated as a result, including the five-star Chase Park Hotel in St. Louis.

    In 1954, Robinson had 62 runs, a .311 batting average, and 7 steals. His best day at the plate was on June 17, when he hit two home runs and two doubles. The following autumn, Robinson won his only championship when the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series. Although the team enjoyed ultimate success, 1955 was the worst year of Robinson's individual career. He hit .256 and stole only 12 bases. The Dodgers tried Robinson in the outfield and as a third baseman, both because of his diminishing abilities and because Gilliam was established at second base. Robinson, then 37 years old, missed 49 games and did not play in Game 7 of the World Series. Robinson missed the game because manager Walter Alston decided to play Gilliam at second and Don Hoak at third base. That season, the Dodgers' Don Newcombe became the first black major league pitcher to win twenty games in a year.

    In 1956, Robinson had 61 runs, a .275 batting average, and 12 steals. By then, he had begun to exhibit the effects of diabetes, and to lose interest in the prospect of playing or managing professional baseball. After the season, Robinson was traded by the Dodgers to the arch-rival New York Giants for Dick Littlefield and $35,000 cash (equal to $299,192 today). The trade, however, was never completed; unbeknownst to the Dodgers, Robinson had already agreed with the president of Chock full o'Nuts to quit baseball and become an executive with the company. Since Robinson had sold exclusive rights to any retirement story to Look magazine two years previously,[165&91; his retirement decision was revealed through the magazine, instead of through the Dodgers organization.


    Robinson's major league debut brought an end to approximately sixty years of segregation in professional baseball, known as the baseball color line. After World War II, several other forces were also leading the country toward increased equality for blacks, including their accelerated migration of to the North, where their political clout grew, and President Harry Truman's desegregation of the military in 1948. Robinson's breaking of the baseball color line and his professional success symbolized these broader changes and demonstrated that the fight for equality was more than simply a political matter. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that he was "a legend and a symbol in his own time", and that he "challenged the dark skies of intolerance and frustration." According to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robinson's "efforts were a monumental step in the civil-rights revolution in America ... [His&91; accomplishments allowed black and white Americans to be more respectful and open to one another and more appreciative of everyone's abilities."

    Beginning his major league career at the relatively advanced age of twenty-eight, he played only ten seasons, all of them for the Brooklyn Dodgers. During his career, the Dodgers played in six World Series, and Robinson himself played in six All-Star Games. In 1999, he was posthumously named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

    Robinson's career is generally considered to mark the beginning of the post–"long ball" era in baseball, in which a reliance on raw power-hitting gave way to balanced offensive strategies that used footspeed to create runs through aggressive baserunning. Robinson exhibited the combination of hitting ability and speed which exemplified the new era. He scored more than 100 runs in six of his ten seasons (averaging more than 110 runs from 1947 to 1953), had a .311 career batting average, a .409 career on-base percentage, a .474 slugging percentage, and substantially more walks than strikeouts (740 to 291). Robinson was one of only two players during the span of 1947–56 to accumulate at least 125 steals while registering a slugging percentage over .425 (Minnie Miñoso was the other). He accumulated 197 stolen bases in total, including 19 steals of home. None of the latter were double steals (in which a player stealing home is assisted by a player stealing another base at the same time). Robinson has been referred to by author David Falkner as "the father of modern base-stealing."

    "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being." —Robinson, on his legacy


    Historical statistical analysis indicates Robinson was an outstanding fielder throughout his ten years in the major leagues and at virtually every position he played. After playing his rookie season at first base, Robinson spent most of his career as a second baseman. He led the league in fielding among second basemen in 1950 and 1951. Toward the end of his career, he played about 2,000 innings at third base and about 1,175 innings in the outfield, excelling at both.

    Assessing himself, Robinson said, "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being." Regarding Robinson's qualities on the field, Leo Durocher said, "Ya want a guy that comes to play. This guy didn't just come to play. He come to beat ya. He come to stuff the goddamn bat right up your ass."

    Post-baseball life

    Robinson as ABC sports announcer in 1965

    Robinson retired from baseball on January 5, 1957. Later that year, after he complained of numerous physical ailments, his doctors diagnosed Robinson with diabetes, a disease that also affected his brothers. Although Robinson adopted an insulin injection regimen, the state of medicine at the time could not prevent continued deterioration of Robinson's physical condition from the disease.

    In his first year of eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, Robinson encouraged voters to consider only his on-field qualifications, rather than his cultural impact on the game. He was elected on the first ballot, becoming the first black player inducted into the Cooperstown museum.

    In 1965, Robinson served as an analyst for ABC's Major League Baseball Game of the Week telecasts, the first black person to do so. In 1966, Robinson was hired as general manager for the short-lived Brooklyn Dodgers of the Continental Football League. In 1972, he served as a part-time commentator on Montreal Expos telecasts.

    On June 4, 1972, the Dodgers retired his uniform number, 42, alongside those of Roy Campanella (39) and Sandy Koufax (32). From 1957 to 1964, Robinson was the vice president for personnel at Chock full o'Nuts; he was the first black person to serve as vice president of a major American corporation. Robinson always considered his business career as advancing the cause of black people in commerce and industry. Robinson also chaired the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) million-dollar Freedom Fund Drive in 1957, and served on the organization's board until 1967. In 1964, he helped found, with Harlem businessman Dunbar McLaurin, Freedom National Bank—a black-owned and operated commercial bank based in Harlem. He also served as the bank's first Chairman of the Board. In 1970, Robinson established the Jackie Robinson Construction Company to build housing for low-income families.

    Robinson was active in politics throughout his post-baseball life. He identified himself as a political independent although he held conservative opinions on several issues, including the Vietnam War (he once wrote Martin Luther King, Jr. to defend the Johnson Administration's military policy). After supporting Richard Nixon in his 1960 presidential race against John F. Kennedy, Robinson later praised Kennedy effusively for his stance on civil rights. Robinson was angered by conservative Republican opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He became one of six national directors for Nelson Rockefeller's unsuccessful campaign to be nominated as the Republican candidate for the 1964 presidential election. After the party nominated Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona instead, Robinson left the party's convention commenting that he now had "a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler's Germany". He later became special assistant for community affairs when Rockefeller was re-elected governor of New York in 1966. Switching his allegiance to the Democrats, he subsequently supported Hubert Humphrey against Nixon in 1968.

    Protesting the major leagues' ongoing lack of minority managers and central office personnel, Robinson turned down an invitation to appear in an old-timers' game at Yankee Stadium in 1969. He made his final public appearance on October 15, 1972, throwing the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 of the World Series. He gratefully accepted a plaque honoring the twenty-fifth anniversary of his MLB debut, but also commented, "I'm going to be tremendously more pleased and more proud when I look at that third base coaching line one day and see a black face managing in baseball." This wish was fulfilled only after Robinson's death: following the 1974 season, the Cleveland Indians gave their managerial post to Frank Robinson (no relation), a Hall of Fame-bound player who would go on to manage three other teams. Despite the success of these two Robinsons and other black players, the number of African-American players in Major League Baseball has declined since the 1970s.

    Family life and death

    After Robinson's retirement from baseball, his wife, Rachel Robinson, pursued a career in academic nursing—she became an assistant professor at the Yale School of Nursing and director of nursing at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. She also served on the board of the Freedom National Bank until it closed in 1990. She and Jackie had three children: Jackie Robinson Jr. (born November 18, 1946), Sharon Robinson (born January 13, 1950), and David Robinson (born May 14, 1952).

    Robinson's eldest son, Jackie Robinson Jr., had emotional trouble during his childhood and entered special education at an early age. He enrolled in the Army in search of a disciplined environment, served in the Vietnam War, and was wounded in action on November 19, 1965. After his discharge, he struggled with drug problems. Robinson Jr. eventually completed the treatment program at Daytop Village in Seymour, Connecticut, and became a counselor at the institution. On June 17, 1971, at the age of 24, he was killed in an automobile accident. The experience with his son's drug addiction turned Robinson, Sr. into an avid anti-drug crusader toward the end of his life.

    Robinson did not long outlive his son. Complications of heart disease and diabetes weakened Robinson and made him almost blind by middle age. On October 24, 1972, he died of a heart attack at home in Stamford, Connecticut, aged fifty-three. Robinson's funeral service on October 27, 1972, at New York City's Riverside Church attracted 2,500 admirers. Many of his former teammates and other famous black baseball players served as pallbearers, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson gave the eulogy. Tens of thousands of people lined the subsequent procession route to Robinson's interment site at Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, where he is buried next to his son Jackie and mother-in-law Zellee Isum. Jackie Robinson Parkway also runs through the cemetery.

    After Robinson's death, his widow founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation, of which she remains an officer as of 2009. On April 15, 2008, she announced that in 2010 the foundation will be opening a museum devoted to Jackie in Lower Manhattan. Robinson's daughter, Sharon, became a midwife, educator, director of educational programming for MLB, and the author of two books about her father. His youngest son, David, who has ten children, is a coffee grower and social activist in Tanzania.

    Awards and recognition

    According to a poll conducted in 1947, Robinson was the second most popular man in the country, behind Bing Crosby. In 1999, he was named by Time on its list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Also in 1999, he ranked number 44 on the Sporting News list of Baseball's 100 Greatest Players and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team as the top vote-getter among second basemen. Baseball writer Bill James, in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, ranked Robinson as the 32nd greatest player of all time strictly on the basis of his performance on the field, noting that he was one of the top players in the league throughout his career. Robinson was among the 25 charter members of UCLA’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984. In 2002, Molefi Kete Asante included Robinson on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. Robinson has also been honored by the United States Postal Service on three separate postage stamps, in 1982, 1999, and 2000.

    The City of Pasadena has recognized Robinson in several ways. Brookside Park, situated next to the Rose Bowl, features a baseball diamond and stadium named Jackie Robinson Field. The city's Human Services Department operates the Jackie Robinson Center, a community outreach center that provides early diabetes detection and other services. In 1997, a $325,000 bronze sculpture (equal to $470,522 today) by artists Ralph Helmick, Stu Schecter, and John Outterbridge depicting oversized nine-foot busts of Robinson and his brother Mack was erected at Garfield Avenue, across from the main entrance of Pasadena City Hall; a granite footprint lists multiple donors to the commission project, which was organized by the Robinson Memorial Foundation and supported by members of the Robinson family.

    Major League Baseball has honored Robinson many times since his death. In 1987, both the National and American League Rookie of the Year Awards were renamed the "Jackie Robinson Award" in honor of the first recipient (Robinson's Major League Rookie of the Year Award in 1947 encompassed both leagues). On April 15, 1997, Robinson's jersey number, 42, was retired throughout Major League Baseball, the first time any jersey number had been retired throughout one of the four major American sports leagues.

    As an exception to the retired-number policy, MLB has recently begun honoring Robinson by allowing players to wear number 42 on April 15, Jackie Robinson Day. For the 60th anniversary of Robinson's major league debut, MLB invited players to wear the number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day in 2007. The gesture was originally the idea of outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr., who sought Rachel Robinson's permission to wear the number. After receiving her permission, Commissioner Bud Selig not only allowed Griffey to wear the number, but also extended an invitation to all major league teams to do the same. Ultimately, more than 200 players wore number 42, including the entire rosters of the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Pittsburgh Pirates. The tribute was continued in 2008, when, during games on April 15, all members of the Mets, Cardinals, Washington Nationals, and Tampa Bay Rays wore Robinson's number 42. On June 25, 2008, MLB installed a new plaque for Robinson at the Baseball Hall of Fame commemorating his off-the-field impact on the game as well as his playing statistics. In 2009, all uniformed personnel (players, managers, coaches, and umpires) wore number 42 on April 15.

    At the November 2006 groundbreaking for a new ballpark for the New York Mets, Citi Field, it was announced that the main entrance, modeled on the one in Brooklyn's old Ebbets Field, would be called the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. The rotunda was dedicated at the opening of Citi Field on April 16, 2009. It honors Robinson with large quotations spanning the inner curve of the facade and features a large freestanding statue of his number, 42, which has become an attraction in itself. Mets owner Fred Wilpon announced that, in conjunction with Citigroup and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Mets will create a Jackie Robinson Museum and Learning Center, located at the headquarters of the Jackie Robinson Foundation at One Hudson Square in lower Manhattan. The main purpose of the museum will be to fund scholarships for "young people who live by and embody Jackie's ideals."

    Since 2004, the Aflac National High School Baseball Player of the Year has been presented the "Jackie Robinson Award".

    Robinson has also been recognized outside of baseball. In December 1956, the NAACP recognized him with the Spingarn Medal, which it awards annually for the highest achievement by an African-American. President Ronald Reagan posthumously awarded Robinson the Presidential Medal of Freedom on March 26, 1984, and on March 2, 2005, President George W. Bush gave Robinson's widow the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress; Robinson was only the second baseball player to receive the award, after Roberto Clemente. On August 20, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, announced that Robinson was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts in Sacramento.

    A number of buildings have been named in Robinson's honor. The UCLA Bruins baseball team plays in Jackie Robinson Stadium, which, because of the efforts of Jackie's brother Mack, features a memorial statue of Robinson by sculptor Richard H. Ellis. City Island Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Florida—the baseball field that became the Dodgers' de facto spring training site in 1947—was renamed Jackie Robinson Ballpark in 1989. A number of facilities at Pasadena City College (successor to PJC) are named in Robinson's honor, including Robinson Field, a football/soccer/track facility named jointly for Robinson and his brother Mack. The New York Public School system has named a middle school after Robinson, and Dorsey High School plays at a Los Angeles football stadium named after him. In 1976, his home in Brooklyn, the Jackie Robinson House, was declared a National Historic Landmark. Robinson also has an asteroid named after him, 4319 Jackierobinson. In 1997, the United States Mint issued a Jackie Robinson commemorative silver dollar, and five dollar gold coin. That same year, New York City renamed the Interboro Parkway in his honor.

    In 2011, the U.S. placed a plaque at Robinson's Montreal home to honor the ending of segregation in baseball. The home is located at 8232 avenue de Gaspe south of rue de Guizot Est and near Jarry Park and close to Delorimier Stadium, where Robinson played for the Montreal Royals during 1946. In a letter read during the ceremony, Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widow, wrote: "I remember Montreal and that house very well and have always had warm feeling for that great city. Before Jack and I moved to Montreal, we had just been through some very rough treatment in the racially biased South during spring training in Florida. In the end, Montreal was the perfect place for him to get his start. We never had a threatening or unpleasant experience there. The people were so welcoming and saw Jack as a player and as a man."

    Career statistics

    1945 Kansas City 47 163 36 63 14 4 5 23 13       .387                  
    1946 Montreal 124 444 113 155 25 8 3 66 40   92 27 .349                 10
    1947 Brooklyn 151 590 125 175 31 5 12 48 29   74 36 .297 .383 .427 252 28     9 5 16
    1948 Brooklyn 147 574 108 170 38 8 12 85 22   57 37 .296 .367 .453 260 8     7 7 15
    1949 Brooklyn 156 593 122 203 38 12 16 124 37   86 27 .342 .432 .528 313 17     8 22 16
    1950 Brooklyn 144 518 99 170 39 4 14 81 12   80 24 .328 .423 .500 259 10     5 11 11
    1951 Brooklyn 153 548 106 185 33 7 19 88 25 8 79 27 .338 .429 .527 289 6     9 10 7
    1952 Brooklyn 149 510 104 157 17 3 19 75 24 7 106 40 .308 .440 .465 237 6     14 16 20
    1953 Brooklyn 136 484 109 159 34 7 12 95 17 4 74 30 .329 .425 .502 243 9     7 12 6
    1954 Brooklyn 124 386 62 120 22 4 15 59 7 3 63 20 .311 .413 .505 195 5 4a   7 13 7
    1955 Brooklyn 105 317 51 81 6 2 8 36 12 3 61 18 .256 .378 .363 115 6 3 5b 3 8 10
    1956 Brooklyn 117 357 61 98 15 2 10 43 12 5 60 32 .275 .382 .412 147 9 2 2 3 9 9
    TotalsBrooklyn13824877947151827354137734197 740291.311.409.47423101049772113107
     Career155354941096173634267161867248   .316    97   

    a The sacrifice fly (SF) as a unique statistical category did not exist in Major League Baseball from 1940 through 1953. Any pre-1954 sacrifice flies by Robinson would be reflected in the sacrifice hit (SH) category.

    b Likewise, the intentional walk (IBB) category only became a unique statistic beginning in 1955. Any intentional walks issued to Robinson before that year would be reflected in the walk (BB) category.


              Playtime with Phaser        

    For the past few days, I’ve been playing around with Phaser, a game engine written in JavaScript. I decided that I’d like to experiment with game development for the next month. It has been a career path I’ve considered on and off throughout my life, but I need to put the idea to the test: do I actually want to make games, or do I just find the thought of doing it appealing? Let’s find out!

    Struggle of Inaction

    A lot of new game developers (including myself) seem to fall into a trap. Do you want to make a game, or do you want to learn how to program games through engines? My problem was that I was obsessed with the idea that I had to start out learning how it all worked from the lowest level. “If I use an engine,” I would think to myself, “and it limited my grand ambitious game, whatever would I do?!” I would then attempt to learn OpenGL, get frustrated trying to tie everything together into something that resembles a game and give up.

    The fear of using an engine without fully understanding how games work was a huge concern, although I don’t know why. I don’t understand how my car works but that doesn’t stop me from using it. I think I was partially making excuses to justify the Not Invented Here Syndrome I was experiencing. If I really want to make games, an engine is probably the best place to start. When I run into issues due to gaps in my knowledge, I’ll just fill those gaps in as I need to.

    Select your Engines

    With a renewed sense of resolve, I now had to choose a language and engine to work in. I decided that my first project would be a simple platforming-style game so heavy engines like Unreal or CryEngine seemed a bit over-the-top. Unity is another very popular engine with indie and hobbyist developers, and has the ability to export your game to a variety of platforms. In the end, I felt forced into using their GUI app to get stuff done. I’m just not a big fan of using mice!

    It had been a few years since I last looked at JavaScript game engines. Back then, audio on the web wasn’t well-supported. The Web Audio API is now here but still doesn’t have full browser support (looking at you, IE). Regardless, I feel like JavaScript speed increases, audio API improvements and the growth of the JS game development community has made this a good time to try out writing a game in JavaScript.

    There are quite a few mature JS game engines around, such as MelonJS, ImpactJS, and Phaser. I ended up choosing Phaser for a few reasons:

    1. The Website looked good (Hey, what can I say, this actually matters to me)
    2. Excellent examples site and documentation. These two were fairly important in my final decision. The examples site contains many (you guessed it) examples of different ways to implement everything from animation via spritesheets, using the camera, music and more. I’m a learn-by-example kind of person, so this was perfect for me. The documentation is pretty great, and the source code itself is well commented and easy to understand.
    3. Price & license. ImpactJS costs $99USD for a license. While you receive the source code with your download, you can’t contribute upstream from what I understand. Both MelonJS and Phaser are open source under the MIT license. I’d prefer to use an open source engine if I could, as I’d like to contribute any bug fixes I may come across with the engine itself.
    4. Built-in support for levels created with Tiled, a tile-based map editor. This wasn’t a huge deal but it is nice to have.

    Both Phaser and MelonJS seemed equally capable. I found more questions asked on StackOverflow on Phaser (287 vs MelonJS’s 47 as of this post). While questions on StackOverflow isn’t the greatest metric to judge an engine on, I just wanted to make a quick choice and this shallow justification did the job.

    Initial thoughts & issues

    Now that I had my engine chosen, it was time to get started. This is where I encountered my first roadblock: I had no art. I needed some tilesets and character sprites to start off with. Luckily, there are plenty of freely licensed artwork packs available for those of us who are not artistically inclined. One such pack, Platformer Art Complete is a huge pack of tiles, items, character sprites and more made by an awesome dude named Kenney.

    After creating a small simple level with a few platforms, I loaded it into the engine and noticed that some platform tiles were not the ones I selected to use in Tiled. The initial spritesheet included in the pack that I was using had some excess art on the right margin. Spritesheets work by providing the size of each frame in the sheet, and the amount of rows and columns of frames. So if Tile N is on row 3, column 3 of the sheet, and each frame is 50 pixels square, then by grabbing the subsection of the image at x 100, y 100 should get us the desired frame. However, while Tiled was smart enough to remove the excess tiles from the spritesheet, there is no way Phaser could possibly know that; it just knows how big each frame is and the amount of frames per row and column. I found a version of Kenney’s platformer base pack that was made to work with Tiled. After using this, my problems went away. When I attempt to create my own art, I’ll be able to specify how the spritesheet is layed out. Until then, be mindful of your art!

    After ensuring the level was being rendering correctly, I added a simple character with basic move left/right controls. So far, so good. I decided to test out the camera functions by creating a level larger than the canvas/game viewport of 1280x720. For some reason, this caused my player sprite to get caught on some invisible walls. I did some research and found this thread with some else describing a similar issue. Luckily enough, a Phaser developer chimmed in stating that he found the cause and that it had been fixed in the dev branch. Thankfully, using the dev version of Phaser seemed to fix it.

    So far, I’m pretty happy with Phaser. Just getting things happening on a screen and reacting to input is pretty awesome. Hopefully I’ll have something to show off in my next post!

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              10 Tips to Start Living in the Present        
    "The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” - Buddha

    One of the best, unforeseen consequences of simplifying our lives is that it has allowed us to begin living our lives in the present. Eliminating nonessential possessions freed us from many of the emotions associated with past lives that were keeping us stuck there. And clearing our home has allowed us the freedom to shape our lives today around our most important values.

    Choosing to live in the past or the future not only robs you of enjoyment today, it robs you of truly living. The only important moment is the present moment. With that goal in mind, consider this list of ten tips below to start living your life in the present:

    Remove unneeded possessions. Minimalism forces you to live in the present. Removing items associated with past memories or lives frees us up to stop living in the past and start living in the present.
    Smile. Each day is full of endless possibilities! Start it with a smile. You are in control of your attitude every morning, keep it optimistic and expectant.
    Fully appreciate the moments of today. Soak in as much of today as you possibly can – the sights, the sounds, the smells, the emotions, the triumph, and the sorrow.
    Forgive past hurts. If you are harboring resentment towards another human being because of past hurts, choose to forgive and move on. The harm was their fault. But allowing it to impact your mood today is yours.
    Love your job. If you just “survive” the workweek constantly waiting for the next weekend “to get here,” you are wasting 71% of your life (5 out of 7 days). there are two solutions: 1) find a new job that you actually enjoy (it’s out there), or 2) find something that you appreciate about your current career and focus on that rather than the negatives.
    Dream about the future, but work hard today. Dream big. Set goals and plans for the future. But working hard today is always the first step towards realizing your dreams tomorrow. Don’t allow dreaming about tomorrow to replace living in today.
    Don’t dwell on past accomplishments. If you are still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven’t done much today.
    Stop worrying. You can’t fully appreciate today if you worry too much about tomorrow. Realize that tomorrow is going to happen whether you worry about it or not. And since worry has never accomplished anything for anybody, redirect your mental energy elsewhere.
    Think beyond old solutions to problems. Our world is changing so fast that most of yesterday’s solutions are no longer the right answers today. Don’t get locked into a “but that’s how we’ve always done it” mentality. Yesterday’s solutions are not today’s solutions and they are certainly not tomorrow’s solutions.
    Conquer addictions. Addictions in your life hold you hostage. They keep you from living a completely free life today. Find some help. Take the steps. And remove their influence over your life.
    If you can only live one moment at a time, you might as well make it the present…

    -by Joshua Becker (source)

              smart50: Нежность прятать в кармане дырявом...        


    1827016_0a027050756e2bb6cbbca5e941c5b453 (270x96, 23Kb)


    Одиночество развращает -
    смазливым лицом в зеркало.
    Раскрепоща-я запирает тело в клеть.
    Неуверенным шагом, неровным,
    к объятьям.
    Заминаясь на пол-движения.
    На поражение - меч-Той...
    Что б было оно и не было...
    Влюбленной в себя, любить до сожжения...
    Одиноким в объятьях, не тепло и не слишком холодно.
    Кожи удобство лелея, пресекая границы.. дозволен-но.
    Потоками страхов, зависимость множить.
    до смерти,
    с белой ромашкой у рта.
    Яблочным ядом сон мой тревожить.
    Я устала сама,- ста...
    Стать другой?
    Влюбленной, кожу спалить лягушачью.
    Стать Той?...
    И жизнь жалеть?
    О другом случае чаять.
    Песни свободы украдкою петь...

    © Copyright: Ленка Маленькая, 2009
    Свидетельство о публикации №109012800584





    мне всегда было интересно..
    почему этот мир разбит на тех, кто был одарен и тех, кто не был?
    почему существуют те, кто любимы и те, кто нет?
    кто разделил?
    где был перекресток на дороге?
    нет...может, разделение было еще в самом начале?
    возможно, это было уже решенно в момент нашего рождения

    если это правда..
    для чего была нужна
    моя жизнь?


    Аояги Рицка (Лавлес);54399/



    022 (700x700, 214Kb)




    Чем пахнет разлука?
    С утра горьким кофе,
    Чуть-чуть не допитым тобой...
    А верный компьютер твоё фото в профиль 
    Мне дарит,  как образ живой...
    Разлука в мой дом вносит запах полыни
    И вяжет тоской на губах!
    В ней столько осенней бесчувственной стыни,
    Что виснет в окне на ветвях...

    Ложится на сердце удушливым камнем,
    Затейливо вяжет узлы,
    И ждёт,  что однажды любовь где-то канет  -
    Мечты у разлуки так злы...
    Моими духами и грустью немножко,
    И мокрым осенним листом,
    Унылым пейзажем,  пропавшей серёжкой  -
    Разлука приходит в мой дом...

    Букетиком роз,  что безвременно сохнет
    На кухне...  который уж день...
    Его я вбираю отчаянным вдохом!
    Душа без тебя набекрень...
    И пахнет разлука застоем и пылью,
    Болотом стоит день за днём,
    Но лишь твоя аура духом ванильным 
    Летает со мною вдвоём...

    И тапки,  скучая,  стоят в коридоре,
    И веет тобой простыня,
    Надеясь,  что пытка закончится вскоре,
    Когда ты обнимешь меня...
    Кровать без тебя так жестоко огромна,
    Так ночью она холодна,
    И каждый твой жест подсознательно помня  -
    Я жду,  снова жду у окна...

    Уносит разлука сил жизненных токи,
    Все стрелы летят в  "молоко"...
    И пишутся дни,  как унылые строки,
    Дрожа под усталой рукой...                                          
    Я помню тот вихрь наших "пьяных" полётов
    И твой поцелуй на плече...
    Разлука  -  собака! 
    Разлука  -  бесплотна!
    Разлука не пахнет!!!


    © Copyright: Касатка Тата, 2014
    Свидетельство о публикации №114100500530



    1827016_2516228156 (600x463, 48Kb)


    Какая это пытка — постоянно соприкасаться с Ñ‚еми, кого нам не Ð´Ð°Ð½Ð¾ понять! И Ð»ÑŽÐ±Ð¸Ð¼ мы Ñ‚ак, словно нас приковали рядом, к Ð¾Ð´Ð½Ð¾Ð¹ стене, и Ð¼Ñ‹ Ð¿Ñ€Ð¾ÑÑ‚ираем друг к Ð´Ñ€ÑƒÐ³Ñƒ руки, но ÑÐ¾ÐµÐ´Ð¸Ð½Ð¸Ñ‚ься не Ð¼Ð¾Ð¶ÐµÐ¼. Мучительная потребность полного слияния томит нас, но Ð²ÑÐµ усилия наши бесполезны, порывы напрасны, признания бесплодны, объятия бессильны, ласки тщетны. Стремясь слиться воедино, мы ÑƒÑÑ‚ремляемся друг к Ð”ругу и Ð»Ð¸ÑˆÑŒ ушибаемся друг о Ð´Ñ€ÑƒÐ³Ð°.


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    устала обрывать себя на полусло...
    чтобы не дай бог не проговори...
    мысленно перехожу на капсло...
    все пытаюсь хоть как притвори....

    вот же бессмысленный шаг -
    нежность прятать в кармане дырявом
    все равно проклевывается душа
    нежная, голая, где-то в лопатке правой

    все равно нет нет да и выскочит из меня
    мол этот мир и вертится потому что я лю....
    я не хочу ничего меня...
    просто опять не сплю.



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     (97x51, 3Kb)


    Rachel Yamagata

    Singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata grew up listening to Carole King, Roberta Flack, James Taylor, and the like, for music was the one thing in Yamagata's life that remained consistent. Although her parents divorced when she was two, she had a wonderful childhood and she credits her parents for doing such an amazing job.

    7034fb0ac73ef988378872cdd82956cd (500x645, 43Kb)


    Finding a balance between her German-Italian mother's apartment in New York City and the Washington, D.C., home of her third-generation Japanese father was a task, but it readied Yamagata for a way of life that would eventually lead her to a professional singing career. By the time she reached college in the mid-'90s, Yamagata had one year of piano lessons and a spiral notebook full of songs under her belt.

    Not sure of what she really wanted to do, Yamagata headed to Northwestern to study French. Within a year, she switched to being an Italian theater major at Vassar, but sporadic changes loomed ahead. When her acting coach at Vassar moved to Barnard College at Columbia University, Yamagata thought she'd go too. She eventually decided to head back to Northwestern instead, to join their theater program. During her junior year, she befriended the funk band Bumpus. Bumpus was a mainstay on the club circuit in Chicago. From the start, Yamagata thought she'd like to be a part of the band. After seeing countless shows and attending band practices for several months, Yamagata finally landed a gig singing with Bumpus.
    1827016_Girls_Girl_in_red_dress_sitting_in_a_cafe_100671_ (700x393, 151Kb)
    She'd spend six years writing and recording three albums with the band and touring the country. By 2001, Yamagata felt like her time with Bumpus had run its course. She had a solid batch of songs that weren't fitting in with the band's funkafied formula, so she went solo. In September 2002, Yamagata landed a deal with Arista's Private Music and her self-titled EP arrived in October. Her first full-length album, Happenstance, followed in June 2004.


     (97x51, 3Kb)


    1827016_0_ce05e_76f24dc5_XXL (479x700, 126Kb)



    Чем пахнет Любовь?
    Тончайшей ванилью,  грехом
    На кончике пальцев...
    В объятиях сладким медком...
    А запах любви так влеком!
    Он в воздухе кружит легко,
    И гладится,  будто мельком
    Бесёнком твоим под хмельком,
    На тёплую грудь  -  холодком
    От рук...
                               Ð¿Ð¾Ð´ платком...
    Есть запах любовный во всём  -
    И в виски твоём дорогом,
    В вагоне метро,  с ветерком,
    Закрывшись от граждан шарфом
    Ты дал мне испить его ртом!  -
    Глоточек любви.
    А потом  -
    Поездка на счастье верхом
    В автобусном чреве лихом
    В деревню,  где всё кувырком  -
    И мы...  и одежда...  и дом...
    Как солью на бреге морском  -
    Прощальной слезой под глазком,
    Когда расставания ком
    Так ноет,  так горько знаком...
    И горьким любовь пахнет  Я-БЛО-КОМ,
    Зажатым твоим кулаком 
    (Сей привкус греха невесом)  -
    Сокрыто оно рюкзаком
    От искуса нежных истом,
    Достав,  ты сказал мне,  что в нём  -
    НАЧАЛО  в саду было том!...
    Любовь пахнет красным вином
    И сеном с ночным мотыльком,
    Открытым под утро окном...

    И опять...  молоком!

    © Copyright: Касатка Тата, 2013
    Свидетельство о публикации №113022608883





    Прослушать запись Скачать файл
    Прослушать запись Скачать файл
    Прослушать запись Скачать файл
    Прослушать запись Скачать файл








              The KINGMAKER'S Umpire Biographical Blogs: Terms and Conditions :)        

    My original use of the term "King Maker" comes from a baseball handicapping system that I developed a few years ago. The King Maker System was an extremely popular subject at Pregame and it exploded with the help of my partner (The Game/JD). With his help, we gathered as many as 2,200-3,000 page views during a period when Pregame had a much smaller membership base. In the end, I can thank the King Maker System for my job at Pregame, so I thought I'd re-introduce certain segments to the archives.


    Here's a clip from an article in 2008:

    "Formerly known as Three2Won, The King Maker shifted gears to professional sports betting after retiring from a career in stock trading. On Pregame’s active forum community, The King Maker made a name for himself by developing a one-of-a-kind winning "Kingmaker system for betting Major League Baseball”, and was one of Pregame’s best baseball handicappers during the 2007 season.

    By taking a 360-degree approach to utilizing information, The King Maker has created a system not only for baseball, but for basketball as well, hitting 70% of his plays during the month of February 2008, boosting him into March Madness."

    It's clearly time to get back to the basics with my baseball experiments, so I'm diving back in......


    The Umpire IS "The King Maker"

    The form of capping that I use in baseball comes from the assumption that two players handle the ball on nearly every possession. If we keep this in mind, then we can leverage a ton of focus on the two men that affect almost every pitch (Pitcher/Catcher). The pitcher and catcher don't work in a vaccuum, so we have to look at the immediate secondary indicators (batter, fielders, Umpire).

    Every secondary indicator has equal merit, and we have to weigh the batter and the fielders with a little more weight than an Umpire, but the hidden fact is that certain Umpires actually determine how a batter bats; how a pitcher pitches; and how a catcher calls a game. And this is why I call the "radical" Umpire a "King Maker". The King Maker determines whether an ACE will stink and he also has the power to transform a crappy pitcher into a god. In the days before computer-tracking, you could bank on the renegade umpires. Today is a little different, but I think it's important for you to know the tendencies of certain Umpires. BAIP, OPS, Range, and all of the other statistical models are VERY relevant, so please take all Umpire information as a small part of your capping package, ok?

    What can we do with an Umpire database?

    1. Find and record OVER and UNDER Umpires.

    2. Locate great pitchers that struggle with certain Umpires.

    3. Find the lousy pitchers that will get a boost from a King Maker.

    4. Locate Homer Umps.

    5. Locate potentially biased Umpires.



    Odd-ball terms that Kevin Uses: (If I jot down terms that are not used in normal conversation, I'll post them here)

    The Box: The StrikeZone

    Hot Box Umpire: Usually a 12/6 K/BB Umpire that has a low home run rate and a massive grounder rate. This kind of "box" is usually built for contact.

    "Shoe Box": Derryl Cousins' nickname. His strike zone shrinks to the size of a shoe box as the game progresses.

    (more to come)

    K/BB Ratio: Strikeout-to-walk ratio; calculated as:strikeouts divided by bases on balls.

    Strike Rate: The percentage that an Umpire calls his strikes (60% is low and OVER/64% is high and UNDER)



    This Blog will be tweaked and it will evovle over the next few years.......

              How to Backup Cisco Router Configuration to TFTP Server & Schedule Automatic Backup of Cisco Router Configuration Using Archive        

    Well, we were discussing Cisco device administration guides so far. Cisco backup is vital, whether it is IOS or running-config, in your Network Administration career. Cisco router backup running config is much important while comparing to Cisco IOS software backup since you can get new IOS but won’t be able to get configurations!. Running configuration… Read More »

    The post How to Backup Cisco Router Configuration to TFTP Server & Schedule Automatic Backup of Cisco Router Configuration Using Archive appeared first on SmartPCTricks.

              Ben Harper meets Charlie Musselwhite        
    Here’s an electrifying collaboration between the Californian songsmith Ben Harper, who only started his career in the Nineties, and the white bluesman Charlie Musselwhite, who’s been around a bit longer.
              A New Job Culture        

    When you accept a job, most likely you look at responsibilities, salary, requirements and potential for promotion.

    But what will make or break a job will mostly be the culture.


    . (1) Get definitions straight.

    A prospective client asked if I could edit some content. I explained that I don't do editing.

    But as we talked, I realized she used the word "editing" to mean "writing copy starting with a written discussion of our target market."

    So "edit" might be a polite way of saying, "This report is worthless. Just start over."


    (2) Investigate the group's culture.

    Groups have norms about teasing, dressing up, initiating conversations, writing memos and lunch.

    Some people see an invitation to lunch as the closest thing to a marriage proposal, especially if a male invites a female or vice versa.
    Some groups have norms about bringing lunch, eating out, and skipping lunch to work out.


    (3) Avoid jumping to conclusions.

    Every time I changed jobs, even in the same career field, even in universities with similar structures, I bumped up against new cultures.


    Good luck

              Re: Frustrated with your Current Job??        

    Very good advice. I just shared this tips with my son because he is not happy in his current career..thank you for sharing them.

              #Kellman20 - Poppy Ntshongwana    — Often times, interviewing people who interview other people for a living is a challenging task, they’re not as easily swayed or cornered by strategic questions, perhaps because they know all the tricks in the book. Poppy Ntshongwana is one such Millennial, she joins Arye Kellman for a raw, honest and paradigm-shifting discussion about her life, career, hopes and dreams, but mainly about what it means to be alive during one of the greatest times in our history. From her early years of wanting to become a politician, to getting bitten by the “radio bug”, Poppy certainly has a story to tell.
              #KELLMAN20 — Nomuzi Mabena    — Confidence is key – Arye Kellman and Nomuzi Mabena discuss the realities of a successful career and how much of yourself one has to give.
    Staff Training Week in Barcelona, Spain, 2014

    I am writing this blog because I want to share my valuable experience what I have got during the staff training week in Barcelona. I will discuss this staff training week and its outcomes in detail later on. First of all, I would like to thank Erasmus Staff Mobility Program and University of Borås for providing me this prestigious opportunity to improve my professional teaching career.
    This year I was really lucky because at first I had found staff training week in Barcelona, Spain (from 24th November to 28th November) which was mainly focused on the importance of linguistics for lecturers in more competitive academic environment and then I got Erasmus Staff Training Grant from University of Borås. This was the perfect combination I wanted to have to boost my academic career.
    My journey was started from Borås on 23rd of November at 8:00 am and I reached to Barcelona at about 23:00 via Stockholm. It was really long and tiring flight but I was welcomed by a pleasant weather with 20 degree C temperature which made me more energetic. Next day, 24th of November was the first day of staff training week. The staff training week was organized by SpainBcn-Programs in Barcelona, which is a small private institute and mainly deal with different kinds of training programs in several professional fields. They have quite good setup at the centre of Barcelona city, Placa de Catalonya.
    We were 14 participants for this training program from 9 different European countries and most of us are serving as academic professionals in well-known universities. Due to this, we got this opportunity to share our scientific ideas, to learn about diversified cultures and to make good contacts with them for future prospects.
    The training program started at 24th of November and continued till 28th of November. It consisted of 25 hours intensive study plan with comprehensive and valuable lectures, written assignments, at the spot presentations and practical performances according to the given situations. The whole program was constructed very well which provided us not only the strong basics of the subject but also taught us how to handle different situations in teaching profession. The most interesting and valuable part of this training program was to prepare the scripted clips where we had to perform according to the assigned tasks. Overall, I have had learnt very important and hidden tactics of teaching from this one week training program. I am pretty sure that this experience will act as a launching pad for my successful teaching profession.

    Despite from these academic activities, organizers also arranged two cultural activities which included the guided tours of Gothic Quarter and Montjuic Museum of History of Art MNAC. I was really fascinated by the beautiful architect and priceless art what Barcelona's museums have preserved in their laps. I have had captured some of these spectacles in my camera and shared in this blog.

    On the whole, this staff training program is one of the most important and unforgettable experience of my life I have ever had.


              Hamilton Recruitment Limited: CORPORATE LAWYER – CAYMAN ISLANDS        
    US$140-180,000 plus relocation, expat benefits, 0% tax: Hamilton Recruitment Limited: CORPORATE LAWYER – 3+PQE – CAYMAN ISLANDS – GREAT CAREER PROSPECTS – US$140-170,000 – 0% TAX Cayman Islands
              Comment on Jackie Webb’s Journey to Success as a Family Nurse Practitioner by Judy Esquilin        
    As I was reading this great article, I felt that I was reading about myself. Everything she mentioned was my life growing up! I grew up in a Spanish speaking household. I was the first to graduate from college and become an RN. I faced many challenges and compensated to survive for many years in a career world that Latino nurses are few. I blamed my parents for not having those "good writing skills or rich vocabulary". Later on, I realized that it was not their fault. They were hard workers and did the best they could to provide me access to education. It was up to me to take the education in front of me and do something about it. I spent most of my years working harder that my co-workers in order develop the skill sets I needed to be in the position I am today. As a team lead at a community based care management agency, I am fortunate to work in a company that embraces diversity and allows opportunity to all. They have helped me to stretch and encouraged me to pursue my BSN which I did two years ago. I plan to give back to the community and encourage minority students in high schools not to let the sciences and math discourage them from nursing. There is help out there for those that are serious and really want a health professional career. I encourage minority nurses to become role models and participate in career days at the local high school. Go for it!
              Comment on Snapshot: Career Center Visits Nestle Purina by Emily Ingalls        
    This is cool! We're glad you were able to attend and enjoyed your time with us!
              Tasha Tudor, 1915-2008        
    My heart aches for the Tudor Family. I am one of many, many people who appreciate and love Tasha's art. The world of children's books is a little less sweet. The following is from an email I received today:

    "Dear Friend,

    It is with great sadness that we must tell you Tasha Tudor, 92, passed away in her Vermont home on June 18, 2008 surrounded by family and friends. We have created an online memorial website and invite all who loved Tasha to share their feelings and memories in the Memory Book section.

    The office of Tasha Tudor and Family is closed for the time being and will reopen on June 30th.

    Due to the extensive travel plans of our national and international guests, the Secret Garden Tours of Tasha Tudor and Family will proceed as scheduled. They will, however, be led by our capable staff, instead of the family.

    We thank you for supporting Tasha Tudor's lifestyle and artwork during her long career. We hope that Tasha's message of 'taking joy' in all that one does will be remembered as we pass through this difficult time together.

    -The Tudor Family

    The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy. Take Joy.
    Fra Giovanni "
              Transparency & Transition        
    Last winter, I took a job in social media and I find that after I spend all day at work blogging, tweeting and posting to Facebook, I'm spent.

    I really miss the way that regularly blogging here offered me a chance to reflect, even in small ways, on what was happening in my life and how I felt about it.

    Since going back to work full time, I sometimes find that I'm not sure what I think or how I feel about anything because there's no time to stop and consider.

    Life is one long task list it often seems.

    Yesterday I found out I'll be speaking at the Mom 2.0 summit to be held in New Orleans from February, 14-16.

    I'm super excited to be going because I know I'll love seeing some of my favorite bloggers and meeting new ones.

    When I saw the announcement though, it was the first time that I have seen my professional blog linked to my personal one.

    I'm not sure how I feel about that.

    I haven't taken down any posts here, but this new job in social media has forced my once (at least semi-private) identity to merge with my professional identity.

    I don't mind, per se.

    I mean, I stand behind the stories I've told here. I've been honest, I've been myself.

    I've been transparent.

    I'm not sure I'm used to being so completely transparent in a work context.

    That's one thing I'd like to explore with friends at Mom 2.0.

    More and more of us are translating our blogging experience into new career opportunities.

    The blogging community helped me write through the process of becoming a mother.

    This community was invaluable to me in that long path to integrating the idea of myself as a mother with the idea I had of myself before I became one.

    I'm hoping that I'll write more, and that we can talk more, about what it means to be online personally and professionally at the same time.


    (Oh, and I probably have to talk about volunteerism too, because that is what I've always been all about professionally and now everything's all mixed up and jumbled together.)

    So here we go...

              Immersive-Learning Project on Sustainable Agriculture        
    Below, I describe and reflect upon the recent immersive-learning project that I led.  I wrote this for publication on the English Department Blog.  Enjoy!

    In the fall semester of 2013, I led a seminar on sustainable agriculture at the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry (VBC).  The main product to emerge from the class was a 25-minute film entitled Down to Earth: Small Farm Issues in a Big Farm World.  The students in the seminar also developed a website containing recipes for foods that are locally available and more than 60 articles meant to serve as supplementary to the film.  In addition, they built a four-week curriculum on sustainable agriculture and implemented it in an after-school program for elementary students at the Roy C. Buley Center in Muncie.  I see the seminar as a great success!  The students and I were able to develop informed opinions about the future of farming and food production.  The course also allowed us the opportunity to enter into the current social and political movement toward sustainable agriculture by sharing important information about local foods with community members—and the world—through the film, website and educational program. 

    Since I hail from the Department of English, many people have asked me about my interest in sustainable agriculture and why I chose this topic for a VBC seminar.  Certainly, I’m not an expert in agriculture or environmentalism.  But I care about finding solutions to the problems in our current food system, in order to build a healthier world population and to mitigate the damage that humans have caused to the Earth over time.  Agriculture has always been a part of my life, as I grew up in rural Indiana surrounded by soybean and corn fields, many of which my family owned and leased to local farmers.  I began to develop a real interest in farming only a few years ago, however, after I changed my eating habits because of health issues.  In the process of researching the impacts of food choices on human health, I also learned about the economic, social and environmental issues that have arisen out of our current methods of agriculture.  I saw the VBC seminar as an opportunity to produce a film that would advocate for responsible production and consumption of food items and, on a personal level, as a chance to learn more about farming, an endeavor that I may someday undertake through ownership of my own family’s farm.

    Some of the students in the seminar knew more about farming than I did at the start of the semester.  Those from scientific fields brought valuable background knowledge of agricultural and environmental issues, such as soil science and climate change, to the seminar group.  One student had grown up on a working farm, and another was currently interning at a farm in the local area.  Others in the class were more like me, from disciplines and backgrounds removed from agriculture.  But each of us felt passionately about some aspect of sustainable agriculture or another, and, throughout the semester, we developed shared knowledge of the field.  The students also learned to depend on each other’s individual academic strengths and personal skills to complete the projects of the seminar.  Students from Telecommunications and Journalism contributed particular skill sets that were crucial for the success of the film, for instance, while those who were talented in research and writing focused on producing articles for the website. 

    We began the semester with a visit to Becker Farms, where we witnessed the successful use of sustainable methods such as rotational grazing and natural pest control.  In addition to leading a tour of his own farm, Kyle Becker took us to see additional farms—ranging in size from small to very large—that he serves as a large animal veterinarian.  During this time, we also read seminal texts in the area of sustainable agriculture, such as Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Anna Lappé’s Diet for a Hot Planet, to name a few.  We interviewed regular people about their eating and purchasing habits as well as leaders in the movement for sustainability in farming.  Finally, we visited Washington, DC, to talk with important political figures, such as Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, and representatives from groups like the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition about food policy.  By the sixth week in the semester, we were overwhelmed by the complexity and depth of the problems in our current food system and wondered how we would ever make a difference in the area of sustainable agriculture through a student film and other related projects. 

    After some floundering, the group decided to focus the film on the first farm that we visited together, Becker Farms.  The students believed that they could use Kyle’s story to convince consumers to exercise the considerable power that they possess to drive a national movement for a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable local foods system.  Down to Earth: Small Farm Issues in a Big Farm World follows Kyle through a week of life on the farm, at the farmers market, and on veterinary calls.  At the same time, it presents commentary from leading figures in the local foods movement, such as Joel Salatin and Will Allen, to explore the importance of growing and selling food locally.  The film shows that farming methods like those that Kyle employs are environmentally and socially advantageous, unlike many that are used in conventional agriculture.  Ultimately, Down to Earth asks consumers to buy their food locally in order to advance the movement toward sustainable agriculture.   Besides the importance of its message, the film is worth watching because it is beautiful!  Its cinematography and color are truly stunning.

    As is the case for all students who participate in VBC seminars, the students in my class received up to 15 credits in courses that they needed for graduation.  They also gained a deep understanding of many issues related to sustainable agriculture, something that matters to each of us since we all eat and we all live on this planet.  The students were also given the opportunity to develop professional skills, through the completion of project-related tasks suited to their individual career goals.  Finally, all of us learned about teamwork, as we worked together to create a film and related products that far exceed our early expectations for this project.  

              The Complexities of Subject Positioning Played Out in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night        
    The Tyrone family, of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night (1956), has got to be one of the most relentlessly dysfunctional families in all of 20th-century American drama. The play’s four long acts portray the seemingly endless histrionics of the four members of the family, who all go out of their way to bait and bully—either directly or passive-aggressively—each of the other three main characters, so that the play seems to do little more than stage every possible configuration of confrontation between the members of the family. Mary blames her husband, James, and later their son, Edmund, for her morphine addiction. James transfers the blame for Mary’s condition onto the other son, Jamie, who he perceives as a philanderer and drunk. Jamie, in turn, sees Edmund’s birth as the root cause of the family’s troubles. And, to varying degrees, all of the men—alcoholics themselves, mind you—hold Mary responsible for the ultimate disintegration of their family unit and home life. Indeed, given the incessant accusations made by and against all of the Tyrone family members, it is difficult to sort out the true origins of the family’s unhappiness. I would argue, though, that the circular blaming that occurs in this play demonstrates O’Neill’s complex understanding—far ahead of his time—of individual subjectivity as comprised of overlapping identities. Because of the multiple subject positions that each of the characters occupy, none of them are simply oppressed or oppressor; instead, all are both. Even the Tyrone mother, powerless and pathetic as she appears throughout most of the play, is presented as simultaneously victim and victimizer.

    Coming from a background in motherhood studies, my first inclination is, of course, to see Mary as a casualty of an uncompromisingly patriarchal family structure that positions her as mere (m)other. And to some extent, she is. The Tyrone men clearly construct Mary as an “other,” representative of that they are not. While they see Mary’s addiction as a sign of feminine weakness, for instance, they perceive their own alcoholism as a natural masculine trait, “a good man’s failing.” Besides, as they believe, they don’t drink because they are drunks; they drink to dull the pain that Mary inflicts on them by popping pills. In this way, they attribute all that is wrong with their lives to Mary—they blame the mother. Also, in many ways, the three male Tyrones exercise more control over Mary’s life than she does herself. As the patriarch of the family, James in particular determines where Mary will live, when she will eat, and even how many light bulbs she can have on in the house at one time. In a painkiller-induced state during the final scene, Mary articulates the loss of her subjectivity by embarking on a household search for “something [she] need[s] terribly.” Indeed, through Mary’s various conversations with her sons and husband that lead up to this pitiful moment, we learn that, over time, Mary has gradually experienced the deterioration of all of her dreams. She abandoned her goal of becoming either a concert pianist or a nun when she married James Tyrone. She submitted to the demands of James’s acting career and accepted his frequent drunkenness. Later, she devoted herself to the needs of her children. The birth of her youngest son Edmund sent her into a depression, which the family doctor medicated with morphine, thus setting the stage for Mary’s all-consuming addiction. In her older years, Mary lives in shabby hotel rooms and a run-down summer home, in accordance with James’s aversion to spending money on anything he perceives as frivolity. In these ways, Mary is oppressed by a particular set of restraints imposed on her as a middle-class wife and a mother in the early twentieth century; her life is circumscribed by her position as adjunct to and nurturer of her husband and sons.

    But Mary is certainly not blameless in the development of the Tyrone family pathology. Besides choosing marriage over the nunnery in the first place, refusing James’s continued efforts to draw her out of her insular home life, and ignoring Edmund’s efforts to help her stay sober, Mary purposefully uses the class position of her family of origin to assert authority over both the Tyrone servants and her own husband. She attributes the perceived misbehavior of her maid and cook to their working-class Irish roots. More importantly to my point, Mary takes every opportunity to remind James of the discrepancy between her own pampered upbringing and his childhood as a poor Irish immigrant. She points out in one scene, for example, that James probably predisposed their sons for alcoholism by giving them shots of whiskey to treat their minor childhood illnesses, and she is quick to blame parental shortcomings of this type on James’s Irishness, impoverished childhood, and lack of education. In this way, Mary maintains an attitude of class superiority and reinforces James’s sense of shame regarding his working-class immigrant heritage. She contributes, then, to his self-doubt and self-hate, which almost certainly manifest themselves in his stinginess and bullying of his sons, not to mention his own addiction.

    In a current review of Long Day’s Journey into Night at St. Louis’s Muddy Waters Theatre Company (running through November 21, 2010), Judith Newmark summarizes the plot of the play: “four deeply unhappy people spend a hot, miserable day in August 1912 succumbing to their addictions and unloading on one another.” She goes on to comment, “Superficially, it seems strange that we'd choose to share this experience with them instead of fleeing.” Indeed, the unrelenting nature of the blame-game played out in this dramatic text makes it a bit tiresome. But the blaming contributes directly to O’Neill’s portrayal of the complexities of subject positioning. Mary is both woman and middle-class, and although she may be victimized by the constraints imposed on her as a female—and, more specifically, a mother—she certainly uses her class status to victimize others, and, sadly, her claim of class superiority over her husband contributes to his oppression of her as a woman.
              Pro Bono Month Clinics        

    During Mizzou Law’s Pro Bono Month, Mid-Missouri Legal Services and the Career Development Office team up to offer two clinics.  This is the third year in a row this opportunity has been offered to students to work directly with clients in the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and the Uncontested Divorce Clinics. The Clinics  Continue Reading »

    The post Pro Bono Month Clinics appeared first on Mizzou Law Career Cafe.

              September 16 – 20        

    Take advantage of the many opportunities available this week at Mizzou Law! On Monday, September 16th at 1:00 in room 3, 3L’s will want to attend the Pro Bono Month Informational Session.  Learn about the clinics planned for Pro Bono Month. To participate in either of the two clinics that are planned for the month of October (the  Continue Reading »

    The post September 16 – 20 appeared first on Mizzou Law Career Cafe.

              College Briefs Nov. 9        
    College launches national search for new Career Services director Ithaca College has begun a national search for a new executive director of the Office of Career Services.
              Shift Supervisor - Guy's Frenchys - Moncton, NB        
    Since 1972 we have been proud to serve the Atlantic provinces, offering long-term management opportunities and fulfilling careers in retail and fashion....
    From Indeed - Tue, 08 Aug 2017 01:54:01 GMT - View all Moncton, NB jobs
              Softgoods Associate - Giant Tiger - Moncton, NB        
    Responsible for the cleanliness and recovery of the fashion area; This career option, in our ladies wear department, will attract individuals who enjoy variety...
    From Giant Tiger - Wed, 28 Jun 2017 16:36:50 GMT - View all Moncton, NB jobs
              Softgoods Associate - Giant Tiger West - Moncton, NB        
    Responsible for the cleanliness and recovery of the fashion area; This career option, in our ladies wear department, will attract individuals who enjoy variety...
    From Giant Tiger West - Wed, 28 Jun 2017 15:21:22 GMT - View all Moncton, NB jobs
              Softgoods Associate - Tigre Géant - Moncton, NB        
    Responsible for the cleanliness and recovery of the fashion area; This career option, in our ladies wear department, will attract individuals who enjoy variety...
    From Tigre Géant - Wed, 28 Jun 2017 14:27:32 GMT - View all Moncton, NB jobs
              Semester in Practice        
    SEMESTER IN PRACTICE OPENS DOOR TO CAREERS This spring, dozens of third-year UF Law students engaged in sophisticated legal practice around the country through semester-long externships as part of the Semester in Practice program. The program, which tripled participation during

    Continue reading
    WHEN ROBERT CUEVAS JR . ( JD 70) joined the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s Office in June 1970, he did so with the idea of staying for a couple years before moving on to the next phase of his legal career.

    Continue reading
              Zmiany w egzaminach Cambridge od 2015 roku - First i Advanced        

    Key changes to the Cambridge English: First exam as of January 2015.

    Description Current version Revised version (2015)
    Format Five papers Four papers: Reading
    and Use of English have been combined
    Timing 3 hours 59 minutes 3 hours 29 minutes
    Number of Parts 17 17
    Number of questions 104 84


    Więcej o egzaminie First od 2015 roku


    Reading and Use of English

    • The Reading and Use of English papers have been combined.
    • The revised paper takes 1 hour 15 minutes, which is 30 minutes shorter than the current Reading and Use of English papers.
    • All the task types from both papers have been kept but the number of items in each task has been reduced.
    • From 2015, there will be 7 parts and 52 questions.
    • Use of English tasks come before Reading tasks so that there is a clear progression from a focus at word and sentence level to a focus on whole text.


    • The compulsory Part 1 question is now an essay rather than an email or letter.
    • The word count for both parts has increased to 140–190 words.
    • In Part 2, candidates now choose from three questions rather than five, and candidates can decide to write an article, a report, a review or an email/letter.
    • There will no longer be questions on set texts.


    • All the current listening tasks are retained.
    • In Part 1 the options are now not read out.
    • In the Part 3 question there are now two additional distractors – so there are three distractors in all.


    • Overall the revised Speaking paper takes the same length of time and has the same number of parts and tasks but there are changes to each part.
    • In Part 1, the timing has been reduced from 3 minutes to 2 minutes.
    • In Part 2, the candidate response time has increased from 20 seconds to 30 seconds.
    • In Part 3, the picture prompts are replaced with written prompts. The task is now split into two to include a discussion phase and a decision-making phase.
    • The Part 4 timing has increased by one minute.  



    Key changes to the Cambridge English: Advanced exam as of January 2015.

    Description Current version Revised version (2015)
    Format Five papers Four papers: Reading
    and Use of English have been combined
    Timing 4 hours 40 minutes 3 hours 55 minutes
    Number of Parts 19 18
    Number of questions 114 86


    Więcej o egzaminie Advanced od 2015 roku


    Reading and Use of English

    • The Reading and Use of English papers have been combined.
    • The revised exam takes 1 hour 30 minutes, which is 45 minutes shorter than the current Reading and Use of English papers.
    • From 2015, there are 8 parts and 56 questions.
    • The task types in the revised Advanced exam are now the same as the task types for First. The differences are in levels, content and relative abstraction/cognitive challenges in the texts.
    • Some of the tasks from the current Reading and Use of English paper (short texts and gapped sentences) have been dropped.
    • There is a new cross-text multiple matching task.
    • Use of English tasks are before Reading tasks so that there is a clear progression from a focus at word and sentence level to a focus on whole text content and structure.
    • The content has a stronger academic flavour, reflecting its intended use by late teens and young adults who plan to study abroad or need a CEFR Level C1 qualification for career or immigration purposes.


    • There is a new compulsory essay in Part 1. The input takes the form of notes made during a seminar, lecture or panel discussion.
    • Part 2 will remain essentially unchanged; however, it will no longer include an article, an information sheet, a competition entry, a contribution to a longer piece or an essay, as output text types.
    • There will no longer be questions on set texts.



    • All the current listening tasks are retained.
    • The Part 3 multiple choice task is slightly changed to focus more on interaction between speakers.



    • In Part 1, Phase 2 is modified to reduce the number of follow up questions.
    • Part 1 timing is reduced by one minute.
    • In Part 3, visuals are replaced with written prompts. The task is now split into two to include a discussion phase and a decision-making phase.
    • The Part 4 timing is extended by one minute.
    • Some tasks may have more of a study or work theme.


              Lay a hand on something        
    SUBHEAD: Because the Boss Man is right around the corner and coming on fast, and he sounds pissed.

    By Brian Miller on 6 August 2017 for Winged Elm Farm -

    Image above: A father and son review their work together. From (

    The old black man told me, “Lay a hand on something when the Boss Man comes around.” I was spending my summer between seventh and eighth grade stripping and waxing floors at the church my family attended, and it was my first real job.

    The boss who was supervising me, had come around a corner and found me idly staring into space.

    What may have seemed like cynical advice to offer a 12-year-old boy was actually meant as a well-intended reminder that we should stay focused on our work.

    Throughout my high school years, summers were spent working construction jobs in the Louisiana swelter. I can’t say I was a towering example of the ideal worker, but both early jobs helped me build the muscle memory of an ethic that prepared me to enter into and navigate through adulthood.

    It is an ethic that seems sadly out of fashion these days. As a culture, we seem to have slid into a pattern of expecting less and less from our children, both physically and intellectually, and allowing them to remain children for longer and longer.

    Likewise, if my observations from years in the bookstore business are any indicator, the dominant genre of books read by adults now is the category of Young Adult.

    In my career and on the farm, I have worked with many young people embarking on their first job, and it is increasingly hard to find new workers (and I’ll extend that range up into their late 20s) who have ever done any type of work.

    Most have zero muscle memory for what is required to be responsible and productive either in the workplace or as citizens.

    That undeveloped set of skills carries over into what are supposed to be the “responsible years”: how does a person learn, without having experienced work, to make independent decisions, take orders, discern truth from fiction, stay focused and busy, develop the stamina to play a constructive part in a culture over many decades?

    Disciplined work habits established early on affect all aspects of our culture, from school and the workplace to the arts and civic sphere.

    That there is a drift backwards into adolescence that pervades our culture — whether it’s reading cartoonish literature designed for an underdeveloped mind or a political sphere that is dominated by…well, let’s not go there — is extremely alarming.

    Now, all this fretting may be the special preserve of a man who just this week will reach his mid-fifties, but I do worry what this downward spiral means for our culture, for our species.

    I continue to be haunted by a work I read recently, “Ends of the World,” a science history of deep time and the cycles of extinctions on our planet.

    For me, the book serves to highlight both our insignificance and the childish hubris of our species that imperils our brief reign here.

    While it may not allow us to avert a crisis, it just may be time to return to the practice of “laying a hand on something.” Because the Boss Man is right around the corner and coming on fast, and he sounds pissed.


              Review of 'Dangerous Years'        
    SUBHEAD: David W. Orr he demolishes the lies of climate crisis denial, and a  minimalist response to this emergency.

    By Gene Marshall on 28 July 2017 in Resilience -

    Image above: Apocalyptic vision of buildings sinking into landscape. From original article.

    [Resilience Editor's note: This piece was originally published in the Realistic Living newsletter. More information about the work of Realistic Living can be found on their website.

    I started to write a brief review of David W. Orr’s 2016 book Dangerous Years: Climate Change, the Long Emergency, and the Way Forward. I found, however, that a longer “essay” was what I felt called to write.

    Orr’s book is the best thing I have read on the overall social-change challenges of this century. I am ranking this book, along with the Bible, as something to read over and over for the rest of my life. I recommend that you buy a hard copy, and wear it out over the next decade.

    The social content of this book is broad, deep, and on target, and Orr’s prose reads like poetry. His choice of words is beautiful, gripping, and often funny. I am going to quote some examples for you to taste.

    First of all, he demolishes the lies of climate crisis denial, as well as the lies of minimalist response to this emergency:

    Nearly everything on Earth behaves or works differently at higher temperatures. Ecologies collapse, forests burn, metals expand, concrete runways buckle, rivers dry up, cooling towers fail, and people curse, kill, and terrorize more easily. Climate deniers . . . are doomed to roughly the same status as, say, members of the Flat Earth Society. page 25

    The solutions Orr develops begin with a shift in the human will or heart, then move on to a shift in the human mind, and end with real-world, down-and-dirty, power-politics, as well as the year-in-and-year-out local tasks of reconstruction. Here is a quote about the educational care of our social minds:
    We would be embarrassed to graduate students who could neither read nor count.  We should be mortified, then, to graduate students who are ecologically illiterate—clueless about the basics of ecology, energetics, systems dynamics—the bedrock conditions for civilization and human life.  page 110
    Orr prepares our awakening “hearts,” “wills,” and “minds” for our real-world politics with sentences like these:
    And there will be no Deus ex machina, or cavalry, or invisible hand, or miracle technological breakthrough that will rescue us in the nick of time.  It will be up to us to change the odds and the outcomes on our own.  page 144
    The next passage I will be reading aloud in my speeches. It is a gem that notices the spirit depth of our call to action:
    If humanity is to have a better future it will be a more “empathic civilization,” one better balanced between our most competitive, hard-driving selves and our most harmonious, altruistic traits; one that embraces the yin-yang poles of behavior.  It must be a change sufficiently global to bridge the chasms of ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality, and politics and deep enough to shift perceptions, behaviors, and values. The change must enable people to grow from a “having” orientation to a “being” orientation to the world.  It must deepen our appreciation, affiliation, and competence with the natural world, albeit a natural world undergoing accelerating changes.

    I do not think, however, that we can simply will ourselves to that empathic new world.  The transition will result from social movements, activism, education, and political changes.  But there is always an X-factor, an inexplicable process of metanoia, a word meaning “penitence; a reorientation of one’s way of life; spiritual conversion.”  It is a change of inner sight.  “I once was blind, but now I see” as the former slave trader John Newton wrote in the hymn “Amazing Grace.”  Metanoia is liberation from bondage—physical, mental, emotional—a total change of perspective. pages 147-8
    I view the core of the revolution for a next Christianity to be the creation of metanoia circles, small groupings of people in which our deepest humanness can be nurtured on a regular basis and our compassion and persistence prepared for our wide-world responsibilities.

    Orr pictures the role of politics as a “long revolution.” We now need more than small teams and edge movements: we need large structures of action that year-in-and-year-out for decades do all the little and big things that need to be done for this huge transition.

    Orr works through our core challenges with thorough analysis and inspiring description of practical options. He also continues to indicate the spirit courage and persistence it is going to take. He deals with sustainable democracy, ecological design, hotter cities, systemic thinking, a new agriculture, and much more.

    Orr concludes his book with a description of the Oberlin Project—a multi-committee, local project of community-renewal organized by Orr and others, in Orr’s Oberlin, Ohio home town. He pictures the kind of things that the co-pastors of future Christian Resurgence Circles might envision for their quality action in their local parishes of responsibility. Here is a quote taken from that final chapter:
    We need people who make charity and civility the norm.  We need more parks, farmers’ markets, bike trails, baseball teams, book groups, poetry readings, good coffee, conviviality, practical competence, and communities where the word “neighbor” is a verb, not a noun.  We need people who know and love this place and see it whole and see it for what it can be. page 227
    Orr is also clear that we need people who lead the global level responses to the climate crisis, economic equity, democratization, campaign financing, racism, sexism, and more.

    • Gene Marshall has a long history of participation in Christian renewal and interreligious dialogue. In 1952 he made a decision to leave a mathematics career and attend seminary at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas. In 1962 he joined a religious order of families, the Order Ecumenical, and became a teacher and lecturer of Spirit topics.

    Law School Innovation: What kind of career do you want your students to have?
              Another Dispicable Indictment Of The Greyhound Industry        
    Through the cause I run on Facebook and MySpace to Stop Greyhound Slaughter, I get to speak to a whole range of people and find out about the views they hold. Although there are one or two people that join the cause to ran and rave about how greyhound slaughter is just a figment of my imagination, the vast majority of people just want to help and one or two even have stories of their own to tell me.

    I heard one such story a few days ago; a tale of greyhound rescue by a decent and incredible individual that was not affiliated with a greyhound rescue charity. We all know what amazing work greyhound rescues do but I also find it heartening to hear about regular people that literally save greyhounds from heartless and cruel people that are just out to make money. If these individuals did not make a stand then a few more beautiful greyhounds would be slaughtered every year. Here is the story in the lady's own words:

    I wasn't aware of the killings that go on until a friend of mine joined a greyhound racing syndicate. The poor dog broke its foot on its first race which ended the dogs racing career (which I also think is cruel although that is a delicate subject). The members of the syndicate were uninterested in saving the dog and just wanted to put him down. My friend wouldnt allow it. He tried to get them to pull together to get the money for the £700 operation but they did not care, they just wanted to get another dog and try racing again. My friend, complete with a wife, two children and serious debt problems managed to find the money to save the dog and he now lives happily with his sister. A happy ending for this dog but there are plenty out there that are not so lucky.

    Even syndicates of "normal" people are looking to dispose of these beautiful creatures when they are healthy and would make an excellent pet. It seems that they want the financial glory but not the financial burden that their insistance on racing greyhounds causes. Again, I know not all trainers/owners are the same and some care deeply for their greyhounds but the sheer number of dispicable things (I cannot bring myself to call them humans) is unbelievable. Enough is enough!
              150 Things to Know on Canada’s 150th Birthday        
    On the occasion of Canada’s 150th birthday here are 150 things to know...

    1. Today, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is one of the world’s most popular political leaders.
    2. Justin Trudeau emerged out of the shadows and into the political spotlight when delivering the eulogy at his father’s funeral, the late Pierre Elliot Trudeau in September 2000.
    3. The four pallbearers at the funeral were Justin Trudeau, the Aga Khan, former President Jimmy Carter and…the late Cuban autocrat Fidel Castro.
    4. Justin Trudeau’s brother, Alexandre Trudeau, is a fearless filmmaker, who was Embedded in Baghdad before, during and after the U.S. invasion in 2003.
    5. While Justin is a social media star, his father was the true showman, who once famously pirouetted behind Queen Elizabeth’s back.
    6. In fact, this was just one of many colorful moments. To this day in Canada to give the ‘Pierre Trudeau salute’ means something, very interesting…
    7. And who can forget the moment featuring the Rolling Stones, the paparazzi and the Prime Minister.
    8. However, the elder Trudeau also did some amazing things for Canada. For starters, until 1982 when he brought it back to Canada, the constitution was effectively governed by the Queen of England.
    9. That same year he pushed through the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms.
    10. This protection of Canadian rights and diversity did not emerge overnight. Back in 1971, the elder Trudeau declared the new Canadian multiculturalism policy.
    11. Four years earlier, in 1967, Pierre Trudeau uttered these famous words: “There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation,” when he decriminalized homosexuality in sweeping changes to the criminal code.
    12. It took Canada until 2005 to legalize same-sex marriage, being the first nation outside of Europe and fourth in the world to do so.
    13. However, while things were eventful under Pierre Trudeau they were also turbulent. He suspended civil liberties during the ‘October Crisis’ in 1970, when he invoked the ‘War Measures Act’ after a provincial cabinet minister was kidnapped by separatist militants.
    14. He also enacted the National Energy Program in the 1980s which effectively federalized revenues from energy resources in Alberta, creating long-term hostility towards the federal Liberal Party in the years to come in Western Canada.
    15. Trudeau was also an antagonist to separatist ambitions in Quebec, delivering two fiery speeches, one in 1980, and another in 1995 to thwart referendums for independence.
    16. All in all, the elder Trudeau served for 15 years but he wasn’t the longest serving Prime Minister. That would be William Lyon Mackenzie King, who served for 21 years.
    17. In second place was the founding Prime Minister, John A. Macdonald, who served for 18 years – and who also had a bit of a drinking problem.
    18. When Canada was founded in 1867, there were only four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
    19. In fact it was not until 1949 that the last province, Newfoundland joined Canada, and that was only after a barely won referendum.
    20. Canada also has three Territories: the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavat, the latter being formed in 1999.
    21. The country is extremely ‘big’, the second largest in the world with over 2 million lakes, among other things.
    22. But, 75% of Canadians actually live within 100 miles of the U.S.-Canada border.
    23. This may be one of the reasons why the U.S.-Canada economic relationship is the largest in the world, estimated to total US$630 billion in 2016 alone.
    24. Close to 30,000 trucks cross the border every single day between the two countries.
    25. While things are rosy today, it wasn’t always so. During the War of 1812, the Canadas, as the British colonies were known then, went to battle with the U.S., ultimately burning down the White House on August 24, 1814.
    26. War was quite frequent back then due to competing French, British, and American ambitions. After fierce fighting, the 1763 Treaty of Paris essentially gave the British control over much of French Canadian land.
    27. In addition, one cannot forget that much of Canadian land belonged to the First Nations, who have been marginalized, ostracizied, occupied and colonized throughout much of Canadian history.
    28. During Canada’s first years, a group of people called the Metis who were ethnically mixed between First nations and European descent, rose up in rebellion, ultimately establishing a short-lived provisional government in 1870.
    29. The leader of that rebellion Louis Riel was ultimately ranked as the 11th Greatest Canadian.
    30. That battle was only one of many for the acknowledgement of the rights of First Nations. One of the worst stains on Canadian history was the residential school system that at one point put a third of all First Nations children under the care of the state.
    31. Thousands of students died, and many more were subject to emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.
    32. While today, people acknowledge some of these aspects of history, the fight is not over. One of the scandals that was a campaign issue for Justin Trudeau, was the plight of up to 4,000 missing or murdered aboriginal women.
    33. Canada’s history has not always been one of inclusivity. The Chinese Exclusion or Immigration Act of 1923 effectively banned immigrants of Chinese origin.
    34. This was a culmination of violence and protests against immigrants from East and South Asia, including riots in 1907 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
    35. Today, whites are expected to become a minority in Vancouver by 2031 (although I suspect this has already happened).
    36. 20.6% of Canadians are foreign-born today and 19.1% identify themselves as visible minorities. 3% of the population identifies as Muslim.
    37. There are more Sikhs in the Canadian Cabinet than there are in India’s government (4 versus 2).
    38. It was not until the 1940s, however, that Sikhs truly received voting rights.
    39. Canadian women achieved the right to vote around the same time as women in the U.S. in the late 1910s.
    40. Canada also became home to a number of Black Canadians due to the Underground Railroad, although racism has reared its ugly head in Canada as well.
    41. While ethnic and racial struggles have been real, so have class struggles. A lot of this culminated in gained labor rights and ultimately universal healthcare.
    42. The ‘grandfather’ of universal healthcare was actually New Democratic Party leader Tommy Douglas, who was named the Greatest Canadian in that (in-)famous poll.
    43. Tommy Douglas is also the grandfather of prominent Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland.
    44. Kiefer Sutherland’s father is Donald Sutherland, who married Tommy Douglas daughter, prominent public figure, Shirley Douglas.
    45. While living in the U.S. Donald Sutherland retained only Canadian citizenship but lost the right to vote due to the Conservative Party’s new laws in 2015.
    46. This also led to a rallying cry by then candidate Justin Trudeau, that “A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.”
    47. There are almost 3 million Canadians living abroad but many retain a vibrant Canadian identity.
    48. For example, the Terry Fox Run, a hallmark of Canada, has been held in over 60 countries by countless millions over the years.
    49. Through these runs over $650 million has been raised for cancer research.
    50. And it is all inspired by Terry Fox, who ran the Marathon of Hope in 1980 after losing one leg to cancer.
    51. He ended his run after reaching 5,373 kilometres over 143 days.
    52. Inspired by Terry’s courage, a fellow West Coaster, Rick Hansen embarked on a Man in Motion World Tour for two years in 1985.
    53. He criss-crossed 34 countries raising $26 million along the way.
    54. It also inspired the song St. Elmo’s Fire, which reached #1 on the Billboard Charts.
    55. The best-selling Canadian artist of all time remains Celine Dion, who has sold over 200 million albums worldwide.
    56. It appears though that fellow Canadian Justin Bieber may soon beat her on the charts.
    57. There are a lot of Canadian singers, that are quite prominent, but they often live abroad, like Bryan Adams.
    58. In fact, Bryan Adams and Beverley Hills 90210 star Jason Priestly went to the same high school, Argyle Secondary School in Vancouver.
    59. And while Bryan Adams is known for his singing, he once mixed up the lyrics of the Canadian national anthem.
    60. The Canadian national anthem, ‘O Canada’, was itself composed in 1880.
    61. However, the lyrics of the anthem were originally French and were then translated into English.

    This article originally appeared in the Princeton Alumni Weekly magazine.

    A world of Islams

    By Taufiq Rahim ’04
    Published in the December 12, 2012, issue

    I remember waking up in my dorm room on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, to the shouts of my hall-mate and friend beckoning me to come next door. It was the beginning of our sophomore year, and I was a leader of the Muslim Students Associa­tion (MSA) at Princeton. Watching television in 1937 Hall, we were gripped and confounded by the horrific scenes that unfolded in the ensuing hours, which are forever etched in my ­memory —  as I am sure they are for countless others.

    It was the start of what has been termed the post-9/11 decade, during which much of the world’s narrative was shaped by an “us versus them” mentality. Especially in the first few years, Muslims in the West endured an uncomfortable feeling that the surrounding society considered them suspect.
    I fielded calls shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks from local newspapers, the reporters asking if things were OK for Muslims on campus. Though there were incidents, the general situation at Princeton was safe. I sometimes received hate mail. One group of students was assaulted one weekend in Boston and returned with the bruises to show for it. And, I, like so many others, was given the so-called special treatment and faced lengthy interrogations at JFK or Newark whenever flying to and from school.

    I came to Princeton as a student like everyone else, but at some point I had to transform into an ambassador of understanding. The funny thing is, at the same time I was explaining Islam to promote understanding, I was questioning the state of Islam in the world around me. It is a duality that has stayed with me in the years since.

    This year, on the anniversary of the attacks, a deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, shocked the world once again. It also shocked the residents of Benghazi. This past January, I spent time with youth activists and entrepreneurs in that city. What I witnessed was a courageous and driven group of young Libyans determined to forge a better future. Alongside tens of thousands of their compatriots, many of these youth marched in mid-September to the central al-Kish Square in memory of the slain U.S. ambassador, Chris Stevens, calling as well on militias to disarm.

    Their march was emblematic of the duality I experience. No doubt, there is still a need to combat what is more a “clash of ignorances” (not a clash of civilizations) across the divide between the Muslim world and the West. This was the impetus that drove two colleagues and me to found the nonprofit initiative Project Encounter, which promotes engagement and dialogue. We bring groups of young people from North America and Europe to the Middle East, to allow them to form their own narrative about the region. I feel that only through improved understanding and greater familiarity can we find constructive ways forward.

    Nevertheless, through my work and travels in countries from Afghanistan to Syria, Palestine to Pakistan, and places in between, I find there is a need for just as much soul-searching within Muslim communities themselves.

    When a cheaply made YouTube film can lead to violent demonstrations in more than a dozen countries, you cannot help but ask questions. When a young Christian girl can be jailed swiftly on the demands of an unhinged cleric alleging “blasphemy” in Pakistan, you cannot help but raise an objection. When a college is raided and 25 students are killed in Nigeria by a group whose name (Boko Haram) means “West­ern education is sinful,” you cannot help but be dismayed.
    For many countries in the Muslim world, the next few years will not be easy. The political and economic challenges facing them are immense — and that’s an understatement. A few are in active states of internal conflict, if not internecine warfare. Others are under the grip of debilitating authoritarian regimes. So many are still afflicted by economic deprivation.

    There are, of course, counterexamples. In places like Malaysia and Dubai, there are new economic models of development. The Arab uprisings have started to push back against political authoritarianism. Yet the forces of religious orthodoxy seem to be not only constant, but growing. Popular clerics who appear on Pakistani television are busy calling minority groups, such as Ahmadis, non-Muslims — with deadly consequences. I remember seeing the bloodstains in an Ahmadi mosque in Lahore in 2010, shortly after an attack by religious militants. More than 90 people had died in attacks at two mosques. Within a year, the governor of the Punjab province, of which Lahore is the capital, had been assassinated for opposing draconian blasphemy laws, as was the federal minister of religious minorities. What was the basis or justification for those attacks?

    Sooner or later, everybody comes into the sights of the bully pulpit: marginalized groups such as Ahmadis, other religious groups and Muslim minorities, and then so-called “moderates.” Sufi shrines that existed for centuries have been attacked and destroyed by extremist groups in recent months in Libya and Mali. When I was working for an NGO in the Gujarat province in India, many of my meetings were held in Hindu temples, sometimes during religious ceremonies. What would the view of the hardline Muslim orthodoxy be of me?

    Traveling through the wider region, you quickly realize that while the bullies are strong and loud, they are surrounded by people who would like to see a pluralistic and prosperous society. These are people like the young activists I met in Libya. They are the Saudi Arabian entrepreneurs who have formed an organization dedicated to the empowerment of women in the workforce (Glowork). They include my Syrian friends who are helping to ensure that those fleeing conflict have a place of refuge, no matter their sect or creed. They are like my former colleagues, who have spent their entire careers in Pakistani villages working on local development.

    I’m hopeful that these progressive forces within many Muslim communities and Muslim-majority countries can coalesce to form a stronger and wider constituency for change. Such a movement would be the most effective bridge between the Muslim world and the West, as well. 

              Movie review: Motor City madness is played out in the searing ‘Detroit’         
    The days are long gone when you would go to a Kathryn Bigelow film to be entertained. Early in her directing career, she would feature a nervous intensity in movies such as “Near Dark” and “Point Break,” but they would at the same time be fun to watch. She entered more controversial territory with “Strange Days” (still my favorite of her films), a science-fiction actioner that focused on bad cops and racial tensions in Los Angeles, but really made her [...]
              30 Years Slank "Nggak Ada Matinya" Big Live Concert Download Available        
    30 years Slank Big Live Concert titled "Slank Nggak Ada Matinya" at the Bung Karno Main Stadium, Jakarta, Friday (12/13/2013) is enormously. Anniversary concert music group "slank" 30th featuring the songs that became hits Album in a career in music, including such:
    - Tong Kosong
    - Terlalu Manis
    - Kamu Harus Pulang
    - Mars Slankers
    - Larong Hitam
    - Kalah
    - Suit Suit He He
    - Bang Bang Tut
    - I Miss U But I hate U
    - And More

    Slank Personelle:
    - Kaka (Lead Vocal)
    - Bimbim (Drummer)
    - Abdee (Bassist)
    - Ridho (Guitarist)
    - Ivanka (Keyboardist)

              Goodbye…For Now        

    I’m guessing that most of you reading this are already well aware, but I thought I’d write a blog post to inform those members of the Trillion Man March who don’t know that I’ve accepted a job writing full-time for Bill Simmons’s relatively new site, Grantland, which explains why I haven’t blogged on here in awhile and why I probably won’t blog on here any time soon. I was thinking about making this next sentence something sentimental about how we had a good run and it was a lot of fun and I appreciate all the fan support, but I’m a man with two healthy, fully-grown testicles so I’m not going to write any sappy crap like that, especially since we can still continue our relationship over at Grantland. Anyway, because I make exactly no money from writing this blog, it has been obvious for awhile now that moving onto bigger and better things was always and inevitability. Still, I’m anxiously awaiting the onslaught of emails, tweets, etc. calling me a sellout, mostly because I completely deserve every one of them. The truth is that I am a sellout. But you know what? Thanks to a terrible ticketing system that screws deserving students out of season tickets, there’s a good chance I’ll be the only Ohio State basketball sellout this year. And that’s something to be proud of.

    Many of you have been asking me for details about my book Don’t Put Me In, Coach, so I figured before I let you go I should tell you what I know. First and foremost, I’ve been told that the book is going to be released March 6th (and might actually be released a week or two earlier than that), but you can actually already preorder it here. There isn’t a single reason in the world why you shouldn’t do exactly that right now, so go make it happen. I’ll wait.

    Back? Ok, good. Since you just bought the book, I feel obligated to mention that, as far as the content is concerned, it’s basically just a chronological rundown of my basketball career at Ohio State, starting with a little background story of how I ended up at OSU and ending with my final game my senior year. It’s technically probably considered a memoir, but “memoir” sounds like such a classy word and seeing as how I make dick jokes throughout the book, I wouldn’t exactly describe it as classy. Still, 90% of the content is basically just ridiculous stories about my teammates, coaches, fans and myself from my four years at Ohio State, so memoir is probably the best way to classify it.

    Speaking of dick jokes, many of you have asked me how vulgar the book is going to be, presumably because you are kindergarten teachers and you want to know if the book is appropriate enough to recommend to your students. Short answer: Yes. Long answer: I wrote this book solely with 18-34 year old males in mind, so if you don’t fit in that demographic you might find it crude in some places, but I wouldn’t exactly describe it as vulgar. It’s obviously written with the same juvenile tone I’ve used for years on this blog (please note that “juvenile” isn’t capitalized – I don’t want you to think I wrote things like “girl you working with some ass, yeah, you bad, yeah” throughout the book), so if you’re a fan of what I’ve written on Club Trillion, you shouldn’t have any problems with the book. There are a some four letter words sprinkled throughout the book, but I can say with absolute certainty that I have never been the type of guy to use curse words just for the sake of using curse words, because that shit just isn’t cool. So yes, there are some words you probably shouldn’t teach your 5-year-old kids (like “poopdick”, for example), but I promise you that unless you’re the type of person whose face melts off or something when you hear/see bad words, you’re not going to be overwhelmed with the language in the book.

    If you have any other questions about the book or just want to keep in touch with me for whatever reason, the best way to do so would be to either follow me (@clubtrillion) on Twitter or email me at It’s pretty much a certainty that I won’t respond to anything you send me, but just know that it’s not because I don’t love you – it’s because I’m either too lazy or I couldn’t think of anything clever or witty to say back to you, so I instead decided to act like I didn’t see your email/tweet instead of acknowledging that you’re more creative than me (ok, fine – it’s always the latter).

    Well, I guess that just about does it. Don’t forget that when you get a tingle in your naughty places in the future because you miss me so much, you’ll be able to find me over at Grantland. Also, if nothing else, you can always re-watch Mr. Rainmaker a thousand more times. There’s a pretty obvious Easter egg in there that I’m completely shocked nobody has found yet, so if you’re bored you should try to find it. There might even be a special prize for whoever finds it first (read: there absolutely is not a special prize).

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

    Mark Titus

    Club Trillion Founder

              The Miami Mess        

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Drinking Beer

    From Laine:

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

    From Evan:

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

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

    Criminals (specifically thieves)

    From Trevor:

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

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


    Also from Trevor:

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

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

    Mark Titus

    Club Trillion Founder

              My Mom Could Beat Up Your Mom        

    The first time I ever played my mom in a 1-on-1 game of basketball was when I was 12-years-old. Ever since the day I started walking, she and I would shoot around in our driveway all the time, but I never had the courage to play her 1-on-1 because she was much taller than me (she’s 5’9”) and I was almost certain she would beat me, which I thought would’ve been the single most embarrassing thing to ever happen in my life. Once I hit a growth spurt and stood 6 feet tall as a 12-year-old, though, I had complete confidence that I could destroy her. After all, she was a woman, and the last time I checked, our driveway wasn’t in the kitchen, so I figured she’d be completely out of her element. Plus, I had seen her shoot a basketball for years and her jumpshot consisted of her pushing the ball with two hands from behind her head. Sure she could make them when we were just casually shooting around, but there was no way that that garbage was going in with defense on her. And so, with my terrible rationale giving me all sorts of false confidence, I decided to challenge her to a game of 1-on-1. This still ranks as one of the most regretful decisions of my life.

    Perhaps the most important thing I failed to consider when I dared my mom to play me 1-0n-1 was that she was good as sh*t. Like really, really good. Not only that, but she was extremely physical and her style of play was perfectly suited for a driveway pick-up game. I tried driving to the basket on my first possession, but ultimately failed miserably because my mom slid over after I took my first dribble, stuck her chest out, and didn’t budge an inch as I bounced off of her and crumpled to the ground like those skeleton-looking turtles from Bowser’s castle in Super Mario World. At that moment I realized that I was in over my head, but there was no way that she was going