Comment on The Open Source – SELRS Update by Rene Michalak        
'Occupy' as a business model: The emerging open-source civilisation
          Sugar Free launches a web series ‘The Sweet Breakup’ a first of its kind in the food space        

by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 2017: Sugar Free, a name synonymous with sugar substitute, is the single largest leader in India in the category. The brand always thrives on innovation as key for its growth and has introduced many variants in the category for the sweet binging yet calorie conscious Indians. As an extension to its innovation drive, the brand has unveiled a new campaign ‘The Sweet Breakup’, a one-of-a-kind 5-part web-series in the food category. The series is conceptualized and executed by Maxus Content, the content solutions arm of Maxus.
Talking about the campaign Tarun Arora, Chief Operating Officer & Director, Zydus Wellness said, “Our vision for “Sugar Free” is to make it the brand of choice for consumers seeking low / no calorie options to lead a healthier life style. Hence to address the myths attached with the usage of Sugar Free as part of one’s daily culinary needs made us conceptualize ‘The Sweet Break Up’.  This web series demonstrates in an authentic way that you can indulge into your favourite dessert guilt-free without compromising on the taste. The 5- city trail as part of the campaign only reaffirmed that any sweet recreated with Sugar Free tastes the same when made with sugar. I believe this was the first time a dessert truck was going around India and hence there was a lot of excitement amongst people wanting to know what’s cooking !”
Pooja Verma, Head - Content, Entertainment and Sports Partnerships at Maxus said, “Maxus believes that changing traditional behaviour among consumers with content, needs a compelling strategy which is driven by insights and fused with creative thought. Showcasing Sugar Free as more than just a sugar substitute via ‘The Sweet Break-Up’ campaign is a prime example of our focus. Sweets have a strong relationship with celebrations in our country. With that insight in mind, we brought our campaign together on the message that enjoying sweets while breaking up with unhealthy calories is a win-win outcome for every foodie. The creative vehicle to deliver that message is our one-of-a-kind series where Chef Kunal Kapur joins famous foodie-duo Rocky & Mayur, in recreating delicious Indian sweets with Sugar Free. Through this content solution, the brand stands to generate extensive and meaningful conversations with viewers who love their sweets.”

This campaign marks the culinary journey of Sugar Free across 5 cities Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Mumbai, where celebrity chef Kunal Kapur reconstructed 5 different speciality desserts by using Sugar Free products. The brand also had on board the famous foodie duo Rocky and Mayur whose fun banter added to the entertainment element in the web-series. The journey started from Delhi where the chef created the famous Tewari Brother’s Gulaab Jamun followed by Lucknow where Ram Asrey’s famous Malai ki Gilori was made. The truck then headed East to Kolkata where he recreated Balaram Mullick’s Sandesh and then southward to Bangalore where he made a fusion dessert using G Pulla Reddy’s Dharwad Peda and created Dharwad Peda Tiramisu. The final leg of the web series was shot in Mumbai where Chef Kapur added a spin to made Ladu Samrat’s modak and created delicious chocolate modaks. All of these were created using Sugar Free. While the brand has a strong linkage with table top consumptionand pellets as a format, the culinary consumption for powder formats is a gap that needs to be bridged. ‘The Sweet Breakup’ campaign is that step forward by Sugar Free to make consumers aware of the format, its usage and the fact that the taste of the dessert stays as good. What more? One can indulge in sweets now without having to feel guilty.
The Sweet Breakup will be unveiled on-air on 18thAugust
About Zydus Wellness Limited: Zydus Wellness Limited is the Consumer products company from the Zydus Group. Zydus group is a pharma major with flagship organization, Cadila Healthcare Limited, a leading pharmaceutical company with significant global presence apart from India. Zydus Wellness has been a pioneer in various categories it operates in. The company focuses on emerging segments and has its DNA of innovations with “Do good benefits” at the core of its business. Zydus Wellness commands leadership in the sugar substitute market, table spreads and the skin care segments. In the sugar substitute market, Sugar Free is a market leader with a market share of 94% and targets health and fitness seekers apart from diabetics.
Nutralite is a market leader in the Fat Spread category and appeals to consumers looking for healthier alternatives to normal butter. It is cholesterol free, does not contain any hydrogenated fats and is also trans-fat free. Everyuth is a pioneer in facial cleansing space in India. It enjoys leadership in the scrub and Peel off Mask segments and is amongst the top players in the overall facial cleansing category with strong “Naturals” equity Zydus Wellness Limited is listed on NSE and BSE and has manufacturing locations in Gujarat and Sikkim.
About Maxus:  Maxus is a marketing communications consultancy that helps marketers build profitable relationships between consumers and their brands. They combine the disciplines of communications planning and customer relationship marketing to deliver Relationship Media, a next generation model powered by creative media thinking and sophisticated, real-time customer data.

Their services include communications strategy, digital marketing, direct response media, social media, data analytics, media investment management, content & sports marketing, marketing ROI evaluation and CRM. Having a talent team of 2,500 people across 55 markets, they are part of GroupM, the world’s largest media investment management group that serves as the parent company for all of WPP’s media agencies.

          SSB Retail India launches two more Specialty Malls        

by Shrutee K/DNS
Hyderabad, 4th August 2017: SSB Group is a leading structural galvanizing company which is in a retail sector mall in Hyderabad.

The SSB World Shopping Mall has come up with a two brand ‘Alpine’- the supermarket and ‘Casabene’- the furniture mall. Casabene has its branches in Kolkata, Hyderabad and is now launching 2 more new branches in Hyderabad.

The company has diversified into retailing. The 3rd retailing space at Chakripuram  is 7000 sq. ft which has a combination of Alpine Super Market & Casabene Furnitures. The 4th retailing space at North Kamalanager ECIL is 2000 sq. ft which also has a combination of Alpine Super Market & Casabene Furnitures.
The retail industry is very competitive; in order to give extra mileage SSB is having its own manufacturing facilities. They believe in delivering excellent quality products with customer satisfaction. The Chief Guest for the event will be honourable Smt. Pajjuri Pavani Manipal Reddy (Corporator) for A S Rao Nagar Division, SSB Directors - Y Sharath Babu & Ajay Kumar Singh and Chairman - Ramakanth Singh. Mr Ajay Kumar Singh & Mr Sarath Babu - Directors, of SSB believes in giving good lifestyle supplies at competitive prices.
The retailing product will be: Supermarket/Furniture/Home Décor/Home Accessories/Home related products

USP: Exclusively designed/Concept selling/Manufacturing Quality Products/Craftsman and Finishing/Free interior advice/Large collection under one roof

The business plan is to diversify and open 10 Branches of Alpine Super Market & Casabene Furniture in the twin cities.

About SSB: SSB is a Turkey service provider, established in August 2013, SSB Structural and Galvanizing Pvt Ltd is an enterprise by two pragmatic visionaries. As an emerging sector, it is present in telecom, power, heavy and general fabrication and infrastructure. It was able to export structural material in the second year of inception. The company has a turnover of 50 crores and it will have 100 crores of turn over year.

          '..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention .. Financial politicians..' (no replies)        
'..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention..'

'This Fed has already engineered the next crisis, just as Greenspan kept rates too low for too long, ignored his regulatory responsibility, and engineered the housing bubble and subprime crisis. If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention. The Trump Fed is going to have to deal with that crisis, but we still have many questions as to what a Trump Fed will actually look like or do.'

John Mauldin (Source, Jun 25, 2017)

'..Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

'Powerful people everywhere routinely make decisions that hurt others. We see it in central bankers, politicians, corporate CEOs, religious groups, universities – any large organization. The old saying is right: Power really does corrupt. And corruption is a barrier to sustainable economic growth. This is more than a political problem; it has a serious economic impact.

Recent psychological research suggests that powerful people behave remarkably like traumatic brain injury victims. Controlled experiments show that, given power over others, people often become impulsive and less sensitive to risk. Most important, test subjects often lose empathy, that is, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.


Powerful people also lose a capacity called “mirroring.” When we observe other people doing something, our brains react as if we were doing the same thing. It’s why, when you watch a sporting event, you may unconsciously mimic a golf swing or the referee’s hand signals. Some portion of your brain thinks you are really there. But when researchers prime test subjects with powerful feelings, their mirroring capacity decreases.

You can see why this is a problem. The Protected-class members of the Federal Open Market Committee must feel quite powerful when they gather in that fancy room to make policy decisions. It’s no wonder they forget how their decisions will affect regular working-class people: Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

- Patrick Watson, The Wedge Goes Deeper, June 30, 2017

'..I now feel that it's highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest..'

'Re-entering the news flow was a jolt, and not in a good way. Looking with fresh eyes at the economic numbers and central bankers’ statements convinced me that we will soon be in deep trouble. I now feel that it's highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest. Just a few months ago, I thought we could avoid a crisis and muddle through. Now I think we’re past that point. The key decision-makers have (1) done nothing, (2) done the wrong thing, or (3) done the right thing too late.

Having realized this, I’m adjusting my research efforts. I believe a major crisis is coming. The questions now are, how severe will it be, and how will we get through it? With the election of President Trump and a Republican Congress, your naïve analyst was hopeful that we would get significant tax reform, in addition to reform of a healthcare system that is simply devastating to so many people and small businesses. I thought maybe we’d see this administration cutting through some bureaucratic red tape quickly. With such reforms in mind I was hopeful we could avoid a recession even if a crisis developed in China or Europe.


One news item I didn’t miss on St. Thomas – and rather wish I had – was Janet Yellen’s reassurance regarding the likelihood of another financial crisis. Here is the full quote.

Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? You know probably that would be going too far, but I do think we’re much safer, and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don’t believe it will be. [emphasis added]

I disagree with almost every word in those two sentences, but my belief is less important than Chair Yellen’s. If she really believes this, then she is oblivious to major instabilities that still riddle the financial system. That’s not good.


Financial politicians (which is what central bankers really are) have a long history of saying the wrong things at the wrong time. Far worse, they simply fail to tell the truth. Former Eurogroup leader Jean-Claude Juncker admitted as much: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie,” he said in the throes of Europe’s 2011 debt crisis.'

- John Mauldin, Prepare for Turbulence, July 9, 2017

'..Market distortions – including valuations, deeply embedded complacency, and Trillions of perceived safe securities – have become only further detached from reality. And the longer all this unstable finance flows freely into the real economy, the deeper the structural maladjustment.'

'This week marks the five-year anniversary of Draghi’s “whatever it takes.” I remember the summer of 2012 as if it were yesterday. From the Bubble analysis perspective, it was a Critical Juncture – for financial markets and risk perceptions, for policy and for the global economy. Italian 10-year yields hit 6.60% on July 24, 2012. On that same day, Spain saw yields surge to 7.62%. Italian banks were in freefall, while European bank stocks (STOXX600) were rapidly approaching 2009 lows. Having risen above 55 in 2011, Deutsche Bank traded at 23.23 on July 25, 2012.

It was my view at the time that the “European” crisis posed a clear and immediate threat to the global financial system. A crisis of confidence in Italian debt (and Spanish and “periphery” debt) risked a crisis of confidence in European banks – and a loss of confidence in European finance risked dismantling the euro monetary regime.

Derivatives markets were in the crosshairs back in 2012. A crisis of confidence in European debt and the euro would surely have tested the derivatives marketplace to the limits. Moreover, with the big European banks having evolved into dominant players in derivatives trading (taking share from U.S. counterparts after the mortgage crisis), counter-party issues were at the brink of becoming a serious global market problem. It’s as well worth mentioning that European banks were major providers of finance for emerging markets.

From the global government finance Bubble perspective, Draghi’s “whatever it takes” was a seminal development. The Bernanke Fed employed QE measures during the 2008 financial crisis to accommodate deleveraging and stabilize dislocated markets. Mario Draghi leapfrogged (helicopter) Bernanke, turning to open-ended QE and other extreme measures to preserve euro monetary integration. No longer would QE be viewed as a temporary crisis management tool. And just completely disregard traditional monetary axiom that central banks should operate as lender of last resort in the event of temporary illiquidity – but must avoid propping up the insolvent. “Whatever it takes” advocates covert bailouts for whomever and whatever a small group of central bankers chooses – illiquid, insolvent, irredeemable or otherwise. Now five years after the first utterance of “whatever it takes,” the Draghi ECB is still pumping out enormous amounts of “money” on a monthly basis (buying sovereigns and corporates) with rates near zero.


Thinking back five years, U.S. markets at the time were incredibly complacent. The risk of crisis in Europe was downplayed: Policymakers had it all under control. Sometime later, the Financial Times - in a fascinating behind-the-scenes exposé - confirmed the gravity of the situation and how frazzled European leaders were at the brink of losing control. Yet central bankers, once again, saved the day – further solidifying their superhero status.

I’m convinced five years of “whatever it takes” took the global government finance Bubble deeper into perilous uncharted territory. Certainly, markets are more complacent than ever, believing central bankers are fully committed to prolonging indefinitely the securities bull market. Meanwhile, leverage, speculative excess and trend-following flows have had an additional five years to accumulate. Market distortions – including valuations, deeply embedded complacency, and Trillions of perceived safe securities – have become only further detached from reality. And the longer all this unstable finance flows freely into the real economy, the deeper the structural maladjustment.'

- Doug Noland, Five Years of Whatever It Takes, July 29, 2017

'..This whole episode is likely to end so badly that future children will learn about it in school and shake their heads in wonder at the rank stupidity of it all, just like many of us did when we learned about the Dutch Tulip mania.'

'While I've written about numerous valuation measures over time, the most reliable ones share a common feature: they focus on identifying "sufficient statistics" for the very, very long-term stream of cash flows that stocks can be expected to deliver into the hands of investors over time. On that front, revenues are typically more robust "sufficient statistics" than current or year-ahead earnings. See Exhaustion Gaps and the Fear of Missing Out for a table showing the relative reliability of a variety of measures. In April 2007, I estimated that an appropriate valuation for the S&P 500 stood about 850, roughly -40% lower than prevailing levels. By the October peak, the prospective market loss to normal valuation had increased to about -46%. As it happened, the subsequent collapse of the housing bubble took the S&P 500 about -55% lower. In late-October 2008, as the market plunge crossed below historically reliable valuation norms, I observed that the S&P 500 had become undervalued on our measures.

Again attempting to “stimulate” the economy from the recession that followed, the Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates to zero in recent years, provoking yet another episode of yield-seeking speculation, where yield-starved investors created demand for virtually every class of securities, in the hope of achieving returns in excess of zero. Meanwhile, Wall Street, suffering from what J.K. Galbraith once called the “extreme brevity of the financial memory,” convinced itself yet again that the whole episode was built on something more solid than quotes on a screen and blotches of ink on paper..


..greater real economic activity was never the likely outcome of all this quantitative easing (indeed, one can show that the path of the economy since the crisis has not been materially different than what one could have projected using wholly non-monetary variables). Rather, Ben Bernanke, in his self-appointed role as Mad Hatter, was convinced that offensively hypervalued financial markets - that encourage the speculative misallocation of capital, imply dismal expected future returns, and create temporary paper profits that ultimately collapse - somehow represent a greater and more desirable form of “wealth” compared with reasonably-valued financial markets that offer attractive expected returns and help to soundly allocate capital. Believing that wealth is embodied by the price of a security rather than its future stream of cash flows, QE has created a world of hypervaluation, zero prospective future returns, and massive downside risks across nearly every conventional asset class.

And so, the Fed created such an enormous pool of zero interest bank reserves that investors would feel pressure to chase stocks, junk debt, anything to get rid of these yield-free hot potatoes. That didn’t stimulate more real, productive investment; it just created more investors who were frustrated with zero returns, because someone had to hold that base money, and in aggregate, all of them had to hold over $4 trillion of the stuff at every moment in time.

When you look objectively at what the Fed actually did, should be obvious how its actions encouraged this bubble. Every time someone would get rid of zero-interest base money by buying a riskier security, the seller would get the base money, and the cycle would continue until every asset was priced to deliver future returns near zero. We’re now at the point where junk yields are among the lowest in history, stock market valuations are so extreme that we estimate zero or negative S&P 500 average annual nominal total returns over the coming 10-12 year horizon, and our estimate of 12-year prospective total returns on a conventional mix of 60% stocks, 30% Treasury bonds, and 10% Treasury bills has never been lower (about 1% annually here). This whole episode is likely to end so badly that future children will learn about it in school and shake their heads in wonder at the rank stupidity of it all, just like many of us did when we learned about the Dutch Tulip mania.

Examine all risk exposures, consider your investment horizon and risk-tolerance carefully, commit to the flexibility toward greater market exposure at points where a material retreat in valuations is joined by early improvement in market action (even if the news happens to be very negative at that point), fasten your protective gear, and expect a little bit of whiplash. Remember that the “catalysts” often become evident after prices move, not before. The completion of this market cycle may or may not be immediate, but with the median stock at easily the most extreme price/revenue ratio in history, and a run-of-the-mill outcome now being market loss on the order of -60%, the contrast between recent stability and likely future volatility could hardly be more striking.'

- John P. Hussman, Ph.D., Hot Potatoes and Dutch Tulips, July 31, 2017


(2017) - '..a deeply systemic debt crisis akin to the aftermath of 1929 .. the stage has now been set..'

(Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..debt is our biggest security threat..'

'..the Next 30 Years: “Everything is Deflationary”..'

          Octagon Launches Global Media Rights Consulting Division Led By Daniel Cohen        
Per a press release from the company, Octagon, the sports and entertainment marketing leader, announces the launch of the agency’s global Media Rights Consulting practice. The new group will provide strategic consultation to major domestic and international rights holders, broadcasters, emerging distribution platforms and the sports investment community. Octagon’s media advisory services will leverage the strength...
          Ecclestone wants Ferrari title push        
Bernie Ecclestone is hoping Ferrari can rekindle excitement within Formula 1 again this season by emerging as a serious title challenger to Mercedes
          PSA TEC 2018 call for presentations now open        

The PSA Security Network, a security and systems integrator cooperative with headquarters in Westminster, Colo., is accepting presentations through Aug. 4, 2017 for its TEC 2018 annual conference. Proposals can be submitted at

TEC 2018, which will be held at the Sheraton Downtown Denver in Denver, Colo., March 12-16, 2018, is a premier education and networking event for all professional systems integrators in the security and audio-visual markets. TEC features education and certification programs, networking, and dedicated exhibit hours designed to advance the skills and expertise of industry professionals nationwide. This training venue is open to all industry professionals and is designed to meet the educational needs of all employees within an integrator’s organization.

PSA Security Network’s president and CEO Bill Bozeman told Security Systems News that the move from Westminster—where the conference had been held for several years—to downtown Denver fro 2018 was needed to accommodate the growth of the show.

“The hotel [Downtown Denver Sheraton] is bigger, so we look forward to having everyone under one roof,” Bozeman told SSN. “In addition, I think some of our younger members and supporters are going to enjoy being in downtown Denver, where there is so much to do.”

The education program will deliver sessions tailored to physical security and audio-visual integrators focused on emerging technologies, critical issues in the industry, and tool development to augment attendees’ knowledge needed to continue to drive these industries forward. Sessions will be selected that serve a variety of disciplines including business management, sales and marketing, HR and recruiting, project management and operations, and installation and service.

Proposals are welcome for both certification programs and general education sessions for the security and audio-visual markets. All sessions must be unbiased and minimize commercial references and overt branding. Submissions are evaluated based on topic relevance, speaker expertise, and originality of the content. Additional guidelines are available within the call for presentations submission tool.

Accepted and approved presenters will receive complimentary registration to TEC 2018 and will have the opportunity to solidify their reputation as an industry resource and subject matter expert while expanding their own professional network and gaining access to strategic partnerships. PSA does not pay honoraria or expenses for accepted proposals.

          China's Financial Markets: how they are emerging as a global force [Audio]        
Speaker(s): Howard Davies | Howard Davies, who has advised the Chinese government on financial reform for the last four years, reviews the implications of China's rise for the world's financial markets.
          Inglewood Open Studios
Tour Celebrates Its Tenth Year! Saturday, November 12 & Sunday, November 13, 2016. 12pm-5pm        

Inglewood Open Studios Celebrates its Tenth Year! Saturday, November 12th and Sunday November 13,2016 12pm - 5pm

For Immediate Release:  

 Inglewood Open Studios
Tour Celebrates Its Tenth Year!
Saturday, November 12 & Sunday, November 13, 2016. 12pm-5pm

LOS ANGELES, CA – Inglewood has become the fastest growing artist community in Los Angeles. It is also the fastest growing city, undergoing daily changes for and around the NFL stadium, Hollywood Park Casino, along new Metro lines and downtown Inglewood. The tenth annual Inglewood Open Studios tour will showcase the impressive depth and talent of this community on the weekend of November 12-13, from 12:00 to 5:00pm both days. As always, Inglewood Open Studios remains an artist run event, co-organized by local non profit Inglewood Cultural Arts (ICA).

On both Saturday November 12 and Sunday, November 13, Inglewood artists will open their studios to the public, inviting visitors to personally tour their private working spaces and enjoy art created in all media--drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed-media, photography, print making, installation, video and performance.

To mark our 10th year anniversary, co-founder Renée Fox will curate a group show of 2016 Inglewood Open Studios artist participants at Residency gallery, a new gallery in Inglewood, managed by Rick Garzon. With its second exhibition about to open, Residency has already had reviews in Contemporary Art Review la (also known as CARLA) and Artillery. The group show will serve as stop #1 on the tour route, and, as a preview of art that can be seen on the tour. Group show dates: Saturday, November 12 through Wednesday, November 16 with a closing reception on November 16 from 6-9PM.

An official map with Inglewood Open Studios location details will be available online, at Residency gallery and at all artist studio locations on the tour. For additional information on Inglewood Open Studios, including the printable tour map, please visit Free shuttle transportation will also be provided by the City of Inglewood.

Participating Artists -
Inglewood Open Studios participants include both established and emerging artists. The 2016 Inglewood Open Studios artists are listed in alphabetical order:

Adrienne Adar
Susan Amorde
Brian Biedul
Martin Bruinsma
Kelly Brumfield-Woods
Darel Carey
Matthew Carey
Anne Cheek La Rose
Joyce Dallal
Bibi Davidson
Beth Dubber
Martin Durazo
Renee Fox
Sue Francis
Calida Garcia Rawles
Michael Giancristiano
Nancy Jo Haselbacher
Shelly Heffler
Astrelle Johnquest
Michael Massenburg
Christopher L. Mercier
David Newcombe
Lindsey Nobel
Kenneth Ober
Toni Reinis
Joan Robey
Alexandra Rose
Dawn Rosenquist
Karen Sikie
Stan Smith
ZinShu Spock, 
Ernie Steiner
Holly Tempo
Sidney Tuggerson, Jr.
Ginger Van Hook
Luke Van Hook
MonaLisa Whitaker
Exceptional Children's Foundation (29 artists)

Inglewood, CA -

Photo by Ginger Van Hook©2012
Inglewood, CA -
Photo by Ginger Van Hook©
Inglewood is nestled in the center of Los Angeles County. Bordered by the LAX International Airport, it is in close proximity to Otis College of Art and Design and is surrounded by the cities of Culver City, El Segundo, Marina Del Rey, Westchester, and Torrance.

Inglewood Cultural Arts -
Inglewood Cultural Arts, Inc. (ICA), functions as fiscal receiver and co-organizer for the Inglewood Open Studios. ICA is an independent, multidisciplinary nonprofit arts organization serving residents of Inglewood and surrounding communities. ICA's mission is to enhance the quality of life in the community by providing diverse cultural arts programs. 

Van Hook Foundation-
Van Hook Foundation (VHF) is the media sponsor for the Inglewood Open Studios and may be contacted for additional information. 
VHF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in Inglewood and located at the Beacon Arts Building Gallery 1D.
The Van Hook Foundation’s mission is to promote the merging of fine art and science through the curating, jurying, installation and mounting of artistic, educational and scientific exhibitions for the public and to Promote Visibility of the Local Arts Communities in Los Angeles and surrounding areas.,,,

For additional information, please contact press liaison Ginger Van Hook at

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was invited to join the Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society recently and have discovered the treasures of its membership as well as the benefits to career and community. The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring writers of all levels in the craft and business of writing. The society works to provide continuing education and a forum for the marketing of a writer’s work. The society is guided by a philosophy of “writers mentoring writers of all disciplines” and their website ( 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.
          Best Time To Invest in Art, NOW! by Ginger Van Hook        
TV celebrity Jason Alexander supports the arts at the TAG Gallery in Santa Monica, California on August 18, 2007 for the CALIFORNIA OPEN EXHIBITION show juried by Peter Frank. Now showing NEW WORKS, painting, mixed media, sculpture, photography and video through September 1st 2007. Jason Alexander, an actor who played the part of "George" in the long running and popular hit TV show "Seinfeld",
is pictured here beside sculpture artist Ali Alinejad.
Photo by Ginger Van Hook

Christine Owens, president of the Focus One Community Credit Union and sponsor of the
Focus One Gallery in Monrovia, California is presented with the Renaissance Award
by Monrovia City Councilman, Joe Garcia at the Monrovia Arts Festival Association Gala Black Tie Annual Fund-raising Event May 12, 2007. The Renaissance Award is given to honor and recognize a special member of the community whose contributions to their fellow citizens leads to the cultural enrichment of the community as a whole. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

Artist, Photographer and Actor, David Newsom poses with his dog in front of his latest photographs (Thistle #1) being exhibited at the DCA Fine Arts Gallery, in Santa Monica, California, (June 1, 2007 through July 14th, 2007). Three miles of Idaho is an exhibit focusing on the landscape between his brother and his sister's properties in a unique and poignant family setting. David Newsom released large scale renditions of his work currently published from his best-selling book titled SKIP.
Photo by Ginger Van Hook

Peter Frank, Jurist, for the TAG Gallery, CALIFORNIA OPEN EXHIBITION,
stands beside emerging Los Angeles based artist, Luke Van Hook, August 18th, 2007.
The Painting in background, oil on canvas, "May", the study of Giotto's perfect circle.
by Luke Van Hook
(Investigating the legend that Giotto drew a perfect circle for the Pope)

As the economy goes up and down, so do the trends in the arts and art collecting. This is an exciting time for the arts because we have many historical markers and world conditions that exist today that make it a good time to invest in the arts. For instance, instability in the stock market often releases money to make investments in art, that, like real estate, also goes up in value as the years progress. Additionally, there are wars raging around the world so instability in world economic markets are impacting the art market too. The best impact that market instability plays upon the arts is that it gives incentives to support artists in your local communities. These artists are here and now. Their work is presently available, and like property, it too can be insured, placed into a family trust or safety deposit vault and along with the family heirlooms, art can be bequeathed as a legacy or inheritance to members of your family. Both the housing market and the stock market have been riding a roller-coaster in recent years making a good piece of tangible artwork a far more solid investment than betting on governments, point spreads or Las Vegas Mega Slots.

y husband Luke and I have explored a number of fine art galleries and art communities that will interest the art lover, the art collector and fellow artists in the pursuit of great works being created in the NOW, as well as some works that have survived the test of time. In my Blog I intend to discuss some of the hot spots and hot artists in Sunny Southern California. I'll share photos with you of some of these exciting options available to the every day collector, the seasoned collector, the art aficionados, or the emerging collectors eager with new money to infuse into an already thriving and ripe harvest of works in Oil Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Conceptual works, Collage, Digital Photography, Digital Film and Electronic Visual Art.

Through this summer we visited communities on the West side such as Santa Monica, West LA, and Culver City. In the inland areas, we visited some of the foothill mountain art communities such as Glendale and a little further inland, we visited Old Town Monrovia. Starting with the inland foothills we find the quaint town of Monrovia where I grew up and went to school at Immaculate Conception Elementary on Shamrock Avenue. In Monrovia, the City of Art and in Duarte, the City of Health, I grew up as a child. I volunteered about 300 hours as a candy striper for the City of Hope in my teenage years, went on to work for the Duarte Library and attended Alverno High School for girls in Sierra Madre. This is the place where I was raised marching in parades with the Brownies and the Girl Scouts and where I learned to tap dance, twirl a baton and where I rode a ferris wheel for the first time at the fiesta, (as well as ate a lot of cotton candy), I came back as an adult to find an incredible amount of support for the arts in local schools. The arts are not limited to crayons and pencils either. There is an extensive array of art mediums in which students, and some very young students at that, learn to hone their creative skills. For instance, at Paint N Play on Myrtle Avenue, they learn how to throw pottery. Also, with after school teacher, Rouzanna Berberian, children learn the art of drawing, photography and gallery showmanship as well. There are art lessons going on, on almost every street corner you encounter in the busy Old Town Center on Myrtle near the Krikorian Movie theatre. You'll find this charming section of town both soothing and exhilarating. You ought to try walking up and down the main street where there are sidewalk activities, new park benches to rest under shade trees, new lampposts and lanterns all reminiscent of a nostalgic time. Artists show their work on wide city blocks and inside cool and dim lit gallery spaces. The mountains loom in the distance and the afternoons yeild a light summer breeze in the early evening.

We support the Monrovia Arts Festival Association in their endeavors to promote the arts to the children at a very young age. It is not uncommon for lots of families that are raised to appreciate art to blossom into artists later in life. MAFA is a nonprofit organization led by President Bill Beebe with a history of supporting local artists and local after-school art programs. Over the years, the Monrovia community has begun to expand its outreach of art by developing local talent through a number of venues: Focus One Gallery for instance, is located in the lobby of the Focus One Community Credit Union at 404 East Huntington Drive on the corner of California and Huntington Drive. The president of Focus One Community Credit Union, Christine Owens is known for her support of local artists and was recently nominated for and awarded the annual Renaissance Award by Monrovia City Councilman Joe Garcia at the MAFA Black Tie Fundraiser in May 2007. This is a prestigious award that goes to honor and recognize a special member of the community whose contributions to their fellow citizens leads to the cultural enrichment of the community as a whole.

MAFA Marketing coordinator, (on left)Denise Daniels is pictured here with Christine Owens, President of Focus One Community Credit Union and Bill Beebe, President of MAFA at their annual Black Tie Fundraiser that occurs in May.

Monrovia, California
Foothill Mountain Communities
Some Artists in Action...

THE MONROVIA ARTS FESTIVAL ASSOCIATION otherwise known as MAFA, is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and is dedicated to the cultivation and support of the arts in children's after school programs as well as educational awareness of the arts in the community at large. MAFA P.O. Box 92 Monrovia, CA 91017 ( 626-256-3124

Several galleries and art venues have developed over the years which participate and support MAFA. The following information is current as of August 2007: If your event or venue is not listed, please contact Ginger Van Hook, press liaison, for MAFA at (

The AZTEK ART GALLERY, is located beside the Aztek Hotel at 305 West Foothill Blvd. Exhibits local artists work as well as holds art classes during scheduled times. The contact person is Bill Hyatt, (

California Wine and Cheese, LLC supports local artists. New Artist reception for Frank Zgonc, Photographer is scheduled for the evening of Friday August 24th, 2007. Frank Zgonc shares images from his travels through Europe, scenes from Bodie Flats, Nevada and local scenes in Monrovia along with his signature digital watercolor manipulations. California Wine and Cheese is located at 115 W. Foothill Blvd., Owned by Janet and Tom Dugan, their website can be located at (Contact by phone 626-358-6500 for reservations.)

The MONROVIA COFFEE COMPANY supports local artists and is located at 425 South Myrtle Avenue. Exhibits contemporary and emerging artists work. Next artists showing September 1 through December 30th, Ginger and Luke Van Hook Photography exhibit, Methusula in the Bristlecone Pine Forest. (Landscape photographs of some of the oldest pine trees on the planet. Some trees aged over 4,700 years, older than the Egyptian Pyramids.) (Additional digital photography of flowers and collage by Ginger Van Hook.) For artist schedules, contact person is Carol Curtis, (

The PAINT 'N PLAY ART GALLERY is affiliated with Monrovia Arts Festival Association in its' support of the arts by providing a meeting place for MAFA members to discuss and plan their upcoming events for the community on a monthly basis. Contact Lisa or Rachel at Paint 'N Play is located at 418 South Myrtle Avenue. Paint N Play sponsors the SUMMER ARTWALKS in Old Town Monrovia along with several merchants who participate every year. KidsArt, Segil Fine Art, Oh My Goddard Gallery, Family Festival Productions, Scoops, Joy Print and Design, Box Jewelers and Baldwin's Baked Potatoes as well as the Outback SteakHouse- Arcadia and Trader Joe's also participate in art festivities that promote the education of art in schools through Summer Artwalks. For more information regarding Summer Art Walks and how you may participate, you may also contact Betsy Thurmond (626-358-7800) or The next SUMMER ARTWALK is scheduled for Saturday evening, August 25, 2007 from 6:30 to 9pm.



August 11 - September 28th, 2007.
Glendale Public Library Associates of Brand Library
1601 West Mountain Street Glendale, CA 91201

A group show Titled: PATTERN PLAY. Four artists demonstrate the variety of patterns available in color schemes, pattern originality, unique images in oil paints, sculpture, and graphic designs. Artist reception August 18, 2007. Artists featured are Patsy Cox, Yuriko Etue, Melanie Rothschild, and Jerrin Wagstaff. Definitely a great show for the entire family. You'll experience a great variety of brilliant colors and patterns that pop out of the walls, rise from the floor and reveal creative abstract patterns that draw you in, spiral you out and make you feel good.

Artist, Melanie Rothschild

Artist, Patsy Cox

Artist, Yuriko Etue

Artist, Jerrin Wagstaff



16:1 Gallery, Santa Monica, California Summer 2007


Kathryn Andrews
Chris Lipomi
Donald Morgan
Stephanie Taylor
organized by Kathryn Andrews

Showing August 11 through September 8, 2007

2116 Pico Blvd., Unit B
Santa Monica, CA 90405



Delia Cabral, Gallery Director
3107 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405

From Exhibition, THREE MENDACIOUS MINDS, (The Return of Paris' New Pestilence School) David Schoffman, Currado Malaspina, Micah Carpenter July 23- August 31, 2007 310-770-2525
Photo by Ginger Van Hook



TAG Gallery
Elizabeth Sadoff
Gallery Director
2903 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Elizabeth Sadoff, Gallery Director, TAG Gallery
handing out awards to the winning artists.

Photo by Ginger Van Hook

Jason Cimenski accepts award from Peter Frank and Elizabeth Sadoff
TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007
Photo by Ginger Van Hook

First Place Winner, Artist, Jason Cimenski with his daughter "The Flooded Room" TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007 Photo by Ginger Van Hook

Artist Kim Kimbro, TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007
Photo by Ginger Van Hook

Artist, Lorien Suarez,
TAG Gallery August 18, 2007
Photo by Ginger Van Hook

Artist, Carlos Daub,
TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007
Photo by Ginger Van Hook

Derek McMullen, Luke Van Hook, Dennis Treretola Three artists, oil painters, from the same graduating class at Otis College of Art and Design, 2004
TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007
Photo by Ginger Van Hook

Artists, and fine art painters, Carlos Daub, Luke Van Hook, Dennis Treretola
TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007
Photo by Ginger Van Hook

Artist, Carole Garland, "Midnight Mystery", oil on canvas
TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007

Photo by Ginger Van Hook

TAG Gallery, Santa Monica, California
August 18, 2007
Standing room only at the popular show

Photo by Ginger Van Hook

Peter Frank thanks the artists and their guests who have participated
at the TAG Gallery, Santa Monica, California Open Exhibition,
August 18, 2007
Photo by Ginger Van Hook

          Pussy Riot and the Emerging Power of Women        

          interview with guenter schlienz        

Guenter Schlienz (Stuttgart, Germany) is known for his vast catalogue of tape & cdr releases on different great labels around the world – Sacred Phrases, SicSic, Goldtimers, Constellation Tatsu, etc. He is the man behind wonderful Cosmic Winnetou label, releasing all kinds of experimental/drone/ambient artists — maybe not as frequently as we'd like, but each time pleasing the taste of any tape music geek. Creating his minimalist compositions by means of d.i.y modular synths, tape loops and field recordings, Guenter achieves the serenity of classic ambient works, while keeping the vibe of 70s kosmische musik (think Cluster or Harmonia) and sometimes reaches the territories of academic minimalism, exploring the sound as ding an sich, inspiring the listener to invent its own narrative. Being part of Navel band since mid 90s, Guenter's place in music world has a long, but still almost unknown story which continues nowadays with further explorations of all kinds of ambient music.


Pied Paper: First of all, I'm curious about how it all started for you — ambient music, synth building, tape releases, etc. I know that you were involved in many other projects before, call you tell a bit about them too?

GS: phew, where did it all started… definitely many many moons ago. was active mid till end 90s in some heavy stoner psychedelic rock band. was the guy responsible for producing some "far out sounds" with his guitar and some delay pedal. so there already was this drone element in what i did. but far from recognizing it as this for myself. bit later during the same decade i did a session with a guy who did guitar and singing for another noise rock outfit. we just fiddled around with our guitars and with every pedal we could get our hands on. we recorded our very first session with some broken 4track and quite liked the results. after presenting the finished cdr people came back and reported "this is quite cool drone music". so yep, that's how we learned the name of this style. and after having the name we were able to dig deeper and learned names like Stars of the Lid, Flying Saucer Attack, Brian Eno etc pp. this guitar drone project of us is called Navel and we are still recording and doing live shows.

beginning of the 00's i quit doing this rock band stuff, so there was plenty time to do some other things. after getting introduced to all this amazing kraut and kosmische musik (during a navel live show in france by an english man, but that's another story) there was the idea to do some kind of electronic music solo. so i needed an instrument, and after bit of research i discovered that the schematics for some modular synthesizer would be something i could manage with the training in electronics i already had. so i started soldering, first quite simple filters, later more and more sophisticated modules.

the tapes, yep, fast forward to the end of last decade. stumbled over this tape scene thing by accident via the internet (god bless it). those days i was pretty frustrated and bored by the music all the labels and magazines i knew presented, so this occurred to me like a big relief. yes. so many people and projects and bands and labels are doing fantastic stuff, exactly the music i love, right at the moment, and sell it for very low money to people all around the world. yes! couldn't belief my eyes. that the favorite medium of all those labels and projects were cassettes don't really bothered me (of course i had this "ugh? on tape? strange…" moment like everybody else i guess), because i never really stopped using this media since my early childhood days.

I like to dramatize a bit some things some times, but this discovery of the tape label scene kind of saved my artistic live. it gave me so much energy and confirmation and countless hours of joy during listening sessions that i got the feeling that i have to give something back. hence i started my own tape label.

Pied Paper: Your music sounds almost academic sometimes, especially works as Organ Studies, Loop Studies and Furniture Sounds — which, as I understand is a homage to Eric Satie. But your name is strongly associated with "underground tape scene", as we call it. Did you ever thought about making your music open for the interpretations, to write it down on a paper maybe, letting the others perform it?

GS: huh, not sure if i my music sounds bit like academic music. for sure i'm quite interested in this genre, mean contemporary composers with "classical" musical education composing pieces for concert halls and operas and stuff. like their approach to their art through quite rigid concepts, their huge knowledge about musical structures and about music of many centuries and cultures. perhaps you see my enthusiasm for their rigidness shining through my stuff? that would be a compliment for sure, at least in my opinion. and of course, if there would be a small ensemble crazy enough to perform it, i would love to write a score for them (though not sure if i would like to conduct it). but i guess your name must be some lou reed or some other in the same league to be honored like this. actually i'm pretty sure that many of those academic contemporary composers would be happily release their stuff on tape if they would only know this special scene around it.

Pied Paper: It's clear that ambient music is a wide field for interpretation, same sound can be perceived in different ways depending on the artwork, liner notes, track titles, etc. Can you tell something about your own perception of your music? Does it have some stories within, or it's just abstract form which everyone can fill with its own meaning?

as you see in the answer of the last question i like some kind of concept around the music. and if this concept even gets its visual equal with the artwork i'm more than happy. so of course, there is a story in every piece. but hey, its music, its a form of art, so who am i to dictate what some listener and spectator wants to see in it? isn't it the very meaning of any art, that the consumer of it knits his very personal meaning to it?

actually i am not able to describe what i hear in my music anyway. for me the answer to this question would lead to some kind of poem, some painting, some huge novel, some dance or any other arty abstraction. in none of the mentioned techniques 'm very good at, so please, listen to the music.

Pied Paper: Imagine a situation when you someone asks you to create music with specific mood, theme, etc. — like for a movie scene or something — would it be easy for you? What you enjoy more - improvisation or composition?

already did this, i mean creating some music for a specific use (to earn some money), and hey, that is pretty hard work (and hard earned money)! to create some music without some customers needs to be satisfied, just the personal ones, isn't really easy to do as well, but much more gratifying for the soul. its an privilege to be able to do this, and i have a (pretty time consuming) bread and butter job to create the circumstances to fulfill it.

can't really separate those strategies during my performances, both live and during my recording sessions. its always a mixture of plan and being ready to include some coincidences respectively enlightenments. actually my believe is, gained through many observations and talks about such things, that nearly every work in which i am interested in is created this way.

Pied Paper: I know that you enjoy recording outdoor, do you have any specific set-up for this?

not really specific, the equipment just have to have some possibility to work battery driven. luckily my modulars fall into this category. just to improve the handling of such adventure i have build my modulars as small and compact as possible, and since a couple of months a work on some modules who will be included into some water proofed case.

Pied Paper: Probably you've noticed that releases of first wave of cassette drone/ambient in 2009-11 was mostly lo-fi and many of same artists still doing tapes nowadays came to much cleared and well-produced sound - is that natural growth or trying to be more "mainstream"?

yes, i'm aware of this development as well. i think it just was some other group of people with bit different background which had been running those labels you' mention. In those early days of the reemerging of this medium the leading actors had had mostly a background in the noise scene. hence the tape as favorite medium, hence the cheap and ugly aesthetics of the chosen instruments. these different (don't like to ad some other evaluative adjective) sounding tapes of lately are from people without this background, they just take over the torch and work with it out of their musical socialization. so in my opinion it is either "natural growth", this sounds like some kind of improvement who isn't any need for, nor a try to reach broader audiences. the good stuff of recently is produced by people who are just as true to their own style as their ancestors had been, and therefore it is as important and equal beautiful as the old stuff.

Pied Paper: As a label owner, can you tell how many demos you receive? Which kind of styles you receive most? I'm asking because it seems that ambient/psych/drone music isn't that popular anymore - I see tons of vaporwave/webpunk tapes at new-born labels, while such imprints as Stunned, Tranquility tapes, Goldtimers are long gone (or maybe it's just old man's talk, huh).

yes, and i'm very happy about it, i receive quite a lot of demos. always love to get some new sounds for my ears. mostly the artists are very good informed about the style of the music i usually release and about the aesthetics i'm interested in. perhaps you are right, there are less people out there which do their own style of ambient/psych/drone as perhaps eight years ago, but i'm not sure about that. and as i stated in the last paragraph i think those vaporwave labels and the like took the torch of the cassette celebration and run with it their own way. and this is a good thing. who needs the 16th or whatever version of the emeralds (insert here the name of your favorite release of those years)? isn't this exactly what have happened with pop and rock music and what makes this stuff sometimes unbearable to listen to?

Pied Paper: And what are your plans for the Cosmic Winnetou in the foreseeable future?

prepare my next batch right now which will be released in a couple of weeks. but after this 13th cosmic winnetou bundle of cassettes i will need a hiatus, unfortunately. i love to do the label work, but it is very time consuming. have lots of projects for this year, music and private stuff, so i have to pull the brakes to this project for this year. but really looking forward to restart the tape label with new ideas and energies end of this year.

Pied Paper: Do you ever think about future of music? Is it possible to invent something new, or we are doomed to retro-mania, returning to same tunes from different angles?

of course there will some day somebody release some music which haven't been heard before and will blow all of us completely into the void. don't know which day this will happen, but i'm pretty sure someday it will. just look around, not only the music is stuck into retro mode. clothing, hair style, performing arts, pictorial arts, industrial design, i think that in our days nearly every form of artefacts are done with quite old ideas, just a few new kind of tools here and there. the whole mood, you can call it "zeitgeist" if you like, is like "let's try to preserve what we have", not "perhaps this is a better idea for the future, let's work on it". in my opinion everything is linked together somehow, and we have this retro mania since the 90s, starting with this global change of the modus vivendi. but nothing is forever, so i'm sure this will change someday. these thoughts are just my 50cents about a very complex question. but yeah, i think about this, and love to exchange ideas about this kind of topic.

Pied Paper: Humans already sent some music with space probes - which titles would you choose for such mission? I know you won't choose Wagner, huh :)

really nice question, this is. indeed already thought about that, and i think the nasa did a quite good job with the "golden record" for the voyager mission. very good selection which shows how wonderfully diverse sounds humans are able to produce, and each and all of them aim at the listeners heart. but always wondered if it would be perhaps a good idea to send some field recordings of this strange planet into the void, and f so, which i would chose.

some people laughing, some people fighting, a mother singing her baby to sleep, the audience at a soccer game, a sundown at the shore of a calm sea with waves and cicades and everything? what else?

Pied Paper: Okay, that's it — you can send high fives here or add something if needed! Thank you!

hey, high five to you and many thanks for those questions! took my a while to type the answers, because you found some topics and ideas i love to share my thoughts on it. and of course many thanks for your support!

perhaps i would like to ad a big "thank you" to all the readers of those lines, time is precious and i'm happy that you waste it reading them. and a big "thank you" to all the people who listen to my music and perhaps even bought the cassettes and cds and vinyls with my music on it. to know that somebody out there cares about my music means a lot to me. hugs.

selected albums:
guenter's bandcamp
sterne uber der stadt
organ studies
tape studies

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)

          H Alpha Bank στον χρηματιστηριακό δείκτη αειφορίας FTSE4GOOD - []        

Η Alpha Bank, κατόπιν σχετικής αξιολογήσεως που έλαβε τον Ιούνιο 2017 από τον Διεθνή Οργανισμό FTSE, περιλαμβάνεται στον Στον χρηματιστηριακό δείκτη αειφορίας Financial Times Stock Exchange4Good (FTSE4GOOD) Emerging Index περιλαμβάνεται η Alpha Bank, μετά από αξιολόγηση που έλαβε τον Ιούνιο από...

          Misuse of Novel Synthetic Opioids: A Deadly New Trend        
image Novel synthetic opioids (NSOs) include various analogs of fentanyl and newly emerging non-fentanyl compounds. Together with illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF), these drugs have caused a recent spike in overdose deaths, whereas deaths from prescription opioids have stabilized. NSOs are used as stand-alone products, as adulterants in heroin, or as constituents of counterfeit prescription medications. During 2015 alone, there were 9580 deaths from synthetic opioids other than methadone. Most of these fatalities were associated with IMF rather than diverted pharmaceutical fentanyl. In opioid overdose cases, where the presence of fentanyl analogs was examined, analogs were implicated in 17% of fatalities. Recent data from law enforcement sources show increasing confiscation of acetylfentanyl, butyrylfentanyl, and furanylfentanyl, in addition to non-fentanyl compounds such as U-47700. Since 2013, deaths from NSOs in the United States were 52 for acetylfentanyl, 40 for butyrylfentanyl, 128 for furanylfentanyl, and 46 for U-47700. All of these substances induce a classic opioid toxidrome, which can be reversed with the competitive antagonist naloxone. However, due to the putative high potency of NSOs and their growing prevalence, it is recommended to forgo the 0.4 mg initial dose of naloxone and start with 2 mg. Because NSOs offer enormous profit potential, and there is strong demand for their use, these drugs are being trafficked by organized crime. NSOs present major challenges for medical professionals, law enforcement agencies, and policymakers. Resources must be distributed equitably to enhance harm reduction though public education, medication-assisted therapies, and improved access to naloxone.
          Nice Attacker’s Father Speaks out on Son’s Troubled Past        
There are new details emerging tonight about the truck driver in France’s horrific terror attack as his dad speaks out about his son’s troubled past.
          Time out in Grand Popo        
I have been too busy for some time to post anything to the blog, but having planned to draft something on last week's trip to the UK I found the following, drafted last December but for some reason never posted (with apologies if a photo is inserted in a random place - blogger tells me I've added it but it doesn't show up in the draft):

After a period of pretty hard work I took a long weekend to rest at the village of Grand Popo in Benin. Formerly a grand colonial town, apparently, the majority of the ‘grand’ stuff has long since been swallowed up by the sea, with not even the spire of the old church now visible above the crashing waves. What is left now is a typical African fishing village squashed between the sea and a web of mangrove creeks, but leading to it a 4km-long road lined with little guest-houses, bars, art galleries and the like.

I followed a recommendation to stay at the grandest of the guest houses, in some restored old buildings next to the sea, although by the final day I was taking my meals in the cheaper places down the road. I slept a lot, walked a bit, took a drumming lesson, and also a couple of excursions around the locality (a pirogue trip among the mangroves and a walk around a village full of voodoo fetishes).

On the latter I was taken into a house to be shown two turtles in a sadly small tank, but also two old rice sacks now full of sand and, apparently, turtle eggs which had been rescued before poachers could steal them to eat. However when I took a closer look at the sand, I saw that there was a baby turtle on top and several parts of other baby turtles emerging from the sand! The guide asked if I minded helping, and basically set me to work digging out all the turtles while he went off to fill some big basins with sea water. It took a long time but by the end we had several basins containing some 120-odd baby turtles swimming about in the water (besides ten or so that had not survived.

Apparently they would be released into the sea that evening. I’m not sure if this is the best way to conserve turtles (isn’t the process of digging their way out of the sand an important part of their development? & a way of their ‘learning’ where they come from so that the females will know where to come back when they need to lay eggs of their own?) but at least the will is there.

I also ended up in a fascinating conversation with one of the hotel waiters. He was a part-time musician (I had already bought a CD of his!) and very knowledgeable on the history of African rhythms.

I learnt that (according to him at least) salsa originates from Benin – from the slaves of the Beninois Agossa family taken to Cuba. There the women beat out the rhythm on metal gongs to help their men to get through the work in the sugar plantations. The word salsa is apparently a corruption of Agossa.

The metal gong in the story is a commonly used instrument in West African traditional ceremonies, although only in Benin is it a part of regular music. He told me it originated in Benin a long time ago, when a group of women needed a way to stop their king from carrying out a public execution. They commissioned a blacksmith to make a metal gong in shape of a breast, so that they could present it to the king as a symbol of the strength of their feelings against the execution. How could he who was suckled at his mother’s breast, put to death another man, also suckled at his mother’s breast? So they each had a gong made in the shape of one of their breasts, beat the gongs loudly to get the attention of the king and presented them to him with their pleas. The man was saved and the gong became a regular part of ceremonial life.

Unfortunately, with the tendency to go bra-less and have lots of children, I can confirm that many African women do indeed have breasts the shape of the gong.
          BRAIN Initiative        
President Obama recently announced a big new effort to map and understand the human brain. What are we trying to learn about our brains? One thing we will earn is how our brains are structured, "not this well-organized hierarchical control system where everything is in order." Another is how much of mental illness is shaped by experience and society, as opposed to chemical or structural factors. What do we already know about our brains? 12 Things We Know About How The Brain Works. And we know that unconcious processing improves decision-making. That brain structure may be linked to placebo response. And that unconcious brains can read and do math. We know a little bit more about how the brain responds to addiction. And we know that "genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms" in childhood can have permanent ill effects. We think that differences in our brain reflect political differences. But we know that a lot of pop neuroscience is bollocks. What could we do with new information? Could we reverse-engineer AI? Manipulate our brains, neuron-by-neuron? Make better soldiers? Or record dreams? Or activate neurons with light? Or make better, crowdsourced brain maps? Neurotechnology, Social Control, And Revolution
In our neuro-centric world-view, a person is equated to his brain. The neuro-discourse has penetrated all aspects of our lives from law to politics to literature to medicine to physics. As part of this neuro-revolution, huge military funding is supporting neuro-scientific research; a huge body of basic knowledge on memory, belief formation, cognition and sensory modalities has been gathered over years, with fieldslike social neuroscience, cultural neuroscience, neuroeconomics and neuromarketing has emerging to improve our lifestyle; neurotechnological know-how from wireless non invasive technologies to neuroelectronic interfaces is exponentially advancing; and neurotechnology business reports indicates the rapid increase in neurotechnological start ups and the willingness of bringing neurotechnological products to the market. In my opinion, all the aforementioned indicators indicate that neurotechnology can be potentially used to control social dynamics.

          Student-Faculty Interaction: What the Research Tells Us        
Decades of research indicates that close interaction between faculty and students is one of the most important factors in student learning, development, engagement, and satisfaction in college (Astin, 1993; Kuh, Kinzie, Schuh, and Whitt, 2005). Indeed, frequent and meaningful student-faculty contact is a central characteristic of all high-impact educational practices (Kuh, 2008). Emerging scholarship highlights the power of approaching this interaction as a form of partnership. Such an orientation often is unusual in higher education because of the real (and important) distance between the roles of faculty and of students. However, partnership does not require participants to be the same; instead, it is a reciprocal relationship where partners each make significant contributions toward a common aim. Continue Reading
          Lindsay's Mini Review: Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls #3) by C.C. Hunter        
Taken at Dusk by C.C. Hunter
Book 3 in the Shadow Falls Series
Published on January 1, 2012 by St. Martin's Press
Paranormal | Vampires | Young Adult
380 Pages
Goodreads Amazon | B&N
Step into Shadow Falls, a camp for teens with supernatural powers. Here friendship thrives, love takes you by surprise, and our hearts possess the greatest magic of all.

Kylie Galen wants the truth so badly she can taste it. The truth about who her real family is, the truth about which boy she’s meant to be with—and the truth about what her emerging powers mean. But she’s about to discover that some secrets can change your life forever…and not always for the better.

Just when she and Lucas are finally getting close, she learns that his pack has forbidden them from being together. Was it a mistake to pick him over Derek? And it’s not just romance troubling Kylie. An amnesia-stricken ghost is haunting her, delivering the frightful warning, someone lives and someone dies. As Kylie races to unravel the mystery and protect those she loves, she finally unlocks the truth about her supernatural identity, which is far different—and more astonishing—than she ever imagined.
Do you ever go to the bookstore, excited to get new books and realize there's nothing there that you really want at that time? That's what happened when I bought Taken at Dusk. Now, don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the series and hang onto the cliffhangers like my life depends on it, but I'm not completely invested in the series like I was in others.

The plot felt pretty lax compared to the other books. Sure, there were cliffhangers, but the book went up to a climax that fell flat. It wasn't all that exciting, and I was disappointed, but the underlining plots made up for it somewhat in how interested I was in them.

Character wise, the characters were realistic and with so many, it wasn't hard to follow. I felt like the scenarios were real, and I was interested in each of the characters as a whole.

I will be completing the series soon, hopefully, and I look forward to reading the next book when I have time to pick it up.

          Insider’s perspective: Artist Binh Danh        
The Ransom Center’s photography collection was pleased to acquire several pieces by emerging artist Binh Danh this past year.  Danh has pioneered a fascinating mode of printing directly on plant leaves through the natural process of photosynthesis.  By placing a negative in contact with a living leaf and then exposing it to sunlight for several […]

          EPSA Trends in Practice: Driving Public Sector Excellence to Shape Europe for 2020 - by Alexander Heichlinger        

This publication is again the result of the many applications received during this edition. Its main purpose is thus to shed light on the many public administrations efforts and to draw the future trends from these practices when analysing the innovative performances. The state of affairs and development of the three EPSA 2011 themes are mirrored against the respective applications received and the emerging, best or nominated practices are highlighted in order to subsequently arrive at common conclusions and recommendations. In addition, this book provides – for the first time – some insight into the grounds and motivation behind why public organisations participate(d) in initiatives such as the EPSA (EPSA Testimony), as well as outlining a possible model for measuring and defining the potential public added-value of such participation and the return on investment one may expect.

          The Lisbon Treaty stipulations on Development Cooperation and the Council Decision of 25 March 2010 (Draft) establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service - by Dr Simon Duke, Dr Steven Blockmans        
Contrary to the emerging legal advice on the potential role of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and development cooperation under the Lisbon Treaty, this legal brief argues that the stipulations concerning this area contained in the proposal for a Council decision of 25 March 2010 on the EEAS, are entirely consonant with the Treaty. In particular this brief argues that development cooperation is a shared competence and not, as is often argued, an exclusive competence. It is also noted that the Treaty places the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) on an equal footing with other EU external relations policies and brings an end to the default setting of, for instance, EU policy in development cooperation. The legally binding obligation for the Union to ensure consistency between the different areas of external action and between these and its other policies again provides the overarching rationale. Finally, it is observed that the elevation of the eradication of poverty to an objective of the Union in its external action offers far greater leverage for a development perspective in EU external actions, rather than any alleged illegal politicisation of development cooperation.

          Support the CREATES Act, S. 974 and H.R. 2212        

On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support the Creating and Restoring Equal Access To Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act, S. 974 and H.R. 2212. This bill would lower prescription drug prices by crushing illegal, anti-competitive, and monopolistic practices by the biggest pharmaceutical companies.

Prescription drug prices have soared above general inflation rates for years, a telltale sign of lacking producer competition. Large moneyed pharmaceutical companies abuse a loophole in the FDA Amendments Act of 2007 that allows them to bar potential competitors from entering the market. They do this by refusing to provide drug samples and safety information that new producers need for medical research required in the FDA approval process of generic drugs.

Without these samples and safety procedures, new producers never earn FDA approval. Meanwhile, existing producers establish monopolies and hike prices.

This especially harms the emerging market for “biosimilars,” innovative remakes of biologic drugs. Biosimilars are often much cheaper to produce than name-brand biologics, reducing costs for millions of Americans.

The CREATES Act would grant relief in court for generic and biosimilar competitors seeking FDA approval. This would clear the pathway for new drugs to enter the market, drastically reducing prices through increased competition. The cost savings stemming from this legislation could reach between 15 percent and 50 percent of current prices for impacted drugs.

Such legislation would reduce both the federal deficit and national debt. Decreasing prescription drug costs would lessen the financial burden on Medicare, saving taxpayers up to $5 billion annually.

As you know, FreedomWorks fights for free markets and smaller government. The CREATES Act would lead to a freer market, less cronyism, and cheaper medication. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support the CREATES, S. 974 and H.R. 2212.


Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks

          Congress Should Lower Ridiculous Drug Prices by Passing CREATES Act        

Perpetually increasing prescription drug prices ravage everyday Americans. Specifically, name-brand prices outpace inflation by about 50%, largely due to government-protected market power. A beacon of hope for reducing drug prices are the generic and biosimilar drug industries, which produces existing brand drugs and biologics drugs through distinctly cheaper methods. But big Pharma doesn’t want competition, so it does everything it can to block generic and biosimilar innovation. The CREATES Act, H.R. 2212, solves a loophole commonly abused by big pharmaceutical companies for unlawful market advantages in the emerging generics and biosimilars markets.

Existing drug companies exploit the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) requirements for FDA approval of competitive generic and biosimilar products. This is an unlawful tactic to increase market-power. Biosimilars are a type of biologic drug – drugs manufactured from living cells – that mimic both the composition and the function of an existing biologic drug but employ cheaper production processes. Tragically, established producers prevent aspiring competitors from completing ANDA.

To complete a generic or biosimilar approval process, applicants must acquire sample drugs from existing producers. This allows medical researchers to demonstrate that the functions and properties of the original brand drug and the new generic or biosimilar are, in fact, equivalent. Sadly, many brand companies refuse to provide samples to potential competitors, preventing them from gaining approval. Thus, innovative generics and biosimilars hit the market less frequently, trapping consumers with fewer options and higher prices. While this practice of abusing distribution networks is illegal, there are no enforcement mechanisms preventing it.

Remember the damnable pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, who raised the price of a biologic AIDS drug Daraprim by over 5000% in one night? One of his profit-protection methods was to deny competitor applicants the samples they need to earn FDA approval. Competing with losers like Shkreli would be easy it if weren’t for this loophole. High school chemistry students reproduced Daraprim for less than $2 a pill compared to Shkreli’s $750.

A similar monopolistic scam employed by entrenched pharmaceutical companies involves exploiting shared Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) procedures. Producers of existing brand drugs are sometimes required by the FDA to establish safety protocols that protect consumers from safety risks. The FDA encourages companies to share, or streamline, their REMS procedures for maximum safety and congruency among user experiences. If a person taking biologic drug X switches to biosimilar drug X, the shared procedure is supposed to ensure that there are no major differences in how this person safely consumes the drug. In a similar fashion to denying samples, big pharma often refuses to share REMS procedures. When a REMS program has previously been required, FDA cannot approve a generic or biosimilar until a shared REMS has been negotiated or the agency has been given sufficient evidence to waive the requirement. This imposes redundant and costly burdens on biosimilar producers, and ultimately delays market entry for far less expensive but equally safe drugs.

Both of these tactics, refusal to share samples and failure to fairly negotiate shared REMS programs, establish de facto monopolies for original drug producers, but they’re easily fixed by the CREATES Act. Under the CREATES Act, generics and biosimilar manufacturers will be able to seek injunctive relief in court against companies that withhold samples or REMS information. This will improve competition with new generics and biosimilars, reducing prescription drug costs possibly as much as 40%. It will also help sustain Medicare Part D, the national deficit, and debt, by reducing government drug expenses by up to $5 billion per year.

Congress should end illegal monopolies and help Americans afford their medications by passing the CREATES Act, all without increasing the size of government.

          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.

          Lawrence Opera Theatre Presents 2017 Season 'Faces of Love'        

Lawrence Opera Theatre (LOT) explores Faces of Love in its 8th summer season. From mother-love to puppy love, from unrequited love to love of country, love's many facets are celebrated. The age-old clash of good vs. evil and love conquering all is revisited in Mozart's The Magic Flute, presented in a groundbreaking, contemporary staging. The season's theme is featured in operatic, art song, and musical theatre repertoire throughout our programs.

LOT returns to the elegant Castle Tea Room, offering an intimate parlor concert to celebrate Franz Schubert's 220th birthday. A Schubert Serenade (Friday, August 11th) is a celebration of some of his most loved works. A wine & dessert reception at intermission is part of this special evening. Seating is limited, advance reservations recommended.

A free master class follows at the Lawrence Jewish Community Congregation, 917 Highland (Saturday, August 12th). Every year LOT gives a group of singers the opportunity to work individually with a professional in the opera field, and this year's The Magic Flute director coaches several of LOT's emerging young artists.

An evening of Opera Scenes and Arias as well as a Musical Theatre Cabaret are offered August 17th and 19th, respectively, showing off the ensemble's versatility. The season highlight the fully-staged opera, produced at Theatre Lawrence's state-of-the-art facility. The Magic Flute is set at Burning Man in the Nevada desert. The age-old conflict between good and evil is given a surprising twist in Grant Preisser's interpretation, which will be sung in German with updatEd English dialogue.

LOT offers a discount for Seniors / Students, and new in 2017, is pleased to offer a subscription package, with a 10% discount on ticket prices (taxes and fees additional).

More information:

          Talent From New York and Kansas City Collaborate on Three New Productions for Kansas City Fringe        

Kansas City audiences are in for a rare experience during Fringe Festival this month as Home Grown Theatre Co. debuts emerging talent and fresh ideas from New York and Kansas City in three shows.

"We brought a dozen New York City artists and paired them with a dozen or so local actors, directors, writers and designers," explains Home Grown Theatre Co. Artistic Director Hersh Ellis. "So we have talent from two great theatre cities, working and creating together on three topical and fresh pieces of theater."

The three shows are Kansas City premieres and include:

• Marie Antoinette;

• Incognito; and

• Geography for F*#king Idiots: Or Plays About Places I've Never Been.

All three shows feature talent from New York and Kansas City collaborating to create one-of-a-kind theatre.

See one show or all three, at the H&R Block City Stage at Union Station (30 W Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108). Performances will be held at various times, July 21-30. Full details below.


In Marie Antoinette, 'French Revolution' meets 'Keeping up with the Kardashians'. The production provides a peek into the life of the infamous Queen of France and cake enthusiast. She delights us with her three-foot wigs and extravagant couture. Until the revolution when Marie finds her sparkling world turned upside down. You've never seen a history play like this raw, fantastical and funny look at a time when politics suddenly got very personal.

Marie Antoinette, written by David Adjmi, had a critically acclaimed production in New York and prior to its premiere in Kansas City in a brand new production directed by Kaleb Tank and starring New York actress Erin DiIorio as Marie.

Marie Antoinette performance schedule:

H&R Block City Stage at Union Station (30 W. Pershing Rd, Kansas City, Mo. 64108)

Fri, July 21 at 10:30pm,

Sun, July 23 at 7:30pm,

Tues, July 25 at 7:30pm,

Wed, July 26 at 9 pm,

Fri, July 28 at 10:30pm, and

Sat, July 29 at 7:30pm.

For Tickets to Marie Antoinette, go to:


From acclaimed British playwright Nick Payne and Home Grown Artistic Director Hersh Ellis is the Kansas City premiere of Incognito. Prior to this new production, Incognito had critically acclaimed productions in New York and London.

Princeton, 1955: a scientist steals Einstein's brain hoping to unlock superhuman intelligence. London, 2012: a psychologist decides to start her life over and finds herself in over her head. Bath, England, 1953: after an experimental surgery gone awry, a man spends the rest of his days re-living the blissful moment he got engaged. Four actors play all 21 characters in this charming and exhilarating play that weaves three stories together, asking us if memory and identity are simply illusions.

Incognito performance schedule:

H&R Block City Stage at Union Station (30 W. Pershing Rd, Kansas City, Mo. 64108)

Sat, July 22 at 9 pm,

Sun, July 23 at 3 pm,

Mon, July 24 at 7:30pm,

Wed, July 26 at 9 pm,

Thurs, 27 at 6 pm, and

Sat, July 29 at 6 pm

For tickets to Incognito, go to:


See this world premiere production before it transfers Off-Broadway in New York this Fall. Come laugh and "aha" your way through a series of interwoven short plays about some of our favorite countries and the four things we think we know about them. Based on a mix of facts and "facts" what could go wrong in this fast-paced, irreverent tour de force of the globe? Probably everything. Written by Michael Elliott and Sonny Stollman, Directed by Hersh Ellis, Michael Elliott and Sonny Stollman

Geography for F*#king Idiots: Or Plays About Places I've Never Been performance schedule:

H&R Block City Stage at Union Station (30 W. Pershing Rd, Kansas City, Mo. 64108)

Fri, July 21 at 9 pm,
Sun, July 23 at 6 pm,
Tues, July 25 at 7:30 pm,
Wed, July 26 at 6 pm,
Thurs, July 27 at 9 pm, and
Sat, July 29 at 10:30 pm

For tickets to Geography for F*#king Idiots: Or Plays About Places I've Never Been, go to:

          By: E. Poole        
<p>Nice well-argued piece.</p> <p>Expansive monetary and fiscal policies in the late 1960s/early 1970s appear to have contributed substantially to increases in real oil prices. The critical intermediate variable is the expected real interest rate which was low or negative for many years during that period.</p> <p>In Engel's explanation, the real interest rate represents the opportunity cost of oil inventories. In other models, lower real interest rates would increase output and the demand for oil through investment or increases in the labour supply, especially if the rate shocks are not fully anticipated.</p> <p>Those looking for a tight correspondance to current reality may not find one. The real costs of borrowing capital have gone up. (See the balloon that some US banker floated on the weekend about re-pricing the LBO/privatization of Canadian telecomm giant BCE lower than the C$42.75/share agreed to last summer.)</p> <p>If unexpected higher real energy costs are hinting at the increasing obsolescence of the current capital stock, increased expectations of slower growth could easily drive real borrowing costs higher.</p> <p>There is a more mundane explanation. Markets have generally been awful at forecasting oil price demand elasticities in this decade and have given up <i>over analyzing</i> demand on the assumption of significant inertia in global demand due to robust emerging economy demand. Anything else in the larger economy is treated as spurious noise in this radical decoupling view.</p> <p>FWIW, I'm betting that the price of oil declines between now and October 2008 and natural gas prices will increase in the same time period. Oil and gas stock markets look like they are just starting to heat up. Refineries will drag down integrated company earnings.</p>
          Welcome to the new Liberal Democrat bloggers        
Two new blogs appeared on the LibDemBlogs aggregator in July. Thanks as ever to Ryan Cullen for sending me the details.

Feminist Mama @ Ambitious Mamas is written by Jane Chelliah and has been running for five years.

Here she responds to Nick Timothy's claim that because of sexism Theresa May has not received enough credit for her policies:
It's a cynical and convenient use of a prejudice to spin a yarn to extricate his then boss, Theresa May, from the blame and shame that was heaped on her after the disastrous run at the general election by both the electorate and the Westminster bubble inhabitants. The electorate who voted for non-Tory parties at the general election very much blamed Theresa May for the policies. 
Radix is a group blog written by a team from a cross-party organisation that includes David Boyle. It has been running for three years.

Here is David writing on agricultural policy after farming:
The key question it seems to me that we should ask, in the emerging debate about trade deals and subsidies, is this: does it promote agricultural diversity? Does it support our emerging local food economies? Does it build the UK’s capacity to regenerate its agriculture?
If you have a new blog you would like to appear here next month, please add it to LibDemBlogs.
          Craig Rodney (IG: @SouthAfrica)        
5FM — Managing director of Cerebra Communication, a leading social communications agency. Craig started his first company, Emerging Media, at 26, and made his mark quickly as he landed three of the top four most valuable technology companies at the time, Google, Oracle and Symantec. He also looks after South Africa's Instagram account, so if you're looking social media marketing advice, this is your man!
          Education Thought Leaders Gather at 2015 International CES to Showcase EdTech        

TransformingEDU, Produced by Living in Digital Times, Examines Emerging Technologies Impacting Pre-K through 20 Education

(PRWeb December 01, 2014)

Read the full story at

          #CoxCiscoTV TweetChat at CES and #PersonalTV Instagram Photo Contest        
Guest Blog by Sarah Evans, Social Media Correspondent Sarah Evans (@prsarahevans) is the chief evangelist at Tracky and owner of Sevans Strategy, a public relations and new media consultancy. She’s the author of new book, [RE]FRAME: Little Inspirations For A Larger Purpose (published by SlimBooks). It’s her personal mission to engage and employ the use of emerging technologies in all […]
          Silence Nogood Radio        
Playlisting new & emerging music. 24/7! Listen Silence Nogood Radio Live radio online from Ghana / Local Music / Euro Hits radio ststion. Silence Nogood Radio free internet live radio.
          Getting back on the horse        

I've had a tough couple of months. It seems like just a few weeks ago it was pouring rain, February, and we were bundled up in sweaters and thick socks. 
Right now, I'm torn between that feeling, and the feeling that February was a zillion light years ago. 
I know I have a lot to be thankful for, My health, my dear husband, our families and their health. What really more do you need? It's hard to believe that though.
This past week I've started to feel more up to it. Like I've gotten one foot in the saddle. Was is because of the acupuncture I've started, or has time started to do it's thing? Not sure, but at least it's helping.
I haven't really touched my sewing machine in a month. My latest project is draped on the chair, waiting.
Knitting, eh. I can't really find the perfect project to knit right now. I actually blocked 2 projects this week. I still have to graft one, maybe today I'll get some pictures.

Trying to stay positive, here's a list of things that happened this week that made me happy! In the order they happened...
1. I have about 4 Hoya plants scattered around the house. I fell for them hard years back. Sadley, they didn't really bloom. I know it can take a while, but 5 years?! The biggest Hoya, in our living room bloomed, but only once a year, in one place the past 2 years.
This past month the biggest started to bloom. When the flowers fell, we saw another bud! An another! Right now the third bud is in full bloom, and while peeking outside, I saw our Hoya outside is just about to bloom! This is the first, and I'm wondering what the flower will look like. 
April showers do bring May flowers ♥
2. The Great Gatsby- We went out to watch it last Friday, it was awesome! It was the regular version, 3D give me headaches. What a FUN movie! I loved the dresses- they are right up my alley! Loved the music, dancing, everything. Go see it!
3. We signed a mortgage on our new apartment. And now the wait begins! We get the keys on August 15th and I'm so excited about it. I should probably start packing stuff, I know time is going to fly.
4. My new shoes. Need I say more?

5. Sew Lux BOM. Signed up. Am super excited about it. I never was in a quilt-a-long, or a block of the month, or bought a quilt as a kit. So I'm excited to get my first shipment and begin. Anyone want to join me?
6. I got a Zuko Pop maker! (We got the duo one) I've wanted one for so long but kept holding it off. This week I saw an ad for it and went for it! The weather here is already unbearable, and I think we'd enjoy some healthier snacks. Cannot wait to make some creamsicles! Now I need to make room in the freezer!
7. Dear Creatures. I just got a box of 3 Dear Creatures dresses from Emerging Thoughts
I LOVE to buy from them, amazing customer service, and great selection. I like to support indie, and prefer to buy from them! 
The Dear Creature dresses fit perfectly, and I cannot wait to wear them with my new shoes ;)
And, speaking of Dear Creatures/Emerging Thoughts, There's a new Arrow dress, (isn't it adorable?!)which is on my list. I might get it as a cheer me up dress, or just because I think I deserve it.
8. I found the perfect pizza crust recipe. Next time I'll half it and roll it out much thinner. I also used 1 cup whole wheat 2 cups white, if anyone is interested. Pizza nights just got better.

It's the small things that can make a change.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and may we only see the cup half full ♥

          Dear Creatures Spring 2013 Wishlist        
Two years I got fed up with shopping. I always remembered a bit too late that I need clothes, and by then it was clearance, and no sizes left.
Even if I did remember on time, it seemed that I just didn't find anything. Too flowery, too tight, too short, way too saucy.
Let's not talk about shoes.
Last year Y caught me looking through the Dear Creatures site and told me I should buy their whole collection. I didn't of course, but it got me thinking. Two months ago I bought my first clothing on-line. I had my eye on the Dear Creatures winter line since it came out, and knew I would be sorry if I didn't try it out.
I bought The Cat's Meow in red (yellow was my first choice, but not available) from Ever + Mi Crush.
They have the most amazing customer service. Ever.
The main reason I don't buy clothing online is sizing. And fitting. The dress I bought was slightly large, so I exchanged it for a small. I was iffy about sending it back and forth, but within a week and a half I had my dress, perfect as perfect could be.
I am so happy I finally made "that step".

Have you seen Dear Creatures Spring collection? I am coveting so much of it right now.
Emerging Thoughts is having a pre-sale on the collection. Dangerous.
So, what's on my list you ask?

Both are really cute, but I have my eye on the Teal Mustard. It helps to know I look good in a wrap dress like this too.

Adorable. I'm not sure how good I look in that many stripes though.

This is even more adorable than the stripes. I'd go with the yellow, just to make my day brighter.
The contrast trim really adds to the dress. (Those blue/yellow shoes!!!)

Because cute tops are so hard to find. Love the brown grey version. This would look great with a pair of jean shorts, which I live in during the summer.

You can check out their whole Spring collection here.

All images are taken from the Dear Creatures website.

          Quick and Easy Weeknight Tacos        

I’m just now emerging from the busiest two weeks I’ve had as a freelancer. They involved very short nights, cooking all day, and A LOT of dishwashing in the evenings. I’m not complaining: I’ve been wanting to make food my full-time job since, like, forever, so this sure feels like a dream—though it’s an exhausting […]

The post Quick and Easy Weeknight Tacos appeared first on Food Nouveau.

Quick and Easy Weeknight Tacos was first posted on September 15, 2016 at 1:53 pm.
©2014 "Food Nouveau". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at

          And Now, an Impassioned Oratory from Noted Psychotic Glenn Beck        
Good evening, dear sweet America. Last night I carefully explained to you how providing health care coverage to people who are uninsured is the same as pouring gasoline on them, lighting them with a match, and then pushing them down a flight of stairs. Tonight, we discuss something even more important. Something bowel-shakingly alarming. This morning, I was enjoying my customary breakfast of lard, rum, and scrambled eggs when I happened to stumble upon something very upsetting. Look at this box of eggs. Look closely.That's right people: PROGRESSIVE pastured eggs! Deviously hiding from the hormones and antibiotics that would otherwise compel them to grow up to be proud American fowl! When I saw this, I did the only responsible thing: I induced vomiting, then wrapped myself in a blanket and cried. I cried for America. Now, you might say, “Hey, Glenn, what’s the big deal here? They’re just eggs!” But let me tell you friends, this is a very serious threat to our way of life.

We all know that the progressive movement is a cancer in America and that it is eating our Constitution before our eyes. Make no mistake, socialist revolutionaries lurk amongst us and with this stunning development, it is clear to me that they are now knocking at our very barnyard doors.

Who knows what tiny feathered menaces are incubating in these progressive eggs? Who can possibly hope to contain Komrade Kluck when he breaks free of his eggshell confines and recruits others to his insidious Marxist cause? Friends, we need a national chicken registry, and we need it now. We need to know the whereabouts and agendas of these clucking menaces before it is too late. Socialist fowl present a clear and present danger to our fragile republic. These subversive chicks threaten to make cuckolds of us all. Who will take a stand against rampant tyranny such as this? In these dangerous times, when will someone finally give a voice to the aggrieved white male?

Who exactly is behind this insidious plot? Why, none other than our old friend Margaret Hamburg, head of the shadowy and mysterious arm of government known as the FDA. For months, Mrs. Hamburg has refused to denounce the gender confusion caused by that rancorous beast, the Cadbury Bunny. And as if living in a world where deviant rabbits could lay eggs wasn’t bad enough, now she’s taking things to the next level: the widespread indoctrination of millions of our nation’s chicks! With this development, the Obama administration moves one step closer to realizing its horrific progressive agenda—a Prius in every garage and a Marxist chicken in every pot.

Sweet tropical Jesus, the mere thought of this scares me. And when I'm scared, I cry. I cry a lot.This crisis ruffles my feathers. It ruffles them to my very core. Has no one learned the lessons from the classic conservative literary masterpiece that is Chicken Little? It was written by Horatio Alger and tells the story of one brave young chicken’s struggle to alert his barnyard friends and family of the looming socialist menace. Sadly, nobody listens to him and then, of course, the Rapture happens.

This book won many awards and was even presented to Margaret Thatcher by President Reagan as a gift for emerging victorious over the puffin menace in the Falkland Islands War. I highly recommend it. But let me tell you, if these progressive eggs become commonplace, we may never see the likes of courageous Chicken Little ever again, and that scares me. And it should scare you, my sweet precious America. Little by little, our freedoms, the principles of capitalism, the idea that we control our own lives and make our own decisions are all being stripped from us. Tonight, I ask you to join me in this fight and rise up against our leftist chicken overlords.

Good night and good luck to us all.

And now, a word from our proud upstanding sponsors, Eztense Penis-Enhancing Pills, the Baconwave Bacon Cooker, and!

          ESME Team Member Meetups - Accidentally on Purpose        
I feel a bit like Woody Allen's Zelig with the uncanny ability to insert oneself into some exceedingly interesting (historic) social environments as a famous nobody. It's like having a passport to be an official "fly on the wall" of some fascinating conversations. You get to be present, observe and on occasion document and record. That's the way I'll approach Office 2.0 this week and that seems to be my experience heretofore with the ESME folks.

“Enterprise Social Media Experiment (ESME) is a Web 2.0 application that permits social network-based communication among, between, and outside organizational boundaries. ESME draws its development team from the SAP Community and includes both BPX'ers and business people with an interest in learning how social networks, the media they generate and business processes can be usefully co-mingled to deliver innovative solutions to old world problems.” (Darren Hague, Richard Hirsch and others in the SAP Community Contributor Corner wiki)

When Dick Hirsch began to flesh out and realize the original BPX community project, it was obvious that he was a quintessential or model SAP business process expert: a professional with deep SAP technical acumen, experience of business modeling tools and process improvement methodologies, as well as an adept story teller with a keen journalistic eye and language.

The ESME conversationalists list (those engaged in the collaborative conversation about ESME) looks like a “whose who” of some top SAP Community Network members.

So being the declared online yenta I am (which is a grandmotherly busybody), I wanted to know more about those virtual members I haven’t yet had the pleasure to meet.

I’m fortunate to go around the world these next few weeks and I’ll be rubbing shoulders with almost all of the ESME folks, some by purpose and design and a few, quite serendipitously (like in the case of David Pollack who happens to be with me this week at Office 2.0). There are even a few folks I got to meet-up with recently at their invitation, having nothing to do with ESME whatsoever. Such is the case with Jen Robinson and Kirsten Gay who I met with 2 weeks ago in the US SAP headquarters in Newtown Square when I was invited to meet with the team of Natalie Hanson an "anthropologist working in the business world" and Kirsten and Jen's manager.

Kirsten and Jen happen to be members of the ESME team.

I was interested in the skills they bring to the table and their internal portal work and particularly in their focus on the very human side of technology.

Here's their brief bios:

S Kirsten Gay is the Manager of User Experience at SAP America and experienced in user interface design, design team management, integration of design deliverables with market demands, and strategic development of design services for corporations, educational institutions and private clients.

Jen Robinson, currently a lead in SAP's Global Business Knowledge Management Competency Center and an MBA student at NYU Stern whose professional interests include IT strategy, emerging technologies, entertainment, and new media.

          Showbiz Sandbox 375: The Seedy Side of Show Business is Revealed in “Walking Dead” Lawsuit        

Six years after AMC fired Frank Darabont from “The Walking Dead,” the hit TV series he created and oversaw, details about why he was axed are emerging during a lawsuit filed by the filmmaker over profit participation. Citing unprofessional and erratic behavior AMC provided profanity filled emails Darabont sent to producers and executives during his tenure […]

The post Showbiz Sandbox 375: The Seedy Side of Show Business is Revealed in “Walking Dead” Lawsuit appeared first on Showbiz Sandbox.

          The new evangelisation: 'missionary spirit' needed        
Fr Dennis W. Byrnes

In addressing the directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Rome on 14 May 2011, Pope Benedict XVI said: "Catholic activity at every level needs to be infused with missionary spirit. We are living in a world marked by new forms of slavery and injustice and the Church must evangelise constantly and fearlessly. This evangelisation must begin with a firm faith and an enthusiastic desire to share it with others. New problems and new forms of slavery, in fact, are emerging in our time."

Again Benedict asks us to confront through new evangelisation the "Culture of Death" so evident in our world.

So how do we empower the new evangelisation of which the Holy Father speaks? How do we challenge the so-called First World, which is well off and rich but uncertain about its future, and the developing countries where, partly because of a globalisation that is so often overly profit-driven, there's an increase in the masses of the poor, of emigrants and of the oppressed, among whom the light of hope grows weak?

Evangelisation requires a living faith which plants within a person the desire to share that faith with others. This sharing of faith leads people to a sense of the sacred which allows them to be open to the Holy Spirit and leads to a desire to "transform the world according to God's plan".

The fruit of evangelisation is to lead men and women away from all the modern forms of secularism and into the real freedom which comes through Jesus Christ and membership of His Church.

In his 1990 encyclical on Mission Pope John Paul II spoke of the three faces of mission: the peoples, the new evangelisation and pastoral activity. Later, in 2000, he returned to a meaning of new evangelisation as mission within a new stage of human history, society and cultures. In his words, "New evangelisation is synonymous with mission."

The predominant call is for a missionary effort by the Church worldwide to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus with new vigour. Some may interpret this as a one directional task to a world that has lost its way whereas the new evangelisation may most fruitfully be seen as a call to dialogue with the world and the plurality of its cultures to the benefit of both the Church and the world.

The 2012 Synod on New Evangelisation offers a real opportunity for local churches to positively re-establish their mission within their own situations and cultures.

It will be through the promptings of the Holy Spirit that this mission will be achieved. Since Vatican II we have seen traces of the Spirit's breathing new life, enthusiasm, wisdom and joy into our midst. Witness for example, the growth of Charismatic movements and encounter groups. Witness, too, the sudden surge of zeal that followed the election of Pope John Paul II, when suddenly scores of confused or hiding Catholics came forth, acknowledged their identity and responded positively to his many world pilgrimages. To the youth he presented a light in this dark world with his World Youth Days. The presence of the Holy Spirit is detectable in our times.

The same Holy Spirit comes to us today, especially in the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, to call us to mission in Christ's Church. It can even be said that the Sacrament of Confirmation exists to extend to the Church of every age and every place the Spirit given on the first Pentecost. By this sacrament we are conformed to Christ and in a special way we are in fact sealed with a permanent character as we become "temples of the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 6:19).

By virtue of this sacrament, we are both deputed and strengthened to be witnesses to Christ. "Deputed", because we are configured to Christ, and more fully "strengthened", because through Confirmation we receive special gifts: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. The fruits or rewards for using these gifts, as we know from Scripture (Galatians 5:22-23), are charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness modesty, contingency, and chastity.

Throughout his lengthy pontificate, John Paul II emphasised the importance of a new evangelisation, one that is "new in ardour, methods and expression". We need to find a new courage and creativity in order to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus more effectively in our time. If our efforts in this regard are to resonate with what matters most to people in Australia, we need to imagine and create new ways to evangelise. For example, Benedict XVI suggests that "to evangelise means to show this path - to teach the art of living."

At the beginning of his public ministry Jesus said: "I have come to bring the good news to the poor" (Luke 4:18); or, in other words, to evangelise.

Writing in 2000, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI) explained Jesus' words as follows: "I have the response to your questions; I will show you the path of life, the path towards happiness. Indeed, I am the path" ( The New Evangelization: Building the Civilization of Love).

When Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit he did so in the context of St John's Gospel (20:19-23) which focuses on the forgiveness of sins. Hence the Spirit can only be possessed by those welcoming him in repentance, faith and love.

Fr Dennis W. Byrnes is a priest of the Lismore Diocese, NSW.



As Republicans in Congress move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats are moving toward Medicare for All – a single-payer plan that builds on Medicare and would cover everyone at far lower cost.

Most House Democrats are already supporting a Medicare for All bill.

With health care emerging as the public’s top concern, according to recent polls, the choice between repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Medicare for All is likely to be the major domestic issue in the presidential campaign of 2020 (other than getting Trump out of office, if he lasts that long).

And the better choice is clear. Private for-profit insurers spend a fortune trying to attract healthy people while avoiding the sick and needy, filling out paperwork from hospitals and providers, paying top executives, and rewarding shareholders.

And for-profit insurers are merging like mad, in order to make even more money.

These are among the major reasons why health insurance is becoming so expensive, and why almost every other advanced nation – including our neighbor to the north – has adopted a single-payer system at less cost per person and with better health outcomes.

Most Americans support Medicare for All. According to a Gallup poll conducted in May, a majority would like to see a single-payer system implemented. An April survey from the Economist/YouGov showed 60 percent of Americans in favor of “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.”

That includes nearly half of people who identify themselves as Republican.

If Republicans gut the Affordable Care Act, the American public will be presented with the real choice ahead: Either expensive health care for the few, or affordable health care for the many.

          NOW’S THE TIME FOR MEDICARE FOR ALLAs Republicans in Congress...        


As Republicans in Congress move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats are moving in the opposite direction, toward Medicare for All – a single-payer plan that builds on Medicare and would cover everyone at far lower cost.

Most House Democrats are already supporting a Medicare for All bill. Senator Bernie Sanders is preparing to introduce it in the Senate. Both California and New York state are moving towards single-payer plans.

With health care emerging as the pubic’s top concern, according to recent polls, the choice between repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Medicare for All is likely to be the major domestic issue in the presidential campaign of 2020 (other than getting Trump out of office, if he lasts that long).

And the better choice is clear. Private for-profit insurers spend a fortune trying to attract healthy people while avoiding the sick and needy, filling out paperwork from hospitals and providers, paying top executives, and rewarding shareholders. 

And for-profit insurers are merging like mad, in order to make even more money. 

These are among the major reasons why health insurance is becoming so expensive, and why almost every other advanced nation – including our neighbor to the north – has adopted a single-payer system at less cost per person and with better health outcomes. 

Most Americans support Medicare for All. According to a Gallup poll conducted in May, a majority would like to see a single-payer system implemented. 

An April survey from the Economist/YouGov showed 60 percent of Americans in favor of “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.” That includes nearly half of people who identify themselves as Republican. 

If Republicans gut the Affordable Care Act, the American public will be presented with the real choice ahead: Either expensive health care for the few, or affordable health care for the many.

          El Sol....Efectos Positivos y negativos en nuestra Salud.        

El Sol....Efectos Positivos y negativos en nuestra Salud.

Hoy en día hay mucha inquietud acerca de la exposición al Sol y la aparición de cáncer de piel.

El negocio de bloqueadores solares (sunscreens) está en pleno apogeo. realmente el Sol tan malvado como lo pintan? No lo es.

El problema comienza cuando abusamos de su presencia. La exposición excesiva al Sol, sobre todo en épocas de verano ó en países de clima tropical, ó personas con piel muy sensible, si puede causar ciertos inconvenientes.

Pero al mismo tiempo, necesitamos del Sol en nuestra piel para la formación de vitamina D. Aproximadamente el 90% de esta vitamina se forma a través de nuestra piel al contacto con el Sol.

La deficiencia de vitamina D se ha relacionado con gran cantidad de enfermedades, entre ellas diversos tipos de cáncer, enfermedades óseas, autoinmunitarias, cardiovasculares e hipertensión, depresión, entre otras.

Un excesivo uso de protectores solares, puede crear problemas y deficiencia de vitamina D en nuestro organismo.

Que debemos hacer?

Si vamos a exponernos al Sol, tratemos que sea temprano en la mañana ó en la tarde. Utilizar sombreros y ropa si vamos a estar un tiempo prolongado bajo el Sol.

Protejamos nuestros ojos de los rayos ultravioleta con un par de lentes oscuros de buena calidad.

Ser cautelosos con el bloqueador solar. En caso de que no podamos evitar exponernos al Sol al mediodía ó por un tiempo prolongado, ó nuestra piel sea delicada, sí, debemos utilizarlo, pero con mesura. Debe existir un equilibrio. No olvidemos que es igualmente importante mantenernos bien hidratados y consumir alimentos ricos en antioxidantes mientras estamos bajo el Sol.

Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2006 Sep;92(1):9-16. Epub 2006 Feb 28

Reichrath J.

The challenge resulting from positive and negative effects of sunlight: how much solar UV exposure is appropriate to balance between risks of vitamin D deficiency and skin cancer?

Recent Results Cancer Res. 2007;174:197-204.

Sinclair C.

Vitamin D--an emerging issue in skin cancer control.

Implications for public health practice based on the Australian experience.

Over recent years, the evidence has been accumulating that vitamin D has a positive impact on our health. This is likely to have an impact on the future of our public health advice related to skin cancer prevention. This paper explores, from a public health perspective based on Australian experience, how skin cancer prevention messages need to be managed in light of new information about vitamin D and in particular, the times when sun protection advice should be provided. ...

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2008;624:1-15.

Holick MF.

Sunlight, UV-radiation, vitamin D and skin cancer: how much sunlight do we need?

Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin for good reason. During exposure to sunlight, the utraviolet B photons enter the skin and photolyze 7-dehydrocholesterol to previtamin D3 which in turn is isomerized by the body's temperature to vitamin D3. Most humans have depended on sun for their vitamin D requirement. Skin pigment, sunscreen use, aging, time of day, season and latitude dramatically affect previtamin D3 synthesis. Vitamin D deficiency was thought to have been conquered, but it is now recognized that more than 50% of the world's population is at risk for vitamin D deficiency. .....

          [urls] Build a Better Enterprise Application        
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Dateline: China
The following is a sampling of my top ten "urls" for the past week or so.  By signing up with Furl (it's free), anyone can subscribe to an e-mail feed of ALL my urls (about 100-250 per week) -- AND limit by subject (e.g., ITO) and/or rating (e.g., articles rated "Very Good" or "Excellent").  It's also possible to receive new urls as an RSS feed.  However, if you'd like to receive a daily feed of my urls but do NOT want to sign up with Furl, I can manually add your name to my daily Furl distribution list.  (And if you want off, I'll promptly remove your e-mail address.)
Top Honors:
* Build a Better Enterprise Application (on Web services and SOA; great review of all the pertinent issues)
Other best new selections (in no particular order):
* Adaptive Document Layout via Manifold Content (PDF) (another hit for Microsoft, this article proposes a user interface for authoring and editing Web content for different form factors; think formatting for ubiquitous devices and pervasive computing)
A New View on Intelligence (on XML & EII, et al) (thoroughly enjoyable -- so good,  I almost blogged it; insightful perspective)
InfoWorld Special Report: Has desktop Linux come of age? (IMHO, a resounding "No!!"  But there are other perspectives worth considering.  I still think it's a lot of wishful thinking.)
* Negotiating in Service-Oriented Environments (PDF) (A slightly annotated excerpt: "The concept of delivering software as a service is relatively simply: 'do not buy software, simply use it as and when you need it'.  Putting such a concept into practice, however, is far more complex and involves many issues.  In this article, we address the question: What are the characteristics of a market for software services?"  Hot topic, good paper.)
* Real Time Means Real Change (so much talk about the so-called "Real Time Enterprise"; this article takes a look at the realities behind the hype of the "RTE")
Information Scent on the Web (PDF) (Courtesy of PARC, you need to read this for yourself; Google as The Matrix idea -- worse yet, The Time Machine Reloaded   In reality, useful perspectives for Web designers.)
Offshoring/Outsourcing: Fragile - Handle With Care (a brief but rather comprehensive overview; points to the various aspects of ITO and BPO along the IT value chain)
IT Spending For Comprehensive Compliance (original article linked; good review of the various opportunities "thanks" mostly to SOX)
* The Executive's Guide to Utility Computing - ROI of Utility Computing (a broad perspective on utility computing, different from what is usually published)
Examples of urls that didn't make my "Top Ten List":
> Benchmarking Study Shows 75 Percent of Enterprises Deploying Web Services (need I say more?; includes stats on ebXML and grid computing, too)
> Probabilistic Model for Contextual Retrieval (PDF) (a sneak peek at Microsoft's emerging search technology?)  See also Block-based Web Search, courtesy of Microsoft Research Asia (Beijing) and Tsinghua University, arguably China's best (the latter article is not urled; from the recent SIGIR conference).  If you think Google is the last word in search, think again.
> Where To Find New Growth Prospects And What Challenges Need To Be Overcome (necessary action items and preferred geographic regions; China <not Russia, Brazil or the Czech Republic> comes in the number two slot after North America)
> CIO Magazine: Are We Happy Yet? (on ITO and BPO) (dumb article title, but smart content; good metrics to consider, including a take on SLAs)
> Developing Killer Apps for Industrial Augmented Reality (restricted access) (this page provides some complimentary information to the restricted access selection, although it's not urled).  I just noticed something:  The apps section of IEEE CG&A is edited by two mil guys, one from the (U.S.) Office of Naval Research and the other from the U.S. Army simulation and training office.  Hey, who says all the good engineering jobs are outsourced!?    Frankly, I believe that the best American engineers can always find jobs within DoD or the intelligence community.  Besides, they do all the truly fun computing stuff!!  Trust me, there isn't so much fun stuff done at Oracle.
and many, many more ...
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc.
Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China (current blog postings optimized for MSIE6.x) (access to blog content archives in China) (current blog postings for viewing in other browsers and for access to blog content archives in the US & ROW) (AvantGo channel)
To automatically subscribe click on .

          [news] Excerpt from a McKinsey Paper on IT Spending Trends        
Monday, August 9, 2004
Dateline: China
I recently urled the abstract for this paper, but CNET and McKinsey were kind enough to post the full-text of the paper on the CNET news site (which downloads at glacial speed, at least from China).  Now that the article from the current issue of The McKinsey Quarterly is in the public domain, I'd like to include an excerpt in this posting.  (Bolded and colored notations are MY emphasis.)
"Although IT customers also want to improve their software, they are wary of big-bang packaged applications--purchases that are just now rolling off accrual budgets.  This time around, CIOs are shunning expensive panaceas, especially large-scale customer relationship management (CRM) systems.  Many tech executives lost face (or jobs) when the promised benefits didn't materialize, often because the technology demanded difficult-to-realize changes in processes and in employee behavior.  Even worse than buying packaged applications, CIOs told us, was buying applications and then customizing them, for this strategy made it necessary to reinvest in customization with each subsequent upgrade.  CIOs now favor narrower, more-targeted, less-ambitious improvements that mitigate the risk of organizational rejection.  Custom software that closely adheres to a company's existing processes (and therefore requires little or no process change) is popular, and so is software developed for a specific industry.  Meanwhile, integration--a higher priority now than it was during the boom--is generating demand for enterprise application integration (EAI) technologies.  Web services are gaining traction faster than anticipated, especially in small telecom and other companies at the forefront of IT innovation.  Of the CIOs we interviewed, 8 percent said that Web services were their primary integration strategy.  Despite these inroads, most companies are still at the experimental stage with this technology, which demands advanced skills and a high degree of commitment from the IT organization.  Others are choosing a different path:  Roughly half of the CIOs we spoke with have been (or are thinking about) investing in integration broker software, often combined with Web services.  Adoption is strongest among telecommunications and financial-services companies, whose technical complexity makes the software especially attractive.  The third-party services market could feel the pinch, however.  Many companies, spurred by lower IT salaries after the economic slowdown, hired talent and brought IT development in-house.  These new hires often support and develop the more-customized applications that today's IT budgets favor.  But this move could boomerang on companies in the future:  The absence of vendor support could reduce economies of scale and push up costs.  Offshoring in less-expensive labor markets could, of course, offset them."
ADDENDUM: Seeing Beyond "Traditional" Market Research ...
I've already received a few messages regarding my "Seeing Beyond" posting.
One of the questions was very simple to answer.  The question:  Can you name a few ISVs in China which could develop a hosted version of their packaged software?  Certainly.  Simple answer:  Bamboo, KingdeeUFSoft (all three are in the ERP space).
A reader also asked me about Fisher-Pry, having heard of this technique but not really familiar with it.  In simple terms, Fisher-Pry functions best as a substitution model.  I'm not thrilled about using it to predict end of life and market size issues per seWhere I find it useful -- EXTREMELY USEFUL -- is in determining when a NEW technology is likely to EMERGE.  I then put on my Geoffrey Moore glasses to look at the technology from a chasm crossing perspective.  And, if I'm really interested, I'll put on my Ed Roberts and Gordon Bell glasses -- and will evaluate the technology using other techniques as well.  But Fisher-Pry itself is extremely simple to use and a Geoffrey Moore analysis is also a no-brainer.  (Ed Roberts' -- and I'm the unofficial president of the Ed Roberts fan club -- various approaches to evaluating new markets and technologies requires me to fire a lot more neurons than Moore's approach.)  To me, Fisher-Pry is all about inflection points and EMERGING marketsTo see an application of Fisher-Pry, read an A.T. Kearney report on wireless futures at (and it's an excellent report, too).  See also a recent evaluation of the remote sensing market at .  For a brief review of Fisher-Pry and a couple of related techniques for technology trend analysis, see .
Finally, another reader questioned whether MIT's Innovation Futures market was doomed to focus on short(er)-term "bets."  My answer is that MIT may need to repackage Innovation Futures for addressing long(er)-term issues.  Many of us in America can remember playing the stock market in one of our classes.  For me, it was in my eighth grade government class.  We had to pick stocks and trade them through the course of the year.  Unfortunately, the very nature of this learning experience put a premium on trading versus investing.  In other words, picking stocks which might be solid over a three-plus year time horizon simply wouldn't work; it was much better to "gamble" on high Beta (i.e., higher volatility) issues.  Innovation Futures suffers from the same "need" to determine winners and losers on a relatively timely basis.  Probably time horizons of three or more years won't suffice, at least not from a "gamblers" perspective (sans venture capitalists).
I'd like to see their system changed to allow different types of "players" and "traders," namely the crop I had suggested in my last posting, but also another class of "all others."  Think of this as an experiment in social computing among technophiles, not online gambling.  In some ways, it could reveal the type of knowledge that is found in the blogosphere.
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc.
Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China (current blog postings optimized for MSIE6.x) (access to blog content archives in China) (current blog postings for viewing in other browsers and for access to blog content archives in the US & ROW)

          [commentary] Seeing Beyond "Traditional" Market Research + A Golden Opportunity for China's ISVs        
Sunday, August 8, 2004
Dateline: China
More general commentary than news commentary per se; let's dig in ...
Seeing Beyond "Traditional" Market Research
We're all familiar ad nauseum with market forecasts by firms such as Gartner, Forrester, IDC and even i-bankers (albeit i-bankers tend to have a shorter time horizon).  I've always been a bit suspect of IT market forecasts and was delighted that the META Group (where I was VP, Electronic Business Strategies) focused on qualitative and consultative approaches to serving our end-user and vendor clients.  We were more like a SWAT team version of McKinsey:  Get in, get it done, get out, move on.  The Kensington Group, an IT advisory services industry watchdog firm, has found that most forecasts are simply dead wrong.  Frankly, it's hard to blame the IT advisory services:  Forecasting is tough stuff!!  Some of the firms claim that they are not producing forecasts, but are producing projections.  Call it what you will:  It's a forecast -- and it's usually wrong.  (In defense of the IT advisory services, often the commentary which accompanies a forecast is quite useful.  The forecast may be wrong, but often other issues are adequately -- and usefully -- addressed.)
I've been a long-time proponent of more "advanced" forecasting techniques ranging from Delphi (pioneered by the RAND Corporation) to cellular automata to Lotka-Volterra (which in a plain vanilla and watered-down form was the basis of a lead article in an issue of Harvard Business Review) to the good 'ol Fisher-Pry technique -- and just about every flavor of forecasting in between.  Not only do I read Technological Forecasting & Social Change, but I annually read numerous papers published in a few hundred engineering journals and in all ACM, IEEE and SPIE conference proceedings which cite a paper published in TF&SC.  (Think CiteSeer.)  And something relatively new has captured my attention; I want to share this with the readers of this blog/e-newsletter.
MIT's Technology Review has embarked on a interesting project called "Innovation Futures".  (They may not view this as a "project," but it feels like a "project" to me.)  There is a fair amount of history behind the project -- and some may recall the related DARPA fiasco last year -- but I'd like to stick specifically to the MIT project.  To quote Technology Review, "Innovation Futures is a predictive market system that enables users to predict the outcome of events related to emerging technologies."  Think of it as a futures and options market for emerging technologies -- NOT about companies, but about the underlying technologies.  For example, rather than betting for or against Nanosys as a pure-play nano firm, a "player" (think "trader") can bet for or against a definable nano event (e.g., commercial devices produced using molecular self-assembly techniques with combined annual sales of at least $100 million by 2006).  Something "easier" to phantom might be a bet that VoIP will be implemented in some form by at least 75% of G2000 companies by 2007.  Think about this:  Which would give a better indicator of buying intentions, the MIT predictive market system or an IT advisory service forecast?  I'll put my money on Innovation Futures or a clone.  (Frankly, I'd put my money on other technological forecasting techniques.  But if the choice is between the MIT system or Gartner, I'll go with MIT.  And the MIT market is a lot easier to follow than building a nonlinear model.  Leave the tough stuff to Pugh-Roberts; leave the everyday stuff to Innovation Futures.)
At this point, the MIT site doesn't have very much and most of what they have is focused on short(er)-term bets.  But this will be very interesting to watch, especially as broader -- and long(er)-term -- issues are market tested.  What happens when the marketing folks at IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, HP, Accenture, CSC, TCS, Infosys and SAP play?  And when the members of the Global Business Network and their brethren play?  And when IT advisory services analysts play?  And, perhaps most importantly, when CIOs representing companies of all different sizes and from all parts of globe start to play?  Food for thought.  I'll keep this readership posted:  I plan to have several long discussions with the folks running Innovation Futures.  I have many specific ideas to share with them.  For more information, see .
A Golden Opportunity for China's ISVs
In the past I've talked about the opportunities for SIs (systems integrators) in China to work with utility computing vendors in the States.  Well, I've given this a lot of thought and have another idea:  What about ISVs (independent software vendors) in China floating utility computing offerings in the States?  As one example, let's take Free CRM (see ).  The totally free version seems a bit worthless, but gives a smaller firm a chance to play with the idea with very little risk.  However, the "Professional" version is only $10 per month per user, far less than's average of $70 per month per user.  Okay, the "Professional" version of Free CRM (maybe they should call it "Cheap CRM" -- or some B-school grad might name it "Value-Driven CRM) certainly doesn't have the industrial strength features of  However, think a modified Pareto strategy:  A good chuck of the functionality, but at a fraction of the cost.  Add a few zingers like syncing for a PDA/smartphone and/or pages automatically "modified" to fit any form factor (see the current issue of CACM for a great article on this; hot research area and tomorrow's urls listing will include a link to a downloadable paper on this subject) and the offering from the ISV in China becomes incredibly -- perhaps irresistibly -- enticing.  And guess what:  At least in theory the platform could be leveraged for both the market in the States and in China.  (I have some reservations about this, but it's theoretically doable.)  BTW, the Free CRM solutions are NOT hosted, but for in-house initiatives.  However, the same marketing principles apply in this analysis.
Bottom line:  This is truly a golden opportunity for ISVs in ChinaDon't target the F1000; go after SMEs, perhaps the same firms that are normally targeted by the largest ISVs using telemarketing.  (I'm not suggesting a telemarketing strategy; I'm simply segmenting the market in Oracle fashion.)  Think of a U.S. company with less than 500 employees.  The world (well, at least the U.S. part of it) will be your oyster ...
China: A Hotbed for Management Consulting?
An interesting article published on the China Economic Net site (in Chinglish, no less) kind of uses the phrase "management consulting" in a rather broad way.  But when it gets to specifics, it's illuminating.  First, there is the claim that "China has become the management consulting market with the most rapid growth rate."  Not sure if this is really true, but it's certainly one of the more interesting markets. 
For specifics, BearingPoint is cited.  Basically, they're bursting at the seams and projecting growth from about 1,000 today to 6,000 in 2008.  CapGemini went the acquisition route.  The average annual salary of a "good management consultant" is about US$40,000 -- a far cry from what a "good management consultant" makes in the States.  And what do the consultants bring to the table?  Well, this is where the article went from being written in English to Chinglish.  But if I can make out what they mean, it's the ability for management consultants to help with implementation and operational issues.  See .
Bottom line:  SIs in China should look to adding so-called "management consulting" services to their offerings.  I am NOT suggesting a massive move in this direction, but a selected approach.  Also, China's SIs should look to partner with Western management consulting firms already in or planning to enter China.  On the one hand, the BearingPoints of the world make good partners, especially for sub-contracting work.  On the other hand, the BCGs of the world are more complimentary and not directly competitive.  Have a strategy and plan for dealing with both types of management consulting firms, i.e., the strategy firms with a stake in IT (e.g., @McKinsey) and the IT consultancies/SIs with a strategy play (e.g., IGS, Accenture, ...).
What I'm Reading (and Why I Didn't Post as Often as Usual Last Week)
The new proceedings for SIGIR04 are out and I've been sifting through dozens of papers.  Google seems like child's play compared to what is brewing.  However, I have it on good authority that Google is brewing many of the same things.  But so is Microsoft.  In the future, we all benefit.
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc.
Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China (current blog postings optimized for MSIE6.x) (access to blog content archives in China) (current blog postings for viewing in other browsers and for access to blog content archives in the US & ROW) (AvantGo channel)
To automatically subscribe click on .

          [emerging tech] "Web Engineering: The Evolution of New Technologies" & the Ultimate Killer App        
Friday, July 23, 2004
Dateline: China
Reviews of papers from the current (July/August 2004) issue of Computing in Science & Engineering, special issue on "Web Engineering: The Evolution of New Technologies."  To order articles from this issue, first click on .
Earlier this week I posted excerpts from the lead article in the current issue of CiSE.  The article was titled, "Managing XML Data: An Abridged Overview," which is a good, accurate title.  The excerpts contain useful links, too. 
I am going to take a variety of approaches for handling four other papers in this special issue.  However, I first want to provide a link to the introduction to this special issue, i.e., .  The intro itself provides a few useful references and links.
The second article is titled, "Information Retrieval Techniques for Peer-to-Peer Networks."  Fortunately, a full-text PDF copy of this paper can be accessed at either or, although the URL for the former looks a little bit too generic and might change at a moment's notice (also, the two papers are slightly different).  I have 19 bookmarks on my smartphone for this paper, but I guess I can summarize by saying that IR for P2P networks is hard and very different from "traditional" searchThe last statement actually says a lot -- read between the lines.  This paper covers all the usual suspects and also includes Skype. This paper is based upon the lead author's Master's thesis which can be accessed from .  Other papers by the lead author can be accessed at .  This is an important issue which needs to be resolved, especially as collaborative grid computing (CGC) comes to life.
Two figures; 20 references (28 references in the preprint).
Less luck with the paper titled, "Web Searching and Information Retrieval," i.e., I couldn't find a free copy on the Web.  The author's site is woefully outdated, too.  The author does speak favorably of a particular approach to decentralized P2P web crawling called "Apoidea."   A copy of a paper describing Apoidea can be accessed at ; accompanying slides can be accessed at .  As described in the CiSE paper, "Apoidea is both self-managing and uses the resource's geographical proximity to its peers for a better and faster crawl."
Two figures; 21 references.
To request a copy of this article click on: or (I'm not sure which address works; I already have a copy of this article so I don't need to contact the author!).
"Web Mining: Research and Practice" is not available, either, but a lot of excellent info on the senior author's projects related to this paper is available.  First, take a look at the eBiquity research areas at .  Next, you may want to take a look at the abstracts for papers published as part of the eBiquity Group at (current through December 2004 -- it doesn't get more current!!).  Move on to their "Semantic Web" page at .  I then downloaded a PDF copy of their paper titled, "Mining Domain Specific Texts and Glossaries to Evaluate and Enrich Domain Ontologies" (see ).  It looks like a relatively recent paper, newer than the CiSE paper (different authors and different subject matter, though).  The PDF is part of their Semantic Web research, whereas the CiSE paper is more "generic."  Anyway, the "Web Mining" paper is another call for distributed mining techniques, and covers fuzzy clustering as well as content-based recommender systems -- but doesn't forget good 'ol HITS (Hyperlink-Induced Topic Search), the basis for IBM's Clever and Google (to a certain extent).
No figures; 31 references.
To request a copy of this article click on: .
Finally, "Intelligent Agents on the Web: A Review" was very disappointing.  The lead author has impeccable credentials, but his paper is based on yesterday's news:  Old, outdated, buried stuff (like Firefly).  Matter of fact, the only live link I can recall finding was Recursion Software's "Voyager" home page (see ), which states that the "Voyager applications development platform provides the software layer which handles communications across the network for distributed JAVA applications."  (Looks interesting.)
I did a little more digging and surfed over to two stand-by sites (both referenced directly or indirectly in the "Intelligent Agents" paper), namely the MIT Media Lab Software Agents page and Oren Etzioni's (oops, I mean the University of Washington, Department of Computer Science) page.  At the MIT projects page (see ) is a listing of several "commonsense" projects, e.g., "Using Commonsense Reasoning to Enable the Semantic Web" (see ).  A draft White Paper on this is available at , as is a presentation at along with a couple of video demos.  I also downloaded a paper on GOOSE (GOal-Oriented Search Engine) at .  At UWash I went to their XML data management page (see ) and then grabbed two papers:  One on "Probabilistic Methods For Querying Global Information Systems" dated 14 July 2004 (see ) and another titled, "Learning Text Patterns for Web Information Extraction and Assessment" dated May 2004 (see ).  (To download other unrestricted reports, go to .)  Frankly, I need a bit of time to digest the two recently published UWash papers.
As the chair of the Internet and Web applications session of the First International Conference on Autonomous Agents (1996), I have a soft spot for agent-oriented everything (especially Web apps).  I remember an old saying from IJCAI (International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence) in the mid-70's:  Artificial intelligence is better than none.  (I probably still have a button with this saying somewhere.)  I'm keeping the faith, sans the hype and more toward the realities of software agents.  BTW, this CiSE paper isn't bad if you don't have any background in this space.  It covers the basics, such as ACLs, but with an "updated" perspective.
No figures; 27 references.
To request a copy of this article click on: .
The Ultimate Killer App
BTW, the "Ultimate Killer App" is attached and in some browsers it will automatically download.  (See the bottom of this message.)  You have to admit, this really is the ultimate killer app!!
I've never sent an attachment this way simultaneously to both my e-newsletter and blogs (and blog variants).  Just in case the attachment isn't included, I've uploaded it to the "Photos" section of the e-newsletter (see .)
>> Note to AlwaysOn readers: You'll need to go to the e-newsletter ( ) in order to see the "Ultimate Killer App."  You can try the blogs, but no guarantees.
Tidbits on Enterprise Software
.NET wins converts.  For the VARBusiness story see .  Evans Data reports that .NET usage showed a sharp YoY increase in adoption with 52% saying they use .NET and 68% saying they plan to deploy .NET apps by 2005.  In May, Forrester reported that 56% of developers consider .NET their primary development environment contrasted with 44% for J2EE.  (It must have been a binary choice!)  VARBusiness found in a May survey that 53% have already deployed a .NET app and 66% plan to do so within the next 12 months.  In the VARBusiness survey, the most important reasons for going with .NET were ease of use and quicker time to market.  A developer goes on to state that .NET development time is to Java what Java is to C++.  (Wow, what a claim!)
Python and Perl beat Java?  (See for the PDF file.)  Actually, an indirect "attack" against all "mainstream" programming languages, notably Java, C and C++.  The idea is that the "mainstream" languages are ill-suited for many distributed computing and integration apps.  Gives a "thumbs up" to Python, Perl and PHP, with a peek at PEAK -- the Python Enterprise Application Kit.  (Sorry for the pun.)  PEAK's developers claim future superiority over J2EE.  They also knock Java for not being suited to rapid application development.  PEAK's developers believe a Python-based approach to component-based apps will result in systems that are simpler, faster and easier to install, manage and maintain than variants in J2EE.  PEAK, however, is still immature.
Grid computing takes off.  Another survey from Evans Data (see ).  37% of database developers are implementing or planning to implement a grid computing architecture.  In related data, 34% of companies are focusing their database development work on BI (business intelligence) platforms.  See also Oracle's spin on this at .
The spoils of ROI.  From IDC's Group VP, Solutions Research, there are several issues which must be addressed in order to maximize IT ROI.  (See .)  Four of the key issues are:
  • Should the IT agenda include investment in outsourcing technologies or services?
  • Does the future of the business include operations in, or electronic trade with, additional countries - China, for example?
  • Are the services of an outside provider being considered to help in managing proliferating applications or complex "interenterprise" business relationships?
  • What role will utility computing play in the future of IT?
(All items in bold are my emphasis.)  The article goes on to discuss various ways of evaluating ROI, including one of my favorite ways, ROA (real options analysis). 
TTFN.  Have a GREAT weekend!
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc.
Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China
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          [emerging tech] "Managing XML Data" (Web Engineering: The Evolution of New Technologies)        
Monday, July 19, 2004
Dateline: China
Excerpts from the current issue of Computing in Science & Engineering, special issue on "Web Engineering: The Evolution of New Technologies."  To order this article, click on .  (Note: Formatting has been changed from the original article; however, ordering is consistent.)
XML's flexibility makes it a natural format for both exchanging and integrating data from diverse data sources.  In this survey, the authors give an overview of issues in managing XML data, discuss existing solutions, and outline the current technology's open problems and limitations.

A diverse set of factors has fueled the explosion of interest in XML ( ): XML's self-describing nature makes it more amenable for use in loosely coupled data-exchange systems, and the flexible semistructured data model behind it makes it natural as a format for integrating data from various sources.

But much of its success stems from the existence of standard languages for each aspect of XML processing and the rapid emergence of tools for manipulating XML.  Popular tools include parsers such as Xerces ( ), query processors such as Galax ( ), and transformation tools such as Xalan ( ).  The development of this standards framework has made XML dialects powerful vehicles for standardization in communities that exchange data.

In this article, we discuss the main problems involved in managing XML data.  Our objective is to clarify potential issues that must be considered when building XML-based applications---in particular, XML solutions' benefits as well as possible pitfalls.  Our intent is not to give an exhaustive review of XML data-management (XDM) literature, XML standards, or a detailed study of commercial products.  Instead, we aim to provide an overview of a representative subset to illustrate how some XDM problems are addressed. 

Because data typically is stored in non-XML database systems, applications must publish data in XML for exchange purposes.  When a target application receives XML data, it can remap and store it in internal data structures or a target database system.  Applications can also access an XML document either through APIs such as the Document Object Model (DOM; ) or query languages.  The applications can directly access the document in native format or, with conversion, from a network stream or non-XML database format.

In contrast with relational database management systems (RDBMSs) that had a clear initial motivation in supporting online transaction processing (OLTP) scenarios, XML applications' requirements vary widely.  Applications must deal with several different kinds of queries (structured and keyword-based) in different scenarios (with or without transaction support, over stored or streaming data), as well as data with varying characteristics (ordered and unordered, with or without a schema).

Commercial database vendors have also shown significant interest in XDM---support for XML data is present in most RDBMSs.  Examples include IBM's DB2 XML Extender ( ), Microsoft's support for XML ( ), and Oracle's XML DB ( ).

In XML, common querying tasks include filtering and selecting values, merging and integrating values from multiple documents, and transforming XML documents.  While XML has enabled the creation of standard data formats within industries and communities, adoption of these standards has led to an enormous and immediate problem of exporting data available in legacy formats to meet newly created standard schemata.  Several publishing languages have been proposed to specify XML views over the legacy data---that is, how to map legacy data (such as tables) into a predefined XML format.

In this section, we discuss limitations of existing solutions as well as some open problems.  Our discussion is biased toward problems we have encountered in trying to create effective and scalable XDM solutions; it is by no means exhaustive.

Parsing and validating a document against an XML Schema or DTD are CPU-intensive tasks that can be a major bottleneck in XML management.  A recent study of XML parsing and validation performance indicates that response times and transaction rates over XML data cannot be achieved without significant improvements in XML parsing technology.  It suggests enhancements such as using parallel processing techniques and preparsed binary XML formats as well as better support for incremental parsing and validation.

By using XML-specific compression techniques, tools such as XMill compare favorably against several generic compressors.  Compression techniques have also been proposed that support direct querying over the compressed data, which besides saving space, also improve query processing times.

The ability to support updates is becoming increasingly important as XML evolves into a universal data representation format.  Although proposals for defining and implementing updates have emerged, a standard has yet to be defined for an update language.

Three figures & sample code; 23 references.

To request a copy of this article click on: .

David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc.
Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China (current blog postings optimized for MSIE6.x) (access to blog content archives in China) (current blog postings for viewing in other browsers and for access to blog content archives in the US & ROW) (AvantGo channel)
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          [humor] The Mind of an American Programmer (courtesy of Sun Microsystems)        
Monday, July 19, 2004
Dateline: China
Go to: .  A wee bit off topic, but a great perspective on the thoughts of an American programmer ... I mean, "developer."  This is the funniest thing I've seen in a while; it accurately captures life in Silicon Valley.  Even better than Dilbert (although yesterday's Dilbert on execs collecting "trophy wives" was pretty good). 
There's audio with the animation, so turn on your speakers and turn up the volume.  Watch out for the jab at IBM Global Services ...
Next:  As promised, the blog posting on "The Evolution of New Technologies," a review of five emerging technologies.
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc.
Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China

          [news] IT Spending Trends        
Tuesday, July 6, 2004
Dateline: China
A quick recap on IT spending trends from three recently published Smith Barney surveys.  The three reports are the May and June editions of their CIO Vendor Preference Survey and the 6 June issue of softwareWEEK.  Tom Berquist, my favorite i-banking analyst, was the lead for all three reports.  I have a backlog of blogs to write, so I'll use as many quotes as possible and add context where necessary.  (I'm mostly extracting from my smartphone bookmarks for these reports.  Warning:  I may have coded the May and June issues incorrectly, but the quotes are correct.)  NOTE:  Highlighted items (e.g., items in bold, like this sentence) are MY emphasis.  Items in red are my commentary.
Starting with the Survey editions, "(t)he strongest areas of spending appear to be software (apps, security, storage, and database) and network equipment/apps (Gigabit Ethernet, WLAN, VPNs)" and regarding software, "larger and more well known vendors continue to dominate the list in each category with vendors such as Microsoft, SAP, IBM, Veritas, Symantec and Computer Associates getting significantly more mentions in each of their groups than the remaining vendors did."  However, the report admits that their sample group might be biased.  Yes, vendors matter -- and so do vendor partnering strategies.  However, I'm a bit skeptical about CA and I don't particular care very much for Veritas or Symantec.  Not my part of the universe.
"Applications again stand out as a clear area of strength."  "Within applications, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Business Intelligence (BI) all showed extremely well ..."  Well, this is the first sign that a recovery may be in the making for SCM.  However, I'd emphasize BI and ERP, followed by CRM; don't count on a lot happening in the SCM space just yet.  Some other key surveys do NOT validate that SCM is in recovery.  "In terms of specific vendors, Microsoft, Symantec, Veritas, SAP, and Adobe were the top beneficiaries of CIOs intentions to increase spending."  The report continues that only SAP showed statistically significant results, both in ERP and SCM.  "Results were more mixed for best-of-breed vendors in this area, suggesting that horizontal applications vendors are having a tough time competing with the large ERP vendors even as vertically-focused vendors continue to have some measure of success on this front."  For the more adventurous SIs in China, SAP presents a lot of opportunities.  Tread carefully, though.  And "Adobe's enterprise strategy appears to be gaining momentum.  Adobe was a clear standout in content management ..."  "Survey results were also positive (though somewhat less so) for other leading content management players, notably Microsoft and IBM."  Another "win" for Microsoft.  Funny that none of the traditionally leading content management players were mentioned.  A take on Linux:  "Linux continues to garner mind share, but large enterprises remain the main adopter.  Interestingly, nearly 83% of our respondents stated that they were not currently moving any applications to Linux.  Of the 17% that said they were moving applications to Linux, only one company under $1.0 billion in revenue was making the transition to Linux confirming our views that Linux is primarily being used by large companies to shift Unix applications to Linux on Intel."
"Among CIOs who indicated a higher level of consulting spend, IBM was the clear winner, followed by Accenture as a distant second.  Unisys was also mentioned as a vendor being considered, but it was a distant third.  However, we note that Unisys being mentioned ahead of a pure-play consultant like BearingPoint (a low number of mentions, which included mentions of decreased spending) or EDS is positive, given that Unisys chooses to focus in 2 specific verticals, including one-public sector-that was not in the survey."  "Over two-thirds of CIOs indicated that they do not use IT outsourcers.  Most of the rest said they were unlikely to change the level of outsourcing spend.  IBM, ACS and CSC were the only vendors explicitly mentioned as likely to get more outsourcing business."  The "two-thirds" figure will likely change in favor of outsourcing.  This trend is fairly clear.  See a BCG report at , although the report takes a relatively broad perspective.
From softwareWEEK, "(t)he CIOs were also very focused on rapid 'time to market' with purchases.  None were interested in starting projects that would take greater than 2 quarters to complete."  "This requirement was not a 'payback' requirement, but rather an implementation time frame requirement.  The CIOs did recognize that payback times could be longer, though the payback times on IT utility spending were much shorter than on applications or emerging area spending."
"In terms of spending, the CIOs all used a similar methodology for making decisions that essentially divides their IT spending into one of three categories: 1) sustained spending on their 'IT utility' (i.e., infrastructure such as network equipment, servers, storage, databases, etc.); 2) new project spending on applications (business intelligence, portals, CRM, etc.); and 3) investment spending on select emerging areas (grid/utility computing, identity management, collaboration, etc.)  It was pretty obvious that the CIOs recognized that business unit managers were more interested in spending on new applications/emerging areas than on the IT utility ..."  "(S)ome of the CIOs were experimenting with grid/utility computing initiatives to try to increase their utilization of storage/servers and reduce the amount of new equipment to be purchased.  In one example, a CIO showed their storage/server utilization around the world and many regions were in the 50% or worse bucket for average utilization.  Their goal was to use grid computing architectures and storage area networks (along with faster communication links) to better share the pool of resources."  Yes, this is it!!  Take this to heart!!  If you think grid and utility computing are Star Trek stuff, think again.
"In terms of new projects, the CIOs mentioned they were spending on business intelligence, portal/self-service applications, CRM, and collaboration.  Collaboration was a heated discussion, with all CIOs commenting that this was a big problem for them and there was no clear solution on the market.  While it wasn't completely clear to the audience what the CIOs were looking for in a collaboration solution, the elements that were described included: more intelligent email, corporate instant messaging, web conferencing, integrated voice over IP with instant messaging (so that a conversation could quickly shift from typing to talking), and collaborative document editing (spreadsheets, presentations, publications, etc.).  Within the business intelligence arena, business activity monitoring was discussed as was building of enterprise data warehouses/data marts.  The portal/self-service applications being built or deployed were primarily for customer and employee self-service (remote access to email, applications, and files was a big deal for all of the companies).  On the CRM front, the discussion from one CIO was around their need to increase revenues and manage channel conflict better."  [I'll be posting to this blog a bit more about collaboration opportunities over the next week.]
"While vendors were not discussed in any detail during the panel, the CIOs did say that they remain open to working with smaller vendors (public and private) as long as they have plenty of relevant references (in their industry, particularly with close competitors) and they offer a compelling value proposition versus larger vendors.  One CIO stated that they get called by 20 startups a week to sell products to them, but most of them cannot articulate the value proposition of their product.  Nonetheless, the CIO does take 5 meetings a month from startups because some of them are working on things that are interesting to the business."
Whew ...  Lots of good materials.  To reiterate, all highlighted items are my emphasis.  Bottom line:  The market is heating up.  Get your ISV relationships in place.  Pick your verticals (see the "Tidbit on Microsoft" which follows).  Pick your apps -- and the apps I like the best are content management and BI, although ERP is looking good, too.  Collaboration can be a major source of revenue if the SI can provide a truly effective solution.
Tidbits on Microsoft
A quick update on some happenings in the Redmond universe.  (See ; the article is titled, "Microsoft focuses on its enterprise-applications business".)  First, app areas that are of particular interest to MS include those for manufacturing and life sciences.  So, how about a MS build-to-their-stack strategy focused on either of these two verticals?  Second, MS is moving beyond purely horizontal offerings to very specific functionality.  Their Encore acquisition is an example of MS moving in this direction.  Finally, new releases of all four of Microsoft's ERP product lines are due for this year.  Not surprisingly, MBS marketing is up 20% from FY04.  Hmmm ... ERP spending intentions are strong and MS is a key player in this space -- with several updated offerings scheduled for release this year.  Another opportunity?
Tidbits on Infosys
Infosys formally enters the IT strategy consulting biz.  (See .)  Yes, it was inevitable.  In April Infosys Consulting, Inc. was formed and, "(i)t's no secret that the winning model will be high-end business consulting combined with high-quality, low-cost technology delivery done offshore," according to Stephen Pratt, the head of Infosys' consulting unit.  The Infosys Consulting unit now has 150 employees in the States and plans to expand to 500 within three years.  Note to SIs in China:  You need more -- a lot more -- IT strategy types  And you need people in the States (at least on an "as needed" basis) in order to capture -- and serve -- new accounts.
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc.
Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China (current blog postings optimized for MSIE6.x) (access to blog content archives in China) (current blog postings for viewing in other browsers and for access to blog content archives in the US & ROW) (AvantGo channel)
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          SMRs “back on the agenda next year”, says new report by Nuclear Energy Insider        

Following another year of turbulence a casual observer of the nuclear industry may be forgiven for concluding that Small Modular Reactor (SMR) development has stalled, but a new report suggests that, despite the negative headlines, a new sense of clarity and purpose is emerging around the technology’s commercialization, and concludes that SMRs look set to be back on the agenda next year.

(PRWeb February 27, 2015)

Read the full story at

          Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - July 2012        
I think I'm in denial about this month's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Because if it's REALLY July 15th, then it's really less than 3 weeks until my wedding day... and I feel like there's so much to be done between now and then!

But I like to keep the GBBD records each month for my own knowledge, so here's a quickie post to show what's in bloom in my yard:

A new celosia. It's too hard to resist a full, lush, 6 inch annual like this, especially when it's on clearance for $2!

One of the dahlias I hope to use in the girls' bouquets... if it's still in bloom in a few weeks!
(Note: that's my wrist on the left. Just to give you an idea of how huge this beauty is.)

Not a great photo, but I'm really excited about the first blooms on my passalong plumeria!

Red snapdragons... which are one of the flowers I used on my wedding invitation design.

This lantana has been growing strangely. Instead of branching up and out, it's spreading and staying low--almost as low as the silver dichondra! At least it's blooming...

I believe that when I was bragging about my accidentally overwintered bay laurel this spring, I mentioned being surprised that 'Black and Blue' salvia had disappeared. Well... sort of. Really, it was just hiding under the ever-encroaching oakleaf hydrangea. I cut the hydrangea back a little bit, and B&B has responded accordingly!

THREE emerging bloom stalks this year on my pineapple lily!!!
I also have three bridesmaids bouquets to make.  Coincidence?  Hmm...

Other things that are in bloom - July 2012

Annuals: 'Bonfire' begonia, 'Vista Burgundy' salvia, unnamed coral/orange portulaca, 2 different red New Guinea impatiens, red begonias, 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth, ruby orach, red pennisetum, orange snapdragons, verbena bonariensis, stephanotis, 'Black and Blue' salvia gauranitica

(Holy RED, Batman! I didn't realize I had planted so much hot-colored stuff this year!)

Perennials & Shrubs:  Blue globe thistle, 'Caradonna' salvia, the deep wine yarrow whose name I can never remember, the red sedums, blue shrub clematis, Russian sage, 'Purple Dragon' lamium, catmint, 'Albury Purple' St John's wort, bronze fennel, 'Grosso' lavender

Herbs and Veggies:  All of the tomatoes, 'African Blue' basil, Thai basil, lemon verbena, all of the peppers.  Noticeably absent:  No flowers yet at all on my tomatillo!

As always... For more of what's in bloom around the world, check out Carol's July Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post over at May Dreams Gardens.  :-)

          On Erosion        
Aug. 06, 2011

The Grand Canyon is a perfect example of erosion, Moonchild. Many people think of erosion as a bad thing - as the wearing away and disintegration of something. But one look at the spectacular Grand Canyon, and you can see how beautiful erosion can be. You have lost something. The real you - the unique person at your core - is slowly emerging. Painful lessons over the years, and challenges that brought out your true nature had to happen for you to transform yourself. Don't regret what was lost in the process. Celebrate what was left behind.

Copyright (c) The Daily Horoscope by Comitic

Every so often, the Universe smiles upon me delivering just what my spirit orders, and sometimes not, and then there's always the other kind of spirits! Winks. Recently, with the dissolution of my 20 year marriage, I have been coming to grips with a heightened level of humility; I've been pruned. I've undergone- in the truest sense- a process of emotional, physical and spiritual erosion. I am by no means the person I was just eight (Wow, eight already?!) months ago.

I've toggled in my heart and mind between what it means to be free as I've struggled to keep the contents of my stomach in place whilst facing my deepest fears of loss and abandonment. I've endured pain that, if physical, surely, my mind would've shut down to spare my body's suffering. And, I've emerged raw; raw with emotion, unscathed in my ability to love and be loved. There's been an unclouding of my intuition; things are clearer today than they've ever been. I've recognized, that with "nothing" I have, and I am enough. I've become one with my core existence.

Peace and recognizance

          Thing #1: Read This Blog and Find Out About This Program        
Welcome to Spring Branch ISD, Library Information Services Library2Play program & blog.

Library2Play is an online learning program that encourages School Librarians and other educators to learn more about emerging technologies on the web that are changing the way people, society, and Libraries access information and communicate with each other. And changing options for students to create new products for assignments.

The Library2Play Team modified The Learning 2.0 program designed by Helene Blowers, Technology Director, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County and is loosely based upon Stephen Abram's article, 43 Things I (or You) might want to do this year (Information Outlook - February 2006) and the website 43 Things. We also drew heavily from the Learning 2.0 Through Play.

The Library2Play program contains direct links and offers suggestions for ways to incorporate these tools into your classroom and teacher collaborations. We offer ideas to "jump start" your thinking and hope you will share your ideas as you learn how to use web 2.0 tools. The design of this online program was completely built on Web 2.0 technologies that are freely available on the Internet. These sites include: Blogger, FlickrCC, TeacherTube, PBWorks & Google Reader, and others.

Over the course of the next several weeks, this website will highlight "23 Things" and discovery exercises to help you become familiar with blogging, RSS feeds, tagging, wikis, podcasting, online applications, video and image hosting sites, and more.

To familiarize yourself with this project, be sure to read the Other Information page. This page should answer most of your questions about this program. If not, then please add your question to any page as a comment.

So fasten your seat belts, grab your mouse and get ready for a discovery adventure… and remember, it's OK to play in school and have fun!
          Thing #9: Useful Library-Related Blogs and News Feeds        
Now that you have an RSS reader (your Google Reader or Bloglines account), you can begin adding other blog feeds that interest you. Technorati, a blog tracking site, reports that they are currently tracking 133 million blogs. Out of the millions of blogs available, how do you find the ones that are of most value to you? There are several resources that you can use.

First, read this post from The Cool Cat Teacher blog for some great suggestions on how to select good RSS feeds: How to Create Your Circle of the Wise.
Next, explore some other options for locating appropriate RSS feeds.

Discovery Resources:
When visiting your favorite websites -- look for RSS feed icons (like this ) that indicate the website provides it. Often a feed icon will be displayed somewhere in the navigation bar of the site.

Google Blog Search - See what appears when you search "Library2Play" or "Spring Branch ISD".

Use Blogline's Search tool - Bloglines recently expanded search tool lets you search for news feeds in addition to posts, citations and the web. Use the Search for Feeds option to locate RSS feeds you might be interested in.

Consider Edublogs' award winners. Each of the winners and the other nominees in each catagory have blogrolls containing useful, helpful and often highly respected representative blogs that could meet your need. Click a catagory and go see what is there!

Other Search tools that can help you find feeds:

School Library Blogs on Suprglu - this site offers a selection of postings from lots of different blogs by School Librarians. Click on the link under each post to visit the actual blog. - This search tool allows you to locate recent newsfeed items based upon keyword or phrase searching. The tool focuses specifically on news and media outlet RSS feeds for information, not weblogs. - Syndic8 is an open directory of RSS feeds that contains thousands of RSS feeds that users have submitted.

Technorati - Technorati is a popular blog finding tool that lets you search for blogs. Since RSS feeds are inherent to all blogging tools, Technorati Blog Search can help you find RSS feeds for topic specific blogs you may be interested in. Additonal Resource: Technorati Tutorial on finding and adding your blog.

Atomic Learning has lots of video clips on RSS feeds. Type "feeds" into the search box for the basics. If you want more, type "RSS" into the search box. (requires SBISD password info.)

Discovery Exercise:

Explore some of the search tools noted above that can help you locate some RSS feeds.

Add any pertinent feeds to your RSS reader.

Create a blog post about your experience that answers these questions:

  • Which Search tool was the easiest for you?

  • Which was more confusing?

  • What kind of useful feeds did you find in your travels? Or what kind of unusual ones did you find?

EXTRA STUFF -- Feed icon information:

In February of 2006, the adoption of a standard feed icon among websites and browsers finally began to assist in stopping the madness and confusion caused by so many variations. So far this icon has been adopted by many websites and browsers, including Opera and FireFox, where it displays in the address bar:

Internet Explorer 7 has something like this as well. For more information about this emerging new standard, see

          Aptiv Solutions to Present Emerging Adaptive Design Strategies and Operational Challenges at ACI Smart Trials 2014 Conference        

Innovative Adaptive Designs Increase Trial Flexibility and Efficiency, Generating Significant Ethical and Economic Advantages

(PRWeb April 03, 2014)

Read the full story at

          Legal Seminar        
Legal Seminar

Hosted by Charter School Law Institute 


Date: Friday, October 27

Location: DPPA Event Center, 2105 Decatur Street, Denver

Description: Charter School Law Institute will be running a one-day in-depth legal seminar on emerging federal and state civil rights issues. Through a combination of lectures and small-group breakout sessions led by local and national experienced legal counsel, they will:  examine how to navigate immigration issues facing students and schools; learn how the US Supreme Court is raising expectations for public schools serving special education students; discuss how to prevent race discrimination, including unintentional and unconscious bias; review state and federal laws regarding LGBT students; and address issues specific to school discipline, bullying, harassment and sexual violence.  Together, they will tackle the most cutting edge legal questions facing charter schools across the country. As an attendee, you will leave with concrete, practical strategies and tips on how to ensure you are in compliance of all related legal requirements and effectively serving all students.
Registration: Coming soon.

          Volatility Precedes Price        
The dollar is our currency but it's your problem. -U.S. Treasury Secretary John Connally 1971 If the dollar is the world reserve currency it is fair to say that what happens in the U.S. does not stay in the U.S. Within the network of global financial markets more interconnected than ever Bernanke's experiment with money may have consequences that are unforeseen and unintended that will show up elsewhere first. Violent disintermediation in U.S. markets is likely in the wake of consequences in the emerging markets due to nature of the leverage in U.S. markets presently. Alhambra Investment Partners said last ...
          All about the Ensemble Singing Intensive with Emily Eagen        

Emily EagenEmily Eagen talks about singing ealry chamber music and starting the new Ensemble Singing Intensive for the 2011 Amherst Early Music Festival.

Spurred on by the ever-industrious Loren Ludwig, we've managed to make a long-held dream a reality: an intensive ensemble singing workshop at Amherst Early Music. This is truly going to be an exciting summer, with an incredibly faculty line up and an eager crop of partcipants. As a singer who finds myself equally occupied with solo and ensemble singing in my daily life (occupied? more like, addicted!), I  have long hoped that we could build a program at AEM that allows singers to come and experience the joys of one-on-a-part singing in an intensive program. And how better to do this than in a beautiful summer location, surrounded by some of the best musicians in the field, with nothing more to do than make ensemble music with other singers 24/7?

This new program, called ESI, seems like a natural outgrowth of the music-making that is already happening at Amherst Early Music. Those of us on staff at Amherst have often found ourselves up to our ears (pun intended) in vocal polyphony,  as we learn works for the week's lecture or for the faculty concerts. Additionally, the festival participants who pass by the concert hall before the evening's concerts usually stop by and sing a few madrigals outside, with a circle of enthusiastic singers that usually grows in numbers throughout the week. Also, we singers hear tell of small gatherings here and there of recorder, shawm, and viol players sneaking off to gather in lounges and read through facsimiles late at night, and wonder why we can't get in on the fun. In all these ways, ensemble singing is bubbling beneath the surface of Amherst Early Music. So. ..why not make it official? With ESI, we hope that a new space will open up for high-level amateur or emerging professional singers from around the country (heck, the world!) to come and have a great time connecting as musicians, sharpening their chops, and joining in on all the fun that is Amherst Early Music.

          Do the Math on Your Mobile Apps        
One of my favorite sources of interesting reading material these days is Hacker News (follow them at @newsycombinator), and this week they pointed me to a piece from Derek Sivers that applies to many of the emerging digital and mobile markets for media: He kept saying, "If only one percent of the people reading this magazine buy my CD......
          In Egypt, is the only way forward out of the question?        
It was clear that this would be no ordinary Friday (on July 5), given all the recent events the past week in Egypt. The holy Muslim day has served, for all sides, as a critical time to mobilize demonstrations. Yesterday was no different. Masses of supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, gathered outside the Rabaa al-Adawiyah Mosque in Nasr City, an area in Cairo just several kilometres from the famed Tahrir Square. Their chants grew louder throughout the day, with a series of speeches by leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, culminating in the fiery (oral) missive by the Supreme Guide of the movement, Mohammed Badie. It was a day of "rejection," called for by supporters of Morsi, and the rejection was vociferous and real. That rejection and its swell of supporters, later in the evening, marched down the October 6 Bridge towards Tahrir Square. Already earlier in the day, unarmed demonstrators from the pro-Morsi camp had been shot dead (as seen in this graphic video here) when coming too close to military positions. By nightfall, the two camps - the pro-Tamarod (or rebellion) groups in Tahrir & the pro-Morsi demonstrators - were in full-fledged street battles, not just in Cairo but in Alexandria and other cities as well, leaving 30 people dead.

If there's a lesson (for post-revolutionary contexts) to be taken from the past week  it is that 'impatience' is not a virtue. The military takeover of the Egyptian government - albeit fuelled by a legitimate and popular uprising - did not resolve anything but it definitely made things worse. Instead of hitting the reset button, Friday's clashes have shown that Pandora's Box is now wide open. In the midst of growing uncertainty, there would appear to be only one way forward and that is the immediate return to democratic legitimacy, whether through the re-running of a presidential election or a referendum on Mohammad Morsi. Everything else is a red herring, including discussion on whether what transpired in the last few days was a military coup.

There is no question that the movement to oust President Morsi was a popular uprising. Driven by deep frustration from political overreach (by Morsi) starting in November 2012 and exacerbated by worsening living conditions, millions of people joined the Tamarod movement, culminating in the Tahrir protests that coincided with Morsi's one year mark in office (more on this is available in a previous post). Yet, two things should have been clear: 1) Removing an elected President, no matter how unpopular, is not easy; and 2) There was a popular base that still supported President Morsi. On Friday, the latter disenfranchised group, perhaps the same that saw "their" democratically elected parliament invalidated back in September 2012 by the courts, now saw "their" democratically elected President overthrown. Add to that, the Constitution that was passed with 64% support of the vote was essentially also declared null and void by the armed forces, to be re-drafted or amended by a select committee.

To believe that an 85 year old movement - the Muslim Brotherhood - flanked by its supporters and with the winds of at least electoral legitimacy in their sails, would take these developments lying down, would have been naive. And if the face of this change for all intents and purposes was the very armed forces that have essentially dominated Egypt since 1952, than certainly it would raise the spectre of forceful if not violent resistance. Thus, what has unfolded so far in Egypt on Friday is completely expected and moreover, is a reaction that will only deepen and grow. Furthermore, there is an absence of a 'neutral' authority, as the military appears to have chosen one side in this clash of camps, especially as it is arresting leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in the interim.

And so we arrive at the inevitable question: How bad can it really get? Despite the fact that the Brotherhood was ruling 'non-inclusively' and without an effective plan for the government, there is no basis to argue that what has replaced it is anymore inclusive (in fact likely the opposite) and has any clearer plan or set of policies for the country. The country is divided and there is no broader political or democratic legitimacy for the military transition, beyond the assumption that it represented the popular will; but can the latter be proved? We hear numbers such as 33 million bandied about but not only are these figures not based on any tangible scientific analysis (see Wired for how to measure people in Tahrir Square) but they are assuredly less 'legitimate' than an actual vote.

With both sides claiming popular support and the cringe-inducing word (thanks to Morsi's speech), 'legitimacy, the clashes that began Friday will not end and if anything, they will escalate (or become something even more dangerous if driven underground). There are 93 million people in Egypt, and each confrontation will lead to more deaths, more 'martyrs', and more outraged friends, supporters, and families. Each week that passes will only deepen the divide and the division, ultimately rooting out the basis for any coexistence in the near-term. Civil disobedience, will turn into civil strife, and civil strife could turn into, yes, civil war (a distant but real possibility). There are multiple videos emerging of salafi-jihadi style groups seeking to exploit this moment, and resort to outright violence against the governing authorities. While naysayers may be right that Egypt will not turn into Syria tomorrow, each day that passes without resolution, the disintegration of the state becomes an evermore possible scenario. And if that happens, the consequences will be unimaginable.

There then appears to be only one way forward and that is the immediate (or urgent) return to a democratic process. While there are some who have cheerleaded the military takeover and the appointment of Adly Mansour, not only does this not have broad-based (mind universal) support within Egypt, but the continuation of this process in its current form, will only destabilize the country further. Given that the unquestioned return of Mohammed Morsi to the presidency would also only inflame tensions within the previous opposition, the only way forward is to hold a referendum with the following question:

1) Do you support Mohammed Morsi finishing his full-term as President of Egypt?

It is a direct question on the mood in Egypt, and the answer given, while not quelling all unrest, would provide the legitimacy to any transitional period that would follow (that is if the people answered no). With this referendum in tow, the country could move towards new presidential elections under a carefully managed process or continue with Morsi's presidency, with guarantees that he would govern much more inclusively (if the answer is yes). Yet, who will press for this type of solution, both internally and externally? On an international level, thus far, the U.S. has appeared "aloof", the Europeans "ineffective," and the Arab states mostly partisan. And while the African Union, which has dealt with such situations previously and has come out strongly on the current situation, likely has less influence in Egypt. Thus the reality should dawn on all Egyptians and all political forces within the country that there will be no basis for compromise or true salvation, if it does not emanate from within Egypt itself.

There will be many analyses made in the coming days around definitions and comparisons. Yet, fundamentally, Egypt is not Iran in 1980 or Algeria in 1991 or Turkey in 1997. It is Egypt in 2013, as hollow as that sounds - but that is the truth through which everything flows. And any resolution that emerges, must come from within the forces of Egypt in 2013. With Nelson Mandela, appearing to be on his deathbed (and our prayers with him), it is worth heeding, in closing, some of his words of wisdom, in this crisis:

"If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner."

          Why Dubai is the best (biggest, tallest, and coolest) candidate for Expo 2020        
In 1968 when then ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum (father of the current ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid) and the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, agreed to form a federation of what were then then The Trucial States, a British protectorate, hardly anyone could have envisioned what the United Arab Emirates would have become today, nearly 45 years after that historic meeting [eventually seven of the nine 'sheikhdoms' joined the union]. For all intents and purposes, at inception in 1971, the United Arab Emirates could be described as a desolate backwater, despite a strong history of local traditions, and legacy as a trading post. Today, Dubai and the UAE bring forth images of economic strength and progress in an increasingly volatile and definitively confused region. Dubai's development, specifically, is a once-in-a-generation global phenomenon, and the city is unique like no other. As the bid committee for Expo 2020 look to decide on the host city for the world event seven years from now, there really is no other choice but Dubai - and let me tell you why.

1. The other candidate cities are Izmir, Sao Paulo, Yekaterinburg, and Ayutthaya...

There is nothing wrong with Izmir, Sao Paulo, Yekaterinburg, and Ayutthaya but do they really measure up to Dubai? Now before anyone gets in a tizzy or their 'socks' in a twist, they are all great cities! Izmir is Turkey's third-largest city and home to a great literary tradition.  Sao Paulo is one of the five largest metropolitan areas on the planet. Yekaterinburg (in Russia), well it's Yekaterinburg and they have a monument to Michael Jackson. And Ayutthaya was the historical capital of the Kingdom of Siam. Let's just say the final three are likely Izmir, Sao Paulo and Dubai. Izmir is certainly a great city but does not have the global resonance of Dubai. And Sao Paulo...well Brazil has both the Olympics (2016) and the World Cup (2014); are you telling me that they really need the pesky Expo 2020 as well!?

2. The Expo needs a city of significance to make the event significant

Do you remember where the last Expo was held (or even that there is an Expo!)? You could be forgiven for not recalling that it was Yeosu, South Korea. Where was the one in 2010? That's right Shanghai. The Expo 2010 attracted a staggering 73 million visitors and was the most visited exhibition of its kind and brought together 189 different expositions from around the world. While in 2015 the Expo will be held in Milan and in 2017 in Astana (Kazakhstan) it is likely that it would take the Expo 2020 in Dubai to bring the event back to the international spotlight (the governing body regards the Expos held every 5 years to be 'World' Expos). In fact, it normally requires an emerging or new city of a transformative nature to inspire the type of attention that Shanghai in 2010 did (or Osaka in 1970 etc).

3. The entire ethos of Dubai is synonymous with what Expo 2020 would be about

Dubai is a global city by its very nature. It is home to over 2 million residents - and growing - from all over the world and from every socio-economic background, representing over 200 nationalities. The city is at once a home to and meeting-ground for people from the the Middle East, Subcontinent, Central Asia, Africa (especially East Africa) and Europe, North America, and Australia. There are even an estimated 180,000 Chinese residents in Dubai.  With the tourist profile of the city, Dubai has in fact become the 8th most visited city in the world (in 2012). It's cultural diversity is on constant display with a burgeoning arts scene (that is driven at the grassroots level), international film festivals, culinary celebrations, and so much more that you might as well just visit Timeout magazine.

4. Dubai inspires the imagination as the Expo event is meant to do

The landmark World Expo (or Great Exhibition) was organized under the auspices of Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, all the way back in 1851, in Hyde Park. It was an inspiring event that showcased the burgeoning city of London - the world's city at the time - and the promise of a future driven by technology and industrialization.  In a region too full of dark pessimism and cynicism, Dubai represents optimism and opportunity. And it will represent that even more so in 2020, as the city, albeit far along the way, is only at the beginning of its journey in my view of what it will become. Think about it. Who would have said twenty years ago that the world's tallest building would be built in the (Arabian) Gulf? Who would have said only several years ago after the 9/11 attacks that the world's leading airline would be from an Arab country? Who would have thought that the 3rd largest ports operator in the world, handling over 33 million containers annually, would be from Dubai? Today, when you look at the volatile, unstable, and stagnant Middle East, there is one destination for entrepreneurs and innovators to go to - and that is Dubai.

5. Expo 2020 would drive Dubai and the UAE to improve

Before I even write this sentence, I'm sure several of London's finest are in a huff-and-puff that I have not yet mentioned jailed Islamists or tourists having sex in a taxi Better yet, given the refusal-of-entry for a scholar from LSE this past week, shouldn't I be talking about the closure of the academic environment (I mean I masquerade as an intellectual from time to time as well)? Whether or not I believe in liberal democracy (I do - shock!), is it really a matter of discussion for Expo 2020? Well, in that case, we should reject Izmir's candidacy because of Turkey's campaign against Kurdish militants, Ayutthaya's candidacy because of Thailand's campaign in Malay Pattani, Yekaterinburg's candidacy because of Russia's crackdown on political opposition, and Sao Paulo's candidacy because of Brazil's anti-slum raids. Such nullification would leave no one left to host the event! Now beyond the two issues I mentioned above there are a number of continuing issues of concern in the UAE, allow me to list some of them: labor rights (even though this is improving); integration of stateless residents (i.e. bidoons); and increased confusion around cyber surveillance. Hosting the Expo 2020 would not exacerbate but more than likely shed more light on and ameliorate these challenges. In fact, the event would serve as a target-date for when Dubai and the UAE will be (even more so) on the world stage, and that attention would drive improvements on areas of concern.

There are more reasons than the five I've listed here on why Dubai should be the host for Expo 2020, but I like the number 5 (it's the former consultant in me - I almost went with three). Whether you live here or plan to visit, I look forward to seeing you in Dubai in 2020! Until then:

This is also why I love something like Claire Denis' 35 Rhums, which is nothing if not charitable. So imagine my thrill to meet Stuart Staples of Tindersticks prior to their event at the festival, adding a live score to a sort-of clip-reel of films they have worked on with Mme Denis. Our chat was brief but I can assure that Mr Staples is a gentle and patient man. He talked about a duty, too, he feels to the object at hand, to do right by it by the end of the process. On their first score with Mme Denis, for Nenette et Boni, he said the band had the idea that they would follow in Miles Davis' footsteps by trying to play live to the images, to be real jazz musicians, before they realized it would take time to find apt melodies and write real songs where needed. Now, he says, they get ideas earlier thanks to the script and dailies but it really takes seeing a rough assembly to have the kind of emotional reaction necessary to inspire his/their/that responsibility to the object that can produce such wonders as the delicate, lilting rhymes of the opening image-and-score tandem of 35 Rhums, where the train and its tracks shuffle a bit in time with the accordion. Or the title track from the soundtrack to Trouble Every Day, which was a highlight of the live performance (3) along with the song "Tiny Tears" from that first partnership on Nenette et Boni. Lucky for us, somebody talented shot that part of the show, its finale, and put it on youtube:

It was a low-key event. But it was certainly more about the concert than it was about the visuals (or the interplay between stage and screen) from my vantage. Which is fine, of course, since I feel privileged to live in one of the two U.S. tour stops for the show. And the music is really great, no matter how much I wanted to re-order things or at least open with more of a bang than that (admittedly lovely) shot of Alice Houri floating in the pool near the front of N&B. So I'll quit that tact by saying, Thanks.

Some other things I was grateful to catch on a big screen before departure include: Ben Russell's Trypps #7, which really did start its shorts program with a bang (or a bong, or a gong), as it took me forever to figure out we were looking in a mirror at that lady's face stay placid in the quivering frame; T.Marie's Slave Ship was projected smaller than the rest of the series but it still impressed the hell out of me because it flips the "watching paint dry" quip into something productive, forcing us to see an image not take shape but explore its own variance; The Mill and The Cross by Lech Majewski is somewhat confounding, especially from the 2nd row, but its palate is wide and deep and its ideas, though rooted in the narrative structure of the painting, feel yet more modern in how arrayed (not inter-related) they are, but then maybe Breugel was just ahead of his time (in any case I was too tired to offer a more cogent take); Michelangelo Frammartino’s Le Quattro Volte is by turns cute and brilliant, with far more whimsy than any note could prepare me for, which isn't a bad thing since we should welcome some levity inside a largely wordless observation on cycles of life (it's not Disney, ok, though its like-minded brevity is a blessing) that still exist outside cities; Breillat's The Sleeping Beauty is nowhere near Disney and so full of stuff that I can't say what I think other than I like how she sees a dream life in a similar way to Lynch on a thematic level if nowhere close on a stylistic or formal level; and, finally, that big bad momma of some smoke and a shitload of mirrors, RWF's World on a Wire.

Believe me, I'm sorry to have missed plenty, but at the least I saw this large-scale goof of a thesis on modernity that's so funny and smart it's hard to believe people get daunted by its size. It's the kind of movie all cinephiles will enjoy, if not adore, and the kind they can never sell to non-movie-people they love. The running time is unavoidable in any description one might try to entice with due, in part, to the fact that the film just keeps getting better as it goes along, accruing incidents of insanity designed for maximum punchline effect. The gambit is easy enough, though, and largely ripped off: there's a government-funded project to build a computer world that mimics our own with a series of programmers, each holding the (invisible marionette) strings on fabricated subjects, going mad when they realize the very apocryphal truth of their own reality. Sounds familiar, huh? Well part of the joy in the thing is precisely its lower case, 16mm filmmaking that relies on performance and structure and sound design with very minimal set decoration to get at a sense of a future just past our present (even if the costumes are unmistakably 1973)—as well as a world enveloping itself. I'm astounded this is only the second Fassbinder film I've seen. But that just gives me another autodidact project, among so many, for after Cannes.

The trick is to step out of such impulses, though, when you're in a foreign country (4) (5) and look how I've failed today, spilling so many words. Whatever, I say; I say, my body saw the sun this morning—for a stroll to the market and beyond, for a lunch in the park and for a snack on the patio at my hotel with the owner. So out I go again, hoping for a cheap pizza and some good wine on a sidewalk where I can watch people in clean clothes try their best to act like they don't have a million eyes on them at all times, or actually convince themselves their lover's the only one looking at them—and only them!—in the world.

—Happy Mothers Day, moms

(1) He's an easy Bush stand-in, if I must use that name, and Michelle Williams' character has a line of dialog that only helps cement this link: "I don't know if he's ignorant or just plain evil."

(2) Not to mention the fact that you want to ply press people with clips to quiet at least one chorus of voices ringing in one corner of one ear.

(3) However, the selection of the man-eating scene was, as S.S. promised, shocking. Even when you see that scene in the context of the greater film it's brutal, gross and nigh gratuitous. Here, it rankled more than most and, again, I looked away for the duration, though that didn't spare me the sounds of the horny young dude screaming and choking and bleeding to death.

(4) I'll be in Europe for a while post-Cannes.

(5) That's the trick anywhere, I think, which is part of the point of World on a Wire: you should want to want your own body, you should want to live in it, you should want to move it and slap windows with delight at movement and light.

          'Sanctuary' providing a musical safe haven        
With millions of people worldwide now seeking refuge, a world premiere by the Queensland Chamber Orchestra Camerata in Brisbane tonight is focusing attention on the universal need for a musical safe haven. The haunting piece 'Reza Barati' by emerging Australian composer Brooke Green, is dedicated to the asylum seeker of the same name who died on Manus Island in 2014. It's one of a selection of classical works featured in the Queensland Music Festival event 'Sanctuary'.
          Emergent files paperwork for new immuno-oncology spin-off        

Emergent BioSolutions announced April 15 that it has begun the formal process of separating some of its assets to form a separate entity, which will be known as Aptevo Therapeutics Inc.

Aptevo will specifically focus on immuno-oncology technology, while Emergent will consolidate its focus on public health.

“The filing of the Form 10 Registration Statement is an important milestone in the execution of our plan to create two independent, publicly traded companies with distinct strategic plans, growth strategies, and operational and development priorities,” Emergent President and CEO Daniel Abdun-Nabi said. “This spin-off will allow each entity to establish itself as a pure play company -- Emergent in the public health threats and emerging infectious diseases fields and Aptevo in the immuno-oncology field. We look forward to completing the spin-off to unlock the full value of each business for our stockholders.”

Before the spin-off becomes official, Emergent must get approval for the Form 10 Registration Statement it has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in addition to receiving approval from its board of directors.

          The Galleries at CSU Present “The Curious Case of Color”         

The exhibition explores the physical, perceptual, psychological, and esthetic uses of color

Curious Case of ColorThe Galleries at CSU are pleased to present “The Curious Case of Color,” the feature exhibition of the 2017 spring semester. It explores the physical, perceptual, psychological, and esthetic uses of color in the work of 12 contemporary artists. The exhibit will be held March 10 through April 15 at the Galleries, 1307 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland. In addition, an opening reception including talks by several of the featured artists will be held March 10 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Galleries.

Artists included in the exhibit range from the “Father” of Op Art Julian Stanczak and internationally acclaimed painter Matthew Kolodziej to emerging artists such as Rachel Beamer and Anna Tararova. Some explore the behavior of color on an abstract level, investigating optical phenomena such as simultaneous contrast, chroma, and hue. Others concern themselves with the real world and the ever-shifting, transformative effects of color on society and how we perceive it. Finally, additional artists survey the symbolic significance of certain colors and color combinations, leaving no doubt that colors have meaning beyond straightforward perception.

“One thing this group of works affirms is that color requires some form of structure to be fully understood,” says Robert Thurmer, director of the Galleries at CSU. “Pure color is difficult, perhaps impossible to appreciate without an arrangement of it relative to something else – another color, a boundary, a 3-dimensional form, a pattern, an image, or a temporal sequence. What the artists in this show do so amazingly is present color and all of its contrasts in completely unique but all fascinating arrangements.”

The Galleries at CSU is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12pm to 5pm and Friday and Saturday from 12pm to 7pm. For more information about the spring exhibit and other upcoming shows, visit

          Iflix Video-Streaming Service Secures $133 Million in Funding        
The Malaysian company, which operates mostly in emerging markets in Asia and Africa, drew investment from a group led by the U.S. media firm Hearst.
          Leading With a Different Tack        

While on co-op with a Fortune 500 company in his third year at Northeastern, Gary Dunton, DMSB’78, found himself watching a dispute unfold between two executives in a board meeting that rapidly escalated into an all-out, expletive-filled verbal sparring match. Mouth agape, Dunton was embarrassed by their one-upmanship. He vowed to become a business leader who employed a different tack. “Early on, I learned about the facets of leadership and how to leverage patience, persistence, and honesty,” he says. “That’s a tough package to beat.” Those traits buoyed Dunton in the competitive finance and insurance industries, he says, and helped him rise to executive roles at Aetna, USF&G, and finally MBIA, Inc., where he served as president, CEO, and chairman. Effective leaders inspire others and are passionate ambassadors for their organizations, Dunton says. That’s why he and his wife, Lea Anne, are recognizing the D’Amore-McKim School of Business’s foremost position with a historic gift, endowing the first-ever deanship at Northeastern. Through the Dunton Family Deanship, the couple will provide a permanent flow of resources that the dean can use to empower students, advance faculty, and support new and existing programs. “The business school gave me the credentials and the skills to do well,” says Gary. “We like the direction it’s going in, and we want others to benefit from their experiences as students.” “We’re proud to link our name to Northeastern,” adds Lea Anne. “The university is like family to us.” The Duntons have forged many ties to the university besides the deanship. Gary mentors students and is a member of the DMSB Dean’s Executive Council and Northeastern’s corporation, while Lea Anne co-chairs the Parents of Alumni subcommittee and is an advisor to Mosaic, an alliance of student-led organizations that support emerging entrepreneurs. In 2015, daughter Julia graduated, like her father, with a bachelor’s degree in finance. The Duntons have encouraging words for alumni and friends wanting to get more involved at Northeastern. Find what interests you outside your profession. You’ll make friends and relish the experience, they say. But most of all, “You’ll have fun.”        
          Northeastern raises Empower campaign goal to $1.25 billion        

This week, North­eastern announced it is taking the Empower campaign to new heights, raising its fundraising goal by 25 per­cent, to $1.25 bil­lion. The university’s his­toric cam­paign seeks $625 mil­lion in phil­an­thropy and $625 mil­lion in gov­ern­ment and industry part­ner­ships. We sat down with Uni­ver­sity Advancement’s Senior Vice Pres­i­dent Diane MacGillivray to dis­cuss Empower. Why are we raising our goal? Even as we have been carving out Northeastern’s next strategic plan, we have known that our needs exceed what we intended to raise through Empower. Raising the cam­paign goal now will enable us to fund more of the ini­tia­tives we deem vital to this university’s future. Increased resources will help faculty, who need to be able to master and teach sub­jects that are con­stantly emerging. They will buoy students, allowing them to add great value to their fields, and to blaze trails in professions that don’t now exist. More resources will also sup­port researchers, who will need to find solu­tions to chal­lenges that society hasn’t even real­ized yet. These aspi­ra­tions are going to require immense resources. Thanks to the tremen­dous sup­port we’ve seen so far—from alumni to par­ents, from fac­ulty, staff, and stu­dents to friends both old and new—we have expe­ri­enced huge momentum. Raising the cam­paign goal will enable us to take fuller advan­tage of this momentum, so that even if we can’t fully fund every last one of our goals, we can stretch them that much further. You said at the State of the Uni­ver­sity that every gift includes at least two sto­ries: that of the donor, and that of the ben­e­fi­ciary. Is there a spe­cific story that you’ve found par­tic­u­larly inspiring? That’s like asking me to choose a favorite child! There are so many inspiring sto­ries. A recent one that comes to mind is about Olga Vitek, a math­e­mati­cian and sci­en­tist who was awarded the Sy and Laurie Stern­berg Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Chair. It was an incred­ible moment when Sy met Olga. His pride was palpable. He truly under­stands the power of endowed chairs to attract and retain the best fac­ulty at Northeastern. And there are count­less won­derful schol­ar­ship sto­ries. Recently, I had the plea­sure of meeting Toju Ome­toruwa, a recip­ient of the Amin and Julie Khoury Schol­ar­ship in Entre­pre­neur­ship. Toju’s pas­sion for music led him to launch Pick­a­sound, an online forum that allows people from around the globe to collab­o­rate and pro­duce songs together. His work has drawn the interest of local stu­dent ven­ture firms as well as our entre­pre­neurial groups on campus, making him part of the next gen­er­a­tion of Northeastern’s entrepreneurs. The Empower cam­paign has cov­ered 10 cities. How would you char­ac­terize our global community’s response to the cam­paign, and its impact so far? From San Fran­cisco to Fort Myers, from Hong Kong to Dubai, we have cov­ered the globe. To date, more than 86,000 indi­vid­uals have con­tributed to this cam­paign from 88 coun­tries. In short, the response has been astounding. And the sto­ries that come out of these events are ter­rific. I’ve seen alumni who haven’t been to campus since grad­u­a­tion just daz­zled by our stu­dents and fac­ulty. I’ve seen grad­u­ates from the 1950s having heartwarming—and some­times surprise—reunions with old friends. I’ve seen prospec­tive stu­dents making the deci­sion to attend North­eastern on the spot. I’d say that’s real impact. In your State of the Uni­ver­sity address, you also men­tioned that more than half of fac­ulty and staff have donated to Empower, while about 1,800 stu­dents made con­tri­bu­tions to last year’s senior class gift. What does this mean to you, and what does it say about our com­mu­nity, to see this level of investment? I have been deeply, deeply impressed by the strength of com­mit­ment from our fac­ulty, staff, and students. You have all answered the call. The level of fac­ulty and staff giving to Empower puts us in the top quar­tile of uni­ver­si­ties nation­wide. And the senior class gift par­tic­i­pa­tion has been out­standing. In addition to their phil­an­thropic giving, more than 100 stu­dents and 100 fac­ulty have taken the opportunity to show­case the exciting research and inno­va­tion taking place at North­eastern during Empower events all over the map. What this says to me is that our North­eastern com­mu­nity gets it: This cam­paign is about all of us and for all of us. It will deter­mine the path of our future. What have you learned about North­eastern from your involve­ment in the Empower campaign? I’ve seen that the North­eastern com­mu­nity has a remark­able ability to always think about what’s next. That’s our tow­ering strength. And that’s what we will need to suc­ceed in the future as a nimble, global, dynamic insti­tu­tion of higher education, grounded in our sig­na­ture expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion programs.      
          NHL Awards 2014/15 - meet the contenders        
The NHL's annual awards show is universally recognised as the second most exciting Vegas-related event connected to the league in recent times, ranking somewhere between a season ticket drive for a potential expansion franchise and Jarret Stoll's next pool party.

Observers had the contest for the award for "Most Inappropriate Use of Team Logos" as being too close to call between the two main contenders

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

Hart Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association
Supposed to be awarded to: The player adjudged most valuable to his team
In practice, normally awarded to: A high-scoring forward, since goalies and defensemen "have their own awards", unlike high-scoring forwards

Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
Looking to join a select group of Eddie Shore, Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky as four-time MVPs, which would likely precipitate an unprecedented surge in the number of Google searches by Canadian sportswriters for "What are the career plus-minus ratings of Eddie Shore, Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky?"

Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens)
Just like the previous goalie to win the award, managed to haul a low-scoring, Michel Therrien-coached Canadiens team to the heady heights of a second round playoff exit in six games to a southern US team.

John Tavares (New York Islanders)
The only other time an Islander won the Hart, a phenom Edmonton Oiler then won the trophy in each of the next eight seasons consecutively, which is going to put a lot of pressure on Auston Matthews if Tavares wins it next year.

Ted Lindsay Award

Voted on by: Members of the National Hockey League Players' Association
Supposed to be awarded to: The most outstanding player in the NHL
In practice, normally awarded to: "Whatever means the lowest escrow"

Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars)
His scoring title has been viewed as fortuitous by some, after collecting four points in the final game of the season, including a goal and an assist in the final seconds of a game already won, but as linemate Tyler Seguin frequently tells his landlord, there's no such thing as garbage time.

Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
After successive underwhelming point-per-game, 50-goal (or pro-rated equivalent) seasons, bounced right back into the conversation as to the league's best player with a dynamic point-per-game, 50-goal season.

Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens)
While clearly deserving of plaudits for his own spectacular performances, Montreal's' 2010 playoff run and Team Canada's gold medal win in Sochi build a case that his teams are ultimately only successful when he faces no shots at all.

James Norris Memorial Trophy

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

Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings)
Showed impressive dedication to his controversial view on the merits of possession metrics by leading the Corsi-deficient Kings to yet another deep playoff run.

Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators)
Occasionally pays tribute to fellow Swede and previous star player and leader of the Senators, Daniel Alfredsson, by wearing a jersey featuring his likeness.

P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens)
Recognised as the jewel of Montreal's bounty of elite players obtained in the 2007 draft, ahead of Max Pacioretty and the future rights to Michael Busto.

Vezina Trophy

Voted on by: General Managers of all NHL clubs
Supposed to be awarded to: The goaltender who is adjudged to be the best at this position
In practice, normally awarded to: Not a Canadian

Devan Dubnyk (Minnesota Wild)
Spent much of the 2013/14 season preparing for this awards race by being ranked several places behind Pekka Rinne and Carey Price.

Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens)
It is thought that nothing at all stands between Price and this award, which presumably means Chris Kreider is presenting it.

Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators)
Has an outside chance of becoming the second alumnus of Oulun Kärpät to win the Vezina, although the phrase "alumnus of Oulun Kärpät" is usually mistaken as membership of an obscure right-wing cult when seen on Tim Thomas's Facebook profile.

Andrew Ference's previously impeccable green credentials came into question when he was found incinerating a suit and several thousand copies of this photograph after the 2014 awards show

Calder Memorial Trophy

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

Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers)
Has much in common with the only other player drafted first overall by the Panthers, Ed Jovanovski: Born in Windsor, Ontario; Defenseman nominated for the Calder; Busy doing the same thing as the Colorado Avalanche in June of his rookie season.

Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary Flames)
Clearly impressed more than fellow 2011 draftee of the Flames, Sven Bärtschi, evidenced by being kept around so he can be included in the package to soon be sent the other way in the blockbuster Tyler Biggs trade that Brian Burke is reportedly pushing his GM to make.

Mark Stone (Ottawa Senators)
One year after Shawn Thornton's failure, credited with finding a way to disguise intentionally squirting water at P.K. Subban from the bench to avoid being fined.

Frank J. Selke Trophy

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

Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins)
As well as winning the Selke in at the 2014 awards show, was voted as the official cover athlete of NHL 15, bringing an end to the supposed curse of the cover athlete, that curse being "Why the f--- is Marty Brodeur on the front of NHL 14?"

Anže Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)
Regularly demonstrates exemplary two-way play, despite seemingly being almost exactly the same height as the Stanley Cup, contrary to his official listing at 6'3".

Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)
Respected in the hockey community for his ability at both ends of the ice and for his selfless leadership, and in the lazy meme community for his ability to not refer to LeBron James in post-championship interviews.

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

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

Devan Dubnyk (Minnesota Wild)
Beat the odds by becoming the first person in recorded history to have failure in Edmonton not result in a lifetime front office position.

Andrew Hammond (Ottawa Senators)
Despite reeling off a remarkable point-earning streak to start his NHL career, still fell short of Patrick Lalime's near-unbreakable record of playing three playoff series against the Maple Leafs.

Kris Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Googling "Kris Letang stroke" either returns articles about the health problems he has overcome, which help to explain his candidacy for this award, or points you in the direction of pieces of fan fiction, which usually don't.

In preparation for the following season, 2014 Masterton Trophy winner, Dominic Moore, practices carrying an inanimate object around on his left-hand side for 10 minutes a night

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

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

Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit Red Wings)
After winning this award every year from 2006 to 2009, famously fought Corey Perry in the 2010/11 season, with 61% of voters on declaring him the winner, the other 39% unable to vote after trying to punch Corey Perry themselves through their computer screen.

Jiří Hudler (Calgary Flames)
At one point this season, amusingly attended a Los Angeles practice at which he should not have been, an idea said to have been inspired by Dean Lombardi.

Anže Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)
Followed a career low 10 PIM in the regular season by even more impressively and unexpectedly taking no penalties at all throughout the entire playoffs.

Jack Adams Award

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

Bob Hartley (Calgary Flames)
Has a list of unique career achievements, including leading Ray Bourque to a Stanley Cup win, coaching an Atlanta Thrashers playoff game and managing to make John Tortorella slightly angry.

Peter Laviolette (Nashville Predators)
In the history of Carolina Hurricanes coaches, was sandwiched by Paul Maurice, which sounds very similar to the instruction given to Dustin Byfuglien when he gets hungry during a game.

Alain Vigneault (New York Rangers)
Apparently has a resemblance to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, though Medvedev is understood not to be willing to be closely associated with anyone with as toxic a reputation as Ulf Samuelsson.

General Manager of the Year Award

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

Bob Murray (Anaheim Ducks)
Current holder of this award masterminded further improvement in the Ducks this year, primarily by engineering a blockbuster trade of the Kings for the Flames as a second round playoff opponent.

Glen Sather (New York Rangers)
Understood to be so beloved by wildly popular Rangers owner, James Dolan, that he effectively has an agreement to stay in the GM job for life or until the Rangers next have a first round draft pick, whichever is the sooner.

Steve Yzerman (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Allied with some key acquisitions, managed to hold together an emerging roster despite not picking a single member of it for the Canadian Olympic team this year.


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

NHL Awards 2013/14 - meet the contenders
NHL Awards 2013 - meet the contenders
NHL Awards 2011/12 - meet the contenders
NHL Awards 2010/11 - meet the contenders

          27 Interesting Marketing Charts Every Client Needs to See        

What's the #1 thing clients value in their agency partners? 

It's not results, strategy, or even great creative.

According to the Society of Digital Agencies, it's expertise in emerging trends

          Things and Places We Miss From Grand Rapids' Past published an article about obsolescence, businesses and things that have been a part of our lives for years, but because of emerging technologies, changing shopping/dining habits, are going away, never to be seen again. Our world is changing at a record pace. Continue reading…
          yu caffe download mp3        

With a large number of legal download sites emerging, it has become difficult to find out where to get the best deals and which sites to trust. Yet, it is not only parents getting the item for the kids.

You should choose something hard to guess like a mix of random letters and numbers. Some of the most popular MP3 download services include WinMX, iTunes, LimeWire, Kazaa, BearShare, Ares Galaxy, Napster, Morpheus, Real Player Store, iMesh, MSN music, Yahoo music and even Walmart. These databases often contain millions of files, from music and movies, to TV and Sports.

They will lure you in saying that the iPod video downloads are free but then they will hit you up with a monthly membership fee and some will even charge you a per download fee too. One of the best game download sites allows for the software to be transferred to the PSP in a neat little package. As in any successful niche, the scam risk is elevated.

Make sure you look out for free trials or money-back guarantees and enjoy! The more genres, the more choices and the deal is better.

          netodragon mdv92xp driver download        

With a large number of legal download sites emerging, it has become difficult to find out where to get the best deals and which sites to trust. Once you understand these simple steps you will be well on your way to downloading MP3s to your PSP with ease.

Before entering these sites though, you should pay attention to them and find out if they ask for a subscription or to pay a fee. So you get a town in one combo deal when you download your iPhone music and movies there. Look for the PSP icon or the removable disc icon and click on it.

You can get your money back within a period of sixty days if you find that you are not satisfied with their service. They should also provide downloading software as well as file format conversion software for free so that certain files can be converted to iPhone-compatible formats. For easy navigation, the interface must be simple to use and does not take long to search and find your music files.

Thankfully, there are a few reputable ones who can deliver an excellent level of after-sales service. Check out my blog dedicated to music, movies and videos on which are the reliable membership sites for unlimited music and song downloads.

          nero smart start free download        

Variety and availability of files should be your first consideration. With a large number of legal download sites emerging, it has become difficult to find out where to get the best deals and which sites to trust.

There are some risk factors you need to consider carefully if you want the free zune music downloads, movies and other entertainment media offered at the free resources. It is always cheaper to use a service that offers membership subscription. It was never your intention I am sure but it does happen.

You can download music mp3 online legally, of high quality, and with full technical support in case any problem arises. One of the best game download sites allows for the software to be transferred to the PSP in a neat little package. They should also provide downloading software as well as file format conversion software for free so that certain files can be converted to iPhone-compatible formats.

Read up more on where you can download unlimited numbers of MP3 music files for less than a dime per download here. If you join a pay site, download speed wouldn't be a problem.

          iflix raises $133m funding for expansion        

iflix raises $133m funding for expansionSince going live in May 2015, iflix rapidly established its brand in emerging markets for its streaming entertainment service, focused on local customer experiences. By securing further funding of $133m, it hopes to invest in its local content strategy across all the emerging markets it has launched in and secure the 'next 1 billion' customers.
Read more... | Send to a friend

          Singapore's Duxton Hill: Where to Eat        
In a city packed with eat streets, hip Duxton Hill is emerging a firm favorite with Singaporean diners. Here's a selection of what's on offer
          Artifacts of Desktop Biotech        
BIOTECH PROTOTYPE POEMS + MIXED MEDIA IMAGES by Robert Bolton Artifacts of Desktop Biotech prototype poems + mixed media images  “Artifacts of Desktop Biotech” is an inventory of the recently possible; it documents emerging and possible manifestations of synthetic biology.  As the capabilities of biotech become increasingly democratized, we are seeing a shift from “lab […]
          Transfer Rater: Gonzalo Higuain to Chelsea, Andrea Belotti to AC Milan        
The latest transfer rumours from around the world. Things change in the blink of an eye in football.&nbsp;The Football Whispers&nbsp;Index takes the latest transfer rumours and gives them a score out of five; the higher the score, the more realistic and reliable the whisper. Here are today's top five emerging whispers for the summer. And keep an eye on&nbsp;Transfer Talk&nbsp;for all the latest gossip. Things change in the blink of an eye in football. The Football Whispers Index takes the latest transfer rumours and gives them a score out of five;...
          "Hand" final post - The Dollhouse        
The Dancer
    As we come up to the final scene in the story of Hand we pass through a few rooms and obstacles.   The first is past the Dancer who I have a very exciting post about next week.  I have taken the plunge to do something RL with her and will share it soon.

     So first we come to a room with a variety of boxes, planks and other debris that the kids have placed in order to make a ramp or stair past a hole in the floor.   They did this because the emergency
escape running along the outside of the building has collapsed in one part.  The visitor gets to climb this in the light of day but as they get to the next floor of the apartment we discover it is one that has had all its windows boarded up making it quite dark inside (if you used Firestorm then you will see just this level go very dark as I have set the windlight by altitude)  while in the dark you come across a dancer in a room with another Spiderbot peeking in projecting an advert for the Shelterball. Another set of boxes and ramps to climb in the dark and you have reached the top floor where Flutter and the others live.

     When you first enter their home you might notice a variety of things
sitting around which seem out of place.   For example a TV set and vacuum cleaner which don't work without power, nor do the kids really even understand what their function is.  But why would they collect them?  The children, along with the occasional steering help from Milkdrop, try to piece together what the old world was like.  The comb the cites and libraries and have focused on old children's books called Fun with Dick and Jane.  The would cut out and staple different pages that seemed to elaborate on what life was like or more specifically what a family was.  The Dick and Jane's that they have cut out all have a connection to how they are feeling or what they
are trying to understand or missing.  Flutter uses the mannequin hand as a surrogate mother.  And the children also collect various things from the pages they see.  But their biggest treasure is a dollhouse.  They have, over time, collected all the parts to fill the doll house from the ravaged city.  Tiny beds and chairs, children dolls and on the couch lay a father doll.  They had everything except one missing piece.  The mother doll.  And that is what Flutter carried home in her suitcase throughout
the story.  During her days search she came across a 1959 Barbie doll and excitedly she brings her home to the other kids.  How the children learn about families and the past is by playing it as a sort of game.  They play at being a family and on different days they each get to pick one character from the family to be.  They role play the stereotypes they have learned and, Milkdrop hopes, they will eventually create a new society whose goals and morals the Singularity AI can shape.  Milkdrop is starting the world again with these children and others.

     The children also collect references to the sleepers.  Mainly stories about sleeping beauty or things going away.  Flutter craves a family as do the others, but they also are building a family with the subtle guidance of Milkdrop.  In the final portion below Flutter unveils the Barbie doll to the other children.  The 1959 doll, the first Barbie I believe, inexplicably has her in a bathing suit.  Teddy, from the previous story Gretchen and Teddy, can be seen being held in Gretchen's arms and is a PowerPet that existed during the period

before the long sleep of society.  He is old and broken but remembers how it used to be.   He mentions that the Barbie looks cold and instantly draws the ire of Birdy, a boy who.. well... always pretends to fly like a bird hence his name.  The Barbie has already become a idol of sorts, mere moments after emerging from Flutters suitcase.

Below is the final part to the story "Hand".

Ironically it was my tenth rez day yesterday in the virtual space, and Hand is the latest chapter in the overall narrative that began almost ten years ago with the Rabbicorn.  I hope you enjoyed the story.

Dick and Jane
 Flutter gently, almost reverently, took the Barbie doll out of its packaging.  She held it out for the other kids to see as though presenting a religious relic found amongst the bones of a lost civilization.
Gretchen whispered to Teddy  "It's a mother."  The PowerPet was old and damaged, there was a distinctive whir as it looked down upon the doll.  "She looks cold" he said in its warm teddy bear voice. 
"You are just jealous Teddy!"  exclaimed Birdy  "All mothers dressed like this!""No they
The dollhouse
replied Teddy who had existed before the big sleep.  "Did too!"  Countered Birdy using the ageless children's retort.  "Well Jane doesn't"  stated Billy Boots looking across at the Fun with Dick and Jane pages mounted on the wall.   

"Not Sleeping Beauty either."  They all turned to look at Willow, their unofficial leader.  She had been looking quietly and steadily at the dollhouse.  The Father on the couch, the children upstairs.
     "It doesn't matter," she said finally.  "The Dick and Janes don't tell us everything."  After a moment she continued "Whose turn is it?" 
Flutter stood up excitedly "It's my turn today.. and I pick the Mother" 
"Of course you do," said Birdy.  "I am next and I pick the Daddy."  Everyone groaned.  Birdy
was not a very good player and all preferred him to be one of the children instead. 
"Gretchen why don't you be the daughter and Billy Boots you be the son.  I will be the fact checker."  Said Willow.  Birdy stepped towards the doll house  "As the Daddy I tell the TV to make dinner." 
"TV's can't make dinners!" shouted Billy Boots "Mothers do that!""And sometimes Fathers" added Gretchen.  "Well then what about TV dinners!?"  Said Birdy victoriously.  They all turned to look at Willow the
Sleeping Beauty
checker for a ruling.  "TVs told stories to the family, sometimes during dinner, but they didn't cook."  she said decisively.  Willow turned to Flutter.

"Your turn" and everyone watched expectantly.

Flutter looked down upon the mannequin hand, then gently placed it within the suitcase.  She took the Mother doll to the front door of the dollhouse and then said in a whisper.

"Honey, I am home."


          Artists' Co-op Mentorship Exhibition        
Omaha First Friday means gallery openings. Coming up this Friday, January 4, 2013, 6–9 p.m. is the 2012-2013 Emerging Artist Mentorship Exhibit at the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, 405 S. 11th St. The Artists’ Co-op’s Mentorship Program p...
          Bemis Feast...AOB...Alvarez...Caesium        
*The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is having a FEA$T (Funding Emerging Artists with Sustainable Tactics), November 17 at 6:30 pm. The event is designed to generate support for ambitious concepts initiated by area artists. It's a comm...
          Bart Vargas featured in Santorini...UNL's new gallery...        
Council Bluffs based artist Bart Vargas has two pieces featured in The Biennale of Santorini, an international cultural festival on the island off of Greece promoting emerging and established artists that work on the borders between art d...
          Declare drought a national disaster - AgriSA        
AgriSA has called for the drought to be declared a national disaster, as commercial and emerging farmers watch the devastation unfold around them.
          The Emergence of Private LTE Networks        
Designed-for-purpose, private LTE systems are emerging as the preferred wireless platform for enterprises with production-critical automation and mobility needs.
          Roberto Cavalli, 1985        
Roberto Cavalli, 1985 Loved for its colors, coveted for its innate joy freedom, and admired as a natural environment for its fabulous richness, the sea is a primary source of inspiration for Roberto Cavalli, a passion often emerging in his collections.
          Florence, 1972        
Florence, 1972 The White Hall at Palazzo Pitti, home to the emerging Italian fashion industry, hosts the first Roberto Cavalli fashion show in Italy: his patchwork trousers, mini dresses and maxi coats in leather or denim are an immediate hit among fashion insiders and make the new label a huge success on European and American markets.
          Iflix teams up with Econet’s Kwesé for African SVOD launch        

iflix, leading Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) service for emerging markets, and Econet Media’s Pan-African […]

The post Iflix teams up with Econet’s Kwesé for African SVOD launch appeared first on Dignited.

          Hellebore Happenings        

Currently in bloom in my garden are several very welcome flowers. Witch hazel 'Jelena'; the first tentative snowdrops peeking out from a snowmound; three bright yellow winter aconites (where'd they come from?); and tah-dah! Hellebore orientalis, Lenten rose. First the purple, but hard on their heels will be the pure white, the speckled ones, and so forth.

Hellebore, given their preferred site of semi-shade in rich, compost-amended soil, will happily self-sow and create a carpet of early flowers. They require little care, but for best show there is one chore that needs to be done now.....removing last year's leaves.

Hellebore foliage is almost evergreen. It's big, serrated leaves persist until taken down by snow, ice or time. As you can see in the photo above, last year's leaves are now tattered, and need to be cut and composted. Once this is done, the unfurling new flowers will stand alone in full spring glory. But BE CAREFUL. Make sure you're clipping only the old material, and not snipping the emerging flower stalk.

Once you've completed this task, enjoy the hellebore flowers for weeks to come. They're one of the joys of perennial gardening.

          Clematis Supporting Act        
It’s the perfect time to give the newly-emerging clematis some twiggy supports, allowing them to climb and scramble, rather the sprawl and collapse. I love the decorative nature of my various metal plant supports (they add structure to the winter garden) but I find that they are not sufficient on their own, even with companion […]
          Naturally Inspired        
If you love to walk in the woods and like wild places, there is much to please you at this year’s show. Multi-stemmed trees casting dappled shade, dry habitats with plants emerging from between rough rocks, trickling watercourses, pines (unseen for many years in the main show gardens) and a corner of Provence seemingly picked […]
          Geometric Interactive Insight: How To Use Video To Generate Revenue For Radio        
Did you know that VIDEO is the key to you making money EVERYWHERE on your website?


Existing Web sites that incorporate video see lower bounce rates, higher levels of engagement, and more repeat traffic. This increases the value of the non-video portion of the site, driving up eCPMs for more traditional display advertising.

And that's important because the IDC forecasts that the real market for online ads is emerging and will grow sevenfold by 2012, hitting $3.8 billion domestically. As I’ve stated many times before in articles, blog posts, presentations and meetings: The digital dollars are there. The question is…Are you getting your share? Increasingly, video will contribute to online content generation, but more importantly, REVENUE generation.

Twistage CEO David Wadler shares his insights in a good how-to article outlining points to generate dollars from video on your website at Not only does he highlight the fact that the inclusive of video on your website helps to lift the revenue you can generate from other display pages, but there are more great tips to help you generate revenue with video too, summarized as follows:
  • Sponsorship: Offering sponsorships of the player, a series of videos, or perhaps even of the entire video experience can be a compelling option for a brand advertiser.
  • Focus on the audiences your brand can pinpoint
  • Balance your zeal for monetization with the quality of the user experience
  • Create great content. The better your content and the more engaged your audience, the higher eCPMs will be for your videos.

Thanks to Mark Ramsey for sharing this article and his summary with me. Click here to see David’s full article.

          Pearl Jam - "Gimme Some Truth (Live at Madison Square Garden)" [Rock & Alternative]        
Gimme Some Truth (Live at Madison Square Garden)

- "Gimme Some Truth (Live at Madison Square Garden)" music video by Pearl Jam
- Added on 10-08-2017
- Genre : Rock & Alternative
- Description : Gimme Some Truth - Live at Madison Square Garden - Pearl Jam - - Pearl Jam performs "Gimme Some Truth" by John Lennon live at Madison Square Garden in 2003. - - LIKE on Facebook: - FOLLOW on Twitter: - FOLLOW on Instagram: - FOLLOW on Tumblr: - - Live at the Garden is the fourth DVD release by the American alternative rock band Pearl Jam, recorded on July 8, 2003 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It was released on November 11, 2003. - - - - "Gimme Some Truth" (originally spelled "Give Me Some Truth") is a protest song written and performed by John Lennon. It was first released on his 1971 album Imagine. "Gimme Some Truth" contains various political references emerging from the time it was written, during the latter years of the Vietnam War. - - Work on the song began as early as January 1969 during The Beatles' Get Back sessions, which would eventually evolve into Let It Be. Bootleg recordings of the group performing songs that would eventually go onto the members' solo recordings feature a few performances of "Gimme Some Truth". - - Pearl Jam has covered this song live on numerous occasions. - - - -
- Tags : 2003, 00s, Pearl Jam

          Temper Cartel - "Babysitter" [Rock & Alternative]        

- "Babysitter" music video by Temper Cartel
- Added on 10-08-2017
- Genre : Rock & Alternative
- Description : Babysitter - Temper Cartel (Official Video) - - © Temper Cartel 2017 - - The track 'Babysitter' is taken from our debut album produced by Mark Gardener (RIDE). - - Video Directed by A.Rigozzi @ PurpleYam Productions - - - - - Temper Cartel are a furious, often introspective four-piece, fusing an indie work ethic with huge alt-rock anthems and a subtle sprinkling of psychedelia that manifests itself within the hard-hitting new single and child-esque tantrum inspired video for ‘Babysitter’. - - Having recruited over 40 fans, friends and strangers alike for the new visuals, Temper Cartel have come up with the goods for the video of ‘Babysitter’, tapping into the band’s political influences with the help of director A. Rigozzi, who interpreted the track’s opening line ‘I don’t need a babysitter’ as relating to the frustration at an over controlling government. To set the scene, frustrations were running high in the lead up to the last general election and so during the filming of the video, the ‘cast’ were taken through steps by an actor to revert back to their childhood and take out their anger in their infantile own way – hence the name ‘Babysitter’. - - The Strypes and The Bluetones are just a couple of names that the band have played with in the past, leading to glowing reviews and support from the likes of BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing Oxford, Emerging Indie Bands and Nightshift Magazine who commented that: ‘At their best they’re anthemic, even elegant: a little bit Oasis, a little bit Pulp and quite a bit Space.’ - - Consisting of Danny Fisher (lead guitar/arrangements), Josh Alden (rhythm/lead vocal/lyricist), Sam Alden (drums) and Everton Barbato (bass guitar), Temper Cartel blend crunching guitar riffs and delicate ethereal tones in a marriage of two distinctly different guitar styles. Along with heavy, somewhat tribal drums and bass lines that will stick in your head for days, front-man Josh Alden’s satirical, self-deprecating lyrics drip with political undertones. - - As mentioned, the band is significantly influenced by politics, but also literature, with front-man Josh taking inspiration from iconic authors such as George Orwell and Charles Bukowski, who he often subtly nods to within his clever lyricism. -
- Tags : 2017, 10s, Temper Cartel

          The Dynamic Learning Project: helping deliver on the promise of tech in the classroom        

When it comes to schools, bridging the “digital divide” means more than providing access. While that gap isn’t yet closed, there’s another emerging equity imbalance that goes beyond computers or connectivity. This “second-level digital divide” is fueled by major differences in how effectively that technology is being used for teaching and learning. And it’s especially pronounced in low-income schools, where teachers face a significant disadvantage when it comes to training and professional development. Closing this divide means equipping educators with the skills and tools they need to effectively integrate technology in their classrooms. That’s why we’re launching the Dynamic Learning Project, a new pilot that’s part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that the benefits of technology are truly reaching every classroom.

Research suggests that coaching has a positive impact on teacher practices and student outcomes. So to start, we’re providing a $6.5 million grant to Digital Promise through in order to launch a pilot that will support full-time coaches at 50 underserved middle schools in five diverse regions across the U.S. These coaches will provide personalized support to help educators learn about technology and use it in their classroom in transformative ways. To set schools up for success, each will receive mentoring support and ongoing professional development from experts at EdTechTeam. They’ll also participate in a community of practice with other participating schools, allowing them to share their learnings and expand their professional networks.

Digital Promise selected this first cohort of 50 U.S. middle schools based on need (determined by percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch), existing infrastructure (without requiring any specific type or brand of technology), and innovative leadership committed to helping their teachers succeed. They’ll work with these schools throughout the year, helping the coaches and principals to better harness technology in the classroom.

For years, we’ve worked hard to help more classrooms access technology, and we’re proud that our products are helping millions of teachers and students do incredible things. But we’ve also seen that access to technology on its own is not enough. Making our products free or affordable doesn’t make usage truly equitable, and quality training is critical to ensure that technology is used in effective and meaningful ways. Through coaching, training and support, we’re aiming to empower teachers to further improve student learning outcomes through technology.

While technology alone will not fix or improve education, in the hands of educators who know how to use it, it can be a powerful part of the solution. This pilot is only the very beginning of our work ahead, and we’re eager to see what we will learn and understand how we can help reach even more classrooms in the future.

          The bacteria resisting last-resort antibiotics        

A report on the spread of antimicrobial resistance in Australia shows specific types of bacteria are a major emerging healthcare problem One bacteria type in ...

The post The bacteria resisting last-resort antibiotics appeared first on AJP.

          Off with their Heads        
Now that it is feeling more and more like spring, I decided the moment had arrived to cut the old flowerheads off the hydrangeas. Getting the timing right can be a bit tricky – too soon and a frost can damage the new emerging buds, too late and there’s a risk the old flowerheads will […]
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 07-05-2017 with Michael Buck        

Morning Teleportation- Rise And Fall - Salivating For Symbiosis
- voicebreak -
Citrus Clouds- Always Tomorrow - Imagination
Beach Fossils- Sugar - Somersault
Forest Swords- Raw Language - Compassion
Nym- Light Catcher - Lilac Chaser
Aldous Harding- Party - Party
- voicebreak -
Monoswezi- Esta Bem - A Je
Nina Miranda- Silken Horse - Freedom Of Movement
The Mountain Goats- Shelved - Goths
Kevin Morby- City Music - City Music
Palm- Walkie Talkie - Shadow Expert EP
Harriet Brown- Cryptid - Contact
- voicebreak -
Lea Porcelain- Out Is In - HYMNS TO THE NIGHT
The Black Angels- I Dreamt - Death Song
Freelsds Badtrip- Gallop - Freelsds Badtrip EP
The Buttertones- Geishas Gaze - Gravedigging
Evolfo- Frank The Fiddler - Last Of The Acid Cowboys
The Afghan Whigs- Arabian Heights - In Spades
- voicebreak -
Vieux Farka Tour- Ouaga - Samba
Mux Mool- Sympathy - Implied Lines
House And Land- The Day Is Past And Gone - House And Land
Perfume Genius- Slip Away - No Shape
Nicole Mitchell- Forestwall Timewalk - Mandorla Awakening II Emerging Worlds
Triptides- What For - Afterglow
Thunder Dreamer- The Bridge - Capture
- voicebreak -
Fujiya Miyagi- RSI - Fujiya Miyagi
Cody ChesnuTT- Africa The Future - My Love Divine Degree
Coldcut OnU Sound- Aztec Riddim feat Adrian Sherwood - Outside The Echo Chamber
Negritage- Kyrenia Dreams - Greetings From The Planet Dub
Chastity Belt- Different Now - I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone
Dan Auerbach- Cherrybomb - Waiting On A Song
- voicebreak -
King Gizzard The Lizard Wizard- Welcome To An Altered Future - Murder Of The Universe
King Gizzard The Lizard Wizard- Digital Black - Murder Of The Universe
King Gizzard The Lizard Wizard- HanTyumi The Confused Cyborg - Murder Of The Universe
Dream Machine- The Illusion - The Illusion
Sandy Alex G- Guilty - Rocket
Branson Anderson- Talldog - Graydog
Contry- Cash Out - Cell Phone 1
Deep State- Infinitesimals - Thought Garden

playlist URL:
          Blockchain – An Emerging Force in the New Gold Bull Market        

If there’s one thing gold doesn’t suffer from, it’s a lack of fair-weather friends. Recently, the yellow metal has seen more of its share. Investment gurus love to flood the airwaves and Internet with praise for gold when it looks … Continue reading

The post Blockchain – An Emerging Force in the New Gold Bull Market appeared first on Fortress Gold Group.

          The 2017 Bessie Awards nominations (and two winners)!        
With Managing Director Heather Robles (left)
and Executive Director Lucy Sexton (right)
opening a press conference at Gibney Dance Center,
the Bessies organization announced two early winners
and a slate of nominees for the 2017 Bessies Awards
set for October 9 at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.
(photo: Eva Yaa Asantewaa)

2017 Outstanding Emerging Choreographer Award:
Will Rawls

"for creating astute, genre-eluding work that explores the relationship between movement and language and delves deeply into ideas of transmission, translation, and authorship; and for his multifaceted artistry as choreographer, writer, editor, and curator, expanding the presence of dance and performance."

2017 Juried Bessie Award:
Abby Zbikowski 

"recognized for her rigorous and utterly unique development of an authentic movement vocabulary, employed in complex and demanding structures to create dances of great energy, intensity, surprise, and danger. (2017 Jury: Kyle Abraham, Brenda Bufalino, and Beth Gill)

The 2017 Bessie Awards Nominations

Outstanding Production

Vanessa Anspaugh
The End of Men; An Ode to Ocean
Joyce Unleashed at Abrons Art Center

Kader Attou of CCN de la Rochelle/Cie Accrorap
Fall for Dance at New York City Center

Bridgman / Packer
Sheen Center

Nora Chipaumire
portrait of myself as my father
BAM Fisher

Antony Hamilton
La MaMa and Performance Space 122, COIL 2017

Jessica Lang
Thousand Yard Stare
The Joyce Theater

Ligia Lewis
minor matter
American Realness at Abrons Art Center

Taylor Mac
A 24-Decade History of Popular Music
St. Ann’s Warehouse/Pomegranate Arts

Crystal Pite
The Statement
Performed by Nederlands Dans Theater
New York City Center

Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang
BAM Fisher

Abdel Salaam
Healing Sevens
Featuring Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, Asase Yaa African American Dance Theatre, Ill Style & Peace Productions, and Dyane Harvey Salaam
DanceAfrica at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House

Adrienne Truscott
New York Live Arts

Outstanding Revived Work

Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and other works by John Bernd
Conceived by Ishmael Houston-Jones. Co-directed by Ishmael Houston-Jones and Miguel Gutierrez. John Bernd's music compositions arranged and re-mixed by Nick Hallett. Consultation by Jennifer Monson.
Danspace Project Platform 2016: Lost and Found

About Kazuo Ohno
By Takao Kawaguchi
Japan Society

Stephen Petronio Company
For Trio A (1966), Chair Pillow (1969), and Diagonal (1963) by Yvonne Rainer; Goldberg  Variations (1986) by Steve Paxton; The Courtesan and the Crone (1999) by Anna Halprin
The Joyce Theater

Outstanding Performer

Yeman Brown
In Citizen by Reggie Wilson
BAM Harvey

PeiJu Chien-Pott
In Virginie Mécène’s reimagining of Martha Graham’s 1933 solo, Ekstasis
The Joyce Theater

Sean Donovan
For his body of work with The Builders Association, Faye Driscoll, Witness Relocation, Jennie MaryTai Liu, and Jane Comfort

Jonathan Gonzalez
In minor matter by Ligia Lewis
American Realness at Abrons Art Center

Julie McMillan
In KO-BU by Benjamin Kimitch
Danspace Project

Cast of Riff this, Riff that
By Ephrat Asherie Dance
River to River Festival, Atrium Plaza

Anna Schön
In Citizen by Reggie Wilson
BAM Harvey

Nicholas Sciscione
In excerpts from Steve Paxton’s Goldberg Variations
Presented by the Stephen Petronio Company
The Joyce Theater

Ensemble of the skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds: Maria Bauman, Sidra Bell, Davalois Fearon, Marjani Forté-Saunders, Melanie Greene, Kayla Hamilton, Jasmine Hearn, Marguerite Hemmings, Nia Love, Paloma McGregor, Sydnie L. Mosley, Rakiya Orange, Leslie Parker, Angie Pittman, Samantha Speis, Charmaine Warren, Marýa Wethers, Ni’Ja Whitson, Grace Osborne and others*
Curated by Eva Yaa Asantewaa
Danspace Project Platform 2016: Lost and Found
*Edisa Weeks and Tara Aisha Willis also appeared in the cast, but are ineligible to vote on or receive awards as current Bessie Awards Committee members.

Daaimah Taalib-Din
In Eclipse: Visions of the Crescent and the Cross by Abdel Salaam
Aaron Davis Hall

Diana Vishneva
For Sustained Achievement with American Ballet Theatre

Cast of we free: DJ BLKWYNTR, Arielle Rosales, and Solo Woods, as well as Courtney Cook, Marguerite Hemmings, Jessica Phoenix and Italy Welton
By Marguerite Hemmings
Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center

Outstanding Emerging Choreographer
(* indicates award recipient)

Lela Aisha Jones

Niall Jones

Will Rawls*

Katarzyna Skarpetowska

Outstanding Music Composition/Sound Design

ICTUS ensemble/ROSAS
For Vortex Temporum
By Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker
BAM Next Wave Festival, Howard Gilman Opera House

Chris Kuklis and Will Rawls
For The Planet-Eaters: Seconds
By Will Rawls
River to River Festival, National Museum of the American Indian

Ryan MacDonald
For The End of Men, Again
By Vanessa Anspaugh
Danspace Project

Alisdair Macindoe
For Meeting
By Antony Hamilton
La MaMa and Performance Space 122, COIL 2017

Outstanding Visual Design

Nora Chipaumire
For portrait of myself as my father
By Nora Chipaumire
BAM Fisher

Taylor Mac, Niegel Smith, Machine Dazzle, Mimi Lien, John Torres, Eric Avery, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar
For A 24-Decade History of Popular Music
By Taylor Mac
St. Ann’s Warehouse/Pomegranate Arts

Paulina Olowska
For Slavic Goddesses–A Wreath of Ceremonies
By Paulina Olowska
The Kitchen

Mark Ryden and Brad Fields
For Whipped Cream
By Alexei Ratmansky
Performed by American Ballet Theatre
Metropolitan Opera House


Come to the 33rd annual Bessie Awards on Monday, October 9, at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets will go on sale August 1.

For more information, click here.

Follow the Bessies on Facebook / #theBessies / @bessieawards

Subscribe in a reader

          Youtube The Advantages Of Doing Your Own Videos On YouTube        
Are you a fan of YouTube? If you love watching videos online for free, a number of different genres, can be a big fan of YouTube. Although many Internet users to watch videos on YouTube, there are many who also post their own videos on YouTube. If you've never done before, in May you ask whether you really owe. To determine whether or not to make and upload your own videos to the YouTube site, you should consider the advantages or more parties to do so.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of making your own YouTube videos is that your videos May be just what you want it to be. Popular videos on YouTube now comedy skits, video blogs, how to make videos and music videos from emerging artists. If you want to do a video blog for you or you and your friends just want to have fun with a video camera, you can.

Of course, when making a YouTube video, you must use your best point of view. Although the video on YouTube accepts a wide variety of topics will be approached with caution. You should always be cautious of online predators, you should be cautious about disclosing too much information about you. May it not necessarily thinking about it, but you also want to ensure that no record and publish anything illegal on YouTube. It has been said that YouTube regularly works with law enforcement to solve crimes. That just goes to show that never watch your videos or what are the consequences for them could be published.

Another of the advantages or benefits to make your own YouTube videos is that it is relatively easy to do. Of course, you need a video recording device. What is good is that there are a number of recording devices that can be used. For example, many cell phones are now equipped with video recording capabilities. Besides mobile phones, should also be able to use video cameras or webcams traditional. For better quality video on YouTube, you need software for editing movies. Film editing software, not only gives you the opportunity to preview the video before sending it on YouTube, but it must also be able to modify, if you want to delete something, and so on.

Once one of their videos downloaded to your computer and you will see that YouTubes get your video uploaded to the website is so simple. In fact, another of the many benefits of making your own YouTube videos. As a result of the video, uploading a YouTube video is as easy as possible. If you have never downloaded a video on YouTube before, you should be able to do so with ease. Download YouTube learning curve is easier if you continue to make videos for YouTube is to transfer and share with the community of the Internet in no time.

Another advantage of making your own videos and upload them to YouTube comes after the fact. After transferring your videos to YouTube and available for viewing, anyone with an Internet connection can visit the website to see your YouTube videos. This means that only one of the videos that you might be seen by thousands of people! In fact, if viewers are members of YouTube, they can assess your YouTube videos or even leave comments for you. This feature is nice because it sometimes gives you positive and negative feedback, comments can be taken into consideration if you decide to make more videos from YouTube.

As you can see, there are a number of advantages or benefits to make your own videos to share on YouTube. As you probably know, there are a number of drawbacks to do likewise, including security. However, always exercise caution when making a video on YouTube or when talking with other members of YouTube, Dailymotion your video should be a positive experience.

Search Millions Of Videos In One Site Click Here

youtube: youtube

youtube: how to

Article Source:

          Scientists on the Margins        
David Nobes


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Sokal was attacking was the view amongst some social scientists that “physical reality” is a social construct, whereas the existence of an external “world” is an underlying premise in science. There is insufficient space to explore this issue adequately here, but the reader is referred to the many websites dealing with the Sokal “affair” (especially, e.g., and, and Sokal’s own site (

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

          LexaMed Presenting at BioOhio FDA Regulatory 101 Series: Medical Device Testing, Emerging Trends and Regulatory Expectations        
August 18, 2016/in Events /by computol Come and join us at the BioOhio Meeting on Wednesday, September 28, 2016. LexaMed President, Bob Reich will be speaking Join us to learn more about FDA requirements for reprocessing reusable medical devices (cleaning/disinfection/sterilization), AET, Environmental Isolates and Quality Management. For more information, click here   Where: Ascend Innovations […]
          LexaMed at Florida Medical Manufacturing Consortium        
Come and join us at the Monthly FMMC (Florida Medical Manufacturing Consortium) Meeting on Tuesday, November 17, 2015.  Our President, Bob Reich will be speaking on: MEDICAL DEVICE TESTING – EMERGING TRENDS AND REGULATORY EXPECTATIONS  What are the challenges we all face with Medical Device Testing?  What new tests are coming down the pipeline?  Get […]
          24.10.17 20:00 Uhr - Fürth - Amanda Rheaume - Kanadischer Folk        
Tickets erhältlich unter:

Amanda hat eine kräftige, leicht raue Stimme, ein Gefühl für eingängige Melodien und die Fähigkeit, Roots-Pop-Arrangements zu zaubern, die einem sofort ins Blut gehen. 2014 gewann sie den Canadian Folk MusicAward for Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year und wurde für den Juno-Award nominiert. Zudem kam sie auf die Shortlist des Council for the Arts für Ottawas RBC Emerging Artist Award. 2007 veröffentlichte sie ihre ersten EPs und im folgenden Jahr erhielt sie enorme finanzielle Unterstützung, als sie $40,000 bei dem von dem Radiosender Live 88.5 organisierten Wettbewerb 2008 Big Money Shot teilnahm. In Ottawa machte sie sich schnell einen Namen als großzügige, der Gemeinschaft verschworene Künstlerin und Aktivistin, so war sie etwa an der Organisation des Babes for Breasts Konzert und damit verbundenen Albumprojekten beteiligt; bildete die Sturmspitze bei Ottawas Bluebird North Songwriter Showcases; trat dreimal vor den in Afghanistan stationierten Truppen auf; sammelte Geld für die Angehörigen von Militärmitarbeitern und verkaufte allein in Ottawa 6500 Weihnachts-EPs um Geld für die Boys and Girls Clubs of Ottawa zu sammeln.
Die Veröffentlichung von Holding Patterns und „Red Dress” führt Amandas langjähriges Engagement fort – wieder sammelt sie mit ihrem Werk als Künstlerin Geld und macht sich für Veränderungen stark – nur ist es diesmal noch dazu sehr persönlich motiviert.
          Don’t Ask Me        
Initially I thought this was one of the Conceptual Gardens that had slipped its moorings and ended up amongst the Show Gardens, but I couldn’t find it anywhere in the show catalogue so I’m still none the wiser.  It consists of  teletubby-like undulating grass mounds with a  group of  ‘cigarettes’ emerging from the centre. With […]
          Summer 2015 tech reading and goodies        
Graph and other stores:
  • TAO: Facebook's Distributed Data Store for the Social Graph
    Architecture & Implementation
    All of the data for objects and associations is stored in MySQL. A non-SQL store could also have been used, but when looking at the bigger picture SQL still has many advantages:
    …it is important to consider the data accesses that don’t use the API. These include back-ups, bulk import and deletion of data, bulk migrations from one data format to another, replica creation, asynchronous replication, consistency monitoring tools, and operational debugging. An alternate store would also have to provide atomic write transactions, efficient granular writes, and few latency outliers
  • Twitter Heron: Stream Processing at Scale
    Storm has no backpressure mechanism. If the receiver component is unable to handle incoming data/tuples, then the sender simply drops tuples. This is a fail-fast mechanism, and a simple strategy, but it has the following disadvantages:
    Second, as mentioned in [20], Storm uses Zookeeper extensively to manage heartbeats from the workers and the supervisors. use of Zookeeper limits the number of workers per topology, and the total number of topologies in a cluster, as at very large numbers, Zookeeper becomes the bottleneck.
    Hence in Storm, each tuple has to pass through four threads from the point of entry to the point of exit inside the worker proces2. This design leads to significant overhead and queue contention issues.
    Furthermore, each worker can run disparate tasks. For example, a Kafka spout, a bolt that joins the incoming tuples with a Twitter internal service, and another bolt writing output to a key-value store might be running in the same JVM. In such scenarios, it is difficult to reason about the behavior and the performance of a particular task, since it is not possible to isolate its resource usage. As a result, the favored troubleshooting mechanism is to restart the topology. After restart, it is perfectly possible that the misbehaving task could be scheduled with some other task(s), thereby making it hard to track down the root cause of the original problem.
    Since logs from multiple tasks are written into a single file, it is hard to identify any errors or exceptions that are associated with a particular task. The situation gets worse quickly if some tasks log a larger amount of information compared to other tasks. Furthermore, an unhandled exception in a single task takes down the entire worker process, thereby killing other (perfectly fine) running tasks. Thus, errors in one part of the topology can indirectly impact the performance of other parts of the topology, leading to high variance in the overall performance. In addition, disparate tasks make garbage collection related-issues extremely hard to track down in practice.
    For resource allocation purposes, Storm assumes that every worker is homogenous. This architectural assumption results in inefficient utilization of allocated resources, and often results in over-provisioning. For example, consider scheduling 3 spouts and 1 bolt on 2 workers. Assuming that the bolt and the spout tasks each need 10GB and 5GB of memory respectively, this topology needs to reserve a total of 15GB memory per worker since one of the worker has to run a bolt and a spout task. This allocation policy leads to a total of 30GB of memory for the topology, while only 25GB of memory is actually required; thus, wasting 5GB of memory resource. This problem gets worse with increasing number of diverse components being packed into a worker
    A tuple failure anywhere in the tuple tree leads to failure of the entire tuple tree . This effect is more pronounced with high fan-out topologies where the topology is not doing any useful work, but is simply replaying the tuples.
    The next option was to consider using another existing open- source solution, such as Apache Samza [2] or Spark Streaming [18]. However, there are a number of issues with respect to making these systems work in its current form at our scale. In addition, these systems are not compatible with Storm’s API. Rewriting the existing topologies with a different API would have been time consuming resulting in a very long migration process. Also note that there are different libraries that have been developed on top of the Storm API, such as Summingbird [8], and if we changed the underlying API of the streaming platform, we would have to change other components in our stack.
Until next time!

          Nominations open for the 2018 NPR Emerging Investigator Lectureship        
Nominations are now open for the 2018 Natural Product Reports Emerging Investigator Lectureship. Nominate by 4 September 2017 This Lectureship recognises a researcher who has made a significant contribution to a natural products-related area of the chemical sciences in their early independent career. Nominations can be made by anyone, so why not nominate a colleague, […]
          Katherine S. Ryan receives NPR Lectureship at 9th US-Japan Seminar on Biosynthesis of Natural Products        
Professor Katherine S. Ryan winner of the 2017 Natural Product Reports Emerging Investigator Lectureship delivered her lecture on “A PLP-dependent oxidase in the biosynthesis of indolmycin” at the recent 9th US-Japan Seminar on the Biosynthesis of Natural Products at the UCLA Lake Arrowhead Conference Center in California.   The Natural Product Reports Emerging Investigator Lectureship is […]
          Katherine S. Ryan – winner of the 2017 Natural Product Reports Emerging Investigator Lectureship        
Congratulations to Katherine S. Ryan on winning the 2017 Natural Product Reports Emerging Investigator Lectureship. Katherine is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of British Columbia where her research group investigates the biosynthetic pathways to microbial natural product molecules. The Natural Product Reports Emerging Investigator Lectureship is an annual event […]
          Nominations open for 2017 Natural Product Reports Emerging Investigator Lectureship        
Nominations are now open for the 2017 Natural Product Reports Emerging Investigator Lectureship. Nominate by 1 September 2016 The Lectureship recognises a researcher who has made a significant contribution to a natural products-related area of the chemical sciences in their early independent career. Nominations can be made by anyone, so why not nominate a colleague, […]
          Ryan Shenvi receives NPR Lectureship at BOS 2016        
Prof. Ryan Shenvi winner of the 2016 Natural Product Reports Emerging Investigator Lectureship delivered his lecture “Chemical Synthesis of Secondary Metabolites” at the recent Balticum Organicum Syntheticum held in Riga, Latvia. As part of the lecture Ryan highlighted research discussed in his recent NPR viewpoint: Neurite outgrowth enhancement by jiadifenolide: possible targets Read more about […]
          Ryan Shenvi wins 2016 NPR Emerging Investigator Lectureship        
We are delighted to announce that Professor Ryan Shenvi from the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego (USA) is the winner of the 2016 NPR Emerging Investigator Lectureship. The NPR Lectureship is an annual event which is held at an international meeting, the recipient being a researcher who has made a significant contribution to any […]
          Natural Product Reports Emerging Investigator Lectureship – nominate now!        
Nominations are now open for the 2016 Natural Product Reports Emerging Investigator Lectureship. Nominate by Friday 14th August 2015 The Lectureship recognises a researcher who has made a significant contribution to a natural products-related area of the chemical sciences in their early independent career. Nominations can be made by anyone, so why not nominate a […]
          Information For Your Knowledge        
Information For Your Knowledge
  • Knowledge of CICAG Informations

          GOP Rep. Trent Franks Responds To Recent Threats By North Korea        
NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., about his thoughts on the latest developments regarding North Korea. He is vice chair of the House Armed Services subcommittee on emerging threats and chair of the missile defense caucus. He's been supportive of the president's tough line with North Korea.
          Sync Dating - Do You Want To Change Your Life?        
In this age of technology, where you find yourself faced with more time-saving devices than ever - and are simultaneously busier than ever - it is gratifying to know that you have new resources available to help you find love... happiness... and even find your Soulmate.

Dating is certainly an area in which this kind of help is still available. However, today we have moved away from the traditional daying and more into online dating. There are various services that remove all the work that an inidividal used to need to do and makes this process automatic.For those who have concentrated heavily on their careers - only to find that with success comes less time for dating - online dating services have become an invaluable tool in helping singles meet like-minded others.

Check out Sync Dating today to learn the secrets that most men will go their entire life wishing they could get access to.

A Dating Coach is something that today is considered to be a professional and where people who work in this area are highly specialised. These people know and "Dating Coaches" provide services to the people who need them.As a professional guide and consultant, a Dating Coach is now in demand by singles who are looking for guidance. Many professionals understand how important it is to describe the best parts of their personalities in writing - and this is where a Dating Coach can really help you shine!

The task of this coach is simple: to create a catchy profile which will leave the women reading entranced. Even though there aren't many online dating coaches in the world, this is not necessarily a bad thing. First of all, who wants to have the same gold treatment that he is given be give to someone else? Also, the few people that become dating coaches receive specialised training and therefore will shine in this job - as will your profile.Even though someone cannot put into words his whole character doesn't mean that he doesn't have a lot to offer in a dating or in a relationship with another person, and the dating coach will show this as best as it can be.

Check out Sync Dating today to learn the secrets that most men will go their entire life wishing they could get access to.

Here the coach will be asking a lot of questions to determine the character of the person involved. Then in the meetings that follow, he will conduct more reasearch about the person until he feels confident that he knows him enough to write a profile about himself.

You will have to give a good account of yourself, telling the truth at every occassions ebcause it is only in this way that the dating coach will have the full picture of yourself.

This is also the case with the first letter of introduction where the coach will take you by the hand and show you all there is to know about how this should be done in order to generate a high response rate in return.

As an emerging new category of personal coaching, the role of the Online Dating Coach will almost certainly expand over the next five to ten years. As Online Dating grows in popularity, so will the role of the Dating Coach in serving the needs of clients worldwide who flock to dating sites in search of their Soulmates!

Check out Sync Dating today to learn the secrets that most men will go their entire life wishing they could get access to.
          Ketogenic Diet Can Kickstart Weight Loss And Boost Brain Fitness        

A ketogenic diet is an extreme nutritional intervention based on very low carbohydrate intake designed to mimic starvation and drive the body into ketosis, in which the body shifts from using glucose as its main fuel to using fat. While other low-carb diets like the Atkins and Paleo diets have also focused on carb restriction, the ketogenic diet is far more than the latest fad diet but rather one supported by strong research to improve health, energy, brain function, and weight loss.

Although the ketogenic diet (KD) has been studied extensively for weight loss, promising research has shown a wide range of benefits in neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzeheimer's disease. Promising research has shown that ketones may be neuroprotective, reducing the risk of cognitive decline while boosting memory, energy and mood. The KD provides antioxidant benefits that yield promise in treating cancer, and, in animal models, has been shown to confer longevity.

The Science of the KD

The goal of the ketogenic diet is to shift the body and brain to preferentially use ketone bodies formed by the mobilization of fat tissue as the fuel source instead of glucose. Ketone bodies such as acetoacetate and b-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) are formed by the body through ketogenesis and can be oxidized as a preferred energy source when energy is sparse as with fasting or high-intensity or prolonged endurance exercise.

After three to four days of fasting, the mobilization of ketone bodies from fat stores produces the state of ketosis which can be a physiological response (with low glucose, low insulin) or can be pathological as in uncontrolled diabetes (with high glucose, low insulin).

Ketogenesis is an evolutionary adaptation key to our survival in periods of famine to allow the body and brain to rely on an alternate fuel supply while preserving carbohydrate reserves in the liver and in working muscle as well as body protein stores.

KD and the Brain

The neuroprotective benefits of the ketogenic diet are well established. The brain accounts for only two per cent of the body's weight but 20 per cent of its energy utilization. It preferentially uses glucose as its fuel but in the absence of glucose as with prolonged fasting, the brain can switch to burn ketones for energy.

BHB can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to improve cellular energy in key brain areas involved in memory such as the hippocampus. BHB is not only an energy-efficient fuel but can drive neurogenesis, the creation of new neurons as occurs in healing from traumatic brain injury or learning new skills.

The ketogenic diet has been used as a nutritional intervention in children with epilepsy as ketones tilt the balance of brain excitation to more inhibition, confering anti-seizure effects and neuroprotection.

KD in Weight Loss

The ketogenic diet has been used to achieve lasting weight loss. Beyond calories, the KD leads to more reliable weight loss than many other dietary interventions. When it comes to weight loss, it is likely that the KD exerts benefits in the following ways.

  1. Appetite control

An appetite-suppressing effect of ketone bodies, especially BHB, is thought to occur through an increase in the satiety hormones and indirectly due to the appetite-suppressing effects of increased dietary protein.

  1. Lipolysis

After prolonged fasting or carbohydrate restriction, there is a shift to utilize the body's fat stores for energy production through ketogenesis in which ketone bodies are released to the bloodstream. When ketosis is achieved, the lipolysis converts stored body fat into fuel.

  1. Metabolic Efficiency

Ketones like BHB provide more energy per unit of oxygen consumed than glucose. The metabolic efficiency of a ketogenic diet can be demonstrated by a lowering of the respiratory quotient over time.

  1. Thermogenic effects of Gluconeogenesis

Gluconeogenesis produces energy in the early phases of ketosis from protein sources but with a high metabolic cost of 400-600kcal/day. The metabolic "tax" or added caloric burn of the initiation phase of the KD is similar to the energy utilized by a lactating woman exclusively breastfeeding her newborn.

While the KD holds promise in weight loss and brain health, to successfully implement the diet it requires a careful implementation strategy. Here are some best practices for a successful KD.

  1. Be brief

The KD works best for induction of weight loss and after as few as three to four weeks results may be achieved and then maintained with a less intensive regimen like the Mediterranean diet. Emerging research indicates that lasting and significant weight loss can be achieved with an induction ketogenic diet followed by a modified Mediterranean diet for maintenance. Beyond this timeline, remaining in ketosis should be done cautiously under medical supervision.

  1. Dial up protein

While the traditional KD calls for no more than 25 per cent of calories to be derived from carbohydrates and the balance largely from fat, a more practical modification is to dial up dietary protein, as well as fibre and low-glycemic carbohydrates.

  1. Try fasting intermittently

Physiologic ketosis can be achieved not only through major macronutrient shifts as in the KD but through caloric restriction. Intermittent fasting (IF) is a more acceptable mode of caloric restriction as it shifts the body into a fast induced ketosis intermittently. This can be achieved by fasting 12-15 hours on three-four days of the week. If on the non-fasting days a more strict ketogenic diet is followed, then the body is maintained in ketosis through the combination of IF and KD.

  1. Intensify your workout

Like intermittent fasting, intense exercise can drive a physiologic ketosis and help to extend the ketogenic benefits of performing either IF and/or KD. High-intensity exercise performed in intervals is referred to as HIIT.

  1. Don't go it alone

Before embarking on any form of extreme nutritional or lifestyle intervention, it is wise to perform a baseline medical assessment including testing of liver and kidney function and glucose metabolism. For most healthy individuals, a modified KD as described above can likely be initiated safely but should be medically monitored.

There is no one right diet nor a cookie-cutter solution to weight loss. Although the ketogenic diet may be extreme and hard to maintain, it can be an effective way to kickstart your weight loss and boost your brain fitness.

Also on HuffPost:

          Unsanctioned Wanderings: Capturing the Vagrant in Romantic Prints        
December 2014

Unsanctioned Wanderings: Capturing the Vagrant in Romantic Prints

Lucy Kimiko Hawkinson Traverse
University of Wisconsin-Madison

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

-Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16.        Smith explains that Johnson, imaged with a crutch and cane, has sustained wounds rendering “him incapable of doing further duty on the ocean.” However, as a “consequence of his having been employed in the merchant’s service only,” Johnson is “not entitled to the provision of Greenwich,” and “having no claim to relief in any parish” must glean a living on the streets. Though the elaborate model ship, which Johnson wears affixed to a simple cylindrical cap, is described by Smith simply as evidence of especially creative beggary inspired by his former life as a sailor, between text and image other narratives sur