by Shrutee K/DNS

New Delhi – AIS (Asahi India Glass Ltd.), India’s leading integrated glass Company announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended    30th June, 2017 at its Board Meeting.

The consolidated financial performance highlights for the quarter ended 30th June, 2017 are as follows -

Sales (inclusive of Excise Duty) at Rs. 670.98 crores, reflected an increase of 8.60% over the previous period (Rs. 617.84 crores).

Operating EBIDTA i.e. Operating Earnings before Interest, Depreciation, Taxes and Amortisation was recorded at Rs. 109.85 crores registering an increase of 7.89% over the corresponding figure of Rs. 101.82 crores for the previous period.

Cash profit increased by 19.94% from Rs. 66.65 crores in Q4 FY 2016 to Rs. 79.94 crores in Q4 FY 2017.

PBT increased by 25.67% from Rs. 46.08 crores in Q1 FY2017 to Rs. 57.91 crores in Q1 FY2018.

PAT increased by 38.33% from Rs. 28.33 crores in Q1 FY2017 to Rs. 39.19 crores in Q1 FY2018.

The table below gives the details of the financial performance both on standalone and consolidated basis –  

AIS – Financial Results for the first quarter ended 30th June, 2017
(Rs. Lakhs)
Change (%)
Change (%)
Operating EBIDTA
Cash Profit
Profit Before Tax
Profit after Tax

We have also implemented some operational upgrades in our float glass plant at Roorkee leading to productivity increases from the next quarter. We also welcome the new regulations & standards from the government for architectural glass which shall be beneficial to everyone in the long term. As required by law, we have migrated to the new IndAS method of accounting and therefore, our results have been restated this quarter with minor upside on PAT coming from positives in depreciation.  Overall, we continue to look forward to consistent growth in auto and architectural segments as well as a stable macro environment.”

About AIS:
Asahi India Glass Ltd. (AIS) is a joint venture between the Labroo family, Asahi Glass Co. Ltd. of Japan, and Maruti Suzuki India Limited. AIS began operations in 1987.
AIS, today, is a leading integrated glass company in India, manufacturing a wide range of international quality automotive safety glass, float glass and architectural processed and value added glass. AIS operates under three strategic business units (SBUs), namely, Auto Glass, Architectural Glass and Consumer Glass.
Auto Glass is India's largest manufacturer of world class automotive safety glass and is, in fact, one of the largest in the field in Asia. It is the sole supplier to almost all the OEMs and has a market share of approx. 77 per cent in the Indian passenger car industry.
Architectural Glass is formed as a result of management merger of Float & Glass Solutions (Processed Glass) SBUs. This SBU manufactures quality float glass and deploys an extensive network of 4 zonal offices and over 1000 distributors. It also markets a wide range of AGC products in India as its distribution partner.
Consumer Glass SBU is Company’s interface with end users for its range of automotive and architectural glass offerings. Impeccable, customized and consumer centric solutions is the key differentiator of Consumer Glass SBU. It includes GlasXperts – a retail initiative in the Architectural Glass segment and Windshield Experts which is India’s only automotive glass repair & replacement specialist.

          Celebrate the platinum year of Indian Independence with HISTORY TV18        

This August watch inspiring stories of incredible Indians with ‘India: 70 wonders’ and a History TV18 original documentary on the great Subhash Chandra Bose with ‘Netaji Bose and the Lost Treasure’

by Shrutee K/DNS
Mumbai, August 2017: This Independence month HISTORY TV18 is presenting a marathon of inspiring stories that is sure to keep the viewers glued to their screen. The channel brings two most amazing shows India 70 Wonders starting 8th August, 2017 every Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 PM and a documentary on Subhash Chandra Bose - ‘Netaji Bose and the Lost Treasure’ on 18thAugust at 9 PM. The viewers are in for a surprise as the August marathon will feature Bollywood “womaniya” Huma Qureshi.
India 70 wonders will feature inspiring and out-of-the-box OMG stories of India and Indians. Some amazing stories from across the country include the cemetery-hotel in Ahmedabad, a barber who drives a Rolls Royce, a 75 year old woman who has mastered Kalaripayattu, a man who transforms iron nails into art and the likes. A series of 7 extraordinary episodes, each episode will showcase 10 inspiring stories that will depict 70 years of a young nation that is at the crossroads of change. Each story has been handpicked based on the level of amazement and intrigue generated.
The next offering is a television first, based on Subhash Chandra Bose, one of the most dynamic leaders of India's struggle of independence. The undying questions surrounding the mystery of the fabled INA Treasure and it’s disappearance along with Bose will come alive with ‘Netaji Bose and the Lost Treasure’ a History TV18 original documentary.  The secrets, locked away in the vaults of South Block and protected by the Official Secrets Act, will be showcased for the first time on television.
The thrilling one-hour special, is filmed in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar & Japan and uses rare archives as it pieces together the mysteries. With an interesting combination of present day shots, archival footage, graphics and interviews, the film takes one through an unexplored treasure hunt of World War II and its key players.

          Quiz RPG: World of Mystic Wiz Review        
It is common knowledge that free to play collectable card games or monster battle games are a huge hit in Japan. Games like Puzzle and Dragons are so popular in the eastern markets that they’ve been perceived as a threat to the thriving arcade business over there, with at least one arcade banning the playing […]
          Natura Siberica Vivid Vitamins suihke hiuksille ja vartalolle 125ml        
PikakosteututtavaRunsaasti C-vitamiinia sisältävät Pohjolan lakka ja mustikka palauttavat ihosolujen rakenteen ja lisäävät ihon joustavuutta. Japanin pagodipuu, luonnon oma rutiinin lähde, aktivoi solujen uusiutumista. B- ja E-vitamiini sekä keratiini rikas taiganruusu-uute palauttaa hiusten rakenteen ja tekee hiuksista vahvat ja pehmeät.
          Side-talk: The Ramen Stall at 787 North Bridge Road        
Recently I heard raves about this newly halal food establisment that sells Japanese. I see pictures of their food on various social networking platform like facebook and instagram (especially instagram). Although Singapore has sizable a muslim population, it is not easy to get halal japanese food here; especially good ones. This is because japanese usually uses mirin and pork broth in their cookings. The newly halal restaurant that I am referring to is call The Ramen Stall, located at 787 North Bridge Road. When I heard that still stall sells halal ramen, I was really excited because I am avid viewer of Japanese Hour on Channelnewsasia and often see people eating ramens. I have never tasted japanese ramen simply because it is difficult to get halal ones. I even considered going to Tokyo to get taste of halal ramen there.

So yesterday I decided to give it a try after work. The place is located all the same street as Zam Zam. I was expecting a crowd since it is newly halal certified and I was right about 7.30pm and there was already a long queue. My friend and I then comtemplated whether we should go to Afterwit which was located nearby and serves Mexican food. Alas, we decided to queue up. Fortunately, we got a seat after 10 minutes becauses there was only two of us. Those who came in big groups in front of us has to wait longer.

I knew what to order straight away. I ordered their Volcano Ramen ($11). My friend to longer to decide because she is not familiar with Japanese food (unlike someone who watches Japanses Hour). She settled for Oyakodon ($9.90). We also ordered a sides, Torched Beef Sushi ($7.90).

The first dish to arrive was our Torched Beef Sushim It was soo good that I even considered on seconds. The beef was so soft and well marinated and smokey. It kinda melt in my mouth. It really went well with the wasabi and the preserved radish. Usually I dont even like to put wasabi on my sushi.

The came my volcano ramen. I selected level 1 because I not really a fan of spicy food. I like those which are savourly spicy. The broth before mixing with the chilli was quite mild. It tasted better after mixing with the chilli. The restaurant was quite generous with the toppings but I find the noodles quite little. Maybe because I like carbohydrate. I especially like the kale/seaweed, minced meat and the eggs in the soup. But I find this Volcano Ramen kinda overhyped.

My friend Oyakodon. It is like chicken mixed in batter of ingredients and then fried and placed on top of rice. It is then topped with raw egg and drizzled with soy based sauce. My friend found it nice and mind you she is a picky eater. The serving was also quite big.

There was also a 17% service charge when you dine in. I will definitely come back to try their sushis and unagi rice! 

          Review: Shiseido Speedy Whip Foam Cleanser        
Speedy Whip Foam Cleanser is also one of the products that my eldest sister got for from Japan last December. This item can also be found in Singapore, I remembered the price being quite affordable that expected. I thought Shiseido products are pretty pricey in Singapore.

So this is how the packaging looks like. It comes with this small bottle of sample, which I have no idea what is because I don't read Japanese haha!

As the name suggest (whip), it is a mousse type of cleanser as shown in the photo, it comes out as frothy white mass of bubbles when you dispense it. As a result you do need to lather it like most cleanser. Initially, I was really excited to try it because it is the first time for to use mousse type of cleanser. Moreover, it is a Shiseido product. I have used its pimple cream and was excellent.

It was easy to use because it was in the mousse form. You don't have to put a lot to cleanse you face, i think a single press on the dispenser it more than sufficient. It has also has nice smell to it. If I am not wrong a smell of green tea?

When I first use it, the after wash feeling was pleasant because it was not drying on my face. After using it for a few times, I felt like it is not suitable for my face. Roughness on my skin formed after using it. Luckily it subsided after going to my usual cleanser. Perhaps it is too mild for my skin that  it does not clean well. Tried giving it a chance and use it a little more. The same result happen. So I did not use from then on.

I give the product 2/5.

          Side-Talk: Halal Omiyage (Souvenir) from Japan        
As mentioned in my previous post, my eldest sister went to Japan in December 2014 and brought back lots of Japan face products. While she was there, she whatsapp us to help to her search online for halal mochi which she can bring as souvenirs for her muslim colleague. I look up on google and do not find any halal kochi that is already in Japanese market. However, I did find out that there are halal omiyage out there are halal certified by Nippon Asia Halal Association (NAHA). Interesting huh. Below is the halal logo of NAHA.

One of the product is "Arare", which is a type of rice crackers. It is product by Osama Rice Cracker Co. Pte Ltd. Do note that not all of their products are halal. So what is "Arare"? According to wikipedia, it is japanese confectionary made from glutinous rice. The difference from senbei is its size and shape. In other words it is fried mochi.

Okay great there are halal souvenirs but where do we buy them? We saw online that it can found in a shop called "Hyobando" along the row of shops at Asakusa Temple. But my sister said it is too out of the way for her. 

Photo credit: NAHA Facebook page

Then browse through NAHA Facebook Page. I found out that it is also sold at Narita Airport Terminal 1! I was thinking great then, she can buy it before she bought the plane. NAHA posted the photo below but did not state the exact location of it…like where in Terminal can it be bought.

Photo credit: NAHA Facebook page
So using my detective skills, I go Narita airport website to check the directory and look out for shops with similar display. The is called KONNICHIWA and the location is at:

Narita Airport Terminal 1
Level 4 of Central Building

So back to the story about my eldest sister. She say her departure hall is at Terminal 2 instead and most like would not be able to Terminal 1 first due to shortage of time. So I look for a way for her to buy the halal "Arare" online. Sakura Gate (link) enables you to buy online and provides delivery service to the Airport. Except you will need you to order in advance…and this is not possible for my sister. But I think the idea is genius! Tourists can now save time from looking for souvenirs while they are on holidays. I always find looking for souvenirs to but for others a waste of time HAHA. In the end, I said to me sister that I have no other solution for her.

So she finally returned to Singapore after her trip and reach home at 2am in the morning. I saw her carry this ANA paper bag with the 8 packets of halal "Arare" in it. I was like, where did you get it from. Apparently, it is sold in Narita Airport Terminal 2 as well. So another place for you to buy the halal "Arare" is at ANA FESTA lobby gift shop located at:

Narita Airport Terminal 2
Level 4 of the Main Building

My sister bought 2 flavours of halal "Arare, seaweed and red pepper. I only have photo of the seaweed one since we already ate the red pepper one. Heard there is going to be a new flavour (Wasabi) coming out soon.

For more information and updates of halal products in Japan, do visit NAHA Facebook page. 

          Review: Meishoku DET Clear Bright & Peel Peeling Jelly〈Mixed Berry Fragrance〉        
It is time for a new product review again. Before I do that, I would like to wish all my readers HAPPY 2015! May 2015 be a great year for all of you. 

My eldest sister brought home lots of Japan Skin products after her trip to Japan in December 2014. Some of the products are from popular brands in Singapore while some are brands that I have not heard before. On a side note, I simply love how the Japanese package their products, it makes me really excited to try out the products. One of the products that I would like shared with the product is DET Clear Bright & Peel Peeling Jelly with Mixed Berry Fragrance.

It states on the bottle that the peeling jelly can help to remove black-heads (Black-Heads OFF), exfoliate (Skin Rebirth), Dark Spot Care and remove sebum (Sebum OFF). 

Since it is directly from Japan, there is no english translation on the bottle. It states "Peeling Jelly" on the bottle, so I imagine it as your typical peeling mask until I google online for more information on the product. I found the information at Meishouku website.

Rather than a peeling mask, DET Clear Bright & Peel Peeling Jelly Gel is like a "glue jelly" that traps dirt on your skin as you rub on it. As you rub it will gather like small blobs of jelly. Here are some of photos of me trying the Peeling Jelly on my hands. This is not my first time using it though. I tried it  the first time few weeks ago on my face but did not document it on photos. Nevertheless, I will blog my  first experience after posting the photos.

As shown above the gel is clear and it has nice berry smell. For those who has sensitive skin, you can but one that is fragrance free.

I spread the gel and rub on my clean hand focusing on areas that feel rougher than the rest.

The gel will start clumping once it has trap the dirts. You can proceed to wash away the gel. It is pretty easy to wash away the gel. You just need normal temperatures water.

After washing the gel, my hand feels smoother. It might not be clear on photo. I used the gel on my right hand only and I can feel the difference in level of smoothness between my right and left hands.

So more on using the gel on my face. I feel that the gel is really helpful in removing dirt behind the wings of my nose. It is really difficult to remove dirt there using just facial wash and even using face scrub. I can feel that the area behind the wings of my nose substantially smoother. However, I did feel slight itchiness around the wings of nose after using the gel for the first time. But do not worry, the itchiness stopped  the next day and it doesn't occur again after subsequent use.

I feel that there is some reduction in white heads around my chin area and black heads on my nose. But doesn't really remove deep-seated black heads. After using the gel at night, you can really feel how smooth your skin has become when you are cleansing your face in the morning. I was really impressed when I first tried it.

So if you are looking for something that can help you exfoliate your skin, I recommend this over other face scrub because it is quite gentle on the skin compared to face scrub.

I rate this product 4.5/5,

          The FWA Podcast: Friday 17th February        
Mark Walton is joined by the Japan Times' Chris Davies to discuss Arsene Wenger's future, as well as looking ahead to the televised FA Cup fixtures this weekend.
          Curtis Harding, Japanese Breakfast, and More Music Discoveries        
"It's music to soundtrack a dream or that state right before dreaming and it's a rare song that could be as affecting any time of... Read More
          Original Blog Entry: Did You Know?        

Why most Zippers have the letters YKK on them.

Whitcomb L. Judson invented the zipper and YKK is the Japanese company that makes them.

Whitcomb L. Judson was a lover of gadgets and machines and the idea for his "clasp locker" came from when a friend had a stiff back from trying to fasten his shoes. Judson's clasp locker was used mostly on mailbags, tobacco pouches and shoes. However, his design, like most first inventions needed to be fine-tuned.

A more practical version came on the scene in 1913 when a Swedish-born engineer, Gideon Sundback revised Judson's idea and made his with metal teeth instead of a hook and eye design. In 1917, Sundback patented his "separable fastener."

The name changed again when the B. F. Goodrich Co. used it in rubber boots, galoshes, and called it the "zipper" because the boots could be fastened with one hand.

The 1940s brought about research in Europe of the coil zipper design. The first design was of interlocking brass coils. However, since they could be permanently bent out of shape, making the zipper stop functioning, it was rather bad for business and wasn't too practical. The new design was improved after the discovery of stronger, more flexible synthetics. Coil zippers eventually hit the market in the early 1960s.

In 1934, Yoshida Kogyo Kabushililaisha was founded. Sixty years later they changed their name to YKK Co. The privately owned firm, headquartered in Japan, now is made up of 80 companies at 206 facilities in 52 countries. Wow! you say? but of course, the demand for zippers is great. YKK makes everything from the dyed fabric around the zipper to the brass used to make the actual device.

          Nintendo Wii U gets December 8th release date for Japan: 26,260 yen for basic set, 31,500 yen for premium        

Nintendo Wii U heading to Japan on December 8th 26,260 yen for basic set, 31,500 yen for premium

The Nintendo Wii U arrives on Japanese shores on December 8th starting at 26,260 yen (around $340), Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced this morning via Nintendo Direct's video stream. A presentation later today in New York City starring Nintendo of America prez Reggie Fils-Aime will reveal pricing and release dates for the rest of the world, but you'd be right in guessing it won't be too far from the Japanese launch.

A basic set (only in white) and premium set (only in black) were revealed, with the darker option adding more storage; 32GB, up from 8GB on the cheaper bundle. The Premium set (priced at 31,500 yen, or about $405) consists of the console, GamePad, a charging stand, play stand, and yet another stand for the Wii U itself. Those GamePads will also be available standalone for 13,440 yen, which could see American gamers paying around $173 for the luxury of a spare.

The Wii U pro controllers are priced at 5,040 yen ($65) each, while the Wiimote will continue to be priced at 3,800 yen (around $50), now in a range of colors. Likewise, the nunchucks will come in three color palettes. The GamePad charging stand will also be available to buy separately -- setting you back around 1,870 yen -- around $25. Naturally, there's going to be some international variance in these prices so we'll be updating once we get those global prices cemented.

We've been given a little more detail on the technical specifics too, with the Wii U packing 1GB of its own ("main") memory alongside 1GB for running games. Two titles, New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land will both debut alongside the console -- we're expecting to hear even more software details later today.

Ben Gilbert contributed to this post.%Gallery-165202%%Gallery-165204%

Source: Nintendo Japan

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blog entry 80
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          Swastika: Love, Light, Life and Luck!        
There are many types of swastikas all over the world. Swastika is one of the oldest symbols of humanity. Sun corporation: Columbia cloth: Even Windows: Iranian necklace dated to as early as 1000 BC Swastika hangs on all pagodas. For example, in Japan: The use of swastikas for decoration of pottery and other wares was […]
          Drummer Jonathan Barber, Hartt School Alum, Heads Japan Tour         

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

Announcement via Jonathan Barber:

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

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

May 12(fri) Lifetime / Shizuoka city

May 13(sat) Body & Soul / Tokyo

May 14(sun) Le club jazz / Kyoto city

May 15(mon) Le club jazz/ Kyoto city

May 17(wed) Star eyes / Nagoya city

May 19(fri) Swing hall / Musashino city Tokyo

May 20(sat) Pit inn / Tokyo

This is just the beginning... Vision Ahead 2017


More details coming soon...

  • Featured in Modern Drummer

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

  • Jonathan Barber Drum Feature "Moontrane"

  • Barber website

  • Barber Facebook

  •           The future of electricity        
    The future of electricity

    When the future of electricity is discussed, quite a number of thoughts come into mind. Let’s look at a few of such ideas. Electricity will be wireless!
    Wouldn’t it be delightful to see no wires in the house even with an uninterrupted supply of electricity? Will the future see wireless supply of electricity? Apparently, it will, according to industry experts. Last year, a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology conducted a wireless electricity experiment successfully. This dream has never been far-fetched, and with the success of wireless electricity experiments, this dream will soon come true. So, it is not very far that we will see electrical appliances charging themselves off air!

    Consumers will have complete control!
    Industry experts believe that in future, your power supply will not be dependent on the electricity department but on you. You will have complete control on how you want the power supply to reach your place. You may not be required to pay the mandatory amount when you are vacationing around the world, shutting off the house. Experts see a variety of control options for consumers in the future. Now, whether this future is in the next ten years, or twenty, or a fifty years is not known, but what is known is that the future will see the consumers in control of what they use.

    Electrical energy will be clean!
    Do you know that the remains of electricity production emit enormous amounts of carbon dioxide in the air? The future of electricity is perceived as green and clean. Given the concern for the environment, the electricity in future will make use of renewable sources of energy, leading to a clean environment. Currently, electricity is produced mostly by consuming fuels that are on the verge of being extinct. All things will be electric!
    OK, we have already seen electric cars and electric shavers, what else will the future see? May be, electric shoes! Combs, toothbrushes, watches, glasses, even clothes may become electrical gadgets. If these sound far-fetched ideas, visit the futuristic shops at Akihabara in Japan for a glimpse of the future.

    There will be no outages!
    More than anything, consumers look forward to seeing a future with absolutely no power outages. Alternate power solutions promise to take us into a future that has no power interruptions. With increased dependency on power for everything, consumers need to have an uninterrupted supply of power.

    Make power at home with solar and wind energy to eliminate your power bill. Get our complete guide at

    Make power at home with solar and wind energy to eliminate your power bill.
    Get our complete guide at

              Burn After Reading        

    Who’s Who
    What’s What

    In the World of CIA Fronts, Partners, Proprietaries & Contractors


    The Almost Classified Guide to CIA Front Companies, Proprietaries & Contractors
    ISBN: 978-1-365-11196-9

    Cool Justice Editor's Note: Following are excerpts from author Madsen's introduction and the body of the work. Additional suggested reading: News story about Madsen's book via the Washington, D.C. based Justice Integrity Project [link at the bottom of this post].


    From the Introduction

    One of the most pervasive uses of companies as intelligence partners was under the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD. During the Cold War, the CIA, often with the approval of corporate executives, infiltrated their agents to work as journalists in newspapers, radio and television networks, wire services, and magazines. The following pages in this book are rife with examples of this penetration of the Fourth Estate – all too many in the opinion of this journalist. The CIA admitted to at least 400 journalists on the agency’s payroll at the height of MOCKINGBIRD. The CIA traditionally understates its capabilities, especially when its covert activities become publicly known. Moreover, the end of the Cold War did not stop the practice of the CIA in infiltrating the media and slant news reports to its wishes.


    An insightful look behind the veils of secrecy into the CIA’s use of fronts, proprietaries, and partners calls into question the purpose of the CIA. Created by President Harry S Truman to serve as a central collector and repository of intelligence, the CIA became much more than that. A few weeks after the United States witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy in the middle of downtown Dallas, Truman penned an op-ed piece that appeared in several newspapers around the country. In it, Truman shared his regret for having created the CIA in 1947:

    “I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA . . . For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

    "I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue.”


    The 21st century’s CIA’s partners are more likely to be found among high-tech companies marketing the latest and greatest mobile applications and data mining programs than among banks, law offices, and advertising agencies. However, in the post-World War II era, the CIA’s top and middle echelons were normally found operating through cover as typewriter-pecking journalists, traveling Madison Avenue admen, corporate lawyers, and chain-smoking oilmen. In the 1970s and 80s, CIA contractors and partners began showing up in the high-tech field, with database, local area networking, and on-line information retrieval systems attracting the most interest by Langley.


    As this book went to press, the smart phone game application Pokémon Go fad was sweeping the planet. Unbeknownst to many of the on-line game’s avid fan’s was the connection of the game’s developers to the CIA’s venture capital firm IN-Q-TEL. All users saw their geo-location and other smart phone data being swept up by a CIA partner firm.


    Amazon, Inc. [CIA contractor]. Company provides cloud computing services for the CIA. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.

    American Historical Society. [CIA partner]. Many society officials were OSS/CIA officers.

    American Press Institute. [CIA front]. Operating out of Columbia University, the institute’s director in the 1950s was a CIA officer.

    AmeriCares. [CIA partner]. A non-profit organization that is often the “first in” at refugee situations. Founded by tycoon J. Peter Grace, a board chairman of the CIA front, the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) and a trustee of another CIA front, the American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, AmeriCares was involved in funding the Nicaraguan contras. The group has also provided the CIA with recruiting opportunities at mass refugee sites, particularly in Latin America and Asia.

    Bechtel Corporation. [CIA contractor]. Bechtel is a large construction company that has included former CIA director Richard Helms, CIA pseudonym “Fletcher M. Knight,” among its executive ranks. Bechtel was active in providing corporate cover for the OSS in the Middle East during World War II. Bechtel has been a consummate service company for various CIA operations, including support for the CIA-inspired coup against the Syrian government in 1949, the Iranian government of Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadeq in 1953, and President Sukarno of Indonesia in 1965. From the 1960s to the 1970s, Bechtel provided cover for CIA agents in Libya under both the regime of King Idris and his successor, Muammar Qaddafi. Sometimes called a “secret arm” of the CIA, Bechtel’s executives included those who would join President Reagan’s Cabinet, including Secretary of State George Schultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

    Before World War II, Steve Bechtel formed a military-industrial complex partnership with John McCone. McCone later became the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and later, director of the CIA. The CIA has used Bechtel to provide cover for non-official cover CIA operatives abroad.

    Blackstone Investment Group. [CIA front]. With offices in Washington, DC and Moscow, arranged for the purchase of KGB documents following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Among the documents sought by the front company were any related to illegal CIA activities during the Cold War, including the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

    Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant. [CIA front]. Opened in 1967 in King’s Cross in Sydney, Australia. Served as a rendezvous point for CIA, Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), and organized crime figures. Its proprietor was Bernie Houghton, a CIA operative with links to Nugan Hand Bank, CIA weapons smuggler Edwin Wilson, and CIA clandestine services officers Theodore Shackley, Rafael Quintero, and Thomas Clines.

    Center for Democracy. [CIA front]. Administered under the aegis of Boston University, the center maintained offices in Boston, Washington, DC, Guatemala City, and Strasbourg, France. Involved in CIA operations in eastern Europe, Central America, and Africa.

    Colt Patent Firearms Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Hartford, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

    Daddario & Burns. [CIA partner]. Headed by former OSS officer Emilio Daddario, a Democratic Representative from Connecticut, the Hartford-based law firm provided services to the CIA.

    DC Comics. [CIA partner]. Worked with the International Military Information Group (IMIG), a joint CIA/Pentagon unit at the State Department, to disseminate propaganda comic books, featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, in Serbo-Croatian and Albanian, to youth in the Balkans during the military conflicts in that region.

    Disney Corporation. [CIA partner]. CIA agents who were adept at creating front companies and shell corporations in Florida, worked closely with Disney in preparation for the construction of Disney World near Orlando, Florida. OSS veteran “Wild Bill” Donovan and CIA shell company expert Paul Helliwell helped create two fake Florida cities, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, as well as a number of shell corporations, to keep secret the plans for Disney World. This kept land prices low because real estate speculators were unaware of the prospective value of the land in a desolate area of central Florida.

    Emory School of Medicine. [CIA partner]. Located in Atlanta, Georgia. Involved in the CIA’s MK-ULTRA behavioral modification project.

    Enron Corporation [CIA partner]. Houston-based firm that was used by the CIA to provide commercial cover for its agents around the world. There were at least 20 CIA employees on Enron’s payroll. Andre Le Gallo, a former official of the CIA’s Operations Directorate, went to work as a corporate intelligence officer for Enron.

    Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). [CIA front]. Officially established by American Trotskyists, the group was penetrated by CIA operatives. The FPCC New Orleans office was a CIA front that provided cover for the anti-Fidel Castro activities of Lee Harvey Oswald, Clay Shaw, and David Ferrie, among others. The New Orleans FPCC office was located at 544 Camp Street and shared the same building entrance with Guy Banister Associates, Inc., a private detective agency, the address for which was 531 Lafayette Street and around the corner from 544 Camp Street.

    In December 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the FPCC ceased all U.S. operations.

    General Electric Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Fairfield, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

    General Foods Corporation. [CIA partner]. Advertising account at CIA’s Robert Mullen Company handled by an active CIA employee.

    Google, Inc. [CIA partner]. Developed as a result of a research grant by the CIA and Pentagon to Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science. The CIA referred to the research as the “google project.”

    Greenberg Traurig. [CIA partner]. Washington, DC “connected” law firm.

    Guy Banister Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New Orleans private detective agency headed by former FBI agent Guy Banister. The detective agency coordinated the activities of various anti-Castro Cuban groups in New Orleans, including Banister’s own Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean, as well as the Cuban Revolutionary Council, the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, Friends of Democratic Cuba, and the Crusade to Free Cuba Committee.

    Banister and Associates shared office space with the CIA’s New Orleans front, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, headed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

    Hale and Dorr. [CIA partner]. Boston-based law firm that provided cover for CIA’s Independence and Brown Foundations.

    Halliburton. [CIA contractor]. Based in Houston, it is the world’s largest oil service company. Recipient of a number of CIA sole-source contracts for services worldwide.

    Harper and Row, Inc. [CIA partner]. Manuscripts submitted to the New York publisher that dealt with intelligence matters, particularly CIA operations, were turned over to the CIA for censoring edits before publication.

    Hewlett Packard Corporation. [CIA partner]. Sold computers to Iraq for Saddam Hussein’s missile program with the knowledge and approval of the CIA.

    Hill & Knowlton. [CIA partner]. Public relations firm that teamed with the CIA on a number of operations. Hill & Knowlton’s numerous offices abroad provided cover for CIA agents. One known Hill & Knowlton office that was a CIA front operation was in Kuala Lumpur.

    Kerr-McGee. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating overseas.

    Kissinger Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New York-based international consulting firm founded by former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft is a co-owner. The firm provided support to the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation and the Bilderberg Group. Much of the 1982 seed money for Kissinger Associates was provided by Goldman Sachs.

    Knight Foundation. [CIA partner]. Also known as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Based in Miami, the foundation provides funding for various CIA-connected media operations in the United States and around the world.

    Kroll Inc. [CIA partner]. Founded in 1972 by Jules Kroll, who had links to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence. Based in Manhattan. French domestic law enforcement believed Kroll’s Paris office was a CIA front. Kroll handled the security for the World Trade Center after the 1993 terrorist bombing and continued to be responsible for security up to, during, and after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Kroll employed former FBI assistant director for counter-terrorism John O’Neill, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

    Lincoln Savings and Loan. [CIA partner]. Based in Irvine, California and headed by notorious swindler Charles Keating, Jr., involved in laundering funds for the Iran-contra scandal.

    Lone Star Cement Corporation. [CIA partner]. Based in Stamford, Connecticut and linked to the Bush family, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad. Involved in the Iran-contra scandal.

    Mary Carter Paint Company. [CIA front]. A money-laundering operation for the CIA. Involved in casinos in the Bahamas.

    Monsanto. [CIA partner]. The firm contracted with former CIA official Cofer Black’s Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), a subsidiary of the CIA-connected Blackwater USA, later Xe Services, to monitor animal rights groups, anti-genetically modified (GM) food activists, and other groups opposed to Monsanto’s agri-business operations worldwide.

    National Enquirer. [CIA partner]. The tabloid’s founder, Generoso (Gene) Pope, Jr., worked for the CIA’s psychological warfare unit and the agency’s Italy branch in 1950. In 1952, Pope acquired The New York Enquirer broadsheet and transformed it into a tabloid, renaming it The National Enquirer. This transformation bore the imprimatur of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program.

    Newsweek. [CIA partner]. Magazine reporters and stringers fed information to the CIA. Newsweek’s stringers in southeastern Europe and the Far East were CIA agents. When Newsweek was bought by The Washington Post Company in 1961, cooperation between the magazine and the CIA increased. It was a participant in the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program. Much of the staff of Newsweek was absorbed into a new online publication, The Daily Beast, which continues to disseminate CIA-influenced articles. See Washington Post.

    Nieman Foundation. [CIA partner]. Located at Harvard University, the foundation awarded Nieman Fellowships, some on behalf of the CIA, for foreign journalists to study at Harvard. The journalists were subjected to CIA recruitment efforts prior to their returning to their home countries.

    Pamela Martin & Associates. [CIA partner], Escort firm run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called “DC Madam.” During her 2008 trial for mail fraud, Palfrey attempted to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act in order to discuss her relationship with the CIA. The U.S. Court refused Palfrey’s request and she was convicted and later said to have committed suicide before her sentencing hearing in Washington, DC. One of her clients was Randall Tobias, the head of the CIA-connected USAID. Another was Louisiana Republican senator David Vitter.

    Paris Review. [CIA front]. Literary magazine edited by George Plimpton. Published works by Jack Kerouac and Samuel Beckett. The magazine’s co-founder, Peter Matthiessen, relied on his affiliation with the magazine as his CIA cover.

    Quaker Oats Company. [CIA partner]. Worked with the CIA and Atomic Energy Commission to place trace amounts of radiation in breakfast cereal served to boys at the Fernald School for the mentally retarded in Waltham, Massachusetts.

    Radio Corporation of America. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Iran, Philippines, Japan, and West Germany. Provided technical assistance to CIA-financed clandestine and propaganda radio stations worldwide, including Radio Free Europe. RCA founder David Sarnoff was a major supporter of CIA operations, including propaganda dissemination around the world. RCA chairman and chief executive officer Thornton F. Bradshaw was active in the operations of the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation.

    Reily Coffee Company. [CIA partner]. Also known as William B. Reily Coffee Company and based in New Orleans, this company employed Lee Harvey Oswald and a number of other U.S. government employees, many of whom were suspected CIA officers.

    Robert M. Mullen Company. [CIA proprietary]. A Washington, DC public relations firm, it was used as a front for CIA activities. E. Howard Hunt, the CIA agent, worked for Robert Mullen when he was arrested in the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington in 1972. The Senate Watergate Committee reported that “the Mullen and Company has maintained a relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency since its incorporation in 1959. It provided covers for agents in Europe (Stockholm), Latin America (Mexico City), and the Far East (Singapore) at the time of the Watergate break-in.”

    Rockefeller Foundation. [CIA partner]. Used by the CIA to direct scholarships and grants to the Third World and Eastern Europe. Rockefeller Foundation money was funneled to the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), created in 1948. The chairman of ACUE was OSS chief William J. Donovan and the vice chairman was Allen Dulles. One of ACUE’s board members was Walter Bedell Smith, the first CIA director.

    Summa Corporation. [CIA partner]. Owned by Howard Hughes, Summa is believed to have skimmed gambling profits from the Sands, Desert Inn, Frontier, Silver Slipper, Castaways, and Landmark casinos in Las Vegas and Harold’s Club in Reno for the CIA and the Mafia. Provided financial cover for the CIA’s Glomar Explorer project.

    Teneo Intelligence. [CIA partner]. Branch of Teneo Holdings, which is headquartered in New York. Teneo Holdings’s intelligence branch includes former CIA officials. Teneo is closely linked to former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Teneo Intelligence has offices in New York, London, Rome, Brussels, Dubai, Bogota, New Delhi, and Tokyo.

    Texas Commerce Bank (TCB). [CIA partner]. Houston-based bank founded by the family of James Baker III. Texas Commerce Bank was used to provide commercial cover for CIA agents. After serving as vice president for Texas Commerce Bank in Caracas from 1977 to 1979, Jeb Bush joined his father’s presidential campaign in 1980. Serving with Bush on the campaign was Robert Gambino, the CIA deputy director of security who gave Bush his orientation brief at Langley in 1977.

    Kenneth Lay, the chairman of Enron, which had its own links to the CIA, served on the board of Texas Commerce Bank. Texas Commerce Bank was acquired by Chemical Bank in 1987.

    The bank provided major loans to Howard Hughes’s Summa Corporation. See Summa Corporation.

    United Fruit Company [CIA partner]. Involved in 1954 CIA overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz government in Guatemala. Published the Latin America Report, a publication that was a CIA front used for clandestine activities. The CIA transferred weapons to United Fruit employees in Guatemala who were involved in undermining the Arbenz government. The joint CIA-United Fruit plan was code named OPERATION FORTUNE. Company provided an airfield in Guatemala for the CIA’s training of Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

    U.S. Rubber Company. [CIA partner]. Headquartered in Naugatuck, Connecticut and later called Uniroyal, provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad. Included those operating under the cover of the Dominion Rubber Company of Canada, a subsidiary of U.S. Rubber Company.

    U.S. Youth Council (USYC). [CIA front]. Founded in 1945 and based in New York. Some 90 percent of its funds came from the CIA. USYC received funding from the Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs (FYSA), a CIA front. The USYC was composed of American Youth Hostels, Camp Fire Girls, 4-H, American Unitarian Youth, National Catholic Welfare Conference, National Students Assembly, YMCA and YWCA.

    Wackenhut. [CIA contractor]. Wackenhut, a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based security firm, stood accused of providing the CIA with specialized services around the world, including Chile, Greece, and El Salvador. Its Venezuelan branch, Wackenhut Venezolana, C.A., was accused in 2002 of involvement in the CIA’s coup against President Hugo Chavez. William Casey served as Wackenhut’s outside counsel before becoming CIA director in 1981.

    Wackenhut eventually merged into the global security firm G4S.

    Washington Post. [CIA partner]. The Washington Post was part of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD, the agency’s media influence project. Post publisher Phil Graham was a close friend and associate of MOCKINGBIRD chief Frank Wisner, Sr. and CIA director Allen Dulles. Wisner assisted Graham in acquiring The Washington Times-Herald and WTOP radio, creating a sizable CIA-influenced media operation in the nation’s capital.

    W. R. Grace. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Latin America. Provided donations to CIA front foundations.

  • News story about Madsen's book via The Justice Integrity Project

  •           No discounted UMD transfers to Vita for US, angel loses its wings        
    No discounted UMD transfers to Vita for US, angel loses its wings
    Hey, America ... no soup for you! Vita apparently means no discounted downloads of your beloved disc-based PSP games as Kotaku reports Sony won't be offering its "UMD Passport" service in the US. Since December, Sony has let existing Japanese PSP owners upgrade UMD games to Vita downloadable copies for around ¥500-1,000 ($6.50 - $13). Penny-pinching US gamers can perhaps console themselves with the fact that they can still get a discount for digital downloads of Vita games. Well, that or make hungry eyes for free at Vitas displayed in kiosks at select stores.

              PlayStation Vita gets a content management app, plays nice with PS3 and PC        
    Worried your PlayStation Vita is going to be so full of repurchased PSP content that you won't be be able to store it all? Yeah, neither are we -- but if you want another place to keep your Vita's picture, video, music and game content, Sony says your PC and PS3 will do nicely. An application page on the Japanese PlayStation website details a Vita app that lets users transfer data between the three platforms, noting that content can be purchased on the PC or PS3, and then transferred to the Vita for use later. Gamers looking to save scratch on that not-so-optional memory card will be able to use this content sharing feature to get the most out of whatever size storage they can afford. Sure, 4GB of storage the cheapest Vita memory card offers isn't ideal, but at least Sony is throwing you a bone to make it work.
              Sony announces UMD Passport program in Japan, offers Vita PSN discounts to UMD owners        
    When Sony mentioned that the Vita wouldn't support the PSP's existing UMD library, we had to wonder what would become of the little discs. Sony hinted that something was on the way for physical media aficionados at TGS, but wasn't ready to go into detail yet. Today, however, SCEJ announced the UMD Passport program -- a service that will let Japanese PSP owners register UMD games through a PSP app to secure discounts for repurchasing titles on the new console. The discounted games average between ¥500-1,000 (about $6 and $13, respectively) a pop, but can go for as high as ¥2,400. The UMD registration app hits the Japanese PlayStation store on December 6th, and Sony hopes to make the system compatible with roughly 200 titles. Hit the source links below for Sony's official press release and an initial list of Passport compatible games, in Japanese, of course.
              PS Vita's Twitter app shown off in Hong Kong, we go hands-on (video)        
    Here's a little souvenir for Twitter addicts eyeing the upcoming PS Vita: at today's debut event in Hong Kong, we got to see said console's Twitter app in action for the very first time, and we were also fortunate enough to get some exclusive hands-on time with Sony's in-house software. As you can see in our video after the break, the overall design feels very much in line with Twitter's standard ID: the same shade of blue, the usual tabs on the left column, slick elastic scrolling in the timelines, and support for geotagging, hash tags plus photo attachment while tweeting. No surprises here, but hey, the app worked well for us.

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

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

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

              HAPPY BUDDHA / HOTEI        

    The enlightened mystic most associated with laughter is “THE HAPPY BUDDHA/HOTEI”, also known as the laughing Buddha. Happy Buddha / Hotei was a large man with a big belly who traveled from village to village in sixteenth-century Japan. He …

    The post HAPPY BUDDHA / HOTEI appeared first on The Golden Triangle.

              Mana-esque 'EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap' just released globally on the Play Store        

    One look at EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap and you are instantly transported back to the 90's where Japanese RPGs reigned supreme. This is no surprise of course as the developers behind EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap had a hand in creating some of the most memorable RPGs in history such as Kingdom Hearts, Mother 3, and the Mana series.

    While this 18 minute gameplay trailer should give you a good idea what to expect out of EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap, I would like to highlight some of the more interesting bits about this release below.

    Read More

    Mana-esque 'EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap' just released globally on the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

              Bless – Korean media confirms English server has been cancelled        
    According to various Korean gaming media, Neowiz and Aeria Games have officially cancelled the contract for Bless in North America and Europe. Neowiz will now concentrate on preparing the Japan server, which is set to launch later this year. Neowiz previously signed contracts as well with China, Russia, and Taiwan, but only the Russian server [&hellip
              Black Desert Online – First look at improved graphics arriving this year        
    Announced back in November 2015, Korean developer Pearl Abyss will be upgrading the graphics of Black Desert Online using the YEBIS software created by Japan-based Silicon Studio. YEBIS was also used in popular console games such as Dark Souls III and Bloodborne. Pearl Abyss will apply YEBIS’ graphic effects to do a full-scale graphic remastering. [&hellip
              Comment on Home with your kids while earning an income? It’s possible. by Jane        
    What exactly do you do? I'm a military spouse and live in Japan. Jobs from home have to approved. I'm just a little curious on what everything would entail?
              Comment on Happy! Project Debut Single by happyproject        
    Hi Natalie! Thank you for your comment! We are still indie. We are not signed by a record company. Therefore because we have not been contracted by any label or even by the producer, we have to cover all costs on our own. The money we have to pay is money to license the song, for the rights to perform and sell the single. Also it is the cost to record the single in the recording studio along with mixing it. We also have to pay for production costs of the single, including the printing of CD jackets and everything else. It gets to be very expensive. The producer is doing us a great favor by helping us with the music and also the lyrics of the song. Also with his connections in Japan so that we can market this single. When we get signed by a record label that is when we won't have to pay this cost, this is strictly because we are an independent group, and unsigned by any label. You can talk to any band or look at any recording studio website, indie bands and groups always go into the studio to record their work, and they unfortunately (because it is expensive if you want to release something quality wise) have to cover all costs in order to do so. I hope that clears things up! Melissa ---- Leader, Happy! Project
              Working with UTF-8 on OSX        
    One of my recent projects has been to port a Clotho application to Japanese. We chose this opportunity to convert the code base fully to Unicode. The other obvious choice would have been to port to Shift-JIS, a popular encoding for Japanese characters. However, we decided that this latter choice was not forward-looking enough. Choosing … Continue reading Working with UTF-8 on OSX
              Berserk tiếp tục tung ra PV mới chuẩn bị cho sá»± ra mắt trong tháng 7 tới        

    Có lẽ cái tên được mong chờ nhất trong mùa hè năm 2016 đó chính là anime Berserk. Và vừa rồi tại sự kiện Anime Japan 2016 đang diễn ra tại Tokyo cuối cùng thì NBC Universal cũng đã cho ra mắt PV đầu tiên của Berserk

    The post Berserk tiếp tục tung ra PV mới chuẩn bị cho sự ra mắt trong tháng 7 tới appeared first on .

              A Christian Response to Racism        
    One common thread throughout mankind is the endemic ugliness of racism. Human history is rife with examples: early Romans subjugated the Jews; slavery was rampant; India’s caste system ostracizes the untouchables; Japanese immigrants to Canada and the United States were rounded up and forced into internment camps; indigenous peoples in Canada, Australia, the United States … Continue reading A Christian Response to Racism
              +++ Universum +++ - Japan will bis 2030 zum Mond        
    Auch Japan will den Mond erobern. Wie die nationale Raumfahrtbehörde am Freitag mitteilte, soll das Ziel etwa 2030 erreicht werden.
              Heiken Ashi Strategies: It works. Sometimes.        

    Nearly every week, someone sends TradingSchools.Org a request, asking about various topics related to technical analysis tools used to analyze stocks, futures, Forex or options. Nearly all modern trading platforms contain a plethora of basic trading tools. Some of the more common technical analysis tools are moving averages, stochastics, volume analysis, Japanese candlesticks, Heiken Ashi, MACD, divergence, Bollinger Bands, to name a few. It seems like every few years, we get an entirely new set of tools that capture the imagination of the investing public. Crafty vendors and trading educators quickly pick up on these consumer trends and create their

    The post Heiken Ashi Strategies: It works. Sometimes. appeared first on Trading Schools.Org.

              Comment on EarthBound News Roundup (July 2017) by Bits of Pop        
    I had Mother 3 imported when it was released and played through it without knowing Japanese. Years later I played it in English once the patch was up.
              Comment on EarthBound News Roundup (July 2017) by CrouchingMouse        
    @schmeg: It's possible he played through the game in Japanese with (or without) a translation guide before the fan translation was completed. It took about 2 years from the time the game was released, and a lot of people didn't want to wait for the patch.
              Comment on EarthBound News Roundup (July 2017) by schmeg        
    ".... so he’s experienced the game entirely in Japanese" Uh....probably not?
              The White Mountaineering x adidas Originals 2017 Fall/Winter Collection Contains a Bevy of Streetwear Staples        
    Japanese menswear label White Mountaineering have come together again with German sportswear giants adidas Originals on a new range...
              Westinghouse Completes Passive Safety Upgrade at Slovenia’s KrÅ¡ko Nuclear Power Plant        

    Westinghouse Electric Company announced that it has successfully completed the installation of a fully passive containment filtered venting system at the Nuklearna Elektrarna Krško Nuclear Power Plant located in Slovenia. This system enhances safety in the area of severe accident management and was required by the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration following the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station accident in Japan.

    (PRWeb March 03, 2014)

    Read the full story at

              Happy New Year 2016 around the World: Behind the scenes of my #FsAdvent project        

    Just like last year and the year before, I wanted to participate in the #FsAdvent event, where someone writes a blog post about something they did with F# during December. Thanks to Sergey Tihon for the organization of the English version and the Japanese F# community for coming up with the idea a few years ago!

    As my blog post ended up on 31 December, I wanted to do something that would fit well with the theme of ending of 2015 and starting of the new year 2016 and so I decided to write a little interactive web site that tracks the "Happy New Year" tweets live across the globe. This is partly inspired by Happy New Year Tweets from Twitter in 2014, but rather than analyzing data in retrospect, you can watch 2016 come live!


              How Plastic We've Become        

    Our bodies carry residues of kitchen plastics

    Food for Thought

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Kids appear most exposed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              Te vas a cansar de morir en Shiren The Wanderer 3        

    TinyCartridge recupera un anuncio japonés ( de por allá 2008 ) de Shiren The Wanderer 3, el JRPG para hombres y jugones de verdad. Un juego en el que te hartarás a morir, aunque si es al compás de la Quinta Simfonía de Beethoven siempre es más agradecido. Además, los muchachos de Tiny han preguntado a los editores yanquis del juego, Atlus, cuáles son sus muertes favoritas en el juego. Aunque su versión homónima portátil sí llegó al viejo continete, ya es un milagro milagroso que dos años después, Shiren 3 Wii diera el salto a Estados Unidos, o sea que si estáis interesados en JRPG's para poner a prueba vuestra paciencia, tendréis que tirar de importación.

              ã€ä¸­æ–‡å­—幕】兩天七發的溫泉之旅 朝日奈朱莉        

              ã€ä¸­æ–‡å­—幕】為你獻上自慰良伴 麻美由真        

              ã€ä¸­æ–‡å­—幕】不會拒絕的女上司 辰巳優衣        

              Nordkorea planerar avfyra missiler mot USA-bas i Guam        
    NORDKOREA Nordkorea har offentliggjort en plan för att avfyra missiler mot ön Guam, ett amerikanskt territorium i Stilla havet, rapporterar AP. Enligt den detaljerade planen ska fyra missiler av typen Hwasong-12 avfyras frÃ¥n Nordkorea, passera över provinserna Shimane, Hiroshima och Kochi i Japan och därefter fortsätta ut över Stilla havet innan de slÃ¥r ned mellan […]
              The Art of Lovin' Animals --- Featured Group of Artists Inspired by Their Beloved Pets.        
    "Enilde And Our Children" Oil on Panel 42" x 60"
    Painting by Luke Van Hook, 2003
    Painting and Photograph copyright by Luke and Ginger E. Van Hook, 2004
    Courtesy of the Van Hook Collection

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

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

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

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

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


    Fine Arts Painter

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

    Joshua Elias
    Artist Statement

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

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

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

    ï¿_ Joshua Elias

    Courtesy of the DCA website

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Simone Gad
    Artist Statement and Biography: 2009

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

    Betty H. Glass
    Artist Statement about Animal Art

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

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

              7 things wrong with our country        
    Note 1: If you are looking for a government/politician-bashing rant, or a discussion about corruption consuming our nation, or a list which enumerates education, poverty, development et al, this post is not going to touch any of those things.

    Note 2: This list is relative to things often found in other countries on most accounts.

    #7 Pull-to-open bags

    This is a bag of delectable chips.

    This is how it should be open-able... we can enjoy our chips like this...

    ...NOT ruined by this.

    If other countries in the world can have this, why can't we?! I mean, how difficult is it?!

    #6 Coca-cola


    Just look at this. How can you not want to have this refreshing drink with lunch and dinner, and to go alongside the chips in #7. (I skipped mentioning breakfast for the risk of it being an overkill.) For most countries, bottomless coke, or for that matter, any drink other than water is offered alongwith meals by default. Water is the last thing you should be drinking, with the evolution of man.

    #5 Airports

    They suck. And before you go all "T3" on me, again, they suck. Travelling, especially air-travel, should be an experience, not a punishment. Travelling by air is the pinnacle of human achievement. Think about it, you are flying at 30,000 ft, half-way across the world in less than 24 hours, at more than 900 kms per hour, while dining and watching movies along the way, even watching cat videos on youtube, and liking others' updates about their amazing lives. Not to mention the spectacular views and the perspective you get on our planet.

    Airports should present it as such. It should be huge, unlike anything you might have seen before. While you wait for your flight, you should have a magnificent view of the craft from the gate, through big glass panels, so you can marvel at its sheer size, filled with a childlike wonder. Not shoved into buses which take you on a tumbling ride towards your craft. There should be enough seating, clear signs and directions. The immigration should be polite, welcoming to its own citizens, a small "Welcome home." with a smile. The security should not feel derogatory. The experience should be welcoming. It's the pinnacle of human achievement, afterall.

    #4 Public Signs/Addresses

    A metro station should say "metro station", an airport or a railway station should be navigable from anywhere in the city, with signs that say "Airport -> 15 kms", and a bus-stop should say "Bus Stop". It made me think when a Chinese guy visiting India asked me at a bus stop, "How do you know that the bus will stop here?", and the only response I could give was, "Ummm, because this is where everyone else is standing.". It shouldn't be this way. 

    And the addresses should make sense, with numbered streets and crossings. Do away with the MG roads! Use more numbers, PLEASE! This should not be how my address looks/sounds:

    Opp. XYZ Hospital,
    Near ABC Hotel,
    Quite close to Forum mall,
    Come straight from PQR Flyover, and take 2nd right, then left.


    My address should look like this:
    42, Lush Meadows Residence
    7, Riverview Road, Bangalore.

    That's IT.

    #3 Utility stores / Vending Machines

    Fewer malls, please? And more utility stores. Where I can go, pick things, pay money, and get out with minimal turnaround time. Maybe 7/11's at petrol pumps? And every other 100 meters too? And vending machines! Aaaargh. Quick turnaround time!

    #2 Breakfast

    There are CRORES of people who go to work every day. And they want breakfast. The corn-flakes, and the dosas and the idlys, and the paratha-sabzi are okay. People need to be able to grab a bite in the mornings, and quickly. Croissants, muffins, selection of juices and sandwiches, salads, fruits, as pre-packaged take-away, available close to any means of public transport. Also, coffee. How can so many other countries get this right, except us?! I will not even touch the despicable state of our lunches and dinners, but we can always work around that. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, remember?

    #1 Respect for workers

    Cheap labour, right? Be kind to the people working at your house. Give the auto-waalas 20 extra bucks. Talk to them, chat with them. Listen to their stories, they have several. Make a joke or two, and see them smile. Trust them. Offer them a glass of water, tea, or food after a few hours of hard manual work by default, which shouldn't be seen as an act of generosity, but of responsibility and of respect from a person, to another. Give them gifts on festivals, give them leaves. Give them a raise when you get one. Share your happiness with them, and be a part of theirs.

    So many poor Indians go abroad to work as sweepers, cleaners, carpenters, construction workers, and they do that with their heads held high, with pride. They don't want to come back. Give them that opportunity here. Make them feel that they belong, and that we are fellow-countrymen.

    7 things wrong with our country...

              Dream Dairy Farm by Moriyuki Ochiai Architects, Chiba – Japan        
    The three-dimensional white lattice nesting above the beams of the existing wooden structure forms the canopy of a forest that brings together the old and the contemporary by suggesting the superimposition of time and space.
    Brandon Wright poses at his tea farm in Japan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    For Immediate Release: 

    Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                    East Central University Communications and Marketing

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

              Ambit Japan Update        

    Get the latest updates on all the exciting news from Japan, and learn how you can prepare for our upcoming launch. Join Ambit VP Darrell Starkweather for all the latest information as well as details on how you can be part of the largest single-market launch in Ambit history!

    Download Standard Podcasts


    Want to know the creepiest roads to drive in Singapore? Be careful what you wish for, when you visit these locations, you may get more than you bargained for!

    South Buona Vista 99 Turns aka Devils Bend
    Infamous for its many turns, the place is not so bad in the day, but becomes creepy and dangerous at night. Many motorists have lost their lives navigating the sharp, narrow bends along that stretch, so rumors have spread that the road itself has its fair share of "guests".

    Jalan Bahar / Old Choa Chu Kang Road
    The stretch of road is lined with trees and cemeteries nearby. For the adventurous, a walk through the cemeteries should suffice. There is also a rumor that an old woman spends the night at a certain bus stop just after the Civil Defence Academy. What she does there all night? No one knows.

    Old Tampines Road
    The road is one long stretch of road with nothing but trees and road. Taking a walk through the barely lit route at night is a dare that not many people have attempted, or survived to tell the tale.

    Punggol Road
    This is the road which leads to Punggol Jetty also known as Punggol End. The area is well known to be very "dirty" because it used to be an execution ground used by Japaneses soldiers during World War 2. Rumors say that cyclists who attempt to cycle out of the road after 12 midnight are never able to do so. Our advice? Don't try it if you value your life.

    Changi Coast Road
    A old woman and her grandson died in that stretch of road after getting knocked down by a speeding vehicle. It’s not unusual, because the stretch of road is long and straight, so many drivers tend to driver faster then the limits. Not only has that, many car accidents happened in this area before…

    Editor's Note: 

    Do you have a story to share? Please use our submission form or email us at

    Filed Under: 



    Tama the stationmaster was a well known sight to visitors at the Kishi railway station in Western Japan. Hired in 2007, she was appointed as stationmaster in 2007 and received her very own stationmaster's uniform - a cap and a jacket. Sitting quietly at the gates to Kishi railway station, she would greet and see off passengers to the station diligently everyday like most stationmasters would.

    But Tama was no ordinary stationmaster - she was a cat. Her "service" to Kishi railway station soon became world famous.

    Legend has it that Tama drew in enough curious tourists and passengers to the station that her employer went from near-bankrupt to profitable. Tourism flourished and even the local economy in Tama's town felt the effects of her popularity.

    On 22nd June last Sunday, Tama passed away in hospital of heart failure. After her death, Tama's employers held a short Shinto-style funeral at the station where she served, where Shinto priests elevated Tama to a "goddess".

    Wakayama Electric Railway President Mitsunobu Kojima thanked the cat for her "service", and said Tama would be enshrined at a nearby cat shrine next month.

    “Tama-chan really emerged like a savior, a goddess. It was truly my honor to have been able to work with her,” Kojima said in eulogy to the cat.

    During her tenure, Tama had contributed an estimated 1.1 billion yen ($8.9 million) to the local economy.

    Kojima said that when he visited Tama at an animal hospital the day before she died, the cat woke up and reached out to him with her paws, as if asking for a hug, and looked straight into his eyes. He said he told Tama to get well so they can celebrate the cat’s upcoming 10th anniversary as a stationmaster, and said the cat responded with a “meow.”

    Tama had climbed the corporate ladder from stationmaster to “ultra-stationmaster” and vice president of the company before receiving the additional title Sunday of “honorable eternal stationmaster.”

    She will be succeeded by another calico cat, Nitama, now an apprentice stationmaster.

    Editor's Note: 

    Do you have a story to share? Please use our submission form or email us at

    Filed Under: 


              Sorcerian Remake Spellbound For iPhone        

    Sorcerian for iPhone will be released in Japanese soon with a global English launch planned for a later date.

    Read Sorcerian Remake Spellbound For iPhone on Siliconera!

              Woman Assaulted While Playing Pokemon GO        
    A man has been arrested in Tokyo on suspicion of assaulting a woman while she was playing Pokemon GO! by grabbing her arm; responses from 2ch and Yahoo! Japan.
              weekend woodworking projects magazine download        
    Weekend woodworking projects, the complete collection on, Weekend woodworking projects, weekend woodworking projects, the complete collection all 52 issues of weekend woodworking projects magazine.. Weekend woodworking projects magazine | pdf plans how to, If you appearing for "weekend woodworking projects magazine"? find out much more now simple casket plans build shed plans japan woodworking tools.… Read More »

              Nhận Biết Kem Sâm Lulanjina Japan Thật Giả        

    The post Nhận Biết Kem Sâm Lulanjina Japan Thật Giả appeared first on Kem Sâm Nhật Bản.

              Kem Lulanjina Japan Giá Bao Nhiêu        

    The post Kem Lulanjina Japan Giá Bao Nhiêu appeared first on Kem Sâm Nhật Bản.

              Japan hits: High-flying, fast-paced highlights from Hokkaido        

    On the last legs of a month-long tour of Japan, skier Jeremy Pancras found himself in-bounds at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu for some last minute shredding. Visiting three different resorts for 10 days each across Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, Pancras was particularly “amazed at the infinite possibilities offered by [Tomamu]. Japan is the only ski […]

    The post Japan hits: High-flying, fast-paced highlights from Hokkaido appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.

              Watch: Five friends, one van and the search for powder in Japan        

    Japan is known for its seemingly endless supply of powder in the winter months, but what happens when it’s unusually dry? This past season, skiers Cody Cirillo, Mark Nowakiwsky and Carson Morford, snowboarder Grant Giller and filmer Tucker Brumley, set off to the Land of the Rising Sun for two weeks—living in a van, experiencing […]

    The post Watch: Five friends, one van and the search for powder in Japan appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.

              Announcing the Civilization VI ‘AI Battle Royale’ on Twitch        

    Sid Meier’s Civilization VI will be in your hands soon when it launches on October 21. Soon, you’ll be able to lead one of history’s renowned civilizations to greatness, but which civ has the honor of being called the greatest? Civilization fans have been furiously making their arguments, but we feel there’s no better way to solve an argument than by letting each civ go at it in a no-holds-barred Battle Royale!

    Join us LIVE on Wednesday, October 19 at 3:30pm ET / 12:30pm PT / 8:30pm BST on as we pit eight of history’s greatest rulers against each other in an entirely AI-controlled game of Civilization VI. Find out who has what it takes to create a civilization to last the test of time!

    The developers behind Civilization VI will be giving live commentary as we watch eight AI-controlled civs go at it. Anything can happen!

    The “Civilization VI AI Battle Royale” will feature the following eight civs:
    • Aztecs
    • Brazil
    • England
    • Greece (Gorgo)
    • Japan
    • Rome
    • Russia
    • Spain
    Catch every turn, live on at 3:30pm ET / 12:30pm PT / 8:30pm BST on Wednesday, October 19. If you aren’t able to join us live, the full VOD will be posted to the Civilization YouTube channel[] shortly afterwards.

    If you haven’t caught up on everything new in Civilization VI, check out our First Look video series which showcases new civs, features, and behind-the-scenes looks at the game!

    Follow the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #OneMoreTurn, and be sure to follow the Civilization franchise on social media to keep up to date with the latest news and information on Sid Meier’s Civilization VI.
              Komentar na MORFIČKA POLJA – RAZGOVOR SA RUPERTOM SHELDRAKEOM od strane Ladislav Babić: Mislimo li da mislimo? » SBPeriskop        
    […] deÅ¡ava određenim frekvencijama (vidjeti autorov tekst). Pojednostavnimo to na primjeru Å¡irenja navika. Majmun s jednog japanskoog otoka počeo je prati krumpir prije konzumacije, a […]
              The travesty that is Australia's asylum seeker offshore detention policy -"If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here."         

    It seems the truth will out.

    After the United States completes its vetting of asylum seekers held in overseas detention by the Australian Government it is not obliged to take even one of those individuals U.S. immigration officials have examined.

    In May 2017 the Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirmed 268 people had completed their second-stage security interview with US officials: 220 in Nauru and 48 on Manus Island.

    U.S. immigration officials halted screening interviews and departed Nauru on 14 July 2017, two weeks short of their scheduled timetable and a day after Washington said the US had reached its annual refugee intake cap.

    However, under the original agreement once that vetting is completed Australia becomes obliged to resettle between 20 and 50 people under a U.S. "Protection Transfer Arrangement" in Costa Rica set up to resettle refugees from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

    Prime Minister Turnbull verbally changed that undertaking to an open-ended number of people the Trump Administration might be “very keen on getting out of the United States”.

    There is no indication that the U.S. Government intends to complete its vetting of those detained on Nauru and Manus islands.

    The Washington Post, 3 August 2017:

    The Washington Post has obtained transcripts of two conversations President Trump had with foreign leaders: one with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and another with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
    The transcripts were prepared by the White House but have not been released. The Post is publishing reproductions rather than original documents in order to protect sources. The reproductions below also include minor spelling and grammatical mistakes that appeared in the documents………………

    JANUARY 28, 2017 FROM 5:05 TO 5:29 P.M. EST.

    Good evening.

    Mr. Prime Minister, how are you?

    I am doing very well.

    And I guess our friend Greg Norman, he is doing very well?

    He is a great mutual friend yes.

    Well you say hello to him. He is a very good friend. By the way thank you very much for taking the call. I really appreciate it. It is really nice.

    Thank you very much. Everything is going very well. I want to congratulate you and Mike Pence on being sworn in now. I have spoken to you both now as you know. I know we are both looking to make our relationship which is very strong and intimate, stronger than ever – which I believe we can do.


    I believe you and I have similar backgrounds, unusual for politicians, more businessman but I look forward to working together.

    That is exactly right. We do have similar backgrounds and it seems to be working in this climate – it is a crazy climate. Let me tell you this, it is an evil time but it is a complex time because we do not have uniforms standing in front of us. Instead, we have people in disguise. It is brutal. This ISIS thing â€“ it is something we are going to devote a lot of energy to it. I think we are going to be very successful.

    Absolutely. We have, as you know, taken a very strong line on national security and border protection here and when I was speaking with Jared Kushner just the other day and one of your immigration advisors in the White House we reflected on how our policies have helped to inform your approach. We are very much of the same mind. It is very interesting to know how you prioritize the minorities in your Executive Order. This is exactly what we have done with the program to bring in 12,000 Syrian refugees, 90% of which will be Christians. It will be quite deliberate and the position I have taken – I have been very open about it – is that it is a tragic fact of life that when the situation in the Middle East settles down – the people that are going to be most unlikely to have a continuing home are those Christian minorities. We have seen that in Iraq and so from our point of view, as a final destination for refugees, that is why we prioritize. It is not a sectarian thing. It is recognition of the practical political realities. We have a similar perspective in that respect.

    Do you know four years ago Malcom, I was with a man who does this for a living. He was telling me, before the migration, that if you were a Christian from Syria, you had no chance of coming to the United States. Zero. They were the ones being persecuted. When I say persecuted, I mean their heads were being chopped off. If you were a Muslim we have nothing against Muslims, but if you were a Muslim you were not persecuted at least to the extent – but if you were a Muslim from Syria that was the number one place to get into the United States from. That was the easiest thing. But if you were a Christian from Syria you have no chance of getting into the United States. I just thought it was an incredible statistic. Totally true – and you have seen the same thing. It is incredible.

    Well, yes. Mr. President, can I return to the issue of the resettlement agreement that we had with the Obama administration with respect to some people on Nauru and Manus Island. I have written to you about this and Mike Pence and General Flynn spoke with Julie Bishop and my National Security Advisor yesterday. This is a very big issue for us, particularly domestically, and I do understand you are inclined to a different point of view than the Vice President.

    Well, actually I just called for a total ban on Syria and from many different countries from where there is terror, and extreme vetting for everyone else – and somebody told me yesterday that close to 2,000 people are coming who are really probably troublesome. And I am saying, boy that will make us look awfully bad. Here I am calling for a ban where I am not letting anybody in and we take 2,000 people. Really it looks like 2,000 people that Australia does not want and I do not blame you by the way, but the United States has become like a dumping ground. You know Malcom, anybody that has a problem – you remember the Mariel boat lift, where Castro let everyone out of prison and Jimmy Carter accepted them with open arms. These were brutal people. Nobody said Castro was stupid, but now what are we talking about is 2,000 people that are actually imprisoned and that would actually come into the United States. I heard about this – I have to say I love Australia; I love the people of Australia. I have so many friends from Australia, but I said – geez that is a big ask, especially in light of the fact that we are so heavily in favor, not in favor, but we have no choice but to stop things. We have to stop. We have allowed so many people into our country that should not be here. We have our San Bernardino’s, we have had the World Trade Center come down because of people that should not have been in our country, and now we are supposed to take 2,000. It sends such a bad signal. You have no idea. It is such a bad thing.

    Can you hear me out Mr. President?

    Yeah, go ahead.

    Yes, the agreement, which the Vice President just called the Foreign Minister about less than 24 hours ago and said your Administration would be continuing, does not require you to take 2,000 people. It does not require you to take any. It requires, in return, for us to do a number of things for the United States – this is a big deal, I think we should respect deals.

    Who made the deal? Obama?

    Yes, but let me describe what it is. I think it is quite consistent. I think you can comply with it. It is absolutely consistent with your Executive Order so please just hear me out. The obligation is for the United States to look and examine and take up to and only if they so choose – 1,250 to 2,000. Every individual is subject to your vetting. You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting. You can decide to take 1,000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process. So that is the first thing. Secondly, the people — none of these people are from the conflict zone. They are basically economic refugees from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. That is the vast bulk of them. They have been under our supervision for over three years now and we know exactly everything about them.

    Why haven’t you let them out? Why have you not let them into your society?

    Okay, I will explain why. It is not because they are bad people. It is because in order to stop people smugglers, we had to deprive them of the product. So we said if you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Noble [sic] Prize winning genius, we will not let you in. Because the problem with the people —

    That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am.

    This is our experience.

    Because you do not want to destroy your country. Look at what has happened in Germany. Look at what is happening in these countries. These people are crazy to let this happen. I spoke to Merkel today, and believe me, she wishes she did not do it. Germany is a mess because of what happened.

    I agree with you, letting one million Syrians walk into their country. It was one of the big factors in the Brexit vote, frankly.

    Well, there could be two million people coming in Germany. Two million people. Can you believe it? It will never be the same.

    stood up at the UN in September and set up what our immigration policy was. I said that you cannot maintain popular support for immigration policy, multiculturalism, unless you can control your borders. The bottom line is that we got here. I am asking you as a very good friend. This is a big deal. It is really, really important to us that we maintain it. It does not oblige you to take one person that you do not want. As I have said, your homeland officials have visited and they have already interviewed these people. You can decide. It is at your discretion. So you have the wording in the Executive Order that enables the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State to admit people on a case by case basis in order to conform with an existing agreement. I do believe that you will never find a better friend to the United States than Australia. I say this to you sincerely that it is in the mutual interest of the United States to say, “yes, we can conform with that deal – we are not obliged to take anybody we do not want, we will go through extreme vetting” and that way you are seen to show the respect that a trusted ally wants and deserves. We will then hold up our end of the bargain by taking in our country 31 [inaudible] that you need to move on from.

    Malcom [sic], why is this so important? I do not understand. This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.

    With great respect, that is not right – It is not 2,000.

    Well, it is close. I have also heard like 5,000 as well.

    The given number in the agreement is 1,250 and it is entirely a matter of your vetting. I think that what you could say is that the Australian government is consistent with the principles set out in the Executive Order.

    No, I do not want say that. I will just have to say that unfortunately I will have to live with what was said by Obama. I will say I hate it. Look, I spoke to Putin, Merkel, Abe of Japan, to France today, and this was my most unpleasant call because I will be honest with you. I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people.

    I would not be so sure about that. They are basically —

    Well, maybe you should let them out of prison. I am doing this because Obama made a bad deal. I am not doing this because it fits into my Executive Order. I am taking 2,000 people from Australia who are in prison and the day before I signed an Executive Order saying that we are not taking anybody in. We are not taking anybody in, those days are over.

    But can I say to you, there is nothing more important in business or politics than a deal is a deal. Look, you and I have a lot of mutual friends.
    Look, I do not know how you got them to sign a deal like this, but that is how they lost the election. They said I had no way to 270 and I got 306. That is why they lost the election, because of stupid deals like this. You have brokered many a stupid deal in business and I respect you, but I guarantee that you broke many a stupid deal. This is a stupid deal. This deal will make me look terrible.

    Mr. President, I think this will make you look like a man who stands by the commitments of the United States. It shows that you are a committed —

    Okay, this shows me to be a dope. I am not like this but, if I have to do it, I will do it but I do not like this at all. I will be honest with you. Not even a little bit. I think it is ridiculous and Obama should have never signed it. The only reason I will take them is because I have to honor a deal signed by my predecessor and it was a rotten deal. I say that it was a stupid deal like all the other deals that this country signed. You have to see what I am doing. I am unlocking deals that were made by people, these people were incompetent. I am not going to say that it fits within the realm of my Executive Order. We are going to allow 2,000 prisoners to come into our country and it is within the realm of my Executive Order? If that is the case my Executive Order does not mean anything Malcom [sic]. I look like a dope. The only way that I can do this is to say that my predecessor made a deal and I have no option then to honor the deal. I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely. Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?

    That is the point I have been trying to make.

    How does that help you?

    Well, we assume that we will act in good faith.

    Does anybody know who these people are? Who are they? Where do they come from? Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?

    Let me explain. We know exactly who they are. They have been on Nauru or Manus for over three years and the only reason we cannot let them into Australia is because of our commitment to not allow people to come by boat. Otherwise we would have let them in. If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here.

    Malcom [sic], but they are arrived on a boat?

    Correct, we have stopped the boats.

    Give them to the United States. We are like a dumping ground for the rest of the world. I have been here for a period of time, I just want this to stop. I look so foolish doing this. It [sic] know it is good for you but it is bad for me. It is horrible for me. This is what I am trying to stop. I do not want to have more San Bernardino’s or World Trade Centers. I could name 30 others, but I do not have enough time.

    These guys are not in that league. They are economic refugees.

    Okay, good. Can Australia give me a guarantee that if we have any problems – you know that is what they said about the Boston bombers. They said they were wonderful young men.

    They were Russians. They were not from any of these countries.

    They were from wherever they were.

    Please, if we can agree to stick to the deal, you have complete discretion in terms of a security assessment. The numbers are not 2,000 but 1,250 to start. Basically, we are taking people from the previous administration that they were very keen on getting out of the United States. We will take more. We will take anyone that you want us to take. The only people that we do not take are people who come by boat. So we would rather take a not very attractive guy that help you out then to take a Noble [sic] Peace Prize winner that comes by boat. That is the point.

    What is the thing with boats? Why do you discriminate against boats? No, I know, they come from certain regions. I get it.

    No, let me explain why. The problem with the boats it that you are basically outsourcing your immigration program to people smugglers and also you get thousands of people drowning at sea. So what we say is, we will decide which people get to come to Australia who are refugees, economic migrants, businessmen, whatever. We decide. That is our decision. We are a generous multicultural immigration nation like the United States but the government decides, the people’s representatives decides. So that is the point. I am a highly transactional businessman like you and I know the deal has to work for both sides. Now Obama thought this deal worked for him and he drove a hard bargain with us – that it was agreed with Obama more than a year ago in the Oval Office, long before the election. The principles of the deal were agreed to.

    I do not know what he got out of it. We never get anything out of it – START Treaty, the Iran deal. I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals. I am going to get killed on this thing.

    You will not.

    Yes, I will be seen as a weak and ineffective leader in my first week by these people. This is a killer.

    You can certainly say that it was not a deal that you would have done, but you are going to stick with it.

    I have no choice to say that about it. Malcom [sic], I am going to say that I have no choice but to honor my predecessor’s deal. I think it is a horrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made. It is an embarrassment to the United States of America and you can say it just the way I said it. I will say it just that way. As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcom [sic]I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.

    Do you want to talk about Syria and DPRK?

    [inaudible] this is crazy.

    Thank you for your commitment. It is very important to us.

    It is important to you and it is embarrassing to me. It is an embarrassment to me, but at least I got you off the hook. So you put me back on the hook.

    You can count on me. I will be there again and again.

    I hope so. Okay, thank you Malcolm.

    Okay, thank you.

    * My yellow highlighting.

              CastleStorm 2013 Steam Rip MULTi10 3DM        
    CastleStorm 2013 Steam
    CastleStorm 2013 Steam Rip MULTi10 3DM | 264.76 MB

    Year of release : 2013
    Genre : Action, Indie, Strategy
    Developer : Zen Studios
    Publisher : Zen Studios
    Platform : PC
    Language : English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Japanese
    Sound language : English
    Publication Type : License
    Medicine : Present (3DM)

    A mixture of real-time strategy and tower defence, in which the player builds their own lock and defends him from attacking enemies.

    System Requirements:
    √ Operating system: Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7/Windows 8
    √ Processor: Dual Core CPU@2.00GHz
    √ Memory: 1 GB
    √ Hard drive space: 800 MB
    √ Sound device: compatible with DirectX 9.0c
    √ Video card: GeForce 8600 / Radeon HD 3670 / Intel HD 4000

    Download and Play!

    CastleStorm 2013 Steam Rip

              Pump company sets up near Didcot        
    EBARA Pumps Europe, part of leading Japanese pump manufacturer Ebara Corporation, has become the latest tenant at the Park 34 site at the Southmead industrial area.
              BWW Review: LIMINAL STATE at 2017 KC Fringe Festival        

    "Liminal State - A Travel's Guide" now in performance at Musical Theatre Heritage's Main Stage in Crown Center as part of the 2017 Kansas City Fringe Festival is absolute experimental theater. Directed by Fishtank Theatre Founder Heidi Van and Logan Black, the directors offer an experiential hour spent in a state of being between what the audience knows and what the performers and directors want them to feel.

    If all this seems a little too mystic, I suspect that is because that was the intent. Honesty, this viewer didn't get it. That doesn't mean that there isn't a bunch to chew on from this presentation. There is value. "Limanal State" is deliberately conceived, impressively scored, inventively lit, delicately performed, and detailed in a most intimate way.

    The audience enters the theater and elements of the performance are already in progress. Sparse settings and set pieces in various states of being refer to more than we can know. Seven women dancers / actors flow around the stage, occasionally connecting with each other before spinning off in various orbits as if they were electrons circling a nuclear center. It would seem random if the movements were not so obviously calculated.

    The women are dressed in spandex white tops and flowing black bottoms slit up the sides to reveAl White tights. Around their necks are translucent hats, scarves, costume acoutrements - call them what you will - that can be used as props during the performance. The actors are Lindsay Adams, Jamie Turner, Emily Sukolics, Mackenzie Goodwin, Aimee Nelson, Stephanie Laaker, and Bethany Elliot.

    The show is divided into a number of scenes. Some depict birth, some life, some coming of age, some age, some death, and some show the essence of existence in between. There is no dialogue or leading character. Different ladies take the lead in different sections of the piece. A deliberateness to the performances demonstrates the seriousness and intent.

    Prior to the beginning of the exhibition, the directors explain just enough of what is going to be displayed to make the audience wonder. They say it has it roots in an idea that manifested during the U.S. post World War II occupation of Japan and the Japanese cultural reaction to thousands of new American personnel suddenly in their midst. One wonders about the possibility of a statement about current political turmoil or a comment about the introduction of nuclear weapons into 1945 Japan, but l cannot be sure what were the creator's intents.

    There is a tendency, especially on the part of my twisted mind, to say something flip about "Liminal State." Instead, I am reminded of exercises in movement and improvisation that I experienced while briefly a student at the Goodman in Chicago only in this case the exercise is taken to the next level.

    If there is a place for proper experimental theater, than Fringe is it. I didn't get it, but that doesn't mean that you (as an audience member) won't. Find your own bliss and level of involvement. "Liminal State" closes Saturday night at MTH.

              In the name of development        
    The indigenous community of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has been systematically alienated from their land by the colonial and post-colonial policies. A new book chronicles the change.
    The forests and the tribal communities of the islands are being decimated. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

    Pankaj Sekhsaria’s recent book Islands in flux--The Andaman and Nicobar Story is a collection of around 20 years of his writings on the environmental and conservation concerns faced by the indigenous tribal communities of the region. Unlike his previous book, The last wave, a factual fiction adventure story dealing with love, longing and loss, this one is a collection of contemporary developments in the islands. The book is divided into seven parts and several chapters each dealing with the societal and ecological facets of the islands. Issues related to the environment, wildlife conservation and development policies that threaten the island’s indigenous communities have been chronicled by the author who is a long-time member of the NGO, Kalpavriksh.

    Alienation of islanders

    The book begins with the section, Setting the context, in which he writes about the history of the alienation of the island communities living there for over 40,000 years. The author takes a dig at the history writers of the modern democratic Indian state who have left gaping holes in their writings by not sudying the ancient indigenous communities--the Great Andamanese, the Onge, the Jarawa and the Sentinelese. It is here that the author mentions “if the real and complete history of the islands is ever written, the British would not be more than a page and India could only be a paragraph”.

    The indigenous people have been systematically alienated from their resources by the British colonial policies and the post-colonial development-oriented policies of India. The Britishers set up a penal colony in the islands in 1858, the Japanese occupied the islands during the World War II, and during the post colonial period, thousands of settlers from mainland India were brought to the island. Though the islanders put up a fierce fight to defend their territories, the social fabric of the island communities has been violently torn apart and their populations decimated while the settlers outnumbered the original inhabitants. The region is witness to nation building exercises, hinduisation of ‘uncivilized junglees’ and even an attempt to rename the islands. The author calls this as an attempt to “reclaim what was never yours”. No effort has been made by way of scholarship or historical studies to take the islanders’ point of view.

    Forestry is the chief source of revenue in cash in the islands but the system of forestry did not suit the region. The author quotes an official report by the Department of Environment, Government of India that argues that “the forestry system was leading to a preponderance of deciduous elements in the evergreen system that would eventually destroy the whole island ecosystem”. The carrying capacity of the islands has been long exceeded, the author says. Ill-conceived schemes like cattle rearing were introduced for a community that does not consume milk. Tourism is a concern in the islands which have been declared as ‘global biodiversity hotspot’.

    The pristine forests and the people living in the Jarawa tribal reserve that covers half the island is under threat because of the ill conceived Andaman Trunk Road that separates the reserve land from the rest of the island. The Jarawas for whom the forests have been a home for ages have been reduced to begging around the Trunk Road that runs through the reserve. The road has been controversial due to the negative fallouts on the island’s ecology and the indigenous people. The Supreme Court had in 2002 passed an order to close it; the island administration chose to ignore it. Its closure was absolutely critical to protect the Jarawa community, the author says.

    Islands turn colonies

    The author chronicles the colonising of the islands in a chapter of the same name and discusses how the settlers look down upon the indigenous communities. Tension continues between the tribal communities especially the ancient tribal community of Jarawas and the settlers over land rights and there is a lack of political will to ease this even as the population of the Jarawas has been reduced to a few hundreds. “There are opinions that the Jarawas should be assimilated into the modern world, but it is clear that it is exactly this contact with the outside world that is rapidly pushing them towards the brink,” the author states.

    In the chapter, A brief history of logging, Sekhsaria provides an account of the timber operations in the Andamans. He notes how as a part of India’s colonisation scheme, mainlanders were settled here. This was done to strengthen India’s claim over the islands. Incentives were offered to settlers by way of land and royalty free timber. Timber-based industry was promoted and liberal subsidies offered. Forests were exploited to benefit settlers who had little stake in the islands or its natural resources. Timber offered for millions decreased after the 2002 Supreme Court order. The order was in response to a petition by three NGOs to stop logging. The Supreme Court order that banned the cutting of naturally grown trees in the Andamans and Nicobar islands were welcomed by the environmental rights groups. But logging continued within the tribal reserve.

    In the section, Environment, ecology and development, the author stresses the need for evolving sensible conservation policies. The author discusses the consequences of introducing exotic species into the island systems. This has led to irretrievable loss of native species and ecosystems. “The Andaman and Nicobar islands are unsurpassed in their botanical wealth, and the ethnomedical knowledge of the tribals who live here is astounding,” he says.

    In the section, December 2004 and its aftermath, the author discusses the turmoil caused by the tsunami of December 26, 2004 which killed around 3500 people in the fragile Andaman and Nicobar islands, the worst hit area in India. The tectonic activity due to the third deadliest earthquake of the world in the last 100 years caused a significant shift in the islands’ geography with a permanent average uplift of four to six feet while parts of Nicobar islands went significantly under, with the southernmost tip, Indira point on Great Nicobar island going 15 ft down. Apart from dealing with how the tsunami destroyed the island, the section also highlights how the people picked up the pieces and started all over again.

    Leave them alone

    The tsunami waters inundated large areas of the islands causing damage to its coastal and marine ecology. In the aftermath of this turmoil, ecologists have suggested ‘no intervention’ and that ‘leaving areas alone should be the preferred management option’. A disturbing facet of the islands in recent times is its water scarcity. The islands have been facing severe water shortages even during the pre-tsunami period but this got worse after 2004. Fresh water sources got hit by the tsunami.

    Talking about the faulty development planning, the author discusses how the former president late Abdul Kalam in 2005 in the aftermath of the tsunami announced a grandiose vision for the development of the Andamans and Nicobar islands. This included ecologically perilous components like deep sea fishing, exploitation of bamboo, value-added coconut products and tourism.

    A central thread of Sekhsaria’s book has been the neglect and acculturation of the Jarawas, and their losing scuffle with the outsiders. The book presented in a journalistic manner handles the issue very sensitively and the author exhibits a keen understanding of the history of the indigenous people and its ecology.

    Don't Show In All Article: 

    I'm back at work now and can't stop thinking about Japan. Check out this cute PSA they put on the playground equipment. 


    I love japan. It’s gorgeous and I want to go there so bad! I chose light colours for a sakura inspired set. I kept it crisp though, so it would be something I’d still wear haha. I am in love with grid print and these wedges, and I’m not usually one for heels. ◦°˚\(*❛‿❛)/˚°◦
              Até logo/ See you!        

    Perfumados leitores,

    Há um certo tempo minha vida se tornou uma espiral de responsabilidades cada vez mais frequentes, fruto de recompensas e desafios com relação à minha carreira e vida pessoal. Se por um lado, isso é muito compensador. Por outro lado, atualmente tive que fazer escolhas. Uma delas é dizer, de forma oficial, até logo!
    Confesso que não consigo fazer as coisas de qualquer jeito e tudo tem que ter tempo e qualidade, principalmente com relação ao Perfume da Rosa Negra, um espaço virtual apaixonante sobre perfumaria que me proporcionou conhecer muita gente apaixonada por perfume e muita gente que é referência em Perfumaria , que respeitou o meu conhecimento e minha paixão, além de ter me proporcionado projetos de muito valor.
    Sou grata aos leitores e a todas as pessoas que acreditaram em mim. Também agradeço a Deus o tempo a que me dediquei intensamente ao Perfume da Rosa Negra.  Fiz tudo isso com muito amor. Tive muitas alegrias mas também muitas decepções e tudo isso faz parte da jornada. A experiência foi sempre divina, a cada perfume e tudo está guardado: cada sentimento com relação às fragrancias e, cada sensação Ãºnica através do olfato que eternaliza os momentos perfumados na alma. O melhor de tudo é que, onde coloquei a minha marca, as pessoas passaram a conhecer mais sobre as fragrancias e o valor disso é imensurável.
    Não retorno tão logo e, por estranho que pareça, digo um até logo feliz.  Sei que não serei a primeira blogueira de fragrancias que se afasta por um tempo. Muita gente boa, de excepcional talento em perfumaria, também disse adeus por um período. Durante esse tempo, além de todas as novas jornadas, quero repensar a própria perfumaria. O Perfume da Rosa Negra não deixa de existir. Como diria Flaubert, Perfume da Rosa Negra c'est moi. Eu sou Rosa Negra e ela vai exalar um perfume em outros cantos desse mundo.
    Despeço-me feliz. Preciso levar algumas responsabilidades e projetos adiante, dentre eles está a perfumaria. Certamente eu voltarei e o blog só será a extensão de algo muito maior porque a perfumaria está no meu DNA. Voltarei com mais força e com ideias grandiosas que há muito tempo estão na minha mente e que só essa bela Arte merece.
    Enquanto isso, deixo-lhes o meu legado perfumado , de coração!
    Sigam cheirosos!
    Abraços perfumados,
    Cris Rosa Negra
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              Ermittler prüfen verdächtige Zahlung Japans        
    Japan steht unter Verdacht, bei der Bewerbung für die Olympischen Spiele 2020 finanziell nachgeholfen zu haben.
              Daring Cooks Challenge June 2013 Meatballs         
    This month's challenge was MEATBALLS my favourite recipe of all time I have so so so many great recipes here a couple of personal fav's enjoy the colour and flavours.

    This month's hosts were  Shelley and Ruth and here their introduction to the challenge

    Hi there! We are Shelley from C Mom Cook and Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood. We are twin sisters who share a love of food, but who have very different cooking styles. Ruth keeps a vegetarian home while Shelley is a carnivore through and through.  Despite our differences, we both love all aspects of food – eating it, preparing it, and sharing it with the people we love.

    For this month's challenge, we wanted to do something a little bit different.

    So many of the challenges this year have helped us learn skills or techniques that are pretty specialized - and that have proven to be very challenging. And while the big challenges absolutely bring big rewards (not to mention yummy results), this month we thought we would go a bit more creative.

    There are many foods that appear across a variety of cultures, with only slight differences or variations.  This month we wanted to test out one food across many cultures to see how many variations we can bring to the blogosphere.  So this month we challenge the community to bring us meatballs from around the world.

    A meatball, at the most basic level, is some kind of ground meat that has been rolled into a ball and cooked.  But that is where the basics end.  Usually other ingredients are involved – generally breadcrumbs and eggs, to give the ball body and bind it together, and a variety of spices for flavor.  The type or types of meat used, the method of preparing the balls and especially the way the meat is served can vary so greatly that it is sometimes amazing to think that they are all the “same” kind of basic food.

    It is these differences that we are looking to celebrate this month – to create more meatball dishes than anyone ever would have thought possible, and to show the world just how versatile the “simple” meatball can be.

    Recipe Source:  Basic meatball recipes or based on recipes from and Mark Bittman, with additional inspiration recipes provided from various online sources.

    Blog-checking lines:  The June Daring Cooks’ challenge sure kept us rolling – meatballs, that is! Shelley from C Mom Cook and Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to try meatballs from around the world and to create our own meatball meal celebrating a culture or cuisine of our own choice.

    Here follows my meatball recipes please enjoy them as much as I and my friends and family did!!!

    Kangaroo and beetroot meatballs in red wine sauce

    I LOVE meatballs and I KNOW how to make them after doing them many 1000s of times and I never get tired of them. This is one of my personal best meatball recipes made with kangaroo steak minced, the ready-made mince is easily available in major supermarkets in Australia (Coles/Woolworths $8.75/kg). I combine it with the other classic Australian taste that is beetroot. It always surprises foreigners how much beetroot is eaten in Australia, in fact it is a standard addition in hamburgers in most takeaways. So how couldn't I combine kangaroo and beetroot into a humble meatball. I use very strongly flavour rye crisp bread combined with robust sun-dried tomato pesto to favour the meatball mixture this combination seems to produce a mellow flavour simmered meatball. This is always a winner at parties and BBQs especially if I have let the meatballs soak in the red wine sauce overnight. The biggest tips for light, moist and fluffy meatballs - use the best ingredients you can afford, freshly minced meat is best, sauté your aromatics, all ingredients must be cold when mixing, freshly made bread crumbs, a gentle touch, make a test meatball check seasoning and simmer the meatballs.
    Kangaroo is a very 'soft' meat; especially lean, tender, and soft-textured well suited for children's palate and also it cooks at a very low temperature and very fast which makes it excellent for simmered meatballs.
    My standard roo and beetroot recipe (roo is Australian slang for kangaroo) is below, this makes the lightest most tender meatballs. I like making a batch and letting it cool in the red wine sauce overnight and then reheating until just hot super tasty.
    It is a very easy recipe.
    Kangaroo and beetroot meatballs simmered in red wine sauce
    Makes a lot, 4 dozen meatballs
    1 kg kangaroo mince, (best if used cold)
    2 large beetroot, finely grated
    1 carrot, finely grated
    2 onions, finely chopped and pan-fried until caramelised
    1/2 cup of cottage cheese (fetta cheese works well, reduce salt if using)
    3-4 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
    3 rye crisp-bread soaked in 3 tablespoons of cream or milk
    1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs from wholemeal pita bread
    1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto (basil pesto is fine also)
    1 large egg
    2 small hot chillies, finely chopped
    2-3 teaspoons salt (if in Australia use vegemite (1/2-1 tablespoon) instead of salt)
    3 teaspoons pepper
    1 large tin of cherry tomatoes
    1 cup of red wine, good quality (or if using for children cranberry jelly or beef stock)
    1. In a sauce pan combine the cherry tomatoes (smash them with wooden spoon) and red wine bring to a simmer and let simmer while making the meatballs.
    2. In a bowl combine all the other ingredients except meat until well mixed.
    3. Place meat in large bowl add the mixture gently combine until almost mixed. Make a very small meatball, add to simmering sauce, cook, taste, adjust seasoning of the meatball mixture. Finish combining the mixture.
    3. Using 1-1/2 tablespoons of mixture form meatballs, drop immediately into the simmering red wine sauce. Cook for 10-15 mins.
    4. Enjoy!
    Kangaroo Mince - easily available in supermarkets in Australia (cheap & super healthy) I usually mince my own meat but the market was out of kangaroo meat so I used pre-packed mince.

    Ingredients for meatballs (L to R caramelised onion, carrot, beetroot, parsley, in front cream soaked rye crispbread)
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    The mixture that is added to the kangaroo mince (beetroot, carrot, caramelised onion, parsley, cottage cheese, cream soaked crisp bread, bread crumbs, whole egg, sun-dried tomato pesto) which is great on toast by itself.
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    The mixture all ready to made into meatballs
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    I did a fried test batch just to see how these worked out (not my usual procedure)
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    The interior of the fried meatball, nice, soft and fluffy
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    My normal simmered meatballs
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    The interior of the meatball
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    I have to say the fried ones were interesting not has tender as the simmered one but well worth eating. I have road-tested this recipe over many years to get the most tender simmered meatballs (especially made for children and fussy adults) so that is why the fried meatballs were well above average but not as good as the simmered ones.
    Lamb, mint and beetroot meatballs
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    Isn't the colour gorgeous on these bright pink lamb meatballs. This is one of the reasons I love this recipe and it goes so well with cucumber/mint/yoghurt dip. I like making tiny 2 teaspoon-sized meatballs for the kids just one bite for their tiny mouths. The caramelised beetroot and onion really adds to and intensifies the natural sweetness of lamb. This meatball recipe has been developed by me over a couple of years. As the butcher was explaining to me a long time ago the fat in lamb is "funny" it doesn't take too well being mixed with pork or veal or beef. That is why I like adding gelatine to the lamb mixture which adds a lovely tender moist mouth feel to the cooked meat balls. Also I like how the meatballs when fried have a "black" crust the characteristic brown-black colour of the crust results from the browned beetroot it doesn't taste burnt or bitter. If you bake the meatballs you can control the colour of the balls to suit your visual liking.

    A couple of years ago I was researching on the internet about meatball making and discovered a trick professionals use - adding gelatine to the soaking liquid which adds an unctuous mouth feel to the meatball (which is why a lot of meatball recipes add veal which is gelatine-rich). So I tried it in my standard lamb, mint and beetroot meatball recipe. I have to say the gelatine really adds a lot of moistness and a soft tender mouth feel to the interior of the meatballs. I do this gelatine trick to all my recipes now. Several people who had my lamb meatballs before the change commented after I added the gelatine about the tenderness and moistness of them now. (If anything I thought almost too tender and moist the first time I tasted them but that is my opinion.)
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    Lamb, mint and beetroot meatballs based on this recipe
    500 gm (1 lb) lamb mince, freshly ground, best if used cold
    250 gm (1 very large) beetroot, grated and fried until caramelised
    2 onions, grated and fried until caramelised (do the onion and beetroot together)
    1/2 cup of cottage cheese, drained
    2 teaspoons salt
    2 teaspoons pepper
    1/2 teaspoon of gelatine bloomed in 1/2 cup of warm wine for 5 mins
    3 slices of white bread, torn into small pieces, then soaked in the cooled wine/gelatine liquid for 5 mins then squeezed dry and chopped
    1 bunch mint, finely chopped
    1 large egg if frying the meatballs, 2 large eggs if simmering
    (optional toasted sesame seeds for garnishing the cooked meatballs)

    1. Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl except for the meat. Mix until well combined.
    2. Add meat and gently mix until almost combined. Make a very small test meatball and cook, taste, adjust seasoning then continue combining mixture until just mixed. Make medium meatballs using 1-1/2 tablespoons of mixture or large meatballs using 3-4 tablespoons of mixture. Let rest in fridge for at least one hour and up to one day. Fry or simmer gently. I find it best to fry them first and then simmer (the frying adds a nice crust to the meatballs).
    3. Best served with yoghurt/mint/cucumber dip.
    4. Garnish with the optional toasted sesame seeds.

    The baked meatballs garnished in black and white toasted sesame seeds
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    Spicy Tom Yum Asian Meatballs

    This is the recipe I have when I'm trying to impress at dinner parties. They are made with beef/veal (and the gelatine trick) and the same ingredients as TOM YUM soup. The colour for them is so golden and when fried the meatballs form a beautiful tasty crust. These are so beautiful piled high on a party platter. I know I know this soup is meant for prawns (shrimp) but it seems to work excellently for these meatballs, maybe the saffron, coconut cream and fried tomato paste does the trick.

    Tom Yum Soup Ingredients
    4 lime leaves,finely chopped
    2 lemongrass stalks, chopped into tiny pieces
    4 slices galangal, finely chopped
    2 thumbs of ginger, finely chopped
    4-8 bird's eyes chillies, finely sliced
    1 tbsp palm sugar
    Juice of 1-2 limes
    2 tbsp fish sauce (a good Thailand brand)
    3 large pinches of saffron infused in the lime juice and fish sauce
    2 green onions, thinly sliced
    1 small tomato de-fleshed seeded and chopped finely
    20 gm dried mushroom reconstituted in warm coconut cream with 1 tsp of gelatine
    1 tbsp of tomato paste fried until brown
    1/2 cup reconstituted glass rice noodles (or bread crumbs) soaked in the mushroom/coconut cream/gelatine liquid
    1/2 kg of beef/pork belly (freshly ground)
    the above ingredients plus 1 large egg combined. Form 1-1/2 tablespoon-sized meatballs then fry gently.
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    Lentil and Spinach balls with blueberry sage glaze

    This is an intriguing recipe! It tastes so GOOD yet it is the weirdest combination of ingredients but it's always a winner at parties and surprise pot-lucks and it's easy to cook also (only a couple of mins in a mircowave and if you want an optional light browning in a fry pan.) It always STUNS guests when I tell them what these tasty entrées are made of - lentils, spinach, a couple of eggs and some seasoned bread crumbs served with a sticky blueberry sage glaze. This combination is so delicious and so stimulating to the palate, the different tastes oscillate on your tongue which is exactly what you want an entrée to do to stimulate the appetite for what-is-to-come. The lentil and spinach balls are delicious alone but teamed with the sticky blueberry sage glaze they really seem to switch the taste receptors to the "pleasure" setting. A good recipe to have and their freeze well also.
    I always get so many different answers when I ask what they tasted like, but universally they do say they liked them.
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    The cooked balls (after microwaving for 2 mins in my very old microwave oven)
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    Lentil and Spinach balls with blueberry sage glaze
    Lentil and Spinach Balls (adapted from this recipe)
    2 cups of cooked green lentils (these lentils hold their shape when cooked)
    250 gm packet of frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry and chopped (you can use watercress or collard greens make sure that the greens are squeezed dry and chopped finely)
    2 large eggs
    1/2 - 3/4 cup heavily seasoned dry breadcrumbs (Italian-seasoned is fine)
    2 teaspoons of freshly cracked pepper
    1. If you want a very fine texture and even colour in the interior of your vegetarian balls, you can machine-process the spinach and eggs (not the lentils) together to form a bright green purée. (see here for a picture of a puréed lentil/spinach ball)
    2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, form 3 tablespoon-sized balls. Refrigerate for at least one hour up to one day.
    3. Microwave on high for 2 mins (check at 1 min). Serve with a simple tomato sauce or the blueberry sage glaze.
    4. If you want you can lightly fry the microwaved balls to form a crisp thin eggshell crust the balls will brown slightly if fried.
    Blueberry sage glaze (based on this recipe)
    500 gm frozen blueberries (can use a mixture of red/purple berries) (cranberries or pomegranate molasses work well also but will need more sugar) (you can use 1/2 cup red wine but reduce the blueberries by half)
    1 tablespoons white vinegar (to taste)
    2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 teaspoon hot chilli powder (optional)
    1 thumb of ginger, grated (optional)
    1 spring (green) onion, finely chopped (optional)
    1-2 garlic clove(s), crushed (optional)
    4 sage leaves
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or butter)
    1. Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan reduce gently, taste and adjust vinegar or sugar until slightly sweet with a light sour after-taste. Use the optional ingredients if you are serving a meat (or strong tasting) main course.
    2. Remove sage leaves before serving.
    Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls

    Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls
    These ricotta based balls are simple to make and only contain a few ingredients; ricotta & blue-veined cheese, eggs, watercress (or spinach), and seasoned breadcrumbs (or flour). I included some puréed beetroot in the mixture (I had some left over) that is why this batch is pinkish in colour usually they are white. They fry up nicely but I like them simmered in soups and stews. If you use flour in the recipe you get "gnudi" a dumping, these are much lighter.
    Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls1 cup (250 gm) fresh ricotta cheese, broken up into small pieces (I use low fat)
    1 large bunch watercress (or spinach), blanched (1 min), squeezed dried & chopped finely
    1 bunch mint (or basil if using spinach), finely chopped
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (or flour if you want gundi), seasoned (may need more)
    1/3-1/4 cup blue-veined cheese, finely crumbed (1/2 cup finely grated parmesan if using spinach)
    (optional 1/4 cup root veggie purée (beetroot, carrot or pumpkin) best if you are using spinach)

    Combine in large bowl all the ingredients mix until almost combined, make small test ball, cook, taste adjust seasoning, finish combining, form small (2 teaspoons), medium (1-1/2 tablespoons) or large (1/4 cup) sized balls, place into simmering soup or stews until cooked (small 3 mins, med 6 mins, large 10 mins)

    Hearty Winter Soup with Ricotta balls and Spinach Balls

    Ballsy Hearty Winter Soup with Ricotta balls and Spinach Balls
    I made up a warm filling pearl barley, red and green lentil, split pea, tomato and beetroot winter soup I served it with my spinach/lentil balls and blue-veined watercress ricotta balls, (each 4 tablespoons-sized). (The spinach and lentil balls recipe has already been posted and the blue-veined water ricotta ball recipe is above). Perfect on a cold winter's day especially with buttered sourdoug rye bread.
    Ballsy Hearty Winter Soup
    1 onion, chopped, fried
    1 carrot, grated, fried
    optional 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 piece celery, chopped, fried (fry (3 tablespoons olive oil) celery, carrot & onion (& optional garlic) together until onion goes translucent then add tomato paste)
    3 tablespoons tomato paste, fried (until brown), then add
    2 cups - 4 cups of good vegetable stock
    1-3 teaspoon salt & 2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
    1 cup pearl barley, soaked and washed
    1/2 cup green lentil, soaked and washed
    1/4 cup split pea, soaked and washed
    2 tablespoon red lentil, soaked and washed
    1 cup of finely chopped (or grated) beetroot
    Add in a large saucepan the fried ingredients, stock, barley and legumes. Simmer for 1-1/4 hrs adding extra stock as needed. Add the beetroot simmer of extra 1/2 hr. Add plenty of spinach/lentils balls and blue-veined watercress balls in the last 15 mins. Serve the balls covered in the thickened soup or stew.

    Super Duper Surf and Turf Meatballs
    These are so so so GOOD I scoffed the entire first whole batch down myself there is something about adding umami (the savoury taste sensation) to food especially to meatballs that really intensifies and accents the taste of all the ingredients. These tasted like something from a super fancy restaurant I even impressed myself, since it was an impromptu recipe just using leftovers and a couple of pantry staples, usually you aren't this lucky with "spur-of-the-moment" recipes. Deeply and profoundly satisfying and so exquisitely tasty. I will be making these again and again.

    I opened the fridge and this is what I had leftover from the night before:-
    1. a half packet (250 gm or 1/4 lb) of good quality hamburger mince (ground beef),
    2. a tin of smoked oysters in oil,
    3. a 1/4 packet of powdered mushroom, nori sheets and sesame (the blue plastic packet),
    4. vegemite,
    5. wasabi powder,
    6. some fresh bread crumbs (not shown), and
    7. 1 large egg (not shown)
     photo 51a_zpsd5515d08.jpg
    I noticed immediately that many of the ingredients were rich in umami. After sweet and salty, sour and bitter, there is umami—the fifth taste. Discovered at the beginning of the last century by the Japanese, the word umami translates roughly to mean "deliciousness" or "deliciously savour" — an understatement if ever there was one. Rich, deep and intensely savoury, umami exists in a number of foods and I had a gold mine of them.
    So I decided to make a surf and turf meatball (technically an umami-rich wasabi beef meatball stuffed with smoked oysters). The powdered mushrooms, nori, vegemite, smoked oysters and beef are all rich sources of umami (the savoury taste in foods). Also roasting, caramelizing, browning and grilling all boost the umami taste sensation in foods. Which is why this is a FABULOUS little entrée super rich in umami literally drenching in "deliciousness". I would serve with blue-vein cheese (rich in umami) or shaved parmesan cheese (one of the richest sources of umami), black olives (rich in umami) with some fried tomato paste (rich in umami) or fresh ripe tomatoes (rich in umami), tabasco sauce or hot chilli sauce, fish sauce (rich in umami), balsamic vinegar (rich in umami) and freshly minced garlic and a some finely chopped herbs parsley or mint, with a little of the reserved oyster oil. YUM YUM YUM. These tasted so good I'm calling them super duper surf and turf meatballs.
    This is the best one so far on my meatball making challenge!. On reflection and making two other batches for my friends who LOVED these, I'm entering these in the college's (that I'm attending) cooking competition next week so tasty and satisfying hummmmmm.
    How to make the meatballs
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    The finished meatballs waiting to be cooked (all the same size)
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    Super Duper Surf and Turf Meatballs
    250 gm (1/4 lb) minced beef, best if used cold
    100 gm (3-1/2 oz) tin of smoked oysters, drained, reserve oil
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1/2 cup of fresh breadcrumbs, heavily seasoned
    2 teaspoons of vegemite, mixed into the beaten egg (or 1 tablespoon fish sauce)
    1 teaspoon pepper
    1/4-1/2 teaspoon of wasabi powder, to taste
    1/4 cup of dried mushroom, shredded (or 2 tablespoons of mushroom powder)
    1 sheet of nori, finely shredded
    1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
    1. Combine in a large bowl all the ingredients except the oysters until almost combined. Make a very small test ball, cook, taste, adjust seasoning. Place 1 tablespoon of mixture into a semicircular spoon, poke finger into mixture to form a hole stuff with 3 smoked oysters cover the stuffing with the displaced beef mixture to form a complete meatball, repeat until all the mixture and oysters are used up, makes about 16-18 meatballs (See pictures above).
     photo 55a_zps178ad0f1.jpg

    Chicken balls

    I made two sorts of chicken balls; a sun-dried tomato, olive and ricotta chickenball and a sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chickenball
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    Sun-dried tomato, olive and ricotta chicken-ball
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    Sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chickenball
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    Sun-dried tomato, black olive and ricotta chicken-ball
    300 gm chicken, mince
    300 gm ricotta, finely crumbed
    1/4 cup sun-dried tomato, finely chopped
    28 black olives, stoned, (use 2 black olives per 1-1/2 tablespoon meatball)
    1 large egg
    2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1/4-1/2 cup of fresh bread crumbs, heavily seasoned

    Sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chicken ball
    500 gm chicken, mince
    3 tablespoons coconut cream
    1 tablespoon fish sauce
    1 packet of Hot and Spicy Thai noodle soup (any spicy Asian style is fine)
    2 lime leaves, finely shredded
    1/4 cup of fresh bread crumbs, heavily seasoned
    1/4 cup of peanuts, pieces
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1 red chilli, finely chopped
    4 tablespoons sesame seeds, for coating

              March 2012 Daring Bakers' Challenge - Crackle, tiger, giraffe, alligator, leopard, or Dutch-crunch bread        
    This month's challenge was to make crackle bread (also called Dutch-crunch), this bread is usually a soft textured crumb with a wondrous patterned topping that is similar to a giraffe or a tiger. The topping is very crunchy and has a wonderful taste this type of bread is perfect for sandwiches. This was a great challenge and the results are delicious I had some trouble getting the topping to brown but after eight batches I worked out that it is the sugar in the topping that browns the crust, so if you want dark brown spots add a generous amount of sugar to the topping.

    Recipe Source: The recipe for the Dutch Crunch topping came from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible. The recipes for the breads we’ve suggested came from The Bread Bible and an adaptation of a recipe found on (

    Blog-checking lines: Sara and Erica of Baking JDs were our March 2012 Daring Baker hostesses! Sara & Erica challenged us to make Dutch Crunch bread, a delicious sandwich bread with a unique, crunchy topping. Sara and Erica also challenged us to create a one of a kind sandwich with our bread!

    Dutch Crunch Topping

    Servings: This recipe should make sufficient topping for two 9x5 loaves (23cmx13cm) or 12 rolls. If you make only 6 rolls in the first soft white roll recipe, you can cut the topping recipe in half.


    2 tablespoons (2 packets) (30 ml) (15 gm/½ oz) active dry yeast
    1 cup (240 ml) warm water (105-115º F) (41-46°C)
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) sugar
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
    ½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (3 gm) salt
    1½ cups (360 ml) (240 gm/8½ oz) rice flour (white or brown; NOT sweet or glutinous rice flour) (increase by 1 cup or more for home-made rice flour)


    1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a whisk; beat hard to combine. The consistency should be like stiff royal icing – spreadable, but not too runny. If you pull some up with your whisk, as shown below, it should drip off slowly. Add more water or rice flour as necessary. Let stand 15 minutes.
    2. Coat the top of each loaf or roll with a thick layer of topping. We tried coating it with a brush but it worked better just to use fingers or a spoon and kind of spread it around. You should err on the side of applying too much topping – a thin layer will not crack properly.
    3. Let stand, uncovered, for any additional time your recipe recommends. With the Soft White Roll, you can place the rolls directly into the oven after applying the topping. With the Brown Rice Bread, the loaves should stand for 20 minutes with the topping before baking.
    4. When baking, place pans on a rack in the centre of the oven and bake your bread as you ordinarily would. The Dutch Crunch topping should crack and turn a nice golden-brown colour.

    Crackle, tiger, giraffe, alligator, leopard, or Dutch-crunch loaves and bread rolls

    Today is my bread baking day so perfect timing I will make all the bread today crackle bread and watch for the results.

    WOW I have seen this bread in the shops in Australia it is called tiger bread (occasionally I have seen it called giraffe bread or crackle bread) I have always wondered how they do the topping! I know in the oven, the starches of the topping gelatinize, dry out, firm up and crackle, in that sequence. The topping imparts a slightly sweet, yeasty flavour and a crispy, crunchy texture that contrasts nicely with the light and tender products. The topping can be applied to any type of dough that is baked between 360°F and 375°F. (182°C to 190°C).

    I used my normal soft white bread recipe (3 cups bread flour, 1 cup warm milk, 2 tablespoons oil, 2 teaspoons dried yeast, 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon lemon juice), I made two batches of dough. With one batch I made two long loaves and with the other batch I made six (115 gram/4 oz) rolls.

    I used dark sesame seed oil for the crunch topping. The sugar helps brown the topping so increase the sugar if you want a darker topping. The yeast is there to add a yeasty beer taste to the topping.

    WOW how good is the topping it really is crunchy with a slight sweetness and the toasted sesame flavour comes out so well. We ate it all up immediately so sorry for no sandwich pictures.

    I heavily coated the loaves with the paste and let them rise after 20 minutes the paste had crackled and looked so intriguing

    The baked loaves

    Tiger Bread Rolls

    I made up a batch of bread rolls using the bread recipe above but I divided the dough into six balls. I lightly coated these in the paste I used only half of the topping recipe just to see what difference I would get in the pattern.

    The bread rolls coated in the topping

    A third batch of loaves
    I made another batch I very heavily coated the loaves in a very thick layer made up with twice the normal sugar to enhance the browning of the topping and baked them off. This time I only got very large patches on the topping notice how much browner the topping is as compared to the other batches

    Tiger Paste Recipe
    I made another batch of rolls, this time I made up the crackle topping using this recipe (by weight) rice flour 100%, warm water 100%, dark sesame oil 10%, sugar 15%, yeast 15% and salt 5%. This time I made sure that I added the paste about 15 minutes before I baked them. Certainly this was the best tasting topping and also the most crunchy though the least attractive looking LOL LOL.

    Here is a listing of all the tiger paste recipes I could find on the net. They are all about the same (except one) the only difference is when you add the paste (i.e. just after shaping, half way through the final proof, or just before we bake the bread) and how thickly you apply it to the bread (thin for small scales and thick for larger scales).

    'Rye & Beer' tiger paste
    Light Rye flour 7 tablespoons (105 ml) 60gm
    Beer ('Roaring Meg') 80 ml
    Yeast dried 2 gm
    Salt 2 gm

    'Rice & Sesame' tiger paste
    Rice flour 6 tablespoons (90 ml) 60 gm
    Warm water 65 ml
    Sesame Oil 1½ teaspoons
    Sugar 1 teaspoon
    Yeast 1½ teaspoon dried

    'Australian Artisan Bakery' tiger paste my friend's recipe
    rice flour 6 tablespoons (90 ml) 60 gm (or use semolina or tapioca flour)
    warm water 55 ml
    vegetable oil 10 ml (sesame oil is great to use if you want a stronger flavour)
    ½ teaspoon vegemite (or another yeast paste)
    sugar 10 gm
    dried yeast 10 gm
    malt extract ½ gm
    salt 2½ gm

    'Challenge' tiger paste (from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible)
    rice flour 6 tablespoons (90 ml) 60 gm
    warm water 60 ml
    vegetable oil 7½ ml
    sugar 7½ gm
    active dry yeast (6 ml) 3¾ gm
    salt ¾ gm

    'Thin' tiger paste (
    rice flour 6 tablespoons (90 ml) 60 gm
    salt 1½ gm
    sugar 3 gm
    boiling water (1 cup) 240 ml
    dried yeast 1½ gm
    vegetable oil 1½ ml

    Pain Marche's Recipe: (from DB member Gourmande)
    joshinko * 250 g
    cake flour 15 g
    fresh yeast 25 g
    salt 5 g
    malt extract 2 g
    water 275 g
    sugar 5 g
    lard 30 g

    *"joshinko" is for making Japanese sweets, it's not exactly a rice flour, it's more processed, like "instant".

    Batch Two
    I have been trying to get the topping to go brown this batch no luck I followed the recipe to a "T" and used all the paste. It cracked with large patches. I will have to try a few other things, I even put it under the grill (broiler) to brown it up no luck. *sigh*

    Batch Three
    Home made rice flour tiger topping
    This time I made my own rice flour (a couple minutes in my ex-Gloria Jean's coffee $5 grinder was enough) to make the crunch topping this time I got a much better result than the packet rice flour batches. I added some sesame seeds to the topping on a couple of them just before baking.

    The home made rice flour certainly browned up better than the packet flour but I'm still slightly unhappy about the look of it, I want to experiment some more. Maybe I'm baking them at too high a temperature my oven's at 240°C/465°F which is the normal heat I always bake bread these took 45 mins to bake which is really a long time for rolls. Maybe next time I will go for 220°C/430°F or even the much lower 350°F/180°F, and I'll try steam which should make the topping go browner.

    For the last three batches I let the paste rise until it had doubled in volume (i.e. I made the paste as soon as I had finished kneading the bread) I found it made no difference to as compare to the "15 minute version" in the challenge. The longer time makes the topping taste better because it has a stronger yeastier taste when you let it rise for a long time. I have made about eight batches of six rolls now trying to get a dark brown patterning on the crust but I haven't been able to achieve it as get, I have tried varying the
    1.thickness of the topping (thin vs thick)
    2 how long I let the topping rise before I apply it (15 mins vs doubling in volume)
    3.when I apply the topping (half way through the proof vs just before baking bread)
    4.used two brands of store bought rice flour
    5.ground my own rice flour
    6.I added vegemite to the topping
    7.different temperatures of oven (moderate to very hot)
    the only thing that made any difference was making my own rice flour and that only made a golden brown colour in the final patterned crust not a dark brown colour as I had hoped for. I really have no idea how to get a dark brown colour on the crust. I have looked hi and low on the internet searching for any reliable advice on this and cannot find any at all. If any body as tips or hints please share it!

    Batch Four
    I tried another batch this time using steam and I got almost white rolls so I don't think steam is the answer, usually steam is used to create a humid atmosphere so the crust stays soft for the first part of baking, the oven spring is much better and a nice crust is formed in the second half of baking i.e. steam in the first part of baking gives us a crisp crunchy crust but doesn't necessarily brown the crust. This batch was very crunchy but not brown at all. (I saw this advice in couple of websites but it doesn't seem to work for me.)

    I will try increasing the amount of sugar maybe I will try brown sugar to see what happens this time.

    Don't get me wrong the rolls I have made have been tasty and have had great crunchy crust it's just that I'm looking for a browner colour on the topping.

    Batch Five
    Finally after a lot of experimenting I have worked out how to colour the topping. It is the sugar that browns the topping so if your batch is too pale add more sugar next time I used honey (since I had to use it) about 2 tablespoons for half a batch of the topping (120 gm rice flour, 120 gm water, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt) it was only slightly sweet tasting when baked.
              Yatta Again        

    Looks like those crazy Yatta dudes are at it again! Please someone explain why a bunch of grown Japanese men are dancing in their underwear!

              Imakita 1        

    Crazy Japanese show remix part 1 of 3. I think this is some kind of "Yo Mama" show, but really, I don't care, it's fun.

              Tattoos to Toes        
    Some objects from the Tattoos to Toes EduKit

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


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



    Best Grade Connections: 

    Grade 8
    Grade 11
    Grade 12


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

    Available Languages: 


    Case Category: 

    B - Regular

    Case Size Information: 

    51 cm x 57 cm x 21 cm


    35 lbs

              Japan: Writing        
    Inside the Japan: Writing EduKit

    Using an ink brush, ink stone and ink stick students are introduced to Japanese writing. Other exercises include an examination of Japanese characters, signature seals, and a modern Japanese publication.


    Six Japanese writing utensils, Japanese comic book, student activity booklets and teacher's notes.



    Best Grade Connections: 

    Grade 2


    Social Studies

    Available Languages: 


    Case Category: 

    A - Mini

    Case Size Information: 

    46 cm x 38 cm x 16 cm


    12 lbs

              Japan: Toys & Games        
    SOme of the objects from inside the Japan: Toys & Games EduKit

    This examination includes playing with contemporary and traditional Japanese toys and games. Activities include drawing a kokeshi (wooden) doll, designing a Japanese kite and learning how to play Jan Ken Pon.


    Kendama (stick and pin game), otedama (bean bag), kokeshi and daruma doll, photo cards, activity booklets and teacher's notes.



    Best Grade Connections: 

    Grade 2


    Social Studies

    Available Languages: 


    Case Category: 

    A - Mini

    Case Size Information: 

    46 cm x 38 cm x 16 cm


    12 lbs

              Japan: Numbers & Soroban        
    Image of the inside of the Japan: Numbers & Soroban EduKit

    Through self-directed activity booklets, students learn how to write Japanese numbers and use a soroban (abacus). Activities include writing Japanese characters and doing simple addition and subtraction on the soroban.


    Four sorobans, student activity booklets and teacher's notes.



    Best Grade Connections: 

    Grade 2
    Grade 3


    Social Studies

    Available Languages: 


    Case Category: 

    A - Mini

    Case Size Information: 

    46 cm x 38 cm x 16 cm


    12 lbs

              Japan: Food        
    Image of the Japan: Food EduKit

    A selection of Japanese dishware and utensils introduces students to traditional and modern Japanese cooking. Areas explored include food preparation, dishware decoration, and learning how to use chopsticks (hashi) and a rice paddle.


    Five pieces of Japanese dishware, 6 Japanese utensils, student activity booklet and teacher's notes.



    Best Grade Connections: 

    Grade 2


    Social Studies

    Available Languages: 


    Case Category: 

    A - Mini

    Case Size Information: 

    46 cm x 38 cm x 16 cm


    12 lbs

              ZATOICHI dvd set 1974 japanese TV series 23 disc samurai zato: For Sale $ 29.99        
    the rare and hard to find japanese weekly tv series based on the movies. it stars the same actor as in the movies; katsu shintaro. japanese language with english subtitles. za ..
              Where are the fabric stores in Berlin? Here are my recommendations!        
    It can be difficult finding fabric/craft supplies in Berlin....BUT! there are quite a few shops spotted all over the city. So I have compiled a list of stores. I have really only included shops in the Mitte, Friedrichshain, Wedding, Kreuzberg, Neukoelln areas as I do not really gravitate to the other side of town (e.g. western suburbs).

    Photo: Michael Dooney

    Welt der stoffe
    This is my favourite fabric store in Berlin with the best selection. They have also started to incorporate notions in the store.
    Generally the ladies cut the fabric, give you a receipt. You then pay at the cashier.  


    Gebrueder Berger Stoff 
    This is a great fabric store with a large selection. There are no prices on the fabrics so you need to ask the ladies for prices.The staff here are generally helpful and polite. There is only fabric here, no notions. You have the fabric cut by the 'cutting ladies' then pay at the cashier.

    Image from West End Girl

    Seiben Blau
    Prenzlauer Berg

    A great fabric store specialising in organic and ethical fabrics. They stock jerseys, cottons and more. 
    This is your one stop local for sustainable sewing 

    Image from Tip Berlin

    Frau Tulpe  
    Prenzlauer Berg 
     Frau Tulpe has a wonderful selection of cotton print fabrics. I would describe it as a funky quilting fabric store with an emphasis on Japanese fabrics. 


     Maybacher Ufer markets
    Kreuzberg - Tues and Friday
    This is where the poor sewer needs to head. Nothing in Berlin beats these cheap fabrics. During the winter months they have wool like fabrics and for summer more polyesters and jerseys. Sometimes you can find them at Mauermarkt too. 
    Maybacher Ufer - Saturday fabric market


    You can get your notions at this store. They have a limited amount of fabric, but for a pretty penny you can get some fabrics.... though they are a little too pricey for my taste



    This is a good place for notions. They also stock dress and quilting fabric, but it can be fairly pricey. 


    Image from Vom- taubertel

    Stoffmarkt Holland 
    This is an interesting market to visit. But I wouldn't be waiting around for it to reach your town. I went out to the Potsdam market a few years ago, but was not wowed. It is a little expensive and not too much of a variety.

    Image from Naehkontor
    Prenzlauer Berg
    This is a sweet corner store fabric store. I sometimes find unique remnants here for a good  price. They have a nice selection of unique quilting fabrics. You can also pick up CUT mag here!

    Image from 360 Berlin

    Frieda Hain
    These guys have a nice selection of cute fabrics. Particularly good for sewing for kids.


    Image from das macht ich nachts


    Stoff Meyer
    Stoff Meyer is the premium, designer fabric store in Berlin. If I had money I would visit this shop a whole lot more!
    It is worth checking out.

    Modulor is a great one stop shop. I get my tracing paper for tracing patterns. They also have some good priced elastic here with a selection of fabrics and notions. They used to have a sewing shop (Naehinsitut) attached to it, but unfortunately they recently relocated.

    Image from Paul Knofe
    Paul Knopfe 

    This is a shop dedicated to buttons. There are a heap of new and vintage buttons. Don't touch anything! You need to ask to retrieve boxes of buttons from the shelves.

     Ostbahnof antique markets
     There is a lady that sells antique buttons from Ostbahnof for a good price, I aptly call her the button lady!

    Department stores stock some fabrics, some notions and yarn. Here are some links
    Galeria Kauf haus, 
    Craft store - idee

    There are numerous places where you can find places to sew your own projects.

    sewing classes/ sewing work space

    Prenzlauer Berg - naehraum
    Kreuzberg - modulor, 1000stoff, manyfold

    Neulkoelln - Nadelwald 

    Image from Nadelwald Neukoelln

    If you want to find other fabric stores (perhaps in the western suburbs) then I suggest that you visit Stoff in Berlin 

    Happy Fabric Shopping

              National Park In Oak Ridge To Present ‘Two Sides’ Of Nuclear Story        

    The atomic bombs that detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 brought a horrific, devastating war to a close.

    But it also represented the instant and complete annihilation of two cities,  the brutal death of approximately 185,000 Japanese civilians* and the dawn of the nuclear weapons age.

    Meeting with the governer of SAGA✨ So proud to have so many amazing people from my hometown, SAGA🙌🙌🙌 . . 佐賀県知事と✨ . . 色々とご報告😉 . . 昨日は世界で活躍される佐賀出身の方々の講演が重なっていたようで、話が盛り上がりました🙌 . . 佐賀の人は郷土愛が素晴らしい❤ . . #hometown #SAGA #japan #love #proud #amazing #people #nice #good #happy
    On set🎥✨ . . Thankful to have so much work.🙏🇺🇸 . . 今日もお疲れ様でした🙏✨ . . お仕事ができることに感謝の日々です🇺🇸❤ . . 海外で仕事をすると日本では感じなかったことや発見がたくさんあります。今日も日本人の素晴らしさに感動しました🙏✨本当に感謝です。そして、私も日本人って素晴らしいって思ってもらえるように頑張ろうって思いました✨🙋🙋🙋 . . #onset #acting #hollywod #LosAngeles #makeup #japanese #amazing #wonderful #thankyou #shooting #peoject #film #work #fun #enjoy #actress
    Ready for beauty shot💃 . . びゅーてーショット👍スタンバイ✨ . . #onset #shooting #asian #china #beauty #fun #Korean #japan #love #simple #makeup
              Israel revisited        
    Back from the trip to Israel. Here are some observations (some of them just for myself, some could be useful for other tourists).

    It was a somewhat overwhelmingly social holiday, but it was awesome to see everyone we managed to see, and in fact we didn't even manage to see everyone who was there. Next time, I guess, or maybe they'll visit me here in sunny Finland.

    Not surprisingly, there were a lot of historical sites, good restaurants, and awesome beaches.

    I wasn't sure if the early November was a bit too late in the year, but it wasn't. The temperature varied from 16 (Jerusalem) to 32 (Ein Bokek), and there was just one rainy day. The water was warm (25 or so) both in the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea.

    November is off-season, most national parks close early, like at 3pm.

    Jerusalem is full of tourists, and Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea have quite a few, but the national parks are almost empty apart from some school groups.

    There are a lot of public toilets, almost all of them free. The ones in the restaurants are often unisex. Although pretty much anywhere I've been in Asia, from Turkey to Japan, they had more public toilets than pretty much anywhere in Europe.

    The public transportation doesn't work from Friday sunset till Saturday sunset. If you are not in a religious area, some restaurants and convenience stores will be open.

    The stores appear to stop selling beer by 11pm. Not sure if it's a law, company policy, or Tel Aviv city ordinance.

    They are building and renovating a lot.

    Almost everyone speaks very good English, and a lot of people speak very good Russian as well, but most of the written stuff is written only in Hebrew, so unless you read Hebrew you will feel a bit lost while shopping for groceries. I generally asked some friendly local people for help, and they always helped.

    The places we stayed at were Tel Aviv - Jerusalem - Ein Bokek - Haifa - Tel Aviv. Did day trips to Herodion, Sorek cave, Masada, Ein Gedi, Mamshit, Ein Avdat, Avdat, Beit Guvrin, Akko, Tel Megiddo, Beit She'an and Tsippori.

    Here's place by place, with links to the pictures:

    Tel Aviv: a big city with a lot of restaurants and the greatest beach ever. Lots of Bauhaus buildings but they didn't impress me. Some nice markets. Yafo old city. A very nice area in the old port.

    Jerusalem: I am sure even a bad tourist guide will have more details than I can describe here. One thing that a bad tourist book might not mention: the Western Wall tunnels.

    Herodion: Herod's palace. You can go up the mountain, and then down inside the mountain.

    Haifa: many residential neighborhoods are on the mountain, which makes for pretty cool views on the city. The main tourist attraction is the Bahai shrine gardens. The area around Sderot Ben Gurion has a lot of nice cafes.

    Akko: a very pretty Arab town reminiscent of a few medieval places in Southern Europe. An undeground tunnel, a pretty mosque, and the underground crusader city in the citadel. Don't miss the genuine crusader toilet seat.

    Ein Bokek: a touristy place on the Dead Sea shore. There is nothing there, really, except some Russian tourists (not many, because it's out of season) and one decent restaurant, but the sea looks lovely at sunrise, and it's a good base for visiting a lot of sites. The biggest minus: the pool and the beach closed at 5pm. WTF is that?

    Sorek (Soreq, Avshalom, whatever) cave: a little but beautiful cave with stalactites, beautifully lit. In a way you've seen one of them, you've seen all, but I still enjoyed it. Quite a way down from the parking lot. The tour was supposed to be guided and photography forbidden, but the guide didn't mind us wandering around and taking pictures without flash.

    Masada: the famous fortress on a high hill. If your map app is showing you two entrances you really want to use the one from direction of the Dead Sea. This one has a cable car, the other ones doesn't.

    Ein Gedi: we came there late and didn't see much besides the rock hyraxes. Loved watching the rock hyraxes though.

    Mamshit and Avdat: old Nabatean towns. Very interesting. There are two more, but we didn't have time for that. If you have even less time, Avdat is the biggest of the four.

    Ein Avdat, aka Avdat canyon, not to be confused with Avdat. A canyon right next to Avdat. Also a national park, with a separate ticket. The entrance about 4 kilometers north from Avdat (the only one Google Maps currently show) is the top entrance, from where you can look at the canyon from above, and are not allowed to go down (falling in is also forbidden). If you want to come in from below (that's where all the really nice pictures are taken) and climb up, use the entrance near Ben Gurion university (may the road signs be with you).

    Beit Guvrin: that's a really big and great park, and when the park rangers tell you what to see in what order they really know what they are talking about. Bell caves (beautiful, unusual and easily accessible), Sidonian burial caves with paintings, the ruins of Maresha and much more.

    Tel Megiddo: not really that much to see, except that you get to tell your friends that you've seen the real Armageddon site. If you do get up there, don't miss the Hellmouth, aka the water system. you can go down there. It's right on the way from Haifa to Beit She'an, so if you are going there you might as well.

    Beit She'an: a huge and awesome Roman ruin. Don't miss.

    Tsippori/Zippori: beautiful mosaics and lots of cactuses.

              J-Club asia DREAM radio        
    From Japan - The hottest Japanese Hip-Hop and R&B music anywhere on the net. Listen J-Club asia DREAM radio Live radio online from Ghana / Local Music / Euro Hits radio ststion. J-Club asia DREAM radio free internet live radio.
    Japan-A-Radio - Japan's best music mix! Listen Japan-A-Radio Live radio online from Ghana / Local Music / Euro Hits radio ststion. Japan-A-Radio free internet live radio.
              El maestro de los Katas: Shoji Hiroshi (1931-2003)        
    En junio de 1957 se celebraron por primera vez unos campeonatos de Karate: los denominados 1st JKA All-Japan Karate Championships (Primeros Campeonatos de Karate para todo Japón de la JKA). Fue el centro deportivo Metropolitan de Tokio el que albergó … Seguir leyendo
              My 10 Favorite Things About Living and Teaching in Korea        
    I'm two days away from leaving Korea. In two years of living here, I have developed deeply ambivalent feelings about both my experience here and the society itself. A couple days ago, I was re-reading The Prophet, and I was surprised to find a section that echoed my feelings about leaving Korea:

    The hero has been in a strange land for twelve years and upon seeing the ship that will return him to his homeland...

    "the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul.

    But as he descended the hill, a sadness came upon him, and he thought in his heart: How shall I go in peace and without sorrow? Nay, not without a wound in the spirit shall I leave this city.

    Long were the days of pain I have spent within its walls, and long were the nights of aloneness; and who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without regret?

    Too many fragments of the spirit have I scatterd in these streets, and too many are the children of my longing that walk naked among these hills, and I cannot withdraw from them without a bruden and an ache.

    It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands.

    Nor is it a thought I leave behind me, but a heart made sweet with hunger and with thirst.

    Yet I cannot tarry longer.

    The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark.

    For to stay, though the hours burn in the night, is to freeze and crystallize and be bound in a mould."

    A bit dramatic perhaps, but it really nails how I'm feeling. But, moving along... last week I posted my 10 least favorite things about living and teaching here, and here are my 10 favorite things about living and teaching here, plus a few runners-up.


    Ice cream bars -- This didn't make the top ten because it has been absolutely disastrous for my fitness. At every convenience store, and they're everywhere, there is a freezer full of delicious ice cream on a stick in every flavor you could imagine and more (one of my favorites is a chocolate bar on a stick, surrounded with "nano-silver vanilla", coated with chocolate and peanuts, another is melon, another still is watermelon flavored and shaped ice cream with hazelnut seeds). A full price bar is 700 won ($.55), and most places sell them at half price. I don't know how that can be profitable (and I probably don't want to), but it sure does make for a delicious, fattening summer.

    Elders' robustness -- Before the monsoon came with its endless days of rain, I was playing tennis every morning with a 64 year old man that was in nearly as good of shape as I am. I never saw him eat an ice cream bar. On my way to school, I routinely see 80-something year old men and women hunched over working in the fields, digging up potatoes or planting chili pepper plants. I've never seen them eating ice cream bars either.

    Lack of zoning -- Where I come from, an area is either commercial or residential, so people end up driving a lot. Here, everything is mixed together, so people walk. On one level, it's nice to have a convenience store (with ice cream bars) in the same building as my apartment. On another level, it gets people out in the streets and creates a mixing of people and a sense of community involvement that I think we could use more of at home.

    Free time -- I am ambivalent about this. Every single day here, I've had hours of free time. I play guitar, watch TV, read, watch movies, cook, paint, play online games, meditate, etc. I have learned a lot from the reading I've done, I'm a better guitarist and singer and cook, and I'm a champion of Settlers of Catan (my online game of choice), but I'm also bored a lot and frequently feel like I'm wasting my life away. It is that feeling that compelled me to take the plunge into grad school at the end of my contract here.

    Now, to the top ten....

    10. Gardens everywhere --
    This province, Gangwon-do, is notorious in Korea for being difficult to grow food. The people respond by growing food absolutely everywhere. Any land that is less than a 15% incline and is not paved over is growing food, without exception. That's true whether it's someone's front yard, a triangle of dirt between a bridge and road, or way up in the valleys that surround the towns. They're not farms, much more like what we think of as gardens. They grow chili peppers, corn, soy beans, onions, garlic, potatoes, greens, grapes and on the occasional flat section of land, rice. This is this old couple's yard. It's worth noting that it's September and they're planting, probably the third crop of the year. I'm certain they would think we are insane for the money, effort, fertilizer and pesticides we put into grass.

    9. Jjimjilbang -- These are combination health club, sauna and recreation center. Admission is about $5 and for that you soak in hot tubs infused with jade or eucalyptus or whatever, sweat in the saunas and steam rooms, and get a sports massage or a scrub down from an old Korean man wearing nothing more than briefs. There are restaurants, but for reasons that escape me Koreans seem to prefer to pig out on hard boiled eggs at these places. There are barbers and televisions and computers and massage chairs and cold and hot rooms and salt rooms and charcoal rooms and oxygen rooms. A great place to hang out and warm up in the winter or sweat out in the summer.

    8. Outdoorsiness -- Koreans love the outdoors, whether eating squid jerky and drinking rice wine behind an apartment building, or hiking through valleys (which they have done an excellent job of protecting by concentrating in the cities the population of 50 million people in a country the size of Indiana). I love the tendency toward the outdoors, especially in summer, when restaurants pull out their plastic tables and the dining room floors spill out into the streets. The images of dozens of Koreans eating, drinking and laughing in a courtyard on a warm summer night will stay with me for a long time.

    7. The sweet kids --
    Not all of them were, but the ones that were sweet were the cutest, kindest, funnest kids I've ever known.

    6. The restaurants & the food -- A lot of foreigners here complain about the cuisine, and while I admit the flavors can get a bit monotonous (sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic and chilies), I love the food, even though much of it is off limits to me as a vegetarian. Restaurants typically specialize in just a few dishes, are usually owned and run by an old lady who might work with one other old lady to prepare the food, serve the food, clean the place and everything. My favorite restaurant in town is a place where a 4' 6" 60 year old lady serves grilled fish lettuce wraps (I'm a quasi-vegetarian here) and seems to rotate through being amused, confused, appreciative and fed-up with the foreigners that frequent her place. The prices, and there's no tax or tipping, so what you see on the menu on the wall is what you actually pay, for a typically quick meal might be $3, and unless it's a very special dish (or foreign food or drink), meals rarely exceed $10 per person.

    Every meal comes with bancheon, side dishes, that always include kimchi and usually other fermented vegetables. In a cheap place, you might just get three little kimchis, in a nicer place, it's not uncommon to get over ten bancheon, and they might include fried fish or raw octopus or other treats that can be even better than the central meal itself. In most cases, everything is shared with everyone at the table. In fact, when eating with Koreans, even glasses are shared -- it's a neat little social device... if you see that someone is bored or if you want to chat with someone that you're not sitting near, you take them your empty glass and a bottle of soju (chemically fermented rice wine) and pour them a shot, and in that manner, over a meal that might last a few hours, people move around (everyone sits on the floor) and everyone talks with everyone, everyone shares germs and everyone gets drunk.

    5. Community focus -- This is the highest ranking item that is really about Korean society, as the next four each have to do with my position here. On the whole, I'm not a big fan of Confucianism, at least as it operates in modern Korea. However, the focus on social harmony is really nice, and something that I think we North Americans could learn a lot from. Where I is the dominant pronoun in the US, we is here. Studies have shown that the different mindsets actually affect visual perception, such that Asians are more inclined to view ambiguous situations from a removed, more holistic perspective, whereas Westerners are more inclined to view the same situation from inside it, from a first person perspective. Unfortunately, because of the xenophobia here, foreigners are not always considered part of the community in the same way Koreans are, which I think makes being a foreigner here harder than it would be in a more individualistic society like the US. But, while I'm sure my Korean friends still think I'm terribly obstuse and inconsiderate, this mindset has implanted itself in my head, and I'm glad for it. I hope it stays with me through the years.

    4. Income:expenses ratio -- The salary foreigners earn teaching in Korea isn't anything special, except that foreign teachers' apartments are paid for by employers, as are airfare here and home and immigration costs. Food is cheap, entertainment (at least out here in the boonies) is scarce, and buying stuff doesn't usually make sense when you know you have to fit everything you own into two suitcases at the end of the year. Health care is nationalized and very inexpensive and the tax structure is very progressive so even those who aren't exempt pay less than 4% income tax. I have been saving almost 80% of my salary, and on top of that I'll receive about two months' bonus pay at the end of my contract. No one has gotten rich doing it, but especially for folks right out of college or when the job market at home is what it is right now, it can be a very solid financial move.

    3. Vacation time & neighboring destinations -- While I've been here, I've spent time in China, Vietnam, Laos, Japan, Thailand, and Thailand again. Spending almost the entire month of February in Thailand is about as good as it gets. And it was a relatively quick flight on a lovely Asian airline to get there.

    2. Novelty in everything -- Living here is a bit like being a child. You never really know what's going on, you don't have responsibilities the same way you would at home, you're easily surprised, and routine events are novel and exciting. It's incredibly frustrating, but also really enjoyable.

    1. Anonymity & outsiderness -- There is something comforting about knowing that no one knows you, and that no one can. If people are going to stare at me as I walk down the street, I might as well wear shorts and flip-flops and sing as I walk. If my students are going to think I'm a weird foreigner anyway, it's much easier to engage them with silly foolishness that I might hold back at home. At home, as soon as you see someone, you thin-slice their age, sex, body language, clothing, and a thousand other things and make a judgement about who they are and how they relate to you in society. In a culture as foreign as this, that's impossible. Advertising doesn't affect you, because it is designed to take advantage of the human mind's inability to stop thin slicing. And not understanding what that 16 year old girl on the bus won't stop talking about can be really nice.

    I couldn't have named this at the time, but this is what brought me back to Korea for a second year. When you remove a person from their native culture, you force them to examine themselves in way that is otherwise impossible. We define ourselves by our relations: to our jobs, our achievements, our friends and family, our hobbies, and the culture we consume (and, less often it seems, create). Take away all those things and one has to look internally for a sense of identity. That transformation started for me in my first year here, but it didn't have time to run to completion. When I got home, I didn't identify in society as I had previously, but I was still looking to things like my friends and my job to define my position in society, my social identity, especially since it had been upended since I had left. I ended up feeling lost and floundering around for quite a while before returning to Korea. I don't know if that transition ever really reaches completion, but I know that I am going home with a much stronger internal compass than I had before I came to Korea, in addition to a much broader perspective on culture, politics and the world.

              My 10 Least Favorite Things About Living and Teaching in Korea        
    I've got a week left here in Korea before I go home to start grad school and say goodbye to the Sparkling Hermit Kingdom of Morning Calm for good. I've lived and taught here for two years, and it has been wonderful and terrible, glorious and excruciating, boring and exciting, eye opening and let-me-just-tune-out-the-world-and-watch-television-for-weeks-on-end.

    I thought I'd finish out the year with two last posts: my ten favorite things about living here and my ten least favorite things. So that we end on a positive note, here are ten things that I have found consistently, repeatedly, powerfully annoying.

    10. "Hello! Howareyou! Whereareyoufrom!" This is at the bottom of the list because in slightly modified form, it can actually be nice. When I pass an ajuma and her 4 year old granddaughter and the ajuma smiles and tells her granddaughter to say hello, it's really sweet. When I'm in the right mood, it can make me smile for a bunch of middle school girls to get over themselves and say hello and then giggle for fifteen seconds. But when I pass a group of college aged boys (or grown men!) across the street and one yells out "whereareyoufrom!" and the others start laughing uproariously, that's annoying.

    9. Auto exhaust. I like to run and I walk everywhere, so I spend a lot of time "with" cars, trucks and scooters. I don't know what it is that our exhaust tests in the states get off the road, but the majority of autos here put out a foul, noxious gas that I'm sure is just destroying my lungs. Of course the tractors and scooters are even worse.

    8. Sewers rising. Again, I don't know what they've done in the US to prevent the smells of sewers from rising into the streets, but they certainly haven't figured it out here. The national dish is kimchi -- rotting (er, sorry, fermenting) cabbage with garlic, fish sauce, shrimp paste and chilies. Unfortunately, that's what everyone shits and it smells even worse than you would imagine.

    7. Fan death and other insanity. A lot of Koreans (maybe a majority. really. even doctors.) think that if you sleep with a fan on in your room you will die. A lot of Koreans also think that Korea is the pinnacle of culture and accomplishment. Logic here is... to be culturally sensitive, I'll say different, though having studied symbolic logic, I feel pretty comfortable saying it's just either missing or gets beat out by antiquated cultural beliefs. Ignorance and delusion are everywhere.

    6. Logistical challenges. A lot of things are a lot harder in a foreign country. Often to buy something, I have to ask a Korean friend for help. I'm not going to miss feeling like a retarded four year old.

    5. Volume and style of speech. Korean men are much worse than the women on this, though plenty of women are plenty annoying as well. Fresh from the west, you would honestly think a discussion on where to go to lunch was a boiling blood feud. Koreans love to eat and drink outside (which I love), and there's a nice spot just below my apartment window (which I don't love). For hours on end two women will sit pouring soju (the Korean version of sake, except it's vile) for men talking and yelling and interrupting and gesticulating at volumes I thought impossible. No time of day or location is off limits for this manner of communication.

    4. Confucianism. Confucius mapped out social relationships to try to produce social harmony (the ultimate goal of Confucianism) in any situation. According to Confucianism, the younger, female or lower status should be deferential and obedient, which often seems more like meek and unquestioning. I think social harmony is an admiral goal, and I think deference and humility are lacking in westerners, but the rigid way Confucianism operates in modern Korea creates manifold problems. As my coteacher (a 31 year old woman) said when she learned we wouldn't be having a retirement party for our principal (a 64 year old man) because the government found out he has been stealing money from the school, "Why does he still have job? If I am stealing, I don't have job one more day!"

    3. The staring. Maybe now I know what it's like to be a gorgeous woman. No, not the same. I am stared at constantly. This was less true (though still common) in the big city, but in this rural little town, I'd say around half of the people I see on the streets just fix their gaze on me. I almost always look back, try to summon compassion and acknowledge them. Maybe one in ten gives me a nice smile and bows back (usually the older women), the rest look away until I've stopped looking at them, and then fix their stare right back on me. What really makes this hard is what's behind the stare:

    2. Xenophobia. Korea has long been called the Hermit Kingdom and with good reason. Throughout its existence, Korea has had to fight off domination from China and empires of the Japanese, Mongolians and others. Even in modern times, Korea has remained remarkably isolated. Besides the utter unfamiliarity with anything not-Korean, there is also a deep (and historically valid) antipathy toward foreigners. I once asked three wealthy, cosmopolitan middle school students from Busan if they would allow their children to marry foreigners and all three said absolutely not. I have received a tremendous amount of kindness and welcome from Koreans, but with a few notable exceptions, there is always an element of my being not quite the same, not quite human. What I'm about to write is completely unfair -- there are so many differences and what I have faced here doesn't even enter into the same arena -- but living here has given me emotional insight into what it must have been (and be) like to be black in many times and places in the United States.

    1. Missing events and holidays at home. All of the above end when I leave in a week. But one of my best friends got married this summer, and I missed two Christmases with my family, and those are gone forever. I wouldn't trade the experiences I've had for those that I missed, but without exception, the hardest days here have been the days I have most wanted to be home.

    What do you think waegookin seonsaengnim... what would you have included that I've left out?
              Teaching English in Korea Interview        
    I was recently asked to provide an interview about my experience teaching in Korea, my decision to move to Korea, stereotypes of English teachers in Asia, culture shock and cultural assimilation, EPIK, and some other general stuff about my experience teaching English in Korea. I thought I would go ahead and provide the interview here. I hope you find it helpful. There may be a follow up interview in the future, if so I'll post that as well.

    ----- Why did you first decide to move to Korea? Had you had previous
    experience? Did you know others who had traveled to Korea before
    deciding to relocate there? Please describe your decision making

    My decision to come here was very circumstantial. I was working as a research scientist in the US and was dating a Canadian when my grant got canceled and I was out of work. We didn't have a good way to be together in either of our countries, and she had friends who had paid off significant portions of their student loans teaching in Korea, so we started looking into it. We considered Taiwan most seriously as an alternative, but in the end the ease of the offers in Korea -- airfare paid, apartment ready when you get here -- and the excellent pay (at that time, in 2005, the exchange rate was about 40% better than it is now) lured us here. I had one friend that had taught in Japan with JET and had a decent experience but left before the end of the year. I read a lot about teaching in Korea before I came, espeically on, which presents a particularly negative side of teaching here, but we decided to come anyway.

    ----- Was the process of moving different than what you expected? What
    everyday difficulties, if any, do you encounter living in a foreign

    The process of moving was very easy and more-or-less what I expected. The shock of landing in a very foreign country was intense. I had never been outside of N. America before, and Korea is very different than home. Jet lag was severe, and I remember on our second night there we went out to eat, at an Italian restaurant of all places, and after being out for an hour or two, my energy just plummeted. I didn't know how I was going to make it back to the apartment. I think our minds have a filtering system that keeps us sane by blocking most of the massive amount of information that constantly surrounds us. It filters that which is the same, usual, because we don't need to be aware of that. But suddenly in a Korean city, nothing is usual, so the mind is very easily overloaded. You ask about culture shock later, but let me say here, I think there are two seperate events that are labeled as culture shock, and they are very different. There is the experience I just described, which was very intense for just a few hours on the first few nights, mostly just lasted a few days and fades away entirely with a week or two. Then there is another experience that sets in around 3 or 4 or 6 months into living in a foreign culture, when the novelty has worn off, and things get really hard. I talk about this at length in a blog post, here.

    ----- I know there has been a stereotype of inexperienced Americans and
    Canadians going to foreign countries and working very briefly, using
    the job as a means to pay for a vacation. Do you think this is still
    the case? There also has been a history of foreigners being lured to
    countries like Korea (or Thailand) with promises of great jobs and
    money only to be met with disappointing living and working conditions.
    Has this practice changed? What opinions do you have regarding
    both sides of this complicated relationship between teachers and
    recruiters? Do you think EPIK has changed this in Korea?

    I don't know how qualified I am to speak generally about this, especially since I haven't lived in Seoul, and that's where the vast majority of foreigners are (that was even more true before the government's recent push to put native english speakers in every public school in the country). But here are some thoughts.

    Yes, people use it as a way to get away from home, as an escape. The reality is that living and working here comes with a huge load of challenges. I don't want to say it's harder, that would depend on specific circumstances at home and here, but it's definitely hard. I don't know a single foreigner here that would disagree with that. And while I think Korea rightly has a reputation for being particularly difficult, I've heard similar complaints about Thailand, Japan, China, etc.. So if this job has a reputation for being an easy way to take a vacation, I think that's undeserved. I think we earn every won we make.

    I had read a lot about people showing up and being given moldy, rat-filled apartments. I think that has always been a tiny, if highly vocal, minority, and even more so now as the arrangement has become more widespread and communication between foreigners living here and thinking about coming here has increased. That said, people definitely do get screwed from time to time. Hagwons, the private, after-school tutoring centers that outside of EPIK employ almost all of the foreign English teachers, are intensely for-profit, and every won saved on a foreigner is a won of profit for the owner. I worried a lot about what would happen at the end of my hagwon contract, because at the end of a contract foreigners generally receive a month's pay, a bonus month's pay called severance, approximately a month's pay from contributions the boss should have been making each month to the national pension fund that can be withdrawn as a lump sum by foreigners leaving the country, and return airfare home. That adds up to about 7 million won for most foreigners. In the end, I did get nearly everything I was owed, with a hundred thousand or two won, but I felt like if the boss had thought he could have pushed me around, he probably would have.

    Recruiters are driven by profit motivation too, and they understand how few recourses a foreigner has once they have moved here. So I think it's terribly important for foreigners to get references for their recruiter and their hagwon before they sign a contract. With EPIK this is much less true because the contract is standardized and there isn't the same profit motivation present in public schools. EPIK is far from perfect, and there are plenty of complaints among my friends and I about the program, but it is much more secure than a hagwon gig.

    ----- Have you experienced significant "culture shock" as a foreigner in Korea?

    Yes, see answer 2.

    ----- To what degree do you think it's important to assimilate to the
    culture you are living in?

    Again, I'm not sure how qualified I am, because I haven't ever assimilated into a foreign culture. Note that the vast, vast majority of foreigners living here don't assimilate to any noticeable degree. I suspect those that have would say that it's both difficult and important. I think it's particularly difficult in Korea, because Korea has a history of fending off foreign invasions (surrounded as have been, historically, by empires: Japanese, Mongolian, Chinese, etc.) and that has informed their culture around the treatment of foreigners. For a more thorough treatment of this, see Korea Unmasked, which is written by a Korean. I think xenophobia is common here, as is fetishization of foreigners. Racism is, I think, less common, but prevalent as well.

    On a lighter note, learning some simple aspects of the language: the "alphabet," food, numbers, taxi directions, etc. is hugely helpful, and new arrivals should learn that stuff ASAP.

    ----- I know EPIK views their native English speakers as assistants to
    the regular English teachers, do you think using native English
    speakers is beneficial when teaching English?

    It's true that we are titled Assistant Teachers. What this means in practice varies widely from province to province, county to county, school to school, and especially from elementary to middle to high schools. My understanding is that in elementary schools foreigners are often treated more like assistants, with Korean teachers planning the lessons and incorporating foreigners to degrees ranging from not at all (I had one coteacher, who I taught 4 hours a week with last semester, with whom I would literally sit in a student's chair, in front of the class, facing the class, which he taught, and often not say a word. I eventually started bringing books into class and sat there reading.) to true coteaching, where the teaching role is passed back and forth. There are also situations in elementary schools where the Korean teacher feels embarrassed about their English in front of a foreigner, or is just lazy, and has the foreigner do all of the lesson planning and teaching. This can be good for everyone, if the Korean stays engaged with the class to keep Korean norms around discipline and respect in order. If, as many do, the Korean sits silently in the back of the class or even walks out, it can be very frustrating. It is extremely difficult to teach beginners of a language without a common language, especially children, with their constantly ambling attention. This alone is sufficient for me to recommend EPIK over hagwons to incoming teachers -- in EPIK you have a coteacher, in hagwons you don't.

    I think it could be valuable to use native teachers, and in many cases I think it is. But the systems to make it properly and be of real benefit to the students haven't been put in place yet. This initiative to have native English speakers in every school is very young, and they are still learning how it should be done. So, as with the example I mentioned above, it often ends up being worthless for the students, and I think very frequently is of marginal value. I think a native speaker is most valuable as a teacher to advanced language learners, and those aren't primary and secondary students in Korea. With the right sort of co-teaching, I think it can be valuable. It brings a new pedagogy to language learning in Korea, which I think is sorely needed. I think it may be most valuable in diminishing xenophobia. There are now foreigners in every town in the country, and every student will grow up knowing at least 12 different foreigners. It's an extremely expensive cultural reform, but I foresee it opening up Korea quite a bit, and Korea has been a rather closed culture. When I left Korea last time, I took a ferry over to China, and the first Chinese person that I spent any time with told me that he thought culturally, "Korea is more [traditional] Chinese than China."

    ----- What are some of the benefits of teaching overseas as opposed to
    teaching in your home country? What are the negative aspects?

    This is a huge question. I think most of the benefits come from living abroad, and after that working abroad, the actually teaching abroad, in my opinion, has marginal benefits.

    For teaching, that it is easier to get into comes to mind. Anyone with a bachelors degree can get a job in Korea. It is also an easier job for most people, but this is balanced by it being harder to live and work here. The negative aspects of working here are primarily that you might not have much control over your curriculum if you teach in a public school, and you might not have much control over (or ability to communicate with) your students if you teach in a hagwon.

    A lot is made about the potential to save money here, and I think it is misunderstood. A typical job here, and this includes probably 95%+ of the jobs here pays between 2.0 - 2.3 million won per month. In addition, your airfare to and from Korea is taken care of and apartment (minus utilities) is furnished and paid for. Income tax is much more progressively structured in Korea than in the US, so at these income levels, the tax rate is 3.3%, and in public schools there is a two-year exemption from even that. Health care is socialized and costs about 50,000 won/month for coverage and makes visits to the doctor/dentist/pharmacy extremely cheap. Add to that the fact that, outside of Seoul, there isn't a lot for foreigners to spend money on. Restaurants are cheap, public transportation is excellent, and most of us don't want to accumulate much stuff, because we have to get rid of it or find a way to get it home in a year or two, and desirable entertainment options are scarce. So, 2.2 million won isn't that much money (about $1600 right now) for a month's work, but some expenses are covered by employer, some are minimized by the policies of the Korean Government, and others just aren't present here.

    The benefits of living and working abroad are significant, and I think under appreciated and misunderstood. Much has been made of President Obama having lived in many different cultures and his penchant for surrounding himself with advisors that have also lived in other cultures. People that have left their home for an extend period of time develop a different way of looking at the world. I think this comes from having the beliefs that are operant in your home society (which we don't notice because they are omnipresent) challenged. That leads people to have more nuanced perspectives that are less based on the beliefs that are instilled by our culture's stories. Leaving the culture you were raised in, even temporarily, is -- must be -- an eye opening experience. A friend asked me recently what made me come back to Korea when I had many grievances about my first year here. I told him that I felt like a transformation had started in my first year that I needed to continue and couldn't at home -- that by removing myself from the shared beliefs, common assumptions and homogeny of the society I grew up in, I was forced to look more closely at the people and events around me and deliver my own conclusions, because I couldn't rest on the beliefs I had picked up by osmosis at home. I also had to redefine myself, because those around me didn't see me through the same cultural lens I had always been seen. Those processes are extremely trying, and I think they are generates the culture shock that emerges after a few months of living in a foreign culture. Really living in a foreign culture is probably the only way to experience it. When one travels, one is not immersed in a culture the same way one is when they are, for example, working in a foreign culture. So that's a benefit and a negative aspect. I believe it is hugely important, and it's why I am here now in spite of the intense frustration and frequent loneliness. Well, that and student loans. And the food. And the proximity to Southeast Asia.

    One last thing I'll mention is a certain sense of freedom that comes with living here. I think it is related to the redefinition I just wrote about at length, in that it comes from a lack of understanding between you and those around you, which comes from a lack of shared cultural stories/assumptions. But knowing that no one really gets you, and no one can, is frighteningly liberating. And not understanding what that 15 year old is talking about on her cellphone can be pretty nice too.
              Teaching in Korea FAQ        
    In my ongoing efforts to help people decide if teaching English in Korea is right for them, I thought I would post my responses to some questions I got from a friend of a friend who is thinking about making the move to Korea. I hope this helps. If there are any questions you think should be added to the list, let me know.

    1. How did you apply for the position?

    Through a recruiter. It is possible to apply to public school jobs directly, but there isn't any advantage to doing it that way, and it's more difficult and you have one less person in your corner should any issues come up. You could also come here to look for work... I think that makes the most sense for those with experience who are trying to land a highly competitive position, such as a university gig. One of the greatest benefits to starting in Korea is that everything is taken care of for you.... the recruiter will find you positions (for free, they're paid by the school), help you get everything in order for your visa and such, and then you'll be set up with a ticket (or airfare) and when you get here you'll have an apartment waiting for you. I can't imagine landing in Taiwan or Vietnam and trying to find a place to live at the same time as all the other new-arrival stuff.

    2. Are you TESL/TEFLO certified?

    No, and there's no need to be in Korea. For those who think Korea is a good fit, I would suggest starting here without it, and if after a year or two hear, you decide you want to stick with TEFL and possibly move somewhere where the certification is more important (particularly in the Middle East and a few particular Asian countries), then look into that.

    3. How long did it take you from the begginning of your application process till ending up in Korea?

    I started in May-ish, knowing that I wanted to come at the begining of the semester Sept. 1. One guy in my town did the whole thing in a couple weeks, but that's definitely on the fast end. The new school year just started last week.... there are always positions available, in public and private schools, but the big hiring pushes are for 3/1 and 9/1... I'd suggest starting several months before you want to come.

    4. Is it easy to transfer teachig positions throughout Korea/Asia/World

    I'm not sure what you mean by transfer. Korea runs almost 100% on 1-year contracts. One downside to Korea is that visas are non-transferable, so if you don't finish your contract, you have to get a release from your employer and go through the whole visa process again with your new employer. My understanding is that in Japan, for example, the visa is transferable. If you mean at the end of the contract, it's certainly easy to transfer within Korea... a year of experience here is a big plus because employers know you know what you're in for and that you can handle it. I imagine that's true with employers in other countries too. Two years experience and/or TEFL seems to be a commonly listed necessary experience for some of the more desireable jobs I've seen.

    5. How hard is it to adapt socially (i.e. nightlife, dating,)

    This is a huge question, and there are a lot of variables, most importantly you. I would suggest reading blogs of English teachers here... that's a nice window. Mine is at I'll probably refer you to a couple specific posts at some point.

    In sum, Korea is not an easy place to adapt to. It is probably one of the lesser foreigner-friendly places on the planet. I have friends that have married into Korean families and are happy and plan to spend the rest of their lives here. But I know a lot more people that have come, foudn it very difficult, and are anxious to get out at the end of their contract. I think much of that is culture shock... the experience of living and working in a foreign culture after the novelty has worn off, and I do hear similar complaints from teachers in Japan and Thailand, but I'm not sure they are as ubiquitous or as strong as they are here.

    If nightlife and dating are real concerns for you, I would suggest Seoul, or possibly Busan. Seoul is one of the biggest cities in the world, and you can find just about anything there, though I have never heard it refered to as cosmopolitan. Busan is a city of something like 3 million... I lived there for a year and quite liked it... it's on the beach and has a more moderate climate and a less hectic feel than Seoul, but also many many less foreigners and services for foreigners. Now I'm in a tiny town on the east coast, far from everything and very isolated. I took the job largely for the 5 week vacation, but it makes the other 47 weeks pretty tough, and I'm someone who likes a lot of time to himself for reading, guitar, exercise, etc.. Again, search for blogs of folks teaching in Seoul, Busan and other random places... the differences will be obvious.

    6. What happens if i get sick/injured?

    Korea has wonderful socialized medicine. About 50,000 won (~$30) of your monthly paycheck gets you medical care at prices you won't believe ($2 for a dentist visit, $.85 for a perscription fill, $300 for a crown treatment). Many doctors are trained at US medical schools. The bigger the city, the better in terms of quality of care and availability of ENglish speakers.

    7. Have you been able to save money fairly easy?

    Yes. This is the other advantage to living in the sticks... there's nothing to spend money on! Unfortunately, over the last six months, the exchange rate has moved massively against those of us saving won to convert to dollars (~40%). It hasn't affected prices here much, but it sucks when you transfer money home. Still, I will bank 5-figures this year, and that's with a 3-week trip to Thailand, buying the nicest food I can find and taking regular trips around the country. I don't, however, drink or smoke or eat meat, so I save money on all of those. The maxim is that you should be able to save half of your salary without trying. I save around 70%. When thinking about savings, don't forget that at the end of your contract you effectively get 2 months extra pay - one called severence and one from a pension.

    8. How much stuff did you bring to Korea?

    I brought the two largest suitcases I could get my hands on, and packed things like Clif bars, books, and a tennis racket. My parents send me a package every few months with my favorite foods and toiletries, which helps a lot.

    9. have you picked up much of the language since your inception?

    No, and most people don't, but that's stupid. Korean is one of the hardest languages for an English speaker to learn, but it can be done. Especially in Seoul, if you really wanted to commit to it, there are hagwons (a hagwon is like a tutoring center, they offer after school classes to students, especially in English, and employ most of the foreigners here) that teach Korean to foreigners.... If there were one here, I would do it. I have enough of the language to get around, but embarrassingly little for having lived 18 months here. I bought some books before coming and while here, but just haven't dug into it. I've heard people talk about acquiring languages like Hindi and Italian in less than a year because they loved the culture and always wanted to be immersed in it. I think the converse explains why most of us don't make much of an effort at Korean.

    So there are some thoughts. Here are a few blog entries that might be valuable to consider:

    several videos, if you want to get an idea of what life looks like in Korea.

    differences between hagwon and public school teaching

    general thoughts about being and teaching here. be sure to check out the comments section, as there are lots of valuable insights from readers there.

    I hope all that helps. If it brings up any more questions, feel free to ask. If you decide you want to come, my recruiter was great before we got here, and in helping us when we needed to move. I'd be happy to set you up with them (I get a little kick-back if you end up signing on.)
              Teaching and Living in Korea, Gangwon-do Public School and Busan Hagwon        
    After a year of teaching EFL in a Hagwon and a semester of teaching English in a public school in Gangwon-do, here are my thoughts on teaching English in Korea in general, and about the differences between the public school gig and the hagwon gig. I hope it will be helpful to those that are thinking about coming to Korea to teach English.

    Before I get into it, I want to preface this by saying that real culture shock, in my experience and the experience of my friends that have lived in Korea and other foreign cultures, sets in around the three to four month mark. It is characterized by disdain for the local culture, frustration with other aspects of one's life, and a strong desire to escape the “shocking” culture. For more on culture shock, check out this post from about a month ago. I have been here about four and a half months, and I feel like I'm on the tail end of what has been a fairly severe culture shock. Just wanted to throw that in for completeness, for those readers contemplating coming to Korea, or to Gangwon-do to teach for EPIK in a public school.

    Living in Korea

    Korea is not particularly hospitable to foreigners. There is a lot of kindness in the Korean people as a whole, but there is more xenophobia (fear of foreigners). There is a historical reason for this: the Korean people have, throughout their history, had to fight off invading forces – Japanese, Mongol, Chinese, etc. The result is a people that are very insular and distrusting if not downright disrespectful toward foreigners. Of course there are exceptions – I've had friends (male and female) marry into Korean families and be, to varying degrees, accepted by the culture. There are also some teachers that come here for a year and enjoy the time they spend with Korean people. But the vast majority of foreigners I've talked to and emailed with feel isolated and disliked by Koreans and look forward to the day they get to go home or to another culture.

    What is the difference between those who have a great time here and those who can't wait to leave? I've thought about this a lot, and I think I have some insight into the personalities that fit best and worst here.

    Those that have the hardest time here are typically:

    - Female – sorry ladies, but this is a culture of and for men. I've known a lot of strong women who have had a very hard time here. The disrespect I experience is multiplied several times over for women. I suspect beautiful women have it easier than others, with blond hair and thinness being primary qualities of beauty here. Also women that are okay with being less involved in conversations, decision making and the like will do better.

    Those who have the best time here are typically:

    - Drinkers/Smokers/Red Meat Eaters – I am none of these things, and that has proved hard. Had I come here just out of college, I would have been going to the bars and cook-your-own-meat-at-the-table restaurants with other teachers from my school three times a week, getting drunk and smoking cigarettes with them and building social bonds through that. This seems to be the primary social opportunity here. Of the people I've met that are happy in Korea and plan to stay, nearly 100% have enjoyed regularly consuming at least 2 of these 3 things.

    The other big difference I see between those who are happy here and those who are not is sensitivity. Korea is not a place for sensitive westerners. Expressions of appreciation are few and far between and ostricization – most often expressed non-verbally – is constant. On the streets, smells of sewage hit you like a truck every couple of minutes. Buildings are aesthetically devoid and covered in advertisements, and loud noises are constant. Those who set their own emotional state, or who are relatively constant in their feelings, regardless of their surroundings, can do very well here, but this is not the place for those who are sensitive to their environment and the way they are received by the people they work with.

    Teaching English in Korea

    Public Schools

    In public schools, foreigners are hired as assistant teachers, and we are more assistant than teacher. For the fall semester, which we've just finished, I had three co-teachers that I worked with at my primary school. With one of them, I taught eight hours a week (actually eight, forty minute classes) of sixth grade, for which I prepared one, forty minute lesson and usually got to deliver it to both sixth grade classes. Sometimes my lesson plans ended up in the trash because something took precedence – a special event or falling behind schedule or the children misbehaving and the teacher needing to take thirty minutes to yell at them (no kidding, that happened several times). With my two fifth grade teachers, with each of whom I taught four hours a week, I simply sat next to the desk while they taught. Sometimes I would be asked to speak words or phrases for the students to mimic the correct pronunciation; sometimes I would sit silently and do nothing for the entire class. Of the three teachers, one would consistently offer me his comfy teacher's chair; for the other two, I would sit in a fifth-grade-student-sized wooden chair.

    That was the bulk of the semester. For winter vacation the students and most of the teachers get six weeks off. We get three (I'm leaving for Thailand tomorrow!), and run “winter camps” for the other three. Winter camps were hard, but rewarding. For one week, we had a budget, two Korean teachers who actually helped us and seven hours a day to do whatever we wanted with the kids. That was great, but very demanding. For the other two weeks, we had three hours a day with the kids, with no budget and no Korean teacher to translate or help us control the students. That was more difficult, but we got to go home at 12:30 everyday, which is nice. Summer vacation will probably be similar, except that it's a bit longer, and our vacation is shorter (two weeks), so there will probably be more camp and special education activities.

    Our situation here isn't exceptional, but it isn't universal either. Some teachers have much better rapport with their schools. I think this is mostly just a crap shoot. One couple hasn't had to go into school at all over vacation and is teaching a winter camp after the spring semester starts. Lucky them. Where we are (in Samcheok County), situations like ours seem more common, but I think this county might be particularly tough on its foreign teachers.


    In 2005 – 2006, I taught in a hagwon (a private after-school academy) in Busan. That teaching was very different than what I'm doing now. Much has been written on the internet about the hagwon-teaching experience, so I'll be brief. It was extremely tiring to teach without a Korean to translate for me, but on the other hand, I got to design my lessons and could teach anything I wanted. I taught six, fifty-minute classes a day, as opposed to four, forty-minute classes a day in my public school. Every day I would step outside between classes and think, “I can't do this any more, I've got to get out of here.” But I did do it, and so do lots of other people. I was always scared that my boss was going to cheat me out of money, but in the end he ended up paying me all I was owed, within a couple hundred dollars anyway. I suspect if he had sensed he could have pushed me around more, he would have. There were two big upsides to the hagwon gig: the hours – 3:30 to 10:30pm with an hour to go home for dinner beats the pants off 9-5 with lunch in the school cafeteria in my book. The other biggie is that you know exactly where you're going before you get on that plane. With the public schools, you typically know only the province you're going to before you leave home. We got massively unlucky in this regard, as we came to Gangwon-do, the mountainous, rural province the northeast corner of South Korea and ended up in one of the last remaining coal mining towns in the country. With a hagwon, not only do you know where you're going, but you can find out the details of who you'll be working with, how far your apartment is from your school (in my hagwon, I was a three minute walk away, in our public school we were initially placed a $3, forty-minute bus ride away), and even what your apartment looks like. Here as everywhere, the devil is in the details, and before you sign up with a hagwon, you can know a lot more of the details than with the public schools.


    I would recommend teaching English in Korea primarily to guys strait out of college. If you want to do something interesting for a year or two, save a ton of money and put an interesting item on your resume, this can be a very good gig. If you want to go to the bars most nights, and would enjoy cooking beef at your table, you might even fit in with some of the people you work with. And of course there's travel – most people experience major personal growth while living here, and the opportunities for travel (either on vacations if you go with Gangwon-do public schools, or afterward if you don't have as much vacation) are second to none.

    If I were doing it again, I would go with the public school over the hagwon – it's a ton less stress, but I would try to come at an off time (not 3/1 or 9/1), and I would want to know exactly where I was going to be placed before I signed anything. I would also make a huge effort to build report with the teachers and administrators in my school in the first weeks.

    If you're interested in teaching in the public schools, we came with a recruiter, Jen, who did an excellent job of answering our questions before we came, and of representing us through our battle with the authorities to move closer to our school. If you'd like to get in tough with her, send me an email – mlevy79 (at) gmail (dot) com, and I'll put you in touch with her.

    Whatever you decide to do, good luck, and if you do come to Korea, let me know how it goes.


    Be sure to check out the comments below -- there is a lot of insight there from other westerners that are teaching here.
              This ol' beagle turns 12        
    What a journey! I turn 12 today. This was me six years ago:

    This is me today!
    Back then, whilst I had started showing white fur on my face and ears, I still had a deep black and brown coat. Now, I have turned very fair as the whites have overtaken the brown and black. My humans think that I have aged gracefully.

    One thing that hasn't changed over the years is my love for food! From chewy bone treats to my regular kibbles - I love them all. My humans always make an effort to give me something special on my birthday. So today, Mia and I got a Zuke's Clean Apple Crisp Z-Bone for tea (which is a treat as we don't usually get tea).
    Then for dinner, in addition to our regular kibbles, we had a lovely addition of thinly sliced beef on a bed of rice topped with some carrots. Naturally, we both gobbled dinner down in record time.

    But that was not all. My humans had one more trick up their sleeve. We don't usually get dessert either but today we did, thanks to my humans' Japanese friend who had bought us a pack of dog pudding. My humans had kept that away for a special occasion and today was that special occasion! Woo hoo!

    Unlike me, Mia is usually hesitant in trying unfamiliar food. She will taste the texture, spit it out and try to figure out if she should eat it.

    Mia looking at me finishing my dessert in one bite.

    Since she still couldn't make up her mind if she should eat her pudding, I decided to help her eat it. But, typical beagle, she defends her pudding and quickly pops it into her mouth and move away from me. It took her another minute or so to finally eat it, but she definitely wasn't going to let me eat it for her. Silly Mia!

    As far as birthdays go, today was a good one! 

              Bleary-Eyed and All Chewed Up        
    My humans have forgotten what it's like to have a puppy at home. After all, it's been more than 11 years since they've had a puppy in their home! So, the title of this blog post talks about two of challenges of having a puppy.

    1) Bleary-Eyed - You can kiss sleeping in goodbye!
    "When a puppy takes fifty catnaps in the course of the day, he cannot always be expected to sleep the night through." Albert Payson Terhune
    Since Mia became part of our family last August, my humans have not been able to indulge in sleeping in. It's actually a lot better now as Mia does sleep through the night, compared to when she first came. Back then, she used to wake at around 2 to 4 am and my humans, worried that she might need to pee (puppies do have small bladders), have to wake up and take her out to relieve herself. They used to do the same for me too when I was a pup!
    However, Mia is an early riser, and so anytime between 5.30-6.30 am, there will be sounds of pitter patter on the floor as Mia wakes (which means our whole household wakes up too). Personally, I don't mind because that means I get to eat breakfast early, which in my books, is a good thing. But for my humans, that rules out any hope of sleeping in at home on weekends.
    2) All Chewed Up - This described the state of Mia's toys, our furniture, our shoes, our bags, etc, etc
    It's a fact of life - you can't have a dog and a perfect house. My humans acknowledge that fact, having gone through that experience with me. Back when I was a pup, I used to love my human's high heel shoes. The heels fit perfectly in my mouth and makes for a good chew. The thing is though, I never chewed on a pair of shoes, instead, I like the variety and would pick a side of two different pairs of shoes, which to my human's chagrin, means two pairs of ruined shoes! I've also chewed through quite a few of my beds - woven basket, plastic beds, you name it, I've chewed it!
    I'm pleased to say that Mia is following in my footsteps. She has chewed through numerous pairs of slippers, quite a few doggie toys, her bed (and mine), any sharp angle bits on furniture and floor trims, end bits of floor mats and my human's precious Longchamp bag. Here are some of Mia's chew "victims":
    Victim #1:
    One of Mia's first toys, a fluffy duckie from her original home. The duckie has since been put to rest - headless and stuffingless.
     Victim #2:
    The Kong tennis ball with rope is now without its fluff covering and rope.

     Victim #3:
    My humans carelessly left the remote on the coffee table. The picture speaks for itself.

     Victim #4:
    A selection of Mia's chewed up toys. Note the fluffy cow which was bought to replace the fluffy duckie. In this picture, Mr. Fluffy Cow is still intact.
     Victim #5:
    Headless Mr. Fluffy Cow.
     Mia has moved on to Ms Japanese Fish, which unfortunately did not survive for more than 5 minutes once Mia got started!

     Victim #6:
    My human's bag (she is still trying to figure out if the bag can be saved with some creative patching!)
     Victim #7:
    My other human's slipper
    This is probably one of the only toys that my humans bought for Mia that still survives! Meanwhile, my humans are patiently waiting for the chewing phase to pass. Meanwhile, bags are kept away in cupboards and TV remotes are kept away from the coffee table!

              15 Castelos incríveis ao redor do globo        
    Embora tenham sido projetados e construídos para o efeito importante de defesa, hoje os castelos parecem construções um pouco irrealistas diretamente do mundo de conto de fadas. De fortalezas sólidas para palácios orientais altamente decorativos, os castelos são a nossa ligação ao passado, onde as lendas se misturar com a história e a realidade se mistura com a terra das fadas.

    Alcázar of Segovia. Spain

    Burg Eltz Castle. Germany

    Castle Howard. England

    Chambord Castle. France

    Conwy Castle. Wales

    Corfe Castle. England

    Eilean Donan Castle. Scotland

    Guaita Fortress. San Marino

    Himeji Castle. Japan

    Matsumoto Castle. Japan

    Neuschwanstein Castle. Germany

    Peleş Castle. Romania

    Prague Castle. The Czech Republic

    Hohenzollern Castle. Germany

    Neuchâtel Castle. Switzerland

              Japanese asses farting (10:00)        
    Japanese asses fartingJapanese asses fartingJapanese asses fartingJapanese asses fartingJapanese asses fartingJapanese asses fartingJapanese asses fartingJapanese asses fartingJapanese asses fartingJapanese asses farting
              Japanese teens farting (10:00)        
    Japanese teens fartingJapanese teens fartingJapanese teens fartingJapanese teens fartingJapanese teens fartingJapanese teens fartingJapanese teens fartingJapanese teens fartingJapanese teens fartingJapanese teens farting
              Jean-Michel Basquiat Painting Sells For Record $110.5 Million        
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: A painting of a skull by Jean-Michel Basquiat broke records at Sotheby's last night. The work sold for more than $110 million. As NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports, that is the most ever for an American artist's work at auction. ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: With thick black lines, an open mouth, an explosion of blue, red and yellow, the skull seems to be shouting. Jean-Michel Basquiat was just 21 years old when he painted it. It wowed art lovers when Sotheby's first unveiled it two weeks ago. The auction house's pre-sale estimate was $60 million. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) UNIDENTIFIED AUCTIONEER: Seventy-nine million dollars. BLAIR: It was shattered within minutes. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) UNIDENTIFIED AUCTIONEER: For $98 million. BLAIR: With fees, the price tag rose to $110.5 million. The winning bidder was Japanese Internet mogul Yusaku Maezawa. This Basquiat painting hadn't been seen in public for decades. It was
              'Priestess Of Polka Dots' Yayoi Kusama Gives Gallerygoers A Taste Of Infinity    Infinity is a concept that's nearly impossible to grasp, let alone see . But it's one of artist Yayoi Kusama's obsessions. The Japanese artist is known for her "infinity rooms," which have mirrored walls that make the space feel endless. Now, for the very first time, six of Kusama's infinity rooms are on display in one venue: the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. (The show will later travel to Seattle, Los Angeles and other cities.) At first, walking into one of Kusama's infinity rooms can be disorienting. One room, The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away , is pitch black except for a spray of flickering red, green, yellow and blue lights — like little jewels suspended in mid-air. They seem to go on forever; you're not sure what you can touch and what's out of reach. Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu says the room makes "you feel as if you're a speck in amongst something greater." That idea — that we're all just specks in the universe —
              Pan Pan in Japan: A mega-fun trip to the Land of the Rising Sun        

    Jeremy “Pan Pan” Pancras went to Japan this winter in search of good times and soft snow, and captured the experience via his latest video, Rusutsu Bound. Watch the Frenchman tear up the Land of the Rising Sun in a variety of ways, from dreamy resort laps to backcountry booters. ALSO WATCH: Seven sick lines […]

    The post Pan Pan in Japan: A mega-fun trip to the Land of the Rising Sun appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.

              Traditional & Wushu Tai Chi & TCUP: Forces at work & hope for harmony        
    From the tai chi perspective, the traditional tai chi associations on the one hand and the associations affiliated with the Wushu International on the other can be said to be two faces of the same coin. But just because their the same coin, their core differences which emanates from divergence in purposes are neither unified nor harmonized.

    The main purpose of the traditionalist is by definition, to preserve the original meaning and intentions of tai chi. On the other hand, the main purpose of Wushu is to have China’s Jewel of Chinese Heritage – Wushu – in the International Olympics. Japan has Karate and Judo, while Korea has Taekwondo. For the country that has the biggest population in the world, oldest existing civilization and the fasted growing economy at this time, to have no Chinese sports in the Olympics is truly preposterous.

    The Cons & Pros of Wushu Tai Chi:
    Wushu with its popularly practiced tai chi must simply be in the Olympics. But, to crash into this exclusive Olympic club, Wushu Tai Chi should fall into the western concept of sports. And unfortunately, skewing the profundity of the Chinese internal art of Tai Chi to suit this requirement simply puts tai chi into the same idea as gymnastics or figure skating. Tai Chi’s subtlety and profoundness is very difficult to be evaluated by mere professional judges – there are far too many important nuances that can only be sensed by a true expert in the art. This is one of the problems why Wushu gets to be controversial – the outcome of judging gets to be essentially based on aesthetics because it takes a very long, long time to have the proficiency to be an authentic judge. And time is the rarest element among the resources available to the Wushu thrust at this time.

    “Yes it was beautiful and elegant”, but did it follow the principles of tai chi such that all the form training that one put in it actually improved one’s push hands? Or did the form actually reinforce wrong habits of movement? Sadly, this is the usual negative result.

    Can this be corrected? In the long run, maybe – but only if a constant aim is directed toward doing this correction. But, right now, this is not Wushu’s problem; it has many real hurdles to the evasive Olympic dream. This is, right now, just a distracting divergence from their focus.
    Of course, there are many good points to this international propagation of Wushu:
    1. In terms of propagation, it was not only broad and intense; it was also fast and systematic. Not surprising though, considering the budget and the organizational support at its disposal.
    2. Also, it gave Tai chi a very “handsome and pretty face”. With the good image comes the good name – superficially at least. “Far too many people never go beyond superficial any way.” But, antithetically, being superficial is not one of the things that tai chi is about.
    3. Honest to goodness kung fu training is the traditional aspect of Wushu that we witness first hand. A program that squeezes the kung fu spirit out of every cell in one’s body.
    4. International level of efficiency in organization and system. They think of everything and rethink often.

    Honestly, I really doubt if there was any group of organizations then that could have given tai chi this much in such a short period of time. However, the good cannot justify the dilution of the internal art into a mere external sport.

    By and large, these are the cons and pros in Wushu tai chi.

    The Pros and Cons of Traditional Tai Chi:
    Traditional Tai Chi, on the other hand, I believe, needed this “kick in the butt” from Wushu as a catalyst for awakening from complacency. In fact, it seemed that Wushu has more stuff to show in terms of people who can “showcase” what they learned. While it was not consciously de-emphasizing the essential elements of tai chi for expediency like Wushu Tai chi, the traditionalists have not really given us what we really needed of the internal stuff for us to digest. Was it because these are secret stuff just for the family and if you are worthy enough to be taught the “secret” you would be sworn to secrecy-to-the-grave?

    Of course, there are many good points to the traditionalists preserving the art for the future generation. Because without them, we would be more lost than we already are.

    TCUP: Searching the Harmonious Balance:
    Using the tai chi concept of finding the center to balance and harmonize, this illusive harmony is deemed within the realm of the possible. The only problem is to eventually develop the tai chi skills accomplish this feat.

    The Tai Chi Union of the Philippines (TCUP), like the spine of a growing fetus has been continuously forming to be this center - to bring out the best from the limitations of yin and yang, and to express the “grand ultimate” from the harmony between the Wushu and the Traditionalists. Through this center, the differences between Wushu and Traditional need not be issues, “Viva la difference”. The differences can be respected while recognizing that there are common grounds for unity and cooperation. TCUP is an expression of this working mode, “Modus Vivendi – Live and let live!”

    How do we do this? Very carefully? With lots of patience and a little bit of self-sacrifice - no, martyrdom is excessive. In six months, a year, year by year, decade by decade, we will reap the fruit of harmony and “no thousand pounds of force can stop our four ounces of gentle touch on the true heart of everyone”. Who knows, the world may be waiting for us to give it the cue. And the world can change as well.

              A season in the Land of the Rising Sun        

    Some American ski bums make giant leaps of faith—moving to popular destinations like Colorado to pursue their on-snow dreams. Others take it to a whole ‘nother level, like Ian Dahl, Seth Hampson, Drew Hurter and Clint Christen, who moved to Japan for the 2016-17 season. The video, above, documents their time in the Land of […]

    The post A season in the Land of the Rising Sun appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.

              Is there anything better than driving Audis and skiing pow in Japan?        

    Is there anything better than skiing powder and driving Audis in Japan? No. Don’t agree with us? Just watch the incredible video, above, featuring Sam Smoothy, Jeremie Heitz and Dane Tudor exploring Hokkaido to the fullest. Shout out to Sherpas Cinema for creating this masterpiece—the quality of work here is unbelievable. ALSO WATCH: This black […]

    The post Is there anything better than driving Audis and skiing pow in Japan? appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.

              Giappone nucleare 4 - Un 2012 atomico        
    Piccolo riassunto dei nostri vaneggiamenti inerenti il nucleare in giappone:
    Letteralmente: "Giappone, perchè vendi testate nucleari all'india"
    Partiremo dall'incidente al reattore 1 di Fukushima, continueremo con le attuali conseguenze economiche e arriveremo alle notizie fresche: finisce la decennale proibizione di vendita di armi in Giappone, e continuano i colloqui per vendere tecnologia nucleare in india.

    Read more »

              Michael Jackson PS3 Bundle Coming Soon        
    Sony Computer Entertainment Japan has announced a Michael Jackson themed PS3 bundle for the region. Officially dubbed the “PlayStation 3 ‘Michael Jackson’s This is It’ Special Pack”, the bundle will include the following extras. 120 GB HDD This is It Blu-Ray The bundle will go on sale January 27, 2010 with a MSRP of 33,500 [...]
              Showbiz Sandbox 305: Should “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Box Office Records Require An Asterisk?        

    The release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” shattered box office records the world over and became the biggest movie opening of all time by earning $529 million. We explain why in countries such as Japan and South Korea, the latest “Star Wars” not only didn’t win the weekend, but in some cases earned less […]

    The post Showbiz Sandbox 305: Should “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Box Office Records Require An Asterisk? appeared first on Showbiz Sandbox.

              The use of shell nouns in Japanese and American student writing        
    Tahara, Nobuko (2017) The use of shell nouns in Japanese and American student writing. Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
              Post Apocalyptic Mayhem-PROPHET        

    Post Apocalyptic Mayhem-PROPHET
    Release Date: 04-2014
    Language: English | French | German | Italian | Spanish
     Polish | Russian | Japanese
    Mirrors: PutLocker | UPaFile | Filewinds | BillionUploads

    Free download PC game Post Apocalyptic Mayhem Full Version - lets you race and battle heavily-modified vehicles through numerous breathtaking tracks and lay waste to other racers in over-the-top vehicular mayhem. You can use special vehicle abilities to cause spectacular destruction to enemy cars as you fight and speed to victory. You’ll experience remarkable speeds, hilarious and violent weapons, reinforced vehicles and various exhilarating tracks.

    This version includes the vehicles: Kitty, Nucloid and the Veteran and tracks: Death Area 8, Airplane Cemetery and Abandoned Sawmill. Also it includes the Chaos Pack DLC. Game version is 1.03.272.


    Minimum System Requirements
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 @ 3.0 GHz / AMD Athlon 64 3200+
    • Memory: 1 Gb
    • Hard Drive: 1 Gb free
    • Video Memory: 256 Mb
    • Video Card: nVidia GeForce 6800 / ATI Radeon X1800
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
    • DirectX: 9.0c
    • Keyboard
    • Mouse

    Link download
    Mirror via PutLocker
    Mirror via UPaFile
    Mirror via Filewinds
    Mirror via BillionUploads

    1. Unpack, burn or mount
    2. Install the game
    3. Copy the cracked content from PROPHET dir
    4. Go To Hell!

    1. PL, UPa, FW, BU Interchangeable Links
    2. Total part: 4 / 250 MB
    3. Total file : 864 MB
              John Wright (1923-2011): pillar of the Catholic faith        
    Michael Gilchrist

    John Patrick Wright, who died last June, was an outanding, courageous Melbourne Catholic layman who was a tower of strength for orthodoxy at a time when this was often under siege inside the Church under the banner of the "spirit of Vatican II".

    Born on 8 January 1923, he was the youngest of four children. First educated at Kildara, he attended De La Salle College in Malvern before completing his secondary education at Xavier College, Kew.

    He had a natural love of and aptitude for languages, excelling at Latin and French and after completing school in 1940 went on to complete a Law degree at Melbourne University.

    During World War II John Wright learned Japanese and was involved in interrogating Japanese prisoners of war while after the war he travelled to Japan as part of the British Occupational Forces and lived there for two years, making lifelong Japanese friends.

    In later years, while at the Bar he was a regular contributor to The Age, with an article called Lawyer's Diary, where he would provide, for the benefit of the reader, hypothetical court scenarios and rationales for outcomes arrived at. In 1972 he was appointed a Crown Prosecutor, a position he held until his retirement at the age of 62.

    The Church remained his enduring focal point. A founding member of the first parish council at Our Lady's, Ringwood, he undertook numerous parish activities while continuing to be a twice-weekly communicant.

    John Wright was a man of strong conviction and the courage of his conviction rarely failed him, even if this meant confronting others, as happened one night in a packed school hall when he challenged a teacher over the content of a religion lesson.

    He was later actively involved with a group of Catholics in the 1980s who had organised over concerns about deficiencies in the then Melbourne archdiocesan guidelines for religious education. This involved himself, other laypeople and some brave priests and religious in meetings with Archbishop Little and various diocesan officials in an effort to have the deficiencies remedied. In the end, their efforts proved fruitless until the advent of Archbishop Pell a decade later.

    He was a great admirer of the work of Bob Santamaria and the NCC, and, as with the Church, it continued to be a big part of his life, including volunteer work. He also assisted in the birth of the Catholic-based organisation, the John XXIII Fellowship Co-op, a major force in the struggle for Catholic orthodoxy in Australia. He would be actively involved with the Co-op for many years.

    On a personal note, I will be forever grateful to John Wright for his invaluable assistance in enabling me to put together my first book on the crisis within Australian Catholicism, Rome or the Bush. When no other publisher would touch this book, the John XXIII Fellowship Co-op took it on board and at the time of Pope John Paul II's first visit to Australia in 1986 it became a surprise best-seller. Much of the credit for this success can be attributed to John Wright's help and wise advice.

              Video: Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite Japanese TV spot is a brief beast        
    Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite might have a monster in its pocket you'll want to hunt
              DBA frenata terreno nella Terra del Sol Levante,en        

    When it comes to vibrant Motorsport scenes, nowhere gets higher praise than Japan. This passion for motorsport has yielded many of the best tracks in the world, some of the best racing categories and star ...

    The post DBA frenata terreno nella Terra del Sol Levante,en appeared first on Disc Brakes Australia.

              Choose your stopping power – 86/BRZ        

    The Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ were hailed as the saviours of the Japanese sports cars when they first went on sale in 2012. Designed from a clean slate, the sporty coupes had an extremely ...

    The post Choose your stopping power – 86/BRZ appeared first on Disc Brakes Australia.

              Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
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    一人で作っているプロジェクトですが、100行以下の細かめの修正毎にPull Requestを作っているので、どのような過程でやっているかが比較的分かりやすいと思います。

    easy-first algorithmについて

    • 係り受け解析アルゴリズムの1つです
    • 最も自信のある(つまり簡単な)ところから係り受け関係を付けていくgreedyな方法です
    • コーパスには正解の係り受けは付与されていますが、簡単さの順序は当然分からないので、構造化パーセプトロンでそれを含めて学習します
      • 構造化パーセプロトンについては入門エントリを書いているので、興味がある方はどうぞ


    • 今年の初めからGo言語に入門していた
    • おかげでAPI wrapper的なcliツールは作れるようになった
    • しかし、以下の経験をもっと積みたい
      • もっとCPUやメモリに負荷がかかる計算をやらせたい
        • Go言語でどの辺がボトルネックになりやすいのか知りたい
        • プロファイリングで地道に改善していく経験がしたい
      • もう少し複雑なデータ構造を扱いたい
      • goroutineやchannelについての知識を、本を読むだけではなく、実装しながら掴みたい
    • 係り受け解析器を作るのは(自分にとっては)よい選択
      • ドメイン知識があるので、係り受け解析器のこと自体はそれほど心配しなくてよい
        • clojureでも実装経験済み
        • 初めてのタスクでやるとタスク固有のことではまっているのか言語のことではまっているのかの切り分けが必要
      • 特に学習部分はあまりにナイーブな実装をするとそこそこ時間もかかるし、メモリも食う









    defer profile.Start(profile.CPUProfile).Stop()


    % go build
    % ./go-easy-first ...
    % go tool pprof go-easy-first /var/folders/pk/zk906vvd7rx7ls8g3sv3vs800000gn/T/profile498633669/cpu.pprof

    私の場合はtop 20 -cum main.やlist main.を実行するとボトルネックになっている箇所が大まかに分かり、そこを修正すると速度が改善できました。最初は7分程度かかっていたものが2分程度まで縮んだので、まあまあのインパクトです。また、実行する関数を文字列で取りたい場所でreflectionを使っていて、パフォーマンスが若干気になったのですが、プロファイリングを取ることでそこはほぼ問題にならない程度の時間であることが分かってよかったです。


    同じくプロファイリングを取っていて少しずつ改善していった箇所です。文字列連結のパフォーマンスを改善した後も、内積計算(DotProd)で計算時間がかかっていることが分かりました。初期は内積計算をするための重みベクトルをmap[string]float64で保持していましたが、keyが文字列で引いてくるのは明らかに時間がかかります。そこで、keyをid化して辞書引きを高速にするように変更しました。また、Feature Hashingも使い、最大の次元数を決めることで重みベクトルも[]float64となり、使用するメモリも削減&高速になりました(最大の次元数が小さすぎるとhashが頻繁に衝突してしまいますが、100万次元程度確保しておけばこのタスクではほぼ精度は落ちずに済みます)。





    これまで小規模なGo言語のアプリしか使っていなかったため、go runやgo buildで十分でした。しかし、後述するgo-bindata等をビルドの前に行ないたい等、色々やることが増えてくるとタスクランナーが欲しくなってきます。みんGoでも我等がid:SongmuさんがMakefileでやることをオススメしていたので、Makefileを導入することにしました。



    パラメータファイルはただのベクトル([]float64)なので、human readableなjsonである必要は特にありません。バイナリファイルに書いて、デコードのときに読み込ませるようにしようと思いましたが、イマイチbest practiceがよく分かりませんでした。試行錯誤をした結果、encoding/gobのEncoder/Decoderでやりすごしました。















    30歳サラリーマンで京都で夫婦で共働き(子どもなし)です。今のところ財布は別々にしていて、家賃光熱費等の共通出費の用途には別途口座を設けています。お金を貯めるために普段の生活をめっちゃ頑張りたいわけではなく、外食もまあまあ多く、時には散財もしたい(apple watchも買ったし、iPadの一番でかいやつも買ったし、何ならswitchも買った)という感じです。しかし、新卒の最初の2-3年ほどは自分の収入と支出がいったいいくらなのかを全く考えずに過ごしていて、さすがにこれではいかんだろうと思い自分の財政状況を確認し出しました。結婚もしたので年に一度妻と一緒にそれぞれの財政報告会議を開き、将来の計画等について話す機会を作っています。

    リタイヤ後にまあまあな生活をするためにはX000万必要そうなので(金融機関がぜったい教えたくない 年利15%でふやす資産運用術を元に計算)、年に100万程度を3.5%程度で株式/投資信託/債券/年金で運用という計算を立てています。3.5%のところはインデックス投資や10年の国債を買っていて、変にブレまくることはないので無駄に売買して取引コストがかからないように気を付けよう、程度しかやっていない(NISAは一度も売却していない)。それぞれのアセットにどの程度投資するかは、以下のエントリに書いています。


    2014年末からMoney Forwardで自分の口座や収入、支出を見るようになりました。推移は下の図の通り。Money Forwardで記録し始めた前後でNISAや確定拠出年金が開始しました。何となく縦軸の数字は隠していますが、エントリを読んでいくと大体想像が付く…。






    絶対額は書かないですが、額の大きな項目を上げていきます。項目はMoney Forwardの項目をそのまま使っています。




    特別な支出が4番目でこれは主に散財項目。apple watch、ipadやswitchなどがここでした。昨年と大体同額ペースできていましたが、年末に調子に乗ってapple watchやipadを買ったため、去年よりも増加した項目です。

















    JavaScriptプログラマのための 実践的TypeScript入門 (アスキー書籍)

    JavaScriptプログラマのための 実践的TypeScript入門 (アスキー書籍)

    速習ECMAScript6: 次世代の標準JavaScriptを今すぐマスター!

    速習ECMAScript6: 次世代の標準JavaScriptを今すぐマスター!

              ä¸å®šæœŸML&NLPå ±#2        




    • [1612.03242] StackGAN: Text to Photo-realistic Image Synthesis with Stacked Generative Adversarial Networks
      • テキスト(キャプション)からの画像生成系のタスクでGAN(Generative Adversarial Networks)がよく使われているが、GANを多段にする(最初は荒い画像を作って、積んだやつで精密にする)ことでかなり精密な生成ができるようになったという論文。GANをあまり追っていないけれど、出てきている画像がぼやっとしていないのでかなりびびる
    • 統計的自然言語処理と情報理論
      • 統数研の持橋さんが情報理論研究会での招待講演で話された発表資料
      • 中野さんと一緒にやっておられる典型度の定量化の話は知らなかったので面白かった(論文)



    • Googleの自動運転車ユニット、Waymoとして独立―クライスラーと提携して事業展開も | TechCrunch Japan
      • 自動運転車の開発を断念という話が一瞬出ていたけど、飛ばし記事だった様子
    • 言葉に表れない相手の本音が分かる! 会話中の満足感を定量化するAI(人工知能)技術 : FUJITSU JOURNAL(富士通ジャーナル)
      • アクセントやイントネーションによってコールセンターでの会話の満足度を機械学習を使って特定
    • How we learn how you learn | Making Duolingo Blog
      • 語学学習アプリを作っているduolingo社が機械学習を使ってどのようにユーザーが学習すべき単語を出しているかという話(論文)
      • 単純に精度が上がったという話だけでなく、サービスにどのような影響があったか(学習が効率的になってユーザーがonline fome等を使ってくれるようになったなど)も書かれているので参考になる
      • 社内で元になった論文をすごく簡単に紹介したときの資料があったので貼っておきます

    Duolingo.pptx from syou6162



    • NIPS 2016参加報告 - Qiita
      • NIPS2016で発表された論文の中でgithub等で実装が公開されているもの一覧。すでに20個以上ある様子
      • 実装やデータセットが公開されるとレビューに加点があったり、ということで公開される流れができつつある。再現性の観点からも望ましい



    • GitHub - yahoojapan/YJCaptions
      • Yahooが画像の日本語のキャプションデータを公開(約12万件)。元になっている画像データはMS COCOはマイクロソフトが出しているもの
    • FMA: A Dataset For Music Analysis

    • これもMS COCOに対してアノテーションしているデータセットの1つだった

              Snow Country        
    A journey through Japan reveals a country where modern and ancient create a haunting harmony.
              The Hafa Adai Study Tour at the Valley of the Latte        
    Hafa Adai Study Tour at the Valley of the Latte Guam's Adventure Park The Guam Daily Post KUAM News Pacific Island Times   130 travel trade professionals attend Håfa Adai Study Tour (Wednesday, July 5, 2017 – Tumon, Guam) The Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB), along with the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association (GHRA), Japan Guam
    -> Continue reading The Hafa Adai Study Tour at the Valley of the Latte

    The term minimalism is also used to describe a trend in design and architecture where in the subject is reduced to its necessary elements. Minimalist design has been highly influenced by Japanese traditional design and architecture. In addition, the work of De Stijl artists is a major source of reference for this kind of work.
              super !!! Je vous souhaite beaucoup de succès à sur Special announcement thingie stuff putain je sais plus là.        
    super !!! Je vous souhaite beaucoup de succès à la Japan Expo !Bisous
              Gizmon lens filter for Ricoh WG cameras        
    Gizmon launched a new ball lens filter “GIZMON x ZENJIX Soratama 55 for WG” for Ricoh WG cameras. Here are some sample photos taken with the filter: The filter is available for sale at Amazon Japan. Via
              This Saudi Arabian Social Media App is Trending in Dallas        
    Scroll through your Instagram stories or your Snaps and you might see a simple looking screenshot of anonymous messages sent to one of your friends. The app is known as Sarahah, which means "honesty" or "frankness" in Arabic, and it's a top trending app in Saudi Arabia and right here in Dallas, TX. The app [...]
              Shu Uemura Laque Supreme Swatches        
    Another exciting launch from Shu Uemura is here! Inspired by the premium Japanese lacquerware, the new Laque Supreme combines highly intense color and brilliant shine to create a statement lip. express your unique character with 15 statement shades including the two special red shades developed for laque supreme In a quick glance, I feel that […]
              docomo Wi-Fi がIDやパスなしのSIMカード認証を導入。数秒で接続可能に。ニンテンドーDSは接続不可        
    docomo Wi-Fi がIDやパスなしのSIMカード認証を導入。数秒で接続可能に。ニンテンドーDSは接続不可 – Engadget Japanese Wi-Fiは接続のときがわずらわしいですからね ...

    Copyright © 2017 はっぴーまっく All Rights Reserved.

              Localisation and Profiles: Programmatically changing the user's preferred culture.        

    A while ago I wrote a post on how to use Localisation in ASP.NET using resource files etc. We'll since then I been asked about how to change the user's culture programmatically by clicking a button or similar.

    In that previous article I described how culture selection is based on browser preferences and HTTP language headers. While this is pretty good, there are many scenarios where this could be improved. Say you are travelling overseas and are accessing your appl remotely from someone's elses machine, if the culture of that browser is set to Japanese, then your application might not be readable to you. You might not be able to change your language preferences either because that might not be available in a controlled environment.

    What options do we have?

    In general, to get manage the user's preferences we have:

    • Use the browser settings ( not that great as described above but good enough for 80% of the time)
    • When a user registers of first uses your application, they can choose language of choice and then save this in the database for later retrieval
    • Persist the above choice in Session state or Cookies.
    • Use ASP.NET Profiles.
    • Let the users choose this in the application. ( buttons. ddls etc ) 

    In ASP.NET is very straightforward to select the preferred culture based on the user's browser settings, you can do it at page level like I did in in my prev post but you can also set it up for all your pages in the web.config file saving you the pain of adding the attribute to all your pages throughout your application.

            <globalization culture="auto" uiCulture="auto" fileEncoding="utf-8" requestEncoding="utf-8" 
                responseEncoding="utf-8" />
    What if I want to save the user settings after they register/access the app for the first time?

    Think about the options you have to persist the preferred culture: Session: Session is not the best for many reasons, most importantly Session is not there forever, for example by default ASP.NET assumes that the user left the site after no requests have been made for 20 mins ,  your user might get up to get a cup of tea and his Session might expire, therefore when she gets back she might not have the application in her culture of choice. Also, you might not be able to access the Session object when you want to access the user's preferences. So I wouldn't use Session myself.

    What about Cookies?

    Cookies are more favourable if all you want is to persist a simple user' preference like the culture or their favourite colour I think, it will get hard pretty quickly if you where storing more than just their colour and horoscope preferences.

    For example in Global.asax you could implement the Application_BeginRequest event and read the cookie there and setup your CurrentThread to the value stored in the cookie that you created after the user made the choice etc.

    void Application_BeginRequest(Object sender, EventArgs args)
        HttpCookie myPreferencesCookie = (HttpCookie)Request.Cookies["Culture"];
        // check for null etc etc
        string culture = myPreferencesCookie.Value;
        System.Threading.Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture = 
             new System.Globalization.CultureInfo(culture);
        System.Threading.Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = 

    But I think it will get complicated very quickly and I don't think is the best way. Much better I think is ASP.NET's Profile

    The Profile objects is strongly typed and persisted, and you can even implement your own ProfileProvider!

    The easiest way to create a Profile is by creating some properties in the your root web.config. Just like the Resource files, ASP.NET compiles the Profile's propertied dynamically and then you have this strongly typed profile assets.

          <add name="MyFavouriteNumber" allowAnonymous="true"/>
          <group name="Preferences">
            <add name="Culture" allowAnonymous="true" />
            <add name="Color" allowAnonymous="true"  />

    Note the attributes, name is very simple, but note alllowAnonymous: This allows anonymous users to read/write properties, you have to set it explicitly because by default, this is set to false. ASP.NET cannot know which user has which profile unless the user is authenticated. So to use this anonymous feauture you have to enable anonymous indentification in your web.config too. More details in MSDN here.

    All I did what this...

    <anonymousIdentification  enabled="true" />

    You can also set defaultvalues, type, readonly attributes to your profile entries too.

    Also I defined what is called 'Profile Groups', that lets you organise the properties better and into more logical groups. Then in your app the intellisense will pick it up beautifully! ( Profile.Preferences.Culture )

    So far so good, we can store it in the Profile Object but using Profile is a bit of a problem in the same league as the Sesssion Object: Can we access Profile in Global.asax BeginRequest()? Nop, we can't, the only way is to write some code to access the data store where you are persisting the user's preferences. The reason this is the case is that just like Session, Profile is not initialised until Session is ready to roll.

    Getting started with a solution to the problem

    So far we know we don't want to use Session, we don't want to use Cookies and that Profile is good but we can't really use it straight out of the box.

    Question I had was, how can I localise pages based on the choices the user made? and what if the user wants to change back and forth this setting for say language preferences. Anyway, I started easy, lets give them a UI so they can change languages for example.

    I created a MasterPage and added some big, impossible to miss flags that can be associated to languages and cultures as shown below. The plan is that by clicking on the flag, the culture associated with the flags will be the Thread.Culture that the page will be running under.


    Simple code too..just a few asp:Images..

    <asp:ImageButton CommandName="es-UY" OnCommand="Flag_ClickedCommand" AlternateText="Spanish"
           CssClass="Flag" ImageUrl="~/Profile/FlagsImages/uy.gif" ID="imgUruguay" runat="server"
    <asp:ImageButton CommandName="zh-CN" OnCommand="Flag_ClickedCommand" AlternateText="Chinese"
           CssClass="Flag" ImageUrl="~/Profile/FlagsImages/cn.gif" ID="ImageButton2" runat="server"
    <asp:ImageButton CommandName="en-AU" OnCommand="Flag_ClickedCommand" AlternateText="English"
           CssClass="Flag" ImageUrl="~/Profile/FlagsImages/au.gif" ID="ImageButton1" runat="server"

    OK, note that I have setup an EventHandler for the OnCommand event, when this fires, Flag_ClickedCommand will be called and then culture that that particular flag represents will be passed on as CommandName.

    protected void Flag_ClickedCommand(Object sender, CommandEventArgs args)
          if (!args.CommandName.IsValidCulture()) return;        
           Profile.Preferences.Culture = args.CommandName;

    Note what I set the Profile.Preferences.Culture to the command name passed on from the ImageButton, but this could well be a simple button or a dropdownlist value etc. I redirect the page to itself since if the user clicks on a flag, they'll expect the changes to take change immendiately! ( I would!)

    I created an extension method for strings to check if the culture passed along was valid too. Not relevant to this post but since they are very neat I'll copy it here too. :-)

    public static bool IsValidCulture(this string cult)
         if (Constants.ChineseCulture == cult
                  || Constants.EnglishCulture == cult
                  || Constants.SpanishCulture == cult)
             return true;
         return false;    

    Setting the Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture to your preferred culture

    What we now want to do is for a page to load and pick the user's preferred culture.

    I noted that you can override the InitializeCulture() method solely to intialise the page's culture. This function gets called very early in the page life cycle, well before and controls are created, meaning that if you want to get some values from controls, you must get them directly from the request using Form!

    protected override void InitializeCulture()
        string culture = Profile.Preferences.Culture;
        if (!culture.IsEmpty())
            Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture = new CultureInfo(culture);
            Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture(culture);

    Unfortunately you have to override this function for every page, not very practical if you have a zillion pages. Next best is to provide a base common class and then inherit from this class so all your webforms can benefit and you don't have to implement the above in every form. This works fine!

    Note that the Thread culture is only set for the current page and will not affect your "other" pages, initially I thought that the CurrentThread's culture will be set to the new values and we'll all happy. But then I also thought what If a user has a different entry point to the application, so the need for all your pages to be able to read and set the user's fav culture.

    public partial class LocalisationBase : System.Web.UI.Page
        protected override void InitializeCulture()
            ProfileCommon common = HttpContext.Current.Profile as ProfileCommon;
            string culture = common.Preferences.Culture;
            if (!culture.IsEmpty())
                Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture = new CultureInfo(culture);
                Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture(culture);
    So base class it was and all my other pages inherited from this..
    public partial class Profile_Default : LocalisationBase
        protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)

    Now lets have a look at my initial UI that I wanted to localise and see if this works.


    Just a simple form with some dates, numbers and a calendar what we hope we can localise and so the right names and formatting appear for the right culture setting. For the form labels I used resource files just like in my previous post. I have three resource files, one for english, one for spanish and one for mandarin.

    The currency is interesting. All I have is a number where I call ToString("c")

    private void FillPersonalisedMoney()
        lblMoney.Text = (500.23D).ToString("c");

    Now when the user click on the Chinese flag...then the Chinese version of the page will render, dates will be rendered accordingly and the calendar will be in Chinese too..


    And in Spanish too...


    Clicking on Employee Details will take you to a page that also inherits from LocalisationBase and where Employees from ubiquitous Northwind will be displayed with to their likely annoyance, their date of birth, nicely formatted according to the culture of choice!



    And there you have it.

    In conclusion I used the native Profile ASP.NET objects, you can implement your own Provider or you can use SQLProfileProvider that ASP.NET offers, either way I honestly think that these guys offer you much more flexibility and power when you want to customize your apps according to user's preferences.

    Au revoir!


    #Must read for any localisation entrepreneurs

    # ASP.NET 2.0 Localization (MSDN Article)


              Localisation in ASP.NET: How to write multilingual applications        

    I been thinking of learning how to do this for a while now, number of reasons for that, my first language is not English, is Spanish, Uruguayan Spanish to be more precise, those that hear me from day to day can witness my struggles with English from time to time. Sometimes you wake up and words just flow, some other times, well.. that's not quite the case.

    I always wondered how applications be developed that can then be easily extended to support other languages. Especially in this global village we live in today, in our Pacific region for example there are so many languages that is just mind blowing, from Oceania, South-East Asia, to Japan, the Koreas and even to the other side of the Pacific Ocean there is South and Central America.

    Also by pure coincidance a couple of months we were asked to provide an English language version to a  charity website we have been maintaining at home for a number of years now called uruguayosunidos (I'm not responsible for a terrible spelling mistake on the homepage).  Problem is this site is just a plain html site where unfortunately we cannot use localisation. :-(

    Enter ASP.NET 2.0 and resource files

    One common approach in ancient times was to provide two versions of the same web, one for each language for example, one for Spanish another for English. This can clearly turn into a nightmarish scenario when maintaining the app, imagine!. The good news is that when creating an application with ASP.NET 2.0 or later you can use resource files to contain language specific content, eg one resx file can contain your French content, another can contain your English specific text etc.

    ASP.NET supports two types of resources, local and global resources, local resources are scoped to a particular page while a global resource is scoped to the entire application. The equation is simple, if you want content specifically for a particular page, use local resources, now if you want the text that say what your 'Save' button should display through your whole app, then this should be in your global resource file.

    To discover how this all works together I first put some labels and textboxes into an aspx page and got right into it. To get started, I just want to display a simple form where a user can enter her first name, last name and a button to submit the entries.


          <td><asp:Label ID="lblFirstName" runat="server" Text="Name"  /></td>
          <td><asp:TextBox ID="txtFirstName" runat="server"/></td>
          <td><asp:Label ID="lblLastName" runat="server" Text="Last Name" /></td>
          <td><asp:TextBox ID="txtLastName" runat="server"></td>
       <tr class="ButtonRow">
          <td colspan="4"><asp:Button ID="btnSave" runat="server" CssClass="Button" Text="Save" /></td>

    How to localise Page using Explicit Localisation Expressions:

    So far nothing new. What I wanted to do was render those controls text's either in English, Spanish or Chinese according to the user's preferred language.

    For that to happen first of all what I had to do was 'localise' the page, first I had to modify the controls to use resources's expressions. This expression is going to get the content from the resource files according to the user's language of choice. For example:

    <asp:Label ID="lblFirstName" runat="server" Text='<%$ Resources:lblFirstName %>' />

    The value of the Text property is now an "Explicit" resource expression, it is called Explicit because the property is set explicitly to a given value in the resource file for the preferred language.

    Also you have to set the Page directive to include UICulture to auto, so when a user requests the page, a file matching her settings will be loaded automatically.

    <%@ Page Language="C#" UICulture="auto"...

    Associate a resource file to a Page

    I created three resource files for this page and I then had to adde them to a special folder called App_LocalResources. You have to create this folder within the same folder as the page you want to localise.

    Right-click where you want to add the folder and then Add ASP.NET folder->App_LocalResources,  once this is done, I was ready to add the resource files to the folder. To do this right click on the App_LocalResources --> Add New Item and selecting Resource File as shown below.


    Important: To associate a resource file to a particular page, the naming convention is very very important.

    It has to be in the format of page_Name.[Culture_Name].resx

    See how above I have my Default.aspx page, I want to associate a resource file to deal with users who's language of choice is Spanish-Uruguayan (es-UY)


    I added three files, a default resource file that is used in case none of the other resource files match the user's preference/settings (it is strongly recommended to always have a default resource file) and then the files for spanish and chinese simplified. Also note that in this example I have my Default.aspx page and that at the same level I added the App_LocalResources folder.

    You can also add a 'neutral' culture resource file and name it in our case Default.aspx.en.resx, in this case the language is set to English without specifying the specific culture name as say AU for Australian, this is used if the user's preferred language is english but not say Australian english.

    Resource Files:

    Visual Studio has an editor for the resource files which enables you to enter name and value pairs as shown below..


    Note that I have associated for my Uruguayan Spanish page the name of the properties to their corresponding values that I will then retrieve from my aspx page.

    Resource files are nothing more than XML files that are then compiled by the framework into assemblies in the background! Open them in Notepad and see!


    Once I 'localise' all the controls in the page, my aspx looked  like this.

           <td><asp:Label ID="lblFirstName" runat="server" Text='<%$ Resources:lblFirstName %>' /></td>
           <td><asp:TextBox ID="txtFirstName_Ex" runat="server"/></td>
           <td><asp:Label ID="lblLastName_Ex" runat="server" Text='<%$ Resources:lblLastName %>' /></td>
           <td><asp:TextBox ID="txtLastName_Ex" runat="server"/></td>
        <tr class="ButtonRow">
           <td colspan="4"><asp:Button ID="btnSave" runat="server" CssClass="Button" Text='<%$ Resources:btnSave %>' /></td>

    Now is up to the user's settings to see what gets loaded. I'm going to setup my preferred language in IE7 to Spanish and see what happens..

    To do this: Tools->Internet Options -> Languages button at the bottom. I then added Spanish Uruguay and Moved it to the top to set it as my preferred language as shown below.


    Now is all ready to go and loading the page should display my labels and button in Spanish.


    And yeah! it worked, look how I associated the lblFirstName property in the Resource file:

     <asp:Label ID="lblFirstName" runat="server" Text='<%$ Resources:lblFirstName %>' />


    If I then set Chinese to my preferred language ( provided I have the Chinese culture resource file as shown below)


    Thanks Jerry for the characters! I hope it means what we intend to ;-)

    Then loading the page shows the correct content.


    Using Implicit Localisation Expressions:

    An alternative to explicit expressions is that you use implicit localisation which is very handy if you want to localise controls throughout your page with just one resource key.  The resource expression looks as follows:

         <td><asp:Label ID="lblFirstName" runat="server" Text="Name" meta:resourceKey="lblFirstName" /></td>
         <td><asp:TextBox ID="txtFirstName" runat="server"></asp:TextBox></td>
         <td><asp:Label ID="lblLastName" runat="server" Text="Last Name" meta:resourceKey="lblLastName" /></td>
         <td><asp:TextBox ID="txtLastName" runat="server"></asp:TextBox></td>
       <tr class="ButtonRow">
          <td colspan="4"><asp:Button ID="btnSave" runat="server" CssClass="Button" Text="Save" meta:resourceKey="btnSave" /></td>

    The labels and button include the meta:resourceKey property that represents a key in the local resource file. The entries are set to the Text property of the labels and button. I noted that you have to define all the meta resourceKey for each localisation resource file you have.


    The advantages of using implicit localisation is that you can use the content for multiple controls, say you have 4+ 'Save' buttons through your page, all you need to do is associate a resource key to the controls. Also it is easier to localise existing apps, all that needs to be done is add meta:resourceKey="Property_Name" attributes  to your existing controls.

    Note that is also possible to load resources programmatically by using GetLocalResourceObject(String name):Object and that you can also used it to format text, you can store values in the resource file such as "Welcome {0}!" and then at run time format the string as necessary. 

    Global Resources:

    While local resources are cool, their limitation is that they are relevant at a page level scope rather than at an application scope. A global resource can then be used through the app for you to setup the localised text. By convention, any resource that you want to be available to all your pages, controls etc should be in a global resource file.

    To add global resource files you need to first add another special folder to your solution, this time the folder must be at the root of your application. To add it right-click on your application node --> Add ASP.NET folder --> App_GlobalResources.

    Then you just add resource files as I did it for local page level, following the same naming convention as shown before for the language and culture.



    I called this file

    Now the interesting thing comes when you want to retrieve the values from a global resource file. The sytnax is slightly different and it is as follows:

       <h2><asp:Literal ID="litWelcome" runat="server" Text='<%$ Resources:Resource,Welcome %>' /></h2>

    With global resources you have to specify the name of the resource file and then the property you want to get to.

    The result is:


    It is also possible to retrieve values from global resources programmatically using GetGlobalResourceObject(string, string) method that takes two parameters, name of the global resource page and name of the property key you want to retrieve.

    Because the .net framework converts global resources into compiled classes, you can use strongly typed expressions to retrieve values from the resource files. When you create a resource file, a new class is added to the Resource namespace for you to use! How good is that!!? The snippet  shown below with Visual Studio intellisense doing the damage for the above example. Wicked!


    Last but not least there is the Localize control. It is used when you want to localise bigger pieces of text in your apps/pages. It works the same way as described above using meta:resourceKey at page level or using the global resource as in the last example. I can't see a super good use for it since it seems very similar to the Literal and Label controls. Jury still out.

    <asp:Localize ID="elLocalisator" runat="server" Text='<%$ Resources:Resource,GoodMorning %>' />

    That all!

    This was a very interesting post to write, learned some tricks, there's still a lot to cover for example, how to format currency and DateTime according to culture, setting cultures programmatically or in web.config or page level. Maybe is there is interest we can do it later.

    Hope it helps someone out there!



              smart50: Нежность прятать в кармане дырявом...        


    1827016_0a027050756e2bb6cbbca5e941c5b453 (270x96, 23Kb)


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

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





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

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


    Аояги Рицка (Лавлес);54399/



    022 (700x700, 214Kb)




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

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

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

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

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


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



    1827016_2516228156 (600x463, 48Kb)


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


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

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

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



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    Rachel Yamagata

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

    7034fb0ac73ef988378872cdd82956cd (500x645, 43Kb)


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

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


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    1827016_0_ce05e_76f24dc5_XXL (479x700, 126Kb)



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

    И опять...  молоком!

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





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








              [news] Grudge Match: China vs. Europe + "It's Malaysia Time ..."        
    Tuesday, September 7, 2004
    Dateline: China
    This week marks the debut of my bi-weekly (or so) column for the AlwaysOn Network, Silicon Valley's premier online social networking venue (and unofficially linked to Silicon Valley's premier in person social networking venue, the Churchill Club; I'm a member of both).  I will be sharing "Letter from China" columnist duties with Paul Waide, the head of Pacific Epoch, a Shanghai-based boutique consultancy that advises hedge funds on alternative investments in China.  My first column is on Shanghai and a couple/few forthcoming columns will examine cultural differences between Chinese Nationals, Chinese-Americans and Anglo-Americans, especially within the context of IT and IT marketing.  I will post my AlwaysOn "Letter from China" columns to this blog/e-newsletter, although please be advised that my intended audience are readers based in Silicon Valley.
    Grudge Match: China vs. Europe
    Staying on topic, I'd like to make a comment about a recent "Grudge Match" on the AlwaysOn Network.  See the item marked "Grudge Match" for 08.05.04 (5 August 2004) at .
    In the referenced "Grudge Match," China was pitted against Europe.  China received 45% of the votes in contrast to Europe's 55%.  Frankly, I'm surprised that China did so well.  I've found that the AO "Grudge Match" results tend to indicate sentiment more so than reality.  For example, a recent match pitted SpaceShipOne against NASA and SSO absolutely clobbered NASA (besides, perhaps most of the votes for NASA came from either Ames or the Blue Cube).  Of course, SSO is a high school science experiment compared to what NASA is doing, but I believe the results accurately reflect sentiment. 
    But what is amazing (to me, at least) is that China was pitted against Europe in the first place!  Let's face it, this is a rather goofy "grudge match."  For Europe to include First World nations such as Germany, France, the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark (yes, some countries are intentionally left out) -- and to compare the collective whole of First World Europe (a.k.a. "Western Europe") to China is absurd.  If this was First World Europe vs. China circa 2020, okay.  But TODAY?  Yet, the sentiment indicator showed a strong vote in favor of China.  Europe "won," but barely.
    I propose the following "grudge match":  China vs. "Eastern Europe" (i.e., the former Soviet Bloc).  Look, if China can do so well against Europe as a whole (including First World Europe), I'm sure China would absolutely kick Second World Europe's butt!!  And a China "grudge match" against Eastern Europe more accurately reflects current "history."
    But even this is a bit misleading.  The real "grudge match" is this:  China + India vs. Second World Europe.  And given this choice, only someone stranded on Mars for the past decade might choose Second World Europe.  Yet, this is the real so-called "grudge match."  First World Europe is in descent, to be sure, but it's descending from a high altitude.  It will take at least a decade or two for China (and/or India) to truly match First World Europe.  But China ALREADY is superior to Second World Europe.  And don't rant about NATO and EU memberships; this is simply window dressing.  Then combine China with India versus Second World Europe, playing into my "Golden Triangle" theme, i.e., it's all about the U.S., India and China.  This is where the action is, ESPECIALLY in IT.
    "It's Malaysia Time ..."
    I must be getting punchy since I'm borrowing a theme from a beer commercial, but it seems that Malaysia is experiencing its 15 minutes of fame.  The Philippines has recently been "hot," and several articles of late have been touting Malaysia (see, for example, an article which appeared in Space Daily).  Frankly, I'm getting tired of all this nonsense.  Look, when it comes to ITO (IT outsourcing) in East Asia, there are just two choices, i.e., India and China.  And, it's not really a competition; both have their strengths and weaknesses.  A few crumbs to Singers (Singapore), maybe even a few crumbs to the Kiwis (New Zealand).  The Philippines deserves notice, albeit passing notice, and Malaysia might be okay for some BPO.  But ITO?  Come on, give me a break!!  See my Furl archive for more links.
    The only thing I recently found interesting regarding Malaysia was an article on Satyam's IT boot camp in Malaysia.  This isn't really unique, after all, IBM has been doing this sort of thing for decades.  So does HP.  Kind of like training plus a bit of brainwashing, but the brainwashing is acceptable since it includes political survival skills -- and said skills are essential, especially in F500 corporations.  But I like the idea of SI (systems integrator)-based training:  This way SIs can focus on "real" versus theoretically perceived needs.
    IT Tidbits
    Which certifications have the best ROI (return on investment)?  Playing off the idea of SI-based training, which are the most important certifications?  Well, Cisco leads with three out of the top five, although Microsoft picks up a couple of "wins" when looking at fastest-growing ROI, with RedHat and Oracle getting one win each.  SIs in China may also want to benchmark how much U.S. employees are paid given a certain certification, e.g., Microsoft DBAs receive an annual average salary of US$80,600.  Think about how much SIs in China pay for a certified Microsoft DBA.  For example, what do they get paid in Jinan -- or even in Dalian?  Compare this to US$80,600.  Spot any opportunities?  See and .
    ITO in the news.  Two particularly noteworthy items.  First, ITO got Slashdotted.  The Slashdot links are worth a review.  Probably some good insight into what American software engineers are thinking and feeling.  The second is a review of Lou Dobbs' new book on ITO and BPO.  Mr. Dobbs is a well-respected host on CNN; his views shouldn't be taken lightly.  A couple of excerpts from the review:
    "GE, as Dobbs makes clear in abundant detail, is only one of many companies outsourcing high-tech and professional jobs to India and other parts of the world where wage expectations are lower.  Among the others spotlighted by Dobbs for outsourcing jobs to India, the Philippines, Romania, Ireland, Poland and other countries are IBM, SAS Institute, Intel, Microsoft, Perot Systems, Apple, Computer Associates, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Sun Microsystems."  My comment:  Romania is the Changsha of Third World Europe, i.e., their programmers are about as cheap as programmers come.
    "'India can provide our software; China can provide our toys; Sri Lanka can make our clothes; Japan make our cars.  But at some point we have to ask, what will we export?  At what will Americans work?  And for what kind of wages?  No one I've asked in government, business or academia has been able to answer those questions,' Dobbs writes."  See the review in the Tallahassee Democrat or my Furl link .
    So-called infrastructure vendors beat out app vendors in terms of their ability to meet expected ROI and TCO (total cost of ownership) levels.  I don't really like the way infrastructure and application vendors are defined in this article and related survey, but top honors go to IBM and Microsoft.  There's a lot being written between the lines, but in general this plays into my "build-to-a-stack" strategy, albeit Oracle is left behind.  See .
    Speaking of Microsoft ...  A good, quick review of the various IBUs (independent business units) at Microsoft.  (See .)  For a take on MBS, see .
    New marketing technologies.  Interesting article from the premier issue of CMO (Chief Marketing Officer).  There are two ways to view this:  1) which marketing technologies can be used by SIs in China for their own marketing endeavors, and 2) which marketing technologies will likely be adopted by retailers, e-commerce sites, financial institutions and numerous other sectors -- and which in house skills does an SI in China need to implement these new technologies (all of which are IT-related)?  See .
    Looking for partners in the utility computing space?  For a start, try the top 25 vendors.  (See .)  Yankee gives a quick look at utility computing ROI (see ).  HP chimes in with their take, too (see ; it's a PDF).
    The battle of the SI globals.  Two related articles both based on the same Forrester report.  (See and .)  Issues being considered include scalability (i.e., handling US$100+ million accounts), the need for broad offerings (e.g., strategy consulting) and expanding geographical presence (hey, where is EDS in China?).   "(T)he (Forrester) study finds that Infosys and Wipro have melded together a mix of CMMI, P-CMM, Six Sigma and ISO 9000 to create a culture focused on consistent and repeatable processes and value-added tools."  For China's SIs, mostly food for thought -- and a bit of dreaming.
    ... and how to battle the globals.  The article was a bit silly, after all, G2000 firms joining forces to battle Accenture or Infosys doesn't really fit the notion of smaller firms joining forces.  But I believe that they're on the right track and that a myriad of partnerships will be formed to most effectively capture new business and battle the globals.  However, ISVs (independent software vendors) have to walk a very fine line.  SIs need to carefully consider ISV responses and existing alliances.  See .
    "Infosys to set up second outsourcing facility in China."  The article states that Infosys is running out of space in their Pudong facility and that they're scouting for additional digs.  Come on, guys, running out of space?  There's not enough space in the Shanghai Pudong Software Park?  I don't think so ...  The reality is that Infosys needs to find lower cost developers.  As my column on Shanghai for AO's "Letter from China" notes, developers in Shanghai are a bit pricey compared to other places in China.  Infosys China is primarily servicing their global customers in China and looking for high-end integration within the domestic market.  However, this is a tough nut to crack and Infosys will need another development center to lower their overall costs -- and this is why they are looking for additional space IN ANOTHER CITY.  The idea that they're running out of space in the SPSP is ridiculous.  (I've been to their Shanghai digs ...)  See .
    Zensar gets broader press coverage.  Kind of like watching a meme, a couple of non-Indian IT trades have picked up the Zensar/Broadengate announcement.  See and .
    "Rethinking the business case for Java."  A good article.  Hmmm ... maybe not much of a case, eh?    Hey, I'm still a believer.  See .  Of course, Java programming ain't what it used to be ...
    "The selling of SOA."  Two-part series in Line56.  SUPERB!!  (I prefer the singular to the plural, i.e., "architecture" versus "architectures"; personal preference.)  Reviews various viewpoints on SOA.  See and .
    Urls update.  Expect to see lots and lots of stuff on software engineering and development.  Great stuff, too!!  Later this week.
    David Scott Lewis
    President & Principal Analyst
    IT E-Strategies, Inc.
    Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China
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              [urls] Web Services Differentiation with Service Level Agreements        
    Wednesday, September 1, 2004
    Dateline: China
    The following is a sampling of my top ten "urls" for the past couple/few weeks.  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:
    * Web Services Differentiation with Service Level Agreements, courtesy of IBM T.J. Watson; as the title suggests, this paper tackles SLAs.  See also Web Services QoS: External SLAs and Internal Policies, by the same author.  The latter paper was the invited keynote at the 1st Web Services Quality Workshop (this site provides links to abstracts for all the workshop papers as well as links to each author's personal site).
    Other best new selections (in no particular order):
    * Product Focused Software Process Improvement: PROFES 2004 (if you're going to read only one tech book this year, let it be this!!)
    * Legacy systems strike back!!  We all know that there is a good market in servicing legacy systems.  See the following: Arriba: Architectural Resources for the Restructuring and Integration of Business Application (an introduction), Identifying Problems in Legacy Software, and Evolution of Legacy Systems.  
    * Online Communities in Business: Past Progress, Future Directions, Five Keys To Building Business Relationships Online and Advantages of Using Social Software for Building Your Network.  (I can say with a fairly high level of confidence that these tools can be used to expand your business network.  Been there, done that.  Give it a try.  Do I already know you and would you like an invitation to join LinkedIn?  If the answer to both questions is "yes," let me know ...)
    * Carnegie Mellon Project Aura Video (gets a bit silly at times, but the language translation component was interesting to see; the R-T example is still years away, but the idea is intriguing and this is where collaboration tools need to go)
    * Innovation: Strategy for Small Fish (from the Harvard Business School; however, NVIDIA would not have been my choice for a case study)
    * Stata Labs: Managing at a Distance, for Less (a pretty good case study; I firmly believe that China's systems integrators/contract developers need world-class collaboration tools and this describes one of the formats I support)
    * An Authoring Technology for Multidevice Web Applications (one of my favorite topics -- and an area where I believe SIs in China can take the lead)
    * Cheapware (or, "Changsha Gone Wild!!"; hey Qilu clan, are you listening?  Go, Ding, go!!)
    * How To Team With A Vendor (a "must read" -- and evidently a lot of my readers already did, even though I only made a passing reference in a previous posting)
    Examples of urls that didn't make my "Top Ten List":
    > ITU Internet Reports 2004: The Portable Internet (looks like this might be a great series; less biased than the typical IT advisory services report -- and a much better value, too)
    > Software Cost Reduction (courtesy of the <U.S.> Naval Research Lab, this paper is a bit dated, but still worth reading; addresses problems with large-scale systems, albeit a bit light on practical examples) 
    > Japan IT Outsourcing 2004-2008 Forecast: IDC (might be a worthwhile purchase, especially for the Dalian-based systems integrators)
    > The Power of No (Linux as a bargaining tool <see my Furl comments, too>; make Microsoft shake in their boots!!)
    > Web Design Practices (a good reference site)
    and many, many more ...
    David Scott Lewis
    President & Principal Analyst
    IT E-Strategies, Inc.
    Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China
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              [news] A Special Report on Business Intelligence        
    Thursday, July 8, 2004
    Dateline: China
    One of my favorite industry trades, Computerworld, recently published a special report on business intelligence (BI).  (See .)  As regular readers of this blog know, I'm hot, hot and hotter on BI.  Not only are BI apps booming in their own right, but BI also provides an open door into other structured data apps (e.g., ERP and SCM).  Also, there is a burgeoning number of apps requiring both BI and knowledge management (KM) solutions, providing a host of new opportunities.  (For now, think of BI for structured data and KM for unstructured data.  But the lines between KM and BI are blurring.)
    The Computerworld report includes an introduction to BI titled, "BI for the Masses," an introduction to Web harvesting, and a superb article on text mining; there are several online exclusives as well.  In this post, I'm going to focus on an article titled, "Predictions for BI's Future," by providing excerpts with commentary.  As usual, items in bold are MY emphasis; items in red are MY commentary.
    Embedded BI.  "Over the next four to six years, BI systems will become embedded in small, mobile devices, such as manufacturing sensors and PDAs in the field, which in turn will be linked to more centralized systems." -- Erik Thomsen, distinguished scientist, Hyperion Solutions Corp., Sunnyvale, Calif.
    PB DM (petabyte data mining).  "Within three years, companies and governmental agencies will be able to successfully run analytics within a centralized data warehouse containing 1 petabyte or more of data -- without performance limitations." -- Dave Schrader, technology futurist, Teradata, a division of NCR Corp., El Segundo, Calif.
    HPC to the rescue!  "Within the next two to three years, high-performance computing technology used by scientific and engineering communities and national R&D labs will make its way into mainstream business for high-performance business analytics. This transition will be driven by the growing volume of complex data and the pressing need for companies to use forecasting and predictive analytics to minimize risk and maximize profit-generating opportunities." -- Phil Fraher, chief operating officer, Visual Numerics Inc., San Ramon, Calif.
    BI meets AI.  "In the near future, business leaders will manage by exception, and automated systems will handle significant loads of routine tasks." -- Mike Covert, chief operating officer, Infinis Inc., Columbus, Ohio
    Visualization.  "Over the next two to three years, BI systems will automatically suggest appropriate visualizations, which in turn will dramatically increase the use of visualization and our understanding of complex relationships." -- Erik Thomsen, distinguished scientist, Hyperion Solutions
    BI + BPM + BAM.  "Businesses need more than a rearview mirror to drive their business forward into the next era. A new category of intelligence tools will emerge over the next two to three years that combines business process management, business activity monitoring (BAM) and business intelligence to enable the "actively managed enterprise." This will combine the scorecards and rearview-analysis capabilities of BI with the real-time, event-driven analysis of BAM and feed that information into automated business processes for on-the-fly steering of the business towards scorecard goals. This will exponentially elevate the speed at which businesses are able to operate, adapt and make critical decisions." -- Tim Wolters, chief architect of business activity monitoring solutions, webMethods Inc., Fairfax, Va.
    Bottom line:  Go to a BI-related ACM or IEEE CS conference and you'll hear a lot of presentations on all of the apps described above.  It's where the rubber meets the road:  This stuff is real!!  However, it's important to differentiate "real" BI with much more simplistic reporting software (like a good "chunk" of the so-called BI solutions provided by Business Objects, Cognos and even Microsoft -- via their recent acquisition of ActiveViews).
    A BI Site to Review
    Last week I came across a paper published in the current issue of the Journal of Intelligent and Fuzzy Systems.  In this paper the project called "Data Mining and Decision Support for Business Competitiveness: A European Virtual Enterprise" (SolEuNet) is used as a case study and "the source of lessons learned."  The paper provides a link to the SolEuNet Web site (see ); at the SolEuNet site I found a wealth of case studies with supporting technical documents on leading-edge BI apps (see, for example, Workpackage 7 on "Combining Data Mining and Decision Support with Information Systems" at ).  Remember, strategy consulting isn't merely about comparing product specs (regardless what the IT advisory services may say).
    The Gartner Conference on BI
    I got my hands on three i-banking analyst reviews of the Gartner BI conference.  The Morgan Stanley report (dated 27 April) noted that customer activity levels appeared to be strong and "many seem to be taking a more strategic approach to BI, resulting in the emergence of larger transactions."  (My emphasis.)  Corporate performance management (CPM) is driving some of the larger deals, with Cognos and Hyperion taking the lead.  Evidently, systems integrators (SIs) are getting religion and developing collaterals around CPM messaging.  RBC Dominion Securities produced a more in-depth report (dated 29 April) and noted the following:
    • Gartner expects the market to accelerate in 2004.
    • The ETL (extraction, transformation, and load) market will flatten (finally).
    • CPM is hot.  "Hyperion, Cognos, and SAS appeared to be the best positioned non-ERP vendors to capitalize on the CPM market opportunity."  However, "(they) believe that SAP is the best-positioned large enterprise software vendor to execute in both the BI and CPM market ..."
    • Finally, the Gartner BI conference itself was hot, with 973 attendees, an increase in attendance of 70% over last year.
    UBS chimed in with their own report (dated 30 April), which in some ways was a bit more technical than the other two reports cited above.  UBS noted that heterogeneous environments require independent tools (e.g., it is very difficult to get heterogeneous data into an ERP data warehouse <DW>).  Gartner's rule of thumb is that an ERP-derived BI/DW solution should be on the short-list only if more than 60% of an organization's BI data resides within that single app vendorUBS also noted that the importance of BI is leading to the formation of BI competency centers.  They also believe that SAP and Microsoft remain significant long-term threats to the independent software vendors such as Cognos and Business Objects.  BTW, all three reports seemed a bit down on Business Objects.
    Another Computerworld feature on BI
    Sometimes advertorials can be a good thing.  A case in point is the 26 April issue of Computerworld which provides a link to a new, six page Computerworld White Paper on BI.  The paper is titled, "Charting the Course: A Guide to Evaluating Business Intelligence Products"; it's a good, practical read.  Tactical, product spec advice and guidelines, but still a good read.  The PDF can be found at .
    Recent Tidbits on BI
    The New Straits Times (Malaysia) via Asia Africa Intelligence Wire reported on 24 June that SAS "expects the BI market in Asia to register double-digit growth for the next five years.  (Don Cooper Williams, director of marketing and alliances for SAS Asia-Pacific) cites a recent report from research house International Data Corp, which predicts that BI software market in the region (excluding Japan) to grow by 12 per cent this year, up from 7.5 per cent in 2003."  Note to SIs in China:  BI isn't just hot in the States; leverage your skills for serving the U.S. market and the domestic market.
    From the channel, India Business Insight (also via Asia Africa Intelligence Wire) on 31 May announced that "Business Objects has entered into a long-standing systems integrator agreement with Wipro Infotech (WI) to provide business intelligence (BI) solutions to customers."  Note to SIs in China:  Don't be left without a dance partner.
    Additional Articles for Review
    I did a quick scan of trade lit and found a few articles worth reading.  First, the March-April issue of Financial Executive talks about CPM -- Corporate Performance Management -- as it relates to BI.  The May issue of Insurance & Technology takes a vertical look at BI (rather basic apps), as does the April issue of Business Credit.  Always think verticals.
    A Final Wrap (or Should I Say, "Rap"?)
    Back to Computerworld.  More specifically, see the 29 March issue of Computerworld.  According to a survey conducted by IBM Business Consulting Services, BI is a high priority on the plate of C-level execs.  In a Computerworld poll, 39% of IT executives listed business intelligence projects as their most critical IT projects.  By 2005, market research firm IDC projects that the worldwide market for business intelligence software will total about $6 billion -- up from $2.5 billion in 2003 -- signaling a major increase in business intelligence projects.  IT executives say the skills they need on business intelligence projects include systems integration, data modeling, database administration, data standardization and project management.
    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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              Super GT賽事即將開跑,Lexus積極測試RC F GT500賽車[影片]        

    Japanese Super GT系列賽事預計將會在四月份開跑,在這之前,各家廠隊紛紛地在加緊腳步測試自家新款賽車的性能與潛力。尤其是從今年開始,這項賽事的規則將與更多國際性的房車賽規範接軌,因此也多出了不少新規則。

    在新的賽事規範之下,Lexus與合作夥伴決定使用全新的RC F車款來打造新一代的賽車。這款RC F GT500將會取代使用了多年的Lexus SC賽車,動力則會依照新的賽制使用2.0升的渦輪增壓引擎。

    雖然排氣量縮小,不過並不代表著動力的減少。新的引擎依然能夠達成500hp的輸出,因此絕對能夠在場上看到新賽車的強悍表現。目前在GT500系列賽事當中,總共有六個車隊使用全新的RC F賽車,包括了Zent Cerumo、LeMans ENEOS、WedsSport BANDOH、Petronas TOM’S以及SARD。

    全新一季的賽事將在四月6日開跑,所有的廠隊最近都開始於岡山國際賽車場進行測試,下方影片就是RC F GT500進行測試的畫面。

    [Source: autoevolution]

    馬上+1 - 跟癮車報一同聊車


              Bringing Out My Dead (But Maybe They're Not Dead?)        
    Ever since I read Kristin Green's "Down to earth - bring out your dead" post, I've had Monty Python quotes running around in my head... which is never really a bad thing.  It's funny that she went that route, because whenever I find new things sprouting in the yard, I've been calling out Steve: "Look! I'm not dead!" in my best Python impersonation.

    There are quite a few plants that are still on the fence this year about their Dead/Not Dead status. These poor brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi' cuttings spent the winter sitting in a jar of water after I took them home in the fall: 

    Two not dead, one dead, one maybe dead: Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi' cuttings
    All of the smallest cuttings bit the dust over those 5-6 months (!!!) and I potted up the rest in the urn this spring. The little guy on the left didn't make it, the leafy one in front is doing well, and the other two lost any leaves they have but have resprouted since... so there's still hope for them.

    Definitely dead are the cannas that I tried to overwinter in a big pot in the garage.  After weeks of looking at this...

    ... I dug around and found a few clumps of mushy corms. I'm not sure whether they were overwatered in the garage, or whether the couldn't take the bitter cold, but I will definitely go back to digging them out for dry basement storage next year.

    One plant I'm REALLY not sure about is my 'Sky Pencil' Japanese holly.  It actually looked okay for most of the winter, but come early spring, the leaves started to turn brown:

    There are still a few green sprigs throughout the plant, though, and the base looks like this:

    I think that the plant is still alive, because there are even some new green leaves at the very bottom. So the question will be: If the branches all (or mostly) died back, will I want to cut it back and wait it to get back to its current 4ft height... in another decade?  Right now, I'm thinking no.  So I'm still in wait-and-see mode.

    Since I don't like to end posts on such a negative note, let's go through a short list of things I thought were dead at one point, but which aren't:  'Concord' and 'Himrod' grapes, and my 'Brown Turkey' fig that overwintered in the garage with the cannas.  It took a while for the fig to leaf out... but here's proof that it's "Not dead yet!"

    Did your garden have an easy winter this year?  Or did you lose a few favorite plants, too?

              Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2013        

    This is yet another better-late-than-never edition of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. I do know that I say that most months. But since I didn't seem to manage to post anything for July and August, I think this is a step in the right direction... no?

    Above you see a one of my few new blooms.  It's a generic salvia guaranitica - NOT a named 'Black & Blue' plant like I usually buy.  I think that I will try to stick with the unnamed version in the future, as this plant has greatly outperformed B&B  in spite of a coolish summer when I would have expected it to do much less.

    Yes, I'm still in love with the native (to the U.S., if not to here exactly) honeysuckle, lonicera sempervirens. (I blame the wonderful Annie in Austin for introducing me to this object of my obsession.) My hubby has been working on propagating it for me, so it can bring a baby of this plant with us whenever we go.  

    Instead of propagation, I'm just flat out going to dig up one of my 'Albury Purple' St. John's Wort bushes before we put the house on the market. There are two reasons for that:  1) It's patented, AND 2) The front yard is getting a little crowded anyway. I just love it when the yellow flowers and red berries appear together like this:

    Speaking of the crowded front yard, there are quite a few things in bloom there right now.  Blue caryopteris and 'Hameln' pennisetum are vying for attention:

    And the whole mess of Japanese anemone (mostly hidden by the now-huge Japanese maple and random miscanthus) were almost finished blooming before I even noticed them:

    The bright side of having to go to the neighbor's yard to take their picture?  I realized that there IS a good side to this ill-planned hanging basket of fuchsia and philodendron.  Check it out now because I am NEVER planting this fuchsia again:  (Next year, I'm going back to 'Bonfire' begonias!)

    As I came back around to the front porch, I saw that the 'Sparkling Burgundy' eucomis, which sprawled alarmingly in August at the height of its bloom, had bravely thrown up another smaller bloomstalk:

    Inside, one of Steve's sensitive plants (mimosa pudica) is in bloom. Strangely, the ones that went outside never flowered at all this year. Just the inside plants:

    In the back yard, the 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth, recently cut back orange butterfly weed, and Brazilian verbena are all in bloom.  But the highlight of the garden right now is this hot dwarf canna at the edge of the blue pot.  I picked it out for its purplish leaves (now looking a little worse for the wear) but love these in-your-face blooms next to the silver sage. If you look closely, you can see streaks of orange on the insides of these red flowers:

    Outside of the highlights above, other September bloomers include 'Matrona' sedum, 'Rotstrahlbusch' panicum, 'Sioux Blue' sorghastrum nutens, 'Whiskey' wax begonias, 'Hab Gray' sedum, 'Red Rocks' penstemon, 'Purple Dragon' lamium, and a few hostas that I have yet to hack.

    For more of what's in bloom around the world, check out Carol's September 2013 Bloom Day Post as May Dreams Gardens.

              May 2013 Foliage Follow-Up        
    I love my front yard garden.  I know that it's not good for house resale to have so much garden, and I also know that when we do finally move the person who buys the house will likely get rid of most if not all of the plants here.  But when I come home, seeing this garden makes me happy:

    (Excuse the slant. I clearly had trouble standing up straight and taking a picture on this day!)

    With this front yard garden, I was aiming for 3 things:
    1. Year-round interest through texture, form and color contrasts.
    2. A drought tolerant, low-maintenance garden.
    3. Taking advantage of the backlighting that I would get every evening as the sun set.
    I am very happy to say that I mostly managed to hit on all three counts.  Here are some detail shots:

    Japanese maple. Its fiery burn eludes the camera, unfortunately.
    Mexican feathergrass and sea kale is a favorite frothy combo.
    I like to think that the oakleaf hydrangea grounds them a little.
    Grandma's variegated iris, brown carex, 'Bressignham Ruby' bergenia, heucheras, sage and grasses.
    The view as I exit my car.
    The front yard isn't the only place with good foliage interest, though. Here are a few shots from the backyard:

    Heucheras might be my favorite plant to view backlit.
    I thought the little-leaf-shadow inside the blazing bigger leaf was cool here..
    Another heuchera, this one nestled at the foot of a just-emerged chocolate eupatorium.
    My newly planted urn, featuring a softleaf yucca in the center. (You can see it hanging down from the top of the frame.)
    Ivy geraniums, heucheras (dug up from the garden), and white licorice plant ring the outside.
     That's probably enough for this month's foliage post! For more foliage links, visit Pam's May Foliage Follow Up post and check out the comments.  :-)

              Fading Fall Flowers: GBBD October 2012        

    Amidst the fading fall flowers this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, the freshness of this blue globe thistle seems a little out of place. That this seedling even bloomed at all this year is a tribute to the long growing season.

    All of my other flower pictures show either slightly bedraggled blooms, like this dahlia...

    ...or vivid flowers against the fading foliage of fall:

    From top to bottom, this post featured:  'Fresh Look Red' celosia, echinops ritro, 'Lady in Red' salvia seedling, blue angelonia and an unnamed lantana, verbena bonariensis, variegated sedum, chocolate eupatorium, caryopteris, and 'Hameln' pennisetum.

    Also in bloom in my yard today:  Alpine strawberries, various coleus, wax begonias, 'Victoria Blue' salvia, 'Black and Blue' salvia, pineapple sage, hardy plumbago, various peppers, 'The Blues' little bluestem, 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth, various pink Japanese anemones, various miscanthus, and 'Purple Dragon' lamium.

    To see what's blooming around the world in various gardens today, visit Carol's October Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post!

              September Foliage Follow Up: Hot Fall Hues        
    It's not just the blooms who are sporting a hot color palette this fall. Foliage is following suit, starting with this interesting new "Thai" Chinese evergreen that I couldn't resist at my local garden center:

    He's currently hanging out on the front porch with a few exotic friends, like a fat-leaf hoya and feathery dracaena:

    Now that he's in place, I just love looking down at the progression of fun foliage on this side of the steps:

    Speaking of that side of the front yard, the Japanese maple endlessly intrigues me.  For most of the day, it looks deep and cool and mysterious (as above)... but when the sun goes down, it sets the maple ablaze:

    Here's a close up view of the leaves, with their tips tinged red:

    Sunlight does the same thing for the carex buchannii. Except that when it's not backlit and glowing, it appears more neutral than cool-toned. This may have something to do with its planting companions, however:

    Other times, cool-toned planting companions only serve to highlight the foliage heat... as shown by this dusty miller foliage against the molten backlit leaves of 'Purple Dragon' coleus:

    And that pretty much covers all of the hot September foliage highlights here in my garden.  For more leaf love, check out Pam's September Foliage Follow-Up Post over at Digging.


              A Hot Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2012        

    I wasn't quite sure where the summer went... and I'm not sure where fall is going, either!  At this rate, I might be caught up on everything by the end of the year.  (Might.)  

    But these hot-colored late summer blooms aren't going to wait for me to finish anything, so I'd better enjoy them while I can! And maybe stop to appreciate this crazy pitcher plant, too:

    From the top:  'New Look Red' celosia, with red pennisetum in the background.  "No Tag" lantana above a cascade of 'Silver Falls' dichondra.  The nepenthes that I planted in a self-watering hanging basket this spring--one of the best things I did in the garden this year!

    Also blooming in my garden:  'Black & Blue' salvia guaranitica, multiple Japanese anemones, two types of caryopteris, 'Hameln' pennisetum, 'Red Rocks' penstemon, 'Acapulco Orange' agastache, 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth, tomatillos, 'Strawberry Margarita' portulaca, 'African Blue' basil, burgundy annual salvia, 'Rotstrahlbusch' panicum, 'Sioux Blue' sorghastrum nutens, perennial plumbago, 'Victoria Blue' salvia, 'Dragonwing' begonia, Mexican heather, lonicera sempervirens, and 'Blue Daze' convolvulus.

    To see more of what's in bloom around the world this week, visit the May Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens.

              Leaving Storywise and joining ROBIN        
    “There is a Japanese proverb that says: ‘Raise the sail with your stronger hand’. Meaning you must go after the opportunities that arise in life that you are best equipped to do”. Soichiro Honda (founder of Honda) Newsflash! Effectively immediately I have joined a team of four developers, one designer, one trainee and one CEO/Founder [...]
              Ukraine Air Enterprise : Chernobyl may teach grim lesson to Japan - Evansville Courier and Press        
    Ukraine Air Enterprise : Chernobyl may teach grim lesson to Japan - Evansville Courier and Press
              Re: News piece on chemicals and CC from Japan.        

    Glad to be of help Eli. And thanks for the reminder and link to the printed news pieces as well.

              Re: News piece on chemicals and CC from Japan.        

    Gavin, thanks for sharing.

    You previously posted a couple of printed stories about this development in Japan. Here's the link if anyone is interested to read more. … hp?id=8558

              News piece on chemicals and CC from Japan.     …

              TOM CLANCYS GHOST RECON WILDLANDS STEAMPUNKS-3DMGAME Torrent Free Download        


    Type..........: ACTION/ADV     Packager......: STP
    Publisher.....: UBISOFT        Cracker.......: STP
    Supplier......: UPLAY/STP      Release Date..: 07/2017


    STEAMPUNKS are proud to bring you GHOST RECON WILDLANDS release
    a real Denuvo license generator with untouched game executable.
    Your license will be regenerated if needed.
    Enjoy The Power We just gave you.

    To add some technical details to our keygen:
    -You Do NOT Need Uplay installed
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    -You can play Offline
    -Your license will be re generated on any hardware or
    software change


    Create a team with up to 3 friends in Tom Clancy\'s Ghost Recon
    Wildlands and enjoy the ultimate military shooter experience set
    in a massive, dangerous, and responsive open world.

    Game includes latest updates
    Game includes all DLC unlocked:
    Tom Clancy\'s Ghost Recon Wildlands - Fallen Ghosts
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    English, german, french, italian, spanish, japanese, mexican
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    just copy the content of STEAMPUNKS on the ISO to your installed
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    Either run as admin disable_ubiservers.cmd from STEAMPUNKS folder
    or block the game executable in your firewall.


    Good Morning Vietnam. Let\'s check our shopping list.

    Valve Steam          : Done
    EA\'S Origin DRM      : Done
    Ubisoft\'s Uplay DRM  : Done
    Denuvo Anti-Tamper   : Done
    Easy Anti Cheat      : Done
    Custom Triggers      : Done
    Sex with 2 women     : Done
    Sex with 3 women     : Done
    Sex with a man       : Done

    What\'s next ? Ah yes there is one left but that\'s probably
    too hard for us ... *cough cough*

    -Hallowed are the Ori, and hallowed are we;
    -Yea, hallowed are the children of the Ori through Them.
    -The power and greatness of the Ori cannot be denied
    -And is great knowledge, power, and understanding not enough
    cause to revere the Ori?
    -Those who seek the path of enlightenment must not be led astray;
    -But make yourselves one with the path, and the journey shall lead
    you to eternity.
    -Fear not the Ori, but fear the darkness that would conceal
    the knowledge of all things;
    -Believe in the truth of all things, and you shall find the path
    to enlightenment.
    -Blessed are those who walk in unison with their gods;
    -For ours is not to question, but to rejoice in Their service,
    for They are perfection.
    -Those who follow the path of righteousness shall be raised
    up high;
    -Yea, those who reach enlightenment shall rejoice with the
    Ori forever
    -O blessed Ori, guide us on the path, that we may triumph over
    the enemy of our salvation and be with you in end of ends on
    the planes of enlightenment.

    We are definitely not finished yet.

    Torrent Free Download Here

              Som svampar frÃ¥n filmen Avatar...        
    Ojjjj... nu var det ett tag sedan nÃ¥got hände pÃ¥ denna blogg!....  Verkligen!! Det var inte planerat att jag skulle ta en sÃ¥ lÃ¥ng brejk, det bara bidde sÃ¥. Jag fÃ¥r be om ursäkt till er som varit lite fundersamma eller t o m oroliga, jag borde gett er en vink om att Allt är väl - bara lite mycket...
    Idag ringde min vän M frÃ¥n Västkusten och undrade om jag kanske var pÃ¥ Bali eller nÃ¥got :-)) Eller inte... Svaret är - INTE! Jag har bara haft sååå myyyycket annat för mig, och varit tvungen att koncentrera mig pÃ¥ det...

    Bland annat sÃ¥ har jag nu helt arbetat färdigt Balkong-idén som jag ska gestalta pÃ¥ TrädgÃ¥rdsmässan Nordiska TrädgÃ¥rdar 2013. Det har varit sååå kul och spännande att sätta samman hela idéen. Och nu än-te-li-gen förstÃ¥r jag varför jag har samlat pÃ¥ vissa saker de senaste tvÃ¥ Ã¥ren. T ex saker i färgen Orange, Storprickigt, Märkliga Glasflaskor, Svampar o andra Fejkväxter... Ja, ni kommer att fÃ¥ se allt mellan 11-14 april, om ni kommer till trädgÃ¥rdsmässan i Stockholm dÃ¥!! 

    PÃ¥ tal om att samla pÃ¥ knasiga grejer.... Kolla in de här led-svamparna frÃ¥n japanske  Yukio Takano. Är de inte helt galet mysiga! Som frÃ¥n filmen Avatar.... Vill haaaaa till min Balkong!!

    Och var tusan köper man de här, tro???
    Jag har gugglat, men hittar inte något!
    Och Google vill inte översätta Takanos japanska hemsida till mig...

    Om ni hittar dom - pliiiiz, tell me, pliizz!


              Air-Ads 36ft (11M) RC Zeppelin Outdoor Blimp        
    11M Professional RC blimp, use for science research, emergency help, work on contruction site, river project * Price includes 2 days on site training Specifications:: * Airship Length: 11 meter High: 2.7 meter * Control system: Japan FUTABA Remote control distance: 2000 meters * Volume
              Air-Ads 14M 45ft RC Zeppelin Giant Blimp        
    * Price includes 2 days on site training in US or Canada: incl. interior lights. Specifications:: * Airship Length: 14 meter, Height: 2.9 meter * Control system: Japan FUTABA Remote control distance: 2000-5000 meters * Volume of blimp balloon
              headbutts, port-o-potties, and a good book        
    well i guess if you're going to get thrown out of the world cup final, it might as well be for head-butting someone in the sternum b/c they called your sister a 'prostitute'...zidane, i still got mad love for you, man - deserved winner of the "golden boot" award and still a gentleman in my mind.

    as i watched the final at this bar on the beach, my mind raced through all the mileage, the laughs, the lonliness, the heat, the mercy from strangers, and the absolute stupidity i voluteered for. to see what i am talking about go to this site where a photographer took a series of pics during a moment when i was dared to jump over a shopping cart and then a couple of azzurri fans. the pile up in the end was celebratory, not retaliatory.

    italy v. usa post game party in the streets of kaiserslaughtern...

    and yet another reason i will probably not go to japan, yet continue to love their sense of humor. this is easily the best practical joke i have ever seen:

    the fall of bagdhad

    also, if you are interested in the iraqi situation before, during, and after the invasion, you may want to pick this book up by jon lee anderson ( new yorker writer, who wrote the conclusive biography on che guevara) - it is a fact-packed memoir of a journalist's ongoing experience in iraq before the invasion, during the war, and a bit into the occupation. most interesting is not only anderson's sensitive and mostly unbiased account of both sides, but the personalities that emerge from his relationships with ordinary iraqis trying to navigate life in a tyrannical dictatorship, invasion, and shaky future.
              USD/JPY from 0 Pips        
    Compare Forex brokers and accounts with tight USD/JPY spreads. Find the best broker for your Japanese yen carry trades and "BoJ intervention" trades:
              Komentar na Ratovi bandi i frakcija očekuju nas u Assassin’s Creed Originsu, komentirao/la Mario Manga        
    U zadnjem serijalu koji se odigrava u Londonu borba je bila prejadna nisi mogao ubiti gotovo nikoga, to nema veze s Assassinom u ranijim nastavcima kada si se osjećao močno i mogao kupovati i nadograđivati svoje oružje. Od Black Flaga mehanika je dobra, grafika isto tako, borbe izvrsne da bi to sve pokvarili u zadnjem nastavku u kojem je sve osim grafike katastrofa, pa i sama priča postaje sve jadnija. Valjda će ovo u Egiptu biti bolje, zabavnije. Očito da im nestaje inspiracije gdje bi smjesili priču. Amerika bila, Evropa nekoliko puta, sada Egipat. Ostaje im Kina, Japan, Indija, ne znam gdje će na kraju završiti priča...
              Komentar na I kinezi imaju svoj Dark Souls, ili barem neÅ¡to vrlo slično.., komentirao/la Moordrak        
    Bome da. Jako "baca" na Dark Souls ili Bloodborn, a obje baš ne podnosim dulje od sat vremena. Teško se može pomiriti način razmišljanja istoka i zapada što se manifestira u stilu igranja i vizualima koji su u istočnjačkim uradcima ponekad dijametralno suprotni od onoga što smo navikli u zapadnjačkim igrama. Tu je najveći problem. Ako kinezi uspiju napraviti nekakav hibrid koji može zadovoljiti obje strane, e to će biti ultra-hit. Japanci već odavno imaju hrpe takvih igara. Nema ništa loše u kopiranju odlične mehanike i gameplaya sve dok su priča i mjesto radnje drugačiji. Developeri zapadnjačkih naslova također se ne srame kopirati već provjerene sisteme. Zašto i bi. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Mislim da je kineski napad na tržište igara uvijek bio samo pitanje vremena. Znanja imaju, tehnike im ne fali, neka oni samo piče jer svježa krv znači svježe, nove ideje i drugačije razmišljanje, a za takvo što tržište uvijek postoji.
              Eclipse 02-01-2015 with DJ Deep Rawk        

    - voicebreak -
    - voicebreak -
    XClan- FTP - Exodus
    Pharoahe Monch- When The Gun Draws feat Mr Porter - Desire
    Nas- Just A Moment - Streets Disciple
    E40 Featuring Leviti- 1Luv - In A Major Way
    Too hort- Life Is Too hort - Life IsToo hort
    Funky Aztecs- Barrioism - Real Tales Of The Funky Aztecs
    Syndicate Sound Labs- Hail Mary - Pacs Instrumentals Vol 2
    Mobb Deep Featuring Crystal Johnson- Temperatures Rising feat Crystal Johnson - The Infamous
    Double Xx Posse- Head Cracker - Double Xx Posse
    The Micranots- All Live - 12
    Lord Jamar- Supreme Mathmatics - The 5 Album
    Marxman- The Fascist Boom - 33 Revolutions Per Minute
    CPO- The Movement - To Hell And Black
    7 Days Of Funk- Hit Da Pavement - 7 Days Of Funk
    KRSOne- Sound Of Da Police - Return Of The Boom Bap
    The Coup- Long Island Iced Tea Neat feat Japanther - Sorry To Bother You
    Heather B- All Glocks Down - All Glocks Down Single
    Organized Konfusion- Stress - The Best Of Organized Konfusion Bonus Track Version
    Lin Que- Let It Fall - Only For The Real DJ A Premier Selection Of Hip Hop Inspired By The Boom Bap Sound Vol 3
    Queen Latifah- UNITY - Black Reign
    Aer- Come Go - The Reach
    Ceschi- Same Old Love Song Feat 2Mex Awol One - Same Old Love Song
    Boss- Recipe Of A Hoe - Born Gangstaz
    Bambu- Crosshairs feat DJ QBert - Sun Of A Gun
    The Chicharones- Never Had It Easy - Swine Flew
    Oliver Hart- How Much Do You Pay - The Many Faces Of Oliver Hart
    DJ Icewater Feat Ill7 And Molina Speaks- Color Blind - 12
    Miguel AtwoodFerguson- Fall In Love - Mochilla Presents Timeless Suite For Ma Dukes
    J Dilla- My Victory Instrumental - Rebirth Of Detroit Instrumentals
    J Dilla- ULove - Donuts
    Alicia Keys- Fallin - Songs In A Minor
    The Roots Erykah Badu- You Got Me - Things Fall Apart
    Flying Lotus- Never Catch Me feat Kendrick Lamar - Youre Dead
    Jadakiss- Why feat Anthony Hamilton - Ride Or Die
    Talib Kweli- I Try - The Beautiful Struggle
    MF Doom- Agrimony - Metal Fingers Presents Special Herbs Vol 3 4
    Dead Prez Featuring Tahir Peoples Army- Its Bigger Than Hip Hop - Lets Get Free
    Non Phixion- Four Ws - 12 Single
    Mr Boots- Meu Amor - Puzzles
    Suff Daddy- Vitrin - Puzzles

    playlist URL:
              Japan’s PMDA Licenses Aptiv Solutions ADDPLAN® Software Suite for Clinical Trial Data Evaluation        

    The Japan Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) has purchased a global license for the ADDPLAN platform. The license includes ADDPLAN DF, the first commercial tool for using the MCP-Mod methodology recently qualified this year by the European Medicines Agency as an efficient statistical methodology for Phase II dose finding studies.

    (PRWeb February 12, 2014)

    Read the full story at

              Eclipse 06-01-2014 with Dj Deep Rawk, Alisha B        

    Bone ThugsnHarmony- 1st Of Tha Month - E 1999 Eternal
    Handsome Boy Modeling School- The Truth - So Hows Your Girl
    Masta Ace- The INC Ride - Sittin On Chrome
    Mobb Deep- Hell On Earth Front Lines - Hell On Earth
    MMG Too Black Too Strong- Up In The Mountains - Hard Time On Planet Earth
    Ultramagnetic MCs- Ease Back - Critical Beatdown
    Onyx- Throw Ya Gunz - Bacdafucup
    - voicebreak -
    Main Source- Just Hangin Out - Breaking Atoms
    DFC MC Breed- Just Kickin It - MC Breed DFC
    EPMD- Gold Digger - Business As Usual
    Breeze- LA Posse - The Young Son Of No One
    Lakim Shabazz- Sample The Dope Noise - Pure Righteousness
    KMD- Boy Who Cried Wolf LP Version - Mr Hood
    The Coup- Long Island Iced Tea Neat feat Japanther - Sorry To Bother You
    Queen Latifah- Latifahs Law - All Hail The Queen
    Queen D- Queen Ds World - Queen Ds World 12
    Beastie Boys- 1 - Tripple Trouble
    Dead Prez- Hell Yeah Pimp The System - RBG Revolutionary But Gangsta
    Jean Grae- The Jam - The Orchestral Files Deluxe Version
    Lifesavas- Fa Show - Spirit In Stone
    Mystic- The Life - Cuts For Luck And Scars For Freedom
    Janet Jackson- Rhythm Nation - Rhythm Nation 1814
    DJ Jazzy Jeff Jazzyfatnastees The Roots- The Next Movement - Things Fall Apart
    Dena Deadly- 1608 - 12
    LL Cool J- Doin It - All World Greatest Hits
    Tweet- Call Me - Southern Hummingbird
    Phesto Dee- Infared Rum - Terri Cloth

    playlist URL:
              51) Which one of the following statements concerning production and staffing plans is best? A. A master production schedule is a projected statement of income, costs, and profits. B. Aggregation can be performed along three dimensions: product families, labor, and time. C. Production plans are based primarily on information from the master production plan. D. A staffing plan is the intermediate link between the business plan and the master production schedule.         

    BUS/475 Guide 4

    1) The cost principle requires that when assets are acquired, they be recorded at __________.
    A.   list price B.   selling price C.   exchange price paid D.   appraisal value
    2) "Generally accepted" in the phrase generally accepted accounting principles means that the principles __________.
    A.   have been approved for use by the managements of business firms
    B.   have been approved by the Internal Revenue Service C.   have substantial authoritative support D.   are proven theories of accounting
    3) The standards and rules that are recognized as a general guide for financial reporting are called __________.
    A.   standards of financial reporting B.   operating guidelines C.   generally accepted accounting principles D.   generally accepted accounting standards
    4) Sam's Used Cars uses the specific identification method of costing inventory. During March, Sam purchased three cars for $6,000, $7,500, and $9,750, respectively. During March, two cars are sold for $9,000 each. Sam determines that at March 31, the $9,750 car is still on hand. What is Sam’s gross profit for March?
    A.   $8,250
    B.   $750 C.   $4,500
    D.   $5,250
    5) Hess, Inc. sells a single product with a contribution margin of $12 per unit and fixed costs of $74,400 and sales for the current year of $100,000. How much is Hess’s break even point?
    A.   2,133 units
    B.   6,200 units
    C.   $25,600 D.   4,600 units
    6) As Plant Controller, you are trying to determine which costs over which you have the most control on a day to day basis. Your goal is to achieve better profitability. The Plant Operations Manager suggests that overhead is the easiest area to directly reduce costs. Which of the following items would be classified as manufacturing overhead?
    A.   The western division’s vice president’s salary
    B.   Cost of landscaping the corporate office C.   General corporate liability insurance D.   Factory janitor
    7) What is the preparation of reports for each level of responsibility in the company’s organization chart called?
    A.   Master budgeting analysis
    B.   Exception reporting C.   Responsibility reporting
    D.   Static reporting
    8) Disney’s variable costs are 30% of sales. The company is contemplating an advertising campaign that will cost $22,000. If sales are expected to increase $40,000, by how much will the company's net income increase?
    A.   $6,000 B.   $12,000
    C.   $28,000
    D.   $18,000
    9) The cost of an asset and its fair market value are __________.
    A.   never the same B.   irrelevant when the asset is used by the business in its operations
    C.   the same on the date of acquisition D.   the same when the asset is sold
    10) Which one of the following is a product cost?
    A.   Indirect labor B.   Sales person’s salaries
    C.   Advertising costs D.   Office salaries
    11) What exists when budgeted costs exceed actual results?
    A.   A budgeting error B.   An unfavorable difference
    C.   An excess profit D.   A favorable difference
    12) The income statement and balance sheet columns of Pine Company's worksheet reflects the following totals:
                            Income Statement                  Balance Sheet
                Dr.       Cr.                   Dr.       Cr.
    Totals              $58,000           $48,000                       $34,000           $44,000

    Closing entries are necessary for __________.
    A.   permanent accounts only B.   both permanent and temporary accounts
    C.   permanent or real accounts only D.   temporary accounts only
    13) Managerial accounting __________.
    A.   is concerned with costing products B.   pertains to the entity as a whole and is highly aggregated
    C.   places emphasis on special-purpose information D.   is governed by generally accepted accounting principles
    14) H55 Company sells two products, beer and wine. Beer has a 10 percent profit margin and wine has a 12 percent profit margin. Beer has a 27 percent contribution margin and wine has a 25 percent contribution margin. If other factors are equal, which product should H55 push to customers?
    A.   Beer B.   Selling either results in the same additional income for the company
    C.   It should sell an equal quantity of both D.   Wine
    15) Lekeisha's income exceeds her expenditures. Lekeisha is a __________.
    A.   saver who demands money from the financial system B.   borrower who demands money from the financial system
    C.   borrower who supplies money to the financial system D.   saver who supplies money to the financial system
    16) Maurice receives $100 as a birthday gift. In deciding how to spend the money, he narrows his options down to four choices: Option A, Option B, Option C, and Option D. Each option costs $100. Finally he decides on Option B. The opportunity cost of this decision is __________.
    A.   the value to Maurice of the option he would have chosen had Option B not been available
    B.   $100 C.   $300 D.   the value to Maurice of Options A, C and D combined
    17) A production possibilities frontier will be a straight line if __________.
    A.   the economy is producing efficiently B.   the economy is engaged in trade with at least one other economy C.   increasing the production of one good by x units entails no opportunity cost in terms of the other good
    D.   increasing the production of one good by x units entails a constant opportunity cost in terms of the other good
    18) In economics, the cost of something is __________.
    A.   what you give up to get it B.   often impossible to quantify, even in principle C.   the dollar amount of obtaining it D.   always measured in units of time given up to get it
    19) A tax on an imported good is called a __________.
    A.   supply tax
    B.   trade tax C.   quota D.   tariff
    20) Which of the following statements about GDP is correct?
    A.   GDP is to a nation’s economy as household income is to a household. B.   GDP increases if the total population increases. C.   GDP measures two things at once: the total income of everyone in the economy and the unemployment rate.
    D.   Money continuously flows from households to government and then back to households, and GDP measures this flow of money.
    21) In computing GDP, market prices are used to value final goods and services because __________.
    A.   if market prices are out of line with how people value goods, the government sets price ceilings and price floors
    B.   Market prices are not used in computing GDP C.   market prices reflect the values of goods and services D.   market prices do not change much over time, so it is easy to make comparisons between years

    22) Which of the following statements about GDP is correct?
    A.   Nominal GDP values production at market prices, whereas real GDP values production at the cost of the resources used in the production process.
    B.   Nominal GDP consistently underestimates the value of production, whereas real GDP consistently overestimates the value of production.
    C.   Nominal GDP values production at current prices, whereas real GDP values production at constant prices.
    D.   Nominal GDP values production at constant prices, whereas real GDP values production at current prices.
    23) Which of the following is not correct?
    A.   The U.S. debt per-person is large compared with average lifetime income.
    B.   In 2005, the U.S. government had a deficit. C.   A potential cost of deficits is that they reduce national saving, thereby reducing growth of the capital stock and output growth.
    D.   Deficits give people the opportunity to consume at the expense of their children, but they do not require them to do so.
    24) The part of the balance of payments account that lists all long-term flows of payments is called the:
    A.   balance of trade. B.   financial and capital account.
    C.   government financial account.
    D.   current account.
    25) Edward Prescott and Finn Kydland won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2004. One of their contributions was to argue that if a central bank could convince people to expect zero inflation, then the Fed would be tempted to raise output by increasing inflation. This possibility is known as __________.
    A.   the sacrifice ratio dilemma B.   the monetary policy reaction lag
    C.   the time inconsistency of policy
    D.   inflation targeting
    26) In general, the longest lag for __________.
    A.   fiscal policy is the time it takes to change policy, while for monetary policy the longest lag is the time it takes for policy to affect aggregate demand
    B.   both fiscal and monetary policy is the time it takes for policy to affect aggregate demand
    C.   monetary policy is the time it takes to change policy, while for fiscal policy the longest lag is the time it takes for policy to affect aggregate demand
    D.   both fiscal and monetary policy is the time it takes to change policy
    27) Consider two items that might be included in GDP: (1) The estimated rental value of owner-occupied housing; and (2) purchases of newly-constructed homes. How are these two items accounted for when GDP is calculated?
    A.   Only item (2) is included in GDP and it is included in the investment component.
    B.   Item (1) is included in the consumption component, while item (2) is included in the investment component.
    C.   Item (1) is included in the investment component, while item (2) is included in the consumption component.
    D.   Both item (1) and item (2) are included in the consumption component of GDP.

    28) Managers will utilize __________ skills with increasing frequency as they rise within an organization.
    A.   Professional B.   Interpersonal and communication
    C.   Technical D.   Professional E.   Conceptual and decision
    29) Which of these represent skills that managers need?
    A.   Interpersonal, quantitative, and professional B.   Technical, interpersonal & communication and conceptual & decision making
    C.   Professional, technical and interpersonal & communication D.   Conceptual & decision making, professional and technical E.   Interpersonal & communication, conceptual & decision making and professional
    30) Building a dynamic organization is another way of describing which function of management?
    A.   Staffing B.   Organizing
    C.   Leading D.   Controlling
    E.   Planning
    31) Your roommate is interested in starting a business and everybody has been giving him different information about being an entrepreneur. Since you have been studying about entrepreneurship and new ventures, which of these would you tell him is true?
    A.   Anyone can start a business B.   All entrepreneurs need venture capital in order to get started C.   Successful entrepreneurs take very careful, calculated risks D.   Entrepreneurs are their own bosses and completely independent
    E.   Money should not be considered a start-up ingredient
    32) The term used to refer to all kinds of differences including religious affiliation, age, disability status, economic class and lifestyle in addition to gender, race, ethnicity and nationality is:
    A.   Diversity B.   Managerial ethics
    C.   Recruiting D.   Employment E.   Selection
    33) A manager's ability to stimulate people to be high performers is referred to as:
    A.   Planning B.   Supervising
    C.   Controlling
    D.   Organizing E.   Leading
    34) A series of quality standards developed by a committee working under the International Organization for Standardization to improve total quality in all businesses for the benefit of both producers and consumers is:
    A.   Total quality management B.   Customer-based integration C.   Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM)
    D.   Just-in-time control (JIT)
    E.   ISO 9000
    35) Japanese manufacturers' kaizen (continuous improvement) programs enable them to maintain:
    A.   A strategic alliance B.   A homogeneous workforce C.   Positive working relationships with all employees
    D.   A Learning advantage over their competition E.   Larger, faster facilities
    36) Listening to employee suggestions, gaining support for organizational objectives and fostering an atmosphere of teamwork are all considered:
    A.   Technical skills B.   Conceptual C.   Professional skills D.   Interpersonal/communication skills
    E.   Diagnostic skills
    37) The basic components of an effective sexual harassment policy include the following EXCEPT:
    A.   To develop an organization wide policy on sexual harassment B.   To establish a means for ongoing training C.   To act immediately when employees complain of sexual harassment
    D.   To establish a performance appraisal system E.   To establish a formal complaint procedure
    38) Teams that operate separately from the regular work structure and exist temporarily are known as:
    A.   Management teams B.   Transnational teams
    C.   Self-managed teams
    D.   Parallel teams E.   Self-designing teams
    39) The Aquatic Center, Inc. periodically reviews the goals of the company. During the process, The Aquatic Center managers analyze their current strategies as compared to their competitors, determine goals that they will pursue and decide upon specific actions for each area of the company to take in pursuit of these goals. The Aquatic Center managers have been engaged in the management function of:
    A.   Goal Coordination
    B.   Controlling C.   Organizing D.   Staffing E.   Planning
    40) As related to managing of human resources, diversity refers to:
    A.   Differences in demographics (such as age, race, gender, disability status, lifestyle, veteran status, educational level, etc.)
    B.   Differences in pay methods (such as hourly, salaried, overtime, hazard-pay, commissioned, etc.)