Introducing “G4NP in Three,” a new YouTube Series        

Google for Nonprofits (G4NP) offers nonprofit organizations across 50 countries free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Ad Grants and more. Whether you’ve been using our products for years or are thinking about signing up for Google for Nonprofits, we want you to feel confident when using our products.

That’s why we’re excited to announce our brand new YouTube series, “G4NP in Three.” Every few weeks, we’ll walk you through one of the many products we offer  from enrollment process to optimization—all in roughly three minutes.

What You’ll Learn

We’ll start with the basics. We’ll cover program eligibility requirements, walk through the different signup processes, and give you tips and tricks on how to best use our products. In the first few videos, we’ll focus on some of our most popular products: Google Ad Grants, G Suite, and YouTube.

Meet Your Hosts

Bri and Jay are volunteers on our video production and G4NP YouTube strategy team. Both work in different parts of the Google organization for their core roles, but have been aligned to G4NP for over a year. They write, edit and star in videos to help educate the nonprofit community and, in addition to hosting, are the co-creators of the “G4NP in Three” series.


​A​ San Francisco native, ​Jay ventured to Ann Arbor, MI to get his degree at the University of Michigan. ​After graduating, he started at Google where he currently works as a Communications Specialist in People Operations. Aside from his passion for marketing, communications​,​ and diversity in the workplace, Jay’s claim-to-fame is singing for President Obama at the White House.


Originally from Mountain View, California, Bri attended Chapman University. There she earned a degree in Public Relations and Advertising. After graduation, Bri started a position at Google as an Associate Account Strategist supporting our advertisers. Outside of work, Bri thoroughly enjoys knitting, hiking, and venturing off on the weekends to find the best cup of coffee in the Bay Area.

The first “G4NP in Three” video is now live! Videos will be released every few weeks. Subscribe to Google for Nonprofits on YouTube to stay updated.
G4NP in Three | Ep. 1: What is Google for Nonprofits?

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

          Interview With Sports & Entertainment Attorney: Jaia Thomas        
Jaia Thomas is a Los Angeles, CA based sports and entertainment attorney. Ms. Thomas is a graduate of Colgate University and The George Washington University Law School. She also holds a Certificate in Television, Film and New Media Production from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Ms. Thomas is an instructor...
          And the healthiest cities for men are ...        
U.S. men looking for the best place to find happiness, health and a good quality of life might consider heading to Boise, Idaho, or San Jose and San Francisco in northern California.
          Resistance at Standing Rock: Dispatches from the Front Lines        


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

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

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

    Story and Photos by John Briggs

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

    Corporate – Government Alliance Versus the American People

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The Legal Case for Blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Environmental Lawyer Explains Standing Rock Legal Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Standing With the Standing Rock Sioux

  • The Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What Dewey does goes way beyond advocacy journalism.

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

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

  • Forcibly removed from prayer at Standing Rock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Media covering the Standing Rock resistance movement:

  • Digital Smoke Signals

  • Myron Dewey, Facebook

  • The Antimedia

  • Democracy Now

  • The Intercept

  • The Guardian

  • Censored News

  • Unicorn Riot

  • Living on Earth

  • The Indigenous Environmental Network

  • Status of Standing Rock court claim

  •           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

  •           NEW: RFK Jr. says ‘recent forensic evidence’ points to two shooters in his father’s assassination         

    Robert F. Kennedy flanked by union organizers Dolores Huerta (left) and Paul Schrade (right). Huerta co-founded what would become the United Farm Workers. Schrade, also a union organizer, was one of five others wounded when RFK was assassinated in 1968.
    - Photo courtesy of Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

    Cool Justice:
    RFK Jr. points to forensic evidence of second gunman in his father’s assassination
    By Andy Thibault

    Buried on page 271 of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s new book on the Skakel murder case in Greenwich is a quick, but telling reference to his father’s assassination.

    As part of my summer reading I highlighted the passage. I had a visceral sense it was important.

    Kennedy family members rarely have spoken publicly about the assassinations of either President John Kennedy or U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy, much less criticized the official findings. The passage is noteworthy for the simple fact it is memorialized in a book. It is not just a comment in an interview.

    This angle deserves serious attention, and so it wasn’t shoehorned into the column published Aug. 5 on the Greenwich murder case, “COOL JUSTICE: RFK Jr. attacks prosecutors, cops, courts for willful misconduct as he asserts cousin Skakel’s innocence.”

  • Aug. 5 column

  • Some of Kennedy’s claims and his book investigating the murder of 15-year-old Martha Moxley in Greenwich in 1975 have been panned by the state Judicial Department and other authors who chronicled the case. A state Supreme Court ruling on whether Skakel will face a retrial or be sent back to prison is expected this fall. A senior judge ruled in 2013 that Skakel did not receive a fair trial when he was convicted of the Moxley murder in 2002. Skakel was freed on bond after serving 11 years of a sentence of 20 years to life in jail.

    That covers a lot of ground, and the next court decision will be big news. It seems to me the “footnote” on page 271 also is big news.

    Following are two paragraphs from Kennedy’s book, “Framed, Why Michael Skakel Spent Over A Decade In Prison For A Murder He Didn’t Commit,” leading up to the clincher paragraph on the RFK assassination:

    “I sympathize deeply with Dorthy Moxley [Martha’s mother]. I have seen up-close the agony of a mother’s grief over the loss of her child. my mother lost her husband to murder and two of her sons to violent, untimely deaths in the bosom of their youth. I was with her when my father died. I stood beside her 29 years later as my little brother Michael died in her arms.

    “My mother told us that we needed to let go of our impulse for revenge and allow the cycle of violence to end with our family. This, she said, was the lesson of the New Testament, which swapped the savage eye-for-an-eye tribalism of the Old Testament for the ethical mandate that we turn the other cheek. But forgiveness wasn’t just ethics. It was salutary. Revenge and resentments, my mother said, are corrosive. Indulging them is like swallowing poison and hoping someone else will die. By opposing the death penalty for Sirhan, we diluted these poisonous passions.

    “And what if, God forbid, the object of our revenge turns out to be innocent? For several decades, my father’s close friend Paul Schrade [in recent photo, right], who took one of Sirhan’s bullets, has argued that Sirhan Sirhan did not fire the shot that killed my father. Recent forensic evidence supports him. How would we have felt now, if our family had demanded his execution?”

    Like most Americans, I had not paid much attention to the forensic details regarding the RFK murder. What kind of evidence was RFK Jr. referring to? What is the significance of his dropping this tidbit toward the end of a book on another subject?

    Robert F. Kennedy was shot just after midnight on June 5, 1968 in the back and in the back of the head at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He had been celebrating his California primary win in his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. Kennedy had become a vigorous opponent of the Vietnam War and an advocate for civil rights, unions and racial justice. His death came just two months after the murder of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

    The renowned forensic pathologist and medical school professor, Dr. Cyril Wecht, assisted Los Angeles Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Noguchi in efforts to secure the Kennedy body and perform the autopsy. I reached out to Wecht this week to talk about the new Kennedy statement and the evidence cited by Paul Schrade and others.

    Regarding Robert Kennedy Jr.’s statement in the new book, Wecht commented: “I think it’s commendable. I wish he had done it sooner.”

    Letter presented this year to California parole officials by Paul Schrade

  • Complete column at Litchfield County Times

  • Also at:
  • New Haven Register


  • Via @NorwichBulletin #moreCOOLJUSTICE @ #SpraguePublicLibrary 9-22-16 #TrueCrime All Sides of the Law

  • Recent column: Judges who played role in murder probe squelched access to key testimony

  •           CALL OF DUTY | INFINITE WARFARE        
    Call of Duty! This project has been my primary creative focus for the last couple of years, and it's been a great honour and a pleasure to have been involved with such a potent franchise. There's not much bigger than COD! The development studio for Infinite Warfare, Infinity Ward, has been my home since January and part of last year, and it's been a dream come true to live and work in Los Angeles. Ever since I was a kid, looking through art-of books of my favourite movies, LA has been the place I always wanted to be.

    I had been working remotely, as a freelancer, on the IW project for a while, creating concepts like the C12 here, so it was a natural next step to join the team in house in sunny California. The project needed a dose of solid, believable, and badass science fiction flavour, and that's exactly what I love to do! The C12 was the first thing I designed for the project, and it turned out great. The brief was for a walking tank, an enemy robot with a threatening presence, bristling with armaments. I love the right hand appendage, a combination door breaching hammer and articulated claw. The arms are mounted on curved shoulder rails, so they can rotate around and track various targets. There is so much articulation in this guy, it really taxed the rigging department! Bone count be dammed! ha ha

    This is the accompanying human sized enemy robot, the C6. A menacing eyeless axe shaped sensor head is mounted on a 360° degree swiveling pintle frame, so the head can target you from any angle. I imagined the player shoot one in the back, only to have the head spin 180° round and target you, the weapon following a split second behind, helped by the highly mobile shoulder and upper arm sections, allowing the robot to move in ways a human can't, and creating a unique adversary. The work done by the character department to model and texture these robots was insane. It was a true honour to have my concepts brought to life by such a talented team!

    A couple of variations on the standard SDF enemy soldiers. The idea was to create an iconic look, something clearly a guy in a suit, but still dehumanised and threatening enough to make them clearly the badguys, and worthy of killing by the hundreds. I added some frames to the 'muzzle', similar to the mounts on a modern day soldiers helmet, that can have additional optics or emergency breathing apparatus attached, to create an aggressive look. The reinforced polymer face pieces have a variable opacity laminate, I imagined a scene where you see a soldier seal up his transparent mask, then the mask turns cloudy white from the bottom up, obscuring the face and turning the visage into an eyeless skull. These SDF soldiers live in their suits, and have multiple redundancy life support systems, with visible added connective cable and hoses, to create a unique inside-out look to contrast against the clean and slick suits of the Earth forces.

    Ethan, or E3N, the buddy brobot you as the player have alongside for the game. This guy was fun to design, and I love how the head and upper arms worked out. My brother was the inspiration for this character, he's a big badass dude with the right friendly demeanor that I thought was perfect for this robot. I wanted Ethan to look and feel like someone who would have your back in battle, and be down for some extreme sports in down time. My bro is into motocross, so for the articulated pistons on Ethan's neck, I gave him gold cylinders to reflect the awesome looking forks you find on race bikes. Ethan's head is also a combination of elements from a motocross helmet, with articulated lens hood pieces from a camera lens, and the top hood piece forming a cap and visor peak shape.

    Really happy with how his head was resolved. It's tough to come up with a unique and iconic robot head with the right character and ability to emote.

    The final design for the UNSA SATO Marine helmets. With the hero Marines, I wanted to create a rugged and tough suit that paid homage to some classic Marine ideas. Mainly the thick armoured neck and arms. The thick neck was an attempt to create a different silhouette than the usual space suit form of thin neck/big helmet. I kept the helmet as slim and 'operator' as possible, while pumping up the neck, to create a unique look that feels badass, and harks to the leatherneck moniker of the Marines.

    With the arms I wanted the suit to feel like the rolled-up-sleeves look that's popular with Marines, and seen in some classic movies like Aliens. The lower arm sections and neck utilise mechanical pressure to protect from the vacuum of space, while the rest of the outfit is a traditional gas pressure space suit. Taking inspiration from the latest concepts of future space suits from places like NASA, with their elasticated tight fitting sleeves and lines of non-extension, I created a rugged military look with a thick armoured feel and beefy grid like pattern.

    I've loads more concepts to share in the future, so excited to show some of the other cool characters and weapons I was lucky enough to create for the project. Be sure to check out the game too, I'm playing through the final product now and it's rad, so cool to see my work realised to such a high level by a huge and talented team. Cheers!
              Lower your Blood Pressure with Acupuncture        
    A recent University of California-Irvine study demonstrated that select acu-points can noticeably reduce hypertension and reduce strokes and heart disease risks. The study found that 70% of patients in the study had systolic pressure reduction averaging 6-8mmHG and diastolic reductions averaging 4mmHg for over a month after acupuncture. There were also significant reduction in blood […]
              Dean Koontz's "Moonlight": how a commercially prolific suspense novelist remains relevant as technology and politics change         

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

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

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

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

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

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

              Monica Lewinsky's Subtle Emoji Response to Scaramucci's Linda Tripp Comparison - Newsweek        


    Monica Lewinsky's Subtle Emoji Response to Scaramucci's Linda Tripp Comparison
    Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky has responded to comments by short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who compared a New Yorker reporter to Linda Tripp. In a flurry of tweets on Wednesday night, Scaramucci ...
    The Mooch won't let goWashington Post
    Anthony Scaramucci rips reporter after explosive comments publishedCBS News
    Monica Lewinsky's Tweet About Anthony Scaramucci Says It AllHuffPost -Vanity Fair -NBC Southern California -The Hill (blog)
    all 73 news articles »

              Why FamilySearch Is Ending Microfilm Rental & How to Get Genealogy Records Now        
    Guest blog post by Family Tree Magazine Contributing Editor Sunny Jane Morton

    For 80 years, the FamilySearch Family History Library (FHL) has made its enormous stash of microfilmed genealogy records available to researchers through an inexpensive rental service through local FamilySearch Centers.

    That's about to change: FamilySearch has announced that this service will end Aug. 31. Reasons include declining demand for film, dramatic increases in the costs of reproducing films, and the difficulty of supporting aging microfilm technology.

    It’s easy to be dismayed by the news, even when you acknowledge it was bound to happen. Many of us have solved family history mysteries with these microfilmed records. 

    Fortunately, most FamilySearch microfilm is already been digitized and posted on the free FamilySearch website or another genealogy site. That's more than 1.5 million rolls, including the most popular ones. “The remaining [eligible] microfilms should be digitized by the end of 2020," according to the announcement. "All new records from its ongoing global efforts are already using digital camera equipment."

    I've been a grateful user of the film rental program. And the millions of records FamilySearch makes available online for free more than offset offsets this inconvenience to my research.

    But after Aug. 31 and before 2020, what can we do about accessing records that aren't yet digitized? Try these seven ideas:

    1. Keep using the FamilySearch online catalog of the FHL's books and microfilmed records.
    You can order microfilm up through Aug. 31 (click here to see how); you'll get 90 days to view the film. When digitized films are posted at FamilySearch, the item's catalog entry links to the online collection. Even if you don’t find a borrowable item in the catalog, it's useful for identifying records you may be able to access elsewhere (see below). Here are our tips on searching the catalog.

    2. Check other libraries.
    If you find a noncirculating item described in the FamilySearch catalog, click the link to view the catalog record in WorldCat.

    It'll take you to this item's listing in WorldCat, a free catalog of holdings in libraries around the world. You'll see libraries that have the item, and link to their lending policies. You may discover records in other formats, such as digitized, in a book or original manuscript records.

    3. Search for digitized versions of the records.
    Search the web for the names and descriptions of records you've identified in the FamilySearch catalog. You may find digitized versions at free sites such as HathiTrust, Internet Archive, state library websites, and others. Also search the database catalogs on genealogy websites such as, MyHeritage and Findmypast.

    4. Visit a genealogy library such as ...
    5. Use library lookup and photocopy services.
    Some libraries fill requests for lookups and photocopies for a fee. Check the website or call for instructions; usually, you must provide the book or microfilm title and specifics such as a name, date or page number. Firms offering research at the FHL include

    6. Hire a researcher.
    If you need someone to search through records—not just check an index or flip to the page you specify and copy it—consider hiring a researcher by the hour. Many libraries offer in-house research services, or they may supply a list of local researchers.

    7. Find original records.
    It might be easier to access original records, if they exist, than microfilmed versions. Start with the FamilySearch catalog listing. Look for the name of the repository that provided the original records (often under "Author"). Search that repository’s website to see if the records are still there. Another option is to search ArchiveGrid, a catalog of archival items in US repositories. Here's how to use ArchiveGrid.

    FamilySearch's renewed focus on digital efforts means its free online genealogy resources will grow even faster. Watch for my Aug. 21 webinar on the free FamilySearch website, in which I'll share my search tricks for getting the most out of this website.

    Meanwhile, grab my must-have comparison of the "big three" commercial sites, Ancestry, Findmypast and MyHeritage. I'll help you decide which one's right for you.

              Couple Convicted of Satanic Child Abuse Freed From Prison and Declared Innocent        
    You may recall the hysteria in the 80’s and early 90’s when an organized network of daycares were alleged to be involved in satanic ritual child abuse of youngsters in their care, the most infamous being the McMartin preschool case. Virginia McMartin operated her preschool in Manhattan Beach, California employing family members and other staff. … Continue reading Couple Convicted of Satanic Child Abuse Freed From Prison and Declared Innocent
              17 Years in Prison for Divorce Fraud        
    California businessman Steven Zinnel, age 50, thought he could get away with cheating his wife, his two teenage children, and the bankruptcy court, but he was wrong….boy was he wrong! Zinnel and his wife, of Gold River, separated in 1999. By 2001 their uncoupling got even more ugly when he told his wife she would … Continue reading 17 Years in Prison for Divorce Fraud
              Prisoners for Profit - The Shame of Puppy Mills        
    It was summer when I visited puppy mills in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In the last few years, the area has become a hub for large scale commercial dog breeding operations. And although the Midwest still ranks as containing the highest number of dog breeding operations, the concentration of puppy mills in Lancaster County is unparalleled.

    Accompanying me was a Humane Society of the United States investigator who had monitored the Pennsylvania mills for years. He knew the county well, and had seen not only the proliferation of puppy mills in the area, but at the same time, the increased press and public attention in their operations.

    Driving through the pastoral landscape, it seemed impossible that animal suffering could exist amidst such beauty. This illusion was quickly shattered with my first view of a puppy mill. For years, I had seen and studied photos of infamous facilities, but nothing prepared me for seeing the real thing with my own eyes.
    We approached a farmhouse from the road and turned onto a muddy lane. Rounding the corner, we didn't even have to get out of the truck to see or hear what awaited us. Rows of dilapidated cages were lined up outside a barn. Stopping the truck, my throat constricted with shock. Dogs were crammed three or more to a small cage which were elevated over mounds of feces. Matted fur covered their eyes as they rushed towards the front of their cages, barking at uninvited visitors. Their plight was so dramatically different than the dogs I knew, the dogs who lie lazily in afternoon sun, waiting for their next meal or walk. No, these dogs were here for a purpose and only one purpose: to make money.

    We saw many mills that day. Posing as buyers, we were able to handle and examine some of the puppies. Many seemed sickly, disoriented, and underweight. And when we were allowed to see their mothers, or sneaked onto a farm to view the conditions, the hopelessness of their lives weighed on me like a heavy load that rests on my shoulders even to this day.

    Dogs hold a special place in our hearts. Domesticated thousands of years ago, they were chosen to be our protectors, companions, and best friends. And although we have betrayed our responsibility towards them in many ways, none is so distressing or disturbing as the puppy mill.

    The term "puppy mill," coined in the mid-to-late sixties to describe large scale commercial dog breeding facilities, has only recently arrived in the mainstream vernacular. It is a term that some claim is sensational and manipulative. The word "mill" refers to an operation that churns out dogs in mass, using female dogs as nothing more than breeding machines. The term conjures images of dogs crowded in wire cages, living in their own wastes, shivering from the cold, or baking in the heat. Tragically, this vision is not far from reality. Most people, not just those interested in animal protection, are shocked when confronted with the bleak images of dogs housed and bred in puppy mills. But in the 5,000 puppy mills found across the country, thousands of dogs are bred and raised for profit, valued not for their companionship or loyalty, but for the cold hard cash they bring.

    Many consumers possess an image of puppies at a family farm, lovingly raised and cared for. Others may not even think about where a pet store puppy comes from. Drawn to a pet store window by a bin of wriggling puppies, the furthest thing from a customer's mind is the origin of these cute bundles of fur. But by buying a puppy, often for a price of $500 or more, the consumer is unknowingly supporting a cycle of abuse that begins at the puppy mill.

    What the consumer can't see is the puppy's mother, imprisoned miles away, pregnant again, her body being used to produce more money-making puppies. Starting at six months, she is bred every heat cycle. She is often weak, malnourished, and dehydrated. Rarely, if ever, is she provided with veterinary care. She cannot maintain her productivity past her fourth or fifth year. After that, she is nothing more than a drain on the mill's operation and must be disposed of. If she's lucky, she'll be humanely euthanized. More often than not, she will be shot or bludgeoned to death. Discarded, her wasted body will lie forgotten in a local landfill or garbage dump.

    This is the picture the pet stores will never show. And until recently, the ugly truth of puppy mills has been hidden. But when problems with many of the puppies bought at pet stores across the country began to surface, consumers and animal lovers alike began asking hard questions. Puppies with seizures, parasites, infections, bacteria, and behavioral problems were being seen far too often to be merely coincidental.
    Puppy mills and the pet store industry have begun to feel this scrutiny. They insist that it doesn't make good business sense to sell sick puppies or house breeding females in less than humane conditions. But evidence gained after years of documentation and investigation directly conflicts with these assertions. In addition, those small scale breeders who do treat their animals humanely, who raise them in their homes or in small, cleanly kept kennels, do not usually make a profit off their dogs. It is virtually impossible to breed in a humane fashion and make money at the same time. Although a pet store may sell a puppy for $500 or more dollars, most commercial breeders can only get around $35 per dog from a broker who in turns sells to the pet store for around $75. In order to make a profit and cover costs, corners must be cut, and puppies must be churned out at a furious rate. The cut corners are the animals themselves: their housing, their health, their cleanliness. Inherent in the profit-making mills is the sacrifice of humane standards in order to make a profit.
    What protection, if any, do these dogs and their puppies have? On the state level, puppy "lemon laws," existing in a handful of states including New Jersey and California, seek to offer consumers protection against buying sick puppies. Although these laws do chip away at the production of sick puppies, they do not address the inherent problem of the whole system: the selling of dogs for profit.

    The federal level offers even less hope. The current system not only allows the continuation of a business that makes money off the backs of dogs, but fails in its responsibility to provide even a basic quality of life for dogs in puppy mills. Originally passed in 1966, the federal Animal Welfare Act was amended in 1970 to include in its provisions the oversight of large scale commercial dog breeding facilities. Regulations were written with the intention of ensuring the proper care, feeding, housing, and veterinary care for the thousands of dogs found in puppy mills across the country. Mandated by law to enforce these regulations is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). But with a shortage of inspectors responsible for overseeing these facilities, the agency has developed a reputation for failing to meet its mandate.
    Not only have outsiders criticized the agency's ability to enforce the Act in relation to puppy mills, but several internal reviews have also illustrated the gross inadequacies existing at the federal level. Recently, a damning internal review conducted by the USDA's own office of the Inspector General of the agency's South Central Regional Office offered a bleak picture. The South Central Office, responsible for overseeing the majority of this country's puppy mills, was found to be sorely lacking in its ability to enforce the Animal Welfare Act. The report found that the office failed to respond to complaints from the public, failed to report a large number of blatant violations of the law, and that supervisors told inspectors not only where and when to inspect, but instructed their staff not to write up too many violations of problematic facilities. USDA Secretary Dan Glickman, embarrassed by the report's finding, has demanded the development of an internal plan to respond to the crisis within the agency.

    The USDA is also feeling the heat over the puppy mill issue from members of Congress. After receiving constituent mail on puppy mills, Congressman Glenn Poshard (D-Il) and Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), sprung to action. Working with The Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection organizations, they gathered over 100 signatures from members on both side of Capitol Hill in a letter to Secretary Glickman expressing concern about the problems found in puppy mills across the country. Sent late last summer, the letter has caused anxiety within the USDA.

    This Spring, the agency will consider enacting stronger regulations covering puppy mills as well as examining ways in which their enforcement powers can be increased. Although any change in the way puppy mills are regulated is an improvement, and stiffer rules may even shut down or discourage potential operators from opening a facility, the changes will not directly eliminate the mills themselves. Until the demand for mass-produced pet store puppies decreases, there will always be a buck to be made in the production of dogs.

    Rachel A. Lamb is Director for Companion Animal Care at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in Washington, DC.

    Dog Training
              California by Pedro de Agustin Mayor        
     (Pedro de Agustin Mayor)
    (Pedro de Agustin Mayor)
    Copyright: Pedro de Agustín Mayor
              California by Pedro de Agustin Mayor        
     (Pedro de Agustin Mayor)
    (Pedro de Agustin Mayor)
    Copyright: Pedro de Agustín Mayor
              California by Pedro de Agustin Mayor        
     (Pedro de Agustin Mayor)
    (Pedro de Agustin Mayor)
    Copyright: Pedro de Agustín Mayor
              California by Pedro de Agustin Mayor        
     (Pedro de Agustin Mayor)
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              California by Pedro de Agustin Mayor        
     (Pedro de Agustin Mayor)
    (Pedro de Agustin Mayor)
    Copyright: Pedro de Agustín Mayor
              California by Pedro de Agustin Mayor        
     (Pedro de Agustin Mayor)
    (Pedro de Agustin Mayor)
    Copyright: Pedro de Agustín Mayor
              California by Pedro de Agustin Mayor        
     (Pedro de Agustin Mayor)
    (Pedro de Agustin Mayor)
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              California by Pedro de Agustin Mayor        
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    Copyright: Pedro de Agustín Mayor
              [Article] A New Way to Reduce Multifamily Air Leakage        
    While tight exterior envelopes have become standard for single-family homes, they have been slow to reach the multifamily sector. Multifamily buildings have many of the same leakage paths as houses, as well as additional paths hidden in walls or other cavities that are difficult to seal with conventional methods. Researchers at the Western Cooling Efficiency Center (WCEC) at the University of California at Davis recently developed an aerosol sealant to seal leaks in building walls, floors, and ceilings. The process can bemore effective and convenient than conventional methods for sealing envelopes, because it requires less time and effort, and it ...
              [Article] Air-Sealing Tips for Efficiency That Lasts // Part 1: Start on the Drawing Board        
    We founded 475 High Performance Building Supply with one primary goal: being a resource for professionals in North America who want to build airtight. Over the years we’ve worked with everyone from tiny-house enthusiasts in Southern California to the firms building the world’s largest Passive House in New York, and we’ve learned endless lessons on how to integrate strategies for long-lasting airtightness. The bulk of what we’ve learned is applicable to all buildings, regardless of size, shape, use, or type. Thanks to a deepening understanding of its value, and to advances in the ...
              Easy Rawlins Is Alive, Or Is He?         
    I've been following Easy Rawlins since reading Devil in a Blue Dress in the '90s. That's a lot of time to give to a character. And as I read Little Green, I realized that I hadn't been following Easy, the character, all these years. In the past I was more invested in other parts of the stories.

    I had enjoyed the cases Easy solved, and the way his creator Walter Mosley laid out Los Angeles and the complicated relationship between whites, blacks and Latinos in post-World War II California.

              Record High Prices At The Gas Pump Likely To Linger In California         
    Gas prices spiked overnight Thursday by as much as 20 cents per gallon in parts of California, causing some stations to close and shocking many customers.

    According to The Associated Press, the average price of regular gas across the state was nearly $4.49 a gallon. In other parts of the country, gas prices have fallen. South Carolina has the lowest average gas prices in the continental U.S.

              San Diego Union Tribune Reviews ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ and Interviews Buffett        
    ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ the musical is playing now at the La Jolla Playhouse in Southern California and the San Diego Union Tribune has a very detailed review of the production, plus an interview with Jimmy Buffett: “‘Escape to Margaritaville’ goes down easy at La Jolla Playhouse” So it’s good to be able to report that […]
              Donald Trump says media playing down terrorist threat posed by ISIS        

    Washington: US President Trump has said that the news media was playing down the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) and journalists were reluctant to report on the militant groups attacks in Europe and "have their reasons" for failing to cover them, the media reported.

    Trump initially did not provide examples of a news media conspiracy to underplay terrorist attacks. The White House on Monday released a list of what it said were 78 attacks from September 2014 to December 2016 that were carried out or inspired by the IS. It said that "most have not received the media attention they deserved", the New York Times reported.

    The list included the major attacks in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino (California) and Orlando (Florida) that dominated the news for weeks. 

    Other attacks overseas, lesser known to Americans, received extensive local coverage, like a shooting in Zvornik, Bosnia, in April 2015 in which one police officer was killed and two others were wounded, the White House said.

    "Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland, as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino and all across Europe," Trump said at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. 

    "All over Europe, it's happening. It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported, and in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it," he said.

    "They have their reasons," Trump added, "and you understand that."

    The President made similar comments about the US media during a January visit to the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia, that the news media had fabricated his feud with the intelligence community. 

    Those remarks came only days after he likened American intelligence officials to Nazis, after several weeks in which he had denigrated their work, the New York Times said.

    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that the President had been referring in Tampa to "several instances" in which the news media had not devoted sufficient attention to terrorism. 

    Trump, Spicer said, believed that journalists pay more attention to public protests than they do to terrorist attacks or plots.

    During his 12-minute speech on Monday, Trump promised to make "a historic financial investment in the armed forces", in an effort to maintain peace in "our troubled, troubled times". 

    He also vowed to give the military the tools necessary to prevail against the Islamic State and thwart its attempts to strike America.

    At a luncheon with enlisted soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, Trump went around his table asking who would remain in the military, and told them their experience would improve during his presidency.

    On NATO, Trump, who had earlier called it "obsolete," tempered his message, arguing that he was focused on ensuring that it is well funded.

    "We strongly support NATO. We only ask that all of the NATO members make their full and proper contributions to the NATO alliance, which many of them have not been doing -- many of them have not been even close," he said.

    Donald Trump says media playing down terrorist threat posed by ISIS
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              Los cinco bombazos third party para Wii        

    Publicado originalmente en La Gran N

    Nadamos en la abundancia. 2010 es el año de la re-consagración de las third parties ( 2009 ya sentaron precedente ) y también el año en que Nintendo vuelve a estar en forma. Los dos flancos lo dan todo por un catálogo más extenso y de mayor calidad, pero como suele suceder cuando Nintendo lanza sus megatones ( léase Galaxy 2, Other M o el recurrente Zelda ), las third parties desaparecen para el público. Nintendo es muy Nintendo, y si tenemos Wii es por sus juegos, pero además de nueva epopeya de Link, hay muchos otros juegos que bien pueden ganarse un hueco en nuestras juegotecas de cara a fin de año, porque otros más cercanos como el monstruo del márketing Monster Hunter Tri o la venganza desesperada de No More Heroes 2 lo harán en cuestión de semanas. Estos son los cinco títulos de third parties que están dispuestos a seguir la estela de calité que las desarrolladoras vienen demostrando estos meses de 2010.

    Conduit 2 ( High Voltage, Sega, finales 2010 )

    La secuela del juego polémico del 2009. Lo que es cierto es que High Voltage y los jugones hemos aprendido la lección; tanta expectación puede acabar girandóse en contra y acabar por consumir tu juego. Independientemente del resultado final, The Conduit era un loable intento de llenar un hueco vacío en Wii y nadie le quita el mérito de divertir durante horas en su juego online. Tanto HV como Sega saben que ahora se tendrán que ganar el favor del público cuando el juego salga a la venta y no antes, pero lo poco que se sabe hasta ahora de él ( un multijugador en red y local cooperativo, personalización de personajes, mayor variedad de escenarios ) y la humildad que hasta ahora está teniendo HV entonando un mea culpa, puede llevar a tener fe y esperar que un shooter sin asperezas esta vez.

    NBA Jam ( EA Tiburon, EA Games, finales 2010 )

    Boom Shaka-Laka ! EA saca de la tumba los mates incendiarios de NBA Jam y los recupera en Wii con una nueva entrega capitaneada por su creador Mark Turmell, que se une a EA Iiburon porque nadie como él entiende el básquet arcade on fire. Personajes cabezones, una plantilla formada entre jugadores actuales y clásicos ( Larry Bird y Magic Johnson serán jefes finales ) y la posibilidad de jugar con un control similar al de Wii Sports Resort en la prueba de triples. Pero tranquilos haters del movimiento, también podréis encestar con control clásico. Lo que aun está por ver es si incluirá juego online, lo que le daría un plus enorme a su básquet tan particular.

    De Blob 2 ( Blue Tongue, THQ, principios 2011 )

    El juego del blandiblú colorista logró hacerse un hueco en el corazón de más de medio millón de jugones el pasado 2008, y si consigue esto, también se gana un rinconcito en el de THQ. Aunque la política de la editora californiana se aleja de adaptar sus exitazos a Wii, con De Blob piensan a lo grande. Serie de televisión y merchandising hasta con los Happy Meals a partir de 2011. Todo un producto del entertainment, donde el videojuego deja de ser la pieza principal para ser una más de todo el engranaje comercial. Los australianos de Blue Tongue repiten como desarrolladores en este plataformas tutticolori. Es el juego más enigmático de la lista, pero se dice por ahí que el cooperativo puede ser su principal novedad.

    Epic Mickey ( Junction Point, Disney Interactive, otoño 2010 )

    La estrella third party de Wii el regreso a escena del gurú Warren Spector tras seis años en la sombra. Pintar, borrar, y volver pintar a tu albedrío en escenarios reconocibles y repletos de personajes ( conocidos o no ) del mundo de Mickey Mouse, dónde él será la víctima y no el héroe triunfante. Aunque tú podrás elegir qué será según tus acciones, cambiando así las facciones u habilidades de la mascota de Disney. A medio camino entre el rol, las plataformas ( con fases 2D ) y la aventura, el padre de Deus Ex pretende crear el juego definitivo de Mickey Mouse y todo su mundo que lleva alrededor.

    Tales of Graces ( Namco Tales Studio, NamcoBandai, otoño 2010 )

    El segundo Tales of que Namco lanza en Wii, solo que esta vez no se trata de una secuela descafeinada. Los combates siguen siendo en tiempo real pero con los añadidos de poder moverte libremente por el mapeado de combate y no jugar en plano lateral y alternar dos estilos de combate, asignados al botón A o B respectivamente. Los combates se actualizan, los gráficos también, dejando de lado las texturas en baja resolución y luciendo todo tipo de efectos dinámicos y mapeados extensos. Todo un RPG épico japonés con mucho de digital: vía contenido descargable podrás jugar a un minijuego gratuito ( Kamenin Merchant ) de mazmorreo para cuatro jugadores con tu DS así como trajes alternativos para los protas, estos si previo pago de puntos Nintendo. Dicen las malas lenguas que septiembre sería una fecha ideal para tenerlo por Europa.

    En el backstage:
    Trauma Team ( no confirmado para Europa, mayo en Norte América ), Trackmania Wii ( septiembre ), Arc Rise Fantasia ( no confirmado en Europa, junio en Norte América )

              Shrinking Investments Yield Smaller Returns        
    Amidst the politics of austerity, California has made staggering cuts to the early care and education sector, resulting in lost opportunities for children to be educated, parents to continue working, and members of the early care and education workforce to remain employed and contributing to the state’s economic recovery. During the Great Recession from 2008–2011,…
              Abigail Jackson ’15        

    Abigail Jackson '15, will attend OperaWorks, a pre-professional summer opera training program in California. In the fall, she attend The University of Texas at Austin's Butler School of Music to pursue a Master of Music in Opera Performance.

              LA Art Show 2017 PhotoJournal Interview with Chinese Artist, Si Bowen by Ginger Van Hook        
    Chinese Artist from Beijing exhibits painterly expressions of time through space.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook©2017

    On the Opening Night of the LA Art Show 2017, the first artist to capture my eye with his painting was Si Bowen. This was not easy to do as I was carried away by the crowd at the entrance and was led through a throng of art lovers all but covering the paintings and artworks with their own presence of appreciation. The fact that we are about a week from the inauguration of a new President, it seemed fit to come across a painter with an outside perspective of our election process. Si Bowen, an artist born in Beijing, China who studied art not only in Beijing, but in France and New York, described to me that his rendering of the television debate versions of Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton were painted to describe the passage of time. Viewed as duplicate and triplicate images of Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton side by side on their podiums with hand gestures superimposed one over the other, yielded an out of focus picture of the debate postures from last year. That the image captured my eye because it looked politically vaguely amusing or satirical yet timely or that it expressed a unique and clever perspective was something that made me stop and want to meet the artist. The American People might agree that our process is somewhat murky when we transition from one administration to another, so the artist Si Bowen, might have captured in his painting, the unclarity of our union in mid-gesture. Nonetheless, his portfolio of non-political images was of even further interest as one of his favorites was the wonderful painterly expression and focus on his grandmother's hand. Si Bowen stated that he had studied in France as well as spent time in the arts in New York and that he started drawing at the age of three. When his father observed his talents, he enrolled him in the art schools at an early age. Some of the works that Si Bowen showed me in his catalogue were even more spiritually related than just his exploration of time and space and matters of death and spirituality. 

    Si Bowen is a multi-diciplinary artist creating works in sculpture, oil paint, and installation works. Si Bowen is represented by the LIAHONA ART SPACE representing the strong forces of young Chinese artists.

    PhotoJournal by 
    Ginger Van Hook, Photographer, Writer, Curator, Artist
    Van Hook Fine Arts, Beacon Arts Building Studio 1D
    808 N. La Brea Inglewood
    Los Angeles, California

              Ginger's Art Journal Features FINE ART TREKKIN in cities near you!        
    The FINE ART TREKKIN series of blogs represents specific communities in the Los Angeles, California Area, as well as the United States. 

    We are here to represent the FACTS about the Fine Art Community as documentary records. (F.A.C.T.S) PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE NOT A POLITICAL ORGANIZATION, nor do we cover politics, news, religion or crime beats. 

    FINE ART COMMUNITY TREKKIN SERIES of blogs seeks to provide a documentary slice of our culture as it exists in the new millennium, after the year 2000.

    WE ONLY REPRESENT THE INTERESTS OF ARTISTS IN THE FINE ARTS FOR SPECIFIC ART EVENTS with the permissions from the artists to promote their work.

    The FINE ART COMMUNITY TREKKIN SERIES© of Blogs is licensed and copyrighted to Ginger Van Hook© as of  2008. This series of documentary works is also licensed and copyrighted on YOU TUBE as videos by EnildeVanHook©. 
    THANK YOU for reading about our artworks and artists!






















    STUDIO CITY          




    AT VENICE              

    VENICE BEACH        

    NEAR USC               

    NEAR UCLA            

    MID WILSHIRE        

    SAN DIEGO             





    NEW YORK            
              Inglewood Community Garden Thrives with Art, Culture & Music!        
    Inglewood, California  Written by Ginger Van Hook May 20, 2010
            Inglewood Community Garden is a dream students at Morningside High School have realized today with the help of Inglewood City Council member, Ralph L. Franklin of District 4, Teachers and Mentors, Miss Roshondra Woods, World History Teacher, Mr. Shawn Stanton at Morningside High School with Mr. D'Artagnan Scorza, Director at The Social Justice Learning Institute, and Mr. Sirls, the Principal of Morningside High School. Photography Ginger Van Hook, 2010
    For some of the students, it was hard to believe that these beautiful green corn leaves had come from all this dirt and gravel, but the miracle on Yukon and 107th Street in Inglewood was in full bloom. A student by the name of Jazz told the audience that she has been disheartened at first to see that this was a big empty lot with what seemed endless rocks. Then the students started clearing the land and putting their hearts and souls into the earth and the soil responded to their efforts to grow everything from tomatoes to chilies, jalapenos, lettuce, squash as well as herbs like parsley and oregano too.

    'Jazz' told us about the transformation of the garden and the friendships that she had made. She explained how there was a new community where before there had been an empty space. The audience cheered for the success of the students and there was a heightened sense of community achievement in the air. There was a slight breeze coming from the ocean that brushed the leaves of the  tomatoes and the peppers ever so slightly. The sun beat down upon the earth and music filled the air. Musicians played the guitar and percussion rhythms with their hands and their bodies moved to the beat. Guests were invited to take a water bottle from the center of the garden and in ceremonious ritual to bless the land with the names of their ancestors. I watered a patch of tomatoes and recalled my grandparents in the past. It was hard to remain objective. I was involved. I was now a part of this new blessing upon the community.  I was no longer a reporter, witnessing for the writing of a story, I was pulled into the land, the dirt, the rocky earth and right into the story, taken in by the aroma of fresh tomato leaves and the scent of strawberry flowers and consequently, the encouragement of artistic, poetic, talented new friends.

    D'Artagnan ScorzaDirector for The Social Justice Learning Institute 
    said his students are working on a Food Initiative

     Mr. Sirls, the Principal of Morningside High School, gave the students and supporters encouragement then went over to the wall and autographed his hand print in green.
    Mr. Sirl leaves his mark on the community garden wall.

    Janet Simmons read her poem that she wrote for the Inglewood Community Garden:

    I dedicate...
    I dedicate...
    my words,
    my voice,
    my sound,
    and my choice...
    of speech
    I speak of here.
    I dedicate...
    I dedicate...
    what I have seeked here
    throughout, without and within this garden
    I dedicate...
    I dedicate...
    my rough hands
    and my
    rock indented knees
    my wind tormented hair 
    the dirt infected breeze
    that flows through this garden
    like a stream of music through my ears
    When it comes down to it
    this would not mean as much
    without you, me, us
    I dedicate myself to you.

    There were cooking demonstrations and watermelon slices.

    The Los Angeles Times came to cover the event and I captured Glenn Koenig working in earnest covering the tree planting ceremony. This Photo is by Ginger Van Hook, but at least four or five reporters were on scene to witness this miracle transforming strangers into friends, and smiles turning lives into a tight knit community bonding over vegetables and issues of social justice, friendship and healthy meals...All good things going on in the City of Inglewood!

    Julie Prejean a Forestry Senior Manager for TREE PEOPLE 
    came to support the garden opening and to donate and help plant  a special tree. 
    She told her eager audience of new gardeners that they could choose its name.

    City Council Member Ralph L. Franklin praised the students, 
    teachers and supporters for taking the initiative and making it all happen, 
    and 'what a beautiful day it is for a planting ceremony!'

    USC reporter Christine Trang from the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism
    interviewed various participants and was preparing her report for

    Inglewood Artists and supporters, Ken Ober, Renee Fox and Ceres Madoo, Alumni Relations at Otis College of Art and Design came to support the Morningside High School Community Garden Opening Ceremonies. 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook 2010.

    As an Inglewood Artist I was invited to attend this event, thanks to Ceres Madoo and when I arrived,  I did not know what to expect; but whatever it was to be, I knew this was a GREAT IDEA! As I milled about I got the opportunity to meet Mr. D'Artagnan Scorza who told me how the students from Morningside High School had gotten together to discuss civic engagement, how to show school spirit,  how to improve the community and how to better serve the needs of the school district.  The students themselves came up with the concept of a community garden, but at first, did not  have the means to make it happen. The original students were from Miss Roshondra's class and Mr. Shawn Stanton's class. A good idea took root then and there. One thing led to another and with the help of Inglewood City Council Member Ralph Franklin, their project got the encouragement and the support they needed right there from the school district's land.  
    This property belongs to the school so now the students are able to 
    develop a way to empower themselves to be a self sustaining community 
    with healthy nourishing meals for its students. 
    No better way to grow fine artists, fine students and fine citizens
    than to take the seeds and cultivate, 
    water frequently, daily, encourage with wisdom and respect for the land.
    The students have a great number of plans which includes a farmer's market, music, art and culinary culture events.

              The Art Of The Summer Garden 2009        
    A Photo-Journal Feature
    written and photographed by
    Ginger Van Hook

    Features Beverly Hills Artist

    Local Beverly Hills Artist Creates Art
    From Her Garden
    Launching a new project called

    A local artist and resident of Beverly Hills turned her garden into an art form by creating a project called “Plant It Forward”. Linda Kunik, an artist and alumna from Otis College of Art and Design has initiated a project to enhance her artistic community as well as inspire local artists to do the same. “Plant It Forward” is about establishing community while reconnecting with the earth, a vision which includes artists bartering for vegetables either by working in the garden or helping in the documentation of the garden’s delights by photographing, videotaping and or journaling about the experience. Ms. Kunik believes trading services for food in these tough economic times makes sense because while cultivating the soil, a group of artists will also cultivate friendships and nourish the community. The foundation of Linda Kunik’s work is to get back to the roots of sustainable agriculture. “Plant It Forward” does exactly what it says. The seeds are planted now and the fruits of this labor go forward to feed people who take from the harvest the inspiration to plant their own gardens.

    “…My vision is for everyone to have their own garden, large or small and if that is not possible, to raise enough awareness for the people to shop locally and support their local Farmer’s Markets…” Ms. Kunik states as she points to the five large gardens she created in the back yard of her home, replacing flowerbeds and lawns in order to plant vegetables, herbs and fruit trees. Kunik wanted to give back to her community, raise awareness of the need for personal gardens and utilize the artistic medium to make her statement. “My work has always referenced the land. From my early days as a watercolorist painting landscapes to later works making paintings of deforestation or global warming; the beauty and fragility of the earth has been a recurring theme. Combining my agricultural practice with my art-making seems to be an natural evolution.”

    The prospect of jumping into an artistic adventure to produce homegrown fruits and vegetables with a group of fellow artists was contagious. Thus the enthusiasm carried this labor of love into the summer as Ms. Kunik worked with a group of artists to bring in soil, create raised beds and began to fill them with the seeds of tomatoes, carrots, spinach, lettuce, corn, and a variety of herbs, citrus fruits and assorted vegetables. Some of the artists participating in Plant It Forward include Juna Amano (Painting & Sculpture), Marissa Magdalena (Installation, Performance and Drawing), Ofunne Obiamawe (Photographer), Suzanne Oshinsky (Videographer), Michiko Smith (Painting), Whitney Stolich (Photographer) and Ginger Van Hook (Photographer) as well as the new artists joining every week.

    It is the zenith of summer now and already some of the tomatoes have ripened looking fat, juicy and red. In recent weeks, there have already been harvests of endive lettuce, carrots and radishes. The important element in the formation of this garden is the artistic component of Ms. Kunik’s vision. The raised beds and gardens are shaped into asymmetrical forms with a walking path between them. Large Sunflowers adorn the corners of each of the vegetable beds and the aromas of fresh tomatoes and rosemary mixes with the fragrances of roses and lavender permeating the air in her back yard.

    Linda Kunik has written a blog about her work and continues to support the arts by highlighting the artistry of organic gardening in photography and painting. She also founded a community artist forum called the O Salon. The O Salon is where artists network and take part in conceptual critique as well as share information about each other’s works. Ms. Kunik is involved in a number of professional organizations including the Los Angeles Art Association, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Docent Council and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

    Linda Kunik photographed beside her painting
    Exhibition at Gallery 825 in Los Angeles, California, 2008
    (Photo by Ginger Van Hook)

    Plant It Forward-the starving artist project

    Additional artists websites and blogs:

    • Juna Amano (Painting & Sculpture)

    • Marissa Magdalena (Installation, Performance and Drawing)

    • Ofunne Obiamawe (Photographer)

    • Suzanne Oshinsky (Videographer)

    • Michiko Smith (Painting)

    • Whitney Stolich (Photographer)

    • Ginger Van Hook (Photographer)

    • Luke Van Hook (Painting)

    "Plant It Forward" : The week of June 07, 2009

    "Plant It Forward" : The week of July 01, 2009

    "Plant It Forward" : The week of July 08, 2009

    "Plant It Forward" : The week of July 15, 2009

    "Plant It Forward" : The week of July 22, 2009

    "Plant It Forward" : The week of July 29, 2009

    "Plant It Forward" : The week of August 5, 2009

    Artist, Linda Kunik planted a garden to share with fellow artists.

    "Plant It Forward" : The day of August 08, 2009


    "Plant It Forward" : The Week of August 12, 2009

    "Plant It Forward" : Week of August 19, 2009

              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.

    The Art of Lovin’ Trees-- 
    Featuring Artist Joel Tauber
    Story dedicated to Joel and Alison
    in celebration of their joyous engagement on November 9th,

    Written and Researched by Enilde Van Hook
    Story Consult and Editing by Luke Van Hook

     America is having a love affair with trees and California is second to none in leading its appreciation of trees. Digging deep into the roots of this story, I have followed and researched the tree culture specifically in Los Angeles where our love of trees has spawned a unique pop tree culture relating to art. Our popular tree culture today includes but is not limited to tree sculptures, tree paintings, tree photographs, tree videos, tree poetry, tree songs, tree jewelry, tree movies and even tree love affairs. 

    Tree Earing created by Joel Tauber for his Sick-Amour Tree in Pasadena, California.
    Additional Tree Jewelry created by Joel Tauber to adorn the Sick-Amour Tree includes leaf jewelry, as well as the male earing and the female earing that hang from the tree below.  
    Photos of tree jewelry courtesy of  Susanne Vielmetter Gallery 5795 West Washington Blvd., Culver City, California 90232 (323-933-2117)

    Sick-Amour Tree in the parkinglot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl, protected by barriers installed by Joel Tauber in his quest to save his beloved tree. Tree wearing the earings looks hot!  Photo courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Gallery.
    Leaf sculpture by Joel Tauber
    Female tree earing by Joel Tauber.
    Male tree earing created by Joel Tauber, photo courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Gallery, 2008

    For the record, our love of trees goes way back to the dawn of time when we were swinging in the trees, however, our love has grown and matured since then. The Greek and Roman heritage of literature and art bestows us with intoxicating stories of their Gods having entanglements with humans. Some of their deities were known as protectors of trees and nature such as Dionysus the Greek god of agriculture, fertility, wine and merriment. He was later renamed Bacchus by the Romans and reported to be the Tree God. Back in the day when artists carved trees into stone and marble relief sculptures to worship in the temples of their mythological gods, people celebrated the sacredness of trees, grapevines and sometimes the unions of gods and mortals. There was Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees who married Vertumnus, the god of fruits and gardens. Digging deep enough, one is sure to find stories of deities mating with trees and spawning children of the harvest for instance.

    In modern literary circles there are a number of great imaginative family favorites written about trees, like “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. Then there’s the infamous story of how Robinson Crusoe lived in a tree-house, and of utmost importance to our American history of trees, we propagate the very memorable legend of ‘Johnny Appleseed’.

    In our contemporary times we have a legend in the making too. I have been fortunate to witness the emergence of a new ‘Johnny Appleseed’ and interestingly enough, the story involves a recent romantic love affair between one special tree and a mortal that is well worth pursuing the story. Sometime in the fall of in 2007, I met Joel Tauber. This is the artist who I believe was struck by a mythological bolt of lighting, so to speak, pertaining to one of the Greek or Roman deities’. Joel Tauber is said to have fallen head over heels in love with one particular Sycamore Tree in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. My chance meeting with this now famous mortal under the influence of an enchanted mystical spell, has led me to research the mysteries intrinsic in the charms of trees. I too have been struck with the frailty of trees, their vulnerabilities, and their enormous strengths and inspiration. This together with my own personal experiences with trees has prompted me to come out of my shell and discuss the subject in all seriousness.

    My own personal background is not in trees. I am simply a tree-lover from childhood. For a little over ten years, my professional background was in radio as a disc jockey and on-air personality. I listened to music, reviewed songs and kept tabs on the pop music culture. I worked in the Los Angeles market as well as Santa Barbara, California; Eventually I moved to expand my work experience in neighboring radio markets like Reno, Carson City, Lake Tahoe and Gardnerville/Minden, Nevada. It was through traveling that I saw some of the most beautiful trees along the routes through Northern California and Northern Nevada!
    While I drove from one radio market to another over the years, I watched the trees go by at the various speed limits along the highways of my life’s journeys. Thus you will understand when I tell you that often I see art and life, for that matter, through a series of moving images in my head which include a music bed. 
    I was eleven years old when in 1970, Joni Mitchell wrote and released a song called ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ whose lyrics surpassed the test of time and is currently in airplay by a glut of new groups. The lyrics began with “…They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum and they charged all the people a dollar and a half just to see ‘em.” One of the barometers I use to gage the influence of any particular song, music or artwork that I come into contact with is if it will surpass the test of time, among other important criteria. This song became one of my favorite songs of all time. The lyrics made so much sense to me.
    When I met Joel Tauber, I was introduced to the enormous scope of his Sick-Amour Tree-Baby Project. It was then that I suddenly started hearing Joni Mitchell’s song in my mind again, only this time, as I got in my car, Counting Crows was performing the song. When I started doing more research on the song that I could not get out of my head, I was struck by how many artists had re-recorded the song and barely changed anything about the words. There is Amy Grant, who upgraded the dollar amount from $1.50 to $25 when singing about how much the museums charged people to enter. Additionally there is Green Day, Sarah McLachlan, Charlie Barker, Bob Dylan, Moya Brennan, Ireen Sheer, Donnie Eidt and a host of so many others that have recorded ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ it was simply overwhelming!
    I think the importance of the lyrics to this one particular song is that it reveals the fact that people love trees and hate parking lots. The message is that if it weren’t for our trees, we could be living in a frying pan! The impact of this single song is that it reveals what is really going on in people’s minds. There is a reason why so many artists are flocking to re-record the lyrics in their own way.

    Not only are trees involved in the music arena, trees as subjects, are very involved in politics as well. Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin at the time, took a leading role in developing the celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd 1970 as a way to commemorate our environmental concerns. Arbor Day is presently celebrated as well with the first ceremonial tree planting in Washington D.C. on April 27th in 2001, all evidence that goes to prove the people of our planet do care about what happens to our trees.

    Trees stand as a testiment and memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King

    Dr. Martin Luther King is memorialized with trees along Expositon Blvd. across from the Los Angeles Coliseum and down the street from the University of Southern California.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Online sources on the subject of trees are rich in number. For instance, eighteen years ago, here in Los Angeles, a multi racial group of volunteers planted 400 Canary Island Pine trees along seven miles of road on Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s life. Today, this living homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continues to thrive and keep the dream alive for his followers. The founder and President of is Mr. Andy Lipkis and he keeps tabs on the trees to make sure all 400 trees stay healthy.

    Mayor Antonio Villarigosa is the person to thank for the ‘Million Trees Initiative’ he signed into effect in May of 2006 and Los Angeles residents can learn how they too can receive up to 7 free trees to plant on their property. Visit the website at to learn the details.   Also in Portland, Oregon there is and in Bellingham Washington you will find There is also the International Society of Arboriculture called ISA and can be accessed by visiting You will also find a great deal of valuable advise on the growth and care of trees at and check out Tree Care Industry Association TCIA as well.

    Mark Dion created an art piece titled "Library for the Birds of Antwerp" which is also a good example of how art is vitally connected with our tree culture and how it connects Mark Dion to his PBS special where he removed a dead tree from the forest and recreated its living components in a city scape in Washington.  From the "20th Century Artbook Phaidon Press 1996", the caption reads: "Using props from the natural and man-made world, Dion has constructed an installation that explores contemporary attitudes to science and the environment. He has created a fictional and hybridized situation in which the trappings associated with knowledge, learning and classification--such as books and photographs--are juxtaposed with natural elements including birds and wood.   The representation of nature is a fundamental subject in Dion's art, and here he takes on the role of sociologist/anthropologist and blurring the boundaries between authentic and fake, representation and parody. By adopting the persona of a scientist and by satirizing man's obsession with categorization, Dion questions the values of the Western world.  His subject matter is heavily influence by popular culture.  In Dion's world we might witness Mickey Mouse as an explorer, or Clark Kent interviewing Dr. Frankenstein." (Photo and contents are used in this story for purposes of artistic review.)

    In the art world, an artist named Mark Dion was featured in a documentary film report that aired in 2007. To view the video one may visit on the Internet by going to and find Mark Dion as he took the subject of trees and made an art piece that explored what would happen if one were to take a tree after its death, take it out of its familial context of natural forest, and re-create the ecosystem in an environment that would otherwise be a hostile urban setting, needless to say, a cityscape. Just outside of Seattle Washington, he states, a Hemlock fell on February 8th, 1996…and so begins an elaborate experiment that pits optimism against reality." The PBS special is very detailed and you will enjoy the depth of research and work that Mark Dion went to to take a tree out of the forest and recreate the setting in the city.  The difference between the artwork presented by Mark Dion and  the artwork presented by Joel Tauber is in the nature of the life of the tree. Mark Dion works with a dead tree and its living components, and Joel Tauber creates life out of a tree seed and duplicates it all over his community.

    Thus I’ve discovered for myself that when I researched the subject of trees, I discovered Joel Tauber wasn’t alone! However, instead of creating an experiment in ecology, Joel Tauber goes further than Mark Dion does with this concept of eco-systems and their frailties. Joel Tauber begins a journey that could eventually repair the eco-systems that man has destroyed. This is where Joel Tauber takes the lead in the art world and becomes not only the realist but the optimistic hope for trees in desecrated forests all over the country.
    Joel Tauber’s work as a living project of art in 2008 has resonance and his story is well worth telling again and again. He is certainly not the first, nor the last to get involved in the love of trees, but he is the first in contemporary times to have been associated with a mythological and mystical occurrence of reproducing tree babies out of just hugging one lonely tree.

    The last time I saw a man hugging a tree, he was hugging the tree for all the wrong reasons. At the MOCA, Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art, some years back I was viewing an exhibition that was in town by the Utah born artist now working in Los Angeles, Paul McCarthy. While this work of art depicted a very raw and unsettling sculpture of ‘tree-lovin’ it had nothing whatsoever to do with the love of any tree. The work displayed a timely political statement about our government rather than the love for trees, but bear in mind that the thought involved images from man’s intimate involvement with trees both in the biblical sense and in the sense of man’s raping of the planet. Joel Tauber’s work counteracts the devastation of many years of neglect for our trees with a very basic recipe for the renewal of our commitment to our green-leafed friends. Now, when I see the image of Joel Tauber hugging his Sycamore Tree in Pasadena, I get a whole new perspective for the love for our planet, our trees and our environment as a whole.

    "The Garden" by Paul McCarthy from The 20th Century Art Book, 
    Phaidon Press Limited, page 280. Photo is used for purposes of artistic review.
    The caption in the book reads as follows: " 'The Garden'  is a full-scale tableau of an outdoor, woodland scene, complete with leafy trees, shrubs and rocks.  This tranquil picture of nature is rudely interrupted by the presence of a middle-aged, balding man with his trousers round his ankles, engaged in a wholly unnatural act. From one side of the installation, his actions are not immediately apparent, being partially hidden by the tree trunks and foliage, but the sound of mechanical activity draws the viewer in to discover the shocking sight of a man copulating with a tree.  This robotic figure, with its endlessly repetitive movements, is both comical and crude, and is intended by McCarthy to question notions of acceptable public behavior and sexual morality.  McCarthy is a lecturer at UCLA as well as an artist. His sculptural installations evolved out of his earlier performance work which focused on his own body engaged in extreme and disturbing acts."

    To further explain this romantic entanglement between a tree and a mortal, I cite some important historical facts. Back in 2005, Joel Tauber was in the parking lot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl, when he spotted a particularly lonely and neglected Sycamore Tree. There are hundreds of thousands of trees in Pasadena, and a great number of them thrive very well on the grounds of the Rose Bowl, should you ever drive through this luscious community of tree and rose-lovers, you will see. But Joel Tauber focused his attention on one specific lonely tree. He started to note more and more how cars would hit the bark of the tree and scrape it, injuring the tree repeatedly. Joel Tauber became a witness to this tree’s life. Taking compassion and friendship upon this particular tree, Tauber began to film the area of the parking lot where the tree was growing. He got the idea to put up solid barriers to protect it from cars and also carried water in large plastic bags to irrigate the tree. Soon, Tauber found himself as a one-man band, orchestrating a symphony of activities leading to editing mass quantities of tree footage, fighting City Hall, and embarking on a quest to save this tree from infertility using tried and true guerilla tactics that would make tree-huggers stand and salute. To personally view the Sick-Amour project, along with the giant scale tree sculpture installation exhibited at Susanne Vielmetter Gallery in 2007, you may visit

                   Recently, I had the privilege and opportunity to discuss Joel Tauber’s work with Susanne Vielmetter and she was delighted to tell me what a wonderful sense of humor that Tauber exhibits in all of his works of art. Susanne Vielmetter reviewed the Underwater project with me as well as the Flying Project which Tauber presented.
    She explained how deep down, she feels Tauber is on a quest for meaning in his work and that he has a keen sense of humor that unifies and makes his ideas successful. She states that he uses the comical and the tragic in the Tree-Baby project to address the issues of urban living in our time and very subtly pokes fun at the problems innate in urban planning. The real irony of a small Sycamore tree dying of thirst in a parking lot of a beautiful park in a paradise-like valley, alongside the 110 Pasadena Freeway where 80% of the territory is plastered with concrete and the water below runs along asphalt channels of the Los Angeles River is not lost on Tauber, she explained. To contrast, Susanne Vielmetter cited that parks in Europe allow for weeds to grow naturally on landscapes that are not covered with concrete. Joel Tauber’s projects were initially presented at the Susanne Vielmetter Gallery located at 5795 Washington Blvd., in Culver City, California. The response Susanne Vielmetter’s Gallery received was incredibly exciting, even though at first, some folks thought Joel Tauber was a nut; he went on to prove just how serious he really is about changing the landscape of our environment, one tree at a time.

    Joel Tauber has a large body of video artwork, photographs and developing tree babies, (the children of a mortal and a Charmed Sycamore Tree) and one may also visit
    As I learned more and more about Joel Tauber’s project, I realized how blessed we all are that tree-lovin’ is not a singular act of love or even a fleeting love of art. I realized how connected we all are to our environment and how the idea of having a special friend ‘the tree’, any tree in any state, in any country for that matter is a beautiful connection to have. The connection that Joel Tauber has to his Sycamore Tree is in synch with the love that the country is experiencing during our new millennium. We have all become acutely aware of the fragility of life; we realize now more than ever that we must respect our dependence on our environment and value our trees.

    The first thing that struck me about Joel Tauber was that we had the love of trees in common. He seemed a bit shy, unassuming and humble yet I was later to learn the enormous power he wielded for this one frail and neglected tree in the parking lot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl in California. I was truly inspired by the level of involvement and commitment he had demonstrated for his own beloved Sycamore Tree which he had turned into a full-blown art-project including video, photography and sculptured jewelry. (He did it all!) He named this work the Sick-Amour Project mainly because he said he felt this tree was ill from the lack of love and the inability to have tree babies to fulfill its legacy. I had never personally met someone with such an extreme love and dedication to one particular tree. In our local newscasts, I had heard stories of people who became very emotional when a land developer was about to cut down a tree they considered a relic of their community; in which case people got very nasty about the issue and would chain themselves to the trees or surround the location with demonstrators that would shut down the jobsite. That’s when the news crews would come in with their cameras and boom mikes and the news helicopters would hover in circles above the trees trying to capture the ‘event’ that was creating all the uproar. A very recent example of this type of community behavior is written about on the front pages of the Los Angeles Times where Eric Bailey, a Times Staff Writer, wrote an extensive story about the tree-issues pertaining to Scotia, California where activists are protesting the logging of the Great California REDWOODS! Read the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times, August 24th, 2008 or visit online to learn how the tree-sitters are doing today.

    But Joel Tauber is a different type of activist. He doesn’t consider himself an activist at all. He merely states, humbly, just for the record, that he loves this one particular Sycamore Tree and it is an outrage to him to see how his new best friend is being suffocated under a six-inch blanket of black tar and asphalt. Better yet, Joel Tauber does something about it. Not with a crew of forty thousand demonstrators, not even with a crew of forty residents. He does this on his own, quietly challenging the laws of the city of Pasadena and humbly takes responsibility for the care and nurturing of his new best friend. I was touched. At once I began to marvel at his potent idea.

    The art of loving our trees has grown roots in the higher levels of the art world as well. For instance, if one were to visit the J. Paul Getty Museum both at the Getty Villa which recently re-opened in Malibu and at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, you will find the love of trees has grown branches on all the hillsides surrounding both properties. There are lucky Sycamores and fortunate Pines; there are Pomegranate trees, Apple trees, Pear trees, Jacaranda trees and trees that just look good in a vista overlooking the ocean. Millions of dollars went into the development of artistic gardens which envelope the California landscape against a backdrop of the Pacific Ocean on one edge and the rolling hills of Malibu on the other.

    Over in the area of the Miracle Mile, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is celebrating an enormous renovation of its facilities and you guessed it, there are aisles and isles of gigantic palm trees lining the walkways to the entrance of the museum in concert with a unique and flamboyant architecture that has drawn the attention of the art-world with the generosity of Eli and Edythe Broad of the Broad Foundation. The Broad Contemporary Art Museum is the new wing at the LACMA and is considered the largest space in the country devoted exclusively to contemporary art. With a ‘living art display’ dedicated to the iconic palm trees, not native to California, Robert Irwin has developed a plein-air walkway through ‘Palm Gardens’ as one makes their way to the entrances of the museum.

    Lush green trees thrive all over Pasadena, California, home of the Rose Bowl where Joel Tauber fell in love with a Sycamore Tree.  Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2008

     The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California  is also home to some of the most exquisite antiquities in its museum history which includes sculptures amid a forest like atmosphere. Currently at the Norton Simon Museum, among its many exhibitions, one may enjoy the artwork of Ruth Weisberg, Dean of the Gayle Garner Roski School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California. Opening on October 17, 2008 the Weisberg exhibition at the Norton Simon runs through March 2, 2009. Additionally a lecture by the artist is planned where Weisberg discusses: Guido Cagnacci and the Resonant Image on Sunday November 16, 2008.  The Norton Simon Museum of Art is located at 411 West Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, California. Ruth Weisberg was instrumental in selecting the work of Joel Tauber to be permanently planted on the Main University Campus of USC on January 24, 2008 where a tree planting ceremony was held and attended by numerous members of USC faculty, staff, students and guests. The location of the new tree-baby, child of the Sick-Amour Project, currently exists on the Exposition side of the campus between Gate one and the Fischer Gallery, across the street from the Museum of Natural History. 

    In Pasadena, where lovers of trees line every street of the city as the landscapes are lush with all types of trees and where these wonderful healthy trees keep cool the throngs of tourists who visit the Rose Bowl every year, is also home to the Norton Simon Museum and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Both locations are areas where tree-lovin’ may be experienced alongside some of California’s best-known artworks. Visit the NORTON SIMON MUSEUM at located at 411 West Colorado, Pasadena, California 91105 or visit the PASADENA MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA ART at at 490 East Union Street, Pasadena, California.

    In San Marino, California, the art of trees, gardens and succulents has found a worthy haven at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens spanning an area of 120 acres dedicated to the fine arts founded by Henry E. Huntington in 1928 as the very first public art gallery in Southern California. Along with English portraits and French eighteenth-century furniture, one will delight in tours of the unique garden paradise established for the pure love of the botanical arts.

    On the hillside along the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles, one may also enjoy walking along the elegant landscapes of the Skirball Cultural Center and Museum grounds and witness the serenity of the trees as Weeping Willows slope their leaves to the ground, and gentle breezes sway the branches of Sycamores, Oaks and Birch trees. Visit the Skirball Museum online at, or enjoy a personal walk along the grounds and explore the tributes to culture at 2701 North Sepulveda, Los Angeles 90049.

    Trees at the Skirball Museum and Cultural Center thrive and enjoy the mild California climate.

    In San Diego, one enjoys walking through a vast museum complex housing 15 unique museums in Balboa Park, not to mention to the collection of rare cactus and enormous Eucalyptus trees (just to name one tree type out of numerous ones) which shade the paths leading from one museum to another.

    Each of the locations I have mentioned or described here is where I personally walked through, witnessed, and or photographed sophisticated artistic tree landscapes of the California terrain.

    The Roots of my personal anxieties: Why I care.

    The impact of my meeting Joel Tauber coincided with an important event that took place for me way before I knew about his Sick-Amour Tree project and was what eventually led me to throw myself into this frenzied study of trees over this summer. Thus I do not necessarily consider myself struck by any of the Greek or Roman gods. I believe my influence came with a special awareness of the frailty of trees with this personal story:

    A little over one year ago, on June 30th, 2007 I was walking our dog Sasha, around the block for one of our frequent walks. I rounded the corner to the next block when I was taken aback as I witnessed a set of ‘city’ crewmembers slaughtering what appeared to be a California Oak tree. I had grown quite fond of that particular Oak on my many walks while I was writing my first novel. As a matter of fact, I had used that model of tree to describe a forest of these trees in a chapter in my first fiction novel. I especially love the sculptured texture of the Mighty gnarly Oaks. This tree had been the one to rekindle my relationship with the trees of my imagination. My stomach got queasy when I saw how it was being destroyed. I would have thrown-up, but I got a hold of my emotions and took Sasha home. Not only did I return to the scene of the slaughter, but I brought my camera to document the death and dismemberment of this great oak; I was so distraught that I returned again to the site, without my camera this time, and begged the men to stop for a moment while I sought out the seeds for this tree. To my surprise, the men stopped and helped me search for the seeds.

    When I got home, I had no idea what to do with the seeds. I called a couple of nurseries until a gentleman at a nursery in Marina del Rey explained to me that I had to wait until the pods dried up and slit to get at the seeds and plant them. So, I waited until the pods were black and wrinkled. I split them according to the directions I had gotten from this kind anonymous arborist. (He suggested a process much like that which squirrels have for cracking the pods.) I photographed the seeds and compared them with the larger seed of an apricot fruit tree and the seed of a maple tree.

    Once properly documented, I planted them in a small brown pot. Two weeks later, the first seed came up. A few days later another seed appeared to take root. On the one-year anniversary of the re-birth day of this Great Knurly Oak tree, July 20th, 2008, I documented how large the great twin oaks had become. The highest little bitty branch was about fourteen inches tall. I estimated this tree had grown a little over an inch every month. A compassionate act of kindness yielded a new life on the impulse of grief. The impulse of grief affected not only me; there is an entire world of tree-lovers mourning the losses of their favorite tree friends in surrounding communities.

    What about the subconscious feelings innate in developing a relationship with a tree? For instance, what draws people to want to save a particular tree? 

    I can really only speak to my own experience in that my relationship with trees started when I was a child.

              INGLEWOOD ARTWALK NOVEMBER 8TH 2008        
    Artists Kenneth H. Ober and Renee A. Fox both graduates of Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles participated in and were instrumental in organizing the very first Inglewood Artist Artwalk and Open Studios in October of 2007.  One may visit their website by clicking                
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2007

    Renee Fox poses in front of one of her paintings exhibited in the Gallery 825 in Los Angeles, located at 825 La Cienega, hosted by the Los Angeles Art Association (LAAA) in conjunction with the 90th Anniversary Celebration for Otis College of Art and Design. 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2008

    Kenneth H. Ober, graduate of Otis College of Art and Design, Artist and Painter participating in the Inglewood Artwalk Open Studios Tour November 8th, 2008.

    Kate Harding participated in the very first Inglewood Artwalk Open Studios Tour on October 13th, 2007. Kate Harding was born in Martinsville, Indiana. Before she was old enough to start school, she would draw while her mother painted realistic wildlife and landscape paintings. While in kindergarten, in 1986, Harding became the youngest person to ever hold a U.S. Patent, when she won The Weekly Reader National Invention Contest. Her invention, the "Mud-Puddle Spotter", took her to New York City for the first time, where she was on Late Nights with David Letterman.  After High School,  Harding moved to New York City to study fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, but after a year and a half of fashion classes, found herself painting in her dorm room into the early hours of the morning. Taking the hint, she changed her major to fine art and received her Associate degree from FIT in 2001, then moved to Los Angeles to attend Otis College of Art and Design, receiving her bachelor of Fine Art Degree in Fine Arts in 2003.  Currently she is an artist practicing in Inglewood. 
    The First Annual Inglewood Artist Artwalk and Open Studios Tour October 13, 2007  drew a number of participating artists and residents to view the studios and the artists studio spaces. Pictured from left to right are visiting artist Luke Van Hook, Mrs. Anderson, Sean Anderson and Isis and Sebastian, friends of Sean's. In the Anderson studios the artwork reflected paintings by both of the Anderson brothers, Benjamin and Sean.  Work from these two artists may be viewed by visiting and  Art by Luke Van Hook may be visited by clicking on
    Artist Benjamin Anderson is pictured with his wife and child to be (October 2007). Benjamin stated that the latest addition of art they were blessed with was a baby boy they named Luke Anderson. Benjamin Anderson is currently participating in the Inglewood Artist Open Studios Tour on November 8th, 2008.  Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2007

    Sean Anderson, posing by his artwork, Inglewood Artist Artwalk Open Studios, 2007. 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Benjamin and Sean Anderson, Inglewood Open Studios Tour, October 13, 2007.

    Benjamin Anderson poses in front of one of his original paintings, October 13, 2007, Inglewood Artist Open Studios, First Annual.  
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2007

    INGLEWOOD ARTISTS OPEN STUDIO second annual show!

    It’s time for another open studios in Inglewood on Saturday the 8th of November.

    THERE ARE quite a few more artists involved this year, 
    so IT should be a good opportunity to have a behind the scenes look into some great artists…
    (and possibly get some very affordable deals for the holidays)

    To see the blog go to:

    Inglewood Open Studios : 15 locations around Inglewood

    Saturday November 8th, 2-7pm

    Locations throughout Inglewood – see on-line map:

    Contact: Renée A. Fox


    Participating artists:

    Ben Anderson, Kavin Buck, Ericka Chapman, Rob Faucette, Renée A. Fox, Todd Gray, Cindi Gunadi, Ulysses Jenkins, Elisa Johns, Michael Massenburg, Gale McCall, Christopher Lawrence Mercier, Willie Middlebrook, Kenneth H. Ober, Claudia Parducci, Joan Robey, Dustin Shuler, Kyungmi Shin, Stanley Smith, May Sun, MonaLisa Whitaker, Edward Ewell.

    Inglewood Open Studios is an all day event in which artists, with studios in Inglewood, will open their working spaces to the public. Recent work of these artists will be on view. Although Inglewood is not known for art, it has a sizable and vibrant artist community. There are also public art treasures throughout the city, such as Helen Lundeberg's 1940 mural "The History of Transportation", a detail of which is being used as the image for the 2008 Open Studios. Maps to Inglewood public art locations will be available at all participating studios.

    Conceptually and materially diverse, these artists have the most common thread of proximity, however, they are also joined by the sense of a supportive community. Inglewood artists are professionals, teachers, business owners and students. A few are alumni of Otis College of Art & Design, whose modern campus is, like Inglewood, in the "Airport Area", but located in neighboring Westchester. Inglewood boasts a variety of commercial spaces amidst residential areas, perfect for artists, some of which can be seen on November 8th.

    On Saturday, November 8th from 2pm-7pm, more than twenty artists will open their studios throughout the neighborhood. Maps, like the one attached, will be available at all sites, showing numbers of the locations of all studios open for the event. Each studio will display a large number on the outside of their building, to make them easy to find. Street parking is readily available throughout the city although visitors are urged to pay attention to street parking signs.

    Drawing composed by Los Angeles Artist Steven Bankhead for his show at Circus Gallery 
    April 5th - May 10th 2008 titled  "Battery" visit: 323-96208506

    Writer and Photographer Ginger Van Hook photographed beside her husband, Artist and Painter, Luke Van Hook, August 2008 for Luke Van Hook's show "Circle in the Square" exhibition at the Brand Library Art Gallery August 2nd, 2008.  Ginger and Luke Van Hook plan to attend the Inglewood Artists Second Annual Artwalk and Open Studios Tour November 8th, 2008.  Both Luke and Ginger Van Hook work in their Inglewood Studio in 
    Los Angeles County, California. Visit them online at and as well as 
    Photo courtesy of  Peter Bolten, 2008

    Artists practicing and working in Inglewood have opportunities to buy supplies close by at 

    (A business run by artists for artists)
     1111 and 1115 North La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, California 90302-1212 
    business phone: 310-677-3775

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    We also support the Monrovia Arts Festival Association which is undergoing a change of name this year. In addition to the changes featured in Monrovia Library Park, with the new Library construction, Monrovia Arts Festival Association is about to be renamed the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts to better define the role of the arts in the community of Monrovia.
    The Monrovia Arts Festival Association will continue to serve the arts and artists as well as the after school art programs in Monrovia as well as surrounding communities and schools. I firmly believe, the younger a child is exposed to the arts, in terms of reading, writing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, digital media, comic book art and art history just to name a few of the variety of arts, the more creative a child will grow into adulthood and the more rewarding our communities will be to thrive in.
              Best Time To Invest in Art, NOW! by Ginger Van Hook        
    TV celebrity Jason Alexander supports the arts at the TAG Gallery in Santa Monica, California on August 18, 2007 for the CALIFORNIA OPEN EXHIBITION show juried by Peter Frank. Now showing NEW WORKS, painting, mixed media, sculpture, photography and video through September 1st 2007. Jason Alexander, an actor who played the part of "George" in the long running and popular hit TV show "Seinfeld",
    is pictured here beside sculpture artist Ali Alinejad.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

    Artist, Melanie Rothschild

    Artist, Patsy Cox

    Artist, Yuriko Etue

    Artist, Jerrin Wagstaff



    16:1 Gallery, Santa Monica, California Summer 2007


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

    Showing August 11 through September 8, 2007

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



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

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



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

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

    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

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

    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

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

              SeaWorld keeps its word; Landmark legislation to help captive whales is one step closer in California        
    In an unprecedented move, today the California Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife committee voted twelve to one in support of legislation what will permanently ban the breeding of captive orcas in California. AB 2305 will not only prohibit the breeding of captive orcas, it will allow only educational displays of the existing animals.  Dr. Naomi Rose from the
              Comment on Contact by December California Shows | Ben Flocks Music        
    [...] Contact [...]
              Plenty of pacific voyages for your sailing adventure        
    Cruises to Alaska dominate the offerings, but itineraries also include such destinations as California, Hawaii and Japan   As much as I love travelling overseas to Europe, Asia and abroad, I have to admit that it’s really nice to be […]
              viviendo en la tierra de alicia bay laurel        
    Viviendo en la Tierra

    “Celebraciones, avisos de tormenta, fórmulas, recetas, rumores y danzas campestres
    recolectadas por Alicia Bay Laurel.”

    Kachina Ediciones quiere editar por primera vez en castellano la guía clásica para la vida natural, bohemia y alternativa en el campo escrita por Alicia Bay Laurel en la comuna Wheeler Ranch en el norte de California a finales de los sesenta. La biblia del movimiento back-to-the-land y las comunas hippies de la década de los setenta que capturó el espíritu de toda una generación. 

    Para esta edición en castellano, Kachina Ediciones ha puesto en marcha una campaña de financiación que finaliza este domingo 11 de junio, si la campaña finaliza con éxito, el libro estará a la venta el próximo mes de septiembre:

    Colabora en el crowdfunding para la edición de Viviendo en la Tierra

    Viviendo en la Tierra es para aquellos que prefieren cortar leña para el fuego antes que trabajar en una oficina para pagar la factura de la compañía eléctrica. Un libro diseñado sin índices, sin capítulos, sin reglas ni estructuras, un libro que se construye sobre el aprendizaje del día a día.

    Escrito e ilustrado a mano por Alicia Bay Laurel cuando esta tenía tan sólo 19 años, como si se tratara de un diario, originalmente fue concebido como una guía destinada exclusivamente a distribuirse internamente entre las comunas. El libro fue publicado por The Bookworks en Berkeley, California y se agotó inmediatamente. Random House lo reeditó en 1971 y vendió más de 350.000 copias en pocos meses convirtiéndose así en un New York Times Bestseller. Viviendo en la Tierra cambió radicalmente la forma de concebir un libro y con su estilo ha influido durante décadas a numerosos artistas y diseñadores.

    Más allá de su utilidad como una guía DIY de artesanía, jardinería, construcción, remedios caseros y recetas, Viviendo en la Tierra documenta la vida en las utópicas comunas de finales de los sesenta. Traducido al japonés y al coreano -y ahora por primera vez al castellano-, en 2012 el libro fue elegido como uno de los 101 libros de cocina americanos más influyentes del siglo XX. Entre 2016 y 2017, fue expuesto en varios museos en retrospectivas sobre la cultura hippie.
    Pero además, para muchas personas, Viviendo en la Tierra es una fuente de inspiración espiritual, ya que es un exponente del placer de la vida sin apenas dinero ni bienes materiales, viviendo en contacto con la naturaleza y protegiéndola, viviendo en armonía con los demás.

    Alicia Bay Laurel (1949, Hollywood, California) creció en un ambiente intelectual estrechamente relacionado con las artes y políticamente activo. Tras cursar estudios de arte, con diecinueve años se trasladó a la comuna Wheeler Ranch donde comenzó a escribir e ilustrar Viviendo en la Tierra, libro que le dio fama y reconocimiento internacional. Además de escritora e ilustradora, Alicia es una cantautora y música de éxito y ha grabado siete discos desde 1970. Fue alumna del reconocido guitarrista John Fahey y en su carrera ha tocado géneros tan dispares como el psych folk, el blues, la canción protesta o la música Hawaiiana.

    En 1973 en colaboración con Ramón Sender Barayon -hijo del escritor Ramón J. Sender y conocido activista del movimiento hippie de los 60- escribió e ilustró el libro Being The Sun, que más tarde se convirtió también en disco.
    Se trasladó a Maui en 1974 y desde entonces ha ejercido numerosas profesiones, incluyendo entre otras muchas la de fotógrafa submarina, empresaria o profesora de primaria.

    Coincidiendo con la edición revisada y actualizada de Viviendo en la Tierra en el año 2000, Alicia hizo una gran gira musical de promoción por Estados Unidos. Desde entonces Alicia vive entre Estados Unidos, Panamá, España y especialmente Japón, país en el que goza de un enorme reconocimiento y en el que continúa realizando numerosas actuaciones musicales y colaboraciones artísticas para libros, publicidad e incluso para diseño de moda. 

    “Este puede ser perfectamente el mejor libro de este catálogo, es un libro para la gente; por eso, si eres una persona, es para ti; si eres un perro, sin embargo, y no sabes leer demasiado bien, también es para ti, porque tiene dibujos, Alicia, Alicia, Alicia, ella es nuestra Bradford Angier particular.”
    --The Whole Earth Catalog, JD Smith, 1970.

    "VIVIENDO EN LA TIERRA es toda una experiencia vital. Nos presenta toda la información principal del Whole Earth Catalog con la calidez y el sentimiento que una chica con un melódico y apasionado nombre como Alicia Bay Laurel puede poseer. Es como una carta interminable que Alicia te escribiera sólo y únicamente a ti."
    --The Village Voice.

    “Ver, tocar o acariciar VIVIENDO EN LA TIERRA es maravilloso. Sus dibujos y diseños irradian calidez, simplicidad y sinceridad. El libro en sí es un objeto que induce a la serenidad y a la buena voluntad. Su información es realmente útil para todo aquel que desee disfrutar de las cosas buenas de esta vida en cualquier parte del mundo."
    --Raymond Mungo, The New York Times Book Review

    “Quiero hacer todo lo que pone en este libro. Si no puedo hacer todo lo que pone en este libro, entonces quiero soñar sobre ello, porque yo sé que si lo hago, seré una mejor persona hasta la médula de mis huesos.”
    --Shuntaro Tanikawa, poeta japonés

    (fotos de la comuna Wheeler Ranch de Bob Fitch)

    Colabora en el crowdfunding para la edición de Viviendo en la Tierra

              Appropriate Use of Drug Testing in Clinical Addiction Medicine        
    Biological drug testing is a tool that provides information about an individual's recent substance use. Like any tool, its value depends on using it correctly; that is, on selecting the right test for the right person at the right time. This document is intended to clarify appropriate clinical use of drug testing in addiction medicine and aid providers in their decisions about drug testing for the identification, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of patients with, or at risk for, addiction. The RAND Corporation (RAND)/University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Appropriateness Method (RAM) process for combining scientific evidence with the collective judgment of experts was used to identify appropriate clinical practices and highlight areas where research is needed. Although consensus panels and expert groups have offered guidance on the use of drug testing for patients with addiction, very few addressed considerations for patients across settings and in different levels of care. This document will focus primarily on patients in addiction treatment and recovery, where drug testing is used to assess patients for a substance use disorder, monitor the effectiveness of a treatment plan, and support recovery. Inasmuch as the scope includes the recognition of addiction, which often occurs in general healthcare settings, selected special populations at risk for addiction visiting these settings are briefly included.
              Treating Women Who Are Pregnant and Parenting for Opioid Use Disorder and the Concurrent Care of Their Infants and Children: Literature Review to Support National Guidance        
    imageObjectives: The prevalence of opioid use disorder (OUD) during pregnancy is increasing. Practical recommendations will help providers treat pregnant women with OUD and reduce potentially negative health consequences for mother, fetus, and child. This article summarizes the literature review conducted using the RAND/University of California, Los Angeles Appropriateness Method project completed by the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to obtain current evidence on treatment approaches for pregnant and parenting women with OUD and their infants and children. Methods: Three separate search methods were employed to identify peer-reviewed journal articles providing evidence on treatment methods for women with OUD who are pregnant or parenting, and for their children. Identified articles were reviewed for inclusion per study guidelines and relevant information was abstracted and summarized. Results: Of the 1697 articles identified, 75 were included in the literature review. The perinatal use of medication for addiction treatment (MAT, also known as medication-assisted treatment), either methadone or buprenorphine, within comprehensive treatment is the most accepted clinical practice, as withdrawal or detoxification risks relapse and treatment dropout. Medication increases may be needed with advancing pregnancy, and are not associated with more severe neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Switching medication prenatally is usually not recommended as it can destabilize opioid abstinence. Postnatally, breastfeeding is seen as beneficial for the infant for women who are maintained on a stable dose of opioid agonist medication. Less is known about ideal pain management and postpartum dosing regimens. NAS appears generally less severe following prenatal exposure to buprenorphine versus methadone. Frontline NAS medication treatments include protocol-driven methadone and morphine dosing in the context of nonpharmacological supports. Conclusions: Women with OUD can be treated with methadone or buprenorphine during pregnancy. NAS is an expected and manageable condition. Although research has substantially advanced, opportunities to guide future research to improve maternal and infant outcomes are provided.
              American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) National Practice Guideline for the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use        
    The Centers for Disease Control have recently described opioid use and resultant deaths as an epidemic. At this point in time, treating this disease well with medication requires skill and time that are not generally available to primary care doctors in most practice models. Suboptimal treatment has likely contributed to expansion of the epidemic and concerns for unethical practices. At the same time, access to competent treatment is profoundly restricted because few physicians are willing and able to provide it. This “Practice Guideline” was developed to assist in the evaluation and treatment of opioid use disorder, and in the hope that, using this tool, more physicians will be able to provide effective treatment. Although there are existing guidelines for the treatment of opioid use disorder, none have included all of the medications used at present for its treatment. Moreover, few of the existing guidelines address the needs of special populations such as pregnant women, individuals with co-occurring psychiatric disorders, individuals with pain, adolescents, or individuals involved in the criminal justice system. This Practice Guideline was developed using the RAND Corporation (RAND)/University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Appropriateness Method (RAM) – a process that combines scientific evidence and clinical knowledge to determine the appropriateness of a set of clinical procedures. The RAM is a deliberate approach encompassing review of existing guidelines, literature reviews, appropriateness ratings, necessity reviews, and document development. For this project, American Society of Addiction Medicine selected an independent committee to oversee guideline development and to assist in writing. American Society of Addiction Medicine's Quality Improvement Council oversaw the selection process for the independent development committee. Recommendations included in the guideline encompass a broad range of topics, starting with the initial evaluation of the patient, the selection of medications, the use of all the approved medications for opioid use disorder, combining psychosocial treatment with medications, the treatment of special populations, and the use of naloxone for the treatment of opioid overdose. Topics needing further research were noted.
              CARB forms        


    Important notice for California customers and businesses

    Bazzaz fuel management products are NOT compliant with the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) or California Air Resource Board (C.A.R.B.) for use on public roads or lands. Bazzaz products are for closed course competition only. The following documents will assist customers and businesses to ensure compliance with these regulations.

    Click images to download PDF.

    CARB form for end user         CARB dealer form
    Customer Liability Agreement
    For the end user to complete and submit to the dealer
    Dealer Liability Procedures & Agreement
    For the dealer to submit to Bazzaz


    Please return completed forms by e-mail to or by fax at (909) 597-5580

              "Mighty Ducks" Actor Suspected of Meth Possession        
    Shaun Weiss asks for "prayers" after he's arrested in Burbank, California, and charged with one misdemeanor count.
              The OCDA strongly opposes three CA State Senate bills that increase crime in California        

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              Several Republicans running for CA Governor but we could end up with an all-Democrat runoff        
    GOP Field For California Governor Grows, and Chance of All-Democrat Runoff by JON FLEISCHMAN Last week Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) announced his candidacy for Governor of...

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              Crisis Mode        
    It always seems to happen when I am suddenly struck with a seemingly insurmountable amount of work.

    First - I get that tight pit of my stomach feeling: "Oh, crap - for real?"
    Second - Panic: "What the hell, there is no way."
    Third - Fear: "I'm going to get fired/People are going to see my messy house"
    Fourth - Hopelessness: "Akjgaskjgnkajn ::crying::"
    Fifth - Resignation: "Oh well, this job sucks anyway, guess I'll do what I can/Oh well, if it's messy, its not filthy."
    Sixth - Crazy productive. Thank goodness it's been ending up this way.

    Of course this means I don't get much rest. Or relaxation.

    On of my best friends from high school and her girlfriend are coming to visit me in 2 days. And I honestly do not feel my house is acceptable for them to stay in for a week. Almost, but not really. The Boy got a bunch of new equipment for his lair (AKA: his battle station/desk [I should totally post a picture of it. It's breathtaking.]) and my boxes from work shipping me equipment are taking OVER. I did manage to get new towels, keep my kitchen in a manageable order, and go grocery shopping for this week. But I also did work about 12 hours too. No exercise. :o/

    I'm so so so excited to see them, but super worried because of the amount of work I have/deadlines to meet, I won't be able to relax and enjoy spending time with them. It's my goal to get caught up enough to spend all weekend with them.

    Oh yeah, I'm also taking the California Lead Certification exam the day I'm picking my friends. Which cost the company $212 bucks. If I fail, I have to pay it all again, and they don't offer it in my area again for another 3 months. Joy.

    So, I am making lists and drinking tea and depending on the comfort of these tasks to keep me on track. It will all work out. It will all work out. It will all work out.
              Winning Powerball Ticket Sold In CA        

    ( 4UMF NEWS ) Winning Powerball Ticket Sold In CA: One lucky Powerball player in California won Saturday night's jackpot worth an estimated $447.8 million, the seventh-largest prize in the game's history. According to the California Lottery, the winner bought the ticket at the Marietta Liquor and Deli store in Sun City. The winning numbers […]

    The post Winning Powerball Ticket Sold In CA appeared first on 4UMF | Current Events | Current News | Latest News.

              One for the record books: Mammoth to end California’s longest ski season August 6th        

    This Sunday, August 6, 2017, Mammoth Mountain will officially close for the 2016-17 winter season. That’s right—after 270 days of skiing and snowboarding over the past nine months, the California resort will shut down its lifts until November 9, marking its second longest season on record. Lift tickets are still available and there’s a 50% […]

    The post One for the record books: Mammoth to end California’s longest ski season August 6th appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.

              Hey Los Angeles, Know What’s In Your Tap Water?        
    You may not have thought about it, but if you go to your local supermarket you’ll discover that bottled water has a dedicated aisle. You already know it’s big business, especially in many parts of California. In Los Angeles for example, residents are turning away from tap water and turning to bottled water instead. They […]

              Tori's Review: How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love by Ken Baker        
    How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love by Ken Baker
    Expected Publication on April 22, 2014 by Running Press Kids
    Young Adult
    272 Pages
    "Thick. Heavy. Big boned. Plump. Full figured. Chunky. Womanly. Large. Curvy. Plus-size. Hefty." To sixteen-year-old Emery Jackson, these are all just euphemisms for the big "F" word—"fat." Living on a Southern California beach with her workout fiend dad, underwear model sister, and former model mother, it is impossible for Emery not to be aware of her weight.

    Emery is okay with how things are. That is, until her "momager" signs her up for Fifty Pounds to Freedom, a reality show in which Emery will have to lose fifty pounds in fifty days in order to win the million dollars that will solve her family's financial woes. Emery is skeptical of the process, but when the pounds start to come off and the ratings skyrocket, she finds it hard to resist the adoration of her new figure and the world of fame. Emery knows that things have changed. But is it for the better?
    NOTE: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    To be truthful, I wasn't completely sure about this book at first. I was about thirty percent in and the characters seemed too unrealistic and too shallow. I thought about how maybe by the end of the book characters' behaviors would be explained in one way or another and that they would grow. Well, I was right. They did.

    My favorite aspect of this book was either the characters or simply just Emery's, the main girl's, sarcasm. I'm one to root for the sarcastic, hilarious girl, and Emery's that girl in How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love. Oh, and let's talk about that monster of a title. It's hilarious and it's intriguing; it's what brought my attention to the book in the first place! I usually don't like long titles, but this one I actually like.

    Along with the characters' shallowness, I really just didn't like Emery's family. At first (I make a lot of assumptions about books that usually end up being wrong by the end, but oh well) I thought that they were all carbon copies of each other. Angel and their mother are extremely uptight about their weight and are exceptionally superficial. Like I said, originally I thought they were carbon copies of cliches but then I came to realize that Angel was the way she was because of their mother and not because she was simply shallow on her own. There's a scene in the book where Angel and Emery have a sister heart-to-heart, and I loved that particular scene to bits.

    This book shows a lot about the structure of a dysfunctional family as well as loyalty and trust, which is something that I also really enjoyed about this book. Although I'm partial to action and adventure, I still do quite like the books that focus around family. Along with family, this book sends a strong message to girls. Despite the fact that losing fifty pounds in fifty days is not healthy, Emery represents somethings that every teenage girl must face in society--rejection. I think by the end of the book that Emery handles the rejection (and approval since she's famous in the book by the end) in such a way that creates a strong female figure for young girls. She's tough and she learns that although the media makes it seem like being skinny is everything, it really isn't.

    On a random side note, Emery's menu from when she was fat made me want to hurl. I pride myself on being a semi-healthy human being, and Emery's eating habits did not agree with me whatsoever.

    In conclusion, I think this book is well worth the read if you're looking for a fast and fun book. It sends me a good message in my opinion and although I didn't give it five stars or even four, I did enjoy it. It just wasn't a favorite and there were parts about it that I didn't like, particularly the characters. Characters are a big deal to me. They always will be.

              Wet and Wild: Coastal Ecosystems and the Future of Southern California        
              Capital Reef 50K        

    I had such an amazing time at Capital Reef!  I don’t really know where to begin.

    In March I asked Steve if he’d like to go on a road trip during the summer. We haven’t traveled without the boys since before they were born, 24 years ago!  He was up for it so I began to plan. I wanted to see Glacier for sure. I also wanted to see a hoodoo.  We decided we’d travel to Montana, stay at Glacier for 4-5 days, head to California to see the Redwoods, then to Utah to see the hoodoos. As we tightened up our plans we decided California would be it’s own trip during another adventure. 

    After we decided on the Minnesota to Montana to Utah adventure I decided to look for a race. Well, I found a 50K just outside the Capital Reef National Park. I hadn’t heard of Capital Reef so did some research and pretty soon we decided this was going to be our destination. Good decision!

    I entered the race and then I began to look for race reports, the race description, checked out Ultrasignup. I was perplexed that Ultrasignup forecast me finishing in 9:15 hours!  My 50K time is usually 6-7 hours. Oh boy.

    Soon thereafter I learned that the race is held at 11,700 feet elevation!  OK, this 9:15 hour finish time was beginning to make some sense.

    Steve and I drove to packet pickup the night before the race. We learned that one of the aid stations would no longer be. An UTV lost its tire while trying to get out there.  He became stuck and would have to be towed out. They were trying to figure out how to get it out of there. The aid stations were very remote. There was no crew/pacer access except at one aid station and to get to this station you had to be UTV’d to it. Because of one less aid station this section would be 9 miles long.  I vowed to myself that I would fill my bladder at every aid station.

    Steve was planning on meeting me at the aid station with UTV access. He would hike to the ranger station, they would then shuttle him to the station. Hopefully I would be able to figure out a rough estimate time that I would be out there.

    A few weeks prior to the race Jenny contacted me stating they would be on vacation at the same time and that she entered the race as well!  I was so excited to learn I was going to have a running buddy on the course!

    Steve and I picked up Jenny for the race start. We swung by their campground, gave kisses to the dogs, said Hi to Paul and buzzed to the start. We were ready!

    This race is 100% eco friendly. The toilets at the start / at aid stations were composted, they washed and rinsed glasses at the aid stations, no paper cups, no garbage was tolerated. Fruit rinds and peels were thrown into one bin for compost, wrappers into another. Very cool.

    As we were listening to the RD before starting, Jenny pointed to a woman with whiskey hanging off of her waist!  We later  learned from another runner that she had back surgery and this whiskey was to minimize the pain. Not a good idea. 

    (Let's go!  Jenny, Me)

    The RD said to GO so off we went!  We started climbing right from the start. The race began at 7500 feet, just out of the Utah desert up on the Aquarious Plateau. When it was 99F a few miles away in the desert, it was 60F up on the Plateau at 11,500 feet. We were so thankful we were on the plateau!

    We began following a jeep type trail, through the woods, through the meadows, then up a steep, rocky, shale like mountain.  We would jog for a mile, then have to take a walk break, even if we weren’t climbing at the time. The air was THIN! I was gasping for air. Seriously.

    After a mile or so we veered from the jeep trail and followed a narrow trail, straight up the mountain. It was steep. We just plugged on, trying to keep up a conversation was difficult.  Jenny kept on pointing out bear scat. It freaked me out. We talked about what we would do if we came upon a bear. This was a few weeks after the bear attacked a man at Glacier. We had just left Glacier.

    As we were moving up this gargantuan mountain, Jenny stopped. She looked off to our right and had a look of concern on her face. I was immediately concerned. I knew it was a fricken bear. We saw all of this dark fur. Upon further assessment, we realized it was a group of 4 very, very large cows, staring down at us.  Oh thank god!  There were cow all over the place, free range Angus cattle. I was still freaked out.

    We moved along, taking pictures as we went. We weren’t in any great rush. We were doing what we could, moving forward, taking photos along the way.  This was an adventure, a training run, laid back fun day. As we found a great photo op with beautiful views, a woman came upon us. She commented that we seemed to have a lot of fun while climbing the steep mountain. She said she could hear us laughing and she thought we’d be fun to hang along with.  Her name was Virginia, from Denver,  and she hung with us to the finish! We made some new awesome friends along the way.  

     (Jenny climbing near the cow sighting)

     (We just met Virginia, she took this pic)

    The first aid station was only 2.5 miles out. We ran in and learned that we were number 44 and 45! There were only 55 runners or so. This was surprising, that we were nearly last. We were also the only Midwesterners. This did make a difference. I used their bug spray, the mosquitoes were bad at this point, but I don’t think I noticed them after. Guess the spray worked!  I had a piece of watermelon, filled up my bladder and we moved on, across the meadow.

    We ran through the grass, surrounded by alpine lakes, boulders and the remains of big dead animals. Bones, fur…it made me wonder..

    (Dead stuff)

    As we entered a mountain of boulders, we couldn’t see a trail, just rock. We climbed and climbed. The views were amazing. The air wasn’t. Gasp.

     (Boulder Trail. I'm picking my way down)

    Our conversation was varied. I shared some recent personal ongoings which caused much laughter. We shared our ailments. We passed around around lip balm, foot potion, salt tabs. We shared a wonderful time and a fabulous race.

    This is the most technical race I have ever run. Yes, much more technical than Superior. Between the logs, rocks, roots, it was amazing. The plateau, the alpine lakes, the mountain meadow, this was truly sensory overload.

    The Great Western trail up on the plateau is not very frequently traveled. The trail was difficult to pick up a times. We could see flags every so often up in the distance, showing the way, although we couldn’t see a trail.

    I was looking forward to the third aid station. I knew that Steve was going to try to get up there. He would have to hike a few miles, then ride an UTV to the station. As I was running in, sure enough, there he was. He had a good ride. Was cheerful, enjoying his day. Seeing him there was a big lift.

    (Steve took this at the aid station)

    We left him and circled around the alpine lake, dotted with a few kayakers. As we ran along Arnulfo Quimare of Born to Run passed us.

    A long section was coming up. We knew that there would be no aid for 9 miles. We filled up and moved out. At one point we saw again saw something black and still ahead. I made no bones about it, I’d turn around and go back to the aid station, a few miles prior, before I’d chance running into a bear.  I asked if I should blow the whistle on my pack. Yes, yes, Virginia and Jenny responded. I blew, nothing moved. Virginia began to creep ahead. Eventually she realized it was a piece of black burned out tree or something. We laughed and moved on.

    We were climbing through a dense forest. There was no trail that we could see, only ribbons, telling us where we should go. It was crazy. Pretty soon we came upon a rose bush field-deep rose fragrance, prickly bushes. They had grown in after a burn. I’ve never seen so many roses.

     (Alpine lakes, streams, waterfalls, amazing views)

     (Eco friendly aid stations)

    Another woman joined our merry band. Lori was from Phoenix, she ran with us to the finish.

    We moved along and came off of the plateau. We climbed down from 11,5000 feet to 9000. I could breath more easily. We came into a section of river. There was a man who ran out of water and was filling his bottle from the river. I was thankful I still had at least half of my pack full. I was carrying an 80 ounce bladder.  It was getting HOT as we came off of the plateau. The high in Torrey was 99F. Ugh. We had been running in probably 65-70F on the plateau all day. Pretty awesome.

    Eventually the girls all ran out of water. My bladder was larger than theirs so I still had some available. I  shared my water with them, asked if they needed any gels or blocks. I had a ton. Jenny shared her chap stick. Virginia shared more sunscreen.  We were warm and burning.

    We came into the aid station. Oh, happy day!  The volunteers were excited to see us, enthusiastic and willing to care for us.  I drank a couple glasses of coke, had some watermelon and just wanted to get out of there and on my way. I and Laurie headed off while Jenny and Virginia took care of their needs.

    The elevation continued downward. We were able to see some of the red rocks of the canyon in the distance. We were closing in on the finish.

    What a most excellent day!  To be able to run in such an environment, to be strong and healthy, to run with old friends and to meet new friends, what a blessing! I feel so lucky.

    ( On the jeep path.  Lori, Jenny and Virginia. Closing in on the finish. We can see the canyon, the red rocks, feel the heat. It's coming.)

    Jenny and Virginia caught up, we all continued through the red rock, the hot canyon, anxious to see the paved road which would signal we were a mile out from the finish.  We were running down, down, down a jeep type  path which was red sand. The big red cliffs and buttes were all around us. We were out of the plateau and into the hot hot canyon area. Jenny was crossing over to the side of the path in front of me, she jumped over a little branch. I decided to do the same. I didn’t clear the branch!  Boom!  I fell onto my front, sprawled out and banged the side of my head..on the sand. This was the second time that I had fallen today. Both times I fell upon sand. Crazy.

    There it was!  We began to run faster, down the trail, across the road, up the driveway to the Resort. Whew!  What an adventure!! 10:43 hours of adventure!!  Wow!

    The finish line was laid back, Jenny’s family was able to make it, Steve was there. We weren’t hungry. We hugged, congratulated Virginia and Lori, and headed back to end the day.  I had no aches, no pains, no blisters, no problems. I was in my happy place. I had so much fun. I was really thankful to have run the whole race with Jenny and to have met Virginia and Lori along the course. Old friends and new. 

    This race was very challenging, but oh so much fun!  Matt Gunn, the Race Director was really great. The  volunteers were  amazing. I'd run this again. I'd like to run more of  Matt's races. For finishing we received a Tshirt, hat and hand made mug.

    What an amazing day. I’m still smiling!  Next up: Voyager 50 Mile.

              ÐÐ²Ñ‚омоечное дело в Нижнем Новгороде        
    МОКРОЕ ДЕЛО Статья была опубликована в журнале "Бизнес-журнал" №9 от 11 мая 2004 года. На грязном автомобиле ездить неприятно, некрасиво, в конце концов - просто не престижно. Ведь машина, как и деловой костюм, - это визитная карточка хозяина, его лицо. А кроме того - настоящий уличный "пылесос": дорожная грязь и пыль оседают на кузове и колесах, попадают в салон. Мыть машину самому - занятие малоприятное, особенно в холодную погоду. Да и тратить свое время (особенно если оно дорого стоит) на чистку не очень хочется. Тем более что в каждом городе всегда найдутся люди, готовые за умеренную плату сделать это за автовладельца. Однако в регионах "мокрое" дело еще только развивается. Пример тому - ситуация на этом рынке в Нижнем Новгороде. Автомойки - бизнес далеко не новый, но по-прежнему востребованный. Более того, многие эксперты заявляют, что этот сектор переживает в настоящее время очередной виток развития. В особенности данное утверждение касается региональных рынков, например нижегородского. Как в любом бизнесе, автомоечное дело прошло свои стадии развития. Сначала каждый мыл свою машину где-нибудь во дворе. Потом на улицах появились мальчишки с брызгалками и тряпками. Затем настал черед аппаратов высокого давления, моек портального типа. В Европе сегодня широко распространены туннельные мойки, но нам до этого еще далеко. В целом, если сравнивать с той же Европой, то региональный, в нашем случае - нижегородский - автомоечный бизнес находится еще на заре своего существования. По словам местных предпринимателей и продавцов моечного оборудования, "автопрачечные" как отдельный вид бизнеса начали массово появляться в Нижнем Новгороде относительно недавно - в 1996-1997 годах. До тех пор мойка служила довеском к станциям техобслуживания (СТО) и различным автотранспортным предприятиям (АТП). Позже их стали строить при автозаправочных станциях (АЗС). Не считая этих автомоек, продолжающих успешно функционировать и сейчас, в столице Приволжского федерального округа на сегодняшний день работает около 30-40 "помывочных" точек. Много это или мало? Согласно расчетам зарубежных экспертов, на каждые 50 тысяч населения должна приходиться одна портальная мойка. В "третьей столице" проживает 1 350 000 человек. Конечно, у нас не Запад, и далеко не у каждого второго городского жителя есть машина. Тем не менее, даже с учетом этой оговорки, получается, что нижегородский автомоечный рынок находится, в лучшем случае, в зачаточном состоянии. А вот как комментируют сложившуюся ситуацию его участники. - Первоначальный бум на открытие автомоек прошел, но рынок этих услуг до конца еще не освоен, - считает директор автомойки "ЧП Пимерзин" Дмитрий Пимерзин. - Предпринимательский интерес к данному виду бизнеса, на мой взгляд, достаточно велик, и сейчас, и в ближайшей перспективе на региональном рынке будут появляться новые участники. - Мыть автомобили будут всегда, значит, наше дело не прогорит, - вторит ему директор "Сервис-центра на Большой Печерской" Саид Менежетдинов. - Другое дело, сможет ли новичок обеспечить себе спрос? Если клиентов чем-то не завоевать сразу, они не появятся никогда, и бизнес будет обречен. Выбор "оружия" Региональный рынок скуден не только количеством игроков; не отличается он и разнообразием услуг. Нижегородские автомойщики предлагают практически одинаковое "меню", и работают с помощью одной и той же техники. Большинство предпочитает марку Kаrcher и другой знать не желает. Действительно, техника качественная и надежная, хотя и не самая дешевая. Зато широко распространенная: российская дилерская сеть этого немецкого концерна хорошо развита. Что касается других производителей, то в России представлена продукция таких марок, как Faip( Италия), Portotecnica (Италия), Istobal (Испания), WAP, Weidner, Wesumat, California Kleindiest (Германия), Ceccato, Comet (Италия), Carebridge (Великобритания). В Нижнем Новгороде существуют три-четыре фирмы, торгующие оборудованием для автомоек. Кстати, положительный момент: профессиональное моечное оборудование не подлежит обязательной сертификации. Серьезные фирмы, специализирующиеся на продаже такой техники, как правило, имеют индульгенции от органов стандартизации, разрешающие применение данного "железа". А вот моек, оснащенных отечественной техникой, в Нижнем Новгороде обнаружить не удалось; изредка попадаются лишь агрегаты для технической очистки использованной воды. Как и в целом по стране, 80% рынка занимает техника немецких производителей; остальные 20% делят итальянские, чешские и польские фирмы, чья продукция уступает немецкой в качестве и цене. - Лучше сразу закупить качественное оборудование, чем потратить деньги на дешевое, которое потом будет постоянно выходить из строя, - убежден директор ООО "Автосервиспром" Валентин Андреянец. - Особенно не советую отдавать предпочтение бытовым аппаратам перед профессиональными, как нередко поступают начинающие мойщики. Эта техника, конечно, не такая дорогая, но при интенсивной коммерческой эксплуатации больше двух месяцев не живет. Из трех основных типов автомоек нижегородские "мойдодыры" уверенно останавливают свой выбор на мойках ручного типа с аппаратами высокого давления - они занимают 80-90% регионального рынка. Крайне небольшой сегмент (10-20%) числится за автоматическими портальными автомойками, что само по себе странно: услуга эта весьма привлекательна для клиентов и высокорентабельна. Сами мойщики поговаривают, будто водители не любят "порталки": они якобы повреждают, царапают автомобиль. Так, по словам специалистов нижегородской мойки "Автошик", они принципиально выступают против полной автоматизации: "Большинство наших клиентов предпочитают ручную мойку автоматической: боятся щеток, и поэтому не часто подвергают своего любимца автоматической чистке". Правда, есть эксперты (пожелавшие остаться неизвестными), которые придерживаются другой версии: цены на портальные мойки еще не по карману большинству мелких и средних предпринимателей. Между тем мойки именно этого типа широко распространены в Европе, наряду с пунктами самообслуживания. Последние, кстати, также полностью отсутствуют на региональном рынке. Не говоря уже о мойках туннельного типа, которых в Нижнем Новгороде просто нет, опять же по причине их дороговизны. Ну, за синергизм! Учитывая вышеперечисленные особенности регионального рынка, вычислить способ "протиснуться" на него нетрудно. Тривиальный, но гарантированно выигрышный вариант - приобрести портальную автомойку, а еще лучше мойку туннельного типа. То есть заявить о себе в секторе с малой или отсутствующей конкуренцией. Способ хорош для предпринимателей, не стесненных в средствах. Другое достаточно стандартное решение - увеличение площади "автопрачечной", то есть ее производительности. Но, сделав ставку на величину оборота, нужно и располагать такую мойку в соответствующем месте: поблизости от больших автотрасс, чтобы обеспечить себя клиентами. Либо искать "оптового" заказчика среди крупных автотранспортных предприятий и заключать с ним договор на эксклюзивное право "помывки". Ведомственные машины моют независимо от погоды - правило у них такое. Собственно, наиболее выгодными являются всего два вида моек, и "высокопроизводительный" - один из них. По крайней мере, так утверждает наш эксперт, владелец крупной нижегородской автомойки, пожелавший остаться неизвестным. - К первому виду относятся мойки с высокой производительностью и минимальным ассортиментом услуг, - рассказал нам собеседник. - Эти мойки приносят максимальный доход на загруженных участках автодорог и рассчитаны на клиентов, дорожащих своим временем. С другой стороны, чем быстрее обрабатывается одна машина, тем больше авто пройдет через автомойку за день. Среднее время обслуживания одного автомобиля на таких мойках не должно превышать 10-15 минут. Они максимально эффективны, в частности, на въездах в город и трассах, соединяющих спальные районы города с промышленными. Оборудование здесь нужно только автоматическое - портальные или туннельные мойки - производительностью 12-100 машин в час. А использование ручного труда сводится к минимуму. Разумеется, расходы на заработную плату тоже снижаются. Второй, альтернативный вариант - мойки с высоким качеством и широким ассортиментом предоставляемых услуг при невысокой производительности. Набор их может включать мойку двигателя, химчистку салона, полировку кузова, натирку и полировку салона, чернение шин (в частности, в качестве предпродажной подготовки) и т. д. Такие мойки рассчитаны на клиентов, специально планирующих потратить определенное количество времени в обмен на качество, комфорт и престиж. Они могут располагаться в стороне от загруженных магистралей, но обязательно должны дать клиенту максимум пользы. На данных мойках применяется ручное оборудование: сначала ручным аппаратом с поверхности смывается абразив, затем ее протирают мягкой губкой, затем вытирают насухо, а мастер контролирует качество работ. Соответственно, на мойках данного назначения должны быть предусмотрены отдельные помещения для отдыха и занимательного времяпрепровождения клиентов. Это могут быть кафе, игровые автоматы, да что угодно! Все ограничивается только воображением владельца. Действительно, добавив немного фантазии, можно сделать посещение мойки весьма приятным для клиенто
              In Defense of Economic Noninterventionism         

    A recent Wall Street Journal article has surprisingly good news: US companies are seeing the highest profit growth in two years with “two consecutive quarters of double-digit profit growth for the first time since 2011.” This surprisingly comes not from policies pursued in Washington, but the hard work of the private sector.

    The fact that businesses and job creators can make such a phenomenal showing after years of regulatory uncertainty and continued political intervention reminds us of the power of the free market and that the best successes come from the work of the individuals, not collectivists in the public sector.

    Perhaps the best reminding of what the last eight years brought us was President Obama’s infamous 2012 campaign speech “If you've got a business, you didn't build that.” Throughout the course of his administration saw a creation of routine legislative and executive actions that were designed to both micromanage business and supposedly “create” jobs. Unfortunately, none of this had the intended success.

    Most prominently among the actions from the executive administration while Obama was presidents include significantly increased regulations. Among these have included the Waters of the United States Rule (WOTUS), Dodd-Frank, the stimulus package, and, most spectacularly of all, Obamacare. All of these added a large interventions and onerous barriers in the economy that failed to achieve their stated goal.

    WOTUS was probably one of the greatest power grabs by the EPA in recent history. The rule essentially sought to define “navigable waters” in the clean water Act which “brought nearly half of Alaska and a total area in the lower 48 states equivalent to the size of California under the CWA’s jurisdiction.” The proposal, had it not been blocked and rescinded, would have cost thousands of dollars for permits on land that was not previously under the EPA’s jurisdiction, delayed production since a permit can take up to months, and this would have resulted in reduced development and production as well as higher prices.

    Though the WOTUS rule was not fully implemented, regulations that did have a massive negative impact on the economy include the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

    As implemented, Dodd-Frank imposed various new regulations on the financial sector, including creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), designated firms as systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs), and instituted price controls on debit and credit card transactions. The result was a climate of over regulation with banks being incentivized to become as large as possible in the hopes of being bailed out while the CFPB became a revolving door for lobbyists and influence peddlers to regulate the market with little to no oversight.

    Unsurprisingly, one fifth of the banks in the U.S. banks, totalling 1,708, went under between the law’s creation and 2016, which is about one per day, and by 2015 five large banks controlled 50 percent of the banking industry.

    Outside of simple regulation, there was also so called “jobs creations” programs that were supposed to create jobs the President did not think businesses could such as the stimulus package. The program was sold as a job creation plan that would keep unemployment below 8 percent for the low price of $830 billion.

    The next four years were marked by above 8 percent unemployment while the money ended up being wasted on worthless projects, including trees in wealthy neighborhoods, a study of erectile dysfunction, and the failed company solyndra which was run by a bundler for the Obama campaign. To make matters worse, though unemployment eventually went down long after the stimulus’s implementation, the labor participation rate reached its lowest in 38 years which shows that people still weren’t working.

    However, the crowned jewel of overregulation and job destruction during the Obama administration was ObamaCare. Implemented to expand health insurance coverage, it has repeatedly failed to reach its goals as premiums went up, enrollment failed to reach its projections, and the legislation gave corporate welfare (including promised bailouts) to the insurance lobby. In the end, most of the coops failed and major companies pulled out of the exchanges, resulting in 1,000 counties, including five whole states, only having one insurer, a major failure in the goal of expanded coverage.

    Inevitably, the phenomenal intervention in the economy by President Obama failed to achieve the job creation while it instead made made doing business that much harder. With record breaking numbers of regulations, Obama was the first President since the Great Depression to never see 3 percent GDP growth.

    The Trump administration in the meantime has pursued a different approach than its predecessor. The Trump administration has seen sixteen regulations cut for every one it has created, had signed four resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to overturn regulation within two months as President, and rolled back the clean power plan which could have cost $40 billion per year. All of this marks a significant change in policy that will greatly open up business opportunities and expand economic growth.

    However, policy alone does not explain why there has been high profit growth for the last two quarters. As the Wall Street Journal article admits, health care legislation and tax reform have been stalled in the senate. This has caused a climate of uncertainty which businesses have not been happy with.

    Nevertheless, they have instead moved on from Washington and instead remained focused on doing business. Political events seem to have taken a backseat to actual business as the number of S&P 500 companies have mentioned the President or his administration during conferences is down by a third as the research firm Sentieo found out. To be blunt, the involvement of Washington and government policy is not driving the current profit growth and the lack of involvement may actually be increasing it.

    For a better example of how reduced involvement can improve the economy, look no further than the Depression of 1920. At the time, war time debt had exploded, unemployment peaked at 11.7 percent in 1921, and inflation rates jumped above twenty percent. It had the potential to be even more catastrophic than the Great Depression that started in 1929.

    However, the policies pursued were entirely different. The federal budget was severely reduced from $18.5 billion in FY 1919 to $3.3 billion for FY 1922. Taxes at the same time were cut by about 40 percent.

    As a result, unemployment dropped to 2.3 percent by 1923 and a crisis had been averted. This was accomplished not by bailouts and and overregulation but by getting the government entirely out of the way. This is a radically different approach than was pursued during the financial panic of 2008 or even the Great Depression.

    Overall, there has been a repeated belief that government involvement has made economic advancement harder. As was stated by former President Reagan, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” President Kennedy noted the same when he said “Our tax system still siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power and reduces the incentive for risk, investment and effort — thereby aborting our recoveries and stifling our national growth rate.”

    It should come as no surprise then that business are fully prepared to run their own affairs and is best capable to address its own need, for as JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon noted, “We’ve been growing at 1.5% to 2%...because the American business sector is powerful and strong and is going to grow regardless.”

    It remains the desire of others that the government should intervene in the economy to make improvements. However, this has always resulted in guaranteed failure. Be it raising the minimum wage in Seattle or increased taxation and regulations in Connecticut, the result is usually lackluster growth and decreased jobs. At the national level, Venezuela’s nationalization and China’s increased infrastructure projects have created the same results, which is to say none.

    As history and current events have shown time and time again, the best results come not from government involvement and micromanagement, but from the hard work of free individuals in free markets. More and more, the adaptability of businesses to their consumer’s demands and their ability to whether adversity in the marketplace has always been more efficient than the micromanagement the state perceives. As a result, sometimes the best thing to do is to have the government do nothing so that those who can make the economy better will.

              Amplían prohibición de pesca en el Golfo de California        
    La Sagarpa publica el acuerdo que busca principalmente proteger a la vaquita marina
              DAYTONA BIKE WEEK        
    Nº76 MOTO REPORT Abril 2008
    Talvez tenha sido o apelo de areia dura, nos dias amenos de Inverno, ou talvez a excitação da primeira corrida de moto pela praia, que fez de Daytona Beach o palco da Bike Week mais famosa do mundo inteiro. Provavelmente o retorno, todos os anos, de cada vez mais pessoas ao evento, dever-se-á às carismáticas actividades que lá têm lugar e que, por isso mesmo, têm ajudado a elevar o seu nome cada vez mais alto. Seja como for, esta Bike Week é uma prestigiada tradição que tem lugar desde 24 de Janeiro de 1937, originalmente com o nome de Daytona 200. Este ano, de 29 de Fevereiro a 09 de Março, cumpriu-se novamente a tradição, e o sonho de muitos que lá ambicionam ir.

    A primeira corrida teve lugar ao longo de 3.2 milhas (pouco mais de 5.100 metros), num percurso misto de areia de praia e estrada, ao sul de Daytona Beach. O californiano Ed Kretz, mais concretamente de Monterey Park, foi o vencedor. Ele pilotava uma moto de um conceituado fabricante americano, a Indian, e a velocidade média cifrou-se nos 117km/h. Kretz venceu também a corrida inaugural da cidade de Daytona Beach. Entre 1942 e 1947, devido à II Guerra Mundial, esta prova teve de ser cancelada. A American Motorcycling Association (AMA) considerou que, no interesse da defesa nacional, deveria ser imposto um interregno ao evento. É que a guerra obrigava ao racionamento dos combustíveis, e a produção de pneus, e de componentes mecânicos de base, para veículos domésticos ou particulares deveria ser canalizada, quase que em exclusivo, para a obtenção de mais material bélico. Porém, neste período, uma outra corrida, não oficial, teve lugar. Era descrito pelos locais com “Handlebar Derby” (a prova dos guiadores). A 24 de Fevereiro de 1947, e com o conflito mundial já terminado, um ilustre cidadão local, Bill France, promoveu a reorganização da corrida e contou com 176 concorrentes. Vários jornais da época relatam que terá sido pedido à população que acolhesse os motociclistas visitantes nas suas casas, pois o ramo hoteleiro estava simplesmente lotado. Em 1948, um novo percurso de praia e estrada foi delineado, motivado pela construção na área onde antes as corridas se realizavam. Desta feita, os organizadores moveram-no ainda mais para sul, para junto de Ponce Inlet. Contava agora com 4.1 milhas (mais de seis quilómetros e meio) de extensão. A última Daytona 200, num percurso misto de areia e alcatrão, ocorreu em 1960. Depois disso, a prova foi transferida para o circuito Daytona International Speedway. Esta Bike Week sempre encerrou em si mesma um toque bastante peculiar. Algures, depois da guerra, criou-se uma certa tensão em seu torno. Enquanto que a competição era devidamente organizada, obedecendo a regras bem definidas, tudo o resto à sua volta não. Com o passar dos anos, a população local começou a sentir-se insegura com aquilo que denominava de “A Invasão”. Os agentes da autoridade eram poucos, tendo em conta a dimensão do evento, e os confrontos entre bikers e polícia eram cada vez mais intensos. Esta espiral de violência atingiu o seu pico em 1986. Daí em diante, estabeleceu-se uma equipa operacional, composta por várias entidades, como sejam a própria organização, diversas instituições da cidade e até a câmara de comércio local, com o fito de melhorar as relações entre os participantes e a população, alterando a magnitude dos acontecimentos. Hoje em dia, a Bike Week, é um acontecimento que dura dez dias, e que se estende até ao condado de Volusia. Há centenas de actividades para participarem motociclistas ou simples entusiastas. São centenas de milhar os que lá comparecem, e a população local, agora, recebe-os de braços abertos.
    - Em média, por ano, morrem entre quatro a dez pessoas.
    - Em 2000, morreram entre dez a quinze pessoas.
    - Em 2006, doze motociclistas morreram nos primeiros oito dias. No último dia a lista chegou aos dezoito mortos e catorze destas ocorreram nos condados de Volusia e Flagler.
    - Em 2007 morreram duas pessoas.
    © Todos os direitos do texto estão reservados para MOTO REPORT, uma publicação da JPJ EDITORA. Contacto para adquirir edições já publicadas: +351 253 215 466.
    © General Moto, by Hélder Dias da Silva 2008

    Nº74 MOTO REPORT Fevereiro 2008
    Anthony Kiedis (voz), Flea (baixo), Chad Smith (bateria) e John Frusciante (guitarra),eis a actual formação dos RHCP e aquela que tem sido responsável, ao longo dos anos, pelos maiores sucessos da banda. Mas a história começa mais atrás, no longínquo ano de 1983, em Los Angeles. Sim, os Red Hot estão quase a celebrar as bodas de prata.

    OsRHCP têm o seu embrião em 1979, nos intervalos das aulas em Fairfax High School, Hollywood, Los Angeles. Os garotos de 15 anos, Michael Balzary (Flea), Hillel Slovak e Jack Irons eram três amigos que tinham algumas ambições musicais e formavam uma banda chamada Anthym. Um dos grandes admiradores dessa banda era Anthony Kiedis, também amigo de infância de Flea, Hillel e Irons. Em Abril de 1983 nascem os RHCP, ainda com o nome Tony Flow And The Miraculousy Majestic Masters Of Mayhem, a partir de uma ideia súbita de Anthony Kiedis, e com ele Flea, Hillel Slovak (guitarra) e Jack Irons (bateria) apresentam-se num clube de Los Angeles. A princípio seria só uma brincadeira, mas o resultado foi bom e passaram a fazer mais actuações, baptizando a banda para Red Hot Chili Peppers. A explicação para o nome é, aliás, bem curiosa. Consta-se que eles adoravam comida mexicana com bastante pimenta (chili) e que Flea era fã da banda de apoio de Louis Armstrong (os Red Hot Peppers). Juntando os condimentos, o quarteto californiano encontrou o seu próprio nome. Anos depois uma banda inglesa, formada no início dos anos setenta, chamada Chili Willy And The Red Hot Peppers tentou acusá-los de lhes terem copiado o nome. A banda, aos poucos, foi conseguindo juntar elementos de diversos géneros musicais, tais como punk rock, funk, rock alternativo e rock psicadélico. São também reconhecidos por inserirem ritmos de hip-hop em várias faixas do seu repertório. Ao fim de alguns meses o guitarrista Jack Sherman e o baterista Cliff Martinez entram para a banda, mas em 1985 são substituídos pelos elementos originais. Durante a digressão Freaky Styley, em 1986, Kiedis toca pela primeira vez em Grand Rapids, a sua cidade natal, e tem a brilhante ideia de entrar em palco todo nu com o pénis enfiado numas meias (daí a expressão “Cocks On Socks”), o que acaba por ser um escândalo na sua cidade, tornando-o na “ovelha-negra” para o público de lá. Em 1986 Anthony Kiedis e Hillel Slovak usam heroína numa base regular. Este problema viria a ditar a morte do guitarrista em 1988. Já Kiedis, alternava o consumo com cocaína. Kiedis tinha perdido qualquer noção da realidade e entregara-se às drogas totalmente. Ele andava por becos e tinha contacto com alguns gangs. Chegou ao ponto mais baixo da sua vida e passou a consumir drogas debaixo de uma ponte no centro de Los Angeles. Não se alimentava, não dormia, não tomava banho, tudo na sua vida se resumia à droga. Nesta época eles fizeram a pior digressão da história da banda e Kiedis foi convidado a retirar-se por causa do seu vício. Flea aconselha-o a fazer um tratamento. É nessa altura que o vocalista percebe que as drogas não eram mais diversão e que tinham invadido por completo a sua vida. Kiedis vai tratar-se e conta com a ajuda de seu pai. Durante a passagem pela clínica ele experimenta a acupunctura e esta acaba por se revelar um meio alternativo de aliviar a sua tensão. Sai limpo da clínica, escreve “Fight Like a Brave” e retorna aos RHCP. Após a morte de Hillel, a banda decide reunir-se e é então que descobrem um novo guitarrista, John Frusciante de apenas 18 anos que, além de ser grande fã dos Peppers e de Hendrix (um ídolo para todos os membros, principalmente Flea, que tem a cara de Hendrix tatuada no seu ombro esquerdo), praticava cerca de quinze horas por dia. Quando aconteceu o primeiro concerto com a banda, os fãs não acreditaram que ele nunca tivesse tocado com os RHCP antes. «John era absolutamente um clone de Hillel. Ele não toca somente igual ao Hillel, ele movese como o Hillel...», disse Alain Johannes. Coincidência ou não, John tinha realmente todo o estilo de Hillel, pois era seu fã. Depois de muito procurar, também encontram um novo baterista, Chad Smith, que veio de Detroit. Nesta fase começa o período dourado da banda. Os trabalhos que vão desde Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991) até Stadium Arcadium (2006) correspondem ao expoente máximo dos RHCP, tanto em termos criativos como em relação ao triunfo comercial. A formação actual remonta a de 1991, com excepção feita para o período compreendido entre 1992-1998, onde Frusciante abandona a banda devido à sua dependência de heroína (entra Dave Navarro dos Janes Addiction). Frusciante esteve praticamente à beira da mor te, e os vídeos que surgem no YouTube a documentar este período da sua vida são bem esclarecedores. Com o retorno do guitarrista à sua banda de sempre, com todos os elementos a optarem por um estilo de vida saudável, e cada vez mais virados para a meditação transcendental, os trabalhos discográficos e as digressões tem sido cada vez melhores, e a prová-lo está a actuação no último Rock In Rio-Lisboa em 2006.

    De moto:
    Chad Smith, no documentário Funky Monks, no percurso de casa para o local das gravações
    de Blood Sugar Sex Magik, aos comandos da sua Harley-Davidson.

    «Estávamos a deixar as coisas fluir, ensaiando e escrevendo material novo [NR: que viria a ser o disco One Hot Minute]. Entre outras coisas, cada um de nós comprou uma Harley-Davidson. Chegámos mesmo a formar um gang…»
    Anthony Kiedis em Scar Tissue, a sua auto-biografia (pág. 318).
    E segundo o mesmo livro, era na sua moto que Anthony Kiedis rumava à baixa de Los Angeles para comprar heroína e cocaína. Isto passou-se ao longo de vários anos.

    «Ela dominava. Fazia coisas do tipo ir encher a boca com água quente do chuveiro para depois vir ter comigo e fazer-me sexo oral. O que terei eu feito para mereceruma experiência tão boa?»
    Anthony Kiedis sobre Karen, a irmã de Flea, em Scar Tissue (pág. 59).
    Porreiro pá! O que tu fizeste para merecer…não sei, mas diz lá ao Flea para me apresentar a irmã dele…
    © Todos os direitos do texto estão reservados para MOTO REPORT, uma publicação da JPJ EDITORA. Contacto para adquirir edições já publicadas: +351 253 215 466.
    © General Moto, by Hélder Dias da Silva 2008

    Nº72 MOTO REPORT Dezembro 2007
    Stoner Rock é um subgénero do rock, caracterizado por possuir riffs de guitarra graves e lentos, com grande influência do psicadelismo lisérgico dos anos 70. Os QOTSA serão talvez a banda mais emblemática deste movimento do rock alternativo. Os seus temas são intensos e vigorosos, tal como o som de uns drag pipes num motor V2.

    Josh Homme, Nick Oliveri, John Garcia e Alfredo Hernandez formaram uma banda californiana chamada Kyuss que, após ter sido apadrinhada pelo produtor Chris Goss, saiu do completo anonimato para se tornar numa referência da cena heavy-metal americana, chegando inclusivamente a figurar como o principal ícone do stoner rock à época. No entanto, apesar da popularidade, os Kyuss dissolvem-se em 1995. O líder e guitarrista, Josh Homme, muda-se nessa altura para Seattle para ingressar na formação dos Screaming Trees, como segundo guitarrista, durante a digressão do álbum Dust de 1996. A banda participa na última edição do festival Lollapalooza, tocando ao lado de bandas como os Sound-garden e os Metallica. A partir de 1997, com as actividades dos Screaming Trees tornam-se cada vez mais esparsas, Josh encontra o tempo suficiente para trabalhar num projecto próprio. Foi o início da série “Desert Sessions”, iniciativa que lhe permitiu expressar-se com maior liberdade, no mais puro experimentalismo. “Desert Sessions” foram sessões experimentais de estúdio, criadas por Josh Homme em parceria com músicos de diversas bandas de rock americanas, com a intenção de compor novas músicas, porém sem fins comerciais. As gravações iniciaram-se em Agosto de 1997 e foram feitas num estúdio que ficou conhecido como Rancho De La Luna, na cidade de Joshua Tree, localizada num deserto no interior do estado da Califórnia (terra natal de Josh Homme). Foram seis álbuns extraídos das “Desert Sessions” que, mesmo sem objectivos comerciais, acabaram por ser lançados mais tarde pela editora independente Man’s Ruin Records. Na sequência das “Desert Sessions”, Josh resolve formar outra banda, os QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE. Com a ajuda do baterista Alfredo Hernandez, Josh retorna à região do deserto californiano para trabalhar o som da nova banda. Embora o som dos QOTSA, à primeira impressão, relembre os Kyuss, fica bem claro que se trata de uma proposta diferente, com uma sonoridade mais eclética. O primeiro disco (homónimo) foi financiado pela própria banda e acabou por ser lançado em Setembro de 1998 pela editora Loosegroove, de Stone Gossard, guitarrista dos Pearl Jam. O álbum teve uma repercussão impressionante e ajudou a fixar o nome dos QOTSA como uma das grandes promessas emergentes do rock alternativo. A banda esteve em digressão durante quase dois anos, tocando com grandes nomes como Bad Religion, Rage Against the Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, Hole e Ween. Em Junho de 2000, os Screaming Trees terminam, deixando Josh exclusivamente dedicado aos QOTSA que, de volta a Palm Desert, trabalhou no seu segundo álbum que contaria com várias participações especiais. No mesmo mês foi lançado “Rated R”, desta vez pela Interscope. O disco que possui, entre outras, as participações de Mark Lanegan e Barrett Martin dos Screaming Trees, Rob Halford dos Judas Priest e Pete Stahl dos Scream e Goatsnake, é recebido com entusiasmo pela crítica, mas não atinge grandes cifras de vendas, apesar de conter canções candidatas a hit, tal como “Feel Good Hit of the Summer” e “The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret”. Para o segundo disco, os QOTSA contaram com a participação de dois bateristas: Gene Troutman e Nicky Lucero. Finalizado este trabalho, os Queens of the Stone Age embarcaram em mais uma exaustiva tournée de dois anos pelo mundo fora, incluindo uma memorável apresentação no Rock in Rio em Janeiro de 2001, onde Nick Oliveri se apresentaria em palco completamente nu. No ano seguinte a banda já estava em estúdio a preparar o seu terceiro disco. Mark Lanegan integra definitivamente o colectivo como segundo vocalista, enquanto que, na bateria, a banda contaria com a participação do ilustre Dave Grohl, ex-Nirvana e líder dos Foo Fighters. Com o disco pronto, os QOTSA, encetam mais uma tour com Lanegan e Grohl. “Songs for the Deaf” é lançado em Agosto e o sucesso entre público e crítica é quase unânime. Em 2004, a banda passa por uma fase mais complicada. Depois de Dave Grohl retornar aos Foo Fighters (lançando logo após um disco que possui influências bem expressivas do seu período na banda de Josh Homme), Joey Castillo assume as baquetas do grupo. Contudo, haveriam mais baixas: Josh resolve demitir Nick Oliveri, alegando estar cansado do comportamento completamente irresponsável do baixista. Mark Lanegan aproveita e também abandona a banda. É lançado o EP “Stone Age Complications”, numa tentativa de abafar a turbulência, enquanto Josh Homme tenta reorganizar a banda para gravar o 4º álbum. É então lançado “Lullabies to Paralyze” e com ele surge uma proposta diferente dos QOTSA. Embora muita da ferocidade da banda tenha sido suprimida neste trabalho, é trazida à tona toda a capacidade dos restantes membros comporem melodias mais densas, sombrias e perturbadoramente pesadas. Com o line-up refeito, Josh Homme, Alain Johannes (multi-instrumentista que já tinha colaborado nas Desert Sessions com Chris Cornell), Troy Van Leeuwen (guitarrista, ex-A Perfect Circle), Natasha Shneider e Joey Castillo saem em digressão internacional. Momentos marcantes dessa época são: a gravação do MTV Akustik Session em Berlim, a reunião com John Garcia (exvocalista dos Kyuss) para um concerto, cantando canções da antiga banda, e a gravação do primeiro CD/DVD ao vivo “Over The Years And Through The Woods” em Londres. Devido ao adiamento de dois concertos nesta cidade, os músicos decidiram presentear o público com um EP contendo a faixa inédita “The Fun Machine Took A Shit & Died”, supostamente “perdida” durante as gravações de “Lullabies to Paralyze”. De regresso aos EUA, Josh Homme e Brody Dalle (vocalista e guitarrista dos The Distillers) tiveram uma filha e, na altura, pouco se sabia sobre o que a banda faria a seguir. No entanto, no segundo semestre de 2006, os QOTSA entram em estúdio para gravar seu 5º álbum, novamente com a produção de Chris Goss. O álbum, intitulado “Era Vulgaris”, é finalizado em Março de 2007. Rumores indicariam que Alain e Natasha haviam decidido voltar as suas atenções para a sua banda original, Eleven. Mais uma vez ocorreram boatos de que Oliveri voltaria ao grupo, muito em função da interrupção abrupta dos concertos da sua actual banda, Mondo Generator. Entretanto, os zunzuns foram desmentidos após a contratação de Michael Shuman, dos Wires On Fire. O novo álbum tem colaborações de Jesse Hughes (dos Eagles Of Death Metal), Trent Reznor (dos Nine Inch Nails) e Julian Casablancas (dos Strokes). Billy Gibbons (dos ZZ Top) e Mark Lanegan asseguram também a sua participação como convidados.

    Formação actual:
    Josh Homme – Voz, guitarra e baixo
    Troy Van Leeuwen - guitarra, baixo e
    Lap Steel
    Joey Castillo – bateria
    Michael Shuman – baixo
    Dean Fertita – teclas

    Queens of the
    Stone Age
    Over The Years
    And Through The
    Lullabies to
    Songs for the Deaf
    Rated R
    Era Vulgaris
    © Todos os direitos do texto estão reservados para MOTO REPORT, uma publicação da JPJ EDITORA. Contacto para adquirir edições já publicadas: +351 253 215 466.
    © General Moto, by Hélder Dias da Silva 2008

              Worley – Johnson Wedding at Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles        
    These photos are from the wedding of Rebecca Johnson to Todd Worley which was held on September 27, 2014 at Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles. Crafted is located at 112 E. 22nd Street in San Pedro, California. Back to the Worley – Johnson Wedding Photos Back to the Worley – Johnson Wedding Photos
              Joann Scurlock Bridal Shower        
    Photos from the bridal shower of Joann Scurlock held on August 10, 2013 and hosted by her friends Ingrid, Karen and Connie. Held at 17705 South Western, Gardena, California. Back to Joann Scurlock Bridal Shower photos Back to Joann Scurlock Bridal Shower photos
              BWW Review: YIDDISH WITH DICK AND JANE at 2017 KC Fringe Festival        

    As part of the 2017 KC Fringe, "Yiddish With Dick And Jane" is worth seeing at the Arts Asylum close to downtown. Although just about anyone can enjoy this one, it says something about age when one realizes his own education falls after the McGuffey Reader period and smack in the middle of "Reading with Dick and Jane" years.

    "Dick and Jane" was my first grade reader at Armstrong School in Chicago along with their dog "Spot" and their cat "Fluffy." "See Dick run. See sister Jane fall. Etc." The same books were used at Armstrong from the Scott Foresman Company for generations.

    This one act play is funny for just that silly memory, but here is the rest of the setup. In the early 20th Century, millions of eastern European Jews immigrated to America's cities. Many of these people spoke Yiddish; kind of a combination of German and Hebrew.

    Beginning in the 1920's and continuing through the 1960's the "Dick and Jane series" taught millions of children to read and many more millions of their parents to speak English. It worked with big typefaces and lots of pictures.

    Imagine now if Dick and Jane are grown up Jewish people. They have retained their learned, broken Yiddish/English speaking patterns (think Spanglish for Jews). Some of the words remain part of their every day vocabulary. Jane is now married to Stanley. They share a very large African American child named Priscilla. Their little sister Sally is a professor at the University of California at Berkeley complete with sandals. Jane and Stanley share typical suburban problems - like gay neighbors and straying wives and aging parents.

    An off to the side of the stage narrator reads from one of the Dick and Jane books and half explains the Yiddish words that creep into the dialogue.

    To this fascinating and amusing ethnic stew, add the genius of casting all apparently non- Jewish actors in the semi-Yiddish speaking roles. The mangling of the Yiddish pronunciations multiplies the joke by a factor of at least three.

    This short 45 minute piece is well directed by Mathew McGaugh. The cast does great stage pictures and has mastered comic quick change. They make the most of their limited props. We always know what they are doing through just a hint of suggestion. It is enough for this purpose. Both Korey Childs and Sara Crow are excellent as the narrators.

    A special shout out goes to Sara Crow as sister Sally. She has pretty great guts to play the hospital patient with the open back hospital gown. More importantly and impressively, the audience saw a reaction to every line and the thought process of what was going through her facial expression throughout the entire show. I will look forward to seeing her again.

    "Yiddish with Dick and Jane" can still be viewed Thursday and Friday evening during 2017 Fringe at The Arts Asylum.

              Kauai Day Five, Sunday        

    Kauai Day Five, Sunday

    I spent an hour wandering the beach and cliffs with my camera and then tried to upload them at the lobby. We had a slow morning but eventually decided to go to Nawiliwili Beach back in Lihue, where we swam in the crescent strip beach for a while but mainly stayed in the shade. We are waaay too afraid of the sun now! (Probably a good thing).

    For an early dinner we went to Duke's Canoe Club which was right on the beach. There were two singers playing guitars and serenading us throughout dinner, the main singer had a really amazing voice. We sat way in the back by a pond with koi fish and had calamari appetizers, and I had a delicious mahi mahi sandwich. The most amazing part of dinner, however, were the lava flow drinks! We had multiple people back in California telling us how amazing they were, and they were not wrong. It was basically a pina colada with strawberry syrup/sauce added, deeeelicious!

    We then decided to be super classy and go to WalMart to look for some cheap movies. We also lucked out and found some rashguard shirts (tight spandex-y shirts for surfing that have UV 50 protection) because we are so afraid of the sun!

    We made it home and decided to watch Hellraiser, which was . . . interesting. And kind of gory. Andra and Drew made popcorn and we snacked on it until the movie was finished, at which point I was about asleep because of a Benadryl I took to relieve the itching from my sunburn.

              Kauai Day One!        
    On June 21st around 10:30 pm I arrived at my friend's where I would be spending the night so her mom could drive us and her brother my friend's brother to the airport at San Jose, a three hour drive from where we would begin. I was expecting my friend to be asleep because of our early start that next morning, but she and her mom was awake and eating Chinese salad, so we all stayed up chatting and preparing until nearly 1:00 a.m.

    Our alarms went off at 2:00 a.m.

    After dragging myself out of their comfy guest bedroom where my friend and I had slept that night, we got all of our things together and were in the car before 3:00 a.m. driving sleepily to San Jose. I was completely wiped and fell asleep on the side of the car, the headrest in front of me, and my friend's leg multiple times, and when I next awoke, it was 5:00 and we were nearing the airport. my friend's mom dropped us off and we said our goodbye's before heading inside with our (heavy!) bags on our (tired!) feet. It was a bit of a struggle to get our bags checked, mainly because there was no correctly marked lines or directions and the airport lady running around would says something that confused us and then run off again. But we did it eventually! Then we went through the longest security line ever! It was like standing in line at Space Mountain at Disneyland. We finally made it through and then we were in the airport terminals. We were also hungry.

    So we went to Starbucks and I had a white mocha and a cranberry scone, and my friend and her brother got croissants and a breakfast sandwich. Yummy! We chugged our drinks because it was time for us to get in line to board at that time, on the smallest big plane I've ever been on. It held maybe 80 people and had the teeeniest seats ever! my friend and I sat together and my friend's brother a few seats in front of us. We departed by 7:20 a.m. and arrived a little over an hour later in LA. my friend dozed that whole flight and the waiting time before our next flight, but I wasn't able to sleep on that flight.

    The next flight we took a shuttle (loooong ride!) across the airport to the proper terminal to get to our gate, which was either 43 or 48. We weren't sure because the screen had bad pixels. We thought it was 43. Our flight was meant to depart at 9:50. my friend fell asleep in the chair, I called Mom, Nick, Dad, and my aunt Terry who lives by LA, and then suddenly my friend's brother says, “It's 9:50 and we haven't been called yet. I'm gonna go check it out.” Oblivious to the meaning of that sentence, I nod and he disappears, leaving me with a sleeping friend and some bags.

    A few minutes later he jogs back and tells us to hurry, wake up, we're at the wrong gate and they are boarding NOW. We grab our stuff and book it to gate 48 and board the plane.

    This flight we did not have seats next to each other, which was very disappointing. We were going to trade with people but no one was able to, so my friend was at the front, my friend's brother in the middle, and I in the very last row by the window, next to a family of four plus a cousin. It was a loooong flight. The kids across from me were quiet which I was thankful for, but not talking to anybody for five plus hours kind of sucked. my friend stopped by once and I got up once to use the bathroom and go say hi back, but as soon as I headed down the plane the seatbelt sign turned on and I got back down, and it was too difficult to get back out to attempt it again. I read Emma by Jane Austen and slept that flight away.

    Finally we landed in Kauai! It was 12:56 p.m. Hawaiian time (three hours earlier than California) and we deplaned, got our bags, and started sweltering in the humidity. It was about 75 degrees in Kauai but the humidity made it feel like we were swimming through the air, definitely hot the dry heat we were used to around Sacramento.

    We took a shuttle to the Hertz car rental place, where my friend (awesome my friend, who planned this whole damn thing) had rented us a Nissan Vesta AND where they got a surprise $150 discount on the underage driver thing because the guy had a coupon he gave us! Yay!

    Then we drove off to Poipu, a resort area on the South side of the island, using my friend's brother's phone for a GPS. We didn't get lost, but it did take a while because all the drivers here are apparently sloooow! We were distracted, however, by the gorgeous lush plants and scenery and the amazing hills and cliffs. We drove through the resort area until we made it to our beautiful resort, and parked and trekked inside in our sticky airplane clothes, where we were greeted with “Mahalo!” and given leis and told some of the resort's events and checked in. We then grabbed our bags and walked five or ten minutes to our building, and took the elevator to the third floor to our room.

    Our ocean-front room.

    In Kauai.


    The ocean in front of me as I type this is not an ocean you can wade in. It hits up against a rock bank/cliff and makes some impressive smashes, and is beautiful to see. The entire suite we have is gorgeous. It had a living room, a dining room, a full kitchen, a master bedroom with a king bed and a master bathroom with a huge tub and a huge shower, a smaller bedroom with a Queen bed, a smaller bathroom but still a large shower, and a few closets. And it had a balcony, which has a table and four chairs, a smaller side table, and a lounge chair that I am sitting on at 6:11 a.m. and typing this down in Open Office to hopefully transfer to my blog later today with some photos.

    Anyhoo, after arriving yesterday we were sooo hungry because the long flight didn't feed you unless you paid $10 for a salad or sandwich, and since we had some trail mix bars it wasn't necessary. We decided to go down to the grill at the resort, and my friend and I had a delicious fresh fish sandwich with fries and my friend's brother had a burger. We were right by this huuuge pool that had lots of people swimming and lounging around. It was a pleasant spot.

    There was also an incident.

    A bird incident.

    While we were eating, my friend noticed “the cutest baby birds ever!” flocking around us hoping for some crumbs. I decided to feed them some even though my friend warned they would all come around and pester me for more. I tossed them a few crumbs and started to eat a french fry. I took a bite and had another bite to go when one of the small birds decided I wasn't sharing enough.

    It flew at me, beating its wings in my face and hooking its claw around my lip for purchase as it tried to eat the french fry that I was eating. I screamed and flung my hand up at the bird, and it flew away, leaving me a panting pile of panic and the other two dying of laughter. The long and short of it is I do not in fact, now have bird rabies, and that I will never in my whole entire life feed birds again. (Later today I would find a placard by the main room that says "DO NOT FEED THE BIRDS". Oops).

    Another odd thing happened during our dinner. I started getting really dizzy. I'm not sure why, if it was the lack of sleep, the two flights and possibly altitude sickness, or the humidity, but we came back to our room and all decided to lay down. I called Nick and talked for a while, still feeling like I was on a boat rocking back and forth even though I was laying down. We hung up and I decided to nap for a while. I fell asleep around 4 or 4:30.

    I woke up after my friend and my friend's brother went to get groceries, after the rest of our party arrived (Drew, his brother Zach, and his girlfriend Allie) and after they had made and eaten a pizza and were chatting around the dining room table. It was after midnight.

    I stumbled out, said hi, and stumbled to the bathroom to take out my horribly goopy and glued in contacts. Then I walked back out and redid my hi, sitting down and chatting for a while as well. Within the hour we were all back in bed, though I was afraid sleeping would be impossible now after a day of napping and six straight hours of sleep.

    My friend and her brother took the master bedroom, Allie and I took the Queen bedroom, and Drew and Zach slept on the pull-out couch. Allie dropped off right away and it took me about two hours to get anywhere near sleep. I kept starting to doze off and then jerking awake. It was hard to sleep without Nick. I still woke up every two hours or so, but I managed to stay asleep until just before six. The rooms were humid (we had the window open to hear the ocean and it was looooud, it also rained sporadically and loudly through the whole night) and I was hot and not tired anymore. So, in the dark of the room, I grabbed my laptop and snuck through the living room where Drew and Zach were sleeping, opened the slider as quietly as possible, and sat down to write everything that happened yesterday, while watching the sunrise. (It's beautiful, by the way). It has been raining with sprinkles and outright downpours since I've been out here, but it is cooler and the mist is welcome. The ocean is crashing into the rocks and those (evil) small birds are chirping. I think I'm the only one awake right now, so I'll stay out here for a while longer and perhaps doze a bit more.

    On the balcony with an ocean-view in Kauai.


    (Pictures have been taken, but with a really good camera, and they are too large to even upload to Photobucket quickly. Wifi is only available in the main room unfortunately, and my battery is running out. I'll get them up as soon as possible, but in the meantime, here is a dark and stormy looking picture of the view off our balcony!)

              FBI Reports Continued Decline in Police Officers Killed        

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

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

              Comment on Occupy California by In Loving Memory of Chris Chitty | occupy california        
    […] he will be missed. We here at occupyCA remember him for his tireless efforts during the university occupations of 2009, and the myriad projects, demonstrations, discussions, and struggles he brought his strength and […]
              Comment on SF Anti-Colonial/Anti-Capitalist March by Support the ACAC19 « occupy california        
    [...] banks and corporate chains by rushing the crowd of marchers. The resulting scuffle ended in 19 arrests. In an effort to ostracize the arrestees, police released photos of arrestees to local newspapers [...]
              Scientists to New Moms: Get Your Beauty Sleep (Yeah, right!)        
    On the heels of a study that shows that kids who do not get enough sleep have higher obesity rates, comes this:
    Researchers presented a conundrum to new mothers on Monday, saying that women who want to lose the extra weight gained in pregnancy should try to get more sleep.

    They found that mothers who slept five hours or less a day when their babies were six months old were three times more likely than more rested mothers to have kept on the extra weight at one year.

    "We've known for some time that sleep deprivation is associated with weight gain and obesity in the general population, but this study shows that getting enough sleep — even just two hours more — may be as important as a healthy diet and exercise for new mothers to return to their pre-pregnancy weight," said Erica Gunderson of Kaiser Permanente, which runs hospitals and clinics in California.

    Gunderson and colleagues studied 940 women taking part in a study of prenatal and postnatal health at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

    The women who slept five hours or less a night when their babies were six months old were more likely to have kept on 11 pounds of weight one year after giving birth, they found.

    Women who slept seven hours a night or more lost more weight, they reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

    The researchers acknowledged this may pose a dilemma to new mothers, given that infants sleep so fitfully.

    "With the results of this study, new mothers must be wondering, 'How can I get more sleep for both me and my baby?' Our team is working on new studies to answer this important question," said Dr. Matthew Gillman of Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.
    Uh. great. I am SO glad that now that we know being up ALL NIGHT with a screaming baby might be keeping new moms from losing that baby weight may finally have scientists "working on new studies" to get babies and their mothers to sleep more. I mean, it was no problem at all for me to spend the wee hours of countless nights walking back and forth trying to comfort an alternately whimpering and howling baby in my arms - that is, until I found out that this was what might be keeping those pesky pounds from coming off. Because until now, it was perfectly bearable - even enjoyable, right? Thanks for the handy tip, Harvard geniuses! I wonder why getting more sleep didn't occur to me when I was a new mom? Us mothers will be sure to mention it to our colicky babies so that they can take their moms' weight loss needs into account before they make their evening plans!
              Manring and Lawson – Solo Bass from Both Sides of the Ocean        
    It hasn’t happend for 5 years, but on Wednesday evening, solo bassists Steve Lawson and Michael Manring will be playing. Last time they got together was in Santa Cruz, California, this time Round Midnight Jazz and Blues Bar is the venue, in London England. This is what it sounded like when they played together last: […]
              Anne Spencer Personal Library Wish List        
    This ongoing catalogue / wish list is compiled using the catalogue of Anne Spencer's personal books from the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia. The PLL is looking for the exact editions stated.


    -De La Mare, A.T., ed.,  Garden Guide: the Amateur Gardeners’ Handbook (A.T. De La Mare Co., 1940)


    -(--), An Appeal to the Common Sense of Colored Citizens (Republican National Committee, 1940)
    -(--), Africa: Questions and Answers for Mission Circles and Bands (Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church, 1897) 
    -(--), One year from the day that the Supreme Court of the United States outlawed segregation in public schools everyone interested in implementing that decision is invited to attend a Southwestern Regional Conference on Integration in Houston, Texas, May 17, 1955 (Southern -Regional Conference on Integration, 1955)
    -Atlanta Urban League, The Negro School Child in Atlanta (The Atlanta Urban League, 1945)
    -Davidson, Basil, A Guide to African History (Doubleday & Company, 1965)
    -Dobler, Lavinia and William A. Brown, Great Rulers of the African Past (Doubleday, 1965)
    -Lee, David, The Negro Problem: Editorial (1948)
    -McCulloch, James E., The Call of the New South: Addresses Delivered at the Southern Sociological Congress, Nashville, Tennessee, May 7 to 10, 1912 (Southern Sociological Congress, 1912)
    -Ottley, Roi, ‘New World A-Coming’: Inside Black America (Houghton Mifflin, 1943)
    -Streeter, Daniel W., Denatured Africa (Garden City, 1929)
    -Willkie, Wendell, Wendell Willkie Speaks to Negroes: Address at Rally of Colored Republicans, Chicago, Illinois, September 13, 1940 ( Republican National Committee, 1940)


    -Hutchison, Keith, Labour in Politics (Labour Publishing Company, 1925)
    -Nathan, Maud, The Wage Earner and the Ballot (National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1908)
    -National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Does Your Congressman Represent You?: A Voters Guide (1964)


    -(--), Chronicle and romance : Froissart, Malory, Holinshed (P. F. Collier & Son, 1910)
    -(--), Heartsease: or, The Brother’s Wife (D. Appleton and Co., 1855)
    -Boyeson, Hjalmar H., Falconberg (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1899)
    -Brinker Post, Mary, Annie Jordan: A Novel of Seattle (Doubleday & Co., 1948)
    -Butterworth, Hezekiah, Up from the Cape: a Plea for Pepublican Simplicity; Mayflower Tales (J.S. Ogilvie Publishing Company, 1883)
    -Chevalier, Maurice, With Love (Little, Brown & Co., 1960)
    -Dunsany, Lord, Five plays : the gods of the mountain, The golden doom, King Argimēnēs and the unknown warrior, The glittering gate, The lost silk hat (Little, Brown & Co., 1917)
    -Ellmann, Richard, ed., The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (W.W. Norton & Company, 1973)
    -Fallada, Hans, Little Man, What Now? (Simon & Schuster, 1933)
    -Fast, Howard, Citizen Tom Paine (Bantam Books, 1946)
    -Gras, Felix, (Catharine Janvier, trans.), The White Terror: A Romance of the French Revolution and After (D. Appleton and Co., 1900)
    -Harris, Cyril, Street of Knives (Little, Brown & Co., 1950)
    -Johnson, Johnson's Chief Lives of the Poets : being those of Milton, Dryden, Swift, Addison, Pope, Gray, and Macaulay's Life of Johnson (Foreword by Matthew Arnold) (Henry Holt & Co., 1880)
    -Kerlin, Robert T., Contemporary Poetry of the Negro (Press of the Hampton Normal & Agricultural Institute, 1921)
    -Kipling, Rudyard, Barrackroom Ballads (Donohue, Henneberry & Co., 1899)
    -Kipling, Rudyard, Departmental Ditties (M.A. Donohue & Co., 1901)
    -O’Brien, Edward J., ed., The Best Short Stories of 1924: and The Yearbook of the American Short Story(Small, Maynard & Co., 1925)
    -Patten, William, ed., Short Story Classics (American) ( P.F. Collier & Son, 1905)
    -Rothberg, Abraham, The Thousand Doors (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965)
    -Scott, Sir Walter, The Lady of the Lake (Thomas Crowell & Sons, 1893-1900)
    -Shoup, Francis Elliott, ed., Pope's The Iliad of Homer : books I, VI, XXII, and XXIV (B. F. Johnson Publishing Company, 1901)
    -Smart, C., trans., The Works of Horace (David McKay, 1896)


    -(--), Washington Merry-Go-Round (Liveright, 1931)
    -Addington Symonds, John, Renaissance in Italy (Modern Library, 1935)
    -Anthony, Katharine, Catherine the Great (Garden City, 1927)
    -Dabney, Richard Heath, The Causes of the French Revolution (Henry Holt and Co., 1889)
    -De Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America (Colonial Press, 1899)
    -Gibson, Hugh, ed., The Ciano diaries, 1939-1943 : the complete, unabridged diaries of Count Galeazzo Ciano, Italian minister for foreign affairs, 1936-1943 (Doubleday and Co., 1946)
    -Langford Warren, Herbert, The Foundations of Classic Architecture (Macmillan Co., 1919)
    -Parman, Jr., Francis, The California and Oregon Trail: Being Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life (Hurst and Co., 1900)
    -Turner, Edward Raymond, Europe, 1789-1920 (Doubleday, Page, 1920)
    -Vehanen, Kosti, Marian Anderson: A Portrait (McGraw Hill, 1941)


    -Orlanidi, Nazareno, Italian Grammar (Tip. Sociale, 1910)
    -Tuckerman, Julius, Simplicité : a Reader of French Pronunciation (American Book Co., 1908)


    -Chamberlin, Thomas, A College Text-Book of Geology (Henry Holt and Co., 1909)
    -Curry, Preston E., and Ralph Rice, Applied Business Arithmetic (South-Western Publishing Co., 1940)
    -Korzybski, Alfred, Manhood of Humanity: the Science and Art of Human Engineering (Dutton and Co., 1921)

              Welcome to Edward Garren, LMFT CA License MFC27181        
    "When you're ready for change."

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Fax # is (213) 596-9082 

              Tesla Model S P85D wins AAA Green Car awards        

    The Tesla Model S P85D won two awards in the annual AAA Green Car Guide. Compiled by the Club’s Southern California based Automotive Research Center (ARC), the guide rates 88 battery electric vehicles, compressed natural gas-powered (CNG) vehicles, clean diesels, hybrids, partial zero emission vehicles (PZEVs), and vehicles with high fuel economy. “The center….has a long-term ...

    The post Tesla Model S P85D wins AAA Green Car awards appeared first on

              Comment on Hillary isn’t a sure thing by TripLbee        
    Hillary's biggest rival may well be Jerry Brown, who has raised California from the ashes like a modern day phoenix. Unless the economy falls off a cliff or some other unforeseen catastrophe befalls us, she will whip any Republican in the field.
              February 2012 Daring Cooks' Challenge: Flipping Fried Patties!!!        
    Hi it is Lisa and Audax and we are hosting this month's Daring Cooks' challenge we have chosen a basic kitchen recipe and a basic cooking technique which can be adapted to suit any ingredient that you have to hand and are beloved by children and adults alike … of course we are talking about patties.
    Technically patties are flatten discs of ingredients held together by (added) binders (usually eggs, flour or breadcrumbs) usually coated in breadcrumbs (or  flour) then fried (and sometime baked). Burgers, rissoles, croquettes, fritters, and rösti are types of patties as well.

    Irish chef Patrick "Patty" Seedhouse is said to have come up with the original concept and term as we know it today with his first production of burgers utilizing steamed meat pattys - the pattys were "packed and patted down" (and called pattys for short) in order to shape a flattened disc that would enflame with juices once steamed.

    The binding of the ingredients in patties follows a couple of simple recipes (there is some overlap in the categories below)
    Patties – patties are ingredients bound together and shaped as a disc.
    Rissoles and croquettes – use egg with breadcrumbs as the binder, typical usage for 500 grams (1 lb) of filling ingredients is 1 egg with ½ cup of breadcrumbs (sometimes flour, cooked grains, nuts and bran can be used instead of the breadcrumbs). Some meat patties use no added binders in them they rely on the protein strands within the meat to bind the patty together.  Vegetarian and vegan patties may use mashed vegetables, mashed beans, grains, nuts and seeds to bind the patty. Generally croquettes are crumbed (breaded) patties which are  shallow- or deep-fried. Rissoles are not usually crumbed (but can be) and are pan- or shallow-fried. Most rissoles and croquettes can be baked.  (Examples are all-meat patties, hamburgers, meat rissoles, meatloaves, meatballs, tuna fish and rice patties, salmon and potato rissoles, most vegetable patties.)
    Wet Fritters – use flour, eggs and milk as the binder, typical usage for 500 grams (1 lb) of filling ingredients is 2 cups flour, 1 egg with 1 cup of milk and are usually deep-fried and sometimes pan-fried  (examples deep fried apple fritters, potato fritters, some vegetable fritters, hushpuppies)
    Dry Fritters – use eggs and (some) flour as the binder, typical usage for 500 grams  (1 lb) of filling ingredients is 1 to 2 eggs and (usually) some 2 to 8 tablespoons of flour (but sometimes no flour) and are pan- or shallow- fried. (examples most vegetable patties like zucchini fritters, Thai fish cakes, crab cakes, NZ whitebait fritters)
    Röstis – use eggs (sometimes with a little flour) as the binder for the grated potato, carrot and other root vegetables, typical usage for 500 grams (1 lb) of filling ingredients is one egg yolk (potato rösti).

    Sautéing, stir frying, pan frying, shallow frying, and deep frying use different amounts fat to cook the food. Sautéing uses the least amount of oil (a few teaspoons) while deep frying uses (many many cups) the most oil. The oil helps lubricate (sometimes adds flavour) the food being fried so it will not stick to the pan and helps transfer heat to the food being cooked.

    In particular, as a form of cooking patties, pan- and shallow-frying relies on oil of the correct temperature to seal the surface (so retaining moisture) and to heat the interior ingredients (so binding them together) so cooking the patty. The exposed topside of the patty while cooking allows, unlike deep frying, some moisture loss and contact with the pan bottom with the patty creates greater browning on the contact surface that is the crust of the patty is browned and the interior is cooked by pan- and shallow-frying. Because the food is only being cooked on one side while being pan- or shallow-fried, the food must be flipped at least once to totally cook the patty.

    So this month's challenge is to pan- or shallow-fry a patty, so giving us the title for this challenge “flipping fried patties”.

    This challenge will help you understand how to form, what binders to use, and how to fry a patty so that it is cooked to picture perfect perfection.

    Recipe Source:  Audax adapted a number of popular recipes to come up with the challenge patty recipes and Lisa has chosen to share two recipes – California Turkey Burger adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, and French Onion Salisbury Steak adapted from Cuisine at Home magazine.

    Blog-checking lines:  The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness!  We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!

    Posting Date:  February 14th, 2012

    Download the printable .pdf file HERE

    • Binders
    • Eggs – are found in most patty recipes it acts as a binder, use cold eggs and lightly beat them before using  If you cannot use eggs try this tip  "1/4 cup of silken tofu, blended, or a commercial egg re-placer powder mixed with warm water."
    • Flour – normal plain (all-purpose) flour is used in most fritter recipes it can be replaced with rice, corn or potato flours (in smaller quantities) in some recipes. If you want some rise in your patties then use self-raising flour or add some baking powder to the flour. 
    • Breadcrumb Preparation – breadcrumbs are a common ingredient in patties, burgers and fritters they act as a binding agent, ensuring the patty keeps it shape during the cooking process.
      • Fresh breadcrumbs – these crumbs are made at home with stale bread simply remove the crusts from one- or two-day old bread, break bread into pieces, place pieces in a blender or food processor then blend or process until fine. Store any excess in a plastic bag in the freezer. 1 cup of fresh crumbs = 3 slices of bread.
      • Packaged breadcrumbs – often called dry breadcrumbs, these are used to make a crisp coating on the burgers, patties and fritters they are easily found in the supermarket, You can make them at home. Place slices of one- or two-day bread on baking trays, bake in the oven on the lowest setting until slices are crisp and pale brown. Cool bread, break pieces in a blender or food processor then blend or process until fine. 1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs = 4 slices of bread.
    • Alternate binders – bran (oat, wheat, rice, barley etc) can be used instead of breadcrumbs in most recipes. Tofu (silken) can replace the egg. Also using mashed potato (or sweet potato, carrots, most root vegetables) and/or mashed beans can help bind most patties. Of course chickpea flour and most other flours can be used to help bind patties. Seeds, nuts and grains can help bind a patty especially when the patty has cooled after cooking. These binders are used in vegan recipes.
    • Moisteners – Mayonnaise and other sauces, pesto and mustard are used in some meat patty recipes mainly for moisture and flavour but they can act as binders as well. For vegetable patties you can use chopped frozen spinach, shredded carrots, shredded zucchini, shredded apple and cooked grains to add extra moisture. Also sour cream and other milk products are used to increase the tenderness of patties.

    • Patty Perfection
    • When making meat patties the higher the fat content of the meat, the more the patties shrink during cooking this is especially true for ground (minced) red meat. Make patties larger than the bun they are to be served on to allow for shrinkage.
    • For hamburgers keep the fat content to about 20 - 30% (don't use lean meat) this ensures juicy patties when cooked. Also use coarse freshly ground meat (if possible) to make patties, if the mixture is ground too fine the large patties will break apart since the protein strands are too short and are covered in fat and can only bind to nearby ingredients so when the large patty is cooked it will fall apart or be too dense. Compare this behaviour with small amounts of finely ground lean meat (almost a paste) where the protein can adhere to itself (since the protein chains are short, not covered in fat and all the ingredients are nearby) hence forming a small stable patty (lamb kofta, Asian chicken balls, prawn balls).
    • Patty mixtures should be kept cold as possible when preparing them and kept cold until you  cook them the cold helps bind the ingredients together.
    • Don't over-mix the ingredients the resultant mixture will be heavy and dense.
    • For meat patties chop, mince, grate the vegetable ingredients fairly finely, if too coarse the patties will break apart.
    • Patties made mostly of meat (good quality hamburgers and rissoles) should be seasoned just before the cooking process, if salted too early liquid can be drawn out of the patty.
    • Make all the patties the same size so they will cook at the same rate. To get even-sized patties, use measuring cups or spoons to measure out your mixture.
    • For patties use your hands to combine the ingredients with the binders, mix gently until the mixture comes cleanly from the sides of the mixing bowl. Test that the final mixture forms a good patty (take a small amount in your palm and form into a ball it should hold together) before making the whole batch. Add extra liquid or dry binder as needed. Cook the test patty to check for seasoning, add extra if needed then cook the rest of the batch. 
    • Usually patties should be rested (about an hour) before cooking they “firm” up during this time, a good technique to use if your patty is soft. Always wrap patties they can dry out if left in the fridge uncovered.
    • Dampen your hands when shaping patties so the mixture won't stick to your fingers.
    • If making vegetable patties it is best to squeeze the grated/chopped/minced vegetables to remove any excess liquid this is most important for these types of patties.
    • When making fritters shred your vegetables because it makes long strands that gives a strong lattice for the patties. A food processor  or a box grater is great to use here.
    • For veggie patties make sure your ingredients are free of extra water. Drain and dry your beans or other ingredients thoroughly before mashing. You can even pat them gently dry with a kitchen cloth or paper towel.
    • Vegetable patties lack the fat of meat patties so oil the grill when BBQing them so the patty will not stick.
    • Oil all-meat burgers rather than oiling the barbecue or grill pan – this ensures the burgers don’t stick to the grill allowing them to sear well. If they sear well in the first few minutes of cooking they’ll be golden brown and juicy. To make it easy brush the burgers with a brush dipped in oil or easier still use a spray can of oil.
    • If you only have very lean ground beef try this tip from the Chicago Tribune newspaper  “To each 1 lb (½ kg) of ground beef add 2 tablespoons of cold water (with added salt and pepper) and 2 crushed ice cubs, form patties.” it really does work.
    • A panade, or mixture of bread crumbs and milk, will add moisture and tenderness to meat patties when the burgers are cooked well-done.
    • For vegetable patties it is best to focus on one main ingredient then add some interesting flavour notes to that major taste (examples carrot and caraway patties, beetroot, feta and chickpea fritters etc) this gives a much bolder flavour profile than a patty of mashed “mixed” vegetables which can be bland.
    • Most vegetable  and meat/vegetable patties just need a light coating of seasoned breadcrumbs. Lightly pat breadcrumbs onto the surface of the patty there is enough moisture and binders on the surface of the patty to bind the breadcrumbs to the patty while it is cooking. You can use wheatgerm, bran flakes, crushed breakfast cereals, nuts and seeds to coat the patty.
    • Use fine packet breadcrumbs as the coating if you want a fine smooth crust on your patties use coarser fresh breadcrumbs as the coating if you want a rougher crisper crust on your patty.
    • Flip patties once and only once, over-flipping the patty results in uneven cooking of the interior and allows the juices to escape.
    • Don't press the patties when they are cooking you'll squeeze out all of the succulent juices.
    • Rest patties a while before consuming.

    • Shaping the patty
    • Shaping – Shape the patty by pressing a ball of mixture with your clean hands it will form a disc shape which will crack and break up around the edges. What you want to do is press down in the middle and in from the sides, turning the patty  around in your hand until it is even and uniform. It should be a solid disc that is firm. Handle the mixture gently, use a light touch and don’t make them too compacted. Rather than a dense burger, which is difficult to cook well, aim for a loosely formed patty that holds together but is not too compressed.
    • Depressing the centre – When patties cook, they shrink (especially red meat burgers). As they shrink the edges tend to break apart causing deep cracks to form in the patty. To combat this you want the burger patty to be thinner in the middle than it is around the edges. Slightly depress the center of the patty to push a little extra mixture towards the edges. This will give you an even patty once it is cooked.  

    • Shallow- and pan-frying 
    • Preheat the pan or BBQ.
    • Generally when shallow-frying patties use enough oil that it comes halfway up the sides of the food. Best for most meat and vegetable patties and where the ingredients in the patty are uncooked.
    • Generally when pan-frying use enough oil to cover the surface of the pan best for most vegetable patties where all the ingredients are precooked (or cook very quickly) and all-meat rissoles and hamburgers.
    • Most oils are suitable for shallow- and pan-frying but butter is not it tends to burn. Butter can be used in combination with oil. Low-fat spreads cannot be used to shallow fry as they contain a high proportion of water. Rice bran oil is a great choice since it is almost tasteless and has a very high smoke point of 490°F/254°C. The smoke point is when the oil starts to break down into bitter fatty acids and produces a bluish smoke, Canola (smoke point 400°F/204°C) is also a great choice. Butter has a smoke point of 250–300°F/121–149°C. Olive oil Extra light 468°F/242°C. Olive oil Extra virgin 375°F/191°C. Ghee (Clarified Butter) 485°F/252°C.   
    • Do not overload the frying pan which allows steam to be trapped near the cooking food which might lead to the patties being steamed instead of fried. If you place too many patties at once into the preheated pan this reduces the heat and the patties will then release juices and begin to stew. Leave some space between each when you place them in the pan.
    • For most patties preheat the oil or fat until the oil seems to shimmer or a faint haze rises from it, but take care not to let it get so hot it smokes. If the oil is too cool before adding the patties, it will be absorbed by the food making the patty soggy. If the oil is too hot then the crumb coating will burn before the interior ingredients are cooked and/or warmed through. For vegetable and meat/vegetable patties start off cooking in a medium hot skillet and then reduce the heat to medium.  For all-meat patties start off cooking in a very hot skillet and then reduce the heat to hot, as celebrity chef Bobby Flay says that “the perfect [meat] burger should be a contrast in textures, which means a tender, juicy interior and a crusty, slightly charred exterior. This is achieved by cooking the meat [patty] directly over very hot heat, rather than the indirect method preferred for slow barbecues”. All patties should sizzle when they are placed onto the preheated pan.
    • Cast iron pans are best to fry patties.
    • When the raw patty hits the hot cooking surface it will stick. And will stay so until the patty crust forms so causing a non-stick surface on the patty at this point you can lift the patty easily without sticking. So wait until the patties (with a gentle shaking of the pan or a light finger-twist of the patty) release themselves naturally from the frying pan surface (maybe a minute or two for meat patties maybe 3-6 minutes for a vegetable patty).  If you try to flip it too early the burger will fall apart. The secret is to wait for the the patty to naturally release itself from the pan surface then flip it over once.
    • Veggie burgers will firm up significantly as they cool.
    • Most vegetable patties can be baked in the oven.
    • Check the temperature of the oil by placing a few breadcrumbs into the pan they should take 30 seconds to brown.
    • If you need to soak up excess oil place the patties on a rack to drain, do not place onto paper towels since steam will be trapped which can make the patty soggy, if you need to just press off the excess oil with paper towels then place onto a rack.

    Mandatory Items: Make a batch of pan- or shallow-fried (or baked) patties.

    Variations allowed:  Any variation on a patty is allowed. You can use the recipes provided or make your own recipe.

    Preparation time:
    Patties: Preparation time less than 60 minutes. Cooking time less than 20 minutes.

    Equipment required:
    Large mixing bowl
    Large stirring spoon
    Measuring cup
    Frying pan

    Basic Canned Fish and Rice Patties

    Servings: makes about ten ½ cup  patties
    Recipe can be doubled
    adapted from

    This is one my favourite patty recipes I make it once a week during the holidays. It is most important that you really mix and mash the patty ingredients well since the slightly mashed rice helps bind the patty together. 

    1 can (415 gm/15 oz) pink salmon or tuna or sardines, (not packed in oil) drained well
    1 can (340 gm/13 oz) corn kernels, drained well
    1 bunch spinach, cooked, chopped & squeezed dry or 60 gm/2 oz thawed frozen spinach squeezed dry
    2 cups (300 gm/7 oz) cooked white rice (made from 2/3 cups of uncooked rice)
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    about 3 tablespoons (20 gm/2/3 oz) fine packet breadcrumbs for binding
    3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil, for frying
    2 spring (green) onions, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) tomato paste or 1 tablespoon (15 ml) hot chilli sauce
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) oyster sauce
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) sweet chilli sauce
    Salt and pepper to taste
    ½ cup (60 gm/2 oz) seasoned fine packet bread crumbs to cover patties

    1) Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl.
    2) Mix and mash using your hands or a strong spoon the ingredients with much force (while slowly adding tablespoons of breadcrumbs to the patty mixture) until the mixture starts to cling to itself about 4 minutes the longer you mix and mash the more compacted the final patty.  Day-old cold rice works best (only needs a tablespoon of breadcrumbs or less) but if the rice is hot or warm you will need more breadcrumbs to bind the mixture. Test the mixture by forming a small ball it should hold together. Cook the test ball adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) of the mixture to taste.   
    3) Form patties using a ½ cup measuring cup.
    4) Cover in seasoned breadcrumbs.
    5) Use immediately or can be refrigerated covered for a few hours.
    6) Preheat fry pan (cast iron is best) to medium hot add 1½ tablespoons of oil and heat until the oil shimmers place the patties well spaced out onto the fry pan lower heat to medium.
    7) Pan fry for about 3 minutes each side for a thin lightly browned crust about 10 minutes for a darker thicker crisper crust. Wait until the patties can be released from the pan with a shake of the pan or a light turning of the patty using your fingers before flipping over to cook the other side of the patty add the remaining 1½ tablespoons of oil when you flip the patties. Flip only once. You can fry the sides of the patty if you want brown sides on your patty.

    Pictorial Guide
    Some of the ingredients

    Starting to mix the patty mixture           

    About ready to be tested

    The test ball to check if the mixture will hold together

    Form patties using a ½ cup measuring cup

    Crumb (bread) the patties                   

    Cover and refrigerate

    Preheat frying pan add oil wait until the oil shimmers add patties well spaced out onto the pan

    Wait until the patties can be released by a light shaking of the pan or by finger-turning the patty and then flip the patties over add some extra oil (these were fried for 10 minutes)

    Enjoy picture perfect patties

    This patty was pan-fried on my cast iron fry pan notice the shiny very crisp crust as compared to the patty above

    Zucchini, prosciutto & cheese fritters

    Servings: makes about 8-10 two inch (five cm) fritters
    Recipe can be doubled
    adapted from

    This makes a great light lunch or a lovely side dish for dinner. 

    500 gm (½ lb) zucchini (two medium)
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) (7 gm) salt
    ½ cup (120 ml) (60 g/2 oz) grated cheese, a strong bitty cheese is best
    5 slices (30 gm/1 oz) prosciutto, cut into small pieces
    ½ cup (120 ml) (70 gm/2½ oz) all-purpose (plain) flour plus ½ teaspoon baking powder, sifted together
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    2 spring onions, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) chilli paste
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) black pepper, freshly cracked
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil, for frying

    • Grate the zucchini with a box grater or food processor. Place into large bowl, add salt, wait 10 minutes.
    • While waiting for the zucchini, pan fry the prosciutto pieces until cooked. Remove from pan and place prosciutto onto rack this will crisp up the prosciutto when it cools. Paper towels tend to make prosciutto soggy if left on them.
    • When zucchini is ready wrap in a cloth and squeeze dry with as much force as you can you will get a lot of liquid over ½ cup, discard liquid it will be too salty to use.
    • Return dried zucchini to bowl add prosciutto, cheese, pepper, sifted flour and baking powder, chilli paste, pepper, a little salt and the lightly beaten eggs.
    • Mix until combined if the batter is too thick you can add water or milk or another egg, if too wet add some more flour. It should be thick and should not flow when placed onto the frying pan.
    • Preheat a frying pan (cast iron is best) until medium hot, add 1/3 of the oil wait until it shimmers.
    • Place dollops of batter (about 2 tablespoons each) onto the fry pan widely spaced out, with the back of a spoon smooth out each dollop to about 2 inches (5 cm) wide, do not make the fritters too thick. You should get three or four fritters in the average-sized fry pan. Lower heat to medium
    • Fry for 3-4 minutes the first side, flip, then fry the other side about 2-3 minutes until golden brown.  Repeat for the remaining batter. Adding extra oil as needed.
    • Place cooked fritters into a moderate oven on a baking dish for 10 minutes if you want extra crispy fritters.

    Pictures of process – fresh zucchini, grated zucchini, liquid released from salted and squeezed dry zucchini, ingredients for the fritters, fritter batter and frying the fritters.

    Cooked fritters

    California Turkey Burger

    Servings: makes about 10 burgers
    Recipe can be doubled
    adapted from Cooking Light Magazine September 2005:

    ½ cup (120 ml) ketchup
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) fat-free mayonnaise

    ½ cup (120 ml) (60 gm/2 oz) finely chopped shallots
    ¼ cup (60 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) dry breadcrumbs
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) Worcestershire sauce
    ¼ teaspoon (¾ gm) freshly ground black pepper
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1¼ lbs (600 gm) ground turkey
    1¼ lbs (600 gm) ground turkey breast
    Cooking spray

    Remaining ingredients:
    10 (2-ounce/60 gm) hamburger buns
    10 red leaf lettuce leaves
    20 bread-and-butter pickles
    10 (1/4-inch thick/5 mm thick) slices red onion, separated into rings
    2 peeled avocados, each cut into 10 slices
    3 cups (750 ml) (60 gm/2 oz) alfalfa sprouts

    1. Prepare the grill to medium-high heat.
    2. To prepare sauce, combine first 3 ingredients; set aside.
    3. To prepare patties, combine shallots and the next 7 ingredients (through turkey breast), mixing well. Divide mixture into 10 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick (1¼ cm thick) patty. Place patties on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until done.
    4. Spread 1 tablespoon sauce on top half of each bun. Layer bottom half of each bun with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 patty, 2 pickles, 1 onion slice, 2 avocado slices, and about 1/3 cup of sprouts. Cover with top halves of buns.                                                                                                         


    Yield:  10 servings (serving size: 1 burger) - Nutritional Information – CALORIES 384(29% from fat); FAT 12.4g (sat 2.6g,mono 5.1g,poly 2.8g); PROTEIN 31.4g; CHOLESTEROL 68mg; CALCIUM 94mg; SODIUM 828mg; FIBER 3.9g; IRON 4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 37.5g
    Lisa’s Notes:
    Nutritional information provided above is correct for the recipe as written.  When I make these burgers, the only ingredients I change are using regular mayo, and dill pickles.  My red lettuce of choice is radicchio.  I’ve both grilled and pan fried these burgers and both are delicious.  If you decide to pan fry, you’ll need a little extra fat in the pan – so use about 2 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil, or canola oil before laying your patties on the pan.  Cook for approximately 5 minutes on each side, or until done.  Do not overcook as the patties will dry out and not be as juicy and tasty! :)

    French Onion Salisbury Steak

    Courtesy of Cuisine at Home April 2005 edition
    Makes 4 Steaks; Total Time: 45 Minutes

    1 1/4 lb (600 gm) ground chuck 
    1/4 cup (60 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) fresh parsley, minced
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) (⅓ oz/10 gm) scallion (spring onions), minced
    1 teaspoon (5ml) (3 gm) kosher salt or ½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (3 gm) table salt
    1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (1½ gm) black pepper
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) (½ oz/18 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
    2 cups (240 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) onions, sliced
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) sugar
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) (⅓ oz/10 gm) garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) (½ oz/15 gm) tomato paste
    2 cups (240 ml) beef broth
    1/4 cup (60 ml) dry red wine
    3/4 teaspoon (2 gm) kosher salt or a little less than ½ teaspoon (2 gm) table salt
    1/2 teaspoon  (2½ ml) (1½ gm) dried thyme leaves
    4 teaspoons (20 ml) (⅓ oz/10 gm) fresh parsley, minced
    4 teaspoons (20 ml)  (2/3 oz/20 gm) Parmesan cheese, shredded

    Cheese Toasts
    4 slices French bread or baguette, cut diagonally (1/2" thick) (15 mm thick)
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) (30 ml/1 oz) unsalted butter, softened
    1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (2 gm) garlic, minced
    Pinch of paprika
    1/4 cup (60 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) Swiss cheese, grated (I used 4 Italian cheese blend, shredded)
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) (⅓ oz/10 gm) Parmesan cheese, grated

    1. Combine chuck, parsley, scallion, salt and pepper. Divide evenly into 4 portions and shape each into 3/4"-1" (20-25 mm) thick oval patties. Place 2 tablespoons flour in a shallow dish; dredge each patty in flour. Reserve 1 teaspoon flour.
    2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add patties and sauté 3 minutes on each side, or until browned. Remove from pan.
    3. Add onions and sugar to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste; sauté 1 minute, or until paste begins to brown. Sprinkle onions with reserved flour; cook 1 minute. Stir in broth and wine, then add the salt and thyme.
    4. Return meat to pan and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
    5. Serve steaks on Cheese Toasts with onion soup ladled over. Garnish with parsley and Parmesan.

    For the Cheese Toasts
    6. Preheat oven to moderately hot 200°/400ºF/gas mark 6.
    7. Place bread on baking sheet.
    8. Combine butter, garlic and paprika and spread on one side of each slice of bread. Combine cheeses and sprinkle evenly over butter. Bake until bread is crisp and cheese is bubbly, 10-15 minutes.

    French Onion Salisbury Steak

    Potato Rösti

    Servings: makes two large rösti
    adapted from a family recipe

    The classic rösti; cheap, easy and so tasty.

    1 kg (2½ lb) potatoes
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
    2 teaspoons (10 ml) (6 gm) black pepper, freshly milled
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) (½ oz/15 gm) cornflour (cornstarch) or use all-propose flour
    3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil, for frying

    1. Grate lengthwise the peeled potatoes with a box grater or a food processor.
    3. Wrap the grated potato in a cloth and squeeze dry, you will get a lot of liquid over ½ cup, discard liquid since it is full of potato starch.
    5. Return dried potato to bowl add the egg, cornflour, pepper, and salt.
    7. Mix until combined.
    9. Preheat a frying pan (cast iron is best) until medium hot, add 2 teaspoons of oil wait until oil shimmers.
    11. Place half of mixture into the pan, flatten with a spoon until you get a smooth flat surface. Lower heat to medium.
    13. Fry for 8-10 minutes (check at 6 minutes) the first side, flip by sliding the rösti onto a plate then use another plate invert the rösti then slide it back into the pan, then fry the other side about 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Repeat to make another rösti

    Pictures of process – Peel 1 kg spuds, grate lengthwise, squeeze dry, add 1 egg, 2 tablespoons starch, salt and pepper. Pan fry.

    Pictures of the grated potato before (left) and after (right) squeezing dry. Notice in the left hand pictures the gratings are covered in moisture and starch, while in the right hand pictures the grated potato is dry and doesn't stick together.

    Pictures of the finished small rösti

    Pictures of the large rösti

    Chicken, potato and corn patties
    I had some leftover chicken legs and boiled potatoes from dinner last night so I made up some patties. The patties are made from 1 kilogram of finely grated cold boiled potatoes, 4 chicken legs meat removed and finely chopped, and one can of corn kernels. The binder was one egg and 1/4 cup of self-raising wholewheat flour.

    The crumbed (breaded) patties waiting to be pan fried

    Patties pan frying

    The finished patties


    I made meatballs using high quality ground veal and pork (30% fat) I didn't use any binders in the mixture just a little seasoning chilli, garlic and dried mushroom powder.

    The meatballs waiting to be fried

    Frying the meatballs

    The finished meatballs

    Of course I made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner so so delicious

    Thai Fish Cakes

    I adore Thai fish cakes but I have never really made them I was surprised how simple it is if you have a very strong food processor. Basically you make a paste from 1/2 kg (1 lb) of white fillet fish (I used catfish (basa) fillets) with 1 egg and 6 tablespoons of flavourings (a combination of 1 Tbsp fish sauce, 1 tsp chilli, 2 Tbsp red curry paste, 1 Tbsp coconut cream, 1 Tbsp chilli crab flakes, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp shrimp paste, a few spices), 6 kaffir lime leaves and 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) with a teaspoon of baking powder, you form small patties (each 2 tablespoons) from the paste and pan fry until cooked. These are just as good as the cafe ones I buy and only cost about 30 cents each instead of $1.90 at the cafe. A good basic recipe for Thai fish cakes is here I added some extra baking powder and cornflour to the basic recipe since it makes the cakes rise and the interiors are light and fluffy. Super tasty and so cute.


    Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:
    Most rissoles, croquettes and dry fritters keep well for three or four days if covered and kept in the fridge. Uncooked and cooked rissoles and croquettes can be frozen for at least one month.

    Additional Information: 
    An index of Aussie patty recipes
    An index of Aussie rissole recipes
    An index of American patty recipes
    An index of American burger recipes 
    A great vegetable and chickpea recipe
    A baked vegetable patty recipe
    Vegetable patty recipes
    Best ever beet(root) and bean patty
    Ultimate veggie burgers
    One of best zucchini fritter recipes 
    Old School Meat rissoles
    How to form a patty video
    Top 12 vegetable patty recipes
    Ultimate Meat Patties Video
    Beautiful vegetable fritters so pretty   
    Information about veggie patties  

    The Daring Kitchen and its members in no way suggest we are medical professionals and therefore are NOT responsible for any error in reporting of “alternate baking/cooking”.  If you have issues with digesting gluten, then it is YOUR responsibility to research the ingredient before using it.  If you have allergies, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are lactose intolerant, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. The responsibility is YOURS regardless of what health issue you’re dealing with. Please consult your physician with any questions before using an ingredient you are not familiar with.  Thank you! :)
              It’s How Many Terabytes?! A Case Study on Managing Large Born Digital Audio-visual Acquisitions        

    In October 2014, the University of California Irvine (UCI) Special Collections and Archives acquired a born digital collection of 2.5 terabytes – the largest born digital collection acquired by the department to date. This case study describes the challenges we encountered when applying existing archival procedures to appraise, store, and provide access to a large born digital collection. It discusses solutions when they could be found and ideas for solutions when they could not, lessons learned from the experience, and the impact on born-digital policy and procedure at UCI Libraries. Working with a team of archivists, librarians, IT, and California Digital Library (CDL) staff, we discovered issues and determined solutions that will guide our procedures for future acquisitions of large and unwieldy born digital collections.


              Single quote that summarizes state of USA        
    A blogger called MichiganFarmer has quoted "Our totalitarian government has, by stealthy encroachment, taken our basic rights away and is forcing us to buy them back as privileges, permits, and licenses. This is not freedom.". Lets break this down.

    Source -

    totalitarianism, a modern autocratic government in which the state involves itself in all facets of society, including the daily life of its citizens. A totalitarian government seeks to control not only all economic and political matters but the attitudes, values, and beliefs of its population, erasing the distinction between state and society. The citizen's duty to the state becomes the primary concern of the community, and the goal of the state is the replacement of existing society with a perfect society.

    Encroachment is a term which implies "advance beyond proper limits"

    Human rights refers to "the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled. Examples of rights and freedoms which are often thought of as human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life and liberty, freedom of expression, and equality before the law; and social, cultural and economic rights, including the right to participate in culture, the right to work, and the right to education.

    Permit may refer to:

    *Work permit
    *Learner's permit
    *Permit to travel
    *Construction permit
    *Home Return Permit
    *One-way Permit

    Does any of this sound like a free society? - What happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? We all need shelter, water and food and even these basic rights have been violated.

    Shelter - Need building permit + Ton of fees

    Food - development permit for over an acre of land in California + requires water, hunting licenses and fishing licenses.

    Water - illegal to drill a well in California for your own needs without using a C-57 licensed driller specializing costing you about $6000-20,000.


    I thought that this is the one exact sentence that shows us the state of our country and it's distance from the founders. Jefferson believed that the people would have to occasionally rise up and wash out the government and start over.

    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

    Each day that goes by with the government is becoming more cradle to grave, anti free-market and anti-capitalist. The people want the government to allow us to have our own energy independence. The people are sending a clear message to the politicians and they are not listening. It's time to continue the Revolution Ron Paul started. Government is too big, too costly and is strangling it's working class by the neck to support a welfare state. Something will change in time. I have personally lost faith in our system, it's politicians and activist judges. It is no longer functioning to it's original purpose. I can only trust that God is putting us through this turmoil to bring us a reformer.

    To the liberals - YOU cannot put enough solar panels on your car to make it function- plus the power to charge batteries has to come from somewhere- either more solar or wind power.

    WE NEED DOMESTIC OIL RIGHT NOW. There is a gap between technologies that may be viable and the available infrastructure such as the state with hydrogen. Live in reality - most liberals would rather see our internal destruction with our economy before we drill more oil on our lands and make more refineries.
              Frontier Talk and the Industrial Revolution vs. Agrarian movement        
    So what was the original american frontier? It was considered the area between urbanized areas and wilderness. Many regard the original American frontier as a place where true freedom existed as westernization occured across this county, and those living in it had to be resourceful and promoted a spirit of self-reliance.

    This blog "New American Frontier" is named for this because these freedoms and openness are now somewhat limited- but we must strive to still keep a spirit of independence and self-reliance alive. We are told that we cannot take care of ourselves outside of consumerism and our governments ( both federal and state ).

    There is no reason we still cannot be self-reliant and live with less crap in our lives. I read an article recently about consumerism right before the stock market crash in the late 20's. Basically, most people lived an agrarian lifestyle where they met nearly all of their own needs by their land. During the 1830's and up to the 1920's people still produced most of what they needed themselves. The 1920's was a huge time for advertising success in business, and people starting buying. They never stopped. Today, consumerism is at an all time high, and so is our national debt. Most people don't have any sort of savings. Retirement for most in my generation (30 years old) looks bleak. Social Security isn't going to be there either. That's one reason I wanted to purchase my own land and attempt to live on it, good or bad.

    In 2003, people now spend 75% more on their mortgages than they did 30 years ago in the 70's based on the same income and what it would buy. The state and local governments want to strap us with more fees to build something than what it costs to build with our own hands and labor, or they want to fine us. This is really a tax. The greed of government knows no bounds.

    America's real problems today are core problems that will never be fixed overnight. We need people to spend less, and tell their kids that they can't have everything at wal-mart. I think that people need to re-evaluate themselves, their spending, and where it will lead. The agrarian lifestyle starts to look pretty good as gas prices, food and cost of living is increasing by the day- especially oil.

    We have pretty much parked our 1996 diesel suburban at this point except for towing (3/4 ton). We're now driving my 1/2 ton pickup extra cab and squeezing the kids to it instead for $4.00 per gallon gas and 19 mpg vs. 15 mpg at 5.10 per gallon here in California.
              I found a spring!        
    I finally realized something after doing some more research on my property- I have a spring.

    It appears that I have a natural high groundwater spring on the western portion of my property, about 1200' away from where I want to build. This spring occurs naturally and still has groundwater at about 5-6' from where I found an old monitoring well. During the winter months it creates a second small swale that runs for 3-6 months.

    Supposedly there was an original hand-dug well on my parcel as shown from an old septic report where the windmill was located. I found a pile of rocks, but not a well. Too much land to just easily find it when you have 48 acres. I thought maybe looking at an old satellite photo might clear it up, but I can't see the windmill.

    In California, you cannot legally drill your own well without a C-57 license. I am going to have a professional well drilled, but I am thinking about developing this natural spring some 1200' away from where I want to build for cattle grazing since it should just require a pump down the hole and maybe a bit of backhoe work to clean it out. It is about 40-50' lower in elevation and it eminates from my property as shown from the contours. Might be a valuable resource.

    I originally wanted to drill my own well under an 'owner-builder' method but there were court cases that I found online where these wells could never be permitted and even the state was going after those doing this. I only need to drill about 20-30' max to get plenty of water. Even still, the cheapest driller including casing for a 100' well was about $6,000 not including the pump or permit ($235). If you are in California, you are pretty much screwed with this work. The well drillers have cornered the market and you are out of luck for a legal well. I don't see a problem however you drilling other wells on your property once you have one permitted... It would be difficult for both the assessors and environmental health to figure it out.
              Solar looks more attractive in terms of property taxes        
    Solar starts to look really good. I found a place online that sells solar panels that don't qualify for PG&E rebates (BP solar brand new 70 watt panels) for $2.84 per watt. You can build a 5800 watt system for less than $16,000 not including the batteries or inverters. With 5 hours of average sunlight you would get about 25-30kwh of electricity produced per day. Currently I use about 14 KW per day in my house. When I run the swamp cooler this increases by 2-3KWH per day.

    One thing most of you may not know is that in California solar panels cannot be taxed on your property, so this saves you versus a PG&E hookup. The assessor came out and re-assessed my neighbors property once power was hooked up at $25,000. 1% of that pear year is going to cost him about $250 in taxes or $20 per month. Over the long run, a 10 year investment alone in solar with the $20-$22 per month in tax savings equals $2500. Over 30 years the system in terms of taxes pays for itself at about 50% ($7500). For many like me the cost of not having to drag telephone poles down my property line, permits, trenching make solar worth it. PG&E will not assist you in financing. When I started this proess, power was supposed to cost me about $12,500 to hook up including the transformer. After a site visit and formal quote, that price doubled.

    Basically I can build about a 9kw system for the price of PG&E hookup; -plus no tax disadvantages, or issues about where I build my home, less trenching, etc. Additionally, there are companies who will now finance solar panels in a lease at 12-14% with a $1 buyout at the end of the term.

    I am also fortunate enough to have great wind around 8-10mph year round; so wind power will supplement my power in the roughest of times during the winter. Those of you looking at spending lots of money with PG&E should seriously look at solar and wind. In terms of a monthly cash-flow position, you are looking to save $100-$200 per month in utility bills alone which pays for your $20-$25k solar power system versus paying for hookup + monthly service.
              30' Pacific Yurt        
    I owned a 30' Pacific Yurt a short time ago. I thought it would be a great idea, and the price was right- $10,000 including the deck. I ended up selling the Yurt due to some financial pressures, and the fact that the high winds in our area would make Yurt living fairly uncomfortable. However, I can't say enough good things about the Yurt. My wife and I took one down in a day with the person selling the yurt, and stacked it on a car trailer. Building any other structure besides a mobile home would be difficult or even tearing it down. The yurt had 7' sidewalls. I made a template of the 2x4's and center ring to build one down the road. Ideally, if the panelized yurt option was less expensive, I would have gone this route. It really seems to be the only route that would feel like a real house with real windows.

    If you are thinking about getting one, make sure you like camping. That's what it feels like inside a Yurt, kind of a camping/jungle safari feeling inside one. The pricing new is about $15,000 plus the deck, which will set you back another $4-$5k. Definitely craigslist one if you can. I sold my Yurt pretty quick, but probably had over 30 phone calls that past month from others wanting to buy it w/o even looking at it. The person who purchased it was off-grid with a 120 acre parcel and a seasonal stream for water in calaveras county.

    Below: the yurt completely dissasembled in my garage.

    You will need to use a transit to get your deck level. In terms of yurt manufacturers, pacific yurt is great for a camping yurt. I personally love the designs over at out of Grass Valley. The 36' version they sell is panelized and can meet certain building codes - even here in the environmental nut state of California. They start at about $25k for an 18', and $50k for a 36' Yurt with about 1000 square feet. You can build one yourself for about $10k. also has a panelized yurt that's affordable in a kit.
              First post        

    This is the first post of the New American Frontier blog. I want to talk about homesteading and share ideas, pictures for living a self-sustainable lifestyle. I will also talk about how the state of California won't let you drill your own well, and want to nickel and dime you for everything imaginable and how I want the government out of my life. If you are planning on moving to California, stay where you are.

    I have been studying Cabin plans, wooden panelized yurts, etc and hope to put some plans online including BOM (Bill of Materials) to be completely self-sustainable off the grid.

    Attached is a picture of my 48 acre parcel in North Chico. Power is about 900' from my property line, but PG&E wants $25,000 to hook it up! Solar hookup for a complete 6000 watt system is less than the PG&E hookup cost. This land is part of the last original untouched frontier in Northern California between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the coastal mountain range. My land is about 1 mile from the base of the Sierra Mountains.

    The New American Frontier is about the current homesteading movement. Obviously, land is no longer free, nor are we under our current government. The 1863 homestead act gave a person the right to own free and clear any 160 acre parcel of land as long as they lived on the parcel and built at least a minimum of a 10x12 cabin with one window. Today's governement wants to take you to court for building without permits. With the current housing crisis, most people are having a difficult time getting a construction loan to start building a house. This is why I am most likely going to build a cabin or yurt to live in with my three kids. The New American Frontier is about utilizing current technologies - not just solar to make economic living also comfortable living. Enough for now, I hope you enjoy the blog over time.

              California's Latest Power Plant: My House!        
    Our solar panels are now up and running. So far we have generated more electricity than we use, indicated by our digital meter going backwards.* I think that trend will definitely continue, at least until I get the electric car running. For some particulars, we generated 19 Kilowatt Hours yesterday, with a peak of 2,906 watts. It's starts up with a few hundred watts at about 8 AM and by 10:30 or 11:00 it is over 2,000. It peaks at about 2 in the afternoon and starts to decline from there. It should do even better in the summer with the longer days.
    Interestingly, the wildfires in California put a haze over us here on the Central Coast today, even though we are 200 miles away. You could actually smell smoke.
    Because of that, we generated a smaller maximum of 2,457 watts today (Compared to the previously noted 2,906 from yesterday). So assuming that yesterday was a clear day, I can create my own haze index for the amount of sun blockage: 2,457/2,906 = .845, so that's about a 85% of what we maxed on a clear day. That's a 15% loss in efficiency, which is quite significant and that's 200 miles away from the source of the fire. It gives you an idea of how smog must effect L.A.
    Anyway this is like a new toy for me and I'll update with more factoids as they come. Hopefully, that will be the worst of the fires, but I'm not optimistic, as it is still warm and dry and the Santa Ana winds are expected for the next few days.
    I wish I had a better car update. I hack-sawed my motor key to the proper length and I will try to attach the clutch and transmission to the motor this weekend. I'm stuck after that until I can get a motor mount from EA, who are again not returning my e-mails.
    *For the record, California doesn't reimburse you if you make more energy than you use anymore, so consider it a donation to the grid...
              Drones in the Swedish emergency services        

    The interest in using drones in the emergency services is increasing. The drone technique can be used to search bodies at drowning accidents, forest fires or for overview images in major accidents. Fire engineer Alexandra Olofsson at Luleå University of Technology has examined the legal possibilities for using drones for the emergency services in her thesis "Drones in the Swedish emergency services".

              Blog Post: Future Of Calif. Cap-And-Trade Is Up To CARB         
    The California Legislature recently passed Assembly Bill 398 into law, extending the state’s signature climate change policy — the cap-and-trade program — through 2030. Despite the many program changes in AB 398, the California Air Resources Board is left with broad implementation authority, say Jerry Bloom and Andrew Mayer of Winston & Strawn LLP.
              Fujikura Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells ready to power IoT        
    IMG_2433.jpgLeading low light performance and incident light angle independence at a premium. I bumped into Fujikura Ltd. at the IDTechEx Show Demonstration Street hosted in Santa Clara, California USA a few weeks ago. Fujikura had single, four (4), and eight (8) cell DSC modules on display optimized for indoor applications. As discussed in the paper, […]

    Available Colors: Gold, Silver  Length: 16” with 2” extender.  States are 12x9mm Materials: Brass or Silver Plated state charms hung on gold-filled or sterling
              Medical marijuana special guide        
    Dentro do jornal semanal gratuito SF Weekly dessa semana, veio encartado um guia sobre Medical Marijuana.

    Como a maioria que lê esse blog deve saber, que no estado da California a utilização da Maconha para fins medicinais é legalizado, ou seja, se vc tiver o atestado médico alegando que vc possui algum tipo de sintoma que a maconha possa ajudar, vc é apto a utilizar maconha dentro da lei.

    O guia é um compilado de perguntas e respostas sobre o assunto e aqui mostro os highlights da matéria.

    1. A pergunta que mais me chamou atenção foi essa abaixo.

    Se vc não gosta de fumar, ou seja, prejudicar o pulmão só para ter o THC dentro do organismo, vc tem uma ótima opção de inalar com os vaporizadores. Eles aquecem a erva sem fazer combustão e não só tem uma maneira 100% saudável, como obtém todo o aproveitamento da substância.

    2. O top 5, os 5 tipos de erva mais hit das dispensaries

    São eles: grandaddy purple, purple kush, blue dream, sour diesel, white widow.
    As descrições de cada um são tão minuciosas que lembra um tasting wine.
    (para ler as ótimas descrições, só lendo o jornal, sorry!)

    3. Onde comprar
    Dispensaries na cidade de San Francisco e Bay Area

    4. As propagandas dentro do encarte

    É bem comum achar propaganda sobre medical avaliation. Clínicas que avaliam se o paciente possui sintomas para a utilização do santo remédio.

    Nessa dispensarie é possível comprar marijuana de acordo com a porcentagem de THC contida na erva.
              Ecohouse workshop        
    Há 2 semanas atrás, fui fazer um workshop em Berkeley na Ecology Center.

    O tema do workshop era Simple improvements that can be made to green an urban home.

    Algumas considerações que mais me chamaram a atenção:

    - Energia Solar
    Comprar equipamentos para obter energia através do sol, ainda é bem caro. Aqui nos Estados Unidos, há um programa do governo que vc pode pedir ajuda financeira se vc tiver interessado em obter energia green em casa. O desconto varia de 3% a 4%. Não é muito, mas já é um incentivo.

    No entanto, um tópico que chamou bem minha atenção é se a produção de energia gerada através da luz solar for além do que você consome, a PG&E (tipo a Eletrobrás do EUA) compra sua energia pelo valor 3x maior do que vc paga. Ou seja, você pode fazer dinheiro produzindo energia green! :) aí eu vi vantagem!

    - Using Greywater
    Um tema que está super abordado por aqui. A reutilização da Greywater para regar o jardim.

    O que é a Greywater?
    It is non-industrial wastewater generated from domestic processes such as dish washing, laundry and bathing. Greywater comprises 50-80% of residential wastewater. Greywater comprises wastewater generated from all of the house's sanitation equipment except for the septic tank (water from toilets is blackwater, or sewage). Greywater is distinct from blackwater in the amount and composition of its chemical and biological contaminants (from feces or toxic chemicals). Greywater gets its name from its cloudy appearance and from its status as being neither fresh (white water from groundwater or potable water), nor heavily polluted (blackwater). According to this definition, wastewater containing significant food residues or high concentrations of toxic chemicals from household cleaners, etc., may be considered "dark grey" or dirty water.

    Basicamente, a greywater é aquela água que foi usada no banho, na pia do banheiro ou na máquina de lavar roupa. Isso exclui água proveniente da pia da cozinha, laboratório de fotografia, máquina de lavar louça ou máquina de lavar roupa que contenha fraldas sujas.

    50% a 80% da água utilizada em casa é greywater. Água que pode ser utilizada para regar o jardim, se utilizarmos detergente e sabão biodeagradável.

    No entanto, é preciso ter controle sobre a greywater, pois claro pode haver contaminação. Para a implementação da greywater sistema de irrigação, é preciso ter permissão da California Department of Water Resources.

    - Green Rooftops

    Em qualquer green blog é comum encontrar pelo menos um post sobre as grandes vantagens de ter tetos verdes.

    E o blog da raponesa também está dentro nessa. Idéia simples e solução efetiva e produtiva. Assim eu gosto!

    Ao ter um jardim no seu teto, você transforma energia destruidora em energia produtiva. Ou seja, o contato diário do sol com o teto faz com que o material se desgaste. No entanto, com a green rooftop ou a Living Roof, as plantas absorvem a energia, gerando vida, verde e produção de alimento.

    Além de previnir as famosas "heat island" na cidade, os tetos verdes amenizam a temperatura dentro de casa durante o verão e aquecem durante o inverno. Perfeito!!!!

    - Banheiro

    Uma solução que eu achei fantástica é reutilizar a água que tomamos banho como água do sanitário. E ainda, ter 2 botões na hora de dar descarga.

    Uma opção com menos água para o #1 e outra com mais água para o #2.

    - Idéias ainda no plano do papel.
    Compostar o lixo do banheiro. Um tema polêmico devido a higiene e contaminação em questão, no entanto, se for compostado bem feito, pode ser uma super solução para todo o lixo sanitário. Viva!

              Motivation Monday – Sort Your Story Workshop        
    Lorel will be presenting a free Sort Your Story workshop on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at the California Genealogical Society Library. The class is currently full but a wait-list has been created. Please sign up as there is a possibility another class may be added at a later time. Description: Amateur and professional genealogists have […]
              Entrevista Santiago Muñoz desde California / Diciembre 2013        
    La 1ra vez que estuve en Medellín todo el mundo  decía que tenia que ver montar a Santiago Muñoz. Me decían que era un corredor Read More
              $10 American Express Credit w/$40 California Pizza Kitchen Purchase Free Shipping         

    $10 American Express Credit w/$40 California Pizza Kitchen Purchase Free Shipping



              Volunteering: Stranding Department!        

    The Stranding Department of The Marine Mammal Center is seeking applicants for internships working with stranded pinnipeds, cetaceans and sea otters. These positions are unpaid.

    Internship Opportunities are available at the following locations.
    - San Luis Obispo Operations in Morro Bay
    - Monterey Bay Operations in Moss Landing
    - Main Hospital in Sausalito

    Program Description:

    The Stranding Department Internship is an exciting opportunity for individuals who are interested in increasing their experience and knowledge of marine mammal behavior and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Interns will be responsible for answering the animal hotline and rotating the after hours on-call. Interns will coordinate rescue and triage response throughout the Center's 600-mile rescue range. Interns will have the opportunity to participate in marine mammal rescues and releases. In addition, interns will be required to assist with animal care duties (feed preparations, medical charting, and pen cleaning) for all on-site pinnipeds. Other duties may include: participation in training classes, data entry and tracking, maintaining rescue equipment and assorted miscellaneous tasks.

    Intern Responsibilities & Qualifications:

    The internship is open to all applicants 21 years of age or older, with an avid interest in marine biology, zoology, general biology, policy or a related field. If the intern intends to receive university credit for their internship, they are responsible for making all arrangements with their educational institution. Interns must be able to work for a minimum of 3 months, 5 days a week, at least 40 hours per week. Work schedule must be flexible and may include weekends and holidays. This is an unpaid position and all interns are responsible for obtaining housing and transportation. Applicants should demonstrate excellent communication skills and have practical computer knowledge with programs such as Word, Access, and Excel. This internship position involves a fair amount of physical activity, such as: lifting, restraining and moving animals.

    Interested applicants are encouraged to submit a r?sum? that includes the names of three references, and a cover letter detailing interests, experience, housing accommodations, and availability. Please forward all application materials to the following address:

    The Marine Mammal Center
    Marin Headlands
    2000 Bunker Road
    Sausalito, California 94965
    Attn: Erin Brodie

    Or via email to:

    There is some flexibility on the start date of each position, with the earliest start date of February 1 and the last available internship beginning June 14.

    Internship Period


    Internship Period: February 8, 2010
    Application Deadline: February 12, 2010[justify]
    Notification of acceptance: February 19, 2010[/justify]
    Approximate Internship Time: April - June 2010


    Internship Period: February 8, 2010
    Application Deadline: February 19, 2010
    Notification of acceptance: February 26, 2010
    Approximate Internship Time: June - August 2010


    Internship Period: June 7, 2010
    Application Deadline: June 11, 2010
    Notification of acceptance: June 14, 2010
    Approximate Internship Time: August - Sept. 2010


    Internship Period: July 19, 2010
    Application Deadline: July 23, 2010
    Notification of acceptance: July 26, 2010
    Approximate Internship Time: Oct - December 2010

    Celebrating its 35th year in 2010, The Marine Mammal Center is a non-profit hospital dedicated to the rescue and release of sick, injured or orphaned marine mammals, and to research about their health and diseases. Volunteers and staff have treated more than 15,700 California sea lions, elephant seals, porpoises, and other marine life. The Center uniquely combines its rehabilitation program with scientific discovery and education programs to advance the understanding of marine mammal health, ocean health and conservation. For more information, please visit our website at

              Volunteer: California!        


    The California Wildlife Center in Malibu, California, seeks applicants for spring and summer internships working with stranded marine mammals. These are part time 8-week internship positions beginning March 15th (Spring session) and May 15th (Summer session). There is some flexibility of start dates. These internship positions are unpaid.

    Summary/Program Description:

    The California Wildlife Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of injured, orphaned and sick native wildlife. CWC fulfills this mission through marine mammal rescue, and treatment of avian and terrestrial wildlife in our rehabilitation hospital.

    This internship will provide an exciting and challenging educational
    experience in the marine mammal field, while also allowing for additional hands-on experience with other native California wildlife. The interns will be working closely with the Marine Mammal program staff in all aspects of stranding response, including logistics, assessment, capture/restraint,transport to the marine mammal rehabilitation facility, and public relations. In addition, interns will provide support to CWC Hospital staff in animal husbandry tasks for avian and terrestrial wildlife.

    Intern Responsibilities & Qualifications:

    - The internship is open to all applicants at least 18 years of age or older. Undergraduate students and non-students alike are encouraged to apply.

    - If the intern intends to receive academic credit, the intern will be responsible for making all arrangements with their educational institutions.

    - Spring internships are 3 days a week, minimum 24 hours per week for 8 weeks.
    - Summer internships are 4 days a week, minimum 32 hours per week for 8 weeks.

    - Due to the unpredictable nature of marine mammal stranding response, interns may sometimes be required to work beyond their normal scheduled hours.

    - Interns must be able and willing to work flexible hours including weekends and holidays.

    - Interns will be required to have good physical strength and the ability to lift/carry 50 lbs. Interns need to have the ability to
    multitask and work in a fast paced environment.

    - Animal care and/or marine mammal experience is a plus but not required. Applicant must demonstrate proof of negative TB test within the past year and a current tetanus vaccination.

    Under supervision of Marine Mammal staff, duties will include:

    - Answering and responding to all calls, pages and messages concerning
    marine mammals in a timely and courteous manner
    - Assessing stranded marine mammals
    - Coordinating and leading responder team in the capture and handling of stranded marine mammals needing medical attention
    - Coordinating transport of stranded marine mammals to the rehabilitation facility
    - Completion of NMFS Level A data sheets. Maintaining detailed database records of Malibu strandings, including reports of stranding, human interaction issues, etc.
    - Assist with marine mammal necropsy and sample collection
    - Ensuring marine mammal-designated equipment is kept in clean working order
    - Maintaining good rapport with representatives of various public agencies


    Housing and transportation are the responsibility of the intern. Must have own transportation and current drivers license. Very limited on-sire housing is available (i.e., up to 2 individuals at a time). All individuals selected for on-site housing, regardless of Session, will be required to complete 40 hours/week.

    Application Process:

    Interested individuals must send the following:

    * Letter of intent
    * Resume
    * Two letters of reference

    Your letter of intent must state the Session you are applying for and detail interests, experience, housing accommodations and availability.

    Submit the above items via regular mail or email (preferred) to:

    California Wildlife Center
    Attn: Cynthia Reyes
    P.O. Box 2022
    Malibu, California 90265

    If you would like to find out more about our Organization, please visit our website at

              Hike Above Our New Home        
    When I move to a new town, I make it a priority to get some perspective as quickly as possible by climbing the hills surrounding the place. When I moved to Boulder and climbed the beautiful red rocks above Settlers Park, I remember thinking I can't imagine living on flatland where you couldn't climb above and look down on town. Since 2000, I've lived in California, Colorado and Korea and those have suited me just fine.

    So last weekend, our first in this town, I looked out my window and found the biggest hill beside town, found a valley next to and started walking up it. I ran into several groups of students on the way to the hike, and then one with his family on the trail. It feels great to be living in the same place we're working, to be (in some few ways) part of a community. On the other hand, when I went to buy water at the convenience store under our apartment after work in my sweats and ran into two students in the store, I was a little less excited about community and more worried about privacy. Similarly yesterday when we ran into a student 50 meters from our apartment and he followed us like a lost puppy into our building, the concerns trumped the satisfaction.

    Anyway, here are some pictures from the hike, of our new home, Dogye Village of Samcheok County of Gangwon Province of the Republic of Korea. If it's a bit hazy, that's because there was a fire just a valley over two days before. Helicopters overhead all day, but no serious damage done.

    Dogye from above. Our apartment is on the left, the highest of the cluster of six large buildings. That valley that we back up to is this weekend.

    This is the industry that keeps this region breathing (and warm during the winter... there are actual bricks of coal all over the place. They get them delivered to burn for heat).

    Here are some dogs that I can only assume are being kept for food. To be honest, I feel only marginally worse for these creatures than I do for the millions of pics and cows kept all over the world for food, in the United States usually in much worse conditions than these dogs.

    Persimmons are everywhere this time of year, a dime a dozen, if you will. When the leaves blow off the trees, leaving the orange bulbs alone with the dark brown branches, it's really quite a site. I'll have to work on getting a better shot of it than this.

    And a reflexology footpath, in the shape of a foot, at the bottom of the valley. They're huge on reflexology here (it's a Traditional Chinese Medicine thing). The idea, as best I understand it, is that you walk on the stone paths barefoot to stimulate the points on the bottom of your feet to enhance the flow of qi. We just got a path in front of our school, which we've taken to using after lunch, until we're dragged away by the raucous group of second grade girls that kidnaps us to the playground everyday.
              Kenneth Arrow has died        

    The Nobel Prize winning economist showed that no voting system is perfect.


    Kenneth Arrow 1921 - 2017. Image: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service, CC BY 3.0.

    The Nobel Prize winning economist Kenneth J. Arrow died on Tuesday at his home in California. He was 95.

    front page order: 
    front page text: 

    The Nobel Prize winning economist showed that no voting system is perfect.

    front page icon: 

              !! CALLING ALL ETHNOMUSICOLOGISTS !!        
    The Northern California Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology will hold its annual meeting on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for papers, panel discussions, workshops, video screenings, or musical performances are being accepted until January 28, 2013. Please send a proposal of not more than 250 words to   […]
              Watch 10 up-and-coming shredders duke it out for ski film fame with Level 1 Productions        

    For 14 years, Level 1 Productions has held the esteemed Superunknown contest as a way to scout the best up-and-coming skiers on Earth. This year, the 10 finalists from the video portion of the contest were invited to gather at Sierra-at-Tahoe, California and duke it out for a spot on Level 1’s athlete roster. In […]

    The post Watch 10 up-and-coming shredders duke it out for ski film fame with Level 1 Productions appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.

              By: David Wolf        
    I'll tell you one thing. I lived in 'Bigfoot' country in N. California. It was very rural and every house had at least one gun, usually loaded by the door with another one in the pickup. A reservation is about the same. Only a suicidal idiot would dress up in a gorilla suit, or top hat, and skulk around people's houses. I never saw one, but know people who swear they had. Why lie when people would think you were crazy? /0
              Cat driver and skier Bernie Rosow is the king of Instagram POV videos        

    Nearly every single day, we find a new video in our Instagram feed from Bernie Rosow—part-time cat driver at Mammoth, part time die-hard skier. And these aren’t half-assed posts that are uploaded just for the sake of uploading something. Instead, they’re amazing POV lines, typically filmed at Mammoth or in the California backcountry. This daily […]

    The post Cat driver and skier Bernie Rosow is the king of Instagram POV videos appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.

              This Donner Pass Road Gap edit is sendy AF        

    Thanks to tons and tons of snow in California this season, classic spots like the Donner Road Gap are as hittable as ever. Exhibit A: the latest video from said gap. See more skiing. Head to our Facebook page right now and update your settings so you don’t miss a beat.

    The post This Donner Pass Road Gap edit is sendy AF appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.

              As Students Struggle to Pay Tuition, Schools Scramble to Trim Budgets         

    HOLLY SNIFF, who is the first person in her family to attend college, found out about making hard choices early on. "I really wanted to go out of state for school, but because of financial reasons I couldn't," says Ms. Sniff, who is now a sophomore at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

    For as long as she can remember, Sniff has been putting away money for her education. "I saved every dollar I was given as birthday presents or special treats as a child," she says.

    Those childhood savings along with summer earnings and additional financial help from relatives got Sniff through her first year of college. But tuition continues to rise, and Sniff, along with millions of other students, is struggling to keep up.

    At the same time, both private and public colleges and universities are moving beyond trimming at the margins to control costs.

    Many schools are freezing faculty salaries, suspending hiring, delaying building maintenance, limiting course offerings, and even cutting academic departments.

    Administrators are finding that they can no longer fund every project, department, or program. In the 1991-92 academic year, 57 percent of all colleges and universities were forced to reduce their operating budgets, according to an annual survey by the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C.

    At the University of Vermont, a budget committee's proposal to eliminate the School of Engineering led to an uproar and the eventual resignation of the university's president.

    AS state funding shrinks, public universities are being forced to increase class sizes and cut back on student services. Students at California's public universities have staged massive student protests against overcrowded classes and eye-popping tuition increases.

    Nationwide, public colleges raised their tuition and fees an average of 10 percent and private-college increases averaged 7 percent this year, according to the College Board's annual survey released last month.

    "Given the state of the economy and its impact on state budgets, many people expected much larger [tuition] increases this year, particularly in the public sector," says Donald Stewart, president of the College Board.

    The rate of increase for public-college tuition is actually down this year compared with last year's 13 percent rise. And private colleges held their increases to last year's rate.

    Yet that doesn't mean tuitions are gravitating back to earthly levels, warns Arthur Hauptman, a college tuition consultant.

    "What the public tuition number says is that the recession has eased a little bit," he says. "If things get better [in terms of the economy], you would expect to see some additional reduction in those numbers."

    In the '90s, Mr. Hauptman points out, there is much more competition for state funds than there was in the 1980s. Health care, prisons, and elementary and secondary education are all clamoring for funding.

    "Despite predictions at the beginning of the '80s that it would be a tough decade, it turned out to be a very good decade for higher education in terms of revenue growth," Hauptman says. "Every major revenue source for colleges grew in real terms during that time - federal, state, tuitions, endowments, sales, and services."

    And how were those revenues spent? Some faculty critics argue that the funds were spent on administrative bloat. "The fact is that in the '80s administrative staff at both private and public colleges grew much faster than the faculty," Hauptman says. "It is also true, however, that in the 1980s faculty salaries increased in real terms."

    Last year, Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D) of Colorado launched a congressional investigation into the skyrocketing cost of tuition at public colleges.

    "When it comes to college education, American families are paying more and getting less," she said. "Since 1980, the cost of sending our kids to college, a key part of the American dream, has doubled or tripled the rate of inflation every single year."

    The investigation found that the growing research orientation of public higher education has fed the spiraling tuition costs. The teaching load of professors dropped from the traditional 15 hours per semester to as low as six hours per semester at some institutions, according to the study.

    Pinning down the cause of increased tuition at either public or private universities isn't easy. Education is a labor-intensive enterprise that does not lend itself to productivity gains, administrators argue.

    "Because faculty salaries have lagged in the past and because of competition for faculty among universities and industry, faculty compensation [increases] now exceed inflation," points out Paul Locatelli, president of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif.

    Yet it is possible to increase teaching loads, reexamine the length of the academic year, and de-emphasize research in an effort to gain productivity, argues Hauptman.

    "Colleges want to increase their resources; it's a natural inclination," he says. "If you read the college presidents' letters to the parents, you would assume costs are pushing tuition increases. But I think it's more that the revenues provided by the tuition hikes allow the schools to increase costs."

    Meanwhile, students like Holly Sniff are willing to work harder or borrow more in order to get a college degree. Sniff expects to have accumulated about $10,000 in loans before she graduates. "I think I'm better off taking out loans now and using my life savings so that hopefully in the future I can find a better-paying job," she says.

    Increased indebtedness raises the stakes for many students. "I'm not really concerned with it now," Sniff says, "but as soon as I graduate I'm going to have to get a good-paying job to pay off all of these loans."

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              8 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Me        

    When tapped to share “8 things you probably didn’t know about” James Farrar he noted that blogging is quite the “exhibitionist” activity. Much of my blogging experience these past years has been more in audience capacity; a vicarious blog explorer, rather than an active onstage character. Vicarious means I observe certain events by “imaginative or sympathetic participation in the experiences of another”.

    Others’ blogs expose me to great examples of: storytelling, journalism, innovation and when done expertly well, art. While exploring, I’m often wondering what it would be like to write as prolifically or as creatively or as knowledgeably as the bloggers whose contents I follow. Fair, although hardly shy, I do feel a bit the wallflower while the nimble waltz me by with dizzyingly and dazzlingly clever insights, observations, perceptions and opinions.

    I’ve imagined what I would write on the off-chance that someone might tag me for the “8 things you probably don’t know about me” meme. But I was caught off guard (gobsmacked as the brits would say) when I happened upon my name in James’ blog: the Wisdom of Clouds. It’s like someone asked the ungainly girl at the school party to dance to be nice. Thanks James.

    Eight is a lot. I’ll start chronologically.

    1. When I was 4, my sister was born on my birthday. For years afterwards I assumed that all families had that same arrangement, meaning siblings who were not twins also shared a common birthday. The realization that my belief system was faulty was very traumatic.

    2. When I was about 8 years old, I separated from my parents while on board the Sternwheeler (steamboat) called the "The American". We were visiting an ill-fated and short-lived amusement park in the Bronx (New York) called: Freedomland U.S.A. There is a certain irony to all this. The year was 1960 and the civil rights movement was coming into its own with the Greensboro Four staging a peaceful sit-in at Woolworth’s in North Carolina, breaking down the segregation walls in the south. Back on the steamboat, my parents found me quickly. I was staging my own sit-in of sorts, in the steamship’s bandstand. There they found me sitting entranced on a trumpet player’s lap. His name: Louie Armstrong. I’ve always loved his voice and music.

    3. When I was 10 I decided to have a “penny fair” and created an amusement park in my yard. I gathered $5.57 cents from all of our neighborhood children (a great many pennies). Although rather pleased with my entrepreneurial success, I wound up donating the money to a school for mentally handicapped children. The principal sent me and the neighborhood children a very nice thank you letter.

    4. When I was 16 I discovered that although my sister and I shared the same birth date, it wasn’t the one recorded in our birth certificates. My mom had changed them both by a few days to give us the opportunity of starting kindergarten early. I think it was a shocking revelation that documents could be misleading or doctored.

    5. At 20 I took a road trip across the US. It was the summer of ’74 and in California, after a day of many driving mishaps; I got pulled over by the police. I had gotten a ticket earlier that day for speeding on the freeway. While paying my speeding ticket, I parked in a no-parking zone. I then proceeded to run a stop sign. It was a bad-hair driving day.When I saw the flashing lights in the rear-view mirror I was baffled. Couldn’t think of a single additional infraction I might have committed other than the fact that our car was a real jalopy with only one workable door, totally dust-covered and we (my future husband and I) looked a bit like ’70’s hippies after our 6 weeks on the road. I roll down my window (I’m the driver) and ask: “yes officer?”, failing to notice the growing number of squad cars accumulating behind us. The policeman looks oddly tense. “Did you hear about the bank robbery?”, says he. “Oh sure”, says I., “I’m Bonnie and this” (pointing to my future husband) “is Clyde”. The policemen weren’t particularly amused as they pulled me out of the car thinking I was the fugitive kidnapped newspaper heiress turned militant, Patty Hearst .

    6. I studied theater directing in the Tel Aviv University drama department. In 1979 I turned down an invitation by the national theater to assistant direct and work with theater luminary Joseph Chaiken on “The Dybbuk”. What we do for love. I was expecting my first child.

    7. In the early eighties, before “Glastnost” and the subsequent transparency policies of Gorbachev, I went on a small mission to meet with prisoners of conscience and human rights activists in a number of cities in the Ukraine and found myself and travel partner “interviewed” by the KGB concerning our activities in each city. I think I’m a “persona non grata” in the former Soviet Union.

    8. In the middle nineties started a grassroots movement of citizens concerned about environmental hazards and the rights of local residents and was invited to speak in the Israeli Parliament, together with my Bedouin neighbors.

    Now, grannimari is quietly and sedately working as an online community evangelist for the Business Process Expert Community. And looking to the community members who inspire and challenge her thinking. In that spirit of letting no good deed go unpunished, I’ll tag: Jim Spath , Eddy De Clercq , Jen Robinson, Thomas Ritter, Dick Hirsch and Ram Tiwari

              Football: Manvel’s Pennamon leads all rushers in Semper Fidelis Bowl        
    His team couldn't come out with the victory, but Manvel running back D'Vaughn Pennamon ran for a game-high 123 yards as the the West lost to the East 28-13 in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl on Sunday at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
              NOW’S THE TIME FOR MEDICARE FOR ALLAs Republicans in Congress...        


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              Cows and Crops May 2017        

    Cows and Crops — May 2017 In this issue: Upcoming Events For Producers Considering No-Till corn production this year UMaine Students Compete in North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge Reproduction Notes from California Northeastern Region Annual Milk Production Report Upcoming Events

    Cowabunga 5K – June 25, 2017

    On Sunday, June 25th, 2017, the MDACF will ... Read More

              Oracle Licensing and Support on VMware: Awaken the FUD in Your Datacenter!        

    It appears those guys in Redwood City, California are up to their old tricks of trying to grab money from customers where no money is owed according to the contract. By now I thought we’d heard just about every strategy that Oracle has for expanding their pocket books at customers expense. But Oracle is a very […]

              Inmate Returns to Face Murder Charge        

    A Connecticut inmate returned to California and was expected to be arraigned Tuesday, Sept. 6, for the 1978 stabbing-murder of an architect in Laguna Beach. Three decades after the fact, Walter Lawrence Dalie, 52, was charged Feb. 23, 2011, with murder with special circumstances in the death of Bren...

    The post Inmate Returns to Face Murder Charge appeared first on Laguna Beach Local News.

              La Soya: Realmente Saludable o No?        

    La Soya bajo la Lupa

    A la luz de artículos científicos y otros artículos sobre los efectos de las isoflavonas y estudios realizados en lactantes y niños, hay opiniones encontradas sobre el uso de la soya y la leche de soya como alimento dentro de la dieta y sus beneficios.

    Es importante conocerlos, analizarlos y estar muy bien informado para tomar las decisiones correctas sobre la inclusión o no de estos alimentos a nuestra dieta.

    Artículo: Fórmulas Infantiles a Base de Soja: hay motivos para preocuparse

    Documento Informativo de la Comisión de Alimentos del Reino Unido.

    Autores: Sue Dibb y Dr Mike Fitzpatrick. Abril de 1999.

    ¿Puede la soja causar trastornos de la glándula tiroides en los seres humanos?

    Se ha demostrado que la soya afecta las funciones de la glándula tiroides en los seres humanos.

    Un estudio realizado por investigadores japoneses concluyó que la ingestión de una cantidad moderada de soja por parte de pacientes adultos podía causar el agrandamiento de la glándula tiroides y suprimir la función de ésta.

    Estos investigadores estudiaron los efectos al suministrar 30 gr diarios de soja en encurtido sobre la función de la glándula tiroides.

    Durante la investigación, se informó que la ingestión de iodo (en algas marinas) fue normal en todos los pacientes. Los investigadores observaron un aumento significativo en los niveles de TSH en un grupo de 20 adultos alimentados con soja durante 1 mes (grupo I) y en un grupo de 17 adultos alimentados con soja durante 3 meses (grupo 2).

    Nota: un aumento de la TSH, puede deberse a un desbalance en las hormonas tiroideas (mientras más alta la TSH, más posibilidad de sufrir de Hipotiroidismo).

    En dos de los pacientes, los niveles de TSH aumentaron dramáticamente, de aproximadamente 1 micro-U/mL hasta 6.5 o 7.5 micro-U/mL. No se presentaron cambios significativos en los niveles de iodo inorgánico, T3 o T4 en ninguno de los grupos, pero hubo un aumento significativo en el F T3 y en el F T4 de los pacientes del grupo 2 después de dejar de consumir soja.

    Se apreció un bocio no bien definido e hipotiroidismo en tres de los pacientes del grupo 1 y en ocho de los pacientes del grupo 2.Los pacientes del grupo 2 también presentaron sintomas asociados con el hipotiroidismo: estreñimiento (53% de los pacientes), fatiga (53% de los pacientes) y letargo (41% de los pacientes). El bocio en los 11 pacientes era un bocio no bien definido que se encontraba entre los rangos 1 y 11 de agrandamiento. Uno de los pacientes del grupo 1 desarrolló tiroiditis subaguda. El tamaño del bocio se redujo en nueve de los pacientes después de 1 mes sin consumir soja pero persistió en dos de los pacientes. Se necesitaron 6 meses de tratamiento con T4 para que se redujera el tamaño del bocio en estos paclentes.

    El hipotiroidismo subclinico se define como la combinación de un TSH moderadamente elevado con un T4 libre normal, una condición que se esta volviendo común y que eventualmente puede evolucionar hacia un evidente hipotiroidismo, especialmente en aquellas personas con anticuerpos antitiroides.

    El hipotiroidismo subclinico se define como un estado asintomatico en el cual la reducción de la secreción de las hormonas de la tiroides se compensa mediante un aumento en la producción de TSH para mantener un status clinicamente eutiroideo.

    Esta condición es de la mayor importancia y su prevalencia parece estar aumentando.

    Factores de la dietas pueden jugar un papel importante en el desarrollo de esta condición. Una alta ingestión de un compuesto bociógeno puede aumentar la secreción de TSH y el aumento en esta secreción, está también relacionado con el creciente riesgo de cáncer en la tiroides.

    Vale la pena notar que en los Estados Unidos de América la frecuencia del mal funcionamiento de la tiroides en las personas menores de 45 años se ha duplicado desde 1985.

    La soja y el cáncer de mama

    Las personas que estén consumiendo soja o suplementos de isoflavona con la esperanza de reducir el riesgo de contraer cáncer deben pensarlo dos veces. Mientras los consumidores y los profesionales de la salud están siendo bombardeados con publicidad de la industria, que exalta las propiedades anticancerígenas de las isoflavonas de la soja, muchos investigadores del cáncer están diciendo justo lo opuesto; que el consumo de las isoflavonas de la soja puede aumentar el riesgo de contraer cáncer.

    Por ejemplo, las mujeres posmenopáusicas que consuman isoflavonas de la soja como Terapia de Reemplazo Hormonal (TRH) natural, tienen mayor riesgo de desarrollar cáncer de mama.

    En 1996 el Doctor Nicholas Petrakis de la Universidad de California en San Francisco, informó que “el consumo prolongado de proteína aislada de soja tiene un efecto estimulante en los senos de las mujeres premenopáusicas, caracterizado por un aumento en la secreción de los fluidos del pecho, la aparición de células epiteliales hiperfísticas y niveles elevados de estradiol.

    Estos hallazgos sugieren un estimulo estrógenico desde las isoflavonas genistein y la daidzein contenidas en el aislado de la proteína de soja”.

    El doctor Craig Dees del Laboratorio Nacional de Oak Ridge ha encontrado que las isoflavonas de la soja hacen que se reproduzcan las células cancerosas del pecho. Informó que: “bajas concentraciones de genistein pueden estimular a que las células MC-7 entren en el ciclo celular”. El Dr. Dees concluyó “que las mujeres no deben consumir ciertos alimentos (por ejemplo productos derivados de la soja) para prevenir el cáncer de mama”.

    El Doctor William Helferich de la Universidad de Illinois apoya la tesis de tomar precauciones acerca del consumo de soja para prevenir el cáncer de mama.Recientemente declaró que; “existe la probabilidad de que el genistein en la dieta estimule el crecimiento de tumores dependientes del estrógeno en los humanos con bajos niveles de estrógeno endógeno circulando, tales como los encontrados en las mujeres que posmenopáusicas” .

    ¿Cuánta soja se puede consumir sin riesgo?

    Las observaciones realizadas por el estudio de la Clínica de Tiroides Ishizuki indican efectos bociógenicos importantes en pacientes alimentados con 30 gr de soja al día. Basándonos en las concentraciones de isoflavonas encontradas en la soja japonesa (38), 30 gr de soja pueden contribuir hasta con un total de 23 mg del genistein y 10 mg del daidzein.

    Para un adulto que pese 70 kg. esto sería igual a la ingestión de 0.33 mg/kg de peso corporal de genistein y 0.14 mg/kg de peso corporal de daidzein por día.

    Esta cantidad de consumo de isoflavona es aproximadamente TRES VECES más alta que la cantidad consumida en el Japón, la cual es de 0.08 a 0.13 mg/kg de peso corporal del genistein total por día para un adulto que pese 70 kgs. Para los lactantes alimentados con fórmulas a base de soja, la exposición a las isoflavonas es mucho mayor que la de cualquier otro grupo de la población.

    Los lactantes menores de 6 meses que sean alimentados iniciamente con fórmulas de soja tienen una ingestión de hasta 5.4 mg/kg de peso corporal de genistein y 2.3 mg/kg de peso corporal de daidzein por día. Por esta razón, los lactantes alimentados con fórmulas de soja estan expuestos a niveles aproximadamente 16 veces mas altos de isoflavonas que los pacientes del estudio Ishizuki.

    Las concentraciones de isoflavonas encontradas en productos disponibles en Nueva Zelandia indican que una dieta de 500 g de leche de soja más 200 g de queso de soja por día, podría dar como resultado la ingestión de hasta un total de 135 mg de genistein y de 80 g de daidzein. Para un adulto que pese 70 kg., esto equivale a la ingestión de 1.9 mg/kg de peso corporal de genistein y de 1.1 mg/kg de peso corporal de daidzein por día.

    Este grado de exposición a las isoflavonas es más de cinco veces la exposición de los pacientes en la investigación de Ishizuki y otros.

    Los usuarios de los suplementos de isoflavona pueden consumir hasta 40 mg de genistein por día. Para un adulto que pese 70 kg. esto es equivalente a 0.57 mg/kg de peso corporal de genistein por día lo cual es 1.7 veces más que la cantidad que se ha comprobado que causa efectos bociógenicos. Por lo tanto los lactantes alimentados con fórmulas de soja, los consumidores de grandes cantidades de soja y los usuarios de suplementos de isoflavona pueden presentar los sintomas de hipotiroidismo sin sospechar una conexión con la dieta.

    Desafortunadamente existen pocos datos acerca de qué constituye un nivel apropiado de ingestión de soja, aunque parece ser que los consumidores en los paises occidentales ahora pueden estar consumiendo mayores cantidades de soja que la consumida como parte de una dieta tradicional asiatica.

    Los consumidores de soja deben ser cautelosos y no exceder el consumo de más de 40 g de isoflavonas de soja por día. Se han observado desordenes de la tiroides y otros efectos biológicos en dosis iguales o por encima de este nivel.

    Aproximadamente, se pueden encontrar 40 mg de isoflavonas en: Poroto de soja y harina de soja 12-25 g (0.4-0.9 oz) Soja molida 20 g (0.7 oz) Queso de soja (tofu) 70-130 g (2.5-4.6 oz) Leche de soja 200-300 g (7.1-10.6 oz) Brotes de soja 100 g (3.5 oz) ¿Por qué no se difunde esta información? La gente tiene el derecho a saber exactamente qué está comiendo y como está alimentando a sus hijos. ¿,Por qué las agencias gubernamentales se resisten informar al público?

    En junio de 1998, el Doctor Mike Fitzpatrick se reunió con el personal del DHS de California para expresar su preocupación acerca de la soja y en particular las fórmulas a base de soja. Recibió una respuesta por escrito de la toxicóloga del DHS, Doctora Susan Loscutoff, quien aflrmó:

    “Estoy de acuerdo en que los altos niveles de isoflavinas en las fórmulas para alimentar a los lactantes son motivo de preocupación.” “No estoy de acuerdo en que los padres tengan el derecho a saber que las fórmulas a base de soja contienen isoflavonas y la clase de toxicidad que las isoflavonas puedan causar en los lactantes, ya que los padres no sabrian como interpretar esa información.”

    Esta es la tipica respuesta de las agencias que temen represalias de las industrias de la soja si llegaran a alertar al público acerca de los peligros potenciales para la salud con relación a las isoflavonas de la soja.Qué puedo hacer? Envíe esta información a los profesionales de la salud y a sus amigos. Escríbale al Departamento de Salud Estatal solicitando información acerca de los riesgos asociados con el consumo de isoflavonas


    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Dr Mike Fitzpatrick & Sue Dibb. ADDENDUM: APRIL 1999. What about the traditional use of use soy in infant feeding? Soy was not used in infant feeding in ...

    J Nutr. 2008 Jun;138(6):1244S-9S.

    Health effects of soy protein and isoflavones in humans.Xiao CW

    ....."Some studies have documented potential safety concerns on increased consumption of soy products. Impacts of soy products on thyroid and reproductive functions as well as on certain types of carcinogenesis require further study in this context. Overall, existing data are inconsistent or inadequate in supporting most of the suggested health benefits of consuming soy protein or ISF."

    PMID: 18492864

    Brain Res Rev. 2008 Mar;57(2):376-85. Epub 2007 Sep 19.

    Neuroendocrine and behavioral effects of embryonic exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals in birds.

    Ottinger MA, Lavoie E, Thompson N, Barton A, Whitehouse K, Barton M, Abdelnabi M, Quinn M Jr, Panzica G, Viglietti-Panzica C.

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) exert hormone-like activity in vertebrates and exposure to these compounds may induce both short- and long-term deleterious effects including functional alterations that contribute to decreased reproduction and fitness....The EDCs examined included estradiol, androgen active compounds," soy phytoestrogens ", and atrazine. PMID: 18006066

    J Neurol Sci. 2007 Nov 15;262(1-2):15-26. Epub 2007 Jul 24.

    Autism: transient in utero hypothyroxinemia related to maternal flavonoid ingestion during pregnancy and to other environmental antithyroid agents.

    Román GC.

    The incidence and prevalence of autism have increased during the past two decades. Despite comprehensive genetic studies the cause of autism remains unknown. This review emphasizes the potential importance of environmental factors in its causation. PMID: 17651757

    J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2006 Jun;52(3):174-82.

    Effects of genistein, an isoflavone, on pregnancy outcome and organ weights of pregnant and lactating rats and development of their suckling pups.

    Tousen Y, Umeki M, Nakashima Y, Ishimi Y, Ikegami S

    ....."while we observed that the serum concentration of triiodothyronine (T3) in dams decreased, the result was a tendency, not a significant decrease. Our study suggested that maternal ingestion of genistein might have not induced serious adverse effects on dams, fetuses, infants or offspring during growth. However, the results indicated in many papers suggest the necessity of further study on the safety of genistein."PMID: 16967761

    Drug Saf. 2001;24(9):665-82.

    Risks and benefits of soy phytoestrogens in cardiovascular diseases, cancer, climacteric symptoms and osteoporosis.

    Sirtori CR..

    ........Disturbing data have been reported on potential negative effects of soy isoflavones on cognitive function in the aged, particularly relating to tofu intake. Recent studies have finally indicated a potential role for soy isoflavones in inducing chromosomal changes in cells exposed in vitro and potentiating chemical carcinogens. These findings may not, however, be extrapolated to clinical conditions. Available data do not appear to unequivocally support beneficial effects of soy isoflavones, and warn against their wide use, in the absence of satisfactory clinical findings.

    Circulation. 2006 Feb 21;113(7):1034-44. Epub 2006 Jan 17.

    Soy protein, isoflavones, and cardiovascular health: an American Heart Association Science Advisory for professionals from the Nutrition Committee.

    Sacks FM, Lichtenstein A, Van Horn L, Harris W, Kris-Etherton P, Winston M; American Heart Association Nutrition Committee.

    ......The efficacy and safety of soy isoflavones for preventing or treating cancer of the breast, endometrium, and prostate are not established; evidence from clinical trials is meager and cautionary with regard to a possible adverse effect. For this reason, use of isoflavone supplements in food or pills is not recommended...

    Aún no hay consenso acerca de los beneficios del consumo de la soya y sus productos. Hay muchas variables en juego. Puede que la soya sea beneficiosa para ciertas subpoblaciones y nocivas para otras. Esto queda aún por determinarse.El consejo es moderación en la ingesta para aquellas personas que actualmente la consumen. Yo particularmente, no la consumo, en ninguna de sus formas, sea aceite, leche, tofu, lo que sea. Pero esa es mi decisión personal. Lo importante es tener el conocimiento de lo que científicamente se dice actualmente, para posteriormente poder hacer una elección informada.

              Best U.S. Destinations For Wine Lovers        
    Photo Credit: ThinkstockCalifornia, Virginia, Oregon, and New York offer some of the nation's top destinations for wine tourism in the USA, increasingly of interest to leisure travelers.
              About Jackie Robinson        

    Who was Jackie Robinson?


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

    Pre Baseball Life

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

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

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

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

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

    Baseball Career

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

    Post-baseball life

    Robinson as ABC sports announcer in 1965

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Family life and death

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

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

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

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

    Awards and recognition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Career statistics

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

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

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


              First Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit Verdict: A Win for Plaintiffs Everywhere        

    While victims of transvaginal mesh, tape and sling side effects have filed thousands of lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country, Monday's landmark California jury award in Scott v. Kannappan Medical is the first formal victory for those affected by these medical devices. Watts Guerra Craft LLP is handling defective transvaginal mesh cases against all major manufacturers.

    (PRWeb July 24, 2012)

    Read the full story at

              UPDATE: Switching to a new format, with a surprise in the works ...        
    Please stay tuned.  I plan to release my next podcast by October -- and it will very likely be part of a global podcasting network, eventually going to a weekly, 30 minute format.  Can't say more, but please stay tuned!!

    David Scott Lewis
    President & Principal Analyst
    IT E-Strategies, Inc.
    Qingdao, China & Menlo Park, California
    DSL.7747350 -at- (used to avoid a bit of spam)

              Inaugural Podcast - Part 2 of 2 - Commentary        
    Welcome to the inaugural podcast of David on Enterprise Software.

    In this edition there's coverage of utility computing (both from a virtualization and a software-as-a-service perspective), knowledge management and IBM's Rational Unified Process.

    Please send me or call in your feedback!!

    To directly download this podcast, click here.


    David Scott Lewis
    President & Principal Analyst
    IT E-Strategies, Inc.
    Qingdao, China & Menlo Park, California
    DSL.7747350 -at- (used to avoid a bit of spam)
              Inaugural Podcast - Part 1 of 2 - Background & Mission        
    Welcome to the inaugural podcast of David on Enterprise Software.

    For commentary on utility computing (both from a virtualization and software-as-a-service perspective), knowledge management and IBM's Rational Unified Process see the second part of this podcast.

    To directly download part one, click here.
    To directly download part two, click here.


    David Scott Lewis
    President & Principal Analyst
    IT E-Strategies, Inc.
    Qingdao, China & Menlo Park, California
    DSL.7747350 -at- (used to avoid a bit of spam)
              [urls] Measuring the ROI of Software Process Improvement        
    Saturday, September 18, 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.
    All of the top ten are PDFsClick on the link to read the abstract for each paper.
    Note: Off to California for a couple of weeks.  Probably no new, original postings until after the October national holiday in China.  (I get a three week break from writing for this blog, but I'll still be writing columns for the AlwaysOn Network.)
    Top Honors:
    Measuring the ROI of Software Process Improvement (relatively speaking, very popular among Furl viewers; highly accessible article with a lot of substance and pointers)
    Other best new selections (in order of popularity as determined by Furl views, then alphabetically):
    A Framework for Off-The-Shelf Software Component Development and Maintenance Processes (this was THE most popular paper, although I liked the ROI article better; superb info, good guidelines, lots of food for thought)
    Agent-Based e-Supply Chain Decision Support (not as geeky as it sounds; lead author is with Carnegie Mellon's e-Supply Chain Management Laboratory & Institute for e-Commerce)
    B2B E-Commerce Stages of Growth: the Strategic Imperatives (a look at some case studies; provides some insights into B2B adoption and diffusion)
    Creating an Open Agent Environment for Context-Aware M-Commerce (from the Mobile Commerce Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon <no, this isn't necessarily CMU week>; I have a lot of doubts about this stuff, but it's worth firing a few neurons and giving it a spin)
    Development and Evaluation of Software Process Improvement Methods (Dissertation, 190 pp.) (superb overviews sprinkled with case studies; it was tough to choose between this dissertation and the ROI paper for top honors)
    Deriving a Diffusion Framework for Web-Based Shopping Systems (a bit of a technical flavor, but not too technical; puts e-shopping in a broader perspective, e.g., relative to EDI)
    * Exploring Defect Causes in Products Developed by Virtual Teams (to all SIs developing a GDM - global delivery model - READ THIS!!; perhaps the most important paper among my top ten)
    * Intelligent Support for Software Release Planning (a corporate technical paper describing a very useful software development management tool; see also the Release Planner (tm) home page)
    And my PERSONAL favorite:
    > The Banality of Google (good for some laughs)
    and many, many more ...
    David Scott Lewis
    President & Principal Analyst
    IT E-Strategies, Inc.
    Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China
 (current blog postings optimized for MSIE6.x) (access to blog content archives in China) (current blog postings for viewing in other browsers and for access to blog content archives in the US & ROW) (AvantGo channel)
    To automatically subscribe click on .

              THE KING MAKER'S NFL/NCAA Record Page        


    I'm not going to use The Sports Monitor for the Fall, but I'll keep the record and the wagers right here, so that everything is visible. I like The Sports Monitor, and I have no real complaints, but I think it's imperative that every handicapper that takes money for their information should be as transparent as possible.

    The one drawback is that I'm going to post FLAT BETTING numbers. Every wager that has a line attached to it is going to be 10-Stars (1-Unit). Every wager is the same. As always, you'll wager whatever you want on a game, regardless of what I tell you. So I'll post every graded wager when it goes final. You'll see all the FREE wagers long before kickoff. FREE and PAID are the same thing. My FREE plays are part of my record, because they mean something.  FREE doesn't mean "weaker". FREE plays aren't window dressing.

    NFL Record: 24-17 (10-3 on FullTotals); Team totals 2-2

    Atlanta -1 (-110) RD LOSS

    Cincinnatti +5.5 (-110) LOSS

    Green Bay -3 (-110) RD WINNER

    Baltimore +1.5 (-110) WINNER

    San Diego -4 (-110) LOSS

    No NFL plays for Week 2: I  simply Needed to see these teams objectively for one week.

    The Cincinatti Bengals -3 (-110) WINNER

    The Dolphins/Jets OVER 35.5 (-110) WINNER

    The Chicago Bears +3 (-110) WINNER

    The Miami Dolphis PICK EM (-110) LOSS

    The Chicago Bears +3.5 (-110) LOSS

    The Bengals/Browns OVER 37 (-110) WINNER

    The Cincinatti Bengals -2.5 (-110) LOSS

    The Bills/Jags OVER 41 (-110) WINNER

    The New York Jets -4 (-120) WINNER

    The Pittsburgh Steelers -14 (-110) WINNER

    The Dallas Cowboys +1.5 (-110) LOSS

    Buffalo/Baltimore OVER 39.5 (-110) WINNER

    The New York Giants +3.5 (-110) WINNER

    The Miami dolphins +1 (-110) WINNER

    The Houston Texans +5.5 (-110) LOSS

    Baltimore Ravens OVER 23 points WINNER! (doesn't count in record)

    The Chicago Bears -3 (-105) PUSHER

    Baltimore/atlanta OVER 43.5 (-110) WINNER!

    NY Jets/Cleveland Browns OVER 36.5 (-110) WINNER!

    The Pittsburgh Steelers -5 (-110) LOSS

    Philadelphia Eagles / Washington Redskins Under 44 (-110) LOSS

    The Buffalo Bills +4.5 (-110) at Bookmaker for 10-Stars WINNER!

    The Bills/Bengals OVER 41 (-110) at BetUS for 10 Stars WINNER!

    The Cleveland Browns +2 -110 at BetUS for 10-stars  LOSS!

    The Cleveland Browns OVER 20.5 (-115) LOSS (Not on Record)

    The Indianapolis Colts OVER 23 (-115) WINNER! (Not on Record)

    The New York Giants OVER 21.5 (-105) LOSS (Not on Record)

    The Chicago Bears +3 (-110) WINNER!

    The New York Jets/Bengals OVER 43 (-110) LOSS

    The KC Chiefs -1 (-120) WINNER!

    The Pittsburgh Steelers -6 (-110) LOSS

    The Bills/Vikings OVER 43.5 WINNER!

    The Buffalo Bills +5 (-110) LOSS!

    The Baltimore Ravens -3 (-110) LOSS!

    The Patriots/Jets OVER 44 (-110) WINNER!

    The New England Patriots -3.5 (-110) EASY WINNER!

    Miami Dolphins/NY Jets OVER 38 (-110) LOSS!

    The Atlanta Falcons -6 (-110) at BetUS WINNER!

    The New Orleans Saints +3 (-110) WINNER!

    The Baltimore Ravens -9.5 (-110) LOSS!

    The Seattle Seahawks +10.5 (-120) WINNER!



    NCAA Basketball 2010

    Totals 4-6 Team Totals 2-0 Sides 4-3

    St. Johns University OVER 70 points (-115) WINNER!

    The Georgetown Hoyas OVER 70.5 (-115) WINNER!

    George Mason +3 (-110) LOSS!

    Oklahoma/Kentucky OVER 140 (-110) PUSH!

    Tennessee/Villanova OVER 143 (-120) WINNER!

    The Michigan Wolverines +9 (-110)  OUTRIGHT WINNER!

    The Baylor Bears -9 (-120) WINNER!

    Northern Iowa +3.5 (-120) LOSS!

    The Georgetown Hoyas -1.5 (-110) LOSS

    Tennessee/Pittsburgh OVER 140 (-110) WINNER!

    Tennessee/Oakland OVER 151 (-120) WINNER!

    The Auburn Tigers +12 (-120) PUSH

    Northern Arizona/Arizona OVER 142 (-110)  LOSS!

    Tennessee/Charlotte OVER 143 (-120) LOSS!

    Baylor/Gonzaga OVER 140 (-110) at BookMaker LOSS!

    Florida/Kansas State OVER 134 (-110) at SI and SBG LOSS!

     USC +9 (-110) WINNER! (Not part of the record)

    USC/TN UNDER 133 (-120) WINNER! (Not part of the record)

    The South Florida Bulls +9 (-110) WINNER!

    The St. Bonaventure Bonnies +9.5 (-110) WINNER!

    Indiana/Minnesota OVER 137.5 (-110) LOSS!

    Purdue/Penn State OVER 126 (-110) WINNER!

    Pittsburgh/Georgetown OVER 139 (-110)  LOSS!


    NCAA Record: 16-16 with Rush Dominance Wagers at 4-5 and SEC Wagers ARE 8-4

    Minnesota -3 (-110) RD WINNER

    Northwestern -3.5 (-110) RD LOSS *

    Cincinnatti +3 (-110) LOSS

    Boise State +1.5 (-110) WINNER

    Auburn -1.5 (-110) RD WINNER *

    West Virginia -12.5 (-110) LOSS

    South Carolina -3 (-110) WINNER *

    Alabama -12 (-110) RD WINNER *

    Miami +9 (-110) LOSS

    Oregon -11 (-120) WINNER *

    California -2.5 (-110) LOSS

    Arkansas +2 (-110) WINNER *

    LSU -7(-125) WINNER *

    Auburn -7 (-110) RD LOSS *

    The Miami Hurricanes -3 (-125 or -120) WINNER

    The Kentucky Wildcats +440 LOSS

    The Kentucky Wildcats +14 (-110) LOSS

    The Nevada Wolfpack -4 (-110) Top Play RD WINNER 

    Oklahoma State -2.5 (-110)  WINNER!

    The Wisconsin Badgers -2 (-110) RD LOSS!

    San Diego State Aztecs -4.5 (-110) RD LOSS

    The Central Florida Knights -5 (-120) WINNER

    Cincinnatti/Louisville OVER 56 (-110) WINNER

    UTEP Miners -3 (-120) LOSS

    UTAH Utes -20.5 (-110) WINNER

    Ohio state Buckeyes -4 (-110) LOSS

    The Cincy Bearcats -8 (-110) LOSS

    The Texas Longhorns -20.5 (-110) LOSS

    The Alabama Crimson Tide -16.5 (-110) WINNER

    West Virginia -5.5 (-110) LOSS

    Tennessee -7 (-135) WINNER (Not on Record)

    Auburn Tigers PK (-110) WINNER!

    RD=Rush Dominance

    * Signifies SEC Wager

              2012 Trends Every Librarian Needs to Know        

    Thanks to the California State Library's Rush Brandis, many of us received this presentation in email form today. The story told by these new figures, and suggested applications for creating a responsive information future, include an array encompassing health, education and much more besides commerce and entertainment.

    In one interesting section of the story these slides tell, we get the chance to consider how technology and its adoption provoke society to evolve from being asset-heavy (think your old vinyl record album collection) to asset-light (MP3 playlist, of course).

    Don't just sit back and watch this show: let's start brainstorming the opportunities we have to evolve as asset-light services that deliver more broadly and with more depth than can our asset-heavy tradition.

              Stacey Aldrich, Libraries, and Planning for the Future        

    Acting State Librarian of the California State Library Stacey Aldrich will be helping current and prospective library leaders use current tools to explore the future in her Infopeople workshop, “Building Leadership Skills: Planning for the Future,” scheduled in libraries throughout California in June 2009.

    “We’ll be looking at what kinds of sources you should be scanning for clues to the future and why; what kinds of triggers you should be looking for; and how you ask the right questions about the future,” she said during a conversation earlier this week. “The key here is that the more tools that you have for thinking about the future, the more proactive you can be about creating the future. This workshop is an opportunity to learn and practice some future-thinking tools and then spend some time thinking about the future so you can find opportunities.”

    Included in the curriculum are explorations of scenario planning, a concept explored by futurist in his book The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World; environmental scanning; and top trends which library leaders need to watch.

    “We need to look outside of libraries for the forces and trends that are changing people's expectations about information, technology, and community," Aldrich says. "If we’re asking the right questions about our future, we can keep developing services that meet the needs of the people we serve.”

    Among the sources she cites are the TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) conferences with talks which are archived at; the Pop!Tech conferences with similarly archived materials at Pop!; and, which offers a variety of resources including free monthly “trend briefings.”

    Using these tools will help library leaders engage in more effective environmental scanning and scenario thinking. Environmental scanning, she suggests, is “taking an interest in observing the world around you…reading and observing things you may never do,” and scenario building, “in its simplest terms, is creating stories about the future to help your library think about possible futures, and then build strategies that will help you thrive in each of them, and to help your library create its preferred future.”

    The workshop is the latest offering in Infopeople’s multi-stage Eureka! Leadership Program with its “Building Leadership Skills” series, and it will remain available as a contract workshop through Infopeople for those who are not able to attend the currently scheduled sessions. Registration ($75 per person) for “Building Leadership Skills: Planning for the Future” and other “Building Leadership Skills” sessions is continuing on the Infopeople website; instructors for other sessions in the series include Marie Radford and Steve Albrecht.

    Sessions of “Building Leadership Skills: Planning for the Future” are currently scheduled for Buena Park Library District (6/4/2009); San Diego County Library Headquarters (6/5/2009); San Francisco Public Library - Latino/Hispanic Community Meeting Room (6/11/2009); Belle Cooledge Library in Sacramento (6/12/2009); Fresno - Woodward Park (6/16/2009); and San Jose Martin Luther King, Jr. Library (6/23/2009).

    Blog Categories: 

              Ben Harper meets Charlie Musselwhite        
    Here’s an electrifying collaboration between the Californian songsmith Ben Harper, who only started his career in the Nineties, and the white bluesman Charlie Musselwhite, who’s been around a bit longer.
              Roma AŞ: Ä°ki Kardeşin Temelini Attığı Dürüst mü Dürüst Bir Aile Şirketi        

    Her şirketin kuruluşunda bir efsane vardır. Küçük şirketler bile haklarında çok şey bilinmeyen atalarıyla ilgili hikâyeler üretir. Hayatının başında meteliğe kurşun atan Morty Amca’nın şimdiki haline bakın! Providence’tan Trenton’a kadar doğu sahili boyunca uzanan bir perakende mağaza zinciri! Elindeki birkaç kuruşla ve küçük bir ham­burger tezgâhıyla Ray Kroc, ortaçağ California’sında soğan doğrayıp köfte çevirerek ve bu şekilde milyarlarca, hatta günün birinde trilyon­larca insana hizmet veren binlerce mola yerinin her biriyle övüneceği bir dev yarattı. Genç Bill Gates ve Nolan Bushnell, ileri teknolojiden ziyade kötü rock and roll üretmeye elverişli olan, varoşlardaki tuhaf bir garajda iğrenç sivilceleriyle oynarken kişisel bilgisayarın hayalini kuruyorlardı. Babasının puro işinde sıkıntıdan patlayan Bill Paley, yeni bir mecra olan radyonun, hareket halinde olmaya uygun bir ürün olduğuna karar verdi, içinden ürünün geçtiği bir iletişim hattına sahip olup olamayacağını kendi kendine sordu ve bu istasyonları birbirine bağlayınca ne olacağını merak edip bir radyo ağı yarattı.Bu hikâyeler, yatırım ve ticaretin iç dinamiklerini harekete geçirir ve şirketleri kendilerine ait birleştirici bir anlayışa sahip olmaya götürür. Vazgeçilmez ve önemli oldukları hissi, onlara en azından daha ucuza çalışacak eleman alma yeteneği kazandırır.

    Roma’nın kuruluş destanı, kuş uçmaz kervan geçmez bir tepede yaşayan birkaç derbeder çobanla başlar. Zaten o zamanlar kuş uçmaz kervan geçmez olmayan yer yoktu. Bu küçük, gürültücü grup, sürüle­rini otlatıyor ve vahşi doğada dolaşan kurt sürülerine karşı kendilerini savunuyorlardı.

    Daha sonra Roma’ya dönüşecek olan geleceğin aile şirketinin ilk atası bu düşmanca ortama gözünü açtı. Adı Aineias’tı ve Homeros’ta anlatılan, Troya’nın o meşhur düşmanca ele geçirilişinden sonra yerleşecek yeni bir yer arıyordu. Oğlu yol kenarında Alba Longa adında küçük bir kent kurdu ve bu kent, kardeş olan iyi kralla kötü kral arasında hâkimiyet mücadelelerine sahne olacak kadar büyüdü.

    Bugün de büyük-küçük tüm kurumlarda sıklıkla olduğu gibi, kötü kral ne yapıp edip Alba Longa’da iktidara geldi. Kötü CEO öylesine büyük bir tehlikeydi ki kardeşi hayatından endişe etti, başka yerlerdeki önemli işler için sayısız yolculuğa çıkarak neredeyse sırra kadem bastı ve böylece işten atılması da zorlaştı.

    Alba Longa’nın kötü başkanı o kadar kötüydü ki iyi kralın kızını Vesta Rahibesi olmaya zorladı. Vesta Rahibeleri önemli dini şahsi­yetlerdi, ancak bu işi sürekli yapabilmeleri için temel koşul ömürleri boyunca her türlü cinsel ilişkiden kaçınmalarıydı. Bu, büyük ihtimalle onlar için olduğu kadar dinlerin evliliği yasakladığı diğer kurumsal kültürler için de geçerliydi.

    Vesta Rahibesi, iyi başkanın kızı, tabii ki ibretlik bir örnekti – ta ki iyi ya da kötü talihiyle savaş tanrısı Mars’ın ilgisini çekinceye kadar. Roma tanrıları güçlü varlıklardı ve böyle oldukları için de diğer birçok tanrıya göre daha çekiciydiler. Ve elbette genel merkezden mükemmel bir yetkilinin ortaya çıkıp yerel bir kasabaya gelerek, alt kadrodan gözü yaşlı bir personeli bambaşka bir halde bıraktığı ilk vaka değildi bu. Rahibeden hoşlanan tanrı hiç vakit kaybetmedi ve Tacitus’a göre ona uykusunda sahip oldu. Böylece anneleri bakire, babaları bir tanrı olan ikizler dünyaya geldi. Adları Romus ve Romulus’tu.

    Vesta Rahibesi (artık eski Vesta Rahibesi demek gerekiyor sanırım), yeni şirketin müstakbel sahiplerinin mağrur annesiydi. Ancak onla­rın varlığı, çok kötü olan mevcut CEO tarafından takdir edilmedi. Varlıklarından haberdar olunca anneleriyle birlikte çocukları da Tiber Irmağı’na attı. Irmak, kutsal rahibeler için ve tanrısal varlıkların ço­cukları için bile feci soğuk ve zorluydu.

    Rahibenin güzelliği ırmak tanrısı tarafından fark edilince rahibe mucizevi bir şekilde hayatta kaldı. Tanrı, kadınla evlenerek onun na­musunu kurtardı. İkizler ise ırmağın kıyısında karaya fırlatıldı. Tam burada bir kurt sürüsü yaşıyordu ve bir anne kurt bebekleri emzirmek için hazır bulunuyordu. Büyüyüp serpilen çocuklar, kötü kralın çobanı tarafından evlat edinilecek kadar hayatta kalmayı başardı. Çoban onları tam da kralın korktuğu şekilde yetiştirdi – kendisinin kaçınılmaz sonu ve etrafındaki yeni nesil üst düzey yöneticiler olarak.

    Böylece büyüyüp yetişkinliğe adım atan yakışıklı, iyi kalpli ve yete­nekli gençler Gabii’de okula gittiler ve çobanın ya da domuz çobanının (kime inandığınıza bağlı) oğulları olarak bilindikleri Alba sarayında vakit geçirdiler. Kötü kralın hizmetkârlarının sinirine dokunuyor, ancak kralın dikkatini hiç çekmiyorlardı.

    Günün birinde domuzların çalınmasıyla ya da o zamanlar idamla cezalandırılan başka bir suçla ilgili bir kavga çıktı ve Romus durumu kontrol altına almak üzere bir grup genci topladı. Yerel merciler top­lanan bu kalabalığı yanlış yorumlayarak onları CEO’yu öldürmeye niyetlenmiş yevmiyeli bir işçi grubu sandı. Romus en tepedeki adamın huzuruna çıkarıldı. Adam ilk anda Romus’a ne yapacağını bilemedi.

    Tuhaf bir güzelliği olan genç adamda özel bir şeyler olduğunu fark eden kötü başkan, o zamanlar bile eski olan delege etme sanatını kullanarak konuyu emri altındakilere havale etti, ancak onlar da ne yapacaklarını bilemez haldelerdi. Bu arada, ezeli ve ebedi başkan, o sırada yarı emekli bir Jobs olarak kırlarda dolaşan iyi kalpli büyükbaba ortaya çıkıp Romulus’u kardeşine yardım etmesi için yüreklendirdi. Romulus yardıma gitti ve göz açıp kapayıncaya kadar Romus serbest kaldı, kötü adam öldü ve Alba Longa bir kez daha gerçek başkanının, büyükbabanın eline geçti. Böylece ilk kurumsal el değiştirme tamam­lanmış oldu.

    Bu hikâyedeki kötü başkanın paranoyasının sağlam temellere dayandığına dikkat edin lütfen. Paranoya hemen her zaman sağlam temellere dayanır, özellikle de üst düzey yöneticilere sunulan tek tazminat seçeneğinin, başlarının vücutlarından ayrılması olduğu kurumsal kültürlerde.

    Doğuştan sahip oldukları hakkı öğrenip işe el koyan ve büyükba­balarına tahtı geri veren Romulus ve Romus kendi başlarına kalıp iki nedenden dolayı farklı bir yola koyuldular. Birincisi, kendi toprakla­rında her şey yoluna girmişti ve orada hükümdar olmalarının tek yolu büyükbabalarını öldürmekti. İyice düşünüp taşınan ve bunu reddeden kardeşlerin başka bir sorunu vardı: Askerler, köleler, kadınlar, çocuklar, kâhinler, domuz çobanları ve ipsiz sapsız bir sürü insandan oluşan, başıboş ve olacaklara hazırlıklı büyük bir kalabalık, son yıllarda yürüt­tükleri kurumsal savaşlar boyunca onlara bağlanmıştı. Kullanılmadığı takdirde tehlikeli bir sorumluluğa dönüşebilecek bu büyük kaynakla ilgili ne yapılabilirdi? Özellikle erkekler çeşitli amaçlarla yerli kadınları alıkoymaya başladığında, Plutarkhos’un belirttiği gibi “zorla alıkoyduk­larına karşı sıra dışı bir saygı gösterip hürmet etseler” bile, Alba Longa halkı bu güruhtan hiç kimseyi kesinlikle istemez oldu.

    Kurucuları, girişimin büyümesi ve başarılı olması için merkezi bir önemi olan politikayı bu noktada, şirketin bu ilk günlerinde benimsedi. Bölgedeki bütün kaçaklara, seyahat eden askerlere, borçlulara, dilenci­lere ya da yersiz yurtsuzlara kapılarını açtılar, ibadetleri için bir tapınak sağladılar, hepsini korudular ve hiçbirini geri çevirmediler, ne köleleri sahiplerine ne katilleri polise teslim ettiler. Ve her birine değerli bir ödül teklif ettiler: Bu yeni oluşumda vatandaşlık ya da –iş dünyasının diliyle– en düşük yevmiyeli çalışan ya da danışmana bile kadrolu iş. Hakiki sadakat böyle temeller üzerinde kurulur.

    Fethedilene vatandaşlık vermeye ve aynı şekilde gönüllü askerliğe yönelik olan bu politika, şirket tarafından alınan küçük şirketlerin her birini, çoğu zaman daha küçük, daha zayıf ve daha kötü giyimli hedef şirketteki üst düzey yöneticiler de dâhil olmak üzere, bir ölçüde hoşnut etti.

    Çok geçmeden, Palatium Tepesi üzerinde bir gecede biten mantarlar gibi binin üzerinde ev belirdi. Kardeşler de bu işgücünü korumak ve bir arada tutmak için yerleşim merkezlerini canla başla inşa etmeye koyuldular.

    Şirket için bir merkez ofise duyulan ihtiyaç R kardeşler –o andan itibaren kurucular– tarafından fark edildi ve sonunda yeni şirketi, ne yöne gittiklerini bilmeyen, kendilerini sanata, felsefeye kaptırıp her şeyi eskisi gibi sürdürmeye devam eden, Atina, Sparta ve başka yerlerde

    ofisleri bulunan, o bölgenin eski büyük tüzel kişiliklerinden çok daha birleşik ve güçlü hale getirdi.

    Kısa süre içinde duvarları nereden başlatacakları üzerine bir tartışma çıktı. Kardeşler bir anda birbirlerinden rahatsızlık duymaya başladılar. Genişleme, büyüme ve ortak başarıya eşlik eden tatlı sorunlara karşı aşırı bir tepki olarak görülebilir bu. Tam tersine. O gün de şimdi olduğu gibi ofis alanının boyutu, şekli ve düzenlemesi pek çok kanlı çekişmeye neden oluyordu.

    Böylece Romulus genel merkezi bir yere kurmak istedi, Romus ise başka bir yere. Romulus bunu belli bir şekilde yapmak istedi, Romus da –tabii ki– başka bir şekilde. Öfkeden deliye dönen Romulus, “Ben de yoluma böyle devam ederim. Romus’la bu konu üzerine konuşmak için bir toplantı daha yaparsam kardeşim demeyip o lanet olasıcayı öldüreceğim,” diye düşündü.

    Romulus projeye girişti, her iyi kuruluşun ihtiyacı olan ilk şeyi –güvenliği, yani duvarları– halletmek üzere kolları sıvadı. İş başladı. Heyecan doruktaydı. “Tanrım,” diye düşündü Romulus kendi kendine, “tek başına çalışmak ne güzel! O itici, dik kafalı ve her şeye muhalefet eden kardeşim sürekli kuyruğumda olmayınca ne kadar rahatım!” Romulus hem bu gelişmeden zevk alıyor hem de derin düşüncelere dalıyordu ve düşündükçe öfkesi daha da artıyordu. Burada gücünü ve adını o herifle paylaşıyordu, oysa o oturduğu yerden Romulus’un aklına gelen her fikrin altında bir bityeniği aramaktan başka bir şey yapmıyor­du. Peki, kendisinin herhangi bir fikri var mıydı? Bir tane bile yoktu.

    Romulus’un şehri Roma çok büyük olacaktı, dünya tarihinin gelmiş geçmiş en büyük şehri. Bir vizyonu, bir alınyazısı olacaktı. Üşütük kardeşinin kuracağı uyduruk yer gibi bir çöplük olmayacaktı. Çakma şehrine hangi adı verecekti acaba? Reme mi?

    Romulus’un gözünün karardığı ve şirketi kardeşinin elinden aldığı o vahim günle ilgili farklı hikâyeler anlatılır. Kimileri Romus’un şehrin yeni duvarlarının boyutuyla ilgili huzursuzluk çıkardığına, fazla alçak olduğunu söylediğine inanır. Bazı söylentilere göre ise duvarlar çok zayıf olduğundan Romus üstünden kolayca atlayarak dalga geçmiştir. Büyüklük ve boyla ilgili şakalar, sıkı bir rekabet içindeki erkekler arasında asla iyi sonuçlara yol açmaz. Genel kabullere göre Romus kardeşiyle dalga geçmiş, bu duruma daha fazla dayanamayan Romulus da onu baş aşağı yere devirmiş. Belki de niyeti onu öldürmek değildi. Bu düşünce Roma tarihinin geri kalanıyla çelişiyor olsa bile hadi biz de öyle düşünelim.

    Şiddet içerikli bir sapkınlık değildi bu. Yapım işleri devam edebil­sin diye kardeşini öldürmekle Romulus gerçek bir yönetici kişiliğin tüm özelliklerini sergiliyor ve aynı zamanda bir kurumsal kültür tesis ediyordu.


    Yönetici Kişilik

    Zeki, stratejik, dinamik

    Pek çok diğer harika karakter özellikleri ve…

    Sağı solu belli olmayan nevrotik gurur

    Sarsıcı, kontrol edilemeyen öfkeye yenik düşme

    Dürtü kontrolsüzlüğü

    Etik fakat ahlak dışı

    Cüretkâr, kararlı, yaratıcı

    Kendiyle ilgili yok denecek kadar az mizah anlayışı


    Bu hızlı hamleyle Romulus, Roma haline geldi. Tıpkı Edison’ın, Ford’un ve Jobs’ın kurdukları şirketlere kalıcı bir marka vermeleri gibi o da bundan böyle halkın ne giyeceğinden neyi, nasıl yiyeceğine, hangi saatte uyuyacağından gururlu, üzgün ya da kızgın oldukların­da nasıl konuşacağına, yolda neler yapacağına kadar her ayrıntısıyla gelecek bin yılda Roma’nın nasıl yaşayacağını belirledi. Dediğim dedikti. Son derece tehlikeliydi. Bir şeyler yaratmayı da seviyordu, bir şeyleri öldürmeyi de. Kendi içinde yaratma ve yok etmenin ikili gücünü dengeliyor, bunu zamanının tüm diğer adamlarından daha iyi yapıyordu. İşlerin halledilmesi için ne gerekiyorsa yapma konusunda vahşi bir iştahın yanı sıra bütün bunlar da Roma’nın ayakta kalmasını sağlayan niteliklerdi.

    Artık dünyaya sattıkları şey Roma fikriydi. Kıyamet gününde, bu görev bilinci yok olduğunda kaç tane askeri birliğiniz olduğunun hiçbir önemi kalmazdı, kaybetmeye mahkûm olurdunuz. İşin başında Romulus şirkete sadece bir kurucunun sağlayabileceği, esaslı bir şey hediye etmişti: Kurum kavramı.

    Yüreklerinde ve zihinlerinde bu olduktan sonra zaten durdurula­mazlardı.

  • Tarih
  • Stanley Bing
              Teaching sabbatical 2014        

    My name is Tobias Richards and I’m current on leave from my work as a professor at Univeristy of Borås in Sweden.

    I’ve been fortunate to receive a scholarship from STINT (The Swedish foundation for cooperation in research and higher education) within the program Teaching Sabbatical. The purpose of this scholarship is to get inspiration and exchange knowledge and experience from world leading Universities and Colleges regarding education and teaching at different levels; from undergraduate to graduate. My first choice was University of California Berkeley, which also become my destination for the fall semester 2014. The reasons for choosing UC Berkeley (or commonly known as Cal) were several. It has one of the most respected graduate schools in the US and are continuously ranked among the top three University in the world ( with first place in science, chemistry and physics and one underlying idea with this teaching sabbatical, from my point of view, was to include both undergraduate and graduate studies and to see the connection between them. It is also ranked as the best public national University in the US regarding undergraduate teaching (

    Student gathering at UC Berkeley for one of the welcoming ceremonies in 2014

    In my ordinary work, I lead a research group within thermal treatment of mixed material with a special emphasis is on waste materials and sustainability and from that perspective it is really fascinating to live a couple of months in one of the most progressive states regarding sustainability. I will be interesting to see how sustainability and waste management are incorporated at the university and especially how it is communicated and received by the surrounding community. It was therefore encouraging to see that on the fare for the new students, one of the sta