Skillsoft and MIT Sloan Management Review Partner To Train Next Generation Business Leaders        

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

 by Shrutee K/DNS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

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

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

FOLLOW GBBN ARCHITECTS

@GBBNArchitects
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          Sulla critica del diritto nel giovane Gramsci        
E' successo che, preparando un commento all'ultima sortita di Saviano a proposito di storia della sinistra italiana, ho ripreso in mano, dopo anni, il vecchio volume dell'Einaudi (Torino, 1960) che raccoglie i corsivi pubblicati da Gramsci sull'"Avanti!" nella rubrica Sotto la Mole (1916-1920). Qui mi è capitato sotto gli occhi il commento di Gramsci alla sentenza sui "fatti di Torino", cioè (annotano i curatori dell'edizione) "lo sciopero generale per il pane e contro la guerra, che sfociò nella sommossa del 23-26 agosto 1917". [1]

Il commento di Gramsci fu pubblicato sull'"Avanti!" il 20 ottobre 1918: il testo, come di frequente, uscì con vistosi "vuoti" dovuti all'azione della censura. Eccolo qui di seguito [2].

BELLU SCHESC' E DOTTORI!

Il giudice Emanuele Pili non è senza storia, come gli uomini e i popoli felici. Ma la storia del giudice Emanuele Pili ha una lacuna; iniziatasi col protagonista autore drammatico, riprende ora col protagonista «ragionatore» di sentenze, e riprende con una gloriosa e strenua pugna: il «ragionamento» della sentenza per i fatti di Torino, che nell'ultimo numero della «Gazzetta dei tribunali» il misuratore di crani prof. Vitige Tirelli qualifica «dotta».
Benedetto Croce ha scritto: «Chi ha pratica dei tribunali sa che molto spesso un magistrato, presa la decisione e stabilita la sentenza, incarica un suo piú gio [dodici righe e mezzo censurate]. E il giudice giovane ha fatto sfoggio di dottrina; e il giudice giovane — poiché nella prima gíoventú aspirava alla gloria di Talia e dedicava le sue fresche energie intellettuali a scrivere commedie nei vari dialetti di Sardegna e non poté studiare tutti i risultati delle ultime ricerche sulla natura del diritto e delle costituzioni — ha ragionato [una riga censurata] nella sentenza dei fatti di Torino, rovistando nei vecchi cassettoni, rimettendo alla luce tutti gli imparaticci scolastici del primo anno universitario, quando ancora si frequentano le lezioni e si prendono gli appunti.
[Venticinque righe censurate].
Gli sono estranee le correnti del pensiero moderno che hanno ringiovanito tutta la dottrina dello Stato e del Giure — superando le concezioni puerilmente metafisiche della dottrina tradizionale, degli imparaticci da scoletta universitaria — colla riduzione dello Stato e del Giure a pura attività pratica, svolta come dialettica della volontà di potenza e non piú pietistico richiamo alle leggi naturali, ai sacrari inconoscibili dell'istinto avito, alla banale retorica dei compilatori delle storiette per la scuola elementare. Il «ragionamento» del giudice Pili è solo una filastroccola di banalità retoriche, di gonfiezze presuntuose: esso è il ridicolo parto di un fossile intellettuale, il quale non riesce a concepire che lo Stato italiano almeno giuridicamente (e come giudice questa apparenza della realtà doveva solo importare al «giovane» da tribunale) è costituzionale, ed è parlamentare per tradizione (l'on. Sonnino è gran parte dello Stato attuale, ma crediamo che il suo articolo Torniamo allo Statuto! non sia ancora diventato legge fondamentale del popolo italiano): [cinque righe censurate]. La «dottrina» del giovane da tribunale infatti si consolida (!) in esclamazioni enfatiche contro chi ha «resistito» o è accusato di aver resistito: non cerca (come era suo compito) di dimostrare, alla stregua delle prove concrete e sicure, un delitto per passare l'esatta commisurazione alla sua entità di una pena contemplata nel codice. No, il «giovane» vuole sfoggiare, come una contadina ricca del Campidano di Cagliari le vesti multicolori che hanno servito alle sue antenate per le nozze e per decine e decine di anni sono rimaste seppellite in un vecchio cassettone a fregi bestiali e floreali tra lo spigo e una dozzina di limoni: e sfoggia tutti i vecchiumi, tutti gli scolaticci dei vespasiani giuridici chiusi per misura d'igiene pubblica.
Il giudice Emanuele Pili ha scritto una commedia dialettale: Bellu schesc' e dottori! (che bel pezzo di... dottore!) L'esclamazione potrebbe essere la conclusione critica della lettura di una sentenza, cosí com'è il titolo di una commedia.

La prima lacuna è stata integrata facilmente dai curatori del testo gramsciano. Si tratta di una citazione dalla Logica di Croce, riportata come segue:

«Chi ha pratica dei tribunali sa che molto spesso un magistrato, presa la decisione e stabilita la sentenza, incarica un suo piú giovane collega di "ragionarla", ossia di apporre una parvenza di ragionamento a ciò che non è intrinsecamente e puramente prodotto di logica, ma è voluntas di un determinato provvedimento. Questo procedere, se ha il suo uso nella cerchia pratica o giuridica, è affatto escluso da quella della logica e della scienza» (B. CROCE, Logica come scienza del concetto puro, Bari 1917, pp. 87-88).

Quando Gramsci nel suo corsivo parla delle "correnti del pensiero moderno che hanno ringiovanito tutta la dottrina dello Stato e del Giure", si riferisce appunto alla filosofia del diritto di Benedetto Croce. Croce aveva infatti affermato l'assoluta separazione tra morale e diritto, e aveva sottoposto il diritto alle categorie dell'utile e della forza. Nella concezione di Croce, il diritto è forza, che viene applicata per il raggiungimento di uno scopo ritenuto (da chi agisce questa forza) utile; il diritto è inoltre amorale, in quanto prescinde dal giusto e dall'ingiusto.

E' interessante notare che qui Gramsci si serve della teoria del diritto di Croce per porre un'istanza di garantismo giuridico. Infatti, ciò che Gramsci rimprovera al giudice Pili, estensore della sentenza sui fatti di Torino, è di aver confuso il diritto con la morale. Il giudice avrebbe dovuto limitarsi a vagliare le prove, accertare se fosse stato commesso un reato, e, in caso affermativo, determinarne la pena secondo le norme del codice. Invece, questa sentenza (scrive Gramsci) pretende di condannare gli imputati non sulla base della legge, bensì sulla scorta di considerazioni di ordine moralistico, la cui infondatezza giuridica è mascherata dal ricorso all'enfasi e alla retorica.

La linea del ragionamento gramsciano è abbastanza riconoscibile, nonostante i buchi lasciati dalla censura, e nonostante un probabile refuso tipografico [3]. Comunque, in un poscritto all'articolo del giorno successivo (Le vie della divina provvidenza, 21 ottobre 1918), Gramsci scrive:

P.S. Nell'articolo pubblicato ieri sul giudice Emanuele Pili la censura ha lasciato solo la parte «floreale» che può far supporre aver noi scritto un puro pamphlet per insolentire un magistrato. La censura ha imbiancato le giustificazioni delle insolenze: la giustificazione filosofica trovata nella Logica del senatore Benedetto Croce; la giustificazione storica trovata in una notizia pubblicata dal «Journal des Débats» l'8 novembre 1817 (milleottocentodiciassette!), la giustificazione costituzionale trovata nello Statuto albertino. Un'insolenza giustificata da «pezze» di tal genere crediamo non sia piú insolenza, ma espressione plastica della imparziale giustizia. La censura pertanto ci ha solo diffamati, senza che le leggi ci diano il modo di dar querela.

La "giustificazione filosofica" delle critiche che Gramsci rivolge al magistrato corrisponde, lo abbiamo visto, ad una citazione da Croce. Rimane la curiosità di sapere quali potessero essere le altre due "giustificazioni"  imbiancate dalla censura.

La "giustificazione costituzionale", che corrisponde alla lacuna di cinque righe, si trova, dice Gramsci, nello Statuto albertino; e potrebbe forse trattarsi di uno degli articoli che, in quel testo costituzionale, tutelavano i diritti civili: per esempio l'art. 26, secondo comma, "niuno può essere arrestato e tradotto in giudizio, se non nei casi previsti dalla legge, e nelle forme che essa prescrive".

Naturalmente, non è da pensare che Gramsci si facesse particolari illusioni circa l'effettività delle garanzie prescritte dallo Statuto. Sappiamo, invece, che Gramsci sempre ritenne la borghesia italiana incapace di creare un vero Stato di diritto che tutelasse le libertà individuali [4]. Un articolo di Gramsci di qualche anno successivo a quello che stiamo ora esaminando (Lo Stato italiano, in "L'Ordine Nuovo", 7 febbraio 1920) contiene una puntuale critica, da questo punto di vista, allo Statuto albertino:

Lo Stato italiano [...] non ha mai neppure tentato di mascherare la dittatura spietata della classe proprietaria. Si può dire che lo Statuto albertino sia servito a un solo fine preciso: a legare fortemente le sorti della Corona alle sorti della proprietà privata. I soli freni infatti che funzionano nella macchina statale per limitare gli arbitrî del governo dei ministri del re sono quelli che interessano la proprietà privata del capitale. La Costituzione non ha creato nessun istituto che presidî almeno formalmente le grandi libertà dei cittadini: la libertà individuale, la libertà di parola e di stampa, la libertà di associazione e di riunione. Negli Stati capitalistici, che si chiamano liberali democratici, l'istituto massimo di presidio delle libertà popolari è il potere giudiziario: nello Stato italiano la giustizia non è un potere, è un ordine, è uno strumento della Corona e della classe proprietaria. 

Gramsci sottintendeva questo tipo di considerazioni anche all'articolo qui in commento, laddove scriveva che lo Stato italiano "almeno giuridicamente" (cioè solo formalmente) era costituzionale, ed era "parlamentare per tradizione", nel senso che lo Statuto albertino non istituiva una vera e propria democrazia parlamentare, bensì l'ordinamento parlamentare dello Stato derivava da una semplice consuetudine che poteva essere in ogni momento abrogata: così come aveva proposto di fare Sidney Sonnino nel suo articolo del 1897, appropriatamente richiamato da Gramsci, Torniamo allo Statuto!,  e come poi farà il fascismo.

Tuttavia, il fatto che la monarchia sabauda fosse uno Stato di diritto carente e imperfetto non avrebbe dovuto esimere il magistrato dall'applicare comunque quelle garanzie (pur se insufficienti) che la legge disponeva a favore degli imputati: "come giudice questa apparenza della realtà doveva solo importare" al giudice Pili, osserva giustamente Gramsci.

La "giustificazione storica", che corrisponde alla lacuna di venticinque righe, è data (scrive Gramsci) da una notizia pubblicata sul numero dell'8 novembre 1817 del "Journal des Débats". Internet consente oggi di consultare facilmente quel numero di giornale per cercare quale potesse essere la notizia che costituiva la "giustificazione storica" invocata da Gramsci.

Una delle notizie ivi contenute, che possono essere state utilizzate da Gramsci ai fini del suo commento, è una corrispondenza dalla Gran Bretagna datata 3 novembre, che riporto qui di seguito in una mia traduzione (il testo originale è in nota):

Quattro individui di nome Booth, Brown, Jackson e King, prima delle ultime assisi di Derby, erano stati condannati a morte per crimine di ribellione. Condotti sul patibolo, al momento stesso della morte hanno avuto l'audacia empia di arringare la folla, affinché li venisse a liberare. Questa folla era composta da loro vecchi amici che li avevano frequentemente visitati in carcere; ma il luogo dell'esecuzione era sorvegliato da folti distaccamenti di cavalleria e di fanteria, e la legge ha avuto esecuzione [5].

Inizialmente ho pensato che questa notizia potesse aver attratto l'attenzione di Gramsci (per analogia con i fatti di Torino) perché riferita a un episodio di ribellione delle classi subalterne conclusosi con una condanna penale. Episodio che forse è leggibile nel quadro della fase di irrequietezza sociale che fu caratterizzata, in Gran Bretagna, dalle proteste contro la legge sul grano del 1815, fase che sfociò nel massacro di Peterloo.

Tuttavia, non ho trovato alcun elemento che potesse suffragare questa ipotesi. Non è chiaro neanche se i quattro uomini giustiziati a Derby nel 1817 siano stati effettivamente condannati a morte per reati politici, o non piuttosto per reati comuni; in un elenco dei giustiziati nel carcere di Derby, compilato da Celia Renshaw, una storica locale, questi Booth, Brown, Jackson e King risultano essere stati condannati per aver appiccato il fuoco a dei covoni di paglia [6]. Inoltre è noto che Gramsci non amava gli atteggiamenti tribunizi e teatrali, né apprezzava particolarmente i gesti individuali di ribellione: lo si evince dal suo stesso comportamento di imputato durante il "processone" del 1928 [7], nonché dal suo commento, contenuto nei Quaderni del carcere, ad un libro che raccoglieva i resoconti di una serie di processi contro anarchici libertari [8]. Perciò mi sembra improbabile che, nel suo corsivo del 1918 che stiamo ora commentando, Gramsci possa aver preso ad esempio il comportamento di quattro condannati a morte per reati contro il patrimonio che, dal patibolo, incitano la folla alla rivolta.

C'è però un'altra notiziola, sempre nella prima pagina  del "Journal des Débats" dell'8 novembre 1817, che potrebbe aver attirato l'attenzione di Gramsci. Si tratta di una corrispondenza da Losanna datata primo novembre:

Il Cantone Esterno di Appenzell ha da poco emesso una singolare sentenza contro un ragazzino accusato di alcuni piccoli furti. Lo hanno condannato a 50 fl. di ammenda e a trenta colpi di verga. Gli sarà inoltre assegnato un posto particolare in chiesa per un periodo di due anni: dovrà trovarsi colà per due volte ogni domenica, e sarà punito severamente in caso d'inosservanza [9].

In questa notizia di cronaca (un ragazzino condannato con sentenza penale ad andare a messa due volte la settimana) troviamo un esempio estremo e grottesco di quella perniciosa, pre-moderna confusione tra diritto e morale, che Gramsci stigmatizza nella sua polemica col giudice relatore della sentenza sui fatti di Torino. Perciò ritengo che sia stata questa la pezza giustificativa di quella parte dell'argomentazione gramsciana, che la censura ha cancellato lasciando nell'articolo un buco di venticinque righe.

Note

[1] Sempre secondo l'apparato critico dell'edizione citata, la sentenza fu emessa dal Tribunale militare di Torino il 2 agosto 1918; il testo della sentenza è reperibile in "Rivista storica del socialismo", n. 2, 1960.

[2] A. Gramsci, Sotto la Mole, ed. cit., pp. 447-48. L'articolo è stato poi raccolto nella più recente edizione degli scritti gramsciani precarcerari: A. Gramsci, Il nostro Marx 1918-1919, a cura di Sergio Caprioglio, Einaudi, Torino 1984, pp. 360-2. In Internet si trova qui: http://www.liberliber.it/mediateca/libri/g/gramsci/sotto_la_mole/pdf/sotto__p.pdf, p. 269.

[3] "Passare l'esatta commisurazione alla sua entità di una pena contemplata nel codice" è frase di cui si capisce il senso, ma che sembra guasta anche grammaticalmente. Penso che Gramsci abbia invece scritto "fissare l'esatta commisurazione della sua entità ad una pena contemplata nel codice".

[4] Cfr. Leonardo Rapone, Cinque anni che paiono secoli. Antonio Gramsci dal socialismo al comunismo (1914-1919), Carocci, Roma 2011, pp. 162-6.

[5] Quatre individus nommés Booth, Brown, Jackson et King, antérieurement aux dernières assises de Derby, avoient été condamnés à mort pour crime de rebellion. Amenés sur l'échafaud, ils ont eu, même au moment de la mort, l'audace impie de haranguer la multitude, et de l'engager à venir les délivrer. Cette multitude étoit composée de leurs anciens amis qui les avoient fréquemment visités dans leur prison; mais le lieu de l'exécution étoit gardé par de forts détachements de cavalerie et d'infanterie, et la loi reçut son exécution.

[6] Fonte: http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/DERBYSGEN/2009-08/1250276359

[7] Cfr. Giuseppe Fiori (a cura di), Antonio Gramsci: cronaca di un verdetto annunciato, I Libri de "l'Unità", supplemento al numero del 4 aprile, Roma 1994. 

[8] Antonio Gramsci, Quaderni del carcere, edizione critica a cura di Valentino Gerratana, Einaudi, Torino 1975, pp. 6-7 e 1896-7.

[9] Les Rhodes extérieurs d'Appenzell viennent de rendre une singulière sentence contre un enfant accusé de quelques petits vols. Ils l'ont condamné à 50 fl. d'amende et à trente coups de bâtons. Il lui sera d'ailleurs assigné une place particulière à l'église pendant deux ans; il devra s'y trouver deux fois chaque dimanche sous des peines séveres.

          Commentaires sur New York : comment la police a disparu par L’explosion à New York "n’a pas de lien avec le terrorisme …Le Public, journal politique, littéraire et quotidien | Le Public, journal politique, littéraire et quotidien        
[…] de Chelsea à New York. Peu après la déflagration, qui a fait 29 blessés, le maire de la ville, Bill de Blasio, avait évoqué un “acte intentionnel”, assurant néanmoins qu’il n’y avait […]
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More quality articles:
Proenhance patch - Truth of Proenhance patch
Proenhance patch - Benefits of Proenhance patch
Proenhance patch - How can it helps you
Proenhance patch - Benefits of Proenhance patch

          Proenhance patch - How can you Use Effectively The Proenhance Patch        



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Related info:
Penis enlargement devices - The reason why it is popular
Penis enlargement devices - The reason why it is popular
Penis enlargement devices - The reason why it is popular
Penis enlargement devices - Truth about penis enlargement devices

           Concurrent resistance and aerobic exercise stimulates both myofibrillar and mitochondrial protein synthesis in sedentary middle-aged men         
Donges, Cheyne E., Burd, Nicholas A., Duffield, Rob, Smith, Greg C., West, Daniel D.W., Short, Michael J., Mackenzie, Richard W.A., Plank, Lindsay D., Shepherd, Peter R., Phillips, Stuart M. and Edge, Johann A. (2012) Concurrent resistance and aerobic exercise stimulates both myofibrillar and mitochondrial protein synthesis in sedentary middle-aged men. Journal of Applied Physiology, 112 (12). pp. 1992-2001. ISSN 8750-7587
          Kritiken mot regeringen: ”Väldigt tyst och senfärdig”        
Regeringen borde göra mer för den svenska journalisten Hamza Yalcin, som greps i Spanien misstänkt för terrorbrott. Det säger Centerpartiets utrikespolitiska talesperson Kerstin Lundgren till Kulturnyheterna..
          Alan Henry obituary: 1947-2016        
Alan Henry's first break in motorsport journalism came after writing a letter to Autosport to complain about the quality of a race report from Brands Hatch in 1968
          The FWA Podcast: Friday 10 March        
Guardian journalist and author of the book 'Invincible', which details Arsenal's remarkable 2003/04 season, Amy Lawrence, joins William Hill's Dave Kelner on this edition of the podcast. Amy is perfectly placed to discuss Arsene Wenger's future and talks about the FA Cup matches this weekend, as well. #FWAPodcast #betting #Wenger #ArsenalFC
          The Punt: Friday 12 August        
Dave Kelner is joined by The Mirror's Derek McGovern and freelance football journalist, Thom Kirwin, to preview this weekend's Premier League fixtures. Derek and Thom give selections in all 10 matches and the chaps give their best bets at the end of the podcast. #BPL #EPL #PremierLeague #football #betting #podcast #ThePunt
          Football League Play-Off Finals Podcast        
Elliott York, Simon Gray and Dominic Micallef, all Journalism students from Leeds Trinity University, bring you their thoughts and predictions ahead of this weekend's action in the Football League Play-Off Finals.
          The FWA Podcast: Friday 13 May        
It's been a busy week in the north, with Sunderland consigning Newcastle to the Championship, while maintaining their Premier League status, and football journalist, Martin Hardy, talks to Dave Kelner on the podcast. Martin authored the book 'Touching Distance', so he knows all about heartbreak on Tyneside and he discusses Newcastle's future and previews the final day of the season in the Premier League. #FWAPodcast #betting #football #BPL #nufc #safc
          The FWA Podcast: Friday 15 April        
Freelance sports journalist, Ralph Ellis, who works for the Daily Mail and Sunday Mirror, joins William Hill's Dave Kelner to preview the televised Premier League matches this weekend. The pair also run through the betting for the PFA Player of the Year on this edition of the podcast. #BPL #football #FWAPodcast
          Sprint Called Out For Cramming Customer Accounts        
Sprint Called Out For Cramming Customer Accounts

Oops. Sprint has been busted for charging tens of millions of dollars in unauthorized third-party messaging charges to customer bills.

Moreover, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is about to issue a fine in the amount of $105 million for the carrier's dubious charges, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Interestingly, the amount of the fine is the same as the one AT&T paid to the FCC earlier this year in a case that is similar.

The fine is not official yet -- the FCC is still waiting for the commissioner to approve it. However, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is not wasting any moment -- on behalf of the carrier's disgruntled subscribers, the CFPB is filing a lawsuit against Sprint.

According to the CFPB, Sprint should have made it a priority to protect its subscribers from third-party billing scams. But unfortunately for its customers, the carrier had let suspicious fees for unauthorized premium text messages show up on the customers' billing statements.

The CFPB further alleges that Sprint is choosing to ignore the tens of thousands of complaints and refund requests from disgusted subscribers due to the incorrect billing. The bureau also believes that with the carrier keeping about 40 percent of all the revenue generated from bills crammed with third-party fees, it is a lot easier for Sprint to turn a blind eye.

Even though the major wireless carriers in the United States have agreed to cease billing their subscribers for premium third-party services, the practice of cramming customer bills has always been frequently done by service providers for years. By doing so, they can generate some extra income out of unsuspecting wireless subscribers.

Last October this year, AT&T agreed to settle with the FCC over cramming complaints from its subscribers. Even T-Mobile had to deal with its own cramming lawsuit back in July of this year. Out of the $105 million fine paid by AT&T, the FCC took $80 million to be refunded to subscribers who were affected. For sure, the FCC will work to achieve the same result with its lawsuit against Sprint. 

For its part, Sprint is denying the allegations. The carrier claims that it took certain steps to protect its subscribers from unauthorized third-party billing practices. 

If the $105 million fine does go through, it will mark the first time that the FCC and the CFPB have joined forces together in taking action against a major wireless provider.

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          USA's 'Mr. Robot' Shouldn't Just Delay its Shooting Scene Out Of Respect for Roanoke, They Should Delete It        

USA’s 'Mr. Robot' did not air its season finale Wednesday night. Citing a need to be sensitive to the shooting that killed two journalists in Roanoke, the network aired a previous episode along with this statement to explain their decision:


          Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production        
Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production
author: Jonathan Kern
name: Marisa
average rating: 4.20
book published: 2008
rating: 0
read at:
date added: 2016/09/06
shelves: for-purchase
review:


          The journey is the destination : the journals of Dan Eldon        
The journey is the destination : the journals of Dan Eldon
author: Dan Eldon
name: Marisa
average rating: 4.19
book published: 1997
rating: 3
read at: 2016/02/11
date added: 2016/02/11
shelves:
review:


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


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

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




          Hey, cig moochers -- smoking makes a hangover worse        

Dec. 24, 2002 -- At the Russian Vodka Room in midtown Manhattan, bar patrons drink and smoke at the end of the last full year of legal smoking in New York City bars and restaurants.If you only smoke when you're buzzed, you might want to reconsider: Those occasional late-night puffs could intensify your hangover in the morning, according to a new study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.



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

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


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


  • Column via Record-Journal

  • Facebook Tag Leads to Comments




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








    By Andy Thibault
    The Cool Justice Report
    http://cooljustice.blogspot.com/
    June 4, 2017









    Editor's Note: This column may be reprinted or re-posted courtesy of The Cool Justice Report http://cooljustice.blogspot.com.

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

    That's just part of the picture.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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









  • The Choate Report










  • Short version of column
    Via Hearst CT dailies


  • Danbury News Times


  • Connecticut Post


  • Norwalk Hour


  • Greenwich Time


  • Stamford Advocate







  • more COOL JUSTICE







  •           Reprise: Ongoing Cover-Up in Badaracco Homicide, Dog Killers, RFK 2nd Shooter & Many Other Matters in the Public Interest        

  • Complete list of SPJ winners


  • 'Therefore whatever you have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which you have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed on the housetops.'
    - Luke 12:3







    Finalists,
    CT SPJ Contest, 2016


  • Complete list


  • Annual dinner


  • Dinner highlight:
  • Diane Smith and Maureen Croteau to be inducted into Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame



  • Partial List of Finalists

    Courts/Crime
    Regional B




    Hartford won’t indemnify cops in killing of child’s dog; Officers’ personal assets attached; CTNewsJunkie; Andy Thibault
  • Complete article


  • Crime levels are surging in Plainfield; Norwich Bulletin; John Penney

    'Problem pockets' worry residents; Stamford Advocate; Nelson Oliveira, John Nickerson

    Lawyers have personal, professional reasons to help Community Speaks Out fight opioid crisis; The Day; Karen Florin

    Bones, tissue, teeth: Small details help investigators identify remains; The Day; Lindsay Boyle

    General Column
    Regional B




    Andy Thibault Cool Justice: Pretend investigations the norm in Badaracco homicide for 32 years; Litchfield County Times; Andy Thibault

  • Complete Article




  • Andy Thibault Cool Justice: Important questions about a homicide are ignored or deflected; Litchfield County Times;

  • Complete Article




  • Cool Justice: How judges and prosecutors circle the wagons to shaft public, protect themselves; Litchfield County Times;

  • Complete Article



  • Rabbi a man for all seasons, all people; News-Times; Brian Koonz

    Why would women vote for a misogynist? ; News-Times; Jacqueline Smith

    High noon in the wild west town of Bethel; News-Times; Jeff Gewert

    Police drug testing not a routine thing; Norwich Bulletin; Brendan Cox

    MPD secrecy standard procedure; Record-Journal; Eric Cotton

    Judge’s ruling says state must re-invent town-by-town system of schools; Record-Journal; Glenn Richter

    We’ve just made the wrong person president; Record-Journal; Glenn Richter

    Football is great, but is it worth the health risks? ; Record-Journal; Jeffery Kurz

    Coping with President Trump; Stamford Advocate; Jeff Gewert

    Biggest little fan meets Moriah; The Chronicle; Jennifer Lemanski

    The Coast Guard museum has no parking plan; The Day; David Collins

    Why was seizure-prone Sen. Maynard driving? ; The Day; David Collins

    In-Depth
    Regional B

    No place to play in western Greenwich; Greenwich Time; Emilie Munson





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

  • Complete Article




  • Year after Nina Coe’s disappearance from Middletown, family pleads for answers; Middletown Press; Cassandra Day

    Plight of low-wage workers worsens; News-Times; Rob Ryser

    Hihchey, Bilda went on $340,000 trip; Norwich Bulletin; Ryan Blessing

    Over decade, many NPU salaries jump 40%; Norwich Bulletin; Ryan Blessing

    Family devastated by loss of ‘hero’ mom killed in Meriden hit-and-run; Record-Journal; Leigh Tauss

    Pedestrians, bicyclists prohibited from accessing new trail through Wallingford condo complex; Record-Journal; Leigh Tauss

    Man who shot at Meriden mosque comes full circle as prison term approaches; Record-Journal; Mike Savino

    We were children, I wasn't the only victim; Stamford Advocate; Amanda Cuda

    Stamford's surging development demolishes old homes; Stamford Advocate; Liz Skalka

    Damning report details DCF failure in near-starvation of Groton toddler; The Day; Deborah Straszheim

    Navy gets under sailors’ skin; The Day; Julia Bergman

    Norwalk works to keep Millennials coming; The Hour; Kaitlyn Krasselt, Robert Koch







  • more COOL JUSTICE








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




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

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




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



  • Hartford Public Library, Events & Exhibits


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


  • Elm Grove Press


  •           #TrueCrime All Sides of the Law #moreCOOLJUSTICE Signed Copy #HolidayGift        

    In the halls of justice,
    the only justice is in the halls




  • Video: What is more COOL JUSTICE?




  • CBS880 report: Bonnie Foreshaw goes free


  • more COOL JUSTICE is a second collection of hard-hitting essays credited with helping to free a woman unjustly convicted of first degree murder.

    Novelist Chandra Prasad calls author Andy Thibault “Connecticut’s premiere journalistic warrior.”

    Wally Lamb says: “Thibault is a junkyard dog for justice who bares his teeth at pomposity and institutional unfairness and only bites the truly deserving.”

    more COOL JUSTICE includes controversial essays on topics including the Woody Allen sex assault case, the national assault on freedom of information and a 42-year-old cold case in New Orleans. A chapter entitled ‘Persons known & unknown blew up justice in Badaracco case’ examines the politics permeating the investigation and points to the judiciary’s complicity in the failure to solve the Mary Badaracco homicide in northwest Connecticut.

  • Yale’s bogus Woody Allen report, via Huffington Post


  • Thibault was honored by the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information in 2014 with the Stephen Collins Award for his “many contributions to the cause of open and accountable government and a free and vigorous press.” Thibault was one of the few reporters to cover the Boston Marathon bombing trial gavel to gavel. His reports for the NBC News Investigative Unit can be found at

  • NBC News.com
  • by entering Andy Thibault in the search box.

  • Boston Marathon trial stories


  • His first collection, Law and Justice in Everyday Life, was published in 2002, featuring an introduction by Howard Zinn and foreword by F. Lee Bailey.

    Thibault has taught at Western Connecticut State University, the University of Hartford and Northwestern Connecticut Community College. He is an investigator for Integrated Security Services of Hartford and Manhattan.

    He is expected to appear in one of a series of true crime documentaries in 2017, filmed in late 2016 by a Canadian production company. Also in 2017, he expects to implement an “Alternative Speakers Series” at a university in Connecticut.





  • Signed copy via publisher


  • Also via Amazon


  • more COOL JUSTICE website



  • Also available via your favorite local bookstore, including:


  • Hickory Stick Bookshop



  • Byrd’s Books


  •           Resistance at Standing Rock: Dispatches from the Front Lines        

    UPDATES:





  • 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, https://cldc.org/ 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




    NEW BOOK:

    The Almost Classified Guide to CIA Front Companies, Proprietaries & Contractors
    By WAYNE MADSEN
    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].

    EXCERPTS:

    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.

    SELECTED ENTRIES

    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



  •           Early Beginnings         
    Perfumer's Garden - Mountain Path

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

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

    I spend very little time around the computer (after months of wifi & electricity-free yurt life and bad battery in my laptop - old habits have been broken to little shreds and I only post quick updates via my phone on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts)
    Hopefully I've gotten to the point when I'm settled down to return to regular blogging - as demanding as life has been all these months, I know deep in my heart that it does do me good to write regularly. It's not just a fragrance/perfumery blog, but also functions as a personal journal to me.
              RESEP SARAPAN PRAKTIS BAGI PARA IBU SIBUK UNTUK SEPEKAN        

    RESEP SARAPAN PRAKTIS BAGI IBU SIBUK UNTUK SEPEKAN

    Ilustrasi Sarapan Pagi. Sumber : ini


    MANFAAT MELAKUKAN SARAPAN PAGI BERSAMA KELUARGA


    Tahukah anda apa manfaat sarapan ?  
    Sarapan merupakan pemenuhan sumber energi kita di pagi hari. Sarapan di pagi hari  dapat meningkatkan konsentrasi otak dan juga menjaga mood kita.

    Sarapan juga sangat baik untuk anak-anak yang sedang dalam masa pertumbuhan.  Dengan memberinya sarapan. kita membantu awal persiapan otak anak kita dalam menerima pelajaran di sekolah, sehingga bisa lebih fokus dalam menerima pelajara.

    7 RESEP SARAPAN YANG HANYA BUTUH WAKTU 10 MENIT  juga bisa menjadi saat kebersamaan yang berharga, saling komunikasi antar anggotanya.



    7 RESEP SARAPAN PRAKTIS BAGI PARA IBU SIBUK


    Citra Property Land / CiproLan menulis 7 resep sarapan praktis bagi para Ibu sibuk yang dapat dibuat sendiri buat orang-orang tercinta di rumah, sebelum memulai hari yang sibuk.  Kenapa untuk sepekan ? Supaya bervariasi, tidak membuat bosan.

    Resep sarapan praktis untuk seminggu ini hanya membutuhkan waktu sekitar 10 menit untuk pembuatannya, namun tetap mempertimbangkan faktor enak & bergizi.

    Yuk, langsung saja kita cek resep 7 RESEP SARAPAN YANG HANYA BUTUH WAKTU 10 MENIT di bawah ini.


    1. Salad Kentang
     
        Ilustrasi Salad Kentang. Sumber ini

    Kentang bisa menjadi alternatif pengganti karbohidrat di pagi hari selain nasi.

    Bahan               :
    Kentang, Telur, Mentimun, Mintak Zaitun, Mayones, Merica Bubuk, Garam Halus.

    Cara membuat :
    Kukus kentang dan rebus telur.  Setelah keduanya matang, kupas dan potong-potong, tambahkan dengan minyak zaitun (bisa diganti dengan minyak goreng baru), garam halus, merica bubuk, dan mayones.  Salad kentang siap dinikmati



    2. Roti Tawar Mentega
     
        Ilustrasi Roti Tawar Mentega. Sumber : ini

    Roti juga bisa menjadi alternatif pengganti karbohidrat di pagi hari selain kentang.

    Bahan               :
    Roti tawar, Mentega,

    Cara membuat :
    Olesi salah satu sisi lembaran roti dengan mentega dan mesis, kemudian tekuk membentuk persegi panjang atau segitiga sesuai selera.  Roti Tawar Mentega siap dinikmati.



    3. Roti Panggang Selai

        Ilustrasi Roti Panggang. Sumber : ini

    Resep sarapan roti merupakan resep masakan non-nasi, alternatif asupan karbohidrat.

    Bahan               :
    Roti tawar, Selai.

    Cara membuat :
    Olesi salah satu sisi lembaran roti dengan selai tutup dengan lembar roti lainnya, lalu panggang roti dan tunggu hingga matang.   Roti Panggang siap dinikmati.


    4. Jus Pisang

        Ilustrasi Jus Pisang. Sumber : ini


    Buah pisang kaya akan nutrisi sumber energi yang sangat cocok untuk menjadi pilihan menu sarapan bergizi anda dan keluarga. Jus pisang juga cocok untuk sarapan bagi yang melakukan diet.

    Bahan               :
    Pisang matang (dari jenis pisang untuk buah), air matang / air mineral, gula, es batu.

    Cara membuat :
    Untuk membuat  anda cukup memotong buah pisang lalu diblender bersamaan dengan gula, es batu, dan air matang sampai lembut.  Jus pisang bisa juga divariasi dengan menambahkan susu atau yogurt sesuai selera.  Jus pisang siap untuk dinikmati.



    5. Sandwich Telur

        Ilustrasi Sandwich Telur. Sumber : ini

    Sandwich Telur ini juga merupakan alternatif sarapan berkarbohdrat non- nasi.

    Bahan               :
    Roti (bisa dipilih roti dari gandum buat yang diet), Telur, Keju, Tomat, garam, Merica Bubuk.

    Cara membuat :
    Telur kita dadar, dibumbui sedikit garam dan merica bubuk.  Setelah matang letakkan telur di atas selembar roti, tambahkan irisan buah tomat, dan terakhir letakkan selembar roti sebagai menutup nya.  Sebagai variasi bisa dimakan dengan saos tomat dan saos sambal.  Sandwich Telur siap untuk dinikmati.


    6.  Mufin Telur

        Ilustrasi Mufin Telur. Sumber : ini

    Mufin Telur ini juga merupakan resep non- nasi.  Muffin inggris menjadi pilihan, karena teksturnya mirip sekali dengan roti, dan  pas untuk asupan karbohidrat di pagi hari. 

    Bahan               :
    Muffin inggris, telur, selada.

    Cara membuat :
    Memasak  Mufin Telur sangat mudah.  Caranya kita membuat telur cepok, kemudian setelah matang diletakkan di atas muffin,  tambahkan seada segar.  Sajikan dengan saus tomat atau saus sambal sebagai pendampingnya.  Mufin Telur siap untuk dinikmati.


    7.  Nasi Goreng Sayuran

        Sumber : ini

    Resep Nasi Goreng Sayur ini buat yang dari tadi nungguin "mana ya resep sarapan nasi nya ?"

    Bahan               :
    Nasi, Telur, Udang, Buncis, Jagung Manis, Wortel, Garam Halus, Bawang Putih, Kecap Manis.

    Cara membuat :
    Potong buncis ukuran sedang dan wortel kecil-kecil, sisir jagung manis,  lalu rebus hingga matang.  Keprak bawang putih, tumis dengan minyak goreng secukupnya hingga harum, kemudian masukkan telur hingga matang.  Tambahkan udang, garam, dan aduk-aduk hingga nasi menjadi lebih kering. Tambahkan kecap manis, aduk-aduk hingga rata, lalu angkat.  Nasi Goreng Sayuran siap untuk dinikmati.
     


    Demikian artikel  Food & Recipe Citra Property Land berjudul RESEP SARAPAN PRAKTIS BAGI PARA IBU SIBUK UNTUK SATU MINGGU.  semoga bermanfaat




              Activist in Washington DC wants to open bookstore in underserved neighborhood to honor a slain journalist         

    An activist in Washington DC wants to set up a bookstore in an underprivileged area of the SE section, to be called the Charnice Milton Community Bookstore, in honor of a journalist slain by a stray bullet from gun violence in the City, Perry Stein has a story from Friday, July 14, 2017 in the Washington Post Metro Section, here.

    The store would be in the basement of We Act Radio. The owner would need to raise $180,000 for the project.

    In the voting district of the store, 19% of adults lack the literacy to read a newspaper.

    Back in 1972 when I had moved to northern New Jersey, I remember that the candidate from the “People’s Party of New Jersey” opened a “Make Up Your Mind Bookstore” in Madison N.J. 
      
    As I drive around rural towns, I see a more small bookstores (along with antiques) than you would expect. 

    Update: Aug. 4

    The Facebook page for the new store is here.  I can't find a direct site. 

              Joseph Nye delivers major paper on cybersecurity, "Deterrence and Dissuasion in Cyberspace"         

    Joseph S. Nye, the University Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard, has a major paper in the MIT Press Journal,  Winter 2016-2017,  â€œDeterrence and Dissuasion in Cyberspace”, with access link to the 71-page PDF here (free).

    Nye discusses for major strategies: (1) Punishment or retaliation (2) denial or defense (3) entanglement (4) taboos or norms.   Some of his scenarios refer to LOAC, or the Laws of Armed Conflict.



    Nye mentions the possibility of threats to power girds, and doubts that they can be fully prevented by “air gaps” between grid or infrastructure pieces and the public Internet

    He mentions the importance of rogue states or non-state actors.  One of his concepts, of norms, would preclude attacks on targets that have civilian use only (this might include political parties). Yet that seems to be the point of attacks by entities like North Korea, or some hackers motivated by ransomware (often in Russia or former Soviet components), or radical Islamists who resent modernism.   North Korea attacked a corporate entity outside its borders, Sony Pictures, in the US, for mocking its leader.  It seems as though a sufficiently radical and nihilistic actor could be motivated by asymmetric targeting of individual speakers in the US or other western countries just to prove it could wreak havoc with all parties associated with a particularly provocative person or private business.


              Should authors "troll" book clubs?         

    There are some book clubs here in Arlington VA – one for AGLA, which meets in members’ homes or sometimes at Freddies’s, and another one at the Westover Market BeerHaus (Facebook ).

    Book clubs are a bit time consuming for me, where I need to review what comes across my plate as important (I reviewed as self-published novel on bullying (and the horrific consequences from revenge for it), “Crossing the Line”, by Alan Eisenberg, although I could see it fitting in at Westover with “Diana’s Magic” by Mr. Hicks himself).

    And some clubs really involve semi-radical hospitality, rotating member’s homes, rather like my parents’ shrimp creole parties in winter in the 1950s (I remember one during a 1958 Saturday February blizzard, which nearly turned into a preview scenario of the movie “The Ice Storm”).

    Where book clubs would help is with authors working on fiction manuscripts that they want to sell as actual copies of books.

    Erin Geiger Smith writes “When You Bomb at Book Club” here in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday.


              Bogho-A-Lago        
    The big scandal this weekend: Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay pulled a hoax on a social-science journal by getting a deliberately nonsensical paper published there, and then crowed that this demonstrates the field of gender studies to be “crippled academically.” However, when people with a measure of sense examined B&L’s stunt, they found it to … Continue reading Bogho-A-Lago
              A Mother Is Warning Parents About The "Hot Water Challenge" After Her Daughter Was Severely Burned - BuzzFeed News        

    BuzzFeed News

    A Mother Is Warning Parents About The "Hot Water Challenge" After Her Daughter Was Severely Burned
    BuzzFeed News
    The girl is in the hospital with burns on her face, back, and shoulders after she was doused with boiling water at a sleepover. Posted on August 10, 2017, at 10:52 a.m.. Michelle Broder Van Dyke. BuzzFeed News Reporter. Share On facebook Share.
    Bronx girl who poured boiling water on sleeping 11-year-old friend's face tried to kill herself after 'prank'New York Daily News
    Police: 12-year-old poured boiling water on NYC girl's faceLos Angeles Times
    Mom of boiling water victim: "I want justice for my daughter"WABC-TV
    CBS News -Sacramento Bee -NBC New York -Atlanta Journal Constitution
    all 81 news articles »

              Nuevas Fotos de Kristen Stewart en el Set de Camp X-Ray (21/07/2013)        

    Han salido nuevas fotos de Kristen en el Set de su pelicula, del pasado 21 de Julio:


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    Gracias a KstewartFans
    Todo Twilight  Saga
              [NUEVO PHOTOSHOOT] Taylor Lautner para la Campaña de Bench         



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

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


    uppix.net

    imagebam.com imagebam.com imagebam.com imagebam.com imagebam.com imagebam.com 

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

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


     


    Fuente: 1 / 2
    Vía 1 / 2


    Todo Twilight Saga
              Taylor Lautner en el Set de 'Tracers' (18/06/2013)        

     Taylor Lautner fue fotografíado ayer día 18 de Junio filmando escenas de su nueva pelicula: Tracers. A continuación podreis ver algunas fotos del actor:


    uppix.net

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    Podreis ver Más Fotos:
    Aquí | Aquí | Aquí

    Gracias a TL-Life
     


    Todo Twilight Saga
              Nuevas Fotos de Kristen Stewart en LA        

     También fue fotografíada Kristen Stewart en Los Angeles, junto a su amiga. Abajo podreis ver las fotos:


    Image hosted by uppix.net

    image host image host image host image host image host image host image host image host image host image host image host image host image host


    Fuente: KstewartFans

    Todo Twilight Saga
              NUEVAS Fotos de Robert Pattinson conduciendo por LA        
    Robert Pattinson fue fotografiado en Los Angeles cuando conducia. En las fotos se le puede ver con sus perros Bear y Bernie:


    Image hosted by uppix.net

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    Fuente: Pattinsonlife via RPLife

    Todo Twilight Saga
              [Añadidas Nuevas HQs] Nuevas Fotos y Video de Robert Pattinson dejando el Chateau Marmont (09/05/2013)        
    Robert Pattinson fue visto saliendo del Chateau Marmont. Esto ocurrió el pasado 9 de Mayo. Abajo podreis ver las fotos y el video:


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    Fotos HQs: PattinsonLife
    Fuente: E! / PopCandiesTV / vía RPLifeTodo Twilight Saga
              GFSR Looks at LiftnBuddy for Hand truck Safety        
    GFSR and Manufacturing Journalist TR Cutler Look at LiftnBuddy for Hand truck Safety
              Lift n Buddy Profiled by Manufacturing Journalist TR Cutler        
    Lift n Buddy Profiled by Manufacturing Journalist TR Cutler in WTG Manufacturing and Supply Chain News
              Hand truck Safety Leader LiftnBuddy Profiled in GFSR        
    Hand truck Safety Leader LiftnBuddy Profiled in GFSR, manufacturing journalist TR Cutler examines the role of Hand Truck Safety
              absolute-abs-workout.com – The Ultimate Guide to Keeping A Journal        
    The absolute-abs-workout.com – The Ultimate Guide to Keeping A Journal Homepage Shaun here again, and this time I’ll be examining absolute-abs-workout.com – The Ultimate Guide to Keeping A Journal. I have spent a lot of time researching this product and although I haven’t yet used it, I can say that my evaluation is extremely comprehensive, [...]
              Merlin confirmed nesting in Illinois for the first time!        
    BirdsMerlin by John Picken

    Merlin. Photo Â© John Picken / www.picken.com

    Last week, the Field Museum Bird Collection received a batch of specimens from Willowbrook Wildlife Center, a wildlife rehabilitation facility in the Chicago suburbs that has been a long-time partner of ours. Not every animal that enters the rehab facility survives, and when they don't, they end up as research specimens at the Field Museum. Among the specimens was a hatchling raptor that was picked up alive, but underweight and in poor health, by Willowbrook volunteer Hans Lim on July 22 in Mt. Prospect, in northwest Cook County. Despite Willowbrook's efforts, the bird didn't survive. The bird was so young that it still had some of its natal down and its primaries were not fully grown, indicating that it couldn't fly, or at least couldn't fly far. The bird, understandably, was originally thought to be a Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus), a local and uncommon breeding species in northeast Illinois, but not unheard of. It's a species that we infrequently add to the collection, averaging fewer than one per year from Illinois over the last decade (almost all of which came to us from Willowbrook). Even rarer is getting such a young bird, even though all birds, raptors included, have high rates of mortality in their first year of life.

    merlin_chick_img_1762_hanslim.jpg

    Merlin chick in Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    This Merlin chick seemed to have fallen out of nest. It was in poor health and was taken to Willowbrook Wildlife Center, but it didn't survive. It represents the first nesting record for the state of Illinois. Photo by Hans Lim.

    Because of the specimen's rarity, we prioritized it for preparation. As I walked through the prep lab on Wednesday, I saw it sitting out, waiting for Tom Gnoske to prepare it as a study skin. But it immediately struck me as off for a Broad-winged Hawk. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a Merlin!

    Merlin (Falco columbarius) is a small falcon that typically breeds in the boreal forests well to our north and has never before been confirmed nesting in Illinois. However, they have been seen a few times in summer in the state in recent years and they've been expanding their breeding range south in recent decades. Over that same period of time, much like Cooper's Hawk and Peregrine Falcon, they have been adapting to urban landscapes. Many birders predicted that it wouldn't be long before Merlins were confirmed breeding in Illinois, and it has finally happened. In the 2013 volume of the Illinois state ornithological journal, Meadowlark, Steven D. Bailey discussed this very scenario:

    One species that appears to have Illinois in its crosshairs for expanding its breeding range southward is the boreal-nesting Merlin...This year [2012], two Merlins were well-documented with photos, both in July, and one as far south as central Illinois. As I write this, a female and two juvenile Merlins have been discovered at Pokogan State Park in Indiana near its border with Michigan, likely representing that state’s first nesting record. Merlins showed the largest increase in population in a recent study group of boreal-nesting bird species (Niven et al. 2004), and the species has made a fairly rapid movement into urban and suburban city breeding locales over a large part of their range relatively recently (Warkentin et al. 2005), including agricultural and urban areas of nearby Wisconsin (Cutright et al. 2006). In Ontario, Canada, only one urban nesting Merlin was found during their first breeding bird atlas project in 1986, but by the time their next atlas project was completed in 2006, the Merlin had become the most common breeding raptor in some Ontario cities, including Ottawa (Cadman et al. 2007). Illinois birders should be on the lookout for nesting Merlins in the years to come. They don’t build their own nests but often choose old American Crow (and so also likely old Cooper’s Hawk nests), often near water, especially wetlands.

    Merlins have become more common in winter in Illinois, as well, and no doubt they will be found nesting again in our state. In Massachusetts, for example, Merlin was first found nesting in 2008, and has since become a regular breeding species there. In the case of the Mt. Prospect nest, just one young bird was found on the ground. Given that the average number of chicks per nest is 3.5-4 (Sodhi et al. 2005), we can hope its siblings survived and will come back to breed in the area next year. 

    merlin_crop_img_3678_engel.jpg

    Merlin chick in the prep lab
    The Merlin chick in the Field Museum's prep lab, before being prepared as a research specimen. In the photo you can see the remaining fluffy white natal feathers as well as the partially-grown primaries. Photo by Josh Engel.

    Thanks to Hans Lim for providing photos of the bird and details about the circumstances around picking it up, Ron Skleney for providing additional details, and John Picken for providing the banner image. 

    Literature cited

    Bailey, S.D. 2013. Field Notes: The 2012 Breeding Season. Meadowlark: A Journal of Illinois Birds. 22: 9-44. 

    Cadman, M.D., D.A.Sutherland, G.G. Beck, D. LePage, and A.R. Couturier (eds.). 2007. Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario, 2001-2005. Toronto: Birds Studies Canada et al. 706 pp. 

    Cutright, N.J., B.R. Harriman, and R.W. Howe (eds.). 2006. Atlas of the breeding birds of Wisconsin. Madison: Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. 602 pp.

    Niven, D.K., J.R. Sauer, G.S. Butcher, and W.A. Link. 2004. Christmas Bird Count provides insights into population chance in land birds that breed in the boreal forest. American Birds. 58: 10-20. 

    Warkentin, I.G., N.S. Sodhi, R.H.M. Espie, A.F. Poole, L.W. Oliphant, and P.C. James. 2005. Merlin (Falco columbarius). The Birds of North America (P.R. Rodewald, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from The Birds of North America: https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/merlin/ DOI: 10.2173/bna.44

     

     

     


              +++ Universum +++ - Raumsonde "Cassini" entdeckt mögliche Grundlage für Leben auf Saturn-Mond         
    Wissenschaftler haben erstmals eine Atmosphäre bei einem etwa erdgroßen Planeten außerhalb des Sonnensystems nachgewiesen. Die Entdeckung sei ein "wichtiger Schritt" bei der Suche nach außerirdischem Leben, schrieben die Forscher bei der Veröffentlichung der neuen Erkenntnisse im "Astronomical Journal".
              +++ Universum +++ - Forscher weisen Atmosphäre auf GJ 1132b nach         
    Wissenschaftler haben erstmals eine Atmosphäre bei einem etwa erdgroßen Planeten außerhalb des Sonnensystems nachgewiesen. Die Entdeckung sei ein "wichtiger Schritt" bei der Suche nach außerirdischem Leben, schrieben die Forscher bei der Veröffentlichung der neuen Erkenntnisse im "Astronomical Journal".
              â€œThe Flexible Unity of Economics,” M. J. Reay (2012)        
    Michael Reay recently published this article on the economics profession in the esteemed American Journal of Sociology, and as he is a sociologist, I hope the econ navel-gazing can be excused. What Reay points out is that critical discourse about modern economics entails a paradox. On the one hand, economics is a unified, neoliberal-policy-endorsing monolith […]
              The Gamma and Digital News Innovation Fund        

    Last year, I wrote a bit about my interest in building programming tools for data journalism. Data journalism might sound like a niche field, but that is not the case if we talk about data-driven storytelling more generally,

    In programming, your outcome is typically some application that does stuff. In data science, your outcome is very often a report or a story that aims to influence people's behavior or company decisions. No matter whether you are a journalist writing an article about government spending or an analyst producing internal sales reports, you are telling stories with data.

    Being able to tell stories with data (but also verify and assess other people's stories that can be backed by data) is becoming a vital skill in the modern world, which is partly why I find this topic extremely important and interesting. But to do this currently, you need to be a skilled programmer, great designer and good storyteller, all at the same time!

    I have not written about this topic much over the last year (mainly because I was busy with Coeffects, fsharpConf, FsLab and fsharpWorks), but this will be changing - I'm very happy to announce that my data-journalism related project The Gamma has been awarded funding from the DNI Innovation Fund and I'll be working on it over the next year at the Alan Turing Institute in London.


              The Gamma: Simple code behind interactive articles        

    There are huge amounts of data around us that we could use to better understand the world. Every company collects large amounts of data about their sales or customers. Governments and international organizations increasingly release interesting data sets to the public through various open government data initiatives (data.gov or data.gov.uk). But raw data does not tell you much.

    An interesting recent development is data journalism. Data journalists tell stories using data. A data driven article is based on an interesting observation from the data, it includes (interactive) visualizations that illustrate the point and it often allows the reader to get the raw data.

    Adding a chart produced in, say, Excel to an article is easy, but building good interactive visualization is much harder. Ideally, the data driven article should not be just text with static pictures, but a program that links the original data source to the visualization. This lets readers explore how the data is used, update the content when new data is available and change parameters of the visualization if they need to understand different aspect of the topic.

    This is in short what I'm trying to build with The Gamma project. If you're interested in building better reports or data driven articles, continue reading!

    I did a talk about The Gamma project at the fantastic Future Programming workshop at the StrangeLoop conference last week (thanks for inviting me!) and there is a recording of my 40 minute talk on YouTube, so if you prefer to watch videos, check it out!

    Are you a data journalist or data analyst? We're looking for early partners! I joined the EF programme to work on this and if the project sounds like something you'd like to see happen, please get in touch or share your contact details on The Gamma page!


              LPR / Identités algériennes ?        
    Personne n’est parfait. Kamel Daoud est journaliste, écrivain et démocrate. Entre 2010 et 2016 ce sont près de 2000 chroniques qu’il publie dans la presse algérienne, principalement dans Le Quotidien d’Oran ; 182, sélectionnées pour un public français, sont regroupées dans Mes indépendances. La … Continue reading
              NoNo production sur Bad boy        
    salut je m'apelle yoann bika scénariste amateur je suis president de la team NoNo prod un team en construction j'aimerais vraiment que tu nous rejoin nous avons entre 17 et 28 ans nous somme pour l'intant 9 on regroupe de tous scenariste , dessinateur ,graphiste,journaliste web donc des perssones de plus ne ferais que enrichire notre team on crée des manga bd on a comencer ! yonns60@hotmail.fr contacte moi
              Families of jailed Turkish journalists shaken but determined        

    Istanbul: Their imprisonment has torn families apart while the newspaper they work for is left without some of its brightest stars.

    But the relatives and colleagues of jailed journalists from the Turkish opposition daily Cumhuriyet vow to continue to fight for their freedom and ideals.

    "For nine months we have been living a nightmare, to be honest," said Nazire Gursel, wife of veteran commentator Kadri Gursel who has been in jail since October.

    The hardest part, she said, was replying to questions from their 10-year-old son, Erdem.

    "People tell my child, `Your father is a hero, he has done a lot for Turkey`," Nazire Gursel recounted.

    "So, on the one hand he is proud, but on the other hand, he asks, `But why is my father in prison if he is a hero? Who is his enemy?`"

    Since Monday, 17 journalists, executives and other staff of Cumhuriyet, a daily fiercely critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have been on trial accused of supporting "terrorist" organisations.

    Secular Cumhuriyet ("Republic") daily, one of Turkey`s oldest newspapers, has built a strong reputation for publishing scoops embarrassing for those in power.

    The newspaper rejects the "absurd" accusations and claims the trial is aimed at damaging one of the country`s last independent media outlets.

    The experience has united journalists` relatives and their free colleagues who come to court together, and who sometimes go in groups to Silivri prison on the outskirts of Istanbul with a minibus chartered by the newspaper.

    Nazire Gursel goes to Silivri every Friday. "I had never been to Silivri before my husband`s incarceration. When I arrived there for the first time, I told myself `it looks like a Nazi camp`, she told AFP.

    "It is a really scary place."The trial gave family members the chance to see their loved ones outside of prison, where visits are confined to an hour and take place behind bulletproof glass.

    "We at least have the chance to see or hear them without a window between us, to hear their voice directly without using a telephone," said Yonca Sik, the wife of Ahmet Sik, one of Turkey`s most famous investigative journalists who is also jailed.

    According to her, conditions in prison have hardened since her husband`s last incarceration- in 2011, he was imprisoned after writing notably one of the few full-scale investigations into the group of Fethullah Gulen.

    Gulen is a US-based cleric who Ankara accuses of ordering last year`s failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    "They are in isolation, that is especially the hardest," she told AFP in front of the Istanbul courthouse where the staff is on trial. Among them, 11 are in pre-trial detention.

    "They take them away from the people they love, their work and it`s clearly an injustice, persecution," one of Cumhuriyet`s lawyers Efkan Bolac said.

    "It`s torture for the accused."Beyond the impact on families, the incarcerations have hurt Cumhuriyet: the paper`s chairman, Akin Atalay, and its editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu are currently in prison.

    "For nine months, Cumhuriyet has faced troubles. Nearly all of its senior executives have been imprisoned as well as many writers," the daily`s Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul said.

    Gul himself was sentenced last year for five years for "revealing state secrets" after a front page story claiming to show the government sending arms to rebels in Syria in May 2015. He is appealing the sentence.

    "We are paying a heavy price but we continue to publish the newspaper," Gul said, adding: "Cumhuriyet has not changed its editorial line."

    Nazire Gursel says she does not regret the work that her husband did which caused him to be behind bars. "I`m immensely proud of him."

    The judge is likely to decide on Friday whether or not to release the accused for the rest of the trial.

    "Turkey is no longer a state of law, but there are still people who are fighting for democracy, for justice," said Yonca Sik, pointing to the demonstrators gathered in front of the court. 

    "And that, of course, gives me hope."

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              Journalists' passion for their profession makes them the go-getters they are, says study        

    New Delhi: Many people are in the habit of consuming alcohol and smoking cigarettes, but a journalist-specific study turned out intriguing results.

    A research team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US have said that even though all the drinking and smoking can cause journalists' brain to function below par, their love and passion for what they do gives them the power of mental perseverance.

    "Journalist's brains compared to other groups showed a lower level of executive functioning – the ability of the brain to regulate emotions, suppress bias, switch between tasks, solve complex problems and think flexibly and creatively," said Tara Swart, professor at MIT.

    Swart recruited a group of 31 journalists to carry out a series of tests.

    Participants were required to take blood tests, wear a heart rate variability monitor, answer a brain profile questionnaire and record their eating and drinking habits.

    Researchers found that the highest functions of journalists' brain were operating at a lower level than the average population.

    This was driven by a number of factors including high levels of alcohol, sugar and caffeine consumption (41 percent of the journalist drank 18 or more units of alcohol a week).

    Researchers also found that dehydration affected brain function, as less than five per cent of journalists drank enough water.

    The job of a journalist is more often than not, a pressurising one, but that doesn't affect them, say researchers. Their ability to endure and bounce back from adversities in the long term is stronger than ever, because journalists believe that their work has meaning and purpose, giving them an edge over other professions by helping them cope with pressurised work and increasing their mental resilience, they said.

    Similar studies in groups of bankers traders, telecom and sales executives show that they are less able to cope with pressure than journalist are.

    "It's been great to see the role that meaning and purpose plays in achieving mental resilience. There is more that journalists can do to achieve peak performance – implementing a few really simple changes to help their brains perform even better," Swart said.

    (With PTI inputs)

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              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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              Donald Trump warns journalists, calls them most dishonest human beings        

    Washington: Describing journalists as the most dishonest human beings on Earth, US President Donald Trump has said he has been "running a war" with the media and warned them of consequences for falsely reporting that less number of people attended his inauguration.

    "We had a massive field of people. You saw them. Packed.

    I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field," Trump said.

    "I say, wait a minute, I made a speech. I looked out, it looked like a million, million and a half people. They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there.

    They (media) said, Donald Trump did not draw well. I said, it was almost raining, the rain should have scared them away, but God looked down and he said, we're not going to let it rain on your speech," he said.

    "Then I walked off and it poured right after I left. It poured. But, we have something that's amazing because, it looked like a million and a half people. Whatever it was, it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.

    And I turn on -- and by mistake I get this network, and it showed an empty field. And it said we drew 250,000 people," he said.

    "Now, that's not bad, but it's a lie. We had 250,000 people literally around in the little bowl that we constructed. That was 250,000 people. The rest of the 20-block area, all the way back to the Washington Monument, was packed.

    So we caught them, and we caught them in a beauty. I think they're going to pay a big price," Trump warned.

    Trump was speaking at the CIA headquarters.

    He told his top spy agency that this is the reason for him visiting the CIA headquarters as the media has portrayed that he has differences with the intelligence community.

    "The reason you're my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth," Trump said amidst applause and laughter from the CIA officials attending his maiden address to them.

    "They sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you're the number-one stop is exactly the opposite.

    They understand that, too," he said and then said that the crown strength of his inauguration was being accurately being written by the media.

    Then Trump listed out another incident.

    So a reporter wrote that Trump took down the bust, of Martin Luther King.

    "It was right there. But there was a cameraman that was in front of it. So a reporter writes a story about I took down. I would never do that because I have great respect for Martin Luther King. But this is how dishonest the media is," Trump alleged.

    "I only like to say that because I love honesty. I like honest reporting. I will tell you, final time -- when you let in your thousands of other people that have been trying to come in -- because I am coming back -- we're going to have to get you a larger room," Trump said indicating that he would have a bigger room for the White House press corps.

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              2016: 122 journalists killed globally, 5 in India        

    New Delhi: As many as 122 journalists and media professionals were killed in 2016 globally, 93 of them in targeted killings and others in natural disasters and accidents, while India witnessed death of five scribes and was eighth on a list topped by Iraq, according to a new report.

    The targeted killings, including murders, bomb attacks and crossfire incidents, span 23 countries in Africa, Asia Pacific, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East and Arab World regions, said International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in its annual report released Friday.

    The IFJ said the number (93 targeted killings) was down from 112 targeted killings in 2015 while Iraq still had the largest number of media killings with 15, ahead of Afghanistan (13) and Mexico (11).

    These were followed by Yemen (8), Guatemala (6), Syria (6), India and Pakistan (5 in both), according to the statistics published by the largest global federation of journalists' trade unions.

    In addition to the 93 targeted killings, 20 Brazilian sports journalists perished in a plane crash over the city of Medellin in Colombia, a country where for the first time in many years no killing was recorded this year, against three in 2015. Nine Russian journalists were killed in a military plane crash.

    Although the 2016 figures for targeted killings of media professionals are down from the previous year's, the IFJ has cautioned against complacency citing reports of rising threats, intimidation and self-censorship as evidence that attacks on freedom of expression remain at critical levels.

    In India, Tarun Mishra, Bureau Chief of Jan Sandesh Times, died on 14 February; Indradev Yadav, Journalist with Taaza TV, on 16 May; Rajdeo Ranjan, Bureau Chief of Dainik Hindustan on 13 May; Kishore Dave, Bureau Chief of Jai Hind on 22 August and Dharmendra Singh, Correspondent of Dainik Bhaskar on 12 November, the report noted.

    In 2015, India had reported targeted killings of six media professionals, including those from news channel Aaj Tak and Hindi daily Dainik Jagaran, the report states.

    Noting that India along with Yemen, Pakistan and Syria form a group which saw little or no change in the numbers of killings from 2015, IFJ President Philippe Leruth said, "Any decrease in violence against journalists and media staff is always welcome but these statistics and the continued deliberate targeting of media workers in many incidents causing loss of life give little room for comfort nor ground for hope to see the end of the current media safety crisis." 

    The IFJ, which claims to represent more than 6,00,000 journalists in 140 countries, has recorded at least 2,297 killings of media professionals in targeted assassinations, cross-fire incidents and bomb attacks till 2015.

    2016: 122 journalists killed globally, 5 in India
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              DNA: Today in History, October 12, 2016        

    Watch history moment to learn the events that occurred on this very date i.e October 12.

    Zee News always stay ahead in bringing current affairs from all the valley of National interest, Politics, Entertainment, Sports and International happenings. We take you to the depth of every matter by providing every small detail and makes you familiar with all the happening around you.

    Zee News is the highly popular Hindi News channel of India’s largest television network ZMCL. The channel, which has a huge following in India and abroad, has won several prestigious national and international awards. Among its popular programs are -

    Dr. Subhash Chandra Show: https://goo.gl/fCugXC
    Daily News and Analysis: https://goo.gl/B8eVsD
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    Fast n Facts: https://goo.gl/kW2MYV
    Your daily dose of entertainment: https://goo.gl/ZNEfhw
    Sports roundup: https://goo.gl/KeeYjf
    Aapke Sitare: https://goo.gl/X56YSa
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    Taal Thok Ke : https://goo.gl/yiV6e7

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              DNA: Work-related stress may increase risk of heart attack        

    Analysis of Pakistan's fourth rank in risky nation for journalists. Watch this special segment and get to know more here.

    Zee News always stay ahead in bringing current affairs from all the valley of National interest, Politics, Entertainment, Sports and International happenings. We take you to the depth of every matter by providing every small detail and makes you familiar with all the happening around you.

    Zee News is the highly popular Hindi News channel of India’s largest television network ZMCL. The channel, which has a huge following in India and abroad, has won several prestigious national and international awards. Among its popular programs are -

    Dr. Subhash Chandra Show: https://goo.gl/fCugXC
    Daily News and Analysis: https://goo.gl/B8eVsD
    Manthan: https://goo.gl/6q0wUN
    Fast n Facts: https://goo.gl/kW2MYV
    Your daily dose of entertainment: https://goo.gl/ZNEfhw
    Sports roundup: https://goo.gl/KeeYjf
    Aapke Sitare: https://goo.gl/X56YSa
    Bharat Bhagya Vidhata: https://goo.gl/QqJiOV
    Taal Thok Ke : https://goo.gl/yiV6e7

    Subscribe to our channel at https://goo.gl/qKzmWg

    Check out our website: http://www.zeenews.com

    Connect with us at our social media handles:
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZeeNews
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZeeNews
    Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+Zeenews

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              NIA case: Five years imprisonment for 13 on terror charge        

    Bengaluru: An NIA court here on Friday sentenced 13 members of Laskar-e-Toiba and Harkat-ul-Jihad-E-Islami to five years imprisonment for plotting to eliminate politicians, police officials and journalists in 2012.

    After the accused pleaded guilty, Special Judge for NIA cases C Muralidhar Pai pronounced the verdict and said since they had already spent three-and-a-half years in jail, they would have to serve the remaining one-and-half years term.

    He also directed them to pay a total of Rs 31,000 as fine.

    The Special National Investigation Agency Court had yesterday completed the final hearing.

    In a crackdown ahead of Republic Day in 2012, the 13 were arrested by NIA for allegedly plotting attacks in different parts of the country.

    The arrests followed simultaneous searches and raids at 12 locations in six cities - Bengaluru, Tumkur, Mangaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Lucknow, on January 22, with the support of local police.

    Circuits for detonating explosives were recovered during the searches.

    NIA had recovered alleged "incriminating' articles, including laptops, unaccounted cash, jihadi literature, videos and certain material for preparation of bombs from these places.

    The agency had in 2012 received information that certain individuals from various cities in the country were in the process of organising themselves to commit terrorist acts in? different parts of the country.

    Of the 13 convicts, four are from Karnataka.

    While Syed Mujahid is a resident of Tumkur, Asif Ali alias Arman Saani, Suhail Ahmed alias Sohail alias Hafes Saab and Muhammed Abdul Ahad alias Bade Amir alias Sulaiman are from Bengaluru.

    Others included 20-year-old Mohammad Aleem (from Lucknow), Mohammed Obedullah Khan alias Obaid alias Talha and Abu Anas, both from Hyderabad, and Mohammad Hussain Khan alias Jamil, resident of Mazgaon, Mumbai.

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              DNA: Why are politicians and media ignoring the patriotic residents of Gurez Valley? Part III        

    Politicians and journalists are not taking cognizance of patriotic residents of Gurez Valley in Kashmir. Watch this special segment and get to know about the real face of Kashmir.

    Zee News always stay ahead in bringing current affairs from all the valley of National interest, Politics, Entertainment, Sports and International happenings. We take you to the depth of every matter by providing every small detail and makes you familiar with all the happening around you.

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              DNA: Why are politicians and media ignoring the patriotic residents of Gurez Valley? Part II        

    Politicians and journalists are not taking cognizance of patriotic residents of Gurez Valley in Kashmir. Watch this special segment and get to know about the real face of Kashmir.

    Zee News always stay ahead in bringing current affairs from all the valley of National interest, Politics, Entertainment, Sports and International happenings. We take you to the depth of every matter by providing every small detail and makes you familiar with all the happening around you.

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    Dr. Subhash Chandra Show: https://goo.gl/fCugXC
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    Manthan: https://goo.gl/6q0wUN
    Fast n Facts: https://goo.gl/kW2MYV
    Your daily dose of entertainment: https://goo.gl/ZNEfhw
    Sports roundup: https://goo.gl/KeeYjf
    Aapke Sitare: https://goo.gl/X56YSa
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              Your Summer Bucket List and Remembering the Summer Fun – Creative Ideas and Free Printables        
        1. The classic summer bucket list         2. 100 things to do this summer and then – 100 more things to do this summer         3. but don’t let your bucket list stress you out – do this instead!         4. writing prompts for an end of summer journal (pdf)         5. make a summer memory jar         6. Keepsakes: Three Low-cost, Fun Ideas for Preserving Summer Vacation Memories   . Share This:
              Judge to decide if BBC's misreporting on Jerusalem is propaganda or journalism        
    Amena Saleem 1 July 2014

    BBC journalists continue to refer to the whole of Jerusalem as “Israeli.”


              A Sweeter Hops        

    Federal scientists have bred a new, antimicrobial-rich hops variety for tea

    Food for Thought

    Brewers prize hops for the characteristic bitter flavors they impart to ales, lagers, and other beers. But aficionados of another class of brews—certain herbal teas—would prefer their hops bitterfree. And federal scientists may have come up with just what the doctor ordered.

    "People have used hops medicinally for a long time. It's a fairly ancient remedy," notes plant physiologist Barbara M. Reed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in Corvallis, Ore.

    The bitter tonic made from hops has putative sedative, hypnotic, and antianxiety properties. Hops tea has been offered as a folk remedy for conditions ranging from fever and insomnia to bruises and cancer, according to a report by botanist James A. Duke, who has authored several books on medicinal plants. A quick browse on the Internet will turn up numerous sources of hop tea.

    The new cultivar, named Teamaker, may produce an especially palatable brew owing to a unique ratio of certain acid components. Moreover, the components that predominate in Teamaker have long-established antimicrobial properties. Indeed, their germ-fighting function appears to have won the appreciation of brewers more than a millennium ago, notes John A. Henning, who leads hop genetics and breeding at a USDA research center, also in Corvallis. Beer producers realized that when their recipe included hops, brews not only proved tasty, but had a longer shelf life.

    Hops breeder Alfred Haunold and his colleagues at the Corvallis center will formally register their debittered cultivar this month.

    What brewers of all stripes refer to as hops are actually the cone-shaped dried female flowers of the Humulus lupulus L. plant. Inside are glands that contain flavorful oils and some fairly bitter water-soluble components.

    To extract the flavorings for use in beer, or merely to make a cup of tea, brewers boil the cones to release their characteristic flavorings. However, the altered chemistry of USDA's new hop has dramatically boosted the production of flavorings possessing natural, antibiotic properties.

    In fact, the elevated antibiotic attributes of the new hop might open new markets for this crop, observes Henning. For instance, sugar producers might turn to it as a preservative to prevent microbial degradation of their product during processing. Alternatively, he notes, manufacturers and others may substitute it for the formaldehyde used to control pests and fungal growth in everything from animal feed and plywood to tissues that are being stored for use in research.

    Alpha vs. beta

    The key flavor compounds in hops trace to two families of chemicals: water-soluble alpha acids, and beta acids that develop in the plants' essential oils. Breweries prize the alpha acids for their hearty, if bitter, taste: These serve as a natural foil to the sweet compounds that develop in many beers. Indeed, some brewers just buy isolated hop-derived alpha acids and dispense with the beta acids entirely.

    The new Teamaker hop derives from experiments several decades ago when Haunold wanted to see the extent to which he could preferentially maximize a plant's production of alpha or beta acids. One successful beta-rich cultivar proved virtually devoid of alpha acids. A technician who tasted it jokingly said the bitterfree product would be great for tea—eventually giving rise to its name.

    In the January Journal of Plant Registrations, Henning, Haunold, and their coauthors describe Teamaker's pedigree—at least as much as is known. Most of its initial ancestors appear to have come from old English lines, such as cultivars known as Fuggle and Late Grape. However, Henning points out, because these lines are rich in alpha acids, there must have also been beta-rich ancestors. He now suspects that these were probably wild U.S. hops that pollinated their English cousins growing openly in Oregon fields, early in the last century.

    Currently, U.S. farmers produce some 55 million pounds of hops annually. Since the big market for hops has always been beer, the alpha acids-shy Teamaker languished in a few test plots for decades. A beer company or two checked the variety out, but ultimately exhibited no commercial interest.

    Recently, however, interest in beta acids—and their antimicrobial prowess—has been growing, independent of hops' use in beer. For instance, European sugar refiners have begun buying beta-acid extracts—essentially leftovers from alpha-acid production for breweries—as a bitterfree, all-natural preservative for use during manufacturing. At the same time, some feed suppliers have begun substituting beta acids for low-dose antibiotics as a livestock growth-promoting dietary additive. Feed producers couldn't use conventional hops directly, Henning notes, because the alpha acids' bitter taste would have soured the animals' interest in their chow.

    However, with Teamaker, the hop is essentially alpha acids-free: It certainly has the lowest quantity of alpha acids of any commercially available hop.

    Teamaker is available to breeders through the National Clonal Germplasm Repository—essentially a federal library with holdings that include more than 510 different hops. Some are wild natives collected throughout the United States. Others are cultivated varieties collected from throughout the world.

    But if the idea of bitterfree hops appeals, Henning says, stay tuned. In a year or two his group expects to announce a new and improved variety. Think of it, he says, as bitter-Terminator 2.


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

    Citations

    John A. Henning

    Forage Seed and Cereal Research

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Agricultural Research Service

    3450 SW Campus Way

    Corvallis, OR 97331

    Barbara M. Reed

    National Clonal Germplasm Repository

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Agricultural Research Service

    33447 Peoria Road

    Corvallis, OR 97333-2521
    Further Reading

    Carter, P.R., et al. 1990. Hop cultivation and use information. In Alternative Field Crops Manual. University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service. Available at [Go to].

    DeNoma, J.S. 2000. Background information on Hops. USDA ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository. Available at [Go to].

    Duke, J.A. 1983. Humulus lupulus L. In Handbook of Energy Crops . Available at [Go to].

              No Peanuts for Your Peanut        

    Youngsters are developing peanut allergies earlier because of exposures in babyhood

    Food for Thought

    Peanuts are a protein-rich snack food packing plenty of vitamins and trace nutrients. However, these legumes can elicit potentially life-threatening immune reactions within the one in 100 American adults who are allergic to them. Rates of peanut allergy are even higher among children. And the really disturbing news: A new study finds that the age at which this common food allergy first shows up is falling.

    Today, peanut allergy typically emerges in early toddlerhood, a team of Duke University researchers reports in the December Pediatrics. "That's almost a year earlier than what we knew, scientifically, a decade ago, "explains A. Wesley Burks, a pediatric allergist who coauthored the new study.

    Although children outgrow many allergies, peanut allergy is not typically one of them. Among people who develop immune reactions to this food, 80 percent retain their allergy for life.

    The new study began, Burks says, after Duke immunologists noticed that they were encountering younger patients with peanut allergy. To investigate, the researchers pulled entry records and medical charts for all 140 young patients who had come in with the allergy since 1988. Poring over the records confirmed a fall in age at first diagnosis throughout this period—one that proved more dramatic than expected, Burks told Science News Online.

    Nationally, the rate of food allergy appears to be increasing, according to a 2006 report of a National Institutes of Health expert panel. The most striking increase, it noted, has been for peanut allergy, which is also the most common food sensitivity. Because some allergies can be avoided by delaying a child's initial introduction to certain foods, in 2000 the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that parents "consider" keeping peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish out of the diet of kids under age 3.

    Burks acknowledges that most parents aren't aware of this recommendation. On the other hand, most peanut allergy shows up in children that had already exhibited allergic reactions to other foods—typically eggs or milk. Many affected children also had skin sensitivities as infants, such as eczema or atopic dermatitis, and a parent or sibling with allergies, although not necessarily to food.

    Against that background, you would think parents of the most vulnerable kids would be especially careful about introducing peanuts into the diet. And they might well have been. Indeed, Burks suspects that most initial introductions to peanuts in his young patients were inadvertent. Either a child encountered items that contained unlabeled traces of peanuts—perhaps a jelly bean, certain flavorings used in medicines, or any of several baby lotions (see Unexpected Sources of Peanut Allergy). Or perhaps the kids encountered peanut allergen in the air when others were eating, handling, or cooking foods that contained the legume.

    But for now, Burks' team has no firm leads on why peanut allergies are showing up earlier. The Duke group and others will be probing that in the next few years.

    Homing in on the problem

    Children with peanut allergy in the new study showed the expected history of vulnerability. For instance, four in five had parents or a sib with some form of allergy. Four in five children also had personally experienced atopic dermatitis, two in every three suffered from asthma, and more than half had allergies that triggered runny noses. Moreover, blood tests from two-thirds of the youngsters turned up antibodies highlighting sensitivity to other foods, typically eggs or tree-nuts.

    Half of the young patients were born between 1988 and 1999, the rest between 2000 and 2005. The average age of their peanut allergy's onset was significantly different between the two groups—roughly 29 months old for the pre-2000 birth group, versus 15 months for children born since 2000. Within the first group, half of the children developed peanut allergy by 21 months of age; for children born since 2000, half developed their allergy by the time they were 14 months old.

    In hopes of teasing out factors that contributed to the trend of earlier allergies, Burks' group is participating in a Food Allergy Research Consortium that has been given $17 million to study food allergies—especially to peanuts. One facet of the 5-year program, which is sponsored by NIAID, is investigating the use of shots to desensitize people with peanut allergy. In addition, some 400 infants with milk and egg allergies will be studied for signs of immunological differences that distinguish those who outgrow their allergies from those who retain them lifelong.

    Currently, some 30,000 people a year are hospitalized for food allergy in the United States, and 200 die during an allergic episode. One concern, Burks notes, is that children who develop peanut allergy earlier than in the past might face a lower-than-usual chance of outgrowing their life-threatening affliction—one that requires constant vigilance.

    Such an allergy can even crimp one's social life. Consider the poor teenage girl whose lips swelled up after being kissed by her boyfriend (see A Rash of Kisses). Hours earlier, the boy had eaten peanuts, to which the girl was allergic.


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

    Citations

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    141 Northwest Point Boulevard

    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

    Web site: [Go to]

    A. Wesley Burks

    Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology

    Duke University Medical Center

    DUMC 2644

    Durham, NC 27710

    National Institutes of Health

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

    Office of Communications and Government Relations

    6610 Rockledge Drive, MSC 6612

    Bethesda, MD 20892-6612

    Web site: [Go to]
    Further Reading

    Helmuth, L. 1999. Allergy vaccine may take fear out of nuts. Science News 155(April 3):213. Available at [Go to].

    Long, A. 2002. The nuts and bolts of peanut allergy. New England Journal of Medicine 346(April 25):1320-1322. Extract available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2003. Unexpected sources of peanut allergy. Science News Online (March 15). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2002. A rash of kisses. Science News 162(July 20):40. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1998. The mango that thought it was poison ivy. Science News Online (Aug. 8). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1997. A whiff, a sniff—then asthma. Science News Online (Feb. 1). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1996. Peanut allergy found common and increasing. Science News 150(Sept. 7):150. Available at [Go to].

    _____. 1996. Family allergies? Keep nuts away from kids. Science News 149(May 4):279. Available at [Go to].

    Seppa, N. 2003. Tough nut is cracked: Antibody treatment stifles peanut reactions. Science News 163(March 15):163. Available at [Go to].

              Canadians Advocate Boosting Vitamin D in Pregnancy        

    A Canadian medical society recommends pregnant women and nursing moms boost their intake of vitamin D dramatically

    Food for Thought

    Canadian pediatricians certainly aren't shirking controversy when it comes to a vitamin guideline they've developed for pregnant women and nursing moms. They're asking these women to boost their intake of vitamin D dramatically—to 10 times the daily doses advocated by most health organizations in the States. This new prescription is aimed at combating rickets—leg deformations caused by soft bones—in youngsters who get too little of the sunshine vitamin.

    Vitamin D helps build strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium. Getting pregnant and nursing women to take more of the vitamin ensures that plenty will reach developing children.

    In the past, most people had little trouble getting enough vitamin D—they just went outdoors where ultraviolet rays from the sun trigger chemical reactions in skin to make this vital nutrient. However, some people always had trouble making enough. Canadian kids at highest risk of vitamin deficits generally live in First Nations and Inuit communities. With sun-filtering pigments in their skin, and living at high latitudes, they must glean most of their vitamin D from the diet—generally a poor source—not the sun.

    Most North American women—including those in the United States—eat diets delivering only about 100 international units, or IU, of vitamin D daily, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in Washington, D.C. That is half of what IOM recommends and a mere 5 percent of what Canadian pediatricians are now advocating for new and soon-to-be moms.

    Although IOM's dietary recommendations are for the United States, the Canadian health establishment has tended to rubber stamp them. In this case, though, Canada's health agency took the unusual tack of signing off on a Canadian Paediatric Society proposal to boost the recommended intake by women who are pregnant or breast feeding to 2,000 IU per day. This new guideline appears in a consensus statement published in September by the society in its journal, Paediatrics & Child Health.

    Soon the society will begin sending its new guideline to every provincial, territorial, and aboriginal health department across Canada, notes Marie Adèle Davis, the group's executive director. The goal, she told Science News Online, is to make sure all public health officials learn about it—not just pediatricians.

    The higher recommendation equals the amount that IOM has designated as the safe upper limit for vitamin D's daily consumption. Most nutritionists don't really consider that value is a true ceiling for safe intake—especially since sunbathing on a bright summer day can generate 10,000 to 20,000 IU in the body without harm. Still, for political and legal reasons, most organizations shy away from advocating intakes near what IOM has flagged as a potential maximum for safe consumption.

    Now a number of researchers suspect that intakes by pregnant and lactating women much below 2,000 IU per day could actually prove unsafe for child health.

    Reinhold Vieth of the University of Toronto explained why, recently, to officials with Health Canada, a counterpart to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To prevent rickets, he argued, a baby needs 400 IU of vitamin D per day. And in many parts of Canada, he said, nursing women may require several thousand IU of vitamin D per day to get 400 IU into their breast milk. Vieth had been recruited by the Canadian Paediatric Society to help defend its proposed guideline to government officials.

    U.S. physicians won't quibble over the 400 IU figure for babies and young children, notes pediatrician Frank R. Greer, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) committee on nutrition. Although the 1997 IOM report says 200 IU of vitamin D per day should be sufficient for anyone under 50—including children—few researchers buy that. "Everybody feels that we should be taking more than 200 IU," says Greer, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

    Unlike the Canadian Paediatric Society, though, "We [at AAP] don't really have any influence on what pregnant and lactating women take," Greer says. "However, I can say that AAP's committee on nutrition has recommended to the board that we go back to [recommending] 400 IU for all children." That's the amount in a teaspoon of cod liver oil—the vitamin D supplement of choice throughout the early 20th century. Greer expects his committee's recommendation to be approved by AAP's board, perhaps within the next month.

    Optimal needs vary

    For most of the past century, nutrient guidelines have been set to prevent gross deficiencies—shortfalls that could cause disease. Those recommendations tended to represent minimally adequate intakes. Over the past decade, however, considerable debate has surrounded what vitamin D consumption levels would be optimal versus merely adequate.

    The controversy has been fueled by a steady stream of studies that have emerged since the IOM set its vitamin D guidelines. Nearly all demonstrate substantial health benefits from relatively high intakes of vitamin D—amounts well in excess of what most individuals now get. Moreover, those benefits extend well beyond protecting bone. More vitamin D seems to diminish the risk of cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, muscle loss, viral infections—even gum disease.

    Researchers gauge vitamin D sufficiency on the basis of 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-HD). This is not the form of the vitamin that is consumed—nor the hormonal form that the body actually uses—but an intermediary. To achieve optimal concentrations of 25-HD, growing numbers of nutrition and health scientists suggest, most of us would need intakes of 800 to 4,000 IU per day (see Vitamin D: What's Enough?).

    How much vitamin D someone needs can vary widely, largely depending on the amount of skin that gets exposed to the sun each day—and for how long. Further complicating the picture, some skin is heavily pigmented, filtering sunlight out. Many people cover up with clothes or sunblock when they go outdoors. Still others live at high latitudes—as Canadians do—where little ultraviolet radiation makes it through the atmosphere during much of the year.

    Even for women in the southern United States, however, "we've found that lactating women need about 6,000 IU a day to transfer enough vitamin D into their milk to supply adequate amounts to a nursing infant," says Bruce W. Hollis of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

    Nor are nursing moms the only individuals who may need relatively large doses of the vitamin. Hollis' research has shown that black women may sometimes need 4,000 IU a day for months at a time to compensate for little time outdoors, heavy skin pigmentation, and/or obesity—a factor that appears to diminish the body's ability to use vitamin D efficiently (see Understanding Vitamin D Deficiency).

    Another reason for moms' supplementation?

    In March, researchers at Harvard Medical School reported evidence that ample vitamin D diminishes the chance a child will develop asthma, a scourge who's incidence has been rising, especially in black and low-income communities (see Childhood Vitamin D—A New Benefit?). Recently, an additional putative benefit has emerged for pregnant women and their developing babies.

    A study linked elevated risk of preeclampsia—high blood pressure that develops in some women during the last half of pregnancy—with low intakes of vitamin D. This condition, which can lead to miscarriage and even the death of the mother—ordinarily develops in some three to seven percent of first pregnancies.

    Pittsburgh researchers enrolled 1,198 women who were pregnant for the first time and measured their blood concentrations of vitamin D within the first 22 weeks of gestation. Subsequently, 59 women developed preeclampsia. Blood values from all but four were compared to a similar group of recruits who maintained normal blood pressure throughout their pregnancies.

    The higher a woman's blood concentrations of 25-HD, the lower her chance of developing preeclampsia—and that risk fell steadily and "strikingly" with increasing vitamin D values, Lisa M. Bodnar of the University of Pittsburgh and her colleagues found.

    Moreover, babies whose moms had developed preeclampsia were far more likely to have low vitamin-D values than were children whose moms had maintained normal blood pressure. "These differences were found in our population despite widespread prenatal/multivitamin use in the 3 months before delivery," Bodnar's group reports in the September Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

    Black women face far higher risks of developing this hypertensive syndrome. Overall, black women are also far likelier than other ethnic or racial groups to have low blood levels of vitamin D. Against this backdrop, Bodnar's group says, "our data linking vitamin D deficiency and preeclampsia risk raises the intriguing possibility that vitamin D may contribute to racial disparities in this [syndrome]."

    "The story of deficiency begins with vitamin D itself and its primary mode of synthesis, which is from sunlight," argue Adekunle Dawodu of the University of Cincinnati and Carol L. Wagner of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. In a commentary in the September Archives of Disease in Childhood, they report a resurgence of rickets around the world, not only in children at high latitudes, but also in the Arab world and Asia where culture or excessive temperatures may keep women and children indoors or covered up.

    A shift from vitamin-D sufficiency to widespread deficiency has occurred rapidly—mostly throughout a half-century. The reason for it is clear, Dawodu and Wagner say: "insufficient sun exposure and inadequate corrective vitamin-D supplementation." They conclude, much as the Canadian Paediatric Society just has, that dosing moms during pregnancy and lactation "would achieve the double effect of preventing vitamin-D deficiency in both mothers and children." But unlike the Canadian society, they note that doses considerably higher than 2,000 IU may be necessary for some individuals and communities.

    As a goal, achieving population-wide vitamin D sufficiency "may be one of the more important preventative public health initiatives," conclude Dawodu and Wagner.


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

    Citations

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    141 Northwest Point Boulevard

    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1098


    Lisa M. Bodnar

    Department of Epidemiology

    University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

    A742 Crabtree Hall

    130 DeSoto Street

    Pittsburgh, PA 15261


    John J. Cannell

    Psychiatry Department

    Atascadero State Hospital

    10333 El Camino Real

    Atascadero, CA 93423

    Marie Adèle Davis

    Canadian Paediatric Society

    2305 St. Laurent Boulevard

    Ottawa, Ont. K1G 4J8

    Canada

    Frank R. Greer

    Department of Pediatrics

    University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Madison, WI 53792

    Bruce W. Hollis

    Department of Pediatrics

    Medical University of South Carolina

    P.O. Box 250917

    171 Ashley Avenue, Room BM326

    Charleston, SC 29425


    Reinhold Vieth

    Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

    Mount Sinai Hospital

    600 University Avenue

    Toronto, ON M5G 1X5

    Canada
    Further Reading

    Cannell, J.J. In press. Autism and vitamin D. Medical Hypotheses. Abstract available at [Go to].

    Dijkstra, S.H., et al. 2007. High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in newborn infants of high-risk mothers. Archives of Disease in Childhood 92(September):750-753. Available at [Go to].

    Moore, C.E., M.M. Murphy, and M.F. Holick. 2005. Vitamin D intakes by children and adults in the United States differ among ethnic groups. Journal of Nutrition 135(October):2478-2485. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2007. Childhood vitamin D—A new benefit? Science News Online (May 19). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2007. Childhood vitamin D—A dark side? Science News Online (May 12). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. The antibiotic vitamin. Science News 170(Nov. 11):312-317. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Breathing easier with vitamin D. Science News Online (Dec. 17). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Vitamin D boosts calcium potency. Science News Online (Nov. 12). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Understanding vitamin D deficiency. Science News Online (April 30). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Vitamin D: What's enough? Science News 166(Oct. 16):248-249. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Vitamin boost. Science News 166(Oct. 9):232-233. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Should foods be fortified even more? Science News Online (Sept. 11). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2000. Calcium may become a dieter's best friend. Science News 157(April 29):277. Available at [Go to].

    Williams, A.F. 2007. Vitamin D in pregnancy: An old problem still to be solved? Archives of Disease in Childhood 92(September):740-741. Available at [Go to].

              Cleaning Up after Livestock        

    Food for Thought

    As any pet owner knows, the more food that goes into an animal's mouth, the more wastes that eventually spew out the other end. The bigger the animal, the bigger its appetite. So imagine the volumes of manure—often tainted with germs—that farmers must manage for even a small feedlot with perhaps 3,500 head of cattle.

    Ordinarily, beef producers house their animals in pens—some the size of football fields or larger. They're designed to leave each animal about 80 square feet of space. Cattle wastes just fall to the ground and collect—often for a month or more—before feedlot crews periodically scrape away the muck. After composting, the dried manure will be applied to fields as a rich fertilizer.

    The real problem develops when it rains. Then, a manure-rich, watery slurry can drain off the fields. Conventionally, feedlot managers would divert this liquid into huge, smelly ponds or lagoons—some 10-feet deep or more, explains Bryan L. Woodbury, an agricultural engineer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Nebraska.

    His team has been developing a literally greener alternative to pond storage for manure-laced runoff from feedlot pens. The new system directs that runoff into a foot-deep drainage basin. Leading out of it are a series of narrow pipes. Because the interior diameters of these pipes are small, rain-deposited wastes temporarily back-up in this glorified drainage ditch. It typically takes hours for all of the liquids to fully drain out through the pipes. While they wait, solids in the rain-manure slurry tend to settle out as sediments that will accumulate on the basin's bottom.

    Exiting liquids, meanwhile, flow gently into a mildly sloping field of grass, where the animal wastes will fertilize the plants' growth. At the end of the season, farmers harvest that grass as hay, bale it, and then feed it back to the herd.

    For much of the past decade, Woodbury's team has tinkered with the system's design to optimize gravity's removal of solids from the initial rain-manure slurry and the pace at which fertilizing water enters the hayfield. In terms of those features, the system appears ready for prime time—at least in the Midwest, Woodbury says.

    However, what hadn't been evaluated was the fate of germs that were shed by cattle along with those wastes. If the brief holding of the manure-water slurry and its subsequent release into fields promoted the growth of disease-causing microorganisms, those germs might eventually find their way into plants (see Not Just Hitchhikers). That would risk re-exposing animals that later dined on the tainted hay.

    A new investigation now indicates that although the raw manure often hosts germs, most of the nasty microbes hitchhiking in it appear to settle out along with sediments in the initial holding basin. Bugs that remain suspended in the water long enough to travel on to the fields don't appear to survive there long, Woodbury and his colleagues report in the Nov. 1 Journal of Environmental Quality.

    Indeed, the researchers note, while their new data "indicate that there is some risk for hay contamination, it appears to be low." For instance, on one day that hay was cut—two weeks after a major rainfall that shunted diluted manure into the field—only four of 10 tested soil samples hosted Escherichia coli O157.

    Yet only one of the 30 samples of loose hay that was cut that day from parts of the field that had received manure-fertilized rainwater tested positive for that E. coli strain. Microbiologists also failed to later detect that E. coli O157 in hay following its baling and storage.

    That's encouraging news because this bacterium has a long track record of causing disease. It was, for instance, responsible for the major food poisonings associated with tainted spinach in September 2006—an outbreak that sickened more than 200 people, killing five. These microbes can set up housekeeping in the bovine gut, causing no harm to the animal. However, germs shed in the cow's feces can infect people or crops that contact it.

    The Nebraska researchers also probed for evidence of Campylobacter, another bacterium shed by cattle that can provoke gut-wrenching illness. And although three of 10 field-soil samples tested positive after one major rain, none did 2 weeks later. The germ also failed to show up in loose or baled hay.

    Similarly, even though the test herd of 750 cattle had been periodically shedding large quantities of Cryptosporidium and Giardia—two common parasites responsible for substantial human disease, especially in persons with weakened immune systems—biologists found none of these microbes in field soil, much less the hay that had been grown on it.

    Woodbury and his colleagues conclude that their vegetative filtering of manure washed off of feedlots is effective in dramatically sequestering and ultimately removing several of the major families of microbes responsible for human, food-related illness.

    What they don't yet know is whether there will be significant rainfall constraints to their system's efficacy. Will arid regions benefit from it? Will very wet areas send so much fertilizer to hayfields that they burn the grass? "That's what we're in the process of testing right now," Woodbury says. "The jury's still out."

    Other advantages

    Earlier tests showed that the short-term basin storage of wastes upstream of the hayfield removes about half of the nitrogen in manure and almost all of the phosphorus, Woodbury says. That's important because one of the primary problems associated with fertilization of farm fields has been their release during rains of any unused nitrogen and fertilizer into streams.

    Eventually, the fertilizing effects of these nutrients in surface waters can fuel the growth of algae that ultimately suck most of the oxygen out of large patches of coastal waters, creating what are colloquially termed dead zones (see Limiting Dead Zones).

    The new waste-sanitizing system's basin also removes most of the solid material suspended in the rain-manure slurry. This means that about once a year, people must excavate the buildup from the basin. However, what they remove is no longer a waste, but yet another fertilizing amendment for farm fields.

    Oh, and Woodbury points to another potential advantage of his team's new system—something that he refers to as the "white picket fence effect." When people see a picket fence out front, they focus on that pleasant feature, and not every detrimental facet of a house or yard. Well, nobody views a big, smelly lagoon filled with bovine fecal material as the farm equivalent of a white picket fence, he says. A hayfield, on the other hand: That's almost Norman Rockwell Americana.


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

    Citations

    Bryan L. Woodbury

    Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center

    Agricultural Research Service

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    P.O. Box 166, Spur 18D

    Clay Center, NE 68933-0166
    Further Reading

    Milius, S. 2007. Not just hitchhikers. Science News 172(Oct. 20):250-252. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2006. Protozoa aid food-poisoning germs. Science News Online (March 18). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Limiting dead zones. Science News 165(June 12):378-380. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Marsh farming for profit and the common good. Science News Online (May 15). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2001. Retail meats host drug-resistant bacteria. Science News 160(Oct. 20):246. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2001. Germ-fighting germs. Science News Online (Aug. 18). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2001. Antibiotic resistance is coming to dinner. Science News 159(May 26):325. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

    ______. 2000. Sickening food. Science News Online (Jan. 1). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1999. Food poisoning: Sprouts linked to bouts. Science News 155(Jan. 23):63. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1998. Hay! What a way to fight E. coli. Science News Online (Sept. 19). Available at [Go to].

    Seppa, N. 2000. Venison can contain E. coli bacteria. Science News (Aug. 5):95. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

              Troubling Meaty 'Estrogen'        

    High temperature cooking can imbue meats with a chemical that acts like a hormone

    Food for Thought

    Women take note. Researchers find that a chemical that forms in overcooked meat, especially charred portions, is a potent mimic of estrogen, the primary female sex hormone. That's anything but appetizing, since studies have linked a higher lifetime cumulative exposure to estrogen in women with an elevated risk of breast cancer.

    Indeed, the new finding offers a "biologically plausible" explanation for why diets rich in red meats might elevate breast-cancer risk, notes Nigel J. Gooderham of Imperial College London.

    At the very high temperatures reached during frying and charbroiling, natural constituents of meats can undergo chemical reactions that generate carcinogens known as heterocyclic amines (see Carcinogens in the Diet). Because these compounds all have very long, unwieldy chemical monikers, most scientists refer to them by their abbreviations, such as IQ, MeIQ, MeIQx, and PhIP.

    Of the nearly two dozen different heterocyclic amines that can form, PhIP dominates. It sometimes accumulates in amounts 10 to 50 times higher than that of any other member of this toxic chemical family, Gooderham says. Moreover, he adds, although heterocyclic amines normally cause liver tumors in exposed animals, PhIP is different: "It causes breast cancer in female rats, prostate cancer in male rats, and colon cancer in both." These are the same cancers that in people are associated with eating a lot of cooked meats.

    However, the means by which such foods might induce cancer has remained somewhat elusive. So, building on his team's earlier work, Gooderham decided to probe what the heterocyclic amine did in rat pituitary cells. These cells make prolactin—another female sex hormone—but only when triggered by the presence of estrogen. Prolactin, like estrogen, fuels the growth of many breast cancers.

    In their new test-tube study, Gooderham and coauthor Saundra N. Lauber show that upon exposure to PhIP, pituitary cells not only make progesterone, but also secrete it. If these cells do the same thing when they're part of the body, those secretions would circulate to other organs—including the breast.

    But "what was startling," Gooderham told Science News Online, is that it took just trace quantities of the heterocyclic amine to spur prolactin production. "PhIP was incredibly potent," he says, able to trigger progesterone production at concentrations comparable to what might be found circulating in the blood of people who had eaten a couple of well-done burgers.

    The toxicologist cautions that there's a big gap between observing an effect in isolated cells growing in a test-tube and showing that the same holds true in people.

    However, even if PhIP does operate similarly in people, he says that's no reason to give up grilled meat. Certain cooking techniques, such as flipping hamburgers frequently, can limit the formation of heterocyclic amines. Moreover, earlier work by the Imperial College team showed that dining on certain members of the mustard family appear to detoxify much of the PhIP that might have inadvertently been consumed as part of a meal.

    The human link

    Three recent epidemiological studies support concerns about the consumption of grilled meats.

    In the first, Harvard Medical School researchers compared the diets of more than 90,000 premenopausal U.S. nurses. Over a 12-year period, 1,021 of the relatively young women developed invasive breast cancers. The more red meat a woman ate, the higher was her risk of developing invasive breast cancer, Eunyoung Cho and her colleagues reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine last November. The increased risk was restricted, however, only to those types of breast cancers that are fueled by estrogen or progesterone.

    Overall, women who ate the most red meat—typically 1.5 servings or more per day—faced nearly double the invasive breast-cancer risk of those eating little red meat each week.

    Related findings emerged in the April 10 British Journal of Cancer. There, researchers at the University of Leeds reported data from a long-running study of more than 35,000 women in the United Kingdom who ranged in age from roughly 35 to 70. Regardless of the volunteers' age, Janet E. Cade's team found, those who consumed the most meat had the highest risk of breast cancer.

    Shortly thereafter, Susan E. Steck of the University of South Carolina's school of public health and her colleagues linked meat consumption yet again with increased cancer risk, but only in the older segment of the women they investigated. By comparing the diets of 1,500 women with breast cancer to those of 1,550 cancerfree women, the scientists showed that postmenopausal women consuming the most grilled, barbecued, and smoked meats faced the highest breast-cancer risk.

    These data support accumulating evidence that a penchant for well-done meats can hike a woman's breast-cancer risk, Steck and her colleagues concluded in the May Epidemiology.

    PhIP fighters

    Such findings have been percolating out of the epidemiology community for years. Nearly a decade ago, for instance, National Cancer Institute scientists reported finding that women who consistently ate their meat very well done—with a crispy, blackened crust—faced a substantially elevated breast-cancer risk when compared to those who routinely ate rare- or medium-cooked meats.

    However, even well-done meats without char can contain heterocyclic amines, chemical analyses by others later showed. The compounds' presence appears to correlate best with how meat is cooked, not merely with how brown its interior ended up (SN: 11/28/98, p. 341).

    At high temperatures, the simple sugar glucose, together with creatinine—a muscle-breakdown product, and additional free amino acids, can all interact within beef, chicken, and other meats to form heterocyclic amines. In contrast, low-temperature cooking or a quick searing may generate none of the carcinogens.

    Because there's no way to tell visually, by taste, or by smell whether PhIP and its toxic kin lace cooked meat, food chemists have been lobbying commercial and home chefs to reduce the heat they use to cook meats—or to turn meats frequently to keep the surfaces closest to the heat source from getting too hot.

    The significance of this was driven home to Gooderham several years ago when just such tactics spoiled an experiment he was launching to test whether Brussels sprouts and broccoli could help detoxify PhIP. "I bought 30 kilograms of prime Aberdeen angus lean beef," he recalls. "Then we ground it up and I gave it to a professional cook to turn into burgers and cook." Professional cooks tend to move meats around quite a bit, he found. The result: His expensive, chef-prepared meat contained almost no PhIP.

    In the end, he says, "I sacked the cook, bought another 30 kilos of meat and prepared the burgers myself. It was a costly lesson."

    Once restarted, however, that study yielded encouraging data.

    One way the body detoxifies and sheds toxic chemicals is to link them to what amounts to a sugar molecule. Consumption of certain members of the mustard (Brassica) family, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts (both members of the B. oleracea species)—can encourage this process. So Gooderham's team fed 250 grams (roughly half a pound) each of broccoli and Brussels sprouts each day to 20 men for almost 2 weeks. On the 12th day, the men each got a cooked-meat meal containing 4.9 micrograms of PhIP.

    Compared to similar trial periods when their diets had been Brassica-free, the volunteers excreted up to 40 percent more PhIP in urine, the researchers reported in Carcinogenesis.

    Experimental data suggest that two brews may also help detoxify heterocyclic amines. In test-tube studies, white tea largely prevented DNA damage from the heterocyclic amine IQ (SN: 4/15/00, p. 251), and in mice, extracts of beer tackled MeIQx and Trp-P-2 (see Beer's Well Done Benefit).

    The best strategy of all, most toxicologists say, is to prevent formation of heterocyclic amines in the first place. In addition to frequently turning meat on the grill or fry pan, partially cooking meats in a microwave prior to grilling will limit the toxic chemicals' formation. So will mixing in a little potato starch to ground beef before grilling (see How Carbs Can Make Burgers Safer) or marinating meats with a heavily sugared oil-and-vinegar sauce (SN: 4/24/99, p. 264).


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

    Citations

    Janet E. Cade

    UK Women's Cohort Study

    Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics

    30/32 Hyde Terrace

    The University of Leeds

    Leeds LS2 9LN

    United Kingdom


    Eunyoung Cho

    Channing Laboratory

    Department of Medicine

    Harvard Medical School

    181 Longwood Avenue

    Boston, MA 02115

    Nigel J. Gooderham

    Biomolecular Medicine

    Imperial College London

    Sir Alexander Fleming Building

    London SW7 2AZ

    United Kingdom

    Susan Elizabeth Steck

    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

    Statewide Cancer Prevention and Control Program

    Arnold School of Public Health

    University of South Carolina

    2221 Devine Street, Room 231

    Columbia, SC 29208
    Further Reading

    Raloff, J. 2007. Concerns over genistein, part II—Beyond the heart. Science News Online (July 7). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2007. Concerns over genistein, part I—The heart of the issue. Science News Online (June 16). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. Pesticides mimic estrogen in shellfish. Science News 170(Dec. 16):397. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. No-stick chemicals can mimic estrogen. Science News 170(Dec. 2):366. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. Meat poses exaggerated cancer risk for some people. Science News Online (March 25). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Beer's well done benefit. Science News Online (March 5). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Carcinogens in the diet. Science News Online (Feb. 19). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. How carbs can make burgers safer. Science News Online (Dec. 4). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Uranium, the newest 'hormone'. Science News 166(Nov. 13):318. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

    ______. 2001. Fire retardant catfish? Science News Online (Dec. 8). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1999. Well-done research. Science News 155(April 24):264-266. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1998. Very hot grills may inflame cancer risks. Science News 154(Nov. 28):341. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1996. Another meaty link to cancer. Science News 149(June 8):365. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1996. 'Estrogen' pairings can increase potency. Science News 149(June 8):356. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1995. Beyond estrogens: Why unmasking hormone-mimicking pollutants proves so challenging. Science News 148(July 15):44. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1994. Meaty carcinogens: A risk to the cook? Science News 146(Aug. 13):103.

    ______. 1994. Not so hot hot dogs? Science News 145(April 23):264-269.

    ______. 1994. How cooked meat may inflame the heart. Science News 145(March 12):165.

    ______. 1994. The gender benders. Science News 145(Jan. 8):24. Available at [Go to].

    Smith-Roe, S.L., et al. 2006. Induction of aberrant crypt foci in DNA mismatch repair-deficient mice by the food-borne carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b] pyridine (PhIP). Cancer Letters. 244(Nov. 28):79-85. Abstract available at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. Mlh1-dependent responses to 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b] pyridine (PhIP), a food-borne carcinogen. (Abstract # 514). Toxicologist 90(March):105.

    ______. 2006. Mlh1-dependent suppression of specific mutations induced in vivo by the food-borne carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b] pyridine (PhIP). Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 594(Feb. 22):101-112. Abstract available at [Go to].

              Diminishing Obesity's Risks        

    Mouse data suggest that, properly managed, obesity can be benign.

    Food for Thought

    Health-care professionals typically refer to an extremely heavy person as being morbidly obese. The term reinforces the idea that the individual is at high risk of diabetes, fatty-liver disease, and heart attacks. Researchers who have been working with mice now report that certain chronic diseases don't have to be consequences of obesity.

    The team accomplished the disconnect by tricking the animals' bodies into storing all their excess fat within their fat cells, or adipocytes.

    That's not what the bodies of rodents—or people—typically do. Initially, excess lipids—fat—are stored in these cells, making up what's called adipose tissue or simply body fat. These deposits lie primarily in the breasts, belly, and thighs. However, once adipocytes fill up, new storage sites take up the overflow. Those new depots usually develop in muscle and the liver.

    Of those two depots, the liver is more dangerous when it becomes fatty. Straightforwardly named, fatty liver disease can arise and lead eventually to hepatitis, cirrhosis, and death.

    A drop in the hormone called adiponectin is the body's signal to store fat outside adipose tissue. Sometimes referred to as the starvation hormone, adiponectin normally remains high in lean animals. With obesity, however, blood concentrations of the molecule fall.

    Philipp E. Scherer of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and his colleagues reasoned that keeping adiponectin concentrations high might fool the body into making extra adipocytes instead of sending surplus fat to muscles and the liver.

    The team has now investigated the hypothesis in a strain of mice that make copious adiponectin regardless of how fat they become. In the Sept. 4 Journal of Clinical Investigation, the researchers report that as the novel mice mature, they become unbelievably huge. Indeed, muses Scherer, these are "the fattest mice ever reported," with fat comprising 60 percent or more of their body weight.

    As hoped for, the mice deposit all their excess fat in adipose tissue. Also in sharp contrast to other obese mice, the high-adiponectin animals develop no signs of diabetes. They also avoid a metabolic disorder known as syndrome X, which puts animals, including people, at high risk of heart disease (SN: 4/8/2000, p. 236).

    So, although these barely mobile, blubbery mounds of flesh look like wrecks, they don't appear to be at high risk for several chronic diseases associated with obesity, Scherer told Science News Online. Actually, he says, from the preliminary data, the mice "appear perfectly healthy."

    He suspects that there's a lesson in this for investigators of human-obesity treatments. Drugs exist that raise adiponectin values in even overweight individuals. Most, like pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia), are prescribed to treat diabetes. However, data suggest these drugs also reduce the buildup of fat in the liver.

    Unfortunately, diminishing health risks in morbidly obese people may require far more than just supersizing their treatment with the diabetes drugs—especially since data reported earlier this year linked rosiglitazone with an increased risk of heart attack (SN: 6/23/07, p. 397).

    Fat signals

    Tissues throughout the body communicate on a regular basis via signaling hormones. Adiponectin is one of those messengers released by adipocytes to inform the rest of the body about how full the fat cells are. If they aren't full, Scherer explains, the cells pour out copious adiponectin. The body then responds by directing its fat into those cells for storage. As adipocytes fill with lipids, they turn down the adiponectin signal, telling the body that it's time to find new fat depots.

    Adipocytes release several other messengers, among them leptin. As lipids swell the adipocytes, the cells crank up production of this hormone. Once released into the bloodstream, leptin circulates to the brain, where it offers a status report on how full the fat cells are. If leptin signals that there's plenty of fat on hand, a healthy body not only experiences satiety but also reduces its food intake and burns more calories.

    At some point, a spontaneous mutation in mice led to a strain of animals that lacked the ability to make leptin. The resulting rodents, always hungry and primed to store—not burn—any excess energy consumed, inevitably become obese. Scherer's group worked with this strain and engineered it also to make extra adiponectin. The new mice typically produce about twice as much adiponectin as a normal, svelte rodent does. This excess is comparable to what can occur when people take certain diabetes-controlling drugs.

    In the new study, the researchers compared normal, lean, leptin-producing mice with leptinfree, obese ones and the new leptinfree-but-high-adiponectin animals. By adulthood, the new mice far surpassed the girth of the original obese line. But instead of having high blood sugar and insulin concentrations—characteristics of the original obese animals that mimic type-2 diabetes symptoms—the new megafatties exhibited normal insulin and blood-sugar values. In fact, Scherer says, the engineered animals had about the same insulin characteristics as healthy, lean mice.

    "That was a real surprise," he concedes—"that the [new] mice could get so fat and yet remain very healthy, metabolically speaking."

    One solution: More fat cells

    Most people are like obese mice, chronically taking in more calories than they burn, Scherer says.

    Lipid buildup in the liver is "really the driving force for insulin resistance," a metabolic change that precedes the development of diabetes, notes Scherer When this develops, the body makes normal amounts of insulin, but finds itself increasingly unable to use it. The end result: Too little insulin is used to move energy into cells, leaving high concentrations of sugar in the blood.

    The new study with high-adiponectin mice shows that "if you can overcome this block of overexpansion of adipose tissue, there is no need for excess calories to deposit as fat in the liver," Scherer says. Instead, fat can accumulate where it does the least damage, "in the professional fat-storage cell, the adipocyte."

    But Scherer doesn't want to say that excess calories are benign when they wind up in fat cells. Bulging adipocytes send out a number of inflammatory compounds (SN: 2/28/04, p. 139). It's not yet clear how important a role these compounds may play in chronic disease, but some have been linked to diabetes. Moreover, extra weight may strain an animal's joints and even its heart. So, it's premature to give a clean bill of health to mice whose physiques rival that of Jabba the Hutt.

    Still, Scherer argues, "from a qualitative point of view, these [new] mice are relatively healthy." Indeed, he says, what happens in the animals' tissues may explain why some very obese people are able to retain good insulin sensitivity and dodge the diabetes bullet.

    People who develop diabetes as adults tend to put all of their fat into a few big, inflammation-prone fat cells. However, some people's bodies employ a different strategy, Scherer says. They pack relatively small quantities of fat into an ever-proliferating number of fat cells, ones that never seem to undergo stress-induced inflammation. This approach is triggered by a "local overexpression of adiponectin in adipocytes." That, in turn, switches on production of a key signaling molecule—PPAR-gamma—that serves as a master switch "governing how many fat cells we have," he explains.

    "None of this is an endorsement for obesity," Scherer cautions. "But it shows that if you can expand your fat stores in a healthy way to keep up with your caloric intake, this will improve insulin sensitivity."

    Overall, he argues, "the best strategy is to eat less and exercise more. But for the many of us who continue to take in more calories than we burn, it would be better to expand our fat-cell numbers than to store excess lipids in other tissues. That's our take-home message."


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

    Citations

    Philipp E. Scherer

    Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research

    Department of Internal Medicine

    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

    5323 Harry Hines Boulevard

    Dallas, TX 75390-9077
    Further Reading

    Dormandy, J.A., et al. 2005. Secondary prevention of macrovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes in the PROactive Study (PROspective pioglitAzone Clinical Trial In macroVascular Events): A randomised controlled trial. Lancet 366(Oct. 8):1279-1289. Abstract available at [Go to].

    Harder, B. 2007. Fixes for fatty liver. Science News 171(March 3):136-137. Available at [Go to].

    Pawlak, D.B., et al. 2001. High glycemic index starch promotes hypersecretion of insulin and higher body fat in rats without affecting insulin sensitivity. Journal of Nutrition 131(January):99-104. Available at [Go to].

    Psaty, B.M., and C.D. Furberg. 2007. Rosiglitazone and cardiovascular risk. New England Journal of Medicine 356(June 14):2522-2524. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2007. Fattening carbs—Some promote obesity and worse. Science News Online (Sept. 29). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2007. Infectious foie gras? Science News Online (June 30). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2007. Super-size mice—Fast food hurts rodents. Science News Online (June 9). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Inflammatory fat. Science News 165(Feb. 28):139-140. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2000. The new GI tracts. Science News 157(April 8):236-238. Available at [Go to].

    Seppa, N. 2007. Diabetes drug might hike heart risk. Science News 171(June 23):397. Available at [Go to].

              Fattening Carbs—Some Promote Obesity and Worse        

    Food for Thought

    Nutritionists call them carbohydrates. To most of us, they're simply sugars and starches. And although the fructose in soft drinks and the refined flour in white bread taste quite different, "nutritionally and metabolically they're the same as table sugar," explains endocrinologist David S. Ludwig. That's because the body digests all carbohydrate-rich foods into glucose, or blood sugar.

    However, all carbs don't break down at the same rate. The body digests those in many whole-grain products quite slowly. Others become converted to glucose almost immediately.

    Rapidly digested carbs aren't healthy for people with diabetes and others watching their blood sugar. A new study by Ludwig and his colleagues at Children's Hospital Boston suggests that such carbs are also problematic for people looking to shed body fat. Indeed, the findings indicate that consumption of the wrong carbs can spur the development of body fat, even with no gain in weight.

    In the study, mice that chowed down on a type of rapidly digestible starch didn't gain any more weight than did animals eating a starch that digests slowly. But the first group did accumulate lots of excess fat. The data indicate that something about rapidly digesting carbs signaled the body to convert more of a meal's energy into body fat, into fatty lipids that circulate in blood, and into deposits of fat throughout the liver.

    Ludwig considers the observed effect on the animals' livers the most troubling one. Fatty-liver disease has traditionally been regarded as the first stage of damage from alcoholism that can progress to hepatitis, cirrhosis, and death. But researchers in recent years have discerned the beginnings of an epidemic of fatty-liver disease unrelated to alcoholism but correlated strongly with being overweight. Recent data suggest that as much as one-third of children and even a higher proportion of adults have the condition. Ludwig told Science News Online that he suspects that "up to half of the [U.S.] population" now has fatty-liver disease.

    The question has been what's fueling this epidemic. Because the disease so often accompanies obesity, many researchers have suspected that high-fat diets and junk foods are responsible. Ludwig's group had another idea.

    In recent years, the mushrooming incidence of obesity in the United States has led to a push to get people to lower their intakes of fat. However, reducing fat consumption almost always translates into increasing the intake of carbs (see Counting Carbs). Moreover, the carbs most people reach for first are the refined—easy to digest—types found in white flour, white rice, pasta, and potatoes.

    Ludwig's team decided to see whether a diet rich in a similar carb promotes fat buildup. They used a proportion of carbs that people on a low-fat diet might eat and compared its effects with that of a diet equal in all respects except that its carbs were mainly a slowly digested starch.

    In the September Obesity, the researchers show that animals eating rapidly digested carbs accumulated more fat throughout their bodies—including their livers—than did animals eating primarily the slow-to-digest starch.

    Says Ludwig, "This is the first study in which a single dietary factor—varied within normal ranges—affected whether the liver remained normal or accumulated seriously elevated levels of fat."

    Recipe for pudge

    In the new study, Ludwig's team fed 18 recently weaned mice food pellets containing 13 percent fat, 19 percent protein, and 68 percent carbohydrates from corn starch. Half the animals got pellets containing the starch called amylopectin, which is made up of a string of glucose molecules that the gut easily degrades into sugar. The remaining mice ate pellets containing some amylopectin but mostly the starch called amylose. That type of corn starch resists breakdown in the gut.

    All the animals ate and drank as much as they wanted for 25 weeks. Throughout the study, the researchers charted weight gain, body fat, fecal excretion of starch, and blood concentrations of glucose and insulin. At the end, the researchers killed the animals and measured their livers' fat contents.

    Weight gain didn't differ between the two groups of animals, suggesting that the mice found the diets comparably palatable. However, the animals' bodies responded differently to the two food-pellet recipes. Mice dining on amylopectin-enriched chow became twice as fat as those eating the slower-digested amylose recipe. Mice eating this starch grew a little longer in body, so they looked leaner that the "roly-poly" mice eating easily digested starch, Ludwig says. The latter mice "felt squishy," whereas the slow-digested-starch eaters felt firm, he adds.

    Although blood sugar concentrations didn't differ between the two groups, mice on the amylopectin-rich food developed higher insulin values after a meal. The body uses the hormone to shepherd energy into its cells. Higher blood insulin after a meal, Ludwig explains, indicates that an animal needs more insulin to fully use the food it's eaten. Needing more of the hormone can be a first sign of insulin resistance and impending diabetes.

    Ludwig notes, "Insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone, meaning it promotes the storage of fat. In fact, that's arguably one of [the hormone's] main roles." One of the first places newly made insulin ends up is in the liver, where it can trigger the localized creation and stockpiling of fat.

    Although the rodents' livers weighed the same whether they ate fast- or slow-digested starch, fat made up 12 percent of the liver in mice fed the amylopectin-rich diet. That's double the fat content of livers in animals that had eaten the slow-digested starch. For perspective, Ludwig notes, people whose livers contain 10 percent fat are considered to be suffering from "advanced" nonalcoholic fatty-liver disease.

    What about people?

    This isn't the first study to indicate that foods that rapidly break down to glucose in the body—characterized as having a "high glycemic index" (see The New GI Tracts)—can fuel nonalcoholic fatty-liver disease. For instance, last year Silvia Valtueña of the University of Parma in Italy and her colleagues reported findings from a study of 247 apparently healthy men and women. The volunteers' diets were evaluated and given a glycemic-index (GI) rating.

    Low GI foods included corn, dairy products, and fruit. High GI fare included bread, pizza, and baked snacks. The volunteers were grouped into four categories based on the ascending GI rankings of their diets.

    Participants with the highest-GI diets were twice as likely to have undiagnosed fatty-liver disease as were other study participants. People in the highest group were also far likelier to be insulin resistant, the researcher reported in the July 2006 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    In an editorial accompanying the Valtueña report, David J.A. Jenkins and his colleagues at the University of Toronto argued that the "implication of this study is that a low-GI diet, or selection of lower-GI rather than higher-GI foods, may benefit persons with nonalcoholic fatty liver." Indeed, the commenters suggested, it might be possible for doctors to treat nonalcoholic fatty liver by lowering the glycemic index of an individuals' diets.

    That's what Ludwig's group is now investigating: "We hope to enroll 46 kids to a diet for 6 months," he says. The 8- to 17-year-olds and their parents will receive dietary counseling. Half of the recruits will be assigned to a low-fat diet. The rest will receive counseling to lower the glycemic index of their diets. The general guidelines for a low-GI diet call for substituting whole-grain foods for ones made from highly processed cereal fibers and reducing refined sugars in favor of sweet fruits.

    "Conceptually," Ludwig says, "fatty liver should be reversible—we've seen it anecdotally in practice many times, such as when someone loses weight or changes the quality of their diet."


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

    Citations

    David J.A. Jenkins

    Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center

    St. Michael's Hospital

    61 Queen Street, East

    Toronto, ON M5C 3E2

    Canada


    David S. Ludwig

    Children's Hospital Boston

    Department of Medicine

    333 Longwood Avenue

    Boston, MA 02115


    Silvia Valtueña

    Department of Internal Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

    University of Parma

    43100 Parma

    Italy
    Further Reading

    Pawlak, D.B., et al. 2001. High glycemic index starch promotes hypersecretion of insulin and higher body fat in rats without affecting insulin sensitivity. Journal of Nutrition 131(January):99-104. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2007. Super-size mice—Fast food hurts rodents. Science News Online (June 9). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Counting carbs. Science News 166(July 17):40-42. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Coming soon—Spud lite. Science News Online (June 19). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2000. The new GI tracts. Science News 157(April 8):236-238. Available at [Go to].

    Sloth, I., et al. 2004. No difference in body weight decrease between a low-glycemic-index and a high-glycemic-index diet but reduced LDL cholesterol after 10-wk ad libitum intake of the low-glycemic-index diet. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 80(Aug. 1):337-347. Available at [Go to].

              America and the World - After the Election [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Anne Applebaum, Professor Craig Calhoun, Professor Michael Cox, Gideon Rachman | After a closely fought election, this highly topical LSE public debate will look ahead to Obama’s second administration and assess the challenges it faces at home and how it is likely to address them, as well as how its relationships with Britain, Europe and the rest of the world are likely to develop. Author and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum has taken up the post of Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the School for 2012-13. She is the first woman to ever hold this position. Anne Applebaum is the Director of Political Studies at the Legatum Institute in London, and a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate. After graduating from Yale University, Anne Applebaum was a Marshall Scholar at both the LSE and St. Anthony’s College Oxford. She has also lectured at Yale and Columbia Universities, amongst others. Anne Applebaum’s journalistic work focuses on US and international politics, with a particular focus on economic and political transition. Craig Calhoun is director of LSE. He is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Michael Cox is founding director of LSE IDEAS. `Professor Cox is a well known speaker on global affairs and has lectured in the United States, Australia, Asia, and in the EU. He has spoken on a range of contemporary global issues, though most recently he has focused on the role of the United States in the international system, the rise of Asia, and whether or not the world is now in the midst of a major power shift. Gideon Rachman became chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times in July 2006. He joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist, which included spells as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Washington and Bangkok. He also edited The Economist’s business and Asia sections. His particular interests include American foreign policy, the European Union and globalisation.
              Occupy's Predicament: The Moment and the Prospects for Movement [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Todd Gitlin, Professor Craig Calhoun | Erupting in September 2011, Occupy Wall Street was jump-started by a radical core who devised a form of action, occupation, that combined face-to-face with electronic elements. In an election year, the ingenuity of the original core has been overshadowed by the momentum, the stakes, and not least the money of the presidential campaign. Whether an Occupy movement takes shape and endures, focused on transformation of a political system overwhelmingly shaped by plutocrats, depends on the actions of many networks that were mobilized within and around the Occupy moment. Todd Gitlin is professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University and is the author of 15 books, including, Occupy Nation: the roots, the spirit, and the promise of Occupy Wall Street. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council.
              Facebook 操弄 Trending 裡的新聞        
    看了 Gizmodo 與 Facebook 的對話,就有種之前某長輩常說的「沒被抓到就不算犯罪喔~」的感覺:「Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News」。 Gizmodo 接到前員工的線報後,再加上透過關係問到其他的前員工,證實了標題的消息: Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked … Continue reading
              Notables        

    Associate Professor of Spanish Carlos de Oro and Iris Klotz '15 co-authored an article titled "Cine, pobreza y marginación en el Pacífico colombiano" in the journal Imagofagia, Revista de la Asociación Argentina de Estudios de Cine y Audiovisual. This article was the result of research that started during the 2015 Spanish Capstone. Klotz also presented a paper about this topic in the 2015 Undergraduate Research Symposium.  


              Notables        

    Associate Professor of Spanish Katy Ross published an article titled "The Failed Quest-Romance: Lucía Etxebarria's Nosotras que no somos como las demás" in Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures Volume 70, Issue 2.


              Thom McClendon        

    Thom McClendon, professor of history, co-wrote the lead article, "The South African Student Exchange Program: Anti-Apartheid Activism in the Era of Constructive Engagement" in 2015's first issue of Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies.


              Notables        

    Katy Ross, associate professor of Spanish, has an article titled  "Bigas Luna's Cycle of Spanishness" coming out in the fall 2014 issue of Hispanic Journal.


              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
    email: gingervanhook@gmail.com
    www.gingervanhook.com


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

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

    For Immediate Release:  


     Inglewood Open Studios
Tour Celebrates Its Tenth Year!
    Saturday, November 12 & Sunday, November 13, 2016. 12pm-5pm
       
    
LOS ANGELES, CA – Inglewood has become the fastest growing artist community in Los Angeles. It is also the fastest growing city, undergoing daily changes for and around the NFL stadium, Hollywood Park Casino, along new Metro lines and downtown Inglewood. The tenth annual Inglewood Open Studios tour will showcase the impressive depth and talent of this community on the weekend of November 12-13, from 12:00 to 5:00pm both days. As always, Inglewood Open Studios remains an artist run event, co-organized by local non profit Inglewood Cultural Arts (ICA).

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

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

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

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

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

    Inglewood, CA -

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




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



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



    For additional information, please contact press liaison Ginger Van Hook at gingervanhook@gmail.com


              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!


    ARCADIA     http://finearttrekkinarcadia.blogspot.com/


    INGLEWOOD        http://finearttrekkininglewood.blogspot.com/


    MONROVIA http://finearttrekkinmonrovia.blogspot.com/


    PASADENA  http://finearttrekkinpasadena.blogspot.com/


    TORRANCE           http://finearttrekkintorrance.blogspot.com/


    SOUTHBAY           http://finearttrekkinsouthbay.blogspot.com/


    SANTA MONICA  http://finearttrekkinsantamonica.blogspot.com/


    LITTLE TOKYO    http://finearttrekkinlittletokyola.blogspot.com/


    VENICE BEACH   http://finearttrekkinvenicebeach.blogspot.com/


    CULVER CITY      http://finearttrekkinculvercity.blogspot.com/


    LOS ANGELES      http://finearttrekkinlosangeles.blogspot.com/


    USC                         http://finearttrekkinusc.blogspot.com/



    HUNTINGTON BEACH   http://finearttrekkinhuntingtonbeach.blogspot.com/


    POMONA                            http://finearttrekkinpomona.blogspot.com/


    BEVERLY HILLS              http://finearttrekkinbeverlyhills.blogspot.com/


    DOWN TOWN LA             http://finearttrekkindowntownla.blogspot.com/


    SAN FRANCISCO             http://finearttrekkinsanfrancisco.blogspot.com/


    WESTWOOD                      http://finearttrekkinwestwood.blogspot.com/


    AT OTIS COLLEGE          http://finearttrekkinatotis.blogspot.com/


    IN CHINA TOWN              http://finearttrekkinchinatown.blogspot.com/


    HOLLYWOOD                   http://finearttrekkinhollywood.blogspot.com/


    STUDIO CITY                    http://finearttrekkinstudiocity.blogspot.com/


    GLENDALE                       http://finearttrekkinglendale.blogspot.com/


    MIRACLE MILE LA          http://finearttrekkinmiraclemilela.blogspot.com/


    AT VENICE BEACH         http://finearttrekkinatvenicebeach.blogspot.com/


    AT VENICE                        http://finearttrekkinatvenice.blogspot.com/


    VENICE BEACH                  http://finearttrekkinvenicebeach.blogspot.com/


    NEAR USC                         http://finearttrekkinnearusc.blogspot.com/


    NEAR UCLA                      http://finearttrekkinnearuscla.blogspot.com/


    MID WILSHIRE                  http://finearttrekkinmidwilshirela.blogspot.com/


    SAN DIEGO                       http://finearttrekkinsandiego.blogspot.com/


    SEATTLE                           http://finearttrekkinseattle.blogspot.com/


    NEVADA                           http://finearttrekkinnevada.blogspot.com/


    OREGON                           http://finearttrekkinoregon.blogspot.com/


    CALIFORNIA                   http://finearttrekkincalifornia.blogspot.com/


    NEW YORK                      http://finearttrekkinnewyork.blogspot.com/
              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 
    and 
    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
    so
    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 southlareport.com

    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
    LINDA KUNIK
    "PLANT IT FORWARD"


    Local Beverly Hills Artist Creates Art
    From Her Garden
    Launching a new project called
    “PLANT IT FORWARD”

    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
    http://plantitforwardla.blogspot.com
    lindakunik@gmail.com
    www.lkunik.com

    Additional artists websites and blogs:

    • Juna Amano (Painting & Sculpture) http://junaamano.blogspot.com

    • Marissa Magdalena (Installation, Performance and Drawing) www.marissamagdalena.com

    • Ofunne Obiamawe (Photographer) www.RepublicofPeace.com

    • Suzanne Oshinsky (Videographer) http://isoareyesore.blogspot.com/.

    • Michiko Smith (Painting)

    • Whitney Stolich (Photographer) www.whitneystolich.com

    • Ginger Van Hook (Photographer) www.gingervanhook.com
    • http://gingersartjournal.blogspot.com

    • Luke Van Hook (Painting) www.lukevanhook.com








    "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

    HARVEST DAY!










































    "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!

    *********************************************************************************

    JOSHUA ELIAS
    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
    *************************************************************************************************************************



    SIMONE GAD
    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 http://www.l2kontemporary.com to view her solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume which may be viewed at saatchigallery.org by writing in her name or wooloo.org by writing in Simone Gad’s name.
    Special thanks to the L2Kontemporary Gallery for cooperating with my interview! (www.L2Kontemporary.com and L2Kontemporary@sbcglobal.net 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

    http://www.l2kontemporary.com to view Simone Gad’s solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume-you may also get it on saatchigallery.org by writing in her name or wooloo.org by writing in Simone Gad’s name-

    ************************************************************************************


    BETTY GLASS

    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 www.bhglassart.com

    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 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-JOURNAL BY GINGER VAN HOOK


    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   www.brandlibrary.org    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 (www.digitechcamerarepair.com). 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: www.lukevanhook.com
    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: www.yesungkim.com
    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: www.barbarakolo.com 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: web.mac.com/susansironi/susan/sironi/Welcome.html.
    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 (www.glaws.org) 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 www.leslieannmoore.com 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 www.freewebs.com 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 www.mattpallamary.com. 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 www.enildeingelsvanhook.com.
    and coming soon to www.amazon.com 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 www.johnweiskopf.com.
















    I met Sandra Walter, the author of The Creator State (www.sandrawalter.com) 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 midnightpressbooks.com) 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 www.barstowproductions.com.






    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 Amazon.com; Barnes&Noble.com or www.GoGardner.com.



    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.) (www.gingervanhook.com) (www.enildeingelsvanhook.com) 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.
              â€œGood” Bacteria is Secret to Avoiding Acne        

    Zit happens. Acne is an unwelcome reality for 80 percent of us at some point in our lives, but researchers have discovered the secret to clear skin may be the kind of bacteria that’s taken up residence there. According to findings published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology today, certain strains of Propionibacterium acnes, a […]

    The post “Good” Bacteria is Secret to Avoiding Acne appeared first on 80beats.


              Aam Aadmi Party: the political start-up        


    "Aaj hum yahaan aayein hain sabse ye kehne, ki kuch to karna hoga. Hum sabko kuch karna hoga."

    "Koi bhi desh perfect nahi hota. Use perfect banaana hota hai. Police mai bharti honge, military join karenge, IAS banenge, politics ka hissa ban ke iss desh ki sarkaar chalaayenge. Ye desh badlega, hum badlenge ise."

    -- Rang De Basanti (2006)


    I quoted from Rang De Basanti, but it does not mean that this is going to be an incensed hysterical rant of a twenty-something someone which goes "Inquilab Zindabad!". Inquilab, sure. But let's put it into perspective and context. Inquilab will happen. One step at a time.


    Election is coming.

    It's easy to talk about politics sitting in our rooms, dissing any and everything that is happening around us. Heck, even this post qualifies. People here in India, and people abroad too - US, Europe, or farther east, you name it. "India has gone beyond a point-of-no-return." Sure, it must have sounded profound sitting in a room in a high-rise with a city skyline view in some sophisticated corner of the world, or here, in India. Sorry, no. But I have no interest in a conversation that begins or ends with that sentence, whether you live in India, or live abroad and intend to come back. It does not sound profound to me because I intend to spend my life in this country, by choice. Hopefully.

    I would not care if haters and dissers shoot holes into this post. By all means, go ahead. I admit I don't know my politics or economics. Let the intellectual masturbation begin. But I will not engage you in a conversation unless you give me a viable choice in the upcoming Delhi elections in November. We'll talk about NaMo vs Rahul Gandhi, sure, after the Delhi elections.


    It is really sad that after 66 years of our country's independence, the issues today, still, in the capital of India are Water, Electricity, Safety of Women, and Corruption. Forget Infrastructure, Public Health, or a healthy eco-system for entrepreneurs, we haven't afforded ourselves that luxury. Not yet.

    We, the youth, are lucky to have been born at a very opportune moment in the history of our country. We have the privilege to be a part of the 'Indian growth story', to be the Indian growth story. Be a part of it. Engage. Of course, it is unreasonable to ask people to quit whatever they wish to do with their lives and set out "to clean the system". No. But help those who are trying, in whatever little way. You can still be a part of it. That's why I am writing this.

    I know about a start-up that is trying to win the Delhi elections. I hope they do. It was unthinkable until a year ago, that a newly formed political party could think of forming a state government, let alone contesting elections with a strong foothold, or even fielding candidates in all the contested constituencies with confidence. Today, not so much. AAP doesn't have a long history, nor do they have the money or the adequate resources even, but they do have the passion and the will to do something. They believe they can, I believe they can. Sure, you or me might not agree with everything that they say or want to do, but do you agree with anyone a hundred percent? And if not them, who is your pick, and why? The question is whether anyone, anyone with the will and the passion can make a difference if they want? This is the test.

    Santosh died. No, I am not using her name to sensationalize this and drive my point across. The fact is, a good person wanted to contest the elections, and she died. It is NOT trivial. Can you do something about it?

    Take a look at their candidates list. Go ahead, look at their profiles. There is a commando who lost his hearing a hundred percent during 26/11, and was fired from the Army after that. Or this construction worker living in the slums, who is looking to contest from Rajouri Garden. And then, there is an ex-IRS IITian who championed the cause of RTI. He is pitting himself against Sheila Dixit. These people are getting their voice heard. We are getting our voice heard.

    At the very least what I'm confident of is this, that these candidates won't be murderers or rapists, and that if they are deemed incapable or corrupt, they will be sacked by their own party. Atleast give these people a chance. One chance. And like all start-ups, they need money to scale. They have been angel funded by several investors, and are looking to mobilize resources through crowdsourcing.


    What are you doing, Delhi? I'm jealous because you got this opportunity before I did. And things are happening and will, with or without you. Here's what the donations to AAP from our country looks like [link] :


    Almost as much from Maharashtra as from Delhi?! And it's not even Maharashtra's elections! There is still time. Get on board with this, man.


    1) You can donate in kind. There is much more than just money that is required to contest elections. You can give whatever you have to spare. [link]

    2) You can adopt a constituency. From anywhere. [link]

    3) You can make a recurring donation every month. [link]

    4) Or, you can just donate once and be done with it. [link]

    5) And the least you can do is get your voter i-card made and exercise your franchise. Vote. [link]


    An incident happened not so long ago. Arvind Kejriwal was asked by a journalist, "What would you do if you don't win the Delhi elections?". He responded by saying, "If we lose, what will you do?"

    Atleast we are talking about the right things.

    So... what will you do?



    Oh, and in this interview, Arvind Kejriwal answers most of the questions commonly posed by the haters and the dissers. Do watch. You might not agree with him or still be unsatisfied, but atleast hear what he has got to say.





    If you know me personally, or have been following this blog, you would know that I am not someone who begs for likes and shares. But this one time, I will. If this post struck a chord, please share it. It's only a click, and is much less to ask than an Inquilab.



              Filmmaker shows the sinister and, sometimes, bizarre reality of life under dictators        
    Embed from Getty Images I thoroughly recommend the TV series “Dictatorland”, which is going out on BBC Three at the moment. You can watch the episodes as they are published on BBC iPlayer. Young journalist and filmmaker Benjamin Zand travelled, at some risk to him and his crew, to a number of countries which still […]
              The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys        
    imageObjectives: Rates of substance use and other mental health concerns among attorneys are relatively unknown, despite the potential for harm that attorney impairment poses to the struggling individuals themselves, and to our communities, government, economy, and society. This study measured the prevalence of these concerns among licensed attorneys, their utilization of treatment services, and what barriers existed between them and the services they may need. Methods: A sample of 12,825 licensed, employed attorneys completed surveys, assessing alcohol use, drug use, and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Results: Substantial rates of behavioral health problems were found, with 20.6% screening positive for hazardous, harmful, and potentially alcohol-dependent drinking. Men had a higher proportion of positive screens, and also younger participants and those working in the field for a shorter duration (P < 0.001). Age group predicted Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test scores; respondents 30 years of age or younger were more likely to have a higher score than their older peers (P < 0.001). Levels of depression, anxiety, and stress among attorneys were significant, with 28%, 19%, and 23% experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress, respectively. Conclusions: Attorneys experience problematic drinking that is hazardous, harmful, or otherwise consistent with alcohol use disorders at a higher rate than other professional populations. Mental health distress is also significant. These data underscore the need for greater resources for lawyer assistance programs, and also the expansion of available attorney-specific prevention and treatment interventions.
              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.
              Appropriate Use of Drug Testing in Clinical Addiction Medicine        
    imageNo abstract available
              Methadone-Induced Hyperhidrosis Treated With Oxybutynin        
    Objectives: This case report aims to help healthcare providers and methadone clinic patients to recognize one of the less recognized adverse effects of methadone, hyperhidrosis, and to suggest oxybutynin as a possible solution. Methods: A 35-year-old man on methadone maintenance therapy presented with excessive sweating, which began promptly after methadone was introduced. Urine toxicology was conducted every 2 weeks to rule out other illicit substances that may have contributed to the sweating. Results: Oxybutynin (5 mg PO QID) resulted in cessation of the methadone-induced hyperhidrosis within 2 days of starting the medication. Conclusions: Methadone-induced excessive sweating is an adverse effect of the medication that reportedly affects up to 45% of those prescribed methadone, and oxybutynin is a potent treatment for methadone-induced excessive sweating.
              Misuse of Novel Synthetic Opioids: A Deadly New Trend        
    image Novel synthetic opioids (NSOs) include various analogs of fentanyl and newly emerging non-fentanyl compounds. Together with illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF), these drugs have caused a recent spike in overdose deaths, whereas deaths from prescription opioids have stabilized. NSOs are used as stand-alone products, as adulterants in heroin, or as constituents of counterfeit prescription medications. During 2015 alone, there were 9580 deaths from synthetic opioids other than methadone. Most of these fatalities were associated with IMF rather than diverted pharmaceutical fentanyl. In opioid overdose cases, where the presence of fentanyl analogs was examined, analogs were implicated in 17% of fatalities. Recent data from law enforcement sources show increasing confiscation of acetylfentanyl, butyrylfentanyl, and furanylfentanyl, in addition to non-fentanyl compounds such as U-47700. Since 2013, deaths from NSOs in the United States were 52 for acetylfentanyl, 40 for butyrylfentanyl, 128 for furanylfentanyl, and 46 for U-47700. All of these substances induce a classic opioid toxidrome, which can be reversed with the competitive antagonist naloxone. However, due to the putative high potency of NSOs and their growing prevalence, it is recommended to forgo the 0.4 mg initial dose of naloxone and start with 2 mg. Because NSOs offer enormous profit potential, and there is strong demand for their use, these drugs are being trafficked by organized crime. NSOs present major challenges for medical professionals, law enforcement agencies, and policymakers. Resources must be distributed equitably to enhance harm reduction though public education, medication-assisted therapies, and improved access to naloxone.
              A Systematic Review on the Use of Psychosocial Interventions in Conjunction With Medications for the Treatment of Opioid Addiction        
    imageOpioid use and overdose rates have risen to epidemic levels in the United States during the past decade. Fortunately, there are effective medications (ie, methadone, buprenorphine, and oral and injectable naltrexone) available for the treatment of opioid addiction. Each of these medications is approved for use in conjunction with psychosocial treatment; however, there is a dearth of empirical research on the optimal psychosocial interventions to use with these medications. In this systematic review, we outline and discuss the findings of 3 prominent prior reviews and 27 recent publications of empirical studies on this topic. The most widely studied psychosocial interventions examined in conjunction with medications for opioid addiction were contingency management and cognitive behavioral therapy, with the majority focusing on methadone treatment. The results generally support the efficacy of providing psychosocial interventions in combination with medications to treat opioid addictions, although the incremental utility varied across studies, outcomes, medications, and interventions. The review highlights significant gaps in the literature and provides areas for future research. Given the enormity of the current opioid problem in the United States, it is critical to gain a better understanding of the most effective ways to deliver psychosocial treatments in conjunction with these medications to improve the health and well-being of individuals suffering from opioid addiction.
              Prescribe to Prevent: Overdose Prevention and Naloxone Rescue Kits for Prescribers and Pharmacists        
    imageIn March of 2015, the United States Department of Health and Human Services identified 3 priority areas to reduce opioid use disorders and overdose, which are as follows: opioid-prescribing practices; expanded use and distribution of naloxone; and expansion of medication-assisted treatment. In this narrative review of overdose prevention and the role of prescribers and pharmacists in distributing naloxone, we address these priority areas and present a clinical scenario within the review involving a pharmacist, a patient with chronic pain and anxiety, and a primary care physician. We also discuss current laws related to naloxone prescribing and dispensing. This review was adapted from the Prescribe to Prevent online continuing medical education module created for prescribers and pharmacists (http://www.opioidprescribing.com/naloxone_module_1-landing ).
              Brief Opioid Overdose Knowledge (BOOK): A Questionnaire to Assess Overdose Knowledge in Individuals Who Use Illicit or Prescribed Opioids        
    imageBackground: Opioid overdose is a public health crisis. This study describes efforts to develop and validate the Brief Opioid Overdose Knowledge (BOOK) questionnaire to assess patient knowledge gaps related to opioid overdose risks. Methods: Two samples of illicit opioid users and a third sample of patients receiving an opioid for the treatment of chronic pain (total N = 848) completed self-report items pertaining to opioid overdose risks. Results: A 3-factor scale was established, representing Opioid Knowledge (4 items), Opioid Overdose Knowledge (4 items), and Opioid Overdose Response Knowledge (4 items). The scale had strong internal and face validity. Patients with chronic pain performed worse than illicit drug users in almost all items assessed, highlighting the need to increase knowledge of opioid overdose risk to this population. Conclusions: This study sought to develop a brief, internally valid method for quickly assessing deficits in opioid overdose risk areas within users of illicit and prescribed opioids, to provide an efficient metric for assessing and comparing educational interventions, facilitate conversations between physicians and patients about overdose risks, and help formally identify knowledge deficits in other patient populations.
              Open-label Study of Injectable Extended-release Naltrexone (XR-NTX) in Healthcare Professionals With Opioid Dependence        
    imageObjectives: Healthcare professionals (HCPs) with opioid dependence are at risk for relapse and death, particularly in the first year of recovery; however, maintenance treatment with opioid agonists is controversial in this safety-sensitive group. We evaluated long-term safety, tolerability, and treatment outcomes of injectable, intramuscular, extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) in opioid-dependent HCPs. Methods: This single-arm, multisite, open-label study was conducted in opioid-dependent HCPs who had been detoxified from opioids for at least 2 weeks. Subjects received monthly XR-NTX injections for up to 24 months, combined with counseling via intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment programs. Assessments included monthly urine opioid drug tests and routine safety assessments, along with a trimonthly short form (36) Health Survey, opioid craving questionnaire, and Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication. Results: Of 49 opioid-dependent HCPs screened, 38 enrolled and received at least 1 XR-NTX injection. Most were female (n = 31) and nurses or nursing assistants (n = 30). More than half (n = 21; 55.3%) received at least 12 injections. Seven discontinued due to adverse events (3 anxiety, 2 headache, 1 injection-site mass, 1 derealization). None experienced relapses to opioid dependence necessitating detoxification, overdose, or death during treatment. At 24 months, mean opioid craving fell by 45.2%, and short form (36) mental component scores improved by 31.1% from baseline and approached normal levels. Of 22 unemployed subjects at baseline, 45.5% improved employment status at 24 months. Conclusions: Long-term (2 years) XR-NTX was associated with no new safety concerns, and, compared with shorter-term studies in the general population, similar or better rates of retention, opioid-negative urines, opioid craving reduction, mental health functional quality of life improvement, and re-employment.
              Safety of a Rapidly Dissolving Buprenorphine/Naloxone Sublingual Tablet (BNX-RDT) for Treatment of Opioid Dependence: A Multicenter, Open-label Extension Study        
    imageObjective: To assess the safety of rapidly dissolving buprenorphine/naloxone sublingual tablets (BNX-RDT) in opioid-dependent patients. Methods: This open-label, 24-week extension study enrolled patients who completed primary trials of BNX-RDT. Daily tablet doses ranged from 5.7 to 17.1 mg. The primary endpoint was safety; secondary assessments included opioid cravings, addiction severity, health-related quality of life (QOL), and workplace productivity at screening (final day of the primary trials) through study end, with changes measured from baseline of the primary trials. Results: In all, 665 patients received treatment; 292 (43.9%) completed the study. A total of 258 patients (38.8%) reported 557 treatment-emergent adverse events, most commonly headache (3.2%) and constipation (3.0%). Craving scores showed continued improvement on 100-mm visual analog scale (mean change from primary trial baseline, −52.8 at screening; mean change from extension trial baseline, −60.5 at week 24). Reductions in addiction severity from baseline of both the primary and extension trial were maintained through week 24 on multiple assessments, as were improvements in QOL on Short Form 36. Employment increased by 15% and mean (SD) hours worked per week increased by 4.6 (20.1) from baseline to study end. Mean (SD) scores for impact of opioid dependence on work productivity improved from 4.7 (3.0) at baseline to 0.9 (1.8) at study end (11-point scale). Conclusions: Extended treatment with BNX-RDT demonstrated a safety profile similar to other BNX formulations, reduced opioid cravings, and improved both QOL and work productivity. Continued treatment may enable patients to advance in recovery and return to normal functioning.
              Inpatient Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate Detoxification: A Case Report Describing Day-to-day Therapeutic Management        
    imageBackground: Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a synthetic drug increasingly used by consumers of psychoactive substances. The sought after psychoactive effects of GHB have resulted in an increase in recreational use in Europe. GHB is considered to have a high dependence potential, and abrupt discontinuation after long-term use can result in a severe withdrawal syndrome. Despite a large number of publications related to GHB withdrawal and detoxification, to date, no evidence-based protocol or consensual international therapeutic guidelines are available (over and above the administration of benzodiazepines). We hereby present a day-to-day description of inpatient GHB detoxification management, from admission to discharge. Case Summary: This case report pertains to a 47-year-old patient hospitalized for a severe GHB use disorder. The patient had independently made several unsuccessful attempts to stop GHB use. Following to these failures, the patient was oriented to our addiction department for inpatient detoxification. Withdrawal symptoms appeared 4 hours after the last dose of GHB, and consisted of diaphoresis, coenesthetic hallucinations, tremors, motor instability, tachycardia, and a hypertensive peak. Symptoms were successfully managed with diazepam titration and nonpharmacological treatment. The duration of hospitalization was 13 days. At discharge, detoxification was complete and the patient was engaged in relapse prevention therapy. Three months after discharge, the patient had maintained abstinence. Conclusions: GHB withdrawal, which can be severe, is better prevented or attenuated by daily medical monitoring and adjustment of treatment dosage. Failure of outpatient detoxification should be included in the indication criteria in the guidelines for inpatient detoxification.
              Valid, Reproducible, Clinically Useful, Nonstigmatizing Terminology for the Disease and Its Treatment: Addiction, Substance Use Disorder, and Medication        
    No abstract available
              Addiction is More Than a Substance Use Disorder        
    No abstract available
              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.
              How to Deliver a More Persuasive Message Regarding Addiction as a Medical Disorder        
    Many members of our field are frustrated that the public does not see addiction as a legitimate medical disorder which should be compassionately addressed as a health problem rather than a criminal justice problem. Although some attribute the disconnect to the public's lack of scientific knowledge or attachment to outdated moral views regarding substance use, this commentary suggests that the problem may well be our own messaging. We would be more persuasive if we acknowledged that addiction is different from most medical disorders because of its high negative externalities, and that this understandably makes the public more scared of and angry about addiction than they are about conditions like asthma, type II diabetes, and hypertension. Relatedly, because of the amount of violence and other crimes associated with addiction, we should acknowledge that the public's belief that law enforcement has an important role to play in responding to addiction has a rational basis.
              Treating Smoking in Adults With Co-occurring Acute Psychiatric and Addictive Disorders        
    imageObjectives: Tobacco use is undertreated in individuals with psychiatric and substance use disorders (SUDs), with concerns that quitting smoking may compromise recovery. We evaluated outcomes of a tobacco intervention among psychiatric patients with co-occurring SUDs. Methods: Data from 2 randomized tobacco treatment trials conducted in inpatient psychiatry were combined; analyses focused on the subsample with co-occurring SUDs (n = 216). Usual care provided brief advice to quit and nicotine replacement therapy during the smoke-free hospitalization. The intervention, initiated during hospitalization and continued 6 months after hospitalization, was tailored to readiness to quit smoking, and added a computer-assisted intervention at baseline, and 3 and 6 months; brief counseling; and 10 weeks of nicotine replacement therapy after hospitalization. Outcomes were 7-day point prevalence abstinence from 3 to 12 months and past 30-day reports of alcohol and illicit drug use. Results: The sample consisted of 34% women, among which 36% were Caucasian, averaging 19 cigarettes/d prehospitalization; the groups were comparable at baseline. At 12 months, 22% of the intervention versus 11% of usual care participants were tobacco-abstinent (risk ratio 2.01, P = 0.03). Past 30-day abstinence from alcohol/drugs did not differ by group (22%); however, successful quitters were less likely than continued smokers to report past 30-day cannabis (18% vs 42%) and alcohol (22% vs 58%) use (P < 0.05), with no difference in other drug use. Conclusions: Tobacco treatment in psychiatric patients with co-occurring SUDs was effective and did not adversely impact recovery. Quitting smoking was associated with abstinence from alcohol and cannabis at follow-up. The findings support addressing tobacco in conjunction with alcohol and other drugs in psychiatric treatment.
              Possible Evidence for Re-regulation of HPA Axis and Brain Reward Systems Over Time in Treatment in Prescription Opioid-Dependent Patients        
    imageObjectives: There is growing evidence for a neuroadaptive model underlying vulnerability to relapse in opioid dependence. The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinical measures hypothesized to mirror elements of allostatic dysregulation in patients dependent on prescription opioids at 2 time points after withdrawal, compared with healthy control participants. Methods: Recently withdrawn (n = 7) prescription opioid-dependent patients were compared with the patients in supervised residential care for 2 to 3 months (extended care; n = 7) and healthy controls (n = 7) using drug cue reactivity, affect-modulated startle response tasks, salivary cortisol, and 8 days of sleep actigraphy. Prefrontal cortex was monitored with functional near-infrared spectroscopy during the cue reactivity task. Results: Startle response results indicated reduced hedonic response to natural rewards among patients recently withdrawn from opioids relative to extended care patients. The recently withdrawn patients showed increased activation to pill stimuli in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex relative to extended care patients. Cortisol levels were elevated among recently withdrawn patients and intermediate for extended care relative to healthy controls. Actigraphy indicated disturbed sleep between recently withdrawn patients and extended care patients; extended care patients were similar to controls. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activation to drug and natural reward cues, startle responses to natural reward cues, day-time cortisol levels, time in bed, and total time spent sleeping were all correlated with the number of days since last drug use (ie, time in supervised residential treatment). Conclusions: These results suggest possible re-regulation of dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and brain reward systems in prescription opioid-dependent patients over the drug-free period in residential treatment.
              The Reply        
    No abstract available
              Vermont Hub-and-Spoke Model of Care for Opioid Use Disorder: Development, Implementation, and Impact        
    imageBackground: Opioid use disorders (OUDs) are reaching epidemic proportions in the United States, and many geographic areas struggle with a persistent shortage in availability of opioid agonist treatment. Over the past 5 years, Vermont addiction medicine physicians and public health leaders have responded to these challenges by developing an integrated hub-and-spoke opioid treatment network. Methods: In the present report, we review the development, implementation, and impact of this novel hub-and-spoke model for expanding OUD treatment in Vermont. Results: Vermont's hub-and-spoke system has been implemented state-wide and well-received by providers and patients alike. Adoption of this model has been associated with substantial increases in the state's OUD treatment capacity, with Vermont now having the highest capacity for treating OUD in the United States with 10.56 people in treatment per 1000. There has been a 64% increase in physicians waivered to prescribe buprenorphine, a 50% increase in patients served per waivered physician, and a robust bidirectional transfer of patients between hubs and spokes based upon clinical need. Challenges to system implementation and important future directions are discussed. Conclusions: Development and implementation of a hub-and-spoke system of care has contributed substantially to improvements in opioid agonist treatment capacity in Vermont. This system may serve as a model for other states grappling with the current opioid use epidemic.
              When Knowledge and Experience Do Not Help: A Study of Nonfatal Drug Overdoses        
    image With recent increases in overdose deaths in Australia, there is renewed interest in understanding the factors that contribute to overdose. We examine the experiences of persons who report a nonfatal drug overdose. Fifty people who inject drugs (PWID) and who had accidently overdosed in the past 12 months were recruited and interviewed at 1 of 4 Needle and Syringe Program sites during September and October 2013. Participants were typically male, middle-aged, with long injecting histories. Half of the participants reported mainly injecting pharmaceutical opioids. Most overdoses occurred at home with others present. An ambulance was called for only 38% of cases and 26% were admitted to a hospital emergency department. Police were seldom involved, and there were no complaints about the involvement of police at the time of the overdose. Participants commonly had a history of overdosing, and most were on prescription medications for physical and/or mental health problems. Poly drug use was common for those reporting an accidental overdose. Benzodiazepines (eg, Xanax or Valium) were implicated in just over half of the overdoses. Most of those reporting a recent overdose also report a past history of previous overdoses. Most of those reporting a previous overdose continue to use substances in ways they are aware contribute to the risk of an overdose.
              Efficacy of Buprenorphine/Naloxone Rapidly Dissolving Sublingual Tablets (BNX-RDT) After Switching From BNX Sublingual Film        
    imageObjectives: The aim of the study was to evaluate treatment retention, efficacy, and preference ratings among opioid-dependent patients transitioning between a buprenorphine/naloxone rapidly dissolving sublingual tablet formulation (BNX-RDT) and BNX film. Methods: After a 2-day, blinded, fixed-dose induction with BNX-RDT (5.7/1.4 mg and 5.7/1.4 or 11.4/2.8 mg, respectively) or buprenorphine (8 mg and 8 or 16 mg, respectively), patients received open-label titrated doses of BNX-RDT or BNX film (generic buprenorphine induction group) during days 3 to 14. On day 15, patients switched treatment (using a conversion ratio of 5.7–8 mg) and continued switched treatment through day 22. Assessments included treatment retention, opioid withdrawal (Clinical and Subjective Opiate Withdrawal scales), opioid cravings (0–100 visual analog scale [VAS]), and preference ratings. Results: Of the 287 patients who switched from BNX-RDT to BNX film and 279 patients who switched from BNX film to BNX-RDT at day 15, 8.7% and 6.1% withdrew, respectively. Reductions in opioid withdrawal and cravings were similar with both formulations through day 15; after switching treatment, reductions were maintained through day 22 in both groups. Preference ratings at day 22 (patients had received both formulations) favored BNX-RDT for taste, mouthfeel, ease of administration, and overall preference (all P < 0.0001). Conclusions: In both patient groups who switched treatment at day 15, more than 90% were retained in treatment, and reductions in opioid withdrawal and cravings were sustained. A significant majority of patients preferred BNX-RDT over BNX film, the clinical impact of which requires further study.
              Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use for the Self-treatment of Pain in Young Adults: A National Shame        
    Evans et al. (2017) have pointed out how frequently and pervasively nonmedical prescription opioid use is associated with severe pain in young adults, especially young white males. This is a subset of such nonmedical users at tremendous risk of overdose (indeed 1/3 of the study respondents had an overdose event), especially given their concomitant use of benzodiazepines. Avoiding further contributing to the catastrophic rise in overdoses requires access to comprehensive pain care for these young adults. If they were to require opioid therapy, it would have to be in the context of a highly complex and expert variety of such care. If we fail to make it available, we will fail to address the root cause of overdoses for a sizeable subset of nonmedical prescription opioid users.
              â€œMeth Mouth”: An Interdisciplinary Review of a Dental and Psychiatric Condition        
    imageObjective: Chronic methamphetamine (MA) users experience many dental problems, a condition characterized as “meth mouth.” These devastating effects on dentition is the main reason why many seek professional help. Here, we discuss the effects of MA on oral health and advocate for improved collaboration between dentists and mental health providers. We also introduce a dental evaluation tool with the goal of improving the quality of care for this often-marginalized patient population. Methods: A Medline literature search (1985–2016) was conducted with keywords “meth mouth,” “methamphetamine AND oral health”; “methamphetamine AND dental”; “methamphetamine AND dentist.” Results were supplemented by references gleaned from recent reviews, credible online sources, and citations of search returns. Results: MA predisposes users to tooth decay. They are also more likely to have missing dentition with a linear relationship correlating the number of years of use. A constellation of dental symptoms resulting from chronic MA use has been described in literature: gingival inflammation, excessive tooth wear, decreased salivary output, and severe dental caries. With continued use, mucosal lesions may appear on the lips and the gingival tissue may recede. MA can trigger bruxism, resulting in severe wear patterns and even cracked teeth. Conclusions: Users of MA have many unmet medical and mental health needs. An interdisciplinary approach between dentists and mental health providers can improve outcomes. The dental evaluation tool described here can improve the bidirectional collaboration between mental health and dentistry. Dental professionals are in a unique position to identify users and can facilitate referral to substance abuse treatment. Likewise, mental health providers can identify, assess severity, and prompt users for medical and dental attention.
              Beyond the Treatment Box: Perspectives on the Federal Response to Opioid Use, Pregnancy, and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome        
    There has been much activity within Federal agencies in response to the opioid epidemic particularly in regards to pregnant women and their infants. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's recently released document, Advancing the Care of Pregnant and Parenting Women With Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants: A Foundation for Clinical Guidance, provides an important and timely guidance. Uptake of the guide should improve quality of care and hopefully help lessen the discrimination experienced by pregnant women with opioid use disorder. However, most pregnant women with addiction do not have access to treatment. This unmet need is large and vexing and only tangentially addressed in the Guide. Future Federal efforts should focus beyond the “treatment box.”
              How Should Remote Clinical Monitoring Be Used to Treat Alcohol Use Disorders?: Initial Findings From an Expert Round Table Discussion        
    Scientific evidence combined with new health insurance coverage now enable a chronic illness management approach to the treatment of alcohol use disorders (AUDs), including regular monitoring of blood alcohol content (BAC), as a useful indicator of disease control. Recent technical advances now permit many different types of remote, real-time monitoring of BAC. However, there is no body of research to empirically guide clinicians in how to maximize the clinical potential of remote BAC monitoring. As an initial step in guiding and supporting such research, the manufacturer of one remote BAC monitoring system sponsored a group of experienced clinicians and clinical researchers to discuss 8 issues that generally affect remote, clinical BAC monitoring of “adults in outpatient AUD treatment.” The expert panel unanimously agreed that remote BAC monitoring for at least 12 months during and after the outpatient treatment of AUD was a clinically viable deterrent to relapse. There was also consensus that positive test results (ie, recent alcohol use) should lead to intensified care and monitoring. However, there was no agreement on specific types of clinical intensification after a positive test. The panel agreed that sharing positive and negative test results with members of the patient support group was helpful in reinforcing abstinence, yet they noted many practical issues regarding information sharing that remain concerning. Significant differences within the panel on several important clinical issues underline the need for more clinical and implementation research to produce empirically-supported guidelines for the use of remote BAC monitoring in AUD treatment.
              Institutional Substance Use Disorder Intervention Improves General Internist Preparedness, Attitudes, and Clinical Practice        
    imageObjective: To assess the impact of hospital substance use disorder (SUD) initiative, which, beginning in October 2014, implemented an inpatient addiction consult team, a postdischarge addiction clinic, recovery coaches, and SUD treatment within primary care on general internists’ attitudes, clinical practice, and preparedness to care for SUD. Methods: Pre and postintervention survey of general internal medicine physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, Massachusetts, in September 2014 (n = 290) and 2015 (n = 296) was conducted. Results: There were 149 respondents for the pre and 143 respondents for the post survey. There were no significant differences between groups. In the follow-up group, 66% of physicians had a patient receive care from the initiative. These physicians were significantly more likely to have favorable attitudes towards SUD; 44% report caring for patients with SUD is as satisfying as other clinical activities versus 9% of physicians without experience with the initiative. These physicians were significantly more likely to feel very prepared to screen for SUD (27% vs 9%), diagnose SUD (23% vs 9%), deliver a brief intervention (16% vs 5%), refer to treatment (36% vs 14%), discuss medication treatments (22% vs 5%), discuss overdose prevention and naloxone (33% vs 5%), and discuss harm reduction (22% vs 7%). They were also significantly more likely to frequently prescribe naloxone (11% vs 0%), prescribe addiction pharmacotherapy (15% vs 2%), and provide addiction treatment themselves (18% vs 5%). Conclusion: General internists’ attitudes, preparedness, and clinical practice related to SUD significantly improved after having a patient receive care from new clinical services implemented through a hospital-wide SUD initiative.
              Medications For Addiction Treatment: Changing Language to Improve Care        
    The term medication-assisted treatment has been widely adopted in reference to the use of opioid agonist therapy. Although it is arguably better than the older terms of replacement or substitution therapy, medication-assisted treatment implies that medications are a corollary to whatever the main part of treatment is. No other medication for other health conditions is referred to this way. It has finally been recognized that to improve care and reduce stigma, we must use medically accurate and person-first language, describing those with the disease of addiction as people with substance use disorder. However, to truly change outcomes, we must also alter the language of treatment.
              High Mortality Among Patients With Opioid Use Disorder in a Large Healthcare System        
    imageObjectives: Elevated mortality has been observed among individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) treated in addiction specialty clinics or programs. Information about OUD patients in general healthcare settings is needed in light of the current effort to integrate addiction services into primary healthcare systems. This study examined mortality rates, causes of death, and associated risk factors among patients with OUD in a large general healthcare system. Methods: Mortality data were linked with electronic health records of 2576 OUD patients cared for in a large university health system from 2006 to 2014. Results: There were 465 deaths confirmed (18.1% of the study participants), corresponding to a crude mortality rate of 48.6 per 1000 person-years and standardized mortality ratio of 10.3 (95% confidence interval [CI] 9.4–11.3). Drug overdose and disorder (19.8%), cardiovascular diseases (17.4%), cancer (16.8%), and infectious diseases (13.5%, including 12% hepatitis C virus [HCV]) were the leading causes of death. HCV (hazard ratio [HR] 1.99, 95% CI 1.62–2.46) and alcohol use disorder (HR 1.27, 95% CI 1.05–1.55) were 2 clinically important indicators of overall mortality risk. Tobacco use disorder (adjusted HR [AHR] 2.58, 95% CI 1.60–4.17) was associated with increased risk of cardiovascular death, HCV infection (AHR 2.55, 95% CI 1.52–4.26) with cancer mortality risk, and HCV (AHR 1.92, 95% CI 1.03–3.60) and alcohol use disorder (AHR 5.44, 95% CI 2.95–10.05) with liver-related mortality risk. Conclusions: Patients with OUD in a general healthcare system demonstrated alarmingly high morbidity and mortality, which challenges healthcare systems to find innovative ways to identify and treat patients with substance use disorder.
              Associations Between Physical Pain, Pain Management, and Frequency of Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use Among Young Adults: A Sex-specific Analysis        
    imageObjectives: We sought to determine sex-specific associations between experiences of physical pain, pain management, and frequency of nonmedical prescription opioid (NMPO) use among young adults. Methods: Among participants enrolled in the Rhode Island Young Adult Prescription Drug Study, we identified associations between physical pain in the past 6 months, pain history, pain management, polysubstance use, and weekly NMPO use. In sex-specific models, independent correlates of weekly NMPO use were identified via modified stepwise Poisson regression. Results: Of 199 participants, the mean age was 24.6, and 65.3% were male. The racial composition was 16.6% black, 60.8% white, and 22.1% mixed or other race. A total of 119 (59.8%) participants reported weekly or greater NMPO use. The majority of male (86.2%) and female (84.1%) participants reported ever experiencing severe pain. A majority of males (72.3%) and females (81.2%) reported that they engaged in NMPO use to treat their physical pain, and one-quarter (26.9%) of males and one-third (36.2%) of females had been denied a prescription from a doctor to treat severe pain. Among males, frequent NMPO use was independently associated with white race (P < 0.001) and reporting greater physical pain (P = 0.002). Among females, older age (P = 0.002) and monthly or greater nonmedical benzodiazepine use (P = 0.001) were independently associated with weekly NMPO use. Conclusions: Among young men in Rhode Island, physical pain may be related to frequent NMPO use. More research is needed to identify sex-specific, pain-related factors that are linked with NMPO use to improve harm reduction and pain management interventions.
              Extended-Release Injectable Naltrexone (XR-NTX) With Intensive Psychosocial Therapy for Amphetamine-Dependent Persons Seeking Treatment: A Placebo-Controlled Trial        
    imageObjective: Explore the efficacy of extended-release injectable naltrexone (XR-NTX) for preventing relapse to amphetamine use. Method: Clinical trial of 100 amphetamine-dependent, treatment-seeking patients who were randomized to 6 monthly 380 mg doses of XR-NTX or matching placebo before entering intensive outpatient after varying lengths of inpatient treatment in Reykjavik, Iceland. Weekly urine drug tests, retention, and standardized instruments assessed efficacy. Results: Of 169 approached, 100 were randomized. Although amphetamine dependence was the main reason for seeking treatment, three-quarters or more of participants had 1 or more other substance dependencies. Of 51 randomized to XR-NTX, 20 received 4 or more injections; of 49 assigned to placebo, 26 received 4 or more injections. Of the planned 2400 weekly urine drug tests, 1247 were collected (52%); 4% of these were positive for amphetamine, 8% for benzodiazepine, 7% for marijuana, 1% for cocaine, and 1% for opioid. XR-NTX had no effect on amphetamine-positive tests, retention, or other outcomes. Those providing half or more of their tests attended more weeks of treatment than those providing less than half of their tests (m = 10.76 vs 3.31; t (92) = 5.91, P < 0.0001), and 92 participants provided at least 1 test. Conclusions: Adding XR-NTX to the usual combination of inpatient and intensive outpatient treatment did not reduce amphetamine use. The low prevalence of substance use among collected urine samples, and the association between collected samples and weeks in treatment, was consistent with other studies showing that staying in treatment is associated with better outcomes.
              Combined Abuse of Clonidine and Amitriptyline in a Patient on Buprenorphine Maintenance Treatment        
    Buprenorphine/naloxone maintenance therapy is often prescribed in primary care to treat opioid dependence. Previous reports have described concomitant abuse of opioids and clonidine. In this case, a primary care patient on buprenorphine/naloxone maintenance therapy demonstrating altered mental status, hallucinations, falls, and rebound hypertension was found to be concomitantly abusing clonidine and amitryptyline, which share metabolic pathways with buprenorphine. Clinicians should be aware of patients' combining amitryptyline, clonidine, and gabapentin with buprenorphine to achieve a mood altering state, avoid co-prescribing them if possible, and maintain communication with pharmacies and other providers when they are prescribed.
              Med-Sci 2013 Poster Presenter Abstracts        
    imageNo abstract available
              Debate: Are Benzodiazepines Appropriate Treatments for Patients with Substance Use Disorders? Yes        
    Benzodiazepines are a controversial treatment for anxiety in patients with substance use disorders. Concerns include risk of addiction, overdose, and diversion. But benzodiazepines are among the most effective and well-tolerated treatments for anxiety, and are safe for the majority of patients who take them. Though not appropriate for all cases, particularly in those with an active opioid use disorder, benzodiazepines should be considered as a treatment for patients with substance use disorders after careful weighing of benefits and harms.
              An Argument for Change in Tobacco Treatment Options Guided by the ASAM Criteria for Patient Placement        
    imageTobacco use is a major threat to public health in the United States, and the number one cause of preventable death. Although most smokers try to quit unaided, robust data indicate that pairing behavioral support to US Food Drug Administration-approved cessation medications significantly increase cessation rates. Those who do receive assistance in quitting usually receive very low intensity treatment, regardless of the severity of their dependence or their medical and environmental circumstances. This is in stark contrast to how other substance use disorders are treated, where there are varying levels of care depending on addiction severity and biopsychosocial circumstances. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) developed a formal algorithm for assessing substance use disorders and determining the optimal level of care. The ASAM Patient Placement Criteria are regularly used to determine the appropriate level of care for all substance use disorders except tobacco. This paper will review key aspects of the ASAM dimensions of care and placement levels, with emphasis on how they apply to tobacco use and present case examples of typical smokers who would benefit from a higher intensity of tobacco dependence treatment. We also present current barriers to reimbursing healthcare providers for these services. We conclude with a commentary and discussion regarding recommendations for improvements in tobacco dependence treatment care.
              Tobacco Use Disorder Among Patients With Smoking-related Chronic Medical Disease: Association With Comorbid Substance Use Disorders        
    imageIntroduction: Very little is known of the behavioral vulnerabilities of patients diagnosed with smoking-related chronic medical illness who continue to smoke, potentially worsening morbidity and mortality risks. This study explores the association of tobacco use disorder (TUD) among those with smoking-related chronic medical illnesses with other substance use disorders (SUDs) and risk factors. Methods: Among veterans with smoking-related chronic medical illnesses identified from the National Veterans Health Administration administrative records from fiscal year 2012, we compared the characteristics of those with a diagnosis of TUD (International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition code 305.xx; n = 519,918), and those without such a diagnosis (n = 2,691,840). Using multiple logistic regression, we further explored the independent association of factors associated with TUD. Results: SUD prevalence was markedly higher among those with TUD (24.9% vs 5.44%), including alcohol use disorder (20.4% vs 4.3%) and drug use disorder (13.5% vs 2.6%), compared with nonsmokers. On multiple logistic regression analyses, alcohol use disorder (odds ratio [OR] 2.94, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.90–2.97) and drug use disorder (OR 1.97, 95% CI 1.94–1.99) were independently associated with current TUD diagnosis. Having any single SUD was associated with considerably high odds of having TUD (OR 3.32, 95% CI 3.29–2.36), and having multiple SUDs with even further increased risk (OR 4.09, 95% CI 4.02–4.16). Conclusions: A substantial proportion of people with TUD diagnosis despite concurrent smoking-related medical illnesses are also likely to have other comorbid SUDs, complicating efforts at smoking cessation, and requiring a broader approach than standard nicotine-dependence interventions.
              Mephentermine Dependence in a Young Athlete: Case Report With Review of Literature        
    image Mephentermine is structurally related to amphetamines and is banned for its use as a performance-enhancing drug in competitive sports. Limited literature is available on management of mephentermine dependence. Here, we describe a case of mephentermine dependence followed by review of literature and a discussion about its management. A 20-year-old professional wrestler presented with high-dose intravenous mephentermine use, and rapid development of dependence, in the absence of any comorbid substance use or psychiatric disorder. The client showed improvement with bupropion and individual counseling sessions. The present report highlights the need to explore effective treatment options for individuals who have been addicted to mephentermine.
              â€œShould Patients With Substance Use Disorders Be Prescribed Benzodiazepines?” No        
    Patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) should not use benzodiazepines to treat anxiety, insomnia, or anything else, for the same reasons that they should not drink any alcohol or use other drugs, regardless of their primary drug used. Once the addiction “switch” is thrown on, it never again goes off. This question has additional relevance today because in 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration put black box warnings on all benzodiazepines and opioid analgesics about the serious risks associated with their concomitant use. Anxiety is not a benzodiazepine-deficiency disease. It is possible to treat anxiety and insomnia without medicines of any kind, and it is possible to use medicines other than benzodiazepines for these common and serious mental disorders. Although many patients with SUDs are eager to use benzodiazepines, using alternatives is often effective and it does not put the patient's recovery in jeopardy. The standard I propose here is based on the experience of many people with SUDs who have tried and failed to use benzodiazepines for anxiety.
              Treating Opioid Dependence With Injectable Extended-Release Naltrexone (XR-NTX): Who Will Respond?        
    imageObjectives: Once-monthly intramuscular extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) has demonstrated efficacy for the prevention of relapse in opioid dependence, providing an alternative to agonist or partial agonist maintenance (ie, methadone and buprenorphine). The question remains, for whom is this unique treatment most efficacious and can patient-treatment matching factors be identified? Methods: A moderator analysis was conducted on a previously reported 24-week, placebo-controlled, multisite, randomized controlled trial of XR-NTX (n = 126) versus placebo (n = 124) among recently detoxified opioid-dependent adults in Russia, which showed XR-NTX superior to placebo in proportion of opioid abstinent weeks. The moderator analysis examined a dichotomous indicator of good clinical response—achieving at least 90% of weeks abstinent over the 24-week trial. A series of logistic regression models were fit for this outcome as functions of treatment (XR-NTX vs placebo), each baseline moderator variable, and their interactions. The 25 baseline variables included demographics, clinical severity (Addiction Severity Index, SF-36, and Clinical Global Impression-Severity), functioning (EQ-5D), craving, and HIV serostatus (HIV+). Results: More XR-NTX patients achieved 90% abstinence (64/126, 51%) versus placebo (39/124, 31%; P = 0.002). There were no significant interactions between baseline variables and treatment. There was a significant main effect of Clinical Global Impression-Severity score (P = 0.02), such that higher severity score was associated with a lower rate of Good Clinical Response. Conclusions: The absence of significant baseline by treatment interactions indicates that no patient-treatment matching variables could be identified. This suggests that XR-NTX was effective in promoting abstinence from opioids across a range of demographic and severity characteristics.
              Patients’ Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Regular Alcohol Urine Screening: A Survey Study        
    imageBackground: Despite its wide implementation, there is a paucity of data supporting the effectiveness of regular alcohol urine screening (RAUS) in maintaining abstinence. This study aims at investigating if RAUS serves other purposes, what attitudes patients display towards it, and patients’ technical knowledge about basic screening notions. Method: We conducted a cross-sectional survey among adults with alcohol dependence, attending outpatient alcohol-dependence treatment. It aimed at investigating patients’ attitudes and beliefs towards RAUS, and technical notions of alcohol urine screening. For attitude assessment, we adapted the Drug Attitude Inventory (DAI-10) to the field of alcohol urine screening. Internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and concurrent validity were evaluated for the adapted questionnaire. Results: In all, 128 patients completed the questionnaire. Patients rated RAUS as high. The DAI-10 mean score was 7.2 (SD = 3.6). Internal consistency analysis revealed a Cronbach alpha of 0.718. Test-retest reliability evaluation yielded an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.932. The score of a single Likert-type question about overall perceived value was 8.5 (SD = 2). Their correlation with mean DAI-10 score was of r = 0.254, with P = 0.009. Apart from relapse prevention, patients frequently reported other functions such as showing professionals and family members that they do not drink, or having a closer contact with professionals. A majority of patients believed alcohol use goes undetected after 48 hours from last ingestion. Conclusion: Regular alcohol screening is highly valued by alcohol outpatients. It seems that apart from relapse prevention, other functions related to therapeutic alliance building, social desirability, and impression management also play a key role.
              2015 Poster Presenter Abstracts        
    No abstract available
              Should Benzodiazepines Be Used to Treat Anxiety in People With Substance Use Disorders? Contentious Debate With Similar Conclusions        
    No abstract available
              The Role of Gender in Factors Associated With Addiction Treatment Satisfaction Among Long-Term Opioid Users        
    imageObjectives: To identify factors associated with Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) satisfaction and to determine whether these relationships are gender specific. Methods: This study was based on data collected in a cross-sectional study among long-term opioid-dependent individuals (n = 160; 46.3% women). Participants completed the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire in reference to OAT episodes. Sociodemographic, illicit substance use, health, and addiction treatment history data were collected. Multivariable linear regression was used to determine the relationship between these variables and treatment satisfaction. To explore the potential role of gender in these identified relationships stratified multivariable models were tested. Additional open-ended questions regarding positive and negative perceptions of treatment were collected, and a thematic analysis was conducted. Results: In the multivariable linear regression model, participants who were older, of Aboriginal ancestry, and currently receiving OAT had higher OAT satisfaction scores, whereas participants who had methadone dose preferences of 30 mg or less had lower OAT satisfaction. In stratified analyses among women, the relationship between preferred methadone dose and current OAT remained significantly associated with satisfaction. Open-ended positive and negative perceptions complemented and provided further valuable data to interpret these identified relationships. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study to explore the potential role of gender in factors associated with OAT satisfaction. These findings provide valuable information to health care providers working in OAT settings regarding how to address women and men's OAT needs and improve treatment satisfaction.
              Alcohol, Cannabis, and Opioid Use Disorders, and Disease Burden in an Integrated Health Care System        
    imageObjectives: We examined prevalence of major medical conditions and extent of disease burden among patients with and without substance use disorders (SUDs) in an integrated health care system serving 3.8 million members. Methods: Medical conditions and SUDs were extracted from electronic health records in 2010. Patients with SUDs (n = 45,461; alcohol, amphetamine, barbiturate, cocaine, hallucinogen, and opioid) and demographically matched patients without SUDs (n = 45,461) were compared on the prevalence of 19 major medical conditions. Disease burden was measured as a function of 10-year mortality risk using the Charlson Comorbidity Index. P-values were adjusted using Hochberg's correction for multiple-inference testing within each medical condition category. Results: The most frequently diagnosed SUDs in 2010 were alcohol (57.6%), cannabis (14.9%), and opioid (12.9%). Patients with these SUDs had higher prevalence of major medical conditions than non-SUD patients (alcohol use disorders, 85.3% vs 55.3%; cannabis use disorders, 41.9% vs 23.0%; and opioid use disorders, 44.9% vs 26.1%; all P < 0.001). Patients with these SUDs also had higher disease burden than non-SUD patients; patients with opioid use disorders (M = 0.48; SE = 1.46) had particularly high disease burden (M = 0.23; SE = 0.09; P < 0.001). Conclusions: Common SUDs, particularly opioid use disorders, are associated with substantial disease burden for privately insured individuals without significant impediments to care. This signals the need to explore the full impact SUDs have on the course and outcome of prevalent conditions and initiate enhanced service engagement strategies to improve disease burden.
              Editor's Note: Congratulations to the 2017 Author and Reviewer Award Winners        
    No abstract available
              Associations Between Khat Use and HIV Risk and Status Among Voluntary Counseling and Testing Center Clients in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia        
    imageObjectives: Ethiopia is 1 of 15 countries that account for nearly 75% of all people living with HIV. Khat use, a common practice in Ethiopia and sub-Saharan Africa, has gained attention as a potential risk factor for HIV. Our objective was to evaluate associations between khat use and demographic and risk-taking characteristics (alcohol use, sexual behavior), and also associations between HIV status and these characteristics among voluntary counseling and testing clients in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among Pro Pride voluntary counseling and testing center clients, aged 18 to 49 years, from November 2009 to March 2010. All clients were approached, and 98.8% of these (684) completed a self-administered questionnaire. Associations between khat use, alcohol use, multiple sexual partners, and HIV status were assessed using logistic regression models. Results: Using khat in the past 90 days (current khat use) was significantly associated with being Muslim, being male, alcohol use, and having a greater number of sex partners in one's lifetime. The adjusted odds of current khat use was almost 7-fold higher in those having 4 or more sexual partners in their lifetime (adjusted odds ratio 6.89, 95% confidence interval 3.87, 12.25) as compared with those with 1 or none. HIV-positive status was significantly associated with age, employment, marital status, number of sex partners in one's lifetime, and khat use. Having used khat in one's lifetime, but not currently, past khat use, was associated with over a 2-fold increased adjusted odds (adjusted odds ratio 2.64, 95% confidence interval 1.13, 6.19) of being HIV-infected. Conclusions: Our findings highlight associations between current khat use and the modifiable factors of number of lifetime sexual partners and alcohol use. In addition, we observed the association between HIV status and past khat use after adjusting for age, marital status, and number of sex partners in one's lifetime.
              Sex Differences Among Opioid-Abusing Patients With Chronic Pain in a Clinical Trial        
    imageBackground: The characteristics of patients with co-occurring chronic pain and prescription opioid abuse have not been well described, and even less is known about differences between men and women in this population. Objectives: This study evaluated sex differences in the demographic, diagnostic, and behavioral attributes of patients with chronic pain and opioid abuse. Methods: Data were collected via self-report and semistructured clinical interviews from 162 patients (120 men and 42 women) who screened for a study investigating the abuse liability of prescription opioids. Results: There were no differences between men and women in age, race, education, marital status, or employment status. Participants had used prescription opioids for 5.4 ± 6.7 years. The majority of participants (60%) had low back pain in addition to opioid dependence as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition. More women reported more arthritic pain than men, but otherwise there were no differences in types of pain. Pain exerted a greater effect in women on mood, walking ability, and social relations. Men reported more of certain aberrant behaviors, including abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs, unauthorized dose increases, contact with street culture, and being arrested by police. Women were more depressed than men. Conclusions: The demographic profile of opioid-abusing patients with chronic pain presenting for treatment in a clinical trial was similar between sexes; however, some important differences were observed. Women reported more psychiatric comorbidity and endorsed greater pain-related physical and social impairment. Men reported more aberrant behaviors. These differences suggest that men with chronic pain and opioid abuse/dependence may benefit by closer monitoring of aberrant behaviors whereas women may benefit from closer attention paid to physical and psychological effects of pain.
              Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: Presentation and Treatment Considerations        
    Abstract: This clinical case conference discusses the treatment of a pregnant woman with opioid use disorder in a comprehensive care program that includes buprenorphine pharmacotherapy. The presentation summarizes common experiences that pregnant women who receive buprenorphine pharmacotherapy face, and also what their prenatally opioid-exposed children confront in the immediate postpartum period. It describes the elements of a successful comprehensive care model and corollary neonatal abstinence syndrome treatment regimen. Expert commentary is included on issues that arise in the buprenorphine induction and maintenance throughout the prenatal and postpartum periods and in the treatment of co-occurring mental health problems during both the prenatal and postpartum periods, particularly the treatment of depression. There is also expert commentary on the care of opioid-exposed neonates, with attention to the treatment for neonatal abstinence syndrome.
              Evaluating the Effectiveness of First-Time Methadone Maintenance Therapy Across Northern, Rural, and Urban Regions of Ontario, Canada        
    imageObjectives: Our objective was to determine the impact that a patient's geographic status has on the efficacy of first-time methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) retention. Methods: We conducted an observational cohort study using administrative health care databases for patients who commenced methadone therapy between 2003 and 2012. Patients were stratified on the basis of their location of residence into 1 of 4 groups—Southern Urban, Southern Rural, Northern Urban, or Northern Rural. The primary outcome was continuous retention in treatment, defined as 1 year of uninterrupted therapy on the basis of prescription refill data. Mortality was measured as a secondary outcome. Results: We identified 17,211 patients initiating first-time MMT during this 10-year period. Nearly half of patients initiating therapy in northern regions completed 1 year of treatment (48.9%; N = 258 and 47.0%; N = 761 in Northern Rural and Urban regions, respectively), whereas lower rates of 40.6% (N = 410) and 39.3% (N = 5,518) occurred in Southern Rural and Urban regions, respectively. Patients residing in Northern Rural and Northern Urban regions were 31% (adjusted odds ratio = 1.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09%–1.58%] and 14% (adjusted odds ratio = 1.14; 95% CI, 1.02%–1.27%] more likely to be retained in treatment compared with those residing in Southern Urban regions. There was no significant difference in treatment retention between those residing in Southern Rural and Southern Urban regions. A mortality rate of 3% was observed within 1 year of patients initiating treatment, with patients in the Southern Rural region having the highest rate (4.85%). Conclusions: Our study identified regional differences in retention rates and mortality of first-time MMT. These findings may relate to geographic isolation and limited methadone program availability experienced in northern regions. We interpret the data to suggest that patients who have reduced access to treatment experience higher retention rates when they are able to access therapy.
              A Survey of ASAM Members’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices in Urine Drug Testing        
    imageObjectives: Urine drug testing (UDT) can play an important role in addiction medicine. Indeed, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) recently released a white paper, detailing the history of UDT, emphasizing recent advances in the laboratory and clinical science of UDT, and discussed the potential for broadening clinical utility of UDT. We conducted a survey of ASAM members to better understand their knowledge, attitudes, and practices with regard to UDT. Methods: ASAM leadership along with clinical and laboratory experts developed a large pool of items on knowledge, attitudes, and practices around the use and implementation of UDT. These were condensed and converted to a web-based format. Two mass e-mails were sent for recruitment to the survey, with the first e-mail resulting in an open rate of 37% and the follow-up e-mail having an open rate of 34%. Results: A total of 365 respondents completed the survey, with 51% indicating they were Board Certified in Addiction Medicine/Addiction Psychiatry. Up to 93% of respondents indicated they were waivered to prescribe buprenorphine, and 20% indicated that they were certified as a Medical Review Officer (MRO). A total of 93% felt confident in their ability to interpret the results of UDT, 90% used UDT to monitor both medication and illicit substance use, and 79% either agreed (48%) or strongly agreed (31%) with the statement “it is important to do adulteration testing for aberrant behavior.” Urine drug testing was most likely to be ordered “when a patient is demonstrating problematic behavior” (70%), and for “baseline testing for new patients plus random selection of current patients” (57%). Significance: The survey revealed that UDT is widely used and highly integrated into the assessment and management of people with addictions undergoing treatment by ASAM members. Greater than 94% of respondents use testing to determine adherence, to monitor abstinence, and to detect an early relapse. The majority felt confident in their ability to interpret and use UDT results, and the vast majority had reportedly used it in changing patient management. Education gaps do exist, however, and should be the focus of future education efforts on UDT.
              The Odyssey of the Canaries in Texas and Louisiana        

    Jose Balbuena's book "Odyssey of the Canary Castilian Texas and Louisiana", is not only a publication about facts of this historical epic of the Canarian colonial America, but also serves as a picture of their offspring born in this large American territory, which have expressed pride, heritage, have been able to convey generosity. Its author is a well known and excellent journalist who joined the newspaper The Province in 1972, writing many interesting features, interviews and chronicles of travel, making it one of the first journalists of the Canary Islands in the dissemination of specialized tourism issues.


    See: http://www.anroart.com/catalogo/227 (Spanish)

              Jillian Michaels article for today        
    This one I really need from Jillian Michaels as it's apt!


    The Negativity Police
    Is your inner voice a trash-talker? If you've tried and failed to reach your fitness goals in the past, negative thoughts might have been what held you back. Want to succeed this time? Get your journal (or log on to your online Fitness Diary). It's time to get some of those thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Ask yourself the following questions:

    1. Do you have a negative sel...
              For me, My credo!        
    It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog that I’ve almost forgotten how. I don’t like to write so that is some of my problem too. I know that I’ve read articles that stated that writing blogs and or in a journal helps you to keep on the right path of where you want to go in your life. I have never done that. Maybe that has been some of my problem in my life. I won’t go into detail but I have had a hard life since leaving my parents house so many years ago. Not that it was pleasant in...
              UM Journalism School Celebrates Its 100th Anniversary        
    A 100th anniversary celebration for the University of Montana’s Journalism School took place at the state capitol today. It was 1914 when Dean Arthur Stone set up tents for journalism classes on the Missoula campus because no classrooms were available for the program’s twelve students. By the mid-seventies, when the Watergate scandal turned reporters into heroes, enrollment hit three hundred students. Today the UM Journalism program counts several Pulitzer Prize winners among its alumni. At today’s ceremony in the state capitol, Governor Steve Bullock praised the reputation UM's Journalis school has earned. “You’ve set a model that’s contrary to the sensationalist trends in national media, that sets out to fear-monger and confuse. Instead you seek to clarify, to educate, and to engage," Bullock said. The ceremony not only paid tribute to the UM Journalism program, but also to some of Montana’s best-known reporters: Capitol correspondents Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison, both Montana
              Election Day Preview With Dennis Swibold And Christopher Muste        
    Our national election coverage will begin at 6:00 p.m. with NPR’s election night special coverage.Coverage of local races starts at 8:00 p.m., and we’ll have local reports and analysis every thirty minutes until at least 10:00 p.m.We’ll have reporters in Helena and Bozeman. Here in Missoula, Edward O’Brien will host our coverage. Joining him in the studio will be our Senior News Analyst Sally Mauk. We’ll get additional analysis from two professors of journalism and political science at the University of Montana, who sat down earlier with our News Director Eric Whitney. Swibold and Muste also talked with Eric Whitney about the non-partisan Montana Supreme Court race that has attracted so much outside money.
              Montana Public Radio Hires Health Reporter As News Director        
    Eric Whitney, a radio reporter covering health issues for NPR and Kaiser Health News, will join Montana Public Radio as News Director on September 1st. Whitney replaces Sally Mauk who retired in May.MTPR General Manager William Marcus says the station’s search committee was pleased with the number of highly qualified applicants for the position and that Whitney stood out. “Eric has spent most of his 20-year public radio career reporting from and about the west,” Marcus said. “He’s a proven professional and I’m confident he will carry on MTPR’s strong tradition of excellence in public radio journalism.”Before his free-lance work for NPR and Kaiser Health News, Whitney reported for Colorado Public Radio and started the News Department at public station KRCC in Colorado Springs. He also served as Assistant News Director for High Plains News in Billings.Whitney says he looks forward to his move back to Montana. “I'm really excited about becoming part of Montana Public Radio and look
              How incredibly odd it is to see Sally Mauk's empty office.        
    This is Edward O'Brien from the MTPR newsroom. I've worked for Sally for some 20-years. Over the past several weeks we've heard from so many of you who will miss her thoughtful interviews, intelligent conversations and journalistic integrity. I will too, but let me tell you about something you may not know; and that is just how humane a boss - and friend - she is. One brief example: just over three years ago, I made the agonizing decision to end the suffering of my beautiful, big-headed and unbelievably sweet Rottweiler, Sadie. I was a wreck; heartbroken, miserable and depressed. I couldn't concentrate on anything, much less go on the air. Some things I just can't fake. I had some annual leave saved up and asked Sally for a couple of days off to mourn and pull it together. Without hesitation - and with a long hug - she gave me a week. How many bosses would do that? And that's only one example of her generosity. When I thanked her on my return, she just said: “No problem. We all have
              New Study Finds Youth Football Players Have Significant Differences in Head Impact Exposure        
    A study of 97 youth football players ages 9 to 13 years who participated in different age- and weight- based levels over four seasons of play found that that youngsters experienced a total of 40,538 head impacts. Measures of linear head acceleration and the number of impacts per player in competition versus practice sessions differed significantly depending on the youngsters' age/weight level, as reported in the study published in the June issue of the Journal of Neurotrauma. 
              Reduction of Post -Traumatic Stress Symptoms Associated with Non-invasive Neurotechnology        
    A closed-loop acoustic stimulation brainwave technology significantly reduced symptoms in people suffering from post-traumatic stress in a small pilot study conducted at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The study is published in the April 19 online edition of the journal BMC Psychiatry. 
              Wake Forest Baptist’s AirCare Flight Team Brings Home the Gold Two Years in a Row        
    For the second straight year, four flight paramedics with AirCare Critical Care Transport Services at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have won a national competition of professional emergency medical services teams. Roger Horton, NREMT-P, Barry McMillian, NREMT-P, Robert Coleson, NREMT-P, and Justin Bowers, NREMT-P – all of whom are stationed at the AirCare base at the Elkin Municipal Airport in Surry County – placed first in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) 2017 Games Advanced Clinical Competition, held in Salt Lake City at the end of February. The competition attracted 24 teams from across the country and around the world.
              New perspectives on career coaching – NICEC journal        
    Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling March 2013 | issue 30 New perspectives on career coaching This edition contains the latest thinking on career coaching. It features the results of a recent survey and papers focused on practice in public and private sector contexts. There are also new conceptual pieces and contributions from […]
              Bullet Journal        
    Aqui você encontra cadernos estilosos para fazer seu “bullet journal”. Veja: Para encomendar o seu, clique aqui.
              Baaziz @ dimanche 20 novembre 2016, 11:57        
    Suite aux derniers classements de US news (http://www.usnews.com/education/best-global-universities/africa?page=2), l'idée de fusion des universités au Maroc peut être une solution pour grimper dans les rangs. L'exemple de l'actuelle Université Mohammed V (fusion de 2 universités précédentes, Agdal et Souissi) en est un exemple. L'université Mohamed V a occupé le rang 15 en Afrique. Ce sont toujours les Universités anglophones qui enregistrent les meilleurs classements. Lire l'article du 13 Novembre 2016 'Les world rankings, un gage d’excellence pour les universités', lien: http://lematin.ma/journal/2016/les-world-rankings-un-gage--d-excellence-pour-les-universites/257972.html La nouvelle gouvernance des universités semble donner ses premiers fruits. Pour la première fois de son histoire le nom d’une université marocaine figure dans le classement mondial de l’US News and World Report Global Ranking. Et c’est l’Université Mohammed V qui a pu réaliser ce sacre en se plaçant première au Maroc et au Maghreb, 15e en Afrique et 866e dans le monde.
               Across the EU studies-new regionalism frontier: invitation to a dialogue         
    Warleigh-Lack, Alex and Rosamond, Ben. (2010) Across the EU studies-new regionalism frontier: invitation to a dialogue. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol.48 (No.4). pp. 993-1013. ISSN 0021-9886
               The uniting of Europe and the foundation of EU studies: revisiting the neofunctionalism of Ernst B. Haas         
    Rosamond, Ben. (2005) The uniting of Europe and the foundation of EU studies: revisiting the neofunctionalism of Ernst B. Haas. Journal of European Public Policy, Vol.12 (No.2). pp. 237-254. ISSN 1350-1763
              Hexavalent Chromium-6 Found in 31 U.S. Cities’ Tap Water        
    The cancer causing chemical compound Hexavalent Chromium has tainted the tap water of many US Cities. The drinking water safety of Americans is not getting any better as previously thought. Erin Brockovich’s job is not done PBS‘s investigative journalism is exposing the truth about our drinking water safety. This graph represents the amounts of chromium […]

              Nationally-televised interview with Liberal MP for Goldstein Tim 'Freedom Boy' Wilson that lasted just 22.55 seconds and 66 words        

    New Matilda, 3 August 2017:

    Sky News journalist Peter van Onselen had invited the loyal Liberal Party politician onto his program to discuss marriage equality, a burning topic in politics at the moment as Wilson’s colleagues seek to try and delay or sink momentum for enabling legislation.

    Wilson is gay, so he’s an obvious choice for an interview, and van Onselen wasted no time in getting straight to the point.

    VAN ONSELEN: Thanks very much for your company, do you like the idea of a secret ballot in the party room?

    TIM WILSON: Thanks Peter. I said everything I had to say on this issue and I make no plans to make any other comment at this time. I’d rather talk about something else that actually matters to the Australian population – the economy, energy prices, what’s going on with Labor’s tax slug, you pick it, I’m happy to talk about it. I’ve said what I’ve said on this issue.

    VAN ONSELEN: Tim Wilson thanks for your company.

    TIM WILSON: [Pause] That’s alright, pleasure.



    Does this interview rank as the shortest Australian political interview on record?


              Quotes of the Week        

    “These days, it's not just leftie troublemakers who doubt that benefits going direct to big business will trickle down to the rest of us, it's every punter in the street.”  [Economics Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald, Ross Gittins, 24 July 2017]

    “Six months into his presidency, Donald Trump is saddled with a stalled agenda, a West Wing that resembles a viper’s nest, a pile of investigations and a Republican Party that is starting to break away.”  [Journalists Julie Pace and Jonathan Lemire writing in The Washington Post, 29 July 2017]

    “This White House is broken, perhaps beyond repair. It can’t do anything right. It can’t issue executive orders that are enforceable. It can’t pass legislation. It can’t prioritize the president’s agenda. It can’t get anybody on the same page. In a normal White House, all of those things flow from an empowered White House chief of staff who can execute the president’s agenda and most importantly tell him what he does not want to hear. And none of that is happening.”  [Author Chris Whipple quoted in The Washington Post, 31 July 2017]

    “Yeah. He’s like a conveyor belt for bad overseas ideas.” [Journalist Richard Chirgwin tweeting about Australian Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull on 2 August 2017]

    “By August 2 2017, we will have used more from Nature than our planet can renew in the whole year…..This means that in seven months, we emitted more carbon than the oceans and forests can absorb in a year, we caught more fish, felled more trees, harvested more, and consumed more water than the Earth was able to produce in the same period.” [World Wildlife Fund quoted in the Independent on 2 August 2017]

              Veterans Day conversation with photojournalist (and Marine) David Douglas Duncan        
    The Ransom Center holds the archive of American photojournalist and author David Douglas Duncan, including his images of World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars. In honor of Veterans Day, Ransom Center Research Curator of Photography Roy Flukinger asked Duncan about photography, being a Marine, his experiences as a combat photographer, and his […]

              PODCAST: Spacing Radio 014, Summer Reading Series, Part I        
    Part One of our Summer Reading Series! We speak to Toronto journalist Jackie Burns about her children’s book “The Condo Kids: adventures with Bob the Barbary sheep,” and about raising a family in the dense urban core. And we speak to beer experts Robin Leblanc and Jordan St. John about the “Ontario Craft Beer Guide,” […]
              2007 in Retrospect        

    As I did in 2006, here's my review of 2007. For some strange reason, I decided to make some New Year Resolutions in 2006. How did I do? I said I'd do more unit testing - and I did, but there's always room for more unit testing. I said I'd do more open source. Well, I released Fusebox 5.1 and Fusebox 5.5 as well as my Scripting project and a cfcUnit facade for CFEclipse so I think I did alright there. I also said I'd do more Flex and write some Apollo (now AIR) applications. I didn't do so well on those two! I think I'll revert to my usual practice of not making resolutions this year...

    2007 was certainly a year of great change for me, leaving Adobe in April (a hot thread with 62 comments!) to become a freelance consultant, focusing on ColdFusion and application architecture. I also worked part-time on a startup through the Summer but consulting has been my main focus and continues to be my total business as we move into 2008.

    2007 also saw me getting much more involved with the ColdFusion community, rejoining all the mailing lists that I hadn't had time to read with my role at Adobe, becoming an Adobe Community Expert for ColdFusion and then taking over as manager of the Bay Area ColdFusion User Group.

    I also got to speak at a lot of conferences in 2007:

    I also attended the Adobe Community Summit which was excellent!

    ColdFusion frameworks were also very busy in 2007:

    Adobe was extremely busy too:

    • Apollo (AIR) hit labs in March
    • The Scorpio prerelease tour (Ben came to BACFUG in April) with the ColdFusion 8 Public Beta in May and the full release in July
    • Creative Suite 3
    • Flex began its journey to open source
    • The Flex 3 and AIR Beta releases
    • Adobe Share

    I had a number of rants:

    Other good stuff from 2007:


              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.


              El video y la nueva generación de podcasts        
    The Wall Street Journal publicó un artículo sobre cómo las nuevas estrategias de negocios y publicitarias pueden aprovechar la generación emergente de podcasts multimedia. El video ha renovado para siempre a los podcasts, impactando sensiblemente en el marketing online. Los podcasts -que en abril de 2006 ya habían superado a la cantidad de emisoras de …
              Medios 3.0, política 2.0: The Sun publica el primer podcast de Tony Blair        
    El diario inglés The Sun acaba de publicar el primer podcast de Tony Blair, primer ministro británico e invasor irakí. Se trata de una mini entrevista de unos cinco minutos de duración, realizada por el editor de política de ese medio, George Pascoe-Watson. – Tony Blair podcast Vía | journalism.co.uk Enlaces relacionados: ¿Qué es un …
              ESM's QuickLessons A DearMYRTLE Genealogy Study Group Lesson 21 and Writing Historical Biography        


    Hilary Gadsby

    QuickLesson 21: Citing DNA Evidence: Five Ground Rules    
    Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 21: Citing DNA Evidence: Five Ground Rules,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-21-citing-dna-evidence-five-ground-rules : accessed 24 Sept 2016).     
    and
    Writing Historical Biography
    Elizabeth Shown Mills, “Writing Historical Biography," Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/quicktips/writing-historical-biography : accessed 24 Sept 2016).


    Welcome to my final blogpost for this study group.

    I looked at these topics and thought how can I relate these to my own research. I have not done any genetic testing of either myself or any close relatives and I have not as yet attempted to write a historical biography.

    So I cannot write from experience but I can say what I understand and how I would approach this.

    ESM mentions "five basic ground rules"

    Evidence versus citation

    All we do when we write a citation is identify our source. In relation to DNA results these will have been analysed and presented in a particular format we cite how they have been presented to us (what we see). 

    DNA is evidence

    We take information we find in our source and use what it is telling us in building the evidence supporting or refuting our assertion. The same as any other source.

    Citation to support an assertion

    The information may need further analysis, to provide us with the evidence to support or refute an assertion that X is related to Y, but this is what we can add to our dicussion rather than a citation. Whatever the outcome of the discussion citing the source will not change.

    What are you citing?

    How has the result of the test been communicated to you. Have you been presented with a comparison to others held in a database?

    You may need to explain what you are citing

    Some citations are in need of explanation it may not simply be a case of including a name and date. We include sufficient information to clarify any specific item of interest.

    The only thing I will add here as I have no specific example is that when we are dealing with genetics we are using information from living or sometimes recently deceased individuals. Given that even if an individual is now deceased they may still have close living relations we need to ensure we follow the guidelines. Elizabeth Shown Mills has a number of publications available including one on genetic sources and there is information available on the website for International Society of Genetic Genealogy.



    Historical Biography

    Whilst I have not as yet written any biography be it my own or anyone in my family I have used some of the records suggested.
    If we wish to present an interesting picture of our family to others, be they family or friends, then we need to include more than a list of dry facts and possibly a few photographs. Technology may allow us to present things in a more interactive manner but first we need to find the information.
    Census information, certificates, church registers tell us who was related to whom and when births, marriages and deaths may have occurred but they tell us little about how our family lived and interacted with others in their community. It is likely that our own lives have changed considerably over our lifetime and the same is likely true for our ancestors.
    Whilst we may not have met someone we may still be able to build up some kind of picture of the life he may have lead.

    I will show you an example from the half brother of my great grandfather Rowland Curtis.
    We find his memorial at Find A Grave in Warminster.
    This is incomplete and tells little about who he was and the family he had and any struggles he may have faced. He is recorded in the Family Search Family Tree with the currently available documents.

    I have not included what I have found in the newspapers and books about Warminster.
    It appears that this family were mentioned in the newspapers on several occasions.
    The local newspaper is The Warminster and Westbury Journal and a search at Find My Past in the British Newspaper Archive returns several results.
    They even made a national paper known as Lloyds News. The local paper included a copy of the original but unfortunately without the photograph.





    "London Interviewer's Visit to Warminster," The Warminster and Westbury Journal, 28 March 1908, p. 6 col 3;digital images, Find My Past.co.uk (http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 26 Sept 2016), British Newspaper Archive Collection.

    So what do I need to do with this information? 
    What else do I need to look for and how can I get this in to a format that the family will find interesting? 
    I have found a photograph of the family in a copyrighted book page 112. There are also photographs of another family member on pages 58 and 59 in the same book. Danny Howell. Yesterday's Warminster (Buckingham, England: Barracuda Books Limited, 1987)

    I am using Twile to collaborate with the family and I am going to add these to the website to help the family know more about who these people were and how they lived. I am always looking for more information and because it is a private website copyright issues may be less of an issue.  
    I can share more in a private invitation only area than on public trees and I hope that it will be able to connect to my blogs and other sites to avoid duplication. The timelines and maps along with historical information can really bring our own history in to context.
    There are plans for Twile to connect with Family Search but I will tackle any issues, I might have, if they become a problem. 

    Like many I have gathered the information to write more about my ancestors but have rarely pulled it together to create something more this is something I hope to do on my family blog, maybe I should start with Rowland Curtis, but hey I have already started.



              TIME Magazine Poses Five Reasons for Death Penalty Decline        

    In a cover story for TIME Magazine, award-winning journalist and TIME editor-at-large David Von Drehle explores the decline of capital punishment in the U.S.  Von Drehle offers five significant reasons for the drop in death sentences, executions, and public support for the death penalty in the United States. First, he cites persistent problems with the administration of the death penalty: botched executions and a lengthy appeals process that fails to identify wrongful convictions for decades, if at all. Second, he points to the falling crime rate, showing that support for the death penalty has closely tracked the national murder rate throughout the 20th century. The third reason Von Drehle gives is the erosion of the justification for capital punishment. Life without parole sentences provide an alternative way to ensure that a murderer will never be released and an equivalent to "[w]hatever deterrent capital punishment provides." He also describes the historical use of executions as a tool of white supremacy. While he notes that "the overt racism of the old order is now plainly unconstitutional," the system remains plagued by economic bias, as a result of which "[t]hose without the capital get the punishment." Fourth, he highlights the financial cost of the death penalty, which has led some prosecutors to decide that death sentences are simply not a priority within a constrained budget. Finally, he says, "Actions of the legislatures, lower-court judges and governors can all be read by the Supreme Court as signs of 'evolving standards of decency' in society," which the U.S. Supreme Court may eventually see as justification for striking down capital punishment. He concludes, "The facts are irrefutable, and the logic is clear. Exhausted by so many years of trying to prop up this broken system, the court will one day throw in the towel."

    (D. Von Drehle, "The Death of the Death Penalty," TIME Magazine, June 8, 2015.) See Arbitrariness and History of the Death Penalty.


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

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

    Alienation of islanders

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

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

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

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

    Islands turn colonies

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

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

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

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

    Leave them alone

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

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

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

    Languages: 
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              Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly S01E06-E08 720p WEB x264-CookieMonster        
    Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly is a news-magazine talk show that will provide fresh, sharp journalism reporting the stories of our time. Links: HOMEPAGE – TVDB Sunday.Night.with.Megyn.Kelly.S01E06-E08.WEB.x264-CookieMonster MKV | AAC VBR | 3EP(1.74GB) NFO – Torrent Search – UPLOADGiG – NiTROFLARE – RAPiDGATOR Sunday.Night.with.Megyn.Kelly.S01E06-E08.720p.WEB.x264-CookieMonster MKV | AAC VBR | 3EP(2.38GB) NFO – Torrent Search – UPLOADGiG – NiTROFLARE – RAPiDGATOR
              Springer Publishing Continues AJN BOTY Winning Streak With Eleven Awards, Six First-Place Wins        

    Springer Publishing Company is excited to announce that the American Journal of Nursing (AJN) has chosen ten of its titles as winners of the 2016 AJN Book of the Year awards in their respective categories. With eleven awards and six first-place wins, Springer Publishing can celebrate more this year than any other winning publisher. 2017 also marks the fifth year in a row in which Springer Publishing has been the most awarded nursing publisher.

    The winning titles are:

    First Place Winners:

    Second Place Winners:

    Third Place Winners:

    Since 1969, the AJN Book of the Year awards have honored the best nursing books published, today encompassing 20 distinct categories. The top three books in each category are selected by a panel of experts in each field.

                      
    I LOVE ONTD_EXTREME
              "Lean on Me" - circa 2008?        
    This story likely warmed the hearts of NY Times readers:
    Junior High School 22, in the South Bronx, had run through six principals in just over two years when Shimon Waronker was named the seventh.

    On his first visit, in October 2004, he found a police officer arresting a student and calling for backup to handle the swelling crowd. Students roamed the hallways with abandon; in one class of 30, only 5 students had bothered to show up. “It was chaos,” Mr. Waronker recalled. “I was like, this can’t be real.”

    Teachers, parents and students at the school, which is mostly Hispanic and black, were equally taken aback by the sight of their new leader: A member of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect of Hasidic Judaism with a beard, a black hat and a velvet yarmulke.

    “The talk was, ‘You’re not going to believe who’s running the show,’ ” said Lisa DeBonis, now an assistant principal.

    At a time when the Bloomberg administration has put principals at the center of its efforts to overhaul schools, making the search for great school leaders more pressing than ever, the tale of Mr. Waronker shows that sometimes, the most unlikely of candidates can produce surprising results.

    Despite warnings from some in the school system that Mr. Waronker was a cultural mismatch for a predominantly minority school, he has outlasted his predecessors, and test scores have risen enough to earn J.H.S. 22 an A on its new school report card. The school, once on the city’s list of the 12 most dangerous, has since been removed.
    So, apparently against all expectations, an identifiably Chassidic principal is able to turn around a failing school district - despite what appears to have been the skepticism of so many:
    Mr. Waronker, 39, a former public school teacher, was in the first graduating class of the New York City Leadership Academy, which Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg created in 2003 to groom promising principal candidates. Considered one of the stars, he was among the last to get a job, as school officials deemed him “not a fit” in a city where the tensions between blacks and Hasidic Jews that erupted in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in 1991 are not forgotten.

    “They just said he may be terrific, but not the right person for that school,” Chancellor Klein said.
    No matter how benignly expressed, I feel that the opinion that Mr. Waronker was not fit for a job due to his religious views is nothing short of veiled discrimination. The excuse that it was simply a realistic view of the situation is obviously belied by the success Waronker has seen at his post.

    Even more heart-warming than the soft-peddled discrimination of school officials is the wonderful spirit of tolerance in which Mr. Waronker was accepted by some of the school's parent body:
    Some parents at J.H.S. 22, also called Jordan L. Mott, were suspicious, viewing Mr. Waronker as too much an outsider. In fact, one parent, Angie Vazquez, 37, acknowledged that her upbringing had led her to wonder: “Wow, we’re going to have a Jewish person, what’s going to happen? Are the kids going to have to pay for lunch?”
    Um, is this what passes as hard-hitting journalism these days? A quote that shows that there are people who feel perfectly comfortable being quoted, by name, as believing that old canard about Jews and money - while the paper asserts that such bigotry is nothing more than "suspicion" based on the woman's "upbringing"? Is there any way, shape or form that had this comment been made by an Orthodox Jew, spewing racist or discriminatory stereotypes about another minority group, that it would have been buried in the middle of the story as a perfectly reasonable "suspicion" instead of actually being the story? Perhaps some of that extreme political correctness that seems to be going around could be applied across the board? Maybe?

    Either way, these two minor quibbles should not take away from the spirit of acceptance and harmony in which this story should be read. Regardless of the low expectations that appear to have been shared by so many regarding both Mr. Waronker and the students of JHS 22, they seem to have together defied the conventional wisdom in their district and achieved, in a scene out of some 2008 version of Lean on Me - starring Matisyahu instead of Morgan Freeman as the embattled but ultimately successful principal - real progress.

    I wish both students and principal more of the same continued success in the future.
              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!
              Book Review        
    I just finished a quick but well-written book over the weekend that I thought I would recommend to my readers. The title is Not Me by Michael Lavigne. The story is told from the vantage point of Michael, a middle-aged Jewish comedian, separated from his wife and son, and tending to his dying father. His father, who has always presented himself as a Holocaust survivor, hands Michael a box of journals which contain some writings with some pretty stunning clues as to the man's wartime activities, which leaves Michael struggling to connect the dots as to the truth about his father's past. The journals recount the story of a Nazi accountant who worked in a concentration camp, and then manages to escape the Allies at the end of the war by impersonating a Jewish Holocaust survivor and emigrating to what was then Palestine. The narrative is complicated by the question of whether the journals are works of fiction, or his father's actual memoirs of his experiences during the wartime years, and the story works through the confusion from the son's perspective nicely. What's interesting is how the author, in telling the story, seems to blur the line between victim and perpetrator until the reader's sympathies become a bit mixed up - and I am quite sure that that is not entirely a good thing when it comes to the subject matter at hand. Though one certainly feels some sympathies toward the father in the novel, and the author certainly works hard to make the point that there is a large gray area between what's "right" and what's "wrong", as well as how subjective the concept of identity can be, it was hard for me to see the father as having been an altruistic character, despite him being portrayed as being a devout Jew and having been involved in many Jewish causes in later life. That said, I would obviously never suggest that every literary work has to have some sort of moral message - so the book is still worth a read even if I can't empathize with some of the characters as the author seems to expect us to. The book also includes some interesting tensions between three generations' worth of father-son relationships.

    The book actually reminded me of a different book I had recently read, Those Who Save Us, which tells a similar story of a grown child uncovering some long-buried secrets regarding a parent's wartime activities - in this case, a daughter about a mother. In terms of the actual secrets being uncovered, the author of this book does not have to work as hard to blur the line between victim and perpetrator - the mother of the main character is clearly a victim, despite her wartime activities in which she has an affair with a Nazi officer out of self-preservation - as well as a hero - in her own right, as compared to the father in Not Me, who I cannot characterize as showing any heroism throughout the book. Also, in Those Who Save Us, though the mother is portrayed as a sympathetic character, there is no attempt whatsoever to mitigate the evil in the portrayal of any Nazi sympathizers or Nazis proper, as there is in the pages of Not Me.

    All in all, both books are worth picking up, though I wouldn't recommend reading them back-to-back, as the similarity in themes might get a bit repetitive.

    If anyone has read either/both of these books and would like to treat this thread as an impromptu book-club meeting, feel free. I would be happy to join in.
              2016 New Acquisitions / 7 Years of PLL!!!!!!!        
     I have no excuse! I have been very behind on accessioning books into the Library. Okay - one excuse is the lack of available shelf-space. I am working on making space on the shelf for all of these books. Pictured above are four books in the Robert Smithson Collection:

    Mallarmé by Guy Michaud (also below, such a beautiful cover!)
    New Lives, New Landscapes by Nan Fairbrother
    American Space by John Jackson
    The Watershed: A Biography of Johannes Kepler by Arthur Koestler

     More from the Robert Smithson Collection:

    The Artist's World in Pictures by Fred McDurrah
    Jackson Pollock: Energy Made Visible by B.H. Friedman
    Modern Artists in America, vol. 1, edited by Robert Motherwell and Ad Reinhardt
    Object & Idea: An Art Critic's Journal 1961-1967 by Brian O'Doherty

    Below is a spread in the "Women Artists" (hmmm) chapter of The Artist's World in Pictures.

     Below are more art books from the Smithson Collection:

    Turner: His Life & Work by Jack Lindsay
    Matisse by Jacques Lassaigne
    Matisse and the Nude by Alan Bowness
    Art & Visual Perception by Rudolf Arnheim

    One of the loveliest spreads in a book - from Lassaigne's Matisse - seen above.

     Gardening & Gardens! (from Smithson's Collection):

    Lawns & Ground Covers by James Crockett
    Italian Gardens by Georgiana Masson
    Gardens of England & Wales Open to the Public by National Gardens Scheme
    Garden Making by Example by G.C. Taylor

    Below, an example of what you can learn from Lawns & Ground Covers:
     
     At this point, just assume these books are from the Smithson Collection, unless I say otherwise:

    Let's Explore Indian Villages by Bertha Dutton
    Dictionary of Geological Terms by American Geological Institute
    Clocks & Watches by Chester Johnson
    Easy Guide to Merida, Yucatan and Nearby Archaeological Zones by Richard Bloomgarden





    Insect Ways by Clarence Weed
    The Observer's Book of Common Insects and Spiders by E.F. Linssen
    The Ants by Wilhelm Goetsch

    From Maria Mitchell's Collection - one of the most incredible astronomy books in the PLL holdings! This is truly a book to see in person:

    Outlines of Astronomy by Sir John Herschel

    Not pictured, but also accessioned:

    The Social History of Art, vol. 2 by Arnold Hauser (Robert Smithson Collection)
    Geography of the Heavens by Elijah Burritt (Maria Mitchell Collection)

    For any questions about the Library, the Collections, membership, or to check out a book, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com.

              September New Acquisitions!        
    As we head into Autumn, I found a moment to accession the PLL's newest batch of books. All but one are from the Robert Smithson Collection. The following, Spectrum Analysis by Henry Roscoe, is from the Maria Mitchell Collection. This beautiful volume has multiple color images of spectra, such as the "Spectra of the Metals of the Alkalies & Alkaline Earths:"

    A grouping of blue covers
    include:
    The Antarctic Challenged by Admiral Lord Mountevans
    Module, Proportion, Symmetry, Rhythm by Gyorgy Kepes
    The Mystery of Matter, edited by Louise Young

    Kepes founded the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT; his research can be seen in these book spreads:

    A group of grey covers
    include:

    Notebooks 1914-1917 by Ludwig Wittgenstein
    The Cardinal Points of Borges, edited by L. Dunham and Ivar Ivask
    Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

    The last groupings contain

    Revolution for the Hell of It by Free (Abbie Hoffman)
    Shells & Shelling by Ralph Barrett
    Trees of North America by C. Frank Brockman
    The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things by George Kubler
    Art and Culture by Clement Greenberg
    Paul Gauguin's Intimate Journals by Gauguin

    Shells & Shelling is a comprehensive guide that is beautifully designed:

    For any questions about the Library, the Collections, membership, or to check out a book, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com.


              The Debut Issue of The Perfume Magazine, a Great Fragrant Launch        


    O Perfume da Rosa Negra tem o orgulho de comunicar aos nossos leitores o lançamento da The Perfume Magazine, um momento muito marcante e especial na história moderna da perfumaria que se constrói continuamente com pessoas cada vez mais apaixonadas, formadoras de opinião e dedicadas a contribuir para a propagação da Arte da Perfumaria, sua indústria, seus profissionais e amantes de fragrâncias e sua cultura.

    Quero convidá-los a nos visitar na The Perfume Magazine, uma revista online sobre perfumes, de qualidade excepcional, feita com muito amor, dedicação e profissionalismo e dirigida pela minha estimada editora Raphaella Barkley e o Managing Director Mark David Boberick. Agradeço aos editores e colaboradores pelo fantástico lançamento e trabalho em equipe para torná-la fabulosa, além de agradecer a Raphaella pelo reconhecimento à minha paixão e trabalho com perfumaria, contribuindo para esta maravilhosa revista  na direção de Cultura de Perfume. Na edição de Début, você poderá conferir artigos, resenhas e entrevistas incríveis como as dos perfumistas Mona di Orio e Bertrand Duchaufour e da niche italiana Eau D' Italie. Você não pode perder este momento emblemático, a edição está sublime e perfumada!

    Por amor Ã  Perfumaria e ao orgulho de fazer parte de um time global de jornalistas e colaboradores  que escrevem sobre perfumes, desejo que vocês, queridos leitores, possam conhecer e se apaixonar por fragrâncias, mais e mais e contribuam como conhecedores, usuários e amantes dos perfumes para propagar esta cultura de incalculável valor que nos fascina a cada dia, a cada perfume.


    Um abraço e nos vemos na The Perfume Magazine!



    Cristiane Gonçalves, Rosa Negra
    Editora Sênior
    Diretora de Cultura de Perfume
    The Perfume Magazine


    (English Version)

    Perfume da Rosa Negra is proud of announcing to our readers the début issue of The Perfume Magazine, a very remarkable and special moment in the history of the modern perfumery which is built continuously by people that are more and more passionate for fragrances, opinion makers and dedicated to contribute to the communication of this wonderful Perfumery Art, its industry, professionals, fragrance lovers and culture.
     
    I invite you to visit us in the Perfume Magazine, an online fragrance mag of outstanding quality, made with much love, dedication and professionalism and directed by my dear Editor Raphaella Barkley and the Managing Director Mark David Boberick. I thank all the staff, magazine editors and contributors for this amazing launch and workteam to become this début fabulous, besides I  thank specially Raphaella in recognising my passion and work in perfumery now that I contribute to this wonderful magazine in the direction of Perfume Culture. In the debut of this edition, you can read must read articles, reviews and interviews. Perfumers Mona di Orio and Bertrand Duchaufor and the italian niche perfume house Eau D'Italie are there. You cannot miss it, this issue is sublime and fragrant!
     
    For the love of perfumery and the proud of being part of a global team of journalists and contributors that write about perfumes, I wish you my dear readers that you know and fall in love by fragrances, more and more, and contribute as connaisseurs, wearers and lovers of perfumes to tell the world this valuable scented culture that fascinates us from, in each day, in each perfume.



    A Hug and see you in The Perfume Magazine!


    Cristiane Gonçalves, Rosa Negra
    Senior Editor
    Director of Perfume Culture
    The Perfume Magazine


              Journalier de production - Exceldor - Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, QC        
    Les journaliers occupent différentes fonctions dans l’usine au niveau de la production et de la transformation des volailles. Ces emplois peuvent exiger des $12.53 - $14.45 an hour
    From Exceldor - Thu, 13 Apr 2017 07:38:41 GMT - View all Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, QC jobs
              Journalier - Exceldor - Saint-Damase, QC        
    Les journaliers(ères) à la production occupent différentes fonctions dans l'usine tant au niveau de la réception des volailles, de l'éviscération et de la $15.76 an hour
    From Exceldor - Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:31:16 GMT - View all Saint-Damase, QC jobs
              Journalier - Étudiant - Exceldor - Saint-Damase, QC        
    Nous sommes présentement à la recherche d'étudiant(e)s disponibles pour travailler à temps plein durant la période estivale sur une chaîne de transformation $13.79 an hour
    From Exceldor - Tue, 09 May 2017 13:19:55 GMT - View all Saint-Damase, QC jobs
              Mirrorman Journal        
    The city is lost, even those few souls worth saving, have been corrupted. I call them ?malignant allies?, those that still claim to be true humans, but their views have been so changed by living among the zombies that no difference exists anymore. I have no fear I will suffer the same fate, I don?t live among the zombies, I live where none dare, I live on the fringe of death. I look into the eyes of zombies and I see darkness, where the malignant allies see a semblance of life, I give see none.

    I am the Mirrorman, and the evil of the zombies cannot harm me. They fear to look upon my mask, and see their true being, not the walking dead, but just dead.

    I am the Mirrorman and I reflect the true nature of all that look upon me.

              Mirrormans Journal Feb - 2009        
    The den of evil has become a bastion of vice. Low life punks, small time drug dealers, and anarchists are now the honored guests in board rooms and the cabinets of leaders.Freedom has lost its meaning. Freedom of choice is nothing with out discipline.When you give up discipline you hand authority to the government to make laws and enforce them, because you lack the discipline to do what is right.A psychologist looks into the souls of men and sees the evil that is there. I'm the Mirror Man, I show it back.
              Annual Mormon Book Review        

    Carrying on from last year's review of David Robert's Devil's Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy, here is a second review of another Mormon-centered book. Enjoy!

    Jared Farmer. On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008. 455 pages. Cloth: Alkaline Paper. $29.95.


    From the early days of the inception of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS), the Mormons were concerned with place-making. Joseph Smith, the religion’s founder, initially identified Jackson County, Missouri as the “center place,” where the Garden of Eden had once stood. However, the devout were soon thrown out of the state by the governor, and moved on to Nauvoo, Illinois. Later, after Smith was assassinated, the new Mormon leader, Brigham Young, turned his gaze farther west and in 1846-1847 led a party of followers to Utah, which he claimed as “Deseret”—their Zion. There, the Saints found their “place apart” from the rest of the world.

    Jared Farmer’s 2008 book On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape adroitly traces Mormon place-making in Utah. His story is ostensibly about Mount Timpanogos, a landmark known as “Timp” that unites the skyline above Orem and Provo. But the history involves much more than the mountain. It is a microcosm of Angloamerican settlement in the west. Using a singular landmark, Farmer delves into the importance of creating place out of space. He asks why Mount Timpanogos usurped the importance of the historically and agriculturally significant Lake Utah, and how the Mormon settlers manipulated their turbulent history with the Ute Indians in order to make myths and claim places as their own. The book deals with two centuries of history, as well as the interaction between varied cultures and the sometimes contradictory dogma of the LDS Church. Though complex, On Zion’s Mount is a wonderfully executed book—well written, insightful, and an excellent example of how to use local history to illuminate greater historical narratives.

    The book is divided into three sections, each focusing on a different step in the climb to the veneration of “Timp.” The first, “Liquid Antecedents,” deals with the early history of the Ute Indians and the Mormons. It also concentrates on how bodies of water were significant to residents and settlers in the Utah Valley. This section is compelling, as Farmer explains just how distinct the freshwater Lake Utah was in the arid Great Basin. The lake was a natural landmark for the Utes, who relied heavily on its plentiful supply of fish. In the mid-1800s, it became a landmark for the Mormons, who arrived predisposed to seek out monuments in their new “holy land.”

    Despite the Mormons’ intention to find a locale that was disconnected from the rest of the world, the Utah Valley, where the first waves of Mormons settled, was not a “place apart.” It was populated with Ute Indians, who had lived in the area for centuries. The wellspring for many of these Utes was Utah Lake, a freshwater reservoir southeast of the Great Salt Lake. The Indians there called themselves Timpanogos Nuche—“Rocky River Fish Eaters.” They identified themselves in connection with the body of water. The Mormons entered into an unstable relationship with the Timpanogos; an association characterized by violent fits, uneasy alliances, and contradictory feelings. This fluctuating friendship came with a bond to Utah Lake.

    Both the Timpanogos and the Mormons emphasized the importance of place. The Utes classified bands by “geographic food names” like “Lake People” and “Fish-Eaters.” (25) The Saints were concerned with place as it related to Millenialism. While other religions affected by the Second Great Awakening believed in a prediction of when Christ would return, the Mormons were concerned with where. (36) When the Mormons arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, the hot springs, streams, and of course the Great Salt Lake all contributed to the Saints’ belief that they had found their promised land. In the waters they took healing baths, baptized their children, and fished. These same waters had been frequented by the Utes for decades, if not centuries.

    From their introduction onward, relations between the Mormons and the Timpanogos were rocky. In 1849, the former noticed that livestock was missing, and rallied a group to ride south and confront Little Chief, a Ute leader who lived on the shores of Utah Lake. The chief turned the Saints towards some “mean Ewtes,” who they subsequently slaughtered for stealing.(62) Three days afterward, a band of Mormon men decided to relocate their families to Utah Lake. The Saints settled in the midst of hostilities between bands of Utes. In order to secure their own safety, the settlers at Utah Lake as well as the LDS leadership engaged in unsteady diplomacy and occasional fights with different Indian contingents.

    To complicate the already problematic situation, Mormons arrived in Utah with preconceptions of Native Americans. In fact, Indians were integral to the burgeoning religion’s discourse. According to LDS dogma, Indians were descendants of the “Lamanites,” once followers of Christ who traveled to America before the Babylon captivity. In the New World, the hostile sect broke away from their brothers, the “Nephites.” For this, God cursed the Lamanites with dark skin. The ill-fated group waged war on the Nephites and erased any fragments of Christianity from the land. The last Nephite scribe, Moroni, was the impetus for the Mormon religion. He came to Joseph Smith in a dream and told him where to find the scriptural record of this lost history. With his revelation of the sanctity of the Lamanites, Smith incorporated proselytizing to Indians into the Book of Mormon. The descendants of the Lamanites who converted would be saved during the Second Coming. More importantly, they would assist Christ in destroying the earth as soldiers of the apocalypse. This created a contradictory idea of Native Americans: “They were cursed to be inferior yet promised to be superior. They were destined to save the world, yet they couldn’t save themselves.”(57) Furthermore, dealing with real-life Utes proved harder than the LDS leadership imagined.

    The tension in Saints’ beliefs between “Indian-as-brother and Indian-as-other” continued to influence their interactions with natives around Utah Lake.(61) Young was wary of the amicable relations between his followers and the Timpanogos and wished that the two groups not mix. In 1850, following the murder of an Indian man, the Mormons and the Utes engaged in the “Indian War.” Later, LDS leadership chastised natives for engaging in slave trade with a New Mexican. Though in Mormon thought there were some redeemable Indians, by 1860 Young was determined that the Utes ought to be displaced. He wrote to Washington, D.C.: “It is our wish that the Indian title should be extinguished, and the Indians removed from our Territory (Utah) and that for the best of reasons, because they are doing no good here to themselves or any body else.”(82) By the latter half of the 1860s most of the Timpanogos people moved to the Uinta Basin, estranged from the place upon which they based their identity.

    Following the removal of the Utes, Utah Lake experienced a surge and then a decline in popularity that mirrored the fate of other regional waterways. In the late 19th century, tourists came to the area to take in the healing waters of the hot springs, the Great Salt Lake, and Utah Lake. Additionally, the latter continued to be a distinguished fishery. However, this fame did not last. In the first half of the 20th century, fires destroyed a number of Salt Lake resorts. Overfishing and the introduction of nonnative species affected Utah Lake. The Great Depression and WWII furthered the destruction of water sport popularity. The federal government opened the Geneva Steel plant on Utah Lake; its smokestacks and pollution diminished the reservoir’s beauty and water quality. Even after the plant closed in 2001, the lake had lost its reputation. Residents considered it dirty, shallow, and full of undesirable fish. Furthermore, during the twentieth century Utahans rethought their sense of identity. Instead of revering the hydrological geography of Utah, its residents had turned their gaze upward to the peaks.

    The second section of the book, “Making a Mountain: Alpine Play,” discusses how Utahans built Mount Timpanogos into a landmark. Farmer makes great use of the exclusion of certain places as well as their later inclusion. Using topographical resources from the four western surveys, as well as mormon settler drawings and maps, Farmer shows how Timpanogos went from being an undefined ridge in the Wasatch Range to a distinct massif that overshadowed both the larger Mount Nebo to the south and the historically significant Lake Utah to the west.

    As in the first three chapters, Farmer employs LDS beliefs to form the basis of his argument. The Saints’ theological sense of place included an emphasis on mountains. Settlers viewed their new homeland through religion; mountains pervade world religions as the geographical pathway to God. Peaks were of special importance to Mormons, since Joseph Smith purportedly prophesied that they would “become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.”(150) When the Saints arrived in Deseret, they labeled many geographic sites with biblical names, including Mount Nebo, the highest peak in the Wasatch range. However, in the 1880s Mormons began to secularize their environment. This shift was motivated by the United States Congress, which outlawed theocracy and polygamy. During what Mormons call “The Great Accommodation,” the Saints rethought the peaks in a patriotic light.

    The King Survey was the first to identify “Tim-pan-o-gos Peak” in 1869.(164) However, no one considered it a defining aspect of the region, and many could not even see it; the massif was just a part of the jagged wall between Provo and American Fork Canyons. It wasn’t until the early decades of the 20th century that residents of Provo “began to visualize a mountain.”(167) The view of Timpanogos from Provo changed as the town relocated to the east of its original home at old Fort Utah. Spurred by the historic importance of mountains to the Mormons as well as the “European vogue of alpine aesthetics,” it was not unnatural for the residents of Provo to revere a nearby peak.(141) By 1910, the town described itself in relation to the mountain.

    The King Survey did more than just identify Mount Timpanogos—the survey also pronounced it (erroneously) the highest peak in the Wasatch Range. In reality, that title belongs to Mount Nebo. However, the claim persisted even after the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey corrected the record, and tourists began arriving to climb the “highest mountain in the Wasatch.”(175) With the boosterism of Eugene “Timpanogos” Roberts, Brigham Young University’s athletics director, and the national increase in the popularity of hiking, “Timp” became a recreational landmark. Roberts led yearly hikes to the top of the massif, and along with the claim that they were climbing the highest peak in the Wasatch, boosters “endlessly repeated claims that the Annual Timpanogos Hike ranked as the biggest hike in America, the greatest community hike in the world, and the largest ‘pilgrimage’ to any mountain over 10,000 feet.”(202) The peak, as well as its ascent were powerful symbols of community strength.

    Though the hike was discontinued in the 1970s, the peak remained emblematic of Provo. The Forest Service designated Timpanogos as wilderness. They banned the grazing of domestic animals and introduced mountain goats to the area in 1981. Meanwhile, Provo and Orem transformed from farming communities into suburbia and Robert Redford bought and built up Sundance. These changes emphasized the dichotomy between wilderness and urban areas. With the growth in population of the two cities and the ski resort, Timpanogos increased in importance. In 1996 the mountain’s significance was solidified in Mormon minds when the LDS Church built Mount Timpanogos Temple. Farmer ends this section with a rumination on environmentalism. Despite all the reverence for place, Mormons are not conservationists, and do not engage in preservation of their landmark. “Sense,” he concludes, “is not the same as sensibility.”(238)

    The final section of the book, “Making a Mountain: Indian Play,” investigates how “Timp” was marked with cultural meaning. Farmer examines the place name as well as the legends that surround it. In the nineteenth century, white Americans like Henry Schoolcraft and Lydia Sigourney advocated the use of Indian place-names, despite the usual miscommunication, misappropriation, or blatant invention of “native” words. The American government continued the trend by accepting Indianist names of states. In Utah, “Timpanogos” was a long-remembered name in the Provo region. The Indians themselves were displaced to the Uinta Band, and though the name had originally designated a river, the waterway had been renamed “Provo River.” For locals, associating the mountain with a Native word “gave the landmark a heightened semblance of antiquity and authenticity.”(281)

    Ironically, to further this authenticity, Eugene “Timpanogos” Roberts provided the mountain with a fake Indian legend. “The Story of Utahna and Red Eagle, an Indian Legend of Timpanogos” retold a familiar Angloamerican tale of the Indian Princess—the “dark-skinned Sappho” throwing herself from a precipice in response to a suitor.(287) These stories, all of which have suspect providence, used Native American tragedies to deepen American antiquity.(297) In a land without any ancient city walls or moldering castles, a sense of historic depth was created through legend. Additionally, the legends of leaping maidens alleviated whites’ guilt on displacing the Indians across the continent. The tales emphasized either brutish men that the women could only escape by committing suicide or savage societies that forced women to neglect her chosen lover. Either ended with the implicit message: the race of Indians is uncivilized. More importantly, the destruction of these Native maids was self-imposed. In an age when America was dealing with the morality of Indian Removal, it was more convenient for white storytellers that the natives to make the choice of self-destruction.(314)

    The Legend of Timpanogos gained further footing by its performance in Utah. People repeated the story of Utahna and Red Eagle, and the tale influenced an opera, a ballet, and an oratorio. Locals further promoted the fake history by dressing up in war paint and moccasins and climbing the mountain “as Indians.” The mountain was seen as the embodiment of a Native woman; like the “Sleeping Ute” in Colorado, “Timp’s” ridge resembles a slumbering Indian maid. The Mormon use of Indianist music, storytelling, and fashion to create the Legend of Timpanogos was paradoxical in that they paid homage to a romanticized version of the people that they had forced out of the Utah Valley—the Timpanogos’ ancestral home. These cultural performances replaced history with both fiction and selective memory. Modern residents of Utah formed their own heritage; no matter that their memory is based on a fallacy.

    But of course it does matter, which is Farmer’s point. Mormons produced a heritage that all but erased the Utes, just as it effaced the importance of Utah Lake. Instead of concentrating on their forebears’ efforts to colonize a “place apart,” which would necessitate emphasis on their interactions with the Indian inhabitants, Saints overwhelming focused their attention on the successive journeys westward. LDS theologians went so far as to modify the meaning of a Lamanite, so that Amerindians lost their scriptural status.(370) When they did incorporate Native Americans into their heritage, they did so with Indianist fictional stories that obscured history with romanticism. In this way, Farmer’s book acts as a historical monument, countering the heritage attached to Mount Timpanogos. Using “Timp” as a framework for his study, Farmer is able to resurrect the forgotten history of the Timpanogos Nuches and Lake Utah.

    On Zion’s Mount is an outstanding cultural, local, environmental, and religious history. Farmer engages readers with his lucid prose even as he presents the tangled story of Mormons, Utes, and the western landscape. Such excellent writing is especially important when one is reminded of some of the recently popular books on Mormon history: Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven and David Roberts’ Devil’s Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy.19 Krakauer and Roberts are both professional journalists and authors; their work is aimed at the populace rather than the academy. And yet Farmer rivals these works in its composition and surpasses them in its historic breadth and depth. More importantly for scholars, his argument illuminates the American inclination to transform its landscape and pinpoints those transformations in culture and historic memory. Overall, Timpanogos’ jagged ridge proved an excellent vantage point from which to view Utah’s past.
              Book: Devil's Gate        
    Devil's Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy by David Roberts is one of the most absorbing and thought provoking works of history that I have read recently, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the history of the American West or Mormonism. Roberts delves into the greatest tragedy of the migration westward in Nineteenth Century America (I'd like to elucidate that I am referring to the greatest tragedy in the migration itself, not the tragedies that occurred as a consequence of the migration)—the loss of more than 200 immigrants due to a decision, sanctioned by Brigham Young, for the last two companies of pioneers to start out late in the year. The book argues that the handcart "experiment" was an ill-thought out expedition that valued monetary efficiency and expediency over human lives, and that, despite Young's protestations of ignorance after the fact, he was knowledgeable of the late starts and therefore culpable for the disaster.
    Scared that the US government was going to march on the State of Deseret (a huge swath of land that encapsulated all of present-day Utah and Nevada as well as parts of Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona), Young decided that he needed an army of Mormons. Recruiting poor Northern Europeans was easy, but transporting them from the East Coast to Deseret was a costly enterprise. In light of these costs, Young decided that the pioneers ought to embark from Iowa City, Iowa (where the railway lines stopped) to Salt Lake City on foot, pulling their belongings and sustenance on handcarts. With a 17 lb limit to each immigrant's load, Young calculated that "fifeen miles a day will bring [the handcart companies] through in 70 days, and after they get accustomed to it they will travel 20, 25, and even 30 with all ease." (pg. 91) His estimation was optimistic to the point of delusion.
    The handcart pioneers were plagued with bad luck, starting as early in the journey as Iowa City. There, the first two companies disembarked from the train in early May to find that there had been no handcarts made for them. Such an oversight on the part of the Mormon who was posted in Iowa City to negotiate the purchase and construction of the handcarts forced the immigrants, many of whom had no knowledge of carpentry, to construct their own carts out of green wood. This same fate awaited all five of the companies in 1856; each company set out with shoddily-made handcarts that were ill-constructed for the 1,300 mile journey across Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho and Utah ahead of them. While the first three companies suffered immense hardship, the final two were pushed to the edge, with many of their parties falling into the deathly chasm.
    The final two companies of 1956—the Willie and Martin companies (named after their leaders, James G. Willie and Edward Martin)— did not arrive in Iowa City until August, far too late in the year for set out for Salt Lake without concern for the weather. But the leaders and other high church officials urged that the two parties soldier on westward, and so they did, soon to shoulder the high cost of their decision.

    Roberts uses journals of the pioneers to illustrate much of his tale. Readers are encouraged to empathize with the poor souls who ventured out onto the cold and unforgiving plain to find Zion. His points are furthered by a narrative of High Church Mormon history, as well as a contemporary attempt to understand the mythologizing of the handcart pioneers—a myth he likens to the Mayflower. It is a fascinating experience.

              #PampersPapa : Une nouvelle génération de couches pour une nouvelle génération de papas        

    Mon amie Sandrine est allée à un petit déjeuner à l’hôtel Pershing Hall à Paris pour le lancement de la campagne des nouvelles couches Pampers "Baby-Dry Pants," en présence du nouvel ambassadeur Teddy Riner et de la journaliste Louise Ekland pour l’interviewer.

    Aujourd’hui, les papas sont beaucoup plus investis dans leur rôles de pères et passent plus de temps qu’avant à s’occuper de leurs enfants. Ils cherchent avec la maman à concilier leur vie familiale et professionnelle. Les jeunes papas s’impliquent aussi plus dans les soins pour leurs enfants. 




    Via sa nouvelle campagne Â« Nouvelle génération de couches pour une nouvelle génération de papas Â», Pampers a donc voulu s’adresser à eux et a réalisé une étude sur les habitudes de ces nouveaux papas modernes. Ils ont décidé d’accompagner tous les papas avec ses couches culottes Pampers « Baby dry Pants Â». Elles sont faciles à enfiler, surtout quand le bébé est un petit être vif et imprévisible. Cela permet à cette nouvelle génération de partager plus de moments agréables et à avoir de nombreux moments de complicité.



    Pour porter le message de cette nouvelle campagne, l’idée de choisir Teddy Riner comme ambassadeur de la marque fut une évidence pour Pampers. Lors de l’interview animée par Louise Ekland, Teddy Riner s’est confié sur son implication en tant que père et a partagé son expérience avec les couches Pampers qu’il a testé sur son fils âgé de 3 ans. On a découvert un papa fusionnel avec son fils (bataille d’eau, change des couches, bataille de coussins dans le salon...).

    Nous avons pu découvrir la vidéo de campagne pour les Pampers Baby Dry Pants, où 10 papas avec leurs bébés partagent leurs expériences.



    Cette campagne arrive pour la période de la fête des pères qui aura lieu le 18 juin 2017.


    Enfin, je vous montre Sandrine avec Teddy Rinner, quelle chance elle a eu de le rencontrer (#jesuisjalouse)


    Article sponsorisé

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              Une journaliste démissionne en direct à cause du Cannabis        
    legalisation
    Charlo Greene une journaliste de la chaine KTVA en Alaska, va démissionner en direct pendant un reportage sur le cannabis dans son pays. Elle va dire qu'elle est la responsable du "Alaska Cannabis Club" et va se consacrer dorénavant à la légalisation de cette drogue douce. Vous remarquerez au passage, son mot de la fin trop classe : "FUCK IT" …
              arrêtés        
    Un employé d'Oxford et un universitaire arrêtés après un meurtre Un employé de l'université britannique d'Oxford et un enseignant d'une faculté de Chicago ont été arrêtés aux États-Unis où ils étaient recherchés pour le meurtre d'un Américain, a annoncé dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi la police de Chicago Andrew Warren, 56 ans, et Wyndham Lathem, 42 ans, sont détenus par la police à Oakland, en Californie, selon un tweet du porte-parole de la police de Chicago. Une chasse à l'homme pour retrouver les deux hommes avait été lancée dans l'ensemble des États-Unis. Ils auraient poignardé à mort Trenton Cornell-Duranleau, un coiffeur de 26 ans retrouvé mort à son domicile de Chicago, la semaine dernière. Le meurtre a été si violent, a expliqué la police, que la lame du couteau utilisé s'est brisée. Les autorités ont révélé vendredi que Wyndham Lathem avait envoyé un message vidéo à ses proches pour demander pardon après ce meurtre. Wyndham Lathem aurait évoqué «la plus grosse erreur de sa vie». M. Lathem est professeur associé à la Northwestern University de Chicago, où il travaille depuis dix ans. Après l'annonce des soupçons pesant sur lui, l'université a indiqué dans un communiqué l'avoir placé en congés administratifs et lui avoir interdit l'entrée sur le campus. Quant à Andrew Warren, une page du site internet d'Oxford qui a depuis été supprimée le décrivait comme un assistant administratif à Somerville College. La police n'a pour l'instant pas communiqué sur les relations entre ces deux hommes ni entre eux et la victime. Plusieurs zones d'ombre entourent ce sordide fait divers, en particulier selon le Chicago Tribune la raison pour laquelle Warren a subitement quitté la Grande-Bretagne le 24 juillet pour se rendre à Chicago pour la première fois. Un autre mystère est rapporté par le journal, un don anonyme de 1000 dollars effectué au profit d'une librairie du Wisconsin voisin au nom de la victime et après l'agression. Source : AFP le 5 août 2017
    http://www.skcenter.be/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=1702&sid=636fe4aa4952075b6db4345ea7cb0c5b
    ===============
    (périodes critiques septennales respectives des 56 et 42 ans - rythmes courts à voir)
              Freebo Photo        
    A journalists blog sharing his view's of current matters among other things.
              Oct 2011 Daring Bakers Challenge - Povitica        
    A tale of two povitica loaves
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    This month's challenge was to make povitica (a type of nut roll.

    Blog-checking lines: The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!

    This is my first time ever making this sort of recipe so I had absolutely no idea what to expect from the recipe. Well after doing some interesting internet research and ringing a pastry chef mate of mine whose mum is from Croatia and another friend's mum who is from Poland. I have some (little) understanding of the process and what to expect.

    When comparing my notes with the information from my friends and their mums I found that povitica (or nut rolls) seems to be made by two slightly different methods that lead to two very dissimilar results; it seems that the “Northern European“ version (my name) is dense and moist like a firm bread-and-butter pudding, while the “Southern European” version is a well risen roll slightly less dense than the Northern version.

    One major difference between the two versions is an hour of rising time before the final baking. Our challenge recipe only has ¼ hour of rising time before the final baking like a lot of Northern recipes while a typical Southern recipe has an hour of rising time before the final bake.

    During my internet research I found that there are other differences; the Northern version uses a soft dough that is rolled out fairly thickly while the filling has a firmish consistency, while the Southern version uses a firmer dough that is rolled out very thinly while its filling has a consistency of thick honey. Since I was making two loaves (½ batch) anyway I thought I would do one loaf using the challenge instructions (which are very Northern) and do the other loaf using the Southern method. For both versions you make the dough layer as thin as possible.

    A (Northern) povitica is meant to be dense and moist, it is important not to let the shaped roll rise too much before baking (in our challenge recipe you only let it rest for 15 minutes) in the other version you let the unbaked roll rise until doubled in volume then bake it.

    I found that if you refrigerate the loaf until cold, it will slice thinly and cleanly, remember to serve it at room temperature. Also let the povitica rest for a few hours (a day is better) before cutting it this will help it set better so it can be sliced cleanly.

    The biggest tip - If you find the dough is too springy let it rest.

    Uhmmm, I don't know why but every stage of this recipe was an uphill battle.I used “00” soft flour (finely milled white flour 8% protein) for the recipe since I had it to hand and I thought it would make the stretching of the dough easier since “lower gluten” means “easier handling”.

    For the nut filling I used about 300 grams (10½ ounces) walnuts and 250 grams (9 ounces) of mixed nuts, also I added 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder I wanted a chocolate hit from the Povitica. I used ¾ cup of white sugar and ¼ cup of dark brown sugar in the filling. And I used an unsalted “European” styled butter 87% fat since it had to used.

    Dough – Firstly the size of the dough is amazing when you stretch it out, you will need to do it on a large table with a floured tablecloth. I found that the dough was very very hard to stretch it wanted to go back to its original shape that is every time I rolled it or stretched it out it would spring right back. From experience I know what to do in this situation I let the partially stretched out dough rest for about 15 minutes covered in plastic so the gluten strands in the dough would relax so making stretching a lot easier so after resting the dough I then proceeded to make a very thin layer of it … that is … after a lot of time doing guarded stretching and gentle man-handling … finally … I could see magazine print through the dough but this process took about 45 minutes. I think the problem was that I added too much flour while forming the dough, next time I will just have the dough a little tacky which will make it easier to stretch out. Also I will add ½ teaspoon lemon juice (for a ¼ batch) next time since the acidity helps to tenderise the dough so making it easier to stretch out. The second dough was a lot easier to roll out since by this time it had a lot more resting than the first dough it only took 15 minutes to roll out to phyllo (filo) sheet thinness. Looking back I should of added about 3 tablespoons of milk to get the correct consistency.

    Filling - Firstly the filling seems like a huge amount but you need it all for the ½ batch its volume is almost 1 litres almost 4 cups. I found that the filling was much too stiff to spread out (I was using very dry nuts that could of been the problem?) on the thin dough layer without tearing it I had to add 4 tablespoons of warm milk and micro-wave to get it to the right consistency (like very thick honey). It is best to place tablespoon dollops of the filling evenly over the dough then spread these dollops evenly across the thin dough. After 20 minutes! of careful and methodical spreading the nut filling it was done. Of course the second version was a breeze to spread again I think resting time really helps the nut filling with spreading it over the thin dough sheet.I trimmed the edges and placed it into the baking pan such that the roll was coiled on itself I egg washed just after forming the unbaked loaf and once again just before baking.

    I had given away for the long weekend my baking pans to a friend so I used my high loaf tin.I let one loaf rest for 15 mins then I baked it and the other loaf I let rise until doubled in volume then I bake it both were baked the same way (same temperatures and times). I'm sure that there is nothing wrong with the recipe I think I didn't let the dough rest enough for the first version and I added too much flour at the start.I have to say after all the troubles they both looked good, the loaf using the challenge instructions expanded about x2, the other version expanded about x2½ both had great colour and the crust dough layer for both was very thin so thin you could see the nut filling through it. And the colour was great so brown and shiny. Since the final baked loaf rises so much take this into account when you are shaping the loaf into the baking pan. I had a little trouble getting it out of the pan, so I recommend using parchment paper or butter and flour your baking pan well.

    The dough starting to be mixed notice the foamy yeast mixture
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    How to tell if your dough is kneaded enough if you poke an indentation into the dough it should spring back I realise now that I should of added more liquid it should be tacky Photobucket
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    The huge amount of nut filling I used my food processor to make it this is the first time I used the machine since I bought it two years LOL LOL ago in this instance I thought it was worth the effort to clean the machine after the task
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    Stretching the dough to size … a pain to do in every sense of the word
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    The baked Northern povitica
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    The southern povitica
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    If you want to do the recipe over two days I would do the nut filling and the challenge recipe up to step 7. that is make the dough and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator. Then the next day return the dough to room temperature (a couple of hours) and make the povitica as per the recipe. This sort of recipe freezes very well, freeze the baked loaf and thaw in the fridge overnight loosely covered in paper towels then cover in plastic wrap this stop the povitica from becoming soggy from condensation.

    The verdict – the challenge (Northern) povitica is a really delicious nut roll with a very dramatic interior appearance, the texture of it is very similar to bread-and-butter pudding, very moist and 'firm-ish” to the tooth. While the “Southern” had great height it was a lot lighter in texture than the challenge recipe version still good. But I liked the challenge version much more the interior looked better and tasted better also. Overall I was very pleased though it was a frustrating process for the first version, though the second version was a breeze.

    Comparison of the two loaves – on the left is the challenge version (which I call Northern) and on the right is the Southern version. As you can see very different looking results.
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    Tips and hints (some of these are from the other bakers' experiences with this recipe I will add extra tips and hints during the month when others have posted their results)
    1. It is very important to get the correct consistency for the dough and the nut filling if you do the process is a breeze. Remember when it comes to making bread -- rec