Union Bank of India Announces Excellent Results for the Quarter ended June 30, 2017         
Highlights  of  Union Bank of India's Results for the Quarter ended June 30, 2017  

CASA     25.1 per cent YoY
Non Interest Income      `  ` 1414 crore  (up 36 per cent YoY) 
Savings Deposit     27.6 per cent YoY
Operating Profit     ` ` 2057 crore (up 26.5 per cent YoY) 
CASA Share      35.5 per cent 
Net Profit        ` 117 crore (up 7.3 per cent QoQ) 
RAM* Sector      14.8 per cent YoY
CRAR       12.01 per cent 
RAM* Share       55.4 per cent
Tier I      9.24 per cent 

 The growth in Deposits was driven by Savings Deposits, which grew by 27.6 per cent on YoY basis.
 
 Cost to income ratio improved to 43.79 per cent against 48.28 per cent on YoY basis.

 Capital Adequacy Ratio (Basel III) improved to 12.01 per cent compared to 10.75 per cent a year ago. * (Retail, Agriculture & MSME share in domestic advances) 

Business
Global Business grew by 10.5 per cent to `670971 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `607280 crore as on June 30, 2016. Domestic business grew by 10.0 per cent to `635233 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `577473 crore as on June 30, 2016.  Total deposit of the bank grew from `338727 crore as on June 30, 2016 to `375796 crore as on June 30, 2017 showing growth of 10.9 per cent. 
Financial Results for the Quarter ended June 30, 2017 
                                            
CASA deposits grew by 25.1 per cent to `133412 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `106604 crore as on June 30, 2016.   CASA share in total deposits improved to 35.5 per cent as on June 30, 2017 compared to 31.5 per cent as on June 30, 2016. Average CASA ratio also increased by 430 basis points (bps) to 33.5 per cent on YoY basis.  Savings Deposit registered YoY growth of 27.6 per cent.  A total of 8.70 lakh CASA accounts were opened during April-June 2017, out of which 8.38 lakh were Savings Bank Accounts (excl. BSBDA/BSBDS accounts).   The Bank’s Global Advances grew by 9.9 per cent (YoY) to `295175 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `268553 crore as on June 30, 2016.  Due to encouraging growth of 14.8 per cent in RAM (Retail, Agriculture & MSME) sector, Domestic Advances increased by 9.4 per cent from `242935 crore as on June 30, 2016 to `265683 crore as on June 30, 2017. 


Financial Performance for the quarter ended June 2017

Domestic Net Interest Margin (NIM) stood at 2.20 per cent for April -June 2017 as against 2.36 per cent for April -June 2016. Global NIM for April -June 2017 stood at 2.06 per cent as against 2.27 per cent for January-March 2017 quarter. It was 2.28 per cent a year ago.    Yield on funds stood at 6.94 per cent for April -June 2017 as against 7.94 per cent for April-June 2016 and 7.35 per cent for January-March 2017.   Cost of funds stood at 5.03 per cent for April -June 2017 as against 5.82 per cent for April-June 2016 and 5.24 per cent for January-March 2017.  Net Interest Income for April-June 2017 increased by 6.7 per cent to `2243 crore from `2103 crore for April-June 2016. It was `2387 crore during January-March 2017.  Non Interest Income for April-June 2017 stood at `1414 crore, showing increase of 36.0 per cent over April-June 2016.   Operating profit increased by 26.5 per cent to `2057 crore during April-June 2017 over `1626 crore during April-June 2016 and was `2134 crore during January-March 2017.  Net Profit for April-June 2017 sequentially increased to `117 crore from `109 crore in January-March 2017.  Cost to income ratio improved to 43.79 per cent for April -June 2017 from 48.28 per cent for April-June 2016 and it was 44.32 per cent for January-March 2017.  Return on average assets (annualised) stood at 0.10 per cent for April-June 2017 as against 0.17 per cent for April-June 2016 and 0.10 per cent for January-March 2017.  Return on equity (annualised) stood at 2.46 per cent in April -June 2017 as against 3.36 per cent for April -June 2016 and 2.27 per cent for January-March 2017.  Earnings per share (annualised) stood at `6.78 in April -June 2017 as against `9.69 for April -June 2016 and `6.33 for January-March 2017.

Asset Quality
Gross NPA stood at 12.63 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 11.17 per cent as on March 31, 2017 and 10.16 per cent as on June 30, 2016.   Net NPA ratio stood at 7.47 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 6.57 per cent as on March 31, 2017 and 6.16 per cent as on June 30, 2016.  Provision Coverage Ratio stood at 51.13 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 51.41 per cent as on March 31, 2017. It was 49.99 per cent as on June 30, 2016.  

Capital Adequacy

Capital Adequacy ratio of the Bank under Basel III improved to 12.01 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 11.79 per cent as on March 31, 2017 and 10.75 per cent as on June 30, 2016 compared to minimum regulatory requirement of 10.25 per cent.  The Tier I ratio as of June 30, 2017 is 9.24 per cent, within which Common Equity Tier 1 ratio is 7.73 per cent compared to regulatory minimum of 6.75 per cent. 

Digital Initiatives

The Bank has been pioneer in taking various digital initiatives and continuously launched various digital products for enhancing the customer services. Following are some of the key achievements during the quarter:
 66 per cent growth in mobile banking users on YoY basis.  U-Mobile transaction volume doubled from June 2016.  90 per cent growth in number of PoS terminals on YoY basis.  7th largest presence in banking industry and 3rd largest presence amongst all PSU banks within short span of time in Social media.  Trendsetter on Social media channels by taking various initiatives like Live streaming, Digital Education Series – #KyaAapJanteHai etc.   67 per cent share of “transactions through digital channels” in “overall transactions”. 

Financial Inclusion:

Under the Pradhan Manrti Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the the Bank has more than 69 lakh accounts having a balance of `1270 crore.   48.91 lakh Rupay Card issued under PMJDY as on June 30, 2017.

Total enrollment under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Atal Pension Yojana (APJ) increased to 30.1 lakh, 12.8 lakh and 2.21 lakh respectively.  The Bank financed `696 crore in 33433 accounts under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, including an amount of `211 crore to 7964 beneficiaries through a specific scheme for financing of light commercial vehicle during April–June 2017. 

Network

The Bank has 4286 branches as of June 30, 2017 including 4 overseas branches at Hong Kong, DIFC (Dubai), Antwerp (Belgium) and Sydney (Australia). In addition, the Bank has representative offices at Shanghai, Beijing and Abu Dhabi. The Bank also operates in United Kingdom through its wholly owned subsidiary, Union Bank of India (UK) Ltd.   Total number of ATMs stood at 7574 including 1685 talking ATMs as of June 30, 2017. ATM to branch ratio stood at 1.77. 

Awards & Accolades during FY 2017-18 (April-June)

Skoch Award 
Skoch Order of merit Award – Operational Customer Relationship Management (OCRM)
Skoch Financial Technology Award - Unified Payment Interface(UPI)
Skoch Financial Technology Award - Green PIN solution for Debit cards 
Skoch Financial Technology Award - Union Digi Gaon
Skoch Financial Inclusion Award for Financial Inclusion

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

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

John Mauldin (Source, Jun 25, 2017)


'..Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

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

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

..

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

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

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


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

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

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

..

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

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

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

..

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

..

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

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

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


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

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

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

..

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

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

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

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

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


Context

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

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

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

          '..FORGET fuel-powered jet engines .. looking into hybrid planes .. plasma engine..' (no replies)        
'FORGET fuel-powered jet engines. We’re on the verge of having aircraft that can fly from the ground up to the edge of space using air and electricity alone.

..

Berkant Göksel at the Technical University of Berlin and his team now want to fit plasma engines to planes. “We want to develop a system that can operate above an altitude of 30 kilometres where standard jet engines cannot go,” he says. These could even take passengers to the edge of the atmosphere and beyond.

..

Göksel is hoping for a breakthrough in compact fusion reactors to power his system..

In the meantime, he is looking into hybrid planes, in which his plasma engine would be combined with pulse detonation combustion engines or rockets to save on fuel.'

- Sandrine Ceurstemont, Plasma jet engines that could take you from the ground to space, May 17, 2017


Context

(Fusion Power) - LPP Focus Fusion 1; '..FF-1 results are right now far ahead..'

(The Electric Universe) - SAFIRE as Astrophysical Laboratory | EU2016

'Open source is now mainstream..'


The New Fusion Race - Part 4 - Fusion Race: Who is Ahead, April 6, 2017

          'Open source is now mainstream..' (no replies)        
'Open source is now mainstream. More and more developers, organizations, and enterprises are are understanding the benefits of an open source strategy and getting involved. In fact, The Linux Foundation is on track to reach 1,000 participating organizations in 2017 and aims to bring even more voices into open source technology projects ranging from embedded and automotive to blockchain and cloud.'

- Mike Woster, Global Enterprises Join The Linux Foundation to Accelerate Open Source Development Across Diverse Industries, March 30, 2017


Context

(Open Source) - '..“open innovation.” Companies such as AstraZeneca, Lilly, GSK, Janssen, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi, TransCelerate, and others..'

'..Microsoft, is shifting over to open source for its development.'

          Facebook in Google Plus (Update)        
Witzig. Zumindest witzig ist es ja. Eine Extension für IE, Firefox und Chrome sorgt dafür, dass der Facebook-Newsstream innerhalb von Google Plus in Form eines weiteren Tab dargestellt wird. Nach der Installation fragt die Extension kurz ein paar Rechte für Facebook ab und packt dann ein Facebook-Symbol links neben die Google+ Tabs (Übersicht, Profil, Circles ... weiterlesen
          Google Takeout: Open Shop vs. Closed Shop        
Während Facebook alles dafür tut, damit seine User die Daten, die eigentlich ihnen gehören, nicht von der Plattform weg-exportieren können, gibt sich Google deutlich offener und erlaubt das Herunterladen aller persönlicher, in Google gespeicherter Daten aus Buzz, Kontakten und Circles, Picasa, dem Google-Profil und den Streams in Google Plus. Der Export-Vorgang ist durch mehrfache Passwort-Abfragen gesichert. ... weiterlesen
                  
SERANGAN DDoS, CYBERMOSLEM.NET MAMPU BERTAHAN
REP
Muhibbuddin Al Insaniyah
| 14 Agustus 2010 | 11:48
71
4
Nihil.

Sejak dirilis pada tanggal 1 Agusus 2010,Cybermoslem.net sudah dibanjiri dengan register-register baru yang semakin hari semakin melimpah. Dari banyaknya pengguna baru yang berbondong-bondong masuk, ternyata disinyalir oleh admin cybermoslem sendiri, ada sebuah “serangan rudal” dari “pesawat tak berawak” yang dikendalikan dari luar negeri, yang sengaja atau tidak memang hendak membuat rusuh suasana aksesing terhadap cybermoslem.

“…akhirnya CMnet lumpuh selama hampir semalaman (jum’at, 13 Agustus 2010). Setelah seharian di serang secara bertubi dengan sistem serangan ddos yang membuat jaringan kami menjadi sangat sibuk”, demikian menurut admin cybermoslem dalam blognya.

Serangan DoS (Denial of Service) adalah jenis serangan terhadap sebuah komputer atau server di dalam suatu jaringan internet dengan cara menghabiskan sumber (resource) yang dimiliki oleh komputer tersebut sampai komputer tersebut tidak dapat menjalankan fungsinya dengan benar sehingga secara tidak langsung mencegah pengguna lain untuk memperoleh akses layanan dari komputer yang diserang tersebut. Serangan DoS ini berlangsung satu lawan satu, satu penyerang melawan satu akun pengguna yang valid dan aktif, dengan penyerangnya menggunakan peralatan komputer yang canggih, serta dukungan host yang handal, sehingga target sasaran bisa kacau aksesingnya. Serangan DDoS ( Distribution DoS) merupakan serangan DoS yang “diselenggarakan” secara “rombongan” dan konspiratif menggunakan banyak komputer handal dan kuat, menyerang server sasaran, sehingga server “dipaksa” untuk tidak dapat memberikan pelayanan akses bagi pengguna.

Kondisi awal downtime sebenarnya sudah penulis rasakan dan terdeteksi oleh penulis pada sekitar lebih kurang jam 16.00 WIB, hari Jumat tanggal 13 Agutus 2010 kemarin, dan penulis seketika itu langsung memberikan sinyal “hati’hati” ke pihak admin bahwa ada “kemungkinan” upaya penyerangan oleh hacker ke server cybermoslem. Jawaban admin sangat sederhana, “Allah yang akan menolongnya“.

Situasi server lumpuh total terjadi semalaman dari mulai lebih kurang jam 19.30 WIB. Setelah sholat tarawih, penulis menutup akun di cybermoslem beberapa jam kemudian. Sebenarnya, pada Jum’at, 13 Agustus 2010, dari pagi sampai sore, akses ke cybermoslem.net masih stabil. Tetapi mulai malam sekitar jam 19.30 WIB lebih, pada saat pengguna dan saat sebagian besar member CMnet sedang sholat Tarawih. dan akses ke cybermoslem.net mulai ada kendala dan beberapa waktu kemudian lumpuh total.

Cybermoslem masih mampu tegak bertahan, tidak terjadi kehancuran dan kematian total, sehingga pada tanggal 14 Agustus 2010 sudah bisa normal kembali. Diperkirakan serangan akan berulang-ulang, tetapi Insya Allah, serangan DDoS dan serangan bentuk lainnya teramat berat dan kecil kemungkinan membunuh cybermoslem.

Memperhatikan berita di atas, penulis teringat serangan terhadap www.millatfacebook.com (jejaring sosial di Pakistan), yang sampai sekarang akhirnya web tersebut mengalami kelumpuhan dan tidak dapat diakses. Gambar di bawah ini adalah kondisi “bangkai” terakhir pada Sabtu, 14 Agutus 2010.

Kondisi "Bangkai" terakhir MillatFacebook.com. Adminnya masih berusaha hidup kembali.

Millatfacebook.com diciptakan oleh pemuda Pakistan, pada akhir Mei 2010 yang lalu, khusus untuk memberi alternatif bagi jejaring sosial mania di Pakistan dan penduduk dunia lainnya, setelah terjadinya “gempa bumi Facebook” yang menggemparkan dunia dengan munculnya halaman propaganda “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”.

Terlepas dari alasan apapun pendiriannya, seharusnya netter tidak menganggap bahwa hadirnya jejaring baru sebagai ancaman sehingga melakukan serangan-serangan terhadap server ataupun apapun yang berafiliasi ke jejaring tersebut. Melihat gambar millatfcebook di atas, sepertinya admin millatfacebook asalnya menggunakan server di wilayah Amerika Serikat. Letak server inilah yang akan memberikan kemudahan lalu lintas bagi penyerang.

Perbedaan dengan millatfacebook, cybermoslem memiliki server yang berada di Indonesia. Sehingga serangan-serangan apapun bisa diketahui sejak dini, kemudian menyiapkan pertahanan dan benteng yang handal dan kuat, agar serangan semacam DDoS tidak terulang kembali. Serangan apapun terhadap jejaring, bentengpertama dalam pertahanan di garda server. Jika servernya kuat dan handal, insya Allah semuanya lancar-lancar.

Serangan susulan bisa saja dan akan terjadi, tetapi dengan server berada di Indonesia, serangan tersebut tidak akan sampai melumpuhkan cybermoslem, sehingga bernasib sama seperti millatfacebook.com.

Penulis tidak akan membuat andaian siapa yang menyerang. Tetapi yang jelas, adalah pihak yang dirugikan atau yang akan dirugikan. Siapa pihak yang dirugikan dengan adanya cybermoslem, penulis memberikan “gambaran kemungkinan” ciri-cirinya, sebagai berikut :

  1. Web jejaring sosial yang memegang mainstream di Indonesia, dengan jumlah pengguna sekarang inimencapai sekitar 500 juta di seluruh dunia. Jejaring ini merasa sudah memiliki Indonesia, sudah mendakwa menjadi penyantun melalui kerjasama dengan beberapa penyedia layanan telekomunikasi yaitu dengan penyediaan “akses gratis” bagi pelanggannya.
  2. Adanya serangan dari pihak yang tidak suka ada nama jejaring berlabel “Islam” atau “Moslem”menjadi populer, apalagi memiliki potensi mengalahkan mainstream yang sudah ada. Adanya cybermoslem, besar atau kecil akan mulai membersihkan label umat Islam yang sekarang ini seakan menjadi sarang teroris. Cybermoslem menjelaskan kepada dunia bahwa umat Islam juga sebenarnya mampu dan bisa menjadi pelopor bagipersahabatan dan dengan gaya hidup Teknologi Informasi, berbaur bersama semua orang dari berbagai negara, ras dan agama, dengan menjunjung nilai perdamaian dan kemanusiaan. Dengah kata lain, serangan terhadap cybermoslem ini, adalah serangan terhadap nilai kemanusiaan dalam diri cybermoslem, yang jelas-jelas bermaksud damai dan santun serta beradab membuka silaturrohim dan persahabatan bersama berbagai jenis umat manusia di bumi ini.

Penulis tidak menyebut bahwa penyerang adalah “musuh Islam” walaupun semua jejaring yang diserang adalah didirikan dan terutama untuk umat Islam. Mereka lebih cenderung sebagai uji coba ketahanan dan reaksi atas hadirnya cybermoslem yang menggemuruh.

Bagi kita orang Indonesia, kita wajib berbangga dengan kerja saudara kita Dola Indra Putra Agam, yng sudah sedemikian hebat membuat jejaring sosial sendiri, untuk dipersembahkan bagi bumi pertiwi Indonesia dan umat Islam dunia. Jejaring yang berkode Joomla ini bebas dipergunakan oleh siapapun.

Mempertimbangkan akan adanya serangan-serangan berikutnya, harapan penulis, melalui tulisan ini, nantinya ada tokoh nasional Indonesia, baik dari kalangan pemerintahan, maupun Non Government Organisation (NGO) bisa segera memberikan dukungan moral dan material bagi kelangsungan cybermoslem, jejaring kebanggaan Indonesia, sehingga cybermoslem bisa menjadi number one di Indonesia, mengalahkan jejaring produk import luar negeri.

sumber :

http://sn.cybermoslem.net/blogs/viewstory/163

http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serangan_DoS


          Tools: Stream Detector - Alternate Data Streams (ADS) Detector        

          topherx started the forum topic will Buddystream pick up a video that is "favorated" or "Liked" on youtube? in the group BuddyStream        
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          topherx joined the group BuddyStream        
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          Around the Globe - Fundación Todo Mejora supports LGBT youth        

Todo Mejora means “it gets better”—and it’s this message that the Chile-based nonprofit has worked tirelessly to advocate for. In the wake of continual LGBT discrimination around the world, Fundación Todo Mejora strives to support the LGBT adolescents who face discrimination, including those considering committing suicide. Chile has one of the highest levels of suicide and school violence in Latin America. It’s projected that if nothing is done, in four years, one adolescent in Chile will end his or her life  nearly each day—an astounding metric that Fundación Todo Mejora hopes to change.1,2

Continuing  with our series about impactful organizations using Google for Nonprofits tools, this week we’re highlighting how Fundación Todo Mejora uses technology to spread its message and creates a safe space for these teenagers to find refuge in times of need.

Showing up when searching for help—Google Ad Grants

By implementing a strategic campaign using Google Ad Grants, the nonprofit targeted Google searches common to suicidal thoughts such as “I want to commit suicide”, “Who should I call if I want to kill myself?”, or “Help me, I want to die”. When a local person searches this on Google, Fundación Todo Mejora’s ads show up to intervene with supportive messages, and provide links to resources to find help. One 19-year-old girl who found support from these ads said, "Amidst my depression, I Googled how to commit suicide. Your foundation, ’Todo Mejora,’ popped up in my search results. It made me smile and reminded me the reason to go on.”

These ads have allowed Fundación Todo Mejora to save lives and navigate people to their website where they can find resources and support. As a result, website traffic increased by 20% in one year alone, which means the organization found a way to reach more people in need. This increase also prompted Fundación Todo Mejora to expand their suicide hotline support to 30 hours/week up from 7 hours/week.

Spreading the word—YouTube

To further increase visibility, Fundación Todo Mejora created a YouTube channel where adolescents share their personal stories, which have helped create a community of support, coupled with the call-to-action overlays inspiring others to follow suit, take initiative, and send donations. In their most popular video, with over 62,000 views, Demi Lovato speaks out against homophobic and transgender bullying and encourages victims to reach out for help.

TODO MEJORA - Demi Lovato, cantante

Storage & syncing—G Suite

Fundación Todo Mejora now uses G Suite exclusively for all its day-to-day operations, relying on Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar to work productively. The unlimited user accounts and 30GB of storage per user has saved them time and money that once went towards paying for other storage products. Now, they can save important data in a shared and collaborative space which has helped them streamline their processes, preserve historical documents, and improve communication.

With more time, funding, and organizational processes, Fundación Todo Mejora can focus on expanding their support for youth in need and the LGBT community. Read more about their story on our Community Stories page on our Google for Nonprofits site.

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

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers products at no charge to qualified nonprofits.

1 OECD (2016). Low Performing Students: Why They Fall Behind and How To Help Them Succeed. PISA. OECD Publishing. Paris

2.Ministerio de Salud de Chile (2013). Situación Actual del Suicidio Adolescente en Chile, con perspectiva de Género [Current Situation of Adolescent Suicide in Chile, with a gender perspective]. Programa Nacional de Salud Integral de Adolescentes y Jóvenes. Chile.


          G4NP Around the Globe - Zooming in on Action Against Hunger        

Every dollar and minute count to further your cause and focus on your mission. We’re pleased to highlight nonprofits who were able to make greater impact with fewer resources by using Google tools—from G Suite to Google Ad Grants–made available through Google for Nonprofits (G4NP) at no charge.

Varying in size, scope, and timezones, these nonprofits from around the world share one thing in common: utilizing the G4NP suite of tools to help their specific needs. G4NP offers nonprofit organizations across 50 countries access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Ad Grants and more at no cost. This week, we’ll take a look at how the nonprofit Action Against Hunger utilizes these tools to increase productivity, visibility, and donations,  in order to improve lives in  the communities they serve.

Action Against Hunger

In 2016 alone, Action Against Hunger provided nourishment to over 1.5 million starving children(1). In order to save lives with nutritional programs, Action Against Hunger looked to Google for aid—not for food, but for technology. Action Against Hunger now utilizes five Google technologies that have drastically improved their ability to save lives around the globe.

Raising Awareness with Google Ad Grants & Analytics

For major international emergencies, like the Ebola outbreak or the South Sudan famine, Action Against Hunger needs a way to inform people and recommend ways to get involved. With Ad Grants, the nonprofit activates targeted keywords relating to the crises to drive people to their page and empower them to take action. Google Analytics then allows them to track their effectiveness and adjust accordingly to increase engagement and improve their fundraising techniques. With this data-driven strategy and the tools’ ability to optimize campaigns, Action Against Hunger has nearly doubled funding year-over-year. In fact, Ad Grants brought 158,000 people to their website in the past year alone, raising $66,000 which is equal to treating 1,466 hungry children.

Ad Grants brought 158,000 people to their website in the past year alone, raising $66,000 which is equal to treating 1,466 hungry children.

Increasing Productivity with G Suite

When working with a global network and managing hundreds of programs abroad, collaboration and communication are key. After experiencing unnecessary latencies in their operations, Action Against Hunger has since adopted G Suite which streamlined their workflow. The nonprofit is especially fond of Gmail, Hangouts, and Drive where Action Against Hunger employees can message each other quickly, share files securely, and collaborate on Docs in real-time—avoiding duplication of efforts and saving time.

Fundraising with One Today & YouTube

To drive donations and expand awareness to broad audiences, Action Against Hunger uses One Today, a Google app that allows users to easily donate $1 or more towards causes they care about. Campaigning on One Today on World Food Day in 2016,  Action Against Hunger raised more than $1,200 in support of their cause with each dollar going directly helping those in need. Additionally, Action Against Hunger creates and shares content on YouTube to reach their global audience, and is  beginning to use the YouTube donation cards to further increase donations. The large exposure and website referrals from both YouTube and Google+ helped Action Against Hunger raise over $20,000.

Using Google products Action Against Hunger gained extra time and energy to focus on what really matters: feeding the hungry.

To read more about Action Against Hunger’s story and learn how they used Google tools so effectively, visit our Google for Nonprofits Community Stories page. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more inspirational stories about nonprofits using technology to help their cause.

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

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers products at no charge to qualified nonprofits.



          Unlocking G Suite for Nonprofits: Improve internal workflow and communication        

Whether you have a team of five or 500 a seamless, collaborative workflow is critical in the digital age. Our goal is to make sure that your nonprofit is able to focus on changing the world by using technology to save time -- not waste it. In the digital age though, information sharing can often be complex; your team might not work in the same office, or even the same timezone. Some team members might be in an office with computer access, while others are in the field on mobile devices. Who from your team should be able to access confidential documents?

This brings us to a key question: How do you empower team members to work together towards a common goal, and use technology to enable it?

Great question. We’d like to introduce you to G Suite - (formerly  Google Apps for Work ). G Suite aims to help teams work together in real-time -- no matter where they are in the world.

Today, we’re spotlighting a few nonprofits to share how their teams  are using Google tools and apps to improve workflow and internal communication.

Mercy Beyond Borders - Internal Communication with Sheets & Sites

Mercy Beyond Borders (MBB) is a U.S. nonprofit that aims to forge opportunities for women and girls in extreme poverty to learn, connect, and lead. Utilizing a small office in the U.S. as home base, MBB targets rural areas in Haiti and South Sudan. In both of these areas, cultural norms and poverty prohibit full participation of women. In fact, these areas offer minimal education and opportunities for employment, which often  impedes the development of leadership skills or positions. Mercy Beyond Borders focuses its programs on providing trainings, scholarships, leadership camps, and business loans for women.

To achieve their mission, Mercy Beyond Borders faces the challenge of balancing US-based operations with field work in remote areas like South Sudan and Haiti. Their nonprofit partners range from large organizations to local schools to individuals. So how does Mercy Beyond Borders ensure that all staff, vendors, and partners stay connected and working together in sync?
MBB-trained nurse in South-Sudan village
MBB-trained nurse in South Sudan village. Photo credit: Mercy Beyond Borders

Mercy Beyond Border began using G Suite to streamline its workflow, connecting their team across the globe. Using G Suite, MBB’s team is able to access, share, and collaborate together in real-time. Take a glimpse into how they do it:

  • Track Finances: MBB manages their overseas program budget expenditures in Google Sheets. Using this tool, the domestic office tracks monthly vendor payments in Haiti. This enables the staff to wire more money as needed in order to ensure program success. Additionally, using Sheets enables the team to provide transparency in the organization, clarifying spending and creating a simple overview of total annual expenses. This standardized and collaborative approach to data enables better efficiency and communication between domestic and international offices.

  • Store images: Mercy Beyond Borders regularly takes photos in the field to keep the domestic office up to date on progress and communicate stories to their donors. The team overseas is able to upload the pictures to Google Drive, which allows them to share or retrieve the images at any time.

  • Share Information: It’s imperative that MBB shares frequent updates with the Board of Directors, highlighting current developments, areas for growth, and new opportunities. To keep the Board of Directors apprised of progress, the team created a MBB Board website with Google Sites as a way to provide updates outside of meetings. The site functions as a central hub, where the Board can find all relevant information and resources at their discretion. The website is organized in subsections including internal updates from the Executive Director, background articles on country conditions and descriptions of new partnerships. To take it one step further, MBB also added a comment section for board members to engage in open communication.

“It [G Suite] helps to better connect, engage, and keep Board members up-to-date in between meetings, or  if they are unable to make a meeting (in which case they can view the Meeting Archives page),” said Adrienne Perez.


MyFace - Increasing productivity and improving internal workflow by remote access

Established in 1951, MyFace was founded to address the medical, surgical and psychological needs of those living with facial deformities. The organization offers access to care and treatments --- regardless of the severity of the anomaly, the length of treatment, or the family’s ability to afford care. In America alone, 1 in 650 children is born with an facial cleft. Every year, MyFace helps more than 1,000 patients seek treatment. Of this population, 85% are children, 70% live in poverty, and 95% require long-term care. The costs involved in this are high and verges on insurmountable for low income families. With this in mind, MyFace ensures that all children receive highest quality interdisciplinary and comprehensive reconstructive care by doctors who provide their services pro bono.

As a small nonprofit (their staff of eight including their therapy dog, Bentley), employees are required to perform a variety of different tasks. On any given day, team members might be responsible for website design, grant proposal writing, and marketing strategy. And oftentimes, what one employee starts today is  picked up by another employee tomorrow. Because it’s often all-hands-on-deck, collaboration is particularly key for MyFace.

Our mission of changing faces and transforming lives can be fulfilled with the help of technology from G4NP Carolyn Spector Executive Director MyFace

To address their challenge, MyFace began using Google Drive to centrally store, access, and share information from anywhere at anytime. Drive helped decrease the amount of time that MyFace spends on administrative tasks, like sending documents back and forth or working with out-of-date data or information. Drive’s tools like Docs and Sheets enable the team to collaborate both in and out of office.

MyFace also deals with an overwhelming amount of data and information. The team needs this data to not only be easy to store, retrieve, and share — it needs to be secure, since it contains confidential and personal patient information. G Suite offers that as well, ensuring that all information is kept private and secure. (Want to know more about G Suite security and how safe they really are? Read more about it here).

“Our mission of changing faces and transforming lives can be fulfilled with the help of technology from G4NP because it offers invaluable resources to nonprofits of any size at no cost,” stated Carolyn Spector, Executive Director of MyFace.

MyFace Staff photo
MyFace team. Photo credit: MyFace

Having global teams of different sizes with varying access to technology can make timely communication difficult, if not impossible. While nonprofits like Mercy Beyond Borders and myFace strive to accomplish unique missions, both organizations are passionate about changing the world. And about using the right technology to help. Utilizing tools like G Suite has been key for nonprofits like these in order to improve internal workflow and communications. For Mercy and my Face, making information shared, up-to-date, and secure has been crucial for navigating the Technology Age.

Interested in learning more about the tools available to your nonprofit? Check out our website to see how G4NP can help your nonprofit with real-time, up-to-date communication and data sharing.

//

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

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received free products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers free products to qualified nonprofits.


          Broadway Unlocked shares five lessons learned from hosting a livestream benefit        
Each year, one in six people in the U.S. will be victims of violent crimes. Two years ago, we became part of the effort to change that, when we began work with Broadway Unlocked. 

Two years ago, we met Jessica Ryan — a woman whose mission is rooted in two seemingly unique spheres: celebrating live theatre and helping survivors of interpersonal violence. Jessica founded the  Broadway Unlocked #giveback concert, a livestream, interactive benefit concert aimed at connecting the two communities and helping raise awareness and donations for the Crime Victims Treatment Center (CVTC). The CVTC, New York State’s largest and most comprehensive hospital-based victim assistance program, provides therapy and services to survivors of assault, abuse and violence. All treatments at CVTC are free.

In an effort to reach a larger audience and expand the nonprofit’s donor base, Broadway Unlocked collaborated with Google for Nonprofits to broadcast the show and spread the message globally in 2016. On February 22, Google for Nonprofits helped bring Broadway to YouTube for the second year in a row with one night of song and social responsibility through the concert. To bring the show beyond NYC, Google Fiber hosted a watch party at the Fiber space with local Kansas City theatre groups and community members. 

This was a Broadway show unlike any other. This was Broadway with a variety of star performers, including Kyle Dean Massey, Carolee Carmello, Ali Stroker, Natalie Weiss, and Collabro. This was Broadway hosted by Google Fiber. Streamed via Google Hangouts on Air. And fueled in part by fundraising through donation cards on YouTube. This was Broadway on the internet -- crowdfunded and broadcast for one night only.

How did Broadway Unlocked make their globally livestreamed and crowdfunded event a success? We’re turning the mic towards Broadway Unlocked to hear what they learned.

5 Lessons Learned from Hosting a Livestream Benefit

  1. Engaging the community is key: Using Hangouts on Air, we were able to pull off a cross-city sing-a-long! Check it out. The video wasn’t flawless, but we successfully transported Broadway beyond the Big Apple.

  2. Global events can help grow engagement and donor base: Putting on an event in different cities is no easy feat. But it's amazingly rewarding to bring like-minded people and groups together to support similar causes. Hangouts and livestream technology made reaching new communities easier to do in one event. And by engaging these communities, we’ve been able to grow a stronger community and ultimately, donor base.

  3. Interactive video adds another dimension of creativity: Using Hangouts allowed us to engage the audience on the other side of the screen, adding a new dimension unique from watching on a passive screen. Our creative team came up with Musical MadLibs, (our new favorite game!), which really shows how we were able to interact with the crowd through video chat.

  4. Google is a gamechanger for nonprofits: YouTube and Google Fiber enabled us to livestream the concert to theatre lovers and supporters in Kansas City and hundreds of people at home that night. This allowed us to increase the viewership of our benefit by 10X more than if we had only shown the concert to the folks at the Greene Space in NYC.

  5. Crowdfunding and donation cards can help you reach your goals: Through crowdfunding using donation cards on YouTube, One Today donations, live fundraising at the concert, and private donations, we raised more than ever before -- an astounding $50,000. This additional funding will hugely impact our ability to provide treatments for victims of domestic violence in tandem with the CVTC.

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

If you are a U.S. nonprofit looking to add donation cards to your YouTube videos, learn more here.

Nonprofits aren't endorsed by YouTube or Google


          Proenhance patch - What's the result you can see from Proenahnce patch        



Does the wish of enlarging your penis prove you are bored with this and so the techniques per the extension of your penis to fulfill your partner? Do you need to swing harder than before? So here's your chance to capture the occasion of a lifetime. It's never too late to use a single patch that will cause your penis to enlarge.

ProEnhance patch has nuanced the awareness on ancient herbs, the most recent technology, and the team of analysts did their best to get a product that might ensure success.

From the start, the company that provides ProEnhance patch had realized the requirement of men to enlarge their penises. If men have a little size of the penis, this treatment will be of big help.

Click here to learn more about Proenhance patch



The extensive research has given credit to many herbal products that may truly enlarge the size of the penis. The agents on the herbs include Damiana, Palm heart of the Sierra, Gotu Kola, Fo-Ti, and menthol. Menthol carries the responsibility of preparing the skin for the nutrients absorption while the rest are nutrient suppliers. Since the ingredients are a hundred p.c natural, you can fully enjoy the benefit of a larger penis, with no harm of the unwished-for side effects!

ProEnhance patch is devoted to your victory over little or normal penis and supports this with a 100 percent guarantee and 24 hour support. The ProEnhance patch method is authorized by gurus. Being e a hundred % natural and independently tested, the ProEnhance patch, was invented to be not harmful for you, unlike any other more pointy and prepared herbs in the market.

The other ten percent still have a need of streamlining to make them take effect better.

ProEnhance has taken all of the methods to increase penis size, has launched the finest that is at present available on the market and offering you only the best techniques of penis enhancement. While some jump from one system to another, ProEnhance patch has demonstrated that the company can work to simplify the chasing best system and they should not let the clients to do all the work.

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More articles:
Proenhance patch - Improve your performance on bed
Proenhance patch - Improve your performance on bed
Proenhance patch - Skyrocket your confidence
Proenhance patch - The Worries Are Over

          Proenhance patch - How can you Use Effectively The Proenhance Patch        



Many folks do not like swallowing pills. Many others do not wish to waste time to exercise or pumping the penis. Many other still don't want to entrust the care of his penis to some method of traction. So which strategy to choose for penis enlargement? Another strategy would be the patch.

The patches have found so far great achievement in abandonment of smoking, in the old-muscle inflammation and certain hormonal treatments.

ProEnhance is a mix of traditional awareness of herbal medicine and sophisticated technologies, leading to a product that can guarantee the desired level of success.

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The different herbs can drastically change penis size.

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The ProEnhance patch is a technique that was given approval recently by several pros from many nations of the world. In addition to this, these patches are produced by a cGMP Certified Pharmaceutical facility. Being a completely natural product and being tested by independent bodies may be one method of consider the ProEnhance penis enlargement market more interesting and actually the least intrusive when it comes to the enlargement of your penis.

You need to attach it on the skin and all the active ingredients are without delay driven to the bloodstream all the way through the skin. So, you don't have to fret about any harmful ingredients the patch might are taken into your bloodstream in their total.

The Proenhance patches are intensely suitable to carry, but there are still some questions that can be asked about the product, generally when you are at a security check of an airport.

therefore , in a number of ways, using the Proenhance patch is a more convenient way of enlarging the penis than the herbal pills alternative.

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

          Senior Engineer, Manufacturing Sciences (Upstream) #662 - KBI Biopharma        
Durham, NC - Company:KBI Biopharma
Job Location(s):Durham, NC
Start Date:Immediately

Employment Term:Regular
Employment Type:Full Time
Starting Salary Range:Competitive

Required Education:Bachelor's Degree
Required Experience:3 to 5 years
Required Security Clearance:None
Related
          How Barack Obama's Modification of Your Mortgage Can Really Help Those Suffering Financially        
The New Mortgage Loan Modification Programs were introduced by the Obama administration in March 2009. For those of you struggling to meet your monthly repayments and with the threat of possible foreclosure hanging over you, this could be just the thing you are looking for.

With the agonizing recent recession and slump in housing prices, this has had a huge effect on millions of Americans. The Obama Loan Modification process has been introduced to help you through these hard times.

So what help is the government offering exactly?

Should you own and live in your mortgaged property and have a loan balance of below $729,750 you may be eligible. The government are looking to streamline your payments for up to five years. This may involve lowering the interest rate or extending the term of your mortgage.

For those of you suffering financial hardship and wishing to participate in this plan, you will be required to write and sign a letter stating such and if your overall debts are above 55% of your income, you will have to agree to take part in credit counseling. The final criteria to be eligible is that you must haven taken your loan out prior to January 1st 2009.

The process is a very rigorous form of verification, involving proof of ownership, proof of income and expenditure, through supplying relevant documents. Many industry experts believe that if these plans had been brought in a few years ago, then perhaps the current housing crisis could have been avoided altogether.

There are many companies who can help you through the legal and financial aspects for the Modification of your mortgage.

However, some Loan Modification Companies have been reported to charge anywhere between $1500 - $5000 to perform this service. So this, of course, has led the way for certain individuals to fight back and complete the procedures on their own. To learn how you can complete this process yourself Click Here.
          Ð§ÐµÑ€Ñ€Ð¸ / About Cherry (2012) BDRemux 1080p | L1        

Категория: Фильмы/HDTV/HD/Blu-Ray/MKV
Размер: 17.56 GB
Траффик: Раздают (отдают): 9,886, Скачивают (качают): 3,172
Добавлен: 2017-08-10 13:45:08
Описание: Информация о фильме
Название: Черри
Оригинальное название: About Cherry
Год выхода: 2012
Жанр: драма

Режиссер: Стивен Эллиот
В ролях: Эшли Хиншоу, Лили Тейлор, Дев Патель, Джонни Уэстон, Джеймс Франко, Хизер Грэм, Дайан Фарр, Майя Рэйнс, Винсент Пало, Элана Крауш

О фильме:
История 18-летний девушки начинающей работать в порнографическом бизнесе после того, как она переезжает в Сан-Франциско. Первое о чем ей предстоит позаботиться – какой-нибудь заработок. Новый город – новые друзья, новая судьба и пьянящая возможность легко и весело заработать, снимаясь у профессионалов. Сначала фото, потом видео - можно показать себя, пускай и полностью, без цензуры. Для раскованной симпатичной девчонки это легко.

http://s.rutor.info/imdb/pic/1945062.gif http://www.kinopoisk.ru/rating/592037.gif

Страна: США
Студия: Enderby Entertainment, Gordon Bijelonic / Datari Turner Films
Продолжительность: 01:42:11
Перевод: Любительский одноголосный, закадровый [Kerob]

Файл
Кодек: h.264
Качество: BDRemux
Видео: 1920x1080, 24598 Kbps, 23.98 fps
Звук:
AC3, 48 KHz, 6 ch ~ 448 Kb/s (русский);
DTS, 48 KHz, 6 ch ~ 1510 Kb/s (английский).
Субтитры:
Английские (полные), PGS;
Испанские (полные), PGS;
Русские (полные), SRT;
Русские (форсированные), SRT.

Семпл

Скриншоты

M.I

          LG Introduces The Curved Phone G Flex 2        
LG Introduces The Curved Phone G Flex 2

Back in 2014, LG released the G Flex handset, a 6-inch smartphone with a unique curved body design and a self-healing coating that clears up scratches or any damage done to the device's casing.  

Now, the South Korean company is introducing an enhanced and more streamlined version, the G Flex 2. This time around, the newest version comes with a smaller but more handy 5.5-inch display screen, and Qualcomm's most powerful chip set.

The G Flex 2 smartphone was introduced by LG during its very recent press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show 2015 (CES 2015) held in Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States. 

With its introduction, LG's G Flex 2 handset is the first of many phones this year expected to feature Qualcomm's newest offering -- the Snapdragon 810 processor. It is an eight-core 2.0 GigaHertz chip set that is 64-bit compatible for Android 5.0 Lollipop, the latest version of the Android mobile operating system. The 810 processor functions with 2 gigabytes of memory, and can support 3 x 20 MegaHertz LTE carrier aggregation for all networks that support it.

For the device's display screen, LG employed its own plastic OLED display technology. Techies may recall that this is the same display technology utilized in LG's G Watch R wearable device. But in G Flex 2's case, the resolution is set higher to 1080 pixels. 

As for its camera, the G Flex 2 smartphone sports a 13-megapixel camera that has laser autofocus system and optical image stabilization -- features that users may also find in LG's current flagship device (the LG G3).

The G Flex 2 features a 3,000 mAh battery that takes full advantage of Qualcomm's fast charging technology available via the latest Snapdragon chip sets. This technology significantly reduces the recharging time by up to 75 percent. Thus, users can get the G Flex 2 half-charged in just 40 minutes.

But what really makes the G Flex 2 unique is its curved body. The front side (display screen) has a 700 millimeter curved radius, while the rear side is curved just a bit less (650 millimeter radius). This is by design, by the way. According to LG, this helps users hold the phone more easily and also, allows the device to fit more easily in users' pockets.

Naturally, the G Flex 2 will be launched first in South Korea before the end of the month. But American users will not have long to wait. Major carriers AT&T and Sprint have already confirmed that they will be including the device in their respective smartphone line-ups this year. Regional carrier US Cellular has also announced that they will be offering the device in spring. No specific release dates and pricing details have been provided yet, but LG fans in the US should be pretty excited nonetheless. 

Want to know more LG devices? You can start comparing LG phones and plans now.

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          AT&T Throttles Users On Unlimited Data Plans Regardless Of Network Congestion        
AT&T Throttles Users On Unlimited Data Plans Regardless Of Network Congestion

AT&T has confirmed that it is throttling subscribers under its unlimited data plans, no matter how congested the network is. 

As reported by Ars Technica, subscribers who are using non-LTE 3G/HSPA+ handsets and are under unlimited data plans only get throttled when network congestion becomes heavy, and when the users exceed 3 gigabytes of data within a single billing period. But apparently, these same conditions do not apply to customers on LTE.

If a subscriber is under, say, a legacy AT&T unlimited plan and uses up more than 5 gigabytes of data on an LTE-compatible handset in a span of a month, the subscriber's data speeds will automatically be reduced for the remainder of the billing period, even if the network remains free of congestion.

Ars Technica further reported that data speeds slowed down from 23.5 mbps on average to just 0.1 mbps. When the subscriber's billing period is reset, only then are the data speeds returned to their normal levels. However, once the subscriber reaches 5 gigabytes, data speeds are automatically reduced again.

For its part, AT&T issued a statement defending its network management practices as legitimate. The carrier claims that the throttling was put in place in order to provide optimum network service for its subscribers.

AT&T further added that it is planning to address the data throttling concerns between its LTE and non-LTE unlimited subscribers sometime next year. The carrier says that it will be reducing data speeds for LTE users in congested networks as soon as that option is made available.

AT&T may be claiming that it is throttling data speeds for the benefit of all customers using its networks. But others see the throttling as a ploy to lead on long-term customers to more lucrative limited data plans. This tactic has been employed before, namely by Sprint for its Unlimited My Way and My All-In plans. Even Verizon Wireless thought of doing the same thing, but then the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stepped in and pressured Big Red to reverse its decision. 

Right now, fewer than 20 percent of all AT&T customers are under unlimited data plans. Those that are signed up for the plans because they were thinking they could stream and download without having to worry about high overage fees if they exceed their data allotments. But it appears that they are getting throttled anyway, rendering their data privileges useless. 

As for the network congestion claims, some may find it hard to believe, especially when the subscribers who are under more expensive data plans (up to 100 gigabytes each month) never get to experience throttled data speeds.

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          Streaming du nouvel album de Stone Sour        
Hydrograd, le nouvel LP de Stone Sour, s'écoute en entier ...
          Ferenusia, Les Outrepasseurs tome 4, Cindy Van Wilder        
L'annonce de Ferenusia sur twitter il y a déjà quelques temps m'avait plus qu'émoustillait. Il faut dire que les Outrepasseurs, la série dont il est quatrième tome et spin-off, m'avait fait forte impression en 2015 (déjà ?). J'avais hâte de le lire.

Ferenusia, Les Outrepasseurs tome 4, Cindy Van Wilder

Editeur : Gulf Stream
Collection : /
Année de parution : 2017
Nombre de pages : 382

A lire si :
- Vous voulez le fin mot de l'histoire des Outrepasseurs
 Vous ne voulez pas de fés à la Disney
- Vous voulez de l'action

A ne pas lire si : 
- Vous voulez des gros monstres
 - Vous voulez de la fée gentille
- Vous n'avez pas lu la trilogie d'origine.

Présentation de l'éditeur : 

" Qui étaient ces êtres, si semblables et pourtant si différents des hommes ? On ne pouvait pas nier leur peau grise, qui se détachait délicatement de la structure de fer à laquelle ils s'accrochaient avec toute l'aisance d'alpinistes chevronnés. Soudain, la caméra bascula sur le buste de la statue de la Liberté. En lettre majuscules, vert sombre, s'étalait le mot : "FERENUSIA" " 
Privé de la magie presque disparue, l'empire des Outrepasseurs se disloque de toutes parts. Seul survivants dans cette débâcle, les Ferreux, des fés réduits à l'esclavage, s'échappent de leurs prisons. Soutenus par Ferenusia, un réseau clandestin, ils n'ont qu'un seul objectif : obtenir les mêmes droits que les humains, dans un monde qui ignore tout de leur existence. Mais leurs anciens maîtres sont prêts à tout pour protéger leurs secrets, quitte à éliminer le moindre témoin de leurs forfaits passés...

Mon avis

Ferenusia est un tome à part des Outrepasseurs. S'il est présenté comme un quatrième tome et une fin définitive de la série, il en est aussi un spin-off. Pas tout à fait hors série donc, mais pas non plus totalement dedans. Du coup, je préfére avertir dès le début, sans avoir lu la dite-série, il vaut mieux ne pas le lire sous peine de ne pas tout comprendre, voire même de se sentir totalement perdu dans l'histoire et avec les personnages. Pourquoi ? Parce qu'il commence quelques semaines après la fin du Libérateur et que l'autrice a décidé que nous avons déjà lu la trilogie et donc qu'il n'est pas totalement nécessaire de nous rappeler qui est qui. Une décision que j'apprécie puisque nous plongeons ainsi dans le vif du sujet mais que d'autres peuvent peut-être voir comme un inconvénient. 

Mais passons à l'histoire. Celle des Ferreux. Car ce tome se concentre sur ce peuple que nous avons pu découvrir dans les tomes précédents. Un peuple de fés qui bien que touché par la disparition de la magie continue de vivre, ou plutôt de survivre. Libérés des Outrepasseurs, les voilà qui plongent dans le monde des humains, un monde qu'ils ne connaissent pas et qui ne les connait pas. Passés du statut d'esclave à celui de Ferreuses et Ferreux libres n'a rien de simple. Encore moins lorsque les Outrepasseurs restant, bien que privés de la malédiction, décident de les poursuivre pour les faire taire, et cela de manière définitive. 

Cindy Van Wilder nous entraîne donc à la suite des Ferreuses et des Ferreux dans leur quête de liberté. Pour cela, elle a choisit de nous faire suivre Red Wing et Smokey, que nous connaissions déjà mais aussi Kalinda, Elween et Owen, qui eux se trouvent en Australie. Des personnages vraiment intéressants et surtout assez différents les uns des autres pour en apprendre plus sur leur peuple. J'ai d'ailleurs beaucoup apprécié les passages australiens, la quête de liberté de ces personnes qui ne comprennent pas ce qu'il se passe. Une opposition assez forte avec Red Wing et les londoniens qui eux ont déjà vu le monde et sont un peu plus apte, grâce Ã  Smokey, a le comprendre. 

Ce qu'il y a de fortement intéressant Ã  prendre les Ferreux comme héros, c'est de pouvoir voir tout ce que peut offrir ce peuple en terme de tolérance mais aussi la manière dont leur nouvelle liberté peut-être vu. Les voilà avec un statut de réfugiés et avec tout ce que cela implique. Si vous avez en tête ce qu'il se passe avec les réfugiés syriens, vous n'êtes finalement pas très loin. Heureusement, l'autrice leur offre une fin qui semble bien plus sympathique que pour les syriens et que personnellement, j'aimerais voir pour ces gens. Même si l'intégration ne se fait pas dans la douceur, après tout les Outrepasseurs essayent toujours de les faire disparaître, les gens "normaux" ont peur de ces êtres différents, elle se fait. Et cela grâce Ã  des personnes qui croient en la différence, en la diversité. C'est un beau message que transmet Cindy Van Wilder dans ce roman.

Et ce n'est pas le seul. L'un des personnage, S., est genderfluid. Je ne sais pas très doué en explication mais en gros, c'est un personnage qui ne se sent ni homme ni femme mais de genre neutre. J'ai apprécié que l'autrice utilise la langue neutre (pronom iel par exemple, conjugaison des adjectif au pluriels pour ne pas mégenrer le personnage). Ce genre de personnage est encore rare et il est appréciable d'en trouver, surtout uns comme S., qui doit faire face à ce qu'iel est mais aussi aux regards des autres et au sien. D'ailleurs, la communauté LGBT+ est plutôt bien représenté avec des personnages bi et homosexuels. Ce qui est encore mieux, c'est que les personnages ne sont pas des représentations stéréotypés de la communauté et que leur orientation sexuelle et leur genre ne fait pas tout le personnage. Ainsi, je ne définis pas S que comme genderfluid, mais comme la personne qui remonte le réseau Ferenusia, qui a une dent contre les Outrepasseurs et une envie immense que tout le monde puisse être libre et égaux. Cindy Van Wilder approfondit plus les relations entre personnages, qu'elles soient amicales ou non, que les relations amoureuses (même si nous en trouvons une dans le lot).

Qu'ajouter de plus pour finir cet avis ? Je suis contente de voir que je n'avais pas "fabulé" une certaine relation qui vient tout en douceur au cours du Libérateur et de ce tome. J'ai encore une fois beaucoup apprécié l'écriture de Cindy Van Wilder, toujours aussi poétique et en même temps percutant. Ce dernier tome est riche, en personnage, en représentativité et en action. J'ai apprécié retrouvé d'anciens compagnons, d'en redécouvrir certains et de découvrir d'autres membres des Ferreux. Au final, le roman aura été un nouveau coup de coeur, comme les autres tomes de la série.

Et je finirais réellement sur un petit avis sur la nouvelle qui accompagne parfaitement le roman, Tsimoka, paru dans l'anthologie Fées et Automates des Imaginales 2016. Une nouvelle qui permet de mettre en lumière une partie du texte du roman, puisqu'elle raconte un événement important de l'histoire des Ferreux. Je les beaucoup apprécié même si elle manque d'un petit quelque chose en plus. Disons que je l'aurais peut-être moins apprécié si je l'avais lu avant Ferenusia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Nintendo Japan


          Story behind my choice of career :p        


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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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

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



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



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

          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



  •           Comment on [INFO] 170810 Stream Links to watch KBS Manhole Drama – Kim Jaejoong, UEE, Baro & Jung Hyesung by Georgia Peach        
    Kris, thanks to you...I just finished the first episode of our JJ's drama! Wasn't it just the stuff? Loved, Loved, Loved it! How much fun is this going to be? And Jaejoong just looks great! The screen is full of him. And his acting is just spot on! What a fun and crazy character. Now for the second episode! Now I know what I'll be doing for the next 15 weeks on my Friday mornings. Thank you sooooo much! I had to smile really big when he wished SuJin a happy birthday......he said that to me too! Where were my Choco Pies? Goodness, I'm greedy 😈 Smiling like I'm crazy here in Georgia‼️
              Comment on [VIDEO/PICS/SNS] 170809 V-Live: KBS2 Manhole Drama’s Early Interview – Jaejoong, UEE, Baro & Hyesung by Sapphire        
    @Anne thank you so much! I tried watching live on aqstream but it froze up for long seconds at a time every few seconds so that it became unwatchable.
              2014-07-03 18:30:00 / City Talk bei H'Otello K'80 in der Greys Bar & Lounge        
    Sommer trifft Stil. Die Greys Bar & Lounge lebt die raffinierte Barkultur Berlins. Maßgeschneiderte Cocktail-kreationen abseits des Mainstream-Geschmacks, feine Barsnacks und coole Sounds schaffen urbanes Sommerfeeling am Puls der Stadt. Die angrenzende Sommerterrasse lädt zu anregenden Gesprächen ein. Entdecken Sie Ihren ...

              5 Gründe, eine Ideenliste zu führen        

    Die meisten von uns haben keine Probleme, neue Ideen zu finden.

    Aber die meisten von uns haben Mühe, diese neuen Ideen dann tatsächlich einmal in die Wirklichkeit umzusetzen.

    Das hat mehrere Gründe. Richtig blöd ist aber, wenn wir zwar eine geniale Idee haben, sie danach mit der Zeit vergessen.

    Damit dir das nicht passiert, gibt es die Ideenliste.

    Ursprünglich habe ich diese Idee (sic!) bei „Getting Things Done“ (GTD) kennengelernt.

    David Allen empfiehlt ja den Kontext „Irgendwann/Vielleicht“ (Someday/Maybe). Hier gehören alle Ideen hin.

    Jede Woche (wichtig!) schaut man auf diese Liste und prüft, ob man nicht etwas davon umsetzen möchte.

    Das ist aber nur die eine Funktion der Ideenliste: Dafür sorgen, dass wir keine Idee vergessen.

    Es gibt noch weitere Vorteile, weshalb sich eine Ideenliste lohnt. Hier sind fünf davon.

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/ideenliste/


              Vergiss Selbstdisziplin - Wie gelingen Veränderungen wirklich?        

    Zeitmanagement ist Veränderung - und die kann durchaus leicht sein.

    Ein anderes Gebiet, in dem es auch um Veränderung geht, ist Fitness, Bewegung und Ernährung. Was liegt also näher, als mal einen echten Experten rund um Veränderung zu befragen?

    Genau das habe ich getan und meinen Freund Mark Maslow von marathonfitness.de zu einem Interview eingeladen.

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/veraenderungen/


              So bremst dich die Angst, etwas zu verpassen, aus        

    Die meisten Probleme im Zeitmanagement brocken wir uns selbst ein.

    Wenn wir schlecht organisiert sind, sollten wir nicht mit dem Finger auf den Chef, die Kunden, die Kollegen oder die Wirtschaft zeigen.

    Vergiss nicht: Wenn wir mit dem Finger auf jemanden zeigen, zeigen ziemlich viele unserer anderen Finger auf uns selbst.

    Das Gute daran: Wir können hier und jetzt die Entscheidung treffen, unser Zeitmanagement zu verbessern. Die Fäden für eine höhere Produktivität und eine bessere Arbeitsorganisation liegen in unserer Hand!

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/angst-etwas-zu-verpassen/


              #130 Aufschieberitis: Das kannst du wirklich gegen den inneren Schweinehund tun.        

    Hast du heute schon was aufgeschoben? Ganz ehrlich: ich habe schon einiges aufgeschoben:

    • Ich blieb noch ein paar Minuten im schönen, warmen Bett.
    • Danach habe ich in ein paar Facebook-Gruppen gelesen, anstatt mich parat zu machen und zum Sport zu gehen.
    • Bevor ich diese Zeilen schrieb, habe ich zuerst mal gemütlich Kaffee getrunken.

    Aufschieberitis (oder Prokrastination) ist ein ganz normales Verhalten für uns Menschen. Jeder schiebt mal auf - meistens sogar täglich.

    Richtig problematisch wird es aber dann, wenn wir ständig oder regelmäßig aufschieben und so unsere Aufgaben nicht oder erst auf den letzten Drücker erledigen. Also weder zeitnah noch stressfrei.

    Meine heutige Aufschieberitis war kein Problem. Vielleicht war es eher Trödeln, doch ich war pünktlich beim Sport und mit diesem Text hier bin ich auch voll auf Kurs.

    Was hinter der Aufschieberitis wirklich steht, weshalb der Begriff des "inneren Schweinehund" problematisch ist und wie du ihn ins Boot holst, erfährst du hier.

    Die Shownotes findest du unter https://ivanblatter.com/aufschieberitis/


              Comment on The Best Ways To Conserve Meat Without Refrigeration by Neil Larson        
    These are great ideas, but I imagine there are less than half of the US that can even get a space to 36F. In the south, even if you have a stream coming off the mountains and build a spring house, you won't be able to get the room to 36 except in the winter months. Here is Mississippi, there is not a chance of this even during the coldest winter months. How about info for storing meats for this of us not living in the mountains in the north?
              Penfed 6.25% CD Strategy        
    Penfed is currently offering 6.25% APY CDs for their 3 to 7 year terms. The rate is very attractive for an investment with virtually no risk. This rate is among the highest, if not the highest insured-rate in the nation. With interest rates expected to decrease in the future, it would be a good idea to lock in these rates. I want to maximize the benefits of these CDs. I have 100K to invest and I've come up with a few scenarios.
    Scenario #1: Lock 100K in a 7-year 6.25% APY CD and have the interest paid out by check monthly. The idea is to have a recurring income.
    Pros: Lock in high interest rate for the maximum CD term. Protected from future interest rate decreases. Income delivered my savings account every month. Principal is protected.
    Cons: Sacrifice of compounded interest. Principal amount will be lock in for a long period, money is not accessible immediately and may result in loss of future investment opportunities if they arise.
    Scenario #2: Lock 100K in a 3-year 6.25% APY CD and have the interest reinvested. Cash out CD at maturity.
    Pros: Short term
    Cons: If interest rates decrease a lot, I would lose the opportunity for high insured-interest-rates.
    Scenario #3: Lock 25K each in a 3-year CD, 4-year CD, 5-year CD, and a 7-year CD, and compound interest.
    Pros: Duration of CDs are spread out.
    Cons: May not maximize interest earnings.
    My idea in Scenario #1 is to create a streaming income investment vehicle by putting 100K in a CD and collecting interest each month. The downside is locking up 100K of cash. Early withdrawal is a steep 365 days of interest for the 7-year CD. I can put the whole 100K in a 3-year CD (Scenario #2), which would give me more liquidity but if interest rates come down in the future, I would lose the high inerest rate opportunity. The third option (Scenario #3) is a CD ladder and would give me better liquidity. Still, locking up 100K for at least 3 years without seeing any income from that investment is a tough decision. That brings me back to the idea of receiving a monthly check for interest and locking in the CD for the longest term, the 7-year CD.
    Locking in 100K in a 7-year 6.25% APY CD and compounding interest would yield the highest interest, but that would made the 100K inaccessible for a long period of time and I can't afford that. There's always good investment opportunities out there and I don't want to be caught with money tied up. Also, I'm looking forward to buying an investment property in the near future, so I may need to tap into the money. What do you think is the best option for me?

              Selective Amnesia of Reagan’s Legacy        

    Amazingly and audaciously, the mainstream media and liberal pundocracy has created a narrative that President Obama’s newly found centrism is molded in the inspirational optimism of President Reagan.  This narrative seems confusing, when many liberals excoriate Reagan’s economic policy as the grim reaper of capitalism coming to instill all the inequities of the free market.


    Reagan, like the Tea Party, believed heavily in the primacy of the individual over the government and limited self-government constrained by the Constitution.  
    Reagan, in his “A Time for Choosing” speech, echoed these sentiments by saying, “A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. They also knew, those Founding Fathers, that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.”


    On the flipside, President Obama in his State of the Union Address enunciated the greater need for “investment” (i.e. government spending and subsidies) wrapped in the rhetorical trappings of American exceptionalism and greatness.   This deceptive rhetoric attempted to mask the policy that undergirded Obama’s State of the Union address which called for more dubious government subsidies for green energy and an increase in spending for high-speed rail boondoggles.  If American citizens were groping and longing for high-speed rail,  wouldn’t it be flourishing by now after nearly 30 years since the French launched their Paris-Lyon TGV line?

     
    If there is no demand for these industries, how else can government make them appealing, but by way of force, coercion or wasteful subsidizing hoping to create a market for these currently unwanted and inefficient products?

     
    Are we to forget the GM bailout,  Dodd-Frank financial regulation and an intrusive government intervention into our healthcare system?  Do President Obama’s policies even close to matching his own rhetoric in the State of the Union, let alone Reagan’s?


    These pontificators may be well-intentioned, but it is more than condescending to attempt to link President Obama with the former President merely based on oratorical flourishes and Reaganesque-style optimism.  Their ideas on the proper function and role of the government stand in stark contrast.


    As AEI’s Steven Hayward insightfully notes, Reagan believed that modern liberalism unequivocally left him.  

    Reagan's invocation of Paine, as well as his quotation of John Winthrop's "City upon a Hill" sermon, expresses the core of his optimism and belief in the dynamism of American society, a dynamism that can have unconservative effects. But he explained his use of Paine in conservative terms way back in his 1965 autobiography, Where's the Rest of Me? "The classic liberal," Reagan wrote, "used to be the man who believed the individual was, and should be forever, the master of his destiny. That is now the conservative position. The liberal used to believe in freedom under law. He now takes the ancient feudal position that power is everything. He believes in a stronger and stronger central government, in the philosophy that control is better than freedom. The conservative now quotes Thomas Paine, a longtime refuge of the liberals: 'Government is a necessary evil; let us have as little of it as possible.'"

    Maybe It is time for President Obama to return to some of Founder's writings in order to rediscover his inner centrism.  He can begin with Thomas Paine.

     


              7 Regionally Flavoured Songs From Bollywood That Have Done Justice To Their Origin        

    These are the best songs from Mainstream Bollywood with some regional flavours. India, the land of more than 1 Billion people, who speak more than a hundred languages. This specific information means that there are more than hundred ways in which you say a thing. Along with this, every single nook and corner of this

    The post 7 Regionally Flavoured Songs From Bollywood That Have Done Justice To Their Origin appeared first on RapidLeaks.


              VOIP no Nokia N97        
    A Nokia (ou as operadoras) bem que tentou desabilitar a possibilidade de fazer chamadas VOIP no N97, como era possível no N95, E61, E71, etc... Mas no link a seguir há um passo a passo para habilitar o VOIP através de perfil SIP no N97.

    http://winkstreaming.com/en/n97_sip/

    Basicamente caiu na rede um arquivo executável .sis da própria Nokia, ou seja, assinado, que habilita um monte de opções para VOIP.

    Fiz a configuração conforme o site explicou e funcionou perfeitamente com o Vono através de uma conexão 3G.

    Para saber as configurações do VONO em celulares Symbian, veja este post. Faça as adaptações necessárias e aproveite as tarifas mais em conta.
                      
    LADY GETS HER DEER



     Late October, I had been bowhunting an active scrape line in the Southern zone. I had been in a tree twice with my climber in an attempt to see that buck and scout the area for deer activity. It had been a few years since I last hunted here, but I knew the property well. The first morning I saw three deer out of range travelling through just after dawn heading towards bedding ground. The second morning nothing and no evening activity either. I gave it a rest.

    I had a week’s vacation planned to go up north in the Adirondacks and hunt during the rifle season with family. Upon my return, my rifle tag unfilled, I went back to my bow and set up on that same southern zone scrape line which was still active. I made a plan for a morning hunt. It was a Sunday. My last day off before returning back to work. 

    This time I climbed a tree closer to where I had seen the three deer cross in the weeks prior. Twenty yards off the scrape line and a hundred yards from pine bedding areas. That morning with my arrow nocked and ready, dawn was about to break. I peered down from my stand, checked for open shooting lanes, and slowly ranged my surroundings, a twenty yard circle. I only had a few hours to spare that day to hunt. I settled in and waited.

    It was a quiet and frosty morning. The sky clear and sunrise came rising low on the horizon. I was facing east and I forgot to wear a billed cap under my fleece hat. I cursed myself for not thinking of it. A stand of tall hemlocks in the woods helped screen the early sun. As the temps rose above the freezing mark, I saw White breasted Nuthatches, Brown Creepers, Downy Woodpeckers and a mouse. No deer.

    I had forgotten my phone, so I didn’t know the time. There was no deer activity. No coyotes or turkey. I thought it might be nearing 0930. I wanted to be done by 1000.  I was getting hungry and began thinking about that first morning cup of coffee. I was sure the deer would have been through by now to bed, so I looked around, coast was clear, no deer. I lowered my bow to the ground and started climbing down quietly. I said to myself, I’ll hunt as I walk out.

    About halfway down the tree, something, whether noise or movement had me look to my left and I saw a buck 40- 50 yards out slowly trotting by coming from the pines. A nice buck! I quickly anchored my seat into the tree, hoisted up my bow, nocked an arrow, turned putting my back to the tree, and faced the buck that hadn’t broke stride and continued to trot away. I cupped my hand to my mouth and gave the best low grunts I knew how to make in order to entice this fella back! Nothing... no reaction! I had my commercial grunt call on doe estrus and I bleated twice. Nothing..! He kept moving uninterested and had even passed through downwind of me. I was only eight feet off the ground when I stopped climbing. He continued and crossed the stream. He travelled up a slope covered in honeysuckle thickets and stopped looking out ahead of him in his original direction of travel. I could only make out his silhouette...100+ yards. I grunted again! Nothing….I quickly hung my bow on my left arm, grabbed my homemade rattle bag from my cargo pocket, and gave four aggressive rattles with the bag.  I kept rattling and rattling. Finally, on the fifth or so rattle he turned his head back, listened, and did a roll away 180 degrees and started trotting back towards me on the path in
    which he came. He closed that distance by half and I shoved the rattle bag back into my cargo pocket. I grasped my bow again with my left hand.  He came in about fifty yards from me slowing and looking for the fight. I tapped the rattlebag in my cargo pocket a couple of times to give him a signal to come my way. He didn’t take the scrape line trail on my left instead he travelled almost the same line in which he came, but the lasts taps worked and he angled my way. I slowly repositioned to the right as he moved closer and when his head passed by two big offset trees, I used it as a blind and drew back. I followed him bow fully drawn and gave a “baahhh” by mouth when I felt comfortable with the range. He stopped. I saw my lane,” broadside chest, release, good shot, chest!’ went through my head.  He ran about seventy 75 yards and went down. He broke off the arrow while running, double lunged with an exit wound. I had bagged a beautiful 8 point pre-rut buck. 158#

    The hunt was memorable. I threw everything I knew at him in less than a minute and got him to turn back. I just kept thinking and doing. I would have been just as charged up if it was a spike. I got lucky on the mature buck it turned out to be. I thank the landowner for their generosity and the opportunity for this hunt.




                      

    LAKE PLACID HIGH PEAKS TURKEY HUNT  MAY 1, 2013





    HIGH PEAKS GOBBLER


    Three years ago, the New York State Outdoor Writers Association held its annual fall conference in Lake Placid. I limited my outdoor activities that weekend to the various types of lake and stream fi shing the area offers.

    October is a great time to be standing by or in any of the many trout streams or boats fi shing their crystal clear lakes. Threre isn’t a more picturesque place to be during the peak of the colorful foliage season. During the day’s conference, I found out they had a growing population of wild turkeys. Lake Placid Tourism hosted dinner that evening, and I said I’d like to try hunting these high-peak gobblers in the spring.

    In late January, I got an email from Sue Cameron, events and communications manager of the Lake Placid CVB/Regional Offi ce of Sustainable Tourism, asking if I was still interested in hunting turkey in the high peaks, and if I was, what would I need. It didn’t take me long to answer that question. I told her if they could find any properties that had turkeys, all I’d need is permission to hunt. I also added if someone, or a guide, wanted to help me, that would be great.

    Several weeks later, Sue contacted me and said she had talked to many of the hunters in the area, and the name that kept popping up when it comes to turkeys was Bill Moore, the Lake Placid chief of police. I also found out that Bill had taken two NYSOWA members turkey hunting during the fall conference. I thought this was great, because I’d have someone familiar with the territory and the bird’s habits and locations. In all my years of hunting, I’ve never shot a turkey north of Glens Falls, and I was going to be hunting the high peaks.

    Shortly after lunch April 30, I headed for Lake Placid. I’ve always enjoyed the ride on state Route 73 from the Adirondack Northway at Exit 30 to Lake Placid village. It winds through Essex County’s Keene Valley and alongside the famous trout waters of the Ausable River.

    What really surprised me was the large chunks of ice still on some of the high rock walls. I believe when the foliage along this road starts to green, it’s almost as beautiful as in the fall. I wasn’t the only one that day to stop at one of the pull-offs to take a few photos.

    It was right around 3 p.m. when I passed the Olympic ski jumps that were built when Lake Placid hosted the 1980 Winter Olympics. My first stop in town was to check in with Sue Cameron, who gave me directions to The Pines Inn, where I would be spending the night. The Pines Inn is a turn-of-the-century historic inn, but with all the modern conveniences, and the proprietors, Jill and Frank Segger, were very congenial hosts.

    Once settled in, I had an early dinner, and later that afternoon, I met up with Bill at his son, Sean’s, baseball game. Sean was going to join us for opening day of the turkey season, but he was one up on us. On the first day of the Youth Hunt season, Sean shot a 20-pound tom with a nine-inch beard oneinch spurs.

    THE HUNT

    I set the alarm for 4:15 a.m., but I was up shortly after 3, as usual, anxious to get into the woods. It was still dark when Bill and Sean picked me up, and he said we’d start on his friend’s property. His friend had called the night before and said he heard toms gobbling out behind his house.

    We parked several hundred yards from where the birds were believed to have roosted, then walked slowly down a dirt road winding through the pines, stopping occasionally to call, but got no responses. Before leaving, we set up on the edge of a fi eld, made a few more calls, got one response, but nothing after that.

    “Back to the original plan,” Bill said.

    We packed up and headed for the area he’d roosted birds several times during the week. As we were driving down the road leading to the property, we saw a tom and two hens well out into a field, and on our way to turn around, we spotted at least six birds on the other side of the road, about 200 yards in along a woodline. Two were definitely toms.

    We quickly parked the truck and began sneaking and peeking, using bushes and trees to cover our advance. Sean and I got within about 50 yards of where we thought the birds were feeding, and each took a spot where we could watch each side of the cover. Sean was watching the left, I the right.

    Bill stayed back about 25 yards in the high brush and set out his decoy. The plan was that the tom would see the decoy and head for it, and Sean or I would intercept him.

    Bill began with several soft yelps on his slate and immediately got several booming responses. This is when that chill runs up and down your spine and your fi nger slowly moves towards the safety as you anchor your cheek on the shotgun’s stock. I don’t care who you are or how long you’ve been hunting turkeys, when you know that tom is interested and coming, you can feel your adrenaline level beginning to rise. I know that mine rose significantly when I heard him spitting and drumming, a sure sign that he was close and coming.

    Out he came on a fast trot and in full display with his big bright red head pushed back against his raised fan feathers that were glistening in the morning sunlight, and all he saw was that lovely hen decoy that was about to cost him his life. It was during this stare that I slid the safety off and placed the orange front sight on the base of his neck and squeezed the trigger.

    At just 30 yards, it didn’t take long for the three-inch No. 4 copper-plated pellets of my Federal Premium Mag Shok leaving my Benelli Vince at 1,300 feet per second to reach Mr. Tom. It was quick, clean, and he never took another step. This was my seventh turkey with this gun in just as many shots. Finally, after decades of successful turkey hunting, I’d taken my fi rst high-peaks gobbler.

    But before I could move, two more gobblers announced their presence, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a lone hen walking and clucking her way past Sean. Both of us froze so as not to alert her or the toms. When the hen was out of sight, one soft yelp by Bill was all that was needed to light up those two gobblers and in they came, side by side, and walked behind my downed tom. I think the dead tom might have made them a bit nervous because they quickened their pace as Sean raised his gun. Unfortunately, he was unable to get off a good shot. All this excitement, and it was only 6:45 a.m.

    We estimated my tom weighed about 18 pounds, and his full, thick beard measured 9 1 /4 inches. What was interesting, and a first for me, was that he did not have any spurs.

    Prior to our setting up for these birds, I hadn’t looked at our surroundings and never noticed just how picturesque a background I had for the hunt and our photo shoot. I was just about 100 yards from where we took the photos, and I could actually see the tops of the Olympic ski jumps. But most impressive were the mountains. Looking at them left to right, I could see Marcy, Skylight, Colden, Wright, Algonquin and Iroquois. If you go to my blog at: http://fi shguydblog.blogspot.com/, you’ll see what I mean. Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge them and check out the snow on the tops of some of them. It’s truly beautiful country.

    With several hours of legal hunting time left, there was plenty in which to get Sean a tom. Bill decided to circle the area where I’d shot my tom and see if we could come in below where the other two toms had run off into the woods.

    We walked down parallel to the woodline several hundred yards away from the birds and then entered a trail that led us deep into the woods. Once inside them, Bill began a walking 50 to 75 yards, stopping to call and listening. But the toms were not talking, and after an hour, we loaded up to move to another area.

    “They’ll be back,” Bill said, “and we’ll give them a try tomorrow.”

    We made several other stops, but none produced sightings or responses, and we ended the day’s hunt about 11 a.m.

    Back at The Pines Inn, I thanked Bill and Sean for their hospitality and for what was definitely one of my most memorable wild turkey hunts.

    Thank you, Sue, Bill, Sean and the Segger’s for your hospitality.








              NEWFOUNDLAND MOOSE - SCI SILVER AWARD        


    PART I - THE BEGINNING
    Have you ever flipped through the pages of Field & Stream or watched an exciting big game hunt on the Outdoor Channel and said to yourself, “Someday I would like to do that?” I guess all hunters have a specific species they dream about pursuing and mine has always been a moose. In terms of my “bucket list” for animals I want to hunt, the moose has always been number one. For years, I have sent my check to Vermont and Maine in hopes of getting drawn in their moose hunting lottery; but it never was. But last Fall I received an email from Amsterdam hunters Dick Andrews and Marshall Knapik and Rich Kraus(Ballston Spa) about their Newfoundland moose hunt that finally lit the fire under me. And the results is that in 3 weeks my dream hunt will finally become a reality.

    The moose, which is derived from the Algonkian name meaning “eater of twigs,” was not native to Newfoundland. They were introduced, two bulls and two cows from New Brunswick, in 1904 and today it is estimated that there is a population of 120,000. Moose are the largest member of the deer family with a weak eyesight but their most acute sense is their hearing. Their habitat is includes swampy areas as well as forested higher ground around lakes.

    The destination, which I choose mainly because of Dick’s recommendation and the fact that he has hunted there successfully five times already and will be returning in 2010, is Sam’s Hunting and Fishing Camps located in Portland Creek, Newfoundland, Canada. Owned and operated by Sam and Hebbert Caines, they have over 30 years of experience guiding and outfitting hunters. Sam’s has three hunting camps located in Area No. 3 on the Northern Peninsula: St. Paul’s Big Pond, where I will be hunting, which is one-half mile from Gros Morne National Park which is 35 miles from Deer Lake; Long Range Mountains at Trophy Lake and High Pond which are each 60 miles from Deer Lake which is the pick up point for all Sam’s hunters. Now although we will be hunting from fly-in remote sites, which I am looking forward to, it is comforting to know that there is two-way radio and cell telephone contact with these camps.

    There are two ways to get to Deer Lake; driving and flying. If you drive there is a 5 - 8 hour ferry crossing depending upon the weather or, my choice, drive to Montreal and fly into Deer Lake. Here I will spend the night, be picked up early the next morning and flown in to camp by helicopter. And this, the helicopter ride, is something I am looking forward to also. All the camps are built to Newfoundland Tourism specifications and include indoor toilets, showers, two bedroom with two single beds in each, a large dining room and a kitchen. And each camp has a full time cook. Each hunter has his/her own guide. The actual hunting is done by spot and stalk, which is walking and glassing a variety of terrains, and/or sometimes glassing from elevated blinds.

    Now when choosing a guide/outfitter success rate should always be a major consideration. In the case of Sam’s Hunting and Fishing Camps he has a 90 percent success rate for moose and 100 percent for caribou. Unfortunately, I applied for a Woodland caribou hunting tag but did not receive one; but I did get a black bear permit which I hopefully will be able to fill during this hunt. As for the caribou, I will try again next year.

    BORDER CROSSING
    When hunting in Canada there are a number of forms and documents that are needed when crossing the border. The easiest way to travel to and from Canada is with a passport. As for your firearm, this too is fairly simple and most of the paperwork can be competed before you go. You cannot bring a fully automatic weapon, handgun or pepper spray into Canada. Your regular hunting rifle/shotgun is not a problem as long as complete a Nonresident Firearms Declaration(CAFC909EF) form. Sam sent this form to me when I confirmed my hunt with him in February. The form is very simple to complete and on it you can register up to 3 firearms and the cost is $25(Canadian) which you pay at the time of crossing. The registration is good for 60 days. Do not sign and date the form until you are at customs. In all the times I have traveled to Canada with a firearm(s) to hunt it has been a very simple process which usually will take no more than 30 minutes. To download this form Goggle “Canadian firearms declaration form.”

    With regards to transporting firearms to Canada , which they may or may not inspect at the border, is in a protective and lockable case, and obviously, unloaded. It is wise if your gun is a bolt action to remove the bolt, and if it a clip remove the clip.

    CLOTHING
    Weather-wise, during September it is usually very pleasant in the mid - 40s which is good hunting weather. But Dick and other hunters who have been to Newfoundland in September all agree that things can change very quickly. “You will hunt in the rain,” they tell me and things will get damp and therefore layering you clothing is the best method. The absolute must for this trip is quality rain gear which should include quality rubber boots that are 16 or 17 inches high and with aggressive tread.


    THE GUN/AMMO
    Now those of you who know me are probably saying: “First moose hunt; he will surely have to buy a new gun.” That’s what my wife thought also. Well, believe it or not, the gun that I will be using is one that is already in my gun cabinet. In fact I have had it for at least 7 years now and never really shot anything with it. It is a ported Remington Model 700 BDL in the .300 Win Mag caliber. I told you I knew that one day I would be making this hunt and actually bought the gun solely for the purpose of hunting moose with it. The only action it has seen up until now has been a twice a year complete cleaning and oiling. But now that my dream hunt is going to be a reality I have added a quality optic and spent some range time getting acquainted with this gun; and I am very impressed with its performance and power; just what is needed to bring down a large bull moose that stands higher than a large saddle horse and can weigh as much as 1500 pounds.

    When I asked Sam and Hebbert what to expect in terms of the range of shooting distance he said that it could be anywhere from 50 yards to 400 yards; which was another reason I chose the .300 win mag cartridge.

    With the number of quality scopes offered today my selection of the right one for this rifle and especially this hunt was difficult. At the Shot Show in January I spent one day visiting optic manufacturers booths and reviewing what they were offering in scopes. One in particular impressed me; Hawke Optics. And when Brad Bonar, their Sales Manager, let me look through their Endurance 30 series 3-12x50 L3 Dot IR reticle scope all I could think about was placing that red dot on the shoulder of my Newfoundland bull moose. Other important features include a 30mm matt black mono tube, it is fog and waterproof, shockproof and has an 11 setting rheostat to adjust the Dot’s intensity to any light condition.

    After mounting and bore sighting the scope I headed for the range where I tested 3 brands of ammunition shooting from a Caldwell Lead Sled shooting rest which is the only way to sight in a firearm for two reasons: one is that you get the best accuracy and two, it absorbs almost all of the felt recoil. My 3-shot grouping with the Endurance was quite impressive(one-half inch) and the best results were with the Winchester Supreme Elite XP3, 180 grain 2-stage expansion bullet with delayed controlled expansion, deep penetration and high weight retention. Ballistically it has a muzzle velocity of 3000 feet per second and energy of 3597 foot pounds. Just the right medicine for taking a moose down. Zeroed at 200 yards it will be 1.4 inches high at 100 yards and 6.4 inches low at 300 yards. And should I get that 400 yard shot, my holdover will be 18.5 inches.

    One other service I found helpful when dealing with Hawke Optics was their Ballistic Reticle Calculator(BRC) which is a free software package that will help you to choose the right ammunition for your gun and print a copy of the results. This program covers calibers from a 177 air rifle, up to a 300 Weatherby magnum and even will calculate the best crossbow bolt for your crossbow. To get the BRC go to their web at hawkeoptics, click on “Hawke BRC” and they will email it to you. And while you are there click on “NEW Reticle Information” and see how my L3 DOT IR looks when sighting in a bull elk in the field.

    PART II - THE HUNT

    Forty five years ago when I realized how much I enjoyed big game hunting I promised myself that someday I was going to go on a moose hunt. And two weeks ago my wish came true in Newfoundland at Sam’s Hunting and Fishing Camps; and I can honestly say it was the most exciting hunting adventures I have ever experienced.

    It was 2a.m. when I stepped off the plane in Deer Lake along with several other camo clad passengers and headed for the baggage claim conveyor. Now if you have ever traveled with a firearm on a hunting trip you know how good you feel when you see that gun case come out on the conveyor; and mine did. But my suitcase, with all my hunting clothes, boots and other accessories, didn’t. Now I had a real problem because in just 4 hours my outfitter Sam Caines was going to pick me up and take me to the helicopter that would fly me into St. Paul’s Big Pond; which was the only access to the camp.

    At the airline desk I completed the missing baggage claim form and explained the situation and asked how, when they found my bag, they would get it to me. They would have to send it to the outfitter who would then have it flown out to me at the camp. So when I climbed into that helicopter later that morning I was wearing my hunting clothes: jeans, Nike shoes, long sleeve cotton shirt, baseball cap and a photographer’s vest. Not exactly what I needed for the spot and stalk hunting in wet bogs in the wind and rain and temperatures in the low 40s.

    The helicopter ride was great and I got a chance to see just how beautiful the Newfoundland wilderness really is; and it was then that I felt the excitement of the upcoming hunt despite the knot in my stomach because of my lost luggage. I could not hunt like this and all I thought about was having to stay in camp for 7 days and not being able to hunt; something I waited a lifetime to do.

    After settling in, which did not take long for me, I got to meet the other three hunters: Oscar Primelles, my roommate from Florida; and Victor Chandler and Wayne Cleveland who were both from Nova Scotia. The staff included guides Hebbert, Sherman and Harrison Caines, Ralph House and Derrick Kelly our camp cook. Each hunter at Sam’s has his/her own guide. Ironically all had heard of my problem with the airlines and they all said “they would dress me.” Each one of them contributed to my hunting outfit and when I dressed for hunting on Monday morning the only piece of clothing I was wearing that was mine was my underwear; which by the way, I washed each evening and hung over the wood stove to dry.

    That evening before the hunt I felt lot better knowing I would be able to hunt comfortably and thoroughly enjoyed Derrick’s ham dinner with all the trimmings which we all found out was equally outstanding all week. And that included the home made bread, pies and cakes.

    MONDAY
    It rained all night and it was raining at 7 a.m. with 5-10 ph winds and temperatures in the mid - 30s when Sherman, my guide, and I along with Oscar and his guide Hebbert, all climbed into an 18 foot aluminum boat and headed for the other end of the pond. This “pond” by the way was the size of Saratoga Lake.

    Once on shore we all started up 12 STOP mountain which is the name I gave it because it required 12 rest stops where I would catch my breath before I reached the top. Sherman and I stayed on one side of the top while Oscar and Hebbert went over the top to the other side to set up. Each of the guides would call, using only their mouths, but nothing came in.

    By 9 a.m. the wind had picked up considerably and that combined with the heavy rains made sitting difficult; and at by 11:00 we were back in the boat and headed for camp. And when we got there Derrick’s homemade turkey vegetable soup was just what we all needed. No one that morning had seen a moose.

    The afternoon watch took us up another steep incline( 10 Stop mountain) and the bad weather conditions were the same. I remember reading that moose do not move much when it is rainy and windy and they didn’t this evening either. Victor and Ralph reported seeing two cow moose that evening but they were about 500 yards across the bog.

    TUESDAY
    Anticipation was high that morning despite the fact that conditions had actually gotten tougher and we had to wait about an hour for the fog to lift before we left camp. This time Sherman and I headed out behind the camp for an area they called the Waiting Rock stand. It was an 8 stops climb for me and we climbed into the 20 foot high tower. These towers are quite unique. They(guides) find four 10 - 12 inch trees that are in a square about 5 or 6 feet apart, trim the branches from the ground up, cut the tops off the trees, and build a platform blind enclosing the sides with canvas and with seats. It is quite comfortable but I found out that temperatures were a bit colder at this height. And at times the high winds would create horizontal rains which added to our discomfort. But that’s hunting. And again, by 10 a.m. we were headed back to camp without sighting a single moose.

    It was on this trip back to camp that I found out about what Newfoundlanders call a bog hole, and why they told me to always watch and duplicate where your guide steps; which I did on the first day. However on this day I got caught up in looking at the beautiful scenery and my right foot with the 18 inch high boot found its way into a 24 in hole full f water. I knew than that I was done hunting for the day. But as it turned out, because of the bad weather no one went out that afternoon.

    WEDNESDAY
    Finally Mother Nature turned off the water, reduced the wind and replaced them with chilly 34 degree temperatures. At daybreak Sherman and I headed back up for the Waiting Rock tower; but we never made it. The evening before Hebbert had told me that in the history of this camp Waiting Rock had produced at least 100 moose harvests and on this day I was about to make it 101.

    Several hundred yards from camp we stopped and Sherman made a few cow calls but got no response. Continuing up the hill we were just about 100 yards from the bog that the tower was located in when Sherman stopped, tapped his ear and pointed at the thick spruce off to our left. I heard the scraping and then saw those large palmated antlers thrashing the trees and brush about 80 yards from us. I think I froze momentarily in awe. It is one thing to watch something like this on the Outdoor Channel, but it is nothing like actually being there. Quickly and quietly I chambered a round and turned the Hawke scopes power down to 4. I don’t remember being nervous but I am sure I was.

    By watching the movement of the bushes and trees we could see the bull was heading parallel to us and hopefully he would cross a 15 foot opening about 50 yards from me. Sherman motioned me up a few yards where I set up on a small rise in the trail, got down on one knee, clicked off my safety and laid my cheek on the stock.

    All the time I could feel the chill running up and down my spine and my heart was pounding. To keep the bull headed in our direction Sherman cleverly turned his back on the bull and called again making it sound like this love sick cow was leaving. It worked.

    Not only did the bull step into the opening but he started to turn down the trail towards me. I don’t know remember my feelings or even pulling the trigger when that big bull was just 40 yards from me slowly tossing his head from side to side. I knew I had hit him, but I am not sure he knew. Shot number two got the reaction I was looking for and shot number three put him on the ground. It was then that I remember what the veteran hunters and guides in camp said; “ shoot until he is down.”

    My knees were a bit shaky when I stood up and so were my hands as Sherman and I waited a few minutes before moving cautiously toward the fallen bull. And when we were sure he was dead the high 5s, hoots, hugs and handshakes began. I don’t know exactly how many times I thanked Sherman, my 27 year old guide, for my first bull; and he thanked me also; because I was actually the first client he had guided.

    I believe I stood over my bull for at least 15 minutes just admiring his rack, head, swollen neck and shoulders. Everything about him was “BIG.”

    Now the real work was about to begin for Sherman. That big half ton at least animal had to be rolled over and not only field dressed but boned, quartered and carried out on a pack frame.

    Back in camp that afternoon after another long photo shoot Hebbert gave me my bulls statistics. He estimated that the bull weighed 1500 pounds, was 7-8 years old, had 22 measurable points, 13 inch palms, a 48 3/4 inch spread and the bases of his antlers measured 9 3/4 inches around.

    As for the other hunters in camp they too tagged out by the end of the week. My cabin roommate Oscar, shot a 10 point bull, called in by Hebbert, just about 550 yards from where I took my bull on the Waiting Rock watch. On the next morning, Thursday, Harrison called in a 3 point bull and a cow moose to Victor, who chose to shoot the cow. And at 9:10 a.m. on Saturday, the final day of hunting, I was in camp when Ralph called in to report he had called in a 4 point bull at the Waiting Rock tower, which Wayne dropped with just one shot at 158 yards. It was this 73 year old gentleman’s 10 th bull and his 10 th year of hunting with Sam. The first week of the 2009 moose hunt at St. Paul’s Big Pond was 100 percent successful. And I later found out that only one hunter in all three of Sam’s outpost camps had not taken a moose this week.

    If you have ever considered a moose hunt I highly recommend that you contact Sam’s Hunting and Fishing Camps(709-898-2535).



              BEHIND THE FENCE - IT IS FAIR GAME        

    BEHIND THE FENCE - ITS FAIR GAME

    Behind the fence hunts have been a controversial topic for many years and one of the primary targets of the anti-hunting organizations. And unfortunately they are also looked upon by some hunters and hunting organizations with disdain as well. I understand the objection by the anti’s but quite frankly I do not understand that of the hunters. But after talking with many of these hunters I have found that the majority of them do not totally understand exactly what takes place at these preserves and ranches. True, years ago there were fenced operations which literally offered and utilized unethical “boxed” hunts. But these places are, and have been gone for many years, and today’s hunting preserves offer a truly realistic and ethical hunt. And in this article that I will attempt to explain to the hunter, not the unreasonable anti-hunter, just what goes on “behind the fence” and how these hunting preserves serve a very important purpose, not only to the hunter; but the future of our hunting tradition as well.

    I think Ted Nugent summed it up perfectly in a recent Field & Stream interview when asked if high fence hunting degrades the heritage of American hunting and the rules of fair chase. Here is a recap of his answers. This is the Motor City Madman at his very best.

    There will always be whiners and small-minded squawkers who overreact base on assumption and other unidentifiable presumptuous notions. To their way of thinking in-line muzzleloaders, scopes, treestands, compound and crossbows, deer drives, etc. degrade our American hunting heritage and our reputation. They are so divisive and unsophisticated and I pray that they become educated.

    And when asked if he prefers to hunt in enclosures or in the wild he said, “I prefer to hunt, period, and shall more and more each year everyplace I possibly can. I am a hunter.”

    Now let’s look at some the truths about hunting these enclosures; first from my own experiences.

    Part of my job as an outdoor writer is to test, evaluate and report to the sportsmen/women on the latest new firearms, bows and even crossbows. These tests include extensive on the range accuracy and performance reviews and comparisons which I like to followed up by an actual hunting situation.

    Hunting with these new firearms and bows are usually not a problem in NYS but it is with the crossbow due to strict disable-only hunter regulations. However these regulations do not apply to hunting preserves in NYS and therefore I am able to hunt with the Horton Crossbow at a preserve just a short distance from my home.

    Actually my first harvest with a crossbow took place on a preserve. My choice of game - a 1700 pound bison that took me that I think covered almost every inch of the preserve and two full days of hunting before I was able to get clean kill shot. It was one of my greatest hunts that included some very anxious moments and a VERY dramatic and dangerous face to face encounter with a one ton herd bull who was not happy with my continued pursuit of him and his herd that I will never forget.

    It was at this same preserve that I met two hunters who were both hunting their first Russian wild boar. And it was from these average hunters that I really learned what these preserves really offered the everyday hunter.

    During dinner that evening at the lodge I asked them “why they chose a preserve to hunt.” Their answer was short and simple: time and money. “We just do not have the time nor the money to go out of state to hunt boar. We priced the wild boar hunts in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and the average costs would have been close to $2000; and that did not include transportation and taking a week off from work. Here it is just $500, we don’t need a license, we can pick our own season and it was just a 31/2 hour ride from our house.” Economics, convenience and the thrill of a good hunt - this is what any reputable preserve will offer you.

    Now I would like to ask one questions for those of you hunters who look down upon those who hunt behind the fence: “Who gets hurt ?” If a man or woman has the desire to shoot a trophy or exotic animal not native to the area, but cannot ever hope to afford it, should he/she be denied the opportunity or right to do it, as long as it is done legally, ethically and within the confines of a preserve? I agree that it may not be for everyone, but you should not judge the intentions of those that do.

    Fair chase is another term that often arises in conversations involving enclosure or behind the fence hunting. Boone and Crockett defines fair chase as the ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful pursuit and taking an any free-ranging wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals. Doesn’t hunting legally over bait, using a ground blind or treestand, using a rifle scope, etc. also give the hunter an advantage?

    In the past twenty years I have hunted in a number of preserves and do not consider myself any less of a hunter. I know that I would have probably never been able to afford or experience the thrills and excitement of hunting 9 wild boar, 2 fallow and sika deer, stags, bison, rams and 2 wild crossbow turkeys. And I can honestly say that my most memorable hunt took place last year behind a fence where I shot a magnificent bull elk. Let me share this elk hunt with you.


    THE HUNT
    It was well before sunup when I met Dan Jennings, the manager of the Easton View Outfitters, a private preserve located in the Washington County town of Easton, New York. Dan was going to be my guide for my elk hunt and I must admit I was pumped. Joining me was Tim Blodgett, host of the local All Outdoors radio show, who would be taping the play-by-play of the hunt. He would also be doubling as my camera man.

    The game plan was to circle the preserve and come in through the heavily wooded topside of the mountain and work our way down. Dan expected the elk would be bedded down in the valley, fields and swamp below us.

    I remember standing on a ledge whispering how excited I was about the hunt and describing how pretty the sun was as it started to peek through the pines into Tim’s tape recorder when we heard our first unsolicited bugle. A bull elk bugling in New York State - it gave me the chills followed shortly thereafter by a real adrenaline rush. I don’t think I have felt this way since the first time I sighted in on a whitetail buck.

    Quickly Dan had us moving down the steep slopes to a blow down about 200 yards below us. Once in place Dan hadn’t even finished his first call when the bull responded. And each call he made the bull answered; but he didn’t seem to be getting any closer. Then out of nowhere, there about 100 yards below was a young spike bull headed right for us. At one point he was less than 10 yards from where I was sitting.

    For the next hour I had no less that four other bull elk in my scope at distances from 10 to 100yards; one of which was a beautiful 5 by 5 that had Dan given me the word, I would have ended my hunt right then. But he said, “Not that one; we can do better.” Easy for him to say, but I trusted his judgement and relaxed.

    Another hour and a half of calling got distance responses but they just didn’t seem to get any closer to us. Perhaps the bull already had his harem of cows and did not want to leave them. And when he stopped responding to the calls and we sat in silence for another 45 minutes I was beginning to get that, “I should have taken the 5 by 5 feeling.” But that ill-feeling quickly departed when Dan nudge me and smilingly whispered: “There’s your bull; get ready.”

    There just 200 yards below was a beautiful 6 by 6 bull elk raking his huge rack on several small scrub pines. Now he was talking again and each call Dan made was answered with a spine chilling response and he was coming closer. It was awesome to watch the bull as he lowered his head and responded to Dan’s love-sick cow calls.

    It took several deep breaths to settle my nerves and at about 75 yards I slowly raised the old Marlin 336SC towards him and placed the crosshairs of my scope on his massive body, following him as he moved through the heavy cover.

    Each step brought him closer but there was really only one opening between two pines where I could get a clear shot; hopefully he would walk through it. He was about 50 yards slightly quartering away when I place the crosshairs just behind his front shoulder and unleashed the 200 grain Hornady LEVERevolution 200 grain FTX bullet.

    Immediately I saw the fur fly through my scope and watched him stumble and fall; and all I could think of was “what a bull.” I guess I must have repeated it out loud because both Dan and Tim echoed their agreement. I just sat there staring at him when I heard Dan say we may have a little problem. About 100 yards below my fallen trophy was a huge 7 by 7 and he was headed towards the downed bull at a very quick pace.

    He ignored our shouts and charged right in, head down and rammed my bull actually moving him along the ground several yards. Obviously these two must have had previous confrontations. It wasn’t really until Dan continued to shout and threw a few rocks and branches at him that he finally backed off. There was one moment however when he turned and faced us shaking his head from side to side, that I thought he was going to charge, but he didn’t, and finally we watched him disappear into the edge of the swamp.

    High - 5s and photos were all a part of the after the hunt celebration as was the interview Tim taped of my feelings.
    Absolutely the best hunt that I have ever had and it all occurred within 30 miles of my home.

    But it wasn’t really until I stood over my bull that I fully appreciated what I had just accomplished - he was huge. The tale of the tape and scale revealed just how magnificent he really was. He tipped the scale at 807 pounds and his antlers measured: 40 inch wide spread, 41 inch main beams, with 9 inch bases. In terms of record book score I never did get an official score but I do know that he scored “number one” in my book; and always will.

    For information on Easton View Outfitters go to: eastonviewoutfitters.com or check out their ad in this issue of Outdoors Magazine. And by the way, that 7 by 7 is still there and a year older.
              Cara Membuat Siaran Langsung di Facebook ( Live Streaming Video )        
    Cara Membuat Siaran Langsung di Facebook ( Live Streaming Video ) – Sudah lami sekali kami dari newponsel jarang berbagi hal yang sangat bermanfaat, namun kali ini kami akan mulai berusaha keras untuk terus berbagi untuk anda yang setia mengunjungi website kami di newponsel.com. Pada kesempatan kali ini kami dari newponsel akan berbagi tentang bagaimana […]
              Increase Search Engine Traffic by Optimizing        
    Everybody who's engaged in the internet business devotes their time, money and effort to increase search engine traffic to their site. There are actually a lot of alternatives and process to achieve this.



    One alternative is to optimize your website. Website optimization is very important. Why? So your website will be found online. Optimizing your website means you have to transform the content of your website to a much smaller and streamlined form. Lessen bandwidth usage while maintaining the way you want your website to look. This will definitely help save time and money.



    increase search engine traffic


    Optimizing your website to drive traffic can be very technical and complicated. But here are tips to help you optimize your site. Read on to know the basic tips for website optimization.



    1. Know your target visitors who will search for your site online. You need to figure out what search phrases the surfers use so they can find your site. Always decide on the keywords that you are going to use. Think of some ideas that the surfer type about your type of website.



    2. Next thing to do is to define a particular niche. You are certainly going to cover a very broad topic. The rule of thumb is to optimize your website with the best keyword. Your Keyword should be direct enough so the searcher will find your site right away and not get lost.



    3. Take a closer look at your title tags. For those who don't know, a title tag describes a particular web page. They are actually HTML tags that contain text. When you use a title tag, make sure that it describes exactly the content of your website.



    For instance, let's say an article title is 5 Ways to Lose Belly Fat, so the title tag should be that as well. Always place your keywords in the title tag. This way any topic related to your page will be easier to find.



    Also make sure that the title tag contains various strategic keywords that have been constructed using guidelines for the web page. The title tag is very important since search engines look for title text when they are going to the index page. Title tags too can be a text link to the found pages in the list of search engines.



    Look closely at the title of every article and post. It is very important in optimization since the surfer will definitely use catchy keywords for their convenience and narrowing their search.



    4. It is very important to analyze keywords. You can use the convenience of a keyword analyzer tool. Many websites offer this service and definitely deliver more traffic too. One of the best and most popular keyword analyzer tools is Google's.



    5. Choose a relevant title. Make sure that it is descriptive enough for the surfers’ convenience. At first you may not get a very good title but as you go through and complete your article, you're going to have a clear idea what your title tag is going to be.



    Make a direct and descriptive title. Sometimes even if the content of your article is the greatest but your title is not, the chance of having a site visitor is very slim. So watch out for your title.



    6. Always consider your keyword density. This is one way to optimize your web page. Keyword phrases should appear at least three to five times in the article while keywords should appear 10 times or more.



    One more tip, it is good to repeat the main keyword title every 200 words you made to increase search engine traffic. Then for every 400-word article you write, the keyword must be repeated twice.



    7. Consider the header. Always place your keyword here when you are going to write the text for your site. When scanning your site search engines rate the text in your headline. This is the most important part. So you should place it in the page headline. Header tags are quite large so you need to format it so it becomes smaller than the usual.



    These are some of the helpful tips to optimize your website. If you follow them then you will see your sites improvement in the search engine rankings. You really don't have to be an SEO expert and spend a lot of money to optimize. Just follow them and you will get more traffic! Good Luck!



    Find out bow to increase search engine traffic and how more search engine traffic can help your website by visiting us now.
              MyHeritage Acquires Millennia Corp. and its Legacy Family Tree Software        
    Israel-based genealogy website MyHeritage announced late yesterday that it has purchased Millennia Corp., developer of Legacy Family Tree software and the Legacy webinars program.

    "The acquisition will introduce MyHeritage users to Legacy’s valuable genealogical webinars, and will also provide Legacy’s hundreds of thousands of users with improved resources and access to new services," say spokespeople Daniel Horowitz of MyHeritage and Geoff Rasmussen of Millennia in a joint email.

    Here's what this means for you:

    Legacy Family Tree Software
    Legacy Family Tree software will continue to be offered. The next version (10), now underway, will feature optional syncing with family trees on the MyHeritage website and with the MyHeritage mobile app.

    Legacy Family Tree already syncs with the FamilySearch unified Family Tree, but it's currently the only one of the top genealogy programs that doesn't sync with a website that allows members to keep their own, limited-access family trees. Competitors Family Tree Maker and RootsMagic software both sync with Ancestry.com member trees in addition to the FamilySearch tree. 

    Family Tree Builder Software
    MyHeritage has its own software, a free program called Family Tree Builder that syncs with MyHeritage online trees and with the MyHeritage app. Horowitz told me that Family Tree Builder also will continue to be offered, but I wouldn't be surprised if MyHeritage eventually streamlines its software offerings.

    Webinars and Discounts
    Legacy Family Tree customers will receive discounts on MyHeritage services and DNA kits, and MyHeritage will keep offering Legacy Family Tree webinars. All Millennia employees will be retained as employees of MyHeritage.

    See more details on the MyHeritage blog and Millennia's Legacy News blog.


              LIVE TVSELANGOR.COM        















              Prisoners for Profit - The Shame of Puppy Mills        
    It was summer when I visited puppy mills in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In the last few years, the area has become a hub for large scale commercial dog breeding operations. And although the Midwest still ranks as containing the highest number of dog breeding operations, the concentration of puppy mills in Lancaster County is unparalleled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Dog Training
              Plastic Surgeons Warn That This Popular Cosmetic Procedure Can Cause Blindness        
    There's a continuously growing demand for fillers . In fact, injectables have become so mainstream that they seem simple and harmless...
              [Article] Bits and Watts, Watts and Bits        
    More and more, the streams of energy and information are becoming entangled. No single event heralds this merger; instead, dozens of innovations across a wide front mark the transformation. What does that wide front look like on the ground? Here are some examples.
              [Article] Case Studies in Home Energy Management        
    Home energy management (HEM) systems have been evolving for decades and finally appear poised to enter the mainstream. The four case studies below provide additional insight into why different utilities have taken the HEM approaches they have and how their offerings are evolving over time.
              [Article] Navigating the Oncoming Storm: Opportunities and Challenges with Home Energy Management        
    Home energy management (HEM) systems—comprising smart networked devices that can provide information on, and dynamically adjust, energy use within a home—have been evolving for decades and finally appear poised to enter the mainstream. However, with hundreds of players getting into the home automation space, the increasing availability of myriad smart devices, an increased vendor focus on customer security and convenience over energy savings, and numerous other challenges, it can be daunting for even seasoned energy experts to try to figure out how best to approach this market, much less find ways to realize the many benefits ...
              Semoga Allah jaga dia ^^        
    بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ 
     Assalamualaikum


    Semoga Allah jaga dia di sana untuk saya di sini. Saya tak perlu risau tentang dia. Sebab saya percaya Allah jaga dia dengan baik untuk saya. InsyaAllah :')

    Jom belajar jadi isteri solehah. InsyaAllah nanti dapat suami yg soleh dari Allah :')

    *hati berbunga-bunga*

    Cinta dan bahagia itu milik Allah :) Berusaha miliki kasih sayang dari Allah, confirm bahagia punyaa :)Tak perlu SMS/Call hari-hari. Tak perlu jumpa selalu. Tak perlu "I love you. I miss you". Simpan semua tu sampai hubungan halal dah sah :')

              Swimming upstream: why sanitation, hygiene and water are so important to mothers and their daughters        
    Water, sanitation and hygiene and the most under-recognized interventions when it comes to improving the health and well-being of women, say Clarissa Brocklehurst and Jamie Bartram in an editorial in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization [1]. Let us … Continue reading
              SIMONA HALEP, victorie superbă împotriva BARBOREI STRYCOVA la Toronto. Următoarea adversară este Caroline Garcia        
    Simona Halep, locul 2 WTA şi cap de serie numărul 2, a &icirc;nvins-o, joi, cu scorul de 6-1, 6-0, pe jucătoarea cehă Barbora Strycova, locul 26 WTA, calific&acirc;ndu-se &icirc;n sferturile de finală ale Rogers Cup.
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              CFR CLUJ - DINAMO 1-0. Derby cu scandal, gol controversat din penalty şi doi eliminaÅ£i. REZULTATE şi CLASAMENT        
    Formaţia CFR Cluj a &icirc;nvins, joi seară, pe teren propriu, cu scorul de 1-0 (1-0), echipa Dinamo, &icirc;ntr-un meci din etapa a cincea a Ligii I, &icirc;n care unicul gol a fost marcat dintr-un penalti controversat şi de la gazde au fost eliminaţi Mario Camora
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              By: DS Exclusive: The Mahones stream “The Very Best: 25 Years of Irish Punk”        
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              Papers we Scrutinize: How to critically read papers        

    As someone who enjoys being at the intersection of the academic world and the world of industry, I'm very happy to see any attempts at bridging this harmful gap. For this reason, it is great to see that more people are interested in reading academic papers and that initiatives like Papers We Love are there to help.

    There is one caveat with academic papers though. It is very easy to see academic papers as containing eternal and unquestionable truths, rather than as something that the reader should actively interact with. I recently remarked about this saying that "reading papers" is too passive. I also mentioned one way of doing more than just "reading", which is to write "critical reviews" – something that we recently tried to do at the Salon des Refusés workshop. In this post, I would like to expand my remark.

    First of all, it is very easy to miss the context in which papers are written. The life of an academic paper is not complete after it is published. Instead, it continues living its own life – people refer to it in various contexts, give different meanings to entities that appear in the paper and may "love" different parts of the paper than the author. This also means that there are different ways of reading papers. You can try to reconstruct the original historical context, read it according to the current main-stream interpretation or see it as an inspiration for your own ideas.

    I suspect that many people, both in academia and outside, read papers without worrying about how they are reading them. You can certainly "do science" or "read papers" without reflecting on the process. That said, I think the philosophical reflection is important if we do not want to get stuck in local maxima.


              Coeffects playground: Interactive essay based on my PhD thesis        

    In my PhD thesis, I worked on integrating contextual information into a type system of functional programming languages. For example, say your mobile application accesses something from the environment such as GPS sensor or your Facebook friends. With coeffects, this could be a part of the type. Rather than having type string -> Person, the type of a function would also include resources and would be string -{ gps, fb }-> Person. I wrote longer introduction to coeffects on this blog before.

    As one might expect, the PhD thesis is more theoretical and it looks at other kinds of contextual information (e.g. past values in stream-based data-flow programming) and it identifies abstract coeffect algebra that captures the essence of contextual information that can be nicely tracked in a functional language.

    I always thought that the most interesting thing about the thesis is that it gives people a nice way to think about context in a unified way. Sadly, the very theoretical presentation in the thesis makes this quite hard for those who are not doing programming language theory.

    To make it a bit easier to explore the ideas behind coeffects, I wrote a coeffect playground that runs in a web browser and lets you learn about coeffects, play with two example context-aware languages, run a couple of demos and learn more about how the theory works. Go check it out now or continue below to learn more about some interesting internals!


              A trip to London and down memory lane...        
    Last Wednesday, I walked with the Ramblers after a break of two weeks;  I was invigilating on the two previous Wednesdays. There are some evening walks coming up which I am looking forward to. I love evening walking. There's a special evening walk on the 21st June which will be the longest day of the year and it's starting at 8.30 pm - in the pub!


    I changed into this outfit after walking 7.5 miles. I bought the scarf with pearls in a charity for 1.00; the top and trousers are also charity shopped. The scarf is to compensate for a low neckline; it was too warm to put a camisole under this top. All jewellery charity shopped.


    The trousers from M&S have gone to the charity shop bag. They're too long and too big and do nothing for me even though they are cool and comfortable in the hotter weather. My new pink floral trousers  bought on a recent rummage in Stevenage and Hitchin are their replacement; one in and one out wherever possible...


    These are my new (retail) shoes. They have a t strap which you can't see in this photo.

    I walked again on Thursday - another 7 miles. It was a very warm day; 25 degrees by the time I finished.  I was trying to recce a new walk for the Ramblers Winter Programme. I tried a footpath I hadn't tried before but it took me nowhere. Not because it didn't lead anywhere but because the footpath was so overgrown I couldn't see where it was meant to take me. I walked around the perimeter of a huge field; climbed over a gate in a farmyard (naughty Veronica!) and found myself a few feet away from where I started!


    Everything is charity shopped. The linen top is a French label but I can't remember where I found it; likewise the three quarter leggings.


    Mary Jane's bought in a charity shop in Ely in May 2016.


    Headscarf and all jewellery charity shopped. The earrings were one of  the three for a 1.00 I bought on last Saturday's rummage in Hitchin.


    On Friday, I took my middle grandson to London for a day out. He wanted to go to the Houses of Parliament so we had a guided tour. This was taken on the tube to Westminster.


    The  House of Commons terrace where you can take tea...


    I look very rotund in this photo taken outside Westminster Abbey!

    Tunic; charity shopped; trousers; Lidl last summer; Mary Jane's charity shopped; all jewellery charity shopped except earrings bought online. I bough the African print bag at a car boot sale a couple of weeks back.

    We had a lovely day; we went to Canary Wharf (his choice); the Monument and then I took him on a tour of the area where I grew up and went to school i.e. Maida Vale/Paddington.


    This is the first house I ever lived in; 144 Elgin Avenue, London W.9.  I was born in 1954. Mum and Dad rented one room in this rather posh house. I checked today's house prices on this street; a one bedroom flat for 785.000; three bedroom flat 999,900; a four bedroom flat over a million. These are flats not houses! It is absolutely incredible and to my mind, obscene.

    When my brother Mark was due, Mum, Dad and I moved here:



    I spent the next 13 years of my life in this 3 roomed basement flat with my parents and two brothers. We had no bathroom, an outside toilet; no central heating or hot water. I shared a room with my brothers until I was almost 15 years old; my parents slept on a sofa that converted to a bed all the years we lived here. Relatives from Ireland came and stayed - sometimes for months at a time until they got established and moved out.

    Again, I checked the prices of properties in this street; a three bedroom maisonette; 1,395.000. A four bedroom house 1,800,000. My parents privately rented throughout the 1950s and 1960s; in the early 1960s Mum and Dad got the opportunity to buy the entire house above for a little over 700.00! My Dad didn't want a mortgage - he was a strictly cash up front person - so they declined the landlord's offer...

    In 1969 having been on the housing list since I was born; Mum and Dad moved to a council maisonette in this house in Portnall Road, W9.


    The top left hand window was my bedroom - the box room! We had a bathroom and indoor toilet; a separate living and dining room; Mum and Dad had their own bedroom and my brothers shared a bedroom. It was heaven to us.

    I checked the prices on this street, too. A one bedroom flat; 500,000. Two bedroom maisonette; 699.000. Not as pricey as the other two streets but a whole house must sell for over 1,000,000. Astonishing - and still obscene. How on earth are ordinary working people ever going to afford to buy anywhere to live in London? The rents are also ridiculous; eldest grandson spends 70% of his earnings on rent.


    This was my old school - Paddington and Maida Vale High School for Girls (PMVHS). It was situated in Elgin Ave near to the first house I ever lived in and it took me less than 10 minutes to walk to school.

    I asked my grandson what he thought of where I grew up and his reply was - 'all the house you lived in are the same'. This was very true; all Victorian terraced houses. There was a huge house building boom in the Victorian era and many of us continue to live in and love these old houses.


    On Saturday I went to see my son. Everything charity shopped except the shoes. Dress by Mantaray; jacket by M & S bought in Kettering for 4.00.


    All jewellery charity shopped except watch.


    Necklace bought in Derry for 2.50.


    Woke up on Sunday to more terrible news.


    Top; Store 21 sale; trousers; Primark, charity shopped 99p rail at Barnardo's, Great Denham. Orange shoes also charity shopped.


    All jewellery charity shopped. Necklace bought at Oxfam in Newport Pagnell last summer for 2.50.

    On Monday, I volunteered at the Red Cross shop. I do so enjoy working there. I have a laugh with colleagues; we sort a mountain of stuff and sometimes I find wonderful things. My special area of responsibility is the jewellery. I found a rather 'good' piece on Monday in some stock from another Red Cross shop - a gold bracelet with purple stones. I showed it to my colleague, as I could see it looked special. He has a jeweller's eye glass and it was marked 18 carat gold. He took it to a a local jeweller who buys gold and silver; who then confirmed it was gold -  and the purple stones were real amethysts. He gave us (Red Cross)  95.00 for it!


    This was Monday's outfit. The green harem pants are from Next and I bought them on my first visit to the new Barnardo's in Great Denham last year. When I got them home the elastic in the waist was gone, so I never wore them at all last year. This year I had the idea of wearing a large elasticated belt I have around the waist of the trousers to hold them up - unfortunately you can see the belt outline  under my yellow patterned M & S charity shopped top! The jacket came from the Guild House and the Mary Jane's were charity shopped in Ely last year.


    All jewellery charity shopped except earrings which were donated by my daughter.

    On Tuesday I went to volunteer at the Food Bank and in the evening I had Poll Clerk Training for the election on Thursday.


    Jewellery and tunic charity shopped. The tunic is from Red Cross 1.99. The earrings were bought in a shop in Bath on my 50th birthday with birthday money I was given by my family.


    Navy trousers, Primarni; cardigan, Studio catalogue about four years ago and shoes local retail.


    I invigilated for the Open University on Wednesday all day in Luton and on Thursday I poll clerked. My day started at the polling station at 6.15 am and I finished at 10.50 pm. There was a steady stream of people coming in to vote all day and it went surprisingly quickly, but I was really tired when I got home. Luckily the polling station is only across the road from my house!

    The Chrome Book is holding up although there are more distractions on the screen in the form of coloured lines but hopefully it will last until I can afford to buy a new one.

    I plan to chill out all weekend to compensate for my extremely busy week. I hope you all have a great weekend; the forecast is looking good...

              Half term and some more pattern!        

    I managed to get out for a walk on Sunday, but I just did road and street walking - 6 miles. It was bitterly cold and very damp.


    I was in a monochrome mood on Sunday - I'm sure it's the weather. Everything is charity shopped except the brogues which were bought from a Tesco outlet store about 2 years ago, and the black jeans from Lidl. I had to put a cardigan over the tunic for extra warmth. This short sleeved M&S cardigan has proved very useful. It reminds me that I saw a navy blue short, short sleeved cardigan on Saturday, in Cancer Research for £1.00 and I didn't buy it! What on earth was I thinking?


    All jewellery charity shopped, too.

    It was half term this week. I do enjoy the break from the school run. I still went into the Red Cross on Monday. I picked up a blue homemade waistcoat from the Ragbag and will probably wear that on Friday when I go to see my son. It was a really cold day but it was bright and sunny; my spirits were immediately lifted by the sunshine. Unfortunately, I still had the lurgy.


     This is the tunic I bought on Saturday - it's by Influence and it's made of knitted material, so it's warm. Jeans; Next, also charity  shopped  on Saturday. Boots: DDB.


    I added the trusty short sleeved cardi for added warmth.


    Earrings, Bedford market; turquoise ring, Sainsbury's; all other jewellery, charity shopped.

    I didn't go to the food bank on Tuesday; I didn't think it was fair to spread my germs to everyone. It was okay yesterday in the Red Cross as I was the only person at the back of the shop.

    I went for a 6.6 mile walk on Tuesday instead. I retraced the walk I led last Wednesday but in reverse. It turned out to be a lovely day and the wild life and birds were abundant. I disturbed a Muntjac deer drinking at a stream. I also disturbed a buzzard and 4 pheasants; all of whom flew off in a panic making very annoyed noises. I saw a sparrowhawk;  dunnocks, meadow pipits, blackbirds, chaffinches, blue tits, wood pigeons, a wren and several gulls, rooks and crows in a field - splashing about in the huge puddles left by all the rain we've had.


    Look what my Valentine bought me! I'm so lucky to have such a good man...


    On Wednesday I felt really rough and decided to chill out. I only went out to pick up the grandchildren both of whom were staying on Wednesday night.


    Everything is charity shopped. The skirt is from M and Co; boots from Tesco; jacket from Next. It's a bit like my Country Casuals mustard jacket - it goes with lots of things. I used to wear it a lot when I was teaching; I've had it about 7 or 8 years.


    This necklace was bought on Saturday in Age UK Northampton,  for £1.99. Earrings from Sainsbury's and bangles, watch and ring charity shopped.


    I went to see my son on Friday. Everything charity shopped except boots and earrings - both from Sainsbury's.


    The black maxi dress is by Item, which is a part of Tesco's; I think. I can't remember where I bought this dress. The long jacket is by Primarni and I bought it in the Barnardo's in Great Denham for £1.99. I love the colours. I have lightweight green trousers and a similar coloured green top that will look fab with this jacket when the weather gets warmer!.


    My necklace, rings and bangles are all charity shopped.

    I've been playing a lot of Monopoly with the grandsons this half term. They have both beaten me. The youngest grandson gets really excited with all the money  - even if if he has to give me rent and I give him change! We are playing the adult version so the idea of millions is quite intoxicating...

    It was my eldest brother's birthday on Monday; he's 13 months older than me but we only met him in 2013! I will write a post about how he found us - we didn't know of his existence until February 2013. So, my three brothers, my OH and I went out to celebrate Julian's birthday on Saturday.


    Only my jacket and jewellery is charity shopped. The jacket, which is a favourite of mine, was bought on the £1.00 rail in Wellingborough Age UK.


    The white top was bought in the La Redoute sale in 2015 and the trousers were bought this year in the sale. I nearly always buy something in the La Redoute sale. I also bought a coat  in the same sale this year - see below. The boots were DDB.




    We had a lovely Thai meal, caught up with each other's news and had lots of laughs - all in all a really good night. My birthday is next and I've proposed we go to London for the day. Julian lives in London and always travels to us for birthday celebrations so it would make a change for him and us.

    I'll keep you posted!

              Sonos Play 5 smidig högtalare med grym botten!        

    Sonos Play 5 är flaggskeppet i Sonos sortiment och är en grym högtalare i den trÃ¥dlösa musikanläggningen. Streama musik och radio genom Sonos-appen trÃ¥dlöst frÃ¥n din smartphone, surfplatta eller dator genom ett par enkla knapptryck. Njut av musiken frÃ¥n din egen digitala musiksamling pÃ¥ datorn eller NAS, eller varför inte använda Spotify och Wimp. För […]

    The post Sonos Play 5 smidig högtalare med grym botten! appeared first on SmartHifi.se.


              STREAM Zadar uz poznate plesače        
    Radionice suvremenih plesnih i somatskih tehnika održavaju se od 16. do 29. kolovoza već šestu godinu za redom u Zadru, jednom od vodećih plesnih centara u Hrvatskoj.
              Radionice suvremenog plesa i kazaliÅ¡ta        
    Svojom bogatom tradicijom i pedagoškom praksom na području suvremenog plesa, Zadar se nametnuo kao idealan lokalitet za provedbu programa platforme STREAM Zadar
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              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].

              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].

              Kommentar zu Docs & Demo von b.a.        
    mmmh... I think you don't have apache as webserver. If so you have to tell you webserver to handle gpx as mimetype "application/octet-stream" instead of text.
              Kommentar zu Docs & Demo von Anne Poe        
    Here is my htaccess file in wordpress. I found instructions that said to paste new code above #BeGIN or after # END. I tried both. Saved and reloaded site. Still getting text files, not GPX. .htaccess file Edit the content of your .htaccess: # BEGIN WordPress RewriteEngine On RewriteBase / RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L] RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d RewriteRule . /index.php [L] # END WordPress ForceType application/octet-stream Save changes to .htaccess
              Kommentar zu Docs & Demo von b.a.        
    I solved it this way: ".htaccess file inside the upload folder with <code><FilesMatch “\.(?i:gpx|kml)$”><br> ForceType application/octet-stream<br> </FilesMatch></code>
              RIPR Snow Cam        
    The SummerCAM/SnowCAM is in the RIPR newsroom, looking out at downtown Providence. It uses Wowza -based streaming technology, provided by ServerRoom.net, which should work on most devices.
              RE: all well and good, but...        
    In fairness, MacOS is about the only mainstream OS left that's tied to its vendor's hardware, however tenuously (yes I know about RISC OS, but whilst I'm very happy for you if YOU are happy with it, that doesn't make it mainstream). So I think updates about new hardware are fair game in this case.
              Scienza senza confini        

    Trieste città di confine. In un caldo week end di maggio gli studenti del Master in Comunicazione della scienza della Sissa intraprendono un viaggio tra scienza, sapori, popolazioni, culture e lingue diverse. Un mix di suoni e parole di frontiera diviene così la nuova puntata di Jekyll on air andata in onda sulle frequenze di Radio Fragola (Popolare Network, Trieste) domenica 24 maggio. Eccola qui anche in podcast e streaming. Buon ascolto!


              Europe Summit Aims to Revive Lost Momentum Toward Unity         

    WITH public opinion soured on the merits of European unity, European Community leaders hope to ``relaunch Europe'' with a special summit tomorrow celebrating ratification of the long-awaited Maastricht Treaty.

    ``It's important to get the public thinking in terms of Europe again,'' says one Belgian Foreign Ministry official.

    But the celebration risks being seen as irrelevant by much of the public it targets, as Europeans worry about record-high unemployment, challenges to their infant-to-elder social-welfare system, and instability on the continent's eastern borders.

    ``In Germany, at least, people are thinking about their job security, while published opinion is wondering about the future course of Russia, and neither one sees how the EC can have a major impact on those concerns,'' says Josef Janning, deputy director of the research group on Europe at the University of Mainz in Germany. ``People are seeing such issues less in European and more in national terms.''

    The Maastricht Treaty, an ambitious blueprint for providing the EC with a monetary union and a common foreign and security policy by the latter part of the decade, was supposed to have been ratified and the process of its implementation begun in January 1992. That the treaty was not fully ratified until this month, when the German constitutional court finally approved it, provides a measure of the public doubt about Maastricht's goals.

    In the two-year delay, Maastricht was battered by an initial outright rejection by Danish voters in a referendum, plus rough ratification battles in Britain and France. The European currency crises of October 1992 and this past summer mocked the monetary union goal, while the EC's weak and disjointed response to the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina posed deep questions about the feasibility of a common foreign policy. Operation `restore stature'

    Tomorrow's summit, held in Brussels, is a German-French initiative to try to restore both Maastricht's and Europe's public stature. But even in France, where regard for the Community runs high, doubts are strong about what this summit can accomplish.

    ``No one should expect much of anything concrete out of this summit,'' says Phillipe Moreau-Defarges, an EC specialist at the French Institute of International Relations in Paris. ``There's too much division among the EC countries for decisions to be made.''

    One possible area of action that Mr. Moreau-Defarges cites provides a good example of the Community's current lack of a common vision. The summit could give a new boost to earlier economic ``growth initiatives'' that have had trouble getting off the ground, he says.

    Elsewhere in Europe, where public spending is already causing record debts, and where skepticism is strong over the actual impact of large public-works programs, enthusiasm for such proposals is slight.

    ``The German public is definitely not in favor of this kind of centralized program to rebuild Europe's economic strength,'' Dr. Janning says. ``People in Ireland or Portugal may see Brussels [EC headquarters] as a guarantor or creator of jobs,'' he adds, since those countries receive substantial EC development funds, ``but they certainly don't in Germany.''

    Germany and France also had wanted to take up another issue at the summit: Community institutional reforms. The larger countries feel their power is too limited by the generally equal rights of smaller members, and concern is growing that the Community's enlargement to include three or four new small members by 1995 will further tilt the balance and generally render the Community more bureaucratic and plodding. Putting off reform

    German proposals for streamlining the EC administration met with staunch resistance from small members, and reform will likely be put on hold until the next EC treaty review in 1996.

    To demonstrate that Maastricht is now in force, EC leaders are expected to prepare the next stage of economic and monetary union by launching the European Monetary Institute, ``embryo'' of a future European central bank. The institute's location in Germany is likely to be approved, a move that could open the way for decisions on the placement of several other new EC institutions, including a patent office and environmental agency.

    Still, there is a lingering feeling that Maastricht, negotiated in 1990, is a treaty already left behind by European events. ``By spring of next year we may very well have a new imperial Russia to contend with, something never imagined when Maastricht was written,'' Janning says. ``Economies are seen more in national terms. [Community] leaders will have to work hard,'' he adds, ``to demonstrate that Maastricht is relevant in these conditions.''

    Become a part of the Monitor community


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              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.























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


    PHOTO-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
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              7 Tips - How to Choose a Great Blogger Blog Topic        
    Have you chosen a blog topic that is right for you? Lots of people start their Blogger Blogspot blogs without giving much thought to their selection of blog topic. Or the angle on the topic they want to explore. If you want your blog to stand out from the crowd make sure you consider your blog topic carefully.

    How to Choose A Good Blog Topic - 7 tips for Begniner and Newbie bloggers and anyone who wants to build a successful blogger blogA good blog topic can make or break a blog. Like some partners some blogs and their owners just don't fit no matter which way you look at it. Make sure before you spend 3 to 6 months of slog to develop your blog that you haven't placed your ladder against the wrong wall.

    Here are a few tips that will get you thinking about your Blogger Blogspot blog topic and how important it is to choose the right one for you.

    1. Choose a blog topic that you are passionate about
    You are going to be writing content about this blog topic for 365 days of the year for at least 2-5 years. For that to work successfully you have to have some passion otherwise the tedium will wear you down.

    Conversely if you are really passionate about a topic that passion will shine through in your blog and like a big magnet attract others.

    2. Choose a blog topic that interests you not just interests others
    Yes you can make money writing about making money but if you aren't interested in money you have a problem. The topic itself may be viable commercially but readers will soon figure out you are in it for the money not the fun. Make sure you are genuinely interested in your blog topic and not just choosing it because it seems to be a hot topic. Don't forget readers are going to want new and fresh content and will not stick around if you are not up to providing it.

    Know Your Audience - Choose a Blog Topic that will have a global audience3. Choose a blog topic that has potential for readership
    If you choose a more unusual blog topic then you may find you are the only one interested in it. However if you have very little competition you will be able to quickly carve out a niche for your blog. Research your market. Check out forums. Identify if there actually is a gap waiting to be filled. If there are a lot of others writing about the same topic can the market sustain another blog or will it be a hard slog to get traffic. Know your audience.

    Attracting visitors and maintaining readership are important factors in ensuring that your blog will generate a steady income stream. If monetization is important to you check your blog's potential for adding relevant ads and affiliate marketing.

    4. Know your subject area
    How well do you know the subject matter of your chosen blog topic? Readers will quickly assess your knowledge of your blog topic and will expect you to deliver the goods.

    If you are passionate but not very knowledgable how will you find the information you need to create new material? Creating content is time consuming and it requires good research skills. Have you got access to the kind of information you are going to need?

    As a general rule don't choose a topic you know very little about or you may find yourself floundering once you have exhausted your own ideas.

    5. What's your angle? Identify your angle when choosing a blog topic
    Knowing your subject is one thing but finding a fresh angle is something else. If you want to create a blog in a subject area that is already heavily populated with other blogs you are likely to be more successful if you can find a good angle that has yet to be exploited. Most information isn't new it is just repackaged. How will you pitch your blog? Check out other blogs and identify what aspects might not be so well covered. Make a list of these and ask yourself if any of these areas has enough scope to sustain a blog by itself.

    6. Choose a blog topic with a medium to long shelf life
    Your blog topic might be great but will readers be interested in it a year or two down the track? This is particularly true for technology based blogs where products come and go and change happens at a rapid rate. Rethink your idea if your topic may not have long term sustainability. Ask yourself if there is a way to reframe it so that it will be more ongoing rather than of short duration.

    7. Clearly define the parameters of your blog topic
    Do you know what the parameters of your blog topic are? What you will cover and what you won't? If you don't know what the limits of your blog are others won't know either.

    Think carefully about your blog topic and define the parametersIt pays to carefully define these or you run the risk of trying to cover everything and losing your audience because they have no idea what your blog is about. Often the most successful blogs are those that focus on a specialist subject and stick within those guidelines.

    Jot down now what your blog actually covers. Include your material and your audience in this. For instance, is your blog for everyone or is it focussed on beginners only like this blog? Deciding this early on will make it easy to pitch your articles in a particular way. If you have no clarity you may find you write good material but it is not pitched to the right audience.

    If you have lots of ideas for a blog topic you will need to crystallize these. Jotting down advantages and disadvantages will help you sort the wheat from the chaff. You may find you have several good ideas but select only one of these to concentrate on. Once things are up and running with your first venture you might decide to get cracking on the second idea but prioritize to start with.

    Remember that laying the groundwork now will prevent disappointment further down the track. Your idea has a much greater chance of being successful if you spend some time getting clear about what you want from your blog and what you want to achieve. Even if your idea needs a lot of refining the exercise is a great opportunity to put some planning in place and planning your blog as in most things in life is one of the cornerstones of success.

    Summary
    This article has focused on how to choose a great blog topic for a Blogger Blogspot blog. I have discussed 7 tips to help Blogspot bloggers especially those new to blogging choose a blog topic that will fit with their knowledge base and interests. Finding a good fit with your blog topic is one of the keys to success and worth taking the time to consider carefully. Any thoughts or ideas about this article. Please share them.

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              interview with guenter schlienz        


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

    ~~~

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

    guenterschlienz.de

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



              azaleas / cloudsound / forest walker        
    azaleas ~ sapphire (blank_tapes, 2016)

    «Long-form new-age collages. First full-length from Azaleas». ~ blank_tapes

    Two years ago I had a pleasure to share a split tape with Azaleas (duo of Kyle Wade & Alice Andres-Wade hailing from Denver) on Rainbow Pyramid label and started waiting patiently for their full-length debut. Hope was not lost, and here it is, spinning in my deck on repeat mode since December! And with the first winds of the spring this music seems to unfold even broader, carrying eternal bliss of best ambient genre developments. Shimmering layers of synth soundscapes, massive drones, new-agey melodies and organic hum of field recordings... Everything in its place, all corners rounded, every transition made with care. This tape has rare ability to became more and more interesting with every spin, telling the same stories differently each time you listen to it. You may get lost in all those layers, fades and vibes, travelling between dark thickets and wide open eyes of lakes, but don't worry – the hiss of blank tape in the end will leave you under charms of these marvelous tunes with joyful smile on your face and pleasant feeling in the heart. Highest recommendations!

    listen ~ support

    cloudsound ~ indigo appalachia (fluere tapes, 2017)

    «Reverie over outer space air space tween canopy slopes of mauve ambrosial gazes to ribbonious unfurls later spooled» ~ fluere tapes

    Less is more! I always admired the ability to create pleasant atmosphere with seemingly minimalist and truly lo-fi sound. What Fluere Tapes boss Lee Boyd did on this tape easily falls into category of lo-fi drone, but the less you care about labeling, the more you receive in impression value. Actually, this tape can be a marvelous post-rock or shoegaze epic, simply recorded hundred of times from one old dusty tape to another. Yet, it has this unexplainable charm that wraps you like a cozy blanket, carrying away as a good old magic flying carpet. Massive layers of sound are hidden behind the surface of pleasant sound - same as the incredible amount of water looks like beautiful cloud from the surface. As the the artwork itself, this music is fused by light, an enormous cosmic nebula sending its glorious radiance light years away... Also I must admit that this particular album brought a lot of nostalgic moments for me, remembering those early psych/drone tapes by Deep Magic or Sundrips, feeling the awe in presence of those energies, such pure and sincere, like they are directly radiating from the artist's heart. Maybe I'm just too sentimental, but there is nothing is this world like Cloudsound. Absolute bliss.

    listen ~ support

    forest walker ~ uv sea (constellation tatsu)

    Sincerely – I have no words to describe this album. It's clear, that with such love for ambient music I possess, album like UV Sea would turn into breathtaking experience. Forest Walker puts everything in one canvas and manages to blend all treasures of ambient genre into a single whole thing. Thing in itself. Pulsation of synth lines, deepest drones, huge waves of reverberated noises... even dusty saturated beats do no harm to this never-ending stream of bliss, supporting its torrent thought your perception channels. Is that infinity of the Universe transcending by the aural medium or endlessness of sound, forging new universe inside ours – who knows? Depends on which interpretation of quantum mechanics you follow. One thing is clear here, this music exist in more than one dimension. It spans like endless wave and each track is just range of frequencies we able to perceive. It's easy to imagine UV Sea as short part of huge intergalactic transmission, captured by limited instruments of humankind and then interpreted by our even more limited sense organs. But the message is so powerful that we can get it if not consciously, but more subtly, just intuitively. And unable to verbally express... Yet, transmission continues, so tune in!

    listen ~ support

              stag hare / crown of eternity        


    stag hare ~ velvet & bone (inner islands, 2016)

    «Velvet and Bone is structured as a gothic fable. It is about the act of self reflection through knowing another. It is about seeing the shadow and knowing the shadow. It is about seeing death and knowing death. It is about bones, and the way they are shaped by the tensions put on them by various opposing muscles. It is about the swamps of depression. It is about love in its most tragic and therefore most beautiful form». ~ stag hare

    Being a huge fan sometimes stops me from writing reviews – maybe it's just subconscious feeling that words can spoil the fragility of music, especially when the music is as personal as Stag Hare are. There are so many kinds of art, of sound, ways of expression, but not that many artists are interested in putting their true emotions into art. Looks like image and the presentation are more important than revealing the personal side  of life and it's understandable. But when the image contradicts to inner story it may say something about our ability to feel the difference. What I like about Stag Hare (and the whole Inner Islands roster, actually) is sincerity, openness, fearless sharing of life as it seen by the artist, reflecting everything in music, telling stories which at some level are universal for all human beings – we just go through them by our own patterns. So, here it spins, new tape with Stag Hare's songs and this time they're actually songs with lyrics printed on j-card! «Opening (Depression)» starts with deep drone tune and it's actually not so dark, as drone ambient can be, but it has this longing which fades in second track – slowly, but confidently building sparkling layers of blissful folk song and entering the same territories Stag Hare known for, but this time with the strong presence of the new kind of energy. Dreamer has awakened and discovered that real world is the challenge and was never separated from the dream. The inner and the outer are not that different categories, simply matter of viewpoint. These songs are still dreamy and so magical, they bloom like astral flowers from the deepness of psychedelic revelation, but at the same time the thickness of the physical is present, like never-ending drone – it simply stitches once separated into whole... Natural & urban, transcendence and routine, simply life as it is. Aspiration to non-duality is primal to every spiritual being, but the ability to separate things is not less important, it's actually the only way our mind can work, endlessly dividing and then synthesizing at new levels of understanding, just to separate again... Okay, think I went too far, so let's say it's just wonderful music for everything you want from it. Â«Velvet and Bone» can be just beautiful background for your daily activities as successfully, as the impetus for philosophizing (which is clear in my case), it chills and gives energy, it brings joy and contains many different moods at the same time. Music of high potential to unfold. Truly personal, but universal – you may learn something from it, consciously or not. In any case, you won't regret hearing it. 

    listen ~ buy tape



    crown of eternity ~ dream architecture (inner islands, 2017)


    «Dream Architecture contains the deep and complex harmonics of 11 gongs, as well as the sonorous tones of more than 60 bells, sound plates, sound triangles, tuned metals and singing bowls. Crown of Eternity carefully and patiently blend and orchestrate their instruments to create harmonic fields that invite the listener to dive in and not only explore the nature of the sound current, but also their inner landscape». inner islands

    Some things change and some not. But it depends on the perspective, of course. Music of gongs, singing bowls and similar stuff was in the New Age genre since its inception. Of course it existed before, but not as music, but more as a spiritual practice. And this function of primal metal instruments vibrations resonating through your body remains unchanged – you'd rather hear such music at some yoga place, than in the concert club. Same private and personal feeling is present at this tape, as with Stag Hare release above. We are left alone with resonance, created with carefulness. It nurtures your senses, sets the right mood for relaxing contemplation, it gives landscape for your inner gazing... The experience of listening to such tape may be rewarding, but I guess it's nothing compared to Crown of Eternity live sets. The amount of gongs, plates, bowls and other metal resonators seen on photos has its own impression even without hearing the music! But if you had the chance to join such session at least once in your life, then you know what I mean. Here the point which turns spiritual practice into music – the act of recording. Same can be told about about any "sacred music" like tibetan monks' throat singing or orthodox chorals: when you are out of the moment of actual happening, when this is recorded or even just put into the studio or onto stage – it turns into completely different story. But this is really one big theme and it leads us away from music itself. Which is, by my humble opinion, can be always regarded as thing in itself without looking at its context and further analysis. Call me consumer, but some things need to be simply enjoyed. This tape is highly enjoyable even if my sound system is unable to produce same effect as live session with all those beautiful resonating stuff. But still, the sound resonates with my soul and think that's the most important here. Usually I listen recordings like this (Klaus Wiese, Danny Becher, Karma Moffet to name just a few) when I'm tired of any other music and it's always refreshing, kind of pleasant pause in the never-ending stream of music and always-present daily noise. Harmony & meditation, and nothing else here actually. What else do you need? 

    listen ~ buy tape


              channelers ~ video & album premiere        


    Each time I see the news from Inner Islands my days turns into a little celebration. The music this label releases resonates so deeply with my perception of the world, that it feels almost impossible. Of course there are always some space for interpretations and subjectiveness but some things don't need an explanation. They just emerge somewhere between the sounds, between the flips of the tape, in the soft humming of endless water streams shown in this amazing video which label's boss Sean Conrad shot in American deserts and over expanses of Iceland... When the beauty arises, it touches hearts directly, without need in words. That's why we love music so much - it can be pure beauty, without strict material form, just flow of vibrations from one soul to another. It needs just few instruments or voice to appear and an open ear to be heard.

    channelers ~ space makes clearing (inner islands, 2016)

     Â«Reverence for the cycles of life, for the ever-changing sky, for the yearning that drives one forward, for the acceptance
    that keeps one still».
    inner islands

    On the different paths life makes through the space and time there are always cycles, seasons, changes which unfold like an endless spiral. With every new turn we may feel something like deja vu, considering the ability of our minds to forget everything quickly, to think in one dimension. To regain the experience of past cycles in the present, to make them significant and changing, we create rituals - may kinds of them. Starting from morning tea and social interactions and up to religions and annual celebrations. And once again our minds are failing, forgetting the meaning, flattening the experience... So the only way here is awareness, which unavoidably leads to self-invented ceremonies, practices, to the clear feeling of your own unique path. While listening to the music created by any of Sean Conrad's projects this feeling on the uniqueness appears with every album, showing the perception of the world, which may be shared, but at the same time remains thw whole in itself. Like any river is created by the thousands of streams, the Inner Islands is a bright torrent of personal world perceptions, created by many artists and Sean's ability to maintain that stream is amazing. There is a place for many forms and crossroad for many path, but still this unique universe of sound keeps its doors open for any resonating soul. And its essence is always changing, moving with the sun and moon, growing, unfolding... Archipelago of the tiny whirls of creative energy, forming something bigger and powerful than its part taken separately. Each album of Ashan or Channelers seems like a private ceremony, which concentrates the overall aura of Inner Islands. Gathering of winds and waters, celebration of new cycle, which begins with every new batch of sounds released to the world... It may seem unimportant, but this is the thing of such intimate creations - it becomes bigger, when you inside of it. Like gazing at the drop of water, which reflects the whole sky. Each song here is a drop. And each tiny moment of silence between them is the passage from the inner to the outer. It's simply fascinating.

    listen ~ buy

              matthew barlow / ashan        

    matthew barlow ~ hatha (inner islands, 2016)

    «Just being, without striving. A place of stillness». inner islands

    Focusing on sound healing practices, Matt Barlow took a vacation with his renowned Twin Springs Tapes label and started recording more and more music, which takes new turn in unfolding American New Age music. His latest tape for Inner Islands gives you not only the opportunity to relax and get nice background music for 30 minutes but also the possibility of deepest meditation on the nature of music. Combining simple drones with electronic melodies and contemplative flute playing, this tape reflects the idea, which I run through my haed so many times, while listening to some good ambient records - you don't need to be focused, to perceive everything in this flow of aural sensations, but at the same time, staying out any activity in mind and environment you actually start feeling everything so clearly! I think this state cannot be achieved by means of intentional focusing, so this state feels much more natural and I'm always so childishly happy when it happens. Of course, not only music can bring it, nature can too - bird songs, streaming water, whisper of the leaves... And you can actually hear and feel same energies in these two compositions. There is nothing supernatural about it, but still I have no other word than magic.

    listen ~ buy tape
     

    ashan ~ death is new life (heavy mess, 2016)

     Â«Sean Conrad (Channelers, Orra, Inner Islands) returns as Ashan with a collection of new songs exploring where the physical meets the spiritual and how the two influence and dialogue each other». heavy mess

    For the new label run by Braeyden Jae (former boss of Inner Islands label), Sean Conrad (current Inner Islands mastermind) put an exclusive recording which brings to light new facet of his Ashan alias. Usually taking place somewhere far from city hum and electricity circuits, Ashan (almost) always was about instrumental psych-new-age jams, self-invented mantra singing and celebration of simple joys of life – this time Sean takes electric guitar, some distortion and drums, blending the rock music benefits with Ashan's usual sound. You already curious how it sounds? Okay, just hit play on Bandcamp and read further. And I'll continue playing this on repeat, each time wondering how same energy can take so many forms. This is obviously same Ashan I used to and behind all those walls of sounds, electronic drones, krautrock beats and psychedelic solos I hear same magic, that once entered this complicate world with "To Return To" album. Folk music can take many forms and I suppose that there is nothing hard for experienced artist as Mr. Conrad to transform his music into powerful rock outfit without losing primary inspiration. Actually this is fun synchronism between to friends – putting softest side of Braeyden Jae's music at Inner Islands and heavier side of Ashan on Heavy Mess. Consider this as "anti-unplugged" album and simply enjoy it!

    listen ~ buy tape


              Where The Mind Is Without Fear (retold in 12 movie posters)        









    Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high









    Where knowledge is free









    Where the world has not been broken up into fragments









    By narrow domestic walls








    Where words come out from the depth of truth








    Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection








    Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way








    Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit








    Where the mind is led forward by thee








    Into ever-widening thought and action








    Into that heaven of freedom, my Father,








    ...let my country awake.






    --
    Poem: Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore
    Movie posters belong to the creators. Please don't sue me. :)

              loss        

    It's almost evening.

    The river rages relentlessly, its water white, its roar deafening.  

    It's a normal world not too far from here. 

    People must have gone to work, worked hard throughout, tired by the end of the day. It must be someone's first day at work, and they must have been excited about it. Someone must have gotten their first salary, and they must have been ecstatic. Someone must have been fired from their jobs for no fault of theirs. Someone must have gotten a raise or a promotion, and they must have felt really proud.

    But here, here was different. Time didn't seem to move so quickly as it did out there, in the normal world. I have been sitting here since morning. I like doing that.

    Children must have gone to schools, and their teachers must have taught them, about the world. There must have been exams for some of them, and some must have done really well. Meanwhile, a few others have not cared about their results. They will show the world their potential one day. One day. Or at least that's what they would like to believe. 

    I had never been here before, here, isolated, not a soul for as far as eye could see, except birds, trees, and the River.

    Someone must have met someone and must have been bowled over. Someone must have told how they felt about the person they loved, for the first time. Someone must have had a big fight with their partner, and must have said things which cannot be unsaid, and it must have gone irreparably wrong. Someone must have asked their partners to marry them, and their partners must have said 'yes', overwhelmed.

    Someone must have gotten married today, to someone they deeply care about, with a promise to be together for life. Someone must have filed for a divorce today because it just wouldn't work. Some happy couples must have had a baby today, and they must have been feeling joyous. They must be thinking about doing their best, and giving their children the best possible future. Someone must have died. Their loved ones must have mourned, and remembered their legacy.

    It happened when the moon and the sun were in the sky together. I saw smoke rising from distance, that dragged me out of my stupor. I started walking towards it first, and then running. I started to feel out of breath soon but I keep going. It looked bad.

    As I began approaching it, I saw a burning hut, engulfed in high flames. There was hardly anything I could have done to save it, it was too late. A middle-aged uncouth man stood beside it, looking at it, smiling, naked. I stood stunned for a while, then I went closer and I frantically asked, shouting at the top of my voice to make myself heard above the din, "What are you doing?"

    He looked at me, hardly surprised at seeing another person there. He didn't need to shout to make himself heard, and calmly said, "I lived in this hut for several years. This, and everything inside, is all I had come to have over the years. I burnt it."

    "Why?"

    As if I didn't see the obvious, he replied, "Now I have nothing to lose. I am free."

    I couldn't think of anything to say.

    A stream of water rose from the river, and started flowing mid-air towards us with an intimidating force. I didn't have much time to react. The stream flowing along its serpentine path, drowned the hut and the man. I remained untouched by water, and could hardly see or make sense of anything in all the chaos. In a flash, the stream receded, the river flowed as usual, the hut and the man disappeared.

              Western Digital 1TB Desktop Mainstream        

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              The 10 Commandments To Becoming A Financially Successful Self-Publisher        
    Synopsis Creating your first book might seem like a daunting task at first glance. But by devoting some time and effort to it, you should be able to fearlessly create a quality book that can provide an ongoing stream of … Continue reading
              ECU DEPARMENT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING CAPTURES SEVEN OCPRA AWARDS        
    Employees of the ECU Communications and Marketing Department display the seven awards they achieved at the OCPRA Awards Banquet on July 17 in Quapaw. In front are Amy Ford and Jacob Sircy. In back are Gina Smith and Talina Eaker.

    East Central University’s Department of Communications and Marketing captured seven awards during the 2017 Oklahoma College Public Relations Association’s yearly awards ceremony at its annual convention held at the Downstream Resort and Conference Center in Quapaw, Oklahoma, July 17.

    ECU achieved one first-place, two second-place and three third-place awards, along with one honorable mention.

    The first-place (or grand) award was a joint effort between the Office of Communications and Marketing and the Office of Advancement in the Events/Promotion Category for President John Hargrave’s Retirement Celebrations.

    The two second-place (or excellence) awards were also picked up by the ECU contingent. Amy Ford, assistant vice president for ECU Communications and Marketing, and LR Creations took the runner-up award in the Multimedia Division for “ECU Pokemon Go Tips”. Teri LaJeunesse was second in the Sports Writing Category for her article on “Personifying the Tiger Spirit.”

    Picking up a third-place award was Talina Eaker for Best Headline – “From Poverty to Presidency: Education paved the way.” Also taking third were Ford, Zane Hefley and Zane Ter Wee for the Holiday Greetings Division with “Night Before Finals.” The Office of Communications also finished third in the Shoe String Category for “Roary of Fall 2016.”

    Eaker also captured an honorable mention award for the Full-Length Feature Division for “From Poverty to Presidency: Education paved the way.”

    -ECU-

    For Immediate Release: 

    Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                    East Central University Communications and Marketing

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


              NBC is launching a streaming service for the worst TV imaginable        

    If your secret shame is reality TV, and you live in the UK, Ireland or Australia, then things are about to get a whole lot more disgusting with the launch of NBCUniversal’s new streaming service Hayu. You’ll now be able to watch shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Real Housewives as new episodes air in the US, as well as binge-watching more than 3,000 pure, brain-melting past episodes. The platform will work across all major devices and costs £3.99 in the UK, €4.99 in Ireland or AU$5.99 for unlimited access, plus there’s a 30-day free day. Hayu will also have social integration with…

    This story continues at The Next Web
              State Land Office Online Documents        

    These maps are based upon surveys taken in 1828-1830. They can be used to locate the property of Isleno ancestors and the Acadians who arrived in 1785 and settled just south of the Valenzuela district in what is now the Plattenville and downstream area. For example, the Valenzuela settlement can be found in Township 11 S, Range 14 E, west of the Mississippi River.

    These documents include U.S. and State historical land title information, including information related to: Land Grants; all severance documents of U.S. and State public lands - which lists the first private owner; all U.S. Official Township Survey plats and field notes; the U.S. and State Tract Books - which are an index of all the other documents mentioned; Section 16 School Lands; State Patents; and numerous related documents.

    See: http://1webfn.doa.la.gov/slodocs/SLO/home.asp
              Archive.org: Papeles procedentes        
    This is a web presentation of the Rosco Hill's book on the "Cuban Papers'" , a great reference work to find the file (Legajo) on a specific subject on the Spanish period in Louisiana. Gives a summary of what's contained in each file . Many of the microfilmed Legajos are to be found in the Hill Memorial Library at LSU.

    See http://www.archive.org/stream/descriptivecatal00hill/descriptivecatal00hill_djvu.txt



              EXCLUSIVE: Cher Joins 'Home: Adventures With Tip & Oh' as 'the Biggest Diva' -- With a Message!        
    The icon plays 'Chercophonie' on the DreamWorks Animation series, now streaming on Netflix.
              Wildlife watching in the CAR        
    A week’s holiday in the Central African Republic may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but I’d spotted a trip going deep into the rainforest, based at the wonderful Sangha Lodge, and decided that a week there might offer some great wildlife encounters.

    The most famous wildlife there are the lowland gorillas. Three of us went to see them, with local trackers, on the first day and after not much more than an hour of walking through the forest (sometimes ankle deep through little sandy streams) our trackers found one of the two habituated families: a silverback, his females and a number of juveniles.

    It takes around seven years to habituate the gorillas to human presence, and even then the encounter is not as interactive as the encounters with their cousins the mountain gorillas. They turned their backs on us a lot, and were very mobile so we had to keep moving to follow them around. This kept the trackers busy locating them; it’s amazing how easily such enormous creatures can just vanish into the bush!



    The other wildlife spectacle that this part of the world is known for is the gathering of animals in the forest clearings known as ‘baïs’. The formation of these clearings is linked to geology, their being doleritic intrusions in the surrounding granite, and as they tend to be quite low-lying so the streams that run through many spread out into marshy areas. They are maintained and further developed by the elephants who come to dig in the mud for the many minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, manganese and phosphorus) and also eat the clay itself to help rid themselves of the tannins and alkaloids contained in the leaves they eat in the forest.

    I spent two days at Dzangha Baï and at any one time there were between twenty and forty elephants, plus visits from forest buffalo (very different from their savannah counterparts), sitatunga and a number of birds – on the second morning I was greeted by a cacophony of squeals and squawks from several hundred grey parrots in the trees surrounding the baï. Some days you can also see giant forest hogs, and bongos, but I wasn’t lucky with those.

    The main attraction though is the elephants, and being mating season they were particularly interesting to watch, with various cranky males trying to assert their dominance over the others.



    We also encountered one of these cranky bull elephants on the way to the baï on the second morning. The walk from the nearest road goes through forest but also through another much smaller baï with a 300m-long knee-high stream running through it which has to be waded through. Some elephants like this baï and so the tracker always goes ahead, to bang his machete on the water and generally make as much noise as possible to scare off any elephants in the path. On the first day this approach had worked, but on the second day the noise just aggravated the elephant, who charged at us. The guide turned and ran which we took as signal to do the same!!

    The elephant gained on us (running through knee-high water is not easy but elephants run much faster than humans in any case) but thankfully didn’t want to catch us, just to make us run away. We finally got to the baï by a different, longer route, through even deeper water.

    The birdlife was great too. I managed finally to see a flufftail, specifically a white-spotted one – an elusive little bird I’ve wanted to see for a long time, this one a bright orange on the upper half of its body and black with white spots on the lower half.
     
    The bird star though was the red-necked picathartes, the only relative of the yellow-headed picathartes that I posted on in December 2009. We made two attempts to see this bird at a nesting site beside a waterfall in the forest; on the second attempt I got a sighting although not a great one, but it had got too dark to see anything much so we picked our way back down the path.
    Then, on a hunch, the guide shone his torch on an old nest we’d seen earlier, that we’d thought was abandoned – and there sat on the nest was our
    picathartes! Mesmerised by the torchlight it just sat there staring at us so I was even able to get a photo (in which you can't see the red neck - but it's behind the blue head...).



              Blog Post: Rooted In Shallow Soil        

    Gamers were dumbfounded when PopCap announced it was transplanting the Plants vs. Zombies series from the backyard to the battlefield. To say the multiplayer-shooter spinoff is a huge departure for the casual game developer is an understatement, but the aesthetics and lighthearted tone are a wonderful change of pace for the violence-obsessed genre. Dig beneath the surface, though, and you find some fundamental flaws that hold back this family-friendly shooter.[Excerpt]

    PopCap is known for making highly polished games that virtually anyone can pick up and play. Unfortunately, that equation only rings half true for Garden Warfare. The developer's simplified approach to the genre does away with basic concepts like sprinting, melee attacks, and limited ammo, making it easy for anyone to get into the swing of battle. However, the gameplay is uncharacteristically buggy; players get hung up on other characters and geometry, corpses twitch on the ground, and even the slightest bit of network lag renders some abilities (like the all-star zombie's dash attack) ineffective. A variety of classes and unlockable characters add some nuance to the simple fun, but PopCap's limited mode offerings hamstring replayability.

    Garden Warfare only features two main competitive modes: Team Vanquish and Gardens & Graveyards. Team Vanquish is your run-of-the-mill team deathmatch. Gardens & Graveyards tasks zombies with assaulting a series of consecutive capture points in a map, similar to Battlefield's rush mode. A classic variant of each mode disables upgrades and unlockable characters (making them less interesting), and the beginner mode gives you more health the more you die, but you're still playing one of two basic formulas.

    Gardens & Graveyards is clearly the main attraction. Maps have unique themes, and capture points are built around interesting locations that facilitate large-scale confrontations. Every map features an interesting final objective, such as sneaking five zombies into Crazy Dave's mansion or destroying the roots of a giant sunflower growing inside of a lighthouse. Gardens & Graveyards provides hours of fun, but eventually you get tired of assaulting or defending the same points on the same handful of maps, and Team Vanquish does little to alleviate the boredom.

    Garden Warfare's co-op offerings are equally uninspired. Garden Ops is a four-player horde mode, which tasks players with defending a garden against ten increasingly difficult waves of zombies. Aside from the occasional zombie boss or special wave, you don't have much to draw you in once you've beaten a few matches. 

    Garden Warfare's most interesting twist is how it incorporates the series' tower-defense elements into matches. Players can spawn zombies or plants in designated locations on the map, which then attack opponents autonomously. Unfortunately, these characters are treated as consumable items that players must purchase before matches using Garden Warfare's microtransaction-ready economy.

    The vast majority of Garden Warfare's content is locked behind its PvZ Coin currency. Support plants and zombies, customization items, weapon upgrades, and even new class characters are bought with the coins you earn from matches. However, can't just buy what you want; instead you must purchase blind card packs of varying prices. Consumable card packs give you a handful of zombies and plants to summon during matches, while more expensive packs provide random upgrades or character stickers – though you have to collect all of the stickers for a character before you can actually play as them. Like any good pusher, EA gives you a couple packs for free, but after that the grinding for coins begins.

    This faux free-to-play approach undermines Garden Warfare's promising tower-defense elements. Each plant or zombie you spawn feels like a waste of money; regardless of how helpful they may be on the battlefield, buying consumable packs just holds you back from the larger goal of unlocking more playable characters, which is the only motivator to continue playing after you've learned the maps inside and out.

    Those extra playable characters are worth unlocking. Although they have the same class abilities, each character has its own unique twist on gameplay. For instance, the marine-biologist zombie features a higher rate of fire than the regular scientist zombie, and the fire sunflower deals extra elemental damage. Unfortunately, characters take an exorbitant amount of time to unlock, and because card packs are random, you can't just unlock upgrades or characters for the class you're interested in.

    [View:3255212410001]

    Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the economy is that there's no option to purchase coins with real money, but EA says it may institute such an option in the future. Frankly, I can't imagine a world where that change doesn't happen, but it doesn't really matter. The progression system and tower-defense elements are already broken to accommodate the possibility. Garden Warfare is designed like a free-to-play game, despite the $30 price tag.

    PopCap's approach to class progression also plays out for the worse. Instead of gaining experience points, you level up classes by completing a series of challenges. Things start out easy – deploy five potato mines, kill three plants with rockets – but more specific challenges distract players from what's best for the match and make leveling up a pain. Killing two scientist zombies with a sun beam or shooting down three garlic drones seems easy enough, but what if the other team isn't using those characters? I went entire matches making zero progress with characters simply because the right elements weren't on the battlefield. Some challenges are downright devious; spawning five conehead zombies first requires you to buy consumable card packs until you randomly receive enough of them to complete the challenge. Luckily, you unlock all of the abilities for a class in the first few levels anyway, so you can abandon the progression scheme after that.

    Before the tedium set in, I had fun with Garden Warfare. Spending a few hours with the accessible combat and charming world was entertaining, but the random card packs and achievement-style leveling system killed my desire to keep playing. Garden Warfare's simplified gameplay and limited map selection can only entertain for so long – without rewarding progression, there's no carrot (or brain) at the end of the stick.

    The Xbox 360 Difference
    While both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions have their share of problems, the last-gen incarnation fares considerably worse. While testing the 360 version, I ran into increased gameplay bugs, load times, pop-up, and embarrassingly blurry visuals as the game struggled to stream in the high-resolution textures. These shortcomings don’t ruin the experience, but they are significant enough to earn the Xbox 360 entry a lower score than the Xbox One version. 

              why we care about what we wear        
    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Why Can't a Smart Woman Love Fashion?
    I had learned a lesson about Western culture: Women who wanted to be taken seriously were supposed to substantiate their seriousness with a studied indifference to appearance. For serious women writers in particular, it was better not to dress well at all, and if you did, then it was best to pretend that you had not put much thought into it. If you spoke of fashion, it had to be either with apology or with the slightest of sneers. The further your choices were from the mainstream, the better. The only circumstance under which caring about clothes was acceptable was when making a statement, creating an image of some sort to be edgy, eclectic, counterculture. It could not merely be about taking pleasure in clothes. ... I dress now thinking of what I like, what I think fits and flatters, what puts me in a good mood. I feel again myself—an idea that is no less true for being a bit hackneyed. I like to think of this, a little fancifully, as going back to my roots. I grew up, after all, in a world in which a woman's seriousness was not incompatible with an interest in appearance; if anything, an interest in appearance was expected of women who wanted to be taken seriously.
    *Pacific Standard - What to Wear? *Avidly/LA Review of Books - Lady Professor Conference Fashions *Racialicious - Haute Couture In The 'Ivory Tower': "The spread presumes that when a professor walks into a classroom she is a blank slate, a model to be adorned in fine clothing and given an identity. The reality is that scholars of color, women, and other groups whose bodies are read as non-normative have never been able to check their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation at the door. As soon as we walk onto campus, our bodies are read in a certain (often troubling) manner by our students, our colleagues, and school administrators. Our professionalism and our intellectual competence are largely judged by how we style ourselves. Therefore, we are highly aware of how we adorn our bodies. And, like our foremothers and forefathers who innovated with American "street fashions," we, too, use our fashion sense to define ourselves, our professionalism, and our research and teaching agendas on our own terms." Tamara Shayne Kagel: The Feminist's Dilemma: Why We Can't Stop Caring About How We Look
    I find myself constantly trapped in a world where I desperately want to be judged by my work but at the same time, I want other people to think I'm pretty. I'm permanently berating myself for caring about my appearance, because I am aware on a mental level that to care at all is to be superficial. But at the same time, I find myself squirming uncomfortably when I run into someone at the supermarket when I'm a sweaty, disheveled mess... This cognitive dissonance is a state that most modern women inhabit all the time, but refuse to acknowledge. Instead, we talk and write and judge like we live in a post-superficial world. [...] It's a rare breed of woman who truly doesn't care about her appearance, and there are some women who only care about their appearance. But most of us fall in the middle -- wanting to be appreciated and loved and valued for more than how we look, but unable to completely expunge all interest in our outward image. If this is where most of us live, shouldn't we be asking for acceptance to be in this middle space?... Isn't it normal to hope that the picture of you is not taken from a horrible angle the moment you wake up and at the same time be concerned with society's obsession about the ubiquitous worship of an unattainable ideal of the female form?
    Sociological Images - The Balancing Act of Being Female; Or, Why We Have So Many Clothes (previously): "And, of course, all women are going to get it wrong sometimes because the boundaries are moving targets and in the eye of the beholder. What's cheeky in one setting or to one person is flirty in or to another. So women constantly risk getting it wrong, or getting it wrong to someone. So the consequences are always floating out there, worrying us, and sending us to the mall." *This Kind Choice - I Am Woman, Watch Me Shop? Part 1 – The Ever Changing Clothes *Part 2 – Appearance as Identity, A Double-Edged Sword *The Nation - For Women's Office Wear, Who's Making the Rules? *The Atlantic - No, It's Not Sexist to Describe Women Politicians' Clothes *Feministing - Learning to dress "professionally" in a white man's world Already Pretty: Why Caring About Your Appearance Is Valuable to Self-Care
    In order to move through most peopled societies, we are required to wear clothing. Nudist colonies aside, we've all got to get dressed every day if we want to leave our homes for any reason... And in my opinion, since we've got to get dressed anyway, we might as well do it expressively and in ways that feel good. I've said it before, I'll say it again: Dress, grooming, and overall appearance constitute the first levels of information about ourselves that we offer to the observing world. They may not be the most important, but they are the first, which makes them worthy of effort and attention. ...I've already acknowledged that how you look isn't the most important thing about you... But thinking of your body as a brain-and-personality-holder strikes me as short-sighted. Consider this: Someone who focuses virtually all attention, care, and love on their body is generally considered to be vain. So why would focusing virtually all attention on your intellect, creativity, and personality be any less imbalanced? You're not a zombie – a body that moves through life without a functioning brain. But you're also not a brain in a jar – thinking and creating in the abstract alone. You have a body. As long as you are alive you will have a body. In fact, without your body, your intellect and creativity and personality wouldn't exist. Pitting your mind against your body is like cooking up a personal civil war.
    Bridgette Raes - Are You a Devaluist and Don't Even Know It? (Guest Post): "Clothing is often seen as a superficial shell, and fashion a frivolous, flighty thing that gets in the way of the serious stuff. The real stuff. But I don't believe that. I don't believe we can neatly divorce the way we look from the way we live. I believe the way we look is a reflection of the way we live." Dress A Day - You Don't Have to Be Pretty: "You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked "female". I'm not saying that you SHOULDN'T be pretty if you want to. (You don't owe UN-prettiness to feminism, in other words.)" (responses to "The Princess Effect", previously on MeFi) *Washington Post - Being informed and fashionable is natural for women *Flavorwire - The Catch-22 of Women's Magazines *Kat Stoeffel - Finally, 'Serious' Women Are Standing Up for Fashion Magazines: "As long as we all need to get dressed each morning, clothing will be a communication tool... Men and women both choose how they deploy the language of fashion; but women, deprived of the suit-as-uniform, still face unique challenges in fashion fluency... Women's magazines — especially when they work with women like Clinton, Abramson, and Mastromonaco — offer other women a map for navigating style and other sexist minefields without compromising their intellectual integrity. For that, we should celebrate them. And if we want to level the playing field, we should start by posing the same "frivolous" questions of men." *Ms. Magazine - If the Clothes Fit: A Feminist Takes on Fashion: "If feminists ignore fashion, we are ceding our power to influence it. Fortunately, history has shown that feminists can, instead, harness fashion and use it for our own political purposes." *GirltalkHQ - Fashion Vs Feminism: Can You Like Both? We Break It Down *Greta Christina - Fashion is a Feminist Issue: "In fact, fashion and style are so much like a language, I'm always a bit baffled when people say things like, "I want to be judged on who I am, not on the clothes I wear." It's a bit like saying, "I want to be judged on who I am, not on the words that come out of my mouth." ...Fashion is a form of expression. A language of sorts. An art form, even. It's also one of the very few art forms/ languages/ forms of expression in which women have more freedom than men... And I don't think it's an accident that it's typically seen as shallow, trivial, and vain." Medium (Backlash Book Club) - And Another Question: What Ever Happened to Pantsuits?: "Faludi writes about fashion as if women were totally subservient to its dictates (and as if its dictates were unified), but, of course, most women—precisely because they are judged so much by their appearance—know how to manipulate, subvert, and use clothes. To some extent, they're tools, like hammers." The New Inquiry, Vol. 20 - Sept. 2013, "Off Brand" issue (link opens PDF file) "We are told we must be clothed, and then that our clothes are not good enough.That fashion is predicated on this cruelty—making luxury of necessity, and necessity of a luxury—makes it as morally questionable as the behavior of foodies. Fine: We accept this. But we are also told that we must be bodies and that our bodies are not good enough, and fashion (at least for those who fit into it) can provide an escape from the disappointment of our flesh. Some of us feel we were born into the wrong body; for that, fashion is the first corrective. For others, fashion is the first rebellion... In selecting appearances, we want not only to be seen but sometimes to be heard before we speak. Fashion can be a weapon of the silenced, even when it is seized and wielded by those who have always talked loudest." *Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa - Fashion for Feminists: How fashion and dress shape women's identities *Migrant Woman Magazine - Asalet Tulaz: I like being the colour of feminism *Buzzfeed - How Iran's Young Women Are Using Fashion To Influence Politics *Minh-Ha T. Pham - Why Fashion Should Stop Trying to be Diverse *À l'allure garçonnière - Fashion Blogging Culture: Demanding Substance Over Style *Tanisha C. Ford - You Betta Werk!: Professors Talk Style Politics: "Below are excerpts from some of the interviews I conducted with women professors of color. Together, these interviews illustrate that studies on fashion and adornment politics offer a powerful lens through which we can explore other important issues such as women's rights, motherhood and relationship status, pleasure and sexuality, and the politics of "respectability."" Alison Bancroft - How Fashion is Queer: "The feminine is as much of a minority interest in culture as it is anywhere else in life. The only exception to this is fashion. This is why fashion is a radical creative space where heterosexual gender binaries are irrelevant and queer is the default setting, and it is also why fashion is routinely denigrated and dismissed." Final Fashion - so, is fashion feminist?: "Why is the visual aspect of fashion so inextricably linked to feminism, and why is it worth considering how to dress like a feminist?" Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie previously on MeFi: the danger of a single story
              !1 Power MP3 WMA Recorder 1.00        
    Power MP3 WMA Recorder makes high-quality recordings directly from your sound card. It can record streaming audio directly to MP3, WMA and OGG files, no tempory wav file involved. Sound quality of the recordings remains excellent.
              Comment on Islands in the Stream by sooz        
    Loved your story about your aunts and Dolly Parton. And that photo of Kenny + Dolly = too awesome. When I was 5, my parents gave me my first record player and the yellow record box included Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits. :D
              How To Fix A Water Damaged iPhone Or Any Other Mobile Device        

    Most of us have been there done that.  It’s not a great feeling to watch your productivity and communication lifeline sink to the bottom of the stream, lake, bath tub, kitchen sink, or worst case scenerio, – the toilet.  Here’s the good news, most of the time, (not all of the time), but most of […]

    The post How To Fix A Water Damaged iPhone Or Any Other Mobile Device appeared first on LoosePrices.


              Guide for Picking The Best Android Phone for You        
    Sony Xperia X10 vs Nexus One vs Motorola Droid vs Acer Liquid vs Archos


    Xperia X10


    Nexus One


    Motorola Droid


    Acer Liquid



    (Updated: 21st Jan 2010) The Android handset landscape has changed drastically over the past year, from a literal handful of options to – the fingers on both your hands, the toes on both your feet and all the mistresses Tiger Woods has had in the past 24 hours (OK, maybe 4 hours). You get the point though, there are quite a few options and through the course of 2010 these options will only increase.


    The only other mainstream handset smartphone option that rivals the Android handset options available in 2010 will be the Windows mobile platform – and we're all rushing for it – not!


    So what are the handsets to consider in 2010? The ones currently released on the market that we will look at are the Acer Liquid and Motorola Droid and an additional three to be released early 2010, the Sony Xperia X10, Google Nexus One (Passion, HTC Bravo) and Archos Phone Tablet – though we only have a handful of details on the phone.



    Archos Phone


    We will look at hardware and software sub-categories, and compare the phones based based on the information we have.


    HARDWARE


    Processor


    The Nexus One and Sony Xperia X10 have the snappier Qualcomm Snapdragon 1Ghz processor onboard. The Acer Liquid has a downclocked version of the Snapdragon running at 728Mhz – perhaps to conserve battery. This would probably put the Acer Liquids performance more on par with the Motorola Droids. The Archos Phone promises to be a really fast phone with an upgraded ARM Cortex processor running at 1Ghz and also with improved GPU over Droid and iPhone.


    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD 8250, 1.0 GHz

    Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 550 Mhz

    Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD 8250, 1.0 GHz

    Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD 8250, 768 MHz

    ARM Cortex 1Ghz


    Graphics


    The Snapdragon's Adreno 200 Graphics core is phenomenal on the triangle render benchmark, coming in with a score of approximately 22 million triangles per/sec compared to approximately 7 million triangles/sec on the Motorola's SGX530. This is an important element for 3D graphics. Interestingly, the iPhone 3GS has a similar CPU to Motorola Droid but an upgraded faster SGX535 GPU which is capable of 28 million triangles/sec and 400 M Pixels/sec. Archos may get better SGX GPU.


    Xperia X-10 Graphics Demo


    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    Adreno 200 Graphics Core with OpenGLES 2.0

    PowerVR SGX530 Graphics Core with OpenGLES 2.0

    Adreno 200 Graphics Core with OpenGLES 2.0

    Adreno 200 Graphics Core with OpenGLES 2.0

    PowerVR SGX540?

    22 M Triangles/sec

    7 M Triangles/sec

    22 M Triangles/sec

    22 M Triangles/sec

    35 M Triangles/sec

    133 M Pixels/sec

    250 M Pixels/sec

    133 M Pixels/sec

    133 M Pixels/sec

    1000 M Pixels/sec

    HD Decode (720p)

    HD Decode (720p)

    HD Decode (720p)

    HD Decode (720p)



    3-D Graphics Benchmark









    Motorola Droid 20.7 FPS (Android 2.0).

    Nexus One 27.6 FPS. (Android 2.1)

    Acer Liquid 34 FPS. (Android 1.6)

    Xperia X10 34FPS+ est. (Android 1.6)



    Note: All phones tested running WVGA resolution 480 x 800 or 480 X 854. Different versions of Android will be a factor e.g. Android 2.0 + reproduces 16 million colors vs 56K for 1.6. Older phones such as G1, iPhone 3GS may score 25-30 FPS but they use lower 480 X 320 resolution.



    Memory/Storage


    The Nexus One comes in with an impeccable 512MB of RAM. This provides an element of future proofing for the hardware and puts it in a league of its own. The Xperia X10 comes with 1GB of ROM and 384 MB of RAM. The 1GB means you'll be able to have twice as many apps on your phone until Google lets you save on your removable memory. The Acer Liquid and Droid are more or less the same.




    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    RAM

    512 MB

    256 MB

    384 MB

    256 MB


    Flash

    512 MB

    512 MB

    1024 MB

    512 MB



    Display


    The Nexus One uses an AMOLED screen which provides crispy images and more saturated colors than a TFT-LCD. It's also more energy efficient. Xperia X10 packs a 4.0 inch TFT screen with 854 x 480 resolution. Expect similar picture quality to the Motorola Droid for the Sony Ericson phone. The Archos Phone promises to deliver an interesting experience that could potentially make it the King of Androids.



    Spot the difference: Top TFT-LCD screen and bottom OLED



    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    800 x 480 px, 3.7 in (94 mm), WVGA,

    AMOLED

    854 x 480 px, 3.7 in (94 mm), WVGA,

    TFT-LCD

    854 x 480 px, 4.0 in (102 mm), WVGA,

    TFT-LCD

    800 x 480 px, 3.5 in (89 mm), WVGA,

    TFT-LCD

    854x 480px, 4.3 in (109mm), WVGA, AMOLED



    Display Input


    All standard stuff here. All are pretty much Capacitative with multi-Touch depending on the continent you buy your phone from.



    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    Capacitative, Multi-Touch

    Capacitative, Multi-Touch

    Capacitative, Multi-Touch

    Capacitative, Multi-Touch

    Capacitative, Multi-Touch



    Battery


    The Xperia X10 has the largest battery – and might I add likely the best quality battery from the lot. It's the same battery used in the Xperia X1 and it performed admirable. Talk time for the Nexus One is very good and we expect the Xperia X10 to match this or be marginally better. Of concern is Nexus Ones 3G stand-by time of 250 hours. It's worse than the other phones but not bad at a little over 10 days! Updated 21st Jan 2010 - confirmed Xperia battery times. Xperia more or less performs at the same level as the other Android phones, delivering 5 hours talk time.


    Sony 1500 mAh Battery




    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    mAh

    1400 Li-Po

    1400 Li-Po

    1500 Li-Po

    1350 Li-Po


    Talk/Standby 3G

    hrs/hrs

    7/250

    5/380

    5/300

    5/400




    Communication


    The phones are all capable of 3.5G (HSDPA 7.2 Mbit/s) data transfer. The Motorola Droid and Sony Xperia X10 can give you a little bit extra supporting 10.2 Mbit/s data transfer. Obviously the network must exist to support these speeds. Motorola is the only one with Class 12 EDGE, but this is not too important in this day and age of 3G.




    Nexus One, Bravo

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    HSDPA (Mbit/s)

    7.2 (1700 band)

    10.2

    10.2

    7.2


    HSUPA

    2.0 - 5.76

    2.0-5.76

    2.0-5.76

    2.0-5.76


    GSM

    (850, 900,1800,1900)

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y


    EDGE

    Class 10

    Class 12

    Class 10

    Class 10


    UMTS band 1/4/8

    (2100/AWS/900)

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y


    GPS

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y


    Network

    3-3.5G

    3-3.5G

    3-3.5G

    3-3.5G




    Connectivity:Bluetooth/Wifi


    Nexus One is the only Android phone that currently offers 802.11n connectivity. In fact, I can't think of any other phone out there that also has 802.11n. This might be the Google Talk phone we all thought was heading our way after all! All phones have either bluetooth 2.0 or 2.1. These will essentially be the same as far as data transfer (3 Mbit/s) is concerned. Version 2.1 offers better power efficiency though and a few other enhancements.


    Nexus One - Broadcom 802.11n



    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    Bluetooth

    2.1 + EDR

    2.1 + EDR

    2.1 + EDR

    2.0 + EDR

    Y

    802.11 b

    Y

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    802.11 g

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y

    802.11 n

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    Y


    Ports/Connectors/Sensors


    The 2GB shipped micro-SD card with the Acer Liquid is unrealistic by todays standards. The Motorola Droid offers the best deal with a 16GB micro-SD. The Sony Xperia X10 is shipped with an 8GB micro-SD card, but remember the Xperia X10 also has that slightly bigger 1GB flash memory on-board as well for and impressive total of 9GB expandable to a total of 33GB. Google decided to save on costs by only offering a 4GB micro-SD card with the Nexus One, but if the idea is to compete against the iPhone then 8GB should be the minimum. Clearly the Motorola is on the right track with 16GB shipped, and you can't ignore the impressive 1GB ROM on the Xperia X10.


    SanDisk working on 128GB Micro-SD




    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    Sim Card

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y

    3.5 mm jack

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Micro USB

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y


    Shipped Micro SD/Supported (GB)

    4/32

    Class 2

    16/32

    Class 6

    8/32

    Unknown

    2/32

    Class 2


    Unknown

    Light Sensor

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y


    Proximity Sensor

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y


    Compass

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y


    Accelerometer

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y


    Cell/Wifi Positioning

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y



    Case Material


    The Motorola metal case is the sturdiest. Build quality for the Nexus One and Xperia X10 is very good. The Xperia X10 has a refelective plastic whilst the Nexus one is more industrial with teflon and metal on the bottom. Acer Liquid has average build quality, but that was always the intention with the Liquid in order to keep manufacturing costs low.



    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    Rubber/Plastic

    Metal

    Plastic

    Plastic



    Keyboard


    If you want a physical keyboard then the Droid is your only choice in the list. The keys on the Droid keyboard are basically flush so you don't get the comfortable key separation feel on a Blackberry keyboard. The others (Droid as well) have virtual keyboards which work in portrait or landscape mode.



    Droid Slide-out keyboard



    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    Virtual

    Physical

    Virtual

    Virtual

    Virtual


    Camera


    The Xperia X10 is one of the best camera phones. Sony used it's camera know how for their new smartphone lineup and it will be hard to match-up against Sony unless the other guys partner up with someone like Canon. The X10 comes with an 8.1 mp camera with X 16 digital zoom. The software has also been changed from standard Android to include typical camera options. Also included are a four face detection feature that recognizes faces in a photo and appropriately tags/files the photo. Motorola Droid comes in with a 5 mp camera with X4 digital zoom compared to the 5mp and x2 digital zoom on the Nexus One.



    Xperia X10 sample photo

    ***Additional Photos***



    Motorola Droid sample photo



    Nexus One sample photo



    Acer Liquid sample photo




    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    Megapixel

    5

    5

    8.1

    5


    Zoom

    X 2

    X 4

    x16

    1


    Flash

    Y

    Y (dual)

    Y

    Y



    Video


    Video wise, the Nexus One, Motorola Droid and Xperia will perform roughly the same.














    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    Video Res.

    720x480

    720x480

    800x480

    320x240


    Flash

    Y

    Y

    Y

    N




    Size/Height/Weight



    Lightest and thinest is the Nexus one. Motorola is weighed down by the metal used. They all are roughly the same size as the iPhone 3Gs which comes in at 115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3 mm and weighs 135g.



    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    Height (mm)

    119

    115.8

    119

    115


    Width (mm)

    59.8

    60

    63

    62.5


    Depth (mm)

    11.5

    13.7

    13

    12.5

    10

    Weight (g)

    130

    169

    135

    135




    SOFTWARE


    OS Level


    Nexus One has the most current OS level at 2.1. Motorola Droid is expected to upgrade soon as well as the Acer Liquid. The heavily customized Xperia X10 will be more of a challenge to upgrade to 2.1 because of the heavy customization.



    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    2.1

    2

    1.6

    1.6




    Customization


    Xperia X10 shines as far as demonstrating how customizable Android really is. The other 3 phones have very few changes to the standard Android OS.


    Sony TimeScape/MediaScape



    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    None

    None

    Rachael UI

    Acer UI 3.0



    Application Market


    We are likely to see more App market emerge. Sony currently leads the way and Motorola and HTC (Nexus One) will follow suit as well.



    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    Android Market

    Android Market

    PlayNow, Android Market

    Android Market



    Media


    Mediascape is an ambitious effort to add decent media functionality to Android. Sony succeeds and also introduces a fun way to organize your media. Acer has Spinlet which is not as complex as Mediascape.



    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    Android

    Android

    MediaScape

    Spinlet



    Social Networking


    Sony again leds the customization way with Timescape. This is another good job by Sony to add extra functionality to Android. Timescape helps manage your contacts better and brings social networking and contacts onto one application.



    Nexus One

    Motorola Droid

    Sony Xperia X10

    Acer Liquid

    Archos Phone

    Android

    Android

    TimeScape

    Android





              Live Streaming Sarawak vs JDT 29 Julai 2017 Piala Malaysia         
    Live Streaming Sarawak vs JDT 29 Julai 2017 Piala Malaysia | Perlawanan ke-4 Piala Malaysia 2017? Adakah JDT atau Sarawak? Saksikan pertembungan menarik antara Sarawak dan juara bertahan Liga Super iaitu Johor Darul Takzim dalam saingan TM Piala Malaysia 2017. Perlawanan ini akan berlangsung pada 29 Julai 2017 di Stadium Negeri, Petra Jaya Kuching. Perlawanan Sarawak vs JDT akan tidak disiarkan di tv dan saya kongsikan link live streaming Sarawak vs JDT disini(lihat di bawah). Live ini akan terus ke aplikasi FB live streaming. Lihat di bawah!

    Live Streaming Sarawak vs JDT 29 Julai 2017 Piala Malaysia

    Live Streaming Sarawak vs JDT 29 Julai 2017 Piala Malaysia 


    Tarikh : 29 Julai 2017 (Sabtu)
    Masa : 8.15 malam
    Stadium Negeri Petra Jaya Kuching
    Tamat



    Keputusan Sarawak vs JDT 29 Julai 2017 Piala Malaysia 


    SARAWAK 0 vs 2 JDT 

    * Keputusan Sarawak vs JDT akan dikemaskini sejurus selepas perlawanan.

    Mampukah Sarawak menewaskan JDT di halaman sendiri? Jom saksikan siaran langsung Sarawak vs JDT menerusi pautan di atas ke aplikasi FB live. Selamat menonton!
              Pelan Prabayar Terbaik Di Malaysia 2017        
    Pelan Prabayar Terbaik Di Malaysia 2017|Adakah anda mencari perbandingan pelan prabayar (prepaid) terbaik di Malaysia pada tahun 2017? Jika dilihat masa kini terdapat 4 pelan telco yang selalu bersaing untuk menjadikan pilihan terbaik untuk dilanggan oleh pengguna. Antaranya iaitu Maxis, Digi, Celcom dan UMobile. Keempat-empat ini 'berperang' menawarkan pakej pelan terbaru bagi meraih kepercayaan pengguna termasuklah pelan internet yang akan menjadi keutamaan difokuskan.

    Pelan Prabayar Terbaik Di Malaysia 2017

    Disini saya akan membandingkan 4 pelan prabayat terhebat tahun 2017 di Malaysia untuk membantu anda membuat penilaian dengan mudah. Bagi aku kesemuanya mempunyai kelebihan masing-masing dari segi pelan internet, kadar panggilan, kadar SMS dan tawaran percuma.

    Pelan Prepaid Terbaik Di Malaysia 2017


    Pelan 
    Hotlink FAST 
    Xpax M4gic SIM 
    Digi Best 
    UMobile Unlimited Power 
    Harga 
    RM10
    RM10
    RM8 
    RM8.50
    Data Percuma 
    Percuma 8GB untuk 4G LTE sahaja (1GB Sabtu & 1GB Ahad)
    Percuma 10GB Facebook setiap bulan 
    Unlimited Social Internet Pack 
    Data tanpa had percuma App-Onz 
    Internet asas percuma setiap bulan 
    Ada 
    10GB
    500MB 
    1GB
    Kadar panggilan (min)
    RM0.15/30 saat ke semua rangkaian 
    RM0.24/30 saat ke semua rangkaian 
    RM0.06/30 saat ke semua rangkaian 
    RM0.12/30 saat ke semua rangkaian 
    Kadar SMS 
    RM0.15 untuk semua rangkaian 
    RM0.12 untuk semua rangkaian 
    RM0.06 untuk semua rangkaian 
    RM0.12 untuk semua rangkaian 
    Tawaran percuma 
    -
    ● Yonder Music
    ● Unlimited Call
    ● Hi-speed Internet
    ● Carry Forward Unused Internet 
    Unlimited Sosial Internet Pack 
    10 minit panggilan percuma setiap hari ke nombor U Mobile.



    1. Maxis Hotlink FAST


    Pelan Prabayar Terbaik Di Malaysia 2017

    Melalui pelan terbaru Hotlink iaitu Pelan Hotlink FAST, Hotlink telah meningkatkan kuota data internet, dimana mereka menawarkan Internet 8GB 4G Percuma setiap bulan sepanjang hayat. Tetapi internet ini dibahagikan kepada 2 GB setiap hujung minggu (1GB hari Sabtu dan 1GB untuk hari Ahad).

    Anda hanya pastikan akaun anda sentiasa aktif dan kuota data percuma diberikan kepada telefon pintar yang disambungkan talian 4G LTE. Selain itu, pengguna Hotlink FAST juga dapat menikmati free 1,000 minit calls bagi 5 friends anda pada bila-bila masa.

    Kelebihan pelan Hotlink FAST, Hotlink bijak memujuk semula hati pengguna dengan memperkenalkan pelan data internet terbaru dengan pilihan pakej harian, mingguan atau bulanan. Bagi pakej harian adalah herharga RM3 untuk 1GB manakala pakej mingguan terdapat tiga pilihanan iaitu RM10 (600MB + Free 7GB Happy Hour), RM7 (300MB) dan RM5 (150MB). Jika dilihat pakej mingguan kurang memuaskan kerana masih data internet menggunakan MB. Tapi bagi pakej bulanan agak munasabah dimana menawarkan RM50 (5GB + 100mins + Free 30GB Happy Hour), RM38 (3GB) manakala RM30 hanya 2GB. Kesemuanya pelan data internet ini di bawah pelan FAST.

    2. Celcom Xpax M4gic SIM


    Pelan Prabayar Terbaik Di Malaysia 2017

    Jika pelan Xpax sebelum ini menawarkan Internet Burung Hantu bagi penggemar layari internet di larut malam. Walaubagaimanapun, bagi pelan terbaru Celcom M4gic SIM tidak lagi ditawarkan internet burung hantu tetapi masih ada kelebihan yang lebih menarik.

    New Magic SIM ini masih mengekalkan kelebihan Magic Sim biasa seperti Free Basic Internet, Free Unlimited Yonder Music dan Carry Forward baki internet ke bulan hadapan. Namun, Xpax M4gic SIM teleh memperkenalkan panggilan percuma tanpa had ke semua nombor di bawah pelan prabayar M4gic SIM. Jika dilihat panggilan percuma dari pelan ini daya penarik pengguna untuk beralih kepada Celcom.

    Selain unlimited call, pelan data internet dalam bentuk Magic Pack turut diperkenalkan bagi pengguna M4gic SIM yang ditawarkan dalam pakej harian, mingguan dan bulanan. Pelan Magic harian berharga RM8 untuk 1GB manakala pakej mingguan menawarkan internet 1GB pada harga RM18. Pakej bulanan pula boleh didapati pada harga antara RM38 (4GB) hingga RM68 (7GB) dan semua pakej ditawarkan dengan 4G LTE internet.

    Baca juga : Cara Daftar Webe Pakej Internet Unlimited

    3. Digi BEST


    Pelan Prabayar Terbaik Di Malaysia 2017

    Digi BEST adalah pelan terbaru prabayar Digi dimana masih mengekalkan internet percuma unlimited untuk sosial di Facebook dan Twitter. Sama seperti pelan Digi sebelum ini iaitu pelan Digi Smart. Kadar panggilan dan sistem pesanan ringkas (SMS) untuk bagi 10 nombor Digi dan 10 semua rangkaian adalah 6 sen untuk 30 per saat call dan 6 sen/ SMS.

    Namun itu, Digi turut memperkenalkan Digi Prepaid LIVE yang memberi kelebihan plan internet kepada yang pengguna kaki movie dan stream muzik. Dapatkan maklumat lebih lanjut mengenai pelan tersebut di sini!

    4. UMobile Unlimited Power


    Pelan Prabayar Terbaik Di Malaysia 2017

    Digi Best mungkin merupakan pelan prabayar terbaik dan paling berpatutan jika dilihat jadual di atas, tetapi pelan UMobile Unlimited Power juga mempunyai kelebihan. Harganya adalah RM8.50 dengan kredit sebanyak RM5. Pelan Unlimited Power ini data tanpa had percuma App-Onz dengan tambah nilai sekali minima RM10 untuk diaktifkan.

    Selain itu, turut ditawarkan 10 minit panggilan percuma kesemua nombor U Mobile dan internet percuma 1GB setiap bulan. Anda juga mempunyai pilihan melanggan pelan UMI30 yang menawarkan 7.5GB internet kelajuan tinggi 4G LTE, 2.5GB strim data dengan App-Onz dan 30 minit panggilan percuma ke semua rangkaian.

    Sudah dapat bandingkan pelan prabayar terbaik anda untuk dilanggani? Mana satu pilihan anda pelan prabayar terbaik 2017?

    Jika anda ingin mendapat tahu pelan internet yang terbaik dari pelan prabayar, bandinglah pelan internet di sini juga!
              Live Streaming Kedah vs Kelantan 26 Julai 2017 Liga Super Malaysia         
    Live Streaming Kedah vs Kelantan 26 Julai 2017 Liga Super Malaysia| Perlawanan ke-18 Liga Super Malaysia 2017? Pasukan Kedah akan menerima menerima skuad The Red Warriors, Kelantan dalam perlawanan ke-18 saingan Liga Super Malaysia 2017 yang dijaduapkan berlangsung pada 26 Julai 2017. Perlawanan di antara pasukan Kedah menentang Kelantan berlangsung di Stadium Darul Aman bermula pada jam 9 malam. Perlawanan Kedah vs Kelantan tidak akan disiarkan di tv dan saya kongsikan disini link live streaming Kedah vs Kelantan menerusi ke aplikasi FB (jika ada). Boleh lihat di bawah !

    Live Streaming Kedah vs Kelantan 26 Julai 2017 Liga Super Malaysia

    Berdasarkan prestasi semasa, pasukan Kedah berkemungkinan besar tidak menghadapi masalah besar untuk mencatatkan keputusan positif lebih-lebih lagi beraksi di hadapan penonton mereka sendiri. Manakala, pasukan Kelantan masih bergelut isu kejurulatihan yang telah menukar semula kepada Zahasmi Ismail.

    Live Streaming Kedah vs Kelantan 26 Julai 2017 Liga Super Malaysia 


    Tarikh : 26 Julai 2017 (Rabu)
    Masa : 9 malam
    Stadium Darul Aman
    Tamat

    Keputusan Kedah vs Kelantan 26 Julai 2017 Liga Super Malaysia 


    KEDAH 5 vs 0 KELANTAN 

    Baca juga : Top 10 Penjaring Gol Terbanyak Liga Super Malaysia 2017

    Mampukah Kelantan menewaskan pasukan Kedah di gelanggang lawan? Adakah Kedah akan menebus kekecewaan setelah kalah mengejut 1-3 dengan pasukan Kelantan dalam saingan Piala Malaysia? Jom saksikan siaran langsung Kedah vs Kelantan 26 Julai 2017 menerusi pautan disediakan di atas ke aplikasi FB live. Selamat menonton.
              Live Streaming Pulau Pinang vs Kedah 22 Julai 2017 Liga Super         
    Live Streaming Pulau Pinang vs Kedah 22 Julai 2017 Liga Super | Perlawanan menarik Northern Derby Utara antara Pulau Pinang vs Kedah dalam aksi ke-17 Liga Super 2017, dimana skuad Kedah akan bertandang ke Stadium Negeri Pulau Pinang, Batu Kawan. Adakah Pulau Pinang akan bangkit semula dari kedudukan tersingkir ke Liga Perdana tahun hadapan? Atau pun skuad Kedah akan mengejar kedudukan JDT di puncak Liga Super 2017? Jom saksikan perlawanan Pulau Pinang vs Kedah pada 22 Julai 2017 ini (Sabtu) jam 9 malam. Perlawanan ini tidak disiarkan siaran langsung Pulau Pinang vs Kedah di saluran tv.

    Live Streaming Pulau Pinang vs Kedah 22 Julai 2017 Liga Super

    Saya kongsikan kepada anda link live streaming Pulau Pinang vs Kedah 22.7.2017 disini menerusi ke aplikasi Facebook Live. Anda boleh lihat link live di bawah. Jom ramai2 orang utara penuhi di Stadium Batu Kawan.

    Live Streaming Pulau Pinang vs Kedah 22 Julai 2017 Liga Super 


    Tarikh : 22.7.2017 hari Sabtu
    Masa : 9 malam kick off
    Stadium Negeri Pulau Pinang, Batu Kawan
    Tamat

    Keputusan Pulau Pinang vs Kedah 22 Julai 2017 Liga Super


    PULAU PINANG 0 vs 2 KEDAH 

    Sudah pastinya perlawanan ini menyajikan yang terbaik antara pasukan Pulau Pinang dan Kedah. Jom ramai-ramai tonton siaran langsung Pulau Pinang vs Kedah menerusi pautan di atas ke aplikasi FB.
              Live Streaming Selangor vs JDT 18 Julai 2017 Piala Malaysia         
    Live Streaming Selangor vs JDT 18 Julai 2017 Piala Malaysia | Perlawanan ke-3 Piala Malaysia 2017? Adakah Piala Malaysia 2017 akan menjadi milik JDT? Atau pasukan Selangor yang paling berjaya meraih kejuaraan piala berprestij ini? Saksikan perlawanan hebat antara Selangor menentang JDT dalam aksi Piala Malaysia pada 18 Julai ini. Perlawanan Selangor vs JDT akan berlangsung di Stadium Majlis Perbandaran Selayang pada jam 9 malam. Perlawanan ini tidak disiarkan siaran langsung di tv dan saya kongsikan link live streaming Selangor vs JDT Piala Malaysia 2017 jika ada menerusi ke FB live.

    Live Streaming Selangor vs JDT 18 Julai 2017 Piala Malaysia

    Live Streaming Selangor vs JDT 18 Julai 2017 Piala Malaysia 


    Tarikh : 18 Julai 2017 (Selasa)
    Masa : 9 malam
    Stadium Majlis Perbandaran Selayang
    Link LIVE STREAMING akan dikemaskini disini.

    Keputusan Selangor vs JDT 18 Julai 2017 Piala Malaysia 


    SELANGOR 3 vs 2 JDT

    * Keputusan akan dikemaskini sejurus perlawanan tamat.

    Adakah JDT atau Selangor akan memenangi dalam perlawanan ini? Ramai-ramai saksikan siaran langsung Selangor vs JDT 18 Julai 2017 menerusi pautan disediakan di atas ini.
              Live Streaming Kelantan vs Kedah 18 Julai 2017 Piala Malaysia         
    Live Streaming Kelantan vs Kedah 18 Julai 2017 Piala Malaysia | Perlawanan ke-3 dalam TM Piala Malaysia 2017? Mampukah Kelantan bangkit semula dengan 4 kekalahan berturut-turut perlawanan sebelum ini? Adakah Kedah akan terus layak ke peringkat seterusnya? Saksikan perlawanan hebat antara Kelantan menentang Kedah di Stadium Sultan Muhammad IV dalam saingan Piala Malaysia. Perlawanan Kelantan vs Kedah akan berlangsung pada 18 Julai ini jam 9 malam. Perlawanan ini tidak disiarkan di saluran tv dan saya sharekan link live streaming Kelantan vs Kedah 18.7.2017 disini.

    Live Streaming Kelantan vs Kedah

    Live Streaming Kelantan vs Kedah 18 Julai 2017 Piala Malaysia 


    Tarikh : 18 Julai 2017 (Selasa)
    Masa : 9 malam
    Stadium Sultan Muhammad IV

    Keputusan Kelantan vs Kedah 18 Julai 2017 Piala Malaysia 


    KELANTAN 3 vs 1 KEDAH

    * Keputusan akan dikemaskini sejurus perlawanan tamat.

    Mampukah Kelantan menewaskan Kedah dalam saingan Piala Malaysia? Jom saksikan siaran langsung Kelantan vs Kedah Piala Malaysia 18 Julai 2017 menerusi pautan yang disediakan di atas ke aplikasi Facebook live. Semoga terhibur!
              Listen: Black EL – Fences | Stream        
    The one and only, Black EL makes his return to the interwebs with some new music today. It has been a minute, but Black EL drops off a new track called “Fences” for our listening enjoyment. The track was produced by Durkin who, as usual, laced the wordsmith with an incredible home to do his […]
              Listen: BL’EVE Brown – FINESSE Ft. Jimmy 2Shoes | Stream        
    If you have not yet experienced the sounds of BL’EVE Brown, today would be a great day to do so. Today BL’EVE Brown returns with a brand new track, unleashing a new single entitled “FINESSE.” The track finds Mr. Brown pairing up with Jimmy 2Shoes, unleashing a dose of their respective talents over top of […]
              Listen: Beatnick & K – Salaam – Give Love ft. Junior Reid & Gramps Morgan | Stream        
    How about some more new music from Beatnick & K – Salaam? That is exactly what we get today as the production duo returns with another new track, this time around serving up a new single called “Give Love.” The track finds Beatnick & K – Salaam pairing up with the likes of Junior Reid […]
              SCSI support and a big surprise        
    Last week I added SCSI disk support for the CD-i 60x extension board to CD-i Emulator. It took somewhat longer then I expected, though. This was mostly because the DP5380 SCSI controller chip exposes most low-level details of the SCSI protocol to the driver which means that all of these details have to be emulated.

    The emulation ended up to be a more-or-less complete software implementation of the parallel SCSI-2 protocol, including most of the low-level signaling on the BSY, SEL, ATN, MSG, C/D-, I/O-, REQ and ACK lines. This is all implemented by the new CScsiBus class representing the SCSI bus that connects up to 16 instances of the CScsiPort class that each represent a single SCSI-2 bus interface. I was able to mostly avoid per-byte signaling of REQ and ACK if the target device implementation supports block transfers, a big performance win.

    The new CCdiScsiDevice class emulates the DP5380 controller chip, working in conjunction with the CCdiScsiRamDevice and CCdiScsiDmaDevice classes that emulate the 32 KB of local extension SRAM and the discrete DMA logic around it that are included on the CD-i 60x extension board.

    The CD-i 182 extension uses a compatible SCSI controller chip but a different DMA controller and has no local extension SRAM. I have not yet emulated these because I have almost no software to test it.

    The new CScsiDevice class implements a generic SCSI device emulating minimal versions of the four SCSI commands that are mandatory for all SCSI device types: TEST UNIT READY, REQUEST SENSE, INQUIRY and SEND DIAGNOSTIC. It implements most of the boiler-plate of low-level SCSI signaling for target devices and the full command and status phases of SCSI command processing, allowing subclasses to focus on implementing the content aspects of the data transfer phase.

    The CScsiFile class emulates a SCSI device backed by a file on the host PC; it includes facilities for managing the SCSI block size and the transfer of block-sized data to and from the backing file.

    The CScsiDisk and CScsiTape classes emulate a SCSI disk and tape device, respectively, currently supporting a block size of 512 bytes only. Instances of these classes are connected to the SCSI bus by using the new
    -s[csi]d[isk][0-7] FILE and -s[csi]t[ape][0-7] FILE options of CD-i Emulator.

    The CD-i 60x extension board normally uses SCSI id 5; the built-in ROM device descriptors for SCSI disks use SCSI ids starting at zero (/h0 /h1 /h2) while the built-in device descriptor for a SCSI tape uses SCSI id 4 (/mt0). This means that the useful options with the 60x are -scsidisk0, -scsidisk1, -scsidisk2 and -scsitape 4.

    I've added the new dsk subdirectory to contain disk images; tape images have no standard location as they are mostly intended for bulk-transfer purposes (see below).

    Inside the CD-i player this leads to the following response to the built-in inquire command:
    $ inquire -i=0
    vendor identification:"CDIFAN CDIEMU SCSIDISK "

    $ inquire -i=4
    vendor identification:"CDIFAN CDIEMU SCSITAPE "
    where the "CDIFAN " part is the vendor name and the "CDIEMU SCSIXXXX " part is the product name.

    In the previous post I described a 450 MB OS-9 hard disk image that I found on the Internet. After mounting it with
    -scsidisk0 mw.dsk I got the following output:
    $ free /h0
    "MediaWorkshop" created on: Feb 17, 1994
    Capacity: 1015812 sectors (512-byte sectors, 32-sector clusters)
    674144 free sectors, largest block 655552 sectors
    345161728 of 520095744 bytes (329.17 of 496.00 Mb) free on media (66%)
    335642624 bytes (320.09 Mb) in largest free block

    $ dir -d /h0

    Directory of /h0 23:49:36
    ASU/ AUDIO/ CDI_BASECASE/ CINERGY/ CMDS/
    COPY/ CURSORS/ DEFS/ DEMOS/ ENET/
    ETC/ FDRAW/ FONTS/ FontExample/ ISP/
    LIB/ MAUI/ MAUIDEMO/ MENU/ MWOS/
    NFS/ README_CIN README_MWS SCRIPT/ SHARE/
    SHIP/ SYS/ T2D_RUNTIME/ TEMP/ TEMPMARK/
    TEST/ USR/ VIDEO/ abstract.txt bibliographic.txt
    bkgd.c8 bkgd.d cdb cdb1 cdb2
    cdi_opt_install chris_test cin copyright.mws copyright.txt
    csd_605 custominits_cin delme dos/ file
    font8x8 get globs.mod go go.mkfont
    inetdb ipstat kick1a_f.c8 kick2a_f.c8 mtitle
    mws net new_shell new_shell.stb scratch
    screen startup_cin thelist
    You can see why thought it was a MediaWorkshop disc, but on closer inspection this turned out to something quite different. Some basic scrutiny lead to the hypothesis that this is probably a disk backup of someone from Microware working on early development of the DAVID (Digital Audio Video Interactive Decoder) platform. There are various surprises on the disk which I will describe below.

    Anyway, I wanted to transfer the contents to the PC as a tar archive, similar to the procedure I used for my CD-i floppy collection. After starting CD-i Emulator with a -scsitape4 mw.tar option this was simply a matter of typing the following into the terminal window:
    tar cb 1/h0
    This command runs the "tape archiver" program to create a tape with the contents of the /h0 directory, using a tape blocking size of 1 (necessary because my SCSI tape emulation doesn't yet support larger block sizes). The resulting mw.tar file on the PC is only 130 MB, not 450 MB which indicates that the disk is mostly empty. At some point I might use an OS-9 "undelete" program to find out if there are additional surprises.

    Extracting the mw.tar file was now a simple matter of running the PC command
    tar xvf mv.tar
    This produced an exact copy of the OS-9 directory structure and files on the PC.

    Many of the directories on the hard disk are clearly copies of various distribution media (e.g. CDI_BASECASE, CINERGY, CURSORS, ENET, FONTS, ISP, MWOS, NFS). The contents of the ENET, ISP and NFS directories at first appear to match some of my floppies, including version numbers, but on closer inspection the binaries are different. Running some of them produces "Illegal instruction" errors so I suspect that these are 68020 binaries.

    The SHIP directory contains some prerelease RTNFM software; the readme talks about PES which is a type of MPEG-2 stream (Packetized Elementary Stream). Various asset directories contain versions of a "DAVID" logo.

    The CMDS directory contains working versions of the Microware C compiler, identical to the ones I already had and also many other programs. It also contains some "cdb" files (configuration database?) that mention the 68340 processor.

    The contents of the CMDS/BOOTOBJS directory produced a first surprise: it contains a subdirectory JNMS containing among others files named "rb1793" and "scsijnms". Could this be floppy and SCSI drivers for the CD-i 182 extension, as it contains with a 1793 floppy drive controller (the CD-i 60x uses a different one) and the player has a "JNMS" serial number?

    Well, yes and no. Disassembly of the scsijnms file proved it to be compiled C code using an interface different from OS-9 2.4 drivers, so I suspect this is an OS-9 3.x driver. In any case, I cannot use it with the stock CD-i 180 player ROMs. Bummer...

    And now for the big surprise: deeply hidden in a directory structure inside the innocently named COPY directory is the complete assembly source for the VMPEG video driver module "fmvdrv". At first glance it looked very familiar from my disassembly exercises on the identically-named Gate Array 2 MPEG driver module "fmvdrv", which is as expected because I had already noticed the large similarity between these two hardware generations.

    The source calls the VMPEG hardware the "IC3" implementation, which matches CD-i digital video history as I know it. The Gate Array MPEG hardware would be "IC2" and the original prototype hardware would be "IC1". Furthermore, the sources contain three source files named fmvbugs1.a to fmvbugs3.a whose source file titles are "FMV first silicon bugs routines" to "FMV third silicon bugs routines". The supplied makefile currently uses only fmvbugs3.a as is to be expected for a VMPEG driver.

    The fmvbugs1.a source contains some of the picture buffer manipulation logic that I've so far carefully avoided triggering because I couldn't understand it from my disassemblies, and this is now perfectly understandable: they are workarounds for hardware bugs!

    As of two hours ago, I have verified that with a little tweaking and reconstruction of a single missing constants library file these sources produce the exact "fmvdrv" driver module contained in the vmpega.rom file directly obtained from my VMPEG cartridge.

    In general these sources are very heavily commented, including numerous change management comments. They also include a full set of hardware register and bit names, although no comments directly describing the hardware. This should be of great help in finally getting the digital video emulation completely working.

    All of the comments are English, although a few stray words and developer initials lead me to believe that the programmers were either Dutch or Belgian.

    Disassembly comparisons lead me to the conclusion that careful undoing of numerous changes should result in exact sources for the GMPEGA2 driver module "fmvdrv" as well. I might even do it at some point, although this is not high priority for me.

    The disk image containing all of these surprises is publicly available on the Internet since at least 2009, which is probably someone's mistake but one for which I'm very grateful at this point!
              CD-i 180 disc playing        
    After a few hours of tweaking I’ve gotten CD-i 180 disc playing working in CD-i Emulator. Most of the time was spent on basic disassembly of the driver, which is very similar to the CD-i 605 version (but missing some features such as multi-session support and seek delay). Not very surprising as both players use the same CDIC chip, although they are supposedly different versions.

    The problems were really quite trivial but there are of course complications...

    The first problem turned out to be a memory map issue. On all CD-i players that I’ve encountered so far, a memory map chunk size of 128 KB works fine because memory from different devices (whether general purpose RAM or device-specific memory such as NVRAM and CDIC local memory) never lives inside the same 128 KB chunk of address space. On the CD-i 180 this is not true, as can be seen from the following fragment of maximmc.brd:
    $00300000   cdic.dev     level=4
    $00310000 nvr.dev
    My code silently overwrote the CDIC mapping with the NVR mapping which meant that any access to CDIC local memory terminated in a bus error. Needless to say, this was not conducive to disc playback. Simply lowering the memory map chunk size to 64 KB fixed this problem.

    Next it turned out that during initialization the cdap18x driver wants to do some kind of data transfer to address $320001, possibly DSP parameters or something, and there was no device there yet. This was easily fixed also.

    At this point the disc play got started but the interrupt routine ignored all interrupts. After inspecting the driver it turned out that the CD-i 180 expects an additional status bit to be set in the DBUF register that was never used on other CD-i players with a CDIC. Still easy to fix.

    Now the interrupt routine started trying to process the sector but it got bus errors in two places. It attempted to read the FILE selection register, which other CD-i players never did, and it took the buffer index bits (these specify the DMA buffer the hardware used from the sector) from a previously unimplemented register that I’ve dubbed DSEL for now. Easy fixes galore...

    After this one sector got properly transferred to memory but an unending stream of interrupts hung up the player. It turns out that the CD-i 180 ROMs don’t read the CDIC XBUF register that CD-i Emulator used to clear the interrupt. Generating and clearing the interrupt from the DBUF register fixed that also, and now the disc actually started playing!

    Of course I did some tests next and there are currently three known problems:

    - Reads of the disc table-of-contents (TOC) take ages, probably because the ROMs are checking for or waiting on some flag or data byte that CD-i Emulator currently doesn’t provide. This should not be very hard to fix.

    - Audio playback from memory doesn’t work, the symptoms are very similar to those of the audio sync issues that occurred during the MESS collaboration in 2009. This may be a hard problem to crack.

    - And finally the most hairy issue: the CDIC emulation modifications break other players. The breakage is often subtle but very definitely there so I will have to do some careful juggling to get it working on all players, if necessary by explicit version checking but I hope to avoid that. The hardware should not be that dissimilar, really...

    On the serial port and pointing device front, I’ve found someone who has a surplus serial port interface and an infrared remote. He also has a complete CD-i 180 set (including the CDI 182 unit) and I’m looking forward to extracting the ROMs from that one also.

    He also took apart his mouse and it seems to be a fairly standard Amiga design which means that it should not be very hard to manufacture a replacement.

    I’ve been looking into making a small PIC-based interface for PS2 and/or CD-i peripherals and it may still come to that but it seems to be not as necessary as I thought.
              MPEG decoding, state save/restore, NRF emulation, ...        
    It's been a while since I wrote anything here, but that doesn't mean that work on CD-i Emulator has stopped. On the contrary, a lot has happened in the last month and describing all of it will take a very long blog post. So here goes…

    Last January an annoying date-checking bug was found which forced me to release beta2 somewhat earlier than anticipated. After that I did no further work on CD-i Emulator. There were various reasons for this, but the most import one was a very busy period at my day job.

    After a well-earned vacation I resumed CD-i related work in early August. First I spent a few days on Walter Hunt's OS-9 port of gcc, the GNU C/C++ Compiler that I found in October of last year. Getting it working on a modern Cygwin installation was interesting and something very different from my usual line of work. The result could be useful for homebrew activities: it's a much more usable C compiler then the Microware OS-9 one and supports C++ as a bonus. I intend to use this for ROM-less emulation validation some day; see also below. The sources need to be released but I haven’t gotten to that stage yet.

    After that I had another go at the Digital Video cartridge emulation. At the point where I left off last year the major stumbling block was the presumed picture / frame buffering logic of the MPEG video driver. When the appropriate interrupt status bits are set the driver starts copying a bulk of status information to an array of device registers and it will sometimes also read from those registers. This is all controlled by several status and timing registers that are also referenced elsewhere and I previously could not get a handle on it.

    My first attempt this time was spending another few days staring at it and tracing it, but this did not gain me much new understanding. Finally I decided to just leave it for now and see how far I could get without understanding this part of the driver. I decided to once again attempt to get "CD-i Full Motion Video Technical Aspects" working.

    This CD-i was produced by Philips to give future Full Motion Video (as the new MPEG playback functions were called at the time) developers a demonstration of the technical capabilities of the new hardware, at a time when this hardware was still in the early beta phase. The CD-i actually contains the compiler libraries necessary for making FMV calls from CD-i applications, as these had not previously been widely distributed.

    It is not a very slick disc visually, being intended for developers, but it demonstrates a number of FMV techniques such as regular playback, playback control including pause, slow motion and single step, freeze frame and forward/backward scan, special effects like scrolling the FMV window, a seamless jump and a sample of overlay effects with the CD-i base case video planes.

    I had previously tried to run this disc on CD-i Emulator, but it always crashed for an unknown reason that I attributed to MPEG device emulation problems. This time I traced back the crash and it turned out to have nothing at all to do with FMV playback but was instead caused by an incorrect emulation of the 68000 instruction "move ea,ccr" which is supposed to set the condition code register (ccr) to the value specified by the effective address (ea). In the processor manual this is classified as a word instruction and I had emulated it as such, which turned out to be wrong as it caused a word write to the full status register which should have been a byte write to the lower eight bits of it which hold the condition codes.

    The problem manifested itself when the application calls the math trap handler for some mundane number calculations, which were naturally supposed to set the condition codes. The value written to the status register inadvertently changed the processor from user to system mode (and also scrambled the active interrupt masking level) which caused an instant stack switch that caused a bus error when the trap handler attempts to return to the application program (the cpu took the return address from the wrong stack and got garbage instead).

    Most CD-i applications probably don't use the math trap handler so the problem went undetected for a long time. Now that it's fixed some other titles have probably started working but I haven't tested that.

    After this, the FMV Technical Aspects application would get to its main menu screen, allowing me to start FMV playback operations. Regular playback worked fine until the end of the video clip, where there turned out to be status bit generation issues that prevented the application from properly detecting the end of video clip condition (the decoder is supposed to send a "buffer underflow" signal, among others, after the end of the MPEG data and my emulation didn't do that yet).

    This was not very easy to fix because of the way that MPEG data buffering and decoding is handled inside CD-i Emulator, which I'll get into below. So it took me some time.

    Regular play working fine, I started worrying about window control. This was the area where I feared the picture buffering stuff, but it turned out that this was easily bypassed. The horizontal / vertical scrolling functions were ideal to test this but it took me some time to get it working. There were bugs in several areas, including my integration of the MPEG video decoding code, which I took from the well-known mpeg2dec package. This code is written to decode a single video sequence and consequently did not handle image size changes without some re-initialization calls at the appropriate times. Failing that, it mostly just crashed (at the Windows application level) due to out-of-bounds video buffer accesses.

    Another issue was the timing of device register updates for image size changes; I turned out to have the basic mechanism wrong and consequently the driver would keep modifying the window parameters to incorrect values.

    Having all of the above fixed, I returned my attention to playback control. So far I can get the video playback properly paused, but I haven't been able to get it properly resumed. For some reason the application resumes the MPEG playback but it doesn't resume the disc playback. Since the driver waits for new data to arrive from disc before actually resuming MPEG playback nothing happens (this is documented as such). The application is presumably expecting some signal from the driver to get into the proper state for resuming disc playback, but I haven't found it yet.

    At this point, it seemed promising to look at other CD-i titles using playback control and the Philips Video CD application is an obvious candidate. Again, regular playback appears to work fine, but playback control (including pause/resume) does not. It turns out that this application uses a different driver call (it uses MV_ChSpeed instead of MV_Pause, probably in preparation for possible slow motion or single step), which never completes successfully, probably again because of device status signaling. Similar issues appear to block playback control in a few other titles I tried.

    I've given some thought to tracing driver calls and signals on an actual player to see what CD-i Emulator is doing wrong, and it appears to be relatively simple, there's just a bandwidth issue because all of the trace output will have to go out the serial port which can go no higher then 19200 baud. Some kind of data compression is obviously needed and I've determined a relatively simple scheme that should be enough (the CD-i player side will all need to be coded in 68000 machine language so simplicity is important!), but I haven't actually written any code for it yet.

    I know there are issues with the proper timing of some video status signals. Things like start-of-sequence, end-of-sequence and start-of-picture-group should be delayed until display of the corresponding picture, at present they are delivered at decoding time, which can be a few pictures early. But that does not really affect the titles I've tried so far, because they do not attempt picture-synced operations. An application like The Lost Ride might be sensitive to thinks like this, though, and it needs to be fixed at some time. Similar issues are probably present with time code delivery. In addition, the last-picture-displayed and buffer-underflow signals are not always properly sent; I'm fixing these as I go along.

    In the process, I decided that the magenta border was getting annoying and tried to fix it. That turned out to be harder then I thought. The MPEG chip has a special border color register that is written by the MV_BColor driver call and it seemed enough to just pass the color value to the MPEG window overlay routines. Well, not so. Again the issue turned out to be timing of decoder status signals, but of a different kind. The driver doesn't write the border color registers until it has seen some progress in certain timing registers related to the picture buffering thing, presumably to avoid visual flashes or something on the actual hardware. Fortunately, it turned out to be easy to simulate that progress, taking care not to trigger the complicated picture buffer code that I so far managed to keep dormant.

    At some point, possibly related to slow motion or freeze frame, I might need to actually tackle that code but I hope to by that time have gained more understanding of the supposed workings of the MPEG chip.

    Looking at the above, you might think that all of the difficulties are with the MPEG video decoding and that is indeed mostly true. I did have to fix something in the MPEG audio decoding, related to the pause/resume problems, and that was the updating of the audio decoder clock. When audio and video playback are synchronized the MPEG video driver uses the MPEG audio clock as it's timing reference, which means that it has to be stopped and restarted when video playback control operations occur. Since I had never before seriously tested this, the audio clock wasn't stopped at all and the video driver obligingly continued decoding and displaying pictures until it ran out of buffered data.

    There is currently just one known problem with the MPEG audio decoding: the audio isn't properly attenuated as specified by the driver. This causes little audio distortions at some stream transitions and when buffers run out. There is also a problem with base case audio synchronization but that is hard to trigger and possibly even not audible in many titles so I'll worry about that much later.

    Above I promised to get into the MPEG data buffering and decoding issue. The basic problem is one of conceptual mismatch: the CD-i decoding hardware gets data "pushed" into it (by DMA or direct device I/O) at the behest of the driver, whereas the MPEG decoding code (based on the publicly available mpeg2dec and musicout programs from the MPEG Software Simulation Group) expects to "pull" the data it needs during decoding. Things get messy when the decoding runs out of data, as the code does not expect to ever do so (it was originally written to decode from a disc file which of course never runs out of data until the end of the sequence). Some obvious solutions include putting the decoding in a separate thread (which given multi-core processors might be a good idea anyway from a performance perspective) and modifying it to become restartable at some previous sync point (most easily this would be the start of an audio frame or a picture or picture slice). Both options are somewhat involved although they have obvious benefits, and it may turn out that I will need to do one of them anyway at some point. For now I've avoided the problems by carefully timing calls into the MPEG decoding code so that enough data to decode a single audio frame or video picture should always be available; the MPEG data stream at the system level contains enough timestamp and buffering information to make this possible (in particular, it specifies the exact decoding time of every audio frame or video picture in relation to the timing of the data stream, thus making it possible to make those calls into the decoding code at a time that a valid MPEG data stream will have already filled the buffers far enough).

    The approach depends on the timing of the MPEG data entering the decoder, which means that it does not handle buffer underflow conditions unless you add some kind of automatic decoding that continues even if no more MPEG data appears, and this is basically what I’ve done. In the end it was just relatively straightforward extension of the automatic decoding already there to handle the fact that MPEG audio streams do not have to explicitly timestamp every single audio frame (the CD-i Green Book does not even allow this unless you waste massive amounts of space in each MPEG audio data sector) and would have been needed anyway to correctly decode the last pictures of a sequence, but that had never been tested before.

    For performance and possible patent reasons I have taken care to edit the MPEG decoding code (placing appropriate #ifdef lines at the right places) so that only MPEG 1 video and audio layer I/II decoding code is compiled into the CD-i Emulator executable. This is all that is needed for CD-i anyway and MPEG 2 video and audio layer III greatly complicate the decoding and thus significantly enlarge the compiled code.

    Being somewhat stymied at the FMV front, I next decided to spend some time on another lingering issue. During testing, I often have to do the same exact sequence of mouse actions to get a CD-i application to a problem point and this is starting to be annoying. Input recording and playback are a partial solution to this but then you still have to wait while the application goes through it, which is also annoying and can sometimes take quite some time anyway. The obvious solution is a full emulation state save/restore feature, which I've given some thought and started implementing. It's nowhere near finished, though.

    During the MESS collaboration I spent some time investigating the MESS save/restore mechanism. If at all possible I would love to be compatible for CD-i emulation states, but it turns out to be quite hard to do. The basic internal mechanism is quite similar in spirit to what I developed for CD-i Emulator, but it's the way the data is actually saved that makes compatibility very hard. Both approaches basically boil down to saving and restoring all the relevant emulation state variables, which includes easy things like the contents of cpu, memory and device registers but also internal device state variables. The latter are of course not identical between different emulators but they could probably be converted if some effort was thrown at it and for a typical device they aren't very complex anyway. The MESS implementation uses an initialization-time registration of all state variables; at save/restore time it just walks the registrations and saves or restores the binary contents of those variables. CD-i Emulator has a somewhat more flexible approach; at save/restore time it calls a device-specific serialize function to save or restore the contents of the state variables. The actual registration / serialization codes are structurally similar in the two emulators (a simple list of macro/function calls on the state variables) but the code runs at different times.

    The real problem is that MESS includes very little meta information in the save files: only a single checksum of all the names and types of registered state variables in registration order. This is enough to validate the save data at restore time if the state variables of the saving emulator exactly match those of the restoring emulator, because there is no information to implement skipping or conversions. This holds between different versions or in some case even configurations of MESS emulators, but it holds even more so between MESS and CD-i Emulator! The meta information could of course be obtained from the MESS source code (relatively simply macro modifications could cause it to be written out) but that would require exact tracking of MESS versions because every version could have its own checksum corresponding to different meta information (in this case CD-i Emulator would need meta information sets for every MESS checksum value it wants to support).

    I want CD-i Emulator to be more flexible, especially during development, so I decided to make full meta information an option in the save file. The saved state of every device is always versioned, which allows the save/restore code to implement explicit conversion where needed, but during development this isn't good enough. With full meta information turned on, the name and type of every state variable precedes the save data for that variable in the save file. This allows more-or-less automatic skipping of unknown state variables and when properly implemented the restore code can also handle variable reordering. At release time, I will fix the version numbers and save full metadata information sets for those version numbers so that the same automatic skipping and handling of reordering can be done even if the metadata isn't in the save file (it probably won't be because of file size considerations, although that may turn out to be a non-issue because save files need to include the full RAM contents anyway which is 1 MB of data in the simplest case without any compression, which is of course an option).

    In addition to all of the above, I made some progress on the ROM-less emulation front. First I spent some time reading up on the internals of OS-9 file managers, because writing a replacement for the NRF file manager (NRF = Nonvolatile RAM File manager) seemed the logical next step. Actually writing it turned out not to be that hard, but there were of course bugs in the basic ROM emulation code. Most of them had to do with handlers not calling into the original ROM, which totally screwed up the tracing code. Some new functionality was also needed to properly read/write OS-9 data structures inside the emulated machine from the ROM emulation code; I wanted to implement this in such a way that compilation to "native" 68000 code remains a future option for ROM emulation modules. And of course the massive tracing described in the previous blog post had to be curtailed because it was impossible to see the relevant information in the morass of tracing output.

    The new emulated NRF stores its files in the PC file system and it currently works fine when you start it with no stored files (i.e., the player will boot). In that case it will write out a proper "csd" (Configuration Status Descriptor) file. However, if this file already exists, the player crashes, although I have so far not found any fault in the NRF code. The origin of the problem probably lies elsewhere; I suspect it has to do with the hidden "player_shell_settings.prf" file. This file is read and written by the ROM bootstrap even before OS-9 is running; it does this by directly accessing the NVRAM memory (the file never changes size and is always the first one in NVRAM). Since the bootstrap accesses of this file do not go through the NRF file manager or even the NVRAM driver they are not redirected by the OS-9 emulation. However, later accesses by the player shell *are* redirected and the player shell does not seem able to handle the file not existing in the PC file system in the case where a csd file already exists. Solutions include extending the emulated NRF to always access this particular file from the NVRAM instead of the PC file system or somehow synchronizing the two locations for the file. The latter is probably the easiest route given the fixed location and size of the file, but the former is also useful as it would provide a full reimplementation of the original NRF that could in principle be compiled to native 68000 code to replace the "original" NRF in ROM (this is where gcc comes in as alluded to earlier, since all emulation code is written in C++).

    In either case, I do not want the file manager to directly access emulated NVRAM although it could do so easily, as there is already an internal CNvramPort interface that provides just such access independent of the actual emulated NVRAM chip. The NRF file manager should instead call the NVRAM driver, which means that I need to implement cross-module calling first. It's not really hard in principle, the design has been done but there are a lot of little details to get right (the most obvious implementation uses at least 66 bytes of emulated stack space on each such call which I find excessive and might not even work; smarter implementations require some finicky register mask management or a "magic cookie" stacking approach, the latter having the best performance in the emulation case but being impossible in the native 68000 compilation case). When cross-module calling is working, I can also have the file manager allocate emulated memory and separate out the filename parsing functions by using the OS-9 system calls that provide these functions (the current emulated NRF does not allocate emulated memory which is arguably an emulation error and has the filename parsing coded out explicitly).

    When everything works correctly with the emulated NRF, I have to find some way of integrating it in the user experience. You could always start over without any NVRAM files, but I'd like to have some way of migrating files between the two possible locations without having to run CD-i Emulator with weird options. Extending the CD-i File Extractor (cdifile) by incorporating (part of) the emulated NRF seems the obvious choice, which would also provide me with some impetus to finally integrate it with the CD-i File Viewer (wcdiview) program that's supposed to be a GUI version of cdifile but so far is just a very thin skeleton barely able to graphically display a single CD-i IFF image file passed on the command line (it doesn't even have a File Open menu) and will often crash. A proper implementation would look like Windows Explorer with a tree view on the left (CD-i file system, real-time channels and records, IFF chunk structure, etc) and a variable content display on the right (raw data view, decoded sector view, code disassembly view, graphical image view, audio playback, slideshow playback, decoded MPEG view, MPEG playback, etc).

    That touches on another area in which I did some work last month: the saving of CD-i IFF image files for each emulated video frame. The motivation for this was to bring full-resolution real-time frame saving into the realm of the possible, as it would write only about 2 x (1024 + 280 x (384 + 32)) = 247 KB of raw CD-i video and DCP data per frame instead of 560 x 768 x 3 = 1260 KB of raw RGB. At least on my PC this has turned out not to be the case, however. The data is written out fine, which is not as easy as it sounds since video line data size can vary with each line because of pixel repeat and run-length encoding, but it's still too slow. That being so, I am not really very motivated to extend the CD-i IFF decoding implementation to actually decode this information. Some kind of compression could be an option, but that takes processor time and makes things even harder and possibly slower. Perhaps using another thread for this would be a solution, on a multi-core machine this should not greatly impact the basic emulation performance nor the debugging complexity as the compression code would be independent of the emulation itself.

    So there is still a lot of work to be done, but it's all quite interesting and will provide for some entertaining evenings and weekends in the coming weeks or possibly months.

              Fast machines, file writing and some bits        
    Today I used my work PC to examine CD-i Emulator on a fast machine.

    It turns out that cpu throttling was already there; titles run at the right speed. However, the frame skip detection logic is too sensitive: it will skip frames even on fast hardware, just because of a momentary slowness (I think). I added an option -noskip to turn off frame skipping altogether; beter autodetection is too much for this beta.

    Likewise, for people who always want to run full-speed, I've added an option -nowait to turn off cpu throttling. This can make your CD-i title unplayably fast and it will also cause the audio to lag behind if the title plays continuous audio (most games do).

    On the AVI writing front I was less lucky. I cannot get decent write performance and this is not caused by the AVI writing code; just writing the raw data to a file will already cause very "skippy" emulation. Perhaps using a separate thread would solve this (especially on a multicore machine).

    And what's worse, the resulting AVI files seem to have timecode problems because they are also skippy, which should not be the case. This is really weird as I've previously been able to write AVI files correctly. It needs more work, obviously.

    On the other hand, the AVI files contain the correct audio data: if I extract the audio stream with avidemux, it's identical to a separately written WAV file.

    In the process of testing all of this (with Burn:Cycle, what else?) I also fixed the audio crackling problem; it turns out that Burn:Cycle opens all four audio attenuators (L-R, L-L, R-L, R-R) and for this possibility I hadn't accounted in the mix scaling.

    I also added the two keyboard emulations that I mentioned yesterday: Backspace for button 2 and Esc for button 3 (buttons 1 and 2 together). This works well for The Apprentice and Dimo's Quest and these are my reference titles anyway :-) I will ultimately add a UI for changing the keyboard map, of course.
              The Secret Weapon        
    Each July, along the dappled stream banks of Kodiak Island, just off the Alaska coast, a weedy looking wildflower produces a few dark-blue hooded blossoms. There is nothing particularly memorable about the appearance of Aconitum delphinifolum. Its leaves are thin and rather spiky. Its scrawny-looking stem cannot hold the weight of its flowers: its neighbors […]
              TODAY 02/28/2014 at 11amPDT on Twitch.TV/2K: Conquest of the New World Deluxe Scenario Livestream        
    Join 2K Games and Firaxis Games as we play through the mid and late game turns of a scenario fraught with complexity, conquest, and bison.

    We will be playing as the Shoshone in the Civilization V: Conquest of the New World Deluxe Scenario. Talk with us, ask questions, and offer strategies as we attempt to win this 150 turn scenario.

    Pete Murray of Firaxis has personally set the stage for an uphill battle for Kate Distler of 2K, playing as the Shoshone. Showcasing the mid and late game of the scenario, the Shoshone have declared war on Elizabeth I without really being prepared to do so. Can the Shoshone survive long enough to knock Elizabeth out of her top spot? Join us at 11:00am Pacific on Twitch.TV/2K and find out!
              Hunted and Hunter, Part IX        
    “We’ve been spotted!” Brannigan’s voice said over the comms. The Cutlass turned hard, pressing me against the restraints of my seat. “Call’s gone out, two hours ‘til full militia arrives.” I reached over and started the two hour timer on my mobiGlas. That was our window for getting in and out. “Looks like the decoys did their job, the pilot said. "Only two Gladii and a Cutlass in our way. Light defense, but we’re still in for a ride." One of the mercs pulled himself into the turret chair, hitting the button that raised it up to the controls. “Here we go!” shouted the merc sitting next to me as the ship banked again. Everyone wore almost identical airtight combat suits, but the personalized markings on the side of his helmet told me it was Vin, one of the younger mercs. The turret opened fire above, and staccato reverberations echoed through the hull as the twin guns belched fire. I caught a glimpse out the small porthole of the Banu vessel, trailing behind out of harm's way but still close enough to fire off its large guns. The Cutlass’ shields shimmered as a few rounds impacted, but nothing got through. The turret swiveled around to track one of the passing ships. “Scrapped one Gladius,” the merc manning it shouted with a whoop. “Missiles!” shouted the pilot. “Hold on!” A few dull thuds sounded as flares launched, then the ship spun around with a wrenching twist. I was sure we were about to get torn to pieces by a swarm of hunting missiles any second, and suddenly felt like the ship was a metal coffin. But the seconds passed, the ship completed its maneuver, and no missiles hit. “Evaded,” the pilot said, then accelerated the ship back around into the action. “Enemy Cutlass down.” “Yehaaa!” shouted Vin. Another barrage of bullets slammed the shields, then the shield died, and a trio of small holes suddenly appeared in the hull as rounds punched through the armor. There was a rushing of air that dropped to silence except for the reverberations through the hull. “We’ve been hit,” the pilot said over the comms. A weight slumped against my shoulder, I turned and saw Vin, still strapped into his seat, but with a large hole torn through his combat armor. Blood poured out like a fountain, spreading over the suit and chair and deck. Across from us Ajax pulled himself out of his restraints, despite the silent protests of those around him. He crossed over and knelt beside Vin, pulling bandages from his pack as he did so. But he didn’t apply them, it was already too late. After a silent fury, he clicked his comm on. “Man down.” A moment later the Cutlass banked again, sending Ajax sprawling across the floor. The other mercs grabbed him and kept him from tumbling more. A few seconds later the report came across that the final enemy had been destroyed. But it was a sullen celebration as the ships turned and headed for the planet, the limp body of Vin still slumped in the chair. I glanced at my mobiGlas. 1:57 left. The whole battle had lasted less than three minutes.  The air streamed back into the cabin as the Cutlass descended into the planet's atmosphere. After a few minutes the ship leveled off, wind whipping past the hull breaches. The ship settled down, hovering a short ways above the ground as the rear door lowered. "Everyone, go!" came the command. I unstrapped myself from the chair and hoisted my rifle, then followed the other mercs out of the ship. "We'll get her patched up and ready for pickup," the pilot said as the ramp closed up and the ship rose away. "Good hunting." We were standing in a clearing amongst a sparse, wooded area on a slight rise. Several hundred meters down the slope, partially obscured by the thin trees, sat a small mining town. Dawn was still an hour or so away, and two small moons glistened in the sky. It would have seemed peaceful, but for the gunfire that broke out almost as soon as we started down the slope. Energy bolts zipped through the trees, snapping branches and kicking up dirt. We quickly ducked behind the cover of trees, but the shots were so wild it almost wasn't necessary. "Charlie team on the ground," Ajax said over the comms. "On the ground and under fire. Looks like they've decided to put up a fight." "Understood," Brannigan's voice responded. "Alpha team touching down now, half a click north of the target. Pup, see what you can do about softening them up for us." I peered around the tree trunk at the town through the scope on my Behring CSS, a much lighter gun than the LR-620 and better for mobility. The village looked like a formula built frontier mining town. Squat, rugged buildings not so much built as placed, standard constructions produced in bulk and shipped out from factory worlds to be assembled where needed. The population couldn't have been more than a few hundred. The only unique building was the loading complex on the near side of town, a small pad and storage building topped with an AA turret. Several dozen of the inhabitants were rushing through the streets, armed with shotguns and a few rifles. One of the defenders stood in the shadow of a building, firing a MaxOx at the treeline. At this distance he'd have to get very lucky to hit anything with that. My bullet hit him in the thigh, and he fell. He'd survive, but was out of the fight. "Charlie team, move forward. Pup, stay here and keep us covered." The five mercenaries moved down the slope, keeping in the cover of the trees. I swept over the town with my scope. At first glance each building was the same as the next, but as I searched the outlines for armed defenders I noticed the small decorations and unique bits that made them homes. Their homes. And they were fighting to defend them. Even the coldness of the chems running through me couldn't bring me to shoot them, but I could still keep them from shooting back. Another man appeared around a building and raised a rifle. I shot the dirt in front of him, and he jumped back. A head appeared over another building, but it disappeared again as soon as my shot pinged off the roof beside him. Ajax and his five mercenaries safely reached the edge of the trees. "Charlie in place." "Beta in place," another merc chimed in. "Delta ready," a third said. "Remember," Brannigan said, "keep casualties to a minimum. Take them alive. Now take down that gun." An Ursa rover broke over the ridge to the north of town, turret firing at the buildings. The defenders ran, retreating back towards the center of town. Charlie team moved out of the treeline under cover of the barrage and quickly set up an ARM missile launcher. "Ready to fire," Ajax said a moment later. "Light up the target." I flipped on a laser on the side of my rifle and pointed it at the AA turret. "Target lit." A plume of smoke shot up from the ARM, a missile rising into the air and arcing down to the turret. A shield around the turret flared and died as the missile hit, then the turret itself erupted in flame as a second missile struck. "Target down," Ajax confirmed. "Air's clear." A figure appeared around the side of a building, a rifle pointed at the launcher. He was young, a teenage kid firing wildly. I buried a bullet into the ground at his feet, kicking up dirt around him, but he kept firing. Another shot whizzed by his head, but he didn't care. The other mercs were firing back, he was going to get himself killed. There was nothing else to do. My third bullet ripped through his knee. He fell back and out of sight. "Porter's hit," Ajax said. "It's bad. Moving back to the trees to stabilize him." "Draconis, rain fire on them." Brannigan's voice was cold, anger seething just beneath the surface. The Redeemer rose over the hill, turret lighting up first one house, then the next on the edge of town. It hovered over the town, the small arms fire doing nothing to its shields, firing back with devastating results at any that tried. It was over quickly. Under such a barrage the defenders had no choice but surrender. Smoke rose from the ruined shells of buildings as the townsfolk put down their guns and the mercenaries moved in. 1:26.
              Leir        
    ‘I’m not sure how he managed to do it.  How did he convince me?  Brian can be such a pain.  Now I’m down here getting shot at over some stupid crystals.’ Just a sample of the thoughts running around inside Dan Locke’s mind as his MISC Prospector “Erebus” worked away on collecting shards from the glacier blue crystal formations. An audible warning accompanied by a pale flashing yellow light on the control panel indicates that one of mining storage pods has been filled.  Leaving the Erebus in automatic mode, Dan climbs out of his seat and dons his old beaten up armour.  He pats his ever-present Arclight pistol on his hip and climbs out of the ship. Dan digs out an un-expanded empty storage pod, and then proceeds to detach and secure the full pod.  A small crane helps him lower the heavy storage container down to the ground.  During this entire exercise, Dan continually checks over his shoulder for any… visitors. Finally, after securing the empty mining pod to the Erebus, Dan begins climbing back into his ship when a flurry of laser bolts slam into the rocks, shrubs, and ground around him. Looking up, Dan gazes upon a trio of Dragonflies flown by… those who would rather he was not on Leir III.  The Outsiders, Sand Nomads, Sand People - call them what you will. Returning fire, the Prospector pilot takes cover in the entrance to his ship.  Crouching there in the doorway, Dan had just enough time to mutter, “Brian… you ass.  This is your fault.” Dan closely watches the three Dragonflies, keeping track of their movements despite the incoming fire.  It’s obvious they are surrounding him. Thankfully one of the nomads comes a little too close and a flurry of shots from Dan’s Arclight tear through him to even the odds slightly. Less thankfully... one of the remaining Dragonflies has positioned itself perfectly and opens up a torrent of fire on the Prospector entry.  Dan tucks himself tightly inside the door and ponders his predicament. Surely the other Dragonfly pilot would be attempting to steal the resources he worked so hard to extract. Mid way through Dan formulating a plan of action, a faint rumbling can be heard… growing louder.  Dan’s face sprouts a satisfied smile. Suddenly the stream of weapons fire engulfing the Erebus doorway ceases and the sounds of the Dragonfly in question turning to flee can be clearly picked out. Suddenly, the distinct sound of a larger ship’s laser cannon rings out.  Peering out the door, Dan watches as Brian’s trusty Hull B - the “Knarr” - mows down the fleeing Dragonfly with its twin laser cannons. The Knarr now spins with surprising agility and lights up the other Dragonfly which had just begun its attempt at strategic retreat. Moments later, the Knarr sets down nearby the Erebus. Dan, huge smile on his face, strides towards the newly arrived cargo ship.  Brian meets him at the bottom of the ramp and wraps his best friend up in a brief but genuine hug. “Dan! How are you making out?” Dan continues to wear his grin as he punches Brian solidly in the shoulder, “I’m alright.  Thanks to you.  Though… I was in this mess because of you.  So thanks for at least holding up your end.” Brian’s smile matches his friend’s, “Yeah I know this place can be a bit of a hot zone but those crystals will bring in some good credits!  Should be great for jewelry or holograms.” “Always about the credits eh?  No matter the risks.” “Well, sometimes you have to take the risk.” “Fair enough.  Now… enough of this rambling.  Let’s load up the Knarr and get both of us out of here before their friends come looking for them!” The pair work diligently to load the full Prospector mining pods from Erebus onto the Hull B framework, breaking briefly a couple times to tell jokes and pass along news. Now ready to depart their separate ways for the moment, the two friends embrace once more. “Dan, don’t be a stranger.  I’ll front you 20,000 credits now and I’ll send you the rest of your cut once I have it all sold.  Thanks for joining me in this.” “Don’t mention it Brian… things got a little hairier than I would have liked, but you came through in the end in that department.  Let me know how the sales go and have a safe trip!” “Will do!  Let me know the next time you need an assist from ol’ Knarr here.” Several minutes later the pair of MISC ships ease off the ground and slowly head away from Leir III and on to new destinations with new opportunities.
              Annual Eastern Freshwater Cod three-month fishing closure of the Mann and Nymboida Rivers and their tributaries is now in effect        

    The Daily Examiner, 3 August 2017, p.3:

    Fishing closure

    ANGLERS are reminded the annual three-month fishing closure of the Mann and Nymboida Rivers and their tributaries is now in effect.

    The closed waters include the Mann River and all of its tributaries upstream of its junction with the Clarence River; and the Nymboida River and all of its tributaries from its junction with the Mann River upstream to Platypus Flat.

    The closure does not apply to notified trout waters.

    All fishing in the specified area is prohibited until October 31 to enable the endangered Eastern Freshwater Cod to spawn uninterrupted during its breeding season.

    There will be an on-the-spot fine of $500 with maximum penalties of up to $44,000 and/or six months of imprisonment upon prosecution.


              Still feel unhappy with the Turnbull Government's policies on underground, land surface and marine waters? So you should        

    “Dead zones are hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas in the world's oceans and large lakes, caused by "excessive nutrient pollution from human activities coupled with other factors that deplete the oxygen required to support most marine life in bottom and near-bottom water.” [US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration]

    Every Northern Hemisphere Spring this dead zone occurs in the Gulf of Mexico and increases in size over time.



    It is only one of more than 400 hypoxic areas world-wide which were mapped in 2008.


    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), Andrew H. Altieri et al, 2017, Tropical dead zones and mass mortalities on coral reefs:

    Oxygen-starved coastal waters are rapidly increasing in prevalence worldwide. However, little is known about the impacts of these “dead zones” in tropical ecosystems or their potential threat to coral reefs. We document the deleterious effects of such an anoxic event on coral habitat and biodiversity, and show that the risk of dead-zone events to reefs worldwide likely has been seriously underestimated. Awareness of, and research on, reef hypoxia is needed to address the threat posed by dead zones to coral reefs.

    Degradation of coastal water quality in the form of low dissolved oxygen levels (hypoxia) can harm biodiversity, ecosystem function, and human wellbeing. Extreme hypoxic conditions along the coast, leading to what are often referred to as “dead zones,” are known primarily from temperate regions. However, little is known about the potential threat of hypoxia in the tropics, even though the known risk factors, including eutrophication and elevated temperatures, are common. Here we document an unprecedented hypoxic event on the Caribbean coast of Panama and assess the risk of dead zones to coral reefs worldwide. The event caused coral bleaching and massive mortality of corals and other reef-associated organisms, but observed shifts in community structure combined with laboratory experiments revealed that not all coral species are equally sensitive to hypoxia. Analyses of global databases showed that coral reefs are associated with more than half of the known tropical dead zones worldwide, with >10% of all coral reefs at elevated risk for hypoxia based on local and global risk factors. Hypoxic events in the tropics and associated mortality events have likely been underreported, perhaps by an order of magnitude, because of the lack of local scientific capacity for their detection. Monitoring and management plans for coral reef resilience should incorporate the growing threat of coastal hypoxia and include support for increased detection and research capacity.

    Anyone still in favour of allowing an expansion of coal mining in the Galilee Basin, Queensland?

    Anyone still comfortable with the amount of agricultural/industrial run-off into the Great Barrier Reef, marine protected areas and Australian coastal waters, which is allowed under state and federal policies?

    It’s not just our rivers and aquifers which are suffering from political inaction and vested interest greed.

    BACKGROUND

    The Australian Government’s OzCoasts website states:

    A reduction in dissolved oxygen concentrations is amongst the most important effects of eutrophication on aquatic organisms [4]. Hypoxia can cause direct mortality, reduced growth rates and altered behaviour and distributions of fish [4] and other organisms. In addition, bottom-water hypoxia can interact with elevated water temperatures at the surface to produce a "temperature-oxygen squeeze" effect, which can greatly reduce the amount of summer habitat available for some species [12]. Eggs and larvae of fish (and crustaceans) may be particularly susceptible to this effect because these life history stages are less able to avoid unfavourable conditions, and because they live in near shore areas, such as estuaries, where too-high water temperatures and too-low oxygen conditions often occur [5]. Changes in fish assemblages and crustaceans in response to hypoxia and & anoxia can render these organisms more susceptible to fishing pressure, and can increase the abundance of non-targeted species in by-catch [4].

    Dissolved oxygen status also influences the uptake or release of nutrients from sediment. When oxygen is depleted, the nitrification pathway is blocked, and efficiencies may be lowered. As a consequence, more nutrients (e.g. nitrogen and phosphorous) are released from the sediment in bio-available forms [7]. These nutrients help to sustain algal blooms, and therefore continue the supply organic matter to the sediments [7]. With organic matter (energy) diverted from invertebrate consumption to microbial decomposition, the natural pattern of energy flow is altered, and pelagic and opportunistic species are favoured [8]. Indeed, an increased ratio of planktivore:demersal fish biomass is an important effect of eutrophication [11]. Low bottom water oxygen concentrations are also conducive to the build-up of toxic compounds such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia gas, which can also be harmful to benthic organisms and fish. Even short-lived anoxic events can cause the mass mortality of fish and benthic organisms [10].

    Overall, anoxic and hypoxic events can cause large reductions in the abundance, diversity and harvest of fish in affected waters [4], and can contribute to an overall loss of bio-diversity[9]. However, the extent to which bottom water anoxia causes declines in overall fish production depends on a balanced between the negative and positive and effects of eutrophication in the full spectrum of habitats within the system [4]……

    Major research institutions, universities and government (local and State) agencies gather oxygen data for specific research studies. Some information on anoxic and hypoxic events in Australian coastal waterways was compiled during the National Land & Water Resources Audit. In most cases, no data was available. However, localised or short-lived periods of hypoxia were reported in the Derwent and Huon estuaries (TAS) and in the Tuggerah Lakes (NSW). Prolonged and extensive anoxia is experienced in the Gippsland Lakes.

    Note:

    Anoxia is an extreme form of hypoxia.

              You Stole My Heart At Seventeen...The Story of a Vintage Love Affair        
    Stepping into the treasure trove, you pause for a moment to take it all in. All around you are rails upon rails of odd, unevenly placed garments, shelves and shelves of battered, elegantly pointed shoes and heaps of quilted handbags in all the colours of the rainbow. Immediately you are hit with that musty, faded smell which is simultaneously stale and yet somehow strangely comforting- like the soft, enveloping smell of a beloved Grandapent's home that isn't unpleasant and yet, unmistakeably signifies 'oldness'. You move deeper into the dustiness of the shop, running your hands over the rows of hanging fabric, scanning the room for those glints of sparkle or pops of print, the ones that catch your eye and flirt with it outrageously, twinkling or calling at you to touch them, hold them, try them against your skin in the mirror- just to see. You run your hands over age-yellowed lace with delicately scalloped edges, fondle the fronds of the flowing fabric of a 1950s prom dress, feast your eyes on cute-as-a-button pearl embellishment...Welcome to the world of vintage shopping.

        The first vintage item I ever bought was a little red printed sundress from Peekaboo Vintage at Topshop, when I was seventeen, about to turn eighteen. It was sixty five pounds, and it was from the Topshop in Bromley, when the store had only just moved to its new location, and they had one rail on the top floor of vintage clothes. It was my first encounter with vintage, and I fell in love with the uniqueness of the items right away. I thought that the dress was expensive, and it took a big chunk out of the holiday allowance that my mum had given me for my first holiday away with my boyfriend. But I didn't care. I had to have it, and it was worth every single penny. I still wear it every summer to this day.

    At the time, the high-street was overflowing with smock- tops and empire line dresses. I'd searched high and low, but for the life of me, could not find a summer top or dress that didn't make me look like I was pregnant. (For the record, I'm not personally a fan of the empire-line). I was desperate, I mean DESPERATE for a dress that cinched in at the waist. Since the revival of waisted belts in 2005, something which I had never encountered before in my life-time, I had fallen in love with the idea of defining my waist. There was always the option of belting a smock with a waisted belt, but it didn't achieve that cute but sexy 1950's hourglass shape that I was after. When I found the row of Peekaboo Vintage clothes, I felt like I'd stumbled upon a little piece of heaven. Ok, so the clothes were pricey, but they were beautiful. They came in all sorts of wacky colours, cutesy prints and figure- enhancing shapes that I'd never really seen anywhere else on the highstreet. These clothes were funky; they were edgy, and best of all, they were just different.

    I will never forget the feeling that I had that day after trying on that dress, of milling around Topshop, picking out colourful neon holiday pieces (I was in love with the nu-rave look, and had just discovered electric blue), with the little red sundress flung over my arm. I felt like I'd discovered a hidden gem; I had finally found a dress that showed off my waist and no one else in the whole wide world had the exact same one. None of my friends owned anything like it, and I knew that it would make me feel like a pin-up amid a sea of identical smock dresses. As I picked out the rest of my holiday wardrobe with the money I had over, I could smell my new pink Johnson's 24 hour moisture hand cream. To this day, when I smell that hand cream, I am seventeen about to turn eighteen again, browsing the rails in Topshop in Bromley, an array of colourful clothes hanging off of each arm, and feeling like the luckiest girl in the world because I am about to be whisked off on my first grown-up holiday with my first proper boyfriend.

    Since that day, my love of vintage has just grown and grown. I've learned a lot about it too- what suits me, where to shop, and what kind of price I should be paying (you wouldn't catch me paying 65 quid for a cheaply-made sundress these days!) There is something so satisfying about going into a shop and digging out an undiscovered beauty that nobody else has noticed yet, hiding beneath a pile of musty old scarves in the 'everything for a fiver' bin. I am aware of the argument that these days, whilst vintage dressing was originally  a reaction against mass-produced clothing and mainstream style, it has now become so popular and on-trend that it has started to become mainstream in itself. However, I would argue that, whilst you might get girls walking around in Brick Lane with a similar sense of style- no two outfits are ever the same. I don't care what you say about the way vintage lovers dress- you'll never see someone in an identical dress/coat/skirt/top walking past you in the street, or see someone who has put their outfit together in exactly the same way you have. That's another thing- girls you see in East London who dress in vintage are so much more experimental with their hair and makeup, that everyone has such a totally outlandish and unique look.

    What's more- vintage clothing is so varied and spans so many decades, that it allows you to be so much more creative in the way you put it together. You can go for a top-to-toe vintage look which perfectly emulates the style of a specific decade, mix vintage pieces together from different decades to totally put your own spin on the look, or mix vintage with high-street and/or designer pieces.

    To be honest though, I think what appeals to me most about vintage is that it proves that clothes aren't just clothes, as so many people think. All of the clothes that you buy have a story behind them, and vintage clothes especially, because not only do they have your story behind them, but they also have someone else's story before you. Everything in my wardrobe has a story. Everything is special. Maybe it's just me with my romantic ways, sentimentalizing the clothes, and maybe it's because I am a writer and a lover of stories...but it's why I just can't bring myself to throw away the stacks of rainbow-hued, high heeled shoes I have mouldering away in a drawer under my bed. They are all hideously outdated now, not to mention battered and worn, and are actually about a fraction of the height of the heels I wear now (no one embraced the birth of the sky-scraper like I did!) But I can never throw them away. To me, they represent my acceptance of being tall and being proud of it for the first time in my life. Each pair has it's own special story.  It's like a little piece of the magic I felt when I wore them is still encased within each pair, like the magic in Dorothy's ruby slippers. They represent a time of happiness, a time of freedom, friendship, sixth form parties, underage drinking at Amadeus nightclub and hair extensions...I have a whole drawer of ruby slippers, and I can't ever throw that away.  

    So, now that I've won you over to the joys of vintage, let me take you on a little account of my recent vintage adventures...

    I recently payed a little visit to my favourite vintage shop, Rokit, which is pricey for vintage, but has such an amazing collection of pieces that you don't even have to rifle through to find something decent. I like to think of Rokit as vintage shopping made easy. I get generally the same feeling in there that I do in Topshop and Urban Outfitters, that I love EVERYTHING on the rails and want to take it all home...


     Outside the Covent Garden store

        Inside one of the Brick Lane stores
    Moi, showing off my bags of purchases outside the Covent Garden Store way back in the lovely summer (God, I'd actually forgotten what sunshine looked like!)

    So here's what I bought: an amazingly sweet white/cream summer dress which enables me to work the all-white trend I wrote about in my last post (plus- it was only £16 in the sale!), a cute headscarf and a faded green blouse.

    Here I am rocking the scarf and blouse! I wore it to uni today.
    I actually wanted to wear this outfit with sheer black tights- maybe patterned- with little beige ankle socks, and with the blouse knotted, but it's WAY too cold for thin leg coverage and midriff-exposure, so I had to settle for the tucked in option and the good old black opaques. Sigh.

    After my Rokit rendezvous, I popped into Urban Outfitters and found this AMAAAZING book on how to do vintage hairstyles! I snapped it up immediately.
    How amazing is this book?! I actually feel like it was made for me. Watch this space for 40's victory rolls and 50's peekaboo waves!

    After that. I set off home back to Orpington and headed straight for one of the charity shops in the Highstreet I'd popped into a few days before after work. I'd seen an adorable little cream lace blouse in there which was only FOUR POUNDS. It was another one of those things that I saw, left, and then couldn't stop thinking about! I wore it to my night out on Friday to an uber-trendy bar in Brick Lane, called 93 Feet East. What do you think?
    Blouse: Charity shop in Orpington Highstreet
    Skirt: Topshop
    Ankle Boots: Miss Selfridge
    Belt: Vintage from Rokit
    Bag: Charity shop in Orpington Highstreet
    Eyelashes: Mac
    Fur coat: Vintage from Ebay.

    To add to my brilliant day of shopping, I even discovered another gorgeous little vintage-esque blouse in the charity shop which I'd failed to notice before! It was just as cute as some of the blouses I'd seen in Rokit (all £20) but this one was THREE POUNDS! Now is that a bargain or what? Plus, it's for a good cause :-)
    Here it is:
    I'm still totally obsessed with ice-cream shades in muted tones as a way to ease my wardrobe into Sping, so when I saw this vintage blouse for only a fiver in Beehive today, I snapped it up:
    It may not look like much here, but trust me, once I've styled it up, this will look adorable :-)

    I hope you enjoyed the story of how my heart was stolen by a vintage dress, and why I've never looked back....

    love and kisses,
    The Porcelain Princess xoxo
              Surprise, surprise - those Murray-Darling Basin water raiders have slithered over the horizon once more and are eyeing off the Clarence Valley river system yet again        

    With so little fanfare that much of  Northern Rivers region missed it, the NSW Berejiklian Government reopened the March 2016 inquiry into augmentation of water supply for rural and regional New South Wales on 28 May 2017, with Terms of Reference published in July 2017.

    This Upper House inquiry is chaired by Robert Brown MLC, from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party and its reporting date has been extended to 30 March 2018. 

    Current committee membership is as follows:

    Robert Brown MLC, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, Chair
    Mick Veitch MLC, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Chair
    Jeremy Buckingham MLC, The Greens
    Rick Colless MLC, The Nationals
    Scot MacDonald MLC, Liberal Party
    Greg Pearce MLC, Liberal Party
    Penny Sharpe MLC, Australian Labor Party
    Daniel Mookhey MLC, Australian Labor Party
    Paul Green MLC, Christian Democratic Party
    * Jeremy Buckingham MLC (Greens)is substituting for Dr Mehreen Faruqui MLC for the duration of the inquiry.
    * Matthew Mason-Cox MLC (Liberal)  is substituting for Hon Greg Pearce MLC for the duration of the inquiry.
    * Paul Green MLC and Penny Sharpe MLC will be participating for the duration of the inquiry.

    A poorly advertised public hearing scheduled for 1 August 2017 in Lismore (with details sent to media on 31 July 2017) excluded Northern Rivers residents from giving evidence unless they represented a small number of invited groups.

    It appears the committee had also determined that Clarence Valley Council was to be asked its view on diverting Clarence River system flood water.

    Given flood water is already diverted to the purpose built Shannon Creek side dam to ensure a sustainable water supply for the est. 125,103 residents (Census 2016) currently living in Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour local government areas, there are no prizes for guessing where any additional water diversion would be allocated.

    Yes, that paragon of sustainable water mismanagement - the cluster of councils, industries, irrigators and water traders within the Murray-Darling Basin.

    It will come as no surprise that Griffith Council is still pursuing a Clarence River dam and divert scheme. North Coast Voices reported on its obsession in August 2016.

    This is what the Griffith City Council Deputy mayor, Dino Zappacosta of Zappacosta Estate Wines in Hanwood, told the inquiry on 1 March 2017:

    The issue that my committee, Build More Dams, has looked at is that we need more water because farmers are crying out for more water. We need new water. By "new water", I mean water that is not currently being used at all. We looked at various options, including the Clarence Valley area, where millions and millions of megalitres of water flow out into the sea for what seems to be no real benefit at all for the community of the Clarence region, other than for the natural farming land and the fishery industry there.

    It soon became apparent that, appart from the notion of free water at the expense of Clarence Valley communities’ social, cultural, aesthetic, environmental and economic values, Griffith Council knew little about how this dam and divert scheme would work.

    The Hon. RICK COLLESS: You have been talking about the Clarence River diversion scheme. Is it correct that that is essentially restricted to the Mann River subcatchment?

    Mr ZAPPACOSTA: To the best of my knowledge, it covers most of the tributaries—for example, the Boyd River, the Mann River, the Nymboida River and the Timbarra River. They are highlighted on map 2, which was provided to the Committee.

    The Hon. RICK COLLESS: I am a little confused about the way the map reads. It appears as though the water is coming out of the Mann River catchment, which is a subcatchment of the Clarence. The divisions appear to be above the confluence of the Nymboida and the Mann. You recommend a 23 per cent Clarence River diversion, but the question is: What percentage of is that of the Mann River flow and what environmental impact will that have on the Mann River below where it is diverted? We should keep in mind the history of the Snowy River and what has happened there over the past 50 years. Does anybody have any thoughts about that? Mr ZAPPACOSTA: I will have to take on notice exactly how much comes from the Mann River itself.

    The Hon. RICK COLLESS: What is the reduction in flow from the sub-catchment rivers below where the water is diverted from them? What environmental impacts will that have on those rivers?

    Mr ZAPPACOSTA: I appreciate the question. I think what you are asking is something we should dig into a bit deeper; there should be a study of it, preferably a feasibility study.

    The Hon. RICK COLLESS: There needs to be a lot of work done on this, as you would appreciate.

    While the Director of Utilities at Griffith City Council stated:

    As an engineer I see the great benefits of supporting a scheme such as the Clarence River diversion scheme, not only from a water augmentation point of view. My directorate covers water supply as well as the flooding impacts caused by rainfall run-off. The Clarence River diversion scheme is not only a supply scheme but a flood mitigation solution, as the general manager mentioned. In my research I have referred to the document entitled Lower Clarence Flood Model—Update 2013 produced by BMT WBM consultants. They happen to be the same consultants who undertook our flood study and provided our flood mitigation options. They work across the State and they are well versed in flooding, from the Northern Rivers down to our area.

    The Clarence River catchment on the far North Coast of New South Wales is one of the largest catchments on the east coast of Australia. It is approximately 20,000 square kilometres. It is above the towns of Grafton, Maclean and Yamba, and it is home to more than 20,000 people. The lower Clarence Valley has a long history of flooding, since settlement in about 1850. Bear with me as I read out the dates of the flooding events. I was just going to say a number, but it has more of an impact when you follow the years of flooding that the area has endured due to the large catchment that sits above it. Floods were recorded in 1863 and 1864. There was a record flood in 1890 in which two people lost their lives and there was extensive damage to the rural area. Further floods occurred in 1921 and 1928. Since 1945 the incidence of major flooding has been much higher, with floods occurring in 1945, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1954, 1956, 1959, 1963, 1967, 1968, 1974, 1976, 1980, 1988, 1996, 2001, 2009 and 2013.

    There is a regular occurrence of extreme flooding in the Northern Rivers catchment, below the Clarence River. Section 4.4 of the Lower Clarence Flood Model—Update 2013 acknowledges that "the river flows originating from upstream of Grafton dominate flooding in the Lower Clarence Valley". Diversion of the Clarence River flows for that area towards the west, and the 25 per cent or 23.8 per cent that will be captured, diverted and controlled, will be of great benefit to flood mitigation in the Northern Rivers area. The document further says that it will maximise the investment from the Government not only to help solve water augmentation issues but to reduce the financial and human impacts flooding has in the northern coastal areas. The Clarence River diversion scheme was documented in 1981 by David Coffey and he estimated costings back then. We have done a projection to a present-day cost of approximately $10 billion. There are statistics on the map that I have provided to the Committee.

    The Snowy Mountains scheme would have cost $10 billion in present-day money, so there are similar costings in the schemes. The 1,100 gigalitres diverted per annum from the Clarence River has generated $1.82 billion in agriculture. The scheme means that 23.8 per cent of the flows that would be heading down to flood people can be diverted. When you equate the $550 million a year in flood damages with the cost of a diversion scheme, 1,100 gigalitres can generate $1.8 billion a year in agriculture growth. The additional water means that 118,000 hectares of viable open country can be farmed. The offset of diversion and flood protection is that it is beneficial to all. That is where I will leave it.

    The public hearing in Griffith was reported thus by The Area News on 2 March 2017:

    HIGH-profile Griffith water users and city officials enjoyed a rare opportunity to sit face-to-face with Members of the NSW Upper House on Wednesday to discuss their handling of water….

    The Honourable Rick Colless, The Honourable Paul Green, The Honourable Matthew Mason-Cox and The Honourable Penelope Sharpe were on hand to hear the concerns of the community….

    Along with wanting to fix the water sharing plans, the other hot topic was the Clarence River Scheme, initially conceptualised by David Coffey in the 1970s.

    The plan outlined diverting river flows westward from high rainfall catchments in the Northern Rivers.

    According to Griffith City Council, the scheme will benefit lands south of the Dumaresq River while also providing flows into the Murray River, reducing the reliance for Murray-Darling Basin allocations to fill the original allocation to the basin. 

    “We have looked at various options and we look at the Clarence Valley area where there are millions of millions of megalitres of water flowing out into the sea for what seems to be for no real benefit,” Councilor Dino Zappacosta said.

    Griffith City Council general manager, Brett Stonestreet said it’s time the scheme is looked at again.

    “It provides new water to give this state another shot in the arm,” he said.

    “It also looks at potentially reducing flooding impact of the coastal communities adjacent to the Clarence by 25 per cent.

    “There is a huge amount of money that can be generated and inland communities rediscovered and regenerated through new water.”

    Mayor Dal Broi was pleased with how the inquiry was conducted and the feedback from the Senators.

    “Some of the questions that were asked by the panel members, we know now what they are thinking,” he said.

    “They were very receptive to the concept of new water so whether it's the diversion of the Clarence or lifting the wall on Burrinjuck Dam ... they were very receptive to that because we tried to make the point that the limited resources at the moment.”

    “We need new water if our regions are to grow and have a better long-term sustainable allocation.”

    Not content with bringing down the largest river system in Australia in order to line their own pockets, these wanabee water raiders just keep on coming after what they see as more 'free' water for the rorting.

    Clarence Valley Council gave evidence at the re-opened inquiry on 1 August and the only question of interest to the water raiders came after a few minutes of questioning at Page 26 of the Lismore public hearing transcript:

    The Hon. GREG PEARCE: Thank you for your submission. In your submission you talk about this idea of diversion of the Clarence River to west of the Great Dividing Range. Could you give us a bit of a background on that proposal and what your council thinks about it?

    Mr ANDERSON: I will start but Mr Mashiah might finish. Our council has resolved six times that they do not support the diversion of the Clarence, and each time that has been unanimous in regard to council's position. That is based on the fact that damage to the environment and the ecological systems that work within the Clarence River emerge from there. 

    The CHAIR [Robert Brown MLC, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party]: You probably cannot answer this, but that is an all-encompassing position of council?

    Mr ANDERSON: Yes.

    The CHAIR : I wonder what the council's position would be on the diversion of floodwaters only.

    Mr ANDERSON: Again, Mr Chair, like you said, I cannot answer that question.

    The CHAIR: What I am asking you is that I guess the council's resolutions were not burrowed down to that extent to be able to answer that question. We might ask Clarence council for an opinion on that.

    The Hon. GREG PEARCE: Are those decisions supported by an independent side to pick advice? How were they derived?

    Mr MASHIAH: There was a Healthy Rivers Commission inquiry into the Clarence in I think it was 1999, from memory, and part of the outcome of that commission inquiry was the importance of regular flood events in terms of the fishing industry and also the cane industry. I believe you have representatives from the cane industry here with us later.

    The CHAIR: This afternoon, yes.

    Mr MASHIAH: And also in terms of fisheries, one of the aspects that Clarence Valley Council has been active in for the past 20 years is trying to manage the floodplain to address issues such as acid runoff.

    The CHAIR: Solid sulfate soils.

    Mr MASHIAH: As the sulfate soils and particular acids run off. So we have done things like open floodgates and—

    The CHAIR: And you should be congratulated.

    Mr MASHIAH: Thank you, Mr Chair, for that. I will pass that on to the relevant staff who have been coordinating that. The regular flushing of those areas, which are fish breeding grounds, by floodwaters is very important. So if floods were diverted there are significant concerns from the fishing industry about the ongoing viability of the industry because the grounds where fish breed, according to the studies that have been undertaken, would then be adversely impacted. So that is one of the reasons that the fishing industry has very strongly opposed, through our estuary management committee in particular and through the estuary management plan, any diversion of water and we have tried to ensure that the fish breeding grounds are protected.

    The CHAIR: I just made the observation that most of those fish breeding grounds would not be the same areas of land that are subject to high residential development or business or commercial or other aspects. In other words, you are not talking about the township of Grafton itself, you are talking river peripheries, flooded-out areas, for breeding concerns?

    Mr MASHIAH: The challenge is that the urban footprint on the lower Clarence floodplain is probably about 1 to 2 per cent of the total surface area and all the urban areas are surrounded by rural areas. So it is very hard to work out how you manage that 1 or 2 per cent without adversely impacting the other 98 per cent, or vice versa, how do you manage the 98 per cent without adversely impacting 1 or 2 per cent of urban area?

    The CHAIR: The 2013 flood, you have described it as a major flood, correct?

    Mr MASHIAH: It was the flood of record at Grafton.

    The CHAIR: I am wondering how the 2013 flood would have enhanced the fishery on the Clarence?

    Mr MASHIAH: The main issue with the 2013 flood—I guess with any flood in the Clarence the flood behaviour in the upper river is a lot different to the flood behaviour in the lower river because of the tidal influences in particular and also how wet the floodplain is already. The 2013 event was actually three floods.

    The CHAIR: And they rolled up on each other?

    Mr MASHIAH: Yes, within a three-week period—quite distinct flood events.

    The CHAIR: So it was a prolonged flood.

    Mr MASHIAH: It was a prolonged flood and that meant there was significant inundation of back swamp areas, and I understand that there were some areas that effectively were areas that were flushed that had not been flushed in floods probably since 2001, so it is probably 12 years. So from an ecological perspective, talking to our environmental scientists, I understand that it was actually quite beneficial because the bigger floods only get into those areas once every 10 to 20 years.

    The CHAIR: Were there any concurrent blackwater events for the fishery?

    Mr MASHIAH: Not that I can recall, and I think that is a result of the management measures that have been undertaken on the floodplain because most of the farmers now operate the floodgates and so only shut the floodgates when there is actually a flood coming and open them fairly soon afterwards.

    The CHAIR: So it is their responsibility to operate their own floodgates, is it?

    Mr MASHIAH: That has been passed on to them, yes.

    The CHAIR: Do you have any oversight of that?

    Mr ANDERSON: Yes, we do, and we work with those groups and undertake training et cetera . It is a two-way street of communication: they tell us what they need and, vice versa, we provide training associated with that and inductions and operate that through a number of committees et cetera as well.

    Evidence was also given by the NSW Professional Fishermen’s Association (commencing Page 38) the NSW Canegrowers Association (commencing Page 45) and the Clarence Environment Centre (commencing Page 56).


    One has to wonder why the committee members of this reformed Water Augmentation Inquiry didn't seek the views of those holding Native Title (See Yaegl People #1 Yaegl People #2) over the Clarence River from the waters approximately half-way between Ulmarra and Brushgrove right down to the eastern extremities of the northern and southern breakwater walls at the mouth of the river.

    After all they are significant stakeholders in any discussion of water policy and water management in the Clarence River catchment area.

    The other matter of note, arising from North Coast Voices somewhat belated discovery that the water raiders were back on the scene, is the suggestion that not all Clarence Valley councillors had forewarning that council staff were appearing before the inquiry on 1 August.

    If true this would be a disturbing indication that council administration has retained some of the bad habits it acquired under the former general manager who was handed his hat in March this year.


              Facebook Inc still pursuing dream of spying on users through their webcams and via their touch screens or mobile phones        

    The Daily Dot, 8 June 2017:

    Your worst internet nightmare could be on its way to becoming a reality.
    newly discovered patent application shows Facebook has come up with plans to potentially spy on its users through their phone or laptop cameras—even when they’re not turned on. This could allow it to send tailored advertisements to its nearly two billion members. The application, filed in 2014, says Facebook has thought of using â€œimaging components,” like a camera, to read the emotions of its users and send them catered content, like videos, photos, and ads.

    “Computing devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and tablets increasingly include at least one, and often more than one, imaging component, such as a digital camera. Some devices may include a front-facing camera that is positioned on the same side of the device as a display. Thus, during normal operation, a user may be looking towards the imaging component. However, current content delivery systems typically do not utilize passive imaging information. Thus, a need exists for a content delivery solution that takes advantage of available passive imaging data to provide content to a user with improved relevancy.”

    This is the US patent application to which the article is referring.

    United States Patent Application 20150242679
    Kind Code:
    A1
    Techniques for emotion detection and content delivery are described. In one embodiment, for example, an emotion detection component may identify at least one type of emotion associated with at least one detected emotion characteristic. A storage component may store the identified emotion type. An application programming interface (API) component may receive a request from one or more applications for emotion type and, in response to the request, return the identified emotion type. The one or more applications may identify content for display based upon the identified emotion type. The identification of content for display by the one or more applications based upon the identified emotion type may include searching among a plurality of content items, each content item being associated with one or more emotion type. Other embodiments are described and claimed.

    Publication number
    US20150242679 A1
    Publication type
    Application
    Application number
    US 14/189,467
    Publication date
    Aug 27, 2015
    Filing date
    Feb 25, 2014
    Priority date
    Feb 25, 2014
    Also published as
    Inventors
    Original Assignee
    Export Citation
    External Links: USPTOUSPTO AssignmentEspacenet

    Facebook Inc appears to have been granted this related patent, Techniques for emotion detection and content delivery (US 9681166 B2- Publication date 13 June 2017):

    ABSTRACT
    Techniques for emotion detection and content delivery are described. In one embodiment, for example, an emotion detection component may identify at least one type of emotion associated with at least one detected emotion characteristic. A storage component may store the identified emotion type. An application programming interface (API) component may receive a request from one or more applications for emotion type and, in response to the request, return the identified emotion type. The one or more applications may identify content for display based upon the identified emotion type. The identification of content for display by the one or more applications based upon the identified emotion type may include searching among a plurality of content items, each content item being associated with one or more emotion type. Other embodiments are described and claimed.

    BACKGROUND
    Users of computing devices spend increasing amounts of time browsing streams of posts on social networks, news articles, video, audio, or other digital content. The amount of information available to users is also increasing. Thus, a need exists for delivering content a user that may be of current interest to them. For example, a user's interests may be determined based upon their current emotional state. Computing devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and tablets increasingly include at least one, and often more than one, imaging component, such as a digital camera. Some devices may include a front-facing camera that is positioned on the same side of the device as a display. Thus, during normal operation, a user may be looking towards the imaging component. However, current content delivery systems typically do not utilize passive imaging information. Thus, a need exists for a content delivery solution that takes advantage of available passive imaging data to provide content to a user with improved relevancy.

    Facebook also appears to have been granted a US patent in May this year for Augmenting Text Messages With Emotion Information (US 20170147202 A1).

    According to CBINSIGHTS this patent would; automatically add emotional information to text messages, predicting the user’s emotion based on methods of keyboard input. The visual format of the text message would adapt in real time based on the user’s predicted emotion. As the patent notes (and as many people have likely experienced), it can be hard to convey mood and intended meaning in a text-only message; this system would aim to reduce misunderstandings.
    The system could pick up data from the keyboard, mouse, touch pad, touch screen, or other input devices, and the patent mentions predicting emotion based on relative typing speed, how hard the keys are pressed, movement (using the phone’s accelerometer), location, and other factors.


              Environment Victoria calls on Andrews Government to challenge NSW Berejiklian Government's "rigging" of Murray-Darling Basin Plan river water extraction rules        

    Environment Victoria, Media Release, Tuesday 25 July 2017:

    Calls for Victoria to stand up to NSW water guzzlers

    Environmental groups, farmers and Indigenous leaders today called on the Andrews government to respond urgently to claims on ABC’s Four Corners that New South Wales irrigators are engaging in “illegal water use” at the expense of Victoria’s rivers and farmers.

    Environment Victoria Acting CEO Dr Nicholas Aberle said:

    “Victoria is being cheated out of water and the Victorian government needs to stand up to these greedy cotton growers who are guzzling billions of litres meant to flow downstream for our environment.

    “Victorians deserve to know exactly how much water has been lost and how this will affect Victoria’s water supplies and the health of our rivers.

    Below: Map showing how alleged illegal water use upstream in NSW affects Victoria


    “The worst part is the New South Wales government has been rigging the rules to let these big irrigators get away with it. This shows utter contempt for the health of Australia’s rivers – an attitude that has no place in a government that shares responsibility for delivering the Murray-Darling Basin Plan,” said Dr Aberle.

    Last night’s Four Corners program exposed major issues in the NSW water industry, including claims of illegal water use and tampering with water meters.

    “The actions of the NSW government are leaving downstream users and the environment quite literally hanging out to dry. This means there’s less water for Victoria’s farmers, communities and our precious rivers and wetlands.

    “We need the Victorian government to take a leadership role in fixing this mess and to make sure this never happens again. The whole plan relies on accurate measurement, tracking and compliance. Based on the revelations last night, it seems clear we can’t rely on big upstream irrigators just to do the right thing.”

    Environment Victoria, together with the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations and the Environmental Farmers Network, has written to Victoria’s Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, asking her to:
     
    Launch a full investigation into how much water has been lost by changes to water sharing rules in NSW since 2012, and how much damage this has done to Victoria and South Australia.

    Implement the Basin Plan in full so all its objectives are met, including finding smart ways to recover the remaining 450 gigalitres (GL) of water to protect Victoria’s rivers and wetlands.

    Lead the development of Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council protocols on water integrity to make sure this type of rule manipulation in favour of vested interests never happens again.

    “Governments across Australia urgently need to re-establish trust in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and the environmental restoration it is designed to achieve. Victoria can and must play an important role in leading this process,” said Dr Aberle.

    This call was supported by Rene Woods, Chair, Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations & John Pettigrew, Water Spokesperson, Environmental Farmers Network.


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    Share directly to more cloud services, manage your cloud files more easily, and quickly share links to your cloud files.

    Just add WinZip
    Bring popular WinZip features into the software you use most with new WinZip Express Add-Ons*.

    Features:
    Zip and manage content
    Compressing large files and folders makes them easier to transfer and saves storage space. Choose files from your PC using simple, drag-and-drop functionality or get files you've stored on Box, SkyDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, CloudMe and SugarSync to zip instantly. Zip files are perfect for sharing because they let you organize multiple files into one convenient package.

    Unzip anything
    Extract content from the industry's widest selection of compressed file types, including Zip, Zipx, RAR, 7Zip, BZ2, LHA/LZH and many more. When extracting encrypted files, WinZip auto-wipes all temporarily extracted copies to prevent misuse.

    NEW! Connect to more cloud services
    WinZip connects directly to Box, SkyDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, CloudMe and now SugarSync, so you can organize all your cloud files at once. Use WinZip to zip and save large files to the cloud or retrieve files or links to share. Secure your files and save precious online storage space by zipping and encrypting them first.

    NEW! One-stop cloud file sharing
    Imagine being able to see all your cloud files—even if they are saved on various cloud services—in a single view. Now you can, with WinZip 18. Instead of wasting time moving back and forth between various services to see where your files are and how much space you have, enjoy fast, easy cloud file sharing without leaving WinZip.

    Zip and share to social media
    Use ZipShare to share any type of file to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Keep everyone in the loop by posting content to all three social networks at once. Simply select the files you want to share, compose your message, and pick the social networks where you want your files to go.
     
    NEW! Email large files with just a click
    WinZip 18 lets you email large files or folders using any of your cloud services. Your files are automatically uploaded to your default cloud service and a link to them is placed in your outgoing email. Send up to 50MB free if you're using the ZipSend cloud or move up to ZipSend Pro to send up to 2GB. and etc

    What's New:
    NEW! Zip and share to more clouds
    Protect your files in the cloud and use less space by zipping them first. WinZip 18 lets you connect directly to your cloud services, including Box, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Dropbox, CloudMe and SugarSync. Zip before you upload, open zip files saved in the cloud, or select files from the cloud to zip and share.

    NEW! Streamlined cloud navigation
    Access and manage your cloud files as easily as you access the files on your computer. WinZip 18 makes it simple to send files to and from the cloud, save between your cloud accounts and monitor your cloud storage space.
     
    NEW! Copy and share Cloud Links
    Quickly send links to your cloud files by email, instant messaging and on social media sites.
     
    NEW! Work faster with WinZip Express Add-Ons
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    NEW! Compress files even more
    Make Zip and Zipx files even smaller with the enhanced zip engine in WinZip 18.

    Download Link
              YouTube Downloader Pro YTD 4.4 Final ML        
    YouTube Downloader Pro
    YouTube Downloader Pro YTD 4.4 Final ML | 11.08 MB

    YouTube Downloader is software that allows you to download videos from YouTube, Facebook, Google Video, Yahoo Video, and many others and convert them to other video formats.

    The program is easy to use, just specify the URL for the video you want to download and click the Ok button!

    It also allows you to convert downloaded videos for Ipod, Iphone, PSP, Cell Phone, Windows Media, XVid and MP3.

    You can use YouTube Downloader to download the videos of your choice from home, at the office or in school.

    General Points:
    • Download videos from YouTube, FaceBook, Google Video, MySpaceTV and many others
    • Allows you to access YouTube videos for which you need to be 18+ years of age
    • Converts video for Ipod, Iphone, PSP, Cell Phone, Windows Media, XVid and MP3
    • Provides the ability to cut and select the output quality of converted videos
    • Uses the FFmpeg engine to convert the videos
    • Plays videos downloaded in Flash
    • Extremely easy to use

    System Requirement:
    Intel Pentium 233 Mhz (or equivalent processor, such as AMD) or better
    Windows XP/Vista/7/8
    Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher
    64 MB of RAM
    Adobe Flash Player 9+

    What's New in This Release:
    >You can now download videos from more streaming sites.
    >If your internet connection is limited, you can now save videos with lower quality.
    >For large files, conversion data will be more accurate.
    >Improved the download speed for smaller videos.

    No Password

    Download Link
              Yes or No!        
    There are only two options regarding commitment. You're either IN or you're OUT. There's no such thing as life in-between.

    I know that there are things in my past that I could have done better or made more of a commitment too and seen it through to the end but bailed out mid stream. I am not proud of those times, but I do not dwel on them either.

    I am in the middle of a new life. A life based on God and his will for me. A life based on being healthy and happy. My life ...
              Migration (almost) complete        

    This weekend has seen a complete migration of An Architect's View from a very old version of BlogCFC (3.5.2) with a custom Fusebox 4.1 skin to the latest Mango Blog (1.4.3) as well as a complete migration of all of the content of the non-blog portion of corfield.org (my personal stuff, my C++ stuff and a bunch of stuff about CFML, Fusebox and Mach-II) from Fusebox to FW/1. I've moved from a VPS on HostMySite to an "enterprise cloud server" at EdgeWebHosting and I think it's all gone pretty smoothly although it's been a lot of work.

    Hopefully I haven't broken too many URLs - I spent quite a bit of time working on Apache RewriteRules to try to make sure old URLs still work - but it has given me the opportunity to streamline a lot of the files on the site (can you imagine how much cruft can build up in eight years of running a site?).

    What's left? Just the "recommended reading" bookstore portion of my old site. I store the book details in an XML file and process them in a CFC as part of the old Fusebox app (converted from Mach-II before that and from PHP before that). It's late and I can't face it tonight. Then I need to build out a Mango skin that looks like my old site (and eventually re-skin the non-blog portion of the site).

    The underpinnings of the site are Apache, Railo (3.1.2.010 at the time of writing), Tomcat (6.0.26 at the time of writing), Red Hat Linux, MySQL. I still have some fine-tuning to do but this is pretty much an out-of-the-box WAR-based install of Railo on Tomcat for this one site on the server. Over time I'll probably build out a home for FW/1 here under another domain, with examples and more documentation than is currently maintained on the RIAForge wiki. That's the plan anyway.

    If you find any broken links, let me know (the Contact Me! link is in the right hand column, near the bottom).


              A day without corfield.org        
    As many of you noticed (or not?), my site was offline pretty much all of today. A couple of people notified early in the day that there was a problem but I'm used to the occasional outage on a shared host so I didn't think anything of it at first. All the same, I sent an email to HostMySite support asking "wassup?" but instead of the usual (polite, helpful) email response, I got a phone call. Apparently the shared server was being brought to its knees by unusual traffic to my site (it wasn't clear exactly what - only that my site was bringing the server down again every time they tried to restart it). I'm fairly certain it was a spambot attack, possibly combined with one or more search engines trying to index my site. They wanted to move me to a better plan where I'd be more isolated from other users - understandable - and, to be honest, both Lou Honick and Neil Heuer at HostMySite have been trying to get me to move to a VPS for a while, partly because they want me to see how it performs and write about my experience I suspect. I said I was happy on shared hosting but the tech on the phone said they really wanted to move me so I told them to do whatever they felt was necessary. They said it would take several hours - to build out a new VPS and copy everything from my old site. Sure enough, throughout the afternoon, I received a steady stream of emails as parts of the infrastructure were brought up. Once I noticed the site was actually working again, I started to explore the new site admin console and see exactly what they were offering. The VPS uses the Virtuozzo Power Panel which allows you to SSH into the server (via a Java applet in a browser window) and also has a lot of system monitoring and management features. My initial impression is that it's very good. I'll write up more detailed notes in the next few days I expect. There were a couple of lingering glitches that I noticed and when I pinged support again, they called me - on my home phone - and walked me through everything I needed to know about the new setup and resolved the issues I had. I've always had very good experiences with HostMySite but today's experience was above and beyond the call of duty.
              Capital Reef 50K        


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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



    (Let's go!  Jenny, Me)


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



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



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



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



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


     (Jenny climbing near the cow sighting)


     (We just met Virginia, she took this pic)


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



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


    (Dead stuff)




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





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


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



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



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



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





    (Steve took this at the aid station)

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




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



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







     (Alpine lakes, streams, waterfalls, amazing views)


     (Eco friendly aid stations)


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



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



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



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



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



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





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


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



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




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

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



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































              Friday Night Family Fun!        
    My nephew helped me cook up a storm this past Friday. It was So much fun sharing my joy of cooking with him.

    On the menu:

    Brown Rice

    Guacamole - avocado, garlic, olive oil, sea salt in the Vitamix

    Hummus - chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, sea salt in the Vitamix

    Garlicky Kale and Roasted Chickpeas-
    6 cups torn kale
    30 oz can chickpeas
    Olive Oil
    3 Tbsp cumin, 2 Tbsp garlic powder, 2 Tbsp paprika, 3 tsp ginger, 2 tsp coriander, 2 tsp cardamom. 
    Dressing-1 head garlic - roasted
    1/4 cup tahini
    2 Tbsp olive oil + more for roasting garlic
    2 lemons, juiced (~1/3 cup)
    1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
    Tear the kale and place in large bowl. Roast chickpeas with olive oil and spices for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Roast garlic at same time. Prepare dressing. Pour chickpeas onto kale, top with dressing. Fabulous!


    Burritos-beef, refried beans, seasoning, flour, wheat and corn tortillas and fixings: cheese, salsa, sour cream, hot sauce

    Roasted brussel sprouts because we always have roasted brussel sprouts!

    Blue Corn and Black Bean chips

    Vegan donuts with lemon icing.  I was going to make with espresso icing but midstream we chose lemon, instead :)



    • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (carton not canned)
    • 1/3 cup oil
    • 1/3 cup maple syrup or agave*
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 package active dry yeast
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 4-4.5 cups flour (give or take)
    • ESPRESSO GLAZE-I made lemon glaze
    • 1 shot quality espresso or strong coffee (2-3 T)  I used lemon juice instead
    • 4 cups powdered sugar
    • STREUSEL TOPPING: (optional)
    • 3-4 Tablespoons butter (non-dairy for vegan)
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 2-3 Tablespoons flour
    • I didn't use the streusel topping-we sprinkled with sprinkles :)
    Instructions
    1. Bring soy milk, oil, maple syrup or agave, and sugar to a boil in a small sauce pan.
    2. Once boiling, remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm or 110 F (30 minutes)
    3. Once cooled, stir in yeast and let set for 5-10 minutes.
    4. In a large bowl, add 4 cups of flour and salt, then add to wet mixture and stir, mixing well, then covering with a towel and letting rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
    5. Once doubled in size, add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, (or until the dough is no longer incredibly sticky). Mix well and then let the dough sit for about 10 minutes.
    6. On a floured surface make about 2-inch balls and place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet, leaving room for expansion.
    7. Preheat oven to 350 and cover with light towel while warming.
    8. Once preheated, bake for 10-11 minutes, being careful not to over bake as you don't want the bottoms too brown.
    9. Prepare glaze and streusel while baking. Once donuts are done, let them cool slightly and then dunk in glaze and cover with streusel. I put the streusel on both top and bottom, and would recommend it for best flavor.
    10. Serve immediately for best result, or store in air-tight container for up to 2 days.
    This made 12 large donuts that I baked in two 9 inch round cake pans. I had to bake them for 20 minutes, probably because they were larger than 2". 

    These donuts were all gone within 24 hours! 



    We also brewed a batch of KOMBUCHA. What a blast!



    Getting our supplies together.






    Checking the PH.


    Time to brew for 3 weeks !








              Thiel Audio AURORA LifeStream™ Tour Wireless Speaker Unboxing Review @Thielaudio        
    Thielaudio.com SPECIFICATIONS Inputs: AirPlay (wireless); Play-Fi (wireless); Bluetooth (wireless); Aux-in via 3.5mm stereo jack; Ethernet via RJ45 to USB connector (sold separately) Drivers: Two 3-inch full range drivers + Bass...
              Thiel Audio AURORA LifeStream™ Home Wireless Speaker Unboxing Review @Thielaudio        
    ThielAudio.com SPECIFICATIONS Inputs: AirPlay (wireless); Play-Fi (wireless); Bluetooth (wireless); Aux-in via 3.5mm stereo jack; Ethernet via RJ45 to USB connector (sold separately) Tweeters: Two 19mm edge-driven wide dispersion soft dome...
              Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam Unboxing Review @Logitech        
    Logitech.com DIMENSIONS Without clip: Height x Width x Depth: 1.14 in (29 mm) x 3.74 in (95 mm) x 0.94 in (24 mm) Including clip: Height x Width x Depth:...
              Arkon Pro Phone Stand for Videos HD8RV29 Unboxing Review @Arkon_Mounts        
    Arkon.com PRODUCT FEATURES Make live video demos baking, crafting, stamping, painting, drawing Height adjustable stand from 17 to 29 inches with weighted base Extremely versatile stand for live streaming, live...
              ÐÐ²Ñ‚омобильные сканеры. Как выбрать автосканер        
    Автомобильные сканеры. Как выбрать автосканер Мы не очень жалуем наших более удачливых конкурентов по гонке вооружений — американцев. И на то есть причины. Нагловаты, заносчивы и, главное, не без оснований, что особенно обидно нам, гражданам бывшей супердержавы, без дозволения которой в прошлом «...ни одна пушка в Европе выстрелить не смела». Справедливости ради надо отметить, что далеко не все американцы мечтают о мировом господстве. Средь них попадаются и просто сообразительные ребята, плодами трудов которых мы с удовольствием пользуемся, забыв об их «Ð°Ð½Ñ‚агонистическом» происхождении. Достаточно вспомнить такие милые нам штучки, как универсальный «Ð¿Ñ€Ð¸ÐºÐ¸Ð´» американских пастухов, замечательно конвертируемые бумажки бледно-зеленого цвета, непреходящие киногрезы с калифорнийского побережья, тонизирующий питьевой растворитель, настоянный на листьях кокки, и многое, многое другое, без чего немыслима нынешняя жизнь. Какое отношение сказанное имеет к теме статьи? Самое непосредственное, поскольку сканер, как и все вышеперечисленное, является именно американским изобретением и, как подтвердила практика, изобретением весьма полезным. Краткая история вопроса Впервые прибор, по своему функциональному назначению аналогичный сканеру, был применен на сборочных линиях американской корпорации General Motors в самом начале 80-х в качестве средства выходного контроля. В то время на автомобилях концерна начали активно использовать электронно-управляемые системы подачи топлива (электронные карбюраторы и устройства впрыска). Первые их образцы, как все принципиально новое, не отличались высокой надежностью. Да и качество конвейерной сборки американских автомобилей оставляло желать лучшего (а каких еще результатов можно ожидать от использования низкооплачиваемого труда многонациональной армии эмигрантов). Вследствие этих причин возникла задача проверки работоспособности электронных систем топливоподачи перед отправкой автомобилей потребителю. Чтобы решить эту задачу, потребовалось добавить несколько полезных функций электронному блоку управления (ЭБУ). Его наделили возможностью измерять электрические параметры элементов топливной системы и, сравнивая их с эталонами, делать вывод об их работоспособности. Обнаруженные отклонения или неисправности сохранялись в электронной памяти ЭБУ в виде цифровых кодов. Помимо этого, уже тогда управляющая электроника фирмы GM обладала способностью представлять для просмотра и анализа текущие параметры топливной системы. Другими словами, ЭБУ обладал способностью к самодиагностике. ЭБУ диагностировал себясам, а стоявший в конце сборочной линии инспектор мог узнать результаты его проверки, подключив к специальному разъему системы управления топливоподачей (поначалу он именовался ALDL — Assembly Line Diagnostic Link) специальный же прибор. По команде оператора прибор сканировал (опрашивал) блок управления, используя понятный тому язык, и ответы ЭБУ переводил с «ÑÐ»ÐµÐºÑ‚ронного» на родной, американский. Так инспектор получал возможность прочесть сообщения ЭБУ о неисправностях, а также проверить параметры элементов системы на правдоподобность и в случае несоответствия — отправить машину на доработку. Поначалу такие электронные «Ñ‚Ð¾Ð»Ð¼Ð°Ñ‡Ð¸» применялись только в условиях конвейера. Диагностам, желавшим воспользоваться информацией, сохраненной в памяти ЭБУ, вместо использования прибора предлагалось, например, установив особым образом перемычку в диагностическом разъеме, считать только коды неисправностей. Они определялись по миганию лампочки (например, лампы «Check Engine») на приборной панели (блинк-коды). Чуть позже, GM принял решение передать сканер для свободного использования в сети автообслуживания. Так американские диагносты получили прибор, позволяющий не только считывать коды неисправностей (и расшифровывать их), но и выводивший информацию о наиболее важных текущих параметрах системы впрыска топлива. Функциональное назначение определило и облик прибора, ставший впоследствии традиционным. Небольшой корпус сканера имеет дисплей для выведения текстовой (или графической) информации и устройство управления режимом работы — клавиатуру. Для обмена информацией с электронными устройствами автомобиля сканер оснащается одним или несколькими кабелями с разъемами для подсоединения к диагностическим выводам, предусмотренным на данном автомобиле. Вскоре примеру GM последовали концерны Ford и Chrysler, инициировавшие производство сканеров для диагностики своих автомобилей. У «Ð¤Ð¾Ñ€Ð´Ð°» появился сканер Star, у «ÐšÑ€Ð°Ð¹ÑÐ»ÐµÑ€Ð°» — DRB. Таким образом, американские автопроизводители первыми начали наделять ЭБУ двигателя способностью к самодиагностике и ввели в обиход сканеры — приборы для считывания диагностической информации, измеряемой и накапливаемой в электронном устройстве управления одной из систем автомобиля. Каждый из автомобильных сканеров умел общаться с управляющей электроникой только «Ñ€Ð¾Ð´Ð½Ñ‹Ñ…» автомобилей и абсолютно не понимал «Ñ‡ÑƒÐ¶Ð°ÐºÐ¾Ð²». Главная проблема — в «ÑÐ·Ñ‹ÐºÐ¾Ð²Ð¾Ð¼ барьере». Мало того, что ЭБУ автомобилей разных концернов измеряли разные параметры и поразному их обрабатывали, каждый из них еще и шифровал данные особым, отличным от других, образом. Поэтому для доступа к памяти каждого нужен особый «ÐºÐ»ÑŽÑ‡Ð¸Ðº» или, говоря профессиональным языком программистов, индивидуальный «Ð¿Ñ€Ð¾Ñ‚Ð¾ÐºÐ¾Ð» обмена». К этому моменту повествования пытливому читателю уже должно быть понятно в чем принципиальные отличия мотортестера и сканера. Первый — прибор для измерения и отображения аналоговых параметров в различных электрических цепях автомобиля, для чего используются внешние, подключаемые к цепям датчики, и для выполнения тестов механических систем двигателя. Второй — сам ничего не измеряет (датчиков в своем составе не имеет), а только считывает результаты измерений и их анализа, выполненного системой управления каким-либо агрегатом автомобиля. Причем, сканер получает информацию не в аналоговой форме, а на языке электронного устройства — в виде цифрового кода. Поскольку автосканер — не измерительный прибор,а всего лишь дешифратор, его способности ограничены возможностями программы, заложенной в электронный блок управления. Полнота диагностической информации, получаемой при помощи сканера, в первую очередь, зависит от разработчика системы управления и только во вторую — от производителя сканера. Автосканер не способен сообщить диагносту больше информации, чем имеет ЭБУ. Например, в отличие от мотор-тестера, сканер не дает никаких сведений о параметрах высоковольтной части системы зажигания, о состоянии механических агрегатов двигателя. Отсюда можно сделать еще один вывод: если автомобиль не имеет цифровых систем управления, обладающих функцией самодиагностики, применение сканера для его ремонта бессмысленно. Так исторически сложилось, что наиболее богатыми, с точки зрения самодиагностики, возможностями обладает управляющая электроника автомобилей американского производства и прежде всего пионера в этой области — GM. Соответственно и сканеры для работы с автомобилями американского рынка дают диагносту наиболее богатую пищу для размышлений. С момента зарождения и по сей день сканерная диагностика развивалась крайне неравномерно. В консервативной Европе она появилась с опозданием на несколько лет, и то — под давлением американцев. Они принудили европейцев оснащать поставлявшиеся на американский рынок автомобили электронными устройствами управления, предусматривавшими обнаружение неисправностей с помощью простых аппаратных средств. Так, баварцы начали применять сканеры только в конце 80-х на автомобилях с системой управления Motronic, а автомобилестроители из Штуттгарта — лишь в начале 90-х, когда на «Ð¼ÐµÑ€ÑÐµÐ´ÐµÑÐ°Ñ…» стали применяться системы впрыска топлива LH-Jetronic. Дальше-больше Система управления топливоподачей двигателя — одна из первых цифровых систем автомобиля. Позже список автомобильных агрегатов, управляемых электроникой, пополнился такими устройствами, как АБС, АКПП, подушки безопасности, климатическая установка и другими. Каждое из них имеет свой электронный блок управления. На современном автомобиле их количество может достигать нескольких десятков. Поскольку ни одна из систем не обладает абсолютной надежностью, стало нормой наделять их электронные «Ð¼Ð¾Ð·Ð³Ð¸» способностью постоянно контролировать работоспособность наиболее важных элементов и сохранять результаты инспекции в памяти. Содержимое памяти «Ð¼Ð¾Ð·Ð³Ð¾Ð²» представляет безусловный интерес для диагноста как неоценимое подспорье при поиске неисправности. Полноценный сканер имеет возможность получать информацию диагностического характера от большого числа электронных систем автомобиля. Помимо считывания кодов неисправностей, сканер дает возможность выводить на дисплей текущие параметры системы, которые, как упоминалось, измеряет блок управления. Этот режим работы сканера на англоязычный манер называется «data stream», то есть «Ð¿Ð¾Ñ‚ок данных». Способность сканера выводить текущие параметры исследуемой системы — очень сильный козырь в руках диагноста. Если при этом иметь четкое представление о работе испытуемой системы, использ
              FreedomWorks Presents FreedomFraud Awards        

    FreedomWorks today announced the FreedomFraud Award winners for this year: Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Dean Heller (R-Utah), and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). This is the counterpart to the FreedomFighter Awards.

    The FreedomFraud Awards recognize the height of political fraud by senators who voted to defend ObamaCare by voting against a bill virtually the same as one they supported less than two years ago. While protected by Barack Obama’s veto, they supported ObamaCare and railed against it. Now that President Trump supports the bill, they have exposed themselves as political liars.

    FreedomWorks Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jason Pye delivered the awards to senators’ offices Friday afternoon. You can see an archived live stream here. Eligibility for the award is based purely on whether senators campaigned on repeal and voted for this bill less than two years ago and opposed it when it could have passed.

    “These people committed the greatest political fraud in American history,” said Jason Pye. “Republican politics has focused on repealing ObamaCare for the better part of a decade. There were frequent votes to repeal ObamaCare. These senators showed great contempt for their constituents by going against everything they’ve stood for on ObamaCare repeal.”

    After the 2015 bill passed, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said, “I'm for repealing this broken law and replacing it with something better that gives patients more choice, decreases costs and increases access to quality, affordable care.”

    After the 2015 bill passed, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.) said, “This law is not affordable for anyone in Alaska. That is why I will support the bill that repeals the ACA and wipes out its harmful impacts. I can’t watch premiums for Alaskans shoot up by 30 percent or more each year, see businesses artificially constrained, or see the quality of public education decline.”

    After the 2015 bill passed, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said, “I am glad that a repeal bill will finally reach the president’s desk.”

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, “It is clear that any serious attempt to improve our health care system must begin with a full repeal and replacement of Obamacare, and I will continue fighting on behalf of the people of Arizona to achieve it.”

    Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said, “This DC bureaucrat-driven healthcare system will only result in limited health care choices and higher costs for Nevadans.”

    Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said , “The wisest course is to repeal Obamacare and replace it step by step with solutions that lower health care costs.”


              Congress Should Lower Ridiculous Drug Prices by Passing CREATES Act        

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


              DAZN auf Apple TV: Mayweather vs. McGregor live verfolgen        

    Mit Superlativen wird nicht gespart: Es soll der größte und spektakulärste Boxkampf der Geschichte werden. Am 26. August steigt Boxer Floyd Mayweather gegen Mixed Martial Arts Kämpfer Conor McGregor in Las Vegas in den Ring. Der Sportstreamingdienst DAZN überträgt den Kampf live und exklusiv in Deutschland. Einschalten lässt sich unter anderem über die DAZN-App auf dem Apple TV.

    (Weiterlesen)
              Kauai Day Seven, Tuesday        

    Kauai Day Seven, Tuesday


    We planned on driving up to the North Shore of Kauai, a near two-hour trip each way, and meant to leave by ten.

    Yeaaaah. We left at nearly noon.

    The drive up was beautiful, as is everything in Kauai, and we saw lots of little towns and resorts and beautiful beaches and the most beautiful mountain ranges ever. By the time we arrived it was one o'clock and lunch was sounding good. Instead of getting lunch we decided to hike first, snorkel, and then eat. We set off in search of the trailhead.

    Yeaaaah. We found where the trailhead was supposed to be, two miles down a one-lane road, and there was a house, a friendly dog, and it was sectioned off. We decided to hike a trail we'd seen on the road off to the side instead, called Okoleani at the base of He'emanu Mountain, which means manta-ray. The thing about mountains? That I conveniently forgot? Is that they go up. We hiked for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours up, which sucked, but was really pretty, and then we ran into a local who is something of a guide, and she showed us some neat plants such as awapuhi, which softens hair. She also told us that the trail goes for about five hours to a scenic overlook. We decided to turn back. The hike down was not nearly as long but it was difficult, and we slid a few times in the steep mud.

    Finally we made it! We were down, and alive, and we were covered in mud which we washed off in a convenient stream. Yay!

    We then headed to Anini Beach to snorkel, which I didn't do because I was tired and hot, so I decided to hike back fifteen minutes down the road to a public restroom because I don't do the whole “Bladder Bay” thing. Andra picked me up on my walk back. They snorkeled and I swam for a few minutes to cool off in the very shallow sandy waters, and then lay on my towel in the shade.

    For dinner we ate at Hanalei town and I had Hanalei Gourmet fish sandwich and the others ate at Bubba's Burgers, which is apparently famous because celebrities have eaten there. Mine was delicious!

    We drove home and enjoyed the beautiful views again, and then Clay and I went in the jacuzzi and then we came back and I went to bed and read for awhile before falling asleep.


              Heute 16.00 Uhr: Livestream vom Adobe Digital Marketing Summit 2012        

    Heute beginnt das offizielle Programm des Adobe Digital Marketing Summit 2012. Wer nicht – wie rund 4000 Teilnehmer aus aller Welt [...]

    The post Heute 16.00 Uhr: Livestream vom Adobe Digital Marketing Summit 2012 appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog.