Bush's Big Mistake   

TEMPE, Ariz.—"The president is an alien. There's your quote of the day," Ken Mehlman said before the final presidential debate to reporters who were peppering him with questions about the rectangular shape underneath the president's jacket during the first debate. "He's been getting information from Mars," said Bush's campaign manager, and at the debate, "his alien past will be exposed."

Well, at least it wasn't that bad. Indisputably, this was the president's best debate. Just as it took Al Gore three debates to settle on the right tone during the 2000 campaign, President Bush figured out in his third face-off with John Kerry how to be neither too hot nor too cold. But Kerry was as good as he can be, too, and more important, what good the president did with his performance will be overshadowed Thursday when the TV networks spend the entire day running video clips of him saying of Osama Bin Laden on March 13, 2002, "I truly am not that concerned about him."

By denying that he had ever minimized the threat posed by Bin Laden, Bush handed Kerry, during the very first question, the victory in the post-debate spin. The Kerry campaign's critique of the president is that he doesn't tell the truth, that he won't admit mistakes, and that he refuses to acknowledge reality. Bush's answer played into all three claims. Within minutes, the Kerry-Edwards campaign e-mailed reporters the first of its "Bush vs. Reality" e-mails, complete with a link to the official White House transcript. A half-hour later, the Democratic National Committee circulated the video.

If the president had ignored Kerry's charge, everyone would have forgotten about it. By contesting it, Bush handed Kerry two gifts: As delighted as the Kerry people must be by yet another untruthful statement from the president, the substance of this particular statement is even more important. Dick Cheney's false declaration that he had never met John Edwards didn't help the Bush campaign, but this error will be orders of magnitude more damaging. Video of the vice president standing next to Edwards at a prayer breakfast is embarrassing. Video of the president saying he isn't concerned about the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks is devastating.

The president's blunder also provided at least a glimpse of the foreign-policy debate I hoped to see. Here's a more complete version of the president's 2002 comment: "I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban." The president's philosophy toward the war on terror could not be clearer: It is a war against nation-states, not against "nonstate actors" like al-Qaida. Bin Laden was dangerous because he controlled a state, not because he controls a terrorist network. When the Bush campaign talks about "going on the offense," this is what they mean. Kerry, after all, talks about hunting down the terrorists where they live. To Bush, that's not good enough. The subtext of the initial exchange between Bush and Kerry was more illuminating than the entire first debate.

The Bush counteroffensive to the president's mistake was to try to find a Kerry misstatement to fill in the "on the other hand" section in fact-checking news stories. During the debate, Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt sent out an "Urgent Alert" to reporters that read, complete with weird capitalization: "John Kerry's statement that he passed 56 bills during his 20 years in the senate is a complete and utter falsehood. Kerry passed five bills and Four resolutions." In Spin Alley after the debate was over, Bush campaign communications director Nicolle Devenish called Kerry's comment about the number of bills he authored his "Al Gore moment." But when Schmidt asserts that Kerry passed only five bills and four resolutions, he means bills that passed both houses of Congress and were signed into law. The Bush campaign's own "Breaking Debate Fact" e-mailed during the debate says that Kerry was the lead sponsor of 31 bills, 122 amendments, and 28 resolutions that passed the Senate.

Kerry did make some misstatements of his own, of course. He repeatedly said his health-care plan covers all Americans, which isn't true, and his assertion that the Bush campaign hasn't met with the Congressional Black Caucus isn't true, either. After the debate, Joe Lockhart admitted that Bush had a "ceremonial" meeting with the black caucus. But Kerry's minor inaccuracies will be overshadowed by the video of Bush saying, "I truly am not that concerned about him."

The most telling pre-debate quote came from Tony Fabrizio, a Republican pollster who told the New York Times that the first debate "was a chance for the president to lay [Kerry] out and just lock it. In the past two weeks, that's been turned on its head." That was my sense going into this debate: The situation was precisely the reverse of where the campaign stood before the first debate. Another decisive win for Kerry could have ended the race, as the campaign dominoes would have begun to fall his way. That didn't happen, and the debate was much closer than Kerry would have liked.

But as with previous debates, Kerry won the post-debate instant polls. After the last two, Kerry's margin of victory grew substantially beyond the margins in the snap polls. Bush's Bin Laden goof will give Kerry his best opportunity to score a post-debate knockout.


          Makna Misterius Lagu Umbrella ” Rihanna “   
Ternyata lagu umbrella ada maksudnya, ini gan ane terangin.
Mari kita lihat petikan syair berikut:

No clouds in my storms
Let it rain, I hydroplane in the bank
Coming down with the Dow Jones
When the clouds come we gone, we Rocafella
We fly higher than weather
And G5′s are better, You know me,
an anticipation, for precipitation. Stacked chips for the rainy day
Jay, Rain Man is back with little Ms. Sunshine
Rihanna where you at?

Perhatikan kata-kata yang terdapat pada lirik lagu tersebut yang dinyanyikan oleh Jay-Z. Perhatikan kata storm (badai), rain (hujan), clouds (awan), anehnya hal itu bertempatan dengan hujan deras di Inggris dan Irlandia di saat lagu itu menempati urutan teratas di negara tersebut. Bahkan, tabloid disana memperkirakan kejadian tersebut sebagai kutukan Rihanna. Tabloid itu mensinyalir lagu umbrella membawa pengaruh buruk bagi negara mereka.
Orkut Comments

Sebelum lagu itu dirilis pada tanggal 14 Mei 2007, temperatur cuaca kota London dan Atena cukup tinggi, bahkan mencapai dua puluh derajat celcius. Bagaimanapun sehari sebelum dirilis, beberapa keadaan cuaca di beberapa tempat menjadi headline berita. Banyak pemabaca tabloid The Sun yang meminta agar urutan tangga lagu umbrella diturunkan. Menariknya, setelah lagu itu melorot dari peringkat satu, cuaca malah membaik.

Ini cuplikan lagunya
It’s raining
Ooh baby it’s raining
Baby come into me
Come into me
It’s raining
Oh baby it’s raining

Situasi serupa juga terjadi di Selandia Baru, di mana lagu papan atas tersebut menjadi hits nomor satu di awal musim dingin 2007. Anehnya situasi itu adalah yang terburuk yang pernah dialami oleh negara tersebut.
Selama kondisi itu terjadi, Kota Taranaki, Tauranga, dan Auckland mengalami badai tornado dan banjir. Anehnnya, ketika lagu itu merosot posisinya, di berbagai kota itu cuaca kembali membaik.
Lalu apa sih rahasia yang kita temukan lebih lanjut dalam lirik tersebut? Perhatikan lirik di bawah ini:
When the clouds come we gone, we Rocafella
We fly higher than weather

Perhatikan terdapat kata Rocafella di dalam baris lirik tersebut. Rocafella adalah keluarga Rockefeller yang menjadi penyokong terbesar kelompok (partai) Dajjal. Konon, Davidd Rocefeller adalah seorang anggota illuminatitingkat tingg dengan sejumlah kemampuan yang unik-unik.
Kita lanjutkan lagi dengan lirik berikutnya:
When the sun shines, we’ll shine together
Told you I’ll be here forever
Said I’ll always be a friend
Took an oath I’ma stick it out till the end
Now that it’s raining more than ever
Know that we’ll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella

Kalimat When the sun shines, we’ll shine together menyiratkan kata sun adalah Dewa Ra atau Dewa Matahari, sementara kalimat we’ll shine together menyiratkan makna keunggulannya ketika bergabung antara Ra dan Horus yang menjadi Ra-Horakty.
Lalu lagu itu dilanjutkan dengan kalimat,
Said I’ll always be a friend
Took an oath I’ma stick it out till the end

Kalimat ini yang artinya aku telah mengatakan akan selalu menjadi temanmu (Duhai Pemimpinku) dan aku menyatakan sumpah (Took an oath) bahwa aku akan selalu bersatu tanpa perpisahan sampai akhir, tak lain dan tak bukan adalah pernyataan dan sumpah setia Rihanna terhadap Umbrella (payung). Umbrella disini bersifat alegoris yakni Dajjal yang mencurahkan hujan yang membentuk segitiga sebagaimana lambang masonik sehingga membentuk payung. Ini adalah sesuatu yang dipuja, baik oleh Jay-Z maupun Rockefeller.
          Interlude: The Spirits Don't Speak Proper English   



"The lord whose oracle is at Delphi neither speaks nor conceals, 
but gives signs."- Heraclitus, on Apollo  

From the very beginning I saw this story as one somehow centered on some kind of possession or channeling. And now that seems to be the only explanation for this endless parade of omen and ancient symbolism of the love goddess and her shepherd-boy consort.

And it only gets stranger and more impossible. 

In truth, I suspected Elizabeth Fraser was channeling something entirely different as soon as I heard "Sugar Hiccup" back in 1983. I grew up around professional musicians- my mother was a trained soprano- and I heard a hell of a lot of music. But somehow I knew something seemed to have come here from somewhere else.

It wasn't just me- you hear the phrase "otherworldly" used quite a lot to describe her singing. 

Even then it felt like something was revealing itself, something very big and strange, through this shy, vulnerable, troubled girl (she was only 19 when she sang "Hiccup") with the mile-wide howl and her art-damaged bandmates.

I just had no idea how big and strange it truly was.

UNDER APHRODITE'S SPELL


Nope, doesn't look possessed at all. No, sir.

Now, Elizabeth Fraser loved Jeff Buckley. I mean she really loved him. 

I mean she really, really, really loved him. 

This isn't conjecture on my part. She talked about it in interviews, saying her love for him was an "addiction" and that she was "maniacal." She sang that she was a "junkie" for him. Twice

Five years after his death she appeared in the "widow role" on a BBC documentary on Buckley and it was painfully clear that that love still burned inside her.

This is the kind of love that poets used to write epics about. The kind of love that Innana had for Dumuzi, that Selene had for Endymion, that Isis had for Osiris. The kind of love city-states used to go to war over.

She sang about this love. A lot. She wrote an entire EP about it, made a heart-wrenching (and startlingly-prophetic) longform music video about it, dedicated an entire album to it, and eventually wrote the best-known song of her career about it, a song which tens of millions of people have heard. 

And again, she recorded that song the day Buckley died.



Fraser ("strawberry") "Sacred to Aphrodite" 
and Buckley "Shepherd Boy"

So bear all this in mind as we take a deeper look into the prophetic foreshadowing in the Cocteau Twins' music and this increasingly impossible avalanche of omen and symbol, all leading to what very much looks like a real-time god-LARP of the one of the oldest stories known to history- one that's been retold many different times in many different places-  the love of the Love Goddess for a doomed shepherd-boy.

It's a story upon which the world's first great empire rose and fell.


ENTER APOLLO, THE POSSESSOR


Mapquest calls it "Wolf River Lagoon"

Directly overlooking the spot on the Wolf River Lagoon/Harbor where Jeff Buckley drowned is the Tennessee Welcome Center, which houses a statue of Elvis Presley that is curiously posed in a strange recreation of the same contrapposto stance that Apollo was customarily depicted striking in the Classical world, with a guitar in place of a lyre (same difference, really).

Elvis died in Memphis 20 years before Buckley did so (1977). He is also closely connected to the Carnival Memphis. 


"Kiss Out"- to deprive someone of their share

And of course Apollo is both the god of song and music and the god of prophecy.

 He was also known as Apollo Lyceus, or "Apollo the Wolf God." One of the grand old theaters in Memphis was named in honor of Apollo Lyceus, The Lyceum.

















Apollo's powers of prophecy came from a very interesting source, one that will play an important role in the story about to unfold here.
The Homeric Hymn to Apollo acknowledges that Apollo's gift of prophecy first came to him from three bee maidens, usually but doubtfully identified with the Thriae, a trinity of pre-Hellenic Aegean bee goddesses. 
Apollo imparted his prophecies to the rest of us through channeling and his oracles were variously known as the Sibyls or the Pythia ("Pythoness"). The latter of whom, before some asshole had to get all rapey, were originally teenaged girls (like Fraser was when she first recorded Garlands):
The Pythia (or Oracle of Delphi) was the priestess who held court at Pytho, the sanctuary of the Delphinians, a sanctuary dedicated to the Greek god Apollo. Pythia were highly-regarded, for it was believed that she channeled prophecies from Apollo himself, while steeped in a dreamlike trance.  

A Roman historian described how this channeling came about: 
At last Apollo mastered the breast of the Delphian priestess ; as fully as ever in the past, he forced his way into her body, driving out her former thoughts, and bidding her human nature to come forth and leave her heart at his disposal.  
(F)irst the wild frenzy overflowed through her foaming lips ; she groaned and uttered loud inarticulate cries with panting breath ; next, a dismal wailing filled the vast cave ; and at last, when she was mastered, came the sound of articulate speech... ” - Lukan- The Civil Wars
"Elizabeth, we'd like to speak with Apollo now..."

Now, again- see if all of that there- "loud, inarticulate cries with panting breath" and all the rest of it- doesn't sound a bit like this. 

Or this.

Or this.


VIVA HEAVEN OR LAS VEGAS


Perhaps more than anyone else, Elvis is nearly synonymous with Las Vegas. He first played there in 1956 (a month before appearing at the Carnival Memphis) and later began a long residency in the Dog Days of 1969 at the Las Vegas International which would eventually see him give over 700 performances there. 

There was even an Elvis Presley Museum in Vegas. There are still Elvis Wedding Chapels there.



And just as there is one overlooking the exact spot where Jeff Buckley ascended to Heaven, there is also an Elvis statue in Las Vegas.



So if in fact Fraser was first introduced to Buckley backstage in 1991 (and not 1994, when they began seeing each other), it would mean they met during the Heaven or Las Vegas tour.

It would mean Buckley saw the tour where "Wolf in the Breast," "Road, River and Rail" and "Mizake the Mizan" were first played onstage. "Mizake's" lyrics again.

Saw a mermaid in the
Lagoon Klisova
Become


So until the hour
My coeur cheri paiyaa
Honey
Grey water
Hoist and throw me down in the water
Drowning
Hoist and throw me down the waterfall

It would mean that Elizabeth serenaded young Jeffrey with a hit parade of personalized death omens, including 'Blue Bell Knoll', 'Lorelei', 'Road, River and Rail' and 'A Kissed-Out Red Floatboat'.


So just as this love story was beginning we saw a shockingly-specific new set of omens of how it would in fact end. 

I mean, have you read any of the Pythias' prophecies? Bloody amateurs in comparison.

"THE BREATH OF GOD IN MY MOUTH"

Elizabeth Fraser, Heaven or Las Vegas video
It was quite noticeable that he was borne along by a divine inspiration when he spoke, when from this so wise a mouth flowed in waves the words, which flew like flakes of snow. Then it seemed that his eyes filled with a shining splendor, and all over his face spread rays of a divine illumination. - Marsinus on Proclus, author of On the Signs of Divine Possession
And then there is the question of glossolalia, for which Fraser was world-famous:
Fraser's distinctive singing has earned her much critical praise; she was once described as "the voice of God." Her lyrics range from straightforward English to semi-comprehensible sentences (glossolalia) and abstract mouth music. For some recordings, Fraser has said that she used foreign words without knowing what they meant – the words acquired meaning for her only as she sang them.
So by assembling lyrics out of words in foreign languages she didn't understand, Fraser was literally "speaking in tongues." And it's in this and her use of glossolalia that Fraser was once again acting in the exact same manner as the ancient oracles:
Neoplatonist philosopher Iamblichus linked glossolalia to prophecy, writing that prophecy was divine spirit possession that "emits words which are not understood by those that utter them; for they pronounce them, as it is said, with an insane mouth and are wholly subservient, and entirely yield themselves to the energy of the predominating God."
And again, Fraser herself told the New Musical Express in 1984 that she felt as if she were channeling some other entity and that her songs seemed to write themselves. Mind you, this is not a woman who was given to hyperbole or self-aggrandizement.

LULLABIES REVISITED

The Sibyl with raving mouth utters solemn, unadorned, unlovely words, but she reaches out over a thousand years with her voice by force of the god within her. - Heraclitus
The breath of God in my mouth
A love you can taste, God, get some paste
He and I, breath to breath -"Seekers who are Lovers"

This is really a work-in-progress here so forgive me as I go over a lot of the material. 

But please be aware we're getting grade-A hits here. This isn't some kind of "well, if A=B, then 5=ham sandwich" kind of leaping and stretching. There's no tortured Gematria wrangling or King Kill horseshoe tossing. 

It's all so right on the nose- past the point of overkill- that it's actually terrifying to me.  

UPDATE: Like this- the flower on the cover of Lullabies is the Calla Lily, a poisonous flower also called "The Green Goddess." (H/T Persephone J)
Calla lilies have become a common favorite in wedding ceremonies, but in contrast, lilies are also associated with death. They were often used on the graves of youths who suffered an untimely death.
When Venus, goddess of love, beauty, and desire, saw the lilies she was jealous of their beauty. She cursed their beauty by placing a large yellow pistil in the middle of the flowers. Because of this story, some associate the calla lily with Venus and thus with lust and sexuality. 
Lullabies is the EP the Cocteau Twins put out in 1982 after Garlands (again, Jeff Buckley died on Garlands Day, when sacrifices used to made to ocean gods). We looked at it before but we really need to look at it again.  

So let's decode these songs in reverse order:


And guess what? That's exactly what Apollo imparted onto his oracles. Exactly like someone or something seems to imparted onto the young Elizabeth Fraser.

And as some have noted- including Federico Garcia Lorca- lullabies have often been associated with death.

Now we get to the truly frightening part of the program.


  "The Pythia resembles a shamaness at least to the extent that she communicates with her [deity] while in a state of trance, and conveys as much to those present by uttering unintelligible words."  Martin Litchfield West, The Orphic Poems

And that's the incredibly-witchy 'Alas Dies Laughing'. What I wrote previously:

After two attempts at conventional choruses, the song breaks down into a bridge that has (a pre-transformation) Fraser moaning like the Pythia as the fumes rise. After the breakdown, she dispenses with the niceties and lapses into a repetitive chant about exactly how Alas died laughing:

Wake takes a lonely one
Wake takes a lonely one
Wake takes a lonely one
Wake takes a lonely one
Wake takes a lonely one
Wake takes a lonely one

(Note: I've listened to this song many times now and am convinced she's singing "Wake takes a lonely one" only she's Liz'ing the hell out of the syllables. It makes more sense with the rest of the lyrics- bone, stone, on)

I really should have taken a closer look at the verses though, because they are absolutely mind-boggling. I had to listen to this song about a hundred times to get the lyrics right but it was worth it. 

And note that like the Pythia, Fraser sounds like she's a trancelike state for the entire EP, even though she belted these songs out live like a trouper. It's actually unnerving. Especially on these lyrics:


Flaxen, the dress is bone
Crush a crushing stone
Jesus Christ Pose

The Alternative Rock explosion of the early 90s was fueled by a wave of great singers. After a lost decade of metallic shriekers and New Wave gurglers-- which some call the 80s-- there was suddenly an embarrassment of strong voices revitalizing rock music, especially hard rock music. 

Most of these had cut their teeth on punk and hardcore and subsequently learned to trim back the fat and excess that torpedoed their 70s forebears. They also learned to step around the wretched excesses that ran the 80s metal explosion into the ground; cookie-cutter sameness, image over substance, half-written songs, cliche piled on cliche.

Alternative rock would itself get watered down and xeroxed into oblivion, especially as careerists figured out a way to counterfeit the formula (I'm looking at you, Candlebox and Seven Mary Three) and record companies signed up every pseudo-grunge band they could find (and strong-armed other acts to hop on the bandwagon). 

By the end of the 90s it all devolved into an obnoxious fratboy rock (I'm looking at you, Limp Bizkit and Creed) that reached its inevitable apotheosis at the disastrous Woodstock '99 (held on a decommissioned military base). 

But before that all went down some of the most vital and exciting rock music of all time was produced.

Alternative Rock, or more accurately GenX Rock, has taken its place in the classic rock canon. Tracks by Nirvana, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are snuggled in tightly between all the Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Pink Floyd cuts overplayed on FM radio. But five of the most remarkable vocalists of that era- Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, Jeff Buckley, Scott Weiland and now Chris Cornell--- are lost to us.

And the 9-ton Tyrannosaurus lurking in the back of the concert hall is that modern plague, clinical depression. It's a subject I'm all too familiar with. It's the witches' curse on Generation X.

Chris Cornell was an enigmatic figure among the Grunge pantheon. If Kurt Cobain was the snotty punk, Eddie Vedder the self-serious poet, Layne Staley the tortured howler and Scott Weiland the Joker in the pack, Cornell was an entirely unique presence, as was Soundgarden. Tall, lean but ripped, possessing an odd, androgynous beauty and an enviable black mane, he came across as aloof, Olympian. His piercing, multi-octave voice felt like a weapon,  more like an incarnation of Apollo the Destroyer than Ozzy Osbourne.

Similarly, Soundgarden was perhaps the most effective translator of the power of early Black Sabbath yet, but were brainy, difficult, challenging. 

They were unmistakably Heavy Metal-- in the original, Blue Cheer definition of the term --but didn't shriek the usual ditties about dick size and date rape. It was pretty clear they had no time for that kind of nonsense (See "Big Dumb Sex"). It was clear they took as much inspiration from King Crimson and Black Flag as from Zeppelin and Sabbath. 

Their first major single was an epic environmentalist jeremiad that goofed on Metal's "kill-your-mother-music" reputation by screaming "you're going to kill your mother" in the refrain. The mother here being Mother Earth, of course.

Predictably, Chris Cornell's corpse was literally not cold yet before the modern ambulance chasers of the Internet were declaring it was obviously an Illuminati sacrifice. One hilarious YouTard video went on about how there was no other explanation for Cornell's death, that he'd have no reason to kill himself. 

Obviously someone who never actually listened to a single stitch of Soundgarden.

Like Ian Curtis-- who hung himself 37 years almost to the day before-- many of Cornell's lyrics read like suicide notes. After all, this is a man who kicked off one of his biggest hits with the couplet "Nothing seems to kill me/ No matter how hard I try." Two of his other big hits "Black Hole Sun" and "Fell on Black Days" are practically master classes in the art of expressing the utter hopelessness ("'Neath the black the sky looks dead") that can overtake you when a depressive episode strikes. 

The same goes for Soundgarden's breakout hit, "Outshined," practically a hymn about searching for a crack of sunlight while waiting a dire episode out. "The Day I Tried to Live" is even more astonishing, a documentary retelling of those mornings when depression- aggression turned inwards- becomes aggression turned on the world outside.

Cornell was very candid about his struggles with depression. In an interview with Rolling Stone he discussed the inspiration for "Fell on Black Days":
This reissue includes several versions of "Fell on Black Days," which is pretty dark. What inspired it? 

Well, I had this idea, and I had it for a long time. I'd noticed already in my life where there would be periods where I would feel suddenly, "Things aren't going so well, and I don't feel that great about my life." Not based on any particular thing. I'd sort of noticed that people have this tendency to look up one day and realize that things have changed. There wasn't a catastrophe. There wasn't a relationship split up. Nobody got in a car wreck. Nobody's parents died or anything. The outlook had changed, while everything appears circumstantially the same. That was the song I wanted to write about. 
No matter how happy you are, you can wake up one day without any specific thing occurring to bring you into a darker place, and you'll just be in a darker place anyway. To me, that was always a terrifying thought, because that's something that – as far as I know – we don't necessarily have control over. So that was the song I wanted to write. 
It wasn't just for the gloom-metal gimmick of Soundgarden that Cornell laid bare his struggles. They crept into tracks he recorded with Audioslave- the supergroup made up of Cornell and the musicians of Rage Against the Machine, including their biggest hit "Like a Stone."

Cornell was also candid about his history with clinical depression, which he traced back to a somewhat hardscrabble upbringing. 
Cornell abstained from drug use for a time following an adverse reaction to the hallucinogenic PCP, but the frightening, dissociative experience, coupled with the trauma of his parent’s divorce, plunged him into a severe depression. “I went from being a daily drug user at 13 to having bad drug experiences and quitting drugs by the time I was 14 and then not having any friends until the time I was 16. There was about two years where I was more or less agoraphobic and didn’t deal with anybody, didn’t talk to anybody, didn’t have any friends at all.”
And clearly showing that he also struggled with suicidal ideation, Cornell foreshadowed his own end in an interview with Guitar.com, saying, “You’ll think somebody has run-of-the-mill depression, and then the next thing you know, they’re hanging from a rope." 

Writer Kate Paulk wrote about the black dog of depression recently and offered up an apt metaphor lifted from pop culture:
Let’s start by clearing up one thing. Sadness, grieving in response to a loss… that is not depression. It’s sadness. Grief. It passes with time, and even at its worst there are moments of joy and hope. Depression is not like that. Everything is poisoned. 
J. K. Rowling is describing depression when she describes the Dementors and their impact. Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. 
This is precisely what depression does. There is an absence of hope, an inability to believe that there can ever be anything positive in your life again. That isn’t sadness or grief, and it isn’t necessarily expressed by tears.
Cornell was also a substance abuser and dove headlong into an opioid addiction after Soundgarden split in 1997. It may well have come from a chronic pain issue, closely related to chronic depression: 
People with depression show abnormalities in the body’s release of its own, endogenous, opioid chemicals. Depression tends to exacerbate pain—it makes chronic pain last longer and hurts the recovery process after surgery. 
“Depressed people are in a state of alarm,” said Mark Sullivan, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Washington. “They’re fearful, or frozen in place. There’s a heightened sense of threat.” That increased threat sensitivity might also be what heightens sensations of pain. 
Opioids certainly aren't very effective painkillers in the long term but they are very effective anesthetics when you're struggling with chronic depression. 
Opioids treat pain, but depression and pain are often comorbid, and some antidepressants relieve neuropathic pain even in the absence of depression. Depression involves dysfunction in monoamine systems, the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and hippocampal neurogenesis, but could it also be rooted in a deficit of endorphins, or even an endopharmacological withdrawal state? 
Before the modern antidepressant era, depression was often treated with opiates—with a sometimes heavy price of addiction.  
The real hell of opioids is that they rewire your brain, causing the natural processes that regulate depression and euphoria to atrophy. Depression can skyrocket when you stop taking them, since your brain basically forgot how to produce sufficient amounts of the neurotransmitters that manage your moods.
u-agonists relieve depression-like behavior acutely, but tolerance develops, and depression is worse on withdrawal from long-term administration. Delta-agonists appear to improve mood, while kappa-agonists worsen it. There is evidence that opioid dysfunction accounts for lack of pleasure in depression, while problems with dopamine impair motivation. Opioid systems, then, participate in many mood-related functions. They are examples of evolutionary repurposing of neurotransmitters that originally evolved for one purpose to meet a variety of other needs.


Cornell's family is understandably shocked by his death. His widow blames an elevated dose of the tranquilizer Ativan for the somewhat disturbing performance he put on in Detroit and his resulting suicide. 
Cornell died on the evening May 17th, 2017, shortly after performing a concert with Soundgarden in Detroit, MI. His death was met with shock by many; his representative described it as "sudden and unexpected," adding that the singer's family will be "working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause." 
Hours after his death was reported, the Wayne County Medical Examiner's office ruled Chris' death a suicide by hanging. According to Us Weekly, a family friend had found Cornell on the bathroom floor of his MGM Grand hotel room. ABC News also reported that two Detroit papers claimed that Cornell was found with "a band around his neck," though Detroit Police spokesman Michael Woody could not confirm that information. 
Cornell's wife, Vicky, released a statement on his death on Friday, May 19th, 2017, in which she cast doubts that his suicide was intentional. In fact, on the day of his death, Vicky claimed they had "discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do." "When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him," she said. 
"What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details," she continued. "I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life."
I think the fact that Cornell ad-libbed verses from "In My Time of Dying" over a rendition of "Slaves and Bulldozers" during the closing encore in Detroit  gives a fairly compelling signal that he had resolved himself to a course of action that night. Despite an incredibly shaky performance he seemed in good spirits to some, all too common with depressives resolved to suicide. But others noticed he seemed irritable and unfocused, forgetting the lyrics. He complimented the Detroit audience and then said, "I feel sorry for the next city."

An extra Ativan or two is unlikely to induce suicide. But long-term use of it (it's recommended that lorezepam-- a member of the highly-problematic benzodiazepene family-- be used only a short term basis) might. And it's very possible he took an extra dose of the drug to gird his loins for a decision he had already made:
Suicidality: Benzodiazepines may sometimes unmask suicidal ideation in depressed patients, possibly through disinhibition or fear reduction. The concern is that benzodiazepines may inadvertently become facilitators of suicidal behavior. Therefore, lorazepam should not be prescribed in high doses or as the sole treatment in depression, but only with an appropriate antidepressant.
Depression and suicidal ideation go hand in glove. And there are all kinds of psychiatric drugs that tell you upfront that suicidal ideation is a major side effect. How that doesn't keep them off the market is a mystery to me. 

The other problem is that people who obsess on suicide usually don't talk about it with people close to them since they realize that confessing to it will very likely act to derail what they have been planning. And again, professionals will tell you that very often when a depressive has resolved themselves to suicide they can often seem very cheerful and upbeat, since they believe that their suffering will soon end. 

So the question becomes if a rich, celebrated and handsome rock star can't find a reason to stay alive, what hope is there for the rest of us? Well, it's a lot more complicated than that. Aside from his struggles with clinical depression, Cornell was also beset by tragedy, losing people closest to him to early death. 

The first of these was his roommate Andrew Wood, the flamboyant singer for legendary Seattle band Mother Love Bone who died of a heroin overdose in 1990. Cornell was so shaken by Wood's death that he formed a defacto supergroup with members of MLB and recorded the now-legendary Temple of the Dog album as a tribute, which produced the grunge anthem "Hunger Strike" (featuring a duet between Cornell and future Pearl Jam star Eddie Vedder).

Temple of the Dog in fact led to the formation of Pearl Jam, facilitated by the introduction of Vedder to the Seattle scenesters by drummer Jack Irons, a member of the original Red Hot Chili Peppers who also played with Pearl Jam and Joe Strummer, among an army of others. Strangely enough, Irons has his own struggles with depression. As did Joe Strummer, for that matter. 

The Muses choose broken vessels. It's a Secret Sun truism. 

Cornell was so shaken by Wood's death that it would haunt Soundgarden songs as well.
The song you workshopped the most was "Like Suicide." In the liner notes, you say it kind of became a metaphor for how you were feeling at the time about late Mother Love Bone frontman Andy Wood. 
Yeah, the lyrics were actually this simple moment that happened to me. I don't know that I ever directly related it to Andy, though there are a lot of songs that people probably don't know where there were references to him or how I was feeling about what happened with him. I just think that that was something that happened to me that was a traumatic thing and that I had a difficult time resolving it. I still never really have. I still live with it, and that's one of the moments where maybe in some ways it could have shown up, but I'm not really sure specifically where.
Another body blow was the 1994 death of Kurt Cobain, another friend who died in time to cast a pall of existential darkness over Soundgarden's epochal Superunknown album, released a month before Cobain's death. So even as Soundgarden were enjoying their moment, death and tragedy revisited Cornell. (Cobain had his own issues, exacerbated by years of opioid abuse, but there are those of us who don't buy the suicide angle in this particular case).

It had to hurt, especially since Cobain had told Cornell that Soundgarden has inspired him to form Nirvana in the first place. 

Superunknown was an instant classic, easily one of the top 10 Hard Rock albums ever recorded, hammering you with one killer track after another. Along with Stone Temple Pilots' Purple album, Pearl Jam's Vitalogy and several others it established 1994 as the watershed for Alernative Rock, despite Cobain's death and Nirvana's dissolution. 

Soundgarden's 1996 follow-up Down on the Upside, failed to capitalize on its predecessor's momentum, and seem to showcase a band uncertain of direction and sense of purpose. No one was really surprised when Soundgarden broke up the following year. Oddly enough the breakup seemed to go down almost exactly three years after Kurt Cobain's death. 



But Tragedy wasn't finished with Cornell yet. Shortly after Soundgarden broke up Cornell would lose another soulmate.
He lost two friends within the space of a few years. Cobain died in 1994 and, three years later, singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley, practically a brother to Cornell, drowned while swimming in a tributary of the Mississippi in Tennessee.

"Kurt was fairly quiet and introverted most of the time. Jeff was the opposite. He was very much full of life and had a lot to say. He was somebody in love with experiencing everything. Within a very short time, he had all these famous old rock stars coming to his shows. Which put a a lot of pressure on him. People talked about his concerts the way they used to talk about Hendrix: they'd sit there, wide-eyed, telling you stories about him. He definitely had an aura. It's impossible to say what it is exactly a guy like that has, that is so attractive to other people. But he had more of it than anyone I had ever met."
Of course, this brings all this squarely into the Secret Sun wheelhouse. Cornell would be haunted by Buckley's death, writing the aching "Wave Goodbye" (in which he seems to channel Buckley's ghost) for his first solo album and acting as a de facto executor-slash-curator for Buckley's posthumous releases.



This tells us a lot, since the 20th anniversary of Jeff Buckley's death is coming up fast and furious. Cornell showed he was clearly still haunted by Buckley's passing when he brought the late singer's old landline phone onstage with him during his 2011 acoustic solo tour.
KALAMAZOO — I've had several people ask about the red phone that was on stage during Chris Cornell's 130-minute set at the Kalamazoo State Theatre last week. Cornell never addressed it during the show and it never rang, so I didn't think much of it. After another reader asked Monday, I looked into it. 
According to a representative with the New York-based Press Here Publicity, which handled promotion for Cornell's solo tour, the phone belonged to singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley.
As Secret Sun readers will remember, the last song Jeff Buckley sang before his death was "Whole Lotta Love", a blues standard that Led Zeppelin turned into what one critic called "a themonuclear rape."

And it would be "In My Time of Dying," another old blues standard that Led Zeppelin turned into a jackhammering stomper that acted as Cornell's own self-elegy. This, along with the timing of Ian Curtis's own death by hanging in 1980 seems a bit too synchronized for Cornell's death to be some kind of mad whim because he took too much Ativan.  As painful as it might be to admit, it seems as if this was probably a very long time coming. After all, this is the man who wrote "Pretty Noose."

So it seems apparent that it wasn't the Illuminati but in fact the demon possession of depression that took Chris Cornell away from his family. With many of his closest friends gone and the glory days of the 90s more and more a fading memory in a world itself gripped by chronic depression, I can't say I'm surprised by the suicide ruling.  

The life of the rock star in 2017 is a galaxy away from the golden age of the rock star in 1977. It's become a grueling job in the age of streaming and piracy, since you need to make all your money on the road now. Spending your life traveling from one brutalist concrete box to another when you're fifty-two is surely a lot less appealing than when you're twenty-two.

If there's any good to come of this tragedy it's to understand that depression isn't some kind of scarlet letter, it's an inevitable result of what one scientist called "the greatest blind experiment in history," the bombardment of our brains and bodies with every manner of stimulus and stress imaginable, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and then some.

Having spend my teenage years in the white-hot cauldron of hardcore punk I can tell you that that kind of hyperstimulation had -- how do I put this? --less than a salutary effect on a lot of people I knew. Seeing that same formula translated into the mainstream culture goes a long way in explaining why depression has become the great mass epidemic of our time. Now it's claimed another trophy and we're all the poorer for it.

But as the Greeks and Romans once said, vita brevis ars longa

French philosophers once said that the invention of motion pictures had conquered death, that people would now live on forever once they were recorded. I guess the same goes for recorded music as well. So I think it's safe to say that after three decades of music, Chris Cornell has earned his place among the immortals. Let's hope someone learns something from his story.


          From Eleusis to Edinburgh   

Not safe for workish

Well, in honor of the holiday there's a gallery of photos from the Beltane Fire Festival up on the Daily Mail's site to eye-gobble. The Festival is celebrating its 30th year anniversary, yet another landmark correlating to the Years of Seven we looked at a short while back. I'm no numerologist so I can't exactly say why seven seems to be so significant in the World of Weird, I can only catalog the correspondences. 

The Festival is an ancient Mystery play to its innermost core, a spectacle that would have done Eleusis proud (flaming headdresses were a big item there as well). It's astonishing how primal and powerful it all looks in a world in which spectacle has become wallpaper. It's proof of what I was bloviating about recently, how the raw and the human still have meaning and value in a world slouching towards Skynet.



Now some of you may argue that this is all theater, performance art, that the majority of the participants (and observers) don't really believe in any of this any pagan crap, but do you really think it was any different in Classical Greece, who gave us the very words skepticism and agnosticism? Hell,  it probably wasn't all that much different in Pre-Roman Britain.

The deities here are in the details. Like that revanchist pagan holiday Carnival, the gods of these kinds of revelries are verbs. The old gods were about action not idle contemplation. I doubt they much care if anyone believes in them or not, so long as they put on eye-raping spectacles the way Edinburgh does.

I'm currently working on a post about the morphogenesis of British paganism in the context of the current folk horror revival that will revisit some of these themes.



Enjoying another 30 year anniversary is the maiden release from the nascent KLF, then dubbed The Justified Ancients of Mu-Mu.  Back in their heyday, you really couldn't tell if The KLF were high art or an elaborate hoax, geniuses or drugged-out numbskulls on a MIDI bender. Which, of course, means the project was a roaring success.

Since they're tuned into these kinds of things, The KLF appropriately chose another Year of Seven to emerge from a Rip Van Winkle sabbatical. From a helpful recap of their long and strange career in The Guardian:
Now as we reach the symbolic 23rd anniversary of the cash-sacrifice on Jura – 23 being a totemic figure in Illuminatus! numerology and thus in JAMMs lore – the KLF are back. Gnomic flyposters promise a KLF book and an event in August “unearthing aspects of the 2023 trilogy across Liverpool”, where Drummond’s career began. The Illuminati, once a private fixation for Drummond, Cauty and the 1970s counterculture, have become a pop-culture obsession (see Beyoncé and her pyramid hand gestures). The KLF, AKA The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu, were always agents of chaos. 
Now the world they anticipated is here.
Interesting that the post-hippie weird wave had such a huge impact on the British underground, ultimately flowering into a battalion of bands who remain interesting to this day. The KLF, Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and Killing Joke are just a few of the unimaginably influential acts that fed at this trough and in turn fed an even larger legion of copyists. 

There was considerable overlap and incestuous intermingling among this set (the KLF's Jimmy Cauty played with Killing Joke's Youth in Brilliant, who managed at least one great track before falling in the 80s pop arcade and Killing Joke drummer Paul Ferguson played with The Orb).

More proof that the most resonant pop culture has a firm grounding in the esoteric. A good argument could be made that esotericism's only real, objective value is in feeding into the culture through some form of art, whether you're talking music, comics, movies and so on.  That's certainly how the overwhelming majority of people experience it.

Of course, it's also a process that can be used for constructive or destructive ends.




Finally, I wanted to plug this amazing talk with Leslie Kean, whose new book deals with NDEs, reincarnation and other phenomena, on Rune Soup. Gordon is unique as a podcaster in that he always seems to be as knowledgable as his guests on their subjects (kind of terrifying when you consider the wide range of topics he covers) so like a great drummer he can keep the beat steady and propulsive. The first quarter of the show deals with Kean's UFO work so there's an added bonus.

I was especially interested in the talk on childhood reincarnation memories, a topic I've discussed here in the past. It was particularly interesting to hear that kids eventually outgrow these memories and that they're often based in the precedent's violent death. But the entire show is info-dense and nutrient rich and doesn't feel even remotely medicinal so do give it a spin.

It's funny: I can't help but notice that, as most other topics that a leisure-suited Leonard Nimoy may once have ruminated on seem to be receding into history's ether, NDEs UFOs and Synchronicity seem to be holding their own in our rationalist, prove-it anti-culture.  Probably because these are phenomena that non-initiates experience on a consistently-frequent basis. 

 Of course, there's also Bigfoot.

UPDATE: Speaking of Edinburgh and sevens here's an excerpt from a 2012 interview with the Siren. 

And this, she assures me at one point with a wild laugh, is her in decisive mood – she has turned a corner, having said no for such a long time she has resolved to start saying yes.

What's happened, I wonder, to make her feel so uncharacteristically bullish?
She thinks for a moment. "What can I say?" she says. "I think it has to do with sevens."


Sevens?

"I've always had a thing about sevens. And I am coming up for my 49th birthday in August. Seven sevens. It feels like a really important moment to consider all the things that are coming toward me." She stops for a while, reconsiders. "And my mum died very recently so maybe that has something to do with it too."
By the way, we're coming up fast on the 20th anniversary of Jeff Buckley's death.



          Walt Whitman: Singer of the Body Electric   
The fire, the sweet hell within,
The unknown want, the destiny of me.
— Walt Whitman
---
“By the time he was 12 years old, an apprentice printer in Brooklyn, Walt had lived in about a dozen different houses, each one more cramped than the last. Of the eight Whitman children who survived infancy, one was a mental defective and three were psychic disasters; three were normal, and one became the chief celebrant of what William James called ‘the religion of healthy-mindedness,’” wrote Justin Kaplan in Walt Whitman: A Life.
“Walt’s father … owned a copy of The Ruins, a celebrated attack on Christianity and supernaturalism by the French savant Count Constantin de Volney. Like others who grew up on such literature, Walt believed that a long, dark tyranny over man’s mind and body was at last coming to an end; the Children of Adam would be able to walk in their parents’ garden. Leaves of Grass borrowed the insurgent and questioning spirit of these mentors along with literal quotations from their writings.”
---
“Words, when he acquired language, became life itself, links to the external world and to his unconscious,” Kaplan wrote, quoting Whitman: “ ‘A perfect writer would make words sing, dance, kiss, do the male and female act, bear children, weep, bleed, rage, stab, steal, fire cannon, steer ships, sack cities, charge with cavalry or infantry, or do any thing that man or woman or the natural powers can do.’ Words were instruments of command and of relationship to a world waiting to be named for the first time.”
---
Whitman had the dubious benefit of a “…thrifty and national scheme of education devised by an English Quaker, Joseph Lancaster,” Kaplan noted. “Assisted by hierarchies of student monitors, one teacher was able to distribute rote learning, together with fundamental social values and strict notions of the good and the useful, to 200 and more pupils.
“Sometimes he invoked muscular Christianity and resorted to the birch rod, the cowhide strap and, in Whitman’s words, ‘other ingenious methods of child torture,’ mental as well as physical. He demanded unison, unquestioning obedience to regulations, undivided attention and a physical discipline that dictated the precise way to hold and close a book during recitations and the position of hands when students stood at parade rest.
“The Lancaster method was designed to separate children from their ignorance as cleanly and impersonally as Eli Whitney’s cotton gin separated fibers from seeds. It proved to be stupefying even for pupils less jealous of their emotional freedom than Walt.”
---
Whitman said that the first time he wanted to write anything was “…when I saw a ship under full sail, and had the desire to describe it exactly as it seemed to me.”
---
Whitman loved swimming with other young men, nude in the fashion of the 19th century, their bodies electric.

Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and tightening,
The continual changes of the flex of the mouth, and around the eyes,
The skin, the sun-burnt shade, freckles, hair,
The curious sympathy one feels, when feeling with the hand the naked meat of the body,
The circling rivers, the breath, and breathing it in and out…

“The young men ran dancing and laughing along the sand, bathed in the surf, fished, dug clams, speared messes of fat, sweet-meated eel,” wrote biographer Kaplan. “He loved swimming, of a passive sort — ‘I was a first-rate aquatic loafer,’ he recalled. ‘I possessed almost unlimited capacity for floating on my back.’ Cradled, rocked and drowsing, his body rolling ‘silently to and fro in the heave of the water,’ he lay suspended between the depths and the light, between the unconscious and the world of necessity.”
---
As a young man, Whitman wrote a bad didactic novel about the evils of drink, and edited a newspaper attacking Catholics and the Irish. For solutions, like other Americans, he looked West.
“Continentalism and Union were to shape Whitman’s poetic vision (‘I am large. I contain multitudes’),” Kaplan wrote. “ ‘California’s shores’ were not only the western boundaries of the Union — they were the boundaries of the found and the ‘yet unfound,’ the measure of his psychic growth. (‘Eastward I go only by force,’ Thoreau said, ‘but westward I go free.’)”
Unfortunately, Whitman’s enthusiasm for freedom only went so far. While sympathetic to the plight of individual black people, Whitman regarded their race as unfit for freedom and decried the “ranting” and “abominable fanaticism” of the abolitionists.
---
“Sylvester Graham, temperance reformer, physiological guru and eponym of the delicious cracker, joined in the battle against dyspepsia, or indigestion, a malady of epidemic proportions for Americans,” wrote Kaplan. “The “Peristaltic Persuader,” as he was called, favored internal and external applications of cold water and repasts of boiled vegetables and bread made from unsifted whole-wheat flour. Alcohol, tea, coffee and red meat were proscribed, on the grounds that they stimulated the lower nature.
“In a celebrated lecture on chastity, Graham argued that there had to be something amiss with any organ that sent priority messages to the brain — an erect penis was no more wholesome than a bloated stomach or an infected finger. According to him and other popular theorists of the day, the seminal loss for a man in one act of sexual intercourse was the equivalent of 40 ounces of blood, a fifth of the body’s supply. This appalling figure was a warning against sexual overindulgence — meaning more than once a month — could cause tuberculosis, convulsions, indigestion and even imbecilism; sex — especially masturbation — withered the thinking organs of men, just as thinking withered the reproductive organs of women. Sex was a major disorder, even a catastrophe; it was a wonder the species had lasted as long as it had.”
And then came Whitman. “By 1855, when Whitman presented himself coatless and bare-necked, his pelvis thrust forward, in his Leaves of Glass frontispiece, men of fashion were dressed from head to toe like black tubes,” Kaplan wrote. “No other poet of his century wrote about the body with such explicitness and joy, anatomizing it at rest and cataloguing its parts, celebrating it as an instrument of love:

“Without shame the man I like knows and avows the deliciousness of his sex,
“Without shame the woman I like knows and avows hers.

“No other poet of his century paid such a continuing high price for his boldness, ostracism, ostentatious neglect, ridicule, censorship, suppression.”
---
“…Whitman saw few encouraging signs in 1850. Democratic hope was at an ebb tide. Two years earlier, the overthrow of Louis Phillipe in France had touched off a wave of revolutions all over Europe. Americans rejoiced in the expectation that soon no throne would be left standing anywhere.

“‘God, ‘twas delicious,’ Whitman wrote,
‘That brief, tight, glorious grip
‘Upon the throats of kings.

“But the forces of liberal nationalism — Emerson’s ‘party of the Future,’ ‘the Movement’ — were crushed with appalling ferocity. The revolutionaries of 1848 died on the battlefields, at the barricades and before firing squads, or they fled into exile. Karl Marx spent the rest of his life in London writing Das Kapital in the reading room of the British Museum. Mazzini and Carl Schurz also took shelter in London; Giuseppe Garibaldi dipped candles on Staten Island. Whitman was to see the Hungarian patriot Louis Kossuth riding up Broadway. Reaction, repression and militarism prevailed once again.”
And then came the Civil War.
---
Whitman poured his love of young men onto the emotional desert of war, soothing its victims at great cost to himself.
“(H)e dedicated all his resources of physical and emotional strength into service to wounded soldiers, the maimed, the sick and the dying, for well nigh three years — until his strength broke down and he was prostrated for six months, probably the start of his later paralysis,” wrote A.L. Rowse in Homosexuals in History.
“He did an extraordinary job as a nurse-missionary-almoner all on his own; the doctors said that his services in the Washington war-hospitals and camps were more valuable than their own. Today he would be described as a psychotherapist; he was healer, father-confessor, dispenser of consolation and gifts he collected for the men. But his outpouring of love was the most important. A good lady-worker told him that the men were unresponsive. Little did she know: with limbs shattered, sick or dying, they longed to be kissed. Here was one young wounded New Yorker among thousands. ‘He behaved very manly and affectionate. The kiss I gave him as I was about leaving he returned fourfold. I had several such interviews with him. He died just after the one described.
“One cannot go into all that Walt did for these men, writing their letters, always bringing presents, spending all he could collect on them to keep their spirits going, consoling, hearing their prayers, taking their last messages.”
---
Neil McKenna, in his The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde, reported that in his trip to America in 1882, “Oscar desperately wanted to meet Walt Whitman, whom he and many others considered to be America’s living poet… Whitman’s poetry spoke of the potency of friendship and love between men, particularly between working-class men, and positively oozed homoeroticism. Indeed, the Calamus section of Whitman’s great poetic cycle Leaves of Grass was so intensely homoerotic that it gave rise to the short-lived term ‘calamite’ to denote a man who loved men.”
They spent hours together, drinking elderberry wine. “One of the first things I said was that I should call him ‘Oscar,’” Whitman reported. “‘I like that so much,’ he answered, laying his hand on my knee. He seemed to me like a great big, splendid boy. He is so frank, and outspoken, and manly. I don’t see why such mocking things are written of him.”
And Wilde’s reaction? David Friedman wrote that, “A Philadelphian joked that it must have been hard for Wilde to swallow the homemade wine Whitman had offered. For once Wilde rejected an invitation to snobbery. ‘If it had been vinegar, I should have drunk it all the same,’ he said. ‘I have an admiration for that man which I can hardly express.’”
---
Bronson Alcott, Louisa May’s father, was present when Whitman met Henry David Thoreau in 1856.
“Observing the edgy traffic between them, Alcott was reminded of ‘two beasts, each wondering what the other would do, whether to snap or run,”” Kaplan noted.
“He decided that either Henry was afraid Walt would steal his woods or Walt had recognized that for once he had met his match in Henry, ‘a sagacity potent, penetrating and peerless as his own,; an ego as unbiddable, an eye as hawklike. (Emerson surmised that perhaps Henry’s ‘fancy for Walt Whitman grew out of his taste for wild nature, for an otter, a woodchuck or a loon.’)… Each had his own vector of self-willed resistance to a trade- and conformity-minded society.”
Thoreau became an evangelical booster of Leaves of Grass.
---
Ralph Waldo Emerson urged Whitman to cut some of the more physically vivid passages from the expanding editions of Leaves of Grass. No more “love-flesh swelling and deliciously aching” or “limitless limpid jets of loves hot and enormous.” And please no more references to…

…The young man that wakes, deep at night, the hot hand seeking to repress what would master him;        
The mystic amorous night — the strange half-welcome pangs, visions, sweats,        
The pulse pounding through palms and trembling encircling fingers — the young man all color’d, red, ashamed, angry;

Whitman asked Emerson if the book would be as good without such passages. Emerson paused, then replied, “I did not say as good a book. I said a good book.”
Years later, Whitman said, “Expurgation is apology — yes, surrender — yes, an admission that something or other was wrong. Emerson said expurgate — I said no, no... I have not lived to regret my Emerson no.”
---
Whitman’s optimism was hard-pressed during the Civil War. In a single year, 1864, Whitman’s brother George became a prisoner of war and Whitman had his violent brother Jesse committed to the Kings County Lunatic Asylum. His alcoholic, widowed sister-in-law Nancy became a prostitute and gave birth to a son who was run over and killed by a brewery wagon in 1868. And Whitman’s nursing of all those shattered and dying soldiers he loved finally brought him to the verge of physical and mental collapse.
Yet, faced with calamity, Whitman determined “…to be self-balanced for contingencies,
“To confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, as the trees and animals do.”
---
Kaplan wrote: “Somehow I seem’d to get identity with each and every thing around me, in its condition,” (Whitman) said at Timber Creek. “Nature was naked, and I was also.” Earth rocks, trees and small living beings were lessons in imperturbability, concreteness and strength. “Being” was superior to “the human trait of mere seeming,” The human habit of “persistent strayings and sickly abstractions.”
---
Ironically, while Whitman could identify with small living beings, apparently he couldn’t do so with large ones who happened to be black.
Although opposed to slavery, Whitman remained a racist. Watching five black regiments of Gen. Ambrose Burnside’s army march in review, Whitman remarked, “It looked funny to see the president standing with his hat off to them just the same as the rest.”
---
The following is from a Bill Moyers essay: “American democracy grew a soul, as it were -- given voice by one of our greatest poets, Walt Whitman, with his all-inclusive embrace in Song of Myself:

“Whoever degrades another degrades me,
and whatever is done or said returns at last to me...
I speak the pass-word primeval — I give the sign of democracy;
By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpart of on the same terms...
(I am large -- I contain multitudes.)”

Author Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has vividly described Whitman seeing himself in whomever he met in America. As he wrote in I Sing the Body Electric:
“-- the horseman in his saddle,
Girls, mothers, house-keepers, in all their performances,
The group of laborers seated at noon-time with their open dinner-kettles and their wives waiting,
The female soothing a child — the farmer’s daughter in the garden or cow-yard,
The young fellow hoeing corn --”
…Whitman saw something else in the soul of the country: Americans at work, the laboring people whose toil and sweat built this nation.  Townsend contrasts his attitude with the way politicians and the media today — in their endless debates about wealth creation, capital gains reduction and high corporate taxes — seem to have forgotten working people. “But Whitman wouldn’t have forgotten them.” She writes, “He celebrates a nation where everyone is worthy, not where a few do well.”
---
I dream in my dream all the dreams of the other dreamers.
And I become the other dreamers….
Now in a moment I know what I am for, I awake.
— Walt Whitman

Whitman was apparently subject to kenshō, that spontaneous mental state described by Dumoulin as “… an insight into the identity of one’s own nature with all of reality in an eternal now, as a vision that removes all distinctions.”
“He had shared the experience of countless people, irreligious by common standards, who had flashes of illumination or ecstasy — even Caliban saw the clouds open and ‘cried to dream again,’” Whiteman biographer Justin Kaplan wrote. “These experiences have a remembered correlative or ‘trigger.’ With Whitman it was the sea, music, the grass, the green world of summer. The rhythm of these experiences is sexual and urgent — tumescence, climax, detumescence — but the ‘afterglow’ may last a lifetime, as it did with him, and he invited it an prolonged it through poetry; the poet was the shaman of modern society — a master of ‘the techniques of ecstasy.’"

          Earth, Wind & Fire - Illumination (2004) [2005, Japan]   
Earth, Wind & Fire - Illumination (2004) [2005, Japan]

Re-Up
          My CDO-Dahilayan 55k Trail Ultramarathon   
CDO City Hall
“Congratulations, pre! Ultramarathon virgin no more,” this text I received from my good friend Gifford, an ultrarunner, uplifted me as I was traversing the long stretch of gradual inclined trail leading to Dahilayan. I was already way past the ‘wall’ of the marathon distance of 42.195 km. Where I am was in the ‘death grip’ of the ultra. 

I had registered a month before for the Cagayan de Oro-Dahilayan (in Bukidnon) 55k Trail Ultramarathon, the first and longest to be held in Northern Mindanao and the first to use timing chips.

Pre-breakfast Pastel
I started the run in the back of the pack with 10 or so runners behind me. The bulk of the participants easily climbed the first of unending uphill climbs starting at km 2. My strategy was to finish the race within the cut-off time of 12 hours by running 3 minutes and walking 1 minute. At this rate, I could arrive within 10 hours with 2 hours to spare for any eventualities. I walked all the uphill climbs and ran downhill as planned.

I was also taking in the scenic route. Taking pictures along sleepy towns and barangays as my support vehicle leaped frog me every 3-5 km or so in between aid stations.

Brgy Kil-og
There were downhill trails I could not run lest I sprain an ankle this early as my headlamp provided only little illumination along the path.

Massage midway through an uphill
When the sun rose, I was at a mountain barangay where people greeted me and children gave me high fives.

I stopped often to take in the view. There was one stretch of trail where there was not a whimper of a ghost. I had heard that Bukidnon was a rebel infested area so I ran this course as fast as I could. I did not know that barangay tanods and policemen were strategically placed nearby.

The Municipality of Libona, Camp 09 and Camp Philips were just a glimpse. A spectator in the race in a small town called Agusan Canyon asked me in tagalog if I was from Manila. “Taga Agusan pod ko, manang. Pero Agusan del Sur”. That elicited laughter from her friends.

I was enjoying the run.

Km 20 spectators
But at km 48 and almost 10 hours of running and hiking, I was feeling rather fatigued, down and sleepy. The crunching sound of gravel and stone underneath my running shoes were becoming a sickening thud. I could see nothing but rows and rows of pineapple fields under the heat of the noontime sun. 

Hours earlier at km 40, my Garmin (GPS watch) had run out of battery. I had no idea now how far to go and how much time had elapsed. That disappointed me a lot. We were only using my support vehicle’s odometer reading to get an estimate and it said 48.

Trails!
At one point, I told my crew I was going to take a nap for 5 minutes but then they let me sleep for 10. When I woke, I was energized once again.

I reached aid station 50 at the end of the field. 5 more to go, I thought. I gathered my strength and power hiked the rest of the way as I could no longer run for more than 20 seconds at most due to fatigue.

After what seemed like forever, I asked a local on horseback how far yet to Dahilayan Adventure Zone and her answer was around 5-6 km. What the…! I could not believe it! A fellow runner came up to me and said they made a mistake in the sign posts. Tough luck!

Downhill portion of Camp 09
More trails!
After more walks, lunch and rest, I came around a bend and saw km 55. Yes 55! But I was nowhere near Dahilayan yet or where the party was. I hiked for more. Another sign said “850 m to Dahilayan”.

Pineapple fields of Del Monte
That was probably the longest hike I have ever felt. Rain poured down on me and mud cakes were forming everywhere. It was quite slippery to run and my shoes were carrying mud, excess weight to a tired runner. My support vehicle was slipping and sliding as it went past.

At Km 55 with 2.5 more to go
I persisted and climbed on fours as the rain intensified. Finally at the top of the hill, I saw the big letters of the word “FINISH”. I raised my arms, stood for a few moments underneath and contemplated how I managed 55 as I heard the clicks of SLRs everywhere.

I made it! Yes, ultramarathon virgin no more!

Click to enlarge ultrarunner :-)
The advantage of finishing at the back of the pack is that everybody else is lined up to see you arrive.
Elevation profile 40 of 55 km
Map from my Garmin up to km 40

I’m thankful to my support crew for staying up with me. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to make it.
F1 (Ultra)Runner

To my families and friends who kept texting me words of encouragement that I can make it;

To my fellow runners and adiks in dailymile and Facebook who motivated me all those months during my training runs;

Thanks a lot! See you on the road… and on the trails, my friends! 

          Interconnection - visionary projection mapping - the winner of iMapp 2016   

Winner of both awards of the contest: Jury's Choice Award and People's Choice Award.

The piece focuses on the interconnectedness of all things, the micro and the macro, the outer and the inner universe. Connecting logical and emotional, individuals and society, art and audience, planet and galaxies, architecture and animation etc. Even though we often lose touch with the bigger picture, we are all part of a cosmic network. It is only the human mind’s false perception that inner and outer are separated, causing confusion and misunderstanding in the world sometimes.
The piece is aiming to reopen the dialogue between the internal and external through a cinematic journey from the state of separation to the state of eternal openness.
We are aiming to draw from contemporary visionary art and architecture, sacred geometry, even physics and chemistry to turn the Palace of Parliament into a vibrant, endlessly beautiful scenery of our symbolic dialogue. Integrating the facade's architectural characteristics into our artwork is also a key element in the concept adding an extra value to this conversation between artist and audience, the city and its citizens.

Created by Limelight 3D Projection Mapping feat Global Illumination

Director : Antonin Križanić
Visual Design: Antonin Križanić, David Vígh
Producer: István Dávid
Music: AMB - Set In Stone
Sound fx: Fine Cut Bodies

Animation:
Antonin Križanić
David Vígh
Viktor Vicsek
Csaba Világosi
Máté Fekete
Már Miklós

iMapp Bucharest is an event organized by the Municipality of Bucharest through creart – the Center for Creation, Art and Tradition; 360 Revolution as the Event Production Company and Maxin10sity as the Curator.

Cast: Limelight 3d Projection Mapping, AMB, Fine Cut Bodies, david vigh, Viktor Vicsek, Antonin K. and Csaba Vilagosi

Tags: mapping, limelight, projection, interconnection, winner, videomapping, jury's award, imapp, 3d, people's choice award, digital art and motion graphics


          Sarshar – illuminati (instrumental)   

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The post Sarshar – illuminati (instrumental) appeared first on RadioFaryad The Best And First Persian Music | Movie, Series & Radio.


          RELEASE BLITZ FOR SECRETS OF THE HANGED MAN   




SECRETS OF THE HANGED MAN
Icarus Fell series, book 3
by Bruce Blake

Genre: Urban Fantasy



Icarus Fell thought the afterlife couldn't get any worse...until Hell came looking for him.

When you are the orphaned child of a disgraced nun, and you're saddled with a ridiculous name like Icarus Fell, you don't expect things can go drastically downhill.

Until death comes along and an archangel recruits you for a job you screw up so badly you nearly lose your son to a demonic priest and a fallen angel.

And then, burdened by the lives lost because of your foul ups, you travel to Hell, a detour that costs you more dearly then you could ever have imagined.

No, things couldn't get much worse in the afterlife...unless Satan sends his lap dog to bring back the one thing he thinks belongs to him.

You.

Why couldn't death be easy?


The man tottered past the door without a second look and entered my territory. I held my breath. I didn’t imagine for a second he’d hear me breathing, but it’s what you do when you don’t want people to find you, a tactic every kid learns playing hide-and-seek.

He stopped a few feet away, wobbling side to side like a man standing on the deck of a ship at sea rather than a stable patch of cement behind the fifth best Italian joint in town. I didn’t fancy the look of him: he resembled a man unable to hold his booze.

Desperate to prove me right, he jerked to the side, bent at the waist and threw up on a pile of garbage bags.

“Jesus, dude. Careful. I think you got some on my shoes.”

Startled, the man fell back, his ass squishing on a damp piece of cardboard. He surveyed my dark corner, staring right at me without seeing me, probably shocked at a trash heap that spoke English. I toyed with the idea of fucking with him, but my annoyance at his presence squashed the desire. It made more sense to get rid of him because the dinner rush would be done soon, and I didn’t want to share the bounty.

I leaned forward and his gaze found me, not exactly like looking in a mirror for him because his rumpled and creased business suit and recently-cut-but-out-of-place short hair didn’t match my look. In eight months, I’d been near a barber once to ask for change, never for a trim. And opportunities to wash oneself or one’s clothes came along infrequently when living on the street—ditto the chance to shave—so I’d done neither in weeks. My patchy teenage beard probably made me look more like a crazy man.

“S...sorry, ah, dude.” The man wiped his mouth on his sleeve, then his hands on his pants. “I didn’t see you.”

He didn’t sound as intimidated as I’d hoped. “No sweat, man. Just don’t puke on me again.”

“Sure.”

He clawed at trash bags, clambering in the manner of a turtle flipped on its back until he got his feet under him, then brushed at the grime on his overcoat, smudging it across the lapel with his grubby hands. Smearing complete, he stood watching me, arms dangling loose at his sides.

I faded into the shadows, looked at the end of my joint to make sure it was still lit, then took a deep drag, the burner’s orange glow illuminating my lips and the tip of my nose. With one eye closed to keep the smoke out, I held my breath for a few seconds, then puffed it free of my lungs in a swirling cloud. The man breathed deep, inhaling the sweet odor of marijuana, and looked at me expectantly.

“You want a hit, dude?” Maybe if I shared my weed, I wouldn’t have to share the food when it arrived.

“S...sure.”

He took a step, hand extended to accept my offer.

“Grab a seat.”

I shuffled over in a rustle of cardboard and plastic, creating space for him to sit and thinking that, if I got him high enough fast enough, he wouldn’t notice when room service showed up. The guy looked a lightweight, so it shouldn’t take much.

He slouched forward to take a seat and lost his balance; on the way down, his forehead smacked against the brick wall and he tumbled into my lap. I jerked my hand away, barely keeping him from knocking the joint out of my fingers.

“Come on, man. First you lose your cookies on me, now you sit on me? Get it together.”

“S-s-sorry.” The stuttered word bore the distinct slur of inebriation, or maybe the ding he’d taken to the noodle caused it. He shinnied himself off me, coming too-close-for-comfort to pawing my balls as he did, then scooted his butt around until he found a comfortable spot amongst the garbage. “My name is Jack.”

He held out his hand for me to shake, but instead of the usual societal formalities, I offered him the joint. Jack took it between his thumb and index finger and inhaled with the exaggerated sucking sound made by people who don’t normally smoke. He held his breath and passed the reefer back. I grinned when his lungs revolted and a held-in cough bulged his cheeks, making him resemble a poor impersonation of Dizzy Gillespie.

“Good shit, hey?”

“Yeah,” Jack agreed struggling to inhale a breath of fresh air. “Good shit.”

I took another pull of the joint. “I haven’t seen you around before. You’re not dressed like most of the guys who hang out here.”

He looked down at his suit and I followed his gaze to the streak of puke down the front of his jacket, the spots of grime on the lapel. His purple tie hung askew and the creased tails of his mauve shirt hung over his belt.

“Had a fight with my girlfriend,” he said and belched the mixed aroma of puke and ganja. I waved my hand to clear the air; he swallowed and grimaced. “She’s pregnant.”

“And this is how you celebrate?”

Jack shook his head and winced with pain. “Nothing to celebrate. Kid can’t be mine.”

“Shitty, dude. Another drag?”

He blinked, then rubbed his hand across his eyes like someone scrubbing the sleepiness away. I waited for a second, but he didn’t seem to have heard me, so I elbowed him in the ribs to get his attention.

“You all right, man?”

“Yeah, I’m good.”

He took the joint, blinking. I thought the smoke caused it but, when he turned, I saw blood flowing into his eyes from the gash he’d given himself in the forehead. A trail of dark fluid ran from his hairline, past his eye, along his cheek and down to his jaw.

“Dude, you got some blood there.”

Jack’s eyes rolled up, looking for the wound like a dog chasing its tail, then he giggled at himself for trying to see his own forehead. He transferred the joint to his left hand, touched his head and lowered his fingers in front of his eyes.

“Banged my head,” he said and took a toke. “Hurts.”

“I bet.”




To some, death is the end; to others, a beginning. To Icarus Fell, it should have been a relief from a life gone seriously awry.

But death had other plans.

Icarus doesn't believe that the man awaiting him when he wakes up in a cheap motel room is really the archangel Michael, or that God's right hand wants him to help souls on their way to Heaven. Icarus doesn't believe there's a Heaven, so why should they want his help?

But the man claiming to be the archangel tempts him with an offer he can't ignore--harvest enough souls and get back the life he wished he'd had.

It seems Icarus has nothing to lose, until he botches a harvest and the soul that went to Hell instead of Heaven comes back to make him pay by threatening to take away the life he hoped to win back.

To save the wife and son he already lost once, Icarus will have to become the man he never was. Somehow, he will have to learn to believe.


If we're good, we go to Heaven; if we're bad we go to Hell. No one wants to go to Hell.

Except one man who wishes people would just remember to call him Ric.

In the aftermath of a serial killer's murderous spree, souls who didn't deserve damnation went to Hell. The archangel Michael doesn't seem concerned, but Icarus Fell can't bear the guilt of knowing it's his fault they ended up there.

But how can he save them when the archangel forbids him from going and his guardian angel refuses to help?

The answer comes in the form of another beautiful, bewitching guardian angel who offers to be his guide. They travel to Hell to rescue the unjustly damned one by one, but salvation comes at a cost and the economy of Hell demands souls.

Is it a price Icarus is willing to pay?



Bruce Blake lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. When pressing issues like shovelling snow and building igloos don't take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest coffee shop to work on his short stories and novels.

Actually, Victoria, B.C. is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow. Since snow isn't really a pressing issue, Bruce spends more time trying to remember to leave the "u" out of words like "colour" and "neighbour" than he does shovelling (and watch out for those pesky double l's). The father of two, Bruce is also the trophy husband of a burlesque diva.

Facebook ✯ Website ✯ Twitter ✯ Goodreads ✯ Amazon ✯ PGP author page


          Ultrasonic Aroma Oil Diffuser   
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This decorative oak wood diffuser produces soothing ultrasonic cool mist to diffuse the scent of your favorite essential oils throughout the room, while a color-changing LED under a frosted glass cover provides soft illumination.

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          Yamaha : YZF-R   
Web: http://www.store-168.com MSN/Email:yousupplier@hotmail.com 路1 GP tech trickles down: Revised rigidity of the main frame between the engine mounts and steering head, a new, more rigid lower triple clamp, a 20mm-longer swingarm produce the best-handling R1 ever. 路2 Shorter valve guides and other revisions increase intake flow and reduce friction, for more power. 路3 Gold-colored forks look great. 路4 Revised clutch boss provides increased oil flow for excellent durability. Engine: 路1 Short-stroke 998cc DOHC, 20-valve, liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine. 路2 Dual-valve fuel injection system uses motor-driven secondary throttle valves and 32-bit ECU for super-responsive, instantaneous power delivery. 路3 Two-piece ergonomically designed fuel tank carries fuel in the rear section, for good centralization of mass, while the front half contains a Ram-Air-fed airbox for increased power. 路4 Lay-down design cylinder head鈥?0 degrees forward鈥?optimizes weight distribution, straightens intake tracts for improved cylinder filling, and allows frame to pass over instead of around the engine for great strength and a narrow chassis. 路5 Closed-deck cylinder block increases strength and allows a narrow engine in spite of big, 77mm bores. 路6 Narrow-angle five-valve combustion chambers produce a highly efficient 12.4:1 compression ratio. Big valves and high-lift cams flow plenty of air. 路7 Carburized connecting rods with fractured big ends produce a quick-revving engine with excellent high-rpm durability. 路8 High silicon-content ceramic-composite cylinder sleeves ensure great heat dissipation for consistent power delivery and reduced friction. 路9 Strong, yet lightweight clutch and close-ratio six-speed gearbox with triangulated shaft layout for great strength, compactness, and quicker acceleration. 路10 Titanium underseat exhaust system (with stainless steel midpipe and catalyst) contains a titanium EXUP valve for a broad, seamless powerband. 路11 High-efficiency curved radiator and an aluminum liquidcooled oil cooler maintain stable operating temperature. 路12 Direct ignition coils, dual-electrode spark plugs and highoutput magneto deliver extremely accurate, reliable firing. 路13 AC generator behind cylinder block produces a narrow engine with excellent cornering clearance. Chassis/Suspension: 路1 Overall frame width of only 15.6 inches produces comfortable ergonomics as well as efficient aerodynamic penetration. 路1 Controlled Fill die cast, truss-type swingarm is very strong and longer, for optimal traction and feedback. 路2 Controlled Fill die cast, detachable aluminum subframe is light, strong and allows easy rear shock access. 路3 Dual 320mm front disc brakes; light/strong, forged one-piece radial-mount calipers and Brembo radial-pump front master cylinder with adjustable lever delivers amazing braking power and controllability. 路4 Fully adjustable KYB inverted telescopic front fork with 43mm tubes provides 4.7 inches of travel. 路5 Piggyback rear shock gives 5.1 inches of wheel travel, full adjustability and a lightweight, accessible aluminum preload adjustment collar. 路6 Light, five-spoke wheels enhance acceleration, deceleration, handling and suspension action. Additional Features: 路1 Two multi-reflector and two projector beam headlights provide great illumination and distinctive style. 路2 Adjustable LCD illumination and multi-function digital gauges: adjustable shift light, odometer, dual tripmeters, water temperature, air temperature, full-time clock, lap timer and large 15,000 rpm analog tachometer. 路3 Aggressive bodywork with twin Ram-Air intakes for increased engine performance. 路4 LED taillight is light, bright and highly efficient. 路5 Sticky 120/70-ZR17 and 190/50-ZR17 radial tires for incredible grip and precise handling. 路6 Forged footpegs are extra durable and light. 路7 Extensive use of hollow bolts and lightweight fasteners helps trim overall weight. 路8 8.2 AH battery is compact and light. 路9 Durable #530 O-ring鈥搒ealed drive chain. 路10 Standard toolkit located in convenient storage compartment under passenger seat Engine Type 998cc, liquid-cooled, 20-valve, DOHC, in-line four-cylinder Bore x Stroke 77 x 53.6mm Compression Ratio 12.4:1 Carburetion Fuel injection, dual-valve throttle bodies with motor-driven secondary valves Ignition Digital TCI Transmission 6-speed w/multi-plate clutch Final Drive #530 O-ring chain Chassis Suspension/Front 43mm inverted telescopic fork w/adjustable preload, compression damping, rebound damping; 4.7" travel Suspension/Rear Single shock w/adjustable preload, compression damping, rebound damping, spring preload; 5.1" travel Brakes/Front Dual 320mm discs; radial-mount forged 4-piston calipers Brakes/Rear 220mm disc w/single-piston pin-slide caliper Tires/Front 120/70-ZR17 Tires/Rear 190/50-ZR17 Dimensions Length 82.1" Width 28.3" Height 43.5" Seat Height 32.9" Wheelbase 55.7" Rake (Caster Angle) 24.0掳 Trail 3.8" Fuel Capacity 4.75 gal. Dry Weight 381 lbs. Other Main Jet Not Applicable Main Air Jet Not Applicable Jet Needle Not Applicable Needle Jet Not Applicable Pilot Air Jet 1 Not Applicable Pilot Outlet Not Applicable Pilot Jet Not Applicable Primary Reduction Ratio 65/43 (1.512) Secondary Reduction Ratio 45/17 (2.647) Gear Ratio - 1st Gear 38/15 (2.533) Gear Ratio - 2nd Gear 33/16 (2.063) Gear Ratio - 3rd Gear 37/21 (1.762) Gear Ratio - 4th Gear 35/23 (1.522) Gear Ratio - 5th Gear 30/22 (1.364) Gear Ratio - 6th Gear 33/26 (1.269)
          Voices of Women with Host Kris Steinnes: Breaking into Brilliance with Lynn Singer   
EpisodeBreaking Into Brilliance: An Awakening of Creative Consciousne is Lynn Singer's gift to mankind-an astonishing, interactive, animated, emotional,  online EXPERIENCE masquerading as a book. Yes, it may open like an online book, but watch as the storytelling unfolds, pictures move, maps unfurl, Lynn's honeyed voice lures you into new depths of yourself and illuminating breakthroughs. There's even an interactive iJournal entry on each page to record your own responses, questions and search ...
          Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 6/22 - MATILDA, OKLAHOMA, and More!   

BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature MATILDA, OKLAHOMA, CHICAGO, and more!

Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below!


Australia: Contributor Barry Lenny reviews MATILDA at the Adelaide Festival Theatre. He writes "Lucy Maunder plays the appropriately named, Miss Honey, all sweetness and light, without allowing her performance to descend into syrupy sentimentality. Maunder creates the teacher whom we all wish we had had in out first years at school, warm, gentle, supportive, and caring, the complete opposite of the headmistress. James Millar is hilarious as Miss Trunchbull, the villain of the piece. He struts, growls, shouts, and mentally and physically abuses the children. His Miss Trunchbull is an arrogant tyrant, charging through the students like a combine harvester in a wheat field, with audience laughter following him every step of the way."


Los Angeles: Contributing Editor Don Grigware reviews 3-D Theatricals' OKLAHOMA! He writes "The ensemble headed by Aks and Zachary Ford as Curly are magnificent triple threat performers. Aks has an operatic voice that dazzles and Ford has grown over the years into an exceedingly fine singer and actor. Tom Berklund as Will Parker makes his acrobatic dance moves look second nature and gives a superb performance. In line with the American Dream, both Will and Curly as played by Berklund and Ford show strength and determination in getting ahead and settling down with the women of their choice. Aks as Laurey is a much more complex character than previous Laureys we have seen. Dawson keeps the emphasis throughout on her tomboyish quality and her great outer strength in helping Aunt Eller ( the terrific Tracy Rowe Mutz) run the farm ... and on her fear of commitment to a relationship. When she pushes Curly aside, rejecting his advances, she is deeply struggling to understand her feelings and also her other unusual emotional connection to Jud Fry. Aks is as wonderful with Laurey's inner consternations as Kelly Dorney is with Ado Annie's openly aggressive reactions to the male element. Dorney's is a delicious performance full of feistiness and fun. Bonds is a sensation as Fry, exuding at times a brutal coldness, yet underneath we sense that there's a lot going on, some of which entails a sort of kind intent, apart from the expected cruelty. Boudreau as Hakim is hysterically delightful as the devious merchant, and E. E. Bell as Andrew Carnes, Ado Annie's pa, is simply great in a smaller role, as is Matt Merchant who stands out from among the 40+ ensemble as the stubborn, outspoken Cord Elam."


New Zealand: Contributing Editor Monica Moore reviews The Pumphouse Theatre's BRING IT ON. She writes "All cast members performed with a credibility beyond their years. Samantha Campbell was the anchor of the show and kept it moving along with her very talented performances. Comedic side kick Xanthe Pavlovich provided plenty of laughs as did Jaymee Brearly along and Kristin Paulse provided a fresh and earthy stage presence winning the audience over with her originality. The choreography (Gemma Boswell) was great and the cheerleading moves were creatively worked in. The basketball number was a personal favourite and kept me on the edge of my seat.


Phoenix: Contributor Herbet Paine reviews THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME. He writes "The supporting performances in this production are crisp and engaging. Gene Gillette cuts a sympathetic figure as Christopher's overbearing and protective father, desperately seeking to connect with his son while keeping a secret that may alienate him. Felicity Jones Latta is gripping as the mother whose frustration and guilt tear at her heart. Maria Elena Ramirez is perfect and relatable as Christopher's teacher who understands him better than anyone, provides moral support, and, as a play within a play, narrates the book he's written about his journey."


Chicago: Contributor Rachel Weinberg reviews MOBY DICK at Lookingglass Theatre Company. She writes "While the story may lag in places, MOBY DICK is consistently well-acted. As Ishmael, Jamie Abelson (who performs at all evening shows) embodies the earnest outsider in every way. Abelson's performance is endearing and slightly perturbed, which mirrors the dark overall tone of the tale. Anthony Fleming III is exceptional and often quite funny as Queequeg, Ishmael's fellow outsider on the Pequod. Fleming is not only a superb actor, but also one of the most accomplished acrobats on board the ship. Kareem Bandealy is consistently wonderful as the pragmatic shipman Starbuck. And as the infamous Captain Ahab, Nathan Hosner paints a disturbing portrait as an off-kilter man consumed by an unceasing thirst for revenge."


Central New York: Contributor Natasha Ashley reviews CHICAGO at the Central New York Playhouse. She writes "Shannon Tompkins' (also cast as Velma Kelly in select performances) choreography, based on Bob Fosse's original choreography, is some of the best that I have seen at this theatre. The Fosse-style dance expertise of ensemble member and Assistant Choreographer Stephfond Brunson also brought a wow factor to the proceedings. His solo dance in "Tap Dance" is a standout moment in the show. The choreography for this number is intricate, seductive, and intense."


Niagara on the Lake: Contributor Michael Rabice reviews THE MADNESS OF GEORGE THE III at the Shaw Festival. He writes "Director Kevin Bennett moves the evening along swiftly, but at the times the complexity of the dialogue as well as the various accents and dialects made the long first act a challenge. Mr. Bennett novelly chose to have the actors interact with the audience before each of the two acts. Subtle lighting changes make you unaware that the play begins with full house lights up, but then slowly dim as the action melds from off stage to onstage. Set designer Ken MacDonald has created an ingenious unit set that cleverly mirrors the actual interior of the Royal George Theatre. Box seats have been built on either side of the playing area, where actual theatre goers are seated. This brings an immediacy to the play, allowing these audience members to be embedded in the action, giving them a few bits of business to complete the staging."


New York / Dance: Contributor Christina Pandolfi reviews SWAN LAKE at American Ballet Theatre. She writes "And yet, all of that changed in the best way at the start of Act III in the great hall. The drama unfolded as von Rothbart appeared on the scene, introducing partygoers to his daughter, Odile. This time, Seo - dancing the iconic dual role of Odette/Odile - was edgy, sharp, and biting, as she bourréed with cutting intent and determination. Gomes matched her intensity, but offered a more subtle approach, lending her the steadfast guidance and support she deserved. The only time Seo showed her humanity was during the BLACK SWAN variation, where a repeated series of pirouettes tripped up her stability."


Cleveland: Contributor Roy Berko reviews AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at State Theatre. He writes "The elegant, artsy projections by 59 Productions create a cityscape of Paris, that makes the smell of baguettes baking, the trickling sound of the meandering Seine River, and the illuminating gaslights of the city live. The effect is aided by the lighting of Natasha Katz and the scenery and costumes by Bob Crowley. The orchestrations are both lush and, at times, jazzy. The musical sounds are full, enhancing the singing and dancing. The triple threat cast is generally strong. The petite, lovely, Sara Esty, a Leslie Caron look-alike, who was the understudy for the Broadway run, captivates as Lise. Her dancing, singing and acting are top-notch. (BTW, her sister, Leigh-Ann plays the roll on Sunday evenings during the Cleveland run)."


Chicago: Contributor Rachel Weinberg reviews THE KING AND I at Broadway in Chicago. She writes "Sher has assembled a talented and powerful ensemble for this tour. In Laura Michelle Kelly's self-assured Anna, Sher has found a tremendous leading lady for the tour. Not only is Kelly a perfectly expert vocalist, but she gives freely to her performance. Her Anna strikes the balance between firm and tender. Kelly's performance of the showstopper "Shall I Tell You What I Think of You" is particularly interesting; it's softer and less outright angry than other takes I've seen, but in a way that grants the number even more power for we see how deeply Anna feels in that moment. Kelly is well-matched by José Llana as the King of Siam. Llana's King is less severe than others I've seen, and one of the strongest singers I've seen in this role. That's an added benefit, especially because it makes Anna and the KIng's iconic duet "Shall We Dance?" all the more enjoyable."


Regional Editor Spotlight:

Don Grigware
Los Angeles Contributing Editor

Don Grigware is an Ovation nominated actor and journalist/writer whose contributions to theatre through the years have included 6 years as theatre editor of NoHoLA, a contributor to LA Stage Magazine and currently on his own website:
www.grigwaretalkstheatre.com

Don hails from Holyoke, Massachusetts and holds two Masters Degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Education and Bilingual Studies. He is a teacher of foreign language and ESL.

"I enjoy meeting people at shows who recognize me and tell me that they read my reviews. I'm always surprised....happy, but surprised. Having a direct effect on people and their theatre choices is what it's all about for me. We as writers do make a difference. I love the theatre as an actor, a writer and want to support good theatre in Los Angeles.Actors and their creative teams desperately need our support. I am lucky to have a terrific writing team and we work well together to get the word out. BWW is the largest online outlet to promote theatre all over the world and I am honored to be a part of it."


Join Team BroadwayWorld! Interested in joining our team, but not exactly sure what we do? All of your questions are answered, along with every open position from guest and student bloggers, Regional Editors, and more! Find out where we have open positions available here!


          Studying Up with A Skeptic’s Guide to Conspiracy   

Mike Bohler has been studying and debunking conspiracy theories since the old days of computer bulletin board systems. He ran a system called Radio Free Illinois under the pseudonym of Dr. Oldsmobile, where he routinely posted the results of his efforts to discover the truth behind the hype of conspiracy theories. He has an avid interest in historical conspiracies, particularly those involving Pearl Harbor, but he’s also interested in other aspects of American history including the American Civil War and the Progressive Era in the United States.

Now, in the age of the Internet, Bohler has decided to put his research on these fascinating topics online in the form of a blog and a podcast titled A Skeptic’s Guide to Conspiracy. Since 2011, he’s been putting all his exhaustive and thorough research to good use by providing a valuable resource for anybody looking for skeptical information about conspiracy theories.

Bohler agreed to answer a few questions from the Skeptical Briefs’s Gurmukh Mongia.

Man with tinfoil on his head

Gurmukh Mongia: What is it about conspiracies that you think really fires the public’s imagination and gets people interested in hearing more about them?

Mike Bohler: I believe there are a couple of reasons that people will be attracted enough by conspiracy theories to advocate for them. First of all is the aspect that deals with the personal fears that many people face. This is on the basic necessity level, things like having food on the table and a roof over your head. Many conspiracies prey on people’s fears of losing these basic needs. A one-world government, for example, is often envisioned as a totalitarian state which will take away all rights to personal property.

The second reason relates more to politics, which builds upon personal fears but adds a level of in-group versus out-group dynamics into the mix. This, again, plays into people’s fears—paranoia even—of overreaching intrusions into not only personal affairs but into group level persecutions. Simply put, many conspiracies feed our natural level of paranoia. They often provide a simple enemy and objective for directing our fear and anger. The fear generated by conspiracy theories can be a powerful motivation towards action.

Mongia: What was your inspiration for starting the podcast? What makes your show different?

Bohler: Several factors converged which led me to start podcasting. My basic interest in the topic of conspiracy theories in general, and the topic of the Pearl Harbor conspiracies in particular, led me to want to do something that would help me get my views out to an audience. I thought about writing a book on my opinions of the Pearl Harbor conspiracies, but I was unsure about how to go about that, and I thought a podcast would be a wonderful way to get my views directly through to the public.

I have personally known people who lost their life savings believing in the Y2K conspiracy. It’s very sad that honest and hard working people lose their life savings because of conspiracy theories that prey on their fears. Sometimes, belief in these conspiracies can even result in death. I believe that greater public awareness of these issues can only be a good thing.

I had started listening to podcasts, especially skeptical podcasts, and I was very impressed with the power of this medium to allow individuals to fairly easily get their voice and their message out to a wider audience. With so many skeptical podcasts out there, though, I needed an angle to try to make my voice heard. I noticed that most skeptical podcasts focused on scientific based conspiracies such as vaccine denial or homeopathy. I felt like there was a niche here that I could fill with my aforementioned interest in historical based conspiracies such as Pearl Harbor, the Illuminati, and holocaust denial.

Mongia: Do you have one or two favorite or most memorable shows? What are they and why?

Bohler: I was very pleased to see how popular my episode on celebrity conspiracies was with my audience. I got a lot of very encouraging feedback from that episode, as well as requests for more material on these kinds of topics. I am, however, particularly fond of my Pearl Harbor shows. I have done so much reading and research on the events leading up to the attack that I feel like it would be difficult to find much in the way of information that I have not already gathered on the topic. In spite of this, I find different angles on the topic endlessly fascinating, and the range and depth of the accompanying conspiracy theories are very rewarding.

Mongia: You do extensive research for your episodes. Have you ever come across facts or arguments in your research that have led you to conclusions that have surprised you?

Bohler: This happens to me all the time. I feel like it’s a skeptic’s job to look at an issue from a variety of possible angles and consider information that doesn’t completely mesh with your preconceived notions. There have been many cases where I chase down one line of thought and discover either a piece of information that would fit well as part of a different conspiracy, or more usually a line of inquiry that I never thought of. Most of the time it doesn’t change my basic opinion on a conspiracy, but it can add a lot of nuance to the exercise of understanding the facts of the situation and the mindset of the people who advocate these theories.


A Skeptic’s Guide to Conspiracy may be found on the web at mikebohler.com. The podcast may also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/ASGTC and on iTunes. Mike Bohler may be followed on Twitter through the handle @JDRipper1962, and he may be reached over email for feedback at feedback@mikebohler.com. If you have any interesting research or data that you feel may be useful to Bohler, you may send it to research@mike
bohler.com.


          Religion and Civilization Part II   

Thomas Jefferson
The following article is written in a form of an open letter to Andrew Sullivan a man I much admire for his wit and candor and for his erudition. I don't expect to match Mr. Sullivan's erudition but am prepared to rebut his well written and thoughtful piece, “Christianity in Crisis,” an article that I am in essentially agreement with, especially with respect to Sullivan's critique of modern Christianity. He claims that Christianity has become too intertwined with partisan politics. His arguments are provocative and persuasive. He starts with Thomas Jefferson, always a winner in my view, who's incredible chutzpah, to borrow an expression from the Jews, led him to editing the Holy Book. And not just any holy book, the Christian Bible.
Dear Andrew (may I call you Andrew?),
I think it took immense courage for you to take on the religious zealots of our time. One of my favorite historical figures, Galileo, was excommunicated for his discovery that the Earth was not the center of the universe. Imagine how that must have shaken the fibers of the Church which was so invested in the idea that we were put on this earth by a divine being who controls everything. And to find out the divine being they prayed to, the immutable spirit, that all encompassing deity, did not even bother to make us the center of the universe! No wonder Galileo was reviled in his day and it took centuries for the Church to come around and apologize for its horrendous behavior towards him. In fact, it was finally only in 1992 when the Vatican officially apologized to Galileo. The Church of England, ever so much quicker on the draw, apologized to Darwin in 2008, a mere 126 years after his death. I guess we should call it progress. But to this day, although there are very few people who doubt Galileo, there are still many (mostly in America, I'm afraid) who still have their doubts about Darwin.
Andrew Sullivan
So Jefferson tried to save Jesus from the Christians. And yes, he painstakingly used a razor to extract what he thought were the essential teachings of that great man. The Jefferson Bible people call it these days, but I seriously doubt Jefferson would have liked that. Actually the title he gave the book which was not intended for public consumption was The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth Extracted Textually from the Gospels which kind of tells you something about Jefferson right there. There is very little hint of the divine in that title. You might even say there is an attempt by Jefferson to extract the teachings of the man from a religious book. His quaint expression, as you quote him, Andrew, is “taking the diamonds from the dunghill.” Not exactly how I would have phrased it but then Jefferson was quite the man of letters.
This is where I (and Jefferson himself) part company with you, Andrew. You cleverly omitted a key word from Jefferson’s vocabulary in your piece. A word that defines what Jefferson fought against, as well as many of our Founding Fathers. That word is superstition. Let that sink in a bit, Andrew.
Superstition.
Cannot say it enough. Because if there was one thing Jefferson disliked above all other things, it was superstition. Here's a taste:
"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."
You have to dig deep (but not that deep) to get to Jefferson's feelings about religion and about Christianity in particular. Jefferson admired the person he called Jesus of Nazareth. He thought his teachings were among the best in the world and Jefferson was an accomplished scholar so he had access to all the biggies. Jefferson thought it would be illuminating to have a compilation of the teachings of Jesus without the accompanying “superstitions” which are all references to miracles and the other stuff that makes his teaching a religion, not a philosophy. There are plenty of Marxists out there who believe in the teachings of Marx without the benefit of divine intervention. Only the deeply delusional would call that "religion." The essence of Jefferson's message: Jesus had a lot to teach us but all the religious trappings that go with these teachings are not necessary for us to respect and follow the man. When he said he was a Christian he meant it in the same way that people who follow Marx call themselves Marxists.
Andrew, I do not begrudge your religion. You are among my favorites. Your stands against the Church's bigotry against gays are colossal in their bravery. People have been hanged for less. That you take on the religious/political complex is admirable beyond belief. Religion has poisoned politics not only here but everywhere. At least here we can safely say that Christians in their zeal don't do anything more harmful than support a dweeb like Santorum or pass laws forcing women to undergo vaginal probes for no medical reason. We can be thankful that ritual stoning of women is not promoted here. Or that we don't condone female genital mutilation like they do in so many other countries. So far the fanatics in our country have seen fit to simply insert “Creationism” as a valid scientific theory or try to make abortions illegal like the good old days when desperate women were butchered by unscrupulous “providers”. Yes we have to be thankful for all that, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart that you are trying to make religious people as reasonable as possible.

 That you take on the religious/political complex 
is admirable beyond belief.
But (here comes the “but") please do not use my guy Jefferson to make your point. I am an unapologetic disciple of the Enlightenment philosophers like Voltaire, Rousseau, and John Locke, as was Jefferson, and it is our contention that superstition, dressed up as religion is the bane of this world. You want to believe in talking snakes, magical underwear, or 72 virgins that is your affair. But Jefferson is not the guy to use to buttress your faith in the supernatural. That he didn't believe in the supernatural, is obvious if you read his letters. Religious people point to his famous phrase in the Declaration:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
to mean that Jefferson was a Christian in the sense we understand Christianity. Jefferson, like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine, was a Deist. Deists believe in what they call a Natural God, a God bereft of all “revealed” religions. Revealed religions are so named because they all make claim to having received a special revelation from God. All of of he World’s major religions are “revealed religions”. The revelations range from the acceptance of the ten commandments by Moses to the rather self serving discovery by Joseph Smith of the “golden plates” where it was revealed that Jesus himself visited the United States.
The Jefferson "Bible"
Deism, on the other hand is a belief that there is a higher principle we can call God that is responsible for our world and its intricacies. It is not a “he” nor can it be talked to or even petitioned. God is simply a way to talk about the natural order of things, or nature if you will. This was Jefferson's core belief and it is clear in not only the Declaration but in his writings as well. Jefferson did not believe it was necessary to invent a supernatural rather that everything was by definition “natural”. It was man's role to try to discover the mysteries of the natural world, not to invent superstitions to try to explain what we cannot fathom. That is why he wanted a “wall of separation” between the State and religion to make sure the two did not impede on each other. He was a realist so he did not try to ban religion, just to keep it separate from public policy.
This is Jefferson’s gift to all of us. Use him to justify democracy, liberty, natural law, but not to justify religion. Andrew, you're going to have to find someone else for that.
Yours truly,
Peter Calvet

          Shine bright with these fireworks-filled wallpapers!   
"Look at the fireworks, look at the fireworks light up the night sky!!" Fireworks add an extra pop of excitement to any holiday that features them. Whether you're watching a magnificent, professional fireworks spectacular or some backyard sparklers, fireworks are wonderful and should be observed (safely) with wonder and respect. And while we can't have fireworks every day, we can have firework wallpapers every day at least. When there are fireworks displays going on all across the country on one night, places that normally have fireworks have to step it up. Take Illuminations at Epcot. They kick things up after their unity-focused fireworks, with a five minute finale of — I kid you not — solid pyrotechnic booms. I thought I was gonna go deaf at one point. And while the booms in this lovely image are significantly less eardrum-bursting, they're nonetheless beautiful. Illuminations This weekend Americans will be shooting off fireworks by the bushel, but fantastic ...
          MouseStation Episode 347 - September 23, 2009 - Collected Short Subjects   
A look at soon-to-be-late Toontown Fair, Crystal Palace, an Illuminations tip, plus listener feedback and more in this week's collection of short subjects.
          07-07-07   

Il prodigio dei numeri... un argomento che mi ha sempre affascinato. I numeri governano, senza neppure rendercene conto, ogni aspetto della nostra vita... “tutto è un numero” affermavano i Pitagorici! Galileo diceva, inoltre, che l’universo è “scritto con il linguaggio dei numeri”. Il linguaggio dei numeri, infatti, si fa leggere e capire da noi in modo più preciso e non controverso... le osservazioni quantitative della realtà sono più precise, meno soggettive, e quindi più oggettive di quelle qualitative! Uno dei numeri che più mi affascina è il 7... fin dall'antichità, considerato un numero magico e misterioso. Gran parte delle proprietà attribuitegli risalgono all'astrologia babilonese che per prima aveva riconosciuto 7 pianeti ed aveva diviso il mese lunare in cicli di 7 giorni. Il 7 venne quindi considerato sacro proprio perché allora rappresentava il cosmo e la sua perfezione. Tutte le civiltà antiche hanno sviluppato un sim­bolismo numerico e in molte di esse il 7 è considerato numero sacro, unico e immobile. Secondo la scuola pitagorica il 7 è “amitor” (senza madre) in quanto non è un prodotto fattoriale ed è generato solo dall'unità. E’ simbolo di perfezione in quanto risultato della somma del 3 (lo spirito, il maschile) e del 4 (la materia, il femminile), che esprimono due forme perfette: il triangolo equilatero ed i quadrato. Essi sono anche i numeri basilari della Piramide (la base quadrata, i quattro lati triangolari). Per tale ragione, in epoca antica, il sette veniva rappresentato come un quadrato sormontato da un triangolo.
I Greci associavano il 7 all’adorazione di Apollo e di Selene. Sette erano le vacche sacre del dio cantati da Omero (“All'isola della Trinacria arriverai: là numerose pascolano le vacche e le pingue grecci del sole, sette armenti di vacche e sette belle greggi di pecore...” Odissea, XII, 127-133) e sette le corde della lira (strumento al dio tanto caro). Nella mitologia sette erano i fanciulli e sette le fanciulle inviate a Creta come pasto per il Minotauro. Il 7° giorno dalla nascita si dava il nome al neonato... ed ogni 7° giorno gli Spartani facevano sacrifici ad Apollo! Sempre nella tradizione greca, 7 erano i Sapienti e 7 le Meraviglie del Mondo, sintesi della perfetta armonia tra pensiero ed azione. Il sistema Tolemaico poneva al centro dell'Universo la terra, attorno a cui ruotavano, sette sfere concentriche dette Cieli (la Luna, Mercurio, Venere, Sole, Marte, Giove, Saturno). Sette sono anche le stelle che compongono l’Orsa Maggiore ed altrettante quelle che formano l’Orsa Minore. Il numero 7 è anche un numero ricorrente nella storia di Roma. La città è stata costruita su 7 Colli (Capitolino, Esquilino, Palatino, Quirinale, Viminale, Celio e Aventino). Fondata da Romolo il 21 (multiplo di 7) Aprile, è stata governata da 7 re (Romolo, Numa Pompilio, Tullo Ostilio, Anco Marzio, Tarquinio Prisco, Servio Tuillo e Tarquínio il Superbo). La leggenda vuole, poi, che la città divenne "eterna” per 7 oggetti ivi condotti perché di buon auspicio: l'ago di Cibele (una pietra nera adorata in Asia minore); la quadriga donata dalla città di Veio; le ceneri di Oreste, figlio di Agamennone; lo scettro di Priamo, re di Troia; il velo di Ilione; la statua di Atena Pallade; i dodici scudi Ancili. Roma è, inoltre, la città delle 7 Chiese (le 4 Basiliche maggiori - S. Pietro in Vaticano, S. Giovanni in Laterano, S. Maria Maggiore, S. Paolo fuori le mura - e le 3 Basiliche minori di S. Sebastiano sull'Appia, S. Croce in Gerusalemme e S. Lorenzo fuori le mura). Gli Egiziani contarono “sette bracci” del Nilo; 7 erano gli scorpioni che accompagnavano sempre la dea Iside; 7 erano le vacche grasse e 7 quelle magre ed altrettante le spighe sognate dal faraone, premonizione di sette anni di abbondanza in tutto l'Egitto, seguiti da sette anni di carestia. Nell'Antico Testamento il 7 compare ricorrente: tanti sono i nomi usati per indicare la terra e altrettanti per il cielo; nell'Apocalisse di San Giovanni il sette vi ricorre cinquantaquattro volte: la fine dei mondo sarà annunciata dalla rottura dei 7 Sigilli, seguita dal suono di 7 trombe per bocca di 7 Angeli, quindi dai 7 Portenti e infine dal versamento delle 7 Coppe dell'ira di Dio. Nel Nuovo Testamento, 7 sono i Sacramenti, i doni dello Spirito Santo, i Peccati Capitali (gola, lussuria, avarizia, superbia, accidia, invidia e ira) e le Virtù, 4 cardinali (forza, sapienza, giustizia e temperanza) e 3 teologali (fede, speranza e carità). Nell'Ebraismo, 7 sono le luci del candelabro sacro (Menorah), simbolo della fede eternamente accesa; il Sabato, settimo di una serie di giorni, è il giorno della Creazione e quindi del riposo dedicato al culto; l'anno sabbatico è il settimo di una serie di anni: è l'anno della “remissione”, nel quale dovevano essere sospesi i lavori dei campi, per permettere il riposo agli animali e agli uomini; il settimo di 7 anni sabbatici era l'anno del giubileo (il nome viene dall'ebraico “ jobhel ” che significa “ corno di montone ” con il quale sette sacerdoti, alla fine dell'ultimo anno di ogni ciclo di sette anni sabbatici, compivano per 7 giorni il giro di Gerico e l’ultimo giorno percorrevano 7 volte le mura della città, annunciando l'inizio del cinquantesimo anno, durante il quale non si doveva seminare, né mietere e né vendemmiare). Il settimo giorno dalla nascita avveniva la circoncisione dei maschi; 7 volte venivano assolti i peccati e 7 era il simbolo della perfezione che contiene il loro simbolo etnico, la stella di David. Nella Kabbala, poi, l'uomo è rappresentato triplice nell'essenza, ma settemplice nell'evoluzione: ha capacità vegetativa (nascita e sviluppo del corpo), nutritiva (mantenimento del corpo), sensitiva (contatti sensoriali col mondo fenomenico), intellettiva (riflessioni e sintesi), sociale (rapporti con i suoi simili), naturale (rapporti con la natura) e divina (capacità di armonizzare la vita con la realtà di Dio).
Anche nella tradizione coranica il sette ha un significato particolare: sette sono le porte dell'inferno ed il mondo è sorretto da 7 colonne poggiate sulle spalle di un gigante, a sua volta sostenuto da un'aquila, che posa su una balena che nuota nel Mare Eterno. Secondo la Baghavad Gita, il libro sacro dell'Induismo, 7 erano gli illuminati del Veda dell'India, emanati ed illuminati da Agni, il fuoco sacro, simbolo del focolare domestico e della famiglia. I buddisti definiscono, inoltre, l'uomo come Saptaparna , “pianta a sette foglie” attribuendogli sette principi: “Atma”, che significa “scintilla divina”, “Budhi” che è lo “Spirito”, “Manas” l'“Anima”, “Kama Rupa” gli “istinti”, “Shtula Sarira”, la “materia”, “Linga Sorira” il “corpo astrale” e, infine, il “Prana”, che è l'“essenza della vita”, lo “Pneuma dei greci”, lo “Spiritus” dei romani o il “K'i taoista”. Del numero sette scrisse anche S. Agostino: “Anche della perfezione del numero sette si possono dire molte cose...: il primo numero intero dispari è tre, il quattro è un numero intero pari e dalla loro somma risulta il numero sette. Ecco perché si adopera spesso per indicare la totalità delle cose, come quando si dice: Il giusto cade sette volte e sette volte risorge; ossia cade ma non perirà, le sue cadute non sono peccati, ma imperfezioni che conducono alla umiltà. E sette volte ti loderò, espressione ripetuta altrove in questi termini: Avrò sempre la sua lode nella mia bocca. Nella sacra Scrittura si trovano molte altre frasi simili nelle quali il numero sette è usato per esprimere in tutte le cose l'universalità. Molte volte poi con questo numero viene indicato lo Spirito Santo, del quale il Signore ha detto: Egli vi ammaestrerà in ogni verità”.

Oggi si svolgeranno due grossi eventi legati al numero 7... il primo, che ha già avuto inizio a Sydney, è il grande concerto del Live Earth che ha luogo in sette città diverse e che unirà centinaia di migliaia di persone al grido di "salviamo il pianeta Terra"!
Il secondo si svolgerà stasera a Lisbona e vedrà l'elezione delle Nuove Sette Meraviglie del mondo... attraverso il voto è stata data la possibilità a tutti noi di riscrivere la storia.

Che il 7 sia con voi!

          Gli Animali Totem    

Ti piacerebbe visitare un accampamento degli indiani?

Lo sai che ai diversi animali attribuivano delle qua­lità specifiche

e che ne avevano fatto le loro guide spirituali?

Se vuoi sapere qualcosa di più degli animali totem e della cultura indiana, apri il libro e segui Om e Shanti in questa piccola avventura.

Con l’aiuto di Om e Shanti, due “Piccoli Illuminati”, ci si prepara a scoprire i segreti della meditazione, della cultura Tibetana e dei Nativi Americani, della natura e dei quattro elementi. Attraverso i loro viaggi verrà spiegato ai bambini, in modo semplice e naturale, ad avere rispetto verso la vita e a prendersi cura della terra.

Ma non è tutto: nel libro troverai le istruzioni per sca­ricare una App e vedere altre immagini e video sull'af­fascinante mondo degli nativi americani.

Allora, cosa dici, partiamo?

Questo libro si rivolge ai bambini di età compresa tra i 4 e gli 8 anni, ai genitori e agli insegnanti che credono in nuova forma di educazione, diretta al riconoscimento della sacralità della vita, alla condivisione di valori spirituali fondamentali quali l’accettazione di sé e dell’altro.


          Lux Tenebrae   

Illuminati - Il volto occulto del Nuovo ordine Mondiale

«Ormai non è più questione di preoccuparsi della fondazione di un Nuovo Ordine Mondiale quanto piuttosto della modalità attraverso cui intendono conseguirlo».

 


          Ossimoro Marte    

Un libro attesissimo che documenta le prove dell'esistenza di strutture artificiali sulla superficie del pianeta Marte.

Decine di particolari fotografici inediti dimostrano che la Nasa ha occultato le prove oppure non si è accorta di nulla.

Riviste specializzate hanno già sottolineato la straordinarietà delle prove presentate e delle immagini contenute nella ricerca dell' Ing. Ennio Piccaluga.

Ecco in breve gli argomenti trattati:

- Il libro indaga il futuro e scopre il passato, confermando clamorosamente le intuizioni di Zecharia Sitchin
- Svelata dal computer la vera faccia di Cydonia
- Il monte Olimpo: un vulcano abitato
- I sorprendenti canali illuminati ed i profili umani che fanno da guardiani
- Una inedita teoria sulla catastrofe cosmica marziana
- Chi ha costruito gli ingressi ai piedi del Monte Olimpo?
- Cosa ci fa una Ziggurat nella Vallis Marineris?
- Una città sotto la polvere.
- Cosa o chi produce gas di origine biologica su Marte?
- Perche all'ESA chi parla di strutture artificiali marziane viene licenziato?

Il libro prova inconfutabilmente la presenza di antiche strutture presenti sul pianeta rosso erette da un'antica civiltà che ha legami con la civiltà sumera e con la Terra.

Gli Anunnaki ("Coloro che dal cielo discesero sulla Terra" ) o Anakeim, Nefilim, Elohim o Neter presso gli Egizi oltre a visitare la Terra, come intuito da Zecharia Sitchin studiando le tavolette sumere, eressero citta' e strutture anche su Marte.

Secondo l'interpretazione di Zecharia Sitchin, gli Anunnaki giunsero sulla Terra 450.000 anni fa da un pianeta chiamato Nibiru e attraverso un esperimento genetico crearono l'uomo affinché lavorasse nelle miniere dove avveniva l'estrazione dell'oro, necessario agli Anunnaki per salvare il proprio pianeta.

Un libro che prova la presenza di vita intelligente su Marte e che potrebbe allontanare i misteri e le ombre sulla Storia e sulle Origini dell'Umanità.


          Il grande libro dei misteri di Venezia risolti e irrisolti   

Venezia è mistero.

Lo raccontano lo scorrere continuo e lento delle sue acque scure, il riflesso mutevole delle luci sui canali, l’infinito reticolo delle calli e lo scalpiccìo lontano di passi ignoti.

Lo mormorano le gondole che scivolano sull’acqua, i volti inespressivi e bianchi delle sue maschere di Carnevale, le ombre che s’allungano sulla laguna e il segreto dei suoi palazzi illuminati. Misteri risolti o mai svelati, leggende e misfatti, curiosità e fatti storici raccolti con passione da un autore “veneziano” per scelta, che ci accompagna in questo viaggio nell’ignoto per incontrare i fantasmi del Campiello del Remer o la Dama della Malcontenta, ci racconta le leggende della Laguna o le storie antiche sulla misteriosa presenza del Sacro Graal e sull’alchimia veneziana, da Cagliostro agli alchimisti della Giudecca.

E ancora, il mistero dei palazzi stregati come Ca’ Mocenigo Vecchia e la famosa Ca’ Dario, chiamata “la casa che uccide” per i numerosi suicidi dei proprietari, tra cui Raul Gardini; per finire con i misteri di oggi, come la vicenda tragica della donna che diede a Mussolini un figlio “segreto”, o come l’incendio doloso che nel 1996 distrusse completamente il Teatro della Fenice.


          Mito e Magia del Santo Graal   

La straordinaria storia dei Signori degli Anelli, di cui troviamo un’eco nel Signore degli Anelli di J.R.R. Tolkien, è stata in gran parte consegnata alla leggenda e allo sbiadito ricordo di grandi battaglie tra il Bene e il Male. Avvolta tra le nebbie di enigmi soprannaturali, essa sopravvive nelle favole e negli affascinanti racconti di fate ed elfi, di streghe e vampiri. Non è certo un caso che le storie più conosciute e amate del ciclo del Graal siano quelle che narrano dell’anello d’oro di Ginevra e di quell’ideale “anello di ferro” rappresentato dai Cavalieri della Tavola Rotonda nelle loro armature. Quando quell’anello si ruppe, il Paese cadde nel caos e le forze delle tenebre regnarono sulla Terra. Il fascino di queste storie deriva dal fatto che ancora oggi sentiamo parlare in esse una verità profonda. Ma quella verità è stata distorta e nascosta. Gli antichi guardiani della nostra civiltà, i nostri veri progenitori, gli Illuminati, non hanno mai trovato posto nella cultura accademica. La loro stessa esistenza, la loro realtà, è stata negata. Si è cercato di cancellarne la memoria e, di conseguenza, anche la storia. Eppure, il regale dono della nostra civiltà ci viene da un tempo e da un luogo che potrebbe essere chiamato “Terra di mezzo”, che ancora traluce attraverso le brume lontane del Regno dei Signori degli Anelli.


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          Beyerdynamic 487988 MCS-D3123H President Microphone   
Beyerdynamic 487988 MCS-D3123H President Microphone

Beyerdynamic 487988 MCS-D3123H President Microphone

Beyerdynamic 487988 MCS-D3123H (MCSD3123H, MCS D3123H, MCS/D3123H, mcs-d3123h) President Microphone Chairman microphone unit with Revoluto technology with microphone, priority and clear button Versions:  MCS-D 3123 Revoluto Chairman Microphone Unit  Order # 486795  MCS-D 3123 H same as above, but NetRateBus sockets at the bottom  Order # 487988  • Fully-digital audio and control  • Up to 1,000 microphone units per system  • Revoluto Microphone Array Technology  • Corridor characteristic  • Integrated two-way speakers  • Headphone socket  • 3 buttons: priority button, microphone button, clear button  • LED on the microphone button and illuminating bars on the sides of the housing indicate that the microphone unit is in ready-to-talk mode  • NetRateBus conference sockets (push-pull) for connection in the MCS-D-200 conference system  • Sturdy housing


          Kings’ Dirty Operation: Concise Memos of My Cooperation with the CIA and Illuminati's Hell   
By Peiman Ghasemi. Price: Free. Category: Nonfiction / Politics and Current Affairs / Government / Nonfiction / History / Modern / General.
          That Was The Show That Was: Destroyer | Oval Space, London | 15 June   
That Was The Show That Was: Destroyer with Ryley Walker | Oval Space, London | 15 June

[PHOTO: Theo Gorst for Clicky Clicky] Vancouver indie rock luminaries Destroyer arrived in London Wednesday for a sold out, one-off show that is likely to be one of their last in support of 2015's excellent album Poison Season. Since the set's release, the consistently evolving now-octet has developed a live set it hardly seems possible to better. This reviewer would be tempted to say this is what 20 years of touring does, but only a foolish man would try to finitely categorize a project that is constantly shifting in form and style. Indeed, the Destroyer that ruled the stage at London's Oval Space this week is markedly different from its initial lo-fi iteration, which was responsible for 1996's We'll Build Them A Golden Bridge. Mercurial mastermind Dan Bejar writes lyrics awash in irony, contradiction and potent symbolism, and at turns Wednesday evening he appeared to embody all of these.

Like the songs themselves, Mr. Bejar's performance is both louche and pained. On "Song For America," a standout tune from Destroyer's tremendous 2011 collection Kaputt, the band locked into a gently propulsive groove as the fronter sang to the assembled Londoners, "I wrote a song for America, they told me it was clever, who knew." As he ended the line, Bejar swept his arm across the stage with the flare of a classic rock 'n' roll showman, a gesture further emphasizing the brilliant irony of the line. The theatrical turn was immediately juxtaposed by his next move: kneeling and obscuring himself from most of the crowd.

SImilarly, throughout the evening Bejar conducted himself as a self-conscious performer given to bouts of showmanship. The occasional extroversion was occasionally physical, but predominantly vocal, as he chose to pack the bulk of his theatrical impulses into his words. During "Savage Night At The Opera," he was almost spitting them out, while still savoring their grandiosity: "Let's face it, old swords like us have been born to die, it's not a war till someone loses an eye." When he led the crowd to the song's climax, singing "drop the loop and then go wild," the band took over as a buccaneering guitar solo accelerated above tranquil keys. Better still was Bejar's muttered "aw shit here comes the sun," during a thumping rendition of "Dream Lover." As the trumpet rose to crescendo upon crescendo, Bejar muttered and then yelped the line. His appearance was as de rigueur indie rocker –- skinny jeans and a loose fitted shirt –- but he sounded like a matinee idol worn down by serial nights of excess. When the band glided through "Girl On A Sling," it felt as though Bejar should have worn a bow tie and double-breasted blazer. The song's extended intro permitted the flautist and trumpeter to display magnificent musicianship, and their notes were looped and distorted through various effects creating a soundscape that mutated from ambient to glitchy while remaining captivating and bold.

The performance of "Chinatown" established a hazy, midnight ambience, a feeling accentuated by lazily strummed acoustic guitar and lonely-sounding saxophone. Elsewhere, the confession "listen, I've been drinking" during "Bay of Pigs (Detail)" felt illuminating; it fit perfectly with the band's smokey-bar-at-midnight aesthetic but also spoke to Bejar's stage persona: a reluctant performer propelled by occasional spells of Dutch courage. While the band often luxuriated in glorious melancholy, it also elevated moments to the point of celebration, exploding into joyous peaks with dueling trumpet and saxophone. Such was the case on first song of the encore, "Painter In Your Pocket," as well as "European Oils." These older songs fit seamlessly within a set that otherwise drew predominantly from Poison Season and Kaputt. Given Bejar's bent for experimentation, it will be fascinating to see where the band's next album takes them. Wherever that may be, assuredly it will only add the mystique the songwriter has created for himself both on record and on stage. -- Theo Gorst

Destroyer: Facebook





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          UFO and ‘creature’ reported near Lucasville, OH   

The following was published by the late UFO Researcher Kenny Young. It is archived here for reference: SUMMARY On August 24, 2004 I spoke at length with a female subject from the Lucasville, Ohio vicinity. This persons name will not be divulged in this report. She contacted the Cincinnati UFO Hotline (513-588-4548) to report recent UFO sightings that have taken place over a period of several days near her area. She said that she has video of a UFO from August 17 and also from the last night and earlier this morning. She candidly admits that the video is of poor quality, of hand-held operation and only showing a ‘light’ in the center of a dark screen. We spoke for over 1-hour and discussed her concerns of UFO activity near her home (Crosspoint of Blue Run and Morris Lane) on August 17, August 19 and earlier this evening (August 24th). She said that her road runs perpendicular to Route 23 and that her home is situated 6-miles from the Ohio Correctional Institute Prison Facilityat Lucasville. The subject said that in addition to herself, there are 4-witnesses to a huge, spherical object in the eastern sky during several episodes of unusual UFO activity taking place over the past few nights and earlier this evening. She also complained of a headache and stomach ache for 3-days after the first sighting of August 17. ABOUT THE SUBJECT: Lisa XXXXX (name deleted for privacy)said that she was stationed at Brooks AFB (San Antonio, TX facility which merged with Lackland AFB) for 5-year as a secretary. She is currently disabled(with a birth defect on her left leg) and taking care of a family of 3 children ages 12 to 9. Her youngest son has bipolar disorder. Her roommate, Sheila XXXXX (also deleted for privacy, on-file) also has a 12-year old daughter and her visiting friend Della XXXXX (also deleted for privacy, on-file) is also a witness to the UFO activity. AUGUST 17 UFO The episode of UFO sightings began on Monday, August 17th at about 9:30 p.m. when the witness and her friends Della (who moved in from Athens) and Sheila, all over 30-years old, had been present for a social visit. The three were also concerned about local thieves who had recently been stealing yard property. While on periodic lookout (sitting on her living room couch inside 2-mobile homes put together to form one home),and looking directly south out her living room window, Lisa noticed what appeared to be bright headlights on a white mailbox post. They continued to watch the mailbox post as it was illuminated for about 30-minutes, taking note that the angle of the lights seemed to originate from the east and an upper direction, before finally asking her roommate to ask where the reflection of light was coming from. They then went to the west end of the kitchen to look out the window and saw reflective dot-like spots on the tail end of her mini-van parked outside.  The reflectivity was seen on the glass as well as the car itself, and the roof of her van lit up an almost ‘bluish’ color. The witness advised that the entire road in front of the house was also illuminated by a ‘blue haze. ‘The blue color was also reflecting off a propane tank and Lisa, Sheila and Della decided to step outside to investigate the source of the light reflections on the various yard items. When outside, they cautiously looked around and – according to Lisa – did not think to look toward the sky.They took it for granted that the source of the light was somehow originating from a car on a road. At this point, according to Lisa, they noticed a subtle light change that seemed to become orange-like. The witness looked toward the direction of her mother’s security light situated nearby (there was some kind of huge surge of power through the security light, causing it to glow 4-times brighter than usual and out of focus), trying to find the source of illumination on the tank, and at that point saw pulsing lights in the eastern sky. Lisa said this was somewhat of a shock to her. The bluish-white lights would pulse darker and lighter, the witness said it was like a ‘heartbeat’ and you could depend on the next pulse, not at all like a blink. This was one solid, physical object in the sky, out further than the security light and past the woods, over a tree line and no more than 10-miles distant. Lisa said this object was visible for hours and the witness observed it taking different positions across the sky, zipping from place to place. It was comprised of several lights and could be seen to rotate, having a white fog about it and at times would be comprised of 3 or 4-lights, but having no sound. Although the object would move from position to position and return again, they primarily looked at the object when it was in position toward the eastern sky as if it was localized toward Jackson, Ohio (going east on 139). The witnesses decided to maintain their position and watch this activity for several hours into the early morning time frame. As they listened to a loud chorus of dogs barking from all different areas around her, they also debated what the object was and made an attempt to capture the object on videotape and watched as beams of light were ‘thrown’ or reflected through the air. Closer to 4:30 a.m., one aircraft comprised of a triangular-shaped light configuration came into view after the witnesses heard a distinct jet-like low, dull roar or rumble. This triangular object,having dozens of pulsating multi-colored lights all around its surface,approached from the west and flew straight overhead at a lower elevation than the first white object, then would change direction and travel southeast.The duration of this sighting was around 60-seconds and then the object would return along the same path, making...

The post UFO and ‘creature’ reported near Lucasville, OH appeared first on The Black Vault Case Files.


          Elemis Pro Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm Review: Is It Really Good?   

Elemis Pro Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm Description Elemis Pro Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm, US $60 for 1.6 oz., promises to give your skin its own attention-grabbing spotlight with a complexion that drowns all other light source with skin so bright. More specifically, this product has been formulated to deliver for you the following beauty benefits: … Continue reading Elemis Pro Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm Review: Is It Really Good?

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          Dewalta: Illumination Part I   

Meander 015.1 (D 12") - € 9.00
Reduced tripping DJ tool House tracks

Tracklisting:
  1. Illuminated
  2. Entangled
  3. Silhouette

          Di: Luca Menichelli   
Qualcuno potrebbe pensare che scherzo, ma proprio la settimana scorsa mi è capitata una cosa veramente strana e attinente. Stavoa spettando un mio collega per un passaggio facendo avanti e indietro er la strada. Appena passato sotto un lampione questo si è spento e una volta oltrepassato si è riacceso. Un caso ho pensato continuando con il mio avanti e dietro. Appena sotto il lampione si è spento di nuovo , pochi secondi e si è riacceso. ho ricominciato a camminare e il fenomeno si è ripetuto stessa dinamica. Mi si sono illuminati gli ochi, sono anni che cerco un fenomeno strano, ma reale. In pieno spirito di scoperta ho formulato le mie ipotesi, niente magnetismo o squarci spaziotemporali, semplicemente ho detto ( ma io vado avanti e indietro percorrendo gli stessi 30 metri circa nello stesso tempo e se il tutto fosse solo questo? Infatti. La lampadina si spegneva a cadenza regolare con o senza di me sotto io sono incappato nella casualità di trovarmici sotto e percorerre la mia distanza proprio nel tempo necessario al che si ripetesse. Inquietante vero? Anche questa volta mi devo accontentare di una spiegazione logico-scientifica :-D
          6/28/2017: CINEMA: A third film is just too much   

The lacklustre Minions spin-off, released in 2015, issued a clear warning shot about the consequences of milking a cash cow dry. Evidently, no one was listening because the Illumination Entertainment box office bovine is desiccated by the conclusion of...
          Comment on Illuminiamo la nostra pelle con Illuminating Elixir Argan & Macadamia by Nicoletta   
Molto interessante, adoro questo genere di prodotto !!! Nicoletta
          Vital Networks: the work of transforming experience into understanding   
Vital Networks: the work of transforming experience into understanding

How can we get better as groups at learning from the experiences we go through? I have been wondering about new approaches to care and this question has been much in my mind since interviewing members of the public during a project about the “word on the street” in Liverpool in 2015. It was a sobering month in which I came to know personally just how disaffected and disenfranchised the public felt about anything changing for the better in England.  In a comment on the Edgeryders community call on improving how we support each others mental and spiritual health, I wondered if “everyone who lives in a distributed area is in some way involved in processing the emotions experienced in that place”. I feel a great potential for technological networks to create rituals and bring people together to process experiences in new ways. Generally, I'm talking about creative networks for coming back to life: networks that invite people into a social experience to care about themselves and other people, to keep hold of their hopes, to understand beyond their own spheres of experience and to find support in being the magician of their own life. This is speculative stuff, I realise, so I’ll anchor my offering to this strand in real examples and share work that I know of and am making.

A frank admission to start: the subject of networks of care is relatively new terrain for me. I’m no expert and there are long histories and contexts that I cannot represent here.  I really welcome feedback, criticism, references and most of all, examples of working networks already in place. There are many excellent examples and the diversity of reports shared on this site - the variety of food sharing initiatives, performance and storytelling circles, maker spaces and innovative support systems - is informing my learning around this subject.

One of the areas that show most clearly the positive effects that community interventions can have are post-conflict efforts. In this post, I want to tell you about the powerful work of theTrust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH) who developed a program with survivors of the Nyayo House Torture Centre and other centres in Kenya. In a follow up piece I will look more at digital systems with a mind to exploring how elements of ritual and and formalised events for expression and listening might be tapped into in new ways to support communities through online means. 

Facilitating Forgiveness: the hardest job there is?

I met Denis Ngala when I was doing some work in Timbavati, South Africa. He is a tall, radiant and infectiously joyful character, utterly grounded and with a sense of spiritual authority having spent most of his twenties studying in a seminary. He told me a lot about the work that he was doing in Kenya with TICAH and the problems that faced victims of torture returning to society after they had been released. 

Details of the intense suffering and the physical and mental abuse that went on in Nairobi’s Nyayo House torture chambers and other places of detention during President Moi’s regime are still emerging decades later. Ngala was working at facilitating meals for torture victims and their perpetrators where they could have honest discussions in an attempt to heal these old wounds. He told me that often the victims and perpetrators of the violence were people who grew up in the same village and had studied at neighbouring schools so he was often bringing together people who had known each other throughout their lives. The kind of emotional resolve and resources needed for either survivor or perpetrator to face the horror of the past and sit down together, share food and listen to each other’s stories is frankly extraordinary. But Ngala describes his methodology when convening these meetings as based on simplicity: “it is rooted in listening to one another and honouring each life story.” His role as the third party, guiding the conversation, ensuring that each person spoke and was listened to has had truly beneficial effects. He tells me that some who have gone through the process visit each other and share their childhood stories or are able to meet at public occasions.

One very illuminating aspect of this work is that the focus goes beyond the individuals directly involved. TICAH has looked to help educate the wider community to understand what had happened and how to support it. This was necessary as without  intervention communities often closed up, and rather than accepting the survivor back into social contact they viewed the returning survivor with unease and distrust, creating a situation in which survivors sometimes found themselves ostracised, left to deal with the experience alone. 

TICAH met this situation with interventions that emphasised embodied communication and the creative body. They invited those effected to walk a labyrinth together in a peace ceremony and organised body map workshops that brought together different survivors to share their stories. The body-mapping workshops use art skills to trace participants’ bodies and then map elements of their life stories onto this body map: visual elements are added that stand for the individual’s aims, what supports them, the traumas they have lived through and their strengths. These visual records are a way of introducing the details of what happened in captivity back into the community to be held by everyone. So the labyrinth walking and the body-mapping make the real lives, bodies and experiences of the victims a public experience and enable the wider community to listen to and appreciate how these survivors managed to live through painful and unbelievably challenging times. 

The Human Element

This is incredible work - through these interventions TICAH help communicate that the process of recovery is not the problem of the victim of torture alone, but is in a very real sense owned by the whole community. One striking aspect is the emphasis on accepting the seriousness of the situation - dealing with the very worst of what humans can do to each other - with vital, dramatic, expressive interactive meetings. The labyrinth walking is profoundly beautiful group ritual and the body mapping opens up the assembled individuals to listen to the challenges that others have lived through, and it does this in a joyful and creative way. Reconciliation over food feels innately right. The activities though almost timeless in their simplicity are unusual and unexpected, and generally unlike anything that any of the participants have done before. The act of doing something new is particularly suited to transforming problems as there are no painful memories attached; it opens up new horizons and is perhaps more likely to lead to a renewed present. 

When I ask Ngala what networked technologies could do to help these efforts he replies that they could help facilitate expression: “In this work there are problems, most of them could be solved through sharing. When survivors are given opportunities to share their stories they heal fast. Networks would provide a good platform for people to share their experiences. Sharing could be done through writing or be spoken. Narrations could be recorded and later could be used to make short clips.” I think of just how possible this is as it is poses a clear and actionable technological problem, but looking at Ngala I wonder whether he realises how key his presence is to the process and the quality of the interaction. What forges the profound shifts in people’s experience is how their expression is received, listened to, validated and responded to. When speaking with Ngala, a man with vast generosity of soul and focused attention, you really do feel stronger. He beams at you and honours your presence in a way that is rare. In conversation with him you feel that your words matter, your life is respected and that miraculous healing is possible. Popular culture tends to talk about purging emotions, as if emotions are toxic material that needs ejecting from your system, but what Ngala’s work shows is that the magic is in the courage to speak honestly and the grace of being heard: that’s when emotions turn into understanding. The human catalysts at TICAH are so much a part of why these reconciliation attempts have been successful and any attempt to extend the work through technology needs to factor this in at the centre. 

Simplicity of invitation, creative expression, embodied shared experience, working and listening to others, ritual time and focus, the unexpected, all these feel like good leads for designing a transformative care network. TICAH’s emphasis on shared humanity and that each person is a human being with a different story encourages survivors and perpetrators alike to stand strong in themselves, to understand the past and live a better day.  I think of post-conflict creative efforts like http://reflections.org.np/ that creatively depict the subjectivities of Nepali people in the aftermath of the earthquake. There is a courage in projects that present every person, even though they may have lived through horrendous circumstances, as a human being with a unique story and power.

Digital Networks for Creative Care

Strong mutual care is essential not only in places seeking to recover from atrocities, but generally for people working together and sharing space, especially if they are "living on the edge". Change is difficult and every group liable to conflict. E.C. Whitmont writes in The Symbolic Quest that “The seeming inevitability of conflict among the archetypal "powers" can cause us to experience life as a hopeless, senseless impasse. But the conflict can also be discovered to be the expression of a symbolic pattern still to be intuited.” There's a potential that we can reach into the intuitions that come out of difficult experience and grow understanding of group dynamics to create pathways that do not end in violence, abuse and waste. The sad cases of suicide, sabotage, ill health and conflict that we know of in digital tech, startup and hacker cultures show that forging wisdom in this area is important. 

I feel the need for strange networks of care: unusual, compelling networks that don’t attempt to fix anyone but make healing and self-understanding an adventure and help individuals back into the simple joys of communion and creativity. To explore group dynamics and coherence in recent projects I’ve been involved in, I've worked with beans http://www.rootbeans.com/, with dreams (following the method of my mentor Apela Colorado) http://oneiricarchives.tumblr.com/ and with storytelling http://www.thehaguecenter.org/pathways-project-2/.  Back up in Liverpool we're improvising on Stafford Beer's work on group dynamics in public meetings. Whether it’s VR group therapy where you experience your own body and other people in highly unusual ways or group Skype rituals for reconciliation the whole notion of care networks is wide open for innovation and renewal. As a guiding design point I think the only answer to questions like how can ritual time be held online or how can digital networks provide the intensity of feedback of live interaction is bold creativity. If you have examples of creative online systems to faciliate group communication and support that go beyond a message board or online forum and become something more vital and "live" please share them.  I’ll be at 33C3 if there’s people from the Edgeryders community who want to meet around the theme of hacking strange networks of care. There’s also an option to organise a session: https://events.ccc.de/congress/2016/wiki/Static:Self-organized_Sessions 

Learning in Doing 

There is a huge amount of trauma recovery material and contexts for group psychology that I do not know about. It is challenging terrain. As much as it’s essential to tread carefully, it is also necessary to create. The outpouring of emotional pain, anger and concern after the American election makes clear a need for strong communities of action and bold ways for participating in new stories. As worrying as is the prospect of making mistakes around mental health, the more worrying prospect is not creating networks to meaningfully connect up alienated, isolated or suffering individuals. Local actions, online networks and communities are all growing this November: each network has a different focus. Involving digital technology to reimagine group psychology and care (beyond Facebook) is just one of the potentials to help these evolving networks support themselves. 

Ngala’s experience shows that targeted and bold ventures can reboot the community’s ability to support and that there is the possiblity of even the most horrific of violations healing. The greatest thing that I learnt from Ngala is the scale of his belief. When I ask him what has been the most illuminating discovery about human care through facilitating this work he replies: “The most amazing thing is we are all human who heal despite all the experiences we have met in life”.  His belief is born out by his experience. It is vital not to miss the transformative quality of having one person believe in another. I consider the enormous amount of work and transformation needed in the decades ahead to meet the problems of our time and then I think about three human beings sitting down for a meal in Kenya and have the sense that great tasks are possible if we learn to work together. 

Links on article: 
http://ticahealth.org/ 
http://www.ticahealth.org/files/TICAH-nyayo-house-torture-body-maps.pdfInterview with TICAH’s founder Mary Ann Burris with details on body mapping: http://practicalmattersjournal.org/2011/03/01/burris-interview/
https://twitter.com/TICAH_KE

Photo: Denis Ngala in South Africa 

The production of this article was supported by Op3n Fellowships - an ongoing program for community contributors during May - November 2016.

The Challenge: 

The Question: 

Can we create networks that encourage individual strength and understanding of group dynamics?

The Problem: 

In precarious times many people live with insufficiently mature support structures

The Solution: 

Bold creative projects that facilitate care through emphasising the humanity, agency and creative life of the individual and the group

Channels: 


           LA MINIATURA / Guglielmo Giraldi, Dante Alighieri, La Divina comedia (1480)   
Guglielmo Giraldi, Dante Alighieri, La Divina comedia (Ejemplar de Federico da Montefeltro, 1480). Biblioteca Apostólica Vaticana

LA MINIATURA
Guglielmo Giraldi, Dante Alighieri, La Divina comedia (1480)

Procedimientos / Técnicas pictóricas / La miniatura
Archivo fotográfico · Lac Dye / Los Valientes Duermen Solos
Fuente · Corrado Maltese, Las técnicas artísticas. Milán: Ugo Mursia Editore (1973) / Madrid: CATEDRA (1997)



"El desarrollo de la miniatura a lo largo del tiempo sigue, en su aspecto técnico, los cambios operados en el temple. Por ejemplo es aplicable a la miniatura el cambio de procedimiento ejecutivo ya señalado a propósito del temple entre los siglos XIII y XIV Y ejemplificado en las distintas instrucciones que dan los tratados de Teófilo y de Cennini. Salvo esto, no parece que sean muchas las diferencias sustanciales entre las diferentes técnicas, debidas más bien al cambio de los estilos que a causas propiamente técnicas. Si se toma por ejemplo la miniatura bizantina del siglo VI hasta el XIV, mientras que el procedimiento de trabajo parece haber permanecido sustancialmente idéntico, lo que varía es el grado de minuciosidad de la ejecución, la calidad del material, la intención y el resultado final de la representación. Demus define el procedimiento de la siguiente forma: "Sobre un dibujo muy ligero se pintaban superficialmente medios tonos en delicados colores transparentes sobre los que se daban de nuevo sombras y luces con temple y cera. Las sombras no están dadas siempre en un tono oscuro del mismo color, sino que frecuentemente lo están en tonos cálidos, complementarios la mayoría de las veces. Así el verde se modula con un pardo rojizo y el azul con uno chocolate. Las luces se aclaran hasta el blanco puro."

Hacia mediados del siglo XI, un manifiesto anglosajón estudiado por Dodwell nos remite de forma más directa el procedimiento ejecutivo: este manuscrito, procedente de Canterbury y ahora en el British Museum (Cotton M. Claudius B.), es importante por el hecho de que un cierto número de escenas han quedado sin terminar, en distintas etapas de ejecución, permitiendo seguir las diferentes fases de su realización. También nos confirma la diferencia de los procedimientos usados en la Edad Media y el Renacimiento. En unas miniaturas como las renacentistas que poseen la misma complejidad cromática que los cuadros sobre tablas contemporáneos, sería difícil pensar en una separación tan neta entre los diferentes momentos de aplicación del color, hasta el punto de permitir llevar en paralelo decenas de escenas.

Veamos cómo lo resume Dodwell en una comunicación: "Al comienzo los artistas realizan un ligerísimo bosquejo de la escena que se proponen realizar en el pergamino que tienen delante. Este es tan leve que sólo se hace visible con rayos ultravioletas. En un segundo momento esbozan los colores base sobre los vestidos y las otras partes de la escena a pintar. En un tercero contornean con tinta roja el cuerpo y la cara. Normalmente este contorno sigue el bosquejo primitivo aunque se toleren pequeñas variaciones. En general hasta este momento no se realizan los detalles particulares de la cara. Los rasgos del rostro humano constituyen una cuarta etapa, separada y posterior. Finalmente llega el momento del 'acabado', cuando el artista (o los artistas) compone los pliegues de las telas, refuerza los contornos con sus colores definitivos, determina con color las zonas marginales como cabellos y calzados y por último da resalte en las zonas luminosas. Un examen detenido del manuscrito demuestra de manera evidente que estas cinco etapas eran totalmente diferentes y autónomas."

Dante designa la técnica de la miniatura como "aquel arte que en París llaman iluminar". En francés es: enluminure, en inglés book illumination. Se ha pensado qué palabra derive del latín alluminare, dar luz en una acepción vinculada a la costumbre de la miniatura medieval de utilizar pan de oro y de plata, de forma que la decoración tenía un verdadero brillo, que se acompañaba con el empleo de colores puros y luminosos. Sin embargo resulta más probable que el alluminare o raninmulli antiguo derive de la costumbre de combinar colorantes orgánicos con alumbre (allume en italiano) de roca para hacerlos insolubles; costumbre de tintoreros y miniaturistas, que de esta forma obtenían diversas lacas al alumbre. La palabra italiana "miniare" deriva de la costumbre de subrayar o colorear las iniciales de los manuscritos con rojo (minio). Por el contrario la acepción francesa de miniature, eomo ilustración pequeña y minuciosamente realizada, deriva de haber ligado la palabra a la falsa etimología de la raíz min- (minus, etc...), lo que es también válido para la italiana miniatura. Sin embargo, en tal sentido no se trata más que de una diferenciación con otras técnicas pictóricas, y específica sólo en relación al tamaño y a menudo al tema de re- presentación (retratos-paisajes).

Lo que nos interesa es lo que Dante llama alluminare y, para más detalles, nos referimos a la miniatura gótica, la época de mayor difusión de la miniatura; sobre ella tenemos abundantes noticias, sin ir más lejos, en un tratadito conocido a través de la copia de la Biblioteca Nazionale de Nápoles, bajo el título de De arte illuminandi, compuesto probablemente por un napolitano hacia mediados del siglo XIV.

La miniatura en los aspectos que nos interesan está realizada principalmente para la decoración de manuscritos sobre pergamino. El pergamino se obtenía, y se obtiene, de pieles de animales como terneras, ovejas y cabras; las pieles aún frescas se metían en agua para limpiarlas y luego en un baño de agua y cal que las desengrasaba y eliminaba los pelos. Después del aclarado en agua limpia, las pieles se extendían sobre tendederos y, antes de que se secaran por completo, se raspaban para obtener la finura deseada. Entonces se pulían con piedra pómez, pero si quedaba aún demasiada grasa era necesario remediarlo con álcali; se preparaba con agua una pasta de ceniza, o de cenizas y cal, que se daba sobre las pieles aún mojadas.

El pergamino, para los manuscritos más ricos, se podía teñir con púrpura clásica, por ejemplo, o con otro color cualquiera; en tal caso el oro que se aplicaba lograba un brillo aún mayor. El pergamino tiende de por sí a ser lustroso y graso; si se quiere hacer una adhesión más fuerte de las materias colorantes se prepara restregando con piedra pómez para conseguir una rugosidad mayor, o utiliza, do hiel de buey mezclada con un poco de albúmina para desengrasar; otra preparación consistía en dar con un algodón una solución de cola y miel; por el contrario, un tratado del siglo XVIII aconseja hiel de anguila mezclada con alcohol. El tratado napolitano enumera los colores necesarios para la miniatura: negro, blanco, rojo, amarillo, azul, violeta, rojo y verde. Esta simple enumeración evoca el recuerdo de la página miniada gótica, brillante con sus colores puros. Eran predominantemente colores naturales, sacados de tierras, y del lapislázuli para el azul. Para los colores artificiales el tratado cita entre otros el negro de carbón de vid, el negro humo, el blanco de huesos calcinados, el amarillo de raíces de cúrcuma, la retama de los tintoreros y los colores a base de plomo como el rojo minio (óxido de plomo) y el albayalde (un carbonato de plomo), que hoy no se recomiendan por venenosos. Para esfumatos o colores poco marcados se podía emplear lienzo coloreado y humedecido en goma arábiga.

Para la miniatura los colores se deben moler con mayor habilidad y finura que para el temple, en una solución de goma arábiga y azúcar confitada. Esta última sirve sobre todo para que el color no se aglutine en pequeñas gotitas sobre la superficie ligeramente grasienta del pergamino. El manuscrito napolitano aconseja una solución de huevo (pura y muy líquida que se escurre con una esponja), goma (bien colada tras haber sido disuelta en agua colocada sobre el rescoldo) y agua de miel (cocida y espumeante, hervida con agua y algo de albúmina): "Hubo en la Edad Media una gran división de opiniones acerca de los valores de la goma arábiga o de la clara de huevo para desleír los colores de la miniatura. Parece que se desarrollaron dos corrientes opuestas, con una tercera, intermedia, más moderada; pero en general se va afirmando la tendencia a sustituir la clara de huevo por la goma, especialmente durante el siglo XIV y después" (Thompson). La goma era más resistente y permitía lograr colores más intensos.

Una cosa era el escribano dedicado a la escritura del manuscrito, y otra el miniaturista, el ilustrador, en el caso de que la ilustración fuera más importante que la elaboración caligráfica y adornada de las capitales. Se da el caso de manuscritos terminados en lo que respecta a la escritura pero con los espacios destinados a la decoración miniada en blanco. Otras veces aparecen trazados los contornos de las miniaturas sin que se hayan llegado a colorear. Está claro que en el caso de talleres de copistas muy bien organizados se podía dar una subdivisión y una especialización del trabajo, dentro de la misma página miniada, aparte de que, para terminar con más rapidez la obra, varios miniaturistas se encargarían de distintas partes del libro.

La gran delicadeza del material desaconseja esbozar la imagen directamente sobre la obra (con arrepentimientos y correcciones). Es más seguro el método del calco, cuyos contornos quedan marcados con trazos muy sutiles. Para evitar el enturbiamiento y el corrimiento de los colores se dejaba secar cada uno de ellos antes de dar el siguiente. Tampoco todas las intensidades de los colores se podían lograr con una sola mano. El color, muy líquido, se iba volviendo más intenso por superposiciones sucesivas, en trazos cortos o punteados. Tan sólo la miniatura francesa, en su vertiente decorativa, al identificar las formas con el desarrollo ondulante de la factura, ha utilizado pinceladas largas.

El primer color que se aplicaba era el oro; el manuscrito napolitano describe minuciosamente la operación. El pergamino se preparaba con varias capas de cola rebajada. Una vez limpia y pulida la superficie así obtenida se conseguía la adherencia final con clara de huevo batida, y luego mezclada con agua y otros ingredientes y extendida cuidadosamente y con calma. Una vez aplicada la lámina, se recortaba siguiendo los contornos y se hacía pegar bien con algodón. Una vez seco el sustrato, se bruñía la lámina con diente de lobo, de ternero o con piedra de hematites, mientras se procedía a alisar las posibles irregularidades. Las decoraciones incisas en el oro se podían obtener luego con hematites y manteniendo el pergamino sobre una madera dura.

El espíritu de la miniatura medieval, que tiende a mantener la luz en toda la página sin que se coma el color, se traduce en los consejos para las variaciones de éste: para los fileteados se añade al color del fondo una cantidad de blanco albayalde tan pequeña que apenas parezca que hay cambio de color; en escampados donde se ha utilizado un color aclarado con blanco se empleará el color puro para los tonos más vigorosos; para las sombras más marcadas sobre rojo, cinabrio, azul se utilizará rosa líquido; y para lo mismo sirve un trapito violeta; el miniaturista impregnaba los "trapitos" de lino blanco con sustancias colorantes orgánicas sobre las que luego se pasaba el pincel mojado.

Merece la pena transcribir el párrafo en que se habla de la obtención de las carnaciones: "Si quieres pintar el color de la carne de la cara o de otras partes del cuerpo, antes de nada debes cubrir todo el trozo que vayas a colorear con tierra verde mezclada con mucho blanco, de modo que el verde se apague un poco; luego con la tierrecilla que se hace con amarillo, negro, indigo y rojo, muy líquida, debes colorear las figuras, sombreando donde haya que sombrear; después con blanco y un poco de verde resalta e ilumina las partes en que haya que hacerlo, como hacen los pintores. A continuación toma el rojo con un poco de blanco y colorea las partes que deban ser coloreadas y aplica lentamente esta sustancia en las partes sombreadas. Finalmente da una mezcla muy líquida de mucho blanco y poco rojo por toda la carne según el tono que quieras dar a las carnaciones, pero en menor proporción en las sombras que en las partes resaltadas, y por fin, si quieres, da mayor realce con blanco puro, haz los ojos con blanco y con negro, y haz los contornos, en los puntos que lo requieran, con rojo y negro mezclado con un poco de amarillo o, si quieres, con indigo; o mejor aún hazlo con el negro, que es mejor y más adecuado, como tú ya sabes."

La imprenta y la desaparición del libro manuscrito no favoreció la difusión de la miniatura. Su crisis puede verse ya cuando, al afirmarse en la pintura una visión que tiende a conseguir profundidad y un espacio ilusorio, este carácter debía aparecer como contradictorio con la miniatura, que debía valorar el sentido de la superficie de la página, y no recortarse como una ventana abierta al mundo. Pero hay que considerar dos elementos propios de la misma consistencia material del libro miniado; uno, que es esencialmente un objeto precioso; otro, que puede ser utilizado, contando que se pierda, por un reducido número de personas. La producción de miniatura sólo puede estar unida a ambientes "elitistas", abadías y obispados; cortes o familias principales. En el momento en que al arte se le confía una misión que va más allá de la gratificación implícita en la posesión del objeto artístico y su contemplación privada, sino que intenta instituir una relación entre comitente y público, como la conmemoración o la persuasión, queda poco sitio para la miniatura. No es casual que los lugares en que esta actividad artística ha pervivido más tiempo hayan sido los conventos, donde, por otra parte, y salvo en casos afortunados, permanece apartada de los problemas más significativos del tiempo."

          National Geographic Publishes Anti-Semitic Article on the Illuminati   

National Geographic, now a Murdoch company, has just published an inane article depicting Adam Weishaupt, the founder of the Illuminati, as a closet Jew financed by the Rothschild family—the kind of stuff one usually only encounters on wacky conspiracy-oriented websites. See here:
http://freemasonsfordummies.blogspot.de/2016/08/the-illuminati-national-geographic-and.html


          Illuminations 79 – Don’t Die with Your Music in You   

Dear All, Last month I finished a series of online classes on Finding Your Dharma. Devotees often ask, “How do I know my nature and how do I find my inspiration?”   This newsletter offers ways to answer this question. May you always think of Krsna, Mahatma Das Spanish Translation of this Newsletter P.S. – […]

The post Illuminations 79 – Don’t Die with Your Music in You appeared first on Official Home Page of H G Mahatma Das (ACBSP).


          Illuminations 78 – How to Change this Year? You Need to Freak Out!   

  Here are some thoughts about New Year’s Resolutions. The ideas are simple but powerful, although not always so easy to follow. I have deeply studied the principles behind the ideas and found them immensely helpful. So give this newsletter a serious read.  It just might help you make some important changes in your life, service, sadhana or […]

The post Illuminations 78 – How to Change this Year? You Need to Freak Out! appeared first on Official Home Page of H G Mahatma Das (ACBSP).


          Illuminations 77 – Is Humility Compatible with a Healthy Self-esteem?   

After five months of constant travel I return to Mayapur. Many priorities made it difficult to keep up with my newsletters. What I would have wanted to write if I had the time is expressed perfectly in the article below by my godsister Arcana Siddhi Devi Dasi. The article is about the difference between low […]

The post Illuminations 77 – Is Humility Compatible with a Healthy Self-esteem? appeared first on Official Home Page of H G Mahatma Das (ACBSP).


          Illuminations 76 – Why Marriages Don’t Last   

I have been getting many letters recently asking how to choose a partner, and also asking why marriages don’t last. For this newsletter I have taken all my responses and organized them into something cohesive. I felt it important to share this information because stable marriages are becoming more and more of a challenge today […]

The post Illuminations 76 – Why Marriages Don’t Last appeared first on Official Home Page of H G Mahatma Das (ACBSP).


          Illuminations 75 – No One Can Help You Like You Can   

Happy New Year. Since I am sending this newsletter at the New Year, and this being the time when we all think about making resolutions, I felt inspired to present something on the topic of vows. So I collected and reorganized my notes and writings on this topic and I thought to share some of […]

The post Illuminations 75 – No One Can Help You Like You Can appeared first on Official Home Page of H G Mahatma Das (ACBSP).


          Illuminations 74 – A Happy Wife Has A Good Husband   

My last newsletter was posted on Dandavats and some devotees felt that I had wrongly interpreted Prabhupada’s statement that divorce is primarily the woman’s fault when I stated that I find men equally responsible, if not more so, for many of our divorces. This newsletter sheds further light on this topic. I explain the nature […]

The post Illuminations 74 – A Happy Wife Has A Good Husband appeared first on Official Home Page of H G Mahatma Das (ACBSP).


          Illuminations 73 – Husband As Guru   

Recently an unmarried female devotee told me that a man was interested in getting to know her, and in their discussions he mentioned that ‘the husband is the guru.’ She asked me for guidance on the subject. This Illumination is what I wrote to clarify for her (and him) what it means for a husband […]

The post Illuminations 73 – Husband As Guru appeared first on Official Home Page of H G Mahatma Das (ACBSP).


          Basi di illuminazione per Character Animation   
E' probabile che tu non ci abbia mai fatto caso, ma spesso nei film di animazione i personaggi ricevono una luce più o meno costante che gli consente di essere sempre correttamente illuminati.
          Comentário sobre “Now You See Me”Truque de Mestre: um filme sobre a indústria do entretenimento Illuminati? por Deivid Martins   
Ótimo artigo! Mas eu ainda estou confuso sobre o símbolo que eles usam. Tem nome? E qual é o significado daquilo? (Não estou me referindo ao olho, mas sim aquele símbolo que tem três retângulos e uma linha traçada entre eles) Agradeço desde já se alguém puder me responder!
          Comentário sobre ”V” de vitória…para o diabo – Sir Winston Churchill e outros sacerdotes druidas e Servos Illuminati por Izaque   
Esqueceram de informar que o "V" é uma runa!
          Comentário sobre Donald Trump e o cartão illuminati ‘Enough Is Enough” um prenúncio do que está por vir? por Alex   
https://youtu.be/FVvHiQsYWsI https://youtu.be/MXlLJnDgR2Q
          Adam Weishaupt y La sociedad secreta de los Illuminati   
Por Suso Souto El 1 de mayo de 1776, los primeros Iluminados se reunieron para fundar la Orden en un bosque próximo a Ingolstadt, a la luz de las antorchas. Eran sólo cinco: Adam Weishaupt y cuatro de sus estudiantes. Allí se fijaron las normas que regularían la Orden. Nadie podía acceder a ella por […]
          Prodigy Next Project Was A Musical About The Illuminati   

Prodigy Next Project Was A Musical About The Illuminati The late Queen’s MC was set to move into the musical arena. Prodigy was always working [...]

The post Prodigy Next Project Was A Musical About The Illuminati appeared first on 991Nation.


          ‘Lights Out’ LAFF Review: Haunted House Spookfest Is More On Than Off   

Horror films, by necessity, live in a world where what’s unseen is often scarier than what’s visible. The plucky and well-acted, if not always shiver-inducing, “Lights Out” — from first-time feature director David F. Sandberg, building on his popular viral short, and fright impresario James Wan (“The Conjuring 2”) — works a clever gimmick that seems tailor-made for the visual particulars of movies: a terrorizing figure one can only detect when there’s no illumination.

That really means cagey indirect light, the kind that’s turned heaps of clothes into imagined monsters since kids were first tucked into beds. That the film occasionally succumbs to certain rudimentary hallmarks of industrial studio horror is regrettable, but for the most part it’s agreeably suspenseful, date-night arm-squeezing genre fare.

The Internet short, starring Sandberg’s wife Lotta Losten, is a three-minute exercise in claustrophobic fright: a lone woman (Losten) in her apartment realizes that when she flicks off the hallway lightswitch, she sees the outline of a figure at the other end. Curious, she keeps toggling, until one flick too many results in the figure instantly materializing right next to her. Sandberg’s handling of this nifty far-then-close effect, which caught the eye of producers Wan and Lawrence Grey, is now the opening of the expanded movie, set in a textile factory at night, with Losten as an employee shutting things down for her boss Paul (Billy Burke), and encountering the gnarled, spindly-fingered figure when turning out a workroom light. Needless to say, closing time doesn’t end well.

Paul’s home life, we learn as Eric Heisserer‘s screenplay unfolds, hasn’t been so rosy, either. His grade-school-age son Martin (Gabriel Bateman) is falling asleep at school because at night he’s kept awake by the mysterious shadows that lurk in their big, old, dark Tudor Craftsman house, not to mention the fact that his disturbed mother Sophie (Maria Bello) surreptitiously talks to someone named Diana (Alicia Vela-Bailey).

A concerned counselor at Martin’s school calls Martin’s older stepsister Rebecca (Teresa Palmer), who moved out after her own father left the family years ago, and who believes her mother is too unstable to look after Martin. Rebecca’s makeshift play to become the boy’s guardian is thwarted by legality, however, which sends Martin back to Sophie’s suspiciously underlit house. Rebecca, with her attentive boyfriend (Alexander DiPersia) in tow, is then forced to both confront a nightmarish situation she thought she’d left behind and uncover the secret behind the malevolent Diana.

As with many modern multiplex haunts, the backstory stuff is the weakest element — the explained diagnosis that kills the atmosphere — but at least Sandberg seems to understand that, too. Dialogue moments are, for better or worse, short and sweet and perfunctorily handled, possibly because he knows he’s got a canny cinematic device, and takes every opportunity to turn spare darkness into potential squirm moments. Nothing’s ever truly scary, but the gestalt of this fearscape is fun and briskly handled.

To that end, Vela-Bailey’s gnarled physicality is a creepy plus, and cinematographer Marc Spicer does a fine job turning the housebound third act into a succession of working/non-working light sources. Less exciting is Sandberg’s reliance on loud sound effects, which too often undercut a ploy better served by sustained dread than forced shocks.

The performances help as well. Palmer, last seen in the melodramatic “The Choice,” makes an appealing heroine, and Bateman’s terrified reactions are often palpable. He and the reliably intense Bello even share a scene that unnerves on acting alone: an unhinged mom insisting to her disbelieving, increasingly scared son, as she physically holds him down, that Diana means well.

“Lights Out” makes it perfectly clear that Diana is no friend, and for much of this movie’s nicely compact running time, it’s an effective enough haunting that one has hopes for what Sandberg will do with his next Wan-produced movie, the “Conjuring” franchise installment “Annabelle 2.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'The Conjuring 2' Review: Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson Scare Up a Chilly British Haunting

Adam Scott, Terry Crews Join Rob Huebel's 'Do You Want to See a Dead Body?' (Exclusive)

Cinedigm's Chris McGurk at LAFF: Never Mind the Slump, We're In for an Indie Renaissance

WWE Star Luke Harper Cast in Horror Movie 'Mohawk'


          Colette Calascione   


Lost at Sea
Colette Calascione
Oil on Wood
(2000)
10" x 14"


"Colette Calascione received a good deal of attention for her mysterious, exquisitely detailed paintings when Nancy Hoffman included her work in a group show called “Eve” at her gallery last year. Hoffman showed her again at this year’s ADAA Art Show and at the Scope fair—and is presenting Calascione’s first solo show at her Soho gallery at the end of this month. Almost the entire show has sold in advance." -Robert Ayers



Coincidental Gathering
Colette Calascione
Oil on Wood
(2003/2004)
24" x 28"



Cat Mask
Colette Calascione
Oil on Wood
(2003)
24" x 36"



Dream of the Hungry Ghost
Colette Calascione
Oil on Wood
(2003)
23" x 28"



Illumination
Colette Calascione
Oil on Panel
(2002)
24" x 30"



          Word.   

A friend turned me on to The Believer magazine, which is now my bus and train reading. In the February issue, there’s a fascinating series of essays by transgender author T Cooper on different aspects of his transformation from female to male: unsent letters he wrote to his parents explaining his decision, personality changes he has gone through since his transformation, elements of womanhood that one would think he’d understand considering his past but doesn’t. But one essay, on the subject of his frustration at the “slip-ups” people still make regarding his gender such as accidentally referring to him as a “she,” suggests his frustration at not having his identity acknowledged and respected has surpassed his empathy for human error. It’s ironically the one closed-minded part of an otherwise illuminating, and entertaining, treatise.

Cooper argues,

“…say you have a good friend you’ve known for years. You used to go out to bars with this guy, snort drugs, hook up with strippers, and then wake up and do it all over again. If this guy is now 5 years sober and happily married with 2.5 perfect children, you probably wouldn’t call him up every day and ask him to score some coke and go whoring with you…It’s not the world he lives in, even if you still think or still wish he did. Maybe it never was to him, it never quite fit, and he had to go through all that to get to the happy rainbow place he is today.

Or, say you always played basketball with a buddy; that’s all you did together…But then your buddy is in a gruesome Staten Island Ferry accident, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, exiled permanently to a wheelchair. Would you forevermore go up to him, see him sitting there, and then be like, ‘Yo, you wanna go down to the corner and play some pickup? Oops! I didn’t mean to say that! Sorry, it’s just so hard to get used to!’

No, it’s fucking not…..it makes me feel like shit when people refer to me as she. It doesn’t matter if it’s with the best of intentions, or whether it’s obvious to those in earshot that I’m male, and nothing’s technically been lost, that there’s clearly been a mistake. Or even if they are talking about the past.’

(quoting his wife) ’How would I feel if I were called sir while I was out on a date, wearing a dress and heels and cherry lipstick? How abnegating it would be to have the world decide, no matter how many signals you give, that you are something you are not.’


Of course, his frustration is understandable, and so is his pain. But I’m not sure his impatience with people who slip-up, and his dismissal of them as somehow lazy or dismissive themselves, is fair. It got me thinking about how I “group” people in my mind, what the most basic thing about them I remember and associate with them is. What are the characteristics that, no matter how the signals they deliberately send change over time, identify them to me?


This analogy might not immediately be apparent, but the essay reminded me of the way I think of words: how I group them, how I remember them, how they affect me. Sometimes when I’m trying and failing to remember a word that is “on the tip of my tongue,” the closest attributes of the word itself that I can remember might be the number of syllables, or the rhythm of it, or perhaps whether it was Germanic, Latin or Greek in origin. If I remember speaking it aloud to myself, randomly throwing in a few rough breathing marks for fun and imitating a recording I once listened to of The Iliad recited in a dialect believed to be similar to Old Ionic, I know the word was Greek. If I recall intentionally mispronouncing it in an Italian accent, I’ll know it is from Latin. If it sounds sexy or romantic, I’ll know it’s Frenchified Latin. If it’s phlegmy and uncouth, it must be German.


But more palpable than my memories of the attributes of the word itself, are my memories of how I felt when I first encountered the word. I can remember whether I was happy or sad, in love, depressed, feeling accomplished and smug, or put-upon and useless. I can remember if I was eating at the moment, and if so, whether it was sweet or savory, and how I felt as I was eating, if I was just grazing or eating until I was full, or ate too much and felt sick. Or maybe I was just having a coffee and felt the acid tenderize my stomach as I first read or heard that word.


That’s another thing I can remember even if I can’t remember the word itself: I know if I heard the word on TV or read it in a book. If it was from the television I can remember whether it was on a news or commentary show or in a movie or serial. If it was news and commentary, I can remember if I agreed with the person who used the word, and if it was a serial, whether I had a crush on the character who used it. If it was in a book, I can remember if it was fiction or non-fiction, and if fiction, which voice spoke the word aloud in my mind’s ear: if the narrator was female, regardless of the cultural origin of the book, it was my own, as I pride myself on being good with dialects. If male, the voice belonged to Jeremy Irons, naturally. If it was non-fiction I can remember whether it was British or American, or a translation. I can remember if I learned the word in conversation, and whether that conversation was in America or Europe, and if in America, on what coast, and if on the west coast, whether it was with a friend from high school, the theatre, or the opera, and if in New York, at Saks or some other job, over drinks or lunch or shouted at a noisy party. I can remember my status relative to the person who used the word, if it was a boss or a teacher, or a colleague, or a nuisance—did I feel intimidated, worried, delighted, or annoyed when I heard this word? Do I associate the word with satisfaction (words I learn while happy) or frustration (words I learn while trying to distract myself from unhappiness)? I can remember that, if not the word.


The clues are ghosts, and ghosts of ghosts, not of the thing itself, but of who I was at the moment of reception. It’s why, whenever I hear or read the word “assuage” I recall myself, if ever so faintly, as an 18 year old crushing on a teacher, or why “parameter” triggers a surge of disdain: I remember my father, in our Oldsmobile some time in the ‘80’s, complaining about the clichés of the day, the trendy words he was so tired of hearing, such as people droning on about the “parameters” of something when they just wanted a fancy word for “limit.” “Diminute” makes me think of London, Shakespeare, a Kensal Rise flat filled with books and art, good friends, Turkish rugs, grass and red wine. This is because, having heard my teacher Ben use the word several times in class, I asked him one night at his home, where I spent my best English evenings, why he didn’t just say “diminish” (the answer is that “diminish” is a reflexive verb, and “diminute,” an obscure active one, or less obscure adjective). With “pervasive” I’m back in Santa Fe on a warm dry autumn night under a sky the color of rust, reading my classmate Chris’s freshmen biology essay, astonished at the brilliant 16 year-old’s ability to interpret the sodden innards of our dissected cat, and wondering if I’d ever be able to hold my own with such scholars. The sentence itself wasn’t too spectacular, something about how the arterial system of the cat was “not quite pervasive,” but I recall that mix of admiration and apprehension perfectly, for it revisits me every time I use, hear, or read that word. “Abstruse” places me back as a breathless stagehand over ten years ago, working a production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (in which the word appears), always over-sugared, over-caffeinated, and hungry from eating dinner too early before the marathon play. The fricative “s” escapes the plosive “b,” breaks the tab “t” and gushes out through “ru” and suddenly the coca-cola is spumy in my empty stomach, its sugars caustic on my teeth.


These peripheral experiences that I recall with every word, or instead of the word, if it eludes me, only mean that more than the literal or technical definition of a word, I remember how I felt at my initial encounter with it.


I’ve realized, however, that out of all this mnemonic detritus my experience attaches to a word the most basic thing I project onto it is gender. I can remember if it was a male or female who spoke it or wrote it when I noticed it. If it was a man, I remember which category I had placed him in: guide and mentor, friend and equal, romantic interest, romantic interest and friend and equal, romantic interest and mentor, or pest. If the speaker of the word was female, I remember if she was a mentor, a friend and equal, or if I felt threatened by her or confident that I threatened her, or if she was a friend I felt threatened by or towards whom I was careful not to act threateningly. But ridding the word of my collateral experience, it remains, to me, male or female. “Atavistic,” “frisson,” and “palimpsest” are all male, because I encountered them reading Martin Amis, A. A. Gill, and Will Self respectively. Female words are “Effulgence” (Wharton), “tautology” (another great Gill, my former classmate Karina), and “limn” (Fuck You, Michiko Kakutani). “Droll” is female (mother) and “subsume” is male (Michael Schneider). “Judicious” is female, and “histrionic” is male. The gender I associate with a word has only to do with the gender of the person from whom I first learned the word, however long ago, regardless of the actual definition, etymology, connotations, or the gender, if any, with which the word is usually associated. “Histrionic” is a word I usually hear used, justly or unjustly, in connection to femaleness (or to me specifically, totally without basis). But my first hit of it came from a male drama teacher, so male it stays.


Of course I’m not really talking about words, I’m talking about myself, and the associations I make that make no sense of anything but my own experience. However disparate my experience is from the truth about something, it provides a deeper meaning for me than the objective truth about that thing. And gender, somehow, is the most basic element of that experience. I wonder if it is so for other people as well. If I’m alone in a room, and my back is turned to the door and someone else walks in, I can tell if that person is a man or woman. And it’s not from some obvious “signal” like the sound of high heels on floorboard or the smell of perfume. It’s visceral and I can’t justify with evidence, but I’m almost always right.


Cooper analogizes the slip-ups people make regarding his gender with a slip-up no sane or sensitive person would make in two hypothetical examples, of the whoring buddy now settled and the basketball partner now paralyzed. But the activities one enjoys with a person, however regularly, and for however long, are not nearly as identifying as that person’s gender. The two examples Cooper uses are a false equivalency because it is much more natural to dissociate a person from the hobbies you shared with them than it is to suddenly start thinking of them in a whole different gender. Yes, one should acknowledge dresses and cherry lipstick as signals of how a person prefers to be regarded, but in the moment of a “slip-up,” one is guided by something deeper than the part of one’s brain that acknowledges and interprets signals, before that part of the brain can catch the mistake and correct it. I had a friend while living in Europe, a male who had made the transition to female long before I ever knew her. She did not tell me of the change she had made at all. I heard about it from a mutual friend but didn’t think much of it, since I’m from San Francisco and don’t find such stories to be too exotic. I would have known anyway, as her past maleness was unmistakable--again, not because of any signal I can put words to—I’ve known women who were taller, broader-shouldered, slimmer-hipped, deeper-voiced, had more, er, manly facial features, and wore less makeup on them. No, there was just something “male” about her, and, months into our friendship I slipped up once while ordering in a restaurant and referred to her as a “he.” I was mortified, of course, and hope I did not make her feel like shit, as T Cooper describes such gaffs as affecting him. But I also can’t quite agree that this slip-up is on the level of accidentally inviting a man in a wheelchair to play basketball. Hobbies and the accidents we suffer do not occupy space in the same atavistic chamber of our psyches as gender. I can understand “how abnegating it would be to have the world decide that you are something you are not” but a slip-up is not a decision, and cannot be resented in the same way.


Cooper and other people who have undergone gender transformation say they did it to honor what they know to be the truth about themselves. “…to be trans is to feel the truth so acutely you can’t fake it. It is to be so consumed with the truth of who you are that you are willing to risk everything to inhabit it.” But it is unreasonable to expect the world you live in not only to acknowledge that truth (that is indeed reasonable) but feel that truth as acutely, as unmistakably as you do, and to be offended when the signals you labor to exhibit are no match for what millions of years have hardwired into us. I read a study recently that told me I am likely to behave more protectively of myself around men when I am ovulating than when I am in the less fertile phase of my cycle; I will avoid sketchy areas, I will dress less provocatively, I will subconsciously regard men as potential rapists and try not to act as if I’m “asking for it,” in a biological mechanism designed to cope with my greater attractiveness during that time. My body wants to be impregnated and so subtly enhances the signals of my fertility, but it also wants to minimize the chances of the “wrong” male taking advantage (i.e. it wants a baby-daddy and not a rapist). Of course this is offensive. As a level-headed woman I prefer to think that I gauge my safety from situation to situation rationally, based on observations and crime statistics and the like. I also resent the implication that the hormones sloshing around in me will soak my deductive powers so thoroughly that on some primordial level I think any dweeb on the street is a threat to me in my fecundity. Who knows if the study itself will stick, but it says something about people and gender. Our reactions to maleness and femaleness are beyond what our conscious selves can grasp. It is what makes people like T Cooper know, in their deepest selves, what they are, despite all the contrary signals with which nature has assembled them. But it is also why (I suspect) it is unlikely that trans people will ever feel understood and acknowledged as totally as they understand and acknowledge the truth about themselves, whatever level of enlightenment our culture achieves. Not everyone ascribes a gender to words as I do (but, ahem, many cultures do), but everyone comprehends and reacts to gender, in ways that may be partly societal, but primarily evolutionary. Millions of years have taught us to recognize and react to gender. It is asking a lot of people that they not only reject, but forget.


          Musings & Outliers: 2016 Available Now!   
We’re losing control. Director Zimmerman won’t admit it of course, but the projections are bad news in all directions. Outliers, men and women of extraordinary talents, are exploding in numbers across the globe thanks to the new drug “Illumination.” We think the clandestine group “Legion” is responsible for spreading the substance, but not for producing […]
          Friday Freebie: Summer of Lovin’ Books Giveaway   

Congratulations to John Smith, winner of last week’s Friday Freebie: Fen by Daisy Johnson.

This week’s contest is another of those clear-the-shelves-and-dump-everything-into-a-big-box giveaways. I’ve put together a shelf of eclectic books, ones which have been waiting (im)patiently for the right Friday Freebie to come along. There should be something for just about everyone in this stack. Will you be the ONE lucky reader to win ALL of the following books? You can’t win unless you play...

Dinner With Edward by Isabel Vincent: When Isabel meets Edward, both are at a crossroads: he wants to follow his late wife to the grave, and she is ready to give up on love. Thinking she is merely helping Edward’s daughter--who lives far away and has asked her to check in on her nonagenarian dad in New York--Isabel has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light-as-air apricot souffle will end up changing her life. As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini, or even his tips for deboning poultry. Edward is teaching Isabel the luxury of slowing down and taking the time to think through everything she does, to deconstruct her own life, cutting it back to the bone and examining the guts, no matter how messy that proves to be. Dinner with Edward is a book about love and nourishment, and about how dinner with a friend can, in the words of M. F. K. Fisher, “sustain us against the hungers of the world.”

Pumpkinflowers by Matti Friedman: It was just one small hilltop in a small, unnamed war in the late 1990s, but it would send out ripples that are still felt worldwide today. The hill, in Lebanon, was called the Pumpkin; flowers was the military code word for “casualties.” Award-winning writer Matti Friedman re-creates the harrowing experience of a band of young Israeli soldiers charged with holding this remote outpost, a task that would change them forever, wound the country in ways large and small, and foreshadow the unwinnable conflicts the United States would soon confront in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. Pumpkinflowers is a reckoning by one of those young soldiers now grown into a remarkable writer. Part memoir, part reportage, part history, Friedman’s powerful narrative captures the birth of today’s chaotic Middle East and the rise of a twenty-first-century type of war in which there is never a clear victor and media images can be as important as the battle itself. Raw and beautifully rendered, Pumpkinflowers will take its place among classic war narratives by George Orwell, Philip Caputo, and Tim O’Brien. It is an unflinching look at the way we conduct war today.

The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist: One day in early spring, Dorrit Weger is checked into the Second Reserve Bank Unit for biological material. She is promised a nicely furnished apartment inside the Unit, where she will make new friends, enjoy the state of the art recreation facilities, and live the few remaining days of her life in comfort with people who are just like her. Here, women over the age of fifty and men over sixty–single, childless, and without jobs in progressive industries–are sequestered for their final few years; they are considered outsiders. In the Unit they are expected to contribute themselves for drug and psychological testing, and ultimately donate their organs, little by little, until the final donation. Despite the ruthless nature of this practice, the ethos of this near-future society and the Unit is to take care of others, and Dorrit finds herself living under very pleasant conditions: well-housed, well-fed, and well-attended. She is resigned to her fate and discovers her days there to be rather consoling and peaceful. But when she meets a man inside the Unit and falls in love, the extraordinary becomes a reality and life suddenly turns unbearable. Dorrit is faced with compliance or escape, and…well, then what? The Unit is a gripping exploration of a society in the throes of an experiment, in which the “dispensable” ones are convinced under gentle coercion of the importance of sacrificing for the “necessary” ones. Ninni Holmqvist has created a debut novel of humor, sorrow, and rage about love, the close bonds of friendship, and about a cynical, utilitarian way of thinking disguised as care.

Most Dangerous Place by James Grippando: Defending a woman accused of murdering the man who sexually assaulted her, Miami lawyer Jack Swyteck must uncover where the truth lies between innocence, vengeance, and justice in this spellbinding tale of suspense—based on shocking true-life events—from the New York Times bestselling author of Gone Again. According to the FBI, the most dangerous place for a woman between the ages of twenty and thirty is in a relationship with a man. Those statistics become all too personal when Jack Swyteck takes on a new client tied to his past. It begins at the airport, where Jack is waiting to meet his old high school buddy, Keith Ingraham, a high-powered banker based in Hong Kong, coming to Miami for his young daughter’s surgery. But their long-awaited reunion is abruptly derailed when the police arrest Keith’s wife, Isabelle, in the terminal, accusing her of conspiring to kill the man who raped her in college. Jack quickly agrees to represent Isa, but soon discovers that to see justice done, he must separate truth from lies—an undertaking that proves more complicated than the seasoned attorney expects. Inspired by an actual case involving a victim of sexual assault sent to prison for the death of her attacker, James Grippando’s twisty thriller brilliantly explores the fine line between victim and perpetrator, innocence and guilt, and cold-blooded revenge and rightful retribution.

Dimestore by Lee Smith: Set deep in the mountains of Virginia, the Grundy of Lee Smith’s youth was a place of coal miners, tent revivals, mountain music, drive-in theaters, and her daddy’s dimestore. When she was sent off to college to gain some “culture,” she understood that perhaps the richest culture she would ever know was the one she was leaving. Lee Smith’s fiction has always lived and breathed with the rhythms and people of the Appalachian South. But never before has she written her own story. Dimestore’s fifteen essays are crushingly honest, wise and perceptive, and superbly entertaining. Together, they create an inspiring story of the birth of a writer and a poignant look at a way of life that has all but vanished.

The Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan: The Gray House is an astounding tale of how what others understand as liabilities can be leveraged into strengths. Bound to wheelchairs and dependent on prosthetic limbs, the physically disabled students living in the House are overlooked by the Outsides. Not that it matters to anyone living in the House, a hulking old structure that its residents know is alive. From the corridors and crawl spaces to the classrooms and dorms, the House is full of tribes, tinctures, scared teachers, and laws—all seen and understood through a prismatic array of teenagers’ eyes. But student deaths and mounting pressure from the Outsides put the time-defying order of the House in danger. As the tribe leaders struggle to maintain power, they defer to the awesome power of the House, attempting to make it through days and nights that pass in ways that clocks and watches cannot record.

Little Boy Lost by J. D. Trafford: Attorney Justin Glass’s practice, housed in a shabby office on the north side of Saint Louis, isn’t doing so well that he can afford to work for free. But when eight-year-old Tanisha Walker offers him a jar full of change to find her missing brother, he doesn’t have the heart to turn her away. Justin had hoped to find the boy alive and well. But all that was found of Devon Walker was his brutally murdered body—and the bodies of twelve other African American teenagers, all discarded like trash in a mass grave. Each had been reported missing. And none had been investigated. As simmering racial tensions explode into violence, Justin finds himself caught in the tide. And as he gives voice to the discontent plaguing the city’s forgotten and ignored, he vows to search for the killer who preys upon them.

Leave Me by Gayle Forman: Every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, and every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention--meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who’s so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn’t even realize she’s had a heart attack. Surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: she packs a bag and leaves. But, as is often the case, once we get where we’re going we see our lives from a different perspective. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from herself and those she loves. With bighearted characters--husbands, wives, friends, and lovers--who stumble and trip, grow and forgive, Leave Me is about facing the fears we’re all running from. Gayle Forman is a dazzling observer of human nature. She has written an irresistible novel that confronts the ambivalence of modern motherhood head on and asks, what happens when a grown woman runs away from home?

The Legend of the Albino Farm by Steve Yates: The Legend of the Albino Farm is a horror story turned inside out. What if a thriving family were saddled with an unshakable spook tale? And what if that lore cursed them with an unending whirlwind of destruction from thrill seekers, partiers, bikers, and Goths? Hettienne Sheehy is about to inherit this devouring legacy. Last child to bear a once golden name, she is heiress to a sprawling farm in the Missouri Ozarks. During summer, childhood idylls in the late 1940s, Hettienne has foreseen all this apocalyptic fury in frightening, mystifying visions. Haunted by a whirling augury, by a hurtful spook tale, and by a property that seems to doom all who would dare own it, in the end, Hettienne will risk everything to save the family she truly loves. The Legend of the Albino Farm has haunted two generations of Sheehys and marred all memory of the family’s glory days. Worse, this spooky lore now draws revelers, druggies, motorcycle gangs, hippies, and later Goths to trample the land, set bonfires, and vandalize its structures, all while Hettienne’s aged aunts cling to privacy, sanity, and a rapidly deteriorating thirteen-room mansion.. From her youth, throughout her marriage and her rearing of her children, the Legend of the Albino Farm and the curse of the Sheehys drag at her and her family like a vortex. Haunted by a whirling augury, by a hurtful spook tale, and by a relentlessly judgmental Ozarks city, in the end, Hettienne believes she must make decisions that might compromise her family’s financial security but will severe them from an ever more dangerous legacy.

Security by Gina Wohlsdorf: Manderley Resort is a gleaming, new twenty-story hotel on the California coast. It’s about to open its doors, and the world--at least those with the means to afford it--will be welcomed into a palace of opulence and unparalleled security. But someone is determined that Manderley will never open. The staff has no idea that their every move is being watched, and over the next twelve hours they will be killed off, one by one. Writing in the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King, and with a deep bow to Daphne du Maurier, author Gina Wohlsdorf pairs narrative ingenuity and razor-wire prose with quick twists, sharp turns, and gasp-inducing terror. Security is grand guignol storytelling at its very best. A shocking thriller, a brilliant narrative puzzle, and a multifaceted love story unlike any other, Security marks the debut of a fearless and gifted writer.

Said Not Said: Poems by Fred Marchant: In this important and formally inventive new poetry collection, Fred Marchant brings us into realms of the intractable and the unacceptable, those places where words seem to fail us and yet are all we have. In the process he affirms lyric poetry’s central role in the contemporary moral imagination. As the National Book Award winner David Ferry writes, “The poems in this beautiful new book by Fred Marchant are autobiographical, but, as is always the case with his poems, autobiographical of how he has witnessed, with faithfully exact and pitying observation, the sufferings in the lives of other people, for example the heartbreaking series of poems about the fatal mental suffering of his sister, and the poems about other peoples, in Vietnam, in the Middle East, written about with the noble generosity of feeling that has always characterized his work, here more impressively even than before.” Said Not Said is a poet’s taking stock of conscience, his country’s and his own, and of poetry’s capacity to speak to what matters most.

Stick a Fork in Me by Dan Jenkins: Pete Wallace, a good old boy from Texas, paid his dues coaching football on obscure campuses in the boondocks of America until he landed the athletic director's job at Western Ohio University. For 15 years, he has steadily and skillfully guided the school into the high society of major college sports. But now Pete, fed up with politically correct campus culture and babysitting fragile egos, is retiring from the "arms race." As he waits for the university's board of trustees to act on his early retirement package, he reflects on his career, the people he's come across, and what life will be like in retirement. Pete's story is told in Jenkins's unmistakable, raucous, old-school style, and it's full of colorful, absurd, and downright crazy characters--from clueless trustees and busybody protestors to prima donna football coaches and booster club pests.

Anton and Cecil: Cats Aloft by Lisa Martin and Valerie Martin: Tuckered out from a journey across the Wild West, cat brothers Anton and Cecil are ready to head east for home--until a minor stop to change trains in Chicago turns into a major adventure. A bloodhound detective recruits the brothers to help solve a case: puppies are disappearing right off their leashes! Anton and Cecil’s search takes them deep into the heart of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, where they befriend exotic animals, ride the newly invented Ferris Wheel, and look for clues amid the crowds of fairgoers. Just as they close in on the culprit, Cecil is carried away in a giant flying balloon and Anton is left behind. Can the cat brothers find the puppies and each other in this big, busy city? Fans of classic animal adventures such as A Cricket in Times Square and Poppy will love Anton and Cecil’s world, brimming with action and rich, true-to-life detail.

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin: What would you do if your four-year-old son claimed he had lived another life and that he wants to go back to it? That he wants his other mother? Single mom Janie is trying to figure out what is going on with her beloved son Noah. Noah has never been ordinary. He loves to make up stories, and he is constantly surprising her with random trivia someone his age has no right knowing. She always chalked it up to the fact that Noah was precocious―mature beyond his years. But Noah’s eccentricities are starting to become worrisome. One afternoon, Noah’s preschool teacher calls Janie: Noah has been talking about shooting guns and being held under water until he can’t breathe. Suddenly, Janie can’t pretend anymore. The school orders him to get a psychiatric evaluation. And life as she knows it stops for herself and her darling boy. For Jerome Anderson, life as he knows it has already stopped. Diagnosed with aphasia, his first thought as he approaches the end of his life is, I’m not finished yet. Once an academic star, a graduate of Yale and Harvard, a professor of psychology, he threw everything away to pursue an obsession: the stories of children who remembered past lives. Anderson became the laughing stock of his peers, but he never stopped believing that there was something beyond what anyone could see or comprehend. He spent his life searching for a case that would finally prove it. And with Noah, he thinks he may have found it. Soon, Noah, Janie, and Anderson will find themselves knocking on the door of a mother whose son has been missing for eight years. When that door opens, all of their questions will be answered. Gorgeously written and fearlessly provocative, Sharon Guskin’s debut explores the lengths we will go for our children. It examines what we regret in the end of our lives and hope for in the beginning, and everything in between.

Great Books of China by Frances Wood: Great Books of China invites readers to discover—or rediscover—some of the major achievements of Chinese culture and civilization. The literature of China remains largely unknown in the West, yet it offers much insight into Chinese life. The long continuity of Chinese culture means that texts created more than two thousand years ago are still part of the education and background of today's China. Great Books of China introduces outstanding works of various genres, from fiction, drama, and poetry to history, science, and travel; they were written by philosophers and artists, government officials and scholars, by men and women across many centuries and from every part of China. These great books are presented in their historic, cultural, and social context, with a focused summary of content and author. Beginning with some of the Confucian and Daoist classics and ending with modern fiction, Great Books of China features famous novels including The Water Margin (Shuihu zhuan), Journey to the West (Xiyou ji), and Dream of the Red Chamber (Hongloumeng); celebrated dramas such as The Story of the Lute (Pipa ji) and The Peach Blossom Fan (Taohua shan); poetry from ancient times and the “golden age” of the Tang to the last years of imperial China; renowned historic manuals on Chinese painting, on the construction of Chinese gardens, and on a carpenter’s varied tasks; major texts describing Chinese history, the military exploits of ancient generals, and the legendary journeys of Buddhist monks; and works by a number of modern writers including Lu Xun, Ding Ling, and Lao She. Concise, provocative, and illuminating, Great Books of China introduces the literature of one of the world's most significant cultures and helps us understand the China of the present and the past.

Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, edited by Kelly Jensen: Forty-four writers, dancers, actors, and artists contribute essays, lists, poems, comics, and illustrations about everything from body positivity to romance to gender identity to intersectionality to the greatest girl friendships in fiction. Together, they share diverse perspectives on and insights into what feminism means and what it looks like. Come on in, turn the pages, and be inspired to find your own path to feminism by the awesome individuals in Here We Are. “[Jensen’s] strength is on full display in this dynamic collection of essays, interviews, comic strips and more, which brings together a chorus of diverse viewpoints, from women and men, to help teens understand, broaden and visualize their own definition of contemporary feminism.” (Chicago Tribune)

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez: Every night, tiny stars appear out of the darkness in little Sandy’s bedroom. She catches them and creates wonderful creatures to play with until she falls asleep, and in the morning brings them back to life in the whimsical drawings that cover her room. One day, Morpie, a mysterious pale girl, appears at school. And she knows all about Sandy’s drawings. Nightlights is a beautiful story about fear, insecurity, and creativity, from the enchanting imagination of Lorena Alvarez. “Readers will cheer...The beings that inhabit Sandy’s nighttime world are simply delightful. The album size, cloth spine binding, and spot gloss on the cover are the icing on the cake of this beautiful graphic novel.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Audubon: On the Wings of the World by Fabien Grolleau and Jeremie Royer: At the start of the nineteenth century, John James Audubon embarked upon an epic ornithological quest across America with nothing but his artist’s materials, an assistant, a gun and an all-consuming passion for birds...This beautiful volume tells the story of an incredible artist and adventurer: one who encapsulates the spirit of early America, when the wilderness felt limitless and was still greatly unexplored. Based on Audubon”s own retellings, this graphic novel version of his travels captures the wild and adventurous spirit of a truly exceptional naturalist and painter. “Everything feels rich and strange and unrestricted, much like the continent must have felt in the early 19th century, when Audubon set out on his journeys. In other words, On the Wings of the World wants to do cataract surgery on your impressions of the time, the place and central figure, and it succeeds beautifully.” (Paste Magazine)

The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church: n her sweeping debut novel, Elizabeth J. Church takes us from the World War II years in Chicago to the vast sun-parched canyons of New Mexico in the 1970s as we follow the journey of a driven, spirited young woman, Meridian Wallace, whose scientific ambitions are subverted by the expectations of her era. In 1941, at seventeen years old, Meridian begins her ornithology studies at the University of Chicago. She is soon drawn to Alden Whetstone, a brilliant, complicated physics professor who opens her eyes to the fundamentals and poetry of his field, the beauty of motion, space and time, the delicate balance of force and energy that allows a bird to fly. Entranced and in love, Meridian defers her own career path and follows Alden west to Los Alamos, where he is engaged in a secret government project (later known to be the atomic bomb). In married life, though, she feels lost and left behind. She channels her academic ambitions into studying a particular family of crows, whose free life and companionship are the very things that seem beyond her reach. There in her canyons, years later at the dawn of the 1970s, with counterculture youth filling the streets and protests against the war rupturing college campuses across the country, Meridian meets Clay, a young geologist and veteran of the Vietnam War, and together they seek ways to mend what the world has broken. Exquisitely capturing the claustrophobic eras of 1940s and 1950s America, The Atomic Weight of Love also examines the changing roles of women during the decades that followed. And in Meridian Wallace we find an unforgettable heroine whose metamorphosis shows how the women’s movement opened up the world for a whole generation.

Fifty-Six Counties by Russell Rowland: Montana has a long and celebrated tradition of artful, reflective nonfiction. From Joseph Kinsey Howard’s Montana: High, Wide, and Handsome to K. Ross Toole’s Montana: An Uncommon Land, we’ve been gifted with a series of erudite and sharp-eyed guides to help show us who we are. To this eminent list we can now add Russell Rowland’s Fifty-Six Counties: A Montana Journey. A native Montanan and an applauded novelist (In Open Spaces, High and Inside), Rowland spent the better part of a year studying and traveling around his beloved home state, from the mines of Butte to the pine forests of the Northwest, from the stark, wind-scrubbed badlands of the East to the tourist-driven economies of the West. Along the way, he considered the state’s essential character, where we came from, and, most of all, what we might be in the process of becoming.

Chasing the North Star by Robert Morgan: In his latest historical novel, bestselling author Robert Morgan brings to full and vivid life the story of Jonah Williams, who, in 1850, on his eighteenth birthday, flees the South Carolina plantation on which he was born a slave. He takes with him only a few stolen coins, a knife, and the clothes on his back--no shoes, no map, no clear idea of where to head, except north, following a star that he prays will be his guide. Hiding during the day and running through the night, Jonah must elude the men sent to capture him and the bounty hunters out to claim the reward on his head. There is one person, however, who, once on his trail, never lets him fully out of sight: Angel, herself a slave, yet with a remarkably free spirit. In Jonah, she sees her own way to freedom, and so sets out to follow him. Bristling with breathtaking adventure, Chasing the North Star is deftly grounded in historical fact yet always gripping and poignant as the story follows Jonah and Angel through the close calls and narrow escapes of a fearsome world. It is a celebration of the power of the human spirit to persevere in the face of great adversity. And it is Robert Morgan at his considerable best.

And, to cap it all off, I’ll throw in an advance copy of Brave Deeds by Yours Truly....

If you’d like a chance at winning ALL THE BOOKS, simply email your name and mailing address to

thequiveringpen@gmail.com

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line. Please include your mailing address in the body of the e-mail. One entry per person, please. Despite its name, the Friday Freebie remains open to entries until midnight on June 29, at which time I’ll draw the winning name. I’ll announce the lucky reader on June 30. If you’d like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week newsletter, simply add the words “Sign me up for the newsletter” in the body of your email. Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

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          Jesse Glass – Charm for Survivors: Selected Painted Books and Sequences   
This is the first of two colour volumes collecting the visual poetry of the highly acclaimed poet, artist & folklorist Jesse Glass. The volume contains five painted books that have been exhibited at Tate Britain, The Bury Text Festival, and in the Blackpool Illuminations – where they were seen by 193,073 visitors. These books are: … Continue reading Jesse Glass – Charm for Survivors: Selected Painted Books and Sequences
          Omenaje y gloria al Periodismo Periodístico: El Caso Fiambre en la fábrica Fruna y el círculo de poder del Grupo Loserpaguer.   
Por el KilomboTM que se armó en torno a la noticia noticiosa de que en Fruna llueve gente muerta gracias a nuestros poderes cósmicos fenomenales y conexiones masonas con la cúpula illuminati, nos vemos en la obligación de zanjar este patético asunto de una buena vez. Y como andamos buena onda, le vamos a hacer...
          Angels & Demons (2009)   
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Running Time:
140 min.
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Director:
Ron Howard
Writer:
Akiva Goldsman, Dan Brown
Cast:
Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgård, Pierfrancesco Favino, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Thure Lindhardt, David Pasquesi, Cosimo Fusco

Synopsis

When Langdon discovers evidence of the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati--the most powerful underground organization in history--he also faces a deadly threat to the existence of the secret organization's most despised enemy: the Catholic Church. When Langdon learns that the clock is ticking on an unstoppable Illuminati time bomb, he jets to Rome, where he joins forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and enigmatic Italian scientist. Embarking on a nonstop, action-packed hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and even to the heart of the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra will follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that mark the Vatican's only hope for survival.



          The St. John’s Bible ~ National Monument Designation ~ Plains Folk Essay ~ Dakota Day Trips   
Wednesday, June 28 – The St. John’s Bible exhibit will be coming to the Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County in the fall. The Bible is a work of art by a team of artists and scholars in Wales and Central Minnesota using ancient techniques of calligraphy and illumination. Ashley visited with calligrapher Anne […]
          #usciteFotografiche: Roma di notte [sabato 24 giugno 2017]   
Per giugno l’appuntamento con le #usciteFotografiche è in notturna: sfruttiamo le piacevoli serate estive a Roma per dedicarci alla fotografia di notte nella nostra città. Faremo un giro che abbraccerà alcuni dei luoghi più conosciti di Roma e che godono di un fascino particolare durante la notte, quando sono illuminati dalla luce artificiale che ci […]
          Anjos e Demônios   
Status de Atualizações do Post: Extended DVDRip AVi Dublado Sinopse : O assassinato de um cientista faz com que o professor de simbologia Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) e Victoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer), filha do homem morto, envolvam-se com a sociedade secreta dos Illuminati. As pistas levam a dupla ao Vaticano, onde uma conspiração envolvendo o […]
          NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Stick (Allik) Rose Petal Pop   
NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Stick (Allık) pratik ve hızlı makyaj yapmak için sık sık tercih ettiğim ve özellikle yaz mevsimine (ve bronz bir tene) çok yakışacağını düşündüğüm bir ürün.

NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Stick (Allık)

NYX'in yeni ürünleri arasında yer alan Bright Idea Illuminating Stick dört aydınlatıcı, dört allık ve dört bronzlaştırıcı olarak farklı renklerde piyasaya sürülmüş. Ürün kremsi yapıda ve kendi web sitelerinde son dönemin modası olan strobing tekniği için uygun olduğu belirtilmiş.

Benim elimdeki rengin adı Rose Petal Pop, ince altın ışıltılar içeren çok güzel bir pembe tonu. Hatta ben bu rengi biraz MAC Springsheen allığa benzettim, ona göre biraz daha canlı bir pembe  tonu diyebilirim (Yazısını okumak isterseniz linke tıklayabilirsiniz → MAC Springsheen Allık)

Rose Petal Pop özellikle bronz tende çok ama çok güzel duracak bir renk, bu nedenle yaz aylarında güzelce bronzlaşabiliyorsanız hiç durmayın bu allığı alın derim 😀

NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Stick (Allık)

Bu ürün stick formda olduğu için uygulama yapmak oldukça kolay. Pigmentasyonu yüksek olduğu için elmacık kemiğine boydan boya sürmeye gerek olmadığını düşünüyorum, onun yerine elmacık kemiğimin başlangıç noktasına iki küçük daire halinde uygulayıp Nascita'nın Stippling Fırçası ile hafifçe yayıyorum (siz kendi tercih ettiğiniz fırçayı ve makyaj süngerinizi kullanabilirsiniz) Bu tür renklerin püf noktası az ve öz miktarda uygulamak, özellikle biraz daha doğal bir görünüm seviyorsanız 😁

Tek sorun kremsi yapıda olması nedeniyle özellikle yağlı ciltlerde kalıcılığı biraz düşük olabilir, ancak pratik bir ürün olmasının en büyük avantajı da bu, çantanıza atıp istediğiniz an tazeleyebilirsiniz, hatta fırça veya sünger olmadan parmaklarınızla bile dağıtabilirsiniz.

NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Stick (Allık)

Bu serinin bronz tonları kontür için tercih edilebilir, ancak ben her gün kontür yapmakla uğraşamıyorum ve uğraşmak istersem de hali hazırda severek kullandığım bir ürün mevcut (Yazısını okumak isterseniz bu linke tıklamanız yeterli → Loreal Infallible Sculpt Kontür Seti) bu nedenle benim ilgimi asıl aydınlatıcı renkler çekti, hele bir tane açık lila tonunda bir renk var (Lavender Lust) nasıl şahane görünüyor 😍  

NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Stick (Allık)

NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Stick'lerin fiyatı 32 TL, ürün miktarı ise 6 gram, aranızda deneyen varsa yorumlarınızı benimle paylaşmayı unutmayın 💞

          [ Lyric and Translation ] Together forever - Hey! Say! JUMP [K/R/T]   



I'm the one whom translation this. So, of course its many wrong words because I'm still learning to translation...
But I hope my work can help you!

Kanji

忘れはしないよ 君と出会ったあの日を
錆びついた胸の 鍵をそっと開けてくれた
ときには思わず 傷つけた日もあるけど
その度にいつも 優しさの意味知ったんだ
かじかんだ指先 銀のイルミネーツヨン
今すぐ会いたいよ この街を抜け
Let's hold you tight...
誰よりもそばにいるよ 心配ないさ
泣き虫な君だけら 守り続けたいよ
見上げた
夜空には ふたつ並んだ星
僕達も同じように これから先ずっと…ー緒だよ
小さなキャンドル 囲んではしゃいでる君
「大げさすぎる?」って はにかむトコが可愛いね
かばんに潜めてる お揃いのリングは
サプライズだけじゃない 思いの証
Give you my heart...
舞い降りた天使のような 君の笑顔は
神様が僕にくれた 最高のプレゼント
凍えた
この身本 きゅっと温め合おう
僕だけの君でいてね これから先ずっと…
Silent night... Holly night...
何もいらない 君がいれば
今ここにいる
奇跡よ いつまでも 消えないで…
粉雪が知らぬうちに 街を染めてく
いつの日もそばにいるよ たとえ何があっても
見上げた
夜空には ふたつ並んだ星
僕達も同じように これから先ずっと…ー緒だよ
誰よりもそばにいるよ 心配ないさ
泣き虫な君だけら 守り続けたいよ
見上げた
夜空には ふたつ並んだ星
僕達も同じように これから先ずっと…ー緒だよ
Together forever...

Romaji

Wasure wa shinai yo kimi to deatta ano hi wo
Sabitsuita mune no kagi wo sotto akete kureta
Toki ni wa omowazu kizutsuketa hi mo arukedo
Sonodo ni itsumo yasashisa no imi shittanda
Kajikanda yubisaki gin no iruminētsuyon
Ima sugu aitaiyo kono machi o nuke
Let's hold you tight...
Dare yori mo sobanīruyo shinpainaisa
Nakimushina kimi dakara mamori tsudzuketai yo
Miageta
Yozora ni wa futatsu naranda hoshi
Bokutachi mo onajiyōni korekara saki zutto… ̄issho dayo
Chīsana kyandoru kakonde hashai deru kimi
`Ougesa sugiru?' tte hanikamu toko ga kawaii ne
Kaban ni hisometeru o soroi no ringu wa
Sapuraizu dake janai omoi no akashi
Give you my heart...
Maiorita tenshi no yona kimi no egao wa
Kamisama ga boku ni kureta saiko no purezento
Kogoeta
Kono kara ga kyutto atatame aou
Boku dake no kimi de itene korekara saki zutto…
Silent night... Holly night...
Nani mo iranai kimi gaireba
Ima koko ni iru
Kiseki yo itsumade mo kienai de…
Kona yuki ga shiranu uchi ni machi o someteku
Itsu no hi mo sobanīruyo tatoe nani ga atte mo
Miageta
Yozora ni wa futatsu naranda hoshi
Bokutachi mo yakushiyo korekarasaki zutto… ̄isshoda yo
Dare yori mo sobanīruyo shinpainaisa
Nakimushina kimi dakara mamori tsudzuketai yo
Miageta
Yozora ni wa futatsu naranda hoshi
Bokutachi mo onajiyōni korekara saki zutto… ̄issho da yo
Together forever...

Translation

I never forget the day we meet
You softly opened my rusted heart with a key
Some days when I have get hurt. But,
I always knew the meaning of kindness at that time too
I grasped the silver illumination with my cold, numb fingers
Now I want leave this way to see you
Let's hold you tight...
Don't worry, I'll be by your side more than anyone else
Because of you a crybaby person, I want always protect you
I look up
Two star lined up in the night sky
We will also become the same, from now till forever...together
A small candle surrounds of you
" Is that too exaggerated? " asking you with shy, it's cute
A couple rig that I hide in you bag
It's not only for a surprise but it for a proof too
Let's hold you tight...
You're smile like a angle who flying down
You're the best present God ever gave to me
You're mine, 
Just the way you are, from now on till forever...
Silent night... Holly night...
I don't need anything if you on myside
You are here
Miracle won't ever disappear...
The powdered snow tainted the town within without us knowing
I"ll be beside you all the time, no matter what happens
I look up
Two star lined up in the night sky
We already vow, from now till forever...together
Don't worry, I'll be by your side more than anyone else
Because of you a crybaby person, I want always protect you
I look up
Two star lined up in the night sky
We will also become the same, from now till forever...together
Together forever...


          Rimini - Run ToNight   
30/06/2017 - Stanotte! traduzione letterale del termine, è un happening serale fatto di sport, musica, convivialità allegria, aperto a tutti e organizzato nell’ambito del verde di un parco cittadino. NON COMPETITIVA 5km e 10km Puoi correrla o camminare! Numero Chiuso: 1000 iscritti. RITROVO Piazzale Ingresso "A" Palacongressi - Parco della Cava (su google maps "Parco Poderi della Ghirlandetta") ISCRIZIONI ONLINE https://www.mysdam.net/shop/edit_39149.do?request_localeit ISCRIZIONI IN LOCO A RIMINI - AREA RITROVO dalle 14,00-19,30 del 30/06/2017 Iscrizioni + Ritiro Pacco Gara PACCO GARA T-Shirt e spilla "TONIGHT" Buono post gara - Tortellini in Crema di Parmigiano + Bibita ore 20,00 RISCALDAMENTO YOGA PREGARA (Ricordati il tappetino o un asciugamano!) ore 20,30 PARTENZA PERCORSO Anello di 5 km da percorrere 2 volte nel caso del percorso lungo. Fondo sterrato e tratti del percorso non sono illuminati, entrambi interamente su strade non asfaltate TEMPO MAX 2 ore CONSIGLI consigliate le luci frontali o torce a mano, molti tratti del percorso sono completamente al buio. ore 21,30 ARRIVO, MUSICA & RISTORO FINALE Ristoro finale a base di tortellini in crema di parmigiano, e bibita analcolica, il coupon sarà il titolo necessario per accedere al servizio e verrà ritirato all'ingresso della zona di distribuzione. L’area di arrivo sarà ricca di musica per continuare la serata insieme. REGOLAMENTO COMPLETO http://www.runtonight.com/it/date-e-programmi.html?programmarimini
          Notte Rosa 2017   
07/07/2017 - Together, insieme. La dodicesima edizione della Notte Rosa, il Capodanno dell’Estate Italiana che quest’anno si festeggerà venerdì 7 luglio, adotta come tema portante una parola che, da sola, sintetizza perfettamente lo spirito, l’identità, la forza di questo originale evento aggregante. Una parola inglese, che al suo interno contiene, nella desinenza, anche le iniziali della Regione Emilia Romagna: togethER. La 12a edizione della grande festa della Riviera Romagnola si terrà dal tramonto di Venerdì 7 Luglio, diffondendo la sua allegra e coinvolgente atmosfera lungo i 110 km di costa tra la Riviera di Comacchio e Cattolica – Musica e ballo, teatro e spettacoli, arte e cultura, enogastronomia e intrattenimento per tutti, grandi e bambini, nelle centinaia di appuntamenti previsti per tutto il fine settimana. La dodicesima edizione della Notte Rosa della Riviera Romagnola si aprirà ufficialmente al tramonto di venerdì 7 luglio, con tantissimi appuntamenti nelle piazze, sulle spiagge e nei centri storici tra la Riviera di Comacchio e Cattolica. Come sempre, si diffonderà dal tramonto all’alba un’allegra atmosfera di festa che coinvolgerà ogni commerciante e operatore turistico, con negozi, alberghi, musei, bar e ristoranti, stabilimenti balneari aperti all night long, tutti “vestiti” di rosa con luci e addobbi, come illuminati di rosa saranno i principali monumenti rivieraschi. Sono oltre due milioni e mezzo gli ospiti che dal 2006, anno di nascita della Notte Rosa, si riversano sulla Riviera Romagnola nel primo fine settimana di luglio per quello che è unanimemente riconosciuto come il Capodanno dell’Estate Italiana, un intero weekend per stare assieme divertendosi in maniera sana, festeggiando l’estate nel nome di quello spirito di convivialità e quella tradizione di ospitalità che da sempre caratterizzano i romagnoli e la loro terra. Tantissimi gli appuntamenti in calendario per tutto il fine settimana, con la musica dal vivo protagonista assoluta sui palchi allestiti in tutte le località balneari, affiancata da spettacoli, enogastronomia, intrattenimento per i più piccoli e tanto altro. E a mezzanotte di venerdì, tutti in spiaggia ad ammirare il cielo riempirsi di colori per il tradizionale spettacolo di fuochi d’artificio che illumineranno a giorno tutta la Riviera Romagnola. Tra i momenti più attesi della Notte Rosa ci sono poi i concerti all’alba, un suggestivo modo per salutare il sorgere del sole cullati dalle melodie eseguite “live”, sulla spiaggia, da artisti di fama internazionale, basti citare alcuni ospiti delle passate edizioni, quali Nicola Piovani, Michael Nyman, Ludovico Einaudi. Per godere al meglio di questo intero weekend di festa all’insegna della convivialità e del divertimento sano, gli operatori turistici propongono speciali pacchetti soggiorno grazie ai quali scoprire anche i mille volti della riviera romagnola, dalla gastronomia ad arte e cultura, dal benessere alla vacanza attiva in spiaggia, passando per il divertimento notturno e lo shopping. Regione e comuni sono già al lavoro per individuare il tema portante dell’edizione 2017 e definire il programma della Notte Rosa numero 12.
          Reactie op Europese Hof: vaccinatieschade hoeft niet bewezen..! door Thucydides   
Precies. Ze zijn allemaal lid van de "geheime genootschapjes" en geheime "clubjes". Laws are for peasants! Geen enkele wettelijke beperkingen voor de Rothschild-Zionisten en hun "useful idiots" van de Illuminati en Cia/Mossad/Mi5/Mi6 die net 300 mensen, 80 kinderen, hebben vermoord in MH17. Wetten zijn voor sukkels. Laws are for peasants. Het beste kan je gewoon ze uit lachten die rechters. Zorgen dat je 1 miljoen keer harder klappen kan uitdelen. Dan passen ze wel op voor je.
          WIZARD OF OZ and the ILLUMINATI MIND CONTROL   
RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE MOVIE and ILLUMINATI RITUAL
          Nvidia Pascal bandwidth is min 800GB/s   



4000GFLOPS single, 12000GFLOPS double precision

Stacked RAM is the next big thing. It will enable much faster communication between the chip and the memory and with the current 384-bit design such we saw on Kepler, the stacked RAM version can end up with 800GB/s to 1000GB/s bandwidth.

 

This is some significantly faster than the 288 GB/s that we saw with GK110-based products such as the Geforce GTX 780 Ti or Geforce Titan. The K20X, the fastest professional solution available today, is stuck at 250GB/s with the hope that its Maxwell successor will get slightly higher bandwidth.

The new point to point communication chip called NVLink will also help solve the memory bandwidth issue. Most algorithms in the word that are used for computation or hard tasks in graphics such as ray tracing will always end up asking for faster memory access. This is why Pascal will play a major role in the future of compute units such as Nvidia's Tesla products, or faster 4K or gaming of the future.

We saw some presentations at the GTC with a projection of Volta (now Pascal) where a scientist expects that with 1024GB per second bandwidth, Pascal could be aiming at 4000GFLOPS a second in dual precision and 12000GFLOPS a second in single precision computation.

To put things in perspective the GK 110-based Tesla K20x with 14 SMXs and 250GB/s bandwidth offers 1310GFLOPS of dual precision and 3950GFLOPS in single precision. Tesla K20x is an actual product, shipping as we speak, while the Volta (Pascal stacked RAM GPU that hits the market in 2016 ed.) numbers are projections. These final numbers will depend on the final clock and configuration of the high-end Pascal chip.

Based on these projections you can get close to three times faster computation power, and this is a huge leap that will happen some two years from now.

The future looks interesting and don’t worry, if you want to do realistic rendering and ray traced lightning effects or global illumination, you will need at least a few of these 12000GFLOPS per second cards to enjoy a real time experience. Real time ray tracing in computer games will still be a dream even beyond significant computational and memory improvements in 2016. However, this does not mean that we will not see some hybrid ray tracing solutions over the next few years.


          for the reason that of how very much mana it saves   
[Revitalizing Skyflare Diamond]
This can be an fascinating new meta, but does not increase how very much healing you do my a complete great offer to justify the huge safe wow gold mana loss. (More complete evaluation coming soon)

[Ember Skyflare Diamond]

28 Intellect
420 mana at start.
420 mana from Divine Plea.
340 mana from Replenishment.
fifty mana from Arcane Torrent, whenever [link=http://www.wtbwowgold.com]wow gold for sale[/link] you certainly are a our blood Elf.
30.6 spell power.
0.168% crit.
Total: 1180 mana (+50 if our blood Elf), 30.6 spell power, 0.168% crit.

Though it appears great on paper, you qYFMp29b will in no way get enough Int to possess it come about even near to Insightful.

[Beaming Earthsiege Diamond]

502 mana at start.
502 mana from Divine Plea.
407 mana from Replenishment.
sixty mana from Arcane Torrent, whenever you certainly are a our blood Elf.
0.457% crit.
Total: 1411 mana (+60 if our blood Elf), and 0.457% crit.

Similar to Ember, it is in wow items identical boat of 2% getting as well small of the benefit.

Librams

[Libram of Renewal]
This is generally an enormous increase in output, for the reason that of how very much mana it saves. It minimizes the worth of your Holy brightness spell by almost 10%, it may be the unbelievably largest libram you can get. consider that Illumination features away of bottom mana, which means you will nevertheless get identical amount of mana back again from crits.

[Deadly Gladiator's Libram of Justice]
This is generally an awesome Libram and features properly using the design of FoL. It just cannot rival the huge mana decrease on Libram of Renewal. whenever you cannot acquire the rating for Deadly, they possess a comparable kinds for another Gladiator sets.

[Libram of Tolerance]
I do not see any circumstance [link=http://www.wtbwowgold.com/world-of-warcraft-us-items.html]buy wow items[/link] in which I would use it greater than Renewal. offered which i can take advantage of the 113 mana I saved on the Holy brightness to accomplish a complete great offer very much greater than 141 healing.

          Press Release: IRI’s Larry Levin to Outline Shifts in National/Private Label Brands on FMI Connect Panel   
WHO: Larry Levin, Executive Vice President and Practice Leader, Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) WHAT: IRI’s Larry Levin will join a group of industry experts on a panel, “Private Brands and National Brands: Today's Changing Retail,” at the FMI Connect Global Food Retail Conference. Others on the panel will include: Howard Brandeisky, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Customer Solutions, John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc. Richard Gunn, Executive Vice President, Merchandising and Marketing, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. Doug Peckenpaugh, Editor in Chief, PLBuyer WHY: The playing field for national branded and private label grocery products has evolved considerably in the last few years in many categories, with strategies in place first to deal with a severe recession and now an uneven recovery. Retailers continue to put more overall focus into their private label lines, while national brands have found pockets of opportunity and adjusted the value proposition of their products. A panel of both national brand and private label professionals will pinpoint which factors have changed, as well as how these changing dynamics are impacting today’s overall retail landscape. WHEN: Thursday, June 12, 2014 from 9–9:50 a.m. CDT WHERE: McCormick Place, S105A Chicago, IL About IRI: IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at iriworldwide.com. ### IRI Contacts: John McIndoe E-mail: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3862 Shelley Hughes E-mail: Shelley.Hughes@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3675
          Press Release: IRI’s Monica Cantz to Deliver CSPA Address on Driving Growth in Air Care Market   
WHO: Monica Cantz, Principal, Client Insights, Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) WHAT: IRI’s Monica Cantz will present, “Unlocking The Sweet Smell of Success” at the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA)’s 2014 Mid-Year Meeting. Monica’s 45-minute talk will discuss trends and opportunities in the U.S. air care market, as well as key characteristics of shoppers who are driving the most growth in the air care category. WHY: Ninety-six million households in the U.S care about air care. Otherwise stated, that’s about 8 out of every 10 U.S. households. By taking a look at various economic segmentations and highlighting the key trends in this market, Monica will provide session attendees with actionable insights on how to best identify the shoppers who care the most about air care, and will also provide concrete tips for maintaining success well past a product launch. WHEN: Thursday, May 8, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. CDT WHERE: Chicago Marriott Downtown Chicago, IL About IRI: IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at iriworldwide.com. ### IRI Contacts: Tim Johnson E-mail: iri@stearnsjohnson.com Phone: +1 415.397.7600
          Press Release: IRI Appoints Randy Stone as Executive, Analytics Practice Leader   
CHICAGO – April. 30 2014 – Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), the global leader in innovative solutions and services for consumer, retail and over-the-counter healthcare companies, announced today that Randy Stone has joined the company as executive, analytics practice leader. Stone will work closely with President of the Americas and Global Strategy Piyush Chaudhari and President of Analytics & Consulting, Dr. Krishnakumar (KK) S. Davey, to enhance the capabilities of IRI’s marketing productivity area and lead select IRI client engagements. “Randy brings an exceptionally strong analytics competency and proven track record to IRI, having previously led strategic client relationships and achieving rapid business growth in his previous roles,” says IRI President and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Appel. “He will work closely with all of our industry practice leaders to expand our partnerships in the analytics space, with a particular focus on expanding our marketing productivity discipline.” Before joining IRI, Stone founded Passion Rock Partners, a consulting firm focused on marketing effectiveness and marketing strategy. Prior to this, Stone held several positions with Marketing Management Analytics (MMA), advancing from vice president to CEO in eight years. He joined MMA as vice president, business development, and held two senior sales and marketing positions before becoming chief executive officer in 2000, a position he held until 2011. Under his leadership, MMA launched several new initiatives that resulted in rapid growth, with annual revenues increasing fivefold on average during his tenure as CEO. Prior to his 19-year tenure with MMA, Stone was vice president of group sales and marketing manager at The Nielsen Company, where he initiated new relationships and managed strategic clients, such as Kraft General Foods and its parent company, Philip Morris. Earlier in his career, Stone was vice president and account group supervisor at Burke Marketing Services and a senior project director at Trendex, Inc. “IRI’s advanced analytics practice has expanded significantly in the last few years, and I look forward to adding my expertise and relationships to continuing that trajectory,” says Stone. “CPG manufacturers and retailers have an untapped opportunity to grow revenue and market share by better leveraging analytics solutions. I’m eager to help IRI clients realize this potential.” Stone holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. He is a frequent speaker at conferences hosted by leading industry associations such as the American Marketing Association and Advertising Research Federation. His work has been published in prominent publications including AdvertisingAge, AdWeek and the Harvard Business Review. About IRI IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at iriworldwide.com. # # # Contacts: Tim Johnson Stearns Johnson Communications for IRI E-mail: tjohnson@stearnsjohnson.com or iri@stearnsjohnson.com Phone: +1 415.397.7600 John McIndoe IRI E-mail: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3862
          Press Release: IRI MarketPulse Survey Reveals Significant Jump in Consumer Confidence   
Consumers Feeling More Positive about Household Finances; Confidence Up across All Age Groups CHICAGO – April 29, 2014 – After a rocky end to 2013, consumer confidence increased dramatically in Q1 2014, according to IRI’s latest MarketPulse™ survey. All age groups across the board are reporting a sunnier outlook, especially millennials, who are showing their greatest uptick in confidence, even though they’ve been one of the most downtrodden consumer segments, since the economic downturn began. IRI has been monitoring the struggles of millennials and is taking a closer look at this notable increase in a special Point of View, “Millennial Shoppers: Positive Mindset Points to Future Growth.” “The headline for the first quarter is definitely the surge in consumer confidence,” says Susan Viamari, editor, Thought Leadership, IRI. “Consumers say they are feeling more confident about their household finances and don’t feel like they need to sacrifice as much in order to make ends meet. However, it’s important to remember that consumers are still entrenched in their conservative shopping strategies, so CPG marketers still need to work at finding pockets of opportunities.” IRI’s Shopper Sentiment Index Reaches Highest Point since Inception Constructed against a benchmark of Q1 2011, IRI’s Shopper Sentiment Index provides deep insight into how the economy is impacting consumers and changing how they approach grocery shopping. The index provides perspective in terms of price sensitivity, brand loyalty and changes in spending required to maintain desired lifestyles. With a benchmark score of 100, a Shopper Sentiment Index score of more than 100 reflects consumers who are less price driven, more loyal to favorite brands and better equipped to maintain their desired lifestyle without changes. The latest index for Q1 2014 is 121 versus 103 in Q1 2013 and 100 in Q1 2012. This is the all-time highest point since the inception of the index. In addition to millennials’ rosy outlook, those aged 35-54, whose outlooks have been rather volatile, also posted a sizeable jump this quarter. Those aged 55 and older also showed an increase. Shopping for Deals Consumers remain comfortable with the shopping strategies they adopted earlier in the downturn, which reinforces that the conservative “new normal” is here to stay regardless of confidence levels. With this in mind, 70 percent of savvy consumers make a shopping list before they enter a store, and 75 percent make their purchase decisions before entering the store. These figures have not changed since 2011, so it’s absolutely critical to begin the conversation early with consumers. Because 19 percent of all consumers and 26 percent of millennials are having difficulty affording groceries today, shoppers are still buying a lot of items on deal. For instance, 33 percent of all consumers and 40 percent of millennials are buying more than one-half of their baskets on deal. And, 19 percent of all consumers compared with 25 percent of millennials say they are buying more on deal in 2014 than in 2013. Surfing for Deals It’s no surprise that consumers are turning to the Internet to find deals. Specifically: 29 percent are downloading coupons from retailers’ websites 29 percent download coupons from manufacturers’ websites 25 percent research products on websites 19 percent visit online deal sites, such as Groupon or SmartSource 11 percent use social media sites, such as Twitter, to get coupons “While it’s great that sentiment is on the rise, marketers must stay on top of their game and continue to deliver solid value that enables consumers to live well while remaining conservative,” continues Viamari. “The diversity of this quarter’s survey results clearly demonstrates there is no single path to recovery, and marketing strategies must recognize and reward the variability out in the marketplace.” IRI Point of View To learn more about millennials’ shopping behaviors and discover how to develop products and marketing strategies to capture their attention, IRI just released a new Point of View, “Millennial Shoppers: Positive Mindset Points to Future Growth.” To download the free report, click here. About IRI’s MarketPulse Survey IRI provides new survey results at the end of each calendar quarter covering shoppers’ behaviors and attitudes as they directly relate to their strategies for learning about, purchasing and utilizing CPG and healthcare products, as well as information regarding perceptions of economic conditions and their ability to provide for their families. For complete MarketPulse coverage, visit: http://www.iriworldwide.com/Insights/Publications/MarketPulseSurvey.aspx. For more information about customizing the research for a particular category or industry, please email IRIMarketing@IRIworldwide.com. About IRI IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at IRIworldwide.com. # # # IRI Contact: Tim Johnson Stearns Johnson Communications E-mail: tjohnson@stearnsjohnson.com or iri@stearnsjohnson.com Phone: +1 415.397.7600
          Press Release: New Industry Alliance to Accelerate Effectiveness of Marketing to Hispanics   
Focus on Improving Measurement of Hispanic-Focused Marketing Campaigns to Better Serve the Burgeoning Hispanic Community CHICAGO – April 16, 2014 – A consortium of six companies announced today a cross-industry study to drive thought leadership in marketing to Hispanics. The consortium members include IRI, Latinum Network, Univision, Telemundo Media, UM, and Rentrak (NASDAQ: RENT). The consortium will enable marketers to maximize the multi-platform impact of advertising to Hispanics by developing best practices around strategy and performance measurement. The consortium’s mandate is to help marketers, advertisers and retailers develop effective marketing strategies to best serve Hispanic consumers. U.S. Hispanic consumers are a powerful and growing economic force with a buying power in excess of $1 trillion, driven by a population 56 million strong that is expected to grow to 131 million people by 2050. Despite the tremendous potential of this market, less than 5 percent of current media is devoted to advertising, representing a spending gap of approximately $22 billion. The consortium aims to promote Hispanic advertising, while creating learnings that will inform Hispanic marketing strategy for years to come. The consortium is unique in its breadth and scale in understanding the impact of marketing activities geared toward Hispanics and has two primary goals: To develop a scorecard of brands’ performance and traction with Hispanic consumers relative to their peers and industry To enable members to maximize the impact of advertising targeting Hispanics by building Hispanic brand strategies and a “total market” approach that balances general market and multicultural investments Highlights of the Hispanic Marketer’s Playbook will include: Efficient Hispanic reach generation strategies Hispanic engagement and impact through social and mobile media Synergy and halo of Hispanic media with promotional levers Impact of dubbed and translated commercials versus original Spanish language creative effects Show integration strategies and effectiveness Creating Hispanic research and metrics frameworks for success The study will leverage IRI’s proven Hispanic Mix Drivers platform—a powerful marketing-mix modeling platform that incorporates robust statistical techniques in modeling Hispanic sales trends and quantifying Hispanic marketing lifts. The modeling rigor is balanced with heuristics derived from a massive industry benchmarks database collected from a multitude of consumer behavior studies conducted over a 10-year period. The modeling engine is further enriched by cross-media audience data through the consortium alliance and IRI’s network of resources. Understanding that branded entertainment is an important lever in Hispanic media strategy, the consortium will also leverage Rentrak's iTVX® branded entertainment measurement service that provides users the precise value of a brand's appearance in media content, by combining second-by-second viewing insights, brand exposure analytics, social media listening and consumer behavior intelligence. The study will enroll participants in April and through June 2014. Participants will receive results on their brands in August 2014 through in-depth review sessions. Macro insights distilled from across all participating brands as well as the Hispanic Marketing Playbook will be unveiled at a capstone industry event targeted for the fall of 2014. About IRI IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. Wego beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at iriworldwide.com. IRI Contacts: John McIndoe Email: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3862 Shelley Hughes Email: Shelley.Hughes@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312. 474.3675 About Latinum Network Latinum Network is a member-based advisory company comprised of global brands that supports their success in the multicultural economy. The company's mission is to enhance its members' ability to drive profitable growth from multicultural audiences via actionable insights, business analytics, proven strategies and consumer access. Founded in 2009, Latinum Network serves nearly 100 member brands driving measurable ROI in the growing multicultural demographic segment. Proprietary solutions include i.) Voz Latinum, a bilingual online community of over 5,000 US Hispanics used to support both network-wide and custom client research, ii.) Veo, a new consumer mobile platform that allows direct, two-way engagement between brands and consumers and iii.) Latinum’s Digital Platform that provides our clients with proprietary syndicated research, actionable category-level insights, online tools, and best practices. Latinum Network Contact: Sandra Correa Sparkpr for Veo/Latinum Network Email: sandra@sparkpr.com Phone: +1 646.291.6080 About Univision Communications Inc. Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) is the leading media company serving Hispanic America. The Company, a leading content creator in the U.S., includes Univision Network, one of the top five networks in the U.S. regardless of language and the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast television network in the country reaching approximately 96% of U.S. Hispanic television households; UniMás, a leading Spanish-language broadcast television network reaching approximately 89% of U.S. Hispanic television households; Univision Cable Networks, including Galavisión, the country’s leading Spanish-language cable network, as well as Univision tlnovelas, a 24-hour cable network dedicated to novelas, Univision Deportes Network, a 24-hour cable network dedicated to sports, ForoTV, a 24-hour Spanish-language cable network dedicated to news, and an additional suite of six cable offerings - De Película, De Película Clásico, Bandamax, Ritmoson and Telehit; Univision Television Group, which owns and/or operates 62 television stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico; Univision Radio, the leading Hispanic radio group which owns and/or operates 68 radio stations in 16 of the top 25 U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico, as well as Uforia, the leading Hispanic digital music service; UVideos, the first bilingual digital video network serving Hispanic America; an Interactive network of online and mobile apps and products including Univision.com, which continues to be the No. 1 most-visited Spanish-language website among U.S. online Hispanics, and Univision Partner Group, a specialized advertising and publisher network. UCI’s assets also include a minority stake in El Rey Network, a new 24-hour English-language network founded by maverick filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, and a joint venture with Disney/ABC Television Network for Fusion, a news, pop culture and satire TV and digital network. Headquartered in New York City, UCI has television network operations in Miami and television and radio stations and sales offices in major cities throughout the United States. For more information, please visit Univision.net. Univision Contact: Rosemary Mercedes Email: rmercedes@univision.net Phone: +1 212.455.5335 About Telemundo Media Telemundo Media, a division of NBCUniversal, is a world-class media company, leading the industry in the production and distribution of high-quality Spanish-language content across its multiplatform portfolio to U.S. Hispanics and audiences around the world. Telemundo’s multiple platforms include the Telemundo Network, a Spanish-language television network featuring original productions, theatrical motion pictures, news and first-class sports events, reaching U.S. Hispanic viewers in 210 markets through its 16 owned stations, broadcast and MVPD affiliates; mun2, the preeminent voice for young Hispanics in the U.S. reaching TV households nationwide on digital and analog cable, and satellite; Telemundo Digital Media, which distributes Telemundo’s original content across digital and emerging platforms including mobile devices, www.telemundo.com and www.mun2.tv; an owned and operated full power station in Puerto Rico that reaches 99% of all TV households in that DMA; and Telemundo Internacional, the international distribution arm which has positioned Telemundo as the second largest provider of Spanish-language content worldwide by syndicating content to more than 100 countries in over 35 languages. For more information, please visit us at telemundomedia.com and linkedin.com/telemundo-media. Please check out our videos on youtube.com/tlmdmedia and follow us on twitter.com/TelemundoMedia and facebook.com/TelemundoMedia. Telemundo Media Contact: Michelle Alban Vice President, Corporate Communications Email: Michelle.Alban@nbcuni.com Phone: + 1 305.889.7585 About UM UM (www.umww.com) is a global media agency that fuses curiosity and creativity to unlock competitive advantage for brands through media. Our philosophy of curiosity is driven by the power of story-telling fueled by intelligence, insights and ideas. A division of IPG Mediabrands, UM has more than 130 offices in 100 countries and over 4,800 employees committed to developing creative, strategic and customized campaigns for every client. Ranked as the most creative media agency by AdNews in 2012, UM also was recognized for leadership in advanced analytics by Media Magazine. UM’s list of clients includes Brown-Forman, Chrysler, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, Hershey’s, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal Paris, MasterCard, Microsoft and Sony. In 2012, UM’s new business global wins and retention received a grade A from RECMA. UM Contact: Lou Marino Email: lou.marino@umww.com Phone: + 1 646.376.1754 About Rentrak Rentrak (NASDAQ: RENT) is the entertainment and marketing industries' premier provider of worldwide consumer viewership information, precisely measuring actual viewing behavior of movies and TV everywhere. Using our proprietary intelligence and technology, combined with Advanced Demographics, only Rentrak is the census currency for VOD and movies. Rentrak provides the stable and robust audience measurement services that movie, television and advertising professionals across the globe have come to rely on to better deliver their business goals and more precisely target advertising across numerous platforms including box office, multiscreen television and home video. For more information on Rentrak, please visit www.rentrak.com. Rentrak Contact: Antoine Ibrahim Email: aibrahim@rentrak.com Phone: +1 646.722.1561
          Press Release: IRI and GuestMetrics Form Exclusive Alliance to Offer New Insights into How Consumers Shop and Eat   
New Alliance Offers First Integration of On-Premise POS and Off-Premise POS Data for a More Complete View of the Shopper CHICAGO – April 15, 2014 – IRI, the global leader in innovative solutions and services for consumer, retail and over-the-counter healthcare companies, announced today a new, exclusive alliance with GuestMetrics, well known for capturing point-of-sale (POS) data virtually anywhere people consume a product on premise, particularly in the bar, restaurant, food service and hospitality sectors. IRI is also taking an equity position in the company. “Our alliance and investment in GuestMetrics furthers the IRI strategy of helping manufacturers and retailers gain new levels of knowledge about how people research, shop and consume food and beverage products everywhere—from bars to restaurants, to homes,” says Piyush Chaudhari, president of the Americas, IRI. “We believe integrating GuestMetrics’ data in the restaurant and food service space with IRI data will enable CPG decision makers to drive growth of their brands everywhere they are sold.” Through this alliance, IRI clients will have the opportunity to access data on consumer purchases made on premise; e.g., food purchased and consumed at a restaurant. This data will be integrated with the existing IRI off-premise purchase information for food and beverage products purchased at grocery stores, mass merchandisers and other retailers, and consumed at home. Marketers can study the impact of on-premise sales on off-premise purchase behavior, and more effectively coordinate activities to maximize the opportunities within both channels. The GuestMetrics alliance and investment joins several recent IRI initiatives to integrate a wider range of shopper data. In February, IRI announced that it is collaborating with Technomic to produce Restaurant to Retail (R2R) Insights, a new joint service offering that integrates shopper habits at retail with spending patterns at major chain restaurants. “Manufacturers are aggressively moving their brands on premise, creating new, exciting opportunities to spark off-premise sales and market share lift,” said Bill Pecoriello, chief executive officer, GuestMetrics. “We hope that together with IRI, our data combined will help give all customers better insights so they can maximize their understanding of their shoppers as they roll out new products.” About GuestMetrics LLC GuestMetrics, LLC is revolutionizing how the hospitality industry operates. Despite the dawn of the Digital Age having begun more than three decades ago, the hospitality industry essentially functions the same way it did centuries before. GuestMetrics has cracked the code by collecting billions of dollars in sales from tens of thousands of restaurants and bars, and turning billions of raw transactions into intelligible data that is fundamentally transforming the business operations of everyone from the independently-owned bar/restaurant on the corner, to multi-national chains, to the food & beverage companies that supply them. Please visit www.GuestMetrics.com for more information and to arrange for a free demonstration. About IRI IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at www.iriworldwide.com. ### IRI Contacts: John McIndoe E-mail: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3862 Shelley Hughes E-mail: Shelley.Hughes@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3675
          Press Release: IRI's Sandy Krueger and Larry Levin to Deliver NFRA Keynote Address on Driving Growth in Dairy and Frozen Aisles   
WHO: Sandy Krueger, Executive and Practice Leader, Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) Larry Levin, Executive Vice President and Practice Leader, IRI WHAT: In a 45-minute keynote address at the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) Executive Conference, IRI’s Sandy Krueger and Larry Levin will present, “Driving Growth through Greater Innovation and Activation.” They will discuss the strengths and opportunities that dairy and frozen aisles represent in the overall shopping experience, as well as key characteristics of shoppers who are disproportionately investing in both categories. WHY: The dairy and frozen food aisles are critical shopping destinations for many consumers. By taking a look at the overall 2013 performance of the dairy and frozen food categories, and examining the most successful new product innovations in these departments, Krueger and Levin will highlight the key trends driving growth for these aisles. Session attendees will begin homing in on which channels are driving disproportionate growth year-after-year for the dairy and frozen categories. Attendees will also learn how to best connect with a key group of shoppers who continue to over-deliver their fair share of the categories’ growth. Additionally, they will explain how innovation—even in stagnant categories—can still play a major role in driving excitement. WHEN: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 from 8:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. MST WHERE: Tempe Mission Palms Hotel & Conference Center Tempe, AZ About IRI: IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at iriworldwide.com. ### IRI Contacts: John McIndoe Shelley Hughes E-mail: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com E-mail: Shelley.Hughes@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3862 Phone: +1 312.474.3675
          Press Release: IRI Examines How CPG Marketers Must Adjust to New Reality for SNAP Consumers   
New IRI Point of View Takes a Closer Look at Impact of SNAP Cuts on Grocery Spending and CPG Departments and Categories CHICAGO and ORLANDO – March 12, 2014 – The recent cuts in the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is forcing more than 22 million Americans to make some hard choices about their grocery spending. To discover how these cuts are impacting grocery aisles, IRI just released its latest Point of View, “SNAP Reductions: Another Wave of Financial Pressure for Many.” The report explores how CPG marketers can help soften the blow for SNAP recipients and protect and grow their brands by serving this large consumer segment well during a challenging time. Not surprisingly, participation in SNAP has soared during the economic downturn, with federal spending reaching $76 billion in 2013, an increase of more than 150 percent since 2007. Approximately 20 percent of U.S. households rely on government assistance to put food on the table, with an average household SNAP benefit totaling $284. For a family of four, the 5.4 percent reduction in benefits translates to 21 meals during the course of a month. “The grocery channel has felt the brunt of SNAP cutbacks during the past few months, with shoppers shifting their spending to value channels, including dollar, mass merchandise and supermarket channels,” says Susan Viamari, editor, Thought Leadership, IRI. “Through the IRI Consumer Network™, we also took a closer look at what has been happening inside the store, studying how departments and key SNAP categories are performing for SNAP households. Our analyses are food for thought that will help CPG marketers develop strategies to drive growth among SNAP households.” About the IRI Point of View The IRI Point of View, “SNAP Reductions: Another Wave of Financial Pressure for Many,” is available exclusively from IRI, the global leader in innovative solutions and services for consumer, retail and over-the-counter healthcare companies. The findings in the Point of View were compiled based on insights from the IRI Consumer Network™ and the SNAP Benefits Survey, which was conducted in December 2013. To download the free IRI Point of View, please visit: http://www.iriworldwide.com/Insights/Publications/PointofView.aspx. About IRI IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at www.iriworldwide.com. # # # IRI Contacts: John McIndoe E-mail: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3862 Shelley Hughes E-mail: Shelley.Hughes@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3675
          Press Release: IRI Expands Category Architecture Initiative, Offering New, Holistic Approach to Grow Revenue and Market Share   
Successful Category Architecture Can Increase Net Income by as Much as 70 Percent through Optimization of Assortments, Pricing, Promotion Planning and New Product Introductions CHICAGO and ORLANDO – March 12, 2014 – CPG manufacturers and retailers eager to elevate revenue and market share must focus on optimizing their category architecture, which is the discipline of enhancing all key shopper touch points within a store to address the specific and changing needs of shoppers. A successful, holistic approach to optimization of these touch points can result in net income increases of as much as 70 percent, analysis from Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) reveals. Shopper touch points include assortments, product interaction, pricing, merchandising and new product offerings. IRI’s new category architecture initiative brings the discipline to life by integrating leading-edge science with state-of-the-art category management solutions. It provides assortment optimization, arming manufacturers and retailers with the insights necessary to make smarter product mix and new product decisions on a timelier basis, and enables more accurate assessments of potential new product success. “To excel, manufacturers and retailers must alter their current joint business planning process and in-store execution processes to more directly align with changes in the CPG industry,” said Robert Holston, executive vice president and division head, IRI Advanced Analytics. “Winners must address how consumers make shopping decisions, provide products that benefit these consumers by meeting their key need states, and effectively leverage advertising, promotion, pricing and assortment to drive shopper loyalty.” Through its Category Blueprint™ solution, IRI works with clients to develop category strategy and integrates insights into assortment optimization and planogram generation solutions, which deliver the product mix that will be most attractive to a retailer’s shoppers and aligned to how they place products on shelves. The end result is a soup-to-nuts predictive solution that leverages science to deliver optimized assortments customized to consumer demand patterns and retail conditions. Category Blueprint leverages the largest syndicated source of CPG price and promotion elasticities, covering more than 90 percent of products across more than120 categories. It provides manufacturer clients with unprecedented insights on category price dynamics and allows retailer clients to identify which category price and promotion strategies drive the highest value trips. The solution’s trade planning capabilities enable manufacturers and retailers to optimize their merchandising programs for greater growth and reduced subsidization. IRI continues to create new capabilities for understanding the impact of merchandising and discount activity across retailers within a market. Specifically, IRI is focusing on how discounts or programs at one retailer influence consumers' shopping behaviors and quantifies the related economic impact for retailers and manufacturers. Category Blueprint also includes retail and manufacturer solutions for space planning and price architecture solutions. It is a single, holistic solution for guiding high-value category management. About IRI IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at iriworldwide.com. # # # IRI Contacts: John McIndoe E-mail: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3862 Shelley Hughes E-mail: Shelley.Hughes@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3675
          Press Release: Large Companies Claw Back Some Momentum in 2013’s Slower-Growth U.S. Consumer-Packaged-Goods Market   
Study by The Boston Consulting Group and Information Resources, Inc., Finds That Top-Performing Companies, Especially Large Ones, Are Refocusing on Their Base Business and Driving Volume Gains to Propel Sales Growth CHICAGO, March 11, 2014—While large companies continue to cede market share to small companies in the U.S. consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) industry, the pace of that share loss has slowed over the past year, thanks in large part to big players’ renewed focus on driving volume growth instead of raising prices, according to new research by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Information Resources, Inc. (IRI). For the second year in a row, BCG and IRI examined more than 400 CPG companies with annual U.S. retail sales greater than $100 million, then ranked them on the basis of their growth performance using a combination of three metrics: dollar sales growth, volume sales growth, and market share gains. The study, which also analyzed trends driving performance in the sector, remains unique because it includes both public and private CPG companies and focuses on what consumers actually bought in measured channels as opposed to what factories shipped. Because manufacturers of different sizes face disparate challenges and opportunities, BCG and IRI generated three top-ten lists of the best-performing companies: small ($100 million to $1 billion in IRI-measured retail sales), midsize ($1 billion to $5 billion), and large (more than $5 billion). Making the list signifies that a company has performed at the top of its class over the past year and has growth momentum in the marketplace. The top three large companies showing strong growth momentum are The Hershey Company, Lorillard, and Mondelēz International. Among midsize companies, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. and Chobani continue to hold the number one and number two spots, as they did last year, followed by McKee Foods at number three. Leading the small-company top performers are Kind, Paris Presents, and Talking-Rain. “The 2013 rankings show the importance of maintaining a focus on the base business,” said Dan Wald, a Chicago-based partner at BCG. “The winners innovated, but they innovated to complement their base business, not replace it.” Small Companies Expand Share Despite Slower Industry Growth The U.S. CPG market expanded by just 1.5 percent in 2013, down from the 2.8 percent growth rate in 2012. A key reason: companies were more restrained than in the past when it came to raising prices. That headwind, however, did not slow the small and extra-small (less than $100 million in sales) players, which collectively grew 4.3 percent in 2013. Large companies lost 0.5 percentage points in market share in 2013, mostly captured by extra-small companies. In total, since 2009, large players have ceded 2.3 share points to midsize, small, and extra-small companies, representing $14 billion in lost sales. The inroads by small and extra-small companies in particular have come in part through reduced barriers to entry, including the emergence of digital media, which lowers advertising costs, and the rise of online and specialty retailers, which offers new selling opportunities for small and extra-small players. Despite a decline in their overall share, large companies collectively performed better in 2013 than in 2012. This is especially true for the five top-ranked large companies, which broke away from the pack in 2013 and recaptured market share. Improvements were largely driven by a renewed focus on delivering volume growth instead of raising prices to achieve short-term gains in dollar sales. “It is important to note that the large-company winners are using multiple tactics to drive volume growth, such as garnering more shelf space with the right assortment and revenue management,” said Dr. Krishnakumar (KK) Davey, managing director at IRI Consulting. “However, small players are clearly discovering new pockets of growth within mature categories, so it’s imperative for all companies to spot trends quickly and capitalize on them.” Winners Deploy Similar Tactics Regardless of size, the strategies of winning companies share some striking similarities: Of the top 30 companies across all size categories, 28 generated growth from their base business. This marks a departure from 2012, when a number of top-ranked companies saw weak growth—or even deterioration—in their base. High-performing companies have successfully created offerings that are focused on specific, unmet consumer needs and that often serve as a replacement to undifferentiated products found in large, established categories. Winners tend to use pricing to enhance volume growth, while laggards tend to use it as a short-term tactic for driving dollar value growth in the face of declining volumes. This is particularly pronounced among large companies, where the top ten performers garnered just 0.6 percentage points in growth from pricing, while the rest of the large-company universe generated 1.3 percentage points of growth from price increases in an effort to offset even larger base-volume declines. To request a copy of the research summary, “Growth Leaders in U.S. Consumer Packaged Goods and What’s Driving Their Success,” or to arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Madeleine Desmond at +1 212 446 2856 or desmond.madeleine@bcg.com or John McIndoe at +1 312 474 3862 or john.mcindoe@IRIworldwide.com. About IRI IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at www.iriworldwide.com. About The Boston Consulting Group The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 81 offices in 45 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com. About bcgperspectives.com Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management’s agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG’s extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm’s founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content—including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports—can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
          Press Release: IRI Reveals Rx-to-OTC Switch Best Practices   
New Point of View Provides OTC Marketers with Actionable Tips for Successful Rx-to-OTC Switches CHICAGO and ORLANDO – March 11, 2014 – Prescription (Rx)-to-over-the-counter (OTC) products are now many consumers’ first line of defense in treating everyday conditions, such as allergies and heartburn. Therefore, it is increasingly important for OTC marketers to implement sound marketing tactics to ensure a successful switch from RX to OTC, according to the new IRI Point of View: “Best Practices for Rx-to-OTC Product Launches.” “When studying Rx-to-OTC switches, we found that order of entry is one factor, but it is not necessarily the driving factor for success,” said Robert Sanders, executive vice president and healthcare practice leader, IRI. “More specifically, the concept of an unmet consumer need continues to trump many of the other variables.” The Point of View takes an in-depth look at previous Rx-to-OTC product launches and gleans best practices to follow and warns of pitfalls to avoid. “We know that a new wave of Rx-to-OTC products will drive OTC growth in the long term,” explained Sanders. “Lessons learned from previous case studies will help maximize success for future brands as they move into this space.” Additionally, Robert Sanders and Piyush Chaudhari, president of the Americas and Global Strategy, IRI, are scheduled to speak at the Consumer Healthcare Product Association’s (CHPA) 2014 Annual Executive Conference on Tuesday, March 18 at 10 a.m. EST in Amelia Island, Fla. During their presentation, “Market Performance Data and Rx-to-OTC Switch Analysis,” they will discuss how the OTC and dietary supplements market is performing in the United States and explore the value proposition for Rx-to-OTC switch. To download the free Point of View, please visit: http://www.iriworldwide.com/Insights/Publications/PointofView.aspx. About IRI IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at www.iriworldwide.com. # # # IRI Contacts: John McIndoe E-mail: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3862 Shelley Hughes E-mail: Shelley.Hughes@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3675
          Press Release: IRI Announces Most Successful Consumer Packaged Goods Brands of 2013   
CHICAGO and ORLANDO – March 11, 2014 – Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), announced today the most successful consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands in its 2013 New Product Pacesetters report, an industry-recognized benchmark analysis of exceptional first-year CPG sales success for newly launched products. With 190,000 new UPCs and 9,500 new brand launches hitting the shelves in 2013, new products are certainly high-octane fuel for CPG growth engines. “Manufacturers are always striving to create breakthrough innovation, and our impressive list of the 2013 Pacesetters, which earned an average of $35 million in their first year, is no exception, as these products fuel accelerated growth and serve as catalysts for excitement in the CPG arena,” says Larry Levin, executive vice president and practice leader, IRI. “New product innovation is more important than just dollars, though. It builds excitement, buzz and competitive advantage. Successful new products can establish and protect category leadership, as well as help companies break into entirely new categories. In short, they are game changers for CPG companies and consumers alike.” “Innovation in 2013 is all about healthier-for-you products,” says Susan Viamari, editor, Thought Leadership, IRI. “‘Healthy’ is truly everywhere. From food and beverages to hair care, skin care, and even pet food and cleaning products, consumers not only want to look and feel their best, but they want improved wellness to extend to their homes and pets, too.” Food and Beverage Launches Capture $35 Million in Year-One Sales on Average For the top 100 food and beverage champions, average year-one dollar sales were $35 million. Of course, healthy attributes played a huge role in the success of new food and beverage brands. In fact, a whopping seven of the top 10, and 73 of the top 100 food and beverage products launched in 2013 offer a healthier-for-you benefit. 2013 New Product Pacesetters: Top 10 Food and Beverage Brands ($ Millions) (Total Year-One Dollar Sales, Multi-Outlet) 1. Dannon Light & Fit Greek $144.9 2. Yoplait Greek 100 $135.1 3. Kellogg’s Special K Pastry Crisps $100.6 4. TOSTITOS Cantina Tortilla Chips $100.3 5. Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita $97.4 6. Müller Yogurt $95.8 7. Eight O’Clock K-Cups $89.8 8. Pepsi NEXT $83.2 9. Kellogg’s Special K Flatbread Breakfast Sandwiches $77.9 10. Atkins Frozen Meals $74.0 Source: IRI Market Advantage™ Consumers are still seeking a healthy, convenient way to become or stay light and fit, so three yogurt lines made the “top 10” ranking this year, with Dannon Light & Fit Greek capturing the top spot. Overall, the most prevalent “add” in 2013’s Pacesetters brands was fiber and/or whole grains, which was/were found in 42 percent of the new launches. In addition, the report underscores that “dieting” has evolved into “nutritional management.” Consumers are looking for products that remove or limit less desirable attributes, so products offering lower calories, less sugar and fewer ingredients are hitting just the right note. Non-Food Champions Secure $34 Million in Year-One Sales on Average In the non-food arena, average year-one dollar sales for the top 100 brands were $34 million. The best-selling launches of 2013 truly demonstrate the power of promising healthier, worry-free expectations and experiences, as well as of providing economical options. Earning $2 billion in aggregate year-one launch sales, 48 out of the top 100, non-food Pacesetters deliver wellness. And, for the first time in recent Pacesetter history, three home-care products achieved top-10 status, including Tide Pods, Ajax Triple Action and Downy Infusions. Hair-care marketers are also “going big” with results, experiences and value, with L’Oreal’s Advanced Haircare and Vidal Sassoon Pro Series securing top spots. 2013 New Product Pacesetters: Top 10 Non-Food Brands ($ Millions) (Total Year-One Dollar Sales, Multi-Outlet) 1. Tide Pods $324.6 2. L’Oréal Advanced Haircare $141.8 3. ZzzQuil $121.1 4. Vidal Sassoon Pro Series $96.0 5. Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy $92.7 6. Downy Infusions $90.2 7. Ajax Triple Action $84.2 8. Always/Tampax Radiant $83.0 9. Secret Outlast $82.4 10. Puffs Basic $74.5 Source: IRI Market Advantage™ New Products Attain “Monster” Successes in Year-One Sales in Convenience Stores In the convenience-store arena, average year-one sales across the top 10 IRI New Product Pacesetters were an astounding $94 million. “The power of consumers’ pursuit of health and wellness is even seen in the convenience channel, with neuro Drinks landing a top-10 ranking,” adds Levin. “However, ‘grab and go’ indulgence is still top-of-mind for consumers, so beer, liquor, tobacco and energy drinks still dominate this channel’s best-selling launches.” 2013 New Product Pacesetters: Top 10 Convenience Store Brands ($ Millions) (Total Year-One Dollar Sales, Convenience Store Channel) 1. Monster Energy Ultra $268.2 2. Red Bull Total Zero $139.1 3. Marlboro NXT $117.9 4. NJOY $115.5 5. Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita $113.1 6. Budweiser Black Crown $55.9 7. neuro Drinks $52.1 8. Pepsi NEXT $31.1 9. DORITOS JACKED $25.9 10. Starbucks Refreshers $24.1 Source: IRI Market Advantage™ “Consumers are looking across CPG aisles for opportunities to make their homes, menus, bodies and minds healthier,” concludes Viamari. “CPG innovators have a significant opportunity to help consumers live well for less. Brands that provide powerful results and exciting experiences are sure to capture attention and excitement, accelerating share of spending into 2014 and beyond.” About the Report The IRI “2013 New Product Pacesetters” report is available exclusively from IRI, the global leader in innovative solutions and services for consumer, retail and over-the-counter healthcare companies. The findings of this report were compiled based on insights from the suite of tools offered by IRI’s Innovation Center of Excellence, including Market Advantage™, New Product Profiler™ and the 2014 IRI New Products Survey. To download the full report, visit: http://www.iriworldwide.com/Insights/Publications/NewProductPacesetters.aspx. About IRI IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at www.iriworldwide.com. # # # IRI Contacts: John McIndoe E-mail: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3862 Shelley Hughes E-mail: Shelley.Hughes@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3675
          Press Release: IRI’s Krishnakumar (KK) S. Davey and The Boston Consulting Group's Dan Wald to Reveal Results of New Consumer Packaged Goods Growth Leaders Study at 2014 IRI Summit Growth Session   
WHO: Dr. Krishnakumar (KK) S. Davey, Managing Director, Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) Dan Wald, Partner, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) WHAT: KK Davey and Dan Wald will reveal the top-performing large, midsize and small CPG manufacturers of 2013 during their Growth Session, “Who Are the 2013 Growth Leaders in Consumer Packaged Goods?” at the 2014 IRI Summit. This year’s study follows up on similar research that IRI and BCG issued last year and bases its rankings on three critical performance metrics: dollar sales growth, volume sales growth and market share gains. During the session, which is part of an overall stream of topics on Revenue Growth Acceleration, BCG and IRI will outline the key drivers of success among 2013's growth leaders as well as identify and discuss structural trends observed in the industry during 2013. WHY: CPG companies across the board made great strides in 2013 to boost top-line and bottom-line results, but manufacturers and retailers face ongoing pressure to continue boosting performance. Identifying and understanding the strategies of front-runners is an important step for all CPG companies to generate accelerated growth. Session participants will discover which key business trends and successes in 2013 can be applied to planning for 2014 to ensure continued growth. WHEN: Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. ET WHERE: 2014 IRI Summit Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center Kissimmee, FL 34746 http://bit.ly/1edznzs About The Boston Consulting Group The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 81 offices in 45 countries. About IRI: IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at iriworldwide.com. -###- IRI Contacts: Shelley Hughes E-mail: Shelley.Hughes@SymphonyIRI.com Phone: +1 312.474.3675 John McIndoe E-mail: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com Phone: + 1 312.474.3862 The Boston Consulting Group Contact: Alexandra Corriveau E-mail: corriveau.alexandra@bcg.com Phone: +1 212.446.3261
          Press Release: IRI’s Sally Lyons Wyatt to Deliver the State of the Snack Food Industry at SNAXPO 2014   
WHO: Sally Lyons Wyatt, Executive and Practice Leader, Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) WHAT: IRI’s snacking expert, Sally Lyons Wyatt, will discuss the snack food industry’s performance in 2013 and present the latest trends, up-to-date snack food sales data, and consumer insights for major snack food categories in her presentation, “State of the Snack Food Industry,” at SNAXPO 2014. WHY: With the blurring of eating occasions, the snacking universe has been expanding. Increased frequency has continued; however, other categories are taking a “bite” out of some traditional snack categories. For instance, occasion-based innovation and communication is a common theme across the industry. And, the battle for breakfast was intense in 2013, but there are areas of opportunity within breakfast snacking and across the other dayparts and occasions to drive growth. Understanding how all the pieces fit together is critical, since it’s really the only way to truly serve and satisfy target consumers. In addition, the path to purchase has become increasingly complex, so it will take precise communication inside and outside of the store to ensure manufacturers and retailers understand and influence consumers at key decision points. This precision includes pricing, nutritional ingredients, communication vehicles and in-store tactics optimization. Attendees of this presentation will gain deep new insights that will help them to: Understand the evolving snack universe Enhance the experience consumers have with snack brands Identify new growth opportunities to communicate with and serve snack shoppers WHEN: Monday, March 3, 2014, 9-10 a.m. CT WHERE: Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center Dallas, Texas About IRI: IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at iriworldwide.com. -###- IRI Contacts: Shelley Hughes E-mail: Shelley.Hughes@SymphonyIRI.com Phone: +1 312.474.3675 John McIndoe E-mail: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com Phone: + 1 312.474.3862
          Press Release: Tesco Partners With IRI for Market Insights   
Data to provide fast accurate insight into Tesco performance Bracknell, U.K. – February 26, 2014 –Tesco PLC, has announced that it has selected global insight agency, Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), as its market tracking provider for its U.K. business. IRI’s solution will enable Tesco to have access to market information via IRI’s Retail Advantage™ Solution. Retail Advantage will provide insights into Tesco’s performance by category and supplier versus other major supermarkets, with support from an on-site insight team. “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with such a respected global retailer as Tesco and helping them uncover and drive new growth opportunities across their business,” commented IRI President and CEO, Andrew Appel. IRI was appointed as the result of a competitive tender and technology trial. About IRI IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at www.iriworldwide.eu. Follow IRI on Twitter. For further information please contact: Teresa Horscroft, Eureka Communications Email: teresa@eurekacomms.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)1420 564346; Mob: +44 (0)7990 520390
          Press Release: IRI Beer Expert Provides 2013 Year-End Results on Beer Category and Craft Beer Segment   
WHO: Dan Wandel, Principal, Beverage Alcohol, Client Insights, Information Resources, Inc. WHAT: Beer category sales improved in 2013, which was being driven in large part by another successful year of new product offerings throughout the category. IRI beverage alcohol expert, Dan Wandel, will examine how the beer category and craft segment performed during the past year in his presentation, ”Craft Brewing and Year-End Sales Review,” during the Brewers Association Power Hour interactive teleconference. WHY: The craft segment continues to be one of the true success stories in the beverage alcohol industry for the past several years, and 2013 was no exception. Wandel’s presentation will take a closer look at where craft beers are succeeding and will address such critical questions as: What were the year-end sales trends for the beer category in 2013? How did beer category and craft segment perform in 2013? What were the top-selling craft beer styles in 2013? What were the hot new beer brands in 2013? Which vendors are driving craft sales growth? How did the beer category and craft segment perform during the October-November-December (OND) 2013 season? WHEN: Feb. 27, 2014, 12 p.m. CT WHERE: Brewers Association Power Hour Free for Brewers Association members; for all others, $99 to participate To pre-register, contact Pete Johnson at pete@brewersassociation.com http://www.brewersassociation.org/pages/business-tools/power-hour About IRI: IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at iriworldwide.com. -###- IRI Contacts: Shelley Hughes E-mail: Shelley.Hughes@SymphonyIRI.com Phone: +1 312.474.3675 John McIndoe E-mail: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com Phone: + 1 312.474.3862
          Press Release: IRI and Technomic Serve Up Restaurant to Retail Insights to Give Manufacturers, Retailers and Restaurant Operators a Bigger Piece of the Pie   
Joint Service Provides Comprehensive Cross-Channel Purchase and Restaurant Visitation Data to Create New Innovation and Growth Opportunities CHICAGO – Feb. 13, 2014 – With a finite number of meal occasions, CPG manufacturers, retailers and restaurant operators have long focused on growing their “share of stomach” to maximize their business across all occasions. Until now, understanding the relationship between what groceries people buy at retail and their out-of-home eating habits has been quite elusive. Restaurant to Retail (R2R) Insights, a new joint service offering from Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) and Technomic, provides a more holistic view of the food industry by combining consumers’ retail point-of-sale (POS) data with insight into what those same consumers buy and eat at major chain restaurants. The customizable, cross-channel analysis enables collaboration between manufacturers, retailers and restaurant operators and generates opportunities to increase sales through innovation, product placement, licensing and co-promotion. IRI is the global leader in innovative solutions and services for consumer, retail and over-the-counter healthcare companies. Technomic is the foodservice industry’s leading research and consulting firm. “Chain restaurants and food service organizations face similar information, analytics and marketing challenges, while also having analogous growth opportunities to food and beverage manufacturers and retailers,” says Robert I. Tomei, president, Consumer & Shopper Marketing, IRI. “Combining IRI and Technomic’s expertise and experience enables a more detailed and holistic understanding of consumer and shopper attitudes about food and beverages. By combining actual retail purchase and restaurant visitation data from the same households, we’ve created a powerful tool for both CPG and restaurant executives seeking to protect their existing business and also grow their share of total meal occasions.” “R2R Insights opens the door to a full understanding of the patterns and correlation of what consumers buy for consumption at and away from home,” says Bob Goldin, executive vice president, Technomic. “Understanding cross-channel behavior can drive new growth strategies for industry participants.” Manufacturers: Think about your branded products being sold in popular restaurants. If limited service restaurants are going to offer oatmeal, shouldn’t it be your brand of oatmeal? Data from R2R Insights can help support your goals of expanding distribution beyond retail and into the right restaurants. For example, a manufacturing client used the R2R Insights solution to determine which of its brands would be the best fit as a side dish for a burger restaurant, as well as which burger restaurant would sell the most product. Restaurant Operators: Think about extending your reach and generating growth by getting your products onto grocery store shelves. In addition to helping determine which retailer(s) should carry your brand, R2R Insights can enhance your brand positioning and messaging to help make the biggest splash when introducing your brand at retail. Alternatively, for restaurants seeking to sell branded CPG products, R2R Insights can help you determine which brands are best for your diners. R2R Insights can help a restaurant’s menu innovation by looking at household retail purchases to help create new products in line with their purchasing behavior. This will help not only create new products, but also will reduce the risk of failure when launching new products. In addition, a holistic view of the consumer’s purchasing behavior can help strengthen the relationship between restaurants and manufacturers in foodservice. To generate R2R Insights, more than 50,000 IRI Consumer Network® panelists completed a Technomic survey on visitation frequency, meal occasion and menu detail for the 23 largest limited-service chain restaurants, including: Arby’s Chick-fil-A Dunkin’ Donuts Little Caesars Pizza Hut Subway Baskin Robbins Chipotle Einstein Bros McDonald’s Popeye’s Taco Bell Boston Market Dairy Queen Jimmy John’s Panera Bread SONIC Wendy’s Burger King Domino’s KFC Papa John’s Starbucks R2R Insights delivers unique, strategic insights and a broader view of shopper behaviors than previously available. It is a completely custom, collaborative analytical solution that enables CPG and limited-service restaurant executives to strategize on how to collaborate and grow their businesses. IRI and Technomic’s ongoing relationship will result in additional R2R Insights surveys and findings in the future. About Technomic Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include numerous publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry. About IRI IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at iriworldwide.com. -# # #- IRI Contact: Shelley Hughes E-mail:Shelley.Hughes@SymphonyIRI.com Phone: +1 312.474.3675 Technomic Contact: Bob Goldin mail: bgoldin@technomic.com Phone: +1 312.506.3936
          Press Release: IRI’s Larry Levin to Present at CEW/NPD Group’s Beauty Industry 2013 Year-in-Review Event, "Hot off the Press"   
WHO: Larry Levin, Executive Vice President and Practice Leader, Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Analyst, The NPD Group Karen Grant, Vice President, and Global Beauty Industry Analyst, The NPD Group Diane Nicholson, President, U.S. Softlines, The NPD Group WHAT: Larry Levin, along with three NPD executives, will present “2013: A Look at the State of the Mass Beauty Market,” a talk that will review and analyze year-end results for the U.S. and global beauty industry as part of NPD’s annual “Hot off the Press.” This two-part invitation-only event is attended by manufacturers and retailers in the prestige and mass beauty industry seeking to better understand sales trends from 2013 and what those sales numbers mean for the industry’s future. WHY: Beauty industry sales stabilized in 2013, although it’s the first time in several years that sales have not beaten the CPG average. While typically enjoying 3 percent growth, this year’s beauty industry eked out less than 1 percent growth. Has mass beauty petered out, is channel shifting contributing to the decline in dollars or is another trend underway? WHEN: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 and Thursday, February 6, 2014 WHERE: New York, NY About NPD: The NPD Group provides market information and advisory services to help companies make better business decisions, including developing and offering the right products in the right places at the right prices for the right people in order to grow their businesses. About CEW: Cosmetic Executive Women, Inc. (CEW) is a nonprofit professional organization with over 5,000 executives, both women and men, in the beauty, cosmetics, fragrance and related industries. CEW is based in New York City, NY, and it has associated organizations in France and the United Kingdom. About IRI: IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at iriworldwide.com. -###- IRI Contacts: Shelley Hughes E-mail: Shelley.Hughes@SymphonyIRI.com Phone: +1 312.474.3675 John McIndoe E-mail: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com Phone: + 1 312.474.3862
          Press Release: IRI MarketPulse Survey Finds Conservative Consumer Behaviors Will Remain Prevalent throughout 2014   
Shopper Sentiment Declines in Q4 2013; 39 Percent Feel Their Financial Situation is Worse Today than One Year Ago CHICAGO – Jan. 22, 2014 – After a year of sluggish economic growth in 2013, it is no surprise that consumers are beginning the new year with a conservative outlook. In fact, IRI’s MarketPulse survey found that shopper sentiment dropped in Q4 2013, and this gloomy attitude is spilling over into 2014 across all age groups. It is particularly evident among millennials, who reported a 10-point decline since Q3 2013 and have consistently struggled since the economic downturn began. “The economy is slowly returning to a healthier state, but the road has been longer and harder than anyone expected, and it has been littered with obstacles,” says Susan Viamari, editor of Thought Leadership, IRI. “As a result, consumers are holding strong to the strategies that saw them through the worst of the downturn.” IRI Shopper Sentiment Index Declines at Close of 2013 IRI’s Shopper Sentiment Index provides deep insight into how the economy is impacting consumers and changing how they approach grocery shopping. The index provides perspective in terms of price sensitivity, brand loyalty and changes in spending required to maintain desired lifestyles. With a benchmark score of 100 based on Q1 2011 information, a Shopper Sentiment Index score of more than 100 reflects consumers who are less price driven, more loyal to favorite brands and better equipped to maintain their desired lifestyle without changes. The latest index for Q4 2013 is 102, which dropped after hitting a two-year high of 109 in Q3 2013. The fourth quarter also marked the first negative quarter of 2013. A number of factors likely contributed to shopper confidence being shaken, such as the debt ceiling crisis (73 percent awareness), the rollout of Obamacare (75 percent awareness), and the conflict in Syria (90 percent awareness). In addition, the reduction of food stamp benefits, otherwise known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), will increase financial pressures for 48 million Americans. Consumers Not Loosening Purse Strings in 2014 Going into the fourth year post-recession, consumers are still finding it difficult to maintain their desired lifestyles and are struggling to make ends meet. The Q4 2013 MarketPulse survey results clearly point to why many consumers continue to face tough times: 83 percent of consumers are having difficulty affording their regular groceries 39 percent feel their financial situation is worse today than one year ago 43 percent say their financial position is unchanged versus one year ago As a result of these ongoing difficulties, consumers will continue to trim expenses by following conservative usage patterns throughout 2014: 53 percent are working to make personal care products last longer 51 percent are finding ways to make cleaning products last longer 49 percent are cooking from scratch more/using fewer convenience items to save money 40 percent are making beauty care products last longer by using fewer, using less frequently, etc. 29 percent are sharing more products And, it doesn’t stop there. When making purchases, consumers also are demonstrating adeptness for saving that has been honed over the course of the downturn. For instance, 90 percent are eliminating unnecessary purchases, and 67 percent are making shopping lists prior to going to the store. “Our results clearly indicate that 2014 will be yet another challenging year for consumers and CPG marketers alike,” concludes Viamari. “But, both parties have demonstrated resilience and the ability to adapt quickly to challenges and opportunities. CPG marketers must hold on to that resilience this year and continue to provide shoppers with exciting products that make life easier and more affordable with a targeted value proposition. IRI Point of View To dig deeper into the Q4 2013 MarketPulse survey and learn forward-looking insights about 2014 consumer trends, IRI just released a new Point of View: “A Percussion of Conservatism as the New Year Bells Chime,” which examines how consumers will be using their common money-saving tools and making the most of new media to facilitate their CPG shopping endeavors throughout 2014. To download the free report, click here. About IRI’s MarketPulse Survey IRI provides new survey results at the end of each calendar quarter covering shoppers’ behaviors and attitudes as they directly relate to their strategies for learning about, purchasing and utilizing CPG and healthcare products, as well as information regarding perceptions of economic conditions and their ability to provide for their families. For complete MarketPulse coverage, visit: http://www.iriworldwide.com/Insights/Publications/MarketPulseSurvey.aspx. For more information about customizing the research for a particular category or industry, please contact IRIMarketing@IRIworldwide.com. About IRI IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at IRIworldwide.com. # # # IRI Contacts: Shelley Hughes E-mail: Shelley.Hughes@SymphonyIRI.com Phone: +1 312.474.3675 John McIndoe E-mail: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com Phone: + 1 312.474.3862
          Press Release: IRI and SPINS Join Forces to Accelerate Growth of Natural, Organic and Specialty Products   
SPINSscan Conventional Retail Measurement Services Now Powered by IRI POS Tracking and Reporting Solutions SCHAUMBURG, Ill. and CHICAGO - Jan. 9, 2014 - Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) and SPINS LLC today announced an expanded relationship focused on accelerating the growth of natural/ organic and specialty products. The highly anticipated alliance will have a sizeable impact on the industry, addressing its need for dynamic data, progressive solutions and expedited delivery to market. IRI is the global leader in innovative solutions and services for consumer, retail and over-the-counter healthcare companies. SPINS is the leading information and insights provider for the natural/organic and specialty products industry, setting the industry standard for product classification and attribution. Following the successful launch of a powerful new natural/organic consumer segmentation capability, the two companies have expanded their relationship, further integrating SPINS’ expertise with IRI’s point-of-sale (POS) tracking and reporting solutions to create a new SPINSscan Conventional retail measurement platform. The new service coupled with the consumer analysis capability empowers clients and partners to accurately quantify natural/organic and specialty sales and clearly understand key purchase drivers of these products to activate their business across retail channels, product sets and consumers. “Creating high-value, world-class partnerships with a network of leading companies is an essential part of our ‘growth delivered’ strategy,” says Andrew Appel, president and chief executive officer, IRI. “We are excited about joining forces with SPINS on the retail tracking front to significantly expand IRI’s coverage within the natural/organic products industry and overall health and wellness sector. It also enables us to collaborate with recognized domain experts to provide clients from both companies with a multidimensional view into the growing segment that is changing the retail landscape, shifting consumer attitudes and driving new product innovation.” “SPINS’ mission is to grow the natural and specialty products industry by delivering complete manufacturer and retailer solutions and driving consumer interest in health and wellness,” says SPINS CEO Tony Olson. “Through our work with IRI on consumer segmentation and insights, we found an innovative collaborator with whom we will deliver comprehensive RMS solutions to meet the needs of this growing industry. We look forward to helping propel our clients and partners forward, so that together we can continue to increase access to and connect U.S. consumers with the products they need to lead healthier lifestyles.” About SPINS SPINS is a passionate advocate of retailers and products that promote healthy living. As the leading provider of retail consumer insights, analytics reporting and consulting services for the Natural, Organic and Specialty Products Industry, its business offerings are helping retailers in this high growth area to connect people with the brands that they need and love. Learn more at www.spins.com. About IRI IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at iriworldwide.com. ### IRI Contacts: John McIndoe E-mail: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3862 Shelley Hughes E-mail: Shelley.Hughes@IRIworldwide.com Phone: +1 312.474.3675 SPINS Contact: Jennifer Fuller E-mail: JFuller@SPINS.com Phone: +1 847.908.1224
          Press Release: IRI and The Boston Consulting Group to Preview 2014 Momentum Report at FMI Midwinter Conference   
WHO: Piyush Chaudhari, President of the Americas and Global Strategy, Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) Jeff Gell, Senior Partner and Consumer Products Global Sector Leader, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) WHAT: IRI and BCG published the Momentum Report in 2013, the first industry study to take a critical look at more than 400 public and private consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies while focusing on three key performance metrics: dollar sales growth, volume sales growth and market share gains. In their presentation, “Who Had Momentum in 2013? A Preview of the 2014 BCG/IRI Momentum Report,” Chaudhari and Gell will preview the 2014 Momentum Report and highlight new and/or continuing market trends relevant to CPG manufacturers. The session will also provide information on how key growth levers, such as innovation, pricing and distribution have played a role in driving business growth throughout 2013. WHY: CPG manufacturers are facing increasing pressure for growth in an environment where many shoppers continue to maintain frugal practices. Identifying the key drivers of growth is the first step toward improved strategies that lead to enhanced shopper activation. IRI and BCG are leaders in analyzing market trends in CPG and their combined expertise is a must-attend for senior executives eager to learn about the health of the industry and the fundamental drivers of success. WHEN: Saturday, January 11, 2014, 7:00 – 7:50 a.m. Mountain Standard Time WHERE: MA Coffee With Meetings & Sessions at the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference The Phoenician Resort 6000 East Camelback Road Scottsdale, AZ http://www.thephoenician.com/ About IRI: IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses across sales and marketing. Move your business forward at iriworldwide.com. About BCG: The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 81 offices in 45 countries. -###- IRI Contacts: Shelley Hughes E-mail: Shelley.Hughes@SymphonyIRI.com Phone: +1 312.474.3675 John McIndoe E-mail: John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com Phone: + 1 312.474.3862 BCG Contact: Alexandra Corriveau E-mail: Corriveau.Alexandra@bcg.com Phone: +1 (212) 446-3261
          Comment on Choose your battles – and your projects by Victor   
You covered a lot of ground in this post. It's fascinating to observe how given the same circumstances in the workplace, different people with different standards and expectations of themselves will influence how they handle the dilemmas at hand. You definitely have an admirable sense of self-awareness - your observations and understanding of group dynamics in your workplace are illuminating. And for you, these also appear to be liberating. If only more staff colleagues across the university had this ability...we would all be in excellent shape! Enjoy some R&R these next 10 days!
           TOYS Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex Tachikoma Lamp - Import Preorder US$149.90   
NCS Product Synopsis
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    Preorders are welcome to ship in late October 2017.
The Tachikoma Lamp is available in blue, red, and yellow.

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          Despicable Me 3 + Kellogg’s Giveaway!   

I am happy to partner with Illumination and Kellogg’s for this post. All opinions are my own. Illumination, who brought audiences some of my family’s absolutely top-of-the-favorite-list movie’s like Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2 and Minions, continues the adventures of Gru, Lucy, their adorable daughters—Margo, Edith and Agnes—and the Minions in Despicable Me 3!!! Seriously, we love these movies with all of our hearts. They are just so stinkin’ good!! After...

The post Despicable Me 3 + Kellogg’s Giveaway! appeared first on Lady and the Blog.


          Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination   
The photo challenge this week was a lot easier than I had initially expected! In fact, as I went about my day to day, I began to notice the theme “Illumination” in […]
          Dissertation Title: Precision Metrology of Laser Plasmas in the XUV Band   
Announcing the Final Examination of John Szilagyi for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

The XUV band, a region of light spanning the wavelength range of 5 - 200 nm, is located between the Ultraviolet and X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is further divided into a 100 - 200 nm region called the Vacuum Ultraviolet (VUV), and a 5 - 100 nm region called the Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV). Applications of this light have been slow to develop due to the lack of suitable sources, efficient optics, and sensitive detectors. Recently, many industries such as the semiconductor manufacturing industry, medical surgery, micromachining, microscopy, and spectroscopy have begun to benefit from the short wavelengths and the high photon energies of this light. At present, the semiconductor chip industry is the primary reason for the investment in, and development of, XUV sources, optics, and detectors.

The demand for high power EUV light sources at 13.5 nm wavelength is driven by the development of the next generation of semiconductor lithography tools. The development of these tools enables the continued reduction in size, and the increase in transistor density of semiconductor devices on a single chip. Further development and investigation of laser produced plasma EUV light sources is necessary to increase the average optical power and reliability. This will lead to an increase in the speed of EUV lithographic processes, which are necessary for future generations of advanced chip design, and high volume semiconductor manufacturing.

Micromachining, lithography, and microscopy benefit from improvements in resolution due to the shorter wavelengths of light in the VUV band. In order to provide adequate illumination for these applications, sources are required which are brighter and have higher average power. Laser produced plasma (LPP) VUV light sources are used extensively for lithography and defect detection in semiconductor manufacturing. Reductions in the wavelength and increases in the average power will increase the rate and yield of chip manufacture, as well as reduce the costs of semiconductor manufacture.

The work presented in this dissertation describes the development of two laser plasma source facilities in the Laser Plasma Laboratory at UCF, which were designed to investigate EUV and VUV laser plasma sources. The HP-EUV-Facility was developed to optimize and demonstrate a high power 13.5 nm EUV LPP source. This facility provides high resolution spectroscopy across 10.5 - 20 nm, and absolute energy measurement of 13.5 nm +/- 2% in 2π sr. The VUV-MS-Facility was developed to investigate VUV emission characteristics of laser plasmas of various target geometries and chemistries. This facility provides absolute calibrated emission spectrum for the 124 - 250 nm wavelength range, in addition to, at wavelength plasma imaging. Calibrated emission spectrum, in-band power, and conversion efficiency are presented in this work for gas targets of Argon, Krypton, and Xenon and solid targets of Silicon, Copper, Molybdenum, Indium, Tantalum, Tin, and Zinc, across the laser intensity range of 8.0x10^6 - 3.2x10^12 W/cm^2.

Committee in Charge: Martin Richardson (Chair), Kalpathy Sundaram, Reza Abdolvand, Bhimsen Shivamoggi, Matthieu Baudelet

          Colour Book - Modulation and Light Techniques (English Version, 106pages)   
Colour Book - Modulation and Light Techniques (English Version, 106pages)This book explains in depth in an educational and visually easy to follow format, how to apply various light effects on your models, including the famous modulation technique. Through its 106 pages, hundreds of photos and numerous diagrams show how to obtain more from your models and give them more life and personality. To do this the authors Javier Soler and Mig Jimenez explain 4 different ways of painting lighting effects on our models: color modulation, zenithal light, spot light, and illumination by panels.

Buy Now
          Mother's visit   

I have been unable to attend to any of my adventurising this week as my dear old Mother has been down to visit from her country estate. She really doesn't like London and its inhabitants, or "Scumbags" as she calls them. Fortunately it was only a brief stay and I am now able to concentrate on more pressing matters.
However, I thought maybe I could take this opportunity to talk a little about my family as it may give you, the reader, an insight into why I became an Explorer.
My Mother, Consternita Durkin is heir to the Durkin Gherkin dynasty and when younger was viewed as a very desirable prospect for young society gentlemen. She, however, did not care for the limp suitors that were on offer and decided instead to travel around Europe, thus avoiding the subject of marriage. It was on these travels she met my late Father, Albert Fschniddle. As a Swiss pilchard fisherman he had very few prospects but was extremely handsome and soon my Mother and he began a relationship. Unlike many couple of the time they decided not to follow society's rules and marry as a business union or for social climbing, but for love. Unfortunately it turned out that it was a love of money on my Father's behalf and a love of pilchards from my Mother. The marriage was short-lived and disasterous. Almost as disasterous as their Pilchard and Gherkin Jam business venture. (I'm so glad that Wortha and I's relationship is built of stronger stuff. Wortha never complains when I go away on my expeditions, in fact she seems to really look forward to them..)

My Father left not long after I was born, but would always return on full moons to take me out on fishing excursions. He regaled me with tales of adventure and spoke of monsters from the deep, pirates, pilchards as big as a cow etc. etc. It was on one of these trips I decided to become an adventurer and explorator myself and as I walked back from the canal, waving goodbye to my Father, I vowed that I would never rest until I had become the greatest Explorator and Adventurist of all time. I never saw my Father after that night. Some say he died wrestling with a monster, others that he was swallowed by a giant pilchard. The papers say he was drunk and slipped on some dog shit and fell into the river, but those hacks will believe anything.

So, dear reader, that is a little glimpse into who I am. I hope it was illuminating. Now I must go and prepare my packed lunch, for who knows what exciting adventurisms tomorrow holds?
          Reply by Irdooooomed   
He bumps every thread about the Illuminati, he must get a woody every time he hears the word. In reality he want to be seen as an Illuminati insider but he's really just another nobody, you should ignore him.
          La mascotte du Podcast Journal, Patapouf, présente les éphémérides du 29 juin    
Aujourd'hui 8e jour du signe astrologique du Cancer. Selon le dicton, "à la Saint-Pierre, coq chantant est présage de mauvais temps".
Sont nés notamment ce jour: le peintre François-Auguste Biard, l'écrivain Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, l'écrivain Frédéric Dard, l'homme politique Giorgio Napolitano, l'auteur de bandes dessinées Marc Wasterlain, le musicien DJ Shadow.

Pas de journée internationale.
À Malte fête des illuminations et aux Seychelles fête de l'indépendance.
En France, bonne fêt...

Podcast Journal Journal international diffusé en podcast et portail multimédia interactif de proximité: podcastjournal.net

          Global Illumination   

Cast: Ryan Maffesoli


          STOCKS CLIMB: Here's what you need to know   

ice climbingStocks climbed on Wednesday, with all three major indices finishing in the green.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 21,454.61, +143.95, (+0.68%)
  • S&P 500: 2,440.69, +21.31, (+0.88%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,234.41, +87.79, (+1.43%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.224%, +0.026
  • WTI crude: $44.78, +0.54, +1.22%

1. WARREN BUFFETT: The Republican healthcare bill should be called the "Relief for the Rich Act." During an interview with "PBS NewsHour" on Tuesday, Buffett said he thinks the healthcare bill has one goal: to help rich people like him.

2. TRUMP: We're going to have a "big surprise" on healthcare. "Healthcare is working along very well. We're gonna have a big surprise," Trump said during an event in the White House with the Chicago Cubs. "We have a great healthcare package." When asked for clarification, Trump replied, "We're going to have a great, great surprise."

3. Meanwhile, Rand Paul released a list of demands for the Senate healthcare bill, and it shows why it might be impossible to pass. Soon after it was released, Paul announced that he would not support the current Senate bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), because it did not go far enough in its repeal of Obamacare.

4. The stock market is sending Janet Yellen a crucial message. If the equity market truly believed the Federal Reserve's assertion that the economy is strong enough to withstand higher interest rates, it would be fleeing from stocks offering high yields. But it's doing the opposite.

5. Ethereum explodes above $300. It touched a high of $308 earlier in the session Wednesday. The gains came less than a week after a flash crash on the Global Digital Asset Exchange pushed the crypto-currency's price down to as low as $0.10.

ADDITIONALLY:

The housing market has become "lopsided" — and it's bad news for first-time buyers.

ETFs are being unfairly blamed for one of the market's biggest problems.

The tech stock Illuminati are getting too much credit.

Trump appears to be losing influence on healthcare.

There are "cracks emerging" in the calmest market in years.

NOW WATCH: An economist explains the key issues that Trump needs to address to boost the economy


          What you need to know on Wall Street today   

warren buffettLucas Jackson/Reuters

Welcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours. 

If stock traders truly believed the Federal Reserve's assertion that the economy is strong enough to withstand higher interest rates, they would be fleeing from stocks offering high yields. It's doing the opposite.

In other words, the stock market is sending a crucial message to Janet Yellen

Elsewhere in markets news, ETFs are being unfairly blamed for one of the market's biggest problems. The tech stock Illuminati are getting too much credit. And there are "cracks emerging" in the calmest market in years.

Things could get messy if oil drops below $40, according to UBS. And US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that she does not believe that there will be a run on the banking system at least as long as she lives.

In Wall Street news, the hedge funder who had long hoped to work for Trump finally got a job. An activist investor called out 50 stocks, and then most of them tanked. Britain's financial regulator hits the "nuclear button" in its crackdown on the £7 trillion asset management industry.

And potential jurors in Martin Shkreli's trial have called him "evil" and a "snake" — and it's becoming a problem

In deal news, Blue Apron slashed its IPO range. The deal is supposed to price tonight, and start trading on Thursday. 

In healthcare news:

And in tech news:

Lastly, the new king of New York power lunching has arrived — here's what it's like to eat there.

NOW WATCH: Barclays strategist: You can expect a major department store to fail in the next 18 months


          Spring in Japan   
Spring is the perfect season to go to Japan... Cherry blossoms, a few people, a lot of temples to visit! © Ligio (Help) Tokyo is perfect if you want to walk a lot. Especially during night you can see the Sensoji (Asakusa Kannon Temple) with wonderful artificial light. I like the five storied pagoda in nocturnal illumination! Kyoto is the most famous city if you want to live ancient traditions (tea ceremony, geisha dances...) or if you want to visit beautiful buildings, like the Gold Pavilion, with a very nice garden reflecting the light of gold leaves from the roof of the temple. In Osaka you can see the "Osaka Castle", one of the most famous defensive fortification of Japan, surrounded by a large garden when you can have a pick-nick or do some birds watching! Don't lose the opportunity to go and see the Himeji flatland-mountain Japanese white castle complex! It was also registered as the first Japanese National Cultural Treasure by UNESCO....
          Illuminating History: A Conversation with the Cast of RED DOG HOWLS   
“It scares me how close this story is to mine.” When Craig Noel Award-winning actor Jeffrey Jones first approached Intrepid Producing Artistic Director Christy Yael-Cox about the play Red Dog Howls, he told her how much this play speaks to him, not only because it challenges him as an actor, but also because it is
          Gaming machine having a display and speaker system with light piping material   
Gaming machines having video depictions of one or more mechanical reels displayed onto a curved display are disclosed herein. In one embodiment, the gaming machine includes a curved transparent material having an outer surface, an inner surface, and a radius of curvature similar to a mechanical reel. The gaming machine also includes a display system for displaying video images of one or more reels onto the inner surface of the curved transparent material. The gaming machine also includes a light piping material positioned in front of the curved transparent material for illumination of the display. The gaming machine may further include light piping material placed in front of speakers associated with the gaming machine for illumination of the speakers. The illumination of the display or speakers may be synchronized with sound.
          A Somewhat Illuminating Mess: GamerGate On Stage At AirPlay [Opinion]   
My colleague Erik Kain reports on the sadly abbreviated "SJP AirPlay", the oddly-titled event convened by the chair of the Society of Professional Journalists' Florida chapter to discuss how journalists should deal with online controversies like GamerGate. The reported number of bomb threats actually called in varies from two to ten, [...]
             
Glam Time – Discover illuminating décor designed to brighten up dark corners this winter and keep your home aglow with warm, comforting vibes. Silver, copper, bronze and gold tones are timeless and easy to work in with your existing colour palette.  
          In Loco Parentis   
In loco parentis means "in place of a parent." Here on my blog, I can tell you that all the implications for an erotic novel are indeed in effect. May I tempt you with an excerpt from the book?

“So you’re saying you’re not going to get hard while you’re spanking me?” As soon as she said it, she saw she had touched a sensitive spot: Mr. Malley’s brow darkened, and his evident struggle against anger seemed to get more difficult for him.

“That’s my affair, Heather, and I hope I can teach you some modesty where that kind of thing is concerned, so that you’re not looking through windows and sucking boys’ penises in full view of the neighborhood.”

Too late Heather saw that she had made things much, much worse for herself. All the casual hookups at school came crowding back upon her, and the battle between it’s fine and shouldn’t it feel better? reared its terrible head.

Modesty.

Bullshit, the it’s fine part tried to say. But Mr. Malley seemed to have come to the aid of shouldn’t it feel better? with a strange vengeance.

Worst of all, the subject of Mr. Malley’s cock had entered the conversation, and she couldn’t deny that she had raised it. Raised it. Heather saw Miss Green on her knees, red lace panties down and pink plug in her bottom, sucking Mr. Malley’s big, hard cock. She saw him hold Miss Green’s head, his fingers twined in her wavy red hair. She saw him fuck her face like it was a pussy.

Heather swallowed hard.

“I’m through talking now,” he said. “I’m going to go to the kitchen. When you’re ready to take your spanking like a good girl, you’ll come in there and lay yourself over my lap, and we’ll get this over with.”

He turned and left the den. Heather sat there looking at her hands in her lap. Her gaze shifted to the screen, and the sexy freeze-frame made the problem worse. Angrily, she picked up the remote and turned the thing off. The den fell into darkness, its only illumination spilling in from the kitchen where she now heard Mr. Malley moving one of the chairs.

So he can sit in it. For my spanking.

Rational thought had the smallest imaginable part in what Heather did next. She stood up, and she took off all her clothes and laid them on the red couch. If a thought had actually entered her mind, it had been If I’m going to have a spanking, I want it to be a sexual spanking. She hadn’t thought the idea through, of course, any more than she had thought through stealing the panties or any of the other stupid things she had done over the past forty-eight hours.

She surveyed her body in the half-darkness, wishing she had a mirror but knowing Mr. Malley didn’t stand a chance of resisting her. An older man would always want to fuck a gorgeous eighteen-year-old: practically an eternal truth. She walked into the kitchen, smiling, with her hands at her side.

Here's the blurb:

By the time eighteen-year-old Heather Bradshaw returns home for the summer after her first year of college, she feels very grown-up indeed. With her parents away for several months, she has the house to herself, and she isn’t going to let their old-fashioned notions of propriety get in the way of a good time if the opportunity presents itself and the guy is hot. It comes as quite a surprise, though, when the man who sets her heart racing turns out to be her best friend’s father.

Upon realizing that Heather is flirting with him, Tom Malley sets out to play the role of the gentleman. He does his best to ignore her advances rather than take advantage of someone so inexperienced, but it quickly becomes clear that the beautiful, naïve young woman is in desperate need of a man’s firm hand, and if he doesn’t provide the stern dominance that is required she’s going to get herself in over her head while searching for someone who will.

Determined to put a stop to Heather’s out of control behavior and keep her from getting hurt, Tom takes the feisty girl over his knee for a long, hard, bare-bottom spanking that leaves her blushing and promising to behave herself. The humiliating chastisement merely intensifies her desire for him, however, and her response to his discipline deeply arouses Tom as well. Soon enough, he casts aside his hesitation and claims her thoroughly, but will the shame of surrendering her body to her best friend’s father turn out to be more than Heather can bear?

Click here to buy the book on Amazon!
          The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth   

William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy were separated in childhood after their parents died, but developed a very close relationship as adults and spent the rest of their lives together, even after William was married to Mary Hutchinson. Dorothy and William walked the Lake District hills together, her detailed observations of the natural world served as inspiration for his poems (he wrote “She gave me eyes, she gave me ears...”), and she contributed her ideas to the poetic discussions between Wordsworth and Coleridge. Dorothy kept journals—intended not for publication, but solely for William’s eyes—and their publication a century later opened a window on the writing life of a Romantic poet. After reading those journals, British biographer Frances Wilson wrote The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth: A Life (published by Faber in the UK, 2008, Farrar, Straus & Giroux in the US, 2009 ), a fascinating story of the intertwined lives of a poet and his sister and helpmate.

In The Telegraph, Frances Wilson explained how she came to write the biography, after discovering in the journals a Dorothy very different from the accepted stereotypical “maiden aunt”:
A demure virgin? Not the Dorothy I know

When the book was published by Faber in the United Kingdom, a good number of illuminating reviews came out in UK newspapers:

from The Telegraph:
Wordsworth’s intriguing sister Dorothy,” by Caroline Moore
“This account is actually constructed, with scrupulous care, from Dorothy’s own words.... Frances Wilson is meticulously aware of the ‘tantalising economy’ of Dorothy’s writings, and how they resist our intrusive sympathies.”

from The Guardian:
More than her brother's keeper...,” by Virginia Rounding
“Frances Wilson’s The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth reveals a passionate, talented woman whose love for her brother defined her and finally destroyed her.”

also from The Guardian:
The agony, the ecstasy and the hot soup,” by Andrew Motion
“...a subtle and iconoclastic life of Wordsworth’s brilliant and devoted sister.... By aligning her life with his, and assuming from early womanhood that they would always be together in some kind of menage or other, she discovered freedom and self-validation but also embraced self-denial.”

And when The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth appeared in the United States, Frances Wilson spoke to National Public Radio about the relationship between Dorothy and William:

from All Things Considered:
Sister Act: A New Take On Dorothy Wordsworth
“Wilson describes the relationship as ‘extraordinary.’ In some ways, she says, it was the most passionate relationship of both of their lives.... On the night before William’s marriage, Dorothy wore the ring he intended to give his bride. She later detailed her brother’s wedding in her journal, writing:

On Monday, the 4 of October 1802, my brother William was married to Mary Hutchinson. I slept a good deal of the night and rose fresh and well in the morning. At a little after 8 o’clock, I saw them go down the avenue towards the church.... I kept myself as quiet as I could, but when I saw the two men coming up the walk coming to tell me it was over, I could bear it no longer and threw myself on the bed, where I lay in stillness, neither hearing, nor seeing anything.
Following her brother’s marriage, Dorothy retreated to the top room of the cottage, where she lived for the next 20 years—a sort of mad woman in the attic, according to Wilson.... But Dorothy’s voluntary seclusion wasn’t permanent; when her brother died she reemerged as her old self: ‘It was as though William Wordsworth was holding her back,’ says Wilson. ‘When he’d gone, she could breathe again.’”

More on William Wordsworth:
Profile of William Wordsworth, seminal British Romantic poet
Library of poems by Wordsworth
Memory and Nature: A Guide to William Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey"
Wordsworth’s Daffodils Spring Up on YouTube

The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth originally appeared on About.com Poetry on Sunday, April 27th, 2014 at 00:32:02.

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          Night of Triffids   
Nightfest, Floriade, Canberra, ACT Has anyone read The Night Circus? Author Erin Morgenstern depicts a magical world, hidden in plain view of Victorian England. Her writing illustrates a traveling, black-tented circus that only opens at night. Using magic (unbeknownst to the naïve and stunned 19th century English), the Night Circus travels around, creating a phantasmagorical oasis from whatever frosted barley fields it pops up from. This was what Nightfest was like; a temporary mix of flora and illumination coming together to […]
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1527598)   
Anybody know if Muse is in on this. I always thought they were anti-illuminati but they're sing uprising is played during the opening and they will also perform. So I'm not sure now. They might be bought too.
          illumination of mexico   
an instrummental acoustic number, some great guitar and various ethnic stuff, udu, digeridoo, etc
          Craters Hosting Radar-Bright Deposits in Mercury's North Polar Region: Areas of Persistent Shadow Determined from MESSENGER Images   
Radar-bright features near Mercury's poles were discovered in Earth-based radar images and proposed to be water ice present in permanently shadowed areas. Images from MESSENGER's one-year primary orbital mission provide the first nearly complete view of Mercury’s north polar region, as well as multiple images of the surface under a range of illumination conditions. We find that radar-bright features near Mercury's north pole are associated with locations persistently shadowed in MESSENGER images. Within 10 degrees of the pole, almost all craters larger than 10 km in diameter host radar-bright deposits. There are several craters located near Mercury's north pole with sufficiently large diameters to enable long-lived water ice to be thermally stable at the surface within regions of permanent shadow. Craters located farther south also host radar-bright deposits and show a preference for cold-pole longitudes; thermal models suggest that a thin insulating layer is required to cover these deposits if the radar-bright material consists predominantly of longlived water ice. Many small (less than 10 km diameter) and low-latitude (extending southward to 66 degrees N) craters host radar-bright material, and water ice may not be thermally stable in these craters for ~1 Gy, even beneath an insulating layer. The correlation of radar-bright features with persistently shadowed areas is consistent with the deposits being composed of water ice, and future thermal modeling of small and low-latitude craters has the potential to further constrain the nature, source, and timing of emplacement of the radar-bright material.
          SMART Train - Last Mile Connectivity - North County   
Sonoma County is getting passenger rail service for the first time in decades, hopefully starting at the tail end of 2016, with the opening of the SMART train

SMART is starting to move from being an agency building a train, to an agency that will *run* a train. Big difference. Based on a lot of things I have heard in the past, there is concern that General Manager Farhad Mansourian is a better project manager CEO than an operations CEO. Time will tell, but as we approach the opening and decisions start to fall in place, I am going to reload this blog and follow the topic.

At last month's SMART board meeting, there was a presentation on First/Last Mile connectivity. The PDF is linked above, there is also a video of this meeting - March 2, 2016 which is interesting and a bit illuminating. The board rightly gives the staff of SMART and the related agencies credit for a lot of hard work, but there are a lot of holes in the strategy which underscores that transit agencies and boards don't really focus test their ideas. They look at a problem, place themselves in the problem, and imagine how the problem needs to be solved. Witness Caltrain discussing workers who can go in "later" because they have "flexible" schedules. They go to work 8-5, my office doesn't even turn the lights on until 9 AM and people get upset at meetings before 10. The schedule isn't "flexible", it's flat out different.

With SMART, the board (mostly local politicians) and staff are working from a very "how do I get to San Francisco" mindset. I can't blame them, a lot of the public reacts this way as well, if you read internet comment boards. Officially, SMART diverges from this message on their website

Today, more than 75% of commuters in the North Bay travel either within or between the two counties to get to work.

Thus we get to my first topic on the presentation on first/last mile - the North County Coordination to be provided by Sonoma County Transit. This connection is at the direction of the board and not negotiable - Windsor, Healdsburg, and Cloverdale were on the original proposed train line, and have had train service delayed indefinitely due to lack of funding. There is a bus from Cloverdale to Santa Rosa - route 60 - but it's slow compared to the freeway and doesn't go to the train depot on Airport Rd. SCT is going to add a shuttle - as seen in the first/last mile presentation, that will express between the 3 towns and the North SMART terminus at Airport Road. It will mostly run on US-101 in uncongested areas making it a quick connector. Sort of.

The proposed schedule shows the "go south in the AM, north in the PM" mindset of SMART. The only shuttles in the AM run North to South to meet trains, there are no proposed shuttles the opposite direction. One problem - the City of Healdsburg is a net *importer* of labor, not an exporter! SMART is trying to figure out how to get a small population of Healdsburg residents south, instead of the large population that is trying to get TO Healdsburg. The population shift during the day is such that tiny Healdsburg is starting to have parking wars and consider using valuable downtown land to build more parking.

Housing prices in Healdsburg are forcing the town's workforce to leave the City for Santa Rosa and Cloverdale, less expensive areas, which is bad on its own, but exacerbates the parking problem which leads to bad land use decisions which feeds back to make the housing problem worse. That workforce could theoretically take SMART to the Airport and hop a shuttle to town, but it won't exist.

Not only does a NB shuttle not exist, but the market of workers in Cloverdale who could take the shuttle to Healdsburg will be poorly served. The express shuttle will go from Cloverdale to Healdsburg in 20 minutes. SCT route 60 takes ~40 minutes to make the same run - the express cuts the trip in half and could attract new riders. However, because SMART and SCT are only thinking about "get people to the train" - the stop is located at the decrepit Healdsburg train depot on the outskirts of town (and they are building a $1 Million parking lot there), producing a walk for people making that trip which eats up any time savings. It also means that any tourists from SF who decide to take this route get dumped off in the middle of nowhere instead of the middle of town. Might as well drive. This in order to provide park and ride service to a bus for Healdsburg residents? The Healdsburg depot is out of the way for most Healdsburg residents, the bus will make an additonal out of the way stop at the Windsor "Train Depot", before winding to Airport Road. Summary - any sane Healdsburger with a car will simply drive to the Airport Road Station.

The detour through HBG to get to the old depot, and the similar winding trip in Windsor kills the trip time, reducing any incentive for people coming from Cloverdale to use the shuttle. The buses should make quick stops just off the freeway but close to the downtowns - the Amtrak bus stop at Mill/HBG Ave in Healdsburg, and right off the freeway in Windsor next to where there is a McDonalds. Shuttle service like this relies on speed. Optimizing it is the only chance to get the ridership needed to keep the shuttle going and hopefully support the train. This includes understanding that some of the riders will eschew the train altogether, using the shuttle as a fast intra-North County bus service. And they should provide service in both directions at both peaks.


          SILVER FLEET REPORT - "LAST WARNING TO HENRY AND THE CLOSURE OF THE NEGATIVE PORTAL OF MONGOLIA" - 06.16.2017   

Gabriel: Queridos leitores em português, essa é a tradução para o Inglês da mensagem original, postada anteriormente em português: Aqui

Please, dear ones, read in tune with the song below. I particularly recommend to put the music in a pleasantvolume and then read the message aloud. You may feel wonderful vibrations of light in your bodies. 



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Greetings, Comrades! We have some information and joy here!

We came, after a brief pause, with one more of our reports on the movements on your planet! There are some really interesting movements to see! And we're enjoying it! A group of beings who were on their planet thousands of years ago decided to step back and deliver "their keys" and allow us to move forward. They gave our allies, on the surface, the points where they designed their plans. This group was well hidden from human eyes, precisely in Mongolia.

They decided to "deliver the points" due to the great external pressure of terrestrial humanity, by considerably increasing their vibration. And they, as good connoisseurs, knew that no one can with the collective power. They recognized that the "turning point" is now and are truly willing to collaborate with the plans of the Light! Hallelujah Hallelujah! The Light is Merciful! We were caught off guard when our allies informed us of such an event. Even though we are constantly instructed by our Elderly Masters, we are still surprised by manifestation free will! Immediately, we closed a negative vortex sustained by them in that region where, there, they did rituals to attract entities not very loving. Hosanna! Hosanna! What a wonderful surprise!

What we can say to our Comrades on Earth is that everything we have been reporting in the latest messages is unfolding in a wonderful way, ensuring that your infinite prosperity and joy can manifest at every ticking of the clock! The protocols are being followed strictly, and no further external intervention is allowed. Although some delays for certain moves happen due to their seriousness and the importance of going ahead, always with absolute security of what we are doing. Nothing will stop the definitive illumination of this reality, which has been imprisoned for ages, by dark forces originating from the Andromeda’s Galaxy and beyond. Although you all know that everything follows a higher plane, and that all the experiences that you experience, are always for your growth, it’s time to put a stop to the darkness actions and return to their natural states and origins! The end of this phenomenal experience is happening and no one is more worthy of as many applauses as you! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

We must, before beginning our closing, leave another message to our dear Henry Kissinger: "It’s time for you to definitely give up. Understand that every move you make, we'll stop. It has already been informed of our movement on the island of the dragon boy, and that we will not allow absurd movements that will hinder the progress that, as you may know, is unstoppable. You are also aware that your heart has a serious problem in one of the arteries. Give yourself time to let the Light invade you and you, my dear friend, may receive the blessings of heaven! You also know that if you don’t cooperate, if you try to escape after leaving the body, we will be waiting for you (laughs). Come, friend! Seize the opportunity and join the humanity! Many who work with you need to disconnect from the oppressive energy that is imposed upon them. Give them a chance! Give yourself a chance! This is our last message and our Old Masters. "

That's enough for now! There is more information coming. Be ready! We’ll inform you more and more, as our old masters authorize! We continue with our important reports about certain moves! This time, we talk about the expansion of consciousness of before, bumbling saplings, active in Mongolia! We have left our loving message to our dear Henry, and we ask all our Earth allies to send all the good energies to this boy! Oh, naughty! Remember, Comrade allies, we cherish for kindness, gentleness, and NO judgment. Understand that our role is to help accelerate the process that will lead you to transcend this old reality and enter into the new, long prepared for you! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Celebrate!

Each day, a new domino falls and pushes another to the next move! We say this, always based on the assurance of Heaven! We see the broad picture and that inspires us to speak with such certainty! The times of transformation are right before you and we are the spectators and the actors, very happy of the great wonder that we witness! Know that creation is benevolent and that there is nothing to fear! Neither what comes from space nor what comes from under the beloved Earth! There is a harmonious natural law that coordinates everything, Comrades! We have always inspired this boy (Gabriel RL) with these statements! By the way, today he woke up and we gave him a sign that we would come, but he eventually forgot! Oh! ... (Laughs!) Did you think we'd give up? (Laughs!) He sat down just in front of the computer (3 pm) and we said, "Hi, we're here!" (Loving laughs!) Likewise, dear Comrades, it is with you! Many times you think you are forgotten and that certain things that are important to you don’t unfold! Know that everything is a matter of time, of an appropriate moment, of a perfect and harmonious movement for manifestation! Know this! Never give up on your positive goals! Know that, surely, if it is for a higher good, it will manifest itself and have all the support of the heavens for it!

Right now, we are flying over Ulan Bator and giving our visual testimony that the Light Forces operate in this region and will ensure positive nutrition! It’s party time, Comrades, and we are pleased to be able, again, to give our "Hello" to anyone who is present to observe us during this week. We’ll be intensively in this region concluding our work, after being informed of the expansion movements! Our Old Masters always tell us: "Be positive and you will live and you will see everything positive" Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

The borders are being cut! Unification is coming! Love will prevail! The heavens have decreed, and so it shall be! This is not a simple will of ours. This is a DECREE! "Know that, Comrades!

Oh, dear ones! Know that the countless Fountains and the endless Prosperity of the Heavens, indeed, are yours!

We will return when appropriate! It's good to talk to you again! Always is! See you around!

Aloha!

Gabriel: Grateful, beloved comrades of Light!



See more of my channelings Here
English translation: Sementes das Estrelas / Leony Nogueira

          La société de consommation   



Il est un objet dont l'usage nous paraît évident mais qui est emblématique de la société de consommation instaurée lors des Trente Glorieuses : le caddie. Grâce à lui, la ménagère peut faire des courses en quantité au supermarché. Elle peut les ramener chez elle 
grâce à sa voiture et les conserver grâce au frigidaire... mais aujourd'hui notre caddie à roulette est concurrencé par un adversaire de poids : le caddie virtuel. Quelques textes pour découvrir cette histoire :



Les origines du Caddie
Oklahoma. 1937, Sylvan N. Goldmann, épicier, a déjà abandonné les vitrines et le comptoir pour convertir son échoppe en 
libre-service. Mais il remarque que le client cesse d'attraper les articles en rayon quand son sac à provisions commence à lui peser au bout
 du bras. Dans un premier temps, notre bonhomme a donc l'idée de flanquer chaque acheteur d'un employé chargé de porter les emplettes. Et puis un jour, voya
nt un panier posé sur une chaise, il a l'illumination. Il suffit de mettre des roulettes à la chaise, et le tour est joué, mon client devient autonome, se dit-il. 
Le premier chariot était né : une sorte de chaise pliante à roulettes sur laquelle les gens posaient leur panier pour faire le tour du magasin. L'ancêtre trône désormais au musée national de l'Histoire américaine à Washington, tandis que sa nombreuse descendance a envahi notre quotidien, devenant la figure emblématique de la société de consommation (…).
Rudolf Wanzl de Düsseldorf, est le premier en Eur
ope, à se lancer dans la fabrication de chariots. Aujourd'hui, le coup d'œil dans le rétroviseur trouble cet homme de 75 ans, qui vient juste de lâcher la direction opérationnelle de son entreprise à son fils. En 1947, avec son père et un apprenti, il commence la fabrication de chariots pliants équipés de deux paniers amovibles. Cinquante ans et quelques innovations plus tard, il en sort un million par an et revendique le titre
 de leader mondial.

«J'ai tout de suite compris que ça allait marcher du feu de Dieu», explique-t-il. En 1948, le Deutsche Mark remplace le Reichsmark, et les Allem
ands affamés reçoivent 2 tickets de rationnement de 60 marks. «Avant, les gens n'avaient pas d'argent et c'était le règne du marché noir», se souvient Rudolf Wanzl. D'un seul coup, les vitrines se garnissent. Quelques mois plus tard, une coopérative de Hambourg ouvre un vrai libre-service : 276m2, 600 articles proposés... 

Jacqueline Coignart, Libération, Les objets du siècle, 1999


Le développement du caddie et des hypermarchés 1960-
1980
En Alsace, un rival s'active. Raymond Joseph, amateur de golf, dépose une version francisée du
mot «caddy» pour son modèle de chariot qui sort en 1957. Comme Frigidaire, le nom s'impose... mais chez les seuls Français. Le mutique Alsacien, qui sait ce
 que brevet veut dire, ne sort de sa réserve que pour réclamer des royalties aux imprudents utilisateurs de son nom déposé. Ce qui ne l'empêche pas de prospérer. Basés à Schiltigheim, près de Strasbourg, les Ateliers réunis Caddie sont portés par la modernisation du commerce dans l'Hexagone. Un premier super de 750 m2 s'installe dans le XVIIe arrondissement de Paris au printemps 1957, et c'est l'inflation des surfaces jusqu'à l'ouverture, en 1963, du Carrefour de Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois (2 300 m2).
Voitures, réfrigérateurs et congélateurs se démocratisent. Les chariots se multiplient, gagnent en profondeur. Les hypers succèdent aux supers. Wanzl, qui a déjà débordé sur la Suisse, l'Autriche et le Danemark, décide de lancer une offensive en France en 1981. Il implante une usine à Sélestat..., soit à dix kilomètre des Ateliers réunis Caddie.

Jacqueline Coignart, Libération, Les objets du siècle, 1999Questions


Planète consommation de masse
Plus de mille hypers 

En 1996, on comptait en France: 1 106 hypermarchés (dont 515 de plus de 5 0
00 m2), 6 290 supermarchés et 1 613 maxi discomptes.
87 % des ménages français se rendent dans une grande surface ou un maxi discompte au moins une fois par semaine. Dans l'alimentaire, leur poids est écrasant: 68 % de part d
e marché. Mais les grands distributeurs, à l'instar de Leclerc
, qui entend devenir le premier libraire ou le premier joaillier du pays, ne veulent pas se cantonner à l'alimentaire et se jettent sur tout marché «porteur»: l'informatique, les produits de beauté...

Voitures, chariots, frigos...
Inutile d'entasser des monceaux de victuailles dans un chariot si on ne peut pas les rapporter à la maison, puis les conserver jusqu'à l'ingestion. La voiture et le frigo sont donc les deux prolongements naturels du chariot, et la diffusion des uns a naturellement accompagné celui de l'autre. En 1953, seulement 21 % des ménages possédaient une voiture; ce taux est passé à 70 % en 1981, et à 78 % en 1998 (28 % en ont même une 
deuxième). Dans l'intervalle, le taux d'équipement en réfrigérateur est passé de 19 à 99 %.

Jacqueline Coignart, Libération, Les objets du siècle, 1999


Véhicules «intelligents» 
L'épicerie de demain est déjà sur le Net. Le chariot est personnalisé et stocke des infos sur le client. Il a perdu ses roues en basculant sur l'Internet. Mais, à la différence de son cousin, vulgaire objet métallique du commerce physique, il est intelligent. Le chariot virtuel ne transporte pas que des pâtes, des biscottes ou des pots de yaourt. Il emmagasine des paquets d'informations sur le client, ses goûts, ses habitudes, son po
uvoir d'achat. Et il s'en souvient. C'est même dans sa mémoire que les hypermarchés en ligne vont puiser pour donner à leurs clients l'impression qu'ils sont uniques.
Pour le moment, son usage n'est pas très répandu. Mais, en se promenant dans les allées des quelques supermarchés du Web, on peut déjà se faire une idée de ses capacités. Wal-Mart.com, par exemple. Le numéro un mondial de la distribution a déjà plus de 500 000 références disponibles sur son site. Un clic sur le produit de son choix, et le chariot, ou du moins son avatar logiciel, se remplit. Jusque-là, rien que de très banal. C'est à la deuxième visite que le chariot dévoile ses vertus (ou ses vices). A peine est-on connecté au site que le distributeur reconnaît son client. Il a laissé des traces en se baladant, la fois précédente. Aucune de ses hésitations au rayon café ou à l'hygiène beauté et bien sûr aucun
 de ses achats n'ont donc été ignorés. Si on sait qu'en plus, le client a rempli un questionnaire avant de pouvoir commencer ses courses, cela fait déjà beaucoup de choses dans la mémoire du chariot.
Désormais détenteur d'une kyrielle d'informations sur chacun de ses clients, le supermarché pourra même lui soumettre un chariot personnalisé, rempli au préalable des produits qu'il a l'habitude de choisir: sur une page web, le consommateur retrouvera ses mets et marques favoris. Il ne restera plus qu'à ajouter ou à retrancher certains produits. d'ici à 2005, un tiers des ventes d'agroalimentaire se fera via l'Internet. L'un comme l'autre pensent que les babyboomers devenus des agingboomers, fatigués de porter des 
paquets et de pousser de vrais chariots dans les allées des grandes surfaces, feront leurs courses sur l'Internet.

Jacqueline Coignart, Libération, Les objets du siècle, 1999





          Creek Focus - Levington Creek   

Entrance to the delightful Levington Creek in the River Orwell, Suffolk, lies on the northern bank of Long Reach 4 miles or so upriver from Harwich Harbour and the open coast of the North Sea.
At just under half a mile in overall length it has a mouth of approximately 250' wide which quickly narrows to half that as you meander in a north-westerly direction to follow its broad and subtly snaking contour. 

 Navigation charts indicate a depth of 2.5 to 3.5 meters above Chart Datum but in all practicality I find it has a small gut of around 5' deep (1.5m) on a high water neap tide which can be picked out with a sounding cane, with shallower margins abutted by mud and saltmarsh and, unlike much of the river, low, grassy seawalls. At high water the creek resembles a mill pond and the holding is as secure as a new baby is snug in a cradle after a bottle of warm milk: ie a sound sleep on good old soft mud is the order of the day.


The head of Levington Creek resembles a mill pond and is typical of many creeks I visit
The surrounding countryside views from the creek are of dense wood interspersed with green carpets of rising ground where sheep graze and a peppering of mature oaks are crowned by the red brick tower of St Peters Church which, sitting as it does on top of a hill overlooking the creek and River Orwell, gives one a sense of bygone days and is on the south-eastern edge of the small, peaceful and rural village of Levington. 

View of St Peters at night
Those who like to step ashore to stretch the legs and wet the throat can make the short climb up to Pilots Way, an unmade footpath once used by ship pilots to reach the river and escort ships up to Ipswich, to the 13th century Ship Inn which has a thatched roof, inglenook fireplace and takes its name from the ship’s beams that were used to build it and is just along from the church. At night the church tower is lit up and makes quite a picture standing out in the blackness of night. The sound of curlews can be heard calling throughout the dark hours and if one anchors lower down the creek, and looks to the south-east, there is a glow of light illuminating ships docked at the Port of Felixtowe. 

Just outside the village, to the west, is Broke Hall, once the home of Rear Admiral Phillip Bowes Vere Broke who commanded the celebrated HMS Shannon in the US-GB war of 1812. And, like many other creeks on this coast, there are one or two worn wooden stumps - likely remains from the days of sail when barges would have typically poked and pulled a way to a small rural farm wharf, like the one near the head of this type of creek, and collect corn and other farm produce to be taken to places like Ipswich six miles upriver or down the coast to London or, on return journeys, deliver horse muck from the city’s streets for use as fertilizer on the surrounding farm fields. Here at Levington it’s possible barges carried another cargo as well for during the early 18th century a local farmer was the first person to dig up coprolite from crag ground and found if spread on poor land the phosphate mineral acted as a kind of super fertilizer thus word spread and many fortunes were made when it became a sort after bulk material near and far.


The beauty of Suffolk Sea-Country; all yours for the taking 
Mornings see godwits feeding on the tide-lines of the incoming flood, and one particular glorious morning I was lucky enough to sit and watch a seal swimming around the boat in two and a half feet of gin-clear water. A short distance downstream and not visible from inside the creek is a marina – Suffolk Yacht Harbour - home to 550 moorings and a forest of yacht masts where you can pay for a visitor mooring. However, this classic East Coast creek anchorage will likely be all yours alone, bar curlews, godwits and seals, free for the taking… Happy cruising, Tony - Creeksailor

          Happy 4th of July   
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from
          Santana - Borboletta [DVD-Audio] (1974)   
Artist: Carlos Santana
Title Of Album: Borboletta
Release Date: 2005 (1974)
Location: USA
Label: DQ8 Columbia (CAQ-33135)
Genre: Instrumental Guitar Rock, Latin Rock
Quality: DVD-Audio (*iso) [+dts cd]
Length: 49:30 min
Tracks: 12
Total Size: 4.14 GB (+5%)
WebSite: Home Page

Borboletta is the sixth studio album by Santana. It is one of his jazz-funk-fusion oriented albums, along with Caravanserai (1972), Welcome (1973), Love Devotion Surrender (1973) with John McLaughlin and Illuminations (1974) with Alice Coltrane, Jack DeJohnette and Jules Broussard...
          Table literature review form doc   
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          Aaron Hernandez wrote 'ILLUMINATI' in Blood on His Prison Cell Wall Before Committing Suicide   
Aaron Hernandez wrote 'ILLUMINATI' in Blood on His Prison Cell Wall Before Committing Suicide
          Tim Allen Exposes the Illuminati in Hollywood   
Tim Allen Exposes the Illuminati in Hollywood
          Sinister Sites – Illuminati Pyramid in Blagnac, France   
Sinister Sites – Illuminati Pyramid in Blagnac, France
          Bill Hicks Destroys the Illuminati   
Bill Hicks Destroys the Illuminati
          Current Membership List of The Illuminati 'Committee of 300' (As of September 2010)   
Current Membership List of The Illuminati 'Committee of 300' (As of September 2010)
          A message from the Illuminati: 'Right Hand Path'   
A message from the Illuminati: 'Right Hand Path'
          Photos From A 1972 Rothschild Illuminati Party   
Photos From A 1972 Rothschild Illuminati Party
          Bicycle Wheel Lights, The Best of 2017   
Bicycle Wheel Lights, The Best of 2017

It’s no secret visibility when riding at night and in low light conditions is critical to your safety as a cyclist. Many riders rely on traditional, and legally required, front and rear light combinations to be seen, but this often doesn’t provide you with adequate side-on visibility to other road users.

Aiming to be the solution, bicycle wheel lights are one of the newest and most innovative cycling gadgets to appear on the market. Being a new lighting concept, options are currently few in numbers but are quickly growing.

As bike wheels are often the farthest point both to the front and rear of the bike, wheel lights provide a number of benefits to the rider beyond what a traditional handlebar, helmet or seatpost mounted light can offer. Being mounted lower and closer to the ground, obstacles and imperfections at ground level are easier to notice. Rearward projecting wheel lights provide a larger and more noticeable light source ensuring greater visibility to road users approaching from the side or behind.

On the downside, wheel lights typically don't offer the same level of 'seeing' light as those designed for handlebar mounting and so they should be considered a compliment and addition to traditional front and rear lights. They also add rotating mass to your bike and so may not be favoured by more performance-focused riders. Finally, you'll need to ensure your wheels and bike are compatible prior to purchase.

With all that, we have rounded up a select few wheel light options that are sure to keep you safe and visible regardless of the time of day. The light options listed below will feature a number of different lighting and mounting options sure to suit any need.

Monkey Electric Monkey Light M232

Monkeylectric m232 best wheel lights article bikeexchange 1

Monkey Electric are perhaps the best-known bike wheel light brand available in the Australian market. For those wanting a full wheel display, the Monkey Light M232, priced from AU$84.95 (US$58.00), features a hub mounted battery, lasting up to 20 hours. This powers 32 full-colour LED’s creating thousands of amazing patterns in your spinning wheel. Emitting 200 lumens of brightness the M232 offers 360º visibility and is fully waterproof.

Revolights Eclipse

Revolights Hong Kong best bike wheel lights guide

Revolights was originally launched in 2011 following a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring bicycle wheel lights to the masses. Their Eclipse model (pictured), priced from AU$195.00 (US$149), is a complete headlight and smart brake light solution that features 360º visibility and is designed to fit 700c/27” wheels, making it an excellent lighting option for commuters and road cyclists. The lights themselves attach at the base of the wheel rim, on both the left and right sides.

For those wanting more functionality, there is also an Eclipse+ model, priced from AU$325.00 (US$249), which builds on the standard Eclipse with the addition of Bluetooth connectivity to the Revolights App. This app enables a number of smart features, including the ability to program turn signals, display battery status and give weather alerts.

Nori Lights v.2

nori light promo wheel light guide bikeexchange

Nori Lights originated in 2011 after the inventor, Chris Flynn, was almost struck by a vehicle whilst riding home from work one evening. Approaching from side-on, the driver of the vehicle was unable to see his front or rear facing lights.

The Nori Lights v.2 is the latest iteration, providing a wheel lighting system that ensures riders be seen side-on. Featuring a 6mm LED strip mounted around the rim of the wheel that connects wirelessly to a fork pod mounted that activates the lights. This emits a bright electric green glow like an aura around the bike which is spectacular when viewed first hand, making certain that riders can be seen by other road users.

Nite-Ize Spokelit LED Wheel light

nite ize bike wheel lights article bikeexchange  1 of 1

The Nite Ize Spokelit, priced from AU$14.95 ($9.95 USD), is a cost-effective and simpler way to increase your visibility and safety when out riding at night. The lights attach to the spokes of any common three spoke cross pattern wheel, meaning there are no tools required for installation. The lights themselves have a runtime of up to 25 hours and are mounted in a shock and weather resistant housing. They’re available in 2 bright colours, Red and Disc-O, which cycles through the colour spectrum.

Cateye Orbit 2

cateye orbit 2 safety led wheel light best wheel lights article bikeexchange

Similar to the Nite-ize system above, Cateye, a pioneer of the bike light game, have their own spoke based lighting system. Priced at AU$29.95 (US$20), the Orbit 2 is the second iteration of the spoke light concept, with improvements being made to the LED's and housing used. The light itself utilizes the legendary Cateye reflector technology in a weatherproof housing. Powered by two CR2032 batteries, the light attaches to any common three spoke cross pattern wheel. Run times are approximately 30hours in constant mode, extending out to approximately 50 hours on flashing mode.


Whether you’re wanting to be more visible on the road or just want to add some colour to your ride, a bicycle wheel lighting system could be an additional solution to ensure you can both see and be seen whilst out riding after dark. If you want to know more about choosing bike lights, our buyer's guide to bicycle lights will provide you with a wealth of knowledge to make an informed purchase.


Opening image courtesy of Revolights


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          Road Bike Accessories: What You Need to Get Started   
Road Bike Accessories: What You Need to Get Started

Bike accessories are designed to enhance your riding experience but with literally thousands of options, it can easily overwhelm. To help you sort through the copious amount accessories out there, we've listed the basic items that all road riders should consider purchasing to make riding easier, safer and more enjoyable.

Helmet

buyers guide road bike accessories helmet

Helmets protect the most important thing we have and without being too dramatic, wearing an approved, properly fitted helmet can be the difference between surviving a crash or not. Wearing a helmet is required by law in Australia and our safety standards are some of the most stringent in the world. As such, leading global helmet manufacturers must satisfy the strict testing requirements to receive Australian Standard approval, and this has to be done for each particular model that is intended for sale within Australia. When looking for a helmet there are some key considerations.

  • Ventilation: It's important for helmets to have adequate ventilation to keep you cool and comfortable on the hottest of days. A helmet with sufficient vents will channel air over your head, keeping you from overheating.

  • Weight: The benefit of road specific helmets is they are generally lighter than other helmets due to using thinner straps and a lighter shell. The lightest helmets can be less than 200g, and typically, the higher the cost, the lower the weight.

  • Aerodynamics: In recent time, the search for enhanced aerodynamics has been relentless, and helmets have been a large part of it. An aerodynamic helmet can have the same aerodynamic benefits as a set of deep dish wheels, so if it's free speed you're after, investing in an aerodynamic helmet is the way to go. Most of these helmets will have few vents (if any), a smooth surface and often be shaped with a 'tail' to reduce drag.

  • Safety: As mentioned, helmets that meet the Australian Standards are some of the safest in the world but there are always gains being made in the interest of safety. MIPS technology is one such development that is designed to reduce 'rotational violence' to the brain, dissipating some of the rotational force and providing extra protection in the event of a crash. Look for helmets with either MIPS or other additional safety features for added security.

  • Fit: It important to try on a helmet to make sure it is going to fit. The shell shape is the most important aspect, as adjustable tension systems and straps can easily be adjusted to suit.

  • Other: Some other features to look out for are comfortable padding that is removable and washable, an adjustable dial to make small fit adjustments, and enhanced visibility via bright colours or reflective stickers.

Shoes

buyers guide road bike accessories shoes 2

As one of three contact points a rider has to their bike, shoes are exceptionally important to ride quality and performance. Road bike shoes are designed to be lightweight, stiff to improve power transfer and have a number of widths and closing mechanisms to cater for individual needs. Below are some key considerations when choosing a bicycle shoe.

  • Sizing: Before looking for the lightest, fastest, stiffest shoe, it needs to fit properly and be comfortable. Some shoes will come in half sizes and different widths to fit a variety of shapes and sizes. Size charts can be useful but the best practice is to go to a shop and try them on to make sure they fit in length, forefoot width, and provide a snug hold at the heel.

  • Shape: Each shoe will have a slightly different last, affecting the width of the shoe along its entire length. Some will be narrower in the heel to prevent slippage, while some provide a wider than normal toe box for wide feet or splayed toes. It's also an important consideration if you have particularly wide or narrow feet.

  • Cleats: Cleats are mounted to your shoe and are what lock you to the pedal. This ‘clipless’ setup allows the most efficient transfer of power and speed through your bike. Road shoe cleats have a three-bolt system with a larger surface area for improved power transfer and foot stability, while your typical mountain bike cleat is a two-bolt system designed to consider walking and debris clearing. It's fine to use a mountain bike pedal and shoe setup on a road bike, it typically offers an easier double-sided pedal design and is easier to walk in, however, such shoes are heavier.

buyers guide road bike accessories shoes

  • Fastening mechanism: Many different methods of fastening your cycling shoes now exist on the market. Beyond the more traditional velcro strap option, a ratchet system or dial may be preferred for a more precise and refined adjustment. Alternatively, laces are back in fashion and offer that classic look.

  • Ventilation: Just like a helmet, it's important for shoes to provide sufficient ventilation for your feet to breathe and remain cool. This is especially important for your feet as they will expand with heat and as blood pools over an extended period of time. Finding the right amount of ventilation for your environment and preferences is key, too much and you might be too cold, not enough and you might get numb feet from being compressed. Vents are often found in the base of the shoe and around the toe area.

  • Sole Stiffness: Basic road shoes feature nylon soles, while premium road shoes will typically feature a carbon fiber plate to enhance stiffness and reduce weight. The stiffer the plate the better the power transfer and overall performance. The lack of compliance with overly stiff plates can create discomfort for some, so checking reviews and taking advice from others is a good idea.

Clothing

buyers guide road bike accessories clothing summer

Road cycling clothing is made to fit close to the body to improve aerodynamics and prevent chaffing. There are many different fabrics to chose from, and typically the more it costs, the better it is for weight, breathability, and comfort. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and elastane are commonly used as they provide lightweight, stretchable, wicking and highly durable clothing. Often these synthetic materials are blended with natural ones like cotton to improve breathability. Assessing the quality of clothing can be difficult as factors such as fit, colour fastness to perspiration and light, water resistance, anti-bacterial properties and many others all combine to produce a 'good' garment.

buyers guide road bike accessories clothing

If fast riding is your aim, it's best to look for movable, breathable fabrics that are lightweight and will keep you cool. For training through colder temperatures look for fabrics that are water and wind resistance, potentially with an insulating layer if things really get cold. Here's a guide on what clothes to choose and how to layer up and stay warm in all weather conditions. And when it comes to protection from the sun, not all fabrics are created equal, so look for fabrics with a 50+ UV rating.

We created a custom clothing buyer's guide, which may be a useful reference for all types of cycling clothing as it details material choice, the right chamois, getting the right size, warranty, and quality control.

Sunglasses

buyers guide road bike accessories sunglasses

Road specific sunglasses are generally lightweight, with a mix of interchangeable lenses and a large field of vision so to not obstruct your view whether you are riding aggressively in the drops or sitting up climbing a mountain. It's always a good idea to check for a comfortable fit on your head and ensure the sunglasses fit with your helmet too.

Airflow (or lack of it) will depend on the choice of eyewear, with some models limiting airflow to be better suited to cold conditions and sensitive eyes, while others will increase airflow to keep you cool in hot conditions. When assessing sunglasses for airflow, be sure that there is a sufficient amount to prevent the lens from fogging up when you are stationary.

When assessing the lens, be sure there is 100% ultraviolet (UV) protection to reduce your exposure to harmful UV rays. Some high-end sunglasses will have polarized lenses that reflect light reducing glare and eye irritation as a result. Photochromic lenses (aka transition lenses) adjust to changing contrast better than non-photochromic lenses, making the transition from light to dark (and vice-versa) better.

Be sure to pay particular attention to the field of vision a pair of sunglasses provides. Ideally, you won't see any of the frame when riding your bike, regardless of the position you adopt. Oakley and 100% are two such brands that have expanded the lens and the frame at the top third of their sunglasses to increase the field of vision when sprinting or in an aero position and looking up the road.

Lights

buyers guide road bike accessories lights front

Riding with bike lights is a no-brainer, regardless of whether you predominantly ride during the day or in the dark. A Denmark-based study concluded that eight out of ten cycling accidents occurring during the day, and the use of lights during the day is the number one thing cyclists can do to make themselves safer. We've highlighted the key features to keep an eye out for when choosing bicycle lights.

  • Be seen or to see with: If you ride in the dark or poorly lit roads, you'll need lights to see with. These lights generally have a greater brightness, a larger battery to power the brighter light, and a narrow beam angle to see into the distance. If you only ride during the day or on well-lit roads, you may only need lights to be seen to enhance your visibility and safety. In this case, lights will focus on being seen from more angles, with features such as a wide beam and side illumination, with less overall brightness, smaller batteries and a result, a lower cost.

  • Road Rules: Meeting the Australian road rules is a key consideration with any purchase. The rules stipulate if you are riding a bicycle at night you must have a white light (flashing or steady) on the front, a red light (flashing or steady) on the back and a red reflector on the back. The lights must be visible from 200m and the reflector visible from 50m. The 200m rule is the key requirement to look for when purchasing lights, regardless of whether they are to see or be seen.

  • Lumen count: Lumen is the most common descriptor you'll find on a light, indicating how much light is emitted, the greater the lumens, the greater the brightness. Bicycle lights start with as low lumen count as 30 and can go well beyond 2,000.

buyers guide road bike accessories lights

  • Mounting: Most lights are either secured in place with velcro, a screw that tightens a bracket around the handlebar bar or seatpost or, are mounted using a stretchable rubber strap. As a result, it's important to make sure each light and its mount are compatible with your bike.

  • Runtime and battery: The run time indicates how long the light will last from being fully charged to flat, and is largely dependent upon the size of the battery and power of the light. Look for lights that are USB rechargeable with long enough run times for your needs.

  • Budget: Lights can range from AUD$20 to in excess of AUD$400, with countless options in between. In all cases, be sure to compare lumens, beam angle, battery life and type, mount compatibility and design before making your final decision.

For more everything your need to know about bike lights and how to chose the right ones, check out our Ultimate Bicycle Light Buyer's Guide.

Computers

buyers guide road bike accessories computer

For many, the purchase of a cycling-specific computer is the number one thing that will raise performance and output on the bike. A cycling computer allows you to not only track your performance in real-time but also track your performance over a long period of time showing your improvement (hopefully). Cycling computers give us a wealth of real-time information including basic information such as speed, distance, and ride time. More expensive options will give more detailed and advanced information such as cadence (pedalling speed), gradient, heart rate, temperature, calories burned, mapping, power output and much more.

Having the key stats in front of you as you ride can help provide motivation to either increase or hold speed, achieve a set elevation gain, or cover a specific distance. Most cycling computers will also connect to third-party applications allowing you to compare your stats to your friends, set yourself challenges along the way and maintain your fitness goals.

When purchasing a cycling computer look for a clear display that's easy to view, long battery life and that's easy to mount to the bike. More advanced versions offer customisable data fields, connectivity with other devices (such as a power meter), a heart rate strap, while top-of-the-range options will add maps, smartphone connection for notifications and a touch screen.

Bidons & bottle cages

buyers guide road bike accessories bottle cages road

Bottle cages might not spring to mind straight away, however, ride for over 30 minutes and you'll soon find them essential. One bottle cage is likely enough for those doing rides under two hours, however, you'll want two on your bike for anything longer. Even if you're not big on proper hydration, a second bottle cage can be used to carry your spares in a cannister. A good bottle cage can potentially save you weight, remove any annoying rattling and also provide a secure hold for your bottles over rough roads. Bottle cages can be made from aluminium, plastic or carbon (depending on your price range), and typically with rubber grippers or some other form of security to hold your bottles in place.

When selecting a bidon (cycling speak for bottle), make sure it has enough capacity (amount of fluid it can carry) for your needs, a secure safety cap to prevent spillage, removable top to easily clean and refill, and that it fits your bike. Often riders on small frames with sloping top tubes will struggle to fit a second bottle on the seattube if it is too large, so best to check.

Bells

road bike accessories bell

Bells, like helmets, should (and in some states must) be a permanent accessory on road bikes. They are a small, inexpensive way of letting people know you are coming and much more acceptable than yelling at people to move to the left. When purchasing, look for bells that are easily mountable to a variety of bar diameters, loud enough to be heard in traffic, and with a small footprint so it doesn't take up too much real estate on your bars, leaving space for that computer and light.

Saddle bag & storage

buyers guide road bike accessories storage saddle bag

Storage on your bike isn't as exciting as a new kit or pair of shoes but is an essential piece of equipment that will enhance your riding experience, especially when you run into trouble. As most road bikes won't be used for touring or adventure riding, we're going to skip the use of panniers (bags usually mounted on the rear of the bike, used for touring and commuting when carrying large amounts of equipment is required) and focus on saddle bags (or similar), to store emergency spares like tubes, CO2 cartridges, and multi-tools.

There is an extensive list of things to pack for each ride including tyre levers, two tubes, a hand pump and/or CO2 cartridges and a CO2 inflator. If you didn't want to use a new tube each time you can also add a patch kit. Multi-tools also come in handy to fix things like loose handlebars, a dropped seat post or rubbing brakes, and typically include a variety of Allen key sizes and screwdriver heads (flat and Phillips), not to mention countless other small tools depending on how much you spend. As a result of all of these requirements, below are some key points to consider when purchasing a saddle bag or other storage device.

  • Space: Make sure your saddle bag has sufficient space to house everything we've listed above. Many bags will have compartments to separate your equipment and often have an external multi-tool sleeve to save space.

  • Weight distribution: The additional weight of carrying all of these items can quickly get out of hand, and so a saddle bag with uneven weight distribution can throw off your balance. As a result, look for an unobtrusive saddle bag that will sit comfortably and securely in the mid-line of your bike and won't shift around as you ride.

  • Installation: A good saddle bag should be easy to install and remove. Most mounting options are either velcro or a bracket that is secured to the seat rails which the saddle bag clips in and out of. Some people may opt to store their bag on the toptube for easy access and handy nutritional storage instead of jersey pockets.

  • Other: Make sure the contents of your saddle bag are secure and won't end up all of the roads. Most bags use a zip closing mechanism, but others may only use velcro. Bags will either be rigid or flexible and rider preference dictates which is better. A flexible bag could potential enable you to store more items than a rigid bag, but a rigid bag will offer greater protection and durability, though it may create more noise if your items are loose inside. And finally, ensure your saddle bag is water resistant.

Indoor training

buyers guide road bike accessories indoor trainer

When we think of trainers we think of winter, cold weather, rain, wind... basically seeking refuge when the outside climate seem against us. However, they can also be a great way to perform really specific training, and thanks to the latest round of smart trainers, ride with friends in the virtual world. The controlled environment trainers provide can be beneficial for so many reasons, and so they are a great accessory to a road bike purchase. Below are a few points to consider before your purchase an indoor trainer.

  • Type: There are many types of indoor trainers, the main three being direct drive, tyre drive or rollers. A direct drive trainer connects to your bike via the rear drop outs, with a cassette (rear cogs) installed directly to the main unit. As a result, they provide a smooth feel, allow you to change gears as if you were on the road and won't wear out your rear tyre. A tyre drive trainer also connects to your bike via the rear drop outs but the resistance comes from an adjustable roller that contacts your rear tyre. The downside of such a trainer is the additional wear caused to your rear tyre. And finally, rollers are traditionally used by track riders, featuring three rolling drums that provide a realistic road riding feel that trains your balance, pedaling efficiency and core strength. All options have their pros and cons, so it's up to you which best suits your requirements and budget best.

  • Resistance types: Trainers use a variety of resistance methods that will effect the feel, cost, responsiveness and noise produced. The options are fluid (fluid inside the trainer naturally increases resistance as you pedal harder), magnetic (magnets inside the trainer are simple and effective) and wind (a fan provides resistance against the air). And again, all options have their pros and cons, for example, the fan system has a natural feel, but creates plenty of noise, while fluid trainers are far quieter but come at an increased cost.

  • SMART trainer features: SMART trainers are the latest craze offering a realistic experience by connecting to multiple devices allowing you to customise your workouts from the palm of your hand, or ride against your mates in a virtual world. These trainers are more expensive than more basic trainers but for many, the real-world experience and advanced metrics are worth it. Many SMART trainers provide speed, cadence, power (wattage), and slope (gradient), which are the key metrics to use when comparing models to one another. It's also worth checking their connectivity and third party app capability.

  • Practical features: The amount of noise produced, the weight and footprint are three key features in addition to the type and resistance method that need to be taken into consideration. As good as a trainer might be on paper, if it doesn't fit into your home, or it annoys the neighbours with excessive noise, it's not the right trainer for you.

Tyre inflation

road bike accessories tyre inflation

Having your tyres properly inflated is a fundamental element of riding a road bike. Not having enough pressure in your tyre could lead to pinch flats, spongy feeling when cornering and a decrease in performance. Conversely, pumping up your tyres in excess of the manufacturer's maximum limit could result in an overall harsh ride feel with poor traction, or worst, your tyre could explode off the rim. Here's a quick guide on how to properly pump a tyre.

Given this, owning a suitable pump is an important part of being a road cyclist. That said, road bike tyres often need to be pumped to pressures in excess of 90psi and so it's often best to purchase both a floor and hand pump. The larger of the two, a good floor pump will feature both presta and schrader valve attachments (explained below) and easily pump up your tyres to the required pressure. While a hand pump is useful when out on the road if you get a puncture, however the compact size means that reaching the desired pressure can be hard work. While we've suggested taking CO2 cartridges for a quick puncture solution, a hand pump is a fail-safe option and they are usually small enough to fit unobtrusively into your jersey pocket or fixed to your top tube.

There are two different kinds of valves you'll encounter; presta and schrader. Presta valves (aka - high pressure or 'French' valves) are most commonly found on road bikes and are easy to recognise because they are significantly narrower than schrader valves and feature a lock ring at the top that closes the valve. Schrader valves are most commonly found on recreational bikes, and are the same valves used on car tyres. Be sure that whichever valve type you have, your pump matches.

Maintenance

buyers guide road bike accessories maintenance

The list of potential maintenance items is long and can grow exponentially. If you're not keen on doing any of your own maintenance and would rather let a shop handle that, then all you really need is a bottle of chain lube and some rags. If you're keen to make a few adjustments yourself, we've listed a few basic items to consider.

  • Chain lube: It's important to keep your chain clean and lubricated, something that greatly helps with performance and longevity of parts. A lubricant is typically either 'wet' or 'dry'. Wet lube is more viscous and longer lasting than dry lube and is primarily used in poor weather conditions. Dry lube conversely is less viscous and requires more frequent applications, although it'll typically remain cleaner and collect less debris from the road surface. Whichever you decide on, be sure to wipe off any excess that would otherwise attract dirt and grime.

  • Degreaser: Keeping your drivetrain clean will improve your riding without any extra effort on the bike, and it will also save you money in the long run as you won't have to replace your chain, cassette or chainrings due to premature wear. A good degreaser should be biodegradable so it doesn't harm the environment or cause harm to sensitive components and paint.

  • Allen or hex key set: A complete set of Allen or hex keys should be enough to get into almost every bolt on your bike. This will enable you to change brake pads, adjust your saddle and cockpit, change pedals and countless other things. Most feature a long arm for additional leverage and some even come with an ergonomic handle. Look for a set that ranges from 1.5-10mm to cover most needs.

  • Workstand: A workstand is a great investment for any budding DIY cycling mechanic, however, it also makes cleaning and general maintenance tasks much easier.

  • Torque wrench: The best way to ensure your bolts are correctly tightened and to avoid damaging your frame and parts is with a torque wrench. The tool allows you to set a specific amount of torque, which will prevent overtightening that could otherwise lead to damage. This is especially important if you have a carbon bike or carbon components.


We hope this buyers guide has been helpful and provided some valuable information. You can browse BikeExchange for cycling accessories, or search for your local bike shop to get further assistance. Find more cycling advice, in-depth buyer's guides and product reviews at the BikeExchange Blog


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          The Ultimate Bicycle Light Buyer's Guide   
The Ultimate Bicycle Light Buyer's Guide

Unlike a car where the choice of lights are barely a consideration, a cyclist must carefully choose the right lights depending on the riding conditions, the type of riding, the bike of choice and the duration of the ride.

With this helpful guide, we aim to outline the terminology you need to know, the difference between lights to see with versus ones to be seen, the unique requirements of road riding, mountain biking, and commuting, and also give you an idea of how far your budget will stretch.

Lights to be seen vs light to see

There is one fundamental question you need to ask when shopping for lights - do I need my lights to 'be seen' or 'to see' with?

Lights that are used to see with generally have a greater brightness, a larger battery to power the brighter light, and a narrow beam angle to see into the distance. Lights that are used to be seen will have a focus on being seen from more angles, with features such as a wide beam and side illumination. The number of lumens is generally lower as the priority isn't to see far into the distance. As a result, be seen lights are often lighter, with smaller batteries, fewer lumens, wide beam angles and lower cost than lights that are used to see with.

And while you may think you only need lights in the dark, a reported eight out of ten cycling accidents occurring during the day, and the use of lights during the day is the number one thing cyclists can do to make themselves safer according to a Denmark-based study. According to Bontrager’s white paper on the matter, to classify a light as one suited to daytime use, it needs focused optics, an interruptive flash pattern, and a visible distance during the day of at least 400 meters. Bontrager claims – “Using a flashing tail light in the day makes you 2.4x more noticeable than with no lights at all and 1.4x than in steady mode.” Here's some more information on the use of daytime lights and some of the best ones of 2017.

Light Terminology Explained

bicycle light buyers guide lux lumen beam

  • Lumen: The number of lumens represents the total amount of light emitted by a given source.

  • Lux: Lux is the measure of the intensity of light on an area or surface, most commonly this is measured at a distance of between one and ten metres. If you imagine that 'lumens' represents the total amount of light emitted by a bike light, lux measures the amount of that light that gets transferred onto a surface a distance away. So assuming that the number of lumens in a light remains constant, the larger the surface area, the less lux. The opposite is also true, a light with the same amount of lumens will have a greater lux value if the surface area is smaller. This aspect is particularly important as we discuss beam angle and bundle later in this article, and which light is best for different cycling disciplines.

  • Beam angle: The beam angle gives an indication of how much the light spreads from the original source. Some lights have an acute beam angle that focuses directly ahead (increasing a light's lux), while others have a broader beam angle that spreads (decreasing a light's lux). This is sometimes referred to as a 'bundle'. The wider the bundle, the greater the beam angle and disbursement of light; the smaller the bundle the narrower the beam angle and light disbursement.

  • Beam Type / Setting: Super, High, Full, Standard, Regular, Low, Flash, and Pulse are just some of the various beam types or settings you may encounter. Brands describe the type of beam exiting the light their own way, and so it pays to delve a little deeper into these descriptive terms to find out what each name represents and how that impacts on run time. For example, a light may promote it has a five hour run time (sometimes called burn time), but that may be on 'flash' mode which emits a small amount of light intermittently, whereas the same light on 'full' or 'high' that is emitting light constantly may only last for 30 minutes.

  • Burn time: How long a light takes to go from full charge to flat on a given beam type or setting.

The differences between lights for road, mountain bike and commuting

bicycle light buyers guide rear light

Road riding and off-road riding require different approaches to lights. Road riding generally is done in straight lines with few obstacles along the way, so a light that directs its focus straight ahead is ideal. Conversely, off-road riding requires a broader light bundle to illuminate the area directly around you to see tree roots, rocks, and other obstacles.

The main purpose of having a light on the road is visibility, so that should be first on your list. Does it increase your visibility and enable drivers and pedestrians to see you? In order to do this, a light needs to have a broad enough beam to be seen from the side and acute angles, as well as front on.

Australian Road Rules give a clear indication of the minimum lights requirements when riding a bike at night. If you are riding a bicycle at night you must have a white light (flashing or steady) on the front, a red light (flashing or steady) on the back and a red reflector on the back. The lights must be visible from 200m and the reflector visible from 50m. The 200m rule is the key requirement to look for when purchasing lights, regardless of whether they are to see or be seen.

Once you've established the light provides sufficient visibility, factors such as price, size, weight, durability and the intended use will all play a role in choosing the right light.

Sam Moore from the Australian cycling accessory company Knog suggests choosing a light with a low weight, specific beam type (broad or narrow depending on your needs), various flash patterns to be seen in the day as well as night, and an adjustable strap. "Don't always get sucked into the lumens per dollar decision, a light's optic design - lens, LED's, beam angles - are as influential on brightness as the lumen number", says Sam. Suggesting that whichever light you choose needs to fit with the type of riding you do first and foremost. In addition to those essential items, things like good water resistance, USB rechargeability, and quick release mounts are features worth searching for.

Tom Sullivan from BBB says there are three things you should be checking when selecting a light. Do you want to see, or be seen? What light ‘bundle’ do you need? How long will you be riding?

According to Tom of BBB, "the best 'to be seen' lights utilize ‘COB’ (Chips on board) LEDs, these allow for a super bright light in a small package. And for a light to see with, ensure the light you select has a quality lens that produces the desired light bundle." Regarding a specific light bundle, "some lights offer a tight ‘hotspot’ which are great for helmet mounting, while others have a wider bundle which is more suited to mounting on your handlebar." And regarding ride duration, "ensure the light you choose can maintain a constant output over the duration of your ride" for safety purposes says, Tom.

bicycle light buyers guide beam angle comparison BE

In terms of brightness, if you are road riding or commuting and want a light to see with, you should be looking for a higher lumen count and narrow beam angle. This will narrow the focus down the road helping you see well ahead. If you are mountain biking and looking for the best approach to see, a dual light option is best - one handlebar mounted light with high lumens and broad beam angle, and a helmet mounted light with high lumens and narrow beam angle. This combination will throw a good amount of light broadly around your current position, while the helmet mounted light can be used to see far ahead and prepare for corners or obstacles that may be in the distance. It can also be used as a spotlight to focus on specific items in the distance.

If you are commuting during the day or along paths that are well lit and only looking for a light to be seen, opt for a low to moderate amount of lumens with a broad beam angle. This will help drivers and pedestrians see you from acute angles. Tom suggests using a modern reflector to provide "great forward and downlight, with a definitive horizon that helps prevent blinding oncoming traffic."

Sam has some great advice regarding rear lights in bunch riding, "if you are riding in a peloton or large bunch, you may want a particularly broad beam rear light to avoid blinding your mates."

Factors to consider when buying a light

Brightness

bicycle light buyers guide light setting comparison BE

Lumen is the most common descriptor you'll find on a light, and while it doesn't tell the whole brightness story, it's a good place to start. The more lumens, the more light emitted. Sam of Knog has reiterated there's a lot more that goes into brightness than the amount of lumens but all other things being equal, the greater the lumens, the greater the brightness. Bicycle lights start with as low lumen count as 30 and can go well beyond 2,000.

How bright is too bright? For regular commuters, having a bright light that can be seen night and day, that doesn't blind oncoming traffic, is essential. As a result, if you opt for a light with a high lumen count, be sure to tilt it downwards slightly so that it's not directly in the oncoming driver's eye line. Another idea is to run two sets of lights, one bright light to see with that can be turned off or down when traffic approaches, and another less powerful light that remains on at all times in flashing mode. Having a light in a 'flashing' mode makes it easier for drivers to differentiate you from street lights, and has the added benefit of saving power to last longer between charges.

Mounting

bicycle light buyers guide mounting

Most bicycle-specific lights will easily mount to the majority of handlebars and seat posts but for those with aero bars or aero seat posts, the mounting of lights becomes far more difficult.

Most lights are either secured in place with velcro, a screw that tightens a bracket around the handlebar bar or seatpost or, are mounted using a stretchable rubber strap. As mentioned, if you have a standard circular bar to attach to this presents no issues, but non-circular surfaces could present a problem as could larger than normal circular diameters, such as double wrapped handlebars. As a result, it's important to make sure each light and its mount are compatible with your bike.

bicycle light buyers guide rear mount

Many people mount a second rear light to the seatstays for extra visibility, in which case, you need to be confident the mount is secure and won't turn into your wheel. Look for mounts that easily enable you to adjust the tightness for a secure hold. Also look for lights that come with interchangeable mounting straps for the different post and handlebar diameters. The Knog Blinder Road R70, for example, comes with three interchangeable mounts for 22mm - 27mm, 27mm - 32mm and 32mm+ diameter posts.

Also, consider if you are mounting to aluminum or carbon. A carbon frame can crack if over tightened (which is why you should always use a torque wrench when working on carbon bikes), so a mount with a stretchable rubber strap or velcro is the safer option, as opposed to a screw and bracket method.

Battery

bicycle light buyers guide battery

Most lights will either be USB rechargeable or require batteries. Most modern lights are USB rechargeable with a Lithium-Ion or similar battery, saving you money by not having to purchase batteries and also being easy and convenient to keep charged. For lights that require batteries, it's worth making sure they are easily attainable from the supermarket or service station.

Some high powered lights will require a battery pack be carried and plugged into the light in order for it to work (see above image). If you require such a light, be sure you have the capacity to either mount both items to your bike or mount one and carry the other. After you have mounted a light, GPS computer, and bell to your handlebars, there may be little real estate left to mount anything else. Tom suggests this option can be advantageous for mountain bike riders as, "using an external battery helps keep the weight of the light down and off the riders head."

Simply put, the greater the capacity requirement (in terms of overall brightness and run time) of the battery, the greater the size and weight will be.

Run times

Run time or burn time gives an indication of how long the light will last from being fully charged to flat. The table below shows the variation in run times of lights based on different beam types using the Lezyne Power Drive 1100XL front LED as an example. As you can see there is almost an 18 hour differential between the run time at the brightest setting, compared to the lowest output on pulse. Be sure when comparing the run times of various lights you are comparing the same beam type.

Flash Type Blast Enduro Economy Flash Pulse Overdrive
Lumens 650 450 150 150 150 1100
Duration (h:min) 1:45 2:40 8:15 16:00 19:00 1:15

If you're one that needs all the light you can get, it's worth paying attention to how lights handle their run times. BBB refers to a concept called 'constant output' when describing their run times. Some other lights will start at a set lumen amount and then gradually decline linearly as the battery loses charge. BBB and a number of other high-quality lights, however, stay at a set lumen for a period of time before activating a 'get-home-safe' option, whereby after this set period of time, the amount of light output is lower to save the battery life. For example, some lights will start at 500 lumens and lose 10 lumens per 15 minutes until the battery is flat. BBB's approach is to have a slightly lower starting lumen number, but keep it constant over a set period of time, for example, a light will start at 500 lumens and stay at 500 lumens for 2hours before the 'get-home-safe' option kicks in and it steadily declines.

Bulb types

bicycle light buyers guide bulb types

LED's are mostly responsible for lighting in modern lights, replacing the halogen bulbs. LED's are far more efficient than halogen lights, using less energy to produce the same amount of light. High powered HID bulbs made a short appearance in high-end bicycle lights, but much like luxury cars, have since been phased out due to developments in LED technology.

Weight

Lights will vary in weight depending on their brightness and battery size, 'be seen' lights can weigh as little as 15g, and 'see with' lights upwards of 150g. Expect front lights to weigh a little more than the rear ones as they generally have more brightness to light the way.

Budget

Below we outline what you can expect from your light within a set price range. While these ranges give a good indication of what's available, it's important to know that manufacturers may prioritise different things, and therefore assessing all aspects of the light is crucial. Some may prioritise lumens, others may give greater importance to beam angle or battery life. In all cases, be sure to compare lumens, beam angle, battery life and type, mount compatibility and design before making your final decision.

Under AUD$50

Within this price range, you'll likely find lights that are purely used to be seen. The lumen amount is likely to be no greater than 100, which isn't suitable to see with on poorly lit roads. Look for lights with a broad beam angle to enhance your visibility at all angles, with plenty of light settings (over five) including a pulse or flash mode. The benefit of these lights is they will be lightweight and have good run times because the brightness isn't overly high. Good lights within this price range will have water resistance and use a stretchable rubber strap to mount.

Between AUD$50 - $150

Lights within this price range get much brighter and some can be used to see with on poorly lit roads, although using them to see on unlit roads or whilst mountain biking is best left to the next price range. Expect lumen totals to be as much as 600, with various beam angles available, an increased amount of light settings and good run times. The available mounting types increase within this price range as robust screw and bracket mounts become available. Waterproofing will also be improved. Rechargeable batteries are nearly expected at this price.

Between AUD$150 - $250

Lights used to see with in all conditions and across all disciplines become available within this price range. Lumen jumps to four figures, there are multiple beam angles to chose from, light settings and options become more advanced (some even pulse like a heartbeat to signal to drivers that cyclists are people too), and run times improve yet again. Because the battery and lights are getting bigger you're likely to see more screw and bracket mount options, with some off-road designated lights also requiring a separate battery pack to maintain their high power output.

Over AUD$250

As well as improvements in the amount of lumen, beam angle options, run times and mounts, lights in the price are built to last and feature premium components and build quality. You're also in the price range of combination light and video recording devices like the Cycliq Fly 12 which provide peace of mind by filming your ride, with built-in accelerometers that trigger in the event of a crash to save footage for later. The footage can also be uploaded and metrics liked speed and distance overlayed onto video.

So what's most important and how do you choose the right light?

bicycle light buyers guide  2

Well, the answer is it depends. The type of riding you do, the specific discipline, what time of day you ride and on what kinds of roads all play a part in selecting the right light for you. Refer to the below checklist to help you select the right light for you.

  • Set your budget. There's no point looking at lights you can't afford.

  • Decide on whether your lights will be used to see or be seen, that will dictate the lumen and beam angle required. It may also dictate the price.

  • Figure out how long you will need the lights to run for, i.e. all day, short commutes, bunch rides - that will dictate the approximate run time required and battery of choice.

  • Does the battery have USB rechargeability or will you require batteries? And if so, is the type of battery required easily accessible?

  • Check the different mounting option to ensure it is compatible with your bike.

  • And finally, do you like the look of it? As Sam says, "vanity may be a curse, but's it's one we're all guilty of. If I'm putting something on my bike, I'd rather it looked like jewellery than a lump of coal."


We hope this buyers guide has been helpful and provided some valuable information. You can browse BikeExchange for lights, or search for your local bike shop to get further assistance. Thanks to Knog, BBB and Lezyne for providing samples and insight in creating this article



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          Bernard Herrmann - North By Northwest: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1959/2012)   



 

Oft-recorded Bernard Herrmann masterpiece finally gets complete release in dynamic stereo from new masters! Previous release on Rhino label was spectacular album, albeit several major set pieces (including main title & climactic Mount Rushmore sequence) were transferred from damaged elements, all that was then available. Thanks to Warner Bros., new stereo mixes have been made available for first time ever, revealing spectacular sonics (for 1959) and illuminating new details of magnificent score never before captured. While score has also been digitally re-recorded twice under different conductors, neither version can match crisp, exciting performance of MGM Studio musicians under baton of Herrmann himself. Hear harp arpeggios, castenets, wood blocks, snare drums like never before. Get entire climax with punch of bass trombone, thrilling trumpets amidst swirling variety of tempos that keep tension, excitement of Hitchcock's incredible action set-piece moving at fierce pace. Alfred Hitchcock's brilliant film stars Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, young Martin Landau and is regarded as one of director's greatest achievements. Crop-dusting scene, Mount Rushmore climax are movie icons. Romance between Grant, Saint is heartfelt, all the more so with Herrmann's tender love theme for strings. Composer is also major part of excitement, suspense of wild tale. Under loving guidance of Neil Bulk & Lukas Kendall, Herrmann's score comes home at last not only with best sound possible but also with first-ever reproduction of original MGM artwork campaign, color stills, informative notes by Frank De Wald, complete cue assembly details plus musician's list. The final word on North By Northwest! Bernard Herrmann conducts. Intrada Special Collection release available while quantities and interest remains.

01. Overture - Main Title (02:17)
02. The Streets (01:04)
03. Kidnapped (02:15)
04. The Door / Cheers (01:22)
05. The Wild Ride / Car Crash (03:11)
06. The Return / Two Dollars (01:13)
07. The Elevator (00:47)
08. The U.N. / Information Desk (01:52)
09. The Knife (00:49)
10. Interlude (01:16)
11. Detectives / Conversation Piece / Duo (04:40)
12. The Station / The Phone Booth / Farewell (02:52)
13. The Crash / Hotel Lobby (03:12)
14. The Reunion / Goodbye / The Question (02:32)
15. The Pad & Pencil / The Auction / The Police (02:35)
16. The Airport (01:00)
17. The Cafeteria / The Shooting (02:21)
18. The Forest (01:23)
19. Flight / The Ledge (01:28)
20. The House (03:12)
21. The Balcony / The Match Box (02:44)
22. The Message / The T.V. / The Airplane (02:37)
23. The Gates / The Stone Faces / The Ridge / On The Rocks / The Cliff / Finale (08:55)

The Extras:
24. It's A Most Unusual Day (Source) (01:10)
25. Rosalie (Source) (01:33)
26. In The Still Of The Night (Source) (02:24)
27. Fashion Show (Source) (05:20)
28. The Crash (Alternate Take) (01:48)