Inforgraphic - E-commerce in Africa   
Take a look at this interesting infographic we found on, exploring the state of online shopping in Africa and what makes online shoppers tick (and click!). 600 consumers in African countries (South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya) were surveyed by emerging markets research firm, Jana. We've expanded on the results with notes so that you...
          Emerging markets see 7th straight month of foreign capital inflows   

          Fraud Analyst (Bi-Lingual) - Rogers Communications - Toronto, ON   
The Fraud Management group is responsible for identifying emerging fraud risks and monitoring subscriber activity for the purposes of fraud prevention and early...
From Rogers - Wed, 28 Jun 2017 20:03:31 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
          AI End Game: The Automation of All Work   

Last week we reported from ISC on an emerging type of high performance system architecture that integrates HPC and HPA (High Performance Analytics) and incorporates, at its center, exabyte-scale memory capacity, surrounded by a variety of accelerated processors. Until the arrival of quantum computing or other new computing paradigm, this is the architecture that could […]

The post AI End Game: The Automation of All Work appeared first on HPCwire.

          VAM Art, Inc. Announces Confluence 2014 - An Exhibition of Contemporary American Art   
NewswireToday (newswire) - 2014/10/13 Metuchen, NJ United States - The show, titled Confluence-2014, will include the works of established and emerging artists displaying different modes and styles of expressions -
          Telefilm updates development program   

shutterstock_film funding movie

The changes include more funding for women-led projects and extra support for emerging talent.

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          Dollar falls but bond yields up    
The euro rose yesterday alongside sterling and bond yields as a slew of hawkish comments from central banks signalled the era of ultra-loose monetary policy is ready to sunset across the Atlantic. The dollar index touched its lowest since October as investors shifted to the view that the US Federal Reserve might not be the only game in town when it comes to higher interest rates. With the Fed green-lighting dividends and buybacks in major banks as part of another round of stress tests, financial stocks rose but not enough to offset declines in technology and interest-rate sensitive sectors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 141.81 points, or 0.66 per cent, to 21,312.8, the S&P 500 lost 19.3 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 2,421.39 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 92.96 points, or 1.49 per cent, to 6,141.46. European shares failed to hold onto early gains. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 1.36 per cent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.52 per cent. Emerging market stocks lost 0.08 per cent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.59 per cent higher, while the Nikkei rose 0.45 per cent. As euro zone bond yields rallied, the...
          IoT forecasts come into focus   
For years now there has been forecast after forecast predicting the size of the IoT market by the end of the decade or ten years hence. There is always a big number of connected things and impressive valuation for the sum of the whole market, and with the large mobile operators such as AT&T and Verizon now including connected things in their quarterly reports there is hard data to back up the rosy forecasts. At an editorial briefing in San Jose last month, Qualcomm executives said it is now shipping one million wireless connections per day - this certainly gives a perspective on how fast IoT can grow. The company has hundreds of OEM design wins for its MDM9206 LTE modem for IoT.

As of June 15th, the GSMA Intelligence services says there are 8,132,111,132 mobile connections, including M2M. The GSMA's online tracker further reports 5,016,263,289 unique mobile subscribers, which are assumed to mean people with at least one mobile phone and SIM card. By subtraction, this means 3.1 billion M2M connections tracked by the GSMA via their mobile operator members.

This piece collects newly published data from several sources. First, IDC recently reported that worldwide spending on the IoT will reach nearly $1.4 trillion in 2021. Second, the Cisco Visual Network Index (VNI) found that M2M connections globally will grow from 780 million in 2016 to 3.3 billion by 2021, a 34% CAGR or fourfold growth. Third, the newly published Ericsson Mobility Study finds that 70% of wide-areas IoT devices will use cellular technology in 2022. While studies from different authors will never precisely line up, this collection of data agrees that real and significant revenue from IoT for carriers has started to materialize and will grow quickly in the near term.

Highlights from IDC’s Worldwide Semi-annual IoT spending guide

The first big finding to notice in IDC's report is that worldwide spending on IoT will reach $800 billion this year, up 16.7% year over year, which means that the market this month must be worth tens of millions of dollars. These numbers are spread out amongst the hardware, software, services and connectivity that enable the IoT. This means splitting the pot between vendors such as Qualcomm, Sierra Wireless, Cisco Jasper, integration specialists, and of course carriers such as AT&T, Orange and Vodafone. There are many others that could be included on this list, especially when considering the global market.  In that sense, the $800 billion is just a starting point. IDC's forecast says that by 2021, global IoT spending will total nearly $1.4 trillion. In a press release announcing the study, IDC's Carrie MacGillivray, vice president, Internet of Things and Mobility, stated that the true value of IoT is realised when the software and services come together to enable the capture, interpretation, and action on data produced by IoT endpoints.

IDC breaks down 2017 investments in IoT as follows: manufacturing operations ($105 billion), freight monitoring ($50 billion), and production asset management ($45 billion), smart grid technologies for electricity, gas and water and smart building technologies ($56 billion and $40 billion, respectively). Looking to 2021, IDC expects these use cases will remain the largest areas of IoT spending. Smart home technologies are forecast to experience strong growth (19.8% CAGR) over the five-year forecast. The use cases that will see the fastest spending growth are airport facilities automation (33.4% CAGR), electric vehicle charging (21.1% CAGR), and in-store contextual marketing (20.2% CAGR).

IDC sees hardware as the largest IoT spending category to 2021, the last year of the forecast, when it is overtaken by the services category. This is to be expected as the various physical sensors and connectivity units must be deployed first before a service can be offered. IDC says hardware spending will be dominated by modules and sensors that connect end points to networks, while software spending will be similarly dominated by applications software. In addition, IDC says services spending will be about evenly split between ongoing and content services and IT and installation services. The fastest growing areas of technology spending are in the software category, where horizontal software and analytics software will have five-year CAGRs of 29.0% and 20.5%, respectively. Security hardware and software will also see increased investment, growing at 15.1% and 16.6% CAGRs, respectively.

Regional highlights:

•   Asia Pacific (excluding Japan, APeJ) will be the IoT investment leader throughout the forecast with spending expected to reach $455 billion in 2021.

•   The U.S. will be the second largest region with IoT spending reaching $421 billion in 2021.

•   Western Europe will reach $274 billion in 2021.

The IDC Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide is quite comprehensive, covering IoT spending for 12 technologies and 54 use cases across 20 vertical industries in eight regions and 52 countries (for more details see here:

Cisco looks wide with its VNI forecast

Generally speaking, Cisco's forecasts have tended to be the most optimistic. This year’s Cisco VNI indicates that its IoT coverage includes both M2M and emerging category of wearable IoT devices. M2M connections, which Cisco defines as home and office security and automation, smart metering and utilities, maintenance, building automation, automotive, healthcare and consumer electronics, are predicted to grow from 780 million in 2016 to 3.3 billion by 2021, a 34% CAGR or fourfold growth.

Wearable devices, which Cisco notes could connect and communicate to the network either directly through embedded cellular connectivity or through another device (primarily a smartphone) using WiFi, Bluetooth, or another technology, include such things as smart watches, smart glasses, heads-up displays (HUDs), health and fitness trackers, health monitors, wearable scanners and navigation devices and smart clothing. The Cisco VNI predicts that by 2021 there will be 929 million wearable devices globally, growing nearly threefold from 325 million in 2016 at a CAGR of 23%. By 2021, Cisco expects that 7% will have embedded cellular connectivity, up from 3% in 2016. As AR/VR headsets enter the market, they could start to have a tangible impact on mobile traffic.

Ericsson looks to short-range and wide-range IoT connectivity

The newly published Ericsson Mobility Report finds that at the end of 2016 there were around 0.4 billion IoT devices with cellular connections. Ericsson's study divides IoT into short-range and wide-area segments, and it provides some guidance as to how IoT is impacting the network. For instance, the report says use cases with VoLTE calls for IoT (Cat-M1) are starting to emerge. This could extend mobile voice service to IoT devices, an interesting possibility.

By 2021, Ericsson expects there will be 2.1 billion devices connected via LTE-M and NB-IoT networks, roughly a 30% CAGR from today. This trend has already started. This year, several prominent mobile operators have rolled out commercial LTE-M networks. For instance, in March, Verizon announced the commercial launch of its nationwide 4G LTE Category M1 (or Cat M1) network. The coverage spans 2.4 million square miles. Verizon will introduce low rate, multi-year plans to match the longer useful life of Cat M1 devices, including data plans that start at $2 per month per device, with customised options available for bulk activations and volume purchases. In May, AT&T followed suit by announcing the deployment of its nationwide LTE-M network ahead of schedule.

          Upbeat outlook, investor inflows lift emerging market first-half issuance   
All global regions saw an increase in both the volume and amount of deals, the data showed.
          Modi's cash ban made this India bull world's top fund manager   
Robert Marshall-Lee's emerging fund has returned 26% this year, beating 99% of its peers.
          Anchoring Quality Micro-Credentials in the Credentialing Landscape   
In response to industry feedback on gaps in the clean energy credentialing landscape, IREC has worked behind the scenes with a myriad of partners for the past three years to develop a valid and trusted framework for high-quality micro-credentials. Today, we see emerging as a pressing priority quality third-party validation of specialty skills both for clean energy allied professions, whose jobs “touch” renewable or energy efficiency technology in some way, and for add-on skills for full-scope credentials that currently exist within the clean energy professions.
          Global Advanced Wound Care and Closure Market   

Global Advanced Wound Care and Closure Market (Types, Applications, End User and Geography) - Size, Share, Global Trends, Company Profiles, Demand, Insights, Analysis, Research, Report, Opportunities, Segmentation and Forecast, 2013 - 2020

Portland, OR -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/08/2014 -- Traditional wound care & closure and advanced wound care & closure products are used to treat acute and chronic wounds. Chronic wounds are hard to heal wounds, which take substantial time to heal and are expensive to treat. Advanced wound care & closure products are emerging as a standard solution for treating chronic wounds. Traditional wound care & closure products are being increasingly substituted with advanced wound care & closure products due to their efficacy and effectiveness in managing wounds by enabling faster healing.

Attempts to reduce the duration of hospital stays in order to limit surgical healthcare costs, and the rising inclination towards products that enhance therapeutic outcomes are driving the demand for advanced wound care & closure products. The risks associated with ineffective wound healing promote the demand for combination dressings, which is a modern trend in the market that is replacing traditional wound dressing methods.

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Smith and Nephew, Kinetic Concepts, 3M, BSN medical, Covidien, ConvaTech, Derma Sciences, Integra LifeSciences, Baxter International and Coloplast are some of the major players in the global advanced wound care and closure market.

The global advanced wound care and closure market has been segmented based on type, application, end users and geography. Based on type, the global market is segmented into advanced wound closure market and advanced wound care market. According to applications, the market is segmented into Burns, Ulcers and Surgical Wounds. Based on end users, the market is segmented into hospitals & community healthcare services and home healthcare. Geographically, the market is segmented into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and LAMEA.

Key Benefits:

- An in-depth analysis of the current advanced wound care, and wound closure market scenario is strategically dealt to provide future market trends that would facilitate decision making

- Quantitative analysis of the current market trends and estimations through 2013-2020 would help strategists to design business strategies to capitalize on the prevailing opportunities in the market

- Analysis of the market factors in various regions would bestow a deeper understanding of demographical dynamics that would influence expansion decisions.

- Identification of key application segments based on their potential and growth prospects would throw light on the most profitable segments to capitalize on

- Analysis of key strategies adopted by market players will assist in understanding the inherent business rivalry and intensity of competition prevailing among the top brands

- Emphasis is laid on key factors affecting the growth of the global advanced wound closure and advanced wound care market. These factors are critically analyzed to gain a futuristic view of the market

- SWOT and competitive analysis of key players is conducted to help stakeholders to understand the inherent trends followed by their competitors and make the necessary amendments to the existing expansion plans

Similar report:
Global Medical Laser Systems Market:

For more information on this press release visit:

Media Relations Contact

Deep Joshi
International Accounts Manager
Reports and Intelligence
Telephone: 617-674-4143
Email: Click to Email Deep Joshi

          Global Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) Market (Applications and Geography) - Reports and Intelligence   

Global Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) Market (Applications and Geography) - Size, Share, Global Trends, Company Profiles, Demand, Insights, Analysis, Research, Report, Opportunities, Segmentation and Forecast, 2012 - 2020

Portland, OR -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/02/2014 -- IVIG is a blood product which is administered in the body through veins. These are used in the treatment of three major categories of diseases, namely immune diseases, autoimmune diseases and acute infections. These are administered in patients to maintain an optimum level of antibodies so as to upgrade immunity or avoid infections. The factors driving this market are increasing number of patients with bleeding disorders, autoimmune diseases and asthma, increasing awareness and expenditure on health products and technological developments. The resulting side effects with the use of intravenous immunoglobulin such as venous thrombosis, dermatitis and acute kidney disorders and high cost involved in treatment are restraining the growth of this market. The introduction of improved therapies for the treatment of these diseases would provide opportunity for growth of this market.

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On the basis of application, this market can be classified into neurology, haematology, dermatology, nephrology and ophthalmology. Among all areas where intravenous immunoglobulin is used, its application is maximum in heamatology. This is due to the increasing number of people with bleeding disorders.

On the basis of geography, this market can be classified into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and rest of the world (RoW). Presently, North America is the major contributor to the market of IVIG followed by Europe. This is due to increasing number of people suffering from autoimmune diseases.

The major players in this market are Biotest AG, Octapharma AG, CSL, Baxter International, Inc., Bharat Serums and Vaccines Ltd., Talecris, Grifols S.A., OMRIX Biopharmaceuticals Ltd, and Kedrion Biopharma. The companies in the report are seeking approval as a strategy for the commercialization of their in the pipeline drugs. Therefore, the companies are adopting approval and clearance as key developmental strategies.

The Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) market is an emerging field of therapeutics. The market is facing challenges due to stringent regulations. However, these regulations are strategically dealt in this report and more emphasis is given on the commercial polices available for the Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) Market. The clinical trials conducted for the development of novel therapies are critically analyzed so that key players competing in this market can take strategic decisions. . The market dynamics show that the impact of drivers is more in the market compared to the restraints.

- The estimations in the report are made by considering present market scenario and future market potential for the period of 2014-2020
- Key developmental strategies adopted by top market players engaged in this business are described so that companies involved in development of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) can get competitive intelligence about their competitors
- Market estimation for geographic segments is derived from current market scenarios and forecasted market trends.
- Market attractiveness analysis has been included for geographic regions with detailed analysis of factors responsible for rapid growth of the market segments
- In-depth analysis of market drivers, restraints and opportunities of the market is dealt in the report.

Similar report
Global Antiepileptic Drugs Market :

For more information on this press release visit:

Media Relations Contact

Sona Padman
International Accounts Manager
Reports And Intelligence
Telephone: 617-674-4143
Email: Click to Email Sona Padman

          The Cambridge to Oxford Connection: Ideas Competition   
Registration Deadline: Aug 3, 2017; Submission Deadline: Aug 3, 2017

This free-to-enter, two-stage ideas competition is seeking forward-thinking, imaginative proposals to integrate sustainable placemaking with development and new infrastructure. The focus for the competition is the arc encompassing four of the UK’s fastest-growing and most productive centres: Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Oxford.

Submissions should consider how to provide the homes the area needs: high quality places that integrate the proposed infrastructure and enhance the identity of the corridor as a single knowledge-intensive cluster, while working with its distinctive environmental and cultural character.

The Oxford to Cambridge Connection: Ideas Competition is aimed at broad multidisciplinary teams of urban designers; architects; planning, policy, and community specialists; landscape designers; development economists; and others with local knowledge and general insight. Submissions from international teams and students are welcome.

Interested teams will need to read the Search Statement on the competition website before submitting their emerging concept, team details and registration information via email (using templates provided on the website). The deadline for entries is 14:00 BST 3 August 2017. At the second stage of the competition, four shortlisted teams will receive additional briefing and progress their concepts into creative visions, developed on a specific location within the corridor.

Read the full post on Bustler
           Emerging prenatal genetic tests : developing a health technology assessment (HTA) framework for informed decision-making    
Szczepura, Ala, Freeman, Karoline, Osipenko, Leeza and Hyde, Julia (2005) Emerging prenatal genetic tests : developing a health technology assessment (HTA) framework for informed decision-making. [Coventry]: University of Warwick. (Initial report).
          Industrial Hygienist - Goldcorp - Red Lake, ON   
Closely track emerging trends and techniques in the field of Industrial Hygiene. Reporting to the Safety Coordinator, the Industrial Hygienist will demonstrate...
From Goldcorp - Fri, 14 Apr 2017 06:01:24 GMT - View all Red Lake, ON jobs
          Marks & Spencer: Corporate PR Officer   
Competitive and Benefits: Marks & Spencer: As a Corporate PR Officer at M&S, you will take responsibility for ‘owning’ key parts of the business, and identifying emerging issues or positive ... London (W1)
          Cubs' Javier Baez emerging as a marketing star   
Javier Baez will become the first baseball player to appear on David's sunflower seeds packaging since former Yankees star Derek Jeter back in 2005.

          How PETA Is Using Emerging Technology to Cultivate Empathy for Animals   

How PETA Is Using Emerging Technology to Cultivate Empathy for Animals

At a virtual reality conference, PETA discusses and demonstrates its high-tech, unique projects to help people become more empathetic.

The post How PETA Is Using Emerging Technology to Cultivate Empathy for Animals appeared first on PETA.

          Guest Contribution: “‘Lending money to people across the water’: The British Joint Stock Banking Acts of 1826 and 1833, and the Panic of 1837”   
Today we are pleased to present a guest contribution written by Geoffrey Williams, Assistant Professor at Transylvania University. The Financial Crisis of 2008 and earlier emerging market crises of the 1990s have encouraged a resurgence of research interest in financial fragility. Out of this work has come a greater appreciation for a number of stylized […]
           GRAPHIC-Emerging markets enjoy vintage start to year    
By Marc JonesLONDON, June 30 (Reuters) - Emerging markets have had one of their best first halves to a year on record, with stocks up 17.5 percent and a 15...
           EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks up as oil lifts Petrobras; political woes linger    
SAO PAULO, June 30 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks rose on Friday as shares of state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA followed crude prices...
          J2EE Connector Architecture (JCA) - Accenture - Bangalore, Karnataka   
Accenture Technology powers our clients’ businesses with innovative technologies—established and emerging—changing the way their people and customers experience...
From Accenture - Thu, 29 Jun 2017 05:53:18 GMT - View all Bangalore, Karnataka jobs
          SAP-Master Data Governance - Accenture - Bangalore, Karnataka   
Accenture Technology powers our clients’ businesses with innovative technologies—established and emerging—changing the way their people and customers experience...
From Accenture - Thu, 29 Jun 2017 05:53:15 GMT - View all Bangalore, Karnataka jobs
          Java - Accenture - Bangalore, Karnataka   
Accenture Technology powers our clients’ businesses with innovative technologies—established and emerging—changing the way their people and customers experience...
From Accenture - Thu, 29 Jun 2017 05:52:37 GMT - View all Bangalore, Karnataka jobs
          Mercury Functional Tools - Testing Automated professional - Accenture - Bangalore, Karnataka   
Accenture Technology powers our clients’ businesses with innovative technologies—established and emerging—changing the way their people and customers experience...
From Accenture - Wed, 28 Jun 2017 23:51:27 GMT - View all Bangalore, Karnataka jobs
          SAP-Oil & Gas-Production & Revenue Accounting - Accenture - Bangalore, Karnataka   
Accenture Technology powers our clients’ businesses with innovative technologies—established and emerging—changing the way their people and customers experience...
From Accenture - Wed, 28 Jun 2017 23:51:27 GMT - View all Bangalore, Karnataka jobs
          8 O'Clock Milk (Concept)   

Creative Agency: Brama Branding
Project Type: Concept
Location: Minsk, Belarus
Packaging Contents: Milk
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Plastic

The Belarusian milk shelf looks better with every year – packages are upgraded, new formats are evolving, and original solutions are emerging. The only segment remaining unchanged is low-priced milk: nothing interesting happens to a plastic pouch, its design is limited to the manufacturer's logo and “technical” information. So boring! What if to turn the form into the idea?

Visual concept of packaging, naming

A square package of milk resembles a sleeping pillow. And milk is usually consumed after sleep and before bedtime. In the morning, it is added to cereals, smoothies, flakes, coffee, and a glass of warm milk with a cookie before going to bed is a favorite treat for many children. Therefore, a variable name: “8 a.m.” for fatter milk and “8 p.m.” for a lighter product.

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           INVESTMENT FOCUS-Asian tech supplants oil as main fuel for emerging stocks    
By Sujata RaoLONDON, June 30 (Reuters) - Not very long ago, a 17 percent oil price fall would have sent emerging market stocks into a tailspin. But this...
           Emerging markets see 7th straight month of foreign capital inflows    
By Dion RabouinNEW YORK, June 30 (Reuters) - Emerging market portfolios saw $17.8 billion of net non-resident portfolio flows in June, marking the seventh...
          Indie Author Spotlight: Robert Eggleton   

Hello lovelies welcome to a feature I am going to have on La Jersey Chika Reads Indie Books that is called Indie Author Spotlight. Each month I will post an Indie Author Spotlight to help spread word about the works of the fantastic indie authors that are out there!

Today tenth installment and feature is Robert Eggleton author of Rarity from the Hollow

 Robert Eggleton

Author's Bio

Robert Eggleton has served as a children's advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. Locally, he is best known for his nonfiction about children’s programs and issues, much of which was published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from1982 through 1997. Today, he is a retired children's psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome maltreatment and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel. Its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines. Author proceeds support the prevention of child maltreatment.

 Robert Eggleton Social Media Sites

Robert Eggleton Book

Rarity from the Hollow

By Robert Eggleton

Genre: Adult Literary Science Fiction

Publication Date: November 3, 2016

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Author Interview

Q. Describe your book in ten words or less.

A. An unlikely savior of the universe -- tragedy, comedy, and satire.

Q. What draws you to this genre.

A. I enjoy reading and writing literary fiction and within most genres. I'm not a big fan of pure escapist novels. I tend to look for the author's hidden metaphors -- meaning behind the superficial and that seems to detract from my enjoyment. So, when I write, my goal is to produce something that will be reflected upon after the last paragraph has been read. I also enjoy reading speculative fiction -- the what if? There are several what ifs in Rarity from the Hollow, but the one that was most fun to write was its political parody. What if some compelling force united extreme capitalism and socialism by a common cause --- saving the universe? While much of the focus of my story was on the prevention of child maltreatment, there are other analogies -- i.e. global warming. Rarity from the Hollow was the first, perhaps the only, science fiction adventure to specifically predict the rise of Donald Trump to political power -- parody with no political advocacy one side or any other. Readers find out how Lacy Dawn, the protagonist, convinced Mr. Rump (Bernie Sanders) to help talk Mr. Prump (Donald Trump) into saving the universe. The allegory includes pressing issues that are being debated today, including illegal immigration and the refuge crisis, an issue that several European commentators have compared to cockroach infestation; extreme capitalism / consumerism vs. domestic spending for social supports; sexual harassment…. Mr. Prump in my story was a projection of Donald Trump based on the TV show, The Apprentice. The counterpart, Mr. Rump, was based on my understanding of positions held by Bernie Sanders as I wrote the story. Part of the negotiations in the story occur in the only high rise on planet Shptiludrp (Shop Until You Drop), a giant shopping mall and the center of economic governance, now more easily identifiable as Trump Tower. The allegory was not addressed by ARC reviewers of the novel because so few people worldwide considered Donald Trump to be a serious political contender until the primary elections in the U.S. The political allegory in the novel is obvious now that Donald Trump has become a household name. In summary, I am drawn to literary speculative fiction because it is so much fun to write.

Q. Where do you get information or ideas for your book?

A. Much of Rarity from the Hollow is more real than not, and based upon over forty years of my experiences working as a children's advocate. I use Google for research, for example, on updated research on prevalence rates or correlates of child abuse. One interesting element of the story pertains to the ET assistance that helped cure Lacy Dawn's parents -- she begins the story as an eleven year old protagonist, a victim of maltreatment. Her father is a war damaged Vet suffering from PTSD, night terrors, and anger outbursts. Several book reviewers have complimented by imagination when writing the medical intervention element of the story. In reality, humans are living in a very exciting time when computerized diagnosis and intervention of mental health concerns is an emerging science. The fantastical means employed by the alien in my story to treat the parents were based on today’s medical reality. I’ve already mentioned that in the beginning of Rarity from the Hollow, Dwayne, the abusive father was a war damaged Vet experiencing anger outbursts and night terrors. The mother was a downtrodden victim of domestic violence who had lost hope of ever getting her G.E.D. or driver's license, or of protecting her daughter. Diagnosis and treatment of these concerns affecting the parents, as representative of many similarly situated, was based on emerging technologies presented at the 2015 World Medical Innovation Forum: . Yes, in real life, like in my story, patients have been hooked up to computer technology for medial diagnosis and treatment. Additional exciting research was presented at that Forum and may one day may revolutionize psychiatric treatment. Most relevant to my story were: (1) smart brain prosthetics, wireless devises being tested for potential to relieve depression, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder…neural engineering to manipulate brain signals; (2) sophisticated imaging systems that are minimally invasive to brain circuitry for diagnosis (3) and, healing the brain with neuromodulation and electroceuticals to treat depression and schizophrenia.

Q. How do you select the names of your characters?

A. Typically, I pick names that fit a culture for stories. While I love fantasy, I've found long and unusual first names for characters annoying, thereby sometimes leading to head hopping as I've read the stories. I try to avoid this practice. For example, I recently read a short story involving sisters with unusual but very similar first names. I kept getting the characters mixed up, complicated by their similar voices. The subculture for Rarity from the Hollow is Appalachian, a place where the use of first and middle names is common when addressing the individual, such as Billy Bob, or Robert Thomas. Lacy Dawn was addressed by her first and middle name in the story as a show of love and respect, while the other characters were addressed by their first names only as a sign that their parents did not hold their existences in high regard. As a back story, when pregnant, Lacy Dawn's mother realized that she would not be able to give her daughter beautiful things in life, so she decided to give her a very beautiful name at birth.  

Q. List your top 5 favorite authors or books.

A. Gosh, this is an impossible to answer question. I'm a mood reader, so my favorite books at one time may be entirely different than at another time. Right now: Vonnegut’s anger in Breakfast of Champions helped me stay strong as a children’s advocate and as a writer, and how to experiment with my writing style. Watership Down by R. Adams was such a sweet adventure that some of this element just is a necessary ingredient of even the scariest or saddest story. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is probably on a lot of lists of favorite books. If I feel nostalgic, like now, Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins pushed me into the wilder side of writing regardless of censorship with views on religion and other topics. Last, The Color Purple by Alice Walker remains a role model for using colloquialism to reach mainstream readers. 

Q. What book/s are you reading at present?

A. I'm going to have to pass on this question. I'm reading a second novel by an unknown author and am so disappointed that I don't want to name it. I respected her debut novel and expected this one to be even better. It isn't. When this one was posted on a blog for 99¢ I grabbed a Kindle version. Don't misunderstand. I don't subscribe to the Goodreads rating system based on whether I "liked" a novel or not. If I'm considering writing a review of a novel I would never let my personal taste control such an important task -- my likes are irrelevant to whether a book is great or awful -- so are my comfort zones -- irrelevant. So far, this book has holes in the plot, is so mainstream that it could have been written by a computer program, and was poorly edited. There seems to be no message, but I'm hopeful that the author some how pulls it all together in the last third of the novel. I don't need to like a novel to give it a good rating, but I do have to respect it. Did the story fulfill its mission? It this novel does improve you may see my review on Amazon or Goodreads and you will get my answer to your question if you notice. If the novel does not improve, I may just skip writing a review. The impact of reviews can be so powerful that I wouldn't want to influence the behavior of an author who, based on the debut, has potential but released on perhaps prematurely. If this author was well known, making lots of money, I would have no problem blasting this piece of crap that I'm reading.

Q. What's next for you? What are you working on now?

A. I've been stuck in self-promotion mode for so long that I've neglected the next Lacy Dawn Adventure -- Ivy. I've submitted a couple of short stories to magazines recently but no bites. It seems to me that many magazines either stick very close to the Young Adult genre or are so extreme that my writing seems to have a hard time fitting into content. I don't want to change what I write just to achieve publication, so I'm trying to explore other alternatives. I'm working on a satirical essay, and a couple of poems. One of my poems won first place in an international competition last year, so I have a little name recognition because of that. Ivy, full of metaphors and allegory, is the story of an alien invasion of Earth based in an almost forgotten town. I live in West Virginia, the U.S. state with the highest rate of heroin overdose deaths in the nation. My familiarity with what is happening to my neighbors because of addiction prompted me to ask: how far will a child go to save a parent from addiction? I hope to achieve a similar finding when answering this serious question as I did with Rarity from the Hollow: “…a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only instead of the earth being destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass, Lacy Dawn must…The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…Eggleton sucks you into the Hollow, dunks you in the creek, rolls you in the mud, and splays you in the sun to dry off. Tucked between the folds of humor are some profound observations on human nature and modern society that you have to read to appreciate…it’s a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.” I'll let you know when it is released.

Q.  What advice do you have for writers?

A. I don’t feel competent to give advice to other writers, but I will share a little common sense based on my observations of this marketplace. Don’t expect to be discovered overnight like you were Elvis singing on the front stoop of an apartment located in a low-income neighborhood. Before you publish, make sure that your work as been professionally edited, or as close to it as your finances will allow – not by a friend or anybody with whom you have a personal relationship. If published, to the extent possible, prevent generic one line reviews from being posted on Amazon – they always look like they were written by your friends and detract from other reviews that appear more legitimate. Commit to the long haul by keeping in mind that the majority of those entering the world of books stay there briefly and then drop out never to be heard from again. And, last, never buy a book review and don’t invest more than you can afford in anything. I’ve heard of aspiring authors placing themselves and their families at financial risk by becoming over-committed to a book that they had written. Hard work pays off, but working smart has better outcomes.   

Thank You So Much Robert Eggleton For Your Time & Interview.

R. Thank you for the opportunity to tell your readers a little about myself and my debut novel, Rarity from the Hollow.

           Upbeat outlook, investor inflows lift emerging market first half debt issuance    
LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) - An improving economic backdrop and yield-hungry investors helped lift hard-currency debt sales from emerging market governments...
          EXCLUSIVE: Holding Absence talk touring on a budget!   
It goes without saying that the past 12 months have been super hectic for Welsh up-and-comers, Holding Absence. With just three songs to their name, the band seem to be relentlessly on the road and touring every corner and crevice of the UK, and very recently also performed at Download Festival. As an emerging band, […]
          6/30/2017: WORLD: Trump to have first in-person meeting with Putin at next week’s G20 summit   
WASHINGTON— U.S. President Donald Trump will convene a high-stakes meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the summit of industrial and emerging-market nations in Germany next week, the White House said Thursday. National security adviser...
          Comment on Emerging Investigators Series: Yu (Frank) Yang by Hada   
Thanks Dear
          White House: Trump to meet Putin at G-20 summit   

President Donald Trump will convene a high-stakes meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the summit of industrial and emerging-market nations in Germany next week, the White House said Thursday, amid swirling allegations about Moscow's role in the 2016 elections.

National security adviser...

          Cubs' Javier Baez emerging as a marketing star   
Javier Baez will become the first baseball player to appear on David's sunflower seeds packaging since former Yankees star Derek Jeter back in 2005.

          London Fashion Week: Trend Spotting   

Hi everyone,

I have slightly neglected my blog lately due to university work and just having some chill out time to myself, however I am back with lots to talk about! Well, last week 19th February I attended a trip organised by my university to London Fashion Week, - although I had no chance of getting any tickets to any shows or any designer showrooms it was a great opportunity for me to grab some trend spotting images as part of my final major project. As an aspiring fashion buyer keeping a firm eye on new emerging trends is very important, so my short time at fashion week was valuable as I was able to see what both the females and males were wearing and most importantly HOW they’re wearing. I took around 40 photos on the day, but I am only going to post my favourite outfits of the day, however I will post a full trend analysis on my findings!

          $$$ bountiful for biotech: Atlas raises $350M in latest fund   

The venture fund has previously invested in a number of emerging biotechs, including Rana Therapeutics and Synlogic Inc.

          Can Chivas stop Andre-Pierre Gignac, Tigres to lift Liga MX trophy?   
Sebastian Salazar and Herculez Gomez break down Tigres' late comeback that forced a draw in the first leg of the final. GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- Chivas and Tigres go into the 2017 Clausura final second leg level at 2-2 after 90 minutes, with Sunday's tie in Estadio Chivas mixing all the ingredients for a classic. Here are three key questions ahead of the big game as Chivas seek a league and cup double and Tigres look to win back-to-back Liga MX championships. 1. Where are Chivas at? The 2-2 draw last Thursday in Estadio Universitario was actually a good result for Chivas. Going to "El Volcan" and emerging with...
          The Role of Leadership in Law Firm Success or Failure   
As law firms, big and small, continue to struggle, it begs the question, what is going on? And (more to the point) what can be done to improve a firm’s odds of thriving in this emerging marketplace. The answer to this question is one of those...
By: Hayse LLC
          Spotlight Innovation Engages Investor Relations Firm PCG Advisory Group   

Spotlight Innovation Inc. identifies and acquires rights to innovative, proprietary technologies designed to address unmet medical needs, with an emphasis on rare, emerging and neglected diseases. To find and evaluate unique opportunities, we leverage our extensive relationships with leading scientists, academic institutions and other sources. We provide value-added development capability to accelerate development progress. When scientifically significant benchmarks have been achieved, we will endeavor to partner with proven market leaders via sale, out-license or strategic alliance.URBANDALE, Iowa, June 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Spotlight Innovation Inc. (OTCQB: STLT), a pharmaceutical company targeting rare, emerging and neglected diseases, today announced that the Company has engaged PCG Advisory Group (PCG) to provide investor relations services in support of the...

          U.S. SEC to allow firms to file confidential draft statements before IPOs   
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday it was expanding the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, by allowing all public companies to file confidentially prior to initial public offerings, in a move designed to revitalize the IPO market. This is the first major policy announcement by new SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, in an effort to help companies raise money more readily. Under current law, all publicly-traded companies with annual gross revenues of $1 billion or less can already file confidential draft IPO paperwork with the SEC. These companies, known as emerging growth companies (EGCs), won this perk in the 2012 JOBS Act, as part of an effort to lower regulatory burdens and give them time to work out kinks with the SEC before unveiling IPO paperwork publicly and pitching to investors. The new rule, which will take effect from Saturday, July 10, would be available for IPOs as well as most offerings made in the first year after a company has entered
          T-Mobile Urges FCC To Change 3.5GHz Spectrum Policies   

T-Mobile recently attended a gathering of wireless industry figureheads at the White House to talk about 5G and came away from the experience with a new plan for spectrum in the 3.5GHz range to bolster the emerging technology that it would like the FCC to consider. T-Mobile’s idea centers around the argument that the focus on […]

The post T-Mobile Urges FCC To Change 3.5GHz Spectrum Policies appeared first on |.

          Policy Analyst   
VA-Arlington, Zachary Piper Solutions is currently seeking an experienced Policy Analyst to join a cybersecurity contract located in Rosslyn, VA. The Policy Analyst will be a contributing factor to a team responsible for developing and administering department-wide cybersecurity policies and standards. Responsibilities of the Policy Analyst include: Conducting in-depth research on new and emerging technologies
          Priya Deepika Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for Debut Album and Tour   

The "Hear in My Heart" Album Sees the Emerging Songstress Offering a New Realm of Sound Healing and Activism

(PRWeb June 30, 2017)

Read the full story at

          IT Security Officer Job at Stanbic IBTC Bank   

Stanbic IBTC Bank is a leading African banking group focused on emerging markets globally. It has been a mainstay of South Africa’s financial system for [...]

The post IT Security Officer Job at Stanbic IBTC Bank appeared first on Jobzilla Nigeria .

          In Benin, small savings and loans groups drive rural women’s empowerment   

Across rural Africa, women farmers are benefiting from Savings and Loans Groups to grow their businesses. Some 40 per cent of the UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality grantees in Africa are now using this methodology, leading to better nutrition, business development and sustainable land management outcomes. The Miguéze’ programme, for example, has impacted 2,780 people, and women are emerging as leaders and role models.

Date: 30 June 2017

          White House: Trump to meet Putin at G-20 summit   

President Donald Trump will convene a high-stakes meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the summit of industrial and emerging-market nations in Germany next week, the White House said Thursday, amid swirling allegations about Moscow's role in the 2016 elections.

National security adviser...

          Spencer Stuart, Nasdaq and Boardroom Resources Launch Next Gen Board Leaders   

Major investors are demanding that more younger people be named to boards of directors in an effort to take advantage of their digital knowhow and the perspective they can bring to emerging areas of board oversight, including e-commerce, digital marketing and cybersecurity. To help equip these younger, often first-time directors to be effective in the

The post Spencer Stuart, Nasdaq and Boardroom Resources Launch Next Gen Board Leaders appeared first on Hunt Scanlon Media.

          Emerging head   
          N.C. budget gives green light to food manufacturing center   
Kannapolis, a city once marred by the shuttering of textile mills, is set to become a leader of the emerging food manufacturing sector thanks to a $5 million budget provision and the research of the agricultural program at N.C. State University. The budget, approved Wednesday after the General Assembly overrode Gov. Cooper's veto, provides $4.4 million to equip the Food Processing Innovation Center. The center will be housed at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, and will also receive…

          Graphic: Emerging markets enjoy vintage start to year   

By Marc Jones

LONDON (Reuters) - Emerging markets have had one of their best first halves to a year on record, with stocks up 17.5 percent and a 15 percent surge by Mexico's peso underscoring how worries about U.S. President Donald Trump's policies have been forgotten for now.

As this graphic - - shows, Poland has been the star performer for stocks trackers, with a 34 percent rise in dollar terms thanks to strong growth numbers and a more than 12 percent rise in the zloty.

Central and eastern Europe has been a hotspot all round.

The Czech crown is up over 11 percent versus the dollar, Hungary's forint is up 8 percent despite an uber-dovish central bank and Romania's leu, in a country which has just had a political crisis, is up 7.7 percent. (See graphic,

Mexican, Indian, Chinese, and Turkish stocks have taken off, climbing somewhere between 20 and 30 percent.

The boom has come as investors have shrugged off the U.S. rate rises, oil and tech tumbles and looked to the positives.

The dollar has just had its worst quarter in almost seven years which means EM currencies are up. Global growth is gaining traction and borrowing costs via bond yields had been steadily sliding again until this week.

As well as flying equities, bonds in local emerging market currencies have returned almost 11 percent in dollar terms, while hard currency sovereign debt is up over 6 percent. (For the breakdown click here

There are always laggards though.

Russian equities, heavily oil-reliant and a star of late 2016, have lost 15 percent and the rift between Qatar and its Middle East neighbours has seen its stocks clobbered 12 percent in a matter of weeks.

Though there has been a rebound this week, Brazil's real has been a poor performer. It is down over 1 percent due to fresh corruption scandals that have hit the country.

Another one to avoid has been the Philippine peso which is down 1.7 percent on fears that Islamic State, on the backfoot in Iraq and Syria, is trying to set up a stronghold in the Muslim south of the country.

Emerging markets in 2017

EM stocks in 2017

EM currencies in 2017

EM bonds in 2017

(Reporting by Marc Jones)

          Graphics: Stocks fly in first half but oil and dollar big losers   

LONDON (Reuters) - World stocks were on track for their best start to a year since 2003 while oil and the dollar were facing their biggest first-half drop for years.

The early months of 2017 were marked by the so-called Trump trades premised on U.S. President Donald Trump's pledges of multi-trillion dollar spending and by a change in Europe's political and growth outlook that has lured back investors.

But arguably the most significant shift for investors came in the last week of the second quarter when, in what looked like a concerted move, central bank policymakers appeared to signal it would soon be time to wind back the monetary stimulus that has buoyed markets for much of this decade.

As this graphic shows the dollar index, already down 4.5 percent for 2017 a week ago, was down 6.5 percent at Thursday's close and on track for its worst quarter in seven years and worst first half since 2003.

This despite the U.S. Federal Reserve raising interest rates twice this year.

The euro, boosted by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hinting on Wednesday at tweaks to the bank's ultra-loose monetary policy stance, is up more than 8 percent year-to-date and heading for its best quarter in seven.

Dollar weakness has helped lift emerging equities, as measured by MSCI's main index almost 18 percent in dollar terms so far this year.

World stocks have gained more than 10 percent in dollar terms, their best first half since 2003.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index gained 9.6 percent, just ahead of the S&P 500 on 9.2 percent.

Stuck at the bottom of the performance league table, down 16.5 percent in dollar terms year-to-date is Brent crude oil, hit by a perception that output cuts agreed by OPEC producers and others will not be enough to stem the glut of oil.

It was on track for its worst first six months of any year since 1998.

In Brexit-bound Britain, which has just been through a messy election, the pound has dropped 3 percent against the euro. The weaker currency has been a boost for exporters, lifting the country's main FTSE 100 stock index 8.2 percent.

Emerging markets have shrugged off the U.S. rate rises and the oil and tech tumbles. Bonds in emerging market currencies have returned almost 10 percent in dollar terms, while hard currency sovereign debt is up 6 percent.

But within emerging markets there are losers as well as winners. (See graphic,

Russian equities, heavily oil-reliant and a star of late 2016, have lost 17 percent but energy importer Turkey's stock index has risen 30 percent, despite inflation, domestic political risks and policy wobbles.

The Mexican peso is the world's top performing currency, up 15 percent on the dollar, as faith wanes in Trump's ability to implement anti-trade and anti-immigration pledges. (See graphic,

Perhaps the biggest surprise has been Poland's zloty which has surged 13 percent against the dollar.

Brazil's real has been one of the worst-performing currencies, down 4 percent in 2017 due to fresh corruption scandals that have hit the country.

(Reporting by Marc Jones, Sujata Rao, Dhara Ranasinghe and Nigel Stephenson; Editing by Toby Chopra)

          EM ASIA FX-Chinese yuan on track for best quarter since 2008; won touches 11-week low   

(Adds text, updates prices) By Christina Martin June 30 (Reuters) - China's yuan extended gainsfor a fourth straight session on Friday and was headed for itsbest quarter since June 2008, helped by a weaker dollar andbetter-than-expected manufacturing data. The People's Bank of China set the yuan midpointat 6.7744 per dollar prior to market opening, its strongestlevel since November 7, 2016. The strength in the official guidance reflected weakness inthe dollar, which sank to a near nine-month low against a basketof currencies in the overseas market. The dollar was bogged down by growing expectations of morehawkish monetary policies in Europe and Canada and doubts aboutanother U.S. interest rate increase this year. The yuan was up about 1 percent for the week, set for itsbest week since July 2005, and gained 1.7 percent against thedollar for the quarter. China's manufacturing sector expanded at its quickest pacein three months in June, buoyed by strong production and neworders, reassuring news for authorities trying to strike abalance between de-leveraging and keeping the economy on an evenkeel. The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI)was at 51.7 in June, the eleventh straight month of expansion,and up from 51.2 in May, a monthly survey by the National Bureauof Statistics showed on Friday. Separately, official data showed that China recorded asurplus in its capital and financial account in the firstquarter, indicating net capital inflows as policymakerstightened supervision of outflows. In other Asian currencies, the Malaysian ringgitgained 0.1 percent and the Philippine peso snappedthree straight days of losses. "The Asian net portfolio flow environment remains generallysupportive except for the Indian rupee, where inflow momentumcontinues to moderate," OCBC said in a note. The Indian rupee was set for its fourth straightday of declines, losing as much as 0.2 percent to hit a two-weeklow. KOREAN WON South Korea's won traded down as much as 0.5percent on Friday, its lowest level in over 11 weeks, asinvestors backed away from emerging markets in the wake of abroad decline in global stock markets. South Korean bond sales by Franklin Templeton raisedconcerns over potential capital outflows, putting furtherpressure on the won. U.S. President Donald Trump will press South KoreanPresident Moon Jae-in to solve trade differences over cars andsteel in meetings in Washington focusing on the nuclear threatfrom North Korea. South Korean shares edged down after a big rebound theprevious day, with the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) down 0.5 percent at 2,384.57 points. The won has fallen about 2.1 percent this quarter. SINGAPORE DOLLAR The Singapore dollar rose for a fourth consecutiveday on Friday, up as much as 0.2 percent, touching it highest inmore two weeks. Singapore's total bank lending in May rose 0.32 percent fromApril as lending to general commerce increased, central bankdata showed on Friday. Bank lending in May rose 6.8 percent from a year earlier. The Singapore dollar gained 1.4 percent in the quarter andis headed for its second straight quarter of gains. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies againstthe dollar at 0537 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 111.930 112.16 +0.21 Sing dlr 1.377 1.3791 +0.15 Taiwan dlr 30.389 30.370 -0.06 Korean won 1142.700 1141.1 -0.14 Baht 33.978 33.94 -0.11 Peso 50.370 50.53 +0.32 Rupiah* 13325.000 13325 +0.00 Rupee 64.680 64.63 -0.08 Ringgit 4.292 4.292 +0.01 Yuan 6.768 6.7851 +0.26 Change so far in 2017 Currency Latest bid End 2016 Pct Move Japan yen 111.930 117.07 +4.59 Sing dlr 1.377 1.4490 +5.23 Taiwan dlr 30.389 32.279 +6.22 Korean won 1142.700 1207.70 +5.69 Baht 33.978 35.80 +5.36 Peso 50.370 49.72 -1.29 Rupiah* 13325.000 13470 +1.09 Rupee 64.680 67.92 +5.01 Ringgit 4.292 4.4845 +4.50 Yuan 6.768 6.9467 +2.65 * Financial markets in Indonesia are closed for a holiday. (Reporting by Christina Martin in Bengaluru; Editing by SunilNair)

          U.S. dollar falls, bond yields up as central bank views shift   

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The euro and sterling rose on Thursday and U.S. bond yields spiked as hawkish comments from central banks signalled an end to ultra-loose monetary policy on both sides of the Atlantic, while technology shares dragged Wall Street stocks lower.

The dollar index <.DXY> touched its lowest since October, before Donald Trump was elected U.S. president, as investors shifted to the view that Federal Reserve might not be the only game in town when it comes to higher interest rates.

With the Fed approving dividends and buybacks in major banks as part of another round of stress tests, U.S. financial stocks rose but not enough to offset declines in technology and interest rate-sensitive sectors.

"Part of the reason why tech is down today is the steam in the recent rotation out of some of big tech winners and into banks," said Michael Scanlon, portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management in Boston.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 167.58 points, or 0.78 percent, to 21,287.03, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 20.99 points, or 0.86 percent, to 2,419.7 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 90.06 points, or 1.44 percent, to 6,144.35.

European shares logged their biggest one-day loss in nine months as a rising hawkish chorus from central banks weighed on defensive, dividend-paying sectors.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> lost 1.36 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> shed 0.54 percent.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.19 percent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> closed 0.71 percent higher, while Japan's Nikkei <.N225> rose 0.45 percent.

As euro zone bond yields rallied, the euro surged to as high as $1.1445 , its strongest since May 2016. The dollar index <.DXY> fell 0.46 percent, with the euro up 0.55 percent to $1.1439.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney surprised many on Wednesday by conceding a rate hike was likely to be needed as the economy came closer to running at full capacity.

That sent sterling above $1.30 on Thursday for the first time in five weeks, leaving it close to its highest levels since last September. The pound was last trading at $1.3006, up 0.63 percent on the day.

The Bank of Canada also had its say, with two top policymakers this week suggesting they might tighten monetary policy there as early as July.

The Canadian dollar strengthened 0.30 percent versus the greenback at 1.30 per dollar.

"The shifting monetary policy trajectories of other central banks is making other currencies more attractive relative to the U.S. dollar," said Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management in New York.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.16 percent versus the greenback at 112.12 per dollar.

Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields rose to five-week peaks in sympathy with higher European government debt yields, as investors evaluated the likelihood of less accommodative policy.

"What's going on in Europe is really what's driving us here," said Brian Daingerfield, a macro strategist at NatWest Markets in Stamford, Connecticut.

Treasury 10-year notes last fell 13/32 in price to yield 2.2666 percent, from 2.223 percent late on Wednesday.

U.S. oil futures were slightly higher after hitting a two-week peak, extending a rally into a sixth straight session after a decline in weekly U.S. crude production temporarily alleviated concerns about deepening oversupply. Brent ticked lower.

U.S. crude rose 0.29 percent to $44.87 per barrel and Brent was last at $47.36, up 0.11 percent on the day.

Gold fell as the central bank comments lifted bond yields.

Spot gold dropped 0.3 percent to $1,245.31 an ounce. U.S. gold futures fell 0.26 percent to $1,245.80 an ounce.

Copper rose 0.75 percent to $5,925.00 a tonne.

(Additional reporting by Tanya agvrawal in Bengaluru and Sam Forgione, Karen Brettell and David Gaffen; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Meredith Mazzilli)

          The next chapter: Poems and stories from emerging Indigenous writers   
On a day when the country reflects upon the past, Globe Books offers an exciting glimpse into the future, with new poems and stories from some of the most dynamic emerging Indigenous-Canadian writers at work today
          Senior Solution Architect (iOS, Android, Windows, Mobile Technologies) / 33-6 Consultancy Limited / Knutsford, Cheshire, United Kingdom   
33-6 Consultancy Limited/Knutsford, Cheshire, United Kingdom

My client, a Large UK Retail Banking group is seeking a strong VP Senior Solution Architect to come in and join their team on a permanent basis. This is a very exciting opportunity to work in one of the largest Technology hubs in the North West.


Good understanding of mobile technologies.

Good knowledge of smart phones, emerging handsets, capabilities, different platforms (RIM, IOS, Android)

Lead problem solving and analytical sessions to find innovative technical solutions to address business problems.

Good understanding of Client Server Interaction, Application and Infrastructure.

Good Understanding of the Design phase within the application development life cycle.

Has written a document/cookbook for a specific subject matter.

Able to maintain high levels of productivity for prolonged periods, with "quiet periods built in to allow rest and recuperation. Able to refine and adapt techniques to meet new needs. Able to teach these skills to practitioners and experts.

Has wider interest in computing science eg mathematical methods or machine learning

Teaches and influences others to use different versioning strategies and systems.

Uses all Microsoft Tools.

Can use and advise on other tools that facilitate collaboration (eg SharePoint, Rationale, etc). Has awareness and keeps abreast of other industry tools. Uses MS Project as the planning tool of choice.

Financial services experience is desirable

Employment Type: Permanent

Apply To Job
          Mobile Developer - iOS/Swift / Austin Fraser Ltd / Manchester, Lancashire, United Kingdom   
Austin Fraser Ltd/Manchester, Lancashire, United Kingdom

Mobile Developer - iOS/Swift

Austin Fraser is working with a dynamic growing business, based near Bury to recruit a talented iOS/Swift developer. Working with their team of talented engineers and designers you'll be working on cutting edge mobile applications. With a strong focus on telecoms, their applications use the latest technologies to deliver high-quality and high-performance communications services to their customers.

Having strong iOS development skills using Swift. You'll have great all round mobile app and ideally native desktop development skills. Their apps make use of the latest OS capabilities so you'll need to have a good grasp of what's possible, know how to push the boundaries to be able to wow us with your awesome coding. You know how to build user-friendly, feature-rich applications and have a deep understanding of current and emerging trends.

As a team player, you will be always willing to jump in and make things happen. You'll be driven to always produce quality apps and have a strong command of native software testing frameworks and processes. You'll have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills and can communicate your ideas effectively.

Experience required:



Beneficial skills:

Rich experience in creating reactive touch-based user interfaces with a thorough knowledge of UI frameworks

Experience working with remote data via REST and JSON


Mobile web development skills would be a bonus (JavaScript/HTML/CSS)

Why apply?

This is a company that takes great pride in the staff. You will be supported to enhance your career to whatever you want to be. As the team is rapidly expanding, the client offers unrivaled career advancement with fast-track programs that can get you promoted.

Employment Type: Permanent

Pay: 25,000 to 40,000 GBP (British Pound)
Pay Period: Annual
Other Pay Info: Benefits

Apply To Job
          Solution Architect (Mobile, iOS, Android, Windows) / 33-6 Consultancy Limited / Knutsford, Cheshire, United Kingdom   
33-6 Consultancy Limited/Knutsford, Cheshire, United Kingdom

My client, a Large UK Retail Banking group is seeking a strong Mobile Solution Architect to come in and join their team on a permanent basis. This is a very exciting opportunity to work in one of the largest Technology hubs in the North West.


Understanding of mobile technologies.

Knowledge of smart phones, emerging handsets, capabilities, different platforms (RIM, IOS, Android)

Understanding of Client Server Interaction, Application and Infrastructure.

Understanding of the Design phase within the application development life cycle.

Knowledge of general office application software word processors, spreadsheets, presentation packages and email clients

Experience consulting on application and infrastructure architecture and technologies for multiple applications is desirable.

Ability to develop a comprehensive grasp of emerging mobile technologies

Ability to work concisely when under pressure.

Good technical writing skills and experience of producing High Level Design covering Use Cases

Understanding of Agile methodologies

Experience of working within a project framework such as Waterfall, DSDM, Agile, Scrum

Awareness of the Barclay's business unit responsibilities and structure

Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently

Knowledge in multiple mobile technologies with understanding of their strengths and shortcomings

Demonstrate the ability to multitask

Understands own learning style

Learns from mistakes or successes for future planning and development

Financial services experience is desirable

Employment Type: Permanent

Apply To Job
          Steampunk zombies in Seattle   
Well, I am slowly emerging from my reading funk. I had an opportunity to focus on reading yesterday. I managed a charity golf tournament, which mostly means waiting for the people to come back, so you can hand out prizes. Anyway, there was a lot of reading time. One of the books I read was Cherie Priest's Boneshaker. Her prior work has mostly been in Southern gothic horror. Here she takes a different tack with a steampunk science fiction tale.

If you don't know steampunk, it is a style of science fiction usually set in the 19th century that uses high technology based on the tech of the day. So there are dirigibles, babbage engines, and various steam powered mechanisms. Priest's tale is set in a Seattle devastated by a steam powered drill machine meant to explore for gold in the Klondike. The machine went wild one day and wrecked much of the city. Even worse, it released a gas, called the blight, that killed many and turned others in zombies. The outside world protected itself by throwing a wall around Seattle.

15 years later the son of the man whose Boneshaker wrecked the town heads back in to clear his name. His mom, with whom he has a tenuous relationship, chases after him. The two quests give Priest the chance to show off her creative world building, with Confederate (the war has been going on for nearly two decades) airships, cyborgs, hellish factories designed to bring clean air into the Blight-infected Seattle and all manner of odd characters.

In the end, I liked the world more than the story itself. I liked the plot of the mother seeking our her son, but thought the son's wanderings were less interesting. Priest is working on another book in this world, which I will most likely try.

By the way, the book had one very nice design element I appreciated. To give the book a nice steampunk patina, the text is printed in a sepia color. It is quite attractive and subtle.
          Buckle Up Timberwolves Fans, Thibs is Just Getting Started.   
Alright… Is it safe?  I am just emerging from the rock I have been cowering...
          Op-Ed. Not just a bounce: The cyclical case for emerging markets equities   
Twenty years ago, the sovereignty of Hong Kong was reversed to China. Two days later, the devaluation of the Thai baht marked the start of the Asian crisis.
          Iraq: New Abuse, Execution Reports of Men Fleeing Mosul   

A member of Iraqi security forces stands on the turret of an armoured vehicle along a highway near west of Mosul, Iraq, June 22, 2017. 

© 2017 Reuters
(Beirut) – Allegations are emerging of Iraqi forces beating and unlawfully killing men and boys fleeing Mosul in the final phase of the battle against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch said today.

Four witnesses told Human Rights Watch that they saw Iraqi forces beat unarmed men and boys fleeing the fighting within the last seven days, and said they also obtained information about Iraqi forces executing unarmed men during this time period.

“As Iraqi forces are poised to retake the entire city of Mosul, allegations of unlawful killings and beatings significantly raise concerns for the civilians there who have been living under ISIS control,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Iraqi forces are promising liberation, but they need to find out what’s happening now and stop any abuse.”

One witness said that three Emergency Response Division and Iraqi Security Force (ISF) members on a key route for civilians fleeing the city boasted to him that they were executing captured unarmed men who were thought to be ISIS-affiliated instead of detaining them. The Emergency Response Division and ISF fighters, stationed three kilometers from the heaviest fighting in the Old City, said they made an exception for elderly men, the witness said.

Two other witnesses said they saw Iraqi uniformed soldiers pick at least six men and boys out of crowds of fleeing civilians at a checkpoint, beat them, and drive them away. They said they saw soldiers pick out another man, beat him, and then move him into a building they were using as a base. One of the witnesses said that soldiers later said they had killed him.

“I have heard of countless abuses and executions in this battle,” one witness said. “But what’s changed is that in this final phase fighters are no longer hiding what they are doing and are comfortable allowing us to witness the abuses first-hand.”

The same witness said that earlier this week, he heard three screams coming from a building being used by the elite Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), after which fighters from the unit ushered him away. That afternoon in another neighborhood of west Mosul, the witness saw two CTS fighters take down the corpse of an alleged ISIS fighter that had been strung up to an electrical pole, and stone the body before taking a few photos of each other posing with it.

That night, he said, a CTS fighter also showed him a video of a severely beaten man who the fighter said was an ISIS prisoner. In the video the CTS fighter shoots and kills the unarmed detainee, he said.

In the days before, the man said he saw five Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint pick out at least 10 men over a period of an hour, beat them, and drag them toward a building the soldiers were using as a base. He said that one of the men the soldiers were beating was wounded and that he had arrived with his family from a front-line field hospital. The witness said that as he was leaving the area he saw the soldiers single out more and more men, beat them and take them away, but lost count of how many.

An article published in a Swedish outlet on June 28, 2017, by a Swedish journalist who was on the front-line says that a Federal Police officer boasted about decapitating at least 50 men with knives and beating others, with fellow officers watching, cheering, and sometimes filming. The article said the Federal Police backed up these claims with photos and videos.

Throughout the operation to retake Mosul, Human Rights Watch has documented Iraqi forces detaining and holding thousands of men and boys in inhumane conditions without charge, and in some cases torturing and executing them, under the guise of a screening them for ISIS-affiliation. In May 2016, Iraqi forces retook the city of Fallujah from ISIS, but in the operation committed horrific abuses, including executions, torture, and the disappearance of over 600 men whose bodies have yet to be found.

Human Rights Watch has raised concerns regarding allegations of ill-treatment, torture, and executions numerous times in meetings with Iraqi officials in Baghdad as well as with representatives from US-led coalition member countries. Human Rights Watch does not know of a single transparent investigation into abuses by Iraqi armed forces, any instances of commanders being held accountable for abuse, or any victims of abuse receiving compensation.

Iraqi criminal justice authorities should investigate all alleged crimes, including unlawful killings and mutilation of corpses, committed by any party in the conflict in a prompt, transparent, and effective manner, up to the highest levels of responsibility. Those found criminally responsible should be appropriately prosecuted. Extrajudicial executions and torture during an armed conflict are war crimes. Despoiling dead bodies and other outrages on personal dignity are violations of the laws of armed conflict and may amount to war crimes.

“Reports of unlawful executions and beatings by Iraqi soldiers should be enough to raise concern among the highest ranks in Baghdad and among members of the international coalition combatting ISIS,” Fakih said. “Iraqi officials should translate that concern into accountability for war crimes.”

          Interactive Magnetic Catheter Steering With 3-D Real-Time Feedback Using Multi-Color Magnetic Particle Imaging   
Magnetic particle imaging (MPI) is an emerging tomographic method that enables sensitive and fast imaging. It does not require ionizing radiation and thus may be a safe alternative for tracking of devices in the catheterization laboratory. The 3-D real-time imaging capabilities of MPI have been demonstrated in vivo and recent improvements in fast online image reconstruction enable almost real-time data reconstruction and visualization. Moreover, based on the use of different magnetic particle types for catheter visualization and blood pool imaging, multi-color MPI enables reconstruction of separate images for the catheter and the vessels from simultaneously measured data. While these are important assets for interventional imaging, MPI field generators can furthermore apply strong forces on a magnetic catheter tip. It is the aim of this paper to give a first demonstration of the combination of real-time multi-color MPI with online reconstruction and interactive field control for the application of forces on a magnetic catheter model in a phantom experiment.
          Ciera Foster on becoming Livewire, Ninjak Vs, and the Future (Toylab Exclusive Interview)   

Please Share and Follow us on Twitter!

Toylab bloggers have made no secret that they are excited about the direction of Valiant Entertainment. With the launch of X-O Manowar comic, the upcoming Secret Weapons series and of course the upcoming live action Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe. We are thrilled to bring you an interview with one of the star's from Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe, Ciera Foster. Ciera Foster is playing one of my favorite Valiant characters, Livewire. When casting for Ninjak vs was going on I openly wondered if they would find an actress who could portray the mixture of intelligence and bad assness that is Livewire and with Ciera they just flat out nailed it. She is intelligent, beautiful, and a good person as well. On top of all that she brings a legit athletic and martial arts resume to the table. Toylab's Marvel Matt sought out Ciera on questions about playing Livewire and she kindly answered.

If you love Valiant, if you are curious about Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe then you need to read this interview. Ciera has an infectious enthusiasm for playing Livewire that has pushed my excitement for seeing her in action to 11.
Divinity #0 - Ciera Foster - Livewire Cover

As part of highlighting the Ninjak vs film Valiant is releasing a series of variant covers featuring the actors.  The Ciera Foster - Livewire cover will come out with Divinity #0.  It looks amazing!

Please Follow Ciera Foster on Twitter and Instagram:

Ciera we are very excited to see you play Livewire in Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe.  What was the first thing that excited you as an actress about playing Livewire?

Firstly, thank you and the enthusiasm is certainly mutual!!! Thinking how to respond to that question is a bit tricky because it's a loaded answer. - The first thing that comes to mind is hands down the simple fact that I am a comic book, cartoon, video game fan. Yes, ME!!! I grew up with my older brother Nick and my guy cousins Keion and Cedric and we practically lived (and still do I might add) all things superhero,... seriously! But that's just the tip of the iceberg. I love playing Livewire not only because of what she is "a superhero" but because of WHO she is. Livewire is a natural leader with boundless compassion yet yields uncompromising strength. She's both admired and respected and hates wrongdoing particularly at the cost of the defenseless. Daily I'm blown away at the blessing of playing this character whose values are so aligned with my own. She continues to amaze me. With my background in athletics and my previous and current endeavors in the humanitarian field I couldn't have written a better character for me to play, which is a credit to the founding creators and the current exceptional team of writers working for and with Valiant.

 Speaking of Valiant I legitimately cannot answer this question without acknowledging how thrilled I am (Not to mention damn proud) to be a part of the Valiant Universe. I know I could easily sound biased but the fact is the more anyone delves into Valiant the more apparent it will be that there is no other major super universe with as much diversity in character, craftsmanship, and artistry plus overall badassness. From Harbinger, to Faith, to Bloodshot to one of my favorites Britannia (Just to name a few). I mean seriously it doesn't get more diverse than that! No slight on other comic universes but Valiant isn't creating a league of its own, it already is one. People are just seeing it on a larger scale and that makes me pretty damn excited to be your Livewire.

Livewire is the star of a comic series coming out called Secret Weapons have you been able to get a preview of that?

Valiant does a phenomenal job of providing us plenty of material. But it's no secret as Valiant continues to get bigger and bigger that our CEO Dinesh Shamdasani and VP of marketing Hunter Gorinson have made secrecy Valiant's "Secret Weapon" (See what I did there...) - I have a bit of a preview on the way from H.Q. but the hard hitting stuff I get to read with everyone else, which is cool with me. I get to share the journey as a fan and with the fans. I think that's important as an artist especially when playing a comic book character to be along for the ride at the same pace. Otherwise it's easy to project stuff onto to the scene or character that hasn't happened. Which I feel does everyone an injustice. - I've certainly done my research and since the book is about the emergence of the Harbinger program, I'm just as excited as the Valiant fans.

Livewire may seem like the star but I believe my character has the honor of being somewhat of a guiding force for some incredible new characters that will be introduced. I personally love that. It is my understanding Secret Weapons conceptually challenges the notion of being a "misfit". I believe the world could use a little more of that these days.

The Bat and the Sun is producing the series how did you meet them and get the part as Livewire?
Ciera Foster playing Livewire in Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe

Pure hustle. I went to audition almost two years ago for a role I submitted myself for. It was an extremely small, low budget, independent project. I have managers and agents of course but I like to search out new creative challenges for myself (Maybe that is the artist/athlete in me) because the role was pretty controversial and the project as I stated didn't pay much. I'd just gotten back from holiday, when I received the callback and I was pretty tired but I love what I do and I don't miss auditions so I went happily and did my thing. - I didn't get the part lol!

Apparently, I just wasn't right for the role, but the director liked my energy and work. He looked at my resume and said, "I gotta ask you about your martial arts and athletic background..." I filled him and the assistant CD in. Per usual I started geeking out over my love for superheroes. He told he might have a referral for me. I left and that was that. I had no expectations. I actually forgot until months later I got a phone call from Aaron Schoenke to play Storm for Bat in the Sun's Wonder Woman vs. Wolverine. After about 5 minutes of me talking about Ororo Munroe's history a little Street Fighter, Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon and a dash of Mortal Kombat I got the part. Almost a year later I got another phone call out of the blue from Aaron, I remember his exact words.

"Are you available next month to work? ... There is a thing...Its cool....really'll like it...I can't tell anything else but if you interested I think you should audition for it....that's all I can say.  I'll be in touch."

Yep, it was at that moment for exactly 17 seconds I thought I'd finally got the call to be a real life spy LOL. Auditioning for Livewire was actually not too far off. A week later I got another call then another with limited info. I was sent audition sides (1-2 pages of material) I was told to send them back the same day as soon as possible. Reading the small bit of information I was given about the character (Still almost nothing not even a mention of Valiant) I had to make choices based off of a combination of training and instinct. I even overrode some of the direction I was given. As I worked on it with my older brother Nick we let our knowledge and passion of superheroes guide us. We had so little info we worked on it all over about three hours straight (discussing it constantly) until it felt right. I sent in my taped audition to Aaron and Sean at Bat in the Sun. After that Bat in the Sun sent it to Valiant in New York. About ten minutes later Aaron texted me I got the part - No better feeling. I know I didn't know someone, there were no favors, just my hard work paying off step by step. The best woman got the job. I was (am) Livewire.

The Valiant Universe is full of bad asses and Livewire is one of the biggest bad asses of them all, what was it like to film action sequences in Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe? 

What a fun question. It's literally a dream come true. As long as I can remember I've pretended to be a superhero, ninja, secret agent, etc. This is a lot cooler because its for real! I LIVE for this stuff! As you mentioned being such a powerful character one of the most powerful in the entire Valiant Universe especially as a woman is beyond exhilarating. When we film the fight scenes in particular I enter into a whole other zone. It's like a shark when they smell blood ...Was that too crazy LOL. I spent ample time on set not only on Livewire as a character but her characteristics in combat which is a huge part of the storytelling. As an artist but above all as a fan, I can tell a lot about character by the way they fight. I think a lot of comic hero heads would agree.

I fused my knowledge of the character with martial arts, artistry, and comics together to give Livewire an action personality that is so dynamic. I truly hope our fans and viewers enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed portraying it. Ultimately, a large part of Livewire is her fighting because that’s when you see how powerful she is when it all becomes unleashed. It gives me chills just thinking about it!

None of it would be possible without the involvement of the Valiant heads Dinish Shamdasani (CEO) and Joshua Johns (Dir. of Digital Media / Development) giving me the freedom to be an artist and working so collaboratively with Bat in the Sun. All of the fights in Ninjak Vs would be a nothing without the full cast and crew (Seriously you've seen our cast, athletes for days.) Credit is especially due to our director Aaron Schenoke he was born to create epic fight and action sequences. The direction let alone the vision of Aaron and his father Sean Schenoke combined is priceless. Lastly, but certainly not least our special affects composer Nikolay Zamkovoy is just a beast and creative genius that kills it every time.

You were an NCAA athlete and have trained heavily in martial arts.  Can you go into you're training in martial arts and did that help you land this role.

My dad is a 7th degree black belt and Tang Soo Do master. He was also sparring partners with the legendary Chuck Norris. My father trained me in his dojo where I had to attend classes until I was about eleven. We also trained at the park outside of class. After a break my mother kept me involved in Taekwondo and Karate. When I was twelve I was recruited to play basketball. I traded theater club at the time for basketball practice in hopes of earning a scholarship. I played basketball for eleven years straight including competitive national and international summer leagues. As my skills developed I began to only play "up" on teams with athletes older than me. The same happened in high school by the end of my freshmen year I was on varsity already and playing in regional finals. Club or school ball I was always on regional, sectional, or state championship teams. I also played competitive softball two years, track and field for three years (undefeated), and was recruited to play volleyball at the collegiate level. More often than not I was the captain on many of my teams especially through college. I was a COAA California State Championship finalist. From there I was recruited to SoCal where I became an NCAA athlete and received a scholarship to play basketball.

Afterwards I returned to martial arts mainly Taekwondo testing for my black belt, while also pursuing my acting career. During both regular school and acting school I also attended two film fighting schools. I attended Theatrical Academy of Combat under the instruction of Dan and Jan Spreaker who choreographed the films Hook and Master and Commander. There I learned my film fighting foundation and weapons technique. My best weapons are the broad sword, quarter staff, and the cutlass. After that I attended Film Fighting LA under the instruction of Robert Goodwin who helped train Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man. There was a big emphasis of the three points of Shaolin Kung Fu Martial Arts Method which I fell in love with. The school incorporated several art forms of camera fighting, stunt work, wrestling and firearms.   I've also had to do various training for a variety of roles and I still take classes and workshops. I will never stop learning and improving, I love this expression of the body and I'm blessed with the physicality to do something dynamic with it.

What does it feel like to join the ranks of Super Heroes? Playing Livewire makes you into a role model how does that change your mindset?

Playing Livewire doesn't change my mindset in regard to being a role model its quite the opposite, it affirms it. I've always had something inside of me pushing me to help others and to inspire. Its simple really, acting is my passion but helping others is my purpose. As I reflect on my career and life up to this point it adds up to this moment, this platform. When I was in college I was a paid activist for the CAA California Teachers Association I fought for educational rights, teacher rights and fair tuition costs. I was one of three student activist ambassadors hired by the CAA to represent SQE Students for Quality Education in which I was trained on activism techniques and school reform. My job was to bridge the gap between legislation and student rights.

In athletics as an NCAA athlete I was the captain and placed in charge of the team community service out reach programs. As an artist I've been to Haiti as an ambassador to Artists for Peace and Justice founded by writer/director Paul Haggis. I'm also an ambassador for the Water Underground Project and supporter of Children International. Now more than ever I feel these experiences have been part of a greater purpose which supersedes fame and popularity and has everything to do with passion. 
I say all this only to make the point that now I am Livewire,  I am just getting started. Be it a student athlete captain, activist, ambassador, acting class, or even growing up at home I've always been held to a higher standard. Livewire just raised the bar. I'm apart of something much bigger than myself.   As you stated I realize that makes me a role model, especially for little girls and young women. Challenge Accepted.

There have not been many black female super heroes in live action media?  Halle Berry comes to mind as Storm in X-Men but mind is drawing blanks on others.  At any rate it is a very small club of actresses that you are joining, does that add meaning to portrayal of Livewire.

I know what this means and I don't take it for granted. I'm humbled and honored, I think about it daily. People write me and post things about me regarding that very point. It's a blessing and a privilege. I always wanted to be a superhero but besides Storm there were no other heroes in all of the great universes that looked like me. It was a bit disheartening as a kid. Naturally, I assumed I'd play Storm if there ever were a Strom Origins film developed. This was my goal. By the way Alexandra Shipp is killing that role. But I realize now I was only thinking at the level of what I was shown possible. In the emerging age of the female lead heroine / superhero and with me as Livewire as a lead female superhero of color I take great pride and happiness in knowing that girls and boys of all races and backgrounds will see me and other upcoming heroes, and know that anything is possible. The best part is one day it won't even be a thought and the word "Black" or "Female" hero won't be a big deal. We will all just be superheroes from all walks of life representing everyone. That said let me clearly say in this moment in time I'm extremely proud to hold the torch for both female heroines and heroes of color until the goal of visibility amongst both is reached.

What is the future of Livewire?  We know that Valiant has a variety of film projects in the future.  Will Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe lead to role in those projects?

All I can say is that I'm blessed to be a part of something very special. I'm the face of Livewire for the first time, ever. To be so well received playing a character that was seemingly physically designed for me and virtually my whole life has been preparing me to play is pure joy. I'm certainly enjoying every minute of it. Since my character reveal and trailer premier/panel discussion at NYC Comic Con reception and the over all presence of this remarkable character continuing to expand. As you noted for the first time since the dawn of Valiant a series highlighting Livewire is being released now in Secret Weapons. That's major. Additionally, you mentioned its no secret Valiant is developing films. Eric Heisserer the Oscar nominated screen writer for Arrival not only wrote Secret Weapons but is writing the Harbinger film as well. To me what that says for not only the future of my character but the future of Valiant Comics and comics period is not lost on me. Playing Livewire as an artist (Especially a woman) being considered a fan-favorite character and being a fan myself means the world to me. I would love to play Livewire in the Harbinger films. I am Livewire. I was born to do this. I also look forward to continue to expanding and growing with the fans. We have the best fans hands down, period. I feel we are in this journey together and I mean that with everything in me. - Ninjak is something special, the Valiant Universe is special. The fans are beyond special. Valiant Entertainment / Valiant Digital are doing amazing things in both entertainment and comics. Valiant is so creative they plan things out far in advance. I think we will just have to stay tuned to see what unfolds.

What is the coolest moment you have had at a Convention since becoming Livewire?

When Bobby Leet a father of two recognized me walking around Comic Con NYC during my press day. The trailer and character reveal were not until the following day but he was such a big Valiant fan that he already knew who I was and asked for a picture. That memory sticks out to me as clear as day. He was the first one, we still follow each other on Instagram. By far to me the most impactful moment was the next day at the trailer premier and panel discussion. A guy (granted he was dressed as Armstrong lol) came up to me with tears in his eyes. He said he'd grown up reading the original Valiant Comics when he was a kid. He was so overwhelmed he could barely talk. He said Livewire was one of his favorite characters and he was emotional because I was everything he'd imagined her to be and more. The man said my being Livewire and the entire Ninjak Vs. experience was overwhelming and surreal for him. He assured me his tears were that of joy. I could feel his emotion then and now. I gave him a hug and thanked him. I still have the picture we took. I have many incredible moments with Valiant fans but that one will always be in my heart. It was at that moment that I truly realized what it meant to be and "Stay Valiant".

As you can Ciera is already a real hero and doing great things with this role I recommend checking her out on social media and her website.  Also look for her at Cons as I expect her to be going to a few.

Learn more about Ciera Foster:

Please follow Ciera on her Twitter and Instagram 

          DataCore Brings Hybrid Cloud Replication to Azure Marketplace   
Ease of access to business-critical data and applications can make the difference between emerging from a crisis at minimal cost and maximum speed, or jeopardizing your business reputation and bottom line. Think that’s an exaggeration? Consider this – the average cost of a single hour of downtime for an enterprise is $300,000. But replicating operations […]
          RSR Strategy Day: Colleagues Talk Retail Tech Future with Nikki Baird, Paula Rosenblum   
Several Aptos colleagues gathered in Austin this week for meetings with Nikki Baird and Paula Rosenblum of Retail Systems Research for a strategy day, where the team spent quality time with Nikki and Paula discussing emerging trends and technologies and how they might impact retail in the future. During a break, the team took time out … Continue reading RSR Strategy Day: Colleagues Talk Retail Tech Future with Nikki Baird, Paula Rosenblum
          Store Within a Store and Pop-Ups   
Pop-ups and store within a store are emerging as fascinating subjects that most retailers (and shoppers) are grappling with. There is a lot of buzz but most are in a purely exploratory phase. Challenges like hosting POS and loyalty systems for multiple sellers or for temporary stores exist, but many see potential in these areas.
          DataWind Provides Update Regarding Annual Filings   

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 30, 2017) - DataWind Inc. (TSX:DW) (the "Company"), the leader in delivering Internet access to emerging markets, has received a default notification from the Ontario Securities Commission regarding a delay in the filing of its audited annual financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2017, the related management's discussion and analysis, certificates of its CEO and CFO and its annual information form.

          (USA-MI-Kalamazoo) Technical Leader   
SENIOR PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST/RESEARCH DIRECTOR BIOPHARMACEUTICAL ANALYTICAL DEVELOPMENT Zoetis is a global animal health company dedicated to supporting customers and their businesses . Building on 60 years of experience, we deliver quality medicines, biopharmaceuticals and vaccines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. We are working every day to better understand and address the real-world challenges faced by those who raise and care for animals in ways they find truly relevant. Zoetis discovers, develops and manufacturesa diverse portfolio of animal health medicines, biopharmaceuticals and vaccines designed to meet the real-world needs of veterinarians and the livestock farmers and companion animal owners they support. Zoetis has the first monoclonal antibody therapy for treating atopic dermatitis in dogs. We are currently seeking to fill new positions to support our growing biopharmaceutical portfolio. Zoetis Veterinary Medicine Research and Development, Analytical Sciences in Kalamazoo, MI, and Lincoln, NE, is seeking an analytical scientist at the Senior Principal Scientist/Research Director level. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following: * Expand our expertise in analytical methodology and strategy related to biopharmaceutical development * Represent Zoetis at external meetings and with Regulatory agencies to define strategies for development and registration of biopharmaceuticals * Provide scientific and technical mentorship, including the possibility of direct supervision, dependent on past experience. * Represent Analytical Sciences on project teams, collaborating closely with scientists from Process Development, Biologicals Research, Clinical, Regulatory, Project Management, and Manufacturing to deliver robust methods and products. * Design and conduct laboratory experiments including analytical method development, validation and transfer. Primary techniques are HPLC, peptide mapping, capillary electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, and new and emerging protein characterization methods. * Develop and/or adopt new analytical technology, as appropriate, to advance programs with significant analytical technical and timeline challenges. * Collaborate with other scientists in a variety of technical disciplines including Process Development, Biological Research, Clinical, Regulatory, Project Management, Quality Control and Manufacturing. * Assist in the preparation and writing of regulatory filings. * Lead co-development teams partnering with manufacturing and taking responsibility to set strategy, communicate and drive work to develop robust products and methods and transfer processes and assays to Global Manufacturing and Supply. Minimum Qualifications: * PhD or MS in Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, or a related discipline with at least 10 years hands-on industry experience in protein characterization and methods development. * Experience developing, validating and transferring analytical methods * Pharmaceutical industry and biopharmaceutical development experience in a laboratory setting * Skills and past experience in experimental design, technical problem solving and continuous improvement * G
          (USA-MI-Kalamazoo) Sr. Manager, Systems Delivery Ramp;D amp; Genetics ITS   
POSITION SUMMARY Reporting to the Director, Solutions Delivery and Support, this position has the responsibility for overseeing the design, development, and implementation of VMRD Commercial Genetics systems. This person will serve as the Zoetis expert and authority leading innovative systems designs, including reusable solutions aligned to VMRD and Commercial Genetics. RESPONSIBILITIES * Manage onshore/offshore technical colleagues and contractors * Develop and maintain the RD Enterprise Architecture Diagram * Work with business partners to define strategic solutions roadmaps * Work with project managers to assign resources and determine solution costs * Work with project managers to establish project plans and timelines * Work with support manger to determine an operational support model * Determine decision support solutions for experimental data generation and analysis * Provide software and data integration for internal and external collaboration * Provide technology systems roadmaps that outline current and emerging technologies * Provide resources to design and code in-house developed software applications * Provide integration and customizations for off-the-shelf software * Provide best practice guidelines and standards for application development * Consult with application teams to design solutions that meet architecture standards * Provide the process for documenting technical specifications to support solutions * Provide resources for development support of production solutions QUALIFICATIONS EDUCATION: * Bachelor s degree in Computer Science or similar IT discipline; Master s degree preferred EXPERIENCE (at least 8 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE in the following areas): * Experience of full software development lifecycle. * Experience creating or designing system architectures relating to large-scale and/or enterprise level solutions. * Experience defining and enabling Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is preferred * Evidence of expertise in analytic methods and tools related to research and translational medicine is preferred * Ability to interact comfortably with all levels of management and actively participate on leadership teams * Evidence of effectiveness at collaboration across organizational boundaries and significant external research/clinical/regulatory influence. * Excellent skills in leadership, strategic planning, relationship management, verbal and written communications and customer focus. Full time Regular Colleague Zoetis is committed to equal opportunity in the terms and conditions of employment for all employees and job applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, gender identity or gender expression, national origin, disab
          a New Xbox Console Developed by Microsoft   
Xbox 360

That new hardware rumored has been sent to EA in last April. Because its design is still raw, the that console does not have casing, so it to be in a PC

Tech Info (CALIFORNIA) - Microsoft was allegedly being developes to the Xbox 360 successor console. In fact, prototypes of this console rumored already reached to Electronic Arts as a game developer party that got the honor to test the console.

"We often receive a new console that is stored in the PC package. And when we look at it, we just know it is a new console," said one senior employee was quoted as saying by EA Development of Technology magazines, on Saturday, May 7, 2011.

In past March, emerging speculation that Microsoft is in the early stages in developing the successor of Xbox 360 which got a phenomenal success. Because the Xbox Concole Architecture Group has been making the jobs vacancy advertisements such as Graphics Hardware and Performance Engineer. Newer employee is believed capable to be responsible to "make the concept and create the next generation consoles" as stated of that ad.

Related to these brand-new console specifications, there is still no information could be obtained. However, the developer indicated that the brand-new of Xbox will feature support for the Kinect motion sensor, with some changes.
          Why quantum mechanics might need an overhaul   

Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg says current debates suggest need for new approach to comprehend reality

Steven Weinberg

Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, a physicist at the University of Texas at Austin, was once happy with quantum mechanics. But now he thinks that some more general theory may be needed to resolve long-standing disputes about the meaning of quantum mechanical math.

SAN ANTONIO — Quantum mechanics is science’s equivalent of political polarization.

Voters either take sides and argue with each other endlessly, or stay home and accept politics as it is. Physicists either just accept quantum mechanics and do their calculations, or take sides in the never-ending debate over what quantum mechanics is actually saying about reality.

Steven Weinberg used to be happy with quantum mechanics as it is and didn’t worry about the debates. But as he has thought about it over the years, the 83-year-old Nobel laureate has reassessed.

“Now I’m not so sure,” he declared October 30 in San Antonio at a session for science writers organized by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. (Disclosure: I am a member of the CASW board.) “I’m not as happy about quantum mechanics as I used to be, and not as dismissive of its critics.”

One reason Weinberg thinks there’s a need for a new chapter in the quantum story is that those who think everything is fine with quantum mechanics take different sides in the debates about it.

“It’s a bad sign in particular that those physicists who are happy about quantum mechanics, and see nothing wrong with it, don’t agree with each other about what it means,” Weinberg says.

Quantum mechanics stirred up consternation from its beginnings. More than a century ago, physicists such as Max Planck, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr showed that standard 19th century physics was inadequate for explaining various features of heat, light and atoms. By the 1920s, other physicists, including Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, Paul Dirac and Max Born, developed those early realizations into the full-fledged quantum mechanical math that today lies at the foundation of physical understanding of just about everything. Quantum mechanics, Weinberg noted, is the “basis of our understanding of not only atoms, but also atomic nuclei, electrical conduction, magnetism, electromagnetic radiation, semiconductors, superconductors, white dwarf stars, neutron stars, nuclear forces and elementary particles.”

But quantum theory’s explanatory power has come at a substantial price: the need to accept counterintuitive weirdness about reality that many physicists, including such pioneers as Einstein and Schrödinger, refused to accept.

One such objectionable aspect was the quantum rejection of Newtonian determinism, the belief that all events are fully determined by preceding circumstances. You can calculate exactly where a baseball will land, for instance, if you know its velocity and direction when it gets hit by a bat. Quantum mechanics, to the contrary, imposes a probabilistic element into the description of natural processes. When an electron bounces off an atom, no one can predict exactly which direction the electron will go; quantum mechanics just permits you to calculate the odds that it will go one direction or another. A mathematical formula called the wave function provides the instructions for calculating where an electron is likely to be — when you make a measurement of the electron, you are most likely to find it where its probability wave is most intense. Repeated measurements would find a range of results corresponding to the probabilities that the quantum math specifies.

Einstein objected, saying God does not play dice. He further objected to another weird aspect of quantum mechanics, involving its description of pairs of particles separated at birth. Two photons emerging from a single atom, for instance, could fly very far apart yet share a single quantum description; making a measurement on one can reveal something about the other, no matter how far away it is.

Attempts to explain these conundrums fall into two broad categories, Weinberg said: “instrumentalist” and “realist.” Instrumentalists contend that the wave function is merely a tool for calculating the results of experiments — there’s no way to know anything more about reality. Devotees of the realist approach contend that the wave function is a real thing out in the world, evolving over time, and at a fundamental level it is responsible for what’s really happening.

Weinberg finds the instrumentalist view unattractive. It’s “so ugly to imagine that we have no knowledge of anything out there — we can only say what happens when we make a measurement,” he says. “The instrumentalist approach takes the attitude that we just don’t know what’s going on out there.”

On the other hand, the realist view does say what’s going on “out there,” but at the cost of enormous complexity, in the form of a countless number of independent streams of reality. “What’s going on out there is a wave function that is progressing with time in a perfectly deterministic but incredibly complicated way,” Weinberg says. In this view, all possible outcomes of quantum processes (that is, everything) come to pass in one stream or another (even though nobody is aware of any of the other streams, or “histories”).

Weinberg would prefer a reality with one history. But apart from that preference, the realist approach does not explain why measurement results observe the rules of quantum probabilities. If everything actually does happen in the various histories, there seems to be no reason why the quantum rules for probability would apply inside any one stream.

So Weinberg thinks there might be something beyond quantum mechanics, a deeper theory that introduces probabilities at a fundamental level, rather than requiring a human to make measurements to get the probabilities to show up. And there is a line of research attempting to generalize quantum mechanics along those lines. But so far a compelling theory that succeeds in generalizing quantum mechanics does not exist.

Perhaps a replacement for today’s quantum theory will come together any time now. Or perhaps not. “Maybe it’s just the way we express the theory is bad,” Weinberg says, “and the theory itself is right.”

Or possibly a surprise is in store.

“There’s always a third possibility,” Weinberg said, “that’s there’s something else entirely, that we’re going to have a revolution in science which is as much of a break with the past as quantum mechanics is a break from classical physics. That’s a possibility. It may be that a paper from a graduate student tomorrow morning will lay it out. By definition I don’t know what that would be.”

In any case, Weinberg observed, there’s a danger in evaluating any theory in terms of contemporary philosophical prejudices. Newtonian gravity, Weinberg noted, was itself regarded as unacceptable by many scientists of his era.

“Newton’s theory … seemed unpalatable to his contemporaries,” Weinberg said. Newtonian gravity was action at a distance, with no tangible pushing or pulling guiding the planets in their orbits. That “seemed like the introduction of an occult element into science, and was rejected for that reason by the followers of Descartes,” Weinberg said. Furthermore, “the force of gravitation was something that couldn’t be deduced from fundamental philosophical considerations and was rejected in part for that reason by the followers of Leibniz.” And Newton also did away with the dreams of Kepler and others to deduce the size of planetary orbits from fundamental principles.

Yet over time, Newton’s theory compiled an impressive list of successes (much like quantum mechanics has).

“By the end of the 18th century, it was perfectly clear to everyone that Newton’s theory was correct, or at least a spectacularly successful approximation,” Weinberg said. “We can take the lesson that it’s not really a good idea to hold new physical theories too strictly up to some preexisting philosophical standard. We have to go with it and see where it takes us — and see whether or not perhaps we have to change our philosophical standards.”

Follow me on Twitter: @tom_siegfried

          A new ‘Einstein’ equation suggests wormholes hold key to quantum gravity   

ER=EPR summarizes new clues to understanding entanglement and spacetime

illustration of a wormhole

Wormholes, tunnels through the fabric of spacetime that connect widely separated locations, are predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Some physicists think that wormholes could connect black holes in space, possibly providing a clue to the mysteries of quantum entanglement and how to merge general relativity with quantum mechanics.

There’s a new equation floating around the world of physics these days that would make Einstein proud.

It’s pretty easy to remember: ER=EPR.

You might suspect that to make this equation work, P must be equal to 1. But the symbols in this equation stand not for numbers, but for names. E, you probably guessed, stands for Einstein. R and P are initials — for collaborators on two of Einstein’s most intriguing papers. Combined in this equation, these letters express a possible path to reconciling Einstein’s general relativity with quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics and general relativity are both spectacularly successful theories. Both predict bizarre phenomena that defy traditional conceptions of reality. Yet when put to the test, nature always complies with each theory’s requirements. Since both theories describe nature so well, it’s hard to explain why they’ve resisted all efforts to mathematically merge them. Somehow, everybody believes, they must fit together in the end. But so far nature has kept the form of their connection a secret.

ER=EPR, however, suggests that the key to their connection can be found in the spacetime tunnels known as wormholes. These tunnels, implied by Einstein’s general relativity, would be like subspace shortcuts physically linking distant locations. It seems that such tunnels may be the alter ego of the mysterious link between subatomic particles known as quantum entanglement.

For the last 90 years or so, physicists have pursued two main quantum issues separately: one, how to interpret the quantum math to make sense of its weirdness (such as entanglement), and two, how to marry quantum mechanics to gravity. It turns out, if ER=EPR is right, that both questions have the same answer: Quantum weirdness can be understood only if you understand its connection to gravity. Wormholes may forge that link.

Wormholes are technically known as Einstein-Rosen bridges (the “ER” part of the equation). Nathan Rosen collaborated with Einstein on a paper describing them in 1935. EPR refers to another paper Einstein published with Rosen in 1935, along with Boris Podolsky. That one articulated quantum entanglement’s paradoxical puzzles about the nature of reality. For decades nobody seriously considered the possibility that the two papers had anything to do with one another. But in 2013, physicists Juan Maldacena and Leonard Susskind proposed that in some sense, wormholes and entanglement describe the same thing.

In a recent paper, Susskind has spelled out some of the implications of this realization. Among them: understanding the wormhole-entanglement equality could be the key to merging quantum mechanics and general relativity, that details of the merger would explain the mystery of entanglement, that spacetime itself could emerge from quantum entanglement, and that the controversies over how to interpret quantum mechanics could be resolved in the process.

“ER=EPR tells us that the immensely complicated network of entangled subsystems that comprises the universe is also an immensely complicated (and technically complex) network of Einstein-Rosen bridges,” Susskind writes. “To me it seems obvious that if ER=EPR is true it is a very big deal, and it must affect the foundations and interpretation of quantum mechanics.”

Entanglement poses one of the biggest impediments to understanding quantum physics. It happens, for instance, when two particles are emitted from a common source. A quantum description of such a particle pair tells you the odds that a measurement of one of the particles (say, its spin) will give a particular result (say, counterclockwise). But once one member of the pair has been measured, you instantly know what the result will be when you make the same measurement on the other, no matter how far away it is. Einstein balked at this realization, insisting that a measurement at one place could not affect a distant experiment (invoking his famous condemnation of “spooky action at a distance”). But many actual experiments have confirmed entanglement’s power to defy Einstein’s preference. Even though (as Einstein insisted) no information can be sent instantaneously from one particle to another, one of them nevertheless seems to “know” what happened to its entangled partner.

Ordinarily, physicists speak of entanglement between two particles. But that’s just the simplest example. Susskind points out that quantum fields — the stuff that particles are made from — can also be entangled. “In the vacuum of a quantum field theory the quantum fields in disjoint regions of space are entangled,” he writes. It has to do with the well-known (if bizarre) appearance of “virtual” particles that constantly pop in and out of existence in the vacuum. These particles appear in pairs literally out of nowhere; their common origin ensures that they are entangled. In their brief lifetimes they sometimes collide with real particles, which then become entangled themselves.

Now suppose Alice and Bob, universally acknowledged to be the most capable quantum experimenters ever imagined, start collecting these real entangled particles in the vacuum. Alice takes one member of each pair and Bob takes the other. They fly away separately to distant realms of space and then each smushes their particles so densely that they become a black hole. Because of the entanglement these particles started with, Alice and Bob have now created two entangled black holes. If ER=EPR is right, a wormhole will link those black holes; entanglement, therefore, can be described using the geometry of wormholes. “This is a remarkable claim whose impact has yet to be appreciated,” Susskind writes.

Even more remarkable, he suggests, is the possibility that two entangled subatomic particles alone are themselves somehow connected by a sort of quantum wormhole. Since wormholes are contortions of spacetime geometry — described by Einstein’s gravitational equations — identifying them with quantum entanglement would forge a link between gravity and quantum mechanics.

In any event, these developments certainly emphasize the importance of entanglement for understanding reality. In particular, ER=EPR illuminates the contentious debates about how quantum mechanics should be interpreted. Standard quantum wisdom (the Copenhagen interpretation) emphasizes the role of an observer, who when making a measurement “collapses” multiple quantum possibilities into one definite result. But the competing Everett (or “many worlds”) interpretation says that the multiple possibilities all occur — any observer just happens to experience only one consistent branching chain of the multiple possible events.

In the Everett picture, collapse of the cloud of possibilities (the wave function) never happens. Interactions (that is, measurements) just cause the interacting entities to become entangled. Reality, then, becomes “a complicated network of entanglements.” In principle, all those entangling events could be reversed, so nothing ever actually collapses — or at least it would be misleading to say that the collapse is irreversible. Still, the standard view of irreversible collapse works pretty well in practice. It’s never feasible to undo the multitude of complex interactions that occur in real life. In other words, Susskind says, ER=EPR suggests that the two views of quantum reality are “complementary.”

Susskind goes on to explore in technical detail how entanglement functions with multiple participants and describes the implications for considering entanglement to be equivalent to a wormhole. It remains certain, for instance, that wormholes cannot be used to send a signal through space faster than light. Alice and Bob cannot, for instance, send messages to each other through the wormhole connecting their black holes. If they really want to talk, though, they could each jump into their black hole and meet in the middle of the wormhole. Such a meeting would provide strong confirmation for the ER=EPR idea, although Alice and Bob would have trouble getting their paper about it published.

In the meantime, a great many papers are appearing about ER=EPR and other work relating gravity — the geometry of spacetime — to quantum entanglement. In one recent paper, Caltech physicists ChunJun Cao, Sean M. Carroll and Spyridon Michalakis attempt to show how spacetime can be “built” from the vast network of quantum entanglement in the vacuum. “In this paper we take steps toward deriving the existence and properties of space itself from an intrinsically quantum description using entanglement,” they write. They show how changes in “quantum states” — the purely quantum descriptions of reality — can be linked to changes in spacetime geometry. “In this sense,” they say, “gravity appears to arise from quantum mechanics in a natural way.”

Cao, Carroll and Michalakis acknowledge that their approach remains incomplete, containing assumptions that will need to be verified later. “What we’ve done here is extremely preliminary and conjectural,” Carroll writes in a recent blog post. “We don’t have a full theory of anything, and even what we do have involves a great deal of speculating and not yet enough rigorous calculating.”

Nevertheless there is a clear sense among many physicists that a path to unifying quantum mechanics and gravity has apparently opened. If it’s the right path, Carroll notes, then it turns out not at all to be hard to get gravity from quantum mechanics — it’s “automatic.” And Susskind believes that the path to quantum gravity — through the wormhole — demonstrates that the unity of the two theories is deeper than scientists suspected. The implication of ER=EPR, he says, is that “quantum mechanics and gravity are far more tightly related than we (or at least I) had ever imagined.”

Follow me on Twitter: @tom_siegfried

          The World Is Now $217,000,000,000,000 In Debt And The Global Elite Like It That Way   

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

The borrower is the servant of the lender, and through the mechanism of government debt virtually the entire planet has become the servants of the global money changers.  Politicians love to borrow money, but over time government debt slowly but surely impoverishes a nation.  As the elite get governments around the globe in increasing amounts of debt, those governments must raise taxes in order to keep servicing those debts.  In the end, it is all about taking money from us and transferring it into government pockets, and then taking money from government pockets and transferring it into the hands of the elite.  It is a game that has been going on for generations, and it is time for humanity to say that enough is enough.

According to the Institute of International Finance, global debt has now reached a new all-time record high of 217 trillion dollars

Global debt levels have surged to a record $217 trillion in the first quarter of the year. This is 327 percent of the world’s annual economic output (GDP), reports the Institute of International Finance (IIF).


The surging debt was driven by emerging economies, which have increased borrowing by $3 trillion to $56 trillion. This amounts to 218 percent of their combined economic output, five percentage points greater year on year.

Never before in human history has our world been so saturated with debt.

And what all of this debt does is that it funnels wealth to the very top of the global wealth pyramid.  In other words, it makes global wealth inequality far worse because this system is designed to make the rich even richer and the poor even poorer.

Every year the gap between the wealthy and the poor grows, and it has gotten to the point that eight men have as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people on this planet combined

Eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, according to a new report published by Oxfam today to mark the annual meeting of political and business leaders in Davos.

This didn’t happen by accident.  Sadly, most people don’t even understand that this is literally what our system was designed to do.

Today, more than 99 percent of the population of the planet lives in a country that has a central bank.  And debt-based central banking is designed to get national governments trapped in endless debt spirals from which they can never possibly escape.

For example, just consider the Federal Reserve.  During the four decades before the Federal Reserve was created, our country enjoyed the best period of economic growth in U.S. history.  But since the Fed was established in 1913, the value of the U.S. dollar has fallen by approximately 98 percent and the size of our national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.

It isn’t an accident that we are 20 trillion dollars in debt.  The truth is that the debt-based Federal Reserve is doing exactly what it was originally designed to do.  And no matter what politicians will tell you, we will never have a permanent solution to our debt problem until we get rid of the Federal Reserve.

In 2017, interest on the national debt will be nearly half a trillion dollars.

That means that close to 500 billion of our tax dollars will go out the door before our government spends a single penny on the military, on roads, on health care or on anything else.

And we continue to pile up debt at a rate of more than 100 million dollars an hour.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government will add more than a trillion dollars to the national debt once again in 2018…

Unless current laws are changed, federal individual income tax collections will increase by 9.5 percent in fiscal 2018, which begins on Oct. 1, according to data released today by the Congressional Budget Office.


At the same time, however, the federal debt will increase by more than $1 trillion.

We shouldn’t be doing this, but we just can’t seem to stop.

Let me try to put this into perspective.  If you could somehow borrow a million dollars today and obligate your children to pay it off for you, would you do it?

Maybe if you really hate your children you would, but most loving parents would never do such a thing.

But that is precisely what we are doing on a national level.

Thomas Jefferson was strongly against government debt because he believed that it was a way for one generation to steal from another generation.  And he actually wished that he could have added another amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would have banned government borrowing…

“I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.”

And the really big secret that none of us are supposed to know is that governments don’t actually have to borrow money.

But if we start saying that too loudly the people that are making trillions of dollars from the current system are going to get very, very upset with us.

Today, we are living in the terminal phase of the biggest debt bubble in the history of the planet.  Every debt bubble eventually ends tragically, and this one will too.

Bill Gross recently noted that “our highly levered financial system is like a truckload of nitro glycerin on a bumpy road”.  One wrong move and the whole thing could blow sky high.

When everything comes crashing down and a great crisis happens, we are going to have a choice.

We could try to rebuild the fundamentally flawed old system, or we could scrap it and start over with something much better.

My hope is that we will finally learn our lesson and discard the debt-based central banking model for good.

The reason why I am writing about this so much ahead of time is so that people will actually understand why the coming crisis is happening as it unfolds.

If we can get everyone to understand how we are being systematically robbed and cheated, perhaps people will finally get mad enough to do something about it.

          Why the South Is Emerging as the Next Promising Growth and Innovation Hub   
Nashville attracting artists and entrepreneurs from across the globe.
          Fly on the Wall 1479   

Dreadful News

A distinct, penny-dreadful approach to framing the news appears to have taken hold at WREG.

Last week Fly on the Wall highlighted a story by Channel 3's Luke Jones who introduced his segment about a sword-wielding mugger on Summer by flicking open a wicked-looking little knife.

This week, we'd like to advance our theory of WREG's emerging pulp style by sampling the opening of a report headlined "Man Attacked With Vaporizer at Troubled Downtown Nightclub": "A dark cloud hovers over some businesses, now casting more shadows than Sunday's already dreary weather."

Okay, so maybe the story of a man assaulted with smoking paraphernalia at a place called Purple Haze lends itself to some purple prose, especially if you're getting quotes from some guy in a colorful umbrella hat. But then the meteorologist caps things off by weather-Tweeting, "It was a dark and stormy night." Or something like that.

Neverending Elvis

Sun Records may have been denied a second season, but one of the more colorful characters represented on the Memphis-shot series is getting his own biopic. According to a report in Variety, The Colonel puts Elvis' infamous manager Tom Parker in the spotlight. The film about Parker, who was also an ex-carney, secret immigrant, and serial fabulist, is based on author Alanna Nash's book The Colonel. It's slated for production in 2018.

          Software Developer - (Holyoke)   
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          Full Stack Software Developer - (Boston)   
Advance your Career at Solaria Labs, a Liberty Mutual Endeavor The insurance industry is being transformed: self-driving cars, the Internet of Things, the Sharing Economy, and an ever-changing set of start-up competitors are all major contributors to the disruption of current business models. In response, Liberty Mutual has established Solaria Labs, an innovation center dedicated to testing new ideas, turning those ideas into products, and launching new companies. The Labs is also exploring emerging technologies like blockchain and machine learning: evaluating their current state and building products for the insurance industry and beyond.
          Application Developer Adobe Flex gc or USC - (Wellesley)   
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          Software Engineer with General Dynamics Mission Syste - (Dedham)   
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Global Blast-Off Trade Setup
Global Blast-Off Trade Setup

Our analysis of the global markets and metals markets are prompting us to issue a warning that may not shock a number of our followers – but may surprise others.  We use a number of custom indicators, custom indexes and other specialized features to try to keep our valued members aware of moves before they happen at  You may recall our recent article warning of a VIX spike between June 9th and June 13th in correlation with a US market correction (NASDAQ).  We nailed this and predicted another VIX spike on June 29th, 2017.

Are you ready for what might become the most opportunistic setup we’ve seen in over a decade?  Well, before we get to the guts of our incredible setup, let’s go over some other data to support our predictions – the global markets.

On May 3rd, 2017, we authored an article regarding Global Economic Shifts that were taking place as a result of Capital Migration and renewed risk factors throughout the global markets. 

Our hypothesis was that capital will always attempt to locate and migrate to financial environments where risk is mitigated and returns are sufficient.  We consider this an active and intrinsic role of global capital – the hunt for the ability to thrive and develop success/profits.

Since this research was completed, a number of new and interesting facets have evolved.  Two of the most interesting are the shifts within the Arabic nations with regards to Qatar and the almost total isolation recently enacted on this wealthy nation and the news from Europe that a number of smaller, regional banks are collapsing with broader, tangible relations to the EU banking system.  This type of disruption within a financial environment (think globally) causes capital to migrate rather quickly to more stable locations for self-preservation.

China/Asian markets appear to be developing a level of “moderately healthy financial environment” in terms of global market capital migration.  In the past, I would have warned that Asia/China could become a temporary safe-harbor for capital as it migrates out of riskier environments and I would still support that claim simple because China/Asia are less of a mature market compared to other.  Thus, the likelihood that China/Asia could see dramatic asset revaluation or some type of unexpected market function issues is still near the top of my list.  Yet, we can’t accurately predict when this will happen and until extended signs of weakness cause us to adopt a more concerned stance, we have to understand that capital will move to environments that seem suitable for success.  At this time, we believe China/Asia are viewed as just that – moderately suitable for capital deployment and investment (till things change).

Asia Chart

You will see from our chart that a defined support channel is in place and resistance bands appears to be setting up near the end of June and throughout September 2017.


BRICs Chart

BRICS markets appear to have “rolled over”, as predicted, near resistance bands that indicate pricing levels may be setup for some level of correction.  It is our opinion that an 8~18% correction may be near as capital will likely migrate away from perceived increased risk and towards healthier environments.  This would put a downside target on this chart near $13k~$12.5k.


Europe Chart

The European markets appear to be at a critical juncture near a classic Fibonacci retracement pattern.  Many people do not understand one of the basic concepts of Fibonacci theory that is; price will always attempt to develop new higher highs or lower lows.  Keeping this in mind, any failure to develop higher highs in the European markets within the next 2~3 months will likely result in perceptions being that these markets are developing greater risk.  Thus, capital may migrate away from the uncertainty and risk towards healthier alternatives.
The European markets chart shows clear price channels that originated near July 2016 – the date Theresa May assumed the Prime Minister role.  It is interesting how the perception of an environment of strength, protection, leadership and opportunity can change the way capital migrates from different environments.  In this case, the disruption in Europe with May’s election victory changed the way people saw the future opportunities in Europe.
Now, with recent elections, banking issues, further debt issues and uncertainty with leadership, we can only assume that perception will change, again, towards an environment that is more risky and unstable – prompting capital migration away from these markets.


US charts

Meanwhile, on another continent…  The US markets appear to be the “Garden of Eden” in terms of capital migration.  It is true that the entire US/Canadian/Mexican conglomerate market is suitable and in perfect financial health, but it is also true that compared to many others, these market present the potential for the best and safest deployment of capital.  The charts show that capital appreciation has been tremendous since the US Presidential Elections and may launch much higher if extended risk exists in other global markets.
Again, capital is always searching for a safe and suitable environment for deployment.  Taken in global terms, there are really only two suitable locations for capital and the others are inherently more risky.  These conditions may change over the next few months, but our analysis points to one critical factor that could disrupt many aspects of this global capital environment.  One thing that could be related to a massively disruptive event.


We are now at the point that you have been waiting for.  The incredibly disruptive and opportunistic setup that could change everything in the global markets (or so we hypothesize).  Before we get to the details, we want to make certain that you understand this type of research if far from 100% guaranteed or set in stone.  We develop our analysis based on a number of massively moving components within the global economy and are predicting price moves that may be weeks of month in advance.  We advise you to consider this a learning experiment in the sense that there is absolutely no way we can state with 100% certainty our research/analysis or conclusions will play out exactly as we suggest.  It is impossible for anyone to know what will or may happen, accurately, in the future.  That is what trading is all about – making an educated guess and protecting your trade.

Well, here it is, folks.  The setup/opportunity that may turn into the biggest move in the markets for the next century. 


Think about this for just one minute. Given the knowledge that capital will migrate to sources of safety and investment return while avoiding environments that are risky.  And, given that we’ve made fairly clear points that much of the global is setting up for some levels of disruption, uncertainty and greater risk – leaving only China/Asia and the US as the safe-harbor capital environments.  We’ve also detailed how the China/Asia markets are setting up for disruption with technical resistance levels and exposure to other global environments. 

We’ve highlighted that Europe may enter a period of disruption and uncertainty with recent elections, debt, banking issues and more and illustrated that BRICs markets are rolling over as an early warning that emerging markets might contract as global capital migrates towards safer environments.  This is not doom and gloom stuff, this is just what happens when markets are disrupted.
Now, look at the setup in these custom metals index charts.  A clear Flag formation has setup near historical lows that is nearing the Pinnacle.  My analysis of this pattern shows that we are setup for one more lower price rotation before the rally begins.  One more attempt at buying near ultimate lows before we could see a massive, explosive rally capable of at least a 50%+ run.  Long term, this run could be much bigger..  much, much bigger.  Fibonacci theory shows the potential for 125% or 225% gains are easily posible.

Oddly enough, our research shows that this lower wave of metals prices should complete near or before June 29th.  Remember that date from the beginning of this article?  That’s right, this is the date that we predict would initiate a volatility spike (VIX Spike).  Just how big will this VIX spike be?  If our analysis is correct, the real VIX/volatility expansion won’t begin to happen till near the end of August or near the middle of September, 2017.
Our analysis shows that the Metals will begin to make a move near the end of June or early July 2017.  Our analysis also shows that the US and global markets will begin to see increased volatility near Aug/Sept 2017.  We also believe that any move in Metals will likely be the result of extended risk factors globally.



Argentina’s 100-year bond cannot defy EM playbook forever

If the Fed is proved right on growth and inflation, then EM assets are likely to suffer

by: Jonathan Wheatley

Gauchos: saddle up. Argentina, one of the world’s most notorious serial defaulters, came to market on Monday with a 100-year sovereign bond, and investors snapped it up with all the macho bravado of the legendary horsemen of the pampas.

Really? A dollar-denominated bond that pays back 100 years from now, from a junk-rated country that has barely managed to stay solvent for more than half that time in its entire history as a creditor?

While there is certainly an investment case for taking part, several analysts warn that this issue is a classic sign of a market getting ahead of itself.

The point, though, is not the 100 years. The complexities of bond maths mean that, once maturities go beyond 30 years, the investment case barely changes. Barring default, with a yield of nearly 8 per cent, the bond will repay investors in full in about 12 years, all else (such as inflation) being equal — and that’s leaving aside its resale value. Many investors will have much shorter horizons.
In a world starved of yield, the 7.91 per cent on offer proved to be quite a pull and the bond attracted orders of $9.75bn for the $2.75bn issued. “People are looking out over the next 12 to 24 months and see a pretty positive outlook [for Argentina],” says David Robbins, head of emerging markets at TCW in New York. “Duration in high yield is something they are more comfortable with.” Argentina, he notes, is in effect selling equity in its economic recovery.

With so much else priced to perfection on global markets, this may seem to go with the territory. But others warn that we have been here before.

Sérgio Trigo Paz, head of emerging market fixed income portfolio management at BlackRock, says the rationale and the pricing are all good. But, he adds: “When you put it into perspective, it gives you a sense of déjà vu.”

Argentina’s is not the only noteworthy sale this week. Russia reportedly attracted demand of more than $6bn for 10-year and 30-year eurobonds expected to be priced later on Tuesday at yields of about 4.25 per cent and 5.25 per cent respectively.

This is happening just as the US Federal Reserve has embarked on “quantitative tightening”, raising interest rates last week for the second time this year and preparing markets for an announcement on how it will begin shrinking its supersized balance sheet later in the year.

It is not hard to see parallels between today and 2013, when the Fed announced the approaching end of quantitative easing just as investors were piling with enthusiasm into a series of high-profile eurobond issues by African governments. Some of those went badly wrong as investors fled emerging markets in the subsequent “taper tantrum”.

Investors may feel Argentina is less vulnerable this year to the dangers of “original sin” — issuing debt in dollars that must be serviced from revenues in your own, potentially weakening currency.

Last year’s dollar strength has faded and the peso has weakened against it by only about 1.5 per cent this year.

While a repeat of the taper tantrum is not expected, Mr Trigo Paz is among those warning that we are nevertheless at an inflection point.

He sees two scenarios. In one, the Fed is right about inflation and rates will continue to rise.

This would turn the Argentine bond into “a bad experience”. In the other, markets are right, US inflation and payrolls will disappoint and we will be back in a low rate environment, which will be good for the bonds — until deflation rears its head again, hurting the Argentine economy and its ability to pay.

In the meantime, he says, there is a “Goldilocks” middle ground in which investors can suck up an 8 per cent coupon. Beyond that: “It doesn’t look good either way — which is why you get an inflection point.”

Jim Barrineau, co-head of EM debt at Schroders, agrees. “Issuance like this will be the most volatile when the market cracks,” he says. “You do well until you don’t.”

At bottom, the question is whether the strong flows into EM assets this year, more than $35bn into EM bond funds alone, will continue to cushion investors from upsets down the road. It may be that the sheer quantity of money in search of yield will overpower events.

“You’re getting a ton of inflows, including passive inflows, compression of yields and compression of default risk,” says Mr Barrineau. “And people need to put money to work.”

However, he added: “History shows in EM that this type of environment doesn’t last for ever.

“This is the type of thing that when the tide turns is just poised to underperform. We’d rather pass on issues that appear to be the product of a frothy market.”

          Medical device industry looks to take the lead on cybersecurity standards   
There’s a growing movement among medical device manufacturers to develop industrywide cybersecurity standards that offer flexibility to innovate while providing basic protections against emerging threats. They may have to, according to a former CIA director who said the government isn't likely to "ride in on a white horse."
          The Oil Industry Waking Up To Data Being The New Oil   

When you hang out in startup circles you hear the phrase, “data is the new oil” a lot. Getting rights to the mining and extracting, and generating revenue from data is big business, and VC, Hedge Funds, and even government are getting in on the game. Whether it is gathered from private or public sectors, or in your living room and pocket, everyone wants access to data.

One sign that this discussion is reaching new levels, is that the oil industry is talking about data being the new oil. That is right. I’m increasingly coming across stories about big data and the revenue opportunities derived from data when it comes to IoT, social, and many other trending sectors. The big oil supply chain has access to a lot of data to support its efforts, as well as generated from the exhaust of daily oil production to consumption–the opportunity is real man!

To entrepreneurs this shift is exciting I’m sure. To me, it’s troubling. Wall Street turning their sites to the data opportunity, and hedge funds getting in on the game worried me, but big oil being interested an even greater sign that things are reaching some extreme levels. It is one thing to use data is the new oil as a skeuomorph to find investment in your startup, or acquire new customers. It is another thing for the folks behind big oil to be paying attention–these are the same people who like to start wars to get at what they want.

Anyways, it is just one of many troubling signs emerging across the landscape. Many of my readers will dismiss as meaningless, but these discussions are just signs of an overall illness around how we see data, privacy, and security. Remember when we’d topple dictators to get at oil resources in the world? Well, welcome to the new world where you topple democracies if you have access to the right data resources.

          The Value Of Our Digital Bits   

I think way too much about the digital bits being transmitted online each day. I study the APIs that are increasingly being used to share these bits via websites, mobile, and other Internet-connected devices. These bits can be as simple as your messages and images or can be as complex as the inputs and outputs of algorithms used in self-driving cars. I think about bits at the level up from just the 1s and 0s, at the point where they start to become something more meaningful, and tangible--as they are sent and received via the Internet, using web technology.

The average person takes these digital bits for granted, and are not burdened with the technical, business, and political concerns surrounding each of these bits. For many other folks across a variety of sectors, these bits are valuable and they are looking to get access to as many of them as you can. These folks might work at technology startups, hedge funds, maybe in law enforcement or just tech-savvy hacker or activist on the Internet. If you hang out in these circles, data is often the new oil, and you are looking to get your hands on as much of it as you can, and are eager to mine it everywhere you possibly can. 

In 2010, I started mapping out this layer of the web that was emerging, where bits were beginning to be sent and received via mobile devices, expanding the opportunity to make money from these increasingly valuable bits on the web. This move to mobile added a new dimension to each bit, making it even more valuable than they were before--it now possessed a latitude and longitude, telling us where it originated. Soon, this approach to sending and receiving digital bits spread to other Internet-connected devices beyond just our mobile phones, like our automobiles, home thermostats, and even wearables--to name just a few of the emerging areas.

The value of these bits will vary from situation to situation, with much of the value lying in the view of whoever is looking to acquire it. The value of a Facebook wall post is worth a different amount to an advertiser looking for a potential audience, then it will be to law enforcement looking for clues in an investigation, and let's not forget the value of this bit to the person who is posting it, or maybe their friends who are viewing it. When it comes to business in 2017, it is clear that our digital bits are valuable, even if much of this value is purely based on perception and very little tangible value in the real world. With many wild claims about the value and benefit of gathering, storing, and selling bits.

Markets are continually working to define the value of bits at a macro level, with many technology companies dominating the list, and APIs are defining the value of bits at the micro level--this is where I pay attention to things, at the individual API transaction level. I enjoy studying the value of individual bits, not because I want to make money off of them, but because I want to understand how those in power positions perceive the value of our bits and are buying and selling our bits at scale. Whether it is compute and storage in the cloud, or the television programs we stream, and pictures and videos we share in our homes, these bits are increasing in value, and I want to understand the process how everything we do is being reduced to a transaction. 

          Op-Ed: How to defend against rising US market risk    
With U.S. markets looking overvalued, investors should add these two emerging markets, says Chris Gaffney.
          Backend Software Engineer - Toronto - TribalScale - Toronto, ON   
Our teams create world-class products and digital experiences across Web, Mobile, and Emerging Technologies for high profile brands, such as ABC News, AAA and...
From TribalScale - Tue, 27 Jun 2017 23:58:35 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
          Marketing Manager, Toronto - FocusHub - Toronto, ON   
Our teams create world-class products and digital experiences across Web, Mobile, and Emerging Technologies for high profile brands, such as ABC News, AAA and...
From FocusHub - Tue, 20 Jun 2017 10:53:40 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
          Account Executive - TribalScale - Toronto, ON   
Our teams create world-class products and digital experiences across Web, Mobile, and Emerging Technologies for high profile brands, such as ABC News, AAA and...
From TribalScale - Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:20:08 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
          Marketing Manager - TribalScale - Toronto, ON   
Our teams create world-class products and digital experiences across Web, Mobile, and Emerging Technologies for high profile brands, such as ABC News, AAA and...
From TribalScale - Wed, 07 Jun 2017 02:59:19 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
          Data Scientist - Unilever - Singapore   
Over half (57%) of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal...
From Unilever - Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:40:22 GMT - View all Singapore jobs
          Unilever International Go To Market Quality Assistant Manager - Unilever - Singapore   
Over half (57%) of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal...
From Unilever - Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:08:12 GMT - View all Singapore jobs
          Texas DB Prospect Says UCLA is Dream Offer   
Jun. 30 -- The 6-1.5, 200-pound emerging safety prospect from Texas recently received a UCLA offer, and he said UCLA is a dream school for him...
          Analysis: U.S. fund managers seek consumer stocks that Amazon can't conquer   

By David Randall

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Inc's game-changing move to upend the grocery business with a surprise deal to buy Whole Foods Market Inc compounds a problem already vexing fund managers: how to play U.S. consumer spending when the Seattle-based e-commerce giant is threatening to take over retail.

Amazon's relentless growth and destruction of value among traditional retail rivals is forcing active fund managers to look for bets in areas they think Amazon can't or won't reach.

Emerging options include theme restaurant chains, recreational vehicle makers and sellers of stuff that's just too heavy to ship via Amazon's network. Meanwhile, some fund managers are increasingly convinced the only way to play consumer spending is to move away from brands and retailers and into logistics and supply chain companies, essentially betting e-commerce will render most consumer companies obsolete.

The challenge of investing in consumer companies comes a time when the category would typically shine.

Low unemployment and a solid housing market boost consumer stocks, yet companies in the category - excluding Amazon - are up just 5.2 percent for the year, or about 3 percentage points below the broad S&P 500 as a whole, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Amazon shares, by comparison, are up about 30 percent.


Amazon now accounts for about 34 percent of all U.S. online sales and should see that number grow to about 50 percent by 2021, according to a Needham research note.

Amazon's growing dominance is in some ways akin to the rise of Wal-Mart Stores Inc in the early 2000s, when its rapid growth and move to branch out into groceries raised concerns it would put other retailers out of business. Yet Amazon's greater online reach and purchase of a top-shelf grocery store chain makes it far more formidable, said Barbara Miller, a portfolio manager at Federated Kaufmann funds.

"I've been in this industry for twenty-five years and this is the biggest transformation we've seen in the consumer space," she said.

While Wal-Mart put many small mom-and-pop stores out of business, Amazon is dragging down national competitors like Target and Macy's with its combination of low prices, broad range of inventory, and speed, she said.

At the same time, Amazon is expanding its e-commerce dominance when more shoppers are online, suggesting more pain ahead for competitors. E-commerce sales grew 14.7 percent in 2016, nearly triple the 5.1-percent growth rate of traditional retailers, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.


Fund managers say Amazon's growing dominance is forcing them to shift long-held strategies, by either putting less money into consumer stocks overall or by focusing on companies that can compete alongside Amazon or may be attractive buyout targets.

The company's outsized 15.4-percent weighting, more than double the next-largest stock in the S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary index, is problematic for fund managers who typically will not hold any positions greater than 5 percent of their portfolio in order to manage risk.

Josh Cummings, a portfolio manager at Janus Henderson funds, is avoiding shares of direct competitors of Amazon, such as Target Corp, Kroger Co, and Wal-Mart, and instead focusing on companies with "idiosyncratic" attributes, he said.

Starbucks Corp, for instance, offers an experience that Amazon would find hard to match, he said, while Servicemaster Global Holdings, parent company of pest control company Terminix, is largely immune from e-commerce competition.

"Could Amazon decide they want to be in the business of spraying for bugs? It doesn't seem likely," he said.

Miller, the portfolio manager at the Federated Kaufmann funds, said she is moving away from stores that could be found in a mall, focusing instead on companies like Dave & Busters Entertainment Inc and Wingstop Inc that offer food-based experiences. She also owns shares of Camping World Holdings Inc, which sells a mix of goods and services ranging from roadside assistance to accessories to the growing recreational vehicle market.

"This is a company with a strong membership base that has the sort of scale in its niche to rival Amazon," she said.

Jeff Rottinghaus, portfolio manager of the T. Rowe Price U.S. Large-Cap Core Equity fund, said he owns Home Depot Inc shares because its stores essentially function as warehouses and much of its merchandise is too heavy or bulky to profitably ship quickly online.

Gary Bradshaw, a portfolio manager at Hodges Capital in Dallas, said he expects that portfolio holding Wal-Mart will become more aggressive in acquiring small, private companies to broaden its online reach.

The company announced a deal to buy men's wear company Bonobos for $310 million in mid-June, following purchases of outdoor gear retailer Moosejaw and online shoe store ShoeBuy. Wal-Mart acquired online retailer in a $3.3 billion deal last August.

"They're going to do whatever it takes to compete with Amazon. They may be losing the battle at the moment but that doesn't mean that they will back down," he said.

Other investors are getting their consumer exposure by focusing on behind-the-scenes companies that power the growth of e-commerce.

Laird Bieger, a portfolio manager of the Baron Discovery Fund - the top-performing small-cap growth fund year-to-date - said he is focusing on companies like CommerceHub Inc, which works with companies such as J C Penney Co and Best Buy Inc to allow them to sell more products online and ship directly from manufacturers.

Craig Richard, a co-portfolio manager of the Buffalo Emerging Opportunities fund, said he has been buying Kornit Digital Ltd, which makes textile printers that can produce t-shirt and other apparel designs on demand, helping save inventory costs.

Amazon is Kornit's largest customer and has warrants to buy up to 2.9 million Kornit shares, about 8 percent of the company, at $13.03 a share over the next five years. Shares of Kornit, up 57 percent this year, traded at $19.95 on Friday.

(Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Dan Burns and Nick Zieminski)

          Chat with Natalie: Encore presentation -" -- Getting to know Yourself" - Today we explore "The new emerging wave of spirituality 2nd wave spirituality" with Chris Saade   
GuestJoin me as I welcome the wonderful Chris Saade, from the Olive Branch Center today. Together we will explore the meaning of "Second Wave Spirituality." As Chris often points out, we are today participating in the most important religious and spiritual reformation we have ever seen in history. Our relationship with the divine is being merged with our care for the earth and the struggles of its inhabitants. A new sacred activism is emerging that is changing all our lives and gathering people ...
          Chat with Natalie: " -- Getting to know Yourself" - Today we explore "The new emerging wave of spirituality 2nd wave spirituality" with Chris Saade   
GuestJoin me as I welcome the wonderful Chris Saade, from the Olive Branch Center today. Together we will explore the meaning of "Second Wave Spirituality." As Chris often points out, we are today participating in the most important religious and spiritual reformation we have ever seen in history. Our relationship with the divine is being merged with our care for the earth and the struggles of its inhabitants. A new sacred activism is emerging that is changing all our lives and gathering people ...
          Not Merely 'Anti-Trump,' The Resistance Seeks To Re-normalize America   

Since the Democrats lost the special Congressional election in Georgia last week---the fourth they've lost since Donald Trump's victory in November---a new media narrative is emerging: that Democrats need to find a theme more compelling than just being anti-Trump or echoing the anti-Trump resistance . But the resistance is not merely a negative force, rising against Trump for opposition's sake only.

          Global Blood Pressure Monitoring Devices & Accessories Market: Increasing Prevalence of Hypertension to Keep Demand Steady, says TMR   
Global Blood Pressure Monitoring Devices & Accessories Market: Increasing Prevalence of Hypertension to Keep Demand Steady, says TMR With a large pool of emerging players, the global blood pressure monitoring devices and accessories market is witnessing a price war, resulting in a high degree of competition among participants, states a new study by Transparency Market Research (TMR). With

          Comment on National Geographic Emerging Explorer Hotlin Ompusunggu: Using Dentistry to Stop Deforestation by Dr Christina E. Fitch   
Dr Hotlin Ompusunggu is my hero in the 21st century! She is tireless in her efforts to improve human and environmental health. What an amazing role model for young women!
          Computational Techniques for Modeling Atmospheric Processes   

Meteorology has made significant strides in recent years due to the development of new technologies. With the aid of the latest instruments, the analysis of atmospheric data can be optimized. Computational Techniques for Modeling Atmospheric Processes is an academic reference source that encompasses novel methods for the collection and study of meteorological data. Including a range of perspectives on pertinent topics such as air pollution, parameterization, and thermodynamics, this book is an ideal publication for researchers, academics, practitioners, and students interested in instrumental methods in the study of atmospheric processes. Authored References are comprised of illustrative chapters that delve into emerging research in niche areas. These books tend to be smaller and more compact, featuring focused discussions on key models, methodologies, and concepts from a narrowed point-of-view. Geared towards researchers who are looking for additional content to enhance their studies, faculty and students alike will find these titles to be indispensable research supplements.

          Open and Distance Learning Initiatives for Sustainable Development   

Education plays a vital role in the positive development of communities at both a local and global level. By becoming more informed, citizens can make better contributions to society. Open and Distance Learning Initiatives for Sustainable Development is a critical reference source for emerging academic perspectives on the role of higher education programs in contemporary society. Including a range of pertinent topics such as mobile learning, environmental education, and community building, this book is ideally designed for educators, researchers, students, and professionals interested in the intersection between sustainable development and education. Edited References feature peer-reviewed scholarly chapters that are contributed by a variety of experts from around the world. Offering concise discussions of the latest models and concepts within a specific area, these collaborative publications accommodate the research needs of academicians, professionals, and practitioners, and are suitable supplements for graduate and undergraduate courses.

          LM Ventures Announces Investment in Terran Orbital   
Lockheed Martin Ventures is making a strategic investment in Terran Orbital, an expert in nanosatellite design, development, manufacturing, testing and launch. The investment will create opportunities for the companies to share their expertise and customer relationships to advance this emerging technology. "Terran brings established customer relationships across a broad range of civil, military, commercial and classified customers," said Chris Moran , executive director and general manager of...
          Trump Administration Outlines Emerging Strategy On Afghanistan   
The Trump administration's emerging strategy on Afghanistan involves sending more American troops into the country, the isolation of Pakistan, and the long-term goal of a political settlement with the Taliban.
          How Bitcoin Will End the Nation State   
What is bitcoin, and why is it suddenly the hottest thing in global currency markets? As the European banking and currency crisis unfolds, the emerging digital […]
          First US Offshore Wind Installation Vessel to be Built with Oil and Gas Expertise   

On Wednesday, June 28, Zentech Inc. and Renewables Resources International (RRI) announced their intention to deliver the first Jones-Act-compliant, four legged, self-propelled dynamically-positioned level 2 (DP2) jack-up vessel to the emerging U.S. offshore wind industry.

The vessel will be based on a US-built barge. Zentech plans to install four truss legs with spud cans, a proven oil and gas design, and integrate them into a newly built hull.

          One Belt, One Road... Implications for Mission   

Not long ago I was in Hong Kong and the talk of the town was China’s One Belt, One Road plan to catalyze business ventures across Asia and into Europe.

For those of you never hearing of the idea, check out this interview by McKinsey & Company: China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it reshape global trade?

It’s certainly a breathtaking economic initiative and many wonder if it’ll come to fruition because of the massive infrastructure costs it will take to pull everything together. One thing we can say, China is ambitious!

For me, the talk was all about how important this enterprise will become for the Gospel’s advance. Christian business leader after Christian business leader were extolling the potential, saying we must capitalize on this moment because the potential is too big to miss! And, the timing is interesting in that the country’s Church has laid an ambitious plan to repay the debt they owe God be sending 20,000 missionaries from their country across these belts and roads by 2030: see Vision 2030 and Asian believers cast vision for massive outreach.

The idea is not without its critiques either: Check out Asian Access Council of Reference Member and ChinaSource CEO Dr. Brent Fulton’s reflections—One Belt, One Road, One Mission?

Certainly, the extraordinary plan will be something to watch in the upcoming decade. And, regardless of its success, the implications are enormous and worth thinking about. For Asian Access, we will continue coming alongside leaders in this country to fulfill our founders dream, “My Vision is to Empower your Vision!” and one new way we are approaching these throughout various sectors of society is our new business venture. Check it out:

We used to see our role as exclusively coming alongside emerging young pastors, leaders of leaders who have potential to influence their cities, regions and countries. Now, we realize that in order to fully fulfill our vision, we also must come alongside emerging young leaders in the business sector as well. Together, we aspire to see the Church overcome the “Sacred/Secular Divide” and catalyze a movement “to see a vibrant community of servant leaders… leading the Church across Asia… to unite the Church, multiply leaders and congregations and extend the transforming power of the Gospel.”


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          Tax Director (Corporate) - (Wakefield)   
tonneson co is looking for a Director in the Tax Department specializing in C and S corporations and partnerships The position will manage engagements for a wide range of clients ranging from global corporations to closely held companies to emerging entities Candidates should be entrepreneurial critical thinkers and highly energized with excellent communication and supervisory skills tonneson co offers competitive compensation benefits and advancement plans with a strong commitment to flexible schedules and work life balance Responsibilities include Provide tax planning and compliance services for C and S corporations and partnerships Conduct multi state tax filings Perform tax accruals Manage a portfolio of clients Serve as a trusted advisor offering clients industry expertise and knowledge Work closely with engagement teams to continually add value to clients Train and mentor tax associates Qualifications include BA or BS in Business Finance or Accounting CPA certification or equivalent is required MS in Taxation is desired plus years of experience serving C and S corporations and partnerships International tax experience is a plus Excellent interpersonal communication and client relationship management skills Strong research and analytical skills Prior experience with ProSystem fx Tax BNA products and CCH Intelliconnect is desired Source:
          Here’s How Diageo Vets Emerging Formats Like Voice, VR & More   

The approach is simpler than you might think.

The post Here’s How Diageo Vets Emerging Formats Like Voice, VR & More appeared first on Social Media Week.

          An attack on one is an attack on all   


Lars Schmidt (IMS photojournalism trainer)
Photo courtesy of International Media Support
29 June 2017

On 29 June, UNESCO is releasing its new publication An attack on one is an attack on all, on the occasion of the Multi-Stakeholder Consultation meeting on Strengthening the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, to take place in Geneva.

Authored by Larry Kilman, this publication looks at the innovative, successful ways in which media companies, individual journalists and civil society organizations are coming together to improve journalist safety and end impunity – and working successfully with governments in some cases.

While states have primary responsibility to protect journalists and prosecute those who attack them, there is a lot that media and civil society can and are doing as well.

The report is a rich selection of the kinds of work that is being done in this domain. “It is not full of statistics and data. It is, instead, a collection of stories, told in the words of the motivated people who are dedicated to protecting courageous journalists with pro-active measures to make them safer”, says Kilman. “It is written in the hope of inspiring others to support these efforts, perhaps duplicate them, and to raise awareness of the importance of this work”, he adds.

Published by UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), this work will contribute to promoting the safety of journalists, one of IPDC's current priorities for project support. The IPDC Programme operates a unique UN-mandated system to monitor killings of media professionals and impunity levels.

More than 120 journalists and other media workers were killed worldwide in 2016 in relation to their work and more than 800 journalists have been killed in the past decade”, says Guy Berger, Director of UNESCO’s Division for Freedom of Expression and Media Development.  Very few of the cases have ever been resolved. Many more journalists undergo harassment, physical attacks, jail and censorship. The culture of impunity is intimidating many others into exile or silence.

Keeping journalists safe can be an expensive proposition. Unfortunately, these threats are coming at a time when news media, particularly newspapers, are undergoing extreme disruption to their business models, reducing revenues at a time when even greater resources are needed.

To deal with these circumstances, new alliances and cooperative efforts are emerging. Media actors and civil society organizations are contributing more and more to safety work. And new ideas are coming from those who have suffered loss of colleagues and from those motivated by the need to protect journalism as a societal good. 

This report recounts 22 good practices. It compiles the stories of local people and organizations who are fighting to protect the safety of journalists at the local level.

          Fashion Film Exclusives   
As the home of fashion film, SHOWstudio debuts and supports various works that explore the possibilities of the medium. Some whimsical, some avant garde, all reflect growing enthusiasm for moving image. This rolling series will offer both work by established brands and creatives alongside new pieces by young, emerging talents.
          Boy Meets Wool: Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY   
Continuing our 'LiveStudio' tradition of inviting a designer to take up residence in our space, emerging London designer Charles Jeffrey, the mastermind behind LOVERBOY, will be at SHOWstudio from 19 to 21 April. The Woolmark Company teams up with Jeffrey to provide fabric expertise and access to UK mills. Jeffrey will create a Merino wool item live on camera while discussing his process.
          Freedom of speech advancing on NC college campuses   
RALEIGH — A couple of months ago, I wrote a column that outlined emerging threats to freedom of speech on college campuses — and noted with alarm that few of North Carolina’s public or private universities had taken the necessary steps to ensure even a basic level of protection for students, faculty, and visiting speakers.
          Global Debt Hits A New Record High Of $217 Trillion; 327% Of GDP   
Found via

by Tyler Durden
The Institute of International Finance is perhaps best known for its periodic – and concerning – reports summarizing global leverage statistics, and its latest Q1 report was the most troubling yet, because what it found was that in a period of so-called “coordinated growth”, global debt hit a new all time high of $217 trillion, or over 327% of global GDP, up $50 trillion over the past decade. So much for Ray Dalio’s beautiful deleveraging, oh and for those economists who are still confused why r-star remains near 0%, the chart  below has all the answers.

Not surprisingly, China continues to be the biggest source of global debt growth, with the country’s total debt load now surpassing 300%.

While much of the debt issuance at the financial sector level has moderated in recent years, supplanted by outside money created by central banks, debt in the non-financial sector has continued to grow, and as of Q1 2017, hit an all time high of 242% of GDP.

An interesting observation by the IIF: despite the recent dollar strength (if not so much in the past quarter), dollar bond issuance in Emerging Markets has been on a tear over the past year.

Another notable observation: while the EM bond universe has increased by $2.5 trillion to $18.4 trillion since 2016, only 25% of this debt is tradeable via benchmark bond indices.

What is more troubling, however, is the IIF’s observation that despite the relentless foreign portfolio inflows into EM, the credit quality of many emerging markets has deteriored rapidly in the past year.

This is an especially acute problem because there is over $1.9 trillion in EM bonds and loans coming due by the end of 2018. Should the EM sector fall out of favor with investors, and if the debt can not be rolled over, it could result in substantial liquidity events across the EM space.

Finally, here is perhaps the most troubling chart of all: for all those wondering how oil-exporters in the Gulf region have funded their budgets, and maintained their economies from sliding into recession or social disorder, the answer is shown below: a dramatic increase in new debt issuance.

So what is the policymakers’ response as global debt hits new all time highs? To raise interest rates.

          Our relationship   
Julia and I have been together for about ten years now, which is an interesting fact. We considered ourselves "together" before we laid eyes on each other in person. Why? We had spent many hours with each other via email and by daily, hours-long phone conversations. The odds are great that we knew each other better by the time we saw each other for the first time than most dating couples can claim after a year of dating.

In setting up this website, one of our intentions was to tell our own story. It is a story we have told before, using Julia's blog as the vehicle. In that case, we told it one chapter at a time over many months. Here, we will tell it the same way, but we will condense the timeline. Given that the entire purpose of this new blog is to discuss relationship dynamics and how to make one work, it only makes sense for us to get our story up and visible over a shorter timeframe.

Today, we begin at the beginning. I will post another chapter in the story in a couple of days.

----(Julia's part of the story)

After my comments about “looking for love” in my last blog entry, someone wrote me today and asked how I met my husband, Rick. It’s a really cool story, and will take more space than I’m going to allot to one blog entry, so I’ll tell it in installments!

First, I’ll start with a little background. I was married for the first time when I was 23, to someone who was just not right for me. He was my first earth-shaking love, and it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that we were just not suited for each other, no matter how much we loved each other at essence. I kept the voice inside that was trying to tell me that well-muted for a number of years, until finally, it could not be denied anymore. Our relationship lasted about five years total, but our marriage, only 15 months. Interestingly, I had severe migraine headaches during exactly the period of time we were together. Once we split up, the migraines only came back once, and again, it was when I was not being honest with myself.

I have deduced that migraines are common occurrences when you are lying to yourself about something important—when you are not heeding your inner guidance. Not saying that’s the only cause—just that it seems to be consistent with my observations of myself and others. I learned somewhere that when the frequencies of your left and right brain hemispheres are different, it can cause migraines. Kind of makes sense with my theory, doesn’t it? Anyway, while I was crazy about my first husband, and he loved me a lot, it was a serious mismatch. I’m sure there was a karmic component to our being together, and I still feel a bond with him, but it was a powerful move in the right direction when we split up. I’m happy to say that, even though we made lousy partners, we have a nice relationship now, and he and his wife—who is very cool—have both read Recreating Eden and bought copies for friends and family. I hope to see them when I’m in North Carolina this spring.

After my marriage, I had quite an active social life, and it took me a number of relationships to see a pattern emerging: I was always magnetizing unavailable men. My first husband had been unavailable emotionally. I had another boyfriend that was still hung up on his first love and wasn’t available—actually, make that 2 boyfriends hung up on lost loves. And there were the ones that just weren’t that into me, and the one that, when things got to the deep-heart intimacy stage, freaked out and pulled away (now that’ll do a number on you!). There was one that worked on the pipeline in Alaska and was only around for two weeks of every five, and then there were (I’m sad to say) the married ones or engaged ones, or otherwise involved ones. If a man was unavailable, I was like a magnet to him. And, in many ways, that suited me fine. It was easier to be involved with a man that was unavailable. That way, I didn’t have to commit (This was something I wasn’t cognizant of at the time, but that I figured out in a later analysis). And I’m a “keep my options open” type—a “P-type” in the Myers-Briggs personality inventory. Being involved with unavailable men suited me—but only sort-of. There was a deep longing in me for true partnership—a longing to be with a man who would consider me the “love of his life,” and with whom I could build a life. Continually being involved with unavailable men did little or nothing for my self esteem, and I felt guilty about the relationships with men who were involved with other women. But for some reason, I kept creating relationships with the old pattern until one day, I just said “ENOUGH! I refuse to keep doing this! I will not be in any relationship at all until I can break this sick pattern!” And the universe took me at my word.

Eight years passed in which I did not have so much as one single, solitary date. I had erected a psychic barrier that was so powerful, I not only didn’t attract men, I did not come across one man that I was even vaguely interested in! It was as if that part of my life was utterly non-existent. And for someone who was still attractive and that had always had lots of interactions with men (as you may have surmised by my partial list of relationships above) it was quite a phenomenon to live such a life of relationship abstinence.

But all that was going to change in 1997…

I’ll tell you more of my relationship saga soon!

----(Rick's part of the story)

It only seems fitting that the story be told from both points of view, so I will chime in and take the story from the beginning to the same point that Julia has, this time from my perspective.

My first marriage was later than Julia’s: I was 28 when I got married in 1982, two and a half years after I returned home to Denver after four years in the Air Force. My first wife is the mother of all those step children you hear about now and again in Julia’s blog.

By 1995, our relationship had soured to the point that it was simply a matter of time before it ended. We separated in 1996. I then embarked on what I now see as the gradual opening of my eyes and raising of my vision. My own sense of self had been badly damaged—or, more likely, was badly damaged at the time I got married—and I needed time and relationships based more on esteem for ourselves first, and then what we could each bring to a relationship. A lovely woman who lived in the mountains east of Los Angeles and I had a relationship that lasted about four months and several trips to that beautiful part of California. We are still friends today and email each other a few times a year. Our relationship was an important step for me, because we treated each other as equals each entitled to the nurturing we could offer ourselves, and then to the magic we could build together. The magic, as it turned out, was more imagined than real.

In mid-1997, I met a woman who lived in Colorado Springs, and we were very close for a few months. I now see the value and meaning in having known this person (we are not in communication today). It was during my relationship with her that I began the long climb out of the pit of very low self-esteem I had fallen into over a period of years. She was such a loving and giving soul, and she was very healing for me. Again, though, the magic wasn’t what we both thought we saw at first. When I would talk about what I envisioned as our future, she was kind about it but clearly didn’t share my vision. I was still seeing her when I met Julia. At this point, I will let Julia take the story forward and add my comments when she does.
          CSCMP Edge 2017 Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition   

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) hosts CSCMP's Annual Global Conference, EDGE.


Georgia World Congress Center Atlanta, GA
United States
33° 44' 56.382" N, 84° 23' 16.7352" W

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) hosts CSCMP's Annual Global Conference, EDGE.

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          Uber ATG upgrades its self-driving truck fleet with new tech   

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          Elon Musk teases location of Boring Company's first tunnel   

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It's close at hand.

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          Baidu, 30 other Chinese companies working on self-driving in Silicon Valley   

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Their goal: Get those vehicles on the roads in China, the world's biggest auto market - then conquer the United States.

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          The $130,000 Fisker EMotion can be reserved for just $2,000   

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Each person can only have three reservations.

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          Would-be Tesla rival LeEco's billion-dollar troubles 'far worse than expected'   

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It may not pose a threat to Tesla anytime soon.

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          The Reahu and Wayu Itou: He Borara Chapter 10   
Warrior Lineup
     Lac sneezes as he sits down at the table with paper and pen. I’ve got a beaut of a cold, he writes. He’s quarantined himself in his hut, so he figured he may as well catch up on his correspondence, beginning with the letter to Ken he’s been meaning to write. I went monkey hunting with the gang this week, he continues, in preparation for a big feast in honor of a visiting village’s slain headman.

The Monou-teri were only here a few days before the hanky-panky started. The buildup to the club fight that ensued was nothing like the tectonic force accumulating over the course of the Mahekodo-teri’s visit. For one, the Monou-teri don’t have a leg to stand on; they need the Bisaasi-teri far more than the Bisaasi-teri need them—which is probably why the local guy felt entitled to a romp with one of the visiting men’s wives. Plus this time around it was only two men facing off (though there were threats galore from each man’s male kin). These squabbles over women, while not a daily occurrence, are an ever-present source of testiness and suspicion, and the risk of violence seems to intensify whenever you have a mingling of groups like this.

I keep barely missing the club fights in the village, he goes on writing; this was the first one I witnessed directly, and I got some great photos. (I missed the last one by a couple of hours; another happened while I was here but I didn’t actually see any of it.) The good thing about the fights is they get people talking. I can just hover about the crowd and listen. Sometimes they’ll even let a name slip out of their tobacco-stretched mouths. I’d love nothing more right now than to be in the shabono collecting data—i.e. recording gossip—but I keep thinking I could end up killing some poor kid if my cold spreads.

It started after I nearly overheated trying to keep up with the hunting band. I can’t describe the sensation; I mean, I’ve hunted plenty before, but not like this. Hurtling yourself headlong through the underbrush and threading your way through the trees, always with your eyes darting about the canopy in search of your quarry. I had my shotgun at the ready, braced in front of me, getting frustrated because I didn’t think it should be slowing me down as much as it was. I manage to shoot a monkey or a tapir with it here and there, but this time it was an arrow that brought down our target. When we got back to the village and I kept walking back to my hut, I had sweat gushing from every pore on every part of my body and I felt lightheaded, so I sort of floated right past my door, wrestled off my clinging wet clothes, and jumped in the river to cool off.

That night I awoke around 2 in morning with a cough and a sore throat.

Lac doesn’t write that he heard—not imagined but heard—his mother’s voice ringing out in the darkened hut, chiding him for his ill-conceived efforts at returning his body to homeostasis. He writes instead of the Monou-teri headman’s death and of how the women are going to eat his ashes during the feast, and perhaps have a little reciprocal raid afterward. He’s not sure exactly why his impulse is to downplay the counterattack—counter-counterattack—other than that, after all, it’s murder they’re talking about, sort of.

He tells Ken to expect more arrows in a shipment to the museum, the first and far less impressive batch having arrived safely according to Ken’s last letter. He’ll also be sending some ebene tubes and pack baskets. Finally, he writes about the archeological site he discovered at what may have once been a village. He found scads of potsherds, most of which look like they would be from pots quite similar to the ones they use in Bisaasi-teri today, when they’re not using the aluminum pots traded in from the Ye’kwana or the missionaries (or now from him). But some of the fragments are much more delicate, as though they came from a more advanced ceramic tradition, making him wonder if the Yąnomamö might have regressed from some former higher level of technological and artistic sophistication. Such backward lurches must have happened to societies throughout history. Pick your catastrophe: plague, war, famine, environmental degradation. Guys like Percy Fawcett spent their whole lives searching Amazonia for these lost civilizations.   

Lac writes about a stone ax he found, a relic of a time before madohe. The thought that neither he nor any other Westerner will ever see how the Yąnomamö made axes almost brings tears to his eyes. The Waica claim they find these ax heads all the time, he writes to Ken, but seeing is believing.

Lac, feeling better for the past two days, is in his hut collecting names from an older man—in his mid-forties maybe—one he’s been finding delightfully easy to work with, so much so that he’s moved this informant to the top of his pay scale and begun going over the charts for the entire village with him. Theoretically, Lac thinks, I could get the names of everyone in Bisaasi-teri from this one man, whose own name is Kukumbrawa—according to his neighbor in the adjoining yahi, who’s also a parallel cousin, his father’s brother’s son. Lac moves his finger over the diagram, tracking the connection along the lines running between the names.

            He could fill in all the empty spaces with this one informant and then ask for the same information from some other similarly cooperative man, and then another, until it’s clear the names and relationships as diagrammed are consistent. The process shouldn’t take that long. He could collect all the preliminary data he needs—all the information Dr. Nelson has requested—and then move on to lineage histories. After that, he can start focusing on other villages. By mid-summer he could be ready to make an expedition inland from the Orinoco, maybe as far as the gigantic shabono near the headwaters of the Mavaca, the one Rowahirawa keeps telling him about.

            He’s leaning down to let Kukumbrawa whisper in his ear when he hears the drone of an outboard on the river. His informant stands up from the chair and walks to the door with him. Lac’s heart thuds with reverberations of his panic on the night last month when he was sure his hut was about to be besieged by raiders from another village. But he’s able to calm himself. That night, the boatman turned out to be Padre Morello; that’s probably who it is now—or else it’s more men from the Malarialogìa. They’ve been visiting the hut across the Orinoco a lot lately, the one he and Clemens stayed in his first night in the field. It could also be some of the padre’s other Salesian friends, the ones building the missionary compound across the river; Lac never hears from these men, but, though he’s loath to admit it, he’s been comforted by their propinquity.  

            The boat appears to be on a course for the bank near his hut, and Lac sees just one man sitting with his hand on the lever steering the engine. “Dr. Shackley,” the padre’s voice shudders out over the water before brittlely echoing back from the trees on the far bank. “How are you this fine day? You’re looking hale and formidable.” After his brief sickness, Lac finds these words relieving, the dubiousness of the flattery notwithstanding.

            Lac returns the greeting before telling Kukumbrawa they’ll have to continue the ohodemou later and giving him a portion of the standard payment he’s come to expect. Kukumbrawa is less disappointed with the payment than he is excited about the arrival of a visitor. Lac laughs silently. You wouldn’t be so excited, he thinks, if you knew even half of what this guy wants to persuade you of.

            As he steps down to the water’s edge, Lac sees the padre isn’t his old ruddy and buoyant self. Instead, he looks like he’s been missing too much sleep of late, and maybe done a little too much drinking. “Padre, I still haven’t adequately expressed my gratitude for all you did to help me make it to Caracas and back to visit my family.” Lac chuckles furtively at his own words, not because he’s fumbling with his Spanish, but because even in his current ragged state, the good padre has a way of inspiring excessive formality.

            “Now that you mention it,” Morello says as Lac reaches out for the canoe’s gunnel to pull it ashore, “there is something you can do for me.” He stands and wobbles his way along the length of the craft, where he grips Lac’s arm and steps onto dry land.

            “Sure,” Lac says. “Anything.”

            “Let’s discuss it inside,” the padre says, gesturing toward the hut. This gives Lac pause, not so much for the suggestion that they talk indoors—maybe he just wants to get out of the sun, away from the bugs—as for the reticence in his tone. He’s about to make an unpleasant request, Lac is sure.

            Lac guides him along the path through the high grass, on the lookout for snakes, exercising his now ingrained vigilance, as the padre enquires into the progress of his work. Now it’s Lac’s turn to be cagey; he looks around to see who’s in earshot before saying, “It’s going fantastic.” He feels his own face light up and sees a feeble reflection of his excited smile on his friend’s face. “I’ve finally started to get the names I need for my genealogies. I’ve already got the names of most people currently living here.”

            “That is fantastic! How did you get them to tell you their names?”

            Before proceeding to explain his name-gathering protocol in detail, Lac reminds himself that the only Spanish words any of the Bisaasi-teri know are sí and no. But he relishes finally being able to tell someone about his success. His excitement is too weightily palpable to keep to himself. Many of the villagers have emerged from the shabono to get a look at the visitor, and Lac takes a moment to explain to them in Yąnomamö who this new nabä is. Before continuing his description of his interview methods though, he guides the padre into the hut and closes the door to any curious Indians straggling along behind them.

            “Remarkable,” the padre says after hearing how Lac has accomplished the feat. “Ingenious.”

            Lac is suddenly his twelve-year-old self again on the day he held up a medium-sized trout to show his dad; Morello may as well be patting him on the head, saying, “Way to go, slugger.” Embarrassed by his swelling pride, Lac hastens to divert his guest from offering further praise and congratulations: “Now tell me, Padre, what’s bothering you? Something’s obviously been keeping you awake at night. Tell me how I can help.”

            Lac pulls a chair out for his guest, the same chair Kukumbrawa recently vacated. The padre puts both palms on the table and collapses onto the seat with a dignified grunt. “Hermano Marteens,” he says, “is having a great deal of difficulty with the Indians across the river.”

            Lac pulls out the other chair for himself. As he lowers himself into it, he looks over to see beads of sweat trundling from the padre’s forehead all the way down his cheeks into his thick wiry mass of beard. It would be hard to imagine a man more out of place—unless, that is, the good padre were to strip down, don a loincloth, scatter some buzzard feathers over his bald head, and dance in the courtyard with the villagers. Lac chokes back a laugh and says, “I gather Hermano Marteens is concentrating his efforts on the people across the Mavaca at Lower Bisaasi-teri; I’ve never encountered him here. Now that I think about it, it’s strange that no one from the other shabono ever mentions him either.”

            He’s speaking too fast, he realizes, because he’s uneasily anticipating that the padre is about to try to recruit him on behalf of the Salesians, to assist them in their efforts to accustom themselves to Yąnomamö ways. There’s no way I’m going to help them convert anyone, Lac thinks. I’ll agree to help with logistical stuff, sure, just as Morello has done for me. I don’t have anything against the padre personally of course, but the stark reality is that I’m completely opposed to the Salesians’ agenda for the Yąnomamö.

            Completely opposed? Even if it means medicine and protection for the women and kids?

            The padre says, “I’m afraid the good brother hasn’t been getting around to doing much mission work—which is the essence of the problem I’m currently working to remedy. When it was me first starting to build a mission compound, all those structures at Ocamo, I relied on many of the Ye’kwana from the area as a labor force. They have a long history with the Church and were accustomed to trading their work for things like tools, food, medicine.”

            “The Yąnomamö aren’t exactly slow to catch on to the value of our manufactured goods, Padre. Though trading with them comes with some pretty thorny complications.”

            “Yes, so I’ve been informed. The biggest challenge for Hermano Marteens—.” He breaks off midsentence, pauses for the span of a weighty thought, and begins again. “I’ve recently received word that your friend Mr. Clemens will soon be returning to the territory. He’s bringing his wife, and another couple will be accompanying them as well. It seems they plan to divide their time between the school at Tama Tama and the villages here at Bisaasi-teri, with each family taking up on its own side of the Mavaca.”

            Lac’s first thought is, that’s a lot of goddamned nabä. But his next thought is of Laura and how the presence of the other couples will make getting her here far easier. It will also make it a great deal safer for her and the kids to stay here when he travels to other villages. “Chuck’s coming back?” he says. “That’s great. I hadn’t heard.” He stops himself from saying, “But how the hell did you find out about all this?”

            “Dr. Shackley, do you know anything about a dictionary Mr. Clemens is working on?”

            “A dictionary? Like a Yąnomamö dictionary, one for translating the words to English or Spanish?”

            “Hermano Marteens, you see, he speaks both Spanish and English quite well.”

            Bahikoawa looks fine one moment and then as if he’s in severe pain the next. With all the parties under the same roof—or sharing the same plaza and palisade anyway—the raid can be launched any day the headman chooses.

            “The pata has sent word to the Shamatari,” Rowahirawa says. “The Bisaasi-teri are waiting for men from Mömariböwei-teri and Reyaboböwei-teri to accompany them on the raid. The people here have done much to cultivate the alliances; now it’s time to see if their efforts will pay dividends.”

            Lac sits up in the hammock next to Rowarhirawa in his father-in-law’s yahi, where he’s been lazing away the day’s hottest hours and asks, “Will the men from those villages make that big of a difference to the raid’s chances of success?”

            “Shaki, stop being such an imbecile. Ma, it won’t make any difference; it’s to solidify the alliance.” He repeats the last phrase, as Yąnomamö often do, all but dancing to the rhythm of his own words, so enthusiastic is he in his gesticulating. Lac decides his friend looks like a jaguar, because Yąnomamö faces remain shamefully indistinct in his mind and he’s determined to train his mind to zero in on subtle differentiating features. Unfortunately a lot of their faces could be said to resemble a jaguar's.  

            “But then why is Bahikoawa still waiting? They’re already two days late, and I hear the other men saying there’s a risk of big rainfall with the start of the wet season. You guys don’t want to get stuck having to march all the way back to Bisaasi-teri on muddy or flooded trails. Isn’t that what you’re counting on to slow the Patanowä-teri pursuit after you attack?”

            “We can’t leave for a raid after announcing when we’ll be gone.”

            “But you only announced it to the people you’re waiting on to go on the raid with you.”

            “That’s why we’re waiting. If they’re not here yet, it’s probably because they’re planning something.”

            “Aren’t they your allies?”

            “Shaki, don’t be so naïve. Awei, they’re allies to the Bisaasi-teri. That doesn’t mean they won’t try to steal our women from us.”

            “Ma! So that’s why you’re waiting.” The Yąnomamö aren’t very principled, he thinks; it’s always the thing that’s right in front of their nose. Or maybe, he tells himself, there’s some wisdom to it you simply don’t understand. Still, he can’t help being disgusted. “Shori, how often do villages go on raids that don’t result in anyone getting killed?”

            “It happens.”

            “How often do the raiders themselves get killed?”

            “It happens, but that means the raid wasn’t successful, even if the raiders kill someone else. You’ll have to go on another raid after that.”

            “If I were to travel with you and the other men from Bisaasi-teri, would I get killed?”

            “Shaki, are you hungry for the flesh of the Patanowä-teri?”

            “Ma, Shori, I’m fascinated by the ways of the Yąnomamö, like I’ve told you, and I want to go with you so I can record what I see in my white leaves.”

            “Will you bring your shotgun?”

            Lac began this line of questioning on a whim; he hasn’t considered going along on the raid until now, at least not consciously. Would he bring the shotgun? “Ma.” Absolutely not. “I’ve made a promise not to kill any Yąnomamö—.”

Rowahirawa rolls out of his hammock and slams his fist into Lac’s shoulder. “Don’t say what you just said!”

            “But it’s true.”

            “If men know you’re a coward, they’ll treat you as they would a woman.”

            Lac shakes his head pointlessly. “I understand.” So it’s true, he thinks; the only reason my hut ever goes a day unviolated is that the Yąnomamö are afraid of my shotgun.

            Rowahirawa laughs and gives him a hard shove. “You’re hopeless without me, Shaki. You know that?”

            Lac spends the latter half of the afternoon conducting an interview with a man whose behavior seems entirely choreographed, his answers entirely rehearsed. The earlier interviewees must have relayed to him in detail what he should expect—and maybe he caught on there’s an audition mentality to the proceedings. His every answer is a story, and Lac can’t decide whether to admire the man’s flare for drama or disdain him as a purveyor of compelling lies. The facts of his stories, the main characters, all check out with the picture that’s emerging of the village’s history and current composition through all his efforts at questioning and crosschecking. Something about the guy though—he seems fundamentally untrustworthy.

            Not exactly an objective observation, Shackley, he says to himself.

            “Towahowä, he was waiteri,” the man says. “He seduced his own brother’s wife in Monou-teri.”

            True, Lac thinks. I’ve heard this before. “Ma!” he says, encouraging the man to continue.

            “Awei, Towahowä had sex with her, and then the brother returned and became so angry he fired an arrow at her. He meant to shoot her in the thigh, because he wanted her to survive the wound. But he is sina, like Uhudima in the time of Moonblood, and the arrow implanted itself in her gut. She bled to death, leaving her husband inconsolable.”

            Many of the women Lac sees in the village are missing parts of their ears, souvenirs of similar episodes of violent jealousy. He’s seen one woman hit another with a smoldering log from the hearth, seen the men do that too. It’s not the type of culture you’d want to raise your daughter in.

            And, you, Lachlan Shackley, are not the type of scientist who lets himself get so loose with such value-laden sentiments.

            As the man continues telling his stories about the separation of villages and their post-fissioning political histories, Lac’s mind wanders to Nakaweshimi. She must be close to term about now. But she’s nowhere to be seen lately. Lac assumes it’s Yąnomamö custom for a woman to seclude herself in the days leading up to childbirth. Those are details he could be investigating for his ethnography, but he doesn’t know where to begin enquiring after information that sensitive.

            What he will be able to see is how the birth of the second baby impacts how Nakaweshimi cares for her other child, who’s still a tiny infant. The other thing that’s been preoccupying him is this silly idea of his about going along on the raid to Patanowä-teri. He and Rowahirawa agreed it would be possible for him to tag along on the journey but not participate in any killing. Still, the Patanowä-teri will probably pursue the raiders, and it’s not like he’ll have the time to explain to them that he’s only there in the capacity of neutral observer. If he’s not killed, he’ll likely still be forfeiting the reputation for impartiality he’s counting on to make travelling among villages relatively safe and easy.

            You’ll be compromised, he thinks, too deeply enmeshed in the culture to observe its dynamic operations and ongoing development from a detached vantagepoint. But, then again, you’ll also be going along to witness a custom few ethnographers have ever witnessed. And this is the part, the coalitional killing, warfare at its most primitive, that your professors and colleagues will say you’ve misrepresented, or fabricated outright. “Did you actually see any Yąnomamö killing each other?” he imagines Dr. White asking him. “It’s quite possible the attacks you heard rumors of were purely ritualistic, and that the men your friends claimed to have killed are alive and well and boasting of their own ritual kills.”

            Yes, my boastful friends.

            Lac has seen enough to know that Yąnomamö violence, while steeped in ritual and embedded in an intricate web of superstition, is all too real in its impact. Whatever mysteries he uncovers through his genealogical efforts, it’ll be Yąnomamö warfare that gets people talking back home—just like it does here. As for being compromised, it doesn’t have to go down that way. I won’t follow the warriors when they make their final charge, he thinks. I’ll hold back, with any luck remaining in eyeshot of the incident without being seen by anyone inside the shabono.

            So you’re just going along to watch some poor bastard get shot out of a tree?

            You may have to, if only to bolster your conviction, give you the confidence to stick to your guns in the face of all the scrutiny your work is bound to attract.

            He’s debating with himself as he’s half-heartedly attending to his informant’s performance with a healthy dollop of dismissive skepticism when the hut goes silent. Lac turns to see the man stand up and move to the door. He pricks his ears and picks out the sound of whistling in the distance—friendly visitors announcing their presence. The villagers raise their voices from within the shabono. Lac and his informant begin walking back to the opening in the palisade so they can see who the visitors are. It must be the men they’re expecting from Mömariböwei-teri and Reyaboböwei-teri at last; they weren’t waiting to steal women after all—or if they were, they realized the Bisaasi-teri and Monou-teri were wise to their treachery, and so their best bet for capturing women is to raid Patanowä-teri alongside their new allies.

            Now the raid will take place. And Lac knows regardless of which decision he’s able to marshal the best arguments for, he’ll be traveling alongside the raiders as well—or following behind them anyway. “There may be no turning back after this,” he mumbles to himself. I’ll need to talk to Rowahirawa, he thinks, do a lot a planning.

            The next day the overfull village is preparing for the feast, and Lac is looking right at Nakaweshimi, no longer pregnant, but not carrying a second infant. This could mean any number of things. He tries to think back to the two other births that have occurred since his arrival in Bisaasi-teri, but gets no useful insight from recalling them. Has she miscarried? Was the baby sick or deformed? He wants desperately to ask her, but she doesn’t look like she’s in any mood for questions. No one looks to be in the mood for questions today. Lac resigns himself to a full day of silent of observation, out of respect—and out of prudence.

He feels more unwelcome today than at any other time since his first entrance into the shabono. The Yąnomamö never hesitate to let him know how annoying they find him, but they usually also seem to find him amusing, or find it amusing to mess with him anyway. Today, though, people are preoccupied with their grieving, preoccupied with their efforts to keep the substrate of rage simmering beneath their sadness from boiling over. On any normal day, they’re not only short-tempered; they’re itching to show off how short their tempers are. His thumb still aches from the incident when Rowahirawa stubbed his toe and threw down the heavy log they were carrying together. That was probably getting off easy. But today he senses those tempers are even more raw.

The hours drag on as he either lies in a hammock next to Rowahirawa or minces from spot to spot around the plaza. Into the afternoon, the funereal mood hangs thicker and thicker in the air. There’s no laughter to be heard, no beaming expressions to behold. If I had just shown up from Caracas, Lac thinks, I might think there was tension mounting among the assembled villages—as when the Mahekodo-teri and Boreta-teri were here throwing their weight around—so nauseatingly palpable is this undercurrent of wrath to their mournfulness.

Moment by moment resisting his urge to ask questions, he instead wisps around with his cameras and tape recorder, doing his best impersonation of a cloud. He has to be subtle with his camera work, snapping photos only of incidents of highest import, because even on normal days the Yąnomamö sometimes get irritated with him for stealing their images, chasing him away with upraised clubs—or once, with flung rocks—but today the deterrents are bound to be more severe, the punishments more vicious.

The irritability isn’t the most ostensible of their emotional states though. He listens to the villagers’ tearful laments, as they call to the fallen headman with the most intimate of kinship terms, making pronouncements of never-ending sadness and forlorn longing to be reunited in hedu. This strikes Lac as strange because these same relatives of the Monou-teri headman have seemed emotionally even-keeled every time he’s seen them over the past few weeks. Towahowä was killed over a month ago, and yet it’s only now that the bereavement takes hold—or maybe it’s taking hold for the second time, the first having occurred when they learned of his death and cremated his body, producing the ashes the women are now consuming with their plantain soup.

It’s like they’ve all agreed now is the time to collectively wallow in grief, to sulk and cry out, so they’re deliberately concentrating on their loss, meanwhile reflecting each other’s sadness and anger, thus amplifying them both, the space of their passion spilling into an infinite regress of hitherto dormant devastation. Surprisingly, the spreading contagion of their emotions is affecting even him, a nabä who only encountered the deceased on a couple of occasions, never getting overly close.

What seems most bizarre to Lac however is that these people are so aggrieved about the death of a guy who treated many of them terribly. Towahowä was a total asshole. He seduced—or possibly raped—an untold number of these men’s wives, including his little brother’s. It was his stealing of another man’s wife that led to the fissioning of Monou-teri from Bisaasi-teri, which you could argue resulted in their present predicament. Then he further endangered the village by leaving them leaderless, because he was so reckless in his pursuit of women and greater renown. And who knows how many other women he’s abused, how many other men he’s intimated or assaulted or cuckolded—though none of these practices are exactly frowned upon by the Yąnomamö?

Lac tries to force himself to accept that they hold different virtues as praiseworthy, different vices as beneath contempt. That’s easy enough to understand in principle; it’s the liking part that confounds him. How could anyone have liked Towahowä? Or did they? Or is all this emotion on display separate from the discrete person of the former headman, more about his role than his individual identity? It’s a question he’ll have to return to when he’s attended more funeral feasts, more reahu, as the Yąnomamö call them.

            Throughout the day, villagers take turns shouting out formal speeches, somewhat like they do in their kąwa amou chants before bed but more lachrymose, about how their kinsman’s death has pierced to the depths of their being. “Ya buhii ahi,” he keeps hearing. My innermost soul is cold. One man sounds off in one part of the shabono, then another man somewhere else riffs on the theme. Hushuwo is another term he keeps hearing: angry and sad and volatile—much more volatile than usual.

            Lac wanders about the edge of the plaza, trying his hardest to be invisible, on the lookout for good spaces to tuck himself, vantages where he can witness the goings-on unseen. Late in the afternoon, the men, still in their yahis, all start doing something strange. Lac risks stepping closer to see a couple times. They’re biting into burnt logs, chewing the charcoal. Lac guesses it’s supposed to have some medicinal property at first, but then he sees them spitting it out and rubbing it between their hands. They’re mixing the masticated charcoal with their saliva to create a black sludge. He watches as they begin smearing it all over their arms and shoulders, going on to cover their entire bodies, painting them black.

Night camouflage.

Lac’s heart floats weightlessly, darting about like a hummingbird colliding with the bars of its cage. These sons of bitches are going to sneak up on another village, he thinks, and murder some poor bastard who doesn’t even know they’re coming. It hits him with all the absurd reality of a platypus waddling up to him with a stick of dynamite clamped in its bill. 

Lac’s been told that the mechanics of the pre-raid feast, if not the mood, are similar to those of feasts prefiguring morning trading sessions. Aside from the large troughs of plantain soup, though, the activities seem far different. Some time has passed since the women finished drinking their soup from calabashes, and now the men are busy dressing up a stripped-down tree trunk, evidently to make it look like a Yąnomamö, complete with wavy red lines down his torso, monkey tail headband, and sprinkling of white feathers atop the crown; the wooden man has donned his finest regalia for the occasion. The men lift this pithy white effigy onto a hammock—at maybe five feet tall, it fits nicely—before dispersing and preparing to stage a mock ambush. One of the raiders is a roughly eleven-year-old boy, Towahowä’s youngest son, and many of the charcoal-painted men pull him aside to give him instructions and advice.

             Now that the stage is set with the trunk swaying lazily in its hammock, a dozen warriors crouch down and make their way toward it from different parts of the plaza. Gesturing with weighty emphasis to each other, they waddle mostly in unison, deeply bent at the knees, coming from various angles—a band of hellfire-scorched demons capturing souls to build the ranks of their satanic subterranean army—until they’re close enough to make aiming all but moot.  All at once, they leap up to their full height to draw and fire their arrows. The tips bury themselves in the pulpy wood with a sickeningly rapid series of thuds. The victim is a pincushion before he could have ever known an attack was underway. All the men scream as they retreat, running out of the shabono in a series of sprints and halts, the warriors in front stopping to turn and cover the escape of the ones bringing up the rear in a repeating pattern.

            The mock raiders return one by one to their hammocks over time, but some of them remain in the plaza to practice and give the young boy plenty of coaching. Individually, no longer slithering toward their victim in a coiled mass of inhuman flesh, they’re less like demons than grown men playing dress-up. To Lac, all of these preparations and success rituals seem to be taking place at a distance, on the periphery of his sphere of concern. Yesterday, before deciding to travel along with the raiders, this same scene would have permeated his senses and thoughts with its dramatic implications: a young boy being taught to escape after being pressed to take lethal vengeance on his father’s killers.

As it is, he’s thinking more about the recent rains, how the rising waters will chase the poisonous snakes to higher ground, the same higher ground on which the Yąnomamö like to blaze their trails. The idea, if he understands Rowahirawa correctly, is to load up on plantains, walk slowly to the enemy’s village, deliberately pinpointing the ideal time to make the kill—likely when a suitable victim leaves the Patanowä-teri shabono to piss or fetch water—and, freshly unencumbered by the newly exhausted supply of food, run most of the way back, hastened by the knowledge that the people you just raided are fresh on your heels, eager to retaliate, desperate to avenge whoever just got killed. If the snakes don’t get you, he tells himself, the Patanowä-teri will.

            But I need to be there, he thinks. I need to see it happen at least once with my own two eyes. Or else it’ll live on as mere rumor, even to me, apt to rise and twist and disappear like a wisp of smoke. This is the part they won’t believe back home, those professors whose field experience consisted of living among highly acculturated Indians or Bushmen, conquered peoples, domesticated peoples. I need to be sure if I’m going to be able to stick to my guns. I need to see it happen.

As his thoughts and fears jostle about in his mind like bees in an agitated hive, he finds his eyes have come to rest on the effigy, the no owä, as he’s heard the Yąnomamö call it, still swaying in its hammock as if by its own exsanguinated volition—any man would surely have bled to death by now. He imagines the pool of blood on the floor, spreading toward the hearth. What percentage of the men here, he wonders, will be killed in their hammocks like this, or while they’re up in a tree harvesting fruit, or out in the forest searching for honey? How many will be killed taking a piss? What percentage of the women will be kidnapped and dragged off to some rival village to be sex slaves who graduate to become wives and mothers as though the original crime had never been committed?

            Those are empirical questions, he points out to himself, and it’s all information you can glean from exactly the kind of interviews you’re already conducting—if you could just find a more effective way to discuss people’s dead relatives. That’ll be my main focus when I get back. For now, I need to plan: what kind of food should I bring when I set out with the raiders tomorrow? How will I carry it? How am I going to keep up with them as they sprint home afterward? How am I going to avoid the snakes? How am I going to avoid impalement by half a dozen arrows, poison-tipped, all at once?

            Jesus, Lachlan, you’re either on the cusp of becoming a great anthropologist or you’re out of your god damned mind.

            It’s Bahikoawa, as racked with pain from his undiagnosed infection as he is, and Towahowä’s brother, as much as he’s struggling with a steady trickle of accusations of cowardice, who are directing the show today, and they’ll be the ones leading the raid tomorrow. It’ll be a miracle if they even manage to complete the two-day journey to Patanowä-teri, Lac thinks. He’s getting nervous. Rowahirawa has told him the Patanowä-teri are cultivating a new garden in some unknown spot, perhaps even returning to harvest the rasha from one of the Bisaasi-teri’s old sites. So once the raiding party has made it to the shabono they’ve set as a destination, they may have to do some tracking and searching before finding anyone to kill. That sounds to Lac like a greater chance they’ll be spotted and set upon by the rival village’s own waiteri, of whom there is a famously large number.

            Rowahirawa tells him the retreat is the tricky part, and he describes the two-by-two progression away from the enemy village, where two men stand hidden while another two or four flee along a path running right between them. It’s a preset trap for the pursuers, who unwittingly step into a crossfire and have their pursuit brought to a sudden, unsatisfying halt. That’s what he saw them practicing after shooting the no owä full of arrows as it reclined peacefully in its hammock.

Somehow, his mind has connected the upcoming post-raid sprint back to the mouth of the Mavaca with his running through the forest in pursuit of monkeys last week, and to his subsequent illness. He was stuck in his hut for days, hoarsely yelling at Rowahirawa through the door to come back another day. “Shaki, why don’t you do your ohodemou?” Hearing the phlegm in Lac’s voice, Rowahirawa suggested through the door that he let the shaboris free his soul from the hekura devouring it. Lac would have loved to participate in the ritual, but he couldn’t risk spreading the cold; for all he knew, it was something he picked up in Caracas, a crowd disease only people long accustomed to civilization have developed any immunity to. There are stories of careless outsiders decimating whole villages by merely showing up with the wrong sniffle. Still, he’s sure it was the heat and exertion of the hunt, followed by his impetuous plunge into the cold waters of the Mavaca, that laid him low, not any potentially village-destroying bug.

His biggest apprehension now is that he won’t be able to keep up with the men—and he harbors no illusion that they’ll wait for him. It’s a bad idea to go with them, plain and simple. Falling behind is far from the only thing that can go wrong. But he has to go at least once. And it’s not just for the sake of his confidence in any controversial ethnographic verdicts he arrives at; he’s also hoping it’ll help him break through another layer of the ice still separating him from the Yąnomamö, like when he danced at one of the feasts for the first time. Maybe after tagging along for a raid he’ll finally be able to get past all this edgy weirdness that still surrounds his genealogical work.

On the other hand, maybe the effects he hopes to bring about will be nullified by his being unarmed and making no effort to kill anyone. He has a feeling, though, they’ll be less impressed by his pacifism than by his willingness to accompany them on a mission so fraught with peril, such missions being their own preferred passport to heightened prestige.

As the precipitous falling of night gets underway in earnest, all the men are back to laying around in their yahis, swinging in their hammocks with pained, unfocused eyes. Lac steps through the passage outside and farther past the palisade to piss. The air outside the shabono is lighter, the atmosphere refreshingly cool, in marked contrast to the overheated oven of the village. When he comes back, there’s a thick silence hanging over the plaza, making him pause before continuing the rest of the way in. He takes a breath before finally stepping in, then makes his way around the edge of the courtyard again, determined to move with the lightest of steps. The stillness unsettles him. He’s wondering if he may be offending them by not keeping still like everyone else, when the pall hanging over the courtyard is shredded by a freakish animal sound that sends him scampering to the nearest shelter.

            The cry rattles through the gray evening light, a half human howl of outrage and pain. Lac at first can’t be sure whether it’s a human being making the sound, bowel-shaking and otherworldly. Then he understands: he’s imitating an animal’s growl, and now a
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          Why the South Is Emerging as the Next Promising Growth and Innovation Hub   
Nashville attracting artists and entrepreneurs from across the globe.

          Delta soaring to record heights – a decade after emerging from bankruptcy   

NEW YORK – The annual meeting of Delta Air Lines Friday morning became a high-flying affair as CEO Ed Bastian declared two all-time records.

The company’s market cap is approaching $40 billion, and Bastian said: “Last night, we closed at an all-time high.”

And then on Friday, Delta was expecting its busiest day ever.

“We will be flying 651,000 passengers,” Bastian said in a brief interview after the annual meeting. “It’s the highest in our history.”

The post Delta soaring to record heights – a decade after emerging from bankruptcy appeared first on SaportaReport.

          DCW -Direct Care Worker - Trimed Healthcare LLC - Morrisville, PA   
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          PODCAST: One positive in the Butler trade? Michael Reinsdorf emerging   
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          Graphene: The New wonder Material   
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          Liz Anne Hill’s Catchy Summer Single “The Fish Ain’t Bitin’” Is Out Now   
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          Alkimija vodstva in organizacije   
Inovacije so v sodobnem svetu spoznane kot ključno sredstvo za ustvarjanje novih vrednosti. Njihove značilnosti danes prispevajo k razvoju globalne ekonomije. Še več, zaradi značilnosti lastnih inovativnosti, vstopamo v nove dimenzije gospodarskih in družbenih odnosov, ki kažejo na nove možnosti sodelovanja in sobivanja na tem planetu.
Pojmovanje inovativnosti je ponudilo veliko priložnosti za uspešen razvoj vseh členov sodobne družbe. Toda, da ga lahko uspešno izkoristimo, potrebujemo dinamične, raznovrstne sisteme z nehierarhičnimi in horizontalnimi strukturami.

Vir: Dirk Oellibrandt
Inovacije nam omogočijo, da raznovrstne vidike in večplastne zmožnosti izražamo v vedno znova novih oblikah izdelkov, uslug in rešitev, ki ustvarjajo vrednost in vzpodbujajo trajnostni ter uspešni razvoj družb. Vendar smo za njihovo uporabo in aplikativnost v praksi, odgovorni ljudje z razumevanjem posledic dejanj, ki te novosti manifestirajo v naše življenje. V obratnem primeru lahko te iste novosti enako učinkovito povzročijo uničenje in trpljenje.
Priporočeno branje:
Bulc, V. (2013, 24. -26. junij) Mass participation in innovation – the foundation of a modern organization and beyond. Hag: ICE & IEEE-ITMC konferenca 2013 (eng)

You tube: Jef Staes Red Monkey, marec 2014
V naprednih, inovacijsko usmerjenih družbah vedno bolj spoznavamo, da voditelji v organizacijah in delovnih skupinah znova igrajo sicer pomembno, vendar povsem drugačno vlogo kot v preteklosti. Namesto hierarhizirane avtoritete, ki vse ve najbolje in v delovni skupini ali organizaciji odločitve sprejema v imenu vseh, uspešni sodobni voditelji vidijo svojo vlogo:

•    v oblikovanju ustreznih pogojev, ki ljudem omogočijo, da lahko uspešno delujejo;
•    v prepoznavanju zmožnosti in osebne zavzetosti vsakega posameznika;
•    v ustvarjanju raznovrstnih zvez med sodelavci, ki omogočijo, da se učinkovito in dejavno odzovejo na potrebe posameznih skupnosti.

Voditelji se aktivno priključijo ustvarjanju organizacijskih, družbenih in poslovnih inovacij. S tem navdihujejo in nudijo prostor ljudem, ki si upajo seči onstran utečenih meja.

Priporočeno branje:
•    Bulc, V. (2013, julij) Connecting Evolution and Involution to Create a Positive Foundation for an Eco-Civilization. Tajvan: International Conference on Social Environmental Education for an Emerging Eco-Civilization
•    Bulc, V. (2011, april). "Leadership Within". A leadership style for evolving organisations. Ljubljana: InCo International Conference 2011
•    YouTube: Leadership Within (Do we still need to lead), 2011
Toda kako in kje lahko spoznamo in razvijemo tovrstne vodstvene sposobnosti? Dirk Oellibrandt, naš današnji gost, nas vabi in predlaga, da o njih razmišljamo v luči alkimije.

Sodobno usmerjenim voditeljem pritrjuje, da v poslovnem svetu vedno bolj potrebujemo voditelje, ki so sposobni gledati, razmišljati, čutiti, se sporazumevati in voditi na način, ki se razlikuje od utečenih pristopov. Vendar ne glede na to le poredkoma naletimo na metode, ki so res drugačne in hkrati praktično koristne.

Slika: Dirk Oellibrandt
Vir: osebni arhiv
Več o Dirk-u
Alkimija se morda sliši kot „pravljica v oblakih“, ki se ji je treba v poslovnem svetu na daleč izogniti. Toda alkimija preprosto pomeni polno izrabiti obstoječe možnosti in na pravi način uskladiti vse nujno potrebne vsebine, da dobimo želeno kakovostno višjo stvaritev (npr. zlato)

Takšno celovito sposobnost najlažje ustvarimo, ko združimo in uskladimo delovanje vseh štirih človeških prvin (telesnih, čustvenih, umskih in duhovnih). Voditelj, ki obvlada te štiri potenciale vodenja, na direktorskem položaju deluje prominentno in pomeni magnet za nove poslovne priložnosti.

Izvirnost pristopa programa „Življenjski projekti“ (Life Projects) omogoči, da lahko dve od teh domen, ki jih drugače le redko upoštevamo pri razpravi – namreč fizično in duhovno dimenzijo, praktično in donosno izkoristimo tako v organizaciji kakor pri uvajanju. To dokazujejo naše izkušnje v firmah Microsoft, Nacional Police Holland in mnogih drugih.

Načelo “Organizmacije” v vaši organizaciji uporablja princip delovanja živih organizmov. Vaše delovanje vam pomaga preobraziti iz napol mrtvega in dolgočasnega poslovanja v živo organizacijo. Pokaže, kako v vašo delovno skupino in podjetje spet pripeljati nazaj pravo naravo. 

Vabilo na „Delavnico o alkimiji vodenja in organizacije“:
Ste voditelj oziroma strokovnjak, ki bi rad prebudil speče moči v sebi, v vaši delovni skupini, v organizaciji ali pri vaših strankah? Naučite se, kako izdelati zlato. Obudite in prinesite na površje najboljše v sebi ali v drugih okoli sebe. Naravni način kako učinkovito zgraditi trajnostno poslovnost in družbo višje kvalitete.

Kje & kdaj & kaj:
1.    Celodnevni program v nedeljo, 6. aprila, 2014 v Ljubljani
2.    Triurni pregledni program v ponedeljek, 7. aprila, 2014 v Ljubljani
Dva voditelja, ki sta izvajala naš program, sta jasno izjavila: “Spet sem dobil nazaj svoje življenje.”

V tovrstnem pristopu se življenje in vodenje prepleteta. To omogoči, da postanete navdih tudi za svojo okolico, saj jo boste vzpodbujali s trdnejšimi vrednotami, modrostjo, ustvarjalnostjo in razumom.

Svoje vodstvene dejavnosti boste opravljali z notranjo lahkoto. Globlje kvalitete in sposobnosti bodo počasi izplavale na površje. Že prej osvojene umske in čustvene sposobnosti seveda pomenijo dodano vrednost temu stanju.
Vir: Dirk Oellibrandt

Čas je, da se ozremo navznoter, se pridružimo velikemu podjetju/materi (naravi) in se naučimo, kako razpoložljive moči presojati na podlagi notranjih potencialov naše delovne skupine ali organizacije. Tako se bo prikazal svet neskončnih možnosti, v katerem se bosta medsebojno zlila tako svetovni uspeh kakor osebno zadovoljstvo.

Prikaz na Youtube:

Vir: Dirk Oellibrandt

Hvala Dirk, za to globoko in tako človeško sporočilo. Da, vodenje je scela povezano z ljudmi, ljudmi in spet ljudmi. Tako preprosto, a tako pogosto pozabljeno.

Osti jarej, Violeta

Kako lahko sodelujemo
Kje se lahko srečamo
Zanimive povezave

          Ob prehodu iz 2013 v 2014   
Spoštovane, spoštovani!

Iskrena hvala za vse priložnosti, ki smo jih uspeli skupaj nagovoriti, razviti in uspešno udejanjiti v letu 2013.

Iskrena hvala za pripravljenost skupnega odkrivanja novega, neznanega in drugačnega.

Tudi zaradi vas je Vibacom segel v roke še enemu izjemnemu, inovativnemu, produktivnemu in uspešnemu letu:

-    predstavitev primerov naših dobrih praks in poslovnih modelov (BTC, InCo gibanje, Challenge Future, Srce Slovenije, evolucijski modeli, modeli za množično inoviranje, inovacijsko komuniciranje, inovacijsko infrastrukturo, celostno odločanje, metodologije za trajnostni razvoj) v sedmih (7) državah: Avstrija, Nizozemska, Vietnam, Tajvan, Črna gora, Brazilija, Litva;
-    soustvarjanje prebojnih razvojnih projektov z: BTC d.d., TPV d.d., Nuklearna elektrarna Krško d.o.o., RRA Notranjsko-kraške regije, d.o.o. na osnovi sistematičnega, celoletnega sodelovanja
-    8 manjših kratkotrajnejših projektov, 20 delavnic, 24 predavanj
-    strokovni predmeti na Fakulteti MCI (Salzburg), Fakulteti DOBA (Maribor) in Fakulteti za dizajn (Ljubljana), gostujoče predavanje na University of Applied Science Upper Austria;
-    soorganizacija svetovne konference sistemske znanosti Vietnam 2013 (The 57th World Conference of the International Society for the Systems Sciences)
-    izid knjige “The magic of contribution” in njen uraden vstop v mednarodni prostor julija 2013 v Vietnamu;
-    celoletna polna podpora InCo gibanju pri razvoju vsebin,
organizaciji dogodkov in komuniciranu njegovih izjemnih rezultatov: 7 dogodkov,  24 (zaznanih) medijskih objav o InCo gibanju, 16 srečanj, 212 udeležencev 

Slika: utrinki Vibacoma 2013

-    mednarodne publikacije:
• Bulc, V. (2013, julij) Connecting Evolution and Involution to Create a Positive Foundation for an Eco-Civilization. Tajvan: International Conference on Social Environmental Education for an Emerging Eco-Civilization (angl)
• Bulc, V., & Wilmshurst., J. (2013) Education for emerging societies. Vietnam: Mednarodna konferenca sistemske znanosti in sistemskega razmišljanja (angl)
• Bulc, V., & Kovačič, V. (2013, junij) Intuitivno odločanje - korak k sistemskemu razmišljanju in celostnemu inoviranu. Revija HRM, letnik II, (53) (slo)
• Bulc, V. (2013, 24. -26. junij) Mass participation in innovation – the foundation of a modern organization and beyond. Hag: ICE & IEEE-ITMC konferenca 2013 (angl)
• Rangus, K. & Drnovšek, M. (2013). Open innovation in Slovenia: A comparative analysis of different firm sizes. Economic and Business Review, 15(3), 175–196. (angl)
•Rangus, K. & Drnovšek, M. (2013). Proclivity for Open Innovation: Construct Conceptualization and Empirical Validation. V: Academy of management Proceedings 2013, 11.-13. Avgust 2013 Lake Buena Vista (Orlando), Florida. (angl)
-    21 (zaznanih) medijskih objav o podjetju Vibacom
-    28.700 zadetkov na spletu na besedo vibacom in 7.800 zadetkov na besedo inco gibanje (ter 2.140 zadetkov na besedo incomovement)

                                 HVALA leto 2013

In že je tu leto 2014. Leto iskrenih povezovanj in videnja dobrega v drugih. Naj vas navdahne in napolni z energijo svetlobe, ki vedno znova prebije temo in v nas prebuja najžlahtnejše dimenzije.

Morda vas poveže ponovno tudi z nami v mrežo ustvarjalnega zanosa, ki v prostoru oblikuje novo vrednost in krepi nasmeh.  Lepo je sobivati z vami, čutiti vašo prisotnost, vaše navdihe in se učiti od vaših dejanj; lepo je prepletati in manifestirati z vami vse kar čutimo, vidimo, vemo, v konkretne rezultate, ki odgovarjajo na konkretne izzive.

“Črta se umika krogu, planiranje modeliranju, oddelki miselnim ustrojem, vrednostne verige prepletenim vrednostnim mrežam; človek prepoznava višji smisel življenja in z ljubeznijo sprejema raznolikost, lepoto,  naravne ritme, samega sebe.”

Na krilih modrosti, globine in radosti bomo leto zaužili z vsako celico naše biti. Naj bo dober partner tudi vam!

                               DOBRODOŠLO LETO 2014!

Vibacom tim

Kako lahko sodelujemo 
Kje se lahko srečamo
 Naši partnerji priporočajo

Zanimive povezave

              Priložnosti inovativne EU - sporočila iz Litve 2013   
    Globalno gibanje in spirala sistemskega razmišljanja se vrti naprej: Slovenija, Portugalska, Avstrija, Črna gora, Nizozemska, Vietnam, Tajvan, Brazilija in na koncu še Litva. Zanimivo je biti spet dejaven pri razpravah o EU prihodnosti. Še posebej, ko je človek že vse leto izpostavljen različnim globalnim pogledom (na svetovnih konferencah, sestankih in projektih). Je mogoče zaznati kakšne razlike? Je. EU je povsem ujeta v administrativno razmišljanje z vrha navzdol. To je toliko bolj vidno, ko med vsemi poskušamo najti zmagoviti pristop na področju inovacije.

    Srečanje v Vilniusu je v meni potrdilo občutek, da še vedno verjamemo in smo ujeti v prepričanje, da je mogoče dvig inovacijske kulture v EU doseči samo od zgoraj navzdol; inovacijo je na podlagi tega prepričanja mogoče izpeljati samo preko v naprej opredeljenih pravil od zgoraj navzdol, čeprav pragmatične izkušnje dokazujejo, da se morajo, če naj bi res dosegli trajnejše rešitve, potrebe z vrha nujno srečati s potrebami od dna. Cvetoči projekti dokazujejo, da moramo stremeti po učinkovitem prepletu obeh pristopov, ki temelji na dodobro premišljeni filozofiji mreženja. Še vedno vsa svoja pričakovanja polagamo v raziskave in razvoj (R&R) ter patente s tega področja, čeprav je jasno, da inovacije pomenijo precej več: tudi odkrivanje, medstrukturno sodelovanje (kulturno, industrijsko, panožno, regionalno, in tako dalje), nepredvidljivost, še posebej na področju manjših in srednje velikih podjetij (MSP), za katera se zdi, da veliko obetajo pri obnovi EU ekonomije. Navkljub temu poskušamo MSP stlačiti v miselni okvir velikih korporacij – namreč, z jasnim sporočilom, da bo EU podprla samo tista MSP, ki sodelujejo z R&R inštitucijami. Hkrati pa na ravni neposrednega dogajanja vidimo, da se vedno več inovacij poraja v odprtih inovativnih krogih. Vedno več MSP se odpoveduje patentom in raje deskajo po valovih  „biti prvi na trgu“. Temu v veliki meri botrujejo hitrost sprememb, pojavljanje priložnosti in pomanjkanje sredstev za patente. To je zaznala celo administracija. Poglejmo si ključna sporočila.

    Slika: Plakat konference 2013
    Vir: Vibacom

    I. Horizon 2020 program se je začel decembra 2013!

    Slovenija, si pripravljena? Program je nadaljevanje prejšnjih programov za področje inovacij. Vsi, ki niso sledili indicem v preteklosti, bodo obtičali globoko v blatu bank glavne reke. Ukrepati moramo! Poglejte, kaj prihaja!

    Novi program EU za raziskovanje in inovacije za obdobje med 2014 – 2020 razpolaga z 79 milijardami Eurov za inovacijski preboj. EU se z njegovo pomočjo poskuša izogniti nekaterim oviram iz preteklosti, namreč tako, da

    •    se neposredno odziva na ekonomsko stanje;
    •    z integriranim programom povezuje inovacije in razvoj;
    •    nagovarja osnovne teme (čista energija, zdravstvo, transport);
    •    se močno posveča MSP (20%!);
    •    se odpira v svet (sodelovanje z drugimi celinami je dobrodošlo);
    •    vpeljuje veliko poenostavljanja (sistemov, zaupanja, manj poročil).

    Neposredno naslavlja 3 glavna področja:
    •    ODLIČNOST v ZNANOSTI (meje, novi pojavi, delovne priložnosti, infrastruktura) – za individualne raziskovalce.
    •    USMERJANJE INDUSTRIJE (nanotehnologoije, biotehnologije, IKT /informacije, komunikacija, tehnologija/ – namenjene industriji).
    •    DRUŽBENI IZZIVI  - skupnosti, temeljni družbeni izzivi.

    Program se bo prvenstveno osredotočil na:
    •    MSP: projekti sodelovanja, novi MSP instrumenti, poenostavljanje, skupni Eurostar programi, ukrepi, ki podpirajo inovacije v MSP.
    •    Internacionalizacija, vzpodbude za sodelovanje zunaj EU – z Indijo, Brazilijo, Kitajsko, Norveško, Švico.
    •    INDUSTRIJA: inovativne pobude v medicini, čisto nebo (Clean Sky), pogonske vodikove celice, bio-osnovane industrije, elektronske komponente in sistemi.
    •    DRUŽBENI IZZIVI: meteorološke raziskave, Eurostar, dejavno življenje in življenje ob pomoči.

    Zahtevali bodo naslednje poenostavitve:
    •    en sam sklop pravil;
    •    krajši čas za podeljevanje odobritev in dovoljenj;
    •    manjše število, toda bolje usmerjeno nadzorovanje in pregledovanje računov;
    •    povezano izvrševanje;
    •    poenostavitev pogodb za subvencije.
    Nekaj pomembnih povezav na razpise Horizon 2020, ki so bili že objavljeni pred nekaj dnevi.
    Industrial Leadership Horizon 2020 dedicated SME Instrument - Phase 2 2015
    Pub.Date: 11/12/2013 Deadline: 16/12/2015

    Industrial Leadership Horizon 2020 dedicated SME Instrument - Phase 1 2015
    Pub.Date: 11/12/2013 Deadline: 16/12/2015

    Industrial Leadership Horizon 2020 dedicated SME Instrument - Phase 1 2014
    Pub.Date: 11/12/2013 Deadline: 17/12/2014

    Industrial Leadership Horizon 2020 dedicated SME Instrument - Phase 2 2014
    Pub.Date: 11/12/2013 Deadline: 17/12/2014

    Industrial Leadership Enhancing SME innovation capacity by providing better innovation support
    Pub.Date: 11/12/2013 Deadline: 12/03/2014

    Industrial Leadership European label for innovation voucher
    Pub.Date: 11/12/2013 Deadline: 02/04/2014

    Societal Challenges New forms of innovation
    Pub.Date: 11/12/2013 Deadline: 21/04/2015

    Societal Challenges NEW FORMS OF INNOVATION
    Pub.Date: 11/12/2013 Deadline: 31/03/2015

    Societal Challenges NEW FORMS OF INNOVATION
    Pub.Date: 11/12/2013 Deadline: 29/04/2014

    Science with and for Society Call for integrating Society in Science and Innovation
    Pub.Date: 11/12/2013 Deadline: 16/09/2015

    Science with and for Society Call for integrating Society in Science and Innovation
    Pub.Date: 11/12/2013 Deadline: 02/10/2014

    FET-Proactive - emerging themes and communities
    Publication date 2013-12-11  
    Deadline Date 2014-04-01 17:00:00 (Brussels local time)
    Budget €35,000,000

    Industrial Leadership Boosting the Investment-Readiness of SMEs and Small Midcaps
    Pub.Date: 11/12/2013 Deadline: 15/04/2014

    Excellent Science Support to innovation, human resources, policy and international cooperation
    Pub.Date: 11/12/2013 Deadline: 14/01/2015

    Excellent Science Support to innovation, human resources, policy and international cooperation
    Pub.Date: 11/12/2013 Deadline: 02/09/2014

    Excellent Science Support to innovation, human resources, policy and international cooperation
    Pub.Date: 11/12/2013 Deadline: 14/05/2014

    Slika: Inovativne vizije držav Baltika
    Vir: organizator konference

    II. Regionalni razvoj je pomemben, treba ga je scela podpreti

    Videli smo veliko dobrih, čeprav nekaj tudi ne tako dobrih predstavitev o tem, kako bi bilo mogoče doseči in ovrednotiti regionalni razvoj, vključno z inovacijami. Dejstvo je, da bodo inovacije postale pomemben dejavnik pri regionalnem razvoju. Skrbi me, da tisti, ki so zadolženi za mehanizme vrednotenja (vodilni partnerji), sami nikoli niso bili vključeni niti nimajo izkušenj z regionalnim razvojem inovacij. Pri ovrednotenju regionalne inovacijske ravni poskušajo uporabiti stare industrijske inovacijske modele, ki vključujejo patente, delovna mesta in industrijske statistične modele. Popolnoma absurdno in nikakor ne ustrezno. Upam, da so pripombe in pogledi, ki so jih ljudje iz neposredne prakse posredovali tistim, ki odločajo, ponudili dovolj snovi za razmišljanje, da bodo začutili in dojeli posebnosti in možnosti regionalnega inovacijskega razvoja, in bodo oblikovali stvarnejše in koristnejše predloge.

    Slika: Violeta Bulc in tim Srca Slovenije
    na Innovation Forum 2013
    Vir: organizator konference


    Glavna načela za oblikovanje Evropske inovacijske politike

    Sprejeta na Vilnijuškem inovacijskem forumu „Tok inovacij“ od 4. do 6. decembra 2013

    Udeleženci prvega Vilnujuškega inovacijskega foruma 2013 „Tok inovacij“ so se strinjali in oblikovali naslednjo deklaracijo „Glavna načela za oblikovanje Evropske inovacijske politike“, ki, zapisana spodaj,
    •    poudarja pomen nadaljnjega povečevanja vlaganja držav članic v raziskovanje in inovacije…
    •    poudarja, da morajo članice EU nadaljevati s skupnimi napori pri oblikovanju vzajemnega Evropskega inovacijskega ekosistema, in kot prvo in najpomembnejše ugotavlja, da lahko združene in usklajene Evropske, regionalne in lokalne inovacijske politike in ustrezno R&R financiranje plodno doprinesejo k trajnostnem evropskem razvoju in konkurenčnosti...
    •    poudarja pomen sodelovanja med članicami EU, še posebej pri krepitvi sinergij med različnimi regionalnimi, nacionalnimi in EU področji raziskovalnih in inovacijskih politik...
    •    vzpodbuja uveljavljanje podjetništva, ki ustanavlja inovativna „start-up“ in „spinoff“ podjetja v evropskih državah; prav tako vidi v MSP pomemben dejavnik ekonomske rasti v prihodnosti...
    •    prepoznava nujnost, da se tudi v okviru programa Horizon 2020 nadaljuje s podpiranjem javno-zasebnega partnerstva kot nosilne platforme za vzpodbujanje nadaljnjega sodelovanja...
    •    naglaša, da pobuda „2010 Innovation Union Flagship“ omogoča veliko koristnih (?)...
    •    poudarja, da je treba Horizon 2020 izvesti in razviti kot program, ki si za cilj postavlja globalne družbenorazvojne izzive. Odprte inovacije, inovacijski pristopi, ki jih vodijo povpraševanje in potrebe uporabnikov, vključno z zelenimi in trajnostnimi inovacijami...
    •    poudarja nujnost premostitve vrzeli med razvojem in trgom...
    •    podčrtuje  pomen ustvarjalnosti, ne-tehnoloških inovacij in izboljšanih standardov za industrijsko konkurenčnost, ter poudarja ustvarjanje medsebojnih sinergij med kulturnimi, ustvarjalnimi industrijami in tradicionalnimi industrijami...
    •    poudarja  nujnost uvajanja poenostavitev in zmanjševanja administracijskega bremena pri vseh javnih R&R programih...
    Več: celoten tekst deklaracije

    Slika: Preko 600 udeležencev "Innovation Forum 2013"
    Vir: organizator konference

    Naj ob koncu zapišem še par besed o mojem stiku z Litvo, ali bolje,  z Vilniusom in drugimi udeleženci na konferenci. Kot prvo, mnogi domačini so zelo podobni Slovencem, neverjetna  enakost obrazov me je vzpodbudila, da bom temu posvetila več pozornosti. Drugič, arhitektura v Vilniusu je čista, prostorna in ustvarjalna. Mesto je gostoljubno, odprto, dobro razporejeno. Vsepovsod je videti vpliv oblikovalcev, to ima pozitiven učinek na ljudi. Ljudje, ki razmišljamo o inovacijah, vedno bolj kot drugi razumemo, da moramo razviti svoj lasten, enkraten pristop do inovacij, ki bo vključeval lokalne značilnosti (kulturo, zgodovino, lokalna znanja). Na priložnostni razstavi, s katero so obogatili konferenčno dogajanje, sem videla veliko naprednih in praktičnih rešitev: mobilne, hitre napravice za testiranje kvalitete svežega mesa in rib, napredne zobozdravniške instrumente in opremo za kvalitetno nego zob, električne motorčke za kolesa in električne avtomobile, naprave za skeniranje hrane za ortopedske pripomočke, imenitna orodja za mobilne igre, itd. Hvala Litva, hvala Vilnius!


    Slika: Vilnius ponoči
    Vir: Vibacom

    Dajmo, vstopimo v leto 2014 z ustvarjalno energijo, ki stremi in zmore delati dobro tako za posameznike in skupnosti kakor za naš skupni veliki planet Zemljo kot celoto. Otresimo se starih vzorcev in si drznimo ustvariti radikalno družbo, ki bo omogočila razcvet človeške vrste in mirno sobivanje s preostalo naravo. To si  zaslužimo!

    Želim vam uspešno 2014, Violeta

    Kako lahko sodelujemo 
    Kje se lahko srečamo
    Zanimive povezave

              Involucija in evolucija – Tajvan 2013   
    Ko me je profesorica Ming Fen povabila, da bi se kot ena od uvodnih predavateljic udeležila Mednarodne konference o socialno okoljskem izobraževanju na novo porajajoče se eko-civilizacije, sem se z velikim veseljem pozitivno odzvala zaradi (takrat) dveh razlogov:

    1) Tajvan je, vsaj zame, ena od vodilnih tehnološko razvitih držav na svetu. Ker sem sama po formalni izobrazbi računalniška inženirka, me je možnost, da o računalniški industriji v tej državi zvem kaj več, prijetno vzradostila. Saj to je pomenilo spoznati, kako se Tajvanci odzivajo na globalne trende, kako razmišljajo, kako oblikujejo odločitve, kako vzpostavljajo sisteme, s katerimi se soočajo z izzivi novega sveta in kako pri tem ohranjajo človeški aspekt življenja.
    International Conference Social Environmental Education for an Emerging Eco-Civilization, Enacting Unbounded Collaboration and Evolutionary Development for “Glocal” Eco-Communities: A New Paradigm of Public Engagement and Social Innovation
    NTNU, Tajvan 21 – 22 July, 2013
    Jezik: angleški, kitajski

    Glocal = Global and local
    2) Tema mojega prispevka, ki mi jo je predlagal organizator, me je presenetila in izzvala, da s premislekom sežem čez svoje običajne okvire ter tako razvijem nove poglede na delo, s katerim se ukvarjam.

    Članek & prezentacija: “Connecting Evolution and Involution to Create a Positive Foundation for an Eco-Civilization”, V. Bulc,  NTNU, Taipei, Tajvan 2013.

    Delavnica: Collective Dialog on Green Social Innovation; Udeleženci: 60 predstavnikov gospodarstva, vlade, univerze, raziskovalne dejavnosti in nevladne organizacije; gostitelji: MingFen Li & KingKong Lin, Alexandr Laszlo & Violeta Bulc.

    Evolúcija je biološki proces, pri katerem se genski zapis populacij organizmov spreminja iz generacije v generacijo. Čeprav so spremembe znotraj posamezne generacije majhne, se organizmi z njihovim kopičenjem zlagoma spreminjajo in sčasoma lahko ta proces vodi v nastanek novih vrst. Vir:, Junij 2013

    Involution (Meher Baba), the inner path of the human soul to the self
    Involution algebra, a *-algebra: an algebra equipped with an involutionVir::, junij 2013

    Slika: Transparent/ znak Tajvanske fakultete
    Vir: Vibacom
    Ko sem prispela na Tajvan, sem kmalu ugotovila, da naslov mojega uvodnega predavanja ni bilo edino presenečenje, ki me je čakalo na mojem obisku. Teden dni na Tajvanu mi je dalo precej več. Moja doživetja so bila globoka, temeljita in navdihujoča.

    Naj nekaj od doživetij posredujem tudi vam. Upam, da jih bom dovolj dobro povzela in tudi vas popeljala na to pomembno potovanje.

    1. Ljudje in arhitektura
    Prvi stik z deželo se je začel s srečanjem z ljudmi in z arhitekturo na letališču. Letališke zgradbe so bile prostorne, zračne in čiste. Izpod stropa nas je gledal velik, pisan zmaj in se nam smehljal. Zame je bilo to prvo srečanje z modernim Tajvanom, prvo od mnogih, ki so mu sledila: druga najvišja zgradba na svetu, brezizrazne zgradbe, ki so me spominjale na podobne slovenske iz istega obdobja, celovito oblikovane hiše z osvežujočimi zelenimi površinami in ekološko dodelanimi prvinami. Hkrati pa sem opazila, da pri oblikovanju prostora razmišljajo o ljudeh in pogojih za njihovo blaginjo. Recikliranje, na primer, so na Tajvanu razvili še za korak dalje. V mestu je težko najti koš za smeti. Ljudje morajo svoje smeti odnesti s sabo domov in jih pravilno razvrstiti.
    Ljudje: Študentje, ki so nas pričakali na letališču, so si naredili pisane in vesele oznake z našimi imeni. Čeprav smo bili precej utrujeni (prileteli smo naravnost iz konference v Vietnamu), so nas nasmejali. V hotelski sobi ja na nas čakalo še eno drobno presenečenje naših gostiteljev – košara s prigrizki tajvanske kuhinje. In to je ustvarilo vzdušje za ves naslednji teden – tako za samo konferenco kakor tudi za pripadajoče poslovne oglede po otoku. Organizatorji so se potrudili, da smo zaznali vsako podrobnost njihove kulture, razvoja, njihovega načina razmišljanja, razumevanja in delovanja na krajevni, regionalni in globalni ravni.
    Slika: Mangov sladoled
    Vir: Vibacom
    Način, kako razmišljajo o življenju, sodelovanju, udeleženosti in občutljivosti v skupnosti, me je navdušil. Zlahka sem začutila prevladujoč duhovni vpliv, ki ga ima budistični nauk v njihovem odnosu do venomer spreminjajočega se življenja. Srečanje z direktorjem budističnega inštituta, ki nas je vse presenetil z radovednostjo in pripravljenostjo poslušati in se naučiti kaj novega, je samo še potrdilo moje začetno prepričanje.
    Slika: Budistični center (Chung Tai Chan Monastery)
    Vir: Vibacom
    Na Tajvanu sem se pogosto počutila povsem domače in pozitivno, začutila sem namreč njihovo spoštovanje do kulture, spoznala številne zelo praktične rešitve, s katerimi se odzivajo na vsakdanje potrebe. Vsepovsod sem videla vrtove, vedno znova občudovala njihovo spoštovanje ekološko pridelane hrane, njihovo odprtost in ponos v majhnih zadevah, ki so segale globoko. Tako tudi med našim obiskom krajevnega umetnika, ki velja za največjega mojstra keramike našega časa, saj se je bolj kot kdorkoli drug poglobil v starodavno veščino keramične obrti, a vseeno živi preprosto, posvečeno življenje v svoji delavnici v okraju Puli. Pogosto so me samo kitajske pismenke opozarjale, da sem v resnici v tuji deželi. Globoko se zahvaljujem svojim gostiteljem za vse izkušnje, znanje in modrost, ki sem jih bila deležna in jih imela priložnost spoznati ne tem potovanju.

    Slika: mojster keramike
    Vir: Vibacom
    2. Konferenca
    Konferenca, zaradi katere smo prišli na Tajvan, je imela izzivajoč naslov (glej zgoraj). Vsebina, ki so jo predstavili sodelujoči na konferenci, pozneje pa tudi na delavnicah, je popolnoma izpolnila njegov namen. Poudarek konference je bil na holističnih in sistemskih praksah ohranjevanja ekološkega okolja in na inovacijah glokaliziranih eko-skupnosti, na pomenu sistematičnega premisleka pri javnem delovanju in eko-razvoju ter o zmožnosti izgrajevanja zelenih družbenih podjetij. 

    Zelo sem bila vesela, da so prakse iz Slovenije, ki sem jih predstavila v svojem prispevku, in sicer, Challenge Future (C:F), Srce Slovenije, InCo gibanje in BTCjeva trajnostna strategija razvoja, pritegnile precejšnjo pozornost in občudovanje.

    Vse štiri prakse imajo nekaj skupnega: vse v svojem poslovnem modelu upoštevajo socialne in/ali poslovne inovacije (izviren način, strast, navdihnjenost iz vira, namenjeno tako posameznikom kakor skupinam) in sistematični pristop, vse upoštevajo in povezujejo točke uspešnega razvoja, vse pri svojem razvoju prepletajo evolucijo in involucijo.

    Moj glavni poudarek prispevka je bil, da med razvojem organizacije (projektov) (evolucija) in razvojem posameznika (involucija), ki so vključeni v projekt, še posebej tistega, ki je lastnik začetne ideje, potekajo vzajemni odnosi. Opozorila sem tudi na bistvene značilnosti, ki so me ohrabrile v veri, da se nova civilizacija že pojavlja, kar pomeni vse večja prisotnost odprtih (inovacijskih) eko sistemov, skupne globalne vrednote, rast celostnega zavedanjs, povečanje obsega zavestnega ravnanja, ki se bogati iz nezavednega, vse večja prisotnost regionalnega in globalnega mreženja, oblikovanje vrednot v medkulturnem sodelovanju, udeleženosti, in vse večji vpliv sistemskega premišljevanja.

    Slika: konferenči plakat
    Vir: Vibacom
    Spoznala sem, da se udeleženci zavedajo istih globalnih izzivov (celo na lokalni ravni) in da moramo nadaljevati z oblikovanjem globalnih mrež in posredovanja primerov dobrega delovanja, da se lahko drug od drugega učimo in skupaj oblikujemo rešitve in razcvet. To lahko počnemo samo v odprtem svetu inovacij, onkraj zemljepisnih meja in političnih ovir. Takšno razmišljanje je temelj pojavljajoče se globalne civilizacije. Z vsako uspešno rešitvijo, ki je plod medsebojnega sodelovanja, čutim, da je energija nove civilizacije vedno močneje prisotna v našem vsakdanjem življenju.
    Delavnica z udeleženci krajevne pobude inovacijskega ekosistema v »Vidim-te-kavarni« je to samo še potrdila. Čeprav mnogi od njih niso govorili angleško, midva z Alexandrom pa ne kitajsko, nama je uspelo, deloma tudi s pomočjo dodatnega prevoda, ustvariti zelo dinamično, dejavno delavnico z aktivnimi udeleženci, v kateri smo si uspešno izmenjali spoznanja o obravnavanih temah.

    Slika: plakat z vmesnimi rezultati
    Vir: Vibacom
    Na koncu smo celo izoblikovali preprost akcijski načrt. Vsi primeri so bili stvarni. Publiki so jih predstavili člani lokalnih nevladnih skupnosti. Bistveni izzivi so bili podobni tistim, s katerimi smo se srečali že na delavnicah Srca Slovenija ali pa o njih brali na C:F portalu (ki so ga identificirali mladi), med drugim, pomanjkanje izobrazbe, pomanjkanje ustreznih informacij za jasno odločanje, pomanjkanje sodelovanja in inovacij.

    Slika: Tajvanska delavnica
    Vir: Vibacom
    Težave smo premagali tako, da smo opredelili model deležnikov inovacijskih ekosistemov vezanih na izbrane projekte, bistvene izzive, bistvena orodja in bistvene ukrepe. Veselilo me je, da je veliko skupin uporabilo »U« metodo (ki jo uporabljajo tudi člani InCo gibanja). Bilo je veliko veselja, smeha, živahnih pogovorov in ponosnih predstavitev v naši učilnici. Hvala ti, Tajvan, za to izkušnjo in priložnost biti član ekipe moderatorjev.

    3. Sistemska znanost
    Konferenca in spremljevalni program na Tajvanu sta ponovno potrdila, da se sistemska znanost in sistemsko mišljenje krepita po vsem svetu ter tako ustvarjata platformo za trajnostno in cvetoče reševanje problemov. To so ugotovile tudi mnoge vladne službe … samo upam lahko, da se bo tudi Slovenija ugotovila, da so celostne rešitve tiste, ki ponujajo veliko več stabilnosti, trajnosti in rezultatov.

    Slika: Skupinska slika gostov in gostiteljev
    Vir: Vibacom

    Ko se oziram nazaj, ugotavljam, da smo na Tajvanu srečali veliko raznovrstnih stvari. Videli smo neverjetne ljudi, izvedeli za mnoge zanimive projekte, si ogledali čudovito naravo, muzeje, budistične centre, lokalne osnovne in srednje šole, spoznali umetnika in ljudi pri delu. Bilo je toliko tega, da sem pri vsem skupaj celo pozabila, da bi ljudi povprašala o industriji visoko razvite tehnologije. Če ne bi imela HTC mobilnega telefona, izdelanega na Tajvanu (na kar so nas mnogi ljudje ponosno opozorili), bi povsem pozabila na visoko tehnološko razvitost Tajvana. A morda pa prav ta informacija že sama po sebi veliko pove.

    Oj, Violeta

    Priporočamo ogled:

    Kako lahko sodelujemo 
    Kje se lahko srečamo

              S sistemskim pristopom do hitrejšega razvoja, Vietnam 2013   
    Ko me je predsednik ISSS (International System Science Society), Alexander Laszlov, pred letom in pol povabil, da prevzamem vodenje skupine za design programa svetovne ISSS konference v Vietnamu, sem vlogo sprejela s spoštovanjem in radovednostjo. Brez pričakovanj in brez vizije, kam me/nas bo naloga pripeljala. Bila je naporna, a izjemno bogata izkušnja, obogatena z vsaj tremi ključnimi vsebinami:
    1. vodenje globalnega projekta (člani so bili iz vseh celin planeta Zemlja),
    2. lansiranje naše nove knjige o InCo gibanju “The Magic of Contribution” v Vietnamu in
    3. izjemna doživetja Vietnama skozi prizmo njihovih ljudi, projektov in priložnosti, ki jih vidijo za svoj razvoj.

    Slika: Vietnam the design tim
    Vir: Vibacom
    Osebno sem dojela ključna sporočila konference kot:
    • Sistemsko razmišljanje in sistemska znanost postajajo osrednji način razmišljanja novo razvijajoče se planetarne civilizacije.
    • Sistemsko razmišljanje se razvija v smeri sistemske zavesti in sistemskega sebstva z razumevanjem pomena posameznice/ka kot aktivnega in samostojnega dela celote.
    • Vse večji poudarek je na inteligenci odnosov in uravnoteženosti med kolektivnim in individualnim; pri tem je v veliko pomoč sistemsko razmišljanje.
    • Priča smo premiku od planiranja aktivnosti k dizajniranju pogojev in okolja, ki dovoljuje nastajanje novega.
    • Za vodje/managerje bo pomemben premik k učinkovitemu zagotavljanju okolja, ki bo dovoljevalo pogoje za nepredvidljivo, vnašanje elementov presenečenja, drugačnosti, ki bo dovoljevalo oblikovanje lastnih pogledov brez v naprej definiranih okvirjev razmišljanja in sklepanja (kot je poudaril v svojem zaključnem govoru zdaj že bivši predsednik ISSS, prof. A. Laszlov, “prispevek sistemske znanosti k razvoju cvetočega planeta ni v sajenju semen, ampak v pripravi rodovitnega polja, ki je pogoj za zdrav pridelek).
    • Prihodnost je v povezovanju, soustvarjanju, razumevanju soodvisnosti in aktivni participaciji tako na lokalnem kot globalnem nivoju
    Celotno sporočilo konference bi lahko strnila v: “Bodi sam sistem, ki ga želiš živeti”.

    Izkušnja vodenja globalnega projekta

    A. Tim: virtualni tim, ki sem ga prevzela v vodenje je bil precej velik.  Na začetku je celo kazalo, da ga bo nemogoče voditi. Pa vendar, ko smo po nekaj skype srečanjih uskladili naša pričakovanja, razumeli ambicije, s katerimi smo člani/ice vstopili v projekt, uskladili pojmovnik in jasno opredelili okvir projekta, je delo steklo. Danes, na zadnji dan konference, lahko rečem,  da je struktura in vsebina konference dobro podprla aktivnosti na parketu, dovolila dovolj prostora za druženje in osebne kontakte, hkrati pa vedno znova vzpostavljala dinamiko med udeleženci.
    Members of the team: Alexander Laszlo (President of the ISSS), Jacqui Wilmshurst, Pamela Buckle Henning, Barbara Widhalm, Kathryn Bottrell, Todd Johnston, Palma Vizzoni, Karri Winn, Will Varey, Ockie Bosch, Irma Wilson, Violeta Bulc (Coordinator of the Conference Design Team), Nam Nguyen (Coordinator of the Conference Organization & Logistics team), George Por (Coordinator of the Collective Intelligence Enhancement Lab team), Stefan Blachfellner (Coordinator of the External Communication & Coordination team), Jennifer Wilby (Vice President for Administration and the central reference point for the official ISSS activities)
    B. Prednosti vodenja virtualnega projekta: virtualni projekt lahko vodiš iz pisarne (včasih tudi iz dnevne sobe); poraba časa za srečanja je veliko bolj učinkovita (po dveh urah začne koncentracija padati, zato sestanki praviloma ne trajajo več kot 2 uri), vsi zapisi in komentarji se beležijo v živo in se simultano dopolnjujejo, popravljajo; ko ne zmoreš več, ali pa imaš druge obveznosti, se lahko hitro posloviš.  
    Slabosti virtualnega projekta: težko vzdržuješ koncentracijo ljudi (da bi povečali učinkovitost telekomunikacijskih linij, smo pogosto izključili video del in bilo je čutiti, da člani opravljajo še dodatna dela za računalnikom, zato njihova participacija ni bila vedno osredotočena na obravnavane teme), vstop v tim in izstop iz timskega dela je samo klik stran, kar je večkrat moteče, (manjša disciplina), ne osebnega, neposrednega kontakta (neposrednega prelivanja energij), kar zmanjša stopnjo spontanosti in kreativnost. Izzivi v vodenju globalnega tima: velike časovno razlike in posledično težave pri usklajevanju urnikov za srečanja (npr. pozna večerna ura v Sloveniji in Južni Afriki, zgodnja ura v Avstraliji, sredi delavnega dne na vzhodni obali ZDA),  zagotavljanje konsistentnosti v timu (prisotnost, angažiranost, vpetost), koordinacija komentarjev, participacije članov virtualnega tima, sposobnost zaznavanja vzdušja v timu in ustreznih intervencij, ko so se misli preveč oddaljile od bistva ali pa prevzele preveč prostora, ipd.
    Več o konferenci pa na naslednjih straneh:
    Local news:
    C. Inovativni dosežki: zelo vzpodbudna izkušnja zame pa je bila, da smo, navkljub omenjenim pogojem delovanja, uspeli inovirati, prebijati vzorce obnašanja in razumevanja in se pri tem še vedno iskreno zabavati. Prav pa je, da na tem mestu omenim, da je pomembno vlogo igralo začetno fizično srečanja šestih članov  tima v Linzu spomladi 2012, kjer smo uspeli postaviti začetna izhodišča za timsko delo. Ključni inovativni prispevki za konferenco v Vietnamu (v primerjavi s prejšnjimi konferencami) so bili: planetarni govorci (v program konference so se v živo javljali sistemski znanstveniki iz vsega sveta in pomembno prispevali k razumevanju razvoja sistemske znanosti in sistemskega razmišljanja po svetu), praktična izkušnja živega laboratorija na otoku Kat Ba

    Slika: otok Kat Ba
    Vir: Vibacom
    (s pomočjo sistemskih pristopov se na otoku prestrukturira celoten gospodarski in družbeni razvoj v dobro lokalnih prebivalcev, turizma in zaščite naravnega okolja),  skupinsko delo udeležencev na iskanju točk preliva razvijajoče se nove eko civilizacije in zajem ključnih izzivov pri njenem nastajanju, sama struktura programa (številne jutranje in večerne aktivnosti vezane na zajem refleksij udeleženk/cev, izmenjave izkušenj v okviru manjših interesnih skupin, vsebinskih dnevnih osredotočenj, ipd),  sam proces nastajanja programske sheme konference (evolucijski pristop, participativni, soustvarjalni); dodatne pomembne inovativne aktivnosti so se odvijale tudi na področju vzpostavitve virtualnega orodja v podporo participativnega povezovanja in sodelovanja (CIEL – collective intelligence evolutionary lab); novost je bilo tudi vzporedno tekmovanje študentov iz Vietnama in Avstralije v virtualni igri – Ecopolicy.

    Lansiranje nove knjige ob sedmi obletnici delovanja InCo gibanja “The Magic of Contribution”

    Prav poseben občutek, ko lansiraš knjigo na globalnem nivoju, na svetovni konferenci, s pol urno prezentacijo, ki je odlično sprejeta med poslušalci. Hvala vsem, ki ste sodelovali pri pripravi knjige in vsem, ki ste z odprtimi srci sprejeli njena ključna sporočila:

    Slika: Lansiranje knjige, Vietnam
    Vir: Vibacom

    Slika: Naslovnica e-knjige
    Vir: Vibacom

    Izkušnja Vietnama

    Ko sem se odpravljala v Vietnam me je preveval občutek mirnega vznemirjenja. Vedela sem, da grem v novo izkušnjo, v novo deželo. Hkrati se mi je dozdevalo, da grem v znane vibracije. Zdaj vem zakaj.

    Slika: Violeta Bulc, otok Kat Ba
    Vir: Vibacom
    Bila je nepozabna izkušnja. Izjemno prijazni, veseli ljudje. Izjemno strokovni in profesionalni. Več kot 80 milijonski narod, ki se pospešeno razvija v okviru svojih neizmernih potencialov: v naravi, v ljudeh, v ambicijah, v zgodovini, v prihodnosti. Lahko bi jim reki tudi dežela skuterjev.

    Dežela visoke senzibilnosti za povezanost in soodvisnost, pa vendar vse bolj odprta tudi za individualnost. Prepletanje socialističnega duha, ki mi je dajal občutek domačnosti na eni strani in na drugi strani njihova iskrena želja, da se kot država enakovredno postavijo ob bok Kitajski, Indoneziji, Indiji in ostalim državam v regiji kot pomemben igralec pri razvoju azijskega gospodarstva, ustvarjajo impulz novodobnosti, upanja in ustvarjajo prostor za nastajanje številnih tehnoloških, poslovnih in družbenih inovacij.

    Hai Phong še ni doživel turističnega razcveta. Je pa močno gospodarsko in politično središče. Bogato je tudi kulturno izročilo. Ljudje pa so, še ne navajeni turistov, radovedni, a nikakor ne vsiljivi. Pravi užitek se je sprehajati po številnih ulicah, kjer se prepletajo motoristi, pešci, avtomobili, kolesarji –vrvež, v katerem pa se počutiš varnega in dobrodošlega.

    Slika: Budistični center
    Vir: Vibacom

    Slika: TK napeljava
    (težko verjameš, da se ob tovrstni napeljavi dogajajo
    “high-speed” telekomunikacije povezave – a se!)
    Vir: Vibacom
    V luči našega projekta je bilo posebej osvežujoče dejstvo, da je najvišje politično vodstvo tako profesionalno pristopilo k uporabi sistemske znanosti za prestrukturiranje njihovega gospodarstva in družbe kot celote. Pri tem igra  veliko vlogo tudi njihovo sodelovanje z Univerzo Adalade iz Avstralije.

    Slika: Hai Phong vodstvo
    (ustanovitev mednarodnega združenja za
    sistemsko znanost v Hai Phongu)
    Vir: Vibacom

    Slika: V. Bulc, Mr.Thanh, član komiteja Republike Vietnam in partijski sekretar
    Vir: Vibacom

    Sicer pa so ulice Hai Phonga, kjer smo preživeli en teden kot eno veliko mravljišče – na ulicah se dogaja trgovina, na ulicah se prehranjuje, druži, sobiva v polnem pomenu razvijajočega se inovacijskega ekosistema.

    Slika: Utrip s tržnice
    Vir: Vibacom

    Slika: Prodaja sadja na tržnici
    Vir: Vibacom

    Vsekakor je Vietnam destinacija, ki jo priporočam.


    Priporočamo ogled: 


    Kako lahko sodelujemo 
    Novice, ki navdihujejo
    Kje se lahko srečamo

              O odgovornih inovacijah iz Haaga   
    Stvari se spreminjajo. Po vsem svetu se po univerzah ubadajo z istim vprašanjem: Ali svoje študente učimo prave reči? Po drugi strani v vedno več podjetjih ugotavljajo, da morajo na novo zaposlene mlade izobražene ljudi najprej reprogramirati, preden jih lahko koristno vključijo v svoje inovacijske projekte in ekosisteme.

    Do podobnih spoznanj so se prikopali tudi inženirji: »Kako lahko zagotovimo, da bodo naše inovacije in odkritja odgovorno uporabili?« Ne gre samo za orodja, modele ali postopke. Jeroen Van den Hoven, uvodni govornik na konferenci je poudaril, »da si mora vsak, ki se ukvarja z inovacijami, zastaviti ključno vprašanje o tem, katerega od velikih socialnih izzivov bo pomagala razrešiti njegova ali njena inovacija«. Torej, ali živimo v zmoti? Ne. Sama sem spoznala, da si moram zastaviti drugačno vprašanje. Kateri so tisti znaki, ki kažejo, da se svet spreminja, razvija, premika naprej? Zato sem, namesto da bi iskala, kaj je prav ali ne, začela poslušati, celo med lastnim predavanjem. Bolj kakor samemu govorjenju sem sledila govorici teles poslušalcev, iskram v njihovih očeh, njihovim pripombam in vprašanjem. Doživela sem jih celostno in tako, si predstavljam, bi morda lahko začeli gledati na življenje. Vsak dan. Preden pa posredujem svoje ugotovitve iz konference, bi vam rada posredovala nekaj misli o konferenci sami, ki so jih podali njeni organizatorji.

    Slika: Ronald Ortt
    Vir: Vibacom arhiv
    V: Torej kaj je obe zvezi, IEEE in ICE, pripeljalo do tega, da sta tokrat vsakoletno globalno srečanje organizirali skupaj in ga posvetili odgovornim inovacijam in podjetništvu?Dr. Roland Ortt: Obe zvezi inovacije obravnavata kot svojo pomembno vsebino. Zato smo se letos odločili, da se povežemo in tako skupaj nagovorimo to temo. Ko smo se poglobili vanjo, smo se zavedli, da se v njenem ozadju skriva precej zadev, ki zahtevajo dodatni premislek, poleg hvaljenih in takih s srečnim koncem obstaja namreč tudi veliko manj uspešnih. Na področju inovacij prihaja tudi do velikega števila napak in napačno vodenih primerov, še posebej v fazi razvoja samih inovacij. Prihaja do izgub, slabega investiranja in neuspehov tako na vseh ravneh organizacije, kakor na vseh stopnjah inovacijskega življenjskega cikla. Neprestano iščemo meje, istočasno pa poskušamo tudi socialno odgovorno delovati. Zato smo hoteli temu posvetiti posebno pozornost. K temu pa me je še dodatno vzpodbudila zgodba ameriškega avtorja, ki so ga pri nekem ameriškem časopisu povabili, da naj napiše kaj o veličini inovacij. Odkril je, da vse inovacije niso ravno blesteče. Opozoril je tudi na nekatere stranske učinke inovacij. Članek so mu zavrnili in ga nikoli niso objavili. Tako se je torej izoblikovala tema konference o odgovornih inovacijah. Povsem naravno.

    V: Kaj bi radi dosegli s konferenco?
    Dr. Roland Ortt:
    Zastavili smo si tri cilje:
    1. organizacijski cilj (povezati dve različni skupnosti: ICE kot evropsko organizacijo in IEEE skupino kot že staro inženirsko organizacijo ter skupaj načeti temo inovacij, ki že po svoji naravi sega na mnoga raznovrstna področja);
    2. vsebinski cilj (povečati zavest o nujnosti odgovornih inovacij);
    3. strukturni cilj (v Evropi izpeljati konferenco, ki bo skupaj pripeljala ljudi iz vsega sveta in bo imela trajnejšo prihodnost. Hkrati pa nismo poskušali ponuditi samo predstavitev, ampak oblikovati tudi delovna srečanja, na katerih okoli okrogle mize sodelujejo ljudje tako iz akademskega okolja, kakor javni delavci in poslovneži).

    Slika: "Različen pogled na svet"
    Vir: Vibacom arhiv
    Na konferenci smo bili res predavatelji iz vsega sveta, ki smo predstavili in načeli veliko zanimivih, tako splošnih kakor povsem praktičnih vprašanj s področja inovacij. Še posebej bi rada izpostavila naslednja spoznanja:
    • inženirskih krogih je vprašanje o odgovornih inovacijah postalo resno upoštevana tema: čeprav je mogoče slišati pripombe, da se inženirji ukvarjajo zgolj z reševanjem tehničnih izzivov ali da vojaške raziskave zadržujejo veliko odličnih tehničnih rešitev, ki bi koristile ljudem, je prevladalo vzdušje o odgovornosti inovacij, podjetništva in potrebi po njihovem sistematičnem razmisleku; zato je treba to temo vključiti v izobraževalne programe inženirjev po vsem svetu.
    • po vsem svetu se pojavlja vrsta podobnih izzivov: na primer, eden pomembnejših je, kako ljudi pripraviti do tega, da bi svoje raziskave začenjali od spodaj navzgor (bottom-up approach). Ali pa kako bi dvignili mero odgovornosti, skrajšali razvojni cikel in ga odgovorno upoštevali. Pa tudi kako bi prepoznali prave potrebe, ki imajo dolgotrajen učinek, ali kako bi v razvoj izdelka vključili tudi etične in kulturne razsežnosti. In podobno.
    • še vedno se ne potrudimo dovolj, da bi se drug od drugega več naučili: drug drugega pretežno še vedno samo obveščamo o tem, kaj smo naredili, precej manj pa rešitve, ki jih potrebujemo, iščemo drugod po svetu. V glavnem jih poskušamo izumiti na novo. Kakorkoli že, ko to počnemo, v rešitve pogosto še vedno vtiskujemo stare miselne vzorce in zastarelo mentalno arhitekturo ter tako zapravljamo priložnost, da bi se iz globalnega bazena znanja, ki tam zunaj že obstaja, kaj novega naučili. Z drugimi besedami, vznemirljive priložnosti za medstrukturno izmenjavanje izzivov in rešitev dejansko obstajajo. Globoko sem prepričan, da je nastopil čas, da se bolje povežemo in učinkoviteje uporabimo znanje in izkušnje, ki so nam kot globalni skupnosti na razpolago ter da tako nagovorimo vsaj skupne globalne izzive.
    • razvidno je, da se med uveljavljenimi spoznanji in v medsebojni odvisnosti zaradi globalizacije in odprtih sistemov kaže vedno več ne-linearnih in nepredvidljivih izzivov. Zato potrebujemo novo obliko izobraževalnih sistemov, odprtih za nove potrebe in priložnosti. Rabimo izobrazbo, ki bo ljudi opremila z znanjem o sistemskih vidikih, o trajnostnih inovacijskih pristopih, o posledicah razvoja. Izobrazbo, ki bo ljudi vzpodbudila k ustvarjanju novih, trajnostnih vizij za »stvaren« (flat) svet, v katerem živimo.
    • in še nekaj dodatnih namigov:
    a) osredotoči se na težavo: »Delovno ekipo oblikuj okoli ključnih težav. Odzivi tvojih strank ne pomenijo zaključek zgodbe o tvojem izdelku.«
    b) ugotovi pravo naravo svojega podjetništva: »Podjetništvo ne pomeni upravljanja.« Obstaja precejšnja razlika med znanjem in orodji, ki jih mora obvladati posameznik, da postane uspešen podjetnik, in tistimi, ki jih potrebuje uspešen upravitelj. En od najbolj škodljivih korakov na podjetniški poti je, da podjetnika silimo, da že na začetku novega posla spiše poslovni načrt; po drugi strani pa je prav tako škodljivo, da podjetnik ne odstopi, ko podjetje postane dovolj veliko, da ga mora začeti voditi upravitelj.
    c) s sredstvi podprta produktna platforma: »Sredstva, potrebna za razvoj produktne platforme pomenijo faktor vlaganja (input). Hkrati pa sredstvene platforme same pomenijo pomemben del sredstev podjetja. Za razvoj produktov je dobro, da ima podjetje s sredstveno platformo (platformo virov) zato, da se lahko hitro in učinkovito odziva.«
    d) inovacijske šole (I-Schools): nastalo je celo področje novih strokovnih znanj, pristojnosti, pojmov in modelov, ki jih potrebujemo za podporo nastajajočega sveta inovacij. Novi pojmi kot so: »oblikovno mišljenje« (design thinking), »odzivni razvoj računalniških programov« (agile software development), »vitko podjetništvo« (lean entrepreneurship) in “sistemično razmišljanje” (systemic thinking) ter podobno, ki jih je opredelil Nathan Furr, se v praksi hitreje pojavljajo kot v akademskih krogih in sisteme izobraževanja izzivajo, da naj se preoblikujejo in se odzovejo na dejanske potrebe ljudi.
    e) povezovanje vsebin: vedno večja je tudi potreba, da svet vrednot, norm, idej, etike in načel ter svet artefaktov, arhitekture, materialov, standardov in sistemov povežemo v celostno reševanje osrednjih izzivov naše družbe.
    f) množične inovacije: povečuje se tudi potreba po množičnih inovacijah, povezovanju sodelujočih v mreže (collaborative networks) in spontanih pobudah, ko se pojavijo novi izzivi. Ko sem predstavila izkušnje Vibacoma in ugotovitve InCo gibanja, sem spoznala, da v mnogih krogih še vedno ne razlikujejo med množičnimi inovacijami (mass innovation) in mreženji sodelujočih (collaborative innovation). Toda z naraščajočo potrebo po tem, da z inovacijami začenjamo pri dnu (bottom-up inovation) in z že prepoznanimi potrebami po mreženju sodelujočih, se svet počasi pomika v smeri razvoja množičnih inovacijskih ekosistemov.

    Kako pa je z mano? Eden od pomembnejših razlogov, da sem sodelovala na tej globalni konferenci kot predavateljica, je bila želja, da si z ljudmi iz vsega sveta izmenjam svoje poglede in ugotovim, kaj počnejo oni, da svoje delo umestim v globalno skupnost, spoznam kaj novega in drugim omogočim, da se kaj naučijo od mene. Hvaležna sem za povabilo. In lahko rečem, da se v Sloveniji gibljemo po pravih mejah in s pomembnimi spoznanji ter vizijami tudi sami prispevamo v globalno družbo razvijajočega se znanja. Še dodatno sem utrdila spoznanje, da se skupaj pomikamo proti viziji cvetočega planeta.

    Haag 2013
    Vir: Vibacom arhiv
    Svoj prispevek za Aktualno 2.0 bi rada končala s ključnim sporočilom, ki ga je dekan Univerze v Leidnu podal v svojem nagovoru: »Nujno je, da postanemo močnejši v svojih vizijah in šibkejši v svojih omejitvah.« Kako res.
    Oj, Violeta

    Priporočamo ogled: 


    Kako lahko sodelujemo 
    Kje se lahko srečamo

              Zahodni Balkan - Regija, ki se prebuja   
    Kot otrok socializma in SFRJ večkrat razmišljam o znanju in izkušnjah, ki mi jih je prinesel razpad Jugoslavije. V sebi ne čutim nobene nostalgije ali emocionalnih blokad zaradi razpada politične entitete. Pač pa so prisotna spoznanja, kot:

    - že zdavnaj razumem, da je družba dinamična struktura, ki se ves čas spreminja, prilagaja, transformira. Ki več čas prehaja iz reda v nered in ponovno v red. Prav zato so mi izzivi Evropske Unije domači. So tipični izzivi vseh, ki v raznolikosti težijo k federaciji, k vzpostavljanju političnih meja. Ki v svoji vnemi po kontroli in obvladovanju vzvodov povezovanja, prezrejo, da je bistvo uspešnega  sodelovanja v razumevanju potrebe in v ustvarjanju dodane vrednosti za to potrebo. Ki se le-ta kot vir razvoja deli med partnerji, ki so jo ustvarili,
    Ko je svet podvržen visoki stopnji sprememb, raznolikosti in neskončnih možnosti, je zelo pomembno, da v sebi nosimo mir. Da so naše misli zbrane, osredotočene. Da vemo, kaj hočemo. Da prepoznamo sebi lastne strukture skozi katere lahko slišimo, vidimo, začutimo in realiziramo priložnosti, ki so prave za nas. Ki nam v svetu neskončne raznolikosti, pomagajo realizirati tiste, ki nas napolnijo z vznesenostjo, veseljem, globokim notranjim smislom lastnega obstoja.  Slednje velja tako za nas posameznice, za organizacije, skupnosti, partnerstva, mreže, regije, celine.
    O slednjem nas uči tudi zgodovina, nas učijo priložnosti današnjega dne. 
    - jasno je razvidno in naravno, da sta administracija in javna uprava živa organizma, ki težita k rasti in trajnostnemu razvoju. Žal so tudi države, skupnosti, kot odraščajoči najstniki, ki se želijo vse naučiti same,

    - da se je od zgodovine dobro učiti, a se od nje ne da živeti. Potrebno je ukrepati vsak dan, generirati vrednost in se ves čas dinamično prilagajati.
    SAMIT100 poslovnih voditeljev JV Evrope je edinstven koncept v organizaciji srbskega združenja managerjev SAM, hrvaškega združenja delodajalcev HUP in slovenskega Združenja Manager, ki predstavlja močno kohezivno silo prihodnjega gospodarskega povezovanja regije in konkreten prispevek vodilnih managerjev k pospešenemu gospodarskemu sodelovanju in večji konkurenčnosti na prostorih nekdanje skupne države. Več...
    Zato je bilo toliko bolj osvežujoče srečanje poslovnežev Zahodnega Balkana koncem maja v Črni gori. Srbi, Slovenci, Bosanci in Hercegovci, Makedonci, Črnogorci in Hrvati smo sedeli v isti dvorani polni konstruktivnih energij. Zvedavi, navdušujoči, optimistični in veseli, da smo prebili stekleni strop temačnosti in tragičnih dogodkov polpretekle zgodovine. Naj se nikoli ne izgubi spomin na njih. Naj nas vedno znova spominjajo na dimenzije, ki nosijo v sebi destrukcijo, sovraštvo, bolečino in hlad. A naj ostanejo le spomin.
    Politični Vrh Zahodnega Balkana
    vir: arhiv Samit100, 2013
    “Nesporno je, da za Slovenijo regija predstavlja ključno področje delovanja, saj vanjo usmerjamo večino svojih investicij (v letu 2011 70% vseh investicij), prav tako pa je regija naš drugi najpomembnejši partner z vidika mednarodne menjave in sicer takoj za EU. V regiji so namreč prisotna vsa večja slovenska podjetja, majhna in srednje velika podjetja, ki se osredotočajo na tržne niše, pa prav tako povečujejo svojo prisotnost. “
    Minister Stepišnik,  SAMIT 100, Črna gora 2013
    Življenje vabi vse v ustvarjalni proces. V sodelovanje in skupno kreacijo današnjega in jutrišnjega dne. Spoznanje, da le povezani, lahko kandidiramo za posle, ki omogočajo dovolj dodane vrednosti za razvoj in blaginjo, presega politične okvirje. Lepo je sicer bilo videti in slišati politični vrh Zahodnega Balkana v skupni okrogli mizi, a nam je hkrati dal tudi jasno sporočilo, da brez trdnega gospodarstva, nimajo nobene prave veljave v globalni skupnosti.
    G. Petrovič, koja je bila potreba koja vas je inspirirala za lansiranje Sumit100 događaja?
    Integracija je preduslov rasta i to je primarni motiv inicijative Samita100 biznis lidera regiona. Pojedinačno svaka od naših zemalja u regionu mala je i skoro beznačajna sa stanovišta globalnog tržišta. Strani kapital traži ekonomiju obima (economy of scale) da bi realizovao svoj zahtevani povrat na investiciju – udruživanjem mi postajemo teritorija od 22 miliona stanovnika na bilo koji način vezani za nas da obezbedimo velike projekte i poslove. Več...
    Milan Petrovič, Duško Knežević 
    vir: arhiv Samit100, 2013
    Meni osebno je srečanje pomagalo do naslednjih dodatnih spoznanj:
    1. v globalni skupnosti obstajajo trgi, ki, izven neposrednega, prevladujočega anglo-saškega vpliva, pomembno prispevajo k novi gospodarski podobi sveta: Rusija, deli Bližnjega Vzhoda, Afrika, JV Evropa,
    2. na Balkanu je možen razcvet dveh poslovnih modelov: prvega, ki temelji na konceptu tranzita (telekomunikacije, energetika, promet, ipd) in drugega, ki temelji na sistemskih pristopih v odnosu do ključnih kupcev (gradbeništvo, kmetijstvo, turizem, bančništvo, področja, ki potrebujejo dinamične, izobražene, multijezikovno usposobljene ljudi, ipd.),
    3. skupna zgodovina in balkanski prostor so stkali med ljudmi nevidne vezi, ki na osnovi gospodarskih potreb in tržnih priložnosti nosijo v sebi velik potencial kreacije in uspeha. Naša moč je v neverjetni prilagodljivosti, iznajdljivosti, strokovnosti in iskreni želji po dobrem življenju. Še vedno so objemi med nami pristni, strastni in še vedno nosijo občutek domačnosti, varnosti in zaupanja. Globina slovanske duše, njena izjemna intuicija, strast in empatija so kvalitete današnjega čas. Zato je čas za balkanska partnerstva na temelju gospodarskih interesov in poslovne odličnosti, 
    4. v globalni ekonomiji so za uspeh ključnega pomena šibke mreže, partnerstva, ki temeljijo na potrebi, na konkretnih projektih, dopolnjujočih sposobnostih in preprosti želji po poslovnem uspehu in ustvarjanju družbene blaginje.

    Regija, ki je več desetletij živela močno medsebojno povezana v skupni državi, je posledično razvijala med seboj kompatibilne in dopolnjujoče se kompetence in kapacitete, za njihov pomemben del to velja še danes. Regijo zato moramo znati v dobro vseh ponovno odpreti samo sebi, s tem pa bomo tudi na evropski in globalni ravni postali bolj upoštevanja vreden faktor. 2. Samit 100 Business Leaderjev JV Evrope je pretekli teden postavil in nadgradil pomembne temelje v tej smeri. Najbolj pomembno je, da se sedaj usmerimo v inovativno koncipiranje in realizacijo konkretnih zavezništev denimo v gradbeništvu, ki se že uspešno povezuje v okviru gradbenega konzorcija Feniks, pa v infrastrukturi, energetiki, turizmu…Skupaj smo zagotovo lahko močnejši. 
    Mag. Iztok Seljak, predsednik poslovodnega odbora, Hidria
    Iztok Seljak, Hidria
    vir: arhiv Samit100, 2013
    Naši umetniki, športniki in znanstveniki vedno znova dokazujejo, da je naš način razmišljanja in delovanja izjemno uspešen. Čas je, da to na polno manifestira tudi gospodarstvo. Feniks, kot mreža gradbenih podjetij, ki je kot prva izšla iz dogodka Sumit100, utira optimistično pot gospodarskim povezovanjem Zahodnega Balkana. Naj jim sledi še več gospodarskih navez. Čas je pravi.
    Mednarodni gradbeni konzorcij Feniks, ki združuje preko 45 odličnih slovenskih, srbskih in bosansko-hercegovskih podjetij, z več kot 5 milijardami letnega obsega in preko 30.000 zaposlenimi, je bil ustanovljen konec januarja lani v Beogradu. Pobudnika projekta sta bila srbski PSP Farman in slovenska korporacija Hidria. Že lani so se sprva konzorciju slovenskih in srbskih podjetij pridružila podjetja iz BiH, prav na samitu100 pa se je konzorcij okrepil še s pomembnimi črnogorskimi partnerji. Gre za projekt, katerega namen je predvsem skupen nastop na tretjih trgih (s poudarkom na Rusiji oz. generalno Vzhodni in Jugovzhodni Evropi in Bližnjem in Srednjem Vzhodu).
    Projekt Feniks ima za celotno regijo velik potencial, na kar kaže tudi odločna podpora najvidnejših predstavnikov oblasti vseh sodelujočih držav. V prvem letu delovanja so številne družbe Feniksa že sodelovale na ruskih projektih Feniksovih srbskih partnerjev, zlasti pri Univerzah in hotelih v Sočiju in pri izgradnji znanstveno raziskovalnega središča Skolkovo v Moskvi. V drugem letu delovanja pa Feniks prehaja v konkretne razgovore za projekte v Severni Afriki in na Bližnjem vzhodu. Velik uspeh predstavlja tudi nedavna pridobitev projekta izgradnje stadiona CSKA v Moskvi za svetovno prvenstvo v nogometu leta 2018 s strani PSP Farmana v vrednosti preko 160 milijonov evrov. 
    “Narod si bo pisal sodbo sam, ne vrag mu je ne bo in ne talar” je zapisal veliki slovenski pisatelj Ivan Cankar; svetovljan, ki je siciral slovensko dušo do obisti, jo provociral in ji kazal ogledalo ves čas svojega aktivnega življenja.  Potrebujemo tovrstna ogledala. Da razumemo kdo smo. Da vedno znova lahko iščemo priložnosti za  svoje izboljšave in napredek na osnovi lastne identitete.

    Ponosna sem na svoj narod, na regijo v kateri sem odraščala in iz katere uspešno prodiram v svet. Zaradi lastnih izkušenj in načina razmišljanja prostora. Moč pa mi daje neprestan strokovni napredek.
    Vision: We hold multinational inspiration in our hearts
    Mission: West Balkan Region – the model of emerging thrivable societies
    Vem, da zmoremo! Slovenija, Zahodni Balkan, Balkan in JV Evropa. A brez aktivne vloge bo vse ostal le potencial.  Hvala organizatorjem za povabilo. Hvala za priložnost, da smo lahko še posebej izpostavili pomen medijev, inovacijskega komuniciranja in novinarstva, za uspešen preboj Zahodnega Balkana na globalnih trgih. Naj se iskri naprej in naj naše sposobnosti dobijo polet.

    Okrogla miza: Mediji kao katalizator dogovora za novo doba
    Sonja Šmuc, Branka Đukić, Violeta Bulc, Theodore M. Kyriakou, Ljupčo Zikov
    vir: arhiv Samit100, 2013

    Oj, Violeta

    Več o srečanju najdete tukaj.

    Priporočamo ogled: 

    Kako lahko sodelujemo 
    Kje se lahko srečamo


                Z intuicijo do inspiracije    
      Izkušnje zadnjih tednov so sooblikovale vsebino, ki jo predstavljamo v novem Aktualno 2.0. Upam, da vam bodo koristile:
      • ko boste sprejemali odločitve o svojih izobraževanjih in usposabljanjih,
      • ko boste dvomili v ideje, s katerimi se boste zjutraj zbudili, jih ujeli na sprehodu, ali jih začutili med pogovorom s poslovnimi partnerji,
      • ko bo vaš pogled drugačen od vsega kar ste slišali do takrat,
      • ko vam ne bo jasno, kaj drugim ni jasno.
      V okviru Vibacomovih treningov in kasneje na Upravnem odboru InCo gibanja, smo povezali dolgoletne izkušnje s področja razvoja inovacijskih ekosistemov in izkušnje zadnjih dveh let s področja razumevanja in razvoja intuicije, v nov poslovni model: celosten model razvoja inovacije – 5I (inspiracija, ideja, invencija, inovacija, izboljšava) (Slika 0). Novi model pokaže na neposredno povezavo med nezavednim in zavednim delovanjem človeka, tako v procesu generiranja idej, odločanja, kot tudi trajnostnega inoviranja.

      Vir: InCo gibanje, 2013
      Ključna sporočila novega spoznanja so (Slika 1):
      • eden od možnih začetkov inovacijskega procesa je navdih (inspiracija), ki pride iz polja nezavednega (drugi lahko pride iz povsem racionalnega pristopa - analize),
      • naravno orodje človeka za povezavo z nezavednim je intuicija,
      • v posameznikovem polju nezavednega so vsa njegova pridobljena znanja, izkušnje, genetski spomin, impulzi trenutnega prostora, elementi kolektivne/planetarne/kozmične zavesti,
      • navdih je povezan s človekovo pripravljenostjo za drugačnost, za spremembo, za novo,
      • svojo odprtost za navdih lahko človek poveča s čiščenjem emocionalnih, duhovnih, energijskih in fizičnih blokad, z zavestnim povečevanjem senzibilnosti čutil, z razvojem polne prisotnosti v trenutku, v katerem se nahaja,
      • vsak korak inovacijskega procesa je hkrati tudi zanka, ki se dinamično vrača v vse prejšnje točke; vsak trenutek spremeni pogoje pod katerimi delujemo, se povezujemo, soustvarjamo, zato je ključno, da smo občutljivi na vse spremembe v nas in okoli nas in na osnovi njihovega vpliva dinamično prilagajamo naše aktivnosti.
      Vir: InCo gibanje, 2013

      Nadaljnji razvoj modela:

      1. na nivoju človeka: področje, ki smo ga ozavestili še dodatno okrepi potrebo po celostnem razvoju posameznika na vseh šestih ravneh njegovega vpenjanja v prostor (Slika 2), njegovega razvoja odnosov z vsem kar človek je in z vsem kar je okoli njega. Pri tem bo poseben izziv uravnotežen razvoj vseh 6 ravni, razumevanje več dimenzionalnega delovanja človeka in razvijanje okolja za njegov razcvet s spoštovanjem potreb ostalih deležnikov prostora/planeta.

       2. na nivoju organizacij/skupnosti: enako velja tudi za organizacije/skupnosti, ki so samostojna bitja in se tudi sama vpenjajo na različnih ravneh v prostor v katerem delujejo. Kot za posameznike, tudi za organizacije velja, da imajo svoje nezavedno. Le-to vpliva na sprejemanje odločitev vseh, ki se v njih povezujejo. Vpliva na njihovo inspiracijo, generiranje idej in oblikovanje inovacij, ki se, ali pa tudi ne, pojavljajo v organizacijskih okoljih. Za uspešno generiranje idej in tržno manifestacijo inovacij je zato pomembno vzdrževanje propustnih in aktivnih organizacijskih odnosov, ki vplivajo na pojav navdiha/inspiracije v dobro organizacije (Slika 3).  Vse to pa je odprto povabilo k oblikovanju novih struktur, poslovnih pristopov in metod dela, ki bodo korak po koraku upoštevala in integrirala nova spoznanja o tem kdo smo in s čim vse smo povezani, na kaj vse imamo vpliv in kaj vse ima vpliv na nas. Posledično sooblikujemo kolektivno zavest – grupumovanje (star slovenski izraz za skupno zdravo pametovanje), ki nas vse dela močnejše.

      3. na nivoju ostalih struktur: nova spoznanja samo še utrjujejo več dimenzionalno vpetost človeka, ne le v intimnem prostoru, ampak tudi v vseh prostorih v katerih se giblje, deluje, sobiva (na geografskih lokacijah, na nivoju države, plemena, interesne skupnosti, planeta). Značilnosti organizacije v odnosu do posameznika veljajo tudi za ta nivo (točka 2). Hkrati je potrebno dodatno izpostaviti povezave med strukturami samimi, ki med seboj ustvarjajo nove povezave in vpetosti. Vsaka struktura ima svoje zavedno in nezavedno polje preko katerega vstopa v odnos z ostalimi strukturami, posledično pa tudi s človekom (Slika 4).

      Zakaj so spoznanja koristna za model trajnostnega inoviranja:

      Za uspešen trajnostni razvoj inovacijskih ekosistemov so pomembne vsaj tri ključne stvari:
      • celosten pristop
      • dinamične strukture, ki zagotavljajo neprestano prilagajanje in ustvarjanje inovativnih prebojev na osnovi avtentičnosti, razumevanja potreb in ustvarjanja vrednosti v dobro deležnikov inovacijskega ekosistema in širše družbe
      • neprestan osebnostni razvoj ljudi, ki so-ustvarjajo v inovacijskem ekosistemu.
      Pri iskanju tovrstnih rešitev nas samo racionalni nivo našega dojemanja pusti na cedilu. Ne zmore visoke stopnje kompleksnosti uvidov in odločanja, ki so potrebni za manifestacijo trajnostno vzdržnih in pozitivnih inovacij. Zato smo dobili priložnost, da prebudimo še eno dodatno orodje, ki nam je naravno dano – intuicijo. Z njeno pomočjo dopolnimo razumsko odločanje, ga obogatimo in našim dejanjem damo trajnostnejšo vrednost, in sicer,  preko poglobljenega dialoga na nivoju  posameznika ali grupumovanja na nivoju struktur.

      Kje so navedena spoznanja koristna in neposredno uporabljiva:
      1. pri oblikovanju vizij razvoja (medstrukturno sodelovanje, participativni modeli)
      2. pri razvoju novih produktov, storitev, rešitev (razumevanje potreb in obnašanj, oblikovanje ponudbe, ki ustvarja vrednost za ciljni segment strank)
      3. pri oblikovanju marketinških strategij (vzpostavljanje odkritega, neposrednega stika s tržnimi nišami, razumevanje resničnih potreb, posredovanje informacij v obliki, ki jo tržna niša razume)
      4. pri oblikovanju timov (razumevanje več dimenzionalnosti posameznikov in iskanju zmagovalne kombinacije za katere odgovornost naj prevzame generator ideje oz. vodja projekta)
      5. pri vzpostavljanju odnosov z dobavitelji znanja, materiala, polizdelkov, ipd. (razumevanje skupnega poslanstva in tržnih potreb, ki jih nagovarjamo)
      6. pri oblikovanju lastne identitete in razumevanju neposrednih in posrednih posledic, ki jih s svojimi dejanji ustvarjamo na vseh ravneh svoje pojavnosti in vpetosti.

      Na koncu naj še enkrat poudarim: intuicija je pomemben kanal, orodje za dostop do nezavednih informacij, ki skupaj z zavednimi pripeljejo do pravih odločitev. Nezavedne informacije hote ali nehote vplivajo na sprejemanje naših odločitev, na pojav inspiracije (navdiha, uvida), na celostno, sistemsko delovanje. Upam, da vam bodo spoznanja pomagala pri oblikovanju stabilnega in trajnostno naravnanega okolja ter koristnih inovacij. Včasih se lahko znajdemo v slepi ulici, včasih imamo občutek, da ničesar ne razumemo. A vse to so le dokazi, da se učimo in ko prebijemo prag frustracij, se odpre novo polje, v katerem lahko uspešno delujemo. Namen današnjega prispevka je bil osvetliti še eno dodatno dimenzijo pri iskanju odgovorov na številna vprašanja, ki se nam pojavljajo tako v zasebnem, poslovnem in družbenem življenju. Naj bodo koraki plodni, radostni, s težo in globino vpliva.
      Oj, Violeta

      Priporočamo ogled: 

      Kako lahko sodelujemo 
      Kje se lahko srečamo


                Prostor in intuicija   
      Ko smo v okviru  InCo gibanja v lanskem letu v prostor umestili celostno odločanje in vlogo intuicije v njem, smo že na začetku začutili, da smo odprli pomembno temo, ki je skupna različnim področjem dela in ustvarjanja. Odnosi med znanjem, izkušnjami in nezavednim  ter njihovimi vplivi na naše odločanje, percepcijo, dojemanje in sprejemanje, so neizmeren vir navdiha, idej, invencij in inovacij. Že samo zavedanje obstoja teh odnosov in njihove pojavnosti v različnih prostorih, nas bogati, nam pomaga razumeti kdo smo in kako se gibljemo in odzivamo. Naš današnji gost neprestano raziskuje prostore, ki nastajajo v odvisnosti od elementov, ki ga definirajo. Odkriva njihova obnašanja, njihove vplive na naše dojemanje in razloge, ki pripeljejo do njihovega nastanka. To je Orova zgodba. Dovolite, da vas prevzame in navdahne. Morda bo tudi zaradi njegovih besed vaš svet bogatejši.

      V: Kdo je Or Ettlinger?
      Navdušujejo me kompleksni sistemi in odkrivanje preprostih načel v njihovem ozadju – vzeti nekaj, kar se zdi kompleksno, in to pojasniti, narediti dostopno in uporabno. Gre za način razumevanja sveta, ki ga nasploh zasledujem tako v življenju kakor na različnih področjih mojega zanimanja: v arhitekturi, umetnosti in računalniški tehnologiji, pri ustvarjalnosti, lepoti, digitalnih podobah, v kulturi, pri dizajnu, v osebnem razvoju, glasbi in človeški naravi … Na vsakem od teh področij sem lahko vedno tudi hkrati izvajalec ali teoretik, učitelj ali študent oziroma celo več od teh vlog istočasno. Na nekaterih področjih sem že dosegel dokazane uspehe, na drugih pa še delam na tem.
      Kratek življenjepis
      Dr. Or Ettlinger je vizualni umetnik, teoretik in docent na Fakulteti za arhitekturo Univerze v Ljubjani. Njegovo delo leži na stičišču umetnosti, arhitekture in računalnikov.

      V: Kaj vam pomeni »prostor«?
      Prostor je kontekst, v katerem se pojavijo stvari, je ozadje, ki jim omogoči, da se prikažejo in postanejo to, kar so.

      V: Naslov vaše knjige je Arhitektura virtualnega prostora. Kaj vam pomeni virtualni prostor? Kako bi ga opredelili?
      S tem vprašanjem sem se dolgo časa ukvarjal in pri tem tako študijsko kakor praktično predelal različna povezana področja. Na koncu je to pripeljalo do razumevanja virtualnega prostora, ki se precej razlikuje od večine splošno sprejetih tovrstnih pogledov. Virtualnega prostora namreč ne obravnavam v povezavi z računalniško tehnologijo, niti ga ne vidim kot še enega sveta imaginacije in mi ne pomeni splošnega načina govorjenja o stvareh, ki sicer obstajajo, a so precej neotipljive. Vsi ti so lahko koristni kot metafore, toda sam sem želel najti konsistentnejšo opredelitev tega, kar naj bi nakazovale te metafore.

      Zato sem virtualni prostor namesto tega začel prvenstveno obravnavati kot vizualni pojav: vizualni svet, ki ga doživljamo in je ločen tako od fizičnega prostora okoli nas kakor od mentalnega prostora naše domišljije. Ali z drugimi besedami, gre za slikovne podobe različnih vrst – slike, fotografije, TV, filmi, video igrice, itd. Kadarkoli pogledamo kakšno od njih, se v osnovi ponovi isto: gledamo fizičen predmet z določenim vzorcem na njem, vendar vzorca sploh ne zaznamo. Pač pa preko vzorca vidimo prostor in predmete, za katere se zdi, da stojijo znotraj, v  tem prostoru. Prostor, ki ga tako vidimo, čeprav tam fizično ne obstaja, je tisto, kar pojmujem kot virtualni prostor.

      V: Kje vidite glavne razlike med fizičnim prostorom in virtualnim prostorom? Kaj so dejavniki razlikovanja?
      No, kot prvo, prvi prostor JE fizičen, drugi pa je samo VIDETI fizičen, čeprav ni. Toda samo bistvo virtualnega prostora je v  tem, da mora, vsaj deloma, poustvariti videz fizičnosti, da sploh lahko obstaja. Drugače je vzorec, skozi katerega virtualni prostor vidimo, zgolj vzorec in ne postane nič drugega.

      Seveda fizični prostor tudi vsebuje nas – fizična živa bitja – virtualni prostor pa ne. V virtualni prostor ne moremo stopiti dobesedno (kljub številnim tovrstnim fantazijam v popularni kulturi), toda mentalno se nedvomno z njim lahko ukvarjamo na številnih ravneh. Mnoge vrste umetnosti so skozi stoletja poskušale najti način, kako ustvariti tovrstno izkušnjo. Nikakor ne velja, da so se te reči pojavile šele nedavno, v času računalniške tehnologije, kot se morda zdi danes.

      V: Kaj pa slikarska umetnost ali novi mediji? Za kakšno izkušnjo gre?
      Med starimi in novimi mediji tozadevno ne vidim razlike. Gre le za različne tehnike uresničevanja istega učinka. Napeto platno s skrbno nanesenim barvnim vzorcem nam lahko omogoči, da skozi njega vidimo nekaj, česar ni na samem platnu. Na podoben način lahko na zid projeciran digitalno ustvarjen razpored barvnih točk doseže povsem isti učinek. Oba medija nas lahko tako mentalno kakor emocionalno zaposlita na isti način. Seveda gre pri obeh za povsem drugačne tehnične značilnosti in kulturni izvor, zato so upravičeno predmet različnih teoretičnih pristopov. Toda v obeh primerih vizualne upodobitve je rezultat izkušnja prostora, kjer fizično ni nobenega prostora.

      Photo: The cover of  book
      “The Architecture of Virtual Space”
      Source: Or  Ettlinger
      V: Ali menite, da imata fizični prostor in virtualni prostor podoben učinek na ljudi?
      Da in ne. Fizični prostor ima zelo neposreden, takojšen učinek na nas. Ne moremo ne biti v fizičnem prostoru. Toda njegove prisotnosti se lahko zavedamo do različne mere. Virtualni prostor pomeni drugačno vrsto prisotnosti in čeprav se v njem ne nahajamo dobesedno, nas izkustveno še vedno zaobjema v večji ali manjši meri. Na primer, ko gledamo film, svojo pozornost iz fizičnega prostora, v katerem se nahajamo, aktivno scela preusmerimo na lokacije, predstavljene v virtualnem prostoru.

      Toda tudi ko na zasneženi ulici stopimo mimo reklamnega panoja s sliko palme na plaži v soncu, se, ne glede na to, ali se tega zavedamo ali ne, naša ulica vizualno razširi in vključi tudi virtualni prostor. Virtualen ni v smislu, da prikazana plaža nikjer ne obstaja, ampak da prav tukaj fizično ne obstaja. Seveda je mogoče, da v resnici točno v tej obliki ne obstaja nikjer, toda dovolj je že to, da nas mentalno zaposli in se nas vsaj do določene mere živo dotakne. Če oglaševalcem uspe njihov namen, nas celo zbode, da se namesto tukaj zdaj tam ne nahajamo tudi fizično.

      V:  Kako pa je z odzivom ljudi? Zakaj se v različnih prostorih počutimo bolje ali slabše. Ali arhitekti upoštevajo občutljivost ljudi?
      Nekateri arhitekti se tem stvarem posvečajo bolj, drugi manj. Eni se pri oblikovanju stavbe posvečajo predvsem tehnološko ustrezni konstrukciji, druge bolj zanima funkcionalna učinkovitost, tretje pa kulturni vtis, za katerega so prepričani, da ga morajo podati. So tudi taki, ki nedvomno upoštevajo človekovo počutje v zgradbi ali izven nje. Predvsem v bolj tradicionalnih formah arhitekture je bilo upoštevanje udobnosti življenjskega prostora inherenten del oblikovanja, zato ga ni bilo treba zavestno upoštevati v tolikšni meri kot danes. Toda zaradi drugih zadev, ki so jim začeli dajati prednost, je bil v zadnjih sto letih ta nekoč samoumeven vidik oblikovanja potisnjen vstran in mnogi arhitekti so ga preprosto prezrli.

      V: Kaj mislite, katere prvine imajo največji vpliv na razmerje med prostorom in ljudmi? Morda nam lahko kaj več poveste o svojih izkušnjah pri projektu, ki ste ga izvedeli s svojimi študenti in temelji na znanstveno fantastičnem romanu, po katerem ste oblikovali arhitekturo za film po omenjeni predlogi.
      Projekt je temeljil na knjigi Isaaca Asimova Konec večnosti, zgodbi, ki se na Zemlji v prihodnosti odvija v različnih obdobjih med leti 7000 in 250000. Gre za čas, ki je tako oddaljen od našega, da nič iz zgodovine ali današnjih špekulacij o prihodnosti ni relevantnega za oblikovanje v tistem času. Poleg tega se deli zgodbe dogajajo povsem izven časa. Menim, da je bil to skrajen oblikovalski izziv.

      V: Kako pa se sploh lotite takega projekta? Katere prvine uporabite v enačbi?
      Takega projekta ni mogoče izvesti brez velikega obrata v načinu dojemanja, saj študente šele ta lahko popelje onkraj obstoječih vzorcev mišljenja. Zaradi tega je tudi tako zanimiv in vzgojen. Ena od glavnih težav pri študiju arhitekture – ali vsake druge ustvarjalne poklice – je, da je večina izobraževalnih programov osredotočena na to, kako izdelati uresničljiv projekt. Precej manj pozornosti pa je ponavadi posvečeno samim postopkom ustvarjanja idej in vizij, ki ženejo projekt. Namen projekta je bil izzvati domišljijo študentov in okrepiti njihovo sposobnost, da imajo ves čas pred sabo mentalno sliko nastajajočega projekta.

      V našem konkretnem primeru je šlo prej za iskanje dejavnikov, ki vplivajo na arhitekturo različnih kultur in obdobij, kakor pa zgolj za osredotočenje na vizualen vtis oziroma 'slog'. Zato smo najprej preštudirali različna obdobja in prostore v človeški zgodovini, proučili njihove glavne vrednote in takratno razumevanje vloge arhitekture. Potem so študenti na podlagi Asimove knjige začeli sami izumljati vrednote različnih kultur, ki se pojavljajo v zgodbi, in oblikovali njim ustrezno razumevanje, čemu služi arhitektura in kako se povezuje z njimi. Od tu dalje pa je domišljija študentov kar poletela …

      Photo: A home in the 482nd Century (developed from the book
      "The End of Eternity" by Isaac Asimov)
      Source: Or  Ettlinger

      V: Nam lahko zaupate kakšno od teh prvin?
      Ne gre za formulo. Ta konkreten postopek lahko na primer dojamemo, če poskušamo razumeti, zakaj je arhitektura v našem času takšna, kakršna je. Videti sebe od zunaj je najtežja naloga, toda če današnji čas primerjamo, recimo, z obdobjem izpred dveh tisoč let, bomo takoj videli, da danes vladar ni ne Bog ne cesar, temveč ekonomija. Ko govorimo o vsakdanjih stanovanjskih blokih ali nezaslišano razkošnih hotelih, je jasno, da oboje žene ekonomija – drugače jih sploh ne bi zgradili.

      Poleg tega pa živimo v času, ki je scela osredotočen na posameznikov 'jaz' in se posveča samo zadovoljevanju njegovih potreb in kapric. Orodje, ki to omogoča, je tehnologija. To so torej nekatere od bistvenih prvin, ki določajo sodobno civilizacijo in s tem tudi arhitekturo: ekonomija, individualnost, tehnologija. Če bi si radi nazorno zamislili oddaljeno prihodnost, ne da bi spremenili danes prevladujoč način mišljenja, potem bo vse, karkoli bomo ustvarili, še vednovideti kot produkt poznega 20. ali zgodnjega 21. stoletja.
      Photo: A view from the 2456th Century
      (developed from the book "The End of Eternity" by Isaac Asimov)
      Source: Or  Ettlinger
      V: Ali menite, da obstaja zveza med oblikovanjem prostora in intuicijo? Z intuicijo mislim način, da nekaj dojamemo, ne da bi se zavestno zavedali postopka, kako se je to zgodilo?
      Nedvomno. Naša zmožnost, da svet dojemamo onkraj verbalne analize in čutnih vtisov, je del tega, da smo ljudje. Stopnjo te naše zmožnosti prav tako določa prostor, v katerem živimo. Ali ta vzpodbuja ta način dojemanja ali ga zavira? Vzemimo za primer običajno pisarniško zgradbo v nasprotju z gorsko kočo. Vsaka od njiju na plan prikliče povsem drugačen vidik tega, kdo smo.

      V: Proti koncu vaše knjige se zahvalite mnogim navdihujočim prostorom, kjer ste ure in ure raziskovali. Knjižnice, kavarne, čitalnica v Narodni in univerzitetni knjižnici, in celo Plečnikove klopi v parku … Kako bi opisali svoj odnos do teh prostorov?
      Priskrbeli so mi kontekst, v katerem sem lahko začel ustvarjati, mi dali duševni mir in me navdihnili. V njih sem začutil, da sem sam svoj človek, poln svojih idej, omogočili so mi, da sem se lahko zbral in samo ustvarjal.

      V: Kaj je posebnega v teh prostorih, da to omogočijo?
      Kot prvo, ne vem. Gre za intuitivno občutje. Preprosto začutim prostore, ki me navdihujejo, zato grem raje tja, ne pa drugam. Če me prosite, da natančneje premislim, potem lahko začnem iskati razlage, o katerih lahko razpravljamo na treh ravneh. Prvič, v takšnem prostoru verjetno vlada določeno ravnotežje med naravnim in umetnim, gre za določena razmerja, izbor materialov in tako dalje. To so tehnični dejavniki. Druga raven je, kaj vse lahko ti tehnični dejavniki prikličejo. To se dogaja na ravni določenih občutij, na primer, sproščenosti, občutka varnosti, ali močnega občutka, da si živ. Tretja raven je, kaj lahko takšna izkušnja vzbudi pri različnih ljudeh, na primer, bodisi ustvarjalnost in produktivnost (v mojem primeru) bodisi ravnodušje in dolgčas (v primeru nekaterih drugih, morda).

      V: Kje je po vašem mnenju naslednji veliki izziv v arhitekturi?
      V preteklosti je med izzive spadalo poskrbeti za domovanja množic, razviti cenejše in hitrejše gradbene tehnologije, bolj nedavno pa začeti graditi energetsko varčne hiše, ki ne škodujejo okolju. Mislim, da bo naslednji izziv za arhitekturo, kako vse te pomembne dosežke združiti z bolj človeškimi kvalitetami, ki jih je starejša arhitektura imela a jih je izgubila, ker je poskušala zadovoljiti te zahteve. Obstaja že nekaj neuspelih poskusov, da bi uresničili ta pričakovanja, zaradi katerih je vse skupaj postalo še toliko težje, a prepričan sem, da gre za izziv, ki ga je kljub vsemu vredno zasledovati.

      V preteklih formah arhitekture je prisotno nekaj, kar nagovarja našo intuicijo, prebuja naše čute in izraža trajnost – teh razsežnosti pogosto ni mogoče najti v sodobni arhitekturi. Ne gre za vidni slog ali oblikovne prvine, temveč za bistvene kvalitete, ki jih utelešajo. Ne vidim pa razloga, da arhitektura v prihodnje ne bi iznašla načina, kako spet združiti te izgubljene kvalitete z dosežki preteklega stoletja in omogočiti, da bi učinkovali kot celota – ne le v primeru določenih arhitektov, ampak kot splošno uveljavljena praksa.

      Hvala Or. Se že veselimo raziskovanja te teme z vami na naslednjem InCo dogodku.

      Priporočamo ogled: 

      Kako lahko sodelujemo 
        Kje se lahko srečamo

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          Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has assured the club's fans they will be hunting top targets in the summer transfer window and "begged" supporters to unite after manager Arsene Wenger was given a new two-year deal. 

          Speaking at a fan event on Thursday, Gazidis attempted to soothe any concerns among the support after the Gunners finished fifth in the Premier League last season, ensuring those in attendance big names are on the way.

          Per Reuters, he said: "We're looking for top-quality players. We've got three times as many scouts as we had four years ago. I believe that to be a world-class football club you've got to be world class off the pitch."

          On the decision to hand Wenger a new two-year contract, Gazidis insisted it was a business decision that made sense for all parties despite unrest emerging among sections of the support during a lacklustre 2016-17 campaign:

          "It wasn't a sentimental decision. It was a mutual one ... I care about the club and those values. I want the club to be successful."

          "There has been disagreement. There has been a lack of unity and dissatisfaction. The board knows that. I beg you, please come together and give our manager and this team support. I want the atmosphere to be united, and it has been a struggle because we haven't had that."

          Arsenal failed to clinch UEFA Champions League qualification for the first time in more than 20 years last term, and unrest has grown with star Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil now in the final year of their contracts.

          Goal's Chris Wheatley provided further quotes from Thursday's Q&A session, where Gazidis pointed to this summer's early capture of former Schalke left-back Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer as evidence of their transfer motivation:

          But the club is yet to make any significant expenditures, unlike last year such as the £30 million deal that brought Granit Xhaka to the Emirates Stadium from Borussia Monchengladbach one year ago.

          While the fee paid for Xhaka may have been substantial, few will consider the Swiss star to have justified his price tag just yet, while the club's Premier League peers have continued to benefit from big spending.

          Gazidis was also reportedly "heckled" by fans present for his defence of majority stakeholder Stan Kroenke, per Metro. He defended the American's handling of the transfer budget despite concerns raised over how much money he takes out of the club.

          Per that report, Gazidis also suggested the priority is to target players who will immediately improve Arsenal's XI rather than add depth, although recent speculation suggests to the contrary, said Sky Sports' Kaveh Solhekol:

          Many Gunners fans viewed last season's run to fifth in the English top flight as the final sign Wenger should end his 21-year reign at the club, with a third FA Cup win in four seasons not enough to extinguish the discontent.

          The supporters will be no strangers to hearing promises and assurances of big plans, but this needs to be different to other summers as Arsenal seek to send a message of intent ahead of a hopeful return to Europe's peak.

          Read more World Football news on

                    Best and Worst Moves Chelsea Could Make in the Transfer Window   

          The transfer window is open, and as the clock ticks down to the August 31 deadline, so the anticipation builds about the players Chelsea will or won't sign this summer.

          Thus far, for all the rumours, there has been little activity at Stamford Bridge. It's been all mouth and no action, with the headlines not being backed up by solid news of player arrivals and departures.

          Are Chelsea biding their time to announce the first signing? Are the Blues carefully planning their moves to position themselves as Premier League favourites in 2017/18? Are they without a plan?

          Time will answer those questions, but as we anticipate what is to come, Bleacher Report looks at some of the best and worst moves Chelsea could make this summer.


          Worst Move No. 1: Needlessly Sell Diego Costa

          Chelsea's summer is shaping up to be one of texts, buys and videotape. And Diego Costa has been at the heart of it.

          Will he stay, or will he go? That's what we've all been asking since the end of the 2016/17 campaign. Costa has fanned the flames, notably with his revelation that Chelsea boss Antonio Conte sent him a text message to confirm he is no longer needed at Stamford Bridge.

          "You are not in my plan," was how Conte signed off his message to Costa, according to Luis Nieto of AS. Should that be the case, it's a crying shame.

          For all the negative headlines that surround the Spain international, his talent cannot be denied. He is an exceptional striker who has broken all sorts of records in his three seasons at Chelsea. He is a proven goalscorer, and players of his ilk are tough to unearth.

          Not only that, but Costa's style lends itself to the way Chelsea play football. He's on the edge, pushing back the boundaries and limits of what's allowed, which is how this Blues side has been at its best.

          Conte revolutionised the way Chelsea play last term. Unless he can bring in another striker to bully defenders in the way Costa does, allowing him to leave would be folly of the highest order.

          The problem wasn't the forward last season; the issue Chelsea faced is he couldn't be dropped simply because there was no replacement to lead the line. His form suffered from January to March, yet he couldn't be rested.

          Give him a proper supporting frontman, and we'll see the difference he can make. He's on the brink of greatness at Chelsea, and the club should be doing everything it can to repair any damage between player and manager.


          Best Move: No. 1 Don't Sign Players Who Will Block the Youth Pathway

          When Bertrand Traore was recently presented by Olympique Lyonnais as their latest capture, he was left echoing the sentiments of so many young Chelsea players before him.

          "I wouldn't have got a fair chance," he said of the prospects of remaining at Stamford Bridge during his first press conference as a Lyon player. That has been the case for too long, and we've seen Chelsea miss out on some big stars who have departed prematurely.

          That has to stop. The Blues have a generation of players coming through that is undoubtedly talented, and it has to be given a chance to flourish at the highest level. If not, why else invest in an academy that dominates English youth football?

          We understand there is a commercial aspect. Not all of those young players will become Chelsea first-teamers, and like Traore (although he wasn't an academy product), they will be sold on to raise money for future signings. It's the club's way of competing in the modern market and utilising the resources they have to funnel success through to where it matters most.

          But equally, the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Nathaniel Chalobah, Lewis Baker, Andreas Christensen, Tammy Abraham and so many others deserve to be given the opportunity to show they can be Chelsea players.

          It's time the transfer policy acknowledged that. Chelsea are competing at an elite level, and that territory demands investment in elite players in the transfer market. It shouldn't come at a cost of blocking the pathway for emerging talent, however. It shouldn't be about short-term gains that damage long-term success.

          When Chelsea are being linked with players such as Middlesbrough's Adama Traore by Sky Sports, it makes you wonder what must be going through the minds of the club's best youth prospects.

          There's no time like the present to address these big problems.


          Worst Move No. 2: Procrastinate

          After preaching the youth doctrine, we go ahead and contradict ourselves by stating Chelsea can't afford to act slowly in the transfer market this summer.

          As acknowledged, though, there is a need for any club to invest in players who can make an instant impact. It isn't just about flooding the first team with young hopefuls and waiting for them to sink or swim.

          Chelsea would have outlined their transfer targets for this summer well before the season ended with Conte lifting the Premier League trophy at Stamford Bridge. There would have been meetings to identify those who were deemed attainable, and budgets would have been drafted.

          Now the Blues have to act. They have procrastinated in the past, and what did that give them? Well, it happened that recently that you don't need a long-term memory to recall the situation.

          After winning the 2014/15 Premier League title at a canter, Chelsea seemed to rest on their laurels. They were slow in bringing in new faces to freshen up Jose Mourinho's squad, which left them dramatically short on reinforcements.

          Eventually, they got Papy Djilobodji on transfer deadline day. By December, Mourinho had been sacked for a second time. It left Chelsea in disarray, and they finished 10th and failed to qualify for European football.

          By appointing Conte, they somehow got themselves out of jail. The circumstances that led to all of that happening can't be repeated. The club can't allow a manager of Conte's talents to leave under the same cloud as Mourinho. It would be catastrophic.


          Best Move No. 1: Promote Talented Loan Players

          Here we are, pushing that youth line again. We're not repeating ourselves, though.

          As well as working to create that pathway for those in the academy, Chelsea have to look at what they have available and ready for the first team this summer. It could save them millions now and in the future when they realise the mistake in selling a player only to buy him back at a greater cost.

          After all, that is what is dominating headlines with ex-Blues striker Romelu Lukaku.

          There have been some damning column inches dedicated to Chelsea's manipulation of the loan system in recent years. Last season, the club had 37 players dotted around Europe on temporary deals elsewhere.

          In the past, that has created a healthy revenue stream. But this summer seems to be the one when it can prevent Chelsea buying and selling.

          What Conte is looking for in the market isn't so much upgrades on the players who won him the title but players who can support them throughout 2017/18. That means identifying those who aren't necessarily starting every match, more ready to be rotated in when fixture congestion begins to bite.

          Why spend money when the likes of Baker and Christensen are returning after two years away in the Netherlands and Germany respectively, where they impressed?

          Incidentally, Baker and Christensen operate in areas of the pitch where Chelsea need to add numbers. They lack attacking midfielders and bodies at the back. Conte needs to bring in at least two defenders to strengthen his back three, especially now John Terry has departed.

          It's not a sentimental gesture, as Baker and Christensen have shown themselves to be of the standard Chelsea require in their squad. Don't spend millions replacing them; allow them to prove themselves.

          Who knows? It might just work.

          Read more World Football news on

                    Jesse Gonzalez Switches International Affiliation from Mexico to United States   

          FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez was approved to change his association from Mexico to the United States, according to U.S. Soccer, allowing him to play for the USMNT going forward.

          The 22-year-old played for Mexico at the under-20 and under-23 levels but did not make an appearance for the senior team, according to ESPN. Per FIFA's rules, Gonzalez was eligible to change his association as a dual national since he didn't make an appearance for the senior team at an official competition.

          Gonzalez wasn't listed on the final roster for the Gold Cup, though he is eligible to play for the team after the group stages if called upon.

          The young goalkeeper might prefer to remain with FC Dallas this summer, however. ESPN reported "a source recently told ESPN FC that Gonzalez had expressed uncertainty about leaving FC Dallas at the moment, as international duty could jeopardize his spot as the MLS team's starting goalkeeper."

          He's been excellent for FC Dallas this season, accumulating five clean sheets in 13 starts.

          The United States and Mexico were both vying for Gonzalez's services, with ESPN noting that "Mexico national team manager Juan Carlos Osorio had recently spoken to Gonzalez about his future, and that he had hoped to call up Gonzalez in the future."

          Gonzalez now will be in the mix to be one of the future potential starters for the USMNT, as many of the program's mainstays at the position are nearing the end of their careers.

          As Bruce Arena told Grant Wahl of earlier in June: "I'm looking down the road for U.S. Soccer, and they're going to need to have some young goalkeepers emerging."

          Read more World Football news on

                     Antibody-mediated rejection across solid organ transplants: manifestations, mechanisms, and therapies    
          Solid organ transplantation is a curative therapy for hundreds of thousands of patients with end-stage organ failure. However, long-term outcomes have not improved, and nearly half of transplant recipients will lose their allografts by 10 years after transplant. One of the major challenges facing clinical transplantation is antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) caused by anti-donor HLA antibodies. AMR is highly associated with graft loss, but unfortunately there are few efficacious therapies to prevent and reverse AMR. This Review describes the clinical and histological manifestations of AMR, and discusses the immunopathological mechanisms contributing to antibody-mediated allograft injury as well as current and emerging therapies.
                    ANI Emerging Leaders Project: Clinical Informatics Governance & Nursing Leadership   
          No abstract available
                    Templates of resistance   
          If you were to go back even 30 years the template of resistance to liberalism was limited. There were journals in which people could signal an intellectual or cultural superiority to leftists, without much passion or focus on changing things. The template changed a little with the advent of the internet, with a group of more intellectually principled intellectuals emerging. More recently the template changed again with a much larger and more combative opposition using social media.

          There are still some key changes to be made to the template. We can become more activist and more willing to establish our own communities. You can see the potential for this in recent months. The Battle for Berkeley demonstrated that the dissident right can hold its own against the far left.

          But there still needs to be a psychological shift on our side of politics. For this reason, I am closely following the efforts of the Identitarians in Europe to organise an activist opposition to the smuggling of illegal immigrants. Even if it doesn't succeed in closing down the smuggling rings, it can still be important in helping our side break through to a newer, more activist template.

          I have to congratulate Lauren Southern for helping to publicise the campaign. She joined the Identitarians in steering a small boat toward one of the smuggling ships - she was detained by the coastguard for doing this. In the video below she talks with Martin Sellner, an Austrian Identitarian, about a plan to launch a more ambitious campaign against the ships:

          The Identitarians have put out a publicity video of their own:

          It's important that traditionalists here in Australia also help shift the template toward a more active politics. We've become involved in a few initiatives in recent months and we have decided as well to raise some money to help fund the Identitarian campaign. We're encouraging those attending our next meeting in June to bring along a donation, and we'll send this off as a group (if you're a Melbournian interested in our group feel free to contact myself at swerting (at) or Mark Moncrieff via his website Upon Hope).

          If readers are considering donating to the Identitarian efforts you can do so via the official campaign website.
                    VP, Market Executive Director - Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia - Aetna - Penn Valley, PA   
          Develops and maintains knowledge of the business and anticipates/plans for investments needed to reshape the business to meet emerging market needs....
          From Aetna - Mon, 08 May 2017 20:38:58 GMT - View all Penn Valley, PA jobs
                    'GST, monsoon key triggers for market'   
          Aggressive rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve could result in a flight of capital from emerging markets like India, says B Gopkumar, chief executive officer, Reliance Securities.
                    Early Adopters Enjoy Branchless Banking but Represent Only a Fraction of Retail Bank Deposits, J.D. Power Finds   

          Direct banks are emerging as an increasingly significant threat to traditional banks. These institutions, which lack a physical bank branch, are scoring high marks for customer satisfaction, advocacy and loyalty, according to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Direct Banking Satisfaction Study. In fact, overall satisfaction scores for direct banks are higher than those for traditional retail banks, though they currently represent just 6% of total bank deposits in the United States.

                    J.D. Power Financial Advisor Study Finds Attrition Risk Rising among Top Performers   

          Financial advisors are less satisfied with their firms than they were last year and the decline is sharpest among the highest producers, according to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Financial Advisor Satisfaction Study. A confluence of factors, including continuing changes to compensation, uncertainty over the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule, emerging technologies like robo-advisors and waning faith in firm leadership are all contributing to the trend.

                    Instruction and Engagement Librarian - Georgia Public Library Service - Macon, GA   
          Engage in self-directed learning about emerging technologies. Teach information skills, provide research and technology assistance, and create print and web...
          From Georgia Public Library Service - Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:26:54 GMT - View all Macon, GA jobs
                    13 Views of Sensors Expo 2017   
          Sensors Expo showed the broadening range of motion, environmental, biological and other sensors flooding the emerging Internet of Things.
                    Discussion Paper for Building a Movement for Right To Education   
          A Discussion Paper for Building
          a Movement for Right To Education

          The All India Forum for Right to Education (AIF-RTE) was constituted at the Osmania University campus in Hyderabad during a seminar on ‘Right to Education and Common School System’ organized by the A.P. Save Education Committee in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights, University of Hyderabad on 21-22 June 2009. Based upon its Hyderabad Declaration (June 2009), AIF-RTE built up a nation-wide campaign to resist the ‘The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2009’, then pending in the Parliament. However, the flawed anti-Constitutional, anti-education and anti-child Bill became ‘The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009’ (henceforth referred to as ‘Right to Education Act, 2009’ or simply the RTE Act) on 26th August 2009. This is in spite of sustained democratic protest and steadily emerging public critique for more than a decade.

          The Hyderabad Declaration also implied that the present ill-funded multi-layered school system embedded in inequality and discrimination would not only expedite the pace of privatization and commercialization but also result in making education increasingly more expensive. This means that vast sections of Indian society will continue to be excluded from the education system, thereby being denied equal opportunity to benefit from development. The Hyderabad Declaration further presented an alternative vision of moving towards a fully public-funded Common School System based on Neighbourhood Schools from pre-primary stage to senior secondary stage (i.e. Class XII) which alone can guarantee free education of equitable quality to all children without any discrimination whatsoever.

          1.0 A Brief Overview of the Policies and People’s Response
          What is the logical basis of our consistent resistance to the RTE Act, 2009? This understanding emerges from our analysis of the neo-liberal historical context of the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002 in which the RTE Act is embedded. Let us take a brief overview. The above-named Constitutional amendment (i) deprived more than 17 crore children below six years of age of their existing Fundamental Right to early childhood care and pre-primary education; and (ii) further reduced the existing Fundamental Right of the 6-14 year age group children to what would amount to merely a Statutory Right, through a conditionality in Article 21A. The latter Article, introduced by the Constitutional Amendment Act, states that free and compulsory education shall be provided to the 6-14 year age group “in such manner as the State may, by law, determine”. No other Fundamental Right in the Constitution is subjected to this arbitrariness of the State. Seven years later, as was anticipated, the so-called RTE Act, 2009, liquidated the Fundamental Right of the 6-14 year age group to education of equitable quality at the elementary stage (i.e. Class I-VIII). Indeed, the Act legitimizes the discriminatory multi-layered school system - a direct consequence of the World Bank-IMF conditionality of structural adjustment imposed on Indian economy and implemented through the neo-liberal schemes such as the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) of 1990s and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) of the first decade of the 21st century. This led to rapid deterioration in the quality of the vast government school system of about 12 lakh schools, except for certain categories of elite government schools (i.e. Central, Navodaya and Sainik Schools), thereby preparing the ground for mushrooming of both low-cost and expensive private schools. Instead of putting a ban on trade and profiteering in education, the Act facilitates private managements to mint money by giving them free hand in deciding their own fee structure and underpaying teachers. It further provided for siphoning of public funds to private agencies (corporate houses, trusts, religious bodies and NGOs) through the so-called reimbursement scheme to promote the farce of 25% reservation for ‘free’ education. This means that the Act legitimizes the neo-liberal guru Milton Friedman’s idea of school vouchers, a significant form of Public Private Partnership (PPP). Further, the Act fell far short of people’s expectation of a Fundamental Right to education of equitable quality for all children up to age of 18 years (i.e. from pre-primary to Class XII) through a Common School System based on Neighborhood Schools.

          The Hyderabad Declaration (June, 2009) summarized the AIF-RTE position as indicated below:
          “The following three cynical objectives of the central government can be identified in tabling such a misconceived Bill:
          First, abdicating its Constitutional obligation for providing free and compulsory education of equitable quality;
          Second, demolishing the government school system, except the schools of specified categories (Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas, XI plan’s 6,000 model schools, and similar elite schools of the States/UT governments); and
          Third, increasing the pace of privatization and commercialization of school education.

          We have been for long urging upon the Union Government to,
          1. replace the pending Bill with a new Bill drafted in the framework of the ‘Common School System based on Neighborhood Schools’ in consonance with the basic spirit and principles enshrined in the Constitution;
          2. review the 86th constitutional amendment Act (2002) with a view to providing a Fundamental Right to free and compulsory education of equitable quality to all children until the age of eighteen years i.e. from pre-primary education to class XII without any conditionality whatsoever;
          3. incorporate a Constitutional guarantee within the Bill for providing adequate funding for the entire school system. This is precisely the implication of a fundamental right.
          4. include in the Bill a provision to completely ban all forms of privatization and commercialization of education, especially Public Private Partnership, adoption of schools by private agencies and voucher schools;
          5. hold public hearings in all district headquarters of the country in a democratic and transparent manner in the process of drafting the new Bill.”
          (Also incorporated with appropriate modifications in the AIF-RTE Memorandum dated August 7, 2009 to the President of India, after the Bill was passed by the Parliament.)

          The Parliament passed the RTE Bill on 4th August 2009, despite several amendment motions being moved but rejected. Within three days of this event, AIF-RTE organized a well-attended Public Hearing at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi and sent a detailed Memorandum to the President of India (see Annexure I) after holding a rally on the Parliament Street (our repeated requests for permission to present the Memorandum to the President in person were ignored). The copies of the Bill were burnt publicly at being stopped at the Parliament Police Station, entirely in the Gandhian spirit of civil disobedience. We adopted this method of protest as the Bill was passed without holding a single Public Hearing since its drafting began in CABE’s Kapil Sibal Committee in November 2004. In the process, the central government ignored all democratic voices of protest, including intellectual critique, both within and outside official forums, thereby rejecting repeated appeals for dialogue.

          Later, AIF-RTE responded to the call given by the Lok Rajniti Manch to observe 19th September 2009 as a national protest day against the Act on a decentralized basis by holding public meetings, dharnas and rallies at district headquarters. AIF-RTE’s member-organisations in different states sent a ‘Letter of Disappointment’ to the Prime Minister. Reportedly, this protest was held in creative and diverse ways in almost 100 district headquarters in various parts of the country and, in some states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, the programmes of building awareness, presentation of Memoranda and public mobilization are continuing to date.

          The RTE Bill was signed by the President on 26th August 2009 and published in the Gazette of India on 27th August 2009. Now that the Bill has become an Act, there is an urgent need to review the recent developments in the entire education policy scenario (including higher and technical education) and the announcements being made (and also withdrawn/ modified!) in rapid succession by the Union Ministry of HRD and the Planning Commission. Such a critical overview will enable us to reveal the hidden agenda of the above RTE Act in the perspective of political economy and also to meaningfully strategize our future programme, keeping in mind the present political, economic and social context.

          On 7-8 November 2009, AIF-RTE organized a national consultation of its member-organisations in Delhi in collaboration with the Equal Opportunity Cell of the University of Delhi. Apart from reviewing and re-iterating the Hyderabad Declaration, the above national consultation referred to Article 41 of the Constitution and Supreme Court’s Unnikrishnan Judgment (1993) and concluded that the Right to Education extends beyond the age of 14 years to include secondary and higher education as well. Whereas, in the case of elementary education (i.e. Class I to VIII), the State is under unconditional obligation to guarantee free education of equitable quality, the State is required by Article 41 to “make effective provision for securing” Right to Education at secondary and higher education levels “within the limits of its economic capacity and development.” This consensus at the national consultation significantly expanded the scope of the emerging discourse and struggle relating to Right to Education in the country.

          The Delhi consultation further acknowledged that Public Private Partnership (PPP) constitutes the latest and most potent neo-liberal assault on education and must be recognized as one of the priority agenda of resistance in the Right to Education movement. The Delhi Charter issued by the consultation outlined the organizational structure of AIF-RTE, spelt out its strategic objectives and suggested ways and means of building the movement to engage various sections of society and to cover all states/ UTs.

          As decided at the Delhi consultation, AIF-RTE organized an all-India Parliament March during the Budget Session on 24th February 2010. About 5,000 people representing 26 member-organisations of AIF-RTE from 11 states and several other associated grassroots organizations joined the Parliament March. AIF-RTE member-organisations today include several all-India as well state-level teachers and students organizations, apart from groups engaged in securing Right to Education. The Parliament March presented a comprehensive agenda for the Right to Education movement, giving a nation-wide call for resisting the government policies to set up Foreign Universities, siphon public funds to the private sector under the pretext of PPP in education and place education for sale in the global market through WTO-GATS.

          On April 1, 2010, AIF-RTE observed a Black Day to protest against the implementation of the so-called RTE Act at district headquarters in a decentralized mode.

          2.0 Emerging Contours of the Neo-liberal Assault on Education
          The national consultation held in November 2009 took note of the following three policy-related documents that mark the emerging contours of the neo-liberal agenda being pursued by the central government (with the state governments essentially consenting at the latest CABE meeting):
          1. Yashpal Committee Report on “Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education”.
          2. Public Private Partnership in School Education – A Concept Note of the Ministry of HRD.
          3. Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, Ministry of HRD.

          As part of his 100-day agenda announced on 25th June 2009, the Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal announced that the government would implement the Yash Pal Committee Report on Higher Education. Admittedly, this much-hyped Report talks of some good things about the idea of a University. Yet, the Report in the ultimate analysis upheld the neo-liberal agenda in the field of education. It rationalized and invited private universities, foreign universities and PPP in the higher and technical education sector. It recommended differential fee structure which is but only a back door entry for privatization of public-funded Universities and profiteering in education. It recommended liquidation (subsuming) of all Apex Bodies like UGC, AICTE, NCTE, MCI and others and establishment of a single window high empowered National Council for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) which will draw its resources directly from Ministry of Finance and thus not be accountable to the Ministry of HRD mandated for this purpose. The Report fails to explain why this NCHER will not go the same way as the existing Apex Bodies which it proposes to dissolve or subsume. Given the neo-liberal stance of the present education policy, NCHER would predictably only facilitate unquestioned and unbridled trading in the higher and technical education sector and open the doors for foreign universities, FDI and WTO. The Yash Pal Committee’s NCHER is profiled as even a more powerful and democratically less accountable version of Sam Pitroda’s National Knowledge Commission-recommended Independent Regulatory Authority for Higher Education (IRA for HE) envisaged along the lines of the World Bank-recommended IRAs for every service sector in every country. These IRAs are designed to bypass the political process and to facilitate global corporate trade.

          Again, a great danger is looming large in the form of Doha Round Negotiations. India has already submitted its ‘offers’ in Higher Education Sector to GATS Council. If India does not withdraw its ‘offers’ before the conclusion of the Doha Round, the ‘offers’ automatically become ‘commitments’ on the part of India allowing all WTO members to indulge in trade and profiteering in higher and technical education sector in India.

          During the past six months, the UPA Government has felt emboldened to increase the pace of neo-liberal assault on education. To a great extent, this became possible due to the combined effect of the ambivalent or submissive stance of the political parties and media and a high profile but compliant section of the academia. Accordingly, the following legislations have been introduced in the Parliament or the decisions taken, almost without any public consultation whatsoever:
          • An amendment Bill placed in Rajya Sabha in April 2010 to further dilute and disempower the RTE Act, 2009;
          • Four Bills placed in Lok Sabha in May 2010 relating to higher education including the highly controversial ‘The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, 2010’;
          • Declaration in mid-February 2010 that, after the RTE Act is enforced (which happened on April 1, 2010), the private schools will be free to hike their fees and underpay teachers and, more significantly, the existing state laws empowering the state governments to monitor and regulate the fee structure and functioning of private schools, shall become infructuous;
          • Union Budget for the year 2010-11 with negligible or insignificant increase in allocations, even for the much hyped RTE Act, 2009; the modest increases in certain specific provisions can be explained in terms of the central government’s commitment to siphon public funds and other resources (e.g. land) through PPP to corporate houses and/ or open certain elite categories of institutions in order to include a handful while excluding the masses or relegating them to sub-standard education;
          • Move to establish an Educational Finance Corporation Ltd. that will extend low-interest and long-term loans to corporate houses, NGOs and religious bodies to set up educational institutions covering all stages and dimensions of education;
          • Widening the scope of PPP steadily and, more often than not, stealthily; and
          • Refusing to review and withdraw the “offers” made at WTO for making India’s education a tradable commodity in the world market.

          A gestalt (integrated/ holistic) analysis of the above-named documents and policy stances along with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) scheme, XI Plan, the so-called RTE Act and the recent Bills to promote foreign universities and seek FDI leads us to infer that the State is,
          i) rapidly abdicating its Constitutional obligation towards the entire education sector - from pre-primary and elementary education to higher and technical education;
          ii) steadily withdrawing public funds (computed as percentage of GDP) from all sectors of education, even in the case of elementary education for the 6-14 year age group children covered by the so-called RTE Act;
          iii) determined to push Public Private Partnership (PPP) as its main policy instrument for promoting education which implies that public funds shall be siphoned off and other resources (land, technical support, credibility) shifted to corporate capital, NGOs and religious bodies on a fast track mode, as per World Bank policies (in the case of primary education, this agenda was adopted by the Government of India in 1990 through the Jomtien Declaration, promoted jointly by the World Bank and UN agencies; this agenda now stands extended to the entire education sector);
          iv) promoting, both overtly and covertly, unregulated profiteering in education;
          v) increasing the pace of privatization and commercialization by (a) deteriorating the quality of education of the vast government school system, except certain categories of elite schools, while withdrawing public funding; (b) pursuing the same agenda in higher education as well; and (c) not undertaking any credible programme of improving the quality of the existing 22,000 odd colleges and 500 plus universities even as the political attention is diverted from this priority task by the rhetoric of setting up a handful of central or innovative universities/ IIMs/ IITs/ IISERs or bringing in foreign universities and FDI;
          vi) exacerbating inequality and exclusion through a multi-layered education system with parallel layers of varying quality;
          vii) replacing basic science, social science and humanities courses by market-driven self-financed ‘applied’ courses which amounts to a major epistemological (‘knowledge-related’) shift with serious socio-political implications, including for national sovereignty;
          viii) enacting new policy provisions and legislation in order to (a) provide market for second grade (or even worse) foreign universities in India; and (b) distort teaching and research for the purpose of building a skilled but cheap (employable at low wages) and slavish workforce for the benefit of the global market;
          ix) increasingly outsourcing policy formulation, preparation of curriculum and text material and all other aspects of educational planning to corporate houses and NGOs;
          x) inviting FDI in all sectors of education; and
          xi) offering education for global trade under the GATS/ WTO.

          3.0 Misconceived Premises
          The above neo-liberal agenda promotes the following misconceived premises:
          a) the State does not have adequate resources to provide quality education for all children and youth and, therefore, it has no option but to depend upon private (and foreign) sources for funding;
          b) education is a service in the service sector and a private good, rather than being a Right (or an entitlement) and a public good;
          c) the Constitutional principles of equality and social justice can be replaced by the neo-liberal principle of inclusion, wherein the extent of inclusion, whom to include or whom to exclude and the criteria of inclusion are determined by the global market in its own vested interest;
          d) instead of being an instrument of social development or transformation, education is a commodity tradable in the global market and, therefore, profiteering through education is a valid objective, just like in any other trade;
          e) the relationship between the educational institution and the student is that of producer and consumer and, therefore, every student has to pay ‘user charges’ equivalent to the cost of education being provided plus profit (this is World Bank’s formulation);
          f) private agencies can render better, efficient and cost effective services; and
          g) market should determine the character of knowledge;

          The essence of neo-liberal agenda lies in redefining the aim of education policy for building an unquestioning and slavish workforce (which includes, apart from skilled personnel, highly educated elite such as biotechnologists, nuclear scientists, economists, demographers, teachers, engineers, doctors and legal experts) for the global market. Ironically, most of this workforce will be prepared by using public funds in the PPP mode. This is in sharp contrast to the Preamble of the Constitution that directs the State to build an education system for promoting a democratic, socialist, secular, egalitarian and just society in the Republic of India!

          The education system must be envisioned such that it can respond with sensitivity to the people’s aspirations for equitable distribution of resources, optimization of socio-cultural and knowledge-related diversity and securing civil liberties and democratic rights, as guaranteed by the Constitution.

          The organizations and individuals who founded AIF-RTE as well as those who joined it later uncompromisingly opposed both the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act 2002 and the farcical RTE Act 2009 from the day these legislations were mooted in the form of Draft Bills. We could not, however, prevent the ruling class from pushing these Acts through the Parliament. Yet, we have succeeded to a large extent in creating a wide-ranging debate among several sections of society in different parts of the country. It is high time that we now undertake a review of the recent developments in the education policy and consider a strategy shift in our struggle for Right to Education.

          The gestalt analysis undertaken in Part I enabled us to identify the misconceived premises in which the neo-liberal agenda of education is firmly embedded. We know that no struggle against the neo-liberal assault on education can move forward without theoretically challenging the validity of each of these premises severally and together and finally demolishing them. This task must be accompanied by undertaking a political programme of building public pressure for reversal of the anti-people agenda of the ruling class and its replacement by a pro-people policy framework rooted in an alternative set of premises.

          With this purpose in mind, we may have to formulate immediate, medium-term and long-term goals of our struggle. We may also need to formulate an approach of maintaining a strategic distinction from the compromising forces and unity with fighting forces. Let us initiate a debate on all such questions.

          4.0 Immediate Agenda for Struggle
          4.1 Trade and Public Private Partnership (PPP) constitute the latest twin neo-liberal assaults in all fields of the service sector, including critical social entitlements like education, health and food. AIF-RTE may have to concentrate its struggles against these new attacks. In order to mobilize people for this purpose, we may have to identify relevant issues, local or otherwise, and fight issue-wise also. The many facets of issues relating to increasing levels of trade and PPP in education are bound to become evident during implementation of a variety of government programmes, schemes and legislations. These would include the RTE Act, RMSA, Education Finance Corporation, setting up of Foreign Universities and colleges (and Indian private universities and colleges as well), allocation of land, low-interest loans, income tax exemptions and hidden subsidies to private educational providers and establishing Yash Pal Committee’s NCHER. The mobilization built up though such local struggles will help us to wage wider struggles against the ensuing Private University Bill, Foreign Educational Institutions Bill and the NCHER Bill. The Forum may also need to organize a nation-wide campaign demanding the withdrawal of the ‘offers’ submitted to the GATS Council on Higher Education Sector. To put it all briefly, all the struggles proposed above are struggles against the new attacks on the existing Rights of the people. which we may ignore only as a result of a historic misjudgment on our part. Of course, we have to take forward our alternative constructive agenda simultaneously.

          4.2 The implementation of the RTE Act since April 1, 2010 has led to a new but altogether anticipated situation that AIF-RTE will have to learn to deal with. The central government along with the state/ UT governments have begun to organize a large number of high profile official functions, seminars and workshops and training programmes to disseminate its propaganda, misinform and disinform people and to engage corporate houses, NGOs and religious bodies in the implementation of the Act. Official agencies both at the centre (e.g. NCPCR) and the state-level (e.g. NGO-like structures set up for SSA) are leading this campaign. The corporate-controlled media (both print and electronic) is fully endorsing this propaganda. International Funding Agencies as well as the inter-governmental agencies (e.g. UNICEF) are going around the country organizing both public and in-house meetings and telling their funded partners to fall in line lest their funding is jeopardized. There are subtle and not-so-subtle structures, processes and directives designed to engage intellectuals in endorsing the Act. For instance, state-level Commissions have been constituted engaging intellectuals (including those who opposed the Act until recently) in formulating rules and regulations for the Act. Shortly, we would hear of state-level advisory boards being constituted under the provisions of the Act which will further co-opt both the intellectuals and activists in the neo-liberal agenda under the pretext of ‘kuchh nahin se kuchh to achha!’.

          In this backdrop, AIF-RTE member-organisations are already under pressure to take a position that would make sense to the masses. Given our logical stand vis-à-vis the Act (see Part I), we have no option but to evolve an agenda of critical engagement with the Act both at grassroots and macro-level. This critical engagement may be grounded in the three-point strategic framework as follows –

          First, take up local issues emerging from the ongoing official implementation of the Act with the purpose of exposing State’s hidden agenda of abdication of its Constitutional obligation, institutionalizing inequality and discrimination through a multi-layered school system and increasing the pace of privatization and commercialization through PPP (concrete examples of this are already evident in urban bastis and villages and, interestingly, among the middle class parents as well who send their children to expensive private unaided schools);

          Second, intervene in the ongoing implementation of strategically selected provisions for short periods in order to mobilize people and public mind in moving beyond the Act in the direction of our goal of public funded CSS-NS (e.g. fighting for the concept of fully free education including books (not just textbooks), computers and other learning aids, transport, hostels and opportunity cost; seeking genuine neighbourhood schools as per Kothari Commission; precipitating crisis with regard to the contradictions between the curricular goals of the Act and the quality, status, service-cum-working conditions and training of teachers; demanding all schools to be upgraded, at least in the first phase, to the norms and standards of Central Schools; exposing the contradiction of the Act’s increasing dependence (and promotion through PPP) on low cost inferior quality private schools; demanding fully free education for all components of educational and contingent expenses for the children admitted (or not admitted!) in private and specific category schools under the 25% provision along with resisting all elements of inequality and discrimination inherent therein; integration of the disabled in the mainstream schools by provision of all necessary support systems for equitable learning); and

          Third, interweave all such local struggles built through the above two modes of critical engagement in order to create public opinion against the Act such that the nation-wide democratic movement will be strong enough by the next general election to seek replacement of the present Act by a new Act rooted in the concept of a public-funded CSS-NS.

          The strength of the afore-mentioned strategic framework with regard to the RTE Act lies in the inevitability of the consequent mobilization merging with the mobilization against trade and PPP in secondary and higher education as well. This only reinforces our analysis that trade and PPP constitute the priority agenda of resistance in the present stage of the AIF-RTE movement.

          5.0 Long-Term Goals
          The peoples of India require a well functioning, decentralized, participative and diversity-sensitive public-funded education system in order to strengthen their democratic and secular polity rooted in equality and social justice. We believe that this goal of public education system, either at school level or in higher education, can not be achieved until and unless there is an unconditional ban on trade and PPP in education in all forms. Also, the public education system can neither sustain itself nor grow without adequate, meaningful and creative allotment of budgetary resources. Such allotment should be accorded the kind of political priority by the State that is deserved by a Right, Fundamental or otherwise, of the people. Let us also underline here that creative and adequate allocation of public funds is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for establishing the education system of people’s aspirations. However, we can’t but note with deep concern the new trend of public funds being siphoned off to private agencies under different modes of PPP. Therefore, an unconditional ban on trade in education, adequate and meaningful allotment in budget for education as a political priority and abandonment of PPP are the essential (yet not sufficient) conditions for a well-founded public education system that can provide education of equitable quality to all sections of society. AIF-RTE may require taking up a protracted campaign for such essential conditions.

          6.0 Substantive Elements of Transformative Goals
          6.1 The apologists of the neo-liberal agenda chose to operate only within the scope defined by the State. They tend to uncritically accept and even get readily involved in implementation of policy measures that are designed as ‘lollipops’. The apologists prefer to ignore the State’s hidden agenda of diverting socio-political attention from people’s long-standing core aspirations for equitable share in development. However, we also have a constraint that we have to formulate our immediate demands of struggle on the basis of the level of awareness and organization of the people, both of which need to be urgently raised and enriched. Of course, we also must ensure that our immediate demands of struggle are formulated in conformity with the long-term goals of transformation to a public-funded Common School System based in Neighbourhood Schools and also a public-funded higher education system guaranteeing equal opportunity to all sections of society for acquiring as well as contributing to advanced knowledge. The learned democratic sections of society, however, should keep on raising the banner for transformative goals even as we are engaged in building a democratic movement on the basis of our immediate demands. This means that AIF-RTE may have to formulate such substantive demands which, on the one hand, are the elements of the transformative goals like CSS-NS and, on the other, can draw masses of the people into the vortex of a democratic movement eventually leading to transformative goals.

          6.2 Let us try to identify such substantive elements of the Rights of the child that are essential for building the Common School System (CSS-NS). We can list below the Rights of the child to:
          a) balanced nutrition, health support and security during early childhood;
          b) pre-primary, elementary and secondary education;
          c) education of equitable quality through all stages from pre-primary to Class XII;
          d) education without discrimination irrespective of child’s class, caste, cultural, religious, linguistic, gender or disability (physical or mental) background;
          e) comprehensive affirmative action i.e. all necessary material, pedagogic and moral support to be guaranteed in order to enable the child to complete her school education as per curricular expectations;
          f) have at least one teacher per class whose qualifications, pre-service training, service-cum-working conditions, participation in curricular formation and social status conform to the prevailing NCTE norms and curricular requirements;
          g) study in genuine Neighborhood School (not the misconceived ‘neighbourhood school’ of the RTE ACT);
          h) schools managed through decentralized and democratic participation of the parents, community and local body representatives;
          i) study in her own language(s) and through it to learn from the global body of knowledge interlinked critically with her own socio-cultural milieu such that diversity is optimised; and
          j) study in regular schools/ classrooms irrespective of the type of her disability, physical or mental, with the exception of extreme cases where special schools would become inevitable.

          Yet, parts do not make the whole, but we know that the whole can not be made without parts. On the other hand, CSS-NS also significantly implies –
          i) legislative binding on the central and state/ UT governments to spend not less than a specified minimum percentage of GDP on education;
          ii) abolition of trade and PPP in all forms in education at all stages;
          iii) amendment of Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution to exclude education, health and social welfare from its purview in order to prevent trade in social entitlements (what about food and water?);
          iv) exclusion of inequalities and inclusion of diversities; and
          v) space for creativity and charting new paths in education without violating or diluting any of the afore-mentioned conditions.

          To put it all in a popular language, some of the immediate demands to which people would readily respond and also which can form the essential elements of transformative goals may be as follows:

          1) The Right of the child must include Right to holistic early childhood care, pre-primary education and secondary education up to the age of 18 years along with elementary education;
          2) All government schools should be upgraded at least to the norms and standards of the Central Schools as a medium-term goal;
          [Note: In the process of the struggle for this demand, people would also begin to perceive that a school striving to catalyse transformative education through critical pedagogy shall have the potential of surpassing the best of the present day status-quoist schools steeped in market hegemony.]
          3) All material, curricular and moral support required by the child like books (not merely textbooks), food, clothing, secure residence, transport and such other elements must be guaranteed to the child (including the disabled child) to help her complete education up to Class XII; the universally acknowledged need for providing Opportunity Cost for children of families surviving on minimum or even lower wages may also be included as an immediate demand at an appropriate stage of the movement;
          4) All necessary support must be guaranteed for the disabled children within the Common School System while having provision for special schools in cases of only extreme disability;
          5) Trade in education should be abolished and all forms of Public Private Partnership be scrapped;
          6) The long-term goal of achieving Common School System based on Neighborhood School (CSS-NS) as the universal system in India must critically inform the formulation and content of all immediate demands as well as the pedagogy of our struggle.

          6.3 Substantive Demands in higher and technical education may be:
          i) There shall be at least one Comprehensive (i.e. multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary) Public-funded University with provision for advanced studies in all areas of knowledge in each and every district throughout the country. It shall also be required to undertake district-specific (or geo-cultural region-specific) studies and root itself in the district’s socio-cultural, environmental and developmental context;
          ii) All institutions of higher and technical education in the district should be affiliated to the aforesaid district university which should be enriched to creatively respond to the intellectual and professional needs of the district. It should be able to cater to the comprehensive educational needs and aspirations of the youth of the district while also having a provision for admitting a definite percentage of students from outside the district;
          iii) In spite of being entirely publicly funded, the University shall have complete autonomy from the State (as also religion) and be accountable to the world of knowledge, on the one hand, and to the people of the district where it is located, on the other. It should be completely financed by the central and state governments, with the centre taking comparatively a larger share of responsibility;
          iv) Market-oriented courses like fashion technology and obscurantist courses like astrology are to be replaced by socially orientated secular and scientific courses; self-financed courses will have no place in the aforesaid university system;
          v) All institutions of higher and technical education are to be attached with hostels with entirely free boarding and lodging facilities in order to enable poor and rural students to pursue and complete their education.
          vi) A minimum of thirty percent of the relevant age group (i.e. 18-24 years) should have equal opportunity for higher and technical education by the end of the XII Five Year Plan; and
          vii) No fee or charges in any form or under any pretext shall be collected from the students either by public or by private institutions.

          6.4 Demand for a Ban on Trade in Education: A well conceived Public Education System including the Common School System (CSS-NS) can not be in place until and unless there is a ban on trade and profiteering in education. There are provisions in the Constitution to ban trade in education in all forms but the option is left to the State whether to ban or not to ban such a trade. We may have to fight for a Constitutional amendment to Article 19 (1)(g) to ensure that the Constitution clearly provides against trade, business and privatized (i.e. profit-oriented) occupation in education, health and such other critical social entitlements (food and water may also be considered in this category). The best safeguard may be that the collection of fee in public or private institutions at all stages of education is treated as trade and such trade is banned.

          6. 5 In brief, our strategy may be to,
          a) mobilize public opinion against every new attack of the State on hard won educational Rights of the people;
          b) constantly propagate transformative goals in the field of education; and
          c) to mobilize the masses on certain substantive demands as envisaged above and to build pressure on the State to achieve them.

          It may be that such mass movements for substantial demands can create an atmosphere where the State will become apprehensive to make newer attacks, not just on education but also on other democratic rights and civil liberties as well. If we are successful on certain substantive demands, we can raise still many more substantive demands and mobilize more people behind the movement and, along with this, we can popularize the transformative goals until we achieve them. A critical issue, here, is to learn to establish organic linkages with the social movements on issues of jal-jangal-zameen and jeevika. This is because we envisage education movement as an all pervading movement with multi-dimensional linkages!

          7.0 Spread of Organization and Unity Move
          The spread of organization is an urgent requirement. Our all-India forum does not have units in all states. Even in those states where we have our member-organizations, they do not have district units in all districts. Hence, it may be our urgent task to identify like-minded organizations in every state/ UT to join hands with. The member-organizations in different states/ UTs should also strive to build organizations and explore alliances to unite the forces of mass movement. Everywhere, the district units should develop contact with the people. However, this consultation may have to spell out what category of organizations can be contacted for a wider unity. The following few criteria may be viewed for the purpose.
          a) The organizations should oppose trade in education and demand abolition of all forms of Public Private Partnership and this shall be the acid test;
          b) It should stand for all pervading Public Education System including the Common School System (CSS-NS); and
          c) It should fight for a minimum of one of the substantial demands listed above relating to its interested area in pursuit of achieving all pervading Pubic Education System founded on the principles of democracy, socialism, secularism and egalitarianism.
          There are organizations which only fight for early childhood care and pre-primary education; there are some other organizations which fight for the Rights of the disabled children, so on and so forth. They may be thinking that their limited resources should be concentrated on the limited area to reach the people and pressurize the State. The main question is how do we differentiate genuine organizations with a limited agenda from the so-called civil society organizations floated and supported by the ruling class, also with a limited but a hidden agenda. It may be that those organization which fight against trade in education and against all forms of PPP in the areas (pre-primary, disabled and such others) in which they may focus, can be considered genuine for forming an alliance.

          i) The Hyderabad Declaration, June 2009.
          ii) Memorandum dated 7th August 2009 to the President of India.
          iii) Leaflet distributed at the Parliament March of 24th February 2010.
          iv) Leaflet designed for observing April 1, 2010 as Black Day.
          v) Charter approved at the AIF-RTE national consultation in November 2009.
                    Politics of Low Cost Schooling and Low Teacher Salary   
          Politics of Low Cost Schooling and Low Teacher Salary
          Manish Jain
          Sadhana Saxena

          We have been following with interest and concern the debates generated by the writings of Jain and Dholakia in (2009; 2010). For some of us, it may be difficult to engage in a meaningful dialogue with the authors as the world views seem to be fundamentally different. For instance, in Jain and Dholakia’s world view most important concerns are ‘cost effectiveness’ and ‘efficiency’ as understood in the context of market. For them, education means achieving competencies in mathematics and language. Crucial though they are, learning of social and physical sciences or the larger aims of education like issues of equality and justice are not their concerns. More importantly, from the paradigm within which proposals are made it is clear that the authors are not interested in questioning the new economic order. On the contrary, economic order is considered as given or may be desirable or inevitable and the readers are being persuaded, through mathematical maneuvering, to fit in education with in this blatantly unjust order. The order in which priorities are decided by the demands of the market, the education of the marginalized has to be squeezed in through rampant privatization and the state facilitates handing over of the public resources to the private bodies in the name of PPP. Disturbingly PPP shamelessly proposes myriads ways of entering into contracts, a system where the private contractor can get away with exploitative conditions as the state ceases to be the employer. In fact, HRD minister has made it clear that what private schools pay to the teachers is not his concern.

          To understand the proposals and arguments of these writings, following questions need to be asked: From what location in contemporary politics of education and the emerging research and funding networks, do they launch these economic reflections and gain legitimacy? What are the historical and theoretical roots of these proposals and economic choices? How do they visualize education, teaching and teacher and what are their silences? What are the ramifications of their suggestions?

          Parental choice, promotion of private budget schools, PPP, cost effectiveness, and thus reform of public schooling along managerial lines form key issues in global educational policy discourse and research supported by multilateral agencies like WB. International management consultants, education businesses, researchers and research networks, policy think tanks, advocacy groups, partnerships between local and global actors, corporate philanthropic and charity foundations together form a strong interest group promoting these reforms (Nambissan and Ball: forthcoming). Thus, locating this intermeshing of agencies and their policy prescriptions is critical to understand the embeddedness and circulation of the emerging ‘research’ and advocacy networks. Nambissan and Ball (forthcoming) have shown that James Tooley with a firm grounding in think tanks in USA and UK and financial support from rightwing foundations supporting the philosophy of free market and even World Bank, has been able to operate in/with a complex network of research, advocacy and funding involved in promoting discourse of parental choice and advocating private schooling. Thus, use and defense of Tooley’s work by Jain and Dholakia is not simply a matter of learning from each other. That Jain was the World Bank’s nominee in the most recent Joint Review Mission of SSA reveals more about convergence of ideas and location.

          Resource crunch?
          Jain and Dholakia argue that even if allocation to education in budget is raised to 6% GDP, hiring ‘permanent regular school teachers’ in government schools and paying them salary recommended by the 6th pay commission would be ‘insufficient to ensure universal school education’. Paying such salaries is possible only if budget has a fiscal deficit of 22-23% or to ‘increase the tax revenues by more than double’. Shouldn’t we be asking, even if sounds clichéd: why not tax the rich and finance school education and pay decent salaries to the qualified teachers instead of promoting budget schools run by poorly paid and unqualified teachers, and largely funded by the deprived sections ?

          The budgetary calculations, economic decisions and policy choices are not neutral but political in nature. Defining and redefining the poverty line and hairsplitting debates on APL and BPL depending on the way minimum nutritional requirements for different segments of the society are defined, is a good example of statistical jugglery. To answer the repeatedly asked question- from where to generate the funds, it would be instructive to look at some of the budget figures.

          In the year 2008 and 2009, the adjusted revenues foregone in the central budgets were Rs. 2,85, 052 crores and Rs. 4,18,095 crores respectively and constituted 48.16% and 68.95% of aggregate tax collected (Chandra 2010: 46). In the recent budget, ‘over Rs. 500,000 crore in write-offs, direct and indirect’ have been gifted to the corporate. In last three budgets, direct tax concessions to corporate tax payers has been of the order of Rs. 2,08,000 crores (Sainath 2010). In 2005 the Ministry of Finance estimated a loss of central taxes due to SEZs ‘at Rs. 1,02, 600 crore in the next 4-5 years against the projected investment of Rs. 1,00,000 crore’ (Chandra 2010: 46). In Tamil Nadu ‘together with subsidized land (and direct VAT reimbursements), government is estimated to have paid Nokia Rs. 645.4 crore’ (Dutta 2009). Compare this tax relief granted to the rich and powerful with Rs. 1,71,000 crores, the total estimated amount required in next five years for the implementation of the Right to Education Act (Tilak 2010).

          Thus, by questioning the studied silence of the authors about the large concessions granted to the richer sections and the corporate world and calculating these since 1991 may put the arguments made by Jain and Dholakia about budget deficit and increasing tax revenues in perspective.

          History, politics and location of the proposals
          Jain and Dholakia propose that ‘the only remaining alternative’ is ‘public-private partnership (PPP) in which low cost providers of school education, who pay much lower salary, cover a significant part of school education’ (2009: 41, 2010: 80). They argue that private sector, NGOs and hiring of para-teachers under different programmes like the Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS), Shiksha Karmi and Alternative School/Centres under SSA have shown viability of this option.

          Not just recognition but celebration of the policy of hiring teachers at low costs to justify its intensification by the duo itself indicates their agreement with the neoliberal policies pursued in education since 1990s. Decentralization of appointment of teachers and contract appointments were seen as an effective way of dealing with the teacher’s collective opposition to the reform process (Govinda and Josephine: 2005). Weakening of government school system and increasing privatization of education happened simultaneously in these reform years. Drawing from human capital and public choice theories, WB tried to promote an integrated world economy that operates by rules of market (World Bank 1995).

          In the neoliberal ethos, deregulation of education and imposition of market discipline were seen as necessary to discipline the unjustifiably privileged middle class professionals like teachers and contain or reduce the educational expenditure. Concern about privileging the state employees and the high ‘compensation paid to civil servants’ was also expressed by World Bank (2003). It calculated that the ‘wages for selected categories of staff are consistently higher than they could expect to make in the private sector’. In comparison to 39 Asian countries where teacher’s salaries were 1.7 to 1 with reference to per capita GDP, in India it was 5 to 1 (World Bank 2003: 36). It was argued that ‘more emphasis needs to go to local market comparators’ (ibid: 37). Jain and Dholakia also argue that ‘the salary of a school- teacher in the private sector is almost 25% to 35% of the cost of government salary’ (2009: 41). They also calculate that primary teacher salaries in India exceed per capita GDP by seven times (2010: 79). If the GDP/teacher salary ratio in all other cited countries is taken as a norm, then the primary teacher’s monthly salary in India must range from Rs. 2129 to Rs. 4344.

          In this perspective, paying this salary without benefits of security of job, pension and health related facility is not seen as exploitation but introduction of market discipline in the period of globalization. Clearly, different set of market rules apply to the CEOs of the India inc and fresh management graduates as instead of inviting concern for increasing the economic divide, their fat salary packages and raises are glorified by the media. Salaries of the upper echelons of bureaucracy also do not cause any alarm. One needs to ask when nearly 80% of the workforce in the unorganized sector earns less than Rs. 20 per day or less, who can afford the fee of Rs. 300/pm in private schools that may ‘outdo’ government schools (Jain and Dholakia 2010: 79). Clearly, free and compulsory education is not the agenda of the authors.

          Education, Teachers and Teaching
          Jain and Dholakia (2010: 78-79) admit Sarangapani’s (2009) criticism that Gyanshala is a model of non-formal education for three hours but stay shy of answering if such model fits well with continuation of child labour. Instead they assert that better performance of children, adherence to state/national norms of curriculum, learning environment and development opportunities result in delivery of good education ‘even with non-formal teachers’. To understand the Gyanshala model and its defence, we need to ask what connects these untrained teachers, better learning and supervision together.

          With globalization, human capital theory and efficiency became predominant models to decide and evaluate the purpose, (economic) worth, processes and outcomes of education. Efficiency translated as cost effectiveness and ‘measurable student achievement’ became a key marker to define education and educational outcomes to plan, predict, measure and compare the role of education in enhancing the economic growth of different national economies. Deeper engagement in education for creating new types of citizens, for justice and equality, and education as human right are deemed economically irrelevant and thus unimportant to policy makers. Both state and non-state agencies began to measure, publish and circulate student achievements in reading and numeracy to compare private and public schools. Public choice theory and efficiency doctrine views teachers as merely a rent-seeking agent. With large labour and unemployed surplus, teachers are seen as an easily available human resource, a replaceable cog, as one input among many whose purpose is defined with reference ‘to quantifiable outputs, namely the learning achievement of students’ leading to greater workplace productivity (Welmond 2002: 41-42).

          The management model of education adopted by Gyanshala treats teachers as workers in the education assembly line who perform the teaching/learning tasks decided by the management. In it, teacher lacks any training and agency to deliberate on curriculum, to conceive, plan and design teaching and learning strategies for specific groups and individuals. The curriculum supervisors break the ‘complex jobs into specified actions with specified results’. The ‘management controls both pace of work and skill’ of teachers to attain specified learning goals set for students (Apple 1995: 128-133). Thus, an attempt to look for any possibility of the personal, intellectual or professional growth of the teacher in this model that exploits teachers is bound to cause disappointment. This economic and management model and discourse inspired by neoliberal ethos has no space to conceive teacher and teaching in a holistic manner where it is not just the salaries, but also the autonomy, academic excellence/support, intellectually stimulating environment and recognition of the work that sustains interest in education and ensures quality teaching.

          Gyanshala model may achieve greater success with its students in problem solving tasks, in producing citizens who are technically skilled and accept the existing social and political structure but whether it can lead to classroom discussions based on critical theories of education and pedagogy that question the neoliberal path of development remains doubtful. Art, music, drama, sports and other co-curricular activities have no space in its conception of learning tasks in three hours of education. One wonders if this minimal education to the children of the marginalized qualifies as adherence to state/national curriculum, as claimed by Jain and Dholakia.

          Given the needs of first generation school goers, there is even greater need and urgency to appoint qualified teachers in government schools for reasons of equity, justice, rights and democratic citizenship. This would require intensive training inputs; rethinking on the existing models of pre-service and in-service teacher trainings; creation of work environment where teachers are part of wider deliberations on meaning and functions of education in an inegalitarian society. But would a teacher who is unskilled and low on pay as recommended by Jain and Dholakia, have the necessary qualification, confidence, self-image and motivation to undertake such effort? To paraphrase Erich Fromm, can a servile and docile teacher create independent learners. The economics of justifying state support for privatization and NGOisation of education indulged by Jain and Dholakia has serious political ramifications.
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          Chandra, Nirmal Kumar (2010). ‘Inclusive Growth in Neoliberal India: A Façade?’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 45, No. 8, February 20, pp: 43-56.
          Dutta, Madhumita (2009). ‘Nokia SEZ: Public Price of Success’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 44, No. 40, October 3, pp: 23-25.
          Govinda, R. and Josephine, Y. (2005). ‘Para-teachers in India: A Review’, Contemporary Education Dialogue, Vol. 2, No. 2, Spring, pp: 193-224.
          Jain, Pankaj S. and Dholakia, Ravindra H. (2009). ‘Feasibility of Implementation of Right to Education Act’, Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 44, No 25, 20th June, pp: 38-43.
          Jain, Pankaj S. and Dholakia, Ravindra H. (2010). ‘Right to Education Act and Public-Private Partnership’, Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 45, No. 8, February 20, pp: 78-80.
          Nambissan, Geetha and Ball, Stephen J. (Forthcoming). Advocacy Networks, Choice, and Schooling of the Poor in India.
          Sainath, P. (2010). ‘And Yet another Pro-farmer Budget’, The Hindu, 1 March.
          Sarangapani, Padma (2009). ‘Quality, Feasibility and Desirability of Low Cost Private Schooling: What is the Evidence?’, Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 44, No. 43, 24 October, pp: 67-69.
          Tilak, Jandhyala B.G. (2010). ‘Education in the Union Budget’. The Hindu. March 6.
          Welmond, Michel (2002). ‘Globalization Viewed from the Periphery: the Dynamics of Teachers Identity in the Republic of Benin’, Comparative Education Review, Vol. 46, No. 1, February, pp: 37-65.
          World Bank (1995). Priorities and Strategies for Education: A World Bank Review. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.
          World Bank (2003). India: Sustaining Reform, Reducing Poverty. Delhi: OUP.
                    Legal Developments in Securities Law   

          The SEC & “Small and Emerging Companies”: Could the Rules Governing Private Capital Change? This week, the SEC announced the formation of an Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies (“Committee”) “to focus on interests and priorities of small businesses and smaller public companies.” You can find the SEC’s announcement here. Of great importance to … Continue reading "Legal Developments in Securities Law"

          The post Legal Developments in Securities Law appeared first on Meyers & Heim LLP.

                    Rare Pieces, Reinvigorated Classics, New Works and More Set for Arcola Theatre's 2017 Grimeborn Opera Festival   

          See opera differently at Grimeborn. 'East London's ... irreverent and influential festival of new opera' (Time Out) is back for its 11th year with 14 exciting productions at the Arcola Theatre.

          Rarely-performed pieces. Reinvigorated classics. Brand new works from some of the UK's most exciting up-and-coming artists and companies.

          Tickets range from £7 to £22. Whether it's your first or your latest opera experience, you'll be right at home at Grimeborn 2017.

          Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen said: "I'm thrilled to announce Arcola's new season, which features the eleventh edition of our Grimeborn Opera Festival.

          "Later in the year, Olivier Award-winning OperaUpClose comes to Arcola for the first time with a major new English version of Tchaikovsky's EUGENE ONEGIN."

          "This is an exciting time at Arcola. Having just retained our place in Arts Council England's National Portfolio, we are able to produce more new works from raw talent, reimagined classics and ambitious plays from thrilling contemporary voices. I look forward to welcoming you to Arcola again soon."

          FULL LISTINGS:

          Studio 1

          25 July - 29 July 2017
          Leoe&Hyde present
          The Marriage of Kim K

          Music: Stephen Hyde
          Words: Leo Mercer
          Direction: Stephen Hyde

          The Kim Kardashian musical
          The Mozart opera
          At the same time

          In 2011, Kim Kardashian televised her fairytale wedding to NBA basketball star Kris Humphries. 72 days later she filed for divorce.

          In this brisk, clever and ambitious take on Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, the iconic Kardashian flop takes centre stage with another marriage on the brink: Mozart's explosive Count and Countess.

          Three squabbling couples. Three styles of music. One big problem. Combining pop, electronic and classical music, this bitingly satirical romp is a heartfelt reminder of the power of love in tense times.

          Cast: Yasemin Gulumser, James Edge, Nathan Bellis, Emily Burnett, Stephen Hyde, Amelia Gabriel
          Lighting Design: Alexander Newton

          Tuesday-Saturday at 7.30pm
          Tickets £12-£22
          Public booking opens Thursday 6 July, 12.30pm at

          31 July - 4 August 2017
          The Opera Company and The Asyla Ensemble present
          The Cunning Little Vixen

          Music & Words: Leos Janacek
          Direction: Guido Martin-Brandis

          Once upon a time, deep in the woods, a man caught a vixen...

          When a forester brings home a baby fox, he doesn't quite realise what he's let himself in for. Discover The Cunning Little Vixen, the story of a young Vixen growing up in the parallel worlds of the animals and the humans.

          One of the twentieth century's most beautiful operas, Janá?ek's masterpiece is a humorous, profound, and life-affirming meditation on the wonder of nature, and a celebration of its eternal renewal.

          This innovative production brings the animal world to life with dance, masks and puppetry. Sung in English with a brand new chamber arrangement, the superb cast features some of the UK's most talented young artists.

          Cast: Alison Rose, Beth Margaret-Taylor, Camilla Farrant, Tim Langston, Oliver Gibbs, Ashley Mercer
          Design: Alexander McPherson

          Monday - Friday at 7.30pm
          Tickets £12-£22
          Public booking opens Thursday 6 July, 12.30pm at

          2 August 2017
          Pop Up Opera presents
          Une Education Manquée

          Music: Emmanuel Chabrier
          Words: Eugène Leterrier and Albert Vanloo
          Direction: Isabelle Kettle
          Musical Direction: William Cole

          After a sold-out performance at Wilderness Festival 2016, Pop Up Opera present Emmanuel Chabrier's rarely-performed Une Éducation Manquée for one night only.

          Set in the time of Louis XVI, Une Éducation Manquée is a deliciously madcap and witty 45-minute French operetta. It is the tale of two teenaged newly-wed aristocrats, flummoxed by the expectations of their wedding night and by what it means to be husband and wife. Follow the would-be "lovers" through useless adult advice and discover the only combination that can truly bring them together: thunder, hormones, and a loose nightgown.

          Cast: Susanna Fairbairn, Christine Buras, Oskar McCarthy

          Wednesday 2 August at 7.30pm
          Tickets £14-£17
          Public booking opens Thursday 6 July, 12.30pm at

          5 August - 6 August 2017
          Basement Orchestra presents
          Porgy & Bess

          Music: George Gershwin
          Words: DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin
          Arrangements: Knut Olv Ryngestad, Guy Jones and Tom Mawby
          Musical Director: Guy Jones

          Singers: Talia Cohen, Masimba Ushe

          'Summertime / And the livin' is easy.....'

          Porgy and Bess contains some of the most iconic music of the twentieth century, but there is much more to this work than easy livin' and cotton growing high.

          The composer George Gershwin sought to do justice to African American music in this maverick creation, but over the years, controversy and accusations of racial stereotyping have dogged his 'folk opera'.

          For their latest outing to Grimeborn, Basement Orchestra contront Gershwin's masterpiece, telling the story with key details and extracts, performed with live singers and dazzling musicianship.

          Saturday - Sunday at 7.30pm
          Tickets £12-£17
          Public booking opens Thursday 6 July, 12.30pm at

          8 August - 12 August 2017
          Ensemble OrQuesta presents

          Music: Jean-Baptiste Lully
          Words: Philippe Quinault
          Direction: Marcio da Silva

          All's unfair in love and war

          Armide is the original warrior princess: a powerful sorceress who can have her pick of any man. But when she falls for her nemesis, the throes of battle become the throes of passion. Will she pick love, or vengeance?

          Armide is a thrilling tale of desire, betrayal and magic. Ensemble OrQuesta brings this 1686 classic from the crusades into the present, with artistic director Márcio da Silva and an ensemble of talented young soloists.

          Tuesday - Saturday 7.30pm
          Tickets £12-£22
          Public booking opens Thursday 6 July, 12.30pm at

          13 August 2017
          Arcola Theatre Creative Engagement presents

          Music: Jen Waghorn
          Words: Bec Martin-Williams and Jen Waghorn
          Direction: Bec Martin-Williams

          Performed by young people aged 14-25

          'I am all the daughters of my father's house, and all the brothers too.'

          V wants to escape. Their past, their grief, their life. Everyone else wants to label them. If you don't belong in a box, where do you belong?

          Inspired by Shakespeare's Twelfth Night , V is a devised musical by young people aged 14-25 from Arcola's award-winning Creative Engagement department.

          Sunday 13 August at 4pm & 8pm
          Tickets £9 (£7 concessions)
          Public booking opens Thursday 6 July, 12.30pm at

          16 - 26 August 2017
          Arcola Theatre presents
          Samson and Delilah

          Music: Camille Saint-Saëns
          Words: Ferdinand Lemaire
          Direction: Aylin Bozok

          Samson, leader of the Israelites, is a man of superhuman strength. Against the Philistines he seems invincible. With Delilah, his Philistine lover, he is openly infatuated.

          The source of Samson's power is a secret - but when Delilah decides to root it out, her discovery threatens to change the course of history forever.

          Director Aylin Bozok won the WhatsOnStage Award for Most Promising Newcomer for her production of Pelléas et Mélisande at Grimeborn 2013. Now, following hit shows at Bury Court and Opera Holland Park, she returns to Arcola with a bold new take on Camille Saint-Saëns' extraordinary biblical epic.

          Tuesday - Saturday 7.30pm
          Tickets £12-£22
          Public booking opens Thursday 6 July, 12.30pm at

          29 August - 2 September 2017
          Richard Williamson and CliMar Productions present
          Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story

          Music & Words: Stephen Dolginoff
          Direction: Guy Retallack
          Design: James Turner
          Lighting Design: Richard Williamson
          Sound Design: Peter Russell

          Cast: Harry Downes , Alex Spinney

          The Lindbergh Kidnapping. O.J. Simpson. The Great Train Robbery. Many events have been dubbed the crime of the twentieth century, but few surpass the menace of the 'Thrill Killers', Leopold and Loeb.

          In Chicago, 1924, two college kids sign a contract in blood. Nietzsche-obsessed Loeb has a serious superiority complex - he's a 'Superman', above the constraints of good and evil. Leopold is a loner and a willing accomplice, craving his partner's time, attention and conditional love. Can they perpetrate the perfect crime?

          This multi-award-winning, five-star production returns to London for five performances at Grimeborn, complete with the original UK creative team.

          Tuesday - Saturday 7.30pm
          Tickets £12-£22
          Public booking opens Thursday 6 July, 12.30pm at

          Studio 2

          1 August - 3 August 2017
          Opera Alegria presents
          The Silken Ladder & The Husband at the Door

          Music: Offenbach and Rossini
          Words: Lindsay Bramley
          Direction: Benjamin Newhouse-Smith

          Cast (The Silken Ladder): Jodie Kearns, Alicia Gurney, Robert Jenkins, Alistair Sutherland
          Cast (The Husband at the Door): Naomi Kilby, Jodie Kearns, Christopher Killerby, Ian Massa-Harris, Alistair Sutherland, Christopher Faulkner

          Mistaken identities, mismatched lovers, narrow escapes and unexpected undergarments.... Opera Alegria bring them all to Grimeborn for their new double bill of Rossini's The Silken Ladder and Offenbach's A Husband at the Door.

          Director Benjamin Newhouse-Smith sets both works in the same room, but eighty years apart, with new contemporary translations from Lindsay Bramley.

          Tuesday - Thursday 8pm
          Tickets £14-£17
          Public booking opens Thursday 6 July, 12.30pm at

          4 August - 5 August 2017
          Shadwell Opera present
          Diary Of One Who Disappeared

          Music: Leos Janacek
          Words: Ozef Kalda
          Direction: Jack Furness
          Design: Jack Furness

          Cast: Angharad Lyddon, Sam Furness
          Pianist: Matthew Fletcher

          Herald Angel award-winners Shadwell Opera come to Grimeborn for the first time with a staging of Janacek's dramatic song-cycle, Diary of One Who Disappeared.

          Internationally-recognised rising star Sam Furness stars in this tale of a young farmer who falls in love with a 'gypsy girl', and faces an ensuing crisis of identity and indecision.

          Updated in Jack Furness' staging as the video-diary of an asylum centre worker, this enigmatic tale of cross-cultural love is rendered more fascinating and pertinent than ever.

          Shadwell Opera have a growing reputation as one of the country's leading opera voices, offering performances of dramatic intensity and musical excellence at venues expected and unexpected across the capital. This production marks Sam and Jack Furness's first collaboration in six years, alongside pianist Matthew Fletcher and mezzo-soprano Angharad Lyddon.

          Friday - Saturday 8pm
          Tickets £12-£15
          Public booking opens Thursday 6 July, 12.30pm at

          6 August 2017
          Melanie Gall Presents, in association with Arcola Creative Engagement present
          Opera Mouse

          Music: Mozart, Bizet, Puccini
          Words: Melanie Gall
          Direction: Erik deWaal

          Tilly Mouse lives under an opera house, and she just loves to sing! But whenever anyone sees her, they scream and run away. With determination, imagination and help from her friends, Tilly proves that even a mouse can be a star.

          Opera Mouse has been performed in venues all around the world, ranging from a theatre in Canada, an orphanage in Morocco, a school in Sudan and a shopping mall in Algeria.

          Now it comes to Grimeborn for one day only. Don't miss this Sunday morning spectacular for children and adults alike.

          Sunday 11 am
          Tickets £8.50
          Public booking opens Thursday 6 July, 12.30pm at

          17 August - 19 August 2017
          Spectra Ensemble presents

          Music: Lewis Coenen-Rowe
          Words: Kurt Schwitters
          Direction: Cecilia Stinton
          Design: Holly Muir
          Lighting Design: John Pham

          Cast: Barnaby Beer, Olivia Sjöberg, Henry George Page, Juliet Wallace, Bathany Horak-Hallett

          A strange Green Globe is on course to collide with Earth, and panic is rife on the streets of Berlin. Citizens flee from the TV station to the church - until finally, at the airport, they await the final curtain...

          Part absurdist science-fiction, part sultry cabaret, Collision is the first and only opera work from avant-garde artist Kurt Schwitters. Conceived in 1928 as a Dada-esque piece combining hyperactive farce and nihilistic satire, it was never produced in his lifetime.

          Now, 90 years on, Spectra Ensemble recreates Collision as a fully-staged comic opera, set to new cabaret and jazz influenced music by Lewis Coenen-Rowe, and with a design inspired by Schwitters' own brand of collage art.

          Thursday - Saturday 8pm
          Tickets £14-£17
          Public booking opens Thursday 6 July, 12.30pm at

          21 - 22 August 2017
          Helios Collective presents
          Il Letto (The Bed)

          Music: Giacomo Puccini
          Words: Christopher Hogg
          Direction: Ella Marchment
          Design: Jefferson Miranda

          Cast: Emma Walsh, Raphaela Papadakis, Noah Mosley

          For Puccini, the creation of an opera was a love affair. Many of his heroines had strong links to the women in his life: from Corinna, the young prostitute whom he loved while writing Madama Butterfly, to Doria, the maid who committed suicide in his house while he was developing La Fanciulla del West.

          In this revealing new 'plaria' (play with music), Helios Collective explore Puccini's real and imagined worlds, his extraordinary music and his tumultuous infidelities.

          Told by Puccini's wife Elvira Bonturi, it is a tale about the destructive tensions between real life and opera, heroines and muses.

          Monday - Tuesday 8pm
          Tickets £17 (£14 concessions)
          Public booking opens Thursday 6 July, 12.30pm at

          24 August - 26 August 2017
          irrational theatre presents
          Fun at the Festival
          A fusion of comic opera and fresh new writing

          Music: Arthur Sullivan, Gian-Carlo Menotti
          Words: F C Burnand, G.C Menotti, J Norland
          Direction: Paula Chitty

          Following Leoncavallo's Pagliacci at last year's Grimeborn, irrational theatre return with an innovative and quirky fusion of comic opera and new writing.

          A wedding proposal seems to be getting hindered by the constant interruption of phonecalls in The Telephone (L'amour a Trois) by Gian Carlo Menotti. In Sullivan's Cox and Box, two men unknowingly share the same room until they discover their landlord's trick. The two operas are matched with a new comic play, Cycle, about a neighbourly dispute over a bicycle.

          A real treat for opera and new writing lovers, these three little gems make for a playful and fun-filled evening at the festival.

          The Telephone
          Music & Libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti
          Arrangement with Chester Music trading as G. Schirmer on behalf of G. Schirmer Inc
          Cast: Samantha Green, Ben Sebastian Charlesworth, Katy Bingham Best

          Cox and Box
          Libretto by F. C Burnand
          Music by Arthur Sullivan
          Cast: Sebastian Charlesworth, Joseph O'Gorman, Roger Mullis

          By Joanna Norland
          Cast: Joseph O'Gorman, Samantha Green, Katy Bingham Best, Kieran Cummins

          Thursday - Saturday 8pm
          Tickets £17-£20
          Public booking opens Thursday 6 July, 12.30pm at

          Arcola Theatre is one of London's leading off-West End theatres. Locally engaged and internationally minded, Arcola stages a diverse programme of plays, operas and musicals. World-class productions from major artists appear alongside cutting-edge work from the most exciting emerging companies. Arcola delivers one of London's most extensive community engagement programmes, creating over 5000 opportunities every year. By providing research and development space to diverse artists, Arcola champions theatre that's more engaging and representative. Its pioneering environmental initiatives are internationally renowned, and aim to make Arcola the world's first carbon-neutral theatre.

          Tickets go on sale to the public on Thursday 6 July. Priority Booking is now open to all Arcola Theatre Supporters. Memberships start from £50. For more information about memberships or to join at any level, call the Individual Giving & Development Team on 0207 503 1645 or email Contact the Box Office at 0207 503 1646 (12.30pm - 6pm) or go online at

                    Manchester International Festival Opens Tonight with WHAT IS THE CITY BUT THE PEOPLE?; Watch Live!   

          Manchester International Festival opens this evening at 6.30pm in Piccadilly Gardens, with What is the City But the People? a celebration of the greatest city on earth. Watch it live and online wherever you are at

          The Festival continues at 8.30pm tonight with New Order + Liam Gillick: So it goes... at Old Granada Studios.

          For a full schedule of MIF events, visit

          This year, for the first time ever, the BBC will work with Manchester International Festival to bring audiences world-class performances online using BBC Live - the online platform used by the BBC for its coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the General Election.

          From 29 June to 16 July, audiences will be able to experience the festival live online, with livestreams of MIF productions, updates from behind the scenes at the festival expert opinion, the best of social media, imagery and highlight clips from across the festival, plus over 100 commissioned creative responses from #creative50, a community of emerging artists from Greater Manchester.

          Head to to experience the festival live online.

          Watch What is the City But the People? below!

                    An American Boycott   
          I thought about this for a long time and all the supports and friends within our Network is past time for a boycott against China Products, The Arabic Nations Oil, The United Nations Funding Needs, and any other country that has moved to replace the American Currency as the World Currency.
           The Name George Soros seems to turn up in places you it would not seem to think he was there. This video..
           Now no one stated this will happen but its better to be safe then sorry....
          Publisher, S&A Research
          From  Stansberry & Associates Investment Research has released a News Update...

           ....talked about the riches men in the soon as he said George the very same time my mind was searching for his name, because this is his kind of work...To force the American People into some sorted New World Order Concept. George Soros must be using Pharmaceutical Narcotics...because he is full of himself.
           Supporting News:
          By Marin Katusa, Casey Research
          There's a major shift under way, one the US mainstream media has left largely untouched even though it will send the United States into an economic maelstrom and dramatically reduce the country's importance in the world: the demise of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency.
          For decades the US dollar has been absolutely dominant in international trade, especially in the oil markets. This role has created immense demand for US dollars, and that international demand constitutes a huge part of the dollar's valuation. Not only did the global-currency role add massive value to the dollar, it also created an almost endless pool of demand for US Treasuries as countries around the world sought to maintain stores of petrodollars. The availability of all this credit, denominated in a dollar supported by nothing less than the entirety of global trade, enabled the American federal government to borrow without limit and spend with abandon.
          The dominance of the dollar gave the United States incredible power and influence around the world… but the times they are a-changing. As the world's emerging economies gain ever more prominence, the US is losing hold of its position as the world's superpower. Many on the long list of nations that dislike America are pondering ways to reduce American influence in their affairs. Ditching the dollar is a very good start.
          and in Canada a few weeks ago and there were places that did not accept US dollars...found in comment page:
          Economist Paul Samuelson and others (including, at his death, Milton Friedman) have maintained that the overseas demand for dollars allows the United States to maintain persistent trade deficits without causing the value of the currency to depreciate or the flow of trade to readjust. But Samuelson stated in 2005 that at some uncertain future period these pressures would precipitate a run against the U.S. dollar with serious global financial consequences.[1]
          China and Japan Abandon U.S. Dollar as a Means of Trade 

          9 foreign countries where you can use U.S. dollars

          British Virgin Islands
          Much like neighboring U.S.V.I., the British Virgin Islands employ the U.S. dollar as their official currency. This connection makes travel between the two island groups especially seamless—and gives the B.V.I. its reputation as a well-established tax haven. Don't have millions in corporate profits to shore up? You can still find a haven of sorts at the Baths on Virgin Gorda; this unusual rock formation is one of our favorite secret Caribbean attractions (and, aside from the swaying palms, it's a lot less shady).
          I am still troubled over the amount of spending at around $109 Trillion Dollars
          Spending per year best guess at numbers...
          according to statements by Political Officials they bring in only $3 Trillion Tax Dollars Per Year at around $33 Trillion in 11 years..
             $109 Trillion
          -   $33 Trillion
            $73 Trillion - in the far as we know
           The News is spreading fast...
          Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 7:24 PM
          7:24 PM
          I do not have the money to buy gold, and even if I did I would not buy the gold this Government has bought up. Odds are the market value will not go up, and you will lose money.
           Simple things to do, save up you coins... the value of the coin will grow or stay the same.
           from the half dollar to the penny
           collect old coins
           now this if things go bad will make good wiping paper or to start up your fire place.
           Now to make it clear, no one said this will happen, its more a 50% - 50% per cent chance we will see something take place.
          Also buy seeds for food, grow your own....because I went into BiLo and  I was charged $3.09 for a Loaf of Bread,,,I said no...a gallon of milk was close to $4 to $6.00 per gallon.... depending on which brand.
           Just say no and let the stuff rot on the shelf......
           Buy only American Gas...
           Buy only American Made Items.....
           In one month you will see a six will see a one year you will see these countries back paddle.....
           The Health Care Bill...just say no. I stand against it because of Abortion and Pharmaceutical Narcotics is paid for with the system...
          This is not a Tea Party Boycott, Democrat Boycott, or Republican is by all means An American Boycott.
           I for one will make a stand you have the right to do as you please....
          This is only  a few ideas, more will be most welcome...
           I must be off to other site I have over 136 to up date....this posting may be shared...there is no copy right for doing the right thing...
           One last note...if we do not boycott these countries this good old USA could fall into this area of Civil War that so may War Mongers want, and millions of people will die....

                    A retrospective survey into the presence of Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma gondii in archived tissue samples from New Zealand raptors: New Zealand falcons (Falco novaeseelandiae), Australasian harriers (Circus approximans) and moreporks (Ninox novaeseelandiae).   
          Related Articles

          A retrospective survey into the presence of Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma gondii in archived tissue samples from New Zealand raptors: New Zealand falcons (Falco novaeseelandiae), Australasian harriers (Circus approximans) and moreporks (Ninox novaeseelandiae).

          Parasitol Res. 2017 Jun 28;:

          Authors: Mirza V, Burrows EB, Gils S, Hunter S, Gartrell BD, Howe L

          Human colonisation of New Zealand has resulted in the introduction of emerging diseases, such as avian malaria and toxoplasmosis, which arrived with their exotic avian and mammalian hosts. Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma gondii have a wide host range, and several species of endemic New Zealand birds have developed a fatal disease following infection with either pathogen. However, no reports of either toxoplasmosis or avian malaria in New Zealand raptors, namely, the New Zealand falcons (Falco novaeseelandiae), Australasian harriers (Circus approximans) and moreporks (Ninox novaeseelandiae) exist in the literature. Therefore, this study was designed to determine if these two pathogens are present in these raptors through a retrospective analysis of archived tissue samples. Detection and isolate identification of these pathogens was determined using established histological and molecular techniques. All three species of New Zealand raptors tested positive for the presence of Plasmodium spp. (10/117; 8.5%) and an atypical genotype of T. gondii (9/117; 7.7%). Plasmodium lineages identified include P. elongatum GRW6, P. relictum SGS1, P. relictum PADOM02 and Plasmodium sp. LINN1. Two Australasian harriers and one morepork tested positive for the presence of both Plasmodium spp. and T. gondii. However, the pathogenicity of these organisms to the raptors is unclear as none of the tissues showed histological evidence of clinical disease associated with Plasmodium spp. and T. gondii infections. Thus, these results demonstrate for the first time that these two potential pathogens are present in New Zealand's raptors; however, further research is required to determine the prevalence and pathogenicity of these organisms among the living populations of these birds in the country.

          PMID: 28660290 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

                    CARICOM deals a blow to US plans for regime change in Venezuela    

          Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodriguez, recently tweeted that the “US State Department deployed its ambassadors in the region to attack Venezuela. We come with renewed vigor to defeat them at the OAS.”

          So said, so done. The US Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, spewed the US false narrative regarding Venezuela in our local newspapers. US ambassadors in a number of other Caribbean countries did the same. It was a coordinated attempt to mislead the people of Guyana and the region about what is really happening in Venezuela, and to apply pressure on members of CARICOM (Caribbean Community) and the OAS (Organization of American States) to succumb to US calls for intervention, with the aim of overthrowing the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro.

          US diplomats in Guyana, and for that matter throughout the Global South, are not diplomats in the strict sense of the word, and can be better described as political activists. They are constantly meddling in the internal affairs of the country they are stationed in, giving directives to the compliant neo-colonial regimes and actively undermining and destabilizing independent and anti-imperialist governments, such as the government in Venezuela.

          This latest US psych-ops came just after the May 31st meeting of the OAS in Washington DC and just prior to the June 19th OAS meeting in Cancun, Mexico, where CARICOM member states took a firm and united anti-interventionist position in relation to the current situation in Venezuela, delivering a resounding defeat to the interventionist approach advocated by the US, Mexico, Peru and Panama,

          Following the June 19th OAS meeting, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodriguez, said: “Today we come with the strength of our people who took to the streets to denounce the interventionism of the Organization of American States, we come with the force of the rain of our commander Hugo Chavez. Independence and sovereignty triumphed today over the United States of America, with its brutal pressure, with its gross extortion, with its maneuvers…”

          She added that the call for intervention encourages the “most violent, anti-democratic factions in our country,” and she thanked the Caribbean nations for their “deeply principled stand.”
          In his letter and articles, US ambassador, Perry Holloway, had the temerity to lecture Guyana and other member-states of the OAS about their obligation to democracy and human rights. He stated that: “The diverse family of nations in the Americas recognizes democracy is a part of our collective DNA. Sixteen years ago in Peru, we underscored this principle with the adoption of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, affirming the right of the peoples of the Americas to democracy and obligating our governments to defend that right.”

          I suggest that before US diplomats in the Caribbean and the Americas offer any criticism or advice to Venezuela or any member-state of the OAS on issues of democracy and human rights, they should first examine the behavior of their own government in relation to their undemocratic practices and policies, both internally and around the world, and their endless list of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

          Trump lays bare sham democracy

          The only positive aspect of Trump’s presidency is that it is exposing, once and for all, the sham that parades as US democracy and concern for human rights. The entirely undemocratic nature of US internal and foreign policy is clear to all in 2017. Even that minority of citizens on this planet who still held out some hope that the US resembled anything close to a democracy, have now seen through the façade. American political philosopher, Sheldon S. Wolin, in his brilliant work, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, renders a devastating critique of US democracy and is a vital read for anyone who wishes to understand the latent fascism that underpins the politics of this Empire.

          Former US Attorney-General, Ramsay Clark, had this to say: “We’re not a democracy. It’s a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we’re a plutocracy, a government by the wealthy.” He compared President George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler, and is on record as saying at the outset of the US invasion of Iraq, that it “will be genocide again,” adding that “the greatest crime since World War Two has been US foreign policy.”

          As I watch the hue and cry over Trump’s actions, it reminds me of Adolph Hitler’s response to Europe’s criticism of his policies. He told them: “I am only doing out in the open what you have been doing behind closed doors for centuries.”

          A meme that was circulated at the end of Obama’s presidency said it best: “Only in shallow, self-absorbed, privileged America could a leader drop 26,000 bombs on seven countries in a single year, and have citizens mourn the end of his term because he looked and sounded classy while doing it.”

          The illusion highlighted in this meme picks up on the public relations stunt that has become a hallmark of the US establishment, and which Sheldon Wolin identifies as a major feature of the “inverted totalitarianism” that exists in the US today. He describes “inverted totalitarianism” as a state of affairs where a small ruling elite (the 1%) have established an authoritarian society which benefits them exclusively. In this society, corporations have corrupted and subverted democracy, and natural resources and labor are seen as mere commodities to be exploited for huge profits.

          This status quo is maintained by a sophisticated propaganda machine that lulls the majority of people into apathy. Central to reinforcing this hegemon is a tightly controlled corporatized media, a mouthpiece for the establishment, that is constantly spinning fake news and false narratives, and emphasizing rabid consumerism, individualism and the politics of personality and sensationalism. Wolin, like Clark, compares modern day USA to Nazi Germany, pointing out that the form is different but the essence, that is, fascism, is the same.

          Friendly fascism

          Tirty-seven years ago, political scientist, Bertram Gross, coined the term “friendly fascism” and predicted the Orwellian reality we are witnessing today in the US. His thesis converges with the conclusions reached by Wolin, Clark and others.

          In his farewell address at the end of his presidency in 1961, Republican Dwight Eisenhower, warned the American people about the dangers of the “Military Industrial Complex”, the control it exerted and its ability to, in his words, “weaken or destroy the very institutions and principles it was designed to protect.” This has surely come to pass.

          So, before US diplomats such as Perry Holloway attempt to discredit the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, initiated by one of the most revered freedom fighters in the Americas, the late Hugo Chavez, and led today by President Nicolas Maduro and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela with the support of the majority of the people of Venezuela, they would do well to take a long and hard look at the crisis of democracy in their own country.

          Let Mr. Holloway explain to Guyanese and the citizenry of all member-states of the OAS why, in 2017, Africans in the US continue to be gunned down in the streets on a regular basis.
          Let him explain to us why the US has the largest number of persons imprisoned per capita in the world, and why the prisoners are disproportionately made up of Africans, Indigenous and other people of color, before he points the finger at a revolution that has lifted African and Indigenous Venezuelans out of debilitating discrimination and poverty.

          Let Mr. Holloway address the situation of US political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jamil Al-Amin (formerly Rap Brown), Leonard Peltier and so many others who are languishing in US prisons before he speaks of Venezuela’s human rights record.

          Let the US Ambassador focus on the shocking poverty and illiteracy statistics emerging from his own country, before he points the finger at the Bolivarian revolution which has made unprecedented gains in eradicating poverty and illiteracy amongst the masses of Venezuela’s poor. Anyone who visited oil rich Venezuela prior to the Bolivarian revolution can testify to the abhorrent conditions and the repressive measures used to subjugate the majority of Venezuelans, and in particular, African and Indigenous Venezuelans.

          Does the Ambassador truly believe that his letters and articles, full of the usual delusional and empty rhetoric, would convince any of us that his government is concerned about democracy and human rights in Venezuela, or anywhere in the world for that matter, after we have witnessed the apocalyptic events in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and the list goes on?

          Does Mr. Holloway think we have forgotten our own history in the Americas and the Caribbean, including the US orchestrated coups that overthrew the democratically elected governments of President Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala, President Salvador Allende in Chile, Prime Minister Maurice Bishop in Grenada, President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras and the constitutional coup against President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil? What about the removal at gunpoint of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide by US military personnel in Haiti?

          There is not the space in a single article to even list the US crimes in our region. Just to chronicle them warrants a book. If we were to list US crimes against the whole of humanity, we are looking at a library of books. The US Empire and the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch Empires that preceded it, have been without doubt the worst examples of terrorism in all of human history.

          In his letter and article, Mr. Holloway advises that “when a government breaks with democracy, we must act in solidarity with its people, not through intervention or interference, but with diplomacy and mediation among all parties to help find a peaceful, democratic, and comprehensive solution.” Tell us Mr. Holloway: Are the examples listed above your idea of diplomacy and mediation?

          These governments were not removed because of their lack of democracy or abuse of human rights. They were removed, like countless others throughout the Global South, because they were attempting to free their country from the clutches of the Empire, and liberate their wealth and resources so that they might benefit the masses of their people. Our own founding fathers in Guyana, Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham, were subjected to the same destabilization tactics at the hands of the US government and its CIA.

          Empire loses its grip

          The US and its diplomats need to understand that with the advent of the internet and the availability of information in this day and age, the Empire has lost all credibility. There is no one left on earth who can be misled by their hollow and hypocritical rhetoric. Do not be fooled by those who dare not speak openly -- they are afraid of losing their visas and even worse reprisals. Regardless of their cowardice and silence, everyone knows that the Emperor is naked. Behind closed doors, even those satraps who publicly profess their allegiance, such as the Saudis, snigger and jeer at the hideous state of affairs in the United States of America.

          As the US Empire crumbles, its vampires, who have sucked the blood of the sufferers for so long, are in panic mode because, despite their descent into blatant authoritarianism and fascism, they continue to lose their grip on the terrifying world they have created, as it spins more and more out of control. The ugly death squads such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, the very Frankensteins of their own making, are turning right back on them. As Malcom X observed so long ago, the chickens must come home to roost. One cannot keep up with the number of attacks in the US and Europe.

          One of the vampires, largely credited with creating Al Qaeda, a former US National Security Advisor, and founder of the Rockefeller-controlled Trilateral Commission, Zbigniew Brzezinski, in a speech to British elites at Chatham House in 2008, spoke volumes when he said:

          “…new and old major powers face still yet another novel reality, in some respects unprecedented, and it is that while the lethality of their power is greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at an historical low…I once put it rather pungently, and I was flattered that the British Foreign Secretary repeated this… namely, in earlier times, it was easier to control a million people than physically to kill a million people. Today, it is infinitely easier to kill a million people than to control a million people.”

          The majority of CARICOM countries are governed by neo-colonial political outfits and even they voted against US plans for regime change in Venezuela.”
          The current US administration, like its predecessors, whether Democrat or Republican, is involved in just that, killing millions of people all over the world in its bid to control, and trying desperately to convince us of the absurd notion that that they are doing this in the name of democracy and human rights. Trouble is, no one is buying it? The majority of CARICOM countries are governed by neo-colonial political outfits and even they voted against US plans for regime change in Venezuela. The playbook is old and tired. Donald Trump just tied up an arms deal worth 350 billion US dollars with the corrupt and entirely undemocratic regime of Saudi Arabia, a regime that is without doubt the main proliferator of the ideology of Wahhabism and the movements intent on imposing this ideology worldwide, such as Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Nusra Front and ISIS. All these weapons to a government that is funding terrorism worldwide and committing genocide in Yemen.

          And, when the power struggle between the Saudis and the Qataris surfaced, Trump paid lip service to the manufactured war on terror by publicly condemning Qatar’s support for terrorism, and days later sold the Qataris US military hardware worth 12 billion dollars. In light of this hypocrisy and blatant disregard for the victims of these rogue states and their global terrorist network, can you really expect us to believe that your concern with Venezuela is about lack of democracy and human rights?

          No shame
          Finally, to Mr. Holloway and his cohorts throughout the region, your expressed shock and horror about the so-called spillover from Venezuela’s current predicament was perhaps the most shameful part of your missive: “The spillover effects from Venezuela’s crisis are serious and growing, whether it is irregular migrant flows to countries in our region or the increasing flow of arms and criminal activity that affect the Caribbean in particular.”

          This is rich coming from the people who illegally invaded Libya, murdered the Libyan leader and freedom fighter, Muammar Qaddafi in the street, and in so doing, destroyed the most prosperous and democratic nation on the African continent, causing a migration crisis of a magnitude never seen before. Your government handed over the nation of Libya to a conglomerate of thugs, criminals, terrorists and reactionary warlords, and this spillover continues to wreak havoc throughout Africa and the Arab Region six years on. Before you concern yourself with any spillover in the Caribbean, please deal with the spillover from your criminal invasion of Libya, a spillover that only this month reached Manchester, England.

          In Guyana, the Americas and throughout the Global South, the masses of people are sick and tired of the same old playbook -- the one that is in fact the cause of the current situation in Venezuela. But then, that is part of the devil’s own script, cause the problem and then come to us as savior, with a solution. It plays like this: the US, through its infamous web of security agencies, NGOs, Aid Agencies, think-tanks and other Trojan horses, destabilize, sow confusion and do everything in their power to overthrow any government and subjugate any people that refuse to obey Empire. Recently, more than 300,000 Venezuelans took to the streets in support of President Nicolas Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution.

          The opposition held a demonstration that attracted 50,000. Of course, in your United States, the corporate media is reporting just the opposite. By the admission of your own president they are the purveyors of fake news and this is just another example of your country’s lack of democracy. The bottom line is this Mr. Holloway: your country and its government is no way fit to point the finger at anyone when it comes to infringement of democracy, democratic values and human rights.

          In your letters and articles you ask: “If these things were happening in our own countries, would we not want the rest of our American family of nations to speak out, and reach out, to help restore fundamental democratic freedoms and respect for constitutional institutions?”

          In your own words you proclaim that: “The Organization of American States has for decades provided a forum to discuss our greatest challenges and take action together to address them. The challenge before us today is the death spiral of democracy in Venezuela.”

          What you say in the two quotes above is correct except for one thing, the challenge before us today is not the death spiral of democracy in Venezuela, it is the death spiral of democracy in the United States and an evil Empire spinning out of control.

          You are right -- the OAS should take immediate action to prevent further terrorism and turmoil because the spillover worldwide from the crisis in the United States is serious and growing.

          * GERALD A. PERREIRA is chairperson of the Guyanese organizations Black Consciousness Movement Guyana (BCMG) and Organization for the Victory of the People (OVP) and an executive member of the Caribbean Chapter of the Network in Defense of Humanity. He lived in Libya for many years, served in the Green March, an international battalion for the defense of the Al Fatah Revolution, and was an executive member of the World Mathaba based in Libya. This article previously appeared in Black Agenda Report.



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          Issue Number: 
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                    India Smart Cities Mission shows IoT potential for improving quality of life at vast scale   
          The next BriefingsDirect Voice of the Customer Internet-of-Things (IoT) transformation discussion examines the potential impact and improvement of low-power edge computing benefits on rapidly modernizing cities.

          These so-called smart city initiatives are exploiting open, wide area networking (WAN) technologies to make urban life richer in services, safer, and far more responsive to residences’ needs. We will now learn how such pervasively connected and data-driven IoT architectures are helping cities in India vastly improve the quality of life there.

          Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Get the mobile app. Read a full transcript or download a copy.

          Here to share how communication service providers have become agents of digital urban transformation are VS Shridhar, Senior Vice President and Head of the Internet-of-Things Business Unit at Tata Communications in Chennai area, India, and Nigel Upton, General Manager of the Universal IoT Platform and Global Connectivity Platform and Communications Solutions Business at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

          Here are some excerpts:

          Gardner: Tell us about India’s Smart Cities mission. What are you up to and how are these new technologies coming to bear on improving urban quality of life?

          Shridhar: The government is clearly focusing on Smart Cities as part of their urbanization plan, as they believe Smart Cities will not only improve the quality of living, but also generate employment, and take the whole country forward in terms of technologically embracing and improving the quality of life.

          So with that in mind, the Government of India has launched 100 Smart Cities initiatives. It’s quite interesting because each of the cities that aspire to belong had to make a plan and their own strategy around how they are going to evolve and how they are going to execute it, present it, and get selected. There was a proper selection process.

          Many of the cities made it, and of course some of them didn’t make it. Interestingly, some of the cities that didn’t make it are developing their own plans.
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          There is lot of excitement and curiosity as well as action in the Smart Cities project. Admittedly, it’s a slow process, it’s not something that you can do at the blink of the eye, and Rome wasn’t built overnight, but I definitely see a lot of progress.

          Gardner:Nigel, it seems that the timing for this is auspicious, given that there are some foundational technologies that are now available at very low cost compared to the past, and that have much more of a pervasive opportunity to gather information and make a two-way street, if you will, between the edge and central administration. How is the technology evolution synching up with these Smart Cities initiatives in India?

          Upton:I am not sure whether it’s timing or luck, or whatever it happens to be, but adoption of the digitization of city infrastructure and services is to some extent driven by economics. While I like to tease my colleagues in India about their sensitivity to price, the truth of the matter is that the economics of digitization -- and therefore IoT in smart cities -- needs to be at the right price, depending on where it is in the world, and India has some very specific price points to hit. That will drive the rate of adoption.

          And so, we're very encouraged that innovation is continuing to drive price points down to the point that mass adoption can then be taken up, and the benefits realized to a much more broad spectrum of the population. Working with Tata Communications has really helped HPE understand this and continue to evolve as technology and be part of the partner ecosystem because it does take a village to raise an IoT smart city. You need a lot of partners to make this happen, and that combination of partnership, willingness to work together and driving the economic price points to the point of adoption has been absolutely critical in getting us to where we are today.

          Balanced Bandwidth

          Gardner:Shridhar, we have some very important optimization opportunities around things like street lighting, waste removal, public safety, water quality; of course, the pervasive need for traffic and parking, monitoring and improvement.

          How do things like a low-power specification Internet and network gateways and low-power WANs (LPWANs) create a new foundation technically to improve these services? How do we connect the services and the technology for an improved outcome?

          Shridhar:If you look at human interaction to the Internet, we have a lot of technology coming our way. We used to have 2G, that has moved to 3G and to 4G, and that is a lot of bandwidth coming our way. We would like to have a tremendous amount of access and bandwidth speeds and so on, right?

          So the human interaction and experience is improving vastly, given the networks that are growing. On the machine-to-machine (M2M) side, it’s going to be different. They don’t need oodles of bandwidth. About 80 to 90 percent of all machine interactions are going to be very, very low bandwidth – and, of course, low power. I will come to the low power in a moment, but it’s going to be very low bandwidth requirement.

          In order to switch off a streetlight, how much bandwidth do you actually require? Or, in order to sense temperature or air quality or water and water quality, how much bandwidth do you actually require?

          When you ask these questions, you get an answer that the machines don’t require that much bandwidth. More importantly, when there are millions -- or possibly billions -- of devices to be deployed in the years to come, how are you going to service a piece of equipment that is telling a streetlight to switch on and switch off if the battery runs out?

          Machines are different from humans in terms of interactions. When we deploy machines that require low bandwidth and low power consumption, a battery can enable such a machine to communicate for years.

          Aside from heavy video streaming applications or constant security monitoring, where low-bandwidth, low-power technology doesn’t work, the majority of the cases are all about low bandwidth and low power. And these machines can communicate with the quality of service that is required.

          When it communicates, the network has to be available. You then need to establish a network that is highly available, which consumes very little power and provides the right amount of bandwidth. So studies show that less than 50 kbps connectivity should suffice for the majority of these requirements.

          Now the machine interaction also means that you collect all of them into a platform and basically act on them. It's not about just sensing it, it's measuring it, analyzing it, and acting on it.

          Low-power to the people

          So the whole stack consists not just of connectivity alone. It’s LPWAN technology that is emerging now and is becoming a de facto standard as more-and-more countries start embracing it.

          At Tata Communications we have embraced the LPWAN technology from the LoRa Alliance, a consortium of more than 400 partners who have gotten together and are driving standards. We are creating this network over the next 18 to 24 months across India. We have made these networks available right now in four cities. By the end of the year, it will be many more cities -- almost 60 cities across India by March 2018.

          Gardner: Nigel, how do you see the opportunity, the market, for a standard architecture around this sort of low-power, low-bandwidth network? This is a proof of concept in India, but what's the potential here for taking this even further? Is this something that has global potential?
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          Upton: The global potential is undoubtedly there, and there is an additional element that we didn't talk about which is that not all devices require the same amount of bandwidth. So we have talked about video surveillance requiring higher bandwidth, we have talked about devices that have low-power bandwidth and will essentially be created once and forgotten when expected to last 5 or 10 years.

          We also need to add in the aspect of security, and that really gave HPE and Tata the common ground of understanding that the world is made up of a variety of network requirements, some of which will be met by LPWAN, some of which will require more bandwidth, maybe as high as 5G.

          The real advantage of being able to use a common architecture to be able to take the data from these devices is the idea of having things like a common management, common security, and a common data model so that you really have the power of being able to take information, take data from all of these different types of devices and pull it into a common platform that is based on a standard.

          In our case, we selected the oneM2M standard, it’s the best standard available to be able to build that common data model and that's the reason why we deployed the oneM2M model within the universal IoT platform to get that consistency no matter what type of device over no matter what type of network.

          Gardner: It certainly sounds like this is an unprecedented opportunity to gather insight and analysis into areas that you just really couldn't have measured before. So going back to the economics of this, Shridhar, have you had any opportunity through these pilot projects in such cities as Jamshedpur to demonstrate a return on investment, perhaps on street lighting, perhaps on quality of utilization and efficiency? Is there a strong financial incentive to do this once the initial hurdle of upfront costs is met?

          Data-driven cost reduction lights up India

          Unless the customer sees that there is a scope for either reducing the cost or increasing the customer experience, they are not going to buy these kinds of solutions.
          Shridhar: Unless the customer sees that there is a scope for either reducing the cost or increasing the customer experience, they are not going to buy these kinds of solutions. So if you look at how things have been progressing, I will give you a few examples of how the costs have started constructing and playing out. One of course is to have devices, meeting at certain price point, we talked about how in India -- we talked that Nigel was remarking how constant still this Indian market is, but it’s important, once we delivered to a certain cost, we believe we can now deliver globally to scale. That’s very important, so if we build something in India it would deliver to the global market as well.

          The streetlight example, let’s take that specifically and see what kind of benefits it would give. When a streetlight operates for about 12 hours a day, it costs about Rs.12, which is about $0.15, but when you start optimizing it and say, okay, this is a streetlight that is supported currently on halogen and you move it to LED, it brings a little bit of cost saving, in some cases significant as well. India is going through an LED revolution as you may have read in the newspapers, those streetlights are being converted, and that’s one distinct cost advantage.

          Now they are looking and driving, let’s say, the usage and the electricity bills even lower by optimizing it. Let’s say you sync it with the astronomical clock, that 6:30 in the evening it comes up and let’s say 6:30 in the morning it shuts down linking to the astronomical clock because now you are connecting this controller to the Internet.

          The second thing that you would do is during busy hours keep it at the brightest, let’s say between 7:00 and 10:00, you keep it at the brightest and after that you start minimizing it. You can control it down in 10 percent increments.

          The point I am making is, you basically deliver intensity of light to the kind of requirement that you have. If it is busy, or if there is nobody on the street, or if there is a safety requirement -- a sensor will trigger up a series of lights, and so on.

          So your ability to play around with just having streetlight being delivered to the requirement is so high that it brings down total cost. While I was telling you about $0.15 that you would spend per streetlight, that could be brought down to $0.05. So that’s the kind of advantage by better controlling the streetlights. The business case builds up, and a customer can save 60 to 70 percent just by doing this. Obviously, then the business case stands out.

          The question that you are asking is an interesting one because each of the applications has its own way of returning the investment back, while the optimization of resources is being done. There is also a collateral positive benefit by saving the environment. So not only do I gain a business savings and business optimization, but I also pass on a general, bigger message of a green environment. Environment and safety are the two biggest benefits of implementing this and it would really appeal to our customers.

          Gardner:It’s always great to put hard economic metrics on these things, but Shridhar just mentioned safety. Even when you can't measure in direct economics, it's invaluable when you can bring a higher degree of safety to an urban environment.

          It opens up for more foot traffic, which can lead to greater economic development, which can then provide more tax revenue. It seems to me that there is a multiplier effect when you have this sort of intelligent urban landscape that creates a cascading set of benefits: the more data, the more efficiency; the more efficiency, the more economic development; the more revenue, the more data and so on. So tell us a little bit about this ongoing multiplier and virtuous adoption benefit when you go to intelligent urban environments?

          Quality of life, under control

          Upton:Yes, also it’s important to note that it differs almost by country to country and almost within region to region within countries. The interesting challenge with smart cities is that often you're dealing with elected officials rather than hard-nosed businessman who are only interested in the financial return. And it's because you're dealing with politicians and they are therefore representing the citizens in their area, either their city or their town or their region, their priorities are not always the same.

          There is quite a variation of one of the particular challenges, particular social challenges as well as the particular quality of life challenges in each of the areas that they work in. So things like personal safety are a very big deal in some regions. I am currently in Tokyo and here there is much more concern around quality of life and mobility with a rapidly aging population and their challenges are somewhat different.
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          But in India, the set of opportunities and challenges that are set out, they are in that combination of economic as well as social, and if you solve them and you essentially give citizens more peace of mind, more ability to be able to move freely, to be able to take part in the economic interaction within that area, then undoubtedly that leads to greater growth, but it is worth bearing in mind that it does vary almost city by city and region by region.

          Gardner:Shridhar, do you have any other input into a cascading ongoing set of benefits when you get more data, more network opportunity. I guess I am trying to understand for a longer-term objective that being intelligent and data-driven has an ongoing set of benefits, what might those be? How can this be a long-term data and analytics treasure trove when you think about it in terms of how to provide better urban experiences?

          Home/work help

          Shridhar:From our perspective, when we looked at the customer benefits there is a huge amount of focus around the smart cities and how smart cities are benefiting from a network. If you look at the enterprise customers, they are also looking at safety, which is an overlapping application that a smart city would have.

          So the enterprise wants to provide safety to its workers, for example, in mines or in difficult terrains, environments where they are focusing on helping them. Or women’s safety, which is as you know in India is a big thing as well -- how do you provide a device which is not very obvious and it gives the women all the safety that is there.

          So all this in some form is providing data. One of the things that comes to my mind when you ask about how data-driven resources can be and what kind of quality it would give is if you action your mind to some of the customer services devices, there could be applications or let’s say a housewife could have a multiple button kind of a device where she can order a service.

          Depending on the service she presses and an aggregate of households across India, you would know the trends and direction of a certain service, and mind you, it could be as simple as a three-button device which says Service A, Service B, Service C, and it could be a consumer service that gets extended to a particular household that we sell it as a service.

          So you could get lots of trends and patterns that are emerging from that, and we believe that the customer experience is going to change, because no longer is a customer going to retain in his mind what kind of phone numbers or your, let's say, apps and all to order, you give them the convenience of just a button-press service. That immediately comes to my mind.

          Feedback fosters change

          The second one is in terms of feedback. You use the same three-button service to say, how well have you used utility -- or rather how -- what kind of quality of service that you rate multiple utilities that you are using, and there is toilet revolution in India. For example, you put these buttons out there, they will tell you at any given point of time what’s the user satisfaction and so on.

          So these are all data that is getting gathered and I believe that while it is early days for us to go on and put out analytics and give you distinct kind of benefits that are there, but some of the things that customers are already looking at is which geographies, which segment, who are my biggest -- profile of the customers using this and so on. That kind of information is going to come out very, very distinctly.

          The Smart Cities is all about experience. The enterprises are now looking at the data that is coming out and seeing how they can use it to better segment, and provide better customer experience which would obviously mean both adding to their top line as well as helping them manage their bottom line. So it's beyond safety, it's getting into the customer experience – the realm of managing customer experience.

          Gardner:From a go-to-market perspective, or a go-to-city’s perspective, these are very complex undertakings, lots of moving parts, lots of different technologies and standards. How are Tata and HPE are coming together -- along with other service providers, Pointnextfor example? How do you put this into a package that can then actually be managed and put in place? How do we make this appealing not only in terms of its potential but being actionable as well when it comes to different cities and regions?

          Upton:The concept of Smart Cities has been around for a while and various governments around the world have pumped money into their cities over an extended period of time.
          We now have the infrastructure in place, we have the price points and we have IoT becoming mainstream.

          As usual, these things always take more time than you think, and I do not believe today that we have a technology challenge on our hands. We have much more of a business model challenge. Being able to deploy technology to be able to bring benefits to citizens, I think that is finally getting to the point where it is much better understood where innovation of the device level, whether it's streetlights, whether it's the ability to measure water quality, sound quality, humidity, all of these metrics that we have available to us now. There has been very rapid innovation at that device level and at the economics of how to produce them, at a price that will enable widespread deployment.

          All that has been happening rapidly over the last few years getting us to the point where we now have the infrastructure in place, we have the price points in place, and we have IoT becoming mainstream enough that it is entering into the manufacturing process of all sorts of different devices, as I said, ranging from streetlights to personal security devices through to track and trace devices that are built into the manufacturing process of goods.
          That is now reaching mainstream and we are now able to take advantage of this massive data that’s now being produced to be able to produce even more efficient and smarter cities, and make them safer places for our citizens.

          Gardner:Last word to you, Shridhar. If people wanted to learn more about the pilot proof of concept (PoC) that you are doing there at Jamshedpur and other cities, through the Smart Cities Mission, where might they go, are there any resources, how would you provide more information to those interested in pursuing more of these technologies?

          Pilot projects take flight

          Shridhar:I would be very happy to help them look at the PoCs that we are doing. I would classify the PoCs that we are doing is as far as safety is concerned, we talked of energy management in one big bucket that is there, then the customer service I spoke about, the fourth one I would say is more on the utility side. Gas and water are two big applications where customers are looking at these PoCs very seriously.

          And there is very one interesting application in that one customer wanted for pest control, where he wanted his mouse traps to have sensors so that they will at any point of time know if there is a rat trap at all, which I thought was a very interesting thing.
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          There are multiple streams that we have, we have done multiple PoCs, we will be very happy as Tata Communications team [to provide more information], and the HPE folks are in touch with us.

          You could write to us, to me in particular for some period of time. We are also putting information on our website. We have marketing collateral, which describes this. We will do some of the joint workshops with HPE as well.

          So there are multiple ways to reach us, and one of the best ways obviously is through our website. We are always there to provide more important help, and we believe that we can’t do it all alone; it’s about the ecosystem getting to know and getting to work on it.

          While we have partners like HPE on the platform level, we also have partners such as Semtech, who established Center of Excellence in Mumbai along with us. So the access to the ecosystem from HPE side as well as our other partners is available, and we are happy to work and co-create the solutions going forward.

                    Electrician Consultant - Rubicon Minerals - Red Lake, ON   
          Mineral property interests in the emerging Long Canyon gold district that straddles the Nevada-Utah border in....
          From Rubicon Minerals - Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:06:53 GMT - View all Red Lake, ON jobs
                    The Latest Trends in Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement   

          We're entering a new era in corporate renewable energy purchasing. 

          The space has grown exponentially and diversified significantly since Google and Apple made their first renewable energy procurements in 2012. Where and how corporations are purchasing renewables is also evolving, according to Hervé Touati, managing director of the Rocky Mountain Institute.

          Here are the major takeaways from his talk this week at GTM's Grid Edge World Forum.

          Demand on track to surpass 2016

          RMI tracked 1.24 gigawatts of corporate renewable energy procurements from the beginning of January through June 15 of this year. Procurements spiked in 2015, when the industry predicted that Congress would not extend the Production Tax Credit for wind and the Investment Tax Credit for solar. Since then, corporate renewable energy demand has returned to more incremental growth.

          Demand remains strong, however, with 2017 on track out outpace 2016. "You can see it's a growing trend," said Touati. 

          FIGURE: Additional Corporate Demand in Gigawatts

          So far it's been a big-company game

          The increase in renewable energy deals comes as an increasing number of companies make bold clean energy commitments. Today, more than 95 companies have pledged to go 100 percent renewable as part of the RE100 campaign. Several of those companies, including Google, Microsoft and Lego, and have already hit their targets. 

          But while sustainability goals have become more widespread, Touati noted that these commitments -- and, more strikingly, renewable energy procurements -- are still concentrated among the world's largest companies.

          FIGURE: Renewable Energy PPAs and Sustainability Targets


          Diversification is a growing trend, though. One trigger is that large companies are starting to demand sustainability measures be met across their supply chain. In 2015, Apple launched a 2-gigawatt clean energy initiative in China, in order to tackle its supply chain emissions. As part of that initiative, iPhone manufacturer Foxconn will construct 400 megawatts of solar by 2018.

          Walmart has also launched a major supply chain initiative -- dubbed the corporate America's "moonshot" -- that seeks to remove 1 gigaton, or 1 billion tons, of greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain by 2030. Energy is one of six areas where suppliers can make improvements.

          "When the first five to 10 companies turn back and look at their supply chain, that could open up significant new opportunities [for renewables]," said Touati.

          New rate structures are also helping to expand and diversify the corporate clean energy market. Momentum created by the "We Are Still In" movement in response to the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is helping to get new corporate players engaged as well, Touati said. The group currently includes some 2,086 governors, mayors, businesses, investors, and colleges and universities, three-quarters of which are businesses and investors.

          Winner's curse

          Another emerging trend in corporate renewable energy procurements is the “winner’s curse,” as Touati calls it. This is where the price and the value of a renewable energy project do not match, and the customer’s asset does not deliver the expected return on investment. If not addressed, this issue could put a chill on the corporate renewables space.

          The issue is particularly pronounced in the Southwest Power Pool, evidenced in the map below showing wind-weighted electricity prices. In the red areas, wind energy production gets more than $20 megawatt-hour, while in the blue areas production gets just $5 per megawatt hour. “That’s really cheap for electricity,” said Touati.

          A lot of wind developers put projects in the blue areas because the land is cheap, the projects are easy to permit, and the wind resource is strong. But that does not necessarily mean it’s a good deal for the customer.

          FIGURE: 2016 Wind-Weighted Hourly Energy Prices in SPP Territory 

          Corporates often contract for renewables at a fixed price and receive credit for the renewable energy that project produces, while the actual electrons that project generates are sold into a wholesale market -- a model known a virtual PPA. The expectation is that the wholesale market prices will be higher than the PPA price, or that they will increase over time, and the corporate buyer will save money on the whole. But those savings aren’t always there, as experts have explained

          "As a corporate buyer, you need to start to look at your renewable energy procurement the same way you look at real estate procurement: It's all about location,” Touati said.

          “What you should care about is not the cost of production; it's the difference between the value of electricity being produced and the cost of production,” he added. "If you produce at $50 and the [market] value is $60, you have a better deal than producing at $25 and the value [being] at $20.”

          RMI recently released a market platform that helps commercial customers identify opportune areas to negotiate renewable energy deals, including node-level price data and a future analysis of transmission congestion. The platform is available to members of RMI’s Business Renewables Center.

          RMI also formally incorporated the nonprofit WattTime as a subsidiary organization this week, with the aim of helping more corporate customers reduce their carbon footprint cost-effectively. WattTime’s software "can automatically detect the actual emissions impacts when people and companies use energy -- both in real time and ahead of time -- so any device connected to the internet can use power at times when our electricity is the cleanest,” according to a press release.

          WattTime “measures precisely the carbon content of every megawatt-hour produced. If you are more interested in actually having an impact on reducing CO2 emissions, this tool can also tell you where to invest in wind and solar,” said Touati.

          Opening the flood gates

          Despite the possible risks and challenges, Touati believes corporate renewable energy procurement is on track for more exponential growth.

          "I believe the future will be a flood in the making," he said.

          A big part of that has to do with how deals get done. The vast majority of megawatts contracted for to date were signed through virtual power agreements, and those structures can only be signed in organized markets, according to Touati. But new deal options are now emerging as the market for corporate renewables matures. Whether it's a green tariff, direct access, a green pricing program, a retail sleeve or some other structure, at least one kind of deal is currently available somewhere in the country.

          FIGURE: Organized Markets Versus Vertically Integrated Utilities


          But vertically integrated markets are still difficult to work in. The chart above shows that it's almost three times harder to get a deal done with a vertically integrated utility territory. "I believe this is going to change for a number of reasons," said Touati.

          First, some customers are getting impatient, such as MGM in Nevada. The casino and hotel company wasn't satisfied with its utility, NV Energy, and so it struck a deal to pay a fee and opt out of the utility territory. Microsoft is exploring a similar structure, Touati said. "That's pretty radical; it is certainly changing the market in regulated states," he said.

          Second, in order to have a green tariff with a utility, you take the typical electricity cost, add the cost of wind and solar, and subtract the utility's avoided cost. In the past, that meant that corporations could do a renewable energy deal, but they had to pay a premium for it. Now, with solar and wind costs getting lower and lower, that differential is going away.

          Touati asked: Who would prefer to pay more for dirty power when they could pay less for clean power?

          "That's were the flood is going to come from," he said.

                    Review: Holland, cast delight in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'   
          First there was Tobey Maguire, who under the direction of Sam Raimi for three films ushered in the modern superhero era, and then there was Andrew Garfield whose two films with Marc Webb were immediately forgettable. Director Jon Watts, whose only previous feature film credit is the indie thriller "Cop Car," has confidently put his stamp on the friendly neighborhood web-slinger by making one bold move: actually casting teenagers to play teenagers. Yes, after two films with late 20-somethings donning the Spidey suit and getting bitten by that pesky spider, Spider-Man finally gets to be a kid (and we get to skip over the whole origin/ Uncle Ben story). Civil War, which introduced Holland's Spider-Man in that epic airport Avengers battle. What he doesn't know is that for eight years, there has been a supervillain emerging in his town in the form of a wronged construction worker, Adrian (Michael Keaton), who decided to break bad after losing a job to a government crew that clears post-superhero fight disaster areas. The film is overflowing with stellar talent, even in the smallest of roles and not counting the Marvel loaners in Robert Downey Jr. (who oozes charisma and charm even when phoning it in for a handful of scenes) and Jon Favreau. Homecoming, a Sony Pictures release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments.
                    Public Relations Intern - PR Revolution - Livingston, NJ   
          Drafting press releases, pitch letters and press kit materials. We are a boutique public relations agency focusing on established and emerging consumer product...
          From Indeed - Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:13:50 GMT - View all Livingston, NJ jobs
                    User Support Coordinator (mazowieckie)   
          Adecco Poland Sp. z o.o. - Opublikowano: 30 cze 2017
          Responsibilities: Responsibility for executing sales and demand generation activities together with the partner Account Managers Regularly review sales pipeline with the Account Managers and ensure that the pipeline is reflected in the systems accurately and timely Drive revenues to meet and exceed targets Support on-going sales and product training for the reseller Account Managers Identify new Apps opportunities together with the Account Managers in their customer base Provide day-to-day support to the Account Managers and sales managers to resolve questions and issues Frequent communication with the other stakeholders working with reseller to plan new initiatives and resolve issues Requirements: An in-depth knowledge of Google Apps for Work as end user, and basic understanding of the administrative capabilities and features of the product 3-5 years of relevant B2B sales experience Ability to organize work independently and meet agreed upon timelines Demonstrated ability as a coach and mentor Ability to quickly build rapport with senior sales reps and sales management Excellent problem solving and communication skills Experience in emerging markets and working with Telcos English & Polish language fluency We offer: Work in a well known and popular company with a well established market position Temporary employment contract through Adecco Poland for 12 months Full-time work Working in an international environment Attractive salary Nice, friendly and comfortable working atmosphere Tasty treats - always full fridge :) Interested candidates please send us your CV in EnglishNumer referencyjny: USC/WA2/052017/A3/MD...
                    Chelsea Manning to show exhibit of self-portraits constructed from DNA   

          The former US soldier, who in 2013 was imprisoned in violation of the Espionage Act, will premiere a collaborative series of 3D portraits in New York

          Chelsea Manning is to showcase an exhibition at New York’s Fridman Gallery in collaboration with the artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg.

          Manning, who was released from prison last month after being sentenced in violation of the Espionage Act for disclosing classified government documents to WikiLeaks in 2013, will share A Becoming Resemblance from 2 August until 5 September. An announcement from the gallery said the exhibit would investigate “emerging technologies of genomic identity construction and our societal moment”, using cheek swabs and hair clippings Manning sent Dewey-Hagborg while she was in prison. Dewey-Hagborg used these DNA samples to create 3D-printed portraits of Manning, whose face was concealed from public view until her release on 17 May.

          Continue reading...
                    Co-circulation of multiple subtypes of enterovirus A71 (EV- A71) genotype C, including novel recombinants characterised by use of whole genome sequencing (WGS), Denmark 2016   

          In Europe, enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) has primarily been associated with sporadic cases of neurological disease. The recent emergence of new genotypes and larger outbreaks with severely ill patients demonstrates a potential for the spread of new, highly pathogenic EV-A71 strains. Detection and characterisation of these new emerging EV variants is challenging as standard EV assays may not be adequate, necessitating the use of whole genome analysis.

                    Hepatitis E virus infection in Europe: surveillance and descriptive epidemiology of confirmed cases, 2005 to 2015   

          Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an under-recognised cause of acute hepatitis in high-income countries. The purpose of this study was to provide an overview of testing, diagnosis, surveillance activities, and data on confirmed cases in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA). A semi-structured survey was developed and sent to 31 EU/EEA countries in February 2016, 30 responded. Twenty of these countries reported that they have specific surveillance systems for HEV infection. Applied specific case definition for HEV infection varied widely across countries. The number of reported cases has increased from 514 cases per year in 2005 to 5,617 in 2015, with most infections being locally acquired. This increase could not be explained by additional countries implementing surveillance for HEV infections over time. Hospitalisations increased from less than 100 in 2005 to more than 1,100 in 2015 and 28 fatal cases were reported over the study period. EU/EEA countries are at different stages in their surveillance, testing schemes and policy response to the emergence of HEV infection in humans. The available data demonstrated a Europe-wide increase in cases. Standardised case definitions and testing policies would allow a better understanding of the epidemiology of HEV as an emerging cause of liver-related morbidity.

                    Nigerian Copyright Commission Seizes Pirated Books Worth N800 Million and other major headlines you missed today..   
          Image result for kemi filani blog major headlines you missed today

          Dear KFBers, we have got loads of interesting stories for you on our Major headlines you missed today feature! Enjoy.....
          N4bn Judgement Against Sahara Reporters: Saraki Releases Statement 
          President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Thursday commended the judgment of an Ilorin High Court that ruled that the publisher of the online news platform, Sahara Reporters, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, should pay him the sum of N4 billion ($11.1 Million) as damages over a series of libelous stories published against him by the medium in 2015.

          Saraki, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated that the judgement issued against Sahara Reporters for constantly publishing false, libelous and misleading stories that were aimed at defaming his person, was a testament that the moral arc of the universe will always bend towards justice.

          “One thing is clear by the judgement, there are systems in place in our nation for all citizens to seek redress if they have been unfairly treated in any way,” the statement read, “This judgement is a fulfillment of our promise that we will explore all legal means to seek redress for all the fabrications and mudslinging that Sahara Reporters has thrown at us over the years.

          “This judgement demonstrates that our justice system can and will continue to protect the fundamental human rights of all citizens from being infringed by anyone. Moving forward, the purveyors of mischievous stories can learn from this precedent that has been set. The ruling by Justice Adeyinka Oyinloye, will serve as a deterrent to all those who profit by propagating ‘Fake News’ to blackmail innocent citizens or curry undue favours.

          “This judgement is definitely not a victory for the Senate President alone. It is a victory for all the victims of the falsehood which Sahara Reporters daily dole out to rubbish the reputation of innocent Nigerians, many of whom either out of fear, lack of the patience to consistently pursue a court case for years or lack of belief in the ability of the system to give them justice decided to live with the injury to their reputation. The judgement is another vindication for our country and her solid enthronement of the rule of law as against the rule of men.

          “Dr Saraki believes this judgement would provide inspiration and encouragement for all those whose reputations have been unduly and unnecessarily injured by SaharaReporters and its ilk who are purveyors of false news to seek redress through the courts.

          “He sees the verdict of the High Court against Sahara Reporters as a positive development with the potential to reassure individuals and firms who would in future come under undeserved attack by publications which spread falsehood aimed at maliciously casting them in bad light.

          “The judgement provides a redeeming point for the noble profession of journalism which has as its sacred, cardinal principle the pursuit of facts at all times and in all situations. The journalists and news media who have devoted themselves to the pursuit of truth but appear to be overwhelmed by those who trade in falsehood and sensationalism now have a reason to be proud that they are on the right path. That is another meaning Dr. Saraki gives to this judgement.

          “However, the Senate President will like to assure all and sundry that he will not spare any legal efforts and expenses, both in Nigeria and abroad, necessary to recover every kobo of the cost awarded in his favour from the defendant.

          “The restitution from this judgement will be channeled to set up a Foundation whose aim will be to support pure and unadulterated investigative journalism and assist the families of real journalists that die in the line of duty. The money will also be used to support genuine publications whose owners are struggling to pay salaries of workers or meet their ever rising running cost. Part of the money will also be channelled to help lawyers who have been providing pro bono services to litigants, particularly, on cases bothering on enforcement of fundamental human rights.

          “It should be noted that the methodical and dogged manner in which Dr. Saraki pursued the case despite the ceaseless barrage of false allegations thrown at him by the Sahara Reporters should assure all Nigerians that he maintains a solid belief in free press, free speech and responsible journalism and that he will do every thing legal to fight those who want to use journalism as a destructive, blackmail and oppressive instrument. This latter brand of journalism will not help our society and has no role to play in the emerging Nigeria”, he stated.

          Melaye: Constituents File Suit To Stop INEC's Recall Process 
          The Concerned Kogi Registered Voters (CKRV) numbering 18, have filed a suit at a Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from commencing verification of signatures collected in order to recall Senator Dino Melaye who is representing Kogi West Senatorial District.

          Addressing newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, ‎the convener and secretary of the group, Olowosayo Gabriel Sunday and Amupitan Babayomi Segun claimed that names of dead persons and people who do not reside in the district appeared on the recall register submitted to INEC.

          The applicants, who faulted 188,000 signatures which were submitted to INEC, noted that while 111,534 voted in the general election in Kogi West, the total number of registered voters in Kogi West is 360,098.

          According to a copy of the motion which was made available to newsmen, INEC which is the first respondent was sued alongside eight other respondents, comprising some aides of the state governor, Yahaya Bello and state lawmakers from the senator's district.

          In their application, the plaintiffs said, "that 2nd to 9th respondents fraudulently opened a recall register and signed signatures for registered voters in Kogi West Senatorial District.

          "That some of the names of the registered voters that appeared in re said recall register were dead voters and some voters who were not even residing at Kogi State and they were at different parts of the country when the purported signatures were fraudulently collated by the 2nd and 9th respondents."

          However, the convener of the indigenes, Olowosayo Gabriel Sunday, who is also the first applicant in the suit, said, "That as at the last announcement, INEC itself agreed and announced a figure of PVC collection in Kogi West that is far less than the alleged 188,000.

          "That we are aware that there is possible connivance between the people on the recall agenda and INEC because we have evidence of photograph of PVCs in thousands gathered together for the recall, an act contrary to the electoral act."

          UK deports 28 Nigerians
          The United Kingdom has deported another 28 Nigerians from its country on Thursday for remaining in the country illegally.

          The deportation came two days after Spain repatriated 23 Nigerians for immigration-related offences.

          Thursday’s deportees were returned aboard a chartered Titanic Airways plane with the registration number AWC-761/2.

          The deportees, comprising 21 men and 7 women, touched down at Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos at about 12:15 p.m.

          Nigerian Copyright Commission Seizes Pirated Books Worth N800 Million
           After carrying out a successful anti-piracy raid at Awodi-Ora Estate in Ifelodun-Ajeromi Local Government Area of Lagos State which led to the confiscation of thousands of cartons of pirated works worth N600 Million, the Nigerian Copyright Commission has again carried out another successful anti-piracy raid at Tedi Village in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.

          The anti-piracy raid culminated in the seizure of about two thousand cartons of pirated books belonging to various publishers. The Commission also arrested a Chinese nationale in connection with the pirated books. The seized books are worth over N200 Million.

                    Yellow Days - That Easy   

          Sounds like: Leon Bridges, King Krule, Tash Sultana

          Song: Yellow Days - That Easy

          What's so good?

          How can you ignore the sultry, soulful vibes this 18-year old is pushing out there? Yellow Days is the perfect audio chocolate (or crisps if you're a savory guy). George van der Broek isn't afraid to stand slightly to the left of today's popular music and write timeless classics. Many artists like this sometimes struggle to rear their head in todays cacophony of emerging talent, but there's something about this one that's causing heads to turn the world over.  Building on his introductory EP, this is fresh material from his upcoming collection "Everything OK In Your World?". Bring up your brunch and chill playlists and get adding. 

          1. Original post: Yellow Days - That Easy

          2. Find more music on Indie Shuffle's Indie Music Blog.

                    Law Student - In-House in Dallas, TX   
          Fall 2018 - Business Tax Services Associate
          The candidate will perform tax-related tasks including tax compliance and advisory services to a variety of clients including partnerships, corporations and S-corporations, from Fortune 100 to emerging business. Participate in a full spectrum of assignmen
                    Law Student - In-House in Dallas, TX   
          Business Tax Services Associate - Fall 2019
          The candidate will perform tax-related tasks including tax compliance and advisory services to a variety of clients including partnerships, corporations and S-corporations, from Fortune 100 to emerging business. Will participate in a full spectrum of assi
                    Tax - General Attorney in Dallas, TX   
          Industry NT - Director
          Duties: Share the latest research and points of view on emerging industry trends, develop industry-specific performance benchmarks, and share methodologies and approaches in complex areas such as compliance and tax risk management. Bring a global industry scope and experience
                    AI's Emerging Role In IoT Highlighted At IBM Genius Of Things Event   

          Photo: Bergman Group

          IBM hosted an artificial intelligent (AI) event at its Munich Watson IoT HQ, where it underlined its claim as a leading global AI and internet-of-things (IoT) platform providers in the enterprise context. AI and the IoT are both very important topics for enterprise users. However, there remains some uncertainty among enterprises regarding the exact benefits that both AI and IoT can generate and how businesses should prepare for the deployment of AI and IoT in their organizations.

          One year into the launch of its Munich-based Watson IoT headquarters, IBM invited about one thousand customers to share an update of its AI and IoT activities to date. The IBM "Genius of Things" Summit presented interesting insights for both AI and IoT deployments. It underlined that IBM is clearly one of the leading global AI and IoT platform providers in the enterprise context. Some of the most important insights for me were that:

          Read more
                    Yu Yongding says China is confronting the macroeconomic challenge of over-capacity deflation. Curbing excessive government and corporate debt which brought a credit rating downgrade is a second-rank problem deflected by a very high savings rate   

          By Yu Yongding*

          China’s mounting debt problem recently moved into the spotlight when Moody’s downgraded the country’s sovereign rating. But was the downgrade really warranted?

          Though China’s overall debt-to-GDP ratio is not an outlier among emerging-market economies, and its levels of household and government debt are moderate, its corporate debt-to-GDP ratio, at 170%, is the highest in the world, twice as large as that of the United States. China’s corporate leverage (debt-to-equity) ratio is also very high, and rising.

          A high and rising debt-to-GDP ratio, which goes hand in hand with a high and rising leverage ratio, can lead to financial crisis through three channels. The first is the deterioration of the quality of financial institutions’ assets, and the decline in the price of those assets. With institutions forced by mark-to-market accounting to write off an equal amount of equity, the leverage ratio rises, leading to a further deterioration in asset quality and decline in asset prices.

          The second channel is refusal by investors, concerned about the rising leverage ratio, to roll over short-term debt. This causes the money market to seize up, forcing banks and other financial institutions to tighten credit and raise interest rates, thereby further weakening borrowers’ debt-service capacity. Defaults proliferate and the volume of nonperforming loans rises.

          The third way a high debt-to-GDP ratio can lead to crisis is by driving banks and nonbank financial institutions, unable to secure sufficient capital, into bankruptcy. In this case, the public could panic and withdraw their cash, fueling a run on deposits that could lead to the collapse of the entire financial system.

          But none of these scenarios seems like a real risk for China, at least not in the foreseeable future. China is, after all, a highly frugal country, with gross savings totaling 48% of GDP. As a result, loanable funds are abundant, and funding costs can be kept low. Therefore, China has more scope than other countries to maintain a high debt-to-GDP ratio.

          Moreover, because China’s debt consists overwhelmingly of loans by state-owned banks to state-owned enterprises, depositors and investors feel confident (rightly or wrongly) that their assets carry an implicit government guarantee. And not only is the government’s fiscal position relatively strong; it also has $3 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves – a sum that far exceeds China’s overseas debts. China’s government could, if it so chose, bail out banks in trouble, preventing contagious bankruptcies.

          Mitigating the debt risk further, China’s capital account remains largely closed, enabling the government to block capital flight and gain sufficient time to deal with unexpected financial events. It helps, too, that the People’s Bank of China stands ready to inject liquidity into the money market whenever necessary.

          None of this is to say that China’s high level of corporate debt is not a cause for concern. But it does imply that deleveraging may not be as urgent as many seem to think, especially at a time when China has another, more pressing policy imperative to pursue – one that could be undermined by rapid deleveraging.

          For years, China has been in the grips of overcapacity-driven deflation. The producer-price index (PPI) has declined in year-on-year terms for 54 consecutive months, while the annual rise in the consumer-price index (CPI) is hovering around 1.5%. In October 2016, PPI growth turned positive, suggesting that the debt-deflationary spiral may have been broken. But, after a few good months, the sequential growth rate of PPI has turned negative again, suggesting that now is no time to test fate on deflation.

          This is all the more true at a time when the government is clamping down on runaway real-estate prices – an effort that is likely to deter investment, thereby weakening economic growth in the next six months. In this context, a wrong move could tip China back into a debt-deflationary spiral – which would pose a more acute threat to China’s economic stability than the risks stemming from the debt-to-GDP ratio.

          Still, Moody’s points out, China’s debt-to-GDP ratio is a serious problem. Moreover, to justify its downgrade, it argues that the government’s efforts to maintain robust growth will result in sustained policy stimulus, which will contribute to even higher debt throughout the economy.

          But this reading fails to distinguish between the long-term trend of the debt-to-GDP ratio when the economy grows at its potential rate and the real-time debt-to-GDP ratio when the economy grows at a below-potential rate. When an economy is growing at roughly its potential rate, as China’s is today, it makes no sense to lower the growth target below that rate.

          To be sure, China does have reason to implement economic stimulus. The overcapacity that, until recently, dominated the Chinese economy was rooted partly in a lack of aggregate demand (and partly in wasteful overinvestment).

          In an ideal world, China’s government could respond by stimulating household consumption. But, in the absence of further reforms in areas like social security, growth in consumer spending is bound to be slow. In the meantime, the government must rely on an expansionary fiscal policy to encourage infrastructure investment, even if it means raising the debt-to-GDP ratio.

          Such an initiative should also entail improved financing opportunities – including lower borrowing costs – for small and medium-size enterprises. Meanwhile, the rise in the corporate debt-to-GDP ratio could be stemmed by efforts to improve capital efficiency, boost enterprise profitability, narrow the difference between credit flows and credit-financed investment, increase the share of equity finance, and align the real interest rate with the natural interest rate.

          There is no doubt that China’s debts – especially its corporate debts – are a serious problem, and must be curbed. But China must balance that imperative with the more urgent need to maintain a growth rate more or less in line with potential, and prevent the economy from being tipped back into a debt-deflationary spiral. So far, China has managed to juggle these two imperatives. One hopes that it has time to address the challenges before it drops a ball.

          Yu Yongding, a former president of the China Society of World Economics and director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, served on the Monetary Policy Committee of the People’s Bank of China from 2004 to 2006. Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2017, and published here with permission.

                    Siah Hwee Ang on China and the US addressing their beef, the growing global population, Asia's cost challenges, the return of the conglomerate, protectionism vs 'what's appropriate', Japan steps on to the Belt Road...gingerly, and more   

          Today's Top 10 is a guest post looking at the latest international business happenings from Professor Siah Hwee Ang, the BNZ Chair in Business in Asia at Victoria University.

          As always, we welcome your additions in the comments below or via email to

          And if you're interested in contributing the occasional Top 10 yourself, contact

          See all previous Top 10s here.

          1. China and US smoothing things out

          China has lifted the 13-year import ban on some US beef.

          Although the lift only applies to specific types of beef, the announcement represents another achievement under the Sino-US 100-day action plan to boost bilateral economic ties.

          China banned imports of most US beef since 2003, after the spread of mad cow disease. Before the outbreak, the US was the largest supplier of beef for China.

          China consumed 8 million tons of beef last year, and is the fastest growing consumer of beef.

          The lifting of the ban represents competition for other suppliers of beef to China.

          The world will be a better place if China and US can smooth things out. But there are implications for competition out there.

          2. World population continues to grow

          The report “World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision” was published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs last week. It suggests that the global population will reach 9.8 billion by the year 2050.

          The revised report was a response to high rates of population growth in Africa and India.

          The UN report predicts, the populations of 26 African countries will double between 2017 and 2050.

          Nigeria, in particular is projected to surpass the U.S. as the third most populous country shortly before 2050.

          China, the most populous country in the world for a while now, might see its population size overtaken by that of India by 2024.

          The world population grows by around 83 million people each year. This in itself presents a lot of challenges around issues such as food security and sustainability.

          3. Asia is attractive for expatriates, but is also starting to present cost challenges

          The latest survey results on the cost of living for expatriates show that Asian cities make up 5 of the top 10 most expensive cities.

          Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul, and Shanghai are in the Asian cities that are becoming costly cities to live in.

          The survey, conducted by HR firm Mercer, compares global prices for more than 200 items.

          Three other Asian cities are in the top 25: Beijing (11), Osaka (21) and Taipei (25).

          The north Asian cities of Tokyo, Seoul and Taipei have risen up the ranking significantly since the previous survey.

          Asia has provided excellent employment opportunities in the last decade. In many cases with competitive salaries.

          But have rising costs and newly-upskilled Asian residents brought about the end of this golden era?

          The window is indeed closing for expatriates, but doors are still open for those seeking to establish employment in Asia.

          4. Another milestone for China

          Just last week, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index included China’s A-shares as part of its portfolio.

          The index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and is designed to measure equity market performance in global emerging markets.

          The agreement to admit mainland-listed stocks, thereby allowing them to be traded by foreigners, comes after China’s three failed attempts at expanding its global market influence.

          Analysts have said that China’s inclusion on the Emerging Markets Index could lead to as much as US$12 billion of capital inflows. This is because many overseas investors measure the performance of their portfolios against MSCI indexes and are obliged to buy shares in them.

          The China Securities Regulatory Commission stated that the inclusion demonstrates international investors’ confidence in a stable Chinese economy with better prospects and in the steadiness of China’s financial market.

          MSCI said the move has “broad support” from international institutional investors and was the result of a loosening of restrictions enacted by China on foreign ownership of ‘A’ shares yuan-denominated stock in mainland China-based companies. Ownership of the shares had once been limited to mainlanders.

          5. Welcome back, conglomerates

          Last week, Amazon Inc. spent US$14 billion on the purchase of grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc.

          The purchase brings disruption to the US grocery chain sector.

          Whole Foods’ 460 stores will run head-to-head with Wal-Mart’s 4,700 stores.

          Last year, Wal-Mart bought online retailer in a move towards using e-commerce as a strategy.

          The latest acquisition represents the challenge that brick-and-mortar-only and ecommerce-only companies face.

          Price wars as a result of the increasing number of players and rising costs are forcing both sets of companies to look to more than one way of reaching out to customers.

          This has led to heated battles between these companies.

          We are bearing witness to the return of conglomerates, and high levels of intensity of rivalry as large conglomerates collide.

          6. Protectionism at its prime? Or is it all about industry structure?

          Airbus and Boeing have been involved in a 13-year World Trade Organisation (WTO) battle over illegal state aid.

          Most recently, the WTO’s compliance panel has rejected several EU claims that the US had failed to withdraw all illegal subsidies to Boeing.

          The WTO found all but one of the 29 issues highlighted by the EU to be in compliance with global trade rules.

          Both sides are likely to appeal against parts of Friday’s ruling. That would take the EU case to the WTO’s appellate body, which is already considering a separate US case over state aid to Airbus.

          Though there seems to be no winner from this the latest round, one can argue that it is ideal for both parties to stick to the status quo for the time being, rather than to lose a battle that could costs hundreds of millions.

          Overall, Airbus maintained that illegal state support for Boeing had cost it roughly $100bn in sales over time.

          These disputes raise questions over what constitutes protectionism and what’s considered appropriate as part of an industry structure.

          Aircraft businesses are government-owned/linked, which also means it makes little sense to think that the owners cannot get involved. How does this differ from engagements by other state-owned or state-linked enterprises in the international business arena?

          On a more fundamental level, to what extent do we allow governments to participate in business?

          7. Japan starting to play on Belt Road Initiative … with conditions

          Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced that his government is ready to cooperate with China on the Belt and Road Initiative, but only under the right conditions.

          Previously Japan, along with India had indicated they were not keen to get involved in the China-initiated project.

          Japan’s involvement is contingent on the projects adhering to international norms.

          Abe emphasized that it is critical for infrastructure to be open to use by all, and to be developed through transparent and fair procurement. Projects must also be economically viable and the debt sustainable.

          Given the strained bilateral relationship that Japan and China have had in recent times, the slight shift in Japan’s stance represents a significant move to smooth the relationship. It also shows a willingness to continue to engage with Asia more deeply, and to avoid being left behind.

          8. Opening the online floodgates for foreign participation in India

          Despite being a very technology savvy country, the Indian market is hardly an easy one for foreign companies.

          Only since last year has the country allowed foreign companies to sell groceries directly to consumers, on the condition that the produce and processed foods are sourced locally.

          Due to this limited window of opportunity, only major players have been able to enter the markets.

          The latest one is Inc., who has committed to investing around US$500 million over the next five years to build a nationwide network to stock and deliver groceries.

          Nonetheless, the Indian government is working on streamlining the process of foreign direct investment into the South Asian country.

          Competition can be intense, and in many cases already is intense: large markets are full of strong local players seeking to defend their turf from foreign players.

          9. The yuan makes another move

          The renminbi weakened 6.5% against the US dollar last year, its worst year ever.

          But late last year, China tightened capital controls to curb downward pressure on the currency. That effort has largely succeeded, with the renminbi appreciating 1.2% in 2017.

          Late last month, China’s central bank changed the way it guides the renminbi exchange rate, a move designed to enhance the government’s ability to prevent renminbi depreciation at a time when authorities are still concerned about capital flight.

          In the recently revised formula, dealers will incorporate a “counter-cyclical adjustment factor” in their quotes, according to a statement on the website of the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.

          The move will hedge against pro-cyclical fluctuation in market sentiment and alleviate the potential for ‘herd behaviour’ in the foreign exchange market.

          The People’s Bank of China permits the US dollar’s value against the renminbi to fluctuate by 2% above or below a so-called “central parity rate” published each morning, also known as the midpoint or fixing. The midpoint is ostensibly formulated by compiling quotes from a group of dealer banks, but the price is understood to be largely determined by the central bank.

          10. Shipping is back to business

          The shipping industry has been in some trouble for many years now.

          Container shipping, which accounts for 95% of movements of manufactured goods, went into a state of limbo when Hanjin Shipping of South Korea went bankrupt.

          Lots of cargo was stranded at sea.

          Since then, the industry has consolidated.

          Freight rates went down at the same time. This has led to an intensification in competition. Containers, typically 20 or 40 feet long are increasingly being used for inland activities.

          A.P. Moller Maersk A/S sold 70,000 of these containers last year alone. Many such containers are used in the construction of buildings and houses.

          Signs over the last few months suggest that demand is finally growing faster than capacity.

          The world cannot afford for shipping industry to suffer, as the ripple effect extends to trade. It looks like we’re set for a turnaround.

                    Dries Buytaert: Acquia's first decade: the founding story   

          This week marked Acquia's 10th anniversary. In 2007, Jay Batson and I set out to build a software company based on open source and Drupal that we would come to call Acquia. In honor of our tenth anniversary this week, I wanted to share some of the milestones and lessons that have helped shape Acquia into the company it is today. I hope that my record of Acquia's history not only pays homage to our incredible colleagues, customers and partners that have made this journey worthwhile, but that it offers honest insight into the challenges and rewards of building a company from the ground up.

          A Red Hat for Drupal

          In 2007, I was attending the University of Ghent working on my PhD dissertation. At the same time, Drupal was gaining momentum; I will never forget when MTV called me seeking support for their new Drupal site. I remember being amazed that a brand like MTV, an institution I had grown up with, had selected Drupal for their website. I was determined to make Drupal successful and helped MTV free of charge.

          It became clear that for Drupal to grow, it needed a company focused on helping large organizations like MTV be successful with the software. A "Red Hat for Drupal", as it were. I also noticed that other open source projects, such as Linux had benefitted from well-capitalized backers like Red Hat and IBM. While I knew I wanted to start such a company, I had not yet figured out how. I wanted to complete my PhD first before pursuing business. Due to the limited time and resources afforded to a graduate student, Drupal remained a hobby.

          Little did I know that at the same time, over 3,000 miles away, Jay Batson was skimming through a WWII Navajo Code Talker Dictionary. Jay was stationed as an Entrepreneur in Residence at North Bridge Venture Partners, a venture capital firm based in Boston. Passionate about open source, Jay realized there was an opportunity to build a company that provided customers with the services necessary to scale and succeed with open source software. We were fortunate that Michael Skok, a Venture Partner at North Bridge and Jay's sponsor, was working closely with Jay to evaluate hundreds of open source software projects. In the end, Jay narrowed his efforts to Drupal and Apache Solr.

          If you're curious as to how the Navajo Code Talker Dictionary fits into all of this, it's how Jay stumbled upon the name Acquia. Roughly translating as "to spot or locate", Acquia was the closest concept in the dictionary that reinforced the ideals of information and content that are intrinsic to Drupal (it also didn't hurt that the letter A would rank first in alphabetical listings). Finally, the similarity to the world "Aqua" paid homage to the Drupal Drop; this would eventually provide direction for Acquia's logo.

          Breakfast in Sunnyvale

          In March of 2007, I flew from Belgium to California to attend Yahoo's Open Source CMS Summit, where I also helped host DrupalCon Sunnyvale. It was at DrupalCon Sunnyvale where Jay first introduced himself to me. He explained that he was interested in building a company that could provide enterprise organizations supplementary services and support for a number of open source projects, including Drupal and Apache Solr. Initially, I was hesitant to meet with Jay. I was focused on getting Drupal 5 released, and I wasn't ready to start a company until I finished my PhD. Eventually I agreed to breakfast.

          Over a baguette and jelly, I discovered that there was overlap between Jay's ideas and my desire to start a "RedHat for Drupal". While I wasn't convinced that it made sense to bring Apache Solr into the equation, I liked that Jay believed in open source and that he recognized that open source projects were more likely to make a big impact when they were supported by companies that had strong commercial backing.

          We spent the next few months talking about a vision for the business, eliminated Apache Solr from the plan, talked about how we could elevate the Drupal community, and how we would make money. In many ways, finding a business partner is like dating. You have to get to know each other, build trust, and see if there is a match; it's a process that doesn't happen overnight.

          On June 25th, 2007, Jay filed the paperwork to incorporate Acquia and officially register the company name. We had no prospective customers, no employees, and no formal product to sell. In the summer of 2007, we received a convertible note from North Bridge. This initial seed investment gave us the capital to create a business plan, travel to pitch to other investors, and hire our first employees. Since meeting Jay in Sunnyvale, I had gotten to know Michael Skok who also became an influential mentor for me.

          Wired interview
          Jay and me on one of our early fundraising trips to San Francisco.

          Throughout this period, I remained hesitant about committing to Acquia as I was devoted to completing my PhD. Eventually, Jay and Michael convinced me to get on board while finishing my PhD, rather than doing things sequentially.

          Acquia, my Drupal startup

          Soon thereafter, Acquia received a Series A term sheet from North Bridge, with Michael Skok leading the investment. We also selected Sigma Partners and Tim O'Reilly's OATV from all of the interested funds as co-investors with North Bridge; Tim had become both a friend and an advisor to me.

          In many ways we were an unusual startup. Acquia itself didn't have a product to sell when we received our Series A funding. We knew our product would likely be support for Drupal, and evolve into an Acquia-equivalent of the RedHat Network. However, neither of those things existed, and we were raising money purely on a PowerPoint deck. North Bridge, Sigma and OATV mostly invested in Jay and I, and the belief that Drupal could become a billion dollar company that would disrupt the web content management market. I'm incredibly thankful for Jay, North Bridge, Sigma and OATV for making a huge bet on me.

          Receiving our Series A funding was an incredible vote of confidence in Drupal, but it was also a milestone with lots of mixed emotions. We had raised $7 million, which is not a trivial amount. While I was excited, it was also a big step into the unknown. I was convinced that Acquia would be good for Drupal and open source, but I also understood that this would have a transformative impact on my life. In the end, I felt comfortable making the jump because I found strong mentors to help translate my vision for Drupal into a business plan; Jay and Michael's tenure as entrepreneurs and business builders complimented my technical strength and enabled me to fine-tune my own business building skills.

          In November 2017, we officially announced Acquia to the world. We weren't ready but a reporter had caught wind of our stealth startup, and forced us to unveil Acquia's existence to the Drupal community with only 24 hours notice. We scrambled and worked through the night on a blog post. Reactions were mixed, but generally very supportive. I shared in that first post my hopes that Acquia would accomplish two things: (i) form a company that supported me in providing leadership to the Drupal community and achieving my vision for Drupal and (ii) establish a company that would be to Drupal what Ubuntu or RedHat were to Linux.

          Acquia com march
          An early version of, with our original logo and tagline. March 2008.

          The importance of enduring values

          It was at an offsite in late 2007 where we determined our corporate values. I'm proud to say that we've held true to those values that were scribbled onto our whiteboard 10 years ago. The leading tenant of our mission was to build a company that would "empower everyone to rapidly assemble killer websites".

          Acquia vision

          In January 2008, we had six people on staff: Gábor Hojtsy (Principal Acquia engineer, Drupal 6 branch maintainer), Kieran Lal (Acquia product manager, key Drupal contributor), Barry Jaspan (Principal Acquia engineer, Drupal core developer) and Jeff Whatcott (Vice President of Marketing). Because I was still living in Belgium at the time, many of our meetings took place screen-to-screen:

          Typical work day

          Opening our doors for business

          We spent a majority of the first year building our first products. Finally, in September of 2008, we officially opened our doors for business. We publicly announced commercial availability of the Acquia Drupal distribution and the Acquia Network. The Acquia Network would offer subscription-based access to commercial support for all of the modules in Acquia Drupal, our free distribution of Drupal. This first product launched closely mirrored the Red Hat business model by prioritizing enterprise support.

          We quickly learned that in order to truly embrace Drupal, customers would need support for far more than just Acquia Drupal. In the first week of January 2009, we relaunched our support offering and announced that we would support all things related to Drupal 6, including all modules and themes available on as well as custom code.

          This was our first major turning point; supporting "everything Drupal" was a big shift at the time. Selling support for Acquia Drupal exclusively was not appealing to customers, however, we were unsure that we could financially sustain support for every Drupal module. As a startup, you have to be open to modifying and revising your plans, and to failing fast. It was a scary transition, but we knew it was the right thing to do.

          Building a new business model for open source

          Exiting 2008, we had launched Acquia Drupal, the Acquia Network, and had committed to supporting all things Drupal. While we had generated a respectable pipeline for Acquia Network subscriptions, we were not addressing Drupal's biggest adoption challenges; usability and scalability.

          In October of 2008, our team gathered for a strategic offsite. Tom Erickson, who was on our board of directors, facilitated the offsite. Red Hat's operational model, which primarily offered support, had laid the foundation for how companies could monetize open source, but were convinced that the emergence of the cloud gave us a bigger opportunity and helped us address Drupal's adoption challenges. Coming out of that seminal offsite we formalized the ambitious decision to build Drupal Gardens and Acquia Hosting. Here's why these two products were so important:

          Solving for scalability: In 2008, scaling Drupal was a challenge for many organizations. Drupal scaled well, but the infrastructure companies required to make Drupal scale well was expensive and hard to find. We determined that the best way to help enterprise companies scale was by shifting the paradigm for web hosting from traditional rack models to the then emerging promise of the "cloud".

          Solving for usability: In 2008, CMSs like Wordpress and Ning made it really easy for people to start blogging or to set up a social network. At the time, Drupal didn't encourage this same level of adoption for non-technical audiences. Drupal Gardens was created to offer an easy on-ramp for people to experience the power of Drupal, without worrying about installation, hosting, and upgrading. It was one of the first times we developed an operational model that would offer "Drupal-as-a-service".

          Acquia roadmap

          Fast forward to today, and Acquia Hosting evolved into Acquia Cloud. Drupal Gardens evolved into Acquia Cloud Site Factory. In 2008, this product roadmap to move Drupal into the cloud was a bold move. Today, the Cloud is the starting point for any modern digital architecture. By adopting the Cloud into our product offering, I believe Acquia helped establish a new business model to commercialize open source. Today, I can't think of many open source companies that don't have a cloud offering.

          Tom Erickson takes a chance on Acquia

          Tom joined Acquia as an advisor and a member of our Board of Directors when Acquia was founded. Since the first time I met Tom, I always wanted him to be an integral part of Acquia. It took some convincing, but Tom eventually agreed to join us full time as our CEO in 2009. Jay Batson, Acquia's founding CEO, continued on as the Vice President at Acquia responsible for incubating new products and partnerships.

          Moving from Europe to the United States

          In 2010, after spending my entire life in Antwerp, I decided to move to Boston. The move would allow me to be closer to the team. A majority of the company was in Massachusetts, and at the pace we were growing, it was getting harder to help execute our vision all the way from Belgium. I was also hoping to cut down on travel time; in 2009 flew 100,000 miles in just one year (little did I know that come 2016, I'd be flying 250,00 miles!).

          This is a challenge that many entrepreneurs face when they commit to starting their own company. Initially, I was only planning on staying on the East Coast for two years. Moving 3,500 miles away from your home town, most of your relatives, and many of your best friends is not an easy choice. However, it was important to increase our chances of success, and relocating to Boston felt essential. My experience of moving to the US had a big impact on my life.

          Building the universal platform for the world's greatest digital experiences

          Entering 2010, I remember feeling that Acquia was really 3 startups in one; our support business (Acquia Network, which was very similar to Red Hat's business model), our managed cloud hosting business (Acquia Hosting) and Drupal Gardens (a based on Drupal). Welcoming Tom as our CEO would allow us to best execute on this offering, and moving to Boston enabled me to partner with Tom directly. It was during this transformational time that I think we truly transitioned out of our "founding period" and began to emulate the company I know today.

          The decisions we made early in the company's life, have proven to be correct. The world has embraced open source and cloud without reservation, and our long-term commitment to this disruptive combination has put us at the right place at the right time. Acquia has grown into a company with over 800 employees around the world; in total, we have 14 offices around the globe, including our headquarters in Boston. We also support an incredible roster of customers, including 16 of the Fortune 100 companies. Our work continues to be endorsed by industry analysts, as we have emerged as a true leader in our market. Over the past ten years I've had the privilege of watching Acquia grow from a small startup to a company that has crossed the chasm.

          With a decade behind us, and many lessons learned, we are on the cusp of yet another big shift that is as important as the decision we made to launch Acquia Field and Gardens in 2008. In 2016, I led the project to update Acquia's mission to "build the universal platform for the world's greatest digital experiences". This means expanding our focus, and becoming the leader in building digital customer experiences. Just like I openly shared our roadmap and strategy in 2009, I plan to share our next 10 year plan in the near future. It's time for Acquia to lay down the ambitious foundation that will enable us to be at the forefront of innovation and digital experience in 2027.

          A big thank you

          Of course, none of these results and milestones would be possible without the hard work of the Acquia team, our customers, partners, the Drupal community, and our many friends. Thank you for all your hard work. After 10 years, I continue to love the work I do at Acquia each day — and that is because of you.

                    Banks need to take on Amazon and Google or die   
          Some bankers and analysts think that Google, Facebook, Amazon or the like will not fully enter a highly regulated, low-margin business such as banking. I disagree. 

          Eye on the Ball

          What is more, I think banks that are not prepared for such new competitors face certain death.

          Technology has already transformed many industries. Next in line is banking. In two or three years, only 5 per cent of consumer interaction will be through branches.

          The rules have changed and a new league of competitors is emerging.

          Continue reading in the FT
          Banks need to take on Amazon and Google or die

          +Bob DeMarco

                    ICA at VCU will Open in Richmond Spring 2018   

          Virginia Commonwealth University today announced its new Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) will open in Spring 2018. The new opening date is based on a revised schedule for the completion of construction and the subsequent adjustment of the internal climate before art can be installed. The ICA is already active in Richmond and on VCU's campus through programs, faculty and student collaboration, and artistic commissions, and will continue to engage the VCU and Richmond communities through special programs prior to the opening.

          The new contemporary art institution is designed by Steven Holl Architects and located at the intersection of Richmond's historic Belvidere and Broad streets, one of the city's busiest junctures. The ICA provides a striking new gateway for Richmond, with dual entrances opening to the city's arts district on one side and VCU's Monroe Park campus on the other. Free of charge to all visitors, the ICA will be a significant new cultural resource for Richmond and VCU, in direct dialogue with VCU School of the Arts, the #1-ranked public graduate school of art and design in the U.S. The ICA will offer a vital new dimension to a premier urban research university, and contribute to a national and international cultural dialogue. With nearly 41,000 square feet of flexible space, including an inviting 33-foot high central forum, the non-collecting ICA will feature a dynamic slate of changing exhibitions, performances, films, and interdisciplinary programs. The Markel Center's fluid spaces are designed to support the diverse practices characteristic of the art of today, mirroring VCU's interdisciplinary approach and supporting the varied needs of contemporary art and audiences.

          The ICA's inaugural exhibition, Declaration, will explore contemporary art's power to catalyze change, and will feature painting, sculpture, multimedia works, site-specific installations, and time-based performances by emerging and established artists. Featuring new work by artists from around the globe, including Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr., Marinella Senatore, Paul Rucker, and Cassils, the exhibition will also include artists from Richmond's vibrant arts community, such as VCUarts Associate Professor Hope Ginsburg and VCU alum Levester Williams.

          "While we are eager to unveil the Markel Center to the community this spring, we are committed to ensuring that contemporary art thrives beyond an institution's bounds," said ICA Director Lisa Freiman. "We are all working hard to realize the vision and mission of the ICA, and will continue to mount dynamic programs for our VCU and Richmond communities while we plan for our launch."

          "The ICA is exemplary of VCU's dedication to the arts, and to the university's belief in the importance of contemporary art and creative discourse in an engaging education," said VCU President Michael Rao. "We are looking forward to experiencing its full program this spring, and cementing Richmond as one of the world's important contemporary art centers."

          About the ICA's Design

          The open design of the ICA features a series of dynamic exhibition and programming spaces across its three levels that allow for creative opportunities that engage the unfixed and multidirectional nature of contemporary art. The glass walls and windows create continuity between the interior and exterior spaces of the building. On the first floor, a 4,000-square-foot gallery and large café, bar, and retail space radiate from the ICA's central forum and frame an outdoor garden, which Steven Holl describes as the "Thinking Field," that will be used for social gatherings, temporary art installations, and public programs. The first floor also features a state-of-the-art 240-seat auditorium for film screenings, live performances, lectures, and community programs.

          The second floor includes two forking galleries and an adaptable learning lab for interactive educational engagement that will be open to the public. It also includes an accessible terrace-one of the four green roofs-that will be programmed with art works and available for special events. The soaring 33-foot-high gallery on the ICA's third floor will feature large-scale installations and experimental projects. The third floor also houses one of the administrative suites and the boardroom. Additional staff offices are located in the building's lower level, which also includes a lobby for visitors, art storage and preparation facilities, a fabrication workshop, a green room, the catering kitchen, and general storage.

          In keeping with VCU's master sustainability plan, the ICA's design incorporates state of the art technologies and environmentally conscious design elements, and makes use of numerous natural resources. The pre-weathered, satin-finish zinc exterior of the Markel Center, which houses the ICA, includes interspersed clear- and translucent-glass walls and skylights that infuse the building with natural light and lessen the reliance on nonrenewable energy. These include the use of geothermal wells to provide heating and cooling energy for the building, and four green roofs to absorb storm water, offset carbon emissions, and maximize insulation. Native plantings include wood oats, little bluestem, Pennsylvania sedge, and goldenrod. Building materials include Virginia bluestone and custom glass cavity walls, designed to exhaust heat in the summer and harness it in the winter. The project is designed to meet LEED Gold Certification standards.

          About the ICA's Capital Campaign and Endowment

          The ICA has raised more than $36 million in private funds to date toward its goal of $41 million for construction. An endowment campaign is also ongoing. The ICA is the largest privately funded arts project in VCU's history and is supported by generous leadership gifts from ICA Campaign Co-Chairs Steve and Kathie Markel, and Pam and Bill Royall. Additional major donors include: John David and Meg Newell Gottwald, George W. and Helen H. B. Logan, True and Charlie Luck, Markel Corporation, Abby W. Moore, NewMarket Corporation, The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, Patsy K. and Hunter R. Pettus, Jr., and Carolyn and John Snow.

          About Steven Holl Architects

          Steven Holl Architects has realized architectural works nationally and overseas, with extensive experience in the arts (including museum, gallery, and exhibition design), campus and educational facilities, residential work, and master planning. Steven Holl Architects is a 40-person architecture and urban design office founded in 1976, and working globally as one office from two locations, New York City and Beijing. Steven Holl leads the office with partners Chris McVoy and Noah Yaffe. Most recently completed are the Reid Building at the Glasgow School of Art (Glasgow, U.K.), which opened in April 2014; Campbell Sports Center at Columbia University (New York, NY), which was completed in March 2013; and the Daeyang Gallery and House (Seoul, Korea) which opened in June 2012. Steven Holl Architects currently has eight projects under construction, including the John F. Kennedy Center Expansion in Washington, D.C.; the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston; the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University; and the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.

          About VCU and VCUarts

          Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with a diverse student body recognized for its commitment to community engagement, with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Dedicated to advancing scholarship and creative expression, VCU fosters interdisciplinary learning and collaboration. Located on two downtown campuses in Richmond and a satellite campus in Qatar, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 225 certificate and degree programs in the arts, sciences, and humanities. With a distinguished faculty of professional artists and 16 departments, including Craft/Material Studies, Fashion Design and Merchandising, Dance and Choreography, Graphic Design, Music, Painting and Printmaking, Photography and Film, Sculpture + Extended Media, and Theatre, VCUarts has been the top-ranked public university visual arts and design graduate program in the country for nine years, according to U.S. News & World Report. Its campus in Qatar provides students and faculty with a direct tie to the Middle East, a region of increasing significance in the contemporary art world. For more information on VCUarts, please visit:

          About the Institute for Contemporary Art

          The Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a non-collecting institution that will showcase a fresh slate of changing exhibitions and programs ranging from innovative visual and performing arts to various forms of design and film. Part exhibition and performance space, part laboratory and incubator, the ICA will be a place to explore new ideas, providing an open forum for dialogue and collaboration across the region and the world. Mirroring the increasing emphasis on cross-disciplinary studies across VCU, the ICA will create a new environment for artists and scholars from around the world to test unconventional and challenging ideas. As a university-wide resource, it will engage an international network of contemporary artists and organizations while encouraging collaborations between audiences and contemporary artists and with VCU departments, faculty, students, and the Richmond community. The ICA will be an agile, responsive institution that offers a broad range of artistic perspectives from across the world with the goal of questioning assumptions and encouraging critical discourse. To date, the ICA has raised $36 million towards its capital campaign. An endowment campaign is ongoing. Additional information on opening programming will be available in the coming months. For more information on the ICA, please visit:

                    Nitro program to support emerging technology companies   

          Toronto-based business law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP recently launched an innovative new program called Nitro that provides access to top-tier legal services for emerging technology companies. “Emerging technology is critical to the future of the Canadian economy and

          The post Nitro program to support emerging technology companies appeared first on Electronic Products & Technology.

                    Native Art Market Prepares for Fifth Annual Artist Reception and Art Market   

          Published June 29, 2017 RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA – The fifth annual Native POP: People of the Plains art market and cultural celebration is first and foremost a juried fine art show featuring established and emerging Native American artists. Native POP: People of the Plains will host an awards presentation and artist reception at the […]

          The post Native Art Market Prepares for Fifth Annual Artist Reception and Art Market appeared first on Native News Online.

                    What will happen to Italian wine if America enters into a trade war with Europe?   
          The Italians never thought it would happen. They, led by the French, were marching into a huge new market, China. In that moment, they turned their gaze from America, seeing a new, emerging market filled with hundreds of millions of potential customers for their wines. Every farmer’s daughter was going to Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Taipei, Chengdu and Hong Kong with their Barolo, Brunello, their Prosecco and their Moscato. All along, China was developing cheap solar panels, racing to find a way to fulfill their own country’s need for cheap, clean, sustainable energy. And with that came the temptation to import those solar panels to their trading partners in Europe. But trading with China in the solar sector could cost thousands of jobs in Europe, where the solar energy industry had a foothold and was growing at a rapid pace. The EU threatened a steep tariff on solar panels imported from China. And China threatened to retaliate on wine with a tariff of up to 47%. A trade war loomed. And while this threat was greater to France, and even Spain, Italy also felt the slap from the big hand of China.

          Could it happen today, between America and Europe, a similar threat? According to a conversation I had this past week with a prestigious family producer from Italy, yes it can. European leaders are suspicious of American leadership. There is a fog of volatility that has rolled in, the likes of which hasn’t been felt since the 1970’s. But the 1970’s didn’t have the global thread of communication of commerce the interconnectedness that we all have today. The interdependence that some leaders cast a blind eye to, but which nonetheless exists. So yes, the Italians are nervous.

          From the look of things in 2017, so far, business is good. Things are humming right along. Italian wine still seems to have a good momentum coming off a relatively robust year, 2016. I say this with the knowledge of data that I am privy to, commercial data that even surprised me. As it continues to do.

          “We are a satellite of America,” my Italian colleague said, over a globally inspired lunch of barbecued chicken and spinach salad, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and prickly pear kombucha. It took me off guard to hear those words said. I identify as an American with Italian roots, and I love the country that my grandfathers and grandmothers immigrated to over 100 years ago. I see the limitless horizon of opportunity, as many of us immigrants and children of immigrants must see and feel when they look to America and make the often perilous trek to the land of the free. “You must understand that to us, America is a beacon of freedom for the world.” I’m sitting across a member of a venerated Italian wine family, one of the first families of Italian wine. And I’m truly astonished to hear this. And again, she says, “We are a satellite of America.”

          In a sense I understand this too well. I spend all of my working time around Italian wine, around Italian restaurants and often first, second and third generation Italian immigrants. I’m steeped in the tea of Italianitá. It was then that I felt a deep commitment, once again, tugging at my heartstrings, a little voice inside, from ages past and days not yet born saying “Help them get over to your side, help them to get a place at the table.” No kidding, this is how I think and feel about it. It’s not about selling more wine; it’s not about being in the cool kid’s club. It’s about finding ways, often extremely difficult, given the myriad of laws and regulations in the alcohol beverage industry among the 50 states, to help my Italian cousins in this land of opportunity.

          So to imagine that America might be going into a potential trade war with Europe - no matter how capriciously it might be constructed by the Steve Bannon’s of the world – it was truly an alarming thought for the future of Italian wine in America.

          Yes, things are so much better than it was 25, 35, 50 years ago in the world of Italian wine in America. Now we have the luxury of groaning when we see one too many Erbaluce’s on hipster wine lists. But I see a new battle looming on the horizon, one which might be more than just one of have a greater selection. You think it couldn’t happen here? How many jaw dropping events must one witness before one realizes they are not on solid ground but on the deck of the Titanic?

          Vigilance, my Italian colleagues. We are in a social and economic climate that is heating up faster than our contentiously debated global climate shift.

          wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

                    The Petya Attack is More than a Typical Ransomware – What you need to know   

          Read here: The Petya Attack is More than a Typical Ransomware – What you need to know

          Weeks after the deadly WannaCry ransomware attack crippled hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries across the globe, another attack dubbed Petya has just hit Europe, with Ukraine emerging as the worst hit nation in the region. Even though the haze of this attack is clearing, it is now emerging that this […]

          Source: Neurogadget

                    Regional emerging products security Expert - Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. - Sandton, Gauteng   
          The ideal candidate will possess a strong background in networking, datacenter, virtualization, Threat prevention and security technologies and proven ability...
          From Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. - Sun, 07 May 2017 15:15:47 GMT - View all Sandton, Gauteng jobs
                    Dogmeat, Dictators and Barack Obama   
          Published May 27, 2008

          If he wins in November, Barack Obama will become the first president of the United States … to have tried dog meat, or at least the first to have admitted it publicly.

          That’s not likely to win him votes, but it sure makes him a hell of a lot more interesting to Filipinos. Here are a couple more biographical tidbits.

          As a boy, Obama played kite duels like the game enjoyed by Pinoy children in which one tries to force an opponent’s saranggola (kite) down from the sky.

          Then this: Obama knows on a personal level the dehumanizing power of poverty and dictatorship in the Third World.

          You can learn more from his memoir, “Dreams from My Father,” first published more than a decade ago, and a paperback bestseller in the US.

          It’s a fascinating read, especially for Filipinos.

          Obama found dog meat tough, snake meat tougher and roasted grasshopper crunchy. Bicolanos, in particular, would enjoy his company: Obama said he “learned how to eat small green chili peppers raw with dinner” with “plenty of rice.”

          I wonder if, as some of my childhood friends in Cubao did, Obama and his buddies also used razor blades attached to their saranggola string to gain an advantage in aerial duels.

          It is the third point that I think is most relevant to Filipinos.

          After Obama’s parents separated in Hawaii where he grew up, his mother married a visiting student named Lolo Soetoro who took his new family back to his native Indonesia.

          Lolo had witnessed the rise of Indonesian nationalism that eventually led to the defeat of Dutch colonialism. His father and brother were killed in the resistance and the Dutch burned their house down. But as a student in Hawaii, with Indonesia emerging as a newly-independent nation, Lolo was “so full of life, so eager with plans,” Obama writes.

          “Things would be changing now that the Dutch had been driven out, Lolo had told [my mother]; he would return and teach at the university, be a part of that change,” Obama continues.

          But the change was not what he expected.

          Sukarno, the admired but controversial independence leader and president became a target of right wing forces. In 1967, a coup still widely believed to have been aided by the CIA, overthrew his government. That led to a bloody crackdown and the rise of the Suharto dictatorship.

          “The death toll was anybody’s guess: a few hundred thousand, maybe half a million,” Obama writes. “We had arrived in Djakarta less than a year after one of the more brutal and swift campaigns of suppression in modern times.”

          The change was devastating for Obama’s stepfather. Lolo was a strong, hard working and decent man who took care of Obama and his mother. But he also faced painful choices in Indonesia under Suharto – similar to those many Filipinos endured under Marcos. Some Indonesians fought back against dictatorship, while others simply accepted, even embraced, the new regime.

          Lolo Soetoro chose the latter.

          “Power had taken Lolo and yanked him back into line … making him feel its weight, letting him know that his life wasn’t his own,” Obama writes. “So Lolo had made peace with power, learned the wisdom of forgetting.”

          Filipinos and Indonesians remember how, at the height of the Cold War, the United States endorsed, even bankrolled, brutal dictators who were considered “friendly” to American interests. That sinister policy reemerged in the post 9-11 world, underscored by the Bush administration’s cozy ties with authoritarian rulers in Central Asia and the Middle East.

          Would Obama embrace the same attitude? Or would he remember his stepfather and other Indonesians who endured repression and humiliation under dictatorial rule?

          This is a critical question if, as some fear, the Philippines may be in danger of repeating a dark chapter in our own past. If the current occupants of Malacanang are indeed looking for a way to extend their stay beyond 2010, as some suspect, Obama in the White House could pose a serious problem.

          Obama’s memoir also offers some hints on how he might take on issues of poverty and inequality. These became real for him in the cities and countryside of Indonesia.

          Recalling the beggars in Djakarta, Obama writes, “They seemed to be everywhere, a gallery of ills – men, women, children, in tattered clothing matted with dirt, some without arms, others without feet, victims of scurvy or polio or leprosy …”

          He relates how his mother once visited a wealthy area in Djakarta that sounds much like the posh neighborhoods in Ayala Alabang or Makati, where “diplomats and generals lived in sprawling houses with tall wrought-iron gates.” To drive off a poor woman who had wandered near one of the fancy homes, a group of men who were washing a fleet of Mercedes-Benzes threw a handful of coins onto the road. “The woman ran after the coins with terrible speed, checking the road suspiciously as she gathered them into her bosom,” Obama relates.

          And in the Indonesian countryside, he remembers “the empty look on the faces of farmers the year the rains never came, the stoop in their shoulders as they wandered barefoot through their barren, cracked fields.”

          Obama also probably understands that people eat dogmeat in parts of Indonesia and the Philippines – a practice viewed as reprehensible in the West – for a simple reason: hunger and lack of food.

          Many U.S. and European politicians have often appeared clueless, if not insensitive, when it comes to issues of poverty and repression in the developing world. Take the reaction of former US Secretary of State Colin Powell a few years ago when he was confronted in Manila with the Philippine government’s bid to get duty-free access for tuna exports, similar to the one given to South America.

          In presenting its case, the Philippine government had tried to convince Powell that the issue was a matter of survival for tens of thousands of impoverished fisherfolk in Mindanao. But Powell, who was then trying to sell the world on the Bush Administration’s disastrous decision to invade Iraq, was unimpressed, even saying, "I did not know someday I would be dealing with tuna.”

          Would Obama react in the same way? As another American politician worried about how he is perceived at home and about his chances in the next election, maybe.

          But there’s also a chance, even a small one, that he would react differently. He would listen intently, consult his advisers and weigh the broader economic issues involved. But as he makes his decision, he may also see the faces, hear the voices and remember the stories of the struggling people he knew on the streets of Djakarta.

          Copyright 2008 by Benjamin Pimentel

                    A.Vogel Venaforce Tablets Horse Chestnut GR   
          Description: The use of Horse Chestnut in venous disorders has been recognised for a long time. It has been used as a treatment for various venous conditions since the 19th Century. It is the seed of the Horse Chestnut tree, instantly recognisable to many children as the conker, that is used medicinally. Often varicose veins are more troublesome in warmer weather and starting a course of Venoforce during the early summer can prevent the distressing symptoms emerging. For best results, I find that a three to four month course is advisable. Those suffering from varicose veins will also benefit from ensuring that constipation is not a factor. Additional advice: Best taken with food. Do not use alongside blood-thinning medicines such as low-dose aspirin or anticoagulants such as warfarin

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                    Trump Administration Outlines Emerging Strategy On Afghanistan   
          The Trump administration's emerging strategy on Afghanistan involves sending more American troops into the country, the isolation of Pakistan, and the long-term goal of a political settlement with the Taliban.
                    Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits For Babies    
          Similar in function to a teething ring, Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits are specially designed, shaped and hardened to satisfy the bite that emerging teeth are seeking and provide exercise for the jaw. Contains no added sugar or salt Made with all natural ingredients For age 6 months and over Ingredients: wheat flour, wheatgerm and water

          Price: £1.99 Special Price: £1.90

                    IIF: World’s debt over three times greater than economic output   
          Global debt levels have surged to a record $217 trillion in the first quarter of the year. This is 327 percent of the world’s annual economic output (GDP), reports the Institute of International Finance (IIF). The surging debt was driven by emerging economies, which have increased borrowing by $3 trillion to $56 trillion. This amounts […]

                    Emerging fungal diseases threaten wildlife   
          It isn’t often we focus on fungal diseases; usually viruses and bacteria occupy our attention when it comes to infectious diseases. But fungal infections are […]
                    Dan Croll Tries his Hand at Being a “Bad Boy” [Video]   
          Earlier this month, Dan Croll released the video for a single off his upcoming album Emerging Adulthood, which is set for a July 21st release. Filled with peppy drums, gentle falsetto, and nostalgic guitar strums, “Bad Boy” fits perfectly into the theme of the album’s name, capturing in lyric and tone a certain type of [&hellip
                    Developing and Evaluating Digital Interventions to Promote Behavior Change in Health and Health Care: Recommendations Resulting From an International Workshop   
          Devices and programs using digital technology to foster or support behavior change (digital interventions) are increasingly ubiquitous, being adopted for use in patient diagnosis and treatment, self-management of chronic diseases, and in primary prevention. They have been heralded as potentially revolutionizing the ways in which individuals can monitor and improve their health behaviors and health care by improving outcomes, reducing costs, and improving the patient experience. However, we are still mainly in the age of promise rather than delivery. Developing and evaluating these digital interventions presents new challenges and new versions of old challenges that require use of improved and perhaps entirely new methods for research and evaluation. This article discusses these challenges and provides recommendations aimed at accelerating the rate of progress in digital behavior intervention research and practice. Areas addressed include intervention development in a rapidly changing technological landscape, promoting user engagement, advancing the underpinning science and theory, evaluating effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, and addressing issues of regulatory, ethical, and information governance. This article is the result of a two-day international workshop on how to create, evaluate, and implement effective digital interventions in relation to health behaviors. It was held in London in September 2015 and was supported by the United Kingdom’s Medical Research Council (MRC), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Methodology Research Programme (PI Susan Michie), and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation of the United States (PI Kevin Patrick). Important recommendations to manage the rapid pace of change include considering using emerging techniques from data science, machine learning, and Bayesian approaches and learning from other disciplines including computer science and engineering. With regard to assessing and promoting engagement, a key conclusion was that sustained engagement is not always required and that for each intervention it is useful to establish what constitutes “effective engagement,” that is, sufficient engagement to achieve the intended outcomes. The potential of digital interventions for testing and advancing theories of behavior change by generating ecologically valid, real-time objective data was recognized. Evaluations should include all phases of the development cycle, designed for generalizability, and consider new experimental designs to make the best use of rich data streams. Future health economics analyses need to recognize and model the complex and potentially far-reaching costs and benefits of digital interventions. In terms of governance, developers of digital behavior interventions should comply with existing regulatory frameworks, but with consideration for emerging standards around information governance, ethics, and interoperability.

          Purchases: 0
                    The Left’s Un-Democratic Seduction of the Democrats   

          Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

          Democrats have lost the White House and Congress. Their statewide losses are catastrophic. But the institutional strength of the left has only grown stronger. Each Democrat defeat hollows out the party but increases the power and influence of the left to move the party in an undemocratic direction.

          The defeats have elevated the roles of the left’s unelected power bases from the judiciary to the media to academia to the bureaucracy and the non-profit sector. These are the core of the “Resistance”. The mission of the “Resistance” is not to plan for a future democratic victory, but an undemocratic coup.

          The Democrats had been radicalized into alienating their traditional working class constituencies. They had been seduced into believing that they could lose the heartland and still win elections. After pushing the party into a politically untenable extremism, the Democrats were convinced to abandon democracy.

          Democratic elections had been the left’s greatest obstacle in its plot to take over the Democrat Party.

          Elections meant moderation, triangulation and big tents. Those are all anathema to the left. As long as the Democrats had to compete in conservative districts, they wouldn’t be able to support terrorism, crime, total wealth redistribution, radical social policies and the rest of the left’s totalitarian program.

          Losing the South was the best thing that ever happened to the left’s plans for the Democrat Party. And it has no intention of trying recapture it, or any other area, on any terms other than its own. It isn’t interested in winning elections. The left’s ideal political purity can only be achieved undemocratically. Politics is the art of compromise. Democracy requires listening to people. That’s not what the left does.

          The less the Democrats listen to voters, the more influence the left has over their agenda, ideas and tactics. Instead of paying attention to democratic ‘market signals’ from the populace, they become an ideological echo chamber for the media, academia and the radical non-profits of the institutional left.

          Fake polls and media spin is used to promise big wins. And when those wins don’t materialize, the left invents conspiracy theories that discredit the election and uses them as leverage to radicalize the Democrats even further by convincing them that they are entitled to overturn the election.

          The left destroyed the Democrat Party. It tricked it into becoming unpopular, lied to it that it would win and then convinced it that it didn’t win because of foul play and should stage a presidential coup.

          Each disastrous step seemed logical at the time. There was going to be a new majority. The Democrats had to get out front to create a new national reality. Reactionary voices in the party had to be ignored. The “youth” was where it was at. Immigrants were transforming America. All the polls were on their side. The only reason they could have possibly lost was the hackers and all the fake news.

          And all the while the left was consciously making the Democrats untenable as a political party by cutting them off from their working class base and their geographic constituencies.   

          The Democrat Party is no longer a national party. It’s the political movement associated with small groups of elites out of a few dozen cities and associated suburbs. Its national presence outside these cities continues withering every year. Subtract the media, unions and billionaire backers and it’s just the Green Party with more of a history. If a radical leftist party were to gain more traction in the Bay Area, Chicago and New York, the Democrats could very easily vanish as thoroughly as the Federalists.

          But the left’s endgame isn’t winning elections. It’s eliminating them.

          Radicalization is the process by which everyone left of center comes around to realizing that the “system” with its multiple parties, compromises and votes allotted to everyone just doesn’t work.

          The more elections the Democrats lose, the more they come around to that point of view.

          After Hillary’s defeat, the media has abandoned the old liberal pretenses of objectivity and open dialogue. Instead it militantly advocates agendas. Its outlets openly abuse and insult opponents. The media shifted from bias to advocacy out of a conviction, occasionally stated in its own columns and editorials, that the public was too stupid to be influenced by mere bias. It had to have it spelled out for it that Trump is a liar. The media can no longer subtly influence. It must browbeat into compliance.

          That is what a radicalized media looks like.

          A radicalized media disregards truth, facts and objectivity. It only wants to win at any cost. It has no faith in the public. Instead it views the public with an anti-democratic contempt.

          But the Democrats have adopted an anti-democratic tone that is suspicious of and hostile to the public. The various explanations for their defeat, big money, racism, fake news, coalesce around the general unfitness of the public. Even Obama’s old “messaging failure” explanation for his failures speaks to it.

          Americans are too stupid, gullible, bigoted and ignorant to be able to vote.

          As class warfare has given way to identity politics, popular representation had to make way for identity representation. The Democrats may no longer represent the South or the West, but they instead represent a plurality of racial and sexual identities. Their coalition of illegal alien gay Muslims has more democratic legitimacy than all the white voters who backed Trump.

          That’s the underlying theme of the “Resistance”. Political legitimacy doesn’t come from elections, but from diversity. Diversity has failed to win elections, the way that it was supposed to. But it can always end them. Why bother representing people based around random geographical borders or whether they happen to have citizenship, when you can represent a plurality of identities?

          And once you represent a plurality of oppressed peoples, why bother with elections? Elections only get in the way of achieving true representation through equality.

          This is where the left always ends up sooner or later.

          The Democrats have become just another totalitarian leftist cult. The trouble is that they’re not a handful of angry radicals in a Chicago basement. Delusional behavior like this might be amusing from a revolutionary cell of a handful of extremists who all teach sociology for a living. It’s a national crackup when a major political party descends into the same sort of dangerous lunacy on a national scale. 

          Overturning the results of a presidential election is only a start on the way to much worse things. The left is once again approaching Lenin’s old revolutionary formula of government as “a democracy for the exploited and a means of suppressing the exploiters” along with the “exclusion from democracy” of the exploiters. And, like every disastrous preceding step, it is beginning to seem logical to the Dems.                                                                                                                                        

          The Democrats have replaced real constituencies with ideological ones. The party heavily depends on bloc voting in areas where democracy is meaningless and political choice is non-existent. Every form of meritocracy has been replaced with quotas and affirmative action. If candidates qualify by quota, why not voters? That is the dangerous next step. It begins with “rebalancing” representation to favor the emerging new constituencies and ends by eliminating representation as anything more than a formality.

          The left has led the donkey party to this poisonous swamp. The question is will the donkey drink?

                    Top 10 Trends for Fall 2015   

          As you're working hard to stock your stores for the upcoming seasons, it might be helpful to review the Fall/Winter 2015 trends. Regardless of how trend-conscious your customers may or may not be, there are many reasons why it will benefit you to maintain a general understanding of current and building trends. 

          Even customers who do not admittedly follow trends are most likely subconsciously influenced by them. Trends are what we see in magazines, in stores, in movies, and on the street. Most people won't follow every trend that comes along, but they will follow some. So considering trends when you're selecting inventory for your store can definitely help you be more prepared with what your customers will be looking for.

          It's even important to keep track of trends that are not related to knitwear, so that you can give styling advice to your customers. For instance, this fall, we will be seeing a lot of high-waisted flare leg pants and mini skirts. Knowing those proportions, you can prepare yourself ahead of time with recommendations of pieces in your store that would pair well with these styles. Even if your customers will not be wearing flares or mini skirts, your knowledge of trends positions you as an expert and helps your customer place more trust in your fashion recommendations.

          However if you are going to familiarize yourself with any trends, they should be knitwear. The most significant upcoming knitwear trends are chunky knits, turtlenecks, ribbed knits, and oversized scarves.

          Below are the top 10 trends for fall that you might find most relevant for your store:

          1. 70's Vibes- This is the biggest trend this fall. Everything 70's is in, from flared pants to the decade's signature color palette of burnt orange, mossy greens, rusts, and browns, expect to see the 1970's celebrated to the fullest!

          2. Turtlenecks- The turtleneck is a classic that's been reemerging as a trend for the past couple seasons. People seem to finally be ready to catch on, and they will enjoy being warmer and cozier because of it.

          3. Giant Scarves- Oversized scarves were all over the runways wrapped in every way imaginable. We at Inca Fashions are particularly excited about this one!

          4. Shades of Grey- Hopefully the "50 Shades of Grey" puns will begin to fade away soon, but this classic neutral won't be fading away any time soon. Play around with layering different shades and textures.

          5. Ribbed Knits- This trend may be related to the reemergence of the 70's. Ribbed knits were popular and flattering then and they still are now. 

          6. Plaid- Expect classic plaid to be huge this fall, especially in oversized scarves and blanket capes.

          7. Head to Toe Black- Black doesn't have to be basic, try experimenting with different rich textures, like pairing a fuzzy alpaca sweater with sleek leather leggings.

          8. Chunky Knits- We are so happy to see that fashion designers and editors are still pushing chunky knits this season. Reporters have been attributing this trend to the especially freezing temperatures experienced by so many on the east coast over the last couple winters. Bundle up!

          9. Furry Feet- Love it or hate it, one of the biggest footwear trends shown on the runway for Fall was fur. If you're considering embracing this one, ask us about our alpaca fur slippers and boots! They are right on trend and couldn't be more comfortable!

          10. Gloves- Many are crediting the reemergence of gloves to the classy and stylish Mrs. Amal Clooney. Ladylike gloves were all over the runway and seem to be making their first popularity surge in many years. We'll embrace any "trend" that's both stylish and comfortable!

          Image Sources: 1234567891011

          We hope you enjoyed this quick summary of the biggest trends for Fall/Winter 2015 and that you'll find them inspiring and relevant as you plan out your inventory. As usual, please contact us if we can provide any assistance with stocking your store for its most successful season yet!

                    Client Service Represntat with Bank of America Corporation - (Uxbridge)   
          full-timeUxbridge, MABank of America CorporationRapid Interviews is a private organization that works in collaboration with government agencies to promote emerging careers. Our goal is to connect you with supportive resources to supplement your skills in order to attain your dream career. Rapid Interviews has also partnered with industry leading consultants & training providers that can assist during your career transition.
                    Customer Service Speciali with Best Buy - (Cambridge)   
          full-timeCambridge, MABest BuyRapid Interviews is a private organization that works in collaboration with government agencies to promote emerging careers. Our goal is to connect you with supportive resources to supplement your skills in order to attain your dream career. Rapid Interviews has also partnered with industry leading consultants & training providers that can assist during your career transition.
                    Truck Unloaders, Overnigh with Bed Bath & Beyond - (Pembroke)   
          full-timePembroke, MABed Bath & BeyondRapid Interviews is a private organization that works in collaboration with government agencies to promote emerging careers. Our goal is to connect you with supportive resources to supplement your skills in order to attain your dream career. Rapid Interviews has also partnered with industry leading consultants & training providers that can assist during your career transition.
                    A/R Clerk Benefits with 84 Lumber - (Holbrook)   
          full-timeHolbrook, MA84 LumberRapid Interviews is a private organization that works in collaboration with government agencies to promote emerging careers. Our goal is to connect you with supportive resources to supplement your skills in order to attain your dream career. Rapid Interviews has also partnered with industry leading consultants & training providers that can assist during your career transition.
                    Anthropogenic signature in the incidence and distribution of an emerging pathogen of poplars. 2016. Herath, P.; Beauseigle, S.; Dhillon, B.; Ojeda, D.I.; Bilodeau, G.; Isabel, N.; Gros-Louis, M.-C.; Kope, H.; Zeglen, S.; Hamelin, R.C.; Feau, N. Biol. Invasions 18:1147-1161.   
                    R48G: NOT our president…the stark reality of a revolutionary option…passive americans complicit in Trump’s crime against humanity…   
 We confront an almost grostesque situation between a lunatic climate denial pseudo-president, elected in a fraud, and a stark deadline for a response to emerging climate catastrophe. This situation once seemed to be incipient fascism, but in an irony the situation seems to be provoking a revolutionary response, at least in a kind of […]
                    The State of Hate    

          Are hate crimes after the 2016 election up as sharply as news reports suggest? For many reasons, the question isn't easy to answer, but the Documenting Hate project is trying through an ongoing, crowdsourcing initiative this year. The project is led by ProPublica in partnership with dozens of media outlets, including WNYC.

          ProPublica's Rachel Glickhouse said the project had collected more than 2,500 reports of hate and bias incidents across the U.S. through June. But she told WNYC host Sean Carlson that it's challenging to determine the true number because of dozens of federal agencies fail to report data to the FBI's national hate crime database.

          Still, certain trends are emerging in terms of where incidents take place (public transportation) and what's said.

          "People are told to go back to their country," she said. "Generally, these are people of color. They might be immigrants but they might not be. We've had numerous partners report on this phenomenon."

          Glickhouse said the stories of bias incidents are emerging from "everywhere" and that New York is no exception.

          "It's in liberal cities, it's in conservative cities," she said. "It's in urban areas, it's in rural areas. There's really no place that isn't touched by this."

          If you have an incident to report, you can add to the project by filling out the form here.


                    The Golden Leash and the Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty   

          In recent years, activist hedge funds have been experimenting with a novel practice in corporate governance: offering their candidates for the board of directors millions of dollars in bonus pay through a device known as a “golden leash.” Such arrangements, which are highly controversial, award directors for accomplishing activist objectives. An emerging body of work views the golden leash through the same polarized lens as activism itself: either the leash locks directors in to a self-serving, “short-termist” agenda, or it creates incentives for them to be better advocates for shareholders. This binary framing obscures some of the golden leash’s most promising qualities.

          Though novel and associated with shareholder activists, the golden leash belongs to a larger class of well-established, mainstream legal structures that reduce agency costs and increase expertise at individual firms by, paradoxically, tying directors to multiple firms. These structures include corporate governance innovations in two other areas of the capital markets, the venture capital ecosystem and the practice of corporate directors sharing information with outside entities. Like the golden leash, both of these models create overlapping obligations for directors. Yet these arrangements are welcomed by scholars, courts, and firms on the grounds that they improve enterprise value and corporate governance by quietly blending loyalties, notwithstanding the fact that they also make conflicts of interest more likely.

          The golden leash thus follows in a coherent, if unheralded, tradition of structures that forge ultraclose bonds between directors and outside shareholders. This Article argues that the risks posed by this blending of duties should be discounted by the availability of mechanisms to manage any conflicts that result and by advantages conferred in capital formation and governance. Properly designed and disclosed, the golden leash can promote not only superior returns but consensus-building, dialogue, and other values important to sound corporate governance.

          The post The Golden Leash and the Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty appeared first on UCLA Law Review.

                    Montell2099 x 21 Savage – “Hunnid On The Drop”   
          Emerging New Zealand-based electronic artist Montell2099 has teamed up with the heavy-hitting 21 Savage for the new track "Hunnid On The Drop" via Red Bull Sound Select. Montell2099 sets up a moody, ambient beat for 21 Savage to deliver a barrage of quips quick enough to give you whiplash. Check it out below.
                    Ka Auditron Ba - The Final Conflict   

          Back in October of last year I was in New York and had the pleasure of meeting King Koncepts at his record store, Good Records. We chatted about music and he mentioned that Karma was working on releasing some old late 90's Kemetic Suns music. Fast forward to last week and I received an email from Karma introducing himself and letting me know about the music he posted on his Tumbler. Karma picks up where Koncepts left off when he posted The Bombshelter album back in 2009. I'm not going to try and summarize any of this of, instead I urge you to take some time and read through the detailed posts from Karma and listen to the unreleased Ka Auditron Ba (Karmachi & Hypnotic) album.

          I'd like to thank Karma for reaching out to me and allowing me to post this on my site. The insight he and Koncepts provide is rarely seen in underground hip hop and is greatly appreciated.

           When To Walk Away Pt. 1

          Preview to The Long Goodbye

          ***This blog was originally  written by Koncepts and featured as documentary comment on Cocaine Blunts appearing in 2009. Since then the trolls have made it less inspiring for the homie Noz to keep the blog up so I thought I would recreate it here for the sake of background***
           “Fundamentals consisted of me – Koncepts – and Karma. We met each other at Berkeley High, 1992. All I remember was being introduced to this dude who was into rap, and had a little bit of game to him - he knew all the different cats around school, kept good weed, knew how to talk to girls. Quickly we started hanging out, going to parties. We formed The Fundamentals in early ‘93, long before the crew Kemetic Suns came about. At that time, the crew we made was called “Ascension”: in addition to us, we brought in a group called Hijinx (Peekaboo and Embassy), rappers Malignant and Level Z, and Anthony/Ayentee. Before I got with Karma, I was in an awful band that played funk-rock-jazz-rap-fusion a la Alphabet Soup or the Mo'Fessionals – interesting sidenote, playwright Itamar Moses played keyboards in that group. But I wanted to do something that was more straight up Hip-Hop. I was DJing already and I played the guitar. I fell off with the guitar lessons but started making primitive beats. Hanging out at Anthony’s house in north-west Berkeley I started to get hip to funk and latin and freakier jazz music all courtesy of his father’s record collection. 

          We all hung out and got busy together, either at Anthony’s house or at my house. Anthony’s house was like a constant spot – there would be any number of kids there, from the graf crew DOA down to West Side Berkeley dudes, friends of his dad, relatives. I was granted use of a narrow boiler room underneath my mom’s house – the “Bomb Shelter” – to record in, and all of the material featured was made there. The beats here were made either on an Akai S-01 (a cheap version of the 950) and a Roland R8 Human Rhythm Composer, or the Ensoniq ASR-10, which I stuck with. Kids would come through, I would throw together a beat or have one I had already worked up, and they would record. Anthony, who made beats as well, occasionally helped out engineering things. I’d do arrangements, hooks, whatever. I wanted people to write songs, not just lay down rhymes, so I tried to focus their talents and that’s how a lot of this stuff came to be. A lot of guys didn’t have any idea how to write songs – like, verse/hook/bridge, or whatever. Some dudes just wanted to spit for like 6 minutes. Off the head. It was a mess.

          Most of us were from Berkeley or Oakland. Karma spent some time up in Sacramento early on. Malignant had one foot out in Richmond I think. Around the beginning of 1994 I moved to the Mission neighborhood in San Francisco to go live with my father, but continued attending Berkeley High and hanging out with the crew every day. It was a regular thing to go from school to my mom’s basement where the makeshift studio was, record until 7 or 8, ride the bus back into San Francisco and wash up somewhere around 10 at my dad’s apartment. Peek lived out by Eclipse, in the Union City area, and they were friends, so that’s how we got down with the Mixed Practice crew. Eclipse tells me now that he got real tight when Peek played him some of my stuff, like “who is this other young dude out here with beats??” Karma’s brother Wayne knew Corey/BFAP from the Mystik Journeymen, so we got down with them around ’94 or so, but I think they probably saw us as like, young’uns in the game. We met Kirby around then as well, up at UC Berkeley at KALX – Karma had gone up there with BFAP from the Journeymen. While BFAP was kind of cool on the kid, it was obvious he had incredible talent. Kirby, originally from East Oakland, had spent many years in Stockton prior to coming to Berkeley… had kind of a checkered past, but it turned out he and Karma knew some folks in common from up that way. We would hang out and freestyle in his dorm room but we hadn’t really clicked up in a formal way yet, like we would later.


          Even though our style was more on the “backpack”/”houser” thing, a lot of the cats in the crew had street ties, we just didn’t really put it out there like that. It was more a thing you wanted to get away from, if you had ever been close enough to see it. The one exception was The Mental Patients – featured here on “Mental Anxieties” – who were some real street cats from South Berkeley, North Oakland, and East Oakland. But they’d come through, we’d smoke, lay down some music, no drama ever. They weren’t really a part of the crew per se but they showed love, would share smoke or even muscle if it was needed (which, on a couple of occasions, it was). Good dudes. Any time there was beef you had an assemblage of dudes from West Side and South Side Berkeley as well as North Oakland and parts of the east as well. We rolled deep.


          The Ascension crew only lasted but so long, though, and at a certain point, friendly competition turned into beef. Dudes started talking behind each others’ backs, trying to create little allegiances and whatever… just childish stuff but you know we were, at the time, anywhere from 14-18 years old. Embassy and Karma, long rivals in the cipher, came to blows and everyone went their separate ways. I spent several months recording my own material, thinking I’d record my own demo/album, maybe sell it like the Journeymen and Mixed Practice and the other guys I was meeting around the scene at that time. That stuff never got released anywhere, with only one track turning up on 30 Days; much of it is featured here.

          In the summer of 1995, Karma and I were both working in San Francisco. He was interning at Polygram - Polygram had an office in San Francisco! We patched up and started working on what would become 30 Days & A Plane Ticket, our first “real” tape – the title owing to the fact that I was moving to New York City 30 days from when we started. Karma’s style, originally an old school, laid back flow, and at one point a bone of contention amongst the more east coast-influenced crew, had developed into a this tripped out, cerebral scattershot of politics, hood slang, conspiracy theories, and 5% math. A cat he rolled with called Bay-Bay came up with the name Kemetic Suns. At that time, though, it was basically just a loose affiliation of folks we rolled with, some of whom didn’t make music at all. It was just a crew in the loosest sense. Kirby was down at that point, but I don’t recall meeting Hypnotic (another crew member) until 1996 or so, beyond the point at which this comp comes to an end.
          Honestly I don’t know what people will think of this stuff. I’m opening myself up which is always a risk. I think we had some talent. We never made a huge mark, despite being really prolific – due mostly to my ability to record. I had the good fortune to hold onto most of my old sessions. I’m sure there’s a ton of amazing stuff out there that has disappeared… I’ve certainly been met with that response as I’ve sought out material by other groups of the time. We wore our influences on our sleeves – but as kids, that’s just part of developing your own style. Back then, it wasn’t about features, or placements, or even tape sales really – just a bunch of cats doing music. That’s what the underground tape thing was really about. I can think of no better way to illustrate that.”

          The Bombshelter Download

          When To Walk Away Pt. 2

          Preview to The Long Goodbye 

          For a very long time my identity and self perspective was shaped by being a member of a family that made music. Had our parents been born in the Carribean in the 60′s and repatriated to the UK, we probably would have been Cymande. Had it been London in the late 40′s we might have been Pink Floyd. I have heard arguments that place us around the world and at different movements. As it shaped out, we were birthed into the 70′s and grew up in the 80′s in the east bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. In particular, we all cut our teeth in the “small island in the sea of night” known as Berkeley. In 1995 we started our collective and independent label we called Kemetic Suns Massive.

          There was a time to that time in particular that I would be hard pressed to try to recreate with words. As much as I pride myself on my ability to write into existence, I don’t think I could accurately give the feeling or emotional connection we had to what we were doing. There was different a zeitgeist of sorts as it was the mid-1990s and hip hop was becoming a billion dollar way of telling young people what to do. Perhaps it was the influence of Apple vs Wintel happening in our backyard of Silicon Valley. Maybe there was a factor around welfare reform, new banking models and a sense that another gold rush had come to San Francisco. It could be the influence of self determined cultural giants such as MC Hammer, Too Short, E-40 and Mac Dre who were uncompromising in their independence and standards.
          I don’t have the bandwidth or desire to try to explain what brought us to the music or together. Many of these thoughts have laid hidden from me for decades by my own doing. I think my brother does a much better job of describing us here:

          Bomb Shelter
          Then there was also the concept of newly emerging technologies such as samplers, sequencers and non-lineal audio recording. That and the fact that as teenager I stumbled into being an active member of something that would later become called the Internet as well as progenitor of social media. Do not take my word for anything. There are far better curators involved:

          It's Cheaper Than A CD

          In terms of a business model we were decidedly clear that we would do everything in house. EVERY THING. Tapes, cds, vinyl, t-shirts. Production, engineering, management, promotion. Our greatest asset was each other. I treated the collective like my martial arts gym (which I mistakenly left in pursuit of a full time music career) in that training each other on every aspect made us well rounded, disciplined and allowed us to bring in new skills. The majority of the good work is based on our willingness to skip past barriers in terms of booking, promotion and retail:

          From 1995 to 1998 we made 15 different projects ranging from EP to LPs to even putting out one of the first audio books for spoken word and poetry. I can’t speak for anyone else but I actually thought we were going to change the world. Given that our model was more of a social enterprise than a record label or entertainment company. Many of our members were previously homeless, from foster homes and/or faced with tons of barriers toward economic independence. My father, who was and will always be the bare minimum of excellence I strive for, ran a non profit that provided legal services to the poor who couldn’t afford to fight unlawful evictions, custody battles and discrimination. Without explicitly knowing we were into job training, Koncepts and I were adamant that these roles at House Kemetic Suns become employment. 
          In 1997, Kirby got an opportunity to study abroad in DC at Howard. He would ride the train to Harlem and record with Koncepts, which later became Konceptual Dominance.

          During that time, myself, Hypnotic and Per Aa were doing shows all over northern and central California. Literally from as far as Humbolt to San Luis Obisbo. Initially I only had the Fundamentals material I could perform and Hypnotic had his guest appearances as as he worked on his album. When all of the Suns met up in winter 1997, Koncepts played us Flawless Execution.

          As soon as I heard it I knew what it was: Konceptual Dominance. In a time when we could hear everyone else punching in every bar, these two were going for 16 bars with flurries full of flow, punchline, presence and brilliant topics. I knew this was going to be a game changer. To be fair all we did was game changers, whether or not it was quality. Innovation and newness led the day. In response, Hypnotic pulled out the dusty tape of 8-track mix downs of the routines he and I were doing when we ran out of material on stage. I had slices of dub tracks and science fiction movie soundtracks as the thumbnails of beats we were rapping over. The crew loved it and named us Ka Auditron Ba. We were given the mandate to finish our project to release it after Konceptual Dominance and set up for the Kemetic Suns album. Ka Auditron Ba worked for the next year to finish our project called The Final Conflict. 3 label deals, 4 tours, 21 tracks and it was never released as promised. Somewhere in there I just walked away. 

          For the few souls who are clever enough to see me on the street and figure out who I am, the question is always the same:

          1) Why was the Auditrons never released?

          2) What happened to the Kemetic Suns?

          As 2017 is here and I do away with old things, avoiding answering these questions is one of those things I will let go. The answers in part III

          When To Walk Away Pt.3

          Preview to The Long Goodbye
          “I’m an A-U-D-I-O”

          There was a friendly competition we all adhered to when we started. Ultimately it was about the four of us: me, Koncepts, Kirby and Hypnotic being able to freestyle against each other for hours. I mean HOURS. At that time we thought we were okay, retrospect made me realize we were pretty high level. Much of the energy of that competition played out in the dynamics we had with one another outside of the music. Kirby was the master of partnership, I understood project management, Koncepts was our in house technical and Hypnotic did our sales. We were a much larger collective once, at one time being 15 people deep if you counted the affiliates in New York and Texas as well as the younger cats we were mentoring. There is also an argument in there about how influential and selfless cats like Bas1, Eclipse427 (Walt Liquor), Peekaboo and Infamous were so they could be Kemetic Suns. Plus there is a whole other tangent on how strong our ties were to MURS.
          Quite accidently, Kirby and Koncepts together were very good as ambassadors. They travelled a lot, they showed up to events and they were able to get our sound into the heads of real decision makers who made sure our records ended up on mix shows, college radio and features. This is part of the reason Konceptual Dominance made so much sense. On the opposite tip, Hypnotic and I were doing shows and selling merchandise direct to customers (fans). I had a pretty high ethical standard which I realize now was a serious handicap for our business in terms of being in the music industry. Other groups could trash the stage, steal from the bar, go over their time or intimidate the promoter into moving them up on the lineup. I never wanted to get too involved in that type of grimy dealings because it was dumb logic to me – if we were going to go that route, forget the music and let’s go back to the streets.

          That was another issue we were confronting. Many of the people rapping at the time all came from middle class backgrounds and had a parachute lined up for them afterwards. Koncepts and I tried to address that on Stop The World (the song itself). Where as many crews were diverse economically and ethnically, we were diverse economically but most of our members were two steps from the streets. Meaning we had convinced them to let go of their old hustles in lieu of legitimate enterprises that would be promoted by House Kemetic Suns. It was always a struggle. We didn’t always win. As the founder of the collective, I had the tendency to be the loudest voice in the room even if I actually wanted a democracy. In fact I remember always talking about being the bigger person and breaking up some many beefs. Then one night in winter of 1996, I confronted a mask bound rapper about some personal violations he made in my life. In his drunken indignation, he replied he was not responsible for his actions and he might kill me. I lost it and told him to put up his hands. He had 12 tiny people holding him back, the Suns just watched to make sure nobody jumped me from behind. We never got into it but he knew that night like I know this day that if it went down he was going to end up in the ER. The problem was we had crossed a bridge; our music was never going to be bohemian again and I had lost the credibility to tell my crew to “walk away”. In fact, we turned the ship and headed directly into the storm.

          There are some background elements to understand before going in. If Konceptual Dominance was the equivalent of two tenured professors doing panel discussion on human behavior through hip hop, Ka Auditron Ba was the essence of two battle rappers getting their own satellite and broadcasting a 24 hour signal based on the lifestyle trying to prevent a cataclysm. We pulled from everything important to us at the time. Both Hypnotic and I were avid Marvel fans. We owned tons of comics. I read a lot of science fiction and watched a lot of movies. Hypnotic was really into documentaries. At the time I was able to study under Mr. Obenga which deeply changed my life and I was able to see firsthand the aspirations of the progenitors of the Nile Valley culture. Meanwhile Hypnotic’s mother was a reggae journalist and therefore gave him access to elders. One in particular who really influenced us was Scientist. Aside from demystifying much of the Rastafarian thought process beyond the generics and tropes, Scientist gave us the template.


          Thus began the goal of creating an identity: we would outperform. The analogy of individuals who take and never gave back became “vampires”. We knew because we didn’t play the politics game we were hard pressed to get headline bookings in the Bay Area because of the co-opting of the scene happening. Simply put, I was going to kiss anyone’s ass, the big names were haters and Hypnotic was doing things behind the scene that made these dudes shook. If we couldn’t get the midnight spot or the top name of the flyer, we wanted the 1130pm slot and we wanted to be second on the flyer. It was Scientist who told us to open with The Voodoo Curse that we transformed into the chant to take over the crowd: “We are……the Kemetic Suns….” It didn’t matter WHO was the headliner. Our goal was to create and perform music that stole the show. It happened time after time after time. We would watch crews argue with the promoter: “don’t put Kemetic Suns on before us….they tire out the crowd”. The promoter would come to us and Hypnotic would say “don’t worry we’re just the Auditrons”.

          There is most of the recordings on Soundcloud. I am not sure if everything is awesome. I know I was rapping in the top 10 list at the time but I am not sure if everything we did was incredible. There are some tracks that really move me and Koncepts. I pinged him to get his take on our favorites from the project:

          Karma: Resonance was a tribute to Scientist but all scientists in general. We knew there was some connection between innovation and audio engineering happening from the Jamaican sound clashes to NYC hip hop to what we were actually doing with the drum machine and ASR vocal effects when we performed. This is a perfect example of the routines we would do. Back and forths that would whip the crowd into a frenzy as an opener. Also the djs loved it because it was heavy with break beats and juggling. FYI, this is Neal Degrasse Tyson narrating before you all knew how great he was. I pulled it from a vhs compilation my father got me because of our shared loved of astronomy.

          Koncepts: this beat don’t make no fucking sense. I didn’t make it. but it always killed at shows. watching people try to catch the beat count was comedy. this shit is in like 11/8 or something. Ka and Ba had that rapid-fire flow where they could make it work and trade off like they were freestyling. It’s pretty incredible, actually.

          Karma: Black Elevation Station was supposed to be the crunk remix to All Terrain for Internal Symmetry. My father was from the south and I loved southern hip hop. Not just the obvious stuff like Dungeon Family, Geto Boys and UGK. I listened to obscure material most didn’t know about. When I heard this beat I said its smobb music but it’s not southern. At that time, the stuff I was doing with the internet was getting some nods. I was brought to speak at Stanford to a couple of student groups. The idea of creating one’s own content distribution was intoxicating but we were talking to a couple investors who were interested in buying a satellite and setting up a station in San Francisco. When the deal went through, like so many to come after, Hypnotic suggest we just act like it was still going and we had our station on a satellite we owned.

          Koncepts: I had this track early on in the process but added to it along the way. a lot of the keys and stuff came in later. I used a few different samples but kept them all in key, I was known for melodic beats but one thing about the west coast style and the Bay underground in particular was this kind of mystical ass sound but with slapping drums. so this was like that, some psychedelic guitar and synths, but at a higher tempo and some 808 sounds. What Ka and Ba did with it was sick, exactly what I had envisioned it for, they flowed perfectly on the beat. A mix of paranoia and toughness in the lyrics. I think I added the later stuff when they were in the studio with the session players - I wasn’t really involved in that and I wanted to tune up my own stuff to keep pace.

          Karma: Tapes. Koncepts and I would send each other tapes a couple times a year. He was attending NYU while I was at SFSU. Most of the beats on the tapes he would send would end up on some project: Ambershine, Internal Symmetry, Konceptual Dominance or the Auditrons. Most of the beats I would send back were rough but he would tweak some of them and they would end up on his solo stuff, my ill fated solo album, Prayze The Sun or Internal Symmetry. This beat was clearly for Hypnotic and I. He even put it on the tape. It was Koncepts at his most genius Smokey Robinson. He could hear something we couldn’t in ourselves. He made sure he was with us when we wrote to it. When he started playing it on the speakers, he prompted us with “show them how the flow never ends”. He wanted to play with some of the Nommo concepts of embracing the silence in the groove as well as the volatility in the drums. We were always sure to write what the beat wanted not what we wanted. Soon as Hypnotic mumbled “its vital that you follow our path that is spiral” a voice spoke to me with the chorus. I looked up from the pad and said “I’m an A-U-D-I-O”. At first they didn’t get it, but I wouldn’t stop. When I saw their eyes light up after the third repetition, we knew did something. This might be my favorite memory of music.

          Koncepts: this is definitely the big one. coulda maybe done some numbers. had all the elements. smoothed out but conscious, a hook you can understand and repeat… the label Ka & Ba were messing with brought this into a bigger studio and I was able to add the live guitar and percussion. But they had a boy band and brought them in to do background vocals… kind of not what I had envisioned, image-wise. it worked for the sound, as far as that was concerned. The label was just trying to get on a vehicle for their boy band though. They kept trying to push them into the mix of what we were doing and I had to step away from that situation. that’s one of the things that messed with the delicate equilibrium of the project and the crew.

          Karma: There was a lot of money to be made being an independent rap group if you were willing to compromise. We weren’t. Managers would tell us we were unmanageable; too head strong and not needy enough. We made far less money than we should have based on our morals and pride. The way to keep the boat afloat was to subsidize the business model with pieces of my check. At first I worked at a smoothie shop that got bought, stole all my recipes and became Jamba Juice; different story for a different time. That wasn’t going to work for me. Doing minimum wage at a mall. Also in my young fiery mind, “how does this help my people?” I got into working for a few non-profits and did harm reduction outreach – needle exchange, violence prevention and street worker advocacy. I was seeing young people being mistreated as wards of the state.

          Hypnotic was doing group home work given he had been in one himself. We would trade stories about the issues we were seeing with young people and the bureaucracy. More and more it felt like young people were being experimented on rather than treated or helped. Both of us had some experience at young age in terms of “recruitment” that made us a bit more suspicious. Now with the popularity of Stranger Things, Hunger Games and Ender’s Game, it doesn’t seem so far fetched. I know.

          Maybe there was also a piece of falling into the formula. Doing it every time because it worked last time. I remember be asked “whats the sci fi movie song on this album?” well before we even wrote Cryosleep. It’s possible we had become trope.

          Koncepts plays the bass on this. That’s why its so rich.

          When To Walk Away Pt.4

          Preview to The Long Goodbye

          Karma: There was this great kung fu western flick my god brother Kenny brought over called All Men Are Brothers: Blood of the Leopard which was adaptation of the Chinese classic Water Margin. It was the story of a high level government official who must choose between his position and his allegiance to a rough street monk who is very anti-corruption in the government. It represented so many relationships at that time. My god brother Wayne was really loud and boisterous, but when I was around he was always calming me down to learn discretion. When he died of cancer in 1997 it put a large hole in my heart. Somehow I ended up becoming that person that was calming folks down and was caught between the diplomacy and the ethical outrage of the people I was around. We would leave shows in San Jose, San Luis Obispo or San Antonio. It would be 3am as we drove home. Somehow at every gas station there was a group of young men about to fight. Somehow there was some kid at an IHOP looking at his pager like “I’m going to get revenge”. Somehow I always seemed to put myself in the middle and talk them down. Somehow I never got shot.

          Koncepts: just a perfect song man. we were all really vibrating on the same frequency. I love the little glass clinks and crowd ambiance from the sample. and the kick drum knocks so hard. that’s that Bay Area shit man, a mellow ass sample and deep bass.

          Karma: We would perform a lot in the “hip hop” room at raves. That was the culture of the 90’s. Hypnotic hated it because he didn’t feel techno. However to be quite honest, the women at raves were thousand times better looking and more stable than the women who went to hip hop. The baddest of them used to hang in the “jungle” room – a rough amalgamation of actual jungle, trip hop, drum and base as well as what would eventually be dub step. Kirby and I loved going back forth over those beats. We could rap for hours over the stuff. For me it brought me home to Jupiter, Florida. It put me in the red clay of Georgia. It gave me the woods of Mississippi. I loved obscure southern rap and especially enjoyed the bounce aspect. I also appreciated the underestimation that California and New York put upon southern rap. It paralleled the mistake many crews in the Bay ran into. They dissed us on tape, we responded by snatching the mics at their show and serving them. Then they took it outside to battle and got demolished. Then they wanted to throw hands and lost there too. This track is a narrative to that. At the time we wouldn’t have seen it that way.

          Koncepts: I feel a way about this song. It’s fucking amazing - the beat, the rhymes, the hook… my god. and when we dropped this at a show? bedlam. but it has a kind of ignoble history. My partner Zvi and I had this Delia Gartrell 45, which is this brutal ballad about a woman’s son dying in the Vietnam war, and we chopped it real slow. Zvi had the idea of chopping up Skull Snaps and doing a bounce pattern with it. It was unique, no one was doing bounce drums with samples, especially not old school breakbeats. Anyway, we kinda fucked up the money because we also gave this track to Mazzi [rapper with our other group the Soul Purpose] and it was like, ok, let’s see who does what with it… Mazzi made an incredible track called “1 and 9” about being from the hood in Jersey. It was super ill. So we had this issue, who could use the beat? Nobody even cares about shit like that anymore, but back then it was a real problem. Zvi wanted to roll with Mazzi’s version, I was on the fence. Anyway, I feel like that disagreement was another one that ended up torpedoing the project. And what’s sad is that neither song ever came out - the Soul Purpose project fell apart not too long after and the album we were working on never made it out of the demo stage. Nowadays I prefer “Ashes” to “1 and 9”. But at the time I couldn’t call it.

          Karma: Perhaps the most honest writing anyone was doing in (w)rap™ at that age. I was in my early twenties trying to understand what it meant to be a man while facing a divorce like end to my long term relationship. There were some rules we made up to protect our esteem. One of them was we wouldn’t date women we met in the industry because it led to hardship later. I think that put so much expectation on the women we fell in love with outside of music that when those relationships crumbled it hurt us even more. On top of which, Hypnotic and I were facing this same debacle every time: why does it seem like self-control and discipline gets punished. Simply put, we both were in faithful parties in long term relationships that ended when our romantic partners were not faithful. That combined with life in show biz, turned us bitter when we stuck to the honor code. 

          Koncepts: this beat is mad mournful with that one drawn out note that descends and ascends in the chords. I used an SP1200 on a lot of the Auditron drums courtesy of my partner Zvi and you can hear the programming gets a lot better and the drums are chunkier. Ka and Ba perfectly wrote this for how the beat felt to me. Vulnerable and hurt but still standing strong. It’s a shame the project never came out because there are so many tracks that I felt were just the perfect distillation of a feeling, this was one of those. Probably my personal favorite now.

          Koncepts: I love this song man. Ba really showed his heart on it. And it takes skill to rap over something like this which is kinda mellow and laid back but not like, sad or down. the loop just gets me in a zone; very based. this might have been an intro beat or slated for Per Aa Ra’s project originally. There were earlier takes that I felt like Ba nailed it a bit better. But you couldn’t save takes back then and we had that stupid belief that a) we have to deliver everything in one take and b) we can definitely do the next one better. so it goes.

          Karma: I remember when this was done and I would drive around with mix downs, this was the soundtrack to getting through traffic. It became synonymous with “things are going to be all right”. I struggled for many years to explain what this meant without falling into esoteric answers or metaphysics. One thing my Dad was very good at impressing upon me was “don’t feed steak to children” meaning don’t waste your time trying to explain complexities people don’t want to learn. In of myself, I was learning how to be more efficient and not waste my time. This song really gave folks a sense of optimism.

          Karma: Why a final conflict? One thing I have come to terms with and this album should evidence – I can see things before they happen. I am not going to spend a single second of time on weirdos defending it. I will just state – people were downloading music from www.kemeticsuns.comthree years before Napster. Towards the middle of 1997, something was changing in the Bay Area. I was starting to get fans who worked at something called a “tech company” who would invite me to work as a contractor. They had website that had millions behind them but they couldn’t tell you what they did all day. They wanted to pay me to tell them what was cool. More and more I saw a reliance on machines as the new free labor. The dot come boom was becoming a second gold rush and I was aware it had it limits. In 2017, the largest obstacle facing the American worker is not automation. It is the perception that automation demands a better quality of life for all. There are some very good thinkers on this subject but I would direct attention at Berkeley’s own Phillip K. Dick, Frank Herbert and William Gibson.

          The point being, the matter of artificial intelligence is not an if, it’s a when. Once this consciousness evolves, it will split in its belief systems. If humans can be cruel, please believe there are machine gods that can be crueler. I am reminded of the quote by Francis de la Rochefoucauld, “Man believes he has abandoned his vices when in fact they abandoned him long ago”. Now looking at where we are with a new year, self driving cars and a new a president, I suspect we are at the placed I had hoped to avoid. Maybe there are some jewels in here for our fans in the years to come.
          The album in its entirety is below:

          When To Walk Away Pt.5

          Preview to The Long Goodbye


          Ultimately I believe it was this album that transitioned the Kemetic Suns. We didn’t break up. We didn’t quit. We moved on. The stresses of this album may have been too much. These songs were performed a lot and got us two label deals. Both deals had the same dynamic: this is GREAT. Then you get into the studio to re-record everything and the labels sends in their composition army to get hands on your publishing. Once the songs are done, the contract amendment comes and it requires 36 months of touring with a live band to play all the songs the label wants additions to with $30k of tour support split among 8 people. How many times do you do the same scenario before reaching insanity? How many times do you get bumped from your show time and not want to snap on everyone from the promoter to the venue? How many times do you choke a promoter for the money for your show money, plane ticket money, hotel money and per diem only to go on stage rapping about helping people before your mind fizzles? More and more. Also there was a reality that Koncepts and I came to realize at SXSW in 2001. We hated the road. Touring was living on the road. Living on the road was being a grown latch key kid stuck between parent’s homes. It was miserable. At 16 I was already thinking like a 26 year old. Imagine where my head was at 24, being asked to make drunk and high 19 year olds of suburbia happy on stage for 45 minutes night after night. Most of the guys who adored that life look like Larry Holmes now – flabby, sick, soft and slow to answer. Meanwhile Eclipse and I were making much larger checks pulling strings behind the scenes without needing to be in the spotlight.


          Perhaps the final moment for me was August 2004 when I discovered my mother couldn’t walk. She could barely eat much less explain the pain she was in. After seeing over twenty different doctors, it was clear my mother would need surgery and would need a full time caregiver. I made the announcement to the Kemetic Suns that I was bowing out to free up time for my mother. Mostly everyone was supportive. I disappeared as quickly as I emerged. During this time Kirby and Hypnotic did their Kirb and Chris album


          In June of 2005, my father was diagnosed with stage two Alzheimer’s dementia. The doctor took his license on the spot and told us to focus on “quality of life” because they didn’t expect him to live past two years. My mother’s illness combined with my father’s diagnosis and the demons of the road pushed me over the edge. I crawled inside a bottle for a time. I was convinced that I had hurt my parents with my music. I burned my rhyme pads and decided to never write a rap again. When I emerged I had a new path and oath to keep to my father.


          Over the next five years, I became a new person in learning to go from being a Kemetic Sun to being the best son I could be. I found that many of the skills I learned through the music, were transferrable to helping my father. I also learned a great deal about my willpower, drive and commitment. My father was and is my world. My reason for being. A strong, hard, magician of a man who was loved by all he came across; even his enemies had to respect him. In 1995 when I handed my father a copy of 30 Daze and A Plane Ticket I had no idea the journey I would take. When I asked him what he thought, he played the Daddy Please skit for me and asked if I was talking to him. I vehemently denied it but I was deeply hurt that he thought I was airing him out. I shouted him out at the end of the album but he didn’t seem to hear that. I don’t think he believed me. That never set well with me.

          Quality Of Life

          When my father died, I had a brand new appreciation. I couldn’t just nod. I had to act. I knew he deserved some act to offset the notion that a song had been laid against him. I began writing songs about caring for my father. When things got very bad, Koncepts and Peek started sending me beats. I don’t know why. They don’t either. We are all being polite around the fact that they were worried about me. I would drive my father around to different appointments and play the beats that I was given. Music was good for my father’s moods. During the late nights in the emergency room, I wrote science fiction in my head. This project ended up becoming The Paper Thrones. During the mornings when I was trying to pay for everything, I wrote rhymes as I drove. The combination opened my eyes to the amount of people who were just starting the journey I was on. More and more I saw signs of millions of people caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s and no one speaking for them; or to them. I knew I had to say goodbye to you fans, to my father and to any hold this disease thinks it may have over me. I will not die of Alzheimer’s. If I do, it is because I went down fighting and I hurt the hell out of it.

          Sometime in the near future I will release to you this tribute called The Long Goodbye. A 21 track album that is both a tribute to my father and also my way of closure with the people I meet who tell me how much good Kemetic Suns did for their lives. This will be the solo album the fans were promised. It absolutely sounds like a Kemetic Suns album; I am told it sounds like a grown man Ambershine. I have ZERO interest in selling the album. My goal is to see how money we can raise to fight Alzheimer’s using this album. Some simple value proposition such as “If you donate $1 to this cause, you get a code to download the album”.

          I hope this answered the questions. I hope this gave you what you were looking for. I hope you will join me one last time for The Long Goodbye.

          Links to the original posts on Karma's website.

                    Global Medical Videoscopes Market Will Reach USD 22.77 Billion by 2022: Zion Market Research   

          Sarasota, FL, June 30, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zion Market Research has published a new report titled "Medical Videoscopes Market by Product (Videoscopes and Visualization Systems), For Gastrointestinal, Arthroscopy, Laparoscopy, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Urology Endoscopy (Cystoscopy), Bronchoscopy, Mediastinoscopy, Otoscopy, Laryngoscope and Others: Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast, 2016 - 2022". According to the report, the global medical videoscopes market accounted for USD 15.34 Billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 22.77 Billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of around 6.8% between 2017 and 2022. 

          The Medical Videoscopes market is growing at a fast pace. Videoscope has a wide range of application in medical procedures with minimal invasiveness which is expected as the major driving factor of this market within the forecast period. Increasing incidences of gastrointestinal diseases, increasing healthcare expenditure, shifting towards more cost effective healthcare solutions and the introduction of various healthcare reforms are some of the significant factors expected to fuel the growth in this market. However, the high cost of medical videoscopes and lack of skilled professionals are the restraints of this market.In spite of these barriers, emerging markets in developing regions like Asia-Pacific can be an opportunity in this market.

          Browse through 31 Market Tables and 48 Figures spread through 110 Pages and in-depth TOC on "Global Medical Videoscopes Market: By Type, Application, Size, Share, Trends, Analysis and Forecast 2016 – 2022".

          Request Free Sample copy of Global Medical Videoscopes Market Report @

          North America dominated the global medical videoscopes market and accounted for the largest ...

          Full story available on

                    Civicom Webinar Tackles New EU-US Privacy Shield Framework and PII Privacy Protection Strategies   

          Leading global marketing research solutions provider Civicom is offering a webinar entitled “Update on the New EU-US Privacy Shield and Overcoming Emerging Roadblocks to Managing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) for Marketing Research Respondents.” The webinar will be held several times between June 21-June 24.

          (PRWeb June 14, 2016)

          Read the full story at

                    Transfer Rater: Andrew Robertson to Liverpool, Ander Herrera to Barcelona   
          The latest transfer rumours from around the world. Things change in the blink of an eye in football.&nbsp;The Football Whispers&nbsp;Index takes the latest transfer rumours and gives them a score out of five; the higher the score, the more realistic and reliable the whisper. Here are today's top five emerging whispers for the summer. And keep an eye on&nbsp;Transfer Talk&nbsp;for all the latest gossip. Alex Sandro to Chelsea It's no secret Antonio Conte wants to sign Alex Sandro for Chelsea. The Juventus left-back has proved himself as one of the...
                    Continental Posts 2016 Annual & 2017 Interim Quarter Results   

          VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Continental Energy Corporation (OTCQB: CPPXF) (the "Company") an emerging developer of conventional and alternative energy capacity integrated with upstream and downstream petroleum supply within the Republic of Indonesia...

                    Comment on Open for Nominations: 2017 PCCP Emerging Investigator Lectureship by Ricardo Lane   
          I am excited to have had discovered YouTV Player. Seriously man, I used to get so bored before coming across this app. It is easy to use and offers tons of cartoons, TV shows and films to choose from. Once a while I end up discovering great shows too, and keep recommending it to everyone. Try out the new app if you haven't already.
                    Wereldwijde schulden naar nieuw record van $217 biljoen   

          De wereldwijde schulden bereikten in het eerste kwartaal van dit jaar een nieuw record van omgerekend $217 biljoen, zo schrijft het Institute of International Finance (IIF) in haar nieuwste rapport. Daarmee hebben de schulden een omvang van 327% ten opzichte van het wereldwijde bbp.

          Vergeleken met tien jaar geleden zijn de wereldwijde schulden met meer dan $60 biljoen toegenomen, een stijging die grotendeels veroorzaakt is door de Verenigde Staten, China en andere opkomende markten.


          Wereldwijde schulden opnieuw toegenomen (Bron: IIF)

          Na het uitbreken van de kredietcrisis was 'deleveraging' het toverwoord, het afbouwen van schulden. We zijn nu ruim acht jaar verder en we kunnen concluderen dat eigenlijk het tegenovergestelde gebeurd is. Nieuwe schulden werden een belangrijke motor voor economische groei, waarbij vooral China een indrukwekkende inhaalslag maakte.

          Sinds het uitbreken van de crisis zijn de totale schulden in China bijna verdubbeld, van 160% naar meer dan 300% van de totale omvang van de Chinese economie. Vooral bedrijven hebben veel nieuwe schulden op zich genomen, omdat het door de lage rente aantrekkelijker werd om groei te financieren met obligaties dan met de uitgifte van nieuwe aandelen.

          Vooral in China zijn de schulden na de crisis sterk toegenomen (Bron: IIF)

          Na het uitbreken van de crisis kwam het herstel in eerste instantie uit de opkomende economieën. Dat is geen toeval, als je bedenkt dat juist in die landen de schulden na de crisis van 2008 explosief begonnen toe te nemen. De volgende grafiek laat zien hoe de obligatiemarkt van opkomende economieën zich de afgelopen twintig jaar heeft ontwikkeld.

          Obligatiemarkt opkomende landen heeft zich razendsnel ontwikkeld (Bron: IIF)

          Worden de schulden onhoudbaar?

          Door het extreem ruime monetaire beleid van centrale banken is de schuldenbubbel aanzienlijk toegenomen. Niet alleen in de opkomende economieën, maar zelfs in de olieproducerende landen. Door een overschot aan productiecapaciteit op de wereldwijde oliemarkt zagen verschillende oliestaten in het Midden-Oosten zich genoodzaakt obligaties uit te geven. Het Institute of International Finance verwacht dat deze landen de komende jaren nog veel meer geld zullen moeten lenen om de begroting rond te krijgen.

          De steeds hogere schuldposities van landen en bedrijven maken de economieën kwetsbaar voor een stijging van de rente. Juist nu de schulden op recordniveau staan willen centrale banken de rente weer verhogen. Dat kan wel eens vervelende consequenties hebben voor het herstel van de economie, dat gebaseerd is op beschikbaarheid van goedkoop geld.

                    Market Analysis: Top 10 Best Game Developers In 2016   
          The gaming market is a rich and flourishing pool of emerging artists and designers from all over the world. Actually, becoming an appreciated designer of video games is more related to the idea of art rather than of any other type of job. Techniques, personal skills, competence, imagination and inspiration are the basic ingredients to […]
                    iVEDiX Recognized as Hot Vendor in New Digital Business Platforms Market by Aragon Research; Demand for Differentiating Digital Solution Puts iVEDiX at Forefront   

          The rise of digital implementations and explosion of data brought on by emerging technologies creates opportunity, but can represent challenges. iVEDiX's Digital Business Platform is designed to address these challenges giving users a mobile environment to explore data and streamline business processes.

          (PRWeb August 18, 2016)

          Read the full story at

                    Debt Crisis: Etisalat Chairman, Hakeem Belo-Osagie resigns   

          The Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria Limited, Hakeem Bello-Osagie, has resigned his position following the approval of a restructuring plan for the telecommunications firm.

          A statement obtained by this newspaper confirmed the development, saying the decision followed “the approval of a restructuring plan for the telecommunications firm.”

          Mr. Bello-Osagie, the one-time Chairman of the United Bank for Africa, UBA, was the surviving shareholder in the embattled mobile operator currently embroiled in a $1.2 billion (about N377.4 billion) loan repayment crisis with a consortium of 13 Nigerian banks.

          He was the promoter of Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services, EMTS, which controlled 15 per cent of the equity holding of the company

          His resignation followed the withdrawal, two weeks ago, of the company’s major shareholder, Emirates Telecommunications Group Company, which announced the decision to quit effective June 15, 2017.


          The post Debt Crisis: Etisalat Chairman, Hakeem Belo-Osagie resigns appeared first on TheIcon.

                    Alison Jacques Gallery exhibits works by emerging Scarborough-based artist Jade Montserrat   
          Alison Jacques Gallery is presenting Towards The Rainbow Tribe by emerging Scarborough-based artist, Jade Montserrat. This performance and project in the upstairs gallery includes a selection of watercolours and the artist’s new performance No Need For Clothing (2017). The work will be performed by Montserrat on the opening night and will continue to be screened throughout the exhibition. Montserrat works at the intersection of art and activism through performance, film, installation, sculpture, print and text. The artist interrogates these mediums with the aim to expose gaps in our visual and linguistic habits. Her text works take inspiration from an extensive rolling bibliography including writers Hannah Arendt, Ntozake Shange, Caryl Philips, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, bell hooks and Zora Neale Hurston. The title of the exhibition is taken
                    steve hutchinson added a discussion to the group Ascension Support Group   
          steve hutchinson added a discussion to the group Ascension Support Group

          Patience Brings Divine Timing By Shanta Gabriel ... And ... Radiant Waves ... And ... Secure Yourself In The Divine Peace & Stillness In Your Heart

          rPatience Brings Divine Timing By Shanta Gabriel We are drawing on the compassionate and timeless wisdom of The Gabriel Messages to provide insight and inspiration that we can apply every day of our lives. For this week, the message from Archangel Gabriel suggests that we remember how important patience is for bringing Alignment into our lives.  The Gabriel Message Card for this Week Without Patience you can never understand the meaning of Divine Timing. Patience is so tricky sometimes. It is often difficult to surrender to how Life is transpiring when it's uncomfortable. Divine Timing is a natural law. Life becomes easier when we wait and remember...for everything there is a season. Having patience is difficult for most people. Sometimes I wonder if it is inertia, that we just get on a roll and find it hard to stop. I have had times when it did not seem possible for me to slow down, because it felt like there was so much to do. Life gets very stressful in those moments. But how much time does it actually take to slow down enough to breathe a little deeper, stop for one minute to put my hands on my heart to feel that inner sense of coherence? If I can remember my alignment to Source energy, my whole being changes and I feel so much more connected and grounded. This one-minute process can change our consciousness and bring us back into the wisdom of the heart. There is no way to encourage Divine Timing to move faster. Allowing yourself to have the patience to breathe more deeply and feel at home in yourself helps you to be more at peace with the situations in front of you and allow benevolent outcomes to unfold. In those times when I try to push against the flow of Divine Timing, technology goes haywire and nothing works right. Sometimes I can't move forward until I give myself the time to go for a walk so I can relax into feeling more spacious in Nature. This spaciousness allows me to move into an expanded perspective and provides a lovely experience of being supported and inspired by the beauty in the world. Being in Nature raises my vibrational frequency and allows me to feel happy and uplifted. The process of creation is simplified when I give myself this space. I love Hatha Yoga. It teaches me about slowing down and allowing as well as strengthens my body. One of the things that amazes me is what a metaphor yoga is for life. The continuous deeply connected breaths that are suggested during a yoga class permeate my being, so when I finish the class I am more grounded and patient. Sometimes I have gone to class in a resistant mood, believing I don't have time to slow down. But within the first 10 minutes or so, my concentration is focused on my breath and allowing my body to stretch quietly and gently. My mind calms down and I feel fully in my body for the first time that day. My whole yoga class becomes a lesson for allowing things to happen without strain. For these reasons, doing an energetic practice like Hatha Yoga, QiGong or Tai Chi can be incredibly helpful in these challenging times. Not surprisingly, I leave class and everything that needs to be done gets done, more easily and with more focus. Or not...but at least I am more allowing of the timing and my mind is not so invested in making things happen. Slowing down my breath and moving more consciously is in harmony with the flow of creative energy. From this place I can allow Divine Timing into every area of my life. Everything becomes more graceful and I am more at ease. Then all is truly well. Divine Presence, With every breath I take, may I slow down and let patience take over my attention. May I and all beings move more deeply into Alignment with the Source of all Life. May I trust the dynamic activity of Divine Timing in my life right now and love myself through the process of allowing it to work in and through all situations. Thank you for gracefully guiding and directing all that I am and all that I do, And so it is. Shanta Gabriel June 25, 2017 ShantaGabriel.comThe Gabriel Messages Book #19  Without patience you can never understand the meaning of Divine Timing. Dear One, Your conscious presence in the world leads to the opening of the consciousness of all people. Your Soul's task is to carry the light of Love and Truth with you wherever you go, no matter what you are doing. Through this intention you will bring more Peace and Light into the world. Being a visionary, you see in your mind that which you wish to accomplish. It becomes your intention, as if you are taking aim, pulling back the bow and shooting your arrow toward your target. With this clarity, you will surely reach your mark. There is, however, the question of when. At work in the world is the principle of Divine Timing. It is one of the immutable laws in the universe, such as Divine Order and Divine Justice. It is not something that you can push to make it go faster. There are times when you must wait upon the will of God in order to have your dream manifest in the most appropriate way for your highest good. This requires patience. It is sometimes difficult to have patience when you can see your vision so clearly. Often there is the desire to make it happen now. This is not God’s will but the ego’s will at work. You might be able to force the manifestation of certain parts of your vision, but it will not feel right once this occurs. It will feel as though you are pushing the river. When all is flowing according to God's will, miracles occur. You can ride the wave of this energy and it feels effortless. Practice: Imagine that you are at one of those points in your life when you want very badly to have a certain vision manifest. Let's say you really want it now but you are struggling against a wall of obstacles. If you are mentally or emotionally tense, anxious and impatient, anything that you do physically at this time will be pushing at the energy which is already at work. It is at these times that you must step aside, even though it may be most difficult. Release your striving, and turn the whole situation over to God and the Angels. You can assist the manifestation of your dream by simply sitting quietly and breathing in Divine Light and Love. As you continue to breathe these balanced breaths, see yourself in a pillar of golden light. This is the light of peace, love and wisdom that connects you with Divine Inspiration and the nurturing presence of the earth. While sitting in this light, in your mind’s eye remember your vision, the dream that you want for your life at this time. Allow your dream to be energized by this pillar of golden light. Know in your heart that you always receive that which is in your highest good. Know that the Angels are blessing you with love and wisdom. They are blessing all that you need to do in order to have your dream. Feel this loving presence with you, enfolding you in love and light. Feel Peace permeating every fiber of your being. Know in your heart that all will come to you in perfect Divine Timing. Give thanks for all the blessings in your life. Give thanks that this dream is manifesting in its own perfect and right time for your highest good. And as you exhale, release this vision to God and the Angels and allow this energy to work for you.      This practice will help give you patience and trust in Divine Timing. With a small amount of conscious focus you can begin to apply these principles to your day-to-day living and create a life filled with more Peace, Joy and Love. This is God’s will for all. Call on the Angels for assistance and remember to take time to breathe and receive the knowing in your heart that all is in the flow of Divine creative energy. And most of all remember: Without patience you can never understand the meaning of Divine Timing. Shanta Gabriel for Archangel Gabriel June 25, 2017 shantagabriel.comAn Evening with Archangel Gabriel Join Shanta Gabriel on Monday June 26 as she channels Archangel Gabriel to answer your questions! 712-432-0075, Code: 518 285#5:00 pm PDT 8:00 pm EDT   In a very new format, Shanta will open the phone lines to offer you personal guidance from Archangel Gabriel. You are invited to this FREE event!Video: "Angel Card Reading of the week! June 25-July 1 Angel Messages!" By Melanie Beckler - wavesJUNE 28, 2017 ~ THE 12TH ROADThe Ascension Waves are rolling in back to back this year leaving very little time between to integrate and catch our breath. So much is stirring inside it can be difficult to function through logical thought as the energy overrides the human processes and ushers our systems into a higher plateau of Light.These energetic waves are pushing us to go within, to observe the old programs falling away, receive the messages being delivered and cultivate a daily practice for interacting with the expansion, elevation and transformation. Mostly, it is creating deep space within the Heart and unveiling a true sense of sacredness as we transition into a new way of living.Rising through all this is a magnetism emanating from the heart of deep space. While the body feels out of whack and unable to focus, the radiance streaming from the core of the universe is strong and resolute. This radiance carries a resilience that takes me back to January and the first message from the Venus Beings: The White Sun is the Pure Heart of the Universe. White Light Radiance helps restore human resilience as we are guided back to the abundant riches that reflect the true nature of life itself. This is what lies at our core and the true purpose of being in a Realm of Creation, of being in a space of malleable energy that can be shaped and worked into all forms of desire. As we transcend into a new way of living, this gift of creation is being returned. We will find it in the deepest truths of our Being. It is our pure truth. Reconnecting with this message brings Full Circle the cycle developing from last December Solstice through to this immense June Solstice, a phenomenal passage of transformation, of building our Stairway to Heaven through our connection to sacredness. Sacredness is the practice that nurtures the exploration and expansion of the Soul. Sacredness holds the strength of this new reality and is the essence that guides us back to the space where perfection reigns.Our path to sacredness is guided by many Beings. This year I’ve tuned into messages from the Venus Beings, Ishtar, Thoth, Adama and the Lemurian Circle of 12. I have found myself on the Road to Shambhala and learnt these Beings are all related in their mission to restore Harmony and Balance for humanity. They all emanate Venusian energy and radiate the highest codes of enlightenment for the restoration of Peace through humanity’s awakening.They are here, now, guiding and supporting all of us. They are with us daily as we embody these elevating energies, detach from all that is not in resonance with our Pure Hearts and open our awareness to the truth emerging through these radiant waves. They are waiting, as they have always done, for our return to our original Star Families.This return is part of the deep space emanation. As it magnetises all things to the Pure Heart of the Universe, it shifts our awareness to the core of our Beings helping to move our focus from what is dissolving to what is anchoring in the New. It helps to empower ourselves with an embellished sense of wholeness and sovereignty, of trusting our inner knowing and understanding that we are connected to so many Beings on so many levels.As this new level begins, the void between where we are and where we desire to be is diminishing. The radiant Pure Heart emanates her blessings and we see this is where Heaven meets Earth. This is where Shambhala meets Earth. Where we protect, share and receive the riches of Mother Earth.We see this next chapter is where Soul meets Life.Video: "Goddess Isis Transmission: Reclaiming Divinity and Vulnerability" -   Secure & Anchor Yourself In The Divine Peace & And Stillness In Your Heart - Energy Report - June / July 2017a message from Kate SpreckleyWe are living in the most interesting of times. This shift in consciousness is bringing to the fore ALL that we, as individuals and as a collective, need to change and transform. It is definitely not what many expected as the incoming cosmic energies get stronger and stronger and our soul’s impulse to evolve intensifies. In the past six months, a dramatic increase in the intensity of the energy sweeping the planet initiated a radical leap in our human consciousness. We have been awoken from our own self-created illusions and quite literally it’s a shift show!The Solstice on June the 21st brought to fruition whatever has presented itself to you over the past six months. With a definite increase in the energy frequency since December, the pace shows no sign of slowing down. The chaos occurring on a global scale is part of this evolutionary shift in consciousness. The disruption of the world and the unity consciousness you are evolving to is part and parcel of this time. As one dissolves the other develops.If we are to establish a new way of being and a new reality the old structures and programs, which uphold the old world, need to be dismantled. As a result, a deep purification is occurring and all aspects of reality are being purged. Simultaneously a new energetic blueprint is being activated, which contains new structures and new systems that you must birth into the world. Real and practical changes, which anchor and support the new emerging consciousness, must now be made.The chaos and the drama of the world is only part of what is coming up for healing and release. You are being propelled forward by the evolutionary flow of life, which is dissolving the fragmented aspects of this world and your personal perception of reality. Everything you are currently experiencing is assisting in liberating your individual, auric and authentic self. Old patterns and programs, which no longer serve you or the collective, are being triggered and unraveled. The attachments and distractions, which seduced you away form your innate divinity, your authenticity, are being exposed.As this process unfolds you will come to realize that you cannot build on what is dissolving. The instability of this time is teaching you how to stabilize and ground yourself while navigating the sudden shifts and changes in reality. By securing yourself in your heart center you are able to tune and trust in the guidance of your soul. You are then able to observe the drama of the world with detached compassion, which supports you in mastering your fears, healing old painful emotions, clearing karmic debris and see the blessings held in each life situation.Your heart is imbued with an energy, which magnifies and magnetizes your energy field. When you allow this energy to blend together with your mind you create space for an authentic response to the world. You begin to think with your heart making the unconscious conscious, which allows for a greater sense of wholeness and oneness to emerge. Your consciousness reforms and you are shifted into expanded states of unity, compassion, love and acceptance. Securing yourself in this energy will propel you forward and ensures that you are physically, emotionally and mentally ready for the manifestation of your greatest self.Remember that you are currently being attuned to receive massive amounts of cosmic energy. As you come to master these vast multidimensional energies you will discover a new perspective and a new vision for your life. You will come to see and understand more of your divine purpose and how you are being called to assist in creating the new earth and a new reality. The wisdom of your heart and the truth of your soul will emerge enabling the full expression of your authentic self.You may find old emotional and mental patterns and programs emerging to be healed and cleared. Allow them to surface and dissolve. Be receptive and deliberate in this process. Do not go into the drama of the emotion or feeling. Listen for the messages from these trapped emotions, patterns and programs. Focus on freeing yourself from anything, which keeps you in a st