Dining Room Manager        
PA-Youngwood, Westmoreland County Community College School of Culinary Arts/Hospitality is seeking a casual part-time Dining Room Manager (up to 10 hrs./wk.). The dining room manager is responsible for the direction of students in the service procedures in the dining room of the student run restaurant Café at 145. The position requires: Associate degree in related field Experience and knowledge in dining room s
          By: Anon2        
While incentives are nice, pay usually comes down to market forces. For those of you on the clinical side you will see medical doctors make a ton of money, but not really contribute very much of anything, beyond adding their credential to a protocol. They mostly regurgitate what they can from MSLs. Then the present clinical data to basic scientists and basic science data to clinical folks (so to each party this MD is looked up to as someone who is filling a knowledge gap). The best incentives for early development folks would be a priority class of stock options/shares. However the VCs usually prevent that from happening.
          Rare super 8mm footage of OHO turns up in 2011 music video!        
2011 music video featuring 1974 vintage OHO music tracks overdubbed in 2008 with the lead vocals and the acoustic guitarism of El Sledge, (Matt Graboski). “The Plague,” (inspired by the Albert Camus’ novel), is Matt’s favorite OHO song. Videographer, Bill Pratt, marries super 8mm film of a rare 1975 live OHO performance, (the only known […]
          '..committed to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.' (no replies)        
'Leaders from the City of Portland and Multnomah County have committed to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.

In an announcement earlier this week, authorities said that their goal was to meet the community's electricity needs with renewables by the year 2035 and to move all remaining energy sources to renewable ones by 2050.

..

Multnomah County is the most populous county in Oregon. Its Chair, Deborah Kafoury, welcomed the news. "This is a pledge to our children's future,'' she said. "100 percent renewables means a future with cleaner air, a stable climate and more jobs and economic opportunity.''

Portland is among a number of U.S. cities looking to embrace renewables. Over the weekend Chicago's Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, announced that city buildings there were to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.'

- Anmar Frangoul, Portland commits to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, April 12, 2017


Context

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

(Fusion Power) - '..LPP has so far has two out of the three necessary ingredients for successful breakeven..'

'..to Ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2030'


The nuclear retreat - '..the global transition to sustainable 100 percent renewable energy.' - '..in Europe by 2050.'

(To Heal) - '..the forces and forms of nature -- clouds, mountains, waves -- in cities of the future.'

(In The Electric Universe) Open Source Infrastructure, beginning of the Enterprise Nervous System (ENS)

          (Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..debt is our biggest security threat..' (no replies)        
'Now that he is president, Trump likes to tout the fact he’s listening to America’s generals. Perhaps he needs to talk to General Mike Millen, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Perhaps then he would see that the greatest threat America faces isn’t from China, Russia, or North Korea – it is from the national debt. Until Trump reverses course on military spending, and gets tough on entitlements, his "America First" budget will only make the US worse off.'

- Tho Bishop (Source, March 20, 2017)


'..a crippling national debt..'

'Under a Republican budget resolution, the national debt will explode by a third from an already staggering $19 billion to $29 trillion over the next ten years. Although counterintuitive, Democratic presidents, at least those after World War II, have reduced deficits as a portion of the value of the national economy (GDP) while Republican presidents have increased them — thus accumulating less public debt as a percentage of GDP. Yet neither political party has paid enough attention to this burgeoning national security problem.

National security problem? Yes. General Mike Mullen, while he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s top military man, was enlightened enough about long-term health of American power to realize that it takes continuing infusions of money to acquire the weapons and equipment, personnel, training, maintenance and benefits to create a credible military to adequately defend the country. In addition, all other indices of national power — political, diplomatic and cultural — require money too.

To generate those resources, a strong economy is needed. The number one problem dragging down economic growth rates through the George W. Bush and Barack Obama presidencies was a crippling national debt..'

- Ivan Eland, National debt is our biggest security threat: Column, January 11, 2017


Context

'..World Debt Hits $152 Trillion.'

'Our nation and the world are paying a very heavy price for a failed experiment in Inflationism..' - Doug Noland

'..Global policies since the 2008 crisis have spurred the expansion of speculative finance to multiples of pre-crisis levels..'


'Germany Plans to Cut 2017 Debt Sales .. Balanced-Budget..'

'..monetary knowledge .. of currency reform under difficult conditions you have to go to Carl Menger.'

(Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..The Theory of Money and Credit .. an invaluable guide for ending the business cycles of our own time.'


(Banking Reform - English/Dutch) '..a truly stable financial and monetary system for the twenty-first century..'

          'We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war.' - Sidney Drell (no replies)        
'..My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

'The harsh rhetoric on both sides increases the danger of miscalculations and mistakes, as do other factors. Close encounters between the military aircraft of the United States and Russia have become routine, creating the potential for an unintended conflict. Many of the nuclear-weapon systems on both sides are aging and obsolete. The personnel who operate those systems often suffer from poor morale and poor training. None of their senior officers has firsthand experience making decisions during an actual nuclear crisis. And today’s command-and-control systems must contend with threats that barely existed during the Cold War: malware, spyware, worms, bugs, viruses, corrupted firmware, logic bombs, Trojan horses, and all the other modern tools of cyber warfare. The greatest danger is posed not by any technological innovation but by a dilemma that has haunted nuclear strategy since the first detonation of an atomic bomb: How do you prevent a nuclear attack while preserving the ability to launch one?

..

..the Cuban Missile Crisis, when a series of misperceptions, miscalculations, and command-and-control problems almost started an accidental nuclear war—despite the determination of both John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev to avoid one. In perhaps the most dangerous incident, the captain of a Soviet submarine mistakenly believed that his vessel was under attack by U.S. warships and ordered the firing of a torpedo armed with a nuclear warhead. His order was blocked by a fellow officer. Had the torpedo been fired, the United States would have retaliated with nuclear weapons. At the height of the crisis, while leaving the White House on a beautiful fall evening, McNamara had a strong feeling of dread—and for good reason: “I feared I might never live to see another Saturday night.”

..

The personnel who command, operate, and maintain the Minuteman III have also become grounds for concern. In 2013, the two-star general in charge of the entire Minuteman force was removed from duty after going on a drunken bender during a visit to Russia, behaving inappropriately with young Russian women, asking repeatedly if he could sing with a Beatles cover band at a Mexican restaurant in Moscow, and insulting his military hosts. The following year, almost a hundred Minuteman launch officers were disciplined for cheating on their proficiency exams. In 2015, three launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base, in Montana, were dismissed for using illegal drugs, including ecstasy, cocaine, and amphetamines. That same year, a launch officer at Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota, was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for heading a violent street gang, distributing drugs, sexually assaulting a girl under the age of sixteen, and using psilocybin, a powerful hallucinogen. As the job title implies, launch officers are entrusted with the keys for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles.

..

..A recent memoir, “Uncommon Cause,” written by General George Lee Butler, reveals that the Pentagon was not telling the truth. Butler was the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, responsible for all of America’s nuclear weapons, during the Administration of President George H. W. Bush.

According to Butler and Franklin Miller, a former director of strategic-forces policy at the Pentagon, launch-on-warning was an essential part of the Single Integrated Operational Plan (siop), the nation’s nuclear-war plan. Land-based missiles like the Minuteman III were aimed at some of the most important targets in the Soviet Union, including its anti-aircraft sites. If the Minuteman missiles were destroyed before liftoff, the siop would go awry, and American bombers might be shot down before reaching their targets. In order to prevail in a nuclear war, the siop had become dependent on getting Minuteman missiles off the ground immediately. Butler’s immersion in the details of the nuclear command-and-control system left him dismayed. “With the possible exception of the Soviet nuclear war plan, [the siop] was the single most absurd and irresponsible document I had ever reviewed in my life,” Butler concluded. “We escaped the Cold War without a nuclear holocaust by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion.” The siop called for the destruction of twelve thousand targets within the Soviet Union. Moscow would be struck by four hundred nuclear weapons; Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, by about forty.

After the end of the Cold War, a Russian surprise attack became extremely unlikely. Nevertheless, hundreds of Minuteman III missiles remained on alert. The Cold War strategy endured because, in theory, it deterred a Russian attack on the missiles. McNamara called the policy “insane,” arguing that “there’s no military requirement for it.” George W. Bush, while running for President in 2000, criticized launch-on-warning, citing the “unacceptable risks of accidental or unauthorized launch.” Barack Obama, while running for President in 2008, promised to take Minuteman missiles off alert, warning that policies like launch-on-warning “increase the risk of catastrophic accidents or miscalculation.” Twenty scientists who have won the Nobel Prize, as well as the Union of Concerned Scientists, have expressed strong opposition to retaining a launch-on-warning capability. It has also been opposed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former Senator Sam Nunn. And yet the Minuteman III missiles still sit in their silos today, armed with warheads, ready to go.

William J. Perry, who served as Secretary of Defense during the Clinton Administration, not only opposes keeping Minuteman III missiles on alert but advocates getting rid of them entirely. “These missiles are some of the most dangerous weapons in the world,” Perry wrote in the Times, this September. For many reasons, he thinks the risk of a nuclear catastrophe is greater today than it was during the Cold War. While serving as an Under-Secretary of Defense in 1980, Perry also received a late-night call about an impending Soviet attack, a false alarm that still haunts him. “A catastrophic nuclear war could have started by accident.”

Bruce Blair, a former Minuteman launch officer, heads the anti-nuclear group Global Zero, teaches at Princeton University, and campaigns against a launch-on-warning policy. Blair has described the stresses that the warning of a Russian attack would put on America’s command-and-control system. American early-warning satellites would detect Russian missiles within three minutes of their launch. Officers at norad would confer for an additional three minutes, checking sensors to decide if an attack was actually occurring. The Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack System collects data from at least two independent information sources, relying on different physical principles, such as ground-based radar and satellite-based infrared sensors. If the norad officials thought that the warning was legitimate, the President of the United States would be contacted. He or she would remove the Black Book from a briefcase carried by a military aide. The Black Book describes nuclear retaliatory options, presented in cartoon-like illustrations that can be quickly understood.

..

Although the Air Force publicly dismissed the threat of a cyberattack on the nuclear command-and-control system, the incident raised alarm within the Pentagon about the system’s vulnerability. A malfunction that occurred by accident might also be caused deliberately. Those concerns were reinforced by a Defense Science Board report in January, 2013. It found that the Pentagon’s computer networks had been “built on inherently insecure architectures that are composed of, and increasingly using, foreign parts.” Red teams employed by the board were able to disrupt Pentagon systems with “relative ease,” using tools available on the Internet. “The complexity of modern software and hardware makes it difficult, if not impossible, to develop components without flaws or to detect malicious insertions,” the report concluded.

In a recent paper for the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, Andrew Futter, an associate professor at the University of Leicester, suggested that a nuclear command-and-control system might be hacked to gather intelligence about the system, to shut down the system, to spoof it, mislead it, or cause it to take some sort of action—like launching a missile. And, he wrote, there are a variety of ways it might be done.

..

Strict precautions have been taken to thwart a cyberattack on the U.S. nuclear command-and-control system. Every line of nuclear code has been scrutinized for errors and bugs. The system is “air-gapped,” meaning that its networks are closed: someone can’t just go onto the Internet and tap into a computer at a Minuteman III control center. At least, that’s the theory. Russia, China, and North Korea have sophisticated cyber-warfare programs and techniques. General James Cartwright—the former head of the U.S. Strategic Command who recently pleaded guilty to leaking information about Stuxnet—thinks that it’s reasonable to believe the system has already been penetrated. “You’ve either been hacked, and you’re not admitting it, or you’re being hacked and don’t know it,” Cartwright said last year.

If communications between Minuteman control centers and their missiles are interrupted, the missiles can still be launched by ultra-high-frequency radio signals transmitted by special military aircraft. The ability to launch missiles by radio serves as a backup to the control centers—and also creates an entry point into the network that could be exploited in a cyberattack. The messages sent within the nuclear command-and-control system are highly encrypted. Launch codes are split in two, and no single person is allowed to know both parts. But the complete code is stored in computers—where it could be obtained or corrupted by an insider.

Some of America’s most secret secrets were recently hacked and stolen by a couple of private contractors working inside the N.S.A., Edward Snowden and Harold T. Martin III, both employees of Booz Allen Hamilton. The N.S.A. is responsible for generating and encrypting the nuclear launch codes. And the security of the nuclear command-and-control system is being assured not only by government officials but also by the employees of private firms, including software engineers who work for Boeing, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Lord Des Browne, a former U.K. Minister of Defense, is concerned that even ballistic-missile submarines may be compromised by malware. Browne is now the vice-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit seeking to reduce the danger posed by weapons of mass destruction, where he heads a task force examining the risk of cyberattacks on nuclear command-and-control systems. Browne thinks that the cyber threat is being cavalierly dismissed by many in power. The Royal Navy’s decision to save money by using Windows for Submarines, a version of Windows XP, as the operating system for its ballistic-missile subs seems especially shortsighted. Windows XP was discontinued six years ago, and Microsoft warned that any computer running it after April, 2014, “should not be considered protected as there will be no security updates.” Each of the U.K. subs has eight missiles carrying a total of forty nuclear weapons. “It is shocking to think that my home computer is probably running a newer version of Windows than the U.K.’s military submarines,” Brown said.In 2013, General C. Robert Kehler, the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the risk of cyberattacks on the nuclear command-and-control system. He expressed confidence that the U.S. system was secure. When Senator Bill Nelson asked if somebody could hack into the Russian or Chinese systems and launch a ballistic missile carrying a nuclear warhead, Kehler replied, “Senator, I don’t know . . . I do not know.”

After the debacle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet Union became much more reluctant to provoke a nuclear confrontation with the United States. Its politburo was a committee of conservative old men. Russia’s leadership is quite different today. The current mix of nationalism, xenophobia, and vehement anti-Americanism in Moscow is a far cry from the more staid and secular ideology guiding the Soviet Union in the nineteen-eighties. During the past few years, threats about the use of nuclear weapons have become commonplace in Moscow. Dmitry Kiselyov, a popular newscaster and the Kremlin’s leading propagandist, reminded viewers in 2014 that Russia is “the only country in the world capable of turning the U.S.A. into radioactive dust.” The Kremlin has acknowledged the development of a nuclear torpedo that can travel more than six thousand miles underwater before devastating a coastal city. It has also boasted about a fearsome new missile design. Nicknamed “Satan 2” and deployed with up to sixteen nuclear warheads, the missile will be “capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France,” an official news agency claimed.

..

Russia’s greatest strategic vulnerability is the lack of a sophisticated and effective early-warning system. The Soviet Union had almost a dozen satellites in orbit that could detect a large-scale American attack. The system began to deteriorate in 1996, when an early-warning satellite had to be retired. Others soon fell out of orbit, and Russia’s last functional early-warning satellite went out of service two years ago. Until a new network of satellites can be placed in orbit, the country must depend on ground-based radar units. Unlike the United States, Russia no longer has two separate means of validating an attack warning. At best, the radar units can spot warheads only minutes before they land. Pavel Podvig, a senior fellow at the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research, believes that Russia does not have a launch-on-warning policy—because its early-warning system is so limited.

For the past nine years, I’ve been immersed in the minutiae of nuclear command and control, trying to understand the actual level of risk. Of all the people whom I’ve met in the nuclear realm, Sidney Drell was one of the most brilliant and impressive. Drell died this week, at the age of ninety. A theoretical physicist with expertise in quantum field theory and quantum chromodynamics, he was for many years the deputy director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator and received the National Medal of Science from Obama, in 2013. Drell was one of the founding members of jason—a group of civilian scientists that advises the government on important technological matters—and for fifty-six years possessed a Q clearance, granting him access to the highest level of classified information. Drell participated in top-secret discussions about nuclear strategy for decades, headed a panel that investigated nuclear-weapon safety for the U.S. Congress in 1990, and worked on technical issues for jason until the end of his life. A few months ago, when I asked for his opinion about launch-on-warning, Drell said, “It’s insane, the worst thing I can think of. You can’t have a worse idea.”

Drell was an undergraduate at Princeton University when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed. Given all the close calls and mistakes in the seventy-one years since then, he considered it a miracle that no other cities have been destroyed by a nuclear weapon—“it is so far beyond my normal optimism.” The prospect of a new cold war—and the return of military strategies that advocate using nuclear weapons on the battlefield—deeply unnerved him. Once the first nuclear weapon detonates, nothing might prevent the conflict from spiralling out of control. “We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war,” he said.

..

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin confront a stark choice: begin another nuclear-arms race or reduce the threat of nuclear war. Trump now has a unique opportunity to pursue the latter, despite the bluster and posturing on both sides. His admiration for Putin, regardless of its merits, could provide the basis for meaningful discussions about how to minimize nuclear risks. Last year, General James Mattis, the former Marine chosen by Trump to serve as Secretary of Defense, called for a fundamental reappraisal of American nuclear strategy and questioned the need for land-based missiles. During Senate testimony, Mattis suggested that getting rid of such missiles would “reduce the false-alarm danger.” Contrary to expectations, Republican Presidents have proved much more successful than their Democratic counterparts at nuclear disarmament. President George H. W. Bush cut the size of the American arsenal in half, as did his son, President George W. Bush. And President Ronald Reagan came close to negotiating a treaty with the Soviet Union that would have completely abolished nuclear weapons.

Every technology embodies the values of the age in which it was created. When the atomic bomb was being developed in the mid-nineteen-forties, the destruction of cities and the deliberate targeting of civilians was just another military tactic. It was championed as a means to victory. The Geneva Conventions later classified those practices as war crimes—and yet nuclear weapons have no other real use. They threaten and endanger noncombatants for the sake of deterrence. Conventional weapons can now be employed to destroy every kind of military target, and twenty-first-century warfare puts an emphasis on precision strikes, cyberweapons, and minimizing civilian casualties. As a technology, nuclear weapons have become obsolete. What worries me most isn’t the possibility of a cyberattack, a technical glitch, or a misunderstanding starting a nuclear war sometime next week. My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

- Eric Schlosser, World War Three, By Mistake, December 23, 2016


Context

The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

          Quiz RPG: World of Mystic Wiz Review        
It is common knowledge that free to play collectable card games or monster battle games are a huge hit in Japan. Games like Puzzle and Dragons are so popular in the eastern markets that they’ve been perceived as a threat to the thriving arcade business over there, with at least one arcade banning the playing […]
          Three days in Berlin (or improving the pim user experience)        

KDE Project:

Last weekend I've met with some of our old timer KDEPIM developers and some of the newer ones who are interested in KDEPIM or related technologies in the KDAB offices in Berlin.
Being a KDAB employee for a few years already (wow, time is passing quickly), the place was familiar, the people looked familiar. The foosball table was slightly familiar, although some players changed their dresses in order to spread confusion inside the visitor's heads. That is the only reason we've lost against locals with 5-0, 5-0.
Suprisingly enough, the table wasn't used that much. Why? Because people were busy either working and talking. What they talked about I don't know too much, as I focused on some issues I planned to fix, but others can testify that Volker did not sit too much in front of his computers, but was dragged from one place to another for various discussions.
Most of us started on Friday around noon. I won't tell too much about what others did, that is mostly their problem. Especially if they were on the other side of the room and I didn't saw their screens, I can't tell if they worked at all or not. They looked like they did though. ;) I can share some things about what some sitting nearby did. See later.
As recently I became the de-facto maintainer and bugfixer for mail filters, I worked mostly on them. Unfortunately the first attempt to fix a bug failed: a bug that bothers me, although it is not the most reported one. It is about mails not being filtered for a while after a resume from hibernation. It is hard to reproduce, and although I run into it, I couldn't reproduce reliably enough and in a way I can debug it. After fighting with it and realising it won't work, I gave up. See you next time.
Meantime we had some excellent food in an Indian restaurant, then when finally everybody arrived (almost everybody to be honest, plus even some more from KDAB who didn't sign up, but show up there), we were ready to start with presenting the kdepim and Akonadi architecture. Old time pimsters Volker Krause, Kevin Krammer and Tobias Koenig helped me with it, and sometimes saved me, as my knowledge in some area proved to be superficial. We ended up with a pretty impressive drawing on the whiteboard:
Hopefully for those being on site it was understandable.

Time passed, so we went out for dinner to a Greek restaurant at the corner. Nice place, third time being there, good food (seems Berlin has only good eating places). We even saw how Germany won over Ireland. Too bad Steveire (Stephen Kelly) was not there... We continued with some more talks and hacking, then everybody went to their sleeping places.
Some left earlier, some later waiting for remote developers to show up and discuss the patches (he didn't show up).

Day 2
Next day started around 9 o'clock for some. Later for others. I continued with the filter debugging and fixing. I looked at the bugreports and tried to come up with some bugs that are both would help the users and myself. I'm selfish, I want to fix the bugs I run into. ;) One problem that bothered me for a long time is that email content from online IMAP is downloaded even if no filter for IMAP requires it (but a filter for e.g POP3 needs the full content). Now this is fixed and those who use online imap could notice a great speedup in mail syncing (depending on their filter setup). Another often reported issue was duplicating the mails, especially after spam filtering. You've ended up with a mail in the spam folder and a mail in the original place. This could be combined with a conflict dialog shown up as well for that mail. This problem actually revealed a not-well handled case down inside the Akonadi stack that was created by a reordering of filter commands in the filtering code. For those who want technical details: if there was a move action (like "move mail to spam folder") followed by a modify action (like "mark as read"), the filter reordered this to "mark as read" followed by a move. Unfortunately this exposed two problems, (mostly, but not only) IMAP specific: on IMAP you can't modify a mail, instead you create a new one and delete the old. What happened here is that a filter changed the mail (run through bogofilter/spamassasin), then the "mark as read" action was executed, which uploaded the changes, including the changed mail to the IMAP server. This caused a new ID for the item on the IMAP server. The mail with the old ID was deleted. Then the filter agent performed a move, but he had only the *old* ID, before the modifications. The move - if performed between two different resources, like IMAP and local maildir - is technically a copy followed by a delete. The copy worked fine, but the delete didn't. It tried to delete the old mail again (which was gone), not the modified version. That's how you ended up with a duplicate.
The current solution is to reorder the filtering pipeline, so the move is performed before the flag modifications. The extra benefit is that the filtered message is not uploaded again just to be deleted the next second. Speedup, less network traffic, better user experience. This doesn't fix the main problem with Akonadi, but it is an acceptable workaround. The reordering is so far only in the master branch (KDE 4.10), but the relevant code will be backported to the 4.9 branch, so it will be in 4.9.3.
And speaking of conflicts, that was the next hot topic, and one of the often reported bugs. It was mostly caused by conflicting flag changes (read/spam/important/etc), either caused by KMail itself plus the filtering or just KMail. After some discussion we agreed, that reporting conflicts on flag changes doesn't make sense, so we should not bother the user. It is not data loss, and in worst case some flag is reset. In normal case nothing wrong happens, as Akonadi is able to merge two changes in the flags (or so claims Volker).
I have to admit that this fix was not completed at the sprint, I finished it today, as I noticed more code in KDEPIM that didn't disable conflict check on flag changes.
While doing the changes, I did quite some refactoring, cleaning up the code as much as I could do for the parts I touched. The code was originally deep inside KMail (as most of other code), got extracted from it for 4.8.0, and now we are at the stage that we can make the extracted code more cleaner, we can remove some things that doesn't make sense anymore now that the filtering is not inside KMail.
While reading the bug reports, I also run into one indicating that mails arriving to an MBOX account (like /var/spool/mail/username) are not filtered automatically. Sounds like an easy bug to fix and so was it. Now they are filtered.
Finally another annoying issue was fixed: there was no indication that filtering is ongoing. Now when this happens, you can see in the KMail's progress bar.
The net result of the above: faster filtering, less annoying and useless error dialogs for the users. And according to bugzilla, 31 bugs less (some were duplicates though).

Nepomuk...one of the things that, well, so far I was always recommending for users to turn off. Slight detour here: what is Nepomuk and its relation to KMail? Nepomuk helps you to find data. It indexes all kind of data and with some queries you can find e.g every file where my name is mentioned, all email addresses from any file, etc. There is a process that goes through the akonadi data (emails, calendars, etc) and "feeds" to it for Nepomuk to be indexed. Then there are queries and code in KMail accessing Nepomuk: getting email addresses for composer's autocompletion, searching inside mail bodies, tagging your emails with custom tags, etc.
Unfortunately there are problems around it. One is that some queries ae processed quite slowly, that in turn slows down KMail, leading to poor user experience. E.g switching between mails, sending mails, etc. is slow. Or startup is slow or even blocked. I tried to fix the last part as I just run into it, but as this was my very first Nepomuk related patch, I'm not sure 100% succeeded. We found a problem with the Nepomuk API itself, and I informed Vishesh, the Nepomuk developer about it (even if I used non-blocking calls against Nepomuk, one call is blocking without question). He suggested something I might try later, although I'd be more happier if somebody with real Nepomuk knowledge could give a review of the pim Nepomuk usage.
Then there is the Akonadi feeder, that gives the data to Nepomuk. Something is not perfect there and the indexing causes a serious slowdown, where either itself or Nepomuk (actually its storage backend, virtuoso) starts to use the CPU *a lot*. This is the main reason I recommend to users to disable Nepomuk so far. We had Christian Mollekopf the author of the feeder in the sprint, and he worked on some optimizations. Hopefully this will improve the situation. Meantime we (and I) tried to convince Vishesh to use KMail, so he can see himself the problems our users face.

As a break we had another presentation, this time about KMail itself, what components make up KMail, how they are distributed. As far as I saw, this was less interesting to the audience, they rather looked at their computers and hacked on something. Luckily our KMail maintainer, Laurent Montel, is super active, but I wouldn't mind more contributors. Too bad he wasn't at the sprint.

We had a lunch at a nearby place, nothing extra, but the food was (again) good.

What did other do? Let's see what I can remember... Sune dreamed about crypto stuff and composite jobs. He worked on making some cryptographic code asynchronous and started to get faimiliar with kdepim code. I'd not say he picked up the easiest job.
Volker run around all the time, discussed various things like "spanish sync" with Alex Fiestas (see here), database backends with Martin, change recorder with David Faure (who remotely joined the meeting and got lost inside the change recorder code ... he has the solution now in his head, so be patient, we will end up with a better implementation for it that again speeds up Akonadi), job pipelines with me, and who knows what with others, as for a long time he just disappeared with a bunch of developers. They actually ended up in the lobby discussing "stuff". Milian Wolf, who is not (or not yet?) a KDEPIM developer, but mainly a KDevelop one, joined us and used massif to track down some ugly memory usage in KMail. And he did a good job in it. Previously KMail used more and more memory as you navigated between large folders (Alex mentioned some 2GB for him), while now it levels up at one point and doesn't increase. He might blog himself about, as he has also some nice graphs.
Then there were two guys from KDAB, who are old time pim developers (quiz: find their names in this blog), but they cooked something else, not related to KDEPIM, not related concretely to KDE, but to a lower level: to Qt. It is an amazingly cool stuff, but I don't want to give more details. Expect it to be presented a the Qt Developer Days, either in a talk or at the KDAB booth. Don't worry, I'm pretty sure it will be freely available what they did and KDE can enjoy it in the future.
I'm sorry that I don't remember what the rest did. In general I know that Martin Klapetek worked on the social network resources, Mark Gaiser, who recently started to work on KDEPIM stuff eagerly listened to our presentations and worked on a QML calendar application, Alex kept reporting bugs and discussed improvements with Volker, while John Layt, the "timezone KDE guy" worked on plasma calendar related issues.
As a KDE person Chani also joined us for a while, we quickly nominated her as the QML and Plasma person, so all questions related to them were immediately redirected to Chani. Jos Poortvilet was also supposed to join for some talks, but he could show up only on Sunday for personal reasons.
At the end of the day everybody was so busy, so instead of going out for eating, we just ordered some pizza. And most of us stood in the office well past midnight.

Day 3
Well, the above partially happened on Sunday. It was a shorter day for me, due to the late night standup before, and that I had to go to the airport after lunch. A lunch that wasn't exactly as planned. We went out for a Doner Kebab place that is supposed to be the best one in Berlin. It is just a small kiosk on the sidewalk in a street, but man, there was a big queue for it. On a Sunday! Locals says it is worse on weekdays. Even after almost an hour, we still had 10 persons in front of us, my departure time was approaching, so I gave up and instead bought some (quite good) chinese fast-food from a nearby place, then rushed to the airport.
A long journey awaited me with a 3 hour stopover in Munich, but luckily I had a power supply there and even some network (they offer 30 minutes/day/phone number), so I could continue on the work I started at the sprint. After flying and driving another 2.5 hours, I arrived late (or rather early) morning next day back home, and after sleept until around 10. Then I started to work again for KDAB, a work that is just as enjoyable as working for KDE. After all, the two communities has a serious overlap. ;)
That's from the sprint. If you'll be at the Qt Developer Days Europe, we might meet there. I'm looking forward for a good conference.


          The story of some bugfixes        

KDE Project:

This is the story of how bugfixes can happen. For each bug there is a bug reporter. It doesn't really matter if it is another developer or a non-developer user, as in the end it is just a user. Or does it? Let's see.

The first bug I fixed not so long ago was a line on the chat asking "what's ctrl+shift+l supposed to do in kmail?" from Albert (tsdgeos). Sounded like user support, but turned out that the reason he asked me was that pressing this combination crashed KMail. Of course, I tried and could reproduce it. It was related to Favorite Folders and as nor the reporter, nor I had such folders configured, it was rather straightforward where the problem is. Half an hour ago the bugfix was committed, everybody is happy.

The second was more complicated. There was a long standing report from our KDE expert David Faure that resulted in losing the mail content on move. It wasn't the first time I looked at the code to find the problem, without success. We couldn't even reproduce the bug. Then suddenly a message came on IRC: he could reproduce it again and found a pattern how it happens: it happens if the source mail account (resource) is in offline mode, meaning KMail *might* not have access to the whole mails, only to the cached parts (the mail header). Having this information finding the bug was relatively easy and next day David has the patch. But he wasn't happy: now he got an ugly message box with an error that doesn't mean too much, an error that doesn't tell what is the problem and what could be the solution. So I looked up how this could be fixed. The solution wasn't straightforward, involved changing several pim related components, including adding a new DBUS method that is used to communicated between different Akonadi part, but in the end I had it...only to realize that although I get a nice error now when copying mails, I can't read my mails. Because it gives a DBUS related error. I've added a method returning a string, but from the error it said that it was expecting a string, but got a boolean. Confusing.
Looked at the code, looked again, tried different things: no go. I told to David (knowing that he is an extermly good developer), that here is the code, here is the error, I have no idea what to do.
He looked at, and all seemed fine. It was late, we both called it a night and went to sleep. Of course the problem bothered me, so next day I wanted to give it a go. Guess what, David was also online (this was Saturday), he was also interested in the problem. :) To make the story short, he found the issue: the problem was a setDelayedReply( true ); call I overlooked. That caused basically QDBus to ignore our return value, that must be sent later (and the code sent a boolean there). David did a refactoring, I found a corner case, we both tested, all was fine. After a few final touches, like making the string translatable the patch was ready for review. As David said, it was a nice teamwork.

The last one was the same day at evening: a complaint that KMail cannot move/delete folders from an IMAP inbox. Weird bug, as most of us use IMAP, so this should have been noticed before. I asked for details, I asked for different logs, to try different scenarios. The reporter followed everything I told promptly, and the surroundings of the bug started to take shape. He had an IMAP server without support for ACL (access rights). In that case we should assume everything is fully accessible. And so was everything for him, but the top-level inbox. Having that information, by reading the code I found the faulty line - a line that was weird, and unneeded. The line was introduced because of a bugfix, so I looked up the bug only to find users complained it is still not fixed. No wonder, as the fix was not doing anything about the original problem, but unfortunately created other problems. I have to admit that the API involved is easy to be used in a wrong way, but hard to fix now. For those interested (and to avoid such API), here is the problem:

// Returns the rights the user has on the collection.
Collection::Rights Collection::rights() const
{
CollectionRightsAttribute *attr = attribute();
if ( attr ) {
return attr->rights();
} else {
return AllRights;
}
}


// Sets the @p rights the user has on the collection.
void Collection::setRights( Rights rights )
{
CollectionRightsAttribute *attr = attribute( AddIfMissing );
attr->setRights( rights );
}

And the problematic commit looked like this:

Collection root;
root.setRights( Akonadi::Collection::CanCreateCollection );

You see, by default, a Collection object doesn't have any rights set. If Collection::rights() is called it will return AllRights. What happens after the above setRights() call? The Collection will have now right attributes (CanCreateCollection), so a further Collection::rights() returns that attribute. But *only* that one. Certainly not the behavior one would expect. We can debate that the plural form (setRightS) suggests that, but I still find bad API.
Back to the reporter, luckily the problem could be fixed with the developer tool called "akonadiconsole", so he was happy. Other users will get the fix in the next release.

From the three reporters two were KDE developers. One not having too much knowledge about the PIM part, the other having some knowledge, as he is the one running in the most weird PIM Issues, and we just tell to him to fix his own bugs, while the third was somebody who I never met before, so I assume he is a regular user.

What helped in all cases was communication: giving valuable information (like how to reproduce, what is your configuration, etc) and carefully following the instructions the developer makes. Especially if the developer cannot reproduce it, the only real chance to fix it is that the user acts as the eyes and hands of the developer. If I tell to my hand to type "foo", but it types "bar", nothing good will result in it, as I'd expecet that "foo" was typed and act further accordingly.
So bug reporters, please try to gather as much information from your side as possible when creating a report and always follow the requests a developer makes.

You should not draw a wrong conclusion from the above: that reporting on *development channels* on IRC helps and you should always come there with your bugs. IRC is great for instant communication. It is very bad though as you might not find the right person there when you report.
Use the bugtracker. Wait patiently for feedback (e.g. I work on KDE only from time to time and many others do the same). It is ok to ask about certain bug on IRC, but don't forget to report it. It is also ok, once the developer responds and starts to work on the bug to contact him on IRC (if you know its nick), as communication is faster on it.
Just saying something doesn't work on IRC will also not do any good, unless you are prepared to help track down the issue. And then you will suddenly become part of the team. It is not that hard to be a KDE contributor, no? :)

To answer my first question: does it matter if the reporter is a developer or a user? In certain aspect it does, I couldn't fix the bug (at least not that easy) without David. It might be slightly easier or faster to get out information from a developer. But if the communication is good, it doesn't matter too much.


          Call for developers: Quanta Plus and KDEWebDev        

KDE Project:

Time is passing by. Sometimes I'm also amazed that it was more than 5 years ago when I wrote my first KDE application and soon after I joined the Quanta Plus project. And a few months later Quanta Plus become part of the KDE releases, I think with version 3.1.
Probably many of you know that I worked full time on Quanta in the past years, thanks to Eric Laffoon and many other supporters, who made this possible. But things have changed, and I cannot spend all my time anymore on this beloved project. I don't abandon it, just realized that alone it would take just too much time to get a release for KDE 4.x series out in time. Therefore I call for help, I'd like to ask the community, existing developers or users with some C++ knowledge, developers who would like to find a challenging project in the open source world to come, join us. Help to make Quanta4 a reality and make many users happy throughout the world. You don't have to be afraid of the size of the project, one of the goals of Quanta4 is to have a modular code, build up as KDevPlatform (KDevelop) plugins.

There are other projects inside the KDEWebDev module that need help, some even maintainers:

- Kommander: just take a look at www.kde-apps.org and you will be amazed by the number of Kommander scripts uploaded by the users. Help to have a good Kommander for KDE4 as well!
The executor is already ported, but we have lots of new ideas waiting to be implemented.

- KFileReplace: useful search and replace tool, unfortunately without a current maintainer. It works, but needs some love.

- KImageMapEditor: don't let web developers without a KDE image map editor!

Of course our priority would be Quanta Plus and Kommander, but if you are interested in either of the above, just contact us on our developer list.


          Why for many interviews go horribly wrong        
Interviews can go wrong and your entire dream can get crushed because of many reasons. Here we highlight few of the causes: Lack of confidence: psychological factors Lack of communicative skills: skill related issues Lack of preparation: failure to switch on to active mode Lack of basic knowledge: subject related False psychological disposition: anxiety, fear, […]
          A nonprofit's guide to online security: So you want to learn the lingo?        
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web becoming publicly available. For many of us, this is a reminder of just how much the Internet has transformed our daily lives. This rings true for nonprofits too: The Internet has revolutionized the way that nonprofits communicate, fundraise, and recruit volunteers. It has enabled nonprofits like yours to share their mission with a global audience. To raise awareness. And to change the world. 

But the power of the Internet also comes with great responsibility -- namely the need to keep information safe and secure. As a nonprofit, it can be difficult to keep up with online security, especially when terminology seems complicated. Yes, you might have heard of terms like “phishing” or “cookies,” but what do they mean?

Today, you can find the answers to your questions with our quick & easy to guide to online security terminology. In less than five minutes, you’ll be well on the way to helping keep your nonprofit safe on the Internet. 

Let’s get started! Here’s a quick guide to familiarize yourself with common lingo and learn how to distinguish terms that are friends vs foes in the online security realm. 


THE BAD GUYS: MALICIOUS ACTIONS/TERMS

  • Advanced Fee Fraud (419 scams): A technique which tricks users into sending or paying money to fraudsters on the promise of receiving greater rewards afterwards. It is most commonly associated with Nigeria, and 419 is the section of the Nigerian legal code that covers this fraud.
  • Botnet: A network of computers that are infected with malicious software without users’ knowledge, used to send viruses and spam to other computers.
  • Malware: Malicious software with the purpose of infecting devices and systems, gathering personal information, gaining access to systems or disrupting the operations of the device or systems. Essentially, any software that maliciously alters or compromises the system or device.
  • Phishing / Social Engineering Attack: An attempt by hackers who pose as trustworthy individuals or businesses in order to get your personal information such as usernames, passwords, and financial information.
  • Trojans: Malicious programs posing as or bundled with legitimate ones, which are designed to compromise your system. They are usually installed on computers from opening attachments in scam emails or by visiting infected websites. The term comes from the Trojan Horse in Greek mythology.

How to avoid social engineering attacks

THE GOOD GUYS: ONLINE SAFETY TERMS


  • [Internet] Cookie: A piece of data from a visited website and stored in the user's web browser in order to remember information that the user has entered or engaged with such as items in a shopping basket on an e-commerce site.
  • Encryption: The process of encoding data, messages, or information, such that only authorized parties can read it.
  • Firewall: A security system used to block hackers, viruses, and other malicious threats to your computer. It does this by acting as a barrier, acting on predetermined rules, which allows trusted traffic but blocks untrusted or non-secure traffic. 
  • HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol): is the protocol for secure communications over a computer network used on the Internet. It essentially provides authentication of the website and the web servers associated with it. 
  • Transport Layer Security (TLS): TLS is a protocol that encrypts and delivers mail securely, both for inbound and outbound mail traffic. It helps prevent eavesdropping between mail servers – keeping your messages private while they're moving between email providers. 
  • Two Factor Authentication / Two Step Verification: A method of using an additional process to verify your identity online. It combines both ‘something you know’ (like a password) and ‘something you have’ (like your phone or security key) — similar to withdrawing money from an ATM/cash machine, where you need both your PIN and your bank card.

That’s a wrap for now! Pass on these tips to your nonprofit partners to stay safe and secure online, so you can focus on what matters most: changing the world. 

//

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more at no charge. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.


          Competing for a better, more inclusive world at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games        

When athletes from around the world come together, some of them compete for the glory of winning. When the 6,500 athletes from across the globe competed at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, they were playing for so much more — acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.   

Special Olympics
In order to bring together thousands of athletes, tens of thousands of volunteers, half a million spectators, and tens of millions of dollars in donations, the World Games Organizing Committee had a herculean task ahead of them. They needed technology that could keep up with their ambitious goals. 


Growing an audience for the World Games was paramount. With Google Ad Grants to run an AdWords campaign and Google Analytics to track behavior on their site, they were able to get their message in front of millions of people. Instead of flying around the world to train their many volunteers, they relied on Google Hangouts to efficiently and cost-effectively spread their knowledge. Twenty-five different sporting events means a lot of things to keep track of. They used Google Sheets to ensured everyone stayed on the same page and Google Sites to publicize the transportation schedule. 

As Patrick McClenahan, President & CEO of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games says, “When people are educated, inspired and engaged, hearts and minds are changed.” Carrying their message further means a more inclusive world for us all. 

Watch members of the World Games explain how they used Google tools here.


          Proenhance patch - Get a longer lasting        



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From the start, the company that provides ProEnhance patch had realized the requirement of men to enlarge their penises. Being aware that several men are unable to adequately satisfy their lover, ProEnhance patch was developed with the understanding that what these men experience is beyond your control and isn't your fault. If men have a small size of the penis, this treatment will be of huge help.

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ProEnhance patch is dedicated to your triumph over small or normal penis and supports this with a hundred % guarantee and twenty four hour support. It is a cGMP-Certified Pharmaceutical Facility that was attached with the latest technologies and it'll definitely give you the most productive and successful patch there. Being e 100 p.c natural and independently tested, the ProEnhance patch, was developed to be not damaging for you, unlike other more pointy and prepared herbs in the market.



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          Windows Server Administrator Consultant        
NY-Syracuse, Windows Administrator Consultant is needed in Syracuse, NY for 6+ months – Job MB1006144 (Microsoft Certification Preferred) Specific Technical Skills · Minimum of 5 years’ experience with Microsoft operating systems · Extensive knowledge in installing, configuring, and supporting Windows 2000,Windows 2003, and Windows 2008/R2 · Extensive knowledge of AD, DNS, DHCP, WINS, · Extensive knowledge sup
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blog entry 80
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          Manusia dan alergik        




Assalamualaikum..

Jika anda seorang yg super sihat, Alhamdulillah! Anda lah calon utama yg nia wajibkn utk membaca entri Ni. Kalau bukn sbb anda seorang yg sihat, anda tkkn mampu click link Ni dn bace blog nia. Tahniah diucapkan. :)

Wahai anda2 yg sihat, tahukah anda...bahawasanya di luar Sana , dn juga sini,,mungkin 1000 meter dr anda, betapa ramainya insan lain yg alergik mknn, alergik itu alergik ini, tahukah anda? Tidak, mungkin anda tk pernah ambil peduli, sebab itu bukan urusan anda.

Ya, benar., memang anda tk perlu ambil peduli. Nia izinkn anda utk buat tk tau. Tapi dgn satu syarat. Mulut mesti jaga. :)

Allah kurniakan mulut, bukan utk menghina insan lain yg kurang sihat seperti anda yg super sehat. :)
Tahukah anda, .......

1. Ada manusia yg alergik dgn seafood. Kalau makan, mungkin akn menyebabkn sesak nafas. Mungkin hidung mereka bengkak, Boleh jadi jugak kulit akn gatal2 , dn sesetengah org akn ditumbuhi jerawat yg keterlaluan. Mereka2 ini majoritinya mempunyai sejenis penyakit bernama resdung. Okay?

2. Ada manusia yg tk Boleh minum sesetngah jenis minuman. Sebab boleh menyebabkn pening kepala. Kenapa. Boleh jadi minuman itu trlalu manis atau trlalu masam utk diterima system bdn mereka. Mengapa? Tanyalah sama Allah...bukankah Dia lebih mengetahui? Haa...kalau kite nk fikir, mmg tk dptt punye. Ada org tk boleh minum Milo,..ada org tk boleh minum guava...anggur...katanya Kalau diminum, akn pening kepala. ade org kalau minum kopi, minum teh, Perut kembung penuh angin. Knp? Nk dijelaskn secara saintifik mmg tk smue tahu. Jadi anggap sajalah smue Ni kerja Tuhan, haa kn senang begitu?

3. Ada manusia yg tk boleh makan kacang, asal mkn je, jerawat trus naik. Tp bukan smue jenis kacang.. Kacang Tanah je yg kuat bisa dye. Tapi trlalu ramai yg mentertawakan perkara ini,kononnye mitos, padahal mereka tk tau org yg alergik Ni sentiasa naik jerawat bila mkn kacang. Sebenarnya ramai lg yg alergik pd kacang, dn mereka ini mungkin tk perasan hakikat tu sebab muka mereka dh penuh dgn jerawat. Possible right? ;) ape2 pn, tahniah kpd yg Berjaya jaga muka. Sebenarnya Kalau ditanya pada artis2 bagaimana nk berkulit cantik, mereka juga akn berikn jwpn sama, iaitu, jgn mkn mknn berminyak. Tahukah anda kacang terkategori sebagai mknn berminyak? Haa, anda tidak tau! Kalau tk Ada knowledge, jgn syok sndiri ;)

4. Tahukah anda ade manusia yg alergik pd panadol? Pabila dimakan, Mata mereka trus membengkak seperti Mata katak O_O ya, anda mungkin tidak tahu kewujudan penyakit ini. Tapi yes, this kind of allergic sememangnya wujud dn sy sendiri menyaksikannya.

5. Tahukah anda wujudnya manusia yg alergik pd habuk? Pabila trlalu byk habuk, mereka akn bersin non stop..ade yg akn gatal2 kulitnya bila trkena habuk...menggaru2 tk berhenti. Anda anggap mereka mengada2, tp anda tk pernah selami perasaan mereka. Anda fikir mereka mahu jd begitu? Tidak, mereka tk mahu!



P/s:Jadi, akhir kata, sebagai manusia yg super duper sehat, bersyukurlah.. dn jgn pernah memperlekehkn org lain. Sihat hari ni, tk semestinya sihat selama2nya., jgn bila Allah dh tarik nikmat tu baru nk ingt pd Dia. Manusia kena bersimpati sesame manusia, wallahualam.

          Forty summers ago – July 5, 1977 – grand jury began hearing testimony, piercing, slightly, the ongoing Showalter hit-run cover-up in New London, CT        


Editor’s Note: The Showalter grand jury is noteworthy in that forces for justice – Judge Joseph Dannehy, Special Prosecutor Austin McGuigan and as many as 17 Connecticut State Police detectives – could only knock down some of the walls protecting New London Police, State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti, Asst. State’s Attorney Harold Dean, Judge Angelo Santaniello, former Mayor Harvey Mallove and others who escaped complete discovery. The cover-up continues to this day, highlighted by the suppression and disappearance of the grand jury transcripts.




The foundation for investigative reporting in this case was developed by John Peterson, who was managing editor of The Norwich Bulletin during the grand jury. The grand jury began hearing testimony on July 5, 1977
.








Special Prosecutor McGuigan became Chief State’s Attorney, then was fired after convicting appointees of the governor and many other public officials.

---
Chronology, Grand Juror Report, Follow-up Columns
Via
Law And Justice In Everyday Life, CT Law Tribune


F. Lee Bailey on Law and Justice in Everyday Life and the Showalter case:

This book - which is mainly about public officials, police, judges and lawyers either shaming or shining - is a good read. Many of the stories stand alone, like slices of life. Others will appear early in the book, with follow-up chapters later. The crown jewel, in my view, is his handling of the strange death of Kevin Showalter, who was slammed 50 feet down the road in New London, Connecticut on Christmas Eve 1973 while changing a tire on the traffic side of a parked car. For many years, Andy Thibault dogged a case which public officials seemed determined to let die, despite the presence of a likely suspect. He tells me his mentor, John Peterson, broke the case open and then handed over the torch. Joined by the victim's mother, Lucille, who revealed herself as a determined but delightful woman as the story unfolds, Andy beats up on police, prosecutors, judges and governors until finally there is action. Spurred on by an appointment hastened by Gov. Ella Grasso, Judge Joseph Dannehy conducted one of the most brilliant and thorough investigations I have ever seen. If this book were only about the Showalter case, it would be worth the price.

APPENDIX

THE SHOWALTER CHRONOLOGY – A FOUR YEAR SEARCH FOR JUSTICE


New London, Ct.

1973

December 24

Approximately 11:10 to 11:20 p.m. Kevin B. Showalter is killed. Car leaves scene. Only taillights observed by a neighbor.

There is much confusion. Mr. Showalter had been changing a tire on his companion’s car. His companion Debra Emilyta, was sitting about six feet away from the car on a stone wall.

Ms. Emilyta told police she heard a thud, but did not see the car which struck Mr. Showalter. She said she ran across the road, a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street, before seeing Mr. Showalter’s body.

Mr. Showalter’s body was thrown 22 feet from the believed point of impact, onto a sidewalk near a large tree. The police report prepared that night noted the deceased’s shoes were found 110 feet apart. Part of a leg bone was found 75 feet away.

Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Auto Body gives police body putty, apparently from the car which struck Mr. Showalter. The putty never made it to the police station. Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko later denies its existence.

December 25

Autopsy performed. No trace of alcohol or drugs found. Cause of death listed as lacerated liver and broken neck.

In efforts to console Mrs. Showalter, friends, neighbors, witnesses and officials volunteer information about the accident. She quietly listens for about six weeks, taking it for granted that police are acting on the same information. December 26

New London police begin full-scale search for red car.

1974

February 6

FBI report describes paint particles on Mr. Showalter’s clothing as “racing green” or “forest green” used on 1968 Chrysler products.

February 7

Mrs. Showalter notes she had the impression local police were not actively pursuing the case. She began interviewing those persons who came to her voluntarily and made a written record of her findings.

During the next three weeks, Mrs. Showalter spends much of her time making telephone calls and knocking on doors. She and her youngest son Craig, then 14, visited a number of local auto dealers and garages. She said in most cases they were told police had not made any inquiries of them.

February 28

New London police conduct first interview with Harvey N. Mallove, the downtown merchant and former mayor and city councilor. Mallove stated he drove by Pequot Avenue near Plant Street shortly before 11:15 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. Seven people near the accident scene contradict what he said he saw.

April 20

Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. Edmund J. O’Brien, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation into her son’s death. O’Brien never responds.

On the same day, Atty. Thomas Bishop, representing Mrs. Showalter as the administratix of Mr. Showalter’s estate, asks Atty. Joseph Moukawsher to conduct a coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death.

April 23

Moukawsher agrees to conduct inquest but must confer with New London police before setting date.

June 4

Mrs. Showalter writes to New London Police Chief John J. Crowley, asking for a progress report on the investigation by his force. Crowley neither acknowledges receipt of letter nor responds. Copies of letter were sent to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, and Abraham Kirshenbaum, then chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

June 10

Mrs. Showalter asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a grand jury investigation.

June 24

Santaniello notes Moukawsher has agreed to conduct coroner’s inquest. He tells Mrs. Showalter, “If it appears that during any stage of this proceeding that any further intercession is necessary, appropriate action will be taken at that time.”

July 2

Mrs. Showalter writes to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, asking for a report from his office assessing the police department’s handling of the case. She also asks for a reply to her June 4 letter to Police Chief Crowley.

July 9

Driscoll tells Crowley to prepare a complete report for Mrs. Showalter.

July 10

Bucko completes report on fatal accident.

July 25

Driscoll sends Mrs. Showalter Bucko’s report. The report said Mr. Showalter’s body was in the road, but the ambulance crew which took Mr. Showalter to Lawrence Memorial Hospital said they found him on the sidewalk several feet away. No police officer ever saw the body at the scene since the first officer arrived as the body was being placed in the ambulance.

Bucko says paint particles from a 1968 Plymouth at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton are similar to those found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing, but the same paint is used on any 1968 Chrysler product.

Bucko also says a piece of metal Mrs. Showalter found near the accident scene is in the detective bureau. When Mrs. Showalter first offered the metal to police, they refused to sign a receipt for it.

August 6

Mrs. Showalter writes to Driscoll regarding Bucko’s report. She lists six pages of comments on allegedly “serious omissions” and “strictly opinion judgments” by Bucko.

Mrs. Showalter also writes to Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley, asking him to send a representative to the coroner’s inquest. She includes copies of correspondence with local officials and Bucko’s report.

August 9

Mrs. Showalter requests a meeting with the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

August 15

Bucko updates report, at request of city manager Driscoll.

Bucko said of the body location, “the position he (Mr. Showalter) was found in at the scene of the accident, in my opinion, would not help in solving this matter.” Erroneous on the report is the position of the car jack which is shown on the front bumper. The car Mr. Showalter was working on, a Ford Pinto, had to be jacked from the side of the vehicle.

Omitted from the report is the location of a car mat seen to the rear of the car and the spare tire Mr. Showalter never got to put on the car.

August 20

Gormley writes to Mrs. Showalter, telling her the local police investigation “has proceeded smoothly,” and there is “no reason for this office to initiate its own investigation.”

August 28

The Public Safety Committee of the New London City Council meets in closed session for one hour to discuss the hit-run death. Chief Crowley requested the closed session. He said there is evidence that could jeopardize future action.

Mrs. Showalter submitted a 12-page statement for the meeting, but did not attend.

Crowley said the case is not closed and it appears an arrest may be made.

August 31

Mallove submits official statement to New London police.

November, 1974

After being postponed several times, the coroner’s inquest hears testimony from 50 persons. No findings issued.

1975

January 24

A state police detective participating in the federal grand jury probe of the city police department has told one of its patrolmen they identified the driver of the car which struck and killed Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve, 1973.

“We know who killed the Showalter kid, how come you don’t?” the detective was quoted in The Norwich Bulletin as saying.

March 19-22

The Bulletin, in a four-part series, shows:

- Eyewitnesses and what New London police called “near witnesses” drastically differed in their accounts of the accident.

- Microscopic paint particles found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing on which police based their search may not have been left by the vehicle which struck him.

- Evidence entrusted to police officers at the scene has never been seen since.

- A claim by police that it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles possible involved in the mishap was declared false by the state Motor Vehicle Department.

The Bulletin, when preparing the series of articles, made repeated efforts to discuss the case with police officials but Lt. K.T. Bucko, who headed the case, on the advice of then Police Chief John Crowley, would not.

April 3 State police conduct an extensive door-to-door inquiry in the Pequot Avenue region. State police have been looking into the case as part of a federal grand jury investigation into alleged corruption within the city force.

July 12

The state of Connecticut offers a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter. A total of $3,000 is now being offered. Classmates and friends of Mr. Showalter’s have already collected $1,000.

July 21

A community effort by friends and classmates raises the reward to $5,000.

November 8

The transcript of the coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death conducted nearly a year ago has yet to be typed, Coroner Joseph Moukawsher confirms. He said he wants to review the transcript even though he believes his six-day long inquest did not establish any guilt in the case. He said he has not spoken with the court reporter assigned to the case since the early summer.

December 10

Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation. No response.

1976

January 6

Satti refuses to confirm or deny the existence of Mrs. Showalter’s request. Mrs. Showalter has also asked Satti’s office to ascertain the location of recorded tapes made during the coroner’s inquest.

January 9

Mrs. Showalter sends a special delivery letter to Satti asking for a response to the December 10 request. No response.

February 19

In a feature article, also carried statewide by the Associated Press, The Bulletin profiles Mrs. Showalter on page one.

Some public officials regard her as a persistent nuisance, someone to be ignored and sidestepped, but Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter will not breathe easily until they tell her who killed her son, Bulletin reporter Fred Vollono wrote.

“The official comment seems to be there is nothing to it,” Mrs. Showalter said. “It is just the ramblings of a grief-stricken mother. But there are many people who urge me to go on. They say, ‘Lucille, if you stop, then nothing will ever be done.’”

February 23

Mrs. Showalter receives a letter of confession from an inmate at Somers state prison. The inmate said he was plagued by news accounts of the death. Every time he seems to forget the accident, the inmate said, he reads another news story.

April 2

Mrs. Showalter submits a third written request to Satti for a grand-jury probe. No response.

May 6

Common Pleas court Prosecutor Harold Dean quashes the only lead in the two and a half year old investigation, The Norwich Bulletin reports. The lead was the letter of confession written by the inmate at Somers Prison. State police arrested the inmate for harassment of the victim’s mother, Mrs. Showalter, to whom the letter was sent. Dean nolled the case and allowed it to be dismissed despite a prior meeting with state police when the significance of the arrest was discussed.

State police did not believe the letter writer was responsible for the hit-run death, but they thought the letter contained possibly significant information. Dean said he was certain the accused had no knowledge of the case, because he was incarcerated when Mr. Showalter was killed.

August 7 The day following the Bulletin’s report of Dean quashing the lead, Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley says he had “no idea” why the lead “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. Two state police officers had met with Gormley to discuss the letter of confession.

August 6

State police list the investigation into the killing of Mr. Showalter as “closed pending further development.” That classification came 31 days after Dean threw the harassment case out of court.

August 30

Mrs. Showalter again asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a one-man grand jury probe.

September 1

Mrs. Showalter publicly renews her efforts to have a one-man grand jury reopen the investigation into the hit-run killing of her son. In a statement sent to 22 media outlets, Mrs. Showalter says she made the appeal in an August 30 letter to Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello. She says she was asking the judge to “make good on a promise” he made to her in June 1974. Santaniello wrote in a June 24, 1974 letter, Superior Court intercession would be possible if the investigation required it.

Santaniello said, “probably the proper person” to approach would be State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti. But Mrs. Showalter said she is ignoring Satti because he failed to respond to her December 1975 letter asking for the grand jury.

September 23

State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti says he needs another three weeks to review information on the killing of Mr. Showalter before deciding whether the investigation should be reopened or shelved.

Satti says he had hoped to have the matter resolved by today, but the sinking of his 35-foot cabin cruiser two weeks ago, an unexpected report of crimes by New London police, and a new trial forced him behind schedule.

November 23

Mrs. Showalter turns to Governor Ella T. Grasso for help.

“I cannot endure this loss of a beloved son in the midst of a governmental system that appears to neither act nor care,” Mrs. Showalter says in a letter to the governor.

Mrs. Showalter says she is skeptical the New London County State’s Attorney’s review of the case will result in the one-man grand jury she has requested. Satti today said he is still reviewing transcripts of the Coroner’s Inquest and refused further comment.

December 21

Just three days before the third anniversary of the killing of Kevin B. Showalter, the state’s chief court administrator orders the city’s only unsolved hit-and-run case reopened.

John P. Cotter signs an order creating a one-man jury to probe the death, renewing hopes that allegations of police bungling and mishandling of the case will be settled.

“I can’t yet believe it,” says Mrs. Showalter, calling the action a “literal miracle.”

Cotter, a justice on the state Supreme Court, selects retired Superior Court Judge Raymond J. Devlin to head the one-man grand jury.

An attorney representing Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter also files a $600,000 lawsuit against the unnamed person(s) responsible for the killing of her son. Atty. Averum J. Sprecher of East Haddam says the suit is aimed at protecting Mrs. Showalter’s rights.

“The action as I have filed it will definitively preserve her rights when the investigative bodies finally determine who killed the boy,” he said. The suit is aimed at heading off fears the state’s statute of limitations might preclude Mrs. Showalter from pursuing civil action if the killer is found.

December 24

Superior Court Judge Joseph F. Dannehy is ordered to replace State Referee Raymond J. Devlin as the one-man grand juror investigating Mr. Showalter’s death. Chief Court Administrator John P. Cotter says Judge Devlin had asked to be taken off the case because he was too busy with other duties, and would be unable to commute from his New Haven office.

1977

January 4

Austin J. McGuigan, the special prosecutor assigned to the one-man grand jury probing the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter promises to pull “all the stops” in his investigation but says he needs help from the public to succeed.

McGuigan has worked for the state for two years as the top investigator of organized crime. He appeals to anyone with information to call him confidentially.

February 8

State Police Commissioner Edward P. Leonard, as part of a last-resort effort, makes a personal appeal to area residents for information about the killing of Mr. Showalter. In a letter to the people who live near the Pequot Avenue site where Mr. Showalter died, Leonard asks for facts – “No matter how insignificant they may appear” – which might shed light on the car, the driver or the accident scene.

Special Prosecutor McGuigan says police “had no suspects.” However, he says if a suspect is found police believe there is sufficient evidence to tie the person to the case.

April 18

Investigators say they feel confident the Showalter case will be solved.

The new optimism comes after a public appeal netted more than 300 leads, new laboratory analysis of existing evidence, and an accounting of each of the more than 10,000 green Chrysler products registered in Eastern Connecticut when Mr. Showalter was killed.

The new evidence means “there is a significant possibility the vehicle in question was not a green Chrysler,” Special Prosecutor Austin McGuigan says. While the investigators will not say what other color the car might have been, the evidence apparently opens new avenues for the investigation. Previously, other theories on who drove the death car, theories which have had some substantiation, were locked into the green Chrysler theory, police acknowledge.

May 10

State police investigators spend two and a half hours recreating and filming the Pequot Avenue death scene where Mr. Showalter was the victim of the hit and run.

May 18

State police again film and re-create death scene.

June 22

The Bulletin reports that one of the most intensive investigations in state police history, the probe into Mr. Showalter’s hit-run death, will be given to a one-man grand jury July 5 in Windham county Superior Court.

Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror, imposes a gag order on all investigators assigned to the case. Special Prosecutor McGuigan and 17 state police detectives had gathered evidence for the grand jury.

June 23

More than 50 persons will be subpoenaed and the scope of the probe will be expanded to include subsequent actions connected with the accident, The Bulletin reports.

June 24

Eleven New London police officers, including the top detective involved in the first of three investigations of the hit-run death, have been subpoenaed, The Bulletin reports.

July 5

The grand jury begins behind closed doors with testimony by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

Outside, a television camera crew drips with sweat under the glare of a hot summer sun.

Inside it is quiet and cool – almost like any other day. The state police detectives and reporters talk about golf, baseball and other summertime activities. Because of the gag order imposed by Judge Dannehy, they can’t talk about what is most on their minds, what has brought them all together – the unsolved hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.

The session lasts about five hours and also includes testimony by Mrs. Showalter and Debra Emilyta, Mr. Showalter’s companion the night he died.

Ms. Emilyta has been sitting on a wall about 6 feet from Mr. Showalter when he was killed. She told police she only heard the 20-year-old Mitchell College student struck, and did not see the car which struck him.

July 6

Witnesses include Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Arco in New London. What he identified as body putty, apparently from the car that struck and killed Mr. Showalter, has never been seen since police officers placed it in an envelope that night, according to sources.

Ms. Emilyta concludes testimony.

Also testifying are Dr. Robert Weller, members of his family, and a friend, who while returning home from church drove past Mr. Showalter as he was changing the tire. They were among the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

Other witnesses include Mrs. Ruth P. Hendel and Mrs. Charles (Shirley Pope) Alloway, her daughter.

On Christmas Eve, 1973, Mrs. Hendel had just turned away from the window of her home on Pequot Avenue where she had been watching Mr. Showalter work on the Emilyta car. She heard the noise of the car striking Mr. Showalter and turning back quickly she caught a glimpse of the taillights. Her first impression of the fleeing southbound car was that it was bright-colored, possibly red.

Mrs. Hendel continued to watch the accident scene as she telephoned Mrs. Alloway, the wife of a New London police officer.

Arthur Adams of New London, a Mitchell College security guard and former state policeman, also testifies. Aside from Ms. Emilyta and the hit-run driver, Adams may have been one of the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

Adams saw Mr. Showalter working on the car and Ms. Emilyta sitting on the stone wall, swinging her legs. He observed the girl with a coat collar wrapped around her head, in conversation with Mr. Showalter, after the Weller party had driven by.

Adams continued on his rounds towards the Montauk Avenue side of the campus. Sometime after 11 p.m., he saw an ambulance heading for the hospital and two police cars heading down Plant Street.

July 7

Some of the last persons who saw Mr. Showalter alive and one of the first who saw him dead testify.

Six members of the Sitty family, who were celebrating Christmas Eve and occasionally watching Mr. Showalter change a tire from inside a house on Pequot Avenue, tell the grand jury what they knew about the case, Edmond Sitty had brought out a blanket and a corduroy coat to put over Mr. Showalter’s body after he had been struck and killed.

A New London High School classmate of Mr. Showalter, Arthur Petrini, was a passenger in a car that passed the accident scene sometime after Mr. Showalter was killed and before the ambulance and police arrived. He also testified.

July 12

Witnesses included two firemen and a dispatcher, two nurses and an orderly, the New London County Medical Examiner, the first man to officially identify Mr. Showalter, and a woman who lives near the accident scene.

Larry Grimes, a security guard who knew Mr. Showalter from Mitchell College, had made the preliminary identification at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, where he also worked. Mrs. Dorothy Bryson of Pequot Avenue, who came upon the accident scene, also testifies.

July 13

New London police officers pack the waiting room of the Windham County Courthouse. Of the 11 who were subpoenaed last month, at least seven are present.

The 11 include Patrolmen Vincent McGrath, Steven Colonis, Thomas P. Bowes Jr., and Cpl. Joseph Chiapponne, all of whom were involved in the initial investigation. With the change of shift, Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, Patrolmen Richard West and Glenn Davis and Det. Sgt. Konstanty T. Bucko joined the probe. Bucko was off duty at the time.

McGrath filed the motor vehicle report of the accident and the sketch on the report was by Bowes. Bucko took photographs of the scene and gathered evidence. His photographs may be the only ones taken. Bucko also went to the hospital and got the victim’s clothing, according to sources.

Colonis, the first officer on the scene, apparently arrived as Mr. Showalter was being placed in the ambulance. He interviewed Ms. Emilyta and took her to the station to file a 13-sentence statement.

There is some confusion of whether Colonis drove an unmarked police car that night. Sources say police made conflicting statements on that question.

July 14

Thomas Wainwright, who played tennis with Kevin Showalter at New London High, saw his lifeless body on a sidewalk on Pequot Avenue before an ambulance or police arrived, and is among those testifying today. Arthur Petrini, who testified last week, was a passenger in Wainwright’s car.

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Wainwright, who were stopped by police after circling the scene in another auto, also testify.

At least seven New London police officers are at the courthouse, but it is not known how many are testifying.

July 19

The grand jury shifts beyond reconstructions by “near witnesses,” as Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, now retired, testifies. He was the squad leader who reportedly conducted “an intensive investigation” for a red car during the 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. shift on Christmas Day 1973.

July 20

The grand jury investigators spend much of the day alone reviewing physical evidence and testimony. Only three witnesses – New London police who have already appeared during the proceedings – are present.

July 21

Det. Bucko appears for at least the fourth time in the nine days the grand jury has convened. The session begins at 10 a.m. and ends about 5:45 p.m., with his departure.

A nurse’s aide who knelt by Mr. Showalter’s body, feeling for a pulse, also testifies, Sue Costello, who heard the report of an accident as she was leaving Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals in New London from her shift, had arrived on the scene before ambulance personnel and police.

July 26

The scope of the grand jury probe goes beyond Mr. Showlater’s death and runs smack into a crucial area of dispute with the appearance of New London police detective Walter Petchark.

On Christmas Day 1973, with evidence already missing and news of Mr. Showalter’s death on the radio, Petchark reportedly received a call from former mayor Harvey N. Mallove. Mallove later told The Bulletin there was no truth to the report. But he allegedly told Petchark he thought he saw the accident the night before.

Three city police detectives – Bucko, Petchark, and Carmello Fazzina – were present at the inquiry. They were followed by laboratory technicians from the FBI, who lent their expertise in the analysis of headlight glass possibly belonging to the death vehicle.

July 27

The former counsel for the estate of Mr. Showalter testifies. Atty. Thomas Bishop confirms his representation of the estate was severed in June 1974.

Thomas and Donald Wainwright return for further testimony.

July 28

Witnesses include Mrs. S.F. Zimet of Ledyard. Mallove said he was visiting at her home on Christmas Eve 1973, left about 10:45 p.m., and was home in New London about half an hour later.

Mrs. Zimet is accompanied by her attorney, L. Patrick Gray. Gray, like Bishop, is a member of the New London law firm Suissman, Shapiro, Wool, and Brennan.

Other witnesses include New London city Manager C. Francis Driscoll and Elise Mallove, Mallove’s daughter. Miss Mallove was home for her Christmas vacation in 1973.

The grand jury begins a four-week recess. More than 50 persons were called during the first 12 days of the inquiry.

August 30

New London police investigators and a newspaper editor who has followed their unsolved hit-run death case for three years are among the witnesses.

Retired Police Chief John Crowley and Det. Lt. K.T. Bucko, who refused repeated pleas by The Bulletin in March of 1975 to discuss the death of Kevin B. Showalter, gives testimony – as did the paper’s managing editor, John C. Peterson.

Peterson testifies for three hours.

August 31

The attorney who conducted a coroner’s inquest into Mr. Showalter’s death, the results of which have never met public scrutiny, is the first witness today. Atty. Joseph Moukwasher, who heard testimony from 50 witnesses during six days in September and November of 1974, is one of the few persons familiar with the substance of that investigation.

It took more than two years for the transcripts of the hearings to be typed and submitted to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti.

State Police Sgt. Donald Crouch, who in 1974 and 1975 worked for the federal grand jury investigating alleged corruption in the New London force, also testifies. Other witnesses included Rosemary Benson and Carol James.

September 1

Physical exhibits appear to outnumber witnesses in the 15th day of proceedings. Two state police technicians from the crime lab in Bethany carry satchels concealing evidence into the closed courtroom. One exhibit is a light colored automobile fender, which was dented and streaked.

September 2

Det. Edward Pickett of the New London County State’s Attorney’s office, who helped administer a lie detector test to Ms. Emilyta, testifies. Ms. Emilyta passed the test.

Another detective, private investigator Joe Harris, is also called. A former Waterford police sergeant, he worked on the case for a brief time, on his own.

Other witnesses in a short session include State Police Sgt. Charles Trotter, a principal investigator in the federal grand jury probe of the New London city police.

September 12

Two persons who saw Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve 1973, hours before he was killed testify.

Ramona Ricci, a coworker of Mr. Showalter’s at a Waterford discotheque, attended one of two parties Mr. Showalter had planned to go to after work that night. Nancy Wicksham, who also testified, had joined friends that holiday evening at the club.

September 18

Mallove says his status as a suspect in the case is “nothing new.” During testimony in a New Jersey courtroom, Connecticut State Police revealed Mallove is a prime suspect in the hit-run case. The testimony concerned refusal by two New Jersey men to comply with a subpoena issued by the one-man grand jury. Trooper Charles Wargat also testified he was told the two men repaired Mallove’s car on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day 1973.

Mallove tells The Bulletin he did not know the men and never had a car repaired at their shop on Reed Street in New London. He says he didn’t kill Mr. Showalter and doesn’t know anything about anybody who did.

September 19

One of the two men who testified with immunity today has said in a published account he has no knowledge of the case and denied any car was repaired in his New London shop on Christmas Eve 1973.

Walter String Jr. made those comments in the New Jersey Courier Post. He and his son, Walter String III, had been ordered to appear today by a New Jersey judge, after refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Among the dozen or so witnesses are New London city police Sgt. Donald Sloan and Cpl. Charles Alloway. They took the first full statement from Ms. Emilyta, five days after the accident.

September 26

Darlene Barnes, a friend of Mr. Showalter who patronized the Waterford discotheque where he worked, is among the witnesses today. Ms. Barnes was also one of the 50 witnesses during the coroner’s inquest of 1974.

October 3

Larry Grimes testifies again. The Mitchell College security guard who made the first identification of Mr. Showalter at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, was also at the courthouse on July 12, and Sept. 26.

The grand jury will be in recess until October 17. It has convened 20 times since July 5 and heard about 90 witnesses.

October 11

Judge Dannehy says published reports that Mallove is a prime suspect in the case “couldn’t bother me in the least.”

“They (the newspapers) are free to speculate if they wish,” Dannehy says. “I am not concerned with their claimed right to freedom of expression.

I think that sometimes their attitude is to publish and be damned, but they don’t bother me.”

“Why don’t you wait” for the grand jury report? Dannehy asked.

October 17

The sales manager of a New London auto firm who said he has sold a number of cars to the family of a suspect in the hit-run case testifies.

In 1970, Peter Emmanuel Sr. of New London Motors sold a Lincoln Continental to Harvey N. Mallove, whom state police have identified as a suspect in the Christmas Eve, 1973 death. A compact car was among the other autos the New London firm sold to Mallove.

State police were looking for a green Chrysler product when they first questioned New London motors personnel, Emmanuel said before he testified. But the firm didn’t sell Mallove such a vehicle, which police had believed was the death car, he added.

October 24

The grand jury does not convene today because the investigators were not ready to proceed, Judge Dannehy said. He said he plans to conduct several more sessions before adjourning to write the final report, but did not specify.

November 14

The grand jury meets for its first regular session since October 17 and hears one witness. The witness, Gary Jordan of New London, said he was dating Elise Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973.

Sources say the grand jury conducted at least one special session since October 17, but it was not known who testified.

November 21

State police continue working long and irregular hours probing Mr. Showalter’s death as they re-create the hit-run scene on Pequot Avenue near Plant Street for at least the third time.

November 29

The man whom state police have said they consider a prime suspect in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death has his day in court.

Harvey N. Mallove testifies for about four hours before the secret grand jury probing Mr. Showalter’s death. Atty. Leo J. McNamara accompanies Mallove to the Windham County Courthouse.

Mallove says he was one of a number of persons who drove by the accident scene shortly before or after Mr. Showalter was killed. But a four-part series by The Bulletin in March of 1975 showed Mallove saw a scene that seven other persons said could not have taken place.

Mallove passed the accident scene within a minute or two after an ambulance call was logged. His statement to New London police – dated eight months later – conflicts with accounts of seven persons at the scene or looking out their windows seconds after Mr. Showalter was struck.

Mr. Showalter was struck by a car as he changed a tire on a friend’s parked Ford Pinto, on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street.

In his statement, Mallove said he saw an automobile parked at an angle in front of the Pinto. None of the seven persons saw any car stopped at the scene immediately after the victim was hit according to the July 10, 1974 report by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

Mallove’s vivid description of a middle-aged man talking with a girl near the car also conflicts with statements by the seven persons.

In his statement, Mallove said he assumed the man was a member of the police department. But Bucko claims in the July 10 report that Mallove told him the talking to the girl was “NOT” a policeman.

Bucko’s report also claims Mallove learned on Christmas Day 1974 that “a man had been killed and he remarked to some people that he saw the body.” But Bucko continued to report that after Mallove viewed photographs of the scene he realized what he mistook for a body was a floor mat. In his statement, Mallove said he saw a “flat object which I assumed was a blanket or a mat.”

In his August 31, 1974 statement, Mallove said, “Seeing no trouble, accident, or any evidence of anything out of place…I continued on my way home.”

In the July 10, 1974 report, Bucko claims; “Mr. Mallove stated he was going to stop because he realized there had been an accident.”

Mallove has told The Bulletin that Bucko misquoted him.

December 7

The calling of witnesses ends with Mallove’s second appearance.

The proceedings included a film screening, apparently of the death scene as re-created by state police.

After the 35 minute screening, Special Prosecutor McGuigan and Judge Dannehy questioned Mallove for about 40 minutes. That was the bulk of the afternoon session.

The question of whether indictments should be handed down in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death now rests with Judge Dannehy.

After 24 sessions and more than 100 witnesses, Dannehy said the next step for the grand jury is the final report on who killed Kevin B. Saltwater.

1978

Feb. 17 Report filed.

Feb. 22

Report made public.

  • THE DANNEHY REPORT


  • SHOWALTER COVERUP COLUMNS

    Chapter 1

    Law and Justice in Everyday Life

    Cover-Up In New London

    Hit-And-Run Continues To Mock Justice


    Sept. 4, 2000

    If Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney John Bailey wants to bring closure to cold cases, here’s one from New London that should top the list: The Showalter hit-and-run cover-up is a dark chapter in Connecticut history, a tale more appropriate for a Third World country.

    And yet, only one thing bothers former New London County State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti about the Showalter case: that it was investigated at all.

    Satti, now retired, made the point again and again, most recently this year. Satti’s complaint, made during the wake of the late state police Detective George Ryalls, was that Ryalls’ obituary mentioned the suspect the prosecutor refused to pursue in the Showalter probe.

    Kevin B. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, was killed at 11:12 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. He was changing a tire on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue on the New London shoreline when he was struck and killed. His girlfriend, sitting only 6 feet away on a stone wall, claims she saw nothing.

    Auto body putty from the death car disappeared after a tow truck driver gave it to New London police. The evidence file that was supposed to contain the putty was stuffed with bathroom tiles. The file that was supposed to contain headlight glass from the death car instead contained glass from three different headlights. State police and others suspected that, in order to throw legitimate investigators off the trail, the late young man's clothing was pounded on a different-colored car than the one that killed him.

    The victim's mother, Lucille M. Showalter, tried to get a grand jury investigation of the cover-up. She was rebuffed repeatedly by the presiding judge, Angelo Santaniello who, it later became clear, was best friends with the leading suspect. Santaniello then referred Showalter to prosecutor Satti, who happened to be his former law partner. Satti refused to acknowledge registered letters from Mrs. Showalter pleading for a grand jury probe.

    Satti did finally meet with Mrs. Showalter in 1978, after Judge Joseph Dannehy of Willimantic, acting as a one-man grand jury, named former New London Mayor Harvey N. Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle. Satti called the three-hour meeting, in which he repeatedly told Mrs. Showalter that there never should have been a grand jury investigation under Dannehy.

    Mallove held a good hand; he had the best legal muscle in New London County on his side. New London police would not question him for more than seven months, and then only in a perfunctory manner. They would say they inspected his cars, but they did not. Significantly, Mallove’s Lincoln had been repaired, but it wasn’t until state police took over the case four years after the accident that the fender was finally seized.

    Santaniello would arrange for a coroner’s inquest and put his niece in charge of typing the transcript. Only after two years of intense public pressure would the transcript be typed. But the inquest never issued a finding.

    Santaniello tipped off Mallove that he was a suspect. The judge was also aware of what local police knew about the case. Mrs. Showalter memorialized the admissions in tape-recorded telephone conversations.

    “I did talk to Harvey,” Santaniello told Mrs. Showalter on Oct. 17, 1975, “and I said, `You’re suspected.’ As a matter of fact, at that time a police officer came to him on the same day or the next day, and told him you were making accusations about him and that he was a prime suspect.” The day before, Mallove told Mrs. Showalter, “Judge Santaniello is of the opinion that you fingered me.”

    It was not until 1977 that state police, who took over the case at the behest of former Gov. Ella Grasso, formally named Mallove a suspect. Next week, I'll propose a means to solve the Showalter cover-up.

    Showalter Cover-Up Is New London's Shame

    Sept. 11, 2000

    New London, where I grew up and began working in the 1960s and ‘70s, was a dirty little city with character.

    It had a restaurant called the Hygienic that was everything but. There were at least a couple bars where the cops couldn't do anything, except maybe a little business.

    The top pimp in town never went to jail until he was about 60 and a certain court official retired.

    New London will always be the city that tried to cover up the Christmas Eve 1973 hit-and-run death of Kevin B. Showalter. It's been doing a pretty good job for nearly 27 years, but the onion is beginning to peel.

    The local daily newspaper admitted -- in its official history published this year -- that it did a shoddy job on the Showalter case. Specifically, The Day admitted its failure to explore the relationship between a former mayor and a top judge, and their influence on the course of the criminal investigation. That’s a beginning.

    Political and police corruption goes back a couple generations in New London. By the 1970s, New London police were widely known to be involved in the selling of women, dope and refrigerators, among other things. A federal grand jury took note. But as with the Showalter case, there were these little problems with the evidence.

    A jewelry store owner and former city mayor multi-millionaire Harvey Mallove was the prime suspect in the hit-and-run death of Showalter, a student at Mitchell College. Showalter’s date that night, Christmas Eve 1973, said she saw nothing from her vantage point six feet away, sitting on a stone wall under a streetlight on a residential street as a young man changed the tire of her car.

    Harvey was everybody’s pal. He would take kids to the Super Bowl, then, down the road, get them jobs as cops. He was friends with bums in the street and bums in high political office. He was wired. The standing joke among reporters became: Harvey's a great guy to have a beer with, just don't change your tire if he's driving by.

    “I didn't kill the kid in any way, shape or form,” Harvey told me many times. As mayor, Harvey helped hire a few police chiefs. His best friend was the administrative judge for the county; that was the judge who controlled the early stages of the investigation, specifically a coroner’s inquest that never issued a finding.

    State police followed up a report that Mallove’s best friend, County Administrative Judge Angelo G. Santaniello, was with Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973. Santaniello reportedly was No. 11 on a guest list for a party at the home of his political mentor, the late state Sen. Peter Mariani. The Mariani party was one of two Mallove attended that night.

    Santaniello told reporters he never went out on Christmas Eve.

    Another state judge, Joseph F. Dannehy, conducted two grand jury investigations. In 1978, Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle, but said evidence that might have ensured conviction was either mishandled or destroyed.

    Mallove died a few years ago with this legacy. Others still have time to come clean and tell the truth about the cover-up. Mrs. Showalter tried unsuccessfully to have Satti, Santaniello and others prosecuted for hindrance of prosecution (CGS Section 53a-166) warning of impending discovery, providing means of avoiding discovery, preventing discovery by deception. Because a conspiracy to hinder prosecution is an ongoing crime, those with information could tell Chief State's Attorney John Bailey, who has begun an initiative to solve some of the state's cold homicide cases.

    Isn’t it time? No one kept the system honest when it counted, though some tried. Most stood by as the system that was supposed to protect the victim and his family betrayed them all.

    Where is the conscience of the community?

    Cold Case On Ice Forever

    Nov. 6, 2000

    One way to deflect attention from a suspect is to get investigators involved in meaningless, time-consuming tasks. Another way is to create a bogus suspect who is then exposed as such, causing a belief that the case is just too hazy to pursue.

    Both of these devices were used repeatedly in the cover-up of the Showalter hit-run case in New London. Whether this was happenstance, indifference, incompetence or malfeasance, the result was the same. The system failed.

    And now, it seems, the truth will remain buried forever.

    Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror who investigated the case, wrote in his finding of fact: “After December 25, 1973, the New London Police Department did virtually nothing to solve the hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.” The accident occurred the night before.

    Local police and court officials, however, were pro-active in another sense. Their actions served to protect the assailant.

    For example, New London police claimed it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles using data from the state Motor Vehicle Department. The motor vehicle department declared there was no such charge.

    Nevertheless, New London police spent their time hand-sorting local motor vehicle cards. They looked for a green Chrysler. That was likely a false lead; state police said paint particles found on the victim's clothing did not come from the car that killed him.

    Former Mayor Harvey Mallove began meeting informally with police and court officials as early as Dec. 25, 1973. Mallove wanted to know what the police knew.

    The only lead after two and a half years was quashed by then New London Common Pleas Court Prosecutor Harold Dean in May 1976. The lead was a letter of confession written by a Somers prison inmate to the victim’s mother, Lucille Showalter.

    “I told Harold how important that was to me,” Mallove, the prime suspect, confided to an associate. He also acknowledged discussing the purported confession with his best friend, the presiding judge for the county, Angelo Santaniello.

    The author of the letter was known to be connected with “fences,” or purveyors of stolen goods in the New London area. State police arrested him for harassment of Mrs. Showalter. Two state troopers met with Dean for an hour. They told him the letter contained possibly significant information. State police also believed they could connect the dots in New London between the letter writer and the powers-that-be. Did he owe some favors? Was he paid? Police knew the author had no liability for the accident; he was actually in Florida at the time of the hit-run.

    Dean nolled and dismissed the case without telling the troopers or Mallove. Soon thereafter, state police listed the killing of Showalter as “closed pending further development.” Upon learning of Dean's action, Chief State's Attorney Joseph Gormley remarked he had “no idea” why the lead, “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. The case would remain closed for six months, until Gov. Ella Grasso brought the matter to Justice John Cotter.

    Was there criminal activity connected with the Showalter cover-up? It appears we will never know for certain. Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver, noting that evidence which might have ensured conviction was destroyed. The Chief State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed aspects of the case this fall after a series of columns appeared in The Law Tribune. However, the statute of limitations for the most likely potential charge, conspiracy to hinder prosecution of motor vehicle misconduct, has expired. This shameful case, it appears, is destined to stay on ice forever.

    - AND:

    Olympic Gold for Missing Evidence


    November 28, 2005

    Judge Ellen Gordon was in way over her head with what she tried pass off as a ruling in Day Publishing v. State's Attorney.

    Clueless Gordon was handed a hot one, a case no one has ever wanted in the so-called New London Judicial District. Every single time this case has come to court, begging for justice, The Robes, the prosecutors and their minions have either desecrated their oaths or looked the other way. Clueless Gordon, fairly new to the scene, has managed to join the list of those who are both ostriches and failures.

    The Day newspaper asked Gordon this year to release the grand jury testimony regarding the cover-up of the 1973 hit-run death of Kevin Showalter. Before Gordon probably ever heard of Showalter, five New London County judges recused themselves from a John Doe civil suit against the driver because they were friends with the prime suspect, Harvey Mallove. Mallove -- the late mayor of New London and multimillionaire jeweler who picked police chiefs, planned to run for Congress and starred in the social scene -- was prone to say, "I never killed the kid -- in any way, shape or form."

    It's not like we could expect a New London judge to show guts or brains in this case. Compelling testimony from the first of two grand juries implicated local law enforcement and court officials in a widespread cover-up.

    On Christmas Eve 1973 at 11:12 p.m., as the call came in, a high-ranking New London officer, said, "F--k him, he's dead," and then left to go home. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, lay dead on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue by the shoreline. His body was thrown 22 feet from the point of impact. His shoes were found 110 feet apart. A leg bone was 75 feet away.

    A tow truck driver gave police auto body putty from the death car. The putty was never seen again. New London police mixed headlight glass from at least three different cars in what they called the evidence file. Replacing the auto body putty was bathroom tile. A local coroner's inquest never issued a finding. State police, who took over the case at the behest of Gov. Ella Grasso, were bewildered and angry when they could not find the transcript of the coroner's inquest. Mallove's best friend -- the presiding judge for the county, Angelo G. Santaniello -- had put his niece in charge of typing that transcript. Santaniello also tipped off Mallove to his status as a suspect.

    Now, Clueless Gordon can't find the 3,000-page transcript of the first grand jury. Does she care? Court clerks allegedly performed a diligent search. Would any reasonable person believe or accept any of this?

    Among the last persons known to possess the grand jury report was the late State's Attorney, C. Robert Satti. Satti, who refused to investigate the case before a special prosecutor was appointed, claimed he returned a copy to the grand juror, then Willimantic Superior Court Judge (later Supreme Court Justice) Joseph Dannehy. Both Dannehy and Satti are dead. Did "Do Nothing Bob" -- Mallove's moniker for Satti -- take it with him? We might as well ask Harvey, also dead, or Kevin.

    Gordon's pathetic decision, dated Nov. 7, went on for about a sentence before its first fatal error. It might sound like a technical error, but it's much, much more than that. She actually said New London police investigated the case.

    Before this, I thought it might take generations to remove the stench from the New London courthouse. Alas, for New London, the stench of this cover-up is forever.


    Find & Open
    the Showalter File

  • Hartford Courant Editorial








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  •           Burn After Reading        

    Who’s Who
    What’s What

    In the World of CIA Fronts, Partners, Proprietaries & Contractors




    NEW BOOK:

    The Almost Classified Guide to CIA Front Companies, Proprietaries & Contractors
    By WAYNE MADSEN
    ISBN: 978-1-365-11196-9


    Cool Justice Editor's Note: Following are excerpts from author Madsen's introduction and the body of the work. Additional suggested reading: News story about Madsen's book via the Washington, D.C. based Justice Integrity Project [link at the bottom of this post].

    EXCERPTS:

    From the Introduction


    One of the most pervasive uses of companies as intelligence partners was under the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD. During the Cold War, the CIA, often with the approval of corporate executives, infiltrated their agents to work as journalists in newspapers, radio and television networks, wire services, and magazines. The following pages in this book are rife with examples of this penetration of the Fourth Estate – all too many in the opinion of this journalist. The CIA admitted to at least 400 journalists on the agency’s payroll at the height of MOCKINGBIRD. The CIA traditionally understates its capabilities, especially when its covert activities become publicly known. Moreover, the end of the Cold War did not stop the practice of the CIA in infiltrating the media and slant news reports to its wishes.

    *

    An insightful look behind the veils of secrecy into the CIA’s use of fronts, proprietaries, and partners calls into question the purpose of the CIA. Created by President Harry S Truman to serve as a central collector and repository of intelligence, the CIA became much more than that. A few weeks after the United States witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy in the middle of downtown Dallas, Truman penned an op-ed piece that appeared in several newspapers around the country. In it, Truman shared his regret for having created the CIA in 1947:

    “I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA . . . For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

    "I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue.”

    *

    The 21st century’s CIA’s partners are more likely to be found among high-tech companies marketing the latest and greatest mobile applications and data mining programs than among banks, law offices, and advertising agencies. However, in the post-World War II era, the CIA’s top and middle echelons were normally found operating through cover as typewriter-pecking journalists, traveling Madison Avenue admen, corporate lawyers, and chain-smoking oilmen. In the 1970s and 80s, CIA contractors and partners began showing up in the high-tech field, with database, local area networking, and on-line information retrieval systems attracting the most interest by Langley.

    *

    As this book went to press, the smart phone game application Pokémon Go fad was sweeping the planet. Unbeknownst to many of the on-line game’s avid fan’s was the connection of the game’s developers to the CIA’s venture capital firm IN-Q-TEL. All users saw their geo-location and other smart phone data being swept up by a CIA partner firm.

    SELECTED ENTRIES

    Amazon, Inc. [CIA contractor]. Company provides cloud computing services for the CIA. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.

    American Historical Society. [CIA partner]. Many society officials were OSS/CIA officers.

    American Press Institute. [CIA front]. Operating out of Columbia University, the institute’s director in the 1950s was a CIA officer.

    AmeriCares. [CIA partner]. A non-profit organization that is often the “first in” at refugee situations. Founded by tycoon J. Peter Grace, a board chairman of the CIA front, the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) and a trustee of another CIA front, the American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, AmeriCares was involved in funding the Nicaraguan contras. The group has also provided the CIA with recruiting opportunities at mass refugee sites, particularly in Latin America and Asia.

    Bechtel Corporation. [CIA contractor]. Bechtel is a large construction company that has included former CIA director Richard Helms, CIA pseudonym “Fletcher M. Knight,” among its executive ranks. Bechtel was active in providing corporate cover for the OSS in the Middle East during World War II. Bechtel has been a consummate service company for various CIA operations, including support for the CIA-inspired coup against the Syrian government in 1949, the Iranian government of Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadeq in 1953, and President Sukarno of Indonesia in 1965. From the 1960s to the 1970s, Bechtel provided cover for CIA agents in Libya under both the regime of King Idris and his successor, Muammar Qaddafi. Sometimes called a “secret arm” of the CIA, Bechtel’s executives included those who would join President Reagan’s Cabinet, including Secretary of State George Schultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

    Before World War II, Steve Bechtel formed a military-industrial complex partnership with John McCone. McCone later became the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and later, director of the CIA. The CIA has used Bechtel to provide cover for non-official cover CIA operatives abroad.

    Blackstone Investment Group. [CIA front]. With offices in Washington, DC and Moscow, arranged for the purchase of KGB documents following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Among the documents sought by the front company were any related to illegal CIA activities during the Cold War, including the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

    Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant. [CIA front]. Opened in 1967 in King’s Cross in Sydney, Australia. Served as a rendezvous point for CIA, Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), and organized crime figures. Its proprietor was Bernie Houghton, a CIA operative with links to Nugan Hand Bank, CIA weapons smuggler Edwin Wilson, and CIA clandestine services officers Theodore Shackley, Rafael Quintero, and Thomas Clines.

    Center for Democracy. [CIA front]. Administered under the aegis of Boston University, the center maintained offices in Boston, Washington, DC, Guatemala City, and Strasbourg, France. Involved in CIA operations in eastern Europe, Central America, and Africa.

    Colt Patent Firearms Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Hartford, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

    Daddario & Burns. [CIA partner]. Headed by former OSS officer Emilio Daddario, a Democratic Representative from Connecticut, the Hartford-based law firm provided services to the CIA.

    DC Comics. [CIA partner]. Worked with the International Military Information Group (IMIG), a joint CIA/Pentagon unit at the State Department, to disseminate propaganda comic books, featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, in Serbo-Croatian and Albanian, to youth in the Balkans during the military conflicts in that region.

    Disney Corporation. [CIA partner]. CIA agents who were adept at creating front companies and shell corporations in Florida, worked closely with Disney in preparation for the construction of Disney World near Orlando, Florida. OSS veteran “Wild Bill” Donovan and CIA shell company expert Paul Helliwell helped create two fake Florida cities, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, as well as a number of shell corporations, to keep secret the plans for Disney World. This kept land prices low because real estate speculators were unaware of the prospective value of the land in a desolate area of central Florida.

    Emory School of Medicine. [CIA partner]. Located in Atlanta, Georgia. Involved in the CIA’s MK-ULTRA behavioral modification project.

    Enron Corporation [CIA partner]. Houston-based firm that was used by the CIA to provide commercial cover for its agents around the world. There were at least 20 CIA employees on Enron’s payroll. Andre Le Gallo, a former official of the CIA’s Operations Directorate, went to work as a corporate intelligence officer for Enron.

    Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). [CIA front]. Officially established by American Trotskyists, the group was penetrated by CIA operatives. The FPCC New Orleans office was a CIA front that provided cover for the anti-Fidel Castro activities of Lee Harvey Oswald, Clay Shaw, and David Ferrie, among others. The New Orleans FPCC office was located at 544 Camp Street and shared the same building entrance with Guy Banister Associates, Inc., a private detective agency, the address for which was 531 Lafayette Street and around the corner from 544 Camp Street.

    In December 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the FPCC ceased all U.S. operations.

    General Electric Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Fairfield, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

    General Foods Corporation. [CIA partner]. Advertising account at CIA’s Robert Mullen Company handled by an active CIA employee.

    Google, Inc. [CIA partner]. Developed as a result of a research grant by the CIA and Pentagon to Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science. The CIA referred to the research as the “google project.”

    Greenberg Traurig. [CIA partner]. Washington, DC “connected” law firm.

    Guy Banister Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New Orleans private detective agency headed by former FBI agent Guy Banister. The detective agency coordinated the activities of various anti-Castro Cuban groups in New Orleans, including Banister’s own Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean, as well as the Cuban Revolutionary Council, the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, Friends of Democratic Cuba, and the Crusade to Free Cuba Committee.

    Banister and Associates shared office space with the CIA’s New Orleans front, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, headed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

    Hale and Dorr. [CIA partner]. Boston-based law firm that provided cover for CIA’s Independence and Brown Foundations.

    Halliburton. [CIA contractor]. Based in Houston, it is the world’s largest oil service company. Recipient of a number of CIA sole-source contracts for services worldwide.

    Harper and Row, Inc. [CIA partner]. Manuscripts submitted to the New York publisher that dealt with intelligence matters, particularly CIA operations, were turned over to the CIA for censoring edits before publication.

    Hewlett Packard Corporation. [CIA partner]. Sold computers to Iraq for Saddam Hussein’s missile program with the knowledge and approval of the CIA.

    Hill & Knowlton. [CIA partner]. Public relations firm that teamed with the CIA on a number of operations. Hill & Knowlton’s numerous offices abroad provided cover for CIA agents. One known Hill & Knowlton office that was a CIA front operation was in Kuala Lumpur.

    Kerr-McGee. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating overseas.

    Kissinger Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New York-based international consulting firm founded by former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft is a co-owner. The firm provided support to the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation and the Bilderberg Group. Much of the 1982 seed money for Kissinger Associates was provided by Goldman Sachs.

    Knight Foundation. [CIA partner]. Also known as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Based in Miami, the foundation provides funding for various CIA-connected media operations in the United States and around the world.

    Kroll Inc. [CIA partner]. Founded in 1972 by Jules Kroll, who had links to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence. Based in Manhattan. French domestic law enforcement believed Kroll’s Paris office was a CIA front. Kroll handled the security for the World Trade Center after the 1993 terrorist bombing and continued to be responsible for security up to, during, and after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Kroll employed former FBI assistant director for counter-terrorism John O’Neill, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

    Lincoln Savings and Loan. [CIA partner]. Based in Irvine, California and headed by notorious swindler Charles Keating, Jr., involved in laundering funds for the Iran-contra scandal.

    Lone Star Cement Corporation. [CIA partner]. Based in Stamford, Connecticut and linked to the Bush family, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad. Involved in the Iran-contra scandal.

    Mary Carter Paint Company. [CIA front]. A money-laundering operation for the CIA. Involved in casinos in the Bahamas.

    Monsanto. [CIA partner]. The firm contracted with former CIA official Cofer Black’s Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), a subsidiary of the CIA-connected Blackwater USA, later Xe Services, to monitor animal rights groups, anti-genetically modified (GM) food activists, and other groups opposed to Monsanto’s agri-business operations worldwide.

    National Enquirer. [CIA partner]. The tabloid’s founder, Generoso (Gene) Pope, Jr., worked for the CIA’s psychological warfare unit and the agency’s Italy branch in 1950. In 1952, Pope acquired The New York Enquirer broadsheet and transformed it into a tabloid, renaming it The National Enquirer. This transformation bore the imprimatur of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program.

    Newsweek. [CIA partner]. Magazine reporters and stringers fed information to the CIA. Newsweek’s stringers in southeastern Europe and the Far East were CIA agents. When Newsweek was bought by The Washington Post Company in 1961, cooperation between the magazine and the CIA increased. It was a participant in the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program. Much of the staff of Newsweek was absorbed into a new online publication, The Daily Beast, which continues to disseminate CIA-influenced articles. See Washington Post.

    Nieman Foundation. [CIA partner]. Located at Harvard University, the foundation awarded Nieman Fellowships, some on behalf of the CIA, for foreign journalists to study at Harvard. The journalists were subjected to CIA recruitment efforts prior to their returning to their home countries.

    Pamela Martin & Associates. [CIA partner], Escort firm run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called “DC Madam.” During her 2008 trial for mail fraud, Palfrey attempted to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act in order to discuss her relationship with the CIA. The U.S. Court refused Palfrey’s request and she was convicted and later said to have committed suicide before her sentencing hearing in Washington, DC. One of her clients was Randall Tobias, the head of the CIA-connected USAID. Another was Louisiana Republican senator David Vitter.

    Paris Review. [CIA front]. Literary magazine edited by George Plimpton. Published works by Jack Kerouac and Samuel Beckett. The magazine’s co-founder, Peter Matthiessen, relied on his affiliation with the magazine as his CIA cover.

    Quaker Oats Company. [CIA partner]. Worked with the CIA and Atomic Energy Commission to place trace amounts of radiation in breakfast cereal served to boys at the Fernald School for the mentally retarded in Waltham, Massachusetts.

    Radio Corporation of America. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Iran, Philippines, Japan, and West Germany. Provided technical assistance to CIA-financed clandestine and propaganda radio stations worldwide, including Radio Free Europe. RCA founder David Sarnoff was a major supporter of CIA operations, including propaganda dissemination around the world. RCA chairman and chief executive officer Thornton F. Bradshaw was active in the operations of the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation.

    Reily Coffee Company. [CIA partner]. Also known as William B. Reily Coffee Company and based in New Orleans, this company employed Lee Harvey Oswald and a number of other U.S. government employees, many of whom were suspected CIA officers.

    Robert M. Mullen Company. [CIA proprietary]. A Washington, DC public relations firm, it was used as a front for CIA activities. E. Howard Hunt, the CIA agent, worked for Robert Mullen when he was arrested in the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington in 1972. The Senate Watergate Committee reported that “the Mullen and Company has maintained a relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency since its incorporation in 1959. It provided covers for agents in Europe (Stockholm), Latin America (Mexico City), and the Far East (Singapore) at the time of the Watergate break-in.”

    Rockefeller Foundation. [CIA partner]. Used by the CIA to direct scholarships and grants to the Third World and Eastern Europe. Rockefeller Foundation money was funneled to the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), created in 1948. The chairman of ACUE was OSS chief William J. Donovan and the vice chairman was Allen Dulles. One of ACUE’s board members was Walter Bedell Smith, the first CIA director.

    Summa Corporation. [CIA partner]. Owned by Howard Hughes, Summa is believed to have skimmed gambling profits from the Sands, Desert Inn, Frontier, Silver Slipper, Castaways, and Landmark casinos in Las Vegas and Harold’s Club in Reno for the CIA and the Mafia. Provided financial cover for the CIA’s Glomar Explorer project.

    Teneo Intelligence. [CIA partner]. Branch of Teneo Holdings, which is headquartered in New York. Teneo Holdings’s intelligence branch includes former CIA officials. Teneo is closely linked to former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Teneo Intelligence has offices in New York, London, Rome, Brussels, Dubai, Bogota, New Delhi, and Tokyo.

    Texas Commerce Bank (TCB). [CIA partner]. Houston-based bank founded by the family of James Baker III. Texas Commerce Bank was used to provide commercial cover for CIA agents. After serving as vice president for Texas Commerce Bank in Caracas from 1977 to 1979, Jeb Bush joined his father’s presidential campaign in 1980. Serving with Bush on the campaign was Robert Gambino, the CIA deputy director of security who gave Bush his orientation brief at Langley in 1977.

    Kenneth Lay, the chairman of Enron, which had its own links to the CIA, served on the board of Texas Commerce Bank. Texas Commerce Bank was acquired by Chemical Bank in 1987.

    The bank provided major loans to Howard Hughes’s Summa Corporation. See Summa Corporation.

    United Fruit Company [CIA partner]. Involved in 1954 CIA overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz government in Guatemala. Published the Latin America Report, a publication that was a CIA front used for clandestine activities. The CIA transferred weapons to United Fruit employees in Guatemala who were involved in undermining the Arbenz government. The joint CIA-United Fruit plan was code named OPERATION FORTUNE. Company provided an airfield in Guatemala for the CIA’s training of Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

    U.S. Rubber Company. [CIA partner]. Headquartered in Naugatuck, Connecticut and later called Uniroyal, provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad. Included those operating under the cover of the Dominion Rubber Company of Canada, a subsidiary of U.S. Rubber Company.

    U.S. Youth Council (USYC). [CIA front]. Founded in 1945 and based in New York. Some 90 percent of its funds came from the CIA. USYC received funding from the Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs (FYSA), a CIA front. The USYC was composed of American Youth Hostels, Camp Fire Girls, 4-H, American Unitarian Youth, National Catholic Welfare Conference, National Students Assembly, YMCA and YWCA.

    Wackenhut. [CIA contractor]. Wackenhut, a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based security firm, stood accused of providing the CIA with specialized services around the world, including Chile, Greece, and El Salvador. Its Venezuelan branch, Wackenhut Venezolana, C.A., was accused in 2002 of involvement in the CIA’s coup against President Hugo Chavez. William Casey served as Wackenhut’s outside counsel before becoming CIA director in 1981.

    Wackenhut eventually merged into the global security firm G4S.

    Washington Post. [CIA partner]. The Washington Post was part of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD, the agency’s media influence project. Post publisher Phil Graham was a close friend and associate of MOCKINGBIRD chief Frank Wisner, Sr. and CIA director Allen Dulles. Wisner assisted Graham in acquiring The Washington Times-Herald and WTOP radio, creating a sizable CIA-influenced media operation in the nation’s capital.

    W. R. Grace. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Latin America. Provided donations to CIA front foundations.

  • News story about Madsen's book via The Justice Integrity Project



  •           Hit-and-Run Chronology, Grand Jury Report & Follow-up Columns, Re; Library Discussion 9-22-16        

    Open
    the Showalter File

  • Hartford Courant Editorial




  • Cool Justice Editor's Note:
    This post is primarily for patrons and guests of the Sprague Public Library, who might participate in a discussion on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. A link to announcements of that event is at the very bottom of this post. Thanks for reading, AT.


    Via
    Law And Justice In Everyday Life


    F. Lee Bailey on Law and Justice in Everyday Life and the Showalter case:

    This book - which is mainly about public officials, police, judges and lawyers either shaming or shining - is a good read. Many of the stories stand alone, like slices of life. Others will appear early in the book, with follow-up chapters later. The crown jewel, in my view, is his handling of the strange death of Kevin Showalter, who was slammed 50 feet down the road in New London, Connecticut on Christmas Eve 1973 while changing a tire on the traffic side of a parked car. For many years, Andy Thibault dogged a case which public officials seemed determined to let die, despite the presence of a likely suspect. He tells me his mentor, John Peterson, broke the case open and then handed over the torch. Joined by the victim's mother, Lucille, who revealed herself as a determined but delightful woman as the story unfolds, Andy beats up on police, prosecutors, judges and governors until finally there is action. Spurred on by an appointment hastened by Gov. Ella Grasso, Judge Joseph Dannehy conducted one of the most brilliant and thorough investigations I have ever seen. If this book were only about the Showalter case, it would be worth the price.

    APPENDIX

    THE SHOWALTER CHRONOLOGY – A FOUR YEAR SEARCH FOR JUSTICE


    New London, Ct.

    1973

    December 24

    Approximately 11:10 to 11:20 p.m. Kevin B. Showalter is killed. Car leaves scene. Only taillights observed by a neighbor.

    There is much confusion. Mr. Showalter had been changing a tire on his companion’s car. His companion Debra Emilyta, was sitting about six feet away from the car on a stone wall.

    Ms. Emilyta told police she heard a thud, but did not see the car which struck Mr. Showalter. She said she ran across the road, a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street, before seeing Mr. Showalter’s body.

    Mr. Showalter’s body was thrown 22 feet from the believed point of impact, onto a sidewalk near a large tree. The police report prepared that night noted the deceased’s shoes were found 110 feet apart. Part of a leg bone was found 75 feet away.

    Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Auto Body gives police body putty, apparently from the car which struck Mr. Showalter. The putty never made it to the police station. Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko later denies its existence.

    December 25

    Autopsy performed. No trace of alcohol or drugs found. Cause of death listed as lacerated liver and broken neck.

    In efforts to console Mrs. Showalter, friends, neighbors, witnesses and officials volunteer information about the accident. She quietly listens for about six weeks, taking it for granted that police are acting on the same information. December 26

    New London police begin full-scale search for red car.

    1974

    February 6

    FBI report describes paint particles on Mr. Showalter’s clothing as “racing green” or “forest green” used on 1968 Chrysler products.

    February 7

    Mrs. Showalter notes she had the impression local police were not actively pursuing the case. She began interviewing those persons who came to her voluntarily and made a written record of her findings.

    During the next three weeks, Mrs. Showalter spends much of her time making telephone calls and knocking on doors. She and her youngest son Craig, then 14, visited a number of local auto dealers and garages. She said in most cases they were told police had not made any inquiries of them.

    February 28

    New London police conduct first interview with Harvey N. Mallove, the downtown merchant and former mayor and city councilor. Mallove stated he drove by Pequot Avenue near Plant Street shortly before 11:15 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. Seven people near the accident scene contradict what he said he saw.

    April 20

    Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. Edmund J. O’Brien, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation into her son’s death. O’Brien never responds.

    On the same day, Atty. Thomas Bishop, representing Mrs. Showalter as the administratix of Mr. Showalter’s estate, asks Atty. Joseph Moukawsher to conduct a coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death.

    April 23

    Moukawsher agrees to conduct inquest but must confer with New London police before setting date.

    June 4

    Mrs. Showalter writes to New London Police Chief John J. Crowley, asking for a progress report on the investigation by his force. Crowley neither acknowledges receipt of letter nor responds. Copies of letter were sent to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, and Abraham Kirshenbaum, then chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

    June 10

    Mrs. Showalter asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a grand jury investigation.

    June 24

    Santaniello notes Moukawsher has agreed to conduct coroner’s inquest. He tells Mrs. Showalter, “If it appears that during any stage of this proceeding that any further intercession is necessary, appropriate action will be taken at that time.”

    July 2

    Mrs. Showalter writes to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, asking for a report from his office assessing the police department’s handling of the case. She also asks for a reply to her June 4 letter to Police Chief Crowley.

    July 9

    Driscoll tells Crowley to prepare a complete report for Mrs. Showalter.

    July 10

    Bucko completes report on fatal accident.

    July 25

    Driscoll sends Mrs. Showalter Bucko’s report. The report said Mr. Showalter’s body was in the road, but the ambulance crew which took Mr. Showalter to Lawrence Memorial Hospital said they found him on the sidewalk several feet away. No police officer ever saw the body at the scene since the first officer arrived as the body was being placed in the ambulance.

    Bucko says paint particles from a 1968 Plymouth at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton are similar to those found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing, but the same paint is used on any 1968 Chrysler product.

    Bucko also says a piece of metal Mrs. Showalter found near the accident scene is in the detective bureau. When Mrs. Showalter first offered the metal to police, they refused to sign a receipt for it.

    August 6

    Mrs. Showalter writes to Driscoll regarding Bucko’s report. She lists six pages of comments on allegedly “serious omissions” and “strictly opinion judgments” by Bucko.

    Mrs. Showalter also writes to Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley, asking him to send a representative to the coroner’s inquest. She includes copies of correspondence with local officials and Bucko’s report.

    August 9

    Mrs. Showalter requests a meeting with the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

    August 15

    Bucko updates report, at request of city manager Driscoll.

    Bucko said of the body location, “the position he (Mr. Showalter) was found in at the scene of the accident, in my opinion, would not help in solving this matter.” Erroneous on the report is the position of the car jack which is shown on the front bumper. The car Mr. Showalter was working on, a Ford Pinto, had to be jacked from the side of the vehicle.

    Omitted from the report is the location of a car mat seen to the rear of the car and the spare tire Mr. Showalter never got to put on the car.

    August 20

    Gormley writes to Mrs. Showalter, telling her the local police investigation “has proceeded smoothly,” and there is “no reason for this office to initiate its own investigation.”

    August 28

    The Public Safety Committee of the New London City Council meets in closed session for one hour to discuss the hit-run death. Chief Crowley requested the closed session. He said there is evidence that could jeopardize future action.

    Mrs. Showalter submitted a 12-page statement for the meeting, but did not attend.

    Crowley said the case is not closed and it appears an arrest may be made.

    August 31

    Mallove submits official statement to New London police.

    November, 1974

    After being postponed several times, the coroner’s inquest hears testimony from 50 persons. No findings issued.

    1975

    January 24

    A state police detective participating in the federal grand jury probe of the city police department has told one of its patrolmen they identified the driver of the car which struck and killed Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve, 1973.

    “We know who killed the Showalter kid, how come you don’t?” the detective was quoted in The Norwich Bulletin as saying.

    March 19-22

    The Bulletin, in a four-part series, shows:

    - Eyewitnesses and what New London police called “near witnesses” drastically differed in their accounts of the accident.

    - Microscopic paint particles found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing on which police based their search may not have been left by the vehicle which struck him.

    - Evidence entrusted to police officers at the scene has never been seen since.

    - A claim by police that it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles possible involved in the mishap was declared false by the state Motor Vehicle Department.

    The Bulletin, when preparing the series of articles, made repeated efforts to discuss the case with police officials but Lt. K.T. Bucko, who headed the case, on the advice of then Police Chief John Crowley, would not.

    April 3 State police conduct an extensive door-to-door inquiry in the Pequot Avenue region. State police have been looking into the case as part of a federal grand jury investigation into alleged corruption within the city force.

    July 12

    The state of Connecticut offers a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter. A total of $3,000 is now being offered. Classmates and friends of Mr. Showalter’s have already collected $1,000.

    July 21

    A community effort by friends and classmates raises the reward to $5,000.

    November 8

    The transcript of the coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death conducted nearly a year ago has yet to be typed, Coroner Joseph Moukawsher confirms. He said he wants to review the transcript even though he believes his six-day long inquest did not establish any guilt in the case. He said he has not spoken with the court reporter assigned to the case since the early summer.

    December 10

    Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation. No response.

    1976

    January 6

    Satti refuses to confirm or deny the existence of Mrs. Showalter’s request. Mrs. Showalter has also asked Satti’s office to ascertain the location of recorded tapes made during the coroner’s inquest.

    January 9

    Mrs. Showalter sends a special delivery letter to Satti asking for a response to the December 10 request. No response.

    February 19

    In a feature article, also carried statewide by the Associated Press, The Bulletin profiles Mrs. Showalter on page one.

    Some public officials regard her as a persistent nuisance, someone to be ignored and sidestepped, but Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter will not breathe easily until they tell her who killed her son, Bulletin reporter Fred Vollono wrote.

    “The official comment seems to be there is nothing to it,” Mrs. Showalter said. “It is just the ramblings of a grief-stricken mother. But there are many people who urge me to go on. They say, ‘Lucille, if you stop, then nothing will ever be done.’”

    February 23

    Mrs. Showalter receives a letter of confession from an inmate at Somers state prison. The inmate said he was plagued by news accounts of the death. Every time he seems to forget the accident, the inmate said, he reads another news story.

    April 2

    Mrs. Showalter submits a third written request to Satti for a grand-jury probe. No response.

    May 6

    Common Pleas court Prosecutor Harold Dean quashes the only lead in the two and a half year old investigation, The Norwich Bulletin reports. The lead was the letter of confession written by the inmate at Somers Prison. State police arrested the inmate for harassment of the victim’s mother, Mrs. Showalter, to whom the letter was sent. Dean nolled the case and allowed it to be dismissed despite a prior meeting with state police when the significance of the arrest was discussed.

    State police did not believe the letter writer was responsible for the hit-run death, but they thought the letter contained possibly significant information. Dean said he was certain the accused had no knowledge of the case, because he was incarcerated when Mr. Showalter was killed.

    August 7 The day following the Bulletin’s report of Dean quashing the lead, Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley says he had “no idea” why the lead “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. Two state police officers had met with Gormley to discuss the letter of confession.

    August 6

    State police list the investigation into the killing of Mr. Showalter as “closed pending further development.” That classification came 31 days after Dean threw the harassment case out of court.

    August 30

    Mrs. Showalter again asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a one-man grand jury probe.

    September 1

    Mrs. Showalter publicly renews her efforts to have a one-man grand jury reopen the investigation into the hit-run killing of her son. In a statement sent to 22 media outlets, Mrs. Showalter says she made the appeal in an August 30 letter to Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello. She says she was asking the judge to “make good on a promise” he made to her in June 1974. Santaniello wrote in a June 24, 1974 letter, Superior Court intercession would be possible if the investigation required it.

    Santaniello said, “probably the proper person” to approach would be State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti. But Mrs. Showalter said she is ignoring Satti because he failed to respond to her December 1975 letter asking for the grand jury.

    September 23

    State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti says he needs another three weeks to review information on the killing of Mr. Showalter before deciding whether the investigation should be reopened or shelved.

    Satti says he had hoped to have the matter resolved by today, but the sinking of his 35-foot cabin cruiser two weeks ago, an unexpected report of crimes by New London police, and a new trial forced him behind schedule.

    November 23

    Mrs. Showalter turns to Governor Ella T. Grasso for help.

    “I cannot endure this loss of a beloved son in the midst of a governmental system that appears to neither act nor care,” Mrs. Showalter says in a letter to the governor.

    Mrs. Showalter says she is skeptical the New London County State’s Attorney’s review of the case will result in the one-man grand jury she has requested. Satti today said he is still reviewing transcripts of the Coroner’s Inquest and refused further comment.

    December 21

    Just three days before the third anniversary of the killing of Kevin B. Showalter, the state’s chief court administrator orders the city’s only unsolved hit-and-run case reopened.

    John P. Cotter signs an order creating a one-man jury to probe the death, renewing hopes that allegations of police bungling and mishandling of the case will be settled.

    “I can’t yet believe it,” says Mrs. Showalter, calling the action a “literal miracle.”

    Cotter, a justice on the state Supreme Court, selects retired Superior Court Judge Raymond J. Devlin to head the one-man grand jury.

    An attorney representing Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter also files a $600,000 lawsuit against the unnamed person(s) responsible for the killing of her son. Atty. Averum J. Sprecher of East Haddam says the suit is aimed at protecting Mrs. Showalter’s rights.

    “The action as I have filed it will definitively preserve her rights when the investigative bodies finally determine who killed the boy,” he said. The suit is aimed at heading off fears the state’s statute of limitations might preclude Mrs. Showalter from pursuing civil action if the killer is found.

    December 24

    Superior Court Judge Joseph F. Dannehy is ordered to replace State Referee Raymond J. Devlin as the one-man grand juror investigating Mr. Showalter’s death. Chief Court Administrator John P. Cotter says Judge Devlin had asked to be taken off the case because he was too busy with other duties, and would be unable to commute from his New Haven office.

    1977

    January 4

    Austin J. McGuigan, the special prosecutor assigned to the one-man grand jury probing the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter promises to pull “all the stops” in his investigation but says he needs help from the public to succeed.

    McGuigan has worked for the state for two years as the top investigator of organized crime. He appeals to anyone with information to call him confidentially.

    February 8

    State Police Commissioner Edward P. Leonard, as part of a last-resort effort, makes a personal appeal to area residents for information about the killing of Mr. Showalter. In a letter to the people who live near the Pequot Avenue site where Mr. Showalter died, Leonard asks for facts – “No matter how insignificant they may appear” – which might shed light on the car, the driver or the accident scene.

    Special Prosecutor McGuigan says police “had no suspects.” However, he says if a suspect is found police believe there is sufficient evidence to tie the person to the case.

    April 18

    Investigators say they feel confident the Showalter case will be solved.

    The new optimism comes after a public appeal netted more than 300 leads, new laboratory analysis of existing evidence, and an accounting of each of the more than 10,000 green Chrysler products registered in Eastern Connecticut when Mr. Showalter was killed.

    The new evidence means “there is a significant possibility the vehicle in question was not a green Chrysler,” Special Prosecutor Austin McGuigan says. While the investigators will not say what other color the car might have been, the evidence apparently opens new avenues for the investigation. Previously, other theories on who drove the death car, theories which have had some substantiation, were locked into the green Chrysler theory, police acknowledge.

    May 10

    State police investigators spend two and a half hours recreating and filming the Pequot Avenue death scene where Mr. Showalter was the victim of the hit and run.

    May 18

    State police again film and re-create death scene.

    June 22

    The Bulletin reports that one of the most intensive investigations in state police history, the probe into Mr. Showalter’s hit-run death, will be given to a one-man grand jury July 5 in Windham county Superior Court.

    Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror, imposes a gag order on all investigators assigned to the case. Special Prosecutor McGuigan and 17 state police detectives had gathered evidence for the grand jury.

    June 23

    More than 50 persons will be subpoenaed and the scope of the probe will be expanded to include subsequent actions connected with the accident, The Bulletin reports.

    June 24

    Eleven New London police officers, including the top detective involved in the first of three investigations of the hit-run death, have been subpoenaed, The Bulletin reports.

    July 5

    The grand jury begins behind closed doors with testimony by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

    Outside, a television camera crew drips with sweat under the glare of a hot summer sun.

    Inside it is quiet and cool – almost like any other day. The state police detectives and reporters talk about golf, baseball and other summertime activities. Because of the gag order imposed by Judge Dannehy, they can’t talk about what is most on their minds, what has brought them all together – the unsolved hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.

    The session lasts about five hours and also includes testimony by Mrs. Showalter and Debra Emilyta, Mr. Showalter’s companion the night he died.

    Ms. Emilyta has been sitting on a wall about 6 feet from Mr. Showalter when he was killed. She told police she only heard the 20-year-old Mitchell College student struck, and did not see the car which struck him.

    July 6

    Witnesses include Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Arco in New London. What he identified as body putty, apparently from the car that struck and killed Mr. Showalter, has never been seen since police officers placed it in an envelope that night, according to sources.

    Ms. Emilyta concludes testimony.

    Also testifying are Dr. Robert Weller, members of his family, and a friend, who while returning home from church drove past Mr. Showalter as he was changing the tire. They were among the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

    Other witnesses include Mrs. Ruth P. Hendel and Mrs. Charles (Shirley Pope) Alloway, her daughter.

    On Christmas Eve, 1973, Mrs. Hendel had just turned away from the window of her home on Pequot Avenue where she had been watching Mr. Showalter work on the Emilyta car. She heard the noise of the car striking Mr. Showalter and turning back quickly she caught a glimpse of the taillights. Her first impression of the fleeing southbound car was that it was bright-colored, possibly red.

    Mrs. Hendel continued to watch the accident scene as she telephoned Mrs. Alloway, the wife of a New London police officer.

    Arthur Adams of New London, a Mitchell College security guard and former state policeman, also testifies. Aside from Ms. Emilyta and the hit-run driver, Adams may have been one of the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

    Adams saw Mr. Showalter working on the car and Ms. Emilyta sitting on the stone wall, swinging her legs. He observed the girl with a coat collar wrapped around her head, in conversation with Mr. Showalter, after the Weller party had driven by.

    Adams continued on his rounds towards the Montauk Avenue side of the campus. Sometime after 11 p.m., he saw an ambulance heading for the hospital and two police cars heading down Plant Street.

    July 7

    Some of the last persons who saw Mr. Showalter alive and one of the first who saw him dead testify.

    Six members of the Sitty family, who were celebrating Christmas Eve and occasionally watching Mr. Showalter change a tire from inside a house on Pequot Avenue, tell the grand jury what they knew about the case, Edmond Sitty had brought out a blanket and a corduroy coat to put over Mr. Showalter’s body after he had been struck and killed.

    A New London High School classmate of Mr. Showalter, Arthur Petrini, was a passenger in a car that passed the accident scene sometime after Mr. Showalter was killed and before the ambulance and police arrived. He also testified.

    July 12

    Witnesses included two firemen and a dispatcher, two nurses and an orderly, the New London County Medical Examiner, the first man to officially identify Mr. Showalter, and a woman who lives near the accident scene.

    Larry Grimes, a security guard who knew Mr. Showalter from Mitchell College, had made the preliminary identification at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, where he also worked. Mrs. Dorothy Bryson of Pequot Avenue, who came upon the accident scene, also testifies.

    July 13

    New London police officers pack the waiting room of the Windham County Courthouse. Of the 11 who were subpoenaed last month, at least seven are present.

    The 11 include Patrolmen Vincent McGrath, Steven Colonis, Thomas P. Bowes Jr., and Cpl. Joseph Chiapponne, all of whom were involved in the initial investigation. With the change of shift, Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, Patrolmen Richard West and Glenn Davis and Det. Sgt. Konstanty T. Bucko joined the probe. Bucko was off duty at the time.

    McGrath filed the motor vehicle report of the accident and the sketch on the report was by Bowes. Bucko took photographs of the scene and gathered evidence. His photographs may be the only ones taken. Bucko also went to the hospital and got the victim’s clothing, according to sources.

    Colonis, the first officer on the scene, apparently arrived as Mr. Showalter was being placed in the ambulance. He interviewed Ms. Emilyta and took her to the station to file a 13-sentence statement.

    There is some confusion of whether Colonis drove an unmarked police car that night. Sources say police made conflicting statements on that question.

    July 14

    Thomas Wainwright, who played tennis with Kevin Showalter at New London High, saw his lifeless body on a sidewalk on Pequot Avenue before an ambulance or police arrived, and is among those testifying today. Arthur Petrini, who testified last week, was a passenger in Wainwright’s car.

    Mr. and Mrs. Donald Wainwright, who were stopped by police after circling the scene in another auto, also testify.

    At least seven New London police officers are at the courthouse, but it is not known how many are testifying.

    July 19

    The grand jury shifts beyond reconstructions by “near witnesses,” as Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, now retired, testifies. He was the squad leader who reportedly conducted “an intensive investigation” for a red car during the 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. shift on Christmas Day 1973.

    July 20

    The grand jury investigators spend much of the day alone reviewing physical evidence and testimony. Only three witnesses – New London police who have already appeared during the proceedings – are present.

    July 21

    Det. Bucko appears for at least the fourth time in the nine days the grand jury has convened. The session begins at 10 a.m. and ends about 5:45 p.m., with his departure.

    A nurse’s aide who knelt by Mr. Showalter’s body, feeling for a pulse, also testifies, Sue Costello, who heard the report of an accident as she was leaving Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals in New London from her shift, had arrived on the scene before ambulance personnel and police.

    July 26

    The scope of the grand jury probe goes beyond Mr. Showlater’s death and runs smack into a crucial area of dispute with the appearance of New London police detective Walter Petchark.

    On Christmas Day 1973, with evidence already missing and news of Mr. Showalter’s death on the radio, Petchark reportedly received a call from former mayor Harvey N. Mallove. Mallove later told The Bulletin there was no truth to the report. But he allegedly told Petchark he thought he saw the accident the night before.

    Three city police detectives – Bucko, Petchark, and Carmello Fazzina – were present at the inquiry. They were followed by laboratory technicians from the FBI, who lent their expertise in the analysis of headlight glass possibly belonging to the death vehicle.

    July 27

    The former counsel for the estate of Mr. Showalter testifies. Atty. Thomas Bishop confirms his representation of the estate was severed in June 1974.

    Thomas and Donald Wainwright return for further testimony.

    July 28

    Witnesses include Mrs. S.F. Zimet of Ledyard. Mallove said he was visiting at her home on Christmas Eve 1973, left about 10:45 p.m., and was home in New London about half an hour later.

    Mrs. Zimet is accompanied by her attorney, L. Patrick Gray. Gray, like Bishop, is a member of the New London law firm Suissman, Shapiro, Wool, and Brennan.

    Other witnesses include New London city Manager C. Francis Driscoll and Elise Mallove, Mallove’s daughter. Miss Mallove was home for her Christmas vacation in 1973.

    The grand jury begins a four-week recess. More than 50 persons were called during the first 12 days of the inquiry.

    August 30

    New London police investigators and a newspaper editor who has followed their unsolved hit-run death case for three years are among the witnesses.

    Retired Police Chief John Crowley and Det. Lt. K.T. Bucko, who refused repeated pleas by The Bulletin in March of 1975 to discuss the death of Kevin B. Showalter, gives testimony – as did the paper’s managing editor, John C. Peterson.

    Peterson testifies for three hours.

    August 31

    The attorney who conducted a coroner’s inquest into Mr. Showalter’s death, the results of which have never met public scrutiny, is the first witness today. Atty. Joseph Moukwasher, who heard testimony from 50 witnesses during six days in September and November of 1974, is one of the few persons familiar with the substance of that investigation.

    It took more than two years for the transcripts of the hearings to be typed and submitted to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti.

    State Police Sgt. Donald Crouch, who in 1974 and 1975 worked for the federal grand jury investigating alleged corruption in the New London force, also testifies. Other witnesses included Rosemary Benson and Carol James.

    September 1

    Physical exhibits appear to outnumber witnesses in the 15th day of proceedings. Two state police technicians from the crime lab in Bethany carry satchels concealing evidence into the closed courtroom. One exhibit is a light colored automobile fender, which was dented and streaked.

    September 2

    Det. Edward Pickett of the New London County State’s Attorney’s office, who helped administer a lie detector test to Ms. Emilyta, testifies. Ms. Emilyta passed the test.

    Another detective, private investigator Joe Harris, is also called. A former Waterford police sergeant, he worked on the case for a brief time, on his own.

    Other witnesses in a short session include State Police Sgt. Charles Trotter, a principal investigator in the federal grand jury probe of the New London city police.

    September 12

    Two persons who saw Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve 1973, hours before he was killed testify.

    Ramona Ricci, a coworker of Mr. Showalter’s at a Waterford discotheque, attended one of two parties Mr. Showalter had planned to go to after work that night. Nancy Wicksham, who also testified, had joined friends that holiday evening at the club.

    September 18

    Mallove says his status as a suspect in the case is “nothing new.” During testimony in a New Jersey courtroom, Connecticut State Police revealed Mallove is a prime suspect in the hit-run case. The testimony concerned refusal by two New Jersey men to comply with a subpoena issued by the one-man grand jury. Trooper Charles Wargat also testified he was told the two men repaired Mallove’s car on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day 1973.

    Mallove tells The Bulletin he did not know the men and never had a car repaired at their shop on Reed Street in New London. He says he didn’t kill Mr. Showalter and doesn’t know anything about anybody who did.

    September 19

    One of the two men who testified with immunity today has said in a published account he has no knowledge of the case and denied any car was repaired in his New London shop on Christmas Eve 1973.

    Walter String Jr. made those comments in the New Jersey Courier Post. He and his son, Walter String III, had been ordered to appear today by a New Jersey judge, after refusing to comply with a subpoena.

    Among the dozen or so witnesses are New London city police Sgt. Donald Sloan and Cpl. Charles Alloway. They took the first full statement from Ms. Emilyta, five days after the accident.

    September 26

    Darlene Barnes, a friend of Mr. Showalter who patronized the Waterford discotheque where he worked, is among the witnesses today. Ms. Barnes was also one of the 50 witnesses during the coroner’s inquest of 1974.

    October 3

    Larry Grimes testifies again. The Mitchell College security guard who made the first identification of Mr. Showalter at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, was also at the courthouse on July 12, and Sept. 26.

    The grand jury will be in recess until October 17. It has convened 20 times since July 5 and heard about 90 witnesses.

    October 11

    Judge Dannehy says published reports that Mallove is a prime suspect in the case “couldn’t bother me in the least.”

    “They (the newspapers) are free to speculate if they wish,” Dannehy says. “I am not concerned with their claimed right to freedom of expression.

    I think that sometimes their attitude is to publish and be damned, but they don’t bother me.”

    “Why don’t you wait” for the grand jury report? Dannehy asked.

    October 17

    The sales manager of a New London auto firm who said he has sold a number of cars to the family of a suspect in the hit-run case testifies.

    In 1970, Peter Emmanuel Sr. of New London Motors sold a Lincoln Continental to Harvey N. Mallove, whom state police have identified as a suspect in the Christmas Eve, 1973 death. A compact car was among the other autos the New London firm sold to Mallove.

    State police were looking for a green Chrysler product when they first questioned New London motors personnel, Emmanuel said before he testified. But the firm didn’t sell Mallove such a vehicle, which police had believed was the death car, he added.

    October 24

    The grand jury does not convene today because the investigators were not ready to proceed, Judge Dannehy said. He said he plans to conduct several more sessions before adjourning to write the final report, but did not specify.

    November 14

    The grand jury meets for its first regular session since October 17 and hears one witness. The witness, Gary Jordan of New London, said he was dating Elise Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973.

    Sources say the grand jury conducted at least one special session since October 17, but it was not known who testified.

    November 21

    State police continue working long and irregular hours probing Mr. Showalter’s death as they re-create the hit-run scene on Pequot Avenue near Plant Street for at least the third time.

    November 29

    The man whom state police have said they consider a prime suspect in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death has his day in court.

    Harvey N. Mallove testifies for about four hours before the secret grand jury probing Mr. Showalter’s death. Atty. Leo J. McNamara accompanies Mallove to the Windham County Courthouse.

    Mallove says he was one of a number of persons who drove by the accident scene shortly before or after Mr. Showalter was killed. But a four-part series by The Bulletin in March of 1975 showed Mallove saw a scene that seven other persons said could not have taken place.

    Mallove passed the accident scene within a minute or two after an ambulance call was logged. His statement to New London police – dated eight months later – conflicts with accounts of seven persons at the scene or looking out their windows seconds after Mr. Showalter was struck.

    Mr. Showalter was struck by a car as he changed a tire on a friend’s parked Ford Pinto, on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street.

    In his statement, Mallove said he saw an automobile parked at an angle in front of the Pinto. None of the seven persons saw any car stopped at the scene immediately after the victim was hit according to the July 10, 1974 report by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

    Mallove’s vivid description of a middle-aged man talking with a girl near the car also conflicts with statements by the seven persons.

    In his statement, Mallove said he assumed the man was a member of the police department. But Bucko claims in the July 10 report that Mallove told him the talking to the girl was “NOT” a policeman.

    Bucko’s report also claims Mallove learned on Christmas Day 1974 that “a man had been killed and he remarked to some people that he saw the body.” But Bucko continued to report that after Mallove viewed photographs of the scene he realized what he mistook for a body was a floor mat. In his statement, Mallove said he saw a “flat object which I assumed was a blanket or a mat.”

    In his August 31, 1974 statement, Mallove said, “Seeing no trouble, accident, or any evidence of anything out of place…I continued on my way home.”

    In the July 10, 1974 report, Bucko claims; “Mr. Mallove stated he was going to stop because he realized there had been an accident.”

    Mallove has told The Bulletin that Bucko misquoted him.

    December 7

    The calling of witnesses ends with Mallove’s second appearance.

    The proceedings included a film screening, apparently of the death scene as re-created by state police.

    After the 35 minute screening, Special Prosecutor McGuigan and Judge Dannehy questioned Mallove for about 40 minutes. That was the bulk of the afternoon session.

    The question of whether indictments should be handed down in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death now rests with Judge Dannehy.

    After 24 sessions and more than 100 witnesses, Dannehy said the next step for the grand jury is the final report on who killed Kevin B. Saltwater.

    1978

    Feb. 17 Report filed.

    Feb. 22

    Report made public.

  • THE DANNEHY REPORT


  • SHOWALTER COVERUP COLUMNS

    Chapter 1

    Law and Justice in Everyday Life

    Cover-Up In New London

    Hit-And-Run Continues To Mock Justice


    Sept. 4, 2000

    If Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney John Bailey wants to bring closure to cold cases, here’s one from New London that should top the list: The Showalter hit-and-run cover-up is a dark chapter in Connecticut history, a tale more appropriate for a Third World country.

    And yet, only one thing bothers former New London County State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti about the Showalter case: that it was investigated at all.

    Satti, now retired, made the point again and again, most recently this year. Satti’s complaint, made during the wake of the late state police Detective George Ryalls, was that Ryalls’ obituary mentioned the suspect the prosecutor refused to pursue in the Showalter probe.

    Kevin B. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, was killed at 11:12 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. He was changing a tire on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue on the New London shoreline when he was struck and killed. His girlfriend, sitting only 6 feet away on a stone wall, claims she saw nothing.

    Auto body putty from the death car disappeared after a tow truck driver gave it to New London police. The evidence file that was supposed to contain the putty was stuffed with bathroom tiles. The file that was supposed to contain headlight glass from the death car instead contained glass from three different headlights. State police and others suspected that, in order to throw legitimate investigators off the trail, the late young man's clothing was pounded on a different-colored car than the one that killed him.

    The victim's mother, Lucille M. Showalter, tried to get a grand jury investigation of the cover-up. She was rebuffed repeatedly by the presiding judge, Angelo Santaniello who, it later became clear, was best friends with the leading suspect. Santaniello then referred Showalter to prosecutor Satti, who happened to be his former law partner. Satti refused to acknowledge registered letters from Mrs. Showalter pleading for a grand jury probe.

    Satti did finally meet with Mrs. Showalter in 1978, after Judge Joseph Dannehy of Willimantic, acting as a one-man grand jury, named former New London Mayor Harvey N. Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle. Satti called the three-hour meeting, in which he repeatedly told Mrs. Showalter that there never should have been a grand jury investigation under Dannehy.

    Mallove held a good hand; he had the best legal muscle in New London County on his side. New London police would not question him for more than seven months, and then only in a perfunctory manner. They would say they inspected his cars, but they did not. Significantly, Mallove’s Lincoln had been repaired, but it wasn’t until state police took over the case four years after the accident that the fender was finally seized.

    Santaniello would arrange for a coroner’s inquest and put his niece in charge of typing the transcript. Only after two years of intense public pressure would the transcript be typed. But the inquest never issued a finding.

    Santaniello tipped off Mallove that he was a suspect. The judge was also aware of what local police knew about the case. Mrs. Showalter memorialized the admissions in tape-recorded telephone conversations.

    “I did talk to Harvey,” Santaniello told Mrs. Showalter on Oct. 17, 1975, “and I said, `You’re suspected.’ As a matter of fact, at that time a police officer came to him on the same day or the next day, and told him you were making accusations about him and that he was a prime suspect.” The day before, Mallove told Mrs. Showalter, “Judge Santaniello is of the opinion that you fingered me.”

    It was not until 1977 that state police, who took over the case at the behest of former Gov. Ella Grasso, formally named Mallove a suspect. Next week, I'll propose a means to solve the Showalter cover-up.

    Showalter Cover-Up Is New London's Shame

    Sept. 11, 2000

    New London, where I grew up and began working in the 1960s and ‘70s, was a dirty little city with character.

    It had a restaurant called the Hygienic that was everything but. There were at least a couple bars where the cops couldn't do anything, except maybe a little business.

    The top pimp in town never went to jail until he was about 60 and a certain court official retired.

    New London will always be the city that tried to cover up the Christmas Eve 1973 hit-and-run death of Kevin B. Showalter. It's been doing a pretty good job for nearly 27 years, but the onion is beginning to peel.

    The local daily newspaper admitted -- in its official history published this year -- that it did a shoddy job on the Showalter case. Specifically, The Day admitted its failure to explore the relationship between a former mayor and a top judge, and their influence on the course of the criminal investigation. That’s a beginning.

    Political and police corruption goes back a couple generations in New London. By the 1970s, New London police were widely known to be involved in the selling of women, dope and refrigerators, among other things. A federal grand jury took note. But as with the Showalter case, there were these little problems with the evidence.

    A jewelry store owner and former city mayor multi-millionaire Harvey Mallove was the prime suspect in the hit-and-run death of Showalter, a student at Mitchell College. Showalter’s date that night, Christmas Eve 1973, said she saw nothing from her vantage point six feet away, sitting on a stone wall under a streetlight on a residential street as a young man changed the tire of her car.

    Harvey was everybody’s pal. He would take kids to the Super Bowl, then, down the road, get them jobs as cops. He was friends with bums in the street and bums in high political office. He was wired. The standing joke among reporters became: Harvey's a great guy to have a beer with, just don't change your tire if he's driving by.

    “I didn't kill the kid in any way, shape or form,” Harvey told me many times. As mayor, Harvey helped hire a few police chiefs. His best friend was the administrative judge for the county; that was the judge who controlled the early stages of the investigation, specifically a coroner’s inquest that never issued a finding.

    State police followed up a report that Mallove’s best friend, County Administrative Judge Angelo G. Santaniello, was with Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973. Santaniello reportedly was No. 11 on a guest list for a party at the home of his political mentor, the late state Sen. Peter Mariani. The Mariani party was one of two Mallove attended that night.

    Santaniello told reporters he never went out on Christmas Eve.

    Another state judge, Joseph F. Dannehy, conducted two grand jury investigations. In 1978, Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle, but said evidence that might have ensured conviction was either mishandled or destroyed.

    Mallove died a few years ago with this legacy. Others still have time to come clean and tell the truth about the cover-up. Mrs. Showalter tried unsuccessfully to have Satti, Santaniello and others prosecuted for hindrance of prosecution (CGS Section 53a-166) warning of impending discovery, providing means of avoiding discovery, preventing discovery by deception. Because a conspiracy to hinder prosecution is an ongoing crime, those with information could tell Chief State's Attorney John Bailey, who has begun an initiative to solve some of the state's cold homicide cases.

    Isn’t it time? No one kept the system honest when it counted, though some tried. Most stood by as the system that was supposed to protect the victim and his family betrayed them all.

    Where is the conscience of the community?

    Cold Case On Ice Forever

    Nov. 6, 2000

    One way to deflect attention from a suspect is to get investigators involved in meaningless, time-consuming tasks. Another way is to create a bogus suspect who is then exposed as such, causing a belief that the case is just too hazy to pursue.

    Both of these devices were used repeatedly in the cover-up of the Showalter hit-run case in New London. Whether this was happenstance, indifference, incompetence or malfeasance, the result was the same. The system failed.

    And now, it seems, the truth will remain buried forever.

    Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror who investigated the case, wrote in his finding of fact: “After December 25, 1973, the New London Police Department did virtually nothing to solve the hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.” The accident occurred the night before.

    Local police and court officials, however, were pro-active in another sense. Their actions served to protect the assailant.

    For example, New London police claimed it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles using data from the state Motor Vehicle Department. The motor vehicle department declared there was no such charge.

    Nevertheless, New London police spent their time hand-sorting local motor vehicle cards. They looked for a green Chrysler. That was likely a false lead; state police said paint particles found on the victim's clothing did not come from the car that killed him.

    Former Mayor Harvey Mallove began meeting informally with police and court officials as early as Dec. 25, 1973. Mallove wanted to know what the police knew.

    The only lead after two and a half years was quashed by then New London Common Pleas Court Prosecutor Harold Dean in May 1976. The lead was a letter of confession written by a Somers prison inmate to the victim’s mother, Lucille Showalter.

    “I told Harold how important that was to me,” Mallove, the prime suspect, confided to an associate. He also acknowledged discussing the purported confession with his best friend, the presiding judge for the county, Angelo Santaniello.

    The author of the letter was known to be connected with “fences,” or purveyors of stolen goods in the New London area. State police arrested him for harassment of Mrs. Showalter. Two state troopers met with Dean for an hour. They told him the letter contained possibly significant information. State police also believed they could connect the dots in New London between the letter writer and the powers-that-be. Did he owe some favors? Was he paid? Police knew the author had no liability for the accident; he was actually in Florida at the time of the hit-run.

    Dean nolled and dismissed the case without telling the troopers or Mallove. Soon thereafter, state police listed the killing of Showalter as “closed pending further development.” Upon learning of Dean's action, Chief State's Attorney Joseph Gormley remarked he had “no idea” why the lead, “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. The case would remain closed for six months, until Gov. Ella Grasso brought the matter to Justice John Cotter.

    Was there criminal activity connected with the Showalter cover-up? It appears we will never know for certain. Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver, noting that evidence which might have ensured conviction was destroyed. The Chief State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed aspects of the case this fall after a series of columns appeared in The Law Tribune. However, the statute of limitations for the most likely potential charge, conspiracy to hinder prosecution of motor vehicle misconduct, has expired. This shameful case, it appears, is destined to stay on ice forever.

    - AND:

    Olympic Gold for Missing Evidence


    November 28, 2005

    Judge Ellen Gordon was in way over her head with what she tried pass off as a ruling in Day Publishing v. State's Attorney.

    Clueless Gordon was handed a hot one, a case no one has ever wanted in the so-called New London Judicial District. Every single time this case has come to court, begging for justice, The Robes, the prosecutors and their minions have either desecrated their oaths or looked the other way. Clueless Gordon, fairly new to the scene, has managed to join the list of those who are both ostriches and failures.

    The Day newspaper asked Gordon this year to release the grand jury testimony regarding the cover-up of the 1973 hit-run death of Kevin Showalter. Before Gordon probably ever heard of Showalter, five New London County judges recused themselves from a John Doe civil suit against the driver because they were friends with the prime suspect, Harvey Mallove. Mallove -- the late mayor of New London and multimillionaire jeweler who picked police chiefs, planned to run for Congress and starred in the social scene -- was prone to say, "I never killed the kid -- in any way, shape or form."

    It's not like we could expect a New London judge to show guts or brains in this case. Compelling testimony from the first of two grand juries implicated local law enforcement and court officials in a widespread cover-up.

    On Christmas Eve 1973 at 11:12 p.m., as the call came in, a high-ranking New London officer, said, "F--k him, he's dead," and then left to go home. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, lay dead on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue by the shoreline. His body was thrown 22 feet from the point of impact. His shoes were found 110 feet apart. A leg bone was 75 feet away.

    A tow truck driver gave police auto body putty from the death car. The putty was never seen again. New London police mixed headlight glass from at least three different cars in what they called the evidence file. Replacing the auto body putty was bathroom tile. A local coroner's inquest never issued a finding. State police, who took over the case at the behest of Gov. Ella Grasso, were bewildered and angry when they could not find the transcript of the coroner's inquest. Mallove's best friend -- the presiding judge for the county, Angelo G. Santaniello -- had put his niece in charge of typing that transcript. Santaniello also tipped off Mallove to his status as a suspect.

    Now, Clueless Gordon can't find the 3,000-page transcript of the first grand jury. Does she care? Court clerks allegedly performed a diligent search. Would any reasonable person believe or accept any of this?

    Among the last persons known to possess the grand jury report was the late State's Attorney, C. Robert Satti. Satti, who refused to investigate the case before a special prosecutor was appointed, claimed he returned a copy to the grand juror, then Willimantic Superior Court Judge (later Supreme Court Justice) Joseph Dannehy. Both Dannehy and Satti are dead. Did "Do Nothing Bob" -- Mallove's moniker for Satti -- take it with him? We might as well ask Harvey, also dead, or Kevin.

    Gordon's pathetic decision, dated Nov. 7, went on for about a sentence before its first fatal error. It might sound like a technical error, but it's much, much more than that. She actually said New London police investigated the case.

    Before this, I thought it might take generations to remove the stench from the New London courthouse. Alas, for New London, the stench of this cover-up is forever.







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  •           Yurt Life         
    We are moving into my mom's charming little yurt today!

    While waiting for our permanent home to be renovated (which, as it turns out, takes even longer than building a new home) - we've been living semi-nomadic life for close to four months now, about three of them in a yurt.

    Life in the yurt is different. There is no way around it (pun intended). For one thing, it provides a round space, that encompasses most of life's functions in one area: cooking, eating, reading, puzzling, snuggling, cat-feeding (an extra duty we've picked up on the way to freedom - not unlike an unwanted pregnancy that you just can't get herself to terminate), office work (whenever my MacBook Air has enough power to work for me - not to mention its battered battery now needs replacement, which turns out to be a HUGE ordeal in the land of milk and honey), Pilates practice, and even occasional entertaining (when it rains even my dear family avoids it like the plague). It's not truly all in one space, because it actually has an annex to the north, with the washroom (including a shower and a compost toilet - a killer combination for dirt and cleanliness), as well as a sleeping den which has beautiful greenery all around it, as it is built from old wooden windows.

    That beauty comes with the price of this space being as cold as the outdoors in the winter. In the summer this room is actually a lifesaver, because the yurt collects way too much heat, although it is much better insulated than the sleeping den - even when its skylight is open. We don't have an oven, but were able to pull together delicious and nourishing meals from the two-flamed gas stove, and have even prepared some raw treats for our daily tea parties. To be perfectly frank - mostly, we've been lazy and buying baklava and cookies whenever we are in the vicinity of a bakery - so I am now in the know of where to get good baked goods. I'm sure this knowledge will come in handy in the not so far future, even after we're back to our productive baking life. When it comes to baking, it's always good to have a good back-up plan.

    Of course, that did not stop us from being experimental in the kitchen, trying new ingredients such as nigella seed spread and authentic freekeh, which is an amazing way of preparing green wheatberries by burning them off the wheat chaff. The result is a smoky, nutty grain that is delicious and easy to cook (and digest) and really gives unmistakable character to dishes (the one I bought in Canada was actually stale wheat dyed green). More on that in another post!

    To sum it up - living in a yurt is "an experience". Just like camping is an experience. In camping terms this is a five star facility. I'm sure with its running water and gas-operated refrigerator it is also considered a luxury in comparison to straw huts in Africa or yurts in the Mongolian steppes. You get the picture. It's an experience. And we're three months into it and can't wait to experience something else.

    To lift the edge off the nervous anticipation for proper housing, I've decided to compile a little list of fragrances (both mundane and wearable) that will let you into this experience, even if just a little... This compilation is a random array of fragrance fit for yurt life, even though I imagine most people who choose to live in this humble abode would rather dab some animal fat and cooked cabbage juice behind their ear than any designer's fragrance. Nevertheless, I find the task amusing, and I hope it will make for a fun read.

    We are moving into my mom's charming little yurt today! Here is a view of the inside.

    I also hope that my mom does not get hurt because apparently in our parts of the world, patience ("Savlanut") is considered a virtue (which very few uphold), and also belongs grammatical to the same root as the word suffering ("Sevel"). And in this part of the world, stating the facts is considered complaining... I'm sure those who choose to live in a yurt or even just stay in it for a short amount of time will thoroughly enjoy it - it is cute, rustic, pretty, calm and completely in tune with nature. You get to experience all the elements - fire (sun), air (wind), water (we have running water, and thankfully also very little of water leakage despite its very temporary feel); and last but not least - you can't get any closer to earth than this. It is a very, very earthy dwelling and you really feel Mother earth's belly as you tickle it with your slippers walking to and fro. Last but not least: nothing compares to coming out of the yurt at night and seeing the clear black skies dotted with bright stars.

    Muscs Kublai Khan - for the obvious body odour effect - musk-enhanced unwashed hair and sweaty armpits with hints of rose and aldehydes.

    Kiehl's Fig Leaf & Sage - milky herbacous weirdness. It's unusual yet very easy to wear and has a freshness without being boring. It also goes well with the cucumber and parsley scented products we currently have in the house - hand wash, shampoo and conditioner. Something green and clear-smelling yet non pretentious.

    Aromatics Elixir - an earthy, big sage scent that is sophisticated yet at the same time rustic enough to wear in the wilderness. Especially grateful for it on cold wintry days.

    Arabie - the spice market, sweat and dusty cobblestones - and all the spices I have in storage (and don't have in my kitchen) kvetched into one bottle. Awesome.

    Coco Noir - the opposite of yurt life: polished, elegant, artificial and urban. Jasmine, berries and plums, rose, patchouli, musk and vetiver with a a dusting of cocoa.

    Poivre Samarkand - because I heard that there are also yurts in Samarkand (Uzbekistan). Can't find any perfume inspired by Mongolia (which is where the yurts supposedly originate). Besides, it's a perfect sprinkle of heat on those chilly nights when the shower runs only boiling water or ice cold ones, and when you step out of the shower it's the same temperatures as outside (not as extreme as in Canada, but 5-11c is cold enough to feel like real winter).

    Musc Nomade (Annick Goutal) - I'm picking this one because of the name alone. I remember smelling it very vaguely and that is was vegetal and delicate... Admittedly I'm also too lazy to go digging in my shipping container now and find the little box where I "filed" all my music samples but I'm pretty sure I've only tried it once when I was in Paris.

    Tam Dao - if you've ever encountered compost toilet, you know that it's the human equivalent of hamster cage. pine or cedar shavings are used to cover up the mess, and the result is a more subdued version of human waste, that eventually turns into a nice scent of the forest floor. Anyway, this explanation made me think of Tam Dao, which is a fine sandalwood and cedar fragrance and also has some clean smelling musks underneath, to make you forget all the other business.

    Tea for Two - We've been enjoying my limited selection of teas that I make a point of finishing off. True to form, we've been brewing lots of chai, which I've been already giving you plenty of recipes for... And of course Hulnejan - the wonderful root brew of galangal, dried ginger and cassia bark.
    Zangvil also reminds me of this "witch brew" with its notes of fresh and dried ginger, honey, amber, jasmine and ginger lily.

    Finjan - we've been drinking lots of espresso on the stove top mocha machine, and lots of Arabic/Druze/Turkish coffee (each nationality claims it as their own - but essentially this is very dark roasted coffee with cardamom that is brewed on the stove). The latter is well represented in the perfuem I created titled Finjan (the name of the little porcelain "shot" cups that you sip the coffee from; mistakenly, most Israelis refer to the little pot used to brew it as "finjan" - but its real name is "Ralai").

    Mastic - Whenever it rains or gets really chilly, the mastica bushes and wild ivy behind the yurt release their fresh, green-balsamic scent. Grin's smell encompasses this verdant freshness with its notes of galbanum, violet, oakmoss and a classic floral bouquet.

    Geranium and Wild Oranges - My citrus orchard was overcome by wild orange shoots, and I've really let it go. We finally pruned the orchard this fall, which mean an overwhelming amount of wild oranges that had to be put into use somehow. The result? An orange cello with a touch of herbs from the yurt's garden, among them rose geranium. One sip of this liquor is enough to uplift the spirits.





              Accessibilty in Adobe Presenter        
    Accessibility helps the differently-abled people to experience the technological advancements going around the world. It helps them to access the knowledge floating on the internet. It helps them to feel at par with others who can hear, speak, and move involuntarily. Here at Adobe, we advocate the belief that CRPD (The United Nations Convention on […]
              Worldly War Machinery         
    Here's some more artwork from World War Machine. First up a higher res version of the initial design for the player character, the quintessential War Machine. I had a lot of fun working on this friendly chap!

    And here are a bunch of quick conceptual sketches for a variety of enemy units. My thinking with these was to push the anatomically inspired biomechanical feel of the War Machine into something more twisted and deformed. The various shattered AI remnants of humanity are at perpetual war with themselves, and create these machines to wage their battles. Attack types and methods of movement and combat are drawn from the broken and disjointed totality of human knowledge that's contained in the AIs, from militaristic science to the animal kingdom. Robot zombies if you will!




    Check out the Square Enix Collective War Machine page and put in a vote!
              HOUSE of KNOWLEDGE INSPIRASI DARI GIBRAN RAKABUMING RAKA        

    HOUSE of KNOWLEDGE INSPIRASI DARI GIBRAN RAKABUMING RAKA

    House of Knowledge Gibran Rakabuming Raka.  Sumber: Liputan 6


    HOUSE of KNOWLEDGE KURSUS BAHASA INGGRIS GRATIS


    Di balik kepribadian yang terkesan dingin, Gibran Rakabuming Raka ternyata memiliki jiwa sosial tinggi.  Berangkat dari rasa peduli pada minimnya kegiatan anak-anak para pekerja lepas di katering Chili Pari miliknya, Gibran Rakabuming Raka memutuskan untuk menyediakan kursus Bahasa Inggris gratis bagi mereka.

    Putra sulung Presiden Joko Widodo itu pun mendirikan House of Knowledge untuk mewadahi kegiatan tersebut sejak 2010 lalu.

    Walaupun gratis, kursus ini dikelola cukup profesional dengan tingkatan level sesuai kemampuan anak. Setelah lulus tes dan memenuhi jam belajar yang ditentukan, peserta khusus akan memperoleh sertifikat.

    Awalnya Gibran menunjuk Yohanes Handoko, guru privat Bahasa Inggris keluarga, sebagai penanggung jawab kegiatan sekaligus guru kursus gratis itu. Belakangan, tempat belajar itu menarik para mahasiswa sebagai pengajar bagi para siswa yang mayoritas duduk di SD dan SMP.

    "Nah, modul dan materi kursus Bahasa Inggris semua dilakukan (disusun) Pak Handoko,"

    Awalnya kursus disediakan bagi karyawan catering yang dikelola putra sulung Jokowi ini.  

    "Sebenarnya percobaan aja. Dulu kan muridnya, ibu-ibu yang kerja di sini. Kan ibunya masuk sampai sore kerja, anaknya les bahasa Inggris. Terus akhirnya kan banyak peminat. Ya, gratis aja. Itu gratis bukan untuk anak yang kurang mampu tapi untuk anak yang antusias belajar," ucap Gibran. 
     
    House of Knowledge kini sudah mengajar 1.000 anak. Lokasi kursusnya juga menduplikasi yang tersebar di wilayah eks Karesidenan Surakarta.
     
     "Ada juga cabang di Tanon, Kabupaten Sragen dan juga di Cepogo, lereng Merapi Kabupaten Boyolali," jelas Gibran.


    HOUSE of KNOWLEDGE VISI GIBRAN TERHADAP SUMBER DAYA MANUSIA


    Seluruh operasional kursus termasuk honor belasan tenaga pengajar ditanggung Gibran Rakabuming Raka, dari keuntungan usaha Chili Pari Catering yang dikelolanya.  Dalam membangun  bisnis catering maupun rumah kursus gratis, Gibran berusaha sendiri tanpa membawa embel-embel nama besar sang ayah yang kini menjadi orang nomor 1 di Tanah air.

    Gibran memimpikan dapat mencetak 1.000 anak mahir berbahasa Inggris pada setiap angkatan serta membuka kursus gratis lain di luar bahasa Inggris.

    "Saya sengaja memilih Bahasa Inggris sebagai materinya karena ini merupakan keterampilan yang dibutuhkan oleh anak-anak. Terlebih dalam menghadapi MEA, " ujar Gibran.



    Citra Property Land



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    iPatientCare celebrated its achievements of earning a 2016 Surescripts White Coat of Quality Award, getting selected as a nationwide CMS qualified MIPS Registry for year 2017 and many other recognitions during the Biannual meeting

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              iPatientCare Announcing the Special eLearning Series to be Conducted Throughout the Year 2017 for MACRA        

    iPatientCare team will conduct multiple eLearning Series throughout the year 2017 to share the up to date knowledge about MACRA with the healthcare professionals

    (PRWeb December 12, 2016)

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              iPatientCare Set to Demonstrate Its iRemind Services and share knowledge on Reducing Billing Obstacles During its Monthly VUCON to be Held on August 18, 2016        

    iPatientCare to Present Pathway to Eliminate billing road blocks with help of its efficient Revenue Cycle Management Services and show how to remain compliant by availing its MUPlus Services along with demonstrating a complete solution for patient reminder services in its Upcoming Virtual User Conference (VUCON) to be Held on August 18, 2016

    (PRWeb July 27, 2016)

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              iPatientCare is Set to Aid Providers in Finding Their Quality Performance based on the Quality & Resource Use Report (QRUR) in Its Upcoming Virtual User Conference        

    iPatientCare announces to conduct its upcoming VUCON session to share knowledge on Quality and Resource Use Report (QRUR) that will help Doctors in understanding their quality performance on federal quality and cost metrics

    (PRWeb May 26, 2016)

    Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/iPatientCare-VUCON2016/QRUR/prweb13437969.htm


              iPatientCare to Demonstrate Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in its Upcoming Virtual User Conference (VUCON)        

    iPatientCare announces to conduct its upcoming VUCON session with agenda of sharing knowledge on PQRS to assists the Physicians’ Offices in avoiding payment adjustment by successfully Reporting to CMS through iPatientCare PQRS Registry for the year 2016

    (PRWeb April 28, 2016)

    Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/iPatientCare-VUCON2016/PQRS-Reporting-2016/prweb13370252.htm


              Seize the DN advantage: Enhance your Trigger Point Therapy skills        
    Grow your practice by building a more comprehensive knowledge and treatment base As you know, PIHMA has been a fierce advocate for public safety and having adequate training in needling. Acupuncturists need to take the lead in any form of invasive needling. This very affordable workshop (7.5 CEUs) targets this area of Dry Needling and […]
              Progressive Policy Institute: "Building a New Middle Class in a Knowledge Economy"         

    Harry Holzer, of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University in Washington DC, has offered a position paper through “Progressive Policy”, “Building a New Middle Class in the Knowledge Economy”, a PDF with this link (34 pages).

    Holzer picks up on Donald Trump’s exploitation of the disenchantment of some groups, especially older white males without college degrees, with the job market and their earnings ability.

    He notes that the stability of jobs with regimentation but narrow skill sets has become less, as has the pay, not only because of foreign offshoring, but because of technology and automation. He says that families need incomes of at least $50000 a year to be middle class (possibly $40000 for smaller families) and notes the difficulties of single parents.



    The most effective measure would be to improve trade or vocational education opportunities at the community college level, especially in smaller communities or rural areas.  He also mentions the value of paid family leave.

    What I noticed after my forced “retirement” at the end of 2001 was the tendency for companies to resort to hucksterism to create jobs, and for the employment outplacement services and policy makers not to notice that this was happening so much. This has led to a culture clash:  aggressive attitudes in some communities about preserving telemarketing and door-to-door sales, versus resistance from consumers who see accelerating security problems. We need more manufacturing jobs to reverse this trend toward hucksterism.


              How to Use Technology as a Mirror, Not a Screen        

    Since the times of ancient Greece, philosophers, religious leaders and authors have strongly believed that self-knowledge was the key to human potential. They have posed questions you most likely remember studying in your freshman year philosophy class: what makes us … Continue reading

    The post How to Use Technology as a Mirror, Not a Screen appeared first on The Emotion Machine.


              Trump: 'The opioid crisis is an emergency' - CNN        

    CNN

    Trump: 'The opioid crisis is an emergency'
    CNN
    (CNN) President Donald Trump said Thursday that his administration plans to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency, a designation that would offer states and federal agencies more resources and power to combat the epidemic. "The opioid crisis ...
    Trump says opioid crisis is a national emergency, pledges more money and attentionWashington Post
    Trump says he will declare opioid crisis a 'national emergency'Politico
    Will Melania Trump 'Just Say No' In Her Own Way?NPR
    BBC News -The Atlantic -The Hill -New York Daily News
    all 220 news articles »

              No San Antonio Bankruptcy Pay Off Credit Card Through Settlement Debt Negotiation        
    Credit card debt is causing you pain.

    Your stomach is turning over and over as you realize you cannot pay the minimum payments, much less pay the cards off.

    Settlement debt negotiations can eliminate credit card debt.

    For fear of the calls, letters, etc. from collectors, debtors usually do not think of just not paying their credit cards . They also have been told that their credit will be ruined with credit scores permanently impacted.

    What the credit card companies don't tell you is that they would rather settle with you for a few more pennies on the dollar than sell the credit card loan to a debt collector. You see selling to a debt collector allows the investor who bought the debt to make money, not the credit card company or bank.

    Settlement debt negotiation to pay off credit cards makes the bank or credit card company more money than their other alternatives.

    Most debtors will default on the debt and go bankrupt so none of them, bank or debt collector, make any money. So the window opens for settlement debt negotiation.

    To obtain more money from the debtor, it may even be possible to get the debt acknowledged to a credit reporting agency as paid as agreed or settled and not the notation of charged off. Most people are not aware that banks and other regulated lenders must charge off a retail loan, like credit cards, when it becomes 180 days past due. Now that does not mean that the credit card loan is not still owed by the debtor but it means that the loan has become almost worthless to the bank.

    Banks normally sell the credit card loans to a collection agency. Collection agencies drive a hard bargain and buy the credit cards balances for pennies on the dollar.

    Knowledge of these rights can be both powerful and profitable for you as the debtor. There are other alternatives that you should learn more about if you are faced with not being able to pay your debts.
    James (Jim) Montgomery, recognized as a Texas SuperLawyer, explores how bankruptcy and chapter 13 plans can result in paying off credit card debt through debt settlement negotiation in his blog. His paper, "3 Ways To Stop Creditors In Their Tracks can be downloaded for free.
              Pitfalls To Avoid In Commercial Real Estate        
    As wonderful and constant as commercial real estate is, there are some major pitfalls that can completely ruin the interest, investment and return on a property. Besides inaccurate assessments and risks that are beyond your comfort zone, the only real reason these pitfalls occur is because of the lack of due diligence that you perform. By not investigating deeply enough, not overturning every rock, and rushing into what seems like an awesome deal, you can experience some horrible events that can literally cost you hundreds and thousands of dollars.

    These are setbacks I hope you never experience by asking every question, verifying everything, and assuming nothing.

    Below you will find some unfortunate and common mistakes that can occur if you are not completely on your game.

    Some of the major pitfalls in commercial real estate are related to the zoning and use of a property. Brokers may offer information that is not accurate about the rezoning and use capabilities of a property. Although many of the people in this business are honest and have integrity, you can bet you will run across a few brokers or agents that will do and say almost anything to sell a property. Some problems that arise may include not checking with the city planning and zoning decision makers to see if a property can and will be able to be rezoned to the zoning that is expected. Also, just because the zoning may include your use, you must check with the city to make sure there are no special contingencies regarding use.

    The last thing you want is to have a property you believe can be re-zoned to a higher and more profitable use, and after you purchase it, realize you cannot do what you intended! This can mean a less of a return on investment, or a complete loss of an investment. Believe me, situations can get very bad regarding the rezoning and use of a property, and fighting with the city will take more money, energy and time than it is often worth.

    Another pitfall that can arise is purchasing a building that is leased, and then losing tenants due to leases or rental agreements being up! It is important to see and verify the leases of a building to make sure you will have some income to cover the debt service while you change, renovate, or do whatever it is you are going to do with the property. Verify you will have tenants when you purchase the property otherwise, you may not have enough income, and this can leave you in the red.

    It must be acknowledged that every property and situation can differ greatly from another. Because of this, there can be many different ways that a property can go. For this reason, all “what ifs” must be addressed, as well as exit strategies created for every scenario. When you limit yourself on exit strategies, you increase your possibility for failure.

    With every property you must ask yourself, “What is the worse that can happen?” Weigh the risks and the probability of the worst happening, and either plan an exit strategy for this possibility, or don't move forward. You must look at everything from the worst to best case scenario, and have an exit strategy for each. Not only will you be prepared for anything that comes your way, but you will have less of a chance of really getting buried and losing money on an investment gone badly.

    In commercial real estate, I often see a person trying to save a few thousand dollars that ends up costing him or her hundreds of thousands, just because they try to play hard ball with negotiations. It is always important to know what you are willing, and not willing to do when you go into negotiations regarding the purchase or selling of a property, as well as leasing and rental agreements.

    For example, asking for $35.00 per square foot and being offered $30.00 per square foot, (reasonable in this situation), and assuming the interested party is very motivated about the space, and coming back with $33.00 a square foot and nothing less, my cause the loss of the three year leasing agreement, and the income for another two months from the property because it is not leased out is definitely not worth it!

    Take the $30.00 per square foot get the property leased up, and make an agreement that the rate will increase two or three dollars every year after. Don't lose the tenant because you want to play hard ball in negotiations when, really, you can make it work! As you become more educated and get closer to reaching your goal of being a real estate insider, you may want to branch out into new markets and expand your comfort zone. This is great. However, you must realize there are many differences between various types of properties. Doing a deal with a 120 unit apartment complex is different than a 55,000 square foot office building.

    When moving into different markets, items can easily be overlooked, and major problems can arise, simply because you are not aware of them. It is often a good idea to partner with someone already in that new market so that you may have the benefit of experience and know-how on your side. Learn form this venture so you will be more familiar with the market, property, and how it should be addressed. It is easy to get in over your head with new markets that can lead to major and expensive problems.

    As you continue on your adventure in commercial real estate, be sure to do all your homework regarding a property. You will be less likely to run into problems, or better yet, be prepared to fix the problems if financially worth it. Never assume everything is as it appears, because, more often than not, it isn't! You must play smart in this game, or you can lose everything. Use you resources to get the best and most accurate information and you can avoid these pitfalls in commercial real estate.






    To find out more go to Secured Homeowner Loan or to attain the most advantageous home loan consider looking here Personal Homeowner Loans.
              Women's British Open 2017: Michelle Wie Takes Early Lead After 1st Round        

    Michelle Wie took control on the opening day of the 2017 Women's British Open, scoring a first round of eight-under 64 on Thursday.

    The American remained motivated and accurate at Kingsbarns Golf Links in Fife, Scotland, as the heavens opened, causing rain delays.

    Wie completed nine birdies to finish a magnificent round and leads by a single shot over the field. 

    For the latest leaderboard, visit the competition's official website.

    According to John Huggan of Golfdigest.com, Wie recorded a new course record as she produced her very best at Kingsbarns.

    A bogey on No. 2 was soon eliminated from the player's mind, and she went on a credible run on the front-nine.

    Three birdies across five holes set up the second half of Wie's round, but her back-nine was simply sensational.

    Birdies on No.11, 12 and 14 were impressive, but the 27-year-old was on fire as she approached the clubhouse.

    Wie sunk birdies on the final three holes as the weather conditions began to rapidly decline after a sunny start.

    The tournament's official Twitter account highlighted Wie's ruthless streak:

    It was a strong day for the English contingent, with six players within four shots of the lead.

    Laura Davies rolled back the years to shoot a four-under 68, to the delight of the watching crowd.

    Davies hit seven birdies, but she made mistakes that inflated her numbers.

    A double-bogey on No. 15 was immediately followed by a bogey, but her recovery was rapid as she sank important putts.

    A birdie on the final hole made sure she ended the day with a smile and a shot at winning the tournament.

    Davies is no longer the dominant player of yesterday, but her knowledge of links golf will see her well against younger opposition.

    Read more Women's Golf news on BleacherReport.com


                      

    STEVE LaBARRON - AFRICAN HUNT




    CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE 

    At the 4-H Shooting Sports 17 th annual banquet and auction last April I sat at the table with my friend Steve LaBarron, Saratoga when he won the bidding on an African big game hunt with the Kuvhima (Run and Hunt) Outfitters. And what a hunt(s) he had. He arrived on July 1 and headed for the Free State Province. Here he took all 4 species of  Springboks to complete the Grand Slam. He took the Springboks and Blesbuck with a .223 Remington at around 300 yards and a Black Wildebeest at 275 yards with a 30-06.


     On the second day he travel 6 hours to the Limpopo Providence to the main 22,000 acre main lodge ranch. The next morning he shot a Nyala on a ledge 200 yards up a mountain with a .30-06 and watched it go down. But when they climbed up the mountain – no Nyala.  On the third day they spotted an Eland which Steve shot with a .30-06. They estimated the Eland’s weight to be 2600 pounds. On the last day just before dark they spotted the Nyala again but no luck. Then on August 20 th Steve got and email from the PH (professional Hunter) saying they finally caught up with the Nyala and put him down and that they would be shipping the head and cape to him. Steve told me that all his trophies made the Safari Club International Record Book. I am willing to bet that Steve will be bidding on this hunt at next year’s 4H Shooting Sports Banquet again. 

                      

    STEVE LaBARRON - AFRICAN HUNT




    click on photo to enlarge them
    At the 4-H Shooting Sports 17 th annual banquet and auction last April I sat at the table with my friend Steve LaBarron, Saratoga when he won the bidding on an African big game hunt with the Kuvhima (Run and Hunt) Outfitters. And what a hunt(s) he had. He arrived on July 1 and headed for the Free State Province. Here he took all 4 species of  Springboks to complete the Grand Slam. He took the Springboks and Blesbuck with a .223 Remington at around 300 yards and a Black Wildebeest at 275 yards with a 30-06.


     On the second day he travel 6 hours to the Limpopo Providence to the main 22,000 acre main lodge ranch. The next morning he shot a Nyala on a ledge 200 yards up a mountain with a .30-06 and watched it go down. But when they climbed up the mountain – no Nyala.  On the third day they spotted an Eland which Steve shot with a .30-06. They estimated the Eland’s weight to be 2600 pounds. On the last day just before dark they spotted the Nyala again but no luck. Then on August 20 th Steve got and email from the PH (professional Hunter) saying they finally caught up with the Nyala and put him down and that they would be shipping the head and cape to him. Steve told me that all his trophies made the Safari Club International Record Book. I am willing to bet that Steve will be bidding on this hunt at next year’s 4H Shooting Sports Banquet again. 

                      
    WYOMING ANTELOPE A SUCCESS




    Last Sunday at the crack of dawn when Steve Zahurak, Schenectady and I should have been in a treestand for the opening of the NYS bow hunting season in the Southern Zone, we were boarding a plane bound for Casper Wyoming for a 5 day ante lope hunt. The hunt was the result of an out of the hat drawing of 75 outdoor writers business cards who attended the Wyoming Business Council media dinner at this year's Shot Show in Las Vegas. The guided hunt was for two also included all the licenses in one of Wyoming's best zones-Area 25. Steve was the obvious choice to accompany me on this hunt because he attends the Shot Show with me every year; but I did call my wife from the Show and invited her; but she refused.

    Three planes and 7 hours later we touched down in Casper and as promised, Kelly Glause, proprietor of Cole Creek Outfitters was there to greet us and take us to our hotel. Kelly guides for antelope, whitetail and mule deer, prairie dogs and pheasant and his clients often include various shooting sports manufacturing companies such as Swarovski Optics, Bushnell Optics, Horton Archery and Hornady Ammunition who would be hunting there later this week. Ironically I just happened to be using their 130 grain GMX SUPERFORMANCE bullet in my Century Arms 270 rifle. Ballistically this bullet leaves the barrel at 3190 feet per second and with muzzle energy of 2976 foot pounds.

    Kelly has been managing this 80,000 plus acres of prime hunting land for over 23 years; and we found out just how good it really was the next day. Since I was going to be in Wyoming I arranged a Merriam turkey hunt also; which, if I was successful, would help me to qualify for my 7 th National Wild Turkey Federation Grand Slam. Kelly said he would set me up with the best turkey guide in the area; his son Kody; the owner of Heart Spear Outfitters (www.heartspear.com). Kody also guided for elk, mule and whitetail deer, bear and mountain lions. Kelly also said if I did not want to bring a turkey gun he could set me up with a special one; an offer I accepted.

    THE HUNT
    It was only a short ride from the hotel when we drove through the gate leading to the hunting grounds; and I don't think that the gate was fully closed when we saw our first buck antelope that quickly disappeared over a hill. The pronghorn antelope is the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere reaching speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour. Equally amazing is that they have a 320 degrees field of vision and their eyesight sees what humans do when looking through 8 power binoculars. Definitely a challenging animal to hunt.

    Our plan was to ride the range and Kelly would stop and glass boss bucks in each group looking for the biggest horns. Then if he found a "keeper" he would tell us it was a good one and then ask us: "What do you think?" This is something I have never had a guide do before."

    We had glassed about 20 groups with bucks I had thought were good but Kelly just smiled and said: "We can do better." And later, we were glad he did. It is hard to describe how big this ranch really was; in term of miles it was roughly 25 by 20 miles.

    I was about 7:45 a.m. when Kelly spotted and glassed a buck laying down and said that it definitely was a good one; but he had a small piece missing from his left cutter horn. What I saw was a mature antelope buck that has been fighting to keep the young bucks away from his harem; and his big swollen neck was definitely a sign of the rut. It was my call and I didn't hesitate: "I’ll take him, “I said.

    As quietly as I could I slid out of the truck and before my feet hit the ground I could feel the adrenalin rising as I chambered a round into my rifle. Slowly I readied for the shot and was glad that I had added the Caldwell bipod to give me a steady level rest.

    The buck was lying down in the grass which covered several inches of its lower body but I had enough to shoot at as I sighted him in. He moved but did not get up. The only thing that I remember after I pulled the trigger was the chill that ran up my spine: I MISSED! Now prior to this trip I spent time sighting in the rifle with its new LUCID L5 scope and the Hornady ammo; and when I finished I could cover my 3 shot group with a penny 2 1/2 inches high of center at 100 yards. This was the proper setting for this gun. Therefore the miss was not the gun's fault.

    As I chambered another round he jumped up and started to trot uphill; but he made the mistake of stopping at the top and looking back; it was a deadly mistake. Shot number 2 put him right down where he stood. WOW! I did my best impression of a Tiger Woods victory pump and accepted the handshakes of Kelly and Steve. It was just 8:17 a.m. on the first day.

    Kelly estimated the antelope to be about 3 1/2 years old and weigh about 140 pounds. The horns measured 13 1/2 inches. Now earlier that morning I presented Kelly with the Viscerator knife by FieldTorg Knives which I asked him to use to field dress the antelopes. Later that day he commented that he was very impressed with the knife’s performance and its construction.

    Looking back at my miss I believe what happened was that I had incorrectly used one of the BDC (ballistic drop calculator) lines in my Lucid L5 scope rather than the center of the crosshairs, causing the shot to go even higher than the 2 1/2 inches. I am not use to the BDC (ballistic drop compensator) drop lines in my new Lucid L5 scope; but I will be with a few days at the long range practicing and rolling over a few coyotes.

    STEVE'S TURN
    Back in the truck Steve told Kelly that he needed to shoot an antelope with horns that measured at least 13 5/8 ths. This is typical competition that we have developed over the years. We did not have to go far to find more antelopes. If I were to guess we had already seen at least 80 or 90; and we hadn’t seen half the ranch yet.

    I don't think we traveled more than a few miles and glassed a dozen more groups when Kelly spotted a "shooter" laying down; but as we approached he was up and moving. Kelly and Steve exited the truck and started their sneak and peek. They had gone about 50 yards when Kelly set up the shooting sticks for Steve’s shot. At about 150 yards he fired but it was too low; and his second shot at 200 yards was high and the buck disappeared over the hill and disappeared into a gorge.

    It was about 20 minutes later when we spotted another which we believe was the same one Steve had missed earlier. Quickly he set up and at 250 yards he was again high; but we were not done with him yet.
    Watching his hasty retreat we jumped back in the truck. Kelly's sharp eyes and knowledge of the ranch knew where he was going; and he knew how to get in front of him. When we spotted him again he was 250 yards out and Steve's shot was horizontally perfect but he believes he jerked the shot off to the left. Now we got to see how fast an antelope really is; and how good Steve really is.

    Following the flying buck in his scope Steve pulled off what was the best shot I had ever seen. We heard the bullet impact on what turned out to be a perfect heart shot. I think it died of fright; but Steve says he always takes a few practice shots at the “range” before he shoots anything.

    Lots of hoots, congratulations and photos followed. It was truly a great day; except for the fact that I sat on a cactus when having my photo taken with Steve. He did however generously offered to take a photo of me removing all those needle-like prickers from my butt. As for the horn measurements I rounded them up to 13 1/2 inches. It was noon, on the first day of the hunt. This is one GOOD guide.

    We did do a little more shooting before leaving the ranch at a few prairie dogs; and these little ranch pests are fun; especially when you do it with a .270.



    TURKEY HUNT


    After I got my turkey license Kelly said he had arranged a meeting for me with Robert Stone of RGS Custom Rifles (www.rgsllc2010.com) which is where I picked up my turkey gun. Robert’s guns were outstanding and the one that I would be using was the first one he had even made. It was a single shot .22-250 that, if he had to replace it, would range around $6,000. At the range I put two rounds through the same hole and figured the turkeys were in trouble.



    Kody had definitely done his homework for my turkey hunt because the river bottom he had chosen had plenty of Merriam turkeys; most of which were mingling with the cattle. This was definitely going to be a spot and stalk hunt; something I do not do a lot of when hunting for turkeys. Kody glassed the flocks looking for a good tom and found several feeding closely with the cattle. It was obvious that with all the cattle activity the shooting window would not be open long and the shot would have to be threaded carefully. To say I was a bit nervous would be an understatement; not only did I feel nervous about scratching his beautiful rifle but also in not hitting a cow.



    But the gun was definitely up to the task and at 5:30 p.m. that afternoon I shot through an opening in a hedgerow and toppled a Wyoming Merriam tom that carried a 5 inch beard and tipped the scales at over 20 pounds. All this on our first day of hunting!



    THANK YOU Kelly, Kody, Robert and a special thanks to the Wyoming Business Council from Steve and me. For photos


















     























              BEHIND THE FENCE - IT IS FAIR GAME        

    BEHIND THE FENCE - ITS FAIR GAME

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    For information on Easton View Outfitters go to: eastonviewoutfitters.com or check out their ad in this issue of Outdoors Magazine. And by the way, that 7 by 7 is still there and a year older.
              A Cookbook That's More Than Recipes        
    Through "The Richmond Cookbook," VCUarts graduate Steven Casanova is collecting and sharing knowledge that reflects the city's culture and diversity.
              Account Manager - EnviroWay - Lloydminster, SK        
    Strong knowledge of Microsoft office (Word, outlook, and Excel). Develop long term relationships and build trust with new and current customers....
    From Indeed - Fri, 21 Apr 2017 15:38:12 GMT - View all Lloydminster, SK jobs
              Five Ways to Have the Best-Ever Virtual Genealogy Conference!        
    Can you believe how fast summer is sailing by? Which means the Family Tree University Virtual Genealogy Conference is right around the corner, Sept. 13 to 15.

    This online event has the excitement and shared knowledge of a genealogy conference, without the expense and difficulty of travel and being away from family and work. Or the pressure to change out of your fuzzy slippers.


    Wikimedia commons, Ch2410

    You get a weekend of video classes (which you can download to keep), networking with genealogy researchers and experts via our conference message boards, and a live keynote. Classes and Q&A sessions cover genetic genealogy, websites, methodology, organizing and preserving your research, and ethnic research.

    I hope you'll join me there. Use coupon code FALLVCEARLY to save $40 on registration! (Code expires Aug. 11, 2017.)

    As a seasoned Virtual Conference attendee, I've got a few tips for making the most of the experience:

    1. Peruse the program ahead of time.
    Most of the conference is on-demand—you log in to watch videos and post to the message board any time during the conference. But Lisa Louise Cooke's keynote presentation on Sunday, "Big Pictures in Little Details," is live, as are the expert Q&A sessions on the message boards. Mark the scheduled bits on your calendar (remember the Virtual Conference is on East Coast Time).

    Since you can download the classes to watch again, don't worry if you can't squeeze them all into the weekend. But do try to watch the ones most related to your research during the conference so you can discuss them on the message boards.

    2. Free up some time.
    The time-saving convenience of attending from home is a MAJOR draw. But carve out some time over the weekend to watch the videos and chat on the message boards. The Virtual Conference genealogy inspiration gets me excited about trying new strategies and resources, so I usually want to spend some time researching, too.

    I minimize errands that weekend, and declare a pizza night for the kids. Daddy does something fun with them and we grant them more screen time. Therefore, my children enjoy the Virtual Conference almost as much as I do!

    3. Log in on Friday.
    Even if you're not planning on doing much conferencing on Friday, take 15 minutes to log in, go over the orientation and click around the conference. Make sure you can download a video. If you have any problems accessing the conference content, just post to the Technical Issues board and we'll address it as quickly as possible.

    4. Play along.
    You'll get the most benefit out of the classes and opportunities to interact with others if your research is fresh in your mind. Go over your tree before the conference to refamiliarize yourself with difficult ancestors. Make a list of your surnames and places for the surnames message board.

    A lot of action happens on those boards! Introductions are made, tips shared, questions answered, brick walls solved, books and websites recommended. We'll even exchange recipes and family stories. Check here often during the conference, post your questions, and answer other peoples'.

    5. Get comfy.
    Everyone talks about how great it is to do genealogy in your pajamas. NOW'S YOUR CHANCE!! Wear your comfiest PJs and fuzziest slippers. Don't bother doing your hair. Make some coffee or tea, fetch your favorite snack and pad over to your computer. Revel in it.

    Visit FamilyTreeUniversity.com to check out the conference details and sign up today. Remember to save $40 (before Aug. 11) with coupon code FALLVCEARLY!


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave
              PSA TEC 2018 call for presentations now open        
    07/19/2017

    The PSA Security Network, a security and systems integrator cooperative with headquarters in Westminster, Colo., is accepting presentations through Aug. 4, 2017 for its TEC 2018 annual conference. Proposals can be submitted at www.psatec.com/cfp.

    TEC 2018, which will be held at the Sheraton Downtown Denver in Denver, Colo., March 12-16, 2018, is a premier education and networking event for all professional systems integrators in the security and audio-visual markets. TEC features education and certification programs, networking, and dedicated exhibit hours designed to advance the skills and expertise of industry professionals nationwide. This training venue is open to all industry professionals and is designed to meet the educational needs of all employees within an integrator’s organization.

    PSA Security Network’s president and CEO Bill Bozeman told Security Systems News that the move from Westminster—where the conference had been held for several years—to downtown Denver fro 2018 was needed to accommodate the growth of the show.

    “The hotel [Downtown Denver Sheraton] is bigger, so we look forward to having everyone under one roof,” Bozeman told SSN. “In addition, I think some of our younger members and supporters are going to enjoy being in downtown Denver, where there is so much to do.”

    The education program will deliver sessions tailored to physical security and audio-visual integrators focused on emerging technologies, critical issues in the industry, and tool development to augment attendees’ knowledge needed to continue to drive these industries forward. Sessions will be selected that serve a variety of disciplines including business management, sales and marketing, HR and recruiting, project management and operations, and installation and service.

    Proposals are welcome for both certification programs and general education sessions for the security and audio-visual markets. All sessions must be unbiased and minimize commercial references and overt branding. Submissions are evaluated based on topic relevance, speaker expertise, and originality of the content. Additional guidelines are available within the call for presentations submission tool.

    Accepted and approved presenters will receive complimentary registration to TEC 2018 and will have the opportunity to solidify their reputation as an industry resource and subject matter expert while expanding their own professional network and gaining access to strategic partnerships. PSA does not pay honoraria or expenses for accepted proposals.


              ðŸ’Ž Molly 💎36 DD 💎Outcall 💎 956-252-9952 💎 Sensual 💎 Body 2 body 💎 Soft Touch 💎 Exotic 💎        
    Let me share my erotic side with you. My touch is soft and slow. My knowledge of the male anatomy is out of this world.
              Yoga        

    Yoga is a holistic way of life that integrates all elements of ancient knowledge of Yoga, to make a prayerful discipline uniting the body, mind, and soul. Along with the series of simple, yet effective yoga postures and breathing techniques, a greater emphasis is placed on the inner experience of meditation, for the well-being of […]

    The post Yoga appeared first on Medical Treatment, Medical Treatment centre, Medical healthcare Centre.


              Urology & Andrology        

    A Urologist is a Medical Specialist who has specialized knowledge and skill regarding problems of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs Urology Specialties Pediatric Urology Urologic oncology Renal transplantation Male infertility Urinary tract stones Female urology Neurourology Erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence) Andrology Andrology is a medical discipline dealing with men’s […]

    The post Urology & Andrology appeared first on Medical Treatment, Medical Treatment centre, Medical healthcare Centre.


              â€œIs Knowledge Trapped Inside the Ivory Tower?,” M. Bikard (2013)        
    Simultaneous discovery, as famously discussed by Merton, is really a fascinating idea. On the one hand, we have famous examples like Bell and Gray sending in patents for a telephone on exactly the same day. On the other hand, when you investigate supposed examples of simultaneous discovery more closely, it is rarely the case that […]
              â€œThe Credit Crisis as a Problem in the Sociology of Knowledge,” D. Mackenzie (2011)        
    (Tip of the hat for pointing out Mackenzie’s article to Dan Hirschman) The financial crisis, it is quite clear by now, will be the worst worldwide economic catastrophe since the Great Depression. There are many explanations involving mistaken or misused economic theory, rapaciousness, political decisions, ignorance, and many more; two interesting examples here are Alp […]
              â€œ737-Cabriolet: The Limits of Knowledge and the Sociology of Inevitable Failure,” J. Downer (2011)        
    Things go wrong. Nuclear power plants melt down. Airplanes fall from the sky. Wars break out even when both parties mean only to bluff. Financial shocks propagate in unexpected ways. There are two traditional ways of thinking about these events. First, we might look for the cause and apportion blame for such an unusual event. […]
              A yellow jacket and some strange weather        
    Jewellery charity shopped
    I had a busy week last week. I volunteered on Monday as usual and on Tuesday I was at the Guild House. They had had a pamper evening previously and raised a good amount of money; some of which was from goods from the charity shop, but what a mess was left behind...

    I left  the Guild House with three items; I had sworn I wasn't going to buy anymore stuff with my holidays not far off, but I can't resist a bargain. I bought a lovely bright yellow jacket (above); a summer dressing gown which I'll take and leave at the caravan and a pair of summer trousers. That's it now; I need to tighten my purse strings...


    Wednesday's outfit


    All the jewellery is charity shopped except watch; Christmas present, and earrings; present from OH bought on a trip to Oxford.


    Everything charity shopped except slip on shoes - Primarni. 

     I was invigilating all day on Wednesday in the large gym of the university where I used to work. Two two hour exams and you have be there 30 minutes before the exam start time to get the room ready. There's a lot walking involved in invigilating; you spend most of the time on your feet. Patrolling  the aisles to make sure there's no funny business going on; fetching more exam scripts for those who write a lot (!), escorting students to the loo. I probably clock up miles but as I have to turn my phone off I'll never know how many... It rained heavily for most of the day and by the afternoon the roof of the gym began to leak - luckily not on any students' heads!

    I stayed at the campus for lunch and met a few of my ex colleagues which was nice. I invigilated again on Thursday morning and I'm doing two days next week as well.

    Friday's outfit

    On Friday I did the school run, went to the hairdressers, and organised a cake for OH's birthday which was also on Friday. We went out in the evening with two of my three brothers (Julian is on tour at the moment) to Corby to a Portuguese restaurant to celebrate. We had a really enjoyable evening.


    Everything is charity shopped but I can't remember where...I think the kimono is from the Red Cross; the trousers are from F&F and the white top is by Next; all in their second summer of wear. The weather was wet and dull on Friday all day. Where the heck has the summer gone?


    All jewellery charity shopped and the boots are daughter donated. As it got chillier toward the evening on Friday I took these thin cotton trousers off and replaced them with jeans - and socks!


    On Saturday I went to see my son. Luckily the weather had improved and the drive there was great but coming back we had torrential rain and hailstones!

    Everything is charity shopped; the yellow jacket is from M&S and I got it at the Guild House last Tuesday. Jeans; can't remember and the spotted top was charity shopped last summer, but again I can't remember where...


    White lace slip-ons; Primarni. All jewellery charity shopped.

    I forgot to say in my last post that I received an email from someone at T.M. Lewin (who are a firm of shirt makers). They had seen that I'd acknowledged wearing their shirt on one of my blog posts and wanted to know if I would add a link to their company. I declined on the grounds this is my personal blog and I'm not giving anyone free advertising! They also mentioned something about wedding dresses; oh dear, they certainly asked the wrong person!

    On Monday it was back to  volunteer at the Red Cross. I was so proud of myself - I left with one headscarf priced £1.50.! What a beautiful day it turned out to be. Hot and sunny. The first truly hot sunny day I've experienced this year.


    Everything charity shopped except the red shoes - PJ Shoes in Kemspton.


    Kimono from New Look and jeans are from Monsoon; both 1.99 at the Red Cross last year. The jeans are a purpley blue and they match the purple flower in the kimono perfectly. The floral top underneath the kimono is from a charity shop in Donegal and cost 50 cents.


    All jewellery charity shopped.

    I believe the rest of this week is going to be very pleasant so I'm planning to walk every day for the next few days, as I didn't get any walking done last week. I always miss walking when I don't do it for a while.

    I know it is definitely summer now because the swifts have arrived; screaming high up in the sky over the street where I live. To me that is the sound of summer.

              Senior BBC official insists that all of Jerusalem is an “Israeli” city        
    Amena Saleem 17 May 2013

    From its refusal to acknowledge international law to the withholding of facts from its audiences, the BBC’s reporting wholly favors the Israeli agenda.


              No Peanuts for Your Peanut        

    Youngsters are developing peanut allergies earlier because of exposures in babyhood

    Food for Thought

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Homing in on the problem

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Citations

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    141 Northwest Point Boulevard

    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

    Web site: [Go to]

    A. Wesley Burks

    Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology

    Duke University Medical Center

    DUMC 2644

    Durham, NC 27710

    National Institutes of Health

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

    Office of Communications and Government Relations

    6610 Rockledge Drive, MSC 6612

    Bethesda, MD 20892-6612

    Web site: [Go to]
    Further Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              Human Suffering and Humanitarian Emergencies [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | Humanitarian emergencies are not simply brute facts, appealing directly to our emotions or our moral sensibilities. They are one of the important ways in which perceptions of human life, sympathy for suffering, and responses to social upheaval have come to be organized in recent decades. Like nations and business corporations, they are creatures of social imaginaries, but no less materially influential for that. They are shaped by a history of changing ideas about the human; moral responsibility for strangers; structures of chance and causality; and the imperative and capacity for effective action, even at a distance. They reflect the context of the modern era generally and more specific features of the era since the 1970s. And they are embedded in a complex institutionalization of responses. First, grasping human suffering as humanitarian emergencies is made possible by a long history of changes in how we – Westerners especially – construct the categories of the human, the emergency, and moral obligation. Second, though they are influenced by both state politics and economic activity, humanitarian emergencies appear as anomalies outside the putatively normal stable functioning of political and economic systems. Third, emergencies and humanitarian sympathies are produced importantly through large-scale media systems, including especially visual media. Fourth, they have commanded attention especially since the 1970s as responses to an era of market-driven globalization and declining faith in political action. Fifth, they have occasioned a new institutional field of response in which NGOs and voluntary action are pivotal (even though states remain crucial funders), and they are shaped by the way such response organizes both what we see and what happens materially on the ground. Sixth, they reflect a view from relatively ‘core’ locations in the modern world-system on seeming chaos in its periphery, a view often linked at once to a managerial orientation, an idea of charity, and the reassurance of grasping suffering and chaos precisely as distant. The specific historical circumstances that gave rise to humanitarian response are changing, and with them this specific project of cosmopolitan care for distant strangers may be undergoing a deep transformation. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun is an American citizen but has deep connections with the United Kingdom. He took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
              Social Movements in the US: From the American Revolution to Obama [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
              The Democracy Project [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Dr David Graeber, Professor Craig Calhoun | From the earliest meetings for Occupy Wall Street, David Graeber felt that something was different from previous demonstrations. What was it about this particular movement that worked this time? And what can we now do to make our world more democratic again? Graeber presents a vital new exploration of anti-capitalist dissent, looking at the actions of the 99% and revealing the alternative political and economic possibilities of our future. David Graeber is an anthropologist at Goldsmiths, University of London, who has been involved with the Occupy movement most actively at Wall Street. He is widely credited with coining the phrase "We are the 99%" and is the author of the widely praised Debt: The First 5000 Years. His new book The Democracy Project is published by Allen Lane. Craig Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
              LSE Director's Inaugural Alumni Lecture [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | Craig Calhoun took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. Professor Calhoun is an American citizen but has deep connections with the United Kingdom. He took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes.
              Social Movements and Social Change [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | Drawing on his decades of research on social protest, Professor Calhoun will explore the roots of radicalism and the relationship between social movements and social change. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun is an American citizen but has deep connections with the United Kingdom. He took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012). Describing his own approach to academic work, Professor Calhoun says: "We must set high standards for ourselves, but in order to inform the public well, not to isolate ourselves from it."
              Knowledge Matters: the public mission of research universities [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | The university is an institution in upheaval. In his Inaugural Lecture as Director of LSE, Professor Craig Calhoun explores the options for the future. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun is an American citizen but has deep connections with the United Kingdom. He took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012). Describing his own approach to academic work, Professor Calhoun says: "We must set high standards for ourselves, but in order to inform the public well, not to isolate ourselves from it."
              America and the World - After the Election [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Anne Applebaum, Professor Craig Calhoun, Professor Michael Cox, Gideon Rachman | After a closely fought election, this highly topical LSE public debate will look ahead to Obama’s second administration and assess the challenges it faces at home and how it is likely to address them, as well as how its relationships with Britain, Europe and the rest of the world are likely to develop. Author and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum has taken up the post of Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the School for 2012-13. She is the first woman to ever hold this position. Anne Applebaum is the Director of Political Studies at the Legatum Institute in London, and a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate. After graduating from Yale University, Anne Applebaum was a Marshall Scholar at both the LSE and St. Anthony’s College Oxford. She has also lectured at Yale and Columbia Universities, amongst others. Anne Applebaum’s journalistic work focuses on US and international politics, with a particular focus on economic and political transition. Craig Calhoun is director of LSE. He is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Michael Cox is founding director of LSE IDEAS. `Professor Cox is a well known speaker on global affairs and has lectured in the United States, Australia, Asia, and in the EU. He has spoken on a range of contemporary global issues, though most recently he has focused on the role of the United States in the international system, the rise of Asia, and whether or not the world is now in the midst of a major power shift. Gideon Rachman became chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times in July 2006. He joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist, which included spells as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Washington and Bangkok. He also edited The Economist’s business and Asia sections. His particular interests include American foreign policy, the European Union and globalisation.
              Occupy's Predicament: The Moment and the Prospects for Movement [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Todd Gitlin, Professor Craig Calhoun | Erupting in September 2011, Occupy Wall Street was jump-started by a radical core who devised a form of action, occupation, that combined face-to-face with electronic elements. In an election year, the ingenuity of the original core has been overshadowed by the momentum, the stakes, and not least the money of the presidential campaign. Whether an Occupy movement takes shape and endures, focused on transformation of a political system overwhelmingly shaped by plutocrats, depends on the actions of many networks that were mobilized within and around the Occupy moment. Todd Gitlin is professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University and is the author of 15 books, including, Occupy Nation: the roots, the spirit, and the promise of Occupy Wall Street. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council.
              SEE THRU EXHIBITION OPENED 8.14.10 GALLERY 825 LOS ANGELES        


    THURSDAY, AUGUST 19, 2010

    SEE THRU EXHIBITION OPENED 8.14.10 GALLERY 825 LOS ANGELES

    Professor Shinsuke Shimojo of CalTech, 
    a world-renowned researcher and expert in field of vision, 
    perception and cognitive neuroscience inspired artists from LAAA/Gallery 825 
    to create new work reflecting scientific principals 
    exploring the intersection between photography, neuroscience and the arts.

    Ann Marie Rousseau photographs Romann Weber for "Science and Surveillance" 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook 

    SMALL GALLERY and MAIN GALLERY

    Science and Surveillance
    A.M.Rousseau

    Description:
    The work in this project plays off Shinsuke Shimojo’s studies on perception and the interplay of emotion, decision-making and consciousness.* Our eyes are constantly scanning our surroundings in rapid leaps, instantaneously accumulating information as they move several times per second, all without conscious effort or knowledge. Shimojo describes the “gaze cascade effect,” in which a subject's gaze between two objects under consideration gradually shifts to favor the object ultimately chosen.  Research has indicated that these gaze cascades, also called orienting, are deeply involved in higher-level brain functions such as decision making.

    In experiments asking subjects to compare two faces and label one as either attractive or unattractive, Shimojo discovered that the more that someone looks at a particular face, the more he or she wants to look at it, and consequently the more likely it becomes that the face will be labeled as “attractive.”  This happens even before the viewer makes a conscious decision.  His research also found that the participants' judgments of attractiveness versus unattractiveness could be manipulated by limiting the length of time they were allowed to look at a particular face. According to Shimojo, the unconscious, spontaneous movements of the eyes work in concert and affect what are presumed to be more deliberate cognitive tasks when making choices.  

    Various studies in cognitive and neuro sciences have demonstrated that images—of a face, for instance—and semantic contents such as verbal labels interact through various mechanisms in order to produce a stable and consistent interpretation of the image.  In today’s modern surveillance society, labeling occurs in myriad ways, both benign and nefarious.  This continual labeling has far broader scope and more serious consequences than ordinary judgments of "attractive" and "unattractive," but it is perhaps influenced by some of the same subliminal forces shown in Shimojo’s work.

    The lineup of "perpetrators" in this installation shows faces with labels quite contrary to the presumed task of security surveillance, which aims to identify malefactors, terrorists, criminals, dangerous subjects and other potential wrongdoers. Instead these labels, which have been loosely extrapolated from the Buddhist tenets of the ten perfections, seek to discern those with traits most useful, beneficial, lasting and constructive for society.  Although these labels are essentially positive, the viewer cannot help but approach them with a consciousness of what it is to be watched and labeled specifically, and an appreciation of the complex tensions inherent in labeling in general.

    •“Gaze bias both reflects and influences preference,” Shinsuke Shimojo, Claudiu Simion, Eiko Shimojo, & Christian Scheier, Nature Neuroscience, Advance online publication, 9 November 2003; doi:10.1038/nn1150



    Romann Weber






    Marcie Kaufmann


    Ginger Van Hook


    Elizabeth Tobias


    Krista Kahl


    Mei Xian Qiu


    Meg Madison

    Siri Kaur



    Ching Ching Cheng



    Shana Mabari

    Krista Kahl and Ann Marie Rousseau


    Krista Kahl, Mei Xian Qiu and Ann Marie Rousseau


    Krista Kahl and Ginger Van Hook during the installation 
    of Connection 1 and Connection 2. Photo by Ann Marie Rousseau


    ASSEMBLE
    Dori Atlantis, Ching-Ching Cheng, Meg Madison and Mei Xian Qiu
    6' x 17' x 13'   Digital Photographs, Plexiglass, Monofilament     
    Photo by Ann Marie Rousseau


    Color Space
    Ching-Ching Cheng
    9"x9"x9" Urethane, Pigment Photo by Ann Marie Rousseau


    Blue Volumetric
    Yoichi Kawamura, Shana Mabari and Shinsuke Shimojo
    42” x 42” x 42” Plexiglass Cube + Mixed Materials
    Photo by Ann Marie Rousseau 




    Color Space
    Ching-Ching Cheng
    9"x9"x9" Urethane, Pigment 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook



    Blue Volumetric
    Yoichi Kawamura, Shana Mabari and Shinsuke Shimojo
    42” x 42” x 42” Plexiglass Cube + Mixed Materials (Photo by Ginger Van Hook)



    Optic Chasm
    Mei Xian Qiu
    Dimensions Varied – Plexiglass Cube, Water, 
    Used Motor Oil, Projector, Tempera. 
    (Photo by Ginger Van Hook)












    The Art of Lovin’ Trees-- 
    Featuring Artist Joel Tauber
    Story dedicated to Joel and Alison
    in celebration of their joyous engagement on November 9th,
    2008

    Written and Researched by Enilde Van Hook
    Story Consult and Editing by Luke Van Hook
    Painting, www.lukevanhook.com
    Photography, www.gingervanhook.com
    Writing, www.enildeingelsvanhook.com


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


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


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

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

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

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

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











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


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

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


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



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



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

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


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


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

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




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













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



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

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

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



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






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





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




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


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



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


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

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


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

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

    The Roots of my personal anxieties: Why I care.

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

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








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






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












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

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

              The Art of Reading Leads to the Art of Writing at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the UCLA campus in Westwood! by Enilde Van Hook        

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


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



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




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






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















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








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






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






















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























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





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








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
















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









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






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



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



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



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

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







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





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

















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

























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

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



    We also support the Monrovia Arts Festival Association which is undergoing a change of name this year. In addition to the changes featured in Monrovia Library Park, with the new Library construction, Monrovia Arts Festival Association is about to be renamed the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts to better define the role of the arts in the community of Monrovia.
    The Monrovia Arts Festival Association will continue to serve the arts and artists as well as the after school art programs in Monrovia as well as surrounding communities and schools. I firmly believe, the younger a child is exposed to the arts, in terms of reading, writing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, digital media, comic book art and art history just to name a few of the variety of arts, the more creative a child will grow into adulthood and the more rewarding our communities will be to thrive in.
              SeaWorld’s new plan is genius…except for one big thing        
    Seaworld, what are we to make of you now? The company has pledged to reinvent itself from the inside out, and to refocus into helping the public find ways to make a difference to the environment. The plan is well thought out and genius. And, it would appear, keeping killer whales doesn’t figure prominently in
              7 Tips - How to Choose a Great Blogger Blog Topic        
    Have you chosen a blog topic that is right for you? Lots of people start their Blogger Blogspot blogs without giving much thought to their selection of blog topic. Or the angle on the topic they want to explore. If you want your blog to stand out from the crowd make sure you consider your blog topic carefully.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Click here to get The Blog Profits Blueprint



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              Benefits of Blogspot Blogging with Blogger.com        
    This article covers the main features of Blogger.com and compares some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Blogger platform with other blogging platforms such as Wordpress.

    Creating your Blogspot blog at Blogger.com is a good choice for beginner bloggers as it is a free blogging platform with an easy interface and good features. More advanced webmasters may find the lack of some advanced features irritating but Blogger is definitely worth considering as a place to try out blogging at no expense. You can even use your own custom domain name or go with the default subdomain name that Blogger provides.

    Blogger.com (Blogspot) Features
    • Blogger is a free blogging platform

    • Blogger is fast and easy to set up. It takes about 10 minutes to create a blog, configure the settings and add some gadgets.

    • Blogger is easy to use regardless of your level of technical knowledge. The interface is user friendly and intuitive. Tabs and buttons make it easy to navigate.

    • Bandwidth is unlimited with Blogger so there are no bandwidth issues with video and pictures

    • As Blogger.com is owned by Google there is a high degree of integration with other services like Google Analytics and Picasa Web Album (generous 1 GB of storage)

    • Easy to make money with Google Adsense and other banner advertising scripts which can easily be incorporated into your blog

    • It is possible to use your own custom domain rather than the default. For instance yoursite.com instead of yoursite.blogspot.com

    • Blogger supports Mobile blogging

    • Blogger gives users the option to tweak templates depending on their experience. Some knowledge of HTML, XML and CSS are needed. Alternatively you can upload your own template with built in features like advertising space, menus and other useful stuff. There are plenty of free templates for Blogger on the web. These can be customised to suit individual requirements


    Comparison of the Blogger Platform with Wordpress
    While other on-line platforms like Wordpress.org have greater functionality and are more highly customisable there is also a much heftier learning curve. The Wordpress interface is clunkier to use than the Blogger one in my opinion. On the otherhand Wordpress offers 3 GB for media such as photos and video while Blogger is limited to 1 GB so this may swing the balance if you are intending to use a lot of multi-media on your site. The main drawback of the online version of Wordpress though is that it does not allow webmasters to add advertising such as Google Adsense instead it puts advertising on your blog and Wordpress reaps the benefits.

    If you choose a self hosted option like Wordpress.com the maintenance is higher and the learning curve increases too. I have a self hosted Wordpress site which needs a lot more maintenance than any of the other sites I run on Blogger (Blogspot). Plus it is time consuming to find, download and customise plugins to extend Wordpress functionality for self hosted sites. Then there are the obvious disadvantages of having to FTP file uploads rather than making changes online as you do with Blogger. My experience with hosting is that there can be a lot of server downtime which can affect your return traffic. Here I am talking about the vagaries of free hosting not paid hosting which is usually far more reliable.

    While Wordpress is constantly being updated to eliminate security risks and bugs Blogger is stable and eliminates a lot of the upgrade headache. Blogger comes with a few really annoying glitches that I have found in the interface but in general it is a breeze to use. I have found Wordpress to be equally, if not more bug ridden, so don't let a few minor interface issues put you off. Nothing is ever perfect right?

    One of my main frustrations with Blogger is that it is not particularly search engine friendly. It needs a lot of tweaking to provide search engine optimisation. Also some very handy widgets are left off the default configuration. I am hoping these will be added by Blogger further down the track. In particular, I mean the lack of related posts and most popular posts widgets. These features would be very nice to have and facilitate navigation of a blog. On the other hand Blogger does come with some pretty nice widgets which seem to be developing all the time and it also has the option to extend further with third party widgets.

    To get the most out of Blogger as a blogging platform, you might want to consider installing a custom template for a more professional and unique look. If you use your own domain name many would be hard pressed to know what blogging platform is being used. However, you would need to dispense with the Nav Bar completely otherwise it would be apparent to visitors that your blogging platform is Blogger.

    Click here to get The Blog Profits Blueprint

    This article has covered the main features of a Blogger.com blog. It has discussed some of the advantages and disadvantages of blogging using the Blogger platform in comparison to other blogging platforms such as Wordpress.


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    Anyone can sign up for a free account at Blogger.com. Once you have created an account you will be free to create as many blogs as you wish using the one account name. You will be prompted for a name which you will use to sign all of your blog posts. This name is given to the author of your blog which is you. This will be visible to all visitors to your site so think about what name you like to be known by. I use The Wizz for all my sites you can use whatever you like. You can change it later if you need to.

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    Creating Your Blogspot Blog at Blogger.com
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    Naming Your Blog - Choosing a Title
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    3. Assuming you are going to use the default Blogger domain (yoursite.blogspot.com)rather than your own domain name (yoursite.com) click on the Continue button. Before you do this step make certain first that the exact title you want has been entered and you have spelt it correctly.

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    Blogspot Blog Created at Blogger.com

    Click on the Start Blogging button and you will be taken to the Posting > Create a New Post screen. It is advisable to set a few settings on your blog before beginning your posts. These will be discussed in my next article: Set Up a Blogspot Blog at Blogger.com.

    Create New Post Screen

    This tutorial discussed how to create a Blogspot blog at Blogger.com including creating a Google Account, naming your Blogspot blog and choosing a template.


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              interview with guenter schlienz        


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

    ~~~

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

    guenterschlienz.de

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



              electric sound bath        

    electric sound bath ~ moon drip (fluere tapes, 2016)

    Sound form perception of moon found within in order to perceive its lunar gift vision of itself at a hearts arms magnetic pulse distance ~ fluere tapes

    Latest release from Sweden cozy label Fluere Tapes follows the aesthetics of best ambient-drone outfits blossomed on tape scene in 2009-2011 – shimmering lo-fi soundscapes taken from guitars and synths, slowly evolving atmosphere, calming/meditative touch, feeling of something personal, as if played on private event for a few friends... Seems predictable at first glance, especially for one who's not that much into lengthy drone tapestries, but hides gorgeous moments of serenity and pure bliss for those who know how to listen. Nothing special, actually – get rid of any expectations, turn off analyzing parts of your mind, make yourself comfortable and simply enjoy the ride of slow waves of sound. Then every change of mood in music seems so natural to current time and space – something that was truly needed right-here-right-now but wasn't clear until the very moment of appearance. Expected and surprising at the same time – that's the magic of this tape. Quite often perception of music has certain competitive aspect, like you're testing the ability of musicians to surprise you, evaluating their skills, knowledge of technical side, etc.. And a lot of artists and listeners are good with that, even at ambient/drone scene... Yet, ambient music shouldn't be perceived such way, it's purpose and it's possibility stretches far more forward. Without getting too new-agey, I'd say that music like "Moon Drip" (which is actually a very fine example of non-centered sound continuum usually called ambient) is a wonderful mood changer – calming and transparent, gentle enveloping wave full of bright glares and distant echoes, yet dynamic enough and always changing, every time at any angle if you look close enough. Highly enjoyable background for evening chill and perfect companion for morning walk along the waterfront. And don't forget about the last track "Music For Train Stations", which spans over 40 minutes and suits its name very-very well. Now you know which tape you should take to the next train trip! 

    listen ~ support



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









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









    Where knowledge is free









    Where the world has not been broken up into fragments









    By narrow domestic walls








    Where words come out from the depth of truth








    Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection








    Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way








    Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit








    Where the mind is led forward by thee








    Into ever-widening thought and action








    Into that heaven of freedom, my Father,








    ...let my country awake.






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

              Starry Night        

    Her hands were on his cheek, his hands around her waist, as they lay there facing each other.

    She was gently slapping him on his cheek. He, smiling, gripped her hand and tried to shove it away. She burst out laughing. She managed to free her hand and once again, continued with her playful slapping, him giving up and playing along with her this time, she unable to contain her laughter.

    Their baby, comfortably nestled between them, had his sleep broken. She shushed him hurriedly, and began to caress her child. She felt a little guilty now as they lay there silently. Their child fell asleep once more.

    He murmured something, she listened intently. She re-assured him, and gently caressed his cheek. He smiled. He was happy. She was starting to fall asleep. He carefully adjusted her head-rest. He kept looking at her with his folded hands below his head, unable to fall asleep.

    He will have to find someplace else for his family to sleep tomorrow.

    Adjacent to the ledge they slept on, a person tried to squeeze his bike into the last remaining gap in the small parking area there. A car honked and zipped past, narrowly avoiding the person coming towards it on a bicycle. The last few shops began to pull their shutters down. A young professional, carrying a bag-pack after a long, tiring day at work, stopped at the corner paan-shop for a cup of tea and a smoke. A group of friends stood beside the shop as they laughed at each others' stories about their day, each holding a cup of tea in one hand and a cigarette in the other. There was a queue of annoyed people at the nearby A.T.M., waiting to withdraw money and go about their lives. Across the street, a fat middle-aged man alongwith his two spriteful children, followed by his wife and his old mother, slowly walked towards their car in the parking-lot to get back home after having a sumptuous dinner at the near-by gourmet restaurant. A street-light flickered. The leaves on the road-side trees rustled in the soft, gentle breeze. The sky was clear, but stars were not visible. They twinkled somewhere, silently, alone.

    None of it mattered.


    [Based on an eye-witness episode.]

              lost        

    He hated midnight flights. On top of that, this was going to be a 16 hour long flight, straight to the other end of the world. Courtesy lost sleep and timezones, he would be miserable for days. He had been having nightmares about the journey. As they announced the call for boarding, he dragged himself towards the gate to be greeted by a mocking 'Enjoy your flight, sir.'. As if they knew.

    He boarded the craft and walked towards his assigned seat. He had the middle one, the other two seats were unoccupied.

    She made her way through the aisle, stopping near him. She struggled to put her luggage into the overhead bin. He tried to get up and help, but by then she had already managed it on her own. She pointed towards her window seat next to him, followed by a 2-minute awkward choreography of letting her get to her seat. As they took their seats, he turned to her and gave a well-do-we-have-any-other-choice smile, which she tried to acknowledge but pretty much ended up ignoring him. 'Alright, so be it.'

    The safety announcements designed for 5-year-olds began. The craft taxied, sped along the runway, and took off. Entertainment was switched on, wine and dinner started being served, the air eased. He turned towards her to make a conversation. She was going to be next to him throughout the ordeal, so he might atleast make it not awkward.

    'Hi.'
    'Hi.'
    'Do you fly along this route often?'
    'Yes.'

    It seemed to him as if she made too much effort to return a casual smile. 'Doesn't seem interested in a conversation', he thought. Fine.

    The trolley stopped beside them. He asked for white wine to go along with the peanuts. She took red. He put on his headphones and turned his entertainment on. His pick was 'Wall·E'. She looked outside the window while they sipped their wine. 'Why do they make these peanut packets so difficult to open?!', he thought getting annoyed. Everytime! As he managed to open his after much struggle, he saw her beside him struggling too. He popped a peanut in, sipped his wine, and continued to watch his movie. After looking at her struggle some more, he took his headphones off.

    'May I help you with that?'
    She smiled sheepishly.
    'There you go.'
    'Thanks!'

    Food was served soon. More wine was poured. As she started with the appetizers, she began...

    'I love this movie.'
    'Yes, it's an amazing movie! This is probably for the hundredth time that I am watching this.'
    'Haha, really? I don't think I love it that much. Which is your favorite scene from the movie?'
    'Dancing, surely. It's amazingly done.'
    'Yes. For me it would be the last scene though. I swear I must have cried during that scene.'
    'Haha. Well, for what it's worth, I didn't like how they ended the movie. Wall·E shouldn't have gotten his memory back. Sad endings are more real.'
    'So, what are you? Clinically insane, or a sadistic psychopath?'
    'Haha, c'mon! Firstly, neither. Secondly, I have a theory about movie endings...'
    '...which is?'
    'Most movies actually end about two or three scenes before they end the movie.'
    'Uhuh.'
    'See, for me this movie ends when we learn that Wall·E lost his memory. Everything after that is mostly appeasing the audience. This happens in so many movies!'
    'Ah... I see. So you are a sadistic psychopath. Do you do it professionally or just as a hobby, being a psychopath?'
    'It's a hobby.'
    'I don't need to raise any alarms then. Yet.'
    'Not at all! And if you needed to, you wouldn't have gotten the chance. I am that good.'
    'Haha. Hey listen, I am sorry about earlier.'
    'The peanuts?'
    'No, before that. It wasn't nice of me.'
    'I know. And the company of sadistic psychopaths doesn't help too much, does it?'
    'Cut me some slack, will you?!'
    'I will, if you stop taking it all too seriously.'

    Both smiled. Paused. 'So...', they both began together. 'Please go on', he said.

    'So...why do you hate flying so much?'
    'How did you know that?!'
    'It's hard not to know when it is written all over you.'
    '16 hours in a metal tube being hurled across the sky, huddled like cattle and you can hardly sleep, with nowhere else to go. What is there to love about it?'
    'How about the fact that you are going the reach the other end of the planet in less than a day, all the while dining, sipping wine, watching your favorite movie? And you're flying! Just look outside!' The moon followed them, the stars twinkled, and the clouds glistened.
    'Haha, yes of course. Maybe travelling frequently makes you grumpy. Or maybe, the reason of the travel affects how you feel about the travel. You are right, I have no reason to complain. Do you travel a lot?'
    'I do. I love travelling! More like, I like the journey as much, if not more, than the destination. Travelling gives you a lot of time to introspect. Sometimes you meet interesting people along the way.'
    'I'll take it that you mean me (too) when you say that.'
    '...and you had to ruin it. Bravo, monsieur!'
    'Merci!'
    'Haha. Alright, dinner's done. I'll see if I can sleep for a while.'
    'Yes, the time-zone monster awaits us too.'



    He finished the movie, and slept. Several hours passed before they woke up. He began...

    'You know, I haven't slept with a girl before.'
    'Wow, you did NOT just say that!'
    'I did.'
    'And it was a horrible pun.'
    'I know.'
    They both laughed. Paused.

    'Do you love someone?', she asked.
    'That is a little too personal, don't you think?'
    'You did not think about that before sleeping with me?! And your reply makes me sure you don't.'
    'I am not really sure what that means. Love. Everyone else seems to know.'
    'Well, maybe you need to fall in love once to understand it.'
    '...and that's exactly what everyone says! It's so pissing off! Do you? Love someone?'
    'So it isn't personal if you ask?! Well, it's complicated. I don't think I would be able to explain.'

    'Okay. Tell me, then, what do you think love is? Is there a definition? What is your definition of love?'
    'Love is bottomless empathy, born out of the heart’s revelation that another person is every bit as real as you are. To love a specific person, and to identify with his or her struggles and joys as if they were your own, you have to surrender some of your self.' [link]

    'It's like the way you feel about travelling.'
    'Meaning?'
    'That the journey is as much, if not more, important as the destination.'
    'If you put it that way, yes.'

    'That's what I feel about "Life".'
    'As in?'
    'As in, it's like a journey. People's paths cross with each other, and they become experiences for one another. I met you here, and I will remember this. But I don't know if we will ever meet again. In life we meet people who walk one-way with us. It's who comes back with you that counts. I think maybe that's love.'
    'Then the movie doesn't really end there for you.'
    'Meaning?'
    'Two scenes before Wall·E ends, it doesn't end there for you. Wall·E comes back in the end, doesn't he?'
    'I never thought about it like that before.'



    He exited towards the terminal. It had been a long journey, but he felt surprisingly fresh. As he walked, suddenly, the airport was filled with piercing white light coming from a single source. He shut his eyes and almost knelt. The light began to fade, and when he could see again, he saw that he was alone there, and the airport deserted. He began to move hurriedly towards the exit, the place looked liked it had been ransacked. He came out from the exit, she stood in front of him. She was the only one there besides him. He didn't know what to do. She walked towards him, smiled, and gently said, 'Let's go back.'


              affection        

    "Beautiful!", She said, as dawn cracked. A thick sheet of clouds hid the ground beneath, and it had tears from the rising jagged hills waking up to their morning elegance. "Just look at the colors, you! It's like someone has thrown random hues at the sky, and they all mix in a specific way and present themselves to us such that all of it makes sense. Like there is some hidden order in all this chaos, a greater purpose. Isn't it overwhelming?", She asked innocently.

    I could only smile. To me, She, with all her charm, looked more beautiful than nature's art collection on display in front of us. She caught me smiling mischievously.

    "What now, mister?", She asked.

    "Haha, yes, yes. Of course. It is really beautiful. I am only slightly amused at the deep affection with which you were describing it.", I said.

    "Affection? What does that mean?", She said, with a quizzical look on her face.

    "You know, affection. Like, love. Gentle, tender, warm, fuzzy. Or, any other adjective that you may prefer."

    She rolled her eyes. "Yes, mister. I have deep affection for the rising sun. More than I have for you, perhaps. Deal with it."

    "I never really got how people use that word, you know. I have been thinking about it."

    "Which word? Affection?"

    "Uhuh."

    "What is there to think about it? Like you said, it is like love."

    "Well, yes. Maybe not the word affection, then. But the word that follows it in standard use - 'for'."

    "For?! Now for what do you have a problem with for, now?"

    The sun was up now, the morning brighter. It seemed like everything around us was getting off their beds, with ruffled hair, rubbing their eyes, in order to get ready to jump into action for a long, eventful day ahead. I took a deep breath, the fresh morning air acting like a stimulant.

    "See", I began, with a demeanor of being about to say something really profound, "I think the word 'affection' is derived from 'to affect'. With that assumption, saying that one has affection for something, or someone, becomes grammatically incorrect. Because the effect of the affect is really on the self."

    She turned to look away from me trying to hide her smile's genesis, into the far-away hills, which looked like they were getting all dressed up to leave for work.

    I continued, "Whether I have affection for you or not, is really for you to decide. All I can know on my own really is whether I have affection from you, or, to put it reversely, whether you have affection for me. It works the other way round. So yes, when someone says that they have affection for someone, or something, they really mean that they have affection from them. You know, for that matter, every person I have met in my life, and each of my experiences with them has contributed to what I am at this moment, in however small, little way. All of that has led me to now. I have affection from all of them, really. There is no denying that."

    She turned to look at me, smiling. After an extended pause, she said, "For once, you make some sense, mister."

    "Haha, err, thank you?", I said casually.

    "I think I understand now what you meant earlier."

    I smiled. "I read a story some time ago. I want to recite a few lines from it which I really loved -
    “Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
    “Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
    It got me thinking. We have everyone's affection, afterall. Without us, or them, knowing it all the time. There is so much love in the world, and we fail to acknowledge it."

    The clouds had started to thin, and everything around us was wide awake, ready, raring to go.

    She grinned, now. "I will acknowledge it for you, mister. I have deep affection from you."

    I laughed.

    We turned around to go back home.

              Thanks        

    In reply to But you shouldnt be silent...

    Michael, Galrim, and others...

    Many thanks for your thoughts. I will certainly continue to post the "facts" as I best understand them. I firmly agree that "knowledge is power".  However, I frequently find that I have to go against what is "commonly" accepted as truth whenever I conclude the precise and/or newer research points in precisely the opposite direction.  I find that this also can make some people uncomfortable - since it is troubling trying to deal with yet another level of uncertainty.

    The only way to get at the "real" truth regarding these kinds of issues is at least to first hear them.  Sometimes that can be disorienting and uncomfortable.

    Anyway, I don't plan to refrain from contributing more information whenever requested.  But I will be silent for this next week as I am about to attend 4th of July festivities that take me away from access to the internet and email.

    Happy 4th to all (and, of course, even to our UK friends who may not be viewing this bit of history in quite the same way as we do) :)

     


              We ned both...        

    In reply to This discussion board



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    When I was forced to join some 45 months ago there was very little technical information here and I have watched this site evolve into one that offers a much deeper knowledge based level of support with much more to offer our newcomers.  They come here scared and in need of both hope and knowledge, today both can be found here, not so in the past.    I have assumed the role of cheerleader (no skirt jokes please) because it suits me and my current “cured” situation while those in the thick of it like Tex, Neil, and others provide a wealth of  experience and information from the front battle lines.  It is a blend that seems to work quite well, and one that I certainly hope will continue.  The reason “I’m still here” is that RCC remains my constant companion and while I don’t currently have a need based interest in the fight, if/when I do, I’ll know where to turn.  I long for the day when all of this is no longer necessary, but until that time the balance achieved over the last year or so has worked best in my opinion.


              Ah er.. well..        

    In reply to A little different spin

    Hey Nano...  I am sure that it may be difficult to tell it like it is.. but after all, Denial is NOT a river in Egypt..   Facts are sometimes difficult to give and just as difficult to receive. but they still are facts.  Sadly, I dare say many or even most of us will get that news one day that they have Mets.   I usually am one of those that does not want to know.. but there I was asking that difficult question only a few days after surgery... I saw my Surgeon gulp at the thought of having to give me an answer.. he told me I had about a 60% chance of no Mets.  I smiled at him and stated that was better than I had thought... 

    Still after about 9 months of clear scans I went back in to denial, only to have the reality hit when my scans came back with Mets.  I know I would of been better off, had I gotten more info prior surgery, and again prior to my first scan.  After all, knowledge is power.  I blindly went to two Oncologists that were not fully up to the fast pace / latest info on treatments.  I almost made a very bad mistake with Onc number one.. I got lucky that this Dr was not covered by my insurance and I went to Onc two that was obviously incompetent.  So, I went and e-mailed my surgeon asking advice... he quickly got me to one of the best in the country..!   And thanks to this list, I learned a LOT.. more than a LOT..!   Your diet info firmed up what I should or should not eat, thank you.  And, all the info on side effects on Votrient is priceless, it helped me prepare and not panic.. on and on.  I was a lot better prepared for the Votrient than I would of been without this place..!

    But one of the best parts of this forum is all the well wishes from people I have never met..!!   So, keep on giving sound advice.. we all need you.. and for that one person that may get a bit mffed about the truth, well.. they soon will (sadly) find out anyway.  but having advance info can also settle the mind...

    OK, off to start a new post...  

    Be Well All..!

    Ron


              20% Discount on Routledge publications for SMA members!        
    The Society for Medieval Archaeology is delighted to announce that its members are now entitled to a 20% discount on all Routledge products ordered through their website. This is a great opportunity to purchase some excellent publications at a substantial discount!
              Who Should Be Acknowledged In Your Book?        
    Synopsis Your acknowledgements page does not need to be an exhaustive listing of every last person that helped you. But at the very least, you must include all the people that had an important impact on you and your book. … Continue reading
              3 Tips To Writing A Great Acknowledgements Page        
    Synopsis On the surface, the Acknowledgements Page might seem to be an insignificant part of the book. But the competition for authors to gain new readers is very intense. Because of this, we must view every section of the book … Continue reading
              MASTER IN MANAGEMENT PROGRAM A SUCCESS AT ECU        
    Rachel Seewald-Phan

    A year after being instituted as a new degree program by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, East Central University’s Master in Management program is a smashing success.

    At least in the eyes of Rachel Seewald-Phan, who is the first graduate of the program, the former Norman resident went straight into the MiM program after earning her bachelor’s degree and ended up completing her master’s degree in just one year.

    “It was such an amazing experience and learning process that helped me grow as a student and an individual,” said Seewald-Phan. “Because of the MiM program, I was able to relocate to a state where I had no connections and land a job in a little under a month after moving there.”

    Now a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, she is extremely grateful for the program.

    “When the opportunity to enroll in the program was presented, I was somewhat hesitant since my undergraduate degree was in mass communication and public relations and I do not have a heavy business background,” she said. “However, I can honestly say that this was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The faculty involved in the MiM program are very helpful in working to make sure the students understand the material. They truly want to see everyone succeed.”

    Seewald-Phan is now client services manager at Lenox Wealth Management in Cincinnati.

    “I love my job and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the MiM program and all the wonderful people in the Stonecipher School of Business,” said Seewald-Phan.

    The MiM program is designed to help those with a bachelor’s degree develop management skills. This includes students who received their degrees in non-business fields.

    “There are many who have earned their first degrees and have been placed in positions of managers, but have not been given the knowledge and skills needed to be in successful managerial positions,” said Wendell Godwin, dean of ECU’s Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business. “Additionally, current students, who are skilled practitioners of the subject matter of their first degrees, had their potential to advance to managerial positions limited due to a lack of knowledge and skills in business.”

    Objectives of the program are to:

    1. Provide an innovative, high-level, focused program in response to employers’ needs for managerial-level employees with a sound knowledge of business theory and practices.
    2. Improve student opportunities to either gain employment or increase their chance of a level promotion at their current employer by offering a degree that is suitable for current and potential entry-level managers whose degree was not in a business field.
    3. Work with local employers to utilize this degree as part of personal development plans for current and future front-line managers.
    4. Provide a unique program for those in ECU’s service area and region who are seeking to complement their non-business degree with a business graduate degree that can be completed in 12 months.

    The curriculum consists of 30 hours derived from such courses as managerial accounting, employment labor and law, economics for managers, finance for managers, research methods for managerial decision making, foundations of management, leadership and organizational behavior, strategic management and marketing management. Three more credit hours will also come from one of the following: managing in the global economy, special topics in management, internship in management and individual study in management.

    Godwin anticipates 50 students to be enrolled in the program this fall.

    “The student feedback is that what you learn in the classroom on a Tuesday can be applied on the job on Wednesday,” Godwin said. “It is more application-focused instead of theory-focused.”

    For more information on ECU’s Master in Management program go online to https://www.ecok.edu/academic-affairs-programs/academics/colleges-schools/school-of-graduate-studies/master-management or call Dr. Charlie Jones at 580-559-5269.

     

    -ECU-

    For Immediate Release: 

    Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                    East Central University Communications and Marketing

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


              NEW SPORT PSYCHOLOGY OPTION ADDED TO THE MASTER OF SCIENCE IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES AT ECU        

    Approval has been granted from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for East Central University to institute a new degree option – Sport Psychology - in the Department of Psychology’s Master of Science in Psychological Services (MSPS).

    The area of sport psychology has been a growing field and represents an interdisciplinary science that incorporates various fields including biomechanics, physiology, kinesiology and psychology.  This applied knowledge is needed in the development and use of psychological skills for the optimal performance and well-being of athletes. 

    There is currently no other M.S. degree offered in the area that focuses on this branch of psychology.  According to the American Psychological Association, “sport and performance psychology is a career field that is growing rapidly. Projections for jobs in the field of psychology generally suggest that growth will occur at a rate of 11 percent between now and 2022, with an average of 5,590 new jobs each year.” 

    The program change should align to at least two certifications for candidates; Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP Certification) and Licensed Behavioral Practitioners (LBP Licensure). 

    The curriculum is designed to address the performance and psychological concerns associated with sports involvement affecting athletes, coaches and families as well as the developmental and social aspects of sports participation. The curriculum will consist of 27 hours in psychological and counseling foundation courses and 33 hours in the specialty of sport psychology.  These courses include those such as Sports in American Society, Advanced Sport Psychology, Applied Biomechanics, Sports Performance Enhancement Strategies, and Health Psychology, among others. 

    To lead the implementation of this program, the ECU Department of Psychology has hired Dr. Suzanne Pottratz, who recently graduated with her Ph.D. in sport and exercise psychology from Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. The College of Education

    and Psychology is excited to expand its current master’s options to include the high demand area of sport psychology and is currently enrolling students in the program.

    -ECU-

    For Immediate Release: 

    Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                    East Central University Communications and Marketing

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


              ECU TO CONDUCT SOLAR ECLIPSE WORKSHOP ON THURSDAY, AUG. 3        

    A free Solar Eclipse Workshop, presented by Dr. Carl Rutledge of the ECU Physics Department, will be conducted at East Central University on Thursday, Aug. 3, from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. in Room 101 of ECU’s Lanoy Education Building. The workshop is geared toward educators in grades K-12. The event is designed to prepare students for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. Each participant will receive a free pair of eclipse glasses. For more information or to reserve a spot for the workshop contact Teresia Harrison, director of the Institute for Math and Science Education, at termhar@ecok.edu or 580-559-5275.

    -ECU-

    For Immediate Release: 

    Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                    East Central University Communications and Marketing

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


              Brief Opioid Overdose Knowledge (BOOK): A Questionnaire to Assess Overdose Knowledge in Individuals Who Use Illicit or Prescribed Opioids        
    imageBackground: Opioid overdose is a public health crisis. This study describes efforts to develop and validate the Brief Opioid Overdose Knowledge (BOOK) questionnaire to assess patient knowledge gaps related to opioid overdose risks. Methods: Two samples of illicit opioid users and a third sample of patients receiving an opioid for the treatment of chronic pain (total N = 848) completed self-report items pertaining to opioid overdose risks. Results: A 3-factor scale was established, representing Opioid Knowledge (4 items), Opioid Overdose Knowledge (4 items), and Opioid Overdose Response Knowledge (4 items). The scale had strong internal and face validity. Patients with chronic pain performed worse than illicit drug users in almost all items assessed, highlighting the need to increase knowledge of opioid overdose risk to this population. Conclusions: This study sought to develop a brief, internally valid method for quickly assessing deficits in opioid overdose risk areas within users of illicit and prescribed opioids, to provide an efficient metric for assessing and comparing educational interventions, facilitate conversations between physicians and patients about overdose risks, and help formally identify knowledge deficits in other patient populations.
              American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) National Practice Guideline for the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use        
    The Centers for Disease Control have recently described opioid use and resultant deaths as an epidemic. At this point in time, treating this disease well with medication requires skill and time that are not generally available to primary care doctors in most practice models. Suboptimal treatment has likely contributed to expansion of the epidemic and concerns for unethical practices. At the same time, access to competent treatment is profoundly restricted because few physicians are willing and able to provide it. This “Practice Guideline” was developed to assist in the evaluation and treatment of opioid use disorder, and in the hope that, using this tool, more physicians will be able to provide effective treatment. Although there are existing guidelines for the treatment of opioid use disorder, none have included all of the medications used at present for its treatment. Moreover, few of the existing guidelines address the needs of special populations such as pregnant women, individuals with co-occurring psychiatric disorders, individuals with pain, adolescents, or individuals involved in the criminal justice system. This Practice Guideline was developed using the RAND Corporation (RAND)/University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Appropriateness Method (RAM) – a process that combines scientific evidence and clinical knowledge to determine the appropriateness of a set of clinical procedures. The RAM is a deliberate approach encompassing review of existing guidelines, literature reviews, appropriateness ratings, necessity reviews, and document development. For this project, American Society of Addiction Medicine selected an independent committee to oversee guideline development and to assist in writing. American Society of Addiction Medicine's Quality Improvement Council oversaw the selection process for the independent development committee. Recommendations included in the guideline encompass a broad range of topics, starting with the initial evaluation of the patient, the selection of medications, the use of all the approved medications for opioid use disorder, combining psychosocial treatment with medications, the treatment of special populations, and the use of naloxone for the treatment of opioid overdose. Topics needing further research were noted.
              How to Deliver a More Persuasive Message Regarding Addiction as a Medical Disorder        
    Many members of our field are frustrated that the public does not see addiction as a legitimate medical disorder which should be compassionately addressed as a health problem rather than a criminal justice problem. Although some attribute the disconnect to the public's lack of scientific knowledge or attachment to outdated moral views regarding substance use, this commentary suggests that the problem may well be our own messaging. We would be more persuasive if we acknowledged that addiction is different from most medical disorders because of its high negative externalities, and that this understandably makes the public more scared of and angry about addiction than they are about conditions like asthma, type II diabetes, and hypertension. Relatedly, because of the amount of violence and other crimes associated with addiction, we should acknowledge that the public's belief that law enforcement has an important role to play in responding to addiction has a rational basis.
              When Knowledge and Experience Do Not Help: A Study of Nonfatal Drug Overdoses        
    image With recent increases in overdose deaths in Australia, there is renewed interest in understanding the factors that contribute to overdose. We examine the experiences of persons who report a nonfatal drug overdose. Fifty people who inject drugs (PWID) and who had accidently overdosed in the past 12 months were recruited and interviewed at 1 of 4 Needle and Syringe Program sites during September and October 2013. Participants were typically male, middle-aged, with long injecting histories. Half of the participants reported mainly injecting pharmaceutical opioids. Most overdoses occurred at home with others present. An ambulance was called for only 38% of cases and 26% were admitted to a hospital emergency department. Police were seldom involved, and there were no complaints about the involvement of police at the time of the overdose. Participants commonly had a history of overdosing, and most were on prescription medications for physical and/or mental health problems. Poly drug use was common for those reporting an accidental overdose. Benzodiazepines (eg, Xanax or Valium) were implicated in just over half of the overdoses. Most of those reporting a recent overdose also report a past history of previous overdoses. Most of those reporting a previous overdose continue to use substances in ways they are aware contribute to the risk of an overdose.
              Patients’ Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Regular Alcohol Urine Screening: A Survey Study        
    imageBackground: Despite its wide implementation, there is a paucity of data supporting the effectiveness of regular alcohol urine screening (RAUS) in maintaining abstinence. This study aims at investigating if RAUS serves other purposes, what attitudes patients display towards it, and patients’ technical knowledge about basic screening notions. Method: We conducted a cross-sectional survey among adults with alcohol dependence, attending outpatient alcohol-dependence treatment. It aimed at investigating patients’ attitudes and beliefs towards RAUS, and technical notions of alcohol urine screening. For attitude assessment, we adapted the Drug Attitude Inventory (DAI-10) to the field of alcohol urine screening. Internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and concurrent validity were evaluated for the adapted questionnaire. Results: In all, 128 patients completed the questionnaire. Patients rated RAUS as high. The DAI-10 mean score was 7.2 (SD = 3.6). Internal consistency analysis revealed a Cronbach alpha of 0.718. Test-retest reliability evaluation yielded an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.932. The score of a single Likert-type question about overall perceived value was 8.5 (SD = 2). Their correlation with mean DAI-10 score was of r = 0.254, with P = 0.009. Apart from relapse prevention, patients frequently reported other functions such as showing professionals and family members that they do not drink, or having a closer contact with professionals. A majority of patients believed alcohol use goes undetected after 48 hours from last ingestion. Conclusion: Regular alcohol screening is highly valued by alcohol outpatients. It seems that apart from relapse prevention, other functions related to therapeutic alliance building, social desirability, and impression management also play a key role.
              The Role of Gender in Factors Associated With Addiction Treatment Satisfaction Among Long-Term Opioid Users        
    imageObjectives: To identify factors associated with Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) satisfaction and to determine whether these relationships are gender specific. Methods: This study was based on data collected in a cross-sectional study among long-term opioid-dependent individuals (n = 160; 46.3% women). Participants completed the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire in reference to OAT episodes. Sociodemographic, illicit substance use, health, and addiction treatment history data were collected. Multivariable linear regression was used to determine the relationship between these variables and treatment satisfaction. To explore the potential role of gender in these identified relationships stratified multivariable models were tested. Additional open-ended questions regarding positive and negative perceptions of treatment were collected, and a thematic analysis was conducted. Results: In the multivariable linear regression model, participants who were older, of Aboriginal ancestry, and currently receiving OAT had higher OAT satisfaction scores, whereas participants who had methadone dose preferences of 30 mg or less had lower OAT satisfaction. In stratified analyses among women, the relationship between preferred methadone dose and current OAT remained significantly associated with satisfaction. Open-ended positive and negative perceptions complemented and provided further valuable data to interpret these identified relationships. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study to explore the potential role of gender in factors associated with OAT satisfaction. These findings provide valuable information to health care providers working in OAT settings regarding how to address women and men's OAT needs and improve treatment satisfaction.
              A Survey of ASAM Members’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices in Urine Drug Testing        
    imageObjectives: Urine drug testing (UDT) can play an important role in addiction medicine. Indeed, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) recently released a white paper, detailing the history of UDT, emphasizing recent advances in the laboratory and clinical science of UDT, and discussed the potential for broadening clinical utility of UDT. We conducted a survey of ASAM members to better understand their knowledge, attitudes, and practices with regard to UDT. Methods: ASAM leadership along with clinical and laboratory experts developed a large pool of items on knowledge, attitudes, and practices around the use and implementation of UDT. These were condensed and converted to a web-based format. Two mass e-mails were sent for recruitment to the survey, with the first e-mail resulting in an open rate of 37% and the follow-up e-mail having an open rate of 34%. Results: A total of 365 respondents completed the survey, with 51% indicating they were Board Certified in Addiction Medicine/Addiction Psychiatry. Up to 93% of respondents indicated they were waivered to prescribe buprenorphine, and 20% indicated that they were certified as a Medical Review Officer (MRO). A total of 93% felt confident in their ability to interpret the results of UDT, 90% used UDT to monitor both medication and illicit substance use, and 79% either agreed (48%) or strongly agreed (31%) with the statement “it is important to do adulteration testing for aberrant behavior.” Urine drug testing was most likely to be ordered “when a patient is demonstrating problematic behavior” (70%), and for “baseline testing for new patients plus random selection of current patients” (57%). Significance: The survey revealed that UDT is widely used and highly integrated into the assessment and management of people with addictions undergoing treatment by ASAM members. Greater than 94% of respondents use testing to determine adherence, to monitor abstinence, and to detect an early relapse. The majority felt confident in their ability to interpret and use UDT results, and the vast majority had reportedly used it in changing patient management. Education gaps do exist, however, and should be the focus of future education efforts on UDT.
              Wire Harness Assembly - Lead Technician        

    Wire Harness Assembly - Lead Technician | Full Time Position

    Bazzaz, Inc. is currently seeking to fill a full-time position for a Wire Harness Assembly - Lead Technician.

    Bazzaz is a designer and manufacturer of superior-quality motorcycle & ATV electronics and dynamometers located in Chino Hills, CA.
    We are committed to providing customers the very best experience which we believe stems from hiring the best employees.
    For more information on the company please visit bazzaz.net.

    Location: Chino Hills, CA

    Description: Seeking an individual who is proficient in operating wire cut and strip, and terminal press machines.
    Able to perform cable harnessing, wire harnessing, assembly and subassembly using drawings, schematics, and wire diagrams.
    Candidate should be acutely focused on quality and will perform quality inspections. Listed below are the basic duties and requirements of the position:

    • Assemble wire & cable harnesses, subassemblies, wiring, crimping, soldering, plugging stripping, routing, inspecting, and potting.
    • Understand and be to operate wire cut & strip machine & terminal presses
    • Basic knowledge of components & maintain inventory of parts
    • Perform quality inspections
    • Perform regular maintenance and upkeep of the equipment
    • Monitor production runs
    • Follow strict quality control process
    • Must be able to work 40 hours per week 7AM-4PM
    • Able to read, write, and communicate in English
    • Explain assembly procedures or techniques to other workers
    • Set up and maintain a clean work environment at all times
    • Understand and follow all safety policies, codes, and procedures
    • Lead a team of 4-10 wire harness assemblers

    We are looking for a responsible, highly motivated and detail oriented individual, who wants to be part of an exciting and dynamic company.
    Bazzaz is on the leading edge of technology in the motorcycle aftermarket industry.

    Desired Qualifications:

    • 2 years electro-mechanical assembly experience with cable and wire harnessing
    • Must be able to accurately identify components
    • Committed to quality
    • Detailed
    • Good eye / hand coordination is a must
    • Able to work in MS Outlook and Excel
    • Able to meet strict deadlines
    • Bi-lingual, English & Spanish a plus

    Benefits:

    • Starting Wage is $12.00 - $16.00 per hour, based on experience.
    • After six months eligible for company Health/Dental/Vision Insurance.
    • 1 week vacation. Paid personal days. Paid Holidays.
    • Monthly bonus plan.

    Applicant must successfully pass a drug screening, E-Verify, and background check in order to qualify.

    Bazzaz, Inc. is an at-will, equal opportunity employer. If you believe yourself to be a good candidate and meet all requirements,
    please e-mail a brief description of your qualifications and resume to Josef Buxton.

    *Position descriptions and anticipated skills acquired are neither conclusive nor definite and can be expected to change throughout term of employment.

     

     


              Postcard from Ireland: Our Jaunting Car Driver        

    This is a picture of Robert–a Jaunting Car Driver in Killarney National Park.  He has been driving in the park for over 45 years, and naturally a wealth of knowledge about the park.  The trip through the park via the Jaunting Car is between one and two hours—depending on what you want to see. Tim […]

    The post Postcard from Ireland: Our Jaunting Car Driver appeared first on Irish Fireside Travel and Culture.


              Flap’s Links and Comments for March 16th on 20:49        
    These are my links for March 16th from 20:49 to 20:55: C.I.A. Security Officer Is Freed in Pakistan as Redress Is Paid – A C.I.A. security officer jailed for killing two Pakistanis on a crowded Lahore street was released Wednesday after weeks of secret negotiations between American and Pakistani officials, a pledge of millions of […]
              Winter Driving 101: A few tips to keep you safe        

    For many people, winter means spending time with loved ones over the joyous holiday season, making snow angles with the kids, and sitting in front of the fireplace with a big cup of hot cocoa. For others, it means constant shoveling, runny noses and high heating bills. No matter which attitude you have, everyone can agree that driving in the sleet, snow and ice is no fun, and can be downright dangerous. And even though many new vehicles have safety features that help make the ride a little less stressful, they're called difficult driving conditions for a reason.

    To help refresh your knowledge of the 'Treacherous Driving 101' class you took some years back, here are some tips on driving safely this snowy season:

    1. Safely Driving on Icy and Snowy Roads
    - Clean those headlights, and then keep them on while driving, because it will help your visibility to other drivers.
    - While it's "standard practice" to keep a couple of car lengths between you and the person in front, snow and ice can obviously effect braking, so increase that distance to give yourself enough time to stop.
    - Do not slam on those brakes! Gently brake to avoid skidding, and if those wheels start to lock-up, slowly let up.
    - While its fairly obvious - keep your windshield clean! Driving in snow and ice is tough enough, so don't make it harder on yourself by not being able to see the road ahead!
    - Don't pass snow plows and salt trucks. Not only do they have limited visibility, but more likely than not, the road ahead isn't as good as where you currently are.
    - Ice can build up on bridges, overpasses and the roads less traveled - so be extra careful around these areas.
    - Do not use cruise control or overdrive on wet or icy roads, because not only do you need to be in total control of your vehicle, but those features can cause dangerous acceleration issues.

    2. If You Find Your Rear Wheels Skidding…
    - Make sure to take your foot off the accelerator
    - Turn the car in the direction the rear wheels are skidding - so if they're skidding left, then steer left.
    - For those with standard brakes, pump them gently. For those with ABS, apply pressure to the brakes, and let them do their thing.

    3. If You Get Stuck…
    -  Don't spin the wheels - you'll only dig yourself a deeper hole.
    - Turn your wheels a few times to get some of the snow out of the way, and then touch the gas lightly to gently get yourself out.
    - If you have one, use a shovel to remove some of the snow around and underneath your car.

    Whether your car is 20 years old, with a seatbelt being its stand alone safety feature, or a brand new luxury sedan with AWD and all the new safety bells and whistles - when it comes to snow and ice, everyone's on the same playing field. And remember - ice isn't always visible, so the main objective is to always drive safe!

    If you're in the market for a new vehicle, visit your local Acura dealers at Muller Acura of Merrillville. For quality and professional service, please call to set up an appointment.
              Time out in Grand Popo        
    I have been too busy for some time to post anything to the blog, but having planned to draft something on last week's trip to the UK I found the following, drafted last December but for some reason never posted (with apologies if a photo is inserted in a random place - blogger tells me I've added it but it doesn't show up in the draft):

    After a period of pretty hard work I took a long weekend to rest at the village of Grand Popo in Benin. Formerly a grand colonial town, apparently, the majority of the ‘grand’ stuff has long since been swallowed up by the sea, with not even the spire of the old church now visible above the crashing waves. What is left now is a typical African fishing village squashed between the sea and a web of mangrove creeks, but leading to it a 4km-long road lined with little guest-houses, bars, art galleries and the like.

    I followed a recommendation to stay at the grandest of the guest houses, in some restored old buildings next to the sea, although by the final day I was taking my meals in the cheaper places down the road. I slept a lot, walked a bit, took a drumming lesson, and also a couple of excursions around the locality (a pirogue trip among the mangroves and a walk around a village full of voodoo fetishes).

    On the latter I was taken into a house to be shown two turtles in a sadly small tank, but also two old rice sacks now full of sand and, apparently, turtle eggs which had been rescued before poachers could steal them to eat. However when I took a closer look at the sand, I saw that there was a baby turtle on top and several parts of other baby turtles emerging from the sand! The guide asked if I minded helping, and basically set me to work digging out all the turtles while he went off to fill some big basins with sea water. It took a long time but by the end we had several basins containing some 120-odd baby turtles swimming about in the water (besides ten or so that had not survived.

    Apparently they would be released into the sea that evening. I’m not sure if this is the best way to conserve turtles (isn’t the process of digging their way out of the sand an important part of their development? & a way of their ‘learning’ where they come from so that the females will know where to come back when they need to lay eggs of their own?) but at least the will is there.

    I also ended up in a fascinating conversation with one of the hotel waiters. He was a part-time musician (I had already bought a CD of his!) and very knowledgeable on the history of African rhythms.

    I learnt that (according to him at least) salsa originates from Benin – from the slaves of the Beninois Agossa family taken to Cuba. There the women beat out the rhythm on metal gongs to help their men to get through the work in the sugar plantations. The word salsa is apparently a corruption of Agossa.

    The metal gong in the story is a commonly used instrument in West African traditional ceremonies, although only in Benin is it a part of regular music. He told me it originated in Benin a long time ago, when a group of women needed a way to stop their king from carrying out a public execution. They commissioned a blacksmith to make a metal gong in shape of a breast, so that they could present it to the king as a symbol of the strength of their feelings against the execution. How could he who was suckled at his mother’s breast, put to death another man, also suckled at his mother’s breast? So they each had a gong made in the shape of one of their breasts, beat the gongs loudly to get the attention of the king and presented them to him with their pleas. The man was saved and the gong became a regular part of ceremonial life.

    Unfortunately, with the tendency to go bra-less and have lots of children, I can confirm that many African women do indeed have breasts the shape of the gong.
              SCD and Paleo and FODMAPs, oh my!        
    Brussels SproutsA little knowledge is a dangerous thing ... and sometimes more knowledge is not better! I am now getting quite confused. It seems that everything is bad for me, and some of the recommendations are contradictory. What's a girl to do?

    I've been doing the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for a few years now, and I have done very well on it, removing grains, sugar and liquid milk from my diet. It has helped me keep my Inflammatory Bowel Disease under control with no medication, presumably by reducing the inflammation in my gut.

    Then I discovered paleo. To be honest, the paleo/primal principles have had more effect on my exercise (walking and lifting heavy rather than chronic cardio and machines) than on my nutrition, as I was already eating free-run eggs (and pastured when available) and organic dairy (made into SCD yoghurt which is fermented for 24 hours to remove all the lactose) in my lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. Removing legumes (aside from occasional lentils) seems to have been beneficial. Moreover, I added fish to my diet back in March, ending 18 years of vegetarianism. Bringing mammals and birds into my kosher dairy kitchen would be a whole other tale, worthy of another blog post. Hasn't happened yet.

    I've also, as my faithful readers know, become enamoured of lacto-fermentation, fermenting kale, cabbage (with juniper berries, yum), pearl onions and carrots. Everything I read told me that these would be good for healing my leaky gut. Just as an update, I no longer use mason jars to ferment, but bail-top jars similar to these (affiliate link).While not totally anaerobic according to some people, I am not yet convinced of the necessity for airlocks, especially as Sandor Katz, the guru of fermentation, agrees with me.

    So, along comes the whole FODMAPs thing and completely destroys everything I've been doing. This awkward acronym stands for Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols. I'm not going to go into all the details of these (visit the Wikipedia links provided if you really want to know), but in short, all my favourite fermentable foods should be off-limits to people with leaky guts. This despite the lovely lacto-bacilli they harbour which are supposed to be beneficial to the same people. I have no problem with avoiding lactose, grains and pulses, but to cut out all the stone fruits, cruciferous vegetables, onions, nightshades and fungi leaves me with pretty much nothing to eat in the plant department.

    Oh, and then JJ Virgin comes along and tells me that eggs are inflammatory, too.

    Please, shoot me now.



              Milk kefir bliss!        
    Strawberry-infused kefir I know that a lot of people claim that dairy is too Neolithic to have any place in a paleo-style diet - in fact, I have seen claims that anything you can't pull off a bush or kill with a sharp stick does not belong in our diet. Hmm, a little extreme much? While 10,000 years are a mere blink of an eye in evolutionary terms, the fact remains that many people, especially of dairy-herding heritage, are able to digest dairy products into adulthood with no apparent ill effects. Especially fermented products such as cheese, yoghurt and the subject of today's blog post - kefir.

    We are blessed here in Canada with a government that does not permit the use of rBGH (or any other hormones, to my knowledge) in the dairy herd, so that is not an issue. While I would love to buy raw milk, unfortunately that is not legally available in Manitoba (time for a campaign, maybe??). I have to make do with pasteurised milk, but at least it is not ultra-pasteurised (another USAmerican food industry innovation we are blessedly spared), and I can get local whole organic milk at my local health food store. It costs an arm and a leg, of course, but it is worth it to me not to have my boys chugging down antibiotics they don't need.

    I myself cannot tolerate plain milk, but I do very well with yoghurt that has been fermented for 24 hours, according to the rules of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I therefore decided to experiment with milk kefir, which also ferments for 24 hours.

    Milk kefir grains
    The main difference between them is the starter - you can make yoghurt from a previous batch of yoghurt (although commercial yoghurt really only has a couple of strains of lactobacilli in it - it would be nice to be able to find more!), but for traditional kefir, you need kefir grains. Those aren't really grains - in fact, they are a SCOBY - a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. If the word seems familiar, I have rhapsodised here before about my kombucha SCOBY. The kefir SCOBY looks much friendlier than the kombucha one, as you can see in this picture. They really do look like grains.

    You can make kefir using a starter from the health food store, but those aren't grains - it's a powder that contains dried bacteria and yeast in a specific combination. It makes decent kefir, but it is self-limiting - it won't grow grains, and after a few iterations you will have to put in more starter. It's from the same company that makes the dried yoghurt starter, and the results are similar - decent, but not comparable to using real, live food.

    I was fortunate enough to be given some grains by a lovely lady I met in the Traditional Foods Manitoba Facebook group - and if you are interested in traditional foods and live in Manitoba, I strongly recommend joining that group. Such kind, helpful, welcoming people - friendly Manitobans all. I love it. I met her on a Friday morning, and by Friday noon my grains were luxuriating in a jar of whole milk on my counter. I checked them again after Shabbat went out, so about 30 hours later.

    I should warn you that the grains are living things - don't expect them to do their best work as soon as you plop them down in a jar of milk. Mine had been sleeping in a refrigerator for a few months, and it took a couple of rounds before they woke up and really did their job. In fact, the first milk bath I gave them smelled downright awful, and I sent it down the sink. But the grains looked a little plumper and healthier than they had when I first got them, so I was hopeful. The same was true of the second bath, but the third one was just divine, especially once I flavoured it with strawberries.

    The way I did that is called a second ferment - I strained the grains out of the thickened kefir (you can tell it is ready when it pulls away from the sides of the jar) and put them safely away in the fridge to nap in a small jar of milk. Then I put the kefir back on the counter, with a few sliced fresh strawberries in it, and left it there for 12 hours.

    I cannot begin to tell you how awesome my strawberry-infused kefir tasted, especially after it had been chilled in the fridge. I also got all the goodness of a fermented food, with no ill effects - and trust me, I know about dairy-related ill effects.

    How about you, have you tried making something new and exciting recently?



              PINOY MAIDS MASS BREAKUP WITH BANGLA BOYFRIENDS AFTER S'PORE TERROR ARRESTS        

    by Wan Dan Liao, Straight Times

    SINGAPORE - After news broke that twenty-seven Banglas were arrested for terrorism related offences, scores of Pinoy maids gathered at Lucky Plaza for an emergency townhall meeting. It is unclear what exactly transpired during the meeting but ST sources revealed that the maids were debating a total boycott of Bangladeshi boyfriends in Singapore.

    At the scene, most of the maids were inconsolable and some went hysterical for fear that having a bangla boyfriend would get them deported back to the Philippines. One of the maids, Pinoi Bionkbangla kneeled down in the middle of the Orchard road walkway and cried loudly: "I promise I sms breakup with my Bangla boyfriend already. I am not related to that Bangla no more. Please gib me a chance, I no want go back Philippines."

    Another domestic helper Itchi Tuanini was more stoic and looked forward. "I love my bangla boyfriend, he make me happy every weekend, but since my fellow maids say we must breakup or lose our jobs, I follow their idea. So sad I cannot see my hunny anymore. Maybe time to find China or Indian boyfriend."

    At around 7pm, spokesperson for the Pinoy Maid Association Singapore (PMAS) told ST that almost 800 pinoy maids have pledged to break up with their Bangla boyfriends with immediate effect. They believe it is in their best interest to disassociate themselves with Bangladeshi workers to safeguard their employment status in Singapore and the security of Singapore. The remaining 10000 maids with bangla bfs will review their decision at a later date.

    When interviewed, Mdm Kia Zheng Hu, an employer of a Filipino domestic worker shared: "I completely support my maid's decision to break up with her bangla boyfriend. This is in Singapore's national security! I will give her a $20 bonus for this very wise decision."

    Disclaimer: This piece was written by satirist Wan Dan Liao for the Straights Times. You must absolutely believe what you read.

    Editor's Note: 

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              INSIDER: SMRT GETTING DIESEL-POWERED TRAINS BY YEAR END        

    Photo: A SMRT passenger who was unable to take it in any longer.

    by Wan Dan Liao, Straight Times

    Singapore - More than 250,000 commuters were stranded in SMRT train stations yesterday evening (7 Jul) when a power outage caused the shutdown of the entire North-South-East-West line.

    It is the first time that services the entire North-South-East-West line broken down at the same time. This is possibly the worst MRT breakdown Singapore has experienced.

    Initial investigations suspected a faulty train could have triggered the power surge which led to the massive breakdown.

    SMRT insiders have informed ST that the public listed company have convened a board meeting late last night and approved plans to purchase 154 diesel-powered trains to replace the current fleet of aging trains and resolve electrical power lines issue that has plagued SMRT for years.

    According to tender documents ST has received, the diesel-powered trains will be six carriages long with five passenger cabins. The last carriage carries more than 900 liters of liquid diesel fuel that could last the train for close to 3 days.

    ST got in touch with SMRT Corp's Commuters Moving Group Director Mr Ma Sai di who acknowledged the ambitious S$122.5 million plan.

    "We have to do it," Mr Ma said wearily. "Our primary concern is ensuring we keep moving people and enhance their lives."

    When asked if this would affect future transport fares, Mr Ma declined to comment and directed the query to Public Transport Council, the government-linked body that regulates public transport fees.

    Editor's Note: 

    Do you have a story to share? Please use our submission form or email us at editorial@allsingaporestuff.com. If not, why not give us a 'Like'?

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              why we care about what we wear        
    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Why Can't a Smart Woman Love Fashion?
    I had learned a lesson about Western culture: Women who wanted to be taken seriously were supposed to substantiate their seriousness with a studied indifference to appearance. For serious women writers in particular, it was better not to dress well at all, and if you did, then it was best to pretend that you had not put much thought into it. If you spoke of fashion, it had to be either with apology or with the slightest of sneers. The further your choices were from the mainstream, the better. The only circumstance under which caring about clothes was acceptable was when making a statement, creating an image of some sort to be edgy, eclectic, counterculture. It could not merely be about taking pleasure in clothes. ... I dress now thinking of what I like, what I think fits and flatters, what puts me in a good mood. I feel again myself—an idea that is no less true for being a bit hackneyed. I like to think of this, a little fancifully, as going back to my roots. I grew up, after all, in a world in which a woman's seriousness was not incompatible with an interest in appearance; if anything, an interest in appearance was expected of women who wanted to be taken seriously.
    *Pacific Standard - What to Wear? *Avidly/LA Review of Books - Lady Professor Conference Fashions *Racialicious - Haute Couture In The 'Ivory Tower': "The spread presumes that when a professor walks into a classroom she is a blank slate, a model to be adorned in fine clothing and given an identity. The reality is that scholars of color, women, and other groups whose bodies are read as non-normative have never been able to check their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation at the door. As soon as we walk onto campus, our bodies are read in a certain (often troubling) manner by our students, our colleagues, and school administrators. Our professionalism and our intellectual competence are largely judged by how we style ourselves. Therefore, we are highly aware of how we adorn our bodies. And, like our foremothers and forefathers who innovated with American "street fashions," we, too, use our fashion sense to define ourselves, our professionalism, and our research and teaching agendas on our own terms." Tamara Shayne Kagel: The Feminist's Dilemma: Why We Can't Stop Caring About How We Look
    I find myself constantly trapped in a world where I desperately want to be judged by my work but at the same time, I want other people to think I'm pretty. I'm permanently berating myself for caring about my appearance, because I am aware on a mental level that to care at all is to be superficial. But at the same time, I find myself squirming uncomfortably when I run into someone at the supermarket when I'm a sweaty, disheveled mess... This cognitive dissonance is a state that most modern women inhabit all the time, but refuse to acknowledge. Instead, we talk and write and judge like we live in a post-superficial world. [...] It's a rare breed of woman who truly doesn't care about her appearance, and there are some women who only care about their appearance. But most of us fall in the middle -- wanting to be appreciated and loved and valued for more than how we look, but unable to completely expunge all interest in our outward image. If this is where most of us live, shouldn't we be asking for acceptance to be in this middle space?... Isn't it normal to hope that the picture of you is not taken from a horrible angle the moment you wake up and at the same time be concerned with society's obsession about the ubiquitous worship of an unattainable ideal of the female form?
    Sociological Images - The Balancing Act of Being Female; Or, Why We Have So Many Clothes (previously): "And, of course, all women are going to get it wrong sometimes because the boundaries are moving targets and in the eye of the beholder. What's cheeky in one setting or to one person is flirty in or to another. So women constantly risk getting it wrong, or getting it wrong to someone. So the consequences are always floating out there, worrying us, and sending us to the mall." *This Kind Choice - I Am Woman, Watch Me Shop? Part 1 – The Ever Changing Clothes *Part 2 – Appearance as Identity, A Double-Edged Sword *The Nation - For Women's Office Wear, Who's Making the Rules? *The Atlantic - No, It's Not Sexist to Describe Women Politicians' Clothes *Feministing - Learning to dress "professionally" in a white man's world Already Pretty: Why Caring About Your Appearance Is Valuable to Self-Care
    In order to move through most peopled societies, we are required to wear clothing. Nudist colonies aside, we've all got to get dressed every day if we want to leave our homes for any reason... And in my opinion, since we've got to get dressed anyway, we might as well do it expressively and in ways that feel good. I've said it before, I'll say it again: Dress, grooming, and overall appearance constitute the first levels of information about ourselves that we offer to the observing world. They may not be the most important, but they are the first, which makes them worthy of effort and attention. ...I've already acknowledged that how you look isn't the most important thing about you... But thinking of your body as a brain-and-personality-holder strikes me as short-sighted. Consider this: Someone who focuses virtually all attention, care, and love on their body is generally considered to be vain. So why would focusing virtually all attention on your intellect, creativity, and personality be any less imbalanced? You're not a zombie – a body that moves through life without a functioning brain. But you're also not a brain in a jar – thinking and creating in the abstract alone. You have a body. As long as you are alive you will have a body. In fact, without your body, your intellect and creativity and personality wouldn't exist. Pitting your mind against your body is like cooking up a personal civil war.
    Bridgette Raes - Are You a Devaluist and Don't Even Know It? (Guest Post): "Clothing is often seen as a superficial shell, and fashion a frivolous, flighty thing that gets in the way of the serious stuff. The real stuff. But I don't believe that. I don't believe we can neatly divorce the way we look from the way we live. I believe the way we look is a reflection of the way we live." Dress A Day - You Don't Have to Be Pretty: "You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked "female". I'm not saying that you SHOULDN'T be pretty if you want to. (You don't owe UN-prettiness to feminism, in other words.)" (responses to "The Princess Effect", previously on MeFi) *Washington Post - Being informed and fashionable is natural for women *Flavorwire - The Catch-22 of Women's Magazines *Kat Stoeffel - Finally, 'Serious' Women Are Standing Up for Fashion Magazines: "As long as we all need to get dressed each morning, clothing will be a communication tool... Men and women both choose how they deploy the language of fashion; but women, deprived of the suit-as-uniform, still face unique challenges in fashion fluency... Women's magazines — especially when they work with women like Clinton, Abramson, and Mastromonaco — offer other women a map for navigating style and other sexist minefields without compromising their intellectual integrity. For that, we should celebrate them. And if we want to level the playing field, we should start by posing the same "frivolous" questions of men." *Ms. Magazine - If the Clothes Fit: A Feminist Takes on Fashion: "If feminists ignore fashion, we are ceding our power to influence it. Fortunately, history has shown that feminists can, instead, harness fashion and use it for our own political purposes." *GirltalkHQ - Fashion Vs Feminism: Can You Like Both? We Break It Down *Greta Christina - Fashion is a Feminist Issue: "In fact, fashion and style are so much like a language, I'm always a bit baffled when people say things like, "I want to be judged on who I am, not on the clothes I wear." It's a bit like saying, "I want to be judged on who I am, not on the words that come out of my mouth." ...Fashion is a form of expression. A language of sorts. An art form, even. It's also one of the very few art forms/ languages/ forms of expression in which women have more freedom than men... And I don't think it's an accident that it's typically seen as shallow, trivial, and vain." Medium (Backlash Book Club) - And Another Question: What Ever Happened to Pantsuits?: "Faludi writes about fashion as if women were totally subservient to its dictates (and as if its dictates were unified), but, of course, most women—precisely because they are judged so much by their appearance—know how to manipulate, subvert, and use clothes. To some extent, they're tools, like hammers." The New Inquiry, Vol. 20 - Sept. 2013, "Off Brand" issue (link opens PDF file) "We are told we must be clothed, and then that our clothes are not good enough.That fashion is predicated on this cruelty—making luxury of necessity, and necessity of a luxury—makes it as morally questionable as the behavior of foodies. Fine: We accept this. But we are also told that we must be bodies and that our bodies are not good enough, and fashion (at least for those who fit into it) can provide an escape from the disappointment of our flesh. Some of us feel we were born into the wrong body; for that, fashion is the first corrective. For others, fashion is the first rebellion... In selecting appearances, we want not only to be seen but sometimes to be heard before we speak. Fashion can be a weapon of the silenced, even when it is seized and wielded by those who have always talked loudest." *Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa - Fashion for Feminists: How fashion and dress shape women's identities *Migrant Woman Magazine - Asalet Tulaz: I like being the colour of feminism *Buzzfeed - How Iran's Young Women Are Using Fashion To Influence Politics *Minh-Ha T. Pham - Why Fashion Should Stop Trying to be Diverse *À l'allure garçonnière - Fashion Blogging Culture: Demanding Substance Over Style *Tanisha C. Ford - You Betta Werk!: Professors Talk Style Politics: "Below are excerpts from some of the interviews I conducted with women professors of color. Together, these interviews illustrate that studies on fashion and adornment politics offer a powerful lens through which we can explore other important issues such as women's rights, motherhood and relationship status, pleasure and sexuality, and the politics of "respectability."" Alison Bancroft - How Fashion is Queer: "The feminine is as much of a minority interest in culture as it is anywhere else in life. The only exception to this is fashion. This is why fashion is a radical creative space where heterosexual gender binaries are irrelevant and queer is the default setting, and it is also why fashion is routinely denigrated and dismissed." Final Fashion - so, is fashion feminist?: "Why is the visual aspect of fashion so inextricably linked to feminism, and why is it worth considering how to dress like a feminist?" Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie previously on MeFi: the danger of a single story
              BRAIN Initiative        
    President Obama recently announced a big new effort to map and understand the human brain. What are we trying to learn about our brains? One thing we will earn is how our brains are structured, "not this well-organized hierarchical control system where everything is in order." Another is how much of mental illness is shaped by experience and society, as opposed to chemical or structural factors. What do we already know about our brains? 12 Things We Know About How The Brain Works. And we know that unconcious processing improves decision-making. That brain structure may be linked to placebo response. And that unconcious brains can read and do math. We know a little bit more about how the brain responds to addiction. And we know that "genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms" in childhood can have permanent ill effects. We think that differences in our brain reflect political differences. But we know that a lot of pop neuroscience is bollocks. What could we do with new information? Could we reverse-engineer AI? Manipulate our brains, neuron-by-neuron? Make better soldiers? Or record dreams? Or activate neurons with light? Or make better, crowdsourced brain maps? Neurotechnology, Social Control, And Revolution
    In our neuro-centric world-view, a person is equated to his brain. The neuro-discourse has penetrated all aspects of our lives from law to politics to literature to medicine to physics. As part of this neuro-revolution, huge military funding is supporting neuro-scientific research; a huge body of basic knowledge on memory, belief formation, cognition and sensory modalities has been gathered over years, with fieldslike social neuroscience, cultural neuroscience, neuroeconomics and neuromarketing has emerging to improve our lifestyle; neurotechnological know-how from wireless non invasive technologies to neuroelectronic interfaces is exponentially advancing; and neurotechnology business reports indicates the rapid increase in neurotechnological start ups and the willingness of bringing neurotechnological products to the market. In my opinion, all the aforementioned indicators indicate that neurotechnology can be potentially used to control social dynamics.

              Wake Forest Baptist Recognized as a Leader in LGBTQ Health Care Equality by the Human Rights Campaign        
     Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center today was acknowledged for its leadership and commitment to provide quality, equitable and inclusive patient- and family-centered health care to all.  
              Wake Forest School of Medicine Transforms How K-12 Students Learn by Offering Problem-Based Learning Training to Teachers        
      The Center of Excellence for Research, Teaching and Learning (CERTL) at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, hosted 175 K-12 teachers from 86 schools in 16 Piedmont Triad school districts this week as part of their commitment to providing effective problem-based learning training to educators. The ongoing training provides local teachers with the tools and knowledge to effectively prepare K-12 students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math – commonly known as STEM.  
              Obsession Fishing Safaris        
    Obsession Fishing Safaris are a Darwin based Guided fishing business. Your head guide and owner of Obsession Fishing Safaris, Justin Jones was born and bred in the Northern Territory and had fished Darwin and the Top End all his life. His wealth of experience and knowledge will help you in your pursuit of the one …
              A Pleasure to Serve        
    Title: A Pleasure to Serve Author: Harlequin Universe: Merlin Characters featured: Merlin/Arthur/Guinevere Category, Word count: Short story; 4464 words Rating: NC17 Summary: Guinevere knows that Arthur loves Merlin as well as his wife, and she has never forgotten that she was once in love with Merlin herself. It seems time to acknowledge all this in […]
              Offer - 1-800-589-0948 Contact Instant Tech Support For Norton Antivirus Help Desk - Washington DC        
    We provide Norton technical Support round the clock over call and through live chats. Our customers can easily get in touch with our technical support representatives over our toll-free: 1-800-589-0948, anytime of the day they want to. Through our Norton 360 support number, it is quite easy to get in touch with our team of experts, which is skilled and highly knowledgeable in resolving the technical concerns of the clients promptly. Our team is accessible round the clock over call and live chats for providing assistance to our customers. The team of experts is adept in solving the problems easily and without any delays. Visit us: http://www.nortonantivirussupportnumbers.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/NortonCareUSA
              Offer - Payment gateway for tech support - INDIA        
    KDS Card Pay is an Fastest growing Payment Gateway for the tech support in the market, with specialization in Online Payment Gateway for Tech Support process. KDS Card Pay give comprehensive high risk credit card and e-Check processing services to tech support merchants. KDS Card Pay processes thousand of transaction weekly for tech support companies. We offer a smooth, quick and frictionless purchasing knowledge. This component empowers clients to store their credit and debit card credentials.Get in Touch With Us:Email: support@kdscardpay.comMobile Number: +91-9718164449, +91-8800559281Address D 158 Noida Sector 10 Uttar pradeshhttp://www.kdscardpay.com/payment-gateway-for-tech-support.phphttps://www.facebook.com/KDScardpaypaymentgatewayfortechsupport/https://twitter.com/kdscardpay
              Jasmine Body Mist        
    After a shower or workout, or simply in place of a full-fledged fragrance, this mist not only adds a hint of one of our swoon-worthy bath + body scents to the skin, it also leaves the skin refreshed and hydrated. 6.7 fl. oz.
              Vail Resorts pledges zero-emission footprint by 2030        

    In a press release issued today, Vail Resorts, Inc. has announced an initiative committing to zero net emissions, zero waste to landfill and zero net operating impact to forests and habitat by the year 2030. This sets an important precedent regarding how ski resorts, both large and small, will be expected to operate moving forward. […]

    The post Vail Resorts pledges zero-emission footprint by 2030 appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Fail        
    The title of this article has a dual significance. First, it’s an acknowledgement of my failure to keep this blog up to date. My new role means that I have less time and less headspace for the reflection needed to write this stuff. A lot of my learning at the moment is around how to […]
              UPAYA PENINGKATAN KETERAMPILAN BERBICARA DENGAN METODE INVESTIGASI KELOMPOK DAN TEORI BEHAVIORISTIK PADA SISWA KELAS VII-E SMP NEGERI 2 PALANG TUBAN TAHUN AJARAN 2012/2013        


    Intan Suryana, Pipit Rohmatul Hidayanti
    Mahasiswa Program Studi Pendidikan Bahasa dan Sastra Indonesia
    Universitas Brawijaya

    Abstrak
    Penelitian tindakan kelas ini bertujuan untuk meningkatkan kualitas siswa dalam proses belajar pada prestasi keterampilan berbicara. Itu dilakukan oleh mahasiswa Universitas Brawijaya kepada SMP Negeri 2 Palang Tuban dalam tahun akademik 2012/2013. Penelitian dilakukan dalam dua siklus. Data dikumpulkan dengan melakukan observasi dan wawancara. Hasil dan penelitian ini menunjukkan bahwa adanya peningkatan proses dan kualitas belajar siswa, serta  prestasi siswa pada keterampilan berbicara. Ini mencakup perbaikkan, dalam keaktifan kelas, perhatian, konsentrasi siswa, dan antusiasme siswa, serta motivasi siswa (74,98%). Perbaikan ini tercermin dalam peningkatan prestasi siswa pada Tahap I sampai pada Tahap II.
    Kata kunci: Peningkatan, keterampilan berbicara, investigasi kelompok.
    PENDAHULUAN
    LATAR BELAKANG
    Berbicara adalah sebuah keterampilan yang memerlukan latihan secara terus menerus. Tanpa dilatih, seorang yang pendiam akan terus-menerus berdiam diri dan tidak akan berani untuk menyuarakan pendapatnya. Menurut (Tarigan, 2008:3) berbicara adalah suatu keterampilan berbahasa yang berkembang pada kehidupan anak, yang hanya didahului oleh keterampilan menyimak, dan pada masa tersebutlah kemampuan berbicara atau berujar dipelajari. Pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara pada jenjang Sekolah Menengah Pertama (SMP) merupakan tantangan untuk peningkatan kompetensi berbicara mereka. Siswa diharapkan dapat menyerap aspek-aspek dasar keterampilan berbicara untuk menjadi bekal kejenjang yang lebih tinggi atau memiliki keterampilan berbicara unggul. Selain itu, siswa diharapkan memiliki softkill yang bermanfaat dalam berkarya setelah lulus dari SMP.
    Tujuan pembelajaran berbicara yang diharapkan adalah agar siswa mampu mengungkapkan gagasan, pendapat, dan pengetahuan secara lisan, serta memiliki kegemaran berbicara kritis dan kreatif. Secara umum tujuan pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara yaitu siswa mampu mengomunikasikan ide atau gagasan, dan pendapat, secara lisan ataupun sebagai kegiatan mengekspresikan ilmu pengetahuan, pengalaman hidup, ide, dan lain sebagainya.
    Dengan belajar berbicara, diharapkan siswa SMP tidak hanya dapat mengembangkan kemampuan dalam melisankan ide atau gagasan yang dimiliki, tetapi siswa diharapkan mampu mempertanggungjawabkan gagasannya. Siswa juga harus dapat menyusun, pengungkapan bahasa secara benar dan baik, sehingga gagasan yang dilisankan menjadi suatu tuturan yang utuh.
    Berbicara adalah salah satu keterampilan berbahasa, selain keterampilan mendengarkan, menulis, dan membaca. Dibandingkan dengan keterampilan berbahasa yang lain, keterampilan berbicara lebih sulit dikuasai bahkan oleh penutur asli bahasa tersebut. Hal itu disebabkan keterampilan berbicara menghendaki penguasaan secara spesifik untuk mengungkapkan ide atau gagasan yang kritis dan kreatif, serta harus menguasai lambang-lambang bunyi.
    Dalam keterampilan berbicara seseorang harus memperhatikan unsur situasi atau konteks, dan paralinguistik yang nantinya sangat membantu proses komunikasi. Kelancaran proses komunikasi dalam suatu ujaran bergantung pada bahasa atau lambang-lambang bunyi. Agar siswa dapat berkomunikasi dengan baik, pembicara hendaklah menuangkan gagasannya kedalam bahasa yang tepat dan jelas.
    Ada empat unsur yang harus dikuasai oleh seorang pembicara, yaitu unsur psikologis, linguistik, situasi atau konteks, dan pemahaman ide yang akan diujarkan. Unsur psikologis berkaitan dengan kondisi batin pembicara (keberanian). Unsur linguistik berkaitan dengan penguasaan bahasa yang dikuasi pembicara. Unsur situasi atau konteks berkaitan dengan keadaan yang ada disekitar pembicara. Unsur pemahaman ide berkaitan dengan penguasaan bahan pembicaraan oleh pemateri.
    Pada umumnya siswa mengalami hambatan ketika mereka diberikan tugas oleh guru untuk mengemukakan pendapat di depan kelas. Mereka mengalami kesulitan dalam mengungkapkan ide, kurang menguasai materi yang diberikan oleh guru, kurang membiasakan diri untuk berbicara di depan umum, kurangnya rasa percaya diri pada siswa, dan kurang mampu mengembangkan keterampilan bernalar dalam berbicara. Kesulitan-kesulitan tersebut membuat mereka tidak mampu mengungkapkan pikiran dan gagasan dengan baik, sehingga siswa menjadi enggan untuk berbicara menuangkan ide kreatifnya.
    Permasalahan-permasalahan diatas, terjadi juga di SMP Negeri 2 Palang Tuban berdasarkan hasil observasi yang telah dilakukan oleh peneliti, Senin,13 Nopember 2012 di kelas VII-E ditunjukkan bahwa kualitas pembelajaran berbicara siswa di kelas tersebut tergolong masih rendah. Hal ini teridentifikasi nilai berbicara siswa yang dapat dideskripsikan sebagai berikut: rentangan nilai 5,1 sampai 6,0 diperoleh tujuh belas siswa, rentangan nilai 6,1 sampai 7,0 diperoleh empat siswa, dan rentangan nilai 7,1 sampai 8,0 diperoleh lima  siswa. Hal ini menunjukkan hanya 17% siswa yang mencapai batas ketuntasan 7,5. Selain dari nilai tersebut, indikator lain yang menunjukkn bahwa keterampilan berbicara siswa masih rendah dapat dilihat dari sebagian besar siswa masih mengalami kesulitan dalam mengungkapkan pendapat di depan umum. Hal ini disebabkan kurangnya rasa percaya diri, dan siswa kurang tertarik pada pembelajaran berbicara (sumber dari nilai kelas VII-E, wawancara dengan siswa, dan guru).
    Fakta diatas menunjukkan kualitas proses dan hasil pembelajaran yang dilaksankan guru masih kurang optimal. Menurut hasil pengamatan peneliti dan wawancara dengan siswa, serta guru, rendahnya keterampilan berbicara siswa kelas VII-E di SMP Negeri 2 Palang Tuban disebabkan oleh beberapa faktor, yaitu:
    1.      Pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara siswa kelas VII-E di SMP Negeri 2 Palang Tuban masih menggunakan metode konvensional.
    2.      Siswa kurang tertarik pada pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara.
    3.      Siswa mengalami kesulitan dalam mengungkapkan fakta, dan argumen yang mendukung untuk dikembangkan dalam topik pembicaraan.
    4.      Guru belum menemukan metode yang tepat untuk mengajarkan materi keterampilan berbicara secara menarik, menyenangkan dan efektif bagi siswa (sumber dari observasi yang dilakuakan oleh peneliti saat pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara, wawancara dengan guru dan siswa)
    Berbagai hal yang muncul tersebut terkait dengan kesulitan yang dihadapi siswa dalam pelajaran berbicara. Untuk itu, perlu diterapkan suatu keadaan yang membangun motivasi siswa untuk belajar meningkatkan kemampuan berbicaranya. Salah satu cara untuk merubah keadaan tersebut dengan menerapkan strategi dan metode pembelajaran yang berdaya guna dan berhasil guna (Muhibbin Syah, 2011:16). Berbagai macam metode pembelajaran yang tersedia harus dimanfaatkan seefektif mungkin oleh guru dan dapat menunjang kegiatan pembelajaran. Metode pembelajaran yang bermacam-macam menyebabkan guru harus selektif dalam memilih metode pembelajaran yang digunakan (sesuai karateristik siswa). Metode yang efektif untuk mengajarkan suatu materi dalam pelajaran keterampilan berbicara belum tentu efektif digunakan untuk diajarkan pada materi pelajaran keterampilan yang lain (membaca, menulis, menyimak). Setiap materi mempunyai karekteristik dan turut menentukan metode yang digunakan untuk menyampaikan materi tersebut. Begitu pula dalam pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara, seorang guru harus bisa memilih dan menggunakan strategi, metode sesuai dengan materi yang akan diajarkan.
    Atas dasar kenyataan yang ada, perlu dihadirkan sebuah metode yang dapat membantu meningkatkan keterampilan berbicara siswa. Oleh karena itu, dalam pembelajaran Bahasa Indonesia khususnya pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara di kelas VII-E SMP Negeri 2 Palang Tuban, dibutuhkan perbaikkan yang dapat mendorong siswa secara keseluruhan agar aktif berbicara. Adapun upaya yang dapat dilakukan untuk meningkatkan kualitas proses dan hasil belajar yaitu dengan menggunakan metode investigasi kelompok yang akan disempurnakan dengan teori behavioristik. Investigasi kelompok dan teori behavioristik dijadikan sebagai solusi terhadap permasalahan yang dihadapi dalam pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara. Ada tiga konsep dasar investigasi kelompok yaitu inquiry, knowledge, dan dinamika kelompok sesuai dengan yang diperlukan dalam pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara. Inquiridalam pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara memberikan peluang siswa untuk menemukan fakta atau bukti yang kuat sehingga siswa mampu mengungkapkan fakta tersebut di depan umum (Sardiman, 2011: 224). Knowledge yaitu pengetahuan yang diperoleh secara langsung maupun tidak langsung turut memberikan andil dalam mengungkapkan gagasan siswa (John M. Echols dan Hassan Shadily, 1996:344). Sementara itu, dinamika kelompok (diskusi zigzaw, presentasi) mampu mengatasi kesulitan siswa dalam mengungkapkan gagasannya karena adanaya teman yang bersifat heterogen sehingga dapat  saling membantu.
    Metode investgasi kelompok merupakan salah satu metode dalam pembelajaran kooperatif. Pembelajaran kooperatif merupakan sebuah pendekatan yang berbasis kelompok. Behaviorisme yaitu suatu pandangan mengenai perilaku belajar yang intinya menekankan pada peniruan model. Titik pusat kegiatannya yaitu pada proses pemantapan latihan untuk membentuk kebiasaan. Kebiasaan inilah yang oleh Skinner disebut bersifat mekanistik dan memenuhi kriteria fisika. Menurut pandangan kaum behavioris yaitu bahwa suatu kebiasaan terbentuk manakala suatu jawaban response terhadap ransangan stimulus.
    Keuntungan menggunakan metode investigasi kelompok yaitu 1. Meningkatkan keteraturan pribadi siswa dan motivasi karena ada banyak ruang pembuatan keputusan sendiri, 2. Meningkatkan perkembangan kemampuan penelitian karena proses itu dikendalikan tiap individu dan penelitian bersama, 3. Meningkatkan perkembangan penelitian secara kelompok karena siswa harus mengembangkan perencanaan tim ketika memecahkan masalah, dan mempunyai keberanian, serta tanggungjawab untuk mengungkapkan simpulan dari permasalahn tersebut, 4. Meningkatkan kreativitas siswa.
    Selain itu, kebersamaan dan kerjasama dalam pembelajaran merupakan kerjasama diantara para siswa untuk mencapai tujuan pembelajaran bersama. Disamping tujuan bersama yang akan dicapai, kebersamaan dan kerjasama dalam pembelajaran ini juga diarahkan untuk mengembangkan kebersamaan antar siswa. Para siswa bisa saling membantu dan saling memberi motivasi satu sama lain.  
    Kelompok belajar dalam metode investigasi kelompok  terdiri atas anak-anak yang memiliki kemampuan heterogen. Pengelompokkan hetergen lebih memungkinkan siswa dapat saling menjadi sumber belajar sesuai dengan keunggulan yang dimilkinya. Siswa lebih terampil dalam menjalani hubungan social yang diperlukan dalam kerja gotong royong seperti kepemimpinan, kemampuan berkomunikasi, mempercayai orang lain dan mengelolah konflik. Selain itu, siswa terlibat langsung sejak awal hingga akhir pembelajaran.
    Berdasarkan hasil penelitian Nurul Hidayati pada buku Belajar Bahasa Indonesia (2011:192) penggunaan metode investigasi kelompok juga dapat mengungkapkan motivasi, keaktifan dan prestasi belajar siswa. Selai itu penelitian ini juga membuktikan bahwa metode investigasi kelompok efektif dalam meningkatkan motivasi, keaktifan dan prestasi belajar siswa.
    Menurut Pavlov dalam buku Theories Of Learning(2008:180), Pavlov melakukan percobaannya terhadap seekor anjing, dengan memberikan  perangsang asli dan netral yang dipasangkan dengan stimulus bersyarat secara berulang-ulang sehingga memunculkan reaksi yang diinginkan. Dengan teori ini, seorang guru dapat membiasakan siswanya untuk berbicara. Dilatih terus-menerus dengan menggunakan metode investigasi kelompok.
    Behavioris memandang belajar sebagai pemesanan tingkah laku yang akan dipelajari. Kondisi ini mengindikasikan bahwa semua tingkah laku orang dihasilkan dari proses pelatihan (Sugeng dan Farida, 2010:18).
    Dari uraian diatas, peneliti terdorong untuk melaksanakan penelitian tindakan kelas sebagai usaha perbaikan kualitas proses dan hasil pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara kelas VII-E SMP Negeri 2 Palang Tuban. Dengan menerapkan metode investigasi kelompok dan teori behavioristik.
    Secara lebih ringkas, kerangka berpikir peneliti dapat dilihat pada gambar dibawah ini





    Kondisi Awal Sebelum Tindakan
    1. Keterampilan berbicara siswa remdah
    2. Siswa kurang tertarik pada pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara.
    3. Siswa kesulitan mengungkapkan gagasan atau ide.
    4. Kurangnya rasapercaya diri.
    5. Metode dan strategi yang digunakan guru kurang sesuai.
     





    Pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara dengan metode investigasi kelompok dan teori behavioristik
     





    Kondisi akhir setelah tindakan
    1. Keterampilan berbicara siswa meningkat.
    2. Siswa tertarik pada pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara
    3. Siswa dapat mengungkapkan pendapatnya
    4. Siswa lebih berani berbicara dimuka umum
    5. Pembelajaran kooperatif dengan metode investigasi kelompok dan teori behavioristik.
     
     













            
            




             Berdasarkan uraian di atas, telah dilaksanakn penelitian tindakan kelas sebagai usaha perbaikan kualitas proses dan hasil pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara yang berhasil guna dan berdaya guna pada siswa kelas VII-E SMP NEGERI 2 PALANG TUBAN dengan metode investigasi kelompok dan teori behavioristik.




    KAJIAN TEORI
    Adapun kajian teori dalam penelitian ini yaitu
    1.   Apakah metode investigasi kelompok dan teori behavioristik dapat meningkatkan kualitas proses dan hasil pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara yang berhasil guna dan berdaya guna pada siswa kelas VII-E SMP Negeri 2 Palang Tuban ?
    METODOLOGI PENELITIAN
             Penelitian tentang pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara ini dilaksanakan di kelas VII-E SMP Negeri 2 Palang Tuban. Sekolah yang dipimpin oleh (H. Amar, S.pd. M.M), dan beralamat di Jl. Pusri Ds. Kradenan Kecamatan Palang, Kabupaten Tuban Provinsi Jawa Timur Penelitian dilakukan selama satu minggu, yaitu pada bulan Nopember. Subjek penelitian ini adalah siswa kelas VII-E dan guru Bahasa Indonesia  SMP Negeri 2 Palang Tuban yang mengajar di kelas tersebut.
             Penelitian ini berbentuk penelitian tindakan kelas (PTK), PTK berasal dari classroom action research (CAR). Gagasan ini dipopolerkan pertama oleh Lawrence Sten-house, yang selanjutnya didukung oleh John Elliot, khususunya mengisi pada konsep refleksi dalam pengelolaan pembelajaran untuk melihat mana yang sudah berhasil dan mana yang belum. Prinsip-prinsip PTK yaitu kegiatan nyata dalam situasi rutin, adanya kesadaran diri untuk memperbaiki kinerja, SWOT sebagai dasar berpijak, mengacu prinsip SMART dalam perencanaan. Tahap-tahap dalam PTK yaitu menyusun rencana tindakan atau (planning), pelaksanaan tindakan (acting), pengamatan (observing), refleksi (reflekting) menurut (Zainal Arifin, 2008:159-176). Secara jelas, tahap-tahhap dapat digambarkan sebagai berikut:
    Oval: ReflektingOval: ObservingOval: PlanningOval: Acting        









     
            

             Tahap perencanaan tindakan diwujudkan dengan melaksanakan rancanagn pelaksanaan pembelajaran (RPP) yang telah direncanakan. Pada tahap I dan II kali dua pertemuan dengan alokasi waktu 2x45 menit setiap kali pertemuan. Dalam tahap observasi, direalisasikan dengan mengamati dan menginterprestasikan aktivitas penerapan metode investigasi kelompok dan teori behavioristik pada proses pembelajaran (aktivitas guru dan siswa). Pada hasil pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara yang telah dilaksanakan untuk mendapatkan data tentang kekurangan dan kemajuan aplikasi tindakan pertama pada tahap refleksi dilakukan analisis hasil observasi dan interpretasi sehingga diperoleh simpulan bagian yang perlu diperbaiki atau disempurnakan dan bagian yang telah menemukan target.2C bus; the second is the high-level driver that is instantiated separately for each type of pointing device. The ROMs support three such devices: /cdikeys, /ptr and /ptr2, corresponding to the player control keys and first and second pointing devices (the first pointing device is probably shared between the infrared remote sensor and the left pointing device port). Both pointing devices support absolute (e.g. touchpad) as well as relative (e.g. mouse) positioning.

    Note that there is no built-in support for a CD-i keyboard or modem (you could use a serial port for this purpose).

    However, knowing the I2C protocol does not tell me the exact protocol of the pointing devices, which therefore brings me no closer to constructing a "pointing device" that works with the two front panel MiniDIN-9 connectors. Note that these connectors are physically different from the MiniDIN 8 pointing device connectors used on most other CD-i players. According to the Philips flyers, these connectors have 6 (presumably digital) input signals and a "strobe" (STB) output signal. From the signal names I can make some educated guesses about the probable functions of the signals, but some quick tests with the BTN1 and BTN2 inputs did not pan out and it could be too complicated to figure out without measurement of a connected and working pointing device.

    There is, however, also an infrared remote sensor that is supposed to expect the RC5 infrared signal protocol. This protocol supports only 2048 separate functions (32 groups of 64 each) so it should not be impossible to figure out, given a suitably programmable RC5 remote control or in the best case a PC RC5 adapter. I've been thinking about building one of the latter.

    There is also a third possibility of getting a working pointing device. Although the case label of the front MiniDIN 8 connecter is "CONTROL", the Philips flyers label it "IIC" which is another way of writing "I2C", although they don't give a pinout of the port. It seems plausible that the connector is connected to the I2C bus of the 68070, although I haven't been able to verify that yet (the multimeter finds no direct connections except GND, so some buffering must be involved). If there is indeed a connection, I would be able to externally connect to that bus and send and receive the I2C bus commands that I've already reverse engineered.

    If even this doesn't work, I can always connect directly to the internal I2C bus, but that involves running three wires from inside the player to outside and I'm not very keen on that (yet, anyway).

    Now, about the (so far) missing serial port. There is a driver for the 68070 on-chip UART in the ROMs (the u68070 driver which is accessible via the /t2 device), and the boot code actually writes a boot message to it (CD-i Emulator output):
      PHILIPS CD-I 181 - ROM version 23rd January, 1992.
    Using CD_RTOS kernel edition $53 revison $00
    At first I thought that the UART would be connected to the "CONTROL" port on the front, but that does not appear to be the case. Tonight I verified (by tracing PCB connections with my multimeter) that the 68070 serial pins are connected to the PCB connector on the right side (they go through a pair of SN75188/SN75189 chips and some protection resistors; these chips are well-known RS232 line drivers/receivers). I even know the actual PCB pins, so if I can find a suitable 100-pins 0.01" spaced double edge print connector I can actually wire up the serial port.

    Now for the bad news, however: the ROMs do not contain a serial port download routine. They contain a host of other goodies (more below) but not this particular beast. There is also no pointing device support for this port, contrary to all other players, so connecting up the serial port would not immediately gain me anything, I still need a working pointing device to actually start a CD-i disc…

    There are no drivers for other serial ports in the ROMs, but the boot code does contain some support for a UART chip at address $340001 (probably a 68681 DUART included in the CDI 182 unit which I don't have). The support, however, is limited to the output of boot messages although the ROMs will actually prefer this port over the 68070 on-chip device if they find it.

    As is to be expected from a development and test player, there is an elaborate set of boot options, but they can only be used if the ROMs contain the signature "IMS-TC" at byte offset $400 (the ROMs in my player contains FF bytes at these locations). And even then the options prompt will not appear unless you press the space bar on your serial terminal during player reset.

    However, adding a -bootprompt option that handles both the signature and the space bar press to CD-i Emulator was not hard, and if you use that option with the 180 ROMs the following appears when resetting the player:
      PHILIPS CD-I 181 - ROM version 23rd January, 1992.

    A-Z = change option : <BSP> = clear options : <RETURN> = Boot Now

    Boot options:- BQRS
    As specified, you can change the options by typing letters and pressing Enter will start the boot process with the specified options.

    From disassembling the boot code of the ROMs I've so far found the following options:

    D = Download/Debug
    F = Boot from Floppy
    L = Apply options and present another options prompt (Loop)
    M = Set NTSC Monitor mode
    P = Set PAL mode
    S = Set NTSC/PAL mode from switch
    T = Set NTSC mode
    W = Boot from SCSI disk (Winchester)

    It could be that there's also a C option, and I've as yet not found any implementations of the Q and R options that the ROMs include in the default, but they could be hidden in OS-9 drivers instead of the boot code.

    Once set, the options are saved in NVRAM at address $313FE0 as default for prompts during subsequent reboots, they are not used for reboots where the option prompt is not invoked.

    Options D, F and W look interesting, but further investigation leads to the conclusion that they are mostly useless without additional hardware.

    Pressing lower-case D followed by Enter / Enter results in the following:
    Boot options:- BQRSd
    Boot options:- BDQRS
    Enter size of download area in hex - just RETURN for none
    called debugger

    Rel: 00000000
    Dn: 00000000 0000E430 0007000A 00000000 00000000 00000001 FFFFE000 00000000
    An: 00180B84 00180570 00313FE0 00410000 00002500 00000500 00001500 000014B0
    SR: 2704 (--S--7-----Z--) SSP: 000014B0 USP: 00000000
    PC: 00180D2E - 08020016 btst #$0016,d2
    debug:
    One might think that entering a download size would perform some kind of download (hopefully via the serial port) but that is not the case. The "download" code just looks at location $2500 in RAM that's apparently supposed to be already filled (presumably via an In-Circuit Emulator or something like it).

    However, invoking the debugger is interesting in itself. It looks like the Microware low-level RomBug debugger that is described in the Microware documentation, although I haven't found it in any other CD-i players. One could "download" data with the change command:
    debug: c0
    00000000 00 : 1
    00000001 00 : 2
    00000002 15 : 3
    00000003 00 :
    Not very userfriendly but it could be done. The immediate catch is that it doesn't work with unmodified ROMs because of the "IMS-TC" signature check!

    Trying the F option results in the following:
    Boot options:- BQRSf
    Boot options:- BFQRS
    Booting from Floppy (WD 179x controller) - Please wait
    This, however, needs the hardware in the CDI 182 set (it lives at $330001). I could emulate that in CD-i Emulator of course, but there's no real point at this time. It is interesting to note that the floppy controller in the CD-i 605 (which I haven't emulated either at this point) is a DP8473 which is register compatible with the uPD765A used in the original IBM PC but requires a totally different driver (it also lives at a different memory address, namely $282001).

    Finally, trying the W options gives this:
    Boot options:- BQRSw
    Boot options:- BQRSW
    Booting from RODIME RO 650 disk drive (NCR 5380 SCSI) - Please wait
    Exception Error, vector offset $0008 addr $00181908
    Fatal System Error; rebooting system
    The hardware is apparently supposed to live at $410000 and presumably emulatable; it's identical or at least similar to the DP5380 chip that is found on the CD-i 605 extension board where it lives at $AA0000).

    Some other things that I've found out:

    The CDI 181 unit has 8 KB of NVRAM but it does not use the M48T08 chip that's in all other Philips players, it's just a piece of RAM that lives at $310000 (even addresses only) and is supported by the "nvdrv" driver via the /nvr device.

    In the CD-i 180 player the timekeeping functions are instead performed by a RICOH RP5C15 chip, the driver is appropriately called "rp5c15".

    And there is a separate changeable battery inside the case; no "dead NVRAM" problems with this player! I don't know when the battery in my player was last changed but at the moment it's still functioning and had not lost the date/time when I first powered it on just over a week ago.

    The IC CARD slot at the front of the player is handled like just another piece of NVRAM; it uses the same "nvdrv" driver but a different device: /icard. According to the device descriptor it can hold 32 KB of data, I would love to have one of those!
              CD-i 180 adventures        
    Over the last week I have been playing with the CD-i 180 player set. There’s lots to tell about, so this will be a series of blog posts, this being the first installment.

    The CD-i 180 is the original CD-i player, manufactured jointly by Philips and Sony/Matsushita, and for a score of years it was the development and “reference” player. The newer CD-i 605 player provided a more modern development option but it did not become the “reference” player for quite some years after its introduction.

    The CD-i 180 set is quite bulky, as could be expected for first-generation hardware. I have added a picture of my set to the Hardware section of the CD-i Emulator website; more fotos can be found here on the DutchAudioClassics.nl website (it’s the same player, as evidenced by the serial numbers).

    The full set consists of the CDI 180 CD-i Player module, the CDI 181 Multimedia Controller or MMC module and the CDI 182 Expansion module. The modules are normally stacked on top of each other and have mechanical interlocks so they can be moved as a unit. Unfortunately, I do not have the CDI 182 Expansion module nor any user manuals; Philips brochures for the set can be found here on the ICDIA website.

    Why am I interested in this dinosaur? It’s the first mass-produced CD-i player (granted, for relatively small masses), although there were presumably some earlier prototype players. As such, it contains the “original” hardware of the CD-i platform, which is interesting from both a historical and an emulation point of view.

    For emulation purposes I have been trying to get hold of CD-i 180 ROMs for some years, there are several people that still have fully operational sets, but it hasn’t panned out yet. So when I saw a basic set for sale on the CD-Interactive forum I couldn’t resist the temptation. After some discussion and a little bartering with the seller I finally ordered the set about 10 days ago. Unfortunately, this set does not include a CDI 182 module or pointing device.

    I had some reservations about this being a fully working set, but I figured that at least the ROM chips would probably be okay, if nothing else that would allow me to add support for this player type to CD-i Emulator.

    In old hardware the mechanical parts are usually the first to fail, this being the CDI 180 CD-i Player module (which is really just a CD drive with a 44.1 kHz digital output “DO” signal). A workaround for this would be using an E1 or E2 Emulator unit; these are basically CD drive simulators that on one side read a CD-i disc image from a connected SCSI hard disk and on the other side output the 44.1 kHz digital output “DO” signal. Both the CDI 180 and E1/E2 units are controlled via a 1200 baud RS232 serial input “RS” signal.

    From my CD-i developer days I have two sets of both Emulator types so I started taking these out of storage. For practical reasons I decided to use an E1 unit because it has an internal SCSI hard disk and I did not have a spare one lying around. I also dug out an old Windows 98 PC, required because the Philips/OptImage emulation software doesn’t work under Windows XP and newer, and one of my 605 players (I also have two of those). Connecting everything took me a while but I had carefully stored all the required cables as well and after installing the software I had a working configuration after an hour or so. The entire configuration made quite a bit of mechanical and fan noise; I had forgotten this about older hardware!

    I had selected the 605 unit with the Gate Array AH02 board because I was having emulation problems with that board, and I proceeded to do some MPEG tests on it. It turns out the hardware allows for some things that my emulator currently does not, which means that I need to do some rethinking. Anyway, on with the 180 story.

    In preparation for the arrival of the 180 set I next prepared an disc image of the “OS-9 Disc” that I created in November 1993 while working as a CD-i developer. This disc contains all the OS-9 command-line programs from Professional OS-9, some OS-9 and CD-i utilities supplied by Philips and Microware and some homegrown ones as well. With this disc you can get a fully functional command-line prompt on any CD-i player with a serial port, which is very useful while researching a CD-i player’s internals.

    The Philips/Optimage emulation software requires the disc image files to include the 2-second gap before logical block zero of the CD-i track, which is not usually included in the .bin or .iso files produced by CD image tools. So I modified the CD-i File program to convert my existing os9disc.bin file by prepending the 2-second gap, in the process also adding support for scrambling and unscrambling the sector data.

    Scrambling is the process of XORing all data bytes in a CD-ROM or CD-i sector with a “scramble pattern” that is designed to avoid many contiguous identical data bytes which can supposedly confuse the tracking mechanism of CD drives (or so I’ve heard). It turned out that scrambling of the image data was not required but it did allow me to verify that the CD-I File converted image of a test disc is in fact identical to the one that the Philips/Optimage mastering tools produce, except for the ECC/EDC bytes of the gap sectors which CD-I File doesn’t know how to generate (yet). Fortunately this turned out not to be a problem, I could emulate the converted image just fine.

    Last Thursday the 180 set arrived and in the evening I eagerly unpacked it. Everything appeared to be in tip-top shape, although the set had evidently seen use.

    First disappointment: there is no serial port on the right side of 181 module. I remembered that this was actually an option on the module and I had not even bothered to ask the seller about it! This would make ROM extraction harder, but I was not completely without hope: the front has a Mini-DIN 8 connector marked “CONTROL” and I fully expected this to be a “standard” CD-i serial port because I seemed to remember that you could connect standard CD-i pointing devices to this port, especially a mouse. The built-in UART functions of the 68070 processor chip would have to be connected up somewhere, after all.

    Second disappointment: the modules require 120V power, not the 220V we have here in Holland. I did not have a voltage converter handy so after some phone discussion with a hardware-knowledgeable friend we determined that powering up was not yet a safe option. He gave me some possible options depending on the internal configuration so I proceeded to open up the CDI 181 module, of course also motivated by curiosity.

    The first thing I noticed was that there were some screws missing; obviously the module had been opened before and the person doing it had been somewhat careless. The internals also seemed somewhat familiar, especially the looks of the stickers on the ROM chips and the placement of some small yellow stickers on various other chips.

    Proceeding to the primary reason for opening up the module, I next checked the power supply configuration. Alas, nothing reconfigurable for 220V, it is a fully discrete unit with the transformer actually soldered to circuit board on both input and output side. There are also surprisingly many connections to the actual MMC processor board and on close inspection weird voltages like –9V and +9V are printed near the power supply outputs, apart from the expected +5V and +/–12V, so connecting a different power supply would be a major undertaking also.

    After some pondering of the internals I closed up the module again and proceeded to closely inspect the back side for serial numbers, notices, etc. They seemed somewhat familiar but that isn’t weird as numbers often do. Out of pure curiosity I surfed to the DutchAudioClassics.nl website to compare serial numbers, wanting to know the place of my set in the production runs.

    Surprise: the serial numbers are identical! It appears that this exact set was previously owned by the owner of that website or perhaps he got the photographs from someone else. This also explained why the internals had seemed familiar: I had actually seen them before!

    I verified with the seller of the set that he doesn’t know anything about the photographs; apparently my set has had at least four owners, assuming that the website owner wasn’t the original one.

    On Friday I obtained a 120V converter (they were unexpectedly cheap) and that evening I proceeded to power up the 180 set. I got a nice main menu picture immediately so I proceeded to attempt to start a CD-i disc. It did not start automatically when I inserted it, which on second thought makes perfect sense because the 181 MMC module has no way to know that you’ve just inserted a disc: this information is not communicated over 180/181 interconnections. So I would need to click on the “CD-I” button to start a disc.

    To click on a screen button you need a supported pointing device, so I proceeded to connect the trusty white professional CD-i mouse that belongs with my 605 players. It doesn’t work!

    There are some mechanical issues which make it doubtful that the MiniDIN connector plugs connect properly, so I tried an expansion cable that fit better. Still no dice.

    The next step was trying some other CD-i pointing devices, but none of them worked. No pointing devices came with the set, and the seller had advised me thus (they were presumable lost or sold separately by some previous owner). The only remaining option seemed to be the wireless remote control sensor which supposedly uses RC5.

    I tried every remote in my home, including the CD-i ones, but none of them give any reaction. After some research into the RC5 protocol this is not surprising, the 180 set probably has a distinct system address code. Not having a programmable remote handy nor a PC capable of generating infrared signals (none of my PCs have IrDA) I am again stuck!

    I spent some time surfing the Internet looking for RC5 remotes and PC interfaces that can generate RC5 signals. Programmable remotes requiring a learning stage are obviously not an option so it will have to be a fully PC-programmable remote which are somewhat expensive and I’m not convinced they would work. The PC interface seems the best option for now; I found some do-it-yourself circuits and kits but it is all quite involved. I’ve also given some thought to PIC kits which could in principle also support a standard CD-i or PC mouse or even a joystick, but I haven’t pursued these options much further yet.

    Next I went looking for ways to at least get the contents of the ROM chips as I had determined that these were socketed inside the MMC module and could easily be removed. There are four 27C100 chips inside the module, each of which contains 128Kb of data for a total of 512Kb which is the same as for the CD-i 605 player (ignoring expansion and full-motion video ROMs). The regular way to do this involves using a ROM reading device, but I haven’t gotten one handy that supports this chip type and neither does the hardware friend I mentioned earlier.

    I do have access to an old 8 bit Z80 hobbyist-built system capable of reading and writing up to 27512 chips which are 64Kb, it is possible to extend this to at least read the 27C100 chip type. This would require adapting the socket (the 27512 is 28 pins whereas the 27C100 has 32 pins) and adding one extra address bit, if nothing else with just a spare wire. But the Z80 system is not at my house and some hardware modifications to it would be required, for which I would have to inspect the system first and dig up the circuit diagrams; all quite disappointing.

    While researching the chip pinouts I suddenly had an idea: what if I used the CD-i 605 Expansion board which also has ROM sockets? This seemed an option but with two kids running around I did not want to open up the set. That evening however I took the board out of the 605 (this is easily done as both player and board were designed for it) and found that this Expansion board contains two 27C020 chips, each containing 256Kb of data. These are also 32 pins but the pinouts are a little different, so a socket adapter would also be needed. I checked the 605 technical manual and it did not mention anything about configurable ROM chip types (it did mention configurable RAM chip types, though) so an adapter seemed the way to go. I collected some spare 40 pin sockets from storage (boy have I got much of that) and proceeded to open up the 180 set and take out the ROM chips.

    When determining the mechanical fit of the two sockets for the adapter I noticed three jumpers adjacent to the ROM sockets of the expansion board and I wondered… Tracing of the board connections indicated that these jumpers were indeed connected to exactly the ROM socket pins differing between 27C100 and 27C020, and other connections indicated it at least plausible for these jumpers to be exactly made for the purpose.

    So I changed the jumpers and inserted one 180 ROM. This would avoid OS-9 inadvertently using data from the ROM because only half of each 16-bit word would be present, thus ensuring that no module headers would be detected, and in the event of disaster I would lose only a single ROM chip (not that I expected that to be very likely, but you never know).

    Powering up the player worked exactly as expected, no suspicious smoke or heat generation, so the next step was software. It turns out that CD-i Link already supports downloading of ROM data from specific memory addresses and I had already determined those addresses from the 605 technical manual. So I connected the CD-i 605 null-modem cable with my USB-to-Serial adapter between CD-i player and my laptop and fired off the command line:

    cdilink –p 3 –a 50000 –s 256K –u u21.rom

    (U21 being the socket number of the specific ROM I chose first).

    After a minute I aborted the upload and checked the result, and lo and behold the u21.rom file looked like an even-byte-only ROM dump:
    00000000  4a00 000b 0000 0000 0004 8000 0000 0000 J...............
    00000010 0000 0000 0000 003a 0000 705f 6d6c 2e6f .......:..p_ml.o
    00000020 7406 0c20 0000 0000 0101 0101 0101 0101 t.. ............
    This was hopeful, so I restarted the upload again and waited some six minutes for it to complete. Just for sure I redid the upload from address 58000 and got an identical file, thus ruling out any flakey bits or timing problems (I had already checked that the access times on the 27C100 and 27C020 chips were identical, to say 150ns).

    In an attempt to speed up the procedure, I next attempted to try two ROMs at once, using ones that I thought not to be a matched even/odd set. The 605 would not boot! It later turned out that the socket numbering did not correspond to the even/odd pairing as I expected so this was probably caused by the two ROMs being exactly a matched set and OS-9 getting confused as the result. But using a single ROM it worked fine.

    I proceeded to repeat the following procedure for the next three ROMs: turn off the 605, remove the expansion board, unsocket the previous ROM chip, socket the next ROM chip, reinsert the expansion board, turn on the 605 and run CD-i Link twice. It took a while, all in all just under an hour.

    While these uploads were running I wrote two small programs rsplit and rjoin to manipulate the ROM files into a correct 512Kb 180 ROM image. Around 00:30 I had a final cdi180b.rom file that looked good and I ran it through cditype –mod to verify that it indeed looked like a CD-I player ROM:
      Addr     Size      Owner    Perm Type Revs  Ed #  Crc   Module name
    -------- -------- ----------- ---- ---- ---- ----- ------ ------------
    0000509a 192 0.0 0003 Data 8001 1 fba055 copyright
    0000515a 26650 0.0 0555 Sys a000 83 090798 kernel
    0000b974 344 0.0 0555 Sys 8002 22 b20da9 init
    0000bacc 2848 0.0 0555 Fman a00b 35 28611f ucm
    0000c5ec 5592 0.0 0555 Fman a000 17 63023d nrf
    0000dbc4 2270 0.0 0555 Fman a000 35 d6a976 pipeman
    0000e4a2 774 0.0 0555 Driv a001 6 81a3e9 nvdrv
    0000e7a8 356 0.0 0555 Sys a01e 15 e69105 rp5c15
    0000e90c 136 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 1 f25f23 tim070
    0000e994 420 0.0 0555 Driv a00c 6 7b3913 tim070driv
    0000eb38 172 0.0 0555 Driv a000 1 407f81 null
    0000ebe4 102 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 2 cf450e pipe
    0000ec4a 94 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 1 f54010 nvr
    0000eca8 96 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 1 17ec68 icard
    0000ed08 1934 0.0 0555 Fman a000 31 b41f17 scf
    0000f496 120 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 61 dd8776 t2
    0000f50e 1578 0.0 0555 Driv a020 16 d0a854 u68070
    0000fb38 176 0.1 0777 5 8001 1 a519f6 csd_mmc
    0000fbe8 5026 0.0 0555 Sys a000 292 e33cc5 csdinit
    00010f8a 136 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 6 041e2b iic
    00011012 152 0.0 0555 Driv a02c 22 e29688 ceniic
    000110aa 166 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 8 c5b823 ptr
    00011150 196 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 8 a0e276 cdikeys
    00011214 168 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 8 439a33 ptr2
    000112bc 3134 0.0 0555 Driv a016 11 faf88d periic
    00011efa 4510 0.0 0555 Fman a003 96 a4d145 cdfm
    00013098 15222 0.0 0555 Driv a038 28 122c79 cdap18x
    00016c0e 134 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 2 35f12f cd
    00016c94 134 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 2 d2ce2f ap
    00016d1a 130 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 1 1586c2 vid
    00016d9c 18082 10.48 0555 Trap c00a 6 5f673d cio
    0001b43e 7798 1.0 0555 Trap c001 13 46c5dc math
    0001d2b4 2992 0.0 0555 Data 8020 1 191a59 FONT8X8
    0001de64 134 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 2 c5ed0e dd
    0001deea 66564 0.0 0555 Driv a012 48 660a91 video
    0002e2ee 62622 0.1 0555 Prog 8008 20 ec5459 ps
    0003d78c 4272 0.0 0003 Data 8001 1 9f3982 ps_medium.font
    0003e83c 800 0.0 0003 Data 8002 1 c1ac25 ps_icons.clut
    00040000 2976 0.0 0003 Data 8002 1 0a3b97 ps_small.font
    00040ba0 7456 0.0 0003 Data 8002 1 764338 ps_icons.clu8
    000428c0 107600 0.0 0003 Data 8002 1 7b9b4e ps_panel.dyuv
    0005cd10 35360 0.0 0003 Data 8001 1 2a8fcd ps_girl.dyuv
    00065730 35360 0.0 0003 Data 8002 1 e1bb6a ps_mesa.dyuv
    0006e150 35360 0.0 0003 Data 8002 1 8e394b ps_map.dyuv
    00076b70 35360 0.0 0003 Data 8002 1 c60e5e ps_kids.dyuv

    File Size Type Description
    ------------ ------ ------------ ------------
    cdi180b.rom 512K cdi000x.rom Unknown CD-i system ROM
    cdi180b.rom 512K cdi000x.mdl Unknown CD-i player
    cdi180b.rom 512K unknown.brd Unknown board
    Of course cditype didn’t correctly detect the ROM, player and board type, but the list of modules looks exactly like a CD-i player system ROM. It is in fact very similar to the CD-i 605 system ROM, the major differences are the presence of the icard and *iic drivers, the absence of a slave module and the different player shell (ps module with separate ps_* data modules instead of a single play module).

    It being quite late already, I resocketed all the ROMs in the proper places and closed up both players, after testing that they were both fully functional (insofar as I could test the 180 set), fully intending to clean up and go to bed. As an afterthought, I took a picture of the running 180 set and posted it on the CD-Interactive forums as the definitive answer to the 50/60 Hz power question I’d asked there earlier.

    The CD-i Emulator urge started itching however, so I decided to give emulation of my new ROM file a quick go, fully intending to stop at any major problems. I didn’t encounter any of those, however, until I had a running CD-i 180 player three hours later. I reported the fact on the CDinteractive forum, noting that there was no pointing device or disc access yet, and went to a well-deserved sleep. Both of these issues are major ones and those I postponed for the next day.

    To get the new player type up and running inside CD-i Emulater, I started by using the CD-i 605 F1 system specification files cdi605a.mdl and minimmc.brd as templates to create the new CD-i 180 F2 system files cdi180b.mdl and maximmc.brd. Next I fired up the emulator and was rewarded with bus errors. Not unexpected and a good indicator of where the problems are. Using the debugger and disassembler I quickly determined that the problems were, as expected, the presence of the VSR instead of VSD and the replacement of the SLAVE by something else. Straightening these out took a bit of time but it was not hard work and very similar to work I had done before on other player types.

    This time at least the processor and most of the hardware was known and already emulated; for the Portable CD-i board (used by the CD-i 370, DVE200 and GDI700 players) both of these were not the case as they use the 68341 so-called integrated CD-i engine which in my opinion is sorely misnamed as there is nothing CD-i about the chip, it is just the Motorola version of an 68K processor with many on-chip peripherals in remarkably similar to the Philips 68070 in basic functionality.

    Saturday was spent doing household chores with ROM research in between, looking for the way to get the pointing device working. It turned out to be quite involved but at the end of the day I had it sort of flakily working in a kludgy way; I’ll report the details in a next blog post.

    Sunday I spent some time fixing the flakiness and thinking a lot about fixing the kludginess; this remains to be done. I also spent time making screenshots and writing this blog post.

    So to finish up, there is now a series of 180 screenshots here on the CD-i Emulator website as reported in the What's New section. A very nice player shell, actually, especially for a first generation machine.

    I will report some ROM and chip finds including new hopes for replacing the missing pointing device in a next blog post.
              ROM-less emulation progress        
    Over the last two weeks I have implemented most of the high-level emulation framework that I alluded to in my last post here as well as a large number of tracing wrappers for the original ROM calls. In the next stage I will start replacing some of those wrappers with re-implementations, starting with some easy ones.

    It turns out I was somewhat optimistic; so far I have wrapped over 450 distinct ROM entry points (the actual current number of wrappers is 513 but there are some error catchers and possible duplicates). Creating the wrappers and writing and debugging the framework took more effort then I expected, but it was worth it: every call to a ROM entry point described or implied by the Green Book or OS-9 documentation is now wrapped with a high-level emulation function that so far does nothing except calling the original ROM routine and tracing its input/output register values.

    Surely there aren't that many application-callable API functions, I can hear you think? Well actually there are, for sufficiently loose definitions of "application-callable". You see, the Green Book specifies CD-RTOS as being OS-9 and every "trick" normally allowed under OS-9 is theoretically legal in a CD-i title. That includes bypassing the OS-supplied file managers and directly calling device drivers; there are many CD-i titles that do some of this (the driver interfaces are specified by the Green Book). In particular, all titles using the Balboa library do this.

    I wanted an emulation framework that could handle this so my framework is built around the idea of replacing the OS-9 module internals but retaining their interfaces, including all the documented (and possibly some undocumented) data structures. One of the nice features of this approach is that native ROM code can be replaced by high-level emulation on a routine-by-routine basis.

    How does it really work? As a start, I've enhanced the 68000 emulation to possibly invoke emulation modules whenever an emulated instruction generates one of the following processor exceptions: trap, illegal instruction, line-A, line-F.

    The emulation modules can operate in two modes: either copy an existing ROM module and wrap its entry points, or generate an entirely new memory module. In both cases, the emulation module will emit line-A instructions at the appropriate points. The emitted modules will go into a memory area appropriately called "emurom" that the OS-9 kernel scans for modules. Giving the emitted modules identical names but higher revision numbers then the ROM modules will cause the OS-9 kernel to use the emitted modules.

    This approach works for every module except the kernel itself, because it is entered by the boot code before the memory scan for modules is even performed. The kernel emulation module will actually patch the ROM kernel entry point so that it jumps to the emitted kernel module.

    The emitted line-A instructions are recognized by the emulator disassembler; they are called "modcall" instructions (module call). Each such instruction corresponds to a single emulation function; entry points into the function (described below) are indicated by the word immediately following it in memory. For example, the ROM routine that handles the F$CRC system call now disassembles like this:

    modcall kernel:CRC:0
    jsr XXX.l
    modcall kernel:CRC:$
    rts

    Here the XXX is the absolute address of the original ROM routine for this system call; the two modcall instructions trace the input and output registers of this handler. If the system call were purely emulated (no fallback to the original ROM routine) it would look like this:

    modcall kernel:CRC:0
    modcall kernel:CRC:$
    rts

    Both modcall instructions remain, although technically the latter is now unnecessary, but the jsr instruction has disappeared. Technically, the rts instruction could also be eliminated but it looks more comprehensible this way.

    One could view the approach as adding a very powerful "OS-9 coprocessor" to the system.

    If an emulation function has to make inter-module calls, complications arise. High-level emulation context cannot cross module boundaries, because the called module may be native (and in many cases even intra-module calls can raise this issue). For this reason, emulation functions need additional entry points where the emulation can resume after making such a call. The machine language would like this, e.g. for the F$Open system call:

    modcall kernel:Open:0
    modcall kernel:Open:25
    modcall kernel:Open:83
    modcall kernel:Open:145
    modcall kernel:Open:$
    rts

    The numbers following the colon are relative line numbers in the emulation function. When the emulation function needs to make a native call, it pushes the address of one such modcall instruction on the native stack, sets the PC register to the address it wants to call and resumes instruction emulation. When the native routine returns, it will return to the modcall instruction which will re-enter the emulation function at the appropriate point.

    One would expect that emulation functions making native calls need to be coded very strangely: a big switch statement on the entry code (relative line number), followed by the appropriate code. However, a little feature of the C and C++ languages allows the switch statement to be mostly hidden. The languages allow the case labels of a switch statement to be nested arbitrarily deep into the statements inside the switch.

    The entire contents of emulation functions are encapsulated inside a switch statement on the entry number (hidden by macros):

    switch (entrynumber)
    {
    case 0:
    ...
    }

    On the initial call, zero is passed for entrynumber so the function body starts executing normally. Where a native call needs to be made, the processor registers are set up (more on this below) and a macro is invoked:

    MOD_CALL(address);

    This macro expands to something like this:

    MOD_PARAMS.SetJumpAddress(address);
    MOD_PARAMS.SetReturnLine(__LINE__);
    return eMOD_CALL;
    case __LINE__:

    Because this is a macro expansion, both invokations of the __LINE__ macro will expand to the line number of the MOD_CALL macro invokation.

    What this does is to save the target address and return line inside MOD_PARAMS and then return from the emulation function with value eMOD_CALL. This value causes the wrapper code to push the address of the appropriate modcall instruction and jump to the specified address. When that modcall instruction executes after the native call returns, it passes the return line to the emulation function as the entry number which will dutifully switch on it and control will resume directly after the MOD_CALL macro.

    In reality, the code uses not __LINE__ but __LINE__ - MOD_BASELINE which will use relative line numbers instead of absolute ones; MOD_BASELINE is a constant defined as the value of __LINE__ at the start of the emulation function.

    The procedure described above has one serious drawback: emulation functions cannot have "active" local variables at the point where native calls are made (the compiler will generate errors complaining that variable initialisations are being skipped). However, the emulated processor registers are available as temporaries (properly saved and restored on entry and exit of the emulation function if necessary) which should be good enough. Macros are defined to make accessing these registers easy.

    When native calls need to be made, the registers must be set up properly. This would lead to constant "register juggling" before and after each call, which is error-prone and tedious. To avoid it, it is possible to use two new sets of registers: the parameter set and the results set. Before a call, the parameter registers must be set up properly; the call will then use these register values as inputs and the outputs will be stored in the results registers (register juggling will be done by the wrapper code). The parameter registers are initially set to the values of the emulated processor registers and also set from the results registers after each call.

    The following OS-9 modules are currently wrapped:

    kernel nrf nvdrv cdfm cddrv ucm vddrv ptdrv kbdrv pipe scf scdrv

    The *drv modules are device drivers; their names must be set to match the ones used in the current system ROM in order to properly override those. The *.brd files in the sys directory have been extended to include this information like this:

    ** Driver names for ROM emulation.
    set cddrv.name=cdapdriv
    set vddrv.name=video
    set ptdrv.name=pointer
    set kbdrv.name=kb1driv

    The kernel emulation module avoids knowledge of system call handler addresses inside the kernel by trapping the first "system call" so that it can hook all the handler addresses in the system and user mode dispatch tables to their proper emulation stubs. This first system call is normally the I$Open call for the console device.

    File manager and driver emulation routines hook all the entry points by simply emitting a new entry point table and putting the offset to it in the module header. The offsets in the new table point to the entry point stubs (the addresses of the original ROM routines are obtained from the original entry point table).

    The above works fine for most modules, but there was a problem with the video driver because it is larger then 64KB (the offsets in the entry point are 16-bit values relative to the start of the module). Luckily there is a text area near the beginning of the original module (it is actually just after the original entry point table) that can be used for a "jump table" so all entry point offsets fit into 16 bits. After this it should have worked, but it didn't because it turns out that UCM has a bug that requires the entry point table to *also* be in the first 64KB of the module (it ignores the upper 16-bits of the 32-bit offset to this table in the module header). This was fixed by simply reusing the original entry point table in this case.

    One further complication arose because UCM requires the initialisation routines of drivers to also store the absolute addresses of their entry points in UCM variables. These addresses were "hooked" by adding code to the initialisation emulation routine that changes these addresses to point to the appropriate modcall instructions.

    All file managers and drivers contain further dispatching for the SetStat and GetStat routines, based on the contents of one or two registers. Different values in these registers will invoke entirely separate functions with different register conventions; they really must be redirected to different emulation functions. This is achieved by lifting the dispatching to the emulation wrapper code (it is all table-driven).

    Most of the above has been implemented, and CD-i emulator now traces all calls to ROM routines (when emurom is being used). A simple call to get pointing device coordinates would previously trace as follows (when trap tracing was turned on with the "et trp" command):

    @00DF87E4(cdi_app) TRAP[5812] #0 I$GetStt <= d0.w=7 d1.w=SS_PT d2.w=PT_Coord
    @00DF87E8(cdi_app) TRAP[5812] #0 I$GetStt => d0.w=$8000 d1.l=$1EF00FD

    Here the input value d0.w=7 is the path number of the pointing device; the resulting mouse coordinates are in d1.l and correspond to (253,495),

    When modcall tracing is turned on, this "simple" call will trace as follows:

    @00DF87E4(cdi_app) TRAP[5812] #0 I$GetStt <= d0.w=7 d1.w=SS_PT d2.w=PT_Coord
    @00F86EE0(kernel) MODCALL[16383] kernel:GetStt:0 <= d0.w=7 d1.w=$59 [Sys]
    @00F86D10(kernel) MODCALL[16384] kernel:CCtl:0 <= d0.l=2 [NoTrap]
    @00F86D1A(kernel) MODCALL[16384] kernel:CCtl:$ =>
    @00F8A460(ucm) MODCALL[16385] ucm:GetPointer:0 <= u_d0.w=7 u_d2.w=0
    @00FA10A4(pointer) MODCALL[16386] pointer:PtCoord:0 <= d0.w=7
    @00FA10AE(pointer) MODCALL[16386] pointer:PtCoord:$ => d0.w=$8000 d1.l=$1EF00FD
    @00F8A46A(ucm) MODCALL[16385] ucm:GetPointer:$ =>
    @00F86D10(kernel) MODCALL[16387] kernel:CCtl:0 <= d0.l=5 [NoTrap]
    @00F86D1A(kernel) MODCALL[16387] kernel:CCtl:$ =>
    @00F86EEA(kernel) MODCALL[16383] kernel:GetStt:$ =>
    @00DF87E8(cdi_app) TRAP[5812] #0 I$GetStt => d0.w=$8000 d1.l=$1EF00FD

    You can see that the kernel dispatches this system call to kernel:GetStt, the handler for the I$GetStt system call. It starts by doing some cache control and then calls the GetStat entry point of the ucm modules, which dispatches it to its GetPointer routine. This routine in turn calls the GetStat routine of the pointer driver, which dispatches it to its PtCoord routine. This final routine performs the actual work and returns the results, which are then ultimately returned by the system call, after another bit of cache control.

    The calls to ucm:GetStat and pointer:GetStat are no longer visible in the above trace as the emulation wrapper code directly dispatches them to ucm:GetPointer and pointer:PtCoord, respectively; it doesn't even trace the dispatching because this would result in another four lines of tracing output.

    As a sidenote, all of the meticulous cache and address space control done by the kernel is really wasted, as CD-i systems do not need these. But the calls are still being made, which makes the kernel needlessly slow; one major reason why calling device drivers directly is often done. Newer versions of OS-9 eliminate these calls by using different kernel flavors for different processors and hardware configurations.

    The massive amount of tracing needs to be curtailed somewhat before further work can productively be done; this is what I will start with next.

    I have already generated fully documented stub functions for the OS-9 kernel from the OS-9 technical documentation; I will also need to generate for all file manager and driver calls, based on the digital Green Book.

    It is perhaps noteworthy that some kernel calls are not described in any of the OS-9 version 2.4 documentation that I was able to find, but they *are* described in the online OS-9/68000 version 3.0 documentation.

    Some calls made by the native ROMs remain undocumented but those mostly seem to be CD-i system-control (for example, one of them sets the front display text). Of the OS-9 kernel calls, only the following ones are currently undocumented:

    F$AllRAM
    F$FModul
    F$POSK

    Their existence was inferred by the appropriate constants existing in the compiler library files, but I have not seen any calls to them (yet).
              AASL Post: 3 Reasons Why You Need to Attend Your State Conference        

    The very first conference I ever attended was my state conference, FAME (Florida Association for Media in Education) back in 2010. I was a brand new librarian and soaked up all the new information, ideas, and connections. It only took one conference to get me hooked. Since then, I’ve attended and presented at conferences all over North America, including ISTE, FETC, AASL, and more. But I still go back to my state conference every year, because I consider it a vital part of my profession. AASL Post: Why We Need to Be Attending Our State Conference I feel pretty passionately about professional development and I love going to conferences.  They’re such awesome opportunities to grow, connect and share. I’ve been all over the country and Canada, but the one conference I still never miss is my state conference.  That’s where everything started for me and I still see it as a vital part of my professional growth. Check out my post over on AASL Knowledge Quest to hear about how state conferences: Let you connect with other librarians from your state Give you a space to share your voice Equip you with resources for advocacy Bonus: This post can also help you advocate for funds if you’re having trouble getting financial support to attend your state conference.

    The post AASL Post: 3 Reasons Why You Need to Attend Your State Conference appeared first on Renovated Learning.


              Students Can Transfer Knowledge – Additional Resources        
    This week’s Chronicle of Higher Education includes Dan Berrett’s story, “Students Can Transfer Knowledge if Taught How” (subscription required), which features research from participants in the Center’s 2011-2013 Elon Research Seminar on Critical Transitions: Writing and the Question of Transfer. To learn more about writing transfer research, see the Elon Statement on Writing Transfer and our showcase of the participants’ presentations and publications. … Continue Reading
              Scaffolding Students’ Use of Prior Writing Knowledge in Writing Intensive Courses        
    by Jessie L. Moore As described in last week’s post, the Elon Statement on Writing Transfer highlights teaching practices that promote writing transfer. These include: Constructing writing curricula and classes that focus on the study of and practice with concepts that enable students to analyze expectations for writing within specific contexts. These include rhetorically-based concepts (such as genre, purpose, and audience); Asking students … Continue Reading
              Blinded by Satan        
    A new MP3 sermon from Freely We Give Broadcast is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: Blinded by Satan
    Speaker: Tom L. Daniel
    Broadcaster: Freely We Give Broadcast
    Event: Sunday - PM
    Date: 3/22/1970
    Bible: 2 Corinthians 4:4
    Length: 30 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: SATAN, the -god of this world,- is a deceiver, a counterfeiter, a bully and a tyrant. His one purpose is to lead mankind astray from any true knowledge of God. He works by INTIMIDATION -threats- and by IMITATION -deceptions in religion-. Satan is a master in his art, and you are no match for him-----Being by nature the possessors of -1.- wicked, blood-guilty hands, -2.- wicked hearts that went astray at the Fall of Adam, and -3.- deceitful hearts -hearts that are inclined towards lies rather that towards the truth- - you can see that when Satan falls upon one to deceive, the hearts of natural men are inclined to respond to Satan rather than to resist him and his devices.----THE NATURAL MAN RECEIVES EVERYTHING BUT THE TRUTH, AND LOVES EVERY DOCTRINE OR DOGMA EXCEPT THAT WHICH COMES FROM GOD. Listen to a practical message by the late Texas pastor TOM L. DANIEL. -We are sorry that the tape did not contain the full message.-----Much practical counsel is here for those who wish to put God's truth ahead of Satan's lies. LISTEN with an open heart-
               Lineages of a British international political economy         
    Clift, Ben and Rosamond, Ben (2009) Lineages of a British international political economy. In: Blyth, Mark, (ed.) Routledge handbook of International Political Economy (IPE) IPE as a global conversation. London ; New York: Routledge, pp. 95-111. ISBN 9780415771269
              Pay My Money Pay My Rent How To Get Your Rent Paid For FREE        
    Pay My Money – Pay My Rent: How To Get Your Rent Paid For FREE There are plenty of incentives why people become bloggers. Financial rewards, the desire to share knowledge and news or simply to droll about their own personal interests are some obvious reasons fueling the need to become bloggers. There are many […]
              Top Benefit of Alkaline Ionized UltraWater: Antioxidant ORP        
    Much is known about the alkalinity of alkaline water, the pH. But few have any knowledge whatsoever about the top reason why you should drink alkaline ionized water. But before we explain what it is, we should briefly address the fact that most drinking waters are not 100% healthy. Distilled water for example, while void […]

              Tic-Talk Tonight: Lonnie Grant         
    Welcome to the newest edition of Tic-Talk, the transcript that follows is the full interview as conducted by Indira Nooyi with our guest interviewee, Lonnie Grant, captain of the Voyager. Interview was carried out on the planet Cascom in the Castra system on 2947-03-12. Indira Nooyi(IN): Good evening and welcome to another edition of Tic-Talk, I’m your host for the evening Indira Nooyi and with me tonight is the captain and pilot of a Freelancer DUR named Voyager. Thank you for joining me tonight, Mr. Grant. Lonnie Grant (LG): Thank you for having me on Indira. I love your show. IN: Thank you. Now Mr. Grant, you just recently discovered a new jump point, would you please tell our viewing audience a little bit about how you came to discover it. LG: Well you see Indira… it wasn’t really the most clever way to discover a jump point. It occurred to me that for the size of the system, Castra has an inordinate number of jump points… I think there were 5. It occurred to me that this concentration might be significant so I started scouring the outer rim of the system with my scanners. After a few days I got a hit on my jump scanners. IN: And upon closer investigation you found this new jump point, correct? LG: Yeah… it took me awhile to triangulate it but eventually I got close enough and she just opened up in front of me. They’re a beautiful sight, jump points. They’re all different… have their own character. IN: Did you immediately travel through it following discovery? LG: It’s always a nervous thing, you know? Plenty of explorers have vanished forever after attempting a new jump point. I guess that’s a long way of saying that I took some time... Wrote out messages for my family and friends and left them in a buoy before I ventured inside. IN: And what did you find on the other side? LG: Well first of all, this particular jump was pleasantly simple to navigate. Some of them can be really nasty. Either way, on the far side I discovered a red dwarf star with 4 major worlds orbiting, along with many other smaller worlds of course. IN: A brand new system then? LG: Yes! This is a fresh jump. IN: So, with that being said this opens up several possibilities to you. What do you see yourself doing with the jump point coordinates? Are you considering selling them to the military or off to a scientific research facility maybe? LG: My plan is to sell the coordinates to the UEE’s exploration and colonization division, and then return to the system to continue my work exploring the worlds it holds.  There’s a lot to learn! IN: That would make you a very rich man, Mr. Grant. Why continue to work and explore when you could retire and live the rest of your life in ease and comfort? LG: Honestly for most explorers… there’s a drive to keep pushing the edge of our knowledge and it doesn’t go away with a full bank account. I will always be most at home on the fringes, searching for the next horizon. Might have to update some of my equipment though! IN: Indeed and you will have the funds to do it. With this being a new system, I know that there is always a push to find new habitable worlds for humanity to colonize. Does this new system have anything that sets it apart from the rest? LG: So this is kind of interesting… This is a tiny star so the worlds orbit close. One appears too close, probably too hot. The furthest planet seems outside the habitable zone… although perhaps some extremophiles could live there. Once again though this is the long way of saying that the middle two planets appear habitable.  One is about the size of Earth and has large oceans covering about 80% of its surface.  The other one is smaller, about the size of Mars, and has limited water - maybe 20% ocean - but appears to support abundant life regardless. I haven’t taken any detailed scans yet… the new equipment would be right up that alley - help me get better quality scans. IN: So, at least two habitable worlds, your find might be more valuable then you consider it to be. If people were to move there today, what would they be calling this system? Do you plan to name it or leave that up to the scientists? LG: Well Indira, you have to understand that it is rare in an explorer’s career that they find anything of really major value. Comets, lucrative asteroids, small black holes… these are common place and enough to keep you going but new star systems are really the dream. I have thought of a name and I will be submitting it, with your approval. I do love your show, so I was going to name the system Indira. IN: Wow, I don’t know what to say, Mr. Grant. I’m very flattered. I only hope that whatever name you choose does the system justice. Sounds like you’ve found yourself a small little paradise. I sincerely wish you luck on your next adventure and again thank you for joining me tonight and sharing your story. Maybe it will inspire the next generation of explorers to go out there and find their own jump point. I’m Indira Nooyi and this has been another edition of Tic-Talk, thanks for joining us and see you next week.  
              Tic-Talk Tonight: Elias Portwin        
    Welcome to the newest edition of Tic-Talk, the transcript that follows is the full interview as conducted by Indira Nooyi with our guest interviewee, Elias Portwin, captain and operator of the Bolide. Interview was carried out at the Central Advocacy Detention Centre in the Ferron system on February 14, 2947. Indira Nooyi(IN): Good evening and welcome to another edition of Tic-Talk, I’m your host for the evening Indira Nooyi and with me tonight I have the captain and operator of the mining ship, the Bolide. Thank you for granting us this interview, Mr. Portwin. Elias Portwin(EP): Uh… It’s my pleasure ma’am. It’s just good to be able to tell my side, you know? IN: Indeed and we are looking forward to giving you the opportunity to tell your side. Now… Mr. Portwin, please tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? How did you become a miner? A few personal details of that nature. EP: I’m from Tram, on Asura, here in Ferron. Things are tough there… but there’s still a lot of mining know how to go around.  My family were some of the lucky ones, still have a bit of money. My parents made a living off of refurbishing and selling used mining equipment. I worked with my folks until I had enough credits for my beautiful Bolide. IN: Thank you. For those folks unfamiliar with the events that have brought you here tonight. Could you in your own words give our viewing audience a little backstory on what happened? EP: Well, ya see, I’d had a few run-ins with the Chomper crew. They were always tailin’ me, because I actually know how to find the veins. They’re a gang of talentless thieves, they are. Anyhow, I had uncovered this beauty cluster of platinum asteroids here in Ferron and I was ‘bout to start up my drillin’ when along came the fuckin’... wait, can I swear? IN: Well, this is a live feed and would prefer if you kept it to a general tone in terms of language, please continue. You mentioned a vein of platinum... EP:  Yeah… yeah. I’d found some nice platinum asteroids out on the ragged edges of Ferron. Along came Chomper to try to push me out. Ya see, Orions have weapons. Not much a little Prospector like Bolide can do to defend a claim. I sure don’t have the credits to hire mercs. I had had enough, ya know? It’s hard enough gettin’ by out there in the black all by your lonesome without a monstrosity like that breathin’ down your neck. So I decided to do something about it. IN: I see, but Ferron is a system open to trades like miners such as yourself to scout and claim these precious resources. So the Chomper, Orion mining vessel, had equal opportunity and rights to chase the same veins of resources you yourself were. I guess my question would then be, did you consider what it would mean for yourself if you decided to take the situation into your own hands? EP: With all due respect Ms. Nooyi, I don’t think you know what it’s like out there. Code among miners is that if you discover a claim and are actively mining, that’s yours. Full stop. They just waltzed in there throwing their weight around… like they always do. Did I consider what it would mean when I ruffled their feathers? Honestly, not really ma’am. I was angry and fed up. IN: Such rash action has in turn brought you into Advocacy custody waiting to hear whether or not charges are going to be laid against you or more than likely what charges will be brought forward. So in your eyes, was it worth it in the end? EP: You don’t pull your punches, do ya miss? I… well, you know, at the time it was pretty rewarding to finally get a chance to stand up for myself.  But I know it was wrong.  And was it worth it, really? No… not in the end. IN: Just for the record, do you know of or are you acquaintances with the Chomper’s captain? I know in some of these industries you run across the same people from time to time. It wouldn't take much to build a small personal grudge if one was rubbed the wrong way on a prior occasion. EP: Yeah, I know him. As I said, we’ve had some run-ins. He’s always on me because I’m good… makes the life of his crew easy to use me as a dowsing rod. We’ve had words… many times. I was tired of bein’ used. IN: It would then not be much of a stretch to say that this was more or less a simmering pot ready to boil over. I can understand how frustrating this whole situation could have been for you and in the end I think you can probably count yourself lucky no lives were lost during this incident. Now that we heard your version of events in your own words, I would like to just get some clarification on how things unfolded. To my knowledge, it was stated that you maneuvered an asteroid into the Chomper which then caused significant damage. Could you please elaborate for me not only how you managed that but what gave you the idea in the first place? EP: Yes ma’am. Well, you see… I love the Bolide but she comes equipped with just the one set of small guns up front. Not much protection and completely useless to actually attack anything. So I had to come up with somethin’ more… improvised. I discovered awhile back that if you pour energy into your front shields and are very gentle with the initial contact, you can actually push asteroids with the Bolide. I settled her nose into an impact crater on an asteroid about half the size of the Orion. I poured my power into shields, engines, and a bit into the tractor to keep the rock tight to the shields… and I pushed it right into Chomper. Those Orions are like freakin’ space whales. They can’t move worth sh… uh… worth anything. It smashed right into them, wrecked their engines before they could do anything about it. I knew I want you to know… I knew it wouldn’t destroy them. I didn’t want to. I just wanted to push back a bit… stand up for myself. IN: Since you’ve now had a chance to tell your side of the story, what was your reasoning for accepting this interview? Aren’t you concerned the information you gave today can be used to incriminate you? EP: Ms. Nooyi, I haven’t hidden anything. The sensor data from Chomper, the sensor data from Bolide. It’s clear what happened. I’m not going to avoid punishment. I hope that the judge in my case will take into account the history involved but there’s no need to try and twist the truth. I’m glad no one was hurt. I just wanted a chance to tell folks my side of what happened. Thank you for giving me that chance ma’am. IN: Thank you for sitting down with me this evening, I do wish you the best of luck going forward. I’m Indira Nooyi and this has been another edition of Tic-Talk, thanks for joining us and see you next week.
              Centrelink Mandatory Drug Testing: Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation calls on the Australian Government to stop playing games with people's lives        

    In its drive to universally implement the Cashless Debit Card for all welfare recipients, the Abbott Government first targeted remote indigenous communities to ‘trial’ this income management restrict and control scheme. The Turnbull Government then selected certain low-socio economic urban areas for further trials.

    Now the Liberal-Nationals federal government intends to extend the reach of this card even further and from 1 July 2018 intends to impose compulsory drug testing on 5,000 new recipients of unemployment benefits – with all who test positive for alcohol or drugs being immediately placed on restricted and controlled payments regardless of their personal circumstances.

    All those government MPs and senators cushioned by generous salaries and benefits from life’s vagaries have chosen this group because of the illegality of many of the drugs it will test for, as they think that all Australians will blame those with substance abuse problems and feel comfortable with the idea that they should be punished in some way.

    These MPs and senators do not appear to give a toss that in an effort to eventually control the income support payments of all welfare recipients, it will socially profile and discriminate against a specific group of people with little if any positive outcomes flowing from this discrimination.

    Because it is admitted that cutting off access to cash may exacerbate mental health issues, increase homelessness and lead the desperate into crime.

    The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017 which contains this measure is currently before the federal parliament and, the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee is due to report on this bill on 4 August 2017.

    So a call has gone out……….

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    For 30 years, I served as the head of St Vincent's Hospital Alcohol and Drug Service in Sydney.

    I have treated many thousands of patients trying to rebuild their lives in the face of alcohol and drug problems. Many have been victims of sexual abuse, violence from family members, or other devastating trauma – and most are already living on the margins of society.

    That's why I'm stunned by the government's plan to strip people with alcohol and drug problems of income support payments.1

    Thirty years of experience, backed by research from all over the world, tells me that you can't punish people into recovery. In fact, pushing people into poverty only serves to undermine their chance of recovery – and puts lives at risk.

    Over the coming weeks, Parliament will vote on whether to implement mandatory drug testing. Doctors, nurses and allied health workers – determined to protect patients – are speaking out against the changes.


    Prime Minister Turnbull assures us that the proposal to strip people of income support payments is "based on love".2 That's a hard thing to swallow given his government's failure to consult with addiction medicine experts and lack of evidence to support the trials.

    Mandatory drug testing has already been trialled and abandoned in multiple countries around the world. It's a failed policy that violates our professional commitment to do no harm. This government is forcing doctors to make an impossible choice – to break the law or to hurt our patients.

    I've seen with my own eyes how medical treatment of people struggling with severe alcohol and drug problems must be guided by compassionate care and respect for their human rights.

    Call on the government to stop playing political games with people's lives: https://www.getup.org.au/help-not-harm-petition

    Sincerely,

    Dr Alex Wodak

    President, Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation

    References:

    [1] Drug testing welfare recipients is not about love, Malcolm Turnbull, it's about punishment, The Guardian, 11 May 2017

    [2] Federal budget 2017: Turnbull says welfare drug test policy 'based on love', ABC News, 12 May 2017

    GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations. If you'd like to contribute to help fund GetUp's work, please donate now! To unsubscribe from GetUp, please click here.

    Our team acknowledges that we meet and work on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We wish to pay respect to their Elders - past, present and future - and acknowledge the important role all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within Australia and the GetUp community.

    Authorised by Paul Oosting, Level 14, 338 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



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

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

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

    Current committee membership is as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    While the Director of Utilities at Griffith City Council stated:

    As an engineer I see the great benefits of supporting a scheme such as the Clarence River diversion scheme, not only from a water augmentation point of view. My directorate covers water supply as well as the flooding impacts caused by rainfall run-off. The Clarence River diversion scheme is not only a supply scheme but a flood mitigation solution, as the general manager mentioned. In my research I have referred to the document entitled Lower Clarence Flood Model—Update 2013 produced by BMT WBM consultants. They happen to be the same consultants who undertook our flood study and provided our flood mitigation options. They work across the State and they are well versed in flooding, from the Northern Rivers down to our area.

    The Clarence River catchment on the far North Coast of New South Wales is one of the largest catchments on the east coast of Australia. It is approximately 20,000 square kilometres. It is above the towns of Grafton, Maclean and Yamba, and it is home to more than 20,000 people. The lower Clarence Valley has a long history of flooding, since settlement in about 1850. Bear with me as I read out the dates of the flooding events. I was just going to say a number, but it has more of an impact when you follow the years of flooding that the area has endured due to the large catchment that sits above it. Floods were recorded in 1863 and 1864. There was a record flood in 1890 in which two people lost their lives and there was extensive damage to the rural area. Further floods occurred in 1921 and 1928. Since 1945 the incidence of major flooding has been much higher, with floods occurring in 1945, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1954, 1956, 1959, 1963, 1967, 1968, 1974, 1976, 1980, 1988, 1996, 2001, 2009 and 2013.

    There is a regular occurrence of extreme flooding in the Northern Rivers catchment, below the Clarence River. Section 4.4 of the Lower Clarence Flood Model—Update 2013 acknowledges that "the river flows originating from upstream of Grafton dominate flooding in the Lower Clarence Valley". Diversion of the Clarence River flows for that area towards the west, and the 25 per cent or 23.8 per cent that will be captured, diverted and controlled, will be of great benefit to flood mitigation in the Northern Rivers area. The document further says that it will maximise the investment from the Government not only to help solve water augmentation issues but to reduce the financial and human impacts flooding has in the northern coastal areas. The Clarence River diversion scheme was documented in 1981 by David Coffey and he estimated costings back then. We have done a projection to a present-day cost of approximately $10 billion. There are statistics on the map that I have provided to the Committee.

    The Snowy Mountains scheme would have cost $10 billion in present-day money, so there are similar costings in the schemes. The 1,100 gigalitres diverted per annum from the Clarence River has generated $1.82 billion in agriculture. The scheme means that 23.8 per cent of the flows that would be heading down to flood people can be diverted. When you equate the $550 million a year in flood damages with the cost of a diversion scheme, 1,100 gigalitres can generate $1.8 billion a year in agriculture growth. The additional water means that 118,000 hectares of viable open country can be farmed. The offset of diversion and flood protection is that it is beneficial to all. That is where I will leave it.

    The public hearing in Griffith was reported thus by The Area News on 2 March 2017:

    HIGH-profile Griffith water users and city officials enjoyed a rare opportunity to sit face-to-face with Members of the NSW Upper House on Wednesday to discuss their handling of water….

    The Honourable Rick Colless, The Honourable Paul Green, The Honourable Matthew Mason-Cox and The Honourable Penelope Sharpe were on hand to hear the concerns of the community….

    Along with wanting to fix the water sharing plans, the other hot topic was the Clarence River Scheme, initially conceptualised by David Coffey in the 1970s.

    The plan outlined diverting river flows westward from high rainfall catchments in the Northern Rivers.

    According to Griffith City Council, the scheme will benefit lands south of the Dumaresq River while also providing flows into the Murray River, reducing the reliance for Murray-Darling Basin allocations to fill the original allocation to the basin. 

    “We have looked at various options and we look at the Clarence Valley area where there are millions of millions of megalitres of water flowing out into the sea for what seems to be for no real benefit,” Councilor Dino Zappacosta said.

    Griffith City Council general manager, Brett Stonestreet said it’s time the scheme is looked at again.

    “It provides new water to give this state another shot in the arm,” he said.

    “It also looks at potentially reducing flooding impact of the coastal communities adjacent to the Clarence by 25 per cent.

    “There is a huge amount of money that can be generated and inland communities rediscovered and regenerated through new water.”

    Mayor Dal Broi was pleased with how the inquiry was conducted and the feedback from the Senators.

    “Some of the questions that were asked by the panel members, we know now what they are thinking,” he said.

    “They were very receptive to the concept of new water so whether it's the diversion of the Clarence or lifting the wall on Burrinjuck Dam ... they were very receptive to that because we tried to make the point that the limited resources at the moment.”

    “We need new water if our regions are to grow and have a better long-term sustainable allocation.”

    Not content with bringing down the largest river system in Australia in order to line their own pockets, these wanabee water raiders just keep on coming after what they see as more 'free' water for the rorting.

    Clarence Valley Council gave evidence at the re-opened inquiry on 1 August and the only question of interest to the water raiders came after a few minutes of questioning at Page 26 of the Lismore public hearing transcript:

    The Hon. GREG PEARCE: Thank you for your submission. In your submission you talk about this idea of diversion of the Clarence River to west of the Great Dividing Range. Could you give us a bit of a background on that proposal and what your council thinks about it?

    Mr ANDERSON: I will start but Mr Mashiah might finish. Our council has resolved six times that they do not support the diversion of the Clarence, and each time that has been unanimous in regard to council's position. That is based on the fact that damage to the environment and the ecological systems that work within the Clarence River emerge from there. 

    The CHAIR [Robert Brown MLC, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party]: You probably cannot answer this, but that is an all-encompassing position of council?

    Mr ANDERSON: Yes.

    The CHAIR : I wonder what the council's position would be on the diversion of floodwaters only.

    Mr ANDERSON: Again, Mr Chair, like you said, I cannot answer that question.

    The CHAIR: What I am asking you is that I guess the council's resolutions were not burrowed down to that extent to be able to answer that question. We might ask Clarence council for an opinion on that.

    The Hon. GREG PEARCE: Are those decisions supported by an independent side to pick advice? How were they derived?

    Mr MASHIAH: There was a Healthy Rivers Commission inquiry into the Clarence in I think it was 1999, from memory, and part of the outcome of that commission inquiry was the importance of regular flood events in terms of the fishing industry and also the cane industry. I believe you have representatives from the cane industry here with us later.

    The CHAIR: This afternoon, yes.

    Mr MASHIAH: And also in terms of fisheries, one of the aspects that Clarence Valley Council has been active in for the past 20 years is trying to manage the floodplain to address issues such as acid runoff.

    The CHAIR: Solid sulfate soils.

    Mr MASHIAH: As the sulfate soils and particular acids run off. So we have done things like open floodgates and—

    The CHAIR: And you should be congratulated.

    Mr MASHIAH: Thank you, Mr Chair, for that. I will pass that on to the relevant staff who have been coordinating that. The regular flushing of those areas, which are fish breeding grounds, by floodwaters is very important. So if floods were diverted there are significant concerns from the fishing industry about the ongoing viability of the industry because the grounds where fish breed, according to the studies that have been undertaken, would then be adversely impacted. So that is one of the reasons that the fishing industry has very strongly opposed, through our estuary management committee in particular and through the estuary management plan, any diversion of water and we have tried to ensure that the fish breeding grounds are protected.

    The CHAIR: I just made the observation that most of those fish breeding grounds would not be the same areas of land that are subject to high residential development or business or commercial or other aspects. In other words, you are not talking about the township of Grafton itself, you are talking river peripheries, flooded-out areas, for breeding concerns?

    Mr MASHIAH: The challenge is that the urban footprint on the lower Clarence floodplain is probably about 1 to 2 per cent of the total surface area and all the urban areas are surrounded by rural areas. So it is very hard to work out how you manage that 1 or 2 per cent without adversely impacting the other 98 per cent, or vice versa, how do you manage the 98 per cent without adversely impacting 1 or 2 per cent of urban area?

    The CHAIR: The 2013 flood, you have described it as a major flood, correct?

    Mr MASHIAH: It was the flood of record at Grafton.

    The CHAIR: I am wondering how the 2013 flood would have enhanced the fishery on the Clarence?

    Mr MASHIAH: The main issue with the 2013 flood—I guess with any flood in the Clarence the flood behaviour in the upper river is a lot different to the flood behaviour in the lower river because of the tidal influences in particular and also how wet the floodplain is already. The 2013 event was actually three floods.

    The CHAIR: And they rolled up on each other?

    Mr MASHIAH: Yes, within a three-week period—quite distinct flood events.

    The CHAIR: So it was a prolonged flood.

    Mr MASHIAH: It was a prolonged flood and that meant there was significant inundation of back swamp areas, and I understand that there were some areas that effectively were areas that were flushed that had not been flushed in floods probably since 2001, so it is probably 12 years. So from an ecological perspective, talking to our environmental scientists, I understand that it was actually quite beneficial because the bigger floods only get into those areas once every 10 to 20 years.

    The CHAIR: Were there any concurrent blackwater events for the fishery?

    Mr MASHIAH: Not that I can recall, and I think that is a result of the management measures that have been undertaken on the floodplain because most of the farmers now operate the floodgates and so only shut the floodgates when there is actually a flood coming and open them fairly soon afterwards.

    The CHAIR: So it is their responsibility to operate their own floodgates, is it?

    Mr MASHIAH: That has been passed on to them, yes.

    The CHAIR: Do you have any oversight of that?

    Mr ANDERSON: Yes, we do, and we work with those groups and undertake training et cetera . It is a two-way street of communication: they tell us what they need and, vice versa, we provide training associated with that and inductions and operate that through a number of committees et cetera as well.

    Evidence was also given by the NSW Professional Fishermen’s Association (commencing Page 38) the NSW Canegrowers Association (commencing Page 45) and the Clarence Environment Centre (commencing Page 56).


    One has to wonder why the committee members of this reformed Water Augmentation Inquiry didn't seek the views of those holding Native Title (See Yaegl People #1 Yaegl People #2) over the Clarence River from the waters approximately half-way between Ulmarra and Brushgrove right down to the eastern extremities of the northern and southern breakwater walls at the mouth of the river.

    After all they are significant stakeholders in any discussion of water policy and water management in the Clarence River catchment area.

    The other matter of note, arising from North Coast Voices somewhat belated discovery that the water raiders were back on the scene, is the suggestion that not all Clarence Valley councillors had forewarning that council staff were appearing before the inquiry on 1 August.

    If true this would be a disturbing indication that council administration has retained some of the bad habits it acquired under the former general manager who was handed his hat in March this year.


              Why are we still refusing to fully honour the spiritual and cultural relationship that traditional owners have to the land in Australia?        

    It doesn’t matter to the Turnbull Government that science declares that Aboriginal Australia has existed since time immemorial or that indigenous culture has existed on this continent longer than any other culture which is now part of multicultural Australia -  it stubbornly refuses to genuinely honour the spiritual and cultural relationship that traditional owners have with the land.

    June 15, 2017

    MEDIA RELEASE
    14 June 2017
    Traditional Owners slam passage of Native Title amendments
    Traditional Owners fighting Adani’s proposed coal mine have expressed profound disappointment at the passage of Attorney General Brandis’ amendments to the Native Title Act, stressing that while Mabo’s legacy has been diminished they will continue to fight for their rights.
    Senior spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, Adrian Burragubba, says, “Adani’s problems with the Wangan and Jagalingou people are not solved this week. The trial to decide the fate of Adani’s supposed deal with the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners is scheduled for the Federal Court in March 2018.
    “Our people are the last line of legal defence against this mine and its corrosive impact on our rights, and the destruction of country that would occur.
    “Senator Brandis has been disingenuous in prosecuting his argument for these changes to native title laws, while the hands of native title bureaucrats and the mining lobby are all over the outcome.
    “This swift overturning of a Federal Court decision, without adequate consultation with Indigenous people, was a significant move, not a mere technical consideration as the Turnbull Government has tried to make out.
    “It is appalling and false for George Brandis to pretend that by holding a ‘workshop’ with the CEOs of the native title service bodies, he has the unanimous agreement of Traditional Owners across Australia. No amount of claimed ‘beseeching’ by the head of the Native Title Council, Glen Kelly, can disguise this.
    “The public were not properly informed about the bill, and nor were Indigenous people around the country, who were not consulted and did not consent to these changes.
    “We draw the line today. We declare our right to our land. There is no surrender. There is no land use agreement. We are the people from that land. We’re the rightful Traditional Owners of Wangan and Jagalingou country, and we are in court to prove that others are usurping our rights”, he said.
    Spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, Ms Murrawah Johnson, says, “Whatever else this change does, we know that the Turnbull Government went into overdrive for Adani’s interests.
    “Brandis’ intervention in our court case challenging the sham ILUA was about Adani. Most of what Senator Matt Canavan had to say in argueing his ill-informed case for native title changes was about Adani. The Chairman of Senate Committee inquiring into the bill, Senator Ian McFarlane, referring to the native title amendments as “the Adani bill” was about Adani. And the PM telling Chairman Gautam Adani that he’d fix native title was about Adani”.
    “We are continuing to fight Adani in court and our grounds are strong. If anyone tells you this is settled because the bill was passed, they are lying”, she said.
    Adrian Burragubba says, “The Labor Opposition seems to understand this, even though they supported passage of the bill. Senator Pat Dodson went so far as to say this bill does not provide some kind of green light for the Adani mine, as some suggest.
    “Pat Dodson acknowledged that W&J have several legal actions afoot against Adani and we are glad that in the midst of this dismal response to the rights of Indigenous people some MPs, including the Greens who voted against the bill, recognise the serious claim we have to justice.
    Mr Dodson said in the Senate that: “most of this litigation will be entirely unaffected by the passage of this bill. In particular, there are very serious allegations of fraud that have been made against Adani regarding the processes under which agreements with the Wangan and Jagalingou people were purportedly reached. And those proceedings, which may impact on the validity of any ILUA, will only commence hearings in March next year. Other legal action is also underway, including a case challenging the validity of the licences issued by the Queensland government.”
    This week researchers from the University of Queensland released a report titled ‘Unfinished Business: Adani, the state, and the Indigenous rights struggle of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council‘.
    For more information and to arrange interviews:  Anthony Esposito, W&J Council advisor – 0418 152 743.


              Lindsay's Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1) by Libba Bray        
    A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
    Book One in the Gemma Doyle Series
    Published on December 9th, 2003 by Simon and Schuster
    Young Adult | Fantasy | Historical Fiction
    403 Pages
    Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
    A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

    Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother's death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls' academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique.

    Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy.
    As much as I hate to admit it, I'm a sucker for cute, cheesy romance books without a whole lot of substance. I thought it would be hard to read this book because romance was not the main plot, but I was pleasantly surprised.

    A long time ago I remember reading one of the books in the series that my older sister let me borrow. I'm not quite sure which one it was, but even though I don't remember much, I'm left with fond memories of the beautiful place where the girls go. Something about it kept drawing me to this book so I finally picked it up.

    Gemma is a wonderful main character. In the times where she's meant to be a proper lady who never speaks her mind, she struggles with keeping her opinions to herself and acting the way she's supposed to. On top of that she's very cunning, making the exchanges with the other girls very interesting and exciting to read because of how the pages turn with her choices.

    Her friends, who you dislike at the start of the novel, become very real when you get to know them as Gemma's friends later on. They have valid reasons for the things they do, and even though sometimes they say things that are blatantly uncalled for, you get where they're coming from because of the lives they lived.

    Even though the characters were very realistic and relatable, I felt like parts of the world were missing. I couldn't imagine the clothes they wore in that time, what the places in London were like. Maybe it's just me, but I had trouble putting images around the characters because of so.

    One problem I had, and I'll try to be vague to keep from spoiling, was what happened at the end. I felt like the chapter touching on it should have been longer and more in-depth for such a big twist, but instead it kind of rushed by. When something big happens you want to know the details, to read what's happening to other characters, but it was over in a few measly pages and then shortly after the book ended. It might be the writer in me overreacting, but I really wanted more.

    A Great and Terrible Beauty sucked me right in, making it nearly impossible for me to put down. Even though there was a romance only as a minor sub plot, I hardly noticed it. The book kept me flipping pages to find out what happens after each twist and I honestly can't wait to get my hands on the next one.

              Tori's Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver        
    Panic by Lauren Oliver
    Series: None
    Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
    Rating: â™šâ™šâ™šÂ½
    Pages: 408
    Published by HarperCollins on March 4, 2014
    Amazon | B&N
    Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

    Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

    Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

    For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.
    I expected a lot from this book. I didn't get exactly what I was hoping for, but I wasn't disappointed either. The pace was decent, and the plot was sort of thrilling. The characters were typical, but I connected with them a bit as in they made decisions that seemed realistic and matched their personalities. In a way, the characters made the plot predictable, but not too terribly so. The world-building, in all, was pretty good, and I wasn't left hanging.

    This book had been raved about a lot, therefore I was expecting something spectacular. Sadly, Panic is pretty average. The pace wasn't fast paced, but it wasn't slow either. A bit slow at first, but after the first 50-60 pages, it picks up more. I read it in a single night, because I had to know what was going to happen to Heather and Dodge next. It was a page turner for sure!

    Dodge was dodgy to me. Really. I like an unreliable narrator though, so I sort of liked Dodge. The one thing that really got to me about him was that he was obsessed with Nat, Heather's (the main character's) best friend. It was cute at first, but after so long I got irritated with him and his infatuation. The same thing goes for Heather and her obsession/infatuation with her ex-boyfriend Matt. There was this line at the beginning of the novel that I felt was extremely true.

    There's just something about her.

    Something about her. Which meant: Nothing about you.

    I felt like that is how a lot of girls feel after a guy uses the line, "It's not you; it's me." Not the same line, but still. Same meaning. Trying to pin the blame on themselves or some imaginary force that doesn't exist. Heather just seems so dead set on being with Matt. It's sort of sickening, and it got annoying. Plus, the players' motives for participating in Panic didn't really fly with me. Their backgrounds/histories were a bit shady, which ultimately made them shady as characters.

    The one character I liked through and through was Biship. His motives were a bit predictable and cheesy, but in the end I liked him a lot more than the other characters. I originally thought I'd like Dodge, but I ended up not liking him as much. I liked Bishop more than Dodge.

    On the world-building side of the story, it was good. There was a page or two in the beginning that explained the background of the city Carp. Usually, this wouldn't work since it would be considered a form of info-dumping, but since the book is written in third person (she, he, they), I think it worked out a lot better than if it was in first person (I, me, we).

    Panic was nothing like I expected. I thought it was going to be more action-y and adventurous, but it ended up being thrilling and suspenseful, maybe even a bit mysterious. I'd recommend it to people who have liked Oliver's previous works since the writing is still really good as well as people that are just interested in the synopsis in general. I don't think you'll be too disappointed with Panic if you're already interested in reading it. I think I'll leave this review with my favorite quote.

    "That's the thing about trust. You don't know [if you can trust me]."

              CBI attack 'Greenest Government Ever' for feed-in tariff cuts        
    Cuts in feed-in tariffs being brought in before a government consultation has even ended, will lead to the loss of thousands of jobs according to the CBI.
    Channel 4 News are reporting that John Cridland, the CBI director general has warned that the low-carbon sector risks being de-railed by the move and calls it the "the latest in a string of government own goals."

    For a Party that claimed they would be the greenest government ever, the Conservatives have a funny way of going about it. Proposing to put the traffic speed limit up to 80mph, threatening to sell-off our forests, culling badgers, the list goes on...

    Only last month a group of the country's leading environmental groups criticised the government for only managing to meet two of their 16 green pledges.

    It seems the government need to start acting on the promises that helped get them elected in the first place. That said, anyone gullible enough to think that the Conservatives were really going to be the champions of the environment were only fooling themselves. An emblem with a tree on it shouldn't have fooled anyone.
              Osborne's attempt to discredit Robin Hood Tax is a bit rich        
    George Osborne has complained to his fellow European finance ministers that they're wasting time debating a financial transaction tax because he believes pensioners will pay for it rather than bankers.

    Good to see our Chancellor fighting the cause for pensioners. He's always got their interests at heart. Like when he changed the rate of indexation from RPI to CPI costing pensioners on average between £2,250 and £2,500 per year and wiping off £75 billion off the value of private sector pensions. Not to mention the millions of public sector workers his government are currently seeking to make work longer and pay more for less pension.

    It is somewhat galling therefore that he seeks to reject a progressive tax that would raise £30bn to fight poverty by painting himself as some kind of defender of pensioners.

    He doesn't see the point of discussing it as it will not be unilaterally agreed. He ignores a report by Bill Gates that cites that the tax would work even if it wasn't agreed by all countries. He ignores faith leaders such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Pope and Desmond Tutu, and he ignores a global movement of more than 220 million people who are calling for it to help the world's poor and allow the banks to atone for creating the current financial crisis.

    France, Germany and Brazil among others can hold their heads up high in the knowledge that their government's back this tax. I for one am ashamed that my government doesn't just not support it, but out-rightly seeks to disingenuously undermine it.

    Again, Osborne is out to protect the interests of the wealthy few rather than the millions suffering from poverty.

    The Robin Hood Tax campaign does a good job of refuting Osborne's bias against the tax on their website.



              Are Number 10 e-petition debates really a good thing?        
    MPs are to debate e-petitions on the Number 10 website after David Cameron said that all petitions with over 100,000 signatures should be debated in the Commons. This has to be a good thing for democracy - right?

    Well, I certainly welcome one of the debates that's now been scheduled which is calling for the release of full range of documents relating to the Hillsborough football stadium tragedy. In fact, I was one of the 138,613 that have signed this so far.

    However, the other that's to be debated is of a rather more worryingly reactionary bent in that it seeks the cessation of benefits for anyone convicted of an offence during the London riots. This one has received almost a quarter of a million votes, making it by the far the most signed on the site.

    So what can we expect to see coming forward from this initiative? Will it be righteous causes looking to make the way the country is governed more transparent and accountable or will it be a foothold for frothing at the mouth, angry reactionaries and their ill conceived views on what makes a just society? 

    Some 20,000 signatures have already been put to paper (or rather screen) to bring back capital punishment. Fortunately almost 10,000 more petitioners have signed the one calling for its ban to remain. Hopefully that gives us an indication that two-thirds of the country aren't actually bonkers. Which, when you think about it, is probably about right. Problem is, they're just not always the loudest.

    If the most popular e-petition under the last government had been debated, the hapless Gordon Brown would have been faced with a debate calling on him to stand down. So it could be said that Cameron is a brave man for peddling this initiative. However, he's surely safe in the knowledge that Commons' debates rarely lead to any earth shattering change in direction for governments. Therefore this could prove a good way for him to look like he's opening the door to a new kind of politics when really it's nothing of the sort. 

    I suppose the good news is that you no longer have to be a wealthy donor to have an impact on what's debated in Westminster, you just need to find 99,999 other people that agree with you. Then again if you don't have that kind of influence you could always try the old fashioned route of writing to your constituency MP to ask them to raise your concerns in Parliament.

    If I could chose one of the current petitions to get a proper debate it would be the petition calling for public and private pensions to be linked back to RPI rather than the less favourable CPI. The move to CPI in April will see an increasingly poor standard of living for pensioners at a time when fuel and food prices are rising dramatically. Sign it now and let' see if it leads to the government being put on the spot about an issue that really impacts on millions of people's day-to-day lives.

              Energy firm in powerful pledge to Oxford workforce        
    POWER generation firm Drax has pledged its commitment to its 100 staff in Oxford, saying it plans to expand its base here.
              Access to Knowledge is Power        
    Access to knowledge is power. An easy thing to say but a difficult concept to grasp when we in North America live with a device attached to us at all times. We have the power to learn and to explore the world at our fingertips and we often forget how powerful that is – until […]
          

              EPSA 2015: The Public Sector as Partner for a Better Society - by Julia Bosse, Michael Burnett, Susanne Møller Nielsen, Claude Rongione, Harrie Scholtens        

    Under the theme “The Public Sector as Partner for a Better Society”, the EPSA 2015 gathered and rewarded those ground-breaking and evidenced solutions of public administrations facing current (European, if not worldwide) challenges related to areas such as migration and integration, health and educational sectors, the labour market, energy, the environment and demographics coupled with pressures on welfare budgets and general budgetary constraints.

    A total of 266 projects from 36 European countries and European institutions were submitted, which shows that working in partnership is a necessity for all levels of public administrations across Europe in order to contribute to and take the lead towards a better society.

    This publication highlights the trends identified from the EPSA 2015 practice-front in order to share best practice elements with the readers – as a source of inspiration for their own change projects. Thus, this publication presents a first analysis and taster of the novel solutions applied by public administrations across Europe.

    It is split into two parts: An EPSA 2015 Trends & Practices Report analysing the best practices and successful elements identified in the EPSA submissions, which are of interest to other public administrations looking for solutions on how to address current challenges. Common elements, enablers and barriers are pin-pointed during this analysis. The general findings and common trends across the two administrative categories are sketched out in the joint conclusions at the end of this report.

    The second part of this publication contains the Best Practices Catalogue, which comprises the EPSA 2015 statistics and the edited executive summaries of the 64 best practices (9 nominees and 55 additional Best Practice Certificate recipients) with the contact details of the EPSA 2015 winners, nominees and best practice certificate recipients to allow the reader to directly contact the public sector innovators behind the rewarded projects and thus encourage joint learning and knowledge transfer.  

    In conclusion, this publication contains inspirational and working solutions which are ready to be adapted to and replicated by the readers’ public sector institutions in their own administrative cultures and systems.


              EU Law-making in Principle and Practice - by Edward Best        
    Series: Routledge/EIPA Managing the European Union Series

    EU Law-making in Principle and Practice offers a coherent overview of how particular pieces of EU law are produced and shows how they are adopted, from start to finish, resulting in an account of the process which is of both practical and academic interest. The title presents a holistic view of EU law-making using an adapted ‘policy cycle’, giving a concise account of the principles and practicesinvolved in policy initiation, legislative decision-making, and delegated and implementing acts, as well as considering EU law-making in the perspective of good governance. The title includes many procedural details, as well as illustrative examples, which are not found in other books.

    TABLE OF CONTENTS:
    Part 1
    Preface and acknowledgements. List of illustrations.

    Part 2 
    1. Introduction: EU Law-Making and the Policy Cycle
    2. Policy Initiation: the European Commission
    3. Legislative Decision-Making: the Parliament and the Council 
    4. Delegated and Implementing Acts 
    5  Case Study:the EU Timber Regulation 
    6. Conclusions: EU Law-Makingand EU Governance 

    Part 3 Annexes 
    Annex 1. EU legallybinding acts (2010-2012) 
    Annex 2. Special legislativeprocedures: indicative overview 
    Annex 3. Non-legislativeprocedures for the adoption of legally binding acts directlybased on treaty articles

    For more information visit:
    www.routledge.com/9789292030148
    You can also order the book directly at: http://www.routledge.com/9789292030148 
    and get 20% Discount with this flyer 

              VOYAGEUR 50 MILE TRAIL RUN RACE REPORT        

    On Saturday I finished my 7th Voyageur 50 Mile Trail Run. Voyageur is really a special race. Even though the race grew by over 100 runners over last year, to 340 starters this year, it still has the small home-town feel as well as a family feel.  The first year I ran Voyageur in 2004, there were 85 starters!  Yes, 85. I know so many of the people who run Voyageur or who are volunteering , it is just like an ultra family reunion.

    I stayed with Jean and Jody. Jody would be running her first 50 mile race! Woot!

    We stayed at Black Bear Casino. It was clean, it wasn’t very noisy, but oh man, the smoke!  I hadn’t thought about the fact that Casino’s allow smoking. Ugh. Our room was ‘smoke free’ but the cigarette smoke penetrated the non smoking room.  I won’t stay there again.

    Race morning was beautiful, 48F with  a promise of mid 70s with clear skies. The promise didn’t disappoint!

    At the start there were so many friends!  Hugs, kisses, photos, it was like a family reunion.  I dropped a few Ziplocs off at the drop bag stations incase I might want to use gloves or spikes through the powerlines. I never did need them.

    Greg and I were going to run the first few hours together. He felt he went out too fast last year and wanted to hang with me as I don’t go out to fast. Ever. I just don’t go fast period.  We ended up running the first two hours together. It was so great to hear about his trip out West to crew/pace Bob while running and finishing HardRock!  The miles went by quickly.

    There were a few bunch ups along the first section out to Jay Cooke and the swinging bridge. I don’t recall this in the past. There was some mud, some water and a few rocky climbs. It was holding people up. We stood around and waited. No rush!





    After running over the swinging bridge we came into Aid Station 1. Woo!  It is so much fun to run along and see friends volunteering. With so many aid stations I really have to watch the clock to make sure I’m not spending too much time visiting! There were 9 aid stations, which you hit twice which means loads of time to spend hanging about talking. I just have so much fun though and love these people so much. I can’t help myself.

    Shelly was there with Greg’s bag, switching out bottles, asking what he needed. I had a full Nathan vest on so didn’t need anything. It was getting warm and humid. We moved on through and began the run toward the powerlines.

    When we ran into Aid Station 3, Peterson’s, I had a Ziploc bag there. I grabbed my gloves from the bag just incase I needed them for grabbing vegetation to hold onto while climbing the powerlines, if they were muddy and slick. Rick was  pouring water and was going to fill my pack while I still wore it upon my back. All was going well until he dropped the pitcher of water. BRRR!  Down my back/butt it went. It was freezing!  We had a good laugh and off we went!

    The miles were going by quickly. We were going to be heading into the powerlines soon. Guess who we run into, Andrew and Ed!  So funny. We have a little game going on this year, since Psycho Wyco.  They are in front of me, I catch them, they try to beat me to the finish. They succeeded at PW, not at Chippewa, and now at Voyageur. So much fun, really!!  I couldn’t contain my laughter and smiles.

    Aid Station 4 Grand Portage, entry to the powerlines. As I was running  toward the station I spied Jean on her bike!  It was so good to see her and get a hug. She was there to support Jody and thought she should be coming in soon. She took a few photos, I emptied my gels, mixed a bottle of UCAN as was on my way.




    The powerlines weren’t muddy! I didn’t need the spikes or the gloves. I was able to climb them just fine and pick my way down. Greg had some nifty poles, I might look into a pair. After we climbed the first few powerlines I asked Greg if he’d like to go in front of me as I was picking my way along more slowly and looked like he could really move. He went off ahead and I didn’t see him again until I was coming into the turnaround,  as he was about two miles ahead.  He was moving well!

    As I was climbing along I ran into Casey, who I haven’t seen since Superior 100, 2006, I believe. We talked and laughed, caught up a bit. It was so good to see him again.

    I felt really great. My legs felt strong, my breathing was good, no problems, I was so thankful to be able to do this race, to spend a long day in the woods. I gave thanks. I thought about how fortunate I was to be able to do this. I really love it.

    Before I knew it I was out of the powerlines and running toward yet another aid station. Amazing. They were all over the place. Wearing my vest was overkill. I really only needed a handheld bottle, which is what I normally use. With Superior 100 on the horizon, a vest is a practice measure.

    I began to run alone. Even with over 300 people on the trail we had spread about and I enjoyed the solo time. I was taking care of myself, consuming salt tablets, nutrition and plenty of water. I wasn’t in any pain. I was just smiling, spending time in the moment, feeling joy. I hadn’t even thought about  listening to music.

    I was coming in on Fond du Lac and knew that Doug and Maria would be at this station. I couldn’t wait!  I ran in and saw all of the ducks that Todd had placed in the water. So cute!  Big blow up duckies. What a treat!  I hugged and caught up with Maria for a few minutes, congratulated her on NeverSummer 100K and then had to get a move on.  I ran through the water, petted a blow up duck and hit the trail.

    Becks Road was coming up next. UMTR aids this station so I knew I’d see many friends there as well. As I came in there were many hugs and photos. Matt, Amy, Willow, Rob, so many that I am not listing because I still have ‘ultra brain’. Rob asked me to try a pickle. I did, it was really good!  I had a few cups of Coke and headed across the road. Good times!

    I felt like I was running from one group of friends to another group of friends; strung together by a wonderful trail.  This was really great.

    The woods were beautiful. There had been plenty of rain this summer, everything was green and lush, most of the horse holes were filled in with thick grass and running was pretty easy. I was keeping my heart rate under 140 without a problem, running about an 11-12 minute mile most of the time. I was going to be running into Skyline Parkway next and knew that I had a drop bag there. I could get rid of the spikes I had been hauling and the gloves. Shelly was going to drop my bottle here, too, so I could mix another bottle of UCAN. The UCAN, a few gels, some watermelon and Coke seemed to work well for me.

    The water crossing were not real deep, but deep enough to cool my feet. I couldn’t believe I didn’t feel any blisters yet. This year I haven’t had any blisters at all.  This may be due to the Altras I’ve been wearing. I usually have at least some hot spots.

    I came into Skyline and Brook and Mike said someone came through asking if anyone knew Julie Berg. Shelly had dropped my bottle for me!  How thoughtful. They handed it off to me, I dug around in my bag and prepared a bottle of UCAN. I dropped the spikes and gloves, chugged the bottle and headed out. It was so much fun to see everyone. I began to climb the road section, knowing that I’d be at the turnaround soon.

    The cut-off for the turnaround at the Zoo is 7 hours. I figured I’d be there by 6. No problem. The sun was warm now, we were exposed along the road. Much of this part was a climb before heading down into the Zoo. I walked along, climbing climbing climbing. Pretty soon I was at Spirit Mountain. It is so cool to run along the face of the ski hills, looking down at the Lake Superior, looking up at the chair lifts. I enjoyed it so much. As I was running along many of my friends were running back toward me. I love the out and back on this course. I never meet anyone in the powerlines where the trail is narrow. I usually meet the bulk of the runners along the wider paths going into the turnaround. I saw so many friends, stopped to chat, hug, talk, then run along. I couldn’t stop smiling. I felt blessed. I am.

    At the turnaround I spied Jean!  She asked me how I felt so good, how could I be having so much fun? I tried to explain it to her-that I just really, really enjoyed spending the day in the woods, how much I love to run, how great it is to reconnect with friends. I don’t know if I was able to explain this well enough to her. She told me she was expecting Jody soon, I was thrilled!  I filled up my bladder, emptied out a few gel packs, consumed was watermelon and told Jean I had to head out. She took a few more pictures and I began the long climb back up Spirit Mountain.

    I began to notice a feeling kind of like shin splints in my left leg. That’s weird. Maybe it was the walking, climbing out from the turnaround. I haven’t had shin splints for years, I couldn’t really understand the feeling in my leg. Maybe my sock or gaitor was too tight. I haven’t been walking that much. I found that it hurt more to walk than it did to jog, so I began to jog up the hills. That helped for a while.

    I dug out my iPod and figured I’d listen to some music to distract myself. Unfortunatley I think my iPod decided to die on this day. I kept messing with it but couldn’t get it to work. I have had it since 2007!  I asked a guy running along to take a look at it, turns out his last name was Berg, too!  He couldn’t get it to work, he was willing to GIVE ME HIS iPod (really!), then we tried my iPhone in airplane mode. That worked fine, so I listened to music for a while. Thank you Mr. Berg!

    I popped back into Skyline, was happy to get off of the exposed road and ready to hit the trail again. I dug around in my bag, grabbed a few cliff blocks, said hello and goodbye to Brook and Mike and was on my way.

    The trail to Becks Road was quiet!  I only saw a few other people during this time. It was such a beautiful day. I was running well, feeling good, feeling so thankful for this day..and then the left leg would remind me that it was not happy.

    I was beginning to lose the ability to push off with my left foot. It felt stiff. I ran into Becks, had some more coke, thanked everyone and pushed on.

    Maria was coming up next at Fond du Lac so I was going to ask her for advice. I’d get this gaitor off and see what was going on under it. When I looked down at my leg it looked a little bit swollen, but none more than usual after 30 miles..you know?

    I came into the aid station and asked if I could sit in the chair. I never sit in the chair!  I plopped down and told Maria and Doug I had to get my gaitor off. Maria asked Troy to retrieve her BioFreeze. I told  her I felt like I had a shin splint or something. I was was flexing my foot up, feeling my shin, I told her it felt like tendonitis. She removed the gaitor, I told her to throw it away. She placed it into a baggie and said she’d wash it and maybe she’d sell it on EBAY. How much can we get for a Julie Berg gaitor she asked? It was hilarious. I sat there laughing! The BioFreeze felt good, I got up and was able to walk ok. Maria walked me out of the aid station and off I went!

    The next section has some crazy climbing with ropes going up hills to grab, now I’d be going down very steeply. I knew this could be rough without any flex in my foot. I tried to keep it steady as I took teeny tiny steps down the steep downs. Ouch. Now it hurt. What the heck? Shin splints are dumb. Go away.

    I moved on, still found that running felt better than walking so jogged the uphills and picked my way down them, trying not to flex my foot. I decided to take a few Advil to see if that would take the edge off. It didn’t. That kind of concerned me.

    The course flattened out a bit, I was able to run pretty well in sections before climbing back through the powerlines. I knew it would be difficult with this stiff foot hanging behind me. I just couldn’t flex it. I never thought that this might be anything more than soreness from shin splints, a bit of tendonitis. I knew that shin splints go away pretty much as soon as I’m done running, I’ve had them before.

    I found that I could still run downhill pretty well. There were long long downhills that I was able to run along pretty quickly, again passing Ed and Andrew. Ha!  Good times!  I really was having a blast and kind of tucked my pain away into another crevice of my mind. I just wasn’t going to think about it.

    The powerlines were pretty warm now. Climbing was great, coming down was a bit difficult without flexing my foot. Oh well. It wasn’t too bad. It was getting real warm. The powerlines are exposed so I was heating up. I took a few more salt tabs.  Drank some more water, began to think about Coke  at Peterson’s!  I was only about 10 miles from the finish.

    I came into Peterson’s, so excited for Coke!  I drank 2 cups, had a gel, knowing the sugar and caffeine was going to be like rocket fuel for me. It was. I was able to really run quickly on the flats, enjoying the experience.

    Jay Cooke!  I couldn’t believe that I was at the final aid station. I gave out hugs and thanks, drank some more  Coke and ran across the bridge. I was really excited I was going to finish around 13 hours with this leg thing which had held me back.  The last section is the most difficult for me. Not so difficult at the beginning, miles 1-3, but difficult at the end, miles 47-50. It is rocks, roots, steep scrambles over boulders and just painful. It also feels like it goes on forever.

    I kept smiling, knowing I had almost made it. I moved very slowly, all of those people that I had passed were passing me now. Even Ed and Andrew came along. I had to laugh, told them I’d see them at the finish. Now I was getting concerned, I was dragging my foot along, it was not letting me move it at all. What the hell?

    I had to scooch down onto my butt to get down some of the rocky ledges, trying to hold my foot straight. My shin was pretty swollen now. What in the world. Dumb shin splints. I finally came up to the bridge, walked across the bridge and up onto the bike path. I tried to run and couldn’t even run on the bike path. Hmmmm….not good.  My foot was not having it. Another person passed me. Oh man. I grimaced and kept on.  I made the turn and could see the finish line!

    Oh happy day!  I blocked out the pain and jogged toward the end. I could hear all of the bells, the Julie Bergs!, the clapping and cheering. So much fun!  I crossed the finish line in just over 13 hours. Thank goodness!!  Jean and Jody took pictures; Jody made it to 40 miles before she was pulled-her longest run!!! So awesome!! She felt good! Big hugs for all of  my friends, Greg finished in 12 something, was doing well, it was one big party. I feel so grateful to be a part of this community, it really is special.




    I visited for an hour or so and decided to head for home. I have about a 2.5 hour drive. I had some cramping on the way, didn’t stop, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to walk on my foot, it felt stiff.



    Sunday my leg was red and swollen. I hobbled around, able to make it to Church and grocery shopping. Monday I couldn’t place weight on it.  Red, swollen, intense pain. I was sure it was broken now. How could have I run on a broken leg? Did I cross that damn line again between fun and injury again? No way. It didn’t feel that bad at the time. I thought it was a shin splint. Or tendonitis. Ugh.

    I went to the clinic on Monday and learned I have a thing; cellulitis, a skin infection. The MD diagnosed it right away. I told him I really thought I broke something. Nope, it’s a skin infection. He drew a line around the red swollen area and told me if it grew out of this line I needed to go to the ER. He prescribed antibiotics that I’ve been taking for three days now. The redness is gone. I still can’t walk on it, can’t place any weight upon it which seems odd to me. The swelling is going down. I’m unable to flex my foot.  I can’t help but think I have cellulitis AND a fracture. It’s very painful. The MD doesn’t believe the run had anything to do with the infection. The infection just came out while I was running. If it had come out a day earlier I wouldn’t have been running. Very strange.

    Oh well, I otherwise have felt great after this race. No muscle soreness, no blisters, no other pains. Awesome recovery. I guess I was in pretty good 50 mile shape! 













              Comment on Goddesses and Rape: The Issue is That we Have Raped Devotion Itself! by Desh Kapoor        
    If I dont answer I am in trouble? LOL. How so? Will send some bouncers to teach me a lesson? Who I think is Shiva? How will that matter? You seem to have decided who he is and anything I say may run counter to what you have already decided of him. Then what? You will say that is my belief and this is your belief. Right? So its really useless. But let me humor ourselves for some - In the Yogic lore, Shiva is not a “god” at least not in the way people have made him out to be. I have been to Kedarnath and Kailash and whatever I have experienced there – EXPERIENCED is the key word here ok? – helps me appreciate Shiva as the complete source of Spiritual / Cosmic knowledge. My Guru has said he manifests Shiva. I have experienced him more during the many sessions – specially when he takes you beyond physical and mental world. Based on my experience of my Guru, I tend to understand Shiva. He is not a calendar god who is shown in TV serials. I find that simply restricted by belief. If what my Guru manifests is Shiva, then Shiva is the primordial self/consciousness. Whatever I experienced in that state (where Sadhguru takes us to the point where we can experience the enlightened world in a special program) cannot be explained and is far humongous than any explanation. It more huge than I could imagine huge to be… he/it was everywhere… I cannot explain it in words in any way. That, is Shiva for me. Are you alive – is a very important question. You are taking that lightly. And the reason why I asked that was because you were on and on about how a seeker doesn’t know anything and came up with your own caricature of Arjun and Krishna. As for what Sadhguru means by a Seeker, I know fully well. Not only has he read my posts but has personally agreed to work on a project with me, where he will guide me as I write a book on just this subject! So stop trying to trying to do your patronizing crap with me here. Look Ram – or whatever your name is – I know your gam