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.
          Gli infiniti possibili di Giorgio Sollazzi, musicista        
All'epoca ero molto ingenuo e molto presuntuoso e pensavo di poter scrivere “recensioni” di grandi opere musicali del passato. Le pubblicavo su un sito commerciale (che esiste ancora oggi). Quando mi venivano bene, erano “schede" molto pedantesche, contenenti le stesse informazioni che si possono trovare su una qualsiasi garzantina. Infatti, qualche anno dopo, quando Wikipedia arrivò in Italia, smisi di farmi sfruttare dal sito commerciale e trovai quella che probabilmente è la mia vera vocazione internettiana.

Ad ogni modo fu sul sito commerciale che conobbi Giorgio Sollazzi. Anche lui scriveva recensioni. Con la prima, importante differenza che lui è musicista, e quindi sa di cosa scrive, e con una seconda differenza: le sue recensioni erano avvincenti, estrose, godibilissime, anche e soprattutto quando sembrava che non avessero nulla a che fare col brano musicale che - in teoria - ne costituiva l'oggetto. Le recensioni di Giorgio non parlavano precisamente né del brano musicale “in sé”, né della sua ricezione da parte dell'ascoltatore-recensore. Si situavano, piuttosto, in qualche punto lungo la relazione fra questi due elementi, come un acrobata in equilibrio su un filo, o come uno dei fuochi di due specchi parabolici contrapposti. Non per niente “mirrors” (con la m minuscola) era il nickname che Giorgio si era scelto.

A un certo punto Giorgio uscì dal sito e cancellò il suo account. Dev'essere per questo che, cercando ora qualcuna delle meravigliose recensioni di mirrors, non ne trovo nessuna. Qualche tempo dopo si iscrisse nuovamente con un altro nickname e cominciò a pubblicare recensioni di forma più tradizionale, ma sempre molto belle, come ad esempio questa, sulla settima di Beethoven.

L'interpretazione verbale di un brano musicale è sempre un grosso azzardo. "Scrivere di musica è come ballare di architettura", diceva Frank Zappa. Le descrizioni che amo di più sono quelle di musiche inesistenti, come la sonata di Vinteuil in Proust o le composizioni immaginate da Thomas Mann nel Doktor Faustus. Proust mescolava genialmente le carte, inventandosi una sonata per violino e pianoforte che prendeva un po' dalla Sonata in re minore di César Franck, un po' da un quintetto di Saint-Saëns, senza essere né l'una né l'altro; in piena coerenza, d'altronde, con la sua estetica, dove non esistono "descrizioni" "realistiche" del "mondo esterno". Quanto a Mann, Arnold Schönberg s'inalberò quando seppe che la sua musica aveva ispirato quella del romanzo, al punto da pretendere una smentita da parte dello scrittore. E dal suo punto di vista Schönberg aveva anche ragione, in quanto Mann interpretava la dodecafonia come un fenomeno di dissoluzione morale, che era quanto di più lontano dagli intenti del severo musicista.

Ma anche divagare è un'arte, che a me non riesce: ci provo inutilmente, per poi subito ricadere nel mio solito modo di scrivere pedestre e nozionistico. Dunque, meglio rimanere on topic e parlare di Giorgio Sollazzi. Ecco: quando lo conobbi, non attraversavo quello che si dice un buon periodo. Mi ero laureato, avevo fatto il servizio civile, abitavo a casa dei miei in provincia, lontanissimo dall'università e dai miei amici di laggiù. Gli altri miei amici, quelli del liceo, erano sparsi in giro per l'Italia. Facevo pratica in uno studio legale. Ero, in sostanza, disoccupato, e mi sentivo terribilmente solo e senza prospettive. L'amicizia epistolare con Giorgio mi aiutò a tenermi in piedi. Ci scambiavamo commenti e messaggi sul sito commerciale (che fungeva anche un po' da social network), email, ma anche lettere cartacee: ricordo un plico meraviglioso che egli mi spedì con un CD che aveva masterizzato per me. Dentro c'erano un brano di Stockhausen, Il canto sospeso di Nono, un coro dal Trovatore, e non ricordo cos'altro.

A quel tempo Internet non aveva ancora stravolto la distribuzione della musica. C'era Napster, ma con le connessioni lente di allora non è che si riuscisse a scaricare granché. Per ascoltare musica bisognava ancora affidarsi alla radio, oppure ordinare il disco al negozio e aspettare che arrivasse. C'era poi una circolazione semiclandestina di audiocassette duplicate artigianalmente, che passavano di mano in mano come samizdat. Tutta una dimensione romantica, di scoperta, che si è persa dal momento in cui è bastato digitare un nome su un motore di ricerca per avere subito a disposizione l'intera produzione di qualsiasi musicista antico o contemporaneo.

Poco tempo fa ho chiesto a Giorgio se, come musicista, non si sentisse stimolato da questa odierna vasta disponibilità di musiche, e come mai ciò non lo inducesse a scrivere in una tale, enorme varietà di stili e di linguaggi: oggi un brano dodecafonico, domani uno pop, dopodomani uno free jazz, e via dicendo. Non ricordo esattamente il tenore della mia domanda - che comunque era piuttosto stupida, si capisce. Ricordo invece perfettamente la replica di Giorgio: fare come gli suggerivo io - mi ha risposto - avrebbe forse aumentato il suo tasso di libertà ma avrebbe diminuito il tasso di scelta.

In uno dei suoi romanzi, Nicola Lagioia offre alcune riflessioni molto interessanti a proposito del ritrovare sui social network i propri amici di gioventù. Queste amicizie del mondo reale divenute poi virtuali - osserva Lagioia - hanno una strana consistenza umbratile. Simile a quella degli spiriti nell'undicesimo libro dell'Odissea (o nel sesto dell'Eneide), aggiungerei io. Colpa del mezzo, evidentemente, e non dell'amicizia in sé - ma questo è un altro discorso.

Conosco Giorgio da sedici anni e non ci siamo mai incontrati di persona: solo via Internet, e qualche volta per telefono. Però non ho mai avvertito come un limite la virtualità della nostra amicizia. Forse perché nel suo caso manca il confronto con l'immagine mnemonica della persona reale, o forse per il felice paradosso che Giorgio riesce a realizzare nelle sue comunicazioni virtuali, allo stesso tempo lievi e intense.

Sto pensando che “lieve” e “intenso” potrebbero essere i due primi aggettivi che mi vengono in mente ascoltando la musica di Giorgio. Mi rendo conto che come contributo critico è parecchio inadeguato, ma ho già detto che non sono del mestiere. Giorgio ha esposto la sua poetica (o almeno, una delle sue poetiche) in uno scritto che potete trovare qui.

In questo saggio, Giorgio prende le mosse dal personaggio di Amleto (con annesso spettro del re di Danimarca?) per proporre una sua complessa concezione della composizione, come “apparizione” o “evocazione” di “potenziali”. 

Shakespeare era un altro interesse che ci univa quando scrivevamo sul sito commerciale. Giorgio ha molto riflettuto, e qualcosa ha anche scritto, sia in prosa sia in musica, sulla figura di Amleto.


Quanto a me, partendo dalla constatazione che su Internet in italiano c'era ancora poco materiale sull'argomento, mi ero messo in testa di compilare e mettere on line una "recensione" per ciascuno dei drammi del Bardo. Tanto ero sprovveduto, a quell'epoca.

Più tardi abbandonai l'insano progetto, assieme alle mie velleità di anglista, e praticamente smisi di leggere Shakespeare. Oggi amo recarmi, di quando in quando, a visitare l'abbazia cistercense di Morimondo. Questo non c'entra nulla con quanto ho detto finora. Però nell'abbazia c'è un bel coro ligneo di epoca rinascimentale.

Ogni volta che lo vedo recito mentalmente la prima quartina del Sonetto LXXIII.

La migliore traduzione italiana è quella di Ungaretti:

"Quel tempo in me vedere puoi dell'anno
Quando già niuna foglia, o rara gialla in sospeso, rimane
Ai rami che affrontando il freddo tremano,
Cori spogliati rovinati dove gli uccelli cantarono, dolci".

Di solito i commentatori sottolineano il senso di desolazione che promana da quei bare ruin'd choirs, vuoti, semidistrutti e muti. Sta di fatto che Shakespeare, mentre ce li descrive, riesce in qualche modo a farcene riascoltare il suono. Forse questa è una delle cose che il poeta vuole dirci: la memoria, aiutata dall'arte, può riuscire ad evocare la musica di un coro assente.














          Baricco e il postmodernismo da quattro soldi        
Sul "Primo Amore" Antonio Moresco ha pubblicato una bella lettera aperta ad Alessandro Baricco, in risposta a un'intervista concessa da quest'ultimo al "Venerdì di Repubblica".

Baricco, parlando del suo ultimo romanzo, non si limita ad esporre la sua personale poetica di scrittore, ma pretende di far assurgere quest'ultima al livello di teoria generale della letteratura valida per tutti. Moresco rimprovera giustamente a Baricco l'arroganza di tale pretesa.

Baricco non è nuovo a questo genere di smargiassate, così le chiamava il mio professore di filosofia del liceo (si riferiva alle teorie pseudo-storiciste di Francis Fukuyama, ma la definizione è adatta anche a quelle di Baricco). Nel 1992 lo stesso Baricco pubblicò per l'editore Garzanti un testo teorico sulla musica moderna (oggi reperibile in edizione Feltrinelli) dove, con piglio zdanoviano, condannava tutta la musica "atonale" in quanto non adeguata ai gusti della "gente". Nel 2003, qui, pubblicai una recensione di questo libro. La ripropongo ora qui in calce, con minime variazioni. Non mi piace molto com'è scritta, però contiene un'idea che, dopo aver letto il fondamentale libro del collettivo Wu Ming sul New Italian Epic, mi è diventata più chiara: l'idea, cioè, che il "postmodernismo da quattro soldi" sia una delle forme più pervasive e insidiose in cui si presenta oggi l'ideologia dominante. Ecco la recensione.

Alessandro Baricco, L'anima di Hegel e le mucche del Wisconsin. Una riflessione su musica colta e modernità, Garzanti, Milano 1992, pp. 101.

Avvertenza per gli estimatori di Alessandro Baricco: la presente è una stroncatura.

1. Riassunto dei contenuti del libro

Nel primo capitolo, intitolato L'idea di musica colta, Baricco individua l'origine del concetto di musica colta nell'idealismo romantico dell'Ottocento, la cui figura principale, Beethoven, stabilisce il paradigma a cui tutti i successivi compositori, nonché gli interpreti e il pubblico, si attengono: "una musica impegnata, spirituale e difficile" (p. 19). Tale concetto è oggi, secondo Baricco, sopravvissuto a se stesso, dato che ne sono venuti meno i presupposti storici, ideologici e sociali ("qualcuno sa cosa significa spirito?", p. 20). Ma gli esecutori e i fruitori della musica colta si ostinano a riproporre questa concezione ormai superata, e a riproporre i capolavori del passato in forma mummificata e inerte, secondo un malinteso concetto di fedeltà al testo, fondamentalmente perché - sempre secondo Baricco - hanno "paura" della modernità.

Nel secondo capitolo, come alternativa alla prassi corrente, Baricco propone la "sua" idea di interpretazione. La musica "colta" del periodo classico si proponeva di organizzare il caos entro un preciso ordine formale; compito dell'interprete di oggi è, secondo Baricco, di far esplodere tale ordine per far sì che le "schegge" del materiale musicale si possano ricomporre secondo nuove geometrie provvisorie, momentanee, ogni volta diverse, secondo costellazioni di senso sempre rinnovate, piacevoli e sorprendenti.

Il terzo capitolo è dedicato alla musica atonale del Novecento. Baricco parte da un'audace constatazione: ma questa musica, dopo più di settant'anni, ancora non ha un suo pubblico! Gli ascoltatori, per quanto si sforzino, non la apprezzano e non la capiscono! Hanno torto loro? No, naturalmente: hanno invece avuto torto Schoenberg e i suoi successori (tutti quelli che hanno composto musica atonale, vale a dire i tre quarti dei compositori del Novecento da Berg a Webern fino alla scuola di Darmstadt e oltre).

Baricco spiega il perché: esistono "invalicabili limiti fisiologici" (p. 55) che impediscono all'orecchio umano di apprezzare la musica atonale. Infatti ogni brano musicale, continua Baricco, altro non è che un "meccanismo di piacere" (ibid.) basato su un gioco di previsione da parte dell'ascoltatore/risposta da parte della musica: se si cancella la logica tonale, sparisce l'orizzonte della previsione e si elimina il "piacere dell'ascolto" (p. 56).

La musica seriale è ormai superata, e anche qui Baricco non manca di dare la sua spiegazione sociologico-storica: l'atonalità di Schoenberg e seguaci nasce come espressionistico grido di orrore di fronte alla tragica realtà dei massacri e dei totalitarismi del Novecento. Ma nel secondo dopoguerra, "una volta sfumata quella follia" (p. 63) e venuti meno i conflitti ideologici e sociali che caratterizzarono la prima metà del secolo, anche tale giustificazione per l'atonalismo viene a mancare. Perciò non ci sono più motivi validi per i quali i compositori debbano ostinarsi a frustrare "le legittime aspettative del pubblico" (p. 65) continuando a proporre musica così inascoltabile, e perpetuando "lo strappo profondo e grottesco tra quella musica e la gente" (p. 66).

Occorre dunque richiamare i compositori "ai doveri della modernità" (p. 67), "ricreare una sintonia col sentire collettivo. Con una certezza: la modernità è innanzitutto uno spettacolo" (p. 73) e la gente vuole innanzitutto divertirsi, anche nelle sale da concerto: i musicisti devono dunque accettare "l'allegra realtà di un'umanità inconsapevolmente e sanamente drogata" (p. 70), di una modernità dove "la spettacolarità del reale e quella delle forme di rappresentazione si inseguono in un'escalation per la quale anche l'orribile diventa meraviglia" (ibid.).

Nell'ultimo capitolo del suo libro, Baricco propone ai compositori contemporanei due modelli da seguire: Puccini e Mahler. Secondo Baricco, questi due autori avrebbero accettato la concezione moderna di spettacolarità, senza temere di adottare un linguaggio musicale primitivo, né d'infarcire le loro opere di elementi volgari o di cattivo gusto, pur d'intercettare il bisogno di spettacolo dell'ascoltatore odierno, precorrendo così l'estetica del cinema.

2. Critica

Sui primi due capitoli non c'è molto da dire: si tratta di luoghi comuni che Baricco espone come se si trattasse di trovate sue; interpreti come Pierre Boulez (nella sua attività di direttore d'orchestra) e Maurizio Pollini adottano da sempre prassi esecutive antiformalistiche senza bisogno di attendere lezioncine da parte di Alessandro Baricco: di propriamente suo c'è solo un certo superficiale edonismo.

Circa i restanti capitoli del libro, premesso che reputo agghiacciante ognuna delle frasi o espressioni di Baricco che sopra ho citato tra virgolette (reazione molto soggettiva, lo ammetto), la prima osservazione critica da fare su questo testo è che Baricco propone un'estetica normativa, vale a dire un'estetica che pretende di prescrivere agli artisti come devono lavorare (non dovete più scrivere musica atonale, dovete farvi capire dalla "gente", ecc).

Ora, ogni estetica normativa è un'aberrazione, indipendentemente dal suo contenuto. Se poi si vuole valutare quest'ultimo, bisognerà osservare che Baricco si accosta ad Andrej Zdanov, il "teorico" sovietico del realismo socialista: anche lui pretendeva dai compositori una musica dal linguaggio semplice, tradizionale, accessibile alle grandi masse popolari. Zdanov avanzava tale pretesa in nome del superiore interesse del socialismo, Baricco in nome della "modernità" e della fine delle ideologie, ma il risultato non cambia. Baricco, nella sua irritante e dilettantesca superficialità, non sembra neanche rendersi conto del totalitarismo implicito nella pretesa che gli artisti debbano conformare la loro produzione ai gusti della "gente".

D'altra parte neppure si capisce bene quale pubblico Baricco abbia in mente: il pubblico che frequenta le sale da concerto è così esiguo che non vale neanche la pena che i musicisti si affannino per compiacerlo: e peggio per tale pubblico se non riesce ad apprezzare Anton Webern. Viceversa, il pubblico che non ha mai messo piede in un auditorium e non ascolta Schoenberg e Stockhausen, nella sua stragrande maggioranza non ascolta neppure Mahler e Puccini, ed evidentemente non per motivi ascrivibili al solo linguaggio musicale.

In ogni caso, dal fatto che la lettura di questo libro non mi ha impedito neppure per un minuto di continuare ad ascoltare il mio CD con i pezzi per pianoforte di Schoenberg, deduco che quella degli "invalicabili limiti fisiologici" è una colossale sciocchezza, con cui Baricco cerca malamente di giustificare la propria opposizione ideologica alla musica d'avanguardia.

La sua valenza ideologica è in realtà l'unico aspetto un poco interessante di questo libro. Esso, con la sua esaltazione del disimpegno, delle gioie del consumismo e della "gente" che vuole divertirsi, appare come un esempio tipico di quella versione euforico-ebetudinaria del postmoderno che ha furoreggiato nel nostro paese durante tutti gli anni '80: un'epoca nella quale a molti intellettuali non è parso vero di poter finalmente riproporre (nell'aggiornatissimo linguaggio filosofico post-strutturalista) l'antico, tradizionale qualunquismo italiano. Appare tristemente ironico che alcuni di quegli intellettuali si scaglino oggi dalle pagine dell' "Unità" o di "Repubblica" contro le impreviste (ma prevedibili) conseguenze politiche della loro stessa filosofia.

P.S. Ad un certo punto del suo testo, Baricco inserisce alcune oscure insinuazioni a proposito di presunte "coperture politiche" di cui gli artisti dell'avanguardia musicale avrebbero goduto nel nostro paese. Sorge allora la tentazione di leggere questo libro, il cui valore teorico-critico è nullo, in chiave direttamente pratica: forse Baricco si è proposto di approntare un "manifesto" per i musicisti della cosiddetta scuola neo-romantica?

Mi sono allora comprato un disco antologico di un esponente di questa corrente musicale, che ebbe anch'essa un effimero momento di notorietà nel corso degli anni '80: Marco Tutino, Operas, CD Aura Music AUR421-2, 2000, Euro 4,25. Si tratta di composizioni carine, indubbiamente orecchiabili, il cui linguaggio musicale si colloca fra le colonne sonore di Bernard Herrmann e i balletti di Aaron Copland, il tutto realizzato senza troppa fantasia e con circa trent'anni di ritardo.

Bene, ho fatto un piccolo esperimento. Un brano di questo CD di Marco Tutino l'ho fatto ascoltare ad un mio coinquilino che ascolta solo reggae ed hip-hop (e che, così facendo, qualche volta supera gli invalicabili limiti fisiologici delle mie capacità d'ascolto), e poi gli ho fatto sentire qualche minuto di Contrappunto dialettico alla mente di Luigi Nono (1968). Nessuno dei due brani gli è piaciuto, ma ha trovato di gran lunga più interessante quello di Nono.
          '..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention .. Financial politicians..' (no replies)        
'..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention..'

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

John Mauldin (Source, Jun 25, 2017)


'..Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

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

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

..

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

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

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


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

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

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

..

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

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

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

..

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

..

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

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

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


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

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

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

..

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

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

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

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

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


Context

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

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

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

          (2017) - '..a deeply systemic debt crisis akin to the aftermath of 1929 .. the stage has now been set..' (no replies)        
'..But after a decade of unprecedented expansion of government debt and central bank Credit, the stage has now been set for a more systemic 1929-like financial dislocation.'

'June 27 – Reuters (William Schomberg, Marc Jones, Jason Lange and Lindsay Dunsmuir): “U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Tuesday that she does not believe that there will be another financial crisis for at least as long as she lives, thanks largely to reforms of the banking system since the 2007-09 crash. ‘Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis?’ Yellen said… ‘You know probably that would be going too far but I do think we're much safer and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don't believe it will be,’ she said.”

While headlines somewhat paraphrased Yellen’s actual comment, “We Will not see Another Crisis in Our Lifetime” is reminiscent of Irving Fisher’s “permanent plateau” just weeks before the great crash of 1929. While on the subject, I never bought into the popular comparison between 2008 and 1929 – and the related notion of 2008 as “the 100-year flood”. The 2008/09 crisis was for the most part a private debt crisis associated with the bursting of a Bubble in mortgage Credit – not dissimilar to previous serial global crises, only larger and somewhat more systemic. It was not, however, a deeply systemic debt crisis akin to the aftermath of 1929, which was characterized by a crisis of confidence in the banking system, the markets and finance more generally, along with a loss of faith in government policy and institutions. But after a decade of unprecedented expansion of government debt and central bank Credit, the stage has now been set for a more systemic 1929-like financial dislocation.

As such, it’s ironic that the Fed has branded the banking system cured and so well capitalized that bankers can now boost dividends, buybacks and, presumably, risk-taking. As conventional central bank thinking goes, a well-capitalized banking system provides a powerful buffer for thwarting the winds of financial crisis. Chair Yellen, apparently, surveys current bank capital levels and extrapolates to systemic stability. Yet the next crisis lurks not with the banks but within the securities and derivatives markets: too much leverage and too much “money” employed in trend-following trading strategies. Too much hedging, speculating and leveraging in derivatives. Market misperceptions and distortions on an epic scale.

Compared to 2008, the leveraged speculating community and the ETF complex are significantly larger and potentially perilous. The derivatives markets are these days acutely more vulnerable to liquidity issues and dislocation. Never have global markets been so dominated by trend-following strategies. It’s a serious issue that asset market performance – stocks, bond, corporate Credit, EM, real estate, etc. – have all become so tightly correlated. There are huge vulnerabilities associated with various markets having become so highly synchronized on a global basis. And in the grand scheme of grossly inflated global securities, asset and derivatives markets, the scope of available bank capital is trivial.

I realize that, at this late stage of the great bull market, such a question sounds hopelessly disconnected. Yet, when markets reverse sharply lower and The Crowd suddenly moves to de-risk, who is left to take the other side of what has become One Gargantuan “Trade”? We’re all familiar with the pat response: “Central banks. They’ll have no choice.” Okay, but I’m more interested in the timing and circumstances.

Central bankers are now signaling their desire to proceed with normalization, along with noting concerns for elevated asset prices. As such, I suspect they will be somewhat more circumspect going forward when it comes to backstopping the markets - than, say, back in 2013 with Bernanke’s “flash crash” or with the China scare of early-2016. Perhaps this might help to explain why the VIX spiked above 15 during Thursday afternoon trading. Even corporate debt markets showed a flash of vulnerability this week.'

- Doug Noland, Weekly Commentary: The Road to Normalization, July 1, 2017


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

'Unsound Finance gets to the heart of the issue.'

'..Like monetarists, Keynes held no capital theory .. the role time plays..' - Jesús Huerta de Soto

'..Loose financial conditions and record debt issuance..'


'..investors’ fear of missing out is looking increasingly desperate..'

'..a giant passive 'beta' bubble .. This may be the Mother of all beta bubbles..'

'..The same combination prevailed at the 1929, 1972, 1987, 2000, and 2007 market peaks..'


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

          '..the amount of leverage and excess that has accumulated in bond and Credit markets..' (no replies)        
'..the amount of leverage and excess that has accumulated in bond and Credit markets over the past eight years of extreme monetary stimulus.'

'The Fed is not blind. They monitor stock prices and corporate debt issuance; they see residential and commercial real estate market values. Years of ultra-low rates have inflated Bubbles throughout commercial real estate – anything providing a yield – in excess of those going into 2008. Upper-end residential prices are significantly stretched across the country, also surpassing 2007. They see Silicon Valley and a Tech Bubble 2.0, with myriad excesses that in many respects put 1999 to shame. I’ll assume that the Fed is concerned with the amount of leverage and excess that has accumulated in bond and Credit markets over the past eight years of extreme monetary stimulus.

..

The Fed collapsed fed funds from 6.50% in December 2000 to an extraordinarily low 1.75% by the end of 2001. In the face of an escalating corporate debt crisis, the Fed took the unusual step of cutting rates another 50 bps in November 2002. Alarmingly, corporate Credit was failing to respond to traditional monetary policy measures (despite being aggressively applied). Ford in particular faced severe funding issues, though the entire corporate debt market was confronting liquidity issues. Recall that the S&P500 dropped 23.4% in 2002. The small caps lost 21.6%. The Nasdaq 100 (NDX) sank 37.6%, falling to 795 (having collapsed from a March 2000 high of 4,816). No financial instability?

..

I revisit history in an attempt at distinguishing reality from misperceptions. Of course the Fed will generally dismiss the consequences of Bubbles. They’re not going to aggressively embark on reflationary policies while espousing the dangers of asset price and speculative Bubbles. Instead, they have painted the “housing Bubble” as some egregious debt mountain aberration. And paraphrasing Kashkari, since today’s stock market has nowhere as much debt as housing had in 2007, there’s little to worry about from a crisis and financial instability perspective.

Well, if only that were the case. Debt is a critical issue, and there’s a whole lot more of it than back in 2008. Yet when it comes to fragility and financial crises, market misperceptions and distortions play fundamental roles. And there’s a reason why each bursting Bubble and resulting policy-induced reflation ensures a more precarious Bubble: Not only does the amount of debt continue to inflate, each increasingly intrusive policy response elicits a greater distorting impact on market perceptions.

I doubt Fed governor Bernanke actually anticipated that the Fed would have to resort to “helicopter money” and the “government printing press” when he introduced such extreme measures in his 2002 speeches. Yet seeing that the Fed was willing to push its monetary experiment in such a radical direction played a momentous role in reversing the 2002 corporate debt crisis, in the process stoking the fledgling mortgage finance Bubble. And the Bernanke Fed surely thought at the time that doubling its balance sheet during the 2008/09 crisis was a one-time response to a once-in-a-lifetime financial dislocation. I’ll assume they were sincere with their 2011 “exit strategy,” yet only a few short years later they’d again double the size of their holdings.

..

Despite assertions to the contrary, the bursting of the “tech” Bubble unleashed significant financial instability. To orchestrate reflation, the Fed marshaled a major rate collapse, which worked to stoke already robust mortgage Credit growth. The collapse in telecom debt, an unwind of market-based speculative leverage and the rapid slowdown in corporate borrowings was over time more than offset by a rapid expansion in housing debt and the enormous growth in mortgage-related speculative leverage (MBS, ABS, derivatives).

..

I’ve never felt comfortable that Chinese authorities appreciate the types of risks that have been mounting beneath the surface of their massively expanding Credit system. Global markets seemed attentive a year ago, but have since been swept away by the notion of the all-powerful “China put” conjoining with the steadfast “Fed put.” These types of market perceptions create tremendous inherent fragility.'

- Doug Noland, Discussions on the Fed Put, March 25, 2017


'It’s now an all-too-familiar Bubble Dynamic. The greater the Bubble inflates, the more impervious it becomes to cautious “tightening” measures..'

'The problem today is that years of ultra-loose monetary conditions have ensured everyone is crowded on the same bullish side of the boat. Tipping the vessel at this point will be chaotic, and the Fed clearly doesn’t want to be the instigator. Meanwhile, timid little baby-step increases only ensure more problematic market Bubbles and general financial excess.

It’s now an all-too-familiar Bubble Dynamic. The greater the Bubble inflates, the more impervious it becomes to cautious “tightening” measures. And the longer the accommodative backdrop fuels only more precarious Bubble Dynamics, the more certain it becomes that central bankers will approach monetary tightening timidly. Yellen confirmed to the markets Wednesday that the Fed would remain timid – still focused on some theoretical “neutral rate” and seemingly oblivious to conspicuous financial market excess. The fixation remains on consumer prices that are running just a tad under its 2% target. Meanwhile, runaway securities market inflation is completely disregarded.'

- Doug Noland, Another Missed Opportunity, March 18, 2017


'..In terms of Credit Bubble momentum, it’s notable that Net Worth inflated over $2.0 TN in both Q3 and Q4.'

'The unprecedented amount of system-wide debt is so enormous that the annual percentage gains no longer appear as alarming. Non-Financial Debt expanded 4.7% in 2016, up from 2015’s 4.4%. Total Household Debt expanded 3.6%, with Total Business borrowings up 5.6%. Financial Sector borrowings expanded 2.9% last year, the strongest expansion since 2008.

Securities markets remain the centerpiece of this long reflationary cycle. Total (debt and equities) Securities jumped $1.50 TN during Q4 to a record $80.344 TN, with a one-year rise of $4.80 TN. As a percentage of GDP, Total Securities increased to 426% from the year ago 415%. For comparison, Total Securities peaked at $55.3 TN during Q3 2007, or 379% of GDP. At the previous Q1 2000 cycle peak, Total Securities had reached $36.0 TN, or 359% of GDP.

The Household Balance Sheet also rather conspicuously illuminates Bubble Dynamics. Household Assets surged $6.0 TN during 2016 to a record $107.91 TN ($9.74 TN 2-yr gain). This compares to the peak Q3 2007 level of $81.9 TN and $70.0 TN to end 2008. Q4 alone saw Household Assets inflate $2.192 TN, with Financial Assets up $1.589 TN and real estate gaining $557bn.

With Household Liabilities increasing $473bn over the past year, Household Net Worth (assets minus liabilities) inflated a notable $5.518 TN in 2016 to a record $92.805 TN. As a percentage of GDP, Net Worth rose to a record 492%. For comparison, Household Net Worth-to-GDP ended 1999 at 435% ($43.1 TN) and 2007 at 453% ($66.5 TN). Net Worth fell to a cycle low 378% of GDP ($54.4TN) in Q1 2009. In terms of Credit Bubble momentum, it’s notable that Net Worth inflated over $2.0 TN in both Q3 and Q4.

..

UBS analysts forecast (above) $3.3 TN of 2017 Chinese Total Social Financing (TSF). And with TSF excluding national government deficit spending, let’s add another $300bn and presume 2017 Chinese system Credit growth of around $3.6 TN. As such, it’s possible that China and the U.S. could combine for Credit growth approaching an Unparalleled $6.0 TN. There are, as well, indications of an uptick in lending in the euro zone, and Credit conditions for the most part remain loose throughout EM. Importantly, the inflationary biases that have gained momentum in asset and securities markets and, increasingly, in consumer prices and corporate profits provide a tailwind for Credit expansion.'

- Doug Noland, Unparalleled Credit and Global Yields, March 10, 2017


Context

'..the S&P 500 is now far more overvalued than in 2000, 2007, or indeed in any prior point in history..'

          Mini Butterfly Pictures - 5,97€         
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          Grinding a cam for a model V4 engine by Joe Martin        

Joe Martin put together a cam grinder from mostly off-the-shelf Sherline components, a coolant pump and a few custom plumbing and bent brass pieces. He spent over 3 years developing the g-code software, which he wrote himself. The heart of the system is a 4″ grinding wheel driven by a Sherline headstock and a Sherline […]

The post Grinding a cam for a model V4 engine by Joe Martin appeared first on Millhill Supplies Ltd..


          A tip on lathe cutting direction by William Bassett        

“We had a CNC shop for many years. One item required using 35° inserts for profiling, including machining up to a shoulder. We had a problem with breakage. Every machinist learns to feed a bit from the tailstock toward the headstock. We reasoned that as the insert curled a chip, that chip would get caught […]

The post A tip on lathe cutting direction by William Bassett appeared first on Millhill Supplies Ltd..


          â€Jag ser pÃ¥ internet som pÃ¥ en väldig hjärna”        
Videokonstpionjären Tony Ourslers verk visas på världskända museer. DN besöker honom i hans hem och ateljé i New York, där David Bowie brukade hänga, och får se glashuvuden väckas till liv av mobiltelefoner – helt nya alster som ska premiärvisas i Stockholm..
          WhatsApp spam used by ASProx Botnet to Deliver Kuluoz Malware        

5448944597_8e70da64ab_o.png

Photo by: Sean MacEntee




As you probably know, Facebook bought WhatsApp for an obscene amount of money in stock earlier this year. What you might not know is that there's a lot of WhatsApp spam that is being used by ASProx Botnet to deliver nasty Kuluoz malware to unsuspecting  users. This is not good news any way you look at the situation. Keep reading if you want to know more about this as well as what you should do to stay safe.


Here's a look at some of the dates when the WhatsApp problem has made Malcovery's "Today's Top Threats" list.


  1. SEPTEMBER 19, 23, 24, 25, 26
  2. OCTOBER 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25
  3. NOVEMBER 14
  4. JANUARY 9, 13, 15, 20, 28


Looking at that list, it's easy to start wondering why nothing has been done sooner about the problem. Additionally, it really makes you wonder why Facebook paid so much for the company by offering them stock options.


Going back to November of last year, ComputerWorld published an article about how WhatsApp was one of the top five brands imitated to deliver malware with spam. That's quite a bit of recognition - and not in a good way.


Here's a look at some specific ways you can stay safe and avoid Kuluoz and other malware.

  • Use Protection - The very first thing you want to do is make sure you're using some type of protection. The good news is that you don't need to spend a lot of money to get decent anti-virus software these days.
  • Update Protection - Having protection software is nice, but if you never update it at all, you're going to find that there's still a high chance your computer will get infected and quit working correctly.
  • Be Suspicious - If you're not sure of something online, you want to err on the side of caution and not take any unnecessary risks. Even with a brand like WhatsApp - that's connected to Facebook now - you want to be very careful and know what you're doing.
  • Educate Yourself - Last but most certainly not least, you should make an effort to stay informed about how malware works and the steps you can take to protect yourself from it whenever possible. This is really the best way you can make sure your computer stays safe and virus free.


Following the advice above, there's a good chance you'll be able to avoid WhatsApp spam and not get infected with Kuluoz malware. Still, it's a good idea to pay attention and update your anti-virus software all the time. If you have any experience with WhatsApp that's negative, please leave us a comment below. 







Guest Post - 
 
Written by: Jenny Corteza deals with staff outsourcing all the time. She's a writer and dealing with editors and others can sometimes be a problem. Still, she loves writing articles about technology. Go figure.






          The dirtiest clean places — and how to clean them up        

dishwasher, health, today, stock, msnbc stock photography, house, home, appliance, kitchenYou expect some spots to be filthy—your kitchen floor, your garbage can, your toilet. But how germy are the things designed to keep you and your home clean?



          A Chip in the Glass Ceiling? Europe Proposes 40% Target for Female Non-Execs        
The European Commission’s latest discussions about legislation to increase the amount of women on the boards of listed companies has resulted in a new Directive that gives the companies listed on the stock exchange until 2020 to achieve a target … Continue reading
          HALLOWEEN³ – Wie SPUKTAKULÄR³ ist das denn ?        

istock.com/RomoloTavani Nehm an unserem Gewinnspiel teil und gewinne einen Amazongutschein ZEIG UNS DEINE DUNKLE SEITE Wer kennt es nicht?  In ein paar Tagen ist es wieder soweit, Weihna… ähm Halloween steht vor der Tür. Und wieder einmal steht nicht nur Frau sondern auch Mann verzweifelt vor dem Kleiderschrank und versucht sich vorzustellen, aus welchen alten […]

Der Beitrag HALLOWEEN³ – Wie SPUKTAKULÄR³ ist das denn ? erschien zuerst auf Anbieterwechsel Gas und Strom | energiehoch3 Blog.


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          Resistance at Standing Rock: Dispatches from the Front Lines        

UPDATES:





  • Water Protector Legal Collective Files Suit for Excessive Force against Peaceful Protesters


  • Veterans to Serve as ‘Human Shields’ for Dakota Pipeline Protesters



  • Oceti Sakowin encampment on Oct. 6, 2016. The proper name for the people commonly known as the Sioux is Oceti Sakowin, (Och-et-eeshak-oh-win) meaning Seven Council Fires.








    Story and Photos by John Briggs

    Cool Justice Editor's Note: OK to repost, courtesy of John Briggs and The Cool Justice Report.







    Corporate – Government Alliance Versus the American People

    Native Americans from tribes across the country have gathered on the windswept plains of North Dakota to pray with Mother Earth to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from pumping 500,000 gallons of oil a day beneath the Missouri River. The natives know the pipeline will most certainly leak or break, as have most U.S. pipelines, fouling the water for the Great Sioux Nation and 18 million non-Natives downstream.

    The standoff -- which began in April -- continues as a new U.S. administration ascends to power with a president-elect who campaigned denying human-caused climate change and threatening the Paris Climate accords. This remains the overriding reality despite a mini walk back by Donald Trump pledging an open mind to The New York Times this week.

    Standing Rock illuminates the brazen alliance that has developed between corporate and government interests. Viewed from the front lines, the law has been turned into a fig leaf for repression and suppression. Only the discipline and spiritual clarity of the water protectors and the native elders has kept people from being killed or seriously injured since April when the movement began.

    The fused police-DAPL force is doing everything it can to incite a violent reaction from the resisters so as to crack down, clear the camps, imprison, or even gun down the natives. More than one commentator has found the atmosphere at Standing Rock similar to what led to the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890 when 300 Sioux were murdered by government troops who mistook their prayerful Ghost Dance for a war dance.

    A great deal is at issue at Standing Rock. The Sioux and their numerous native and non-native allies face a militarized force whose composition tells us something dark about the complex façade that U.S. democracy has become and suggests the proto-fascist zombi lurking beneath. More deeply, Standing Rock also emblemizes a struggle that is taking place at this moment in human history between two distinct modes of human consciousness.

    One mode is the familiar anthropocentric (human-centered) consciousness that the dominant culture most of us were born into favors—a consciousness that assumes reality is a collection of objects to be extracted, owned, and branded. Humans are the focus of this consciousness, meaning that our concerns about climate change focus primarily on the fate of our own species.

    Distinct from this anthropocentric mind-set is a second, ancient and spiritual mode of awareness that understands that the earth and its landscapes are not objects; they are relationships, including the tangle of relationships that gave us birth. This ancient mode of consciousness is potential in everyone, but for most it has been buried beneath the piles of conceptual objects that we have come to believe constitute our reality.

    The Indigenous Peoples gathered at Standing Rock are guided by this ancient, holistic, earth-mind consciousness, and so they understand that humans are not the most valuable living objects on the planet: we are not in control of the planet; it is not our job to manage nature; rather, our sacred task is to work with Mother Earth and other beings as members of Earth’s family. If we don’t, Mother Earth will make us face this spiritual truth one way or another.

    Guided by their ancient, earth-mind awareness, Native Americans have taken up a role as “water protectors.” “Mni Wiconi, Water is Life” is the slogan of the Standing Rock movement.

    Every day scores of Sioux from North Dakota, South Dakota and nearby states, along with Paiute, Shoshoni, Diné, and a sampling of other Natives from the 300 or so tribes whose flags fly at the Standing Rock encampments set out to pipeline construction sites in a convoy to engage in “actions” on the “front lines.”

    There the protectors sing and pray in the face of physical harassment and arrests by heavily armed police fused with a corporate security force.

    DAPL and their overlord company, Energy Transfer Partners, have lavished campaign contributions on politicians in North Dakota and the U.S. Congress so that they could use the state’s eminent domain powers to force purchase of land for the pipeline all across North Dakota, beginning in the Bakken fields in the northwest corner of the state where the fracked crude oil is extracted. Similar eminent domain arrangements were achieved in other states through which the 1,200-mile line traverses before reaching a river port in Illinois. The company promised Congress and the public that the pipeline would carry oil for 100 percent domestic use only, but it is clear from reporting done by the website The Intercept that the oil will be sold on international markets.

  • Though Promised for Domestic Use, Dakota Access Pipeline May Fuel Oil Exports


  • The DAPL line, now virtually complete except for permission from the Army Corps of Engineers to fill in the link that crosses under the Missouri River, passes just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The DAPL construction runs through sacred burial and archeological grounds that the Lakota people were given free access to by treaties with the U.S. Government in the 19th Century. In mounting their resistance to the pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux have been turned into “trespassers on their own land.”

    In late August, the tribe’s lawyers filed a stop work petition in federal court detailing areas where sacred sites would be disturbed if construction continued on its planned trajectory. The federal judge routinely forwarded a copy of the filing to DAPL. Over Labor Day weekend, when the company would not have been expected to work, pipeline crews leapfrogged to the disputed sacred and preemptively bulldozed them under. Too late, the judge granted the Sioux an emergency restraining order, but, then in a curious move, allowed construction in some areas where sacred sites have been discovered. DAPL has ignored a request from the Obama administration not to work in buffer areas on either side of the river. No fines have been imposed for intentionally bulldozing the disputed sacred sites.

  • The Legal Case for Blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline


  • Burial ground at center of police confrontations is known historical site


  • In recent live-stream videos from the front lines, DAPL-police snipers can be seen perched on top of a sacred mound called Turtle Island, their high-powered rifle crosshairs trained on the water protectors who are standing in prayer in the frigid lake below.

    North Dakota wants the federal government to pick up the tab for the massive expenditures required to keep the Native Americans under their guns. Alternatively, the CEO of Energy Transfers, Kelcy Warren, has offered to pick up the millions-of-dollars tab.

  • ETP CEO Kelcy Warren Says They Have Offered to Pay Protest Related Expenses


  • Native media have documented that DAPL has already been supplying military-style equipment, drones, armored vehicles, riot gear, water canons, concussion grenades and other armaments. The tax-payer-funded and corporate-sponsored front lines phalanx is led by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, which has local jurisdiction, reinforced by North Dakota State Troopers, North Dakota National Guard units, sheriffs and police from six nearby states—all interpenetrated by DAPL security (while the FBI lurks in the background). A contingent of Hennepin County, Minnesota, Sheriffs’ Deputies were recalled following protests back home. Residents in the state of Ohio are writing letters and calling legislators to express their distress that their law enforcement has been enlisted into this repressive force.

  • Hennepin Co. sheriff's deputies leave Standing Rock protest


  • Native media’s live stream videos show DAPL security teams in mirror-visor helmets and black ops body armor with no identification, mingling with the police, sometimes directing them when and who to mace or pepper spray. They point out media making video for arrest. The big fossil fuel company evidently has plenty of experience dealing with protestors around the world. In their blank, reflecting visors we can see the soulless Darth Vader face of the government-corporate proto-fascist state the U.S. is becoming.

    Of course, this struggle with the Wasi’chu (Lakota word for the white man, meaning literally “takes too much”) is an old story for Native-Americans. In the 18th and 19th centuries it took the form of the Sioux nations trying to hold back the tsunami of colonizers flooding into their ancestral lands, occupying and despoiling them. The big difference now is that the fire-power of the state (think Custer’s 7th Cavalry or present day militarized police) has been fused with vast profit centers dependent for their existence on plundering the earth in the name of energy-squandering lifestyle survival.

    The provocations the water protectors endure take many forms. There is the psychological pressure of constant surveillance: the heavy police presence on the roads around tribal and reservation lands, the DPLA helicopter and a small plane that circle constantly above the encampments; there is the Bureau of Indian Affairs station set up on a knoll to suck out data from the cell phones of anyone in the area. There is the pepper spraying and tasing of water protectors who are praying. There is the more recent blasting of the protectors with freezing water canons in sub zero weather. There is the constant threat of weapons pointed at them. One twitching trigger finger could set off a slaughter.

    The water protectors are unarmed. The resistance movement does not allow guns in the encampments. One day, at one of the front line actions, an armed man showed up with a pistol and began firing. Possibly he was paid by DAPL to create an incident. The Natives are aware of paid provocateurs or agitators passing through the camps, pulling dirty tricks, looking to start something. Antimedia reported about the man with the gun: “According to an official statement from the tribe, the man fired several shots from his gun before being peacefully apprehended by tribal police. Witnesses at the scene say he pointed his gun at several protesters. The man was clearly trying to provoke violence that could later be used to demonize protesters who have so far remained peaceful.”

    The news site added, “The Morton County Sheriff’s Department circulated a false report claiming the man was shot, presumably by protesters… [As images show], the man was not harmed. The Sheriff’s Department has since retracted that report. Anti-Media’s attempts to obtain clarifying comments from Morton County Sheriffs were ignored.”

  • Dakota Access Caught Infiltrating Protests to Incite Violence, Funding Trolls Online


  • On a hill overlooking Oceti Sakowin, the largest of the Standing Rock encampments, an old army tent houses the field office of the rotating teams of lawyers who come to Standing Rock to help out. They use donations made to the resistance to bail out protectors who have been arrested; they try to negotiate with the police so the protectors can be allowed to pray. The constant arrests on trumped-up charges are an ongoing harassment—people maced or beaten, violently thrown to the ground and zip-tied. Often activists are charged with trespass and “riot” on the Morton County Sheriff’s novel legal theory that if several people are arrested for trespass that must signify that they were engaged in a riot.

    All this naturally requires court time and money to defend, incarceration in usually unpleasant conditions, including dog kennels. (Though the white allies who are arrested seem to get better treatment.)

    Arrests are to be expected as a consequence of civil disobedience. But some arrests are directed at chilling speech. One lawyer who came to Standing Rock from the Oregon-based Civil Liberties Defense Center, an activist defense nonprofit primarily involved in climate protests, https://cldc.org/ told Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network that often after the day’s action was over, police would stop the last cars in the caravan. They would then make “snatch and grab” arrests, impounding the cars of people who had come to support the water protectors but had no expectation that they’d be arrested when the action was over and the police told them to leave. They have to pay heavy fines ($900) to get their cars back. She said the arrests and impoundment fines for their cars are unlawful. “The intention with those types of actions is to scare out-of-towners from being comfortable coming to these actions. So they’re trying to chill the rights of others to come and participate in these protests.”

  • Environmental Lawyer Explains Standing Rock Legal Issues




  • The authorities regularly characterize the natives as terrorists, and local radio spreads false rumors of farm animals being slaughtered and stolen, reported vandalism—the kind of thing you would expect from psychologically projected homesteader fears about savage Indians of earlier centuries.

    Yes, Magazine on Oct. 31 reported: “The county sheriff is claiming the water protectors were violent and that police were stopping a riot. But hours of live video feed from people caught in the confrontation showed instead a military-style assault on unarmed people: police beating people with batons, police with assault rifles, chemical mace, guns firing rubber bullets and beanbag rounds, tasers.”

  • Why Police From 7 Different States Invaded a Standing Rock Camp—and Other Questions


  • The UN has sent human rights observers. According to Salon, Nov. 16, 2016: “The U.N. special rapporteur said that American law enforcement officials, private security firms and the North Dakota National Guard have used unjustified force against protesters.

    “ ‘This is a troubling response to people who are taking action to protect natural resources and ancestral territory in the face of profit-seeking activity,’ [Maina] Kiai [U.N. special rapporteur] said in his statement, which was issued by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and was endorsed by several other U.N. experts.

  • Native Americans facing excessive force in North Dakota pipeline protests – UN expert


  • “At least 400 activists have been detained and often have been held in ‘inhuman and degrading conditions in detention,’ Kiai added. Some indigenous protesters have said they were treated like animals and even held in dog kennels.

  • Dakota pipeline protesters say they were detained in dog kennels; 268 arrested in week of police crackdown


  • “ ‘Marking people with numbers and detaining them in overcrowded cages, on the bare concrete floor, without being provided with medical care, amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment,’ the U.N. expert said.

    “ ‘The excessive use of State security apparatus to suppress protest against corporate activities that are alleged to violate human rights is wrong,’ he continued, noting that it violates U.N. guidelines on business and human rights.

    “Amnesty International USA, which has repeatedly criticized authorities for not respecting the rights of protesters, issued another statement on Tuesday noting that U.S. authorities had put up roadblocks to prevent journalists and human rights observers from documenting the protests and the official response.”

  • U.N. experts call for halt in Dakota Access pipeline, blast “excessive force” against protesters


  • Living on Earth reporter Sandy Tolan reflected: “You know, at times I felt I was back reporting in the West Bank, and not the Northern Plains…”

  • Standing With the Standing Rock Sioux


  • The Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians

    Compare the government response at Standing Rock with the response occasioned by Ammon Bundy and his gang of armed militants when they occupied Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for over a month in January 2016. Imagine if the Bundy gang had been pepper sprayed, beaten, hit with water cannon, tased. But the Bundy crew were taking over the refuge to proclaim their belief that public lands should be given free to the profit-making private ranching business. In other words, the Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians.

    The mainstream corporate media has largely ignored the stand-off at Standing Rock. Rallies have taken place around the world at places like Tokyo, Stockholm, and Auckland, but the sad truth is many foreigners have heard more about Standing Rock than Americans have. Not surprising. The news editors, working for corporate media conglomerates, choose what they believe we should know and what fits the larger corporate agenda, and so they devote massively more play to Brad Pitt, to the gossipy politics of who’s-on-first, and to whatever the latest glittering consumer thing is than they do to climate change and issues highlighted by the poor and the powerless, like Standing Rock. What coverage that does exist is usually cursory and misleading.

    Fortunately, alternative media have been on the scene and active at Standing Rock. As someone who taught journalism for more nearly 20 years, it has been refreshing for me to see what the alternative press is accomplishing.

    Amy Goodman of the webcast Democracy Now brought the prayer-resistance movement to national attention over the summer. She was arrested and charged with riot in absentia for her live reports of water protectors being set upon by dogs. The charge was later dismissed in court.

    Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network has done searching interviews and incisive commentary from the scene.

    But my absolute favorite news source at Standing Rock is Myron Dewey’s Digital Smoke Signals. Dewey does updates every day, which he posts on Facebook. I highly recommend anyone who has a Facebook account to “follow” him. I went to Standing Rock on Oct. 4-11 with two friends and I have since been able to keep up with developments on the ground through Dewey’s Facebook broadcasts. He posts live stream unedited clips that constitute what he calls an ongoing “documentation” of what is happening day-to-day at the movement.

    Here is Dewey at night standing on a hillside next to the Oceti Sakowin encampment. His face appears in the glow of his screen. Then he’s panning and zooming in on a large grassfire as he’s telling us about it. His finger appears in the screen and points out where the fire started. He says the helicopter which constantly circulates over the camp suddenly disappeared 20 minutes before they saw the first flames. He zooms to the area where he and the person he is with first spotted the fire. He says, “It looked like someone using a drip torch.” He says they called 911, but it’s been over an hour and the Morton County Fire Department hasn’t shown up. He tells the people in the camp, his audience, not to worry, though. It looks like the fire was started by DAPL employees to scare them or hurt them. But the Oceti Sakowin is full of Indians who supplement their income by wild-land firefighting, work that also benefits Mother Earth; he mentions that he is himself a “hotshot” firefighter [one of the elite crews]. He and his fellow firefighters can tell by the wind direction that the fire won’t harm the camp.

    Now here’s Dewey on a bright morning walking along the road by Oceti Sakowin. A young man appears on screen, and Dewey asks him who he is and why he’s here. He’s from the Paiute nation. “I’m here to protect the water,” he says. Dewey asks him to sing a Paiute song. The young man closes his eyes and sings.

    In another nighttime broadcast find we ourselves looking through a car windshield, headlights illuminating the highway, centerlines whizzing by. We hear voices talking in the backseat. The car drives on and on. We’re just watching the road. Then ahead is a police roadblock. The police van looms. Dewey gets out with his camera and calls over to the officers, asks them where they’re from, inquires about where the road blocks are, what are the open routes. At one level it’s a mundane exchange between a citizen and police, but you experience the edginess of the situation. More deeply, you feel the riskiness and pathos that is involved any human interaction. Dewey firmly exercises his right to have these protect-and-serve police respond to him civilly; he is cordial and respectful in a way that reinforces to them and to his viewers that he is after all not their enemy but a fellow human being. Dewey asks more questions and the lead officer says he doesn’t want to be filmed; Dewey offers to turn his camera away from them and onto himself. The distant officers disappear from the screen and Dewey’s face fills it. The contact officer walks nearer; we can hear his voice. Dewey can’t resist a joke, though. He asks the officer if he’s sure he doesn’t want to become famous by putting his face on Dewey’s screen? You realize these are just guys doing their job. Dewey understands that, but he also wants to educate them about the water protectors’ mission. He never misses an opportunity to educate his adversary, as well as his own people about the larger dimensions of the Standing Rock resistance. When he gets back in the car, someone in the back seat says “Let’s get out of here; this is enemy territory.” Dewey laughs, turning the car around, “It’s not enemy territory.”

    I believe you learn more about Standing Rock by watching Dewey’s unedited video than you ever could from watching any number of dramatically produced, commercially constricted reports on CNN, complete with the drumb-drumb latest crisis theme music.

    Dewey explains to his viewers that what they’re seeing is a “documentation” that’s not edited. “It’s not scripted. It’s not acted out.”

    After a month of watching Dewey’s daily reports I realize more fully than I ever have before how ghastly and vacuous mainstream news reporting is: a production where facts have been emptied of the humanity of real encounters, replaced by the shallow performances of reporters and news sources, slick, clichéd phrasing, behavior slotted into ready made categories, events analyzed and even predigested. The news about reality comes to us compartmentalized in trays like tasteless microwave dinners. Rarely is the reader or viewer allowed to simply experience the event unfolding through the reporter’s eyes or camera. The stories are crafted and slickly packaged. Their very polish and stimulating presentation sabotages their meaning and replaces it with a meaningless, artificial understanding.

    Note that I am not saying that the news these days is politically biased. Some obviously is, but the left or right bias charge is a serious red herring, a mis-direction. In fact, in mainstream media’s very effort to appear neutral and unbiased means events are chopped up and pieced together to fit the templates of a few hackneyed forms of storytelling: the winner-loser story, the conflict story, the individual overcoming obstacles story, the facing bad choices stories, he-said, she-said stories, scandal stories, hypocrisy stories. You’ve seen them all, repeatedly.

    Most of these templates come plated with a cynicism, skepticism, superiority, or sentimentality that grabs our attention by adding a dash of disgust. The current journalistic manner of telling stories reduces and dismisses the story in a way that sometimes makes the commercials and pop-up ads come as a relief. None of the common journalistic templates or attitude has much to do with real life as it’s lived in the moment. It’s not what people really experience in their lives. Instead, it’s how they’ve been conditioned to wrap up experience afterward in a dramatized way that leaches out the nuance, that leaves out the moment-to-moment uncertainty, or as the Lakota call it, the Wakan, the deep mystery of relationships that permeates every event. And that’s what Dewey’s broadcasts have in abundance. You get to see him interacting with the people who show up on his screen. You get to feel his humanity and the mystery of everyday relationships taking place at Standing Rock that he brings to light. It’s certainly not dramatic or melodramatic. It’s not interesting or stimulating in the usual way. It does seem really important.

    So when Dewey sits in his parked car and does an update video on “10 things to know about DAPL” (Nov. 18, 2016), there’s no editing and no script, meaning that you get to see him thinking through what those top 10 things might be. Some points he makes are incisive and comic, others not so much. But the not-so-much ones can lead you to thinking about gray areas, the imprecise observations we all make. He asks a guy who just got in the car to help out with his list and the guy, William Hawk Birdshead, goes immediately serious on him until Dewey says, “I was trying to keep it light.” So the Birdshead says, “Laughter is good medicine.” Suddenly they’re off. Dewey mimics the shifty-eyed look of the FBI guys lurking around the area and denying they are FBI, the DAPL security characters trying to look all steely and tough. We learn that in the encampments they say that “DAPL dresses up like Ninja Turtles.” You can tell that it’s DAPL undercover because those guys never drive rez cars, which are rusted and dented. Nobody is spared. Dewey describes the water protectors just arriving from California as dudes who’ve “got their animal spirits on… They’re all furred up. They’re coming in all mystical and crystals.” He and his buddy laugh, which Dewey says is laughter “in a good way,” because the whole thing going on at Standing Rock is deadly serious but you need laughter, because that’s good medicine for healing. And healing and praying are about “getting reconnected with the Earth.”

    This points to a major difference between anthropocentric prayer as most of us know it and earth-mind prayer. In the prayer that most people are familiar with, an individual seeks intercession for human needs with a transcendent being. The Native prayer is about healing not getting. The prayer is a community ceremony or song or ritual to maintain or restore the balance between and among beings, both animate and inanimate. Prayer is to all my relatives, all my relations, the birds, the water, the wind, the buffalo, my family, even those who oppose me as enemies. Mitakuye Oyasin is an important Lakota phrase that means “all my relations.” When you’re watching a Dewey update from Standing Rock you’re experiencing Mitakuye Oyasin in action. It’s newscasting as a kind of prayer, in the earth-mind sense. Whether he’s engaging in laughter or educating about the spiritual importance of water, you can see that what he’s getting at is healing relationships. Watching and listening, you get to be part of that healing.

    What Dewey does goes way beyond advocacy journalism.

    Our traveling companion for our visit to Standing Rock, Lakota elder Tiokasin Ghosthorse, also provides a good way to keep up with developments through the interviews he conducts for his weekly syndicated broadcast from WPKN in Bridgeport Conn. and WBAI in New York City. On Oct. 31, 2016, Tiokasin interviewed a young man who was seized on Oct. 27 when a frontline camp was destroyed by police. Trenton Joseph Castillas Bakeberg, in the bloodline of Crazy Horse, was praying in a sweat lodge when the militarized police swept through the camp. They yanked him out of the sweat lodge and arrested him. The young water protector told Tiokasin:

    “I pray that we’ll be able to keep a state of prayer and peace, as we have been… Although there’s some people on our side are more likely to tend toward violence. But there’s also people on our side to stop them. Don’t start a fight. That’s what it’s all about, keeping it peaceful because the elders told us in the beginning that all it takes is one single act of violence, one person attacking a police officer and they’ll unleash the fear on all of us. This wrath that we have with our military overseas, we’re beginning to see it now in the heart of our own country. All for the greed and the corporate interests of this government. They say we’re a democracy but it’s not showing anymore. The people didn’t want this pipeline, but this foreign entity that they call a corporation, Energy Transfers, is saying, we don’t care. We want this money. We need this for economic stability of the country and that somehow trumps the interests of our communities and our nation as a whole….We’re standing up to this corporate machine with prayer and love.”

  • Forcibly removed from prayer at Standing Rock


  • Against a heavily armed, corporatized democracy designed to ensure that only powerful business and political elites rule the land and possess the wealth of its objects, the Native-American people at Standing Rock stand in defense of Mother Earth armed with songs, prayers, and an understanding that Earth’s objects are us, and we are them. They are our relatives. It seems better armament than most of us Wasi’shu possess. Webster defines fascism as “a political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted.” It’s an incendiary word, and readers might think ill of me for introducing it here. Certainly we are not a fascist state yet. But for the prayer-resistance at Standing Rock, the clear alliance between corporate and government interests to quell their opposition under color of the law has a fascist flavor.

    It should not surprise anyone that the new US president reportedly holds stocks that directly fund the Dakota Access Pipeline and that the DAPL CEO Kelcy Warren gave the Trump campaign a substantial donation.

  • Trump's Personal Investments Ride on Completion of Dakota Access Pipeline


  • This is how the proto-fascism works. Ironically (or perhaps absurdly), Trump may have been elected by people hoping he would somehow counter the tightening grip of multinational corporations on their lives. One might wish for that to happen.

    At a deep level, Standing Rock may suggest that such absurdities as a Trump presidency occur because our mode of consciousness is impaired or inadequate to the situation it has created on our planet at this historical time. Too many of us have gone dead to the natural world we come from. Our obsessive anthropocentric mode of consciousness has reduced nature and reality at large to a bunch of things we have names for—things that feed our greed. Fortunately, many Indigenous people have retained an acute and ancient consciousness that we are those rocks and trees and clouds, and birds and water that we see outside our windows, and that restoring our relationships with them is incumbent on us.

    John Briggs is emeritus distinguished Professor of Writing and Aesthetics from Western Connecticut State University. He was the English Department’s journalism coordinator for 18 years and was one of the founders of Western’s Department of Writing, Linguistics, and Creative Process. He is the author of several well-known books on chaos theory, fractals and creativity. He lives in the hilltown of Granville, Mass., where served as a Selectman for five years and as reserve police officer for 10 years.


    When people at Standing Rock talk about the black snake they mean the pipeline, referring to an old Sioux legend about a black snake that will threaten the end of the world. The Lakota prophet Black Elk said that in the seventh generation, the Sioux tribes would unite to save the world.

    Media covering the Standing Rock resistance movement:

  • Digital Smoke Signals


  • Myron Dewey, Facebook


  • The Antimedia


  • Democracy Now


  • The Intercept


  • The Guardian


  • Censored News


  • Unicorn Riot


  • Living on Earth


  • The Indigenous Environmental Network


  • Status of Standing Rock court claim



  •           Burn After Reading        

    Who’s Who
    What’s What

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




    NEW BOOK:

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


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

    EXCERPTS:

    From the Introduction


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

    *

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

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

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

    *

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

    *

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

    SELECTED ENTRIES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Wackenhut eventually merged into the global security firm G4S.

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

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

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



  •           10 children's clothes and accessories to snap up in the Small to TALL final sale        
    Small to TALL has been one of the loveliest Australian online stores for beautiful children's clothes and accessories for many years. Owner Sophie has steadfastly stocked only ethically-produced clothes for babies and kids as well as artwork and accessories. Sophie is winding her store up this week and offering amazing final mark downs.

    See below for my 10 favourite picks from the sale. These are perfect for snapping up now, or stashing away for a baby shower or special occasion. Note the sizes available:
    Read more »
              Tea with Pan        
    Danger - Mines! Golan Heights

    When arriving in the arid, volcanic and mine-dotted land of the Golan Heights, it is hard to imagine that within it hides some of the most luxurious water resources of the country.

    Golan - Banias

    The strip of lush green in the midst of dead, dry grasses is in fact the creekside forest of the Banias creek. It is named after the Greek goat-god, Pan (Arabic does not have the letter "P" so it was replaced over the years with a "B" and stayed that way) , and the city of Panias that dwelled around its springs at the foothill of Mount Hermon (all the snow that melts penetrates the earth and comes out of these springs, and some others, into three creeks - Haztbani, Banias and Dan, which later joint forces to become the Joradn river). And inside that greenery hide sites such as this lovely waterfall:

    Pan's Waterfall
    We took two separate hikes, one to the Banias Fall (seen above) and another to the Banias Springs and the Temple of Pan. In contrast to the heat and dryness above the creek's canyon, it is hard to imagine a more befitting place for worshipping the green god Pan. You truly can feel the presence of the life force running through the creek, and even eighteen years in water-rich BC does not taint the wonder at such sight. The vegetation is spectacular, and includes side by side fig trees and Syrian maples, carobs, oaks and even ferns that grow alongside the pebbled creek and on the waterfall's rocks. There is a hanging trail there for part of the hike as well. And one more interesting point is a colony of rock hyrax that not only saw from up-close, but also smelled their dungy droppings - a mixture of civet, castoreum and maybe even a little bit of funky smell of goat droppings... you can see one of these creatures (a youngster) hiding among the carob tree's nooks and crannies, in the photo below. It looks a little bit like a squirrel because it is so blurry - but it does not have the typical long tail. Or any tail at all, for that matter.

    Carob Hyrax Colony


    Temple of Pan
    Our second hike began at the springs of the Panias and the sacred area of the Temple of Pan which in fact are the ruins of three ancient Greek temples that were the core of the city of Panias): One for Pan, which is in the cave you can see in the photo of the springs, to which goats were sent as sacrifice, to ask Pan to bless the livestocks with fertility and health. Goats that disappeared in the river were considered to be received; those who left traces of blood were signs for trouble and prayers that were not accepted. Next to it was a temple for Zeus. And on the very far right - the temple and gravesite for the dancing holy goats. I am assuming these are the ones that were received as sacrifice. There are many other sites and remains along the Banias creek, namely a Druze prophet's graveyard at the top of the cave for Pan (Nabi Khader, which is their name for the prophet Eliyahu AKA Elijah), Agripas' palace, an old flour mill (operated by the creek), a synagogue, and more. The caves below formerly had statues of Pan and other gods and goddesses.

    Temple of Pan

    I was overjoyed by the wonderful smell of fig leaves, so green, fresh and slightly milky. The true scent characteristics of any watery area in Israel. And also there were maple trees, some reaching giant proportions, with many impressive hollows and hiding places. Fig leaves and cool creek's pebbles are a classic scent combination, made entirely by nature... I wish I could bottle that!

    Traveling Tea Party at Pan's Creek
    As we walked towards the old mill and Agripas' palace, we found a cool, shady spot to brew a cup of tea. And speaking of classic combinations: I brewed lemon verbena tea, and poured the concoction into my gourd to make a truly South American mate. Lemon verbena (Aloysia citriodora) also originates in Argentina. We enjoyed it with some halva and ka'akat isfar which I will tell you more about at a later post. My only regret is not having more cups and not inviting the American tourists that sat next to us to catch their breath. Something to think about for party.
              Rumble of Kings 2011 Trailer        
    Rumble of the Kings 2011 teaser. November 26 . Stockholm, Sweden @ 7 PM Live on www.rumbleplay.com
              Resepi Masak Kicap Daging Simple        
    Siaran langsung dari HPE Office, Cyberjaya... cisss kena keja pulak harini. Hahahaha~ over macam tak biasa keje weekend pulak.. takde user ni, tu yang ada time nak update blog.. rajin la pulak. :-P


    Kali ni nak post pasal semalam, Sabtu, saje masak for lunch. Nak abiskan stok dalam peti ais, pastu lama tak berkelah dengan tunang tersayang gittewww.. mula-mula, dia request masakkan Daging Masak Asam favourite dia tu, tapi tak terasa pulak nak makan style tu, jadi wanie cakap nak buat masak kicap je sebab simple. Tunang jenis ok kan aje walaupun sentap.. So semalam, elok je dia makan, HAAAAAAA kauuuu... non stop! Dia cakap sedap, suka masak kicap yang macam ni! Macam mana ape.. macam biasa lah.. hahaha~ tunang cakap nanti nak lagi, wanie balas berehhhh je janji pegi restock barang dapur.


    OK lah.. nak share resepinye. Memang senang, main campak je. Nak upload kat blog sebab lepas ni nak suruh tunang belajar masak. Boleh kite pulak yang tunggu cedok nasik je kan.. hihihih~


    Bahan-bahannya

    • Daging (potong kecil-kecil) 
    • Sedikit halia (besar hujung jari kelingking) dan dihiris memanjang
    • Cili besar dipotong menyerong - sebatang
    • Bawang Holland - 1 biji
    • Garam
    • Gula
    • 1 sudu besar sos tiram
    • 1 sudu kecil stok ayam
    • 1 sudu kecil cukup rasa Maggi
    • Minyak masak
    • Kicap (wanie guna kicap Adabi Lemak Manis)
    • Sedikit air



    Cara-caranya


    • Gaulkan daging dengan garam, kunyit dan cukup rasa
    • Panaskan minyak dan goreng daging. Biar sampai air daging tu keluar dan agak-agak nak kering, masukkan halia, bawang dan cili besar. Kacau-kacau sampai naik bau.
    • Bila daging dah hampir masak, masukkan sos tiram dan stok ayam. Kacau sebentar dan masukkan air serta kicap. Air jangan banyak sangat, nanti cair.
    • Perasakan dengan sedikit garam dan gula jika suka (biasanya tak payah dah, sebab manis kicap dan masin daripada stok ayam dan sos tiram tu dah memadai - tapi terpulang citarasa masing-masing)
    • Siappppp!

              LA INMENSA CANTIDAD DE LO POCO        
    Ver el mundo en un grano de arena,
    y el cielo en una flor silvestre;
    tener el infinito en la palma de la mano
    y la eternidad en una hora.
    (William Blake en PAPPAS, 1996, pág. 50)

    Los seres humanos nos preocupamos tanto por las grandes obras, que las pequeñas acaban destruyendo la posibilidad de llegar a la grandeza. Es una paradoja, pero una paradoja con fuertes fundamentos fácticos que denotan cómo descuidar lo poco, es el más grande de nuestros errores. El presente ensayo partirá de una reflexión metafísica pasando por una económica, pero la intención será trascender hasta, si es posible, una reflexión mística. Partiremos de ser centaveros, con imagen de ambiciosos, para llegar a la gloria infinita... simplemente por el valor de lo pequeño.


    Una breve contemplación matemática.

    NUBES FRACTALES
    Nubes fractales.
    El fractal denota la potencia de esta paradoja,
    la parte se ve en el todo y el todo en la parte.
    Un cálculo elemental para cualquier persona es la suma de 1 + 1. La unidad pareciese una figura simple y carente de todo significado estético y místico. ¿Qué importa el número uno? ¿Uno no más? Sin embargo, cuando se ve el elevado potencial del uno a nivel matemático, su aparente carencia de significado y su falta de estética, le dan a ese número insignificante, nada dentro del infinito, un valor tan elevado que nos lleva a una paradoja: el uno es nada en comparación con el infinito pero el infinito no es nada sin el uno. ¿Cómo puede surgir tal paradoja en una proporción que todos prácticamente consideramos evidente si sabemos un poco de cálculo y de matemáticas? Evidentemente el infinito ha sido un creador de paradojas como la de Zenón (si cada vez recorro la mitad de lo que me falta ¿cuándo llegaré a la meta?) (PAPPAS, 1996, pág. 50) Sin embargo, esta explicación nos la da Pappas en una cita al pie sobre por qué los números naturales son infinitos: "los números de contar o naturales, son potencialmente infinitos ya que a cualquiera de ellos se le puede sumar uno para llegar al siguiente, pero nunca se puede tener el conjunto completo" (PAPPAS, 1996, pág. 52).

    Efectivamente todos los números son "una multitud compuesta de unidades" como decían los pitagóricos y por ello los consideraban la sustancia de todas las cosas (RECAMÁN SANTOS, 2007, pág. 30). Aunque los pitagóricos no consideraban a la unidad (1) como un número, de esta unidad procedían todos los demás que eran la sustancia del universo. "-¿Cuánto es uno y uno y uno y uno y uno y uno y uno? -No lo sé - dijo Alicia-, he perdido la cuenta. -No puedo hacer la suma - dijo la Reina Roja." (CARROL LEWIS [ALICIA EN EL PAÍS DE LAS MARAVILLAS] en RECAMÁN SANTOS, 2007, pág. 109). Efectivamente la suma constante de uno, uno, uno, cada vez va generando un número que ni la Reina Roja podía sumar, ni lo harán los sabios ancianos del rey en un caso que luego se expondrá. 

    Los pitagóricos, aunque erraron en lo que es un número tuvieron otros aciertos pues nadie ha visto un uno volando a menos que -como decía un compañero mío del colegio- estuviera sentado en una hamaca bastante trabado. Esto quiere decir que los números no son el mundo sino simples son abstracciones de intuiciones que nos explican el mundo, los pitagóricos sí acertaron en la magnifica intuición que nos remite al poema del comienzo. Es de unidades que se forman las cosas y de unidades que se suman indefinidamente que crecen indefinidamente y van formando pieza por pieza, una por una, el mundo. ¿Qué es una estrella? ¿Qué es un grano de arena? ¿Pero qué es una estrella y otra, y otra, y otra...? ¡El firmamento! Y ¿qué es un grano de arena y otro, y otro, y otro,...? ¡Una playa! Lo mismo podemos decir de las gotas de agua que conforman el mar, de las hojas, de las células que forman nuestro cuerpo. ¿Qué es un átomo? ¡lo que compone el universo!

    Deteniéndonos un poco en el tema de las células del cuerpo, nuestra vida comenzó con una célula, que se dividió en dos, en cuatro, en ocho, mórula, blástula, etc, especialización, hasta transformar una vida de una célula en millones de ellas. Podríamos entrar en miles de ejemplos místicos, poéticos que nos lleven a trascender en la contemplación pero eso haría que este escrito fuera infinito. Pues al fin y al cabo, así se comporta la naturaleza que los pitagóricos intuían, una sucesión de unidades que forman el todo, la unidad no es nada frente al todo pero el todo no es nada sin la unidad. Por tal motivo pasaremos de una breve contemplación matemática a un análisis económico.


    Del misticismo a la economía.
    El Banquero y Su esposa.
    ¡La diligencia en el cuidado de lo poco!
    Últimamente tengo pegada la frase "cuide los centavos que los pesos se cuidan solos". Esta frase se la escuché a mi papá, que entiendo se la escuchó a un empresario antioqueño ya difunto. La sabiduría de esta frase no va en lo sonoro de la misma sino en que puede corroborarse en la práctica. Si las personas gastáramos al nivel que lo hacemos en cosas de pequeña cantidad, nos quedaríamos asombrados de lo pronto que nos quebraríamos. Pondré un ejemplo sencillo. Si una persona tiene un capital de $2.000 pesos colombianos (alrededor de un dólar estadounidense) es muy probable que si le ofrecen algo cuyo valor es de $2.000 se relaje y cambie su dinero por esa cosa ¡No son más que $2.000! Pero si todo su capital líquido es de $50.000 (alrededor de 25 USD) y le ofrecen algo de $50.000 es mucho más probable que se controle y diga ¡es que son $50.000! Pero únicamente bastaría hacer únicamente 25 veces el ejercicio con los $2.000 para haberse gastado los $50.000 en cosas de $2.000. Haga el ejercicio de ahorrar $500 diarios durante un año y obtendrá una suma de $182.500, hágalo con $1.000, $2.000, etc.

    En un escrito anterior manifesté lo siguiente:

    "De hecho los pobres saben más de finanzas que los ricos. Un rico no sabe cuánto vale un peso porque ese es su día a día, pero una persona pobre sabe verdaderamente cuál es el costo del dinero, el sudor que se requiere para ganar $18.000 (10 Us$ aprox) [Cfr ElAlispruz. En 2010 si se quiere profundizar en el costo del trabajo]. Esto es tan cierto que los modelos financieros exitosos surgieron precisamente de un elevado valor del dinero. Adicionalmente es la razón por la cuál los modelos tecnocráticos e intervencionistas fracasan. (TORO RESTREPO, 2011)"

    ¿Por qué surgen modelos exitosos con un elevado costo del dinero? El valor de una cosa está relacionado con su escasez, entre más escasa más valiosa, por lo tanto el dinero es mucho más valioso cuando hay poco. Mientras escribo esto recuerdo la gloriosa frase de nuestro presidente Juan Manuel Santos "En Colombia se puede vivir con $190.000 mensuales". Lo glorioso no es tanto que no sea posible (personalmente no lo creo) sino que venga de una persona que ni siquiera sabe cuánto cuesta la gasolina porque tiene choferes y no ha tenido la necesidad de montar en bus. Si a uno le entran $190.000 mensuales tiene que ser bastante inteligente para que con esa suma pueda comer, tener un techo, vestirse y transportarse y si alguien nunca ha tenido el reto de vivir con esa miserable suma... ¿lo hará bien? Mi abuelo materno decía que los mejores financieros son los mendigos porque de $100 en $100 no se asuste si se encuentra al mendigo que pide en el semáforo de la 10 en un vuelo a Santa Marta con usted. Es más complicado cuando la liquidez es mucha pero inconstante, creo yo.


    Tributaristas, delincuentes financieros y el valor del dinero.

    La vocazione di San Matteo
    Caravaggio.
    Recordemos que San Mateo
    era un recaudador de impuestos y
    él comprende el mensaje de la fidelidad en lo poco.
    Los tributaristas son personas MUY INTELIGENTES que trabajan para el sector equivocado, el estado. El estado es una forma de robo menos violenta y menos inútil, pero forzada al fin y al cabo. Paréntesis, admiro a los delincuentes financieros, esos que roban un peso de cada cuenta de un banca, que forman pirámides, etc., porque son perversos, pero comprenden lo mismo que los pitagóricos acerca de la sustancia del mundo. Cualquiera se preguntará ¿por qué pongo a los delincuentes financieros con el sector tributario? Porque ambos piensan estrategias para sacar más de la manera más sutil.

    Una de las formas más inteligentes que comprenden el trasfondo del valor del dinero es la invención del Gravamen a los Movimientos Financieros o Cuatro por mil. Si fuera un señor tomando un peso de cada cuenta, diferente del estado, se llamaría Hurto Calificado. El caso es que no estoy anarquista sino que quiero elogiar al creador del 4 X 1000, eh Ave María qué tan inteligente, el problema es ¡por qué te contrató el lado equivocado!

    Mil pesos vienen siendo poco, pero cuatro pesos no son nada. Bueno 4 X 1000 no son nada y ¿qué tal 4000 por millón? ¿Duelen $40.000 al mover 10.000.000? ¿Qué tal $400.000 al mover $100.000.000? Si una empresa mueve al año $1.000 millones de pesos $4.000.000 pueden ser fácilmente la nómina de unos cuantos meses a salario mínimo. Miremos el 4 X 1000 desde otra perspectiva.

    Si yo pago 1 millón de pesos a otra persona a su cuenta, y ésta a su vez mueve todo ese millón pero pagando el 4 X 1000 y así sucesivamente deduciendo el 4 x 1000, en 27 transacciones, totalmente viables en la velocidad de nuestro sistema financiero, ya se habrá perdido alrededor del 10% de ese valor. O sea si hay una cadena de 27 deudores donde cada uno sea acreedor y deudor de 1.000.000, el 27 avo deberá conseguirse alrededor de $100.000 si cada uno ha venido descontando el 4 x 1000. El cuatro por mil tiene el valor de pasar desapercibido, no se siente su impacto sino cuando se empieza a sumar cada uno de esos gravámenes. 

    Si el PIB de 2010 fue de 548.273.000.000.000 (DANE - DEPARTAMENTO ADMINISTRATIVO NACIONAL DE ESTADÍSTICA, 2011) cifra que confieso no cabe en mi cabeza. Si moviéramos toda esa suma en una transacción serían $2.193,092 millones de pesos. Eso sin contar que son muchas las transacciones lo que implicaría que el recaudo estatal por este impuesto sería gigantesco. 


    Granos de arroz, trigo y hambre en el mundo.

    Hay algunos personajes que trabajan en la ONU que para discutir el problema del hambre en el mundo llegan llenitos luego de haber pagado los mejores hoteles 5 estrellas en New York. La comida debe ser de la mejor calidad y costosa. Ante esa situación cuando empiezan a discutir el tema con barrigas llenas, observan el problema y ven cómo comer un poquito menos sería bastante costoso y para no sufrir el dolor de ver la pobreza que su despilfarro ocasiona proponen matar a los pobres. Efectivamente, la solución es fácil: "seguimos comiendo igual y despilfarrando igual mientras matamos a aquellos que no pueden despilfarrar como nosotros.".

    Sin embargo, el problema del hambre no es de "exceso de población" sino de "desperdicio de comida". Cualquiera dirá que lo hago porque soy pro-vida o porque no creo que el calentamiento global sea ocasionado por el ser humano o como mínimo por la población. Somos 7.000 millones de personas, pero resulta que el número de hormigas ocupa la misma biomasa (o sea pesando TODAS las hormigas de la tierra pesan lo mismo que TODOS los seres humanos) (Chadwick & Moffet, 2011, pág. 86). La fuente del peso de las hormigas, como puede observarse, es la revista National Geographic de mayo de 2011, fuente científica acreditada a nivel mundial.

    Ahora bien, tomando en cuenta la misma revista pero del mes de julio tenemos un dato todavía más perverso y más triste sobre alimentación. Citemos la fuente textual. Refiriéndose frente a cómo alimentar un planeta creciente en su tercera solución plantea:
    "3. Reducir el desperdicio. Aproximadamente la mitad de las cosechas mundiales desaparecen 'entre el campo y el plato', dice Stockholm International Water Institute. El desperdicio, la desviación para fabricar alimentos para animales y el comportamiento del consumidor son factores que llevan a esto.". (TOMANIO, KLEBER, CASSIDY, WELLS, & BUZBY, 2011)
    Según el dato anterior no sería necesario aumentar las cosechas, bastaría que se acabara el desperdicio por el comportamiento desmedido del consumidor. La carencia proviene del derroche y la abundancia de la sobriedad. Cualquier persona pensadora a nivel actual, o sea lectora de periódicos, dirá: "pues que el estado impida el derroche". Sin embargo en ello también está la paradoja de lo poco, eso no lo hará el que tiene mucho poder, sino el pequeño poder de cada persona ante su plato. ¿Cómo entenderlo? Hagamos algunos análisis con gramos...

    ¿Cuánto pesa un gramo de arroz? De acuerdo con una fuente no tan fiable como Yahoo Answers pero en algo creíble, dice que un grano de arroz pesa 1.16 mg. Si cada persona del mundo desperdicia un grano de arroz, algo insignificante, el desperdicio acumulado sería de 8.12 toneladas. No soy nutricionista pero eso beneficiaría la dieta de miles de personas. El punto es ¿cuántos granos de arroz promedio desperdicia cada persona al día? 

    Al respecto de granos y desperdicio partiendo de la unidad hay una sabia leyendo sobre el momento en el que se inventó el ajedrez. El inventor llega ante el rey con el ajedrez y el rey le dice ¿qué puedo darte por esto? El inventor al principio no pidió nada pero ante la insistencia del rey le pidió "ordena que me den un grano de trigo por la primera casilla, dos por la segunda, 4 por la tercera y así sucesivamente hasta completar las 64 casillas." (PERELMAN, 2002, pág. 52). Al rey esto le pareció un insulto al fin y al cabo, sentía que le pedía demasiado poco... unos granitos de trigo no más.

    Pero hagamos el esquema matemático de lo que pedía el inventor del ajedrez:

    1+2+4+8+16+32+...

    Si organizamos la propuesta en una serie encontraremos que sigue la siguiente secuencia:

    1+2^1+2^2+2^3

    Concluyendo que la serie es 1+2^1+...+2^(n-1) por lo tanto por la última casilla recibirá 2^63 granos. 

    Plantación de trigo.
    No es la foto más hermosa pero se
    observa el efecto infinito.
    El caso es que sinteticemos la conclusión. Luego de un largo periodo de demora en el conteo de todos los matemáticos del rey veamos lo que pasó:

    "-Antes de comenzar tu informe [dice el rey], quiero saber si se ha entregado por fin (...) la mísera recompensa que ha solicitado.
    - Precisamente por eso me he atrevido a presentarme tan temprano -contestó el anciano [uno de los sabios del rey]. Hemos calculado escrupulosamente la cantidad total de granos que desea recibir... resulta una cifra tan enorme.
    -Sea cual fuere la cifra -le interrumpió con altivez el rey- mis graneros no empobrecerán. He prometido darle esa recompensa, y por lo tanto, hay que entregársela.
    -Soberano, o depende de tu voluntad cumplir semejante deseo. En todos tus graneros no existe la cantidad de trigo que exige. Tampoco existe en los graneros de todo el reino. Hasta los graneros del mundo entero son insuficientes. Si deseas entregar sin falta la recompensa prometida, ordena que todos los reinos de la Tierra se conviertan en labrantíos, manda desecar los mares y océanos, ordena fundir el hielo y la nieve que cubren los lejanos desiertos del norte. Que todo el espacio sea totalmente sembrado de trigo, y ordena que toda la cosecha obtenida en estos campos sea entregada [a él]. Sólo entonces recibirá su recompensa.
    El rey escuchaba lleno de asombro las palabras del anciano sabio.
    -Dime cuál es esa cifra tan monstruosa -dime reflexionando.
    -¡Oh soberano! Dieciocho trillones cuatrocientos cuarenta y seis mil setecientos cuarenta y cuatro billones setenta y tres mil setecientos nueve millones quinientos cincuenta y un mil seiscientos quince." (PERELMAN, 2002, pág. 55)
    Trascendiendo a lo místico: conclusión.
    Desde la V inicial hasta el último paréntesis este escrito consta de unas 2602 palabras y 12559 letras o signos y faltan unas pocas más. El punto es que una por una en unas 3 horas he llegado a tocar el teclado más de 12.600 veces una por una, palabra por palabra, sumando lentamente, pero sumando. Como estamos en navidad no puedo dejar de hacer el comentario místico, porque es el Espíritu Santo el que me inspira a escribir (yo iba a hacer un ensayo sobre por qué hay que ser sobrio, moralista como siempre y acabé partiendo de lo místico a lo económico) y los errores son míos. Ese Neuma, hálito o soplo quizás trabaja con la inmensa cantidad de lo poco, la paradoja de lo pequeño, la simple paloma que se posa. ¿Acaso nadie ha podido comprender que los vientos y las corrientes de aire son el trasfondo de las tormentas, lluvias e inundaciones? Quizás así sea el Espíritu Santo, sea esa pequeña mariposa del océano índico que con su movimiento preciso y conociendo todas las causas que lo influyen genera un huracán en el Atlántico. 

    Jesús es el ejemplo de esto. La multiplicación de los panes y los peces muestra cómo de unos pocos panes y peces se alimenta a una muchedumbre y lo que sobra se recoge. Aunque evidentemente es un milagro, no es lo milagroso lo que interesa, sino lo mucho que sale de lo poco su sentido o significado me parece más sorprendente, de la inmensa cantidad de lo poco, el infinito no es nada sin la unidad. Muchos son los ejemplos como el grano de mostaza (aunque lo discuten algunos tecnicistas pero al fin y al cabo de muchas semillas pequeñas salen cosas grandes). Todo el mensaje cristiano está en esa paradoja, un Dios que nace en lo poco pero que trae la más grande de las riquezas..., la salvación. hay que leer a Chesterton para mirar ese sentido cristiano como paradoja. 

    En la parábola de los talentos Jesús muestra cómo se confían ciertos bienes a unos trabajadores y aquí sale la frase bíblica que resume el mensaje aquí contenido:

    "Has sido fiel en lo poco, te confiaré lo mucho" (Mt. 25 vs 23)

    Esa es la inmensa, gigantesca, infinita cantidad de lo poco, de la unidad, lo pequeño o cuasi insignificante. Como los pitagóricos el sustento son las unidades (no los números por lo que ya expliqué) pero cada ente, por más insignificante que sea forma el todo. La sumatoria de cosas insignificantes es lo que produce la grandeza, la sorpresa, aquello invaluable. Sospecho que quizás esa es la lógica del Dios de los ejércitos, la adecuada valoración de lo que a los ojos del mundo es insignificante...

    TRIBUTO AL CIELO
    El guayacán y sus flores.
    Un árbol que da tributo al cielo y cae humildemente a la tierra para que persista el ciclo de la belleza

    Bibliografía.
    Chadwick, D. H., & Moffet, M. W. (Mayo de 2011). HERMANDAD DE TEJEDORAS. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (En Español) , 82-95.

    DANE - DEPARTAMENTO ADMINISTRATIVO NACIONAL DE ESTADÍSTICA. (25 de Noviembre de 2011). 'Producto Interno Bruto Departamental, a precios corrientes. '2000 - 2010pr. Miles de millones de pesos. Recuperado el 20 de Diciembre de 2011, de DANE: http://www.dane.gov.co/files/investigaciones/pib/departamentales/B_2005/PIB_Total_habitante_2010.xls

    Holmes, N. (Mayo de 2011). Población. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (En Español) .

    PAPPAS, T. (1996). LA MAGIA DE LA MATEMÁTICA. El orden oculto tras la naturaleza y el arte. (M. Rosenberg, Trad.) Madrid, España: Zugarto Ediciones S.A.

    PERELMAN, Y. (2002). Matemáticas recreativas. (F. Blanco, & C. Pérez, Trads.) Bogotá, Colombia: Planeta Colombiana S.A.

    RECAMÁN SANTOS, B. (2007). LOS NÚMEROS, UNA HISTORIA PARA CONTAR. BOGOTÁ D.C, Colombia: Taurus.

    TOMANIO, J., KLEBER, J., CASSIDY, M., WELLS, H., & BUZBY, J. (Julio de 2011). Cómo alimentar un planeta creciente. National Geographic , Sección Hoy (Inpaginado).

    TORO RESTREPO, D. (16 de Febrero de 2011). FINANZAS Y CUESTIÓN SOCIAL. REFLEXIONES SOBRE EL SISTEMA FINANCIERO. Recuperado el 20 de Diciembre de 2011, de EL ALISPRUZ: http://elalispruz.blogspot.com/2011/02/finanzas-y-cuestion-social-reflexiones.html


              Pharmacy Assistant (PA) - Shoppers Drug Mart / Pharmaprix - Corunna, ON        
    Maintenance of pharmacy stock through inventory control systems,. Handling customer prescription pick up,....
    From Shoppers Drug Mart / Pharmaprix - Tue, 18 Jul 2017 17:27:14 GMT - View all Corunna, ON jobs
              Meat Manager - Norwood Foodland - Norwood, ON        
    Manages inventory levels by counting stock, ordering and receiving product, and checking invoices. Assist Meat Clerks and Meat Cutters with duties such as...
    From Indeed - Thu, 08 Jun 2017 02:03:53 GMT - View all Norwood, ON jobs
              Sales Representative - Regal Home and Gifts Inc. - Deep River, ON        
    Work with Regal part time or full time, and in the comfort of your own home. No stocking of inventory required....
    From Indeed - Mon, 07 Aug 2017 13:40:38 GMT - View all Deep River, ON jobs
              Corporate Store Manager - Mac's Convenience Stores Inc. - Nipigon, ON        
    Develop, manage and assign tasks appropriately to ensure the store is clean, adequately stocked, organize and well kept based on Company standards....
    From Mac's Convenience Stores Inc. - Tue, 04 Jul 2017 22:18:37 GMT - View all Nipigon, ON jobs
              #Replay: Sieben Tipps für mehr Bewegung im Alltag        
    Sieben Tipps für mehr Bewegung im Alltag

    © iStockphoto.com / khz

    Im Sommer ziehe ich mich gerne zurück, um mich den Themen zu widmen, die sonst zu kurz kommen. Während dieser Zeit wiederhole ich ein paar Podcast-Folgen, die Ihnen besonders gefallen haben. Viel Spaß damit!

     

    Die Notizen zur Folge inkl. Zusammenfassung finden Sie hier:
    Sieben Tipps für mehr Bewegung im Alltag


              #Replay: Fünf Mittel gegen Aufschieberitis        
    Fünf Mittel gegen Aufschieberitis

    © iStockphoto.com/absolutely_frenchy

    Im Sommer ziehe ich mich gerne zurück, um mich den Themen zu widmen, die sonst zu kurz kommen. Während dieser Zeit wiederhole ich ein paar Podcast-Folgen, die Ihnen besonders gefallen haben. Viel Spaß damit!

     

    Die Notizen zur Folge inkl. Zusammenfassung finden Sie hier:
    Fünf Mittel gegen Aufschieberitis


              #029: So werfen Sie Ballast ab        

    lebenshuete

    Zu einem funktionierenden Zeitmanagement gehört auch, Ballast abzuwerfen.Das kann im Kleinen sein (etwa unnötige oder zeitraubende Aufgaben), aber natürlich auch im Großen. Grundsätzlich geht es darum, Zeit für die wirklich wichtigen Aufgaben und Dinge zu schaffen, die ja nicht nur auf dem Schreibtisch stehen müssen. Wie das funktioniert, erkläre ich Ihnen in dieser Folge meines Podcasts.

    Ballast abwerfen: In welches Rollen- und Verpflichtungsgeflecht sind Sie eingebunden?

    Hier die fünf Schritte, die Ihnen helfen zu erkennen, was ist:

    1. Überlegen Sie sich, welche Rollen Sie ausfüllen müssen.
    2. Gehen Sie dann einen Schritt weiter und überlegen Sie sich, welche Verpflichtungen Sie irgendwann übernommen haben.
    3. Nehmen Sie eine Zeitschätzung vor.
    4. Reflektieren Sie das Ergebnis.

    Um Ihr Ergebnis dann zu reflektieren, helfen Ihnen diese fünf Fragen:

    • Ist das richtig so?
    • Kann und will ich mir Zeit für all das nehmen?
    • Was ist mein Nutzen aus all diesen Verpflichtungen?
    • Auf was muss ich verzichten, wenn ich weiterhin alle Verpflichtungen erfüllen will
    • Kann ich aus der Verpflichtung raus?

    Die Wahrheit ist immer konkret: Wenn Sie Zeit in die eine Verpflichtung investieren, haben Sie weniger Zeit für eine andere.

    Weiterempfehlen

    Hat Ihnen diese Folge gefallen? Dann empfehlen Sie den Podcast doch weiter. Damit unterstützen Sie gleichzeitig mich und meine Arbeit.Besonders hilfreich sind positive Bewertungen bei iTunes. Klicken Sie gleich weiter unten auf den iTunes-Link und schenken Sie mir ein paar Sterne. Vielen Dank!

    Den Podcast abonnieren

    In meinem Podcast "einfach produktiv" geht es alle zwei Wochen darum, Ihr Zeitmanagement zu verbessern. Sie können meinen Podcast abonnieren. Sobald eine neue Folge erscheint, erhalten Sie sie so automatisch:

    Bildnachweis: © iStockphoto.com / lisafx


              2005 Investment Goal Results        
    Back in June 2005, I made a daring investment goal of making $20,000 profit in stocks over a year period. I went back to my records today and saw that on June 1, 2006, I have made a gain of $11,000. I've only accomplished 55% of my goal. Note, I've added a total of $50 in my investment account during that one year period. But nevertheless, it was a good attempt.
              Stocks Trading vs Real Estate Investment        
    Empty Spaces Inc. said...
    just curious, if you're good at making money in the stock market why not stick to it?& why would you try RE investing after its already been appreciating for several years and may be peaking in most areas?
    The stock market is unpredictable. No matter how good you are or how well you have done, there's no guaranteed of future results. Granted, I have done well in the stock market since I have officially started investing and I'm confident I'll continue to do well, I cannot depend on that to make me rich. Also, my earnings in the stock market is not steady. There are some months I go into the negative zone, and those months are hard to bare even though I have very high tolerance. It's not good to be constantly picking stocks in the long term. It's very time-consuming; I've spent a lot of time reading up on companies and financial news. Also, studies show that you'll likely be beaten by the index in the long run. Even if I can match or slightly beat the index in ten years, I would lose in time and opportunity because I'd have spent thousands of hours. An investor in the index would have done nothing but did not sacrifice as much time as I did. Unless I can beat the index by a huge margin year over year for many years, it's not worth spending hundreds of hours a year. I admit my view has changed slightly. I'm not against investing in individual stocks, but I advise caution, because many people go in without really understanding the risk. Play with money you can afford to lose. Real Estate investing is an alternative to stocks trading and in many people's eyes, it's less risky. I agree, because real estate property is tangible and with the increasing population, real estate demand is bound to go up. My rental property is in Philly, which is not a hot area like NYC or San Diego. Even though the property value is not skyrocketing, I still have rental income to fall back on. The rental income covers my mortgage and property expenses. Basically, the tenant is paying for my house. Eventually, the mortgage will be paid off and I will own the property. It is a long term investment and property value will go up. So far, my real estate investment has been less stressful than my stocks investment. I get a check every month and my tenants never bothered me. Hopefully, I can be this lucky for every investment property.
              VLO and Oil        
    VLO and oil in general are taking a hit right now because of the warm winter (see article below), but I think VLO and oil will do well in the long term. There are many variables in the price of oil, and warm weather is only one of them. The winter is not over yet, there's still a chance colder weather will appear. The middle east conflicts also affects oil prices. If there is a shortage in supply, oil prices will go up. Odds are, the the prices of oil will go up in the long term. I'll hold on my shares of VLO. Verdict: HOLD on VLO ----------------------------------------- Source: Scottrade News 1/2/2007 Oil Prices Face Warm Weather, High Stocks The new year began with a whimper, weatherwise, in the world’s biggest heating oil market. In New York City, temperatures on the first day of 2007 hit a peak of 54 degrees - 45% above normal and 10 degrees warmer than the first day of spring 2006. The current spring-like weather - in line with forecasts - looks likely to put strong pressure on heating oil and crude oil futures prices when trading resumes on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday. But there’s more afoot that can rile the market than just the warmest December on record in Boston, in the heart of New England, where heating oil inventories stand at their highest level since 1998. Latest revised data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show oil demand in October in the U.S. - the world’s largest oil consumer - was 2.7% lower than expected, though still 2.5% above a year ago. The new figures put demand at 20.757 million barrels a day in October - some 567,000 barrels a day below earlier indications - as demand figures for heating oil, gasoline and jet fuel were reduced. EIA’s preliminary data would have put October demand at 21.324 million barrels a day, the highest level since December 2005. The weakness at the start of the fourth quarter calls into question whether U.S. demand will manage to post even the modest year-to-year gain of 1.25% to 21.05 million barrels a day, which EIA forecasts would make it the strongest quarter of 2006.
              Word of the Day: Options        
    Options A contract giving an investor a right to buy (call) or sell (put) a fixed amount of shares (usually 100 shares) of a given stock (or indexes and commodities) at a specified price within a limited time period (usually three, six, or nine months). The purchaser hopes that the stock's price will go up (if he bought a call) or down (if he bought a put) by an amount sufficient to provide a profit when he sells the option. Source: www.environmentalinvestors.com
              SAI Is a BUY        
    SAI has been dropping for a few days and closed at 17.96 today. At under $18, it's a screaming buy, and at under $19, it's a good buy. Upside SAIC Report 8% Increase in Profits SAIC Stock buyback up to 40 million shares Still new to the market, large potential increase in institutional holdings. Low P/E. A good defense/homeland security play. Winning lots of new contracts from government. Downside Options expiring soon (shares selling off). $1.6 billion dividend to insiders. Low guidance. SAI looks like it's going to hit rough waves in the near future, but after smoothing all those problems, it should sail smoothly higher in the long term. Its price is currently at a two-month low and seems to have support at high 17's. At under $18, it would make a very good long term position.
              Status Update        
    I have been very busy lately with work and personal stuff but I am still very active in the stock market. I have made many short term trades but just haven't had the time to post. I hope to do a post about my stock performance later on this month. I'm considering a tablet laptop where I can do some scrap work to depict my investment plans and strategies. I would like some feedbacks on tablet PCs. I know Neville uses a tablet PC, and it looks useful. Another thing I had been wanting to do is move my blog to my own domain, because I want to be able to configure everything and host files, but I thought the move and maintanence would be time-consuming so I didn't do it. Future Posts Philly House Lease Renewal and Rent Increase Annual Stock Performance Review Student Loan Wipeout 2007 Financial Plans My "Safe" Short Trading Strategy
              SAIC Is Soaring        
    SAIC went public a few weeks ago, and I purchsed the stock at $18. Last week the stock jumped to almost $20. I sold a majority of my holding at $19.50. I made $1.50 per share, which is about 8.33%. Not too shabby for a two-week investment. My gains allowed me to buy a new digi-camera, the SD700 IS. Today, SAI broke the $21 mark before dropping back to $20.33 for the close. I'm still thinking if I should short-term trade it. Over the long run, I believe SAI is a good investment.
              Q&A: What To Do With 20K Bonus?        
    A question from "What to do with 1K, 5K, or 10K of savings and in your twenties?" Anonymous asked: So i've got 20k from a recent bonus, and won't need to touch it for about 10 months. After that I might use it for a down payment on an apartment. My money is currently sitting in a 5% savings account, but thinking about putting some of it in an higher yielding closed end bond fund. Any other suggestions for increasing my yield while not risking too much of my principal? Smarty said: If you could tolerate some risk, you may consider putting them in low-beta high-yielding dividend stocks. Do some research, you should be able to find a few companies that are expected to do well over the next 10 months. Otherwise, hunt for the highest yielding CDs. I recently opened a 6.00% 13-month CD with WaMu.
              Blogger Update        
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    NYS OUTDOOR WRITERS SAFARI 2013 IN WASHINGTON COUNTY - GREAT







    Washington County safari yields a tom

    Reach Gazette outdoors columnist Ed Noonan at enoonan@nycap.-rr.com.



        Last Thursday, I was one of 16 members of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association who visited the Cambridge/Salem area of Washington County for our annual safari.
        Each spring in May, NYSOWA chooses a New York county to visit and enjoy the outdoor activities our host county has to offer. Unlike our annual conferences, the safari is strictly a “no business” event in which we just have fun and renew friendships. I’m a bit embarrassed to say this was my first hunting visit to the area, and I live less than 30 miles from Cambridge.
        The two primary outings this time of the year center around turkey hunting and fishing, and what better place to fish in May than on the famous Battenkill River. When canoeing, kayaking and hiking trips through those beautiful plush green hills that surround this picturesque area are added, you couldn’t ask for a better place to spend a long weekend.

        Our Thursday evening Meetand-Greet get-together was held at Momma’s Restaurant in Cambridge, where we were welcomed by Christine Hoffer, Washington County tourism administrator, who outlined our busy agenda and introduced the two places where we would be staying — Batten Kill Valley Outdoors (www.battenkillvalleyoutdoors.com) and Battenkill Riversports and Campground (www.brsac.com). The former offers all types of river rides, boat rentals and a vacation rental house we used as our headquarters, and they have quite an assortment of gear and flies in their shop. Battenkill Riversports and Campground is located right on the Battenkill.
        After driving up to Cambridge, especially along New York Route 313, where both these places are located, I came to the conclusion that Vermont may be the Green Mountain State, but this southern area of Washington County’s rolling hills are equally as green. The next morning, I found out just how hilly they really were.

    FRIDAY
        Everyone was up early and anxious to chase gobblers or hook up with some of those Battenkill brown trout. The turkey hunters, with the exception of three, headed off with their guides where they would hunt private lands. Melody and Frank Tennity of Honeoye and I were going to be on our own, hunting several portions of state land that had been pointed out to us the afternoon before.
        My starting point was the 512-acre Eldridge Swamp State Forest that borders the Battenkill. This area is stocked with pheasants every fall by DEC. And I know that two of them are still alive. When I arrived there just before sunup, I made my way along the edge of the wood line and stopped at a corner of the field to wait and listen.
        A morning greeting from a distant owl got me the response I wanted (gobbles) several hundred yards off into a mixed pine and hard woods, and I quickly and quietly headed in the direction of where the tom was still gobbling.
    I stopped about 75 yards from him, and my first soft yelp got a double gobbling result, and I set out my three decoys. Then our conversation began.
        I knew he was coming, but fi rst in was a hen who eyed my decoys. Mr. Jake appeared shortly after, gobbling and all puffed up with his notched tail. He wasn’t what I wanted, but fun to watch, and finally they moved off.
        I waited about 10 minutes and began calling again, and I got a response from the same area, and
    this one came in on the run. It was another jake, who continued to strut around the decoys. For fun, in a very loud voice I asked him: “What are you doing here?” He actually fell down twice trying to run off.
        At about 6:30 a.m., after walking and calling without any responses, I decided to try spot number two, up behind the lodge. It was defi nitely “up,” and there was no trail. Eventually, I made it to the stone fence they told me about and set up again. I didn’t hear anything for more than an hour, nor was I able to solicit a gobble, so I guessed it was time to do a little walking and talking.
        For the next hour, I followed the wall, stopping every 100 yards or so to call, fi rst with a low tone and then increasing the volume. At 8:30, I headed down and back to the truck — time to visit spot number three, the 2.5-mile State Peaked Rock Trail, also in the Battenkill
    State Forest.
        Its peak altitude is 1,100 feet above the Battenkill. As I made my way slowly up the trail, I found these 69-year-old legs were not as strong as they used to be, and believe me when I tell you, there were numerous stops. Up about a half-mile or
    so from its head, the trail bordered several different green fields on one side and a dried creek bed on the other. At each field, while resting, I made some yelps with my box call. I got one response on the other side of the road on private land.
        At the top of the third field, I noticed there was a deep gully leading to the creek bed which had three to four inches of water in it. It looked like a good spot to rest and call.
        My normal calling ritual when walking and stopping to call is to begin by making soft yelps, then, depending upon the results, continue to increase the call volume. I repeat the sequence every fi ve or 10 minutes.

        I liked the looks of the area, so I decided to stay a little longer and occasionally make a few calls. On my fifth calling sequence, I got a thundering response gobble somewhere above me. I estimated him to be at least 200 yards up, but on the other side of the creek. Every time I called, he responded and was getting closer, but still on the other side of the creek.
        Now the “book” says incoming toms will not cross creeks. So I grabbed my decoys, slid down the
    gully, crossed the creek, set them out on the edge of that side, then I climbed about three-quarters of the way back up from the creek on the trail side and settled in with my Benelli and got him talking again. With all that up-and-down running around, it’s a good thing I don’t use a mouth call. I wouldn’t have had enough wind to blow it.
        What happened next was a fi rst for me. The tom crossed back over to my side, and I thought all was lost when he went quiet. I was looking straight to where I heard his last call when out of the corner of my eye, there he was, fully displayed and walking “in” the creek toward the decoys. It was the fi rst turkey I ever shot in the water, and he was a beauty, even though he was wet.
        I can’t remember the last time I shot a turkey on New York state land, and I couldn’t wait to show him off. My Washington County gobbler, after drying, was over
    20 pounds, carried a 9 3 /4-inch beard and 1 1 /8-inch spurs. Thank you, Jerry Wilson, for your great box call. It did it again (www.wilsongamecalls. net).
        You can also see my Washington
    County tom at http://fi shguydblog.-blogspot.com/.
        Back at the lodge for lunch, I found out that the Battenkill River and Dead Lake anglers all had some nice trout on ice.
        Our afternoon tour of the Quality Deer Management Co-op in Easton began with a most interesting presentation by Tony Rainville, president and founding member of the local branch, and Jami Whitney, local branch director.
        What I learned and saw on our walking tour of the food plots, etc., was very impressive and clarifi ed many questions I’ve had. These individuals are a dedicated group that’s truly improving the deer herd, and it’s a LOT more than just developing trophy bucks.
        I urge every deer hunter to go to www.qdma.com and see what it’s all about.
        Thank you, Christine Hoffer, and all the Washington County individuals who helped make this safari a very enjoyable and successful outdoor experience. I’ll be back.

    DAN LADD Charles Witek of West Babylon, a member of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association, fishes with his wife, Theresa, from a boat on Dead Lake in Washington County. They were part of the group’s annual safari.




                      

    LAKE PLACID HIGH PEAKS TURKEY HUNT  MAY 1, 2013





    HIGH PEAKS GOBBLER


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    THE HUNT

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

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

    “Back to the original plan,” Bill said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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








                      

    12 YEAR OLD BRECK BREEN'S FIRST TURKEY

    FIRST TURKEY HUNT IS A SUCCESS

    “I think you are more excited than Breck about tomorrow’s turkey hunt,” my wife said to me last Friday night. She was referring to my taking 12 year old Breck Breen, Wilton out for his first wild turkey hunt. Last weekend, April 20 and 21 had been set aside as the Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend for licensed junior in NYS, ages 12-15. They had to be accompanied by an adult and they were allowed to take one bearded turkey. Breck’s dad Tim, who was a bit under the weather, asked me if I would take him out; and I jumped at the chance.




    I know that Tim had been grooming his son to all aspects of the outdoors and that included gun safety, hunting and marksmanship; first with a Crosman air gun and then with a .22 and lastly a shotgun. I found out that he had shown some of his good shooting abilities off during his NYS 4H Shooting Sports Hunter Education course breaking a few clay birds; so I figured he would be ready for the turkey hunt.



    My plan was to register him in the Sharp Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation that included a tremendous cook out with all the trimmings along with some friendly competition and prizes for all the 51 kids that signed up for this ‘free’ contest. When I told my friend, Mike Galcik, Schuylerville about my young hunter he volunteered some of his hot spots providing I take an oath of secrecy; which I did.



    Early the next morning I received a text message and a photo of 3 strutting toms from Mike that said: “Have Breck pick one.” And when I spoke to him later in the day we decided to put a ground blind up the next afternoon. However that part of the plan did not work; because when we were going to put the blind up the hedgerow of the field we found it with about 20 turkeys. Now I think it was about this time on Friday that I started to get really excited.



    After dinner on Friday Breck and I headed for the range to pattern and punch some holes in life size turkey head targets. It was a short shoot, because Breck’s 3 shots from that little 20 gauge Youth Model 500 Mossberg at 22 yards put more than enough pellets in the neck head area to drop any turkey. He was definitely ready.



    THE HUNT

    I never heard the alarm go off at 3 a.m.; because I awoke at 2:30 a.m. and started getting ready. I did wonder what the effects of all torrential downpour and extremely high winds would have on the birds. Wild turkeys spend the night roosting in trees holding on to the branch with their feet; so it had to be a see-saw wet ride for them.



    Breck and my enthusiasm had us sitting in Mike’s driveway at least a half hour earlier than are 5 a.m. meeting time but it went quickly and we loaded up all our gear in Mike’s truck. It was windy, cold and slightly drizzling but when we heard that gobble just as we were getting out of the truck at our destination, we all warmed up.



    Entering the field a good distance down from where the birds were roosting we hugged the edge of a hedgerow making our way to a setup point near where the turkeys usually go by in the morning. Mike set up about 15 yards behind us and when it started to get light he began to answer the already talking toms up on the hill. It was about 15 minutes when Breck whispered: “Here comes one.” It was definitely a tom and on several occasions would display his fan and do a little strutting. He was headed straight for us. Breck sat perfectly still with his cheek frozen to the stock of his shotgun; and he never moved. Unfortunately despite Mike’s good calling the real thing (3 hens) appeared and a few yelps from them turned him in their direction. It is hard to beat the real thing. And it wasn’t long before we watched the entire flock cross the paved road entering another field.



    Quickly we packed up and back tracked down the field, across the road and up to a ridge where we hoped would put us ahead of them; and it worked. Breck and Mike set up just overlooking the ridge where below them were several toms. Mike quickly got Breck setup and started to talk to the birds; but although they occasional gobbled a response they had no intention of leaving their harem. Finally they moved off, back across the road exactly where they had crossed earlier. “If we hunt tomorrow,” Mike said, “we will set up early right there where they had crossed.”



    TIME TO MOVE

    It was only a short ride to the next spot. We had only walked about 300 yards down a farm road when we caught a glimpse of turkeys in a field. Quickly we set up in a hedgerow and Mike started to calling; and within minutes he was getting responses from the tom. But all they did was talk; and he too had no intention of leaving his ladies. We did get some far off gobbles but it would require spooking the birds in the field so we headed back to the truck.



    The next stop was only about 15 minutes away and again we started down a farm road that ended at an old cornfield. Setting up at the corner, Mike said he expected turkeys to be at the back of the field feeding and when he made his first yelp call that is exactly where the gobble came from. For a while the caller and the gobbler talked but his reluctance to come to us told us he was “henned up.” But just as we were about to go to him, out pops a mature yelping and clucking hen. Now we had live bait.



    We sat still watching and let her do the calling and she was getting responses from one or maybe two gobblers. However once she disappeared into the woods we had to move and get in front of her hoping the gobbler would follow. And he did.



    Once we got in front of her, and we could hear her continuing to yelp, we quickly set up in a small overgrown green field about 50 yards into the woods from the farm road. Things started to happen fast beginning with the hen who yelped her way past us; and with the help of Mike’s calling the two of them had what sounded like not one but two toms following.



    I was amazed at how calm Breck was during all this excitement; quite unusual for a 12 year old on his first turkey hunt. Another hen passed us quickly and within minutes the thundering gobbles were very close. However there were two of them as we expected. Unfortunately they were about 50 plus yards out; and a bit too far for the 20 gauge. Each time they started to move off Mike talked them back in but not close enough; and eventually the disappeared gobbling responses to Mike’s calls as they moved off.



    Moving time again and from the climb up this steep ridge following a young man and a 12 year old I realized I was a 68 year old; but they were kind and waited on the top for me to catch up. Moving along the edge of the field we would stop and make a few calls and it wasn’t long before we got another response. Another quick setup and from the gobbler’s responses he was coming straight two us.



    I was sitting behind Breck and Mike waiting to turn on my movie camera when next to me, standing no more than 30 yards were 2 gobblers announcing their presence. These may have been the two that stayed out of range down below. I dare not move or they surely would have seen me; but when I looked at Breck he was right on them. It seemed longer than it really was before Breck pulled the trigger and I watch the tom fold. This little hunter had shot his first tom wild turkey and his smile stretched from ear to ear. High 5s were definitely in order and both Mike and I were extremely happy. Definitely a GREAT hunt. For me this hunt is the very best one I have ever been on.



    The gobbler weighed in at 15 pounds and carried a 4 3/4 inch beard and you can see it and a smiling Breck Breen if you click on this link to my BLOG http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=4811742045506221910#editor/target=post;postID=7893723070742898833;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=0;src=postname



    But our day was not over. After thanking Mike for all his help we headed for Auriemma’s house to register Breck’s tom. It was a packed house of camo clad kids and adults when we arrived. The final count was 51 youth hunters; which is outstanding. And I believe 15 of them shot a tom; and I saw three twenty pounders, any of which, I would like to see in my sights on May 1. Once again the Mike and Michele Auriemma did a tremendous job. The food was good and there was plenty of it and all the kids left with 3 prizes. THANK YOU Mike and Michele and all those sponsors and helpers.


























              NEWFOUNDLAND MOOSE - SCI SILVER AWARD        


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

    PART II - THE HUNT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



              365 Cards Day 205 / CPS Sketch #284        
    Patterned papers – Basic Grey “Periphery” collection Dimensional stickers – K&Company “Flora and Fauna Typewriter Keys” Stamp – from the Stampin’ Up “Sincere Salutations” set Cardstock – Bazzill I made this card using the 365 Cards color challenge for Day 205. The challenge is to use these colors:   I decided to use the current […]
              CPS Sketch #280 – Dreamy Floral        
    Stamp – Penny Black “Dreamy” Patterned papers – Basic Grey “Out of Print” collection (6 X 6″ pad) Cardstock – WorldWin Black rickrack Embossing powder – Stampendous “Detail Black” I made this 6 X 6″ square card using inspiration from CPS Sketch #280. I heat embossed the flower with detail black embossing powder to create […]
              CPS Sketch #272        
    Stamps – Pink Paislee “Soiree” (teapot) and Hero Arts “Year Round Sentiments” (Thinking of You) Patterned papers – Teresa Collins “Fabrications” collection Dies – Spellbinders Nestabilities “Lacey Circles” and “Standard Circles Large” Cardstock – Bazzill I used Card Positioning System Sketch #272 as inspiration for this card with matching papers from Teresa Collins. This simple […]
              CPS Sketch #156 – Butterflies        
    Stamps – Layers of Color “Flutterescent” Patterned papers – Basic Grey “Little Black Dress: Modern Vogue and Elegant” Cardstock – Bazzill Die cut – Spellbinder’s Nestabilities “Standard Circles Large” ColorBox Chalk Inks (around edge of stamped image) Gems – Mark Richards Crystal Stickers Corner punch – Fiskars This is a very simple card that features […]
              CPS Sketch Challenge #254 – Leap Birthday        
    Stamps – Kodomo Inc. “Lily Pad” and Inkadinkado “Happy Birthday” Patterned papers – Tim Holtz Idea-ology Paper Stash “Retro Grunge” Letters – American Crafts “Nutmeg” glossy letter stickers Cardstock – Bazzill I used CPS Sketch #254 to make this card, which is for a friend and co-worker whose birthday falls on Leap Day. He was […]
              CPS – 5th Anniversary Challenge – Day 13        
    Stamps – The Cat’s Pajamas “Raining Cats” and Studio G “With Love” Patterned cardstock – BoBunny Dot-to-Dot Embossing folder – Cuttlebug Trim – Model Crafts Punches – Marvy Uchida and Recollections Rhinestones – Queen & Co. This Valentine was made for the CPS 5th Anniversary celebration: Challenge 13. I used the sketch (Sketch 121) as […]
              OWH Challenge – Hot Tropics        
    Patterned papers – Graphic 45 “Tropical Travelogue Collection: Island Jewel” (floral and green giraffe print) and “Botanica” (toucans) Border punch – EK Success Cardstock – Bazzill Wow! I just saw that this is my 200th post (in less than a year)! Eeek. Time flies and apparently the cards are flying, too! I created this card […]
              Card Positioning Systems Sketch #248        
    Die cuts – Spellbinders Poseabilities “Snowflake Wonder” Patterned papers – BoBunny St. Nick Sugar Plum (green polka dot) and Heidi Grace Shimmer Flocked paper “Jolly & Bright” (words) Cardstock – Bazzill Brads – Recollections Round Brads This is my interpretation of the current CPS Sketch #248. The snowflake die cuts are both cut and embossed, […]
              2017 Recipe Wall Calendar - Local/Seasonal Ingredients by thirdcoastpaper        

    29.00 USD

    This is a reprint, back by popular demand. Each recipe is tailored to the freshest & most delicious ingredients for each season. Although the month layouts just give a flavor of each recipe, all ingredients and instructions for each recipe are included on the back page, for you to keep and cook from for years to come!

    Recipes include:
    January—Pesto Pasta with Portobello Fries
    February—Chocolate Creme Cookies
    March—Homemade Granola
    April—Mango Mojitos
    May—Tyler's Famous Salsa & Guacamole
    June—Asian Chicken Salad
    July—Watermelon Salad
    August—Grilled Pesto Pizza
    September—Soft Ballpark Pretzels
    October—Chicken Tortilla Soup
    November—Cornbread Stuffing
    December—Grandma's Cranberry Dressing

    Printed on fine stock, each wall calendar is 11x17 in size and includes a full calendar with major US Holidays marked. Photography by Hannah Persson of hannahperssonphoto.com, and design by Liz Carver of Milwaukee-area paperie, Third Coast Paper.

    If you have any questions, feel free to message us!


              January 2015 DAY DESIGNER - Gold Stripe - Yearly Planner & Daily Agenda, Calendar, Organizer by whitneyenglish        

    Sold

    SHIPPING NOTE: The shipping times for each item are different! The estimated ship date for this item is by September 22nd!

    The story behind the Day Designer®:

    The Day Designer® was born on a Saturday morning in November of 2010, as wife, mother, and designer Whitney English faced of an overflowing inbox, piles of disorganized lists and notes, and a daunting holiday rush season in full swing.

    In 2012, Day Designer® was introduced to the world. The first planner offering a daily agenda format, users quickly embraced it. Unlike traditional planners that offer a week-at-a-glance format, Day Designer's signature feature is a single page for every day (and combined pages for weekends).

    Day Designer® will allow you to make notes about family, business, and personal goals and dreams. It will keep you on course and focused. It's all about living an intentional, well-designed life. Every single day.

    Day Designer® is printed on luxe weight (50 lb) paper. It is bound with brass-finished spiral binding and finished with a hardcover and hardback. Day Designer® is 100% designed and made in the US!

    The January 2015 Day Designer® is a combined edition, featuring Whitney English's "Define Your Core" worksheets, a personal self-discovery process created to help you find balance and clarity.

    :: Approximate size is 9" x 9.5" x 1.25".
    :: Over 350 pages!
    :: A yearly calendar overview.
    :: A monthly calendar overview.
    :: A daily planning page for each day of the week.
    :: Daily pages feature a spot for:
    // Due - use to remember deadlines, projects.
    // Dollars - track sales or remember what your daily financial goals are.
    // Dinner - who are you eating with or what are you having?
    // Don't Forget - a spot for extra reminders.
    // Daily Gratitude - because gratitude changes thing.
    // Download - get it out of your head and onto paper.
    :: Combined weekend planning pages.
    :: A 2016 QuickPlanner™ calendar in the back!
    :: Each day features an inspirational quote!

    As a Day Designer® owner, you'll also have access to the following:
    :: Live Instructional Webinar on November 12, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. CST
    :: Access to a private users' group (instructions received after checkout)

    The Gold Stripe and Black Stripe January 2015 editions are printed on off-white French Paper Co. stock. While many of the images you may have seen look white, the color is actually an off-white.

    If you have any specific questions, please send in an Etsy convo!

    Buyers frequently ask questions about production and shipping time. Our goal for customer service is to always under-promise and over deliver. Because of the variations that can occur in production time, we cannot quote any shipping times other than what is stated above.

    INTERNATIONAL BUYERS - PLEASE NOTE:
    Import duties, taxes, and charges are not included in the item price or shipping cost. These charges are the buyer's responsibility. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing. You can also refer to this Etsy article for more information: https://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2010/shipping-how-to-custom-forms-duties-and-taxes/.


              Trodat Typomatic DIY Line Self-Inking Stamp by nothingelegant        

    Sold

    Make your own stamp and change the text as needed!
    You can combine colors of cardstock or ink and make a lot of nice business cards with just one stamp! Fits up to 4 lines of text. Comes with two sets of letters\/numbers - 3mm and 4mm font.

    ○ Size : 70×80×35 mm
    ○ Design & made in Austria, TRODAT


              Mulheres & Autoestima        

    Olá, Divas? Tudo bem?
    Primeiro quero parabenizar cada uma de vocês! Na semana da mulher, não podia deixar de lembrar o quanto maravilhosa é você, Diva!
    Mulher que consegue rir e chorar ao mesmo tempo, sem borrar a maquiagem!
    Limpa a casa, vai para academia, vai ao mercado, trabalha e ainda cuida do filho e do marido.
    Sem descer do salto.
    Ou sem descabelar.
    Mas mesmo descabelando, descendo do salto e de cara lavada, você é maravilhosa! Simplesmente por ser você!
    Então, falemos sobre ter muita AUTOESTIMA.
    Post completo na  A Confraria das Divas



              Heiken Ashi Strategies: It works. Sometimes.        

    Nearly every week, someone sends TradingSchools.Org a request, asking about various topics related to technical analysis tools used to analyze stocks, futures, Forex or options. Nearly all modern trading platforms contain a plethora of basic trading tools. Some of the more common technical analysis tools are moving averages, stochastics, volume analysis, Japanese candlesticks, Heiken Ashi, MACD, divergence, Bollinger Bands, to name a few. It seems like every few years, we get an entirely new set of tools that capture the imagination of the investing public. Crafty vendors and trading educators quickly pick up on these consumer trends and create their

    The post Heiken Ashi Strategies: It works. Sometimes. appeared first on Trading Schools.Org.


              Guy Gentile: A Crazy Life.        

    ‘Bro, I’m Going Rogue’: The Wall Street Informant Who Double-Crossed the FBI by Zeke Faux of BloombergBusinessWeek (reprint) On the night he cut a deal with the FBI, Guy Gentile was on his way to a Connecticut casino for his cousin’s bachelor party. He’d jetted up from the Bahamas, where he was running an online stock brokerage that cleared a million dollars a year without much effort on his part. Then 36, he was a working-class kid who’d finagled his way into the dicier edges of finance, and he dressed the part, with neatly trimmed stubble, designer jeans, a silver

    The post Guy Gentile: A Crazy Life. appeared first on Trading Schools.Org.


              Investors Underground ***Update***        

    Thanks for reading today’s brief update of Investors Underground. I have been highly critical of Nathan Michaud and his live, stocks day trading room. You can read my original review of Investors Underground here. Investors Underground, when analysed using Google search patterns and estimated volume of traffic, is one of the most popular live, stocks day trading rooms on the internet. The hustle has its roots planted in Timothy Sykes Investimonial’s website, where Nathan has massive number of fake positive reviews. My original review was a pretty scathing hit piece on Nathan Michaud as well as some of the moderators

    The post Investors Underground ***Update*** appeared first on Trading Schools.Org.


              Nonko Trading ***Update***        

    Thanks for reading today’s update of Nonko Trading. On June 20, 2015 I published a review of Nonko Trading. My allegations were simple and direct, that Nonko Trading was masquerading as a stock broker for underfunded day traders. That Nonko’s day trading platform, also known as Logix had no exchange connectivity, and was little more than a stock trading video game. Nonko Trading  was specializing on preying upon the naive and uninformed. Traders desperate to gain 20X leverage on initial deposits were induced into wiring their monies into third world banks with zero transparency, and zero recourse. Once the money

    The post Nonko Trading ***Update*** appeared first on Trading Schools.Org.


              ABLÖSEFREI! MODERN MIT DESIGNER EINRICHTUNG        
    7361 Lutzmannsburg / 143m² / 3 Zimmer, € 950,-
    7361 Lutzmannsburg
    www.at.immolive24.com

    Dieses moderne Dachgeschoss-Maisonette-Apartment liegt im 3. Liftstock einer denkmalgeschützten Wohnhausanlage mit nur wenigen Parteien. Die Wohnung ist komplett möbliert, mit einer sehr hochwertigen Ausstattung unter


              Nordstrom's stock pops as retailer delivers same-store sales growth        
    Earlier on Thursday, retail rivals Kohl's, Macy's and Dillard's delivered second-quarter earnings ahead of Nordstrom.
              Infobox Vöcklabruck Jänner 2012: OTELO        
    Das Offene Technologielabor OTELO (www.otelo.or.at) hat am 19. Jänner zu einem Pressegespräch eingeladen. Anlass war die Besiedelung des zweiten Stockwerks in der alten Landesmusikschule am 30. Dezember. Diese Spielraumerweiterung bietet nun neuen Platz für weitere Initiativen und Kleingruppen. Außerdem ist das neue Workshop Programm präsentiert worden, das wieder ganz im Zeichen von „learning by doing“ […]
              A trip to London and down memory lane...        
    Last Wednesday, I walked with the Ramblers after a break of two weeks;  I was invigilating on the two previous Wednesdays. There are some evening walks coming up which I am looking forward to. I love evening walking. There's a special evening walk on the 21st June which will be the longest day of the year and it's starting at 8.30 pm - in the pub!


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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


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

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



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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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


    All jewellery charity shopped except watch.


    Necklace bought in Derry for 2.50.


    Woke up on Sunday to more terrible news.


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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

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

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

              Away for the weekend        

    If Lidl has these flowers (Alstromerias) in, I always buy them. This double bunch was bought on 22nd December and lasted for four weeks!

    Monday's OOTD
    This is what I wore at the Red Cross where I volunteer.

    All jewellery charity shopped except watch.


    Everything charity shopped except boots - bought on line.


    Red jeans; Laura Ashley, cardigan by Faithful and True (!); spotted top by Anthology, bought for 49p in Barnardos last week.

    The contrast in the amount of goods donated to the Red Cross and Save the Children (my previous charity shop) is huge! At Save the Children we often had to keep old stock out as there wasn't much to replace it with. At the Red Cross, when I got in on Monday, there were at least 8 black bin bags of donation to be sorted and tagged; by the time I left three and a half hours later there were a further six bags donated!

    Did I buy anything? Of course! I bought a coral coloured cardigan from Monsoon (it's a colour I don't have) for £1.99;  a tunic for £1.99; a scarf with pearls on it for £1.50 - how could I resist a scarf that has pearls sewn into it? Two fine multi chain necklaces for 50p each and a brooch for 99p. With staff discount it came to just under six pounds!

    Tuesday's OOTD

    I do like this dress. It's colourful and warm, but it's an example of something not suiting me.The shape of the dress is not right for me. It just hangs from my boobs and is sack like; I look like a box on legs! This dress will be consigned to the charity shop bag. It was £1.99 from the Red Cross bought in winter 2015. Goodbye dress...


    Everything is charity shopped except the boots from Sainsbury's and the leggings, also Sainsbury's. The jacket is a 1980s Geiger jacket.


    All jewellery charity shopped except watch.

    This is a really good example of learning what suits (or in this case) - what doesn't; by seeing a photo of me wearing the garment.

    Tuesday was my first proper volunteering day at the Guildhouse. We spent the time sorting out stuff for a forthcoming sale and I even did some ironing! I hate ironing but they don't have a steamer; only a rather spiffy steam iron...


    This was Wednesday's outfit. I didn't really go anywhere except to run some errands in town. I didn't even go for a walk; I can't even remember why!

    I really like this jacket and keep on wearing it. Everything is charity shopped even the boots.


    On Thursday I set off to drive to Devon to visit my friend of fifty odd years. She retired in December and we had a lovely time catching up,  walking, going out for meals and meeting up with her daughter and grandchildren. We also had a marathon charity shopping spree! We visited the charity shops in Tiverton on Friday and on Saturday visited the charity shops in Exmouth. We visited 20 in total!


    This was taken outside the almshouses in Tiverton.
    The coat was bought in the La Redoute sale a few weeks back. Scarf, jewellery and jeans charity shopped. Boots, Christmas 2016 present from daughter.


    The almshouses date from the 14th century. They were built by John Greenway 1460 - 1529.


    This chap was over the door of the almshouses.

    This charity shop marathon is my last until I get to Ireland in April.
    What did I buy? Another coat; vintage I think but no labels at all, £3.00. An animal print shirt M & S; £2.00 (I've been wanting one of these for ages). A blue pinafore type dress £2.25; a red summer skirt £1.00; another scarf, red this time; £1.00. A set of stacking mugs in a container from M&S; £2.50 and lots of jewellery - two pairs of earrings; 4 bangles, two of which are purple and what I've been after for a while; a brooch, a yellow ring and pretty yellow necklace. And finally more padded hangers x 3 and two books!

    This was my outfit on Sunday. I got back from Devon on Sunday afternoon and it rained all the way...


    Everything charity shopped; except the boots Christmas present 2015.


    Wrap green cord trouser; Red Cross £1.00. John Rocha top and M & S shirt. Necklace £1.00;.
     Salvation Army.

    That was my week - how was yours?

              Reinventing the Stocking (A No-Sew Canvas Project)        


    The holidays are coming! This reinvented stocking idea could be used for Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine's Day or any other gift-giving event. Here's the skinny...

    STEP 1: GATHER THE SUPPLIES 

    14x14 canvas pillow cover
    5x7 canvas rectangle
    "Snowflakes 3 pc Stencils Kit" from Cutting Edge Stencils
    stencil brush from Cutting Edge Stencils
    craft paint
    17" metal or wood rod/dowel
    fabric adhesive
    jute twine


    Read more »

              Un collier pour l'automne        
    Hier, je suis allée avec mon amie Minic à Creativa à Namur, histoire de se retrouver un peu, de partager nos passions et de papoter en toute amitié.

    Les tentations étaient fortes comme d'habitude et je dois dire que je me suis laissée faire, car après tout, c'est aussi le but de ces salons que de se faire plaisir.

    J'ai refait un stock de matos de scrap, mais j'ai aussi craqué pour quelques perles que j'ai aussitôt assemblées pour en faire ce collier dans les tons bruns que j'affectionne particulièrement dans ma garde-robe.
    Je pense qu'il ira bien avec mes cols roulés dès cet automne (car je n'attendrai pas l'hiver pour passer aux cols roulés, il fait bien trop froid!)
    Alors? Il vous dit quoi?
    A bientôt et merci de votre visite.

              A Sweeter Hops        

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

    Food for Thought

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Alpha vs. beta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Citations

    John A. Henning

    Forage Seed and Cereal Research

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Agricultural Research Service

    3450 SW Campus Way

    Corvallis, OR 97331

    Barbara M. Reed

    National Clonal Germplasm Repository

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Agricultural Research Service

    33447 Peoria Road

    Corvallis, OR 97333-2521
    Further Reading

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

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

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

              It's Spud Time        

    The United Nations wants more people to appreciate the potato's potential to fight world hunger

    Food for Thought

    As 2007 winds down, thoughts naturally turn towards what might lie ahead. Meals rich in high-carb tubers, perhaps? That's what the United Nations would like everyone to contemplate throughout 2008, which it is designating the International Year of the Potato.

    Farmers now harvest more than 300 million tons of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) worldwide. That makes it the fourth biggest food crop, trailing only corn, wheat, and rice.

    For 8,000 years, the humble potato has been a staple in the South American Andes, its homeland. Spanish adventurers encountered the New World crop roughly 500 years ago and brought various types back to Europe. Today, potatoes are cultivated not only throughout the Americas, but also from China's uplands to India's subtropical lowlands—even on Ukraine's arid steppes.

    A testament to the potato's Western roots, production of this crop in the States and southward leads the world. Fully 40 percent of the 2006 potato harvest came from North America, with Latin American farmers contributing another 16 percent.

    However, appreciation for this nutritious starch within developing countries outside of the Americas—especially in Asia—has been growing steadily, with production of the crop in those regions climbing some 5 percent annually. Indeed, 2005 marked the first time in recent history that production of potatoes in the developing world exceeded that in developed nations.

    Although most people think of potatoes as a commodity, in fact, more potatoes are processed to make fast foods, snacks, and convenience items than are sold fresh in the market place. Today, China is the leading producer of spuds, followed by the Russian states and India. International trade in potatoes—worth $6 billion annually—has also been growing within developing nations.

    You might then ask why, with all of this pre-existing global interest in potatoes, the UN feels compelled to devote a year of workshops, research contests, and other focused attention on this one particular food. And the reason, the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization argues, is that much of the spud's potential to feed the poor remains untapped.

    For instance, although Asians eat nearly half of the world's potatoes, per capita consumption even in Asia remains modest—just 25 kilograms per year, or roughly 45 percent of U.S. consumption and just 27 percent of what's typical in Europe.

    Even were potatoes to win greater respect for their nutritional attributes and ability to serve as industrial feedstocks, they couldn't necessarily make a big contribution in new regions of the world without significantly more research. The tubers are vulnerable to a host of major diseases—like the one that set off Ireland's 1845 potato famine. Some varieties of potato are especially resistant to particular diseases, but may not grow well in new regions of the world or taste that yummy.

    That's where potato scientists come in. They can identify the climate, soil types, day length, and native diseases with which any new potato crop would have to contend. Then they'll cross lines of wild or cultivated spuds to develop ones with traits that will allow them to thrive outside the Americas. The good news, the UN program notes: "The potato has the richest genetic diversity of any cultivated plant." So there's plenty of potential to tailor a new cultivar to meet the needs of farmers in most places on the globe.

    But the potato's biggest advantage, according to the International Potato Center, based in Lima, Peru, is that it yields more food, more quickly, on less land, and in harsher climates than any other major crop. Up to 85 percent of the plant is edible, compared to only about 50 percent for cereal grains. Moreover, the Center notes, potatoes "are ideally suited to places where land is limited and labor is abundant—conditions in much of the developing world."

    To help get this word out to agricultural agencies in parts of the world not already turned on to spuds, and from them to farmers, the International Potato Center will be sponsoring a March 2008 meeting: Potato Science for the Poor–Challenges for the New Millennium (http://www.cipotato.org/Cuzco_conference/). Those who attend will have the opportunity to explore the possibility of cooperating to fine tune existing potatoes into higher-yielding varieties.

    The International Potato Center's gene bank safeguards the largest biodiversity of potatoes—7,500 different varieties, of which 1,950 are not cultivated. Research on spuds, especially studies aimed at fostering food security and the alleviation of poverty, have become a focus for the center.

    With all of this talk of potatoes, are you hungry yet? The UN program has so far identified 172,000 web pages containing recipes for using potatoes. Stay tuned, it says: "We will gather the best of them" and share them on the Year of the Potato website.


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

    Citations

    International Year of Potato (IYP) Secretariat

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

    Room C-776

    Viale delle Terme di Caracalla

    00153 Rome

    Italy

    International Potato Center

    Apartado Postal 1558

    Lima 12,

    Peru
    Further Reading

    Gorman, J. 2000. Novel sensing system catches the dud spud. Science News 158(Nov. 25):341. Available at [Go to].

    C. Graves, Ed. 2001. The Potato, Treasure of the Andes: From Agriculture to Culture. Lima, Peru: International Potato Center (208 pp). Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2005. Food colorings: Pigments make fruits and veggies extra healthful. Science News 167(Jan. 8):27. Available at [Go to].

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

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

    ______. 2003. How olives might enhance potatoes—and strawberries. Science News Online (May 24). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2002. Acrylamide—From spuds to gingerbread. Science News Online (Dec. 14). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1998. Taters for tots provide an edible vaccine. Science News 153(March 7):149. Available at [Go to]

              No Peanuts for Your Peanut        

    Youngsters are developing peanut allergies earlier because of exposures in babyhood

    Food for Thought

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Homing in on the problem

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Citations

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    141 Northwest Point Boulevard

    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

    Web site: [Go to]

    A. Wesley Burks

    Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology

    Duke University Medical Center

    DUMC 2644

    Durham, NC 27710

    National Institutes of Health

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

    Office of Communications and Government Relations

    6610 Rockledge Drive, MSC 6612

    Bethesda, MD 20892-6612

    Web site: [Go to]
    Further Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              Cleaning Up after Livestock        

    Food for Thought

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Other advantages

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

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

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

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


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

    Citations

    Bryan L. Woodbury

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

    Agricultural Research Service

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    P.O. Box 166, Spur 18D

    Clay Center, NE 68933-0166
    Further Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              Fattening Carbs—Some Promote Obesity and Worse        

    Food for Thought

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Recipe for pudge

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What about people?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Citations

    David J.A. Jenkins

    Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center

    St. Michael's Hospital

    61 Queen Street, East

    Toronto, ON M5C 3E2

    Canada


    David S. Ludwig

    Children's Hospital Boston

    Department of Medicine

    333 Longwood Avenue

    Boston, MA 02115


    Silvia Valtueña

    Department of Internal Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

    University of Parma

    43100 Parma

    Italy
    Further Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

              Computerized Plans        
    Our computerized blueprints are accurate and complete.  Stretch your imagination with your own design or choose from one of our stock plans. We offer a variety of logs and methods of construction including Post & Beam, Butt & Pass, Dovetail, and Swedish Cope – This unique method of construction provides the ultimate in structural strength. [...]
              The Subprime Crisis [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Robert J. Shiller | Bubbles in the stock market and the housing market are the cause of a financial crisis that is wreaking havoc around the world. The bubbles in turn are caused, at their core, by popular misunderstandings. This contradicts the 'rational expectations' view of the economy that has guided much economic theorizing. In dealing with this crisis in the short run, some kind of bailout of injured parties is necessary to prevent damage to the social fabric. In the long run, we can help mitigate such crises by improving the financial information infrastructure, by expanding market coverage of important risks, and introducing new retail financial products. Robert J. Shiller is the Arthur M. Okun Professor of Economics, Department of Economics and Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, and Professor of Finance and Fellow at the International Center for Finance, Yale School of Management.
              The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): George Soros and Howard Davies | In the midst of the worst financial upheaval since the Great Depression, George Soros explores the origins of the crisis and its implications for the future. Soros, whose breadth of experience in financial markets is unrivalled, places the current crisis in the context of decades of study of how individuals and institutions handle the boom and bust cycles that now dominate global economic activity. "This is a once in lifetime moment", says Soros in characterising the scale of financial distress spreading across Wall Street, the London Stock Exchange, and financial centres around the world. This event marks the launch of George Soros new book 'The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means' (PublicAffairs, May 2008).
              INTERNACIONAL EM QUATRO DÉCADAS        
     Jari Litmanen: a serviço de seu país em quatro décadas




    Nos dias de hoje é cada vez mais improvável um jogador manter o alto nível ao ponto de ser convocado para a sua seleção nacional por 5, 10 ou 15 anos. E quando chegam a mais de 15 e até 20 ou mais anos? Aí sim vira um fato digno de nota. Poucos foram os que ultrapassaram tais números, mas nenhum outro conseguiu o feito do finlandês da foto acima.

    Este jogador é Jari Litmanen, ex-meiocampista do Ajax, Liverpool e Barcelona e que ganhou quase tudo o que o um jogador profissional sonha disputar. O ex-atleta, afora os incríveis 21 anos de serviços prestados à sua seleção, é o único da história do futebol até hoje que detém a marca de atuar internacionalmente em quatro décadas distintas.

    Nascido em Lahti, capital da região de Päijänne Tavastia na Finlândia, em 20 de fevereiro de 1971, a bola já estava no DNA do então garoto, pois seus pais eram jogadores profissionais de futebol no país. Seu pai, Olavi Litmanen, foi um meia de sucesso no Reipas Lahti e da seleção da Finlândia nos anos 60 e 70. Sua mãe, Liisa, também era futebolista do Reipas Lahti - atuava de líbero no time feminino nos anos 70 e também foi bem sucedida. Ou seja, "filho de peixe, peixinho é" como diz o conhecido ditado popular.

    Tanto que aos 6 anos Litmanen já dava seus primeiros chutes no clube que revelou seus pais, o Reipas. Foram vários anos nas categorias de base sempre enchendo os olhos dos treinadores e olheiros com sua habilidade rara para um país com pouca expressão no futebol. Sua estreia como profissional se deu em 1987 na Liga Finlandesa. Mesmo com todo seu talento, o novato por pouco não começou sua carreira de forma melancólica, já que seu time terminou a competição em 10º lugar - uma acima dos rebaixados KePS Kemi e Koparit Kuopio.

    Depois de 13 anos entre base e profissional no Reipas Lahti sua condição de grande jogador já merecia vôos mais altos, apesar de não ter conquistado nenhum título com o clube. Tanto que em 1991 assinou contrato com o HJK, maior time da Finlândia. Porém, sua relação com os azuis da capital durou apenas uma temporada em sua primeira passagem, mas de muito sucesso com seus gols e assistências, apesar do modesto 5º lugar da equipe na liga nacional. O MyPa foi o próximo destino de Litmanen, onde conseguiu seu primeiro título como jogador profissional em 1992 com a Copa da Finlândia.

    Nesta decisão da Copa contra o FF Jaro, inclusive, havia um olheiro do poderoso Ajax de Amsterdã observando o então jovem e talentoso camisa 10 da equipe da cidade de Kouvola. Resultado final: 2 a 0 para Litmanen e companhia e um gol do astro finlandês que convenceu o holandês a contratar o jogador.

    Apesar das ótimas recomendações, Jari Litmanen chegou ao Godenzonen para atuar entre os reservas - o treinador era o polêmico Louis Van Gaal. Entretanto, o meiocampista começou a ganhar seu espaço substituindo o ídolo local Dennis Bergkamp que sofreu uma contusão. O jogador não perdeu a oportunidade e agradou o técnico, que passou a utilizá-lo muitas vezes no time titular.

    Com a saída de Bergkamp para a Internazionale de Milão em 1993, Litmanen ganhou definitivamente o posto de titular e não demorou para se tornar o principal jogador da equipe de Van Gaal nas próximas temporadas.



    "Litti" na sua fase áurea com o Ajax




    Jari Litmanen não só herdou a idolatria da torcida de Bergkamp como também sua camisa 10 e fez jus à mítica do número às costas. Retribuiu a confiança e expectativas de Van Gaal sendo artilheiro da Liga Holandesa na temporada 1993/94 com 26 gols. Não só ajudou o clube da capital a faturar o título nacional como foi eleito o jogador do ano no país.

    Litti, como ficou conhecido, foi peça chave no tricampeonato holandês entre 1993 e 1996 e na conquista da Liga dos Campeões e do Mundial de Clubes em 1995. O meia cravou seu nome na história nesta ocasião tornando-se o primeiro jogador da Finlândia a ser campeão continental e mundial de futebol. Ainda ficou em 3º lugar na eleição do melhor jogador do mundo naquele mesmo ano.

    Os anos passavam-se e a contribuição de Litmanen para o Ajax só crescia com seus números. Entretanto, um vilão viria começar a atrapalhar a trajetória do jogador: as constantes contusões. Não à toa também ficou conhecido como Homem de vidro tamanha sua facilidade de contrair lesões. Sua primeira passagem pelo Ajax terminou em 1999 com a ida de Louis Van Gaal para o Barcelona, que aproveitou a viagem e levou na bagagem o talentoso finlandês junto com outros holandeses como Bogarde, Kluivert, Ronald e Frank de Boer, Cocu e Reiseger. Foram 136 gols em 7 anos em Amsterdã, sendo 26 deles em competições europeias.

    No Barcelona Jari Litmanen passou muito longe de reeditar as atuações genais dos tempos de Ajax, muito por conta das recorrentes contusões. Foram pouco mais de 20 jogos, apenas 3 gols em dois anos na Catalunha e nenhuma conquista. Com a saída de Van Gaal e a chegada de Llorenç Serra Ferrer no comando técnico dos Blaugranas em 2001 acabou definitivamente a estada do meiocampista no Campo Nou.

    O caminho de Litmanen depois da Espanha foi a Inglaterra para atuar pelo Liverpool. Em Anfield Road chegou a ter boas atuações e aumentar sua galeria de troféus como a Liga Europa, a Supercopa da Europa e a FA Cup. Contudo, novamente o fantasma das contusões fazia uma marcação implacável no jogador, que ficou de fora em diversas ocasiões de partidas dos Reds. Desta forma clube e jogador acharam por bem acabar a relação em 2002 após uma temporada e incríveis cinco títulos pelo clube inglês.

    Já diz o ditado que "o bom filho à casa torna", e eis que Jari Litmanen voltou a vestir a camisa alvirrubra do Ajax em 2002. A Holanda sempre foi o refúgio das grandes atuações do meia finlandês, tanto que foi fundamental para a excelente campanha do time na Liga dos Campeões na temporada 2002/03, quando chegou às quartas de finais, até voltar a sofrer com as insistentes lesões que o impediam de atuar no seu costumeiro alto nível. Por conta de sua passagem mais constante no departamento médico do que no campo de jogo, não teve seu contrato renovado em 2004. Assim Litmanen resolveu voltar para sua terra natal.

    Voltando para a Finlândia, Litmanen foi recebido como um verdadeiro rei pela torcida do FC Lahti, clube oriundo do Reipas, que fundiu-se com o FC Kuusysi em 1996 para criar o novo clube. Tamanha a reverência que o jogador recebeu a alcunha de Kuningas Jari Litmanen, ou rei na língua finlandesa.

    Após um ano no FC Lahti sua carreira começou a declinar em clubes de menor expressão na Europa como Hansa Rostock da Alemanha, Malmö FF da Suécia, Fulham da Inglaterra, retornando ao Lahti e, finalmente, encerrando a sua brilhante carreira aos 40 anos no HJK de Helsinque em 2011. Neste último conquistou o seu único título da liga finlandesa.



    Camisa de Litmanen exposta no Museu do Esporte da Finlândia




    Mas foi na carreira internacional que Litmanen chegou ao seu grande marco. Por jogar numa seleção com pouquíssima tradição no futebol ficou alijado de grandes competições como Eurocopa e Copa do Mundo. Tal dificuldade também pode ser observada em grandes jogadores como o galês Ryan Giggs, o liberiano George Weah, o norte-irlandês George Best, entre outros. Ainda assim conseguiu entrar para a história com a camisa da seleção da Finlândia.

    Sua trajetória com os Huuhkajat (corujas, como é conhecida a seleção finlandesa) durou 21 anos como já citado. Porém, a diferença é que o período compreendeu-se entre 1989 a 2010 que o torna o único jogador da história a atuar por sua equipe nacional em quatro décadas diferentes. 

    Sua estreia se deu com apenas 18 anos em outubro de 1989 contra Trinidad Tobago num jogo amistoso. Apesar de seu grande talento o primeiro gol só saiu quase dois anos depois numa partida diante de Malta. Em 1996 assumiu a braçadeira de capitão da equipe e só veio largá-la quando a deixou em 2010. Sua marca histórica de quatro décadas diferentes defendendo a Finlândia foi alcançada em 19 de janeiro de 2010 na derrota por 2 a 0 para a Coréia do Sul em jogo amistoso. Sua última atuação, e último gol, pela seleção aconteceu na goleada por 8 a 0 contra San Marino em 17 de novembro do mesmo ano pelas eliminatórias da Eurocopa 2012. Nesta mesma partida chegou a outra marca: o de jogador mais velho da Finlândia e da história da fase qualificatória para o torneio continental a balançar as redes.

    Ao todo pela Finlândia foram 32 gols em 137 jogos que o colocam como o maior artilheiro e jogador que mais vestiu a camisa finlandesa em todos os tempos.

    Abaixo, dados e estatísticas do craque finlandês que reinou absoluto nos gramados durante quatro diferentes décadas.


    * Nome: Jari Olavi Litmanen

    * Apelidos: Litti, Kuningas

    * Nascimento: 20 de fevereiro de 1971 em Lahti/FIN

    * Posição: Meia-atacante

    * Clubes (10): Reipas Lahti (1987 a 1990), HJK Helsinki (1991 e 2011), MyPa (1992), Ajax/HOL (1992 a 1999 e 2002 a 2004), Barcelona/ESP (1999 a 2001), Liverpool/ING (2001 a 2002), FC Lahti (2004 e 2008 a 2010), Hansa Rostock/ALE (2005), Malmö/SUE (2005 a 2007) e Fulham/ING (2008)

    * Títulos (18): Copa da Finlândia (1992 e 2011), Campeonato Holandês (1993/94, 1994/95, 1995/96 e 1997/98), KNVB Cup (1992/93, 1997/98 e 1998/99), Liga dos Campeões da Europa (1994/95), Supercopa da Europa (1995 e 2001), Mundial Interclubes (1995), Copa da UEFA (2000/01), FA Cup (2000/01), Copa da Liga Inglesa (2000/01), FA Community Shield (2001), Campeonato Finlandês (2011)

    * Seleção Finlandesa: 32 gols em 137 partidas entre 1989 e 2010

    * Principais honras pessoais: Jogador finlandês do ano (1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 e 2000), Jogador do ano na Holanda (1993), Artilheiro do Campeonato Holandês (1993/94) e Artilheiro da Liga dos Campeões da Europa (1995/96)



    Fotos 1 e 3: Autor desconhecido
    Foto 2: Fred Ernst/AP

              Matematica, che passione!         

    Apre la mente. Serve a costruire. La si trova ovunque. Ai bambini della V B della scuola elementare Giovanni Falcone di Roma la matematica piace. E pur di apprenderla sono pronti a superare le difficoltà. Ma il merito è anche della maestra.

    foto di winjohn da stockxpert.com




              Här applÃ¥deras polisen av förortsbarnen: Se jagad mopedkille springa för livet        
    STOCKHOLM Dramatiska videobilder visar när en mopedkille springer ifrÃ¥n polisen pÃ¥ VÃ¥rbergs IP i södra Stockholm. Till slut fÃ¥r polisen tag i bägge mopedkillarna varpÃ¥ de möts av applÃ¥der och glada tillrop frÃ¥n barn som sett hela dramatiken pÃ¥ nära hÃ¥ll. Mitt under pÃ¥gÃ¥ende fotbollsträning strax innan klockan 20.00 pÃ¥ onsdagen pÃ¥ VÃ¥rbergs IP i södra […]
              Sara, 22, varnade för man som släppte lös hästar i hennes stall – nu har anmälan gjorts om hets mot folkgrupp        
    STOCKHOLM En anmälan om hets mot folkgrupp uppges nu ha gjorts efter att Sara Hansén utanför Nynäshamn varnat pÃ¥ Facebook för en man som tog sig in i stallet och släppte lös hästar. Anmälan upprättades sedan företrädare frÃ¥n den slutna SVT-knutna aktivistgruppen #jagärhär uppmärksammat trÃ¥den och de kommentarer som skrevs i den. Det var under […]
              Nazister Ã¥talade för misshandel i Stockholm        
    STOCKHOLM TvÃ¥ medlemmar i den nazistiska organisationen Nordiska motstÃ¥ndsrörelsen är Ã¥talade för misshandel och olaga hot. Det var natten till den 21 maj som de Ã¥talade oprovocerat pepparspreyade och hotade ett sällskap i centrala Stockholm, enligt polisens förundersökning. TvÃ¥ medlemmar i den nazistiska organisationen, Nordiska motstÃ¥ndsrörelsen (NMR) Ã¥talas för att ha oprovocerat attackerat ett sällskap […]
              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.
              Best Time To Invest in Art, NOW! by Ginger Van Hook        
    TV celebrity Jason Alexander supports the arts at the TAG Gallery in Santa Monica, California on August 18, 2007 for the CALIFORNIA OPEN EXHIBITION show juried by Peter Frank. Now showing NEW WORKS, painting, mixed media, sculpture, photography and video through September 1st 2007. Jason Alexander, an actor who played the part of "George" in the long running and popular hit TV show "Seinfeld",
    is pictured here beside sculpture artist Ali Alinejad.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Christine Owens, president of the Focus One Community Credit Union and sponsor of the
    Focus One Gallery in Monrovia, California is presented with the Renaissance Award
    by Monrovia City Councilman, Joe Garcia at the Monrovia Arts Festival Association Gala Black Tie Annual Fund-raising Event May 12, 2007. The Renaissance Award is given to honor and recognize a special member of the community whose contributions to their fellow citizens leads to the cultural enrichment of the community as a whole. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Artist, Photographer and Actor, David Newsom poses with his dog in front of his latest photographs (Thistle #1) being exhibited at the DCA Fine Arts Gallery, in Santa Monica, California, (June 1, 2007 through July 14th, 2007). Three miles of Idaho is an exhibit focusing on the landscape between his brother and his sister's properties in a unique and poignant family setting. David Newsom released large scale renditions of his work currently published from his best-selling book titled SKIP.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Peter Frank, Jurist, for the TAG Gallery, CALIFORNIA OPEN EXHIBITION,
    stands beside emerging Los Angeles based artist, Luke Van Hook, August 18th, 2007.
    The Painting in background, oil on canvas, "May", the study of Giotto's perfect circle.
    by Luke Van Hook
    (Investigating the legend that Giotto drew a perfect circle for the Pope)

    As the economy goes up and down, so do the trends in the arts and art collecting. This is an exciting time for the arts because we have many historical markers and world conditions that exist today that make it a good time to invest in the arts. For instance, instability in the stock market often releases money to make investments in art, that, like real estate, also goes up in value as the years progress. Additionally, there are wars raging around the world so instability in world economic markets are impacting the art market too. The best impact that market instability plays upon the arts is that it gives incentives to support artists in your local communities. These artists are here and now. Their work is presently available, and like property, it too can be insured, placed into a family trust or safety deposit vault and along with the family heirlooms, art can be bequeathed as a legacy or inheritance to members of your family. Both the housing market and the stock market have been riding a roller-coaster in recent years making a good piece of tangible artwork a far more solid investment than betting on governments, point spreads or Las Vegas Mega Slots.

    M
    y husband Luke and I have explored a number of fine art galleries and art communities that will interest the art lover, the art collector and fellow artists in the pursuit of great works being created in the NOW, as well as some works that have survived the test of time. In my Blog I intend to discuss some of the hot spots and hot artists in Sunny Southern California. I'll share photos with you of some of these exciting options available to the every day collector, the seasoned collector, the art aficionados, or the emerging collectors eager with new money to infuse into an already thriving and ripe harvest of works in Oil Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Conceptual works, Collage, Digital Photography, Digital Film and Electronic Visual Art.

    Through this summer we visited communities on the West side such as Santa Monica, West LA, and Culver City. In the inland areas, we visited some of the foothill mountain art communities such as Glendale and a little further inland, we visited Old Town Monrovia. Starting with the inland foothills we find the quaint town of Monrovia where I grew up and went to school at Immaculate Conception Elementary on Shamrock Avenue. In Monrovia, the City of Art and in Duarte, the City of Health, I grew up as a child. I volunteered about 300 hours as a candy striper for the City of Hope in my teenage years, went on to work for the Duarte Library and attended Alverno High School for girls in Sierra Madre. This is the place where I was raised marching in parades with the Brownies and the Girl Scouts and where I learned to tap dance, twirl a baton and where I rode a ferris wheel for the first time at the fiesta, (as well as ate a lot of cotton candy), I came back as an adult to find an incredible amount of support for the arts in local schools. The arts are not limited to crayons and pencils either. There is an extensive array of art mediums in which students, and some very young students at that, learn to hone their creative skills. For instance, at Paint N Play on Myrtle Avenue, they learn how to throw pottery. Also, with after school teacher, Rouzanna Berberian, children learn the art of drawing, photography and gallery showmanship as well. There are art lessons going on, on almost every street corner you encounter in the busy Old Town Center on Myrtle near the Krikorian Movie theatre. You'll find this charming section of town both soothing and exhilarating. You ought to try walking up and down the main street where there are sidewalk activities, new park benches to rest under shade trees, new lampposts and lanterns all reminiscent of a nostalgic time. Artists show their work on wide city blocks and inside cool and dim lit gallery spaces. The mountains loom in the distance and the afternoons yeild a light summer breeze in the early evening.

    We support the Monrovia Arts Festival Association in their endeavors to promote the arts to the children at a very young age. It is not uncommon for lots of families that are raised to appreciate art to blossom into artists later in life. MAFA is a nonprofit organization led by President Bill Beebe with a history of supporting local artists and local after-school art programs. Over the years, the Monrovia community has begun to expand its outreach of art by developing local talent through a number of venues: Focus One Gallery for instance, is located in the lobby of the Focus One Community Credit Union at 404 East Huntington Drive on the corner of California and Huntington Drive. The president of Focus One Community Credit Union, Christine Owens is known for her support of local artists and was recently nominated for and awarded the annual Renaissance Award by Monrovia City Councilman Joe Garcia at the MAFA Black Tie Fundraiser in May 2007. This is a prestigious award that goes to honor and recognize a special member of the community whose contributions to their fellow citizens leads to the cultural enrichment of the community as a whole.

    MAFA Marketing coordinator, (on left)Denise Daniels is pictured here with Christine Owens, President of Focus One Community Credit Union and Bill Beebe, President of MAFA at their annual Black Tie Fundraiser that occurs in May.


    Monrovia, California
    Foothill Mountain Communities
    Some Artists in Action...

    THE MONROVIA ARTS FESTIVAL ASSOCIATION otherwise known as MAFA, is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and is dedicated to the cultivation and support of the arts in children's after school programs as well as educational awareness of the arts in the community at large. MAFA P.O. Box 92 Monrovia, CA 91017 (www.artfestivals.org) 626-256-3124

    Several galleries and art venues have developed over the years which participate and support MAFA. The following information is current as of August 2007: If your event or venue is not listed, please contact Ginger Van Hook, press liaison, for MAFA at (enilde@sprintmail.com).

    The AZTEK ART GALLERY, is located beside the Aztek Hotel at 305 West Foothill Blvd. Exhibits local artists work as well as holds art classes during scheduled times. The contact person is Bill Hyatt, (Hyatt2000@yahoo.com)

    California Wine and Cheese, LLC supports local artists. New Artist reception for Frank Zgonc, Photographer is scheduled for the evening of Friday August 24th, 2007. Frank Zgonc shares images from his travels through Europe, scenes from Bodie Flats, Nevada and local scenes in Monrovia along with his signature digital watercolor manipulations. California Wine and Cheese is located at 115 W. Foothill Blvd., Owned by Janet and Tom Dugan, their website can be located at www.cawineandcheese.com (Contact by phone 626-358-6500 for reservations.)

    The MONROVIA COFFEE COMPANY supports local artists and is located at 425 South Myrtle Avenue. Exhibits contemporary and emerging artists work. Next artists showing September 1 through December 30th, Ginger and Luke Van Hook Photography exhibit, Methusula in the Bristlecone Pine Forest. (Landscape photographs of some of the oldest pine trees on the planet. Some trees aged over 4,700 years, older than the Egyptian Pyramids.) (Additional digital photography of flowers and collage by Ginger Van Hook.) For artist schedules, contact person is Carol Curtis, (shutterbug@altrionet.com)

    The PAINT 'N PLAY ART GALLERY is affiliated with Monrovia Arts Festival Association in its' support of the arts by providing a meeting place for MAFA members to discuss and plan their upcoming events for the community on a monthly basis. Contact Lisa or Rachel at paintnPlay2@aol.com. Paint 'N Play is located at 418 South Myrtle Avenue. Paint N Play sponsors the SUMMER ARTWALKS in Old Town Monrovia along with several merchants who participate every year. KidsArt, Segil Fine Art, Oh My Goddard Gallery, Family Festival Productions, Scoops, Joy Print and Design, Box Jewelers and Baldwin's Baked Potatoes as well as the Outback SteakHouse- Arcadia and Trader Joe's also participate in art festivities that promote the education of art in schools through Summer Artwalks. For more information regarding Summer Art Walks and how you may participate, you may also contact Betsy Thurmond (626-358-7800) or kamonrovia@verizon.net. The next SUMMER ARTWALK is scheduled for Saturday evening, August 25, 2007 from 6:30 to 9pm.


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

    GLENDALE COMMUNITY
    ARTISTS EXHIBIT AT THE
    BRAND LIBRARY ART GALLERIES

    August 11 - September 28th, 2007.
    Glendale Public Library Associates of Brand Library
    1601 West Mountain Street Glendale, CA 91201
    818-548-2051 www.brandlibrary.org


    A group show Titled: PATTERN PLAY. Four artists demonstrate the variety of patterns available in color schemes, pattern originality, unique images in oil paints, sculpture, and graphic designs. Artist reception August 18, 2007. Artists featured are Patsy Cox, Yuriko Etue, Melanie Rothschild, and Jerrin Wagstaff. Definitely a great show for the entire family. You'll experience a great variety of brilliant colors and patterns that pop out of the walls, rise from the floor and reveal creative abstract patterns that draw you in, spiral you out and make you feel good.

    Artist, Melanie Rothschild

    Artist, Patsy Cox

    Artist, Yuriko Etue

    Artist, Jerrin Wagstaff


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

    SANTA MONICA AND COASTAL EDGES
    OF CALIFORNIA ART


    16:1 Gallery, Santa Monica, California Summer 2007

    MONGREL

    Kathryn Andrews
    Chris Lipomi
    Donald Morgan
    Stephanie Taylor
    organized by Kathryn Andrews

    Showing August 11 through September 8, 2007

    Sixteen:One
    2116 Pico Blvd., Unit B
    Santa Monica, CA 90405
    310-450-4394
    email: info@16to1.com
    www.16to1.com


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

    SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA

    DCA FINE ART GALLERY
    Delia Cabral, Gallery Director
    www.dcafineart.com
    delia@dcafineart.com
    3107 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405
    310-396-8565

    From Exhibition, THREE MENDACIOUS MINDS, (The Return of Paris' New Pestilence School) David Schoffman, Currado Malaspina, Micah Carpenter July 23- August 31, 2007 310-770-2525
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook



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

    SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA

    TAG Gallery
    TAGtheartistsgallery.com
    Elizabeth Sadoff
    Gallery Director
    2903 Santa Monica Blvd.
    Santa Monica, CA 90404
    310-829-9556

    Elizabeth Sadoff, Gallery Director, TAG Gallery
    handing out awards to the winning artists.

    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Jason Cimenski accepts award from Peter Frank and Elizabeth Sadoff
    TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook


    First Place Winner, Artist, Jason Cimenski with his daughter "The Flooded Room" TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007 Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Artist Kim Kimbro, TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook


    Artist, Lorien Suarez,
    TAG Gallery August 18, 2007
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Artist, Carlos Daub,
    TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Derek McMullen, Luke Van Hook, Dennis Treretola Three artists, oil painters, from the same graduating class at Otis College of Art and Design, 2004
    TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook


    Artists, and fine art painters, Carlos Daub, Luke Van Hook, Dennis Treretola
    TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Artist, Carole Garland, "Midnight Mystery", oil on canvas
    TAG Gallery, August 18, 2007

    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    TAG Gallery, Santa Monica, California
    August 18, 2007
    Standing room only at the popular show
    CALIFORNIA OPEN EXHIBITION

    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Peter Frank thanks the artists and their guests who have participated
    at the TAG Gallery, Santa Monica, California Open Exhibition,
    August 18, 2007
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook



              SeaWorld Aligns With Russia, Asia, and the Middle East as Their Stock Value Tanks        
    SeaWorld stock value dropped 30% overnight, and has dropped 45% in the last year. CNN SeaWorld plans to to “co-develop theme parks in Pan-Asia [note: Pan-Asia refers to the entire Asian region], India and Russia”, and in the Middle East. This is all bad news for SeaWorld’s captive orcas – there is a big loophole in
              WIPocalypse 2012        
    Current WIPs that I will be focusing on:
    1. Janlynn's "Baby Monkey Birth Announcement"
    2. Bent Creek's "Swirly Sampler"
    3. Mill Hill's "Vanilla Cupcake"
    4. Nora Corbett's "Bluebell"
    5. Mirabila's "Deepest Love"
    6. Raise the Roof's "Crabby All Year"

    New projects that will be added upon starting:
    7. Disney's 101 Dalmatians "Pup & Teddy Bear"
    8. JCA, Inc.'s "Deck The Stalls" Christmas Stocking
    9. Ink Circles' "First Bass"

              mako        
    ------------
    Note 1: So you got a Nexus 4. Congratulations. You have an incredibly powerful device in your hands. This post is not N4 specific, so you can try several of these with any top-of-the-line Android device. N4 because all of these have been field-tested on mine. If you've got interesting apps/uses to share, shoot in the comments, I'd love to hear 'em. Otherwise, if 'Angry Birds' is all you've done, read on, you must. ;)

    Note 2: I'm sure someone at Google is huge Guillermo Del Toro fan. Galaxy Nexus was code-named 'toro', Nexus 4 is code-named 'mako' (ref: Pacific Rim).
    ------------


    Part I: use mako

    Part II: root mako

    Part III: sudo mako



    Part I: use mako


    a) Lock screen

    Widgets were always the strength of the Android ecosystem, and 4.2 Jelly Bean added the capability to add widgets on the lock-screen. There are several lock-screen widgets, but none standout like Roman Nurik's DashClock widget, which is beautiful, and isn't heavy on the battery. There are several extensions for this widget available in the store, so suit yourself.




















    b) Home screen

    I use the Android stock launcher. What you see in the background is the Ice Galaxy Live Wallpaper. This fellow, Maxelus, makes beautiful wallpapers. Most of the widgets are created using Zooper Widgets, and the icon pack is Minimalist.

    Nova Launcher is a popular choice for launcher replacement. It gives you a lot of options to customize just about everything. A shoutout to Buzz Launcher, which attempts to create a marketplace for out-of-the-box homescreens, which you can download and apply in a flash! Worth checking out if you are among the lazy ones.


    Head here for some inspiration.
















    c) Computer-phone connectivity apps (Productivity)

    Chrome to Phone - Send links from Chrome browser on desktop to your android phone.

    Phone To Desktop - Send links from your android phone to Chrome browser on desktop.

    Desktop Notifications - Get notifications from your phone on Chrome browser on desktop as desktop notifications.

    AirDroid - Transfer files to/from phone to desktop over wi-fi. Send SMS, use phone camera as a webcam, manage contacts, apps, music et al, from your desktop.

    TeamViewer - Remote control/remote desktop your computer from your phone over a data connection.

    GOM Remote - Control GOM Player on your computer through a remote-like interface on your phone.

    Unified Remote - Use your phone as a keyboard/mouse for your computer.



    d) Travel apps

    FlightTrack - Beautiful interface which shows flight path on a map. Gives schedule and gate information. Excellent, excellent app.

    Currency - Offline currency conversion.

    Google Maps / Google Translate - Their 'offline' mode is sweet! Download maps, and language packs for offline use! Very, very handy if you are planning a foreign holiday soon!

    Triposo - Travel guide.



    e) Special mention

    SMS Backup+ (backs up SMS, call logs, and now WhatsApp messages to Gmail!),
    Clean Master (clear system cache),
    Battery Doctor (battery optimisation),
    CamScanner (excellent app to get scanner level quality for documents through the phone camera),
    TrueCaller (it's creepy how they get the unknown numbers right, but they do),
    Light Manager (customise phone's LED notifications),
    SphereShare (photosphere images sharing community),
    TV Show Favs (track TV show episodes), and
    Default App Manager (manage default apps for any phone action).


    ...and since you will install so many apps, it is easy to get lost. Enter: App Dialer, yep, an app to find apps installed on your phone!




    Part II: root mako


    Rooting gives you the ability to flash custom ROMs on your phone. I haven't flashed any custom ROMs yet, I am pretty happy with the stock ROM. But rooting allows you to make full backups of your phone, and some pretty nifty apps. Most of the methods of rooting Nexus 4 factory resets the phone, and guides are easily available if you google it.


    The method I used doesn't factory reset the phone. (Motochopper method)

    1: Get motochopper and the drivers from here.

    2: Root. Yep, that simple. A full guide here (they even have a video!). The guide is for Galaxy S4, but it works just the same for Nexus 4 (I've done it!).


    All the other methods unlocks bootloader first, and then applies root. Hence the factory reset.

    Motochopper roots without unlocking the bootloader. Once you have achieved root, you can unlock your bootloader using BootUnlocker (yep, there's an app for that!). Android 4.3 update was announced today, so there's a decent chance you'll lose root after the update. You can use Voodoo OTA RootKeeper to preserve root during the OTA update.








    Part III: sudo mako

    Well... you have a rooted phone. What now?

    ShareKM - My favorite root app's gotta be ShareKM. It's brilliant! It connects the phone to your computer over wi-fi/data/bluetooth. Slide the mouse pointer from the edge of the screen, and voila!, the mouse pointer jumps to your phone! You can now use your computer's keyboard to type on your phone, or copy text from one to the other. It's really neat, you should check it out if you have a rooted Android device. Video of this app in action embedded below:





    OBackup - Nandroid Backup - Nandriod backup means a full image backup of your phone. So if you mess up something tinkering, you can always restore the phone exactly to how it was. OBackup does cloud backups and you can schedule your backups, which is pretty neat.



    LMT - LMT enable features on stock Android that are typically available on custom ROMs, and is often the reason why people do install custom ROMs. It isn't avaialble on Google Play, but can be downloaded from here. A full review here, and video of the app in action below:






    Spend time configuring your phone, it'll be worth it. Tinker. Enjoy.

    mako...

              LO Licensed Order Pickers        
    WA-Welshpool, Action workforce are looking for multiple (12) experienced LICENSED LO Stock Pickers who are available for an immediate start on all shifts. We are offering job security, a young management team, ongoing work, casual role with full time hours, overtime, central location, and a safe environment. Requirements : MUST HAVE "LO" Stock picker licence Experience in warehouse order picking High reach expe
              A 500, on a construit une ville en terre au festival Bellastock        
    Bâtir une ville éphémère en terre crue en moins de 48h avec 500 paires de bras. Tel était le défi posé par l’association d’architecture expérimentale Bellastock pour son festival.  L’association Bellastock organise et anime depuis 2006 chaque année en Ile-de-France un festival de construction collective pour explorer comme dans un labo à échelle réelle des... Voir l'article
              H Alpha Bank στον χρηματιστηριακό δείκτη αειφορίας FTSE4GOOD - [Kerdos.gr]        
    Image

    Η Alpha Bank, κατόπιν σχετικής αξιολογήσεως που έλαβε τον Ιούνιο 2017 από τον Διεθνή Οργανισμό FTSE, περιλαμβάνεται στον Στον χρηματιστηριακό δείκτη αειφορίας Financial Times Stock Exchange4Good (FTSE4GOOD) Emerging Index περιλαμβάνεται η Alpha Bank, μετά από αξιολόγηση που έλαβε τον Ιούνιο από...


              Purchasing & Production Manager        

    Production & Purchasing Manager | Full Time Position

    Bazzaz, Inc. is seeking to fill a full-time position for a Purchasing & Production Manager. 

    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 will plan, organize, and control production at Bazzaz Z-Fi fuel controller factory, which produces harnesses, strain gages, and printed circuit boards. Candidate must be committed to ensuring that Bazzaz products are produced efficiently, on time, within budget and to the highest quality standard. Issues Purchase Orders for the raw materials. Candidate should be solution-driven and acutely focused on quality. Listed below are the basic duties and requirements of the position:

      • Supervises production assembly team of 12-20 persons. Subordinates perform assembly of products or sub-assemblies according to verbal or written instructions, or by following drawings or diagrams. Provides work direction and reviews work performance.
      • Responsible for light maintenance of production machinery for harnessing and SMT.
      • Production Planning and ability to apply LEAN manufacturing techniques.
      • Manages the purchasing function according to department policy and procedure. Accepts and scrutinizes vendor bids or proposals. Selects sources based upon analysis. Arranges vendor contracts, bargains for best costs, and observes quality of purchased materials. Prepares reports and required documents. Organizes activities with sales, engineering, production, or warehouse personnel.
      • Manages inventory of materials, parts, and finished product to maintain required supply. Maintains records, replenishes stock, and plans for future requirements based on orders, production schedules and forecasts. Strives to achieve JIT.
      • Quality assurance - Manages quality assurance operations for the factory. Comes up with new ideas to enforce and improve quality programs. Monitors Production Department's conformance with QA standards and procedures. Conducts quality assurance training for employees engaged in materials handling or product assembly. Suggests methods for improving product quality or design, or manufacturing processes.
      • Manages shipping & receiving staff. With an emphasis on efficiency and accuracy.
      • Provide production updates to Bazzaz Team.
      • Harness Documentation / Create BOM.
      • Assist R&D.
      • Reports to Vice President.

    We are looking for a responsible, highly motivated and detail oriented individual, who wants to be part of a growing and dynamic company. This person must be a problem solver, have a get it done attitude, and enjoys working with a team. Bazzaz is on the leading edge of technology in the motorcycle aftermarket industry and this position plays a critical role in delivering the ultimate customer experience.

    Desired Qualifications:

      • Minimum of a 2 year degree.
      • Minimum of 2 years of experience in production and/or purchasing for wiring harnesses and/or printed circuit board assembly.
      • Winning attitude. Must be a team player and enjoy working in a fun yet focused atmosphere.
      • Experience with MRP/ERP software.
      • Computer literate with accurate data entry skills.
      • Able to read a wiring diagram.
      • Person shall demonstrate competency when using scales and other hand tools. Individuals should exhibit strong communication and organizational skills.
      • Mechanically inclined.
      • Ability to lift 50 pounds.
      • Bilingual in Spanish and English, preferred but not required.

    Benefits:

      • Starting salary is $40-50K annually, based on experience.
      • After six months eligible for company Health/Dental/Vision Insurance.
      • 1 week vacation. 6 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 jbuxton@Bazzaz.net.

    *Position descriptions and anticipated skills acquired are neither conclusive nor definite and can be expected to change throughout term of employment. 


              This is the worst Wi-Fi hotspot name any passenger could use on a plane        

    A Qantas flight from Melbourne to Perth was delayed from taking off over the weekend thanks to a prankster who’d name their Wi-Fi hotspot ‘Mobile Detonation Device.’ The hotspot name was flagged by a worried passenger after it was seen in the in-flight entertainment hub and the pilot then asked for the owner to come forward, but nobody owned up. Eventually it was assumed to be a prank, potentially from a device inside the terminal, and the flight was cleared for take off. But about 40 people decided not to chance it and had their luggage taken off, according to…

    This story continues at The Next Web
              NBC is launching a streaming service for the worst TV imaginable        

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

    This story continues at The Next Web
              Christmas in July        
    Hello everyone! I start creating a few Christmas projects, I made this box and tag set using paper scraps and some images from my stash, the mini house in the tag is from the Wood mini houses  at my Etsy shop

    Hola a tod@s! comence a crear algunos proyectos de Navidad, hice un set de etiqueta y caja usando recortes de papel y algunas imagenes de my coleccion, la casita mini de madera que puse en la etiqueta las pueden encontrar aqui: Wood mini houses  exclusivas de mi Etsy shop


     Santa image is from the collage: Santa Circles , tickets from Fancy Pants, and a few of my favorite embellishments. How about you? when do you start creating Christmas stuff?

     La imagen de Santa es del colage: Santa Circles tickets son de  Fancy Pants, y claro algunos de mis adornos favoritos. Y ustedes cuando comienzan a crear cosas de Navidad?
    Next a cute bag created  using the cricut and dies, I combine both to create it, I use Kraft cardstock, the vintage finds word is from the collage Expressions No. 3

    A continuacion una linda bolsa que hice combinando la cricut y suajes,  use cardstock Kraft, la palabra vintage finds es del colage Expressions No. 3


    The bag is filled with little embellishments that I love such as lace, butons, pearls, die cuts, vintage images etc...

    Llene la bolsita con adornos como botones, encaje, perlitas, imagenes, suajes etc...
    And of course a set of tags using paper scraps and images from the collage: Definition Labels I print them in Kraft cardstock and  LOVE how they look! the little roses on the bottom of the label are from the collage: Cut Out Roses I just print them in smaller size.

    Y por supuesto un set de etiquetas usando recortes de papel e imagenes del colage: Definition Labels  las impimi en Kraft cardstock y me ENCANTA como se ven! las rosas en la parte de abajo de la etiqueta son del colage: Cut Out Roses solo las imprimi en taman~o mas chico.


    Don't forget that all the images in my Etsy shop are 60% off . Have a great day!!!


    Y no olviden que las imagenes digitales en mi tienda Etsy siguen con 60% de descuento. Que tengan un bello dia!!!!

              Tags and Bags        
    Hi! happy Wednesday, I am sharing today a few items created a few days ago, I made 2 sets of burlap bags and tags for a sweet customer, I really like to create sets, I think they are the perfect gift. I use paper  from my stash, stamps from PTI and MSE! heart die is from eBay. Flowers from Prima.

    Hola! feliz Miercoles esta vez comparto con ustedes algunos proyectos creados hace unos dias, primero 2 sets de etiqueta y bolsas de yute, este fue de hecho un pedido especial para una clienta, son el detalle o regalo perfecto. Use papeles de mi coleccion, sellos de PTI y MSE! el suaje de corazon  es de eBay. flores de Prima.


     This next set is my favorite, I use silk and paper flowers, tags from the collages: Forever and Shabby Floral Tags stamps from PTI

    El siguiente set es mi favorito, use flores de papel y seda, etiquetas de los colages: Forever  Shabby Floral Tags sellos de PTI


    Next some tags, I create these with paper scraps, images from the collage Cut Out Roses, I stamped the banner in Kraft cardstock and I use stamps from MSE!

    A continuacion un set de etiquetas usando recortes de papel, tags, imagenes del colage: Cut Out Roses, selle el banner en Kraft cardstock, los sellos son de MSE!



    And last a set of tags using paper scraps and stamp from PTI, I use a wide ribbon to cut the heart and the square behind, the burlap heat was also cut with a die.

    Y el ultimo set de etiquetas usando sellos de PTI, corte con suajes un liston grueso para hacer los corazones y la parte de atras (que parece tela) el corazon de yute tambien lo corte con suaje.


    Have a great day, will be back soon :)

    Que tengan un bello dia, regreso pronto :) 

              Remember This        

    Hello everyone, I'm back from vacation, I had so much fun! sometimes we need a break from house, school etc... how about you? did you go out or stay at home? I have lots of new projects that I will share the next days, but today I want to start with  Mothers day cards, I am using some paper scraps and stamps for this first card.

    Hola a tod@s, estoy de regreso, tome unos dias de vacaciones y me diverti mucho! a veces necesitamos un descanso de casa, escuela etc... y ustedes? salieron o se quedaron en casa? tengo varios proyectos nuevos que les mostrare los siguientes dias, hoy comienzo con tarjetas para el dia de las madres, use recortes de papel y sellos de mi coleccion.
    the chipboard banner is from My Minds Eye and the circle frame behind the flower was created with a Fiskars punch (I cut it several times and overlap to make it look bigger)

    el banderin de chipboard es de My Minds y la especie de marco de circulos detras de la flor la hice con un punch de Fiskars (lo corte varias veces y pegue uno sobre otro para hacerlo ver grande)


    Next a favorite of mine! this card was created using withe cardstock and dies that I got from e Bay, the wreath was cut in Kraft cardstock and watercolor paper, then I just colored one wreath and a few small paper flowers

    Ahora una tarjeta que me encanta! fue creada con cardstock blanco y suajes de e Bay, la corona de hojas la corte en Kraft cardstock y papel para acuarela, despues solo ilumine con colores y tintas, y tambien unas florecitas de papel. 



    The stamp with the word "mother" is a very old one (from Crafty Secrets) this is such a sweet card I love how it looks.

    El sello con la palabra "mother" es uno muy viejito (de Crafty Secrets) la verdad es que esta tarjeta me encanto, me gusta como luce.


    Next a set of baby tags, I am using again papers from my stash and images from the collage: Baby Tickets

    Y por ultimo un set de etiquetas de bebe, de nuevo use recortes de papel e imagenes del colage: Baby Tickets

    Of course my embellishments such as: lace, silk flowers, vintage buttons and stained seam binding

     I will be back soon with more creations, thank you so much for stop by my blog, have a great day!

    Regreso pronto con mas creaciones, gracias por visitarme y que tengan un bello dia!
              Spring Time        
    Hello friends! I have some new projects to share with you today, I'm also happy to have more sunny days... I create  a cute mini Egg carton, I cut it and painted in pink, then I added some of my favorite embellishments inside, such as: buttons, twine cord, seam binding die cuts etc... I cover with a piece of paper and tie with seam binding.

    Hola amig@s! tengo unos proyectos nuevos para compartir el dia de hoy, tambien estoy feliz por que ya hay mas dias soleados... hice este mini carton de huevo, lo corte y despues pinte en color rosa la parte de adentro, le puse varias cositas y adornos de mis preferidos como: botones, twine cord, seam binding die cuts etc... por ultimo cubri con papel estampado y seam binding.

    I think these are perfect for small gifts, chocolates, mini cupcakes, cookies, eggs for Easter of course etc.

    Creo que lucen perfectos para cualquier detalle o regalito pequeño, por ejemplo: chocolates, mini cupcakes, galletas, y por supuesto huevos de Pascua etc.

    Next a Birthday Card. I am so in love with this card, right now watercolor is one of the things that I am enjoying a lot, I cut the wreath (twice: one in watercolor paper and one from Kraft card stock) from a die cut that I got on eBay, and painted in different colors using the distress inks from Ranger, I also use the same inks for the polka dots on the bottom of the card

    Y ahora les muestro una tarjeta que me encanto! estoy disfrutando mucho pintar algunos detalles con acuarelas, corte la corona de hojas (dos veces: una en papel para acuarela y otra de Kraft card stock) con un die cut que compre en eBay, lo pinte de colores diferentes usando tintas distress de Ranger, use los mismos colores para los puntitos en la parte de abajo de la tarjeta 
    on a piece of watercolor paper I drew a few flowers and cut them, these are so simple but yet so cute! I only added sequins on the center of each flower. The stamp is from PTI, I use white embossing powder, I added some drops of glossy accents.

    aparte en otro papel dibuje unas flores con acuarela y las corte para pegarlas a mi tarjeta, algo simple pero luce tan bonito! despues solo pegue unas lentejuelas en el centro de las flores. El sello es de PTI, use polvo de embossing blanco, por ultimo solo puse unas gotitas de glossy accents.


    Of course I try the same card in other colors :) 

    Claro que hice mas terjetas con otros colores


    That is all for me today, I hope you have a great day, I'll be back soon with more creations.
    Es todo por el dia de hoy pero regresare pronto con mas creaciones, que tengan un bello dia.



              Follow The Rainbow        
    Hello! hope you're enjoying this Friday! sharing with you a few things today, I create a cute baby mini tag album, chipboard was painted and distressed then I cover with paper and images, I decorated with all my favorite elements: seam binding, lace, flowers, buttons etc... some of the images can be found here:Baby Tickets, Darling Baby.

    Hola! espero que esten disfrutando este Viernes! hoy quiero compartir algunos proyectos, primero este mini tag album de bebe, pinte el chipboard y pase un poco de tinta distress en los lados, despues cubri con imagenes y papel, decore con mis elementos favoritos: seam binding, encaje, flores, botones etc... algunas de esas imagenes las pueden encontrar aqui:Baby TicketsDarling Baby.







    Next a card created using the collage Magical Unicorn, I printed a cloud from the Digital Stamp sheet in watercolor paper and painted in blue, the stamp is from Recollections and I use some dies to create the rainbow. I added some German glass glitter on the unicorn.

    A continuacion una tarjeta creada usando el colage Magical Unicorn, imprimi una nube de la hoja de estos sellos digitales: Digital Stamp sheet en papel para acuarela y la pinte en color azul, el sello es de Recollections y use unos suajes para hacer el arcoiris. Pegue un poco de German glass glitter en el unicornio.



    And last a lovely set of tags created with paper scraps and cardstock, I use chipboard hearts, tea stained twill tape, lace and flowers. Stamps from PTI. Pink paper from: Amore Backgrounds

    Por ultimo un set de etiquetas creada con recortes de  papel y cardstock, use corazones de chipboard, twill tape teñido, encaje y flores. Sellos de PTI. Papel rosa de: Amore Backgrounds


     Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog, have a great weekend!

    Muchas gracias por visitar mi blog que tengan un bello fin de semana!


              Gifts Of Spring        
    Just here thinking Spring already, the funny thing is that is windy and raining cats and dogs outside! Anyway today I want to start with a set of card, envelope and box. I have to tell you that I just loooooove this set, was created using my new digital papers: Spring Fling. I also went back to basics and I'm using again my Cricut, I do not own a new cutting machine right now, I have to be honest and I know I am not the type of person that enjoy complicated tools so that is why I decided to use what I have and actually is not that bad, I am enjoying all the process and discovering lots of possibilities. 

    Aqui de nuevo ya pensando en Primavera, lo curioso es que afuera hace un clima horrible, mucho viento y lluvia! En fin, primero les quiero compartir este set de tarjeta, sobre y cajita. Les tengo que confesar que me encanto el resultado, fue creado con papeles del colage: Spring Fling.
    Algo que tambien disfute fue que regrese a los basicos, asi es, desempolve mi Cricut y la estoy usando de nuevo, por el momento no tengo una maquina de corte nueva y tampoco me gustan las maquinas complicadas ni estar batallando que si la tengo que conectar a la computadora etc.. asi que intente aprovechar lo que tengo y la verdad es que no esta tan mal, estoy disfrutandolo y hay muchas posibilidades.

    I cut the word Easter from the cartridge called wild card, I use chalk ink to paint the word in 2 different tones, I also use the Cricut for the argyle design/background in white cardstock and the scalloped envelope all those designs come in the same cartridge.

    Corte la palabra  Easter del cartucho: wild card use chalk ink para pintar de dos colores la palabra, tambien use  mi Cricut para el diseño de rombos en cardstock blanco y el sobre con onditas, todos esos diseños son parte del mismo cartucho.

    This cute box was made using a die that I got from e bay as some of you know I am addicted to these dies and the great thing is the price! I use some stamps from MSE! seam binding, silk flowers and other embellishments from my stash.

    Esta cajita que me encanta la corte con un suaje de e bay como algunas de ustedes ya saben soy adicta a  estos suajes ahora y lo mejor de todo es el precio! use algunos sellos de MSE! seam binding, flores de seda etc.



    Next a baby card using a cute vintage image from the collage: Sent From Heaven and Shabby Mini Folders, papers from my stash.

    Ahora una tarjeta de bebe usando imagenes vintage de los colages: Sent From Heaven y Shabby Mini Folders, papeles de mi coleccion.



    Next another card just for fun created with paper scraps,  those big scissors that I cut with my Cricut, the stamp is a retired one from TCM, I use images from the collage: Tape Measure No. 2

    A continuacion una tarjeta creada con recortes de papel,  esas tijeras grandes son tambien un corte con la Cricut, el sello ya esta descontinuado es de la marca TCM, use imagenes del colage: Tape Measure No. 2
    That is all for me today I hope you have a great weekend! I will be back soon with lots of projects!

    Bueno eso es todo por hoy, espero que tengan un excelente fin de semana! regreso pronto con mas proyectos!
              Be Mine        

    Hello again! a few more projects today... yes I have been creating a lot these days and that makes me happy, I made more Valentine's Day cards and this is one of my favorites!  created using paper scraps and foamy heart using a die from PTI, the pink strip of paper with tiny hearts is from MFT

    Hola de nuevo! tengo varios proyectos el dia de hoy... si, he estado creando mucho estos dias y eso me hace feliz, hice mas proyectos de San Valentin y esta tarjeta es una de mis favoritas!  creada usando retazos de papel, un corazon de foamy cortado con suaje de PTI, la tira de color rosa con corazones pequeños es de: MFT
    The "be mine" banner is from the digital collage: Banners and Flowers, I embellish with buttons,
    flowers, paper pieces etc.

    El banderin con la palabra "be mine" es del colage digital: Banners and Flowersfinalmente adorne con botones, flores, pedacitos de papel etc.

    Next a tag set using cardstock and images from the collage: Sugar and Spice the bow die is from My Creative Time

    A continuacion un set de etiquetas usando cardstock e imagenes del colage: Sugar and Spice el suaje de moño es de: My Creative Time
    And last a card in Spanish using die from: Latina Crafter and stamp from: La Pareja Creativa, heart die from PTI

    Y por ultimo una tarjeta en Español use un suaje de: Latina Crafter y sello de: La Pareja Creativa, suaje de corazon es de PTI
    I will be back with more projects soon, thank you so much for your sweet comments, have a great weekend!

    Regresare pronto con mas proyectos, muchas gracias por sus lindos comentarios, que tengan un excelente fin de semana!
              Sweet Love        

     Hello again!! I still have several Valentine projects that I have to show you. Every time I clean my scrap room I feel inspired to create a lot of things, I am very messy when I craft, but at some point (when there is no more space in my table) I have to clean all my stuff or I'll go crazy!

     Hola de nuevo!! todavia tengo muchos proyectos de San Valentin que quiero mostrarles. Cada vez que limpio mi cuarto de scrap me inspiro y me pongo a crear muchas cosas, Soy muy desordenada a la hora de crear y hacer cualquier manualidad  pero llega un punto ( cuando ya no tengo espacio en mi mesa) que me tengo que poner a limpiar o me vuelvo loca!
     I made this set using the collage:  Antique Valentine Tags I use cardstock and a border punch for the edges. The heart and Jar were made with dies and I use a heart "embossed" type of foamy that I found a few years ago at Michael's

    Este set lo hice con el collage:  Antique Valentine Tags use cardstock y una perforadora de bordes. El corazon y el frasco los hice con suajes, ese foamy con "embossing" de corazones lo encontre hace ya  tiempo en Michael's


    This card uses paper scraps and one of the new collages: Shabby Mini File Folders, hearts were created with different dies and stamp from my stash.

    Ahora una tarjeta donde use uno de los: Shabby Mini File Folderslos corazones son cortados con suajes y el sello no recuerdo la marca es uno de tantos que tengo en mi coleccion.
    I created another card using paper scraps, this time I use a tag from the collage: Sugar and Spice Tags, I use a vellum envelope and the lock die is from Cuttlebug

    Hice esta otra tarjeta usando de nuevo retazos de papel, la tag que dice "sweet" es del colage: Sugar and Spice Tags, use un sobre de vellum (papel albanene) y el suaje de candado es de Cuttlebug


    And last a card using dies from PTI and My Creative time, love the floral paper on the bottom , is from the collage: Wood Roses

    Y por ultimo una tarjeta usando suajes de  PTI y My Creative time, me encanta ese papel floral en la parte de abajo, es del colage: Wood Roses

    Thank you so much for all your sweet comments I will be back soon with more!

    Muchas gracias por sus lindos comentarios, regresare pronto con mas proyectos!


              Pretty Packaging        
    Can't believe the month is almost over wow! I am in love with this color combination and I decided to create a few of these mini craft packages with chipboard, cardstock and transparency film, they are really easy to make and I think they could be a great gift for any crafter!

    No puedo creer lo rapido se fue este mes, ya casi se termina wow! yo sigo enamorada de esta combinacion de coloes y decidi crear unos empaques muy coquetos con chipboard, cardstock y papel para transparencia o acetato, son realmente faciles de hacer y creo seria un regalo muy lindo para cualquier crafter!
    I just punched a couple of chipboard circles to use as a base, I roll a piece of patterned paper to the chipboard base, I put inside the transparency film and fill with some small goodies such as: buttons, chipboard pieces, flowers, hearts, vintage images and more, then I just staple and embellish with paper, ribbon, lace and tag.

    Solo perfore 2 circulos de chipboard y los pegue para hacer la base, despues pegue papel estampado alrededor de los circulos, puse dentro el acetato y lo pegue al papel estampado, depues llene el interior con cositas y adornos como: botones, piezas de chipboard, flores, corazones,  imagenes vintage etc. Por ultimo adorne con papel, liston, y unas tags.
    The images for the tags are from the collages: Fine Roses and Valentine Tags

    Las imagenes que use para las tags son de los colages: Fine Roses y Valentine Tags



    Next a metal tin box created a few years ago,  this was in my scrap room and I just decided to embellish the outside, I use a heart die from Quickutz, vintage image from the collage: Cherub Circles

    A continuacion una cajita de metal en forma de corazon, la verdad habia estado guardada en mi scrap room y me decidi a ponerle algunos adornos: use un suaje de corazon de Quickutz, imagen vintage del colage: Cherub Circles



    That is all for today thank you so much for stop by my blog, I will come back soon with a lovely project!

    Eso es todo por hoy, gracias por pasar por mi blog, regreso pronto con un hermoso proyecto que no se pueden perder!





              Very Merry        
    Hello everyone! I will show you a few projects today, these are not new, I create them a few weeks ago but I hope you like them. First a set of tags made from cardstock and images from the collage Antique Christmas. 

    Hola a tod@s! Hoy les mostrare algunos proyectos que hice hace algunas semanas. Primero este set de tags, de hecho hice una  transmision en vivo por FB cuando hice estas tags y algunas chicas me acompañaron. Para este proyecto use imagenes del colage Antique Christmas. 
    For the wreath I use a product called flower soft in color Christmas Green, I like it because of the texture and I loved the result in this project. The chipboard numbers are from my stash, the snowflake was made from cardstock with a Martha Stewart punch then I just covered it with German glass glitter.

    Use para la corona un  producto que se llama flower soft en color Christmas Green, Me gusta la textura y realmente el resultado me encanto en este proyecto. Los numeros de chipboard ya los tenia desde hace tiempo y el copo de nieve es hecho con una perforadora de Martha Stewart, solo lo cubri con German glass glitter.


    Next a fun project created with the WRMK pillow box punch board, I got it a while back and I just open it, I made a few pillow boxes using paper scraps and some images from my digital collages. Stamps from Papertrey Ink.

    A continuacion unas cajitas "pillow box"  hechas con la tabla/punch del mismo nombre de WRMK la compre ya hace tiempo y apenas la abri, hice varias de estas pillow boxes usando recortes de papel y algunas imagenes de mis collages digitales. Sellos de Papertrey Ink.




    And last a tag album using several paper scraps,  and images from the collages: Antique Tags No. 2, Romantic Rose, Vintage Clock .Stamp from MSE!  dies from spellbinders and Papertrey Ink

    Y por ultimo un tag album usando varios recortes de papel e images de los collages: Antique Tags No. 2Romantic RoseVintage Clock Sellos de MSE!  suajes de spellbinders y Papertrey Ink



    And I want to share with you that I have a sale going at my Etsy store all December, just enter code DEC25 and get 25% off entire store! have a great day :) 

    Y quiero compartir con ustedes que tendre un descuento en mi tienda Etsy durante todo Diciembre ! solo usa el codigo DEC25 y obten un 25%  de descuento en toda la tienda! que tengan un bello dia :) 


              Disney sinks on revenue miss, plans to pull movies from Netflix in 2019        
    Disney stock sinks on revenue miss. The company announced plans to pull its movies from Netflix in 2019
              LIFE BEHIND BARS IN CHANGI PRISON (PART 3)        

    <strong>1/3 off for good behaviors</strong>

    All prisoners except for certain type of prisoners which I will elaborate on later in this thread. These prisoners are eligible for 1/3 off their sentrence for good behavior. This means that they only served 2/3 of the sentence imposed by the judge. This is also known as minus PH and weekends to some of you.

    This entitlement is for those who behaves themselves inside the prison while doing their time. Those who fight or misbehave will not be granted the above.

    There are 2 dates on the prisoner's card that is put outside his/her cell. This cardboard card will reflect the prisoners' name, Prison number, medical needs, special care (if any), EDR (Earliest Date of Release - this is the date of release after deducting 1/3 off) and LDR(Late Date of Release - the original date where the prisoner is supposed to be released)

    Those who are sentenced for CT (Corrective Training) are not eligible for this incentive as they are repeated offenders.

    Only those who had been sentenced to more than 14 days in prison are entitled. Last time yardstick was 3 mths.

    <strong>Caning </strong>

    All those who are sentenced to rotan will get a medical checkup before the caning. They must be certified fit by a Doctor. The caning must be done before the prisoner reach 50 yrs old.

    Regardless of how many strokes the Court imposed, all the rotans were be done on the same day unless the prisoner is unfit to carry on during the caning.

    The prisoner is secured to a standing platform where only his butts are exposed. The warden will then pick any of the canes in the room and procceed with the caning.

    As a general rule of the thumb, it is strongly advised that a person should never scream in pain when being cane or you will be the laughing stock of the rest of the prisoners.

    <strong>Home Dentention Schemes </strong>

    This scheme is opened to all prisoners except those on RT or had committed serious crimes or is a foreigner.

    The eligible prisoner has to served at least 50% of his sentence after the 1/3 off scheme for good behavior

    This scheme is where the prisoner is released from prison to serve his/her remaining time at home and is part of the rehabitation of the prisoner. The prisoner's family members like wife/husband/sister/brother/parents must be agreeable to this before the prisoner can go on this scheme

    A device is used and put on the ankle or wrist of the prisoner. A monitoring device is also placed in his/her house. The device linked to Cisco will sound if the tag is out of its monitoring zone in the house during the period of time when the prisoner is supposed to be at home.

    The prisoner is supposed to be at home during a certain set period of time. He/She can only be out of the house when working/studying where prior pernission must be granted by his/her supervisory warden.

    There are strict rules for this scheme
    1) Must be at home during the period of time when he/she is supposed to be
    2) Cannot indulge in vice like gambling, drinking, drugs or smoking
    3) No tampering of the device or monitoring system
    4) Subject to s/check via calls to residential house number or visits
    5) Subject to random urine test

    Any breaches will result in the home scheme being cancelled for the prisoner

    <strong> Courses </strong>

    Educational or skill courses are offered to prisoners to improve their employablities after their release, its also part of the rehabitional programme that the Prison dept undertakes.

    <strong>Yellow Ribbon Project</strong>

    This dept help former inmates to find jobs after their release

    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'?

    Filed Under: 

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              BZU Starts Admission Live Stock Assistant Diploma for Session 2017-19        
    Multan,  Bahu Uddin Zakariya University Multan has started the admission process for the two years live stock assistant diploma for the session 2017-19. The BZU LAD course will be conducted at the Para veterinary school, faculty of veterinary sciences, BZU Multan in the evening program and College of Veterinary Sciences, Sub Campus, Layyah in the [...]
              Record dará início ás gravações de "Rebelde"        
                                   

    A Rede Record acaba de afirmar que até a última semana deste mês já terá dado início ás gravações de seu próximo remake, "Rebelde". 

    Inicialmente, serão apenas gravados stock-shots. 


    Sobre o elenco, a emissora promete: terá todo o casting definido no começo de outubro.
    Vale a pena ressaltar que a novela foi adiada para 2011, graças aos recorrentes atrasos.


    Com Informações do TELE Novelas
              Las consecuencias ocultas de morder uñas        
    Muchas personas subestiman el grado para las uñas que morder puede afectar su vida. Consecuencias van desde interferir en las relaciones personales y de trabajo que afecten negativamente a la sensación general de bienestar y salud. Los párrafos siguientes describen las maneras en que clavo morder puede influir en la vida.

    Consecuencias físicas

    Los efectos más evidentes de morder uñas son físicos. Clavo seria morder, donde muerde clavos hasta el lecho de la uña, puede ser suficientemente grave como para hemorragias, llagas abiertas y alcance desfigurado.

    A menudo, los dedos lastimados durante varias horas o incluso días después de un clavo grave episodio de morder. La humectación prolongada de las yemas del dedo durante morder repetido puede conducir a la fragilidad de las uñas. Más problemas extremos, tales como pérdida de uñas ridging, o incluso permanente, pueden ocurrir daños a la matriz ungueal.

    Efectos secundarios emocionales

    No se puede exagerar el impacto emocional de un clavo muerde. Los sentimientos de vergüenza, impotencia y frustración pueden tomar un peaje tremenda en enfermos. Muchos enfermos están preocupados constantemente si alguien coge una vislumbre de las uñas cortas, irregulares y así ir todo lo posible para ocultar su problema.

    Encubrimientos que se emplean son bolas las manos en los puños, doblando con cuidado los dedos o simplemente dejar que las manos descansan debajo de una mesa. Actividades sociales ordinarias, una fecha, entrevista de trabajo o presentación de trabajo — que la mayoría de las personas dan por sentado puede convertirse en una molestia para uñas pinzas cortantes y sólo se llevó a cabo con gran ansiedad y secreto.

    Una cosa que más pinzas cortantes de uñas tienen en común es el malestar y culpa que se sienten sobre lo que han hecho y el hecho de que no pudieron impedir que ellos mismos.Además de arruinar el aspecto de la mano, morder uñas también puede afectar la salud.

    Cutícula morder puede infligir un daño duradero así: los pliegues de la piel en la parte inferior y los lados de la uña son tejido vivo, y su presencia evita humedad, bacterias y otras toxinas ambientales de conseguir por debajo de la placa del clavo y causando daño.

    Por morder y desgranó sus cutículas, limita la capacidad de su piel para proteger el lecho ungueal sensible y aumentar la probabilidad de contraer una infección. Algunos dentistas afirman incluso que clavo penetrante conduce a problemas dentales por ejercer una presión adicional sobre las raíces de los dientes.


    Riesgos para la salud

    Dificultad para realizar las tareas prácticas

    El dolor y la ternura que experiencia de pinzas cortantes de uñas pueden hacer tareas cotidianas dolorosa y difícil. Acciones como desatar los cordones, recoger monedas o pequeños objetos de una superficie plana o apertura que llavero puede sentir imposible hacerlo con las uñas cortas. Otras actividades que son difíciles de realizar incluyen paquetes de comida abierta de rasgado, pasar las páginas del libro, despegando de orejeras o abrir un collar. Para muchos uñas pinzas cortantes, incluso el mero con una pluma o escribiendo en un teclado de computadora puede ser angustioso.

    Efectos sociales

    Clavo morder puede afectar la vida social, también. Dedos deformes, rojos e hinchados son desagradables y pueden causar amigos, familiares o compañeros detrás del encogimiento y retirar de contacto corporal. El efecto puede ser aún más profundo en las relaciones íntimas, como con un amante.

     Masticado de uñas son una salida inmediata, y mucha gente no quiere ser tocado por alguien cuyas manos ven poco atractivos. Las mujeres especialmente se esperan por la sociedad que tienen uñas hermosos, bien cuidadas, por lo que pueden sufrir socialmente aún más que los hombres.

    Si no se trata, morder uñas puede afectar muchos aspectos de la vida de una persona de las actividades cotidianas de bienestar psicológico para la salud y la felicidad general.
    .
    ¿Quieres más consejos & técnicas?

    El "detener su clavo mordiendo Ebook" te da toda la información que necesita dejar de fumar clavo morder rápidamente y permanentemente. Encontrará instrucciones prácticas, fácil de usar, en lo que realmente funciona para romper el hábito.
              Â¿Cuánto tiempo tarda para crecer las uñas largas?        
    Pinzas cortantes de uñas muchos preguntan Cuánto tardará hasta las uñas han crecido completamente y volvió a su forma "normal". Para responder a la pregunta, primero examinemos exactamente cómo crecen las uñas.


    Las uñas están compuestas de fibras de proteína llamadas "queratina", que es la misma proteína pelo está compuesta. Crecimiento se produce de la luna en forma de área en la base de la uña, el supuesto "lúnula". El crecimiento de nuevas células, las células más viejas se endurecen y empuje hacia afuera, creando la placa del clavo, la uña real, que está compuesta de unos 150 densamente lleno de capas de proteína.

    ¿Así de rapido crecen las uñas?

    En promedio, las uñas crecen 1 mm por semana, mientras que este número puede variar ligeramente debido a factores como la edad, tiempo, salud y dieta. Una buena estimación sería que tarda unos 3-5 semanas para las uñas a crecer totalmente dependiendo del grado que se muerden las uñas. Muchas pinzas cortantes de uñas observan que las uñas crecen más rápido que lo normal.


     Esta noción es apoyada por un estudio clínico realizado en 1980 y W.B. Bean (un practicante médico). Observó el crecimiento de uñas patrones durante muchos años y notó que el crecimiento de uñas uñas mordedores fue acelerado por tanto como un 20%! El razonamiento detrás de él está eso clavo mordiendo el aumento del flujo sanguíneo a las yemas del dedo, acelerando así el crecimiento de uñas.


    Después de que los clavos han alcanzado el borde de sus dedos, tomará un período adicional de 2-4 meses hasta que han regresado a su apariencia normal, previo.

    Esto es debido al hecho de que cambios muerde las uñas la forma de la cama del clavo: masticar de las esquinas de la uña y arrancar la piel de la cama del clavo, la anchura de las disminuciones de la uña y el lecho ungueal empieza a acortar, posiblemente interfiriendo con crecimiento de uñas y llevando a irregularidades o, en algunos casos, los cambios de color.

    A largo plazo cutícula recolectores también notará que callos han desarrollado alrededor de los lados y puntas de las uñas, bloqueando más crecimiento exterior y lo que es más difícil para el clavo camas para volver a su forma original.

    Teniendo en cuenta estos factores, estar preparados para que tome 3-4 meses para la "calificación final de abuso" sea verdaderamente detrás de ti. El orgullo y la confianza que vendrá de las uñas de la nueva cosecha, hermosas más se componen por su esfuerzo y paciencia.

              How to Prevent the Flu and Block Swine Flu        
    How to prevent the flu, swine flu, bird flu and all influenza. Naturally protect yourself, your kids, your family and friends now from getting swine or future flu's before stock piles run out.
              Comment on The Crypto stock that’s better than GBTC by sarcrilege        
    So, Hugh Hefner playboy mansion is no longer chic? Now we get John McAfee playboy mansion clone? We need a PlayboyCoin.
              Comment on The Crypto stock that’s better than GBTC by brvalentine        
    Mining crypto is for immediate cashflow. Big thing on deck is Sentinel roll-out. Whether the PP works out is YTBD and a year or so away.
              Comment on The Crypto stock that’s better than GBTC by CoinSpeak        
    OA was a bull on MGTI months ago. I'm not sure if he still follows it. I am writing as a survivor of the dotcom boom/bust. I think crypto will be bigger than the Internet in terms of financial transactions. So I don't argue with people who say Crypto is a bubble. Look at the youtube videos. The hysteria is real. But if/when the bubble pops the survivors will rise from the ashes stronger than ever. Crypto will survive a bubble and become ubiquitous. I say that with 100% certainty. I believe Bitcoin will survive and boom, even if it manages to shoot itself in the foot and lose market dominance.
              Comment on The Crypto stock that’s better than GBTC by ghostface        
    Was there recently some insider purchases on the open market? He supposedly got into mining to learn the crypto currency/blockchain business with plans to use that in circling back to security. So far just his secure phone idea. Not sure if this will all pan out but if we compare blockchain excitment to 1999 dot com bubble where there were new ipos and re-imagined stale companies adding dot com to their name and stocks galore exploding higher every day. Under the current situation there is a a dearth of choices on the securities front with a lot of money still learning and wanting to chase any crpto/blockchain story. The money has yet to rush into the limited stocks offering a home to the demand imo. I had forgotten about this one. Thanks for the heads up.
              Comment on The Crypto stock that’s better than GBTC by oilerua        
    i guess the gap fill is a nice sweetener at this point of the chart
              Comment on The Crypto stock that’s better than GBTC by brvalentine        
    In Addition: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mgt-capital-launches-pilot-program-to-mine-ethereum-300478827.html
              Comment on The Crypto stock that’s better than GBTC by brvalentine        
    Agree. Big Mac will build this Co. out to $1B + when all said and done.
              1000 Payday Loans Cash Advance: An ideal way of finance        
    Financial assistance by the source of lending institutes is a reliable source at the time of financial failure but only for good creditors and for whom, can perform all the formalities that are declared by the lenders for approval. If you converse about this agreement with the lenders of traditional loans and bad creditors, it is not liked so simple for them. Mostly lenders reject the approval request of the people who are suffering from bad credit past. If you are also having bad credit problems, you can opt for the lenders of 1000 Payday Loans Cash Advance. This is an easy and instant lending alternative that can supply the hard cash to the applicant just within hours with all their default, arrears, bankruptcy and other reasons of bad credit.




    Loan approval by the source of any traditional loans will not come easily at the time when applicant have some unpaid bills with their name but the terms of 1000 Payday Loans Cash Advance makes it suitable and unproblematic for applicant to access the finance by an effortless and convenient manner without the tension about their credit past. Including with all that, the online proceeding of this loan becomes fortunate thing for the people to get cash only in hours. By this course of endorsement the applicant do not need to collect a lot of papers to fax with the application form and does not require any collateral to pledging against the loaned amount. To attain the financial support by the source of 1000 Payday Loans Cash Advance the applicant have to fill an online application form where they have to provide all the relevant details as like all the personal details, residential details, banking account details and some more.




    As above explained that faxing, credit verification, and collateral is not the clause of loan of lenders of this loan for approval but they grant the loan on the basis of some personal details and employment. The terms of lenders for the agreement of the loans are the applicant must be above 18 years of age and should be employed for the past few months with the earning amount of $ 1000 monthly. Along with it, the applicant should also have a 6 months valid bank account. The applicant has to send all these details the lender of the loan via an online application and after implementation, submit it over the website of the lender and inside a span of minutes the applicant will be the get in touched of lender. Once the details of application are verified, the applicant can draw the approved amount from their bank account within 24 hours of applying that ranges between of $100 and $1500 for the repayment duration till the salary day.


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    money: borrowing too much money credit crisis

    money: pull money out of stocks surviving the financial crisis

    Article Source: www.articlesnatch.com


              White dress and Cherry blossoms        




    The city is filled with these beautiful trees and everyone is taking pictures of them. How could I resist?
     
    A simple black and white look with nude shoes and colorful details. The burgundy bag, colorful necklace and orange heels make the look stand out without being too much.
    This could be a cute wedding outfit, maybe with another jacket, or a company party. If you get a simple suit coat and simple heels you might just go to the office like this.
    I think the white dress is really versatile being so simple , it makes it easier to mix and match.
    The great thing about it? it's only 24.99 free shipping~!More great news from Romwe below!



    Orasul e plin de copaci infloriti si toata lumea ii pozeaza, eu cum puteam sa rezist?
    O tinuta simpla, alb negru cu accente colorate. Geanta visinie, colierul multicolor, ci tocul portocaliu sunt detaliile care scot tinuta din anonimat fara sa fi exagerata.
    Aceasta poate fi o tinuta potrivita pentru o nunta sau o petrecere in cadrul companiei, poate cu alta geaca. Cu un sacou simplu si alti pantofi poti ajunge si la birou.
    Rochia alba este extrem de versatila, si fiind simpla, se poate asorta la nesfarsit.
    Vestea buna abia acum apare, e doar 24.99 $ si transport gratuit.Mai multe vesti bune de la Romwe putin mai jos.



     Dress: Here only 24.99$
    Jacket: Mango
    Necklace: Rosewholesale
    Shoes: Here
    Bag: Here





     Three super cool bags
    In fashion you need the right weapons to stand out
    pick yours

    Grenade    Gun     Handcuffs





    "Geek" Print Grey T-shirt you have never seen before!

    Sold at the price of $9.99, original price is $26.99,up to 63%off.
    Only 300 units are in stock . Hurry up!
    140 pieces for size S,
    80 pieces for size M,
    80 pieces for size L,
    Only at 1:00am GMT April 10th, only 24 hours!
    Worldwide free shipping, shipped in 24 hours.

              Small Business Saturday to Boost Indie Retailers' Holiday Sales        
    Small Business Saturday to Boost Indie Retailers' Holiday Sales

    With the holiday season rapidly approaching, more small business owners—including those in the beauty industry—are making Small Business Saturday an integral factor in their sales plans.

    Small Business Saturday falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and serves as the traditional kickoff to the holiday-shopping season for independent retailers and restaurateurs. The day was created in response to small business owners' most pressing need: more customers.

    Forty-six percent of independent merchants plan to incorporate Small Business Saturday as part of their holiday strategy—and the majority of them say they will offer discounts on Nov. 24, according to the inaugural Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, recently released by the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express. 



    Of those small business owners who plan to promote Small Business Saturday, 80% expect a year-over-year boost in sales on that day.

    Discounts and special offers are among the key incentives to drive consumers to "Shop Small."

    “Research has shown that American consumers have a deep trust in and admiration for the small business community," says NFIB CEO Dan Danner. "Small Business Saturday gives them a chance to show their appreciation—and help America’s essential job creators in a very real way—by patronizing small shops, restaurants and service providers. And anything that helps with sales is certainly appreciated by small business owners, many of whom have struggled to stay afloat in a rough and uncertain economy.”

    There are a number of ways that small business owners plan to take advantage of the day. The survey reports:

    • 46% will create coupons for future offers or discounts
    • 25% will offer free gift wrapping
    • 23% will giveaway prizes or hosts contests
    • 20% will give away free items with purchases

    Other survey findings include:

    • 87% will be active in social-media channels to promote Small Business Saturday
    • 34% say Small Business Saturday is the most important shopping day during the holiday season—more important than Black Friday or Cyber Monday
    • 28% intend to increase the number of employees who will work on Small Business Saturday

    “In just three years, Small Business Saturday went from an idea to help [small businesses] find more customers to a permanent fixture on the holiday-shopping calendar,” adds Susan Sobbott, president of American Express OPEN. “According to the research, we are seeing the small business community take ownership of the day and make it their own.”

    For the third year in a row, American Express is offering a merchant toolkit to help small businesses.

    For the second consecutive year, FedEx gave away $1 million worth of American Express Shop Small Gift Cards—each worth $25—to consumers via Facebook.

    [Image courtesy of Thinkstock/Comstock]


              SCSI support and a big surprise        
    Last week I added SCSI disk support for the CD-i 60x extension board to CD-i Emulator. It took somewhat longer then I expected, though. This was mostly because the DP5380 SCSI controller chip exposes most low-level details of the SCSI protocol to the driver which means that all of these details have to be emulated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    $ dir -d /h0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The disk image containing all of these surprises is publicly available on the Internet since at least 2009, which is probably someone's mistake but one for which I'm very grateful at this point!
              Taking Heed to the Lord's Claims and Demands        
    A new MP3 sermon from Freely We Give Broadcast is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: Taking Heed to the Lord's Claims and Demands
    Speaker: G. D. Fulton
    Broadcaster: Freely We Give Broadcast
    Event: Radio Broadcast
    Date: 5/24/1988
    Bible: 1 Corinthians 16:22; James 1:22-24
    Length: 19 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: Brother Fulton loved to preach to Christians the demands of Christ's Lordship. In fact, that person who makes a public religious profession but does not live a life of obedience - to our radio speaker such a one was only a false professor, and would surely be LOST in the end.----Take stock- Examine yourself- What is your attitude towards the One who solemnly declared, -If ye love me, keep my commandments--
              Winter Beach/ Pastels on the Pier        
     Image from Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind 

    The idea of the beach in winter is one that has always captivated me. I think most people would agree that beaches are strictly summer territory, no question about it. And I, eternal child of all that is summery, have placed the idealistic scene of warm, gleaming rock pools and lolly-sticks on sandcastles high on my personal pedestal of Special, Sparkly places. Beaches are places for feeling sunburned and sandy and windswept, with salt in your hair and the sun in your eyes. For most people, that eternal, golden setting of the sea side in summer will live on forever in their minds, as it does in mine, as the stuff of sweet summer childhoods spent playing in the surf, and adolescent flings on grassy campsites by the sea.

    I'd always thought of the beach in winter, therefore, as a sort of forlorn, forsaken landscape; almost post-apocalyptic in it's state of eerie desertion. The sand looses it blinding, sunlit glare, and dims to a dull, pale, yellow, while the sparkling sea becomes iron grey and choppy, not to mention freezing. But in a way, the beach in winter is also sort of beautiful. There is something almost calm and reassuring about it's ghostly emptiness and the softer, less harsh hues of a murky, glass green ocean, and a pearly, clouded sky. I think it was actually the film Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind that gave me this new appreciation of windswept, winter beaches, not lit up, arcade-like, with the brazenness of a bright, summer's day, but bathed in the gentle tones of soft grey sheet rain gathering on the horizon, or smooth, blue pebbles hidden in the shadows of clear, shallow pools. The film opens with Jim Carey's dejected and jaded-looking character suddenly deciding not to board his usual train to work, and instead running flat out to jump on a train heading to the seaside town of Montauk.

    The scenes of him walking the shores of a deserted beach complete with rickety wooden windbreakers and long dry grass dancing in the wind made me start to think of the beach during winter not as a sad, forgotten place, but as a place of recovery and escapism. There isn't really anyone around, and feeling like you are alone with something as vast and powerful as the ocean has got to be the ultimate place to think things over and take deep lungfuls of fresh, salt-flecked air if you're feeling a little down in the dumps. The film then continues to revisit the beach via the character's memories of his now-ended relationship, one time at night as the couple break into a deserted beach house, one time when it is covered in thick blankets of snow, and one time during a surreal scene that involves the couple waking up in bed on the open, windy shore. If you haven't seen this truly stunning, unusual and generally amazing film, then you really, really should, but I wanted to mention it here because the idea of wintry beaches, blustery air that requires snuggly layers, and the muted, soft colours of a dully lit beach cocooned by a soft, shell coloured sky is exactly what is inspiring me sartorially right now.
               Image from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    The reason that I am suddenly feeling all these beachy, windswept, freezing-cold-winter-merging-into-sightly-less-freezing-cold-spring vibes, is partly down to my new magazine collage wall. Let me explain: my boyfriend and I have currently just moved into our new place together, and much to my surprise and delight, he was all for my 'lets decorate the walls in millions of pages from all my old Glamour magazines' idea. Well, he was all for decorating one wall in them, which was good enough. Therefore, whenever I sit in our shiny new dining room to eat my lunch/attempt to do some writing, I am now surrounded with all of my most beloved fashion and beauty moments from the dog-eared copies of Gamour I've been collecting for absolute donkey's years.

    Several of these images are from my absolute favourite ever Glamour fashion feature, entitled 'Have a Pretty Day', which is from a few seasons back now, I think. Anyway, the pictures were shot at Brighton Pier, which is one of my favourite places in the world. It was a spring shoot, but, unusually for a fashion magazine, the stylist had actually taken note of the fact that spring in England isn't all sunshine and blossom and clear, blue skies, and had dressed the model in a series of sugary, sweet outfits in soft creams and muted pastel tones, compete with coats, jackets and opaque tights, albeit in pretty spring hues. Not only does this whole 'Winter Beach/ Pastels on the Pier' look perfectly embody the current trend for pretty ice-cream pastels, but it also packs personal connotations to my love of beaches and fascination with the muted, soothing beauty of the sea side in crisp, early spring and deepest, darkest wintertime. Not only this, but the images in this shoot are also rather sixties inspired, making me fall in love with micro minis, swing coats, shift dresses and big, Bambi eyes.

    To achieve this sweet, pier-worthy look, think pale muted colours, and work with a palette of cream, white, mint green, powder pink, toffee and palest lavender.Team a snowy-hued shift dress with white opaque or semi-sheer tights, and wear with light tan lace-up brogues and a powder-blue swing coat. Blend in with the fairground carousel with pastel separates or sugary vintage dresses in floaty fabrics, and pick your way over the pebbles in elegant Mary Janes with a metallic sheen for a spot of mermaid-esque shimmer. Team the look with gently tousled waves, nude or chalky lips and long-lashed Bambi eyes for a nod towards sixties chic. 

    Lucky for me, my birthday is coming up next month, and I'm hoping that my boyfriend will whisk me away to the quiet, secluded shores of Brighton on a blustery spring day, to share huge clouds of pink candy floss and throw pebbles into a foamy, wind-whipped sea. Therefore, my head is currently full of the dancing images of lilac vintage day dresses, little candy-coloured knitted tops and sweet white mini skirts worn with sixties swing coats and pale, dainty plimsolls. Here are some of the images from the oh-so-pretty Glamour shoot now adorning my dining room wall, along with some of the sweet, sixties-inspired items that I am just longing to fling on for a skip through the whirring lights of amusement arcades. Be inspired to dip a toe into the not-so-chilly sea of cute, transitional winter-to-spring sea side chic, and remember to, above all, have a pretty day...    









      Images from Glamour magazine (on my magazine wall!)




    Keep the sea breeze at bay with these snuggly vintage coats from Rokit.com


    Look like a stick of Brighton rock in these pretty pieces from Rokit.com





    Stock up on shoes, socks and iced gem tops from Topshop.com
              Water rorting continues in the Murray-Darling Basin aided and abetted by the NSW Nationals        

    And local government and commercial interests in the Murray-Darling Basin have the hide to cry that they are water deprived and should be allowed to dam and divert water from the Clarence River catchment until that coastal system is a pale shadow of its vibrant self.

    The Guardian, 4 August 2017:

    The New South Wales regional water minister, Niall Blair, has quietly granted himself the power to approve illegal floodplain works retrospectively.

    A Wentworth Group scientist, Jamie Pittock, has accused the NSW government of actively undermining the Murray-Darling basin plan as revelations have continued about the state government’s management of the river system.

    Since Four Corners report raised allegations of water theft and secret meetings between a senior NSW water bureaucrat and a small number of irrigators,Blair is under increasing pressure over his water responsibilities.

    This followed Daily Telegraph reports that the Nationals MP had been urging his Liberal colleague, the environment minister, Gabrielle Upton, to change the Barwon-Darling water-sharing plan retrospectively to favour large irrigators. He said the change was needed because of an error in the rules.

    It has now come to light that Blair gazetted a Barwon-Darling valley floodplain management plan which gives him power to approve flood works built illegally even if they do not comply with requirements prior to the plan.

    Under clause 39 of the new Barwon-Darling valley plan, a flood work that does not comply can be approved if “in the minister’s opinion” it is for an access road, a supply channel, a stock refuge or an infrastructure protection work
    .
    A spokesman for WaterNSW said three relevant applications from the Barwon-Darling region had been received since the change but none had yet been approved.

    The NSW Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham called on the NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, to remove the water portfolio from the National party after the regulation changes came to light.

    “This is disgraceful example of the National party giving away free water to their big irrigator mates,” Buckingham said. “Many of these areas are so flat that even a 10 to 20cm bank can divert a huge amount of water into an irrigation dam and away from natural waterways.

    “It’s a massive gift of water to the big irrigators. If we want to recover the water in the future then taxpayer will have to hand over huge amounts of compensation for what were illegal constructions.”

    A spokeswoman for Blair said the gazettal was a “significant legacy issue” required to create a process where unapproved works could be properly and transparently assessed. She said to be considered, works must not have been previously refused and would still need to be assessed under certain criteria.

    “Supply channels are one of the types of existing works that clause 39 indicates that we will accept application for,” the spokeswoman said. “Just because they are existing, doesn’t mean that they will be approved, just that they can apply. This approach is being rolled out through all floodplain management plans.”

    Pittock, an associate professor in the Fenner school of environment and society at the Australian National University, said the revelations showed NSW was systematically white-anting the Murray Darling plan.

    “The ‘rule error’ and other questionable dealings between wealthy irrigators, government officials and politicians in NSW highlight how the intent of the basin plan can be frustrated by those hostile to its implementation at the state level,” he told Guardian Australia.

    “Changes of regulations in NSW have allowed irrigators to take erstwhile environmental flows by allowing greater pump capacity and earlier extraction based on river heights such that commonwealth-purchased environmental water in Queensland in not ‘shepherded’ through New South Wales to the lower Murray.

    “Consequently towns like Broken Hill, pastoralists and Aboriginal communities, as well as the environment, have been starved of water.


              I'm gonna rouge my knees and roll my stockings down...        
    To bare, or not to bare? That is the question- well, it is when it comes to wearing stockings and suspenders, at least. Ever since last summer, with the rise of the underwear as outerwear trend, and since I first began to see pictures of the beautiful Miss Momsen rocking exposed stockings and suspenders on her endlessly long legs, I have been obsessed with the idea of wearing some myself. All last summer, I entertained visions of myself strutting the streets in a cream vintage slip, black stockings and an oversized parka, or hitting the town in heels, stockings and suspenders and an LBD, with my baggy leopard print vintage shirt thrown over the top. I have managed to wear mock-stocking tights a number of times, and did so that summer- although what I really want to do is strut out of my front door and off to to the shops in a pair of actual suspenders. Sigh. If only it were that easy.

    Let me just tell you a little story detialing my daily walk to the train station. So, I'm walking down the road in my flat winter boots, black opaque tights and huge fur coat fastened up to my chin. As I round the corner, I see the work van belonging to the builders who are working on one of the houses parked along my route to the station. My stomach clenching with nerves and annoyance, I deliberately cross the road to avoid them, even though I am already on the side I need to be. I keep my eyes and head down so as not to draw additional attention to myself, but as I draw level with the builders, the inevitable wolf- whistling and cat-calling begins. The first time I walked past them, I got a leering grin and an 'alright love', which I returned with a polite, albeit embarrassed, smile. After that, I felt too self conscious to walk right past again, so I started crossing the road. Each time I get at least a whistle. The other day I got 'excuse me!' shouted out repeatedly, which I firmly ignored. Taylor Momsen gets hoards of screaming fans and paparazzi clamoring for a photograph as she walks along the street with her army of bodyguards. I get a whistle of approval from Bob the overweight, middle-aged builder. This is the sort of response I get when I am completely covered up in my winter gear. Now try to imagine the chaos I would stir up if I actually walked past wearing a mini skirt revealing supsenders and sheer, lace- topped stockings, a la Taylor. I'd be asking for it, right? But that's the thing- I'm not asking for it, and this leads me onto my next question: how much freedom do women actually have to dress the way that they want to?

    This is something I have given a lot of thought to in recent months. As someone who dresses in what some would call an 'unusual' way, I inevitably tend to stand out from the crowd quite a bit. Especially around Orpington and Bromley, where I live, as opposed to in London where crazy fashion is more the norm. Having people stare at me for wearing attention-grabbing outfits and even bold makeup is something I've had to force myself to accept as part of expressing myself through my style. I think the time where I first began to really notice it was, surprisingly, in New York. I went to New York back in April for my 21st birthday, and began planning my looks months and months and months in advance. I was finally going to visit a place that I had adored and worshiped since I was sixteen, when I discovered Sex and the City. I was going to the HOME of Carrie Bradshaw. The playground of the Gossip Girl social elite. I was going to the city where dreams come true. I think it's safe to say that what I wore to the New York City was pretty damn important. I pulled out all the fashion stops- I scoured magazines for inspiration, visited Topshop.com on a daily basis and hunted through vintage shops to put together the most fun, fabulous outfits I could think of. When I got there, I spent two hours getting ready each morning, wore fake eyelashes everyday and honestly treated the streets like they were my catwalk. New York was my big date, and I wanted it to be impressed. However, I didn't exactly get the response I was hoping for. People actually stared open-mouthed as I stepped into cafes in my see-through black lace body with only a skimpy croptop underneath, deep plum lipstick and flamboyant floral headband. One woman in a supermarket stared fixedly at my legs for about five whole minutes when I was wearing my denim chambray body-con skirt and bow-print tights. I searched the streets for the Blair Waldorfs, Serena Van Der Woodsens and Jenny Humpfreys, but all I saw was a load of suits, jeans, T shirts and trainers. I was disappointed. To be honest, New York street style was nothing like I'd expected, and I stood out like a sore thumb. I did manage to find some really trendy shop owners and stall-holders, but they were confined to the safety of their thrift-stores and vintage street fairs. Unlike me, they were safe from the bewildered stares of passers-by on the streets.

    Most of the stares I got were from men- and it's the same here. I stand there sometimes and watch as their eyes travel unashamedly up my legs in my short skirts, or oggle me square in the face, even when I stare right back at them. Seriously, did their mothers never teach them it was rude to stare? Don't get me wrong- it's not that I don't want people looking at me. I put alot of time and thought into my outfits and it's lovely when you get an admiring glance and a smile from a stranger. But it's the fact that no one ever SMILES. Even when I'm smiling at them (which I always do- it's polite to smile) they just stare back at me like I'm an alien from outter space (if the person is female) or someone that they are thinking very dirty things indeed about (if the person is a straight male). If ever I look at anyone to take in their outfit and they happen to catch me looking, I always, always smile. It's just a natural reaction. When I catch people looking at me and they continue to stare straight into my eyes without even the hint of a polite smile- I must admit- it totally freaks me out.

    So, should we try to avoid this rude, blatant, open-mouthed staring by dressing in a less eye-catching manner, and more to the point, should we, as women, try to dress less provocatively in order to avoid unwanted leering from men, even if it means not being able to wear our favourite trends? In attempting to give out the signal that we are strong, confident women who dress how we damn well please, do we instead give out the signal that we crave sexual attention from men? What happens when the signals you are trying to give out to the world are totally misread? I don't want to be unfair to men here, and I do understand that men can't help but look at women they find sexually attractive on the street. It's natural. I even think sometimes it can be quite flattering. A little look and a smile, or even a 'you look beautiful' is actually a real confidence booster, and when that happens to me, I take it as a compliment. But when men cross the line by leering unpleasantly or repeatedly shouting things out or muttering vulgar comments to their friends as you walk by, it makes you feel really uncomfortable. When I was sixteen, a builder who was older then my dad and much, much fatter, stood and watched me as I approached him for what felt like an age, and then as I walked past, leaned towards me and growled 'you're fit.' I think it's safe to say that I didn't take that as a compliment.

    Worse still, is the idea that women are 'asking for it' or are 'up for it' if they wear a revealing outfit. Or, as my ex- friend's boyfriend once convinced her, that women who wear skirts and dresses have 'no respect for themselves.' As a result, she only ever went out after that wearing jeans, when previously, she had been the most daring, fashion-forward person I knew. Now, I don't know about you, but someone who allows a man to dictate to them how they should dress seems to me to have a lot less respect for themselves than a girl who wears whatever she wants because that's what she likes. I'm not saying that every woman should wear revealing clothes, I'm just saying that women should have the freedom to wear whatever they like, without certain men assuming that they are desperate sluts who are up for a one-night-stand simply because they are showing a bit of leg. One thing I HATE when I come across it in womens' magazines, are those articles where they ask 'what do men think of they way we dress?' The article always comes to the conclusion that most men think extremes of fashion are weird, therefore we should avoid wacky trends at the cost of our boyfriends no longer finding us attractive. What do men think of the way we dress? Here's a thought- WHO CARES?? I want to wear stockings and suspenders because I think it looks edgy and cool. Also because I am a creative person who likes to have fun and experiment with clothes. Wearing suspenders would reflect a style that I like- therefore reflecting my personality, and that's why I want to wear them. Not because I want men to shout out 'oi oi' and ogle me like I'm a piece of meat.

    This also begs the question of how accepting are people in general of fashion? Of course it depends where you are, but the answer, in most cases I think, is not very. But then here's another question: should we care? Having experienced this sort of bewilderment  first hand for as long as I've been interested in fashion, I think it's safe to say that there are always going to be those people who just. don't. get it. For example, there are certain people who would never understand why I would never want to wear fake tan or get a sunbed. They just can't see that there is any other way to be attractive than that of being tanned. They think that there is only one way to be beautiful, whereas I disagree. I believe that beauty comes in many, many forms, and that you can be beautiful in so many unique, different ways, no matter what your skin colour/race/hairtype/bodyshape. Yes, girls with blonde hair, blue eyes, big busts and golden tans are beautiful (ie Blake Lively), but so are girls with bright red hair and milky white skin (ie Nicola Robers)- it's just a different type of beauty. But then again, there are also a lot of people who admire and appreciate the style choices of others, even if it's something they'd never wear themselves. It seems that acceptance is always the solution at the end of the day, folks. Once people stop judging each other in such a negative way and start to accept the fact that we are all different, the world will be a much better place.

    So- in conclusion, no, I don't really care if some people out there don't like the way I dress. Not that it's a nice thought- after all, we all want people to like and accept us. But if you want to make a statement with your clothes, you will have to accept that not everyone will like the statement you are making. As Christina Aguilera once sang, 'I'm humanly unable to please everyone at the same time...I'm gonna carry on, I'm gonna keep on, singin' my song'. So, in light of Miss Aguilera's fantastic advice, I will keep on singing my song. Come summer, I will wear my stockings and my suspenders, and I will do it with my head held high...

    Ok, so enough of the heavy stuff: Here're some pics to get you inspired:


        Lilly Allen working the look on stage


    Wearing mock-stocking tights again, this time with an amazing sparkly jumper dress. (I want this outfit.)


          So many celebs were seen in THOSE famous Henri Holland tights (I've already gotten through two pairs).
    The beautiful Pixie Lott working chain-effect suspender tights
    Lily, Taylor and Pixie.
    The queen of suspenders herself
    Seriously- can this girl get any cooler? My fave look of them all!!!
    These shoes got a really mixed reaction- but I LOVE them.
    What I wore today.
    These are just two of the outfits I plan to wear in the summer when it's warm enough! I got the amazing Bob Marley Tee from a vintage shop in Greenwich today for only a tenner. Don't the lyrics written on it PERFECTLY capture the entire theme of this post? I didn't even realise that until I'd finished writing this piece!

    Please leave your comments and let me know your responses to my article- I'd love to hear your opinions on the subject! Thanks!

    Love and kisses,
    The Porcelain Princess xoxo
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              Thank you Apple and Google        
    Some people were not very excited about Apple's keynote yesterday but the 1.1.3 firmware update for the iPhone is plenty enough for me, along with Google's updated mobile apps. I use Gmail a lot on my iPhone and one of my clients has standardized on Google Mail/Docs for their communications so I'm constantly reading mail and documents on my iPhone. Gmail was OK on the iPhone and Google Docs was bearable but Google Reader was a nightmare. At the weekend, I noticed Gmail suddenly got a lot nicer with a very iPhone-style UI, sliding panels between labels and mail. Great... now what about the other apps? Tuesday night, I got home from said client's site and eagerly updated my iPhone firmware. The new "location" feature in the Maps application is very sweet (and seems sufficiently accurate for my needs). Then I started reorganizing my home screen. Screens. That's when I noticed that Google had updated most of its apps to be iPhone-friendly. Google Docs makes a great reader now, even for fairly large spreadsheets. Google Reader is a huge improvement! So now my iPhone has:
    • 43actions - a great little GTD (Getting Things Done) task manager
    • Calculator
    • Calendar
    • Clock - with 10 cities
    • Maps
    • Notes
    • Stocks
    • Weather
    Followed by: Then my menu bar is:
    • Mail
    • Phone
    • Safari
    • Settings
    On screen two, I have a row of games: Then my multimedia tools:
    • Camera
    • iTunes
    • iPod
    • Photos
    • Text
    • YouTube
    And, yes, they are in alphabetical groups. Call me anal retentive and see if I care! Anyway, a big thank you to Apple and Google (and those games companies) for making my iPhone an even more lovable and addictive little toy!
              Coming soon...        
    It's almost that time of the year where we tend to take stock of the last twelve months and make resolutions for the coming twelve months. I've never been much for making resolutions but I always provide a review of the last year, based on my blog postings, so expect my review of 2007 within the next week or so. Whilst not a resolution, I will be embarking on a series of blog postings in the new year that are longer and more in-depth than my regular posts. They will cover a lot of the architectural advice that I find myself giving many of my clients and I will also be covering frameworks in more detail based on requests I've been getting via email over the last year. I'll also be looking at some anti-patterns that I've been seeing in code that I've reviewed over the last eight months (without identifying anyone, of course!). I hope it will help other avoid these problems in their own code. I hope folks will find it interesting reading!
              The Weekly Fix: Rules for Thee, but Not for Me        

    The fix is in. Did you know, members of Congress can exclude themselves from federal laws they don’t want to follow? Taxpayers are forced to play by the rules, while lawmakers in Washington get a free pass.

    The Congressional Accountability Act (CAA) of 1995 was created to remedy some of these injustices. In theory, the CAA requires members of Congress to abide by some of the same employment and workplace safety laws as any other business or federal government entity.

    But in reality, members of Congress continue to dodge their way around significant legislative policy.

    Congress has the power to kick you off your health care plan, yet lawmakers excused themselves from the ObamaCare exchanges. Congress requires federal agencies to provide citizens with internal records, yet lawmakers exempted themselves from the Freedom of Information Act, along with numerous other record-keeping and transparency laws (including whistleblower protections).

    Congress supports sending citizens to jail for insider trading, yet lawmakers are allowed to make stock trades based on non-public information. Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to protect citizens from dishonest private sector CEOs, yet lawmakers shamelessly lie about the costs of their policy agenda.

    Not surprisingly, the Office of Compliance for the U.S. Congress revealed to the press that representatives often fail to produce records and information critical to investigations in a timely manner- or sometimes even at all. Compliance has no legal authority to subpoena information, leaving them at the complete mercy of legislative offices.

    Why are members of Congress so tone deaf? Because they aren’t living in the same reality as the rest of America. They are shielded from the consequences of their actions. Forget equal treatment under the law, the official slogan of the Legislative Branch should be: Rules for thee, but not for me.

    The American people aren’t being heard by government because the game is rigged. Washington isn’t broken. It’s “fixed.”


              VESPA - RIGOR, CHARME E SEDUÇÃO        
    Nº207 MOTOCICLISMO Julho 2009
    É fácil encontrar uma Vespa, com três ou quatro décadas, restaurada e pronta a andar. Bem mais difícil, é dar de caras com uma antiguidade dessas e percebê-la ainda melhor, mais requintada, que o próprio original.

    Há, no entanto, quem o ouse e – indiscutivelmente – o consiga. As Vespa que hoje trazemos ao prelo, são veículos do mais puro luxo. Não que tenham diamantes incrustados nas jantes, cabos revestidos a ouro, selins de veludo púrpura, ou comandos em madrepérola assentes numa base de raiz de nogueira. Nada disso. São simples, funcionais, e rejeitam qualquer rococó escusado de altar-mor. Existe, contudo, algo que as distingue das demais, quer em termos estéticos, quer em termos mecânicos. O Sr. Luciano Igreja, minhoto há muito apaixonado pelas Vespa, dedica-se à sua recuperação com esmero e minúcia tais, que se reflectem de forma evidente no resultado final. Das suas mãos, saem veículos que se superam a si próprios quando novos, acabados de sair da fábrica. Estes, porém, saíram da Ciclo Igreja (a sua oficina), sob o olhar omnipresente – quiçá de inveja – da classicíssima Sé de Braga.

    O processo de restauro tanto pode partir de sua iniciativa, como por solicitação de clientes. Muitas vezes, o Sr. Luciano, movido pelo fascínio que nutre por estes insectos com motor, compra as motos no mercado de usados (fazendo uso de contactos que tem, ou da internet), e se o modelo lhe agradar não há distância que o detenha. A Vespa laranja (que vemos nas fotos) veio do Ribatejo, onde a encontrou esquecida algures. As mais das vezes, são clientes que lhe aparecem à porta com as Vespa a “cair de podre” para que a sua habilidade e destreza lhes devolvam o ar jovial de outrora. O cliente tipo situa-se na faixa etária acima dos quarenta anos, e fará desta moto um uso tipicamente recreativo, pese embora muito ocasional. São, maioritariamente, pessoas que cresceram com as Vespa por perto, tendo, inclusivamente, sido proprietárias de alguma numa qualquer fase da vida, e agora, com maior disponibilidade financeira, entregam-se a este pequeno luxo de pagar por um elixir da eterna juventude estética e mecânica.

    A cadência dos trabalhos é aquela que os recursos impõem. O Sr. Luciano está a restaurar, em média, uma Vespa por mês. Este trabalho é absolutamente meticuloso, e quando feito por mãos experientes e dedicadas – como as suas – o resultado salta à vista. «Comecei a reparar e a recuperar as Vespa, as Sachs, as Lambretta, as Casal, e outras, vai para mais de 40 anos», esclarece. «Sei de cor todas as peças do motor», acrescenta. De todas, a sua predilecção recai mesmo sobre as Vespa, como nos explica: «A Vespa é mais suave, tem melhor condução e menos atritos dinâmicos e mecânicos». Sobre o inflacionamento no preço dos modelos vintage, a sua justificação é, também, assertiva e lógica: «Trata-se de uma moto mítica. Por onde quer que passe chama a atenção, pois o design não sai de moda. Depois, são muito resistentes e fiáveis.».

    Desde componentes internos do motor, até aos parafusos mais pequenos, tudo é substituído. «Do velho se faz novo», sublinha. O propósito é o de, no primeiro caso, eliminar ou prevenir avarias, e, no segundo caso, de realçar a estética do veículo. Por exemplo, os parafusos e porcas de ferro originais, são sempre substituídos por equivalentes em aço inoxidável com acabamento cromado. Como nos descreve: «o chassis vai ao jacto de areia, para que com a tinta fora, seja possível encontrar os podres. Caso assim não fosse, por debaixo da tinta velha o material continuaria deteriorado, e passados alguns anos seria necessário intervir outra vez na moto. Depois segue para o chapeiro, para então regressar ao jacto de areia, e só no fim intervém o pintor. E, claro, não se faz pintura a pincel, como muitas vezes se vê», elucida. Na mecânica, o motor é todo revisto com componentes novos (pistão, biela, cruzeta das velocidades, rolamentos, vedantes, juntas, discos de embraiagem, etc.), veios de suspensão, amortecedores e cabos são igualmente substituídos, independentemente do seu estado. Em suma, e como adianta: «As peças de desgaste são todas trocadas. Só assim posso dar dois anos de garantia global pelo restauro».

    As peças provêem maioritariamente de fornecedores originais Vespa, mas há casos mais específicos onde o abastecimento é feito junto de agentes com peças testadas e compatíveis. O investimento em stock é, actualmente, de cerca de 250 mil euros. Tudo em prol de respostas rápidas e eficazes aos seus clientes.

    Em termos mecânicos, o restauro é sempre fiel ao original. Não há tentativas de alterar esta ou aquela prestação. Contudo, no que respeita à estética, as considerações são diferentes, como avança: «Gosto de as pôr superiores ao que eram. Por exemplo, as tampas de motor são todas polidas e cromadas. Nenhuma moto era assim de origem…as tampas era pintadas…mas cromadas causam logo outro impacto…».

    Prémios conquistados vão sendo alguns, tanto em motos suas como de clientes. Mas esta não é uma condição estratégica da sua actividade. Prefere empenhar-se na qualidade, recatadamente, afastado que está (por opção) dos grandes eventos do sector. No entanto, à entrada do exíguo escritório, está, bem visível, o troféu de melhor restauro conquistado no II Encontro de Barcelos, em 14-08-2005, organizado pelo Vespa Clube do Minho.

    Quando lhe perguntámos se as Vespa algumas vez o desiludiram, a resposta foi disparada a direito, desvendando planos para o futuro: «Sim, a partir da década de noventa. É só plástico…O gozo está em trabalhar e conduzir estas. Por isso, até já tenho um projecto para fazer um side-car numa que estou agora a recuperar».

    Quanto a valores, estes restauros nunca ficarão por menos de três mil euros. Para mais e não para menos. Tudo depende do modelo e ano da moto, bem como da sua condição presente. Casos mais complicados (que também os há) poderão ascender aos seis mil e quinhentos euros. Mas, nestas coisas, como noutras da vida, quando as coisas se fazem com gosto, o preço é o que menos importa. Neste caso, junta-se o gosto de quem as tem ao de quem as restaura, e o assunto está resolvido.
    Em jeito de alerta, para quem não esteja familiarizado com os restauros das Vespa, aqui fica uma síntese de alguns erros muito comuns nas recuperações que por aí se fazem: furos para instalação de retrovisor, frisos de pisa-pés instalados fora das medidas (o primeiro deve estar no extremo da plataforma), varões de plástico em vez de ferro ou alumínio, furos à vista de acessórios retirados, bancos estofados em vez de terem as capas originais e pinturas a pincel.
    © Todos os direitos do texto estão reservados para MOTOCICLISMO, uma publicação da MOTORPRESS LISBOA. Contacto para adquirir edições já publicadas: +351 21 415 45 50.
    © General Moto, by Hélder Dias da Silva 2008

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              Sale Stock Launches Conversation-Based Shopping on BBM        
    Sale Stock Collaborates with BBM to Bring High-Quality, Affordable Fashion to Indonesian Women Jakarta, Indonesia – June 6, 2017 – Sale Stock, the Indonesian ecommerce platform focusing on womenswear, has partnered with BBM to provide shopping with a conversational interface through its BBM channel (Channel PIN: C00158214). This is the first BBM e-commerce collaboration that uses […]
              BWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN at Starlight Theatre        

    Dust off your willing suspension of disbelief. Starlight Theatre transforms into Elizabethan London in the year 1595. The play is "Something Rotten." William Shakespeare has not authored his 38 famous plays and 150 sonnets. By masquerading as patron to the struggling Bottom Brothers from Cornwall, the Bard has purloined their ideas and most of their dialog lock, stock, and couplet.

    Conjecture about Shakespeare's authorship surged and likely suspects advanced even before the Bard's death in 1616 at age 52. Likely suspects for the real Shakespeare have included Christopher Marlowe and Francis Bacon. But the Bottom Brothers? Really? And that is the more than slightly wacky notion behind this 2015 Broadway crowd pleaser "Something Rotten" which continues through Sunday at Swope Park.

    "Something Rotten" ran 745 performances on Broadway and closed on New Year's Day 2017. If this touring production, seems unusually sharp, that could be because it features most of the closing Broadway cast. These guys had so much fun with "Something Rotten," they packed it up, and took it on the road.

    Dig out your tap shoes and polish up your funny bone. Sit back and giggle. "Something Rotten" is unabashedly derivative. It is a love letter to Shakespeare and to Broadway musicals. It features two Busby Berkley worthy Honest-to-God showstoppers; "A Musical" and "Make an Omelet."

    Lots of "Something Rotten" is deliberately corny and punny and tap dancey, but I have not been so thoroughly entertained in a long time. I guess it shows that my sophistication quotient is stored discreetly in my whoopee cushion. I like it.

    Desperate for a hit, show businessy Nick Bottom (Rob McClure) and his earnest brother Nigel (Josh Grisetti) search alternately for truth in life and/or ticket sales. Nigel falls in love with a Puritan blondie named Portia (Autumn Hurlbert). Nick's sharp-as-a-tack pregnant bride Bea (Maggie Lakis) sees the family's desperate financial situation and demands to take in work and help. "It is the 90s," she proclaims in "Right Hand Man." Nick cannot accept the idea and searches for an alternative. He blames his competitor for his trouble with "I Hate Shakespeare" a memorable musical rant.

    Meanwhile back on the West End Avenue, Nick is threatened alternately by his patron, the disguised Shakespeare (Adam Pascal), and his Jewish banker Shylock (Jeff Brooks). Shylock offers to forgive Nick's debt if Nick allows him to become a partner. Too bad, Jews are restricted from most jobs at the time. Nick must come up with another idea and fast.

    He decides to consult a soothsayer - a fortuneteller. His first stop at a sayer of sooth's shop is cut short by a note on the door that complains it has been closed by unforeseen circumstances.

    Second choice is Nostradamus - no not that Nostradamus. This is Thomas Nostradamus (Blake Hammond), a nephew to the French guy. He does see things, if through a bit of a cracked lens. In this case, he convinces Nick he should consider a new kind of play. How about a musical where the songs advance the plot?

    This is where the show really takes off and never lands. There are more funny allusions to musical shows of the next three hundred years than a retrospective at the Tony Awards. Some of them you get - Others fly on by. It is like watching an Elizabethan Henny Youngman throwing out one-liners. Their first idea for a show subject is the "Black Death." Close, but no cigar.

    Back to Shakespeare! The real man was a little pudgy and bald. This Shakespeare is a blond, nasty, literal rock star who presides over a rave. If this sounds a little bit like Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman, you've got the idea. It is the kind of creative anachronism you enjoyed in "A Knight's Tale" with the late Heath Ledger.

    Of course, the Bottom Brothers run afoul of the law and the church. They and their backers get a choice between beheading and transportation to the new world. Maybe banishment is the better option. Maybe there is a place where true love lives, land for family cottages can be had, musicals have a chance for success, and Jews can become part of the financial backing of show business. Who knew?

    The language for this one is relatively mild. The double and triple entendres should not offend many, but they are there. Think of the mildly sexy jokes, you might see on a TV sitcom.

    Take a notebook. Keep track of all the show biz allusions. Smile. Don't miss "Something Rotten" at Starlight Theatre. If you have a humorous bone somewhere other than your elbow, you will like this one. Tickets are available at the Starlight website or by telephone at 816-363-7827. To steal a line from "Kiss Me Kate," "Brush Up Your Shakespeare And We'll All Kow Tow."

    Photo provided by Starlight Theatre


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              Kauai Day Two Thursday        

    Kauai Day Two Thursday

    So this morning I woke up at six and watched the sun rise. Drew and Zach woke up around seven, so I was excited to go back inside and talk to real people! Then about fifteen minutes later Allie woke up. my friend and my friend's brother were still asleep, so we decided to go get breakfast. We drove a few miles to a small foods store, Living Foods. It was so expensive we didn't buy a thing! A pineapple was nearly seven dollars, a box of Kashi cereal nearly nine. Ridiculous. So we went back and my friend's brother was up and he made us all breakfast sandwiches of eggs and ham and cheese, delicious! We ate it with green grapes out on the balcony and fresh coffee that Zach made. Yummy!

    My friend had been at the gym and she came back while we were eating. We decided to go find the beach in front of the Hyatt, which was supposed to be amazing. We went got dressed and sunscreened and started on the trail to the right, and went about five or so minutes before we realized it was in the opposite direction! We went hiking back and continued along for nearly ten minutes before we hit sandy beach, and kept going until we made it to this amazing area with fine sand and great waves. We lay down our towels and backpacks. It was about eleven o'clock.

    The big waves coming in were irresistible and we all made our way down to the water, letting the waves slam into us and knock us around. my friend and I stayed for maybe twenty minutes and then went up to lay down on our towels in the sun, but the guys were in the water for hours. Allie joined us (she'd run to the Hyatt to see about a salon thing) and went into the water as well. my friend and I kept sunbathing, watching our friends, and just talking. It was lots of fun!

    Unfortunately we stayed out for over three hours with minimal sunblock applications. By the time we all decided to head back to our suite, I was noticeably pink on my chest. After the ten minute hike, other people were finding pink spots. A few hours later and we were all looking like lobsters, excepting Allie, whose Mexican heritage helped her just brown. (Grrrr.) I was red everywhere. Everywhere! It hurt sooo badly.

    My friend's brother had decided to stay at the beach longer while we went back, and ran to Costco to stock our kitchen. He didn't reapply sunscreen either. (For the record, we all feel reaaaally stupid.) At Costco we spent nearly $200 on groceries and I bought more sunscreen and some aloe vera, which felt amazing on the pain. I also looked for sunglasses to replace mine which had broken the first day at the beach, but there were none.

    The rest of the night was dedicated to us talking about how stupid we were, realizing that sunburns hurt like no other, and trying not to move. Also to taking pain medication, because OW.

    We also medicated with mai tai's at the resort's $1 mai tai and free appetizer event from 5:30-6:30, where they had a buffet style of caulifower, broccoli, carrots and celery and a yummy dip, two different fried things with either crab or chicken, and the yummy drinks.

    Then we went back to our suite and complained the whole night about sunburns and how we are all extremely stupid.

    LESSON LEARNED: if you are white, put on a ton of sunblock and then put on more. And for the love of aloe vera, don't stay out in the sun for more than an hour your first day! Owwww!




              Stellus Capital Investment Corporation (SCQ) Ex-Dividend Date Scheduled for January 28, 2015        
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              Stellus Capital Investment Corporation (SCQ) Ex-Dividend Date Scheduled for July 30, 2014        
    Stellus Capital Investment Corporation ( SCQ ) will begin trading ex dividend on July 30, 2014. A cash dividend payment of $0.451389 per share is scheduled to be paid on August 15, 2014. Shareholders who purchased SCQ stock prior
              Un populu diventa poviru e servu quannu ci arrubannu a lingua        
    Un populu diventa poviru e servu quannu ci arrubannu a lingua

    Por Edgardo Civallero

    Castigo de Dios. Eso fue.

    Parece ser que, en el principio, todos los hombres hablaban un mismo idioma. Hasta que se les ocurrió construir una ciudad y edificar en ella una torre tan alta que alcanzase los cielos. En castigo de tamaña presunción, Dios confundió todas sus lenguas, de forma que no pudieran entenderse entre ellos y les fuera imposible continuar la edificación de esa construcción: la famosa torre de Babel.

    Así lo cuenta el Génesis (xi, 9), la colección de antiguas tradiciones orales semíticas más leída de todos los tiempos. Miles de lenguas y de hablantes, todas distintas, todas incomprensibles para los demás. Castigo de Dios.

    Esta impresionante variedad de hablas, palabras, gramáticas y sonidos, conforman una parte importante de nuestra diversidad cultural, la cual, de acuerdo a la Declaración Universal sobre Diversidad Cultural de la UNESCO de 2002, es uno de nuestros mayores tesoros como especie. Sin embargo, y para no perder la costumbre, el ser humano está ocupándose de destrozar ese milagro con sus propias manos a cada paso que da. Basta examinar algunos datos provistos por la propia UNESCO en 2005:

    Sólo el 4 % de los idiomas son usados por el 96 % de la población mundial; el 50 % de las lenguas del mundo se encuentran en peligro de extinción; el 90 % de ellas no están representadas en la Internet; cinco países monopolizan el negocio de la industria cultural mundial.

    (Tomado de
    Knowledge versus information societies: UNESCO report takes stock of the difference).

    Ciertamente, el uso de algunos idiomas como vehículos de intercambio (inglés, francés, español, árabe, chino) para superar las barreras lingüísticas y facilitar la comunicación es algo bastante útil. Sin embargo, estos idiomas han dejado de ser sólo un "vehículo" y se han transformado en "lenguas dominantes", presionando a las demás y logrando eliminar muchas de ellas de la faz de la memoria humana.

    ¿Qué ocurre cuando se pierde la lengua? Comparto con ustedes un poema, "Lingua e dialettu", escrito por Ignazio Buttitta en su lengua/dialecto natal: el siciliano.

    Un populu
    mittitulu a catina,
    spuggghiatulu,
    attuppatici a vucca:
    é ancora libiru.

    Livatici u travaggghiu,
    u passaportu,
    a tavula unni mancia,
    u lettu unni dormi:
    é ancora riccu.

    Un populu
    diventa poviru e servu
    quannu ci arrubanu a lingua
    addutata di patri:
    é persu pi sempri.

    [Encadenad un pueblo,
    despojadlo,
    tapadle la boca:
    todavía es libre.

    Quitadle el trabajo,
    el pasaporte,
    la mesa donde come,
    el lecho donde duerme:
    todavía es rico.

    Un pueblo
    se vuelve pobre y esclavo
    cuando le roban la lengua
    heredada de sus padres:
    está perdido para siempre].

    Sin las palabras que decimos, que usamos a diario, nuestra vida no tiene ningún sentido. Desaparecerían muchos conceptos que son únicos a nuestras culturas, muchas ideas que nacieron entre nuestras manos y que luego fueron adoptadas por otros (usando incluso nuestra propia lengua). Muerta la palabra, murió también la idea, por más que otras lenguas intenten describirla igual de bien. ¿Qué sería la música latinoamericana sin palabras locales como joropo, huapango, cueca o huayno? ¿Cómo nombrar animales y plantas si nos quitan términos como ñandú, vicuña, quirquincho o colibrí?

    Nuestra lengua es el vehículo de expresión de nuestra cultura, un vehículo hecho a la medida. Sin ella, no seríamos nada; o quizás sí, seríamos un pueblo que habría perdido el norte.

    Y ya son muchos los pueblos que lo han perdido, que han debido adoptar lenguas extranjeras y que han olvidado los sonidos que sus padres y abuelos utilizaban. América Latina es un gran continente lleno de memorias rotas y voces apagadas. Nosotros deberíamos saber, mejor que nadie, cómo se siente perder el idioma propio, y cuáles son las consecuencias de tamaña pérdida. Algo que también ocurre en África, en Asia, o con las minorías europeas.

    Como bibliotecarios, como agentes de información y promotores de cultura, ¿qué hacemos al respecto? Nuestras colecciones ¿albergan todas las lenguas habladas en nuestra comunidad, en nuestro país, entre nuestros usuarios? Permítanme dudarlo. La economía de recursos y espacios hace que se apueste siempre por lo "dominante". Lo "pequeño" –por valioso que sea– no importa. Eso ocurre también entre los medios de comunicación, las empresas editoriales y tantos otros canales culturales e informativos. El mundo ha sido organizado –en todos los sentidos– para respetar una ley "evolutiva": la supervivencia del más fuerte. Lo "minoritario", lo "débil", lo "mínimo", debe desaparecer.

    Y lo hace. Vaya si lo hace.

    La buena noticia es que existen muchos que no se resignan a callar, y otros que, en forma independiente y arriesgando mucho, se dedican a estudiar, recuperar, publicar y difundir sus lenguas y tradiciones literarias. Y somos muchos, también, los que empezamos a enamorarnos de su trabajo y de los sonidos de otras palabras.

    Para aquellos interesados en conocer un poco más sobre los problemas y las características de la diversidad lingüística de nuestro planeta, les recomiendo la lectura del artículo "Lenguas en peligro" publicado en septiembre del 2006 en El mensajero del patrimonio inmaterial de la UNESCO; el artículo de Luisa Maffi "Lenguas amenazadas, saber amenazado", publicado en 2003 en la Revista internacional de ciencias sociales; la "Recomendación sobre la promoción y el uso del plurilingüismo y el acceso universal al ciberespacio" de la UNESCO (2003); el atlas de lenguas en peligro elaborado por el Sector de Cultura de la UNESCO; y, para aquello que manejen inglés y francés, el sitio Omniglot, el Languages homepage de la BBC, el sitio Euromosaic de la Comisión Europea, el sitio cuatrilingüe Linguapax, el proyecto Terralingua, la iniciativa francesa Babel y el MSST Clearing House Linguistic Rights de la UNESCO.

    Para aquellos que quieran aprender una lengua extranjera, la Internet puede ser (o no) un entorno privilegiado. Me gustaría recomendarles, para los que tienen gustos "exóticos", los Manuales del Cuerpo de Paz de la ONU, para aprender en forma veloz lenguas como el rumano, el guaraní, el estonio, el filipino, el wolof, el uzbeko, el azerí, el ucraniano, el árabe, el swahili, el kazajo, el búlgaro, el ruso o el armenio. Están en inglés (pequeño problema) y pueden ser descargados libremente. Abundan además las páginas de recursos lingüísticos, y este aviso va dirigido para aquellas bibliotecas especializadas en lenguas, que suelen depender de los libros que tienen y de los recursos "dominantes", sin darse cuenta que, bajo acceso abierto, cuentan con miles de sitios que pueden ser de utilidad para sus usuarios.

    Ustedes pensarán que el mío es un discurso utópico, y que dominando la lengua propia y una general (o séase, el inglés) podemos movernos por el mundo sin problemas. Quizás tengan razón. Pero he viajado mucho, y, si bien hablo inglés fluidamente y me defiendo muy bien en otro conjunto de lenguas "conocidas", siempre he tenido la precaución de aprender la mayor cantidad posible de frases, expresiones y palabras en esos idiomas que nadie aprendería porque son "minoritarios". Y siempre me han servido. En Corea, en Malasia, en Suecia, en Noruega, en Ecuador... Porque resultó que no todos hablaban inglés, o español, o francés. Y porque, aunque pensemos que algunas lenguas son "minoritarias", sus hablantes no opinan lo mismo. Y si bien podemos usar alguna lengua "dominante" como puente, sólo será eso: un puente. Comprender al otro, acercarse a él y a su cultura, implicará aprender su idioma. Y viceversa.

    Un mundo donde suenen muchas voces distintas no tiene porqué ser un mundo anárquico e incomunicado. Pensar lo contrario sería apoyar discursos homogeneizadores y totalitarios, que tantas desgracias han traído a la humanidad a lo largo de la historia. Conservemos la pluralidad, conservemos nuestra identidad, y acerquémonos a las de otros. Será la única manera de establecer lazos más humanos, basados en la comprensión real, y de empezar a eliminar barreras que sólo llevan a separarnos cada día más.

    Y si, al fin y al cabo, se trató de un castigo divino, demostremos que no fue así, y que quizás la antigua historia está mal contada. O que el autor del castigo no logró su cometido.

    Ilustración.

              Hidden Treasure         


    I have been working at the Bradley Inn and Restaurant for a month now. I prepare breakfast for the Inn guests and the desserts for the Inn Restaurant and the sister restaurant The Contented Sole. I haven't eaten at the Inn since 2010 but remembered it being a wonderful meal, the best to date we've had since living in Maine. Having seen the kitchen, the locally sourced foods and care that goes into the menu planning along with the talent saying I was excited to have dinner last night would be a terrible understatement.
     
    Making a menu selection for me is a struggle and I usually change my mind three times once the waiter or waitress actually asks for my order. Because I had know the owners would be out of town for the evening and Bitza was Chef I asked his advice on what to order. He suggested that I 'let him surprise me.' Surprise does not describe the meal we experienced for our anniversary. Allow me to walk you through the evening.


    The Inn has a dining room, blue patterned carpeting, white tablecloths, formal yet inviting. In a room off the living room is the warmly lit Tavern with a large granite bar, several tables, deep dark wood everywhere, model ships, a ship's wheel and a well-stocked bar. adjacent to the Tavern with two past through is The Chart Room. More warm wood tones, an ebony piano, nautical charts and tables. A few tables in both the Tavern and Chart Room have very masculine camel colored leather wing back chairs fit for a Sea Captain.
    We arrived a bit early for dinner and enjoyed a drink at the bar, marveling at the surroundings and the backyard rhododendron  in full bloom. Suzie made our drinks and entertained us with conversation. We made our way to the corner of the Chart Room and selected a table in he corner by the windows. Our waitress Peke, who also works the Front Desk of the Inn during the day, was dressed in white button up shirt, black slacks and a long white wait staff apron. She let us know that Bitza was preparing our meals and recommended the Pinot Noir (my fave!).
    The first plate to materialize at our table was an amuse bouche, that is bite sized food meant to amuse the mouth and prepare the palate. A sampling of mortadella, smoked almonds, briny olives, garlic scallions, radishes, Parmesan, crab cakes and house cured duck breast. Bitza was going to pull out all the stops. I will take this opportunity to apologize for any errors in identifying the food, I was having a hard time not passing out from foodgasm delight.

    The next items to arrive were Pemaquid Oysters with a prosecco Mignonette, a sauce of shallots, vinegar and pepper and flat bread with mortadella, mozzarella and garlic scallions. The pairing of the mignonette with the oysters transforms what is on it's own a beautiful metallic, plump taste of the sea into something that makes you close your eyes, hum and rock gently back and forth. The flat bread was crisp and airy at the same time with fatty mortadella giving it richness and depth of flavor.
    At this point we were in awe at the level of detail and execution and could not wait for our entrees. We didn't realize more courses were coming. Next to arrive were Damariscotta River clams casino, grilled with apple wood smoked bacon, oregano and sweet pequillo peppers. These little gems are smaller but meatier than the oysters and stand up to the pieces of sweet smoky bacon. I became somewhat worried with the amount of food we were having and whether or not I was up for the challenge - I was thankful I chose Lycra spandex for my evening wear. Our silverware was replaced several times during the meal and our crumbs swept away, never a detail missed.

    Peke and Mara arrived with two more plates, this time New Harbor lobster fettuccini with house made tender fresh pasta, fire roasted tomatoes and a tarragon cream. This was served in individual tureens, porcelain white bowls on their own lovely stands. The anise flavor of the tarragon in the cream was perfection.

    Just when I started considering if I would be stricken with gout on the ride home Bitza arrived in Chef coat with one more plate, our entrée. A locally sourced skirt steak with rosemary crisp fries and a chile glazed duck breast over risotto. The beef was tender and buttery, the duck done perfectly with crispy glistening skin.

    Somehow we mustered the courage to order dessert, I had to see how they came out and honestly hadn't tried the lemon pudding myself despite having made it several times. My husband ordered the Espresso Crème Brulee and set about rolling his eyes back into his head. I had the lemon pudding served in a tea cup with Maine blueberries and a sugared pansy. We were treated last with the check and a mignardise or small sweet, two of the caramels dipped in dark chocolate with sea salt that I had made.

    The food was incredible, the service - top notch. We talked about how wonderful the restaurant is and how it seems to be a closely guarded secret. I will do my part to get the message out to others. It truly is a treat and while you can sit and have a white tablecloth experience you can also sit in the Tavern and order small plates of any of the above for the pleasure of the food in a more casual 'off with the cloth' atmosphere.

    Please go, you won't be disappointed.

              Angler nach 27 Stunden auf See gerettet        
    Ein Nautik-Student aus Rostock wollte zum Angeln auf die Ostsee fahren, doch dann ging alles schief: Erst wurde sein Boot manövrierunfähig, dann versagte sein Handy-Akku. Es wurde dunkel und sehr, sehr kalt.
              What ails Indian farmers         
    Teaser: 
    A study finds faulty agricultural policies and practices and not just indebtedness to blame for rising suicides among farmers.
    Loans are not the only reason for farmers' distress. (Source: India Water Portal)

    Over the last few months, we saw protests by distressed farmers of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and other states over farming crisis and farmer suicides. In what seemed like a knee-jerk reaction, many state governments announced farm loan waivers without thinking if it would actually help the farmers. 

    Are loan waivers enough to improve the situation of farmers? Experts think otherwise. They believe that certain core issues of farming have been left unaddressed and need urgent consideration.

    What do farmers have to say about the increasing crisis in agriculture and rising suicides? This article titled Lives in debt: Narratives of agrarian distress and farmer suicides published in the Economic and Political Weekly discusses the findings of a study on farmers’ experiences from two districts with high suicide rates in the country--Yavatmal in Maharashtra and Sangrur in Punjab.

    The article argues that farmer suicides need to be understood in the context of the broader crisis in agriculture. It is not only indebtedness but a number of core issues related to faulty agricultural policies and practices that contribute to the distress among farmers.

    Glaring signs of the crisis in agriculture

    • The contribution of the agricultural sector to India’s GDP has been declining steadily. Nearly half of the workforce in the country, however, is involved in farming.

    • There has been a steady increase in the percentage of farmers having small landholdings. Small landholdings do not support mechanisation and irrigation. Moreover, the absence of land records in many cases prevent these farmers from accessing formal credit, government benefits or crop insurance.

    • A large number of small farm holders are accessing credit mainly from informal sources.

    • Indebtedness among farmers is on the rise with 52 percent of agricultural households in the country being plagued by it.

    What causes distress among farmers in Yavatmal and Sangrur?

    Although Yavatmal and Sangrur are very different in terms of socioeconomic backgrounds, crop patterns, agricultural practices, the underlying reasons for distress are found to be similar.

    • Flawed cropping patterns aggravating water scarcity

    In Sangrur and Yavatmal, where paddy and cotton are grown, the crop choice is not harmonious with the agroclimatic features of the region. BT cotton is very sensitive to the timing and intensity of rainfall. Growing it in Yavatmal that has unpredictable rainfall and no alternative source of irrigation is unsuitable for the region.

    As much as 2,000–4,000 litres of water are required to produce one kilo of rice. The high water demand makes rice unsuitable for a place like Sangrur which is highly water stressed with falling water tables due to severe depletion of groundwater resources.

    • Rising input costs

    Farmers in both regions complain of rising input prices (seed, water, electricity, fertiliser, pesticide and land rent) and the absence of a proportionate increase in minimum support prices (MSP). In Yavatmal, BT cotton producers are barely able to meet the costs of production, while traders and middlemen make profits at the cost of farmers who are not able to store the harvest and wait for the right price. Farmers in the study question the instability of prices and demand an enhancement of the loan amount from formal credit sources so that they can cover input costs and make farming viable.

    In Sangrur, in addition to the high input prices needed for farming, dependence on paddy cultivation increases the demand for water, forcing farmers to spend huge amounts on digging borewells in an area that suffers from severe depletion of groundwater resources.

    • The unending cycle of borrowing, non-repayment and the shame of debt

    Rising input costs force farmers to borrow. Since the bank loans are insufficient to meet these high input costs, farmers are compelled to access informal sources of credit. At times, farmers prioritise repayment of loans taken from informal sources over bank loans due to high rates of interest and to retain their rapport with the moneylender to remain credit-worthy. Also borrowing from different sources to repay bank loans to stay within the banking system further pushes farmers into the spiral of debt. This, coupled with crop failure, worsens their situation.

    At times, farmers are forced to borrow from their close relatives when other avenues of borrowing such as moneylenders have been tried and exhausted. The shame associated with one’s inability to repay is immense in village society and it is worse if money is borrowed from relatives, which forces many farmers to commit suicide.

    • Rising aspirations and absence of alternative sources of income

    Recently, rising aspirations have also led to farmers taking huge loans for non-farming activities such as marriages, ceremonies, cars, gadgets, contributing to their financial burden as many do not have any other source of income.

    What is the way out?

    The article suggests some fundamental changes to alter the situation.

    • Moving towards cropping patterns that are suitable for the agro-climatic zones and encouraging indigenous patterns of farming that are less cost intensive.
    • Modifying the institutional credit disbursal system by introducing the option of repayment in instalments.
    • Introducing a proportionate loan–land ratio which would enable the farmer to retain his rights for the rest of his landholdings, which can then be used as a source of liquidity.
    • Introducing specific farming credit policies for dryland and rainfed areas.
    • The introduction of cashless loan components to avoid diversion of crop loans towards non-farm expenditures.
    • Restructuring of loans against localised crop failures where specific and targeted compensation packages take extreme weather events or natural calamities into account.
    • Introducing land reforms, correcting the terms of trade that work against farmers and providing them with alternative sources of livelihoods.

    A copy of the paper can be downloaded from below:

    Languages: 
    Don't Show In All Article: 

              By: E. Poole        
    <p>Nice well-argued piece.</p> <p>Expansive monetary and fiscal policies in the late 1960s/early 1970s appear to have contributed substantially to increases in real oil prices. The critical intermediate variable is the expected real interest rate which was low or negative for many years during that period.</p> <p>In Engel's explanation, the real interest rate represents the opportunity cost of oil inventories. In other models, lower real interest rates would increase output and the demand for oil through investment or increases in the labour supply, especially if the rate shocks are not fully anticipated.</p> <p>Those looking for a tight correspondance to current reality may not find one. The real costs of borrowing capital have gone up. (See the balloon that some US banker floated on the weekend about re-pricing the LBO/privatization of Canadian telecomm giant BCE lower than the C$42.75/share agreed to last summer.)</p> <p>If unexpected higher real energy costs are hinting at the increasing obsolescence of the current capital stock, increased expectations of slower growth could easily drive real borrowing costs higher.</p> <p>There is a more mundane explanation. Markets have generally been awful at forecasting oil price demand elasticities in this decade and have given up <i>over analyzing</i> demand on the assumption of significant inertia in global demand due to robust emerging economy demand. Anything else in the larger economy is treated as spurious noise in this radical decoupling view.</p> <p>FWIW, I'm betting that the price of oil declines between now and October 2008 and natural gas prices will increase in the same time period. Oil and gas stock markets look like they are just starting to heat up. Refineries will drag down integrated company earnings.</p>
              Rebecka Martinsson S01E01-E06 HC Eng Subs x264-NoGRP        
    Note: In Swedish With English Subtitle. Rebecka Martinsson from Kiruna has not really found herself, despite her great success at a law firm in Stockholm. After a childhood friend passed away she returns to Kiruna where she gets pulled into a thrilling hunt for a killer. Links: HOMEPAGE – iMDB Rebecka.Martinsson.S01E01-E06.HC.Eng.Subs.x264-NoGRP MP4 | AAC VBR | 6EP (4.57GB) […]
              Earn Money Fast!        
    By Tommy Anderson

    Are you tired of chasing "earn money fast" methods in hopes that THIS TIME, you have found a way that actually works? Then make yourself a promise right now - read this whole article. Then take action - follow every step and don't stop till you're done. If you do, I promise you that you not only will earn money fast - you will make money today - even within the next hour or two.

    The best part? You will make money with no money. There is no investment here. Just an honest (albeit unconventional) method to earn money fast.

    This method is known as Paid Forum Trading, but it has nothing to do with stocks, don't worry.

    I was extremely broke last year and I used this wonderful method to earn money fast - to the tune of almost $400 in 4 days. Not bad when you consider that I sat in the comfort of my own home, sipping coffee and working on my computer. From what I remember, I'd say I didn't put in any more than 3-4 hours per day.

    Although its specifically designed for someone to earn money fast, this method does have some limitations. The main one is that there is a cap to how much money you can make. After working for about a week, you'll top-out, at which point you won't make much money anymore. However, by that time, you will have made several hundred dollars, which, when you're running low on cash, is a real life saver!

    Remember, this is not a "business opportunity" - this is a very straightforward, honest way to earn money fast - as in today. (Having said that, there IS a way to turn this into a full-time living - for free of course. This is covered in detail on the web-site, for those of you who want to go beyond just making quick money).

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    For more information on this method, visit: http://makemoneyfastthehonestway.com

    Tommy Anderson is a successful online marketer who specializes in making money fast, followed by building a solid residual income online. His passion is showing struggling online marketers how to earn money fast by taking advantage of the web's best kept secrets and strategies.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tommy_Anderson

              Annual Mormon Book Review        

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    On Zion’s Mount is an outstanding cultural, local, environmental, and religious history. Farmer engages readers with his lucid prose even as he presents the tangled story of Mormons, Utes, and the western landscape. Such excellent writing is especially important when one is reminded of some of the recently popular books on Mormon history: Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven and David Roberts’ Devil’s Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy.19 Krakauer and Roberts are both professional journalists and authors; their work is aimed at the populace rather than the academy. And yet Farmer rivals these works in its composition and surpasses them in its historic breadth and depth. More importantly for scholars, his argument illuminates the American inclination to transform its landscape and pinpoints those transformations in culture and historic memory. Overall, Timpanogos’ jagged ridge proved an excellent vantage point from which to view Utah’s past.
              Obama Secures Youth Vote        
    Obama and Biden appeared on MTV today in a very refreshing interview with Sway about Thursday's debate and what the Obama policies mean to the younger generation. Obama addressed his treatment of American voters, the problems facing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and the effect of the economic bailout on our generation. It's not often that you see a politician target an audience with such success.

    Obama reigns when it comes to character. He obviously went the diplomatic route when Sway steered the questioning towards who won the debate, explaining the point wasn't to win, but rather to inform the American people of the differences between the two candidates. But even though Obama is still rowing a political boat, I believe that he's trying to arrive at a humane and decent destination.

    "I think the pundits and the press, you guys are looking at tactics. What the American people are looking at is they might lose their job ... they might lose their house...What's relevant is the substance of this thing, which is people out there are hurting, and John McCain has promoted the same policies of George Bush, and people know they're not working. They understand we can't continue four more years of doing the same thing."

    But the instance that I was most excited about (and I hope it excited any other half-interested person under the age of 25) was Obama's explanation of the $700 billion bailout and what is happening in the economy. My happiness came partly because I've spent most of my morning on the internet, trying desperately to figure out what exactly is going on in the economy and how it got this way. I've been reading The Guardian, a short history of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, an Economic Times article on the recent re-structuring of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Wikipedia pages for "bailout," the SEC, and GSEs, and I even called my father to try and understand what the fuck is happening and whether it will affect me. And after reading all of that and slowly coming to grasp just the smallest crumb of understanding, it was lovely to hear Obama's rationalization of the economic crisis:

    "If the credit markets collapse, what it means is banks aren't lending businesses money. Businesses then can't invest in plants and equipment and make payroll, so they shut down. And that means the suppliers of those companies, they shut down. Over time what happens is you get the whole economy coming to a standstill. That's what happened during the Great Depression," he explained. "And at that time, it was just banks that were in charge of capital. Now you've got all different ways that money flows ... but the bottom line is, that if money freezes up, businesses can't do business, and you get an enormous contraction of an economy. And that, ultimately, will affect that 20-year-old, because that 20-year-old is going to be looking for a better job after he gets out of school. ... If our businesses aren't creating jobs, they're not creating tax revenues — now it's harder for government to finance that college education or to build that new university. So it has a ripple effect."

    His explanation is a little basic, but that's actually what our generation needs. We're the ones who grew up inside a nearly virtual system of currency. Most young people have no idea how to balance a check book, let alone have a detailed understanding of how banks work or how to invest in the stock market! Obama understands this, and I think that he's being honest and straightforward about the effects of the economic crisis on our future.
    The bottom line is, I trust Obama. I trust that he will bring a good change to this country. I trust that he will make decisions with his electorate's best needs at heart. I trust that he is in this presidential race to spur forth America's progress, not to make himself a powerful figure in history. I trust his judgement, I trust his humanity, I trust him.
              stock.xchng        
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              Kenny Tran to Learn and To Share        
    Kenny Tran to Learn and To Share - contains motivational stories, business lessons from real life, stock trading and investing techniques for beginners, communication and relationship tips, self-development related articles, personal finance articles, int
              Worst Debt Ridden Cities/County’s In America!        
    Written by Charles Stockdale 1. Central Falls, RI Credit rating: Caa1 2009 revenues: $17,601,000 2009 debt ($000s): $18,753,000 Median household income: $33,520 In August 2011, Central Falls declared bankruptcy largely because of the city’s pension plan, which promised $80 million in retirement benefits. According to the New York Times, the “pension fund will probably run […]
              The Daring Cooks’ August, 2014 Challenge: Freezer Meals        
    Hello this is Audax Artifex, I will be hosting this month's challenge. It is all about making best use of your freezer and making meals that can be frozen.

    Freezers allow cooked and uncooked meals to be stored for long periods so when we are in a hurry we can always have a meal prepared quickly.

    I always have cooked beans and lentils in my freezer, as well as baked pizza bases, fish cakes and patties of all kinds. Most soups are excellent for freezing and reheating. Nearly all baked breads (except crusty French loaves) can be frozen and reheated in a moderate oven for 15 mins. Frozen pizza bases make perfect weekday meal; you can bake frozen bases with added toppings and cheese immediately in a moderate oven, no need to thaw the bases at all.

    I find time on the weekends to make meals that can be frozen and then reheated and eaten during the busy week days. 

    I have included a great link in the reference section where you can find information on how to store foods in the freezer.   
     photo soup05.jpg
     photo bread09.jpg
     photo pasta08.jpg

    Recipe Sources: 


    Frost bite (everyday food fresh from the freezer) by Susan Austin
    http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/top-tips-freezing-food

    Blog-checking lines:

      This month, the Daring Cooks challenged us to think inside the box - the icebox, that is! Audax taught us some really cool tips and tricks for stocking our freezers with prepare-ahead meals that can keep our taste buds satisfied even during the busiest of times.

    Posting Date:

    August 14, 2014

    DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE FILE HERE.



    Notes:


    Top 10 freezing tips

    Whether you have a chest or upright freezer, the principles of successful freezing are the same.

    1. Freeze quickly and defrost slowly is the number one tip. This process will give you the highest quality frozen food which retains the taste, texture and nutrients of the meals that you prepare. Always defrost in the refrigerator overnight the frozen meal you wish to make for the next day.  

    2. Cool foods before you freeze them. Freezing food when they are hot will only increase the temperature of the freezer and could cause other foods to start defrosting.

    3. Never re-freeze anything that's been frozen. Even if the food was frozen raw and then cooked, to be extra safe it still shouldn't be re-frozen.

    4. A full freezer is more economical to run as the cold air doesn't need to circulate so much, so less power is needed. If you have lots of space free, fill plastic bottles half full with water and use them to fill gaps. Alternatively, fill the freezer with everyday items you're bound to use, such as sliced bread or frozen peas.

    5. It's a wrap. Make sure you wrap foods properly or put them in sealed containers, otherwise your food can get freezer-burn. Use strong cling-wrap, foil or metal/glass containers.

    6. Portion control. Freeze food in realistically sized portions. You don't want to have to defrost a stew big enough to feed eight when you're only feeding a family of three. Leave a ¾ inch (2 cm) gap to allow for expansion of high water content foods (soups, etc).

    7. If in doubt, throw it out. Contrary to what many people think, freezing doesn't kill bacteria. If you are unsure of how long something has been frozen or are a bit wary of something once defrosted, don't take any chances.

    8. Stay fresh. You get out what you put in, as freezing certainly won't improve the quality of your food. Don't freeze old food because you don't want to waste it; the point of freezing is to keep food at its prime.

    9. Friendly labels. It may seem a bother at the time, but unless you label you might not remember what it is, let alone when it was frozen. Buy a blue marker for raw foods and a red marker for cooked foods. You don't have to write an essay, just label the food clearly. You can use big-lettered abbreviations, for example a big red P means cooked pork or a blue F means raw fish. And always add the date it was frozen.

    10. Defrosting your freezer is a must. An icy freezer is an inefficient one, so make sure you defrost your freezer if ice builds up. Don't worry about the food; most things will remain frozen in the fridge for a couple of hours while the freezer defrosts.

    11. In an emergency... If there has been a power outage or you think the freezer has been turned off at some point, don't open the door. Foods should remain frozen in the freezer for about 24 hours, leaving you time to get to the bottom of the problem.

    What not to freeze...

    Most individual ingredients can be frozen. However, some foods simply aren't freezer friendly:

    Raw eggs in the shells will expand and crack. You can freeze egg whites and yolk in containers.
     Hard-boiled eggs go rubbery.
    Vegetables with a high water content, such as lettuce, cucumber, bean sprouts and radishes, go limp and mushy.
    Soft herbs, like parsley, basil and chives, go brown.
    Egg-based sauces, such as mayonnaise, will separate and curdle.
    Plain yogurt, low-fat cream cheese, single cream and cottage cheese go watery.

    Great to freeze

    All these everyday ingredients will freeze well.
    Butter and margarine can be frozen for 3 months.
    Grated cheese can be frozen for up to 4 months and can be used straight from the freezer.
    Most bread, except crusty varieties such as French bread, will freeze well for up to 3 months. Sliced bread can be toasted from frozen.
    Milk will freeze for 1 month. Defrost in the fridge and shake well before using.
    Raw pastry will freeze for 6 months and takes just 1 hour to thaw.

    Cooking from frozen

    Freezer management is all about forward planning, but some dishes can be cooked straight from frozen. When cooking food from frozen, use a lower temperature to start with to thaw, then increase the temperature to cook. Foods include:

        Soups, stews, braises and casseroles.
        Bakes, gratins and potato-topped pies.
        Thin fish fillets, small fish, sausages, burgers, and seafood if added at the end of a hot dish.

    Mandatory Items:

    You must make a meal that can be frozen for later use

    Variations allowed:

    You can make any dish you wish that can be frozen. 

    Preparation time:


    Recipe one – 40 mins – 60 mins depending on type of lentils. (Overnight soaking might be needed.)
    Recipe two – 15 mins preparation time, rising time for dough 1-2 hours
    Recipe three – 40 mins preparation time 

    Equipment required:


    Measuring Cups
    Sharp knives for chopping and dicing 
    Baking dish
    Sauce pan
    Fry pan

    Recipe 1: Lentil, Pasta and Vegetable Soup


    Servings: 6
    This is a simple, toothsome and wholesome soup that can be made up on the weekend and reheated during the week. It is stew-like in its texture. You can add ½ cup of shredded cooked chicken if you wish to make it even more filling. 

    Ingredients


    1 cup (250 ml) (200 gm) (7 oz) lentils (I used small French lentils)
    6 cups (1½ litres) stock (chicken or vegetable)
    ½ cup (125 ml) (100 gm) (3½ oz) small soup pasta
    1 carrot, grated (or 1/2 cup of finely shredded cabbage)
    1 potato, finely chopped
    1 onion, finely chopped
    Optional 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 bunch spinach (or other greens), leaves shredded
    1 cup frozen vegetables (carrots, broccoli, beans, etc.)
    salt and pepper to taste

    Directions:


    1. Check the cooking time for the lentils on the packaging. Check if the lentils need soaking overnight. Small French lentils don't need soaking while brown/green lentils need an overnight soak in cold water. Use lentils that retain their shape when cooked.  
    2. Simmer the lentils in the stock for 15 mins (for small French lentils) or 30 mins (for soaked brown/green lentils) until three-quarters tender. Add some salt half-way through cooking process. (If you add salt to early it will increase the cooking time of beans and lentils significantly). Check occasionally and add more stock/water as needed.
    3. While the lentils are cooking, saute the chopped onion, chopped potato and grated carrot (and optional garlic if using) in a fry pan using the oil; for 3-5 mins until soften. Reserve.
    4. When the lentils are three-quarters tender add the onion, carrot, potato (and optional garlic) mixture and uncooked pasta to the lentils and simmer until the pasta has increased in size by twice and the vegetables and lentils are tender (about 10-15 mins).
    5. Place into containers (leaving ¾ inch (2 cm) room for expansion), cool on counter for ten minutes
    6. Place into freezer up to one month.     
    7. Defrost overnight in fridge, reheat slowly (check for seasoning). When simmering add frozen vegetables. Simmer until almost tender then add fresh spinach (or others greens). Simmer until wilted, serve with crusty bread. 

     photo soup01.jpg
    Ingredients – French lentils, brown/green lentils and soup pasta. French lentils need no soaking and take 25 mins to cook while brown/green lentils need an overnight soak and take about 40 mins to cook.

     photo soup02.jpg
    Cooked lentils and soup pasta

     photo soup05.jpg
     photo soup04.jpg
    Finished soup


    Recipe 2: Potato Bread Pizza Base


    Servings: makes 6 large thin crust pizza bases, or 3 large thick crust pizza bases, or 1 very large extra thick pizza base

    Potato bread (using the water that the potato was boiled in and the mashed potato) makes for a crisp crust and extra soft crumb (interior texture) in the pizza base, and also increases the shelf life of the baked bread. Also yeast just love potato starch which makes the rising process a joy to watch; your dough will be full of large, soft, luscious bubbles during the proofing stage. This is my standard pizza base and makes a lot of bases. You can halve the recipe if you only want to make a couple of bases (keep the same amount of yeast and use 2 teaspoons of salt). Use the pizza base frozen straight from the freezer, just top with tomato sauce and your favourite toppings (sausage, chopped cooked chicken, mushrooms, etc.) and cheese and bake in a moderate oven until piping hot. A pre-baked pizza base gives the best pizza result since the base has been baked at a much higher temperature, giving a great texture (to the crust) and taste (to the crumb), while the toppings are baked at a much lower temperature just to heat the toppings and melt the cheese.    

    Ingredients


    6 cups plain (all-purpose) flour (or strong bread flour)
    2 cups of warm potato water (use the water that the potato was boiled in)
    1 large potato
    3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon of active dry yeast (or one packet of yeast)
    1/4 teaspoon of sugar
    3 teaspoons salt

    Directions:


    1. Chop the potato and boil in 3 cups of water until tender. (You can peel the potato or leave the skin on). Mash the potato.
    2. Wait until the potato water is warm. Top up the volume until you have 2 cups of liquid.
    3. Add the sugar and the yeast into the water. Wait about 5-10 mins until the yeast becomes foamy.
    4. In a large mixing bowl add the flour, mashed potato, oil, yeast mixture and the salt.
    5. Knead the dough mixture until a ball forms, about 3 mins. (At this stage you can place the dough in the fridge up to three days; allow the chilled dough to warm up to room temperature and proceed with the recipe as below.)
    6. Place into an oiled bowl covered in plastic wrap or a clean tea towel. Set aside in warm place until it has doubled in volume.
    7. Punch down the dough and knead until soft and pliable (about 5 mins).
    8. Spread the dough over your baking trays cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel. Set aside in a warm place until it has doubled in volume.
    9. Bake in a preheated hot oven (425°F/220°C/gas mark 7) for 20 mins for thin crusts, 30 mins for medium crust or 40 mins for the very thick crust base respectively. Check the base to see if it is brown and crusty
    10. Cool completely on a rack.
    11. Cover tightly in plastic wrap (or foil), place into freezer up to one month.
    12. When needed, bake the frozen base with toppings added in a preheated moderate oven 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 for 20 mins for thin crusts or 30 mins for thick crust bases.          


     photo bread02.jpg
    Dough ball

     photo bread01.jpg
    The risen dough – notice the huge bubbles in the dough


     photo bread03.jpg
    Dough ready to be baked on a pizza pan

     photo bread04.jpg
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    Baked pizza base

     photo bread06.jpg
    Notice the crumb of the pizza base

     photo bread07.jpg
    I usually make one extra thick pizza base and split into lunch sized pizza bases. I can make 8 bases (only four are shown)

     photo bread08.jpg
    Unbaked frozen pizza base with toppings

     photo bread09.jpg
    Pizza ready to eat (yum)


    Recipe 3: Lentil and Sausage Lasagna


    Servings: 6
    Lasagna is the perfect freezer meal. You can make up the unbaked lasagna on the weekend then store in the freezer up to one month. You can cook the lasagna straight from frozen (baking time is doubled) or thaw overnight in the fridge and bake for the normal time. This recipe uses lentils and sausage with tomato sauce. If you wish you can use some cheese sauce.


    Ingredients


    1 packet (250 gm) (9 ozs) of fresh lasagna sheets
    3 cups (750 ml) tomato passata, (Italian tomato cooking sauce)
    2 cans (3 cups) drained cooked lentils
    1 onion, chopped, fried and cooled
    4 sausages, cooked, thinly sliced and cooled (I used turkey sausages)
    1 cup of shredded cheese

    Directions:


    1. Ladle a thin layer of passata on the base of a baking pan.
    2. Place a layer of lasagna sheet on the passata.
    3. Place 1/3 of the lentils and 1/3 of the onions on the pasta layer, cover with some passata.
    4. Place another layer of lasagna sheets on the passata. Cover the lasagna sheet with some passata.
    5. Place a layer of thinly sliced sausage and cover with some passata.
    6. Cover with a layer of pasta sheet.
    7. Continue layering until all the ingredients are used. Making sure the last layer is a lasagna sheet.
    8. Cover with passata and cheese.
    9. Tightly cover the baking dish in plastic wrap or foil.
    10. The dish can be frozen for one month.
    11. Bake in a preheated moderate oven 350°F/180°/gas mark 4 for 1 hour if thawed or 2 hours if frozen. 

     photo pasta01.jpg
    Ladle some tomato passata on the base of the baking pan


     photo pasta02.jpg
    Cover with lasagna sheet

     photo pasta03.jpg
    Cover with lentils/onion mixture

     photo pasta04.jpg
    More passata on top
     photo pasta05.jpg
    A layer of sliced sausage, repeat this process using up all the ingredients

     photo pasta06.jpg
    Top with passata and cheese

     photo pasta07.jpg
     photo pasta08.jpg
    Baked lasagna

    Additional Information: 


    27 tips for freezing foods - http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/shopping-storing/freezing/freezer-fundamentals-10000001012301/



              Daring Cooks Challenge June 2013 Meatballs         
    This month's challenge was MEATBALLS my favourite recipe of all time I have so so so many great recipes here a couple of personal fav's enjoy the colour and flavours.

    This month's hosts were  Shelley and Ruth and here their introduction to the challenge

    Hi there! We are Shelley from C Mom Cook and Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood. We are twin sisters who share a love of food, but who have very different cooking styles. Ruth keeps a vegetarian home while Shelley is a carnivore through and through.  Despite our differences, we both love all aspects of food – eating it, preparing it, and sharing it with the people we love.

    For this month's challenge, we wanted to do something a little bit different.

    So many of the challenges this year have helped us learn skills or techniques that are pretty specialized - and that have proven to be very challenging. And while the big challenges absolutely bring big rewards (not to mention yummy results), this month we thought we would go a bit more creative.

    There are many foods that appear across a variety of cultures, with only slight differences or variations.  This month we wanted to test out one food across many cultures to see how many variations we can bring to the blogosphere.  So this month we challenge the community to bring us meatballs from around the world.

    A meatball, at the most basic level, is some kind of ground meat that has been rolled into a ball and cooked.  But that is where the basics end.  Usually other ingredients are involved – generally breadcrumbs and eggs, to give the ball body and bind it together, and a variety of spices for flavor.  The type or types of meat used, the method of preparing the balls and especially the way the meat is served can vary so greatly that it is sometimes amazing to think that they are all the “same” kind of basic food.

    It is these differences that we are looking to celebrate this month – to create more meatball dishes than anyone ever would have thought possible, and to show the world just how versatile the “simple” meatball can be.

    Recipe Source:  Basic meatball recipes or based on recipes from cooks.com and Mark Bittman, with additional inspiration recipes provided from various online sources.

    Blog-checking lines:  The June Daring Cooks’ challenge sure kept us rolling – meatballs, that is! Shelley from C Mom Cook and Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to try meatballs from around the world and to create our own meatball meal celebrating a culture or cuisine of our own choice.

    Here follows my meatball recipes please enjoy them as much as I and my friends and family did!!!


    Kangaroo and beetroot meatballs in red wine sauce


    I LOVE meatballs and I KNOW how to make them after doing them many 1000s of times and I never get tired of them. This is one of my personal best meatball recipes made with kangaroo steak minced, the ready-made mince is easily available in major supermarkets in Australia (Coles/Woolworths $8.75/kg). I combine it with the other classic Australian taste that is beetroot. It always surprises foreigners how much beetroot is eaten in Australia, in fact it is a standard addition in hamburgers in most takeaways. So how couldn't I combine kangaroo and beetroot into a humble meatball. I use very strongly flavour rye crisp bread combined with robust sun-dried tomato pesto to favour the meatball mixture this combination seems to produce a mellow flavour simmered meatball. This is always a winner at parties and BBQs especially if I have let the meatballs soak in the red wine sauce overnight. The biggest tips for light, moist and fluffy meatballs - use the best ingredients you can afford, freshly minced meat is best, sauté your aromatics, all ingredients must be cold when mixing, freshly made bread crumbs, a gentle touch, make a test meatball check seasoning and simmer the meatballs.
    Kangaroo is a very 'soft' meat; especially lean, tender, and soft-textured well suited for children's palate and also it cooks at a very low temperature and very fast which makes it excellent for simmered meatballs.
    My standard roo and beetroot recipe (roo is Australian slang for kangaroo) is below, this makes the lightest most tender meatballs. I like making a batch and letting it cool in the red wine sauce overnight and then reheating until just hot super tasty.
    It is a very easy recipe.
    Kangaroo and beetroot meatballs simmered in red wine sauce
    Makes a lot, 4 dozen meatballs
    1 kg kangaroo mince, (best if used cold)
    2 large beetroot, finely grated
    1 carrot, finely grated
    2 onions, finely chopped and pan-fried until caramelised
    1/2 cup of cottage cheese (fetta cheese works well, reduce salt if using)
    3-4 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
    3 rye crisp-bread soaked in 3 tablespoons of cream or milk
    1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs from wholemeal pita bread
    1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto (basil pesto is fine also)
    1 large egg
    2 small hot chillies, finely chopped
    2-3 teaspoons salt (if in Australia use vegemite (1/2-1 tablespoon) instead of salt)
    3 teaspoons pepper
    1 large tin of cherry tomatoes
    1 cup of red wine, good quality (or if using for children cranberry jelly or beef stock)
    Instructions
    1. In a sauce pan combine the cherry tomatoes (smash them with wooden spoon) and red wine bring to a simmer and let simmer while making the meatballs.
    2. In a bowl combine all the other ingredients except meat until well mixed.
    3. Place meat in large bowl add the mixture gently combine until almost mixed. Make a very small meatball, add to simmering sauce, cook, taste, adjust seasoning of the meatball mixture. Finish combining the mixture.
    3. Using 1-1/2 tablespoons of mixture form meatballs, drop immediately into the simmering red wine sauce. Cook for 10-15 mins.
    4. Enjoy!
    Kangaroo Mince - easily available in supermarkets in Australia (cheap & super healthy) I usually mince my own meat but the market was out of kangaroo meat so I used pre-packed mince.



    Ingredients for meatballs (L to R caramelised onion, carrot, beetroot, parsley, in front cream soaked rye crispbread)
     photo 03a_zps758d7357.jpg
    The mixture that is added to the kangaroo mince (beetroot, carrot, caramelised onion, parsley, cottage cheese, cream soaked crisp bread, bread crumbs, whole egg, sun-dried tomato pesto) which is great on toast by itself.
     photo 04a_zpsf410d858.jpg
    The mixture all ready to made into meatballs
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    I did a fried test batch just to see how these worked out (not my usual procedure)
     photo 06a_zpse6f340a0.jpg

    The interior of the fried meatball, nice, soft and fluffy
     photo 07a_zps566f3b91.jpg
    My normal simmered meatballs
     photo 08a_zps7777aa20.jpg

    The interior of the meatball
     photo 09a_zps118277c4.jpg
    I have to say the fried ones were interesting not has tender as the simmered one but well worth eating. I have road-tested this recipe over many years to get the most tender simmered meatballs (especially made for children and fussy adults) so that is why the fried meatballs were well above average but not as good as the simmered ones.
    Lamb, mint and beetroot meatballs
     photo 11a_zpscd11875f.jpg
    Isn't the colour gorgeous on these bright pink lamb meatballs. This is one of the reasons I love this recipe and it goes so well with cucumber/mint/yoghurt dip. I like making tiny 2 teaspoon-sized meatballs for the kids just one bite for their tiny mouths. The caramelised beetroot and onion really adds to and intensifies the natural sweetness of lamb. This meatball recipe has been developed by me over a couple of years. As the butcher was explaining to me a long time ago the fat in lamb is "funny" it doesn't take too well being mixed with pork or veal or beef. That is why I like adding gelatine to the lamb mixture which adds a lovely tender moist mouth feel to the cooked meat balls. Also I like how the meatballs when fried have a "black" crust the characteristic brown-black colour of the crust results from the browned beetroot it doesn't taste burnt or bitter. If you bake the meatballs you can control the colour of the balls to suit your visual liking.

    A couple of years ago I was researching on the internet about meatball making and discovered a trick professionals use - adding gelatine to the soaking liquid which adds an unctuous mouth feel to the meatball (which is why a lot of meatball recipes add veal which is gelatine-rich). So I tried it in my standard lamb, mint and beetroot meatball recipe. I have to say the gelatine really adds a lot of moistness and a soft tender mouth feel to the interior of the meatballs. I do this gelatine trick to all my recipes now. Several people who had my lamb meatballs before the change commented after I added the gelatine about the tenderness and moistness of them now. (If anything I thought almost too tender and moist the first time I tasted them but that is my opinion.)
     photo 10a_zpsae4a6c1a.jpg

    Lamb, mint and beetroot meatballs based on this recipe
    500 gm (1 lb) lamb mince, freshly ground, best if used cold
    250 gm (1 very large) beetroot, grated and fried until caramelised
    2 onions, grated and fried until caramelised (do the onion and beetroot together)
    1/2 cup of cottage cheese, drained
    2 teaspoons salt
    2 teaspoons pepper
    1/2 teaspoon of gelatine bloomed in 1/2 cup of warm wine for 5 mins
    3 slices of white bread, torn into small pieces, then soaked in the cooled wine/gelatine liquid for 5 mins then squeezed dry and chopped
    1 bunch mint, finely chopped
    1 large egg if frying the meatballs, 2 large eggs if simmering
    (optional toasted sesame seeds for garnishing the cooked meatballs)

    Method
    1. Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl except for the meat. Mix until well combined.
    2. Add meat and gently mix until almost combined. Make a very small test meatball and cook, taste, adjust seasoning then continue combining mixture until just mixed. Make medium meatballs using 1-1/2 tablespoons of mixture or large meatballs using 3-4 tablespoons of mixture. Let rest in fridge for at least one hour and up to one day. Fry or simmer gently. I find it best to fry them first and then simmer (the frying adds a nice crust to the meatballs).
    3. Best served with yoghurt/mint/cucumber dip.
    4. Garnish with the optional toasted sesame seeds.

    The baked meatballs garnished in black and white toasted sesame seeds
     photo 12a_zps17689ada.jpg
    Spicy Tom Yum Asian Meatballs


    This is the recipe I have when I'm trying to impress at dinner parties. They are made with beef/veal (and the gelatine trick) and the same ingredients as TOM YUM soup. The colour for them is so golden and when fried the meatballs form a beautiful tasty crust. These are so beautiful piled high on a party platter. I know I know this soup is meant for prawns (shrimp) but it seems to work excellently for these meatballs, maybe the saffron, coconut cream and fried tomato paste does the trick.



    Tom Yum Soup Ingredients
    4 lime leaves,finely chopped
    2 lemongrass stalks, chopped into tiny pieces
    4 slices galangal, finely chopped
    2 thumbs of ginger, finely chopped
    4-8 bird's eyes chillies, finely sliced
    1 tbsp palm sugar
    Juice of 1-2 limes
    2 tbsp fish sauce (a good Thailand brand)
    3 large pinches of saffron infused in the lime juice and fish sauce
    2 green onions, thinly sliced
    1 small tomato de-fleshed seeded and chopped finely
    20 gm dried mushroom reconstituted in warm coconut cream with 1 tsp of gelatine
    1 tbsp of tomato paste fried until brown
    1/2 cup reconstituted glass rice noodles (or bread crumbs) soaked in the mushroom/coconut cream/gelatine liquid
    Meatballs
    1/2 kg of beef/pork belly (freshly ground)
    the above ingredients plus 1 large egg combined. Form 1-1/2 tablespoon-sized meatballs then fry gently.
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    Lentil and Spinach balls with blueberry sage glaze


    This is an intriguing recipe! It tastes so GOOD yet it is the weirdest combination of ingredients but it's always a winner at parties and surprise pot-lucks and it's easy to cook also (only a couple of mins in a mircowave and if you want an optional light browning in a fry pan.) It always STUNS guests when I tell them what these tasty entrées are made of - lentils, spinach, a couple of eggs and some seasoned bread crumbs served with a sticky blueberry sage glaze. This combination is so delicious and so stimulating to the palate, the different tastes oscillate on your tongue which is exactly what you want an entrée to do to stimulate the appetite for what-is-to-come. The lentil and spinach balls are delicious alone but teamed with the sticky blueberry sage glaze they really seem to switch the taste receptors to the "pleasure" setting. A good recipe to have and their freeze well also.
    I always get so many different answers when I ask what they tasted like, but universally they do say they liked them.
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    The cooked balls (after microwaving for 2 mins in my very old microwave oven)
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    Lentil and Spinach balls with blueberry sage glaze
    Lentil and Spinach Balls (adapted from this recipe)
    2 cups of cooked green lentils (these lentils hold their shape when cooked)
    250 gm packet of frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry and chopped (you can use watercress or collard greens make sure that the greens are squeezed dry and chopped finely)
    2 large eggs
    1/2 - 3/4 cup heavily seasoned dry breadcrumbs (Italian-seasoned is fine)
    2 teaspoons of freshly cracked pepper
    Method
    1. If you want a very fine texture and even colour in the interior of your vegetarian balls, you can machine-process the spinach and eggs (not the lentils) together to form a bright green purée. (see here for a picture of a puréed lentil/spinach ball)
    2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, form 3 tablespoon-sized balls. Refrigerate for at least one hour up to one day.
    3. Microwave on high for 2 mins (check at 1 min). Serve with a simple tomato sauce or the blueberry sage glaze.
    4. If you want you can lightly fry the microwaved balls to form a crisp thin eggshell crust the balls will brown slightly if fried.
    Blueberry sage glaze (based on this recipe)
    500 gm frozen blueberries (can use a mixture of red/purple berries) (cranberries or pomegranate molasses work well also but will need more sugar) (you can use 1/2 cup red wine but reduce the blueberries by half)
    1 tablespoons white vinegar (to taste)
    2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 teaspoon hot chilli powder (optional)
    1 thumb of ginger, grated (optional)
    1 spring (green) onion, finely chopped (optional)
    1-2 garlic clove(s), crushed (optional)
    4 sage leaves
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or butter)
    Method
    1. Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan reduce gently, taste and adjust vinegar or sugar until slightly sweet with a light sour after-taste. Use the optional ingredients if you are serving a meat (or strong tasting) main course.
    2. Remove sage leaves before serving.
    Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls








    Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls
    These ricotta based balls are simple to make and only contain a few ingredients; ricotta & blue-veined cheese, eggs, watercress (or spinach), and seasoned breadcrumbs (or flour). I included some puréed beetroot in the mixture (I had some left over) that is why this batch is pinkish in colour usually they are white. They fry up nicely but I like them simmered in soups and stews. If you use flour in the recipe you get "gnudi" a dumping, these are much lighter.
    Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls1 cup (250 gm) fresh ricotta cheese, broken up into small pieces (I use low fat)
    1 large bunch watercress (or spinach), blanched (1 min), squeezed dried & chopped finely
    1 bunch mint (or basil if using spinach), finely chopped
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (or flour if you want gundi), seasoned (may need more)
    1/3-1/4 cup blue-veined cheese, finely crumbed (1/2 cup finely grated parmesan if using spinach)
    (optional 1/4 cup root veggie purée (beetroot, carrot or pumpkin) best if you are using spinach)

    Method
    Combine in large bowl all the ingredients mix until almost combined, make small test ball, cook, taste adjust seasoning, finish combining, form small (2 teaspoons), medium (1-1/2 tablespoons) or large (1/4 cup) sized balls, place into simmering soup or stews until cooked (small 3 mins, med 6 mins, large 10 mins)

    Hearty Winter Soup with Ricotta balls and Spinach Balls



    .
    Ballsy Hearty Winter Soup with Ricotta balls and Spinach Balls
    I made up a warm filling pearl barley, red and green lentil, split pea, tomato and beetroot winter soup I served it with my spinach/lentil balls and blue-veined watercress ricotta balls, (each 4 tablespoons-sized). (The spinach and lentil balls recipe has already been posted and the blue-veined water ricotta ball recipe is above). Perfect on a cold winter's day especially with buttered sourdoug rye bread.
    Ballsy Hearty Winter Soup
    1 onion, chopped, fried
    1 carrot, grated, fried
    optional 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 piece celery, chopped, fried (fry (3 tablespoons olive oil) celery, carrot & onion (& optional garlic) together until onion goes translucent then add tomato paste)
    3 tablespoons tomato paste, fried (until brown), then add
    2 cups - 4 cups of good vegetable stock
    1-3 teaspoon salt & 2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
    1 cup pearl barley, soaked and washed
    1/2 cup green lentil, soaked and washed
    1/4 cup split pea, soaked and washed
    2 tablespoon red lentil, soaked and washed
    1 cup of finely chopped (or grated) beetroot
    Method
    Add in a large saucepan the fried ingredients, stock, barley and legumes. Simmer for 1-1/4 hrs adding extra stock as needed. Add the beetroot simmer of extra 1/2 hr. Add plenty of spinach/lentils balls and blue-veined watercress balls in the last 15 mins. Serve the balls covered in the thickened soup or stew.

    Super Duper Surf and Turf Meatballs
    These are so so so GOOD I scoffed the entire first whole batch down myself there is something about adding umami (the savoury taste sensation) to food especially to meatballs that really intensifies and accents the taste of all the ingredients. These tasted like something from a super fancy restaurant I even impressed myself, since it was an impromptu recipe just using leftovers and a couple of pantry staples, usually you aren't this lucky with "spur-of-the-moment" recipes. Deeply and profoundly satisfying and so exquisitely tasty. I will be making these again and again.


    I opened the fridge and this is what I had leftover from the night before:-
    1. a half packet (250 gm or 1/4 lb) of good quality hamburger mince (ground beef),
    2. a tin of smoked oysters in oil,
    3. a 1/4 packet of powdered mushroom, nori sheets and sesame (the blue plastic packet),
    4. vegemite,
    5. wasabi powder,
    6. some fresh bread crumbs (not shown), and
    7. 1 large egg (not shown)
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    I noticed immediately that many of the ingredients were rich in umami. After sweet and salty, sour and bitter, there is umami—the fifth taste. Discovered at the beginning of the last century by the Japanese, the word umami translates roughly to mean "deliciousness" or "deliciously savour" — an understatement if ever there was one. Rich, deep and intensely savoury, umami exists in a number of foods and I had a gold mine of them.
    So I decided to make a surf and turf meatball (technically an umami-rich wasabi beef meatball stuffed with smoked oysters). The powdered mushrooms, nori, vegemite, smoked oysters and beef are all rich sources of umami (the savoury taste in foods). Also roasting, caramelizing, browning and grilling all boost the umami taste sensation in foods. Which is why this is a FABULOUS little entrée super rich in umami literally drenching in "deliciousness". I would serve with blue-vein cheese (rich in umami) or shaved parmesan cheese (one of the richest sources of umami), black olives (rich in umami) with some fried tomato paste (rich in umami) or fresh ripe tomatoes (rich in umami), tabasco sauce or hot chilli sauce, fish sauce (rich in umami), balsamic vinegar (rich in umami) and freshly minced garlic and a some finely chopped herbs parsley or mint, with a little of the reserved oyster oil. YUM YUM YUM. These tasted so good I'm calling them super duper surf and turf meatballs.
    This is the best one so far on my meatball making challenge!. On reflection and making two other batches for my friends who LOVED these, I'm entering these in the college's (that I'm attending) cooking competition next week so tasty and satisfying hummmmmm.
    How to make the meatballs
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    The finished meatballs waiting to be cooked (all the same size)
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    Super Duper Surf and Turf Meatballs
    250 gm (1/4 lb) minced beef, best if used cold
    100 gm (3-1/2 oz) tin of smoked oysters, drained, reserve oil
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1/2 cup of fresh breadcrumbs, heavily seasoned
    2 teaspoons of vegemite, mixed into the beaten egg (or 1 tablespoon fish sauce)
    1 teaspoon pepper
    1/4-1/2 teaspoon of wasabi powder, to taste
    1/4 cup of dried mushroom, shredded (or 2 tablespoons of mushroom powder)
    1 sheet of nori, finely shredded
    1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
    Method
    1. Combine in a large bowl all the ingredients except the oysters until almost combined. Make a very small test ball, cook, taste, adjust seasoning. Place 1 tablespoon of mixture into a semicircular spoon, poke finger into mixture to form a hole stuff with 3 smoked oysters cover the stuffing with the displaced beef mixture to form a complete meatball, repeat until all the mixture and oysters are used up, makes about 16-18 meatballs (See pictures above).
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    Chicken balls

    I made two sorts of chicken balls; a sun-dried tomato, olive and ricotta chickenball and a sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chickenball
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    Sun-dried tomato, olive and ricotta chicken-ball
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    Sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chickenball
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    Sun-dried tomato, black olive and ricotta chicken-ball
    300 gm chicken, mince
    300 gm ricotta, finely crumbed
    1/4 cup sun-dried tomato, finely chopped
    28 black olives, stoned, (use 2 black olives per 1-1/2 tablespoon meatball)
    1 large egg
    2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1/4-1/2 cup of fresh bread crumbs, heavily seasoned

    Sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chicken ball
    500 gm chicken, mince
    3 tablespoons coconut cream
    1 tablespoon fish sauce
    1 packet of Hot and Spicy Thai noodle soup (any spicy Asian style is fine)
    2 lime leaves, finely shredded
    1/4 cup of fresh bread crumbs, heavily seasoned
    1/4 cup of peanuts, pieces
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1 red chilli, finely chopped
    4 tablespoons sesame seeds, for coating

              Nov 2012 Daring Cooks' Challenge Brining & Roasting        

    Hello this Audax from Audax Artifex and I'm honoured to be your host this month. I have decided to concentrate on a couple of important cooking techniques that every good cook should have up his or her sleeve. The first technique is brining – which uses a brine (at its simplest, a combination of salt and water usually with some sugar) to infuse flavour and moisture into poultry, red- & white-meat, fish, seafood and most types of nuts and seeds. Brining guarantees moist succulent roast chickens and turkeys, fried steaks, steamed trout, BBQed prawns (shrimps), grilled seafood and toasted nuts and seeds. Brining is simple and only needs a few simple ingredients and really adds an extra dimension to your cooking. I will be providing a couple of different recipes and guidelines on how to brine which can be used with a whole array of meats, poultry, seafood, nuts and seeds.

    Then for the second technique (once you have brined your chosen cut of meat) I want you to roast (or BBQ) it. Again I will be giving you guidelines and rules on how to roast your cut of meat. The roasting guidelines can be used for meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds. For our non-meat eating cooks I want you to use the roasting guidelines to roast a selection of vegetables and/or nuts or seeds to perfection.
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    HOW IT WORKS (from http://www.cooksillustrated.com/images/document/howto/ND01_ISBriningbasics.pdf)

    Soaking in brine improves the taste and the moistness of all fowl (chicken, turkey, goose, duck and guinea fowl), also it works on lean red- and lean white-meats, fish, most seafood and most nuts and seeds. It is simple, cheap and effective and will ensure that your Christmas roast will be the tastiest you have ever made. All you do is brine your cut of meat and then proceed as normal, you will find that the roast is juicy and the skin has a lovely colour. The recipe for all-purpose brine is simple - for each cup (240 ml) of water use 1 tablespoon (18 gm) of table salt this makes a 8% brine solution which can be used for most foods. (This is equivalent to 1 cup of table salt for each gallon (4 litres) of water.)

    Brining works in accordance with two principles, called diffusion and osmosis, these two principles like to keep things in equilibrium (or in stable balance). When brining a fowl for example, there is a greater concentration of salt and sugar outside of the fowl (in the brine) than inside the fowl (in the cells that make up its flesh). The law of diffusion states that the salt and sugar will naturally flow from the area of greater concentration (the brine) to lesser concentration (the cells). There is also a greater concentration of water, so to speak, outside of the fowl than inside. Here, too, the water will naturally flow from the area of greater concentration (the brine) to lesser concentration (the cells). When water moves in this fashion, the process is called osmosis. Once inside the cells, the salt and, to a lesser extent, the sugar causes the cell proteins to unravel, or denature. As the individual proteins unravel, they become more likely to interact with one another. This interaction results in the formation of a sticky matrix that captures and holds moisture. Once exposed to heat, the matrix gels and forms a barrier that keeps much of the water from leaking out as the meat cooks. Thus you have a roast that is both better seasoned and much more moist than when you started.

    HANGING IT OUT TO DRY

    Brining does have one negative effect on poultry: Adding moisture to the skin as well as the flesh which can prevent the skin from crisping when cooked. This can be overcome by air-drying, a technique used in many Chinese recipes for roast duck and chicken. Letting brined chicken and turkey dry uncovered in the refrigerator allows surface moisture to evaporate, making the skin visibly more dry and taut and therefore promoting crispness when cooked. Although this step is optional, if crisp skin is a goal, it’s worth the extra time. For best results, air-dry whole brined birds overnight. Brined chicken parts can be air-dried for several hours. Transfer the brined bird to a heavy-duty cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet, pat the bird dry with paper towels, and refrigerate. The rack lifts the bird off the baking sheet, allowing air to circulate freely under the bird. If you are not air-drying your fowl it is best to pat dry the skin with paper towels before roasting in a hot oven.

    Surprisingly, brining has one large positive effect on fish fillets, a quick brine (only 10 mins) greatly improves the appearance of cooked fillets, because the brine reduces the unsightly white layer of albumin that coagulates on the surface during cooking, I highly recommend brining fish fillets when presentation is paramount. 

    ITEMS THAT BENEFIT FROM BRINING
    Lean cuts of meat with mild flavour tend to benefit most from flavour brining also most nuts and seeds can be brined with good affect. These include:

    Chicken: whole, butterflied, or pieces
    Cornish Hens: whole or butterflied
    Turkey: whole, butterflied, or pieces
    Pork: chops, loin, tenderloin, fresh ham
    Seafood: salmon, trout, shrimp
    Beef: use lean pieces of beef
    Nuts and Seeds: Most nuts and seeds are suitable i.e. pumpkin, peanuts, sesame, almonds etc.  

    Fatty meats such as duck, beef, and lamb do not benefit as much from brining (but still can be brined)—they're naturally moist and flavourful. They also tend to be cooked to lower internal temperatures and thus don't lose as much of their natural moisture.

    WHICH SALT TO USE
    Kosher salt (called rock salt outside North America) and table salt are the most common salts used in brining.

    Sea salt can be used for flavour brining, but it tends to be quite expensive. If you have a cheap supply available, go for it; otherwise, stick to kosher salt or table salt.
    Some people say that kosher salt tastes "cleaner" than table salt because it does not contain the anti-caking agents added to table salt. Some people prefer non-iodized table salt over iodized table salt, believing that potassium iodide creates an off-taste. However, these flavour differences melt away when salt is diluted in large quantities of water in a brine. In an article about salt in the September/October 2002 issue of Cook's Illustrated magazine, taste testers felt that "all nine salts tasted pretty much the same" when dissolved in spring water and chicken stock, whether it was 36¢/pound iodized table salt, 66¢/pound kosher salt, or $36/pound Fleur de Sel de Camargue sea salt from France.

    SALT EQUIVALENT MEASURES
    Table salt and kosher salt do not have the same saltiness in a flavour brine when measured by volume—but they do when measured by weight.

    Table salt weighs about 10 ounces (285 grams) per cup, while kosher salt weighs 5-8 ounces (140-225 grams) per cup, depending on the brand. If using kosher salt in a brine, you must use more than a cup to achieve the same salt flavour you would get from a cup of table salt.

    The chart below shows equivalent amounts of table salt and the two most popular brands of kosher salt.

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    Morton Kosher Salt weighs about 7.7 ounces (220 grams) per cup, making it three-fourths as strong as table salt. Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt weighs about 5 ounces (140 grams) per cup, making it half as strong as table salt.
    What if you're using something other than Morton Kosher or Diamond Crystal Kosher salt? Regardless of the type of salt—sea salt, pickling salt, and any other brand of kosher salt—just measure 10 ounces (285 grams) of it on a kitchen scale and you will have the equivalent of 1 cup of table salt.

    HOW LONG TO BRINE
    The length of time meat soaks in a flavour brine depends on the type of meat and its size, as well as the amount of salt used in the brine—the saltier the brine mixture, the shorter the soaking time. Here are common brining times found in recipes:

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    It is possible to end up with meat that's too salty for your taste, so you may want to brine on the low end of the time range to see how it turns out. You can always brine longer next time, but there's no way to salvage a piece of meat that's been brined too long.

    ROASTING TIMES AND TEMPERATURES FOR POULTRY 
    When we roast brined cuts of meat (or whole birds) the procedure firstly is to brown the skin in a hot oven then to lower the temperature so we reduce the moisture loss in the roasted food. It is important to rest (loosely covered in foil) your roast so that the moisture can redistribute itself in the meat, it greatly adds to the final tenderness of the cooked product.

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    For other roasting times for red meat, fish, seafood, nuts and seeds see the additional information at the end of the challenge write-up.

    Recipe Source:  The brine and roast chicken used are traditional recipes used in my family for many generations. The roast vegetable recipe is from my own family cookbook.   

    Blog-checking lines:  Audax of Audax Artifax was our November 2012 Daring Cooks’ host.  Audax has brought us into the world of brining and roasting, where we brined meat and vegetables and roasted them afterwards for a delicious meal!

    Posting Date:  November 14th, 2012

    Download the printable .pdf file HERE


    Note:  Important Information – brining must be done in the refrigerator the salt water will not stop the growth of germs and bacteria. Also brine cannot be reused always discard it after first use.  Make sure that the brine goes into the cavity of large chickens and turkeys when brining.  

    Mandatory Items: If you eat meat you must brine a meat (or seafood) cut and then roast (or BBQ) it. For non-meat eaters please brine some nuts or seeds then roast them or just roast a load of vegetables. I have included an extensive listing of poultry, seafood, nut etc. recipes in the additional information section at the end of the challenge feel free to use any of these recipes. Of course you can use your own favourite recipe if you wish.

    Variations allowed:  Any meat/seafood (or nuts/seeds) can be used for brining. And any vegetable can be used by non-meat eaters. 

    Preparation time:  Generally brining takes from ½ hour to 2 days. Roasting can take up to 2 hours for most pieces of meat, for large poultry 6-7 hours.

    Equipment required:
    non-reactive container for the brine
    roasting pans or trays

    Challenge Recipes
    I have included one all-purpose brine recipe, a roast chicken recipe and a roast vegetable recipe.

    Recipe One – All-Purpose Brine:


    Makes 4 cups of brine enough for about one pound (½ kg) of meat

    This is the brine to use for most cuts of meat and poultry that will be roasted.

    Ingredients
    4 cups (1 litre) of cold water (see note 1)
    ¼ cup (70 gm) table salt or  ½ cup (70 gm) Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
    optional 2 tablespoons (30 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) sugar (see note 2)
    optional 3-4 peppercorns, a few springs of herbs, a garlic clove or two, a knob of ginger etc. (see note 3)

    Instructions
    1. Heat 1 cup of water to boiling point add the salt and stir until all the salt has totally dissolved.
    2. Place in a non-reactive container (glass, plastic, stainless steel, zip-lock bags etc). Add the remaining water and stir. Make sure that all the salt has dissolved. Wait until the brine has reached room temperature.
    3. Add your cut of meat make sure that the meat is completely submerged (that is totally covered in the salty water) if need be you can weigh down the cut of meat with a clean plate (etc). If using plastic bags make sure that the meat is totally covered in brine and make sure that is bag is locked securely.
    4. Cover the container with plastic wrap to prevent odours contaminating the flavour brine or the brine leaking.
    5. Place the container into the refrigerator for the soaking time suggested by the guidelines above.
    6. If desired you can air-dry your poultry (usually over night) in the refrigerator if you wish to have crispy skin on your bird. It is best to pat dry your brined item (inside and out) with paper towels before cooking.
    7. Cook the brined item as directed by the roasting guidelines above.

    Notes
    1. You can replace all or some of the water with a combination of wine, cider, beer, tea, coffee, fruit juice, most sauces (tomato, soya, BBQ, chilli etc), chicken stock, beef stock or fish stock. Be careful with acidic liquids like wine, cider, fruit juices which can turn your meat to mush if brined too long.
    2. A little sugar can help overcome the saltiness of the brine and helps to give a nice sheen to your piece of meat when roasted. You can use up to ¼ cup of sugar (use the lesser amount (2 tablespoons) for high temperature roasting since the brine can burn at high heats if you use too much sugar). You can use brown sugar or honey or other sweeteners if you wish.
    3. Any combination of spices and herbs can be used to flavour the brine. Garlic powder, onion powder and ginger powder are excellent to use for brining.

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    Recipe Two – Roast Brined Chicken
    Serves four to six people

    Ingredients:
    1 whole chicken (organic is best) about 2 kg (4 ½ pounds)
    Enough brine (see recipe above) to cover the chicken in a large non-reactive container

    Directions:

    1. Brine the whole chicken in the flavoured brine in the refrigerator overnight about 6 hours can be overnight. (Make sure that every part of the chicken is covered in the brine you can weigh the bird down with a clean plate so it is completely submerged.
    2. Discard the brine and dry the skin and inside of the bird with paper towels.
    3. If you desire crispy skin then leave the bird on a rack for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator so the skin can dry.
    4. Preheat oven to moderately hot 220°C/425°F/gas 7.
    5. Roast for 15 minutes.
    6. Reduce oven to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and roast for a further 12-15 minutes per 450 grams/pound, You can check for done-ness the internal temperature should be 165°F/84°C, or the juices should run clear when you pierce the bird between the leg and thigh.  
    7. Rest for approximately 30 minutes covered loosely in foil.

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    Recipe Three – Roast Vegetables
    Serves six people

    For best results use the largest shallow heavy-weight roasting pan you have and make sure that the vegetable are well spaced out in the pan and only form one layer, use two trays if necessary. A very hot oven 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9 is the key to roasting vegetables. Only toss the vegetables once or twice during cooking. For lighter-weight vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli or cut corn add it to the pan 15 minutes later, so it doesn't get too brown. Greens like kale and mustard greens are done in only 15 minutes. Root vegetables should be cut into cubes of about one-inch (2½ cm). You can add a small amount of apricot fruit spread or honey in the last 10 minutes to enhance the caramelising process. Fresh basil, rosemary and thyme are best when used fresh. Curry, paprika and turmeric are also great. Grated ginger or crushed garlic can also be added.  

    Ingredients:
    1 small butternut squash (pumpkin), cubed
    2 red bell peppers (capsicums), seeded and sliced
    1 orange sweet potato, peeled and cubed OR 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced lengthways
    3 Yukon Gold (or any baking) potatoes, cubed
    1 red onion, quartered
    optional 1 fat clove of garlic, crushed
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
    2 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the squash, red bell peppers, sweet potato, red onion and Yukon Gold potatoes and the optional garlic if using.
    3. In a small bowl, stir together thyme, rosemary, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss with vegetables until they are coated. Spread evenly on a large roasting pan.
    4. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring one or twice, or until vegetables are cooked through and browned. If using a smaller tray the vegetables will take about 50-60 minutes.

    Roast Vegetables
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    Brined and BBQed “seven-bone” steak (notice the shape of the bone in the steak)
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    Brined and BBQed “wagyu” steak
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    Brined and Roasted Peppered Ribeye Roast
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    Additional Information:  Include links to videos or information that can be of assistance to members.
    Kosher salt versus table salt http://bbq.about.com/od/spicesseasonings/a/aa102007a.htm
    Everything you wanted to know about brining http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/rubs_pastes_marinades_and_brines/zen_of_brines.html
    Brining Nuts and Seeds http://www.jwright44.com/recipes/BrinedNuts.htm
    How to brine pumpkin seeds http://www.ehow.com/how_8144233_brine-pumpkin-seeds.html
    How a quick brine improves the appearance of fish fillets http://www.cooksillustrated.com/howto/detail.asp?docid=36992
    Dry brining thick steaks (a great article) http://steamykitchen.com/163-how-to-turn-cheap-choice-steaks-into-gucci-prime-steaks.html
    Brining turkey a primer http://bbq.about.com/od/turkey/ss/aa110808a.htm
    Roast chicken ten ways http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/chickenturkeymore/tp/roastchixtenways.htm
    Cooking a turkey (many articles) http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/chickenturkeymore/tp/Cooking-A-Turkey.htm
    To roast a turkey http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/chickenturkeymore/r/Roast-Turkey-Recipe.htm
    Roasting guidelines for red meat roasts http://www.donaldrussell.com/game-technique?ms=tab5 Jamie Oliver's Roast Potato, parsnips and carrot recipe http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetarian-recipes/roast-potatoes-parsnips-carrots 
    Jamie Oliver's Perfect Roast Potato recipe http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetarian-recipes/perfect-roast-potatoes
    Delia Smith's Roast Potato recipe http://www.deliaonline.com/how-to-cook/fruit-and-vegetables/how-to-roast-potatoes.html
    How to brine fish http://www.ehow.com/how_5963061_brine-fish-before-cooking.html
    Vegetable Roasting Guide http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101/shopping_cooking_guides/vegetable_roasting_guide
    How to cook a steak to perfection http://howto.yellow.co.nz/food-drink/cooking-and-baking/how-to-cook-steak/
    How to cook a steak (using American cuts of meat) http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-cook-the-perfect-steak/

    Disclaimer:
    The Daring Kitchen and its members in no way suggest we are medical professionals and therefore are NOT responsible for any error in reporting of “alternate baking/cooking”.  If you have issues with digesting gluten, then it is YOUR responsibility to research the ingredient before using it.  If you have allergies, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are lactose intolerant, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. The responsibility is YOURS regardless of what health issue you’re dealing with. Please consult your physician with any questions before using an ingredient you are not familiar with.  Thank you! :)
              June 2012 Daring Cooks Challenge - Cannelloni        

    Recipe Source: Cannelloni di magro – Manuela Zangara; Cannelloni di carne – Manuela Zangara; Cannelloni al pesto – Manuela Zangara; Cannelloni with Ricotta, Ham and Fontina from http://www.ricettedellanonna.net/cannelloni-ricotta-prosciutto-cotto-e-fontina/


    Blog-checking lines: Manu from Manu’s Menu was our Daring Cooks lovely June hostess and has challenged us to make traditional Italian cannelloni from scratch! We were taught how to make the pasta, filling, and sauces shared with us from her own and her family’s treasured recipes!

    I loved this month's challenge since I have always wanted to do a "healthy" version of cannelloni for my gym buddies. I had a great time thinking and working out the method for creating a "gym junkie friendly" recipe.

    Healthy charred onion and spinach cannelloni
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    I made a low-fat/high-protein/low-carbohydrate version for my gym buddies who are very health conscious. I made the pasta using a large omega-3 egg, 70 gm of gluten flour, 30 gm of de-fatted soy flour and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and enough extra water to make the dough's consistency correct which made an intensely yellow-coloured and super-high protein pasta with only 14 grams of carbohydrates for the whole batch of pasta sheets. I used a pasta rolling machine to make the sheets as thin as possible giving the sheets a long rest between rollings since the very high-protein content makes stretching the sheets a longer process than if using normal plain flour. Then I made the filling with freshly cooled, cooked, chopped and drained spinach and silverbeet, charred onion rings, low-fat/no-salt ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds made into a gel with 1 cup of strong spinach and vegetable stock, balsamic glaze with tons of pepper and chilli flakes; also I made some olive oil infused wheat germ crumbs for the topping. I didn't use any béchamel sauce at all I made sure that I used plenty of greens (spinach and silverbeet), charred onion rings and the chia gel which really adds a wonderful moistness and creaminess to the dish. I only recently discovered chia seeds and how they can add a lot of flavour, moisture and creaminess to a recipe. 

    I really liked the ease of this recipe and the incredibly tasty filling which was creamy and flavoursome, it went down well with my buddies, the pasta actually tasted good and its mouth feel was just fine.

    A wonderful challenge thank you so much to our lovely host Manu.

    I worked out the nutritional information for the dish, the recipe made enough for four servings. Per serving; energy 350 cals, fat 11.5 gm, carbs 18 gm, protein 44 gm.     

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    Here is the link to the challenge recipes Manu did a wonderful job on the write-up I especially like the Cannelloni di magro recipe.   .
              March 2012 Daring Cooks' - Braving the braise        
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    This month's Daring Cooks' challenge was to braise we had complete freedom to do any sort of braise we wanted. What a fun challenge and so much freedom and from the superb responses from the other forum members this challenge went down really well, so many braise using all sorts of ingredients such as chicken, duck, pork, beef short ribs, fennel, root vegetables, tofu even moose!

    Recipe Source: Michael Ruhlman – Ruhlman’s Twenty

    Blog-checking lines: The March, 2012 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Carol, a/k/a Poisonive – and she challenged us all to learn the art of Braising! Carol focused on Michael Ruhlman’s technique and shared with us some of his expertise from his book “Ruhlman’s Twenty”.

    See the PDF of the challenge recipes with hints and tips here.

    Balsamic vinegar and honey beef short ribs
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    I have been wanting to do a short rib recipe for a little while now so this challenge was perfect. Braising is such a great technique because:-
    1. the searing gives you great colour and add lots of flavour to the final dish
    2. as the connective tissues break down, they dissolve and form gelatin, which thickens the cooking liquid and gives it body and shine, meanwhile
    3. the braising causes the muscle fibers to absorb moisture from the cooking liquid and steam. Which gives you a juicy piece of meat. Braising also melds flavours from the stock, vegetables and any herbs and seasonings.

    So it is important to pay attention to searing the meat correctly (including the bones), and the flavouring ingredients in the braising liquid. Take careful note of all the wonderful tips and hints that our lovely hostess Carol has included in the challenge write up they really do work. I like a longer slower braising time at the lowest temperature 140°F/60°C to cook meat safely I think it really adds a lot more flavour into the meat.    

    This recipe uses an initial eight hour marinade of fried tomato paste for acidity, onions and garlic which is cleaned off then the ribs are seared, and then they are braised for 14 hours at 140°F/60°C (in a cool oven) in a mixture of ironbark honey and aged balsamic vinegar, a little red wine, smoked paprika, chilli flakes, bay leaf, a mirepoix, lots of pepper and the marinade. I used two bush tomatoes (an Australia native herb that is a strongly flavoured of tomato and eggplant even one is enough to perfume a whole room!) in the braising broth also, I was very lucky and got 3 kgs (6.6 lbs) of short ribs for only $10 (they were on special in the Asian butcher shop usually $15/kg) which consisted of two enormous slabs of meat studded with ribs. After the ribs were cooked and cooled the fat is taken off and the sauce is reduced to a thick shiny sticky consistency it has a super concentrated flavour. I was very impressed with the colour and flavour of the ribs a small amount of sauce goes a long long way in this recipe. Enough for many many meals I got almost 12 cups of braised meat and liquid.  I will make a meal using the ribs in the next of couple of days since I want maximum flavour infused into the meat. Incidentally I got a new camera so that's the reason for all the close-up shots of the ribs I was experimenting it is an Aldi Traveller brand $56 point and shoot.

    The butcher told me that oxtail will be on special soon maybe I will try that next, since all braises freeze well.

    The two humongous slabs of beef ribs they are about 1.5 kgs (3-1/3 lbs) each!
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    Seared beef ribs
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    The braised ribs cooled overnight in the refrigerator
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    The braised ribs before they were covered in the reduced sauce, even these are delicious
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    Caramel miso duck nibbles
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    I just had to do the caramel miso sauce it sounds so tasty, I got some duck pieces from my favourite gourmet butcher, I seared them to crisp up the duck skin and then oven braised them in the caramel miso sauce. Then I rested the braised meat in the fridge overnight then I removed a voluminous amount of duck fat (almost 1-1/2 cups) and strained the braising liquid and reduced it until it was thick and shiny. I used my new chopper to cut the cold braised duck pieces into bite sized nibbles (I find it is much easier to cut cooked poultry when it is cold). I coated the nibbles with the reduced caramel miso sauce and broiled (grilled) them until well coloured. I don't make duck that often since most of my friends dislike it (bad experiences at restaurants, greasy and tasteless) even my friend Cherie liked these nibbles, not greasy at all. The caramel miso sauce is to-die-for and can be used for meat and veggies a great recipe.
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    Slow braised sweet chilli squid
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    This is one of my favourite summer seafood dishes it is embarrassingly easy to make and it's a real crowd pleaser. When squid is slow braised it becomes extra soft (melt in your mouth) and sweet and in combination with sweet chilli sauce and a tomato/onion based pasta sauce produces an unctuous amalgam that emphasises the taste of the squid. The squid sauce is sweet and mild and perfect as a sauce for a seafood pasta dish. I seared the squid pieces and braised them for six hours on the lowest simmer.

    Slow braised sweet chilli squid
    (1-1/4 kg)(2-3/4 lb) 3 large squid (or you can use baby octopus about a dozen or so)
    3 cups pasta sauce (the kind that uses mainly tomato and onions, I use a good store bought kind, you can make you own if you wish, the sauce must be thick)
    3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
    optional 2 cloves of garlic crushed
    fresh lemon or lime juice, to taste if the sauce becomes too sweet

    Directions
    1. Clean the squid (remove the beak, the central clear cartilage, the fins, ink sack, the innards and scrap off most of the 'coloured' outer skin and scrap the tentacles to make sure that all of the sucker cartilage is removed). Cut the flesh into 2 cm (1 inch) pieces, cut the tentacles into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths. The pieces reduce in size by about 75% when braised so remember to cut the pieces much larger than the final cooked size. You can sear the pieces if you wish this adds a lot more flavour and colour to the pieces but increases the braising time by twice. Place the pieces into a medium stew pot.
    2. Add the pasta sauce, the sweet chilli sauce and the optional garlic.
    3. Slow braise uncovered in a very slow (90C/195F) oven or on the stove top just below a bare simmer for about 3 hours (check at 1 hour to see how much squid liquid is given off if there is a lot leave the pot uncovered, if the sauce is already thick cover the pot and add some water as needed during the braise) until the squid is soft to the tooth and the sauce has thicken and turned a brownish red colour, I have found you can simmer the sauce all day all that happens is the squid flesh becomes softer and softer and the sauce becomes more and more mellow. Makes 4 cups of squid pasta sauce suitable for about 8 servings.
    4. The squid pasta sauce is much better the next day, store in the fridge up to 5 days.
    5. Add fresh lime or lemon juice at the end of the cooking process to counter excessive sweetness if desired. Gremolata would be an excellent addition to the pasta dish.
    Notes:- try to get small-sized squid or baby octopus since their cooking time is about 2-3 hours, while one large (1-1/3 kg/3 lb) octopus can take 6+ hours!
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    A couple of questions about the squid from the challenge host
    1) You said searing increases the braising time...why? Do you have to the sear? Does the squid turn brown?
    2) How do you serve it - pasta, polenta, by itself?
    My answers
    Thank you so much for the kind kinds. Yes squid/octopus is perfect for long slow braising unlike some other seafood.
    Answer 1) There are two ways to cook squid one) fast and furious in a fry pan or a BBQ or two) a long slow bare simmer. So if you sear the squid first basically it is cooked therefore if you braise it after searing you need a lot more time to make the squid tender again. No you do not need to sear I usually just throw in the freshly cleaned and cut squid pieces into the sweet chilli tomato/onion sauce and braised it just like that with no problems. For special occasions I like to sear the squid first since it adds an additional flavour dimension to the final sauce but there is no real need to sear first if you do not want to. The sweet chilli tomato/onion sauce colours the squid flesh a light brown/red hue, if you sear first then the squid gets a very light brown colouring in addition to the brown/red hue that the sauce imparts to it.
    Answer 2) I just cook up some dry packet pasta and heat up some of the sauce and just add that to the pasta. I like to use black squid ink pasta to show off the colour of the squid and sauce. I think polenta (or sweet potato gnocchi) would be wonderful with the squid sauce though I never have had it that way. The squid sauce is great on pizza as well especially if you add some extra seafood like oysters or clams etc to the topping.

    Double squid pasta with gremolata
    Slowed braised sweet chilli squid served on squid ink pasta with gremolata
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    I had surprise lunch guests over so I thought that I would serve up the braised sweet chilli squid I made a few days ago I love this sauce since it takes no time to made up a restaurant quality dish (in appearance and flavour) literally 5 minutes. The use of squid ink pasta really adds a lovely base seafood flavour to the dish which enhances the braised squid sauce taste while the germolata adds a lovely "fresh" zing to the dish I never used germolata before now it is a must for me. For this recipe I cooked some squid ink pasta (5 mins), made the gremolata (4 mins) while heating the sweet chilli squid (3 mins in the microwave) then finally I added some sliced marinated sweet chillies as a garnish. The final dish looks stunning the contrast of colours and textures makes its very visually appealing. This was a smashing dish I thought there is something about the texture contrast of the squid and the pasta that is delightful. And I have half of the sauce left! I liked this dish so much I'm having it for dinner tonight with some guests. Serve with crunchy bread and a green salad. I think you can see why this is my all-time favourite summer seafood pasta recipe, it's simple fast and always gives a spectacular looking result.
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    The gremolata recipe
    Anchovy dill gremolata
    A gremolata is a quickly made condiment used to finish savoury dishes with bright fresh citrus-herb flavours.
    Ingredients:
    2 anchovy fillets, chopped fine
    1 lemon peel, zested fine
    1 garlic clove, minced fine
    1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine
    1 tablespoon dill fronds, chopped fine
    1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
    1 teaspoon anchovy oil
    Optional 1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped

    Directions:
    In a mortar and pestle mash and pound all the ingredients until a paste is formed. Dab or sprinkle sparingly over the pasta.

    If you like you can make orange fennel gremolata replace the lemon zest with orange zest and replace the dill with fennel fronds. Instead of the shallot use fennel.

    Sticky Sweet Braised Tofu Steaks with Asian Germolata
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    I wanted to braise at least one non-meat ingredient for this challenge I just had to make a braised tofu recipe (I love tofu and am always looking for ways to enjoy it). I have been wanting to make sticky sweet tofu (tau hu kho) for a while now so this was the perfect challenge for this dish. And since I'm in love with germolata at the moment I made an Asian germolata to serve with the braised tofu it consisted of coriander, lime zest, garlic, Thai basil, mint, lemongrass, crispy fried chilli pawn (shrimp), salt and dark roasted sesame seed oil. I seared the sliced bite-sized firm tofu pieces until lightly brown then I braised them in a mixture of kacap manis, honey, rice wine vinegar, ginger powder, onion powder, chilli paste and vegetable stock. During the simmering the braising liquid reduces to a thick shiny sauce which coat the pieces with sticky sweet deliciousness. I really like this cooking method for tofu it adds so much flavour and colour to the bean curb. These taste great at room temperature great for dinner parties. I just love how the bean curd absorbs the braising liquid and the sweet sticky coating is to die for, and I think the Asian germolata is a great addition to the original basic braised tofu.

    Sear the tofu pieces until brown
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    When seared transfer to a shallow saucepan and braise until the pieces expand about 15% (about 30 minutes to an hour), I fried the tofu in two batches you can see the difference before (the light coloured pieces) and after (the dark pieces) braising
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    The tofu after braising
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    The tofu topped with Asian germolata
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    Sticky Sweet Braised Tofu Steaks
    makes 12 mini-steaks
    500 gm (1 lb) extra firm tofu block
    3 tablespoons vegetable stock (or water)
    2 tablespoons soy sauce, salt-reduced
    3 tablespoons kacap manis
    2 tablespoons rice wine vingear
    juice from one lemon or two limes (use the zest for the Asian gremolata)
    2 tablespoons honey
    2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
    2 teaspoons ginger powder
    2 teaspoons onion powder
    1 teaspoon chilli paste
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    dash of salt
    2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying)

    Directions
    1. Combine all the braising ingredients in a small bowl mix well check for taste it should be slightly sweet with a salty sour after-taste adjust seasoning as needed, set aside.
    2. Drain tofu, slice into 1-1/2 inch (4 cm) square pieces about 1/2 inch (1-1/4 cm) thick, pat dry with paper towels. Squares work best for searing and braising.
    3. Add oil to a frying pan heat on medium heat until the oil shimmers.
    4. Fry the tofu until browned (about 3-5 minutes each side). Do not overcrowd the frying pan, it is best to fry the tofu in small batches. Remove browned pieces set aside. Clean the fry pan if needed.
    5. Add the braising liquid into the frying pan gently heat until barely simmering, add the browned tofu pieces in one layer braise (turning once or twice) until the pieces expand about 15% (about 30 minutes to one hour) and the braising liquid is thick and coats the tofu (add more water as needed). Check for sweetness add lemon juice as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature, braised tofu reheats wonderfully. It tastes even better the next day. Stores for 5 days in the fridge.

    Asian Gremolata
    Provides a generous topping for 12 sticky sweet tofu steaks
    A herb-citrus gremolata made with traditional Asian ingredients

    Ingredients:
    2 tablespoon crispy fried pawn (shrimp) flakes or crispy fried shallots, chopped fine
    2 lime peels (or 1 lemon peel), zested fine
    2 garlic cloves, minced fine
    1/4 cup coriander (cilantro), chopped fine
    1 tablespoon lemon grass, chopped fine
    1 tablespoon Thai basil, chopped fine
    1 tablespoon mint, chopped fine
    2 to 3 teaspoons sesame oil
    1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped
    1 teaspoon chilli paste (mild or hot as to taste)
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    Directions:
    In a mortar and pestle mash and pound all the ingredients while adding teaspoons of sesame oil until a paste is formed. Dab or sprinkle generously over the braised tofu pieces.
              buku seni lukis dan decoupage        




    hhuurraaayyyy a big.. big.. thanks to EN.ZAHIR huuuuhuuh dengan megah nyer niza tulis besau2 nama En.Zahir baru tadi sampai kat rumah kakak ipar kat kampung. iyelah rumah niza ni mana ader orang smua gi keje .. kalau letak umah sendiri tak terlarat abg posmen nak panggil tuan rumah hehhehehehhe.... anyway im so enjoying when am read this book.. mmg berbaloi.. macam2 ada.. insyaAllah ader lagi rezeki niza akan pesan lagi kat En.Zahir kita ni kan.... kak Jun dok panggil SIFU kat beliau... herm... niza pon nnt mesti terpanggil sifu jugak.
    En.Zahir ni bagus betul... mmg tabik spring lah kat beliau.. sepanjang beli buku2 novel ker majalah ke.. beliau ler the first person yang col disebabkan pembelian... herm.. betul tak ayat2 blog aku ni.. heerrmm... whatever lah mintak2 kawan2 smua paham lah erk.. apa yang nak d sampaikan
    ok, continue more story on pembelian ni.... bila dia col tu ingat kan no bank dari kl ker col rupanya Enzahir yang col actualy niza dah tahu dah yang buku enzahir tu dah out of stock then dia ckp akan anto next week(this week la) semalam tarikh 12.10.10 heheheh dengar2 sore enzahir dengan tanya nyer nama niza" ini Syaniza ker... huh kecut den ingat kan pegawai bank yang col padahal smua loan2 tak pernah lagi miss bayor.. tapi dok tunggu jugak staf maxis nak tanya pasal markah nak diberi pada dorang... dok tunggu nak "bambu" la kata orang penang... hheheheh dengar2 dia introduce kata EnZahir... huh sib bek.. hehhehe aper lagi smbil2 sembang pasal buku tu terus tanya pasal klas FA..... unfortunately la dia tak buat class FA di penang atas sbb2 tertentu ... herm... sayang erk... beliau cuma buat d area IPOH dan KL sahaja... tak per lah janji buku2 EnZahir ader boleh la nak refer kan.. :) syukur alhamdulillah.....
    ala pics tak ble load la..... herm.. continue esok la nampak gaya nyer ni.
              Another Blog Hop         
    Many of you may have noticed that there seems to be a blog hop circulating around at the moment. The lovely Tea from Tea Okereke chose me to continue the 'Hop!' So here I go.

    http://www.ficklesense.com/2013/02/my-cut-out-lace-challenge.html
    Photo: Michael Dooney Post: My Cut Out Lace Dress Challenge


    Why do you write?
    Writing is not exactly a strength of mine, I am generally envious of many bloggers writing styles. I think that my structured, science-y brain makes me a little dry. But there are a number of reasons for writing my blog
    The main reason is to document my sewing process and hopefully encourage others to take up the hobby. I am a firm believer in sustainable fashion and believe that understanding the making of a garment (from sourcing fabrics, to constructing and finishing details) encourages us to have some insight into clothing production.
    Writing the blog also pushes me to have self imposed deadlines for my sewing. I have realised that I need these deadlines, otherwise I get easily distracted! Having a blog which focuses on sewing and creativity is a wonderful thing for my overly excited brain!

    What are you working on?
    At the moment I am working on opening and revamping my Fickle Sense Etsy store (I have 2 shops one for fashion (Fickle Sense) and one for screen printing(FS Screen Printing))In the Fickle Sense store I am combining my loves for character design, illustration, textile design, screen printing, sewing and sustainable fashion. Having my own fashion label has been a dream of mine.... so hopefully all of my hard work pays off. I am making handmade, organic pyjamas! I have not been posting too much on the Fickle Sense blog as I have been drawing, screen printing, sewing prototypes and sewing my stock for the past few months. This image is a sneak peak into what you can expect. I will hopefully have the shop launched in about 2 weeks! The theme is English Breakfast!


    How does your blog differ from others of its genre?
    I don't know how much I differ from other sewing type blogs, but I can tell you how I like to work... perhaps this makes me a little different?

    My husband and I have a combined love for photography so our photo taking process is very planned out. For 95% of our images we use medium format cameras (either the Yashicha or the Mamiya) and take 5 - 10 frames each shoot  Sometimes we have an idea of what we want the image to look like (e.g. For the photos in the snowy the picture above 'My Cut Out Lace Challenge' I knew that it was going to snow the next morning, so we got up early before work and went to take photos in the fresh snow, when the snow clung to the trees). Or sometimes we take a day trip somewhere so we take photos there. We get the film developed by a one man, local lab. My husband then scans the films for me. So it is quite a long process compared to digital.
    I am also a lover of textile design, so I often create my own prints and textiles. I am hoping to be more experimental and artistic with my outfits in the coming months. So there are more textiles to come!
    I also have a true passion for sustainable fashion. So much so, I have created a website named 'i give 2 hoots' which focuses on sustainable fashion. I am revamping the site ready for more inspiring bloggers. Find out more here.


     

    How does your writing process work?
    I  have tried to set dedicated times to blog. I was inspired to try this out as many artists such as Nick Cave block out times for writing. This was not so successful for me. I found that I like to jump between projects (e.g. Knitting, crocheting, writing, sewing, drawing, printing) depending on my mood. I generally need to be on a 'writing roll' and I will then write a heap of posts at one time. 

    Thanks to Tea for mentioning me in her Hop. Tea really creates some lovely, colourful garments and I enjoy the stories that go along side her garments on Tea Okereke. I particularly liked this neon pink number below. I was first drawn to it because of the parrot print (I am a bird lover), but then reading deeper into her story, it turned out to be a useful outfit for an archeologist :) You can read her reasoning here.

    http://teaokereke.blogspot.de/2014/07/fall-underneath.html#more
    Image Tea Okereke
    Now the next two Hops are going to ..... Meg from Made By Meg and Heather Lou from The Closet Case Files.
    Made by Meg, must be the most hard working sewer out there. There are always newly sewn garments featured on her blog with reviews. Certainly one to follow. I also like that she sews for her man. I am a fan of menswear tailoring (I would love to do a tailoring course) and sewing for my husband, so I love seeing others sewing for the special man in their lives. My favourite outfit of hers is the summer bustier

    Image from Meg by Made

    Heather Lou is also an inspiring blogger. My favourite post of hers was a rather personal one, Taking a Leap. This post discusses her new career change where she now makes her own indie patterns for sewers to create; Bombshell Swimsuit, Nettie Dress and Body Suit, Ginger Skinny Jeans. What a brave soul. I also love that she is a true sewing community member where she often writes about others projects. This image below is my favourite outfit of hers: Sallie Silk in Shigawake


    Image from Closet Case Files
    Blog on!


              Where are the fabric stores in Berlin? Here are my recommendations!        
    It can be difficult finding fabric/craft supplies in Berlin....BUT! there are quite a few shops spotted all over the city. So I have compiled a list of stores. I have really only included shops in the Mitte, Friedrichshain, Wedding, Kreuzberg, Neukoelln areas as I do not really gravitate to the other side of town (e.g. western suburbs).

    Photo: Michael Dooney

    BEST SELECTION
    Welt der stoffe
    Pankow
    This is my favourite fabric store in Berlin with the best selection. They have also started to incorporate notions in the store.
    Generally the ladies cut the fabric, give you a receipt. You then pay at the cashier.  





     
    BEST SELECTION PLUS SOME NOTIONS

    Gebrueder Berger Stoff 
    Mitte-Schoeneberg
    This is a great fabric store with a large selection. There are no prices on the fabrics so you need to ask the ladies for prices.The staff here are generally helpful and polite. There is only fabric here, no notions. You have the fabric cut by the 'cutting ladies' then pay at the cashier.






    BEST ECO FABRIC STORE
    Image from West End Girl


    Seiben Blau
    Prenzlauer Berg

    A great fabric store specialising in organic and ethical fabrics. They stock jerseys, cottons and more. 
    This is your one stop local for sustainable sewing 









     
    BEST QUILTING FABRIC
    Image from Tip Berlin










    Frau Tulpe  
    Prenzlauer Berg 
     Frau Tulpe has a wonderful selection of cotton print fabrics. I would describe it as a funky quilting fabric store with an emphasis on Japanese fabrics. 


     





    CHEAPEST FABRICS
     Maybacher Ufer markets
    Kreuzberg - Tues and Friday
    This is where the poor sewer needs to head. Nothing in Berlin beats these cheap fabrics. During the winter months they have wool like fabrics and for summer more polyesters and jerseys. Sometimes you can find them at Mauermarkt too. 
     
    Maybacher Ufer - Saturday fabric market
    http://www.neukoellner-stoff.de/




    GOOD AMOUNT OF NOTIONS
    Stoffhaus 
    Friedrichshain

    You can get your notions at this store. They have a limited amount of fabric, but for a pretty penny you can get some fabrics.... though they are a little too pricey for my taste




    HAS A HEAP OF NOTIONS
     

    Knopfloch
    Mitte

    This is a good place for notions. They also stock dress and quilting fabric, but it can be fairly pricey. 


      






    SUNDAY TRIP TO POTSDAM
    Image from Vom- taubertel

    Stoffmarkt Holland 
    This is an interesting market to visit. But I wouldn't be waiting around for it to reach your town. I went out to the Potsdam market a few years ago, but was not wowed. It is a little expensive and not too much of a variety.







    SWEET FABRIC BOUTIQUE STORE
    Image from Naehkontor
    Naehkontor
    Prenzlauer Berg
    This is a sweet corner store fabric store. I sometimes find unique remnants here for a good  price. They have a nice selection of unique quilting fabrics. You can also pick up CUT mag here!







    CUTE FABRICS
    Image from 360 Berlin

    Frieda Hain
    Friedrichshain
    These guys have a nice selection of cute fabrics. Particularly good for sewing for kids.












    BEST QUALITY BOUTIQUE FABRICS 

    Image from das macht ich nachts






    BEST PLACE FOR TRACING PAPER

    Stoff Meyer
    Mitte
    Stoff Meyer is the premium, designer fabric store in Berlin. If I had money I would visit this shop a whole lot more!
    It is worth checking out.





    modulor
    Kreuzberg
    Modulor is a great one stop shop. I get my tracing paper for tracing patterns. They also have some good priced elastic here with a selection of fabrics and notions. They used to have a sewing shop (Naehinsitut) attached to it, but unfortunately they recently relocated.






    BEST BUTTON STORE
    Image from Paul Knofe