See the Aftermath of a Plane Crash on California’s 405 Freeway   
The plane burst into flames upon crashing
          Theoretical Scientists Gather For 35th Annual Symposium To Try To Determine How Gas Nozzle Knows When Tank Is Full   

PASADENA, CA—In hopes of better understanding a phenomenon that has vexed researchers for decades, hundreds of theoretical scientists have assembled at the California Institute of Technology for the 35th annual symposium on how gas nozzles know when a car’s tank is full, sources said Thursday.

The weeklong academic conference, which draws top experts in quantum physics, pure mathematics, systems theory, and numerous other scientific fields, will feature a variety of interdisciplinary panel discussions and collaborative workshop sessions, as well as dozens of presentations from theorists sharing their ideas about what kind of mechanism could possibly enable a gasoline pump to turn itself off at just the right moment and avoid spilling fuel all over the place.

“All we know for certain is that you leave the nozzle in there for a while, it makes this little popping sound, and then your tank is full. Maybe this is the ...

           Techniques for the collection and transportion of prawn seeds    
Selvaraj, G S D and Mathew, K J and Gopalakrishnan, K N (1980) Techniques for the collection and transportion of prawn seeds. Marine Fisheries Information Service, Technical and Extension Series, 19. pp. 11-12.
           Studies on quantitative abundance of Euphausiacea (Crustacea) with special reference to distribution in space and time along the southwest coast of India    
Mathew, K J (1980) Studies on quantitative abundance of Euphausiacea (Crustacea) with special reference to distribution in space and time along the southwest coast of India. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India, 22 (1&2). pp. 123-148.
           Egg potential in two species of Euphausiacea (Crustacea) of the Southeastern Arabian Sea    
Mathew, K J (1980) Egg potential in two species of Euphausiacea (Crustacea) of the Southeastern Arabian Sea. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India, 22 (1&2). pp. 85-88.
           Sexual dimorphism in Stylocheiron indicum Silas and Mathew (Crustacea: Euphausucea)    
Mathew, K J (1980) Sexual dimorphism in Stylocheiron indicum Silas and Mathew (Crustacea: Euphausucea). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India, 22 (1&2). pp. 39-44.
           Taxonomic status of Stylocheiron armatum Colosi 1917 (Crustacea : Euphausiacea) — A critical evaluatton    
Mathew, K J (1980) Taxonomic status of Stylocheiron armatum Colosi 1917 (Crustacea : Euphausiacea) — A critical evaluatton. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India, 22 (1&2). pp. 50-56.
           Growth pattern among the post-naupliar stages of three species of Euphausiacea (Crustacea)    
Mathew, K J (1980) Growth pattern among the post-naupliar stages of three species of Euphausiacea (Crustacea). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India, 22 (1&2). pp. 63-69.
          Jeepers (It's Christmas) in July Giveaway Hop   

Welcome to Jeepers (It's Christmas) in July blog hop! Sponsored by Aroma Foundry, giving one lucky winner a $25. Gift Code. Hosted by, and co-hosted by The Mommy Island and The Kids Did it. Brought to you by Mom To Grandma! After my entry form you will find many more bloggers with great prizes for you to win, Enjoy and Good Luck!

We received a sample in exchange for a honest an unbiased review.

We have had the opportunity to receive some essential oils from Aroma Foundry for a review.

So many people are turning to essential oils. Essential oils are liquid extracts that are distilled from plants, flowers and trees. It often takes the entire plant or more to produce a single drop of oil, making essential oils very concentrated.

I received Lavender, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, and Peppermint Essential Oils from Aroma Foundry. I found, compared to some other places that sell Essential Oils, Aroma Foundry has very affordable prices. Other places can get costly.

Eucalyptus Essential oil is 100% pure and all-natural. This Essential Oil is sourced from the United States, hand bottled in California, and hand-inspected and boxed at their facility in Santa Barbara.

Eucalyptus Essential oil is highly effective for treating respiratory problems, such as asthma, bronchitis, COPD, pneumonia and even tuberculosis. It is good for colds and flu, hair nourishment, odor removal from air and more.

Tea Tree oil was first extracted in Australia. Aroma Foundry sticking to their native theme, sourced their 100% pure and all-natural Tea Tree oil from down under.

The Tea Tree, which has become my favorite, can do just about anything. It's Antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal. Can you imagine the list I could come up for the uses of Tea Tree oil. If your going to invest in essential oil, I would recommend putting Tea Tree oil on one of your first orders.

Peppermint Oil is 100% pure and all Natural as well. A hybrid of spearmint and watermint. It has a reputation for bringing calmness and serenity when inhaled. Grown in Washington in the United States, smelling it creates a sensation like a cool northwestern wind. The smell of this is amazing! Use it in a difuser.

Lavender Essential Oil is one of the most useful, unique, and popular essential oils. Aroma Foundry gets theirs in the United States; when you catch a whiff it'll recall lavender flowers you walk by in a planter or garden. Steam distilled from the violet blue flowers, its 100% pure and all natural and is also 100% made from lavender oil.

I have used these essential oils in my difuser to make the house smell amazing. I have used them to replace some of my chemical cleaners. I love them and I don't think I'll be going back to some of those cleaners. Aroma Foundry makes getting these essential oils at a cost that wont hurt our budget.

Aroma Foundry is a Santa Barbara, California company founded by a team with a goal to create quality All Natural products that let Mother Earth show off what she can do. They put the customer first, and rest assured they use all of our products ourselves before we offer them to the public.

You can connect with Aroma Foundry via Facebook , @AromaFoundry , Instagram and Aroma Foundry Website .

Must be 18, US only, sorry friends. Winner must return winning e-mail within 48 hours or forfeit. Please give the RC a moment to load. While any one entry will enter you, the more tasks you complete, the higher your chances. Good Luck Everyone!

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MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

          Mathematical Treasures from the Smith and Plimpton Collections at Columbia University   

A collection of images of historical texts and tools to share with your students

          Who's That Mathematician? Images from the Paul R. Halmos Photograph Collection   

We invite you to send us information about these photographs of 20th century mathematicians.

          Primary Historical Sources in the Classroom: Discrete Mathematics and Computer Science   

A collection of modules for teaching and learning by 'reading the masters'

          External Influences on U.S. Undergraduate Mathematics Curricula: 1950-2000   

Math modeling, finite & discrete math, calculus reform, & more

          Celebrating a Mathematical Miracle: Logarithms Turn 400   

Why Napier's 1614 invention was hailed as a miracle, especially by astronomers

          How to Improve a Math History Assignment   

Author aims for more engaging student projects using work of Euler and Turing as examples.

          15 People Admit the DUMBEST Reasons Someone Got Mad at Them   

We all get irrationally angry, sometimes.

I often find myself furious with people who chew like a horse eating rocks, but I stop myself from lashing out with the rage of a thousand suns.

The people over at /r/AskReddit aren't so lucky, but it does make for a great story. 



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          Automotivedrivingbelt models for absolutely altered operations   
Conveyor units accept got a decidedly advanced arrangement of uses, so abundant so that a ample bulk of automatic sectors abacus on abounding kinds of agent models for absolutely altered operations, from accumulation to packing and supply. Two of the foremost Timing Belt Manufacturers uses of agent units will be in food administration added packaging. For absolutely possibly the a lot of part, agent systems are usually implemented in any operation that will absorb relocating some affair from 1 atom to accession in a ceaseless abiding stream. This agency food managed by agent systems may ambit from some affair as ample as cars in accumulation lines, to an account as ablaze as bare artificial containers and sticker labels. They're additionally active not alone for automatic acceptance about will aswell be apparent on a circadian base in affective walkways in arcade malls.

Conveyor systems are absolutely approved afterwards attributable to the abounding allowances they offer. One of the greatest advantages of agent systems is absolutely the automation of abstracts moving. Therefore beneath artisan handling, consistent in beneath absurdity or added productivity, appreciably beneath basal assurance fears, abbreviation plan expenses. However, this may aswell aftereffect in appreciably beneath chiral roles. The operated manually duties apropos to acrimonious up and alteration however, are in actuality replaced with a claim for added accomplished technicians that are alleged aloft in adjustment to accomplish the complete conveyors, accustomed that the majority of agent systems commonly are not absolutely automated, and in abounding cases some of those which are would charge the accepted administration of workers to authorize assurance added optimum all-embracing performance.

Colored accept straps are the appraisement affairs usually called for a lot of angry styles and angry techniques. It is accomplished to accept a ambition to accomplish towards, and if you accept able difficult and you accomplish that arise next atramentous belt you appointment a faculty of success. But, there are some out there that just appointment that the accomplished Elastic Timing Belt appraisement affairs in accepted has just gone downhill, or is at atomic a far cry from the times if Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee endemic the angry styles cine screen. If anyone was a atramentous belt you knew they had plan out difficult for years, and was mentally arduous and in actuality fit.

Timing belts began to alter chains in the backward 70's and aboriginal 80's as auto manufacturers were researching agency to aftermath lighter and beneath big-ticket vehicles. Lighter weight meant added mileage. There are abounding questions that are frequently asked about timing belts. Learning about what belts do and if they should be replaced will advice you in befitting your car active while alienated cher breakdowns. Accumulate in apperception that not all cars accept a timing belt. Timing chains are authoritative a improvement due to backbone so be abiding to analysis your vehicle’s architect adviser to actuate if you accept a belt or chain.

If in doubt, you should PK Belt alter your belt rather than cat-and-mouse to see if it lasts. The bulk of accepting a new timing belt adapted will be abundant lower than the bulk of acclimation a damaged engine if the belt snaps unexpectedly.
          Price Drop: Bugs Third Grade Educational Games for Kids School Edition   
Bugs Third Grade Educational Games for Kids School Edition
Kategorie: Bildung
Preis: 3,49 € -> 1,09 €
Version: 2.01
in iTunes öffnen

We believe that children learn best in a warm, fun and relaxed environment. So, come play with us and enjoy tons of endless fun with Bugs Third Grade Educational Games for Kids School Edition! Ideal as an educational tool to build up your third-graders understanding of the Math and English key concepts, this app is filled with interactive activities that will not only keep your third grader highly entertained but widely educated as well. Covering a variety of activities designed to create a real learning experience, this app is a surefire means to give your child’s Math and English skills a boost. Exercises such as identifying sentence parts, verb tenses, punctuations, synonym and antonym and spelling are designed to develop their thinking and language skills in both written and oral form. The math exercises will help your third grader build their fluency in basic math operations in addition, subtraction and multiplication and develop their understanding of place value and the operations of the number sentences. It boasts an interesting mix of activities that touches the following content areas: 1. Decimals and Fractions – understand the ways of representing fractional and decimal numbers and how they both relate to each other. 2. Multiplication and Division – apply multiplication and division of whole numbers of up to 4-digits, including word problems in real-life situations 3. Geometry – help grasp the concepts of area and perimeter as well as angles to make kids c...
          Price Drop: Fourth Grade Learning Games School Edition   
Fourth Grade Learning Games School Edition
Kategorie: Bildung
Preis: 3,49 € -> 1,09 €
Version: 2.00
in iTunes öffnen

Fourth Grade Learning Games has 13-games, including English, Math and Science games. It is perfect for all fourth graders to help them develop important skills to top their grade 4 class. Learning the basics has never been made this fun and easy. With a variety of carefully designed activities to choose from, your kids will surely enjoy studying as much as playing. With the cute character, Bunny, this learning tool teaches fractions, factors, spelling games, adjectives and nouns, parts of the body, abbreviations, matter, trivia, decimals, and many more! Parents can participate by being involved in coaching and monitoring how well their kids are doing in each of the activity. Be amazed at how easy this rabbit adventure of fourth grade learning will make. Help your child become the top of their class by mastering all the activities in this app. What a fantastic time of learning! Let the bunny motivate your child with positive encouragement and playful music. Activities include are: 1. Abbreviations – Covers the basic abbreviations in the English Language 2. Adjectives and Nouns – Helps the student identify the adjective that best describes the noun 3. Capital Letters – Proper use of capitalization is vital for Grade 4 students as they learn formal writing. 4. Sentences – Rearrange the words to make meaningful sentences 5. Spelling – Spell the word or identify the right spelling of the word 6. Synonyms and Antonyms – Identify words that mean the same or opposite 7. Matter ...
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          No SW van Wed 6/28   

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Southwestern Area (SW) van route is canceled today.

The affected libraries are:
Dartmouth College, Hanover
River Valley Community College, Claremont

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Rebecca Stockbridge
Reference Librarian
New Hampshire State Library
20 Park St. Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-2239

          GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR) | Re: When the government taxes the sale of a particular type of good, eithe   
It took >30 minutes for me to prepare the mathematical model and to understand the logic; pretty useless for GMAT exam. Nevertheless, here is:


1. Tax(A) -> -Profit(A) OR (inclusive) +Price(A)
2. +Price(A) -> -Demand(A) AND +Demand(A-sub)
3. +Demand(X) -> +Price(X)

Now, as per logic,
(i) if a statement is true, its Contrapositive is also true.
P -> Q => ~Q -> ~P
here ~ means negation (logical opposite)
(ii) negation rules
~ (A OR B) => ~A AND ~B


          It’s not you – solving a Rubik’s cube quickly is officially hard   
Maths says the shortest route to finishing a Rubik's cube is a particularly difficult puzzle similar to the travelling salesperson problem
          Ценные советы ароматерапии на все случаи жизни!!! На заметку!   

Недавние исследования немецких ученых доказали, что наши сны зависят от запахов, которые мы вдыхаем с течение дня или на ночь. Оказалось, что неприятные запахи, например, тухлых яиц вызывают у людей кошмары, а аромат роз способствуют приятным сновидениям. Это происходит оттого, что участок мозга, отвечающий за сюжеты снов, заведует и обонянием.

Ученые из университетской клиники в Мангейме наблюдали за сном 15 молодых здоровых женщин в течение месяца. Во время фазы сновидений участницам эксперимента сообщали либо приятный, либо неприятный запах, а потом будили. После пробуждения оценивалось эмоциональное состояние участниц.

В результате исследователи обнаружили, что во время сна мозг реагирует на запахи и в зависимости от характера обонятельного воздействия выдает различные "сюжеты" сна.

Ученые ожидают, что их открытие даст импульс возникновению нового вида психологической терапии.

Уже сейчас специалисты советуют создавать благоприятную обстановку для сна самостоятельно, используя различные эфирные масла или букеты тех цветов, чей запах благотворно влияет на качество сновидений.

Известно, что ароматерапия помогает приобрести душевную гармонию, избавиться от негативных эмоций и даже от отрицательных сторон характера. Эфирные масла, которые содержаться в растениях, благотворно влияют на нервную систему, укрепляя дух и тело. Человеку известно несколько сотен ароматических масел, однако в лечебной практике применяется всего несколько десятков. На их основе можно делать различные смеси.

1. Ароматерапия от ночных кошмаров

Если преследуют ночные кошмары, помогут запахи герани, ромашки, пачули, сандалового дерева и иланг-иланг. Эти масла используют для расслабляющего массажа. Также несколько капель масел можно добавить в аромалампу.

2. Ароматерапия от страха

От беспокойства перед экзаменом или поездкой можно избавиться, если капнуть на носовой платок 2-3 капли масла лаванды, базилика, дягиля или мяты. Также можно комбинировать ароматы дягиля, меда, розы и кедра.

В ароматерапии следует полагаться на собственный вкус. Классическим коктейлем от страха явялется смешанные в равных долях масла мелиссы и базилика.

3. Ароматерапия от раздражения

Успокаивающим действием обладают масла герани, мелиссы, розы и кедра. Можно смешать их с несколькими каплями масел пачули или иланг-иланга. Это дополнительно создаст интимную атмосферу.

4. Ароматерапия от депрессии

Запах даже может помочь вернуть уверенность в себе и побороть депрессию, однако для этого вдыхать полезные ароматы надо регулярно и довольно продолжительное время. При депрессии следует самому решить, какой запах подходит больше - бергамот, герань, жасмин, лаванда, мелисса, роза, тысячелистник, фиалка, иланг-иланг, лимон или кедр.

Лучший совет при депрессии - масло нероли. Правда, оно довольно дорогое, однако производит потрясающий эффект: отгоняет мрачные мысли и успокаивает психику. В аромалампе можно смешать это масло с маслом жожоба или бергамота.

5. Ароматерапия от нерешительности

Если долгие раздумья портят жизнь или, как минимум, ни к чему не приводят, то помочь избавиться от нерешительности могут масла эвкалипта, мускатного шалфея, розмарина или лимона.

Помочь укрепить характер также могут ароматы дягиля, душицы, розмарина, шалфея и кипариса. Для восстанавливающего массажа можно использовать такую смесь: 15 капель масла имбиря, по 2 капель масла розмарина и лимонной травы смешать с 50 мл миндального масла и хорошо взболтать.

6. Ароматерапия от нервного и физического истощения

Конечно, в решении этого вопроса нельзя полностью полагаться на ароматерапию, однако расслабиться и отдохнуть помогут запахи дягиля, камфары, перечной мяты, розмарина и лимона. При этом вдыхать масло надо прямо из флакона.

Физическое истощение врачуют ароматы имбиря, гвоздики, тимьяна, корицы, базилика, розмарина и мускатного ореха. Чтобы восстановить силы, лучше совместить ароматерапию с ванной или массажем.

7. Ароматерапия от рассеянности

Если трудно сосредоточиться перед ответственным заданием, следует использовать масла розмарина, базилика, мирты и лимона. Интеллектуальные способности также повышает аромат перечной мяты: он способствует улучшению памяти, возвращает ясность мыслей.

8. Ароматерапия от апатии

При апатии помогают регулярные ванны, массаж и ароматизация воздуха в помещении запахами имбиря, лимонной травы, тимьяна и лимона. От равнодушия, связанного с неуверенностью в собственных силах, помогут ароматы герани, жасмина, розы или иланг-иланга.

9. Ароматерапия от усталости

Лучшее средство от усталости – ванна с несколькими каплями масла розмарина. Его запах стимулирует нервную систему и улучшает кровообращение. Если же нет возможности отдохнуть, быстро восстановить силы помогут ароматы базилика, майорана, гвоздики и тимьяна.

10. Ароматерапия от нервозности

Нервную систему укрепят ароматы валерианы, бергамота, ромашки, лаванды, майорана и сандалового дерева. Эти запахи достаточно сильные и свежие, чтобы создать вокруг спокойную атмосферу. Если нервы сильно расшатаны, следует регулярно добавлять в ванну или косметические средсва несколько капель масел валерианы, бергамота, ромашки, лаванды, майорана или сандалового дерева. Их можно смешивать или использовать в чистом виде.

11. Ароматерапия от подавленности

Если вами вдруг овладело подавленное настроение, и весь мир кажется серым и мрачным, попробуйте вернуть бодрость, накапав в аромалампу несколько капель жасмина, лаванды или иланг-иланга. От длительного уныния поможет коктейль: смешайте 8 капель масла лаванды, 2 капли – жасмина и 4 – иланг-иланга. Для усиления эффекта примите с этим ароматическим миксом ванну.

12. Ароматерапия для самостоятельности

Укрепить собственное "я", преодолеть психологическую зависимость, безволие и подавленность поможет аромат можжевельника. Уверенность в себе вернут запахи бергамота, жасмина, розы и сандалового дерева. Они же способствуют повышению самооценки. Такими же свойствами обладают масла лавра и туи, однако они довольно токсичны и лечиться ими можно только под наблюдением врача.

13. Ароматерапия от стресса

Современного человека стрессы подстерегают на каждом шагу. Накопленный, не преодоленный стресс ослабляет иммунную систему. Поэтому ежедневно напряжение нужно снимать. Например, с помощью маслел дягиля, ромашки, лаванды, мелиссы, нероли, розы или розмарина. Если вы попали в стрессовую ситуацию, вдыхайте самый приятный для вас запах прямо из флакона.

14. Ароматерапия от равнодушия

От равнодушия и безучастности помогут избавиться возбуждающие запахи. Но главное в этом деле знать меру. Идеальным будет использовать масло перца, однако массаж с ним может вызвать раздражение кожи. Также можно вдыхать ароматы цитронеллы, лиметты, тимьяна, корицы и лимона. В ароматической лампе можно смешать масла лиметта, грейпфрута и розмарина в равных долях.

15. Ароматерапия от раздражительности

Справиться с раздражительностью помогает запах аниса, иланг-иланга, кипариса, лаванды, ладана, лимона, майорана, мандарина, мелиссы, мирра, мускатного ореха. При излишней раздражительности стоит попробовать бензой или стиракс. Поможет и сладкий запах меда. Эти же запахи снимают нервное напряжение.

          Mathematical Tools for Data Mining: Set Theory, Partial Orders, Combinatorics   

          A First Course in Topology: An Introduction to Mathematical Thinking   

          Elementary Point-Set Topology: A Transition to Advanced Mathematics   

Heute habe ich früher Schule aus gehabt! Sonst wär ich jetzt auch noch gar nicht daheim. Sport ist ausgefallen. Mathe am Mittwoch ist ganz okay gelaufen. Wie immer eigentlich. Ich habe nicht das Gefühl, alles richtig zu haben, denke aber auch nicht, dass ich das meiste falsch habe. Denke es wird wieder so im 3er-Bereich sein. Aber wie ich meinen Matherlehrer kenne, werden wir die Ergebnisse erst nach den Osterferien bekommen.

Fabienne wieder in der Schule zu treffen, hat mir mal wieder nicht so gut getan. Ihr scheint es ja echt prima zu gehen, ohne mich... Aber das Wochenende bringt mich auf bessere Gedanken. Dann treffe ich mich nämlich mit Sandra, dem Mädel von der ich euch letztes Mal erzählt habe. Ich bin mal gespannt wie das wird. Wenn das Wetter so bleibt, wollen wir Eis essen gehen. Ansonsten müssen wir uns halt was anderes einfallen lassen. Irgendwas, wo man sich ein bisschen kennenlernen kann.

Und übernächstes Wochenende gehts Schlittschuhlaufen mit Martin und seiner Freundin. Wenn die mal nicht die ganze Zeit wieder aufeinanderhängen... Naja, besser als die ganze Zeit allein daheim zu hocken. Und vielleicht kommt Alex noch mit. Er entscheidet sowas immer spontan. Etwas schon eine Woche im Voraus planen? Nein, das geht doch nicht! Naja, ist eben Alex. (Übrigens auch zwei Schulfreunde von mir.)

Ich habe mir mal überlegt, zu einem Wahrsager zu gehen. Nur so just for fun. Dann lass ich mir meine Zukunft aus irgendwelchen Spalten in meinen Händen lesen oder so. Könnte ja irgendwas dran sein. An Kartenlegen glaube ich nicht. Meine Hand hat etwas mit mir zu tun, irgendwelche Papp-Karten überhaupt nicht. Mich würde es ja schon interessieren, wie es mit Sandra weiter geht und wie lang ich noch wegen Fabienne traurig sein werde. Auch, wenn ich nicht wirklich weiß, ob ich diesen Dingen glauben soll. Viele Wahrsager erzählen den größten Stuss bzw. labern so allgemein daher, dass jede Aussage von denen auf jeden Menschen zutreffen könnte. Aber es soll einige geben, habe ich mir sagen lassen, die das wirklich drauf haben. Ich weiß ja nicht so recht, aber vielleicht ist das ja mal ein Thema für einige Kommentare: Was sagt ihr zum Thema Wahrsagen?

Achja, bevor ich's vergesse: Mein Computer kommt jetzt gleich zur Reparatur. Irgendwie gibt der komische Geräusche von sich. D.h. ich werde also erst wieder Mittwoch oder Donnerstag schreiben können.

Bis dann. Ich wünsche ein schönes Wochenende!

Mein Wochenende war tatsächlich ganz schön. Ich bin endlich dazu gekommen, mein Zimmer ein bisschen aufzuräumen und dann habe ich mich noch mit einer Freundin und deren bester Freundin (die ich noch nicht kannte) im Café getroffen. Zack, bumm. Wow! Ich habe nicht gedacht, dass es so jemand Schönes auf der Welt geben kann. Bei ihr hat vom Aussehen her echt alles gestimmt. Und sie schien zudem noch recht nett zu sein. Ich konnte mir zwar kein genaueres Bild von ihrem Charakter machen, aber der 1. Eindruck war sympatisch, wir haben uns gut verstanden und ich hatte das Gefühl, dass sie mich auch ganz gut leiden konnte. *smile*

Für diese 2 1/2 Stunden hatte ich Fabienne tatsächlich vergessen. Und auch jetzt fühle ich mich grade eigentlich ganz gut. Aber ich weiß genau, dass es nicht lange dauert und Fabienne geistert mir wieder im Kopf herum. Es war bis jetzt immer so, warum sollte es diesmal anders sein? Naja, was solls...

Das Wetter heute hat echt ne Schraube locker. Regen, Hagel, Schneeregen, Schnee und Sonnenschein wechseln sich in 15-Minuten-Abständen ab. Eben hat es noch dicke Flocken geschneit, jetzt strahlt mir wieder die Sonne entgegen. Man könnte meinen, es wäre April.

Mit Torben ist übrigens alles wieder in Ordnung. Dass das Mädel mit mir ins Bett steigen würde, hatte er nicht geplant. Sie habe mich wohl süßer gefunden, als erwartet. Und dass er ihr dafür Geld gegeben habe, sei ein Gerücht. Trotz allem habe ich (hoffentlich) klar gestellt, dass keine "Mädchen auf Mission" mehr zum Aufmuntern zu mir geschickt werden. Ich stehe mehr auf echte Gefühle und möchte nicht, dass man mir irgend etwas vorspielt, schon gar nicht aus Mitleid.

Ich setz mich jetzt gleich hin und lerne ein bisschen: Übermorgen schreibe ich Mathe. So ein Scheiß, warum schreibt man die meisten Arbeiten immer so kurz vor den Ferien?

          X-Men: Gold – Young Mutants in Love (or Love Is Golden)   

The on-again-off-again roller-coaster romance of Kitty Pryde and Peter Rasputin’s become the stuff of legend among X-Men fans, and it’s about to receive a new wrinkle in X-MEN: GOLD #9, out August 8.

The two star-crossed lovers first met in UNCANNY X-MEN #129 when Kitty first walked into the original X-Mansion and met the man-mountain mutant called Colossus. An inauspicious beginning to such a star-crossed love story, to be sure, but by UNCANNY X-MEN #174 they’d recognized their attraction to each other and shared a kiss or three.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #129

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #129

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Peter threw the first monkeywrench into the mix right around the time he’d returned from the first Secret Wars in UNCANNY X-MEN #183 and declared his love for the alien Zsaji to Kitty, though said Zsaji’d perished by that time. Ms. Pryde ratcheted up the anti-feels by joining Excalibur and heading into a hot-and-heavy thing with a guy named Pete Wisdom—a relationship Peter gave his “blessing” to, but also kept one metallic eye on. 

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #183

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #183

What is Marvel Unlimited?

When the Legacy Virus later tore apart the mutant population, Colossus seemingly sacrificed his life during the chaos in X-MEN #110, prompting Kitty to sort out her feelings for the big lunk and insure his ashes traveled back to Russia. Imagine her surprise when Peter turned up hale and hearty in ASTONISHING X-MEN #14, strange situation which led to a passionate reunion and a new outbreak of dating. 

X-Men (1991) #110

X-Men (1991) #110

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Alas, right around the time of the X-Men’s latest disagreement with the Juggernaut and his power source Cyttorak in UNCANNY X-MEN #543, Kitty broke it off again with Peter when she disagreed with his well-intentioned noble thoughts to die for her in battle. Sadly, that meant that she and Colossus’ couple-ness still existed in a state of suspension when Kitty got stuck in a giant bullet traveling around the solar system in GIANT-SIZE ASTONISHING X-MEN #1. Peter tried to move on with his life, but to his credit, he tattooed “Katya” in her memory on his chest in UNCANNY X-MEN #507

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #507

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #507

  • Published: March 18, 2009
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: February 11, 2011
  • Rating: T+
  • Writer: Matt Fraction
  • Penciller: Terry Dodson
What is Marvel Unlimited?

No good mutant hero ever stays lost, though, and so Kitty Pryde returned to Earth, thanks to Magneto, in UNCANNY X-MEN #522 and reclaimed her claim to the big metal guy in UNCANNY X-MEN #522…which of course hit the skids by UNCANNY X-MEN #543. The former Shadowcat struck up a few new relationships in the aftermath, in particular with Iceman in WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #14, and with Star-Lord in X-MEN: THE TRIAL OF JEAN GREY #1-6

Wolverine & the X-Men (2011) #14

Wolverine & the X-Men (2011) #14

  • Published: July 25, 2012
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 08, 2013
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Jason Aaron
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Today, Kitty’s done with star-hopping scoundrels and Peter’s, well, Peter, and the two of them, as seen in X-MEN: GOLD #1, believe they can fight alongside each other as “just friends.” But, anybody who’s ever been in their position knows that trick never really works, right?

Stay tuned…we should be finding out whether or not our beloved Kitlossus will ever be a thing again very, very soon.

          Carnet politique 4   
Samedi Ah, la miséricorde des sacrées nuits du Ramadhan ! Démonstration, à l’APN, Abdelmadjid Tebboune annonce en soirée que le président Abdelaziz Bouteflika a «donné instruction pour organiser une session spéciale du bac pour les élèves exclus de la dernière session du bac pour raison de retard». En plus de constituer un désaveu à la logique que voulait imposer la ministre de l’Education, Nouria Benghabrit, cette magnanimité présidentielle a provoqué une onde de choc : certains demandent même d’instaurer une session de rattrapage pour tout et pour rien. Comme le site satirique El Manchar qui annonce que «Bouteflika ordonne l’organisation d’une seconde session du Ramadhan pour les non-jeûneurs qui pour des raisons religieuses ou idéologiques ont refusé de jeûner pendant le le mois sacré, mais aussi les musulmans qui, distraits, ont mangé ou bu après al imsaak».   Tebboune toujours : le PM annonce aussi la prochaine installation d’une «commission nationale consultative» pour l’examen du dossier du soutien destiné aux catégories démunies de la société, chargée de l’élaboration des lois et mesures à même de permettre le ciblage des personnes ouvrant droit au soutien de l’Etat dans le cadre des efforts visant à consacrer le caractère social de l’Etat. Pour résumer, consulter certains pour savoir à qui on maintient les subventions. Parler à qui ? A ceux que le gouvernement choisira. Pas plus. Dimanche C’est l’Aïd, la fête, les bisous, les gâteaux et les gastros ! Débats éternels sur le taux de commerçants qui ont ouvert, avec, en toute honnêteté, un mieux par rapport aux années écoulées (à Alger cela dit). Mais il y avait autre chose à célébrer aussi en ce jour : la mémoire de Matoub Lounès ! Chez lui, à Taourirt Moussa, ils étaient des milliers, selon nos collègues de Kabylie, venus rendre hommage au Rebelle, assassiné le 25 juin 1998. Cette semaine a son cortège des hommages et des douleurs : Matoub le 25, Boudiaf le 29 ! Des assassinats qui, au-delà des enquêtes ou des commissions, des récits des uns et des autres, restent comme des points de fixation des tensions entre peuple et gouvernants. Au-delà de l’obsession légitime de la vérité, s’impose la volonté de juger un système volatile et impuni, incapable de s’autocritiquer, incapable de produire de l’avenir. Lundi Des youyous et d’inutiles feux d’artifice en préparation. Le taux de réussite à l’examen du Brevet d’enseignement moyen (BEM) (session juin 2017) a atteint 56,33% au niveau national. Mais pour le ministère de l’Education, ce taux est quand même jugé «relativement faible». A la Chaîne III de la radio étatique, Samia Mezaïb, directrice de l’évaluation et de la prospection au ministère de l’Education, a expliqué que la faiblesse relative des réussites résulte du cumul de plusieurs facteurs, dont celui des programmes élaborés «dans l’urgence», ainsi que la formation des enseignants qui n’a pas toujours été à la hauteur des dispositions de la nouvelle réforme de l’enseignement. La responsable pointe également les manquements en termes de formation en mathématiques chez les enseignants. Au moins, nous avons un secteur qui s’évalue et fait dans l’autocritique. C’est déjà ça, même sous le 4e mandat !   Mardi Il y a quelque chose de gênant chez Mme Saïda Benhabylès, présidente du Croissant-Rouge algérien. Quand elle se déplace pour visiter des migrants installés dans un campement à Alger-Est, elle tente de prononcer de grands discours («L’Algérie est en train de gérer avec courage les erreurs stratégiques des grandes puissances qui sont à l’origine de nombreux drames humanitaires»), et elle rentre dans le mur de la propagande infantile en disant que la campagne haineuse est orchestrée pour «salir l’image de l’Algérie» ! A part quelques groupuscules d’extrême droite en Europe et des débiles droitiers en France, qui vous cherche la petite bête ? Des Algériens, stupides et intolérants, il en existe : faudra leur parler à eux et non pas nous bassiner encore et encore avec «l’image de l’Algérie». Car, entre nous, qui fait le plus mal à l’image du pays ? N’est-ce pas le régime et ses petits voyous satellitaires ? L’occasion ici, par ailleurs, de rappeler l’engagement de Tebboune sur la régularisation des migrants (car c’est de cela qu’il s’agit, sauf erreur d’interprétation de sa déclaration vendredi soir à l’APN) : cela représenterait un symbole magnifique de notre solidarité obligatoire avec nos amis migrants, tous les migrants, tous les étrangers sur cette terre d’Algérie que nos martyrs ont rêvé fraternelle.   Mercredi Abdelmadjid Tebboune, nostalgique des années où le cinéma algérien twistait avec le succès mondial, a une belle idée : relancer l’industrie cinématographique algérienne. «Il y avait une industrie (cinématographique), nous allons la reprendre, l’Algérie était leader à l’échelle arabe et africaine dans le domaine du cinéma (…) Nous avons toutes les compétences et ressources humaines, il manque juste quelques moyens matériels qui seront remis aux mains de la famille du cinéma», a déclaré Tebboune. Alors quelques remarques, surtout concernant le dernier point en parlant des «quelques moyens matériels» : surtout ne donnez rien à personne alors que le secteur de la culture est miné par une effroyable corruption, où seuls les amis du ministère des hauteurs des Anassers sont les seuls bénéficiaires. Ceux, véritables héritiers du grand cinéma innovant et combatif algérien, ceux qui raflent des prix ailleurs et du mépris des bureaucrates ici, ceux-là sont hors radar des systèmes de rapine, heureusement, de la culture officielle qui bouffe des milliards pour de creux biopics ou de la propagande ! Si vous voulez relancer le cinéma, Monsieur Tebboune, faut s’occuper sérieusement des brutes et des truands. Jeudi «Ni la démagogie, ni les basses manœuvres n’ont pu empêcher la déconfiture d’un régime maintenu coûte que coûte, au mépris de toutes les aspirations et de tous les espoirs du peuple algérien. L’élimination de Ben Bella démontre en outre la justesse de nos positions. Mais le changement intervenu à Alger ne peut nous satisfaire. C’est tout le système qui était condamné et qui doit disparaître. Le mécontentement légitime des masses algériennes et leurs revendications constantes montrent que jamais elles n’accepteront comme solution à leurs problèmes la perpétuation du benbellisme même sans Ben Bella. La catastrophe économique exige une transformation totale des structures et des méthodes existantes. Nous irons tout droit à une dictature forcenée ou à une ‘‘congolisation’’ désastreuse si des solutions politiques ne sont pas dégagées dans les plus brefs délais ; il ne peut y avoir de demi-solutions, il faut que l’Algérie ait à sa tête un véritable pouvoir révolutionnaire et socialiste, issu des masses laborieuses, capable de promouvoir une politique hardie et réaliste et de parer aux urgences les plus flagrantes». Mohamed Boudiaf, déclaration après le coup d’Etat militaire du colonel Mohamed Boukharouba du 19 juin 1965.
          Décès de Roland Rappaport, l’avocat engagé pour la cause algérienne et de la famille Audin   
L’avocat français, Roland Rappaport, qui s’était engagé dans la défense des militants du FLN, durant la guerre de Libération nationale est décédé lundi à Paris à l’âge de 83 ans, a-t-on appris, hier, auprès de ses proches. Le défunt était également l’avocat de la famille de Maurice Audin, jeune mathématicien qui militait auprès du peuple algérien pour son indépendance, enlevé puis assassiné par les parachutistes français en juin 1957. Rencontré en 2015 à la cérémonie de célébration du 1er Novembre 1954, organisée par l’ambassade d’Algérie en France, l’avocat avait demandé une suite au bouleversant témoignage d’un Algérien au Quotidien d’Oran, publié en août 2014, sur le lieu des restes du militant anticolonialiste. Il avait rencontré, en janvier 2016, le ministre des Moudjahidine, Tayeb Zitouni, lors de sa visite historique en France qui l’avait invité en Algérie. Roland Rappaport, d’obédience communiste devenu avocat en 1956, a commencé sa carrière en soutenant la guerre de libération du peuple algérien par la dénonciation de la torture. Il était membre du Parti communiste français de 1949 à 1979, et président du Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l’amitié entre les peuples (MRAP) en 1988 et 1989. Il est considéré par ses confrères comme l’homme des indignations devant toutes les formes d’injustice ou de discrimination. Roland Rappaport fut d’abord l’homme des indignations devant toutes les formes d’injustice ou de discrimination, des passions et des combats de toujours, depuis son engagement contre la torture en Algérie et sa défense de Josette Audin et de ses enfants pour que la vérité soit faite sur les conditions et la responsabilité de la France dans la mort de Maurice Audin, a écrit le Syndicat des avocats français (SAF) dans un hommage publié sur son site. De son vivant, il a défendu, entre autres, au procès Barbie, Sabine Zlatin, fondatrice de la colonie d’Izieu dans laquelle des enfants juifs trouvèrent refuge pendant l’occupation nazie et des pilotes de ligne et leur famille, en particulier au procès du crash du Concorde.  
          6/30/2017: BUSINESS NEWS: Australian business mission calls for free trade   

It is in both Ireland and Australia’s interest to trade more freely, Australian finance minister Mathias Cormann told a delegation at a reception held by PwC as part of a trade mission. “We are here because we’d like to do more business with you....
          Reinders: “AVX-512 May Be a Hidden Gem” in Intel Xeon Scalable Processors   

Imagine if we could use vector processing on something other than just floating point problems.  Today, GPUs and CPUs work tirelessly to accelerate algorithms based on floating point (FP) numbers. Algorithms can definitely benefit from basing their mathematics on bits and integers (bytes, words) if we could just accelerate them too. FPGAs can do this, […]

The post Reinders: “AVX-512 May Be a Hidden Gem” in Intel Xeon Scalable Processors appeared first on HPCwire.

          Take That "Cultural Appropriation" Ban All The Way   
Take That "Cultural Appropriation" Ban All The Way I've had this idea, vis a vis the college students and others screeching that Israel must be boycotted. I strongly suggest they take the first step and toss their iPhones (Israeli technology within) and refuse life-saving medical care that stems from Israeli researchers' discoveries. At Foundation for Economic Education, Pierre-Guy Veer applies this to those seeking to ban "cultural appropriation" -- which I like to think of as human cultural and intellectual progress. Imagine, "No, no, that fire thing is our shit -- don't be cooking your meat or we'll come club you with big rocks." Veer writes:
After years of complaining about such "problems" as a white chef cooking Mexican food or about "insensitive" Halloween costumes, it looks like Social Justice Warriors have finally prevailed. The United Nations will soon discuss, at the demand of indigenous groups, a ban on so-called cultural appropriation in order to "expand intellectual-property regulations to protect things like Indigenous designs, dances, words and traditional medicines." It is rather ironic that those Natives would only want to ban "appropriation" of "their" culture. Why not push it to its logical conclusion and call for a ban on all cultural appropriation? This means that they would have to forgo every single technology that was imported from the rest of the world since 1492. In other words, they would have to abandon mathematics, writing, any form of metal casting, currency, all languages not originally from Pre-Columbus America, modern medicine, etc.
They would also not have beer. Any takers? Yoohoo? Veer traces what I think of as Canadian cheese fries:
Through contacts with other people from other cultures, any given cultural idea or tradition has become better. Take poutine for example. This meal composed of French fries, curd cheese and brown gravy has become a cultural symbol of Quebec. Some Quebecers are complaining that Canada is "appropriating" it as a national symbol and that there are poutine festivals from coast to coast. This is a rather strange way to celebrate the fact that what used to be seen as vulgar junk food is now seen as almost a delicacy with many variations - with sausage, chicken, hot sauce, etc. This "appropriation" should be celebrated because it shows that "poutine culture" is alive and well. Had it been kept within the border of Quebec, it might not even exist today since stagnation and lack of evolution is what kills ideas. Imagine for a moment that Céline Dion had decided not to start singing in English because she wanted to remain "Québécoise pure laine". Despite all her talents, she would have likely run out of authors to interpret and would unlikely have become one of the best-selling artists on the planet of all time.A slow death is what awaits Native culture if they have it their way And considering that narrower range of French-speaking culture, she might even have stopped singing. This slow death is what awaits Native culture if they have it their way. Keeping "non-Natives" from using traditions not typically associated with them means that only a handful would be exposed to it. Fewer people showing an interest means that their products and ideas will get less exposure and will, therefore, become a sociological or archaeological artifact rather than a living idea, limited to a few multicultural festivals.
I tweeted this and got this back: My reply to Clay:
@amyalkon @clayroutledge
That is hilarious. Also all the MacBooks & iPads at Occupy Wall Street. (Shouldn't you people be using *cuneiform* tablets?)

          Solid Profit -   
I'm not the admin! smile.gif


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However, the more members are mining, the more competitive is gets. Computers are really good at solving these mathematical problems, so the Bitcoin Network purposely makes the solution more and more difficult, otherwise all of the bitcoins would be mined in a couple of minutes. This is why there are already many highly specialized hardware on the market, their only purpose being exclusively Bitcoin mining.


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          RE: What RISCOS needs...   
Surely developing a 3Gig ARM chip would cost more than 200mil? Obviously, the 3d chip is on the card. What do you need the hardware FPU for? Modern graphics chipset can do a lot of the transformation mathematics themselves now. In fact, I have even heard of some work being done to use the GPU for general multimedia work. Googling throws up a few links such as this one. Mike
          Re: Diehl Family in Adams County   
Hi Peggy,
I come down from William Albert who was born in PA and died in MI 1897, he had a daughter Florence "Flora" Albert Hayes she was my paternal grandmother.
Myself and another Albert cousin here in MI have the Adams County Historical Society researching the Albert family for us. The man doing the research said that Mathias, Solomon's grandfather also married a Diehl, so I was trying to see if I could find more out about them. If you have information you'd like to share please privately email me at

Karon Dunifin
          As the dust settles: Russian authorities move against protesters and campaigners   

New evidence of police violations against protesters emerges, and regional authorities take aim at Alexei Navalny's campaign offices. 

Conditions for people detained at anti-corruption protests have been poor. Image: Polina Kostyleva.

We continue our partnership with OVD-Infoan NGO that monitors politically-motivated arrests in Russia. Every Friday, we bring you the latest information on freedom of assembly. 

We have collected and analysed a large number of reports of violations by Russian police officers at anti-corruption rallies held on 12 June. Now we are able to say with certainty there have been 109 violations. Police officers exceeded the permitted time for administrative detention, wrote official reports with numerous mistakes, and did not allow lawyers to visit those detained. In one of the St Petersburg police stations, a detainee contracted pneumonia after spending the night in a cold cell. This was despite the fact that he had warned the police officers he was in poor health and should not get cold. The list of violations with legal commentaries can be seen here.

This week a number of individuals requested political asylum abroad. Krasnodar artists Lusiney Dzhanyan and Aleksei Knedlyakovsky requested asylum in Sweden. The artists said that their telephones had been tapped, and in 2013 Dzhanyan was dismissed from Krasnodar University of Culture for supporting Pussy Riot and exhibiting in a gallery owned by Marat Gelman. But it’s not only those who create modern art who can fall victim to persecution. Children’s drawings in chalk can also evoke the dissatisfaction of the authorities. Mikhail Petrov, a martial arts trainer from Pskov, has left Russia because he feared persecution by the authorities. It is thought the authorities’ interest in the trainer was related to the fact that he and his students had drawn anti-military drawings on the walls of buildings belonging to a military air assault division. He has requested political asylum in Estonia. 

Supporters of Alexei Navalny continue to be persecuted. In the town of Cherepovets, writer and journalist Elena Kolyadina was dismissed by the newspaper Golos Cherepovtsa for giving a lecture to staff of Navalny’s local election campaign office. In the Siberian city of Barnaul, the coordinator of the campaign office was injured with a knife, while earlier someone set fire to one of the office’s windows. In Vladimir, the local branch of the Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network asked its chief engineer to resign because he had headed Navalny’s local campaign office. Meanwhile, in Rostov-on-Don a car belonging to the head of Navalny’s office was covered with paint and its tyres were punctured.

The Investigative Committee completed its investigation into one more defendant in the “26 March case”. Dmitry Krepkin is charged with using force against a police officer during the anti-corruption protest in Moscow. Krepkin maintains his innocence. Moreover, he has said that he was himself assaulted at the time of his detention at the 26 March protest. Doctors at the emergency medical centre recorded bruising all over his body. He had been struck at least six times.   

The pre-trial detention of mathematician Dmitry Bogatov was extended until 31 August. Bogatov has been charged with incitement to riot on the grounds that he had posted appeals on the forum to go out on to Red Square on 2 April 2017 under the pseudonym of “Airat Bashirov”. The appeals were sent from Bogatov’s IP address. However, since Bogatov operates a Tor exit node, any user could have posted the materials using his IP.

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          Comment on Ask A Question by EdwardGliva   
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          'Beautiful face, but cruel mind': The baffling murder that captivated Thailand   

They became known as the "murder babes" — three Thai women in their 20s who went on the run after killing and dismembering a young bar worker. But it was the murder's aftermath that was most shocking.

          Pennsylvania's best high schools for STEM   
As technology continues to evolve, the demand for skills within the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields become greater with each passing year. Philadelphia area universities continue to expand STEM programs and majors, mirroring the ongoing growth within the area's job market. The foundation for these skills is often set during the high school years, where math and science classes have become increasingly rigorous, with Advanced Placement classes continually becoming more competitive.…

San Sebastián se encuentra en el Partido de Pilar, en el límite con Escobar, a 50 minutos de la Capital. Panamericana ramal Escobar, kilómetro 54, entrando por calle Boote y por Ruta 25 y el camino Matheu/Zelaya.BarrioEl lote se encuentra ubicado...
Fri, 30 Jun 2017 14:45:25 +0200
          Housekeeping Room Attendant - Holiday Inn West Kelowna - Okanagan, BC   
Basic reading, writing, and math skills. Basic reading, writing, and math abilities are utilized often when reading room. _*$800.00 Summer Bonus Program*_....
From Indeed - Fri, 16 Jun 2017 18:47:56 GMT - View all Okanagan, BC jobs
          Roofing Sub-Contractors - Okanagan - ClickLock Premium Metal Roofing - Okanagan, BC   
Basic math required to calculate square footage of roofs. Basic computer skills required to receive work orders by email and scan pictures/PDF files....
From Indeed - Thu, 06 Apr 2017 16:55:39 GMT - View all Okanagan, BC jobs
          Front Row Offers Differentiated Resources for Social Studies Instruction   
Front Row has developed a great reputation over the last couple of years for the differentiated math and ELA resources that it offers to teachers and students. This week at ISTE 17 I sat down with the CEO of Front Row to take a look at the new social studies resources that Front Row is offering.

Front Row's new social studies resources are organizing into fifteen units. The units cover the topics most commonly included in social studies classes in the United States. Some of those unit topics are Civil Rights, the American Revolution, and Economics. Within each topic in you will find articles and discussion questions for your students.

Applications for Education
Front Row lets you choose from multiple versions of the same article to distribute to your students. You can give the same version of an article to all students or give different versions to individual students in your classroom. Front Row has a short diagnostic test for your students to take when they join your Front Row classroom. The results of that diagnostic test can help you identify which version of each article to give to your students.

Register for Teaching History With Technology where you'll learn how to use many more tools like Front Row in your social studies lessons. 

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          Friends/family of unarmed black man shot by police in Ypsi police crowdfund for a headstone   

In 2007, an Ypsilanti Police Department officer shot down unarmed black man David Ware in an undercover drug sting gone wrong.

We reported on the murder last year, and an article written by Radical Washtenaw that recounted the case, how the shooting played out, and the aftermath in which a family still grieves.…
          haskell-texmath x86_64   
Conversion between formats used to represent mathematics.
          TS261: Face Shaming, Media Blame, Steve Bannon, Guest Ira Madison III   
This week Bryan attends a boot camp class and once again gets face shamed while Erin accidentally finds a dead dog in a bush. The media is starting to point blame as to what voters caused the election outcome and naturally, its women. Plus we have a new Chief Strategist in Steve Bannon, a crazed racist, minsogynst, human dumpster fire, and Guest Ira Madison III is here to discuss the election aftermath, pop culture, and binge watching The Apprentice. Keep it Nasty!
          haskell-texmath i686   
Conversion between formats used to represent mathematics.
          Indian-Americans and Spelling Bees: Adding some nuance   
It's that time of the year again. The only night of the year when desi people dominate ESPN primetime in the United States. The Scripps National Spelling Bee. Yet again, the winner...or rather co-winners..came from the families of Indian immigrants.

This has been happening for over a decade now, and every year, the aftermath of the Bee in Indian media and Indian and Indian-origin social media follows a similar pattern. There are a few think pieces about why Indian-Americans are so good at spelling bees. Some folks go all uber-patriotic extolling the superior virtues of our intellectual tradition and what not (cue...Bhaaaaarrrraat maaata kiiii.......). And some folks sneer, indulging in a mild form of communal self-loathing. I don't have kids but my close Indian-American friends who do are very emphatic about how they will not make...or even let their kids participate in something as nerdy and inherently uncool as a spelling bee.

Through Twitter I came across this post that quotes Varun Grover's interview in the excellent excellent documentary I Am Offended (do watch if you haven't) which references spelling bees. That blog, and Varun in that documentary, are making a larger point about how the Indian education system is centered around rote learning, stifling creativity and basically preparing "middle managers". And that the success in spelling bees is a symptom of that.

While I agree with Varun and Auctorly on the larger problem, I don't think it is correct to link spelling bees to that problem. I see where they are coming from, and the reason for that is a couple of myths about spelling bees in general which merit some attention.

Myth #1 Spelling Bees are all about memorizing thousands and thousands and thousands of words, and regurgitating them on stage.

I used to think the same way, but it's not really that way. A few years ago, I had a long chat with a student of mine (I am a college professor) who in her school days had participated in the spelling bee. She didn't win, but talked to me about how much fun it was, and ended up giving me a different perspective on this activity that I too once sneered at. Then I read some more about it, watched the documentary Spellbound, talked to some more students over the years, and I think it is necessary to add some nuance to how we view the "sport".

Spelling bee as a contest is more about pattern recognition than just rote memorization. Don't get me wrong. Of course it is important to know and remember many many words to participate in a spelling bee. But the same is true of scrabble. Or crosswords. Or trivia quizzing. Heck, memorization is key even in chess. A serious chess player will have thousands of moves and games memorized.

Just like all those activities/sports, spelling bee is about, yes, having a memory bank of relevant information, but at the top level, it is often about recognizing patterns, working out clues, and then formulating an answer by accessing the relevant information from your brain.

You know how the kids ask for meaning, language of origin, use it in a sentence etc etc? It is not for theater. It has important information, and many times, can even help you make an educated guess at the spelling of a word you've never heard of by using what is basically pattern recognition.

Let me give you an example about how I, without memorizing any words, was able to correctly guess one of the words in the final this year. The word was chremslach. When it was first uttered, I thought it would start with "Kr" and maybe end with "che" or "kh". Then I heard that the word was Yiddish. And the meaning was a kind of passover pastry. Instantly I thought of a pastry that a Jewish deli near my house excels at - rugelach. The end sounded the same. So it had to end in -lach. And the different pronunciations of the starting syllable suggested chr not Kr. The repeated usage by the moderator further confirmed what I had in my mind. A pattern emerged and voila. There the spelling was.

I felt thrilled at having worked it out before the contestant answered. It was a thrill similar to the one I get as a trivia quizzer when I crack a cleverly framed Final Jeopardy style "workout-able" question. Or the thrill I get when I crack a particularly cryptic clue in crosswords.

The aforementioned student kept stressing about how much fun the whole thing was for her. She said it was a form of solving puzzles. And I saw what she meant. I asked her, isn't it boring to memorize thousands and thousands of words. She said no, she LOVES words (sidenote - she always wrote the most well-crafted and thoughtful term papers in my class). And again, I see her point.

When you enjoy any activity built on pattern recognition so much that you want to seriously compete in it, you don't think of the underlying memorization as a drab chore. I like to play scrabble semi-competitively, and it is fun for me to have those cruel 2 letter words memorized so I can gain advantage on the board despite not having great tiles. And I'm sure poker players don't think of probability calculations as mundane.

Myth #2 These desi spelling be winners will most likely end up as middle managers, code coolies, cogs in the corporate machine....just total drones.

Although it seems like Indian-Americans have been winning the bee for ages, in reality, it's been less than two decades that it has been happening consistently. So the sample of winners is not statistically significant, but from whatever I read in "where are they now" type stories, I saw very few, if any, ending up in those drone type jobs.

A lot of them were in some form of research, which to me, as an academic researcher, makes sense. Research is like the rigorous grown-up impactful form of pattern recognition that is built upon a deep memory bank of knowledge about a subject. A bunch of them were doctors and lawyers. One was a professional poker player (again, pattern recognition and memory). And so on. I even googled a few names of winners and always found that the person was doing something really cool.

Maybe a systematic study will throw up more details.

Myth #3 We Indians are just awesome at English and we are such brainiacs and we have the bestest education-centric culture so we are awesome at Spelling Bees

While the first two myths were in the self-loathing category, this one is in the uber-patriotic category. I have no problem with Indians or Indian-origin feeling proud or elated or whatever at this dominance, although I am personally from the Bill Hicks school of thought when it comes to patriotism.

But let us dispel with this notion that there is something really inherently culturally genetically special about Indians that our kids just go to America, show up at spelling bees, and start winning them left and right. There is actually a pretty strong and well-organized training infrastructure that is making all this possible. Remember that these contestants train with the rigor and discipline of athletes. It is not done in isolation, but requires broader support like with any sport or activity.

What you see on ESPN is the culmination of a year of smaller contests, local spelling bees, practice bees, and other such events on the local circuits. And there's a kind of feedback loop that forms. Successive generations build on the success of previous generations. Legacies and even "dynasties" are created and inspire some to adhere to it. I could keep going, but I came across this article that explains the quasi-institutional reasons behind the dominance in more detail.

If some other community starts taking such a deep interest in the sport and organizes in such a serious grassroots way, other communities could start dominating too.

One thing to note is that the winners have all been kids of Indians who migrated to the United States. Recent Indian immigrants, much like recent immigrants of other communities, tend to socialize more with their compatriots and do so in a very community-based way, with associations and groups and mandals and so on. But second generation Indian-Americans are more assimilated in the American mainstream. So when they grow up and have kids of their own, they are not as plugged into the Indian-American groups and associations as their parents were.

So you don't see many (or even any?) third generation Indian-American children winning the spelling bee or even making it to the national finals, because they don't have automatic access to that community-based infrastructure.

The best way to end this post is to quote a now-grown-up Nupur Lala, the star of the Oscar winning documentary who arguably started this Indian-American phenomenon.

“Having watched Spellbound, I realized that several of my competitors weren’t any worse than me ability-wise, but they didn’t have the same advantages—economic privilege, educational background, family dynamics,” she says. “I know that played a big, big role in my success. As a 14-year-old, I really thought I was one of the best spellers out there. In hindsight, I think, yeah, I was a very good speller, but I also had some of the best preparation and resources out there. I had a mom who had a graduate degree in linguistics. Parents who have literally hundreds of books in the house, and who were very motivated to help me succeed.”

          "The Flight" Chapter 2 of Apurvai, a travelogue by P.L. "PuLa" Deshpande   
Many years ago, I translated chapter 1 from the 1960 book. You don't HAVE TO read it to follow this chapter, but it is recommended. Unlike my other translations which were done from audio files of PuLa narrating his work, this one has been done from the actual book. So even Marathis who've never read the book will find something new here. 

To set the stage a little, in this chapter, PuLa describes the experience of his first ever international flight. Based on the references to the Suez Crisis, I'm guessing it happened in 1956 or 1957. So almost 60 years ago! I was surprised to learn of the sheer number of stopovers flights had to make in those days. It is indeed a different era. But so much of what he writes resonated with me in terms of my experiences with international flights. Which is why I chose to translate this although it isn't as ROFLMAO funny as the previous chapter.

Usual caveats - Much of PuLa's humor comes from how he played with the Marathi language, and it can get lost in translation. But his observations and descriptions stay relevant even 55 years later.

Our flight to London from Santa Cruz airport was scheduled for 11 PM on August 20th. It wasn't my first time flying, but it was the first time I was flying to another country, that too on a huge airplane. I had been told to reach the airport about an hour before the flight. Even if I hadn't been told this, I would've gone there two hours before. Because even when I am taking an M.S.M. train (or as you kids today call it, Southern Railway), I go to the station an hour early. Even if I have a reserved seat. 

I find it convenient to allow that buffer for unforeseen but predictable events like getting on the wrong train, not being able to find my compartment, taxi to the station breaking down, heavy rain causing waterlogging, forgetting some important stuff at home and realizing it halfway to the station, forgetting to fill the water bottle, and of course, panicking every few minutes thinking that I have either forgotten the ticket at home or lost it. 

And of course, Indian Railways regularly contributes with unforeseen but predictable events of its own. Just as you've spread out a sheet on your berth and laid down, a railways employee comes and says the compartment has some problems, so we need to shift to another one. It takes about 45 minutes to find a porter, find the replacement compartment, and move all the luggage. It turns out that if you turn the lights on, the fan stops working, and if you turn the fan on, the lights stop working. Finally both are fixed, and when you go to the bathroom, there is no water in the compartment. So you have to stay awake till Lonand to find a guard and complain about it. If you're lucky, it'll get fixed by the time the train reaches Nira. Or then wait till Miraj at 5 AM so you can use the bathroom on the station. 

So even if you go very early to the station, there's no guarantee that your rail journey will be pleasant. I wonder if we are destined to ever get railways that take the responsibility of passenger comfort seriously. Until then, there are only two ways to travel without any problems - on foot like Vinoba Bhave or by air.

Or so I thought.

When I bought my tickets at the Air India office, the lady behind the counter had told me to reach the airport at 9 PM. And then, flashing me a disarming smile, suggested that I call the airline before leaving to make sure the plane wasn't delayed. So just as we were about to leave, I remembered that smile and mentioned this to the huge contingent of friends, family, and neighbors gathered at our house to bid us farewell.

"Haha, don't be an idiot! It's a plane, not an ST bus to be delayed. Airlines operate with second-by-second precision!"

A friend, who had never traveled an inch north of Malad or south of Kala Ghoda, said making me feel like an idiot in front of everyone. This guy has always had this publicly dismissive attitude towards me. I don't know why I am still friends with him. When I told him I was being sent to England by Doordarshan, his first reaction was,

"You??? Why??? Looks like the government has too much money to waste!"

When I first wore the suit mentioned in the previous chapter, he laughed and said I looked like a trumpeter from one of the Dhobi Talao wedding bands. Totally unnecessary snark. But he can't help it. So even though he had no first hand experience on the matter, he stayed true to his nature and ridiculed me for wondering if I should call the airline to check the flight status.

My wife called the airline office anyway. And we came to know that because the incoming plane from Tokyo hadn't reached yet, our flight was delayed by two hours. 

I winced. The idea of sitting in Mumbai's humidity for two more hours wearing a three piece suit, that noose-like tie, those damned expensive Chinese shoes, the nylon socks bought after the Middle East cooled down, and a thick coat meant for England's cold weather, was unbearable. I was tempted to take off all my clothes (except for one) and cal the whole thing off. 

"So....will the plane depart exactly two hours later than scheduled?"

Someone from the annoyingly large farewell contingent asked, and that question suddenly made our house explode into a pointless deliberation that made it resemble a legislative body debating a useless resolution.

"Will the plane leave two hours later or do you go to the airport two hours later?"

"But does two hours really mean two hours?"

"But what does a plane coming from Tokyo have to do with an Air India flight going to London?"

"Let's say the plane reaches earlier than estimated......will it still leave two hours late or earlier than that?"

"Let's say that Tokyo flight is delayed by four hours instead, will your flight leave two hours late or four hours late?"

"Someone told me that last week a flight scheduled for midnight eventually departed after dawn. Is that true?"

"Are you sure it's a plane from Tokyo? Maybe it's Kyoto."

"I just called a friend of mine who works in a restaurant at the airport. He says there is some mechanical problem in this plane, and the Tokyo plane thing is just an excuse."

"So the flight might get cancelled?"

"Do they have a replacement plane? How many planes does All India Radio have anyway?"

"It's Air India, not All India Radio."

"Yeah, same difference."

"Mechanical problems......that's scary!"

"You both have life insurance, right?"

"Remember the plane that crashed at Cairo five years ago? My boss' nephew was on it. His wife got two million as compensation!"

"I've heard you can buy life insurance at the airport."

All this nonsense from people who had nothing to do with our travel whatsoever. I prayed to god to rescue me from this plane chaos by sending the plane he sent for Sant Tukaram. 

"I'm telling you guys. Instead of spending the two hours sitting at home, spend them sitting at the airport. Let's say they repair the plane early and it leaves before time. What are you going to do? It's not like you can catch it on the way. It's not the Barshi-Pandharpur passenger train. Hehehehe!"

So finally, following the over-cautious traditions of my train journeys, we reached the airport at 9:30 PM for a plane that was scheduled to depart at 1:30 AM. Some of my other friends and colleagues were at the airport already to see me off. They either didn't know that the plane was delayed, or even if they knew, they were aware of my over-cautious traditions. 

All my friends at the airport made me feel very awkward and also emotional by showering me with so many garlands and bouquets, that the airport officials thought I was a politician. And I had an epiphany at that moment - the greatest wealth in my life is my friends. If wealth were to be measured in friendships, I am probably richer than Tata-Birla combined. I have so many dear friends in so many walks of life! And so many of them had come late at night and out of the way to the airport to see me off. 

I felt touched but also embarrassed. Firstly, I still wasn't sure I could pull off the suit-boot look. Having such a huge audience for it felt weird. And then there were these garlands and bouquets. I was overwhelmed. I have gotten used to getting such attention at functions and award shows and suchlike. But on this occasion, I was feeling like I had an emotional debt to pay off. Just popping by to say goodbye is one thing, but these guys had come all the way to the airport!

My embarrassment was compounded by the fact that I hadn't really done or achieved anything to deserve all the attention that night. When I get such attention after a successful theater performance, it's okay. At least I gave them some happiness, and they are appreciating it. But that night, my wife and I were just flying to England like thousands of people do everyday. And yet my mob of friends at the airport had made me feel like I was doing something special. With a luggage full of such love and good wishes, I started feeling confident that even if all the engines of the plane failed, I could fly anywhere I wanted. 

The crowd of friends and all the flowers being heaped on me made the press photographers hanging around think that I was some big deal. They suddenly started snapping our pictures like paparazzi. In all this chaos, one of my friends went to the airport officials and convinced them to open a "VIP Lounge" for me. A sturdy fellow in a crisp uniform politely asked us to follow him to the VIP lounge. 

At that moment, my wife looked at me happily with an expression that said - "all these years that I have put up with you are finally paying off!"

As we were led into the imposingly plush VIP lounge, I started feeling even more awkward. Given our colonial history, I know that "England returned" has a certain halo attached to it. But I had no idea that the halo starts appearing even before you leave India. I started feeling worried about the possibility of a real VIP showing up and frowning at how our raucous farewell contingent had made the VIP lounge resemble Khandke's chawl. 

Even in all that chaos, I overheard one of the uniformed guys whispering to the other,

"Nowadays, any random person can become a VIP."

His colleague responded,

"Hoga koi Minister ka baccha nahi toh jamai!"

and walked away.

So I tried to appear and act as VIP-ish as possible. I went around folding my hands and solemnly thanking all the people who had come to see me off. Then I started giving away the garlands and bouquets to kids and being unnecessarily nice to them. Basically, emulating every aspect of VIP behavior that I could remember. 

A few of the professional photographers kept taking pictures of all this, and then offered to send them to me. They helpfully quoted a "professional" rate for it that was ten times what it would cost to get a photo taken in my neighborhood studio. But I was pretending to be a VIP and had to play the part. Once I parted with all the advance payments for the photos, the expression on my face finally came to resemble something that actually deserved to be photographs. I have no idea where those expensive photos are now, by the way.

Eventually there was an announcement that the customs check process had started, and we finally prepared to leave that VIP cell....I mean lounge. While leaving, I handed a generous tip to the uniformed guys standing at the door. The astounded expressions on their faces made me realize that real VIPs probably never hand out any tips. They hand out only two things - promises or threats.

We left the lounge and walked straight to the weighing scales near the customs area. I put our bags on it one by one and felt relieved when each of them were a pound or so less than the 44 pound limit. My wife on the other hand seemed a little disappointed and said,

"Hmpf, I guess we could have taken a few more papads then."

I ignored her and walked to the customs booth, standing in front of the officer with an appropriately guilty expression on my face.

This was the second time in my life that I had faced a customs officer. A few years ago, when returning from Goa (then a Portuguese territory) I stood in front of a customs officer for the first time. Everyone in front of me had been questioned extensively and had their bags checked thoroughly. So I was already terrified. Even though there was no reason to be terrified. In the entire crowd there, we were probably the only ones returning from Goa without as much as a tiny piece of chocolate. But customs booths are one of those weirdly imposing places where I feel nervous by default.

Some people are scared of a dentist's chair. Not me. I have been to dentists many times. One dentist actually turned my simple complaint of an aching tooth into an imperative to extract it with the glee of a professional sadist. It hurt so much, I think I actually saw a few angels waiting to welcome me into heaven. But even then, the next time I went to a (different, obviously) dentist, I went with the ease with which I go to Kulkarni's restaurant to eat bhajiyas. No fear or worries. But put me in front of a custom's officer and my heart starts racing.

There are many random entries in my list of "people I am irrationally scared of". For some reason, I am terrified of every liftman. Not afraid of the actual lift, mind you. It's not like I am scared that the lift will plummet to the basement or anything. I am just scared of the liftmen, at least in Mumbai, where almost all of them seem to have a cold blank expression on their face. I am also terrified of waiters in fancy restaurants. If one is standing next to me, I feel so nervous that I invariably spill something. I was never scared of male teachers, but female teachers always petrified me. And I can slap a doctor on his back and sing songs with him even when he is in the middle of surgery, but when it comes to nurses, my hands start trembling even if I am handing them a note. I have no idea why I carry these bizarre fears in my heart.

That customs officer I encountered when returning from Goa had insulted me rather painfully! I still shudder and shed a tear when I think about it.

When it was my turn, he asked me my name, address, and profession. Those days, I earned my living in a college fostering deep hatred for literature among the students. As soon as I told the officer that I was a Professor, and that too of Marathi, he just looked straight into my eyes, and with an expression conveying immense pity, said,

"You can go."

He didn't ask to search my luggage, didn't ask me if I was carrying any contraband, didn't even ask me if I had anything to declare. With utter conviction that I lacked the ability or the means to smuggle in alcohol, gold, cigarettes, or anything like that, he sent me on my way. I have never felt more humiliated. I would've preferred it if he had instead put me through a two hour long interrogation under a bright lamp.

So that day in Mumbai airport, I was wondering if the customs officer in charge of examining departing passengers would be more respectful. He looked at my bags, then glanced at my face, and then wordlessly made some chalk markings on the bags and waved me through. Rude, isn't it?

Next my wife and I went to Passport Control. Our passports had been issued two years ago and were valid for three more years. But one of my friends in the farewell party had authoritatively said, 

"Ohhhh.....just three years validity left? That might create problems. Good luck!"

I nervously handed over the passports to the officer. He glanced at them for a nanosecond and returned them to me. I was less worried about the validity and more worried about the passport photo. But the officer had evidently discovered some similarity between my passport photo and the way I actually look. Once we were done with that, a health officer quickly made sure we had taken the necessary vaccinations and we were done.

Once we got the "worthy of traveling abroad" certification from Pandit Nehru's people, all we could do was wait for the plane to leave. It was past midnight. The departure area at Santa Cruz is decorated and furnished in a very modern way. There are lots of comfortable couches and chairs for passengers to relax in. But my wife and I were sitting there uncomfortably, feeling out of place.

There was a European couple sitting in front of us. They seemed confused by Indian currency. These were the days when paisa coins co-existed with anna coins and the poor visitors had no idea if the many coins they had were worth five rupees or five annas. Hoping to give them a happy memory of Indian hospitality, I jumped in to offer unsolicited advice and ended up compounding their confusion even more. Finally my better half stepped in, sorted the whole thing out, and informed them that Indian women have a much better understanding of money than Indian men. 

The European couple left for their flight and I started looking around at other fellow-passengers. With a parochial mindset, I went around to see if there were other Marathi folk there, and soon met a man named Patil and a student named Joshi. I was there representing the Deshpande name. All we were missing was a Kulkarni. If we had found one, we would have had Patil-Joshi-Deshpande-Kulkarni, the four pillars of the ancient Marathi administrative set-up. Sadly there was no Kulkarni on that flight, but it did end up having a pilot named Nadkarni. Nadkarni is essentially the South Kannada version of Kulkarni, so I guess we ended up with the full set eventually.

 Around 1 AM, the plane's wings must have fluttered because suddenly, there was a lot of activity around us. The crowd started walking in one direction, and we went along. I looked at the glass barrier at the customs desk and saw our contingent was still patiently waiting. The elders had tears in their eyes and the younger lot looked like they were cracking stale jokes at our expense and passing them off as new. 

When we eventually reached the gate, I confirmed three times that it was the right plane. Or else we'd wake up the next morning in Cochin instead of Cairo. I still carried emotional scars from the night at Pune station that I got on a train to go to Kolhapur and woke up the next morning to find I was in a compartment parked in the Pune railway yard. I have always had the kind of luck where I take a girlfriend to watch a movie on the sly and run into a nosy old relative who decided to come watch the same movie. And I couldn't afford to let that luck mess up international travel. 

There was an air hostess standing at the door, welcoming us with an unnaturally wide smile. The rest of the crew, dressed in crisp dark trousers and skirts and blindingly white shirts, sporting wing shaped lapel pins and painstakingly groomed mustaches, was darting about doing their work. We reached our seats and stared out the tiny oblong window at the terminal, wondering if our friends and family were still there. 

Once I was in the seat, I assured myself that despite all apparent obstacles, it now seemed like I would definitely go to England, and fastened the seat belt around my stomach. The engines started humming and the fans started rotating one by one.   The plane got going. After zooming along the ground for a mile or so, it slowed down and stopped at the other end of the runway. 

As soon as it stopped, I started fearing the worst. The plane had already been delayed by mechanical problems. I wasn't sure if they had fixed the problems completely or had postponed some repairs. Maybe now they'd discover more problems. I also carried emotional scars from bus drivers who'd make passengers board on a scorching hot day, bake them in that tin box for an hour while they waited, and then open the bonnet of the bus to examine what's wrong with the engine. 

Luckily, nothing like that happened. In a couple of minutes, the plane started moving again, then sped up, and eventually left terra firma in a graceful glide. I watched the airport rapidly disappear from my view and before I knew it, Mumbai started resembling a gem-laden ornament below us. In that ornament, four million people were probably dreaming as they slept, while I sat with wide open eyes, realizing my childhood dream of foreign travel. 

And next to me was my soul mate and my life partner accompanying me on this adventure. Over the previous twelve years, we had built many castles in the air together, while never feeling tempted to build a house on the ground. We never stayed in one place for more than 2-3 years anyway. We had in common a huge appetite for new challenges and new experiences. And the latest one was to be living in England for 5-6 months.

Our flight had been in the air for a while, and the plane was completely dark as was the sky outside, but I still couldn't sleep. The plane was completely packed and experienced travelers were already snoring. Our air-hostess was Japanese. She was promptly and efficiently offering candy and nuts to travelers with a studied smile straight out of the training syllabus. Her walk was brisk and her voice had the crispness of springtime. 

I was feeling really hot. That damned suit on my body started feeling like clunky armor and I again cursed myself for wearing it on the plane. I looked around and was taken aback when I noticed at an Englishman sitting in front of me. Here I was, wearing a brand new three piece suit because I was going to his snooty country. And this dude was sitting there looking very relaxed in khaki shorts, a flannel shirt with some twenty five pockets, and a flimsy felt hat that did not match.

So I discreetly looked around at the other white people on the flight. Not a single one of them was dressed even as remotely formally as I was. Sitting there overdressed in that damned suit in the middle of the night, I started feeling like even more of a neophyte than I already was. 

Suddenly the Japanese air-hostess appeared with a small wet towel on a plate. I eyed the towel suspiciously for a second. I had no idea what purpose a wet towel was supposed to serve at two in the morning. But I was brought up never to turn a plate away, so I picked up the towel and thanked her. I looked at my wife to see if she had any suggestions, but she was fast asleep. I slowly glanced across the aisle and saw that the guy there was gently rubbing the towel on his face. I did the same, and the cool cologne scented fabric gave me some relief from the intense heat I was experiencing. 

Our massive jumbo jet was slicing through the darkness leaving cities and mountains behind. I was finally feeling a little drowsy. Almost everyone around me, including my wife, was already asleep. That Englishman with the khaki shorts was in fact trying to drown out the noise of the engine with his own booming multi-octave snores with his mouth open. The ex-subject of Her Majesty's realm inside me felt relieved to observe first-hand that even the English can snore with their mouths open. Because once our travel plans were made, I was a bit worried about that. 

You see, I am one of "those" too. But over the course of my life, I have come across some impressively loud snorers. My grandma says that people with big hearts and minds snore the most. I don't know if there is any correlation between big bodies and big hearts and minds - I won't mind if there is. I started thinking a lot about snoring and hearts and minds. I do remember that I spent a lot of time thinking about it. But I don't know for how long, because the next thing I knew, I was waking up to the dawn's early light.

Our plane was flying over a huge desert. I noted how different this dawn was from any other dawn I had experienced in my life, thousands of miles over a limitless desert. This experience, coming right after I had experienced a darkness so different from any other darkness I had experienced in my life, spurred some philosophical and metaphorical thoughts. It felt like I was witness to the dawn of a new phase of my life. I thought about my recent years and realized that I hadn't really experienced real dawn in years. In Mumbai's fast-paced hectic life, by the time my day ended, it was usually well past midnight. So by the time I usually woke up, dawn would have given up on waiting for me and slid away, making way for harsh sunlight. 

Our Japanese air-hostess, still looking as fresh as a dew-kissed flower, was making the rounds with hot fortifying beverages for the morning. I have never found those beverages particularly fortifying immediately after waking up, so I politely declined her offer of tea or coffee. Instead, I got up and headed to the bathroom. Taking care not to wake up or bump into any of the other passengers, I tiptoed my way to the front, and slowly opened the door to what I thought was the bathroom. Instead I found myself face-to-face with the fine gentlemen flying the plane. It was the cockpit door! I guess the expression on my face gave away what my need was because the co-pilot, without saying anything, pointed me to the correct door. 

I finished my morning ablutions and returned to the seat to find the "fasten seatbelts" sign flashing. By the time I was able to find the belt and buckle it up, the plane had started its rapid descent. I looked out the window and saw that we were headed to a desert island surrounded by more desert. I assumed it was Cairo, our first stopover. I started looking around the landscape in the hopes of spotting some pyramids. By the time I spotted a bump that I thought was a pyramid and was about to point it out to my wife, the plane was touching down, and before I knew it, it was standing stationary in a foreign land.

I looked at the dinky terminal outside the window and was a little disappointed that a city as renowned as Cairo should have an airport that looks more like an ST bus stand. But once we got off the plane, I learned that we were not in Cairo, but in some place called "Bahrain" instead. I felt a bit like Columbus who reached land confident that he was in India but then discovered that he was instead in some strange land he did not know anything about. And I felt relieved that I had not pointed out those supposed pyramids to my wife.

I had never heard of Bahrain before and had no idea where the hell it exactly was or why we were there instead of Cairo. But we walked into the terminal and headed for the restaurant. I learned that there were oilfields nearby and that Bahrain is a small island nation that is known for its oilfields. That was pretty much all we learned about the place. 

We sat in the restaurant, ordered tea, and waited while the plane was refueled. The tea arrived after a long time. One sip of that concoction and I was convinced that in Bahrain, they used dried date palm leaves in lieu of tea leaves and the milk probably came from a camel instead of a cow. Over the course of my life, I have tasted many different kinds of tea......except of course the spilled tea from Mongini's mentioned in the previous chapter. Tea served in small glass tumblers in Mumbai, tea served in mud bowls on the banks of the Narmada, tea served in metallic cups in Madras, masala milk tea, railway station tea flavored with charcoal, tea without milk, tea without sugar, and even Chinese tea made from jasmine flowers. But I will never EVER forget that horrible tea from Bahrain airport. I will happily drink the bitterest castor potion than drink that tea again.

Well, at least the tea was free, because it was paid for by the airline.

Pretty soon, the plane was ready and we all climbed back into its belly. The plane took off soon and headed for Cairo. The flight from Bahrain to Cairo was essentially just desert after desert after desert. Once in a while, just as a change of scenery, there would be a small strip of water. But otherwise, totally barren. Not a single glimpse of green. 

And that's when I really understood why the green flag of Islam came was hoisted in these deserts first. The prophet was very clever in choosing the color green for his flag. It is obvious why millions of Arabs enthusiastically followed that rare pleasant colored flag. I'm sure that the green flag was as instrumental in the spread of Islam as the Koran was. Add to it the moon that the desert dwellers probably equated with the relief provided by night, and I felt I had to applaud the prophet for his grasp of semiotics. 

It was about 8:30 in the morning. I was staring at the desert out the window hoping to spot a camel train. But in vain. I did spot a lot of dry river beds though. Soon the sun got really bright and the glare made it difficult to keep looking outside. Soon our plane moved from the sea of sand to a sea of water. Being geographically challenged, I first decided it was the Red Sea, then the Caspian Sea, then the Black Sea, and then the Dead Sea. I still have no idea which one it was.

A while later, there were murmurs all around that we were flying over the Suez Canal. All passengers looked out the windows, identified the first strip of water they could find, and assured themselves that it was the Suez Canal. Again, no idea if any of those were actually the Suez Canal. From the height we were flying at, every strip of water looked as tiny as the Fergusson College canal in Pune. But in one strip, I spied some dots that seemed like boats and I silently convinced myself that it was indeed the Suez Canal. It was hard to believe that this tiny strip of water was responsible for almost starting World War 3 and almost sinking my travel plans.  

When your plane is flying so high that you can only see the sky and clouds above you as well as below you, you can't help but get philosophical. You forget any fears you have about the plane crashing. Looking at creation from a height that makes even seas look like saucers of water makes you realize how insignificant you are in the whole scheme of things. As our plane flew towards Cairo, I couldn't help but realize that I was looking at the cradle of civilization. These deserts were where the Babylonian, Sumerian, and Assyrian civilizations had once bloomed. Where the library of Alexandria was once home to millions of of books that were burned. I'm assuming some Big Four or Big Five must have had a summit even then and decided that burning books was in the best interests of the world.

As impressive as the sights of great oceans, great skies, and great lands is while flying, one look at the great space when flying above clouds make them all pale in comparison. And you start wondering what the whole point of creation is, and whether you make any difference to it whatsoever. 

Our plane was about to reach Cairo soon and I started thinking about it. Egypt is an ancient civilization, much like India. Historians have discovered that trade and cultural links between Egypt and India date back millenia. This is the land that saw rich culture flourish for millenia even before Christ was born. And when Christ was born, the bright star that shone was above these lands too. This is the land where Jews, Christians, and Muslims found their faiths and then unfurled the blood-soaked flags of those faiths.

I was in the middle of these thoughts and didn't even realize when I dozed off. The next thing I knew, someone was yelling "KAHIRO!!!!", waking me up.

The first sight I saw at Cairo airport was of battle-ready fighter jets. Next to them were imposing anti-aircraft guns with their barrels pointed to the sky. The stage seemed to be set for the next big war. The only question seemed to be which actors would enter the stage first and who the director would be. Actors from dozens of countries seemed to be ready, with war-paint on, or make-up on. Who knew when the final act would start and when it would end.

When I read a big sign that said, "WE WELCOME YOU TO EGYPT", I felt like someone had sprayed a stream of cold water on my face on an oppressively hot day. Why shouldn't all human beings be welcomed heartily all over this little planet of ours? Although as long as there exist things like passports and visas, built on an assumption of distrust of fellow human beings, can we really expect true expressions of such humanity? The sign that said "WE WELCOME YOU TO EGYPT" any "you" who reached there, regardless of race, religion, gender, creed.....why shouldn't such signs and more importantly sentiments, be displayed everywhere?

The funny thing is, this "WE WELCOME YOU TO EGYPT" sign was right next to the massive anti-aircraft guns and the irony endemic to human existence tickled me and troubled me in equal amounts.

We headed to the restaurant inside the terminal. The waiters there were very friendly and polite, and served us some divine Egyptian coffee. Compared to Mumbai airport, I thought Cairo airport was small. There was a lot of new construction happening around us though. Egypt is currently in the midst of writing a new chapter in its history. Everybody is watching carefully to see which way their new statesman (Nasser) takes them.

It was in Cairo airport that I first encountered Egyptian people. And as I examined their appearance carefully, I wondered how many Egyptians there might be in Mumbai too. Because in terms of appearance, I didn't really see any major differences between Egyptians and Indians. Beyond the facts I had memorized in my childhood to score 2 marks in the history exam, such as pyramids, mummies, pharaohs, and the Nile river, my knowledge about Egypt was as barren as their desert. I had never even thought about anyone living in Egypt other than Cleopatra, General Najeeb, and now this Nasser fellow.

Suddenly, I was overcome by a profound sense of ignorance and curiosity as a foreigner in a foreign land. And sitting there in the Cairo airport, I started thinking about how day-to-day life in Egypt must be and how I knew nothing about it. How do school teachers, lawyers, and bureaucrats here dress? Is it similar to how those folks dress in India? What is the most popular item in a typical restaurant in Egypt? Do wives here refer to their husbands by name or is there some tactful pronoun that has been coined for the purpose like in India? With each passing second, the expanse of my ignorance about this fascinating culture seemed to exceed the expanse of the desert.

Then I started thinking about the people who worked at that airport. For them, a typical day consisted of interacting with travelers from dozens of different countries, for maybe an hour or two at a time, before they went on their way and were replaced by a different set of foreigners. Do they feel the same sense of curiosity and note their ignorance about other cultures? Or has it become just a mundane feature of their lives by now? Do they actively notice the multi-colored lattice of different races and nationalities or does it just pass by in the blink of an eye like a frame from a cinema reel?

I spent the rest of the time in Cairo thinking about all this before we were called back to the plane. The next stopover was Geneva in Switzerland. As our plane surged through the clouds, we gradually left the desert behind and were soon traveling over Europe. Specifically, Italy, as the pilot informed us.

While I was almost entirely ignorant about Egypt except for its ancient history and contemporary politics, I at least knew more about Italy thanks to all the books I had read. Names like Rome, Venice, and Naples started swimming around in my head. I decided that if the plane had to crash right now, I would want it to do so near Naples. I had read that Naples was home to some of the most awe-inspiring sculptures in the world. So if my plane crashed in Naples, I could drag myself to those sculptures, see them first hand, and then die happy.

Yes, I know it is morbid to keep pondering the possibility of the plane crashing but that's how I am and be honest, aren't you too?

But the plane kept going. I kept looking at the Italian landscape underneath and we didn't see Naples or Venice. But we did fly over Rome. It was hard to miss. As I looked at the distant but clear images of various buildings and cathedrals in Rome, I first felt a great sense of satisfaction at seeing them first hand. Then I compensated for the unfamiliar bliss by berating myself for still not having read Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" even after buying it years ago. I made a mental note to read it as soon as I returned home.

When you're flying over different countries of the world, you think more about what you haven't read about those lands than what you have read. In another hour or so, our plane was flying over the gorgeous alps and I realized we were in Europe's Eden.

Soon the plane touched down in Geneva. I had heard a lot of cautionary tales about how the cold in Europe is way worse than anything I might have experienced in India. I experienced it first hand as I walked into the Geneva airport and felt like I had walked into a massive refrigerator. And this was just August! So I shivered a little and prepared for six more months of this inhumanly cold weather. No wonder these white folks ran away and captured our warmer lands.

As soon as I stepped into the chilly Geneva airport, my brain initiated a flashback from 20 years ago from my college days in Pune. I had grown up in Mumbai, where it never gets even remotely chilly. Then in Pune in the winters, every so often, I would wake up to such a chilly morning. It felt more bracing than oppressive, making me feel like running all the way across the world. I had always thought cold weather would make me feel like a shriveled old man, but instead, it made me feel like a daring young man, ready to achieve anything!

Anyway, we walked into the restaurant at the Geneva airport and it looked more like a flower shop than a restaurant. The faces of all the staff members were fresh and enthusiastic like recently bloomed lilies. There was a spring in their step. It didn't look like anyone could ever age, and everyone looked like they were in their 20s even though they probably weren't. We were served coffee in a very elegantly crafted glass cup. And it tasted divine and almost intoxicating. I wondered that if even the coffee here gets my pulse racing so much, what will stronger beverages do? I had heard that Switzerland is a place where extreme beauty and extreme pleasure is the default and my experiences at their airport confirmed it.

I didn't even realize when that stopover at Geneva ended. It was cold, but I was surrounded by beauty, human and non-human, and I felt more alive than I ever had. Before I got back on the plane, I turned around and took a 360 degree mental picture of all I could see of Switzerland from that terminal. The tall trees sheltering cute little houses, the snow-covered peaks of the Alps kissing the deep blue sky. I promised myself to return for a more leisurely visit. When the plane took off, I was looking at a meandering little river as it flowed through the verdant Swiss countryside, when suddenly, our plane ascended above the clouds. And those fluffy white things that a few hours earlier had seemed gorgeous, now seemed like villains for blocking my view of the Swiss landscape. Our journey continued.

The next stop was to be at Dusseldorf in Germany, It had been over 20 hours since we took off from Mumbai. The hands of my watch had already been rotated many times by then. Every hour, the pilot made announcements about how high we were flying, what the temperature outside was, what the local time was, and so on. Passengers around us were saying random things in response to those announcements like, "Oh! 18,000 feet? That's nice! Very high!"

We were flying through clouds at that moment, so I personally couldn't tell the difference between 18,000 feet and 18 million feet. Honestly, this whole thing of estimating distances has been a challenge for me, whether I am in the air or on the ground. Whenever I read about some witness in court say stuff like "the accused was 19 feet away from me", I feel jealous of his ability to express distance so precisely. Because I absolutely suck at it. I can't even remember the inches in my own measurements for shoes, hats, collars, socks, and so on. When a shoe salesman asks what size I want, I just give him the chappals I am wearing then and ask him to figure it out. I have immense respect for people who go shoe shopping and say stuff like "Bring me Number 8 pairs".

And when someone remembers the precise date on which something happened, I feel overcome enough with admiration to go hug them. When I hear someone say stuff like, "I remember it was July 17th...", I am amazed. I suck at dates too. Which is why I always sucked at history in school. Even now, I remember only three dates - Shivaji Maharaj died in 1680, the 1857 uprising happened in 1857, and using multiple reminder mnemonics, my wife's birthday. Other than these three, I have no idea of any other dates. You can ask me when India gained independence and I will try to hedge between 1947 and 1950.

Anyway, the point is, I am horrible with anything that is expressed numerically. So even before I could figure out how high 18,000 feet exactly is, our plane was touching down in Dusseldorf. Before I knew it, we were surrounded by cries of "Achtung! Achtung!" and "Gut! Gut!". My wife and I walked to the terminal, now sick of this sequence of stopovers. Yes. I was in Germany with its rich history and culture and intriguing contemporary split between East and West, but I didn't give a damn. The aforementioned Joshi and Patil left us here and we sat there hoping that we'd reach London before we died of boredom.

Why does the final stretch of the journey always seem to last the longest? Even when I am traveling from Pune to Mumbai by train, it is the same. The time from Pune to Thane or Kalyan seems to breeze by in a happy procession of vada, omelets, chikki, etc. But from there, Mulund, Bhandup, Vikroli, Dadar, etc seem to take an eternity to pass by. Very annoying! It's the same with other trips too. When you're taking a train from Mumbai to Delhi, everything seems great until you reach Mathura, and then after that, things seem to slow down. If you're going from Mumbai to Nagpur. it is Wardha that is the tipping point after which it is all yawns and polite curses.

The flight from Dusseldorf to London seemed similarly annoying and yawn-inducing. Finally, after about the hundredth yawn, the plane started barreling downwards. All the passengers around us seemed to have perked up as the plane continued descending. Finally there was a bump and the plane started slowing down. And a few passengers around me echoed my thoughts,

"Ah! London!"

          Antu Barva by P. L. "PuLa" Deshpande   
Fourteen years ago today, Purushottam Laxman Deshpande, arguably the most influential and beloved person from Maharashtra, died at the age of 81. He left behind a gargantuan legacy in the form of his books, plays, songs, movies, essays, social work, but more than that, the lasting impact he has had on Maharashtra. Every couple of years, I translate one of his essays or short stories on this blog. This time, I have chosen Antu Barva, a fictionalized life sketch that he created as an amalgam of several people he knew in Konkan. It is not exactly LOL funny, but is light-hearted while still tugging at your heart-strings. It is meant as a depiction of the tough life in Konkan in the middle of the 20th century, and the sort of complex and poignant characters such a life spawns.

But as somber as the basic subject matter is, PuLa manages to inject humor into it, even if the humor is dark. When I first read Antu Barva, I just read it as a slightly humorous life sketch. As I have re-read it and re-heard its narration over the years, I have come to recognize it as something beyond just that. It is one of PuLa's best allegorical social commentaries in my opinion. He was duly recognized for Vyakti Aani Valli, the book that this sketch appears in, with a Sahitya Akademi Puraskaar. In that book, I think this is THE most impressive and multi-layered sketch.

For years, I considered translating Antu Barva here but was too intimidated given how nuanced it is. PuLa gave Antu a specific Konkani "voice" (in text form as well as when he narrated the sketch for TV) that is impossible to translate. No matter how well I tried, I thought I would end up doing injustice to the original work. This is in addition to the usual difficulties in translating PuLa's wordplay and nuanced observations. So it is with a great sense of trepidation that I am even attempting this today. A LOT will get lost in translation. But I hope PuLa's fans will forgive me any errors. Because I think this particular piece is one of the greatest literary achievements from an Indian and it deserves a wider audience.

Miss you, PuLa. Bhool-chook maaf kara.

Ratnagiri's middle lane has been home to some towering personalities over the years. God used a unique formula when creating these people. These people tend to be a metaphorical amalgam of Ratnagiri's most famous products - sweet mango, rough jackfruit, hard coconut, irritating colocasia leaves, and intense betel nuts whose one bite will make your heart jump up your throat.    

It is in this unique Ratnagiri soil that Antu Barva grew and ripened. Actually, Antu's age doesn't really justify people casually calling him just "Antu". When I first met him 12-14 years ago, not just his stubble, but even the hair on his ears and chest had turned white. His teeth had mostly gone "Annu Gogtya".

Going Annu Gogtya = falling.

This is an idomatic phrase that Antu Barva coined. A lawyer from Ratnagiri named Annu Gogte has been standing in the local elections for many years. Standing and then falling. Repeatedly, without even coming close to winning. So even if a bucket falls in a well, Antu asks "has the bucket gone Annu?"

When someone is talking about old Antu, they just refer to him in the singular casual "Antu". As it is, characters from Konkan are quite singular. But no one calls Antu just "Antu" to his face.  They call him Antu sheth!

True blue Brahmin Antu got this trader caste suffix "sheth" decades ago. After all Antu himself had committed a sin justifying this demotion. During the first world war, Antu started a shop near the docks. It failed spectacularly even before the Treaty of Versailles. But that short-lived stint as a shopkeeper was enough to turn Antu into Antu sheth.

After that, no one remembers Antu doing anything specific to make a living. He manages to somehow score at least two square meals a day from somewhere. He has a little plot of land with a garden that has a couple of dozen coconut and Alphonso mango trees, sprinkled with the odd jackfruit and tamarind tree. He has a little single-room shack on that land. He has the right to draw water from the nearby well. Antu sheth manages to get by on all this.

I first met Antu at Bapu Hegishte's store. I had gone there to buy some cigarettes when Antu's face peered out from behind a newspaper. He slid his reading glasses up his forehead and said,

"You're Lawyer saheb's son-in-law, right?"

"Yes" I replied.

"Ahha! I recognized you right away! Please, have a seat, please. Bapu, some tea for our jawaibapu (a respectful term for son-in-law)!"

I had no idea who this guy was, suddenly acting so familiar. Antu sheth himself explained,

"Your father-in-law is a good friend of mine. Tell him Antu Barva said hello."


"Hmmm....when did you come from Pune?"

"Two days ago."

"Of course....the first Diwali after you got married....haha...ask him for a Ford car!"

"He is your friend. Why don't you tell him?"

"Haha, you're from Pune after all. Can't get the last word with you." he laughed. "So...staying long or just a flying visit?"

"Just a short trip. I'm leaving in a couple of days."

"Excellent! It's always good to keep such visits short. Familiarity breeds contempt and all that. Don't end up like that Kasopkar's son-in-law. He set up camp for six months. Finally Kasopkar lost his patience and made him plow his land! When a son-in-law stays with you for too long, he starts feeling like a pain in the neck, right?"

"You're right." I nodded.

"Bapusheth, I hope you recognized our lawyer's son-in-law. We are both your father-in-law's clients, jawaibapu."

Bapu Hegishte smiled and folded his hands in greeting.

"Welcome. Would you like to have some tea?" he asked.

"No, it's okay. It's really hot right now."

"Of course, it's always going to be hot in Ratnagiri!" Antu jumped in. "You can't sleep in a cowshed and then complain about the stink of cow piss! If Ratnagiri had cool weather, they'd have called it Shimla, not Ratnagiri!"

Before I could say anything, Antu continued,

"But the heat is way worse in your neighborhood with all those houses next to each other. Come to my garden near the beach. My garden do you say...."aircondition"!"

Antu sheth said the last words in English and laughed, and then added,

"That's our country joke, jawaibapu!"

Then he addressed Hegishte again.

"Bapusheth, did you know our jawaibapu here is a writer? Writes plays and movies and what not. Behave properly when he is around or he'll write a hilarious farce about you."

The pride I felt on my fame having spread even to someone like Antu Barva was dashed by Bapu Hegishte's next question. Bapusheth looked me up and down carefully for a few seconds and said,

"What do you do?"

"What the hell do you mean what does he do?" Antu thundered. "Are you insane, Hegishte? Take out that pile of raddi old newspapers and open them. You'll see his name and picture in dozens of places! He makes movies!"

"Movies!!?? Really??" Hegishte's expression changed to one of wonderment and he looked at me as if I was God.

"Jawaibapu, speaking of movies, can I ask you a question if you don't mind?"

I could see the naughty expression on Antusheth's face as he asked me this.

"Sure, go ahead."

"How much money do you make from one movie?"

This wasn't my first trip to Konkan. So by now, I had gotten used to dealing with such intensely personal questions.

"That really varies from movie to movie." I deflected.

"But still....I mean I have read that you get like a million or a million and a half."

"No way! There isn't nearly that kind of money in Marathi films."

"Yeah, but still. Even if you don't get fistfuls, you must be getting at least 2-3 pinchfulls?"

"You get it sometimes, and also lose it sometimes." I stuck to being vague.

"Well of course, it's a business after all. When it comes to business, you win some, you lose some. It's all part of the game."

Antu sheth got philosophical. But only for a moment.

"Can I ask you one more question? Only if you don't get angry."

"What's there to get angry about? Go ahead."

" know....whatever we read about these film actresses in magazines and that real or is it fake like Gangadhar Basthe's "real" Belgaum butter?"

"What do you mean all this about film actresses?" I kept a straight face and pretended to not get what he was saying.

"Quite a skillful guy you are, jawaibapu. Skillful! You'll make a great witness in court!" Antu sheth was having none of it. "All this about film actresses as in...the whole index finger nostril thing."

I didn't immediately get what he meant by the whole index finger nostril thing. So Antu sheth gently tapped his index finger against his nostril and winked. Fortunately, before I had to say anything, a waiter arrived with the tea Hegishte had ordered.

"Looks like all the cows in Ratnagiri are still pregnant, Jhampya!" Antu made a sarcastic remark to the waiter on the color of the tea. And then he poured the tea in the saucer and started slurping it.

Actually, Antu sheth could have just said to the waiter in plain words that the tea was low on milk. But he preferred the "all the cows are still pregnant" phrasing. Why just Antu sheth? Almost everyone from that middle lane in Ratnagiri spoke in that sarcastic obtuse way.

By now, Antu sheth and I have become good friends. In the last decade or so, whenever I have gone to Ratnagiri, I have spent time with him. He always included me in his group of friends, taught me the ganjifa card games they played. And over the years, I heard a lot monologues on the odd philosophy of life that those men in their 60s had developed.

I even learned all the idiomatic phrases the group had come up with. They all dressed similar. A cotton loincloth from the waist below, a small cotton scarf on the shoulder, worn-out sandals, one hand holding a walking stick, and the other holding a jackfruit. Dressed like that, Antu sheth would roam around in the neighborhood calling his friends to join him every afternoon.

"Govindbhat! Wanna play a couple of hands?"

"Paranjape? Are you awake or have you turned into a python?"

I too became a part of their card game gang. If once in a while, the card game wasn't really panning out well, Antu would put the cards down and say to me,

"Jawaibapu, why don't you sing a Malkauns or something? Godbolya, bash a little tabla with our guest. Khaju sheth, open your decrepit harmonium."

And then we'd have an impromptu jam session for a bit at Antu sheth's orders.

"Jawaibapu, your pipes are kick-ass!" he'd compliment my singing in his unique way.

Every other year or so, I'd visit Ratnagiri and attend Antu sheth's court. But with each visit, the court seemed to be getting smaller.

"Antu sheth, haven't seen Damu kaka around." I asked once.

"Who? Damu Nene? He is living it up! I am told Rambha is rubbing oil on his bald head, and Urvashi is airing him with a fan!"


"What do you mean what? Damu Nene got transferred from Ratnagiri!" and Antu Sheth pointed to the sky.

"Oh!" I finally understood what he meant. "I am so sorry. I had no idea."

"Why would you have any idea about it? Do you think that they're going to announce on the radio that Damu Nene has croaked? His family did pay for an obituary in the newspaper though. Heh, they wrote he was loving, caring, friendly, pious, and what not. What do the newspaper folks care? As long as you are paying, they will publish any nonsense."

Antu continued in his characteristic manner.

"Damu Nene and loving? Hmpf! Even when he was lying dead on the pyre, the furrow on his brow was intact! One day he decided to sleep outdoors because it was too hot. They found him dead the next morning. Lucky bugger. Died on Ashadhi Ekadashi too! So there were two processions from Ratnagiri that day. One for Lord Vithoba and another for Damu Nene. Damu died on Ashadhi. And then on Dussehra, Dattu Paranjape crossed the border and did seemolanghan. The first guy croaked, the second guy waiting for the third. They say things happen in three."

Antu looked at me mischievously and shrugged.

And that's the essence of Antu Barva for you. Standing at less than 5 feet, bronze-fair complexion, small pockmarks on his face, small gray eyes, creased skin belying his advanced age, half his teeth fallen....or "gone Annu"...leading to a new habit of poking his tongue through the gaps while talking.... and with all this, weighing in at barely 100 lbs.

Every aspect of Antu Barva's earthly existence was getting worn out with each passing year except for two - the nasal booming voice and the slick intelligence fed by decades of rubbing coconut oil on his head.

It wasn't just Antu sheth. Almost all the men his age from that part of Ratnagiri were of a similar bent....which was a crooked bent. Their language was unnecessarily complex and their attitude exceedingly cynical. They didn't feel happy if someone did well, and didn't feel sad if a tragedy befell someone. There was no joy for births, no mourning for deaths. Most of them apart from Antu didn't really like music, but didn't dislike it either. And when it came to food, the taste and flavors didn't matter, as long as their belly got filled. The engine of their life never really faltered when it ran out of steam, nor did it go fast when it did have some steam. But the road their lives took was like every road in Konkan- serpentine.

That's the hand life had dealt them. Even though their lives were full of the wholesome coconut tree, their fates and thus their tastes leaned less towards the sweet creamy inside of the coconut, and more towards its tough shell.

One summer, a second-rate theater company from Mumbai was touring Ratnagiri staging Ram Ganesh Gadkari's famous play Ekach Pyala. I went to watch it. The production was barely competent in the first act. At intermission, I walked outside to the hissing clinks of soda bottles being opened. Under a Kitson lamp, I saw Antu sheth's diminutive form. He was talking to the fur-cap clad manager of the theater company.

"'s the attendance?" Antu sheth asked.

"Not bad." the manager gruffly replied.

"Not bad? Most of the chairs seem empty. Why don't you let me in for half price?"

"No way!" the manager shook his head rudely.

"Why are you brushing me away like a lizard? I heard the first act from out here anyway. The guy playing Sindhu doesn't seem to be very good."

[aside - in the early-to-mid 20th century in orthodox Maharashtra, it was taboo for women to perform on stage. So much like in Shakespeare's days, female parts were usually played by men. The legendary Bal Gandharva excelled at this and one of his most famous roles was playing Sindhu in the first staging of Ekach Pyala.]

"The guy playing Sindhu doesn't seem to be very good." Antu sheth said. "He sang 'lage hridayi hurhur' like a squeaking mouse. Did you ever hear how Bal Gandharva sang it?"

The manager got pissed off.

"I'm not begging you to come watch it!" he thundered.

"But the town is full of your advertising boards begging us to come watch it." Antu sheth instantly replied. "And yesterday your people were going door to door with fliers. As it is, it's mainly empty chairs you are showing this play to. How about four annas?"

"Four annas? What is this? A monkey performing on the street?"

"That's better than this! They perform first and then circulate a plate for money. Why don't you try that? If the next act is better than the first one, I'll pay you an extra four annas!"

The people standing around them started laughing and the manager got even more upset. That's when Antu sheth noticed me.

"Namaskar, jawaibapu! How's it going? How's Ekach Pyala?"

"It's okay." I said.

"I'm sure you got a complimentary pass. You're from the same community. I have heard that barbers don't charge each other for shaves."

"No, nothing like that. See, I bought a ticket."

"Then why a wishy-washy response like "it's okay"? You've paid hard-earned money for this, haven't you? Assert your rights as a paying customer. Call it what it is. Utter crap. Especially that guy playing Sindhu is totally useless!"

"What do you mean the guy playing Sindhu? It's a woman playing the role." I told him.

"WHAT??" Antu sheth looked genuinely shocked. "You're kidding me! That voice and that built! If she decides, she can lift Sudhakar up like a baby! Sindhu indeed.......more like Sindhudurg!"

"So you watched the play after all?"

"For a few minutes. Moved the curtains from the window and had a peek. Hmpf! Even gypsy performers are better than these idiots."

Antu sheth spat out another unsolicited opinion and walked away.

But that's pretty much what his life was - spitting out unsolicited opinions. I knew Antu for so many years, but I never found out much about his family situation. Once Anna Sane from Antu's court had let slip a mention of his son.

"What? Antu sheth has a son?" I asked.

"Of course he has a son. Not only that, his son is a Collector!" Anna Sane nonchalantly said.


"Yup. He's in charge of collecting tickets on Byculla station." he deadpanned without letting a single muscle move.

"Doesn't look like he helps out his father financially."

"He does sometimes. When he can. He has his own family. Besides, a Western Railway compartment has been attached to a Central Railway train."

A PhD student could do a dissertation on those guys' peculiar idioms and phrases. I was well-versed in the language by now but it took me a few moments to realize that this was code for an inter-religion marriage.

"So you see, Antu sheth has trouble with his post-bath rituals at his son's place. Plus apparently his son is also into some other Anglicized habits if you know what I mean. So how can Antu sheth spend too much time there? Still, once Antu sheth swallowed all the insults and went to Mumbai to see his grandson. Came back looking like he had messed up a math problem."

"Every Dussehra and Diwali, Antu gets his son's love in the form of a money order. Not much, maybe 5-10 rupees. For a few days after that, Antu acts like he's won the lottery and splurges as much as he can. Which isn't much."

"Understandable." I said. "After all, how much can a ticket collector's pay be?"

"Yeah, the pay is pretty meager. But one hears that a ticket collector can also make a little more on the side, especially in holiday season if you know what I mean." Anna said. "Nothing wrong with it of course. If he has an opportunity to make some money, why shouldn't he? You know how it is in this country. If you get caught taking a ten rupee bribe, they put a striped cap on your head and send you to prison. But if you get caught taking a million rupee bribe, they put a Gandhi cap on your head and send you to Parliament! Democraticaly elected people's representative!"

Politics was the most favorite topic for Antu sheth and his buddies to express their unique opinions on. They had profound thoughts on every politician and party. One year, there was a famine in Konkan. Konkan is always facing a famine as it is. But this particular one was so bad that in Antu sheth's words it had "been approved under the Famine Act".

Nehru was touring the famine-hit parts of Konkan. He visited Ratnagiri for a speech and the whole town was caught up in Nehru-mania. One evening, someone asked Antu sheth,

"Antu sheth, I didn't see you at the speech?"

"Whose speech? Nehru's? Hmpf!" Antu sheth's disdain was obvious. "What nonsense. There's a famine here. Stop giving speeches. Give us food! This is like seeing a man drowning and instead of saving him, reading from the Quran to ensure that he doesn't end up in hell. Utterly useless. But everyone else is stupid. Oh, Nehru is here? He is giving a speech? He gives great speeches! Let's go! Bloody lemmings!"

"And now that Nehru is in Ratnagiri, what did they do? Idiots took him to show the house, room, and bed where Lokmanya Tilak was born! Morons. Tell me, did god appear in Gangadhar Tilak's dreams and tell him that your wife is going to give birth to a great leader? How would anyone even remember what bed Tilak was born on? But who cares? They just showed Nehru some random room and bed and bluffed - this is where Tilak first went WAAAAAAAAAA."

"Morons! Where's the proof? Where's the proof? Did they get the midwife from Tilak's birth to certify the bed? Hmpf! Forget Tilak. It's been a 100 years since he was born. You tell me. Can your own mother confidently identify the room and the bed where she gave birth to you? Go ask her and then tell me about Nehru and Tilak."

And so ended the rant.

I always wondered if there was anything or anyone in the world that Antu sheth and his friends had respect for. If they ever had a polite dignified response for anything at all.      

Somebody's son became a Professor. And Antu's response,

"Professor? In a circus?There used to be this Professor Chhatre in circuses performing magic tricks."

Someone opened a new store. And Antu's response,

"Tell him to have a bankruptcy form ready. It'll save time when the inevitable happens."

Who knows what school of philosophy these guys followed. More than half of them survived on money orders from children and relatives. They saved money from that and file lawsuits for the strangest reasons. Every lawsuit is stuck in delayed hearing dates. These guys have a big beautiful sea coast, coconut trees, gardens, everything you could reasonably hope for to be happy. But that apparent prosperity gets punctured by an occasional bout of misfortune and all that remains is an impenetrable shield of gallows humor.

Somehow the topic of Gandhi came up. And Antu sheth got on his soap box.

"Gandhi? What Gandhi? Traveled all over the world, but never came to Ratnagiri! Because he was smart. He knew that here, no one gives a damn about his loincloth or his walking stick. We are all just as naked and just as skinny. And his obsession with spinning khadi. It's all useless. Our own Shambhu sheth. All his life, he followed Gandhi's teachings and spun khadi for his clothes. Forget the British government, even Ratnagiri's Collector Gilligan didn't fear his "civil disobedience". And you're talking about Gandhi."

"Then there are all his hunger strikes and fasts. Half of Konkan is hungry and fasting, and not by choice. Someone who is well-fed will find something remarkable about hunger strikes. What do we care? Don't get me wrong. I am not saying Gandhi wasn't a great man. He was. But in our books, under what column should we make an entry for his greatness? And if you are talking about independence, then that had nothing to do with Gandhi, or Tilak or Savarkar."

"So did independence just fall out of the sky?" I asked him.

"It's up to you to find out where it fell out of." Antu replied. "One thing I am sure of is that the Brits left because they got bored. What more was left for them to loot? Their Raj business started making a loss, so they effectively declared bankruptcy and went home. The potter left with his pottery, and we sit here cradling his leftover broken pieces. This is all just a cycle of life and bigger than anything we can comprehend. It's not British rule, nor is it Nehru's rule, nor people's rule, nor anyone's rule. It's the creator's rule."  

"So how did your creator end up siding with the British?" I asked.

"Don't be silly. The creator is sitting pretty on his throne. He just played a small game."

"A game that translated into 150 years of slavery?"

"It's 150 years for you and me." Antu sheth was steadfast. "The almighty's wrist watch doesn't move forward by even one second unless a thousand years go by for us. In his eyes and on his scale, all this is just a minor game that lasted barely a millisecond."

When these emaciated old men started spouting this philosophy on the front yards of that impoverished middle lane in Ratnagiri, with dark shadows formed by the dim light of their age-worn oil lamps dancing on their wrinkled faces, my heart couldn't help but shudder.

"Socialism? What socialism? All nonsense, I tell you. Not even two mango leaves are alike. And these guys want to pretend all men are equal. In the creator's eyes, each individual is unique. How are they going to have equal opportunities or equal outcomes? But everyone is just blabbering....socialism is coming. Just like that Ratnagiri's legislator is saying...Konkan Railway is coming, Konkan Railway is coming. Sure, Konkan Railway is coming. And it's tracks are going through where one-armed Pandu Gurav's toilet used to be. Even if it does, is it going to make Pandu's shoulder stump sprout an arm? What difference will it make?"

"And without an arm to plow his field or pick his crops, no matter what you do with that damn railway, what good is it going to do him? He is still the same. Just because India became independent, does not mean that Hari Sathe's lazy eye got fixed. Nor did Mahadev Godbole's paunch disappear.  Nothing really changed. Even in the fabled Ram Rajya, Ram didn't uproot Hanuman's tail and attach it to his own ass. No. Ram stayed a man, and Hanuman stayed a monkey."

At such times, it almost seem like the Goddess of Wisdom Saraswati is sitting on Antu sheth's tongue.

"You're right." I said.

"Don't just say I am right for the heck of it to be polite. If I am wrong, say that and correct me. You might be younger than me when it comes to age, but when it comes to education, you are my elder, jawaibapu!"

Once in a while, Antu sheth will say something genuinely from his heart, without any sarcasm. But there is always some burning issue close to his heart underlying what he says.

The last few years, I could not go to Ratnagiri as often as I used to. In the meanwhile, Ratnagiri finally got electricity, its own college, tar roads, and all other features of 20th century life. When I met him after that, I said,

"Antu sheth, your Ratnagiri has now become posh! Electric lights and everything. Did your house get an electric connection?"

"No, not yet. But it's good that it's dark. Tomorrow even if I do get electricity, what is there to look at in that bright light? A penniless life? Who needs electricity to look at chipped walls and leaking shingles? It's better that my poverty stays hidden in darkness."

And then he laughed loudly for a full minute like it was a joke.

This time I saw that his teeth had gone almost completely Annu Gogte. I also learned that a couple of more friends of his had passed on and that the card game court was emptier than ever. For a change, I spotted a sense of love, longing, and kindness in the way Antu sheth spoke. I guess the empty seats at his card games were starting to make a place in his heart.

"Joglekar's son got a big promotion and moved to Delhi!" Antu sheth voluntarily shared some pleasant news without his customary sarcastic rejoinder. "Took his old man to Kashi, Haridwar, Vishweshwar, Hrishikesh and all. Fed a 100 brahmins there. Old man Joglekar was thoughtful enough to get me a small sealed pot with water from the Ganga. When you come visit next time, jawaibapu, you'll probably see that the seal has been broken and the water was poured down my throat if you know what I mean."

The next time I visited Ratnagiri, fortunately Antu sheth's Ganga water pot was still sealed.

"Wow, jawaibapu, wow! Congratulations! I heard you're going to England! Congratulations! Have a great trip. Just one "request" for you. Now I have to speak with you in English. So a "request"."

"What request?"

"Go see the Kohinoor diamond once. For some reason, it's an obsession I have always had, the Kohinoor diamond. I can't go see it, but you do it on my behalf. And then come back and tell me how it looks. See all the sights in London and Paris and everything!"

For some reason, I was overcome with a desire to touch his feet, something I had never done before. Right there on the street, I bent down and touched his feet.

"Live a long life!" Antu sheth touched my head gently. "You are a good person, which is why you are so successful."

I said goodbye and started to leave. I had barely gone four steps when I suddenly heard the familiar


"Yes, Antu sheth?" I turned around.
"Forgot to ask you one thing. Are you going alone or with your wife?"

"Both of us are going."

"That's good. Don't mind me, I just had a nagging doubt, so I asked. You are going far away to learn something new. So I was reminded of Devayani's tale from mythology. Hahaha. Convey my blessings to your wife too. I am telling you, your good fortune is all because of her. That's all life is eventually about - the right woman."

Antu sheth paused and continued.

"Let me tell you something. Just between us. My wife passed away 40 years ago. Since then, the alphonso mango tree near my door has stopped flowering. When she was around, the tree yielded hundreds of mangoes every year. But since she know....fate can take really strange turns. Sorry, I am rambling. Anyway, safe travels. So when are you leaving from Ratnagiri?"

"Tomorrow morning by bus."

"Direct Ratnagiri to Mumbai?"


"Good call. Once someone completes that journey, then even traveling around the world seems easy in comparison. The other day Tatya Jog made the trip. He is still trying to locate all his bones.  Told me some 7-8 bones are missing!"

And he started laughing hard with his mouth wide open. I noticed that there was only one tooth remaining that hadn't gone Annu Gogte.

The next morning at 5 AM at the bus stand, I again heard the familiar cry,


Antu sheth approached me and gave me a small paper pouch.

"I know you don't believe in god, jawaibapu, but do me a favor and keep this in your pocket. It is holy ash. It will keep you safe. You are going to London by air, so this small pouch shouldn't add too much weight to your luggage."

I put the pouch in my pocket. As the bus got going, I saw Antu sheth lift his shirt and gently wipe tears from his small blinking gray eyes. In that dim dawn light, seeing his bony chest and his concave stomach which had all but touched his back suddenly tugged at my heart.

Just like Konkan's jackfruit, it's people taste sweet only when they ripen for a long time.


          python-scipy 0.19.1-1 x86_64   
SciPy is open-source software for mathematics, science, and engineering.
          python2-scipy 0.19.1-1 x86_64   
SciPy is open-source software for mathematics, science, and engineering.
          python-scipy 0.19.1-1 i686   
SciPy is open-source software for mathematics, science, and engineering.
          python2-scipy 0.19.1-1 i686   
SciPy is open-source software for mathematics, science, and engineering.
          TS223:OJ Simpson,Kesha,Leviticus,Guest Ross Mathews   
That's who you are...The morally corrupt Faye Resnick. This week female judge Shirley Kornreich, straight from the fields honay, ordered Kesha to stay in her record deal with her alleged rapist Dr. Luke. Meanwhile boxing champ Pacquiao thinks gay people are worse than animals. Someone knows how to pack the ow! Also guest Ross Mathews is here and ready to drop his new album, Boy Pussy.
          On Ad Hominem and Relative Morality   
A few hours back, @riffraaf whom I follow on twitter and have great regard for, and I had a disagreement over the aftermath of the Rosen-Romney episode. We exchanged a couple of emails. She wrote this post.

This is my response

Very well put. I agree mostly.

Here's where I am coming from: Rosen made a stupid comment. Faux outrage about how Ann Romney is such a victim ensued. (never mind our FLOTUS is bashed in ugly ways every day but that's probably the partisan in me talking, you might say).

Oh, Michelle is definitely bashed in the ugliest ways. It is bizarre to me that someone can make combating obesity into some evil plot!

Some of the people I follow on the right started labeling it as #waronmoms. This was a completely cynical response to left's #waronwomen. Now they wanted to beat the left at their own game. I get it.

Yup, they're just being cynical. But being helped by the left propagating articles like the rude pundit's.

But there was more to #waronwomen (though I personally loathe to use this slogan): Most women I know who are not into partisanship in general (because they're too busy raising kids and handling jobs unlike me :) ) got really riled up with a series of events that hurt women's rights: starting from planned parenthood defunding by Komen to birth control access issues to Sandra fluke (and Rush Limbaugh harassing Fluke for 3 entire days calling her a slut, prostitute, how she should put her porn videos online so he can watch it and so on) to ultra sound bills to new arizona laws infringing rights further.

Agree. That's how my wife (Indian-born American-raised) wife is. She is not as much into politics. She does follow it more than others. She is, like me, a fiscal conservative. But for her, this #waronwomen trumps anything else. Anything related to planned parenthood (which she loves) and birth control gets her riled up. So even if Obama raises taxes by gazillion percent (she hates tax raises even on rich folks), the social aspect of it against women's rights will always make her vote democrat.

So it irritates me to no end that suddenly Risen is somehow equivalent of Limbaugh and all the incivilities shown against women in the last year are equivalent to one insensitive remark made by a Rosen who was a nobody until now (even w/ her hillary support in 2008 and apparently having contributed to Obama campaign in 2008).

I don't think Rosen is equivalent of the much much viler and nastier and just plain-worse-human-being Limbaugh. I am not drawing the equivalence, so I am not going to defend the equivalence.

However, on its own, what Rosen said is definitely insensitive and stupid. And undoubtedly ad hominem. That's all that matters to me, as someone who doesn't count himself on the left or the right when it comes to identifying with movements. By saying what she did, Rosen attacked who Ann Romney, not what Ann or Mitt Romney were saying, making it a classic ad hominem attack.

It's politically damaging I agree. But it's a huge fake outrage and no where near what's really happening to women all over the country (whether w/ healthcare, minimum wages, equal pay, infringing on woman's body, unemployment and so on that affect women in REAL ways).

So I know Obama was doing what any Dem politician would do, but I'm still turned off by this whole latest, what I call Faux outrage.

Granted that some of those outraging are just fake-outraging. Just taking the chance to score points against their political opponents. Granted that many of those outraging on the right have possibly said much worse and more misogynist stuff against women.

But what Rosen said was still stupid and insensitive. And IMO, the Obama campaign by denouncing what Rosen said, is doing not just the politically expedient thing, but the right thing. And elements of the left by digging in and writing posts/articles undermining the worth of Ann Romney's life, are doing the WRONG thing, be it politically or morally.
          Australia - Walkin' on Sunshine in Barbados   
Every once in a while, test cricket says to other sports "Who's your daddy? I am!" Today is one such time.

Five days ago, if you had said to me, "Australia will win the Barbados test", I'd have responded, yeah, probably...for sure... so?

The beauty of test cricket is its ability to engineer the most bizarre dramas, replete with unexpected reversals, and above all, often making the the audience switch their loyalties.

Five days ago, I was sure that Australia, the side that whitewashed the kinda-mighty Indians, would make mincemeat of West Indies. It didn't even seem like a test series worth following on Cricinfo. But follow it I did. Once you love test cricket, you can't help but follow test cricket, no matter how foregone the conclusion might seem.

Then came the first major twist in the tail. The Windies, marshaled by that old fox Chanderpaul, posted a 400+ score. It's not often that a team loses after scoring 400+ in the first innings. Even better, the Windies bowlers got rid of the Aussie top and middle order fairly soon.

Holy crap! The Windies were set to get a substantial first innings lead. And even win the test! Go West Indies, I thought. Yessss! Schadenfreude is a cool-sounding word, but it truly finds its meaning when the Australian cricket team is losing. Go Windies!

And then test cricket showed why it's everyone's daddy. The Aussies, reverting to a sickening old habit, fought back. Their tail wagged, chipping away at the deficit. Their 10th wicket partnership was going strong, reducing the deficit to a mathematical factoid. Heck, they might even wipe off the deficit.

And then.... huh! Clarke decalred! What!??! He declared, with his 10 wicket pair going strong and the deficit still 43! He declared to, ostensibly and obviously, have enough time to actually win the test.

I have generally disliked the Aussie team. And I don't like Michael Clarke. But this decision won me over. What a declaration! True, his 10th wicket was at the crease, so to posterity, it might not seem like much. But in the context of the match, it was quite a doozy.

Turns out Clarke shocked not just us fans, but the Windies batsmen too. They promptly collapsed in a heap. And suddenly, it seemed like Australia might win this. It wasn't easy. Sure, it seemed easy - 192 in 60-odd overs. But the fading April light meant there was no chance to get more than 50 overs. On a 5th day pitch.

Then came the inevitable sad flashback. India at Dominica last year. The #1 test team in the world. Set 180 in 47 overs. And India decided to play it safe and accepted a draw after a half-hearted attempt. As an Indian, the whitewashes in England and Australia hurt, but didn;t come close to the shame and outrage I felt for the Dominica cop-out.

Surely Clarke with his brave declaration wouldn't pull a Dhoni and play it sickeningly safe? He better not. Aussies better win this.

And that's the weird journey I made in a handful of days. From "Oh, Aussies will definitely win" to "Wow, WI are batting well." to "WI may get the lead! Wow! WI can win this!" to "Oh no! Oh damn! Aussies might save the test" to the final leap "Please please please Australia, win this!"

For that is the beauty of test cricket. It can shake your convictions and loyalties. The action in the middle can make you forget your prejudices and switch sides to support the side playing truly in line with the game's true character. If you've seen Rocky 4, you might remember how the Russian spectators stop cheering for Ivan Drago and start cheering for Rocky, going against all their loyalties and convictions. Well, that was a (rather badly) scripted movie. This is the reality of test cricket.

By the 3rd session on day 5, I found myself, for the first time in well over a decade, cheering for an Australian win. It may seem like an odd, even fickle reversal to cheer the side that I was so dead set against just 5 days ago.

But that's what test cricket does. And did. To me. My heart raced as I groaned at every Australian wicket and cheered every big hit from the Aussies. I kept trying to calculate how long sunshine would last before the umpires closed the proceedings for bad light. And I kept hoping the Aussies would make it.

Aussies - the pre-match favorites, and Windies the underdogs. But test cricket when it is in its element, can make you cheer for the favorites as if they're the underdogs.

Finally, Australia won. They walked on sunshine. And have most likely ushered in another era of self-belief and dominance that will be the bane of other teams in the next decade.
          TS196:Palm Springs,Enough is Enough,AutoZone, w/ Guest Ross Mathews   
Bryan went all the way to Palm Springs and all he saw was walking bioidentical hormone herself, Suzanne Somers! Erin enjoyed her namastaycation and they came together this week to bring you the worst news on the anti-gay marriage front and AutoZone's treatment of their female employees. Plus, Hello Ross himself, Ross Mathews stops by to talk about Palm Springs, his dogs and new show on FOX, Knock Knock Live! 
           John Toland 的書《佔領日本》(Occupation);The Rising Sun ;Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography 等等   


...第二次世界大戰後的日本即為絕佳的例子。廢止軍隊,天皇之象徵化,警察權力之弱化,財閥之解體,透過農地改革而使小地主成為自耕農,對工會的獎勵,政治參與的擴大以及驅逐曾經協助戰爭的政治人物、官僚、企業家、評論者等,均成為主要的改革...就此意義而言,國際關係是界定國家與社會關係的根本。」(豬口 孝《國家與社會》劉黎兒譯,台北:時報出版,1992,第85-6頁。)
要了解19451949的日本情景,美軍為日本立憲,使其成為自由(某村落老師的解釋是「自主」「行動」)民主,軍法審判、兒女深情、愛恨情仇,美國決定將日本發展成亞洲的「工場大本營」(這使得財閥企業和資本主義結合)等等重要的社會背景,可參考小說: John Toland 《佔領日本》(Occupation)北京:中國社會科學出版社,【19871997

John Willard Toland (June 29, 1912 – January 4, 2004)[1] was an American writer and historian. He is best known for a biography ofAdolf Hitler[2] and a Pulitzer Prize-winning history of World War II-era Japan, The Rising Sun.




Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Willard Toland was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin on this day in 1912.
"A hybrid of Prometheus and Lucifer.”
Toland's classic, definitive biography of Adolf Hitler remains the most thorough, readable, accessible, and, as much as possible, objective account of the life of a man whose evil effect on the world in the twentieth century will always be felt. Toland’s research provided one of the final opportunities for a historian to conduct personal interviews with over two hundred individuals intimately associated with Hitler. At a certain distance yet still with access to many of the people who enabled and who opposed the führer and his Third Reich, Toland strove to treat this life as if Hitler lived and died a hundred years before instead of within his own memory.


"He was learning how to appeal to the basic needs of the average German ... His 'basic values and aims' were as reassuring as they were acceptable. His listeners could not possibly know that the 'reasonable' words were a mask for one of the most radical programs in the history of mankind, a program that would alter the map of Europe and affect the lives, in one way or another, of most of the people on Earth."
John Toland, Adolf Hitler
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Toland’s classic, definitive biography of Adolf Hitler remains the most thorough, readable, accessible, and, as much as possible, objective account of the life of a man whose evil effect on the world in the twentieth century will always be felt.

Image result for rising sun toland

The Rising Sun
Book by John Toland

The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936–1945, written by John Toland, was published by Random House in 1970 and won the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. It was republished by Random House in 2003.Wikipedia



Muitos já ouviram falar quanto o Pilates contribui para uma melhora na postura. Mas poucos entendem como realmente ocorre esse mecanismo.
Antes de mais nada é importante frisar que uma postura incorreta não trás conseqüências apenas  à estética, mas também prejudica a respiração e provoca um excesso de tensão em músculos e ligamentos predispondo o indivíduo a lesões.
Infelizmente esse risco acaba sendo maior na região lombar uma vez que a sobrecarga nessa região é muito grande e ainda maior quando adota-se uma postura inadequada. Lesões nessa região diminuem drasticamente a funcionalidade do indivíduo, podendo levar ao sedentarismo que se mantido apenas piora o quadro da doença.
Os exercícios do Pilates são realizados visando flexibilidade e resistência muscular mas sempre associados a uma postura adequada, com ombros e pelve (região do quadril) alinhados e estrategicamente posicionados assim como ativação constante de músculos essenciais para o bom alinhamento corporal.
Sabe-se hoje que a ativação em conjunto desses músculos, que chamamos de CORE, Power House ou Centro de Força são fundamentais para a prevenção de lesões na coluna, como protrusão discal ou hérnias de disco.
Sendo assim, os exercícios de Pilates são extremamente benéficos na correção postural, o que não apenas previne o risco de lesões como também melhora nossa respiração e diminui o gasto de energia durante as atividades, minimizando ou eliminando as dores e o cansaço.
Foto: Internet


          Bibles reach teens in Aurora Province on Word Riders’ 2nd year   
“My friends would influence me to just play and do other things instead of study. This Bible will be very helpful for me! I will take care of it and will read it during my vacant period,” Sweetselle shared happily. Sweetselle is an 8th Grade student who enjoys math. She is just one of the hundreds of Bible recipients from the Diarabasin National High School. Their small school set aside their usual afternoon class period to welcome some special visitors who came in huge bikes Continue reading →
          Who’s Your Customer?   
Anyone that has worked with me for any length of time or whom I have managed knows that, at some point, I will ask them, “Who’s your customer?” Anybody that does work has a customer, but few people really think about who their customer really is, or even think in terms of having customers.

Let me be clear: I’m not talking about your company’s customer, the business or individual to whom your company sells goods or services. I’m talking about your customer, as an individual employee, as a team member, or as a manager.

I’ll use myself as an example. At SolidFire, I ran the demand generation function. The role of demand gen is to develop leads for sales to pursue. As such, we had two primary customers: inside sales, who would receive and pursue our leads; and the campaigns team, for whom we managed several (mostly) digital channels through which to execute their campaigns. We had secondary customers, like field marketing, who would generate leads through field events that we would upload, process, and deliver to sales. As a manager, the members of my team were also my customers, and there are also other customer relationships that I maintained in that role.

What’s the value of considering those teams, campaigns and inside sales, as customers, rather than simple collaborative teams or stakeholders in our activities? Because the concept of a customer carries with it a set of expectations that are richer, deeper, and more meaningful than a mere collaborative relationship, and those expectations lead to better outcomes for everyone involved.

Here’s an example. At one point, we started hearing rumors that sales was dissatisfied with some types of leads we were providing, even though we believed these were quality leads. The tension between marketing and sales is a common situation, so it wasn’t surprising to hear this. But if we could break down this barrier, both teams could be much more successful in their efforts.

There are a lot of ways I could have handled this problem, but I decided to view the problem through the lens of a customer-supplier relationship. If we were a supplier to sales as a customer, a common role in that relationship is the customer success manager (CSM), whose job is to ensure that the customer is successful in using the supplier’s product or services. The CSM role is bilateral: she represents the supplier’s product to the customer, helping them use it properly and fully; and she is the voice of the customer to the supplier, helping guide product development to better serve the needs of the customer.

We needed the equivalent function between demand gen and inside sales, so we created a CSM type of role and, in fact, we hired an inside salesperson to staff it. In this role, our CSM (I think we called him a marketing sales coordinator) had a bilateral role: he represented marketing to the inside sales team, explaining different types of leads, why they received them, and how they should pursue them; and represented the sales environment to marketing, describing which types of leads were working best or worst, and why, enabling marketing to optimize their campaign efforts.

The result of this change was dramatic. Inside sales came to view demand gen, and the broader marketing team, as partners in their success. Sales acceptance rates of marketing leads increased, and sales qualification rates of accepted leads improved. Would we have achieved the same result by having a more traditional approach of trying to collaborate between these two teams? Maybe, but I doubt it. In the same way that customers and suppliers generally don’t achieve a truly collaborative relationship, marketing and sales frequently struggle to truly collaborate. By establishing a role whose entire job is to ensure sales’ success, that changes the relationship measurably.

So, have you started to ask yourself who your customers are in your job? Does it change how you think about your interworking relationships? Try it. It can be powerful.

          Chuva volta a cair em Afogados e Carnaíba   
Fotos (01,02 e 03) por Alisson Nicacio/ Mais Pajeú

Foto (04) Carnaíba por Matheus Silva/ Mais Pajeú

          12 Keutamaan Sedekah Berdasarkan Al-Qur’an dan Hadits   

12 Keutamaan Sedekah Berdasarkan Al-Qur’an dan Hadits  – Sedekah merupakan bukti iman dan ketaatan manusia pada Allah SWT. Sedekah itu tidak dapat dipaksakan, melainkan panggilan hati dan jiwa untuk melakukannya dengan ikhlas dan dapat menyenangkan hati orang lain. Sedekah tidak hanya dalam bentuk harta benda saja, seperti halnya ibadah-ibadah fisik non materi, seperti menolong orang lain dengan tenaga dan pikirannya, senyum, memberi nafkah keluarga, mengajarkan ilmu, berdzikir, bahkan juga melakukan hubungan suami istri itu disebut dengan sedekah. Cangkupan sedekah dalam Islam itu sangat luas sekali. Namun, agar lebih utama harta benda yang kita miliki juga harus disedekahkan kepada orang-orang yang membutuhkan.

Nabi bersabda: “Kamu menyingkirkan batu, duri dan tulang dari tengah jalan itu adalah sedekah bagimu.”(HR. Bukhari).
Senyummu kepada saudaramu adalah sedekah“. (HR. At-Tirmidzi).

12 Keutamaan Sedekah Berdasarkan Al-Qur’an dan Hadits

Begitu banyak balasan yang Allah berikan bagi orang-orang yang gemar bersedekah. Untuk mengetahui lebih jelasnya, berikut ini akan dijelaskan keutamaan-keutamaan bersedekah.
Baca juga: 11 Macam Sedekah Selain Dengan Harta

Keutamaan Sedekah

Adapun keutamaan sedekah berdasarkan Al-Qur’an dan Hadits diantaranya:

1. Orang-orang yang bersedekah akan dilipat gandakan pahalanya oleh Allah SWT.
Allah Ta’ala berfirman:
Keutamaan Sedekah
Sesungguhnya orang-orang yang bersedekah baik laki-laki maupun perempuan dan meminjamkan kepada Allah dengan pinjaman yang baik, niscaya akan dilipatgandakan (pahalanya) kepada mereka dan bagi mereka pahala yang banyak“. (QS. Al-Hadid: 18)
Dalam sebuah hadits Qudsi dikatakan yang artinya “Barang siapa berniat untuk bersedekah, kecepatan Allah membalasnya lebih dari gerakan sedekahnya“.
Allah berfirman yang artinya: “Perumpamaan orang-orang yang mendermakan (shodaqoh) harta bendanya di jalan Allah, seperti (orang yang menanam) sebutir biji yang menumbuhkan tujuh untai dan tiap-tiap untai terdapat seratus biji dan Allah melipat gandakan (balasan) kepada orang yang dikehendaki, dan Allah Maha Luas (anugrahNya) lagi Maha Mengetahui“. (QS. Al-Baqoroh: 261)

2. Sedekah dapat menghapuskan dosa-dosa
Nabi SAW bersabda:
Hadits Nabi Tentang Sedekah
Sedekah itu dapat menghapus dosa sebagaimana air itu memadamkan api“.(HR. At-Tirmidzi).
Akan tetapi, bukan berarti dosa-dosa akan terhapuskan begitu saja tanpa disertai dengan taubat dan perbuatan yang baik.  Seperti halnya orang-orang yang mendapatkan hartanya dari jalan yang salah atau diharamkan (tidak halal), harta yang diperoleh dari hasil riba ataupun perbuatan ma’siat. Tentu tidak akan dapat menghapuskan dosa-dosa yang dimiliki.

3. Sedekah dapat memisahkan diri dari neraka
Nabi SAW bersabda:
Sabda Nabi Tentang Sedeqah
Bersedekahlah kamu sekalian, karena sesungguhnya sedekah itu pemisah dari neraka“.
Bersedekah itu tidak hanya harta, jika memiliki makanan, pakaian, atau hal apapun yang bisa bermanfaat untuk orang lain juga termasuk sedekah.
Nabi bersabda: “Jauhkan dirimu dari api neraka walaupun hanya dengan (sedekah) sebutir kurma“. (Muttafaqun ‘alaih)

4. Orang yang bersedekah akan mendapat naungan pada hari akhir
Salah satu jenis manusia yang akan mendapatkan naungan pada hari akhir yakni orang yang gemar bersedekah. Namun ia menyembunyikannya dari tangan kirinya. Nabi SAW bersabda:
Seorang yang bersedekah dengan tangan kanannya, maka ia menyembunyikan amalnya itu sampai tangan kirinya tidak mengetahui apa yang disedekahkan oleh tangan kanannya“. (HR. Bukhari)

5. Sedekah dapat memadamkan panasnya alam kubur
Nabi SAW bersabda: “Sesungguhnya sedekah itu benar-benar akan dapat memadamkan panasnya alam kubur bagi penghuninya, dan orang mukmin akan bernaung dibawah bayang-bayang sedekahnya“. (HR. At-Thabrani)

6. Sedekah merupakan salah satu amal yang tidak putus sampai mati
Diriwayatkan dari Abu Hurairah ra, bahwa Nabi SAW bersabda: “Apabila anak cucu Adam itu mati, maka terputuslah semua amalnya, kecuali tiga perkara yaitu: Shodaqoh jariyah, anak yang sholeh yang memohonkan ampunan untuknya (Ibu dan bapaknya) dan ilmu yang berguna setelahnya“.

7. Sedekah dapat memanjangkan umur
Nabi SAW bersabda: “Sesungguhnya sedekahnya orang muslim itu dapat menambah umurnya, dapat mencegah kematian yang buruk (su’ul khotimah), Allah akan menghilangkan darinya sifat sombong, kefakiran dan sifat bangga pada diri sendiri“. (HR. Thabrani).
Dalam sebuah hadits dikatakan:
Hadits tentang bersedekah
 Sesungguhnya didalam sedekah-sedekah itu ada lima perkara:
  1. Sedekah itu bisa menambah harta kekayaan mereka;
  2. Menjadi obat penyakit;
  3. Allah akan menghindarkan bahaya dari mereka;
  4. Mereka akan melewati jembatan shiratal mustaqim seperti halilintar yang menyambar; dan
  5. Mereka akan masuk kedalam surga tanpa dihisab dan disiksa”.
8. Sedekah dapat menambah harta kekayaan
Jangan takut berkurang rezekinya karena bersedekah. Karena sedekah itu akan meluaskan , melapangkan dan membuka pintu rezeki. Nabi bersabda: “Tidak akan berkurang rezeki orang yang bersedekah, kecuali bertambah, bertambah dan bertambah“.
Allah SWT berfirman dalam QS. Saba ayat 39: “Apapun harta yang kalian infakkan maka Allah pasti akan menggantikannya, dan Dia adalah sebaik-baik pemberi rezeki“.

9. Sedekah dapat mengobati penyakit 
Dengan bersedekah InsyaaAllah dapat menyembuhkan berbagai penyakit hati. Karena sedekah itu dapat membersihkan hati dan pikiran, dan atas seizinNya Allah akan ringankan dan menyembuhkan penyakit-penyakit orang-orang yang gemar bersedekah. Rasulullah SAW bersabda: “Obatilah orang-orang yang sakit di antara kalian dengan bersedekah“.

10. Sedekah dapat menghindarkan dari segala bala’ (marabahaya)
Sedekah itu merupakan penolak bala’, penyubur pahala, menahan musibah dan kejahatan serta rezeki yang dilipat gandakan oleh Allah SWT. Rasulullah saw bersabda: “Bersegeralah untuk bersedekah. Karena musibah dan bencana tidak bisa mendahului sedekah“.
Dari nabi SAW bersabda: “Asshodaqotu tasuddu sab’iina baaban minas suu-i” artinya: “Shodaqoh itu menutup tujuh puluh pintu kejahatan“.

11. Orang yang bersedekah akan melewati jembatan shiratal mustaqim dengan cepat
Jembatan shiratal mustaqim itu bagaikan rambut terbelah menjadi tujuh yang tajamnya melebihi silet, lebih tajam dari pedang, licin dan berduri. Jembatan ini berujung pada surga dan dibawahnya adalah neraka. Tidak sedikit manusia yang bisa melewatinya hanya dengan kedipan mata, seperti halilintar yang menyambar. Oleh karenanya, perbanyaklah bersedekah karena sedekah merupakan salah satu perbuatan dan amalan yang dapat menyelamatkan manusia pada hari akhir.

12. Orang yang bersedekah akan dimasukkan kedalam surga tanpa hisab dan siksa
Sedekah yang dimaksud adalah sedekah yang penuh keikhlasan, tidak diumbar-umbar dengan sifat kesombongan dan niatnya hanya karena Allah ta’ala. InsyaaAllah, akan membukakan pintu surga bagi orang-orang yang gemar bersedekah karna Allah. Ada empat macam pembalasan sedekah, yaitu:
  1. Sedekah yang dibalas dengan sepuluh kali lipat ialah sedekah yang diberikan kepada para fakir miskin;
  2. Sedekah yang dibalas dengan tujuh puluh kali lipas ialah sedekah yang diberikan kepada sanak famili;
  3. Sedekah yang dibalas dengan tujuh ratus kali lipat ialah sedekah yang diberikan kepada teman-teman;
  4. Sedekah yang dibalas dengan seribu kali lipat ialah sedekah yang diberikan kepada para penuntut ilmu.
Demikianlah pembahasan mengenai 12 Keutamaan Sedekah Berdasarkan Al-Qur’an dan Hadits semoga dapat memberikan motivasi kepada kita para Muslim dan Muslimah untuk gemar bersedekah walau hanya sedikit. Lakukanlah secara terus menerus karena shodaqoh jariyah tak akan pernah putus sampai kita mati. Sekian terimakasih
Sumber: Ihya Ulumuddin dan Durratun Nasihin

          SHOLAT DUHA   

Doa sholat dhuha – Dalam agama Islam, selain mengerjakan sholat wajib umat Islam juga dianjurkan untuk mengerjakan sholat sunnah. Sholat sunnah ada beberapa macam, salah satunya adalah sholat dhuha. Sholat ini juga dikenal dengan shalat sunnah untuk memohon rizki dari Allah SWT.
Sholat Dhuha dikerjakan pada waktu setelah terbit matahari hingga menjelang masuk waktu dhuhur. 

Ciri-ciri waktu shalat dhuha ini dimulai dari matahari yang mulai muncul dan naik kurang kebih sepenggelah dan berakhir sampai sedikit menjelang masuk waktu sholat dhuhur. Tetapi, lebih baik dilakukan atau disunnahkan untuk dikerjakan ketika matahari agak tinggi dan panas juga agak terik.

Sedangkan bacaan surat pendek yang dibaca ketika sholat dhuha adalah disunahkan membaca surat Asy-Syam pada rakaat pertama dan surat Al-Lail pada rakaat kedua. Melakukan sholat dhuha ini bisa dua rakaat dengan satu kali salam. Untuk jumlah maksimalnya, setiap pendapat dari masing-masing ulama tentunya berbeda-beda.

Ada yang berpendapat maksimal mengerjakan sholat dhuha adalah 8 rakaat, ada juga yang mengatakan 12 rakaat, dan ada juga yang menyatakan bahwa tidak ada jumlah maksimal dalam mengerjakan sholat dhuha. Dengan adanya perbedaan tersebut, kita tidak perlu bingung untuk memilih mana yang benar. Karena Allah SWT tentunya menyukai hamba-Nya yang memperbanyak ibadah dan juga tidak melarang. Jadi lebih baik bagi anda untuk mengerjakan sholat dhuha semampunya.

Waktu Sholat Dhuha

Lalu kapan saat yang tepat untuk mengerjakan sholat dhuha? Waktu sholat dhuha adalah setelah terbit matahari hingga menjelang masuk waktu dhuhur. Tetapi lebih baik jika dilakukan pada pagi hari saat matahari sedang naik atau sekitar pukul 09.00 WIB.

Tata Cara Sholat Dhuha

Untuk anda yang ingin mengerjakan sholat dhuha tetapi belum mengetahui tata cara sholat dhuha. Berikut adalah tata cara mengerjakan sholat dhuha.
  1. Pertama yang harus dilakukan adalah membaca niat. Niat sholat dhuha adalah sebagai berikut:
ﺃﺻَﻠِّﻲ ﺳُﻨَّﺔَ ﺍﻟﻀُﺤَﻰ ﺭَﻛَﻌَﺘَﻴْﻦِ ﻟِﻠﻪِ ﺗَﻌﺎﻟﻰَ
“Usholli sunnatatd-dhuha rak’ataini lillahi ta’alaa”.

Yang artinya “aku niat shalat sunat dhuha dua rakaat karena Allah ta’ala”. Perlu diingat shalat dhuha ini dikerjakan minimal dua rakaat dan maksimal dua belas rakaat dan dilakukan secara munfarid (tidak berjamaah). Bacaan niat dilakukan bersamaan dengan takbiratul ihram.
  1. Selanjutnya membaca doa iftitah, surat al-fatihah, dan membaca salah satu surat yang terdapat dalam Al-Qur’an, tetapi lebih diutamakan membaca surat Adh-Dhuha, Asy-Syamsu, Al-Lailu, dan Surat Asy-Syarh.
  2. Lalu melakukan ruku’ dan membaca tasbih tiga kali.
  3. Selanjutnya I’tidal dan membaca bacaannya.
  4. Sujud pertama dan membaca tasbih tiga kali.
  5. Lalu duduk di antara dua sujud dan membaca bacaannya.
  6. Setelahnya sujud kedua dan membaca tasbih tiga kali.
  7. Selanjutnya lakukan rakaat kedua seperti cara rakaat pertama tanpa membaca niat dan doa iftitah.
  8. Lalu kerjakan tasyahud akhir.
  9. Yang terakhir salam dua kali.
  10. Seusai salam, dianjurkan untuk berdzikir lalu membaca do’a setelah sholat dhuha.

Doa Sholat Dhuha

Setelah selesai mengerjakan sholat dhuha, disunnahkan untuk membaca doa sholat dhuha. Doa setelah sholat dhuha tidak dibatasi. Kita boleh berdoa apa saja yang kita inginkan, tentunya bukan doa yang berisi tentang keburukan. Kita juga boleh membaca doa yang kita sukai. Namun, hendaknya kita memulai doa dengan menyebut nama Allah SWT, memuji syukur kepada Allah SWT, dan bershalawat atas Nabi Muhammad SAW.

َللهُمَّ اِنَّ الضُّحَآءَ ضُحَاءُكَ، وَالْبَهَاءَ بَهَاءُكَ، وَالْجَمَالَ جَمَالُكَ، وَالْقُوَّةَ قُوَّتُكَ، وَالْقُدْرَةَ قُدْرَتُكَ، وَالْعِصْمَةَ عِصْمَتُكَ. اَللهُمَّ اِنْ كَانَ رِزْقِى فِى السَّمَآءِ فَأَنْزِلْهُ وَاِنْ كَانَ فِى اْلاَرْضِ فَأَخْرِجْهُ وَاِنْ كَانَ مُعَسَّرًا فَيَسِّرْهُ وَاِنْ كَانَ حَرَامًا فَطَهِّرْهُ وَاِنْ كَانَ بَعِيْدًا فَقَرِّبْهُ بِحَقِّ ضُحَاءِكَ وَبَهَاءِكَ وَجَمَالِكَ وَقُوَّتِكَ وَقُدْرَتِكَ آتِنِىْ مَآاَتَيْتَ عِبَادَكَ الصَّالِحِيْنَ


Artinya :
“Wahai Tuhanku, sesungguhnya waktu dhuha adalah waktu dhuha-Mu, keagungan adalah keagunan-Mu, keindahan adalah keindahan-Mu, kekuatan adalah kekuatan-Mu, penjagaan adalah penjagaan-Mu, Wahai Tuhanku, apabila rezekiku berada di atas langit maka turunkanlah, apabila berada di dalam bumi maka keluarkanlah, apabila sukar mudahkanlah, apabila haram sucikanlah, apabila jauh dekatkanlah dengan kebenaran dhuha-Mu, kekuasaan-Mu (Wahai Tuhanku), datangkanlah padaku apa yang Engkau datangkan kepada hamba-hambaMu yang soleh”.
Doa sholat dhuha ini merupakan salah satu dari keutamaan sholat dhuha, dimana kita lebih mudah meminta agar Allah bukakan pintu rezeki. Sesuai dengan hadist Nabi berikut ini :
“Wahai anak Adam, jangan sekali-kali engkau malas mengerjakan empat rakaat pada waktu permulaan siang ( Shalat Dhuha ) niscaya pasti akan Aku cukupkan kebutuhanmu pada akhir harinya “ (HR.Hakim dan Thabrani).

Keutamaan Sholat Dhuha

Mengerjakan sholat dhuha memiliki banyak manfaat. Berikut adalah keutamaan sholat dhuha:

Sholat dhuha sebagai sedekah

Sholat dhuha dapat menjadi sedekah sesuai dengan hadist berikut :
Dari Abu Dzar al-Ghifari RA, ia berkata bahwa Nabi Muhammad SAW bersabda : “Setiap pagi, setiap ruas anggota badan kalian wajib dikeluarkan shadaqahnya. Setiap tasbih adalah shadaqah, setiap tahmid adalah shadaqah, setiap tahlil adalah shadaqah, setiap takbir adalah shadaqah, menyuruh kepada kebaikan adalah shadaqah dan melarang berbuat munkar adalah shadaqah. Semua itu dapat diganti dengan shalat dhuha dua rakaat.” (HR. Muslim)

Dibangunkan sebuah rumah di surga

Untuk yang rajin mengerjakan sholat dhuha maka akan mendapat sebuah rumah yang dibangun di dalam surga. Hal ini sesuai dengan isi hadist Nabi Muhammad SAW : “Barang siapa yang shalat dhuha sebanyak empat rakaat dan empat rakaat sebelumnya, maka ia akan dibangunkan sebuah rumah di surga.” (Shahih al-Jami’ : 634)

Pahalanya setara dengan pahala umrah

Mengerjakan sholat dhuha tentunya akan mendapatkan pahala. Pahala dari sholat dhuha setara dengan pahala mengerjakan umrah.

Sesuai dengan isi hadist dari Abu Hurairah RA bahwa Rasulullah SAW bersabda: “Barangsiapa yang keluar dari rumahnya dalam keadaan bersuci untuk melaksanakan shalat wajib maka pahalanya seperti seorang yang melaksanakan haji. Barangsiapa yang keluar untuk melaksanakan shalat Dhuha maka pahalanya seperti orang yang melaksanakan umrah. (Shahih al-Targhib : 673)


Shalat tarawih adalah bagian dari shalat nafilah (tathawwu’). Mengerjakannya disunnahkan secara berjama’ah pada bulan Ramadhan, dan sunnah muakkadah. Disebut tarawih, karena setiap selesai dari empat rakaat, para jama’ah duduk untuk istirahat.
Tarawih adalah bentuk jama’ dari tarwihah. Menurut bahasa berarti jalsah (duduk). Kemudian duduk pada bulan Ramadhan setelah selesai dari empat raka’at disebut tarwihah; karena dengan duduk itu, orang-orang bisa istirahat dari lamanya melaksanakan qiyam Ramadhan.

Bahkan para salaf bertumpu pada tongkat, karena terlalu lamanya berdiri. Dari situ,kemudian setiap empat raka’at, disebut tarwihah, dan kesemuanya disebut tarawih secara majaz.
Aisyah Radhiyallahu anhuma ditanya: “Bagaimana shalat Rasul Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam pada bulan Ramadhan?” Dia menjawab, “Beliau tidak pemah menambah -di Ramadhan atau di luarnya- lebih dari 11 raka’at. Beliau shalat empat rakaat, maka jangan ditanya tentang bagusnya dan lamanya. Kemudian beliau shalat 3 raka’at.” [HR Bukhari]
Kata ثم (kemudian), adalah kata penghubung yang memberikan makna berurutan, dan adanya jeda waktu.

Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam shalat empat raka’at dengan dua kali salam, kemudian beristirahat. Hal ini berdasarkan keterangan Aisyah Radhiyallahu anhuma, “Adalah Rasulullah melakukan shalat pada waktu setelah selesainya shalat Isya’, hingga waktu fajar, sebanyak 11 raka’at, mengucapkan salam pada setiap dua raka’at, dan melakukan witir dengan saturaka’at.” [HR Muslim].
Juga berdasarkan keterangan Ibn Umar Radhiyallahu anhuma, bahwa seseorang bertanya, “Wahai 

Rasulullah,bagaimana shalat malam itu?” Beliau menjawab,
مَشْنَى مَشْنَى فَإِذَا خِفْتَ الصُّبْحَ فَأَوْتِِرْ بِوَا حِدَةِ
“Yaitu dua raka’at-dua raka’at, maka apabila kamu khawatir (masuk waktu) shubuh, berwitirlah dengan satu raka’at. [HR Bukhari]
Dalam hadits Ibn Umar yang lain disebutkan:
صَلاَةُ الَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ رَكْعَتَانِ رَكْعَتَانِ
“Shalat malam dan siang dua raka’at-dua raka’at”. [HR Ibn Abi Syaibah. Ash Shalah, 309; At Tamhid, 5/251; Al Hawadits, 140-143; Fathul Bari, 4/250; Al Ijabat Al Bahiyyah,18; Al Muntaqa,4/49-51]

1.Hadits Abu Hurairah Radhiyallahu anhu
مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ اِيْمَانَا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْذنْبِه
“Barang siapa melakukan qiyam (lail) pada bulan Ramadhan, karena iman dan mencari pahala, maka diampuni untuknya apa yang telah lalu dari dosanya.”

Maksud qiyam Ramadhan, secara khusus, menurut Imam Nawawi adalah shalat tarawih. Hadits ini memberitahukan, bahwa shalat tarawih itu bisa mendatangkan maghfirah dan bisa menggugurkan semua dosa; tetapi dengan syarat karena bermotifkan iman; membenarkan pahala-pahala yang dijanjikan oleh Allah dan mencari pahala tersebut dari Allah. Bukan karena riya’ atau sekedar adat kebiasaan. [Fathul Bari 4/251; Tanbihul Ghafilin 357-458; Majalis Ramadhan, 58; AtTamhid, 3/320; AI Ijabat Al Bahiyyah, 6]

Hadits ini dipahami oleh para salafush shaalih, termasuk oleh Abu Hurairah sebagai anjuran yang kuat dari Rasulullah untuk melakukan qiyam Ramadhan (shalat tarawih, tahajud, dan lain-lain). [At Tamhid, 3/311-317: Sunan Abi Daud, 166]

2. Hadits Abdurrahman bin Auf Radhiyallahu anhu,
إِِنَّ رَمَضَانَ شَهْرٌ فَرَضَ اللَّهُ صِيَامَهُ وَإِنِّي سَنَنْتُ لِلْمُسلِمِيْنَ قِيَامَهُ فَمَنْ صَامَهُ وَقَامَهُ إِعيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا خَرَجَ مِنَْ الذُّنُوبْ كَيَوْم وَلَدَتْهُ أُمُّه
“Sesungguhnya Ramadhan adalah bulan dimana Allah mewajibkan puasanya, dan sesungguhnya aku menyunnahkan qiyamnya untuk orang-orang Islam. Maka barang siapa berpuasa Ramadhan dan qiyam Ramadhan karena iman dan mencari pahala, maka ia (pasti) keluar dari dosa-dosanya sebagaimana pada hari ia dilahirkan oleh ibunya.(HR : Ahmad, Ibnu Majah. Al Bazzar, Abu Ya’la dan Abdur Razzaqmeriwayatkannya dari Abu Hurairah.)
Al Albani berkata, “Yang shahih hanya kalimat yang kedua saja, yang awal dha’if.”[Lihat Sunan lbn Majah, 146,147; AlIjabat Al Bahiyyah, 8-10]

3. Hadits Abu Dzar Radhiyallahu anhu,
مَنْ قَامَ مَعَ اْلإِمَامِ حَتَّى يَنْصَرِفَ كُتِبَ لَهُ قِيَامُ لَيْلَة
“Barang siapa qiyamul lail bersama imam sampai ia selesai, maka ditulis untuknya (pahala) qiyam satu malam (penuh).” [HR Ahmad, Abu Daud, Tirmidzi, Ibn Majah, Nasa’i, dan lain-lain, Hadits shahih. Lihat Al ljabat Al Bahiyyah, 7]
Hadits ini sekaligus juga memberikan anjuran, agar melakukan shalat tarawih secara berjamaah dan mengikuti imam hingga selesai.
Ada sebagian orang berpendapat,shalat Tarawih berjama’ah baru dikerjakan pada zaman khalifah Umar binKhaththab. Benarkah demikian? Mari kita tengok sejarah melalui hadits-hadits serta riwayat-riwayat shahih apa yang terjadi pada zaman Nabi dan bagaimana yang terjadi pada masa Khulafa’ur Rasyidin.


Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam telah melaksanakan dan memimpin shalat tarawih. Bahkan beliau Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam menjelaskan fadhilahnya, dan menyetujui jama’ah tarawih yang dipimpin oleh sahabat Ubay bin Ka’ab. Berikut ini adalah dalil-dalil yang menjelaskan, bahwa shalat tarawih secara berjama’ah disunnahkan oleh Nabi Shalallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, dan dilakukan secara khusyu’ dengan bacaan yang panjang.
1.      Hadits Nu’man bin Basyir, Radhiyallahu anhu : Ia berkata: “Kami melaksanakan qiyamul lail (tarawih) bersama Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam pada malam 23 bulan Ramadhan, sampai sepertiga malam. Kemudian kami shalat lagi bersama beliau pada malam 25 Ramadhan (berakhir) sampai separoh malam. Kemudian beliau memimpin lagi pada malam 27 Ramadhan sampai kami menyangka tidak akan sempat mendapati sahur.” [HR. Nasa’i, Ahmad, Al Hakim. Shahih]
2.      Hadits Abu Dzar Radhiyallahu anhu : Ia berkata: “Kami puasa, tetapi Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam tidak memimpin kami untuk melakukan shalat (tarawih), hingga Ramadhan tinggal tujuh hari lagi, maka Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam mengimami kami shalat, sampai lewat sepertiga malam. Kemudian beliau tidak keluar lagi pada malam ke enam. Dan pada malam ke lima,beliau memimpin shalat lagi sampai lewat separoh malam. Lalu kami berkata kepada Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, ‘Seandainya engkau menambah lagi untuk kami sisa malam kita ini?’, maka beliau Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersada,

3.      مَنْ قَامَ مَعَ اْلإِمَامِ حَتَّى يَنْصَرِفَ كُتِبَ لَهُ قِيَامُ لَيْلَة

Barang siapa shalat (tarawih) bersama imam sampai selesai. maka ditulis untuknya shalat satu malam (suntuk).’
Kemudian beliau ٍShallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam tidak memimpin shalat lagi, hingga Ramadhan tinggal tiga hari. Maka beliau memimpin kami shalat pada malam ketiga. Beliau mengajak keluarga dan istrinya. Beliau mengimami sampai kami khawatir tidak mendapat falah. saya (perawi) bertanya, apa itu falah? Dia (Abu Dzar) berkata, “Sahur.”[HR Nasai, Tirmidzi, Ibn Majah, Abu Daud, Ahmad. Shahih]
3        Tsa’labah bin Abi Malik Al Qurazhi Radhiyallahu anhu berkata: “Pada suatu malam, di malam Ramadhan, Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam keluar rumah, kemudian beliau melihat sekumpulan orang disebuah pojok masjid sedang melaksanakan shalat. Beliau lalu bertanya, ‘Apa yang sedang mereka lakukan?’ Seseorang menjawab, ‘Ya Rasulullah, sesungguhnya mereka itu adalah orang-orang yang tidak membaca Al Qur’an, sedang Ubay bin Ka’ab ahli membaca Al Qur’an, maka mereka shalat (ma’mum) dengan shalatnya Ubay.’ Beliau lalu bersabda,
قَدْ أَحْسَنُوْا وَقَدْ أَصَابُوْا
‘Mereka telah berbuat baik dan telah berbuat benar.’ Beliau tidak membencinya.”[HR Abu Daud dan Al Baihaqi, ia berkata: Mursal hasan. Syaikh Al Albani berkata, “Telah diriwayatkan secara mursal dari jalan lain dari Abu Hurairah,dengan sanad yang tidak bermasalah (bisa diterima).”. [Shalat At Tarawih, 9]

1.      Para sahabat Rasulullah, shalat tarawih di masjid Nabawi pada malam-malam Ramadhan secara awza’an (berpencar-pencar). Orang yang bisa membaca Al Qur’an ada yang mengimami 5 orang, ada yang 6 orang, ada yang lebih sedikit dari itu, dan ada yang lebih banyak. Az Zuhri berkata, “Ketika Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam wafat, orang-orang shalat tarawih dengan cara seperti itu. Kemudian pada masa Abu Bakar, caranya tetap seperti itu; begitu pula awal khalifah Umar.”
2.      Abdurrahman bin Abdul Qari’ berkata, “Saya keluar ke masjid bersama Umar Radhiyallahu anhu pada bulan Ramadhan. Ketika itu orang-orang berpencaran; ada yang shalat sendirian, dan ada yang shalat dengan jama’ah yang kecil (kurang dari sepuluh orang). Umar berkata, ‘Demi Allah, saya melihat (berpandangan),seandainya mereka saya satukan di belakang satu imam, tentu lebih utama,’ Kemudian beliau bertekad dan mengumpulkan mereka di bawah pimpinan Ubay bin Ka’ab. Kemudian saya keluar lagi bersama beliau pada malam lain. Ketika itu orang-orang sedang shalat di belakang imam mereka. Maka Umar Radhiyallahu anhu berkata,’Ini adalah sebaik-baik hal baru.’ Dan shalat akhir malam nanti lebih utama dari shalat yang mereka kerjakan sekarang.” Peristiwa ini terjadi pada tahun 14H.
3.      Umar Radhiyallahu anhu mengundang para qari’ pada bulan Ramadhan, lalu memberi perintah kepada mereka agar yang paling cepat bacaanya membaca 30 ayat (+/- 3 halaman), dan yang sedang agar membaca 25 ayat,adapun yang pelan membaca 20 ayat (+ 2 halaman).
4.      Al A’raj (seorang tabi’in Madinah,wafat 117 H) berkata, ;”Kami tidak mendapati orang-orang, melainkan mereka sudah melaknat orang kafir (dalam do’a) pada bulan Ramadhan.” la berkata, “Sang qari’ (imam) membaca ayat Al Baqarah dalam 8 raka’at. Jika ia telah memimpin 12 raka’at, (maka) barulah orang-orang merasa kalau imam meringankan.”
5.      Abdullah bin Abi Bakr berkata, “Saya mendengar bapak saya berkata,’Kami sedang pulang dari shalat (tarawih) pada malam Ramadhan. Kami menyuruh pelayan agar cepat-cepat menyiapkan makanan, karena takut tidak mendapat sahur’. ”
6.      Saib bin Yazid rahimahullah (Wafat 91 H) berkata, “Umar Radhiyallahu anhu memerintah Ubay bin Ka’ab dan Tamim Ad Dari Radhiyallahu anhuma agar memimpin shalat tarawih pada bulan Ramadhan dengan 11 raka’at. Maka sang qari’ membaca dengan ratusan ayat, hingga kita bersandar pada tongkat karena sangat lamanya berdiri. Maka kami tidak pulang dari tarawih, melainkan sudah di ujung fajar.” [Fathul Bari, 4/250-254; Shalat At Tarawih, 11; Al ljabat Al Bahiyyah,15-18; Al Majmu’, 4/34]


Mengenai masalah ini, diantara para ulama salaf terdapat perselisihan yang cukup banyak (variasinya) hingga mencapai belasan pendapat, sebagaimana di bawah ini.
1.      Sebelas raka’at (8 + 3 Witir),riwayat Malik dan Said bin Manshur.
2.      Tiga belas raka’at (2 raka’atringan + 8 + 3 Witir), riwayat Ibnu Nashr dan Ibnu Ishaq, atau (8 + 3 + 2),atau (8 + 5) menurut riwayat Muslim.
3.      Sembilan belas raka’at (16 + 3).
4.      Dua puluh satu raka’at (20 + 1),riwayat Abdurrazzaq.
5.      Dua puluh tiga raka’at (20 + 3),riwayat Malik, Ibn Nashr dan Al Baihaqi. Demikian ini adalah madzhab Abu Hanifah,Syafi’i, Ats Tsauri, Ahmad, Abu Daud dan Ibnul Mubarak.
6.      Dua puluh sembilan raka’at (28 +1).
7.      Tiga puluh sembilan raka’at (36 +3), Madzhab Maliki, atau (38 + 1).
8.      Empat puluh satu raka’at (38 +3), riwayat Ibn Nashr dari persaksian Shalih Mawla Al Tau’amah tentang shalatnya penduduk Madinah, atau (36 + 5) seperti dalam Al Mughni 2/167.
9.      Empatpuluh sembilan raka’at (40 +9); 40 tanpa witir adalah riwayat dari Al Aswad Ibn Yazid.
10.  Tiga puluh empat raka’at tanpa witir (di Basrah, Iraq).
11.  Dua puluh empat raka’at tanpa witir (dari Said Ibn Jubair).
12.  Enam belas raka’at tanpa witir.

Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam telah melakukan dan memimpin shalat tarawih, terdiri dari sebelas raka’at (8 +3). Dalilnya sebagai berikut.
1.      Hadits Aisyah Radhiyallahu anhuma : ia ditanya oleh Abu Salamah Abdur Rahman tentang qiyamul lailnya Rasul pada bulan Ramadhan, ia menjawab:
إنَّهُ كَانَ لاَ يَزِيْدُ فِي رَمَضَانَ وَلاَ فِي غَيْرِهِ عَلَى إِحْدَى عَشْرَةَ
“Sesungguhnya beliau tidak pernah menambah pada bulan Ramadhan, atau pada bulan lainnya. lebih dari sebelas raka’at. [HR Bukhari, Muslim]
Ibn Hajar berkata, “Jelas sekali, bahwa hadits ini menunjukkan shalatnya Rasul (adalah) sama semua di sepanjang tahun.”
2.      Hadits Jabir bin Abdillah Radhiyallahu anhu ia berkata: “Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam shalat dengan kami pada bulan Ramadhan 8 raka’at dan witir. Ketika malam berikutnya, kami berkumpul di masjid dengan harapan beliau shalat dengan kami. Maka kami terus berada di masjid hingga pagi, kemudian kami masuk bertanya, “Ya Rasulullah, tadi malam kami berkumpul di masjid, berharap anda shalat bersama kami,” maka beliau bersabda, “Sesungguhnya aku khawatir diwajibkan atas kalian. “[HR Thabrani, Ibnu Hibban dan Ibnu Huzaimah, dihasankan oleh Al Albani. ShalatAt Tarawih, 18; Fath Al Aziz 4/265]
3.      Pengakuan Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam tentang 8 raka’atdan 3 witir. Ubay bin Ka’ab datang kepada Rasulullah, lalu berkata,”Ya Rasulullah, ada sesuatu yang saya kerjakan tadi malam (Ramadhan). Beliau bertanya,”Apa itu, wahai Ubay?” Ia menjawab,”Para wanita di rumahku berkata,’Sesungguhnya kami ini tidak membaca Al Qur’an. Bagaimana kalau kami shalat dengan shalatmu?’ Ia berkata,”Maka saya shalat dengan mereka 8 raka’at dan witir. Maka hal itu menjadi sunnah yang diridhai. Beliau Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam tidak mengatakan apa-apa.”[HR Abu Ya’la, Thabrani dan Ibn Nashr, dihasankan oleh Al Haitsami dan Al Albani. Lihat Shalat At-Tarawih, 68].
Adapun hadits-hadits yang menjelaskan bahwa Rasulullah shalat tarawih dengan 20 raka’at, maka haditsnya tidak ada yang shahih. [Fathul Bari, 4/254; Al Hawi. 1/413; Al Fatawa Al Haditsiyah, 1.195: ShalatAt Tarawih, 19-21]

Ada beberapa riwayat shahih tentang bilangan raka’at shalat tarawih para sahabat pada zaman Umar Radhiyallahu anhu . Yaitu: 11 raka’at, 13 raka’at, 21 raka’at, dan 23 raka’at. Kemudian 39 raka’at juga shahih, pada masa Khulafaur Rasyidin setelah Umar; tetapi hal ini khusus di Madinah. Berikut keterangan pada masa Umar
1.      Sebelas raka’at.
Umar Radhiyallahu anhu memerintahkan kepada Ubay danTamim Ad Dari Radhiyallahu anhuma untuk shalat 11 raka’at. Mereka membaca ratusan ayat, sampai makmum bersandar pada tongkat karena kelamaan dan selesai hampir Subuh. Demikian ini riwayat Imam Malik dari Muhammad bin Yusuf dari Saib Ibn Yazid. Imam Suyuthi dan Imam Subkhi menilai, bahwa hadits ini sangat shahih. Syaikh Al Albani juga menilai, bahwa hadits ini shahih sekali.
2.      Tiga belas raka’at.
Semua perawi dari Muhammd Ibn Yusuf mengatakan 11 raka’at, kecuali Muhammad Ibn Ishaq. Ia berkata 13 raka’at (HR Ibn Nashr), akan tetapi hadits ini sesuai dengan hadits ‘Aisyah yang mengatakan 11 raka’at. Hal ini bisa dipahami, bahwa termasuk dalam bilangan itu ialah 2 raka’at shalat Fajar, atau 2 raka’at pemula yang ringan, atau 8 raka’at ditambah 5 raka’at Witir.
3.      Dua puluh raka’at (ditambah 1 atau 3 raka’at Witir).
Abdur Razzaq meriwayatkan dari Muhammad Ibn Yusuf dengan lafadz “21 raka’at” (sanad shahih). Al Baihaqi dalam As Sunan dan Al Firyabi dalam Ash Shiyam meriwayatkan dari jalur Yazid Ibn Khushaifah dari SaibIbn Yazid, bahwa mereka- pada zaman Umar di bulan Ramadhan shalat tarawih 20 raka’at. Mereka membaca ratusan ayat, dan bertumpu ‘pada tongkat pada zaman Utsman, karena terlalu lama berdiri.

Riwayat ini dishahihkan oleh Imam Al Nawawi, Al Zaila’i, Al Aini, Ibn Al Iraqi, Al Subkhi, As Suyuthi, Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Bazz, dan lain-lain.
Sementara itu Syaikh Al Albani menganggap, bahwa dua riwayat ini bertentangan dengan riwayat sebelumnya, tidak bisa dijama’ (digabungkan). Maka beliau memakai metode tarjih (memilih riwayat yang shahih dan meninggalkan yang lain). Beliau menyatakan, bahwa Muhammad Ibn Yusuf perawi yang tsiqah tsabit (sangat terpercaya), telah meriwayatkan dari Saib Ibn Yazid 11 raka’at. Sedangkan Ibn Khushaifah yang hanya pada peringkat tsiqah (terpercaya) meriwayatkan 21 raka’at. Sehingga hadits Ibn Khushaifah ini -menurut beliau-adalah syadz (asing, menyalahi hadits yang lebih shahih). [Al Majmu’, 4/32; Shalat At Tarawih, 46; Al Ijabat Al Bahiyyah. 16-18]
          Hemp, Inc. to Expand The Hemp University After Its 3rd Successful Symposium   

SPRING HOPE, NC--(Marketwired - Jun 29, 2017) - Hemp, Inc. (OTC PINK: HEMP) is pleased to announce the huge success of its 3rd Hemp University educational symposium held this past weekend which focused on The Art and Science of CBD Greenhouse Growing. The educational symposium was held at Louisburg College in Louisburg, North Carolina. A team of experts engaged attendees through the greenhouse and indoor growing process from cultivation to harvest and from processing to distribution. Dr. Robert Bruck, Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science at Louisburg College, was The Hemp University's special guest who lectured on soil microbiology during the symposium. Attendees were able to spend half of the course at Hemp, Inc.'s 70,000 square-foot Industrial Hemp Hub, in a 3,000 square-foot cloning room. There, attendees had the opportunity to experience a more hands-on learning approach.

          Darkest Night Bundle   
Darkest Night Bundle
Darkest Night Bundle Darkest Nights is a seductive outfit that will allow Genesis to reveal her darkest secrets, desires, and intentions. This three-piece set comes with a bra, corset and skirt, each of which include several adjustment options so you can customize them to your liking. Whether she’s walking the catwalk, partying at the club, or battling a rival superhero, your character will be dressed to kill. What’s Included and Features Darkest Nights (.DUF and .CR2) Bra Adjust_All Adjust_Back Adjust_ChestCenter Adjust_ChestFrontBottom Adjust_ChestFrontTop Adjust_Sides Corset Adjust_All Adjust_Back Adjust_BackTop Adjust_Belly Adjust_Bottom Adjust_Buttocks Adjust_ChestFrontBottom Adjust_ChestSides Adjust_Thighs Adjust_Top Adjust_Waist01 Adjust_Waist02 Skirt Adjust_Back Adjust_Belly Adjust_Bottom Adjust_Buttocks Adjust_Thighs Adjust_Waist01 Adjust_Waist02 2 Leather Color Options: Black Red Textures Include: 1 Transparency Map (2048 x 2048) 1 Bump Map (1400 x 1400) 1 Velvet Map (1200 x 1200) 1 Reflection Map (1024 x 1024) DAZ Studio Material Presets (.DUF) Poser Imported Material Presets (.MC6 and .DUF) Blackest Hour for Darkest Nights Make your style more provocative with these 35 various materials for Darkest Nights, which come in latex, fur and velvet mix-and-match options. The latex and velvet colors are easily changeable via the Diffuse color channel in the Surfaces Tab, which allows for an unlimited amount of colors options. 3D graphic design features include 12 bra materials, 12 corset materials and 11 skirt materials for 3D models. What’s Included and Features 35 Material Presets For Darkest Night Outfit: 12 Bra Materials 12 Corset Materials 11 Skirt Materials Textures: 2 Texture Transparency Maps (2048 x 2048) 4 Texture Transparency […]
          Food Scientist   
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          Mathematics for the Physical Sciences   

          Veative Launches Educational VR Headset with Interactive Controller   
VR Learn currently offers more than 500 content modules in biology, chemistry, physics and math. The company expects to bring the number of available modules to 700 by mid-2017 and 1,100 by the end of the year.
          Album Review: Prong - "Ruining Lives"   

Heads up, fans of early 90's metal. Prong is back with a new album. But before we get to just how awesome the new album is (sorry for the spoiler), I have my very own, albeit unexciting to anyone but me, Prong story.

It was back in late January, 1992. Bill Clinton was the new President, glam metal was dying a slow, painful death and "alternative music" was beginning to take hold. I had just hooked up with a local band as their biggest fan/roadie when we had the opportunity to open for Prong at the Lost Horizon club in Syracuse, NY. The trip from Albany to Syracuse is not a particularly taxing event unless, of course, you're driving through a blizzard, which we were. The drive took quite a while and we almost died once or twice but, as they say, the show must go on. Suffice it to say, we made it in one piece and the band did, in fact, open for Prong while they were supporting their "Prove You Wrong" album. Rock and roll!

The drive back to Albany was even worse but I'll save that for another day.

Since we're talking about the "Prove You Wrong" album, we might as well mention "Beg To Differ" and "Cleansing" also. These three albums, for me, put Prong near the top of the class when it came to the new face of metal in the early 90's along with Pantera and Sepultura. Prong's music was sparse and aggressive and, in my less-than-humble opinion, "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck" is still one of the greats.

I am super excited at the opportunity to review the newest Prong album, "Ruining Lives". It has been nearly 24 years since "Beg To Differ" came out and the band has changed personnel a number of times since then. This time around, it's founding member Tommy Victor on vocals and guitar, Jason Christopher on bass and Art Cruz on the drums.

As far as the new album goes, it's freakin' Prong! The drums are a bit more produced than previous albums but Victor is still nailing it with his guitar sound. The music has also matured quite a bit. Where the riffs and lyrics were more minimalistic in the past, "Ruining Lives" is much more melodic in both the music and the vocals. Where Tommy Victor used to just shout (see "Prove You Wrong"), he now sings from time to time. You'll still hear some of Prong's signature sound, especially on "Absence of Light", but it has been augmented with more melodious choruses throughout.

When a band, especially a metal band, spreads its wings and ventures outside its box, an argument almost always ensues. If this album were made by a new band you had never heard of before you would think, "This is great. It sounds a little like Prong". But since Prong did, in fact, make it, I'm afraid fans of their older material will say, "Why is he SINGING? Why aren't they more pissed off?".

Make no mistake, they're still pissed off but maybe not quite AS pissed off as they were 24 years ago. Tommy Victor and Prong are a New York City band. Remember what New York was like 24 years ago? It was dirty and gritty and Prong's music reflected that grittiness. Now, we have in many places, a kinder, gentler, slightly less gritty New York and Prong's latest album seems to reflect that as well.

The album starts with a handful of kick ass songs but really shifts into high gear in the middle of the record beginning with "Absence Of Light", "The Book Of Change" and "Self Will Run Riot".

Prong really stretches its legs with the poly-rhythmic "Come To Realize". As far as I know, this is a pretty radical departure for the band and is not unwelcomed. This is the maturity of the music I spoke of earlier. As Tommy Victor himself says, "It really is math-metal meets pure hardcore with a crazy-ass riff" and I couldn't agree more.

I didn't love, love, love everything on "Ruining Lives" but I did like it all a lot. It's the same Prong you know and love with a few added features for those of us who have grown along with the music. My days of roadie-ing have long since passed but Prong will always have a special place in the old memory banks. And now, thanks to this new album, we can start a whole new chapter. Rock on!


          Comment on Money math for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade by Jasmine Gupta   
Great ideas-combining play and learning simultaneously. Thanks Anna.
          30/06/2017 soccer prediction by Mathewson   

  Date30/06/2017 12:35 (Chinese Super League.) FC Shanghai Shenhua – Liaoning Whowin FC Selection:Over: ov1.5 ___________________________________ Date30/06/2017 19:45 (rep.ireland, – airtricity league) Bray Wanderers AFC – Dundalk FC Selection:Over: ov1.5 _________________________________ Date30/06/2017 16:30 (finland Ykkonen) Jaro – EIF Selection:Over: ov1.5 Date30/06/2017 12:35 (Chinese Super League.) FC Shanghai Shenhua – Liaoning Whowin FC Selection:Over: ov1.5 ___________________________________ […]

The post 30/06/2017 soccer prediction by Mathewson appeared first on

          today 29-06-2017 football prediction by Mathewson   

28/06/2017 prediction outcome Date28/06/2017 23:30 Gremio RS – Atletico Paranaense Selection :1 OUTCOME; 4:0 ✔ ✔ _______________________________________________ Date 28/06/2017 11:00 Sanfrecce Hiroshima – FC Tokyo Selection :Under 3.5 OUTCOME: 0:1 ✔ ✔ __________________________________________________________ Date28/06/2017 19:00 EventPortugal – Chile Selection :Under 3.5 OUTCOME: 0:0 ✔ ✔ __________________________________________________ Date28/06/2017 11:00 Jeonnam Dragons – FC Seoul Selection:Over 2.5 […]

The post today 29-06-2017 football prediction by Mathewson appeared first on

          Problem with triggers in database   

by Vladimir Miranovic.  


I have a problem in my Organization, we have a Moodle (2.9 and 3.2) with online courses and we need to remove completed or dropped enrollments from our moodle site/courses, but also we need to keep records of all enrollments, completions and group membership, for reporting (quarterly, yearly or ad-hoc).

For that reason I got idea to create copy of Moodle original tables in the same database (live Moodle). For example for enrol (original table) I made xenrol (copy of original table, with less fields), and for course (original table) I made xcourse (copy of original table, with less fields). I also made user_enrolments, groups, groups_members, course_completions, and for user I don’t need a copy, as also for grades (grades_grades_history), and certificates (there is a plugin for keeping cetificates).

After that I created a trigger on the after insert event on original course table (and similar on other tables).


CREATE TRIGGER writetoxcourse


ON m320_course FOR EACH ROW


                INSERT INTO m320_xcourse (xid, xcategory, xfullname, xshortname, xidnumber, xstartdate, xenddate, xgroupmode, xgroupmodeforce, xtimecreated, xtimemodified)

                VALUES (id, category, fullname, shortname , idnumber, startdate, enddate, groupmode, groupmodeforce, timecreated, timemodified);




However, when I try to create new course, I get error from Moodle (same with other tables), and when I remove trigger from course table everything is functioning normally.

Idea of make copies of the tables in same database coming from simplicity of accessing and doing reports from standard “Configurable Reports” or “Ad-hoc”.

Maybe someone will write local plugin with this “Mini SYS in Moodle” in the future, but we need solution now (our funding depends on reporting), please help.


          Trump's Mika Brzezinski tweets show that he hates women -- especially members of the press   

This morning, the president of the United States used his favorite media platform for addressing the public to remind us of just how little respect he has for women -- especially women in the press.

Shortly before 9 a.m., Trump posted two revoltingly sexist tweets attacking MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski for her appearance and intellect. The leader of the free world called the morning show anchor “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and alleged that she had attempted to visit him at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on New Year’s Eve and was “bleeding badly from a face-lift” at the time.

This isn’t the first time Trump’s attacked women media figures -- it’s not even close -- and it’s also not the first time he’s done it on Twitter. In recent years, he has tweeted that:

He and his campaign targeted reporter Michelle Fields (formerly of and HuffPost) after then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was shown on camera manhandling her at a campaign event.

Trump repeatedly lashed out at Megyn Kelly during the campaign season offline as well, at one point saying in an interview that she had “blood coming out of her wherever.” He also attacked Tur at rallies and in interviews, calling her “Little Katy, third-rate journalist” and “not a very good reporter” and singling her out at press events.

After People’s Natasha Stoynoff reported that Trump had sexually assaulted her in 2005, Trump suggested at a campaign rally that the report was false because Stoynoff wasn’t attractive, saying, "You take a look. Look at her. Look at her words. You tell me what you think. I don't think so.”

Earlier this week, Trump was openly reducing another professional reporter to her body, pausing an official diplomatic call in the Oval Office to comment on Irish reporter Caitriona Perry’s smile.

This post has been updated to reflect that Michelle Fields no longer works at HuffPost. 

          [Listen] Supermansion – Skeleton Key   
Windsor rockers Supermansion have been know to be artsy and mathy at times, but on “Skeleton Key” they keep it pretty simple, with chunky riffs, anguished vocals, and a stoner groove. Don't Go Inside! by Supermansion
          Scary moment for Jamie Dick in Iowa practice   
Piece of lead off another car damages No. 55 ride, hits driver in helmet Photo credit: @JasonToy1 NEWTON, Iowa – Talk about a welcome back gift.   Jamie Dick , driver/owner of the No. 55 Viva Motorsports Chevrolet, returned to competition at Iowa Speedway on Saturday for the first time since being diagnosed with new onset diabetes in March. It started off with a bang -- literally.   While coming back onto the track from pit road, a piece of lead came off of the No. 4 car driven by Ross Chastain , impaling Dick's Camaro in the upper left portion of its windshield. The hit was so hard, it destroyed the laminated windshield and protruded through, hitting and leaving a noticeable dent in Dick's helmet. "It was a rough return (to the track)," Dick joked in between practice sessions for Sunday's NASCAR XFINITY Series 3M 250 (2 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). "I was following another car out and when we pulled off pit road and got on the race track, I saw a piece of something; I thought it was a brake deck hose because it was silver and cylindrical. When we got down into the corner, I saw another piece of that fly out and I kind of dodged it. "Then a split second after that, the lead hit the windshield. I don't know if it was lead or tungsten, but whatever it was, it hit the windshield. I didn't even see it before it hit, I just saw the windshield cave in and I felt it. I didn't even realize it hit me (in the helmet) until we came in. I might've felt it, but everything happened so fast you don't know exactly when you feel it."   Dick was checked for concussion symptoms and cleared in the infield care center and he said he felt "fine." His car, on the other hand, not so much. Aftermath of Jamie Dick getting hit with a piece of lead on the race track. Dented his helmet. #NASCAR #3M250 — Pat DeCola (@Pat_DeCola) May 16, 2015 The single-car No. 55 team (which also employs Jeffery Earnhardt as a part-time driver) was forced to use a backup car for the second session and planned on replacing the backup car's engine with a separate backup engine after an oil issue cropped up in the replacement.   For a driver that's already conquered a mountain of adversity already this season in the form of his new disease just to get back to racing, Saturday's events certainly didn't make things any easier. Dick immediately received plenty of support from his peers, as Ty Dillon and several other drivers came over to his garage stall after practice ended to check on him.   Chastain and team owner Johnny Davis did come by to apologize to Dick and make sure he was OK. While it wasn't necessarily his fault, Chastain also tweeted a full apology shortly after the incident. — Ross Chastain (@RossChastain) May 16, 2015 NASCAR officials were also quick to the scene. "NASCAR was there right away inspecting and seeing what happened," Dick said. "The laminated windshield did its job, which is the good part, and that's something they implemented a year ago or so. That held up or else it would've been a much worse day."   While Dick said it isn't really for him to say whether or not the No. 4 team should be penalized for what happened, he mentioned he "would be very surprised if there wasn't one."   NASCAR XFINITY Series director Wayne Auton addressed the situation Saturday afternoon and indicated the issue would be brought up during Tuesday's debrief at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina.   "Number one, safety is our biggest concern out of anything that we do in motorsports," Auton said. "It's a sport that there’s 10,000 revolving pieces 24/7 when vehicles are on the race track or they're sitting here in the garage area.   "Notoriously, penalties are discussed on Tuesdays and that will definitely be discussing that one Tuesday. Any time that we have found weight coming out of race cars on the race track, we've been pretty harsh about it. We have to be. That's part of it. People are sitting up here in the grandstands and drivers sitting inside these race cars. We'll discuss it Tuesday … pretty confident something will come out of that." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
          This interactive woven canopy at MoMA PS1 changes colors as the sun sets   
Designed by Jenny Sabin Studio and debuting to the public June 29, Lumen is the winner of The Museum of Modern Arts and MoMA PS1’s 18th edition of the Young Architects Program and will serve as the setting for the 20th season of the Warm Up outdoor concert series this summer. The project integrates various disciplines, including biology, materials science, mathematics, engineering and design, to produce an artistic micro-climate that is both environmentally responsive and beautiful. RELATED:...
          High School Math Teacher   
MD-Salisbury, Our daughter requires a full time private pre algebra teacher for 9th grade. The math teacher will also tutor her in the math related Physics work. The job will require coordination with the upper school advisors and her Physics teacher for a variety of education accomodations. The job will continue into her 10th, 11th and 12th grade years with math tutoring in Algebra, Geometry and Algebra II; as
          The Magic and Mathematics of Paper-Folding   

Ken Liu paper-folding origami mathematics

In this ongoing series, we ask SF/F authors to describe a specialty in their lives that has nothing (or very little) to do with writing. Join us as we discover what draws authors to their various hobbies, how they fit into their daily lives, and how and they inform the author’s literary identity! The ancient […]
          Spoon – Hot Thoughts   

Spoon – Hot Thoughts Matador Records March 17 2017 Tracks built on those same mathematical quarter and sixteenth notes are now expertly adorned or ...

The post Spoon – Hot Thoughts appeared first on One Track Mine.

          Comment on The Biggest Shift in Supercomputing Since GPU Acceleration by jimmy   
@Rob, the deep learning algorithms for object recognition by far surpass anything that people were able to with classical deterministic models. That's why they are being used for self-driving cars; they have been proven to increase driver safety by a good margin. You can mention the one-off cases in the early days of self-driving, but that's not an interesting statistic at all. Deep learning is essentially an attempt to make sense of tons of noisy data, and many of the models today are not understood by their authors: "hey we did this and now we got this awesome result", very ad-hoc. In the end though, it's all statistical-mathematics, it's just that at the moment the slightly theoretically challenged CS folks are playing with this new toy, and mathematical understanding is inevitable.
          Corrosion Resistance Test   

For stainless steel surgical instruments, there are many tests which can be done,but the most important are the following:-

i- Copper Sulphate Test:
   During the process of manufacturing, it is very likely that certain free iron particles are left on the surface, which  are not visible ordinarily. This test is carried out to confirm the presence or otherwise of such particles. This test is done in a solution of CUSO and HSO at 15 C for 6 minutes. The instruments are thoroughly cleaned with soap and water and then rinsed in hot water. The instruments are then immersed in CUSO solution which   reacts with any Free Iron  on the surface of the instruments, and copper deposits on them. This Cu.deposit is removed by wet piece of cotton cloth. There shall be no plating at the periphery or drops of solution or at soldered or brazed junctions or dulling of polished surface caused by coppersulphate solution shall be disregarded. A slight plating of copper in small part of looks, ratchets and serrations of jaws shall also be discarded.

ii- Boil Test:
 The boil test requires immersing the instruments, in boiling distilled water. The instruments are cleaned with soapier water and thoroughly rinsed in hot water before putting in boiling water. The instruments are heated in boiling water for 30 minutes and let to stay in the water for 2 hours. These are removed and kept for 2 hours in open air prior to examination. The instruments are wiped with a dry cloth and inspected for visible sign of corrosion. Any blemish, not removed by vigorous hand rubbing with a cloth and shall be considered evidence of corrosion.

          Forklift Operator - Fort Green, FL - CRH-Oldcastle - Wauchula, FL   
Math, communication, and comprehension skills to interface with transportation, dispatch, &amp; direct trailer hitch operations....
From Oldcastle - Thu, 22 Jun 2017 18:08:32 GMT - View all Wauchula, FL jobs
          Eagles | Ryan Mathews not on the way out?   
Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles ...
          Martin Rowson on the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire – cartoon   
Continue reading...
          Extremal Combinatorics   

Last updated: 00:11, Sat 1 Jul 2017 by Oleg Pikhurko

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          2016-2017 Warwick EPSRC Symposium: School in Analysis and PDE   

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          MASt Award of Degrees   

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          Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar (GATEWAY)   

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          Interactions of Symplectic and Algebraic Geometry   

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          Higher dimensional birational geometry   

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          LMS Women in Maths Day Posters   

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          2016-17 Warwick EPSRC Symposium: Density Functional Theory and Beyond: Analysis and Computation   

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          Women in Maths Gallery   

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          Registration page redirect   

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          Open Days - Mathematics Undergraduate Admissions   

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          MiR@W Day: Recent Developments in the Kinetic Theory of Gases   

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          Syd Barrett - Effervescing Elephant   

Effervescing Elephant from the album "Barrett" by Syd Barrett, released in November 1970.
Direction / Animation : Yoann Hervo
Compositing : Hugo Moreno
Additional Animation : Lucie Arnissolle, Remy Clarke, Hanne Galvez, Nathan Harbonn, Mathilde Loubes
Sound design: Fabien Carouge
Co-production: Eddy

Cast: Yoann Hervo

Tags: 1970, syd barrett, music video, 16mm, effervescing elephant, animation and pink floyd

          6/30/2017: ENTERTAINMENT: Third entry in franchise showing signs of burnout   

Despicable Me 3 (out of 4) Animated comedy featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Trey Parker. Directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda. Opens Friday at GTA theatres. 90 minutes. Here’s some Despicable Me math: third movie plus Gru...
          6/30/2017: GREATER TORONTO: Feeling of acceptance changes lives at camp   

When Harry Wenban reached middle school, life got tough. He’d always done well in school, but it suddenly felt like he couldn’t do math anymore. He also had trouble reading social cues, and as middle school pressures ramped up, Wenban felt...
          Puzzles for July 2017   
There’s a General Skeptical Issues  Crossword Puzzle this month, or [pdf version] a new set of Logic & Maths Problems or [pdf version] Picture Puzzles and “Mixed Bag” questions are as usual at the top of the Puzzles Page Enjoy!
          Whatever happened to Wednesday? LSU actually lost in title round in Omaha, its happy place   
The Tigers had never lost a ring after getting this far at the College World Series, and it was hard to watch the aftermath

          Fashion Show: WALK THE RUNWAY   

Hi everyone!
I know I haven’t been on the blogging scene for a while as I’ve been bogged down with so much university work, - I have less than a month before my hand in and before I’m finished uni for good so it’s a pretty hectic and scary time for me at the moment.
Anyway on a lighter note, last Sunday I headed down to 'Walk The Runway' a catwalk show created by my friend Sophie. The show focused on the monochrome trend that has had strong staying power throughout the various seasons and has been seen on the catwalks by designers such as Alexander Wang, Celine and Rodarte to name a few. Sophies aim was to channel this trend to both male and females promoting three up and coming brands Loyalty and Desire, Apply Studio and Wolfe Academy. Sophie invited me down to the show to snap some backstage pictures of the goings on behind the scenes, the atmosphere was very positive and I could tell that everyone was really looking forward to the show and strutting their stuff down the catwalk. (Some of my photographs aren't amazing by the way!)

Sophie had clearly put a lot of thought and effort into every detail of her show and it was lovely to see her family and friends there to support her all the way through. The fashion show was well organised and styled, - even Sophie co-ordinated herself to match the theme of the catwalk in an all white outfit! I had a great time at the show and I wish Sophie all the best for the future!


                                                                      Catwalk Show

          London Fashion Week: Trend Spotting   

Hi everyone,

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

          PUNK!: Dissertation Shoot   

Hi Guys!

 I have been super busy these last few weeks since I returned back to university. As I mentioned in a previous post a few weeks ago I have been preparing for my dissertation practical . As I study a creative course we were given the option of doing an 8,000 word dissertation or a 4,000 piece with a response to what we were talking about/addressing in our essay. As my dissertation question is ‘How Has Vivienne Westwoods Early Punk Style Influenced Fashion?’. I have been looking at fashion designers who have been influenced in some way or another by punk. I decided to recreate 5 outfits from 5 different designers to portray this.
As I’ve mentioned in other blog posts, I don’t always feel confident with photography at all, and styling is more where my heart lies within this area, so my friend James Robinson photographed both days for me as he is very good!! I re-mastered and styled both shoots with clothing I bought from eBay, charity shops and things I have found at home that would be perfect for my shoot. I paid close attention to detail by even sewing on buttons for them to look more like the original outfit. I had two professional models that both have an impressive portfolio of work between them, for the make up I used two girls who both study Hair and Make Up Design at my university Aprill Ross and Frankie Sassquatch. The whole team were amazing and I can’t wait to work with them all again in the future, - more shoots are 100% pending! I just thought I’d share some sneak peak photos with you from the shoot, I won’t be getting the final edited images until next week though. Enjoy!


          (IT) Commodities VB.NET C# Developer - Investment Bank   

Rate: Up to £560 per Day   Location: London   

Commodities VB.NET C# Developer - Investment Bank Development experience is in VB.NET C#/ideally with SQL server Java/Oracle good to have, but looking for a developer who doesn't mind mixing within C#, Java, SQL. Jack of all trades! Business knowledge in Finance would be good, and Commodities Derivatives knowledge highly desirable.VB.NET/C# essential Java a very nice to have, and the willingness to be prepared to mix things up a bit on the development side.University degree in any quantitative discipline (math, computer science, engineering).To develop and support a Legacy platform project will last 18 24 months. The successful candidate will join the Commodities Derivatives development team, working within the Energy Trading development and support sub-team. Team provides liquidity and market-making services across commodity markets to a large and diversified base of clients worldwide. Products include Base and Precious Metals, Oil, European and North American Power and Natural Gas, Coal, Emissions and Agricultural Commodities. The business works in close partnership with CIT in order to scale up system architecture, advance trading functionality, integrate new business areas, implement new models and improve post-trade processes. Candidate must also be, oganised and delivery-focused, with attention to detail Articulate in their verbal and written communication with all types of project stakeholders: colleagues, users, management, etc. Be accountable, ie taking full ownership of their allocated tasks Adlam Consulting operates as an Employment Agency & an Employment Business
Rate: Up to £560 per Day
Type: Contract
Location: London
Country: UK
Contact: Adlam Consulting
Advertiser: Adlam Consulting Ltd
Start Date: ASAP
Reference: JSADL02736

          Christmas Presents (HAPPY NEW YEAR)   

Happy new year to all and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! It’s crazy how we all anticipate to Christmas and New Years Eve and they’re both over so quickly, - I enjoyed the festive period while it lasted and it was lovely to spend time with my family and friends as I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like to because of University. I had a great day with my family, drank lot and ate far too much, - but that’s the whole point in Christmas isn’t it?! I just thought I’d share with you all some of gifts I received over Christmas and the things I bought with my River Island Vouchers. If you have been following my blog over the last few weeks you may have seen my ‘Christmas Wishlist’, well I was a lucky girl and got the mustard coat from Topshop for Christmas (thanks to my lovely mum). I love this coat so much, the colour, the style, everything! I will post a picture up soon on how I like to style this item! I also got some River Island vouchers from my Auntie and my older brother so I couldn’t wait to spend these, especially because I haven’t bought anything for myself in soooo long! Fortunately I was in London for a few days with my boyfriend so I was able to take a quick visit to RI on Oxford Street.   I must say I was so impressed with the River Island sale, if you haven’t already checked it out please do it is awesome! I’ve had my eye on the blue checked trousers and the blue patterned jumper for a while so I was so happy when I discovered it had gone in the sale. I’ve made a promise to myself to wear/buy fewer wedges (heels) and try to go for a more elegant strappy style of heel, luckily these were also in the sale and size 5 was the last one in store so it was obviously meant to be! Lastly, I bought this red floral sequin embellish jacket down to £25 from £80!! << What a BARGAIN!
Topshop £85

River Island £15

River Island £15

River Island £25

River Island £25

I will post some pictures of how I have styled each of these items in due time! So stay tuned!

(I’m loving the splash of colour my coat rail has been given in mine and my boyfriends bedroom)

          Menswear: Condemned Nation   

With Christmas on its way I haven’t had much time or money to do my big Christmas shop! So on Saturday I headed up to Leicester with my little brother Courtney to grab the last few bits of shopping for my mum, boyfriend and my brother. My brother is 17 but he is super fashion conscious like me (it must be in the blood lol), he finds the coolest T shirts, trainers and trousers that even shock me! As I wanted to buy my brother something for Christmas I told him to keep his eye on for anything that caught his eye, we headed to Footasylum and I was totally shocked by what they had on offer for men in terms of their clothing. Condemned Nation is a brand that stood out to both of us, the brands identity is very British referencing the Victorian era, military and reinventing them into an urban style. This is currently my favourite urban menswear brand at the moment!  

          My Dissertation...   

Surprisingly I have been really enjoying writing my dissertation (I know it sounds crazy) lol, most of my friends who are writing theirs are not particularly enjoying it! Luckily for me my uni gave us the option between doing an 8,000 word dissertation or a 4,000 word written piece with a fashion practical, - this could be in the form of photography, performance, film, installation or dress. I chose to do the 4,000 word dissertation as I don’t always feel confident with my writing as it depends on what I’m writing about, but having said that I found quite easy as there is so much I want to talk about and discuss and I’m realising it probably going to be difficult to fit it all in 4,000 words! Anyway, my dissertation question/topic is: How Has Vivienne Westwoods Early Punk Style Influenced Fashion?’. I chose this topic as I’m fascinated with subcultures delving into their attitudes, styles and what they stood for! I also find it interesting how the anti fashion styles have been implemented into contemporary fashion. The punk subculture is defiantly a subculture that gets referenced continuously within fashion and occurs season after season! I have been thinking about my practical piece for some time now and I have decided to recreate 5 outfits from 5 different designers who have all been influenced by punk and of course Westwood created punk, so that will be the connection! I will be creating the outfits myself and styling them for the shoot, a friend of mine who I went to college with and now comes to the same uni as me will be photographing it for me, as I don't always feel confident with photography as strange as it sounds so I'd rather have someone who I know is amazing do it for me.
 The whole DIY attitude the punks had is what made their fashion and style so infamous, they often used recycled materials and implemented them into their clothing, creating their own versions of what Westwood and McLaren made and sold at their shop on Kings Road. Some of the outfits that I'll be recreating were on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY (May 2013) where they had the exhibition PUNK: Chaos to Couture celebrating the culture in every aspect!

Outfits I'll be recreating:  
Alexander McQueen S/S 1999: Graffiti Dress

Ashish A/W 11
Karl Lagerfeld Vogue March 2011

Zandra Rhodes: Conceptual Chic Collection 1977

Maison Martin Margiela 1992

          What I've been up to....   

So basically over the summer I was doing an internship with a freelance fashion stylist called Kylie Griffiths.  For one of my units at university I had to carry out an internship, the work experience had to be within the field of work we wish to pursue when we finish uni. It was a great experience and I learnt a lot about the styling process during my time there, some days were good and some were bad. I worked closely with PR companies when dealing with returns and pick ups and it really widened my knowledge on how PR companies work, - although having taken a PR unit at university you really don’t learn the works until you do it first hand! Some of the highlights of my internship was styling Lucy from Towie for a shoot with FHM, the location house which was used was absolutely amazing! I have never been in such a beautiful house, - to be honest both houses on both shoots were amazing, it really gave me something to work towards.Overall I had a great time and it really helped me decide what I want to do as a career when I’ve finished uni, I definitely still want to pursue my dreams of being a stylist, but I have also decided I want to venture down the route of buying and I am steering towards this area and will be demonstrated within my final major project. I’m now on the hunt for internships/work experience related to this area, looking at trend forecasting and buying 


          Christmas Wishlist...   

I don’t ever normally make a wishlist for Christmas or birthdays as it’s not really my style! But I have decided to do one this year as there are so many lovely things out on the high street at the moment, the winter season is one of my favourites as we’re able to layer up as much as possible but still look good! Also I have noticed this year how a lot of the bright colours from the summer season are trailing over to winter, - I personally love to see a splash of colour during winter especially when it’s grey and gloomy outside! So here I have put together a few items that I currently have my eye on for Christmas!

          It has been a long time...   

It has been a very very long time since I have posted anything on my blog, there is no excuse really apart from forgetting about it, and just getting on with my life. I have decided that I am going to take my blog a lot more seriously from now on, as I am now in my third year of university and I will soon be looking for jobs and internships, which many ask if you have a blog! So I’m going to put a lot more time and effort into doing so! A lot has happened in my life over the last few months, so this week will be based on catching up on what I have been up to, and what I plan to do next!

Jordan x

          90s Fashion Moodboards   

As part of my fashion photography work I was asked to create 5 mood boards in relation to my chosen trend which was of course the 90s! Here are 2 out of the 5 mood boards that I created on trends both high street and designer and a historic board.

          Sportswear & Streetwear   

Sportswear and fashion has made an interesting duo over the last few years within contemporary fashion both on the high street and on the catwalk. The duo sparks that many designers have gained much of their inspiration from the street, this is because many of us combine sportswear to our everyday outfits and we have broken the barrier that sportswear can only be worn during sporting activity. There have been many designers that support or have supported sportswear in their collections over the years, menswear designer Astrid Andersen has captivated the sportswear and streetwear style in the last 7 collections she has designed, she has created looks that are very masculine that capture the street attitude persona and finishing it with hip hop references. What I find very interesting about her designs is that although she only creates clothing for men, much of the materials she uses are very feminine along with the colours also. 

Astrid Andersen  S/S 13:



 Frankie Morello S/S 13:

 Frankie Morello has infused an American ghetto fabulous attitude to this Spring/Summer 2013 mens collection.

          Editorials and Stylists This Month...   

I have decided that every month from now on I’m going to post either one or more editorial/s that I have come across that I really like! This is something that will help me with inspiration, let you guys know what editorials I like and what types of magazines are out there other than the obvious fashion magazines that are right in front of us. I am a strong believer that the internet is highly inspirational and it is up to us to explore it to our best ability, look for unusual fashion magazines, and keep on top of the trends and news. Aswell as posting editorials I’m also going to post work by different fashion stylists who I’m inspired by and admire the work of. Some of the things I post may not be up to date, but as mentioned its things that I found interesting. I have a huge love for independent and underground fashion magazines as they all express individuality, I feel that they publish things that I can truly relate to, weather it is fashion, music or culture! I’m going to promote and bring awareness to these magazines as they’re doing something that I have always wanted to see.

 Nasty Magazine: 'ROCK THE BLOCK' 2012
Photographer: Enrico Caputo Stylist: Viola Rolando

I Love Fake Magazine: 'RAVERS FANTASY' 2011
Photographer: Ebony Hoorn Stylist: Tess Yopp

Trap Magazine: 'FRIDAY NIGHT' 2012
Photographer: Theo Cottle Stylist: Kasha Malyckyj

As I posted last week, I did a photoshoot for my photography project at university. I have based it on 90s fashion as it is one of the popular trends this season, although I’m studying a photography based course I have explored many other avenues within the fashion industry those which include; fashion marketing, fashion styling, fashion PR etc. I have found my passion which is fashion styling and it is something which I hope to pursue as a career in the future, I began my course with dreams of being a photographer but I have found a deeper passion elsewhere. My university course is photography based so therefore I have to photograph things (obviously lol), this is a side to the course that I once loved but I find styling much more enjoyable. In this project I have styled and photographed my 90s shoot, as a lover of the 90s era I have played close attention to what the fashion and trends were like back in the day, however modernising it in some areas. My fashion story is based on a teenage girl up to no good, smoking and drinking. I’m unsure on the editorial title that I’m going to use however I’m toying with the name ‘Teenage dirt bag’, but as I said I’m still unsure so I’m going to do some brainstorms regarding this. I have selected 8 images from my shoot, I have loads more but I don't want to bog it down with loads of photographs. The photography is very simple, I photographed it on film also as I wanted to give my images the old skool feel.

          University Fashion Shoot 90s   

For my photography project I have running at the moment we have been asked to create a 8 page fashion editorial based on any SS13 trend of our choice. Of course I have decided to base mine on 90s fashion looking at both grunge and street/hip hop, along with my 90s theme the fashion story was based on a girl who was up to no good on the streets, smoking, drinking, - teenage dirt bag kind of theme. I styled the whole shoot by myself, it was something I have been looking forward to for a few weeks as I have been given a chance to photograph and style something for uni on something I’m truly passionate about. This is preview of one of the photographs, once I have edited them all I will post them on my blog, I will also post the finish product which is a 8 page fashion editorial for Dazed and Confused magazine. Doing this shoot today made me realise how much I love styling more than photography, it was truly the extra boost that I needed as I’m currently applying for internships/work experience.

          The Bandana   

As part of the 90s coming back in this seasons fashion this post of based on bandana print, I have an Instagram account and it seems as though everyone has gone crazy for bandana print both male and female. Bandanas were first seen on women during the 1960s as they were fighting for equal rights, they remained on the scene throughout the 80s and 90s, the classic bandana print and style has been seen on majority of the American rappers throughout the 90s those who include: Tupac, Snoop Dogg and also female singer Aaliyah often sported one. I have always personally loved the bandana print as it instantly reminds me all things 90s America, to have this classic 90s edge returning this season is amazing! I have seen many people putting their own twist on this and wearing it in all different ways and making it individual.

          Rihanna For River Island   

I’ve been very absent with my blog lately due to uni work, by the time I’ve done a day’s worth of uni work I just want to get to bed and chill out! Its all for a good cause as its for my degree obviously, however I do need to make time for my blog even if its just one post a week.. Anyway, I’m so behind with my blog I haven’t even had time to blog about Rihannas collection for River Island that was launch how many weeks ago lol. Her collection was debuted at LFW on the 16th February, I watched the live stream on Facebook and I was amazed by what she had produced, there were a couple of things I wasn’t too sure about but the vast majority of her collection I instantly fell in love with. The collection is a mix of 90s grunge and streetwear, much of Rihannas outfits have a flavour of these elements in them so it is very clear that she has put her input into this collection. Her collection was launched on the 5th March online and in selected stores, I was surprised at how quickly most of it sold out online and in store! I have selected some of my favourite items from her collection:

          Windows 10 gets important Windows Defender updates as Microsoft bets big on self-security   

Microsoft has stirred quite a few discussions in the aftermath of people learning of their plans of putting all their eggs in the security basket, so to speak. While it’s most common for the Windows operating system to be paired with a third party antivirus service, Microsoft seems to want to move away from that […]

The post Windows 10 gets important Windows Defender updates as Microsoft bets big on self-security appeared first on Windows Report - Windows 10 and Microsoft News, How-to Tips.

          Eagles | Ryan Mathews not on the way out?   
Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles told ESPN's Josina Anderson Friday, June 30, that he - along with backfield mates LeGarrette Blount and Ryan Mathews - 'can share the ball and everyone can be happy.' Footballguys View: The Eagles are going to use a RBBC that may be difficult for fantasy owners to navigate. Blount will be the battering ram as a runner, but he'll come off the field during passing down. Sproles is the change-of-pace back for the Eagles, but rookie D.J. Pumphrey is being groomed for that role as well. That doesn't leave a lot of room for Mathews in the rotation.
          Cardinals | Budda Baker not too far behind   
Arizona Cardinals S Budda Baker said he doesn't feel too far behind despite his college schedule preventing him from attending OTAs. 'The first couple days I was dying, but I got acclimated to it and now it's what, it's 100 out here right now, and I'm thinking it's cool,' Baker said. Footballguys View: A second-round pick out of Washington this year, Baker had to sit out the offseason program due to the NFL rule requiring players to sit out until finals if their school is on a quarters system. Baker can be moved around from slot corner to roaming as a free safety, and his skill set was regularly compared to Tyrann Mathieu.
          Re: Charleston needs an all-ages, mid-cap venue that caters to all genres   
I don't really see the diveristy at pourhouse. Great venue I have seen Mutemath there was awesome, but it is a constant barrage of bluegrass.
Posted by Cullen Johnson
          All about averages   
Andrew Stickland
Did you know that you can't average averages? Or that Paris is rainier than London ... but it rains more in London than in Paris? Andrew Stickland explores the dangers that face the unwary when using a single number to summarise complex data.
January 2005

Mean or median?

Image: a rainy day in london

Another rainy day in London


          Warren Buffett can make a $12 billion profit from his $5 billion investment   

Warren Buffett is a great example of how the rich get richer, as his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. can make a quick $12 billion with the $5 billion he invested nearly 6 years ago, a 240% gain. And that doesn't include interest. Berkshire said earlier Friday that it will exercise warrants to buy 700 million Bank of America Corp. common shares at $7.142857, for $5 billion. At current prices, with the stock trading up 0.9% at $24.53, the stake would be valued at $17.17 billion. Berkshire had acquired the warrants in August 2011 as part of its deal to invest $5 billion in Bank of America by purchasing 6% preferred stock, at a time when the bank was struggling in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The stock had tumbled 45% in a year, and had hit a 3 1/2-year low a day earlier. Berkshire said it would use the $5 billion it used the $5 billion in preferred stock to pay for its common stock purchase. Bank of America's stock has soared 83% over the past 12 months, while Berkshire shares have climbed 17% and the S&P 500 has rallied 15%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit for more information on this news.

          Report: Alison Pill Joins 'American Horror Story' Season 7   
If American Horror Story Season 7 is to follow the aftermath of 2016’s election, they’re going to need a good producer. Enter The Newsroom star Alison Pill; reportedly latest to join the American Horror Story Season 7 cast in a mysterious role. Continue reading…
          Grichuk raking since callup from Minors   
When manager Mike Matheny pulled Aledmys Diaz aside on Wednesday to inform the second-year shortstop that he'd be headed to Triple-A for a reset, Matheny made a point of leaving Diaz with tangible evidence of what could b