Thursday, January 29, 2015

Paula Modersohn-Becker Exhibit in Copenhagen

December 5, 2014 to April 4, 2015 German painter Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907) is the subject of a major exhibition — the first of its kind in Scandinavia — comprising about 100 paintings and 40 drawings. The exhibition examines the dynamic but all too brief career of the radical German modernist who died aged 31 after giving birth to her first child. Modersohn-Becker studied in Paris where she came under the influence of painters such as Cézanne and Gauguin, whose modern style she helped introduce to Germany. She is best known for her depictions of the female figure, and her representations of women, children and mothers.

Tues-Fri 11.00-22.00 Sat-Sun 11.00-18.00 Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst, Gammel Strandvej 13, Fredensborg, tel. +4549190719. Wanted in Europe

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

ECB board member says no deflation in eurozone By AFP

Berlin (AFP) - ECB board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger has disputed in a magazine interview that the eurozone is now experiencing deflation and expressed skepticism about the central bank buying up sovereign bonds. Markets surged this week as investors bet data showing prices fell year-on-year in the eurozone in December would push the ECB to launch massive purchases of government bonds, only to slump back on indications it may act cautiously. "We are seeing persistent weak inflation, due to among other things the prices of energy and food having fallen sharply," Lautenschlaeger said in an interview with the weekly Der Spiegel due to hit newsstands on Saturday. The 0.2 percent drop in consumer prices is the first fall in consumer price inflation in the eurozone in five years, and many analysts warn low energy prices could keep prices falling for an extended period. Deflation is defined as an extended period of falling prices where consumers begin to put off purchases in expectation they will fall further, sparking a damaging cycle of falling production, employment and prices.
The ECB has been watching warily as inflation fell further away from its target level of just under 2 percent last year as oil prices tumbled by half. ECB chief Mario Draghi has said the central bank could launch a quantitative easing (QE) programme of purchasing government bonds like the US Federal Reserve did during the global financial crisis to protect the eurozone from deflation. Some analysts see the ECB as now having little choice to do so at its next meeting on January 22. But Lautenschlaeger, who was formerly a deputy head of the German central bank, said "the purchase of sovereign bonds is for me the last option in monetary policy." "The benefits and the risks of such a programme should counterbalance in a reasonable manner, and for me that isn't currently the case," she added. Bloomberg news agency reported on Friday that the ECB governing council has been presented scenarios including purchases of up to 500 billion euros ($591 billion) in investment-grade assets. Markets were disappointed with that amount which is only half of the 1.0 trillion euros in the expansion in its balance sheet that the ECB has targeted to ward off deflation. Yahoo! News

Kent Nagano

Erwarten Sie Wunder!: Expect the Unexpected (German) Yahoo!

Kent George Nagano (born November 22, 1951) is an American conductor and opera administrator. He is currently the music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and the Bavarian State Opera. In September 2012, the Hamburg State Opera announced the appointment of Nagano as its next Generalmusikdirektor (General Music Director) and Chefdirigent (chief conductor), effective with the 2015-2016 season, with an initial contract through the 2019-2020 season. Nagano was born in Berkeley, California, while his parents were in graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a Sansei, which means that he is a third generation Japanese-American. Wikipedia

Satire after the Paris attacks: 'We will not be silenced'

How far can you go with satire? After the Paris attacks, organizers of Germany's Rose Monday parades have been asking themselves this very question. In Cologne, they've chosen their theme for 2015: "Je suis Charlie." "They were brave," says Jacques Tilly, a Carnival float builder from Düsseldorf, referring to the cartoonists at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo who were killed in the Paris terrorist attacks. Above his desk, he's pinned a newspaper clipping with one of their drawings, along with photos of the victims. Next to that are designs for his Rose Monday float. "When I heard about the attacks, I sat down and thought about what this meant for Europe, and what it meant for satire and humor for us here with Carnival. This attack has hit very close to our work," he says. Tilly and his team have been thinking about how to best express this attack on freedom of expression in the Carnival parade - but the result will remain top secret until Rose Monday on February 16.

Variations on 'Charlie'
Cologne is quite an open, accepting city. Since time immemorial, the Cologne Carnival Festival Committee has called on citizens to suggest parade themes both of the moment and provocative. Some of these suggestions end up represented by cardboard cutouts on parade floats. After the Charlie Hebdo attacks on January 7, the committee launched a contest to choose its float theme. Fourteen designs, all variations on the "Je suis Charlie" theme, were shortlisted and posted on Facebook. The winning design (seen at top), chosen by more than 2,500 people in an online vote, shows a cartoonist with a red clown nose, shoving a pencil into the barrel of an assassin's gun. The design fits right in with the Cologne Carnival spirit, says parade leader Christoph Kuckelkorn, adding that the point of the Rose Monday parade is to expose political and social ills. "The exemplary float design chosen on Facebook shows that this is possible, without attacking specific people or their religion," he says. Deutsche Welle

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

President Barack Obama

The State of the Union Address I am especially impressed with the President's wishes to raise the minimum wage, provide Community College for free and offer a $3,000 tax deduction per child for Child Care. These are very real solutions to help working families provide, and improve their situation.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

"One-in-a-Million" Identical Triplets Born in Montana By Rebecca Gruber

Talk about a rare phenomenon! Back in July, Jody and Jase Kinsey found out they were expecting spontaneous triplets, meaning there were no fertility drugs involved. Already the parents of 6-year-old son Jax, the Miles City, MT, couple took the news in stride. Jase's father is a twin himself, so the couple knew a multiple birth was a possibility. But when they discovered that the triplets were identical — they all shared a single placenta — their minds were blown, as there's approximately a one-in-a-million chance of it happening. "I'm sure it's going to be tough," Jody said, "Especially when they get old enough to understand that people can't tell them apart." The triplets, named Cade, Ian, and Milo, were born via C-section at 32 weeks on Dec. 5 at the Billings Clinic where Jody had been admitted a few weeks earlier. They weighed in at 3 lbs 13 oz, 3 lbs 11 oz, and 4 lbs 1 oz, respectively. Five weeks after the births, Jody and her mother are staying at a nearby Ronald McDonald House with baby Cade, while Ian and Milo continue to gain strength in the hospital. PopSugar Moms

How often should I weigh myself? By Luisa Dillner

Are you more likely to lose weight, or keep it off in the first place, if you hop on the scales every day? How is that new year diet going? Weighed yourself lately? How often should you do so? Weight Watchers recommends that you weigh yourself once a week, while some dieting sites suggest throwing away your scales so as not to become demoralised. Scales can seem extraordinary fickle at times, with weight fluctuating by nearly 1kg from day to day. So it is timely that research in the journal PLOS One has come up with the optimum frequency for stepping on the scales. The answer, however, may be surprising. The researchers say that dieters who weigh themselves daily lose the most weight – the average period between weight checks without gaining weight being 5.8 days. Elina Helander, the lead author from the Tampere University of Technology in Finland points out that cause and effect isn’t clear. It may be that the most serious dieters are the ones who keep hopping on the scales because they like what they see. So should you weigh yourself more often or do you have better things to do? A study in the New England Journal on maintaining weight loss in 314 successful dieters (who had lost an average of 19.3kg in the past two years) found that those who weighed themselves daily were less likely to gain 2.3kg or more over the next 18 months. The authors argued that there is little evidence for frequent weighing lowering self-esteem or having negative effects. But even if you just get on the scales out of curiosity, studies confirm what you probably already know, that weight fluctuates during the week, increasing over the weekend as people eat bigger meals and move less. We usually weigh the most by Sunday and Monday and then, over the course of the week, our weight generally decreases. The Guardian

Sunday, January 11, 2015

On Top of Spaghetti By Tom Glazer

Children's Song Yahoo!

The Price We Pay For Lack Of Sleep Gets Steeper As We Age By Aneesa Das, MD

Missing a few hours of sleep at night can lead to more than just a groggy morning. In fact, over time, it may be causing more harm than many realize. The United States is a sleep-deprived nation, with more than 70 million people who have some form of chronic sleep problem. Missing out on sleep can affect anything from behavior to heart health, depending on your stage of life. As a sleep specialist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, I’ve seen that, for adults, sleep deprivation contributes to a variety of health complications as we age. As it accumulates over the years, sleep loss can increase your risk for obesity, diabetes, depression, and heart and blood pressure problems. Also, as we get older the quality of our sleep decreases. This is often due to stress, taking care of children, existing medical conditions, or light and noise disruptions. Later adulthood is also when sleep-related disorders, such as insomnia or sleep apnea, are more likely. For men, having an enlarged prostate can lead to frequent nighttime bathroom trips, interrupting sleep. Certain medications — such as prescription drugs for heart arrhythmias, high blood pressure, and asthma — can also disrupt sleep cycles. For women, biological changes such as your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause can affect how well you sleep. During menopause you may experience night sweats and insomnia due to changing hormone levels. Other symptoms associated with menopause, like hot flashes, can also interrupt sleep and cause fatigue. It’s important to understand how much sleep you need throughout life, because you often pay for lack of sleep later on. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. However, there’s no magic amount; what’s best depends on you. While you may only need seven hours, others may need eight or nine to be productive and happy.
To improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep, I recommend:
  • Avoiding intense exercise at least three hours before bedtime.
  • Establishing a wind-down routine that includes dim lighting and eliminating or decreasing any noise disturbances.
  • Avoiding electronics (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.) right before bed, because the blue light they emit can make it difficult to fall asleep.
Sleep is essential for muscle repair, strengthening memory, regulating hormones that are responsible for growth and appetite, and much more. Not getting enough of it can be detrimental to anyone, regardless of age. Sleep is a time the body uses to restore itself and gain energy, so it’s important to practice healthy sleeping habits. Yahoo! Health

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Why Teens Hate Shopping at ‘Teen’ Clothing Stores By Kerri Anne Renzulli

Expect to see more blank storefronts at your local mall—that is if you even go to the mall anymore. [...] sales are booming at shops like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21. The latter plans to double its number of stores in the next three years. So what happened? Why are teens no longer shopping at the stores that were once the hallmark of “cool”? 1. Individuality Trumps Logos Thanks to social media [...] They don’t need a store or brand to help dictate their look for them and aren’t relying on a single brand’s cachet. Instead, millennials favor individuality and shop accordingly. They’re less attached to brands and more willing to mix and match to create their own style, surveys by Nielsen, the Boston Consulting Group, and others have found. Even Abercrombie, whose name and moose logo were signature design embellishments for every shirt, has realized this. A spokesperson acknowledged to Reuters: “They no longer want to be a walking billboard of a brand. Individualism is important to them, having their own sense of style.” 2. “Faster” Fashion Dominates Stores like Zara, H&M, and Forever 21, which have much shorter waits between when clothing is ordered and when it goes on sale than traditional teen retailers, can roll out new clothing options each week, not each season, meaning they can quickly adopt trends from the catwalk and rapidly bring them to a sales floor. 3. Malls Are No Longer a Hangout Strict “parental supervision” policies, like the one Ford City Mall announced this week, make it impossible for some teens to hang out at the mall even if they wanted to, with requirements that anyone under 18 be accompanied by a parent on Friday or Saturday evenings. Roughly 80 other malls have implemented similar policies, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. 4. Budget Cuts Clothing simply isn’t the top spending priority for teens it once was. 5. Yoga Pants, Yoga Pants, Yoga Pants Sales for activewear topped $35 billion last year and now make up 17% of the total clothing market, according to market-research company NPD Group. Time Money

15 Incredible Weight-Loss Transformations By Abigail L. Cuffey

Rachel Lima, 39, Sacramento, CA

I gradually scaled down my portion sizes (to 1/3 of what I had been eating), and if I wanted ice cream, I went for a walk to get it! Woman's Day

Friday, January 9, 2015

New York City

NYC in 2015? RTÉ

"We Are Not Ourselves" By Matthew Thomas

Matthew Thomas’s realist epic, “We Are Not Ourselves,” exceeds the usual boundaries of fiction on the subject. Tracking one family through three generations, it has a “Buddenbrooks”-like quality, offering a vision of a society in flux that is at once expansive and tangibly detailed. While Alzheimer’s disease comes to occupy the agonizing center of the novel, the word “Alzheimer’s” doesn’t appear until halfway through the book’s six hundred and twenty pages. “We Are Not Ourselves” opens with a series of resonant, finely observed vignettes, vital moments in the young life of Eileen Tumulty, a child born to an Irish family in Queens in the years after the Second World War. Burdened with alcoholic, financially struggling parents, Eileen is a shy girl who “would have chosen, of all powers, the power to be invisible.” But she harbors the usual outer-borough dream of social advancement. Standing outside a department store at Christmastime, Eileen longs “to be in one of those scenes in the window, frozen in time, in the faultless harmony of parts working in concert.” She thinks she has found that faultlessness in a charming young professor of neuroscience named Ed Leary; she imagines spending her life “tuning into the calming frequency of his thoughts.” As the years pass and the transmission between husband and wife grows increasingly garbled, this novel’s form—its simple chronology and the careful intimacy of Thomas’s prose—proves to be the ideal vehicle for conveying the insidious onset of Alzheimer’s. Ed, who has not missed a day of work “in twenty years,” tries to soothe his “cloudy head” by clamping on heavy headphones and listening to classical music in the living room for days on end. Eileen dismisses his early symptoms as a “midlife crisis,” but they worsen. Ed spends whole nights struggling to tabulate his students’ grades; he is injured when “his hand [is] no longer as fast as his mind”; this deeply “sensitive” man calls his wife a “bitch.” Ed’s strange behavior accumulates across nearly two hundred pages, until, at last, Eileen has the grim epiphany that Ed might be suffering from Alzheimer’s: “The dawning came all at once, though it felt as if it had been heading her way for a while, like a train she’d heard whistle from miles off that was now flying past and kicking up a terrible wind.” The fact that Thomas delays introduction of the book’s primary subject becomes crucial to its depiction. Before Ed’s diagnosis, we encountered him as a full and complex character—“open-minded,” “polite,” someone who “soaked up whatever you gave him” but is also “committed to his own pointless suffering.” By portraying the entire span of Ed’s adult life, Thomas frames Ed’s Alzheimer’s as a life-altering event but not as an occasion for a journey into the past. In this novel’s unswerving linearity, the past remains past, and Ed’s wife and son must reckon with a radically altered future. “Why Ed? Why now?” Eileen asks herself. “It hadn’t happened for a reason,” she decides, “but they would find something to glean from it anyway.” Thomas does not seek comfort in an imagined, wishful notion of a “wholly whole” Ed trapped behind his symptoms. The story is limited to the perspectives of Ed’s witnesses—later chapters alternate between Eileen and their son, Connell—and Thomas leaves it up to them to do that gleaning. The pages that follow offer the truest and most harrowing account of a descent into dementia that I have ever read. These are mostly intimate, domestic scenes, but Thomas understands how the numbing, repetitive minutiae of caretaking are often freighted with unspeakable pain. Eileen’s attempt to persuade Ed to lift a leg becomes a desperate struggle, her worry growing so severe that she implores God to tell her what to do. When Connell tries to help his father shower after an accident, the scene is an affecting display of a son’s love and a father’s remorse: Connell must clean his father but also attempt to spare him “great indignity,” as Ed flails “like a man on fire,” his “chest heav[ing] in deep, mournful sighs.” But for all the daily burdens of caretaking, the deepest horror is in Eileen and Connell’s contemplation of what is left of the Ed they knew. Not long after Ed’s diagnosis, Eileen grasps that “his real self wasn’t hiding in there waiting to be sprung. . . . [T]his was his real self now.” But Ed’s Alzheimer’s, like any, is vexingly erratic. The old Ed still vibrates into view for a few alluring seconds. “Something deep in him was surfacing,” Eileen briefly believes, “some essential fiber in his character. Then he stopped again.” It is that same dimming faith that inspires Connell, late in Ed’s disease, to spring Ed from his nursing home to enjoy one last Christmas at home. Ed’s drooling, babbling presence only reminds Eileen and Connell of how horribly “far” they have come, and Connell is seized with “an agony of regret.” Later, Connell looks at the lights strung up outside their home and thinks of happier Christmases, “trying to derive a simple pleasure from the lights, trying to forget that they and the hundreds more inside had not prevented the encroaching of a fathomless darkness. His father was gone, gone.” But this grim understanding brings Connell a degree of solace. He finds comfort, finally, not in the belief that there is a soul-like self trapped in his father’s addled brain but in the memory of the person Ed was before. “The understanding between us goes beyond words,” an earlier Ed writes, in a letter that Connell later opens, “and it is there that I live most fully, there and in the mental space I inhabit with your mother.” While this marvelous novel resists a glibly humanizing attempt to imagine what lies “beyond words,” the need to imagine remains. For all its insight, Thomas’s novel ends with the old question unanswered. If “we are not ourselves” in the depths of Alzheimer’s, who are we? After experiencing his own “sensation of panicked blankness,” Connell considers the possibility that he might inherit the disease, and he reassures himself with thoughts of the sensual joys that even Alzheimer’s can’t claim, pleasures that lie outside of selfhood: “the mouth-fullness of cannoli cream . . . the comfort of a body squeezed against one’s own.” This might be poor compensation, but it is one that I, too, try to believe in. Who knows? Perhaps, after the horror of memory loss passes, there might really be some relief in relinquishing your self and returning to the endless present in which an infant lives. Perhaps late-stage Alzheimer’s is simply unimaginable to those not afflicted with it. Perhaps it is incompatible with language, a place “beyond words.” The New Yorker

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thank You to my blog fans

Thank You Everyone for the Readership at my blog. I seem to have a fan club. United States, Germany, France, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Great Britain and Malaysia. Way more than I ever anticipated when starting the blog in May. It's work to maintain, though a lot of fun. Glad y'all enjoy the posts. I keep working at it to be a source of info that is somewhat esoteric and uplifting. It's a journey for me to read so many newspapers to extract info for the blog, so that it's educational and entertaining for my fans. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your interest.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

U2 -- Pride (In The Name of Love)

U2 -- Heal soon Bono.

Time for a Pause By Thomas L. Friedman

You could easily write a book, or, better yet, make a movie about the drama that engulfed Sony Pictures and “The Interview,” Sony’s own movie about the fictionalized assassination of North Korea’s real-life dictator. The whole saga reflects so many of the changes that are roiling and reshaping today’s world before we’ve learned to adjust to them. Think about this: In November 2013, hackers stole 40 million credit and debit card numbers from Target’s point-of-sale systems. Beginning in late August 2014, nude photos believed to have been stored by celebrities on Apple’s iCloud were spilled onto the sidewalk. Thanksgiving brought us the Sony hack, when, as The Times reported: “Everything and anything had been taken. Contracts. Salary lists. Film budgets. Medical records. Social Security numbers. Personal emails. Five entire movies.” And, on Christmas, gaming networks for both the Sony PlayStation and the Microsoft Xbox were shut down by hackers. But rising cybercrime is only part of the story. Every day a public figure is apologizing for something crazy or foul that he or she muttered, uttered, tweeted or shouted that went viral — including the rantings of an N.B.A. owner in his girlfriend’s living room. What’s going on? We’re in the midst of a Gutenberg-scale change in how information is generated, stored, shared, protected and turned into products and services. We are seeing individuals become superempowered to challenge governments and corporations. And we are seeing the rise of apps that are putting strangers into intimate proximity in each other’s homes (think Airbnb) and into each other’s cars (think Uber) and into each other’s heads (think Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). Thanks to the integration of networks, smartphones, banks and markets, the world has never been more tightly wired. As they say: “Lost there, felt here.” Whispered there, heard here. And it’s now hit a tipping point. “The world is not just rapidly changing; it is being dramatically reshaped,” Dov Seidman, author of the book “How” and C.E.O. of LRN, which advises global businesses on ethics and leadership, argued to me in a recent conversation. “It operates differently. It’s not just interconnected; it’s interdependent. More than ever before, we rise and fall together. So few can now so easily and so profoundly affect so many so far away.” But, he added, “it’s all happened faster than we’ve reshaped ourselves and developed the necessary norms, behaviors, laws and institutions to adapt.” The implications for leading and operating are enormous. For starters, our privacy walls are proving no match for the new technologies. “Now, we’re not only getting X-ray vision into the behavior of others,” said Seidman. “We’re getting fine-grained M.R.I.’s into the inner workings of palaces, boardrooms and organizations and into the mind-sets of those who lead them.” So how does anyone adapt? Just disconnect? “Trying to disconnect to avoid exposure in a connected world is a misguided strategy,” argued Seidman. “If you do that, how will you create value and get anything done?” The right strategy is “to deepen and strengthen all these connections.” But how? “If we’re in an interdependent world, then the only strategy for countries, companies and individuals is to build healthy interdependencies so we rise, and not fall, together,” Seidman added. “This comes down to behavior. It means being guided by sustainable values like humility, integrity and respect in how we work with others: values that build healthy interdependencies.” It means shunning “situational ‘values,’ just doing whatever the situation allows.” The American-Canadian relationship is a healthy interdependency. The relationship between police forces and black youths today is an unhealthy interdependency. The relationship between Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York and his police force is an unhealthy interdependency. But there is another critical part. It’s how we learn to respond to all the secrets being revealed: the C.E.O.’s email that makes him or her look foolish, but also reveals that women are being paid less than men in the same jobs; the video of a suspect being killed by police; the elevator footage of a football player knocking out his fiancée; and private photos of movie stars. They all have different moral and societal significance. We need to deal with them differently. “We need to pause more to make sense of all the M.R.I.’s we’re being exposed to,” argued Seidman. In the pause, “we reflect and imagine a better way.” In some cases, that could mean showing empathy for the fact that humans are imperfect. In others, it could mean “taking principled stands” toward those whose behaviors “make this interdependent world unsafe, unstable or unfree.” In short, there’s never been a time when we need more people living by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Because, in today’s world, more people can see into you and do unto you than ever before. Otherwise, we’re going to end up with a “gotcha” society, lurching from outrage to outrage, where in order to survive you’ll either have to disconnect or constantly censor yourself because every careless act or utterance could ruin your life. Who wants to live that way? (For 2015, I will just be writing on Wednesdays while I work on a book.) The New York Times

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Net us pray: churches should install Wi-Fi, says Andrew Lloyd Webber

Cats composer and Tory peer says government is looking at ways to help churches become centre of community again. The composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has urged churches across the country to be fitted with Wi-Fi in a bid to make them a more integral part of the community. The musical theatre writer also gushed about the star of his recently revived West End show Cats, the singer and former X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger, in a magazine interview. Lloyd Webber, who sits as a Conservative member in the House of Lords, indicated that discussions over installing internet for the general public at churches have already taken place with the government. He told the Mail on Sunday magazine Event: “I want to get every church in the country on Wi-Fi.  “Once you do that, the church becomes the centre of the community again. They should go back to the medieval traditions, which is that the nave of the church is always used for local businesses. Asked who would fund the project, he said: “Well, I am going to get involved, but the government have indicated that they would pay for the idea of putting the Wi-Fi in.” Lloyd Webber has given his record-breaking musical Cats a new lease of life after more than 10 years away from the West End. The London Palladium show reunites Lloyd Webber with the original team behind Cats, including director Trevor Nunn. Speaking of Scherzinger, who plays Grizabella, he said: “She is what you might call an American theatre babe. I do believe she is the most exciting musical theatre artist I have found – well, that I have worked with – in very, very many years. I really do. He added that Cats will also return to Broadway and that he “greatly hopes” Scherzinger would star in it. The Guardian Yahoo!