Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bruce Hornsby

Mandolin Rain, 1987 Photo

Botswana named Lonely Planet's No 1 destination for 2016

(CNN) It's one of the most hotly anticipated travel guides of any year -- the annual survey of destinations Lonely Planet is recommending for 2016. The travel giant's "Best in Travel 2016" is a roundup of top as well as emerging destinations and experiences. The collection "highlights not the places travelers are headed to next year, but the places our team determined they should visit," says Tom Hall, Lonely Planet's editorial director. Next year's must-visit country is Botswana, which the team at Lonely Planet calls "wild Africa at its best." CNN Photo

Monday, January 18, 2016

Definition of Hurricane


noun hur·ri·cane \ˈhər-ə-ˌkān, -i-kən, ˈhə-rə-, ˈhə-ri-\

Simple Definition of hurricane

: an extremely large, powerful, and destructive storm with very strong winds that occurs especially in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean
Full Definition of hurricane    
  1. a tropical cyclone with winds of 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour or greater that occurs especially in the western Atlantic, that is usually accompanied by rain, thunder, and lightning, and that sometimes moves into temperate latitudes.
  2. something resembling a hurricane especially in its turmoil.       
  3. having or being a glass chimney providing protection from wind <a hurricane lamp> Merriam-Webster Photo

The Rubdown By Hannah Maria Hayes

What massage can—and can’t—do for a dancer’s body.
Just knowing you have an appointment with your favorite massage therapist can be an incentive to get through a long day in the studio. Achy muscles and tension will soon melt away and be replaced with that lovely sense of blissful relaxation.

Luckily, a massage is more than just a guilty pleasure. It can actually increase circulation, reduce muscle tightness and relieve stress. But while massage therapy has many positive benefits, it’s not exactly the panacea some dancers wish it were. Before you skip the doctor, make sure you know both the benefits and limits of a good rubdown. 

How Massage Works

Massage is not just about relaxation. Massage therapists look at how to make a muscle, joint and tendon fire more effectively and even decrease spasm, says Ron Mulesa, company massage therapist for the National Ballet of Canada.

There are several types of massage therapy. Dancers most often get a Swedish massage, which helps create a relaxation response in the body, or deep-tissue massage, which helps to reshape patterns of tightness by working on fascia (the connective tissue that wraps each muscle and groups of muscles, much like the casing of a sausage).

…Reduce Muscle Soreness?

Massage can increase your circulation, which helps improve recovery. The relaxation effects can also improve your perceived level of fatigue. “If a dancer relaxes after a rehearsal while their body is being worked on, they’ve already started the body’s healing process,” Mulesa says. “That sets them up to feel better, which means they can perform better.”

…Provide Stress Relief?
Massage has been proven to help reduce both physical and mental stress. “The best thing massage can do for you is to help you relax your body,” Vogel says. It is also known to improve sleep and help decrease depression and anxiety. Dance Magazine Photo

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Bank account for everyone

In Germany, you need a checking account to pay rent and other bills, or get your paycheck. Yet homeless people and asylum seekers are not welcome at banks. New legislation is intended to change all that. In future, banks will no longer be able to reject someone who wants to open a basic bank account. When the government passes its new law, all German banks will be obliged to accept the homeless and asylum seekers as customers. A million people affected. According to Germany's Ministry of Finance, more than a million people would benefit from the basic account. Consumer protection groups estimate a significantly higher number and assume that up to three million people do not have access to a basic bank account. In Germany, there has only been a voluntary obligation for banks to set up accounts for everyone. The government was, however, not satisfied with the implementation. Until now, the homeless and asylum seekers have only been accepted by some savings banks and credit unions. According to the bill, bearers of the basic bank account will receive a bank card and will be able withdraw money and transfer funds. But they cannot overdraw the account. Some politicians criticize the fact that a fee exemption, or at least a cap on fees, is not envisaged in the draft law. A basic payment account should be free of charge – there are demands to reach a consensus on this point before the law is adopted. The law is slated to take effect in June, 2016. Deutsche Welle Photo

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Faith Hill

There You'll Be Photo Wikipedia
Faith Hill (born Audrey Faith Perry; September 21, 1967) is an American country pop singer and occasional actress. She is one of the most successful country artists of all time, having sold more than 40 million records worldwide. Hill is married to country singer Tim McGraw, with whom she has recorded several successful duets. Hill has won five Grammy Awards, 15 Academy of Country Music Awards, six American Music Awards and several other awards. Her Soul2Soul II Tour 2006 with McGraw became the highest-grossing country tour of all time. In 2001, she was named one of the "30 Most Powerful Women in America" by Ladies Home Journal. In 2009, Billboard named her as the No. 1 Adult Contemporary artist of the 2000 decade.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Knesset panel okays Israel becoming member of Asian Development Bank By Niv Elis

The Knesset Finance Committee on Monday approved a bill laying out terms for Israel becoming one of 57 founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China’s answer to the World Bank. Once the bill is passed into law, it will represent the first time Israel becomes a founding member of a global development bank. “Israel’s accession to the Asian Bank is an investment that could generate large economic and political returns in the future,” said committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ). The bill, which is expected to pass its second and third readings in the Knesset in the coming week, would allow Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to finalize the treaty ahead of the bank’s first official meeting in Beijing next week. In March, Israel became one of several major allies to flout US wishes by announcing that it would join the bank. Though the US feels that China is intent on using the bank for political gain, and might undermine the Washington- based World Bank, Israel, the UK, Germany, France, and Australia signed on. “This law will help us a lot,” said Finance Ministry chief economist Yoel Naveh. “This will be the only Asian multi-lateral bank of which Israel is a member.” Israel’s dues for the bank’s $100 billion capitalization will amount to $150 million, plus another $600 million in shares. It will participate in management, and fall into a Korean-led subgroup alongside Mongolia and Uzbekistan, but not have the right to appoint one of the AIIB’s 12 directors. “China surpassed Japan two years ago as the second-largest economy in the world after the United States, and the founding of this bank is a sign of this, and dissatisfaction from the United States as a result was foreseeable,” Zionist Union MK Manuel Trajtenberg said. Despite that fact, he added, the move is a worthwhile investment. Though the committee debated issues such as immunity for the bank’s representatives in Israel, the fact that the terms were similar to those of other international bodies eventually won over all the committee members. Naveh assured a concerned Gafni that large bodies such as the AIIB typically refrain from investing in controversial areas subject to large geopolitical conflict, given that they need the approval of so many member states in order to do so. Zionist Union MK Erel Margalit agreed that Israel’s presence would be strategic. “The Chinese will be a very central part of the world economy, and we must act to ensure that they won’t go just toward Europe and Iran, but also to countries like ours,” Margalit said. The Jerusalem Post Photo                 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

8,500 kilos of Dutch cheese was stolen from dairy farms last year

The weight of cheese stolen from dairy farms in the Netherlands last year was around 8,500 kilos, with a value of €90,000, the NRC says on Friday. At the end of last year it emerged cheese had been stolen from three dairy farms in Brabant. However, the NRC has identified a further six cheese heists, including the theft of 200 cheeses from a farm in Gelderland, with a value of €25,000. Cheese has to ripen for at least 10 months before it can be categorised as ‘old’, when it is most valuable. The loss of the cheese has had a serious impact on the farms, which have their own pool of dedicated customers, the paper says.
Eastern Europe
The farmers themselves suspect the cheese has ended up in eastern Europe, although there is only anecdotal evidence of this. Cheese traders have been alerted to be on the look out for the stolen dairy product. Each wheel is stamped with a serial number. ‘It’s speculation, but I think they have gone to the Russian market,’ Irene van de Voort, chairman of the farm dairy board, told the paper. ‘Not much cheese is being sent there because of the boycott. It’s a rare product and that drives prices up, so would explain the current spate of thefts.’ DutchNews Photo

25 to Watch

Caitlin Cucchiara. Photo Courtesy of Todd Rosenberg
Meet the breakout stars of 2016. 

Jovani Furlan
Soloist, Miami City Ballet
Cora Cliburn
Dancer, Post:Ballet
Kaleena Miller
Tap Entrepreneur 
Francesco Gabriele Frola
First Soloist, National Ballet of Canada
Miriam Miller
Apprentice, New York City Ballet
Renata Shakirova
Corps Member, Mariinsky Ballet
Sterling Baca
Corps Member, American Ballet Theatre
Katarzyna Skarpetowska
Contemporary Choreographer
Alex Sanchez
Musical Theater Choreographer
Jim Nowakowski
Dancer, “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 12 tour
Shahar Dori
Corps Member, Houston Ballet
Myles Thatcher
Ballet Choreographer
Jenelle Figgins
Dancer, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
Caitlin Cucchiara
Dancer, Visceral Dance Chicago
Jacquelin Harris
Dancer, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Footwork dancer
Caitlin Trainor
Modern Choreographer
Norbert De La Cruz III
Contemporary Choreographer
Tamisha Guy
Dancer, Abraham.In.Motion
Léonore Baulac
Première danseuse, Paris Opéra Ballet
Kiara Felder
Dancer, Atlanta Ballet
Modern Dance Troupe
Hiroki Ichinose
Dancer, Nuremberg Ballet
Michelle Veintimilla
Broadway Actress
Nayara Lopes
Dancer, Dance Theatre of Harlem

Friday, January 8, 2016

Fetal Development of Nerves By Joanne Marie

Your nerves perform many vital functions, from controlling your muscles to helping you sense your body's movements and allowing you to hear and taste. The nervous system begins to develop early in pregnancy, eventually forming nerves that link all the parts of your body to the brain and spinal cord. Although this complex network continues to develop throughout childhood and adolescence, the essential framework is well formed and ready to function at birth.

Early Development
During the third week of pregnancy -- when the fetus is less than 1 inch in length -- an indentation called the neural groove forms along the middle of the back. The edges of this groove eventually join to form a structure called the longitudinal neural tube, which develops into the brain and the spinal cord. During the next few weeks, the brain enlarges and folds on itself, until it resembles a fully formed brain. The spinal cord continues growing during this period. Nerve cells in both areas send out extensions that connect with other nerve cells, forming microscopic structures called synapses that communicate messages from one nerve to another. Parts of the brain and spinal cord also organize into different areas during this period. These areas are called gray and white matter. The gray matter contains mostly central parts of nerve cells, or cell bodies. The white matter contains primarily nerve cell extensions, or processes. Nerve processes continue to grow and eventually develop into the long, thin structures found outside the brain and spinal cord. These structures are generally called nerves.

Peripheral Nerves
Nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord are called peripheral nerves. Nerves containing nerve cell processes that control muscular movement are called motor fibers. Those that carry the sensations of touch, pain and temperature back to the brain and spinal cord are called sensory fibers. By the 16th week of pregnancy, peripheral nerves have grown and organized their activity to the extent that a baby can actively move. By week 25 of pregnancy, fetal nerves are able to manage fine movements, such as those needed for control of the facial muscles. This was shown in a study published in March 2013 in the "International Journal of Gynecology," in which 24 normal fetuses were studied with four-dimensional ultrasound examinations. The fetuses were found to produce common facial expressions, including smiling, sucking, blinking and yawning. These movements involve not only control of muscle activity, but also relaying of complex information back to the fetal brain about the position of the muscles and the parts of the face they control.

Autonomic Nerves
Fetuses also develop another highly specialized network called the autonomic nervous system. After birth, it controls organ and tissue functions that occur without conscious thought, including beating of the heart and breathing. The autonomic nerves begin to develop during approximately the fifth week of pregnancy. They originate from special nervous tissue called the neural crest, which begins to form outside the nervous system and moves into a position near the spinal cord or in the walls of certain organs. These nerves form complex connections with each other, the spinal cord and the brain. Autonomic nerves are also important for special functions, such as balance and hearing. By week 32 of pregnancy, nerves in the ears are functional, and a baby begins responding to sounds. This was shown in a study published in 2011 in the journal "Developmental Science," in which researchers found that a fetus's heart rate changes in response to the sound of her mother's voice.

Other Events
In addition to their connections to the brain and spinal cord, nerves form complex structures called plexuses. These are sites where nerves connect with each other. From a plexus, interconnected fibers form nerves that travel to their destination, where they interact with muscles and other structures. Nerve plexuses begin to form as early as 14 weeks of pregnancy, as shown in a 2012 paper published in "Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine." Researchers studied the fetal brachial plexus, which contains nerves that control muscles in the arms and hands. They found that most growth occurs between weeks 14 and 18, and continues later in fetal development at a slower rate. In addition to the development of nerve cells, specialized cells called Schwann cells develop from neural crest tissue during fetal life. Schwann cells produce myelin, a fatty substance that surrounds many nerves. Myelin insulates nerves, helping them transmit messages smoothly and rapidly. Essential for normal muscle function, myelin begins appearing on peripheral nerves by about 20 weeks of pregnancy and continues to accumulate rapidly throughout the first year of a baby's life.

Joanne Marie began writing professionally in 1981. Her work has appeared in health, medical and scientific publications such as Endocrinology and Journal of Cell Biology. She has also published in hobbyist offerings such as The Hobstarand The Bagpiper. Marie is a certified master gardener and has a Ph.D. in anatomy from Temple University School of Medicine. Houston Chronicle

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Illinois Department of Labor

Illinois Minimum Wage Law
Guarantees a minimum wage of $8.25 per hour for workers 18 years of age and older; workers under 18 may be paid $.50 per hour less than the adult minimum wage. Credit for tips may not exceed 40% of the applicable minimum wage. Employers may apply for licenses to pay sub-minimum rates to learners and certain workers with physical and mental limitations. Overtime must be paid after 40 hours of work per week at time and one-half the regular rate. Photo

Philipp Dittberner

Das ist dein Leben Photo Wikipedia

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Top Irish baby names for 2015 are announced by The Irish Times

The most popular girls’ name in The Irish Times’ birth announcements column last year was Chloe, while both Jack and Andrew were the most popular boys’ names. The second most popular girls’ names were Lauren and Lucy; the second most popular boys’ names were Daniel and Hugo. In third place were variations of the name Isabelle, and, for the boys, Charlie, Cian, and Sebastian.
In 2015, the Saturday column announced the births of almost 350 babies, including the announcements of 14 sets of twins and one set of triplets. Some of the more unusual babies’ names in 2015 included Baily Cloud Isaac Blue, Portia Gabriel, Francesca India Siobhán, Lola Skye, Odile Delme Rose, Silas Finbar, and Tarka Valentine Mary. Irish Central Photo

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Def Leppard

Hysteria Photo Wikipedia
Hysteria is the fourth studio album by English hard rock band Def Leppard, released on 3 August 1987 through Mercury Records and reissued on 1 January 2000. It is the band's best-selling album to date, selling over 25 million copies worldwide, including 12 million in the US, and spawning seven hit singles. The album charted at #1 on both the Billboard 200 and the UK Albums Chart.

Kurt Günther - German Artist 1893-1955

Knabenbildnis, 1928. Sueddeutsche Zeitung  "Portrait of a Boy"
Tempera on wood; 18 7/8 x 14 9/16 in. (48 x 37 cm)
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie
© 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Photo: bpk, Berlin/Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie/Art Resource, NY

New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic, 1919–1933

"New Objectivity" will be the first extensive exhibition in the United States on the art of the Weimar Republic. Including nearly 200 works by 50+ artists, this comprehensive show will investigate dominant visual trends prior to World War II. Oct. 4th, 2015 – Jan. 18th, 2016
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard
KCRW Artsy Los Angeles County Museum of Art Photo

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A toast to Europe and its ideals By Jonathan Eyal

LONDON • The Romans had a word for it: "annus horribilis", a horrible year. And that certainly has been Europe's fate this year, as the continent was hit by one crisis after another. Potential bankruptcy for some of the European Union's member states, millions of refugees pouring in through borders that nobody seems able to enforce, squabbles between EU countries, deadly terrorist attacks perpetrated by Europeans against their own countrymen and racist politicians on the march - Europe experienced just about every disaster this year. The latest edition of Foreign Affairs, the magazine that serves as a bible to armchair strategists, decries the "European disunion", while a lengthy recent article in The New York Times, another point of reference for global analysts, wonders whether Europe's political system is now so dysfunctional that the continent has "reached a breaking point", the sort of question which, of course, The New York Times seldom asks about the United States. First, a few statistics to serve as a reminder of the place that Europe actually occupies on the global stage. It is still the world's wealthiest continent. Four of the world's top 10 economies are European, compared with three in the same category for Asia. And although its share of both world trade and wealth has declined over the past few decades - not because the EU's overall economy has shrunk, but because other economies have grown faster - Europe is still the world's largest trader, accounting for around 15 per cent of global trade. One would be tempted to assume that much of the trade is in old wines, smelly cheeses and expensive handbags, the sort of stereotype goods for which Europe is known. But one would be dead wrong: Around 40 per cent of European exports are composed of top-notch machinery items, precision instruments and transportation equipment. If this is a continent on its death knell, then one would wish others no worse fate. The EU remains a good "global citizen" in many other respects. It provides more than half of all the world's official development assistance. Only five countries in the world have actually met the pledge that countries gave to the United Nations to devote 0.7 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP) to aid, and all these five are European nations. In the throes of its worst recession since World War II, Britain zoomed up to the top of the development aid donors' list, worldwide; that's not an indication of either a nation with an "insular" outlook, or an isolationist continent. It could be argued that trade is more effective than aid in alleviating global poverty. But here again, Europe trumps. If trade in fuels is excluded, the EU imports more from developing countries than the US, Canada, Japan and China put together - another fact that Europe's detractors routinely ignore. The enduring problems surrounding the operation of the euro, the continent's single currency, are clearly a matter of global concern, if only because the euro is the second-largest reserve currency in the world and now surpasses the US dollar in the combined value of cash in circulation. So, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde was undoubtedly right when she recently pointed out that many of the problems which contributed to the euro crisis have yet to be addressed, and that the slowing world economy raises the possibility of further pressures on the euro next year. The Straits Times Photo

Friday, January 1, 2016

Kenny Chesney for your New Year's Day !!

I Go Back Photo Wikipedia
Kenneth Arnold "Kenny" Chesney (born March 26, 1968) is an American country music singer and songwriter. He has recorded sixteen albums, fourteen of which have been certified gold or higher by the (RIAA). He has also produced more than forty top 10 singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts, 28 of which have reached number 1 on the charts. Most of these have also charted high within the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 mainstream chart, making him one of the few successful crossover country artists. He has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.

Coffee and Tea May Protect the Brain By Tori Rodriguez

Daily drinkers have lower rates of depression and cognitive decline. Coffee and tea may do more than just jolt you awake—they could also help keep your brain healthy, according to a slew of recent studies. Researchers have linked these beverages with protection from depression, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. A study reported in November 2013 found older Chinese adults who regularly drank any kind of tea had a significantly smaller risk for depression: 21 percent for those who drank tea between one and five days a week and 41 percent for daily drinkers. The researchers also asked about the participants' leisure activities to ensure that the tea, and not teatime socializing, provided the protective effect. Some studies suggest that coffee and tea drinkers have lower rates of cognitive decline, too, but the evidence is mixed. Research in rodents that has focused on specific compounds in coffee and tea supports the idea that some of these chemicals reduce the risk for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. In one such study, published online last June in Neurobiology of Aging, supplementing rats' diets with a component of coffee called eicosanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamide shielded the animals' brains against the pathological changes typical of Alzheimer's. In 2013 another experiment found the same compound to have protective effects against a mouse model of Parkinson's. Caffeine may not just defend the brain but help it, too—a paper in September in the same publication reports that spiking the mice's drinking water with caffeine reduced the protein tangles seen in Alzheimer's, and it also prevented spatial memory deficits. Scientific American Photo