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2010 » April

Macy’s Epic Holiday

April 30, 2010 by  

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It’s that special holiday and Macy’s is right there. Crowds of people, huge balloons, but WAIT…
Was that an explosion; a balloon bust? Oops, wrong holiday. It’s still Macy’s, but now partnered with NCL’s new Epic for the biggest 4th of July fireworks display in America. A synonym for ”epic” is “larger than life”. No way does that overstate either the Epic or this magnificent event. 4,200 people will be on Epic with a front row view of 30,000 shells; 1000 exploding per minute. The Manhattan shore will be lined with thousands of New Yorkers; Jerseyites on the other side of the river; and smaller boats striving to stay in place on the flowing Hudson. It will all be on NBC. Good for you if you have a big screen and great sound, but the luckiest of all will have incredible views from Epic’s pool and outer decks, of the New York skyline and river or having a bit of the bubbly and watching from their balconies.

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Encebollado: Ecuador’s National Dish

April 30, 2010 by  

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Hello Travellers!   Today we return to the Western Hemisphere and the Republic of the Equator or more commonly called Ecuador.  To get there from East Timor we head back across the Pacific in an easterly direction.  Ecuador is located in South America and as its name suggests, it lies straddling the Equator in the northwestern corner of the landmass. Ecuador is a land of incredible biodiversity.  In fact, a young Charles Darwin set sail from England on the second voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle to conduct surveys of South America.  Upon arriving in the Galapagos Islands Darwin conducted much of the research that would make up his “On the Origin Of Species” and the “Theory” of evolution, specifically dealing with natural selection.   This was based on observations he made of endemic species of birds and other animals and fossils throughout the islands that suggested specific adaptation to unique environmental factors.  He is possibly the most widely recognized pioneer of the research of evolutionary science. Ecuador was a colony of Spain from the middle 1500’s till 1830 when it joined the Union…

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NYC Artists Speak Up: Is American Mediocrity Killing the Artist in Us?

April 30, 2010 by  

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Death I was walking through Union Square about a week ago when I came across the familiar row of independent artists and craftsmen who were out for the day to display their latest creations.Unique to this stroll around the square, was the enormous number of negative posters slamming Mayor Bloomberg (who btw, is the 8th richest person in the United States) and the Parks Departments for their aggressive move to dislocate the artists from designated areas throughout the city, including Union Square, Central Park, Battery Park, and the Highline. Union Square artists and art - David (78) Check out some videos of President of A.R.T.I.S.T. Robert Lederman and other artists being arrested from protesting (spans 1994-2001). According to information posted on this site, Lederman was falsely arrested 43 times to date, was never convicted and has won 4 Federal lawsuits about the arrests. See objections for proposed park rules for artists. More information can also be found on the Yahoo Groups page dedicated to NYC Street Artists. I had a chance to talk to a few artists on that very weekend day as well as at a public protest the following Friday (April


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Photo of the Week – Mongolia

April 29, 2010 by  

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Gobi Desert Trifecta

I am in Louisville this weekend for the Kentucky Derby so thought I would choose one of my favorite horse photos from Mongolia – the land where horses roam free.  We were driving through the Gobi Desert when we came across a pack of horses near a well.  The wind howled across the desert as we got out of the car and intermingled with them.  They seemed tame, but I know they yearned to run. View more Mongolia Photography View more travel photography at Photo Friday on Briefcase to Backpack
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Forgiveness, Confucius and JFK

April 29, 2010 by  

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Anger. It happens. You don’t want to get angry, you don’t want to lose your cool, your peace, your “chi” – yet, someone or something catches you by surprise and you can’t help it. You get angry, furious, ballistic, savage, vehement and then some.
But this is not about that moment. The hard part comes much later, after you cooled off, after the introspection and the re-winding of the mental tape. In some cases (hopefully most – if not all), the anger’s gone. You can’t even exactly remember how or why you got angry in the first place – and that’s easy. So, this is not about that moment, either. This is about the case of persistent anger- that slow boiling torrent of steaming fury that refuses to go. The reasons are irrelevant. You can’t forget, you can’t forgive, and you don’t even want to. “To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it?” You know the Confucian quote, the theory, the research and yet you can’t let go. You know where this is going, right? The antithesis: Forgiveness and mercy, the opposite of spite, vengeance,…

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David Shenk on Gene Expression & Success

April 29, 2010 by  

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Author David Shenk talked to us at the TEDxSF event this past week on Gene Expression. In scientific terms, gene expression is defined as “the process by which information from a gene is used in the synthesis of a functional gene product.” Shenk talks about what ‘gene expression’ means in the context of our lives and why earlier understandings and belief systems around gene expression must change and has changed. He references Bell Curve thinking which suggested that genes were simply something we were born with and whether we were successful or not, depended on our ‘gene pool.’ (see Bell Curve debate). Success of course, is not just about genetics and those of us who have overcome genetic obstacles know that success IS in fact, the result of so many other things, including the lifestyle we choose, our environment, and the process we tap into. The current thinking is that a trait ‘emerges from the interaction between the gene and the environment,’ a quote he attributed to professor and researcher Michael Meaney. Shenk is the author of six books, including Data Smog, The Immortal Game,


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The Politics of Distraction: The Arizona Immigration Abomination and Governor Brewer

April 29, 2010 by  

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The Politics of Distraction have proven very effective for the GOP yet again. It was sheer brilliance to use the Palin wannabe, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. She broke open immigration reform and, once again upset the proverbial apple cart this week. Check her out on national television complete with her pearls, hair and righteous indignation. Watch out! We might have Sarah Palin 2.0 right before our very eyes. Consider that maybe there is a secret GOP training program for Palin wannabes! This is scary because Sarah really delivered. Remember she gave new life to the GOP with her little jiggle. She was merciless and successful. Against all odds, she as John McCain’s 2008 running mate made her mark. Sarah, sweet Sarah, climbed over the bodies strewn along the road to fame and fortune by using her kids, her husband and even the man who brought her to the national spotlight. She became the Queen of Distraction, and delivered for the forces regardless of how inane she looked and sounded. None of that mattered because she achieved their goals: distract, incite, and feed anger and fear. People took to the streets and…

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Saving Whales: It’s Not Just Whales

April 29, 2010 by  

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I heard Dr. Paul Watson talk this past week at the California Academy of Sciences. For over thirty years, he has been at the helm of the world’s most active marine protection Sea Shepherd Conservation Society His real passion? Saving whales.Originally from Canada, he says with force, “I’m not here to watch whales getting killed, I’m here to save him. I’m here to bankrupt and sink the Japanese whaling fleet.” He reinforces how serious the state of our oceans are in and reminds us that if our oceans die, we die. Paul worries that we’re going to destroy the diversity in our oceans and one of these days, we’re going to pull one too many and we won’t survive it. Listen to a man with conviction and heart below. Part II of the video I shot can be found here. Part II of his story.


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