Archive for May 1st, 2011
Twenty-one months ago almost to the day, three idealistic young Americans were enjoying a summer vacation hike in the safe and hospitable region of Iraqi Kurdistan when they wandered close to or across an unmarked mountain border and into the hands of Iranian forces. It is hard for any of us to appreciate the torment these individuals — Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd — and their families have suffered since that fateful day. It is harder still to fathom what Iran expects to gain by continuing to hold the two men in the group captive, with almost no contact with their families, and by putting them on trial on May 11 on the unfounded charge of espionage. Sarah, who is Shane’s fianc, was freed on humanitarian grounds last September yet the judiciary has summoned her back for the trial even though a senior Iranian official, Mohammad Javad Larijani, has said publicly that she is incapable of spying.
Sarah’s release after 410 days of solitary confinement was the right thing to do (continue reading…)
To the few remaining Dutch survivors of the Holocaust and to the descendants of the more than 100,000 Dutch Jews who were murdered by the Nazis during World War II, this upcoming Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Day) could be a particularly poignant one.
You see, het Nationaal Archief (The Netherlands’ National Archive) announced a couple of weeks ago that it has compiled, from previously sealed archives on war collaborators, extensive information about the arrests and deportations to Nazi concentration camps of some 9,000 Dutch Jews.
The information includes, according to the National Archive, the names of those who arrested the Dutch Jews and other facts about their arrests and their deportations to the Nazi death camps during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Some of the dossiers used to compile the information also contain the names of the informants who betrayed the Jews, descriptions of the arrests and interrogations and sometimes even the “letters of betrayal.”
This potentially distressing information has become available as the result of diligent research and investigation by Jan Kompagnie from the National Archive, journalist Ad van Liempt and others. Last September, they were given special permission to review the judicial dossiers of 250 “Jodenjagers” (Jew hunters) as part of what the National Archive calls a further “opening-up” of an extensive archive containing 500,000 dossiers on at least 310,000 people suspected of collaboration with the Nazis and of other war crimes.
Up to now, 66 years after the Holocaust, most of the surviving relatives of the more than 100,000 Dutch Jews who were hauled off to concentration camps still don’t know who arrested their relatives, who informed the Nazis, who divulged the hiding places of so many “onderduikers” — Dutch Jews who had gone into hiding (continue reading…)
Sony has said it will resume some services on its PlayStation Network, which was shut after the theft of personal details of about 77m users.
Sony officials said they had boosted the security of their computer systems after user names, email addresses and log-in details were stolen.
Executives, including Kazuo Hirai, the head of Sony's PlayStation unit, apologised for the security breach.
The theft has prompted legal action and investigations in the US and Europe.
"The organisation has worked around the clock to bring these services back on line and are doing so only after we had verified increased levels of security across our networks," said Mr Hirai in a statement (continue reading…)
US President Barack Obama has sent up Donald Trump's presidential ambitions, joking that the real-estate mogul would turn the White House into a casino.
During the White House correspondents' annual dinner Mr Obama showed a picture of a White House with girls in bikinis sipping cocktails in a hot tub.
The president also made fun of rumours that he was not born in the US (continue reading…)
Wim Crouwel was the first graphic designer who saw that the computer would change everything. In this video he gives Crane.tv a preview of his latest exhibition – ‘A Graphic Odyssey’ at the London Design Museum, a retrospective presentation of the past forty years of his prolific career as a graphic designer.
Noting how his work reflects the difference of every decade, he stresses his determination to ensure that his work remains identifiable to him: “although I always try to be timeless, time is reflected in all the pieces of work, so I don’t believe in timelessness anymore.” Indeed, his work represents a chronology with the increasing influence of computer technology upon our culture and therefore, upon art.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
This was a big week for big distractions. First, there was President Obama’s televised press conference to discuss not jobs or Afghanistan or Syria, but the release of his long-form birth certificate. Yes, it’s ridiculous that the president should be forced to show his papers to prove his legitimacy — but couldn’t he have sent his lawyer to Hawaii in 2008 and saved us the spectacle of Donald Trump claiming to have “accomplished something really, really important” by being proven dead wrong? Then there was Ben Bernanke’s first scheduled press conference, which was largely focused on the threat of inflation rather than the clear and present danger of the ongoing jobs crisis.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
For those of us who lean toward the pagan end of the spiritual spectrum, Beltane or May Day occurs this weekend as April turns to May. It’s the mid-way point between spring and summer, and for many pagan practitioners, it’s a time to celebrate the abundance of nature. But this year, I’m just not feeling it. Maybe it’s holiday burnout (continue reading…)
After at least two failed attempts, decades of discussion, recent year marked by acrimony and then reconciliation, the game is once again afoot, as Holmes would say: SAG and AFTRA are moving decisively closer to merger. The move today was SAG’s, whose national board has now unanimously established a merger taskforce to work with AFTRA to develop “a formal plan to unite SAG and AFTRA members in one union,” in the words of a SAG statement.
The goal is ambitious: to have a plan for approval by the two unions’ national boards in January 2012. Details: The Hollywood Reporter.
Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” available on Amazon (also in a Kindle edition). Subscribe to my blog (jhandel.com)
for more about
entertainment law and
Check out my
too (continue reading…)
I first got a sense of the meaning of interfaith dialogue as a 26-year-old student on a Fulbright fellowship in Rome. I was a newly ordained rabbi representing the Reform Jewish movement in a meeting with Pope John XXIII to discuss hunger issues. With the impetuousness of youth, I asked the pontiff about the Church’s role in the destruction of European Jewry. I’d been a refugee at age 6, but lucky — we’d fled Italy just before the war (continue reading…)
No time to page through thousands of eBay listings? Then just sneak a peek at my weekly eBay roundup of top vintage clothing finds.
This eclectic mix of designer and non-designer vintage clothing and accessories caught my discerning eye because of their uniqueness, contemporary feel or highly collectible nature.
As always, buyer beware! Be sure to read the listings closely and contact the sellers with any questions.
Today’s selections include pieces by Christian Dior, Gucci and Schiaparelli. Be sure to check all the rare vintage handbags and the lovely 1920s camisole.
Which item is your favorite? Leave me a comment below to let me know and please take a minute to rate your favorite slides.
GET READY, GET SET, BID!!!
1 of 26
Weekly eBay Roundup of Vintage Clothing Finds
1 of 27
More information on all this week’s finds at Zuburbia. Keep clicking for this week’s vintage clothing finds.
Queen Elizabeth II At The Royal Wedding (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Westminster Abbey Hosts The Royal Wedding Ceremony (PHOTOS)
Prince William & Prince Harry Arrive At Royal Wedding (PHOTOS)
‘Lotus Eaters’ Premiere: Who Was Best-Dressed? (PHOTOS, POLL)
Rachel Bilson, Karl Lagerfeld & More Fete Magnum Ice Cream Commercial (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Maria Cornejo on Tenderness and Reality in Fashion
More information on all this week’s finds at Zuburbia.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
May Day (at least in the Northern hemisphere) heralds the delights of the coming warm season, with intoxicating fragrances of spring flowers and flowering trees to delight the senses. Warming days and shedding of coats signal more pleasures of the coming summer season. Time to celebrate, with a bit of romping outside, relishing the green grass, the sun, the flowers, the fresh breeze. The intensity of the lush flowering trees appears heightened against grey city buildings, a bursting vibrancy of life against more austere form (continue reading…)
Rabbi Rochelle Kamins has not always felt Jewish … enough. No youth group or summer camp. She never did all of the things that young Jewish people were “supposed” to do (continue reading…)
The devastation left in the wake of last Wednesday night’s tornadoes is mind-numbing. Mile after mile of homes, businesses, and schools obliterated; 300 men, women and children whose lives were taken by the storms. This weekend millions of Christians throughout the affected areas will make their way to their churches, if they are still standing, looking for hope, strength and comfort. Many will also come looking for answers to the question, “Why?” I wonder what their pastors and priests will say to them?
Some will hear their pastors preach that God’s ways are mysterious and that “there are some things we just can’t understand.” Others will hear their spiritual shepherds call them to trust that “everything happens for a reason,” and that God’s purposes are being worked out through this terrible devastation, noting that it must be “the will of God.” A few will hear their leaders suggest that the death and destruction is God’s judgment upon the sins of these communities and that this judgment is meant to lead those who survived to repentance (continue reading…)
On its destructive path across the southern US this week, the storm that left at least 340 dead also devastated Alabama's important poultry industry, as the BBC's Daniel Nasaw reports from Red Hill.
The baby chicks huddled together outside their wrecked house, dipping their beaks into a puddle of water and pecking at feed spilt across the ground.
They belonged to Dan Smalley, who owns one of the largest poultry farms in the state of Alabama. But on Saturday, they were destined not for the dinner table but to be euthanised.
In Alabama on Wednesday, the storm devastated the state's $2.4bn (£1.43bn) a year poultry industry, levelling chicken houses, killing birds and knocking out power to feed mills and processing plants.
While most of Mr Smalley's chicks survived the storm, he estimates he will lose about 200,000 birds in the coming days because the storm destroyed the facilities he needs to tend them.
"We can't care for them," Mr Smalley, 62, said as he toured the farm in a blue Ford pick up truck. "No electricity, no water."
Across Alabama, the storm destroyed 200 chicken houses and significantly damaged as many as 450 others.
Alabama's poultry industry is the third-largest in the US, producing about one billion meat chickens (called broilers) every year, and officials estimate it could be six months to a year before the industry resumes full production.
In general, the farmers do not own the chickens but raise them under contract with national sellers (continue reading…)
Sometimes news comes to me late. I read a New York Times article from February 24th indicating that John Ensign, the disgraced senator from Nevada, had introduced a bill in January to require all low-security prisoners to work 50 hours a week.
The article quoted the philandering senator asking, “Do we want them just sitting in prison lifting weights, becoming violent and thinking about the next crime? Or do we want them having a little purpose in life and learning a skill?”
I suppose the same can be said about our law makers. Do we want them just sitting around uttering platitudes about family values while they simultaneously engage in scandalous sexual affairs with their best friends’ wives? Do we want them paying off accusers in order to avoid the legal complexities that could expose them to criminal charges?
The truth is, I am intimately familiar with the types of jobs that open up for prisoners. The same article indicates that the type of jobs Ensign has in mind include “cleaning up after a Fire Department fish fry and maintaining a public park.”
For longer than 23 years I’ve endured the absurdity of America’s prison system (continue reading…)
On July 23, 1946, just before her diagnosis of stomach cancer and the surgery that ended her life, Gertrude Stein wrote her will. She left what little money she had and her priceless collection of paintings to her lover of decades, Alice B. Toklas.
Though acquired for a pittance at the turn of the century, Stein’s modernist collection had become valuable — the loaning out of it alone should have supported Toklas (continue reading…)
US billionaire investor Warren Buffett has faced uncomfortable questions from shareholders in his company about the resignation of a top executive.
David Sokol had violated Berkshire Hathaway's insider-trading rules, he told the meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.
Mr Sokol traded shares worth $10m (£5.9m) in Lubrizol before convincing Mr Buffett to mount a $9bn takeover.
Mr Buffett admitted he had "made a big mistake" by not pressing Mr Sokol when he mentioned the investment in passing.
Berkshire Hathaway earlier said its first quarter profits had dropped more than half – a fall of more than $2bn – partly because of insurance losses associated with the natural disasters in Japan and New Zealand.
The annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway is usually a celebration of the company's investment successes, but the Sokol affair made the atmosphere less pleasant this year, correspondents say (continue reading…)
In the introduction to Reconsidering Jane Jacobs, a new book from the American Planning Association, co-editor Max Page writes that the book “is less about Jane Jacobs as an individual than about ‘Jane Jacobs’ as the shorthand for a set of ideas and planning practices that have spread around the world over the past half century, some of which the individual named Jane Jacobs might not have recognized as her own.”
It is wise for Page to acknowledge that 50 years after publication of The Death and Life of Great American Cities Jane Jacobs is as much an icon — and one with a mirrored surface — as she was a flesh-and-blood writer about cities, but acknowledging this fact begs a big question, a question that lies at the heart of this stimulating book.
If Jacobs might not recognize “ideas and planning practices” that her name has come to symbolize, then what are those ideas and practices, and who decides what they are, and for whom?
For example: in an essay in the book about the impact of Jacobs’ work in rapidly urbanizing China, city planner Nathan Cherry writes, after describing several large-scale, convulsive redevelopment projects in China that he has worked on, that “if she came to China with me and saw these projects I described, in all their complexity, I am sure Jane Jacobs would understand that the good in large-scale planning is not necessarily outweighed by the bad.”
What Jacobs wrote is fixed on the printed page; but what she “stands for” is in flux.
What’s being built in China would make Robert Moses proud — and for “good” reasons more than bad — but do any planners spend their time wondering (and hoping) whether he would “understand” their work?
That Jacobs became mythic, or even sacred, an icon who absorbs whatever believers project onto her image, was hardly her fault. That anyone laboring in the urban vineyard must have a “personal relationship” with Jacobs is a tribute not only to the parables she constructed on Hudson Street, but also to the quality of her values. People can believe they serve those values, believe they are Jacobsians, independent of how their actions compare to how she wanted people to act.
A lot has been written about Jacobs, but what in particular makes Reconsidering Jane Jacobs exceptional is that the editors, Page and Timothy Mennel, take a broad view of what Jane Jacobs, icon or individual, was about. This is (mostly) not a book about planning so much as it is a book about culture, and I mean “culture” in both senses of the word.
The book contains six major essays (continue reading…)
Whom should we blame for high gasoline prices? The president? Oil companies? Price gougers? Protestors in the Arab Spring? People who drive Hummers?
The answer to that question is one of the first serious issues of the 2011 presidential campaign. (Sorry, Trump. Sorry, Birthers.) It’s an issue that could — and perhaps should — become an oil war at home, politically speaking.
The issue is heating up because gas prices affect us all, whether we’re buying fuel, food or consumer goods. Rising gas prices threaten our recovery from the recession and our ability to put Americans back to work.
To anticipate how the price of oil might unfold as a campaign issue, we can look to California in 2006 (continue reading…)
The recent fracture of the relationship between the Syrian government and both the administration and European governments is by no means superficial. Nor is the shakiness of the regime in Damascus at all minor or temporary. What happened in Syria in the past few weeks sealed the fate of the type of relations that had been carefully woven by the Syrian government. What happened exposed the regime whose priority was never reform but in fact to stay in power with authoritarianism under any circumstances (continue reading…)
We all have a story. We say it has shaped us into who we are. We say it drives us or holds us back from who we really want to be and what we really want to do. We all have our story — but what if you could get beyond your story? What if you could swim deep down into the infinite oceans within you and uncover not your story but the light of your resilience?
At Omega NYC 2011, over 1,500 people came with their stories (continue reading…)
The newest, big budget comedy to come from the cool comedy club stars funny ladies, Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne and Wendi McClendon-Covey, and is directed by the magnificent, Paul Feig (Freaks & Geeks).
And it’s F#$%@@ING HILARIOUS.
Bridesmaids is not a “chick flick”. It’s a “flick” that happens to have chicks in it. And it’s honestly for everyone (continue reading…)
Stop picking on yourself! We do this over and over, determined to be different, better, more enlightened, wiser, or whatever we’re criticizing ourselves for at the moment. It’s the old uphill battle. When are you ever going to be good enough? It’s time to say goodbye to your lack of confidence once and for all.
I’ll tell you how in a minute, but first, answer this question honestly: How long have you been trying to be good enough? My guess is that it’s been since you were about 8 years old. Of course, it’s not your fault; parents, teachers, friends, family and bosses have been doing their best to “set you straight” and help you to “make the most of your potential.”
But these good folks have long since stopped being to blame for how much you pick on yourself (continue reading…)
Links:Full news story