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May 24, 2020

Israel Journal: Is Yossi Vardi a good father to his entrepreneurial children?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:36 pm

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone is currently, courtesy of the Israeli government and friends, visiting Israel. This is a first-hand account of his experiences and may — as a result — not fully comply with Wikinews’ neutrality policy. Please note this is a journalism experiment for Wikinews and put constructive criticism on the collaboration page.

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Dr. Yossi Vardi is known as Israel’s ‘Father of the Entrepreneur’, and he has many children in the form of technology companies he has helped to incubate in Tel Aviv‘s booming Internet sector. At the offices of Superna, one such company, he introduced a whirlwind of presentations from his baby incubators to a group of journalists. What stuck most in my head was when Vardi said, “What is important is not the technology, but the talent.” Perhaps because he repeated this after each young Internet entrepreneur showed us his or her latest creation under Vardi’s tutelage. I had a sense of déjà vu from this mantra. A casual reader of the newspapers during the Dot.com boom will remember a glut of stories that could be called “The Rise of the Failure”; people whose technology companies had collapsed were suddenly hot commodities to start up new companies. This seemingly paradoxical thinking was talked about as new back then; but even Thomas Edison—the Father of Invention—is oft-quoted for saying, “I have not failed. I have just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.”

Vardi’s focus on encouraging his brood of talent regardless of the practicalities stuck out to me because of a recent pair of “dueling studies” The New York Times has printed. These are the sort of studies that confuse parents on how to raise their kids. The first, by Carol Dweck at Stanford University, came to the conclusion that children who are not praised for their efforts, regardless of the outcome’s success, rarely attempt more challenging and complex pursuits. According to Dweck’s study, when a child knows that they will receive praise for being right instead of for tackling difficult problems, even if they fail, they will simply elect to take on easy tasks in which they are assured of finding the solution.

Only one month earlier the Times produced another story for parents to agonize over, this time based on a study from the Brookings Institution, entitled “Are Kids Getting Too Much Praise?” Unlike Dweck’s clinical study, Brookings drew conclusions from statistical data that could be influenced by a variety of factors (since there was no clinical control). The study found American kids are far more confident that they have done well than their Korean counterparts, even when the inverse is true. The Times adds in the words of a Harvard faculty psychologist who intoned, “Self-esteem is based on real accomplishments. It’s all about letting kids shine in a realistic way.” But this is not the first time the self-esteem generation’s proponents have been criticized.

Vardi clearly would find himself encouraged by Dweck’s study, though, based upon how often he seemed to ask us to keep our eyes on the people more than the products. That’s not to say he has not found his latest ICQ, though only time—and consumers—will tell.

For a Web 2.User like myself, I was most fascinated by Fixya, a site that, like Wikipedia, exists on the free work of people with knowledge. Fixya is a tech support site where people who are having problems with equipment ask a question and it is answered by registered “experts.” These experts are the equivalent of Wikipedia’s editors: they are self-ordained purveyors of solutions. But instead of solving a mystery of knowledge a reader has in their head, these experts solve a problem related to something you have bought and do not understand. From baby cribs to cellular phones, over 500,000 products are “supported” on Fixya’s website. The Fixya business model relies upon the good will of its experts to want to help other people through the ever-expanding world of consumer appliances. But it is different from Wikipedia in two important ways. First, Fixya is for-profit. The altruistic exchange of information is somewhat dampened by the knowledge that somebody, somewhere, is profiting from whatever you give. Second, with Wikipedia it is very easy for a person to type in a few sentences about a subject on an article about the Toshiba Satellite laptop, but to answer technical problems a person is experiencing seems like a different realm. But is it? “It’s a beautiful thing. People really want to help other people,” said the presenter, who marveled at the community that has already developed on Fixya. “Another difference from Wikipedia is that we have a premium content version of the site.” Their premium site is where they envision making their money. Customers with a problem will assign a dollar amount based upon how badly they need an answer to a question, and the expert-editors of Fixya will share in the payment for the resolved issue. Like Wikipedia, reputation is paramount to Fixya’s experts. Whereas Wikipedia editors are judged by how they are perceived in the Wiki community, the amount of barnstars they receive and by the value of their contributions, Fixya’s customers rate its experts based upon the usefulness of their advice. The site is currently working on offering extended warranties with some manufacturers, although it was not clear how that would work on a site that functioned on the work of any expert.

Another collaborative effort product presented to us was YouFig, which is software designed to allow a group of people to collaborate on work product. This is not a new idea, although may web-based products have generally fallen flat. The idea is that people who are working on a multi-media project can combine efforts to create a final product. They envision their initial market to be academia, but one could see the product stretching to fields such as law, where large litigation projects with high-level of collaboration on both document creation and media presentation; in business, where software aimed at product development has generally not lived up to its promises; and in the science and engineering fields, where multi-media collaboration is quickly becoming not only the norm, but a necessity.

For the popular consumer market, Superna, whose offices hosted our meeting, demonstrated their cost-saving vision for the Smart Home (SH). Current SH systems require a large, expensive server in order to coordinate all the electronic appliances in today’s air-conditioned, lit and entertainment-saturated house. Such coordinating servers can cost upwards of US$5,000, whereas Superna’s software can turn a US$1,000 hand-held tablet PC into household remote control.

There were a few start-ups where Vardi’s fatherly mentoring seemed more at play than long-term practical business modeling. In the hot market of WiFi products, WeFi is software that will allow groups of users, such as friends, share knowledge about the location of free Internet WiFi access, and also provide codes and keys for certain hot spots, with access provided only to the trusted users within a group. The mock-up that was shown to us had a Google Maps-esque city block that had green points to the known hot spots that are available either for free (such as those owned by good Samaritans who do not secure their WiFi access) or for pay, with access information provided for that location. I saw two long-term problems: first, WiMAX, which is able to provide Internet access to people for miles within its range. There is already discussion all over the Internet as to whether this technology will eventually make WiFi obsolete, negating the need to find “hot spots” for a group of friends. Taiwan is already testing an island-wide WiMAX project. The second problem is if good Samaritans are more easily located, instead of just happened-upon, how many will keep their WiFi access free? It has already become more difficult to find people willing to contribute to free Internet. Even in Tel Aviv, and elsewhere, I have come across several secure wireless users who named their network “Fuck Off” in an in-your-face message to freeloaders.

Another child of Vardi’s that the Brookings Institution might say was over-praised for self-esteem but lacking real accomplishment is AtlasCT, although reportedly Nokia offered to pay US$8.1 million for the software, which they turned down. It is again a map-based software that allows user-generated photographs to be uploaded to personalized street maps that they can share with friends, students, colleagues or whomever else wants to view a person’s slideshow from their vacation to Paris (“Dude, go to the icon over Boulevard Montmartre and you’ll see this girl I thought was hot outside the Hard Rock Cafe!”) Aside from the idea that many people probably have little interest in looking at the photo journey of someone they know (“You can see how I traced the steps of Jesus in the Galilee“), it is also easy to imagine Google coming out with its own freeware that would instantly trump this program. Although one can see an e-classroom in architecture employing such software to allow students to take a walking tour through Rome, its desirability may be limited.

Whether Vardi is a smart parent for his encouragement, or in fact propping up laggards, is something only time will tell him as he attempts to bring these products of his children to market. The look of awe that came across each company’s representative whenever he entered the room provided the answer to the question of Who’s your daddy?

Some Advice Regarding Engine Maintenance

Filed under: Salt Therapy Solutions — Admin @ 3:19 pm

byalex

Like everything in life, car engines need looking after if they are going to continue to operate efficiently year after year. They need care and attention and regular checks, just like the human body, in order to work properly and to their maximum capabilities. There are a number of things that any car owner should do to ensure that their engine remains in optimum condition. These routine checks will ensure that your engine has the longest life possible therefore saving you the expensive costs of major repair work or the purchase of a new engine or car.

Oil, filters and replacement partsSubaru Auto Engine Oil in Salt Lake City Engine oil is the lifeblood of any motor vehicle. It is essential that oil levels remain sufficient and that the oil is of a good quality. Much like blood in our own bodies, oil plays a vitally important role in the operation and performance of any engine. If levels become too low, capabilities and efficiency will be drastically reduced and expensive faults and problems can occur quickly. As a general rule, oil should be changed approximately every four thousand to six thousand miles. However if you notice that performance is deteriorating it is essential that you check your oil for low levels and assess the need for replacing the current oil.

Air filters can be the root cause of many problems associated with engine performance. They should be inspected regularly and changed if there is noticeable damage to any part of the air filter. When replacing engine parts it is imperative that we use the corresponding replacement parts applicable to the particular brand of engine. Different engine manufacturers have different designs that may affect the performance of an engine if fitted in conjunction with other brands. We should take care to ensure that all engine parts are legitimate and one hundred per cent genuine. There are numerous companies that specialize in various models such as Toyota, Honda and Subaru auto repair in Salt Lake City so advice is always at hand regarding this matter.

Other regular checksThere are a number of other checks that can be carried out in order to ensure that our motor vehicles have the necessary fluids to operate efficiently. These checks can be done by any car owner although it is advised to have your vehicle periodically checked by an experienced professional so that they can confirm that everything is as it should be. Some of these simple checks are in relation to fluid levels relating to the power steering of the vehicle, engine coolant levels and also brake fluid. All play a major role in the efficient performance of your motor vehicle and therefore become an important aspect of any regular engine maintenance assessments.

GT Automotive, offering professional advice and assistance regarding Subaru auto repair in Salt Lake City. For more information call us on (801) 302-0912 or visit us online at www.gtautomotive.com

Schapelle Corby found guilty, sentenced to 20 years

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:09 pm

Friday, May 27, 2005Schapelle Corby was today found guilty by an Indonesian court for the importation of 4 kilograms of marijuana to Bali. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The verdict was handed down by three judges amidst tight security at the Denpasar District Court.

The verdict was read in Indonesian and relayed to Corby via her translator. The court erupted as the outcome became clear. Her family and supporters screamed at the judge, and said that justice had not been done. “Scheppelle is innocent!” one supporter said.

Her lawyer reported before the verdict was handed down that she was terrified. “She’s probably the worst I’ve ever seen her,” he said.

After the verdict she stopped briefly to hug her family before being loaded into a van and driven away.

Corby was arrested at Denpasar Airport last October. On her trip to Bali, she flew from Brisbane to Sydney and then changed planes. Her defense centered around the claim that Australian airport baggage handlers placed the drugs in her bodyboard bag as part of a drug smuggling ring. It was claimed that the drugs were being smuggled from Brisbane to Sydney, but for some reason were not removed before her luggage was transferred to the Indonesian flight.

After a lengthy trial that attracted much media attention in Australia, prosecutors called for the judges to hand down a life sentence.

Wikinews Australia has in-depth coverage of this issue: Schapelle Corby

Hundreds of supporters and friends gathered at Tugun Surf-Lifesaving Club on the Gold Coast to watch the verdict and show their support.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said that he felt for Corby but that Australians had to trust the Indonesian justice system. “We have to respect the justice system of other countries,” he said.

The judge said she had until next Wednesday to appeal.

May 23, 2020

An interview with gossip columnist Michael Musto on the art of celebrity journalism

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:05 pm

Sunday, October 7, 2007

There are two things one can expect on a trip to see Michael Musto at the offices of the Village Voice: a 20-minute round-trip wait for the elevator and rapid fire answers from one of the most recognizable gossip columnists in the United States. Musto, in addition to his appearances on Countdown with Keith Olbermann and the E! network, has been writing his column for the Voice since 1984. He has recently compiled the best of them in a book released this year titled, La Dolce Musto: Writings by the World’s Most Outrageous Columnist. He was Carrie Bradshaw, replete with a prodigious use of puns, before Sex in the City was a thought. His column is a romp through his life, spats and opinions on socio-political issues. As David Thigpen of the Chicago Tribune wrote, Musto is “a funny and caustic satirist who masquerades as a gossip and nightlife columnist.”

Musto, a Columbia University graduate, is a rarity in today’s celebrity world: he is accessible. He often corresponds with his readers and his public functions are a mix of parties, nightclubs, academic lectures, university panels and film premieres.

He is friendly and frank, and he welcomes people to join him in his world (“I just got a message that Michael Lucas died!” he says staring wide-eyed at his phone; the message turned out to be false). Wikinews reporter David Shankbone spoke with Musto about his life and his relationship to the world of celebrity journalism. And he did not hold back.


May 22, 2020

Benefits Offered By Quick Duct Cleaning

Filed under: Business Energy Advice — Admin @ 3:08 pm

byadmin

For most homeowners, their HVAC system is an important part of their day to day life and comfort. However, the parts and components that are hidden are often forgotten. This includes the ducts. The fact is, the ducts are a crucial part of a home’s comfort system and if they are dirty, they can present a number of serious and costly problems. This is why it may be time to invest in duct cleaning. Some of the benefits offered by Quick duct cleaning can be found here.

Improvement of Indoor Air Quality

One of the biggest concerns for many homeowners is the quality of the air in their home. If the ducts of the home are dirty and littered with accumulated dust, dirt and debris, then it is going to affect the air quality. In fact, in a typical six-room house, there are up to 40 pounds of dust created each year. If this dust is never cleaned, it continues to accumulate year after year. With the heating and cooling system is essentially the lungs of the structure, it is essential to keep it clean. If the air is dirty, this is what is going through the system and becoming stuck in the ducts. With Quick duct cleaning, all this nasty accumulation of dirt can be removed, improving overall home air quality significantly.

Energy Savings

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 25 to 40 percent of the total energy that is used for cooling or heating in a home winds up being wasted. The contaminants in the cooling and heating system result in it having to work harder, which can shorten the entire life of the system. While filters are often used, the system can still get quite dirty just with normal use.

When a home’s HVAC system remains clean, then it will not have to work as hard to stay at the desired temperature. This means that less energy will be used, and it will lead to increased cost-effectiveness. Refrigeration offers more information about keeping a Heating and Cooling system in good, working order. If more information is needed, be sure to call the HVAC specialists here. Doing so will ensure all questions are answered accurately regarding the system.

May 21, 2020

2006 U.S. Congressional Elections

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:35 pm

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

As of 10:00 p.m EST November 8, 2006, the Democratic Party is projected to have gained control of both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate in the 2006 United States general elections. MSNBC projects that the Democrats now control 234 seats in the House of Representatives, 16 more seats than the 218 needed to control the House of Representatives as all 435 seats were up for election. In the Senate, where the balance of power is closer, one-third of all seats were up for grab. As of 10:00 p.m. EST, AP and Reuters were projecting that the Democrats had picked up all six seats they needed to retake the Senate, including the seats of incumbents Rick Santorum (Penn.), Lincoln Chafee (R.I.), Jim Talent (Missouri), Mike DeWine (Ohio), John Tester (Montana), and Jim Webb (VA). The Tester victory by less than 3,000 votes was projected at approximately 2 p.m. EST after the State of Montana announced the results of overnight recounts. Democrat Jim Webb has prevailed in that race by slightly more than 7,000 votes, though his opponent has not conceded and a recount may still occur.

Bat for Lashes plays the Bowery Ballroom: an Interview with Natasha Khan

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:05 pm

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bat for Lashes is the doppelgänger band ego of one of the leading millennial lights in British music, Natasha Khan. Caroline Weeks, Abi Fry and Lizzy Carey comprise the aurora borealis that backs this haunting, shimmering zither and glockenspiel peacock, and the only complaint coming from the audience at the Bowery Ballroom last Tuesday was that they could not camp out all night underneath these celestial bodies.

We live in the age of the lazy tendency to categorize the work of one artist against another, and Khan has had endless exultations as the next Björk and Kate Bush; Sixousie Sioux, Stevie Nicks, Sinead O’Connor, the list goes on until it is almost meaningless as comparison does little justice to the sound and vision of the band. “I think Bat For Lashes are beyond a trend or fashion band,” said Jefferson Hack, publisher of Dazed & Confused magazine. “[Khan] has an ancient power…she is in part shamanic.” She describes her aesthetic as “powerful women with a cosmic edge” as seen in Jane Birkin, Nico and Cleopatra. And these women are being heard. “I love the harpsichord and the sexual ghost voices and bowed saws,” said Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke of the track Horse and I. “This song seems to come from the world of Grimm’s fairytales.”

Bat’s debut album, Fur And Gold, was nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize, and they were seen as the dark horse favorite until it was announced Klaxons had won. Even Ladbrokes, the largest gambling company in the United Kingdom, had put their money on Bat for Lashes. “It was a surprise that Klaxons won,” said Khan, “but I think everyone up for the award is brilliant and would have deserved to win.”

Natasha recently spoke with David Shankbone about art, transvestism and drug use in the music business.


DS: Do you have any favorite books?

NK: [Laughs] I’m not the best about finishing books. What I usually do is I will get into a book for a period of time, and then I will dip into it and get the inspiration and transformation in my mind that I need, and then put it away and come back to it. But I have a select rotation of cool books, like Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés and Little Birds by Anaïs Nin. Recently, Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch.

DS: Lynch just came out with a movie last year called Inland Empire. I interviewed John Vanderslice last night at the Bowery Ballroom and he raved about it!

NK: I haven’t seen it yet!

DS: Do you notice a difference between playing in front of British and American audiences?

NK: The U.S. audiences are much more full of expression and noises and jubilation. They are like, “Welcome to New York, Baby!” “You’re Awesome!” and stuff like that. Whereas in England they tend to be a lot more reserved. Well, the English are, but it is such a diverse culture you will get the Spanish and Italian gay guys at the front who are going crazy. I definitely think in America they are much more open and there is more excitement, which is really cool.

DS: How many instruments do you play and, please, include the glockenspiel in that number.

NK: [Laughs] I think the number is limitless, hopefully. I try my hand at anything I can contribute; I only just picked up the bass, really—

DS: –I have a great photo of you playing the bass.

NK: I don’t think I’m very good…

DS: You look cool with it!

NK: [Laughs] Fine. The glockenspiel…piano, mainly, and also the harp. Guitar, I like playing percussion and drumming. I usually speak with all my drummers so that I write my songs with them in mind, and we’ll have bass sounds, choir sounds, and then you can multi-task with all these orchestral sounds. Through the magic medium of technology I can play all kinds of sounds, double bass and stuff.

DS: Do you design your own clothes?

NK: All four of us girls love vintage shopping and charity shops. We don’t have a stylist who tells us what to wear, it’s all very much our own natural styles coming through. And for me, personally, I like to wear jewelery. On the night of the New York show that top I was wearing was made especially for me as a gift by these New York designers called Pepper + Pistol. And there’s also my boyfriend, who is an amazing musician—

DS: —that’s Will Lemon from Moon and Moon, right? There is such good buzz about them here in New York.

NK: Yes! They have an album coming out in February and it will fucking blow your mind! I think you would love it, it’s an incredible masterpiece. It’s really exciting, I’m hoping we can do a crazy double unfolding caravan show, the Bat for Lashes album and the new Moon and Moon album: that would be really theatrical and amazing! Will prints a lot of my T-shirts because he does amazing tapestries and silkscreen printing on clothes. When we play there’s a velvety kind of tapestry on the keyboard table that he made. So I wear a lot of his things, thrift store stuff, old bits of jewelry and antique pieces.

DS: You are often compared to Björk and Kate Bush; do those constant comparisons tend to bother you as an artist who is trying to define herself on her own terms?

NK: No, I mean, I guess that in the past it bothered me, but now I just feel really confident and sure that as time goes on my musical style and my writing is taking a pace of its own, and I think in time the music will speak for itself and people will see that I’m obviously doing something different. Those women are fantastic, strong, risk-taking artists—

DS: —as are you—

NK: —thank you, and that’s a great tradition to be part of, and when I look at artists like Björk and Kate Bush, I think of them as being like older sisters that have come before; they are kind of like an amazing support network that comes with me.

DS: I’d imagine it’s preferable to be considered the next Björk or Kate Bush instead of the next Britney.

NK: [Laughs] Totally! Exactly! I mean, could you imagine—oh, no I’m not going to try to offend anyone now! [Laughs] Let’s leave it there.

DS: Does music feed your artwork, or does you artwork feed your music more? Or is the relationship completely symbiotic?

NK: I think it’s pretty back-and-forth. I think when I have blocks in either of those area, I tend to emphasize the other. If I’m finding it really difficult to write something I know that I need to go investigate it in a more visual way, and I’ll start to gather images and take photographs and make notes and make collages and start looking to photographers and filmmakers to give me a more grounded sense of the place that I’m writing about, whether it’s in my imagination or in the characters. Whenever I’m writing music it’s a very visual place in my mind. It has a location full of characters and colors and landscapes, so those two things really compliment each other, and they help the other one to blossom and support the other. They are like brother and sister.

DS: When you are composing music, do you see notes and words as colors and images in your mind, and then you put those down on paper?

NK: Yes. When I’m writing songs, especially lately because I think the next album has a fairly strong concept behind it and I’m writing the songs, really imagining them, so I’m very immersed into the concept of the album and the story that is there through the album. It’s the same as when I’m playing live, I will imagine I see a forest of pine trees and sky all around me and the audience, and it really helps me. Or I’ll just imagine midnight blue and emerald green, those kind of Eighties colors, and they help me.

DS: Is it always pine trees that you see?

NK: Yes, pine trees and sky, I guess.

DS: What things in nature inspire you?

NK: I feel drained thematically if I’m in the city too long. I think that when I’m in nature—for example, I went to Big Sur last year on a road trip and just looking up and seeing dark shadows of trees and starry skies really gets me and makes me feel happy. I would sit right by the sea, and any time I have been a bit stuck I will go for a long walk along the ocean and it’s just really good to see vast horizons, I think, and epic, huge, all-encompassing visions of nature really humble you and give you a good sense of perspective and the fact that you are just a small particle of energy that is vibrating along with everything else. That really helps.

DS: Are there man-made things that inspire you?

NK: Things that are more cultural, like open air cinemas, old Peruvian flats and the Chelsea Hotel. Funny old drag queen karaoke bars…

DS: I photographed some of the famous drag queens here in New York. They are just such great creatures to photograph; they will do just about anything for the camera. I photographed a famous drag queen named Miss Understood who is the emcee at a drag queen restaurant here named Lucky Cheng’s. We were out in front of Lucky Cheng’s taking photographs and a bus was coming down First Avenue, and I said, “Go out and stop that bus!” and she did! It’s an amazing shot.

NK: Oh. My. God.

DS: If you go on her Wikipedia article it’s there.

NK: That’s so cool. I’m really getting into that whole psychedelic sixties and seventies Paris Is Burning and Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis. Things like The Cockettes. There seems to be a bit of a revolution coming through that kind of psychedelic drag queen theater.

DS: There are just so few areas left where there is natural edge and art that is not contrived. It’s taking a contrived thing like changing your gender, but in the backdrop of how that is still so socially unacceptable.

NK: Yeah, the theatrics and creativity that go into that really get me. I’m thinking about The Fisher King…do you know that drag queen in The Fisher King? There’s this really bad and amazing drag queen guy in it who is so vulnerable and sensitive. He sings these amazing songs but he has this really terrible drug problem, I think, or maybe it’s a drink problem. It’s so bordering on the line between fabulous and those people you see who are so in love with the idea of beauty and elevation and the glitz and the glamor of love and beauty, but then there’s this really dark, tragic side. It’s presented together in this confusing and bewildering way, and it always just gets to me. I find it really intriguing.

DS: How are you received in the Pakistani community?

NK: [Laughs] I have absolutely no idea! You should probably ask another question, because I have no idea. I don’t have contact with that side of my family anymore.

DS: When you see artists like Pete Doherty or Amy Winehouse out on these suicidal binges of drug use, what do you think as a musician? What do you get from what you see them go through in their personal lives and with their music?

NK: It’s difficult. The drugs thing was never important to me, it was the music and expression and the way he delivered his music, and I think there’s a strange kind of romantic delusion in the media, and the music media especially, where they are obsessed with people who have terrible drug problems. I think that’s always been the way, though, since Billie Holiday. The thing that I’m questioning now is that it seems now the celebrity angle means that the lifestyle takes over from the actual music. In the past people who had musical genius, unfortunately their personal lives came into play, but maybe that added a level of romance, which I think is pretty uncool, but, whatever. I think that as long as the lifestyle doesn’t precede the talent and the music, that’s okay, but it always feels uncomfortable for me when people’s music goes really far and if you took away the hysteria and propaganda of it, would the music still stand up? That’s my question. Just for me, I’m just glad I don’t do heavy drugs and I don’t have that kind of problem, thank God. I feel that’s a responsibility you have, to present that there’s a power in integrity and strength and in the lifestyle that comes from self-love and assuredness and positivity. I think there’s a real big place for that, but it doesn’t really get as much of that “Rock n’ Roll” play or whatever.

DS: Is it difficult to come to the United States to play considering all the wars we start?

NK: As an English person I feel equally as responsible for that kind of shit. I think it is a collective consciousness that allows violence and those kinds of things to continue, and I think that our governments should be ashamed of themselves. But at the same time, it’s a responsibility of all of our countries, no matter where you are in the world to promote a peaceful lifestyle and not to consciously allow these conflicts to continue. At the same time, I find it difficult to judge because I think that the world is full of shades of light and dark, from spectrums of pure light and pure darkness, and that’s the way human nature and nature itself has always been. It’s difficult, but it’s just a process, and it’s the big creature that’s the world; humankind is a big creature that is learning all the time. And we have to go through these processes of learning to see what is right.

May 19, 2020

Oil price falls on inventory report

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:26 pm

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Crude oil prices fell by $0.32, to $63.95 a barrel, after a report showed lower than expected losses in oil supplies due to Hurricane Katrina.

According to a report published by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), crude oil stocks declined by 6.5 million, to 315 million barrels. The department also announced that 57% of the production capacity in the Gulf of Mexico is still down, versus 97% the day after the storm.

The DOE said it expected that production would not return to normal until December.

Yesterday, economists warned that one of the impacts of Katrina on the US economy would be a reduction in the number of jobs by up to 400,000. They also said the country’s GDP, in the second half of 2005, could be 1% less than expected, due to the surge in oil prices.

The Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Claude Mandil, announced a collective action by members of the 26 nation agency. An agreement was reached to supply an additional 60 million barrels to the market over the next 30 days. The biggest contribution of total response comes from North America (52%), then by Europe (30%), and finally the Pacific region (18%). The share of these increases is based upon of the consumption from each of the IEA member areas.

April 13, 2020

Back To Basics For Working Capital Management And Business Loans

Filed under: Financial Solutions — Admin @ 3:00 pm

By Stephen Bush

Small business owners will quickly realize when they review working capital management and business loan basics that the most effective commercial financing sources have changed during the past few years. Commercial borrowers might need to be alerted that there are both “new basics” and “old basics” for most business financing situations, primarily because the active role that banks have traditionally played in providing both working capital loans as well other forms of commercial loans has been quietly stopped or significantly reduced. The entire process of reviewing “working capital basics” will help businesses realize how other commercial finance options are likely to be more effective in resolving their predicament than a traditional bank solution of taking on more business debt to resolve financial problems.

Because of declining sales occurring simultaneously with decreased availability of bank financing, ensuring adequate business cash flow has become a higher priority for most businesses. In one common occurrence, borrowers are likely to attempt to juggle the timing of expenses whenever possible in an effort to match receipt of business income. Business owners will realistically be forced to “get back to working capital financing basics” because this is not an ideal solution under any circumstances.

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Looking at whether it is feasible to decrease overall bank financing is certainly a potential cost reduction that should not be overlooked. Many banks are increasing their fees for almost all commercial finance services. Businesses should increasingly try to reduce their business debt levels to avoid some of the bank fees altogether. The option of firing a current bank and replacing them with a new bank charging more reasonable fees will need to be emphasized when this is not practical.

Another primary alternative for any business to explore in their efforts to deal with a mismatch of income and costs is business expense reduction, and credit card processing is always a significant cost to evaluate. This is frequently an expense area that is overlooked because the credit card processing provider was chosen for convenience or perhaps because they were recommended by a banking or other professional relationship. Analyzing alternative providers in conjunction with obtaining a merchant cash advance is one of the most practical methods for reducing this cost. By combining efforts to obtain additional working capital (via a business cash advance) with a change of processing services, two cash flow benefits can be achieved by receiving commercial financing while simultaneously reducing a major cost. Certainly there will be those who say that this is easier said than done, and it is appropriate to emphasize that this process should involve the close involvement of a business financing expert who is familiar with all aspects.

Because of the recent ineffectiveness that prevails with commercial banking, business financing can no longer be taken for granted by any business owner. Some common advice for many complicated problems is often a variation of “it is time to get back to the basics”, and working capital loans represent an ongoing illustration of this wisdom for small businesses. Working capital management is the science and art of short term business cash management, and improvements in this area should always be welcomed by commercial borrowers.

About the Author: Steve Bush has delivered candid

working capital management

and small business loan advice to business owners for over 25 years. He provides

small business financing

options throughout the United States. Stephen is the Founder of AEX Commercial Financing Group which offers commercial real estate financing, business cash advances and commercial loan programs.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=495016&ca=Business

April 9, 2020

Billy West, voice of Ren and Stimpy, Futurama, on the rough start that shaped his life

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This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ren and Stimpy. Bugs Bunny. Philip J. Fry and Professor Hubert Farnsworth on Futurama. Sparx. Bi-Polar Bear. Popeye the Sailor Man. Woody Woodpecker. You may not think you have ever heard Billy West, but chances are on a television program, a movie, a commercial, or as Howard Stern’s voice guru in the 1990’s, you have heard him. West’s talent for creating personalities by twisting his voice has made him one of a handful of voice actors—Hank Azaria and the late Mel Blanc come to mind—who have achieved celebrity for their talent. Indeed, West is one of the few voice actors who can impersonate Blanc in his prime, including characterizations of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and other characters from Warner Bros. cartoons.

What is the fulcrum in Mr. West’s life that led him to realize a talent to shape personalities with his voice, and how did the discovery of that gift shape him? Wikinews reporter David Shankbone found that like many great comedians, West faced more sour early in life than he did sweet. The sour came from a physically and emotionally abusive alcoholic father (“I could tell you the kind of night I was going to have from the sound of the key in the door or the way the car pulled up.”), to his own problems with drug and alcohol use (“There is a point that you can reach in your life where you don’t want to live, but you haven’t made the decision to die.”).

I’m telling you stuff that I never said to anybody…

If sin, suffering and redemption feel like the stages of an endless cycle of American existence, West’s own redemption from his brutalized childhood is what helped shape his gift. He performed little bits to cheer up his cowed mother, ravaged by the fact she could not stop her husband’s abuse of young West. “I was the whipping boy and she would just be reduced to tears a lot of times, and I would come in and say stuff, and I would put out little bits just to pull her out of it.”

But West has also enjoyed the sweet. His career blossomed as his talent for creating entire histories behind fictional characters and creatures simply by exploring nuance in his voice landed him at the top of his craft. You may never again be able to forget that behind the voice of your favorite character, there is often an extraordinary life.

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with renowned voice actor Billy West, who for the first time publicly talks about the horrors he faced in his childhood; his misguided search for answers in anger, drugs and alcohol; and the peace he has achieved as one of America’s most recognizable voice actors.

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