We Agers Are Experts On Our Own Aging Experience

With that expertise come responsibilities

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Many of the people who study old people, theorize and write about us, take care of us, or relate to us are not “old’ themselves. They experience old age second handedly. Earlier in my life as a nurse I often had older patients. As a daughter I shared my parents’ aging. In my 50’s I blithely participated in three editions of a nursing book about caring for the elderly without taking note of myself as the “outsider.”

Now I feel as If I had been a pilot flying over the city of aging, assuming I knew how the residents lived. What an illusion!   It’s not that what I knew, used or wrote about elderly people was inaccurate. But it paid only narrow attention to the significant ways normal aging was changing agers’ capacities to manage their ever-present tasks and relationships. I had looked at them narrowly as they related to a particular issue, pathology or health status. Also, somehow, at some level, I gained a vague notion that aging made people less credible whether it was reporting about themselves or their opinions. Dumb!

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Now, I’m the insider. I‘m aware of my hard-won knowledge on normal aging in general and my specialist knowledge on my own aging.   I notice when my insider-knowledge and perceptions (not necessarily right or wrong), are just different from those who are not old.

I see myself as a practical person. I realize that health care providers and others have focused areas of interest and expertise and limitations on their time. Health care providers of all stripes and levels are, in particular, intermittent, time-regulated resources. And even my near and dear ones, friends and neighbors have very full, demanding lives of their own. (But given the nature of our relationships they tend to be more familiar with how I experience and manage both the pesky ordinary parts of my daily living snarled by my aging and the richness of my life.) Each of these people (professional or other), play an important naturally limited role in my life, as I do in theirs.

So, what is my responsibility in enabling them to see my aged world as I need them to and they may wish to? I tell myself, “Doris, they are not mind-readers! They know what they see, hear and what you tell them!” I see how they tend to use what they discover and how it fits with their specific role relationship with me, e.g. professional health care provider, relative, friend, neighbor etc.

I’m accepting that I as an aged “ insider” have responsibilities to them. Instead of taking it for granted, I owe it to them to appropriately :

  1. notice what they might need or want to know about me that satisfies us both
  2. share myself in ways and language that is natural to them and the situation (it’s different for professionals and personal relationships and situations)
  3. give/seek feedback on ways they might participate in my aging and daily living that are comfortable to them and me, given their roles
  4. share with them and include them in the joys and richness of my days

I realize that a lot of this is what has been going on intuitively. It’s just that now with this insider-outsider perspective I see a greater need to become more sensitive and skilled at it.

Bookish Sins

Now to say I don’t commit these sins, I would be lying to you. Some of these I do quite often; others not so. I’m sure they’re many more but these are the few I do.

Very sorry to anyone who takes offence to these horrible bookish things that I do, I am ashamed of me too!

  1. Dog-earring pages: I do only do this in extreme circumstances when I have run out of tabs, sticky notes, hell even litttle its of receipts. But I hate it. It is so so wrong to turn down the pages of books, they are such scared things that do not deserve to be harmed in this way. My A-Level books are horrendous from dog-earring, some exam boards don’t let you tab your books for the exam and the only way around this was to dog-ear it. I have such a battered copy of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley its unbelievable, I’m so horrified with myself for that books poor life it led!!
  2. Writing in books in PEN!: Thanks to my degree I do have to write in my books to remember what I originally thought about certain places or characters so I can write about it in essays; but it does make them look so untidy. Writing in books is one thing but writing in books in pen is a whole other thing. I wish I was more organised and had pencils to do this but I am really not the most organised.
  3. Highlighters: Now, this is a very touchy subject for many. I do highlight certain parts of books, especially books for university. Many of my uni books are covered in rainbow highlighter- again I am very sorry for my poor book etiquette. I will do better! I hope anyway. I have found highlighter ‘tabs’ in the last couple of months but they’re expensive for the actual amount you get. And poor student here!
  4. Breaking spines: I really really hate this one and try so hard not to do it but this is so so hard not to do with some books. My copy of The Devouring Gray wouldn’t open wide enough for me to read it without the spine breaking and it does kill me inside when that happens. But also for uni, you have to bend and break the spines in order to write in the books- I’m really not very nice to my books am I?- I commit heinous crimes against books.
  5. DNF-ing books: Right, if I don’t like it I will not read it all. I hate not finishing books but if it’s boring and predictable then why should I bother. The only problem with this is my course books are usually like this and I struggle to read them *Welcomes SparkNotes and CliffNotes greatly for crappy books for my degree with open arms*. I recently did just DNF Fairy Tale by Danielle Steel because my god that was so predictable and of course boring because of it. Its not the biggest sin in the book world but I love finishing things myself.
  6. Reading instead of doing assignments: This isn’t really a bookish sin but it is a sin to do with my books. I am a massive procrastinator and I will genuinely do anything to avoid doing my assignments- usually I clean my bedroom and bathroom at least once in the week I’m doing assignments in; but for my last assignment of my first year I just read a whole book instead of actually working. Bad student as well as a poor one me!!
  7. Removal of dust jackets: I really do not know how to hold a hardback, I think I’m just inept, so I usually take off the dust jackets and then can never find them again. I cannot deal with how chunky a hard back is and therefore cannot hold it- for those of you who don’t know, I am a very small person so chunky books are CHUNKY to me.

I do actually have a confession to make, I do not like hardbacks at all. I am a proper paperback princess and cannot understand how on earth anyone likes hardbacks. As I said, I cannot hold them, I think they’re too chunky and what are you supposed to do with the dust jacket?!

I am very sorry to the ‘Book Gods’ for I have sinned, many-a-time to be frank with you. But I will try to be a better book lover I swear.

Hopefully, in the next week there will be a book diary coming your way along with a review of one of my favourite books of the year, The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye.

30 random facts about me

By Caitlin Kelly

It’s my birthday!

Nope, not my 30th!

But inspired by London-based pal Cadence, and her 33 facts celebrating her 33rd this week, here’s some intel about the broad behind Broadside:


  1.  I love and collect vintage textiles — like 19th century paisley shawls. I love the notion that someone 100 to 300 to 500 years ago also wore or used them.

2.      My father is an award-winning filmmaker, with his own Wikipedia entry.




3.      I speak what I call fluent French, (but don’t try any super-specialized vocabulary!)


I learned how to canoe at camp -- useful when we went to Nicaragua

On assignment in Nicaragua for WaterAid — Jen in the bow of a dugout canoe


4.     In March 2014, I shared a dugout canoe with a  blogger from Maine in backwoods Nicaragua, on assignment for WaterAid America.

5.     I hate hot, humid weather. Give me a good snowstorm any day.

6.     My favorite painting at the Met Museum in New York City is this one, an enormous image of Joan of Arc realizing her destiny, from 1879.




7.    One of my favorite ways to spend time is rummaging around flea markets, antique shows and consignment shops.

8.   In my 30s, for four years, I took up saber fencing, with a two-time Olympian as my coach, and was nationally ranked every year.

9.   My first husband walked out after two years of marriage — but my humor essay about the divorce won me a Canadian National Magazine Award. Sweet revenge!

10.  I never had children nor wanted to. Being parentified early by a parent who needed too much from me too often left me burned out and unwilling to assume that responsibility. I admire loving parents. It’s hard work!

11.   I play softball and hit to the outfield.




12.   At 25, I lived for a year in Paris, and traveled across Europe on an EU journalism fellowship. Best year of my life! I went to London, Copenhagen, Sicily and Amsterdam alone on 10-day reporting trips. I was one of 28 journalists from 19 countries — including Sweden, New Zealand, Togo, Japan, China, Brazil, China, Italy and Ireland — and was the youngest one, ages 25 to 35. Still good friends with several of them.

13.   My best journey that year was a reporting trip of eight days, from Perpignan to Istanbul, in an 18-wheel truck, (sleeping in it! no showers!) with a French trucker who spoke no English. Lovely man and great adventure!

14.   My husband, Jose Lopez, is a super-talented photojournalist and photo editor. He spent 31 years at The New York Times and eight years as a member of the White House Press Corps, including a flight aboard Air Force One. Oh, and a team Pulitzer Prize! Here’s his website.

15.   I’ve met Queen Elizabeth aboard her then-yacht Brittania, after two exhausting weeks of 15-hour days following her Royal Tour of Canada as a reporter for the Globe & Mail. She has some amazing jewels!



16.   After deciding to leave journalism, I studied interior design seriously at the New York School of Interior Design. But my first husband bailed, and I was fearful of starting over at the bottom at very low wages alone and with a mortgage. I did love my schooling, and it helped me tastefully renovate our apartment.

17.   My mother and I are estranged. I’m her only child.

18.  I have three half-siblings, including a half-sister I’ve never met and don’t even know where she lives. None of us were raised in the same household and there are four mothers. Yes, it’s complicated.

19.   My favorite color is navy blue — a tone I associate with calm authority and competence, (like pilots’ uniforms.)

20.   I’ve published two non-fiction books, each of which was rejected by 25 publishers before the 26th said yes.

21.   I like to make a pot of tea every day between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m., for a lovely break and some hydration. Favorite teas include PG Tips and Earl Grey.

22.   A huge fan of the British paint company Farrow & Ball, (every room in our apartment in their colors), in July 2017 on holiday I made the 2.5 hour one-way journey from London to Dorset, by train and taxi, to visit their factory, get a tour and meet Charlie Cosby, their creative designer. So fun!

23.   I listen to TSF Jazz many days, online from Paris. Radio remains my favorite medium: intimate, portable, informative.



Have You Re-Visited Your Childhood Home? What If It's Gone?

Our apartment building in Cuernavaca, Mexico where I lived at 14


24.   I miss Mexico! I lived in Cuernavaca with my mother for 6 months at 14 and have gone back many times, but not since our three-week vacation in May 2005.

25.   We eat dinner by candlelight and use only cloth napkins. I like a slow and elegant meal.

26.   When I was 12 I wrote a fan letter to the legendary writer Ray Bradbury, from my summer camp in northern Ontario to his New York publishers. Within a few weeks, I had a hand-signed postcard from him, with his home address, thanking me.

27.   Mad for movies, I usually watch two or more every week, whether on TV, a streaming service on in a theater; this week Booksmart (go!!!) and The Souvenir.

28.   My fashion signifier is a scarf/muffler, worn in every season, whether silk, cotton, linen or wool.






29.   I love to travel — but am a useless sniveling/weeping weenie if there’s much flight turbulence.

30.   My Instagram feed reflects my eclectic tastes: vintage textiles, historic costume, owls, a Danish printmaker, a female NY candlemaker, an Indian woman features her day’s saree, female commercial airline pilots, military aircraft, ceramic artists, photographers, mountain climbers and a UK woman who makes amazing marbled paper, some of which is being showcased in the (fab!) new BBC series Gentleman Jack.

Organic Poultry/Meat Farming Market is growing at a CAGR of 10.1% and Will Reach USD 15.58 billion By 2026

Participatory Guarantee Systems have emerged as a
useful tool for developing local markets for organic produce.

Market Size – USD 15.58 billion in 2018, Market Growth
– CAGR of 10.1%, Market Trends – Organic Free-Range Cockerel has the highest
growth rate among the poultry type.

The global Organic Poultry/Meat Farming Market is
expected to reach USD 15.58 billion by 2026, according to a new report by
Reports and Data. The increasing number of government regulations to support
organic livestock and poultry globally is a significant factor influencing
market demand. Flexible rules and regulations associated with the production
and packaging of organic products have led to the smooth functioning of the
organic sector. For example, in Europe, the Regulation (EU) 2018/848 of May 30,
2018, governs the organic production and labeling of organic products.

Request for PDF Sample at: https://www.reportsanddata.com/sample-enquiry-form/1227

However, the high cost of organic products is
expected to be a key factor restraining market growth. A study published by the
USDA in 2016 showed that between 2004-2010, organic eggs accounted for the
largest fluctuations in price premiums, which ranged between 66 and 173
percent. A similar study showed that between 2015 and 2016, there was a 114
percent price premium to conventional at the end of the fourth quarter of 2015.
However, in early 2016, the premium widened and the number was above 200
percent, which was significantly higher than the historical average.

The Asia Pacific is expected to be a key revenue
generating region in the forecast period. The market is projected to grow at a
CAGR of 9.6% in the forecast period. The region is gradually shifting towards
organically produced fresh products through major economies such as India,
China, and Japan among others. In 2016, the Japanese market for organic fresh
food was estimated to be around USD 5.91 billion. Eggs were among the top
organic fresh food with a share of around USD 75.3 million.

Further key findings from the report suggest

  • Organic Eggs are projected to occupy a
    significant share of the organic poultry/meat farming market. The segment
    is projected to grow at a CAGR of 10.1% in the forecast period. Based on a
    project by Mother Earth News, organic eggs contain two-thirds more vitamin
    A, three times more vitamin E and seven times more beta carotene than
    conventional eggs.
  • Asia Pacific market is forecasted to grow at a
    CAGR of 9.6% in the coming years. Increasing adoption of regulations in
    the production and processing of organic poultry in the region is
    projected to foster market demand. For example, in India, The National
    Programme for Organic Production under the Ministry of Commerce and
    Industry specifies the management techniques required for the speed of
    growth and production level of the animals.
  • Key participants include Yolkshire Valley
    Farms Ltd, Tecumseh Poultry LLC, Inglewood Properties Pty Ltd, Cargill
    Meat Solutions, Jaindl’s Farms LLC, Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat,
    Butterball, LLC, Applegate Farms, LLC, Shenandoah Valley Organic, LLC and
    Rossdown Farms & Natural Foods. Cargill Meat Solutions is a crucial
    player in the organic poultry/meat farming market. With a global presence
    in North America, Europe, Central America, and the Asia Pacific, the
    company offers a wide range of Value-added Meat & Eggs and poultry. As
    of 2018, the company’s sales and other revenues accounted for USD 114,695
Organic Poultry/Meat Farming Market

Order Now (Customized
report delivered as per your specific requirement):

For the purpose of this report, Reports
and Data have segmented global organic poultry/meat farming on the basis of
poultry product, distribution type, meat type, cockerel type, turkey meat type,
turkey distribution channel type, application, and region:

Poultry Product Type (Revenue, USD Million;

  • Organic Eggs
  • Organic Poultry Meat
  • Organic Livestock Meat

Distribution Type (Revenue, USD Million; 2016-2026)

  • Supermarkets
  • Specialty Stores
  • Online Retailing
  • Retail and Departmental Stores

Poultry Meat Type (Revenue, USD Million;

  • Organic Free-Range Cockerel
  • Organic Turkey Meat
  • Other Organic Poultry

Free-Range Cockerel Type (Revenue, USD Million;

  • American Class
  • English Class
  • Australorp
  • Mediterranean Class
  • Asiatic Class
  • Naked Neck
  • Hybrid Varieties
  • Others

Turkey Meat (Revenue, USD Million; 2016-2026)

  • Whole Young Turkey
  • Ground Turkey
  • Turkey Breast
  • Others

Turkey Distribution Channel (Revenue, USD Million;

  • Supermarkets
  • Specialty Stores
  • Online Retailing
  • Retail and Departmental Stores

Application (Revenue, USD Million; 2016-2026)

  • Bakery Food
  • Body-Building Food
  • Processed Meat Product
  • Others

Read more at: https://www.reportsanddata.com/report-detail/organic-poultry-meat-farming-market

Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018-2026)

  • North America
    1. U.S.
  • Europe
    1. Germany
    2. France
    3. UK
  • Asia Pacific
    1. China
    2. India
    3. Japan
  • Latin America
    1. Brazil
  • MEA

More Reports of Foods & Beverage Category At: 

About Reports and Data

and Data is a market research and consulting company that provides syndicated
research reports, customized research reports, and consulting services. Our
solutions purely focus on your purpose to locate, target and analyze consumer
behavior shifts across demographics, across industries and help client’s make a
smarter business decision. We offer market intelligence studies ensuring
relevant and fact-based research across a multiple industries including
Healthcare, Technology, Chemicals, Power, and Energy. We consistently update
our research offerings to ensure our clients are aware about the latest trends
existent in the market. Reports and Data has a strong base of experienced
analysts from varied areas of expertise.

Contact Us:


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And Data | Web: www.reportsanddata.com

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Nilai – Nilai Kehidupan dan Spiritual – Suara yang Paling Indah

Seorang tua yang tak berpendidikan tengah mengunjungi sebuah kota besar untuk pertama kali dalam hidupnya. Dia dibesarkan di sebuah dusun di pegunungan yang terpencil, bekerja keras membesarkan anakanaknya, dan kini sedang menikmati kunjungan perdananya ke rumah anak-anaknya yang modern.

Suatu hari, sewaktu dibawa berkeliling kota, orang tua itu mendengar suara yang menyakitkan telinga. Belum pernah dia mendengar suara yang begitu tidak enak didengar semacam itu di dusunnya yang sunyi. Dia bersikeras mencari sumber bunyi itu, dan dia tiba di sebuah ruangan di belakang sebuah rumah, di mana seorang anak kecil sedang belajar bermain biola.

Ngiiik! Ngoook! berasal dari nada sumbang biola tersebut.

Saat dia mengetahui dari putranya bahwa itulah yang dinamakan biola, dia memutuskan untuk tidak akan pernah mau lagi mendengar suara yang mengerikan tersebut.

Hari berikutnya, di bagian lain kota, orang tua ini mendengar sebuah suara yang seolah membelai-belai telinga tuanya. Belum pernah dia mendengar melodi yang seindah itu di lembah gunungnya, dia pun mencari sumber suara tersebut. Ketika sampai ke sumbernya, dia tiba di ruangan depan sebuah rumah, di mana seorang perempuan tua, seorang maestro, sedang memainkan sonata dengan biolanya.

Seketika, si orang tua ini menyadari kekeliruannya. Suara tidak mengenakkan yang didengarnya kemarin bukanlah kesalahan dari biola, bukan pula salah sang anak. Itu hanyalah prose s belajar seorang anak yang belum bisa memainkan biolanya dengan baik.

Dengan kebijaksanaan polosnya, orang tua itu berpikir bahwa mungkin demikian pula halnya dengan agama. Sewaktu kita bertemu dengan seseorang yang menggebu-gebu terhadap kepercayaannya, tidaklah benar untuk menyalahkan agamanya. Itu hanyalah proses belajar seorang pemula yang belum bisa memainkan agamanya dengan baik. Sewaktu kita bertemu dengan seorang bijak, seorang maestro agamanya, itu merupakan pertemuan indah yang menginspirasi kita selama bertahun-tahun, apapun kepercayaan mereka.

Namun, ini bukanlah akhir dari cerita.

Hari ketiga, di bagian lain kota, si orang tua mendengar suara lain yang bahkan melebihi kemerduan suara dan kejernihan suara sang maestro biola. Menurut Anda, suara apakah itu?

Melebihi indahnya suara aliran air pegunungan pada musim semi, melebihi indahnya saura angin musim gugur di sebuah hutan, melebihi merdunya suara burung-burung pegunungan yang berkicau setelah hujan lebat. Bahkan melebihi keindahan hening pegunungan sunyi pada suatu malam musim slaju. Suara apakah gerangan yang telah menggerakan hati si orang tua melebihi apa pun itu?

Itu suara sebuah orkestra besar yang memainkan sebuah simfoni.

Bagi si orang tua, alasan mengapa itulah suara terindah di dunia adalah, pertama, setiap anggota orkestra merupakan maestro alat muskinya masing-masing; dan kedua, mereka telah belajar lebih jauh lagi untuk bisa bermain bersama-sama dalam harmoni.

Mungkin ini sama dengan agama, pikir si orang tua. Marilah kita semua mempelajari hakikat kelembutan agama kita melalui pelajaran – pelajaran kehidupan. Marilah kita semua menjadi maestro cinta kasih di dalam agama masing-masing. Lalu setelah mempelajari agama kita dengan baik, lebih jauh lagi, mari kita belajar untuk bermain, seperti halnya para anggota sebuah orkestra, bersama-sama dengan penganut agama lain dalam sebuah harmoni!

Itulah suara yang paling indah.

Win A Copy of Big Salads

Big Salads Cookbook

Fill in the giveaway information, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Big Salads: The ultimate fresh, satisfying meal, on one plate by Kat Mead (Quadrille Publishing, 2019).  (ARV $24.99)

Note: You can enter this giveaway one (1) time per e-mail address per day. Deadline is 11:59PM ET 6.27.19.

Vibrant, fresh, leafy, crunchy, earthy plates of whole goodness. The Big Salads that food writer, Kat Mead, has created in her first cook are a rainbow of flavor, texture and color. Salads are the main event with bold ideas that will feed a crowd all from one plate. Make a lively platter of melon, cucumber, goat cheese, pistachio and mint or feed a crowd with pea, asparagus, egg and lemon labneh. These zippy salads will have everyone salivating and asking for more. A tall glass of infused water is a perfect thirst quencher to pair with all your mouthwatering salads.

To make sure you’re kept abreast of our latest giveaways, subscribe to our giveaway-only feed. If you want to stay on top of our recipes and writings, subscribe to our general feeds, e-mails, or digest in the column to the right.  Visit our FAQs page, if you have questions.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Void where prohibited by law. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S., D.C. and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are at least eighteen years old at the time of entry and have internet access. Begins on 6.6.19 at 12:00 a.m. ET and ends on 6.27.19 at 11:59 p.m. ET. To enter this giveaway, submit your full name and email address on this form. Odds of winning this giveaway depend on the total number of eligible entries received. Only one (1) entry per email address per day. Sponsored by Leite’s Culinaria, Inc. For more information, visit our Official Rules. For a list of winners, check out our Very Happy Winners page. Be sure to add giveaways@leitesculinaria.com to ensure notification if you are the winner.

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jan blomqvist

The uniquely gifted German singer and producer, Jan Blomqvist, underwent a cathartic transformation with his latest album Disconnected, which aims to awaken its listeners with a sense of awareness and an unrestricted, liberated feeling in a neverending world of constant technological connections. Compared to other electronic music artists, Jan is one of few who intends to send thought-provoking messages with his dreamy music as he combines the world of techno into a concert setting.

For about a decade now, the Berlin-based singer has been producing and performing with a live band that consists of a guitarist, drummer, and synthesizers by his side. While attending Burning Man in 2016, Jan pondered why people were so eager to disengage from their mundane lives and go out into this communal desert city built in the middle of nowhere. With this revelation, he grasped the notion that people do have a desire to form genuine connections and flee from reality from time to time. The intuitive character then began recording tracks in far-fetched places around the world like Iceland, NYC, and California to capture the influential culture and energy these places revitalized on him and his band. In 2018, the album was released in a three-part series with each managing to favorably weave his soulful lyrics into his melancholy tech house beats.

Even as a successful artist in the music business, he believes that the biggest problem the industry is facing is that there’s too much of everything. “Too many releases, too many artists, too many one-hit wonders. The other side of this is that there’s no real interest in the music because everything is just about clicks. Songs are becoming shorter on average because more minutes are just baggage and not cost-efficient…but who can tell a story in 2 minutes and 30 seconds? I love a good short story, but what about epic novels that last and make you happy with their depth and richness? We also need those in music.” Not only do these long tracks have the capability to take you through an insightful journey, but also generate stirring emotions and thoughts for its listeners.

In this fresh album, Jan hints for us to be reflective, remove distractions, and fully live in-the-moment without cellphones, computers, or other technological interruptions by our side. Even though he prefers to have his listeners decipher his tracks introspectively, he advocates the idea of disconnecting from the world every once in a while to fully recharge from the woes of everyday life. He’s currently touring for his sophomore album at various festivals and concerts this year while working on his next album that’s bound to have fans feening for more. Support the captivating musician now on Beatport and on his personal site.



Arab Women at Work– Simone Fattal’ NY Exhibition. by B Nimri Aziz

Retrospective Exhibition of Simone Fatal– MoMA PS1, NY

Even in New York, it’s not often one has an opportunity to view a sculpture exhibit on the scale of Simone Fattal’s 50-year retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art PS 1. It’s a splendid assemblage of work—247 items— from a prolific artist generously distributed over spacious galleries in a grand museum space in Long Island City, New York

As I moved through the eight halls devoted to stages of Fattal’s work—collage, canvas paintings, work on paper, ceramic and glazed terracotta, I found her sculpted pieces particularly compelling. Many are rather whimsical; although they initially appear somber. The overriding impression from these sculptures is of movement and ‘becoming’; while the striking paintings and collages evoke contemplation, for me. Even Fattal’s stark back and white lies on canvas are heavy with deliberation.

This is not a crowded, ponderous mind we are witnessing at work; there’s some playfulness here, along with a reach into history. The range of work is not surprising given that they represent half a century, in Lebanon, California, and France.

Accompanying captions refer to the impact of displacement and geopolitical conflict on the artist. This may apply to mystical terracotta items– mostly standing humanoid figures, their blunt torsos anchored by heavy trunk-like legs. While these pieces evoke something colossal from early times, there is nothing daunting in them. Is Fattal telling us they represent past (or present) experiences which, while they may embody dislocation, are in fact manageable and embraceable?

The headless, armless figures stand unambiguously erect, about to step forward. Speaking with Ms. Fattal at her home in Paris last week, she affirms: “I want to show man on his feet, as witness, still standing.”

She began sculpturing long after she left Syria and then Lebanon in 1980 where she’d worked on canvas. Taking with her the detritus of war with an energy she would never lose, she turned her attention to founding a publishing house. Her Post Apollo Press featured innovative texts, mainly poetry—especially the writing of the powerful poet and painter Etel Adnan.

Settled in California, Fattal returned to the plastic arts in the late 1980s not to resume painting (some striking canvases from that period are exhibited here). She began clay sculpting, a medium she chose, she explains “because, she clay gives the sense of being alive; it retains the quality of fragility and lightness at the same time.”

Too often creations of artists originating in places we associate with conflict are interpreted as cathartic; their images seem baleful or angry, we are told, to expunge or transform painful past experience. I don’t see this in Fattal’s work on exhibit in this grand New York gallery. With the mostly diminutive scale of her massive (in image, not size) ceramic and clay shapes, perhaps the artist is showing us how she prevails as an energetic being celebrating a continuous forward movement.

The reference to ancient antiquity in some sculpted forms may derive from a ‘memory’ of lost civilization. But through their color and their weightlessness, the artist transforms them into celebratory images. Those massive feet under the torsos are not irreconcilably anchored; they seem ready to spring off the platform.

Still, there’s an undisputed historical feel to many sculpted figures, especially the mystic ceramic and stoneware torsos. While possessing a sense of emergence, they simultaneously remind us of recovered, damaged reliquaries. I found myself meditating on them.

Accompanying exhibition notes inform us how Fattal draws from her personal experience in the Middle East and from the epics of Gilgamesh and Dhat al-Himma created in that cradle of civilization millennia earlier. Characters from these tales populate the exhibition and may provoke viewers to search out those classics. The art itself is however strong enough to suggest an intentional reach into the elemental aspect of civilization.

Simone Fattal is a fine example of the many women with roots in the Middle East, Asia and Africa who exist in a global 21st century, bringing powerful messages, with courage and limitless energy that speak to all. Their female voices represent a universal past, a present and a future.

This is an exhibition for anyone, and for any age. But I encourage women to see this display of one woman’s vision. Just as I encourage women to read the poetry and novels of the abundance of contemporary women who seem to be in the forefront of groundbreaking research, of invention, of reinterpretations, and of honest truth-telling. Fattal is in the vanguard of creative women demonstrating our ability to reinterpret history and reality, and to project the power of our gender in completely new terms. To my question to Fattal about women in the arts, she replies—“We can pick up and move on from adversity maybe more easily than men can, perhaps because we fall from a less elevated place.”


The exhibition runs to September 2nd, well worth a trip to New York just to imbibe this display of energy and imagination. Allow extra time too view “Autoportrait 1972-2012”, a 47 minute film by the artist. It’s screening at the same venue. Attached photographs from the MoMA PS1 installation are taken by M. Gurung for this article.

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Neuschwanstein Castle

Ever since I was a child I have always wanted to go to the “Sleeping Beauty Castle”. Though I have since discovered that it wasn’t Princess Aurora’s but King Ludwig’s II castle, built from 1869 onward, Neuschwanstein Castle has had a reserved spot on my top places to see for a long time. I finally got to see it as a part of a day tour that took us through Southern Germany.

Our first tour stop was Oberammergau. This quaint little town is perhaps most famous for its rendition of the ‘Passion Play’ which is performed every ten years. It is also well-known for its beautifully painted building facades. Unfortunately due to traffic our time here was cut short however, we still had the chance to have some free time wandering as well as buy some hot chocolate and pastries…the breakfast of champions!

Our next stop was the Linderhof Palace. An evident Francophile, King Ludwig designed this lodge to look like the Versailles Palace in France, complete with gold leaf trimming on the walls and highly extravagant furnishings.

After the tour we had time for a little wander of the surrounding gardens, or in our case bare twigs, but still, it was a very picturesque scene. By about midday we were on our way to Neuschwanstein Castle.

Neuschwanstein is an eye-capturing castle on a hill, literally. It is situated in lower Bavaria and sits atop a hill in the middle of nowhere. At the base there is a little village with various food spots and a tourist centre for the endless queue of tour buses and rental cars.

We had time for a quick lunch break before beginning to make our way up the hill. To get to the top you generally have to walk but there are also carriages available if you are willing to wait. From the base the castle looks quite dominating however, it is actually the positioning of the castle that gives it this appearance. The castles actual height is about 65 metres.

Hohenschwangau, King Ludwig’s childhood home is at the base of the hill. We didn’t have the time to visit this castle as well but we still managed to snap a few pictures.

The walk up to the castle took us about 25 minutes though the trip varies dependent on fitness levels and stopping to check out the view! By the time we reached the top we came out to a spectacular view of the snow covered castle. By this point I could clearly see how the castle has inspired so many stories and why it has been used in different films such as “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (1968).

Before entering the castle we had a look at the surrounding area from the viewing deck. There is a great viewpoint of the castle from a distance that can be walked to however, due to ice and the weather this path was closed when we were there. The surrounding terrain is very natural and rugged, giving the castle an isolated fantasy-like feel.

After going through the strictly timed entry point we began our tour. The tour takes you through the completed rooms within the castle, including the throne room. Each room was designed with extravagance in mind and there are distinct themes and influences evident, such as medieval times. Unfortunately photos are not allowed inside. After the tour we took a series of stairs down to the original kitchens where there is also a gift shop before exiting the castle. As the sun was beginning to set we had time for a quick snack of little dough balls (that weren’t quite doughnuts?) before making our descent back down the path. During this time we passed many a slow moving carriage and I am thankful we chose to walk.

The tour we went on was a fast-paced fun filled day with lots of things to see. These locations are must do’s when in Germany though some are harder to get to than others. If you aren’t planning on driving I would recommend shopping around on what day tours are available as each location was worth the day out and needs to be seen up close.

Win A Cuisinart Prep Express

Cuisinart Prep Express

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Spirals and slices and ribbons, oh my! Make all your food prep a breeze with the electric Prep Express from Cuisinart. This handy gadget slices, shreds, and spiralizes fruits and veggies for perfect hashbrowns, zoodles, or salad toppings. Included with the unit is a 5-cup plastic work bowl to hold your veggies, four cutting cones, and two feed tube and pushers – one for slicing/shredding and one for spiralizing. It produces eight different cuts of food so you can make ribbons of spuds for homemade Potato Chips as well as “Veggie Spaghetti” of all kinds.

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NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Void where prohibited by law. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S., D.C. and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are at least eighteen years old at the time of entry and have internet access. Begins on 6.6.19 at 12:00:00 a.m. ET and ends on 8.1.19 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET. To enter the giveaway, submit your full name and email address on this form. Odds of winning this giveaway depend on the total number of eligible entries received. Only two (2) entries per email address per day. Sponsored by Leite’s Culinaria, Inc. For more information, visit our Official Rules. Be sure to add giveaways@leitesculinaria.com to ensure notification if you are the winner.

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The Infinite Ways of God: Universalist Theology in a Post-Monotheist Age

(Adapted from a presentation to a theological conference)

The following outlines my sense, primarily as a social theorist, of the direction in which a universalist theology could develop, if it intends to underpin a form of society in which every person, of whatever culture or creed, feels they have a place, but which is true to the life, example and teachings of their particular philosophical or spiritual tradition. I propose that there are two main requirements for this to be realised: a philosophical basis for a universal spirituality and a set of universal socio-cultural values.

As I am not a theologian, my approach to religions is principally in understanding their efficacy in promoting good societal outcomes, which from my perspective is the extent to which they promote individual flourishing, social harmony and human progress. However, I wish to approach that obliquely and take as my starting point part of a biblical verse, Genesis 3:8, “And they heard the sound of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the breeze of the day”, which is a literal translation from the Hebrew. The particular context is that Adam and Eve, after the fall, hid from the presence of Yahweh in shame. The author of the verse, however, seems to suggest that Yahweh was predisposed to taking a daily constitutional in his creation. How we understand this extract – literally, figuratively, symbolically, poetically, metaphorically or sceptically – is a matter of personal interpretation. Perhaps we can agree, though, that as an expression of a literary imagination steeped in an oral tradition passed on through generations, it has the power to transpose us from the mundane to a world of transcendent possibility.

Such a possibility sits uneasily with the dominant monotheism of the Christian West and Islamic world. Phenomenologically, the peregrinations of Yahweh are no different from those of Enki, Krishna, Zeus or Odin, literary gods based on oral traditions that are similarly open to interpretation as a source of ontological grounding and moral insight. Monotheism, however, forbids the possibility of existence of any gods but the one God and, therefore, by inference, the spirituality of traditions other than those based on its presuppositions. Ironically, then, the monotheistic religions fail to agree amongst themselves and have historically been in a state of near-perpetual conflict.

My thesis here is that the problem with monotheism is not the belief in a God from whom one finds spiritual sustenance and moral guidance; it is with its philosophical underpinning of monism derived from Greek philosophy, ultimately that of Parmenides of Elea. Parmenides pushed the pre-Socratic search for the basis of reality in a single substance to its ultimate logical conclusion in claiming that the ‘One’ is being itself, that the only thing that exists is being, that nothing exists outside of being and that the appearance of plurality, motion and change is an illusion.

An important inference from this is that thinking and reasoning are a part of being, there only being the ‘One’. In the words of Parmenides, “‘To be thought’ and ‘to be’ are the same [thing].” (fragment 3, tr. Herman, 2004) and “It is not possible to say or to think that it ‘is not’,” the denial of non-being (fragment 8, tr. Taran, 1965). There are two important corollaries to this philosophical monism: that being is the only thing that can make an appearance in our mind, since it is the only reality; and that the inability to see or to acknowledge this reality is evidence of error. It is a small step from this to the absolutist claims to truth of the monotheistic religions and the condemnation of ‘otherness’, which give theological justification to the horrors that have been committed in their names.1

Whether there is direct evidence of the influence of Parmenides on the development of monotheism is unsure, but there is circumstantial evidence as there is a conceptual lineage concerning the ‘One’, from Parmenides through Plato to Plotinus, who as the father of Neoplatonism influenced many early Christian theologians, including Augustine.

I would argue that a universal theology should not be based on Western philosophical and theological concepts founded on monistic presuppositions, but on philosophical and spiritual traditions that have understood being as plural, relational and dynamic. These would include the pre-Socratic philosophies of Heraclitus and Democritus, developed in response to Parmenides’ absolute monism, and the Taoist philosophy of Yang and Yin, which sees the underlying reality as the dynamic unity of opposites. The theological positions which are most closely aligned to this are pantheism and what philosophers such as Whitehead and Hartshorne refer to as panentheism.2

Pantheism is a total identification of the divine with the world, a position advocated by Leibnitz and the default position of many erstwhile atheists, while it is compatible with the phenomenological approach to the sacred espoused by the anthropologist Mircea Eliade (1957, 1963). As a spiritual tradition, pantheism is most beautifully expressed in the ancient Vedic Sanskrit saying tat tvam asi – That Thou Art – an articulation of empathetic identification alien to monotheism, though not, in all fairness, to some of the mystical traditions that have sprouted from the biblical and koranic religions. However, these mystical traditions are not actually pantheistic, but panentheistic. The failure of pantheism, as I see it, is that it is another form of monism; if everything is divine, then nothing in particular is.

The virtue of panentheism is that it unites the experience of transcendence and that of immanence, that of the divine beyond experience with the experience of divinity in the world. It thus compensates the weaknesses of monotheism and pantheism, the epistemological vices of “nothing but” and “everything”. While immanence in principle accepts as valid every experience and assertion of the sacred, transcendence creates a critical space for moral sensibility, based on cultural values.

A post-monotheist age, to be more than a theological fiction, must correspond to a social reality in which people are free to choose their own spiritual path, whether they do that individually or collectively, but in which there is recognition of an underlying philosophical unity in diversity that promotes collective tolerance, respect and even appreciation. This could be called something like an elective panentheism. As a social theology it would need to both engender and, reciprocally, be grounded on universal values. I suggest, below, what some of those might be, as they are common to the great philosophical and religious traditions, and exemplified by great figures throughout history. At the end of each section I have indicated in parentheses a small sample of related disvalues, that is, traits in opposition to the value, which may be contextually useful.

Uncertainty and the acceptance of our ignorance. This is why we think, why we talk to others, why we read and why we pray. The basis of wisdom is the acceptance of ignorance, a philosophical tradition that goes back to Socrates, but a religious teaching found in all the great religions which must, nonetheless, be cultivated as a practice by the individual. [Sample disvalues: arrogance, self-righteousness]

Openness to the mystery of being: nature, our minds, other people, other cultures. The more we know, the more we realise we don’t know. This is based on the values of humility and curiosity, the foundations of discovery. Science is an exemplar of this approach to nature, but all forms of knowledge arise through openness. [Sample disvalues: closed-mindedness, xenophobia, racism]

Sensitivity to truth, beauty, goodness, wisdom, and other great values; sometimes referred to as absolute values, they have been at the basis of all cultures. Though critiqued in modernist philosophy through the twentieth century, there is a growing understanding of these as important (if strictly unrealisable) aspirations that motivate social progress. [Sample disvalues: deceit, ugliness, evil, stupidity]

Support for the great institutions and accomplishments of cultures that allow individuals to flourish; prime among these is the family, which is reckoned foundational to all social life and, in some senses, a paradigm of all social structures, nurturing the individual within the collective. [Sample disvalues: mockery, promiscuity, disloyalty]

Respect for the everyday and the desire of people to live in peace. Barring those who are pathological by nature, the desire of ordinary – and even extraordinary – people is to nurture the mundane longings of loving one’s country, landscape and culture, achieving one’s own place, settling down, marrying, having and raising a family, achieving a modicum of accomplishment and respect from one’s peers, growing old among family and friends. [Sample disvalues: aggression, expropriation, enslavement]

Opposition to evils that deny fundamental human freedoms and the dignity and full expression of human life; basically, that which denies or denigrates the values discussed here. There have been many ideologies, movements and lifestyles that disavow these universal values and many examples of heroic figures who have opposed such negative forces at the risk or cost of their lives. [Sample disvalues: ignorance, indifference, cowardice]

Humility and generosity in the face of good fortune. The wise never take their good fortune for granted; external achievement should be matched by the development of character. [Sample disvalues: pride, arrogation, meanness]

Acceptance of the place of misfortune and tragedy in life, while attempting to solve and mitigate it as much as possible. Human life, like all life on earth, is framed by death and the possibility of injury and sickness. Some of this is natural, while some arises from human stupidity or malevolence. While acceptance is psychologically healthy to some degree, this should be balanced against a desire to lessen human suffering in whatever way we can, and many in society fulfil this function. [Sample disvalues: complaint, resentment]

Empathy, compassion and concern for the suffering of others; Humans are naturally social beings as well as individuals, and we naturally develop the ability to identify with others’ feelings, although that can be enhanced or diminished based on attitude and circumstances. [Sample disvalues: indifference, cold-heartedness]

Commitment to being at least not a burden and, ideally, a contributor to society; Any society can only create the opportunities for us to prosper; the responsibility finally rests with us, on or willingness to make effort. [Sample disvalues: laziness, apathy, lack of concern for self and others]

Believing, as I think most people do, that the only societies worth living in are as free as possible, the human proclivity for evil cannot be ignored. That is why all societies have laws. Laws, though, only set the boundaries of permissible acts. Values establish the core of a culture’s aspirations for a way of life and, if properly transmitted, can reduce reliance on the application of law. My hope would be that a post-monotheist age would see the emergence of a value-centred culture to which every philosophical and religious tradition contributed and from which they took their moral sustenance.



  1. The litany of the sins that can be laid at the feet of the monotheistic religions includes genocide, torture, persecution, excommunication, dogmatism, schism, war, terrorism, the sacking of cities, iconoclasm and the destruction of cultural and historical artefacts. While these acts have not been restricted to the monotheistic religions, the scale and intensity at which they have occurred within these faiths should raise questions of whether there is something intrinsically wrong at the heart of the belief. The philosopher John Gray has also asserted that monotheism is the cause of atheism (Gray, 2003). At one time, in light of this history, atheism might have seemed a rational response. However, atheism has proved to be just as destructive of human lives and property when allied to monistic views of truth.
  2. Panentheism as a philosophical term originates from the early nineteenth century, but the concept long predates that. As a mode of religious belief and experience it has appeared in many different traditions, including Christianity, both Catholic and Protestant, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and in some ancient Greek and Chinese philosophy (Culp, 2017).



Culp, John, “Panentheism”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2017/entries/panentheism/&gt;.

Eliade, M. (1957). The sacred and the profane: The nature of religion. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World.

Eliade, M. (1963). Myth and reality. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.

Gray, John (2003). Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals. London: Granta.

Hermann, Arnold (2004). To Think Like God: Pythagoras and Parmenides: The Origins of Philosophy.   Las Vegas, NV:  Parmenides Publishing.

Taran, Leonardo (1965). Parmenides: A text with translation, commentary and critical essays. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Jo Babcock as an Inventor Photographer

“You’ve made a mistake. I don’t want to be an artist. I want to be a photographer!”          Jo Babcock

Jo Babcock - Headshot  I recently read a fascinating photography book by Jo Babcock called, “The Invented Camera, Low Tech Photography & Sculpture.” It doubles as photography and sculpture since this inventor made his own pinhole cameras out of found objects. Then he took photos that matched the theme of the camera. It is quite an innovative double photographic subject. He even turned a van into a large format camera. There is a video of this van in action from November 2008. Just click the link below.

VW Van Camera by Jo Babcock

Jo and his friend converted an old Volkswagen Beetle van into a portable large format camera. “We blocked out the windows, side doors area to hold the pinhole aperture and built a double, light baffle into the back hatch so we could set the camera up, pin the light sensitive paper to the far wall, Our aperture was too small and the exposures usually took four hours but we did get a couple of color, negative prints to work.” (Malone). During the 1980s, Babcock got deeply involved in large scale photographic projects.

San Francisco in the early ‘80s was roaring with performance, installation and conceptual art. (Malone). “In 1986, I got a bright idea and with a buddy, I organized and produced a huge, multi-site show called, The HOTEL PROJECT. About sixty artists participated at an old hotel in West Oakland.” (Malone). Each had their own room to produce whatever art they wanted. This is also when he started using suitcases converted to pinhole cameras and photographing motels. He continued this trend by converting old objects into pinhole cameras. For instance, he converted an old log cabin syrup tin into a camera and took a picture of a log cabin. This accumulated into a body of work that eventually led to his book The Invented Camera (2005).

The Invented Camera - Low Tech Photography and Sculoture - Jo Babcock - 2005

Log Cabin - Jo Babcock

Catching Light :: Making Cameras with Artist Jo Babcock

Jo Babcock Photography


May favourites

Hey everyone, May has gone by so quickly, I can’t believe its already summer! Here are my May favorites! Enjoy~~

1. Lauv

I have been to one of the best concerts in my life the past week. It’s a concert by Lauv and I am in love with his songs right now. I got introduced to his music by a friend of mine as Lauv was going to hold a concert in Hong Kong. I listened to one of his songs and I immediately said yes to the concert. The first song I listened to was “I like me better” and its sooooo good.

I don’t really know how to describe his voice, it’s upbeat, unique and relaxing. His songs range from slow and moving ones to some that are just totally out there. I know I am not describing it very well so please listen for yourself!

I guess his songs are just right up my alley, that’s why I was hooked when I listened to it for the first time. His songs are very catchy as well and they have been looping in my mind ever since. I must say live is completely different to the album. I thought his album was already really good until I heard him live. He didn’t seem the kind that would be so energetic on stage. He kept chatting with us and was super energetic on stage. It was indeed a whole new experience.

His recent song Drugs & The Internet is really good as well and the MV completely blew my mind, so enjoy!


2. Cute ceramic bowls

I was unpacking some of my kitchen items recently and found lots of these cute ceramic bowls I kept. I don’t know why I never really use them before but I thought they just make the meal so much more fun and enjoyable. I am definitely using more of these from now on, whether I’m having cereal, noodles or rice!



Saw these online and I really like how they look, simple yet unique!


Pixar released some of these bowls in HK 7-11 stores a while ago and I have two of them! They are probably my favorite bowls by far!

3. Soft gel nails

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I had my second experience of getting soft gel nails and I am obsessed. I like having my nails painted but the thought of doing it by myself and having to wait forever for them to dry drives me insane, so I went for soft gel nails. I had them done once before during Christmas but I as I had handball classes during the semester, I had to remove them. Now that I’m free of any sports commitment, I can finally go back to it! I am loving the simple designs or even just a single color. I think nails can definitely be a part of an outfit and my nails are currently in pastel light blue color! Apart from simple colors, I also like the half transparent, half coloured/ drawn designs as it can last longer because when  your nails start to grow, as the bottom part is not colored, it looks like its just part of your nails, so it will not be as awkward.

4. Dried mushrooms


My friend got me a pack of dried mushrooms to try and I was pleasantly surprised by how it tastes. I quite enjoy dried fruits or vegetable chips, however, I have never heard of dried mushrooms, so I was intrigued to try it out. At first, it was a bit weird as it is super crispy, which is not how cooked mushrooms usually taste like, but after a few bites, I am actually quite into as the more bites you take, the dried mushroom will start to become more moist and you can kind of taste the texture of it as if it was a normal mushroom. As you can tell, I am pretty bad at explanations but it is definitely an interesting snack, so give it a try if you’re looking for a more healthy snack other than the usual ones you can find.

So this wraps up my May favorites! What are yours?

Feel free to like, share and comment!

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Don’t let a language barrier set you back.

Traveling the world is an adventure within itself. Not only are you exposed to a variety of people and culture, but also language. We forget that outside of the U.S there are countries that primarily speak other languages outside of English. That in itself can be a major culture shock. Not being able to communicate can you leave you frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. Don’t do so just yet. Continue reading for how to triumphantly conquer a language barrier and explore a country while living your best life.

There are many resources available to get you by until you are able to practice the language more. Depending on how long of a stay you have in a country, it may not be worth it to invest financially in language classes. There are free resources available on the Internet that are easily accessible and at your fingertips. The first application to download is Duolingo. Keep in mind, this blog isn’t sponsored, this is just my honest advice as I’m speaking from experience. You can find it on Google Play or the iPhone app store for free. Familiarize yourself with how to speak basic words and greetings, such as hello, goodbye, may I, etc.

The next application to download is Google Translate. Google Translate can dig you out of a bind quickly if you get stuck and can’t communicate. However, be mindful of the inaccuracies of translation from the foreign language to English. It doesn’t take into account slang or improper words when translating so you will need to do your best at piecing together what is being conveyed. Another source is to find a translator, of course, this is more of a costly choice and requires you to communicate to find one.

For more information on how to navigate through language barriers with a limited amount of knowledge, watch our Youtube channel. We have a ton of resources available for traveling families.

Once you learn a few words, practice them with people you may come across while you’re touring the area. The best place to practice is in a taxi or at a restaurant because you usually have the other person’s undividend attention and they may be willing to help you. Please understand you will feel uncomfortable and at times embarrassed. It is just the nature of the game. Hopefully the reason you are traveling is to get out of your comfort zone and immerse as much as you can without overwhelming yourself.

The Cleansing – Anton Eine | Profoundness And Fun Combine In This Quirky Short Story

***This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you decide to purchase the product using the link then I get paid at no extra cost to you. I only provide links to products I really enjoy, so you can be assured that it’s a positive recommendation from me!***

Thank you first of all to Anton Eine for reaching out to me and gifting me a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.

Title image of The Cleansing by Anton Eine
Author: Anton Eine
Genre: Sci-fi/short story
Published: 3rd February 2019


Advanced aliens have arrived to destroy any life on Earth and all the traces of our existence. Their mission is to wipe out any life in our Universe.
While unsuspecting humankind is not aware of deadly menace, alien invaders analyze intelligence information and get ready to initiate the cleansing protocol. Suddenly some of the data gathered disturbs those powerful unimpassioned aliens.
Will beauty save the world? Not this time… 
This sci-fi short story gives us a view of our world from perspective of alien invaders that just arrived to destroy any life on Earth. Can we do anything to save our fragile peace, to protect our home and the very existence of the humankind?
(Taken from Anton Eine’s website and Goodreads)

My Review

I don’t often read short stories, though reflecting on that I’m not entirely sure why that is. I usually really enjoy them – there’s something about a short story that’s so contrasting to a novel, and it needs different devices and features to work. What really drew me in to The Cleansing by Anton Eine is that it’s very transparent with this, completely breaking the rules to deliver something really quite unique.

Book cover of The Cleansing by Anton Eine
The Cleansing book cover

The Cleansing is written entirely in dialogue, without even a simple dialogue tag in sight. The dialogue comes from several characters, an intelligent alien race humans haven’t yet come into contact with, and we know only their ranks on board their ship as they observe us from our multitude of ‘records’ we have stored. Because of this unusual style there is little character development but it isn’t actually needed – the characters are interesting to follow through their conversations even if we know nothing about them.

Eine’s storytelling is strong, somehow managing to get across so much with no narrative description. Seeing our race from an outside perspective is really quite interesting and the story, though short, explores themes such as philosophy and our way of living. It’s existential and futuristic, giving the reader something to ponder over their cup of tea and biscuits. It’s got a great sense of underlying humour, too – once you’ve twigged what the aliens are observing then it suddenly feels quite clever.

At 99p The Cleansing is well-worth the money and, given that it’s only 18 pages long, is a nice little ebook to enjoy during your downtime, perhaps in between heavier writing. Eine’s original writing style certainly lends to the concept of “less is more”, and I’m looking forward to reading more of his short stories in future.

Purchase Links

If you’d like to purchase The Cleansing for just 99p then you can do so here:

Amazon UK | Amazon US

Author Bio

Anton Eine is sci-fi and technofantasy author from Kyiv, Ukraine.
After building his successful career in marketing, he decided to let his creativity writing fantastic fiction books to actualize numerous ideas he had in his mind for years.
Anton is passionate about food (and some drinks of course!), photography, animals (especially wild cats) and rock music. He likes embedding his hobbies into the fantastic canvas of his writings and to share that passion with readers.
Anton Eine officially can’t stand any limits and boundaries, so his books usually step out of the box of traditional genres, crossing the edges of conventional storytelling and blurring the borders of common thinking.
Author of superhero series “Maze City” and technomancy series “Programagic”, also known for short sci-fi stories “The Cleansing”, “Sincerely Yours, Lucifer”, “Plus Ten”, “Post-molecular Comfort Food” and others.
(Taken from Anton Eine’s website)

Twitter | Facebook | Website | Goodreads

If you liked this review please like, pin, and leave a comment! You can also check my other recent book reviews here:
Spiritual Lighthouse: The Dream Diaries Of Ann Marie Ruby – Ann Marie Ruby
Culture Smart! Colombia – Kate Cathey/Kuperard
Moxie – Alex Poppe

The Cleansing by Anton Eine Pinterest Graphic



Title: The Curse of Anuganga

Author Harini Srinivasan

Publication: TreeShade Books

No. of Pages: 296

Blurb: (as in goodreads)

Circa 403 C.E. India. In the thriving city of Nanivardhana, lives Shaunaka, a young man who yearns to go to Pataliputra to see the world and make his fortune. But he is forced to join his father’s jewellery making business and soon finds himself in the workshop a job in which his heart clearly did not lie. Thankfully, along comes distraction in the form of two extravagant weddings royal nuptials at the palace and another wedding at the extravagant corner house in the Buddhist quarter of the city. This house, known for its opulence and sheer size, is owned by Vinayashura, an affluent trader fabled to have mysteriously deep connections to the royal family. Shaunaka is given the charge to work on the bride’s jewellery at the corner house, but instead of the mundane task at hand, a morbid sight awaits the trader’s wife’s bloodcurdling screams bring Shaunaka to Vinayashura’s bedroom where he is found murdered and lying in a pool of blood! Who killed Vinayashura? Why? Shaunaka finds himself at the heart of the mystery and his logic and keen observation skills land him the duty of assisting the head of police to solve this murder. 

Why do I recommend this book?

I got the book as a part of the review program in Outset.

This book is one of the best historical fictions I have ever read. This is a classic cat and mouse chase with a lot of palace intricacies and a spotlight to Gupta dynasty.

First of all hats off to the author for writing this book based on very less research material. Needless to say, the book is well researched and compiled. It amazes me to read the culture of ancient people and their lifestyle is woven with true facts.

The second reason why I recommend this book is, it is written with one of the unique backstories which give us insight to a different time period. The writing is flawless and the characters are well developed and relatable.

Another thing I liked about the book is its writing style and the plot. The author used the right words at the right time. As this book is a murder mystery, the suspense is alive till the end of the book. The author made the reader to bite nails in anticipation. I was guessing and second-guessing the characters linked with the murder.

Coming to the negatives, I didn’t like the name of the book. I actually didn’t think it went appropriate with the story but that is purely my point of view. Also, I felt at some places there were too many descriptions for my taste. Apart from that, I really enjoyed the book.

Overall, its a treat to read and I highly recommend this book for all the historical fiction and murder mystery lovers.

My Rating: 4.7/5

Tradisi Pemakaman Unik Warisan Leluhur Desa Terunyan Bali Indonesia

Sepasang boneka diletakkan dekat Pohon Taru Menyan.

Pulau Dewata dikenal memiliki penduduk yang mayoritas beragama Hindu. Kepercayaan tersebut identik dengan upacara kematian khasnya yaitu Ngaben, yang melakukan proses pembakaran pada jenazah.

Namun jika berkunjung ke Desa Trunyan, Kintamani, kita akan menemukan hal berbeda Orang yang sudah meninggal di desa ini tidak akan dibakar, melainkan dibiarkan hancur secara alami.

Landscape Gunung Batur dan Danau Batur, Kintamani, Bali, Indonesia
Dermaga untuk menuju ke Makam Desa Terunyan, Kintamani, Bali, Indonesia

Terunyan atau Trunyan adalah sebuah desa yang berada di kecamatan KintamaniKabupaten Bangli, provinsi BaliIndonesia. Terunyan terletak di dekat Danau Batur diyakini sebagai desa tertua di Pulau Dewata.

Berkendara menggunakan speed boat sekitar 10 menit guna mencapai lokasi
Desa Terunyan terletak di dekat Danau Batur, Bali, Indonesia
Pintu Masuk menuju kuburan masyarakat Desa Terunyan, Bali, Indonesia
Sejumlah sesaji didekat kuburan masyarakat Desa Terunyan, Bali, Indonesia
Bentuk kuburan di Desa Terunyan, Bali, Indonesia
Salah satu bagian tubuh dari jasad yang dibiarkan membusuk secara alami

Untuk menghindari binatang buas yang bisa merusak mayat, di sekitar makam akan diberikan penghalang dari ulatan bambu bernama ancak saji yang berbentuk segitiga dan dibuat memanjang sesuai dengan ukuran tubuh mayat.

Uniknya, walau mayat akan dibiarkan di alam terbuka, tidak ada bau busuk yang tercium, Hal ini dikarenakan jenazah diletakkan di dekat pohon Taru Menyan. Sebuah pohon yang sudah berdiri selama ribuan tahun itu justru akan menyebarkan wangi di sekelilingnya, jadi bau busuk dari jenazah tidak akan tercium.

Pohon Taru Menyan dalam bahasa setempat “Taru” yang berarti pohon dan “Menyan” yang artinya harum.
Susunan tengkorak pada fondasi berbatu di Kuburan Desa Terunyan, Bali, Indonesia

Mayat dibiarkan hancur secara alami apabila sudah tinggal tulang, mayat baru akan dipindahkan. Tulang badan, tangan, dan kaki di tumpuk di samping pintu gerbang. Sedangkan untuk kepala akan diletakkan di sebuah fondasi batu dan disusun berjejer dengan yang lain.

Baca Juga: Pesona Gunung Bromo Di Jawa Timur

The Bull at Hinton. 2nd June 2019

It was my mates Birthday so as a special Birthday treat i offered to help him on his allotment for a few hours. He shares a plot with a lady who think’s the weed’s are a necessary requirement and the crop will some how be all the better for surviving in a jungle.

As soon as we parked the wheel barrow outside his shed the rain started and it kept going right up until the time we decided to call it a day. At which point the Sun came out and we sat drinking tea from a flask whilst our clothing steamed.

Luckily his partner had booked a table at the Bull for Sunday Lunch so I scooted home, showered, changed and the two of us made our way back to Hinton, a rather pretty little village just North of Bristol.

We went to the Hinton Grange Hotel many years ago for Jaki’s 30th Birthday. Her family and a few friends met us there for dinner whilst Jaki and I had booked a room with a rather large bath.

Unfortunately I drank too much and insisted on paying for the meal including Brandy from a particularly attractive decanter and ended up with a £300 bill, which was an awful lot of money back in the 1980’s.

We managed to blag a parking space at the front of the Pub in amongst the Land Rovers, Range Rovers and the obligatory Morgan.

When we went inside it was reasonably empty with one or two tables already taken and a few reserved for later. inside

The interior is typical country Pub style, big fireplaces, Old furniture, lots of Oak and that lovely smell that you only seem to get in bars in the UK, British Beer.

We sat at our table and ordered drinks, Beer (6X – @ £3.75 but free for the Birthday boy), Wine (Pinot Noir, £7 for the 250ml and £5.20 for the 175 ml glass) for the Girls and a cup of coffee (£2.10) for me . (I was ready for my afternoon nap and needed some thing to keep me going).

The Menu is reasonable but we were here for a Sunday Roast so we didn’t even consider anything else.

There was a choice of Beef (45 day dry aged) at £14.95, Roast leg of Lamb (£12.95) or Roast Pork Loin (£12.75) and of course a Veggie option of Nut Roast for £11.

We were told the beef came slightly rare so we ordered two beef  without blood and one beef as rare as it could come.

Jaki went for the roast Pork which was a great choice. It had two thick slices of meat beautifully cooked and presented with all the trimmings including a large Yorkshire pudding that was a bit too crispy for our taste but which looked great.

The beef was served as requested and again it looked and tasted great with all the usual Roast vegetable and it was served hot.

Cauliflower Cheese

They serve Cauliflower cheese as an addition to the Sunday roast at £1.85 a portion so we guessed we would need three between us. It was really tasty and complimented the roast though I do feel slightly cheated that this is extra.

It made the Sunday Roast Beef £16.80 which is well on the ‘expensive’ side.

They also brought Horseradish sauce (very hot so be warned) and Apple Sauce in small containers, we didn’t have to ask and we didn’t have to wait for it to arrive.

Service was Polite and attentive without being over powering.

The venue was nice but seating was a bit firm and I was glad to get up and stretch my legs at the end.

We ordered more drinks and the Girls chose a cocktail from the specials board at £7.50 each.

Special Cocktail

The Pudding list looked too good to resist so we ordered a Brownie (£6) a Cheesecake (£6) and a Lemon Pudding (£6).

This was a very nice Sunday Lunch served in and Traditional Country Pub but its Expensive, at £31,37 each its not some where I would go every weekend but for a special occasion it was OK.

And you never know, you may well see a local celebrity sat at the next table?

Canon F-1: A Workhorse Camera

I recently started testing my Canon F-1n, and found it quite enjoyable to shoot with.

The F-1 was first available in 1971, then updated in 1976 (F-1n), and replaced in 1981 with the New F-1, which was really a pretty substantial redesign.

I have a few different versions. Today I’m testing my 1979 F-1n which is a 1980 Lake Placid Olympic commemorative version.

The F-1 really is a tank of a camera. It’s solid metal, and heavy (almost 3 pounds with a 50mm lens). It has interchangeable prisms and focusing screens, and a huge selection of lenses and other accessories.

I was considering the differences between the Canon and Nikon pro cameras, in this case, comparing the F-1 with the Nikon F2. One of the things that I saw in the Nikon models is more standardization. Nikon has certain features (like turning the meter on and off with the film advance lever) that were the same through almost every camera model. I also believe that Nikon preserved the use of most all lenses through many more generations of cameras than Canon (or anyone else I know of). Canon also changed their filter size when they changed from the old FD to the new FD lenses (55mm to 52mm) while Nikon preserved the filter size at 52mm. In some ways I think the Canon cameras were minimalist in design. The F-1 wasn’t fancy, that’s for sure. It employed a fairly simple match needle manual exposure metering system. Some would say there’s a degree of elegance in the simplicity. I don’t know if that’s what they were going for, or if they just didn’t think big picture about the cameras they were making. It seems like they resolved this later on, and especially in recent years.

One of the things I never liked about the F-1 (actually most Canon SLRs from this era) is the viewfinder magnification. The image, when looking through the viewfinder, seemed small. My vision is bad, and the higher magnification in the viewfinder is one of the things I like about my Olympus cameras. Things just seem smaller in the Canon viewfinders – especially the F-1. It’s also very hard to find diopter adjustment eyepieces (it’s extremely easy to find adjustment eyepieces for Nikon). The standard Canon eyepiece is rubber rimmed, so I can wear my glasses pretty easily while focusing – which makes it possible to obtain sharp focus for me.

Well, here’s some images captured with my F-1 from 1979. I was actually fairly impressed with the results I was able to get with this camera. I actually shot these at ISO 400, and it was Portra 160 film. Processed normally, they actually look pretty nice. I better shoot another roll, set at the correct ISO, to be sure the meter isn’t off a little in the camera. I generally like to underexpose my shots a little anyway.

Let’s Talk About: BookCon 2019!

In case you missed all of my yelling (and my giveaway post from a couple days ago), I went to BookCon! You might remember from the giveaway post that I attended with Daniel from Page to Page. We somehow ended up with VIP passes and, overall, at least, I had a much better time than last year!

Day One

Look at me all awake and alive and excited! I did not look like this by the end of day two, that’s for sure. Even though I went to BookCon last year, I didn’t really know what to expect this year with the VIP badge and attending on both days.

The number one priority for day one was meeting Rainbow Rowell. I’ve read everything she’s written and she’s one of my favorite authors. Once those doors opened, we hurried to the Macmillan booth for tickets to her signing party and luckily, we made it in time and got our tickets!

Another thing we wanted to make sure to do was attend Rainbow Rowell’s panel about Wayward Son. I loved Carry On and was so excited to hear Rainbow talk about the sequel.

In general, Saturday was a lot busier than Sunday with a lot less going on. Only seven of the nineteen books I got for free came from Saturday’s events, and five of them were just because of my VIP badge. One of the others, Permanent Record, wasn’t even one I got for myself. I had been talking about how much I love Mary H.K. Choi while I waited in line for a chance to win a Simon & Schuster ARC, and although I didn’t win anything, someone who had been in line with me won that ARC and wasn’t really excited about it, so she just gave it to me! (If you’re reading this, thank you so much! You made my day!)

Saturday was also the day that I met Sarah Dessen! I’ve loved her books since I was in middle school and took my copy of Someone Like You to be signed. I was too nervous to really talk to her, but she commented on how cute that edition of her book is and how YA covers don’t look like that anymore.

We had tickets for Leigh Bardugo’s signing but ended up giving them away because the line was crazy and we didn’t want to miss the Rainbow Rowell party. Hopefully our tickets made someone else’s day since her signing had been sold out.

Day Two

Here I am, nearing the end of day two, absolutely exhausted and waiting in line to meet Marissa Meyer. (And still very excited.)

Sunday was definitely a lot calmer than Saturday, and it seemed that there were a lot more opportunities to get ARCs and do fun events.

When the doors opened, everyone rushed to the Macmillan booth for tickets for that day’s signings and to the Hachette booth for The Bone Houses, while I went to the Lion Forge booth so I could get tickets for the Mooncakes and No Ivy League signings later that morning. Everyone was still waiting in the Macmillan line when I got those tickets, so I just wandered around for a little bit to see what was going on. I found out that Scholastic was giving away piles of ARCs of Technically, You Started It and Tarnished Are the Stars, so I was able to get those really easily.

After that, we did a trivia game with Epic Reads, where we had a ton of fun coming up with huge lists of books (one of my favorite things, honestly) and answering multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions. Our team won and we each ended up getting an ARC of Serpent & Dove, a yoga mat, and some fun swag.

Sunday’s VIP signings were Meg Cabot and Sarah MacLean. I was definitely excited about Meg Cabot since The Princess Diaries was one of my favorite series when I was younger! I think I have a conversation about the spelling of my name with every Sara(h) I meet, so that’s what I talked to Sarah MacLean about.

That afternoon, we had signings for Marissa Meyer and V.E. Schwab, so a lot of our time was spent waiting in lines. By the time Schwab was done, BookCon was pretty much over, but a lot of publishers had swag sitting out on tables or were offering huge discounts. We had won tickets to Romance Candy Crush but had to miss it because we were in the Schwab signing line, but luckily, we ran into the people hosting that event as they were leaving and they gave us the books anyway!

The Haul


  • The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez (ARC)
  • No Judgments by Meg Cabot (ARC, signed & personalized)
  • Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson (ARC)
  • Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor (ARC)
  • Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett (ARC)
  • Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi (ARC)
  • Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu (ARC, signed & personalized)
  • No Ivy League by Hazel Newlevant (ARC, signed & personalized)
  • A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel (signed)
  • Misfits by Jen Calonita (signed)
  • Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean (signed & personalized)
  • Project Duchess by Sabrina Jeffries (signed)
  • As Good as the First Time by K.M. Jackson (signed)
  • The Fresh New Face of Griselda by Jennifer Torres (ARC)
  • I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn (ARC)
  • Hired by Zoey Castile (signed)
  • Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin (ARC)
  • Queen of the Conquered by Kheryn Callender (ARC)
  • Swipe Right for Murder by Derek Milman (ARC)


  • Crazy Cat Lady by Agnes Loonstra & Ester Scholten (so that I could get a cute tote bag)
  • Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer (at her signing)
  • The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen (at her signing)
  • I also preordered both Pumpkinheads and Wayward Son at Rainbow Rowell’s signing


I am not very good at talking to people that I admire, so I mostly just mumbled a lot and smiled. But that’s still more than I did last year! Here are some pictures of me with Rainbow Rowell, Sarah Dessen (my childhood hero), V.E. Schwab, and Marissa Meyer!

Tips, Tricks, and Plans for Next Year

  • Bring your lunch! We packed food, water, and snacks and it was so much less stressful than wasting time and money for food that’s not even good.
  • If you can only make to BookCon on one day, go on Sunday. I was honestly a little bit disappointed with Saturday, but Sunday more than made up for it.
  • Do your research! There were so many events that weren’t announced anywhere other than Twitter, and we missed a few authors that we would have liked to meet. I ended up turning on post notifications on Twitter so that we’d be more likely to know what was going on, but even then, you have to be in the right place at the right time.
  • I think VIP was worth the extra money, but I’m not sure that I really need to experience it again. Next year, I think we’ll try to go to BookExpo and maybe just attend one day of BookCon.

Did you go to BookCon this year? Do you plan to go in the future? Do you have any additional tips or tricks? Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Paul, a New Covenant Jew, by Brant Pitre, due August 2019

Dr. Brant Pitre kicks off my new series, Books I Want Right Now. Dr. Pitre has become one of my favorite Catholic author-speaker-teachers and his new book is due out in August 2019,* Paul, a New Covenant Jew: Rethinking Pauline Theology. (Links at the end of this post.)

Protestants have tended to think of Paul as a proto-Protestant, because he rebuked Peter once, though they tend to ignore the fact that he submitted to Peter before he set out to preach. He allowed himself to be sent, in other words, by the Church which, yes, was already in existence before he was sent to preach and before he began to write probably the earliest of the New Testament writings. And because they misinterpret things he wrote about faith, grace and works. Paul was (and, as he is a saint and alive in Christ, is) Catholic and as far from being a Protestant as it is possible to be.**

From the description on Amazon:

“After the landmark work of E. P. Sanders, the task of rightly accounting for Paul’s relationship to Judaism has dominated the last forty years of Pauline scholarship. Pitre, Barber, and Kincaid argue that Paul is best viewed as a new covenant Jew, a designation that allows the apostle to be fully Jewish, yet in a manner centered on the person and work of Jesus the Messiah. This new covenant Judaism provides the key that unlocks the door to many of the difficult aspects of Pauline theology.

Paul, a New Covenant Jew is a rigorous, yet accessible overview of Pauline theology intended for ecumenical audiences. In particular, it aims to be the most useful and up to date text on Paul for Catholic Seminarians. The book engages the best recent scholarship on Paul from both Protestant and Catholic interpreters and serves as a launching point for ongoing Protestant-Catholic dialogue.

I’ve been searching for interviews or articles about Dr. Pitre’s forthcoming book on Paul but I haven’t found anything yet. Hopefully there will be some activity closer to the time of publication. When I find something I’ll let you know. If you find something before I do, let me know.

To get ready to read it I’ll probably give another listen to his course, The Apostle Paul: Unlocking the Mysteries of his Theology. LINK

Thank you for visiting and reading. Until next time, may the Lord bless you richly and may His peace be always with you.

This has been a post in the Books I Want Right Now series.


  • *I’ve seen two different dates for publication of Dr. Pitre’s book on Paul. Amazon says August 1 and Eerdman’s says August 8. So I’m just gonna say August and leave it at that. 
  • **A good book to read about this is Dr. Taylor Marshall’s Catholic Perspective on Paul. Paperback. Kindle.
    • Book and podcast site for the Catholic Perspective on Paul (give it time to load, it’s worth the wait).
  • Very helpful and highly recommended is this course by Dr. Pitre, The Apostle Paul: Unlocking the Mysteries of His Theology. Available on CD or as MP3 download. 19 hours 53 min. (17 CDs / MP3). Scroll down for the PDF exceprt and audio sample. I’ve listened to this all the way through a few times now and I enjoy it more each time.

Full disclosure: Some links on the blog are affiliate links. See the About the Site page for more info. Thank you!

Bookfest 2019 – Part I

În fiecare an, a?tept cu ner?bdare sfâr?itul lunii mai, care însemn? pentru mine…Bookfest ! Îmi place s? merg la târgurile de carte, s?-mi fac o list? cu c?r?i pe care îmi doresc s? le cump?r. De fiecare dat?, m? abat de la lista mea ?i m? intorc acasa cu portbagajul plin de c?r?i.

Nici anul acesta nu a fost altfel… mi-am f?cut lista…. am notat editura la care au fost publicate ?i am pornit cu ghiozdanul în spate ?i cu toat? familia, în c?utarea lor.

Am ajuns la ora 10, ora deschiderii, era liber ?i aerisit. Am putut s? stau lini?tit?, s? citesc coper?ile ?i chiar s? interac?ionez cu persoanele de la standuri, ceea ce de obicei nu fac din cauza aglomera?iei.

Am plecat dup? trei ore cu ghiozdanul plin…. ?i multe alte pungi, bineîn?eles cu mult mai multe c?r?i decât aveam pe lista, unele recomandate, altele care, pur ?i simplu m-au atras.

Iat? câteva dintre ele:

Îngeri c?zu?i– Susan Ee

Descriere :

« Au trecut ?ase s?pt?mâni de când Îngerii Apocalipsei au coborât pe P?mânt pentru a distruge lumea modern?. Bandele de r?uf?c?tori sunt st?pânii zilei, iar spaima ?i supersti?iile cei ai nop?ii.

Când îngerii r?zboinici r?pesc o feti?? neajutorat?, sora ei Penryn, în vârst? de ?aptesprezece ani, e hot?rât? s? fac? orice s? o salveze.

Orice, în afar? de a încheia un pact cu un înger inamic.

Împreun? cu Raffe, un lupt?tor r?nit ?i f?r? aripi, pe care îl salveaz?, Penryn porne?te într-o c?l?torie plin? de pericole pentru a-?i reg?si sora ?i în timpul c?reia cei doi protagoni?ti trebuie s? se sprijine unul pe cel?lalt ca s? poat? supravie?ui. »

Maestrul minciunilor – Maureen Johnson

Descriere :

« Academia Ellingham este o faimoas? ?coal? privat? din Vermont, dedicat? celor mai str?luci?i inventatori, arti?ti ?i cercet?tori. A fost întemeiat? de Albert Ellingham, un magnat de la începutul secolului XX, care ?i-a dorit s? construiasc? o institu?ie în care înv??area s? fie un joc.

În 1936, la scurt? vreme dup? înfiin?are, so?ia ?i fiica lui au fost r?pite. Singurul indiciu a fost o scrisoare-ghicitoare semnat? „Maestrul minciunilor”, în care erau în?irate diferite metode de a ucide. Aceast? dispari?ie a devenit unul dintre marele mistere nerezolvate ale istoriei americane.

Stevie Bell, o adolescent? pasionat? de detectivistic?, se înscrie la Academia Ellingham ?i î?i propune s? rezolve acest caz. Dar se întâmpl? ceva cu totul nea?teptat: Maestrul Minciunilor reapare ?i moartea se cuib?re?te în academie. Iar Stevie Bell porne?te într-o curs? contracronometru pentru elucidarea celor dou? cazuri. »

Ghici cine moare primul – M. J. Arlidge

Descriere :

« Doi ostatici. Un singur glon?. Doar unul va supravie?ui.
Sunt suflete-pereche. Vor s?-?i petreac? restul vie?ii împreun?.
Îns? când se trezesc singuri ?i dezorienta?i într-un subsol p?r?sit, groaza îi cople?e?te.
Nu au la dispozi?ie decât o arm? înc?rcat? cu un singur glon? ?i înso?it? de urm?torul mesaj: „Când unul dintre voi îl va ucide pe cel?lalt, supravie?uitorul va fi liber”.
Cine a putut concepe un astfel de scenariu sinistru, în care victimele înse?i comit crima?
Tortura?i de spaim?, disperare, sete ?i inani?ie, pentru ostatici nu exist? decât o singur? cale de a pune cap?t acestui supliciu: unul dintre ei trebuie s? moar?. »

Regatul umbrelor – Leigh Bardugo

Descriere :

« Magnific. Epopeic. Irezistibil. Magic.
Falia Umbrei, un ?inut înv?luit în bezn?, populat de mon?tri, distruge treptat Ravka, o na?iune alt?dat? m?rea??.
Alina, o fat? orfan?, singuratic?, descoper? c? posed? o putere unic?, ce o face s? p?trund? în lumea elitei magice a regatului – Grisha. Ar putea ea s? destrame vraja demonic? a Faliei Umbrei, eliberându-?i ?ara?
Întunecatul, o fiin?? cu o putere de seduc?ie teribil?, este conduc?torul Grishei. Dac? î?i va împlini destinul, Alina va fi nevoit? s? descopere cum s? se foloseasc? de harul s?u ?i cum s? reziste atrac?iei periculoase pe care o simte fa?? de temutul st?pân.
Îns? în timp ce-?i contempl? viitorul n?ucitor, Alina nu-l poate uita pe Mal, cel mai bun prieten al s?u din copil?rie. »

Visul lui Joy – Lisa See

Descriere :

« Joy are doar nou?sprezece ani când se treze?te prins? într-un joc al destinului pe care cu greu îl poate controla. E începutul anului 1957 când se hot?r??te s? p?r?seasc? America, unde a crescut, pentru a ajunge în China, unde se afl? adev?ratul ei tat?. Îndurerat? ?i dezam?git? de familie, orbit? de idealism ?i nep?s?toare în fa?a pericolelor, se avânt? într-o lume necunoscut?. Într-un proces de autocunoa?tere ?i împ?care cu trecutul, Joy este hot?rât? s?-?i urmeze visul oricare ar fi consecin?ele. Îngrijorat? pentru fiica ei, Pearl pleac? în c?utarea lui Joy, hot?rât? s? o salveze, indiferent care va fi pre?ul pl?tit. »

Oracolul din Stambul – Michael David Lukas

Descriere :

« În vara lui 1877, la na?terea Eleonorei, semnele se adun? deasupra Constan?ei: un stol de pupeze purpurii, Steaua Nordului aliniat? cu Luna, o furtun? ?i invazia armatei ?ariste – la Marea Neagr? pare a se împlini o veche profe?ie. Crescut? de tat?l ei, Yakob, negustor de covoare, ?i de mama vitreg?, Ruxandra, Eleonora Cohen este un copil-minune, d?ruit cu o voin?? nemaiv?zut?. La doar opt ani, Eleonora ajunge pe malurile Bosforului, la r?scruce de lumi, unde începe o nou? via??. Când excentricul Sultan Abdulhamid al II-lea o nume?te sf?tuitoarea sa de tain?, drumul m?ririi ?i al bog??iei i se deschide ame?itor în fa??. »

Anticarul – Julian Sanchez

Descriere :

« Negustorul de antichit??i Artur Aiguader, faimos în Barcelona, este g?sit mort în magazinul s?u. Scriitorul ?i fiul s?u vitreg Enrique Alonso vine în ora? ca s? preia afacerea ?i g?se?te o scrisoare-testament, în care tat?l s?u îl îndrum? c?tre un manuscris latinesc din secolul al XV-lea, niciodat? tradus. Autorul lui pare a fi Casadevall, unul dintre arhitec?ii Catedralei din Barcelona. Dup? primele cercet?ri, Enrique afl? c? tat?l s?u func?iona ca o verig? de leg?tur? între trafican?ii de art? antic? ?i colec?ionarii boga?i. Dar ?i c? ,,piatra lui Dumnezeu”, un vechi m?r al discordiei între civiliza?ii, exist? undeva în Barcelona de azi… »

Facultatea lucrurilor de prisos – Iuri Dombrovski

Descriere :

« Zîbin, un „conservator” de antichit??i din Alma-Ata, este anchetat de NKVD pentru o presupus? tr?dare. Isus este vândut din nou, r?stignit din nou, iar Pilat din Pont se mai spal? o dat? pe mâini – de ast? dat? întrupat în Zîbin, turnat de Kornilov ?i pus la zid de Neumann, principalul anchetator. ?i totu?i, dup? r?stignire, crucea pe care a fost în?l?at Isus-Zîbin este doborât?… Oare Tat?l nu-?i mai p?r?se?te Fiul? »

Va urma…

Expanding the range of Literary Theory

When I engaged with the different types of theory that are often used to interrogate literary texts, I noticed some trends that were either alarming or gave me cause to reflect on how things have developed since the introduction of these theories since the eighties. One of the first issues I have is the lack of engagement that students tend to have when they are introduced to the various types of theory. This happens because of a multitude of reasons which will hopefully become evident throughout this piece. However, on the surface, students end up rejecting many of these theories out of hand because they find them lacking or they can’t locate a theory that has a framework that they feel comfortable working in. They also pick up on the difficulties that have arisen as the current range of theories were settled upon.

They often find theory confusing too. This is likely because they are presented with a mass of disparate theories which appear labyrinthine. They appear very difficult to engage with because there are decades of baggage behind them and there is so much to absorb to begin to understand the nature of the approaches. The approaches are often quite simple underneath it all but they appear impenetrable from the outside. If explained simply people can often pick up the various theories quite easily.

Now I will move on to some of the problems that have arisen when it comes to how academics and students engage with theory and how they use it when analysing texts. One of the major issues I currently have is that there is a lack of engagement with other viewpoints or other potential methods of interacting with literary texts. Once people have gotten into any one framework, they then dig in to the point where they just do not engage with ideas outside that bubble. Thus there is often little development on some fronts because there is no interplay with many viewpoints and visions.

The approaches have also got a tendency to just revert to circular logic in its argumentation and a refusal to branch out and engage with any external criticism or arguments. This is particularly troubling to me because when casting your eye across the field, you will see ten to fifteen different approaches in theoretical approaches. Yet they all suffer from the same issue of circular logic and a lack of engagement with positions alien to their viewpoint.

Speaking of viewpoints, people working within any one approach often reach very similar conclusions when it comes to analysing a whole range of texts. Independent actors have often ended up saying very similar things for decades now, no matter what they are criticising. There isn’t as much scope or diversity of opinion that I could be satisfied with given that people are supposed to engage with a range of debate in theory . The viewpoints across the range of theory do tend toward similar viewpoints even though they purport to be coming from different standpoints and schools of thoughts. The variety of theories are often combined as they are often inter-meshing and aren’t all that different from each other. Though feminist and post-structuralist theory are different you can find them being combined quite a lot. Even if some of these viewpoints are not combined they can often reach similar conclusions anyway.

The fact that these approaches are similar in where they come from is highlighted by the fact that they all lead into answers that provide very hard binaries. They are straightforward and they often lack a lot of nuance for the most part. In a contradictory fashion, straightforward postmodern approaches often end up deconstructing those conclusions and binaries anyway. This shows the issue of some theoretical approaches which is that they don’t accept any conclusions of the other approaches.

One of the things that would help expand theory is to let students engage with a broader set of ideas by pitting competing schools of thought against each other. Not only that but the attempt to bring in different schools of thought to sit alongside the current set of theories to expand the horizon. Drawing on philosophy, history, psychology and other disciplines, new schools of thought could be brought into the arena. If different perspectives were cultivated, a thousand schools of thought could and would contend. This to me could only be a good thing because it would develop the range of thought in the humanities and social sciences.

The journey begins

no danger and no hardship ever makes me wish to get back to that college life again .

College, one of the most amazing place and one of the most amazing stage in life that will tell you that life is unpredictable and uncertain.

It’s that stage that will give you the opportunity to explore more within yourself

It might be good, it might be bad, it might be weird, sometimes you expect something and happen nothing and sometimes it might not interest you.It’s that phase of your life that will change your mind or will change the definition of life

Coming from school life where you are a bird in your own cage, college life is just the opposite. No uniform, no lunch box, no assembly lines, no copy submission, nothing of that sort

I still remember, when I first stepped into my college, I had many feelings, I was nervous, confused, scared, excited and everything one can think of.That day I had so many things on my mind from what I’m gonna wear, to what’s the nearest metro station to figure out my class number and to what not!

Well, I am not the different one, it happens with everyone, but little I know what should be done next!

so, here are few things that a fresher should know to survive the 1st year of college life.

1. Interaction with seniors

The very first group of people that we meet in our college life are, our seniors.

Don’t be shy, go on and make the first move and introduce yourself,

Don’t worry, no one is gonna rag or bully you.Try to befriend them and engage in a healthy conversation. In the long run, your seniors will prove to be off good help as they already know the working of the college.You can seek help from them anytime and maintain good relations with then no one is gonna deny you.

But, also don’t run behind anyone, don’t use your individuality, don’t suck up to anyone and just be yourself because the people who are meant to be with you will be with you.

2. Classmates, lectures, Professor

Starting by introducing the component of this “area” , so it comprises of other people generally of your age, people who are most commonly known as professors,  people within people of your age, mentioned earlier whom you will call friends , then comes acquaintances than comes people who are denoted by ” yeah I know him but don’t really know him “.

Here you will find your batchmates and may be one of your group (temporary group)

Always try to maintain a healthy relationship with your professor and batchmates as they are one who is gonna help you and fetch you attendance and marks.

here, You will learn to sit through a boring lecture, you will cope up with surprisingly strenuous syllabus without even knowing

the subject, as they say,academics will never let you free,

 people might try to motivate you by telling you that you need to study and all and all but that isn’t so true!!

study but also enjoy.

3. Society

Every college has one or the other society and trust me, you cannot get a better place to explore yourself and enjoy your college life more. Try to engage in one or more society coz college life is not about studying

societies will give you every means to be famous and outcast the hidden talent in you. one should always be in one or the other society because being in societies teaches you a lot


In societies, you find people with a common interest and thus common ideas

Trust me if you find the right society you want to be your will get an opportunity to be the artist you always wanted to be

Since in 1st year everyone is too excited, one may join more than 2 society but surviving through society work is another task altogether

Collect information about all society and take a wise decision

Be interactive in your society and Always mark your presence, try to make a powerful first impression by giving a powerful introduction and outcasting yourself.

Don’t try to fit in, have courage and guts to stand out  (well for that you also require a basic good understanding of yourself )

4. Elections

The one thing that makes Delhi university unique from other university is ELECTIONS. #oneperson,onevote

Elections are a good time pass and a very good reason to interact with people and know your college more

elections are fun, at the time of elections one will find many types of people, who are like you or Alike you. college teaches you to get out of your comfort zone and hence meeting new people and surviving with those people

but, never miss an opportunity to take treats from your senior, (it’s an easy task at the time of the election)

Elections are all about politics if one of interested in politics then its the best chance one can start and join politics!

One of the most interesting stages in life that gives you an opportunity to explore is the ‘college phase.’ Life at college is the time when the teenage years end and we all dive deep into the ocean of new beginnings and possibilities. This golden period better equips you for all the challenges you’ll face in life and creates a strong foundation of knowledge. That’s the beauty of college life. It stays with you long after you’ve climbed those ladders of success and forgotten the name of that cute crush you used to drool over.

Life at college is a wild mish-mash of experiences, what with all sort of hilarious stuff going downEdit”The Journey Begins”

?? My Pride Month TBR ??

Hi! I’m very thrilled to be writing this right now, because in this I’ll be listing the books I’ll be reading this June, which is Pride Month! (Well, obviously.)

There’s so many good books in here I’d like to read, and I can’t wait to get to all of them! So, before I digress (And also for the reason ‘I don’t know what else to say helpmepls’), here’s my TBR for May.

the weight of the stars by k. ancrum

You all know I had to put this one first on the list because of its concept of gays (!!) in (!!) space (!!). I’ve been aching to read this for so long— when I went to the library a couple of days ago, I saw this on the shelves and literally ran to pick it up.

I did already read this, I ended up doing so in three sittings. It’s that good.
Do me a favor and add this to your TBR, please.


wild beauty by anna-marie mclemore

I’ve heard so many good things about this author’s books! They look so beautiful and amazing. I also got The Weight of Feathers aswell, (though it happens to be the author’s only book without queer representation), and I’m stoked to read both!


everything grows by aimee herman

Maybe these short library stories’ll become a thing now. Because when I was walking around the Young Adult section I saw this book’s cover facing outward, at first not being interested in the book . . . but then seeing the rainbow on it and thinking: Definitely gay. Need.

(Also, I keep forgetting the name of this book for some reason? Perhaps it’s because it was’t on my TBR before I picked it up.)


(can we take time to appreciate the pink in all of these covers??)

queens of geek by jen wilde

I’m about 100 pages into this and it’s pretty fun! It reminds me of The Pros of Cons (a book I loved a lot. Read it.), in the aspects of sapphics and conventions. But a bit too much? It pulls me out of the story as a result.

There is amazing diversity though! One of the main characters is autistic and has anxiety, and another MC is bisexual / Chinese-Australian, with a black love interest. (yes !! please !!)


meg & linus by hanna nowinski

I’m currently reading this, and I’m kinda dissapointed. I can’t get into the writing, and it’s so sad, because I was initially very excited to read this—but oh well, I guess. (There’s also a lot of bi-erasure, so yikes for this one.)


death prefers blondes by caleb roehrig

I first added this book to my TBR because of its cover (yes, something I am majorly guilty of), but after looking more into it, I found out it’s pitched as Ocean’s 8 meets RuPaul’s Drag Race, and I am 100% here for that concept!

Also, it’s a mystery featuring drag queens and queer characters—which in my mind translates to: More reasons to scream about this book. I am serious.


Those are the books I’d like to read this month! I’m almost positive I’ll get to all of them before the month ends, because of one common characteristic they all have: gay. Hopefully that’s enough of a motivation.

let’s discuss

What are you reading for Pride Month? (Are they any of these books—I’d love to buddy read one.) Have you read any of these? Let’s talk about it in the comments! :))

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Need To Know Before Planning To Visit City Of Alexandria In 2019

The Alexandria is a beautiful city with rich in history and culture, and the second largest city maintaining an atmospheric combination of both the old and new. It is not only popular for its stunning location but also resonates history and culture. It is also recognized as the ‘Pearl of the Mediterranean’.  

will better if we start the Alexandria
by knowing its basics and it is none other than its history:-

a)    This great city was founded by Alexander
the great during the Hellenistic era.

b)    This city was also been ruled by seductive
& attractive queen Cleopatra, the last pharaoh & ruler of Ptolemaic

Here Are Some Travel
Tips Before You Are Heading To Alexandria……

Best Time To Visit

favorable time for an Alexandria Day
starts in spring that starts from March till June & yet again
during autumn (September-November).   

Top Attraction Of Alexandria

are scores of attractions waiting for them who are coming for a pleasant Alexandria Cultural Tour are as

•    Museums

By hiring a tour operator like ‘Egypt Online Tours’ you can access all the top class museums during your Alexandria Cultural Tour where you will able to witness the diverse history of Alexandria right away from the era of pharaohs till the end of the 19th century. The list of museums is very vast and the most prominent of them are the National Museum, The Royal Jewelry Museum, The Cavafy Museum, and the Aquarium. 

•    Library

You can also spend a considerable amount of time in one of the most popular buildings in history such as the original Royal Library of Alexandria.  You can even visit the freshly opened library known as Bibliotheca of Alexandrina that was completed in 2002. It now provides a strikingly fashionable space where history, culture, art & science come together under one roof.   

•    Pompey’s

The Pompey’s pillar is a free-standing Roman style column built in the center of The Temple of Serapeum that flanks both the sides by two well-preserved sphinx statues. This pillar is the largest column ever built outside Rome making it the most historical treasure of the city.

•    Alexandria
Light House

Have you ever heard about the Lighthouse of Alexandria also known as Pharos of Alexandria? It was built between 280 & 247 BC and became a beacon of light only in the physical sense, but for the resourcefulness of the ancient world. Your Alexandria Tour will take you to the place where you will sightsee the first lighthouse in history.  According to some historians, it stood for more than 1600 years old until an earthquake destroyed its main tower. 

•    Fort

There is no dearth of historical sites inside Alexandria & Fort Qaitbey is one of them. It was built in the year 1480 by Sultan Qaitbey. According to the local legends of that are the remains of the fallen lighthouse where used in the construction of the fort. 

•    Royal

The Royal Gardens that we are talking about is located in Montazah Palace. Now, it serves as a beautiful public park, a nature reserve.  

•    Stanley

The next stop is Stanley Bridge that comes under your Alexandria Shore Excursion tour. It is just a decade old but still has become an iconic landmark for millions of visitors around the whole world.   

Your Alexandria Tour will be exactly equal to the tour of the pyramids in Cairo, so the adventure you are getting in Cairo will continue in Alexandria as well so you must be glad that you are investing your hard-earned money in the right place. Just visit us @planegypttours.com to know more.

Your constant comments refill us with fresh energy and encourage us to develop our packages & facilities to serve our customers in a better manner. Thus, in order to stay connected with us email us @ sales@planegypttours.com.

#GreenJune Guide to Growing a Garden on Your Balcony

Kelly McCartney | Shareable.net

Environmental activism comes in many shapes and sizes. Some folks set up camp in trees; some film undercover videos; and still others grow their own food. The latter option is a quieter, simpler approach to the ecological crisis that faces us, but it might well be the most powerful.

Food, as it happens, ties into the environmental movement at multiple points – soil depletion, deforestation, methane and carbon emissions, water pollution, and so on. Taking even a baby step toward protecting those myriad commons equates with a huge leap into a shareable life. It shouts out that you care about the world around you, if even in a hushed voiced.

Even further than that, food links into myriad other movements — social justice, human rights, health care, economic development, and community building, among them. Anyone who makes moves toward more sustainable food choices makes moves toward a more sustainable future for the world writ large.

As if that weren’t enough to lure you into the realm of homegrown eats, it’s also a lot less dangerous than chaining yourself to a tree, sneaking around a CAFO, or passing the public option. In terms of cash and experience, it doesn’t take much of those, either, as Mike Lieberman, known as CanarsieBK on the wide world of the web, proved when he started his first garden on a New York City fire escape in 2009.

At the time, he had little more going for him than passion. He was not an experienced gardener by any stretch of the imagination; he just knew that he wanted to grow as much of his own food as he could. Lieberman reckoned that even growing a smattering of herbs and a handful of vegetables would lighten his footprint in a tangible, quantifiable way by reducing the resources used to produce and transport those goods to his kitchen.

This simple act would also reconnect him with real, honest-to-goodness food. And so, after reading half of a book on gardening, he dove right in and has been sharing his experience with others ever since.

Mike Lieberman sitting amongst his Los Angeles balcony garden containers. Photo credit: Urban Organic Gardener.

Now in Los Angeles, Lieberman has a full-fledged balcony on which to play. He documents his trials (and errors) on his Urban Organic Gardener blog and encourages others to enter the fray because he believes that we need “to re-establish our connection with food that we’ve lost over the past few years. We are humans. We grow food.”

To this end, Lieberman goads urban agriculture newbies into action, saying, “Don’t worry about having the perfect place or the perfect time or the perfect whatever the excuse is. The only perfect thing is right now, so work with that and just do it. Another piece of advice that I’d give is to stick with it. You aren’t going to be 100% successful. No one is. The most important thing is that you learn from your mistakes and continue to improve … and have fun.”

He continues, “I was determined to grow some of my own vegetables and so should you. I’m not saying to start a huge garden. I’m saying to grow one herb or veggie. It will make a difference for you and for the environment.”

Still, there are some practical considerations involved. The good news is that many urban agriculture pioneers – like Lieberman – have blazed a trail toward a wide horizon of success that includes all manner of trade secrets, such as hanging and vertical planters, self-watering containers, trellises, shipping pallets, wine bottles, cinder blocks, and even swimming pools. By planting even the suggested one herb or veggie, you, too, join the ranks of these urban gardeners, a community of food growers that shares a passion, wisdom, and understanding of food’s place in the bigger scheme of things.

Lierberman shares his strategy: “To make the most of the space, I work with smaller containers. I use five-gallon containers to make self-watering containers and have used soda bottles to make hanging planters. When I was living in New York City, I was doing some serious small-space gardening. I had three self-watering containers and 10 hanging soda bottle planters all on my 2′ x 3′ fire escape.”

So, really, no excuses.

Mike Lieberman in his New York City fire escape garden. Photo credit: Urban Organic Gardener.

The first task at hand, then, is deciding what to plant. Based on his own success rate, Lieberman advises urban gardeners to plant things like “lettuces, greens, and some herbs, like mint. They are pretty difficult to kill and they will get used. Depending on the space and other circumstances that you are dealing with, I’d stay away from tomatoes and cucumbers. On my balcony garden in L.A., I get four to six hours of sunlight a day, which makes growing these crops near impossible.”

With the crop choices made, head to your local farmers’ market or nursery to pick out some organic seeds and/or starts. Fern Richardson, over at Life on the Balcony, offers solid advice for seed-starting and encouragement for balcony gardeners to color outside the lines with things like peach trees: “I have had a peach tree growing in a pot for two and half years. It is one of my absolute favorite edible plants to grow, because the results are so juicy, and tasty! Peaches that are sold at supermarkets don’t even begin to compare to the taste of homegrown, tree-ripened fruit.”

If you’re at all like Lieberman, the satisfaction of growing your own food in an urban environment will quickly be paced by your enthusiasm for conquering the inherent challenges: “After I started urban gardening and got comfortable with my fire escape garden, I started to see spaces differently. I started to look at everyday objects, trash, and the smallest of spaces and think to myself, ‘What can I grow in that? What can I grow there?’”

In addition to their blogs, both Richardson and Lieberman also produce informative videos on specialized topics such as fertilizer and manure tea. As with most topics, YouTube provides a wealth of helpful instructional videos. The GardenGirlTV series covers a lot of different situations an urban gardener might face.

Another great resource, Instructables.com offers quite a few fantastic tutorials for seed startingasphalt gardeningcomposting, and building small-space planters using things like shoe organizers and plastic soda bottles. In fact, Lieberman took inspiration from the latter and stepped it up a notch by substituting a shipping pallet for scrap wood.

The steps to creating a balcony garden are as simple or as elaborate as you want them to be. In a nutshell:

1. Plot out the space and select the “crops” you want to plant.
2. Gather your supplies – seeds, starts, containers, tools, soil, and fertilizer.
3. Plant!
4. Water on a regular basis paying attention to each plant’s needs.
5. Harvest, eat, and share your bounty.

With his outright luxurious, expanded 13′ x 4′ balcony space in Los Angeles, Lieberman has this spread currently planted:

  • A self-watering container with mesclun mix and kale started from seeds
  • A self-watering container with a transplanted mint plant
  • A regular container that has dill and cilantro seeds planted
  • Two self-watering containers that have collard greens that were started from seed
  • Two self-watering containers that have red russian kale that were started from seed
  • Shipping pallet herb garden with parsley, cilantro, and dill
  • Three self-watering containers that have a blend of lettuce and kale that were started from seeds
  • A Worm Factory 360 for a worm compost bin

Through your trials and errors, you can help guide your friends and neighbors through their own growing pains. In addition to the various kudos you will win by growing some of your own food, you’ll also recognize and enjoy a deeper satisfaction, one that connects you not only to the planet, but to your present and past community, as well.

As Lieberman likes to say, “The main reason that you should grow your own food is simple: It’s because we are humans. Growing food is what we do (and have done for thousands of years) and essential to our existence. As a society, we have completely lost our connection with our food. Civilizations were built upon being able to grow food and the community that went into it from planting, taking care of, to harvesting, preparing, and sharing it.”

This is Malta. (My Gem in the Med) The Landscape.

Malta Map


The landscape of the Maltese Islands has always been a feast to my eye and a tug on my heart. It is timeless, mysterious and stunning. Pastel coloured rocks, little farms of green terraced fields, cute little inlets with multi-coloured fishing boats, delightful baroque architecture, breath-taking cliffs, magnificent church domes, all basking in bright sunshine, and lovingly embraced by a warm blue Mediterranean.
The nature of the landscape is unlike most other European countries. Whereas they boast of many attractive features such as mountains, forests, rivers and lakes, these are not found in Malta. Instead you will be treated to the most natural and picturesque tapestry of cliffs, valleys, hills, beaches, bays and the gentle lapping waves of a majestic, romantic ocean.

Malta 8

Away from the busy towns, quaint villages and fashionable resorts of central Malta you will find an expansive idyllic countryside. You can feast your eyes on a wide and wonderful panorama of shape and colour. This surprised me because considering Malta being so small and so densely populated, I thought there wouldn’t be much area left for open countryside. Wrong. Only around one fifth of the Maltese Islands is urbanised and the remainder of that unique and beautiful landscape has been left largely untouched.

Malta 9

The long, hot summer sunshine is loved by most tourists who visit Malta in their droves, but it can have a negative effect on the landscape. When the first rain arrives it brings so much relief and happiness that the island’s face assumes a big broad smile of healthy wellbeing,  new growth and a rich complexion. From November to May the land is lush, green and fertile. Little fields are brimming with crops of succulent vegetables, with traditional peasant farmers nurturing them with tender loving care, a myriad of sweet scented wild flowers adorn everywhere and pathways are carpeted with fennel, wild iris, myrtle and clover.

Malta 10

The geography of Malta is easily explained. It is an archipelago of limestone rock located in the Mediterranean Sea. It is 93 kilometres south of Sicily, 290 kilometres north of Libya and about 290 kilometres east of Tunisia. The island of Malta is 27 kilometres long by 14.5 kilometres wide with a total area of 246 square kilometres. The country comprises five islands: Malta (the largest), Gozo, Comino, and the uninhabited islets of Kemmunett (Comminotto) and Filfla.
The Maltese Islands are divided into five regions: Southeast Region, Southern Region, Central Region, Northern Region and Gozo Region.


My Malta Books 3

paddy's books 2


In the past two months I’ve clearly been slowing down on reading wagon. Partly because I was reading on an arguably hard literary fiction which I’ve never came across before, and the other because the unforeseeable circumstances of newly released TV series of Game of Thrones and Killing Eve which took up a bit of my usual reading time. I’m still on my Goodreads reading challenge to read 30 books this year, so no worry. And the last time I checked I’m still two books ahead of schedule, great! On April I read one book and one short story, therefore on May I wasn’t being too ambitious and targeting myself on finishing two more books from my previous Amazon UK book haul. 

Here is the book I read in May with additional review:

‘Milkman’ by Anna Burns – Hmm.. Where to begin? The book was quite hyped up as it won the Man Booker Prize 2018, and as I read the synopsis it was very interesting with a touch of mystery in it. One thing to note first, I spent one and a half month reading this book on and off, which hadn’t happened in a while. I found the book was so hard to get into, due to how it was written, the style and how the passage was laid out. Moreover the setting of the story got me quite confused in the beginning, seemed like it was set in the dystopian community although not plainly described as such. But then it was written that the story was during the 1970’s, in an unnamed city where there were lots of social and political tension among and between communities. I read that some people found it hard because most of the characters including the protagonist was not given a name, or at least not written on the book. Everybody is called such as ‘ma’, ‘maybe-boyfriend’, ‘chef’, ‘wee sisters’, ’third brother-in-law’, etc. I found it very unique myself, but get used to it quite fast in the beginning of the story. In short, this is a story about a teenage girl who lives in a big family during the time where people could only rely on their local community as much as they should always doubt them, because well.. you simply can’t trust anybody in the time of ‘war’. I’d say that this book is not for everybody, especially ones who likes light read (me!). But if you’re thinking to try a new kind of heavier reading, this book is definitely the one I’d highly recommend.

Next! Well.. I finally managed to complete my latest book purchase of Amazon UK and since I only read one book on May, I’m going to read the read of the books I have on my bedside table which are ‘Educated’ by Tara Westover‘Circe’ by Madeline Miller‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ by Mhairi McFarlane and ‘An American Marriage’ by Tayari Jones. How exciting! I’ve been wanting to get my hand on Circe for quite a while, and the book itself looks beautiful! Who doesn’t love a bit of gold, right? Anyway, I’m not setting up a high reading target for myself this coming month because although the two TV series I mentioned earlier has already done, there are three more I want to watch which will be premiering quite early on June. So, yeah, we’ll see.

Lastly as always, find my profile on Goodreads.

The philosophy of ADOS

ADOS. A growing movement …

There is a steadily growing movement within the Black American branch of the African Diaspora referred to as ADOS; American Descendants of Slavery.  The movement was started by Yvette Carnell, editor and creator of the internet site, Breaking Brown; and Antonio Moore, an attorney and creator of the online site, ToneTalks.  The movement’s primary goal is to obtain reparations for the descendants of slaves brought to what is now called the United States and for the federal government to streamline existing economic and civil rights policies as well as implement new policy aimed specifically at Americans who can claim a lineage from slavery.

The specific philosophy …

ADOS was established to make a public policy case for reparations.  As Attorney Moore points out, from a legal perspective, reparations requires a victim and the victim in this case would be the descendants of slaves brought to present day United States.  Blacks brought to present day America from Africa as slaves built the United States economy, argue Ms. Carnell and Mr. Moore, and for this reason, ADOS excludes from its narrative blacks from the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa.

Ms. Carnell and Mr. Moore are purposefully narrow in their view of America’s relationship with Black America. They see other ethnic groups benefiting from public policy that, in their opinion, was designed for the benefit of Black Americans, i.e. civil rights legislation, affirmative action programs, etc., where blacks are pushed down lower and lower on the benefits ladder while other groups, i.e. women, immigrants, the LGBTQ community garner more attention and resources.  “ADOS is about having a specific conversation about ourselves”, says Mr. Moore.

The first hurdle to establishing ADOS’ philosophy as policy: black people …

Blacks are still learning about ADOS and the ones that have gained some familiarity with the initials if not the founders or the underlying concept of reparations are taking offense to the notion that blacks should view their lineage as having started in slavery.  A number of my friends have expressed this sentiment, disturbed that ADOS does not appear to take into account the history of blacks in Africa prior to being brought to the western hemisphere as slaves.

But how this position regarding the term “American Descendants of Slavery” impacts the endgame of reparations is not clear.  For the last three decades my take on reparations was mostly that of a pipe dream driven primarily by emotions and no foundation in law.  Chattel slavery was legal as far as colonizing European nations were concerned and I didn’t see how moral arguments or emotional outcries regarding the treatment of our African ancestors would gain traction in the late 20th century with people of European descent who either benefited from the capital slavery helped their ancestors generate or whose ancestors arrived after slavery was abolished.

Blacks who occupy the conservative end of the political spectrum may argue that the push for reparations only gives whites an empowered status they do not deserve while relegating blacks to a lower “seeking a handout” status.  Rather, they may argue, blacks should follow the example of enterprising blacks and carve out their own niche via hard work, using the resources currently made available by America. In short, forget reparations.

I expect a significant number of white Americans will be opposed to reparations and that they will likely parrot the conservative argument mentioned above. As they comprise a majority of the electorate, I surmise that their position will weigh the heaviest on any decision made by Congress to pass legislation on reparations.  Congress may not be able to come up with a social policy rationale strong enough to survive the legal scrutiny that is likely to occur should some type of reparations legislation gets passed.

But it’s too early to say reparations won’t happen …

The likelihood of reparations legislation passing in the Congress is near non-existent at this point in time and the most that can be said right now is that black descendants of African slaves advocate for reparations through a lens carved out of the inequity of building a plantation economy without compensation; pain and suffering from rapes, beatings, and lynchings; and 150 years of discrimination and civil rights violations.

What is being seen through this lens, this philosophy of reparations, must be inserted into a clear narrative or policy-based argument.  Right now, without further research, I don’t see an analogical or rules-based argument being used either in support of legislation or in crafting a rule in court that would protect reparations from being challenged.