Thursday, August 25, 2016

Terence loves You

"Terrence Loves You"

 

You are what you are
I don't matter to anyone
But Hollywood legends will never grow old
And all of what's hidden
Well, it will never grow cold

But I lost myself when I lost you
But I still got jazz when I've got those blues
And I lost myself when I lost you
And I still get trashed, darling, when I hear your tunes

But you are who you are
I won't change you for anything
For when you are crazy
I'll let you be bad
I'll never dare change thee to what you are not

But I lost myself when I lost you
But I still got jazz when I've got those blues
I lost myself and I lost you too
And I still get trashed, baby, when I hear your tunes

I put the radio on, hold you tight in my mind
Isn't strange that you're not here with me
But I know the light's on in the television
Trying to transmit, can you hear me?
Ground control to Major Tom
Can you hear me all night long?
Ground control to Major Tom

Well I lost myself when I lost you
But I still got jazz when I've got the blues
I lost myself and I lost you too
And I still get trashed, honey, when I hear your tunes

Lana Del Ray

 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Zitkala-Ša, "Red Bird"

Zitkala-Ša (“Red Bird”), given the name Gertrude Simmons Bonnin by boarding-school missionaries, was a Sioux crusader who wrote several books, and also was a musician who composed who the first opera by a Native American. She campaigned for the reform of the Indian policies in the Unites States.

 

The "glassy blue eyes" of white men stared at the Indian children on their journey to Indiana; "the snow still covered the ground, and the trees were bare" when she arrived at the missionaries' boarding school; and she found Earlham College students to be "a cold race whose hearts were frozen hard with prejudice.

 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees

1943 Guide to Hiring Women: 

The following is an excerpt from the July 1943 issue of Transportation Magazine. This was written for male supervisors of women in the work force during World War II. 

Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees 

There's no longer any question whether transit companies should hire women for jobs formerly held by men. The draft and manpower shortage has settled that point. The important things now are to select the most efficient women available and how to use them to the best advantage. Here are eleven helpful tips on the subject from western properties: 

1. If you can get them, pick young married women. They have these advantages, according to the reports of western companies: they usually have more of a sense of responsibility than do their unmarried sisters; they're less likely to be flirtatious; as a rule, they need the work or they wouldn't be doing it — maybe a sick husband or one who's in the army; they still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently. 

2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Most transportation companies have found that older women who have never contacted the public, have a hard time adapting themselves, are inclined to be cantankerous and fussy. It's always well to impress upon older women the importance of friendliness and courtesy. 

3. While there are exceptions, of course, to this rule, general experience indicates that "husky" girls — those who are just a little on the heavy side — are likely to be more even-tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters. 

4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination — one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit but also reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job. Transit companies that follow this practice report a surprising number of women turned down for nervous disorders. 

5. In breaking in women who haven't previously done outside work, stress at the outset the importance of time — the fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up. 

6. Give the female employe in garage or office a definite day-long schedule of duties so that she'll keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves. 

7. Whenever possible, let the inside employe change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be nervous and they're happier with change. 

8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. Companies that are already using large numbers of women stress the fact that you have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and consequently is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day. 

9. Be tactful in issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive; they can't shrug off harsh words the way that men do. Never ridicule a woman — it breaks her spirit and cuts her efficiency. 

10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women. Even though a girl's husband or father may swear vociferously, she'll grow to dislike a place of business where she hears too much of this. 

11. Get enough size variety in operator uniforms that each girl can have a proper fit. This point can't be stressed too strongly as a means of keeping women happy, according to western properties.
 

Life and Hugs

"... there are moments in life, when a single hug holds all the answers you need..."

 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

BHP Billiton Records Worst Loss in Fiscal Year 2016


BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, flagged it’s emerging from the worst commodities price collapse in a generation with renewed impetus after reporting a record full-year loss. “There is some sense that prices have stopped falling as opposed to being in freefall,” Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie told reporters Tuesday on an earnings call. “We start this new financial year with real momentum.” Underlying profit jumped 95 percent to $803 million in the six months ended June 30, from $412 million in the preceding half, according to Bloomberg calculations based on Melbourne-based BHP’s full-year earnings published Tuesday in a statement.
http://bit.ly/2aWKi2t

'Sausage Party' anything but a good time at work, some animators say - LA Times


Sausage Party” was the surprise hit at the box office this weekend, but artists who worked on the R-rated, computer-animated comedy starring Seth Rogen as a libidinous hot dog are telling a sadder tale. On the animation news website Cartoon Brew, several animators who identified themselves as members of the “Sausage Party” crew talked of unpaid overtime, poor working conditions and walkouts at Nitrogen, the Vancouver, Canada-based animation studio that made the film. Financed by Sony Pictures and Annapurna Pictures, and directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, “Sausage Party” was made for less than $20 million, a remarkably thrifty price tag for a CG-animated film.
http://lat.ms/2aZ2WbI

No Man’s Sky is a game about photography… it just doesn’t know it



I'm sad to say that my experience with No Man's Sky so far aligns closely with the one Sam Machkovech recounted in our full review. The game's procedural generated galaxy is beautiful to experience, but actually exploring that galaxy ends up being a mind-numbing grind. Faced with the need to give players something to do in an expansive, enchanting galaxy, developer Hello Games seems to have fallen back on creating very limited versions of the familiar types of gameplay we tend to see in much smaller, more hand-crafted games.

http://bit.ly/2bzREP5

Friday, August 5, 2016

South Africa's ANC faces worst election losses since apartheid




South Africa's ANC faces worst election losses since apartheid

South Africa's ANC was on track for its worst electoral performance since the end of apartheid on Friday as voters vented anger about high unemployment and corruption in municipal elections that herald a sea change in politics and society.

The African National Congress has ruled virtually unopposed since it ended white-minority rule in 1994 with Nelson Mandela at its helm, but has lost support - particularly in cities - among voters who feel their lives have not improved and accuse President Jacob Zuma of mismanaging the economy.

The ANC was still leading in the overall count in the nationwide municipal vote, with 95 percent of ballots counted. But it lost to the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) in the municipality of Nelson Mandela Bay, which includes the city of Port Elizabeth.


The DA was also narrowly ahead in the economic hub of Johannesburg, and the two parties were on par in Tshwane, home to the capital Pretoria.


Since the end of apartheid, the ANC had enjoyed an iron electoral grip on these areas.


Now, no party looks likely to win a majority in these three urban centers, ushering in a new era of coalition politics as South Africa shifts from what has effectively been a one-party system in the period immediately post-apartheid.


This shift reshapes the political landscape in South Africa ahead of the 2019 national election, and may also embolden Zuma's rivals within the ANC to challenge him.


The DA has retained control of Cape Town, which it has held since 2006.


Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said the party would do some soul searching, acknowledging that some critics had called the ANC "arrogant, self-centred, self-serving", but saying those descriptions were unfair.


"We've lost Nelson Mandela Bay, we've conceded that we've lost it, and we are going to do an introspective look at ourselves... we are a party that is not going away," he said.


RELATED COVERAGE


› South Africa's main opposition party wins Nelson Mandela metro
The election also represents a political renaissance for the DA, which last year elected its first black leader, Mmusi Maimane, as part of its efforts to shake off its image as a party that mainly serves white interests. The party has its roots in the Progressive Party led by liberal whites who campaigned against apartheid during the era of white rule.


"I'm quite glad to announce the fact that, here in the city of Tshwane, by all of our current projections, certainly we will be the largest party," Maimane said, although the two parties were by that point neck and neck there, at just over 42 percent each, with 82 percent of the votes counted.


Final results are due on Saturday.


ZUMA SCANDALS


The ANC has lost its grip on the major cities where millions of black people are now looking beyond its liberation struggle credentials and focusing on weak growth prospects for an economy teetering on the edge of a recession.


Voters head to the polls for South African local elections


Voters, facing a lack of jobs and poor basic services, have been incensed by a string of corruption scandals that have engulfed Zuma.


"In many respects the elections were exactly about national issues, national policy failures and poor national leadership as much as they were about local issues and local problems," said Gary van Staden, political analyst with NKC African Economics.


The radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, which is led by Julius Malema, Zuma's one-time protege, is participating in only its second election and was running a distant third in the votes counted.


It has, however, won some support from voters frustrated about inequality in a country where black people make up about 80 percent of the 54 million population, yet most land and companies remain in the hands of whites, who account for about 8 percent of the population.


Malema plans to nationalize banks and land, and redistribute among poor black people wealth still mostly in white hands -policies that both the DA and the ANC have not found palatable.


But neck-and-neck races between the ANC and DA in Johannesburg and Tshwane mean the EFF's 10 percent share of the vote could be needed for coalitions there.


"We will wait for those who are interested to approach us and then we will take the discussion from there," Malema told reporters.


Voters are losing patience with Zuma, who rattled investors in December by changing finance ministers twice in a week, sending the rand currency plummeting.


The president survived an impeachment vote in April after the Constitutional Court said he breached the law by ignoring an order to repay some of $16 million in state funds spent on renovating his private home. Zuma has since said he will repay some of the money.


Ratings agency Fitch said in a statement that although the results may weaken Zuma, the president has built a strong network of support in the ANC's upper echelons "and there have been no clear signs that a majority of leaders could withdraw their support before the ANC conference in December 2017."


The party is due to meet then to pick Zuma's successor as party leader, who would become South Africa's president should the ANC continue its unbroken string of victories in the 2019 election.


The rand held its ground close to a nine-month high against the dollar early on Friday, partly boosted by the smooth running of the elections.


"Foreign investors will probably welcome the fact that reduced support for the ruling ANC has helped the centrist DA rather than the leftist EFF," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics, in a note.

New York Times launches text-message journalism for Rio Olympics - Aug. 4, 2016

New York Times launches text-message journalism for Rio Olympics

The New York Times has embarked on a new form of storytelling to enhance its coverage of the Summer Olympics: Two-way text-messaging.

For two weeks, deputy sports editor Sam Manchester will be sending text messages from the Olympic Games in Rio to readers who sign up for the service.

Unlike email alerts or push notifications, these texts will give readers an informal, behind-the-scenes look at the Games, almost as if they had a friend texting them directly. Readers can also write back to Manchester. And while he won't be able to reply to each message, the responses can be used to personalize each reader's experience.

The innovation is an effort to reach readers on the platforms that are central to their lives, Andrew Phelps, the Times' Director of Personalisation told CNNMoney.

"For a lot of users, messaging apps are the new home screen," said Phelps, who helped lead the effort. "We've spent a lot of time thinking about how we might tell stories through that lens and bring readers closer to the journalism and to the journalists."
Related: Who will well dressed Olympic teams be wearing
"People have asked, 'Couldn't you just do this on Twitter,'" Phelps continued. "We could, except this is a much more personal relationship. We can show up in the same place as your friend, your mom and your work colleague."
Readers who sign up for the service receive a text that reads, "Hey. Sam here from the NYT sports desk. I'll be your personal guide to the Rio Olympics (so you don't have to go)...." (Manchester also makes liberal use of emojis.)

For now, Manchester said he plans to send three to four texts a day. Along with texts, he'll send photos, GIFs, motion graphics and videos, he said.

There will also be texts that prompt readers to respond with a choice. For instance, "What question should I ask this athlete?" or "Which team do you think will win this competition?" Readers' responses will be placed into groups by a team in New York, and Manchester can then write tailored responses to each group.

Related: Facebook to websites: stop clickbait headlines -- or else

If it works, Manchester said he could envision the service being used for other major events, like the Republican and Democratic conventions and The Super Bowl.

"Obviously this is foreign territory for me and for us, so we're feeling it out as we go along," he said. "But it feels like a cool way to interact with our people, and to make the Times feel a little more user-friendly."

Facebook tweaks News Feed to reduce 'clickbait'




Facebook tweaks News Feed to reduce 'clickbait'

It seems as if complaints roll in every time Facebook makes a change to its News Feed. But I have no complaint with the latest change designed to cut back on "clickbait."

In a statement, Facebook defined clickbait as "headlines that intentionally leave out crucial information, or mislead people, forcing people to click to find out the answer." Examples they cited included "He Put Garlic In His Shoes Before Going To Bed And What Happens Next Is Hard To Believe"; or "The Dog Barked At The Deliveryman And His Reaction Was Priceless."

The problem with clickbait is that it usually leads people to web pages with what is mostly banal or misleading information. And it's not just a problem on Facebook. I see clickbait all over the web.

While I'm personally not a big fan of sensational headlines, I respect the first amendment rights of websites and news organizations to generate stories designed to provoke or even titillate. But I don't like false advertising, which is too often the case with these types of links.

If you're going to promise a sensational story, then you should deliver one, hopefully based on accurate information. And clickbait isn't just headlines, it can also be eye-catching pictures that promise but fail to deliver visually stimulating experiences. Tricking people into clicking on a story or image that is unlikely to deliver what's promised is wasting their time and possibly even money if they're on a mobile device with limited free data.

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That's not to say that headlines have to summarize an entire article. Headline writing is a difficult art, one I've never fully mastered, and the goal is to draw readers in without misleading them. Headlines can be a bit provocative, but they should never be misleading.

The same is true with what radio and TV folks call a "tease." It's that preview of a story -- often just before a commercial break -- designed to keep the listener or viewer tuned in. I record one every day for my KCBS radio tech segment and they're sometimes more challenging than the segment itself.

Facebook took on clickbait in a 2014 News Feed update, but the problem didn't go away. "People are still telling us they would prefer to see clearly written headlines that help them decide how they want to spend their time and not waste time on what they click," wrote Facebook researchers Alex Peysakhovich and Kristin Hendrix.

This time, they're using a system that identifies phrases commonly used in clickbait that withholds information required to understand what the article is about or "exaggerates the article to create misleading expectations for the reader." Links from pages or domains that appear to be clickbait will appear lower in users' News Feeds. Facebook added that if an affected page stops the practice, its posts will stop being impacted by the changed algorithm.

While this change is mostly aimed at pages typically operated by companies or organizations, it's worth pointing out that individuals can also be guilty of posting links or sharing other people's clickbait link or -- worse -- false stories.

Posting and sharing of rumors and falsehoods is one of my pet peeves. Just as a journalist can be held responsible for passing on a false story even if it came from someone they thought was honest, so should everyone take responsibility to make at least some effort to determine the accuracy of what they pass on.

Years ago there was a claim that the U.S. Postal Service was about to impose a 5-cent tax on email, and there were many people who posted the claim that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya. As the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts."

If you see something online that you're tempted to pass on, do a quick search to see if it's true. You can look it up on Snopes.com, which does its best to determine whether rumors are true or false or you can just do a web search. Computer browsers make that really easy. Simply highlight some of text, right click and look it up on Google or Bing to see if you can find if it's been verified or disproved. If it's a claim by a political candidate, look it up on Politifact.org, which does a great job analyzing statements for accuracy, inaccuracy or -- often -- something in between.

Clicking on links from Facebook and many other websites can yield some great information. But if the headline is misleading or outrageous, it's best not to take the bait.

Facebook built, but won’t launch, a “Facebook Stories” Snapchat clone



Facebook built, but won’t launch, a “Facebook Stories” Snapchat clone

Facebook built its own version of Snapchat Stories, called Quick Updates, but will not release it. Though Instagram Stories launched this week, Facebook isn’t going to follow suit.

Quick Updates created a special place to share within the Facebook app but outside of the News Feed. Accessible from a button at the top of the feed, Quick Updates would have let people share 24-hour disappearing photos and videos with overlaid text. These posts wouldn’t appear in the feed or in people’s profiles.

Quick Updates featured its own design style, opposed to Instagram Stories which much more closely copies Snapchat Stories. When asked about cloning Snapchat, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom even said “They deserve all the credit.”

TechCrunch received screenshots of a test of Quick Updates two weeks ago, but the test quickly disappeared after we published about it. Facebook told me at the time that “Quick Updates” was an experiment shown to some people, and that Facebook would not move forward with it.

But the release of Instagram Stories begged the question of whether Facebook won’t modify the feature or release something similar, perhaps called “Facebook Stories.”

I asked Facebook, and a spokesperson told me “Quick updates was something we were going to test. It’s an idea we’re not pursuing anymore.” When pressed on the issue, the Facebook spokesperson provided this official statement:

“We often conduct small tests of new feature concepts, and this particular experience was an old test feature that was shown to some people. We don’t have any plans to launch it more broadly.”

So at least hardcore social media users won’t have to post non-stop daily updates to three networks, just two.

That said, on Facebook’s successful earnings call last week, Mark Zuckerberg vowed that “We see a world that is video first, with video at the heart of all of our apps and services.”

MSQRDYet Facebook hasn’t significantly updated its video uploader in nearly three years, despite me calling for them to modernize since 2013. You still can’t overlay filters, text, drawings or stickers on videos. You can’t combine multiple clips into a single video, add soundtracks, create transitions or use features found in other apps like Snapchat, YouTube, Vine and even Instagram.

Facebook did recently acquire MSQRD, an app for applying animated selfie filters similar to Snapchat’s lenses. But there’s been no official integration of MSQRD into Facebook or Instagram Stories, though Instagram says that’s coming.

Facebook’s video sharing tool is embarrassingly archaic and is sorely due for an upgrade. Instagram Stories just makes that even more clear.


Lugubrious - A Poem


Lugubrious

The bumps cracks and imperfections of the white sky as it smiled down on me reminded me of the fills in her skin
as shy hands did their best not to shake.

In my wake I was not sure whether this was the inner peace and enlightenment that pastors preached
or the high before everything burned
in the smoldering fire of her red cracked and glassy eyes.

Aqua sea of blankets and the streams coming in through wooden panels
that make day dreams break and let reality seep in.

It was the saturnine morning that pulled blankets over eyes
stopped the free flow of thought
the oppressive priest disguised only by those who chose to believe
that war was peace and hatred was love.

Saturnine Eyes - A Poem


Saturnine Eyes


You implored me with saturnine eyes;
perfidious as still waters barricaded in stone,
this darkness had crept, caught you unaware,
summoned cracks in skin and like grue silhouettes
painted all in black and hid from the light.


Like the breath of a shutter flinging storm,
came my sigh, as I failed to meet your expectation.
"True love does not come as a flare,
capable of forging ebony shards out of death,
it does not inlay cracks with gold

and douse ancient monuments in silver light,
it speaks in dulcet tones, comes crawling
through the canopy of emerald leaves,
quivering from the dewy breath of morning,

and slowly embalms you in its warmth.
Baiting you to last 'til the still tide of noon
when it bends shadows to paper thin lines
and dries your cuts to make them mend."

Before that sigh could expire
and dry from my damp lips,
I caught it by its fleeting tail,
and the question became,

would you shrink,
swallowed by the shadows
or be patient

Richard Ekkebus' Inspirational Dishes

Have a look at some delicious dishes prepared by chef Richard Ekkebus of Amber, the signature restaurant of The Landmark Mandarin Oriental h...