Here, There and Everywhere

Archive for January, 2014

A Cup of Zen

A Cup of Zen
by Gabriel Constans

Yasodhara and The Buddha (her husband Siddhartha) would gladly sit ad drink this enlightened cup of nirvana to attain eternal peace and freedom from suffering. It’s also nutritious, filling, and simple.

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Yield: 5 cups

1/2 cup cooked short grain brown rice
2 1/2 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup firm tofu
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup chopped almonds

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend on medium speed for 1 minute.

Pour into your bowl or wide cup, be in the moment and taste it all.

Print Is Hanging On

Pew: E-Reading Surges, but Print is Hanging On
by Andrew Albanese
Publishers Weekly
16 January 2014

E-books are rising in popularity, but print remains the foundation of Americans’ reading habits. Such is the conclusion of a new post-holiday survey from the Pew Research Center. The survey, conducted in the first weeks of 2014, found that most people who read e-books also read print books, and that just 4% of readers are “e-book only.”

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In addition, the rise in e-books may also be sparking a slight rise in reading, or a least a stablization. Overall, “76% of adults read a book in some format” over the previous 12 months, up slightly over the last survey conducted to report on e-reading activity during the 2012 holiday period. According to the survey, the “typical American adult” read or listened to 5 books in the past year, and the average for all adults was 12 books.

The survey also found that the tablet market is continuing its rise. Some 42% of adults now own tablet computers, up from 34% in September, the survey found, suggesting more than a few adults found a tablet in their stocking this holiday season. But don’t bury the e-reader just yet: the number of adults who own dedicated e-readers rose to 32% from 24% in September. In all, fully half of all Americans (50%) now own either a tablet or an e-reader, up from 43% in September.

For the most part, the survey revealed a widening profile of reading in America—including print, digital, and audio, with more Americans reading in multiple formats. As of January 2014, some 76% of American adults ages 18 and older said that they read at least one book in the past year. Almost seven in ten adults (69%) read a book in print in the past 12 months, while 28% read an e-book, and 14% listened to an audiobook. “In general, the vast majority of those who read e-books and audiobooks also read print books,” the survey notes, with significant overlap:

87% of e-book readers also read a print book in the past 12 months, and 29% listened to an audiobook.

84% of audiobook listeners also read a print book in the past year, and 56% also read an e-book.

A majority of print readers read only in that format, although 35% of print book readers also read an e-book and 17% listened to an audiobook.

Overall, about half (52%) of readers only read a print book, while just 4% said they only read an e-book, and just 2% only listened to an audiobook. Some 9% of readers said they read books in all three formats.

Read entire story and more at PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY.

Feminism Behind Bars

TheGreyArea_DVDinhouse_V3.inddThe Grey Area: Feminism Behind Bars
A film by Noga Ashkenazi
US, 2012, 65 minutes, Color, DVD, English
From Women Make Movies

THE GREY AREA is an intimate look at women’s issues in the criminal justice system and the unique experience of studying feminism behind bars. Through a series of captivating class discussions, headed by students from Grinnell College, a small group of female inmates at a maximum women’s security prison in Mitchellville, Iowa, share their diverse experiences with motherhood, drug addiction, sexual abuse, murder, and life in prison. The women, along with their teachers, explore the “grey area” that is often invisible within the prison walls and delve into issues of race, class, sexuality and gender.

The number of women in prison has grown by over 800% in the past three decades, two thirds are mothers and are incarcerated for non-violent offenses and more than 80% have been victims of domestic violence or sexual assault at some point in their lives. THE GRAY AREA is an important look into the complex factors behind these statistics and how feminism sheds light and brings hope to those incarcerated. This is an excellent film to prompt discussion in women’s studies, courses that include prison reform or violence against women, American studies and sociology.

Read about The Grey Area and other films at WOMEN MAKE MOVIES

Sunset on the Water

Sunset on the Water
by Gabriel Constans

Persimmons are rich in carbohydrates and potassium and have a wonderful blood-red color: Asian countries have grown them for years, although the United States now leads the world in production of these sugary fruits. This smoothie is the perfect accompaniment to sitting outside and watching the sun go down.

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Yield: 4 cups

1/2 persimmon, peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups filtered water
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and mix on medium speed for 1 minute.

Pour into clear glasses and watch the colors upon the horizon.

Women Come Marching Home

Service_DVDinhouse_V2.inddService: When Women Come Marching Home
A film by Marcia Rock and Patricia Lee Stotter
US, 2012, 55 minutes, Color, DVD, English
From Women Make Movies

Women make up 15 percent of today’s military. That number is expected to double in 10 years. SERVICE highlights the resourcefulness of seven amazing women who represent the first wave of mothers, daughters and sisters returning home from the frontless wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. Portraying the courage of women veterans as they transition from active duty to their civilian lives, this powerful film describes the horrific traumas they have faced, the inadequate care they often receive on return, and the large and small accomplishments they work mightily to achieve.

These are the stories we hear about from men returning from war, but rarely from women veterans. Through compelling portraits, we watch these women wrestle with prostheses, homelessness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma. The documentary takes the audience on a journey from the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq to rural Tennessee and urban New York City, from coping with amputations, to flashbacks, triggers and depression to ways to support other vets. An eye-opening look at the specific challenges facing women veterans with a special focus on the disabled, SERVICE can be used for courses in military studies, women’s studies, peace and conflict courses and veteran support groups.

See more about women making movies at: Women Make Movies

Japanese Culture of Silence

End the Japanese “culture of Silence” toward crimes against women!
Stalker Zero

by Ikumi Yoshimatsu

As a victim of stalking and intimidation in Japan, I am asking Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to take action to change the culture of silence toward crimes against women in my country. To help encourage the Japanese government to address this issue, I’m also asking US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy to speak out and join these efforts.

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I am the first Japanese woman to be crowned Miss International in the 52-year long history of the pageant. Since winning my crown in October 2012, I have been the victim of stalking, intimidation, threats, extortion and blackmail by a powerful Japanese talent agency executive known to have ties to organized crime. This man tried to abduct me from a TV studio, made threatening calls to my family, and hired private investigators to stalk me, peep into my windows and photograph my home.
The Japanese organizers of the Miss International 2013 world grand prix even asked me to “play sick” and “keep quiet” in order to appease my stalker after he made threatening phone calls to their sponsors. Because of this, I became the first Miss International titleholder in the 52-year history of the pageant prevented from passing my crown to my successor. I fear for my life and require 24hr security.

I went to the police with more than 30 exhibits of evidence including recordings and photographs. As is typically the case in Japan, the police did nothing more than offer to increase patrols in my area. They did nothing to assure my safety or to punish my stalker.

In an unprecedented move, I became the first Japanese women ever to publicly name her tormentor and went public with my story. In sharp contrast to strong global coverage in the foreign media, not a single Japanese newspaper or TV station has covered the story out of fear of reprisal from my stalker who is linked to organized crime. My blog has been read by millions of people and thousands have written messages of support and shared their own stories of fear, intimidation and violence.

SIGN IKUMI’s PETITION

Japan is plagued by a “culture of silence” toward crimes against women that has been the standard for centuries. Out of all the industrialized nations, Japan is one of the lowest ranking countries on Gender Equality — a disgraceful 105 out of 136 countries.

At the same time, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been a strong and vocal supporter of women’s rights. He has called time and time again for a “society in which women shine.” His strong leadership on this issue would be a game-changer. As the first female US Ambassador to Japan — and a long-time supporter of human rights and women — Ambassador Kennedy can help encourage my government to do more by speaking out in support of my campaign.

As a first step, I’m asking that the Japanese government establish a task force to investigate stalking and violence against women with the objective of laying out an immediate national strategy to address these issues and offer real protection for women.

We need strict anti-stalking laws and strong punishment for perpetrators of crimes against women. We need a police force that will protect women and immediately act to prevent stalking and intimidation. We need restraining orders granted by the courts for any woman who has been threatened, BEFORE she is actually harmed, murdered, or forced to commit suicide. We need media that report on these issues without fear. Without protecting the women of Japan, our country will never enjoy the economic and moral benefits of a truly equal society.

SIGN IKUMI’S PETITION

Ikumi Yoshimatsu
Miss International 2012
Sent from Change.org

Sweet Shakespeare

Sweet Shakespeare
by Gabriel Constans

“I am giddy; expectation whirls me round. Th’ imaginary relish is so sweet, that it enchants my sense.” (From Shakespeare’s The History of Troilusand Cressida, Act III, Scene ii). This smoothie is guaranteed to put you in a poetic mood.

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Yield: 5 cups

10 Shakespearean strawberries
2 Poe pecans
2 large Browning bananas
1/4 cup sliced Angelou apple
1/2 cup Whitman Water
1 cup Ellen Bass orange juice
1 cup peeled and sliced Patrick Papaya
1 cup Cary coconut-pineapple juice

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend on medium speed for 1 minute.

Pour into goblets or mugs and serve while reciting or rapping your favorite poem or spoken word.

Stop Killing Whales Iceland

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Sadly our planet’s whales face more threats today than ever before, including the cruelty of commercial whaling. There is no humane way to kill a whale and little market for whale meat. Despite this, the Icelandic government issued new quotas for hundreds of minke whales and endangered fin whales to be harpooned annually for the next five years.

I’m sure you agree that commercial whaling has no place in the 21st century. Responsible whale watching is a cruelty-free and profitable alternative to the cruelty of whaling.

Please send a message to the Icelandic Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture asking him to cancel these quotas immediately and call an end to whaling in Iceland once and for all.

Because we know that you care about future generations of whales, we have worked alongside Icelandic whale watch operators for many years to promote responsible whale watching. Iceland is one of Europe’s top destinations for whale watching and last year attracted 175,000 whale watchers.

By contrast, recent Gallup polling, that we commissioned, found just 3 percent of Icelanders have bought whale meat six times or more in the last 12 months. The survey also revealed 75 percent of Icelanders never buy the meat, with women and young adults even less likely to buy whale meat.

Whaling damages Iceland’s reputation, attracting criticism at home and abroad. In summer 2013, both ports and carriers in Europe publicly rejected the whale meat trade when containers opened at ports in Rotterdam and Hamburg were returned to Iceland and met with public protests at the killing of whales for products such as dog food.

Despite this, the latest whaling quotas allow 229 minke whales and 154 fin whales to be slaughtered every year for five years.

Please join me in calling on the Icelandic government to stop supporting the efforts of Iceland’s whaling crusader, businessman Kristjan Loftsson, and a few others, and instead halt this cruel, outdated and uneconomic practice.

Thank you for your support for whales.

Patrick Ramage
IFAW Program Director, Whales

The Midnight Flame

The Midnight Flame
by Gabriel Constans

Guaranteed to give you an adrenaline rush and keep you awake to finish those last-minute projects or term papers due first thing in the morning. To live dangerously, substitute double espresso for the coffee, and prepare to stay up all night watching the late movies with a friend.

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Yield: 4 cups

1/2 cup chocolate syrup
3 frozen bananas*
1 tablespoon protein powder
2 cups strong brewed coffee
1 tablespoon mint syrup
1 small brownie
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and mix on medium speed for 1 minute.

Pour into coffee or tea cups and swig away.

*To freeze frozen bananas, peel and chop the bananas, seal in plastic bags and place in the freezer until frozen.

Elephant Families Stranded

We need your help with one of our most challenging animal rescues ever.

We have to relocate three elephant families immediately. The 12 elephants are stranded in small patches of forest in Côte d’Ivoire, Africa.

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These elephants are in immense danger of being killed due to clashes over crops with surrounding townspeople. Some have already been seen with bullet holes in their ears. They are also threatened by poachers, who are relentlessly hunting them for their ivory tusks. Babies and parents live every day at risk of being killed.

With your help, our elephant transport experts will move them family by family 250 miles south to Azagny National Park. There they will have 55,000 acres of forest and rivers to live in safety and freedom.

You have been generous in helping animals, and I thank you for that support. Now I am asking you to show how much you care about animals by helping with this urgent matter. You can help give 12 elephants a safe new home. These elephants are running out of time, and they need you now.

We have successfully relocated elephants in Africa and India. But as the video shows, this move is more difficult, as these are forest elephants. They are shy and reclusive and live in deep thickets where there are only dirt tracks leading in and out.

With your gift, you will help cover the expert veterinary care needed to ensure the health and safety of the elephants while they are captured and moved to their new home. You also will help prepare the special vehicles needed to move the elephants (some of them weigh over two tons).

You can help with this historic elephant move.

Thank you for all you do to protect elephants and other animals.

Céline Sissler-Bienvenu
IFAW Regional Director, France and Francophone Africa

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