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Woman Turns 110-Year-Old Tree Into Library

Sharalee Armitage Howard is making news headlines for transforming what was once the headache of her neighborhood into something that will make a positive impact on the community.

A dead tree had become a problem in her neighborhood and she turned it into this cute little library for her neighbors-inspired by a nonprofit organization devoted to reading.

A Problem For The Community

The dead cottonwood tree was in the front yard of this artist and librarian from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and had been there for about 110 years! The tree was quite the problem as it was breaking down more and more every day.

According to Sharalee, the tree was dropping massive branches onto the street and sidewalk, even when the weather was not windy. The entire neighborhood was always worried that someone would get hurt and one day, a branch finally fell on her son’s car.

Instead of completely destroying the tree, she decided to do something else with it. She was given inspiration by a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to learning.

Little Free Library

A nonprofit called Little Free Library is an organization that is devoted to inspiring, in communities all around the world, a love for reading. They help people create mini-libraries for themselves and for members of their community to enjoy.

Also, they provide books to their supporters at discounted rates. With the idea of exchanging books, people can create mini-libraries open to everyone to borrow books from.

They could also leave their books there for other people to read. People have created over 75,000 mini-libraries in 88 different countries since the launch of the organization.

A Tree-mendous Idea

Sharalee to the decision to turn this tree into a little library for her own community, using resources given to her by Little Free Library. They carefully cut down most of the tree, leaving only the stump behind.

She, with the help of her family and other members of the community, carved the inside of the stump and topped it with a roof. They installed lights on both the inside and outside, a glass door, and shelves to put the books on.

The transformation of this old tree is absolutely remarkable. Sharalee says she still has a little bit of work to do on it, but so far, it looks amazing! The most important part is that she has created a library, and this will serve her community well. Well done to her!

Sharalee Armitage Howard is making news headlines for transforming what was once the headache of her neighborhood into something that will make a...

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Best Health Related Tech Innovations of 2018

Gradually, the year is coming to an end, and the New Year’s Eve Ball would soon drop in Times Square. So, there’s no better time to look back at the highlights that made 2018 better. Here’s our top five inventions that made a world of difference in 2018.

A Smartwatch That Predicts Epileptic Seizures

Epileptic patients are unaware of what the next few seconds would bring. Would they have a seizure or not? The recent approval of a smartwatch by the FDA would bring a striking change for people living with the disorder. The design of the watch allows it to detect subtle changes in the body of its wearer, and to determine when a seizure is about to happen. The device places an automatic call to the wearer’s caregiver once it detects conditions that would lead to a seizure.

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes That Could End Malaria

Various scientists started researching ways to end malaria. And in 2018, they decided to achieve this by modifying the genetics of mosquitoes. With a potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives, this innovative step would have a lot of impact in the future. As a result of the impact that it is projected to have, it has gained a lot of financial support, including a 4.1 million dollar investment from the Gates Foundation.

US Hospitals Are Working Together To Fight High Drug Costs

The cost of prescription drugs has been on the rise for several years. And this has strongly affected people seeking for medical care as well as their families. This has been very disturbing, and as a result, some hospitals swung into action. In a bid to improve patient’s welfare, and slash the costs of prescription drugs, they formed Civica Rx – a drug company. Currently, up to one-third of US hospitals have gotten involved or indicated interest.

Healthcare Workers Upgrade A Tool That Fights World Malnutrition

Malnutrition can now be detected with the use of a simple armband. Due to the design of the equipment, children had to travel down to get treatment from a healthcare center upon diagnosis. 2018 birthed a new and improved armband, which came off the efforts of the International Rescue Committee. Now, children can get help around where they live. This innovation has a lot of potential. Results from the initial trials were good; they were able to reach out and help more children.

Better Data To Help Refugees

Before you proffer solutions to any problem, you need to have complete knowledge of what you’re dealing with. This also includes the world’s refugee crisis. In an effort to understand this problem, the United Nations Refugee Agency in conjunction with the World Ban Group formed a Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement in 2018. This step is aimed at obtaining data, and using it to get a better understanding of refugees, in order to provide them with improved support in their places of refuge.

Gradually, the year is coming to an end, and the New Year’s Eve Ball would soon drop in Times Square. So, there’s no better time to look back at...

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Check It Out: 10 Surprising Elevators

A lot can happen in an elevator – or very little. Typically, it’s one of the most boring parts of your days – especially if you work in a high-rise or live in an apartment building. Sometimes you’re stuck in there alone from the first floor to the very top with nothing to do in this small, enclosed space.

Other times, you get stuck in there for such a duration with someone you know but never talk to. Welcome to five minutes of awkward silence or hesitant pleasantries.

Don’t get me wrong, the elevator is much better than walking up all those flights of stairs, but at times it can also be hugely inconvenient – if it’s one of those elevators that never seems to work – or just plain boring or awkward.

That is, until you get on one of these twenty elevators designed by some unique people who were tired of the typical elevator experience.

Check it out:

1) To keep the elderly patients from feeling anxious or, worse, running away, this long-term care facility for the elderly thought making the elevators into a mural would be a good idea.

Now, it just looks like a warm, inviting scene!

2) This designer must have been wishing for a snow day and decided to make his own. Step into a winter wonderland with evergreens and snow angels. It feels like Christmas every time you need to go up or down!

3) Wait, where are the buttons? Don’t worry; you’re not trapped. Just look down, and kick instead of pushing buttons, like any ordinary elevator would have you do.

Maybe get some of that pent up anger out while you’re at it, too!

4) This designer had emergency situations in mind. What an inventive way to take care of medical emergencies that cause one to land on the ground, unable to rise!

The alarm button located by the floor is accessible in any situation.

5) Now we’re going from winter wonderland to the tropics. Dive into this elevator that seems to take you under the sea as it’s surrounded by a giant aquarium.

I’d never take the stairs again in this German building.

6) The elevator up to the top of the World Trade Centre is one-of-a-kind.

While you’re in the clear elevator, you’re also getting a clear picture of the architectural evolution of the city as you head up.

7) If you’re self-conscious about your weight, you may want to take the stairs instead of this elevator.

The elevator provides a digital visual aid to alert its riders of how close it is to reaching its weight capacity. Smart!

8) Now this is probably my personal favorite. The button is located 30 feet away from the elevator so that, by the time you arrive at the doors, it should be ready to receive you!

Good for impatient, always-in-a-rush people like me.

9) Whether you struggle with memory loss or you can’t even remember what day it is after what just happened last night, this hotel in Ukraine has got your back.

Every morning, they change the elevator rug to let riders know what day it is.

10) Now this is a bit hilarious; I wonder what prompted the need for a “shuffle” button in an elevator.

The elderly? Indecisive people? Who knows! Definitely the first time I’ve had the option to shuffle off of an elevator without getting stuck in the doors.

A lot can happen in an elevator – or very little. Typically, it’s one of the most boring parts of your days – especially if you work in a...

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The Dance Police. A Must See

We like everything happy. That’s how humans work. When things are not happy, we try and make them happy. If things are too strict, we try and find a way to let loose within the strictness.

When we expect hardship and find the contrary, we get happy. It’s so simple and easy to make humans happy, isn’t it?
So when we see a video taken at a police station, there is very little we can expect from it. Usually, happiness is not one of those things to expect.

Thankfully, there are sometimes when we are wrong. This is one of those times. Most happy stories about police are about how they helped someone, but this time, happiness comes in a different way.

This one story shows the good, human side of police officers. It was released from the El Paso County Sherriff’s Office. For a while, the lift at the office kept breaking down. It was causing a lot of consternation and, as you might imagine, they wanted to get to the bottom of the problem.
Seeing a good chance to put their powers to use, the cops installed a tiny hidden camera to see if they could spot the root cause of the issue. The hope was that if there was something or someone causing it, they would spot it with the camera.

While we don’t know if the video was able to help capture the cause of the problems or if top brass are still looking into the issue, what we do know is that the officers decided to put the camera to good use. They put up an elevator show by young officers, featuring the Sherriff himself. It’s a comical sight and something that just reminds you that outside of those livewire moments when a cop has to enforce a law that, generally, they can be good, honest people for the most part.

Have a watch at the video and you will get to see a more human side to the cops. Just remember that these days everything is caught on camera; even the rather wonderful (if awkward) moves of the local PD!

Share this to show others that sometimes cops can be damn cool when we aren’t blaming them for all of society’s ills.

We like everything happy. That’s how humans work. When things are not happy, we try and make them happy. If things are too strict, we try and find a way to let loose within the strictness.
When we expect hardship and find the contrary, we get happy...

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Selfless Teacher Donates All Wedding Gifts To Students In Need

When Rickee Stewart had plans to get married, she decided that it was important that all of the numerous gifts that she would get on her wedding day could be put to good use. The items that every new couple needs usually appear at a wedding, but Rickee and her partner decided that there could be a better use for it all than just keeping it for themselves.

Instead, the entire wedding registry would be donated to the students in need who she worked with every day. Donated to those who ned help buying clothes, supplies and necessities to enjoy a better quality of life, she gave it all up without issue.

A Phenomenal Kindness

She instead asked people to pick items that Copper Hills High School of West Jordan, Utah, could put to good use to help those students who were most in need. She’d seen it work with a food bank that was set up by the school, and noticed how many students of her own were in need of using that food bank themselves. It made her think deeply about her own position, and decided to act in accordance with her heart.

She teaches Business and Finance herself, and was happy to make this sacrifice having known for a long time how hard things could be for others. She even wants to start teaching a bit more about the importance of budget planning in lessons, hopefully helping her students in later life.

Kindness Spreads

Indeed, another good example came from the University of Houston, Texas, when the basketball coach there, Kelvin Sampson, did something similar. He asked for coaches to send whatever kinds of team supplies that they could get to the Houston department, so that the clothing could then be donated out to families who were in need of clothing and help after the Hurricane Harvey disaster had decimated the city.

Stewart saw the wide-reaching appeal that Sampson had got, and decided to follow his lead in putting together an intimate, well-intentioned donation platform to help those who were most in need. Indeed, many items came from people who weren’t even going to her wedding, such is the kindness and generosity of the people of the city.

“This is exactly what we wanted,” she said. “My hope is that we get to not only have this amazing wedding and start our lives together but that we are able to put some warmth on all of those kids.”

When Rickee Stewart had plans to get married, she decided that it was important that all of the numerous gifts that she would get on her wedding day could be put to good use. The items that every new couple needs usually appear at a wedding, but Rickee and...

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Woman Reaches 111- Thanks to Whiskey?!

When someone lives to beyond a century in life, most people want to know how the manage it. It’s usually things like healthy mind, staying active, eating right, doing good deed and things of that sort.

However, for Grace Jones, it’s a nice glass of whisky that she blames for being the source of her longevity. Apparently, she’s been enjoying a wee scotch and whiskey before she goes to bed every night for close to six decades. According to her daughter Deidre, 79, she’s been doing it a long as that, anyway!

Exciting Festivities

To celebrate her age, she enjoyed a celebration on both Saturday and Sunday, according to Deidre McCarthy. She called her up on the Monday to see how she was dealing with a busy weekend, having been out of the house more than she would be used to at that time in life. However, her mother was ‘full of beans’; she wasn’t even in the slightest bit worn out by all the excitement and the festivities taking place!

Always known for her positive, go-ahead mind-set she was delighted to keep going. According to Deidre, she is a go-getter and someone who is always out there being positive, taking things on and always embracing a new challenge while looking after other people as best they can. Living on her own, she enjoys plenty of reading, TV and is also a real fashion buff.

Whiskey and Positivity

“She always looks nice no matter when you go over,” McCarthy said.

While she proclaims the bevvy has kept her in high spirits and long lifespan, daughter Deidre reckons that it is more to do with her wonderful and positive lifestyle and the fact that she never worries about anything.

Whatever the secret to her longevity – booze or good, positive living – we might never know. But if you want to try and extend the quality of your own life, then why not give it a bash? Just remember – it’s a single glass, not a bottle!

When someone lives to beyond a century in life, most people want to know how the manage it. It’s usually things like healthy mind, staying active, eating right, doing good deed and things of that sort.

However, for Grace Jones, it’s a nice glass of...

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American Football Field: The Perfect Place to Die?

A “perfect place to die”- this was New York Jets Jamal Adams’ response when he was asked about CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) during an event this Monday. And although his passion for the American pastime is clear, if you were to take his words literally, it seems football players may actually need to have a death wish in order to continue with a passion for their sport.

CTE

When Nigerian born Bennet Omalu first discovered the link between CTE, a degenerative brain disease, and American football all the way back in 2006, he was dismissed by the NFL as scientifically invalid. However, as the years went by this clear-cut connection between concussions sustained during football and CTE is no longer deniable. Only last week a new study conducted by medical journal JAMA came out with disturbing results. In 2015 a movie called “Concussion” starring Will Smith was produced.

The study included the researching of 202 brains from deceased former football players. The investigation showed that an overwhelming 99 percent (110 out of 111) of former NFL players were diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease and 87 percent of players showed CTE. These alarmingly high numbers seem to scream out to those in power to make some drastic changes to this lovely American patriotic game which may, very unpatriotically, be causing irreversible damage to many of its players.

Players Are Showing Concern

While some, like Jamal Adams seem kind of at peace with the sacrifice, there are always two sides to the coin. NFL player Martellus Bennet, hours after he heard about Jamal’s response to the CTE question, voiced his opinion through a series of tweets.

He continued, “Look football is great but I ain’t dying for this s—t. lo,”. Seems not all players are at piece with sacrificing for the game. Another person who was not impressed with Jamal’s response to CTE concerns was the ex-wife of the late Steerlers offensive lineman Justin Strzelczyk who was diagnosed with CTE after his death. Ex-wife Keana MacMahon who divorced Strzelczyk just nine months before he drove his pickup truck into oncoming traffic stated regarding Jamal’s comments “I don’t even know what to say. This guy (Adams) doesn’t know what’s coming down the pipeline,”.

Clearly, as CTE studies continue and the results continue to point out the connection between seemingly harmless football field tackles, and a very harmful disease that causes depression, paranoia, rage and possible early death, changes will have to be implemented or Football players will be forced to truly question whether the field is in fact the perfect place to die.

A “perfect place to die”- this was New York Jets Jamal Adams’ response when he was asked about CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) during an event this Monday. And although his passion for the American pastime is clear, if you were to take his words...

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Dog Living In University Dorm Learns To Bark In Whispers at Night When Residents Are Sleeping

A pet is usually a person’s go-to friend, one that is loved by everyone. Dogs, especially, are considered a man’s best friend because of their ultimate loyalty and ability to feel human emotions. But sometimes, pets can be loud and thus become a disturbance in everyday human activities like working and sleeping. Such a scenario was seen recently in a college of Southern Illinois.

Dudley, who is a mix of the breeds Australian Shepherd and Border collie and is one year old, is a dog who lives in one of the dorm rooms of Greenville University in Illinois with his owners. The owners of Dudley are the dorm’s resident director Brian Gertler and his wife Katie Gertler. Dudley lives with his owners in an apartment in the Greenville University dorm for freshmen. Students of the university are not allowed to have pets but Brian Gertler can since he is a dorm director. They are a most adorable family.

From Loud to Unique

What Dudley inadvertently did to cause disturbance for the dorm residents was that he barked loudly at night when all the students were peacefully sleeping, hence waking them up at nights. Dogs are innocent creatures that do not have the best sense of time but Dudley, the extraordinarily intelligent dog, learned by way from his man-friend Gertler of keeping quiet at nights when everyone around him was deep asleep. He learned to bark in whispers!

When Dudley and Brian were at play during night-time, Dudley’s excited barking woke up the Greenville University students. Besides that, nobody in the college has any negative concerns regarding the dog. In fact, everyone loves him and he helps lighten the mood and brighten the environment around campus. He is everything ranging from a conversation-starter to an excellent fetch-player. Gertler himself says that dogs can be great ice-breakers and students often feel more comfortable warming up to the dog than talking to him. Since it is a freshman dorm, students can be nervous living away from home for the first time; dogs like Dudley make it easy for them.

Taping in to Existing Traits

How Brian Gertler found out a way to help the situation of Dudley’s barking disturbing the students at night was when Dudley’s barking quieted down one night while playing due to being winded from all the running and catching. Gertler realized that it is, in fact, possible for the mix-breed dog to bark silently, so he started training Dudley to bark in whispers.

Slowly and efficiently, Dudley learned how to not disturb the residents of the Greenville University dorm anymore. He was fully trained by his loving owner Brian Gertler to keep his voice down while playing fetch at night and now, finally, Dudley proves his genius by barking in whispers every time they play fetch at night.

Students are Greenville now have peaceful, undisturbed slumbers in the dorm. Dudley proved by learning his new lesson that dogs are the most considerate and affectionate animals who would try their best to provide comfort for their owners and their human friends.

A pet is usually a person’s go-to friend, one that is loved by everyone. Dogs, especially, are considered a man’s best friend because of their ultimate loyalty and ability to feel human emotions. But sometimes, pets can be loud and thus become a...

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Shocking! Israeli Reporter too Keen on Interviewing Trump

As President Donald Trump visits Israel, the local media is on extra high alert. As always, every reporter wants to be the one who interviews the leader of the free world, despite common knowledge that interviews with the president are scheduled in advance, and the president seldom gives interviews to local media outlets.

Thinking that he is the luckiest reporter in Israel, Arel Segal, was sure that Trump was willing to give him an interview while being on Airforce 1 while enroute to Israel from Saudi Arabia. Prior to the interview, his co-reporter was sceptic regarding the interview and the technical ability to actually conduct an interview from the plane, Segal claimed it was possible and the interview started.

The interview

The interview began fairly well with the reporter and the President exchanging formalities, but got out of hand after a few seconds during the third question. President Trump explained his desire to broker a peace deal and mentioned different ideas including one from an Israeli radical right winged public figure. At the end of the question the interview that lasted 90 seconds was terminated.

Turns out that the “president” was an impostor that had nothing to do with the official presidential delegation and was definitely not the President himself.

Segal later acknowledged the blunder and said that while he understood during the third answer that he was being played, he feared to confront the impostor and terminated the interview very politely stating that it was a very delicate situation and he was balancing between the fact that he was dealing with an impostor and the slim chance that it could have been the president and he didn’t want to risk US-Israel relations.

Listen to the Interview

If you think that’s hilarious, click to see an Israeli parliament member act like a fool!

As President Donald Trump visits Israel, the local media is on extra high alert. As always, every reporter wants to be the one who interviews the leader of the free world, despite common knowledge that interviews with the president are scheduled in advance...

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Exit Is Getting Bigger and Bigger

Exit Festival, this year celebrating 50 years of the formation of the hippie movement and culture with the Summer of Love, might just be the biggest one yet, in quantity and diversity.

The festival that takes place in Novi Sad, Serbia entered its 17th birthday announcing a new festival under its peace and happiness banner in Umag, Croatia and as it stands it has three festivals around the Balkan region under his sponsorship. The already mentioned Sea Star in Croatia, as well as Revolution Festival in Romania and Sea Dance in Montenegro. Sea Star has already attracted many famous foreign acts, such as The Prodigy and Fat Boy Slim, and well-recognized bands from Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia.

The Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, where this award-winning spectacle will take place from 6th to 9th July, will host some of the most wanted artists from past, present and future. Liam Gallagher, a true rockstar and frontman of the former British brit-pop band Oasis, was one of the first acts announced, together with a young indie-folk solo artist Jake Bugg. They will try to light up the Main Stage with their roaring performances and heartfelt lyrics. As for the Dance Arena, one of the unique venues out there in Europe, the crowd will be given the time of their life by some of the best hitmakers in Duke Dumont, Alan Walker and Robin Schulz, who couldn’t perform last year due to his illness. Of course, the old school of electronica and techno wave will have its representatives in Paul Kalkbrenner, Faithless and Solomun.

There were all sorts of rumors going around recently when a surprising information started circulating the social media. Even an event on Facebook was created and a date for a special conference in the capital, Belgrade, where the team behind the festival will announce a huge act describing it as “the most wanted American rock band right now”. There was a huge debate on, because several obscure pieces of the puzzle came out, specifically concerning the band’s demands and those of Exit’s team not coming to a compromise. But the band was so special and important to them that they even put an X on the calendar and adding Day 0 on the 5th of July. The band that will play their gig is The Killers, a group that marked the last decade in rock music industry, spawning hits like Human, Somebody Told Me, Mr. Brightside and so on.

Their announcement got fans on their feet, but it was not alone. Soon The Killers were joined by a British trio Years & Years, as well as one of the best breakthrough artists Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and Lost Frequencies, who played a show in Montenegro last year, who will all try to leave their mark and conquer the fortress.

The tickets are available at a very low price, but if you plan on enjoying The Killers, you will have to pay a bit extra. Prepare your backpack, your friends and take a ride to the greatest party of the summer.

Exit Festival, this year celebrating 50 years of the formation of the hippie movement and culture with the Summer of Love, might just be the biggest one yet, in quantity and diversity.
The festival that takes place in Novi Sad, Serbia entered its 17th...

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Rapper Chance Will be Donating $1 Million to Chicago Public Schools

This Monday, rapper Chance announced that he will donate one million dollars “for arts and enrichment” programs to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Foundation. The news was announced at Westcott Elementary School in the neighborhood of West Chatham. Grammy-winning artist gave an oversized check to students of the school at the press conference held at his elementary school.

This was announced a couple of days after meeting of the rapper with Bruce Rauner, the Governor of Illinois, where artist expressed his concerns about the lack of direct funding by the state towards CPSs. Chance said on Monday to students and reporters that he got a lot of vague answers from the Governor in the meeting. He also added that Rauner called his over the weekend, after their talk on Friday. The rapper first shared his feeling via reporters, stating “Do your job!” “Our talks were unsuccessful”. Finally, Chance concluded his opinion, stating “Gov. Rauner still won’t commit to giving Chicago’s kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums.”

Earlier, Governor Rauner’s veto of a bill set back $215 million in funding to CPS. Chance stated that this is an important compromise for both schools and students across the state. This may result in thousands of staff dismisses or shortening of the school year by 13 days. Rapper passionately explained that the second option would result in over 380,000 kids without adult-supervising activities during June and potential misbehaviors.

Ticket sales for rapper’s tour in spring and effort of local venues, promoters all over the country as well as concert promoters (including Live Nation, AEG and Ticketmaster) made this donation possible, explained rapper. Although he did not elaborate money rising, he said that all aforementioned groups were banded together to collect ticket sales funds to CPS donations.

Social Works, a local non-profit organization which was created by Chance last, will add additional $10,000 to every $100,000 raised for the CPS via website donations. Artist also stated that he will be donating $10,000 to 10 selected local schools, including rapper’s elementary school.

Rapper declined to comment on Rauner’s two earlier proposals for $215 million fund raising for CPS.

 

 

He pointed out that the Governor has the power to change the situation “with the stroke of the pen”. Artist also commented on the high murder rate. He expressed his concerns as  ” As a private citizen, as a parent and as a product of CPS “ and added “I’m asking that you guys join and fight with me, organize with me, mobilize with me, for the interest of the children of Chicago. This is the very beginning.”

The problem of CPS funding goes for two last years, mainly between Republican Governor Rauner and Democratic State Senate President John Cullerton. Although the full budget has not been approved during this time, several measures were taken in order to keep CPS going in session.

Chance added that he had been in contact with other celebrities from Chicago, including rapper Common, to discuss their help for CPS. Although he is aware that he is not a politician, Chance added that he feels the

responsibility to provide quality education for the children.

This Monday, rapper Chance announced that he will donate one million dollars “for arts and enrichment” programs to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Foundation. The news was announced at Westcott Elementary School in the neighborhood of West Chatham...

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It is Never Too Late For a Debut in Writing

Beauty magazines are not the only ones who celebrate the youth. It is actually everywhere. Literary organizations are also trying to find and recognize the development of rising stars under 35. There are many talented young writers, but it is sometimes hard to keep them on radars of readers.

Many writers emerge and break out in their late thirties or even after. There is a significant number of reasons for this. Many people think that if you have a good idea, you can write a book. It is actually much more difficult than that. It is a time-consuming work and it needs a great deal of attention. Not everybody has that. There are some writers who first fully raised their children before committing to their craft.

Writer Kera Yonker noticed about three years ago, the trend toward lauding youthful debuts. She went through year-end book lists, and while doing that, she came across the National Book Foundation’s 5 under 35 honorees. At the time, she has been working on publishing a book, but realized that even if she manages to do that, she won’t be qualified for such an accolade. Yonker said:” If I am ever able to publish my book, I shouldn’t let the fact that I didn’t do it sooner diminish that accomplishment and I am always so encouraged when I hear of a first-time author publishing later in their life.”

Yonker decided to start to compile an annual list of honorees of her own selection. The only condition was that they published their first books when they were 35 or more years old. She said:” I spent a couple days digging around the internet to see if such a list already existed, and couldn’t find one.” Yonker started to collect her publishers and friends submissions, informally, and opened the distinction to authors who are free to nominate themselves. Fiction or not, all genres are considerable by Yonker. The most important thing for her are strong and compelling stories.

the author of Here Comes the Sun, Nicole Dennis-Benn, was honored for her debut work this year. This was a novel that got its place in the New York Times Notable Books list. There were also, Problems, a short and bold novel written by Jade Sharma and Emily Witt with her book Future Sex.

The selections are demonstrating the range of inventive and new writing, not concerning the author’s ages. And, they are intentionally broad. Yonker explained:” Books like Debbie Clarke Moderow’s Fast Into the Night, about her experience as a musher on the Iditarod, and Nick Lovegrove’s The Mosaic Principle, about the benefits of building a broad career, are great examples of what we’re celebrating with the list. None of these books could have been written by the authors at 25 ― the writing is informed by their experience. As readers, we’re lucky these authors persevered in telling their stories.”

The older you are the more life experience you have. So, why should we celebrate writers who are young when debuting as an older writer, 35 years old or more, brings much more benefits? There are many opinions on this subject, but Yonker said:” I think a lot of industries celebrate their wunderkinds, and publishing is no exception. A young author offers the promise of more to come. Once they’re someone to watch, there’s hopefully a built-in book-buying audience for their future titles.”

Beauty magazines are not the only ones who celebrate the youth. It is actually everywhere. Literary organizations are also trying to find and recognize the development of rising stars under 35. There are many talented young writers, but it is sometimes hard...

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Similarity Between Baroque and Christmas

Baroque makes a comeback at this time of the year. Everything is decorated, from our houses, to whole streets and city squares. Garlands and angels are everywhere.

The idea of Christmas decorations comes from 19th century. The first Christmas tree was placed in Britain by Queen Charlotte in 1800. Illustrated London News put on their cover the Victorian Christmas image of the Prince Consort and the Queen standing with their children around their tree. This came out in December 1848 and launched the German-invented Christmas tree and its decorations into English popular culture.

But, the fairies, lights, gold and silver, flamboyance and spectacle of modern decorations, actually began with art style that existed long before the Victorian age, exactly two centuries before that, and it was called the Baroque. It was made of spectacular architecture, painting and sculptures. Europe’s churches, pyramidal ornaments, city squares with giant cherubs, lashings of gold and opulent baubles, were really shining. This was somewhere between 17th and 18th century.

If you ever saw the Throne of St Peter, created in the middle of 17th century in St Peter’s basilica by Gianlorenzo Bernini, your Christmas tree will not seem that gracefully anymore. The Throne of St Peter is made of many angels that swarm in a molten cloud of gold which cascades upward. Instead of fairy lights, that obviously did not exist back in 1648, there was a heavenly host from which were emerging golden rays of light with a luminous window in the middle.

Baroque and Christmas decorations could remind us of each other, because they both have something so beautifully gratuitous about them. Hundreds and thousands of lights are placed all across our city streets and trees in public squares at this time of the year.

Baroque art is even more expressed trough today’s modern Christmas decorations and that can be very beautiful. Christmas tree is one thing that can especially remind us of baroque style. It is like some kind of a sculpture, and the shape of its fir makes it naturally pyramidal, pointing towards the top. Favorite form of baroque public art is exactly this. Christmas tree-like decorations in the streets of Naples, are made of marble and they stretch up in the sky. These wonderful decorations were built for a reason. They are made to celebrate the end of an epidemic of the plague. They proudly taper upwards, just like Christmas trees, and are also beautifully decorated.

Another Christmas decoration that brings baroque age to life, are cherubs. Plastic cherubs can be hung on our Christmas trees. The good example for this is the baroque architectural masterpiece made by Sir Christopher Wren. Gigantic cherubic faces are floating among fruit and foliage very nicely carved from stone, and because of that, the exterior of St Paul’s cathedral in London looks absolutely magnificent. They can be seen throughout the whole year in London because they are the greatest Christmas decorations in this city.

The energy and ecstasy of baroque art can be better understood by the help of our own love of fairy lights and sparkles at Christmas. The bright lights of Christmas can be, at the same time, profound and ridiculous. The big urge to decorate is something very spiritual and beautiful, but in some ways, it could also be truly merry and manic. We usually get that strange sense of wonder. Ceiling paintings and fountains of Europe’s baroque share that same sense of wonder. Don’t you agree?

Baroque makes a comeback at this time of the year. Everything is decorated, from our houses, to whole streets and city squares. Garlands and angels are everywhere.
The idea of Christmas decorations comes from 19th century. The first Christmas tree was placed...

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Can Brexit harm art?

The main names from the art world expressed concerns about the influence of Brexit on art in near future. They believe that diversity and the ramifications of Brexit could be the key industry issues of 2017. People like playwright Tanika Gupta, director Michael Grandage and Birmingham Hippodrome chief executive Fiona Allan warned public about the upcoming events in the sector and shared some thoughts on how it should respond.

 

Gupta believes that the main challenge will be to ensure that the gatekeepers of this industry realize “who is holding the pen, whose stories we are telling and whose point of view we are promoting”. She added: “I want to see a broader spectrum of writers getting their plays on in the theater, less talk about diversity and more action through productions.” Fiona Allan agreed with Gupta’s thoughts, saying: “Now more than ever the arts need to reflect an inclusive, contemporary British society and to bring people from all walks of life together.”

 

The National Theater Wales artistic director, Kully Thiarai claims that the biggest challenge now is ensuring that that theater celebrates the full diversity of the UK. She said: “The whole UK arts sector must step up and take responsibility for this.” They all agreed that the way in which Brexit would impact on the sector is the key issue for 2017.

 

 

The chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, John Kampfner said that it would be a huge concern, but that his organization was working hard to keep the arts and creative industries in negotiations as best as they could. Nikolai Foster, the artistic director of the Curve, says that it is essential for theater to lead the way in this long journey, as a tolerant, compassionate and socially inclusive industry, that should cope with all these issues given by Brexit and Trump.

The Shadow culture secretary, Tom Watson believes that Brexit will have ramifications for the arts that people haven’t thought of yet, from funding to copyright law. He added: “The arts need a seat at the negotiating table.” Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells chief executive, says that, as the United Kingdom is on its way to leave the European Union, the industry needs to continue engaging with government and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. He thinks it’s the best way to ensure that this sector has the proper access to talent, skills and specialist workers.

Watson also warns that cuts to regional theaters are likely to be a major concern, following the research he published earlier this year. Michael Grandage explains that the industry should not follow, but lead the way, or this whole case for the subsidy will be left in a wasteland. Culture minister Matt Hancock thinks that improving access to arts and culture will be vital in this pre-stage. The federation’s chief executive, John Kampfner said: “our job now is to be intensely practical and not to indulge in laments, but to work very closely with government to deal with problems and also to identify opportunities for beneficial change.”

The main names from the art world expressed concerns about the influence of Brexit on art in near future. They believe that diversity and the ramifications of Brexit could be the key industry issues of 2017. People like playwright Tanika Gupta, director...

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Homeless People in Montreal Opera

When was the last or the first time that you heard of homeless people making opera? Well, it is very rare, but that’s exactly what’s happening at l’Opéra de Montréal these days. Opera house is collaborating with the local agency that helps people who live on the streets, aiming to create a Street Opera project. A number of formerly itinerant people are participating in the realization of a piece which is supposed to be based on their lives.

 

All of them are clients of Le Sac à Dos, a day center in downtown Montreal, with 15-suite apartment block for homeless people. José Acquelin and Éric Champagne will write this piece, which will be performed in May next year. All these Sac à Dos participants will take part in building sets and costumes, and putting the show on stage. Singers from the OM’s Atelier Lyrique and theatre-craft professionals will help them set it all up.

Nicole Blouin of Sac à Dos says: “I have always believed that art is not just about making beautiful things, but about social change as well.” She was the one who initiated the development of this idea, linking the opera company with it. Blouin, who studied dance and theater, believes that this creative stage experience could help these participants expand their horizons and involve themselves more into society once again.

“Opera is a total art form that is very good at expressing extreme emotions. People who have experienced homelessness have lived in conditions of extreme stress and high emotion,” says Blouin. One of the participants, Sylvain says: “Opera is a marginal art. We are marginal people. I look forward to experiencing the meeting of these two marginalized elements.”

This project is can be seen as the effort of opera company to reach programs for prospective new audience members and donors. OM director of communications, outreach and education, Pierre Vachon says that the goal is not to sell the huge amount of tickets, but to engage with a marginalized part of the population and to reduce prejudice about the homeless. “What is the meaning of art in our time, how important is it? That’s the discussion we’re having now,” says Vachon.

Blouin was already a member of the opera house when she discovered that similar projects were happening in Great Britain since 2000. Streetwise Opera has worked with around 800 homeless people in five British cities, including London and Manchester. In 2014, Streetwise Opera managed to make some of its former homeless participants to perform on the stage at the Royal Opera House. A community chorus trained and assembled by Peacock’s company performed in Royal Opera House production of Francis Poulenc’s “Les Dialogues des carmélites”.

Vachon thinks that the opera is a mirror of society, where various people and functions must be made to work together to make one great show happen. Blouin added: “These are our fellow citizens. They are coming out of a difficult situation, but they also have an experience of life through hardship from which they can contribute something to the community.”

When was the last or the first time that you heard of homeless people making opera? Well, it is very rare, but that’s exactly what’s happening at l’Opéra de Montréal these days. Opera house is collaborating with the local agency that helps...