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This week in video games, August 15, 2017: Agents of Mayhem brings cartoon chaos – Straight.com (blog)

Posted: August 16, 2017 at 5:50 am


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This week, For Honorbrings Gladiators and Highlanders into the fight;Everything surrounds you with philosophy; and LawBreakers andTacoma are available to play. But first, revel in the cartoon chaos that is Agents of Mayhem.

In Agents of Mayhem, a new third-person shooter released today (August 15), the antagonist is Doctor Babylon, the Minister of Pride for LEGION, an acronym for League of Evil Gentleman Intent on Obliterating Nations.

That alone sets the tone for the open-world game, which is a rollicking adventure available for PS4, Windows, and Xbox One.

It was developed by Volition, which also created the Saints Row games, and it shows. Mayhem has the same over-the-top crazy, wrapped up in the neon-tinted cartoon version of futuristic Seoul that is the setting of the game.

You get to pick a squad of three agents from a roster of 12 antiheroes that run the gamut of wisecracking, ass-kicking troublemakers that rip up every stereotype you can think of. You play one agent at a time and can swap out who you've embodied with the tap of a button. You can change out your squad between missions, and you should take the time to find out the strengths of each.

In doing so, pay attention to the banter, because each of the agents has a back story that is revealed in the dialogue interactions between the characters.

There's role-playing elements here, too. You level up your agents and can apply upgrades to abilities and a wide range of weapons.

Never taking itself seriously, Agents of Mayhem relishes its humourous take on what it's like to be a superhero that tries to save the world and ends up destroying everything in the process.

For Honor, the game that brings such madness to the melee, is entering Season 3. Ubisoft, which developed and published the game, is calling it "Grudge and Glory".

Two new playable heroes are being introduced with this update, available today (August 15):

There are two new battlefield maps, and Grudge and Glory also introduces one-on-one-duel tournaments complete with season-long leader boards.

Ubisoft will be bringing 4-v-4 ranked matches with another update later this fall.

"Grudge and Glory" runs until October, with Season 4 of For Honor planned for November.

It's difficult to describe what Everything is all about. In the game, designed by David OReilly and distirbuted by DoubleFine, you start by taking on the guise of an animal. As you move around the landscapea diverse natural geography that includes things like forests and plainsyou'll see other creatures.

And after a while, you'll discover that you can become one of those other creatures. Or plants. Or even inanimate objects like pebbles. But you soon realize that there's nothing inanimate in Everything.

A while later, you gain the ability to slip into objects that are smaller, or larger, and you can go progressively smaller or larger as you desire, finding the universe in a grain of sand, for example, or going full cosmic.

Available on OS X, PS4, and Windows, Everything is procedurally generated, so each experience is going to be different. What doesn't change are the audio recordings of philosopher Alan Watts that are peppered throughout the environment and which are uncovered by simply exploring, creating sometimes uncanny juxtapositions.

The more time you spend with the ecosystem, the more it opens up to you. You can communicate with other things by "singing", you can form groups with other objects, you can "dance" to create new lifeforms.

And all the while you are unlocking entries in the game's encylopedia. You'll find yourself compelled to try and collect, well, everything.

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This week in video games, August 15, 2017: Agents of Mayhem brings cartoon chaos - Straight.com (blog)

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August 16th, 2017 at 5:50 am

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The democratic naturalism of Istanbul’s Maka Park – Daily Sabah

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Democracy evolves like an endemic species. It is sustained in social environments where it has the space and time to grow. As a political ideology, it is the ideal of individual freedom. When democracy is cultivated by the people, its manifestations are tangible. Ecological preservation sites such as urban parks and national forests are essentially extensions of democracy. When natural conservation zones balance the needs of people with the vitality of local plants and animals, they foster the universal and indiscriminate right to life and liberty.

Parks are an integral link in the chain that binds city-dwellers together. People are ultimately united by the local lands on which they depend for communal wellbeing and the national good. Most importantly for modern societies, industrial urbanization has raised questions about long-term sustainability for future generations. When a park is maintained in an overburdened urban sphere like Istanbul, it is not only significant as an example of ecological justice. It is also a flagship development of social progress.

Making the central, downtown districts of major cities like Istanbul more green is a way of meeting the popular need for material independence. The pressure to exploit the commercial real estate market is released in a park. Natural spaces also foster social democracy as they allow people to assemble beyond the condensed, profit-driven infrastructure of the city. Despite underlying values, the history of Maka Park prior to its rebranding as Democracy Park, is controversial.

In the 1970s, the park was neglected by city officials. It was overrun with gangs and the tragic tales of orphans who ran between them and the homeless who gathered there in increasing numbers. By the early 1990s, its streams had turned to sewage but the park had gained a secret reputation among the bold youth who called it "the Love Park" on account of it being out of range of law enforcement. The legacy of homelessness is sometimes still seen as the steep hills to the north flatten toward Taksim Square. When the park became a symbol of Turkish democracy in 1993, its restoration included the opening of sports facilities, playgrounds and an impressive cable car stretching across the preserved valley.

Maka Democracy Park is the "Central Park" of Istanbul. It is crowded with pedestrian commuters and day-trippers every day of the week. Along its many pathways, Istanbul locals converse over drinks and samovars of tea. They discuss the political globalization of populism while wearing the latest trends from the nearby fashion district of Nianta, only a short walk from the columned, northernmost entranceway into the park.

On many weekends throughout the year, sound speakers blast from the outdoor concert venue in adjacent Kkiftlik Park as Maka fills with the freewheeling ambiance of a music festival. And, more frequently, the danceable rhythms and strains of Middle Eastern music descend into the valley from the Arabesque Cafe situated in its northwestern highlands. Across the street from its southeastern entranceway, the proud fans of the Beikta Gymnastics Club (BJK) spill into Maka, waving flags, burning fires, rattling throats with the pure love of competitive sport.

In May of this year, the city announced the building of an ecological bridge connecting Maka Democracy Park to Gezi Park. It is still under construction, with signs visually depicting its completion standing beside piles of sand and orange tape. Despite passing its originally planned unveiling for June, the impetus to join parklands with a migratory, conservation corridor in an urbanized ecosystem is not unfounded. The efforts imply a conviction that democratic processes are not limited to politics, but that they are akin to the naturalist philosophies of free will and common reason.

Democracy is part of a natural evolution toward a more human ecological system, despite what current urban trends suggest. Environmental integrity is possible for cities that strive to live in an ecosystem of equity between man and nature. The late British philosopher Alan Watts spoke of the Chinese concept of nature as being democratic. In the traditional school of thought that is indigenous to China, as he expounded, nothing in nature is forced to behave the way it does. And this freedom is the cornerstone of a living democracy.

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The democratic naturalism of Istanbul's Maka Park - Daily Sabah

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August 16th, 2017 at 5:50 am

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Alan watts | Etsy

Posted: August 13, 2017 at 4:42 am


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August 13th, 2017 at 4:42 am

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Life of Alan Watts | AlanWatts.org

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The Middle Years (1939-1959)

In 1940, Alan published The Meaning of Happiness, a book based on his talks. Ironically, the book was issued on the eve of the second World War. After a brief time in New York, Alan moved to Chicago and enrolled at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, deepening his interest in mystical theology. Alan was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1944, but by the spring of 1950, Alans time as a priest had run its course, and he left the Church and Chicago for upstate New York. There he settled into a small farmhouse outside Millbrook and began writing The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety.

In early 1951 Alan relocated to San Francisco, where, at Dr. Frederic Spiegelbergs invitation, he began teaching Buddhism at the American Academy of Asian Studies (which later became the California Institute of Integral Studies). Drawing quite a crowd, his classes at the Academy soon blossomed into evening lectures open to the public and spilled over to local coffee houses frequented by Beat poets and writers.

Alans career took to the airwaves in 1953, when he accepted a Saturday evening slot on BerkeleysKPFA radio station. That year he began a broadcast series titled The Great Books of Asia followed in 1956 by Way Beyond the West which proved to be quite popular with Bay Area audiences. Re-broadcast on Sunday mornings, the show later aired on KPFK in Los Angeles as well, beginning the longest-running public radio series nearly 60 years at this writing.

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August 13th, 2017 at 4:42 am

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Sunni Coln Loses Himself In The Subtleties Of Love On Little Things – The FADER

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Airy Los Angeles singer Sunni Coln is touched by a love that goes beyond the surface in his new song, "Little Things." He coasts over the funky Kaytranada-produced track, crooning about his blossoming bond, and comparing the magnetic attraction between him and his muse to the power of the night sky's constellations. "It's the little things that matter, to me/ When you make me feel important/ When you make me feel like matter, pull me," he sings.

"When I first heard the chords on 'Little Things' I immediately grabbed my guitar and jammed out over it for about an hour,"Coln told The FADER over email. "A week later, l sat in my room with my electric guitar and began writing. The lyrics stem from mindfulness while living in this beautiful yet chaotic world. Around the time I wrote this song I dived pretty deep into Alan Watts and would only listen to him and play guitar."

He continued, "This quote by Alan Watts really stuck with me when I would get caught up into bullshit: 'I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.'

"Im having a conversation about love and appreciating the present moment, without fixating on the past or future. Its the little things in life that we as humans sometimes take for granted, and I decided to create a song that enables us to see through a conscious lens."

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Sunni Coln Loses Himself In The Subtleties Of Love On Little Things - The FADER

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August 13th, 2017 at 4:42 am

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Topsy-Turvy World Murcury Retrogrades in Virgo | The Free Weekly – The Free Weekly

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Advice

Mercury in Virgo turns (stationary) retrograde Saturday, August 12th, at 6pm (west coast time) and lasts three weeks (till September 5th). For five days, as September begins, Mercury retrograde back to Leo. Mercury retrogrades from 11 degrees Virgo back to 28 degrees Leo. Where are these degrees in everyones charts? That area of life is affected.

To understand how to use retrogrades, we use re words. Redo, review, re-visit, re-frame, re-think, re-examine, re-evaluate. Which we do with all ideas, thoughts, plans, studies and agendas created since Mercurys last retro, (April). We look back, re-assess, refine, while also resting and recuperating from a mind exhausted with too many facts.

Lets review our (non) actions during retrogrades. We dont create new plans or projects, purchase important items (cars, houses, appliances, clothes, gifts, etc.), contracts arent signed, agreements arent made, money isnt borrowed or loaned and we dont expect clear communication or many aware drivers. We know everythings overlooked, messages arent received, details are neglected, keys are misplaced, informations off-center, minds constantly change, thoughts turn inward, and questions arent answered. In other words, possible havoc everywhere with everyone.

During Mercury retro, we display Virgo tendencies, becoming internally analytical, mentally organized, discriminating, detailed and practical. However, none of this externalizes because our minds are inwardly reorganizing, evaluating and reflecting.

How do we respond? We consider Mercury retro an experiment everyone is participating in. Its a magical mystery time to observe with intelligence, knowledge and, above all, humor.

ARIES: Everything concerning daily life is re-evaluated. Review daily plans, surrounding environments and those around you on a daily basis. Assess in what way you want to shift, change and adapt to make life more orderly and pleasant. You realize you must think differently from now on how to bring forth more beauty and perfection. Careful communication is needed with coworkers. Also assess the state of your health, diet, exercise and how you awaken each day.

TAURUS; Interesting situations and communication may occur with lovers, children, and your own sense of creativity. Issues not yet resolved in relationships will reappear. Try to listen to the core message of all communications. Dont react or defend. These destroy. Instead, learn to listen carefully. The unresolved issues must be dealt with or there will be a dissolving and dissolution of important connections soon in the future. Assess everything with care.

GEMINI: Everything about home, family, early life, mother, real estate, things domestic, comes into focus and will need careful evaluation and assessments. Make no important decisions unless an emergency occurs. Remember everyone in the family is experiencing the present astrological transits. And everyone is experiencing them differently. Use your Gemini mind and heart to observe and discern the differences. You remember to be non-judgmental, non-critical and loving (your purpose).

CANCER: Cancer (sign of the crab) always circles a situation, entering the center from every direction. They do not walk a direct line to anything for they are always wary of prey. Thus, they have a very developed intuition. In the next three weeks that intuition will take on a different tone and focus. Care needs to be taken with communication, thinking, writing and driving. Something from the past reappears. Be aware of forgetfulness. In the meantime, you make home beautiful

LEO: Do not create any shifts or waves in your financial picture. No loans (given or applied for), for example. Take this time to review finances, create new budgets (to be applied after three weeks), assess the flow of money (whats coming in, whats going out), the hows and whys of these transactions and review if everything monetary is proceeding as planned. Include a review of precious metals, your values. And tithe.

VIRGO: Are you feeling somewhat distant and unable to communicate feelings? Are others saying youre difficult and distant? During this time, youre very internally focused, assessing all aspects of yourself who you are, why you are, what your values are, your everyday actions, who youre with and why. You review previous choices asking if they reflect your present values, wants, hopes and needs. Hold on. Things change within the month.

LIBRA: Thoughts, ideas, beliefs, decisions and issues not tended to for a long time appear in the present seeking attention and needing re-assessment. Much of your communication may not be heard or understood by others. Therefore, try to be very clear when communicating, speak slowly, listen well. Be non-judgmental, call forth compassion, retreat for a while. This retrograde for you is a time of deep quiet, prayer and understanding forgiveness.

SCORPIO: With friends and in groups all plans may be delayed, changed or not happen at all. Those close to you may seem distant (remember everyones internal during retrogrades), quiet or confused. Friends, places, ideas from the past make contact and you consider returning somewhere, to a place, a group or to friendships from long ago. Allow no heartache or anguish from the past to remain in your heart. Visualize, instead, warm tropical waters.

SAGITTARIUS: Notice if there is sensitivity (extra) around these subjects: money, partnerships, join resources/finances (something from the past?), speaking with superiors, thinking about career choices, communicating with co-workers, being misunderstood while in public, your life path, your future. It seems like every subject is sensitive. During Leo, we stand in the burning grounds, tested. Say over and over, Dont worry. Be happy. Know that youre perfect.

CAPRICORN: Rest a bit for the next four weeks, make no promises or important decisions, refrain from the following signing anything into permanence (it wont be), making travel plans, traveling long distances. Realize thinking, communications, interactions and especially (people) tending to your money (watch carefully) are internally focused so outer orderly realities wont make sense. It will be a crazy, mixed up, topsy-turvy time. Only you will know why. Dont be lonely. Or sad. Continue to do the Alan Watts meditation of laughing all the time.

AQUARIUS: You want to be practical with money and resources. After the retrograde travel would be good. For now, consider new goals concerning money and resources, reaffirm what is of value to you. Eliminate what is no longer useful or what you havent used, touched or looked at in the past several months. Use this retrograde time of Mercury in Virgo to research, order, organize and visualize new ways of living, building community and finding your like-minded companions. Consider all dreams as practical.

PISCES: Maintain clear a communication with partners, intimates and those close to you. All relationships may enter into a phase of mis-understanding, perhaps disappointments, criticisms, over-reactions, mixed messages and perhaps the need to call upon mediation for understanding to occur. Pisces also at this time must begin to assess the value of their own thoughts, decisions and needs and discriminate between the self and their beloveds. A difficult task, but necessary. A new home might be necessary.

Risa writer, teacher, mentor, counselor, astrologer, esotericist

Founder/director Esoteric & Astrological Studies & Research Institute

Email risagoodwill@gmail.com

Website http://www.nightlightnews.org/

FB Risa DAngeles & Risas Esoteric Astrology

Note all FB posts are also on NLN under Daily Studies.

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Topsy-Turvy World Murcury Retrogrades in Virgo | The Free Weekly - The Free Weekly

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August 13th, 2017 at 4:42 am

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TRACES OF SELF-EXILE – Landscape Architecture Magazine

Posted: August 7, 2017 at 11:41 am


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A new biography of James Rose explores his difficult brilliance.

Words! Can we ever untangle them? reads James Roses opening salvo in Pencil Points. Appearing in the definitive journal of modernist design thought, the landscape designers 1939 essay rejects preconceived ideas of formal or informal design and makes the case for an organic and materials-based approachan argument approaching revelation at a time when Beaux-Arts methodologies held sway.

Reading the text today, Roses words cut through the decades, carrying with them equal doses of wit, creativity, and frustration with the status quo. An uncompromising designer from his time in and out of Harvard (he was expelled in 1937, later returned but never graduated) to his death in 1991, Rose is the subject of the latest volume of the Masters of Modern Landscape Design series published in association with the Library of American Landscape History and the University of Georgia Press. Its the first biography dedicated to the landscape architect, who although a prolific writer throughout his career and author of four of his own books, has yet to receive the kind of canonical recognition bestowed on his Harvard classmates Garrett Eckbo and Dan Kiley.

As director of the James Rose Center for Landscape Architectural Research and Designa nonprofit located at Roses Ridgewood, New Jersey, homethe books author, Dean Cardasis, FASLA, is well-placed to untangle the competing forces of Roses career. Few of Roses works survive in their original form, and a spare eight are presented as illustrated case studiesa fraction of the more than 80 projects produced in his lifetime. Much of the book is devoted to advocating for Roses achievements while trying to account for the designers disillusionment with the culture of postwar landscape architecture and his eventual self-imposed exile to suburban New Jersey. Although these two threads are not in opposition, they do place a strain on the narrative, suggesting a portrait of a man whose increasing radicalism over the course of decadesfrom modernism to ad hoc material sensibilities to environmentalismcontributed to his own isolation. He was a rebels rebel from the start, an incisive critic destined to follow his own path, Cardasis says.

Early in the prologue for the book, Cardasis describes his first encounter with a 76-year-old Rose (just a couple years before his death). The passage is clearly loving, but also disconcerting. A disheveled and mismatched Rose steps out of a rusty, egg-yolk-colored 1970s VW van, and Cardasis writes: An incredibly long, almost wizard-like straw hat grazed his shoulders and shaded his face. As he looked up I could see he was wearing glasses, but one frame was empty, and the remaining one held a tinted sunglass lens. In that instant I had my first silent lesson from the iconoclastic modern landscape architect James Rose: Have no preconceptions.

A view nearly without boundaries from inside to out at Roses house in Ridgewood, New Jersey. From Progressive Architecture (1954).

Its from this point that a revolutionary must be nudged into the historical fold. The task isnt easy, though it is most successful early in Roses biography. Cardasis, unpacking Roses interest in modernism, finds parallels in the spare poetry of William Carlos Williams and the easy spatial flow of Rudolph Schindlers Kings Road house, which serves as a precedent for Roses home in Ridgewood. In both projects, the use of outdoor rooms and landscape features illustrates Roses maxim that landscape design falls somewhere between architecture and sculpture.

Indeed, Roses own writings referenced modern artists such as Pablo Picasso and the Russian constructivist Naum Gabo. Rose even wrote that a Georges Braque still life and Kurt Schwitterss Rubbish Construction are interesting suggestions for gardens. The book describes that fascination with collage and assemblage, tracking it through Roses work, where it appears initially in the model Rose made of his future home while in the navy, the materials scavenged from around his military station, or in the scrap metal fountains he improvised in the 1960s and 1970s. The author continues this line of argument to suggest Roses use of recycled railroad ties and asphaltused for the steps and terraces of the Averett Garden and House in Columbus, Georgia (1959)as an example of Roses affinity for found objects.

But later, as modernism gave way to countercultural influences, it is harder to pin Rose down. Cardasis chronicles the designers withdrawal from mainstream landscape architecture and, more generally, American culture, citing a growing aversion to the impact of postwar suburban development on the existing landscape as the cause. He quotes from Roses 1958 book Creative Gardens as evidence: The recipe is simple: first, spoil the land by slicing it in particles that will bring the most dollars, add any house that has sufficient selling gimmicks to each slice, and garnish with landscaping.

Perhaps as a respite, Rose began traveling regularly to Japan and eventually began practicing Zen Buddhism. He went to Japan in 1960, and that started a love affair with the country that went on for his whole life, Cardasis told me by phone. Rose found inspiration in the Eastern tradition, especially in the attitudes to the natural world.

Rose and a carpenter confer during roof garden construction in 1970. Courtesy James Rose Center.

Given Roses then-radical understanding of landscape architecture as an integration of spatial and natural conditions, the banal blanketing of suburban conventions across the United States would surely account for his retreat; however, Rose was not alone in his critique. Other writers, designers, and artists of the period shared his early environmentalist stirrings, so it is strange to find few references, especially given the wealth of parallels drawn in support of Roses embrace of modernism. The book makes brief and tantalizing allusion to significant countercultural figures: Timothy Leary (Rose apparently dropped LSD with him but wondered what the fuss was all about) and Alan Watts (Rose studied with him but then renounced Wattss teachings). It would seem that his cantankerous personality instigated isolation as much as his ideology.

The biography doesnt hide that Rose was gay, though the narrative doesnt put emphasis on the designers sexuality as an overt source of his outsiderness. As you know, Rose lived in a time when being gay was extremely difficult, and I can only imagine how that influenced his life and work, Cardasis said in an e-mail. Because of this and in deference to his expressed wishes not to belabor the fact, I did not explore the issue further than a simple reference to his sexuality in the book. More (or less), I thought, would be inappropriate. The result of this tact, however, is that the biography seems a bit closetedthe queerness in Roses methods left for others to explore at a later time.

Despite his iconoclasm, there were moments that suggest possible connections between Rose and other practitioners. For the 1960 issue of Progressive Architecture, the editors asked Rose, Lawrence Halprin, and Karl Linnthe environmentalist, activist, and pioneer of urban gardeningto review each others work. Roses Macht Garden and House in Baltimore from 1956 was subject to strong critique by the others for its expressiveness, particularly what was termed the incessant angled terraces. While Cardasis characterizes the grouping of designers as something the magazine cooked up, as if it were a bit of a stunt, there was clearly editorial intent here to make alignments between three landscape architects operating outside the conventional mien, with anticipatory ties to social and ecological movements. As Roses work reenters the canon, more research is needed to better situate it historically.

Eleanore Pettersen, the architect for the Paley house, brought Rose on to design the garden. The site was a rocky, sloping woodland. Drawn by R. Hruby (1994); Courtesy James Rose Center.

Did Rose deliberately push away his contemporaries and potential allies? Its likely. He was never shy about getting into arguments with clients, but he also had his defenders. In the 1970s and 1980s, he collaborated with the architect Eleanore Pettersen on some 30 projects. In addition to sharing his design sensibilities in terms of fluid relationships between inside and outside, she often acted as Roses advocate, especially when he put off clients and building officials. There seems to be more to explore here between the iconoclastic designer and his champion. Pettersen apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright and was the first woman architect to start her own practice in New Jersey in the early 1950s. One cant help but wonder why someone who probably had to fight against social norms throughout her career would willingly stand up for the volatile Rose. The answer in the biography points again to Roses possessing an irascible genius, the nature of which compelled others to be forbearing. This was a period of his practice when he would meditate in the morning and then go build improvisationally on site without drawings. Pettersen, interviewed in 1992, is quoted in the biography simply telling clients: It will be worth it.

Justification for that value is elusive and impressionistic. Because of that lack of documentation, the James Rose foundation has a limited record of projects to refer to for backup. Although he published regularly early in his career, writing essays and three books from the 1930s through the 1960s, Roses pace slowed afterward, and he published his last book, The Heavenly Environment: A Landscape Drama in Three Acts with a Backstage Interlude, in 1987. Ultimately, it is Roses own home, now the James Rose Center for Landscape Architectural Research and Design, that serves as an interpretative text for understanding the work: handmade, iterative, and as quixotic as its author, with courtyards, roof gardens, and a Zendo, each in various states of repair.

The biography puts forth a belief that understanding Roses later oeuvre comes mostly through understanding his singular methodology. Words are left behind to untangle. You can feel it when you go to the site, Cardasis says. As you move through, the garden seems as if it could go on forever. There was no plan as an approach; he just moved through, adjusting things to make people aware of their connectedness to things larger than themselves.

Mimi Zeiger is a critic and curator based in Los Angeles.

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TRACES OF SELF-EXILE - Landscape Architecture Magazine

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August 7th, 2017 at 11:41 am

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I’m Baiju Bhatt, Robinhood CEO, and This Is How I Work – Lifehacker

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Together with Vlad Tenev, second-generation American Baiju Bhatt founded the stock brokerage service Robinhood, which lets users trade public stocks from their mobile devices without paying a commission or maintaining a minimum balance. Their app has over 2 million users. Baiju started Robinhood, his third company with Vlad, when he was just 27. Heres how he works.

Location: Palo Alto, CACurrent gig: Robinhood Co-Founder and Co-CEOOne word that best describes how you work: Scientifically.Current mobile device: iPhone 6SCurrent computer: A 2013 MacBook Pro that is covered in stickers

Im an only child and the son of two immigrants; my parents moved to the United States when my father was accepted to a PhD program in theoretical physics at University of Huntsville Alabama. I grew up in a small townPoquoson, VAand went to school at Stanford, following in my dads footsteps to study physics. In college, I met Vlad Tenev, who at the time was a long-haired, string-bean kid with a quirky sense of humor and a penchant for late-night games of chess. The two of us would become the best of friends and go on to co-create two companies in New York together before starting Robinhood in California.

My ballpoint pen and my Moleskine notebook.

Its pretty simple: an external monitor and my laptop.

I run outside almost every day of the week. Ill usually step out during lunch for an hour-long jog around the neighborhoods of Palo Alto and through Stanford campus. It helps me clear my head and put all the things Ive been thinking about back together in creative ways. Also, by the time I get back, Im energetic and generally feeling awesome.

I use the Notes Mac app. Its simple and gets the job done!

I have always had strong willpower. Over the years, Ive overcome challenges when Ive set my mind to them, which has proven especially relevant as Ive created Robinhood and grown as a leader.

A personal but very important example comes from my childhood. As a kid, I had always struggled with being overweight. When I was a sophomore in high school, I decided I wanted to change that once and for all. That spring, I started exercising every single day, and by the time I started junior year, I had lost nearly 70 pounds. I looked and felt like a completely different person.

Lately Ive really liked the new Arcade Fire tracks, Everything Now and Creature Comfort. Im usually listening to music while I work, though mostly instrumental stuff since its difficult for me to hear lyrics and write or read at the same time. A few albums on heavy rotation are Moon Safari by Air & Selected Ambient Works 85-92 by Aphex Twin. Oh, and for a fun fact: In college I played guitar in a jazz/funk band and I DJed under the moniker Thelonious Moustache.

Last week I read a graphic novel called Head Lopper which just has awesome artwork. Last month I took a trip to Japan and read The Way of Zen by Alan Watts. That was fantastic too.

I spend so much of my time either using technology or thinking about building technology, so I like to spend my free time on old-fashioned, analog activities. Two of my favorite ways to recharge include going for long walks in the forests behind Stanford and playing cards with my friends.

Im usually out of bed by 7AM. I like beating the Bay Area traffic by getting into the office early, plus I get at least an hour most mornings to work on personal projects before Im pulled into meetings.

Alexander Hamilton

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you havent found it yet, keep looking. Dont settle. As with all matters of the heart, youll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Dont settle. Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech 2005

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

The How I Work series asks heroes, experts, and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email Nick.

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I'm Baiju Bhatt, Robinhood CEO, and This Is How I Work - Lifehacker

Written by grays

August 7th, 2017 at 11:41 am

Posted in Alan Watts

Rheo review: This video-streaming/sharing app surfaces videos based on your mood – TechHive

Posted: August 1, 2017 at 9:43 pm


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YouTube is monstrously huge, comparable in popularity to Google and Facebook. Often referred to as the Wild West for video content, Id say its more like an uncharted galaxy, expanding ever-outward as new material comes in. The developers behind Rheo, led by Apple and Facebook veteran Alan Cannistraro, offer a different take on video discovery.

Where YouTube can overwhelm you with choices, making it difficult to decide whats worth watching, Rheo presents videos that fit the mood youre in. It began in 2016 on AppleTV and is now available as an iOS and web app.

Once youve created an account and logged in, Rheo loads up its main video feed, which is called Rheo One. You can passively watch this feed, or you can choose a different one based on the mood youre in. Rheo counts seven moods: Laugh, Inform, Learn, Taste, Chill, Move, and Spark. Videos load automatically, and users can watch or skip each one. If you especially like a video, you can click boost (a heart icon), and push it up higher in the rotation for others to see. Boosted videos are also bookmarked, so you can easily find and watch them again. You can also share videos to Facebook or Twitter, or text videos to friends.

Use the icons at the top of the app to find videos that match your current mood.

You can also use your smartphones camera and microphone to record video responses and comments. Again, users collect their recorded responses into a reel that can be shared. You can search through other users and follow them, and they have the option to follow you back.

The first of the mood channels, Laugh (indicated by a laughing face icon), is, of course, comedy, and seems to lean toward current clips from late-night talk shows. Digging deeper, however, brings up various other shorts. After much skipping, I found some animated shorts and skits, including an Amy Schumer short from Comedy Central called Time Travel. The second channel, Inform (a radio tower), consists mainly of footage from news broadcasts (Reuters is a main source).

Third, we get Learn (a microscope), which is like it sounds: a channel full of short documentaries. Subjects explored upon first glance included gun control, cults, heaven and hell, ghosts, brain freeze, robots, Mexican drug cartels, and more. One helpful video shows how to spot a liar. A nice discovery was the profound little What If Money Didnt Matter? narrated by the late Alan Watts, sure to make viewers ruminate on their lives. (I gave it a boost.)

The fourth channel, Taste (a martini glass), popped up with a Vogue interview with Olivia Munn (73 Questions), which crashed, and moved on to a behind-the-scenes of a photo shoot at Vanity Fair. It sounded like this was going to be more of a food and drink channel, but it started heavy on fashion/lifestyle stuff. After skipping ahead a while, I did find the first foodie-friendly shorts, one about mooncake and another focused on the 90-something queen of Creole cooking. That one included some drool-inducing shots of gumbo and jambalaya.

Spark (a lightbulb), the fifth option, fit best with my personal tastes: short films. There was a preview for a beautiful-looking upcoming animated film; a touching 12-minute comedy-drama called Alls Fair, starring Thomas Middleditch; the weird, semi-controversialbut hilariousshort Baby Trashes Bar in Las Palmas; the pilot episode of Jenny Slates unsettling web series Catherine; and a short documentary on homosexuality in Mexico. As I was skipping through, one short film crashed and didnt work, but the majority did. This is the channel on which I felt like I could have spent the most time.

The 12-minute comedy-drama, Alls Fair, starring Thomas Middleditch, was one of my favorite finds on Rheo.

The sixth and seventh channels proved less interesting to me, but will certainly be interesting to others. Move (a winged shoe) offers what looks to be mostly skateboarding, surfing, skiing, and biking videos. And Chill (a record) offers a series of music videos, mostly low-key, electronic pop, and not much of it particularly chill to my ears. After much skipping, I finally found a beautiful little animated short called Light that seemed to be more meditative.

The video interface is smooth and intuitive, allowing the option to fullscreen or pause, though scrubbing back and forth is a little tricky; doing so tends to skip to the next video. Once a video gets hung up, there seems to be no way to get it to play again.

Like any social service, Rheo benefits from repeated and regular use. The service learns your tastes and will presents videos it thinks youll like in a personal feed. Theres also a setting that blocks or allows mature content (defaulting to the on position). And, of course, users can grow lists of friends and fellow users and watch each others comments. I declined to record my own video comments, but the ones I saw seemed to be troll-free, and for the most part contained kind remarks.

Youll want to use the Rheo smartphone/tablet app to get the full experience. The web app doesnt have nearly as many of the social features.

I noticed content from a handful of video services (specifically not YouTube), including Vimeo, Thrasher magazine, Vogue magazine, Vanity Fair magazine, and Reuters, and I assume that more providers will be coming. I wonder if there will be any main channels, other than Rheo One, to choose from in the future. (The app gives users the option to unfollow Rheo One, but nothing else to choose in its place.) It seems that the service could further diversify its content with more of these. (Imagine a main Rheo channel aimed at women, or kids, or... the possibilities are endless.)

Finally, the web version of Rheo is notably different from the app, and doesnt offer any of the social services. Viewers can watch, boost, and share videos, but they cant access their previously boosted videos, nor can they access any other users, or record comments.

My first time through Rheo, I found myself skipping more than watching, but I did find some worthwhile videos, and several that at least held my attention. And now that Ive tried all the subchannels, I know which ones will be my regular destinations (Laugh and Spark), and perhaps if the app learns that I want food and drink videos rather than fashion, Taste will become a favorite as well. If Rheo catches on, with more users, more boosted videos, and more sources, it could become a finely tuned video-watching machine.

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Rheo review: This video-streaming/sharing app surfaces videos based on your mood - TechHive

Written by admin

August 1st, 2017 at 9:43 pm

Posted in Alan Watts

Blissed-Out, Hemp-Wearing Sean Spicer Assures Reince Priebus This The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Him – The Onion (satire)

Posted: at 9:43 pm


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DELRAY BEACH, FLInviting the recently fired White House chief of staff to take a load off and embrace his newfound freedom, a blissed-out, hemp-wearing former press secretary Sean Spicer reportedly assured Reince Priebus on Monday that leaving the White House was the best thing that ever happened to him. Seriously, man, that place was toxicafter I got out of there, it was like this huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders, said the serene, baja-hoodie-clad former spokesman, offering Priebus some of his homemade kombucha and his copy of Alan Watts Become What You Are while assuring him that leaving the Trump administration would allow him to find a sense of tranquility and spiritual reconnection. I take long walks now. I read. I meditate. Remember how flustered I used to get? The other day, someone totally screwed up my lunch order, but I didnt even let it get to me. Trust me, youre going to look back on this as the day you rediscovered yourself. Welcome back, brother. At press time, Priebus was attending a silent meditation retreat in Bali, waiting for the echoes of Donald Trump shrieking at him to finally subside.

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Blissed-Out, Hemp-Wearing Sean Spicer Assures Reince Priebus This The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Him - The Onion (satire)

Written by simmons

August 1st, 2017 at 9:43 pm

Posted in Alan Watts


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