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Archive for the ‘Conscious Evolution’ Category

The Magic In Your Mind – Self Mastery

Posted: January 11, 2021 at 3:59 am


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January 11th, 2021 at 3:59 am

Learn deep esoteric and profound ideas relevant to your daily life and work with new book – GlobeNewswire

Posted: December 14, 2020 at 1:54 am


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December 10, 2020 01:20 ET | Source: Balboa Press

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NEW YORK, Dec. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rich Mollura explores how the relentless force of kundalini energy has helped him cope with grief, navigate life and contemplate the mysteries of the world in his new book, Autobiography of a New York City Salesman: My Parallel Life of Transformation through Conscious Evolution and Kundalini Energy (published by Balboa Press AU).

Featuring a theme of individual and collective conscious evolution, the book offers its reader an opportunity to appreciate the supreme intelligence of creation, life and spiritual evolution by delving into personal and universal experiences. Mollura documents and gives examples of his personal experience with kundalini energy to make each insight clear and applicable to other peoples personal evolutions.

Combining wisdom from Lao Tsu, to Buddha, to Jesus and connecting them to modern spiritual beings like Wayne Dyer and Eckhart Tolle, Mollura also explains how they are relevant to daily work, families, and the challenges everyone faces. The author addresses specifically how he and his family worked through diseases in his son to the grieving of the loss of parents while connecting to powerful ideas and ancient wisdom.

Hoping to inspire and encourage ones own journey of inner revolution and evolution, Mollura wants each of his readers to come away from reading his book with A transformed vision of their own evolution which they find exciting and fun.

Autobiography of a New York City Salesman is available for purchase on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Autobiography-York-City-Salesman-Transformation/dp/1982231742.

Autobiography of a New York City Salesman

By Rich Mollura

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 194 pages | ISBN 9781982231767

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 194 pages | ISBN 9781982231743

E-Book | 194 pages | ISBN 9781982231750

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Born in 1961, Rich Mollura lives on Long Island and has worked as a salesman for a Fortune 500 company in New York City for just under 40 years. He has a wife and two children. Mollura graduated out of Fordham University and has numerous sales accolades that helped him become one of the most successful and effective sales people for a company that will be 100 next year.

Balboa Press, a division of Hay House, Inc. a leading provider in publishing products that specialize in self-help and the mind, body, and spirit genres. Through an alliance with the worldwide self-publishing leader Author Solutions, LLC, authors benefit from the leadership of Hay House Publishing and the speed-to-market advantages of the self-publishing model. For more information, visit balboapress.com. To start publishing your book with Balboa Press, call 844-682-1282 today.

Bloomington, Indiana, UNITED STATES

https://www.balboapress.com

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Learn deep esoteric and profound ideas relevant to your daily life and work with new book - GlobeNewswire

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December 14th, 2020 at 1:54 am

This Everett artist makes a statement in multiple mediums – The Daily Herald

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Luisana Hernandez engages in what she describes as conscious flow to create visual, literary and musical art.

Who: I am art in motion, not easily defined, surviving, mostly thriving, in the face of radical change and adversity. I learned to sing before I could speak. I learned to walk before I could crawl. My approach to artistic expression is much like my approach to life: mostly unconventional and sometimes backward.

My name is Luisana Lu Hernandez and I am 37 years old. I am a self-taught visual, literary and musical artist, as well as a community activist, living in Everett. I have been an artist in some capacity for as long as I can remember, and a dedicated activist for the last year. I work for Snohomish Countys Communities of Color Coalition and am a member of the Creative District Formation Group for the city of Everett.

What: I see each creative medium as a therapeutic and transformative tool that allows me to process the deeper nature of my experiences. In that sense, regardless of the medium, my subject matter is often personal. I regularly engage in conscious flow as an active meditation, so my visual art often appears cellular in nature. When it comes to artistic expression, I prefer the beauty of organic evolution to a highly structured, predetermined endstate.

Mixed media is one of my favorite outlets as a visual artist. It has the least amount of constraints, and satiates my need for adding textures and dimensions. I favor earth tones, but do not limit myself to specific color palettes when creating.

I also write poetry, prose, fiction, non-fiction and creative non-fiction. As for my music, I am an acoustic singer-songwriter with folk roots that favors simple melodies with heavy-handed lyrics. I have become more political with my musical sentiments as of late, and hope that others hear within them a call for social justice and political reform.

Where: I have a small studio in my garage where I work. I have played shows and displayed art in Everett, Snohomish, Seattle and Bellingham. You can see some of my work on Instagram and Facebook, though I am still learning to utilize and navigate those platforms effectively. Simultaneously, I am in the process of building a website that should launch early next year.

COVID-19 tanked the entertainment industry and turned that economic sector into a temporary dead zone. A lot of venues have either gone under or are on the brink of the fall. Most of the artist communities I engage with have shifted gears toward a heavy online presence with limited opportunities for private showings. Private sales and patrons have been my means to keep creating art during these times.

When: Now more than ever, we must support and uplift the BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and disabled artists in our communities. This year, many of the marginalized surrendered the tools of their trade for protest signs and rallies, in support of the massive push for social and political justice and equity. It is an important time to be an artist. We are the heralds of these movements, communicating the truth of what we see, unapologetically. Our voices are necessary, and we must remember as a community that our silence regarding the atrocities and traumas experienced by BIPOC communities is itself, an act of cultural erasure. Our creatives are drivers of social change, and we are desperately needed at the forefront.

Why: We are born creating and will die creating; this is the way. Life is a temporary, albeit eternal cycle. The gift is the lived experience. So often we create to capture and encapsulate, yet we can hold onto nothing, as everything is in a state of constant change. The end of one creation will birth the beginning of another, and even our death will create an absence felt by many. In that sense, I see no beginning or end.

The creative process allows me to accept transformation and the nature of truth, however unpalatable I find it. It allows me to build upon and appreciate my experiences, while not feeling defined or limited by them. It provides me the tools I need to pick up the pieces of what I perceive within and outside of myself as broken or torn and begin the mend by breathing life into something new. Whether I begin with remnants and rubble or nothing at all, what I create reflects this.

How: I make a lot of alcohol ink from dried up and discarded markers, and often use it to prime my larger pieces. Oversized coffee filters have become a staple for me and catch the excess ink. Once they dry crisp and saturated with color, I use them in other pieces. Most of the visual art I create has upcycled and recycled components, which helps with the cost of creating. You can often find me deconstructing unwanted costume jewelry for its shiny bobbles. Whether I am writing, painting or gluing, I love working in layers that add texture and depth. I do not direct the art that I create, so much as I surrender my hands to its inherent nature. Simply put, I function as a conduit.

Favorite piece: Unlike conscious flow, crafting a song can be grueling. Sometimes the amount of emotional labor required to produce something meaningful is exhausting. Perhaps that is why I am particularly attached to words. Here is an excerpt from a song I wrote called I Will Never Run For Office:

An eye for an eye would leave us all blind / Theres a cost for every favor / It costs to be born and death it costs / More than the grief that it brings /Were all fightin for a piece of a pie / That is stuffed with our guts and our busted-up wings / Some will kneel on the neck of another / Taking their time left to savor / The privilege and power of color / That deals in the lives of the people we wager

Sara Bruestle, Herald writer

Artist extras

Coming up: Lu Hernandez will sing and play guitar live on Facebook to celebrate her 38th birthday at 7 p.m. Jan. 29. Go to http://www.facebook.com/swimmingthefeels to watch the show. Donate to Hernandez via her PayPal tip jar.

More mixed-media art: See more of Hernandezs work on Instagram @swimmingthefeels.

An artist on exhibit

This story is part of an occasional series in which local artists share the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How on their creative careers plus the story behind their favorite original artwork. Do you know an artist worthy of a feature in the Panorama section? Email features@heraldnet.com.

Luisana Lu Hernandez works on a large canvas piece titled Madre Mia in her Everett studio. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Lu Hernandez makes her own alcohol ink from discarded marking pens for works such as this untitled mixed-media piece on canvas. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Lu Hernandez works in her studio, in the garage of her Everett home. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Lu Hernandez created these four small mixed-media pieces with acrylic and alcohol ink. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

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This Everett artist makes a statement in multiple mediums - The Daily Herald

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December 14th, 2020 at 1:53 am

6 Eco-Friendly Activewear Brands You Should Be Adding to Cart – Well+Good

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Reusable water bottle? Check. Metal straw? Check. Bamboo utensils for on-the-go snacking? Got em! Our bags are filled with eco-friendly goods, but what about the arm thats carrying them? Often our workout clothes are made out of nylon and polyester, which require a ton of energy to create and are not sustainable. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe,the fashion industry is responsible for about 10 percent of global carbon emissions and nearly 20 percent of wastewater. The clothes we choose to wear should be the next step in our eco-evolution, and activewear is just the place to start.

With so many environmentally-conscious sportswear companies popping up on the market, these eco-friendly activewear brands make it easy, affordable, and cool to shop sustainably without compromising style. The best part? They are sure to stand up to your sweatiest workouts! Peep the 6 looks below from our fave eco-friendly activewear brands.

Wolven activewear is made from recycled plastic bottles and carbon-neutral fabrics. They also partner with NativeEnergy to offset their operations carbon footprint. If youre as pro-pattern as I am, the Fractal Leggings ($76) are the answer to your prayers. Soft enough to pair with a sweater for a cozy WFH fit but durable enough to withstand a HIIT Zoom workout, they are a versatile choice so you look cool no matter what youre up to.

My favorite bra brand just launched their new Eco-Active line, including leggings, sports bras, and bike shorts all made from 75 percent recycled polyester. The Active Racerback Bra ($35) holds everything in place and is officially a staple in my permanent workout-wear collection.

With tops, shorts, and leggings all made from recycled polyester and nylon, Yoga Democracy uses a low-energy, zero-water process, non-toxic dyes, and donates 10 percent of sales to a variety of environmental causes. The sweat-wicking, totally tubular-looking, sun-protecting Groovy Girl Printed Bell Bottoms ($90) speak for themselves, dont they?

Not only does Girlfriend Collective use recycled materials and organic cotton for their styles, they also use recycled, reusable packaging for their shipping. The Classic Joggers ($78) are officially the uniform of Cozytown, and I refuse to change out of them. Available in five pastel shades, the high-waisted pants are perfect for a quick sweat sesh or with a classic leather jacket out to brunch.

Nubia Natalie is passionate about producing quality activewear with a social impact. They work with traditional ethnic minority tribes in Mexico to support artisans work while also using recycled and eco-friendly fabrics. The Lupita Sports Bra ($58) is super supportive, and a portion of every sale is donated to the Huichol Center.

SummerSalts products are the perfect combo of data-backed sizing, durability, and sustainability. After taking over 1.5 million measurements from all body types around the country, they created looks that fit every body and are meant to last. They also use recycled materials in production and in packaging. The Beyond the Lounge Chair Windbreaker ($95) is colorful, breathable, and great for rain or shine. I cant say no to anything in a color block and it even has a hidden hood for emergencies.

Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cult-fave wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content.Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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6 Eco-Friendly Activewear Brands You Should Be Adding to Cart - Well+Good

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December 14th, 2020 at 1:53 am

India’s rise will evoke its own reactions and responses: S Jaishankar – Mint

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On the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attack on Parliament, the external affairs minister, in a veiled reference to Pakistan, said India continues to face "perennial problems" like cross-border terrorism and the national security challenges would be different in times to come.

Delivering the second Manohar Parrikar memorial lecture, Jaishankar said as India expands its global interests and reach, there is an even more compelling case to focus on its hard power.

"The national security challenges faced by this rising India are obviously also going to be different. At one level, some of the more perennial problems associated with our national consolidation and development will continue," Jaishankar said.

"In particular, a long-standing political rivalry is today expressed as sustained cross-border terrorism by a neighbour," he said.

The external affairs minister made a mention of the anniversary of the Parliament attack, adding that "in some other cases, activities of insurgent groups need to be continuously monitored and neutralized."

"But the world is a competitive place and India's rise will evoke its own reactions and responses. There will be attempts to dilute our influence and limit our interests. Some of this contestation can be directly in the security domain; others could be reflected in economics, connectivity and even in societal contacts," he said.

He also emphasised on having greater integration and convergence between the foreign and military policies.

The external affairs minister, mentioning the broad spectrum of security challenges facing India, said it cannot disregard attempts to undermine the national integrity and unity.

"There are really very few major states that still have unsettled borders to the extent that we do. Of equal relevance is the very very unique challenge that we face of years of intense terrorism inflicted on us by a neighbour. We also cannot disregard attempts to undermine our national integrity and unity," he said.

"And over and above these exceptional factors, there are the daily security challenges of long borders and large sea spaces. The thinking and planning of a polity that operates in such an uncertain environment naturally should give primacy to hard security," he said.

Talking about India's growing global stature, Jaishankar said the country's "relationship with the world" cannot be the same as when its ranking was much lower.

"Our stakes in the world have certainly become higher and correspondingly so have the expectations of us. Simply put India matters more and our world view must process that in all its aspects," he said.

He added: "On the big global issues of our times, whether we speak of climate change or trade flows or health concerns or data security, India's positioning has more influence on the eventual outcome."

Jaishankar further said the era of "unconstrained military conflicts" may be behind us but the reality of limited wars and coercive diplomacy is still very much a fact of life.

"Visualizing and responding to a new range of national security complexities require the willingness to continuously review policy and audit performance," he said.

Jaishankar also elaborated on "conceptual changes" witnessed in Indian foreign policy since 2014 and said much of that was influenced by the growing understanding of the different world.

In terms of 'Neighbourhood First', he said the new approach envisaged a generous and non-reciprocal engagement of neighbours that was centred around connectivity, contacts and cooperation.

"The enhanced importance of India to the daily life of its neighbourhood will clearly build stronger regionalism. But it was also one that is clearly predicated on mutual sensitivity and mutual respect for each other's interests," he added.

In the maritime domain, Jaishankar mentioned the SAGAR doctrine which he said took an integrated view of the maritime space in India's proximity and beyond.

"To India's West, there was a conscious initiative to appreciate and engage the Gulf in its full strategic manifestation. This took the relationship beyond the more limited understanding of the region's energy and diaspora relevance to India," he said.

The external affairs minister also talked about evolving geopolitical developments around the world including the salience of China, repositioning of the US, Brexit, intra-European Union politics, the Abraham accords signed by Israel, the challenges faced by Africa and the evolution of the Indo-Pacific.

"We have actually seen sharp shifts in the basic stance and behaviour of nations and their interplay with each other. Some of these have unfolded more visibly in the last year, but its contours were evident even before.

"The salience of China and repositioning of the US are perhaps two sharpest examples. But there are many others of great consequences, whether we speak of Brexit or intra EU politics, the Abraham accords and the dynamics of the Gulf, the challenges faced by Africa, the ideological debates we have seen in Latin America, or the evolution of the Indo-Pacific, each of these are in their own way reflection of larger rebalancing and emergence of multipolarity," he said.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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India's rise will evoke its own reactions and responses: S Jaishankar - Mint

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December 14th, 2020 at 1:53 am

Trendspotting in beverage flavors: citrus, fermentation and indulgence – BeverageDaily.com

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Broad consumer trends for 2021 - such as an increased focus on health and wellness due to the pandemic; and increased desire for indulgence - help feed the future flavor trends we can expect to see in the coming year. Here are six top trends to look out for.

Citrus has been a classic flavor for years, and its popularity shows no signs of abating. What we will see, however, in 2021 is an evolution of citrus to more exotic and adventurous forms.

"Sometimes described as the veteran flavours in beverages, citrus flavours continue to be firm consumer favourites with manufacturers and brands elevating their status through provenance, types and nuances," says Vicky Berry, business development manager, Synergy Flavours. "We are seeing a wave of next generation citrus profiles with blood orange, mandarin, pink grapefruit, yuzu and clementine all becoming more prevalent. We anticipate further layering of citrus flavours with the next generation citrus profiles being combined with core citrus fruit i.e. mandarin and grapefruit, pink grapefruit and lemon, yuzu and orange."

Yuzu, in particular, is increasingly featured in new product launches: while other flavors rising in prominance include pomelo and calamansi. But more familiar citrus flavors like pink grapefruit and blood orange are also growing.

"Blood orange has gained significant traction over the last few years,"notes Holly McHugh, marketing associate of US beverage development company Imbibe."Its used as on its own or in combination with familiar true-to-fruit flavors in products like sparkling water, tea, juice and CSDs. AndGoogle searches for yuzu, passionfruit, tamarind and fig grew 22% from January to October."

With adventures to exotic destinations all but eliminated in 2020, consumers want to travel the world with their taste buds.

"Globally inspired flavors make products seem more exotic and exciting," notes Holly McHugh of Imbibe."The trend of using globally inspired flavors from regions like east and southeast Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean will accelerate because consumers will be more inclined to explore other cultures through food and beverage while they grapple with stay-at-home advisories and travel bans."

"In particular, we expect to see more inspiration from Mediterranean countries. Theres already been increased use of blood orange, and we expect flavors like orange blossom, bergamot and fig to gain traction as well in premium products."

A top tip for launching exotic new flavors is to introduce them to consumers alongside something more familiar.

"Consumers are seeking out more adventurous sensory experiences, sobrands are introducing exotic and unfamiliar fruits to consumers palates by combining them with familiar true-to-fruit flavors."

It's no surprise to hear that health and wellness is at the top of consumers' concerns. But increased awareness of wellbeing during the pandemic has a knock-on effect for flavors.

Citrus again plays into this trend - think vitamin C rich orange juice - as do combinations such as honey and lemon.

Comax Flavors' new immunity boost range focuses on flavors associated with immunity such as apple carrot ginger; blueberry elderberry; and manuka honey.

But health and wellness is a broad concept that goes beyond immunity. A desire to reduce sugar intake - a key trend for years - continues to shape flavor as well.

"In the UK, product launches with no, low, or reduced sugar claims accounted for 38.5% of new product developments in 2019," says Vicky Berry of Synergy, quoting Mintel figures. "In response to this increasing demand, brands are using on-trend ingredients to enhance flavor, such as fruits with a natural health halo, like citrus and berry and honey for natural sweetness."

The ongoing sugar reduction trend is also playing into a general move away from sickly-sweet drinks and towards savory flavor profiles.

"The juice and smoothie market has shown how less sweet flavours (i.e. vegetables) can distance products from the negativity associated with sugar," notes Vicky Berry of Synergy.

"Combining a savoury profile with a more accepted fruit is another way to help consumers accept savoury as a profile within beverages. We see this in products like juice shots, which deliver quick doses of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Many offer more savoury combinations and contain superfoods like turmeric and ginger, which are increasing in popularity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as people seek to boost their wellbeing."

Fermented flavors are another trend to watch: with products such as kombucha and kefir continuing to make waves in the mainstream.

"Fermentation is an interesting flavor trend, and were seeing vinegar and fermented beverages become a top medium in new product launches," saysChristina Matrozou, Marketing Manager, Sweet & Modulation Taste, EU & RU, Kerry Taste & Nutrition.

The potential for less-sweet flavors also plays into the rise of botanicals: exploring familiar food flavors in a less familiar beverage setting.

"The growing desire for holistic attributes in both foods and beverages will see botanicalslavender, turmeric, and basil, for instancecome to the fore to address the rising call for light or earthy tones,"says Christina Matrozou of Kerry Taste & Nutrition.

Floral flavors are also on the rise."Elderflower has traditionally been the consumers favourite floral, but we are seeing interest in other floral profiles, such as hibiscus, lavender, and geranium,"says Vicky Berry of Synergy Flavours."These deliver light floral characteristics, adding a touch of sophistication to beverages, and are proving increasingly popular with consumers."

And keep an eye out for more launches drawing on tea flavors: another light, delicate and premium flavor profile.

"Synergy predicts white tea to be one of the top flavours gaining popularity in 2021," continues Berry."Its delicate floral profile makes it well suited to work in a variety of beverage products, especially as natural flavours are poised to perform well with their perceived health and wellness benefits."

2020 has been a tough year: and consumers have been increasingly on the look-out for products that offer indulgence at home.

"In 2021, and throughout the period of continued lockdown, we expect consumers to seek comfort by indulging in time-honored foods and tastes and enjoy what pleases the eye and the taste buds," says Matrozou of Kerry Taste & Nutrition.

"This will be augmented by a desire for playful, enjoyable textures and exciting tastes. The traditional citrus, vanilla, and chocolate flavors will, of course, maintain their dominant positions in 2021, but consumers are also expecting innovative tastes to emerge that introduce flavors with more sustainable, positive, and earth-friendly provenance claims."

An increased focus on emotional wellbeing is prompting beverage developers to look back in time and take consumers on a trip down memory lane.

"Revisiting old flavours offers manufacturers a new area for innovation in beverages, and we are already seeing growth across other areas of food and beverage creation,"says Vicky Berry of Synergy Flavors."With the recent launch of sweet-inspired ice lollies, such as Dip-Dab and Flump, to whey protein flavoured like Drumsticks and Love Hearts, the nostalgic influence will only grow in the coming months as consumers seek comfort from sentimental flavours associated with their childhoods."

But consumers aren't looking for unbridled indulgence, says Suzanne van den Eshof, global marketing director, food and beverages at FrieslandCampina ingredients.

"2021 will seeflavors that are considered to be healthy as well as traditional, local and comforting. Consumers are increasingly engaged with the nutritional value of how and what they consume is produced, the so called conscious indulgence trend, which is a development enforced by more conscious consumers during the pandemic.

"Popular ingredients that will continue strongly in 2021 are ginger and cranberries, with turmeric becoming a new consumer favourite globally. Demand for durian fruit is on the increase in Asia and comfort foods such as sweet custard - with flavors reminiscent of peoples childhood - are increasingly popular across Europe."

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December 14th, 2020 at 1:53 am

Letters to the Editor December 14, 2020: The beauty of Bhutan – The Jerusalem Post

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The beauty of Bhutan Suddenly I am feeling popular as an Israeli. On the heels of Israels new ties with the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and most recently Morocco, Israel is now one of a relatively few nations to be honored to have diplomatic ties with Bhutan (Israel established full relations with Bhutan, December 13.) The nation of Bhutan is something of a mystery to most people, but in embracing its decision to normalize ties with Israel, we look forward to welcoming visitors from that south Asian country and hope to be able to visit them in return. The connection between our two countries is mutually beneficial. Tourists from that beautiful landlocked Bhutan can enjoy Israels fabulous Mediterranean beaches and Israelis can hopefully learn something from Bhutans political culture, as Bhutan has been ranked as the least corrupt country in its region. Two additional interesting facts: 1) Environmentally conscious Bhutan is considered the only carbon-negative country in the world, and 2) Bhutan is one of the minority of countries that did not support the 2018 United Nations resolution against the decision of the USA to establish an embassy in Jerusalem. Bhutan, we salute you and look forward to a long and warm friendship!

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December 14th, 2020 at 1:53 am

The Ten Best Photography Books of 2020 | Arts & Culture – Smithsonian Magazine

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If there is a silver lining to the year, it would be that we were able to slow down and take a closer gaze at things we usually overlook.

This year brought heartbreak and sacrifice never before experienced to people all over the world. As we reminisce about 2020, it may be hard to determine exactly what we might look tofor a moment of solace. If there is a silver lining, it would be that we were able to slow down and take a closer gaze at things we usually overlook. Smithsonian magazine's photo team has gathered the following ten photography books that weve appreciated from the year.

Photographer Diana Markosian is at her best when shes delving into her family history and heritage, and her recent ambitious project, Santa Barbara, is no exception. In this book and short film, she recreatesand casts and directsher familys harrowing journey to America from post-Soviet Russia in the 1990s. Her mother was a Russian mail-order bride, bringing two young children with her to build a family with a man she had never met in Santa Barbara, California. Coincidentally, the city was already well-known in Russia, as the 1980s soap opera of that name was the first American television show to be broadcast there in 1992, and had gained a large following. Now as an adult, Markosian has begun to look back on this period of her childhood with a new sense of perspective and empathy for her mother, and with greater appreciation for her struggles and sacrifices. Incorporating casted re-enactments, stills from the film version of Santa Barbara, as well as archival images, Markosian has created a world that is cinematic yet still gleams with moments of intimacy.

Readers, meet Bob. Bob lives on Curaao, a tiny island nation in the southern Caribbean Sea, just north of the Venezuelan coast. Bob just happens to be an American flamingo. A concussive run-in with a hotel window in 2016 left him in the care of Odette Doest, a local exotic pet veterinarian and the head of a non-profit wildlife rehab center and conservation foundation. While caring for Bob, Doest determined he was suffering from bumblefoota common malady in captive birds that would make it difficult for him to catch food in the wildand that he had previously been domesticated. So Bob, who was quite fond of humans, stayed on with Odette as an educational ambassador for the foundation. He began accompanying her on her community speaking engagements and cutting a striking figure. That was where leading conservation photographer Jasper Doest came in. While visiting his cousin Odette, Jasper found Bob irresistible, and he began documenting Bobs life on and off for the next three years. Those photos have turned into Meet Bob. Shes using him to tell a bigger story, Jasper told National Geographic. He by himself would just be a flamingo, and without Bob, she would not have that emblematic animal that gives her the attention to do her educational work.

Redheads of the world, unite! At least, they have on paper in Gingers, Scottish photographer Kieran Dodds aptly-titled book. Its full of beautifully lit portraits of redheads from around the world photographed on black backgrounds, allowing their features and hair to radiate off the page. Pale and ginger (just ask him!) with two redhead girls, Dodds resides in Scotland, the global ginger capital, with 13 percent of its population possessing those fiery locks. Social media served as Dodds Bat Signal for locating redheads across the world, as the book transects 11 time zones, with subjects from the Americas and Europe, to the Middle East and Asia. The book connects us across political and cultural boundaries, using a rare golden thread, Dodds told Bored Panda. I want people to compare the portraits and delight in our variety. We are made of the same stuff but we are uniquely tuned. The November issue of Smithsonian showcased another of Dodds series, titled Border Patrol, on the mighty hedges that have defined the British landscape since the Bronze Age.

The photographs in Secreto Sarayaku have a surreal, transformative feeling. Like youve been swiftly whisked away by Ecuadorian photographer Misha Vallejo and dropped among the Kichwa people of Sarayaku. These residents of the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest have a special connection to the jungle and believe it is a living, conscious entity, with all parts interconnected. Vallejo has been documenting their everyday lives for this project, a collection of beautiful visual details of the mundane, dramatic portraiture and jungle landscapes. The Kichwa have been incorporating technology, from solar panels on their house to satellite Internet access, into their lives to their advantage. When confronted by the interests of Big Oil, they have used social media to advocate for their environmental message and to gain supporters worldwide. Vallejo attempts to reflect their worldview on camera: that protecting their home is fundamental not only to their own survival, but to that of humanity.

The Permian Panthers of Odessa, Texas, are forever stamped in the American consciousness when it comes to small-town football, thanks to Buzz Bissinger's 1990 book Friday Night Lights chronicling the team's dramatic 1988 season. Photographer Robert Clark was there as well, capturing all the action on gritty black and white film. Twenty of those photographs accompany Bissinger's original book. However, Clark shot 137 rolls of film as he documented the Panthers in all their trials and tribulations, making a run towards the Texas state championship. Now 30 years later, Clarks Friday Night Lives reveals the never-before-seen photographs. Through Clark's time capsule, viewers can hear the cheers of the crowd, the sounds of the locker room, the music played by the pep band, and feel the hot West Texas sun beating down on the football players during drills. Its apparent that the town's hopes and dreams are beholden to the high school's football team's success. Clark brings us to the present day with poignant portraits of key characters of the storied season, including Mike Winchell, the star quarterback; Boobie Miles, who injured his leg that year; and head coach Gary Gaines.

Necessary Fictions is a continuation of conceptual documentary artist Debi Cornwall's dark-humored approach shown in her award-winning exploration of Guantnamo Bay in Welcome to Camp America. Only this time, the location is unknown, if only at first. Throughout the book of photographs, clues are given, such as coordinates and a quote attributed to Karl Rove, the one-time chief political strategist to President George W. Bush. As a former soldier who's been to Kuwait and Iraq, things at first look familiar to me. However, there is something off-putting. Clothes seem too clean for the environment, too pristine for any battlefield. As I move forward, it becomes obvious. It's a simulation, a staged role-playing game in a place I've never been. The players are paid to play themselves; Iraqis and Afghans who fled war and young soldiers play dead and wounded in graphic detail as if walking off the set of a horror movie. The country is called "Atropia," and its location is played out across the United States on military bases. Twenty years after 9/11 and the start of the War on Terror, Necessary Fictions takes a good look at how far we've come in filling the needs of the military-industrial complex as efficiently as possible.

Over a two-year period, photographer Joni Sternbach documented historic surfboards from the Surfing Heritage and CultureCanter Center (SHACC) collection in San Clemente, California. The photographs from these efforts are shown in her latest self-published monograph titled Surfboard. Sternbach used an ultra large-format camera and collodion-coated glass plate negatives to capture each board. (See her magical methods on the Smithsonian magazines Instagram account.) The artistry in both Sternbach's photographs and the boards themselves, one of which was used by the legendary surf icon and Native Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku, is impressive. The book captures the evolution of surfboard making methods and the art depicted on them. One board from the 1930s depicts a swastika long before the symbol was stolen during the period of Nazi Germany.

Tyler Mitchell's distinctive vision of a black utopia is on full display in his book I Can Make You Feel Good, which is already in its second edition. The imagesa mix of documentary, fine art, and portraiture, among other photo genresare full of energy and life and show a freshness rarely seen in a debut photo book. The photographs run full bleed to the pages' edges as if the beauty seen in each image is too bold to be contained by any book. "I Can Make You Feel Good is simply a declaration. And one that I feel is gut-punching in its optimism. It feels important at a time like this to declare such a thing," Mitchell explains in his opening statement. One striking image of a young black man holding a plastic toy gun recalls 12-year-old Tamir Rice's tragic death, who was himself playing with a toy gun as a police officer shot and killed him. In I Can Make You Feel Good, Mitchell imagines a place where his community can play and thrive without deadly consequences. "I aim to visualize what a Black utopia looks like or could look like. People say utopia is never achievable, but I love photography's possibility of allowing me to dream and make that dream become very real," he says.

American artist Imogen Cunningham (18831976) enjoyed a long career as a photographer, creating an extensive and distinct oeuvre that underscored her unique vision, versatility and ardent commitment to the medium. An early feminist and inspiration to future generations of men and women practitioners, Cunningham intensely engaged with Pictorialism and Modernism; genres of portraiture, landscape, the nude, still life and street photography; and a multitude of themes, such as flora, dancers, music, hands and the elderly.

Beginning with Cunninghams childhood in Seattle where she started developing and printing her own photographs in 1905 in a darkroom built by her father, and spanning the entirety of her illustrious 75-year career, Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective contains nearly 200 color images of her elegant, poignant and groundbreaking photographs. The book features both renowned masterpieces and rarely seen pictures, including several that have never been published.

Underappreciated during her time, Cunningham was an inventive, inspired and prolific photographer who tirelessly explored her chosen medium until her death at age 93. Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective recognizes Cunninghams enormous achievements and raises her stature to the same level as her male counterparts in 20th-century photography.

David Benjamin Sherry: American Monuments is a landscape photography project that captures the spirit and intrinsic value of Americas threatened system of national monuments. In April 2017, an executive order called for the review of the 27 national monuments created since January 1996. In December 2017, the final report called on the president to shrink four national monuments and change the management of six others, recommending that areas in Maine, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans be offered for sale, specifically for oil drilling and coal and uranium mining. American Monuments focuses on the areas under review, with special emphasis on those that have already been decimated. Sherry documents these pristine, sacred and wildly diverse areas using the traditional, historic 810 large format. The resulting photographs not only convey the beauty of these important and ecologically diverse sites, but also shed light upon the plight of the perennially exploited landscape of the American West.

For more recommendations, check out The Best Books of 2020.

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Pali Lehohla is the former statistician-general of South Africa and former head of Statistics South Africa. Photo: Thobile Mathonsi

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COVID-19 should raise critical questions on the viability of real estate as a key driver of agglomerations. But can the pandemic and technology drive society towards flattening the concentration of riches and paving the way to a more equitable society?

They have redefined working patterns with most people working from home.

When we embarked on building a home for statistics in South Africa as early as 2007, the question of working from home was always in the back of our minds.

When we decided on the construction of ISibalo House in 2014, with lettable space of 50000 square meters, the notion had not disappeared.

After all real estate has been a prime expression of urbanisation in the 21st century. Sandton has become the most expensive square kilometre in Africa and compares well with other global city centres.

The question is will it survive the pre-eminence of working from home as reinforced by our ten months experience as a result of Covid-19.

For a long time cities were engines of growth and innovation driven by dis-economies of urbanisation. Cities are agglomerations sparked by discovery of minerals and mining towns alongside others such as centres of learning that created phenomena such as student towns and enclaves.

The 20th century city became commercial centres driven by finance and trade in stocks such as the JSE, Wall Street, Futsi etc.

Scholars of human activity model Hermanus Geyer and Thomas Kontuly opinee on the progression and evolution of urban systems.

They were particularly keen in differential urbanisation and counter urbanisation emerging from decadence of megacities.

But modern cities are predominantly commercial centres. They are not driven by locational attributes such as natural resources like minerals, rainfall or fertility of land. Technology and its ubiquitous drive for virtualisation of reality have, however, put to question the preeminence of the tertiary sectors ability to drive agglomerations.

In fact technological advances dismantle this notion. Zoomerisation and uberisation of services are disruptors to agglomerations. This places a major question to urban centres as engines of growth and whether urbanisation by itself in the 21st century can be considered as an engine of innovation.

Urban morphology is about the concentration of wealth and production. What the ubiquitous technology lends itself to is the advent of distributed networks and flattening of the urban nodes. Marx and Engels expounded on the role of technology in a world where the contradictions inherent in the human relations of production are eliminated. They argued that technological advances would eliminate dangerous work from human beings with the deployment of robots in the danger filled spaces and

raising capacities of productive forces. Human beings will in such times be preoccupied with being human through increased multilateralism and building humanity. In short living up to the notion of Ubuntu. They were quite clear that technological advancements were inconsistent with capitalism and accumulation. It is therefore not so surprising that the millennials are conscious of the type of life they aspire for. It is often far removed from bling. They are driven by improvement of planet and people for prosperity. Covid-19 might be a strange comrade in the dethroning of capitalism. For that we may have to thank two strange fellows in the clarion call for workers of the world to unite: the pangolin and the bat.

Dr Lehohla is the former Statistician-General of South Africa and the former head of Statistics South Africa.

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Press release Paris, December 14, 2020Danone further strengthens governance to support Local First adaptation plan * Local First plan further integrated to Board of Directors agenda * Creation of a new Strategy and Transformation Committee to monitor progress on adaptation plans * Board refreshment towards greater independance, diversity and expertise * Gilles Schnepp, Ariane Gorin and Susan Roberts proposed as new independent members * Ccile Cabanis appointed Vice-Chair of the Board * 70%+ independent rate and gender parity expected after 2021 AGM In the recent weeks, Danone announced key steps to unlock future growth and margin expansion and increase value creation, including Local First - a plan to shift to a locally-grounded organization. As part of its continuous assessment of the way the Board of Directors works together with the Executive Committee to ensure the delivery of sustainable value creation, Danone announces today several decisions related to Boards composition and organization to reinforce the governance of the company. Following a phase of active dialogue with shareholders, upon the proposal of Emmanuel Faber and with the recommendations of the Governance committee, the Board of Directors unanimously decided to : * Create a new Strategy and Transformation Committee of the Board, starting under the chairmanship of Benot Potier, in addition to the three existing Board committees (Audit, Governance and Engagement), to prepare the work of the Board on the strategic orientations of the company, with a clear focus on the previously announced adaptation plans. It will be notably in charge of monitoring progress on portfolio review and execution of the growth and efficiency plan. * Appoint Ccile Cabanis as Vice-Chair of the Board. A board member since 2018, Ccile Cabanis will continue to support the Board of Directors and its Chairman in her new non-executive capacity as Vice-Chair of the Board. * Propose new independent members to the Board for election at next Shareholders meeting on April 29th, 2021 * Appointment of Gilles Schnepp as Board Director with immediate effect, in replacement of Gregg Engles who decided to resign as a result of the Boards policy for monitoring situations of potential conflict of interests. The Board will propose at next AGM to confirm appointment of Gilles Schnepp to the Board. The Board considers that Mr Schnepp, who is widely-known for his expertise in the field of governance, possesses all the requisite skills and necessary competencies to actively contribute to further guaranteeing Danones balanced corporate governance, and will therefore appoint him as the next Lead Independent Director after the AGM. * Ariane Gorin and Susan Roberts presented for election at next AGM. French-American bi-national with 20+ years of professional experience in digital disruption, Ariane Gorin is currently President of Expedia Business Services, gathering some of the worlds most trusted online travel brands. Dr. Susan B. Roberts is Professor of Nutrition at the premier U.S. institution Tufts University, where she leads the Energy Metabolism Research Laboratory.In addition, at next AGM, Benot Potier will retire from the Board after eighteen years of dedicated services, as will Virginia Stallings having reached the age limit defined for Directors. The Board will propose the individual re-election of other current members of the Board reaching the end of their term of office: Guido Barilla, Ccile Cabanis, Michel Landel and Serpil Timuray.With the expected changes and proposed nominees, Danones Board of Directors will continue to comprise after next AGM 16 members, of which 71% will be Independent Directors as defined according to French AFEP-MEDEF governance code (vs. 57% today), and 50% women (vs. 43% today). Emmanuel Faber, Chairman and CEO, said : I believe strengthened governance will play a key role in the successful roll-out of our Local First plan, and Im delighted that proposals to achieve this have been unanimously approved by the Board. I would like to welcome Gilles Schnepps appointment, effective immediately. On behalf of the entire Board, let me also extend our warmest thanks to Gregg Engles for his active commitment to the Boards work since the acquisition of WhiteWave, as well as his critical contributions during the integration period. I am also glad to see that our Board will include 50% women and 71% independent directors starting with the Annual General Meeting in April 2021. Lastly, Im particularly pleased that Ccile Cabanis has accepted my proposition that she now serve on the Board as Vice-Chair, an enhanced position where her deep knowledge of our company, acquired over the past 16 years and her past experience on the Board, will be invaluable resources during this period of transformation.o o O o oAppendix 1: Composition of Danones Board of Directors Emmanuel Faber (Chairman), Guido Barilla, Frdric Boutebba, Ccile Cabanis (Vice-Chair), Clara Gaymard, Michel Landel (Lead Independent Director), Galle Olivier, Benot Potier, Franck Riboud (Honorary Chairman), Gilles Schnepp, Isabelle Seillier, Jean-Michel Severino, Virginia Stallings, Bettina Theissig, Serpil Timuray, Lionel Zinsou-Derlin Appendix 2: Detailed biographies Ariane Gorin is Group President of Expedia Business Services and a member of the leadership team of Expedia Group.In her current role she is responsible for Expedia Partner Solutions, the B2B partnership business which powers thousands of partners around the world with API and template solutions, andEgencia, the corporate travel arm of Expedia Group.Gorin joined Expedia in 2013 as Vice President of Market Management for EMEA, was promoted to Senior Vice President of the Expedia Affiliate Network brand in 2014 and Expedia Partner Solutions in 2017.Prior to joining Expedia Group, Gorin spent 10 years at Microsoft in various sales, distribution and marketing roles. Before joining Microsoft, she was a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, both in San Francisco and in Paris. Gorin is a French and American citizen.She received an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University and a BA in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. She currently serves on the board of directors of Adecco Group, where she chairs the Digital Committee, and the Supervisory Board of Trivago.Gorin is on the advisory council of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.Susan B. Roberts, PhD, leads the energy metabolism laboratory at Tufts University. She is a professor of nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts, professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine, and is also co-director of the Tufts Institute for Global Obesity Research. As an internationally-recognized researcher who aims to bring advances in nutrition science and the neurobiology of weight regulation into sustainable behavior change programs, she recently co-founded the International Weight Control Registry, which will be devoted to identifying successful weight management practices in different cultures globally. Susan is also involved in nutrition intervention programs in sub-Saharan Africa to reduce cognitive impairments in child malnutrition. She holds both UK and Canadian citizenship. The American Society for Nutrition awarded Dr. Roberts the E.V. McCollum Award for being a creative force in nutrition research, and she has also received the prestigious W.O. Atwater lecturer award from the United States Department of Agricultures Agricultural Research Service for major contributions to nutrition research.Gilles Schnepp. Upon graduating from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in 1981, Gilles Schnepp started his career in 1983 at Merrill Lynch France were he became Vice-President. He then joined Legrand in 1989, holding various positions before being appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2000. He was appointed to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors in 2001 and Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 2004. Between 2006 and 2018 he has been Legrand Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Gilles Schnepp has been Chairman of the Board between 2018 and 2020. He has been Director of Saint-Gobain since 2009, Member of the Supervisory Board of PSA since 2019 and Member of the Board of Sanofi since 2020. He is also since 2018 Chairman of MEDEFs Ecological and Economic Transition and a member of the Executive Committee. He was awarded the titles of Chevalier de la lgion dhonneur in 2007 and of Officier dans lOrdre National du Mrite in 2012.Attachment * PR_governance_14122020

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