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Topics - Raisa

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Jokes / Ranking the Jokers From Worst to Best
« on: August 05, 2017, 08:11:42 PM »
A hero is only as good as the villain he’s up against. Batman is famous for his gallery of rogues, but the Joker will always be at the top of the top. He’s been portrayed by a variety of actors over the years. Here’s how they line up, from worst to best:

5. Jared Leto, “Suicide Squad”
If you’re the bad guy in a movie full of bad guys, you’re going to need to bring your demonic “A game,” and that’s just what Leto does — at least, in the early scenes of “Suicide Squad.” He’s the first hip-hop Joker, with dead eyes and a mouth full of silver-capped teeth that turn his menacingly-switched-on-and-off smile into a gangsta grimace. He’s the most coldly homicidal of all Jokers, and also, ironically, the first one to have a girlfriend (Margot Robbie’s psychotic baby doll Harley Quinn). All in all, he’s got a lot on his villainous plate, but the joke is on him: Leto’s steely yet revved performance is just getting started when he’s relegated to the sidelines, where no good Joker should ever be left to laugh alone.

4. Mark Hamill, “Batman, The Animated Series”
In the far-off days of 1992, it seemed an utterly wack idea: Let’s cast the earnest and slightly mopey Luke Skywalker as … the most gleefully high-on-himself villain in the history of villainy. But Hamill, to a degree no one could have predicted, got in touch with his inner deranged demon-clown. Where a lot of famous actors recede in animated roles, he tapped deep into a hidden side of himself. He has said that his key influences in creating the character were Hannibal Lecter and Jerry Lewis, but at times he sounds like a demented aristocrat out of Noel Coward, and his laugh is like a mood ring — it’s got a hundred shades of crazy.

No wonder Hamill has been voicing the Joker ever since — on Batman and Justice League cartoon series, for videogames, and in the recently released version of “The Killing Joke.” Some say he’s the greatest Joker ever, though really, that’s an overreaction to the fanboy novelty of seeing the hero of “Star Wars” flip his lid. But an inspired flip of the lid it is.

3. Jack Nicholson, “Batman” (1989)
It’s not unusual to see a villain steal the show, but Nicholson didn’t just steal Tim Burton’s “Batman.” He stole it, danced on it, ate it for lunch, and came out the other side the way that only the Joker could: smiling! It’s the one “Batman” movie that could have been called, instead, “The Joker,” and Nicholson, pushing the sarcastic lunacy he first perfected in “The Shining” to the extreme breaking point, gave a performance that was pure, exuberant palm-buzzer vaudeville. In Burton’s vision, Batman and the Joker have more in common than they once did — they’re both creatures of the night, driven by the darkness of their obsessions. But it’s Nicholson’s Joker who’s got the bats in his belfry.

2. Cesar Romero, “Batman” (1966)
Outside of the original comic books, Romero really invented the template — the maniacal cackle, the blissed-out revenge — because, of course, he got there first. And when you consider that it was all part of a high-camp ABC TV series that debuted 50 years ago, it’s easy to feel a touch of awe for how radical and unhinged and gleefully out there Romero’s Joker really was. The actor was nearly 60 when he took on the role, but with eyes just about popping out of his head, he gave the Joker an operatic pizzazz, rolling his “R’s” like the Hollywood Latin lover he once was, speaking in a voice as high-pitched — or maybe just high — on hysteria as his deranged laughter. He set the standard for every Joker to come.

1. Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight” (2008)
Maniac. Torture victim. Terrorist. Party host. “The Dark Knight” came out six months after Ledger’s death, but it left no doubt that he was the most audacious actor of his generation. His Joker starts from the place all other Jokers leave off: the sheer fun of sadism. What makes his performance hilarious, and scary, and visionary is the way it shows us the damage behind the fun, and the giggle behind the damage, and the insanity behind that. He’s the first Method supervillain, sucking on his mouth scars, and Ledger plays him like Brando as a psychotic pain freak. He made evil into something mesmerizingly derelict, and timeless.

Photo Gallery / Photography
« on: August 05, 2017, 08:05:31 PM »
Photography is the science, art, application and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film.

Typically, a lens is used to focus the light reflected or emitted from objects into a real image on the light-sensitive surface inside a camera during a timed exposure. With an electronic image sensor, this produces an electrical charge at each pixel, which is electronically processed and stored in a digital image file for subsequent display or processing. The result with photographic emulsion is an invisible latent image, which is later chemically "developed" into a visible image, either negative or positive depending on the purpose of the photographic material and the method of processing. A negative image on film is traditionally used to photographically create a positive image on a paper base, known as a print, either by using an enlarger or by contact printing.

Photography is employed in many fields of science, manufacturing (e.g., photolithography), and business, as well as its more direct uses for art, film and video production, recreational purposes, hobby, and mass communication.

Career Advice / 7 Ways to Create a Friendly Environment at Work
« on: August 05, 2017, 07:53:42 PM »
Let’s face it, whether we mainly hire freelance help or manage a large office staff, we all have to work with people. Your company will run like a well-oiled machine if you learn to create positive relationships with your colleagues and co-workers.
Here are seven tips that will help develop great relationships at work.

1. Develop a positive attitude.
When you own your own company, your co-workers and employees look to you to set the tone for the business and the office environment. A positive attitude is key to an enjoyable, more comfortable workplace. A positive or negative attitude also spills over into how your customers perceive your business, which translates into their willingness to do business with you. They can tell when everything is clicking, and they can also tell when things are amiss.

2. Treat everyone with respect.
Everyone you work with deserves respect in the workplace, even when you differ on opinions. Look at each and every person as a vital member of the team. Respect that they have different opinions and ways of looking at the world. This respect will go a long way in developing the trust and teamwork that will take your business to the top.

Related: To Boost Your Business Treat Employees as Well as Your Customers

3. Practice active listening.
Effective communication begins with active listening. Encourage your co-workers to share their thoughts and be open to hearing them all the way through without interrupting or interjecting your own opinions. To foster an environment where everyone feels they have a voice, make your approach “yes, that’s a possibility” rather than “no, that would never work.”.

4. Connect on a personal level.
Develop meaningful bonds with your fellow workers. Exchange ideas and personal opinions. Show your empathy and concern for their well being as people, as well as co-workers. Take time to learn about their families and their goals. When you show a genuine interest in others, you foster a happier workplace.

5. Develop relationships outside of work.
Go to lunch with your co-workers or plan an off-site event like a bowling night or a day at the ballpark. Get to know each other outside of the office. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn more about what makes them tick and you’ll develop even stronger bonds when you discover you have shared interests.

Related: The Hidden Benefits of Happy Co-Workers (Infographic)

6. Work together for a larger good.
Most people feel good when they’re helping others. Take on a charity campaign and encourage your co-workers to participate in fundraising events, a charity race or a Habitat for Humanity project. You will build trust and form a bond when you share common goals and activities for the good of others. Post regular reports around the office or in your newsletter. Recognize everyone for their hard work and dedication.

7. Say thank you.
There are all sorts of ways to provide rewards, including praise, recognition, money, prizes, gift cards, celebratory meals, trophies and certificates of achievement. Be liberal with positive feedback and show gratitude when employees go above and beyond their normal duties and responsibilities.

Everyone likes to feel valued and appreciated for what they do everyday. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way. Offer respect, kindness, openness, caring and trust and you will be sure to reap the returns many times over.

Photography / PHOTOGRAPHY Tips & Techniques for Better Pictures
« on: August 05, 2017, 08:37:21 AM »
Making beautiful photographs involves nothing more than a bit of thought. While it often helps to have decent equipment, all you really need is to take a moment before each shot to think clearly about what you are attempting to capture or create.

The following guidelines are intended to help novice, non-artistic, and/or non-technical picture-takers immediately improve their photography.
Tip #1: Move in Closer

Each time you spot a subject, snap a shot and then move in closer for a better shot. Having your subject almost fill the frame helps your viewer understand and appreciate your photo. Also, details are often more interesting than an overall view.
Keep moving in closer until you are sure the photo will successfully represent your subject.

Tip #2: Be Quick

If it is at all possible that your subject may move, bolt, fly away, stop smiling, or just get tired of waiting for you to take the picture, shoot once right away.

Practice getting quicker and quicker to the draw.

Do not worry about taking too many pictures and do not wait until you're absolutely certain all the knobs and buttons are in their correct position.

As the motto of one of BetterPhoto old t-shirts states, "Shoot First, Ask Questions Later."

Tip #3: Compose Your Picture with Care

Even if you don't plan on selling your photo to the Smithsonian, make every effort to keep it balanced and beautiful. On one level or another, everyone responds better to a picture that has all elements in balance.

Strive to lead the eye along an interesting path through the photo, with the use of strong lines or patterns.
•Keep the horizon level;
•Crop out extra elements that you are not interested in (more on this is the next tip);
•Consciously place your subject where you think it most belongs rather than just accepting it wherever it happens to land in the photo;
•Play with perspective so that all lines show a pattern or lead the eye to your main subject;

Tip #4: Be Selective

Discern what you are really interested in and center your efforts on getting the best photo of this subject, whether it a still life, your funny cat, your doggy, a friend, a family matter, a mood, a place or culture.

Then be sure to keep anything that would distract out of the picture. Go as far as Ansel Adams did to remove unwanted elements.

The easiest way to do this is to watch your borders - the edges of the view you see through the camera's viewfinder. Then recompose if anything - such as an unattractive telephone wire, an old soda can, a distracting sign, your finger, or your camera strap - hangs into your picture.

It can become more difficult if you want to, say, shoot a San Francisco cable car without a single distracting telephone line. But even in such a difficult case, you have many options.

You can:
•Focus in on a close-up that tells the whole story;
•Move around until you arrange the telephone lines into a neat pattern that leads to the subject; or
•Take a panning shot that makes the cable car remain in focus while the background goes blurry.

Tip #5: Focus on Your Subject

Practice shooting with different apertures and monitor the results afterwards to learn how depth-of-field affects your photo.

You will find that a smaller depth-of-field (and smaller f-stop #) focuses all the attention upon your subject. This is great for taking a picture of your child, your dog, or your husband - subjects stand out against a blurry background.

Likewise, you will find that a greater depth-of-field (bigger f-stop number) will make everything from here to eternity appear in focus. This will help make those landscapes fascinating and lovely.

You will also want to become familiar with the way your camera focuses. If it is a simple point and shoot camera, you will likely indicate which part of the picture to focus on by following these steps:
1.Aim so the object you want in sharp focus is in the center of the viewfinder.
2.Press the shutter button down half-way and hold it.
3.Move your camera until you have the composition you like best (see tip #3).
4.Press the button down the rest of the way to take the picture.

Tip #6: Experiment with Shutter Speed

One of the most basic, overlooked, and fun aspects of photography is that you have the power to slow time down or catch a split second.
One image happens so slowly that we could never see it and the other happens so quickly in real time that we would never notice it. Play with shutter speed!

Use a slow shutter speed and a tripod to make a pretty picture of any creek or stream. On the other hand, you can use a fast shutter speed (1/500 and up) to capture an object in motion.

Combining a fast shutter speed with a long lens, you sports buffs can get a trophy of your own when you are able to catch the expression on your favorite runningback's face as he slips past the final defense toward a winning touchdown. Remember, catching the moment in fast-paced action photography may take a little more practice so hang in there.

Tip #7: Look at the Light

By this, I don't mean look into the sun - no, that won't do at all. But it is good to see what kind of light you are working with. Which way are the shadows falling? Unless you want a silhouette effect, where your subject is black against an interesting background, it's generally best to shoot with the sun behind you.

How is the light affecting your subject? Is the subject squinting?

Is the light blazing directly and brightly upon your whole subject? This works well if you are in love with the bold colors of your subject.

Side lighting, on the other hand, can add drama but can also cause extreme, hard-to-print contrasts.

Lastly, indirect light can be used to make your subject glow soft and pretty.

Tip #8: Watch the Weather, Too

Look outside and decide whether or not you are going to want to have the sky in your picture.

If it's overcast, simply keep the sky out of your pictures as much as possible. This is usually the best way to avoid both muted tones in your subject and washed-out skies in your background. You might also find black and white pictures of an overcast day more pleasing than color.

When the day is beautiful, go ahead and make the most of it.

If your camera allows for the use of filters, purchase a polarizer. This will help you render deep blue skies against bright white clouds, richly contrasting colors, and other wonderful effects with a simple twist of the wrist.

Tip #9: Keep Your Camera Settings Simple

While you may wish to have "all the bells and whistles" available just in case, you will probably get the best results if you do not try to use them all the time and instead learn a simple set up that works best for you in most situations.
This doesn't necessarily mean keeping your camera set on "Program" - while this mode may be perfect in its simplicity, it may be frustrating in its tyrannical control.

Instead of relying on a fully automatic program, pick a simple, semi-automatic program such as aperture-priority and master shooting in that mode. Then, you'll be able to control certain basics without letting the other basics control you, and thus keep that 150 page manual where it belongs - in your camera bag.

Tip: if you want one accessory, bring a tripod. This one item can solve camera shake issues and help you get beautiful evening shots.

Tip #10: Be Bold

Don't allow yourself to be paralyzed by fears of using the wrong settings, or an non-politically-correct social policy.

If you are afraid of upsetting someone by taking their picture, just go up and ask if it's okay. Ask them to sign a release and offer a print in return.

With wildlife, adopt a low-impact method when you go places where few photographers have gone before. For the above photos, I put my camera and telephoto in a waterproof bag and kayaked out into Monterey Bay. (Lawyer-talk: This can be dangerous - so be careful.)

Be wise... but be bold.

There you have it - basic but helpful, I hope. Now go out there, make some great shots, learn from the failures, and have fun.


Internet Risk / Cyber threat and security
« on: August 05, 2017, 08:26:42 AM »
Cyber security is the ability to protect or defend the use of cyberspace from cyber-attacks, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA.

Of late, in Bangladesh, the financial services industry, which is a vital component of a nation’s critical infrastructure, is under persistent threat.

There has been burgeoning growth of internet users in the country. According to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, the number of internet users almost doubled in the last two years. It shot up from 30.48 million in 2013 to 58.31 million in February 2016. With it, came an ardent need for in-built cyber security in IT and to make people more aware about the policies, standards and guidelines.

The emerging role of IT governance is to bridge the gap between control requirements, technical issues and business risks. The Governance Global Practice of the World Bank supports governments in improving access and quality of public services by developing integrated governance solutions to address service delivery problems in their local contexts.

Improving public services requires making policymakers, public servants, and service providers accountable to citizens, and promoting citizen engagement and trust in public institutions.

Recognising the interconnections between institutions, service delivery, and citizen trust and engagement is especially crucial in fragility, conflict and violence settings.

The organisations undergoing change management become the easy targets of cyber criminals. Since 2011, Bangladesh Bank was busy modernising its payment and settlement system. The overall banking functions of the central bank had been brought under automation by implementing the banking application package.
All the offices and departments of the BB had been brought under a computer network, connecting around 4,000 desktops/laptops by 2012. During the computerisation phase of the BB, it might be that the things were done out of hurry. The main thrust was on meeting the World Bank’s deadline. It was not possible to pay much attention to the security details.

Usually, this transformation phase of computerisation and change management remains risk-prone, as hackers take this chance of transition. They know that three important gears like security, monitoring and control might be lacking at that stage. The IT security of the banking sector in Bangladesh is in a very precarious stage and, hence, there are chances of further attacks.

In the last couple of years, CTO Forum Bangladesh has been addressing these critical issues. So far, it has organised as many as 15 seminars on cyber security. Its pursuits to make people aware are on. It is going to organise a conference on security jointly with Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management this month.

Out of my 35 years of experience in IT, I have developed an impression that the organisations are never willing to invest in IT security until and unless they are targeted and fallen as victims. What is more important is to make the system bulletproof and to defend further attacks by raising awareness.

Creation of platforms for future cyber-security awareness raising efforts is important. Every day, in one way or the other, businesses are facing the threat of hacking -- phishing, ransomware, data breach and malware attacks.

In the country, there has been a dire need of a core group of professionals consistently working on cyber threat intelligence, data protection and encryption.

In Bangladesh, the overall situation now calls for a cyber-security legal framework and that of an IT skill framework. It has to be a thorough assessment of the cyber security capacity, taking into account the existing capacity, availability of relevant skills training and education institutes, security companies, IT industry representatives, associations, professionals and multi-stakeholders.

It is usually said that as ICT investment continues to grow, the cyber-security profile must also be increased at par in order to enhance the effectiveness of technological capacity.

To be holistic in its approach to leverage ICT, at this juncture, Digital Bangladesh has been trying new approaches, new innovations and new methodologies. These include, among others, the establishment of the digital connectivity project.

It is the highest priority project of the government and expansion of the government-wide network to its lowest tier is also important.

A survey from Security Lab has found that almost 73 percent of companies are relying on standard endpoint security-class solutions to protect their virtual environments, potentially leading to reduced performance and creating an excessive load on their systems.

About 34 percent of businesses remain unaware that specialised security products even exist. According to the findings of a recent survey, only 27 percent of companies use security solutions that are specifically adapted for virtual environments.

Of these, nearly half use agent-based solutions. Specialised agent-less and light-agent solutions are still uncommon, and are used in just 35 percent and 15 percent of cases respectively.

Kaspersky Lab is a privately owned entity operating in 200 countries, including Bangladesh. According to them, Bangladesh is one of the countries on the top hit list of impending cyber attacks.

Wire-transfer processes and other operations need constant screening. Clearly, the time demands for creation of a position of a cyber security officer (CSO) in financial entities, corporations, businesses, organisations and institutions. More than 80 percent of Bangladesh is now covered by wireless networks.

Now, as we make steps ahead, we make digital footprints. Bangladesh ranks 107 out of 139 in the Global Competitiveness Index, 115 out of 138 in the Networked Readiness Index (2011) and 134 out of 183 in the United Nations e-Government Survey 2010.

Finally, mobile, cloud computing, IoT (internet of things) and cognitive computing are expected to be the technologies that will shape the near future the most.


Hockey / Bangladesh Hockey Federation
« on: August 04, 2017, 09:31:32 PM »
The Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) was founded in 1972. The federation acquired full membership of the International Hockey Federation and of the Asian Hockey Federation in 1975. In 1987, a hockey stadium was built in Dhaka, which is now known as the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium. Since then it has been the home of hockey and the office of BHF in Bangladesh where all levels of hockey are being played and controlled. The Federation regularly arranges hockey leagues, tournaments and the National Youth and Senior Championships. At the home level, hockey matches including Premier Division Hockey League, First Division Hockey League, Second Division Hockey League, National Hockey League, National Youth Hockey League, Independence Day Hockey Tournament, National Hockey Championship, National Youth Hockey Championship, Victory Day Hockey Tournament, School Tournaments and hosted various international tournaments with distinction.

Bangladesh started taking part in international hockey tournaments by participating in the 1st Junior World Cup for Asia/Oceania zone qualifying round in Kualalumpur in 1977. It took part in 1st Asia Cup in Karachi in 1982 and till date. The country also played in the Asian games held in Bangkok in 1978. Since then Bangladesh Hockey Team is participating in Asian games. In 1985, Dhaka hosted the Second Asia Hockey Cup,capt chaklader was the team captain. Bangladesh performed superbly .Hockey world observed the highest gatherings in any tournaments. India, Pakistan, Korea, Malaysia, China, Japan, Srilanka, Singapore, Iran and Bangladesh took part in this tournament. Bangladesh also hosted an international invitational hockey tournament in 1997. India, Pakistan and Srilanka were the participants.

Economics helps you to better understand what you are already doing. It’s not that economics will teach you what decisions to make in life. Economics only tells you how people generally behave. Do you believe that knowledge might be of use to you?

Well, think about this -

You go to a vegetable market and the other person charges a particular price. How do you decide whether this price is high or low? Suppose you know that he has no other option and it’s the evening time of the day and his vegetables are going to rot tomorrow, do you think you should pay more for it?
When you are negotiating for your salary, how much do you think the other person would be ready to pay you? Do you know what are the factors affecting the company’s decision? Can you influence that decision by offering them something unique or by being more affordable for them?
If a political party asks for your vote on the promise of minimum wages to all the people, do you support them? Do you know what are the implications of paying free money to people (such as MNREGA scheme)? What if they promise to pay free notes to all the people of the country, do you agree with them?
Do you travel by Ola/Uber? How do you decide whether you are okay with surge pricing or not? Do you have any other options (substitutes)? Can you consider walking that way if it is too expensive? When does it become “too” expensive for you, is there a formula?
Should you save your money in a bank account or should you invest it into the stock market? What are the factors affecting the returns on your money? Do you know what is the cost of borrowing a loan? Should you incur your expenses in cash or is credit card a good way to spend?
You know what’s funny: people may not have studied economics, but they all face the above situations in life. And yet, we all deal with it. We make economic decisions every single day. You may or may not study economics, but you cannot avoid economics. It is as much a part of human society as biology is.

There is nothing about economics that you don’t already do in life. Studying economics helps you only by trying to understand how you reach those conclusions. When you get to understand that, you will then be able to relate those concepts to a lot of situations in life. For example, for all the above situations, I have studied an economics concept which helps me to predict how people behave in various situations.

Most of what I am saying though, is more relevant for a newly developed branch of economics, called behavioural economics. This subject deals with human behaviour in a much more detailed and appropriate way than crude economics (which assumes that all human beings are rational).

Anyway, knowing economics is not an absolute necessity, it is just an added skill. There are other skills as well that you can master, instead of economics - such as sports, music, business, cooking, horse-riding, fighting, writing etc.

But you need to choose what you want in life, because you cannot have everything. There is a scarcity of resources at your disposal.

Art / Dhaka: Living Is Costly, Life Is Cheap
« on: July 16, 2017, 07:12:12 PM »
According to The Worldwide Cost of Living report, an Economist Intelligence Unit survey that compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services to determine cost of living in a city, Dhaka is 71st costliest city in the world sharing the same position with cities like Montreal of Canada and just three steps behind Dubai.On the other hand, biggest cities of India likes of Bangalore and Mumbai are among the cheapest ten cities in the world holding the position 131 and 132 accordingly.

Singapore stands top in the list of ten most expensive cities followed by Zurich, Hong Kong, Geneva, Paris, London, and New York. On the other spectrum, Lusaka of Zambia is the least costly city in the world followed by Bangalore and Mumbai of India and Almaty of Kazakhstan.

The report, a bi-yearly survey [twice in a year] conducted by EIU, compare 400 individual prices that include prices of food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs. The more than 30 years old survey and bi-annual pricing index aimed at expats and business travelers, offers information and insight into living cost in more than 133 cities.

Early in January 2016, an annual report by the Consumers’ Association of Bangladesh (CAB) said, the cost of living rose by 6.38 percent in 2015 in the capital, though the prices of essential commodities remained relatively stable compared to the previous year. The same report observed a 6.83 percent rise in 2014.

A report by English daily the New Age published last year said, prices of different essential commodities, including rice, meat, electricity, house rent and transport fare, have increased over 60 per cent in last six years pushing the cost of living up in the country, particularly in Dhaka.On the other hand, standard of living has not improved as much as the cost of living. Dhaka continues to remain a city that is growing into less livable. Traffic and pollution continues to worsen, modern amenities are not evenly distributed and law and order situation is also falling apart.

Although, we have a growing per-capita income but that does not apply for every segment of the population. Consequently, while cost of living is increasing so does inequality. A World Bank report titled ‘Addressing Inequality in South Asia’ placed Bangladesh in third in the inequality index among the eight countries of the region. Among the key contributors to this flying living cost, increasing prices of essential commodities and house rent are two most important ones. And there is a lack of regulatory effort on the part of the government as well.

Growing cost of living has business implications. It makes it hard to start companies because few people could afford to spend as much money as it requires. Similarly, it discourages travelers, business and others, and expats coming to the city.

« on: July 16, 2017, 07:04:52 PM »
LOVE IS ART was founded by South African-born artist, Jeremy Brown.  As an abstract artist, Brown has been making paintings during intimacy for over a decade, inspired by the 1960's French artist Yves Klein and various performance art pieces by Andy Warhol. One day, a close friend complimented him on a painting that was hung inside his house. After discovering how the painting was made, she asked him to provide her with everything she needed to make a painting with her husband on their anniversary. Brown put together a small package with all of the materials needed and wrote a little directional note for them to follow. They absolutely loved it, and the idea was born.
Brown then spent over 6 months researching & developing the appropriate materials to ensure a safe project for couples everywhere to experience making art while making love. The kit now includes a specially-treated cotton canvas and all natural, non-toxic paint. Covering all bases, it also includes a painters tarp to protect surfaces from paint splatters, disposable slippers to make a clean walk from the canvas to the shower and even a body scrubber.
He packaged the kit under the name LOVE IS ART.  According to Brown, "Art takes patience, dedication, practice, creativity, open mind, and an open does love. Love is art."

Simply put, the LOVE IS ART kit includes everything a couple needs to craft a one-of-a-kind abstract painting while being intimate with one another. What is left is a unique painting that represents that special moment. It can then be stretched, framed and hung on the wall - a lasting reminder of the love and passion that was shared. The kit also provides a unique bonding experience for the couples involved, as they work together as a team to craft their own unique masterpiece.

Art / What is Art?
« on: July 16, 2017, 07:03:36 PM »
There is no universally accepted definition of art. Although commonly used to describe something of beauty, or a skill which produces an aesthetic result, there is no clear line in principle between (say) a unique piece of handmade sculpture, and a mass-produced but visually attractive item. We might say that art requires thought - some kind of creative impulse - but this raises more questions: for example, how much thought is required? If someone flings paint at a canvas, hoping by this action to create a work of art, does the result automatically constitute art?

Even the notion of 'beauty' raises obvious questions. If I think my kid sister's unmade bed constitutes something 'beautiful', or aesthetically pleasing, does that make it art? If not, does its status change if a million people happen to agree with me, but my kid sister thinks it is just a pile of clothes?
Art: Multiplicity of Forms, Types and Genres

Before trying to define art, the first thing to be aware of, is its huge scope.

Art is a global activity which encompasses a host of disciplines, as evidenced by the range of words and phrases which have been invented to describe its various forms. Examples of such phraseology include: "Fine Arts", "Liberal Arts", "Visual Arts", "Decorative Arts", "Applied Arts", "Design", "Crafts", "Performing Arts", and so on.

Drilling down, many specific categories are classified according to the materials used, such as: drawing, painting, sculpture (inc. ceramic sculpture), "glass art", "metal art", "illuminated gospel manuscripts", "aerosol art", "fine art photography", "animation", and so on. Sub-categories include: painting in oils, watercolours, acrylics; sculpture in bronze, stone, wood, porcelain; to name but a tiny few. Other sub-branches include different genre categories, like: narrative, portrait, genre-works, landscape, still life.

In addition, entirely new forms of art have emerged during the 20th century, such as: assemblage, conceptualism, collage, earthworks, installation, graffiti, and video, as well as the broad conceptualist movement which challenges the essential value of an objective "work of art".

Art / Art
« on: July 16, 2017, 07:01:17 PM »
Art, also called (to distinguish it from other art forms) visual art, a visual object or experience consciously created through an expression of skill or imagination. The term art encompasses diverse media such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, decorative arts, photography, and installation.The various visual arts exist within a continuum that ranges from purely aesthetic purposes at one end to purely utilitarian purposes at the other. Such a polarity of purpose is reflected in the commonly used terms artist and artisan, the latter understood as one who gives considerable attention to the utilitarian. This should by no means be taken as a rigid scheme, however. Even within one form of art, motives may vary widely; thus a potter or a weaver may create a highly functional work that is at the same time beautiful—a salad bowl, for example, or a blanket—or may create works that have no purpose beyond being admired. In cultures such as those of Africa and Oceania, a definition of art that encompasses this continuum has existed for centuries. In the West, however, by the mid-18th century the development of academies for painting and sculpture established a sense that these media were “art” and therefore separate from more utilitarian media. This separation of art forms continued among art institutions until the late 20th century, when such rigid distinctions began to be questioned.Particularly in the 20th century, a different sort of debate arose over the definition of art. A seminal moment in this discussion occurred in 1917, when Dada artist Marcel Duchamp submitted a porcelain urinal entitled Fountain to a public exhibition in New York City. Through this act, Duchamp put forth a new definition of what constitutes a work of art: he implied that it is enough for an artist to deem something “art” and put it in a publicly accepted venue. Implicit within this gesture was a challenge to the established art institutions—such as museums, exhibiting groups, and galleries—that have the power to determine what is and is not considered art. Such intellectual experimentation continued throughout the 20th century in movements such as conceptual art and minimalism. By the turn of the 21st century, a variety of new media (e.g., video art) further challenged traditional definitions of art.

Present yourself / How to market yourself
« on: June 21, 2017, 11:01:38 PM »
What are you trying to achieve?
Consider what it is you’re actually trying to achieve. Obviously the final aim is to get a job, but how do you get there? Well, confidence is the key, but don’t overdo it. Of course your product may not be perfect, but no product is. You need to learn to look past any weaknesses for now. To develop the right job interview mindset, focus on your strengths. Think about what makes you unique, in terms of your qualities and accomplishments.
It may sound a little new-agey for some, but visualising yourself in a role – whether it’s a store manager or a chief financial officer – can really help you to focus on what you can bring to the position or contribute to the job. However small you start with this process, it’s an essential part of building your confidence so you can move forward in your job search.
Make sure you’re realistic with this one though. Imagining yourself in a position is not about taking flights of fantasy, it’s about helping you to focus on your personal merits and why you’re the ideal candidate. You need to be able to close the deal, but you’re never going to do that unless your objectives are built on solid foundations of realistic expectation.
What are you trying to sell?
This pretty much carries on from the above question, but takes things a bit further. Look at yourself honestly and ask why you want the job or the move that you’re focusing on. This is a very useful question to ask yourself, as there’s a very strong likelihood you’ll be asked the same thing if you get as far as the interview.
There are, of course, no right or wrong answers here, but you still need to be prepared. This will help focus your attention on projecting yourself in the right way, and when it comes down to it, being able to answer that question effectively.
Who’s your audience?
You now know who you are and what you’re trying to achieve, the next step is to understand the people you’re actually talking to. We all know about tailoring our CVs, covering letters and interview answers to the recruiter in question, but to do this we need to really understand what they are looking for.
This means doing your research. Obviously the job spec will hold a lot of these answers for you, but you can take this a step further by researching the company, putting yourself in their position and considering what they would want to hear.
You need to present your skills and experience (and search objectives if you’re applying to a recruiter) in the best possible light. These should be carefully thought out in advance and must be realistic. If you’re applying for a job in an industry you have no experience in, you’ll need to explain how your skills are transferable. If you’re working with a recruiter you might consider asking their opinion as to the feasibility of your goals.
How can you be more proactive?
The great thing about this process is it can also be effectively applied to making your job searching much more proactive. If you know the job you want, the strengths you can bring to that position, as well as understanding the people you are talking to, you’re perfectly placed to push yourself to companies before they even know they need you.
To do this, target a few companies you feel could benefit from your skills and send out applications to them. As with any sort of cold call like this you need to follow your application up with a phone call. But be prepared, this can be a tough process, but it’s incredibly rewarding if you’re successful.
To make the process as potentially rewarding as you can, keep an eye on the jobs market. Applying to a company that’s actively recruiting – even if it is in different areas – is reducing the chances of you being flatly turned down.

Present yourself / How to present yourself on job market
« on: June 21, 2017, 10:54:26 PM »
Marketing is the lifeblood that runs through the veins of all successful organizations. Without marketing, no matter how good the product or service, the organization will fail. It’s marketing that defines the distinctive features and benefits of the product or service, it’s marketing that sets the price, it’s marketing that communicates those features and benefits to the appropriate audience, and it’s marketing that delivers the goods to the consumer.
Strategic Marketing Career Planning for Job-Seekers

As with any business, a job-seeker without a plan will simply not optimize his/her job search. Job-seekers should consider answering these questions in relation to their job history and career:

Where have I been, where am I now, and where will my career be if I do nothing?
Where do I want to go with my career?
How do I get to where I want to go?
How do I convert my plan into action steps?
How do I make changes to my plan if I am not getting success?
In some ways, the strength of your promotion tools may be the most vital piece of your career marketing mix. Promotion — as it relates to job-searching — includes cover letters, resumes, phone calling, and interviewing. Promotion tools include anything that you can use to get a job interview and ultimately get a job offer. How much time have you spent polishing these promotion tools? Do you have a solid resume? A dynamic cover letter? How are your interviewing skills? Do you have what it takes to sell yourself to the employer?

No matter how well you are positioned and how strong your USP, if you cannot properly communicate these benefits to employers, you will not get the job. We suggest you spend some time with these major sections of Quintessential Careers:

Cover Letter Resources
Resume Resources
Interviewing Resources

Harassment of women online is at risk of becoming “an established norm in our digital society”, with women under 30 particularly vulnerable, according to the creators of a new Australian study.

Tell us about the first time you were targeted by online abuse
 Read more
Nearly half the 1,000 respondents in the research by the digital security firm Norton had experienced some form of abuse or harassment online. Among women under 30, the incidence was 76%.

Harassment ranged from unwanted contact, trolling, and cyberbullying to sexual harassment and threats of rape and death. Women under 30 were overrepresented in every category.

One in seven – and one in four women aged under 30 – had received general threats of physical violence. Almost one in ten women under 30 had experienced revenge porn and/or “sextortion”.

The online quantitative survey was carried out with 1,053 women in Australia aged 18 and over in February this year.

Similar research was done on men’s experience of harassment online, but those findings were held off in order to publicise International Women’s Day, as well as the fact that the issue is disproportionately experienced by women.

Researchers found that women received twice as many death threats and threats of sexual violence as men.

One in four lesbian, bisexual and transgender women who had suffered serious harassment online said their sexual orientation had been the target. One in five online harassment cases attacked a woman’s physical appearance.

The findings suggested that women believed that online abuse was a growing problem and felt powerless to act over it.


Seventy per cent of women said online harassment was a serious problem in 2016 and 60% said that it was getting worse. More than half the women surveyed felt the police needed to start taking victims seriously.

But 38% of those who had experienced online harassment chose to ignore it, and only 10% reported it to police.

Melissa Dempsey, senior director for the Asia Pacific region of Norton by Symantec, said the findings showed a need for greater awareness and collaboration between the IT industry and law enforcement agencies – before online harassment became “an established norm in our digital society”.

Harassment is overwhelmingly taking place on social media, which facilitates 66% of cases – three times as many as by email (22%) or text (17%). Twenty-seven per cent of the women surveyed changed the privacy settings of their accounts after their experience.

The findings will likely fuel the argument that social networks such as Twitter and Facebook need to take greater responsibility for harassment on their platforms.

The gaming journalist who tells on her internet trolls – to their mothers
 Read more
Twitter announced in February a renewed push to tackle abuse and threats made on the network. Around the same time, Facebook launched a tool to offer support to users perceived to be at risk of suicide.

Tara Moss, a Canadian-Australian author and advocate who partnered with Norton to help design the survey, said online abuse was just one form of violence against women, all of which needed to be addressed.

With nearly 96,000 followers on Twitter, she said she had often been the target of abuse online, and received a spike in threats when she was made a patron of the Full Stop Foundation, tackling rape and sexual violence.

Georgie Harman, the chief execution of beyondblue, a long-time partner with Norton, said the mental health organisation’s work was increasingly being carried out digitally.


She was especially concerned by figures that more than one in five (22%) of respondents who had experienced online harassment felt depressed and that 5% felt suicidal.

Harman said 65% of contact made to beyondblue was by women.

The Norton study coincides with a separate survey of about 1,000 women working in the Australian media, which found that more than 40% had been harassed on social media in the course of their work.

The survey by Women in Media, an advocacy group supported by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, found that 41% said they had been harassed, bullied or trolled on social media while engaging with audiences.

Several were silenced or changed career as a result of this harassment, which ranged included death threats and stalking. Sixty per cent of respondents agreed that it was more likely to be directed at women than men.

Only 16% of respondents were aware of their employer’s strategies to deal with threats on social media.

USA / ADB-Japan Scholarship Program (JSP)
« on: June 17, 2017, 07:38:19 PM »
The Asian Development Bank/Japan Scholarship Program (JSP) offers about 150 postgraduate scholarships a year for studies in economics, management, science and technology, and other development-related fields at participating academic institutions.

Location: Japan

The scholarship provides full tuition fees, a monthly allowance for expenses, housing, books and instructional materials, medical insurance and travel. For scholars engaged in research, a special grant may be available for thesis preparation. In special circumstances, computer literacy, preparatory language and other similar courses may be covered under the scholarship.


The program is open to those who have gained admission to an approved MA/PhD course at a participating academic institution. Candidates should be 35 years old or younger; in good health; with a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent; and have a superior academic record. Upon completion of their study programs, scholars are expected to return to their home country to contribute to its economic and social development.

Eligible Regions: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Fiji, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Viet Nam.

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