Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Victoria's Secret Intense



If you love tropical scents as I do, you must try this fragrance. If it reminds you of coconut-based Bath & Body Works body mists, it might be because both Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works are owned by L Brands (which begs the question, which Henri Bendel brand fragrance might resemble PINK?). If you like BBW Honolulu Sun and VS Coconut Passion, you'll love Intense eau de parfum by Victoria's Secret. To me, it smells of pineapples and sweet coconut, plus some full-bodied yet cool, aquatic melange of white florals, spice and fruit -- melon or banana? It's musky the way pikake can smell to me, but otherwise a clean aroma, like shampoo.

Perfume lovers often shun the shampoo-scented fragrances as smelling cheap, but I'm often a sucker for these kinds of blends. Also, I don't care if Victoria's Secret hasn't hired any Asian models, I still love this perfume. It's like I'd rather see Scarlett Johansson play a Japanese character on screen than a less appealing Asian just to "be fair." I guess when they find someone exceptional like Miiko Taka, we'll talk. Smell good, lovelies. 💋

P.S. I love that Intense is the name of the fragrance, and it's not a flanker, lol. 😎

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Vaccine-Autism Link Study is Allegedly Part of Trump Administration's $54 Billion Budget Cut

Happy Spring Break, guys! No, not at your school? Well, speaking of education, Autism funding was actually cut in NY State, so I will never again trust that autism has bipartisan support. And what's this study going to do but tell everyone what we already know? It's not helping anyone, that's what - and that's what Trump was voted for. Vaccine-Autism Link Study is Allegedly Part of Trump Administration's $54 Billion Budget Cut by Regin Olimberio, sciencetimes Mar 13, 2017

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Rebuttal to Groups Supporting Female Draft Registration




"In July 2016, a letter in support of draft registration for women, signed by 16 organizations, was sent to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. The joint letter was coordinated by the national American Civil Liberties Union and was sent on ACLU letterhead. Its signers included, among others, the Service Women’s Action Network, American Association of University Women, Human Rights Watch, NAACP, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and National Organization for Women. Their goal in urging the extension of draft registration to women was very narrow: advancing the cause of gender equality.

"The fact that groups like the ACLU have historically opposed military conscription in the U.S. made the letter all the more frustrating to those who have been trying for decades to end draft registration and terminate the Selective Service System. In response to the ACLU-coordinated letter, COMD and a number of other organizations wrote and sent the following statement to various signers of the ACLU-coordinated letter. Because of space limitations, this is a slightly abridged version of the statement.

"(...)we hope also that your organization will publicly support ending the registration for men and Congressional proposals to abolish the Selective Service System (H.R. 4523 and S. 3041 in the current Congress)." Read the article: Rebuttal to Groups Supporting Female Draft Registration - Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft | Originally Published in Draft NOtices, January-March 2017 | nnomy.org

~~~~~~~~~~~


Related links:

Sweden Introduces Military Draft For Both Men And Women - March 02, 2017

"Norway extended compulsory military service to women in summer 2016. Women currently make up about ten percent of the Norwegian Armed Forces. All medically fit women aged between 19 and 44 years will be obliged to complete at least 19 months of military service." Draft for Women: Female Conscription Worldwide - February 07, 2017

Federica Mogherini remarks on important decisions taken with Foreign and Defence Ministers on EU defence

Federica Mogherini remarks on important decisions taken with Foreign and Defence Ministers on EU defence

Remarks by Federica Mogherini following the joint meeting of Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council - Remarks by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini following the joint meeting of Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council | Bruxelles, 06/03/2017 European Union External Action eeas.europa.eu

About the European External Action Service (EEAS): Since 2014, Italy's Federica Mogherini has been the EU's High Representative/Vice President. As the EU's chief diplomat she is charged with shaping and carrying out the EU's foreign, security and defence policies.

Related links:

Sweden Introduces Military Draft For Both Men And Women - March 02, 2017

"Norway extended compulsory military service to women in summer 2016. Women currently make up about ten percent of the Norwegian Armed Forces. All medically fit women aged between 19 and 44 years will be obliged to complete at least 19 months of military service." Draft for Women: Female Conscription Worldwide - February 07, 2017

Added at 9:34 AM: "In July 2016, a letter in support of draft registration for women, signed by 16 organizations, was sent to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. The joint letter was coordinated by the national American Civil Liberties Union and was sent on ACLU letterhead." Rebuttal to Groups Supporting Female Draft Registration - March 9, 2017

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Flutist Dave Valentin Dies at 64





Via Jazz Times: "Born in 1952 in the Bronx, Valentin began playing Latin percussion at a young age, playing professionally in NYC nightclubs by age 11 and later attending New York’s High School of Music and Art. In college, he continued his percussion studies but took up the flute as a second instrument, the end result of an attempt to impress a classmate. He didn’t get the girl—but did get introduced to the instrument that would take him to future musical success. Switching to flute exclusively, and dissuaded from exploring the sax by Hubert Laws, his flute instructor for a short time, Valentin developed a style born of his percussive instincts, incorporating syncopation, forceful staccato bursts to create drum-like effects and a number of growling vocalizations generating sharp overtones—on top of a mellow and classic flute sound." Flutist Dave Valentin Dies at 64 - Grammy-winning Latin-jazz and crossover musician released more than 20 albums as a leader | 03/09/2017 jazztimes.com

Via 88.3FM WBGO: "Valentin was celebrated in Latin-jazz circles for more than 40 years, initially as a byproduct of his cultural foundation as a Bronx-born Puerto Rican. But he was wary of being typecast, preferring to describe himself as a “world artist,” and playing variations of his instrument with ties to the folkloric music of East Asia, South America and Eastern Europe. He played a Peruvian bamboo bass flute, a Romanian pan flute, Bolivian pan pipes, and various other kinds of flute from around the world, typically traveling with more than a dozen varieties." Dave Valentin, Virtuoso Flutist with a Foundation in Latin-Jazz, Dies at 64 by Nate Chinen wbgo.org

"In March 2012, Valentin suffered from a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and unable to perform. He suffered a second stroke in 2015.

"Valentin died at Throgs Neck Rehab & Care Facility Wednesday in the Bronx, according to reports. He was 64 years old." Latin jazz musician Dave Valentin dead at 64 - bronx.news12.com

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Sweden Introduces Military Draft For Both Men And Women

"Copenhagen: Sweden's left-leaning government introduced a military draft for both men and women on Thursday because of what its defense minister called a deteriorating security environment in Europe and around Sweden.

"Sweden abolished compulsory military service for men in 2010 because there were enough volunteers to meet its military needs." Continue reading: Sweden Introduces Military Draft For Both Men And Women - Associated Press, March 2, 2017

Related link: "Norway extended compulsory military service to women in summer 2016. Women currently make up about ten percent of the Norwegian Armed Forces. All medically fit women aged between 19 and 44 years will be obliged to complete at least 19 months of military service." Draft for Women: Female Conscription Worldwide - February 07, 2017

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Jazz Ensemble - Introducing the Band

Via apassion4jazz.net

"Piano: Pianists are intellectuals and know-it-alls since they studied theory, harmony and composition in college..." Continue reading: The Jazz Ensemble - Introducing the Band - A Passion for Jazz!

Millennial Myths Dispelled: Andrew Au

Think millennials are lazy, entitled and self-centered? Andrew Au says you're wrong. Millennial Myths Dispelled: Andrew Au by Laurel Moglen, Feb. 22, 2017 Forbes

Saturday, February 25, 2017

How a Transgender Man Tries to Honor His Muslim Faith




Via latimes: (...)"This path he had taken was not an easy one. Perhaps, however it would settle once and for all: Could Alex be transgender and Muslim at the same time?

"Muslim Arabs have some history with people who hold a culturally recognized third gender, including eunuchs who lived in the time of the prophet Muhammad and came into contact with him. But not in the modern period.

(...)"Alex is aware of media reports that naively heralded Iran as an affirming place for transgender people in the wake of the 1987 decision by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini allowing gender-reassignment surgery. Iran is now the second-largest center for the procedure behind Thailand, according to some estimates.

(...)""Those decisions just allow them to 'fix' people and say that they don't have gay people," Alex says. "It's because they are so conservative, not because they are liberal in any way. They would never allow someone like me: a trans man who is sexually attracted to men and women and trans men and trans women."

(...)"Alex sometimes envies the path of his best friend, Zaki Hale, who is also Palestinian American.

""My cousin told me you can't be gay and Muslim, so I just said, 'I'd much rather be gay,'" Zaki told Alex.

"Zaki, 22, has never looked back.

(...)"For him, it is no easier to shed his faith than his gender and sexuality.

"He knew there would be days when worries over his body image would prevent him from even leaving his apartment. On Facebook this summer, he typed that he was searching for "anyone who has time just to help me just get out the house without crying. I'm reaching out cuz I need help."

"But to his surprise, the struggle to reconcile his identity has brought moments of exhilaration as well.

"At San Francisco's Pride Parade this year, he drew loud cheers as he marched wearing the trans flag on his back as a cape and his father's kaffiyeh hanging from his neck. On his arm, he showed off his tattoo of the Arabic word for strength.

"Alex is studying psychology at City College of San Francisco. "Because, you know, of my past," he said. "I like working out what is the difference between persuasion and manipulation and figuring out where that manipulation is really rooted."

"But the acclaim coincided with a quiet realization that maybe he wasn't too far off from Zaki's conclusion that you couldn't be Muslim and LGBTQ. So, in frustration, he stopped going to the mosque." Read the article: How a Transgender Man Tries to Honor His Muslim Faith by Garrett Therolf, July 21, 2015 Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Lady Who Shot Lee Morgan

Via Jason Palmer's Weblog: The Lady Who Shot Lee Morgan - By Larry Reni Thomas: The Story of Helen Morgan, if You Didn’t Know Already jasonpalmerjazz.wordpress.com (Image: Art Blakey and Lee Morgan)

Monday, February 20, 2017

My February 2017 Fragrance Favorites List






From Shalimar to Fantasy, my preferences in perfume span from classic to trendy, yet always seem comfortably classified in the Floral Oriental olfactive family. Guerlain Shalimar (1925) whose legend is not only its iconic blend of lemon and vanilla over a musky bed of sandalwood but the story behind the perfume, of a widower who built the Taj Mahal with all its sentimental yet ostentatious rose-clad glory in memory of his dead wife, is my inspiration this week for personal perfume blending. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to recreate the best parts of Shalimar if you have lemon and vanilla oils in your perfume organ. It won't smell like Shalimar, but if you're lucky, more like a pleasant hotel soap redolent of lemon sorbet.






Britney Spears Fantasy by Elizabeth Arden which is a wonderful gourmand scent with notes of quince and kiwi constructing a key lime tartness atop a vanillic-woody base, shares elements with Shalimar, primarily of citrus and vanilla. I tried one of the Fantasy flankers the other day, and I honestly can't smell the difference between the original Fantasy and Fantasy Rocker Femme which supposedly has a coconut note in it. I tried another flanker before (Remix?), which also smelled like Fantasy, so I've decided the Fantasy series isn't nearly as daring as Guerlain's offerings such as Shalimar Light (Shalimar Eau Légère Parfumée), my favorite variation of Shalimar from 2003 (last edited at 11:34 AM).

The other day, I didn't ask a woman which perfume she was wearing, but it was a nice, somewhat sweet fruity floral. I'd love a new perfume like that, but I have no clue where to look for generic girly these days.

Top fragrances for February 2017:

Guerlain Shalimar Light
Britney Spears Fantasy Rocker Femme
Paris Hilton
Rihanna Reb'l Fleur
Taylor Swift Wonderstruck Enchanted
JLo Miami Glow
Ralph Lauren Big Pony 2

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Le Pen: French Jews Will Have to Give Up Israeli Citizenship



Image: French Marianne Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu in Fort Saganne


Marine Le Pen wants everyone to know Russia is Europe while Israel is not, that in her France, yarmulkes and hijabs will not be accepted, and anyone with French dual citizenship with non-European countries must renounce it.

Via Haaretz: "In a France ruled by the far-right Marine Le Pen, Jewish citizens will be forced to give up their Israeli citizenship, the Front National party leader said on Thursday." Le Pen: French Jews Will Have to Give Up Israeli Citizenship - Leading contender in French election tells interviewer she won't allow dual citizenships with non-European countries. Asked specifically about Jews and Israel, she said: 'Israel isn't an EU member.' By Roni Bar, Haaretz 10.02.20

Via JTA — "Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front party, said she favored making it illegal to be a dual citizen of France and other countries outside Europe – including Israel and the United States.

"Le Pen, who according to some polls is the leading candidate in France’s presidential elections in May, spoke about dual French-Israeli nationality in replying to a question Thursday during a two-hour interview on the France 2 television channel.

"Nearly an hour into the interview, the French-Lebanese journalist Lea Salame asked Le Pen to “clarify” certain aspects of her plan to outlaw dual nationality in France for French citizens who are also nationals of non-European countries.

"Asked whether this applied to Russia, which is in Europe but is not a member of the European Union, Le Pen said: “You know very well I want a Europe of nations and Russia belongs to it,” Le Pen said.

"Le Pen then was asked whether her plan was to make it impossible for Moroccans and Americans to have dual passports, while allowing it for Russians.

"“Yes, that’s what it’s like in Germany,” Le Pen responded.

"“Does your Europe extend to Israel, and let me clarify: Will you demand that French Jews renounce their Israeli dual citizenship?” Salame asked, to which Le Pen replied: “Israel is not a European country and I see that Israel itself accepts this assertion and opinion. So I’m against dual nationality outside Europe.”" Marine Le Pen: No more dual nationalities for Israelis, Americans and other non-Europeans - February 10, 2017 

Via Tablet: "Earlier this week, the far-right leader reiterated her longstanding support for banning the wearing of yarmulkes in public spaces, as part of an overall ban on religious (mostly Muslim) attire. “The struggle against radical Islam should be a joint struggle and everyone should say, ‘there, we are sacrificing something,’” she told Israel’s Channel 2. “Maybe they [Jews] will do with just wearing a hat [instead of a yarmulke], but it would be a step in the effort to stamp out radical Islam in France.” Conveniently, Le Pen has never called to ban wearing crosses in public, having previously claimed that “the Catholic religion doesn’t have conspicuous symbols.”" Why Marine Le Pen Wants to Ban French Jews from Wearing Yarmulkes and Having Dual Israeli Citizenship - Latent anti-Semitism and a desire to marginalize Muslims are driving the far-right presidential candidate to ensnare Jews in her policies. By Yair Rosenberg, February 10, 2017 tabletmag.com

Added at 9:44 AM via The Jerusalem Post: "Israel feels a deep connection to Europe, but should remember that its affection for Europe has a lot in common with Stockholm Syndrome. Israel considers itself part of the Western cultural tradition, and of course it is; along with Greece, it is the birthplace of the Western cultural tradition. Israel should remember that it is much less a product of European culture than Europe is a product of Israeli and Judean culture." Moving Israel from Europe to Asia - As more and more West European Jews make aliya, western Europe’s tech industries will take comparable hits. By Joshua Gelernter, 19 Jan 2015 The Jerusalem Post

Monday, February 13, 2017

Al Jarreau Valentine's Day Marathon ❤



"After All" - Music by Al Jarreau, Jay Graydon and David Foster from High Crime


Al Jarreau & Melissa Manchester - "The Music of Goodbye" (Out Of Africa Theme) – Music by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, John Barry

Music of Al Jarreau


"Moonlighting"
Music by Al Jarreau and Lee Holdridge

"Says"
Music by Al Jarreau and Philippe Saisse from L Is for Lover

"No Ordinary Romance"
Music by Michael Gregory from L Is for Lover

RIP Al Jarreau

Alwin Lopez Jarreau
(March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017)


From Al Jarreau's Twitter: "We ask that no flowers or gifts are sent. A donation page has been set up for Wisconsin Foundation for School Music."

From Wisconsin Foundation for School Music: "Milwaukee-born and raised, Al Jarreau is internationally acclaimed for his ability to sing many styles, his scat singing and his talent of taking on the character of guitar and percussion, all with his versatile and soulful voice. Jarreau has topped the music sales charts with more than 20 albums. He is the only vocalist in history to have Grammy Awards in the 3 categories of jazz, pop, and R&B. Jarreau’s Grammy earnings now total seven, along with a nomination for the theme song from the ever-popular TV show, Moonlighting. Al Jarreau continues to tour the world and delight audiences, while also tirelessly working to promote the importance of keeping music and arts opportunities alive for children everywhere!"


Donate now in Al Jarreau's honor to Wisconsin Foundation for School Music: foundation4schoolmusic.org