Saturday, June 24, 2017

Lifestyle: Not "Skirting the Issue" Denim is back

the denim skirt is having a new moment.
The ’90s and early-aughts throwback trend is making the rounds this summer, in varying lengths and styles — as seen here on Bella Hadid, Khloé Kardashian and Kendall Jenner.
Denim skirts were popular in the ’70s, when boho types retooled their jeans into a breezier version, but it wasn’t until the ’90s that denim skirts became “the look,” thanks to the grunge movement and movies like “Clueless.”
Anyone who grew up in the early aughts can attest to the onslaught of the Abercrombie & Fitch denim-miniskirt craze. You could visit any dimly lit A&F store in any mall, and you were guaranteed to see a clutch of young girls in matching A&F tees, chokers and, of course, distressed denim miniskirts.
The trend peaked and fell, as trends do, but it’s finally making its way back around. Denim lovers, to the mall!

Books: The most frequently stolen books

he Book Thief sparked an interest  to find out which books are most commonly stolen from libraries and bookstores.
The findings have been quite interesting. Which book holds the record for being the book most often stolen from public libraries? Take a guess. It’s the Guinness Book of Records. No joke. In 2013, Marino Massimo De Caro, former director of the Girolamini Library in Naples, pulled off one of the most dramatic thefts ever to hit the rare-book world when volumes of centuries-old editions by the likes of Aristotle, Descartes, Galileo, and Machiavelli disappeared. So, what are the most frequently stolen books? Believe it or not, the books most often lifted from libraries are quite different than those taken from bookstores.
The Most Stolen Books From Libraries:
  1. As I stated above, The Guinness Book of Records tops the list.
  2. The Bible. I can’t make this stuff up. People believe that the Word of God should be free. I guess people don’t realize the whole point of a library.
  3. Exam Prep Books. You name the exam, the prep book gets stolen. People steal these because they require extensive practice at home, and many times it takes longer than the library check out period allows. The most interesting: law enforcement officers training manuals are among the most commonly stolen exam prep books.
  4. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and other racy books/magazines, including art books with nude photos/paintings, Kama Sutra manuals, and erotica novels. This makes a little bit more sense – people are embarrassed to check these types of books out. Believe it or not, people tend to actually rip out pages with sexy illustrations on them and stash them instead of checking out the book.
  5. Art Books. Expensive art books can net a pretty penny when sold on eBay.
  6. Reference Books/Books on University Reading Lists/Textbooks. These are typically expensive to buy, and starving college students need them for much longer than the library check out period allows.
  7. Books About the Abnormal. Paranormal activity. UFOs. Witchcraft. Abortion. Astrology. Nazi-era material. And…Islam?
The Most Stolen Books from Bookstores:
  1. Anything by Charles Bukowski or William S. Burroughs. Book sellers tend to keep books by these authors behind the counter because they get swiped so often.
  2. On the Road by Jack Kerouac. If you notice a theme here, Bukowski, Burroughs, and Kerouac books all share, shall I put it bluntly, content of sex and drugs. It seems that those most likely to commit a reckless act (stealing) are also interested in reading about reckless acts.
  3. Graphic Novels. The majority of book thieves are young, white males, and this is what they read.
  4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Which was actually one of the most commonly stolen books long before the movie came out.
  5. Various Selections from Ernest Hemingway, including A Moveable Feast and The Sun Also Rises.
  6. Naked and Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. David Sedaris? Really?
  7. The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster. I wouldn’t have thought this was the stuff of the five-finger discount.
Honorable Mentions for Bookstores: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, Steal This Book by Abbie Hoffman, The Alchemist by Paul Coelho, anything by Martin Amis.

Friday, June 23, 2017

"Focus on Regs" says Cannabis licensing Authority

The following is a release fro m the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) and does not necessarily align with the views of this blog:

 As Jamaica develops its cannabis industry, of utmost importance has been to adhere to regulations which have been set with close guidance to the international treaties. In so doing, it seeks to maintain the transparency and integrity needed to assure international confidence which aids in promoting exports from Jamaica and develop confidence from the banking sector.

To guarantee a reputable medical cannabis industry, there needs to be an assurance for the consumer that cannabis products are safe, properly labelled and packaged and provided by reputable sources. This requirement is no different than that of any other medical products. Jamaica’s closed loop system, ensures the maintenance of a legal framework in which persons may access medicinal cannabis that is tested and safe for consumption.

Within the supply chain, each licensee is required to conduct transactions only with those who are also in possession of a licence. As such, if a processor wishes to make a product for sale, they must acquire cannabis from a licensed cultivator, and then have this transported by a licensed transporter. To sell their product in a retail setting, they must have a buyer, who is able to sell in a licensed retail facility. For an individual to purchase the product for medicinal use, they must be in possession of a medical prescription allowing them to consume.

The development and adherence to the closed loop system, also protects the general populace by minimizing the opportunities for the illicit ganja trade to grow, despite the development of legal channels for the growing, transportation, research, processing and selling of the plant.

Luxury: Robb Report on Rum, Appleton's 21 is #1

We sat down with spirits expert Fred Minnick on the eve of the release of his latest book, focused on that beguiling brown spirit of summer—rum. His latest tome is Rum Curious: The Indispensable Tasting Guide to the World’s Spirit, published in June.
“Everyone knows rum is great for making cocktails, but it’s also a fantastic sipping spirit,” says Minnick. “Whiskies and brandies are what people have traditionally ordered to drink neat. Well, I say it’s high time to pour two fingers of the world’s best rum and enjoy it in all its complexity and diversity.” Sounds like a plan. Here are 7 great sippers Minnick recommends.

See the other selections here

Biz: Argentina votes to "fly the gate" for start-ups

Despite years of economic uncertainties and the lack of a proper legal framework to help promising startups obtain capital, Argentine entrepreneurs are building a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. Last month, the Senate voted unanimously to approve legislation supporting entrepreneurial activity growth in Argentina.
Aimed at easing the bureaucratic burdens entrepreneurs must bear, and backed by the Association of Entrepreneurs in Argentina (ASEA) and Argentina Association of Private Equity, Venture and Seed Capital (ARCAP), the new legislation replaces the old application, approval and financing procedures that took up to one year for entrepreneurs to complete before they could legally launch their companies.
The passing of the Entrepreneurs’ Law (Ley de Emprendedores) comes at a pivotal time for Argentina. It is aligned with President Mauricio Macri’s push to open up Argentina’s economy and place the country once again in the global market. But, to fully understand the significance of the Entrepreneurs’ Law, it’s important to understand Argentina’s difficult, yet resilient, entrepreneurial past.
For Argentina’s startup community, and organizations like ASEA and ARCAP, Chile has been a prime example of what is possible when entrepreneurs have the backing and support of the government. This is why the passing of the Entrepreneurs’ Lawcomes at such a crucial time. Argentine innovators have always stood out in the region, but with this new law, the country’s entrepreneurs can finally go beyond being just a regional success story and take a momentous leap forward as a leader in technology and innovation in the world.
For the last few years, emerging markets have been drawing inspiration for their entrepreneurial laws from another program that has been widely credited as a prime model of successful government intervention in venture capital: Yozma.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Culture: At 50, Rolling Stone gets its book

For the past fifty years, Rolling Stone magazine has been a leading voice in journalism, cultural criticism, and—above all—music. This landmark book documents the magazine’s rise to prominence as the voice of rock and roll and a leading showcase for era-defining photography. From the 1960s to the present day, the book offers a decade-by-decade exploration of American music and history. 

Interviews with rock legends—Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Kurt Cobain, Bruce Springsteen, and more—appear alongside iconic photographs by Baron Wolman, Annie Leibovitz, Mark Seliger, and other leading image-makers. With feature articles, excerpts, and exposés by such quintessential writers as Hunter S. Thompson, Matt Taibbi, and David Harris, this book is an irresistible and essential keepsake of the magazine that has defined American music for generations of readers.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Culture: Remembering James Gandolfini

To millions of viewers, James Gandolfini - who died on this date in 2013 - was, and continues to be, Tony Soprano, the head of the crime family on groundbreaking HBO series "The Sopranos".

But of course, he was so much, both as an actor and as a person.

Many of his A-list collegaues have testified to Gandolfini's generosity, not only with money, but with his time, and especially when helping colleagues get through grief and other tough times.

As an actor, his versatility was evident, even as some of his early roles (I first saw him in Tony Scott's "True Romance" playing the heavy) sought to typecast him. As his exposure grew, so did the recognition of his abilities, and thus also did the variety of roles.

For the show, his accomplishments speak for themselves three Emmys for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series, three Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Male Actor in a Drama Series and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series Drama — staggering by any measure.

Gandolfini’s last enduring role came in the 2013 film “Enough Said,” directed by Nicole Holofcener and co-starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Gandolfini is Albert, a divorcee who grows close to a masseuse named Eva (Louis-Dreyfus).
While the film only made $25.3 million at the box office — just after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, Gandolfini received critical acclaim for his role.
Gandolfini’s final film appearance was as Marv in Michael R. Roskam’s 2014 crime drama, “The Drop.” The film was released posthumously and featured Gandolfini as a bartender in Brooklyn — at a place that’s become “the drop” for illegal activities. It also features Tom Hardy in a leading role.
Like “Enough Said,” the film received positive reviews from critics and earned a “certified fresh” 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.