Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Poetry: In Jamaica, and Around the World, Tomorrow is World Poetry Day

his Wednesday, March 21, is being observed as World Poetry Day.

Here in Jamaica, Poet Laureate of Jamaica Lorna Goodison, fresh off the heels of her recent win of the Windham-Campbell Prize for poetry, will use the day to announce the winner of the Poet Laureate of Jamaica and Helen Zell Young Writers Prize for Poetry at The Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew.

The cash prize of US$1,000 is funded by the Helen Zell Writer's Program at the University of Michigan to recognise talented young Jamaicans with an interest in pursuing a career in poetry. The competition received over 340 submissions from young Jamaicans living at home and abroad, with each applicant asked to submit a portfolio of three to six poems.

The shortlisted candidates for the prize are Jovanté Anderson, Khadijah Chin, Lauren Delapenha, and Britney Gabbidon.

Giving emphasis to 'new voices' in Jamaican poetry, shortlisted candidates will be invited to read selections of their work during the programme.

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen officially declared a national poetry day through the efforts of the Poet Laureate of Jamaica programme. The celebration falls under the broader umbrella of World Poetry Day coordinated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Wednesday's event will begin with an international poetry reading segment featuring members from the diplomatic corps and international community who will share celebrated works.

n addition to this event, schools across the island have been invited to participate by reciting a poem of their own choosing during their morning devotions.

World Poetry Day was conceived as a way to recognise the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind; promote the reading, writing, and teaching of poetry; and to give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional, and international poetry movements. These objectives are in keeping with the mandate of the National Library of Jamaica.

Jamaica joins the ranks of countries such as New Zealand, Ireland, and the United States of America to officially celebrate World Poetry Day.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Poetry: MORE


more time
more interaction
bills, work, deadlines, family all
Oneness with you
my highest
Thoughts of
Obliterate every other


More knowledge
of your
Like a
I gladly lose myself
in the intricacies
of your
Like a
I revel in your
Your love swirls
in my mind like
sugar cream
a recurring dream that
dissolves merely to
Again coalesce
into an even

Energy: India Goes for Solar Domination

Weeds poke listlessly from the flat, rocky earth as the temperature climbs to the mid-90s. On a cloudless March afternoon, the blue horizon stretches out uninterrupted, as if even birds are too weary to fly.
On this unforgiving patch of southern India, millions of silver-gray panels glimmer in the sun, the start of what officials say will be the biggest solar power station in the world.
When completed, the Pavagada solar park is expected to produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 700,000 households — and the latest milestone in India's transition to generating more green energy.
Long regarded as a laggard in the fight against climate change, India is building massive solar stations at a furious clip, helping to drive a global revolution in renewable energy and reduce its dependence on coal and other carbon-spewing fossil fuels blamed for warming the planet.

Music/Tech: Hits to Help You "Hit It"; the Ipod vibrator and other Music/Tech/Sex combos

In 2017, a team of researchers from McGill University decided to scan the brains of a group of participants as they listened to music over the course of three sessions. The scans not only showed that listening to music helps release dopamine in the brain, but that anticipating the sounds of music helped prompt floods of the same “feel good” chemical. The findings also help explain why so many of us get chills when we turn on a top hit.
Other studies have found that listening to music can increase certain signs of arousal, including heart rate, breathing rate and skin conductance.
The most compelling part of Cox’s experiment relates back to how music impacts the way we move during sex. “Almost half of the people surveyed said rhythm was the key reason why music made sex better,” she revealed. Previous studies have already identified music as a movement-inducing medium. If you like to emphasize the bump and grind during sex, then music can help keep that going. The faster the beat, the more you commit to your performance. So even if the sex session starts to tire you out, it probably won’t hit you until after the deed is done.
Of course, there are other more intimate ways to combine music with sex. Suki Dunham is the founder of OhMiBod, the company credited with inventing the "iPod vibrator.” The idea originally occurred to Dunham after receiving two opportune stocking stuffers for Christmas from her husband: a vibrator and an iPod mini. “It made me wonder how great it would be to pair them together, to create a new product that would create a dual-sensory experience," she said. 
Two years later, the couple launched with the iPod vibrator, a device that uses music to create personalized sensations in the vibrator. “We knew that the tech was innovative at that time, and we felt that if we allowed users to feel the vibrations of their favorite music, as well as using it as a conventional pleasure device, we had created a pretty interesting product,” she explained. 
Those who are really committed to music, sex and tech might be pleased to hear that other industries are also pivoting toward the trifecta. Today, Amazon Prime Music subscribers can ask Alexa to play “baby making jazz” or “hooking up music.” Even our sexbots are staying in key. Exdoll, a Chinese company pumping out lifelike sex dolls to help combat the country’s massive gender gap, is now looking to incorporate some smart technology in its designs. Soon, the dolls will be able to operate appliances, conduct conversations, and of course, play music.
“Music has such a powerful effect on human moods and emotions and is the perfect vehicle to transport someone into a different mental space,” says Dunham. “Music and sex have always been close companions.”

Books: Bocas Prize "Goes Long"

Six books by writers from five Caribbean countries have been announced on the longlist for the 2018 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, sponsored by One Caribbean Media. The winners in the poetry and fiction genre categories will be announced on April 2, 2018, and the Prize of US$10,000 will be presented to the overall winner on Saturday, April 28, during the eighth annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain, April 25–29The six longlisted books are: 
Liviticus, by Kamau Brathwaite (House of Nehesi)
Infidelities, by Sonia Farmer (Poinciana Paper Press)
Madwoman, by Shara McCallum (Peepal Tree Press/Alice James Books)
If I Had the Wings, by Helen Klonaris (Peepal Tree Press)
Curfew Chronicles, by Jennifer Rahim (Peepal Tree Press)
Tell No-One About This, by Jacob Ross (Peepal Tree Press)
Considered the leading literary award for Caribbean writers, the Prize recognises books in three genre categories — poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction — published by Caribbean authors in the preceding year. The writers on the 2018 longlist range from internationally celebrated prizewinners to debut authors.
In the poetry category, the longlist brings together writers at different career stages. Barbadian Kamau Brathwaite’s Liviticus, a troubling account of what the poet calls his “cultural lynching,” has been described as “a monument to sorrow that cherishes our origins.” Brathwaite, recently honoured internationally with the PEN/Voelcker Award, has long been considered one of the Caribbean’s leading poets. Bahamian Sonia Farmer is a debut poet whose first full-length book, Infidelities, is also named to the Prize longlist. Inspired by the life of the eighteenth-century Irish-born pirate Anne Bonny, Farmer’s poems explore female independence, trauma, and desire, interweaving historical and contemporary perspectives. The final longlisted book in the poetry category, Madwoman, by Shara McCallum, similarly charts female perspectives from girlhood to motherhood, asking how our identities are shaped over time. This is the fifth book by the US-based Jamaican author.
In shortlisting these three books, the judges noted, “we were thinking of the representation of the materiality of the book itself and book art traditions in the Caribbean as part of the books’ meaning, as well as the fusion of local themes with international experimental approaches to form and voice, and the voices for our point in history going forward.”
In addition to the three longlisted books, the poetry judges have named Pitch Lake, by Trinidadian Andre Bagoo, for honourable mention.
In the fiction category, all three longlisted books are collections of short fiction, for the first time in the history of the OCM Bocas Prize. “Perhaps the short story is enjoying a new flowering,” suggest the judges. If I Had the Wings, the debut book by US-based Bahamian Helen Klonaris, collects powerful, lyrical stories about queer coming-of-age and family relationships in the contemporary Bahamas. Curfew Chronicles, by Trinidadian Jennifer Rahim, is a series of linked short stories unfolding over a period of twenty-four hours, with a cast of interconnected characters from all levels of society. The book offers a vivid portrait of a society at a moment of crisis, and the interpersonal bonds that shape and are shaped by public events. And Tell No-One About This, by Jacob Ross, ranges from the author’s native Grenada to Britain, where he settled later in life, and over a forty-year sweep of Caribbean history. From stories of childhood self-discovery to intimate accounts of the lives of resilient women, Ross’s short fictions share a poetic grounding in their landscapes.
Notably and also for the first time, all three longlisted books in the fiction category are from a single publisher, UK-based Peepal Tree Press.
In addition to the longlisted books, the fiction judges also named an honourable mention: Come Let Us Sing Anyway, by Jamaican-British Leone Ross.
The 2018 OCM Bocas Prize non-fiction judges have made an unprecedented decision to name no titles to the longlist. “While a few books stood head and shoulders above the rest,” write the judges, “even those had obvious shortcomings, and we believe that this prize ought to be awarded for achievement, not for effort.” None of the eligible books, the judges continue, “could be held to represent the best of regional writing.”
“We welcome this rigour,” says Marina Salandy-Brown, director of the Bocas Lit Fest, which administers the Prize. “We rely on the expertise of a panel of distinguished judges, who do their deliberations in complete independence. In declaring that no non-fiction books published in the past year meet the level of the prize, the judges uphold the standard that our writers must aim for.”
The winners in the poetry and fiction genre categories will be announced on 2 April, 2018, and the Prize of US$10,000 will be presented to the overall winner on Saturday 28 April, during the eighth annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain, 25–29 April.
The 2018 judging panels for the OCM Bocas Prize bring together Caribbean and international writers, academics, and critics. Vahni Capildeo, the Forward Prize–winning Trinidadian writer based in the UK, chairs the poetry panel, which also includes Puerto Rican Loretta Collins Klobah and Haitian-American Danielle Legros Georges. On the fiction panel, chair Evelyn O’Callaghan, Jamaican professor of West Indian literature at UWI, Cave Hill, is joined by British literary critic Maya Jaggi and UK-based Jamaican writer Kei Miller. Trinidadian writer Judy Raymond, editor in chief of Newsday, chairs the non-fiction panel, which also includes Barbadian writer and editor Robert Edison Sandiford and UK-born, Trinidad-based writer and editor Jeremy Taylor.
The overall chair of the 2018 cross-judging panel is the celebrated Jamaican poet, memoirist, and fiction writer Lorna Goodison, who has just won a Windham Campbell Prize.

Music: Studio(s) for 2: "The Carters" Touch Down in Jamaica


Music's reigning, if sometimes rocky, power couple JayZ and Beyoncé were scheduled to arrive in Jamaica
lat night (Sunday).

The American couple will be recording songs and videos, the source said, but declined to say which studio they will be using.

The platinum-selling artistes, accompanied by their children and nanny, will  reportedly be staying at a private residence in Kingston
The two have a current single "Top Off" which is their first hit together since 2014's "Drunk in Love"

Tech:More Juice in Your Batteries


The batteries that power our modern world will soon experience something not heard of in years: double-digit-percentage increases in their capacity to store electricity. 

The next wave of batteries is finally ready for commercialization, which should result in mobile phones that have 10% to 30% more battery life, an increase in cellular-connected wearables and makers of electric cars and home storage batteries being able to knock thousands of dollars off their prices, among other potential developments. 

Some startups say they are developing production-ready batteries with anodes that are mostly silicon, which can hold 25 times as many lithium ions as graphite, a material typically used to make anodes. 

This would be a more fundamental change to the materials that make up batteries rather than yet another improvement in production that slightly increases storage capacity. However, silicon brings countless technical challenges. 

For example, a pure silicon anode will soak up so many lithium ions that it gets “pulverized” after a single charge, says the director of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research.