Total Pageviews

Saturday, July 31, 2021


Hobart, Tasmania, Australia home to classic Euro-style coffee houses like Jackman & McRoss
If Australia can be seen in the shape of a cow, Tasmania and its central city of Hobart would be the “udder.” Maybe even called Australia’s udder island. 

Hobart, population 232,670 has a nice collection of coffee houses. Here are just three. 


Family-owned and run espresso bar and live music venue, known for its coffee and modern décor in a popular part of Hobart’s colorful harborside. 

Stall 21 Brooke Street Pier, Franklin Wharf, Hobart, Tasmania 


Boutique café located in fashionable, historic Salamanca Square is a niche provider of premium coffee for the most ardent coffee connoisseur. 3 Salamanca Square, Battery Point, Hobart, Tasmania. 


While Sydney has Bourke St Bakery and Melbourne has Brunetti, Hobart has Jackman & McRoss. This much-lauded bakery and cafe is a non-negotiable stop if you find yourself in Hobart. Pair your coffee with one of its many house-baked pastries or cakes, or indulge in a more leisurely brekky or lunch. 57 Hampden Road, Battery Point, Hobart, Tasmania.


Friday, July 30, 2021



GUEST BLOG / By Deacon Jim Vargas, OFS, President and CEO--“…In 1982, when Father Joe Carroll became the director of the St. Vincent de Paul Center, he began his tenure passing out peanut butter sandwiches (sans jelly—they couldn’t afford it yet!). 

In the beginning, Father Joe said, “We didn’t really know what the problem was. That’s why we figured the important thing was to learn what the problem is and from there design the future shelters. What do the people need and how do we provide it?” 

With support from the San Diego community, Father Joe led the growth of one of the most comprehensive homeless services agencies in the country. Together, we changed the lives of tens of thousands of people experiencing homelessness. With his recent passing, now, we honor Father Joe’s incredible life and legacy of compassion and service through the upcoming Celebration of Life event and ongoing Father Joe Carroll Memorial Fund. 

Join us for the Celebration of Life for Father Joe Carroll on August 10th at the San Diego Convention Center at 10:30 am. 

The Celebration of Life will be a free, public event. 

Registration is necessary in order to enter the event and seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. RSVP CLICK HERE  Additionally, you can contribute to the Father Joe Carroll Memorial Fund, which supports the continuation of Father Joe’s legacy of comprehensive services. Thank you for your continued support as we honor our beloved Father Joe. 

Note: If you are unable to join, we will be live streaming the event on YouTube. 

Thursday, July 29, 2021


First in a summer-long series highlighting America’s ice cream parlors. 




When a streetcar ran down Queens’ Metropolitan Avenue in the first half of the 20th century, soda fountains like Eddie’s Sweet Shop were commonplace in big cities and small towns across America. 

Today, this hundred-year-old corner gem on Metropolitan in the leafy, Tudor-style enclave of Forest Hills is one of the last of its kind left in the country, and it certainly shows its vintage. 

On summer afternoons, Eddie’s still fills up with crowds of happy Queens kids, and the diversity of the clientele reminds you that fortunately, it’s not the 1920s anymore. 

The shop itself, though, is practically unchanged – every piece of equipment behind the counter, from the shiny Frigidaire to the tiny metal cabinet hand-painted with the words “hot fudge,” could be from a museum. 

“The fridge is one of the first electric fridges,” owner Vito Citrano explains. “It’s about 80 years old, and some of the dishware is just as old.” 

The neon “SODA” sign out front, the subway-tile floors, and the worn, spindly, less-than-comfortable wooden stools that line the counter also suggest another era. Vito, whose father Giuseppe bought the place in 1968, says that it’s getting harder to maintain all of these details, but he views Eddie’s as “part of history,” a landmark that’s his job to maintain. 

The soda fountain is an American tradition he reveres, and nothing is more important than the frozen treats themselves.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021


Exterior of the renovated Sri Lanka home shows an all-white finish with new entryway. 

Photography Halala Kanda Group 

GUEST BLOG / By Claire Turrell, Writer, Insider, Inc.--Four friends bought a crumbling, 100-year-old mansion and two acres in the Sri Lankan jungle for $430,000 and spent years restoring it. Today, they’re renting it out for $1,400 per night. 

It was in 2010 when the interior designer Dean Sharpe first glimpsed the crumbling mansion on the Sri Lankan hillside near the town of Weligama (Southern tip of Sri Lanka in the Matara District]. 

The son of a wealthy plantation owner built the mansion in 1912 to woo his bride. In its glory days, Halala Kanda — known as Firefly Hill to locals — played host to guests such as Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie and the legendary Australian cricketer Keith Miller. 

But when Sharpe first saw it, the tired relic with its crumbling plaster looked as if it had been lost to the jungle. The coral and stone walls had collapsed, bats were roosting in the rafters, the windows were boarded up, and a tree was growing through the roof of the entryway. 

 Relic past of entryway had a tree growing through the roof.

"It was a ruin of what it once was," Sharpe told Insider. "But we walked in and fell in love with it." We being Sharpe’s friends Jenny Lewis, Richard Bleasdale, and Bentley de Beyer. 

Sharpe was tasked with creating the look of the villa, which wrapped around an open-air courtyard. The group commissioned the architect Ross Logie to bring their dreams to reality. 

Work began in December 2012, a full 100 years after the structure was built. "We wanted it to look as authentic as possible," Sharpe said. "But we didn't want to create a pastiche of what went before." 

Maintaining the bones 

Because the friends wanted to keep as much of the original building as possible, they considered every piece of the home carefully before scrapping it: "We didn't do a big bonfire and burn everything," Sharpe said. "Each window frame and roof joist was carefully removed and stacked." 

There were certain parts of the villa they couldn't hold onto. The grand entrance was crumbling, and the tiled roof of the kitchen wing had caved in. Termites had attacked the plaster, which meant the builders had to scrape the walls back to the original coral and stone structure. 

"The demolition took four months to complete," Sharpe said. "The builders were concerned as they needed to get the tarpaulin on the roof to protect it from the monsoon season." He declined to share how much they spent on renovating the property. 

Sharpe replaced the roof with white corrugated iron to reflect the heat and give the home a contemporary look. It also helped monkey-proof the roof: "The tiles had been replaced in the 1950s, so they weren't turn of the century," Sharpe said. "We needed to protect it, as it's a bit of a monkey freeway." 

Modern additions 

Previously, the well in the garden had been the villa's only source of water, but the friends arranged for it to be connected to the local mains. They also installed air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems. 

By 2014, the house was in livable condition, though work was ongoing. Logie's plans for the house followed the original footprint of the house, but they made the internal rooms more functional. 

Logie created sight lines in the house that gave every room a vista. He also installed a 23-meter-long saltwater pool in the garden, an art nouveau-style folly [adjacent greenhouse], and built staff quarters into the hillside. 

View of the home including the salt water pool/garden pavilion (folly). 

Logie said the biggest challenge was ensuring the qualities of the original were not lost through renovations. "I think we achieved this goal by matching the spirit of the existing villa with harmonious, yet contemporary, additions," he said. "For example, the swimming pool and pool pavilion are clearly designed for modern living, yet the pool pavilion shares a fluid style of early-20th-century art nouveau." 

Surprises at every turn "When we cut back the jungle undergrowth we found a cashew grove, mango orchard, and coconut trees," Sharpe said. "It was like we'd discovered a secret garden." The friends also planted coffee and tea bushes, pineapple and citrus groves, and pepper and cinnamon vines. 

In the 1950s, the mansion featured pastel-colored walls, but Sharpe decided to let the architecture shine with a simple monochrome theme. He chose not to paint over the wooden rafters, as was fashionable before, instead leaving them bare so the artistry could be on display. 

 Dining room of the Sri Lankan villa

When it came to decorating, Sharpe scoured the Sri Lankan countryside for antiques and had others made by local artisans. He commissioned a carpenter who had recently returned from working on hotels in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, to make the sofas and four-poster beds for the mansion. 

The antique-sourcing trips gave rise to the Room of Curiosities next to the entrance of the house. "It features buys we've collected and items that people have left for us," Sharpe said. "The idea is that it gets added to. Curios include a hexagonal wood table inlaid with tropical woods found in Sri Lanka, as well as chess sets, street puppets, and books. 

"The Room of Curiosities is my favorite place in the house. I like to sit and read or listen to music and hear the buzz of the house — from the people in the pool, to the clatter in the kitchen." 

 Interior shot of the home featuring sculpture 

The friends now rent the villa to guests for $1,400 a night. The TV host Jaala Dyer from New Zealand rented the villa in 2018 with friends from Singapore. "Every now and again you stumble onto something truly special. That's the perfect way to describe Halala Kanda," Dyer said. "It's architecturally interesting and luxurious, without being clinical and stark. Everywhere you sit in the house just feels right."

While the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to international tourism, families from Sri Lanka were able to enjoy the villa. The sustainable tea plantation on the property also helped cover some of the costs of keeping the villa running. 

While they still want to make changes to the house, such as creating a new family suite, it has already given them a lot of pleasure, Sharpe said. Even before they finished the renovation, it played host to de Beyer's 40th birthday party. "There have been lots of wonderful little moments," Sharpe added.

Halala Friends [l-r] Bentley de Beyer, Dean Sharpe, Richard Bleasdale, and Jenny Lewis stop for mid-afternoon refreshments during the renovation.

SOURCE: Insider Inc., originally called Business Insider Inc., is an American online media company known for publishing the financial news website Business Insider and other news and media websites. It is a subsidiary of Axel Springer SE 



Weligama Bay beaches are known as a mecca for newbie surfers. 
Home is built on Taprobane island just offshore.

Weligama Railway

Beautiful beach at sunset outside of Weligama

Tourists enjoy warm waters, sunny climes, and scores of empty beaches during the week

Tuesday, July 27, 2021


Fight for control threatens to destabilize and fragment the internet 

GUEST BLOG / By Nick Merrill, Research Fellow, UC Berkeley writing in The Conversation [] 

You try to use your credit card, but it doesn’t work. In fact, no one’s credit card works. You try to go to some news sites to find out why, but you can’t access any of those, either. Neither can anyone else. Panic-buying ensues. People empty ATMs of cash. 

This kind of catastrophic pan-internet meltdown is more likely than most people realize. 

Nick Merrill
  I direct the Internet Atlas Project at the University of       California, Berkeley. Our goal is to shine a light on long-term   risks to the internet. We produce indicators of weak points and   bottlenecks that threaten the internet’s stability. 

  For example, where are points of fragility in the global   connectivity of cables? Physical cables under the sea deliver   95% of the internet’s voice and data traffic. But some countries,   like Tonga, connect to only one other country, making them vulnerable to cable-clipping attacks. 

Another example is content delivery networks, which websites use to make their content readily available to large numbers of internet users. An outage at the content delivery network Fastly on June 8, 2021, briefly severed access to the websites of Amazon, CNN, PayPal, Reddit, Spotify, The New York Times, and the U.K. government. 

The biggest risks to the global internet 

We take measurements at various layers of the internet’s technological stack, from cables to content delivery networks. With those measurements, we identify weak points in the global internet. And from those weak points, we build theories that help us understand what parts of the internet are at risk of disruption, whom those disruptions will affect, and how severely, and predict what would make the internet more resilient. 

Currently, the internet is facing twin dangers. On one side, there’s the threat of total consolidation. Power over the internet has been increasingly concentrated primarily in the hands of a few, U.S.-based organizations. On the other side, there’s fragmentation. Attempts to challenge the status quo, particularly by Russia and China, threaten to destabilize the internet globally. 

While there’s no single best path for the internet, our indicators can help policymakers, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, activists, and others understand if their interventions are having their intended effect. For whom is the internet becoming more reliable, and for whom is it becoming more unstable? These are the critical questions. About 3.4 billion people are just now getting online in countries including Fiji, Tonga, and Vanuatu. What kind of internet will they inherit? 

A US-controlled internet 

Since at least 2015, the core services that power the internet have become increasingly centralized in the hands of U.S. corporations. We estimate that U.S. corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies could block a cumulative 96% of content on the global internet in some capacity. 

The U.S. Department of Justice has long used court orders aimed at tech providers to block global access to content that’s illegal in the U.S., such as copyright infringements. But lately, the U.S. federal government has been leveraging its jurisdiction more aggressively. In June, the DOJ used a court order to briefly seize an Iranian news site because the department said it was spreading disinformation. 

Due to interlocking dependencies on the web, such as content delivery networks, one misstep in applying this technique could take down a key piece of internet infrastructure, making a widespread outage more likely. 

Meanwhile, U.S.-based technology companies also risk wreaking havoc. Consider Australia’s recent spat with Facebook overpaying news outlets for their content. At one point, Facebook blocked all news on its platform in Australia. One consequence was that many people in Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu temporarily lost a key news source because they rely on prepaid cellphone plans that feature discounted access to Facebook. As these skirmishes increase in frequency, countries worldwide are likely to suffer disruptions to their internet access. 

A splinternet 

Naturally, not everyone is happy with this U.S.-led internet. Russia throttles Twitter traffic. China blocks access to Google. 

These domestic maneuvers certainly threaten localized meltdowns. India now regularly shuts down the internet regionally during civil unrest. But, in aggregate, they present a more global threat: internet fragmentation. A fragmented internet threatens speech, trade and global cooperation in science. 

It also increases the risk of cyberattacks on core internet infrastructure. In a global internet, attacks on infrastructure hurt everyone, but walled-off national internets would change that calculus. For example, Russia has the capacity to disconnect itself from the rest of the world’s internet while maintaining service domestically. With that capacity, it could attack core global internet infrastructure with less risk of upsetting its domestic population. A sophisticated attack against a U.S. company could trigger a large-scale internet outage. 

The future of the internet 

For much of its history, the internet has been imperfectly, but largely, open. Content could be accessed anywhere, across borders. Perhaps this openness is because, rather than in spite, of the U.S.‘s dominance over the internet. 

Whether or not that theory holds, the U.S.’s dominance over the internet is unlikely to persist. The status quo faces challenges from the U.S.’s adversaries, its historical allies, and its own domestic tech companies. Absent action, the world will be left with some mixture of unchecked U.S. power and ad-hoc, decentralized skirmishes. 

In this environment, building a stable and transnational internet for future generations is a challenge. It requires delicacy and precision. That’s where work like ours comes into play. To make the internet more stable globally, people need measurements to understand its chokepoints and vulnerabilities. Just as central banks watch measures of inflation and employment when they decide how to set rates, internet governance, too, should rely on indicators, however imperfect. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR. Nick Merrill is a research fellow at, University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in cyber-security among other studies. 

ABOUT THECONVERSATION.COM. The Conversation is a nonprofit, independent news organization dedicated to unlocking the knowledge of experts for the public good. We publish trustworthy and informative articles written by academic experts for the general public and edited by our team of journalists. On this website (and through the distribution of our articles to thousands of news outlets worldwide), you’ll find explanatory journalism on the events, discoveries, and issues that matter today. 

Our articles share researchers’ expertise in policy, science, health, economics, education, history, ethics, and almost every subject studied in colleges and universities. Some articles offer practical advice grounded in research, while others simply provide authoritative answers to questions that sparked our curiosity. The Conversation U.S. is part of a global group of news organizations founded in Australia in 2011. We launched in October 2014, with our main newsroom in Boston. There are also editions in Africa, Australia, Canada, France, Indonesia, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom. 

Monday, July 26, 2021


Team member of Malaysia walks during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photos/Petr David Josek) 
Olympics opening ceremonies generally focus on going big. They love to use grandeur and pomp and big visuals — fireworks, acrobatics, athletes marching en masse, choreography that’s most impactful from a distance or on TV. 

But when the athletes paraded in Friday night at the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, Associated Press photojournalist Petr David Josek decided to look at it a bit differently this time around. 

What emerged was a delightful sea of detail — a mosaic of cultures and fashions and traditions. CLICK HERE for more creative Olympics fashion coverage by Associated Press. 

Stylin’ boots worn by a member of the Olympic team from Bhutan. 

Detailed lime-green embroidery on a shirt from Cameroon 


Sunday, July 25, 2021


D.G. Wills book stacks, Girard Avenue, La Jolla CA

GUEST BLOG /By Steven Spatz, President of BookBaby
--Strong book sales numbers in the first half of 2021 set the stage for what should be a great holiday season for published authors. 

As much of the world reopened in the first half of this year, there was one industry that held its breath about the effects of our newly regained freedoms. The publishing industry was one of the few marketplaces that experienced growth during the dark COVID-19 quarantine days. 

After years of slumping sales caused by competition with streaming services, video games, and the like, book sales rose eight percent in 2020 over the previous year. In retrospect, that shouldn’t be a surprise. During a time when people were looking for diversion and distraction beyond video screens, books of all subjects and genres were selling around the globe. 

Publishers and authors were grateful for this small silver lining. So, as life slowly returns to near normal, book industry watchers had one big question on their minds: Would the newly vaccinated public flock back to bars, restaurants, theaters, and concerts and forget about their renewed love affair with books? 

What's the verdict?

The results are in, and authors should rejoice. Printed book sales are growing faster than ever before. Physical book units grew 18.5 percent in the first half of 2021 over 2020 sales according to NPD BookScan. 

Nearly 387 million books in hand were sold from January to June 2021. It’s important to note that NPD BookScan only counts units from traditional publishers, which means these numbers do not include the millions of books sold by self-published authors. 

So, while the actual increases are probably impossible to compute, they’re very likely four to six times larger! One fascinating data point that caught my eye: Backlist titles had the strongest gains, up 21.4 percent, while frontlist sale increases were a solid 12.4 percent. 

That should serve as a reminder that there’s life in every book you’ve published. The inventory and backlist titles you create can be money in the bank with the right marketing and exposure. 

Equal opportunity 

The news that seems most encouraging for the overall author community is that the growth curve encompasses just about every book category. 

Adult nonfiction. The biggest overall category, adult nonfiction, grew from 134 million to 155 million, a 15.6 percent boost. Going inside the numbers, sales of self-help books had the largest gain, up 32.1 percent. Next came business and economics books — up 24 percent — while home and gardening and general nonfiction had increases of just over 22 percent. 

Adult fiction. Adult fiction units surged 31 percent, growing to 81 million units. Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds led the way with sales of nearly 560,000 copies since its release in February. The next 15 spots are a mix of both new releases and backlist titles. 

YA fiction. Young adult fiction titles nearly doubled in sales, rising 49 percent in the year-over-year study. Interestingly enough, the top title in the category, They Both Die at the End, by Adam Silvera, was first published in December 2018. 

The book caught fire on BookTok, a community of readers on TikTok who post videos reviewing and recommending books. The video form has boosted sales of a large number of YA titles this year. 

In fact, the only category to see a decline, juvenile nonfiction, was expected to lose ground year-over-year. This segment experienced a massive 25 percent increase in 2019 as home-schooling and a general demand for books geared toward helping parents educate and entertain their children soared. 

The results, when sorted by book formats, show a surprising gain for hardcovers. Book buyers helped this durable format grow over 23 percent, while trade paperbacks increased 17 percent. 

It’s a great time to publish a book 

All this good news serves to underscore one of my favorite sayings: There’s never a bad time to publish a book. As these numbers show no signs of slowing as we head into the profitable fourth quarter timeframe. 

Like the headline says, it’s a great time to publish a book, and you still have time to get yours to market in time for the holidays. 

Here’s one more bit of inspiration: The 2021 BookBaby catalog has been updated (above) with all the newest publishing products and services available for self-published authors including Quality in-house paperback and hardcover book printing A team of world-class copy and line editors Distribution to the world’s largest bookstores and online retailers And plenty more. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Steven Spatz is a writer, marketer, and the President of BookBaby, the nation’s leading self publishing services company. Spatz’s professional writing career began at age 13, paid by the word to bang out little league baseball game stories on an ancient manual typewriter for southern Oregon weekly newspapers. His journalism career continued after graduation from the University of Oregon at several daily newspapers in Oregon. 

Steven Spatz of BookBaby with mystery writer Joanna Penn [J.A. Penn]
at a recent book event.

When his family took over a direct marketing food business, Spatz redirected his writing and design skills into producing catalogs. The Pinnacle Orchards catalog was named "Best Food Catalog," received dozens of other national awards, and the business grew into one of the nation’s largest gourmet fruit gift businesses. After the company was sold, Spatz continued his direct marketing career with Fortune 500 companies including Mattel and Hasbro. He joined AVL Digital in 2004 to lead the direct-to-consumer marketing teams for music industry-leading brands Disc Makers, Oasis, and CD Baby. After serving as Chief Marketing Officer, Spatz was tapped to lead the company’s new publishing division in late 2014. In 2019, the AVL Digital Management team purchased the New Jersey brands, including BookBaby. 

The company is headquartered in Pennsauken, NJ (just outside Philadelphia, PA) and meets the printed book and eBook needs of thousands of self-publishing authors around the globe. Spatz lives in Glenside, PA with his two children, a demented cat, and some well-used bicycles. Steven loves to hear from authors, editors, and publishers in the BookBaby community with tales of publishing trials and triumphs. To tell him your story, write to 

NOTE FROM PILLARTOPOST.ORG A staff member with our daily magazine-style blog is researching self-publishers as a possible outlet for her first novel. She ordered BookBaby’s catalog as mentioned above and found it well worth the time to order a hard copy. She’s been taking it everywhere with her because she’s found it useful information for a newbie author. “I like BookBaby so far because it explains the fundamentals of self-publishing so I can understand them. I’m a fan, but I’m holding back because I’m still researching other self-publishing options. I’m one of those who read all the negative reviews,” said Patience J., Daily Blog staffer. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021


We remember the good times and good coffee with a young Texas singer, Janis Joplin, who left us way too soon. Her home in San Francisco, 635 Ashbury has been made into a museum. Her neighborhood was centered around the intersection of Haight and Ashbury Streets, where we showcase three terrific coffee houses near that famed corner. 

Joplin house is in pink.


Coffee to the People 1206 Masonic 

Flywheel Coffee Roaster 672 Stanyan St. 

Coffee Cantata 1708 Haight St. 

One of Janis Joplin’s earliest gig was in 1963 at Coffee Gallery, 1353 Grant Avenue in North Beach. Listen to a YouTube tape of that early session by Clicking Here.

Coffee Gallery in 2021 is called Maggie McGarry’s, just south of Green and Grant. 

Maggie McGarry's

Coffee Gallery, Grant Avenue, North Beach, 1963

Friday, July 23, 2021


GUEST BLOG / By NASA Editor Yvette Smith
--A multitude of magnificent, swirling clouds [ABOVE] in Jupiter's dynamic North North Temperate Belt is captured in this image from NASA's Juno spacecraft. Appearing in the scene are several bright-white "pop-up" clouds as well as an anticyclonic storm, known as a white oval. 

This color-enhanced image was taken at 4:58 p.m. EDT on Oct. 29, 2018 as the spacecraft performed its 16th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time, Juno was about 4,400 miles from the planet's cloud tops, at a latitude of approximately 40 degrees north. Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran created this image using data from the spacecraft's JunoCam imager. 

For JunoCam's raw images CLICK HERE. 

This view of Jupiter’s atmosphere from NASA’s Juno spacecraft includes something remarkable: two storms caught in the act of merging.

NASA's Juno mission captured
this look at Jupiter's tumultuous
northern regions during
the spacecraft's close approach
to the planet on Feb. 17, 2020. 

JUNOTES: Three of Jupiter’s largest moons—Io, Europa and Ganymede—will be visited by NASA’s Juno probe currently in the Jupiter system after its imminent “death dive” was postponed for four years. 

Recently it was reported that Juno witnessed an asteroid or comet slam into Jupiter and disintegrate in its atmosphere. Previously planned to plunge into Jupiter’s clouds after completing its 35th and final orbit on July 30, 2021, Juno’s extended mission will see it perform close flybys of the three moons through 2025. 

In orbit of Jupiter since July 4, 2016, the 66 x 15 ft. spacecraft has just completed its 32nd perijove (close flyby) of the giant planet and returned a stack of incredible new images. 


Thursday, July 22, 2021


merican Battlefield Trust is a major history-oriented non-profit dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds to educate the public about what happened there and why it matters today. 

As the nation’s leading heritage land preservation organization, ABT has saved more than 53,00 acres of battlefield land in 24 states to date. reports the enthusiasm with which American Battlefield Trust goes about its land preservation work might seem to some as glorifying war. The opposite is true. By not forgetting history, the ABT is a beacon of reason and hope that all war on this planet will someday end. 

As part of its continuing mission to educate, including a call for donations, American Battlefield Trust has compiled a detailed list of 20 must-see battlefields complete with itineraries; mobile apps, and virtual tours. 

Yesterday, July 21, the Battle of Bull Run aka First Manassas fought in 1861 convinced both sides that the Civil war would be a long and costly struggle. 

Fought only a few miles south of modern-day Dulles International Airport along Interstate 66, the blood at Bull Run ended a sense of innocence about the glory of war. CLICK HERE to view all 20 battlefields on American soil. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021


The most expensive model per gig, Bella Hadid, is shown here wearing a necklace and wool crepe dress at the recent Cannes Film Festival. Dress and necklace by red hot designer Daniel Roseberry for Maison Schiaparelli.

upermodel Bella Hadid, 24 took more than a few breaths away when she stepped on the red carpet at the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival earlier this month. 

The “wow” gilded brass necklace created in the shape of the human bronchi is named “golden trompe l’oeil lungs with rhinestones.” Gown in wool crepe and necklace were created by designer Daniel Roseberry for Maison Schiaparelli’s haute couture Autumn-Winter 2021 Autumn collection. 

Also, her Schiaparelli gown was accessorized with large ruby drop earrings and a ruby ring. 

Daniel Roseberry
 Who is Daniel Roseberry? 

 Daniel Roseberry, 33, is the artistic director   at fashion house Maison Schiaparelli.   Roseberry, originally from Texas, has   worked there since he took over for   Bertrand Guyon, who left his role in 2019.   Roseberry has more than a decade of experience in the fashion industry and studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, in New York. 

He now resides in Paris, but was honored to design Lady Gaga’s 2021 inauguration outfit, a red ball gown with a Navy jacket adorned with an American-sized gold dove of peace brooch. 

Wearing Roseberry’s gown, the Lady rocked the national anthem, accompanied by the US Marine Corps band.

One more reason to remember January 21, 2021

Tuesday, July 20, 2021


Recently completed puzzle by's staff.

GUEST BLOG / By Patience Jobe
--One of the most challenging 1000-piece jig saw puzzles on the market today is by Piatnik, a Vienna board game and puzzle maker that has been around since it was founded by Ferdinand Piatnik in 1824. 

 Using a reproduction of Vincent Van Gogh’s popular painting titled Cafe Terrace at Night, Piatnik continues to offer a long list of world masterpiece paintings as part of its puzzle genres. 

Van Gogh's original painting "Cafe Terrace at Night" is at the Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands.

Patience Jobe, puzzle editor noted, the Piatnik Café Terrace puzzle is no walk in the nearby Place de Forum. “It is no puzzle for beginners. Van Gogh’s post-impressionist paint strokes do not follow conventional geometry. His whims go where they will, plus the Piatnik photo is not as crisp (heavy on black ink) as the original painting at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands."

Legions of puzzle tourists will note the café is still in business in Arles, France. 

Puzzle aficionados tackling this double masterpiece will be aided by Ms. Jobe’s research on this particular 1888 example of Van Gogh architectural cityscape painting. The painting is of a real French cafe at the night. 

Toward the left there are structures of buildings, beyond this structure lies the tower of church. Towards the right, Van Gogh indicated a lighted shop as well, and some branches of the trees surrounding the place. In the middle ground, you can see people sitting and chatting and to the right you see some ladies walking. You can also see in the middle ground the waiter who is serving the customers of the cafe. 

The silhouette of the starry sky is key to the patterning of the whole; the poetic idea of the work - the double illumination and contrast of the cafe and the night sky - is developed through this jagged form. In the silhouette of the orange cafe floor and the adjoining window and doors, we discover the inverted shape of the blue sky; the scattered disks of the stars are matched in the elliptical tabletops below. 

Above is original painting, but in the Piatnik puzzle definition of persons faces are lost as is the man walking with the red garbed woman.  Also details of the horse and stage are lost as is the vest of the woman sitting at a cafe table. Disappointing in the reproduction is the mishmash of table legs in the puzzle version.

How to Solve. After one has completed the four edges of the puzzle, attack the pillared door frame (far left, lower) first by following one of the few straight lines filling in the blue doorway. Next move to the lower-left corner. Collect and assemble all the similar-looking cobblestone pieces that aren’t blue. 

Then use the artist’s lines of perspective to follow the red café floor to the middle of the puzzle. A digression. The blue cobblestone pieces indeed reflect the blue sky and the stars are mimicked by white tabletops. 

Now move to the upper left. The blue building’s black railing intermixed with window shutter pieces are easy to identify. The tree on the right side is easy to collect and assemble. Go from the big star (top right) down to the red door. Assemble that area inward completing the tree. The persons on the plaza are unique pieces of the puzzle. They swirl, which is part of the beauty of the puzzle. 

Now, the yellow café section and the cobblestone are the most difficult. Being time-consuming is a huge understatement. Our puzzle editor says to save the starry, starry sky, and the dark alley portion of the puzzle last. By that time your remaining pieces are either light blue or dark purple. 

We add a letter by Van Gogh to one of his sisters where he discusses this painting, which is one of his most notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty, and bold colors. “…I was interrupted precisely by the work that a new painting of the outside of a café in the evening has been giving me these past few days. On the terrace, there are little figures of people drinking. 

“A huge yellow lantern lights the terrace, the façade, the pavement, and even projects light over the cobblestones of the street, which takes on a violet-pink tinge. The gables of the houses on a street that leads away under the blue sky studded with stars are dark blue or violet, with a green tree. “Now there’s a painting of night without black. With nothing but beautiful blue, violet and green, and in these surroundings the lighted square is coloured pale sulphur, lemon green. I enormously enjoy painting on the spot at night. In the past they used to draw, and paint the picture from the drawing in the daytime. But I find that it suits me to paint the thing straightaway. 

 “It’s quite true that I may take a blue for a green in the dark, a blue lilac for a pink lilac, since you can’t make out the nature of the tone clearly. But it’s the only way of getting away from the conventional black night with a poor, pallid and whitish light, while in fact a mere candle by itself gives us the richest yellows and oranges,” said Vincent Van Gogh. 

About the painter. Vincent Willem Van Gogh [1853-1890] did not begin painting until his late twenties, and most of his best-known works were produced during his final two years. He produced more than 2,000 artworks, consisting of around 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches. 

Puzzle was purchased at the Palm Desert Museum gift store for under $20. Another source of puzzles are in San Diego: The Book Catapult Book Store in South Park and nationally at 

About the writer. Patience Jobe is the world’s leading jigsaw puzzle strategist. Her work appears exclusively online at Daily Online Magazine.