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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

AMERICANA / IS THE STOCK MARKET AT EDGE OF A DURABLE REBOUND OR BEAR MARKET?


Inflation and Fed-policy uncertainty keep markets under pressure 

GUEST BLOG / By the Edward Jones Company--The S&P 500 dropped to a 14-month low on Thursday (5/19/22) and is now down 18.7% from the record high it set early in the year1. 

With stocks just shy of the 20% threshold that defines a bear market, concerns are mounting over potential economic and earnings-growth disappointments. At the core of this year's pullback are the heightened inflation pressures that are forcing the Federal Reserve (Fed) to hike rates at the fastest pace in two decades. 

Against a backdrop of ongoing price shocks, slowing growth and tightening monetary policy, valuations have adjusted lower, with the speculative areas of the market and high-valuation investments getting hit the worst. Amplifying the challenges to balanced portfolios, bonds have also been under pressure amid higher yields this year. 

However, since the beginning of May, yields have followed equity markets lower, and as a result bonds have helped stabilize portfolios. 

Four conditions for a durable rebound 

We don't think that a recession is inevitable, but because credible threats to the expansion exist, volatility is unlikely to end soon. Here is a list of fundamental and market conditions that are likely required to gain confidence that equity markets can find their footing and mount a more durable rebound. 

1. Evidence that inflation is past its peak and on a path of moderation: Even with the annual pace of inflation ticking down in April from March, the price increases are too hot, forcing the Fed to hike at a fast pace. Policymakers aim to raise borrowing costs enough to slow growth and tame inflation, but not so much as to push the economy into recession. The market will likely want to see several months of moderating inflation before it is convinced that there is no need for monetary policy to become overly restrictive. If the market sees such a stretch of moderating inflation, it can be a key catalyst for bond yields to stabilize and equities to rally. 

2. Economic and earnings resiliency: With the S&P 500 on the edge of a bear market, the current decline implies a high probability of a recession. If economic data holds up in the coming months, consistent with a slowing but still growing economy, attention will likely shift back to focusing on opportunities instead of risks. 

 3. Valuation stability as excesses unwind: As the Fed has signaled an aggressive tightening cycle ahead, and as the 10-year yield topped 3%, valuations have now returned to their 30-year average1. Many high-growth tech companies have given back all of their pandemic outperformance, and the price-to-earnings ratio of the S&P 500 has declined about 30% from last year's peak. While valuations could decline further if the economy slips into recession, that is not our base-case scenario, and at this point we believe that a lot of speculation has already come out of the market. 

4. Widespread pessimism that resets expectations: Investor sentiment tends to be a good contrarian indicator, and as such, complacency tends to signal market peaks, while panic and pessimism are consistent with market bottoms. Currently, investors appear overly pessimistic, as the AAII survey shows that bearish sentiment has surged to its highest since the Global Financial Crisis. The underpinnings of the economy are reasonably sound 

– We believe that there is enough underlying strength that the economy can withstand the upcoming Fed tightening that is currently priced in by the markets. Incomes are supported by a tight labor market, household savings remain elevated, and debt is low, all pointing to resilient consumer demand despite the surging inflation. 

On the business side, inventories will need to be rebuilt as supply chains normalize, and the recent strong growth in industrial production supports a positive outlook for capital investment. Also, credit markets are not signaling the stress that would be consistent with a more sustained economic downturn. 

Therefore, in the absence of any major economic imbalances, there is a solid foundation for an eventual rebound, in our view. But it might not be as swift as in recent years because of the lingering uncertainties. 

How to navigate pullbacks successfully 

 • Consider rebalancing strategies and dollar-cost averaging (systematic investing) to take advantage of the wide price swings and the likely gradual process of finding a durable bottom. 

• A focus on balance and diversification can potentially better help weather short-term dips, which over the long term are nearly impossible to avoid. 

• Elevated volatility has not historically lasted for a very long time and has been followed by strong returns, especially when a high degree of pessimism is already in the market. Periods of indiscriminate selling in the market can help to create long-term opportunities to add quality equity and fixed-income investments at potentially attractive prices. 

Disclaimer: PillartoPost.org daily online magazine is a client of Edward Jones Company. Edward Jones did not pay to list this article. PillartoPost.org has been granted permission to share this content with its readership. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

MEDIA MONDAY / KEEPING MASS KILLER SUSPECTS OFF OF PAGE ONE

 


LONG OVERDUE
—Banning serial killer suspects from newspaper and magazine covers is something long overdue. Case in point the cover of September 21, 1889 issue of PUCK magazine by cartoonist Tom Merry. 

GUEST OPINION / By Nicole Carroll, Editor-in-Chief, USA TODAY--You won't see a photo of the Buffalo shooting suspect on our front page. And after the initial coverage, you'll see limited use of his name. Instead you'll see "the 18-year-old man" or "the suspect." We know that many shooters are motivated by attention, and we certainly don't want to give it to them. 

We have a public-safety responsibility to let readers know who they are, but will not amplify their hate. So our standards say that if we need to run the photo, don't run it on the front page, or at the top of the story online, or as the main art on social media. Place it inside the paper or further down in a digital story. 

Past the initial coverage, we encourage editors to ask whether they need to run it all. 

And any reporting on the shooter should be meaningful and explanatory. We should report on a verified motive, contributing factors, red flags and how the incident could have been avoided or the damage reduced. What about the materials they leave behind? First of all, we're not calling the Buffalo shooter's document a "manifesto," even if that's how law enforcement refer to it. (We will use the word in a direct quote if absolutely necessary but will try to paraphrase.) 

One definition calls a manifesto "a public declaration of policy and aims." That is much too weighty a title to give the written ramblings of a suspected mass murderer. "We should also have conversations about how much information needs to be shared with the public," USA TODAY Network Standards Editor Michael McCarter wrote to the staff Monday. "Certain aspects of the document MAY contain the rationale behind the motive for the shooter’s actions. We should not, however, become a publishing and distribution platform that amplifies the shooter's beliefs and conspiracy theories." 

We do not want to publish material that individuals wishing to replicate the crime can follow. 'This is the heart of the Black community':Buffalo shooting rattles close-knit neighborhood These are the conversations our team has been having since news broke Saturday about the mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket, killing 10 people and injuring three others in another high-profile hate crime. Eleven of the 13 people who were shot were Black, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said at a news conference. How can we stop hate crimes? Schools must teach our nation's racist past. 

"We discuss everything from our word choices in describing the suspected shooter(s), to when we should name the victims, to the images we share; all to ensure that we are as precise in the reporting as possible without glorifying the shooter or amplifying hate and rhetoric," McCarter said. 

Are we perfect in our choices? No. But we're trying to be as vigilant as we can across the USA TODAY Network's 200-plus news organizations. 

So let's talk about the words we use. 

What constitutes a mass shooting? Our definitions: 

• A mass killing is an incident in which at least four people are killed. 

• A mass shooting is an incident where at least four people are hit with gunfire, even if there are no fatalities. 

• “Mass casualties” may be used by hospitals and first responders – it can include injuries and/or deaths. 

What about terrorism? When is something a hate crime? There often is a debate about what definition is appropriate. McCarter sent out these guidelines as well. 

 • The FBI defines domestic terrorism as "perpetrated by individuals and/or groups inspired by or associated with primarily U.S.-based movements that espouse extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial or environmental nature." 

• The Department of Justice says hate crimes "include acts of physical harm and specific criminal threats motivated by animus based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability." 

• And when to use "racist attack?" Our reporting should unequivocally establish racist motives. 

• What about cause/motive/mental illness? Avoid oversimplifying a motive, especially early on. Causes are likely complex, not singular. Always verify and attribute. 

If we report that mental illness was a factor, we must attribute it. Also, be mindful of stigma and prove context, such as the fact that people with mental illness are more likely to be victims of crimes than perpetrators. 

When is someone a teenager? When is he a man? An intern brought up Sunday that she'd seen some stories on the internet describing the 18-year-old suspect as a "white teenager," when stories about Black 18-year-old suspects often described them as "men." 

"We should aim to be as consistent as possible," McCarter said. "He is an 18-year-old man. In this case, his race is relevant in the context that the shootings were racially motivated." 

On the teen versus man discussion, context matters said Opinion Editor Kristen DelGuzzi. "If we're talking about an 18-year-old accused of slaughtering 10 people, he's a man. If we're talking about an 18-year-old who was just crowned prom king, teenager feels perfectly appropriate; in fact, ‘man' would feel weird and creepy." 

As of last week, our staff is on the scene in the Jefferson Avenue neighborhood. About 15 journalists from the USA TODAY Network are covering the story, including reporters and photographers from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, the Binghamton (N.Y.) Press & Sun-Bulletin and The Bergen (N.J.) Record. 

They're gathering information about the victims and about the survivors of the violence and are looking more closely at underlying issues of radicalization of young men and how the perpetrator planned this attack, said New York State editor Michael Kilian. 

When first hearing the news Saturday afternoon, Rochester's Adria R. Walker, packed an overnight bag and headed the 70-plus miles to Buffalo, becoming our first reporter on the scene. Photographer Tina MacIntyre-Yee soon followed. By evening, Kilian said, both were speaking to residents of the Jefferson Avenue neighborhood. MacIntyre-Yee's photos and video helped illustrate the sense of shock and loss and solidarity among people in a neighborhood whose population is 78% Black residents. 

Walker composed by midday Sunday a striking and sensitive story elevating the voices of persons whose lives historically have been overlooked, their experiences and views marginalized. Amid the sadness, some hope emerged. Walker interviewed Glen Marshall, who hopes the scene of all this horrific death will also be the birth of some sort of change. "They ought to build some type of memorial," Marshall said. "Some movement needs to come out of this here. They ought to dedicate the rejuvenation of this whole area here and put up some kind of shrine to them. This is horrific." 

These are the stories we need to tell, Kilian said, "doing our best to provide people-centered, community-based coverage that serves the needs of the persons most affected by this act of violence. "And as the press corps moves on to the next outrage, we are committed to staying with the story of the Jefferson Avenue neighborhood, examining not simply the systemic forces that have isolated it, but the joy of life there and the pride that residents feel in everything from delicious Sunday dinners to art and culture to religious faith." 


Nicole Carroll is Editor-in-Chief of USA TODAY.



Sunday, May 22, 2022

SUNDAY REVIEW / THREE VIEWS OF FRANCISCO VAZQUEZ de CORONADO EXPEDITION.

Francisco Vazquez de Coronado

Spanish explorer Francisco Vazquez de Coronado led an expedition of exploration through colonial southwest en route to the Great Plains, circa 1540 to 1542. 

Notable oil painters from two different centuries have captured Coronado’s expedition of 1540-1542: Frederic Remington, American, October 4, 1861 - December 26, 1909 and Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau Nieto, Spanish, January 20, 1964.

“La conquista del Colorado,” by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau, circa 2017, depicts Francisco Vázquez de Coronado's 1540 expedition in the Grand Canyon. 



“Coronado Sets Out to the North,” by Frederic Remington, circa. 1905. It depicts the explorer passing through what would be New Mexico someday toward the Great Plains. 


Coronado was commissioned to discover the fabled “Seven Cities of Cibola,” a collection of fabled cities in the New World to possess vast riches. Cibola was a bust. But it did spawn many oil paintings of his journey, including an oil painting of the Coronado expedition by National Park Service artist Nevin Kempthorne, circa mid-20th century.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

COFFEE BEANS & BEINGS / AD CELEBRATES MUST SEE MODERN COFFEE HOUSE DESIGN FROM AROUND THE WORLD

More than 1,300 pieces of plywood were used to construct the organic forms inside Don Café House’s modern interior. Located in Pristina, Kosovo, the sculpted walls—along with coffee bean-shaped light fixtures and rippled tabletops—were crafted to conjure the feeling of being inside a sack of the caffeinated seeds. Local firm Innarch designed the plywood slats on the main wall to protrude outward, forming one long banquette. Photo: Atdhe Mulla 

GUEST BLOG / By Alyssa Bird, Elizabeth Stamp, and Jessica Cherner, Architectural Digest
.--For more than a few of us, a visit to a local coffee shop is an essential part of daily life. Whether we’re picking up a to-go cup on our way to the office or setting up shop with a laptop and a cappuccino, coffee shops have become like a home away from home. That said, frequenting the same one for too long can make you appreciate its nuances less with each visit. 

So no matter where you are—a big city like Singapore or a seasonal locale such as Aspen—be sure to check out the locally-owned coffee shops that offer more than just a caffeinated beverage. And a select few of the world’s coffee shops feature interiors as delicious as the freshly baked pastries behind the counter. From a hyper minimalist spot in Chiang Mai, Thailand, to a colorful outpost with a retro edge in Atlanta, these coffee shops are giving the cup of joe we know and love a proper home. 

Discover these 23 must-visit coffee shops across the globe and take your daily cup up a notch. 

Third Wave, a coffee kiosk on a pristine stretch of Victoria’s coastline (Southeast Australia) mimics in weathered metal the ocean waves nearby. Occupying about 200 square feet, the beachy kiosk also understands its customers need for a changing room as well as a variety of international brews. The repurposed metal sheets can be broken down and relocated moved from its Torquay Beach site if ever necessary.
Photo: Rory Gardiner 



Friday, May 20, 2022

FELINES AT THE FRONT / COMFORT ZONES

Photo: Associated Press

All were in need of an embrace, the 12-year-old girl standing in the debris that was once her home. And the teen boy’s matted cat that wandered into the rubble. Others picked up or petted cats clutching one another amid the death and destruction of Ukrainian cities besieged by Russian forces. 

Photo: Leo Correa / Associated Press


Photo: Felipe Dana / Associated Press

Photo: Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

Photo: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters


Photo: Mstyslav Chernov / Associated Press

Photo: Francisco Seco / Associated Press


Thursday, May 19, 2022

THE FOODIST / SUPPORT ST. LUKE’S AFRICAN ADVENTURE WITH TOP CHEF DINNER


Join Chef Matt Gordon.

Each ticket is $60, so please make your payment based on how many tickets you'd like to purchase. The church appreciates any additional donations to underwrite this expedition as well. 

Learn more about our trip to East Africa by contacting St. Luke’s (below). 

Menu: 

*Appetizer: Grilled summer asparagus and romaine caesar 

* Entreé: Crispy skin King salmon and sweet corn purée (Meat Option) 

*Vegan Surprise in the works  

* Dessert: Butterscotch pot de crème 

For ticket info:

St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 

 3725 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104, 

 (619) 977-817 

 colin@stlukesnorthpark.org 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

DESIGN OF OUR TIMES / FRANK(LY) SUBDUED GEHRY OPENS IN LONDON


You're looking at Frank Gehry’s first housing project in the UK. Called Prospect Place, the recently completed instant landmark is located adjacent to London’s Battersea Power Station along the Thames River. 

Prospect Place is somewhat more subdued than so many of Ghery’s distinctive portfolio of deconstructive controversies. 

Shall we say it's perfect for London, a throwback to melting wedding cakes from Mrs. Havisham's Dickensian sadness. 

The two Gehry-esque buildings contain 308 housing units that range in size from studios to one-bed flats to four bedroom townhouses and penthouses. 



Frank Gehry's new melting Mrs. Havisham's wedding cakes in London


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

RETRO FILES / STUNNING MACKINTOSH EXHIBIT LEAVES U.S. SOON


Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style includes 166 remarkable works of art and design, the majority of which are on public display for the first time in North America. 

Characterized by taut lines, stylized natural forms, sleek curves, and emphatic geometries, the Glasgow Style was unique – the only British response to the international Art Nouveau movement of the late 1890s – 1900s. This groundbreaking showcase unpacks themes such as the international influences upon Mackintosh’s work, the Glasgow School of Art’s crucial support and encouragement of women designers at a time of great social change, and the physical processes involved in making the visionary interiors, furnishings, and decorative works of art and design that together present and define the imaginative breadth of the Glasgow Style.  


Don’t miss your chance to see this stunning ticketed exhibition before it leaves the US in less than a month! 

Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style March 11- June 5, 2022 

TICKET INFO: Click Here 

MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN ARTS & CRAFTS MOVEMENT 

355 Fourth Street North St. Petersburg, FL 33701 

info@museumaacm.org 

727.440.4859

Monday, May 16, 2022

MEDIA MONDAY / EUREKA! CALIFORNIA’S NEW LITHIUM MOTHERLODE

The Salton Sea

This California desert could hold the key to powering all of America’s electric cars 

GUEST BLOG / By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN Businesss Reporter--The Salton Sea Basin feels almost alien. It lies where two enormous chunks of the Earth’s crust, the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate, are very slowly pushing past one another creating an enormous low spot in the land. 

It’s a big, flat gray desert ringed with high mountains that look pale in the distance. It’s hot and, deep underground, it is literally boiling. 

The Salton Sea, (pictured, above) which lies roughly in the middle of the massive geologic low point, isn’t really a sea, at all. The largest inland lake in California, it’s 51 miles long from north to south and 17 miles wide, but gradually shrinking as less and less water flows into it. 

At one time, it was a thriving entertainment and recreation spot, business that has also largely dried up. It’s left behind abandoned buildings and shallow, gray beaches. 

The highways that ring the lake are traversed now mostly by passing trucks. Over the past few years, companies have been coming here to extract a valuable metal, lithium, that the car industry needs as it shifts to making electric cars. 

Lithium is the lightest naturally occurring metal element on Earth, and, for that reason among others, it’s important for electric car batteries, which must store a lot of electricity in a package that weighs as little as possible. 

What’s more, with the Salton Sea Basin’s unique geography, engineers and technicians can get the lithium with minimal environmental destruction, according to companies that are working there. 

In other places, lithium is taken from the earth using hard rock mining that leaves huge, ugly scars in the land. 

Here, it exists naturally in a liquid form, so extraction doesn’t require mining or blasting. 

Over thousands of years, floodwaters from the Colorado River, carrying minerals pulled away from the Rocky Mountains, the Ruby Canyon, Glen Canyon, the Grand Canyon and more, have washed into these lowlands. 

Time and again the water has come and evaporated, leaving behind metals that have ended up deep in the ground. Lithium is abundant in the Salton Sea Basin. In fact, people working to extract it say there could be enough to make batteries for all the electric cars expected to be built in this country for many years, freeing the United States from reliance on foreign lithium suppliers. 

That’s been a priority for the Biden administration. 

The Earth’s crust is thin here, and there’s water deep underground close to the seething hot liquid rock inside the Earth, called magma. Trapped in that naturally occurring oven, that water has become a super-heated mineral stew. 

Geothermal energy companies have been here for decades drilling down into the nearly 700 degree water, allowing it to instantly boil up out of the ground. Steam from the hot brine — so-called because of its high mineral content — spins turbines, generating electricity. 

It’s then pumped back down into the Earth where it gets heated back up to start over again. This sort of energy is considered clean and renewable since it relies on heat occurring naturally in the Earth. “It’s one of the largest geothermal energy fields in the world,” said Derek Benson, chief operating officer of EnergySource Minerals. 

 EnergySource Minerals was spun off in 2018 from EnergySource, a geothermal power company that’s been generating electricity from hot Salton Sea brine for a decade. EnergySource Minerals is now working to get lithium from the brine it’s been using for energy. 

How much lithium is here, exactly, and how much might be extracted, are questions that a research team from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories are working to figure out. 

Roughly a quarter of the water taken from deep underground here is dissolved rocks, a vastly higher mineral concentration than you you’d find in ordinary seawater, according to Patrick Dobson, a Berkeley Labs geologist leading the research. 

Lithium makes up roughly 200 parts per million, he said, which compares to about 10 parts per million in some other hot geothermal fields. “That’s why this is of interest,” he said. “It’s not just any geothermal brine. There’s certain places where there’s an enrichment in lithium in the brine and the Salton Sea is the place in the US where we’re really focusing our attention on.” 

People who’ve worked with this brine have long known about its contents, but there’s no use for loads of undifferentiated minerals and selectively extracting them wasn’t economical. 

But that was before electric cars became a big deal, and the price of lithium started to rocket. 

So companies have invested in new technologies to pull lithium from the brine. “We use what we call lithium selective adsorption,” said Benson. “And so we pass the lithium-bearing brine across one of our proprietary adsorbers. It has a chemistry that has an affinity for lithium and really only the lithium.” 

One of the challenges is how efficiently these technologies can draw lithium out of the brine, said Berkeley Labs’ Dobson. While there’s a lot of lithium in the brine, these extraction techniques probably won’t be able to take out 100% from every drop. 

Also, as the lithium is taken out of the brine and the brine is then pumped back deep underground, will lithium levels be notably depleted or will the levels be replenished as more lithium is leeched out of the rocks? 

“We know from measurements of rocks that are still in the reservoir that not all the lithium is present in the brine,” he said. “There’s still lithium present in the rocks.” Collecting lithium now looks like a bigger moneymaker for companies like EnergySource than their original business of just generating electricity from the steamy soup. 

In fact, other companies are getting into the geothermal energy business largely so they can get lithium. In their case, electricity is just a bonus. Not far from EnergySource’s tan-colored geothermal power stations, a company called Controlled Thermal Resources has its own small power station. 

 This aerial view shows the Controlled Thermal Resources (CRT) drilling rig in Calipatria, California, on December 15, 2021. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

This one is currently in the testing phase, but CTR has already formed a partnership with General Motors, which will purchase lithium produced here for its electric vehicles. 

More recently, the Italian EV battery company Italvolt announced plans for a spin-off company to work with CTR. Plans call for Statevolt, as the spin-off is called, to build a battery manufacturing facility nearby, using both energy produced by CTR’s generators and lithium taken from brine there. 

The plant could someday produce enough batteries for 650,000 electric vehicles annually, according to Italvolt. Putting battery manufacturing on-site will eliminate material shipping costs as well as the carbon dioxide emissions from all the ships, trains and trucks needed to carry the lithium to battery factories that are, today, mostly located in Asia, said Rod Colwell, CEO of CTR. 

This new rush of interest could mean good things for a community that needs some help. Decades ago, the Salton Sea was a tourist destination, with people flocking to the California desert oasis to enjoy boating and water skiing. 

That was before evaporation dried up the lake, concentrating pollutants in the shrinking body of water. “You would find people from Hollywood, the luminaries from Southern California coming to boat and enjoy the fine restaurants, playing golf,” said Frank Ruiz, Salton Sea program director for the National Audobon Society. “That was the life of the Salton Sea in the 50s and 60s and only 50 years later, this is what we have,” he said, looking around a largely abandoned lakeside beach. “You went from being the Western Riviera to being one of the worst nightmares environmentally and public health-wise,” he said. 

The lake has been shrinking due to a lack of natural in-flows, combined with years of drought and rising temperatures from climate change. As the lake continues to recede it leaves behind sand and gooey mud high in pollutants. 

That, combined with the fact that area is a natural basin that tends to trap and hold smoke and smog from surrounding areas, contributes to high asthma rates, he said. Today, the area feels almost abandoned besides some evidently thriving date farms with rows of thick-trunked palm trees. 

Artists have been attracted to the area’s blank canvas of empty structures and open spaces, creating a colony of wildly painted and decorated houses. Large wire-and-concrete sculptures inhabit the beach. What has flooded into the area several times over the eons. 

The lake that exists today was created around 1905 when man-made canals overflowed into the desert lowlands. For a long time, the large lake that resulted was a boon for traveling birds, as well as for watersport enthusiasts. “We used to get over 400 different species of birds and pretty much all the species that we have in California, in the Salton Sea,” said Ruiz. “From an environmental perspective, it is one of the last standing jewels along the Pacific Flyway, especially here in California.” 

The lake and its water are not linked to the lithium-rich undergound brine but, Ruiz hopes, lithium extraction can provide jobs and revenue to help rebuild the Salton Sea region’s economy and maybe even its damaged environment, in addition to putting more electric cars on the road. “This can be really good for the region altogether. Not just for Imperial County, for the Coachella Valley, for all Californians,” Ruiz said. “I mean, nationwide, it can be a catalyst.” 

 Source: CNN Business 

Sunday, May 15, 2022

SUNDAY REVIEW / "BLONDE:" NEW MARILYN FLICK TIP TOES THROUGH ME#TOO ERA


Actor de Armas as Monroe

“Blonde” is to be released by Netflix later this year. Ana de Armas has been cast as Marilyn Monroe and succeeds in looking a lot like MM. Directed by Andrew Dominik based on a novel “Blonde” by Joyce Carol Oates. The hype has been high praise from Oates, who claims after seeing a first cut was “very disturbing” and at the same time “Startling, brilliant.” Actor Adrien Brody is Arthur Miller and Joe DiMaggio by Bobby Cannavale. 

Blonde will be a test of how much Hollywood raunch will fly in this Me Too era.

Expect loud moans of dismay, huge red lip stick sales and a solid box office.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

COFFEE BEANS & BEINGS / ONE PIX WORTH A THOUSAND SIPS


Way back in the 1980s, this wonderful building was an interesting Arts & Crafts Era antique store that specialized in larger-sized antiques.  Now, it's a popular upscale Better Buzz Coffee Roaster along San Diego's University Avenue (Hillcrest neighborhood).

Friday, May 13, 2022

FELINE FRIDAY / CATTY IN ISTANBUL


Hundreds of thousands of cats have roamed the metropolis of Istanbul freely for thousands of years, wandering in and out of people's lives, impacting them in ways only an animal who lives between the worlds of the wild and the tamed can. Cats and their kittens bring joy and purpose to those they choose, giving people an opportunity to reflect on life and their place in it. In Istanbul, cats are the mirrors of ourselves. 

Photos: PillartoPost.org 2015.









Thursday, May 12, 2022

THE FOODIST / SPRINGTIME COUNTRY TO COUNTRY TERRACE DINING


HIMLEN
. Located on top of one of Stockholm’s highest buildings, the Skrapan skyscraper of the hip Södermalm. It has an intimate fine dining restaurant on the 25th floor that offers carefully prepared dishes specializing on the French and the Swedish cuisine. 


GUINDALENSE FOOTBALL CLUB’S CAFÉ
Overlooks the Douro River and the Dom Luis I bridge in Porto, Portugal. 


MISTER A’
s Pricy and delicious, this venerable upstairs restaurant has excellent 12th floor views of downtown San Diego. 


ROOFTOP
Rooftop offers an unparalleled view of Mt. Diablo from its outdoor terrace in the center of downtown Walnut Creek CA. 


REVOLVING
The revolving Cloud Zero terrace restaurant is in the heart of Kathmandu, Nepal atop seventh floor of the Airport Hotel. Try the lamb dishes.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

AMERICANA / COMPLETE LIST OF PULITZER PRIZE WINNERS

The Miami Herald won a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for its coverage of the Surfside condo collapse in June of 2021. Image: Matias Ocner, Miami Herald.

This year (2022) marks the 106th anniversary of the prestigious Pulitzer Prize awards. The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine, online journalism, literature, and musical composition within the United States. 

The award ceremony was first started in 1917 by Joseph Pulitzer who was a well-known newspaper publisher. The ceremony of the prizes is always administered by Columbia University.

Here is a list of the 2022 winners:


Journalism 

• Breaking News Reporting Winner: Staff of the Miami Herald for Condo Collapse: Disaster in Surfside A 12-story oceanfront condo tower partially collapsed in Florida last June. A massive search-and-rescue effort was conducted to find survivors in the rubble. 

• Investigative Reporting Winner: Corey G. Johnson, Rebecca Woolington and Eli Murray of the Tampa Bay Times POISONED: An investigation piece which exposed that Gopher Resource put hundreds of workers at risk by allowing toxic dust to accumulate inside the factory. 

• Explanatory Reporting Winner: Staff of Quanta Magazine and notably Natalie Wolchover The Webb Space Telescope Will Rewrite Cosmic History. If It Works. 

• Local Reporting Winner: Madison Hopkins of the Better Government Association and Cecilia Reyes of the Chicago Tribune. The Failures Before the Fires: An examination of Chicago’s long history of failed building-and fire safety code enforcement which resulted in dozens of unnecessary deaths. 

• National Reporting Winner: Staff of the New York Times Why Many Police Traffic Stops Turn Deadly: A disturbing pattern of fatal traffic stops by police, how hundreds of deaths could have been avoided and how officers typically avoid punishment. 

• International Reporting Winner: Staff of the New York Times The Civilian Casualty Files: Courageous reporting of hidden Pentagon reports that exposed the vast civilian toll of U.S.-led airstrikes namely in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. 

• Feature Writing [2]

Winner: Jennifer Senior of The Atlantic Twenty Years Gone: A portrait of a family’s reckoning with loss in the 20 years since 9/11. 

Winner: Melinda Henneberger of The Kansas City Star For persuasive columns demanding justice for alleged victims of a retired police detective accused of being a sexual predator. 

• Criticism Winner: Salamishah Tillet of The New York Times For writing about black stories in art and popular culture. 

• Editorial Writing Winner: Lisa Falkenberg, Michael Lindenberger, Joe Holley and Luis Carrasco of the Houston Chronicle For a campaign that revealed voter suppression tactics and rejected the myth of voter fraud. 

• Illustrated Reporting and Commentary Winner: Fahmida Azim, Anthony Del Col, Josh Adams and Walt Hickey of Insider, New York How I escaped a Chinese internment camp: A graphic report and comic that tells the story of the Chinese oppression of the Uyghurs. 

• Breaking News Photography 

Winner: Marcus Yam of the Los Angeles Times For raw images of the U.S. departure from Afghanistan and the cost of the historic change in the country. 

Second Winner: Win McNamee, Drew Angerer, Spencer Platt, Samuel Corum and Jon Cherry of Getty Images. For riveting photos of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

• Feature Photography Winner: Adnan Abidi, Sanna Irshad Mattoo, Amit Dave and the late Danish Siddiqui of Reuters For images of COVID-19’s toll in India. 

• Audio Reporting Winner: Staff of Futuro Media and PRX Suave: A profile of a man reentering society after serving more than 30 years in prison. 

• Public Service Winner: The Washington Post For its compelling accounts of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

Letters, Drama and Music 

• Biography Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist’s Memoir of the Jim Crow South By the late Winfred Rembert as told to Erin I. Kelly 

• General Nonfiction Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City By Andrea Elliott 

• History Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America By Nicole Eustace 

• Poetry Frank: Sonnets By Diane Seuss • Music Voiceless Mass By Raven Chacon • Drama Fat Ham By James Ijames 

• Fiction The Netanyahus: An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family By Joshua Cohen 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

RETRO FILES / HOTEL SARATOGA IN ITS HEYDAY

View from the rooftop deck of the Hotel Saratoga with the national El Capitolio in the background.

Before the terrible gas leak that caused an explosion killing more than 30 persons last week the Saratoga was among the most luxe of Havana’s hotels. Built in the 1930s, the 96-room hotel includes a rooftop pool, a gym and spa, and several restaurants. 

Though some of the interiors have been updated in the last ten years, the colonial-style entrance and central atrium remain in their original style. 

Hotel Saratoga, where Jay Z and Beyoncé stayed on their trip to Cuba in 2013, is located across from El Capitolio on the edge of Old Havana, a central location within walking distance of many major sights. 

After seeing first hand the resilience of the Cuban People, PillartoPost.org believes there’s little doubt that Saratoga will rise from its ashes and shine once more. 

Heyday



Yesterday


Monday, May 9, 2022

MEDIA MONDAY / QUICK CHECK ON NEW WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY

Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during a press briefing at the White House in February. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) 

GUEST BLOG / By Tom Jones, Senior Media Writer, The Poynter Report--Karine Jean-Pierre will become the new White House press secretary when Jen Psaki steps down at the end of next week. Jean-Pierre is currently a deputy press secretary and will take over after Psaki’s last day, announced to be May 13. 

The big announcement — and history — was made Thursday. In a statement, President Joe Biden said, “Karine not only brings the experience, talent and integrity needed for this difficult job, but she will continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the Biden-Harris Administration on behalf of the American people.” He added, “Jen Psaki has set the standard for returning decency, respect and decorum to the White House Briefing Room.” 

That’s for sure. Psaki has earned rave reviews for the job she has done. Chris Wallace, back when he was with Fox News, called Psaki “one of the best press secretaries ever.” Psaki will join MSNBC after leaving the White House. 

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins wrote, “Last May, Jean-Pierre became the second Black woman in history to hold the daily press briefing. She has served on the White House’s senior communications team since Biden took office and before that was an adviser to his campaign and chief of staff to now-Vice President Kamala Harris. Jean-Pierre is familiar with her new role. 

She is often in the room when Psaki briefs reporters, has filled in for her for at the lectern and has also gaggled with reporters traveling with Biden on Air Force One. Recently, she replaced Psaki at the last minute for Biden's four-day trip to Europe amid the Russian invasion after Psaki tested positive for COVID-19 the day before Biden was scheduled to leave.” 

So now for the history part of this. 

In a Twitter thread Thursday, Psaki called Jean-Pierre a “remarkable woman.” Psaki added, “She will be the first Black woman and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as the White House Press Secretary. Representation matters and she will give a voice to many, but also make many dream big about what is truly possible.” Psaki also wrote, “She is passionate. She is smart and she has a moral core that makes her not just a great colleague, but an amazing Mom and human. Plus, she has a great sense of humor. … I can’t wait to see her shine as she brings her own style, brilliance and grace to the podium.” 

CBS News’ Kathryn Watson writes, “Jean-Pierre, 44, was born in France and is the partner of CNN's Suzanne Malveaux. They have a young daughter. She worked for the Biden and Obama campaigns, and has served as an NBC and MSNBC political analyst.” 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

SUNDAY REVIEW / EXCERPT FROM TYLER PERRY’S “NEVER SEEN AGAIN.”


Renowned filmmaker Tyler Perry becomes personally involved in a case that has sparked outrage, when 27-year old Terrance Williams disappears after he was last seen getting into the back of a police car in Naples, Florida. The cop denies any wrongdoing or knowledge of the young man’s fate. Terrance’s mother receives a chilling phone call from another family with an eerily similar story. 

30-part series coming soon to Paramount+. “Never Seen Again” | Exclusive First Look At Series Premiere. CLICK HERE. 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

COFFEE BEANS & BEINGS / TASTE OF LAID BACK CARLSBAD CA


Ran into this easy going coffee house a block or so where the Pacific Ocean laps up on Carlsbad CA beaches (north of San Diego). The blends are first rate. Mellow place like you’d find in Portland, Seattle, Berkeley, North Beach (San Francisco) or Morro Bay CA. Fairly new place founded and run by business partners Raymond Orate and John Herrmann. If you like Reggae, vintage cars, old cameras and first rate coffee then you’ll like Interim Coffee. 

WHERE. Interim Coffee 2943 Carlsbad Blvd. 760-696-3334.