Remembering a Nobel Laureate: Dr. Charles Townes

Dr. Charles Townes, a Nobel Laureate and member of the Academy of Sciences, passed away earlier this week, just six months before his 100th birthday. Born in Greenville, South Carolina, he was a genius, who graduated from Furman University with a B.S. in Physics and a B. A. in Modern Languages at the young age of 19. He soon afterwards obtained a Masters in Physics from Duke University and a Ph.D from Caltech. During the Second World War, he worked for Bell Labs in New Jersey designing systems to assist Allied bombers.

Dr. Townes met his wife for the first time while in New York City. They enjoyed a 73 year marriage and raised four daughters. He was working as a professor of Physics when he performed research which eventually led to the development of the laser, now an important component of many products. Brian Torchin has read that Townes received the Nobel Prize in Physics for this work in 1964. Later, he accepted a position at UC Berkeley, where he taught classes and also joined with Professor “Jack” Welch in constructing a powerful radio telescope that led to many discoveries in the field of Astrophysics.

During his life, he traveled widely on business and on frequent family vacations. He received numerous professional and civic honors, and also worked with his wife on efforts to assist the homeless in Berkeley. His health declined two years ago following an illness.

First Female Bishop for Church of England

The Church of England was created in 1534 by King Henry VIII, when he decided to split the country’s principle religion from the Catholic Church in Rome. Although most believe the split was in motion long before King Henry VIII declared it. However, the keen politician he was saw how much power and money the church had over the people of England and when the church refused to dissolve his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so he could marry Anne Boleyn the King decided to make the split. Almost 500 years later, the Church of England has made their first female Bishop named Libby Lane. She had to overcome a large amount of criticism and scepticism from so called traditionalists to make this step possible.

As Marc Sparks (Dallasobserver.com) sees it, from the outside looking into the country of Great Britain, one would think it would have been on the leading edge of the female progressive movement. This is especially true considering the number of female monarchs that have worn the crown, to include its longest reigning and current monarch Queen Elizabeth II which acts as the churches Supreme Governor. Apparently for these traditionalists, it is okay to serve the Queen but not receive spiritual guidance from a woman. She will become the next Bishop of Stockport in Northwest England, where there is hope that the conservative and traditionalist viewpoints will not taint the parishioners to Bishop Lane and that more females can reach the clergy’s top rung.

Fine Wine According to The Antique Wine Company

Fine wine is a Eurpean cultural phenomenon that has a history of over three millennia. And like any other complex element of our culture, experiencing fine wine requires intelligent discrimination, utmost respect for tradition, and wide experience.

 

The Antique Wine Company, one of the world’s foremost purveyors of fine wines, displays all three of these qualities. You have only to listen to a few of the podcasts produced by Antique Wine Company’s Founder and CEO Stephen Williams, ranging from discussions of the component qualities of fine wine through reviews of major labels to such abstract concepts as the relationship between wine and music, to appreciate the depth of discrimination the company shows. AWC’s international staff of experts is also highly trained and experienced in helping customers understand and evaluate their products.

 

The appreciation of fine wine requires a deep respect for its history and tradition. Because the Antique Wine Company is fully aware of its responsibility to maintain and advance the tradition, it launched the AWC Wine Academy in 2011. Located at the Antique Wine Company’s headquarters in London, the Wine Academy hosts a regularly scheduled series of events designed to promote a wider and deeper understanding of the traditions of wine appreciation. These events include masterclasses, lectures, dinners, and corporate seminars, all presented with state-of-the-art audio-visual systems. The Antique Wine Company, in addition to partnering with an international firm that designs and constructs wine cellars, also offers advice and assistance in wine investment, insurance, and trade.

 

The maintenance of the European fine wine tradition also requires extensive experience with the production, bottling, distribution, and merchandising of wine. Here again, the Antique Wine Company shows itself to be one of the world’s foremost purveyors. Founded over thirty years ago and headquartered in London, with regional offices in Hong Kong and the Philippines, it operates in seventy countries around the world. The Antique Wine Company holds over 10,000 varieties of wines in its storage facilities, wines that represent not only France, Germany, and Italy, but the best of the vintages of the New World, from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina. From its beginnings in 1982, the company has grown to be one of the largest and most highly respected in the world, frequently called upon to assist in wine selection for events involving major world figures. In 2011, the Antique Wine Company broke the record for the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold (an 1811 Chateau d’Yquem). It is an established force in its field.

 

When it comes to selecting a purveyor of fine wines, you’ll be opting for discrimination, tradition, and experience when selecting the Antique Wine Company. In addition, shopping the Antique Wine Company’s online store is a dream of convenience and valuable support, not to mention elegance and ease. Experiencing the profound and ancient tradition of fine wines has never been easier.

The Current Political Uncertainty Between Saudi Arabia and Her Allies

In the midst of the carrying out of a continuously controversial sentencing of public flogging for a local Saudi Arabian blogger, the country land has lost its supreme leader and king, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to his ongoing battle with his health.

The announcement of the 90 year old king’s death came by state television on Friday morning, the 16th of January, 2015 following a traditional reading of Koranic verses that are meant to signify the death of an individual within the royal family. It is still uncertain whether the 79 year old Crown Prince Salman, will take his brother’s throne, or how he will deal with blogger, Raif Badawi’s legal situation.

With the West’s political ties with Saudi Arabia currently up in the air,  Gianfrancesco Genoso says it is difficult to predict where our traditional ally will land on the UN’s lists of countries to condemn, countries to watch, and countries considered as friends and allies. Saudi Arabia is a main exporter of oil, which is, arguably, our world’s most important natural resource. This one item easily allows a power switch for the throne to affect relations with current, and even traditional Saudi Arabian allies.

With Saudi Arabia a supreme monarchy, there are a few things for Crown Prince Salman to reflect on and subsequently make decisions on. It’s going to be a long road ahead for everyone involved. Here’s hoping for a great outcome.

Paris Takes On FOX News

 

FOX News is no stranger to giving false information, misleading stories and causing controversy. This time, they stepped in it with the entire city of Paris, France.

Recently, many Fox News shows have been making completely false claims about certain areas in Paris where it is almost all Muslim, with non-Muslims avoiding these areas at all costs. As if just saying this was not enough, Fox News really did a number when Fox & Friends actually showed a map of Paris, which had these “no-go zones” highlighted. Fox News later apologized for some of the neighborhoods being highlighted erroneously.

Other insults to Paris include a terrorist expert named Steve Emerson claiming there are “safe havens” around France where the government does not step in, so there are Sharia courts set up and nobody does anything about it. This happened on the Fox News show Justice With Jeanine Pirro. Emerson also apologized for his error.

These travesties in reporting have led the mayor of Paris to contemplate suing Fox News. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo claims that the image of Paris and its residents has been tarnished. While it is unknown if this will actually make it to court, this does go to show that Fox News is not a trusted news source, but more a source of entertainment. This blunder on Fox’s part has turned away long time viewers like Bernardo Chua.

Johnathan Veitch Has Updated Occidental College

Johnathan Veitch is a Harvard graduate who has worked in a number of different college administrations. He has a great deal of experience leading schools, and he has brought that leadership to Occidental College in Los Angeles. He is a native of southern California, and he knows what it means to study at Occidental. His changes came as the community near the school was having trouble adjusting to the expansion of the school.

The Expansion

The expansion of the school was taking up room in the community. The members of the community did not want the school to encroach on them, but they knew that the school had to expand to serve all its students. However, they did not want their land to be taken up with the school when the school had its own campus to expand on.

The Idea

The idea from Veitch was to update the campus in a way that was completely modern. He wanted the campus to move upward instead of outward. He could not afford to anger the people around the school, and he wanted the school to offer more resources to the students and faculty. The only way for him to do this was to make sure that he was working in his small campus to make the buildings move up.

When Veitch was able to update the campus to make it much more modern, he was able to allay to concerns of the people in the community. He was able to make Occidental College a place where modern students would want to go, but he also made it a place that was in harmony with the people in the community. This beautiful harmony is something that will make Occidental College thrive for another hundred years of existence in the Los Angeles community.

Ten Years After Hurricane Katrina Recovery Remains Ongoing

 

As the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches later this year, recovery from the storm that devastated many parts of the Caribbean and Gulf Coast still remains ongoing, albeit in a less visible way than previously. The City of New Orleans suffered extensive damage from the 2005 disaster, when a combination of high winds and extreme waves overwhelmed levees in many part of southern Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina cost hundreds of lives and destroyed millions of dollars worth of property in some locations. Locals, like Darius Fisher, had to leave behind their homes and move to other parts of the country.

Today, traces of Hurricane Katrina remain less visible, but they still persist in many places and can be viewed on YouTube. A recent newspaper article noted that Katrina forever altered the appearance of the historic Ninth Ward district in New Orleans.

Additionally, in the aftermath of the ferocious hurricane, many of the people who left the city never returned to their former homes. The Times-Picayune Newspaper reported that the impact of Hurricane Katrina and declining public school enrollments in New Orleans during the past decade contributed to a recent decision by the New Orleans Parish School Board to place nearly one third of the community’s former public schools on the market. The available properties include both vacant lots and some structures.

Democrat Hopeful Jim Webb Pushing His Boutique Presidential Views on Twitter

Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb has not been deterred by the Clinton political machine that attempted to take him last December with allegations of misappropriating campaign donations. Still, one year into his launch of an exploratory presidential campaign, he has yet to step into the spotlight. Instead, he is laying the groundwork for his presidential platform via Twitter. It is a peculiar method whose effectiveness rests with the size of his following. Sultan Alhokair notes that short of having the number of fans of Justin Bieber or Beyoncé, he risks marginalizing himself.  Information on Alhokair is available on Ireport.
So where does he stand on the issues? On the key issue of the dearth of full-time work with benefits and stagnant wages, he does not have much to offer. Instead, he is tackling the issue of prison reform. This is legitimately a civil rights issue as the sheer volume of inmates has created a permanent underclass in the nation. He also believes that promoting global warming measures will safeguard the economy. However, it won’t promote jobs. While proponents of global warming believe the world will be destroyed unless drastic measures are undertaken now, it is not likely to play well to an electorate in dire need of full-time work and higher wages.

Webb’s close aides acknowledge that the largely Twitter-based campaign will need to step up soon. They claim that the tweets are part of an eclectic campaign strategy. At the same time, they expect him to enter the traditional foray of campaigning soon enough.

EPA Faces Internal Audit Over “Deleted” Text Messages

 

Government watchdog groups would concur that agencies who are abusing their authority would rather face a controversy surrounding deleted emails than they would face scrutiny over the actions chronicled in those emails. This has certainly been the case at the IRS under the direction of Lois Lerner. The agency deleted emails likely detailing colluding with the Obama administration to harass Tea Party groups and delay authorization for right-wing PACs ahead of the 2012 presidential election.

Now, it appears that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a similar dilemma of its own. The think tank called the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which promotes libertarian policies, requested thousands of text messages sent to and received from the agency’s head, Gina McCarthy. It turns out the text messages have been deleted. For what it’s worth, the EPA is playing dumb saying the law requiring them to archive electronic communications does not apply to cellphones because of limitations on the mobile devices. Employees are asked to keep messages on their phones until they decide, at their own discretion, the messages are no longer needed.

House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith takes issue with that loose interpretation. The powerful congressman stated that the law requires the EPA to archive electronic communications from all devices designated as “EPA records”. He openly questioned why thousands of emails would need to be deleted if there wasn’t a motive behind it. Still, it is probable the EPA would rather face that question than allow scrutiny of the actual conversations McCarthy conducted. Deleted text messages and emails are a part of these routine investigations, recently financial institutions like BRL Trust has information requested about them.

Sam Tabar Reveals Investment Tips For the New Year

As previously reported by CNBC, Sam Tabar recently revealed some great investment tips for the new year. Sam Tabar, who is a prominent capital strategist and attorney in New York and was trained as Columbia Law School, released several tips that can help novice investors keep their New Years resolutions and invest wisely, so as to make more money in the coming year.

Tabar cautions against commodity trading. He says that commodities trading is much more unstable than the stock market and mutual funds, so it is important that anyone who invests in commodities has more experience and does more research that the average first time investor. He says that in the long run, stocks are less risky and less volatile.

Instead, Tabar recomends that novice investors look to investing in a private business when looking for alternatives to stock markets. The right business for the right investor can grow exponentially and pay off hugely in the long run. An added benefit to investing in a business, according to Tabar, is the social benefits and the benefit that comes from helping another person out.

Tabar cautions that the most important key, especially for a first time or novice investor, when it comes to making money and investing enough for a solid retirement is diversity. Even the best investment can turn out to be a bad idea in the long run, and the future is full of unpredictable changes. The best way to ensure a secure financial future and to invest wisely is by investing in a variety of stocks and bonds, or other investment vehicle. This way, if one market crashes, you still have something else to rely on.