Tuesday, December 28, 2010

post-blizzard photos of Windsor Terrace and Prospect Park

Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, post-blizzard 12/28/10

View this and other views of Windsor Terrace in the aftermath of the blizzard of 2010 on our Flickr album.



Prospect Park post-blizzard 12/28/10

View more photos of Prospect Park after the blizzard of 2010 on our Flickr album.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Art 101: Tabla Rasa Gallery's backroom art sale - New York NY


Art works in Tabla Rasa's ongoing exhibits in the front of the gallery are more expensive, but after viewing those exhibits continue to the backroom (where art works are stored and packed for shipping and the gallery owners have their office) for an art sale in which all art works have prices no greater than $400. 


View the slideshow and read the entire article on examiner.com

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Medical update

This is an update to two separate posts from last spring about my prostate cancer. Despite PSA scores that continued to be lower than the one that lead to the previous biopsies, my most recent biopsy revealed two additional tumors that like the first one are also 6 on the Gleason scale. The tumors are small, but since there are more of them it might be wise to consider treatment. My cancer is still stage one, and since I'm also slim I might be a candidate for nerve sparing robotic surgery (for which only stage one patients with BMIs of <25 whose tumors are not on the surface of the prostate qualify) from which odds are excellent that I would recover with full control of my bladder (after 3-6 months of post-operative incontinence) and no loss of sexual potency (though it will take between 6-12 months post-surgery to get that part of my anatomy working to its current capability). I'll have an MRI at the end of the month to determine whether any of the three tumors are on the surface of my prostate; if none of them are I'll have the surgery in early February.

If on the other hand the MRI reveals a surface location of any of the tumors I'll revert to active surveillance in the short run and consider other treatments in the intermediate run, including some that look promising but will not be available for a few years. Since I'm stage one there is no urgency to beginning treatment. I'm only considering surgery now because robotic surgery has excellent outcomes for stage one patients, especially younger sexually virile patients with no prior history of incontinence (the average age of patients is 65--nine years older than me). Meanwhile I'm keeping a positive attitude and increasing my exercise regimen to prepare for surgery should my MRI allow me to proceed.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Beyond Understanding

Do the life and work of Ludwig Wittgenstein suggest that the autistic mind and the philosophical mind have something in common?

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Seth Walsh 1997-2010

Wendy Walsh tells the story of how her gay thirteen year-old son, Seth, took his life after his school failed to keep other students from bullying him because of his sexual orientation. The ACLU and Wendy Walsh are asking Seth's School, and all schools, to take steps to stop anti-LGBT harassment.

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hips.org , HIPS recognizes International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, December 17

HIPS recognizes International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, December 17



This Friday is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Conceived of by Annie Sprinkle and the Sex Workers Outreach Project USA, in response to the Green River Killer, who killed at least 48 sex workers in Washington state. He said “I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught”. The International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers is both a memorial vigil recognizing victims of violence and a protest to fight human rights offenses against sex workers.

For many engaged in sex work, violence is considered an occupational hazard. Each night in our city, hundreds of women, men and transgender individuals trade sex to pay bills, support a partner or children, for drugs, or survival. Regardless of the reason they do sex work, one thing is clear: sex workers experience astounding rates of violence.

Every year HIPS receives nearly 100 reports of abuse or assault from the sex workers we work with and answers over 75 hotline calls from sex workers seeking assistance after being the victim of a violent crime. Many of these crimes are not reported due to fear of law enforcement. In 2003, our community was devastated when Bella Evangelista was shot to death by a man who had paid her for a sex act and later found out she was transgender. Two separate women reported this year they had been kidnapped by a man and held in a basement overnight. One caller to the HIPS hotline said “Because of what I do, no one would believe that I have been raped.”

In preparation for the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, HIPS hosted the Red Umbrella Project’s Audacia Ray, who led a workshop on storytelling. HIPS will recognize December 17 by creating an art piece with the names of sex workers who were victims of violence. Anyone who would like to contribute a name or a story can email HIPS@HIPS.org, call our hotline 800-676-4477, or post a remembrance the HIPS Facebook page. That night, HIPS volunteers will offer red candy canes to sex workers we meet during our evening outreach activities as a reminder of those friends and loved ones we’ve lost, and asked to share their stories, and will be distributing copies of our “Bad Date Sheet” which provides a way for sex workers to share information about violence against them.

For all sex workers, especially those who are victims of violence, HIPS offers a 24-hour-hotline, access to resources, counseling, support groups, and friendly faces. At HIPS, we believe that what you do for a living should not mean you deserve violence. No one deserves violence.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

In God's name: hate is the abomination: rally and march tonight 12/16/10 - New York NY

The 10th of Tevet is the traditional day of remembrance for victims of violence whose death dates and/or burial places are unknown. Tonight, December 16, 2010 at 7:30 PM a memorial service and rally will be held at Brooklyn's Parade Grounds (adjacent to the Tennis Center across the street from Prospect Park) to remember all victims of violence as well as the recent suicides of gay young adults.

Read the entire article on examiner.com

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hide/Seek' sponsor threatens to cut funding for Smithsonian

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, one of the principal sponsors of "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture," demanded Monday that the Smithsonian restore the David Wojnarowicz video or the foundation would not fund future projects.

The Wojnarowicz work, "A Fire in My Belly," contains 11 seconds of an image of ants crawling on a crucifix and was removed after criticism from Capitol Hill and conservative groups. The Smithsonian said the uproar over the video from supporters of the artist's work and from opponents to his images was a distraction from the overall show of many masterpieces.

The Warhol Foundation is the first major funder to publicly voice outrage. "We strongly condemn the decision to remove David Wojnarowicz's video 'A Fire in My Belly' from the exhibition. Such blatant censorship is unconscionable. It is inimical to everything the Smithsonian Institution should stand for, and everything the Andy Warhol Foundation does stand for," Joel Wachs, the foundation's president, said in a letter Monday to Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough.

The fund's board voted unanimously Friday to condemn the Smithsonian action, Wachs said. The fund gave $100,000 to "Hide/Seek," one of the early donations that provided a catalyst for other fundraising. That donation is part of a total $375,000 given to the Smithsonian for recent shows.

"We cannot stand by and watch the Smithsonian bow to the demands of bigots who have attacked the exhibition out of ignorance, hatred and fear," said the letter.

Reached by telephone, Wachs said, "We felt serious about taking this action and decided to fight fire with fire."

Clough responded Monday in a statement: "While we regret the Foundation's action, the Smithsonian's decision to remove the video was a difficult one and we stand by it. The 104 works of the 'Hide/Seek' exhibition will remain on view at the National Portrait Gallery."

The exhibit is set to close Feb. 13.

Wachs, who attended the opening of the show in late October, said he found the exhibition, the largest in the gallery's history, to be "extraordinary. From a curatorial standpoint it was brilliant, revelatory and educational, I learned a lot from it. I went away wishing we had given them $200,000. To see it trivialized, it is really disheartening."

A forum on the controversy surrounding the show, including the removal of Wojnarowicz's video, will be the focus of a panel Wednesday night at the New York Public Library.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Porcelain Unicorn

The Porcelain Unicorn is a sensitive and moving tale of how a traumatic wartime encounter inspires a man in later life. Wilson cites his grandfather's war stories as inspiration for the short film, and the 'hero's journey' of a Joseph Conrad novel.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Edgar M. Bronfman: Opening Our Tent – Forward.com

Opening Our Tent


By Edgar M. Bronfman

Published December 08, 2010, issue of December 17, 2010.

In this article Bronfman argues that intermarriage presents an opportunity rather than a threat and advocates outreach to the intermarried. Several of the comments below the article provide anecdotal evidence that supports Bronfman's points.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book Review: The Cosmopolitans by Nadia Kalman -- New York Journal of Books

"The Cosmopolitans, Nadia Kalman’s smart, funny, wise, and entertaining debut novel explores the relationships and dynamics of a contemporary Russian-Jewish immigrant family from the former Soviet Union, their acculturation in Stamford, CT, as well as the love lives and courtships of the three daughters."

Read the entire review on New York Journal of Books.

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Monday, December 6, 2010