Warning: Bad Mental Image Now Stuck in Brain

5 Feb

A truly wise man never plays leapfrog with a unicorn.

Nethack

Image

Hahaha! FootballCon ~ so true!

4 Feb

Words That Should Never Be True

3 Feb

“Children are dying.” Lull nodded. “That’s a succinct summary of humankind, I’d say. Who needs tomes and volumes of history? Children are dying. The injustices of the world hide in those three words.”

**Steven Erikson

New Terms Added to Corporate Governance Vocabulary

2 Feb

I’ve added new terms to the list of Business or Corporate Governance Vocabulary

Don’t forget, the Chinese translations come from the Chinese students rather than professional translators. While I believe they are accurate, you may want to consult professionals before using them for official documents. This is mainly intended to contribute to daily conversation between English speaking Companies and Chinese companies.

Abbreviations:
v. = Verb
n. = Noun
adj. = Adjective
adv. = Adverb

(c) All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to use this material. However, if you do end up using these definitions in your material (educational, informational, or professional), please include either a link to this webpage or the following reference: Blessing, Olivia. “Corporate Governance Vocabulary.” DeceptivelyBlonde.com. This is for two reasons: 1) I’d like to share the resource with others. 2) I created these definitions myself. Thanks!

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Art I Love ~ Athena

2 Feb

Art World Prepares for a Challenging Year

1 Feb

“Art World Prepares for a Challenging Year”

by Scott Reyburn via “New York Times

So now it’s official: The latest art market boom has peaked, according to figures from Christie’s and Sotheby’s, the two biggest international auction houses.

In late January, the companies released their 2015 results, with each reporting a slight decrease in year-over-year sales. It was the first year since 2010 that both failed to show an increase.

Christie’s, a private company based in London, reported auctions and private sales of 4.8 billion pounds, or about $6.8 billion in 2015, a decline of about 5 percent from 2014. Equivalent sales at Sotheby’s, which is publicly traded and based in New York, were $6.6 billion, about 1 percent less than in 2014.

Those figures do not represent a burst bubble, or even a serious correction, but they do suggest that 2016 is going to be a challenging year for the art market, reflecting the volatility and uncertainty of the wider world.

“The froth has been skimmed off,” said Paul Ress, the chief executive of Right Capital, which provides loans secured by art to dealers and collectors. Mr. Ress said that the collapse in the price of oil has taken “a huge amount of cash” out of the art market.

Photo

Peter Doig’s 1991 canvas ‘‘The The Architect’s Home in the Ravine.’’ CreditPeter Doig. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015

“There aren’t so many Russians and Brazilians involved now, and the Chinese slowdown has had a knock-on effect on the raw materials and equity markets,” he said. “The potential buyers in the art world won’t be feeling as rich as they did last year.”

An examination of Christie’s results reveals key shifts in the market in 2015. Bolstered by huge one-off prices in New York for trophy works by artists like Picasso and Modigliani , auction sales of Impressionist and modern art were up 57 percent to £1.3 billion, while those of postwar and contemporary art — the main driver of growth from 2009 to 2014 — were down 14 percent to £1.5 billion. Year-over-year sales of old master paintings and 19th-century and Russian art shrank 37 percent to £154.9 million. . . . .

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Discovery of the World’s Oldest Tea

31 Jan

Archaeologists have discovered a huge stash of the oldest tea in the world buried in the tomb of an ancient Chinese emperor. The tea (pictured right) was badly decomposed, but analysis showed only the finest tips (bottom left) had been picked and buried with the emperor. Similar tea was found in a tomb in Tibet (top left) Archaeologists have uncovered the world’s oldest set of tea leaves from the tomb of an ancient Chinese emperor! 

 Living 2,150 years ago in the Western Han Dynasty, Emperor Jing was a major fan of the delicious drink.  Like all the rest of us tea lovers, Emperor Jing understood the power of the tea leaf and its healing/renewing abilities.  

The collection of tea leaves was 42 feet x 8 inches. That is a major tea haul! If you ever tried drinking tea from leaves rather than a lipton bag, you’ll know that it only takes a small amount to go a long way. This amount probably lasted him a long while in the afterworld!  

This particular type of tea, Camellia Sinesis, comes from a type of small evergreen shrub known as a tea tree. The leaves and buds of the tree are used to create a special, expensive green tea.  There are actually two varieties of the tree–one is used to create the Chinese teas (such as White Tea, Oolong, Pu’er, Green Tea, etc.) and the other is used to create Indian Assam teas. The leaves of the tree have long been applied in Chinese traditional medications and as a caffeine provider.  I’m guessing it was pretty easy to bring the emperor over as a tea supporter :)

The tomb was located in Xi’an, China. Xi’an is now world-famous due to the discovery of the Terra Cotta army buried under the local hills and is only about an 8 hour drive from where I live!  I’m really excited; maybe I could see this tea pile :) Emperor Jing’s tomb contained “50,000” terra cotta animals and statues, along with other great treasures.

The extra amazing thing about the tea beyond its age is the fact that it is some of the earliest proof that researchers have about the Silk Road.  It is believed that the emperor may have traded his tea with Tibet where similar tea remains were found dating not long after.  This shows the the Silk Road probably moved thorugh Tibet at the time.  

Resources:

  1. Daily Mail
  2. Medicine.Net
  3. Wikipedia (Don’t Shoot Me)

Bar Exam Tip #2

30 Jan

When you get to the Multiple Choice Questions, always follow this method:

  1. Read the Answers first and mark off those you know are legally incorrect or that don’t make sense.

  2. Read the Question second and mark off any more wrong answers you notice here (i.e. answers that are true facts but that don’t actually answer the question).

  3. Finally read the Facts.  

Why do this?

Historically, this is the easiest, fastest, and most accurate way to solve any Multiple Choice question. I recomend it to students taking the LSAT, TESOL, IELTS, GRE, GMAT and other exams as well.

There are many reasons for doing the first step at the beginning.

  1. You avoid some of the test traps. Test questions often play mind games. For example: they give you opposite answers, they alter the time limits for a statute of limitations, they add an exception, they change one word. And the facts will point to the wrong conclusion. Don’t let them get to you; You’ve studied the law. Just go with what you remember from your studies and take out any answers you know are legally incorrect before letting the facts distract you.
  2. You avoid the dreaded moment where you think you have the answer and then it isn’t on the list. Your mind blocks up, you can’t get that first solution out of your head, and you bomb it. Know the possibilities, the real possibilities, and read the question to figure out which one fits.
  3. You can now easily ignore any irrelevant facts or details (also a reason for doing steps three and four next) in the fact pattern itself and move more quickly to the relevant information.  These questions often through in irrelevant information and ask you to sort through it to figure out what was important. Knowing the answers helps you move through the question quickly. If all the answers are about whether or not the person is guilty because the crime was in private property, you know to ignore the fact that the suspect gave different answers about their age.  

The second step mainly keeps you from falling into the mistake of getting lost in the facts and failing to answer the right question. Fact Patterns can actually depict a couple of legal issues, while only one is relevant for the question. Nonetheless, one of the answers will solve or be related to that irrelevant legal problem trying to trick you. Often, that “correct but wrong” answer is higher than the right one on the list because we will instinctively go with the first “correct” answer we see. But that is not our job on the test. We are not required to solve all the legal errors, we are asked to answer the question given.  So to avoid falling for the red herring (correct, but not the right response, answers), do step two to erase all possible distractors that fail to solve the question.

I’d say for about 1/4-1/3 of the test, these first two steps will actually lead you to only one remaining answer. 

For the rest of the test, you’ll need to pick between 2 (sometiems 3 on a tough question) remaining solutions.  But at least you have narrowed your options down and the odds are better!

 

Getty Museum returns the Head of Hades to Italy

29 Jan

Sometime between 300-400B.C., an unknown artist in Morgantina, Italy carefully sculpted this terra-cotta replica of the famed god of the Underworld, the feared Hades.  The skull or head itself was carefully sculpted on its own, and later the curly hair and beard were individually added, one curl at a time, just before the final firing in the kiln. Afterwards, it was carefully painted, and some parts of the paint remain such as the red in his hair and the blue in his beard.  This beautiful artifact is an amazingly well-preserved momento of painstaking artistry.

The piece goes by both the name “Head of Hades” and “Bluebeard” and was illegally excavated from an Italian archaeological dig during the 1970s. Afterwards it was sold and ended up at the Getty Museum in the USA.  

According to the Getty Website, the work was initially believed to be a depiction of Hades’ brother, Zeus (known occasionally as Bluebeard).  However, examination of the nearby discovered artifacts and the knowledge that Morgantina worshipped Persephone (kidnapped wife of Hades), they now believe it is actually Hades instead.  The kidnapping of Persephone is thought to have occurred at a lake near the city.  

Long story short, because the work was illegally excavated, it technically still belongs to Italy and was stolen property, meaning the Getty had to repatriate the bust to its nation of origin.  Although the legal exchange happened a couple years ago, the official trade occurred recently when Italian officials arrived to take over possession.  

One of the interesting notes to me is the fact that the Getty has owned this work since 1985 (almost 20 years) according to their own website. It is unclear why it took so long for them to return the stolen relic.  

Either way, the work is finally home as Hades returns to his royal lands, protecting the good and punishing the wicked as they pass into his deadly realm.

Resources:

  1. Getty Website
  2. Yahoo! News

Music I Love ~ Toto’s “Africa”

27 Jan

The beginning is a really amazing twist on the traditional song.  I love it when people use nature to replicate nature.  :)

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