Saturday, January 13, 2018

Follower Wisdom from April Parker

Here's the text of her post:

There seems to be a misconception in my region (Atlanta/SE U.S.) surrounding the rules of engagement in milongas. I hope that an experienced dancer and teacher (ME) can shed some light on things for those of you who are confused and experiencing emotionally painful things in milongas. It can be devastating to get all dressed up, go out, and then sit all night watching everyone else have fun. It hurts because you think that maybe these other dancers don't think you're good enough. I've been there many times. And I had to get past myself in order to grow out of that time. These days it is RARE that I'm sitting out against my will.

LADIES/FOLLOWERS: You. Are. Not. Meant. To. Be. Passive. Why should you be? You can work, be breadwinners, vote, hold public office, and many other things. Why do some of you think that it has to be always the man's choice and decision to help you have a fun night of dancing? F*** all that! Cabeceo does not involve you sitting there waiting for somebody to ask you to dance with them. You should be CHOOSING the men/leaders you want to dance with! Go forth and use those eyes! Show them with your smile that you're interested in dancing with them. The leaders have a hard enough time getting the nerve up every time to ask people to dance with them, and I can guarantee many will be very delighted to see you clear a pathway for them to ask you back with their eyes, and they will know it's going to be an easy deal!

Sometimes they won't look back, though. This probably means NO. And that's ok! They also have the right to refuse- JUST AS YOU HAVE. You should NEVER turn against yourself by blaming yourself, and you should most especially NEVER turn it against them and call them snobby/elitist. Deflecting your pain onto others by blaming them is not the best way to have a good time in tango- for everyone involved. Most important thing to remember: you are not entitled to dances, period. Just because you're in the room does not mean people owe you a good time. That's your business to make a good time happen for you- not the other way around. And if good times still aren't happening, in spite of all your actions taken to mingle and meet people, and looking at partners to signal your desire to dance with them-and no one at all seems to know you exist- you've got to try to remain positive and remind yourself that NO ONE OWES YOU A GOOD TIME. Remember that from all that mingling, you've just made some new friends. And they very well may look to dance with you the next time you see them. That's not bad!

I have more that I'd like to share on this subject, but this post is already long- so I will save the rest of my thoughts for a later time. I just see the discussion happening around this week surrounding these subjects, and I feel the pain of those involved. And I want you to know that I've been there and I've gotten past that part. And I'm much happier now! I hope that my thoughts and experiences can help you also get past your pain. Please inbox me if you have questions- I'd really love to help those who desperately need to understand and want to enjoy instead of having bad experiences.

Please everyone- do not use this thread to argue your opinions on cabeceo. Or to argue at all. With all my love, I am reaching out to people who need to understand how to get past painful ruts in their tango journeys.

Love, April

And I KNOW how stinking long this post is, but I have to clarify one thing: IF YOU ARE IN A RUT AND YOU ARE FEELING BAD, READING BLOGS WILL NOT HELP YOU. Please call me, write to me, set up coffee date with me- just give me a chance to listen to you and help support you. You need help getting past this, and I want to help you.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

A dancer’s brain develops in a unique way :: By Hanna Poikonen :: University of Helsinki

Callie Fink, Artist

Music activates our deeper brain areas, but what happens in a dancer's brain? Movement can trigger a flow state which makes way for an intuitive neural network.

By Hanna Poikonen, Doctoral Candidate, University of Helsinki/Cognitive Brain Research Unit

As technology takes over more areas of our lives, interest in more natural ways of life has also increased massively. One example of this desire to reconnect with nature is the upsurge of yoga and meditation retreats.

Music and dance have been fundamental parts of the human experience for millennia. They have enabled interaction which has given rise to close communities and rich cultures.

Neuroscience has studied music for decades. It has been found to activate the deeper brain areas in a unique way. Deep brain areas are primarily responsible for emotions, memory and social interaction. They evolved in the human brain much earlier than the cognitive functions in the cortex.

Deep brain areas are primarily responsible for emotions, memory and social interaction.

My doctoral dissertation developed methods for understanding the processes that dance generates in the cortex.

I compared the brain functions of professional dancers and musicians to people with no experience of dance or music as they watched recordings of a dance piece. The brain activity of the dancers was different from that of musicians and the control group during sudden changes in the music, long-term listening of music and the audio-visual dance performance.

These results support the earlier findings indicating that the auditory and motor cortex of dancers develops in a unique way. In my study, the dancers’ brains reacted more quickly to changes in the music than those of musicians or members of the control group. The change is apparent in the brain as a reflex, before the dancer is even aware of it at a conscious level.

I also found that dancers displayed stronger synchronisation at the low theta frequency. Theta synchronisation is linked to emotion and memory processes which are central to all interpersonal interaction and self-understanding.

In dance, the basic elements of humanity combine in a natural way.

Touch and cooperation are integral elements of dance – without them, there can be no dance. They are as important to dance as movement and music.

However, the neuroscience of dance is still a young field. Consequently, the brain processes of touch and cooperation have not yet been studied through dance specifically.

We do know that in dance, the basic elements of humanity combine in a natural way. It combines creative act, fine-tuned movement and collaboration, much like playing music. The movement involves the whole body, like in sports. There is touch, like in gentle interaction.

Dancing is also associated with “flow”, a well-researched phenomenon in which the person becomes fully immersed in an activity. Flow experiences have been found to increase the general contentment and productivity of the person as well as the quality of the activity. It reduces the activation of the neural network which is responsible for logical deduction and detailed observation.

This makes room for the creative neural network which also has an important role in generating a relaxed state of mind.

Practicing an instrument requires extreme precision. It has been found to shape motor processes in the brain in many ways. Meanwhile, studies conducted on dancers reveal how their brains have specialised to process dance motion.

Certain areas of dancers’ brains have specialised precisely to observe dance movements. The brain structures of musicians and dancers have also been found to differ from the general population in the areas responsible for processing movement and sound.

Brain synchronisation enables seamless cooperation.

Studies on producing music and movement show how during cooperation, the brains of two people become attuned to the same frequency. This is apparent in how the low-frequency brain waves of the participants become synchronised.

Brain synchronisation enables seamless cooperation, and is necessary for creating both harmonic music and movement. The ability to become attuned to another person’s brain frequency is essential for the function of any empathetic community.

Lately, researchers have gained fantastic results regarding the role of exercise as a mood enhancer. In addition to drug treatment and psychotherapy, exercise is currently even being recommended as a form of treatment for depression. Exercise releases hormones that create a sense of wellbeing, which in turn boosts positive emotional processes in the brain. It also lowers the activation of the amygdala, the brain’s fear and stress centre.

Finding the right dance style can make dancers euphoric, and make them forget the drudgery of official exercise recommendations and step counters.

Dancers who pursue graceful movement must practice being aware of their bodies and (being aware) of wordless communication. These skills are particularly important today, when we spend so much time sitting and in virtual realities. Our way of life has taken us further from our own physical experiences and the understanding of the wordless emotional messages of others.

For example, contact improvisation makes the dancers to listen attentively to the body of their partner. Touch is known to reduce pain, fear and anxiety.

Functional brain imaging has shown that these effects of touch are also apparent in the brain. In one study, a touch from a significant other reduced the intensity of the pain activation in the brain during an electric stimulus when compared with pain experienced alone.

Pain, stress and anxiety often go hand in hand with depression. Dance, music and related expressive forms of therapy could help lessen mental fluctuations even before the onset of full depression. Promising results have been gained from treating depression through music therapy.

Dance therapy can help with many disorders of the mind and body, from anxiety to dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Dance is a highly subjective experience. However, neuroscience can help us understand how people can use dance to feel more connected to each other in our technology-filled world.

Hanna Poikonen
The author is a Master of Science (Technology) and a dancer, and is writing her doctoral dissertation at the University of Helsinki’s Cognitive Brain Research Unit.

From the Researcher’s Pen is a series of articles in which researchers describe their work. This article was produced by Uutistamo in cooperation with the University of Helsinki.

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

More on the shrinking of Bears Ears National Monument by the Supreme Piece of Shit Donald Trump

Follow the money. Here's a good start to R&D (reading and downloading [into one's brain]) on the subject of "more on the shrinking of bears ears national monument by the supreme piece of shit donald trump"

Scroll down below the video for the links...the WaPo article is obviously Juliet Eilperin

Across the Colorado Plateau, irresponsibly operated uranium mills have devastated landscapes and communities including Moab and Monticello, Utah. The Trust is currently working to prevent another chapter of this toxic legacy from occurring at White Mesa. Located just three miles from the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe’s White Mesa community on Highway 191, between Bluff and Blanding, the White Mesa Uranium Mill processes uranium from mines across the Colorado Plateau as well as radioactive waste imported from toxic sites across North America.

The White Mesa Uranium Mill is the United States' only operating conventional uranium mill, but it's owned and operated by Energy Fuels Inc., a Canadian corporation.

Half Life: America's Last Uranium Mill from Grand Canyon Trust on Vimeo.

Washington Post Article by Juliet Eilperin:

Grand Canyon Trust White Mesa Mill (in Blanding, Utah) Project Page:

Wiki page on Uranium Mining:

Energy Fuels, Inc. 2016 Annual Report SEC Form 10-K:

Energy Fuels, Inc. Website:

Energy Fuels Inc White Mesa Mill Uranium Processing Facility Blanding Utah


Tuesday, November 28, 2017


I don't get luxury brands...I get it, but I don't get it...especially when they throw charitable "work" into their mix of products and spokesmodels and beautiful it people and vapid imagery/illusions/delusions to sell/boost sales/bring attention to a new Dior fragrance...not that charity/philanthropy/giving are a negative, ever...but sometimes it seems a little bit tainted, somehow...I dunno...oblivious narcissistic conspicuous consumerism...pick your brand...

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Le Jardin du Luxembourg

Last year at Thanksgiving, my daughter treated the two of us to a trip to Paris. It was a really nice. Particularly excellent. And very nice to re-live the trip through photos and videos.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Bette's Buttermilk Pancake Recipe

-- 2 cups all-purpose flour
-- 2 tablespoons sugar
-- 2 teaspoons baking powder
-- 1 teaspoon baking soda
-- 1/2 teaspoon salt
-- 2 eggs
-- 2 cups buttermilk
-- 1/2 cup milk
-- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
-- Choice of berries, sliced bananas, raisins or chopped toasted nuts (optional)
-- Oil for griddle
INSTRUCTIONS: Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Lightly beat the eggs with the buttermilk, milk and melted butter.
Just before you are ready to make the pancakes, add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once, stirring just long enough to blend. The batter should be slightly lumpy.
If you want to add fruit or nuts, stir them in now, or you may sprinkle them on the pancakes while they are on the griddle.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or heavy skillet over medium-high heat (375 degrees on an electric griddle).
Pour 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto the griddle or skillet, spacing the pancakes apart so they do not run together. When bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes and the undersides are lightly browned, turn and cook for about 2 minutes longer, until lightly browned on the bottom.
Serve immediately on warmed plates with the topping of your choice. Serves 4 (yields about 24 four-inch pancakes.)
PER SERVING: 445 calories, 15 g protein, 58 g carbohydrate, 17 g fat (9 g saturated), 145 mg cholesterol, 816 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Why the fuck?

What're we doin' here, y'all?

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, September 4, 2017

Rilke on marriage

"The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky."

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Friday, August 25, 2017

1 In 10 Bernie Sanders Supporters Ended Up Voting For Trump : NPR

1 In 10 Bernie Sanders Supporters Ended Up Voting For Trump : NPR

Here's How Many Bernie Sanders Supporters Ultimately Voted For Trump

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont inspired millions of loyal supporters, some of whom chose not to support Hillary Clinton in the general election in 2016.

Sandy Huffaker/AP

Fully 12 percent of people who voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries voted for President Trump in the general election. That is according to the data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study — a massive election survey of around 50,000 people. (For perspective, a run-of-the-mill survey measuring Trump's job approval right now has a sample of 800 to 1,500.)

Political science professor Brian Schaffner of University of Massachusetts, Amherst tweeted the data on Wednesday.

Schaffner's numbers show that after a bitter Democratic primary, more than 1 in 10 of those who voted in the primaries for the very progressive Sanders ended up voting for the Republican in the general election, rather than for the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.

What drove those voters to Trump? Schaffner dug into that, as well. What it wasn't was trade, an issue where Sanders was closer to Trump's philosophy than Clinton's. At least, the issue of trade didn't seem to have that much of an impact.

For those suggesting this is about trade, note that opposition to TPP is not dramatically different among defectors. 8/n

— Brian Schaffner (@b_schaffner)

Party seems to have had something to do with it — Sanders-Trump voters were much less likely than Sanders-Clinton or Sanders-third party voters to have been Democrats. Likewise, approval of President Barack Obama appears to be related — Sanders-Trump voters approved of Obama much less than other Sanders primary voters.

It is also the case that the defectors are not fans of Obama, as this chart shows. 7/n

— Brian Schaffner (@b_schaffner)

And then there is race. Nearly half of Sanders-Trump voters disagree with the idea that "white people have advantages."

But there does appear to be a racial component to this, as defectors are much more likely to disagree that whites are advantaged in US 9/n

— Brian Schaffner (@b_schaffner)

This tracks with broader observations about election 2016 — for example, as I wrote last week, in general, the larger a state's general-election Trump vote, the less likely its residents are to perceive a lot of discrimination in the world, according to data from the Public Religion Research Institute. And another postelection study — co-authored by Schaffner — found a "relatively strong indication that racism and sexism were more important in 2016 than they had been in previous elections."

Caveats, caveats, caveats

To answer the question that many Clinton supporters may be asking: By this data, yes — there are enough of those Sanders-Trump voters who could have potentially swung the election toward Clinton and away from Trump.

Specifically, if the Sanders-Trump voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania had voted for Clinton, or even stayed home on Election Day, those states would have swung to Clinton, and she would have won 46 more electoral votes, putting her at 278 — enough to win, in other words.

But then, it's not as simple as that. First off, this counterfactual world in which these voters didn't vote for Trump rests on a few ifs. If the Sanders-Trump voters in these three states had defected and if nothing else had happened to somehow take electoral votes from Clinton elsewhere and if this survey is correct ... then yes, Clinton would have won. (Some would also argue that if Clinton had campaigned more in the so-called "blue wall" states, she also could have picked up more votes.)

A more important caveat, perhaps, is that other statistics suggest that this level of "defection" isn't all that out of the ordinary. Believing that all those Sanders voters somehow should have been expected to not vote for Trump may be to misunderstand how primary voters behave.

For example, Schaffner tells NPR that around 12 percent of Republican primary voters (including 34 percent of Ohio Gov. John Kasich voters and 11 percent of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio voters) ended up voting for Clinton. And according to one 2008 study, around 25 percent of Clinton primary voters in that election ended up voting for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the general. (In addition, the data showed 13 percent of McCain primary voters ended up voting for Obama, and 9 percent of Obama voters ended up voting for McCain — perhaps signaling something that swayed voters between primaries and the general election, or some amount of error in the data, or both.)

All of that said, one other figure that stuck out to Schaffner: Compared with those numbers above, Clinton 2016 voters were remarkably loyal — "I found basically no Clinton primary voters who voted for Trump," he told NPR in an email.

When will it end?

Data like this might seem like yet another step in what will be an endless 2016 election relitigation. And it's true that there is bound to be plenty more in the coming months and years — particularly as Clinton releases her memoir on the campaign next month.

All of the unusual factors in election 2016 — the first female major-party candidate, the first major-party candidate with no military or elected-office experience — combined with the election's surprises — that there were actually a number of Obama voters who went for Trump, that the far-better-funded candidate lost, that the Republicans essentially torched the playbook they wrote after they lost in 2012 — mean that there are plenty of questions to answer in coming years.

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