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John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

J.R.R. Tolkien once stole a city bus


While attending Oxford, J.R.R. Tolkien once stole a city bus and took his friends on a joy ride.



Carrie


Stephen King’s 1974 novel, Carrie, was rejected by 30 publishers before Doubleday bought it and paid him a $2,500 advance. The hardcover sold only 13,000 copies, but Signet bought the paperback rights for $400,000, finally allowing King to quit teaching and become a full-time writer.




Ransack


Ransack carries the image of a house being roughly disarranged, as might happen when you are frantically searching for something. This is appropriate given the word's origin. Ransack derives, via Middle English ransaken, from Old Norse rannsaka; the rann in rannsaka means "house." The second half of rannsaka is related to an Old English word, sēcan, meaning "to seek." But our modern use of the word isn't restricted to houses. You can ransack a drawer, a suitcase, or even the contents of a book (for information). A now-obsolete frequentative form of ransack, ransackle, gave us our adjective ramshackle.



How to get away with murdering a foster kid.


How to get away with murdering a foster kid.



So you murder a 5-year-old foster kid, lie about it and then work a deal with the prosecutor.  You get to plead guilty to one count each involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony, and endangering children, a third-degree felony and the Prosecutor dismisses charges of murder and an additional endangering children.
Not THAT, my friend is a great deal……for the dealer. That’s deal that a clown named Kenneth S. Schulz, 30, of Newark, Ohio got in court this week. Schultz is a dedicated weightlifter.
According to him, he was goofing around with the child, make-believe wrestling and body-slammed….body slammed….body slammed  FIVE YEAR OLD, TWO FOOT, 60 POUND Nathaniel Gard with something called a "powerbomb" move. Schulz says he picked the child up over his head and body-slammed him into a sofa, which caused Gard's head to hit the back of the sofa. About 15 seconds later, Schultz said, the child became unresponsive and never regained consciousness before dying several days later.


An autopsy found the head injury was the cause of death, severe head trauma, bilateral retinal hemorrhages, and detached retinas, and bruising and cuts to his genitals….I’m sure we can all understand how a body slam into a piece of furniture could cause bruising and cuts to the boys' genitals.
Even if the genital bruises and cuts were somehow, miraculously caused by a body slam, what in the holy name of Jesus was a full-grown man doing tossing a five-year-old child over his head?
 The Judge in the case is Thomas Marcelain, who must be either insane, dumb or incompetent in my opinion. Marcelain requested a pre-sentence investigation be completed before Schulz is sentenced on August 19. Schulz COULD, MAYBE, get 11 years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter and endangering children charges. The way the system works, he’ll serve maybe two and a half years.
According to the Schultz’s family, as a defense,  several days before he died Nathaniel had been swimming in a pool being watched by Schultz’s mother-in0law, when Nathaniel’s brother, who was also swimming, became angry over something and slammed Nathaniel’s head on the side of the pool.
One to two days after the incident, Nathaniel was complaining of headaches, slurring his speech and showing signs of moderate to severe head injury. The family did take the boy to the hospital where a  doctor performed a basic exam and did not order a CAT scan or MRI because he didn’t feel one was needed.
Let’s say, for a moment, that it’s true, that a slam by a six-year-old child to a five-year-old child’s head was gone with such force it severe trauma to the child’s head and the child complained about head pain afterward and was taken to a hospital for it….how stupid was it for a weight lifter to pick the boy up over his head….let’s guess Schultz is at least 5 foot 8 inches tall…and then toss the kid down into a piece of furniture?   
And, again, where did a five year old child get bruising and cuts on his Scutum and penis?


Libraries are fighting to preserve your right to borrow e-books




Libraries are fighting to preserve your right to borrow e-books
By Jessamyn West

Jessamyn West (@jessamyn) is a librarian who lives in central Vermont. She is on the board of the Vermont Humanities Council. The views expressed here are hers. Read more opinion on CNN.

(CNN)Librarians to publishers: Please take our money. Publishers to librarians: Drop dead.
That's the upshot of Macmillan publishing's recent decision which represents yet another insult to libraries. For the first two months after a Macmillan book is published, a library can only buy one copy, at a discount. After eight weeks, they can purchase "expiring" e-book copies which need to be re-purchased after two years or 52 lends. As publishers struggle with the continuing shake-up of their business models, and work to find practical approaches to managing digital content in a marketplace overwhelmingly dominated by Amazon, libraries are being portrayed as a problem, not a solution. Libraries agree there's a problem -- but we know it's not us.
Public libraries in the United States purchase a lot of e-books, and circulate e-books a lot. According to the Public Library Association, electronic material circulation in libraries has been expanding at a rate of 30% per year; and public libraries offered over 391 million e-books to their patrons in 2017. Those library users also buy books; over 60% of frequent library users have also bought a book written by an author they first discovered in a library, according to Pew. Libraries offer free display space for books in over 16,000 locations nationwide. Even Macmillan admitsthat "Library reads are currently 45% of our total digital book reads." But instead of finding a way to work with libraries on an equitable win-win solution, Macmillan implemented a new and confusing model and blamed libraries for being successful at encouraging people to read their books.
 Libraries don't just pay full price for e-books -- we pay more than full price. We don't just buy one book -- in most cases, we buy a lot of books, trying to keep hold lists down to reasonable numbers. We accept renewable purchasing agreements and limits on e-book lending, specifically because we understand that publishing is a business, and that there is value in authors and publishers getting paid for their work. At the same time, most of us are constrained by budgeting rules and high levels of reporting transparency about where your money goes. So, we want the terms to be fair, and we'd prefer a system that wasn't convoluted.
With print materials, book economics are simple. Once a library buys a book, it can do whatever it wants with it: lend it, sell it, give it away, loan it to another library so they can lend it. We're much more restricted when it comes to e-books. To a patron, an e-book and a print book feel like similar things, just in different formats; to a library they're very different products. There's no inter-library loan for e-books. When an e-book is no longer circulating, we can't sell it at a book sale. When you're spending the public's money, these differences matter.
Library users know that you can make a copy of a digital file essentially for free. So when we tell them, "Sorry, there is only one copy of that e-book, and a waitlist of over 200 people," they ask the completely reasonable question, "Why?" In Macmillan's ideal world, that library patron would get frustrated with the library and go purchase the e-book instead. And maybe some people will do that. In the library's ideal world, we'd be able to buy more copies of the book, and even agree to short-term contracts, if it meant that more people had access to the books they wanted to read, when they wanted to read them. This was not an option on the table.
Macmillan did not at all enjoy it when Amazon removed the "Buy" button from their titles, and yet this is what they are trying to do to libraries.
Macmillan, complaining that libraries were "cannibalizing" their sales, tried to spin this move as one that "ensure[s] that the mission of libraries is supported." But our mission is not supported by having to spend staff time and energy on complex per-publisher agreements that inhibit our users' access to the content they want -- content that we are willing to pay for.
Their solution isn't just unsupportive, it doesn't even make sense. Allowing a library like the Los Angeles Public Library (which serves 18 million people) the same number of initial e-book copies as a rural Vermont library serving 1,200 people smacks of punishment, not support. And Macmillan's statement, saying that people can just borrow e-books from any library, betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of how public libraries work. Macmillan isn't the first of the "big five" publishers to try to tweak their library sales model to try to recoup more revenue, but they are the first to accuse libraries of being a problem for them and not a partner.
Steve Potash, the CEO of e-book digital distributor OverDrive, came out with a statement saying "publishers and authors are best served by offering multiple, flexible, and reasonable terms for libraries and schools to lend digital content." OverDrive runs the Panorama Project, a data-driven research project which researches the impact of library holdings on, among other things, book sales. He offered some actual data on Macmillan's claims, and painted a different picture.
The American Library Association has denounced this model using strong language, but perhaps it's time for libraries to do more than grumpily go along with whatever gets foisted upon us. Sixty-four percent of US public libraries are members of consortia for e-book purchasing. Maybe it's time we got together and decided to spend more of the public's money with businesses who want to do business with us, who don't just consider us "a thorny problem," while also not understanding how we operate.
Lowering barriers to access to information for all Americans is a public good. Public libraries exist in large part because they are necessary to a functioning democracy. People who participate in civics and elect their own legislators require free access to impartial information so that they can stay informed. Creating barriers to that access -- barriers that disproportionately affect those who are hardest to serve -- is a short-sighted move, and highlights the very real conflicts between capitalism and community.


On reading

BUT THE FIRST LESSON READING TEACHES IS HOW TO BE ALONE.

...and so on.


Bookshelf


*** OPPORTUNITIES FOR PLAYWRIGHTS ***



The Fine Arts Association will once again showcase 10-minute original plays.  
Only ONE 10-minute submission will be accepted per playwright. Submit your favorite!  The number of plays to be produced will be at The Fine Arts Association’s discretion and will depend on the mix of qualified submissions. Original plays accepted for the Festival will be announced between January 13-24, 2020. The plays selected will be given full production within the capabilities and budget of The Fine Arts Association. There are no submission fees for this Festival. There will be no monetary stipend for plays produced in the Festival. 

***

We are currently accepting submissions for next year's Los Angeles Queer New Works Festival. We are especially interested in:
  • Fearless new plays and one acts
  • Socially relevant contemporary musicals
  • Ensemble driven pieces
  • Daring solo works
  • Unproduced screenplays
  • Pilots and Web Series centering LGBTQ+ Characters ​​
***

The Ziegfeld Club, one of the first New York City performing arts charities to benefit women is thrilled to announce that they will offer the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award for the Fifth consecutive year in a row. A prestigious grant in the amount of $10,000, The Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award aims to celebrate an emerging female composer or composer/lyricist who compellingly demonstrates outstanding artistic promise in musical theater composing and clearly demonstrates how the grant money & mentorship will further her artistic career.


*** FOR MORE INFORMATION about these and other opportunities see the web site at https://www.nycplaywrights.org ***


*** THEATER & DISABILITIES ***

After making their Broadway debuts in the 2015 revival of Spring Awakening (alongside Academy Award winner Marlee Matilin – who is deaf), Ali Stroker (Glee) and Russell Harvard (Fargo, Switched at Birth) return to Broadway this spring in Oklahoma and King Lear. Joining Harvard is John McGinty (The First Purge, Wonderstruck), who made his Broadway debut in 2017 in Children of a Lesser God.

As the three actors show the audience that actors with disabilities can do as much as the traditional actors without disabilities, they are not doing it alone. The creative teams work with the actors to ensure success.

Stroker is the first leading actor in a wheelchair in a Broadway musical. She plays Ado Annie in the modern revival of Rodger & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! and she received critical acclaim for her performance.

Choreography is a giant part of every musical and Oklahoma is no expectation. Since Stroker cannot dance traditionally with her co-stars, she and the show’s choreographer John Heginbotham make motions with other parts of her body to match with her co-stars. She breaks down the process in an interview with Vulture.

“Usually, the first day of rehearsal, whether we’re working on choreography or not, I always introduce myself to the choreographer. It’s important, if you move differently, to have a good relationship. The next part is about translation — I use that term a lot when I talk about dance. It basically means that I take what everyone else is doing and then I translate it for my body. So if they’re doing something with their feet, I might translate it and do it with my shoulders or my hands, capturing the essence and the spirit of each move. Because — is it satisfying to see everyone doing the same exact movement? Yes. But it’s more satisfying to see somebody move and express themselves.”

More...

***

TBTB, Theater Breaking Through Barriers, is the only Off-Broadway theater, and one of the few professional theaters in the country, dedicated to advancing writers, actors, directors, designers, technicians and administrators with disabilities and changing the image of people with disabilities.


***

No Peeking Theatre was founded in Jersey City by Amanda Levie in 2012 to create a new format of theatre without one crucial element: Sight.  

Their mission has been to bring communities together through works that create dialogue between marginalized groups and building a platform for diverse and high quality theatre.  

Audience members are blindfolded for the duration of the show and are introduced to sensory elements such as sound, taste, scent, atmosphere, and touch. These sensory elements are designed to invoke the "world of the play/story/piece". No Peeking is changing the way we experience and create live arts.

Due to the structural changes and functions of No Peeking Theatre's format, we are able to create substantial opportunities in accessibility,design employment, reduce consumption and waste, intersecting multiple fine arts for our designs, and more diverse and fairer casting


***

TDF believes that the arts should be shared with everyone, including those with vision loss. For theatregoers who have low vision or are blind, TDF’s Accessibility Programs provide audio description services at select Broadway performances. Audio description allows the theatre lover who is blind or has low vision, to enjoy a live performance with their loved ones. 

Who's Eligible?

There is no annual fee, but you must provide proof of eligibility in order to take advantage of our vision loss program. Anyone who is blind or has low vision, or may benefit from audio-description services as the result of a documented physical limitation is eligible to apply for TDF Accessibility Membership.


***

Founded in Los Angeles in 1991, Deaf West Theatre engages artists and audiences in unparalleled theater experiences inspired by Deaf culture and the expressive power of sign language.  Committed to innovation, collaboration, and training, Deaf West Theatre is the artistic bridge between the deaf and hearing worlds.


***

Why should there be a National Disability Theatre? The easy answer is, there shouldn’t have to be, but very few questions are easy. Being autistic and legally blind, growing up and through high school I had no friends. I spent my lunch breaks and recesses pacing the hallways not knowing who to talk to, how to talk to them, or how to make a friend. I was completely alone in my own head. But my grandmother had a subscription to Seattle Children’s Theatre and when I was sitting in the dark theatre watching a show, I felt seen, I felt silently heard, and really sitting in that audience was the one time I felt understood


***

9 Theater Companies Putting Actors with Disabilities Center Stage

Non-disabled actors play approximately 95 percent of television characters with disabilities in top ranked shows, according to a study by Ruderman White Paper. Data pertaining to stage actors is pretty much non-existent, but odds are statistics are similar to or, more likely, skewed even worse. Simply put: 5 percent doesn’t come close to matching up with viewer demographics. You see, data published by the U.S. Census Bureau cited that nearly 20 percent of the population has a disability – over 56 million people. That means that representation of characters portrayed by actors with disabilities is, at a minimum, off by 15 percent.

More...

***

Theatre is for everyone! We empower people with special needs, seniors, everyone, to break through the fourth wall, get on stage, and shine. Through singing, dancing, and acting our actors-to-be learn about the theatre, the world, and themselves. Our staff travels to your venue providing an enriching theatre experience with music and movement therapy creating a showcase performance for family and friends.


***

The Apothetae is a company dedicated to the production of works that explore and illuminate the, "Disabled Experience."  To do this we focus on newly commissioned plays by both established and up and coming playwrights, and material that already exist in the theatrical canon featuring characters with disabilities or dealing with disabled themes: Oedipus, Richard III, The Elephant Man, etc. By making visible the human impact of disabled people throughout history, we believe empathy can be practiced, perceptions changed and new communities forged through the collaborative and transformative power of the artistic process.


***

Founded in 1989, Phamaly Theatre Company was created when five students from the Boettcher School in Denver, all living with disabilities, grew frustrated with the lack of theatrical opportunities for people living with disabilities.  The group decided to create a theatre company that would provide individuals with disabilities the opportunity to perform. 
 
Phamaly's founders were ahead of their time in building an inclusive organization that directly served disenfranchised individuals with disabilities from all racial, ethnic, gender, and class identities.  Phamaly continues to give individuals a supportive space to achieve their full potential and provides Colorado with an expansive artistic experience that cannot be found anywhere else.


***

On Sunday night, Ali Stroker became the first person who uses a wheelchair to win a Tony Award.

“This award is for every kid who is watching tonight who has a disability, who has a limitation or a challenge, who has been waiting to see themselves represented in this arena — you are,” Ms. Stroker said while accepting her statuette for her role as Ado Annie in the Broadway revival of the musical “Oklahoma!.”

In addition to thanking the musical’s cast, she thanked “her home team” — “my best friends, who have held my hands and pulled me around New York City for years helping me.”

[Read highlights from the Tony Awards. | Ali Stroker talks to us about her Tony win.]

Ms. Stroker, a 31-year-old New Jersey native who lost the use of her legs in a car accident when she was 2 years old, also thanked her parents “for teaching me to use my gifts to help people.”

More...

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