Category Archives: South Africa

Hopes for the Future: Sunny Skies

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A 14th Century mystic poet named, “Hafiz” gives us this cheerful

message today:

“Even after all this time,

The sun never says to the earth,

“You owe me.”

Look what happens

with a Love like that.

It lights up the ‘Whole Sky.'”

 

Here is some ‘food for thought,’ in a much more serious tone:

“If we use our fuel to get our power, we are living on our capital and

exhausting it rapidly. This method is barbarous and wantonly wasteful

and will have to be stopped in the interest of coming generations. The

heat of the sun’s rays represents an immense amount of energy, vastly

in excess of water power.  The sun’s energy controlled to create lakes

and rivers is for motive, purpose and transformation of arid deserts

into fertile land.”

~Nikola Tesla, September 9, 1915

 

Solar energy became popular years ago, but a recent report mentioned

and gave ‘credit’ to President Jimmy Carter’s administration in forming

close relations with the D. O. E., which is the Department of Energy.

I follow Greenpeace and have been posting on this subject with updates,

from time to time.

 

There is an acronym for India’s governmental energy program. I may

have informed you of some of their solar home systems. The ‘newest’

fact I found was there are 150,000 families in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal,

Vietnam and South Africa actively participants of SELCO.

 

Solar solutions are followed by a “Solar Foundation” here in the United

States, where “so far, its operations include 13,000 plus megawatts of

cumulative solar energy.”  This amount  which the average layperson,

myself included, might think were rather ‘low’ in its numbers.

 

Interestingly enough, my instinct to guess this to be ‘not much to speak of,’

really has the capacity to serve 2.2 million American homes.

 

The Solar Foundation carries out a solar job census of solar workers, which

gave a remarkable number of 143,000 solar workers in the U.S. This has

increased in numbers since 2012 by 20%.

 

Pioneers in solar advocacy formed by two men named Daniel Yergin

and Neville Williams have been working to increase awareness on two

blogs.

They are a great ‘resource’ on the subject of solar power.

You may wish to check them out at:

http://danielyergin.com

http://sunpowerbook.com

 

Neville Williams’ first book was called, “Chasing the Sun.” President Bill

Clinton said of Williams’ book:

“I really loved your book. I made everyone in the Clinton Foundation

read it. It’s terrific.”

 

The late Sir Arthur C. Clarke said of  “Chasing the Sun:”

“A fascinating account of the author’s odyssey to promote solar

energy in the developing world.”

 

 

Here is something to be ‘proud’ about they tallied up the states which

have the best usage and most actively working with solar energy.

The Top 10 States in the U.S. are:

1. California                      6. Massachusetts

2. Arizona                         7. Hawaii

3. New Jersey                   8. Colorado

4. North Carolina              9. New York

5. Nevada                        10. New Mexico

 

Since President Obama came into office, there have been 550 new

major solar project. Sixteen of these have been permitted on federal

land with over 6,058 megawatts generating capacity. If you look back

at the total number given previously, this is about 50% of the solar power

presently available in the U.S. These are huge ‘strides’ or progress in

pursuing energy generated by the sun. This is in great part to realizing

the importance of other resources than gas or oil, thanks to collaboration

between both political parties.

 

The newest Neville Williams’ book is titled, “Sun Power:  How Energy

from the Sun Is Changing Lives Around the World Empowering America

and Saving the Planet.”

 

Quite a lofty goal which all of us around the world can appreciate.

 

The hope for the future is to have more common usage by people

everywhere. By becoming a leader in solar power, our country could

become a major catalyst for global, political and economic change.

 

This is one more quote to bring you smiles:

“Solar power is the last energy resource that isn’t owned yet- –

Nobody taxes the sun yet.”

~Bonnie Raitt

 

 

 

100 Pieces of Paul Simon’s Life

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Celebrating 50 years of performing, writing and contributing to our

mental psyche, Paul Simon recently spent three hours, 180 minutes,

to help elaborate for a new exhibit at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall

of Fame. There will be a small piece of this exhibit shown at the

Cuyahoga Community College (CCC), sponsored by the R and R Hall.

Paul Simon was inaugurated into the R & R Hall of Fame when he

was part of the duo of Simon and Garfunkel, then later he was doubly

awarded, as a solo artist of majestic proportions.

The curator/archivist, Karen Herman said Paul Simon was very

generous with his time, completely answering the interview questions

expanding on them and allowing the entire tape to be included in the

new exhibit.

What will you see there?

Here are several of the 100 new items that interested me and captured

my imagination:

1. A 1957 hand written letter from Art Garfunkel to Paul Simon, while

he was away at summer camp. Who out there knew they were friends

from such a young age? There is a postmarked envelope and personal

letter with messages in Art’s young handwriting to his friend. This life-

long friendship was ‘news’ to me. I knew they collaborated and sang

together as Simon and Garfunkel, but did not know they both attended

prep school and were close through all these years.

2. The first guitar that Paul ever owned. This is an acoustical guitar

made by “Stadium.”

3. The lyrics written in his own hand of his best-selling song, “The Boxer.”

The CCC has many other parts of the special exhibit about the writing of

this famous song. There was an interesting ‘tid bit’ that when Paul was

writing the song, he inserted the vocal bridge of, “Lie-la-lie” originally

and fully intending to substitute using words, adding them later. Once

he completed the passage, it ‘stuck,’ remaining in the song.  Paul left

the song as is, after practicing with Art and going ahead with recording

the bridge within the song. (I am wondering, is this how we got that

‘riff’ or ‘bridge’ in the song, Mrs. Robinson, that goes “Coo, coo, ka chu?”)

4. Photographs abound in the exhibit. Personal ones, like his sweet but

serious face as a toddler in 1943.

5. Did you know Paul had enrolled as a DRAMA student (not Music!)

at the Queen’s College in New York City, NY? I studied this photograph

of Paul’s college sophomore year, picturing him as a dramatic actor,

seeing him as one who may have made Robert DeNiro or Dustin Hoffman

envious.

6. I have more than 3 two-sided 45 records, including Sound of Silence,

Only Living Boy in New York, Cecilia, Bridge over Troubled Water, The

Boxer and Mrs. Robinson. The only one on exhibit at the R & R Hall of

Fame is, “Me and Julio Down by the School Yard.”

I ponder donating my 45’s… naw!

7. Paul’s Grammy Records, all are on display. Donated to the R & R

instead of having them collect dust on shelves or be displayed in his

home set of cases.

7. The notes, handwritten on a notepad with the lyrics and sound

development for his album, “Graceland.” In this interview, Paul gave

us insight into his own personal writing style. He always writes his

songs music first. This surprised me, when Paul shared this processing

information of songwriting. I pictured his writing his lyrics first. They

are so poetic and meaningful, one could then imagine trying to place

the piano or instrumentals into the pieces. He also shared that he does

not always put his ‘best material’ into the first line of his songs. He feels

it is important to ‘build the drama and meaning’ as the song progresses.

By the way, Paul Simon’s unique musical combination of South African

and Zulu-Western, along with including Zydeco and Tex-Mex sound

influences, made his album an international success. The voices of many

friends appear on tracks in this album, including the Everly Brothers

on the title track, “Graceland.”

Female singing artist, Linda Ronstadt, performed with Paul Simon in

the lovely song, “Under African Skies.” The controversy behind this

album brought attention to our united stand against apartheid with him.

 

 

The part of the installation of Paul Simon’s body of musical artistry

which will travel, is going from major city to city. This will come to

museums and other public viewing areas, which will include an

admission charge, going back towards the Cleveland’s upkeep of their

entire building that embodies almost all genres of music, which have

had influences on each level, including rock and roll. There are so

many international exhibits, which I would recommend taking more

than one day to view. Paul Simon’s exhibit alone is considered to

need half an hour to 45 minutes to listen and absorb the information

given. As far as the CCC exhibit, Songwriters and musicians may be

happy to study the details of one song, “The Boxer.” There are images

of New York, the tickets for performances, the notes and personal

memorabilia attached to this iconic legend of a man, Paul Simon.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit will cover 1500 square feet.

 

 

No More Milk Mustaches!

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The Dairy Council has decided their advertising

campaign that includes the words, “Got milk?”

and famous persons with white mustaches is going

in a different direction. Those ‘milk mustaches’

were rather clever, I think. It made me have a

bout of nostalgia and got me reminiscing about

different products and their advertisements or

television commercials.

The background information is that the firm of

Goodby Silverstein and Partners came up with this

catchy slogan and advertising campaign for the

California Milk Processor Board in 1993. When Naomi

Campbell wore the first mustache, this was twenty

years ago in 1994.

The “Milk Life” ads were created to promote milk’s

protein power. The ads that have graced many magazines,

billboards and television commercials have come to an

end, yesterday on February 24, 2014.

The famous people have included a diversity of

subjects wearing that iconic white mustache. Here

are a few samples: Sir Elton John, Mariska Hargitay

and her daughters, Katie Couric and Bill Clinton.

This is not a ‘new’ subject for me. I have had

written before about product placement and t.v.

advertising. This includes different subjects and

my focus on cereal makes sense, due to the recent

‘demise’ of the “Got milk?” ads.

When I think back to when we were children, most of

my early childhood was without a color television.

My memory is of watching commercials in black and

white.

Strangely, I remember only a few actual products

that were in the black and white commercials. I can

think of more cleaning products (like Cheer, Tide and

Windex) than any other ones. Does this say something

about my mindset? Hmmm…By the way, Cheer came about

in 1950, Tide has been around since 1946 and Windex

was created in 1933!

But cleaning products don’t ‘go with milk!’

Mostly, my memories come from early Saturday mornings

watching cartoons like “Mr. Magoo” or the “Roadrunner”

(versus Wily Coyote.) We liked “Yogi Bear” and “Bugs

Bunny,” too at our house.

Those Saturday morning commercials were to get kids

to nag their parents for different and “new” brands

of cereal, juices and during holidays: toys!

My favorite black and white commercial had Tony the

Tiger recommending that we try Kellogg’s Frosted

Flakes.

When you look up the details, I think that you may

be surprised as much as I was, that there are many

family members in Tony’s imaginary “family!”

Tony the Tiger appeared as an advertising action

mascot in 1951. He has become known as a ‘cereal icon’

and has lasted past most of other cereal logos. He had

a son, Tony, Jr. in the 1950’s. He did not get a wife

or mother until the 1970’s!

Mama Tony and Mrs. Tony appeared a long time after

we were used to seeing Tony with his boy tiger. I

have never even heard of Antoinette, who was Tony’s

daughter, who became part of the advertising family.

She also did not appear until the other two lady

tigers’ arrival, in the seventies.

Tony’s expression of “It’s Grrrreat!” was also part

of his special signature. I always liked the frosted

sugary flavor of this brand of cereal and enjoyed

the different sports figures that his animated tiger

would interact with in the television commercials.

Another detail that may, or may not, seem familiar is

that there was another cereal that Tony recommended:

Tony’s Cinnamon Krunchers. Have you ever eaten these?

Another commercial, which I liked was for the Kellogg’s

Rice Krispies with the slogan “Snap, Crackle and Pop!”

Of course, that also included three little elves with

the names of Snap, Crackle and Pop. I loaded on brown

sugar or honey on these, (as I did for Cheerios, too.)

My ‘sweet tooth’ has been a lifelong attribute, now

considered dangerous and ‘bad!’

This cereal came about much earlier than Frosted Flakes’

arrival. It was a simpler cereal, rice, malt barley and

they were made into a shape (they called it “berries”)

that crackled, once its hollowness caved in; when milk

was applied.

Rice Krispies was marketed in 1927, then released in

1928. This forecasting a product before its arrival

in the stores, has become a way to ‘tease’ the public

and build anticipation, along with sales.

A fantastic advertising campaign included in 1963,

The Rolling Stones singing and recording a television

advertisement! Wow! I don’t remember being impressed

back then, at age 8 but now I am!

Rice Krispies is known as “Rice Bubbles,” in Australia

and New Zealand.

Here are the rest of the Rice Krispies cereals, along

with some international names that make me chuckle!

Cocoa Krispies is known as “Coco Pops” in the United

Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Italy, Australia and

New Zealand.

Frosted Rice Krispies is our American name for a

sugar coated RK, while in the UK and Ireland, they

call this cereal, “Ricicles.”

Rice Krispies can be found in Canada, “with Vanilla

Flavour.”

Strawberry Rice Krispies can be found in South Africa.

Since 1993, Rice Krispies Treat Cereal has been around

in the United States.

For a period of time starting in 2007, Chocolate and

Vanilla Rice Krispies existed.

General Mills’ Wheaties has the most amount of famous

sports figures featured in their advertising. This is

due to their iconic slogan, “The Breakfast of Champions.”

I like Wheaties but have been adding raisins and extra

sugar to my cereal bowls all of my life. I am so glad

that they came out with Raisin Bran so I could stop my

having to supplement my cereal with all the ‘work’

of getting the sugar bowl and raisins out!

I was fascinated by the Wheaties creation story. Hope

you won’t mind reading about this, too!

This cereal came about due to an accidental spill

of a wheat bran mixture onto a hot stove by a clinician

in 1922. She worked for the Minnesota located Washburn

Crosby Company. Later, General Mills became the name of

the current company.

The final product (cereal) went through a couple of

years in attempting to strengthen the flakes to

endure packaging. Washburn’s head ‘miller,’ George

Cormack labeled the cereal, “Washburn’s Gold Medal

Whole Wheat Flakes,” in 1924. Later, they held an

employee contest where the name, “Wheaties” won.

While advertising on the radio in Minnesota, where

the company was founded, they had a jingle that

went to the popular tune of “She’s a Jazz Baby.”

The beginning line was, “Have you tried Wheaties?”

The advertising through radio and placement on

billboards at ball fields led to the interest of

athletes in being part of the advertising.

I can think of many Olympic athletes, along with

professional athletes that have been the faces

who were promoting Wheaties to young people.

Hope you enjoyed this ‘walk down nostalgia lane,’

and won’t mind discovering the new commercial logo

that the milk processors and dairy farmers choose.

I will miss the “Got milk?” ads. It’s been around

for the majority of my children’s lives, twenty

years.