The 3rd annual ARISE Music Festival begins in less than two weeks in Loveland,Colorado. Organizers are getting down to crunch time, putting together the last details for the event which will feature music from many genres, yoga classes, visionary art, daily parades, films, dance, educational workshops, and more. The three-day camping event, which takes place at Loveland’s beautiful 100 acreSunrise Ranch, Aug. 7-9, is intended to be “a feast for the senses.” It also aims to be a place that uplifts festival goers as much as it educates them about community and environmental stewardship.
One of the unique offerings from ARISE is an abundance of educational workshops that include everything from laughter yoga to belly dance and permaculture to learning how to build a conscious community. Below follows a list of seven of the many workshops that will be available at the festival.
Keep Yourself in The Groove: Informational Workshops on All Aspects of Health and Wellness at Summer Music Festivals
Learn how to keep yourself healthy at summer music festivals with this open roundtable discussion presented by Groove Medical Services. The workshop will include discussions about the environment, how to practice good self-care when dealing with the summer elements, as well as some keys to improving overall health like: eating, staying hydrated and good sleep. Presenters have extensive knowledge of the music festival scenes as well as specific knowledge in areas that include healthy eating, the environment and wilderness/emergency medicine.
Zero Waste with Love
Elizabeth Plumb & Chris Styx (Boulder, Colorado) teach festival goers how to go above and beyond recycling in their “Zero Waste With Love” workshop. During their talk, they will inform participants on ways to decrease their impact on the environment, “from the bedroom to the bathroom, from the garage to the grocery store.” A zero (or very little) waste life is possible and it doesn’t have to be as challenging as one might think. Learn how to make sustainable behaviors easy, even in a world that does not yet cater to it.
Healing FoodsARISE Music Festival
Heath Perry (Ojai, California) gives a workshop on healing foods that can decrease or completely eradicate the need for over the counter and prescription drugs. Healthy foods, herbs, brews, and elixirs will be discussed. Find out how to fend off the common cold, the flu, acid reflux, joint pain, digestive disorders, skin issues, depression and chronic fatigue with food that is also medicine.
Ryse for Solutions
Russell Mendell (Boulder, Colorado) and Earth Gaurdians speak with the intention of rounding people up with the goal of working towards solutions for climate change. Earth Guardians is a youth-led group of activists, artists and musicians from all over the world who educate their communities and all the people they touch about what can be done. Co-led by 15-year old indigenous change agent and Youth Director of Earth Guardians, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, this workshop will incorporate song, prayer, and storytelling. A roundtable for participants to envision a “just transition back to nature,” will incorporate principles brought forth from indigenous wisdom and permaculture.
West African Drumming with Faro Tolno
Fara Tolno, master drummer and dancer from Guinea, West Africa teaches West African drum and Djembe hand techniques. The class will focus on how to evoke the many beautiful sounds from the drums, while interweaving the drums’ cultural contexts.
Finding Voice, Receiving Song
Songwriter and performer Ayla Nereo (Oakland, California) leads a workshop that will help singers of all levels (whether they are performers or singers in the shower) to open themselves to vocal play where singers will experiment with song, opening themselves up to their own creative processes and channel their music with deep and connected intention. “Through trusting our ability to listen and create sound, we learn to trust our own intuition and power to be creators of our lives.”
Laura Chiraya Fox (Sedona, Arizona) teaches energetic activism and visionary stewardship. In her workshop, participants learn about “the impact of human consciousness on ‘the field’ of collective human experience.” Learn how to to create harmony and divine order in life, personally and collectively and design a “visionary stewardship action plan” to take home, practice and share with others.
The American Beverage Association filed a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco last Friday on the grounds of First Amendment violations. The city issued a first-of-its-kind ordinance in June that requires sugary beverages to have health warning labels placed on them. An accompanying advertising ban prohibits soda advertisements on city property and also prohibits city departments from purchasing sugary beverages.
The ordinance, which was approved by a unanimous vote from San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, concurrently requires that the health warnings be placed on ads that can be found in public places such as: billboards, bus stops, public walls, taxis and stadiums. “The warnings would alert consumers that the drinks could contribute ‘to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay’,” reports California Healthline, July 27.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the ABA filed the suit on the basis that San Francisco “is trying to ensure that there is no free marketplace of ideas, but instead only a government-imposed, one-sided public 'dialogue' on the topic - in violation of the First Amendment.” But city supervisors have a different view. According to Supervisor Scott Wiener, legislation is necessary in order to inform citizens that sugary beverages are making people feel sick. It’s important to educate the public so they can make informed choices about beverages that contribute to some of today’s most common health issues.
The ABA is joined in its efforts to defeat the bill by the California State Advertising Association and the California Retailers Association. The new law is scheduled to go into effect by the end of this summer. Though the lawsuit challenges the bulk of the measures being passed, the ordinance that bans city funds being spent on sugary beverages isn’t being challenged in the lawsuit.
*originally published on the now defunct Examiner.com
“Jem and the Holograms”, a Universal Pictures reboot of the 1980s cartoon “Jem”, is getting geared up for its release later this year. Fans have been eagerly awaiting the film and now they have even more reason to be excited. Winners of a contest being hosted by Universal Studios can land fans parts in the film.
The contest invites anyone to enter. Contestants can perform as musicians, actors or dancers by creating and posting to social media (#jemthemovie) “Jem”-related videos of themselves playing a cover of a song from the film, talking to Jem about who has inspired them the most, or by dancing with friends.
Variety Magazine reports July 24 that the “Star in Jem” contest is also a campaign, meant to generate buzz about the movie by producing “a groundswell of user-generated content about “Jem” ahead of the movie’s Oct. 23 premiere, as effectively free publicity.” Another part of the advertising campaign sees Universal working with Defy Media, which will create a video campaign comprised of interviews from YouTubers whose videos have gone viral, as their rise from obscurity to being well-known mirrors Jem’s story in the film where she goes from being a small-town girl who dislikes being in front of cameras to a mega-superstar.
Anyone can enter videos into the contest and there is no limit on how many videos can be entered. After downloading music from the website, fans can sing along, dance or tell Jem how she has given them the courage to be themselves. For more information on how to enter and for entry guidelines, find out more at the “Star in Jem” contest page.
*originally published on the now defunct Examiner.com
What if being lucky was a choice rather than mere coincidence? Rather than calling on the Fates to change Luck’s influence or humbly and sadly accepting that some have all the luck, and others. . . not so much, why not just expect that lucky things can happen more often? It is a lot easier than casting spells or working within the constraints of the planetary alignments and moon cycles, to be sure. It also might save a bit of time.
An article posted July 20 at LifeHacker explains how Fortune indeed favors the bold. Studies find that expecting to be lucky essentially changes one’s whole mindset, helping them to become more confident. Those who are more confident take more chances. The weight of pre-existing worries are lessened when a person carries that confidence, and if it’s a numbers game, more chances taken means the possibility of more lucky breaks.
That doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of your lucky rabbit’s foot or shirk crossing your fingers when holding your breath for results. Good luck charms seem to viably work.
Psychologists at the University of Cologne reported that superstitious beliefs and charms led to reduced tension in stressful situations such as big contests and exams. Participation in superstitious activities also increased participant's belief in their own abilities. "Engaging in superstitious thoughts and behaviors may be one way to reach one's top level of performance," the researchers related in their journal article, “Keep Your Fingers Crossed! How Superstition Improves Performance.”
Some researchers warn against the kind of fantasy thinking that psychologists call “the illusion of control,” where people believe they can influence the outcome of random events such as in the case of gambling. For more success,Mentalfloss suggests forgetting about trying to influence random events or even focusing on desired outcomes. Research has pointed out that the more people fantasize about positive outcomes, the less those wanted outcomes occur, “perhaps because fantasy replaces effort that could get them ahead in the real world.”
Want to know how to attract good luck with methods that are backed by research? There are numerous books and articles on the subject that can help. In the meantime, why not try taking more chances but not without first telling yourself that you are one lucky so-and-so.
*originally published at the now defunct Examiner.com
Does the good of the many outweigh that of the few? Dr. Dylan Selterman, a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland posed an extra credit question that confounded many of his social psychology students. The question also went viral, lighting up the Twitterverse.
It started with one tweet. @shaunhin asked what kind of professor would do such a thing and suddenly, the tweet was making local news channels worldwide. The question essentially gives students a choice of taking two extra credit points or six, but there’s a catch. If more than ten percent of the class chose the higher number, then nobody would get any extra credit at all.
Yahoo Health reports, July 18 that Dr. Selterman can’t take full credit for the exercise. He told USA Today College “I first learned about this when I was in a college. My professor, Steve Drigotas, used this exercise with my class.”
The quiz question illustrates a dilemma called “The Tragedy of the Commons.” It was coined by Garrett Hardin, an American ecologist who warned of the dangers of overpopulation. “The tragedy of the commons is basically a dilemma between doing what’s good for you as an individual versus doing what’s best for the group” explained Selterman. “Now it stands to reason that people behave selfishly. But if too many people behave selfishly, the group will suffer…and then everyone in the group individually will suffer.”
Selterman has used this same question with numerous students since 2008, and so far only one group of students has earned the extra credit. “Fortune favors the bold,” responded one Twitter user. In this case, that response was far from the truth because approximately twenty percent of the class chose to be bold. @shaunhin responded to his professor on Twitter, that he did enjoy the question, even if more than ten percent of his class chose to make the gamble on six points and lost.
"He cry out, he make us all miss our brothers; brothers we ain’t never even have." --Elegba
You can’t always walk away from your past, nor can you avoid it. Sometimes you have to run and never look back and it’s a heartbreaking truth. That’s one of the things audience members might carry home with them from Curious Theatre Company’s remount of “The Brothers Size”, part two of the “Brother / Sister Plays” by Tarell Alvin Mccraney.
The play is directed by Dee Covington and stars Laurence Curry as Oshoosi Size, Damion Hoover as Elegba and Cajardo Rameer Lindsey as Ogun Size. The play is about the tight bond that exists between Oshoosi and Ogun, despite their differences and any misgivings. They are afterall brothers. The story is also about the intertwining friendship between Oshoosi and his good friend from jail, Elegba. It’s a friendship from which Oshoosi can’t seem to disentangle himself. It’s also a friendship that could destroy him and send him back to jail.
“The Brothers Size” takes place in the heart of the Louisiana Bayou. Physically, the players act, sing, dance, and play props like percussion instruments from a stage that is very simply made. A platform might become many things such as a cage, a bed or a car. A stage of simple platforms might be accented by mist, a glowing moon, or the shadows of the Bayou plant life.
West African rhythms and dance steps are performed by the players and incorporated into dreamscapes, memory sequences and scene changes. All of these elements combine to draw in the audience’s full attention, and to weave a haunting story about two brothers who without a doubt love one another and the best friend who is starving for a love like that.
“The Brothers Size” is playing for a limited engagement through Aug. 1. It is the second in the trio of plays by Tarell Alvin McCraney called “The Brother / Sister Plays” which explore a varied cast of characters who come of age in the “distant present” through “trials of heartache, love and kinship.”
Following “The Brothers Size”, Curious will present the last of the three plays, “Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet”, Nov. 7 through Dec. 19.
It’s an upcycle you probably haven’t thought of, despite Gregory Kloehn’s successful conversion of an NYC dumpster into a “Dumpster Home” last year. His conversion -- which when it came down to it, was fully functional and had a small kitchen, toilet, and storage for belongings -- lived in the grey area of what was and wasn’t legal as far as viable living spaces went. His tiny home conversion sported all the necessities and could go undetected, but that didn't mean that it couldn't boast bits of luxury like windows, the bolted-on barbecue grill and a pop-up balcony with a deck umbrella.
And speaking of luxury, not everyone would think to convert an old dumpster into a swimming pool. Architect and designer Stefan Beese, however, saw an opportunity in an old 30 foot dumpster. Known as “Dumpster Dive DeLux” to his Facebook friends, Beese constantly looks for new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle on a very large scale, rethinking the ways in which things are done, while keeping the environment in mind. His “Pool Box” is one of those re-thinkings and turns the idea of dumpster diving on its head.
As reported by Yahoo Makers, July 17, The Pool Box isn’t just a dumpster with a bunch of water in it. It’s a completely repurposed and functional product which looks super classy as can be seen in the above photo. Beese has craftily converted an old dumpster with quality materials. Others can figure out how to create the Pool Box for themselves or, they can find out how to purchase one in the future (if they live in New Orleans) for much less than a typical pool would cost.
The Pool Box is just one of Beese’s designs. He has created many other “cargotechture” structures such as lounges for major events created out of shipping containers. He’s a part of a movement, just as Kloehn is, in educating the public about extreme recycling. Examples of this kind of extreme upcycling include but are not limited to planters, pop up businesses and full scale buildings.
*originally published at the now defunct Examiner.com
Screaming is important and not just to ward off the Boogeyman. Even so, the higher pitch and abruptness evoke immediate surprise and response. Screams sound scary and in many instances evoke fear. In the case of some post-doctoral students at New York University (NYU) who were also new parents, rattled nerves and bleary eyes from being kept up all night by their own babies’ shrieks, prompted them to not only sympathize with each other but to also begin asking questions relating to the effectiveness and importance of screams.
Students from David Poeppel’s speech and language processing lab decided to look into the science of those questions, reports The Star, July 18. Their research led them into a section of communication that hadn’t really been considered relevant to human communication before.
“If you ask a person on the street what’s special about screams, they’ll say that they’re loud or have a higher pitch,” explains Poeppel, lead study author and NYU professor of psychology and neural science. “But there’s lots of stuff that’s loud and there’s lots of stuff that’s high-pitched, so you’d want a scream to be genuinely useful in a communicative context.” Further, as related by the co-author of the study, Luc Arnal, this same observation occurs when screaming is compared to singing and speaking, even across multiple languages. Speech and singing patterns vary as do their frequencies.
One of the factors to figure was why screams so effectively evoked fear above and beyond perhaps a vocalist singing a high-pitched note. Researchers surveyed and analyzed myriad examples of screams via online videos, popular horror films, and volunteer screamers in order to understand why screams give those who hear them an immediate sense of urgency or even chills.
It comes down to a trait known as “roughness,” and it’s a trait that researchers found to be unique to screams. Normal speech patterns usually have frequencies that vary only slightly, ranging in numbers between four and five Hertz (Hz or vibrations per second). Singing can range in higher numbers but does not exhibit the same kind of roughness that screams do; that is, screams “fluctuate wildly and rapidly, varying between 30 and 150 Hz.” Further, this range in human communicative sounds also triggers fear. The more roughness (or fluctuations) contained in a scream, the scarier it is, noted a set of people asked to judge myriad examples of screams.
Researchers also looked at brain activity of subjects who listened to scream samples and other sounds. Screams registered in the amygdala, the area of the brain that is responsible for the fight or flight response when humans feel threatened or are in danger. Researchers gleaned other non-threatening sounds for use, as well, increasing their roughness to see what would happen. When roughness was magnified, subjects’ fear responses also rose and the activity in their amygdalas increased.
"Screaming really works," Poeppel said. "It is one of the earliest sounds that everyone makes — it's found across cultures and ages — so we thought maybe this is a way to gain some interesting insights as to what brains have in common with respect to vocalization."
Previous studies have pointed to the fact that screaming can do more than signal endangerment or need. Screams can provide a way of venting and releasing pent up tension. The tactic is often used in anger management programs, especially for those who tend to bury their emotions. The cathartic act can empty repressed emotions and can ease the burden of carrying them. Screaming can be good medicine, so long as it is not directed in a way that harms others or damages the vocal chords.
*originally published on the now defunct Examiner.com
ARISE Music Festival, Loveland, Colorado’s own conscious festival featuring uplifting music, yoga, visual art, performance art and workshops on everything from health and wellness to creating lifestyles that are also good for the environment, is less than thirty days away. The festival, which begins Aug. 7 and goes through Aug. 9, promises to not only uplift those who attend but to be a feast for the senses with visionary art, daily parades, films, dance and music spanning a broad range of genres.
The festival will take place at Sunrise Ranch, a venue in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains that also offers opportunities throughout the year for personal growth and educational programs in the arts, wellness and sustainability. Similarly, ARISE, which had its beginnings in the summer of 2013 at Sunrise Ranch, will host numerous opportunities for attendees to learn more through health-oriented workshops and talks with artists and environmental presenters.
The festival’s main focus is to embody and share an attitude of green living, community, education and environmental stewardship. ARISE is a festival that walks the talk, offering all attendees free drinking water instead of allowing the sale of plastic water bottles. Other green practices such as recycling and composting are within reach at the ranch, along with knowledge that attendees can carry forth even after they have left the event. ARISE has also collaborated with Fort Collins-based non-profit Trees Water & People. This collaboration results in one tree planted for every ticket sold to the festival.
ARISE Festival tickets are still available. For further details, visit the ticket link where there is more information about early camping passes, as well as VIP passes and the special permaculture course being hosted right before the festival with The Polish Ambassador. For updates and to connect, visit ARISE on Facebook and on Twitter.