“QUEEN OF SOUL” Aretha Franklin 3/25/1942 – 8/16/2018

“QUEEN OF SOUL” Aretha Franklin 3/25/1942 – 8/16/2018

It’s never easy to pen any elocution of one as massive in spirit, presence, performance and delivery as Aretha Franklin. Does one start from how she defined rhythm and blues, the fact that she found her spirit, voice and soul from the tender age of 12, the fact that it was her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, who heard, identified and heeded the call of the singer and artist within her, the fact that she amassed at least 12 honorary doctorate degrees despite being a high school dropout, or being nominated for 44 Grammy awards and actually receiving 18 in one lifetime? Should we start with her being the first woman to have been inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Or, should we start at the unique spin that Detroit, which she came to identify as her hometown, is known to bring out in those who have walked its hallowed halls of music? Do we look at the fact that hers was the chosen voice for the inauguration of not one, but three presidents? That President George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian award? Or do we look at her advocacy in the Civil Rights movement, for racial equality? It is a little known fact that Aretha’s father, Rev. Clarence L. Frankln was the one who organized the Detroit Walk of Freedom to Washington back in 1963 and that he was an artist in his own right. Upon reflection, it seems preordained that the Queen of Soul was, in her youth, mentored by the Queen of Gospel, Mahalia Jackson....
FOODS THAT MAKE YOU FART

FOODS THAT MAKE YOU FART

The entire spectrum of human society must have been struck with awe when in 1781 Benjamin Franklin penned an essay known as “Fart Proudly,” about flatulence, breaking wind, or what is sometimes referred to as an ill wind. As we know, the word fart, a natural and normal biological function has always been taboo among those who consider themselves well mannered. In fact, it is considered utterly vulgar. Franklin’s reason for doing this was a call to the Royal Academy of Brussels, to encourage scientists to figure out a way, through medicine, to make farts smell good. “Any modest pen would be reticent to sully the page with such a seemingly unseemly obscenity, and yet, no other appellation quite fits. If nothing else, the word is expressive in its forthright simplicity. Besides, why resort to euphemism to describe an innocuous natural phenomenon? Let’s not bowdlerize our bowels. Enough of this circumlocutory Victorian prudery, out with it: call a spade a spade, & a fart a fart!” – Davy King But fart is not always the verb. In Jamaica, for example, someone who is disappointing is sometimes referred to as an old fart, (and we are by no means unique in this), or would be cursed, “yuh fava fart.” I never quite figured out whether it meant ugly or invisible. As it were, a dog sitting nearby was always welcomed in company, since they were the ones who got blamed for the discharge of flatulence. To be sure, the fart doesn’t exist until it makes a public appearance. Interestingly, in some cultures, breaking wind was an act of purification or...
SPOTLIGHT ON DIABETES

SPOTLIGHT ON DIABETES

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that as at July 2017 a staggering 100 million people in America have diabetes with a great number predisposed to it and this number is steadily rising. With brownies and doughnuts a cultural staple and the lack of consistent physical activity, this should come as no surprise. As clearly stated on the CDC site, “people with diabetes are at increased risk of serious health complications including premature death, vision loss, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and amputation of toes, feet, or legs,” which should be a deterrent for over consumption of sugar, but engrained cultural habits are indeed hard to break. What is more stunning is the number of people under 18 that have been diagnosed with the disease. The marked distinction between Diabetes 1 and 2 is: Type 1 is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin while Type 2 is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose). TYPE 2 Located in the abdomen, the pancreas essentially converts food into fuel or insulin for the body’s cells. This is also the area of the body that helps to store and use glucose. Insulin is then sent, as glucose (sugar) through the bloodstream into muscle, fat, liver, and most other cells so that the body can use it for fuel. An excess of insulin in the bloodstream can cause cells in the body to absorb too much glucose (sugar) which in turn creates a malfunction that can cause a lesser amount of glucose to be released from the liver....
BLOGS IN PHOTOGRAPHY – FORT BENNETT, TOBAGO

BLOGS IN PHOTOGRAPHY – FORT BENNETT, TOBAGO

One of my best Tobago experiences was my stay at Licorish Villa located in Fort Bennett, Black Rock, Tobago.  Of the six forts on theIsland of Tobago, Fort Bennett is probably the most famous. Fort Bennett overlooks Grafton Beach. The Fort was built by the Dutch between 1628 and 1636. Later on, in the 1680’s, the Courlanders refortified it in order to protect their then flourishing settlement in the Great Courland Bay area. During the 1800’s the fort fell into the possession of the British and was again refortified to protect their claim to Tobago. The fort was used for military purposes during the sugar revolution. Privateers and Buccaneers tried to interfere with British interests which consequently led to many battles. The Fort however, was a huge barrier for these pirates and the British once again were able to protect their territory and their interests. Nowadays the fort is a tranquil spot which is indeed contrary to its history. There is a small gazebo from which locals and tourists can see a panoramic view of Grafton Beach. At sundown there is an amazing sunset that is extremely breathtaking. The gazebo is the best vantage point. There is also Black Rock Beach, within close proximity. Black Rock Beach is located between Stone Haven Bay and Great Courland Bay on the western side of Tobago. It is known for its large black rocks surrounding the beach. Leatherback turtles can also be seen nesting at this site. Black Rock Beach is great for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing and sun bathing. However, it also titillates the senses of photographers to capture nature in...
AN INTERPRETATION OF EMANUEL SWEDENBORG 1688 – 1772 by Henri Almanza

AN INTERPRETATION OF EMANUEL SWEDENBORG 1688 – 1772 by Henri Almanza

Reject blind faith and declare true faith to be an internal acknowledgement of the truth within. Even the most apparently trivial thought, when experienced from within, could hold a profound spiritual meaning, it is the presence of the spiritual sense which makes the Word divine. Faith alone justifies and it sets apart by time and distance, the works of the law. Charity cannot be conjoined with faith, since faith is from God, and charity, so far as it is expressed in works, is from man. But both must exist in unison in man, so that we may mirror in honor, the inner sanctum that God freely gives us. Both faith and charity are necessary for the evolution of salvation. One without the other separates us from our greatest truth. Faith alone cannot procure justification of truth, although it must be faith which results in obedience. The purpose of faith is to lead a person to a life according to truth. In faith we reveal God’s Love for each and every spark from the Divine, but it is in the expression of our love for God that charity becomes the product of faith and eternity is secured.  Faith by itself, if it is not complemented by action, is dead and produces nothing that is relevant to God.  Charity reflects the love of God and in itself produces the continuum of life’s evolution. The trinity of faith, hope, and love are the foundation for our existence. Charity is the link that binds each and creates the unbroken sequence of the Divine. Faith – Bearing fruit and growing, as it has been...