Mercredi 20 avril 2011

NBR for April 19, 2011-Full Episode

SUSIE GHARIB, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Stocks bounced back today, thanks to a batch of solid earnings reports from corporate America. But one of Wall Street's biggest names wasn't among them -- Goldman Sachs. The investment bank's first quarter profits were down 21 percent. Goldman earned $1.56 a share. That was a big drop from the $5.59 that it earned a year ago. Still, the results were much stronger than analysts expected. Suzanne Pratt takes a look at some of the speed bumps on the road ahead for Goldman.

SUZANNE PRATT, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: This is a familiar image when you hear the words Goldman Sachs. That's CEO Lloyd Blankfein on the far left, testifying before Congress early last year about who gets blamed for the financial crisis. Fast forward to today, when Goldman reported its latest quarterly results. The numbers were OK, not stellar, yet the giant investment bank continues to prove it's weathered the financial crisis and recession pretty well. Nevertheless, Goldman is now facing new headwinds, including a tarnished reputation. But Suzanne McGee, author of "Chasing Goldman Sachs," says the bank should be most concerned about its rival, JPMorgan Chase.

SUZANNE MCGEE, AUTHOR, CHASING GOLDMAN SACHS: It's been profiting quietly from all the hullabaloo surrounding Goldman Sachs. And if I were sitting there in Goldman Sachs' executive offices, I be looking over my shoulder fairly constantly and worrying more about what they are doing perhaps than what the public thought of me.

PRATT: And then there's the question of Blankfein and his big, but somewhat scuffed, shoes. Blankfein apparently has no plans to step down just yet, but already on Wall Street, the succession speculation has begun. While there's little agreement on a frontrunner, there is on one point -- the new chief will not be an outsider.

MCGEE: It historically has not done that. It would be almost a violation of their culture at a time when they're trying to go back to their roots, culturally speaking.

PRATT: And, of course, Goldman's stock price is another challenge. So far this year, the shares are down 10 percent, more than its brethren and lagging the overall market. Morningstar analyst Michael Wong does not believe the public's anger toward Goldman is the problem.

MICHAEL WONG, CAPITAL MARKETS ANALYST, MORNINGSTAR: We believe that the company's stock is mainly being affected by the cost of financial reform -- the capital requirements and also some other threats to its business model, such as the Volcker rule.

PRATT: And then, there's still questions about future financial reforms. No one really knows how those changes might affect Goldman's business model or earnings power in years to come. Suzanne Pratt, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, New York.

Japan's Damage Estimates

SUSIE GHARIB: In Japan, workers started today draining highly radioactive water from the basement of that badly damaged nuclear plant. It's the latest step to stabilize the Fukushima Daiichi plant and prevent more toxic spills into the ocean. Meanwhile, initial damage estimates from Japan's massive earthquake and tsunami are coming in from the insurance industry. Total insured losses range from $12 billion to $34 billion. Now to get more perspective on that, earlier today, Tom Hudson talked with Shivan Subramanian, the CEO of FM Global. It's a commercial property insurance firm. Tom began by asking what the firm's damage estimate is.

SHIVAN SUBRAMANIAM, CEO, FM GLOBAL: Yes, right now, even though we have about $7.3 billion of capital in one of the largest property insurers in the world, I would estimate there are Japanese losses that are going to come under $150 million.

TOM HUDSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: So a bit on the lower side from some of your competitors. What's the biggest source of losses for FMF Global in Japan?

SUBRAMANIAM: In Japan, most of them are earthquake-related, where there is damage to buildings or damage to equipment within the properties. And second, behind that is some water damage because of the tsunami.

HUDSON: Are you able to model any longer lasting damage from the radiation problems, from the damaged nuclear plant?

SUBRAMANIAM: No. It is very hard to do that. And right now, as you know, it's the area that is cordoned off is at least 50 miles in diameter and it is going to take us a while to look at it. The one thing I would say is given from what we know from what's going on, is that, you know, this is a country that is very well-prepared and has done a lot of good things in terms of disaster preparedness and so if there is any country that is going to recover well from this, it is probably Japan.

HUDSON: But address, from the industry's perspective, from insurance, Shivran, how the unknown impact of the continuation of the nuclear situation may impact business not only in Japan but worldwide.

SUBRAMANIAM: Yes. And there are several issues that are not just the nuclear contamination, but it's also the fact that that has led to a substantial reduction in power supply which means that a country that is so finally tuned with this manufacturing processes needs to have power on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which is how they run their businesses. And they now have rolling black outs. So you combine that within the potential of damage from nuclear contamination, this could become a long- term situation.

HUDSON: Talking about business interruption insurance, is there much of that in Japan and is that impacted by these rolling brownouts that could become more of a fact of life in the next several weeks and months?

SUBRAMANIAM: Absolutely. The one thing that we will not know for at least another I would say 90 to 180 days if not more, is what exactly is the impact of business interruption. Because you can have business interruption many, many different ways. One example that most people don't realize is you can have a supplier, supplying a supplier, who's supplying a supplier and there is a small manufacturer in the Midwest which has a single location in the Midwest United States, who has that chain of suppliers. So it may take them several months before they start to recognize or really feel the impact from that business interruption. This is something that's going to take a while to know what the extent of the damage is going to be.

Par oilpaintingsupplie - 1 commentaire(s)le 20 avril 2011
Lundi 18 avril 2011

Todd Haynes is hung in City Hall -- in an oil painting

In a hush-hush but extraordinary ceremony earlier this week, Portland filmmaker Todd Haynes, whose "Mildred Pierce" played to such acclaim on HBO in the past month, had his portrait hung in Portland's City Hall by Mayor Sam Adams.

The portrait was painted by Steven Cohn, the local artist who works under the pseudonym Jasper Marks and is married to Haynes' sister, the musician Wendy Haynes.  The original will hang inside Mayor Adams' office, but a copy of the portrait, signed by both Haynes and Cohn, will be auctioned off to help fund The Right Brain Initiative, which is dedicated to funding arts education in the public schools.

The Mayor's office issued a statement about the portrait and the signing.

Here's a video of Haynes, Cohn and the mayor discussing the genesis of the painting:

Sam Adams and Filmmaker Todd Haynes Unveil Portrait in Mayor's Office from Mayor Sam Adams on Vimeo.

And here are Haynes and Cohn signing a print of the portrait for the auction:

Filmmaker Todd Haynes Signs Portrait to Donate for Arts Education from Mayor Sam Adams on Vimeo.
Par oilpaintingsupplie - 1 commentaire(s)le 18 avril 2011
Jeudi 14 avril 2011

Doug Warren to retire as minister at Wall Street Church

Doug Warren started his career as a minister, left the church to pursue other professions and then, when most people are thinking about retirement, came back to the ministry.

Warren, who has been a minister at Wall Street United Church for the past nine years, will officially lead his last service there on Easter Sunday (April 24).

"Theologically, Easter represents resurrection and new life and, in retirement, I will head into a new life," said Warren.

Born and raised in Ottawa, Warren graduated from Glebe Collegiate Institute before attending Houghton College in New York State. There he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and English. After graduation, Warren decided he wanted to see more of the world and went to Hong Kong, which was still a British colony.

"I ran out of money so I taught English at a school for two years," he said.

Returning to Canada, he became an ordained minister in the Free Methodist Church in 1963. After taking advanced theological studies, he was appointed chaplain of Lorne Park College outside of Toronto. Based on his experiences teaching in Hong Kong, Warren started a program for young people graduating from junior college in which they could participate in a self-sustaining ministry.

"These ministries were not evangelical but rather having those entering the program do some good in the world," he said.

Officials at the Free Methodist Church were so impressed with the program they had Warren design the Volunteers In Service Abroad or VISA initiative which still exists. But being a minister in the Free Methodist Church wasn't a good fit for Warren, who left the ministry and, being proficient in playing piano, started on a musical career.

For the next 16 years he played piano at cocktail lounges and bars throughout Canada with most of his time spent at the Palliser Hotel in Calgary. Then he was asked to return to the family business, a men's clothing store chain in Ottawa which has gone under the names Warren's Men's Wear, House of Britches and now just Warren's. At one time the family operated 13 stores in Ottawa but that number has been reduced to three. Warren worked at the clothing stores for seven years. The business has remained in the family with Warren's nephew now operating the stores.

After leaving the business, Warren was first on the advisory board of Algonquin College and then was invited to teach at the school. Thoroughly enjoying teaching, Warren said after conducting classes, "I would be as high as a kite."

But after three years at the school, Warren said God kept asking him, "Wouldn't you rather be teaching about life?" At that point, he was 55 but decided to become an active part of the ministry again. Warren joined the United Church "where I could serve with integrity because of the church's inclusiveness."

Under the church's requirements, Warren had to have a Master of Divinity degree, so he returned to school, attending Queen's University's Theological College. He was first introduced to the Brockville area while still a student minister and preached at Spencerville and Roebuck United Churches. He also served as a student minister for one year at Wall Street United Church before receiving his university degree.

While he was now qualified to preach in a United Church, he did not believe it would be at Wall Street because church rules did not allow a student minister at a church to return as a minister at that same congregation. However, Rev. Dr. Alan Bennett, then minister of Wall Street, encouraged him to apply for a staff position at the church. He was accepted by church officials who considered him a supply minister from another denomination.

After Bennett retired from the ministry, Rev. Kimberley Heath joined the staff at Wall Street three years ago. With a congregation of over 500 families, "the church is too large for just one minister," said Warren.

Assisted by a second minister, Warren had some time to pursue another of his interests - helping orphaned children in Kenya. He journeyed to Kenya in 2004 to visit his cousin, John West, who was director of logistics of East Africa for the International Committee of the Red Cross. While there, Warren was particularly moved by the plight of the many children who had been left orphans because AIDS, which was rampant, had killed their parents.

"An entire generation of adults between the ages of 20 and 40 were wiped out because of the AIDS disease," he said.

Warren described Kenya as the most beautiful country in the world and the cradle of humanity but it also has many challenges, including the orphans left from AIDS. While in Kenya, he received an opportunity to visit an orphanage in Nairobi where there were only three caregivers for 135 children.

"When we asked the director of the orphanage how we could help she said they needed more people 'to love our kids,'" he said.

Moved by the need in the orphanage, Warren launched Our Kenyan Kids program which now supports children and youth affected by poverty and or HIV/AIDS by providing education, training, humanitarian aid and nurturing relationships - one child at a time. The program also provides necessities, including food, nutritional supplements and medical supplies as well as support for construction and renovations at orphanages, schools and related facilities. And there is spiritual support without regard to their faith, ethnic origin, social class or world view.

Warren and other church members have made several trips to Kenya to help arrange for the various programs operated through Our Kenyan Kids. Personal donations from the organization's board of directors and specific fund-raisers covers administration costs so every dollar donated is used for assisting the children according to Warren.

Our Kenyan Kids has also funded the hiring of additional caregivers for the orphanage in Nairobi so now the ratio is one caregiver for 20 children which is much improved over the old ratio of one caregiver to about 40 children. Even so, the ratio is not wonderful, said Warren "when you consider in this country you have parents to spend quality time with only one or two children."

Warren will be leaving for Kenya in the middle of October with about 11 other supporters of Our Kenyan Kids to oversee more work by the organization.

While he will be spending time on the Our Kenyan Kids project, Warren also enjoys travelling and plans to return to Hong Kong as well as spend time with a cousin in Manila and a friend in Malaysia. Perhaps after a year, he may return part-time to the ministry possibly preaching in smaller churches. Warren, who holds a minor degree in fine arts, would also like to return to another pastime of oil painting.
Par oilpaintingsupplie - 1 commentaire(s)le 14 avril 2011

Local art gallery uses spiritual approach

The walls, ceiling and floor are painted a psychedelic mural, acoustic instruments strum, dancers fluidly move to the beat, friends laugh and art thrives. The masterpiece is complete.

In a few days, everyone will have cleared out, and everything will be painted white. A clean slate. Intricate details, memories, smiles and mistakes will be erased — hidden under a layer of latex paint, further burying the murals and memories that have come before it.

After being open for a year, The Church of Holy Colors art gallery has given a new meaning to independent art and has created a unique way of both displaying and creating art. It is not actually a church, but it is also an art gallery. And, for some, it is a place of worship that offers a chance to reflect spirituality through  inter-connectivity to art and color.

“It’s a place for creation. Our objective is to make art as much and as freely as possible,” said Joey Fillastre, co-founder and artist at Holy Colors.

The gallery takes an innovative approach to art by maintaining a non-materialistic, experimental outlook, which is evident in the lifestyle and works of the artists.

“If we make money off of our art, it just goes back into the gallery to buy more supplies and to keep creating,” Fillastre said.

Artists Evan Galbicka, Joey Fillastre and Felici Asteinza founded the gallery a year ago and have repeated the process of covering the gallery in murals seven times. Along with murals, they incorporate oil paintings, sculptures and collages. Multiple works are combined and placed strategically to create a collection of art, which is termed an installment.

Although they do not belong to any particular religion, the art is like a religious experience for them. Creating, connecting with others, digesting society and transforming feelings into art all contribute to what drives them.

Galbicka, Fillastre and Asteinza have shown their work at art shows in Gainesville, Tampa and Tallahassee. They also have had their art on display at local restaurants and bars such as Alcove and The 8th Ave Coffee and Bike House. Local companies also commission them to create art for their establishments. They are currently commissioned by The Top, a downtown restaurant, to design gift cards and also are painting a mural in a downtown salon, The Faun Salon.

All three are trained artists. Galbicka graduated from UF, concentrating on sculpture. Fillastre graduated from Florida State University, concentrating on painting and Asteinza is currently an art graduate student at the University of South Florida.

Their philosophy on creating art is unique and is what sets them apart from other galleries. They see people’s obsession with money, TV, pop culture and corporate America as detrimental.

      “We want the art to exist in a deep context, outside of consumer culture,” Galbicka said.

    The artists’ work can sometimes be politically charged, reflecting the frustrations of society.

We take the force of the human spirit and use it against the idea of sedimentary popular culture,” Fillastre said. “We take things such as pop culture, our personal gloom, everyday stresses and we make art. It helps you cope with things. It’s an outlet.”

    Upon the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, they felt the blow and channeled it into a massive installment, which included a complete mural covering the art gallery, oil paintings, collages and sculptures, all symbolically grieving the loss of aquatic life.

    Fillastre and Galbicka are influenced by the outdoors, especially the Florida landscape they have come to know and love.

    “We are inevitably Florida artists,” Fillastre said.

    “Being from Florida — in the outdoors and on the beach, we are intuitively drawn to bright, tropical colors,” Galbicka said. “The art you produce is relevant to where you live and what you see.”

Their unique approach to art also involves group collaboration, a process where other artists and friends come together to create an installment.  The artists said you can get a sense of what the gallery is all about through the concept of the installations.

     “It’s about sacrificing your personal identity for the group experience,” Galbicka said. “We stick to what we’re good at and we bring it all together and collaborate.”

 The artists said that the experience of creating the group installments, not the final product, is the art.

“The installations are only precious to the point of completion,” Fillastre said.

After a short time, they take down pieces, give them to friends and paint over the murals with white, erasing any evidence of its existence.

“In history, art holds a traditional theme of permanence and immortality,” Galbicka said. “We’re doing the opposite — once the experience is over, the art is no longer precious. The energy changes and it becomes a memory.”

    The artists have a non-materialistic outlook on the art. They said they will sell it if people inquire but that is not the reason they create.

    “ We don’t make art for the money. That’s not why it is created,” Fillastre said. “Money is just a symptom of something good. It just sometimes happens.”

    “If you make art just for the purpose of selling it, you are no different than the large corporations,” Galbicka said.

    The gallery has also provided a space for music. Local artists and friends of the gallery have performed shows amongst the creations. Fillastre and Galbicka said music is an integral part of how they create art.

    “The musicians get inspired through our art — it’s a catalyst. And we get inspired through their music,” Fillastre said.

    With a  living-in-the-now approach, the future goals of the gallery are to maintain a peaceful existence.

     “Our only plan is to keep creating,” Fillastre said.

Par oilpaintingsupplie - 3 commentaire(s)le 14 avril 2011
Jeudi 07 avril 2011

One day without shoes: McMurry students bare soles for children's health

Lee Jones went without shoes Tuesday despite the unseasonably cool weather.

He has several pairs of shoes to select from — including two pairs of TOMS Shoes — but the McMurry University sophomore was walking around campus barefoot in support of One Day Without Shoes to promote awareness of the health risks of millions of children across the globe who do not have proper footwear.

TOMS Shoes, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based footwear company founded in 2006 by Arlington native Blake Mycoskie, started One Day Without Shoes in 2008.

The company designs and sells lightweight shoes based on the Argentine alpargata design. For every pair sold, the company donates a new pair of shoes to a child in need.

Mycoskie visited Abilene in September, when he spoke at Abilene Christian University.

Jones, a sophomore art education major from Brownwood, is participating in the annual event for the fourth year — two at Early High School and two at McMurry.

"I do it to express solidarity with kids around the world who need shoes," he said. "Because of that, they get these horrible diseases."

Dozens of other McMurry students, including Miranda Priddy of Stephenville and Amanda Genzling of Artesia, N.M., also were barefoot Tuesday.

Genzling, a sophomore biochemistry major who attended a microbiology lab Tuesday morning without shoes, said interest in the event seems to be growing at McMurry.

"This year, it's a lot bigger," she said.

Jones agreed.

"The first year (at Early High School in 2008), I was the only one who did it, but it keeps getting bigger every year," he said.

Priddy, a freshman theater major who owns three pairs of TOMS Shoes, said she's a "big believer in the cause. It's a way to support children around the world. I've seen lots of posts on Facebook by people I know back home who are going barefoot today."

TOMS has given more than one million pairs of shoes to children in Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Florida in the United States, as well as in countries including Ethiopia, Rwanda, Guatemala, Haiti, South Africa and Argentina.

The company's website says more than one billion people in the world are at risk for soil-transmitted diseases, including podoconiosis, a form of elephantiasis that affects the lymphatic system of the lower legs. The company says wearing shoes helps lower the health risks and prevent the diseases.

"I've got two pair (of TOMS Shoes), and I need to get a third," said Jones, planning his next trip to Village Boutique, which sells TOMS footwear.

Violet Vaughn at Village Boutique said TOMS shoes are popular items at the store.

"Lot of college kids come in," she said, "but we have all ages. Everybody is coming in barefoot today and buying TOMS shoes. We have ladies 60 and 70 years old going barefoot. I love it."

Extrusion blow molding of tubes with soft segments

The new Durethan BC 700 HTS from LANXESS is an exceptionally soft polyamide 6. It has an elasticity modulus of only 210 MPa (conditioned). This non-reinforced material is perfect for manufacturing charge air tubes with integrated bellows as a single-material solution using extrusion blow molding. "This gives processors a cost-effective alternative to sequential coextrusion involving two polyamides of differing hardness, which is more time-consuming and sensitive in terms of the process employed," explained Dr. Günter Margraf, a product developer for polyamide compounds at LANXESS. The new material is so soft that it also has excellent sealing properties. This made it possible for prototype charge air tubes made from it to be flange-mounted to charge air coolers and air intake manifolds using just one bracket without leaks occurring. The need for additional sealing rings was thus eliminated.

Resistant to thermal aging and blow-by gases
Under the hood there is a trend towards supercharged engines with exhaust gas recirculation to cut fuel consumption and thus CO2 emissions. Charge air tubes with integrated bellows compensate for the relative movements of these engines and assembly tolerances. As a result of exhaust gas recirculation, the charge air tubes need to be highly resistant to exhaust gas / blow-by gas condensates. LANXESS therefore conducted appropriate tests using the new polyamide 6 grade in accordance with the OEM testing regulations. These showed that the material is more resistant to oils, fuels and acidic condensates than thermoplastic polyester elastomers and elastomer block copolyamides, which are also used for blow molding charge air tubes in series production.

Special blends of polyamide and polyolefins are also frequently used for flexible blow molding tubes. However, compared to Durethan BC 700 HTS, these materials exhibit much lower thermal aging stability, which is also the case with polyester elastomers. "This gives Durethan BC 700 HTS the edge over these rival materials in at least one key property," said Margraf.

For use on series molds
The new material has already been successfully trialed on series molds for charge air tubes with several customers, confirming its excellent processing properties in extrusion blow molding. One reason for this is its high melt stiffness, which ensures the extruded parison barely sags under its own weight. "Our material can therefore be blow molded within a wide processing window in a stable process," commented Margraf.

The new polyamide 6 grade is also ideal for injection molding of components with very strict toughness requirements and has already been successfully tested on series molds. It can be used, for example, to injection mold multi-flexible hose connections.

Wide product range for blow molding
LANXESS boasts a wide product portfolio of high-viscosity and heat-stabilized polyamide 6 and 66 grades for blow molding air-ducting hollow components in engine compartments. It includes both non-reinforced and filled materials with glass fiber contents of 15 and 25 percent. The "range of hardnesses" extends from very soft grades such as Durethan BC 700 HTS to hard polyamides with an elasticity modulus of 5,300 MPa (conditioned). Material grades for cooling circuit tubes that are particularly resistant to hydrolysis are also part of the range. Detailed information on the product range for blow molding can be found at

The applications, materials and technologies presented in this news release should be checked prior to usage to ensure they do not infringe possible industrial property rights.

Par oilpaintingsupplie - 0 commentaire(s)le 07 avril 2011
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