Friday, August 23, 2013

#FridayReads: Claire of the Sea Light By Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat by David Shankbone
Edwidge Danticat by David Shankbone (Photo: Wikipedia)
She needs no introduction - put it on your must-read:


From the best-selling author of Breath, Eyes, Memory and Krik? Krak!, a stunning new work of fiction that brings us deep into the intertwined lives of a small town where a little girl, the daughter of a fisherman, has gone missing.

Claire Limyè Lanmè--Claire of the Sea Light--is an enchanting child born into love and tragedy in a seaside town in Haiti. Claire's mother died in childbirth, and on each of her birthdays Claire is taken by her father, Nozias, to visit her mother's grave. Nozias wonders if he should give away his young daughter to a local shopkeeper who lost a child of her own, so he can give her a better life. But on the night of Claire's seventh birthday, when he makes the wrenching decision to do so, she disappears. 

As Nozias and others look for her, painful secrets and startling truths are unearthed among a host of men and women whose stories connect to Claire, her parents, and the town itself. Told with the piercing lyricism and economy of a fable, Claire of the Sea Light explores what it means to be a parent, child, neighbor, lover, and friend, while indelibly revealing the mysterious connections we share with the natural world and with one another, amid the magic and heartbreak of ordinary life. 

EDWIDGE DANTICAT is the author of numerous books, including Brother, I'm Dying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a National Book Award finalist; Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner; and The Dew Breaker, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and winner of the inaugural Story Prize. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and elsewhere.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Trend Spotting & Innovation: Accelerating Accelerators

As lead strategist, editor and community manager for the Front End of Innovation, Foresight & Trends, The Market Research Event and Shopper Insights in Action, I follow innovation, paradigm shifts, and trends closely.

In the past couple of weeks I've noticed an acceleration of new funding projects pop up and some from a few surprising places:

Innovation
Innovation (Photo : Seth1492)
> The Sustainable Corporation: Patagonia Announces $20 Million Eco Startup Fund via BusinessWeek

> The Beverage Brand: Coca-Cola is launching 9 accelerators via GigaOm

> The Agency, VC, Event Hybrid: R/GA and Techstars Launch “Connected Devices” Accelerator via TechCrunch

But meanwhile, Jerzy Gangi, offers his observations on how Silicon Valley has killed major innovation by funding services like Instagram but not Hyperloops. His exploration on how ideas don't get funded is very interesting and the whole thing is definitely worth reading.

However, it makes me wonder if innovation has come into its own and we're just starting to see the beginning of a major movement in which innovation is a common goal across sectors bigger than one revenue stream, corporation, or place.

Friday, August 09, 2013

#FridayReads: The Infatuations By Javier Marias

The award-winning, internationally best-selling Spanish writer joins the Knopf list with an immersive, provocative novel propelled by a seemingly random murder that we come to understand--or do we?--through one woman's ever-unfurling imagination, meditations, and infatuations.

At the Madrid café where she stops for breakfast each day before work, María Dolz finds herself drawn to a couple who is also there every morning. Though she can hardly explain it, observing what she imagines to be their unblemished life lifts her out of the doldrums of her own existence. But what begins as mere observation turns into an increasingly complicated entanglement when the man is brutally murdered. 

María approaches the widow to offer her condolences, and at the couple's home she meets--and falls in love with--a man who sheds disturbing new light on the crime. As María recounts this story, we are given a murder mystery brilliantly reimagined as metaphysical enquiry, a novel that grapples with questions of love and death, chance and coincidence, and above all, with the slippery essence of the truth and how it is told.

JAVIER MARÍAS was born in Madrid in 1951. The recipient of numerous prizes, he has written thirteen novels, three story collections, and fifteen works of collected articles and essays. His books have been translated into forty languages, in fifty countries, and have sold more than 6 million copies throughout the world. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sometimes it's hard depending on your creativity for a living

What is it like to work in the creative industry?

It's really hard being the "idea person" sometimes.

 This video illustrates what it's like to walk that line between creativity, relationships, the pursuit of financial profit, and the many directions you can intentionally or unintentionally find yourself taking.
Wonderland | A Short Form Doc on Creative Commerce from Eskimo on Vimeo.

Friday, July 26, 2013

#FridayReads: The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vasquez

Juan Gabriel Vásquez has been hailed not only as one of South America’s greatest literary stars, but also as one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. In this gorgeously wrought, award-winning novel, Vásquez confronts the history of his home country, Colombia.

In the city of Bogotá, Antonio Yammara reads an article about a hippo that had escaped from a derelict zoo once owned by legendary Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The article transports Antonio back to when the war between Escobar’s Medellín cartel and government forces played out violently in Colombia’s streets and in the skies above. Back then, Antonio witnessed a friend’s murder, an event that haunts him still. As he investigates, he discovers the many ways in which his own life and his friend’s family have been shaped by his country’s recent violent past. His journey leads him all the way back to the 1960s and a world on the brink of change: a time before narco-trafficking trapped a whole generation in a living nightmare.

Vásquez is “one of the most original new voices of Latin American literature,” according to Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa, and The Sound of Things Falling is his most personal, most contemporary novel to date, a masterpiece that takes his writing—and will take his literary star—even higher.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez is a critically acclaimed Colombian writer, translator, and award-winning author of a collection of stories Los amantes de Todos los Santos, as well as the novels Historia secreta de Costaguana and The Informers, which has been translated into seven languages. He has translated works by Victor Hugo, E.M Foster and John Hersey, among others, his essay “El arte de la distorsión” won the Premio Nacional Simón Bolívar, and he is a regular columnist for El Espectador, the newspaper of dissent in Bogotá. Educated in Colombia, and in Paris at the Sorbonne, he now lives and teaches in Barcelona, Spain with his wife and twin daughters.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Healthy & Yummy Recipe: Turkey & Rainbow Chard Empanadas

You may recall I've posted in the past about my Urban Organics organic produce, my new slow food health kick and a call for healthier alternatives to traditional favorites.

Yesterday, I had planned on using some of the GOYA® Puff Pastry Dough for Turnovers I had bought to test out so I took them out and put this dish together. It was so delicious, I think you should try it.

Healthy & Yummy Recipe: Turkey & Rainbow Chard Empanadas

Ingredients:


  • 1 pack of lean ground Turkey
  • 1 bunch of rainbow chard, washed/chopped
  • 1 Tbsp of fresh sofrito (my mom makes mine from scratch. You can buy it frozen or try to make your own, recipe here
  • 1 tsp Kirkland's Organic No-Salt Seasoning 
  • 1 Yellow onion diced 
  • 2 garlic cloves 
  • 3/4 Jar of Marina Sauce 
  • 1 tsp Olive oil Fresh grated Parmesan
Servings: 12 open-faced empanadas

I started off by heating up a Dutch Oven pot or olla and adding a teeny bit of olive oil, once I got that hot I added the turkey meat, sofrito, garlic and chopped onion. I seared the meat on one side and mashed it with a fork to separate it and spread out. Next I added the seasoning, this seasoning has replaced my store-bought Adobo and Sazon and is a good alternative to those if you don't DIY. I also added a 1/2 tsp of turmeric, cumin, basil and paprika in addition to the seasoning. 

I covered the meat with a lid to get a thorough cook and chopped and soaked the rainbow chard to get all the soil and sand out. Then I threw that into the pot and cooked it down for about 10 minutes, stirring it about 1x. When the meat looked pretty done, I added 3/4 of a jar of marinara sauce, put the heat on low, and let it simmer for about 40 minutes covered.

I actually left this on the stove for about 1.5 hrs while I washed my hair and relaxed. Then I came back and took out 2 muffin tins, which I lightly sprayed with cooking spray. I inserted one piece of puff pastry into each opening making a little open pocket and cupping them as necessary.

Into each I added about 1 large tablespoon of the meat mixture and then grated fresh parmesan over them. Once I was finished I wet a paper towel with a bit of olive oil and dabbed the portruding ends of the dough to get them to crisp and brown. 

I cooked these in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. They browned beautifully and the meat was really tasty and tender.

My boyfriend added hot sauce and sour cream to his and couldn't stop himself from literally eating about half a dozen - that's how good they were.

Things I would've done differently

I would love to find some whole wheat pastry and some organic marina sauce - next time I am in Trader's Joes, I will have to remember this, if you know of any, let me know.

Also if you have left over chili or meatloaf you can easily turn it into another dish by simply filling the pastries in. Next time, I am going to try using some canned salmon.









 
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