It’s Not Too Late to Give to the 2014 ArtsWave Campaign

For the last couple of months, I’ve been blogging from time to time about ArtsWave and what it means to the Cincinnati area community. On April 22nd, they will be wrapping up their 2014 Community Campaign. As you can see in the message I received from them yesterday, they are very close to their goal. So they’re asking if you and I can give just $10 more. $10… that’s less than two craft beers at your favorite better beer location. Less than two glasses of wine too. I just gave $10 more. How about joining me in that $10 gift?

– Carla

In just six days, ArtsWave will announce the results of the 2014 Community Campaign.

Here’s some insider information… we are SO CLOSE to our goal of $12 million. Thanks to friends like you, we are almost there – the biggest campaign we’ve ever had.

BUT… we’re not there yet. And we need one last effort by everyone to make it.

We know many of you have already made your gift – THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Would you consider giving just $10 more? And asking 10 people to give $10 too? Your actions could create a wave of giving at the last moment that makes all the difference.

If everyone receiving this message gives just $10 more, we’ll make our goal. The beauty of this community campaign has always been that it is made up of tens of thousands of people – just like you – giving what they can to make our community an amazing place to live.

Your extra $10 helps connect neighbors at their local arts centers. $100 from ten of your friends brings arts into schools to help students succeed. It all adds up to $12 million invested in more than 100 arts organizations across the Greater Cincinnati region.

To sweeten the deal, if you give online between now and Monday, April 21st at Noon, you’ll be entered into a raffle drawing for either 2 tickets to the Cincinnati Ballet OR 4 tickets to a Cincinnati Symphony Lollipops Concert.

Please, if you believe in the impact of the arts in our community, click here to give $10 today. And then, please forward this email to 10 people and ask them to join you.

Thanks for believing in the power of the arts to change our community.

Sincerely,

Your Determined Wave-Catchers and Friends at ArtsWave

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Posted in Arts, Cincinnati / NKY

Review: Nokia Lumia Icon

When you think about getting a new smart phone, usually the big decision is between iOS and Android. But there is a third option and no, I’m not talking about Blackberry. For a while now, I’ve been hearing good (and sometimes surprising) things about Windows Phone. On a recent episode of This Week in Tech, VentureBeat managing editor Jolie O’dell that she liked Windows Phone because, compared to other phones, “it’s pretty and twirly and sparkly. It’s the Disney princess of smart phones.”

The new Nokia Lumia Icon is a really interesting phone. With a screen size a full inch smaller than the Lumia 1520, it is still both taller and wider than a iPhone 5S. And similar to how the 1520 was only available for AT&T users, the Lumia Icon is only available for Verizon customers.

Nokia Lumia Icon

Available in both black and white, the Icon like other Windows Phone devices comes with three controls/buttons down the right side. First from the top is the volume control. Then, about in the middle, there is the Power/Lock button and finally lower down, the camera button. After using iOS and Android phones, it took a while to get used to the Power/Lock button to be on the side. The audio/headset jack is on the top and the USB/charging port in on the bottom.

Nokia LumiaI con - Lock Screen

The lock screen is customizable, of course, but it seemed harder to find photos that fit the aspect ratio. As you can see, both time and date are displayed as well as the next event on your calendar. Calendars and contacts can be easily imported from Gmail or Facebook.

Nokia Lumia Icon - Home Screen 1   Nokia Lumia Icon - Home Screen 2

All of the tiles on the home screen can be changed, moved around and re-sized. When you have new messages or notifications, the tile flips between the app icon and the new message like the Facebook tile in the two screen shots above. The People tile in the upper right hand corner also flips between profile images of your contacts.

Nokia Lumia Icon - Apps

If you want to access apps that aren’t on your home screen, just swipe to the left to see the list of all of the applications you have installed. Of all of the ones listed in the screenshot above, Facebook was the only one I added.

Nokia Lumia Icon - AppSocial2   Nokia Lumia Icon - AppSocial

To find new apps to install, you have to go to AppSocial. The set up is a bit different than the iOs App Store or the Android Google Play store. As you can see in the screenshot above on the left, when you search for an app, the first view you get is of app lists that other Windows Phone users have created that include the app you searched for. You have to select the Apps view to see the search results for your search. With a name like AppSocial, I get why they did that, but it can be confusing at first.

Nokia Lumia Icon - Dunkel

So what about the 20-megapixel PureView camera that the Icon comes with? It is pretty spectacular. Just be warned that you’re probably going to need to adjust the flash. I left all of the settings as it shipped and the flash startled both cats plus you can see the results were a bit harsh.

Nokia Lumia Icon - Dunkel 2

The Icon comes with Nokia Creative Studio installed. When you open a photo in the app, you’re first given a series of filters to chose from. You swipe up and down to see the effects of each one and then tap to select the one you want. Then you tap the Edit icon at the bottom (it looks like a pencil in a circle) and you have the edit options like fix, adjust, blur, play and so on. My first effort on Dunkel’s photo was only okay.

Nokia Lumia Icon - Porter   Nokia Lumia Icon - Porter 2

However, this one of Porter came out great. It’s definitely a keeper. I can see me getting better with the editing capabilities as I got used to it.

All in all, I have to say I’m intrigued by the Nokia Lumia Icon and look forward to taking other Windows Phones out for a spin in the future. I’m really curious to see what a Windows Phone tablet is like. I’m not sure it’s the Disney princess of smart phones, but it certainly is sparkly.

– Carla

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Posted in Reviews, Technology

Twist App Shuts Down as of 4/1/14

At first, it seemed like a cruel April Fools joke when the following message appeared on the Twist Facebook fan page:

Twist App Shuts Down

But, that announcement was the only official word that the Twist app was shutting down. The next day, Andy Ihnatko (“Chicago Sun-Times technology columnist and Internationally Beloved Industry Figure”) tweeted, “Looks like @MyTwist is dead. Their servers are down and the app’s not available in the iTunes/Play stores. Pouring out a 404…”. There was a glimmer of hope that perhaps they had been purchased, but later in the day, Andy’s contact at Twist confirmed our fears. As Andy put it, “yup, the app’s dead.” Then the web site was taken down and the app was removed from both the iOS App Store and the Google Play store.

I about had to sit down when I heard the news. We had just introduced my college student nephew to the joys of Twist last weekend. Throughout this horrible winter, the last words to my husband each morning as I was heading to work were always, “I love you and I’ll send you a Twist to let you know I got there.”

So what now? The Twist app is still on your iOS and Android devices if you already had it. But, when you try to set up a Twist, you will eventually get the message like the one below:

Twist App Not Working

I know I should just delete it, but I keep hoping it will come make somehow, some way.

I wrote my review comparing Twist to its not-quite-the-same competitor Glympse last June. Since then, it has consistently been the most popular post on RadioCarla.com. Other posts have had more visits in one day, but none were so consistent in their views as that one post. There are a lot of people still interested in using this app and many of them went to check it out from here. I’m sure a lot of those Twist app users would be happy to pay for the app if it came back.

In the mean time, it’s back to Glympse for me. But I’d switch back to Twist or a Twist clone in a heart beat.

– Carla

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Meow Meow Monday: Bock

When Tom and I decided to really take the plunge and get cats, we had already been talking about names for a while. We knew we wanted two cats so they each would have a buddy and we knew they would be named Bock and Saison. Then the kittens we ended up being all black and black & white. Change of plans! They became Bock and Porter.

Solid black, Bock was always Bock. Affectionate, silly, both unpredictable and predictable. He loved to chase after the Beersaver bottle cap when I threw for him and he loved sleeping next to Tom at night. Weighing over 13.5 pounds, he looked like a small panther as his lean body moved across the floor.

Bock Close Up

We lost Bock suddenly to a blood clot caused by impossible to diagnose feline heart disease. One minute, he was fine. The next, he couldn’t move his rear legs. We rushed him to the vet’s office, but there was nothing they could do. The really odd thing was that Porter had been diagnosed with a heart murmur last fall. But, Bock? We thought Bock was healthy as the small horse he was built like.

Even though he has been gone almost three months now, Bock’s still an important part of our lives. And you can count on seeing more of Bock here on my Meow Meow Monday posts.

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Arts Angle: ArtsWave Pinterest Boards

Though my work as an ArtsWave WeDidIt Ambassador, I’ve been learning even more about the wide variety of organizations that they support. Recently, they created several ArtsWave Pinterest boards including a map board with pins for the over one hundred organizations supported by ArtsWave. It’s really cool.

ArtsWave Pinterest

Because it’s a map board, you can see at a glance where each organization is based. Clicking on one of the pins zooms in on the map and also highlights the pinned information about the organization on the left (as you can see it the example below). There is also a button to click to learn more about each organization. It’s a great way to browse through the many different arts related organizations that ArtsWave supports.

ArtsWave Pinterest CloseUp

ArtsWave has several other boards on Pinterest including one on the Community Campaign 2014, ArtPass Partners, Art All Around, We Love Cincinnati, 2014 Workplace Campaigns, Macy’s Arts Sampler 2014 and Toast “2″ the Arts Restaurants.

As I’ve been talking about for the last few weeks, I am hosting a campaign to support the wonderful work they do. Did you know that for a gift of $75 or more, you get access to exclusive discounts and offers to over 30 local arts organizations plus restaurants, shops and the Cincinnati Reds. Please join me in my campaign. Every contribution counts!

http://artswave-1191.wedid.it/

Thanks!

– Carla

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Posted in Arts, Arts Angle, Pinterest

Arts Angle: ArtsWave’s Amazing Arts Race Returns April 12

I’m putting on my ArtsWave WeDidIt Ambassador hat again to let you know about a very unique event that ArtsWave is hosting again. If you are a fan of the CBS show The Amazing Race and a fan of the arts, you will love the second annual Amazing Arts Race.

The Amazing Arts Race is a creative scavenger hunt for young professionals in Downtown Cincinnati. It will be held Saturday, April 12 beginning at 1:00 p.m. and registration is now open at https://amazingartsrace.eventbrite.com.

Amazing Arts Race

For this event, teams race to complete a series of arts challenges like finding works of art and architecture, answering arts trivia, and making art themselves. The challenges can also include origami, charades and dance breaks. The teams use their social media skills on Twitter to get clues and to actually complete some of the required tasks. Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place teams in addition to random prize drawings.

Maddie Grant, Manager of Residential and Affinity Group Giving for ArtsWave, says, “Last year’s race attracted more than 100 participants from all over the region. Our ArtsWave Young Professionals group and the Taft Museum of Art have teamed up again to make this year’s race even more exciting.”

ArtsWave partner companies are encouraged to form teams of 2 to 4 people, but the event is open to all young professionals. All participants must be 21 years of age. Individuals interested in being paired with a team can contact Ms. Grant directly at maddie.grant@theartswave.org.

Registration is $15 per person and can be completed online at https://amazingartsrace.eventbrite.com. Deadline to register is April 7. Teams will be notified by email and Twitter of the race details after registration closes.

According to their press release, “Teams will move around downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods by foot and/or by car to different arts organizations and works of public art. Running gear is not required, as creativity will be as important as speed.”

The Amazing Arts Race is generously sponsored by the Taft Museum of Art with support of The Thomas J. Emery Memorial and The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. This event supports ArtsWave’s annual community campaign for the arts which runs through April 22.

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Meow Meow Monday: Meet Porter

Time for a new feature – Meow Meow Monday! In this first installment, you get to meet Porter.

Back in August of 2012, we adopted two male kittens. They were born a week apart, but never really knew life without the other one in it. Being the better beer fans we are, we named them after beer styles: Bock and Porter. And we call our house Beer Cats Manor (yes, they have their own Facebook fan page).

Porter is the slightly younger and smaller of the two. To paraphrase the line from “Star Wars”, the adorable is strong with this one. He’s almost a tuxedo cat and he’s so cute. Especially when he’s sleeping.

Porter of Beer Cats Manor

Porter loves sunbeams and being warm. And twist ties. He loves twist ties. He only sleeps with us on occasion. And when he does, he sleeps down by my feet. When I roll over during the night (which is often), he moves closer until I’m left with only about six inches of room on the edge of the mattress. If I try to (gently) move him over a bit, he can get huffy and sulk away to sleep somewhere else.

Porter is like the cat Mooch in the comic strips “Mutts” when he channels the Big Leboswki (“The Dude abides”). But, he’s also a talker and a bit neurotic. He’s meowing like crazy right as I’m writing this.

And that’s our Porter.

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Saturday Sayings: Respect

Respect

In many ways, this saying (or, to be more accurate, song lyric) was the inspiration for my Saturday Sayings feature. For years, I have loved The Staples Singers’ song “Respect Yourself”. It has a R&B / Memphis soul sound that makes you have to get up and dance when you hear it.

A few years ago, I actually took the time to listen to the lyrics:

If you disrespect anybody that you run in to
How in the world do you think anybody’s s’posed to respect you
If you don’t give a heck ’bout the man with the Bible in his hand, y’all
Just get out the way, and let the gentleman do his thing
You the kind of gentleman that want everything your way, yeah
Take the sheet off your face, boy, it’s a brand new day

Respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself
If you don’t respect yourself
Ain’t nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
Respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself

If you’re walking ’round think’n that the world owes you something ’cause you’re here
You goin’ out the world backwards like you did when you first come here yeah
Keep talkin’ bout the president, won’t stop air pollution
Put your hand on your mouth when you cough, that’ll help the solution
Oh, you cuss around women and you don’t even know their names, no
Then you’re dumb enough to think that’ll make you a big ol’ man

Respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself
If you don’t respect yourself
Ain’t nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
Respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself

Respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself
Respect yourself, yeah yeah respect yourself, respect yourself

yeah, respect yourself
You oughta you oughta respect yourself yeah, respect yourself

According to Wikipedia, “The song was written by Stax Records singer Luther Ingram and Stax house songwriter Mack Rice. Ingram, who was frustrated with the state of the world at the time, told Rice “black folk need to learn to respect themselves.” Rice liked the comment so much that he built a funk groove around it, then gave the song to the Staples”.

The entry goes on to say that the “confrontational song had resonance for a burgeoning self-empowerment movement for African-Americans during the post-civil-rights-movement 1970s, as well as women demanding more respect during those same years.”

The song “Respect Yourself” is probably one of the best examples of what Rolling Stone calls “the Staples’ commitment to making secular music with a message“. For me, I have even more respect for the group knowing that they always remembered where they came from (gospel music).

– Carla

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Arts Angle: Macy’s Arts Sampler – March 15, 2014

Carla, ArtsWave WeDidIt Ambassador, reporting for duty once again! This weekend is the second and next to last Macy’s Arts Sampler in Cincinnati. This annual event gives folks free access to theater, music, dance, crafts, museum tours and more.

One of the highlights this Saturday’s Macy’s Arts Sampler is “Catch the Spirit” – a special concert at Music Hall, featuring Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Opera, May Festival Chorus, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and more.

In addition to the concert, you can experience other events with dance, Bach, silhouettes, Canstruction®, Hip Hop dance classes, hands-on arts experience for the whole family, eco-fiber, Americana, Celtic, jazz, theater, ballet, photography, writing, opera, bubble art, blues, Shakespeare, clay, tie dye, face painting, yoga, chamber orchestra and more.

Event sites include Memorial Hall, Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery, The Cincinnati Ballet Studios, Elementz, The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County – Main Library, Behringer-Crawford Museum, Ballet Theatre Midwest, Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center, Women Writing for (a) Change, The Grove Banquet & Events Center, Fairfield Community Arts Center, Fitton Center for Creative Arts, Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices and Middletown Arts Center.

For more information on specific events during the Macy’s Arts Sampler this weekend, check out this PDF file from ArtsWave with a complete listing of the free arts events available this weekend.

ArtsWave

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Posted in Arts, Arts Angle, Cincinnati / NKY

Saturday Sayings: Einstein or Not?

Einstein quote

A friend of mine sent me this quote many, many years ago. It’s been so long that I don’t even remember who exactly it was so I can’t ask them where they got the image from. I pinned it on Pinterest over two years ago and it’s been re-pinned over 300 times.

So, when I was working on this week’s Saturday Sayings, I thought of this quote. But, after last week’s Mark Twain misattribution, I thought I had better check Quote Investigator again. You got it… the quote (and many variations on it) were said by just about everyone but Albert Einstein. Though the Quote Investigator discussion doesn’t mention it, I personally believe that people are more likely to believe that Einstein said something to this effect because of the popular misconception that he had a learning disability.

The sentiment is nice, but thanks to a 2004 self help book author, it was woefully misattributed.

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