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Divinity Of Colours, Confluence Of Culture.... Ikebana is an art form that has transcended boundaries and, though embedded in traditional Japanese culture, its variants and manifests are limitless.

Amitabh Sharma, Contributor
Photos by Amitabh Sharma The beauty and abundance of nature with the bold red of the anthuriums elevating this Ikebana.
Photos by Amitabh Sharma The beauty and abundance of
 nature with the bold red of the anthuriums elevating this Ikebana.
Published: Sunday | December 21, 2014 
It is that time of the year. As the skies turn grey, days become shorter, cool air kisses the skin, the world erupts with joyous emotions, colours and celebrations, nothing expresses the delight of any festive season more than flowers.
Ikebana is an art form that has transcended boundaries and, though embedded in traditional Japanese culture, its variants and manifests are limitless. This ancient form of flower arrangement combines aesthetics with therapeutics and transcendental energy.
Ikebana ... labour of love and meticulous craftsmanship.
Ikebana ... labour of love and meticulous
 craftsmanship.
Ikebana, loosely translated as the art of arranging cut stems, leaves, and flowers in vases and other containers, evolved in Japan over seven centuries ago. Though the arrangements might, like the Japanese tradition, look minimalist, there is a methodology involved in these creations
Ikebana ... labour of love and meticulous craftsmanship.
Ikebana ... labour of love and meticulous
 craftsmanship
"One can arrange the stems and flowers as one wishes," said Dr Pauline Milbourn, president of Ikebana International St Andrew Chapter. "But we have to be familiar with different ways of fastening and positioning the flowers, which come after training on Ikebana techniques." more

ST.ELIZABETH, JAMAICA (Centenarian): Louise Johnson, 100 y-o, speaks of her formula for long life.... BE good to people, especially children. She has a soft spot in her heart and could not resist looking after the children in her community

Sunday, December 21, 2014 
BE good to people, especially children. That, Louise Johnson said, is her formula for long life.
"People would ask me to help them look after their children. I even remember a lady coming to me with a young baby and said, 'Here, he is yours.' I raised him until he became an adult," Johnson, affectionately called Miss Ina recounted.
Louise Johnson, 100, along with some of her guests at her
100th birthday celebration recently
Born on August 16, 1914 in the peanut-farming community of Brinkley, St Elizabeth, Johnson devoted her entire life to looking out for the interest of others. She has a soft spot in her heart and could not resist looking after the children in her community, along with her two biological daughters.
However, she explained that many of the numerous children she cared for do not keep in touch with her, something that evidently disturbs her.
"I did not have a happy childhood," she disclosed. "I was one of eight children for my parents, but I grew up with my godparents from when I was 10 years old. They didn't send me to school; therefore, I had to stay home every day and do domestic work."
Not wanting a similar fate for her daughters, Johnson, a single parent, worked hard to send her children to school so that they could get what she didn't receive.
"I couldn't put up with the foolishness of the children's fathers so I had to work hard to take care of my children myself," the no-nonsense mother pointed out. "I did domestic work, buy and sell and farmed. I planted corn, gungo, banana, callaloo, sorrel and made bammy to sell. I would walk from Brinkley to Mandeville market two times for the week to take things there to sell, and to buy potato and tobacco to come back to resell in my community," she said, adding that the journey would take about four hours. more

IN JAMAICA: Blind woman raped again.... St Ann resident said she escaped being murdered by pretending to be dead... Paula Gayle, who lives in Mount Moriah, St Ann, revealed to the Observer that one of three men who broke into the house that she occupies raped her last Sunday

BY HG HELPS Editor-at-large helpsh@jamaicaobserver.com  Sunday, December 21, 2014 
A legally blind woman who has been featured in the Jamaica Observer in recent years, has complained that she was raped in brutal fashion a week ago, adding to the countless other challenges that she faces.
Paula Gayle
Paula Gayle, who lives in Mount Moriah, St Ann, revealed to the Sunday Observer that one of three men who broke into the house that she occupies raped her last Sunday, while two others ransacked the premises in search of undetermined items.
St Ann police yesterday confirmed that she had filed a report that she was raped and the matter was being investigated by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), officials from which took her to see a doctor last week.
Gayle has been embroiled in a court battle to have avoid being evicted from a St Ann house that she has occupied for over 20 years. The property's owner has returned from living overseas and wants to reclaim it, a recent court hearing was told.
She has long chronicled several tales of woe and pointed a finger at members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force whom she said were working in collusion with criminals to fleece her of her belongings and keep her mouth shut after she had filed a report in 2007 about illegal activities that involved a policeman. She reported to police that she was first raped on July 21, 2008.
In the latest incident, Gayle said that, had she not decided to play dead, she believes that her attackers would have finished the job of strangling her, which one started after she was raped.
Despite the Sunday Observer highlighting her complaints over the past year, the Police High Command has failed to look into the matter, forcing her to take her issues to human rights organisation Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ), and other individuals and groups who are willing to listen. more

Health : 7 anti-aging foods you should be eating today... 1) Salmon 2) Blueberries 3) Quinoa 4) Yogurt 5) Almonds 6) Green Tea 7) Brussels Sprouts

Salmon
Salmon
What we eat can cut the risk of developing chronic diseases that make us old before our time: high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Abundant scientific research has shown how important food is to healthy aging. 
What is meant by "anti-aging"? It's not a vague beauty term, its markers are radiant hair, skin, daily physical activity, a positive mindset and preventing chronic disease. 
Fifty may be the new 40, but one biological fact does change over time: some nutrient demands do increase, so the importance of nutrient DENSE foods becomes more important for as we get older. Science-backed healthy eating plans, like the Mediterranean diet and the USDA's MyPlate strategy, have this in common:  
Fresh blueberries spilling out of a pail
Blueberries
Green tea
Green Tea
  • abundant colorful fruits and vegetables
  • lean protein (both animal and plant sources)
  • heart healthy, unsaturated fats
  • fiber-rich grains
  • low-fat dairy products (or equivalent). 
  • limiting processed foods with added salts, sugars, fats, and calories
Consume these "double-duty" foods regularly or daily: they'll boost your intake of essential nutrients like protein, calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3-fats, along with the “value-added” antioxidants, used throughout the body. You'll see and feel the difference, inside and out. more

2 NYPD Officers Dead In Brooklyn Shooting...“The perp came out of the houses, walked up behind the car and lit them up,” a high-ranking police official told the Daily News (VIDEO)


The Huffington Post |  By Andres Jauregui Email Posted: 12/20/2014 5:11 pm EST 
Two NYPD officers are dead after a gunman shot into a patrol car in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon, police said.
View image on Twitter
Cops Shot
The gunman was pursued by other officers and entered a subway station, where authorities said he then fatally shot himself in the head“The perp came out of the houses, walked up behind the car and lit them up,” a high-ranking police official told the Daily News.
Ismaaiyl Brinsley
While the shooter had not yet been identified, the suspect is said to have earlier threatened police in a social media message, a law enforcement source told WNBCand News12. The suspect may have come from Baltimore, and law enforcement wasinvestigating the suspect's background, unnamed officials told the New York Times' J. David Goodman.

Long Road Home MOVIE, starring Danny Glover (A Movie to WATCH)

LIME projects US$281-million growth in revenues from Flow acquisition, according to Chairman Chris Dehring....The increase would equate to a two-thirds jump in LIME Jamaica's $18.4 billion (US$170 million) total revenues

BY STEVEN JACKSON Business reporter jacksons@jamaicaobserver.com  Friday, December 19, 2014  
TELECOMS provider LIME Jamaica expects to grow annual revenues to US$281 million with the Flow acquisition, according to Chairman Chris Dehring.
DEHRING… has been on a talk tour
 of 30 countries in 14 days
It's a signal to investors vying to evaluate possible earnings arising from the local leg of the regional merger. The increase would equate to a two-thirds jump in LIME Jamaica's $18.4 billion (US$170 million) total revenues earned at its March year end.
The merger would not affect mobile revenues but augment other revenues currently at $12 billion (US$110 million) per annum.
"Broadband, TV and fixed-line voice; all of that revenue, when we add Columbus and LIME together it's US$150 million a year in revenues with a very high cost base," Dehring told the Jamaica Observer Wednesday in a phone interview on the final leg of his talk tour of "30 countries in 14 days".
He undertook the tour as part of his wider capacity as head of government relations and regulatory (affairs) at Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC), LIME Jamaica's parent company.
He then asserted that the merged entity would still result in a smaller revenue base than main competitor Digicel Jamaica at some US$415 million to US$430 million.
In November, CWC Plc announced that it had acquired Columbus Communications, the parent company of Flow Jamaica, for US$3 billion. more