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Tomatoes Hate Cucumbers: Secrets Of Companion Planting


      I'm a gardener. Or I like to tell myself that anyway, heh. Every year I make the attempt, usually with some success. I learn from my mistakes and try again if things failed, always looking for advice and ideas. It's about time to plant this year, and I just came across this article about combining certain plants for a better garden, so thought I'd share with my fellow green (or semi-green) thumbed Yabberz folks.

      So what are your best gardening hints?

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      The Last American


          It is difficult to listen anymore. It is difficult to open up a page or read print news, to find out what new area of despicable could be achieved that day. It is harder still reading and seeing the comments and statements of my fellow Americans.

          Seeing these people go through the pains again, and in many cases so repeatedly it has lost its temper and the real meanings have been diluted. This level of indignation, this level of cruelty is difficult to say the least, a denigration to the first American, and sadly a legacy to its last.

          It is difficult to see the stories from history and their consequences and watching the same develop before your eyes. It is downright choking of air to read women worry about their rights again, the racial disparities made worse again through ignorance and lies. The religious tensions that stretch across time immemorial brought back to the shores of this time of advancement. This time that was just about to be one for all humanity, has taken a turn for the few again, it will take much to repair it. It will take an American Revolution of sorts, not the kind of guns and bloodshed, but of truth and what it took to get this far to begin with.

          It is difficult to read and to feel the passion and emotions of people who simply wish others to care... I can grasp that some believe this is the right thing to do, I cannot grasp the ends to the means. I have a hard time reading posts from friends that ask where we have gone?


          It is harder and harder still to read the stories of our champions, aged and well deserved in their rest have to repeat the same lines from the Civil Rights era, and marches. To have to say that Black Lives Matter in a way that cannot be usurped or co-opted. The ignorance of a past too recent to ignore.


          It does not ring true to our real story, it is a con job on the biggest scale and it is sad and difficult to see some people trying to figure this out, figure out the game being played. The rewards are great when the big plans come to light, but we cannot wait for that to undo us, to separate us this ruthlessly. This is the angry us, this is the piss and vinegar that comes from ignorant statements and people, and those that are appalled by them. Never talk religion or politics in a bar is a motto that I grew up with if you were there to have a good time. We just opened up the bigger bar to get that done now it seems, I have no idea if alcohol or drugs are involved here too, but I can understand why some would feel the need.


          When people have to ponder and wonder just how intelligent or stupid we are it kind of hurts, but this too is water off a duck into the apathy bin because we do have all types. It couldn't be our smarts, our "tinking" or our worrying about Gods and stuff, it has to be something else, it must be the Gobvment.

          I can always understand why people would blame the people at the top for this, we always do. If it's not the QB's fault, it most certainly is the Coach's or the Refs. It couldn't be the other aspects of this, the kicker with the broken leg, the cover corner that partied too hard last week and last night. The smaller issues poo pooed because we have a more intriguing plot or figure to focus on. It was the ball boy, in the bathroom with a needle... I have no idea of Brady's part in this etc...

          It hurts to come here and read this stuff daily, to see so much attention being paid to the guy who eats it all up whether good or bad. A real Teflon Don that so many cannot stand or see legitimate. We hear one story last year about how Clinton was under investigation, an announcement days before the election was hurtful to say the least. We had a need to know that, but we didn't need to know that the FBI had been investigating the other guy since July? On top of that for far greater possible offences? What the hell part of the law are you following here? Duplicity much? Job saver? I think Comey wants to be the shining hero who takes down the bad guy, I also think a few of them are behind him on this withing the intelligence community. It would make sense from a personal historic perspective and also a future Political one. I can see him being somewhat groomed for future offices.


          The fixes for problems that do not exist, the need to divide through rhetoric the people they do not wish to watch them operate. In their minds this is the way the country is supposed to be run, by a cabal and a coven and all things skull and crossbones. Secret stuff is not really secret anymore, so what do you really call this? A time machine attempt? All of this does hurt the minds of those intellectually valid enough to see it, to see the ants follow the sugar, and the biting ones crazed through some hypnotic serum.


          It is as Karen said a wondering of where our country is? It could not have disappeared in a puff of propaganda, even on this scale. It is still there in each and every one of us somewhere, and maybe that is going to be the hardest part of all of this that we need to face. The fact that we do have all kinds and the voices of the America we all know and love goes forward. For all the years this country was a better nation we put people first, and everything else in our hearts and minds came after. We knew the suffering of war that cost us more than we lose today, more than just money and a few casualties counted on the nightly news. We came close to losing it all before and we are rolling the dice again. There is a thought that the generations of younger citizens believe we are too big to fail, too big to be undone, yet this is exactly what is happening. The apathy for this system of government will not cure our ills and ignoring it will not make it better for anyone.


          This is the beginning of something much bigger, something much more arcane than imaginable, even more than the Orange guy in the WH. The wheels of machines that are moving do not stop with a handshake either obvious or covert. The time is short for this display and tantrum, this kicking at the shins of Lady Liberty. I don't think a President whose time will be short should have his SCOTUS pick reside for generations. I believe that we should do our best to sustain that thought and motion. It is very truly disheartening to see the level of angst on both ends and in the middle of this. To read stories warning us and telling us to a tee what is going to happen next. We may not know now but we will soon enough and this huge con job will end. The question becomes then, who are we really and what do we want going forward. This obviously isn't in concert with America or even reality. To the last American an apology for this churning of the collective bile in our bellies. To the remaining ones a job still has to be done and done by all to help us come out of this with our country and ability to respond intact.


          TY Karen Landry, twilson117, Organizer, Mykolai Mike Kolesinski

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          Women In The Visual Arts: Matilda Browne


              Flowers and Copper Pot on Tabletop -- Matilda Browne

              Women were the exception in a man's world when it came to painting. They were reconciled to what was then considered feminine subjects among them being flowers in gardens and still lifes of flowers. For years women were prohibited from taking life study classes sketching from either male or female nudes which was the sine qua non of art study. The human body encompassed the sum total of theory. Not only was proportion studied but with it linear perspective, foreshortening, values, shading, color and color perspective as well as anatomy. The traditional course for young aspiring painters was to study meticulously the drawings of the masters copying each dot and diddle from reproductions. This was followed by sketching in the antique room from plaster casts of classical and renaissance sculpture. Once the instructor felt that his students were sufficiently competent, they graduated to life classes.

              Julian Onderdonk famous for his Texas bluebonnet paintings from the Hill Country outside of San Antonio, struggled to learn anatomy and draw from plaster casts in the antique room of classes then taught by Kenyon Cox. When he graduated to life drawing, he was astonished how different the human body looked from these plaster casts. Even the color and shade differed as well as the fact that no matter how steady the model was there were traces of movement. Where the angle between feet or between shoulder and head were in one position they later shifted in an unseen manner. The art student had to compensate for those microscopic shifts. As it turned out, Onderdonk avoided figurative painting for the landscapes in which he excelled first painting scenes of Staten Island and later open prairie with flowing hills often covered with bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, and blossoming cacti punctuated with cotton wood trees around his native San Antonio.

              Unlike the women painters of the day, Matilda Browne did not just paint flower gardens. Before she embarked on painting broad landscapes, she focused on animal depictions in rural environs featuring that beloved animal of dairy farmers, the bovine. Male artists would joke about her portrayal of cows saying such things in good spirit as, “Come see Tillie's calves” (Larkin, G. Susan 2017. p.60). Yet, animal paintings were the domain of male artists. Her endeavoring to portray barnyard animals was a way of challenging a male dominated profession. She was, however, in good company with the trouser-wearing French feminist and animal painter Rosa Bonheur who in the eyes of France glorified rural life.

              Zinnias and Gladiolas -- Matilda Browne

              Her bucolic depictions used classical norms to portray these beasts of burden as majestic creatures. Unlike Bonheur, Browne did not set out to glorify or idealize farm animals though they were an integral part of her landscapes. However along with her passion for portraying these creatures who dragged plows or provided milk, she also had a keen interest in floral painting which was clearly at that time in the feminine domain.

              Her education in the visual arts started when she was only nine initially exhibiting her work when she was in her early teens. A precocious child, she grew up in a New Jersey household where her father was a jewelry manufacturer and the arts were pursued and enjoyed. Art came before marriage and family. Thus she delayed finding the right man which would have ended her career for the sake of building a nest. Her first instructor on painting cattle was none other than Carleton Wiggins later to join her as a member of the Old Lyme Art Colony. And in the year 1888 to 1889, she was in Paris studying under Adolphe-William Bouguereau returning the next year to study at the Academie Julian. She was sidetracked not for long and resumed her study of farm animals in Holland under the American cattle painter Henry Bisbing returning to the United States in 1892 to an exciting but busy schedule for exhibiting her work.

              Settling with her sister in Greenwich Connecticut, she remained active in the Greenwich Society of Artists, also loosely affiliated with the Cos Cob art colony with the likes of John H. Twachtman and Childe Hasam., and became a highly regarded member of Old Lyme being the only female painter to paint a door panel in Florence Griswold's house.

              Cow Lying Down -- Matilda Browne

              Although she had at times worked in the Barbizon tradition of deep contrasts between dark and light, she preferred the bright colors of Impressionism. Even though the popularity of cattle paintings declined in the early Twentieth Century, Browne continued to win awards on such themes at the National Academy of Design, Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, and the Greenwich Society of Artists. From 1911 to 1924, she exhibited her animal pictures at the Lyme Art Association.

              Not only did she also pursue floral paintings, but enjoyed gardening for herself such that her renderings of flowers flowed from an active understanding of each specie and its temperament. Her experiences overturning topsoil with a trowel, planting seeds, waiting in anticipation to see what comes up every spring, the planning of seed beds, the use of spikes or sticks to keep vines from entangling, and necessary fencing to keep unwanted critters out entered unconsciously into her paintings. But they were not solitary garden paintings. She had to have her house or that belonging to someone else captured in each of them. Human artifice and nature were clearly balanced and intertwined in her paintings.

              Not all of her paintings depicted the New England countryside or her domesticated gardens. Upon the death of her mother in 1912, she accepted an invitation from friends to travel to Puerto Rico where she captured in watercolor its architecture not just of stately structures but the bodegas and peasant huts that showed the starkness of island rural life. Five years later, she married historian Frederick Van Wyck and widened her repertoire to include urban landscapes. She illustrated the memoir of her husband thus adding illustration to her bailiwick of artistic prowess.

              Unlike male artists of that era, women painters' provenance was rarely found in museums but rather in private collections. Her garden variety paintings were by-and-large small in stature tailored to the domesticity of home life. Some of these works may have been commissioned by homeowners as well. This is an additional reason why her work is predominantly found in private collections.

              Not part of the Ten who bucked the establishment to show independently, Matilda Browne, was also a product of their era where the influence of French painting had a profound impact on the hearts and minds of generations of American artists. When contrasting the American Impressionists with their French counterpart, one sees distinctly how and where they placed the brakes stopping short of the daring exploration that formed the trademark of their continental compadres. And Browne was a part of that trend living and breathing the rarefied air of Paris bringing back hard won skill to evolve and to unfold her own voice as one of a few American women artists who had contributed so significantly to American Impressionism in the first half of the Twentieth Century. She remains to this day an inspiration for generations of artists both female and male who followed her.

              Miss Florence's -- Matilda Browne


              American Art Review . Larking, “Susan G. Matilda Browne: Idlylls of Farm and Garden”. pp. 56 – 63, 111 . American Arts Media Leawood, Kansas . April 2017.

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              Sturgeon Holds Firm After May's 'not Now' To Scottish Referendum


                  I see May is trying to drag Scotland down the plughole with the rest of the UK..

                  Scottish nationalists have reacted angrily after the British government said it would reject another referendum on independence from the United Kingdom before Brexit, amid a heated debate in the Scottish Parliament.

                  First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says if the parliament backs her call to seek a vote, she is determined to implement that on her timescale – not that of London.


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                  Ed Buckner Interviewed


                      If you're curious to see how old and decrepit I've gotten and whether I'm losing my edge, etc., here's a video of an interview with me by David Mulhern just this past weekend at Atlanta Freethought Hall (AFS). Comments welcome--here or at the Chasing Skeptics site:

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                      Chess For Schools, Chess For Life!


                          I've played chess since puberty. It's a board game begun about 1,500 years ago.

                          It's a game where you have to plan, anticipate, solve problems, and create solutions as you go along.

                          Chess is not a metaphor for life or war or any of the other things it is sometimes compared to. Unlike life, chess rules are few, simple, and they aren't subject to any evasions or interpretations.

                          In chess you're on your own. If you do the "work," which is studying the game and it's many attack and defense variations, and you think hard when engaged in a match, you could be a winner.

                          If you choose to play by the "seat of your pants" or based on hunches and guesses, instead of using proven strategies and tactics, you're probably not going to become a serious chess player or at the least; no one will take you for one.

                          What I like about chess, especially for children, is that it teaches personal responsibility, and that your mistakes will be quickly punished by your opponent. It also teaches you to think "out of the box" or to explore alternatives, and possibly come up with a winning combination.

                          It also teaches players to have an abiding respect for time, because in a chess game you're not only playing against your opponent, but against the clock, which gives you a certain amount of time to make a certain amount of moves. If you run out of time before your opponent, you forfeit the game

                          You also learn to respect the rules, since like the laws of science, they are immutable. And you must value and invest in the preparation work needed to win a game or you will be easily routed.

                          You cannot cheat your way to a win in a chess game (except on-line, if no one knows you're using a computer chess driven solution program).

                          Chess has had many great champions. Men like Paul Morphy and Bobby Fischer who suffered from serious mental issues, but could focus like lasers when it came to chess.

                          Judit Polgar

                          It has also seen many women champions, who could even beat some of the best men Grandmasters in games, such as the Polgar (Judit and Zuska) sisters, who were very formidable players, and achieved the rank of "Chess Grandmasters" themselves.

                          Chess was once a game with few financial rewards, but today there are many men and women playing in tournaments, where the prize money is significant, and a successful career in chess can make someone wealthy.

                          The reigning world champion today is Magnus Carlsen of Norway. A truly gifted player, who was a child prodigy, and has only gotten better over the years by diligently improving his game through study. He is currently in his mid twenties.

                          The current woman's champion is Tan Zhongi of China, who plays a forceful game that takes ruthless advantage of any weakness she perceives in her opponent. Tan is also in her twenties.

                          Chess has long been dominated by the Russians, and they've given us many great champions. From Botvinnik to Karpov to Kasparov, and they dominated world chess for many decades.

                          My favorite chess player, played for the USSR, (the old Russian empire), but was a Latvian Jew by birth. His name was Mikhail Tal, and what I loved most about his games were his incredible combinations, which invariably included a shocking sacrifice of a major piece, but once his opponent snatched the sacrificial offering, they were doomed to forced moves that led to unavoidable check-mate!!!

                          Tal became a world champion in 1960, but due to health problems, aggravated by his incessant smoking, he was champion for only one year. He played for many years afterward, and some of his winning games are considered some of the greatest "brilliancies" in chess.

                          I think chess should be part of the curriculum of all schools in America from kindergarten up to high school. It would teach kids so many valuable lessons, and it would enhance the practice of "logic" and "thinking" in America.

                          Both of which, America today can sorely use!!!

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                          For Consideration


                              History is the perpetual record of occurrences in time fundamental to our existence.

                              Because of it we are not slaves to our reasons or intuition. We know that facts (reality) will exist with or without us.

                              History is applied in various ways, for example to prove or disprove facts, to render certain behavior as acceptable or otherwise.

                              Let’s take an example: Mr. TX, is accused of lewd and offensive behavior towards women as of yet undetermined, and Mr. BCX, is according to history punished for the same. Mr. TX, predicated on history would exclaimed my behavior is acceptable.What we have here now is a non-sequitur that the discerning would also find illogical.

                              Other applications of history are for the proving or disproving of facts, and determining the probability of events. Some examples from politics:

                              A: The Republican Party met in secret and determined that it was not going to work with the firstelected black president of America.

                              B:The Republican Party primary stated goal was to make the first elected black president on America, a one term president.

                              C: Republicans on the US Senate floor did exclaimed that Mr. Vladimir Putin was a stronger and better leader than the first black elected president of America.

                              D: The Republican Party praised a foreign leader (Israeli’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) over the first elected black president of America and permitted the same to criticized him while speaking to a joint sessions of the US Congress.

                              E: The Republican Party was engaged in efforts to delegitimize the first elected black president of America by their personal attacks on him and his family and their silence.

                              F: The Republican Party across America is engaged in efforts to prevent Black Americans from voting.

                              G: The Republican Party wrote a letter to a foreign leader (Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei) asking him to join them in support against the first elected black president of America.

                              H: The Republican Party is the party of Tea Partiers, Birthers, and Conservatives (Racists) where the spirt of Barry Goldwater, (John McCain, Mitchel McConnell) Andrew Johnson the 17th President (1865-1869), David Duke (Steve Scalise, Paul Ryan) Jesse Helms is stimulus that force of thought for their actions.

                              I refer you the reader to The Declaration of Causes for the Civil War of the southern states, compare their philosophy to the Republican Party today. What are the backgrounds of Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul and many other elected officials?

                              And it’s crucial to support Senator Elizabeth Warren (Ma.). Mrs. Loretta Scott King’s letter is a significant historical document on which to base a decision.

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                              Hack Your March Madness Bracket With The Algorithm Method

                              "WITH 147 QUINTILLION possible outcomes, picking the winners of all 67 games in the annual NCAA basketball tournament is nearly impossible.

                              But Microsoft is attempting to model an infallible bracket, feeding 15 seasons of statistics into its Bing Predicts engine and constantly iterating to optimize your chances.

                              Just in case you haven’t filled out your own bracket—and hurry up, the tournament starts tomorrow!—we asked Walter Sun, an architect of the Predicts algorithms, for mathematically proven tips to help you score office-pool glory."

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                              Women In The Visual Arts – Artemisia Gentileschi


                                  Susanna and the Elders -- Aretmisia Gentileschi

                                  In the beginning, there was pigment, and canvas came into the fore upon which to paint. And there was creative genius who for want of company envisioned a woman artist. And that painter was none other than Artemisia Gentileschi.

                                  Well, not really, She had, after all, a father and not an ordinary parent. In those days the boot of Italy was teeming with artists. A devoted follower of Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio not to be mistaken for the Sistine Chapel muralist and sculptor of David fame Michelangelo Buonarroti, Orazio

                                  Gentileschi painted in the chiaroscuro fashion of this master. Although his figures were more idealistically portrayed and not given over to Caravaggio's darker figures both in pigment and in representing the underside of human life, he nevertheless remained under the master's orbit.

                                  His daughter also aspired to be an artist. Who would have heard of such a thing in the late Sixteenth to early Seventeenth century? And yet here was she soaking up the images that her father painted possibly assiduously watching her father paint. And she probably saw many times the whole process of preparing the oils from solid pigments then grounded into powder to be mixed with linseed oil. Or watched the delicate separation of egg yolks from their whites for the preparation of egg tempera in his frescoes. That would also involve his careful preparation of lime that served not only as a painting surface but also, if I remember correctly, as sizing to keep the paint from eating away at the wall's surface.

                                  Self-Portrait as a Lute Player -- Artemisia Gentileschi

                                  She not only watched wide-eyed but her father instructed her. There is often a gulf between mastery and teaching. One may have the skill to paint but instructing is another matter requiring being properly attuned to the student's temperament and way of grasping and applying concepts. What the art teacher may see in his students is not necessarily what the pupil sees. Progress seems slow and glacial for the student frustrated at every turn while the teacher perceives leaps.

                                  But some artists will not teach not because they want to keep their hard won skills to themselves, although such individuals exist, but rather are fearful of discouraging talented pupils. They are also mortified at the very thought that their instruction may not apply to the student's needs. The hesitation to explain and instruct and advise leads some painters away from granting instruction. It is quite possible that Orazio was reluctant to guide his daughter in fear of imparting the wrong, shall we say, lessons.

                                  Although he taught Artemisia, he left the job for teaching her perspective to his colleague and collaborator in commissioned work but also ex-con, Agostino Tassi. You see, these were dangerous times in which local government (there was no government that was not local) and the Church were in cahoots, a legacy extending all the way back to the times of Dante Alighieri. Artists had their passionate jealousies not only for women but more so over their work. One could never dare to meet the swashbuckler Caravaggio in a dark alley in Rome. If he learned you were an artist, watch out! But it was acceptable to be his follower. (Whew!) Benvenuto Cellini boasted of being poisoned by a rival on two different occasions. Those were certainly treacherous times.

                                  Slaying of Holofernes --Artemisia Gentileschi

                                  One wonders why Orazio did not properly vet his colleague and decide not to hire him as his daughter's instructor since his reputation was widely known. Nevertheless, this irascible character known for his violent outbursts became her instructor. Oh, did I forget to mention the reason for his conviction? He was sentenced to prison upon the murder of his wife. A forgiving father seemed to have been eager to overlook such details when allowing this renown artist upon his doorstep to privately instruct his daughter. It sounds a lot like Lot offering his daughters to the rabble outside of his home in the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

                                  With great trepidation one can anticipate what horror followed entrusting this wild man into his house to teach his daughter perspective. What he lacked was a perspective on women as human beings. He behaved in the manner of Shechem after raping Dinah begging her father for her hand in marriage. Tassi savagely ravaged Artemisia and then offered to marry her without following through on his vow. Her father brought him to court on the grounds of sverginamento which is Italian for the act of forcibly deflowering a young maiden. Unfortunately Artemisia endured a trial of ordeal to exact the truth from her putting a thumbscrew (sebille) to her fingers. The NPR correspondent, Sylvia Poggioli (December 12, 1016) describes this mode of torture as having metal rings increasingly tightened around her fingers. The trial lasted five months and her clear, detailed account of Tassi's rape brought about his conviction. However, Tassi spent a mere eight months in the hoosegow and was acquitted. Artemisia married one month after the trial and the couple moved to Florence where she prospered as an artist.

                                  However, she wrote to the grand Duke Cosimo complaining of her husband's unfair financial treatment. The marriage did not last and she moved to Rome with her daughter Palmira and one servant. Her brother, it is said, looked after her affairs bringing her work to clients both in Rome and Modena. By and large, she had achieved independence a rare thing for women of that era.

                                  As a figurative painter she had access to female models who posed for her in the nude. It was not the convention of that time to allow women to spy on naked men. As a result, she excelled in her female figures, her men being carefully clad. And while she mastered the smooth curves of the female body with their delicate shades, she was not privy to the angularity of male anatomy. Anyway, in that period of time, the female nude was all the rage, and she was able to foot that bill.

                                  Judith and her Maidservant--Artemisia Gentileschi

                                  Her female figures were earthy and full, portrayed as heroines rather than meek servile creatures. This is evidenced in her portrayal of Mary Magdalene, although penitent, turns away from her mirror clutching her breast while gazing heavenward. It is certainly pronounced in her calm portrayal of a valiant Judith after beheading Holofernes and her strong and stoical but still feminine portrayal of fame sporting her victory laurel cradling a trumpet with her right hand her left tucked confidently on her hip.

                                  One cannot count her among the panoply of heroic feminists. She did not raise placards to the skies shouting slogans demanding equality before an archduke or a Roman prelate. She did not handwrite broadsides and have them printed for wide distribution. She did not stand on a soapbox to shout at an angry crowd of men to shame them. Such necessary actions as parades, petitions, and other forms of protest were for a later time. She had all to do just to survive in a savagely male world filled with debauchery and intrigue and survived she did with style, that is, with the aesthetic sensibility of a great master.

                                  But, she suffered the hand of history buried in obscurity. It sufficed that a woman could rise to the level of an independent artist. It was too much to request that she run her own atelier and hold counsel with aspiring students molding and shaping their art. Her hands were full emulating Caravaggio and then keeping pace with contemporary artists who had abandoned his tenebroso, his dark realism. Her legacy then is her example of surviving and thriving in a man's world – a beacon of hope for aspiring women artists today and for all creative people both male and female who contend with rejection and the lack of an understanding public only to butt against the wall of an indifferent establishment which measures creativity by dollars and not by beauty or truth.

                                  Sleeping Venus--Artemisia Gentileschi


                                  Women Artists: 1550 – 1950 . Harris, Ann Sutherland. pp.118 – 123. Los angeles county Mseum of Art. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 1981 .


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                                  "Like Minded People" Of Omaha


                                      We are having a meeting of "Like Minded People" in Omaha on Monday, March 13th at 5:30 at Countryside Church. Renee Fry with the Open Sky Policy Institute will give a presentation to the group. OpenSky’s mission is to improve opportunities for every Nebraskan by providing impartial and precise research, analysis, education and leadership---with great knowledge of what is going on in the state legislature.

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