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November 19, 2009

NOV 19: Freedom and Fashion Designer Showcase & Trade Show Features Fair-Trade Clothing

Unique event, free and open to the public, raises awareness about fair-trade style during show on UCLA campus

Freedom and Fashion will hold its inaugural Freedom and Fashion Designer Showcase and Trade Show on November 19th 2009 at UCLA’s Ackerman Grand Ballroom. Freedom and Fashion brings awareness to the social injustices of modern-day slavery, sex trafficking, child labor, and human rights violations through the vehicle of a fashion show. Freedom and Fashion supports non-profit organizations by giving them exposure through the runway showcase, Freedom and Fashion magazine catalogue and biographical short films, as well as the opportunity to sell and market their products at FnF events. Freedom and Fashion events feature non-profit organizations and fair-trade clothing companies. Current partners include: Not For Sale, Nightlight and Kauzbots. “Seeing little children exploited for the sake of making money, and in the name of ‘style,’ was horrendous to me. I had to act!” States Freedom and Fashion’s President, B. Kim, “Freedom and Fashion is a way for me to put my resources and talents to use for positive change.” The vision of this innovative fashion event is to increase the demand for socially responsible and ethically produced goods and ensure they are readily available to consumers. The Freedom and Fashion event will draw the social injustices of the fashion industry from the background of consumer awareness to the foreground, and transforms shoppers into conscious consumers with a concrete “call to action” resulting in the ultimate goal of empowering guests with understanding that their own purchasing power can be used for greater purposes.

Freedom and Fashion welcomes all members of the community to attend.
Doors open at 6pm, fashion show at 7pm, trade show 8-10pm. 
Location: UCLA Ackerman Grand Ballroom.

For more information visit www.

What is Freedom And Fashion?

Too often, fashion shows focus on the art of fashion design without deeper, substantial understanding of the impact the art form may or may not have on society. On one side of the fashion industry is art and culture, wealth and privilege, style and grace — society’s representation of what it means to be beautiful. The flip side, however — the hidden side of the fashion industry— is the exploitation of factory workers, cotton harvesters, and enslaved children. Freedom and Fashion (FnF) seeks to reconcile this through our Freedom and Fashion Designer Showcase and Trade Show. All merchandise featured and sold at, or promoted through FnF events are from non-profit organizations and companies that practice fair trade and/or provide critical job sustainability in various areas of the world. FnF draws the social injustices of the fashion industry from the background of consumer awareness to the foreground, and transforms shoppers into conscious consumers with our call to action!


Victoria Young
Freedom and Fashion
Senior Manager of Media Relations and Marketing
(626) 703-8812

November 12, 2009

NOV 12: FREE COFFEE BEAN Holiday Drinks, 4--8pm; Winter Dream, Pumpkin & Peppermint Please!

by Don Rose

With unemployment now topping 10 percent nationwide, we all could use a freebie now and then. Today, November 12, we have a nice refreshing one: from 4--8pm you can get free drinks at COFFEE BEAN & TEA LEAF stores. This offer is good at most if not all locations in the LA area (except for those inside other stores, like the Coffee Beans inside Ralphs grocery stores, for example; those may not honor this deal). The FREE flavors include Peppermint, Pumpkin and Winter Dream Tea (in your choice of Latte or IceBlended Drinks). These Complimentary 12oz Beverages are part of Coffee Bean's annual Open House promotion for the Holidays! So don't be a Scrooge; bound on down to CB&TL, bring a friend, and ask for the freebie options when you arrive. Enjoy!

November 9, 2009

NOV 2009: From German-World Magazine: 20 Years Since Fall of Berlin Wall - News/Events in LA (Wall on Wilshire) & Beyond

Posted by Don Rose

November 9, 2009, marks 20 Years since the Fall of the Wall in Berlin. See below for more info about the anniversary, and to find out where celebrations and commemorations are taking place, in LA and beyond. The information is from a recent email sent out by German-World Magazine, an excellent source for info related to Germany and German news/events around the world. (You can read the full German-World Magazine email by going to the online version.)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Address at the US Congress

On November 3, 2009, Angela Merkel became the first chancellor in 50 years to
address the US Congress. Merkel followed a rare invitation by Nancy Pelosi to
speak before the House of Representatives and the US Senate on November 3, 2009.
Prior to her appearance in Congress, she met with US President Obama for talks
about the upcoming United Nations summit in Copenhagen and various other topics
concerning both nations. German journalist Lars Halter who witnessed Merkel's
appearance in the US Congress told German World that she was greeted with
a very warm welcome and that her address received much applause and
standing ovations from the members of Congress.

Happy 20! Fall of the Wall Events Across North America

The German Embassy in Washington reached out to students at 30 universities
across the United States in 2009 with the Freedom Without Walls program.
Sponsored by the Embassy's German Information Center USA, this initiative
prompted numerous events and projects across North America.

What’s Happening in Berlin this Weekend?

Berlin will celebrate the day of the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall with
the 'Festival of Freedom' which will begin at 7 pm (1pm EST) on November 9th, 2009,
with an open-air concert at Pariser Platz by the Staatskapelle Berlin conducted by
Daniel Barenboim. After the concert, the fall of the Berlin Wall will be symbolised by
knocking over of 1000 oversized dominos, which have been put in place since
November 7 and cover a route of around 1.5 kilometres from the Reichstagsufer
via the Brandenburg Gate to Potsdamer Platz. They create unique images and
impressions close to where the Berlin Wall once stood. These dominos have been
designed by students from Berlin schools. On international level, the co-operation
partner Goethe-Institut has sent several dominos into the world which are designed
by students as well as artists and intellectuals. This 'Mauerreise – the wall in the
world project' aims to raise awareness of walls around the world that continue to exist.

The Festival of Freedom will be broadcast live on ZDF on November 9, 2009
from 7.25 (1.25 PM EST) until ca. 8.15 pm (2.15 PM EST). Hundreds of thousands of
people are expected to attend this extraordinary event, among them the former German
Foreign Minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, and the Nobel Peace Laureates Kofi Annan,
Muhammad Yunus and Mikhail Gorbachev will be among the guests.

We suggest you to watch Deutsche Welle
in order to catch a few memorable moments of the event.
For more information, please visit

Nov 8 at 11 PM – 12.30 AM
20 Years of the Fall of the Wall Celebration in L.A.:
Wall Across Wilshire Street Festival

On August 13, 2009, Councilmember Tom LaBonge of L.A.’s 4th District,
held a press conference announcing The Wall Project, presumably the largest
and most ambitious celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the
Berlin Wall outside of Germany. L.A. has always enjoyed a special relationship with
Berlin since 1967, when L.A. became Berlin's first Sister City. The project, conceived
by The Wende Museum, in cooperation with the City of L.A. and supported by the
German Consulate General in L.A., the GIC in Washington, D.C. and the Los Angeles
Berlin Sister City Committee, will combine one mega street festival on November 8
at 11 PM and two art initiatives: The ''Wall Across Wilshire“ and the ''Wall Along Wilshire.“
Local artists and a Berlin-based French muralist will create a wall, symbolic of the one
that once separated East and West Berlin, that will be erected across Wilshire Boulevard
in front of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). A public ceremony will
feature an reenactment of actual events, with invited dignitaries breaking down
segments of the wall, a live-feed of events between Los Angeles and Berlin,
a video-montage presentation, speeches and live music.
The second part of the art project, the ''Wall Along Wilshire“
features ten wall segments installed in front of 5900 Wilshire
as an outdoor gallery exhibition on view from October 17 through November 14.
Participating artists including Los Angeles' muralist Kent Twitchell, '
'Obama Hope'' graphic artist Shepard Fairey and Berlin-based muralist Thierry Noir.


November 7, 2009

Ambassador Ball Honoring Germany & The Fall of the Wall.

The Arizona Center for Germanic Cultures (AC4GC, Inc.) is proud to invite you
to join the Ambassadors' Ball 2009.
Location: Hyatt Regency Resort at Gainey Ranch, Scottsdale
www.consularcorpsfoundation.org or (480) 948 8348

November 9, 2009 – 7 PM

Author Daniel Jonah Goldhagen will discuss his latest book - Worse than War:
Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity . A screening of
excerpts from the new PBS documentary, based on his book, will also be shown.
Goldhagen, a former Associate Professor at Harvard University, is also the author
of the #1 international bestseller. Hitler's Willing Executioners.
Book signing to follow program.
Location: Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance,
9786 West Pico Boulevard
Information: 310-772-2527.
October 5 – November 30, 2009
Wende Flicks: Last Films from East Germany

”Wende Flicks” showcases six feature and two documentary films made by
East German filmmakers from 1988-1994. Most of these films were made by
the last generation of East German filmmakers, many of whom had not been
allowed to make their own films before, and all of whom trained at DEFA
(Deutsche Film Aktiengesellschaft), the state-run film production studio.
All films are in German with English subtitles.
Location: Goethe Instiut Washington DC
October 15 – November 10, 2009
Kids Euro Festival

This fall Washington once again hosts one of the country's largest performing arts
festivals for children, with more than 150 free events around the city. A project of
the 27 Washington-based European Union embassies and more than a dozen
major local cultural institutions.
For more information, click here
Link setzen zu:
Tuesday, November 10, 12 – 1:15 PM
Deutsch am Mittag (German at noon)

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Join us for monthly lunchtime gatherings of those
interested in hearing and speaking German. Each month, a special guest
will speak on a topic. Participants can bring their lunch and join in the ensuing
conversation. Led by Irmgard Wagner, professor emeritus of German at
George Mason University.
Sebastian Graefe (Heinrich Böll Foundation) will speak in German on
Leipzig Wendestadt: Before and After the Fall of the Wall.
Beverages and sweets are provided. Tickets: $6/$4
RSVP to Irmgard Wagner at
Location: Goethe Institut, 812 Seventh St. NW, Washington, DC

November 6, 2009

NOV 8: GREAT CHEFS OF LA Annual Culinary Benefit at CBS Studio Center (Featured Event)

Posted by Don Rose

(from Estarla.com - link below)

On Sunday, November 8 the National Kidney Foundation of Southern California will be holding their 23rd annual Great Chefs of L.A. at CBS Studio Center. The theme this year is “Go Green, Go Organic” and Neal Fraser (BLD, Grace), Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger (Border Grill, Ciudad) will be the “chefs of honor” for their culinary contributions to the L.A. scene and for their past work with the Kidney Foundation. Candace Kumai, The Stiletto Chef of TLC’s “Cook Yourself Thin,” will be emcee for this event and will also host the GCLA Webfire Challenge webisode series sponsored by 944 Magazine.

Other “great chefs” at the event include:

  • Adam Horton, Saddlepeak Lodge
  • Benjamin Ford, Ford’s Filling Station
  • Celestino Drago, Drago Restaurant, Enoteca Drago, Il Pastaio, Drago Centro
  • Govind Armstrong, 8 oz.
  • Jason Johnston, Dakota
  • Jorge Chicas, The Bazaar – SLS Hotel
  • Josie Le Balch, Josie Restaurant
  • Roberto Maggioni, Lago
  • Sam Marvin & Christopher Goossen, Bottega Louie Restaurant & Gourmet Market
  • Simon Dolinky, BLVD 16 at Hotel Palomar
  • Steven Fretz, XIV

  • There will be an eco-conscious lounge serving up eco-conscious cocktails with VeeV Açai Spirit and each guest will receive “SWAG bags” with SWAG worth $250 in value courtesy of 944 Mag and Get Hip Get Green.

    Sunday, November 8, 2009
    12 – 3:30 PM
    CBS Studio Center
    4024 Radford Dr.

    FILM/EVENT REVIEW: TRANSCENDENT MAN debuts at AFI Fest; star Ray Kurzweil speaks at Q&A

    by Don Rose

    If you are a futurist, rush to see this film. If you are interested in futurist ideas, rush to see this film. If you are human, rush to see this film. It may just point the way to our transhuman-posthuman-metahuman future, a future that has already begun...

    What is this movie, you ask? TRANSCENDENT MAN, which had its West Coast premiere October 5 at this year's AFI FEST. A packed house thoroughly enjoyed this provocative documentary; the free tickets may have helped sell out this and other AFI FEST films -- AFI made all films free this year -- but the real reason for the amazing turnout seemed to be a fascination with the bold ideas of the film's eternally optimistic star, inventor/futurist Ray Kurzweil.

    Transcendent Man is, at its heart, a Kurzweil biopic. Many wonderful clips and photos of Ray's life and achievements are presented, one of the best being his appearance on an old Steve Allen gameshow called "I've Got A Secret" (Ray's secret: the young boy had composed music on a computer - and we're talking an old mainframe behemoth with computing power that, as Ray points out in the film, now resides in our pockets). The brainiac boy would go on to invent the Kurzweil synthesizer that Stevie Wonder, among others, made into one of the most popular electronic instruments in history. (This synth, and other groundbreaking inventions such as Kurzweil's reading machine for the blind, made the man a millionaire many times over.)

    Many moving moments are spent talking about Ray's musical father, shedding light on Ray's upbringing while also leading us to realize that Ray hopes to bring him back one day. Creating an artificial version of his father, using future breakthroughs combined with the voluminous collection of paternal artifacts Ray has in storage, would be his ultimate invention. This seemingly fantastical goal shows that Ray's ideas are intertwined with an intensely personal quest. Kurzweil's predictions are not just hopeful theories for humanity in general but a set of ideas he hopes to incorporate into his own personal future.

    While telling Ray's story, the film also serves as a wonderful primer on major futurist ideas, especially in the area of "GNR" (genetics - nanotechnology - robotics). Transcendent Man is a must-see compilation of some of the most profound issues of our near (as well as far) future, told with wonderful visual style. At the core of this intellectual survey are Kurzweil's heady predictions, such as the eventual creation of more-powerful-than-human artificial intelligences (AIs) and immortality in the next two decades or so. Of course, the future is inherently uncertain, especially as you go further and further out in time, and thus there is much room for debate. Not everyone agrees with Kurzweil's rosy view of the future, and to its credit, this Transcendent documentary provides other viewpoints, some counter to Kurzweil's views. These alternate opinions help give depth to the discourse, and serve as warnings worth thinking about. For example, could our future technological advances lead to a Brave New World, or even a Slave New World (in which humans become subservient to the AIs we create)? Ray and others in his camp say we will not have to rage against the machine in a "Terminator"-type dystopia, because we will eventually merge with these coming superintelligent AIs. Thus, we will gradually become a race of metahumans, making the "us" versus "them" scenario of Ray's naysayers irrelevant.

    What about the ultimate superintelligence -- God? Religion is discussed at various points in the film, but my favorite point came, fittingly, at film's end, when Ray discusses how our ultimate future will see Intelligence spread everywhere, embedded in all corners of the Universe; this process will continue until the entire Universe "wakes up". This leads to the last line of the film where Kurzweil, commenting on whether God exists, says "not yet." The implication: God has yet to be created! Wouldn't it be the ultimate turn of events if God did not create mankind and the Universe we are in, but rather the Universe (with Man as its engine) will one day create God, in the form of a fully awake, aware, all-knowing Intelligent universe. God would thus be the ultimate crescendo of evolution. Heady stuff indeed!

    Thank God people are still making movies like this! Movies that make you think, presenting vital future-thinking issues that inform while simultaneously inspiring further investigation. Kudos to filmmaker Barry Ptolemy for creating such a thought-provoking film. After the screening, I was overcome with the urge to start Googling all the concepts presented in Ptolemy's doc. Thankfully, I resisted that urge so I could listen to the post-screening Q and A, during which Ptolemy and Kurzweil took questions from an AFI moderator and then the audience. It seemed like half the audience had their hands up. The film clearly grabbed everyone's imaginations; we all wanted to know more. The film not only makes hard concepts understandable but inspires viewers to learn more about the future and the technologies shaping it. Time to start Googling.....

    SUMMARY: TRANSCENDENT MAN made its west coast festival debut on November 5, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. at the American Film Institute's 2009 Film Festival at the Mann Chinese 6 Theatre in Hollywood. The feature-length documentary film by director Barry Ptolemy chronicles the life and controversial ideas of Ray Kurzweil, exploring the social and philosophical implications of the profound changes ahead and the potential threats they pose to human civilization, as well as the opportunities. The film has some elements reminiscent of "A Brief History of Time" and "An Inconvenient Truth" while incorporating many innovative ideas. Original music by Philip Glass. For more on Ray Kurzweil and AI, see www.KurzweilAI.net.