Showing posts with label Love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Love. Show all posts

April 23, 2020

Love Will Survive Despite a Lockdown Despite Age and Years


  MOLLEHUSVEJ BORDER CROSSING — She drives from the Danish side, in her Toyota Yaris.

He cycles from the German side, on his electric bike.
She brings the coffee and the table, he the chairs and the schnapps.

Then they sit down on either side of the border, a yard or two apart.
And that is how two octogenarian lovers have kept their romance alive despite the closure of the border that falls between his home in the very north of Germany and hers in the very south of Denmark.
Every day since the police shut the border to contain the virus, Karsten Tüchsen Hansen, an 89-year-old retired farmer, and Inga Rasmussen, an 85-year-old former caterer, have met at the Mollehusvej border crossing to chat, joke and drink, while maintaining a modicum of social distance.
Mr. Tüchsen Hansen, carrying a grand bouquet of flowers, was on his way to drop in unannounced on another elderly Danish widow he’d known for decades. But before he reached her house, he met Ms. Rasmussen as they both were in line at a strawberry stand beside a traffic circle.
Rather taken, he decided against visiting the first woman. Instead, Mr. Tüchsen Hansen impulsively gave the flowers to Ms. Rasmussen. He then invited her to dinner in Germany and the pair soon grew close, much to the surprise of Ms. Rasmussen’s three daughters.
“Never marry a German,” Ms. Rasmussen had often warned them as teenagers — not from xenophobia, but because she wanted them to live close to her home.

 The landscape near the border.Credit...Emile Ducke for The New York Times

The match was also surprising for more poignant reasons. Both had been widowed in recent years, after more than six decades of marriage for each, and both thought their days of companionship had ended. “I never dreamed this would happen,” Ms. Rasmussen said.

But against all expectations, Ms. Rasmussen began to visit Mr. Tüchsen Hansen every day, thanks to European regulations that had for years allowed free movement between countries like Denmark and Germany.

The pair typically cooked a daily meal together, chatting in a mixture of German and Danish. Then Ms. Rasmussen usually stayed overnight before returning to her own home in Denmark for a few hours the next morning.

That happy routine came to an abrupt halt on March 13, when the Danish government announced it would close its borders the next day to all but people traveling for work. Frightened she would be locked out of her homeland, Ms. Rasmussen hurried back to her house in Denmark, a 15-minute drive away.

Neither knew when they’d next hold the other’s hand.
But then they hatched a plan.

On a quiet lane that winds through the flat farmland between their two homes, a few hundred meters from where Mr. Tüchsen Hansen was born, the police blocked the road only with a flimsy plastic barrier. It’s about halfway between their two homes, so Ms. Rasmussen and Mr. Tüchsen Hansen have met there for a picnic every afternoon since the shutdown, usually at 3 p.m.
In gentle deference to medical advice, they try to avoid physical contact. “The worst thing is we can’t embrace each other,” Mr. Tüchsen Hansen said. “We can’t kiss. We can’t make love.”

But they have found other ways to show their affection.
Each day, Mr. Tüchsen Hansen brings Ms. Rasmussen a present. When I visited, it was a bottle of merlot (though Ms. Rasmussen drinks only coffee until the Toyota is safely parked back at home).
In return, Ms. Rasmussen brings biscuits, a cake and sometimes even a cooked lunch. “If there’s respect and acceptance, then sex is not so important,” Mr. Tüchsen Hansen declared.

The Danish police have threatened to fine them if they stray over the border, Mr. Tüchsen Hansen said.
But galvanized by the presence of a journalist, Mr. Tüchsen Hansen clambered past the plastic fence to point out an old border stone hidden in the bushes.
It was another moment of poignancy.
In the early 20th century, the border lay much further to the north. But in a plebiscite on March 14, 1920, the residents of what was then the northern tip of Germany voted to join Denmark. That decision shifted the border southward to this stretch of farmland — as denoted by the old stone in the bushes.
In 2001, that border effectively disappeared again, as Denmark joined a border-free zone within the European Union. But then on March 14, 2020, exactly 100 years after the plebiscite, the border barriers were erected once more.

“My parents saw when the stone was installed,” Mr. Tüchsen Hansen said. “Now I see these barriers go up.”

The Danish mayor of a nearby town, Henrik Frandsen, first noticed the couple’s routine.
Cycling along the border 10 days after it was closed, Mr. Frandsen struck up a conversation with them. Touched by their story, he later posted a picture of them on Facebook.

Within days, they had become regional celebrities, the focus of several reports in local newspapers and radio stations.
“I think it brings people some hope, a little bit of light in the darkness,” said Mr. Frandsen, who cycled over again to introduce me to the couple. “You have these elderly people who’ve found a way out.”
As a result, the couple’s picnic spot has become the site of a minor pilgrimage. Journalists and residents from both sides of the border visit the couple most afternoons. When I turned up, a German reporter was already there, and a Danish couple arrived soon after, delighted to find the story was true.

(A scene near the border this month.Credit...Emile Ducke for The New York Times)

But the couple has received one visitor with slightly more mixed feelings.
It was Kirsten Hansen, the woman to whom Mr. Tüchsen Hansen had originally planned to give the bouquet, two summers ago.

She had not known about Mr. Tüchsen Hansen’s amorous intentions: He did not tell her he had intended to visit, and in any case, he never turned up. She only learned about the near miss from the flurry of recent news coverage.

“Hey!” she said, laughing. “Those flowers were meant for me!”
Emile Ducke contributed reporting.

October 27, 2017

Colton Haynes and Evan Peters Burn The Screen with Their Lovemaking in 'Cult'

August 15, 2017

Tom Daley and Lance Black Share Their Wedding Photos a 22 and 42 Match!

This couple tells us once again their 20 year distance makes no difference between them but the chemistry and caring they feel for each other. When you love 💖another man all the sexual accents and beautiful words of Romeo and Juliott together with just the fluffing your lovers pillow at night fuses together a "loving 💘relationship" It will never be plain fields but hills, valleys and sometimes mountains to climb but the love can keep them together for 70 more years. Whatever the future hold for them, by the way they began this marriage teach a lesson to those of us that might forget what loving is, real💗 loving that is. It is better to have loved and failed to have never love.  
The experience is recommended to almost anyone. Nothing matters when real love💓 comes in thru the door, window or back door. Not the hair, age, height or color of the skin. All of a sudden all become beautiful and shinny because the impulses are not coming from the eyes but from 💕💕an internal fountain that flows when someone makes us laugh and cry and happy𞠒👬

 "I married the love of my life': Tom Daley, 22, gushes about new husband Dustin Lance Black, 42, as they share the first photos from their stunning castle wedding.

They vowed to spend the rest of their lives together in a lavish wedding ceremony at Bovey Castle, near Plymouth, Devon on Saturday.

November 30, 2015

Results Are in of Who is The Most Charitable Nation on Earth (US is not it but close)


And the winner for most charitable nation in the world is ... Myanmar. Coming in second: the United States.  (I remember Posting in 2011 about the US being no.1)

If you're scratching your head, one reason may be that the ranking confounds the common perception "that generosity and wealth are connected to one another," says Adam Pickering. He's the international policy manager of the London-based Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), which publishes the annual World Giving Index, now in its sixth year. Only five of the G20 countries appear in the top 20, he points out. So “even though you might think it would,” wealth does not necessarily translate into greater generosity. 

Another reason is that it's not the total amount of money given that the index is measuring. It's the act of giving itself, in the form of three specific charitable behaviors. The Gallup World Poll asked people from 145 countries: In the last month, have you donated money to a charity; volunteered time to an organization; helped a stranger or someone you didn't know who needed help? When the results to all three questions were averaged, Myanmar came out on top.

Still, why Myanmar? The answer lies in the strong influence of the particular form of Buddhism (called Theravada) practiced there, according to Paul Fuller, lecturer in Buddhist Studies at the University of Cardiff. Throughout the country, he explained in an email, "The notion of 'generating merit' is very pervasive." The belief is that whatever you do here, in this life, will have consequences for your next life, he explains. Thus, the more merit you acquire now, the more you increase your chances of your next life being a good one.

Acquiring merit in different ways — such as meditation or ethical acts — is important in all forms of Buddhism. But in Myanmar, special emphasis is placed on acts of giving. And the most common manifestation is making daily offerings of alms or food to monks — so much so that they have become what Fuller calls "an essential religious practice."

May Oo Lwin, who is originally from Myanmar and visits there frequently with her husband, Paul Fuller, says, "'There's a strong culture of giving, not necessarily an obligation but more like giving what one can possibly contribute to those in need. It doesn't have to be big but something meaningful and something you could do to help a bit. In that way, you are doing a good deed, [you] generate some merit as a family and making [the recipients] happy brings happiness to you as well."
Myanmar Is Also Known As Burma, But We Won't Keep Repeating That
For example, when Lwin and Fuller visited Myanmar in April, they made a point of going to an orphanage that cared for children who had lost their mothers to AIDS and made an offering of several hundred dollars. "I wanted to do something nice and meaningful as a family as we have never done it before," Lwin wrote in an email. "I thought of our children who are so lucky compared to those children who are being deprived of so many things."

This tradition of giving can be traced through the country's art, says Catherine Raymond, associate professor, Southeast Asian Art and Director, Center for Burma Studies at Northern Illinois University. "Religion and culture are intertwined there," she says — evident in the inscriptions of donations recorded at the entrances to temples dating back to the 11th century. "In Buddhism, there is the notion of dana, which means giving." It means you "give rice to the monks who come to your door every morning. Or you bring some food to the monastery, or you sponsor a young kid who will come to the monastery, or you build a religious structure or you donate a painting” to it. 

As impressive as this tradition is, in more recent decades, Myanmar has become associated with the repressive military rule that ended only in 2011. And yet this strife may also have served, in a counterintuitive way, to solidify the culture of giving. According to Jenna Capeci, who has worked on projects in Myanmar as director of Civil and Political Rights at American Jewish World Service, the turmoil "has done more to reinforce this culture of charity and resilience because the people could not count on the military junta or local authorities to provide anything for the community."

Billie Goodman, who has also worked on Myanmar projects for AJWS, notes that "generations have grown up in the last decades seeing a government that does not provide services or take care of them." As a result, "what emerged is an incredible resilience and an incredible need to take care of each other."

Her examples are myriad. "If you need a road in a rural area, the government is not going to provide it. But you can get together with your neighbors to build it. Education is another example where in a lot of rural areas and ethnic minority areas the schools that exist have been built by community members, who have contributed money to pay for the teachers salaries, they have themselves built the structures, and they are the ones who are doing this. It has been necessary for people to survive, really."

It’s an example of solidarity in crisis — and in giving.

June 8, 2015

Money Can’t Buy You Love but Old Age Probably Can


From Socrates to George Carlin, people have pontificated on the essence of happiness for centuries. Theories on happiness not only vary widely—they often conflict directly. Consider the credo of unknown providence: “Money can’t buy happiness.” Jane Austen would disagree: “A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of,” she wrote in Mansfield Park.
But who’s to really know the most essential ingredients of happiness? There may be one way: by providing a mathematical answer.
Since January 2013, CivicScience has polled 262,674 US consumers, asking them: “How happy are you today: Very Happy, Happy, So-So, Unhappy, or Very Unhappy?” The good news is that overall all, people are six times more likely to be happy than to be unhappy.
These people also answered combinations of other questions about their gender, age, and thousands other possible characteristics of their lifestyle, media consumption, and more. We then ranked those attributes based on happiness levels.
Much of the results won’t shock you. Wealth is closely correlated with happiness, as is being healthy. Women are slightly more likely than men to say that they are happy. Morning people are happier, as are outgoing people. However, those who follow certain sports less closely than others are happier. Other findings are quite surprising: Using Pinterest weekly makes people 14 times happier than unhappy, and so does using Facebook monthly; getting over CrossFit brings a 17 times happy-to-unhappy ratio, and checking Linkedin monthly 18 times.
Question (and answer)Happy-to-unhappy multiple
When you splurge on yourself, what do you purchase? (Jewelry)23 times
What type of car do you primarily drive? (Crossover)22 times
How happy are you in your current job? (Very happy)21 times
How often do you use the social media site LinkedIn? (Monthly)18 times
How often do you eat at upscale restaurants? (Few times a month)17 times
Have you tried CrossFit as a method of exercise? (Yes, but I’m not a big fan)17 times
How often do you make purchases on your tablet? (Very frequently)15 times
Which of these is most important when buying a car? (Technology)15 times
How many American states have you been to? (31 to 40)15 times
How often do you review or manage your retirement savings accounts? (Monthly)15 times
How closely to you follow NCAA football (college football)? (A little)15 times
How much do you donate annually to environment/animal non-profits? ($500-$1,000)14 times
Which reason best explains why you don’t eat healthier? (I do eat healthy)14 times
How often do you visit State or National Parks? (A few times a month)14 times
To what broad age group do you belong? (65 or older)14 times
How often do you use Pinterest? (Weekly)14 times
How often do you do volunteer work? (Once a month or more)14 times
How often do you use the social media site/app Facebook? (Monthly)14 times
How often do you visit the site/app YouTube? (Several times a year)14 times
How closely do you follow MLB (Major League Baseball)? (Hardly at all)14 times
Here is, in the words of some masters, a look at some of the highest-ranking happiness factors more in detail:

Age: “There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.” (Victor Hugo)

It’s easy to envy young people. Many are healthy, active, and relatively unburdened, but all of that apparently does not guarantee happiness. Beginning with 30 to 34 year-olds, every age group gets progressively happier than the general population, peaking among those aged 65 and older, who are 14 times as likely to be happy than unhappy (67% vs. 5%). Among those under age 18, 13% are unhappy compared to 9% of the total general population.

Wealth: “Money may not buy happiness, but I’d rather cry in a Jaguar than on a bus.” (Françoise Sagan)

Few things in the database are more directly correlated with overall happiness than questions about financial status. The number one question in terms of differentiating between happy and unhappy people was: “When you ‘splurge’ on yourself, what do you purchase?” Jewelry was the answer, with 23 times more happy people than unhappy answering that way. Other top attributes in the wealth category for happier people is eating at upscale restaurants several times a week; making frequent purchases on their tablet computer; and regularly managing their retirement accounts. Looking at annual household income, the multiple of happy-to-unhappy people increases as earnings increase—peaking in the $100,000 to $125,000 group where the number of happy people are 12 times that of unhappy people. From there, the multiple starts to drop down, to 11 times among those making $125,000 to $150,000, then to seven times among those making north of $150,000. Too much wealth may have diminishing returns.

Beauty: “Happy girls are the prettiest.” (Audrey Hepburn)

Ms. Hepburn may have been on to something, although this could also be a chicken-egg situation: Does being happy make you feel more attractive, or does feeling attractive make you happier? Let’s look at the question: “Would you say that you are more or less physically attractive than most people your age and gender?” Those who believe they are “much more physically attractive” are nine times more likely to be happy than unhappy. Conversely, those who say they are “much less physically attractive” are only twice as likely to be unhappy overall (reminder: the general population is six times happier than unhappy). However, the more humble answer groups of “somewhat more physically attractive” and “I’m about average” rated the highest among these answers, with 10 times more happy people. Self-confidence combined with a degree of humility seems to be the ideal mix.

Work: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” (Anonymous)

Whether it was Confucius or just another wise person who said it, this nails it. Two of the top-ranking attributes for happiness pertain to employment and job satisfaction. People who are “very happy” in their current job are 21 times more likely to be generally happy than unhappy. Contrast that to those who are “very unhappy” in their job and they are only twice as likely to be happy overall. Unhappy workers’ happiness levels are 32% lower than the general population. Looking at “happy” answer counts alone among people who are unemployed (which does not include retirees and homemakers) 42% are happy overall. That’s far less than those who are employed (61% of whom are happy) but still higher than those employed and not liking it, of which only 37% are happy. So, it may be worse to work in a job you hate than to be unemployed.

Relationships: “Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.” (Charlotte Brontë)

While not on the top of the list, marital status and parental status still rank in the top quartile of attributes associated with happiness. A previous CivicScience study has already shown that people with kids are happier, in aggregate, than people without kids—despite a lot of indications to the contrary. Similarly, currently married people are 13 times more likely to be happy than unhappy. In the “Better to Have Loved and Lost Department,” even widowed and divorced people are more likely to be happy vs. unhappy than single-never married people and those who are in limbo (separated). Also, the sharing nature of social media sites correlated with happiness in this way: Using such sites regularly but not obsessively meant higher happiness levels overall. Those who spend more than four hours on social media per day are more likely to be less happy, so too much sharing (or the consumption of what others share) may be a bad thing.

Health: “To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” (Buddha)

Numerous questions related to physical and emotional health can be found on our list. For instance, those who say they eat healthy are 14 times more likely to be happy. Other top attributes: Those who say “I’m very healthy” overall are 11 times more likely to be happy than unhappy, while those who say “I’m not very healthy at all right now” are only 2 times more likely to be happy.Those who exercise several times a week are 11 times more likely to be happy than unhappy.

Pets: “Happiness is a warm puppy.” (Charles M. Schulz)

It wasn’t a top attribute but the Peanuts creator’s quote was too fun to pass up. Indeed, our data shows that Dog People are nine times more likely to be happy compared to six times among Cat People. In a related question about the types of pets present in the home, we find that the having any cat in the home indicates a skew towards unhappiness.

Nature: “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’” (Sylvia Plath)

Ms. Plath may be better remembered for unhappiness than happiness, but her quote showcases one final notable theme we see in the top attributes for happiness, which is in the area of travel, nature, and exploration. Those who have visited 31 to 40 American states are 15 times more likely to be happy than unhappy. Those who drive a Crossover type of vehicle, possibly to help them explore more places, are a whopping 22 times more likely to be happy than unhappy. We also observe a high lift in happy people among those who like to visit State or National Parks, who travel overseas, and who try to adjust their lifestyle to fit the environment every chance they get.

April 26, 2015

Finding Love Behind Jail Bars

Bonnie Lanz wakes up every morning at 5, puts on a pot of coffee and sits down to write a letter. Six hours north, her boyfriend follows a similar routine. The only difference? He’s locked in a cell at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison. 
Lanz, the business manager at a Harley-Davidson shop in Vacaville, California, was 47 the first time she wrote to an inmate. She’d been married once and raised three kids, had no intention of getting involved romantically and was writing for altruistic reasons. Yet a year and a half later, she’s making the 368-mile drive every Friday night so she can spend the weekend with her sweetie, even if it’s just playing Scrabble in a cold, crowded prison visiting room.

It’s no secret that more and more people are hooking up and getting married through dating sites. But it’s turning out that people behind bars — and those outside them — are using prison pen pal sites, featuring thousands of photos of tattooed inmates, to connect. And the farther you get from the U.S., where prisons are less than receptive to the concept, the hotter the trend. In Denmark, for instance, a prison recently allowed inmates to launch their own dating site, on the theory that it’ll help men adjust more easily when they get out, while co-ed prisons in Spain permit both populations to date and have weekly conjugal visits, which studies have shown can improve the mental health of prisoners.

Many people, from prison officials to legislators, object to the idea of promoting romance behind bars because it makes incarceration less punitive and too much like normal life. And some advocacy groups worry that the partners on the outside are being lured into the prison world at a vulnerable or potentially damaging period in their lives. But a growing body of experts says that the stigma surrounding this world is off-kilter, and that prison relationships can be deeper than a so-called bad-boy syndrome.  

In fact, mounting evidence suggests these affairs can actually be remedial. A federal study released in 2009 showed that prisoners in serious relationships are half as likely as their single counterparts or those in casual commitments to report committing a new crime or using drugs once they’re out. The Minnesota Department of Corrections has also revealed that inmates whom are visited regularly are 13 percent less likely to re-offend after release. “When you have something to lose, you’re going to be more likely to protect that,” says Rodrigo González, a professor who’s studied Spain’s approach to inmate relationships.

People behind bars —
and those outside them — are using prison pen pal sites, featuring thousands of photos of tattooed 
inmates, to connect.
Still, the U.S. has a long way to go before giving its blessing to this type of love story. Many prisons restrict inmate access to the Internet, forcing friends and relatives to create their profiles and send all correspondence through snail mail. And just four states currently allow a conjugal rendezvous, a sharp drop from 10 years ago, and more are phasing out face-to-face visits — reducing communication to spotty or delayed video chats.

In Lanz’s case, she used to find Gregg Farris, 46, who had been in prison for almost two decades for three nonviolent felonies, including a bank robbery, committed in his 20s. Back when they first started talking, he’d been sent to solitary confinement and their only encounters took place on opposite sides of a thick slab of glass. But looking forward to their visits now, when they’re free to touch and hug, has been Farris’ motivation to keep out of trouble, according to Lanz.

As stories like theirs circulate through Facebook groups and reality TV shows (Lifetime’s Prison Wives Club, for one, which debuted in October), the list of pen pal websites has sprouted from a handful to upward of 30. With names like, Friends Beyond the Wall and Inmate-Connection, these platforms — which typically charge $35 to $50 a year — post inmates’ bios and photos, and outsiders search using qualifiers like race, age and even death row status.

Sites differ primarily by the number of profiles they boast. (the second-most popular after Meet-an-Inmate, according to Alexa’s traffic rankings) reports 5,000 visitors a day and was among the very first when Adam Lovell started it 15 years ago. “It was never set up to be a dating service,” he says, “but it’s changed as more and more people are finding romance on it now.”

Like any love story, though, it’s not all sweet. Male inmates tend to target women showing signs of low self-esteem or emotional damage, and “are very manipulative and prey on weakness,” warns Michael Alexander, a management professor at Colorado Tech and retired corrections exec who studies prisoner relationships. In other cases, a woman may have a need to play the nurturer or gravitate toward emotionally abusive relationships (without the worry of physical torment).

Lanz says that being forced to build intimacy through communication alone — no sex, in other words — has “given me something I’ve never had.” And while Farris is serving a life sentence, that could change if California restructures its penal system to do away with the three strikes law. But for now, each night after coming home from work, she’ll check the mailbox



October 27, 2013

The Collection of Love Stories by LGTB RussianWriters Called “Propaganda” is Called “Propaganda” by Government

The Moscow Times
In the tradition of the Soviet samizdat (self-publication) and in defiance of Russia’s ban on "gay propaganda," a collection of love stories by LGBT Russian writers, titled "Gay Propaganda", was announced Thursday.

The book, edited by journalist and author Masha Gessen and writer Joseph Huff-Hannon, “will be distributed within Russia via underground activist networks," publishers OR Books said in a press release Thursday.

The “collection of stories, interviews and testimonial about the lives and loves of LGBT Russians living both in Russia and in exile today" was timed to come out just ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, the statement said.

Russia's "gay propaganda" law, signed by President Vladimir Putin in July, has drawn criticism from scores of celebrities — including Madonna, Lady Gaga, Elton John and Mikhail Baryshnikov. The law imposes heavy fines on those convicted of promoting “non-traditional relations" toward minors and also prescribes deportation for foreigners who are found guilty.

Published abroad, the new collection of stories is presented in both Russian and English, and will also be available as a free Russian-language e-book. Publishers said they wanted to "smuggle" as many copies of the paper version into Russia as possible.
Like some of the authors and characters in the book, Gessen, a mother of two, who is openly lesbian and a gay rights activist, said she was abandoning her home in Russia because of the country’s anti-gay laws, including a proposed bill to remove children from the custody of gay parents.

More on the book from the West Perspective:

Earlier this summer, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new law making it illegal for adults to discuss LGBT issues with minors, calling it “homosexual propaganda.” So basically, a parent can no longer say to their child “It’s okay to be gay” without the threat of being fined and jailed. Lovely.
Still, there’s no stopping Russian author Daria Wilke from releasing her gay-themed children’s book.
Wilke’s new book The Jester’s Cap tells the story of a 14-year-old boy named Grisha, who lives and works in a puppet theater with his family and an older friend, Sam, who is gay.
Sounds pretty innocent to us.
Wilke grew up in Russia but emigrated from Moscow 13 years ago. Today she is a Russian professor at the University of Vienna in Austria.
In an interview with the Atlantic, Wilke said: “I wrote [the book] a year and a half ago, and the publisher was weighing when to release it. But when these strange laws were being released — first the local anti-gay laws in various cities, then the broader one that passed just last month — eventually the publisher realized that if we didn’t release the book now, we might never be able to. Because of these laws, in many bookstores, it has an “18+” stamp.”
An “18+” stamp on a book written for middle schoolers about a boy who plays with puppets?
Wilke says she hasn’t heard from the Russian government about the book… yet.
“I haven’t had any bad reactions from the government,” she told the Atlantic, “but then again, the book has only been out for a month.”
Here’s hoping Putin and his cronies have bigger fish to fry than trying to extradite a YA author living in Austria back to Russia to charge her with spreading homosexual propaganda to youth. Austria is hardly going to let that happen. But then again, we wouldn’t be surprised if Putin still tried


February 15, 2013

EHarmony an Idea Made in Codes and Homophobia


(screen cap)

“I have said that eHarmony really ought to put up $10 million and ask other companies to put up money and do a really first class job of figuring out homosexuality. At the very best, it’s been a painful way for a lot of people to have to live. But at this point, at this age, I want America to start drawing together. I want it to be more harmonious.” The man is highly anti gay and believe is a disease that can be cured if every body puts it’s minds and money to together for a cure.
The video is part of CNBC’s “Off the Cuff” series, which is billed as a chance for viewers to get to know corporate executives “outside the boardroom,” and is presented as a monologue, sans interviewer questions.
And while eHarmony has been sued in the past for discriminating against gay users, it’s hard to what kind of “figuring out” Mr. Warren is proposing. An attempt to build a better gay dating site? An initiative to deprogram those people once and for all? Something having to do with robots?
EHarmony Inc., the operator of a website designed to help guide singles into happy marriages, is ending some relationships of its own.
At age 78, Neil Clark Warren, who founded the company 12 years ago, is taking back control. Since becoming chief executive officer in July after a series of CEO changes, he’s fired 100 people, cut the board from nine to two and bought back stock from Sequoia Capital and Technology Crossover Ventures, which invested $110 million in 2004.  
By Patrick Clark
~~~~~~Bloomberg Media:
At age 78, Neil Clark Warren, who founded the company 12 years ago, is taking back control. Since becoming chief executive officer in July after a series of CEO changes, he’s fired 100 people, cut the board from nine to two and bought back stock from Sequoia Capital and Technology Crossover Ventures, which invested $110 million in 2004.
{Sales growth has slowed from 16 percent in 2008 to 6.3 percent in 2010 and an estimated 3.8 percent this year to $275 million, according to IBISWorld. EHarmony doesn’t disclose its finances.}
An initial public offering, which had been expected in 2010, is now off the table and Warren said in an interview he has no interest in selling the Santa Monica, California-based company. Instead, the trained theologian and psychologist will spend next year building EHarmony’s portfolio to add services that help people find the right job, understand themselves and build relationships to reduce loneliness. Gone from the company are the business degrees, and in are social scientists.
“Building a relationship business is so different from trying to build something with machines or widgets,” said Warren, who’s been chairman of EHarmony’s board from the beginning. “To put it in the hands of people that only want to look at it as a source of business success, revenue success doesn’t make sense anymore.”
Not that Warren views EHarmony and its $60 monthly subscriptions as a nonprofit. If run correctly, he says the company can be worth $1 billion in two years and $5 billion in five years. With 14 percent of the U.S. dating-services market, the company trails onlyIAC/InterActiveCorp, (IACI) parent of, which has 24 percent, according to industry researcher IBISWorld.
Warren at 78 now has control and ownership of EHarmony, and he plans to stick around for at least  five years. That’s how much time he has to build a $5 billion company with an unconventional approach. He’s confident he can do it.
NYT: According to psychologists at eHarmony, an online company that claims its computerized algorithms will help match you with a “soul mate.” But this claim was criticized in a psychology journal last year by a team of academic researchers, who concluded that “no compelling evidence supports matching sites’ claims that mathematical algorithms work.”
Adam Gonzalez on this blog:  The man (Neil Clark) has a strong point in the way he gets couples' together.  It’s a mash up of what is offered today by any other dating company plus the ex Revered Moon norma, in which couples meet the day they are to get married and not know each other before (I said the idea). In this company couple seekers are not aloud to do the searchers themselves, EHarmony gets them together, they do the searching and matching. The love seekers do the $paying$ and giving out his/hers information. Maybe that is the secret. Sometimes we don’t know what is good for us. Sometimes we are afraid to be honest. We need a match maker like in the Yiddish tradition. How do you explain a person who everyone considers a good catch with all the looks one can wish for coupled with a cousin of Notre Dame’s infamous man of the bells? It happens all the time.
 Where they(EHarmony) went array is when they mixed it up with religion and the bia’s that religion has ingrained in it’s self otherwise it wouldn’t be a religion. What I mean is, in known religions there is always is got to be them and us, good and bad and nothing in between. When you tell millions you wont serve them because they are sick and don’t deserve in that condition to be coupled you are going to the deep ends. Another good idea thought out by a charlatan like Neil Clark is certainly has the traits of a Henry Ford who built the model T and started the factory idea of the past generation by one person screwing the same nut over and over until they went mad. This little part of the assembly doing the same thing over and over again and today having computers taking over the men and women.  Henry Ford can be called the father of the industrial revolution. Yet he was a very ugly individual in admiration with the political idea of Narcism (Nazis) and other not noble ideas.  He never gave importance to the single individual but the combine effort of the many ( You could call it communism almost except he was a capitalist the one not to share unless it has many returns).
EHarmony a good idea of having the match made in codes thought of by a bigot and homophobe not by a Gandhi. 

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