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Member Since: December 9, 2014



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Nathaniel is the owner of Dobra Tea in Pittsburgh, PA, and the Vice President of Marketing for Blupela. He is a graduate of Central Catholic High School (Pittsburgh, PA) and the University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI).

What would you do to change the world?

Create an arcology.

This is a place to sing your song and let your voice be heard. Define Coo

coo - verb

  1. To make a soft murmuring sound, as a pigeon.
  2. Speak softly or lovingly;
    The mother who held her baby was cooing softly
  3. To speak in an admiring fashion, to be enthusiastic about.
  4. To show affection; to act in a loving way.

coo - noun

  1. The murmuring sound made by a dove or pigeon.

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Nate check out my pic

Apr 19, 2015 @ 03:37pm

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Culinary Mindfulness with Sean Brock

Nathaniel Pantalone
Sean Brock, now a famous chef best known for his restaurant Husk and his part on The Mind of a Chef, wasn't always in the spotlight. He was born and raised in rural Virginia where he first learned his love of cooking.
“This was a coal-field town with no restaurants or stoplights,” he explains. “You grew and cooked everything you ate, so I really saw food in its true form. You cook all day, and when you’re not cooking, you’re preserving. If you were eating, you were eating food from the garden or the basement–it’s a way of life.”
His passion for flavor and cooking techniques has manifested itself in his cooking and in every aspect of his life. Sean keeps old preserving traditions alive while finding new and interesting ways to apply them to food. For example, he sues his grandmother's 40 year old vinegar mother when pickling or creating new vinegar. He also is a large part of the heirloom seed movement, which is trying to keep genetic diversity alive in our crops and our grocery store. Crops like James Island Red Corn, Benne Seed, Flint Corn, Rice Peas, several varieties of Farro, and Sea Island Red Peas are found in his garden.
Sean is adamant that a corn like James Island Red, aka Jimmy Red, makes a better bowl of grits. He is probably right, and if you go to Husk, you can see for yourself!

Votes2 DateOct 1, 2015

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Removing Racism: Mixing Paints vs. One-drop Rule

Nathaniel Pantalone
When a painter is mixing paints on their palette, they create different shades using more basic paints. Red and white become pink, yellow and red become orange, white and black become grey. Grey is not black or white; it is a different color. Orange is neither red nor yellow. This is commonly understood, right? So why is it when a person is a mixed race they are still referred to by one color?
Black + White = Black
What? Why is it that when a black person and a white person have a baby, that baby is then referred to as black? Aren’t they also white? This happens all the time in our culture, and really it only seems to happen to people with black ancestry. Someone who is half Chinese and half white might be called Asian, but they also might be called white. Half Arabic and half white might be called Italian! (That’s a joke) But in all seriousness, why is it that when black people and white people have babies that they are called black?
It’s called the “One-drop Rule,” and it was adopted into law in some states in the past as a means to discriminate against and segregate anyone of Sub-Saharan African descent. Basically if you had “one drop” of black ancestry, you were designated 100% black. Laws like this actually go back to 15th century Europe, like in Spain, where they had the Limpieza de sangre, “cleanliness of blood,” which forced people to show and document their good Iberian Christian ancestry. The Jews and Muslims were not welcome. Protestants didn’t exist yet, but they probably wouldn’t have been welcome either!
Of anyone in the U.S. that is white, how many can accurately trace their heritage to prove their 100% whiteness? Also, keep in mind that if you’re Irish, you’re not white. Oh you’re surprised? The Irish were persecuted for the better part of the 19th century. They were called monkeys, alcoholics, and an inferior race. Worst of all they were Catholics! (Another joke) The only 100% real whiteys are Anglo-Saxons which actually came from Germany. But how could that race have stayed pure for hundreds of years? Especially with all the wars going on, all those French nearby, and all the trade throughout Europe. The answer is that they really couldn’t. The “White” race is about as muddled as you can find. That’s a good thing.
Black + White = Grey
Genetic diversity is a good thing. Not only is mixing races inevitable, it is also a great thing for our species. Genetic diversity reduces the risk of genetic diseases related to multiple recessive genes that can be perpetuated more easily within smaller genetic groups (races). It’s like painting a picture; if you use monotones, it’s going to be boring (like modern art, ha). If you use every color on the palette, you’re going to have an interesting painting. Right now, with the help of globalization, the human race is starting to paint its masterpiece.
Written by Nathaniel Pantalone, VP of Marketing for OWB LLC

Votes1 DateMay 21, 2015

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Removing Transphobia: Everyday Speech

Nathaniel Pantalone
It is common practice in the service industry when talking to guests to address them with friendliness and respect. “Sir” and “Ma’am” (abbr. of Madam) are commonly used, as is “Miss.” However, we are now dealing with a change in our culture that makes gender-specific language more troublesome to use regularly--not just in the service industry but also in everyday speech. This cultural change is the increasing abundance and acceptance of trans people. Trans people who have struggled or still struggle with gender identity often specifically identify as either gender or neither gender. How does one identify as neither gender?
The third gender
When referring to a person in the third person, when storytelling and the like, we use words like “he,” “she,” and “they.” The simplest explanation of how someone identifies as neither gender is that they want to be called “they” instead of “he” or “she.” But what do we call them when we want to be respectful? “Sir” or “madam” doesn’t apply. To the extent of the author’s knowledge, there is no word in the English language that is both gender-neutral and respectful. We invent words all the time. Why can’t we invent one more?
The need for gender neutral
Why do we need a respectful and gender neutral word? A trans person is someone who has struggled with gender identity. For them, their gender and gender identity are one of the most important things in their lives. Whether they are a biological man who feels like a woman or a biological woman who feels like a man, they can feel trapped until they change their body or image. Acceptance of their new gender and identity is extremely important. Because it is hard to know how someone identifies until you know the person well, having a gender neutral term would be useful in respectfully addressing any person.
Besides the fact that it can help someone’s self-image and identity, it would be useful to servers and others in the service industry. At this time the only term that can be used to address large groups that is somewhat gender neutral is “guys.” The best word for addressing an individual is “you.” This is because using “sir” or “ma’am” can (and has) lead to insulting someone’s identity. As any server can tell you, the last thing they ever want to do is insult a guest. Having a gender neutral “sir” would not only give trans people respect in a way that doesn’t insult their identity, but it would also help servers properly address their customers.
Please, someone give us a gender neutral word like “sir” or “ma’am.”
For more information on trans etiquette, visit this website .
Written by Nathaniel Pantalone, VP of Marketing for OWB LLC

Votes1 DateApr 28, 2015

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Removing Racism: Everyday Speech

Nathaniel Pantalone
What do you call yourself? How do you see yourself? Do you say, "I'm just a white guy"? "I'm just a black woman"?
A problem with our everyday speech is that too often we must describe other people, and in doing so, we usually add racial descriptors.
If you are white, how often have you heard your white friends or family specifically mention that someone is black when telling a story where that detail is irrelevant? Here are some examples:
"The black cashier at the store helped carry the groceries for the old lady." What race is the old lady? Is she black? Is it implied that she is white? Why does it matter to the story?
"The cashier at the store helped carry the groceries for the old black lady." How is this version of the story different?
"The cashier at the store helped carry the groceries for the old lady." No racial modifiers here. Isn't this version just as accurate as the others? Why do we rely on racial descriptors when telling stories? Particularly when they involve non-white people.
"I'm just a white guy."
Who would say, "I'm just a white guy"?
The truth is: no one.
Why? Because we white guys are all pretty different. We have different hobbies. We like different foods. We work in different environments. We listen to different music.
Who would say, "I'm just a black guy"?
No one.
Why? Again, because we're all different.
Let me tell you a story:
A person walks into a restaurant. They sit and order the lunch special. The chef accidentally forgets to add the special sauce, and the customer is furious. The customer proceeds to begin a shouting match with the server who finally tells the chef about the mistake. The chef apologizes to the customer, offers a free meal, but the customer is adamant that they will not return.
Now what if we add racial modifiers? Use your imagination:
A ______ person walks into a restaurant. They sit and order the lunch special. The _______ chef accidentally forgets to add the special sauce, and the _______ customer is furious. The _______ customer proceeds to begin a shouting match with the _______ server who finally tells the _______ chef about the mistake. The _______ chef apologizes to the _______ customer, offers a free meal, but the _______ customer is adamant that they will not return.
The racial adjectives and descriptors don't add anything to the story other than to reinforce an antiquated notion that all members of a race are the same. They aren't. Are you "just a ______ guy or gal"?
"It's not simply a black and white issue."
It's not simply a black and white issue. African, Asian, Australian, European, North American, South American, we're all different, even peoples from the same continent. Germans can tell themselves apart from Italians. Japanese can distinguish themselves from Chinese. Mostly. Because human history includes many examples of cultural and genetic bleed across borders including trade, war, and exploration. People cans still tell themselves apart, but differences are primarily cultural and genetic (visually, phenotypically). These differences still do not fully describe a person. They do not distinguish a person from the culture. And phenotype doesn't make a person mutually inclusive or exclusive from a culture.
We perceive people from other cultures as inherently different from ourselves. The differences are cultural, not racial. Food is just one example of a cultural difference that could be (and is) racially stereotyped. Americans are born and raised eating American food. Chinese are born and raised eating Chinese food. Africans are born and raised eating African food. Who doesn’t love their native or childhood foods? But when you try food from another place, it can be appetizing too. Americans eat Chinese food all the time. Does food make us different?

The visual genetic differences are relics from our culturally isolated past. Because of globalization, visual differences and cultural differences are no longer mutually inclusive. This is most apparent in America where so many different types of people share their cultural heritage. What would you call an American man with Asian heritage who loves to hunt and eat bratwurst? Is he just an Asian guy? He is an American. And moreover he’s an interesting person. When we resort to purely visual labeling, we lose out on the nuances that really define a person. What are their interests, their goals, their passions, their struggles, their vices, their morals? Individual answers to these questions are more defining of a person than their skin color.
"When we resort to purely visual labeling, we lose out on the nuances that really define a person."
When you ignore the cultural influences such as food, clothing, and language, the basic differences fade away. Our morals are fairly similar—the major religions share very similar moral codes. Our vices are nearly universal—smoking, drinking, sex, and so on. Our struggles keep us fighting and working for a better life for ourselves and our children. Our passions and faith keep us going when the burden is too much to bear. Our goals keep us focused on what is most important. Our interests make us interesting. In the end, we are not all that different.
To combat racism, one of the biggest things we can do is to skip the racial descriptors. Just call them a guy, or gal, or person. Because we are all part of the human race.
"the human race."
The author is just a white guy.
Written by Nathaniel Pantalone, VP of Marketing for OWB LLC

Votes8 DateApr 10, 2015

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Jane Goodall

Nathaniel Pantalone
Jane Goodall is a noted humanitarian, environmentalist, and has spent many years observing the behavior of Chimpanzees in their native habitat.
“Chimpanzees have given me so much. The long hours spent with them in the forest have enriched my life beyond measure. What I have learned from them has shaped my understanding of human behavior, of our place in nature.”
– Jane Goodall
Short Biography Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall was born on, 3rd April, 1934 in London, England. Her childhood ambition was to spend time with animals in the wild. In particular, she was drawn to the African continent and the dream of seeing wild animals in their native habitat. It was an unusual ambition for a girl at the time, but it was an ambition supported by her parents, especially her mother. After the war, Jane left school and found work as a secretary at Oxford University. In 1956, Jane, jumped at the opportunity to travel to a friend’s farm in Kenya.
It was here in Kenya that Jane met the famous anthropologist and paleontologist, Dr. Louis S.B. Leakey. Leakey was impressed with Jane’s enthusiasm and knowledge of Africa and wildlife. As a result, he decided to take Jane to Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania on a fossil-hunting expedition.
In 1960, Leakey and Jane began an important study of wild chimpanzees by Lake Tanganyika in the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee reserve.
With great patience and perseverance, the chimpanzee’s slowly revealed some fascinating habits to the group. These included meat eating – (Chimpanzees had assumed to be vegetarian). Also, Jane saw Chimpanzees making a ‘tool’ out of tree bark to use when extracting termites. This was an important discovery because at the time, it was assumed only humans made tools. As Jane’s companion, Louis Leakey said at the time:
“Now we must redefine tool, redefine Man, or accept chimpanzees as humans.”
The study of chimpanzees in their native habit was a ground breaking event, leading to many new observations. It let to Jane’s first article published in National Geographic 1963 “My Life Among Wild Chimpanzees.” Some aspects of the study were criticized, for example, Jane’s decision to give the Chimpanzees names rather than numbers. Also, some feared her decision to feed the animals may have distorted their behavior and made them more aggressive. But, other studies had similar effects. After her study, she was invited to participate in a phD program at Cambridge University – an unusual occurrence for someone without a degree. She earned a doctorate in ethology from Darwin College, the University of Cambridge, in 1964.
In 1977, Jane set up the Jane Goodall Institute which promotes initiatives to look after Chimpanzees and their environment. The institute has many local networks and programs such as Roots and Shoots which have over 10,000 groups in 100 countries.
“The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves. “
– Jane Goodall
In the past few decades, Jane has been increasingly concerned about the damage to the environment, which is especially a problem in Congo and West Africa. Since then she has devoted her time to campaigning and acting as an advocate for environmental charities and concerns. She has an exhaustive traveling schedule and speaks on average 300 times a day, encouraging people to do what they can to create a better world.
For her humanitarian work and environmental charities she has received numerous awards including being made a Dame of the British Empire, on February 20th, 2004; and in 2002, she was made a United Nations Messenger of Peace by UN secretary general, Kofi Annan.
She married twice and had a son Hugu Eric Louis ‘grub’ with her first husband Baron Hugo van Lawick. Her second husband was Derek Bryceson, who died of cancer in 1980.
[Source: http://www.biographyonline.net/humanitarian/jane-goodall.html Retrieved 2/2/2015
Citation : Pettinger, Tejvan. “Biography of Jane Goodall”, Oxford, www.biographyonline.net , 28th Dec. 2010]

Votes3 DateFeb 2, 2015

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Audrey Hepburn

Nathaniel Pantalone
On a mission
Soon after becoming a UNICEF ambassador, Hepburn went on a mission to Ethiopia, where years of drought and civil strife had caused terrible famine. After visiting UNICEF emergency operations, she talked about the projects to the media in the United States, Canada and Europe over several weeks, giving as many as 15 interviews a day. It set a precedent for her commitment to the organization.
In the years that followed, Hepburn made a series of UNICEF field trips, visiting a polio vaccine project in Turkey, training programmes for women in Venezuela, projects for children living and working on the street in Ecuador, projects to provide drinking water in Guatemala and Honduras and radio literacy projects in El Salvador. She saw schools in Bangladesh, projects for impoverished children in Thailand, nutrition projects in Viet Nam and camps for displaced children in Sudan.
Hepburn also worked tirelessly for UNICEF when not making field trips. She testified before the US Congress, took part in the World Summit for Children, launched UNICEF's State of the World's Children reports, hosted Danny Kaye International Children's Award ceremonies, designed fundraising cards, participated in benefit concert tours and gave many speeches and interviews promoting UNICEF's work.
Hepburn received the United States' highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in December 1992. During that year, though ill with cancer, she had continued her work for UNICEF, travelling to Somalia, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France and the United States.
Movie classics
Audrey Hepburn was born on 4 May 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. Her father was an English banker and her mother a Dutch baroness. She studied ballet, but a small part in a French film led the French writer Colette to ask her to play the title role in Gigi, which Collette had adapted for Broadway. The same year, Hepburn landed the starring role in the movie Roman Holiday, with Gregory Peck, the first of a long list of American movie classics in which she starred.
Towards the end of the 1960s Hepburn retired from films to devote herself to family life, emerging only for a handful of films in the 1970s and 1980s. She devoted the final years of her life to UNICEF.
"She knew better than anyone else that the recompense for such work lies in the eyes of those in need of succour," Sir Peter Ustinov wrote in the European. "It is they who bring it home, in all its simplicity, that such work is worthwhile."
Audrey Hepburn died at her home in Switzerland on 20 January 1993.
[Source: http://www.unicef.org/people/people_audrey_hepburn.html on 1/28/2015]

Votes3 DateJan 28, 2015

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Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Nathaniel Pantalone
Albert Schweitzer (January 14, 1875-September 4, 1965) was born into an Alsatian family which for generations had been devoted to religion, music, and education. His father and maternal grandfather were ministers; both of his grandfathers were talented organists; many of his relatives were persons of scholarly attainments.
Schweitzer entered into his intensive theological studies in 1893 at the University of Strasbourg where he obtained a doctorate in philosophy in 1899, with a dissertation on the religious philosophy of Kant, and received his licentiate in theology in 1900. He began preaching at St. Nicholas Church in Strasbourg in 1899; he served in various high ranking administrative posts from 1901 to 1912 in the Theological College of St.Thomas, the college he had attended at the University of Strasbourg. In 1906 he published The Quest of the Historical Jesus, a book on which much of his fame as a theological scholar rests.
Meanwhile he continued with a distinguished musical career initiated at an early age with piano and organ lessons. Only nine when he first performed in his father's church, he was, from his young manhood to his middle eighties, recognized as a concert organist, internationally known. From his professional engagements he earned funds for his education, particularly his later medical schooling, and for his African hospital. Musicologist as well as performer, Schweitzer wrote a biography of Bach in 1905 in French, published a book on organ building and playing in 1906, and rewrote the Bach book in German in 1908.
Having decided to go to Africa as a medical missionary rather than as a pastor, Schweitzer in 1905 began the study of medicine at the University of Strasbourg. In 1913, having obtained his M.D. degree, he founded his hospital at Lambaréné in French Equatorial Africa, but in 1917 he and his wife were sent to a French internment camp as prisoners of war. Released in 1918, Schweitzer spent the next six years in Europe, preaching in his old church, giving lectures and concerts, taking medical courses, writing On the Edge of the Primeval Forest, The Decay and Restoration of Civilization, Civilization and Ethics, and Christianity and the Religions of the World.
Schweitzer returned to Lambaréné in 1924 and except for relatively short periods of time, spent the remainder of his life there. With the funds earned from his own royalties and personal appearance fees and with those donated from all parts of the world, he expanded the hospital to seventy buildings which by the early 1960's could take care of over 500 patients in residence at any one time.
At Lambaréné, Schweitzer was doctor and surgeon in the hospital, pastor of a congregation, administrator of a village, superintendent of buildings and grounds, writer of scholarly books, commentator on contemporary history, musician, host to countless visitors. The honors he received were numerous, including the Goethe Prize of Frankfurt and honorary doctorates from many universities emphasizing one or another of his achievements. The Nobel Peace Prize for 1952, having been withheld in that year, was given to him on December 10, 1953. With the $33,000 prize money, he started the leprosarium at Lambaréné.
Albert Schweitzer died on September 4, 1965, and was buried at Lambaréné.
[Text taken from nobelprize.org on December 9, 2014]

Votes2 DateDec 9, 2014

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Gwen G. Mellon

Nathaniel Pantalone
Gwen Grant Mellon was the dynamic woman behind the reluctant heir, his equal partner in their prosperous Arizona cattle ranch and in their amazingly sudden decision to quit it and devote the rest of their lives and fortune to the people of rural Haiti, co-founding the world-renowned Albert Schweitzer Hospital there.
Fair, willowy and regal, Gwen Grant was born into a genteel New York family that divided its time between Manhattan and idyllic summers upstate on the Hudson in Geneva. She was educated at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and graduated from Smith College in 1934 -- an excellent equestrienne, adventurous lover of the outdoors and independent-minded maverick, not unlike Larimer Mellon.
Mellon, for his part, had reluctantly joined the family banking and Gulf Oil concerns, working in the sales department for two gloomy years. To escape the confinement of his white-collar job, his first marriage and Pittsburgh, he took off and bought a ranch in Pecos County, Ariz., becoming a dawn-to-dusk working cowboy, building fences, riding herd and doing his own branding.
Gwen Grant had her own confinement and first marriage to escape. When John Rawson, by whom she had three children, informed her he was leaving them behind to take a European job, she replied that she'd be leaving, too.
"I told him, 'I'm going to make myself a new life -- I'm leaving,'" she recalled. "He said, 'You wouldn't dare.' I said, 'Yes, I would dare.' I don't know how I had the nerve, with three kids and no job. But I went out West."

She was a 37-year-old divorcee, supporting herself and three youngsters by working on an Arizona dude ranch, when she and Mellon met in 1945. They fell in love and were married on Feb. 2, 1946, in Wilton, Conn., then returned west and settled into a comfortable ranch life, where it was not uncommon for Mellon and his boys to brand 250 cattle in a day -- a good life, but not wholly fulfilling.
Mellon himself didn't quite realize that until he read a 1947 Life magazine article on Albert Schweitzer's hospital in Gabon.
Mrs. Mellon was in the act of hanging some new curtains when her new husband informed her of a momentous new mission that would radically alter their lives. "He blurted it out: 'I think I'll become a doctor and practice in the undeveloped world.' And I said: 'So that's what's been on your mind lately. You're right, we don't want to sit around looking at the damn cows all our lives.'"
Both enrolled at Tulane University in New Orleans. During Mrs. Mellon's medical studies, she dissected mosquitoes for an experimental syphilis treatment program and was trained in malaria control and tropical entomology at Charity Hospital, which was then trying out induced malaria therapy to treat mental illness resulting from syphilis.
Together, they decided to build their hospital in the rural midsection of Haiti, 90 rugged miles northwest of Port-au-Prince in an Artibonite Valley village called Deschapelles.
A healthy ratio of doctors to population is 1 to 2,000. In the Artibonite -- a 600-square-mile area with 185,000 people -- there was not a single doctor in private practice.
Legal, financial and logistical details had to be worked out, and the legwork was left to Mrs. Mellon. The Haitian government was to grant the rent-free site and 15 residential outbuildings on Standard Fruit's former banana plantation at Deschapelles, plus water rights, tax exemptions for equipment and supplies and a 100-acre farm. But the agreement drafted by the Haitians contained a 25-year limitation. Mellon dispatched his wife to Haiti to change it.
Many wives of that day might have been daunted by the prospect of negotiating with the head of a foreign country, but Mrs. Mellon was not among them.
Armed with Dr. Mellon's instructions, she went to Port-au-Prince to tell President Paul Magloire the 25-year restriction had to go -- and came away with the crucial concessions they needed.
While her husband finished med school, Mrs. Mellon almost single-handedly supervised construction of l'Hopital Albert Schweitzer, which opened June 26, 1956.
Certain roles as "enforcer" fell to Mrs. Mellon. Then and now, many called it "l'Hopital de Mme. Mellon" (Madame Mellon's hospital) because it was she who sat out front every day, recording the patients' names and collecting the fees.
The cost of being seen in the clinic -- including examination, lab work, medication and food -- was two gourdes (about 40 cents). It was hard for many to pay. Often a bag of rice or fruit was accepted instead of money. But payment was required on the theory that anything free is not highly valued -- in Haiti or anywhere else.
Mrs. Mellon subsequently helped initiate a vast array of HAS Community Development programs on the hospital campus and at the HAS outreach centers, where literacy, health, sewing, carpentry, homemaking and child care were taught. She was intimately involved in the dozens of sanitation and water projects her husband brought to fruition for the Artibonite Valley over the next 30 years.
Shortly before he died in 1989, Mellon named her as his successor as president of the Grant Foundation and effective head of l'Hopital Schweitzer.
In a country with such terrible overpopulation, disease and high infant mortality rate -- 50 percent -- she was once asked, did she ever get discouraged?
"Neither of us ever was," Mrs. Mellon replied. "We had many disappointments, but we always could think of something else to be done and we did it and it made a difference. We were more fortunate than a poor person sitting in his house with no food. There's not much he can do. For us, it was different. We could try another program, ask someone else for help -- do something."
Every Sunday she would visit and chat with every patient in the hospital, including those who lined the hallways in benches or cots or gurneys.
It meant an enormous amount to the Haitians.
Mrs. Mellon's wry, piquant autobiography "My Road to Deschapelles" was published in 1997.
Ian Rawson, a son of Mrs. Mellon by her first husband, was just 10 when he learned of his mother's intention to start the hospital with his stepfather.
"We had to learn, as children, that we had to share them as parents with other people -- people who relied on them for strength and inspiration," Rawson, of Squirrel Hill, said yesterday. "We learned to see [our mother] as something other than a mother, but as a role model as well."
Mrs. Mellon, widow of Dr. William Larimer Mellon Jr. , died [November 29, 2000] in Miami at 89 of complications following hip surgery. She remained the hospital's active leader and most elegant, eloquent spokesperson to the end.
[Text taken from post-gazette.com on December 9, 2014]

Votes3 DateDec 9, 2014

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Dr. W. Larimer Mellon Jr.

Nathaniel Pantalone
In 1947, as a 37-year-old rancher in Arizona, [Dr. Mellon] became engrossed with the life and work of Dr. Schweitzer, the Alsatian medical missionary, philosopher and musician whose hospital at Lambarene, in what is now Gabon, had become world famous.
Dr. Mellon and his second wife, Gwen, set out to emulate Dr. Schweitzer. They enrolled at Tulane University, he to obtain a medical degree and she to become a laboratory technician.
They visited several countries in South America searching for a suitable place to build a hospital but found their spot in Haiti, where Dr. Mellon was gathering material for his doctoral dissertation.
With the aid of the Haitian Government, an abandoned Standard Fruit Company plantation at Deschapelles, in the Artibonite River Valley, 90 miles northwest of Port-au-Prince, was made available to the Mellons for their hospital.
Dr. Mellon received his medical degree in 1954 at the age of 44. Two years later, the Albert Schweitzer Hospital opened its doors. The building, with equipment comparable to that in American hospitals of the period, cost $2 million and was financed by a foundation established by the Mellons.
Dr. Mellon worked on the medical staff at the outset but soon became heavily involved in community development, installing wells, water systems and roads. The hospital continues to serve the people of the Artibonite Valley, a rural area where 150,000 Haitians live and where poverty is the rule and disease is widespread.
The Mellons and their staff of Haitian doctors and nurses have treated tens of thousands of patients over the years.
Dr. Mellon was a member of one of America's wealthiest families. His great-uncle, Andrew W. Mellon, made a fortune in banking, oil and aluminum and served as Secretary of the Treasury in the 1920's. His father, William Sr., was the head of Gulf Oil and the Republican chairman for Pennsylvania and left a multimillion-dollar estate when he died in 1949.
William Jr. was born in Pittsburgh, went to Choate School and spent a year at Princeton before going to work in the Mellon Bank. He secretly married a Pittsburgh society figure, Ethel Grace Rowley, in 1929; the marriage ended in divorce in 1938.
In the mid-1930's, Dr. Mellon went to Arizona, where he bought a ranch near Rimrock and later added other ranches to his holdings, becoming a working cattle rancher. Shortly before World War II, he met Gwen Grant Rawson, who was working as a riding instructor to support her three children. He and Mrs. Rawson were married in 1946. Served in the O.S.S. During the war, Dr. Mellon served in the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency. With a working knowledge of French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, he was sent on missions to Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.
In 1947, back in Arizona, he read an article in Life on Dr. Schweitzer and his hospital in what was then French Equatorial Guinea. He wrote to Lambarene, asking how he might go about doing what his new idol had done.
A few months later he received a long handwritten letter from Dr. Schweitzer offering detailed advice about medical training and how to set up a mission.
Armed with this advice, the Mellons uprooted themselves and enrolled at Tulane to begin what was to become their life vocation.
William Larimer Mellon Jr., an heir to his family's banking and oil fortune who in midlife became a disciple of Albert Schweitzer and spent his remaining years as a medical missionary in Haiti, died of cancer and Parkinson's disease on [August 3, 1989] at his home in Deschapelles, Haiti. He was 79 years old.
[Text taken from nytimes.com on December 9, 2014]

Votes3 DateDec 9, 2014

Created Planet Sanctuary Spotlights

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National parks

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Park Part 3

Nathaniel Pantalone
^ Elephants drinking and bathing in the mid-day sun.

A mother and her baby. The baby was happy to sleep right before this photo, but the mother insisted they needed to leave.

Two zebra. The younger one is eating grass.

A "laughing" zebra. Same group as the photo above. The lighting is odd because of the smoke from the "controlled burn" seen in the first or second post.

A weaver finch nest.

A small bird in a tree.
All photos are copyright of their owner, Nathaniel Pantalone, VP of Marketing of OWB LLC.

Votes3 DateJul 15, 2015

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National parks

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Park Part 2

Nathaniel Pantalone
Above, the warning in the park regarding dangerous animals.
A hillside on fire, part of the controlled burn in the park to maintain the grasslands.
The eerie shadow over and orange color of the land was caused by the sunshine through the smoke from the fire.
An injured lion caught at night. He was reluctant to move even as we approached because his leg was badly injured.
All photos are copyright of their owner, Nathaniel Pantalone, VP of Marketing of OWB LLC.

Votes2 DateJun 30, 2015

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National parks

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Park Part 1

Nathaniel Pantalone
Part one of photo diary of Hluhluwe Park in KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa).

A small monkey who was keen on eating some of my breakfast.

An interesting bird.

Smoke from the controlled burn of the grassland.

A mad elephant. (We got to close to the babies)
All photos are copyright of their owner, Nathaniel Pantalone, VP of Marketing of OWB LLC.

Votes1 DateMay 31, 2015

Created Light of Culture Spotlights

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(HEMA) Historical European Martial Arts: A Living History

Nathaniel Pantalone
Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) are martial arts that were practiced in Europe that have been lost or that have evolved into other practices. These arts include sword fighting (and other weapons forms), grappling, and wrestling.
HEMA organizations are like karate clubs in that members join together under a teacher to learn lost martial arts through historical texts, practice, and physical effort. This sort of living history keeps old martial art styles alive in a way that text cannot. Many HEMA teachers and instructors use historical text (source material) to teach new techniques, but they emphasize that immediately trying to practice a technique after reading about it is very difficult. This demonstrates the importance of practice and the necessity of the sport. Practitioners are eager to practice their art against non-cooperative combatants, which makes competitions athletic and competitive.
HEMA organizations are growing in popularity, and teachers are quick to emphasize that they do everything to ensure that their students will be safe--modern equipment with modern technology is used.
Learn more in this HEMA documentary:

Votes2 DateNov 5, 2015

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Japanese Matcha Tea Ceremony Chanoyu

Nathaniel Pantalone
Matcha ceremony (Chanoyu) is very complicated. Students of Chanoyu go to University to learn and study every aspect of it! Books that are written about it cannot hold all of its complexities within. Nonetheless, in this Spotlight, we will endeavor to shed a faint light on one of the most beautiful and complicated ceremonies in the world: Chanoyu.
What is Matcha?
"Matcha is a first class type of powdered, extra-fine ground tea that is used for the Japanese tea ceremony, Chanoyu, during which the tea is whisked with a bamboo tool called a chasen, in a handcrafted bowl called a chawan. Quality Matcha is always a pea-green, extra-fine powder with a distinctive, grassy aroma. The foamy infusion is fresh and deep green with an unforgettable, intense taste. Its health benefits are endless! We recommend that it be enjoyed after dessert or with a Japanese sweet, but never drink it on an empty stomach!" Taken from Dobra Tea
Matcha is made from the leaves of the Gyokuro tea plant. Gyokuro that is shade grown for more than 20 days is harvest by hand. The leaves are preprocessed into tencha by steaming and drying. When ground in a milstone (think giant granite stones), the tencha becomes matcha.
Two styles of matcha are served during the tea ceremony. The first, thin-style matcha, called usucha (oo-Soo-cha) is served to each person. The second, thick-style matcha, called koicha (Koy-cha) is shared among the guests.
What is Tea Ceremony?
Japanese tea ceremony is about four elements: wa, kei, sei, and jaku or harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility. When one includes all elements, one can enjoy the simplicity of drinking tea. Harmony can be created through cleanliness; the ceremony is held in a room without clutter and with elegant decorations, like flowers in a vase or a flag of calligraphy. Respect is created by thoughtful consideration of everything and everyone involved in the ceremony. Topics that can lead to arguments are not discussed during tea ceremony. Purity comes from the cleaning of the utensils and the boiling of the water. Tranquility is achieved after the calm consumption of the tea.
The Five Parts of Chanoyu, Simplified
The Yoritsuki (receiving room): The receiving room is prepared to comfort the arriving guests. In the room, guests may prepare themselves for the tea ceremony by changing their cloths (kimonos are popular choices) or using the bathroom. Usually a pot of hot water is available to the guests to refresh and cleanse their palate. Sometimes the hot water is made with toasted rice. Relaxation is important before the tea ceremony.
The Roji (passageway): In traditional tea ceremony, after preparing in the yoritsuki, the guests move outside to the garden. The garden is specially prepared as a passageway to the tearoom. Stepping stones surrounded by moss are common. The ground is lightly sprayed to mimic the clean look of a gentle rain. The passageway is meant to create tranquility by experiencing the beauty of nature and refreshing the mind.
The Tskukubai (symbolic cleaning): Within the roji is a special place for guests to cleanse their hands and mouths called the tskukubai. It is made of carefully placed plants, stones, and pebbles. a stone basin filled with constantly flowing water allows the guests to physically clean before the ceremony, refreshing the body.
The Machiai (waiting room): The machiai is a waiting area comprised of a wall with a small roof and bench beneath. It is an area for guests to wait for the rest of the group and quietly enjoy the tranquility of the garden. The host appears after everyone has gathered in the machiai. The guests greet the host with a simultaneous bow. With a gong, the host invites the guests into the tearoom.
The Chashitsu (tearoom): After the drum of the gong fades, the guests walk to the unique entrance of the tearoom. The entrance, called nijiri guchi, is small, only about three feet high and two and a half feet wide. All guests must humbly stoop to enter the tearoom. Upon entering, guests slide toward the alcove, which displays artistic calligraphy, typically the work of a well known Zen priest, and bow to show respect. Flower arrangements and incense holders are also present. After examining the artwork, guest move toward the host to inspect the teakettle and utensils. After inspection they take their places for the tea ceremony.
The tearoom gives the sense of elegance and peace. Soft light shines through the shoji screens, highlighting the objects on display, and incense perfumes the air. The soft sound of boiling water is heard. Beginning the gathering, the host opens a sliding door that connects the kitchen to the tearoom and enters the tearoom. Everyone, including the host, quietly bows with respect. The host welcomes everyone and explains the special reason for the ceremony, if there is one. The guest of honor, or main guest, thanks the host on behalf of the other guests.
Description of Ceremony
A door made of rectangular rice paper windows opens. Two outstretched hands reach through the doorway and place a utensil on the floor. The hands, now pressed on the floor, allow their master to shuffle into the room. The master is a Japanese woman, dressed in beautiful green robes (kimono) with a large belt and a bow tied in the back. She picks up the utensil, places it ahead of her again, and shuffles toward it a second time. Finally within the room, she stands, walks slowly toward the flag of poetry enshrined on the wall, kneels and bows to it. She then approaches the kama, the water vessel in the room, inspects it and the ornate vase misisashi next to it. Since everything is correct, she walks to the corner of the room, by the door to kneel and rest. She is guest.
This description is from a tea ceremony watched by the author
Tea Utensils
Tea Bowls - Chawan
Tea Scoops - Chashaku
Tea Whisks - Chasen
Tea Containers - Natsume
Water Scoop - Hishaku
Cloth Napkin - Chakin
Silk Napkin - Fukusa
Tea Kettles - Kama
(And more!)
Written by Nathaniel Pantalone for OWB LLC.

Votes7 DateJul 30, 2015

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Lifts (Votes)*

Name Vote Date
(HEMA) Historical European Martial Arts: A Living History Nov 5, 2015 @ 09:41:53 pm
Place Teacher’s Aides, back into the Classrooms Oct 12, 2015 @ 12:58:02 pm
Culinary Mindfulness with Sean Brock Oct 1, 2015 @ 07:56:31 am
Japanese Matcha Tea Ceremony Chanoyu Jul 30, 2015 @ 08:50:43 pm
Florida keys Jul 15, 2015 @ 09:06:20 am
Attenborough: Amazing Orangutans Use Tools - BBC Earth Jul 15, 2015 @ 09:05:20 am
Great Barrier Reef Jul 15, 2015 @ 09:04:04 am
Earth from space Jul 15, 2015 @ 09:03:33 am
Humpback Whale Shows AMAZING Appreciation After Being Freed From Nets Jul 15, 2015 @ 09:02:59 am
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Park Part 3 Jul 15, 2015 @ 08:50:44 am
One World Blue Network Jul 15, 2015 @ 08:44:25 am
Humla Nursing Education Project Jul 15, 2015 @ 08:43:56 am
Dr. James Singer Jul 15, 2015 @ 08:42:36 am
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Park Part 2 Jun 30, 2015 @ 06:00:49 pm
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Park Part 1 May 31, 2015 @ 08:02:31 pm
Removing Racism: Mixing Paints vs. One-drop Rule May 21, 2015 @ 06:56:17 pm
Removing Transphobia: Everyday Speech Apr 28, 2015 @ 11:08:45 am
Removing Racism: Everyday Speech Apr 10, 2015 @ 07:03:12 pm
Feb 2, 2015 @ 08:10:12 am
Jane Goodall Feb 2, 2015 @ 08:06:59 am
Audrey Hepburn Jan 28, 2015 @ 06:56:13 am
Dr. Albert Schweitzer Dec 9, 2014 @ 09:30:33 am
Gwen G. Mellon Dec 9, 2014 @ 09:14:07 am
Dr. W. Larimer Mellon Jr. Dec 9, 2014 @ 09:00:14 am

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