Category Archives: News

Sandy Ward Design: The Plus Room

Sandy Ward: The Plus Room, Copyright 2021

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It’s Time to Take it Outside

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Tired of being inside? Even after going out for a walk or to exercise do you really want to go back inside? Enjoy outdoor eating and happy hour with friends and family who can visit you outside. Add a heater or fire pit in winter and a sun umbrella in summer. Add plants like holly and bamboo for year round greenery. Add ambiance like lanterns and wall art. Too much sun, create a cozy feel with a retractable awning – let’s play, let’s dream, let’s create your personal outdoor Plus Room!

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Tiny balcony to expansive yard, ideas you will love to loll in.

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Sandy Ward. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2021

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About The Designer:  Sandy Ward is a renowned interior designer and builder based in Philadelphia. To learn more about Sandy Ward Design, click here: https://sandywarddesign.com

 

Also posted in Accessories, Advertising, Affiliates, Announcements, Architecture, Blog, Contemporary Architecture, Environment, Friends of TWS, lifestyle, Philadelphia, Women

Mikala Mikrut: Hot Thoughts with Hot Thots

Text by Mikala Mikrut, Copyright 2021 

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Hot Thoughts with Hot Thots

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Change has been one of the few constants in many people’s lives, myself included, as of late. Over the past year I: graduated college early, got two part time jobs, and obsessed over avoiding the virus that has consumed not only a staggering amount of lives, but our media and thoughts daily. Over the past month I: started a podcast with one of my best friends, quit one of my jobs to get a full time one, and was a passenger in a rear-ending car crash. All that to say, I’ve had to learn to not only be okay with change, but comfortable with it. Yes of course there is so much to fear in our world as we know it today, but there is still so much to look forward to. And while it may not feel like it at times, we are still in control. In fact, these turbulent times may be the best opportunity to initiate the change you’ve been craving rather than sitting back and letting the universe have the only say in how your today is any different from your yesterday.

Yesterday I chose, last minute, to spend some time running errands with my podcast cohost, Sabrina. Our new creation and bundle of joy (yes, the podcast) is called Hot Thoughts with Hot Thots, and it all started with a drink. Sabrina and I were sitting at a table in the courtyard of The Velveteen Rabbit, a bar in Las Vegas, feeling sorry for ourselves that we apparently chose to sit next to the heater that was only for decoration. We laughed over our recent turmoils, tried to make one another feel better, then landed on how proud we were of our friends who have started businesses and hobbies to keep themselves busy and creative…Well that sort of turned into complaining about acquaintances who seemed to be getting attention for things that Sabrina and I felt we could excel in. One of those things, happened to be podcasting. For years, we would stop mid laughing fit to ask ourselves why we didn’t have our own reality television show as we find ourselves to be quite the comedians.

Well this comedian stopped sipping her fruity, pink, sugar-rimmed cocktail when Sabrina asked, “Why don’t we start our own podcast?” When I back-handedly said “good for” the podcasting acquaintance, I didn’t actually think we would start a conversation on creating a platform for ourselves to prove we could do it better. We decided to talk about what we love most, our opinions. And while we always enjoy each other’s advice and quips, we were pleasantly surprised by the support of our friends from coming up with the name to the amount of listeners. We received over 100 listens before we even released a third episode! In our episodes, Sabrina and I ask each other a question, answer a couple questions sent in by listeners, and then ask the listeners a question for them to answer in the next episode. With such a simple formula, we thought it would give us plenty of room to be creative and hopefully stay fresh long enough to keep our current following as well as generate more listeners in the future.

This small change we made in our lives, to record a 30 minute podcast about once a week, has given both me and Sabrina something to look forward to. We talk to each other that much anyway, but the fact that other people want to listen to and support those conversations make us feel appreciated in a way we’ve never felt before. This past year has been so isolating that I finally understand the craze of YouTubers and why someone would watch a person they’ve never met simply play a video game. It’s not connecting in the same way our parents taught us, through hugs and play and being together. This type of connection touches you in a different way, it’s hearing your thoughts come out of someone else’s mouth or finding out that you’re not alone with your questions or problems. While we may not know all of our listeners personally, we feel the support, love, and understanding of each one. People are asking us questions that not only allow us to share the things we have been waiting to say out loud, but also ones that challenge our thoughts and what we say and have said.

So while change can be scary at times, it may be invigorating to respond to life’s unexpected changes by making a change all on your own. Buy that house, move to that state, date the guy, get to know the girl. Whatever change you have been debating, its outcomes may pleasantly surprise you. If you’re scared, go ahead and think about that worst possible outcome and then ask yourself, “Would I be able to handle that?” Because if the answer is yes, what is holding you back? An “oh well” is always more fun than a “what if?” In my opinion at least. Moral of the story: do the thing. You already have at least one supporter, me.

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FIRST THREE PODCASTS:

1.Bleached Thongs and Lady Songs

 

2. Better off Alone and Australian Moans

3. Save Your Money and Be Happy Honey

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About The Author: Mikala Mikrut is a recent graduate of Southern Utah University. To access additional articles by Mikala Mikrut, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/mckayla-mikrut-impeachment/

Also posted in Affiliates, Announcements, Blog, commentary, Current Events, Erotica, Friends of TWS, Glamour, Health Care, interview, Media, podcast, Politics, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Women

The Future Of Education: How New Technologies Will Affect The Way We Learn

Professor Tony Ward Lecturing at Haverford College

 

Text by Artur Meyster, Copyright 2021

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The Future Of Education: How New Technologies Will Affect The Way We Learn

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During the coronavirus lockdown, organizations face a challenging situation. Since they needed to close their offices, most couldn’t operate. However, several leaned on tech professionals and new technologies to survive. Because remote work became the new normal, the way we live, work, and learn has changed. Tech tools like smartphones and laptops are now a must-have, and the need for technical skills has increased.

Day after day, more companies are investing in emerging tech inventions not only to improve their processes but to offer better products and services. In the education sector, e-learning is leaving traditional education behind. However, many other new technologies are reinventing teaching and learning. If you want to know how the future of education will look like, you should read this article. It will provide you with a better idea of how new technologies will affect the education sector. 

Video-based Learning

In the digital era, video-assisted teaching is playing an essential role in making students feel engaged. Several companies have implemented it to enhance their courses and provide even better services. Video-based learning enables companies to analyze offered curricula and set new strategies to improve their teaching methods. 

Video-based learning makes the learning process much more enjoyable. Everyone can have fun while playing and learning. For example, Youtube Kids is a top-rated app that almost every kid loves. Since young children can watch visually appealing videos, learn new songs, and play, learning while playing will no longer be challenging.

Other companies like Udacity offer excellent video-assisted coding courses for those who seek to break into the tech world. Its courses are very engaging and enable students to repeat every lesson as many times as they want. If a particular lesson becomes a challenge, you can watch it several times until you feel you’re able to move on. 

Video-based learning will shape the future of education because it helps companies provide more personalized services. Students can learn faster and provide even better results. Video-assisted programs also give individuals schedule flexibility. For that reason, no matter how busy your schedule is, you’ll always have time to learn. After all, who hasn’t learned how to repair something by watching a five-minute Youtube video? 

Online Classrooms

Cloud computing is taking online education to a whole new level. Years ago, if you weren’t able to attend a class, you probably needed to ask your classmates what the teacher said and taught. However, with online classrooms, education is becoming more accessible. Online classrooms enhance the interaction between students and teachers. By simplifying teaching and learning, you can set up classes in only minutes. Furthermore, communication isn’t a barrier, and you can send updates to parents or any individual in real-time.

Online classrooms also make providing feedback much more comfortable. Teachers can store frequently used comments, and, as a result, providing fast and personalized responses isn’t a struggle. Online classrooms provide organizations with data security. Hence, no matter what they need to keep protected, they can stay calm and focus on the important thing—reinventing the market. 

The increasing demand for online platforms like Google Classrooms has encouraged organizations to hunt for tech professionals with software engineering and cloud computing skills. Therefore, if you’re looking to attract employers’ attention, you should consider becoming a software engineer. According to Bootcamp Rankings, there are over 19,200 open job listings and 1,000 hiring companies.

Artificial Intelligence: the Key to Personalized Education

These days, artificial intelligence is transforming everything, from mobile applications to manufacturing procedures and learning. Personalized education is key to increase students’ engagement. Hence, many companies have invested vast amounts of money in AI and machine learning to offer more customized services. 

Personalized education wouldn’t be possible without the help of data scientists. Consequently, companies are offering exceptional salaries and perks to skilled candidates. After all, they can analyze and interpret gathered information to meet students’ needs.

AI chatbots are also playing an important role in education. By automating administrative tasks like grading, the job of teachers is now more comfortable. AI chatbots can also track student performance. Consequently, teachers and companies can adjust the curriculum provided to meet the requirements of any student.

Conclusion

Generally speaking, the need for digital tools will grow in the next decade. In that case, if you seek to stay relevant, you should get familiar with new tech inventions. Also, more companies will invest in tech to improve in-class and out-of-class experiences. As a result, education will become much more engaging and comfortable. Traditional education will probably become obsolete in the following years. Nevertheless, there’s still a long way to go before that happens.

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About The Author: Artur Meyster is the founder of Career Karma.  To access additional articles by this author, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/career-karma/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, commentary, Current Events, Engineering, Friends of TWS, Haverford College, History, Media, Men, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life

Light Table: The Importance of Looking Back

Jennifer. Old City Rooftop, Philadelphia 2009. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2021

 

Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2021

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The Importance of Looking Back

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Photographers are always searching for the next shot,  especially if they are working in fashion. A new model brings a new thrill with the hope that the next picture will be the best in an ongoing process of creating something new.

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in March of 2020 I haven’t taken a new picture that was worthy of cataloging.  That is the longest stretch of inactivity I can recall in my career as a professional photographer since I started producing images for a living in 1980. 

Over the past 12 months I’ve looked back at the contact prints and digital files of countless photographs taken over the past 41 years and found previously unedited pictures that brought me much pleasure and satisfaction. I often tell my photography students how photographers can miss a meaningful photograph from a shoot because we often times produce a new shoot with certain expectations of what we think the newest picture should like like. In the case of the above photo of model Jennifer Grabel Rooney, I hardly noticed this picture 11 years ago when it was taken. However,  just a couple of days ago after looking again very carefully at each image taken that day, I began to see a new image emerge on my computer screen that was lying dormant for over a decade.

A photograph is one of those art forms that can be transformational when a picture is edited in Photoshop.  Ideally, as a photographer matures and evolves he or she learns more tools to edit a photograph that previously may have not been part of the image makers play book.  That was the case with this recent edit of Jennifer’s sitting from 2009. I continue to enjoy practicing and learn new editing techniques to bring previously overlooked photos to life.

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To access previous articles on photography by Tony Ward, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/ride-to-atlantic_city/

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Cameras, Erotica, Fashion, Glamour, History, lifestyle, Light Table, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Bob Shell: 2+2=6 Or Anything You Want It To Be

Dr. Seuss Books

 

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Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2021

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2+2=6 Or Anything You Want It To Be

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I really fear for the future of our country if something isn’t done to stop the insanity of our American educational system.  One thing that sticks in my mind from my time in Germany is the education of the young people I met there, and their interest in and engagement with culture. 

Two German friends my age, Hans and Erika, have a daughter, Gisela. Last time I saw her was in 2002, when she was in her early twenties. She took me to meet her friends, who were full of questions about America, and took advantage of my availability to pump me over beer and wurst. They knew more about the US than most people here of similar age, and asked insightful questions. And, they all could speak good English! It’s taught in their schools. How many young Americans could carry on an intelligent conversation in another language? 

What brought this to my mind was an article in THE WEEK magazine. The Oregon Department of Education is telling teachers to take a class called “dismantling racism in mathematics.” Yes, you read that right, racism in mathematics! 

The course instructs teachers that “the focus on getting the ‘right’ answer and requiring students to show their work,” are actually “toxic characteristics of white supremacy culture.” Teachers are told “not to perpetuate objectivity by upholding ideas that there are always right and wrong answers.” 

I’m not making up this lunacy, wish that could be the case. 

Apparently, kids today can’t handle being told they’re wrong about anything, and for teachers to insist on correct answers is racist. Notice that they put ‘right’ in quotation marks, as though it is somehow subjective. It may be subjective in the social sciences, but in mathematics? If the United States is to continue its preeminent position on the world stage, we need generations of young people who can handle the disappointments of the real world, a world that won’t coddle them. 

Teachers in my generation insisted on right answers, and our egos weren’t too fragile to take the consequences of being wrong. 

I’m liberal in my social views, but this goes far beyond liberalism into insanity. No wonder the rest of the world thinks all Americans are dumb hicks!

Since at least ancient Egypt and Greece , mathematics, the science of numbers, has been held in high regard. Philosophers studied and admired the purity of mathematics and geometry. These old guys worked out the rules of mathematics, and discovered most of the higher math we rely on today. Their success relied on getting the right answers. Using rules of mathematics and geometry, they worked out the diameter of the Earth using nothing more sophisticated than the sun’s light shining into two deep wells. They were only off slightly, because the Earth is not a perfect sphere, as they thought. 

Later, the Romans were less interested in the theoretical and philosophical aspects of mathematics, but in its practical applications. They were great engineers, which is why so many of their constructions survive today, more than two thousand years later. They got the math right, even with their cumbersome numerals. 

When Europe was plunged into the Dark Ages by religious nonsense, the great Arab scientists invented the zero, and carried on the mathematical knowledge of the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans. They knew the Earth was round and revolved around the Sun, while back in Europe the church was teaching a flat Earth and a geocentric universe. It took us far too long to bring science to the forefront and shake off those ridiculous ideas. 

Today, we pride ourselves on our science and engineering, both of which require getting the right answer. There is no ‘right’ answer in mathematics, only the one right answer! 

More insanity: Just heard on TV that Dr. Seuss books are being withdrawn by the publisher as racist. Man, that’s sick!

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models.  He is serving the 13th year of his sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Facility, Virginia. To read Bob Shell’s, first essay on civil war, click here: https://tonywarderotica.com/bob-shell-letters-from-prison-3/

Editor’s Note: If you like Bob Shell’s blog posts, you’re sure to like his new book, COSMIC DANCE by Bob Shell (ISBN: 9781799224747, $ 12.95 book, $ 5.99 eBook) available now on Amazon.com . The book, his 26th, is a collection of essays written over the last twelve years in prison, none published anywhere before. It is subtitled, “A biologist’s reflections on space, time, reality, evolution, and the nature of consciousness,” which describes it pretty well. You can read a sample section and reviews on Amazon.com.

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Book Reviews, commentary, Current Events, Friends of TWS, Haverford College, History, Media, Politics, Popular Culture