Saturday, November 26, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
THE IRAN JOB follows American basketball player Kevin Sheppard as he accepts a job to play in one of the world’s most feared countries: Iran. With tensions running high between Iran and the West, Kevin tries to separate sports from politics, only to find that politics is impossible to escape in Iran. Along the way he forms an unlikely alliance with three outspoken Iranian women. Thanks to these women, his apartment turns into an oasis of free speech, where they discuss everything from politics to religion to gender roles. Kevin’s season in Iran culminates in something much bigger than basketball: the uprising and subsequent suppression of Iran’s reformist Green Movement – a powerful prelude to the currently unfolding Arab Spring.
HOW THE IRAN JOB STARTED:
In the fall of 2008 – shortly after Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the destruction of Israel – we had a Skype call with Kevin Sheppard, a flashy point-guard from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Kevin was about to start a basketball contract in the Iranian Super League. A minute into the conversation he had us rolling on the floor laughing in spite of the prospect of playing in a country that's supposedly full of illegal nukes and Islamic terrorists. We decided to start filming, even without a budget. (Fellow filmmakers: please don’t do this to yourselves, especially when you’re married with a small child and another on the way...) Till (husband/director) filmed Kevin in Iran over several visits, until on his last trip - in the run-up to Iran’s 2009 election - he was informed that he had been placed on a "black list" (for reasons still not clear to us), and was put in detention in a kind of "hotel-prison" inside the glitzy new Tehran airport. Sara (wife/producer) was at home, 5-months pregnant with kid number 2, while Till was in Tehran hand-shredding some not-so-cool-documents-when-you’re-stuck-in-Iran and flushing them down the toilet. He was sent back to New York on the next plane -- a stroke of luck in retrospect given the number of filmmakers and journalists recently arrested in Iran.
WHAT WE'RE DOING:
We need to raise at least $50,000 by the end of the year to prepare the film for a 2012 release.
With the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq winding down, and the world's attention laser-focusing on Iran again this is a critical time to take a fresh look at Iranians. It may even be crucial in avoiding the next war in a Muslim country.
Besides … the NBA is locked out, so you might as well watch exciting basketball in Iran!
PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS:
Abigail Disney - executive producer of Academy Award shortlisted Pray The Devil Back To Hell and Academy Award nominated Sun Come Up, and creator of the PBS series Women, War and Peace – is our executive producer. Berlin’s The Post Republic (Waltz With Bashier) is our German co-producer. Christiane Amanpour graciously co-hosted a fundraiser. Gloria Steinem noted the film’s unexpected nexus of male sports and women’s rights – for while THE IRAN JOB is about men's basketball, above all it gives voice to three very brave Iranian women. We’ve also won the support of Karim Sadjapour, associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
And we're thrilled THE IRAN JOB features some of the most cutting-edge Iranian rap and hip-hop, including such artists as Shahin Najafi, Jadugaran, ZedBazi, and A2.
WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO SUPPORT THE IRAN JOB:
Make a pledge today via Kickstarter. Any contribution, no matter how small or large, will make a difference. And all contributions will be rewarded! Please check out the donation tiers to your right to find the level and gift that’s right for you!
Spread the word by telling your friends, family and social networks about our film and this Kickstarter campaign. Please send the URL of this page with a heartfelt endorsement to everyone you know! "Like" and Share the link on Facebook, Twitter, by email or blog. Encourage people to follow us. We can be found online here: Facebook, Twitter, www.theiranjob.com
If you have other ideas how to help please contact us!
HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS:
Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects, driven by an all-or-nothing modus. If we don’t raise our goal of $50,000, we lose everything, and no money changes hands. If we do reach our goal, the film will come out in 2012. Our campaign will last for 50 days. 50 days go by very fast. If you can, please pledge now – it will help build crucial momentum.
During our campaign and beyond we will keep you updated on the progress of the film, and we welcome any feedback and comments. Thank you very much for helping us complete this journey!
With much love and gratitude,
Sara Nodjoumi & Till Schauder
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Emergency Contact: Dick Grayson, XXX-269-9637
Interval History: Patient was seen for his last annual physical approximately one year ago. Since that time he has had numerous visits for acute illnesses or injuries, generally accompanied either by his companion Mr. Grayson or Alfred, a senior member of his household staff. These recent maladies appear to be in keeping with the pattern that has emerged over the past several years, in which significant medical problems are associated with odd or incongruous explanations. Most recently, patient was seen for numerous areas of lower extremity cutaneous blistering, erythema and thickening, consistent with moderate to severe frostbite. Patient had reportedly gotten lost while camping in the mountains, but could not account for how he had sustained these injuries in mid-August.
Past Medical History: As stated, patient has a somewhat lengthy and complicated medical history, best summarized by system –
Orthopedic: By far the greatest contributor to patient’s ongoing morbidity are his multiple and seemingly ceaseless musculoskeletal injuries. The most significant of these was sustained several years ago, when he was rushed to GCGH with several fractures of his lumbar vertebrae, reportedly after falling while rappelling. Skeletal series obtained at that time revealed numerous (>20) areas of orthopedic injury in various states of healing, which could not be fully explained by recent fall, including areas of all extremities and many ribs; confirmatory bone scan similarly showed many areas of increased uptake. Patient’s robust stature is not consistent with osteogenesis imperfecta, and skin biopsy was negative for abnormal collagen and P3H1 or CRTAP genetic defects. Malignancy was suspected, but eventually ruled out following oncology consultation. Patient explained most of these (and most subsequent) injuries as being the result of membership in a private and apparently quite intense mixed martial arts club. Patient has denied being the victim of domestic abuse by Mr. Grayson following indirect and direct questioning on numerous occasions.
Neurologic: Patient has been evaluated numerous times over the past several years with complaints of headache, blurry vision, memory deficits, nausea and emotional lability. As with above injuries, most of these symptoms occur following some blow to the head during MMA sparring or competition, and were diagnosed as consistent with concussion. (Patient reports that the club frowns upon protective headgear, a stand with which he seemingly complies despite numerous exhortations to do otherwise.) Following the third such episode, patient was referred to neurology due to significant concern about second-impact syndrome. While no gray matter changes in the cingulate gyrus or white matter hyperintensities were noted on magnetic resonance imaging, given history and known risk factors neurology has recommended MRI to be repeated every two years, and they are arranging for diffusion tensor imaging in the near future.
Allergic: Earlier this year, patient was again rushed to GCGH for what appeared to be severe anaphylaxis, with marked angioedema of the face and hands, and widespread urticaria. After administration of high-dose IV Solu-Medrol, patient’s angioedema resolved sufficiently for him to report “tripping into a bunch of weeds” while hiking, and he eventually left the emergency department against medical advice. On outpatient follow-up, patient was referred for urgent allergy testing given the severity of his reaction. Skin-prick testing was negative for all food allergies, but was markedly and instantly positive in reaction to all plant allergens, such that a dose of IM Decadron was administered by allergist in the office. Despite was appears to be an extraordinary hypersensitivity to phytochemicals, patient has had no further symptoms following the one episode.
Psychiatric: During most visits, patient displays a somewhat somber and flat affect. Numerous inquiries into his mood yield answers that it is “just fine,” followed by requests to change the topic of questioning. While dysthymia or frank depression is suspected (particularly considering patient’s voluntary participation in flagrantly harmful recreational activities), patient seems to have avoided any major depressive episodes. More worrisome was an episode about a year and a half ago, during which patient appeared to have a psychotic break. On arrival at GCGH, patient was found to be suffering from vivid, terrifying hallucinations, rendering him essentially incoherent and requiring high doses of both benzodiazepines and haloperidol to abate. After regaining consciousness several hours later, patient stated that the “stress of [his] job” had gotten to him. He vehemently refused evaluation by Arkham consulting psychiatrist, and eventually left the ED AMA.
Social History: Patient denies smoking, drinking or taking any illegal controlled substances. He resides with Mr. Grayson, reportedly without romantic involvement. Diet consists largely of meals prepared by private household cooking staff. He reports serially monogamous sexual relationships with female partners. When asked, he states that he “usually has proper equipment,” which is interpreted to mean that condoms are used for contraception and STI prevention.
Family History: Both parents deceased (homicide). Generally assumed to be non-contributory
Temp 98.7, HR 60, RR 12, BP 113/68
General – well-nourished, well-appearing adult male in NAD; alert, oriented, cooperative
Skin – confluent, symmetrical, faintly erythematous rash extending from anterior hairline onto malar region (“from the hazmat mask they make me wear when I visit the lab”); four linear, well-healed lacerations on left pectoral (“fencing accident”). Numerous ecchymotic areas in various stages of healing
HEENT – small area of firm edema on the left occiput, c/w contusion. PERRLA, EOMI. TMs grossly intact bilat. Nares patent. Oropharynx normal. Good dentition, with evidence of repaired trauma
Chest – CTAB
CV – RRR without murmur. Radial, femoral pulses +2/4
Abd – soft, NTND, no HSM, + BS x 4.
Ext – well-defined (borderline hypertrophic) musculature. Limited active ROM in shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles, consistent with healing contusion/sprain or overuse injuries in numerous joints. Normal tone, strength UE/LE bilat.
Neuro – CN 2-12 grossly intact. ? faint resting tremor. FTN intact, no dysdiadokinesia. DTR +2/4 at patella, Achilles. Gait normal. Refuses MMS exam (“I have an aversion to riddles.”)
Psych – well-groomed, pleasant and conversational. A & O x3. Affect somewhat flat (baseline, as stated above)
Assessment/Plan — 40-year-old male with complicated past medical history as noted. Generally normal exam, excepting the following:
Rash — Patient advised that mask seems to be causing an irritant rash, and advised him to have lab personnel fit him with another, less occlusive size.
Resting tremor — Given risk factors stated above, there is some concern about early Parkinsonism. Will contact patient’s neurologist to have next follow-up appointment moved up.
Joint stiffness — As with previous visits, patient was advised to consider recreational activities that carry less risk of ongoing physical injury, or at very least allow himself to heal fully from previous trauma before returning to participation. Given the apparently quite aggressive tendencies of patient’s MMA club, advised him that almost any other activity he might choose is likely to confer less risk of ongoing morbidity (or even mortality). Patient responded to this advice with his usual polite indifference.
Looking more globally, there is some concern that there is an underlying illness that accounts for some of patient’s extensive symptomatology. Discussed with patient that there may be some obscure syndrome that includes brittle bones, but also propensity for severe hypersensitivity, psychiatric symptoms and skin damage. Advised him that many journals publish reports of puzzling cases, which may allow other physicians to comment helpfully about treatments or diagnoses that might be pertinent. Patient politely but emphatically refuses consent for such publication at this time.
Advised patient to limit stress, continue with (hopefully more benign form of) physical activity, continue with healthy diet. Flu shot administered. Planned follow-up in one year, sooner as needed.
(Note to clerical staff — please exclude the following note if there are future record requests. An alternate explanation, more plausible than the histories associated with many of patient’s injuries, is a series of industrial mishaps. As head of Wayne Enterprises, patient presumably takes a very active role in the company’s various subsidiary R&D departments. These subsidiaries include biotech, chemical and numerous other firms that traffic in hazardous materials. One might infer that some of patient’s more extreme medical problems stem from exposure to these hazards while taking a hands-on approach to running his company. There are a few understandable reasons that patient might wish to keep the true nature of his injuries private, despite assurances of medical confidentiality given that leaks of this information might undermine confidence in his company’s governance or alternatively might jeopardize secret government contracts. While it is somewhat regrettable that patient does not feel comfortable revealing the true nature of these injuries and exposures, it is nevertheless understandable.)
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Doug McGuff, MD became interested in exercise at the age of 15 when he first read Arthur Jones' Nautilus Training Bulletin No. 2. His interest in exercise and biology led him into a career in medicine. In 1989, he graduated from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio and went on to train in Emergency Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences at Little Rock where he served as Chief Resident. From there, Dr. McGuff served as Faculty in the Wright State University Emergency Medicine Residency and was a staff Emergency Physician at Wright-Patterson AFB Hospital.
Throughout his career Dr. McGuff maintained his interest in high intensity exercise. Doug realized a lifelong dream when he opened Ultimate Exercise in November, 1997. Over the past 13 years Dr. McGuff and his instructors have continued to explore the limits of exercise through their personal training clients at Ultimate Exercise.
In addition to his work at Ultimate Exercise, Dr. McGuff is a partner with Blue Ridge Emergency Physicians, P.A. Dr. McGuff Lives in Seneca, South Carolina with his wife of 25-years, and their Children Eric and Madeline.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Angie Varona, 17, had her Photobucket account hacked when she was 14, causing her world to turn upside down.
The image-hosting website held several inappropriate pictures, each one starring Varona in bikinis and lingerie wear. She never appeared naked.
“I had been notified by a close friend who had seen me in a porn site ad,” Varona said. “I spent the whole summer trying to take down all the pictures, but it was virtually impossible to track down who hacked me. I felt like crap knowing my life was going down the drain.”
After her schoolmates at John A. Ferguson Senior High found out, massive rumors spread like wildfire.
“I remember walking down the hallway, hearing people talk and watching people stare at me,” she said. “There were rumors that I was becoming a porn star.”
In reality, school was the least of her worries.
“I began getting real stalkers,” Varona said. “People from other states found out my address and took pictures of my house. They threatened to rape me.”
Three years later and now homeschooled, Varona is still coping.
“They’re not even getting my pictures from Photobucket anymore,” she said. “They’re getting them through my Facebooks. I can’t even have my real name. I’ve had like six Facebooks now.”
Her initial action of taking pictures for her boyfriend evolved into something she couldn’t imagine. Although her parents were supportive, they were disappointed at her for taking such sexual pictures and having them in the incapable hands of the Internet.
This popular trend of posting nude or sexual pictures has been practiced since cellphone cameras came on the scene.
“It’s everywhere, even where you least expect it – like on your teen’s computer, cellphone and game device,” Parry Aftab, a pioneering Internet law lawyer, said on her website.
“Forty-four percent of boys in coed high schools we polled reported seeing at least one image of a fellow female classmate in the nude,” said Aftab, who practices law in New Jersey. “Most saw images of more than just one girl. And many saw multiple images of each girl. Your daughter may be among them.”
A survey conducted by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reveals that nearly one in five young people have sent nude pictures electronically or online.
“They’re posting these pictures trying to look older, cooler,” Aftab said. “They’re posing in their bras before they’re old enough to wear them. Now, when they’re passing the pictures from kid to kid afterwards, the kids that are passing them are being charged with child pornography.”
Because federal law doesn’t make any distinction about who creates the child porn, teens who take nude photos of themselves and child pornographers who abuse and exploit children can receive the same punishment.
That means that a child could spend up to five years in federal prison for simply possessing their own naked picture. Sending it out to others, however, can get a 15-year term.
Bryan Roussell, a detective in the Special Victims Unit of the Hollywood Police Department, has received many calls from parents who also don’t realize the consequences.
“[Parents] don’t understand that their daughter or their son is the one who started the crime by taking the picture of themselves and posting them on the Internet,” Roussell said.
“If a kid has a bunch of stored nude images [of minors] on his computer, he’ll be arrested for that and he’ll have to go through the judicial system like anybody else, whether he’s an adult or a child.”
Also, in many states, like Florida, if a person is convicted of a crime against children, it automatically registers him/her with the sex offender registry, a lifelong curse.
What really perturbs authorities and parents is why adolescents take these pictures. Therapist Ana M. Moreno, a licensed mental health counselor in Miami, believes self-esteem plays a role in these behaviors.
“The cases I have worked with that have engaged in this behavior are looking for outside validation. These teen girls feel that their sexuality makes them ‘popular’ and attracts attention,” Moreno said. “They may not feel good about their decision to share sexual pictures; however, if positive validation is received, they tend to feel content and sometimes elated with the feedback.”
Child pornography prosecutions skyrocketed in 2004, the same year as the creation of Facebook, creating a 650 percent increase from 1994.
“Those pictures are going to get out and you know how it is in school. Everyone will call these kids names. Now she becomes a ‘slut’ and she’s going to have to deal with that social issue,” Roussell said.
The trend is affecting people at all levels. Even celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Hudges have been caught in the act of “sexting” and sending nude photos to people in confidence.
Nancy Willard, executive director of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use, said the trend is not limited by gender.
“It’s not just teen girls,” she said, “but it’s also teen boys who are sending these images. When the images start to go viral, however, far more often, girls’ images go viral. It’s developmental, stupid behavior where nobody intended to harm anybody.
“One of the categories that ‘sexting’ falls under,” Willard said, “is when young people are trying to find a partner, trying to find someone to tell them things like ‘I love you, babe.’ Then the images end up getting posted to the Internet and they go viral.”
According to a survey Willard conducted, when minors were asked what they’d do if they were asked to send a nude picture, 94 percent of the group said “No way, never, goodbye.”
“The problem is that the hot, amazing junior boy is asking for nudes from the cute, little freshman girl, and all the while saying ‘everyone does it all the time, it’s a normal thing, I’d never send it to anyone, it’ll just be between you and me.’
Schools should begin surveying young people to show that freshman that, no, not everyone is sending nude pictures,” Willard said.
Everyone has a different mindset on where this trend will take society if it continues without fix.
“Learning about sexuality could start happening at a younger age,” Brandon Mercado, 16, said. “It could become popular and even become widely accepted.”
Many believe that since it’s a teen behavior problem, the duty of fixing it relies on the parents.
“Parents are encouraged to set rules and consequences,” Moreno, the therapist, said. “Every moment can be a teachable moment.”
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
According to the Vatican:
According to the British:
According to the French:
According to the Germans:
According to the Greeks:
According to the Italians:
According to the Poles:
According to the Russians:
According to the Turks:
According to the Americans:
According to Silvio Berlussconi
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