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The Evolutionary Perspective
Daily Archives: January 15, 2020
Posted: January 15, 2020 at 5:47 am
Picture this: Youre going on a first date. But instead of grabbing a drink, your date takes you to get a nutrient-rich IV drip. It costs over $200, but hey as long as your date is paying.
Depending on the kind of person you are, that might sound either very hip and modern or a little over the top. But can we agree its at least intriguing? Because for anyone who wants to socialize in a curated place with muted colors, minimalist design, and smooth surfaces everywhere, well, welcome to Remedy Place, a new LA spot.
Needle phobia be calmed, though. Most of the treatments offered at Remedy Place dont involve breaking the skin. Some even come with a guided meditation, loaded onto an iPad, to soothe you as your mind works to understand whats happening during the session.
Think of Remedy Place like a spa, but instead of working on your hair, skin, and nails, youre focusing on holistic physical wellness.
Their treatments include hyperbaric oxygen chambers, cryotherapy, lymphatic massage, saunas, and breath work. Theres a bar, too, but instead of alcohol, it serves wellness shots, CBD-infused kombucha, and nonalcoholic cocktails featuring nootropics and adaptogens.
In many ways, what Remedy Place offers is a form of sexified health that leans into New Age-y roots. Hyperbaric chambers may be a celebrity obsession as of late, but theyre used clinically to treat people recovering from burns or other serious injuries by making more oxygen available to the body to help optimize its natural self-healing processes.
And while cryotherapy, breath work, and saunas all have a spa-like connotation, some of the services offered are straight-up medical.
For instance, the movement therapy offered is essentially physical therapy. Visitors can also undergo testing for food sensitivities, among other things, to better learn about their bodies. That, of course, should be information meant for your personal use only.
If youre not ready to share the intimate details of your microbiome just yet, Remedy Place offers many other options that let you chat and get your wellness on, like taking a friend to an ice bath. What a bonding experience that would be!
When Dr. Jonathan Leary founded Remedy Place, his hope was to make certain kinds of wellness treatments less clinical and more luxurious, as well as social. Its easy to see how a place like this, located in West Hollywood, would resonate with health-conscious types who are trend-aware and Instagram-friendly. And theres a lovely fragrance permeating the whole place.
While the membership, at $495/month, isnt exactly widely accessible, its not required to use the services.
Believe it or not, Remedy Place is on the average-to-affordable end of the spectrum for LA facilities offering these treatments. The nutrient drips run about $220 each, and hyperbaric therapy and lymphatic drainage massage are $160 and $150 per hour, respectively (and also available by the half-hour).
Of course, thats not the kind of money anyone can drop regularly. Leary and his team recognize that this is a luxury for most people, outside the bounds of what insurance will cover. But they believe knowledge of how to care for ones body should be accessible, which is why they also offer weekly socials and group classes at their bar.
Group classes, like meditation and breath work, start at $30. When it comes to finding the answer to the age-old question Can you sit in silence together?, this might be a steal.
And Remedy Place is probably onto something here. As a skeptic who generally prefers to avoid discomfort such as needles and being cold, I was surprised to find myself thinking, You know, maybe an IV drip would be a fun way to catch up with friends every now and then. A little intense for a first date, maybe, but I know at least one of my friends is a self-care fanatic and would be extremely down.
What can I say? It looks like a trendy hotel and smells like a Malin + Goetz shop. I might not only agree to get poked by a needle there, but actually enjoy it.
While anyone who exercises or breathes LA air could benefit from hyperbaric therapy or movement therapy, Learys team also regularly reserves a few spots for those recovering from serious injuries or major surgeries. These people may reach out or be referred to Remedy Place but cant afford the treatments out of pocket.
In fact, Remedy Place is declining comped spots to influencers so as to make more of these subsidized treatments available to the people who need them most. That awareness of our need for connection is ultimately what makes Remedy Place so appealing.
IV drips, physical therapy, and even hyperbaric therapy on the surface dont have the indulgent draw that, say, mud baths and pedicures do, nor do they have the relaxed and inherently social atmosphere of bars or coffee shops. But Remedy Place makes these semi-medical treatments actually seem fun, like something you might want to do as your next big activity for a self-care night out.
Ariana DiValentino is a writer, filmmaker, and actor based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter.
Originally posted here:
Posted: at 5:47 am
Posted: at 5:46 am
Medical Technology is now available on all devices! Read it here for free in the web browser of your computer, tablet or smartphone.
To kick off the new decade, we find out how technological innovations are revolutionising hearing aids, speak to industry insiders to understand how 3D printing is changing dentistry, and examine the challenge of regulating implants as the market continues to expand and new technologies continue to blur the boundaries between what is and is not a medical device.
Sticking with implants, we delve into the complicated world of transhumanism and biohacking to find out how rising interest in tech implants could impact medical devices, explore ways that tech can unleash preventative personalised medicine with Verita, and learn more about a computerised kidney, which is helping to shed light on dehydration.
Plus, we take a look at the current state of the medical tourism industry to see how technology is impacting such a profitable sector, find out how combining wearables and drugs could help to treat Alzheimers, and as always we get the latest industry analysis and insight from GlobalData.
Timeline: the evolution of hearing aidsHearing aids have come a long way since the weird and wonderful vacuum tube contraptions of the 1800s, but its only within the last few decades that a truly transformative wave of fashionable, functional devices have started to appear. But how did this happen?Chloe Kentlooks back at the history of digital hearing aids, from the first devices of the 1990s to the innovative AI-powered technologies of the present day.Read more.
Open wide: how 3D printing is reshaping dentistryThe dental 3D printing market is expected to reach $930m by the end of 2025, and its application across different procedures is far-reaching, from the development of dentures to Invisalign retainer braces.Chloe Kentspeaks to Digital Smile Design directorGeorge Cabanasand Formlabs dental project managerSam Wainwrightto learn more about how 3D printing could help us all smile a little brighter.Read more.
Regulating implants: how to ensure safetyAs the implant market expands and new innovations become a reality, the challenge of regulating these new technologies is getting harder. With biohacking implants already being performed in tattoo studios, how will regulators ensure the safety of patients?Abi Millar reports.Read more.
From grinders to biohackers: where medical technology meets body modificationA new generation of patients are demanding medical interventions that not only make it easier to manage medical conditions, but also enhance their day-to-day lives. Engineers and researchers have responded with futuristic innovations that push the boundaries of biohacking.Chloe Kentrounds up the bizarre and brilliant innovations that could be the future of medicine as we know it.Read more.
Q&A: how tech can unleash preventative personalised medicine with VeritaVerita Healthcare Group is a company with fingers in many pies, but one of its key focuses is on bringing preventative healthcare to the masses through technology.Chloe Kentcatches up withJulian AndrieszandJames Grant Wetherillto find out more about the companys latest digital health acquisitions and what it sees in its future.Read more.
No filter: understanding how medicines impact dehydrationComputer models of a kidney developed at the University of Waterloo could tell us more about the impacts of medicines taken by people prone to dehydration.Natalie Healeyfinds out more.Read more.
Medical tourism: how is digital tech reshaping the industry?Medical tourism is a large and growing sector that is being driven by high costs and long waiting times in developed countries. But how is the rise of digital technology and Big Data influencing the development of medical tourism hotspots around the world?Chris Lofinds out.Read more.
Triple combo: calming Alzheimers agitation with ai, wearables and a novel drugBioXcel Therapeutics is developing an acute agitation drug, BXCL501, for Alzheimers disease. To improve management and prevention of agitation, the company is leveraging an existing wearable device and developing AI algorithms to predict and prevent aggressive agitation.Allie Nawratexplores this novel, triple combination initiative to prevent and treat symptoms of Alzheimers.Read more.
In the next issue of Medical Technology we take a look at the need for a more proactive approach to encourage health screening uptake, and explore ways that AI could help to make healthcare more human-centric.
Also in the next issue, we find out how a combination of virtual reality and haptics is being used to help virtually train surgeons to perform complex procedures, examine the potential of smell-powered diagnostics, and investigate the rise of chronic illness groups on social media platforms.
Plus, we examine how the uncertain future of Ehtylene oxide could impact device manufacturers, speak to Medidata about the companys merger with Dassault Systmes, and take a look at the recall of Bayers Essure contraceptive implant.
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ActorHarry Hains, whose roles included appearances on American Horror Story: Hotel'sfifth-season episode "Devil's Night" andThe OA's second-season episode "Angel of Death," has died at age 27.
Hains' mother, actressJane Badler (V: The Series, Mission: Impossible), announced the news on her Instagram.
"On Jan 7 my beautiful son died. He was 27 and had the world at his feet. But sadly he struggled with mental illness and addiction," Badler wrote. "A brilliant spark shone bright too short a time .. I will miss you Harry every day of my life."
Back in October, Badler had posted a throwback photo of her children, as she reflected on motherhood:
The young actor and model also appeared in such genre fare asA Haunting at Silver Falls: The Returnand was scheduled to appear in an upcoming horror film titledKlowns, among many other projects, according to his IMDb page.
Hains was also a musician, performing under the name ANTIBOY. Hains described ANTIBOY as "a trans human/android from afuture in which all social constructs - including gender, sexuality, and race - have been destroyed." Attitude Magazine named Hains one of its rising stars:
A memorial service for Hains will be held on Jan. 12 at Hollywood Forever in Los Angeles.
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The Caribbean, long referred to as theWest Indies, includes more than 7,000 islands; of those, 13 are independent island countries (shown in red on the map), and some are dependencies or overseas territories of other nations.
In addition, that large number includes islets (very small rocky islands); cay's (small, low islands composed largely of coral or sand) and a few inhabited reefs: See Belize.
In geographical terms the Caribbean area includes the Caribbean Sea and all of the islands located to the southeast of the Gulf of Mexico, east of Central America and Mexico, and to the north of South America. Some of its counted cay's, islands, islets and inhabited reefs front the handful of countries that border the region.
TheBahamas and Turks and Caicos are not considered a part of the Caribbean, however, we show them here because of their cultural, geographical and political associations with the Greater Antilles and other Caribbean Islands.
At the beginning of the 15th century the population of the Caribbean was estimated to be nearly 900,000 indigenous people immediately before European contact.
Then in 1492, Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer began his exploration of the Caribbean, becoming the firstEuropean to venture into the area.
After reportedly landing in the eastern Bahamas, Columbus named these islands theIndies, because he thought he had finally reached Asia (and the East Indies).
Numerous explorers followed in his path, then tens of thousands of settlers arrived from the Americas, China, European countries and India. Included in that mix were religious outcasts and a small army of pirates.
Across the Caribbean, slaves fromAfrica were imported in great numbers to work the sugar and tobacco plantations.
By then the indigenous populations of the islands were in severe decline as exposure to disease and brutal genocide wiped out much of their number.
Great military powers continually fought for control of the islands, and finally, a blended mix of African andEuropean cultures and languages transformed this large group of islands and its peoples into one of the premier tourist destinations on the planet.
Long called theWest Indies, the overall area is now commonly referred to as the Caribbean, a name that became popular after World War II.
Over the last few decades legions of travelers have journeyed to the Caribbean to enjoy the amenities. They frequently arrive in cruise ships that sail in and out, from ports in Florida and Puerto Rico.
Overall the Caribbean is a magical place of palm trees, white sand beaches, turquoise waters and sunshine, all blessed with a climate that consistently offers a much-needed break for those stuck in the cold weather doldrums of the north.
If you haven't been, you should, and if you've been here more than once, you will come again, as these islands, these beach-ringed, jungle-covered rocks are home to thousands of historical surprises and activities galore.
So come wiggle you toes in the sand, and eat and sleep under the stars in the Caribbean.You won't be disappointed.
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GAINESVILLE, FLORIDALive Science reports that William Keegan of the Florida Museum of Natural History and Ann Ross of North Carolina State University analyzed the structure of 103 skulls unearthed in the Caribbean, Florida, and Panama, and concluded that the Carib people may have traveled to the Bahamas from South America as early as A.D. 800. When Christopher Columbus arrived in the Bahamas in 1492, he recorded conflicts between the indigenous Arawak and Caribs, whom he described as marauding cannibals. But researchers lacked evidence showing that the Caribs had actually migrated so far north, and therefore doubted the accuracy of the explorers account. The new test results and archaeological evidence suggest that Carib settlers from the Yucatn Peninsula reached the Caribbean around 5000 B.C., and they then traveled to Cuba and the northern Antilles, while Arawaks from Colombia and Venezuela arrived in Puerto Rico between 800 and 200 B.C. The study also indicates that Caribs from the northwest Amazon were the first to arrive in the Bahamas and the island of Hispaniola. Keegan said this migration pattern fits with the spread of a unique pottery type as well. He and Ross now think Columbus may have actually encountered the Caribs, but they said that there is still no real evidence that the Caribs practiced cannibalism. To read about the fifteenth-century Martellus map that Columbus is believed to have consulted before sailing to the Caribbean, go to "Reading the Invisible Ink."
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Stony coral tissue loss disease is sweeping through Caribbean reefs. Can these students find the answers? – News@Northeastern
Posted: at 5:44 am
BOCAS DEL TORO, PanamaAlison Nobles scuba tank drops over the side of the boat with a deep splash. After pulling on two long white fins and a mask, she follows her tank into the water, fastening the straps and buckles that secure it around her neoprene wetsuit.
Noble checks with her buddy, takes a breath from her regulator, and the two divers descend side-by-side, letting air out of their buoyancy control devices to sink towards the bottom, towards the reef. Noble lays down a long tape measure, known as a transect among scientists, to mark their research area, and starts swimming. Shes looking for a bright white blaze, a malevolent stowaway on the currents that wash over these reefs.
Its called stony coral tissue loss disease, a plague thats sweeping down the Caribbean from reefs just off of Miami, Florida.
Noble, a fourth-year marine biology student at Northeastern, is one of 13 students surveying a coral reef off the coast of Panama for signs of the disease as part of the Three Seas program, a year-long intensive marine biology curriculum. Shes surveying the reef in Panama as part of the Biology of Corals class, watching for what could be the newest outbreak of stony coral tissue loss disease.
The Caribbean is the third sea of Three Seas. The students also study the Salish Sea from a facility near Seattle, and the Gulf of Maine from Northeasterns Marine Science Center in Nahant, Massachusetts.
Along her transect, Noble takes note of the species and health of every coral she finds. Corals are made up of hundreds or thousands of small organisms called polyps, which live as a single colony. Each polyp is filled with colorful plankton called zooxanthellae, which photosynthesize and pass food on to their polyp hosts. When a coral dies, it turns a harsh white as it loses its zooxanthellae and reveals its limestone skeleton.
First seen in 2014 but not studied until 2017, stony coral tissue loss disease threatens twenty species that comprise the heart of the Caribbeans coral reefs. Reefs provide food and beauty to the islands, mainland, and world, attracting tourists and scientists alike.
Using a slate and a pencil to write underwater, Noble marks down a diseased coral: CNAT SCTLD? Translation: Colpophyllia natans, possible stony coral tissue loss disease. Colpophylia natans is the classical ideal of a brain coral, which features winding alleys of polyps separated by peaks and valleys of limestone dressed in vivid greens, yellows, and sometimes, purplespigments in their resident zooxanthellae that they use to photosynthesize. This coral, however, has been stripped of its regalia, and instead presents swaths of white death.
Symptoms of SCTLD are highly variable, so it was often difficult to tell whether a colony was affected by SCTLD, another disease, or something else entirely, says Noble. Our professors believe that there were cases of SCTLD on the reefs, which was incredibly alarming.
Though many researchers are trying to find the answer, no one knows what causes the disease. Early studies hint at bacteria, as some researchers have found success in saving some colonies by treating the infections with antibiotics. The first alarm that something was happening to Floridas reefs was raised by William Precht, an environmental consultant in Florida who has taught coral reef ecology for more than thirty years in the Three Seas program, where he teaches coral reef ecology in partnership with Northeastern associate professor Steve Vollmer. Prechts research on the cause of the disease is funded by a National Science Foundation grant.
Precht and Vollmer recently attended a meeting in Cozumel, Mexico, once home to some of the healthiest reefs in the Caribbean, now ravaged by stony coral tissue loss disease. In January, Vollmer will be teaching the graduate program of Three Seas, which will continue to monitor the area for new signs of the disease.
Given the rates of infection and mortality seen in other areas, an outbreak could completely devastate the corals of Bocas, Noble says. The reefs that we dove on could be gone a year from now. In a situation like this, its really important to hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
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Study puts the ‘Carib’ in ‘Caribbean,’ boosting credibility of Columbus’ cannibal claims – University of Florida
Posted: at 5:44 am
Christopher Columbus accounts of the Caribbean include harrowing descriptions of fierce raiders who abducted women and cannibalized men stories long dismissed as myths.
But a new study suggests Columbus may have been telling the truth.
Using the equivalent of facial recognition technology, researchers analyzed the skulls of early Caribbean inhabitants, uncovering relationships between people groups and upending longstanding hypotheses about how the islands were first colonized.
One surprising finding was that the Caribs, marauders from South America and rumored cannibals, invaded Jamaica, Hispaniola and the Bahamas, overturning half a century of assumptions that they never made it farther north than Guadeloupe.
Ive spent years trying to prove Columbus wrong when he was right: There were Caribs in the northern Caribbean when he arrived, said William Keegan, Florida Museum of Natural History curator of Caribbean archaeology. Were going to have to reinterpret everything we thought we knew.
Detail from a painting by John Gabriel Stedman. Public domain image
Columbus had recounted how peaceful Arawaks in modern-day Bahamas were terrorized by pillagers he mistakenly described as Caniba, the Asiatic subjects of the Grand Khan. His Spanish successors corrected the name to Caribe a few decades later, but the similar-sounding names led most archaeologists to chalk up the references to a mix-up: How could Caribs have been in the Bahamas when their closest outpost was nearly 1,000 miles to the south?
But skulls reveal the Carib presence in the Caribbean was far more prominent than previously thought, giving credence to Columbus claims.
Previous studies relied on artifacts such as tools and pottery to trace the geographical origin and movement of people through the Caribbean over time. Adding a biological component brings the regions history into sharper focus, said Ann Ross, a professor of biological sciences at North Carolina State University and the studys lead author.
Ross used 3D facial landmarks, such as the size of an eye socket or length of a nose, to analyze more than 100 skulls dating from about A.D. 800 to 1542. These landmarks can act as a genetic proxy for determining how closely people are related to one another.
The analysis not only revealed three distinct Caribbean people groups, but also their migration routes, which was really stunning, Ross said.
Researchers used 16 facial landmarks to analyze skulls, a technique often used as a genetic proxy. You can tell how closely people are related or not by these types of measures, Ross said.
For the past 30 years, archaeologists have debated how the Caribbean was settled and by whom. The skull analysis revealed three distinct people groups and migrations. One previous hypothesis proposed the Caribbeans colonizers included people from Florida and Panama, but the researchers did not find biological evidence to support this line of thinking.
Looking at ancient faces shows the Caribbeans earliest settlers came from the Yucatan, moving into Cuba and the Northern Antilles, which supports a previous hypothesis based on similarities in stone tools. Arawak speakers from coastal Colombia and Venezuela migrated to Puerto Rico between 800 and 200 B.C., a journey also documented in pottery.
The earliest inhabitants of the Bahamas and Hispaniola, however, were not from Cuba as commonly thought, but the Northwest Amazon the Caribs. Around A.D. 800, they pushed north into Hispaniola and Jamaica and then the Bahamas where they were well established by the time Columbus arrived.
I had been stumped for years because I didnt have this Bahamian component, Ross said. Those remains were so key. This will change the perspective on the people and peopling of the Caribbean.
For Keegan, the discovery lays to rest a puzzle that pestered him for years: why a type of pottery known as Meillacoid appears in Hispaniola by A.D. 800, Jamaica around 900 and the Bahamas around 1000.
Florida Museum photo by William Keegan
Why was this pottery so different from everything else we see? That had bothered me, he said. It makes sense that Meillacoid pottery is associated with the Carib expansion.
The sudden appearance of Meillacoid pottery also corresponds with a general reshuffling of people in the Caribbean after a 1,000-year period of tranquility, further evidence that Carib invaders were on the move, Keegan said.
So, was there any substance to the tales of cannibalism?
Possibly, Keegan said.
Arawaks and Caribs were enemies, but they often lived side by side with occasional intermarriage before blood feuds erupted, he said.
Its almost a Hatfields and McCoys kind of situation, Keegan said. Maybe there was some cannibalism involved. If you need to frighten your enemies, thats a really good way to do it.
Whether or not it was accurate, the European perception that Caribs were cannibals had a tremendous impact on the regions history, he said. The Spanish monarchy initially insisted that indigenous people be paid for work and treated with respect, but reversed its position after receiving reports that they refused to convert to Christianity and ate human flesh.
The crown said, Well, if theyre going to behave that way, they can be enslaved, Keegan said. All of a sudden, every native person in the entire Caribbean became a Carib as far as the colonists were concerned.
The study was published in Scientific Reports.
Michael Pateman of the Turks and Caicos National Museum and Colleen Young of the University of Missouri also co-authored the study.
The research was funded by the National Museum of the Bahamas Antiquities, Monuments and Museum Corporation and the Florida Museums Caribbean Archaeology endowment.
Editors note: You can read more about this work in this piece from North Carolina State University.
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The Rhythm Lounge & Grill is offering live music and Caribbean-inspired food at Marketplace Maill – Winston-Salem Journal
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The new year has already brought a new restaurant and entertainment venue to Winston-Salem. The Rhythm Lounge & Grill opened Jan. 3 in Marketplace Mall at 2101 Peters Creek Parkway.
The Rhythm offers a Caribbean-themed menu for lunch Tuesday and Wednesday, dinner Thursday through Saturday and brunch on Sunday. The club plans to offer live music Thursday through Saturday nights and during Sunday brunch.
The Rhythm is in a 7,000-square-foot space in the middle of Marketplace Mall that used to house a Burlington Shoes store. It has a maximum occupancy of about 450.
Georjean Mahario and Lee Tompkins are partners in the new venture. Mahario used to own Irie Rhythms, a Caribbean-themed restaurant in Silas Creek Crossing shopping center near Hanes Mall. Irie Rhythms operated from 2014 into 2019. Last summer, it changed its name to Sea Breeze when Maharios daughter, Brianna Mahario, took over as owner. Brianna Mahario closed the restaurant this fall when she decided to relocate.
Mahario already had plans for another restaurant when she met up with Tompkins, who has worked in the music industry for many years. I was a rap artist in the 80s. Then I was a producer with Melba Moores company. And I was a soundman on the road for years, Tompkins said.
I wanted to do something different with music, Tompkins said, and (Mahario) wanted to do something with food, so we said, Why not do something together?
For lunch and dinner, Mahario is offering many of the same entrees that Irie Rhythms was known for, including oxtails $16), jerk chicken ($10) and curry shrimp ($12).
A new entre is the grilled salmon with mango salsa ($12).
The appetizers are almost all new, except for Jamaican beef patties ($4). Appetizers include beer-battered fish bites ($8.50), sweet and sour meatballs ($8), trio of chicken wings ($13.50) and yucca fries with house-made rhythm sauce ($4.25).
For brunch, The Rhythms menu includes shrimp and grits ($14.95), brown stew chicken ($10) and whole fried red snapper with a choice of sauces ($16.95). There also is The Rhythm wrap ($8), with eggs, cheese and more in a spinach or tomato-basil tortilla wrap.
We always have vegetarian and vegan options because I am one, Mahario said.
At brunch, the vegetarian breakfast bowl ($9.50) consists of grits or potatoes topped with scrambled eggs, sauted vegetables and cheese. At lunch and dinner the veggie rundown ($8.50) consists of sauted vegetables in a sweet and spicy coconut curry sauce.
The Rhythm has full ABC permits, offering beer, wine and cocktails. Specialty cocktails include tropical rum punch ($9) with guava, strawberry and banana puree; pineapple juice; and rum. The mango tea ($8.50) combines tea with mango puree, mango chunks and vodka. The Rhythm sangria ($7.50) mixes wine with mango, pineapple and strawberries.
Tompkins said he plans to offer a wide variety of music, including country, jazz, reggae and older hip-hop.
It will be all old-school, music I have in my record collection that Id like to hear, he said.
The music at night will be for people ages 35 and up we wont be playing anything done after 2000, Mahario said.
Though the music genres at night may vary a lot, they said, brunch usually will be jazz or gospel.
Local trumpeter Joe Robinson played The Rhythms first brunch on Jan. 5.
Upcoming acts at The Rhythm will include Winston-Salem bands the Phase Band, playing R&B and funk, on Jan. 16 and West End Mambo, playing salsa and Latin jazz on Jan 18. The Rhythm will present hip-hop duo Das EFX and rapper Mr. Cheeks on a double bill on Jan. 24.
A side of Sauteed Mixed Vegetables with Oxtails at The Rhythm Lounge & Grill
Sweet & Sour Meatballs at The Rhythm Lounge & Grill
Oxtails at The Rhythm Lounge & Grill
The full service bar in The Rhythm Lounge & Grill
Georjean Mahario and Lee Tompkins are co-owners of The Rhythm Lounge & Grill in Winston-Salem. Above, shrimp and grits.
Shrimp & Grits, from bottom left, clockwise, Sweet & Sour Meatballs, Oxtails and a side of Sauteed Mixed Vegetables at The Rhythm Lounge & Grill.
Shrimp & Grits at The Rhythm Lounge & Grill
The stage at The Rhythm Lounge & Grill
The Rhythm Lounge & Grill is accessible from Marketplace Mall.
Original concert posters adorn the walls in Rhythm Lounge & Grill.
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A gathering at Wayman AME Church on West Olive Street in Bloomington was more than a service. It was a Latin American celebration of traditions associated with the feast of the Epiphany.
We are a church in the heart of the community with a heartforthe community, and we want there to be unity in the community and we want this to be an open space for that and were going to continue to keep our doors open to the community, the Rev. Dr. Brigitte A. Black said about the program, "Caribbean Cultural Connections: From Christmas to the Three Wise Men."
The service began Friday evening with church member Ky Ajayi and his daughter Laras Caribbean-flavored drum call, which referenced the culture of three islands whose traditions were highlighted: Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Attendees then sang the traditional spiritual hymn Go Tell it On the Mountain."
For the next hymn, organizers added non-traditional elements. Agape dance troupe Director Lyndetta Alsberry told those in the pews about specific movements that went with the lyrics.
The evenings featured speaker was Jessie Dixon-Montgomery, an associate professor of Hispanic studies at Illinois Wesleyan University, who said for 30 years Cubans could not celebrate Christmas or the feast of Epiphany usually on Jan. 6. It marks the visit by three kings to bring gifts to the Christ child.
Los Reyes Magos, the three wise men, who traditionally visited Cuba did not come bearing gifts because of the government of Fidel Castros revolution of 1959 which abolished all religious holidays since they were against Communist principles, said Dixon-Montgomery.
Dixon-Montgomery said the ban on religious celebrations changed after Pope John Paul II visited Cuba but that children now mostly receive toys from charities because so many live in poverty.
In the Dominican Republic, Christmas has become a bigger celebration as ex pats who fled the revolution and settled in New York and New Jersey returned to the region with a more American emphasis on gifts and a big Christmas Eve dinner.
Family members gather together and have great Dominican food, including the roast suckling pig and pastelles which are like tamales, Mexican tamales, but they are not made out of a corn base. Its usually plantains or it could be yam or it could be yucca, she explained.
Dominican children do not receive gifts until the Day of the Kings on Jan. 5. Children put water and grass under the Christmas tree before bed for the camels as the Three Kings pass in the night.
In Puerto Rico, the Christmas season begins in late November with parrandas, parades and carolers singing mostly secular songs as they travel their neighborhood. Dixon-Montgomery said the season ends with a big parade and the three wise men traveling the island, handing out gifts to children.
Part Of Your Identity
Among those attending the Caribbean Cultural Connections service was Jenn Carrillo, a Bloomington City Council member who was born and raised in Mexico City. She migrated to the U.S. with her family as a child.
Carrillo saidpreserving traditions helps immigrants maintain a cultural identity and connection to their roots.
The wisdom, the magic and the rituals of our ancestors are an essential part of who we are, an essential part of our identities, and they are the things that help us make friends into family members, houses into homes, and cities and towns into real communities, she shared.
Carrillo thanked church leaders for providing a space to share traditions which she says too often immigrants are forced to abandon when they come to the United States.
Not only do we have to leave our ancestral lands and our families, but we also have to give up parts of ourselves to be able to have a life here. And so it is important that we move with intention and that create spaces such as this one to begin to share with one another so that we can make ourselves and each other whole in community. I want to encourage us to keep doing this, she said.
Dixon-Montgomery agreed events such as the Cultural Connections celebration help build important connections.
I think were at a point now where we feel people are so different. Theyre nothing like us. We dont want anything to do with them. They look different. They talk differently. And so I think we need to find some connection between, said Dixon-Montgomery.
Dixon-Montgomery has only been in Bloomington-Normal for four months, arriving from Galesburg where she taught at Knox College. She said while it has been a mostly welcoming community, some people are surprised to learn she has experienced subtle racism.
If theyve never experienced it they think, Things have gotten better. Theyre not like they used to be in the 60s,' and someone told me that. And then when I started recounting personal incidents they said, 'OK, we see the division, we see that people are not quite as happy as we thought they should be, she shared.
Dixon-Montgomery added, Its not that Ive experienced big things. Ive experienced some subtle things that make you say, People still arent coming together. People are still afraid and dont know one another and theyre still afraid to reach out.
The longtime teacher said she embraces any opportunity to raise cultural awareness, even when it comes to Spanish language.
There is also a tendency in our community to label any Spanish speaker either Spanish or Mexican, and I want people to know there are a lot of Spanish speakers in 22 countries, including the United States. There are a lot all over the world and they bring valuable traditions and valuable values to the pool, she said.
She said sharing cultural traditions and spreading knowledge locally can help break down some walls rather than, as she put it, building walls we dont know exist.
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