Friday, March 1, 2013

Cartoon: Cannibal cop diet

Mark Wilson is a New York political cartoonist and illustrator who lives in the Adirondacks. He publishes under the pen name Marquil.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cartoonist shares advice with students

Kids today can still find their dream and achieve it if they will commit themselves to work, study, learn and try as best as they are able ... or is that "Abel?"

Duane Abel, the creator of the weekly comic strip "Zed," brought a message of hope and optimism to Ripley Central School students last Wednesday, Oct. 10 in his presentation, "Draw Your Own Destiny."
The hardest thing kids face today is "self entitlement," Abel said in an interview before his presentation.

"They feel they need everything handed to them," he said. "Kids need to know there is no substitute for hard work when it comes to achieving your dreams. Talent won't get you there. Luck won't get you there. Who you know won't get you there. Only hard work will win out."

Abel should know. He had his first cartoon published in the local newspaper when he was 10 years old. He created "Zed" when he was 15, getting it published in the local newspaper.

"I said, 'This is what I am going to do for the rest of my life,'" he said. "It's not talent, it's guts. You have to have guts to put yourself out there."

Abel became the youngest cartoonist in history to be syndicated when he signed with Future Features Syndicate shortly after creating "Zed." He continued to promote "Zed" while he pursued a theatrical degree from the University of Akron. At the age of 25, he then founded his own publishing company, "Corkey Comic," which takes its name from his nickname for his wife, Coral.

It all comes down to four words Abel said have shaped his life. As a teenager, he sent letters to all his favorite cartoonists asking for advice. One day he received a small card "no bigger than a baseball card." It came from Bud Blake, the creator of the strip, "Tiger." On it was written, "Work, Study, Learn and Try."
"My wish for all of you is that you find something you love to do and you use these words to achieve it," Abel told Ripley students in grades seven through 12. "Many adults hate their jobs, because they did not commit themselves to following their dream."

Once students find their passion, they must actively pursue it, Abel said. This is why "work" is so critical.
"Whatever your dream is, you should be working toward it every single day," he said.

One then needs to commit oneself to studying.

"Study your passion," Abel said. "Study everything around you to make yourself a better person. Study and listen and watch everything around you."

Abel told the students the most important thing in his wallet is his library card, because it's where he goes to learn.

"This word is so important," he said. "Learn everything you need to have the dream job you will love."
"Try" is the most important word of all, Abel said.

"Whatever your goal may be, you can never give up," he said. "I never wanted to give up."
But who is this "Zed" who has been Abel's passion?

"He is walking, talking dryer lint," Abel said with a laugh. "My drawing board was always in the basement beside the washer and dryer."

Abel said he has a very personal relationship with Zed.

"I've known him longer than my wife or my kids," he said. "Zed is the icing on the cake. It's not satire. It's not political. It's a wholesome, family comic strip. Zed is the kind of guy I wish I could be - hopeful, optimistic and wide-eyed. He is just about the best friend I could have."

Abel lives in Carrolton, Ohio, with his wife and his two sons, Zackie and Clayton.

"Luckily, they have no desire to be cartoonist," he said.

He intends to keep writing "Zed" throughout his lifetime. He noted a cartoonist named Russell Johnson wrote a strip named "Mr. Oswald" for 65 years until he was 95 years old.

"I think I can beat that," Abel said.

"Zed" has been compiled into four books so far. A Christmas book will be out in less than two weeks.
"I would love for 'Zed' to be an animated show or to be on Broadway," he said. "Anything to get people to know Zed, but to keep it on a grassroots level.

"The great thing about drawing a great cartoon is that you don't have to be a great artist, but a great writer," Abel told the students. "I was so confident in my own skin. I was so happy with who I was that I did not care what others thought of me."

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tips for fun, healthy lunches to go

It was a tragic lesson in the risks of consuming a fast-food, sugary diet:

Mona Meighan’s normally punctual 26-year-old son, Luke, did not show up for work one morning in 2009. A concerned co-worker stopped by Luke’s apartment and found the young man dead in his bed. An autopsy determined he died from complications of undiagnosed diabetes.

“For seven years, through college and into his work life, Luke lived on pizza and fast foods, sodas and sweet desserts,” says Meighan, an education consultant and author of What Are You Doing for Lunch?: A Friendly Guide to Brown Bagging as a Better Way to Lunch (

“Since we have no diabetes in our family, I can only believe Luke’s diet contributed to his death. Too often, young people aren’t aware of how food affects their health. As an educator, I thought the best way to remember Luke was to give people the tools to change their lunch habits. By brown-bagging, you can avoid a lot of processed foods loaded with calories and carbohydrates. It’s healthier – and less expensive!”
Meighan emphasizes she is not a chef – not even a cook! All of her recipes are designed to be tasty, and quick and easy to prepare. A couple of her favorite examples:

Pesto and Tomato Sandwich: Add 3 tablespoons plain or vanilla yogurt to 4-6 tablespoons prepared pesto. Spread on 4 slices of whole-wheat bread. Add thinly sliced tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. (Place in a toaster oven for 2-3 minutes, if desired.)

Hummus Salad Wrap: Spread ¼ cup hummus over two whole-wheat or flour tortillas and add 1 tomato, thinly sliced, 2 thin slices of Swiss cheese, and 2 lettuce leaves, cut up. Tightly roll the tortillas and spear with a toothpick.

If you’re new to brown-bagging, Meighan offers these tips to help you get off to the right start:

• Determine your personal lunch style. Some people are willing to spend 15 or 20 minutes in the kitchen the night before or morning of the workday to prepare a familiar lunch. These are traditionalists. Others want to just grab a container of food – perhaps something put together over the weekend, or last night’s leftovers – and hit the road. Meighan calls this the grab-and-go style. Maybe you’re creative, a midday gourmet, a social networker (likes to coordinate a group lunch) or a mix of all of the above, depending on what the week looks like.

• Do you have what you need to pack your lunch? Do you need a cooler-style lunchbox? How about reusable containers for sandwiches and soups? (Going green is, of course, better for the planet, and it saves money on items like disposable baggies and plastic cutlery.)

• Determine your upcoming week’s recipes. First, decide how many days you want to pack lunch this week, and plan your menu. Take stock of the ingredients you already have, and make a list of those you need to purchase. (To save even more money, either repeat lunches or plan lunches with similar ingredients.)
• Invest time on the weekend preparing food, if necessary. If you plan to grab and go, put together the first couple days’ lunches. If you’re a midday gourmet, you might want to cook up some homemade chili ahead of time; the creative may want to whip together Grandma’s Chicken Salad.

• Enjoy – and don’t overwhelm yourself! If you’re used to going out for lunch five days a week, start slowly. Try brown-bagging twice a week at first. You can make it more interesting by finding a buddy and taking turns preparing a lunch for two. If you eat at your desk, plan a rewarding way to spend your lunch hour, whether it’s running an errand or taking a walk in a park.

Monday, October 24, 2011

RK Laxman: Happy birthday to an uncommon man

“For half a century, the Times of India has thoughtfully provided an antidote to all the bad news brimming on its front pages. It’s a sketch, a single box, inked by RK Laxman, the country’s sharpest cartoonist and political satirist. Each morning, Laxman’s frazzled character, known as the Common Man, confronts India’s latest heartbreak with a kind of wry resignation. Meek, doddering and with a moustache that bristles like an electrocuted mongoose, he’s a witness to everything: scheming politicians, rapacious bureaucrats and gossiping housewives. What’s common about this character is that like most Indians, he sees his country being forced through endless indignities by its leaders and yet doesn’t even whimper in protest,” said Time magazine, reviewing a collection of Laxman’s cartoons.

Through his editorial cartoons, Laxman has, for decades, been holding up a mirror to society. Unlike many editors, Laxman has been steadfast and resolute in criticism through his cartoons. Former editor of The Times of India, Dileep Padgaonkar said of Laxman, “No editor of the The Times of India would control Laxman. I tried a couple of times to tell him that he might wish to change a word or two in his captions. And he’d fly into a rage! So, I don’t think he would ever, ever would have stood for any pressure from his editor. And I doubt very much — and certainly not during my tenure as editor — I never came across a single instance where there were pressures,” ibnlive reported.

In a conversation with CNBC-TV18′s Anuradha SenGupta, Laxman rejected any suggestion that he wanted to bring about change through his work:

Anuradha SenGupta: As a political satirist, as a political cartoonist, do you see yourself as a moral crusader?

R K Laxman: No, no. No such lessons on anything. I don’t make my cartoons so the people may learn. I have no such – that’s bad.

Anuradha SenGupta: Why do you say that?

R K Laxman: It is not my business. To make people laugh and understand the ridiculousness of the situation, that’s all, nothing more than that. Then you become a moralist. Then it is not a cartoon, it is a poster.”

While Laxman did not see himself as a crusader, in many ways, it was Laxman who drew the attention of readers of The Times of India to issues such as corruption in politics, the neglect of the poor, the class system, financial mismanagement and bungling by the government, and so on. To regular readers, and to his loyal fans, Laxman was a crusader, even if he didn’t see himself as one.

If the politicians had seen him as a crusader — and feared the reach of his influence — Anna Hazare might not be needed today.

Today, as he celebrates his 90th birthday, those who worked (indeed, work) with him at The Times of India will respect his privacy. Though he doesn’t attend office, his corner room on the second floor of the Times of India’s office on DN Road is still ‘his’.

He might have created the common man, but there could be nobody more uncommon that Laxman. For years, as his colleagues started buying the new cars of the post-reform era, Laxman would drive to work in a black Ambassador, feeling no need for change. At office, his only demand was that he be left in peace as he went about his business — conceptualising, drawing and then writing a couple of lines to drive a point home.

But he must know that he is uncommon. Senior executives of the Times of India carry a business card that proudly features the common man; one cannot pass the Worli Seaface without confronting a bronze statue of the Common Man; joggers and walkers get themselves photographed with the iconic cartoon character as if he was a celebrity.

He is, as is his creator.

For fans like me, one cannot imagine the Times of India without a cartoon by him.

There are millions like me.

We know you are a private person. All we can do is to wish you on your birthday.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Cartoons for iOS – The First Cartoons Free Library

Vitzu Ltd. today is pleased to introduce Cartoons by Vitzu, the first cartoons’ free library for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Open up the application and you can enter into a great cartoons gallery where you can find best cartoons ever, from classic animation such as Popeye the Sailor Man to brand new episodes of Beast Wars Transformers or Angelina Ballerina.

This app is very easy to use: you can pick up a cartoon from the library and a specific episode. A TV with the preview of the cartoon you have chosen will appear. Touch “play” on the screen and the application will connect you straight to YouTube.

Sometimes parents are really worried about what their children are going to watch on YouTube, that’s the reason why every cartoons episode is carefully selected. This app has been designed thinking of children and for children without forgetting parents, who can create customised playlists in order to check what children are watching.

Thanks to Cartoons by Vitzu children are going to have fun and learn too. We selected some of the best Learning Songs’ videos such as Alphabet Song, Numbers Song, Colours Song and more!

Cartoons by Vitzu is ideal for kids every age: from youngest children who can enjoy TeleTubbies and Nursery Rhymes, to older kids with Transformers (including the original Japanese version with subtitles and 1986′s Transformers the Movie), the Real Ghostbusters and Spiderman and his amazing Friends.

Cartoons by Vitzu is perfect for parents too: they can check what their children are watching and at the same time have fun with cartoons’ episodes from their childhood, for instance Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny or Sesame Street ‘s episodes from the 80s. If you would like to watch cartoons from your device, but YouTube is not reliable and safe for your kids, Cartoons by Vitzu is the application that can help you have fun. To use Cartoons by Vitzu all you need is an Internet connection!

Feature Highlights:
* Great Cartoons’ Selection
* Free App
* Every episode is carefully selected
* Create custom playlists to check what kids are watching
* YouTube Filter
* Learning and fun for kids of every age
* Ideal for grown-ups as well

Language support:
* US English

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iOS 3.2 or later
* 17.2 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Cartoons by Vitzu 1.0 is free and available worldwide through the App Store in the Entertainment category.

Cartoons by Vitzu 1.0
Download From iTunes
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App Icon

Located in London, UK, the Vitzu team is an independent software company founded in 2008. Current main areas of activity include iOS, Web, and Internet consulting services. With their strong blend of design and development skills, Vitzu’s mission is to design intuitive, efficient, and quality IT-solutions for the automation, protection, and promotion of business. Copyright (C) 2011 Alex Alexeev. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod, and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Surgeon Offers Tips On Treating And Managing Knee Pain

For the millions of Americans suffering from knee pain, tips to differentiate between typical aches and pains and when you should see a doctor. NY1 Health and Fitness Reporter Kafi Drexel filed the following report.

Two years ago, 70-year-old Marlene Haselbauer's right knee gave out leaving her in an increasing amount of pain and discomfort.

"I couldn't walk my dog. I had to get a dog walker," says Haselbauer. "My apartment is one flight up. I have now counted 30 steps up and down. And living in Washington Heights which are hill up and down I had to think about where I am going to walk which is not going to be hilly, and there's none."

The problem turned out to be arthritis which ultimately led Haselbauer to have knee replacement surgery. While most patients can be treated with everything from medication to physical therapy, surgery was the fix for Haselbauer.

According to her surgeon, Dr. Jeff Geller of New York Presbyterian Columbia Medical Center, knee problems – particularly those associated with arthritis – are one of the top reasons patients head to the doctor.

"Upwards of 90 to 100 million people a year in this country deal with some sort of form of arthritis and some sort of pain associated with arthritis," says Geller. "So by far it is the most common."

Knee problems can range from sprain and swelling to challenges as severe as arthritis where the cartilage protection in the knee joint completely wears out.

Because everyone experiences aches and pains from time to time, one of the biggest challenges patients have is figuring out when to finally see a doctor. Doctor say any pain, swelling or limping that lasts longer than a few days to a few weeks should probably get checked out. There are also preventive measure to strengthen knees too.

"Listen to your body," Geller recommends. "If your knee starts to hurt don't overdo it. Typically keeping yourself active and keeping the muscles in the legs reasonably strong with some sort of light exercise really goes a long way to help protect the knees."