Model Prep


So occasionally a friend will ask me to be a model for their art or business and I always say yes. One of the most interesting things to me is that someone views my form and sees something more than I do and is willing to capture it.

To prep I drink lots of water, paint my nails a neutral color, do a couple face masks and moisturize. I do not diet or stress about my weight. Stress causes more ugliness than a couple extra pounds or inches. And I talk myself up! I am a beautiful woman, a goddess amongst most. I am kind, smart and talented. Ya know the usual peep talk.
I deep conditioned my hair and applied a leave in conditioner. I did medium sized twists on my top layer to give my hair curls more definition. I apply light makeup when doing a photo shoot…

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Facebook introduces a Messenger plugin for business websites

Facebook Messenger is coming to businesses’ own websites. The social network announced today the launch of a new customer chat plugin into closed beta, which will allow customers to talk directly with businesses on their websites using Messenger, and continue those conversations across web, mobile and tablet devices.

While there are already plenty of customer support and chat plugins for websites on the market, Facebook’s advantage is its platform and reach.

Not only does the ability to use Messenger mean the business is making itself available within an application that now reaches some 1.2 billion monthly users and growing, the Messenger platform also supports features like payments, bots that understand natural language, and rich media, among other things.

Facebook says these features will also be supported in the beta version of the website plugin, and new experiences will be added in time, so the plugin is as “feature-rich” as the Messenger app itself.

Like other web chat systems, the Messenger chat plugin is designed to hover over top the business’s web page, and is indicated by the familiar, blue Messenger icon.

When a customer starts a chat session with the business, they’ll be presented with the same sort of Messenger interface they’re already used to from using the app on their mobile devices.

When customers leave the website, they’ll still be able to view or continue their conversation from their phone or tablet, using their Messenger app. (This may also be useful if the business doesn’t respond instantly to user requests coming in through Messenger from the web.)

WATCH OUT: It is a real pain in the ASS to get “messanger” while you are doing real stuff!!!!!

Is Hyperloop Transportation Technology Feasible or Insurable?

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies wants to build a tube-based inter and intra-city transportation system to transport passengers and cargo at high speeds. As part of its efforts to gain support, it sought to assure people that its technology is feasible.

The firm recently collaborated with Munich Re on a risk analysis of Hyperloop’s proposed futuristic transport system.

The good news for Hyperloop is the experts at Munich Re believe the technology is both feasible and insurable.

This is how Hyperloop works: a travel capsule moves through a tube with nearly zero friction and safely up to airplane speeds. The capsule is propelled by a drastic reduction of air in the tube along with magnetic levitation and propulsion. The system is all powered by a combination of alternative energy and energy conservation systems that its designer day will produce as much or more energy than it uses.

Global insurer Munich Re conducted a comprehensive risk analysis of the Hyperloop technology and created the first Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Risk Report. Over the past year, a project team within Munich Re’s Special Enterprise Risks Unit weighed the risks and challenges facing HTT’s Hyperloop technology. They developed risk landscapes to shed light on enterprise and technological risk and to document relevant external and internal influencing variables.

Munich Re concluded that the Hyperloop technology is both feasible and insurable in the medium term and that delivering the system demands a model represented by HTT’s innovative approach.

The risk report forms the foundation for active strategic risk management and, according to company officials, having risk management integrated into its planning will allow HTT to move ahead to other challenges such as the legal framework for its transportation infrastructure and to commence actual construction.

“Offering an insurable system is a massive milestone for this groundbreaking technology,” Dirk Ahlborn, CEO and co-founder of HTT, said. “As we move forward with commercialization of the system and our technology, our biggest challenge remains the creation of a new regulatory framework.”

“With one of the world’s leading insurance companies as a partner, we are able to integrate a risk management framework into our planning process,” Bibop Gresta, chairman and co-founder of HTT said. “Now with further validation that our technologies and system are feasible and insurable, we are ready to build.”

The analysis also positions Munich Re to develop new insurance products to meet the needs of Hyperloop.

“The technology developed by HTT is set to fundamentally change the way we travel in the future. Such technological shifts give rise to new insurance needs that demand innovative solutions,” which Munich Re is happy to develop, said Torsten Jeworrek, member of the Munich Re board of management.

The Munich Re findings may also help sway public opinion as to the safety of Hyperloop, although recent research by travel and specialty insurer Allianz Global Assistance USA suggests the public is more comfortable with the idea of super-fast trains like Hyperloop than with autonomous cars. Self-driving or autonomous vehicles rate lowest for travelers “very interested” and highest for “safety concerns” among those not interested when compared to other future travel methods surveyed, including space travel, supersonic travel, Hyperloop high-speed rail, and even flying cars.

Founded in 2013, HTT is a global team comprised of more than 800 engineers, creatives and technologists in 52 multidisciplinary teams, with 40 corporate and university partners. Headquartered in Los Angeles, HTT has offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE; Bratislava, Slovakia; Toulouse, France; and Barcelona, Spain. HTT has signed agreements in California, Slovakia, Abu Dhabi, the Czech Republic, France, Indonesia and Korea.

Hyperloop has been promoted by entrepreneur Elon Musk, who founded Tesla Motors, helped start PayPal, and is also co-founder and CEO of Space X.

What Railroads Connected With Maybrook Yard?

The Maybrook Line was a line of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad which connected with its Waterbury Branch in Derby, Connecticut, and its Maybrook Yard in Maybrook, New York, where it interchanged with other carriers. It was the main east-west freight route of the New Haven until its merger with the Penn Central in 1969.

After the New York and New England Railroad succeeded merging with the Newburgh, Dutchess and Connecticut Railroad at Hopewell Junction en route to the Fishkill Ferry station, they sought to expand traffic onto the newly built Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge in order to move goods to the other side of the Hudson River, and the Central New England Railway was perfectly willing to provide a connection. The CNE line was originally chartered as the Dutchess County Railroad in 1889 and ran southeast from the bridge to Hopewell Junction, and was operational on May 8, 1892. The line was absorbed by the CNE in 1907, and eventually merged into the New Haven Railroad in 1927. Passenger service was phased out beginning in the 1930s, the same decade the New Haven Railroad faced crippling bankruptcy. Later financial troubles in the 1950s and 1960s led to its eventual acquisition by Penn Central Railroad in 1969.

Upon taking ownership, the Penn Central began discouraging connecting traffic on the line that paralleled Penn Central routes for the rest of its journey to prevent it from being short-hauled. After 1971 only one train in each direction (for the Erie Lackawanna) traversed the full line.

Through service over the line ended abruptly in 1974 when the Poughkeepsie Bridge burned and was not repaired.

Maybrook Yard was where freight cars were interchanged between railroads from the west and the New Haven, whose Maybrook Line headed east over the Poughkeepsie Bridge to the railroad’s main freight yard, Cedar Hill Yard in New Haven, Connecticut.

To handle the traffic the yard was dramatically expanded in 1912 to three miles in length with six separate yards including two hump yards. A new 10-stall roundhouse with a 95-foot turntable replaced the original and was later expanded to 27 stalls. Also added was a large icing plant for refrigerator cars. At its height, the yard had 177 tracks totaling over 71 track-miles.

For much of its existence six class I railroads interchanged traffic at the yard with the New Haven Railroad. In 1956 the yard saw 19 arrivals and 18 departures of which 14 were operated by the New Haven, eight by the Lehigh and Hudson River Railway, seven by the Erie Railroad, four by the New York, Ontario and Western Railway, two by the Lehigh and New England Railroad and two by the New York Central Railroad. Rail service is still provided to customers in Maybrook by the Middletown and New Jersey Railroad on tracks owned by Norfolk Southern.

In 1993, Conrail pulled out of the Danbury area, selling all the track to Maybrook Properties. Freight traffic was rerouted on the Albany-Boston Line, turning south at Springfield, Mass., to New Haven, ending significant freight traffic on the Beacon-to-Danbury Line.

All evidence of Maybrook yard is now gone but for a single track coming from Campbell Hall.

The Erie Railroad brought in 500 cars each day, the O&W brought in 180 cars a day, the Lehigh and Hudson 400 cars a day, the Lehigh and New England 140 cars a day. New Jersey Central would send trains here, as well.

The trains would uncouple their cars in the receiving yard, be classified by destination and recoupled into trains heading into New England.


Guest Post by Ken Kinlock