Most districts going back to virtual education, health board may issue orders – Toledo Blade







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Allaria: 3 questions about investing you need to answer – Alton Telegraph

Investing in the stock market can seem simple for some and complex for others and getting to a “good” investing outcome can be done in many ways. I would argue that your mindset and expectations about investing and the way you approach investing has much to do with your perceived outcome.

Therefore, there are three questions about investing that all investors need to answer before you buy any stocks or bonds.

1. Is my goal to “beat the market?”

While I am certainly oversimplifying things here, most investors can be divided into two categories; those that are seeking returns equal to the market and those seeking returns that are better than the market. It is crucially important for you to decide and choose which camp you are in.

If you decide your goal is to simply seek returns equal to the market, your investment path should theoretically be straightforward. Low-cost index funds or ETFs can do a respectable job of delivering market-like returns.

(However, Vanguard found that even that isn’t so simple. Their Advisor Alpha study says that investors without advisors perform about 3% worse per year when evaluating long-term periods. Poor investor behavior accounts for nearly half of the underperformance.)

If your goal is to outperform “the market,” then you have two options to get that done. First, you can invest in “the market” using index funds but attempt to only be invested during good times and not tough times. This is called market timing. Most people claim this cannot be done, but many of those same people will try to do it anyway (i.e. moving their investments to cash prior to a major election).

The other way to beat the market is to not invest in the entire market, but only parts of the market (i.e. overweighting certain sectors, buying individual stocks, etc.).

The key here is to understand is that beating the market is incredibly hard to do, especially on a consistent basis. In fact, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices, 88.99% of large cap US mutual funds have underperformed the S&P 500 index over 10 years (as of April of 2020), and these are run by professional money managers who invest millions and billions of dollars for their investors.

2. What is my definition of “the market?”

This sounds simple, but individual investors answer this question incredibly inconsistently. Some say “the market” is the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Some say it is the S&P 500. Others say it is the Russell 3000. So, which is it and why does this matter?

If your goal is to beat the market, then it is important that you identify what you’re actually up against. Likewise, if your goal is to get market-like returns, it’s important to know what that actually means.

When we talk about “the market” in our firm, we are talking about the entire global equity market, which includes U.S. stocks, international stocks, emerging markets, small cap, large cap, etc. But, if you simply want to track the S&P 500, you are only talking about U.S. Large cap stocks. Right there is a key difference.

When you evaluate your own portfolio, be sure you are comparing apples to apples. This will help prevent a gap between your expectations and your outcomes.

3. How much time do I need to effectively measure the performance of my strategy?

No matter what investment strategy you choose, you need to understand a proper timeframe for evaluating your outcomes. All investments are designed for certain periods of time. Some investments are better for short-term time periods while others are better for the long-term.

If you invest in a strategy that is designed for the long-term, but you are evaluating your outcomes after 1, 3, or even 5 years, you’re missing the boat. I once heard a phrase that says it best: “Measuring the success or failure of a diversified portfolio after 1, 2, or even 5 years, is a bit like pulling up daisies to see how the roots are doing.” It makes no sense.

We all know not to expect flowers to bloom overnight, so why would you expect stocks to return 6%, 7%, or 8% every year. The average returns we usually punch into our retirement calculators are just that: averages. Those averages include data from long time periods of 10, 20, or even 30 years.

So, can you rely on the average returns of your stock portfolio after just five years? Not quite. Doing so would be like relying on a vaccine that has worked on literally four out of five people. Would that make you feel comfortable enough to take it? Probably not. You would want much more data and testing. In the finance world, more data equals more time.

Bottom Line

Is your goal to beat the market? If so, what is your definition of the market and how much time do your investments require before you have enough data to do a meaningful evaluation.

Answering these questions will not guarantee investing success, but doing so can help you avoid major disappointments and help prevent against poor decisions.

Investing involves the risk of loss and investors should be prepared to bear potential losses. Past performance may not be indicative of future results and may have been impacted by events and economic conditions that will not prevail in the future. Therefore, it should not be assumed that future performance of any specific security, investment product or investment strategy referenced in the article, either directly or indirectly, will be profitable or equal to the corresponding indicated performance level(s). No portion of the article shall be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any specific security or investment product or to engage in any particular investment strategy. In addition, this article shall not constitute the provision of personalized investment, tax or legal advice, and investors shall not assume this article serves as a substitute for personalized individual advice. Information contained in this article may have been derived from third-party sources that CAWM believes to be reliable; however CAWM does not control such information and does not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of such information and disclaims all liability for damages resulting from such sources.


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Edwardsville Arts Center’s Annual Holiday Show Art Sale Goes Virtual –

This year, the Edwardsville Arts Center’s annual Holiday Show art sale is going virtual. Normally around this time each year, the EAC fills their gallery with one-of-a-kind works of art from dozens of artists. To ensure that holiday shoppers are able to buy gifts safely from home this holiday season, all of the work they would usually have at their gallery will be available for purchase easily on their website from Friday, November 27, through January 1. Purchased artwork will be shipped directly to the buyer from the artist’s home.

Expect to see pottery, jewelry, ornaments, paintings, and even adorable handmade stuffed animals for sale. Ceramic cups by Katie Susko make perfect gift-giving items – Katie uses porcelain clay which she forms herself using a pottery wheel, and expertly decorates with floral and art deco-inspired patterns. Erin LaRocque preserves flowers, leaves, and lichen inside epoxy resin which is encased in a tiny wooden frame and hung off of a necklace chain for a truly special gift for your favorite nature lover. Jennifer Allwright, one of our Edwardsville Art Fair artists, will have prints of her animal portraits available for sale – perfect for the animal lover in your life.

Many of the artists who will have work for sale in their online shop are the same beloved local artists who many EAC regulars love to see year after year – Jimmy Liu (pottery), Ron Vivod (photography), and Sarah Shoot (jewelry), for example. But the EAC also made a point to invite past Edwardsville Art Fair artists who have been affected by the cancellation of art fairs this year due to the pandemic. Some local favorites you’ll get to see at this year’s virtual Holiday Show include Cara Van Leuven (painting), April Tate (fibers), or Rick and Joni Graves (photography).

Along with individual artist work, the EAC will also be selling “Surprise Gift Boxes” from their gallery shop! Take the pressure off of holiday shopping by buying a Surprise Gift Box with carefully curated items from the EAC’s gallery shop. You can choose an Ornament box, a Scarf and Earring box, a Ceramic Cup box (single cups or pairs), Glass Bead necklace box, or a Card box – ranging in price from $20 – $80. Whichever type of box you choose, you’ll get a surprise, artist-made item from the EAC that is handpicked to be a winner. These boxes will be great for corporate or employee gifts, teacher gifts, Secret Santa’s, or just a special surprise for someone you love. Surprise Gift Boxes will be available for purchase on the EAC’s website, and during our drive-thru Pick-a-Gift days outside of the EAC on December 5th, 12th, and 19th from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The EAC is also teaming up with Big Frog for a fundraising campaign that will benefit the EAC’s many programs. Make a donation of as little as $10 to the EAC to receive a custom template where you can draw your own design and bring it into Big Frog to have it printed on a t-shirt. Great for grandparent gifts or something fun for kids to do during their time at home. You’ll also have the chance to win an art box full of art supplies and goodies from the EAC if you tag yourself in your t-shirt with the hashtag #eacshirts!

Mark your calendar to visit the EAC’s website ( at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 27th (Black Friday) to ensure you get first pick in their virtual Holiday Show!

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European football debut ‘a dream come true’ for rising star Marko Stamenic –

New Zealand midfielder Marko Stamenic made his professional debut in FC Copenhagen's 2-1 defeat to Randers.

Lars Ronbog/Getty Images

New Zealand midfielder Marko Stamenic made his professional debut in FC Copenhagen’s 2-1 defeat to Randers.

New Zealand footballer Marko Stamenic made his professional debut for Danish Superliga club FC Copenhagen on Tuesday (NZT), less than three months after joining from Wellington’s Western Suburbs.

But he hopes it is just the start of a successful career in Europe and is already targeting more minutes.

“It was amazing. It’s obviously a big achievement for myself. I’ve always dreamed of playing as a professional and to get my debut for such a successful club is a dream come true in a way,” Stamenic told


Football Ferns players still buzzing after early wake-up call to watch Fifa Women’s World Cup announcement.

The 18-year-old played the first 71 minutes of FC Copenhagen’s disappointing 2-1 defeat at home to Randers, starting the match in a holding midfield position in the absence of quarantined captain Carlos Zeca.

* Another Kiwi in Europe: Rising star Marko Stamenic joins top Danish football club
* European offers on the table for talented Wellington Phoenix fullback Liberato Cacace
* Covid-19 puts Kiwi footballer Marko Stamenic’s European dream on hold

Stamenic put in a composed performance on debut, frequently moving into pockets of space and calmly distributing the ball for his team-mates.

The former New Zealand under-17 representative used his height to good effect, winning numerous aerial duels and was voted man of the match by FC Copenhagen’s supporters.

Marko Stamenic, right, competes for a header with Randers midfielder Tosin Kehinde.

Lars Ronbog/Getty Images

Marko Stamenic, right, competes for a header with Randers midfielder Tosin Kehinde.

He was replaced in the 71st minute, immediately after Alhaji Kamara scored Randers’ second goal to reclaim the lead for the visitors.

“I think I did well. I took time to get confident on the ball but after the first few touches I felt more at ease and I wanted to get the ball more. It’s obviously unfortunate that we lost and I hope that in the future if I am to be involved that we can win more and I can add value to the team.”

The result continued FC Copenhagen’s poor start to the 2020-21 season. The 13-time Danish champions have won just three of their first nine matches and now occupy a lowly 10th position on the table.

A product of the Ole Football Academy in Porirua, Stamenic signed with FC Copenhagen at the start of September and helped the club win the under-19 cup final before being invited to train with the first team, where he quickly impressed manager Jess Thorup.

After an early taste of Superliga action, Stamenic said he was hungry for more.

“I think it’s just the beginning. I can’t get my head too far up my arse. I can’t think about it too much,” he said.

“I just have to continue working hard and deserve my spot in the first team. I want to be a regular member of the squad so I just have to continue working hard and do my thing.”

Recent All Whites to have played in the Danish Superliga include captain Winston Reid and Marco Rojas.


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Five Books That Leave You With Hope for Humanity –

I gotta admit—I really struggle with dark, morally gray stories with heavy, bleak endings. I have to ration those kinds of books, limiting myself to one every 4 or 6 months. Most of it is because of depression, my constant shadow—past experience tells me that I’ll take on all those heavy emotions, and it’ll make for a pretty unpleasant week or so afterward. The rest? Personal preference for the shinier side of life.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think darker stories are important, especially as a way of processing trauma and addressing big issues. And hell, some people just like them! That’s cool. You do you. For me, though, I want to leave a book feeling like the world isn’t so bad, like there’s hope for us all if we can just keep going. And so, this list was born!

Let me clarify, though—these books aren’t shiny happy rainbows all the time. There’s betrayal. There’s death. There’s confict. But what really matters in a Book That Leaves You With Hope For Humanity is the attitude of the main characters and the overall tone of the work. Does each moment drip with existential dread and mounting hopelessness as obstacle after obstacle destroys the good guys? Nope, disqualified. Is there persistence in the face of hardship, a hopeful ending, and characters who are, deep down, Generally Good People? Sign me up.

So whether you deal with mental health issues and need to take care of yourself, or you’re just feeling crushed by The World and All Its Stuff, here are five books I hope will leave you feeling like your soul is filled with stars instead of crushing black holes.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet Becky Chambers competent ensembles SFF

All you can do, Rosemary—all any of us can do—is work to be something positive instead. That is a choice that every sapient must make every day of their life. The universe is what we make of it. It’s up to you to decide what part you will play.

If this book and its companion novels have been on your TBR for a long time, please let this be the final kick in the ass you need to actually read them. You won’t find action-packed shoot-em-up sci-fi here—remember, this is a book about the long way. What you’ll find instead are characters you will fiercely love and deeply understand, and brilliant commentary on war, the lenses through which we each view the world, and what makes a being worthy of personhood from culture to culture. The book is full of little gems of positive wisdom like the one above, and you’ll leave this book with a renewed sense of your place in the universe and greater respect for the disparate life experiences of the people around you.

The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

I believe that any dad who raises his child to believe the world is full of magic, and that there’s always hope no matter what, truly deserves for her to rescue him one day when he needs it.

This book is one of the most unique debuts of 2019, and far too many people have missed out on it. British Muslim protagonist, submarine races in a future where London is completely underwater, a Good Dad who has been mysteriously arrested, and some next level conspiracy stuff. It’s book one of a duology, so you gotta know that there won’t be easy or satisfying answers here yet. What lands this book on the list, though, is the way the theme of hope is woven throughout the book. The quote above is just one example of many. Leyla is a protagonist I’m thrilled to follow along with, because her determination and relentless spirit make me feel more powerful and capable, too. Also, that cover!

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

Maybe Greta was right. Maybe everyone did have a song in them—or a story. One all their own. If that were so, Asha had found hers.

And here she stood at the beginning of it.

This one may not scream “hopeful” on the surface. The main character is a dragonslayer girl with a tragic past and a bleak future, forced into a death dealing role she doesn’t want and a marriage she’s repelled by, and living in a world full of slavery and selfish politics. The story, though! The awesome dragons who are lured by the power of storytelling! Lest you be turned off by the idea of hunting and killing dragons, I will give you a very minor spoiler and say that things… evolve over the course of the book. Most importantly, the ending filled me with the exact feeling I’m going for with this list, and the same feeling I try to end all my own books with—that feeling of the world opening up before you, with healing and possibilities and brighter futures and change on the horizon. Best of all, there are two companion novels, and the covers of all three are GORGEOUS gold-flecked additions to your shelf.

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason

Courage is the best companion when going into the unknown.

An unusual and unique read with a majorly voicey omniscient narrator. This book gets called “The Princess Bride meets Princess Leia,” and… yeah, actually, that works. It’s a full integration of fairy tale tropes in a spacey science fiction setting. Our hero, Rory, is fiercely smart, has a magical BS meter, and can cook up a political scheme with the best of them. I will never be tired of girls breaking out of the cages they’re born into, and Rory does it with wit, humor, and mountains of courage.

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

You get in there and fight, Emmett. Be worthy. Not in their eyes, but in yours. Break the rules you need to, but never forget who you are and where you come from. When they knock you down, and they will, don’t you quit on me.

This book doesn’t pull punches. There will be deaths that hit you in the feels, and plenty of twists and turns. There’s also powerful social commentary, a fighting spirit, and that relentless drive to do what’s right for family, friends, and humanity. This now-complete trilogy wraps up with plenty of drama, action, and pain, but never loses that feeling that got it on this list to begin with.

Originally published January 2020.

M.K. England is an author and YA librarian who grew up on the Space Coast of Florida and now calls rural Virginia home. When they’re not writing or librarianing, MK can be found drowning in fandom, rolling dice at the D&D table, digging in the garden, or feeding their video game addiction. They love Star Wars with a desperate, heedless passion. It’s best if you never speak of Sherlock Holmes in their presence. You’ll regret it. M.K. is the author of THE DISASTERS (2018) and SPELLHACKER (January 2020), both from Harper Teen.


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The Snubs and Surprises of the Grammy Award Nominations – The New York Times

Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa led the 2021 Grammy nominations on Tuesday, topping a list filled with smaller names (and missing some of the biggest players in pop). Who got left out, and what do the picks say about both the past year in music and where the Grammys are heading? Our chief pop music critic Jon Pareles, pop music critic Jon Caramanica, pop music reporter Joe Coscarelli and music business reporter Ben Sisario discussed the day’s big takeaways, snubs and surprises.

JOE COSCARELLI Another year, another set of mostly anticlimactic, head-scratching surprises from the Recording Academy.

Silly me, but I expected that because of the pandemic, which stifled a lot of releases and made breaking out as a new artist more difficult — as well as the Grammys’ commitment the last few years to at least nodding toward both diversity and cultural relevance — we would see a fairly predictable crop of big names: Taylor Swift and Post Malone, sure, but also the Weeknd, Harry Styles, Pop Smoke, BTS, Lil Baby, Roddy Ricch, Juice WRLD. Maybe Luke Combs, the Chicks and even Bob Dylan.

But across the major four categories, we instead got a bizarre hodgepodge of headliners (including Beyoncé and Billie Eilish, for off-cycle one-offs) and then names like … Black Pumas, Jhené Aiko, Jacob Collier, Coldplay (!) and D Smoke, which I could’ve sworn was a typo for “Pop Smoke.” (Nope, he’s from that Netflix hip-hop show and he’s up for two awards including best new artist.)

The Weeknd is by far the biggest snub. I don’t know if “After Hours” is his best work — critics? — but he was everywhere during this coronavirus-plagued year, and is headlining the Super Bowl halftime show (also airing on CBS!) the week after the Grammys. “Blinding Lights” was massive and inescapable, and Abel Tesfaye just played the role of Pop Star with such commitment, and the proper blend of art, commerce and costumes. There’s plenty of other nit-picking to do up top — whither Sam Hunt and Halsey, whose biggest Grammys look remains “A Star Is Born”? — but this complete “we don’t know him” for the Weeknd, resulting in zero nominations, feels loaded to me. (Email me if you Zoomed into one of those secret committee meetings.)


JON CARAMANICA The Nashville oversights are baffling, particularly Luke Combs, whose album “What You See Is What You Get” is likely the biggest commercial juggernaut the genre has seen recently. I presume Hunt is passed over for having good taste? And though it’s Nashville-adjacent, it is striking to see the Chicks all but ignored, given how frequently their prior work was lauded by the Grammys, both pre- and post-country music banishment. (Their producer Jack Antonoff was nominated for producer of the year, nonclassical.)

ImageLuke Combs, one of country music’s biggest stars, received no nominations.
Credit…Jason Kempin/Getty Images

In regards to the Weeknd, here’s a thought. What he’s become in recent years is a maestro of the synthetic — he’s not alone in making grand-scaled pop music, but he is singular in nailing the pristine plasticity of 1980s arena-pop. That makes for huge smashes — “After Hours” is an excellent album, and surprisingly quirky for a battleship of its size. But it has little to do with the show-your-work (alleged) gravitas that Grammy voters tend to favor. Plus, even though the Weeknd now shows his face, it’s often costumed in some way; he’s keeping his internal self at a remove, and in this ecosystem, that’s a liability, no matter how big the hits.

BEN SISARIO Conservatism at the Grammys used to mean that the big categories were lifetime achievement proxies, like when Ray Charles won five awards in 2005, a year after his death (and 18 years after he received the actual lifetime achievement award).

Now, the Grammys often seem to save a few slots to recognize old-sounding music by youngs, especially for the kind of thing that the word “hit” does not apply to. Two years ago, such a spot was held by Brandi Carlile. This time around, it belongs to Black Pumas, whose song “Colors” sounds like a perfectly adequate rock-soul nugget from 1973.

These choices always draw eye rolls among journalists, who (with good reason) want the Grammys to reflect the pulse of contemporary music. What they really are is an assertion of values by the Grammy deep state, communicating to the rest of the industry that whatever wacky trends may come along, an unchanging bedrock of “classic” songwriting, rooted in the rock, soul and folk of the 1960s and ’70s, will always be treasured and rewarded … at least by the people who hold the keys to the Grammy nomination process.

Do they win? Not usually. But they don’t need to win to make their point. Had you ever heard of Black Pumas before?

CARAMANICA [Googles “Black Pumas”]

Allow me to break the fourth wall for a moment: I understand at least part of my role here is to publicly head-scratch about the striking amount of nominations this band has received, given its relatively low commercial profile and its negligible critical profile and perhaps its general lack of popularity, notwithstanding the fact that it was nominated last year for best new artist. And in major categories to boot: album of the year and record of the year.

(A potentially ominous omen: they were nominated for the “deluxe” version of their album, because the original version came out before the eligibility window. I’m sure every label that extends the life of their artists’ albums with overblown deluxe editions is taking note.)

We know the Grammys prefer to honor the year’s best music that sounds like the music of some long-gone year, and this band appears to fill that requirement. So then I began to wonder about its representatives: Are they unreasonably influential? (Not really.) Maybe they have shaken a lot of hands and played a lot of small gigs for local Grammy chapters.

JON PARELES Seems to me like the Grammys just hit the snooze button and rolled over. Back when they started, in 1958, the Grammys did their best to ignore rock ’n’ roll. You’d think the boomers and younger members who eventually replaced that initial Grammy “deep state” — a great formulation, Ben — would have learned from past embarrassments. Apparently not yet. But at least now the timeline is advancing. This year, they can also indulge their nostalgia by embracing the 2019-2020 disco revival with those nominations for Dua Lipa and Doja Cat. Which brings us to … the late 1970s?

COSCARELLI Jacob Collier, it turns out, loves his digital studio tricks and is worth about 35 gecs, by my count, for his version of those Ed Sheeran collaboration projects. He’s already won four Grammys for arranging, dating back to 2016, and I think you’re seeing some big looks this year for artists that the Grammys invested in early on. You always hear about the Academy Awards liking to anoint young stars and then reward them for life, and I wonder if that explains Collier; Black Pumas (best new artist nominee, 2020); Julia Michaels (song of the year and best new artist, 2018); and H.E.R. (10 nominations over the last two ceremonies). “I Can’t Breathe” by H.E.R. and “If the World Was Ending” by Michaels and JP Saxe have topical resonance, but I’m still surprised to see them in the song of the year category.

CARAMANICA For what it’s worth, I occasionally caught myself derailed by the brutal sincerity of “If the World Was Ending” when it came on the radio in the car. But then, I like Lewis Capaldi.

SISARIO [Spits coffee]

PARELES Collier and H.E.R. both appeal to the Grammy voters’ preference for old-school, hands-on virtuosity. There’s clearly still a sizable Grammy constituency — longtime studio musicians, perhaps — that apparently doesn’t believe that programming is making music: that if you haven’t practiced those scales and chords for hours on end, or if you don’t have calluses on your guitar-playing fingers, that you’re not a “real” musician. Collier shows off all kinds of pyrotechnics on his album; H.E.R. calmly picks up a guitar or sits down at a keyboard and plays with complete command. Technicians respect technique. But that still doesn’t explain the mysterious absence of the Weeknd, who can sing, write songs and command a stage.

Credit…Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

CARAMANICA The truth is that there is a whole level of success for a musician that has little to do with radio play, streaming success, album sales or touring scale. It is about being seen as the sort of musician that other musicians respect. (No idea if this is lucrative!) Black Pumas and Collier fit in here. And D Smoke might seem like a total outlier, but in this context, he’s not: His brother is SiR, a singer who’s signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, known as the home of Kendrick Lamar. In a(nother) year with no Kendrick album, D Smoke is a familiar alternative, and a reminder of the sorts of music — hip-hop included — that Grammy voters tend to favor: earnest, technique-driven, either shopworn or fine-tuned depending on your lens. That’s made manifest in the best rap album category (D Smoke, Nas, Freddie Gibbs, Jay Electronica and Royce Da 5’9”). If you teleported those albums (many of which I love) back to the mid-1990s and slipped them into the Walkmen of the Carhartt-and-Timbs-wearing fans of that era, they likely wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.

That said, it is notable that there are no hip-hop producers in the producer of the year category, likely because Grammy voters don’t bother investigating young producers like Jetsonmade, responsible for so many DaBaby hits and also Jack Harlow’s “Whats Poppin,” or even give thought to the Alchemist, who has become the go-to beatsmith for modern-day golden-age revivalists, and in the last two years has released strong projects with Freddie Gibbs, Boldy James, Conway the Machine and Action Bronson.

COSCARELLI I really did think we were going to see a push for two of the posthumous releases that dominated streaming, “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” by Pop Smoke and “Legends Never Die” by Juice WRLD, neither of which was even nominated for best rap album. Pop Smoke, who I naïvely thought had a shot at best new artist, is represented through a single nomination, best rap performance for “Dior.” Lil Baby’s “My Turn” and Roddy Ricch’s “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial” were also left out, though each got nominated for songs, with “The Bigger Picture,” Lil Baby’s Black Lives Matter protest song, earning two nominations and “The Box” getting three.

To pull back for a moment, we should issue our usual caveat: These, of course, are just the nominations, so it’s possible that Swift, Eilish and Beyoncé could sweep most of the major awards and leave this all feeling pretty Grammys-typical when all is said and done.

SISARIO The Grammys are the only time when you can truly feel sorry for Beyoncé. She was already the show’s most nominated woman. But with the latest news she has gotten yet another nine nods, bringing her lifetime total to 79. That puts her up there with the most nominated people ever, tying Paul McCartney and just behind Quincy Jones and, um, Jay-Z (both with 80).

And she might well win a few. But her chances are slim in the major categories, which are the ones that truly matter. In her career so far, Beyoncé has won 24 Grammys, taking home the genre trophies but, in almost every case, blanking on the big ones. She has lost album of the year three times (“I Am … Sasha Fierce,” “Beyoncé,” “Lemonade”), record of the year five times (“Say My Name,” “Crazy in Love,” “Irreplaceable,” “Halo,” “Formation”) and song of the year twice (“Say My Name,” “Formation”). The only time she has won a top award was song of the year, for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” on which she was one of four credited songwriters.

As much as the Recording Academy now struggles to change their organization and invite new, young and racially diverse voters, legacies like these will be awfully hard to overcome. (Want more examples? Check the track records for Kanye West, Jay-Z, Drake and Kendrick Lamar.) Even if by some miracle “Black Parade” does take a big award, it will look less like a victory than a consolation prize.

Credit…Rich Fury/Getty Images

CARAMANICA It would be churlish of me not to cheer the handful of legitimately interesting nominations this year. Even though I’m still mixed on Phoebe Bridgers’s latest album, I think the acknowledgment of her work with four nominations is very promising. Same with Fiona Apple, who made one of the few critical-consensus albums of this year, and who received three nominations. The nomination of Mickey Guyton’s “Black Like Me” for best country solo performance feels particularly pointed. And I’m grateful to see Power Trip nominated in best metal performance, but frustrated it comes after the death of frontman Riley Gale.

Also, the best new artist category is fairly stacked, with only two nominees, Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion, with a significant popular profile. It’s rounded out with intriguing talents like Bridgers, the lite-country singer Ingrid Andress, the rapper Chika and the soulful dance-music producer Kaytranada.

For album of the year, though, things do seem like a setup for a Swift win for what, as is apparently widely known, is my least favorite Taylor album, but the one that, after a long, ambitious, largely successful run at centrist pop success, once more acknowledges the crucial boomer market.

PARELES Going back to Bridgers and Apple, they’re both nominated in best rock performance, which used to be where graying male arena acts were pastured out. This year, it’s all women — a sea change, though it leaves no room, alas, for Bob Dylan as a performer or songwriter for his 2020 album “Rough and Rowdy Ways.” Meanwhile, in categories no one pays much attention to, a lot of good music gets noticed. Check out the clunky but worthwhile American Roots Music section; it has Sarah Jarosz, Courtney Marie Andrews, the Secret Sisters, Sierra Hull, Bettye LaVette and more. Hard to go wrong there.

But with the awards that will get the prime-time treatment, it’s another story — one the Grammys keep telling, about experience leading only to inertia or nostalgia, and about technique outweighing crazy inspiration. Music doesn’t work that way — and our ears know it.


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Village Gallery to showcase wildlife photography of Stephanie Brand – Verde Independent

The Village Gallery of Local Artists takes great pride in presenting featured artist for December – wildlife photographer Stephanie Brand.

The Village Gallery of Local Artists takes great pride in presenting featured artist for December – wildlife photographer Stephanie Brand.

The Village Gallery of Local Artists takes great pride in presenting featured artist for December – wildlife photographer Stephanie Brand.

The Gallery invites you to come in during the holiday month to view Brand’s amazing photographs.

Brand practiced personal injury law in New York City for over 30 years. Her legal work emphasized representing individuals who had been sexually abused by mental health and religious providers as well as serving on the Board of Directors of a domestic violence agency.

After retiring, she traveled extensively, especially through many parts of Africa, South America and Asia and has focused on creating wildlife images from each area.

Primarily self-taught in photography, she did study at the International Center of Photography in New York and participated in workshops with some of today’s most respected photographers. In New York, Brand’s exhibited in numerous well known galleries.

Brand’s love of wildlife is a central force in her photography. She considers herself successful when her audience has a desire to know more about each photograph.

To prepare for her photography, Brand learns as much as possible about the behavior and habitats of animals of a region to know what to watch for, anticipate and expect. She knows the times of day she is most likely to see the species she wants to photograph.

If she’ll be in a vehicle or boat, she learns as much as she can about its layout, sees pictures of that exact vehicle, if possible, and thinks about how properly to stabilize gear in different circumstances.

Finally, she makes sure that the clothing she has blends with the landscape as much as possible and that she’s considered all the weather aspects-both for protecting herself and her gear.

“It’s harder for a wildlife photographer to “work a scene” than it is for a portrait or landscape or wedding photographer. I can’t pose the animals, wait an hour or two for the lighting to change, come back another day for a better pose etc. I try to get the best angle possible at the time, take a number of images of the same subject and hope that 1 or 2 gives me the image I’ve pre-visualized in my mind’s eye. I try always to get the sharpest focus possible on the eye of an animal.”

Brand loves telling people who enjoy her photographs how they were taken – some captured with “dumb-luck”- many more by careful planning,

Brand moved to Arizona in 2010 because she loves the desert and hated the cold New York winters. Since the move, Brand’s work has been shown at and won awards in juried shows at the Sedona Art Center.

Her images have also been featured in Arizona in juried shows at the Herberger Theater Art Center in Phoenix, and at the Phippen Museum in Prescott. Her work is in private collections throughout the USA as well as in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Brand, her husband and dogs reside in the Village of Oak Creek. They are both active in the Sedona Camera Club and Brand takes an active role in encouraging and mentoring beginning photographers.

She also gives back to the community by serving as a volunteer CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children– a volunteer opportunity she shares with all who are interested in helping these children.

The Village Gallery of Local Artists is located at 6512 State Route 179 in the Village of Oak Creek and is open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can contact the Gallery at or by phone at 928-284-1416. Please stop by to see Brand’s striking work as well as the work of 40 other local artists.


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PlayStation Black Friday 2020: PS5 restocks and 6 more can’t-miss deals – Inverse

As the end of the year fast approaches, stores across the United States are preparing their biggest deals of the year for Black Friday. And given how recently next-gen consoles launched, the demand for a PlayStation 5 has never been greater.

This swath of deals includes some mighty fine steals for beloved PS4 classics, but you can also claim some of the latest games for cheap or add some amazing accessories to your collection. If scouring through various sites seems bothersome, then don’t bother.

We’ve done the hard work and uncovered seven amazing deals that you can’t miss this Black Friday on PlayStation games and accessories — but also your best chance at claiming a PS5 this week.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our editorial team.

7. Persona 5 Royal

Persona 5 was a game so nice, Atlus sold it twice. Royal is a re-release of the original game with a boatload of new additions. The JRPG has added a third semester, rounding out a full calendar year to extend beyond vanilla P5’s truncated timeline. There are new Confidants, locations, activities, plot lines, and more dating sim/RPG hijinks. The re-release also comes packed with every bit of DLC from the original.

If you need more information, read our review.

While it normally goes for a full $60, you can pick it up right now for just $20.

6. Razer Kraken Headset

When you’re playing multiplayer, you’ve got to rely on your eyes, ears, and mouth to get ahead of the competition. You need to hear your enemies approach and immediately inform your teammates. Alas, such a thing can be impossible without the proper setup. What’s a good pair of headphones if you can’t even hear enemy footsteps? A shoddy mic could garble a crucial message like “Behind you!” to sound like “bees, heinie, or stew?”

With the Razer Kraken, you’ll hear all the essentials and more. You’ll feel like superman with this pair of aural allies by your side. For the holiday season, you can pick up these headphones for just $49.99. That’s $30 less than their normal asking price. You can’t go wrong here.

5. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla might feel like it released just last week, but the Viking romp came out two whole weeks ago. That fortnight is just long enough to for the game to get its very first sale. You can pick up the latest Assassin’s Creed game for just $48, 20 percent less than the usual asking price.

If you’re looking for a big holiday game to spend some time playing, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the game for you. The game features an absolutely massive amount of activities. You can just get lost in the side activities for numerous afternoons.

You can read our full review.

4. PlayStation Plus

If you’re a gamer that likes to challenge yourself by facing other gamers online or cooperating with others, you need PlayStation Plus. The service is a requirement for everyone that hopes to play online. All members are gifted free games every month that they remain a member. Those that own the PS5 also have access to a massive collection of classics to enjoy at no extra cost via the PlayStation Plus Collection.

If you own a PlayStation of any sort, there’s no reason not to be a member other than price. That’s why this holiday season, Sony is lowering the barrier for entry. You can pick up PS Plus for 25 percent less than usual, placing it at a crisp $44.99 for an entire 12-month subscription. Not too shabby.

3. The Last of Us 2

If you’re yearning for your family this holiday season or you just want a darn good post-apocalyptic narrative, The Last of Us 2 should be your jam. In-game, characters can blame a viral outbreak for not getting enough quality time with their family and they constantly feel the scars from that situation. It’ll also force you to reckon with your actions as one seemingly good choice could easily go astray if you have the wrong motive.

Don’t just take my word for it, The Last of Us 2 has been nominated for numerous awards and it’s considered of the greatest games of the last generation. You can pick it up for just $30.

You can read our full review.

2. 2TB External Hard Drive for PS4

If a significant chunk of your gaming library is digital, you’ve already likely found that onboard storage space on your console is at a premium. That’s unlikely to change given the storage capacities of PS5 and Xbox Series X, so if you want to bring your older games over to your next-gen hardware, additional storage is a must.

This is 15 percent cheaper than usual and perfect to store some games on in preparation to transfer to your PS5 Their small size makes them easy to sock away into a drawer or cupboard when you’re not using them too.

1. The PlayStation 5

While Sony’s latest console isn’t technically a deal, it’s likely what the gamer in your life is hankering for this Holliday season as they stare at the hallowed shelves of their media cabinet. Alas, it’s hard to come by Sony’s latest media monster. This Black Friday, it’ll be in stock in a few locations.

Walmart will have PS5 stock available for a short time on Wednesday, November 25 at 9 p.m. Eastern. Per the official GameStop Black Friday reveal ad, GameStop locations will also have at least two PS5 units in stock when stores open at 7 a.m. Eastern.


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Ask the Experts: How can I find a remote part-time, seasonal, internship, or entry-level job? –


I saw that College Recruiter recently added a Remote Jobs link to its top navigation to make it easier for job seekers to find part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs which are remote. How else should I be looking for remote jobs?

First Answer:

Generally speaking, I’d approach organizations you’re interested in with an idea for something you could help out with part-time or seasonally. For example, many would-be interns received jobs last summer by offering their technical expertise to companies who were struggling to move everything online. Or, network with friends or with loose tie connections to assess the gaps organizations are currently trying to fill, and then acquire the specific skill set to fill a flexible role remotely. For instance, project managers are highly in demand for both short and long-term assignments. What about getting a PMI certification? In summary, identify where the demand is and then follow it.

Alexandra Levit, Author of They Don’t Teach Corporate in College

Second Answer:

I would recommend using LinkedIn for your job search for specific seasonal searches.

The reason I am such a huge LinkedIn fan is because, in these strange times, it’s not just enough to apply to a position on a job board anymore. In order to stand out from the other applicants and land a remote part-time, seasonal, internship, or entry-level job it will help to connect with individuals from the company and be proactive by reaching out to the hiring manager and other employees.

LinkedIn is a great place to look for these types of jobs because not only do the job descriptions. Make it clear why type of employment it is, you can also see who currently works at the company.

Lorenz Esposito, Senior Digital Marketing Strategist at Blue Hands Digital

Third Answer:

First: Not every job, remote or not, is advertised, so don’t overlook your network! Talk with your friends, your friends’ families, your parents/other older relatives, faculty, about jobs and internships, anywhere in the world. Ask, “Who do you know — wherever they may be — who needs [x] help right now?” or “Who do you know — wherever they may be — who has a painful problem in their business/organization right now?”

Second, try not to think of your next opportunity as only well-defined, written-down jobs ready to be filled, but also think about needs that haven’t been “written up” yet AS a job — can you solve a problem for the company or organization? That may turn into a “job”, or internship, thanks to YOU inquiring about “What problems do you need help with right now? Or over the next few months?”

Last, be relentless. Don’t think that because your first few inquiries don’t turn up much, that your search is over. Far from it: keep at it. “Turn over every stone” goes the old saying — and it’s still true!

Joanne Meehl, CEO of Joanne Meehl Career Services

Fourth Answer:

If I were seeking either a remote internship or a part-time opportunity, here’s how I’d tackle it.

First, I’d go on LinkedIn and type in “remote jobs” in the search bar. Now, within the filter, I’d select “remote,” “internship” and “entry-level” in the experience section and “contract” as well. When I’m conducting this search, I have 1,058 results populate in the results section. Go nuts and find an opportunity that best suits you.

Second, I’d also look for micro-internship opportunities through websites like Parker Dewey since they’re catered to early-talent.

Lastly, I’d visit a site like, create a profile and search for top freelancers within a specific industry. These freelancers are skilled in specific tangible skills and some might even be looking to grow their business by bringing on other freelancers. This is where you come in. So, if I were you, I’d message these freelancers, let them know that you’re eager to learn and are flexible with your rate since you’re a college student looking to gain some experience. (Try to not do anything for free since you want to be compensated for your hard work).

Things may be crazy, but use technology in your favor, and don’t be scared to think outside the traditional box of needing a proper corporate internship this year to get the experience you need.

Rishav Khanal, Account Manager and Co-Founder of inPerson

Fifth Answer:

As more and more companies and organizations are realizing the value of “remote” working, the opportunity for remote part-time, seasonal, internship, or entry-level jobs has increased exponentially.  These types of opportunities can be an amazing opportunity for students to showcase their skills as they make the transition to the world of work.  For all of the benefits that these types of opportunities hold for students, it may be difficult to find an opportunity like this.  If you are seeking a remote opportunity, here are a couple of suggestions:

Start at your college or university career center – Many companies and organizations will post these types of job opportunities for students using the online resources provided by the school.  Making sure that your profile and resume are up to date is a good start as you search these opportunities.  It would also be a good idea to connect with someone in the career center and let them know that you are interested in these types of opportunities.  

Expand your search – There are some amazing services out there that you can take advantage of to secure remote part-time, seasonal jobs or internships.  For example, College Recruiter recently added a “remote jobs” link to their top navigation bar to make the search easier.  If you are specifically looking for short-term, project based work, make sure that you check out Parker Dewey for a comprehensive list of micro-internship activities.  Finally, you can always visit online job-boards like Indeed and search for remote part-time, seasonal, internship, or entry-level job.

Narrow your focus – Sometimes, great opportunities are right in front of us!  If you are a student, ask your parents, professors, and anyone else who might have opportunities for project-based remote work. 

The world of work has changed and will continue to be shaped over the next couple of years.  This is a great opportunity for you, as the next generation of employees, to take the lead on making remote part-time, seasonal, internships, and entry-level jobs and important and productive part of the workforce.

Robert Shindell, President and CEO of Intern Bridge, Inc.

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Black Friday TV deals at Target – CBS News

If you have been staying in due to COVID-19-related concerns, no doubt the TV has become the centerpiece of your home. Whether you’ve been exclusively watching the news or binging on the best movies of 2020, now might be a good time to think about upgrading your screen. Black Friday is only two days away, but retailers have already started offering deals on smart TVs. Target’s Black Friday deals are going on now in-store and online and include some steep TV discounts on big names such as LG and Sony. So before you start binge-watching Christmas movies, check out these five TVs that are part of Target’s Black Friday promotion.  

Hisense via Target

Hisense 55″ 4K UHD TV 

Save $150 on the Hisense 55-inch 4K UHD TV when you shop Black Friday at Target. This Hisense Roku TV regularly retails for $349.99 but is on sale for $199.99. The device features a 4K ultra high-definition picture and color-boosting high dynamic range (HDR) for colorful images. The built-in Roku TV operating system also gives you access to live TV, apps and thousands of streaming channels. The device comes with a one-year limited warranty.

TCL via Target

TCL 65″ Class 4-Series 4K UHD HDR Smart Android TV

This smart TV regularly retails for $399.99 and is on sale for $229.99 during Target’s Black Friday promotion. The ultra HD screen has Chromecast built in, meaning you can watch TV, movies, TikToks and YouTube videos from your Android or iOS device. The 65-inch TV also features voice remote, which allows users to search for show titles or change apps using verbal commands. The TV also comes with a one-year limited warranty.

LG via Target

LG 55″ NanoCell 81 Series 4K UHD Smart TV with HDR

Target has knocked $200 off the regular price of the LG 55-inch NanoCell smart TV. The screen was originally listed at $699.99 and is on sale during Black Friday for $499.99. The 4K high-definition TV runs apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, Sling TV, Pandora, Hulu, Amazon Video and Disney+. The LG NanoCell’s webOS operating system is compatible with Apple Airplay 2, Google Assistant, Alexa and HomeKit. The NanoCell81 comes with a one-year limited warranty.

LG via Target

LG 70″ Class 4K UHD Smart LED HDR TV 

This LG 70-inch smart TV is marked down to $549.99 during Black Friday. That’s $300 off the regular $849.99 retail price. Upgrade your movie night at home to a theater-quality experience with this LG smart TV’s 4K display and UHD processor, which enhances color, contrast, clarity and detail. Plus, it’s compatible with Google assistant and Alexa devices for voice control, meaning you can turn on the TV or turn up the volume without ever having to reach for the remote. The TV also comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Sony via Target

Sony 55″ 4K Ultra HD LED Smart Android TV

This Sony TV is $100 off during Black Friday. The 55-inch TV, regularly listed at $649.99, is on sale for $549.99. Watch movies and TV in 4K HDR. The Sony Android TV is compatible with Google Assistant, which allows you to use voice command to turn the TV on and off, control volume, search for titles and more. The TV also comes with a one-year limited warranty. 


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