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Missing Philadelphia School Art Collection Is Worth $30 Million!

In 2004, the Philadelphia school system called in expert art appraisers from Chicago to evaluate a collection of more than 1,000 paintings bought by school principals in the early 1900′s. Some of the paintings were publicly displayed, but many were found in storage rooms and basements, often in need of repair or restoration. Although some school officials called for a committee to figure out the best way to handle the collection, which included creating a museum or possibly selling the art to help defray the financial problems of the Philadelphia school system, others in power quiety scooped up all of the art and transferred it to storage facilities in hidden locations.The controller of Philadelphia launched an investigation in 2007, and learned that the paintings (which had been inventoried) were not public displayed, and some 85 paintings seemed to be missing.Les and Sue Fox, art experts, and New York Times bestselling authors of The Art Hunters Handbook, have launched their own investigation into this matter. However, we have received no help from current and former Philadelphia school officials who seem to be content to let sleeping dogs lie. Except that some of the paintings are worth $500,000 apiece including a painting by famous American artist Thomas Eakins.The Foxes are very concerned about the whereabouts of the missing art, and would appreciate help from anyone who knows influential people in Philadelphia. You can read more details of this story by Googling: $30 million Philadelphia art collection missing.This is a very serious situation. And because it affects school children, we hope that we can get some support to find out what’s happening behind the scenes.Here is part of a press release we issue earlier in 2012:These paintings belong to America, to the people of Philadelphia, and especially to the students, said Les. It’s just not right that they’ve been secreted away with no official statement about their future. The Controller of Philadelphia is concerned about the safety of the paintings. But his efforts have been thwarted by the Philadelphia School District. No one is saying that anything has actually been lost or stolen. But that’s a valid question.In 2007, Daniel Whelan, a former member of Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission, proposed selling some of the art to reduce the district’s budget deficit. Butkovitz said he believes children benefit from seeing art in school, unless security costs to safeguard the works make that impractical. Some of the photographs we’ve seen indicate possible shredding or other damage to some valuable pieces, and we’re alarmed about that, Butkovitz warned. If the policy makers decide they want to get out of the art-custody business and cash in, that’s their decision. Our job is to make sure if they think they have $30 million to cash in, there’s actually $30 million. Butkovitz said that his auditors could not find 85 works at the locations listed in the district’s art inventory.The only painting ever revealed to the general public is Lunch Time by Catherine Morris Wright, last seen at the Woodrow Wilson Middle School in 2004, when some 72 paintings were removed. The Foxes have contacted officials at the Wilson School for further information. A large group of paintings was also removed from Central High School, where Thomas Eakins graduated in 1861. Eakins’ 1902 portrait of former principal John Seely Hart was part of the Central High collection, and is estimated to be worth more than $500,000. In 2008, supporters of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, raised $68 million to purchase Thomas Eakins’ masterpiece The Gross Clinic, an American art icon which has been compared to Rembrandt’s Night Watch.A painting of dogs by Henry Ossawa Tanner, the famous African-American impressionist, was bought by the Wilson School for $5 in 1937. The Foxes were unable to obtain a photo of either the Tanner or the Eakins painting, but they are committed to making all of the missing art accessible to the public. In 1981, The Thankful Poor, a masterpiece by Tanner, was purchased by comedian and famous art collector Bill Cosby at Sotheby’s for $250,000. In 1996, Sand Dunes At Sunset, Atlantic City by Tanner was acquired for the White House art collection by Bill and Hillary Clinton from the grandniece of the artist for $100,000.In conducting their investigation the Foxes are seeking information from all reliable sources. They have been in contact with Kathleen Bernhardt of Chicago Art Source and the Michener Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, which was also involved with the Philadelphia School art collection. The collection contains paintings by Pennsylvania Impressionists Edward Redfield and Walter Emerson Baum.The teachers and other school workers in Philadelphia are understandably upset about this missing art, said Sue Fox. It was beautiful to look at. It was part of their lives for many years. Some of the paintings hung on walls, which are now empty. Others were found in storage rooms and basements. And now it’s all gone. This art deserves to be rediscovered, to be properly restored, and publicly displayed.The Art Hunters Handbook contains other stories about valuable art found in public schools, as well as the Bill Cosby collection and Barack Obama’s dramatic changes to the White House art collection.

Do People Actually Purchase Health Insurance Online?

It may seem like common sense to purchase a health coverage online through a website. However, while we may seem like an “online nation”, there are many people, believe it or not, who do not have regular access to the Internet. Some individuals still make the call to an agent in order to obtain health insurance coverage. However, personal insurance purchases on the web are starting to become much more common according to a publication on Government Health IT entitled “Study: Consumers shift to online health plan enrollment.” In fact, many recent studies conducted by some of the top research and analysis firms are showing a major shift in this trend.There are many websites available that offer health insurance quotes and online insurance enrollment. Many studies have been conducted in the last couple of years to see just how people are obtaining health coverage. To much surprise, the findings show a twenty-three percent increase in the amount of people purchasing health insurance online, without an agent, as opposed to over the phone through a health insurance professional. This is large increase, showing that, not only are people becoming more savvy about technology, but that they are more educated about their health plan options. It appears that either people do not have as many questions about health coverage or that websites have become more informative and are able to answer the questions that consumers have about health plans. If this trend continues, many health insurance agents may struggle to survive in the business. Especially considering that, because of the new “Obama-care” health care reform, many insurance carriers have lowered agent commissions. This has already lowered the number of active health insurance professionals.Does this mean that health plans will become less expensive? Well, that remains to be seen. We must take into consideration that one of the changes that will happen because of health care reform is that insurance companies will no longer be able to decline coverage based on an individual’s health. This is good with respect to the fact that more people will be able to obtain health insurance, especially people who would normally be declined based on a pre-existing health condition (e.g. – Diabetes, Heart Attack, Cancer). However, this will cause more claims. Health insurance companies are in the business to make money. When there are more insurance claims then the insurance company has more cost per insured person, thus driving up insurance premiums. It seems that the US government has plans to help the tax-payer with the cost of health insurance through health care reform. But that remains to be seen as well.With so many changes coming in the next few years, it is expected that more people will start making use of health insurance websites that offer educational information and the ability to purchase a health plan online. Thus, more and more people will use the Internet to purchase health insurance in the years to come.

What’s Not To Love About Console Games?

Console games are specifically a physical device that has a controller or joystick that you, the user use to manipulate the game itself. Technology in console games have evolved to where the games are now on a compact disc and the game comes through your television or computer screen.If you are like many parents, your child has been nagging you for the latest and great console unit and game; but you do not want to spend that money on something that is just for your child and no one else. Console games are hotter than ever and contrary to popular belief, they are not just for adolescents.Take Nintendo’s Wii games for example. With the Wii, the user, whether the user is child or adult, has to physically get up off the couch and move to play the game. The Wii has even released several weight loss and fitness console games to help not only children but also adults to get into shape. Nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities are also using Nintendo’s Wii console game to help their patients get up and moving again. If you are an adult and fitness really is not your priority, try other games such as Rock Band where you can fulfill your fantasy of being a rock star; or try cooking games to where you can be a gourmet chef. The possibilities are virtually endless to what you can play.If you are purchasing a game for someone who already has, a console and you see all these codes E, T, MA, A/O, and do not know what they mean, maybe this will help. Console games come with a censorship rating that is determined by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board). E stands for Everyone; meaning just that. Everyone from two to one hundred and two can play this game. T stands for Teen; meaning that the game contains violence, language, or other content that is not appropriate for younger gamers. MA or M stands for Mature; meaning that the game is not suited for anyone under the age of 17. A/O stands for Adult Only; meaning that the game contains violence, obscene language, and\or nudity and sexual scenes and are only suited for adults. Please do not be spooked by all these ratings to remember. They are in place to keep you and your child safe.These types of games have also gotten a ‘bad rap’ so to speak, about how kids are addicted to them; they are the cause of childhood obesity; and what have you. Nevertheless, in all actuality, console games are great for hand-eye coordination, cognitive skills, and in some case reflexes and fitness. Console games, as with anything else, should be enjoyed in moderation; limit activity to an hour or two, not excessive like five to eight straight hours of play. Think of it like coffee; one cup wakes you up whereas four or five cups of coffee has your heart racing and hands shaking. Console games are no different. One hour will help you get fit or help your child’s skills; whereas four or five straight hours hurts the muscles or can cause damage to your child’s eyes, hands, neck, and other areas.Console games are a great thing to use on family game night. What better way to bring a family together than by playing a friendly game where mom can beat the daughter for the title of bowling champion or father and son duke it out to see who the rock star in the family is?

Computer Hardware Recycling – A Challenging Task on the Face of Earth

E waste is one of the most serious issues that has engulfed the whole world. The obsolete computers, if not treated properly can become a major source of toxins and carcinogens. Rapid technology change, low initial cost and even planned obsolescence have resulted in a fast growing environmental concerns across the globe. Though many countries boast of technical solutions but in most cases a legal framework, a collection system, logistics and other services need to be implemented before a technical solution can be applied. E waste comprise 2% of America’s total trash and 70 percent of overall toxic waste. In the United States, an estimated 70% of heavy metals in landfills come from discarded electronics.Recycling is one of the most effective ways to prevent the hazard of e waste. Many material used in the construction of hardware can be recovered and recycled. Reuse of tin, silicon, iron, aluminum, and a variety of plastics – all present in bulk in computers – is possible and can reduce the costs of constructing new systems. Electronic devices like including audio-visual components (televisions, VCRs, stereo equipment), mobile phones and other hand-held devices, and computer components, also contain valuable elements and substances that are suitable for reclamation. Powering and cooling computers is an increasing contributor to global warming and the power it consumes also contribute to a negative effect on the environment.In this regard, various government as well as non government agencies have taken significant initiatives to curb it. One of the main organisation that takes the responsibility of checking the e waste is CFA, that installs various measures to aware computer hardware manufacturers as well as consumers about the hazards of e-waste. Information on the dangers involved in improper disposal of computer hardware is provided to the computer labs. The supply of quality hardware is also restricted to beneficiaries only. CFA provides comprehensive on-site ICT support to beneficiaries, ensuring the equipment functions for the longest possible time with the greatest positive impact.To counter this further, Userful desktops are being deployed all around the world with a typical configuration of six stations per computer. Research has shown that Userful products can reduce electronic waste by up to 80 percent, further decreasing its environmental footprint. It was supported by the data that stated that in the past year, Userful desktops have helped to minimise the computer hardware waste by 29,000 tons of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to taking more than 5,000 cars off the road.The consumers too need to get sensitive about the whole issue when the impact of computer hardware on environment, is in discussion. We should look for eco friendly ways to dispose off the computer waste and follow the recycling programmes all over the country. There are various companies like Sony, Toshiba and Gateway that offer take back programmes that provide monetary incentives for recyclable and/or working technologies. One should go for reuse and up gradation of the present PC unless it is very essential to dispose off. Selling off the old computers to the used product market is another option.