‘Sensation’-al European Dance Music Event to Debut in America This Year

Written by: Kristiina Yang

Dazzling European audiences for 12 years and running, Dutch entertainment group ID&T announced on May 31 that it would finally be bringing its popular dance music event ‘Sensation White’ to the United States in October 2012.

The event, which will be called Sensation America, is slated to make its debut in Brooklyn, New York at the city’s brand new Barclays Center, a sports arena that will open just one month before Sensation arrives. Due to anticipated high demand, the event will take place on two back-to-back dates, Oct. 26 and 27.

What makes this event particularly unique is that all of its attendees are asked to wear all white clothing, creating a sense of unity amongst the crowd. Sensation has marketed itself upon the slogan, “Be Part of the Night- Dress in White!” and has consistently sold out its tickets with each event hosting approximately 40,000 to 45,000 attendees, with a similar number expected to be seen donning white outfits at Sensation America.

Sensation Amsterdam

Sensation America is expected to draw a massive crowd all dressed in white, just like this past Sensation Amsterdam '11. (Photo: Sensation.com)

Sensation is one of the foremost electronic music events, beginning in Amsterdam in 2000 and spreading across major European cities and for the first time this year to locations around the world in the United States, South America and Asia. Less known about the event is that Sensation contributes a small portion of its ticket sales to its exclusive charity, dance4life, a worldwide youth empowerment organization.

What has made Sensation so popular and successful is the high production value of the event and the organizer’s ability to recruit talented and upcoming electronic music artists. Sensation has always occurred in indoor spaces with ID&T carefully crafting a unique atmosphere with its enticing decor, lighting design and spatial layouts, greatly contributing to the audiences’ experience at the event.

Further, the spread of Sensation from Europe to America follows the rising popularity of electronic dance music, with greater presence of this type of music on radio airwaves and at various festivals around the world. While in the past, these artists were limited to smaller venues and nightclubs, massive events, such as Sensation, demonstrate their new prominence in today’s popular culture. The artists for Sensation America have not been announced yet, but are sure to be those well-known in the electronic music world.

Some are skeptical, however, about the success of Sensation in catering to American crowds, with thoughts on the event being shared on numerous electronic music websites and blogs upon its announcement. Such skeptics feel that electronic music itself is more appreciated in Europe than in the US and that people may attend the event without having the sense of camaraderie that exists amongst fans of any type of music, rather attending for Sensation’s showiness.

Regardless, October’s Sensation America will prove to be a unique, groundbreaking event bringing a cornerstone of contemporary electronic music to the United States.  For those ages 21 and up, ticket sales begin on Friday, June 8, 2012 on Sensation’s website, where further information can also be found.

Worst Company EVER: Biotech Giant Monsanto is Under Attack, Obama and the FDA are Under the Gun

 

CREDO Action - Dump Michael Taylor

Via CREDO Action website

By Allison Hibbs

Monsanto, the multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation long reviled by organic farmers, environmentalists and conscientious foodies worldwide, has drawn more than the usual amount of rancor in recent months. While assailants are hoping the media blitzkrieg will prove as damaging to the company as they claim that its bioengineering and genetic modification practices are to the planet, that hope may prove optimistic in light of its cozy relationship with the United States federal government. Efforts to diminish that relationship have led to the recent circulation of more than one petition calling for the dismissal of FDA Food Safety Czar, Michael Taylor, a former top Monsanto executive.

One reason for the recent outrage is a perceived “crusade” by the FDA against small raw milk dairy farmers, many of whom are Amish, even as they overlook repeated violations by larger, industrial producers. CREDO, a publication of Working Assets, began a campaign in late January to educate and motivate consumers to sign a pledge beseeching President Obama to expel Taylor from the administration.

"While factory farm operators are getting away with serious food safety violations, raw milk dairy farmers and distributors across the country have been subjected to armed raids and hauled away in handcuffs."

CREDO Action

CREDO believes that the FDA’s efforts would be better spent enforcing food safety regulations at the largest industrial producers, where it claims that “antibiotic resistance has run amuck,” rather than focusing so much of the administration’s efforts on sting operations to arrest small dairy farmers.

"Incredibly, Michael Taylor and FDA inspectors have not arrested or fined the Iowa agribusinessman -- Jack DeCoster -- who was wholly responsible for the more than 500 million eggs that were recalled in 2010 salmonella-tainted egg recall. 3Though this industrial agribusinessman endangered the health of millions, Michael Taylor thinks Amish farmers producing fresh milk are more deserving targets of his FDA enforcement raids with guns drawn."

CREDO Action

 

The petition had garnered 151,160 signatures as of SuperBowl Sunday, 75 percent of its 200,000 goal.

SignOn.org Petition: Tell Obama to Cease FDA Ties to Monsanto

Another petition circulating on Twitter and Facebook had reached a total of 220,000 signatures by game time, far surpassing its original goal of 75,000. Written and circulated by Frederick Ravid, this petition includes a longer letter to the president, expressing opposition to the his administration’s appointment of Taylor three years ago.

“Taylor is the same person who as a high-ranking official at the FDA in the 1990s promoted allowing genetically modified organisms into the U.S. food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety or risks,” reads the letter. “This is a travesty.” Pointing out that Taylor was in charge of policy regarding the widely-opposed bovine growth hormone and that he fought against the requirement for disclosures on milk from cows that had been treated with the hormone, Ravid goes on to decry Monsanto as a company directly threatening the health and well-being of US citizens.

Reinforcing these concerns are WikiLeaks documents that surfaced last year implicating the Bush administration in questionable tactics used against countries in Europe to impel them to purchase Monsanto GMO products that they were resisting. Other documents imply that the US government considered putting pressure on the Pope to come out in favor of GMO foods. If any such actions were taken, they have proven largely unsuccessful and Monsanto has been repeatedly thwarted in France, Germany and the UK.

 

Additionally, lawsuits have been brought against the biotech giant by India and Canada for biopiracy and biocontamination, respectively; and a group of 270,000 American organic farmers are also suing the company for biocontamination. Ironically, the move is intended to protect these farmers against possible patent-infringement lawsuits brought by Monsanto over GMO seeds that have migrated to – and compromised – their lands.

For all of these reasons (and more), Monsanto has been voted Worst Company of 2011 by Natural Society, and the public seems increasingly to agree. As the acrimony grows, it is beginning to look like the corporation’s PR department has some serious damage control to do if it hopes to retain any influence over government activity.  It is, after all, an election year and Obama may not have the luxury of ignoring so many voters crying “Why, O, why?”

Is the US preparing to invade Iran?

Written by: Jacob Kleinman

Map of the Straight of Hormuz

Iran could cut of 1/5 of the world's oil supply by blockading the Hormuz Straight

Over the last few weeks the political climate between the United States and Iran has gone from bad to worse following the oil-rich Middle Eastern country’s declaration that they have successfully produced their first nuclear fuel rod. According to an article in the Jerusalem Post (Israel’s primary English-language newspaper), Israel and the US are working together towards a “military exercise” in the Spring in which thousands of US soldiers will be deployed to Israel along with US army machinery.

Iran’s nuclear agency has stated that the rod, a tube containing pellets of enriched uranium that provides the fuel for a nuclear reactor, will be used to generate nuclear power. Despite these claims, the US and Europe believe that Iran is, and always has been, working towards the construction of nuclear missiles.

For the time being the United States and Europe are planning to boycott Iranian oil, which fuel’s the country’s otherwise crumbling economy, in order to curtail its nuclear ambitions. Iranian officials have responded by equating the oil embargo to “economic war,” and Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi defiantly stated on Thursday that his country would “weather the storm.”

Even Asian countries such Japan, South Korea and China have agreed to seek out alternative crude oil suppliers under growing pressure from the US. These three countries, along with India, important more than 60 percent of Iran’s oil exports, and have approached other nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, about purchasing oil following the increasingly tense political situation.

However, Iran still has an ace up its sleeve. The Strait of Hormuz, a narrow opening which connects the Persian Gulf to the Arabian sea and the rest has been the recent setting for war games conducted by Iran’s navy. About 14 tankers carrying 15.5 million barrels of oil (coming from other countries as well as Iran) travel through the sea passage every day; that’s 20 percent of the world’s crude oil.

What exactly would happen if Iran decided to blockade the Hormuz straight is unclear, as is how long the Iranian army could maintain control of the passage. Iranian Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi has stated, “We won’t disrupt traffic through the Strait of Hormuz. We are not after this.”

As the situation intensifies and the theoretical oil embargo becomes a reality the region’s future seems unclear. It should come as no surprise that the United States is seeking to establish a military presence within reach of Iran in order to squash any nuclear activity and maintain the stability of the global oil market.