Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Podcast with Erika Benson, co-owner, Gokce Capital LLC, on how to invest in vacant land in 2021

Posted by Elena del Valle on January 25, 2021

Erika Benson, co-owner, Gokce Capital LLC
Erika Benson, co-owner, Gokce Capital LLC

Photo: Gokce Capital LLC

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A podcast interview with Erika Benson, co-owner, Gokce Capital LLC, is available in the Podcast Section of Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations, HispanicMPR.com. During the podcast, she discusses how to invest in vacant land in 2021 with Elena del Valle, host of the HispanicMPR.com podcast.

Erika is a former affordable housing director for the City of New York turned full-time Land Investor. She used to help New Yorkers find affordable housing, now she helps people around the United States find affordable land.

She keeps an active blog on the company website where she gives out advice on buying and selling land. She has a YouTube channel with over 250 videos that provide tips for land buyers and information on the company properties.

To listen to the interview, scroll down and click on the play button below.  You can also listen by looking for “Podcast” then select “HMPR Erika Benson” and or download the MP3 file to your iPod or MP3 player to listen on the go, in your car or at home. You can also find it on the RSS feed. To download it, click on the arrow of the recording you wish to copy and save it to disk. The podcast will remain listed in the January 2021 section of the podcast archive.

With video – Finland newspaper releases FOC climate change font

Posted by Elena del Valle on January 19, 2021

Climate Crisis Font

The Climate Crisis Font English language landing page – click to enlarge

Video, photos: Helsingin Sanomat
Photo Tuomas Jääskeläinen: Juha Törmälä

Helsingin Sanomat
, “the biggest subscription-based newspaper in the Nordics,” dedicated several weeks of work spread over months to the development of The Climate Crisis Font designed to visualize the urgency for climate action. The new font is available for download free of charge at TypeToAct.com. Scroll down to watch an English language video.

“The font has been licensed with SIL Open Font licensing making it available for editorial, commercial, and private use,” said Tuomas Jääskeläinen, art director, Helsingin Sanomat, in response to questions through a communications intermediary via email.” The full terms of use are available at drive.google.com/file/d/19M8ebCT0JOLWln6LDkWQzj5gy-qmj9Ww/view.

The Climate Crisis Font designed to visualize the urgency for climate action – click to enlarge

“The main limitation is that it needs to be kept freely available and free of charge,” he said. “The font is intended for anyone who wishes to make a point about the impact of climate change, be it the media, designers, artists, activists or anyone else.” He explained that “the font has been designed to work in all latin-based alphabets when it comes to e.g. diacritics.

When asked other than drawing attention to climate action what makes the font special or distinctive he replied: “
I think it’s the fact that it’s based on actual data. We haven’t done a massive search, but I suspect it’s among the first data-based fonts in the world, if not the first. That, and the way the scalable OpenType technology lets the font align with the yearly data, is what makes it special for me.”

Tuomas Jääskeläinen, art director, Helsingin Sanomat

Tuomas Jääskeläinen, art director, Helsingin Sanomat

Regarding the budget or budget range for the creation of the font he said: “

Unfortunately I cannot disclose the budget, but it is a reasonable investment considering the scope of work needed.”

Helsingin Sanomat, a private for profit entity, is published by Sanoma Media Finland, a leading Finnish multi-channel media company. The paper’s primary language is Finnish.

Linguist believes informal writing allows enhanced expression

Posted by Elena del Valle on January 6, 2021

Because Internet

Because Internet

Photo: Riverhead Books

Ending a text with a period may make the writer seem old while an emoticon at the end of a sentence can add surprising nuance to the statement, according to a book about language published last year. The subtleties of informal written communication are many, says Gretchen McCulloch, a self described internet linguist. She believes modern digital communications are changing language and the way we and society overall communicate for the better. In Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language (Riverhead Books, $26) she explains her views and theories.

Salutations like language in general evolve over time, according to the book. McCulloch explains that for many addressing someone with dear has become dated. At the same time hey, which for older generations is objectionable, has become a common written email greeting. Hi follows in popularity with hello being last and used to address strangers.

The author goes on to say that a generational gap exists; and some users embrace the “expressive capacity” of informal writing while others reject it. The author explains the difference between emoticons, emojis and gifs, pointing out that although there is no universal agreement on their appearance emojis are the best fit for many people communicating electronically. They make it possible for users to better express their mental states in written form, the author says. It’s useful to think of emojis as gestures; already courts have had to address the meaning of emojis such a raised hand, a possible gang sign or a comma, she says.

The 326-page hardcover book published in 2019 is divided into eight chapters: Informal Writing, Language and Society, Internet People, Typographical Tone of Voice, Emoji and Other Internet Gestures, How Conversations Change, Memes and Internet Culture and A New Metaphor. The emojis in the book are from Twemoji, an open source font released under a Creative Commons Attribution.

McCulloch, is based in Montreal, Canada and hosts the podcast Lingthusiasm, according to her bio.

Los Angeles company offers indie film streaming worldwide

Posted by Elena del Valle on December 16, 2020

The Velocipastor poster
The Velocipastor poster

Photos: Filmocracy

Established in 2018 Filmocracy offers 2,800 independent films in a variety of genres in shorts, documentaries, feature length and series, except music videos, for an audience mainly between 25 and 40 years of age. The selection includes foreign language films with subtitles. One film, Road To Your Heart, was in Afrikaans without subtitles.

“Filmocracy is the only site that offers virtual film festivals and also rewards users for watching and rating movies,” said Paul Jun, chief executive officer, Filmocracy, by email when asked what makes the streaming platform stand out. “Users earn virtual popcorn which they can spend in our shop on things like gift cards, movie tickets, and festival passes. Most of our subscribers come through the virtual film festivals we host.”

Paul Jun, chief executive officer, Filmocracy
Paul Jun, chief executive officer, Filmocracy

According to the website subscriptions range from free with ads to Festival Premium for $29.99 a month. Most of the 17,000 users are in the United States, mainly Los Angeles and New York, with large user groups in Spain, India, and Brazil, according to Jun.

Eight categories of rating options (Plot, Characters, Cinematography, Performances, Dialogue, Sound/Music and Overall) appeared whenever I paused the videos. A rating number appeared at the top of videos that had been rated. As of this writing a drop down menu at the top of the homepage listed eleven categories. There were also featured films and upcoming virtual film festivals, including the Blastoff Film Festival, DC Chinese Film Festival, Diorama Film Festival, Around Films International Film Festival Barcelona for the remainder of 2020.

The three most watched films in 2020? The Velocipastor, Temp to Perm (disturbing short), and Extra Innings. Top genres in number of films: Drama, Documentary. The company markets mostly on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube. In addition to Jun the Los Angeles based company is owned by Kasia Jun Kaczmarczyk, Phillip Jun, Pawel Drzewiecki, and Jasper Grey.

New thriller from Argentina, Spain

Posted by Elena del Valle on November 18, 2020

A scene from The Weasel's Tale (El Cuento de las Comodrejas)
Graciela Borges is Mara in The Weasel’s Tale (El Cuento de las Comadrejas)

Photo: Outsider Pictures

The Weasel’s Tale (El cuento de las comadrejas), a new suspense film with touches of dark humor and romance, will open in United States theaters December 11, 2020. The unrated film is in Spanish with English subtitles. No video clip file was made available.

Four long-time friends sharing a stately home in Argentina find themselves the victims of an unscrupulous greedy couple seeking to con them out of their home permanently. A Spanish Argentina collaboration copyrighted 2019 the 129-minute film was directed and written by Juan José Campanella (The Secret in Their Eyes). It appears to be a remake of Los muchachos de antes no usaban arsénico, a 1976 film from Argentina by José A. Martínez Suárez.

The film was distributed by Latido in Spain and Outsider Pictures and Strand Releasing in the United States. The cast features Graciela Borges as Mara, Oscar Martínez as Norberto, Luis Brandoni as Pedro, Marcos Mundstock as Martin, Clara Lago Grau as Bárbara, and Nicolas Francella as Francisco.

With video – Brazilian film explores cult, religion in near future

Posted by Elena del Valle on November 10, 2020

Divine Love poster
Divine Love poster

Photo, video: Outsider Pictures

Divine Love (Divino Amor), a 95-minute unrated futuristic drama from Globo Films and Vitrine Films in Portuguese with English subtitles, will premier in United States theaters November 13, 2020. A joint release of Outsider Pictures and Strand Releasing it stars Dira Paes and Julio Machado as a couple experiencing marital malaise and difficulty conceiving while living in Brazil of 2027. Directed by Gabriel Mascaro (Neon Bull) promotional materials recommend it for adult viewing only (nudity, explicit sexual scenes). Scroll down to watch a trailer in Portuguese with English subtitles.

Set in what appears to be an oppressive regime the film tells the story of Joana, a woman desperate to have a child. She visits a drive-through religious counselor regularly. She uses her position in a government office to convince divorcing couples to stay together, often directing them to Divine Love, an evangelical cult she belongs to that mixes group therapy, swinging, traditional prayers and bible study. A male child’s voice narrates part of the dark story.

“The film takes place in a time when the majority of Brazil’s population are now Evangelical, but the state still claims to be secular,” said Mascaro in a press release. “It is a film that speculates the near future through an extraordinary allegory. Divine Love is a commentary on the conservative, fanatical and nationalist agenda that is spreading throughout the world and the way those that don’t espouse it, engage with it. Brazil has traditionally been referred to as a liberal and united country, where the annual Carnaval celebrations espouse the country’s diversity and cordiality. But the fact is that during the past few years, a cultural, social and political transformation led by powerful, ultra-conservative forces, has taken hold in the country. Instead of telling the story of a character fighting against against this conservative shift, I wanted to tell the story of a woman consumed by a desire to advance the conservative religious agenda in a very personal way. If a societal chasm has emerged as a result of hatred and misunderstanding, cinema is a space where I can fantasize improbable encounters.”

Divine Love received government funding and funding from Sor Fond Norwegian South Film Fund, Programa Ibermedia Mascaro, World Cinema Fund Europe, and Creative Europe Media. Mascaro is a Brazilian film director, scriptwriter and artist who lives and works in Recife, in the Northeast of Brazil. Initially known for his documentary work, his first fiction film premiered in the international competition of Locarno Film Festival in 2014. In 2015, he released his Neon Bull, which won the Orrizzonti Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival and was Brazil’s entry to the Goya Awards in 2016. Divine Love, his third narrative feature, was an award winner at the Guadalajara International Film Festival and an official selection the Sundance Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival and Miami Film Festival.