Left Justified


Phoenix Ancient Art Instrumental in Return of Sarcophagus to Turkey

June 21, 2017 by Gail Nussbaum in Culture

Irina Bokova, director of UNESCO. Photo courtesy of ActuaLitté

After years of discussions, negotiations and an unprecedented international collaboration, an ancient and priceless 2nd century sarcophagus will be going home to Turkey. The artifact has been out of Turkey since the 1960s.

Weighing over 3 tons, the huge piece, which is of major archeological significance, depicts the Twelve Labors of Hercules sculpted in relief. It was created in the 2nd century when the area, which is now Antalya in Turkey, was under Roman domination. It originated in the region where the ancient Turkish city of Dokimion was.

The sarcophagus was included in the inventory of the Swiss antiquities dealer Phoenix Ancient Art. In 2011 the Federal culture Office in Bern, Switzerland said that the artifact originally came from Turkey, and added that the sarcophagus was “an object of infinite cultural value.”

International discussions to return the sarcophagus began, leading to a unique collaboration between academic and governmental authorities in Turkey and Switzerland, and full cooperation from Ali Aboutaam, co-owner of Phoenix Ancient Art.

The sarcophagus has been in the possession of Phoenix Ancient Art since the 1980s. Although there were documents proving the object’s origins, an investigation into the complete provenance of the artifact was begun. The inquiry took a period of several years, and with the necessary administrative procedures now complete, the sarcophagus is on track to be moved back to Turkey this coming September. Until then the object will be on display at the Geneva ‘Bastions’ University.

On June 19, the exhibition opened under extraordinary security with a large number of notable personalities on hand, including: Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova; Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avci; Director of the Geneva Musée d’Art & d’Histoire Jean-Yves Marin; and Ali Aboutaam, co-owner of Phoenix Ancient Art.

The exhibition is open to the public beginning June 22 until September 2, 2017. Then the sarcophagus will be moved to its permanent home in Antalya, Turkey.

Jeff Feig: A Businessman’s Story of Thanks

January 18, 2017 by Dan Kazan in Culture, Health Care

The logo was developed for and by AED. Courtesy of © 2010 AED

Jeff Feig is allegedly a man with a lot to be thankful for. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario’s Honors Business Administration program, Feig joined the Toronto branch of Citibank. In 1994 he started to manage teams of spot and currency traders, and in 2001 he went to London to lead the central bank’s European Foreign Exchange trading division. By 2004 Jeff Feig became Citigroup’s Global Head of Foreign Exchange, and went back to New York City.

Ten years later Feig moved to Fortress Investment Group. There he became the Co-CIO of the firm’s Macro Fund and a co-president of their Liquid Markets division.

What Feig, the former financial executive, is truly thankful for, however, is how his life was saved by lay people after he suffered a massive heart attack.

In August, 2016, while vacationing in a bungalow colony in upstate New York, Feig experience a massive cardiac arrest. Onlookers who were also staying at the bungalow colony quickly leapt into action when they saw their friend collapse. Luckily for Feig, they had been trained at the colony in CPR and how to use an external defibrillator, or A.E.D.

In Feig’s case, 4 quick-thinking lay people all played a crucial role in saving his life. One person called an ambulance; a second delivered chest compression; mouth-to-mouth ventilation was begun by a third; and the fourth person ran to the social hall and grabbed the AED. The defibrillator was then used to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm, saving Feig’s life.
Even more impressive, Feig suffered no permanent heart damage or brain damage. It took the ambulance ten minutes before it arrived at the scene. The brain cannot tolerate lack of oxygen for more than four minutes, after which death soon follows. Jeff’s statement below shows that he is now a firm believer in CPR and the efficacy of AEDs.

“I feel like I’ve been given a second chance at life and I’m not going to waste it,” Feig said. “My goal is to spread the word to increase the level of CPR training in the population and get every institution to have a defibrillator on hand and people trained to use it.”

Just two weeks before Feig’s heart attack, investigations show that the colony had taken a training and refresher course in CPR and the use of the AED. You can be sure that Jeff Feig, as well as his family, friends, and even clients, are thankful that they took such an interest in this important topic!

UPDATE (June 25, 2017): To learn more about this remarkable individual, go to Jeff Feig’s Crunchbase profile.

Fact-Checkers Want Facebook on Their Side

December 12, 2016 by Gail Nussbaum in Culture, News and Media

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Facebook, USA, captured during the session ‘The Next Digital Experience’ at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 30, 2009. Courtesy of the World Economic Forum.

It has been a rough year for facts, as fake news has been spreading through the media with little restraint and serious consequences. Three of the largest fact-checking organizations, Tampa Bay Times’ PolitiFact; FactCheck.org, a project of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center; and Fact Checker, a Washington Post project, joined together and send a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, head of Facebook, asking him to do what he can to reign in and stop propagating false stories and fake news.

Right after election day the “Big Three” called on Zuckerberg to “start and open conversation on the principles that could underpin a more accurate news ecosystem on its News Feed.”

The fact checkers admit that the burden is too big for them to handle alone, especially now that Donald Trump, known for disseminating misinformation himself has won the election. Facebook was highly criticized during the election season and immediately following it for allowing some of the most egregious lies to circulate freely, giving legitimacy to such blatant falsehoods as: the endorsement of Trump by Pope Francis; the murder-suicide of an FBI agent who was investigating the Hillary Clinton email controversy; and more.

At first Zuckerberg laughed off the criticism, but later said that he would “take misinformation seriously.”

The fact checkers continuously pointed out the exaggerations and out and out lies circulating around the social media world, but their objections were often overrun by false headlines. They say that only Facebook has the reach and influence that can truly cripple the spread of fake news. The fact checkers would like to see Facebook take real action now, before the new president is inaugurated.

“Facebook has completely turbo-powered fake news sites,” says Alexios Mantzarlis, director and editor of the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network. “But it’s also probably the first platform that could measure how these things spread, and how we could push back.”

Marijuana on the Ballot in Five States

November 6, 2016 by Gail Nussbaum in Culture

Medical Marijuana 3This Tuesday’s election bodes well for supporters of the legalization of marijuana. Five states appear to be favoring legalization of the drug. If its status changes in just some of these states, the national discussion on the legalization of pot could take a more liberal turn.

The most important single state which will vote on the status of marijuana on Tuesday is California. This enormous state is the sixth largest economy in the world, and is home to 40 million people. The state has had a de-criminalization status for marijuana in place for about 20 years, meaning that it is relatively easy to get a license for “medicinal” use for almost any condition from insomnia to inability to concentrate. Now the state looks like it will give marijuana full legal status. If it does, that move is a game-changer for the federal position on legalization.

“I’ve been calling 2016 the game-over year,” said Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance, a pro-legalization group. “Because if California wins, that’s going to put enormous pressure on Congress to end marijuana prohibition. If all five win, that’s even better. If California legalizes, it’s going to become much harder for Congress not to do anything.”

The other four states voting on whether to legalize pot are Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada, all with slight leads in favor of legalization.

Today there are four states and one district in which marijuana is legal for recreational use. Washington and Colorado were the first to pass laws to legalize with Alaska, Oregon and Washington, DC following just two years later. Voters in Arkansas, North Dakota and Florida will decide whether to permit the use of marijuana for medical reasons. Montanans will vote to remove or not remove restrictions from the state’s current medical marijuana law. If all of these states pass the more liberal marijuana laws medical marijuana will be legal in a clear majority of US states.