New Travel Books: “Uzbekistan – The Road to Samarkand” (Assouline)

Uzbekistan Assouline Book Cover 2020At the heart of Central Asia lies a land where colossal mountains and sweeping valleys sleep under a blanket of lush greenery. Crowned with golden palaces and wondrous monuments, the architectural landscape of the region is so rich with detail, the structures have been said to mirror the heavens themselves.

One of the few destinations on Earth where imagination aligns with reality, Uzbekistan flourishes with unparalleled scenery and unforgotten traditions. The towns and cities are like ‘open museums’, each edifice offering a unique and intricate aesthetic, each a testament to diverse cultural influences and diverse periods of history. Nature and architecture have a unique relationship, seemingly inspired by each other, as if they were trying to to outdo each other with their beauty. Discover the beautiful colors, textures and flavors of this incredible culture and journey through the cities of the Silk Road and the lands of Alexander The Great with stunning original photography by Laziz Hamani.


For over 40 years, Yaffa Assouline has captured the luxury and publishing industry as a journalist, consultant and creative art director. She specializes in innovative and made-to measure publishing. Uzbekistan was inspired by Yaffa’s desire to introduce the world to a country unknown to most: an exotic land filled with immense beauty unseen to most eyes. For more than a year, Yaffa embarked on a journey where she captured the essence of the country, from east to west, north to south, filled with unforgettable encounters along the way. It was a vast undertaking—given a place with such a rich culture, long diverse history and all this beauty to offer—to give a taste of the flavor of the country. The book is an invitation to voyage, to discover more and to see what could only be fully appreciated with one’s own eyes.

Photographer Laziz Hamani, is long-time friend of Yaffa Assouline. With his talent and eye for intimate details, he was the only person who was suited to be Yaffa’s partner – a visual scribe in this adventure. Of Berber origin, he was born and lives in Paris. He is passionate about creating beautiful images, his life defined by a constant search for aesthetics and meaning. He has worked with many prestigious luxury brands, such as Dior, Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre and with designer Axel Vervoordt; and he has collaborated with Assouline Publishing on more than twenty titles.

To read more or purchase book

Science Podcasts: Low-Cost Cryo-Electron Microscopes & Genetic Roots Of Schizophrenia

Science Magazine PodcastsStructural biologists rejoiced when cryo–electron microscopy, a technique to generate highly detailed models of biomolecules, emerged. But years after its release, researchers still face long queues to access these machines. Science’s European News Editor Eric Hand walks host Meagan Cantwell through the journey of a group of researchers to create a cheaper, more accessible alternative.

Cryo-Electron Microscopes

Also this week, host Joel Goldberg speaks with psychiatrist and researcher Goodman Sibeko, who worked with the Xhosa people of South Africa to help illuminate genetic details of schizophrenia. Though scientists have examined this subject among Western populations, much less is known about the underlying genetics of people native to Africa.


Research: “Designing Tech For Healthy Aging In Place” (UC San Diego Video)

Digital tools including mobile apps, wearable sensors, and social network platforms offer unprecedented opportunities in health research and healthcare. However, this rapidly emerging sector is outpacing existing regulatory structures and challenging norms for ethical practice.

Camille Nebeker, EdD, MS, Associate Professor of Behavioral Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine & Public Health at the UC San Diego School of Medicine describes how technologies, including wearable sensors and artificial intelligence, are leveraged to capture personal health data and infer health status. Nebeker presents the ethical considerations specific to informed consent, risks of harm and potential benefits while underscoring the role that funding agencies, policy makers, researchers, ethicists, and editors have in creating the infrastructure needed to advance safe digital health research and practice.

Video Profiles: 89-Year Old London Illustrator David Gentleman On His New Book “My Town” (May 2020)

David Gentleman is an iconic British illustrator and designer who has lived a lifetime in London. Drawing from over sixty years of engagement with this most My Town by David Gentleman Penguin UK May 2020well-known capital city, his most recent book,

My Town presents London as it was and as it is today. His beautiful and intricate work – of the Thames, Hampstead Heath, Camden Town (where David Gentleman has lived in the same house for fifty years), London’s parks and sights – offers us the pleasure of looking again at the everyday.

Accompanied by reflections on the work of an artist, commentary on the possibilities of ink, pen and paint and personal thoughts on the ever-changing city, this is a delight for all those who flock to London.

To review book or purchase

London Illustrator David Gentleman
London Illustrator David Gentleman

David William Gentleman is an English artist. He studied illustration at the Royal College of Art under Edward Bawden and John Nash. He has worked in watercolour, lithography and wood engraving, at scales ranging from platform-length murals for Charing Cross Underground Station in London to postage stamps and logos. (Wikipedia)

2020 Election Primaries: “Iowa Caucus Explained”

The Telegraph logo

The Iowa caucuses are biennial electoral events for members of the Democratic and Republican Parties in the U.S. state of Iowa. Unlike primary elections in most other U.S. states, where registered voters go to polling places to cast ballots, Iowans instead gather at local caucus meetings to discuss and vote on the candidates. During both the presidential and midterm election seasons, registered Iowan voters vote in a per-precinct caucus for the party of which they are registered as a member.[1] The caucuses are also held to select delegates to county conventions and party committees, among other party activities.

From Wikipedia

Nutrition Studies: 70% Of U.S. Fast-Food Meals Are “Poor Dietary Quality”

“Our findings show dining out is a recipe for unhealthy eating most of the time,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, senior author and dean of the Friedman School. 

At fast-food restaurants, 70 percent of the meals Americans consumed were of poor dietary quality in 2015-16, down from 75 percent in 2003-04. At full-service restaurants, about 50 percent were of poor nutritional quality, an amount that remained stable over the study period. The remainder were of intermediate nutritional quality.

BOSTON (Jan. 29, 2020, 9:00 a.m. EST)—The typical American adult gets one of every five Tufts School of Nutrition Science and Policy logocalories from a restaurant, but eating out is a recipe for meals of poor nutritional quality in most cases, according to a new study by researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

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Published today in The Journal of Nutrition, the study analyzed the dietary selections of more than 35,000 U.S. adults from 2003-2016 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) who dined at full-service (those with wait staff) or fast-food restaurants, which included pizza shops and what has become known as fast-casual. The researchers assessed nutritional quality by evaluating specific foods and nutrients in the meals, based on the American Heart Association 2020 diet score.

To read more about study

Profiles: 55-Year Old Canadian Artist Mark Laguë – “Painter Of Light”

Painter of Light

Canadian Artist MARK LAGUËMark has developed an international reputation and has won numerous awards, both in his native Canada and in the United States. A dedicated painter, Mark Lague was born in Lachine Quebec in 1964 and he has had a fascination with drawing since childhood, a skill he practices constantly, even to this day.

Mark Laguë Artist website collage

Upon graduation from Montreal’s Concordia University in Design, Mark embarked on a 13-year career in the animation industry, working primarily as a background designer and art director. During this time, despite working full time, he began receiving international acclaim for his watercolour paintings through competitions, juried shows, and solo exhibitions.

In 2000, Mark switched to oil as his primary medium, and in 2002 made the jump to full time painter. As an artist he is a realist, who is open to virtually all subject matter. What keeps him excited about painting is his endless quest to simplify and get to the essence of whatever he paints. Mark has been featured in numerous national art magazines, and continues to receive international recognition for his distinctive style of painting.