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About Stecyk

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. @dirac, thank you for your reply. Because you are a board moderator, please feel free to move my response to a separate thread. I feel guilty taking away from the original focus of this thread. Let me respond, however, to your comment. WSJ has for a long time written about topics other than business and politics. Indeed, one of its most enduring and well read sections is its "A-HED" column where the topic is typically something unusual. I often enjoy those articles. And in today's arts section of the WSJ, there's an article titled "‘Curlew River,’ ‘Dido and Aeneas’ and ‘Otello’ Reviews: Classics Get a Refresh" about an opera, with no comments, that demonstrates that the WSJ is not only about business and finance. Now, to come to your main point about my purportedly "...saying that readers aren't allowed to complain when they think their publication of choice is becoming a slave to clickbait and their only option is 'If you don’t like it, don’t read it,'" no, that's not what I am saying. Of course, people, especially paying customers, should voice their concerns. There is, however, a difference between voicing your concerns and trolling. And to your point, if the subject matter doesn't interest you, then yes, I suggest skipping over it. Why waste your time? Even more importantly, by skipping over it, you are voicing your lack of interest. If there's no interest, there will be no future articles. For example, I am reading one health article now on WSJ and there are forty-one trackers, with twenty-four dedicated to advertising; ten to site analytics; two to essential, whatever that means; two to customer interaction; two for audio and video; and one for social media. WSJ knows exactly what its readers are reading. Having said all that, I went back to review some touchy feely articles and their comments. Surprisingly the comments aren't as bad as I recall them to be. Perhaps the WSJ does a better job at moderating the comments now than it used to. It got so bad that I didn't even bother to read the comments. I was going demonstrate with article along with two readers' comments, but I can't see how to add pictures to my post. So that's out. It's not a big deal. When I read articles in various newspapers, I typically scan the comments because sometimes someone has something valuable to share, other than he or she agrees or disagrees. The other person might be familiar with the latest research or have come across important information that isn't widely known or has an interesting analytical view on the subject. Sometimes a reader contributes more than the writer. The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article "We’re All Internet Trolls (Sometimes)" dated March 5, 2017. I believe this article is behind a paywall. If you or anyone else is interested, please send me a private message along with your email, and I can probably send you an invitation to read the article.
  2. Thank you for your comment. While I didn’t offer any analysis, I did highlight a few sentences from its last earnings release statement. From its earnings release, we know that the business climate remains challenging. I will provide a few more words on this topic and then let it go. I suspect most aren’t interested in the business considerations. One of my interests is in photography, so I have been peripherally following the media sector. I don’t recall which billionaire took over a famous newspaper in Chicago; however, I seem to recall that many of the news photographers were let go. That scenario has played across North America with other media organizations. Furthermore, various newspapers have combined news sections to reduce “redundancy.” Jeff Bezos recently acquired the Washington Post. My understanding is that while he is not directly involved in its editorial and news content, he has encouraged the company to use data science, much like Amazon does. And you know that Amazon is very efficient and effective. I expect that most large news organizations now know who clicks on which articles. For every article, it knows the demographics of the readership, when they read, how long they read, how many refer the article to others by way of the email feature, which articles they read next, and so on. I wouldn’t be surprised if the news organizations know your every click on their site. Indeed, many news sites now provide “recommended for you” articles. Thus, they know what I like and read. They also know that when an article cracks the “top ten” list, it gets a further boost in popularity. When I read a “touchy feely” article in the Wall Street Journal, I note that many readers often comment to the effect that such an article doesn’t belong in the Journal. I at once know that those readers are dumber than a sack of hammers because the Journal has the data. It knows what its readers read. Even more amazing, those who can’t stand such topics read the article and then bother to write that the article shouldn’t exist. As a word to the wise, don’t read the Journal’s readers’ comments, for they are usually very caustic and political. If the news organizations don’t already inform their writers of the various metrics, I expect that they soon will. A writer can or will be able to login and see key metrics about their articles, even in real time. Is this all bad? Not necessarily. For example, a newspaper might show that the readership of dance articles is skewing heavily to those that are older, much like the general population of attendees at a dance performance. The writer is then encouraged to write some articles to attract a younger audience. The writer can then pitch a dance company with a feature article that will appeal to a younger audience. The dance company, too, wants to attract younger audiences. So, their interests in the upcoming article are aligned. Data science is the “hot new thing” in university. Graduates with varied backgrounds gather and analyze huge amounts of data and then present the results. I am confident that the larger news organizations are learning and adapting, because their future depends upon it.
  3. I haven't followed this thread so my comments might seem out of place. There's been plenty of discussion about the New York Times and its dance coverage. With my background, I tend to view most things through a business and financial set of lenses. So I just did a quick check, less than five minutes worth, on the NYT. While NYT enjoyed good subscriber growth of 276,000 digital subscribers, there were offsetting factors. In the "Outlook" section, we see that total advertising revenues are expected to decrease in the high-single digits. As the company stated it will remain focused on its legacy cost base. In short, it remains a challenging environment. The "Outlook" stuff is critical. As a general comment, a company can do amazingly well during the last quarter and issue a weak outlook. Analysts will often largely ignore the great performance and will focus instead on the weak guidance. In addition to hard quantitative stuff, a company's 10K statement often provides some helpful qualitative stuff. For those of you that might be interested, you can look around the company's investor site here: The 10K itself is here: Quarterly earnings conference calls are very helpful, too. The company will often provide some "color" as to how its strategies are progressing. It discusses its various financial metrics and then opens itself up to questions from the analyst community. If anyone wants to get neck deep in this stuff, you can sign up at for free. Once you are there, you can read more about NYT. The key point of my entire message is that newspapers are tough businesses. So, look for companies to focus their energies where they can get their highest returns.
  4. “I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.” ― Mae West If you start at the beginning, you'll see some comments regarding NYCB social media. From your comment, you seem displeased that we drifted off topic. Just start at the beginning and stop when you lose interest.
  5. Neil Munshi of the Financial Times wrote an interesting article "Poetry and motion: Mikhail Baryshnikov on Joseph Brodsky." Unfortunately, the article is likely behind a paywall. Perhaps you can read through a library subscription. The article is dated 3/17/17. This interview sets up Mikhail Baryshnikov for his performance in the UK premiere of “Brodsky/Baryshnikov”, Apollo Theatre, May 3—6.
  6. @sandik I would expect Copeland to avoid specific discussions with Under Amour and focus more on her talking points. Plank has provided more commentary to the effect that while he supports a pro-business approach, he will oppose those measures that are harmful to the company's core principles as suggested in this Esquire article "Under Armour's CEO Pens an Open Letter to Clarify His Pro-Trump Comments." Here's a link to the Baltimore Sun article "Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank responds to Trump tempest with letter to Baltimore." I expect that Plank and the company's spokespeople have had in-depth conversations as their beliefs and values. I am confident that they understand and respect each others' positions. So comments now are likely to be forward looking in that they speak to core values as opposed to past statements. By way of disclosure, I should mention that I am a long-time shareholder of Under Armour. These past few months have not been pleasant--not only for Under Armour but also for most retail and apparel equities.
  7. There was a recent discussion about Misty Copeland with regard to Kevin Plank's comments as CEO of Under Amour. Today I came across an article from Harvard Business Review that discusses how companies should handle situations where an employee or spokesperson speaks out. I believe readers are allowed five free HBR articles per month.
  8. @AB'sMom, thank you for your response. When I saw your response come through in the email, I had meant to reply. It obviously slipped my mind until now. I like your description of "being lifted up from the inside." It certainly provides a good visual.
  9. There have been some recent issues, which I will get to in a moment, that reminded of this thread. I recall this thread being quite lively. Before going further, those that recall this thread will remember that Helene and I seemed to take opposite sides. In reality, I believe our moral and ethical compasses are strikingly aligned. We might disagree on this particular "Ghomeshi" case; however, we both abhor violence and ill treatment of others. So with that, let's continue on with the new comments. I'd like to draw your attention to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation article by Neil Macdonald "You don't like the Ghomeshi verdict, fine, but don't take it out on the judge." The CBC and Neil Macdonald have solid reputations in Canada for fair reporting. Please go to the above article and read the CBC's instructions starting with: "'There are those who disagree strenuously with the outcome of this trial.'" Had the judge shown bias, I am confident that Madonald would have voiced his opinions, loudly and clearly. If you haven't done so earlier in this thread, please read the actual court decision (pdf link). Next, I encourage you to view an interview with Ghomeshi's lawyer found here at the CBC: "Marie Henein, Jian Ghomeshi's lawyer, denies she has betrayed women." Next, we note that Ghomeshi's second trial did not go forward. Please see CBC article: "Jian Ghomeshi to avoid 2nd sex assault trial by signing peace bond, source says." When I was watched the US presidential election process and watched the women who came forward against one of the candidates, I thought back to the Ghomeshi situation. In the US, the women were visible and accountable. In the Ghomeshi situation, the women could remain anonymous unless they chose to become public. I am not advocating that one is right or better. It's just an interesting observation. I also find it interesting that Ghomeshi who has not been convicted of any crime and who, to my knowledge, received no assistance from his union is not allowed to sue his former employer. So what brought me back to this topic? This past week a judge in Calgary resigned. Please see CBC "Justice Robin Camp resigns after judicial council recommends removal" and New York Times "Robin Camp, Canadian Judge, Resigns Over Handling of Rape Trial." The reason for highlighting this development is that we do go after judges who mishandle trials. That's not to say that every judgement is correct, but it does indicate that Canadians will not tolerate a judge who shows extreme bias. The Ghomeshi trial was a high profile court case. Had the judge shown similar bias, the furor would never have died down. In reality, after a couple of days when most had an opportunity to read the court decision, people moved on.
  10. Ah, I am not familiar enough with your writing and your humor to catch your sarcasm. My mistake. And, I like your "dis-barre-d." Very good.
  11. What if he had committed a violent sexual assault, would you feel the same? In most organizations, if an employee initiates a physical altercation, he or she is gone, permanently. In many cases, if an employee melts down in an extreme temper tantrum, he or she is gone forever, too. If a lawyer is convicted of fraud, he or she is likely disbarred for life. Most professions, in fact, expel their members if they are convicted of a criminal offence. Those who commit crimes must find an alternate career. As Drew suggests, he is free to chose another profession or find another employer or both.
  12. For the benefit of others who might be reading this thread, I thought would add a few words. A friend mentioned that Morton's Toe is more difficult to dance on. As mentioned in this thread, dancers will often build up the inside of the shoe to fill in space and provide more stability. She mentioned the following product: Totally Toes by Gaynor Minden. I suspect that there are other brands, too. With respect to walking across the stage, she indicated that the ADs were likely looking for a sense of "lofty-ness." ADs are looking for how dancers hold their head up, chin up, and shoulders back. She wrapped up by suggesting that I should purchase a pair of pointe shoes to get a better sense of what the dancers feel. I could also deconstruct the shoes once I am done to see how they are made. I am curious, though I am not sure that I am that curious. I will let the idea percolate for a while. Perhaps I'll change my mind later.
  13. Thank you Fraildove for replying. It's great to have your response because you are speaking with direct experience. Intuitively, I would expect that having Morton's Toe poses more of a challenge than having a big toe followed by tapered toes because the big toe can or should be able to support more weight? Is it not the primary load bearing toe? Adding a wedge or something to the other toes to help distribute the weight seems easier when the dancer doesn't have Morton's Toe. In a Morton's Toe situation, I suspect that the second toe "buckles" so that its length matches that of the big toe? I am asking for clarification as I have no experience in this matter. If we look at the x-ray in the Wikipedia link for Morton's Toe (enlarge to full screen size), we see that the bone structure for the big toe is significantly stronger than for the other toes. The diameter of the bone seems about double the size of the other bones. Stress is defined as force divided by area. Because the diameter is twice as large, the cross sectional area of the bone is four times greater. So, the big toe should be able to support four times the load of a smaller toe? You mentioned makeup wedges. I am surprised that there aren't specific custom made molds that would specific to a dancer's individual feet to help distribute the weight amongst her toes. I know absolutely nothing about dancer's feet and pointe shoes. So I am curious. You mention that some ADs ask dancers to walk across the floor in a diagonal and then make cuts. That seems absolutely brutal. My "normal" walk depends upon circumstance. Am I walking around in a mall waiting for a theater to open. Or, am I walking with purpose because I want buy something and get out? Or, am I walking to meet someone and make a positive first impression? Or any number of different situations. I suspect our walk changes depending on circumstance. So if dancers are to walk across the floor in a diagonal, what should he or she assume? What is a "normal" walk under those conditions? Do you want to show some personality and playfulness? Or, serious intent and assertiveness? Or, do ADs ask dancers to walk across the floor to judge their aesthetics or attractiveness? And, if so, is that fair or proper? I hadn't realized that for female dancers, one of the hardest things to master is to simply walk or run in pointe shoes. That's interesting. Thank you!
  14. I might be mixing two separate topics that would be better treated separately. They do seem somewhat related, so I will raise both in this one thread. In some of the pre-show discussions held for a visiting dance company's performance, I have heard their artistic directors mention that they choose dancers based on their walks. Some of the dancers chosen had no prior dance experience and were instead molded by the current company. These dance companies that have mentioned this selection process have been modern dance companies as opposed to pure ballet companies. As an example, on Thursday I saw Life by BalletBoyz and one of the company's dancers had begun "raw." The artistic director, Michael Nunn, is a former Royal Ballet dancer. My questions are, what is the artistic director looking for in a dancer's walk? Is there something specific, or will the artistic director know it when he sees it? I assume ballet companies have a much more rigorous process in selecting dancers. What are their typical processes? My second topic, somewhat tangential, is Morton's Toe, a condition where the second toe is longer than the big toe. Because I have this condition, I am curious if Morton's Toe prevents a person from becoming a top-notch dancer? For female dancers dancing on pointe, I would imagine that having Morton's Toe would be more challenging and, perhaps, painful? Would this condition be a significant factor in selection process? Although I have the condition, I played sports in my younger years and never thought anything of it. I never enjoyed running, though I enjoy training and playing sports.
  15. I wrote about an uncomfortable situation last year where a woman behind me would often eat during a performance. It drove me nuts. I haven't seen this couple during this season so far, which makes me believe that they didn't renew their subscription. So my problem is gone. Today while listening to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, I heard an interesting discussion about misophonia, the hatred of certain sounds, during the first twelve and a half minutes of "Quirks and Quarks," a program about science. Misophonia afflicts about twenty percent of the population. Although I am not an extreme case of misophonia, I am certain that I am a proud member. So for those of you who are bothered by sounds of people eating or whatever, you might find the podcast interesting.