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Rowan M
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Beautiful, soothing music for a good cause!
I haven’t been sleeping well. I used to get frustrated and try to force myself back to sleep, but these days I just put on a pot of coffee and write music. Over the past few weeks I wrote a whole album in these hours, which I edited during the day.

You can get it here: http://bit.ly/2k3U4Vv

These seven tracks are raw, dreamy, inward-turning. They cut right to the core of my often conflicted feelings and thoughts. It’s the most direct thing I’ve brought out in some ways, and I’ve agonized over releasing it. At the end of the day my art is one of the few things I can share with the world, and I want to offer it to you. I hope it provides some comfort and ease.

Today, Friday 2/3, Bandcamp is donating their cut of the proceeds to the ACLU, and today I will donate my cut as well. I'll make the album available by other digital channels (Spotify, iTunes, etc) over the next few weeks.

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Beautiful new music — and the whole album is only $1 for a limited time!
When I started the November Album Project, I wasn’t anticipating that it would be such an, er, interesting, month. Art is a great way to work through things, and I took this project and turned myself inside out to create this album.

And it’s done, and it’s good. I’m pleased to announce “With Only the Stars,” a collection of seven ambient tracks. The main evocation is space travel, but it is also about feelings, it is about being lost and finding your way, and being amazed at the beauty of the universe as it reflects back to you from all facets. It is foreboding and sparkling all in good measure.

For the next few weeks I’m making it available for $1, though you can pay more if you like. There’s not a huge amount I can contribute to the world right now, but music is one. Please listen and enjoy and share. Thank you.

https://artemis7.bandcamp.com/album/with-only-the-stars
Artemis Seven
Artemis Seven
artemis7.bandcamp.com
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Project Fi review

I bought a new phone and switched to Project Fi two months ago.

Best part: the low, low cost of data. I used to be on AT&T, which charged me roughly $70/month for unlimited data & text in the US. With Project Fi, I pay $10/GB of data, and $20 for all the phone services. I use 1 - 2 GB of data/month when I'm at home, so my bill is now $30 - $40/month. (And they prorate for parts of a GB.)

AND -- data costs THE SAME AMOUNT in their long list of roaming countries. This, to me, was the killer feature that prompted me to switch only two months before a new version of the Google phone came out. I was in Europe for two weeks in September. If I'd been with AT&T, I would have had to pay $120 for a whopping 850 MB -- not GB, MB -- of data. And that's the most I could have bought, leaving me anxiously monitoring every byte of data my phone used, and probably paying a lot more when I went over -- to the tune of $150/GB. Not a typo. It's $0.15/MB when you go over.

Instead, I used my phone as freely as I liked, including navigating with maps and playing Pokemon Go. I even made my phone a wifi hotspot for J & V when it turned out the wifi in our Paris Airbnb wasn't working. I paid around $30 for all the data I used over two weeks in France, the UK, and our brief stopover in Iceland. THIRTY DOLLARS.

Worst part: if you have a Google Voice number and a cell number, and you want to keep them both, switching to Project Fi will mess you up. You can port your current cell number from any carrier to Project Fi, but it becomes, in essence, a Google Voice number. You can't have two GV numbers on one Google account, so if you don't want to lose your existing GV number, you have to move it to another Google account before you sign up for Project Fi. And you can't forward one GV number to another, so I can't have the GV number I use for the charity I run forwarded to my cell anymore, making it into nothing but a voicemail box. (Fortunately, I get hardly any calls on that line.) That last part about forwarding is not well documented and took me by surprise, so spread the word if you know people in that situation.
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Check it out!
Oh, and did I fail to mention that I released a new Artemis Seven album today? 9 fresh new tracks take you on a journey. It's only available on Bandcamp for the next few weeks – please support my music, and thanks so much for listening!

Get it here: http://bit.ly/2a1QHsT
Artemis Seven
Artemis Seven
twitter.com
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New allergy treatment options

So, in trying to figure out what's wrong with my airways and how I might fix them, I've come across a couple of newer allergy treatment options that I gather from convos people are often not aware of.

Sublingual immunotherapy drops: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/743394_2

Immunotherapy for allergies means introducing the allergen into your bloodstream and gradually building up a tolerance to it. This is currently done, in North America at least, largely by injection. The injections are a pain (literally and figuratively). However, you can now also do the same thing by putting drops under your tongue every day. Because it's a smaller dose than the injections, you are at far less risk for an anaphylactic reaction, so you can do it at home.

Cat-SPIRE & other SPIREs: http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/business/11833593.Firm_s_cure_for_cat_allergy__at_the_double_/

This is a set of immunotherapy shots, but you only have to do four shots over sixteen weeks, rather than dozens of shots over a period of years. They're hoping to have the first one, for cat allergy, approved and on the market by the end of 2017. Others in the pipeline include dust, ragweed, and hayfever. I'm keeping a close eye on this and will be shouting about it again when it becomes available in the US.
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Help with my search for a new cereal?

I like eating cereal for breakfast, but I hate hate hate soggy cereal. I recently found a cereal that worked for me -- Enjoy Life's Crunchy Flax (http://www.iherb.com/p/32781) -- but it looks like Enjoy Life is not in the cereal business anymore.

So. Anyone out there know of a cereal that does not get soggy? Or at least, takes a very long time to do so? Like, after ten minutes of milk submersion, is only minimally affected? Bonus points if it's gluten-free, but make suggestions regardless -- it's possible I could find a GF alternative.
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Attention Montrealers, this exhibit is coming your way in 2017.
Extra Fantômes
Extra Fantômes
gaite-lyrique.net
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One of my favourite SF novels of all time, Expendable, is a Kindle deal this month for $1.99. It's set in a fascinating, well-thought-out future populated with diverse, complex characters. There are a bunch of novels set in this universe in a kind of loose series; this is the first.
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