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Dec 22nd
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Learning in a Gamers' Paradise

Learning in a Gamers' Paradise

UCSC's computer game design program receives a $457,000 donation from Sony

Don’t let the association with toys fool you. Designing video games can be hard work.  Such hard work, in fact, that a group of Sony employees found themselves working nights, weekends and holidays without receiving proper overtime pay. They filed a class action lawsuit against their employer, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), in 2005, and in July 2007, they won $8.5 million in overtime from the company.

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News - Business

Sole Mates

Sole Mates

They gave corporate America the boot and launched an online, custom- design shoe business. Three years later, the entrepreneurs behind Santa Cruz-based cmax.com are ready to try success on for size

They have a bond tighter than any knot you’d find on a pair of swank sneakers, and enough traction to sprint on the business treadmill for years to come. Most of all, David Solk, Irmgard Kreuzer and Dave Ward have got sole—a lot of it ... enough to make tens of thousands of shoes and then some.

Hear that? It’s Imelda Marcos sighing with envy.

To fully grasp the story of how Santa Cruz became home to three entrepreneurs who kicked corporate America on its rear end only to launch the country’s—perhaps the world’s—hippest cus- tom design online shoe buying business, cmax.com (also known as customatix.com), it’s best to simply put yourself, well, in their shoes. There you are ... working at a behemoth called Adidas, and although you’ve been enjoy- ing your job as an über executive in the high- paced and often frenzied industry, you just crave more. Something’s missing. What, exact- ly, is it? You’ve got a sweet income in a job that allows you to travel around the world. You’re also savvy with marketing and know how to really mass-produce athletic footwear. When you find yourself chatting with colleagues—com- pany employees who are also on the management end of things, a few of them living over- seas—ideas are tossed around. Why not branch out ... form your own company, sell shoes. But take it to another level: do it online and do it in a way nobody else does. You want your e-tailing adventure to allow the customer to design his or her own shoes, really get involved in the process ... make it an inti-mate, personal experience. It would put conventional shoe buying on a tilt, but would it fly? Got $2 million?

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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire