Why Silence is So Good For Your Brain

ALK3R

We live in a loud and distracting world, where silence is increasingly difficult to come by and that may be negatively affecting our health.

In fact, a 2011 World Health Organization report called noise pollution a “modern plague,” concluding that “there is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population.”

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Book Marketing Essentials: Positioning your Work

Nicholas C. Rossis

Myconos | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksFor my day job, I’ve been reading some marketing material, pertaining to tourism. Then it struck me; what they were saying made perfect sense for book marketing as well. Just think of your book as a destination and your reader as a tourist looking for a unique experience.

The material I’m referring to was a study regarding positioning a Greek island as a holiday destination. Destination positioning, as the official term is, has to do with creating a distinctive place in the minds of potential tourists.

This positioning involves two variables:

  • Tourist satisfaction: what emotions did the experience create in the mind of the tourist?
  • Attribute satisfaction: were the individual’s desires and expectations met?

The author reaches the conclusion that a successful positioning strategy requires that the destination image and the specific product attributes that satisfy the customer should match as perfectly as possible. Indeed, a wrong destination…

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Deadshot Mary: a 1930s Undercover Cop Superstar

Nicholas C. Rossis

A couple of days ago, I mentioned one of the greatest fences of all times, Marl Madelbaum. Today I’ll introduce you to a counterpart of hers, “Deadshot” Mary Shanley, an early 20th century undercover supercop. Hadley Meares of Atlas Obscura has unearthed the story of this fascinating woman.

Women’s beats

“Deadshot” Mary Shanley | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Mary Shanley, 1937. (Photo: Library of Congress/LC-USZ62-134714)

“Deadshot” Mary Shanley was born in Ireland in 1896. Her family immigrated to America, and in 1931, Mary joined the NYPD. This was an unusual step for a woman of her time, though not unheard of.

During the first half of the 20th century, policewomen in America often worked undercover, on so-called “women’s beats.” “They are called upon regularly to trail or trap mashers, shoplifters, pickpockets and fortune-tellers; to impersonate drug addicts and hardened convicts, to expose criminal medical practice, find lost persons, guide girls in trouble, break up fake…

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New York’s First Female Crime Boss Started Her Own Crime School

I’ve always been interested in the underbelly of history and loved reading this piece of the past.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Queen of Thieves | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksOrganized crime in New York is often portrayed as a boy’s game, but one of the first and most influential crime bosses in the history of the city was a Prussian immigrant known as “Mother” or “Marm” Mandelbaum.

Eric Grundhauser recently shared her fascinating story on Atlas Obscura, as did Sarah Breger in forward.com, based on Queen of Thieves: The True Story of “Marm” Mandelbaum and Her Gangs of New York” by J. North Conway.

The Queen of Fences

Marm Mandelbaum | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Mandelbaum as portrayed in a political cartoon (Photo: Library of Congress/LC-DIG-ppmsca-28344)

Marm (Fredericka) Mandelbaum, also called “The Queen of Fences,” was an imperious and powerful woman who became one of the most well-connected criminal figures of her day, buying stolen goods and reselling them, financing criminal endeavors, and even creating a school for young criminals.

Increasing restrictions against Jews in Germany brought Mandelbaum to…

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