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A Journey Through Dante-esque Darkness to Easter Light

(NewsUSA) - Presence, the Play by William Jefferson is an allegorical tale woven across multiple levels: Christian theology, media critique, the hero’s journey, and poetic reimagining of classic works, including Dante’s Inferno and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The storyline leads readers to the depths of hell, where they encounter the Reservoirs of Bewilderment, which all inductees to hell must enter. 

The reservoirs number five: Fragmentation, Static, Confusion, Chatter, and Delusion. They function as a horrifyingly surreal training camp for Satan’s kingdom. Jefferson deploys the reservoirs as an allegorical device for addressing the discarnate, fragmenting nature of modern media, underpinned algorithms, and AI. Yet beyond the twists, turns, and bewilderment, Presence, the Play offers a hope-filled message of perseverance that leads from hellish darkness to a celebration of Easter light.  

The story opens at the majestic Theatre Portesque on the fictional Isle of Estillyen. There, a monk named Script eagerly is attending the premier performance of his long-awaited play. Portesque is abuzz with excitement—patrons rushing, bells ringing, stalls and balconies filling—when suddenly tragedy strikes. 

The beloved playwright Script suffers a wicked fall, cracking his skull on the brass guard rail. Unconscious, Script is rushed to the Estillyen infirmary, where a team of doctors monitor his minute-by-minute condition. Nonresponsive, Script drifts into a deep, prolonged coma, in which his harrowing hell experience commences.  

Lucifer himself has taken notice of Script’s play and rejects its premise of presence. The evil one schemes to undo humanity with his message of presence passé—propelled by AI, algorithms, social media, and all manner of “mediated matter.” His goal is to lead humankind down the path of discarnate life and away from incarnate presence.


A brief excerpt from Lucifer’s speech to captives in the netherworld:

“The Race reels in confusion and delusion. They know not what to believe. They are like vipers. And we will it so. We’ve woven a narrative most propitious. It brims with efficacy. It’s called Bewilderment.

Soon, high above a tiny isle, our tower will reach to the heavens and carry our message to an ever-increasing discarnate world. And I promise you this: The isle will have hordes of whitewashed tombs with Estillyen bones.” 

To uncover Satan’s plan, Script must venture to hell and back many times over. It’s an insane mission, one Script is most reluctant to undertake. Although, not unlike Dante guided by the poet Virgil, Script, too, has a trio of wise encouragers who join the mission and nurture him along. 

Two of the three possess rather historic resumes: Melchizedek, the mysterious King of Salem, who blessed Abraham, and Simon of Cyrene, who carried the cross of Christ. The third is known only as Sage, who introduces himself to Script early on: “I’m a crier of olden days, of papyrus, print, and page; just call me Sage.”

The Lenten season can be described as a period of grief that ends with the celebration of Easter. In Easter Orthodox tradition, the season is known as “Bright Sadness.”

It’s safe to say that the tale of Presence, the Play is one of brightness, and sadness not at all.  Particularly when the Estillyen Ferry, packed with Easter lilies, docks in Port Estillyen one early Easter morn.

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Take 5 Car Wash Welcomes Spring, Gives Away Tens of Thousands of Free Car Washes

(NewsUSA) - Nothing says annoying like having bird poop on your car, and the arrival of spring means even more unwanted bird activity. Why do birds like to poop on cars? No one knows for sure, but bird poop on your car is more than an unsightly mess. In fact, the uric acid in bird poop can damage your vehicle’s paint.  

Fortunately, Take 5 Car Wash® is welcoming the season with a giveaway of over 60,000 free car washes in select markets across the United States including Dallas, Nashville, Denver, Salt Lake City, Memphis, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Little Rock, Birmingham, New Orleans, and Columbus, Ohio. Free washes will be gifted starting on March 28, National Car Wash Day, to people who claim their car was pooped on by Take 5’s new, pesky mascot, the Take 5 Official Pigeon.

If you live in one of the select markets and suspect that the Take 5 pigeon has visited you, visit for your chance at a free wash, and to see where the pigeon may strike next.

Take 5 Car Wash is the largest express car wash operator in the U.S. with 400 sites nationwide and is part of the Driven Brands family of automotive services. The retailer's washes tackle the seven signs of car aging: dull paintwork, fine lines, markings, permeability, surface dirt, under chassis rust, and fading color. Its washes are equipped with Take 5’s proprietary Pro5™ five-step process for a professional clean, powered by Armor All Professional® wash and wax formulas, including a Ceramic Shield formula with UV Protection exclusive to Take 5 Car Wash.

Visitors to Take 5 Car Wash also have access to Take 5 Car Wash’s complimentary Pro5 Detail Center, with high-power vacuums, Pro5, Armor All Professional®, Interior Cleaner, and Window Cleaner, and microfiber towels.

Driven Brands, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., also includes Take 5 Oil Change®, Meineke Car Care Centers®, Maaco®, 1-800-Radiator & A/C®, Auto Glass Now®, and CARSTAR®. Driven Brands has more than 4,800 locations across 15 countries, and services over 50 million vehicles annually. Visit for more information.

Non-Surgical GentleCure™ Treatment Cures 50,000th Skin Cancer Patient

(NewsUSA) -            Fifty thousand people in the U.S. have had their skin cancer cured without going to hospitals or undergoing traditional Mohs surgery, avoiding that treatment’s pain, bleeding, surgical scarring and, often, need for follow-up reconstructive surgery.

          The nation’s 50,000th case of curing common (nonmelanoma) skin cancer with GentleCure™, the non-surgical treatment using Image-Guided Superficial Radiation Therapy or Image-Guided SRT, occurred at Reading Dermatology, the private Pennsylvania practice of Jason Hendrix, DO.

          The patient was Jeffrey Keating, D.P.M., a 74-year-old retired podiatrist from Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, whose lifelong habits of golfing, sailing and driving in his top-down convertible likely contributed to his history of skin cancer.

          “I had Mohs surgery years earlier for a lesion on my calf,” Keating said, “but this time, with three lesions on my face, my doctor and I chose non-surgical GentleCure and the results were outstanding.”

          With GentleCure, doctors treat nonmelanoma skin cancer (basal and squamous cell carcinomas) using ultrasound imaging to direct low-level X-ray energy to targeted areas of the skin, killing cancer cells without surgery. Research shows that the technology produces a 99.3 percent cure rate for early stage nonmelanoma skin cancer, making it just as effective as Mohs surgery, and treatments are covered by Medicare and most insurance plans.

          Dr. Hendrix noted, "More than three million Americans are diagnosed with nonmelanoma skin cancer each year, making it the most common form of cancer. Sun exposure is the primary cause and year-round sun effects are cumulative over one's lifetime, so those who spend a lot of time outdoors plus seniors, those with light skin, users of tanning beds and people with family histories of skin cancer are especially susceptible. With all its advantages, GentleCure is the new non-invasive standard of care."

           Patient Keating added, “As a physician myself, I know that it’s critically important for patients to understand all their treatment options. Having experienced Mohs surgery, the idea of no pain or scarring with GentleCure was very attractive. Actually seeing the cancer shrink and disappear on the ultrasound imaging screen was so reassuring. I have a friend who had Mohs surgery on a facial lesion, and he had a flap of skin cut from his scalp and stretched over the site of his excised lesion; that was not something I wanted to experience. Today, I am fully cured and could not be happier with the GentleCure process and results.”

           For more information and to learn where Image-Guided SRT is available, visit



Fun Facts and Betting Tips for Golf's Masters Tournament

( - The Masters Tournament, held annually at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, is one of the most prestigious golf events in the world. Many sports enthusiasts think they know the Masters but check out these facts and tips that add intrigue to watching and betting on the Masters.

Past Performance Predictions: According to betting analyst Sean Carter at, it's wise to consider a golfer's past performance at Augusta National. The challenging course often rewards those who have played it previously, so veterans may be safer bets.

Par-3 Curse: Since 1960, the Masters Tournament has held an annual Par-3 Contest on the Wednesday before the main event that includes past and current participants, often with family members as caddies. However, no golfer who has won the contest has gone on to win the Masters in the same year. Coincidence or risky bet? You be the judge.

Watch the Weather: The timing of the Masters is known for its unpredictable weather, which can significantly impact golfers' performances. Springtime in Georgia may mean sudden changes in wind direction, rain, or temperature that create challenging conditions for even the most seasoned professionals. Golfers who have a history of performing well in adverse weather conditions might have an edge over their competitors.

World Ranking Rules: World rankings are no guarantee of success at the Masters, but they offer valuable insights into the current form of the players. Since 2000, most Masters champions have been ranked within the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking. “Take these rankings into account, but keep in mind that underdogs can make a splash,” PointSpreads experts advise.

Amen Corner Climaxes: The stretch of Augusta National known as “Amen Corner” features the 11th, 12th and 13th holes. The 11th and 13th are daunting par 4s with over 500 yards from pin to cup, but the 12th hole is a spot where players are made and golf bettors pray to the heavens. This 155-yard hole, named “Golden Bell,” is a par 3, but features “Rae’s Creek” where players’ hopes may sink if their ball hits the water. Golf greats Jordan Speith and Tiger Woods have suffered the fate of the 12th hole, as did Tom Weiskopf, who shot a record high 13 there in 1983.

Green Jacket Grandeur: In addition to a cash prize and a trophy, the most recognizable symbol of victory at the Masters is the green jacket. Since 1949, each champion receives a green jacket to take home and wear for one year. The jacket must then be returned to August National and can be worn only on club grounds.

Sean Carter is a betting analyst with the sports odds and betting information portal,

(Revised 3/28/2023)

Benefits for Women Becoming Financial Planners

(NewsUSA) - The financial services industry is changing and diversifying, and this includes women becoming financial advisors at a rate higher than ever before.

If you’ve ever considered a career in financial planning, now may be the perfect time to take the leap. Benefits include high earning potential, flexible work hours, professional growth, and more.

High Earning Potential

There’s a clear demand for financial advisors, and women are moving into those positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job opportunities for personal financial advisors will grow 15% in the next 8 years — much faster than the average for other occupations. With all that demand, financial advisors can potentially earn high salaries, including into the six figures.

Flexible Work Hours

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more businesses have become open to employees working remotely and establishing flexible working arrangements, including in financial services. Women can tailor their career choices and create schedules allowing for balanced work and personal life.

Professional Growth

More firms and businesses are recruiting women with opportunities to become financial planners, investment advisors and wealth advisors. Many provide professional development programs, including assistance for those pursuing advanced training such as CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. Additional support is available through CFP Board, which offers scholarships and mentoring programs.

“There is also a growing number of women who are willing to mentor younger women and make it their life’s work to make sure we’re reaching back down and pulling people up,” explains Kate Healy, Managing Director of CFP Board Center for Financial Planning. “It’s wonderful to see and really starting to have an impact.”

Helping Clients Achieve Financial Goals

One of the most rewarding aspects of becoming a financial planner is helping others achieve their goals and improve their quality of life. CFP® professionals can help navigate many of life’s big transitions, from saving for college savings to preparing for retirement.


As more women become advisors, they can empower other women to take control of their financial future. It's important that CFP® professionals reflect the public they serve, and women CFP® professionals can act as role models and provide guidance to other women interested in finance. Many women are even going on to start their own firms. The number of women-led firms is growing thanks to women supporting each other through networking, advice and feedback.

To learn more about the opportunities available within the financial planning profession, as well as financial planner training and compensation, check out CFP Board’s Career Guide. Explore how you can become a CFP® professional, with all the benefits that provides.  

Create a career that fuels your dream lifestyle

(NewsUSA) - When will you break away from your 9-to-5 job so you can embrace the lifestyle of your dreams? “Hindsight 2020” author Kyle Corbett is motivating would-be entrepreneurs who are still in their 20s to make the leap now, before the economy tanks and life traps them at their desk jobs.

At just 38, Corbett owns and runs several businesses but doesn’t consider any of them to be jobs.

He started his first of several entrepreneurial efforts with $6,500. That business now grosses upwards of $650,000 a year. He runs sailing tours. He operates an ocean conservation and eco-tour business. He surfs, travels and lives his dream lifestyle. His book teaches others the skills to do the same.

“Anyone can do the stuff I do. The tools are right there in front of us,” he confirms. “You can travel the world. You’re just used to telling yourself that you can’t. It’s often easier to hang onto your career as your security blanket. You pursue the American dream: a mortgage and white picket fence. Before you know it, you can’t quit your job because you’ve taken on financial obligations you can’t get out of. Even if you’re capable of changing, you may be too afraid.”

Corbett stresses having what you want means believing in yourself. I often ask my consultation clients: What are you waiting for? Find that one thing that you are truly passionate about and you will not be able to see any barriers. Then educate yourself and set yourself up for success. From the time your eyes open in the morning to the time they close at night, you are in school.”

His book describes how being in constant learning mode gave Corbett the tools to do more than stay financially afloat despite operating within the tourist industry during the pandemic. This enabled him to pivot, thrive and discover fresh ways to pursue his passions.

Here is where you can start, if you want to empower your dream lifestyle.

Manifest your mentors

Think of yourself as a university with one student: you. Mentors are all around you.

Someone who lives down the street can teach you more important lessons than what you might learn in a classroom.

“Those who manifest their mentors go the farthest in life. Talk with people in the field you are considering. We are all storytellers. As humans, we always want to share information with others that we think will help them,” advises Corbett, adding that his ‘baker story’ often creates epiphanies for would-be entrepreneurs.

“Maybe your dream is to own a small business. You have a relationship with Bob, the man who owns the bakery on the corner, and decide to make him a mentor. One morning, you arrive five minutes early and help him carry in inventory. You ask him about his business. You can get a life lesson in five minutes.”

What are you looking for in life?

Do you want to be your own boss and exchange the employee badge for one that says 'owner'? You can. “If you stay stuck, the worst-case scenario is that you’ll be in the exact same chair five years from now, and you still won’t want to be there,” cautions Corbett. “The best thing you can do for yourself, and your family may be to start creating your dream career and lifestyle right now.”

Find what will keep you motivated, then go for it! “The world needs small business people who are willing to get up in the morning and go to work.”

He concludes, “If you want to set yourself up for success and keep your motivation high even during hard times, “Hindsight 2020: An Inspiring Change” is the book to read right now.” Today is the day to start making your dream a reality.

Emerging tech, explained

(S. Phillips) -  

What does the technology of the future look like? Batteries made of molten salt, fusion energy, 6G networks, synthetic biology, and quantum computing may become as familiar as taking pictures with your phone.

These technologies are already reshaping the global economy and the United States’s place in it, according to a new report from the Special Competitive Studies Project, a bipartisan nonprofit organization.

For the U.S., staying ahead on the technology of the future is essential to creating a climate of uplifting privacy laws and maintaining human rights rather than encouraging surveillance and interfering with democratic governance. Attention to emerging technology also impacts the U.S. economy–the country where the platforms are created is where many of the jobs will be. 

Some key technologies that will be battlegrounds for the next decade include:

Artificial intelligence: Simply put, artificial intelligence (AI) is a computer that mimics the human brain, but answers questions and solves problems faster than a person. To lead in AI, the U.S. needs computing power, strong algorithms (programming), large high-quality data sets, effective applications and integrations, and the talent to create it all. Right now, the U.S. leads in developing algorithms and in developing talent. 

Next generation networks: Most American phones don't work on 5G, but sixth generation, or 6G, broadband is here and potentially 100 times faster.  Low-earth orbit satellites could also bring wireless—without the cell towers—to millions of people and remote areas. The People’s Republic of China currently has the most next-gen wireless patents of any country.

Synthetic biology: No single definition of synthetic biology exists, but most experts define it as the concepts, approaches and tools that allow organisms to be created or changed, whether to make rice more vitamin-rich or to create a new medicine. The U.S. continues to make advances in this field with companies conducting research and producing publications and patents.  

Advanced manufacturing: Advanced manufacturing involves an integration of cutting-edge hardware, networks, robotics, and AI to create products more efficiently at home. On the global level, current data give the U.S. a slight edge in robotics.

Fusion energy: While usable fusion—the clean energy used to power the sun—doesn’t exist yet, the U.S. is home to the majority of fusion companies and could be the world leader in this area if commercial fusion energy becomes available in 2024 and goes on the power grid after 2030.

Quantum computing: A completely theoretical concept even 30 years ago, quantum technologies have entered practical reality, completing tasks in minutes that would take older generations of computers 10,000 years to finish. Although the U.S. leads the world in quantum computing patents and papers, China is dedicating significant government funding to the field.

Visit to learn more.

BookTrib’s Bites: Personal Stories, Wealthy Secrets, STEM Solutions

(NewsUSA) - qWe Are All Addicts by Carder Stout

Expert therapist Dr. Carder Stout believes the soul's authentic voice can heal addictive cycles and remove them from the psyche. The soul is pure consciousness untethered from human experience, and Dr. Stout has maintained sobriety for 17 years using this untapped resource. He also has treated numerous clients for addiction and other mental health conditions using the technique. 

This guide presents a spiritual approach to ridding the mind of the complex problems created by addiction. These solutions have previously been shared exclusively with his patients. Through exercises, meditations, visualizations and writing, Dr. Stout demonstrates how to connect deeply to your soul. Readers will not only gain an understanding of the addiction holding them back, but how to overcome it through self-honesty and self-love. Purchase at

qSecrets of the Penthouse Suite by R.R. Nastasi

Successful but shy Sofia La Scala, a workaholic accountant in New York City, finally dedicates herself to finding Mr. Right, committing to regular happy hours in pursuit of love. She encounters seductive billionaire Alex Chambers and by night’s end is entangled in a lust-driven romance with a man equally full of mysteries as charm.

However, her fantasies come to a crashing halt when she stumbles at work upon what initially looks like a simple programming glitch but is really far more sinister. Inexplicably, it’s also linked to Alex. As Sofia investigates the problem, more questions emerge.

Sofia has embraced her transformation from a shy accountant to a thrill-seeking, fantasy-fueled sex goddess with Alex. But is she willing to face the truth if it means losing him? Purchase at

qThe Antidotes: Pollution Solution by Patty Mechael

Just when a group of fifth-grade friends return to normal life and to school after a global pandemic, the waters of the Chesapeake Bay become polluted by a plastic-eating bacteria experiment gone wrong—and both fish and kids are getting sick!

Izi, Gir, and their friends discover a fishy cover-up. The school has to close again! These climate warriors who call themselves the Antidotes join forces with public health activists to find clean water solutions. They use STEM strategies to help save the earth from a potential disaster—they also have secret meetings and do a little spy work.

The Antidotes race to tell kids how to stay safe. But will the Antidotes be able to get enough kids to achieve zero plastic use before it makes children sick? Purchase at

qMessage in a Matchbox by Sara Fashandi

It all started during the author’s family reunion in the summer of 2006, when she discovered an invaluable treasure: her oldest brother's memories of growing up. His name is Mohsen, and he was born in Tehran, Iran, to poor, struggling young parents. As early as age six, he figured out how to be creative and make money to fill his empty stomach.

As he related his memories, the author understood what made him the fascinating, jovial, and hardworking man he became. He had a calm confidence, and felt no need to impress anyone. He had been through so much, that by the time he was 23, he had lived a fuller life than most people ever experience. These stories are selections from Mohsen's many memories of a childhood in Tehran. Purchase at

BookBites is presented by

(Updated 3/21/2023) 

MICE EXPO 2023 Set to Position SL as a MICE & Events hub for in South Asia

(NewsUSA) -  MICE EXPO, organized by the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau & Sri Lankan Airlines, will take place from the 13th to the 15th of March 2023 @ Shangri - La. The multi-day event will see operators and stakeholders from across the world participating, positioning Sri Lanka as an ideal destination for MICE tourism.  

With its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and modern infrastructure, Sri Lanka has become a sought-after destination for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) tourism. The Island offers a unique blend of business and pleasure, and a strategic position geographically, making it an ideal location for companies and organizations looking to host events, meetings, and conferences in a professional, yet exotic and vibrant setting.

The Sri Lanka Convention Bureau is the primary contact point for Meeting Planners, Incentive Houses, Corporates and Associations for information, advice and expertise when planning and organizing events in Sri Lanka. The Bureau provides support and services for all stakeholders in the industry and works to promote and position Sri Lanka’s suitability for MICE tourism, globally. Chairman of the SLCB, Thisum Jayasuriya, and General Manager, Krishantha Fernando, both highlighted the positive impact of this event, as it will be attended by over 100 buyers hosted by SLCB – 60% from India, and the rest from the Middle East and Southeast Asia & Asia while providing a platform for a large number of exhibitors to showcase their offerings to a global audience.

Sri Lanka has emerged as a popular destination for MICE tourism, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural diversity, and modern infrastructure. MICE EXPO 2023 is expected to be an exciting event, with Cinnamon Life partnering as the host for the gala dinner, and Shangri-La serving as the hotel host. The MICE Business Forum, which will be hosted at the Galle face hotel, will provide an excellent opportunity for business networking, while MICE EXPO will showcase 22 exhibitors and 75 local vendors from Sri Lanka.

The event will commence with a welcome reception & MICE forum on the 13th of March 2023, followed by the opening ceremony on the 14th, where B2B meetings between local MICE suppliers and buyers will take place. The event will be inaugurated by Honourable Harin Fernando, Minister of Tourism and lands. Subsequent to the conclusion of the EXPO in Colombo, buyers will have the opportunity to further explore the city and other locations around the country, hosted by SLCB, allowing them to experience Sri Lanka’s MICE facilities first-hand, in order to familiarize themselves with the island for potential future investments.

Sri Lanka provides indoor and outdoor event facilities, hotel venues, resorts, state-of-the-art convention centres and bespoke offerings, staffed by qualified personnel who can deliver in line with professional requirements. World-class infrastructure from hotels to many in-progress developments, such as Cinnamon Life, ITC Hotels & Port City Colombo, will also open more doors to growth and investments in the future. The Island's unique blend of business and pleasure, combined with its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, puts Sri Lanka among the top destinations for MICE tourism, worldwide.

Chilean Summer Stone Fruits are Fabulous

(NewsUSA) - Ready for a taste of summer?  Summer may not be here yet, but you can get a head start on the season with your favorite summer fruits. Peaches, nectarines, and plums are available in your grocery store now, courtesy of the country of Chile.

Located in the Southern Hemisphere, Chile enjoys summer during our winter, which means that fruits we usually associate with summer (like blueberries, cherries, grapes, peaches, plums and nectarines) are available in the winter, too. On the flip side, winter fruits such as kiwifruit and mandarins are fresh from Chile in the summer months.

Peaches, plums, and nectarines are known as "stone fruit" because they contain pits in the center.

These delicious fruits are similar in many ways, but unique in others. However, each is delicious and packs a powerful nutritional punch.

Peaches and nectarines are available in both white flesh and yellow flesh varieties; the white-flesh varieties are slightly sweeter, while the yellow ones have more tang. For yellow-flesh peaches and nectarines, be sure to allow them to ripen until they are slightly soft before enjoying on their own or in any number of delicious recipes. Chilean peaches and nectarines are available from January through March, and are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and fiber, among other nutrients.

Plums also are great sources of fiber, which can help slow a spike in blood sugar after consuming carbohydrates. Plums may help boost your body's production of adiponectin; a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Chilean plums come in many varieties including red, black, and even yellow! Try them all and find your favorite.

Chilean peaches, plums and nectarines are delicious and nutritious additions to smoothies, salsas, or salads, not to mention fruit cobblers and pies. 

For a simple, healthy treat, try a Peach Pie Smoothie Bowl. Just add 2 ripe Chilean peaches or nectarines to a cup of Greek yogurt. Then stir in ground flax seed, almond butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, plus some fresh orange juice for extra zing. Add honey if you want.  You can also jazz up your favorite homemade salsa with Chilean stone fruit! 

Look for Chilean stone fruits now at your local retailer. Find great recipes and other menu ideas at

(updated 3/21/2023)

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