Halaman gedung Pusat Pemerintahan Kota Cilegon di Kelurahan Ramanuju, Kecamatan Purwakarta telah terendam air mencapai 15 cm, Rabu (12/3) pagi. Gedung yang juga merupakan kantor Wali Kota Tb Iman Aryadi digenangi air setelah diguyur hujan deras beberapa saat saja.
Untungnya, genangan air akibat buruknya drainase di area kantor tersebut hanya merendam halaman perkantoran dan tidak masuk dalam gedung karena posisi gedung cukup tinggi. Saluran air di area tersebut tersumbat oleh sampah, dan telah mengakibatkan air meluap.
Akibat genangan air ini, selain menggagalkan upacara rutin yang dilakukan oleh jajaran pemerintah cilegon juga telah menyebabkan PNS yang bekerja di kantor tersebut sulit untuk masuk kantor.
Salah seorang PNS Samsuri, mengaku terkejut ketika akan masuk kerja melihat genangan air itu. "Baru kali ini terjadi. Biasanya hanya genangan sedikit saja, sekarang merata air merendam halaman gedung," ujarnya.
JAKARTA, Saco- Indonesia.com - PT The Master Steel diduga memberikan uang kepada dua pegawai Direktorat Jenderal Pajak Mohamad Dian Irwan Nuqishira dengan dan Eko Darmayanto secara bertahap. Sebelum tertangkap tangan pada Rabu (15/5/2013), Dian dan Eko diduga telah menerima uang dengan nilai yang sama, yakni 300.000 dollar Singapura pada 7 Mei 2013.
Adapun, Dian dan Eko tertangkap tangan sesaat seusai diduga menerima uang 300.000 dollar Singapura atau sekitar Rp 2,3 miliar dari karyawan PT The Master Steel bernama Effendi melalui Teddy yang diduga sebagai kurir.
"KPK juga memeroleh informasi bahwa ED (Eko Darmayanto) dan MDI (Mohamad Dian Irwan) juga menerima 300 ribu dollar Singapura sebelum proses yang tadi dari sumber yang tadi. Bisa dikatakan pemberian lebih dari sekali, yang dapat diinformasikan KPK dua kali, kita kan belum tau kalau ada lagi," kata Juru Bicara KPK Johan Budi, Rabu (15/5/2013) malam.
Johan juga belum dapat memastikan berapa total nilai komitmen fee yang dijanjikan PT The Master Steel kepada dua pegawai pajak itu. Kedua pegawai pajak itu masih diperiksa KPK bersamaan dengan Effendi dan Teddy. Menurut Johan, pemberian uang ini diduga bertujuan menyelesaikan persoalan pajak PT The Master Steel. Perusahaan baja itu diduga memiliki tunggakan pajak.
"PT The MS (Master Steel) ini punya persoalan pajak kemudian dikoordinasikan dengan ED (Eko) dan MDI (Mohamad Dian) biar tidak jadi persoalan. Jadi ada semacam tunggakan," ungkapnya.
Direktur Jenderal Pajak Fuad Rahmany mengakui bahwa PT The Master Steel memang bermasalah dalam pembayaran pajak. Ada semacam upaya untuk menghindar dari kewajiban membayar pajak.
"Penghindaran pajak lah intinya," kata Fuad.
Dia juga mengatakan, masalah pembayaran pajak The Master Steel ini sudah masuk tahap penyidikan di Direktorat Jenderal Pajak. Proses penyidikan masalah perusahaan ini, menurut Fuad, dilakukan tim penyidik yang beranggotakan Mohammad Dian, Eko, serta pemeriksa pajak lainnya.
"Si antara tim penyidik tersebut ada beberapa orang dan yang dua ini kongkalikong dengan wajib pajaknya," ungkap Fuad.
Dia juga mengaku tidak tahu apa yang dijanjikan The Master Steel kepada dua pegawai pajak itu sehingga terjadi kongkalingkong di antara kedua belah pihak. Seperi diberitakan sebelumnya, KPK menangkap Mohamad Dian dan Eko sesaat setelah diduga menerima uang dari Effendi melalui Teddy.
Dian dan Eko tertangkap di halaman parkir Bandara Soekarno-Hatta bersama dengan Teddy, sementara Effendi diringkus dalam perjalanan di Kelapa Gading, Jakarta. Johan menuturkan, modus serah terima uang yang dilakoni para pegawai pajak dan pihak swasta ini tergolong unik. Pada Selasa (14/5/2013) malam, menurut Johan, Mohamad Dian membawa Avanza hitam ke halaman terminal III Bandara Soekarno-Hatta. Dian kemudian memarkir mobil tersebut di halaman bandara, lalu menyerahkan kunci mobil itu kepada Teddy yang diduga sebagai kurir.
"Mereka kemudian pergi," tambah Johan.
KPK menduga, Teddy kemudian meletakkan uang 300.000 dollar AS di dalam mobil Avanza Hitam tersebut setelah Dian pergi. Pagi harinya, setelah uang dimasukkan ke dalam mobil, kata Johan, Dian dan Eko kembali ke parkiran bandara. "Di sana juga sudah ada T (Teddy) dan ada uangnya," tambah Johan.
Setelah uang dipastikan berpindah tangan, tim penyidik KPK langsung meringkus ketiga orang itu, kemudian menangkap Effendi.
Tanah haram jika dimutlakkan secara umum yang dimaksudkan adalah tanah Haram Makkah. Inilah tanah yang dimuliakan oleh Allah dan Rasul-Nya shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Jika disebut Haromain, maka yang dimaksudkan adalah Makkah dan Madinah. Ibnu Qayyim Al Jauziyah menyebutkan dalam Zaadul Ma’ad, “Allah Ta’ala telah memilih beberapa tempat dan negeri, yang terbaik serta termulia adalah tanah Haram. Karena Allah Ta’ala telah memilih bagi nabinya –shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam- dan menjadikannya sebagai tempat manasik dan sebagai tempat menunaikan kewajiban. Orang dari dekat maupun jauh dari segala penjuru akan mendatangi tanah yang mulia tersebut.”
Di antara keutamaan tanah haram Makkah disebutkan dalam beberapa ayat dan hadits berikut.
Pertama: Di Makkah terdapat baitullah
Sebagaimana Allah menyebutkan mengenai do’a Nabi Allah –kholilullah (kekasih Allah)- Ibrahim ‘alaihis salam,
رَبَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنْتُ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ عِنْدَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِي إِلَيْهِمْ وَارْزُقْهُمْ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ
“Ya Rabb kami, sesungguhnya aku telah menempatkan sebahagian keturunanku di lembah yang tidak mempunyai tanam-tanaman di dekat rumah Engkau (Baitullah) yang dihormati, ya Rabb kami (yang demikian itu) agar mereka mendirikan shalat, maka jadikanlah hati sebagian manusia cenderung kepada mereka dan beri rezkilah mereka dari buah-buahan, mudah-mudahan mereka bersyukur.” (QS. Ibrahim: 37).
Rumah pertama yang dijadikan peribadatan kepada Allah Ta’ala adalah baitullah sebagaimana disebutkan dalam ayat,
إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِلْعَالَمِينَ
“Sesungguhnya rumah yang mula-mula dibangun untuk (tempat beribadat) manusia, ialah Baitullah yang di Bakkah (Mekah) yang diberkahi dan menjadi petunjuk bagi semua manusia” (QS. Ali Imran: 96).
Dan baitullah inilah yang dijadikan tempat berhaji sebagaimana disebutkan dalam ayat,
وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا
“Mengerjakan haji adalah kewajiban manusia terhadap Allah, yaitu (bagi) orang yang sanggup mengadakan perjalanan ke Baitullah” (QS. Ali Imran: 97).
Haji ini dijadikan sebagai amalan penghapus dosa yang telah lalu Dari Abu Hurairah, ia berkata bahwa ia mendengar Nabi shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda,
مَنْ حَجَّ لِلَّهِ فَلَمْ يَرْفُثْ وَلَمْ يَفْسُقْ رَجَعَ كَيَوْمِ وَلَدَتْهُ أُمُّهُ
“Siapa yang berhaji ke Ka’bah lalu tidak berkata-kata seronok dan tidak berbuat kefasikan maka dia pulang ke negerinya sebagaimana ketika dilahirkan oleh ibunya.” (Muttafaqun ‘alaih).
Sebagaimana shalat di baitullah juga dilipatgandakan. Dari Jabir, Nabi shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda,
صَلاَةٌ فِى مَسْجِدِى أَفْضَلُ مِنْ أَلْفِ صَلاَةٍ فِيمَا سِوَاهُ إِلاَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ وَصَلاَةٌ فِى الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ مِائَةِ أَلْفِ صَلاَةٍ فِيمَا سِوَاهُ
“Shalat di masjidku (Masjid Nabawi) lebih utama daripada 1000 shalat di masjid lainnya selain Masjidil Harom. Shalat di Masjidil Harom lebih utama daripada 100.000 shalat di masjid lainnya.” (HR. Ahmad 3/343 dan Ibnu Majah no. 1406, dari Jabir bin ‘Abdillah. Syaikh Al Albani mengatakan bahwa hadits ini shahih. Lihat Shahih At Targhib wa At Tarhib no. 1173).
Kedua: Tanah haram dijadikan tempat yang penuh rasa aman
Inilah berkat do’a Nabi Ibrahim ‘alaihis salam,
وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا بَلَدًا آَمِنًا وَارْزُقْ أَهْلَهُ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ مَنْ آَمَنَ مِنْهُمْ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآَخِرِ قَالَ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَأُمَتِّعُهُ قَلِيلًا ثُمَّ أَضْطَرُّهُ إِلَى عَذَابِ النَّارِ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ
“Dan (ingatlah), ketika Ibrahim berdoa: “Ya Rabbku, jadikanlah negeri ini, negeri yang aman sentosa, dan berikanlah rezki dari buah-buahan kepada penduduknya yang beriman di antara mereka kepada Allah dan hari kemudian. Allah berfirman: “Dan kepada orang yang kafirpun Aku beri kesenangan sementara, kemudian Aku paksa ia menjalani siksa neraka dan itulah seburuk-buruk tempat kembali“.” (QS. Al Baqarah: 126).
Begitu pula disebutkan dalam ayat lainnya,
وَمَنْ دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آَمِنًا
“Barangsiapa memasukinya (Baitullah itu) menjadi amanlah dia” (QS. Ali Imran: 97).
Kaum Quraisy di masa silam juga merasakan rasa aman ketika safar mereka,
الَّذِي أَطْعَمَهُمْ مِنْ جُوعٍ وَآَمَنَهُمْ مِنْ خَوْفٍ
“Yang telah memberi makanan kepada mereka untuk menghilangkan lapar dan mengamankan mereka dari ketakutan” (QS. Quraisy: 4).
Ketiga: Rizki begitu berlipat di tanah haram.
Inilah juga berkat do’a Nabi Ibrahim ‘alaihis salam,
رَبَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنْتُ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ عِنْدَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِي إِلَيْهِمْ وَارْزُقْهُمْ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ
“Ya Tuhan kami, sesungguhnya aku telah menempatkan sebahagian keturunanku di lembah yang tidak mempunyai tanam-tanaman di dekat rumah Engkau (Baitullah) yang dihormati, ya Tuhan kami (yang demikian itu) agar mereka mendirikan shalat, maka jadikanlah hati sebagian manusia cenderung kepada mereka dan beri rezkilah mereka dari buah-buahan, mudah-mudahan mereka bersyukur.” (QS. Ibrahim: 37).
Keempat: Tanah Haram tidak akan dimasuki Dajjal
Dajjal akan muncul dari Ashbahan dan akan menelusuri muka bumi. Tidak ada satu negeri pun melainkan Dajjal akan mampir di tempat tersebut. Yang dikecualikan di sini adalah Makkah dan Madinah karena malaikat akan menjaga dua kota tersebut. Dajjal tidak akan memasuki kedunya hingga akhir zaman. Dalam hadits Fathimah bin Qois radhiyallahu ‘anha disebutkan bahwa Dajjal mengatakan,
فَأَخْرُجَ فَأَسِيرَ فِى الأَرْضِ فَلاَ أَدَعَ قَرْيَةً إِلاَّ هَبَطْتُهَا فِى أَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً غَيْرَ مَكَّةَ وَطَيْبَةَ فَهُمَا مُحَرَّمَتَانِ عَلَىَّ كِلْتَاهُمَا كُلَّمَا أَرَدْتُ أَنْ أَدْخُلَ وَاحِدَةً أَوْ وَاحِدًا مِنْهُمَا اسْتَقْبَلَنِى مَلَكٌ بِيَدِهِ السَّيْفُ صَلْتًا يَصُدُّنِى عَنْهَا وَإِنَّ عَلَى كُلِّ نَقْبٍ مِنْهَا مَلاَئِكَةً يَحْرُسُونَهَا
“Aku akan keluar dan menelusuri muka bumi. Tidaklah aku membiarkan suatu daerah kecuali pasti aku singgahi dalam masa empat puluh malam selain Makkah dan Thoybah (Madinah Nabawiyyah). Kedua kota tersebut diharamkan bagiku. Tatkala aku ingin memasuki salah satu dari dua kota tersebut, malaikat menemuiku dan menghadangku dengan pedangnya yang mengkilap. Dan di setiap jalan bukit ada malaikat yang menjaganya.” (HR. Muslim no. 2942)
Dan Dajjal tidak akan memasuki empat masjid. Dalam hadits disebutkan tentang Dajjal,
لاَ يَأْتِى أَرْبَعَةَ مَسَاجِدَ الْكَعْبَةَ وَمَسْجِدَ الرَّسُولِ والْمَسْجِدَ الأَقْصَى وَالطُّورَ
“Dajjal tidak akan memasuki empat masjid: masjid Ka’bah (masjidil Haram), masjid Rasul (masjid Nabawi), masjid Al Aqsho’, dan masjid Ath Thur.” (HR. Ahmad 5: 364. Kata Syaikh Syu’aib Al Arnauth, sanad hadits ini shahih)
Wallahu waliyyut taufiq.
@ Madinah An Nabawiyah, 14 Sya’ban 1433 H
Penulis: Muhammad Abduh Tuasikal
Sumber : http://muslim.or.id
Baca Artikel Lainnya : PENGETAHUAN UMUM IBADAH UMROHFAEDAH TANAH HARAM MAKKAH
Kamu tlah tinggal dalam hati
Dan takkan kulepas lagi
Tetaplah kau disini
Kamu bagaikan bidadari
Datang dan turun ke bumi
Dan berdetak dalam nadi
Kamu wanita pilihanku
Kamu cinta matiku
Kamu redakan ambisiku
Bila kita bersama
Kan kudendangkan lagu
Itu hanya untukmu
Bila engkau pergi
Karna kusetia padamu
Aku takut kehilanganmu
KANGEN BAND BIDADARIKU SURGAKU
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
saco-indonesia.com, Memilih AC atau air conditioner Indonesia yang baik dan benar tentu nya sangat baik ketika kita ingin membeli sebuah produk air conditioner Indonesia atau ac. Apalagi Indonesia juga merupakan daerah yang beriklim tropis yang telah memiliki 2 musim yakni musim hujan dan musim panas. Ketika datang musim panas atau kemarau, udara sejuk juga merupakan dambaan bagi setiap masyarakat. Dan udara sejuk telah menjadi suatu kebutuhan primer yang harus dipenuhi. Oleh karena itu kebutuhan akan air conditioner atau ac telah menjadi sangat penting. Maka dari itu, banyak keluarga yang telah membeli ac untuk tempat tinggal mereka. Namun, seperti nya kita juga sama-sama ketahui bahwa air conditioner atau ac ini harga nya juga cukup mahal. Tidak hanya itu memiliki ac di rumah, juga akan membutuhkan perawatan dan ini juga membutuhkan biaya yang tidak sedikit.
AC, Bagaimana Cara Memilih nya ?
acAC atau air conditioner Indonesia tidak hanya memiliki satu jenis saja, melainkan banyak jenis. Tidak hanya itu saja , banyak nya merek ac yang telah ditawarkan, ini telah membuat para pembeli harus cermat dan jeli dalam memilih jenis ac yang aman dan ramah terhadap lingkungan. Nah, beberapa hal yang bisa dijadikan sebagai pertimbangan dalam memilih ac yang baik dan benar, yaitu :
Lihat dari segi fungsi. Kita pasti saat membeli suatu barang, karena fungsi dan manfaat nya. Begitu pula dengan membeli mesin pendingin ini. Kita tahu bahwa ac berfungsi untuk dapat menghadirkan udara yang sejuk. Maka dari itu, belilah produk mesin pendingin yang telah memang mampu untuk memberikan udara sejuk ruangan dalam waktu yang cepat. Untuk dapat mengetahui berapa cepat air conditioner tersebut mampu untuk mendinginkan ruangan, maka cukup dengan melihat evaporator pendingin yang ada pada bagian samping mesin pendingin tersebut. Semakin besar ukuran evaporator pendingin, maka ac tersebut akan mampu untuk mendinginkan suatu ruangan dengan lebih cepat secara alami dan seimbang.
Perhatikan bagian kipas mesin pendingin tersebut. Jika pada mesin pendingin tersebut kipas digunakan bentuk nya besar, maka angin yang berhembus akan kencang. Dan ini akan dapat membuat ruang akan makin cepat dingin. Selain itu, jika kipas mesin pendingin tersebut besar dan juga lebar, maka air conditioner tersebut tidak akan menimbulkan suara yang berisik. Kipas yang besar ini juga tergantung pada evaporator. Semakin lebar dan besar evaporator sebuah mesin pendingin, maka secara otomatis kipas pada bagian blower akan lebih besar. Karena hal ini juga berhubungan dengan masalah keseimbangan. Namun jika ingin mendapatkan ac dengan kualitas yang terbaik, ada baik nya jika kipas tersebut bentuk seperti gerigi, sehingga akan dapat menyebabkan turbulansi akan menjadi tidak berisik.
Coba pertimbangkan fitur-fitur lain yang berhubungan dengan kesehatan. Sekarang banyak produk air conditioner yang diciptakan dengan fitur-fitur tambahan yang berhubungan dengan kesehatan seperti mampu untuk membasmi kuman. Selain itu ada juga produk mesin pendingin yang dibuat dengan fitur yang mampu untuk menghilangkan bakteri. Ada juga produk ac yang mampu sebagai filter penyaring debu dan menghilangkan bau tidak sedap. Bahkan ada yang memproduksi air conditioner dengan fitur vitamin c di dalamnya yang juga mengandung antioksidan sehingga dapat meningkatkan kekebalan tubuh dan tubuh menjadi lebih sehat dan bugar.
Sekian informasi mengenai tips trik dalam memilih ac yang baik dan benar, semoga tips ini dapat berguna untuk semua ketika ingin membeli produk air conditioner
CARA MEMBELI AC
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
Public perceptions of race relations in America have grown substantially more negative in the aftermath of the death of a young black man who was injured while in police custody in Baltimore and the subsequent unrest, far eclipsing the sentiment recorded in the wake of turmoil in Ferguson, Mo., last summer.
Americans are also increasingly likely to say that the police are more apt to use deadly force against a black person, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll finds.
The poll findings highlight the challenges for local leaders and police officials in trying to maintain order while sustaining faith in the criminal justice system in a racially polarized nation.
Sixty-one percent of Americans now say race relations in this country are generally bad. That figure is up sharply from 44 percent after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown and the unrest that followed in Ferguson in August, and 43 percent in December. In a CBS News poll just two months ago, 38 percent said race relations were generally bad. Current views are by far the worst of Barack Obama’s presidency.
The negative sentiment is echoed by broad majorities of blacks and whites alike, a stark change from earlier this year, when 58 percent of blacks thought race relations were bad, but just 35 percent of whites agreed. In August, 48 percent of blacks and 41 percent of whites said they felt that way.
Looking ahead, 44 percent of Americans think race relations are worsening, up from 36 percent in December. Forty-one percent of blacks and 46 percent of whites think so. Pessimism among whites has increased 10 points since December.
The poll finds that profound racial divisions in views of how the police use deadly force remain. Blacks are more than twice as likely to say police in most communities are more apt to use deadly force against a black person — 79 percent of blacks say so compared with 37 percent of whites. A slim majority of whites say race is not a factor in a police officer’s decision to use deadly force.
Overall, 44 percent of Americans say deadly force is more likely to be used against a black person, up from 37 percent in August and 40 percent in December.
Blacks also remain far more likely than whites to say they feel mostly anxious about the police in their community. Forty-two percent say so, while 51 percent feel mostly safe. Among whites, 8 in 10 feel mostly safe.
One proposal to address the matter — having on-duty police officers wear body cameras — receives overwhelming support. More than 9 in 10 whites and blacks alike favor it.
Asked specifically about the situation in Baltimore, most Americans expressed at least some confidence that the investigation by local authorities would be conducted fairly. But while nearly two-thirds of whites think so, fewer than half of blacks agree. Still, more blacks are confident now than were in August regarding the investigation in Ferguson. On Friday, six members of the police force involved in the arrest of Mr. Gray were charged with serious offenses, including manslaughter. The poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday; results from before charges were announced are similar to those from after.
Reaction to the recent turmoil in Baltimore, however, is similar among blacks and whites. Most Americans, 61 percent, say the unrest after Mr. Gray’s death was not justified. That includes 64 percent of whites and 57 percent of blacks.
The nationwide poll was conducted from April 30 to May 3 on landlines and cellphones with 1,027 adults, including 793 whites and 128 blacks. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points for all adults, four percentage points for whites and nine percentage points for blacks. See the full poll here.
Ms. Plisetskaya, renowned for her fluidity of movement, expressive acting and willful personality, danced on the Bolshoi stage well into her 60s, but her life was shadowed by Stalinism.Maya Plisetskaya, Ballerina Who Embodied Bolshoi, Dies at 89
The 2015 Met Gala has only officially begun, but there's a clear leader in the race for best couple, no small feat at an event that threatens to sap Hollywood of every celebrity it has for the duration of an East Coast evening.
That would be Marc Jacobs and his surprise guest (who, by some miracle, remained under wraps until their red carpet debut), Cher.
“This has been a dream of mine for a very, very long time,” Mr. Jacobs said.
It is Cher's first appearance at the Met Gala since 1997, when she arrived on the arm of Donatella Versace.
– MATTHEW SCHNEIER
Late in April, after Native American actors walked off in disgust from the set of Adam Sandler’s latest film, a western sendup that its distributor, Netflix, has defended as being equally offensive to all, a glow of pride spread through several Native American communities.
Tantoo Cardinal, a Canadian indigenous actress who played Black Shawl in “Dances With Wolves,” recalled thinking to herself, “It’s come.” Larry Sellers, who starred as Cloud Dancing in the 1990s television show “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” thought, “It’s about time.” Jesse Wente, who is Ojibwe and directs film programming at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, found himself encouraged and surprised. There are so few film roles for indigenous actors, he said, that walking off the set of a major production showed real mettle.
But what didn’t surprise Mr. Wente was the content of the script. According to the actors who walked off the set, the film, titled “The Ridiculous Six,” included a Native American woman who passes out and is revived after white men douse her with alcohol, and another woman squatting to urinate while lighting a peace pipe. “There’s enough history at this point to have set some expectations around these sort of Hollywood depictions,” Mr. Wente said.
The walkout prompted a rhetorical “What do you expect from an Adam Sandler film?,” and a Netflix spokesman said that in the movie, blacks, Mexicans and whites were lampooned as well. But Native American actors and critics said a broader issue was at stake. While mainstream portrayals of native peoples have, Mr. Wente said, become “incrementally better” over the decades, he and others say, they remain far from accurate and reflect a lack of opportunities for Native American performers. What’s more, as Native Americans hunger for representation on screen, critics say the absence of three-dimensional portrayals has very real off-screen consequences.
“Our people are still healing from historical trauma,” said Loren Anthony, one of the actors who walked out. “Our youth are still trying to figure out who they are, where they fit in this society. Kids are killing themselves. They’re not proud of who they are.” They also don’t, he added, see themselves on prime time television or the big screen. Netflix noted while about five people walked off the “The Ridiculous Six” set, 100 or so Native American actors and extras stayed.
But in interviews, nearly a dozen Native American actors and film industry experts said that Mr. Sandler’s humor perpetuated decades-old negative stereotypes. Mr. Anthony said such depictions helped feed the despondency many Native Americans feel, with deadly results: Native Americans have the highest suicide rate out of all the country’s ethnicities.
The on-screen problem is twofold, Mr. Anthony and others said: There’s a paucity of roles for Native Americans — according to the Screen Actors Guild in 2008 they accounted for 0.3 percent of all on-screen parts (those figures have yet to be updated), compared to about 2 percent of the general population — and Native American actors are often perceived in a narrow way.
In his Peabody Award-winning documentary “Reel Injun,” the Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond explored Hollywood depictions of Native Americans over the years, and found they fell into a few stereotypical categories: the Noble Savage, the Drunk Indian, the Mystic, the Indian Princess, the backward tribal people futilely fighting John Wayne and manifest destiny. While the 1990 film “Dances With Wolves” won praise for depicting Native Americans as fully fleshed out human beings, not all indigenous people embraced it. It was still told, critics said, from the colonialists’ point of view. In an interview, John Trudell, a Santee Sioux writer, actor (“Thunderheart”) and the former chairman of the American Indian Movement, described the film as “a story of two white people.”
“God bless ‘Dances with Wolves,’ ” Michael Horse, who played Deputy Hawk in “Twin Peaks,” said sarcastically. “Even ‘Avatar.’ Someone’s got to come save the tribal people.”
Dan Spilo, a partner at Industry Entertainment who represents Adam Beach, one of today’s most prominent Native American actors, said while typecasting dogs many minorities, it is especially intractable when it comes to Native Americans. Casting directors, he said, rarely cast them as police officers, doctors or lawyers. “There’s the belief that the Native American character should be on reservations or riding a horse,” he said.
“We don’t see ourselves,” Mr. Horse said. “We’re still an antiquated culture to them, and to the rest of the world.”
Ms. Cardinal said she was once turned down for the role of the wife of a child-abusing cop because the filmmakers felt that casting her would somehow be “too political.”
Another sore point is the long run of white actors playing American Indians, among them Burt Lancaster, Rock Hudson, Audrey Hepburn and, more recently, Johnny Depp, whose depiction of Tonto in the 2013 film “Lone Ranger,” was viewed as racist by detractors. There are, of course, exceptions. The former A&E series “Longmire,” which, as it happens, will now be on Netflix, was roundly praised for its depiction of life on a Northern Cheyenne reservation, with Lou Diamond Phillips, who is of Cherokee descent, playing a Northern Cheyenne man.
Others also point to the success of Mr. Beach, who played a Mohawk detective in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and landed a starring role in the forthcoming D C Comics picture “Suicide Squad.” Mr. Beach said he had come across insulting scripts backed by people who don’t see anything wrong with them.
“I’d rather starve than do something that is offensive to my ancestral roots,” Mr. Beach said. “But I think there will always be attempts to drawn on the weakness of native people’s struggles. The savage Indian will always be the savage Indian. The white man will always be smarter and more cunning. The cavalry will always win.”
The solution, Mr. Wente, Mr. Trudell and others said, lies in getting more stories written by and starring Native Americans. But Mr. Wente noted that while independent indigenous film has blossomed in the last two decades, mainstream depictions have yet to catch up. “You have to stop expecting for Hollywood to correct it, because there seems to be no ability or desire to correct it,” Mr. Wente said.
There have been calls to boycott Netflix but, writing for Indian Country Today Media Network, which first broke news of the walk off, the filmmaker Brian Young noted that the distributor also offered a number of films by or about Native Americans.
The furor around “The Ridiculous Six” may drive more people to see it. Then one of the questions that Mr. Trudell, echoing others, had about the film will be answered: “Who the hell laughs at this stuff?”Native American Actors Work to Overcome a Long-Documented Bias
Imagine an elite professional services firm with a high-performing, workaholic culture. Everyone is expected to turn on a dime to serve a client, travel at a moment’s notice, and be available pretty much every evening and weekend. It can make for a grueling work life, but at the highest levels of accounting, law, investment banking and consulting firms, it is just the way things are.
Except for one dirty little secret: Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.
Many of them were, at least, at one elite consulting firm studied by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. It’s impossible to know if what she learned at that unidentified consulting firm applies across the world of work more broadly. But her research, published in the academic journal Organization Science, offers a way to understand how the professional world differs between men and women, and some of the ways a hard-charging culture that emphasizes long hours above all can make some companies worse off.
Ms. Reid interviewed more than 100 people in the American offices of a global consulting firm and had access to performance reviews and internal human resources documents. At the firm there was a strong culture around long hours and responding to clients promptly.
“When the client needs me to be somewhere, I just have to be there,” said one of the consultants Ms. Reid interviewed. “And if you can’t be there, it’s probably because you’ve got another client meeting at the same time. You know it’s tough to say I can’t be there because my son had a Cub Scout meeting.”
Some people fully embraced this culture and put in the long hours, and they tended to be top performers. Others openly pushed back against it, insisting upon lighter and more flexible work hours, or less travel; they were punished in their performance reviews.
The third group is most interesting. Some 31 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women whose records Ms. Reid examined managed to achieve the benefits of a more moderate work schedule without explicitly asking for it.
They made an effort to line up clients who were local, reducing the need for travel. When they skipped work to spend time with their children or spouse, they didn’t call attention to it. One team on which several members had small children agreed among themselves to cover for one another so that everyone could have more flexible hours.
A male junior manager described working to have repeat consulting engagements with a company near enough to his home that he could take care of it with day trips. “I try to head out by 5, get home at 5:30, have dinner, play with my daughter,” he said, adding that he generally kept weekend work down to two hours of catching up on email.
Despite the limited hours, he said: “I know what clients are expecting. So I deliver above that.” He received a high performance review and a promotion.
What is fascinating about the firm Ms. Reid studied is that these people, who in her terminology were “passing” as workaholics, received performance reviews that were as strong as their hyper-ambitious colleagues. For people who were good at faking it, there was no real damage done by their lighter workloads.
It calls to mind the episode of “Seinfeld” in which George Costanza leaves his car in the parking lot at Yankee Stadium, where he works, and gets a promotion because his boss sees the car and thinks he is getting to work earlier and staying later than anyone else. (The strategy goes awry for him, and is not recommended for any aspiring partners in a consulting firm.)
A second finding is that women, particularly those with young children, were much more likely to request greater flexibility through more formal means, such as returning from maternity leave with an explicitly reduced schedule. Men who requested a paternity leave seemed to be punished come review time, and so may have felt more need to take time to spend with their families through those unofficial methods.
The result of this is easy to see: Those specifically requesting a lighter workload, who were disproportionately women, suffered in their performance reviews; those who took a lighter workload more discreetly didn’t suffer. The maxim of “ask forgiveness, not permission” seemed to apply.
It would be dangerous to extrapolate too much from a study at one firm, but Ms. Reid said in an interview that since publishing a summary of her research in Harvard Business Review she has heard from people in a variety of industries describing the same dynamic.
High-octane professional service firms are that way for a reason, and no one would doubt that insane hours and lots of travel can be necessary if you’re a lawyer on the verge of a big trial, an accountant right before tax day or an investment banker advising on a huge merger.
But the fact that the consultants who quietly lightened their workload did just as well in their performance reviews as those who were truly working 80 or more hours a week suggests that in normal times, heavy workloads may be more about signaling devotion to a firm than really being more productive. The person working 80 hours isn’t necessarily serving clients any better than the person working 50.
In other words, maybe the real problem isn’t men faking greater devotion to their jobs. Maybe it’s that too many companies reward the wrong things, favoring the illusion of extraordinary effort over actual productivity.
Ms. Meadows was the older sister of Audrey Meadows, who played Alice Kramden on “The Honeymooners.”Jayne Meadows, Actress and Steve Allenâ€™s Wife and Co-Star, Dies at 95
Mr. Napoleon was a self-taught musician whose career began in earnest with the orchestra led by Chico Marx of the Marx Brothers.Marty Napoleon, 93, Dies; Jazz Pianist Played With Louis Armstrong
As he reflected on the festering wounds deepened by race and grievance that have been on painful display in America’s cities lately, President Obama on Monday found himself thinking about a young man he had just met named Malachi.
A few minutes before, in a closed-door round-table discussion at Lehman College in the Bronx, Mr. Obama had asked a group of black and Hispanic students from disadvantaged backgrounds what could be done to help them reach their goals. Several talked about counseling and guidance programs.
“Malachi, he just talked about — we should talk about love,” Mr. Obama told a crowd afterward, drifting away from his prepared remarks. “Because Malachi and I shared the fact that our dad wasn’t around and that sometimes we wondered why he wasn’t around and what had happened. But really, that’s what this comes down to is: Do we love these kids?”
Many presidents have governed during times of racial tension, but Mr. Obama is the first to see in the mirror a face that looks like those on the other side of history’s ledger. While his first term was consumed with the economy, war and health care, his second keeps coming back to the societal divide that was not bridged by his election. A president who eschewed focusing on race now seems to have found his voice again as he thinks about how to use his remaining time in office and beyond.
In the aftermath of racially charged unrest in places like Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., and New York, Mr. Obama came to the Bronx on Monday for the announcement of a new nonprofit organization that is being spun off from his White House initiative called My Brother’s Keeper. Staked by more than $80 million in commitments from corporations and other donors, the new group, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, will in effect provide the nucleus for Mr. Obama’s post-presidency, which will begin in January 2017.
“This will remain a mission for me and for Michelle not just for the rest of my presidency but for the rest of my life,” Mr. Obama said. “And the reason is simple,” he added. Referring to some of the youths he had just met, he said: “We see ourselves in these young men. I grew up without a dad. I grew up lost sometimes and adrift, not having a sense of a clear path. The only difference between me and a lot of other young men in this neighborhood and all across the country is that I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving.”
Organizers said the new alliance already had financial pledges from companies like American Express, Deloitte, Discovery Communications and News Corporation. The money will be used to help companies address obstacles facing young black and Hispanic men, provide grants to programs for disadvantaged youths, and help communities aid their populations.
Joe Echevarria, a former chief executive of Deloitte, the accounting and consulting firm, will lead the alliance, and among those on its leadership team or advisory group are executives at PepsiCo, News Corporation, Sprint, BET and Prudential Group Insurance; former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell; Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey; former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.; the music star John Legend; the retired athletes Alonzo Mourning, Jerome Bettis and Shaquille O’Neal; and the mayors of Indianapolis, Sacramento and Philadelphia.
The alliance, while nominally independent of the White House, may face some of the same questions confronting former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she begins another presidential campaign. Some of those donating to the alliance may have interests in government action, and skeptics may wonder whether they are trying to curry favor with the president by contributing.
“The Obama administration will have no role in deciding how donations are screened and what criteria they’ll set at the alliance for donor policies, because it’s an entirely separate entity,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Air Force One en route to New York. But he added, “I’m confident that the members of the board are well aware of the president’s commitment to transparency.”
The alliance was in the works before the disturbances last week after the death of Freddie Gray, the black man who suffered fatal injuries while in police custody in Baltimore, but it reflected the evolution of Mr. Obama’s presidency. For him, in a way, it is coming back to issues that animated him as a young community organizer and politician. It was his own struggle with race and identity, captured in his youthful memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” that stood him apart from other presidential aspirants.
But that was a side of him that he kept largely to himself through the first years of his presidency while he focused on other priorities like turning the economy around, expanding government-subsidized health care and avoiding electoral land mines en route to re-election.
After securing a second term, Mr. Obama appeared more emboldened. Just a month after his 2013 inauguration, he talked passionately about opportunity and race with a group of teenage boys in Chicago, a moment aides point to as perhaps the first time he had spoken about these issues in such a personal, powerful way as president. A few months later, he publicly lamented the death of Trayvon Martin, a black Florida teenager, saying that “could have been me 35 years ago.”
That case, along with public ruptures of anger over police shootings in Ferguson and elsewhere, have pushed the issue of race and law enforcement onto the public agenda. Aides said they imagined that with his presidency in its final stages, Mr. Obama might be thinking more about what comes next and causes he can advance as a private citizen.
That is not to say that his public discussion of these issues has been universally welcomed. Some conservatives said he had made matters worse by seeming in their view to blame police officers in some of the disputed cases.
“President Obama, when he was elected, could have been a unifying leader,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican candidate for president, said at a forum last week. “He has made decisions that I think have inflamed racial tensions.”
On the other side of the ideological spectrum, some liberal African-American activists have complained that Mr. Obama has not done enough to help downtrodden communities. While he is speaking out more, these critics argue, he has hardly used the power of the presidency to make the sort of radical change they say is necessary.
The line Mr. Obama has tried to straddle has been a serrated one. He condemns police brutality as he defends most officers as honorable. He condemns “criminals and thugs” who looted in Baltimore while expressing empathy with those trapped in a cycle of poverty and hopelessness.
In the Bronx on Monday, Mr. Obama bemoaned the death of Brian Moore, a plainclothes New York police officer who had died earlier in the day after being shot in the head Saturday on a Queens street. Most police officers are “good and honest and fair and care deeply about their communities,” even as they put their lives on the line, Mr. Obama said.
“Which is why in addressing the issues in Baltimore or Ferguson or New York, the point I made was that if we’re just looking at policing, we’re looking at it too narrowly,” he added. “If we ask the police to simply contain and control problems that we ourselves have been unwilling to invest and solve, that’s not fair to the communities, it’s not fair to the police.”
Moreover, if society writes off some people, he said, “that’s not the kind of country I want to live in; that’s not what America is about.”
His message to young men like Malachi Hernandez, who attends Boston Latin Academy in Massachusetts, is not to give up.
“I want you to know you matter,” he said. “You matter to us.”Obama Finds a Bolder Voice on Race Issues
Fullmer, who reigned when fight clubs abounded and Friday night fights were a television staple, was known for his title bouts with Sugar Ray Robinson and Carmen Basilio.Gene Fullmer, a Brawling Middleweight Champion, Dies at 83
HOBART, Tasmania — Few places seem out of reach for China’s leader, Xi Jinping, who has traveled from European capitals to obscure Pacific and Caribbean islands in pursuit of his nation’s strategic interests.
So perhaps it was not surprising when he turned up last fall in this city on the edge of the Southern Ocean to put down a long-distance marker in another faraway region, Antarctica, 2,000 miles south of this Australian port.
Standing on the deck of an icebreaker that ferries Chinese scientists from this last stop before the frozen continent, Mr. Xi pledged that China would continue to expand in one of the few places on earth that remain unexploited by humans.
He signed a five-year accord with the Australian government that allows Chinese vessels and, in the future, aircraft to resupply for fuel and food before heading south. That will help secure easier access to a region that is believed to have vast oil and mineral resources; huge quantities of high-protein sea life; and for times of possible future dire need, fresh water contained in icebergs.
It was not until 1985, about seven decades after Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen raced to the South Pole, that a team representing Beijing hoisted the Chinese flag over the nation’s first Antarctic research base, the Great Wall Station on King George Island.
But now China seems determined to catch up. As it has bolstered spending on Antarctic research, and as the early explorers, especially the United States and Australia, confront stagnant budgets, there is growing concern about its intentions.
China’s operations on the continent — it opened its fourth research station last year, chose a site for a fifth, and is investing in a second icebreaker and new ice-capable planes and helicopters — are already the fastest growing of the 52 signatories to the Antarctic Treaty. That gentlemen’s agreement reached in 1959 bans military activity on the continent and aims to preserve it as one of the world’s last wildernesses; a related pact prohibits mining.
But Mr. Xi’s visit was another sign that China is positioning itself to take advantage of the continent’s resource potential when the treaty expires in 2048 — or in the event that it is ripped up before, Chinese and Australian experts say.
“So far, our research is natural-science based, but we know there is more and more concern about resource security,” said Yang Huigen, director general of the Polar Research Institute of China, who accompanied Mr. Xi last November on his visit to Hobart and stood with him on the icebreaker, Xue Long, or Snow Dragon.
With that in mind, the polar institute recently opened a new division devoted to the study of resources, law, geopolitics and governance in Antarctica and the Arctic, Mr. Yang said.
Australia, a strategic ally of the United States that has strong economic relations with China, is watching China’s buildup in the Antarctic with a mix of gratitude — China’s presence offers support for Australia’s Antarctic science program, which is short of cash — and wariness.
“We should have no illusions about the deeper agenda — one that has not even been agreed to by Chinese scientists but is driven by Xi, and most likely his successors,” said Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a former senior official in the Australian Department of Defense.
“This is part of a broader pattern of a mercantilist approach all around the world,” Mr. Jennings added. “A big driver of Chinese policy is to secure long-term energy supply and food supply.”
That approach was evident last month when a large Chinese agriculture enterprise announced an expansion of its fishing operations around Antarctica to catch more krill — small, protein-rich crustaceans that are abundant in Antarctic waters.
“The Antarctic is a treasure house for all human beings, and China should go there and share,” Liu Shenli, the chairman of the China National Agricultural Development Group, told China Daily, a state-owned newspaper. China would aim to fish up to two million tons of krill a year, he said, a substantial increase from what it currently harvests.
Because sovereignty over Antarctica is unclear, nations have sought to strengthen their claims over the ice-covered land by building research bases and naming geographic features. China’s fifth station will put it within reach of the six American facilities, and ahead of Australia’s three.
Chinese mappers have also given Chinese names to more than 300 sites, compared with the thousands of locations on the continent with English names.
In the unspoken competition for Antarctica’s future, scientific achievement can also translate into influence. Chinese scientists are driving to be the first to drill and recover an ice core containing tiny air bubbles that provide a record of climate change stretching as far back as 1.5 million years. It is an expensive and delicate effort at which others, including the European Union and Australia, have failed.
In a breakthrough a decade ago, European scientists extracted an ice core nearly two miles long that revealed 800,000 years of climate history. But finding an ice core going back further would allow scientists to examine a change in the earth’s climate cycles believed to have occurred 900,000 to 1.2 million years ago.
China is betting it has found the best location to drill, at an area called Dome A, or Dome Argus, the highest point on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Though it is considered one of the coldest places on the planet, with temperatures of 130 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, a Chinese expedition explored the area in 2005 and established a research station in 2009.
“The international community has drilled in lots of places, but no luck so far,” said Xiao Cunde, a member of the first party to reach the site and the deputy director of the Institute for Climate Change at the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences. “We think at Dome A we will have a straight shot at the one-million-year ice core.”
Mr. Xiao said China had already begun drilling and hoped to find what scientists are looking for in four to five years.
To support its Antarctic aspirations, China is building a sophisticated $300 million icebreaker that is expected to be ready in a few years, said Xia Limin, deputy director of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration in Beijing. It has also bought a high-tech fixed-wing aircraft, outfitted in the United States, for taking sensitive scientific soundings from the ice.
China has chosen the site for its fifth research station at Inexpressible Island, named by a group of British explorers who were stranded at the desolate site in 1912 and survived the winter by excavating a small ice cave.
Mr. Xia said the inhospitable spot was ideal because China did not have a presence in that part of Antarctica, and because the rocky site did not have much snow, making it relatively cheap to build there.
Anne-Marie Brady, a professor of political science at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and the author of a soon-to-be-released book, “China as a Polar Great Power,” said Chinese scientists also believed they had a good chance of finding mineral and energy resources near the site.
“China is playing a long game in Antarctica and keeping other states guessing about its true intentions and interests are part of its poker hand,” she said. But she noted that China’s interest in finding minerals was presented “loud and clear to domestic audiences” as the main reason it was investing in Antarctica.
Because commercial drilling is banned, estimates of energy and mineral resources in Antarctica rely on remote sensing data and comparisons with similar geological environments elsewhere, said Millard F. Coffin, executive director of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in Hobart.
But the difficulty of extraction in such severe conditions and uncertainty about future commodity prices make it unlikely that China or any country would defy the ban on mining anytime soon.
Tourism, however, is already booming. Travelers from China are still a relatively small contingent in the Antarctic compared with the more than 13,000 Americans who visited in 2013, and as yet there are no licensed Chinese tour operators.
But that is about to change, said Anthony Bergin, deputy director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. “I understand very soon there will be Chinese tourists on Chinese vessels with all-Chinese crew in the Antarctic,” he said.Top News Chinaâ€™s Intents Are Questioned as It Builds in Antarctica
BEIJING (AP) — The head of Taiwan's Nationalists reaffirmed the party's support for eventual unification with the mainland when he met Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of continuing rapprochement between the former bitter enemies.
Nationalist Party Chairman Eric Chu, a likely presidential candidate next year, also affirmed Taiwan's desire to join the proposed Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank during the meeting in Beijing. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and doesn't want the island to join using a name that might imply it is an independent country.
Chu's comments during his meeting with Xi were carried live on Hong Kong-based broadcaster Phoenix Television.
The Nationalists were driven to Taiwan by Mao Zedong's Communists during the Chinese civil war in 1949, leading to decades of hostility between the sides. Chu, who took over as party leader in January, is the third Nationalist chairman to visit the mainland and the first since 2009.
Relations between the communist-ruled mainland and the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan began to warm in the 1990s, partly out of their common opposition to Taiwan's formal independence from China, a position advocated by the island's Democratic Progressive Party.
Despite increasingly close economic ties, the prospect of political unification has grown increasingly unpopular on Taiwan, especially with younger voters. Opposition to the Nationalists' pro-China policies was seen as a driver behind heavy local electoral defeats for the party last year that led to Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou resigning as party chairman.Taiwan party leader affirms eventual reunion with China
Though Robin and Joan Rolfs owned two rare talking dolls manufactured by Thomas Edison’s phonograph company in 1890, they did not dare play the wax cylinder records tucked inside each one.
The Rolfses, longtime collectors of Edison phonographs, knew that if they turned the cranks on the dolls’ backs, the steel phonograph needle might damage or destroy the grooves of the hollow, ring-shaped cylinder. And so for years, the dolls sat side by side inside a display cabinet, bearers of a message from the dawn of sound recording that nobody could hear.
In 1890, Edison’s dolls were a flop; production lasted only six weeks. Children found them difficult to operate and more scary than cuddly. The recordings inside, which featured snippets of nursery rhymes, wore out quickly.
Yet sound historians say the cylinders were the first entertainment records ever made, and the young girls hired to recite the rhymes were the world’s first recording artists.
Year after year, the Rolfses asked experts if there might be a safe way to play the recordings. Then a government laboratory developed a method to play fragile records without touching them.
The technique relies on a microscope to create images of the grooves in exquisite detail. A computer approximates — with great accuracy — the sounds that would have been created by a needle moving through those grooves.
In 2014, the technology was made available for the first time outside the laboratory.
“The fear all along is that we don’t want to damage these records. We don’t want to put a stylus on them,” said Jerry Fabris, the curator of the Thomas Edison Historical Park in West Orange, N.J. “Now we have the technology to play them safely.”
Last month, the Historical Park posted online three never-before-heard Edison doll recordings, including the two from the Rolfses’ collection. “There are probably more out there, and we’re hoping people will now get them digitized,” Mr. Fabris said.
The technology, which is known as Irene (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.), was developed by the particle physicist Carl Haber and the engineer Earl Cornell at Lawrence Berkeley. Irene extracts sound from cylinder and disk records. It can also reconstruct audio from recordings so badly damaged they were deemed unplayable.
“We are now hearing sounds from history that I did not expect to hear in my lifetime,” Mr. Fabris said.
The Rolfses said they were not sure what to expect in August when they carefully packed their two Edison doll cylinders, still attached to their motors, and drove from their home in Hortonville, Wis., to the National Document Conservation Center in Andover, Mass. The center had recently acquired Irene technology.
Cylinders carry sound in a spiral groove cut by a phonograph recording needle that vibrates up and down, creating a surface made of tiny hills and valleys. In the Irene set-up, a microscope perched above the shaft takes thousands of high-resolution images of small sections of the grooves.
Stitched together, the images provide a topographic map of the cylinder’s surface, charting changes in depth as small as one five-hundredth the thickness of a human hair. Pitch, volume and timbre are all encoded in the hills and valleys and the speed at which the record is played.
At the conservation center, the preservation specialist Mason Vander Lugt attached one of the cylinders to the end of a rotating shaft. Huddled around a computer screen, the Rolfses first saw the wiggly waveform generated by Irene. Then came the digital audio. The words were at first indistinct, but as Mr. Lugt filtered out more of the noise, the rhyme became clearer.
“That was the Eureka moment,” Mr. Rolfs said.
In 1890, a girl in Edison’s laboratory had recited:
There was a little girl,
And she had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very, very good.
But when she was bad, she was horrid.
Recently, the conservation center turned up another surprise.
In 2010, the Woody Guthrie Foundation received 18 oversize phonograph disks from an anonymous donor. No one knew if any of the dirt-stained recordings featured Guthrie, but Tiffany Colannino, then the foundation’s archivist, had stored them unplayed until she heard about Irene.
Last fall, the center extracted audio from one of the records, labeled “Jam Session 9” and emailed the digital file to Ms. Colannino.
“I was just sitting in my dining room, and the next thing I know, I’m hearing Woody,” she said. In between solo performances of “Ladies Auxiliary,” “Jesus Christ,” and “Dead or Alive,” Guthrie tells jokes, offers some back story, and makes the audience laugh. “It is quintessential Guthrie,” Ms. Colannino said.
The Rolfses’ dolls are back in the display cabinet in Wisconsin. But with audio stored on several computers, they now have a permanent voice.Ghostly Voices From Thomas Edisonâ€™s Dolls Can Now Be Heard
“It was really nice to play with other women and not have this underlying tone of being at each other’s throats.”ay 4, 2015 â€˜Game of Thronesâ€™ Q&A: Keisha Castle-Hughes on the Tao of the Sand Snakes
Over the last five years or so, it seemed there was little that Dean G. Skelos, the majority leader of the New York Senate, would not do for his son.
He pressed a powerful real estate executive to provide commissions to his son, a 32-year-old title insurance salesman, according to a federal criminal complaint. He helped get him a job at an environmental company and employed his influence to help the company get government work. He used his office to push natural gas drilling regulations that would have increased his son’s commissions.
He even tried to direct part of a $5.4 billion state budget windfall to fund government contracts that the company was seeking. And when the company was close to securing a storm-water contract from Nassau County, the senator, through an intermediary, pressured the company to pay his son more — or risk having the senator subvert the bid.
The criminal complaint, unsealed on Monday, lays out corruption charges against Senator Skelos and his son, Adam B. Skelos, the latest scandal to seize Albany, and potentially alter its power structure.
The repeated and diverse efforts by Senator Skelos, a Long Island Republican, to use what prosecutors said was his political influence to find work, or at least income, for his son could send both men to federal prison. If they are convicted of all six charges against them, they face up to 20 years in prison for each of four of the six counts and up to 10 years for the remaining two.
Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, of Long Island, who serves as chairman of the Republican conference, emerged from a closed-door meeting Monday night to say that conference members agreed that Mr. Skelos should be benefited the “presumption of innocence,” and would stay in his leadership role.
“The leader has indicated he would like to remain as leader,” said Mr. LaValle, “and he has the support of the conference.” The case against Mr. Skelos and his son grew out of a broader inquiry into political corruption by the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, that has already changed the face of the state capital. It is based in part, according to the six-count complaint, on conversations secretly recorded by one of two cooperating witnesses, and wiretaps on the cellphones of the senator and his son. Those recordings revealed that both men were concerned about electronic surveillance, and illustrated the son’s unsuccessful efforts to thwart it.
Adam Skelos took to using a “burner” phone, the complaint says, and told his father he wanted them to speak through a FaceTime video call in an apparent effort to avoid detection. They also used coded language at times.
At one point, Adam Skelos was recorded telling a Senate staff member of his frustration in not being able to speak openly to his father on the phone, noting that he could not “just send smoke signals or a little pigeon” carrying a message.
The 43-page complaint, sworn out by Paul M. Takla, a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, outlines a five-year scheme to “monetize” the senator’s official position; it also lays bare the extent to which a father sought to use his position to help his son.
The charges accuse the two men of extorting payments through a real estate developer, Glenwood Management, based on Long Island, and the environmental company, AbTech Industries, in Scottsdale, Ariz., with the expectation that the money paid to Adam Skelos — nearly $220,000 in total — would influence his father’s actions.
Glenwood, one of the state’s most prolific campaign donors, had ties to AbTech through investments in the environmental firm’s parent company by Glenwood’s founding family and a senior executive.
The accusations in the complaint portray Senator Skelos as a man who, when it came to his son, was not shy about twisting arms, even in situations that might give other arm-twisters pause.
Seeking to help his son, Senator Skelos turned to the executive at Glenwood, which develops rental apartments in New York City and has much at stake when it comes to real estate legislation in Albany. The senator urged him to direct business to his son, who sold title insurance.
After much prodding, the executive, Charles C. Dorego, engineered a $20,000 payment to Adam Skelos from a title insurance company even though he did no work for the money. But far more lucrative was a consultant position that Mr. Dorego arranged for Adam Skelos at AbTech, which seeks government contracts to treat storm water. (Mr. Dorego is not identified by name in the complaint, but referred to only as CW-1, for Cooperating Witness 1.)
Senator Skelos appeared to take an active interest in his son’s new line of work. Adam Skelos sent him several drafts of his consulting agreement with AbTech, the complaint says, as well as the final deal that was struck.
“Mazel tov,” his father replied.
Senator Skelos sent relevant news articles to his son, including one about a sewage leak near Albany. When AbTech wanted to seek government contracts after Hurricane Sandy, the senator got on a conference call with his son and an AbTech executive, Bjornulf White, and offered advice. (Like Mr. Dorego, Mr. White is not named in the complaint, but referred to as CW-2.)
The assistance paid off: With the senator’s help, AbTech secured a contract worth up to $12 million from Nassau County, a big break for a struggling small business.
But the money was slow to materialize. The senator expressed impatience with county officials.
Adam Skelos, in a phone call with Mr. White in late December, suggested that his father would seek to punish the county. “I tell you this, the state is not going to do a [expletive] thing for the county,” he said.
Three days later, Senator Skelos pressed his case with the Nassau County executive, Edward P. Mangano, a fellow Republican. “Somebody feels like they’re just getting jerked around the last two years,” the senator said, referring to his son in what the complaint described as “coded language.”
The next day, the senator pursued the matter, as he and Mr. Mangano attended a wake for a slain New York City police officer. Senator Skelos then reassured his son, who called him while he was still at the wake. “All claims that are in will be taken care of,” the senator said.
AbTech’s fortunes appeared to weigh on his son. At one point in January, Adam Skelos told his father that if the company did not succeed, he would “lose the ability to pay for things.”
Making matters worse, in recent months, Senator Skelos and his son appeared to grow wary about who was watching them. In addition to making calls on the burner phone, Adam Skelos said he used the FaceTime video calling “because that doesn’t show up on the phone bill,” as he told Mr. White.
In late February, Adam Skelos arranged a pair of meetings between Mr. White and state senators; AbTech needed to win state legislation that would allow its contract to move beyond its initial stages. But Senator Skelos deemed the plan too risky and caused one of the meetings to be canceled.
In another recorded call, Adam Skelos, promising to be “very, very vague” on the phone, urged his father to allow the meeting. The senator offered a warning. “Right now we are in dangerous times, Adam,” he told him.
A month later, in another phone call that was recorded by the authorities, Adam Skelos complained that his father could not give him “real advice” about AbTech while the two men were speaking over the telephone.
“You can’t talk normally,” he told his father, “because it’s like [expletive] Preet Bharara is listening to every [expletive] phone call. It’s just [expletive] frustrating.”
“It is,” his father agreed.Dean Skelos, Albany Senate Leader, Aided Son at All Costs, U.S. Says
The 6-foot-10 Phillips played alongside the 6-11 Rick Robey on the Wildcats team that won the 1978 N.C.A.A. men’s basketball title.Mike Phillips, Half of Kentuckyâ€™s â€˜Twin Towersâ€™ of Basketball, Dies at 59