PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




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saco-indonesia.com, Rendi Aripin alias Ujang Ipin yang berusia (30) tahun , tersangka dalam penggelapan sepeda motor, telah ditemukan tewas gantung diri di ruang tahanan Mapolsek Warungkondang, Cianjur, Jawa Barat. Dia telah ditemukan dengan leher terjerat baju tahanan yang diikatkan ke jeruji besi.

"Tersangka mengakhiri hidupnya dengan cara gantung diri dengan memakai baju tahanan yang dia pakai selama dalam proses penyidikan," kata Kapolsek Warungkondang, Kompol Samsa S.

Menurut Samsa, kepolisian telah melakukan autopsi terkait penyebab kematian ini. Pihaknya juga telah meminta keterangan sejumlah saksi tahanan dan petugas jaga.

Sementara itu, Imas Liani yang berusia (32) tahun kakak kandung Ipin juga mengaku tidak menyangka adik bungsunya meninggal dengan cara bunuh diri. Pasalnya, siang hari sebelumnya Ipin masih dalam keadaan sehat.

"Senin lalu, kami juga mendapatkan surat pemberitahuan dari Polsek Warungkondang, adik kami ditahan. Tapi, baru esok harinya saya menjenguk. Anehnya, selang beberapa jam saya pulang, saya telah mendapatkan kabar dari polsek bahwa adik saya meninggal bunuh diri," terangnya.

Sebelum meninggal, jelas Imas, kepolisian telah memberitahukan adiknya untuk membuat surat wasiat. Namun, surat tersebut tidak diserahkan ke pihak keluarga hanya diperlihatkan.

"Surat itu berisi permintaan pada keluarga untuk dapat merawat anaknya, tapi surat itu tidak diberikan pada kami, hanya diperlihatkan sekilas saja," ucapnya.

Terkait hal itu, keluarga juga merasa ada kejanggalan dengan tewasnya Ipin. Lantaran, surat hasil otopsi belum diterima pihaknya.

Oleh sebab itu, pihak keluarga juga berharap hasil otopsi tersebut diserahkan pada keluarga agar tidak menjadi pertanyaan.

"Saya hanya meminta, kalaupun memang adik saya bunuh diri, tolong hasil otopsinya berikan ke kami. Jangan biarkan kami selalu bertanya-tanya," tandasnya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

IPIN TEWAS GANTUNG DIRI

Tentang Hosting dan Domain

 

Hosting
Hosting adalah suatu space atau tempat di internet yang kita gunakan untuk menyimpan data-data situs kita. Entah itu situs perusahaan, situs pribadi, situs blog, dan lain sebagainya. Setiap situs yang ingin kita onlinekan sehingga banyak orang bisa mengaksesnya, harus disimpan pada suatu host.
Mungkin anda bertanya, bila ada hosting yang gratis, mengapa harus pakai yang berbayar? Domain berbayar menawarkan anda fitur-fitur yang tentu saja lebih lengkap dibanding yang gratis. Contohnya tersedianya fitur-fitur seperti: fitur FTP, fitur webmail, fitur mysql, bebas iklan yang tidak kehendaki, dan yang lain sebagainya.
Sedangkan hosting gratis banyak batasannya. Kita tidak bisa menentukan space yang akan kita gunakan, sering adanya iklan-iklan yang tidak kita kehendaki, aksesnya yang lambat, dan lain sebagainya.
Domain
Domain adalah nama situs anda yang unik di dunia internet. Unik disini berarti nama situs anda hanya andalah pemiliknya di internet. Contohnya google.com. Apakah ada situs lain selain google yang namanya sama? Tentu saja tidak ada. Nama google di internet hanya satu. Tidak seperti nama manusia, bisa jadi nama wita ada banyak orang yang menggunakannya bukan. Tentu saja.
Jadi domain adalah identitas anda di Internet
Sedikit tentang teori domain. Sebenarnya, domain itu sendiri adalah alat pengingat untuk mempermudah manusia dalam mengakses komputer di internet. Dalam dunia jaringan komputer, dikenal dengan nomor ip. Nah sebenarnya itulah kode yang digunakan komputer untuk mengakses suatu situs. Contoh nomor ip diinternet adalah 203.30.236.154. Itu hanya baru satu situs. Bayangkan bila anda bekerja pada beberapa situs yang berbeda. Tentu akan susah mengingat angka-angka tersebut bukan. Maka dari itulah dibuat fasilitas domain. Bila diumpamakan lagi, domain itu bagaikan buku telepon pada sebuah handphone. Orang-orang tentu lebih mengingat nama dibandingkan nomor telepon bila hendak ingin menghubungi seseorang.

TENTANG HOSTING DAN DOMAIN

Tips Memilih Lampu Mobil HID. Saat mengemudi seringkali telah menghadapi berbagai macam ringantan, salah satunya adalah kemacetan lalu lintas, anda juga dapat membayangkan jika anda mengemudi di malam hari, di jalanan yang sepi, tiba-tiba mendadak lampu depan mobil mati, sehingga pandangan ke depan menjadi gelap.

Hal tersebut dapat terjadi ketika lampu halogen, yang umumnya telah digunakan pada mobil saat ini dan biasanya untuk jangka waktu tertentu mudah cepat rusak. Tetapi jangan khawatir, karena solusinya adalah anda dapat menggunakan tipe bohlam HID yang telah mempunyai umur lebih panjang.

Anda dapat melupakan Halogen, dan beralih ke HID

Dengan lampu mobil konvensional yang menggunakan halogen sebagai sumber cahaya, maka lampu HID juga sudah memanfaatkan gas xenon bersama dengan garam logam halide dan merkuri. Komponen tersebut juga dapat membentuk suatu lengkungan arus tegangan tinggi yang bersatu menyebabkan cahaya sinar cerah, mirip dengan lampu neon. Karena penggunaan gas xenon di dalam lampu, sehingga sering disebut dengan lampu depan xenon

Bagaimana cara kerjanya?

Bila anda sudah mengaktifkan lampu mobil baru 2014 anda, maka tegangan tinggi 12V didistribusikan sepanjang kumparan relay, akibatnya kontak ditutup, dari titik tersebut maka tegangan 12V digunakan untuk dapat menghidupkan pemberat di dalam lampu xenon. Pemberat inilah yang kemudian akan menyala dan memberikan tenaga listrik untuk lampu.

Mengapa HID Itu diperlukan?

Jika dibandingkan dengan lampu mobil konvensional, maka lampu HID telah mempunyai cukup banyak keuntungan, dengan lampu HID yang biasanya tiga kali lebih terang daripada yang konvensional. Plus juga dapat memberikan jarak penglihatan jalan di depan lebih besar sampai dengan 70%

Bagaimana memilihnya?

Bila anda berminat untuk menggantinya, ada beberapa hal yang perlu untuk dicermati. Anda juga harus cek ukuran bola lampu sebelumnya, kebanyakan bola lampu yang terdapat adalah uuran H1, H3, H4, H7, selanjutnya setelah menentukan warna temperatur yang diinginkan, anda juga dapat menentukan suhu yang dapat diukur dalam satuan K atau derajat Kelvin. Hal ini untuk dapat menentukan warna apa lampu HID akan memuaskan.

Apakah ada kemungkinan masalah ?

Jika anda mencoba hal baru, pasti terdapat kelemahan dan kelebihannya. Karena itu sifat pencahayaan HID begitu terang dan cerah, terutama di malam hari karena kontras. Oleh karena itu sinar lampu yang terpancar dari mobil tersebut dapat membuat silau pengemudi dari arah berlawanan.

Perawatan dan Pemeliharaan.

Agar umur pakai HID awet dan bertahan lama, sebaiknya anda tidak berusaha untuk dapat mematikannya sesaat setelah dihidupkan. Lampu jenis ini biasanya memerlukan waktu 60 detik untuk pemanasan sebelum dapat beroperasi secara normal. Sebab itu, jangan mencoba untuk memainkannya, karena kemungkinan rusak akan lebih cepat.

Anda juga dapat melakukan cek beterai jika mobil sudah lama tidak digunakan. Jika tidak rajin dicek maka akan membuat baterai tersebut kadaluarsa , dan anda sudah tidak dapat menggunakannya. Tetapi anda tidak perlu khawatir sebab baterry jenis NimH mampu bertahan lama

 

LAMPU HID UNTUK PENERANGAN MOBIL YANG LEBIH BAIK

sco-indonesia.com, Empat tersangka pelaku spesialis pencuri rumah kosong (Rumsong), telah dibekuk oleh jajaran Reserse Kriminal (Reskrim) Polsek Serpong, Kota Tangerang Selatan (Tangsel).

Tiga pelaku tersebut diantaranya masih dibawah umur, bahkan masih ada pelajar.Para pelaku yang mayoritas berdomisili di Tangerang itu, masing-masing berinisial F alias B (17) tahun , Z alias M (16) tahun dan AY alias M (15) tahun , serta S alias H (21) tahun .

Meski masih terbilang masih remaja, para tersangka itu juga terbilang cukup mahir dalam melakukan setiap aksinya. Sebab, sedikitnya sudah ada 36 rumah di wilayah Tangerang Raya, telah berhasil mereka bobol.”Pengakuan mereka 36 TKP itu diwilayah Serpong, Kelapa Dua, Cikupa dan Balaraja. Semua TKP sudah kami cek dan memang benar semua korban telah mengakui dan bahkan sudah ada LP nya, walaupun beberapa korban ada juga yang tidak melaporkan ke polisi,” kata Kanit Reskrim Polsek Serpong, AKP Toto Daniyanto

Menurutnya, pengungkapan tersebut telah berawal dari hasil rekaman CCTV salah satu rumah korban. Dari situlah, pihaknya telah berhasil mengungkap dan menangkap  para tersangka.”Modus mereka sebelum melakukan aksinya adalah dengan cara menjadi pengamen di siang hari. Dari situ mereka telah menggambarkan situasi targetnya, kemudian barulah beraksi dimalam hari,” paparnya sambil menyebutkan, para tersangka juga dapat dijerat dengan pasal 363, tentang pencurian dengan ancaman hukuman diatas 5 tahun penjara.

“Namun, bagi pelaku yang masih dibawah umur kita akan tetap kenakan sesuai peradilan anak. Kami juga masih harus mengejar 4 pelaku lainnya,” tandasnya.

Kanit juga mengimbau kepada masyarakat luas, agar lebih berhati-hati dalam memperhatikan gerak-gerik setiap orang yang tidak dikenalnya..

Sementara, tersangka F juga mengaku, kerap mengirimi orangtuanya di Lampung dengan hasil penjualan barang curiannya itu. “Buat kirim ke orang tua setiap bulan, sebagian buat senang-senang sama teman,” akunya.

Dalam penangkapan itu, petugas juga telah mengamankan barang bukti hasil curian berupa, 3 ekor burung, 2 unit Handphone, uang tunai sebesar Rp72 ribu, 2 buah Laptop 2, 1 buah jam tangan, serta sebilah pisau dan obeng sebagai alat melakukan aksinya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

EMPAT PENCURI RUMSONG TELAH DIBEKUK POLISI

Harga daging sapi di pasaran saat ini berkisar Rp 90.000 per kilogram. Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) telah menginstruksikan Menteri Perdagangan Gita Wirjawan untuk menekan harga daging sapi.

Menko Perekonomian Hatta Rajasa meminta Badan Urusan Logistik (Bulog) untuk segera mengintervensi pasar, sehingga harga daging sapi bisa diturunkan menjadi Rp 75.000 per kg.

"Harga daging ini saya juga kadang-kadang bingung di mana letak persoalannya sehingga pasar terdistorsi. Kita kasih kasih kewenangan Bulog intervensi pasar kalau lama kita ketok kepalanya. Jangan sampai saya perintahkan juga nggak jalan sehingga ada kesan supaya harganya (daging) tinggi," ujar Hatta di kantornya, Jakarta, Jumat (31/5).

Hatta mengatakan dia masih bingung kenapa harga daging sapi malah naik. Sebab, harga daging sapi impor Australia saat ini mengalami penurunan. Dari sebelumnya USD 3 per kg menjadi USD 2,92 per kg.

"Sekarang harga daging di Australia USD 2,92, di sini malah jadi Rp 95.000. Ada apa ini. Ini harus diturunkan," tegas dia.

Dia meminta kuota impor daging sapi ditarik terlebih dahulu sehingga harga daging sapi di pasar menjadi Rp 75.000. Apalagi, masyarakat akan terbebani menjelang puasa dan lebaran jika harga daging sapi masih tinggi.

"Kalau perlu kuota ditarik dulu karena kasihan masyarakat menjelang puasa. Lalu kemudian kita lakukan operasi pasar dengan Kemendag, Kementan, dan Bulog agar stabil dengan memperhitungkan asumsi harga terbaik bagi peternak. Jadi dengan hitungan Kementan daging sebesar Rp 75.000 peternak masih dapat menikmati," jelasnya.

Hatta bingung dengan harga daging sapi yang begitu mahal mahal

Mr. King sang for the Drifters and found success as a solo performer with hits like “Spanish Harlem.”

Ben E. King, Soulful Singer of ‘Stand by Me,’ Dies at 76
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United’s first-class and business fliers get Rhapsody, its high-minded in-flight magazine, seen here at its office in Brooklyn. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

Last summer at a writers’ workshop in Oregon, the novelists Anthony Doerr, Karen Russell and Elissa Schappell were chatting over cocktails when they realized they had all published work in the same magazine. It wasn’t one of the usual literary outlets, like Tin House, The Paris Review or The New Yorker. It was Rhapsody, an in-flight magazine for United Airlines.

It seemed like a weird coincidence. Then again, considering Rhapsody’s growing roster of A-list fiction writers, maybe not. Since its first issue hit plane cabins a year and a half ago, Rhapsody has published original works by literary stars like Joyce Carol Oates, Rick Moody, Amy Bloom, Emma Straub and Mr. Doerr, who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction two weeks ago.

As airlines try to distinguish their high-end service with luxuries like private sleeping chambers, showers, butler service and meals from five-star chefs, United Airlines is offering a loftier, more cerebral amenity to its first-class and business-class passengers: elegant prose by prominent novelists. There are no airport maps or disheartening lists of in-flight meal and entertainment options in Rhapsody. Instead, the magazine has published ruminative first-person travel accounts, cultural dispatches and probing essays about flight by more than 30 literary fiction writers.

 

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Sean Manning, executive editor of Rhapsody, which publishes works by the likes of Joyce Carol Oates, Amy Bloom and Anthony Doerr, who won a Pulitzer Prize. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

 

An airline might seem like an odd literary patron. But as publishers and writers look for new ways to reach readers in a shaky retail climate, many have formed corporate alliances with transit companies, including American Airlines, JetBlue and Amtrak, that provide a captive audience.

Mark Krolick, United Airlines’ managing director of marketing and product development, said the quality of the writing in Rhapsody brings a patina of sophistication to its first-class service, along with other opulent touches like mood lighting, soft music and a branded scent.

“The high-end leisure or business-class traveler has higher expectations, even in the entertainment we provide,” he said.

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Some of Rhapsody’s contributing writers say they were lured by the promise of free airfare and luxury accommodations provided by United, as well as exposure to an elite audience of some two million first-class and business-class travelers.

“It’s not your normal Park Slope Community Bookstore types who read Rhapsody,” Mr. Moody, author of the 1994 novel “The Ice Storm,” who wrote an introspective, philosophical piece about traveling to the Aran Islands of Ireland for Rhapsody, said in an email. “I’m not sure I myself am in that Rhapsody demographic, but I would like them to buy my books one day.”

In addition to offering travel perks, the magazine pays well and gives writers freedom, within reason, to choose their subject matter and write with style. Certain genres of flight stories are off limits, naturally: no plane crashes or woeful tales of lost luggage or rude flight attendants, and nothing too risqué.

“We’re not going to have someone write about joining the mile-high club,” said Jordan Heller, the editor in chief of Rhapsody. “Despite those restrictions, we’ve managed to come up with a lot of high-minded literary content.”

Guiding writers toward the right idea occasionally requires some gentle prodding. When Rhapsody’s executive editor asked Ms. Russell to contribute an essay about a memorable flight experience, she first pitched a story about the time she was chaperoning a group of teenagers on a trip to Europe, and their delayed plane sat at the airport in New York for several hours while other passengers got progressively drunker.

“He pointed out that disaster flights are not what people want to read about when they’re in transit, and very diplomatically suggested that maybe people want to read something that casts air travel in a more positive light,” said Ms. Russell, whose novel “Swamplandia!” was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize.

She turned in a nostalgia-tinged essay about her first flight on a trip to Disney World when she was 6. “The Magic Kingdom was an anticlimax,” she wrote. “What ride could compare to that first flight?”

Ms. Oates also wrote about her first flight, in a tiny yellow propeller plane piloted by her father. The novelist Joyce Maynard told of the constant disappointment of never seeing her books in airport bookstores and the thrill of finally spotting a fellow plane passenger reading her novel “Labor Day.” Emily St. John Mandel, who was a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction last year, wrote about agonizing over which books to bring on a long flight.

“There’s nobody that’s looked down their noses at us as an in-flight magazine,” said Sean Manning, the magazine’s executive editor. “As big as these people are in the literary world, there’s still this untapped audience for them of luxury travelers.”

United is one of a handful of companies showcasing work by literary writers as a way to elevate their brands and engage customers. Chipotle has printed original work from writers like Toni Morrison, Jeffrey Eugenides and Barbara Kingsolver on its disposable cups and paper bags. The eyeglass company Warby Parker hosts parties for authors and sells books from 14 independent publishers in its stores.

JetBlue offers around 40 e-books from HarperCollins and Penguin Random House on its free wireless network, allowing passengers to read free samples and buy and download books. JetBlue will start offering 11 digital titles from Simon & Schuster soon. Amtrak recently forged an alliance with Penguin Random House to provide free digital samples from 28 popular titles, which passengers can buy and download over Amtrak’s admittedly spotty wireless service.

Amtrak is becoming an incubator for literary talent in its own right. Last year, it started a residency program, offering writers a free long-distance train trip and complimentary food. More than 16,000 writers applied and 24 made the cut.

Like Amtrak, Rhapsody has found that writers are eager to get onboard. On a rainy spring afternoon, Rhapsody’s editorial staff sat around a conference table discussing the June issue, which will feature an essay by the novelist Hannah Pittard and an unpublished short story by the late Elmore Leonard.

“Do you have that photo of Elmore Leonard? Can I see it?” Mr. Heller, the editor in chief, asked Rhapsody’s design director, Christos Hannides. Mr. Hannides slid it across the table and noted that they also had a photograph of cowboy spurs. “It’s very simple; it won’t take away from the literature,” he said.

Rhapsody’s office, an open space with exposed pipes and a vaulted brick ceiling, sits in Dumbo at the epicenter of literary Brooklyn, in the same converted tea warehouse as the literary journal N+1 and the digital publisher Atavist. Two of the magazine’s seven staff members hold graduate degrees in creative writing. Mr. Manning, the executive editor, has published a memoir and edited five literary anthologies.

Mr. Manning said Rhapsody was conceived from the start as a place for literary novelists to write with voice and style, and nobody had been put off that their work would live in plane cabins and airport lounges.

Still, some contributors say they wish the magazine were more widely circulated.

“I would love it if I could read it,” said Ms. Schappell, a Brooklyn-based novelist who wrote a feature story for Rhapsody’s inaugural issue. “But I never fly first class.”

Rhapsody, a Lofty Literary Journal, Perused at 39,000 Feet

Mr. Alger, who served five terms from Texas, led Republican women in a confrontation with Lyndon B. Johnson that may have cost Richard M. Nixon the 1960 presidential election.

Bruce Alger, 96, Dies; Led ‘Mink Coat’ Protest Against Lyndon Johnson

Since a white police officer, Darren Wilson fatally shot unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in a confrontation last August in Ferguson, Mo., there have been many other cases in which the police have shot and killed suspects, some of them unarmed. Mr. Brown's death set off protests throughout the country, pushing law enforcement into the spotlight and sparking a public debate on police tactics. Here is a selection of police shootings that have been reported by news organizations since Mr. Brown's death. In some cases, investigations are continuing.

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The apartment complex northeast of Atlanta where Anthony Hill, 27, was fatally shot by a DeKalb County police officer. Credit Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal Constitution

Chamblee, Ga.
Fatal Police Shootings: Accounts Since Ferguson

At the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Suzman’s signature accomplishment was the central role he played in creating a global network of surveys on aging.

Richard Suzman, 72, Dies; Researcher Influenced Global Surveys on Aging

“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 ‘Game of Thrones’ Q&A: Keisha Castle-Hughes on the Tao of the Sand Snakes

A lapsed seminarian, Mr. Chambers succeeded Saul Alinsky as leader of the social justice umbrella group Industrial Areas Foundation.

Edward Chambers, Early Leader in Community Organizing, Dies at 85

Pronovost, who played for the Red Wings, was not a prolific scorer, but he was a consummate team player with bruising checks and fearless bursts up the ice that could puncture a defense.

Marcel Pronovost, 84, Dies; Hall of Famer Shared in Five N.H.L. Titles

THE WRITERS ASHLEY AND JAQUAVIS COLEMAN know the value of a good curtain-raiser. The couple have co-authored dozens of novels, and they like to start them with a bang: a headlong action sequence, a blast of violence or sex that rocks readers back on their heels. But the Colemans concede they would be hard-pressed to dream up anything more gripping than their own real-life opening scene.

In the summer of 2001, JaQuavis Coleman was a 16-year-old foster child in Flint, Mich., the former auto-manufacturing mecca that had devolved, in the wake of General Motors’ plant closures, into one of the country’s most dangerous cities, with a decimated economy and a violent crime rate more than three times the national average. When JaQuavis was 8, social services had removed him from his mother’s home. He spent years bouncing between foster families. At 16, JaQuavis was also a businessman: a crack dealer with a network of street-corner peddlers in his employ.

One day that summer, JaQuavis met a fellow dealer in a parking lot on Flint’s west side. He was there to make a bulk sale of a quarter-brick, or “nine-piece” — a nine-ounce parcel of cocaine, with a street value of about $11,000. In the middle of the transaction, JaQuavis heard the telltale chirp of a walkie-talkie. His customer, he now realized, was an undercover policeman. JaQuavis jumped into his car and spun out onto the road, with two unmarked police cars in pursuit. He didn’t want to get into a high-speed chase, so he whipped his car into a church parking lot and made a run for it, darting into an alleyway behind a row of small houses, where he tossed the quarter-brick into some bushes. When JaQuavis reached the small residential street on the other side of the houses, he was greeted by the police, who handcuffed him and went to search behind the houses where, they told him, they were certain he had ditched the drugs. JaQuavis had been dealing since he was 12, had amassed more than $100,000 and had never been arrested. Now, he thought: It’s over.

But when the police looked in the bushes, they couldn’t find any cocaine. They interrogated JaQuavis, who denied having ever possessed or sold drugs. They combed the backyard alley some more. After an hour of fruitless efforts, the police were forced to unlock the handcuffs and release their suspect.

JaQuavis was baffled by the turn of events until the next day, when he received a phone call. The previous afternoon, a 15-year-old girl had been sitting in her home on the west side of Flint when she heard sirens. She looked out of the window of her bedroom, and watched a young man throw a package in the bushes behind her house. She recognized him. He was a high school classmate — a handsome, charismatic boy whom she had admired from afar. The girl crept outside and grabbed the bundle, which she hid in her basement. “I have something that belongs to you,” Ashley Snell told JaQuavis Coleman when she reached him by phone. “You wanna come over here and pick it up?”

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Three of the nearly 50 works of urban fiction published by the Colemans over the last decade, often featuring drug deals, violence, sex and a brash kind of feminism.Credit Marko Metzinger

In the Colemans’ first novel, “Dirty Money” (2005), they told a version of this story. The outline was the same: the drug deal gone bad, the dope chucked in the bushes, the fateful phone call. To the extent that the authors took poetic license, it was to tone down the meet-cute improbability of the true-life events. In “Dirty Money,” the girl, Anari, and the crack dealer, Maurice, circle each other warily for a year or so before coupling up. But the facts of Ashley and JaQuavis’s romance outstripped pulp fiction. They fell in love more or less at first sight, moved into their own apartment while still in high school and were married in 2008. “We were together from the day we met,” Ashley says. “I don’t think we’ve spent more than a week apart in total over the past 14 years.”

That partnership turned out to be creative and entrepreneurial as well as romantic. Over the past decade, the Colemans have published nearly 50 books, sometimes as solo writers, sometimes under pseudonyms, but usually as collaborators with a byline that has become a trusted brand: “Ashley & JaQuavis.” They are marquee stars of urban fiction, or street lit, a genre whose inner-city settings and lurid mix of crime, sex and sensationalism have earned it comparisons to gangsta rap. The emergence of street lit is one of the big stories in recent American publishing, a juggernaut that has generated huge sales by catering to a readership — young, black and, for the most part, female — that historically has been ill-served by the book business. But the genre is also widely maligned. Street lit is subject to a kind of triple snobbery: scorned by literati who look down on genre fiction generally, ignored by a white publishing establishment that remains largely indifferent to black books and disparaged by African-American intellectuals for poor writing, coarse values and trafficking in racial stereotypes.

But if a certain kind of cultural prestige is shut off to the Colemans, they have reaped other rewards. They’ve built a large and loyal fan base, which gobbles up the new Ashley & JaQuavis titles that arrive every few months. Many of those books are sold at street-corner stands and other off-the-grid venues in African-American neighborhoods, a literary gray market that doesn’t register a blip on best-seller tallies. Yet the Colemans’ most popular series now regularly crack the trade fiction best-seller lists of The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. For years, the pair had no literary agent; they sold hundreds of thousands of books without banking a penny in royalties. Still, they have earned millions of dollars, almost exclusively from cash-for-manuscript deals negotiated directly with independent publishing houses. In short, though little known outside of the world of urban fiction, the Colemans are one of America’s most successful literary couples, a distinction they’ve achieved, they insist, because of their work’s gritty authenticity and their devotion to a primal literary virtue: the power of the ripping yarn.

“When you read our books, you’re gonna realize: ‘Ashley & JaQuavis are storytellers,’ ” says Ashley. “Our tales will get your heart pounding.”

THE COLEMANS’ HOME BASE — the cottage from which they operate their cottage industry — is a spacious four-bedroom house in a genteel suburb about 35 miles north of downtown Detroit. The house is plush, but when I visited this past winter, it was sparsely appointed. The couple had just recently moved in, and had only had time to fully furnish the bedroom of their 4-year-old son, Quaye.

In conversation, Ashley and JaQuavis exude both modesty and bravado: gratitude for their good fortune and bootstrappers’ pride in having made their own luck. They talk a lot about their time in the trenches, the years they spent as a drug dealer and “ride-or-die girl” tandem. In Flint they learned to “grind hard.” Writing, they say, is merely a more elevated kind of grind.

“Instead of hitting the block like we used to, we hit the laptops,” says Ashley. “I know what every word is worth. So while I’m writing, I’m like: ‘Okay, there’s a hundred dollars. There’s a thousand dollars. There’s five thousand dollars.’ ”

They maintain a rigorous regimen. They each try to write 5,000 words per day, five days a week. The writers stagger their shifts: JaQuavis goes to bed at 7 p.m. and wakes up early, around 3 or 4 in the morning, to work while his wife and child sleep. Ashley writes during the day, often in libraries or at Starbucks.

They divide the labor in other ways. Chapters are divvied up more or less equally, with tasks assigned according to individual strengths. (JaQuavis typically handles character development. Ashley loves writing murder scenes.) The results are stitched together, with no editorial interference from one author in the other’s text. The real work, they contend, is the brainstorming. The Colemans spend weeks mapping out their plot-driven books — long conversations that turn into elaborate diagrams on dry-erase boards. “JaQuavis and I are so close, it makes the process real easy,” says Ashley. “Sometimes when I’m thinking of something, a plot point, he’ll say it out loud, and I’m like: ‘Wait — did I say that?’ ”

Their collaboration developed by accident, and on the fly. Both were bookish teenagers. Ashley read lots of Judy Blume and John Grisham; JaQuavis liked Shakespeare, Richard Wright and “Atlas Shrugged.” (Their first official date was at a Borders bookstore, where Ashley bought “The Coldest Winter Ever,” the Sister Souljah novel often credited with kick-starting the contemporary street-lit movement.) In 2003, Ashley, then 17, was forced to terminate an ectopic pregnancy. She was bedridden for three weeks, and to provide distraction and boost her spirits, JaQuavis challenged his girlfriend to a writing contest. “She just wasn’t talking. She was laying in bed. I said, ‘You know what? I bet you I could write a better book than you.’ My wife is real competitive. So I said, ‘Yo, all right, $500 bet.’ And I saw her eyes spark, like, ‘What?! You can’t write no better book than me!’ So I wrote about three chapters. She wrote about three chapters. Two days later, we switched.”

The result, hammered out in a few days, would become “Dirty Money.” Two years later, when Ashley and JaQuavis were students at Ferris State University in Western Michigan, they sold the manuscript to Urban Books, a street-lit imprint founded by the best-selling author Carl Weber. At the time, JaQuavis was still making his living selling drugs. When Ashley got the phone call informing her that their book had been bought, she assumed they’d hit it big, and flushed more than $10,000 worth of cocaine down the toilet. Their advance was a mere $4,000.

Photo
The roots of street lit, found in the midcentury detective novels of Chester Himes and the ‘60s and ‘70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines.Credit Marko Metzinger

Those advances would soon increase, eventually reaching five and six figures. The Colemans built their career, JaQuavis says, in a manner that made sense to him as a veteran dope peddler: by flooding the street with product. From the start, they were prolific, churning out books at a rate of four or five a year. Their novels made their way into stores; the now-defunct chain Waldenbooks, which had stores in urban areas typically bypassed by booksellers, was a major engine of the street-lit market. But Ashley and JaQuavis took advantage of distribution channels established by pioneering urban fiction authors such as Teri Woods and Vickie Stringer, and a network of street-corner tables, magazine stands, corner shops and bodegas. Like rappers who establish their bona fides with gray-market mixtapes, street-lit authors use this system to circumnavigate industry gatekeepers, bringing their work straight to the genre’s core readership. But urban fiction has other aficionados, in less likely places. “Our books are so popular in the prison system,” JaQuavis says. “We’re banned in certain penitentiaries. Inmates fight over the books — there are incidents, you know? I have loved ones in jail, and they’re like: ‘Yo, your books can’t come in here. It’s against the rules.’ ”

The appeal of the Colemans’ work is not hard to fathom. The books are formulaic and taut; they deliver the expected goods efficiently and exuberantly. The titles telegraph the contents: “Diary of a Street Diva,” “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” “Murderville.” The novels serve up a stream of explicit sex and violence in a slangy, tangy, profane voice. In Ashley & JaQuavis’s books people don’t get killed: they get “popped,” “laid out,” get their “cap twisted back.” The smut is constant, with emphasis on the earthy, sticky, olfactory particulars. Romance novel clichés — shuddering orgasms, heroic carnal feats, superlative sexual skill sets — are rendered in the Colemans’ punchy patois.

Subtlety, in other words, isn’t Ashley & JaQuavis’s forte. But their books do have a grainy specificity. In “The Cartel” (2008), the first novel in the Colemans’ best-selling saga of a Miami drug syndicate, they catch the sights and smells of a crack workshop in a housing project: the nostril-stinging scent of cocaine and baking soda bubbling on stovetops; the teams of women, stripped naked except for hospital masks so they can’t pilfer the merchandise, “cutting up the cooked coke on the round wood table.” The subject matter is dark, but the Colemans’ tone is not quite noir. Even in the grimmest scenes, the mood is high-spirited, with the writers palpably relishing the lewd and gory details: the bodies writhing in boudoirs and crumpling under volleys of bullets, the geysers of blood and other bodily fluids.

The luridness of street lit has made it a flashpoint, inciting controversy reminiscent of the hip-hop culture wars of the 1980s and ’90s. But the street-lit debate touches deeper historical roots, reviving decades-old arguments in black literary circles about the mandate to uplift the race and present wholesome images of African-Americans. In 1928, W. E. B. Du Bois slammed the “licentiousness” of “Home to Harlem,” Claude McKay’s rollicking novel of Harlem nightlife. McKay’s book, Du Bois wrote, “for the most part nauseates me, and after the dirtier parts of its filth I feel distinctly like taking a bath.” Similar sentiments have greeted 21st-century street lit. In a 2006 New York Times Op-Ed essay, the journalist and author Nick Chiles decried “the sexualization and degradation of black fiction.” African-American bookstores, Chiles complained, are “overrun with novels that . . . appeal exclusively to our most prurient natures — as if these nasty books were pairing off back in the stockrooms like little paperback rabbits and churning out even more graphic offspring that make Ralph Ellison books cringe into a dusty corner.”

Copulating paperbacks aside, it’s clear that the street-lit debate is about more than literature, touching on questions of paternalism versus populism, and on middle-class anxieties about the black underclass. “It’s part and parcel of black elites’ efforts to define not only a literary tradition, but a racial politics,” said Kinohi Nishikawa, an assistant professor of English and African-American Studies at Princeton University. “There has always been a sense that because African-Americans’ opportunities to represent themselves are so limited in the first place, any hint of criminality or salaciousness would necessarily be a knock on the entire racial politics. One of the pressing debates about African-American literature today is: If we can’t include writers like Ashley & JaQuavis, to what extent is the foundation of our thinking about black literature faulty? Is it just a literature for elites? Or can it be inclusive, bringing urban fiction under the purview of our umbrella term ‘African-American literature’?”

Defenders of street lit note that the genre has a pedigree: a tradition of black pulp fiction that stretches from Chester Himes, the midcentury author of hardboiled Harlem detective stories, to the 1960s and ’70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines, to the current wave of urban fiction authors. Others argue for street lit as a social good, noting that it attracts a large audience that might otherwise never read at all. Scholars like Nishikawa link street lit to recent studies showing increased reading among African-Americans. A 2014 Pew Research Center report found that a greater percentage of black Americans are book readers than whites or Latinos.

For their part, the Colemans place their work in the broader black literary tradition. “You have Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, James Baldwin — all of these traditional black writers, who wrote about the struggles of racism, injustice, inequality,” says Ashley. “We’re writing about the struggle as it happens now. It’s just a different struggle. I’m telling my story. I’m telling the struggle of a black girl from Flint, Michigan, who grew up on welfare.”

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The Colemans in their new four-bedroom house in the northern suburbs of Detroit.Credit Courtesy of Ashley and JaQuavis Coleman

Perhaps there is a high-minded case to be made for street lit. But the virtues of Ashley & JaQuavis’s work are more basic. Their novels do lack literary polish. The writing is not graceful; there are passages of clunky exposition and sex scenes that induce guffaws and eye rolls. But the pleasure quotient is high. The books flaunt a garish brand of feminism, with women characters cast not just as vixens, but also as gangsters — cold-blooded killers, “murder mamas.” The stories are exceptionally well-plotted. “The Cartel” opens by introducing its hero, the crime boss Carter Diamond; on page 9, a gunshot spatters Diamond’s brain across the interior of a police cruiser. The book then flashes back seven years and begins to hurtle forward again — a bullet train, whizzing readers through shifting alliances, romantic entanglements and betrayals, kidnappings, shootouts with Haitian and Dominican gangsters, and a cliffhanger closing scene that leaves the novel’s heroine tied to a chair in a basement, gruesomely tortured to the edge of death. Ashley & JaQuavis’s books are not Ralph Ellison, certainly, but they build up quite a head of steam. They move.

The Colemans are moving themselves these days. They recently signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press, which will bring out the next installment in the “Cartel” series as well as new solo series by both writers. The St. Martin’s deal is both lucrative and legitimizing — a validation of Ashley and JaQuavis’s work by one of publishing’s most venerable houses. The Colemans’ ambitions have grown, as well. A recent trilogy, “Murderville,” tackles human trafficking and the blood-diamond industry in West Africa, with storylines that sweep from Sierra Leone to Mexico to Los Angeles. Increasingly, Ashley & JaQuavis are leaning on research — traveling to far-flung settings and hitting the books in the libraries — and spending less time mining their own rough-and-tumble past.

But Flint remains a source of inspiration. One evening not long ago, JaQuavis led me on a tour of his hometown: a popular roadside bar; the parking lot where he met the undercover cop for the ill-fated drug deal; Ashley’s old house, the site of his almost-arrest. He took me to a ramshackle vehicle repair shop on Flint’s west side, where he worked as a kid, washing cars. He showed me a bathroom at the rear of the garage, where, at age 12, he sneaked away to inspect the first “boulder” of crack that he ever sold. A spray-painted sign on the garage wall, which JaQuavis remembered from his time at the car wash, offered words of warning:

WHAT EVERY YOUNG MAN SHOULD KNOW
ABOUT USING A GUN:
MURDER . . . 30 Years
ARMED ROBBERY . . . 15 Years
ASSAULT . . . 15 Years
RAPE . . . 20 Years
POSSESSION . . . 5 Years
JACKING . . . 20 YEARS

“We still love Flint, Michigan,” JaQuavis says. “It’s so seedy, so treacherous. But there’s some heart in this city. This is where it all started, selling books out the box. In the days when we would get those little $40,000 advances, they’d send us a couple boxes of books for free. We would hit the streets to sell our books, right out of the car trunk. It was a hustle. It still is.”

One old neighborhood asset that the Colemans have not shaken off is swagger. “My wife is the best female writer in the game,” JaQuavis told me. “I believe I’m the best male writer in the game. I’m sleeping next to the best writer in the world. And she’s doing the same.”

 
From T Magazine: Street Lit’s Power Couple

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Many bodies prepared for cremation last week in Kathmandu were of young men from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

KATHMANDU, Nepal — When the dense pillar of smoke from cremations by the Bagmati River was thinning late last week, the bodies were all coming from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas, and they were all of young men.

Hindu custom dictates that funeral pyres should be lighted by the oldest son of the deceased, but these men were too young to have sons, so they were burned by their brothers or fathers. Sukla Lal, a maize farmer, made a 14-hour journey by bus to retrieve the body of his 19-year-old son, who had been on his way to the Persian Gulf to work as a laborer.

“He wanted to live in the countryside, but he was compelled to leave by poverty,” Mr. Lal said, gazing ahead steadily as his son’s remains smoldered. “He told me, ‘You can live on your land, and I will come up with money, and we will have a happy family.’ ”

Weeks will pass before the authorities can give a complete accounting of who died in the April 25 earthquake, but it is already clear that Nepal cannot afford the losses. The countryside was largely stripped of its healthy young men even before the quake, as they migrated in great waves — 1,500 a day by some estimates — to work as laborers in India, Malaysia or one of the gulf nations, leaving many small communities populated only by elderly parents, women and children. Economists say that at some times of the year, one-quarter of Nepal’s population is working outside the country.

Nepal’s Young Men, Lost to Migration, Then a Quake
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