Fine artists working in paint, clay, glass, metal, fiber and other media will converge on Rock Eagle 4-H Center near Eatonton, Georgia, Nov. 22-23 for the sixth annual Art at the Rock. The juried art show, sale and marketplace attracts around 75 artists and a thousand visitors each year. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22 and 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 23. The 2014 Featured Artist is Len Jagoda of Waverly Hall, Georgia. His sculpture won Best of Show in the 2013 Art at the Rock artists’ competition. Jagoda has bred and trained horses, and he and his wife have adopted or rescued more than 37 dogs, four cats, a goat and a llama. This familiarity speaks to his subject preference — animals.“Underlying my portrayal of animals is my belief that all animals have real emotions and not just instincts. I want that belief to come through in my work,” he said.“My goal is not to present just a likeness, but rather a piece that speaks to you — conveying more than just an image. Art should have the ability to move you. It should have an effect on your emotions. It may touch your heart, bring excitement, tell a story or draw a moment from your memory. Every portrait should reflect the subject’s personality, not just a likeness. Achieving this separates a meaningful work of art from just a picture.”Since his first entry in competitions in 2008, his awards for sculptures and pastels total 38, including six Best of Shows, a Judges Selection, a Patrons Award, the Molly & Claude Scarbrough Award and the Best Head Study Award from the prestigious American Academy of Equine Art. Jagoda is an elected member of the American Artists Professional League and an Associate of the American Academy of Equine Art. His work has been accepted to many juried exhibitions, galleries and shows. He has had works accepted into four international exhibits.The juried show at Rock Eagle, including Jagoda’s work, will be on display in the center’s Senior Pavilion. Music, food, and an outdoor marketplace of locally grown and made products will round out the event. For more information, contact Tina Maddox Owen at (706) 484-2873, [email protected] or go to www.rockeagle4h.org/ART.
Press Association Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is adamant he will have the final say on signings. He added: “Abroad it works differently where you have a coach and the club will bring in the players. The coach then works with the players he’s given. “A lot has been made of it but the fact is the process that happens here is no different to what happens at other English clubs. “We have a number of people, scouting staff and analysts, who will look for targets who fit the profile of the players that we want. “Then I will sit down with those guys, look at those targets and make a shortlist from that. “All that work that goes on is of great help to me. We identify players, gather all the information we possibly can and then if they’re right for what we need it comes down to whether they are affordable and available. “I know the club will go and do the best it can to get the players we want. “But it’s very clear that anyone we sign will be because I want him here.” Owners Fenway Sports Group had initially wanted the Reds boss to operate under a director of football but those plans were shelved in favour of a committee-style set-up. That group includes Rodgers, head of recruitment Dave Fallows and chief scout Barry Hunter (both recruited from Manchester City in the autumn) as well as head of analysis Michael Edwards. “There is absolutely no way a player will come in here if I don’t want him,” Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. “I will always be the first person it comes to. That’s not being arrogant, that’s how we operate here and how it works in this country.”
People may have wildly differing beliefs, but when it comes to how the brain processes faith — or lack thereof — it’s all the same.A USC-UCLA study tested brain activity in relation to religious beliefs. The study found that whether a person is religious or nonreligious, he or she use the same parts of the brain to determine what they believe.The study, led by author Sam Harris, who recently completed his doctoral dissertation at the UCLA Staglin Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and USC Research Assistant Professor Jonas Kaplan of the Brain and Creativity Institute, took 15 Christians and 15 people who had no religious convictions and presented a series of statements for them to affirm or deny. The questions varied from commonly understood truths to religious affirmations — for example, “Eagles are real,” versus “Angels are real.”Using a functional MRI, the researchers mapped changes in brain activity, and found that while the answers were different, the same parts of the brain were used to determine belief — whether the statement was religious or not.“It’s interesting because these people were diametrically opposed in their beliefs, but we’re seeing something very similar going on in their brains,” Kaplan said.The results, Kaplan said, proved that belief or nonbelief is controlled by the same parts of the brain, whether or not those beliefs are grounded in religion and whether or not the believer has a background in religion.“Believing in these different statements is similar as far as the brain is concerned,” Kaplan said. “The results make sense — when people believe things, they believe them, religious or not.”Religious believers and nonbelievers alike agreed the results of the study made sense, though they had different reasons thinking as such.Rabbi Dov Wagner of the Chabad Jewish student center said he was not surprised by the results, because rational belief and study is a central tenet of the Jewish faith.“There is subjective belief, blind faith, but there is also a strong emphasis on logic and philosophy, a rationally engaged faith, which isn’t just intangible, but actually attempts to study, understand and comprehend ideas that relate to faith,” Wagner said. “It’s informed belief, that’s based not just on blind acceptance, but an approach to knowledge that is not that different from the way you approach any part of life.”Those on the other side of the religion debate likewise agreed the study’s results were logical.Riley Bell, a sophomore majoring in global health who said she does not subscribe to religious beliefs, said she thought believing in religion was similar to believing in anything else.“[Religion] is like anything else you would think of as true or false, it’s a way of approaching what’s around you,” Bell said. “There’s nothing that makes it any different, it’s just a created mental state.”Kaplan said he sees no reason his study should spark controversy in the religious community. The study’s intent was not to validate either stance, but to clarify how the brain processes religion.“We were totally neutral to the actual answers. We were trying to find out how people process information — what is actually happening. We’re not trying to answer the religious questions themselves,” he said.A.J. Starsiak, a senior majoring in molecular biology who said he has strong Christian beliefs, said he thought science could actually be useful in trying to understand religion.“Science is digging in depth, through thought, in that way it’s philosophy of a sort,” he said. “Anything that makes you think more about your beliefs is beneficial … In that way science is definitely a good approach to Christianity.The subjects of the study were chosen for their strong convictions in either camp, but Kaplan says it would be interesting to explore differences in strengths of believers. The psychology of religion is a growing area, he said.“Religion is something that is important for us to understand. It’s a part of people’s lives, and it makes sense for us to try to understand it,” Kaplan said. “We wanted to see if there was anything special about the way people’s brains process religious belief.”