This ginger tabby named Flynn shacks up with Tori Diaz, founder of This Cat is Chonky. Tori Flynn I’m standing at my desk working. Archer, a 10-pound bundle of sass and midnight fur, sits behind me on a stool, a single claw plunging repeatedly into the elbow of my sweater: “Pay attention to me!” Archer knows I’m looking at other cats. He just knows. I’m on Facebook, bearing witness to the fattest cats on the internet. It’s a private Facebook group called “THIS CAT IS C H O N K Y,” where proud members post photos and videos of their beloved fuzzballs and comments pour in by the hundreds. Along with over 270,000 others, I worship at the house of Chonky. We lurk here. We comment. We find deep comfort.Facebook has been slammed for privacy failures and scandals, and like social media in general, it’s been called out for feeding loneliness and depression. Even social-media-savvy political rock star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quit Facebook. I’ve been tempted to follow suit, but I stay, in part, for Chonky. And I’m not alone.Yes, Chonky is for oohing and ahhing over cats with belly flab and kittens with poofy cheeks. But for many, it’s also a light in the darkness. Selfies, cats and so many uploads: Our love affair with sharing photos Facebook Share your voice 5:14 Comments Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: What’s your relationship… Originally published June 12. Now playing: Watch this: 13 Photos Online One Chonky mod asked members to share what the group means to them — and got over 1,000 replies. “It’s a ray of sunshine in a gray world of negativity,” one member responded. Said another: “There have been many days where I isolate myself and cry nonstop but this group can stop that in an instant.” Members going through breakups put out the call for soothing cat photos to lift their spirits. People who just lost their beloved furry companions turn to Chonky for support and a virtual shoulder to cry on. Chonky founder Tori Diaz gets messages from group members who want her to know how Chonky has cheered them up during their most stressful moments. “What hit me the hardest,” Diaz says, “were the people responding saying the group has helped them through suicidal thoughts, depression and severe medical problems.” I visited Chonky one day when a young woman expressed thoughts of self-harm. The group arrived to tell her that her life matters. They shared their own stories of depression and how their cats gave them something to hold onto. The original poster later updated the message to say she had reached out to a therapist for help. This Cat is Chonky proudly advertises its wares with a chubby-cheeked cat banner. Facebook/This Cat is Chonky The first rule of Chonk ClubChonky isn’t the Wild West. You can share pictures of your cats and comment on photos, but you can’t sling insults. The group has strict rules of conduct. Rule No. 1: No chonk shaming. This is “the ultimate sin.” Don’t shame owners, either. That includes not calling them bad pet parents because their cats are overweight.”Don’t be condescending, judgy, or incite arguments,” the rules read. No politics or medical advice. In an internet world full of snark and trolling, Chonky is meant to be sacred ground. Jerks will be banned.Diaz, who lives with a ginger tabby named Flynn (pictured at the top of this article), created the Chonky group one night in May 2018. “One major issue I noticed in animal groups was owner and pet shaming, especially if the animal was overweight,” Diaz tells me. “It made me sad to see them being torn down for posting a picture of a beloved pet that they were excited to share.” In an internet world full of snark and trolling, Chonky is meant to be sacred ground. Jerks will be banned. Tags You don’t have to look far to see what Diaz is talking about. Reddit’s popular Aww group is sometimes beset by this issue. A post showing a short video of a fat and fluffy cat received responses calling the owners out for “at least negligence, if not straight-up abuse.” It’s hard to know the stories behind the overweight pets we glimpse on social media. Are they on diets? Do they have medical conditions? Are they recent rescues?Diaz created Chonky to be “a safe group to post chubby cats, or any cats, without meanness.” The term “chonky” came to her when she was looking at a photo of a fat cat. She thought it felt like internet-speak for “chunky.” Chonky strummed Facebook heartstrings right from the start, zipping to over 100,000 members by the end of 2018. When it hit 125,000, Diaz accepted the help of a small group of Chonky followers who offered to become moderators. They work their butts off. “Chonky isn’t immune to the problems of nasty internet users and trolling, myself and the mods just remove problem people fast and have learned what types of posts are most likely to start problems,” Diaz says. “A lot of love and work goes into keeping the group how it is.” Moderator Natalie Bunting, who also volunteers at a cat rescue, says the rule to “be nice” is the one most frequently violated. She has witnessed (and quashed) arguments for and against outdoor cats, political statements and personal attacks, like a member telling another to clean up a house seen in a photo. “There are literally well over a thousand member requests each day and at least 200 posts an hour,” she says. “It’s absolutely mind blowing.” Volunteering to wrangle Chonky posts is time-consuming, but Bunting sticks around because she’s connected with Diaz and the other mods. They blow off steam in a behind-the-scenes chat group, where Bunting says they laugh, cry and support each other. A lot of the conversation revolves around Chonky business, such as which posts should be approved or whether a member should be banned, but sometimes it veers into talk of families, food and work. “The subject can change 30 times within 30 minutes and it is the most entertaining chat I’ve ever been a part of,” says Bunting, who has two chonks of her own: Cubby and Baxter. “They are the goodest boys,” she reports.This rotund fluffster is the kind of cat Chonky members love to coo over. Amanda Kooser/CNET Chonky terminologyChonky is a closed group, so you need to be a member to see the fur flying. Here’s a typical day in the life of Chonky: Emily shared a photo of her wide-load black cat sitting on a cable box, eyes poppin’ and two front legs dangling straight down. It attracted 222 comments, including some photoshopped parodies showing the cat wearing a business suit or strolling through a Western town. Another poster demanded to see the group’s “oranges” and kicked off over 600 comments about ginger cats.Lizzie posted her gorgeous 14-year-old fluffy boy, who’s in declining health. She received lots of love. “Cherish your time together, I’m sure he does,” wrote one Chonky member.If you’re fortunate enough to be accepted into Chonky and you can abide by the simple rules, you will need to know some vocabulary.Beans: toe padsCat tax: providing a photo of your own cat when requesting photos from othersChonk: a fat catFloof: fluffinessHamb/hambina: a catNip nops: nipplesPeets: cat feetSlonk: a skinny catSmol: smallTeef: teethThicc: fatVoid: a black catUsed in a paragraph: My boi Archer is a semi-chonk void hamb, while his sister is a smol void slonk. They’re not thicc super-floofs, but their lil peets are adorbs.Fear of the inevitableBunting’s avocado-loving cat, Cubby, suffered from a mysterious illness for months before vets finally diagnosed the rare Cushing’s disease, an adrenal gland issue that can be difficult to treat. The Chonky team posted a GoFundMe fundraiser on Bunting’s behalf, and the community has fed money toward the $2,000 goal to offset Cubby’s steep health expenses. “Sending healing energy for Cubby! Thanks for sharing the chonks with the world,” wrote one Chonky-loving donor.Bunting says the campaign absolutely blew her away at a time when she was dealing with an unexpected death in her family. “As silly as it sounds, the whole thing gave me reasons to smile during an extremely difficult time,” she says. Chonky fans are also mailing her little shirts for Cubby to wear to help protect his fragile skin. “I still have no idea who sent some of them,” Bunting says. Enlarge ImageThe author and her own chonky cat, Archer Amanda Kooser/CNET I’ve been working on this article for a while. My big boy Archer has curled up inside his UFO-shaped cat bed under my monitor stand. He’s sleeping, but there’s now a tiny paw appearing from beneath my keyboard holder, reaching out daintily for the front of my sweater. “Pay attention to me!” I shift my position so his teensy sister Delia can sit on my lap. I visit Chonky a couple of times a day. I do it for the respite of cat pictures. I’m also here because I’m afraid of the future. My cats are over 17. I’ve known them since the day they were born in a friend’s closet as little wiggling bundles of fur, and I love them like they were carved from my own heart. They both have kidney disease. Delia is getting clumsy. Archer had a mysterious seizure some months ago. The vet calls them seniors, and I know someday, probably not too long from now, I will lose them both. As much as I lurk on Chonky, I rarely post. When the day comes that I have to say goodbye to my beautiful cats, I already know I will go to Chonky for solace. And I know a vast community of cat-loving Chonksters will be there to support me. 7
A commuter walks past the finance ministry building at dusk in New Delhi. [Representational Image].Reuters fileUnion Minister P P Chaudhary on Thursday said that more than 4.5 lakh directors will likely face disqualification, for being associated with shell companies, in a bid to fight against black money.The minister however, assured that genuine companies will not face action, but said that non-compliant companies are also destroying the image of good corporates, Economic Times reported.As the government is now putting in more effort to crackdown on shell companies, the minister said that the profile of all disqualified directors will be thoroughly examined.”It shall also be important to examine their (disqualified directors) general profile and association with other companies and the levels of their corporate governance standards,” said P P Chaudhary.Last month, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, in an attempt to improve corporate governance, has disqualified more than two lakh directors from holding posts in the companies that have defaulted loans and have failed to file their financial returns for last three years.That move pushed the total number to more than 3 lakh while cancelling the registration of another 10,000 companies. These directors will not be allowed to hold seats in other companies and might have to resign from their posts soon in the future.In September, the Registrar of Companies (ROC) had struck off the names of 2.1 lakh companies after about 2.97 lakh companies received notice for not filing returns and not completing other formalities related to compliance.The government had also frozen their bank accounts to check any siphoning off of funds.According to the reports, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) also registered a case against 19 companies which reportedly sent more than Rs 424 crore in foreign remittances via 700 transactions, in what is being suspected to be money-laundering through shell companies.In August, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) asked stock exchanges to take action against 331 shell companies after the Ministry of Corporate Affairs named these shell firms on its list for their engagement in money laundering and tax evasion. SEBIReutersSEBI, last month updated its board on action being taken against suspected shell firms, vowing to take appropriate steps against those indulging in falsification of books. The regulator also told its board that steps were being taken to fasttrack all pending cases in a timebound manner, especially those where final orders have got delayed for more than a year since interim directions were passed.Such a heavy crackdown on various companies involved in loan defaulting and money laundering has intensified after the demonetisation drive, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped off Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes last year to wipe out black money from the system in order to counter corruption.
Nurul Islam NahidThe education ministry will request the Facebook authorities to halt operation of the social media during the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and the equivalent examinations, in order to stop question paper leaks.Education minister Nurul Islam Nahid said this at a press conference at the secretariat on Tuesday. The exams are scheduled to begin on 1 February.”We will request those who run Facebook to keep its operation for a limited time,” he said in reply to a query if the Facebook would be restricted from the beginning until the end of the exams.The minister pointed out that it would not be necessary to keep the Facebook on the days, other than the dates of examinations.”Packets of question papers would be opened only on the day of exams, not on other dates. The operation of the Facebook may remain suspended for a certain period (in order to stop leaks of question papers,” he said.The minister mentioned that his ministry had already talked to the information communication and technology (ICT) ministry and Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) for taking necessary measure.Plagued by repeated leaks of question papers of public examinations, the education ministry has now been “desperate” and “aggressive” in preventing the leaks, Nahid said.Terming the coaching centres the ‘dens’ of question paper leaks, the minister said the centres will be kept closed until the exams are held.The examinees will also have to enter the centres at least half an hour before the exam, he iterated.The minister said government officials will be kept at the centres to monitor if the packets of question papers are opened half an hour before the beginning of the exams.
As history has it, the purest and selfless form of love is symbolic to the love that was there between Radha and Krishna, which transcends all kinds of love relationships that have been formed till date. A solo exhibition titled ‘Empowering Love’, which is devoted to the romantic (divine) love of Radha and Krishna, by Ritu Gupta, will be held from March 15 – 19 in the national Capital. The artworks interpret Krishna’s youthful dalliances with the gopis and the loving interplay between God and the human soul. The allegorical love of Radha has found expressions in these works of Ritu, where the reference is implicit and subtle. Radha’s rapturous love for Krishna and their relationship is interpreted as the quest for union with the divine. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The fine viewer would be able to appreciate the work where the artist shows a certain mastery over the understanding of the human body in composition and design terms. Also, her urge to play takes over as she focuses on backgrounds, detailing and decorative motifs. There will be 11 artworks which will be on display at the Convention Foyer of India Habitat Centre.With the use of vibrant colours and fine detailing, the artist does away with traditional iconography and instead chooses to focus on the mood of lovers. The artist says, “This series has very close references to the late Guler and Kangra School of art but not so much in treatment of foliage, moonlight and the romantic mood. I have made this traditional narrative of my own.” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWith these works one can see Ritu’s journey as an artist. She has begun to settle down into an understanding of human form which is heavily inspired by the supple slenderness seen in the medieval Indian styles of art ranging from Chola bronzes to Kangra paintings. However, a key feature to note is that the artist does not seem to be making a school or style centric adaptation. Instead, one is reminded of the early 20th century Bengal revivalists and their understanding of an authentic (traditional) Indian form in terms of being soft, supple and feminine as against the hard(er) masculine European understanding of human body. Beginning as a self-taught artist, Ritu’s journey into the world of art is visible in her passion to paint, decorate, explore and express. Her paintings are influenced by traditional art forms and culture in a style that is very much of her own. Though the works are her medium to explore and understand Indian tradition, the intimate viewer can identify with the artists understanding of childhood, masculinity, femininity, union and desire.Ritu creates gorgeous, traditional, devotional art with fine intricately detailed, multi-layered works filled with rich colors and dream-like background with her signature texture and imagery. In her series of ‘Divine Goddess’, with the use of bright colours coupled with the wonderful freedom of brushstrokes and spontaneity in forms, she has created works that are truly magical, inspiring, spiritual and alluring. Her artworks are like a visual treat with minute detailing of the clothes, jewelry, backgrounds and birds. Ritu Gupta’s paintings are identified by a trademark which is registered as ‘Shades of India’.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 Travelweek Group Share Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Sunwing has added Cayo Largo, Cuba to its growing roster of destinations from Toronto, available starting this winter.The tour operator is expected to be the only carrier to offer direct flights between Toronto and Cayo Largo this winter, which will operate Fridays between Dec. 15, 2017 and April 13, 2018. With this new flight service, clients departing from Toronto will be able to choose between eight different destinations in Cuba.“Cuba has always been a favourite choice amongst Canadians for winter escapes, so we’re very pleased to be adding a direct service to Cayo Largo to provide Torontonians more choice and greater accessibility in reaching their ideal beach getaway this coming winter,” said Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations.Craig Bradbrook, Vice President, Aviation Services at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, added: “We are delighted to see the addition of Cayo Largo to Sunwing and Toronto Pearson’s growing list of sun destinations. Sunwing shares our passion for putting the passenger first in everything that we do, and we’re proud to be partnering with them to bring the sun and fun of Cayo Largo to our travellers’ doorsteps.”More news: AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsIn Cayo Largo, Sunwing offers a wide range of accommodation packages. Clients can stay in bungalows on stilts at Sol Cayo Largo, known for its ecological excursions, while families with little ones will love the shallow waters at Hotel Pelicano. Also available are Iberostar Playa Blanca, located just five minutes from Playa Sirena beach, as well as Villa Iguana, ideal for couples and singles seeking a quiet getaway.Just off the southern coast of the Cuban mainland, Cayo Largo boasts over 25 kilometres of beaches, 32 diving sites and over 200 sunken ships that date back to the 16th century. All Sunwing packages include return flights on Sunwing Airlines. Tags: Cuba, New Routes, Sunwing Sunwing adds new flights to Cayo Largo, Cuba