Meet Two Teenage Entrepreneurs

Say hello to two teenage brothers, Drew and Jamie Frank, from El Paso,Texas. I have been recently promoting them. They have been giving away designer sneakers and socks to thousands of less fortunate students in several cities around the world during the last few years. They are quite remarkable.


It all started with needy students near the Texas border in El Paso. Drew (16) and Jamie (15) Frank noticed a few years ago that too many teenagers had trouble walking to school because of holes in their shoes.


They decided to do something about it. They took their Bar Mitzvah gift money, $25,000, and bought sneakers and socks for hundreds of poverty-stricken kids in their hometown. When asked why they weren’t giving away the least expensive sneakers possible, the brothers said it was so important to present teenagers with something that would make them feel proud, confident, and motivated to achieve success. That is so insightful.


Drew and Jamie also founded a charity called the “Kickpin Foundation” to expand their efforts worldwide. At the same time, they created a pop-up store in El Paso so young people can come by to see the collection of sneakers. They have given away 5,000 sneakers so far and this holiday season will be a record breaker.

My goal is to get them national recognition. We will score high.

Could You Be A Mystery Writer?

This week’s “Lying on the Beach” podcast

Neil Plakcy is a professor at Broward College and the author of more than 30 published novels. He has also edited and contributed to many anthologies.

For the past 20+ years, Neil has been able to publish about four books a year, from a gay detective series to the very popular series of mysteries about a golden retriever.

His most recent series of books are Deadly Labors, a police procedural mystery set in Honolulu, and the latest in his golden retriever mystery series called Dog’s Green Earth.

“Lying on the Beach” podcast, by Steve Greenberg and Lois Whitman-Hess, is thrilled to have the unbelievably productive author and professor Neil Plakcy join us. Click the link below.




The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, which is only a few blocks from where we live, was the talk of Art Basel. The museum wanted to explore and discuss Jews with tattoos.

In order to accomplish this, The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, showcased the photography work of Zachary Balber. As you entered the exhibit area, the following statement was on display.

“This photographic series is created through the lens of Zachary Balber, a noted, young, Florida Jewish photographer whose works are in the collections of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art , the Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Art FIU and numerous private collections through the United States.

“The photos present images of men, all Jewish themselves, who whether disenfranchised, marginalized, tormented by hurt or simply for vanity, sought to change their outward appearance.

”Jewish law has prohibited bodily modifications, like tattoos and piercings for centuries. The ban has even weightier implications since the holocaust, when Jews were tattooed against their will in Auschwitz. Still, an ever increasing number of Jews are being tattooed as “inking” becomes more mainstream in both American and Israeli culture. Some young Jews see tattooing as a tool to connect to their past or to express their identities.

”Balber engaged the subjects of the photo series in addressing their own Jewish identities by including his personal Bar Mitzvah Kippah in all of the photos. Some of the photos in the series depict members of Balber’s family who influenced his search for his Jewish identity. Of note, Balber himself has no tattoos.

”We present Tamin to address this relevant topic and to encourage discussion of both the rules and the reality.”

Zachary Balber

Let Your Motobag Do The Walking

Modobag is the world’s first carry-on suitcase you can ride. No more running to the gate. Now you can get there in a much more efficient manner. This is great news for seniors who feel travel just requires too much exertion.

Modobag will be at CES in Las Vegas this January demonstrating its motorized, rideable capabilities. Modobag claims it will get you to your destination up to three times faster than walking.

The Modobag features dual USB charging ports, an LED display, and charger. It is powered by a patented, titanium Nanosafe™ battery system that complies to FAA, TSA and IATA.

To find out more about the Modobag go to:





Now get ready for the price. It’s quite expensive, but just remember the advantages.


Fountainhead Residency Front Page Miami Herald

(If you can’t access the story through the link, I copied and pasted it for you below).

If you live in Miami, I wish you would join The Fountainhead Residency I am a board member. My girlfriend, Ruth Greenberg, recently told me it was one of her best investments this year. Not only is she helping the arts, but she, and husband Howard, are now invited to several events a month where they are meeting and making the most interesting friends. 

There are all levels of financial support. An expensive meal for two will cost you more money than a membership. This is far more satisfying. Thank you


Come to Art Basel for $120K bananas taped to the wall. Stay for art rooted in Miami.



Until Kathryn Mikesell met and married her husband, Dan, she had never set foot in an art gallery or museum.

So how did she come to be, 21 years later, one of the most recognized, hugged, air-kissed and sought-after VVIPs when the doors swung open on Wednesday for the latest edition of America’s premier art fair, Art Basel Miami Beach?

The story comes in bits and pieces as the kinetic Mikesell makes her smiling, determined, embracing way through the floor of the Miami Beach Convention Center and its dozens of gallery booths during the exclusive preview, which draws some of the world’s top collectors and museum mavens.

And to follow Mikesell for a couple of hours provides a fresh inside look at the massive fair and its workings: What may to an outsider seem as little more than a cold market where fabulous or outlandish works of art trade for millions of dollars is, at the same time, a small world of warm personal and artistic connections where the young host city, Miami, has increasingly earned its way into the innermost circles.

For two decades, after discovering art and embracing art as life-affirming passion in their adopted hometown, Kathryn and Dan Mikesell have played a key behind-the-scenes role as patrons and supporters in fostering Miami’s emergent reputation as a global center for art — not just as a place to buy or sell or show off art, but as a place to make it.

And on Wednesday, it showed.

Kathryn Mikesell, co-founder and director of the Fountainhead Residency for artists in Miami, looks at a collage work by program alum and rising star Ebony G. Patterson during the Art Basel fair at the Miami Beach Convention Center. (MATIAS J. OCNER |

Kathryn was stopped every few steps by a happy greeting, a request for tips on art and artists or a quick “hi” as, floor map in hand, she sets out to meet up with members of her “family” — the artists and gallery owners from around the world that she and her husband have nurtured, encouraged and connected over the years through their Fountainhead Residency program and related endeavors.

At more booths than you can track, a delighted Mikesell points out a painting, sculpture or installation by one of the 400 artists from 45 countries she and her husband have hosted since 2008 in Miami’s Morningside neighborhood, or the local artists who have rented a low-cost studio from them at their Fountainhead Studios in nearby Little Haiti.

For a young emerging or a mid-career artist, making it to the hyper-competitive Basel fair is a significant achievement, and for the Mikesells it’s a point of special pride to have Fountainhead alums prominently represented on the Basel show floor and at several satellite fairs during art week.

“This is what we love,” Kathryn said. “I’m really here to support our artists. For me, it’s about people. People look forward to getting together to view art, to talk about the world today, and get inspired.”

A few required things, as it turns out, are comfortable shoes, a sturdy constitution, an uncanny memory for names, artworks and faces, and an ability to absorb massive amounts of visual stimulation.

At Berlin’s Peres Projects booth, multimedia artist and recent Fountainhead residency alum Austin Lee, out of Yale and New York, is showing a colorful foam and resin sculpture that sold quickly for $150,000. At Chicago gallerist Kavi Gupta’s booth, news that a mixed-media work by Devan Shimoyama, another alum, sold to a museum brought a “Yay!” and a fist pump from Mikesell.

The James Fuentes gallery booth out of New York is dedicated exclusively to elaborately worked paintings depicting colorful, shadowy figures by Fountainhead alum Didier William, a Haitian-born artist and graduate of Miami’s New World School of the Arts.

“He’s amazing, he just sits and draws all day,” Mikesell said.

Kathryn Mikesell, co-founder and director of the Fountainhead Residency for artists in Miami, greets progam alum Didier William, during the Art Basel fair VIP opening at the Miami Beach Convention Center. (MATIAS J. OCNER |

At the residency, artists get living and working space for a month to produce work and, just as significantly, introductions to gallery owners and collectors. Not incidentally, the artists are encouraged to get to know the real Miami.

At the Barro gallery of Buenos Aires booth, artist and current Fountainhead resident Gabriel Chaile, who is from Argentina, is showing four pastel drawings and a sculpture — all made in Miami, like several other sculptures he has on view at the Faena District in mid-Miami Beach during art week.

“It has been an incredible reception and experience,” Chaile said after a warm hug from Mikesell. “Kathryn had us meet important people, and the chance to live and share with other artists has also been a great opportunity.”

In Miami, Chaile said, he’s enjoyed not just making art, but riding the residency’s bicycle around and taking the jitneys used by many residents of Little Haiti to get around, getting to know the city’s black working class.

In conversations with artists and curators, he noted, he’s learned how the country’s history of racial segregation is reflected in the art world, where until recently black artists failed often to receive the same recognition as white peers.

The Mikesells’ supporting role goes far beyond the one month of the residency to helping them forge critical, career-defining connections . They keep track of alums, introduce their work to collectors, institutions and galleries. And it works the other way round, too: gallery owners and collectors will recommend artists for the residency. On Wednesday, Kathryn met the Argentinian owner of Barro, Federico Curutchet, thanks to the Chaile connection. 

Kathryn Mikesell, at right, co-founder and director of the Fountainhead Residency for artists in Miami, talks with current program resident Gabriel Chaile, center, about his sculpture on exhibit at the Barro gallery booth during the Art Basel fair VIP opening at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Chaile, from Argentina, made the piece in Miami during his residency. At left is gallerist Federico Curutchet. (MATIAS J. OCNER |

At the Art Basel fair, the couple are also making new acquaintances, learning of new work by artists they may want to support — or make a part of their growing collection.

Kathryn and her husband both worked in high-tech when they met. Dan, whose family had art and whose father, a retired lawyer, now paints full time, brought two pieces of art into the marriage.

For Kathryn, discovering art was a life-changing experience. While Dan kept his day job, she now works full time running their non-profit. Their own collection, meanwhile, has grown to just over 500 pieces, many of which fill their home.

On Wednesday at the fair, Kathryn kept a lookout for work they might like to buy, and put a few pieces on reserve. She also texted friends phone pics and videos of work she thought they might be interested in. Some buttonhole her during the fair, asking for recommendations on artists and booths they should seek out.

One installation that caught her eye — and that drew a crowd of fairgoers snapping iPhone photos — featured beaded sculptures by Fountainhead alum Raúl de Nieves at the Company gallery booth. His pieces shared the booth, lined with a pin shag carpet, with life-size resin figures decked out in vintage outfits by his friend and colleague Cajsa von Zeipel.

The booth prompted a recollection of de Nieves working at the Fountainhead house, filled with his paper cutouts, sequins and candy he was using for an installation.

“It was like an explosion,” she recalled happily. “Fantastic.”

Kathryn Mikesell, co-founder and director of the Fountainhead Residency for artists in Miami, looks at sculptures in an installation by program alum Raul de Nieves and Cajsa von Zeipel during the Art Basel fair VIP opening at the Miami Beach Convention Center. (MATIAS J. OCNER |

Mikesell videoed the scene to send to a collecting friend, while another friend who happened by snapped a picture of Kathryn as she took in the booth.

The interconnections and coincidences often multiply in unpredictable ways.

Another Fountainhead alum, Deborah Roberts, has a large collage depicting three children on view at the Vielmetter gallery booth. During her residency, Mikesell recalled, Roberts became close friends with photographer Genevieve Gaignard. The gallery picked up both artists to represent shortly after.

Collector and developer Jorge Perez, meanwhile, sad Gaignard’s politically charged photos and purchased one, now exhibited at his new El Espacio 23 space in Allapattah. Perez also purchased four pieces made in Miami during a Fountainhead residency by L.A. artist Umar Rashid. 

“What you’re seeing is, it’s all interwoven,” Mikesell said. “It goes all ways, and that’s what’s great.”

What she and her husband’s own experience has shown, Mikesell said, and what they try to impart to artists is that Miami is a young city that’s still “full of opportunity.”

“If you want to create something here, you can,” she said. All around her, meanwhile, the business of Basel — the selling of art — was brisk, even if it lacked some of the breathless, frenzied first-day buying of years past.

Among the most attention drawing pieces on offer: Three bananas, affixed to the wall of the Emmanuel Perrotin gallery with silver electrical tape, by controversial conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan, who had not shown at an art fair in 15 years.

Yes, these are actual edible bananas — priced at $120,000 each. Entitled “Comedian,” the works come with a certificate; it’s up to the owner to replace the banana as needed. Two had sold by afternoon, Perrotin said in an email.

“Cattelan is back!” Perrotin said. Most galleries send out a list of works they’ll be showing to their regular clients, and many buyers arrive with works already reserved so they can confirm their interest after seeing the art in person.

For gallerist Luhring Austine,though, the practice paid off with the sale of “Cupboard IX” by Simone Lee, which sold to a museum. The same was true of Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, whose clients came in Wednesday to confirm they were buying “Sing Sang Zero,” a multi-ton 2011 sculpture by Georg Baselitz priced at $3.9 million.

The story repeated itself throughout the fair. Within an hour of the fair’s opening, the five paintings by Miami artist Tomm El-Saieh at Central Fine, a Miami Beach gallery — priced $60,000 each — were gone; two had been presold and the other three were on reserve. “We’ve sold a lot of important works,” said gallerist Bennett Roberts of Roberts Projects — including a $285,000 painting by Barack Obama-portraitist Kehinde Wiley. 

The art world’s current fascination with black artists was also evident.

The Miriane Ibrahim booth, devoted entirely to the work of Amoaka Boafo, was priced at $25,000 to $40,000. And an 18-foot-wide tryptich — a drawing by Kara Walker — was offered for $575,000 at Sikkema Jenkins of New York. At the Monique Meloche gallery, two works by another Fountainhead alum, Ebony Patterson, priced $65,000, were reserved at midday.

Kathryn Mikesell, co-founder and director of the Fountainhead Residency for artists in Miami, hugs program alum Ebony G. Patterson during the Art Basel fair VIP opening at the Miami Beach Convention Center. (MATIAS J. OCNER |

It was the gallery’s first time in Art Basel, having previously shown at Untitled. And while gallerist Monique Meloche said she sold well at Untitled, being in ‘‘the big fair offers a level of validation. When you’re invited to this party there’s a level of gravitas. We are meeting many more people.”

Fredric Snitzer’s booth resembles a gallery opening for another of Miami’s favorite artistic sons, Hernan Bas. Snitzer even gave the display at his booth a name, the way he would typically title an exhibition: “Distinctly Floridian.”

“All of his work is about Florida and growing up in Florida and the wacky iconography of Florida,” Snitzer said of Bas. The prices range from $70,500 for a 24 x 20-inch acrylic on canvas painting to $82,000 for a 72 x 51.25-inch acrylic on paper. The showstopper is a six-panel folding screen that measures 6 x 9 feet and lists for $300,000.

Reminiscent of a 19th century still life but with a Florida twist, Bas featured two dead flamingos in the center of the screen. An alligator skull, a basket of stone crabs, bowls of oranges, starfish and birds of paradise delight the viewer with riot of color splashed across the screen.

Blue chips were abundant, including multi-million dollar works by Pablo Picasso, Fernand Leger, Sam Francis, Donald Judd, Roy Lichtenstein, drawings by Frank Stella, and a spectacular photo collage by James Rosenquist.

The 209 fair brought the new Meridians sector of large-scale installations (with an audio guide) and 20 first-time participants, in part thanks to a new Art Basel sliding-scale pricing arrangement that makes the fair more affordable to newer galleries.

And unlike the last few years, construction was nonexistent, resulting in a flow that felt breezy and comfortable.

“It’s a very good atmosphere,” said Marc Spiegler, Art Basel global director. “What’s important is that galleries of every type are doing well.”


BP-Lytic: A Novel Cuffless Blood Pressure Monitoring Device

If you ever had blood pressure issues you are going to be interested in a new product that is under development.

The product (patent pending) is a wearable device that can continuously and accurately monitor blood pressure using photoplethysmography.

Click here to find out what this is.

All this is done without a cuff and has the ability to continuously monitor blood pressure around the clock, yes even during your sleep. This is super important when trying to anticipate strokes and heart attacks.

Now comes the biggest surprise. This new innovative device is being developed by a 16 year old. Robin Raskin, founder of the “Young Innovators To Watch” program for CES, discovered Vardhan Agrawal for her scholarship program.


CATEGORIES 2020 CES Entries 
SCHOOL Cupertino High School 
LOCATION Cupertino, CA 
CREATOR/AGE Vardhan Agrawal, 16

Vardhan Agrawal’s website explains, “Hypertension affects over 75 million Americans today. The new device uses photoplethysmography, a technique that relies on the fact that blood absorbs green light. The device shines a green light into the user’s skin and measures the light reflected back by the blood. When the heart beats, more of the light is absorbed. At a sampling rate of 150 Hz, this outputs a PPG signal.

“The device converts the signal into a series of images using a continuous wavelet transform, which conveys important information (derivatives, scale, and rate of change) about a signal in the form of an image for further processing later.

“The device processes the images in a convolutional neural network to recognize characteristics of the waveform and produces a blood pressure reading.

“Not only does the product feature state-of-the art technology under-the-hood; it’s also been designed with the user experience and a sleek form factor in mind. The device can be comfortably worn throughout the day for “set-and-forget” blood pressure measurement.”

Right now the device is scheduled to be priced at $49, less than half the price of a traditional blood pressure cuff. I will let you know when the product becomes a reality.

How Would You Like To Be Remembered?

I may be unreasonable, but why do print and broadcast reporters ask an older, accomplished person “How would you like to be remembered?” I find it offensive and rude. I’m sure many of you may not agree, but I get so upset when I hear that question.

Why don’t writers ask that question to younger, famous people? The fact that it’s always used on senior people only makes me feel that they expect a person in their 70’s to die soon.

Not so fast. Older people in their 70’s and 80’s are not checking out anytime soon. In this day and age, we can last way into our 90’s. Don’t rush us. We have a lot of living to do.

To really understand what I am talking about, watch the interview Jackie Nespral, TV broadcaster, NBC 6, Miami, did with Jorge Perez, one of the most successful real estate developers in the United States. She didn’t mean any harm. However, it just seems like the end is near.

What You Need to Know About Miami’s Art Basel

A “Lying on the Beach” podcast

This is one of the most exciting weeks for art lovers in the United States. Artists, collectors, gallerists, writers, photographers, and so on, are all flocking to Miami for Art Basel, the most extensive art fair in the country with over 200 of the world’s leading international modern and contemporary art galleries displaying the works of over 4,000 artists. In addition to Art Basel, there are countless satellite exhibits all over Miami where you can find young artists to museum-caliber masterpieces.

We are very excited to have one of the major art forces in Miami, on ”Lying in the Beach,” who is going to tell us more about Miami Art Week. Kathryn Mikesell, and her husband Dan, are co-founders of Fountainhead Residency, an artistic home away from home in Miami where artists get the opportunity to create and connect with other artistic talent from around the world.

Fountainhead has hosted over 390 artists from more than 45 countries. After 12 years of existence, Fountainhead is thrilled that over 100 of its alumni are now exhibiting in Miami Art Week.

Welcome Kathryn to “Lying on the Beach.”

TikTok Is A Social Media Crowd Pleaser

I feel it’s my duty to make sure you know what “TikTok” is. It’s the biggest rage among social media users. You don’t want to tell others you are not in the know. It’s like saying you don’t know who Mr. Rogers is.

“TikTok” is a social media video app for creating and sharing short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos.

Top 10 Countries with the Largest TikTok Database

• India – 119.3 million users.

• USA – 39.6 million users.

• Turkey – 28.4 million users.

• Russia – 24.3 million users.

• Mexico – 19.7 million users.

• Brazil – 18.4 million users.

• Pakistan – 11.8 million users.

• Saudi Arabia – 9.7 million users.

“TikTok” was created by ByteDance, a Chinese software company. Many people in the United States are very concerned that the Chinese are spying on us because of the information they are collecting from U.S. users.

Shelly Palmer, an advertising, marketing and technology consultant, recently wrote an article about “TikTok” that explains why the app is insanely popular and details the security issues. Palmer warns that TikTok is wildly addictive.

“No matter your age, your stage, how jaded you are… resistance is futile. You will become addicted to ‘TikTok’ within minutes. Then, the app will begin its symbiotic relationship with your brain, and then… it’s over. You will become a full-fledged ‘TikTok’ addict and, as far as I know, there is no cure.”

Read more here: