Out of the Closet, on the Trading Floor
Reisner co-founded Parkview Developers with partner Mati Weiderpass in 2003. Reisner had a 15 year career on Wall Street with Salomon Brothers and then Bank of America where he was a Managing Director running a $200 million derivatives business. Mr. Reisner was also the Vice President and Co-founder of Watch World International, a nationwide chain of 119 specialty stores that was sold to Sunglass Hut International in June 2000. Watch World was as much a real estate as it was a retail play. All 119 stores were planned, designed and constructed by Mr. Reisner and Mr. Weiderpass.
Topic: The business of coming out
Ian Reisner: I joined Salomon Brothers in 1990, this was the time when John Goodfriend was still there; this was the time that the book Liar’s Poker came out. I worked on a fixed income trading floor. There were big swinging dicks was established at that point. I worked in the most machismo masculine straight difficult environment. So bad. There were many times I wanted to quit because of the discriminatory behavior, the comments, the notes left on my desk. Fortunately, at one point, I came out to my boss and it turns out he was extremely homo-friendly and he was quite shocked that I was experiencing such a difficult time on the trading floor at Salomon Brothers. And what he did is he had a meeting with the entire trading floor one day when I went home and told people that in his environment, on this trading floor, there was going to be no discrimination, there wasn't going to be no making anybody uncomfortable. And Salomon was a very diverse culture; there were many minorities of every type working on the trading floor, there were many woman, and for that matter there were some gay people as well. I was the first person that I know of that actually came out on the Salomon trading floor and I was known as a gay guy, a gay professional, I was also a top salesman and I think people respected that I was so successful.
Coming out ended up being a good experience for me at Salomon and I was comfortable being out and forward about it and I think my clients for that matter, many of them knew I were gay and it worked fine and I would even get invitations to parties, both corporate as well as personal parties where my significant other was invited. My partner was invited to corporate outings. I was proud to be a leader in the gay community of being out and successful.
After I came out to my boss and in a very direct fashion he made it clear to everybody on the Salomon trading floor that making somebody that's gay uncomfortable would be totally unacceptable, it became much easier to work there. I think people generally speaking are not homophobes, they just go with the stereotypes but once they realize that one is among them it all falls in place. I think the same thing in the Army; everybody thinks that gays in the military are going to cause -- the opposite of cohesion. They are going to disrupt unit behavior, but it turns out most people don't have an issue with it but everybody thinks somebody else has an issue with it. So people don't have an issue, generally speaking, with gays and we're in a very liberal city in New York anyhow.
Question: What challenges do you face as a gay entrepreneur?
Ian Reisner: Any troubles starting a company being gay entrepreneur. In the real estate development business, being gay has been a bit of a challenge. Most of the people in the construction industry are pretty straight, pretty tough and I think that they might view gay men as a client as easier. We've had to be firm working with our construction crews and to make it clear that we're as tough and as nimble as any straight or gay businessman.
Question: What advantages do gay entrepreneurs have?
Ian Reisner: I think it is true that gay men, generally speaking, have the design gene, the designers touch. And being gay, I think, has helped us; we understand people's aesthetic wants, dreams, and desires and we're able to offer that product. I'm not sure if it's because we're gay but being gay I think has given us an aesthetic sensibility that's appreciated by gay and straight people. And I think that's been part of our success.
Question: Who is your favorite gay icon?
Ian Reisner: My favorite gay icon and why? This just shows I don't think about people gay or straight; I just think about people that are talented. My favorite gay icon would be the Head of the City Council in New York, Christine Quinn. Number two to the Mayor, talented, smart, open, out, vocal; that is a great icon. She's a real leader in the community, in the gay community, and she's a real spiritual leader in the city and she's a real leader of the city. So Christine Quinn would be my favorite gay icon.
Recorded on October 14, 2009
Real estate developer Ian Reisner spent 15 years at Salomon Brothers. He remembers the consequences of coming out to his boss. This video is part of a "Profiles in Entrepreneurship" series with Start Out, which promotes entrepreneurship in the LGBT community. http://www.startout.org/
Tea and coffee have known health benefits, but now we know they can work together.
Credit: NIKOLAY OSMACHKO from Pexels
- A new study finds drinking large amounts of coffee and tea lowers the risk of death in some adults by nearly two thirds.
- This is the first study to suggest the known benefits of these drinks are additive.
- The findings are great, but only directly apply to certain people.
Maybe you should enjoy this article with a cup of coffee or tea.<p> The <a href="https://drc.bmj.com/content/8/1/e001252?T=AU" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">study</a> involved 4,923 type 2 diabetics living in Japan. The average participant was 66 years old. All of the participants were taken from the rolls of the Fukuoka Diabetes Registry, a study geared at learning about the effects of new treatments and lifestyle changes on the health of diabetics. <br> <br> The participants filled out questionnaires concerning their health, diet, habits, and other factors. Among the questions were two focused on determining how much green tea or coffee, if any, the participants consumed over the course of a week. The health of the participants was recorded for five years. During this time, 309 of the test subjects died from a variety of causes. <br> <br> Subjects who drank more than one cup of tea or coffee per day demonstrated lower odds of dying than those who had none. Those who consumed the most tea and coffee, more than four and two cups a day, respectively, enjoyed the most significant reductions in their risk of death. This level of consumption was associated with a 40 percent lower risk of <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201020190129.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">death</a>. </p><p>Most interestingly, the effects of drinking tea and coffee appear to combine to reduce risk even further. Those who reported drinking two or three cups of tea a day and two or more cups of coffee were 51 percent less likely to die during the study, while those who drank a whopping four or more cups of tea and two or more cups of coffee had a 63 percent lower risk of <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/diabetes-coffee-and-green-tea-might-reduce-death-risk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">death</a>. </p>
So, should I start swimming in a vat of coffee and green tea?<iframe width="730" height="430" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LY0E-JQxeoY" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe><p> Not quite. </p><p> The primary takeaway from this study is that Japanese adults with type 2 diabetes who drink a lot of green tea and/or coffee die less often than similar people who do not. If this effect is caused by something in the drink, lifestyle choices people who drink that much tea all make, or something else remains unknown. The finding must be considered an association at this point. <br> <br> The eye-popping reductions in mortality rates are compared to the risk of death of others in the study. The people who died reported drinking less tea and coffee than those who lived. Unless you have several demographic and conditional similarities to the subjects of this study, you probably won't suddenly be at a two-thirds lower risk of death than your peers because you drink green tea. </p><p> Like all studies that depend on self-reporting, it is also possible that people misstated how much they consumed any one item. The study also did not look into other factors like socioeconomic status or education level, also known to impact death rates and potentially linked to coffee and tea consumption. </p><p> However, it is yet another study in the pile that suggests that <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-13-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">coffee</a> and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-green-tea" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">green tea</a> are good for you. That much is increasingly <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/health-benefits-linked-to-drinking-tea" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">agreed</a><a href="https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/health-benefits-coffee" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> upon</a>. This study also suggests the benefits are additive, which is a new development.</p><p><br> So, while it isn't time to start the IV drip of green tea, a cup or two probably won't <a href="https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20201022/coffee-green-tea-might-extend-life-for-folks-with-type-2-diabetes" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">hurt</a>. </p>
But most city dwellers weren't seeing the science — they were seeing something out of Blade Runner.
On Sept. 9, many West Coast residents looked out their windows and witnessed a post-apocalyptic landscape: silhouetted cars, buildings and people bathed in an overpowering orange light that looked like a jacked-up sunset.
A study finds 1.8 billion trees and shrubs in the Sahara desert.
- AI analysis of satellite images sees trees and shrubs where human eyes can't.
- At the western edge of the Sahara is more significant vegetation than previously suspected.
- Machine learning trained to recognize trees completed the detailed study in hours.
Why this matters<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU2MDQ1OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTkyODg5NX0.O3S2DRTyAxh-JZqxGKj9KkC6ndZAloEh4hKhpcyeFDQ/img.jpg?width=980" id="3770d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3c27b79d4c0600fb6ebb82e650cabec0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Area in which trees were located
Credit: University of Copenhagen<p>As important as trees are in fighting climate change, scientists need to know what trees there are, and where, and the study's finding represents a significant addition to the global tree inventory.</p><p>The vegetation Brandt and his colleagues have identified is in the Western Sahara, a region of about 1.3 million square kilometers that includes the desert, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahel" target="_blank">the Sahel</a>, and the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/subhumid-zones" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">sub-humid zones</a> of West Africa.</p><p>These trees and shrubs have been left out of previous tabulations of carbon-processing worldwide forests. Says Brandt, "Trees outside of forested areas are usually not included in climate models, and we know very little about their carbon stocks. They are basically a white spot on maps and an unknown component in the global carbon cycle."</p><p>In addition to being valuable climate-change information, the research can help facilitate strategic development of the region in which the vegetation grows due to a greater understanding of local ecosystems.</p>
Trained for trees<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU2MDQ3MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNTk5NTI3NH0.fR-n1I2DHBIRPLvXv4g0PVM8ciZwSLWorBUUw2wc-Vk/img.jpg?width=980" id="e02c0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="79955b13661dca8b6e19007935129af1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Credit: Martin Brandt/University of Copenhagen<p>There's been an assumption that there's hardly enough vegetation outside of forested areas to be worth counting in areas such as this one. As a result the study represents the first time a significant number of trees — likely in the hundreds of millions when shrubs are subtracted from the overall figure — have been catalogued in the drylands region.</p><p>Members of the university's Department of Computer Science trained a machine-learning module to recognize trees by feeding it thousands of pictures of them. This training left the AI be capable of spotting trees in the tiny details of satellite images supplied by NASA. The task took the AI just hours — it would take a human years to perform an equivalent analysis.</p><p>"This technology has enormous potential when it comes to documenting changes on a global scale and ultimately, in contributing towards global climate goals," says co-author Christian Igel. "It is a motivation for us to develop this type of beneficial artificial intelligence."</p><p>"Indeed," says Brandt says, "I think it marks the beginning of a new scientific era."</p>
Looking ahead and beyond<p>The researchers hope to further refine their AI to provide a more detailed accounting of the trees it identifies in satellite photos.</p><p>The study's senior author, Rasmus Fensholt, says, "we are also interested in using satellites to determine tree species, as tree types are significant in relation to their value to local populations who use wood resources as part of their livelihoods. Trees and their fruit are consumed by both livestock and humans, and when preserved in the fields, trees have a positive effect on crop yields because they improve the balance of water and nutrients."</p><p>Ahead is an expansion of the team's tree hunt to a larger area of Africa, with the long-term goal being the creation of a more comprehensive and accurate global database of trees that grow beyond the boundaries of forests.</p>
Nazi supporters held huge rallies and summer camps for kids throughout the United States in the 1930s.
- During the 1930s, thousands of Americans sympathized with the Nazis, holding huge rallies.
- The rallies were organized by the American German Bund, which wanted to spread Nazi ideology.
- Nazi supporters also organized summer camps for kids to teach them their values.
A Bund parade in New York, October 30, 1939.
Credit: Library of Congress
Credit: Herald Tribune
Postcards from Camp Siegfried