A Writer, A Painter, A Fashion Designer

One of the best podcasts ever even though Gabriel Byrne barely lets Mitchell Kaplan speak. The whole talk was fascinating. Gerald Posner listen to what GB says about Pharmaceutical companies. GB also talks about being molested. Buy the book too.

Gabriel Byrne on Tracing His Memories Through Past and Present, Fact and Imagination
The Literary Life with Mitchell Kaplan

On today’s episode of The Literary Life, Mitchell Kaplan talks to Gabriel Byrne about his new book, Walking with Ghosts, out now from Grove Press. ____________________ This episode of The Literary Life with Mitchell Kaplan was recorded between Miami and Maine. Subscribe now on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever else you find your podcasts! Gabriel Byrne was born in Dublin and has starred in over 80 films for some of the cinema’s leading directors. He won a Golden Globe for his performance on HBO’s In Treatment. On Broadway he won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and has been nominated twice for the Tony Award. He lives in Manhattan and Maine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-literary-life-with-mitchell-kaplan/id1433854266?i=1000508742203



Jayda Knight’s Creative Space

Jayda Knight’s art studio party was a very big success. Big crowd. See Jayda shows off her fashionista dress. Her father is the cutie in peach and real estate developer Mel Schlesser is with us below.

6ft of Space painting.


Fashion For The Daring

The fashion designer

This has been happening more and more. Fashion designers are sharing studio spaces with artists. They inspire each other.

Meet Pangea Kali Virga

“My designs are entirely one of a kind couture pieces of art that take anywhere from 40 to 140 hours to make, crafted lovingly with handmade textiles and elaborate embellishment. I am very good at taking abstract thought and making it tangible through the fabric. I style creative editorials, beautiful photographic fashion narratives for magazines where I feature emerging and established designers from around the country. I also host regular workshops in my studio to teach people how to sew. I am most proud of my brand for having a totally original viewpoint when it comes to wearable art and my ability to bring large groups of people together to create things that are bigger than what we thought we were capable of.”

Very Few People Know This About Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber

We met Dan when we first came to Miami Beach. Our dear friend, Elaine Bloom, introduced us. He’s been to our home. We’ve been to his. The following story doesn’t surprise me. He and his wife, Joan, are very community minded. This is a beautiful story that Dan wrote years ago. It starts after Dan’s Facebook post.

The Story from a Big Brother 

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber writes about his friendship with a boy from a tough Miami neighborhood, and Travis Thomas, describes how that enduring relationship brought him to Tufts.

Dan Gelber and Travis Thomas

“Our backgrounds couldn’t have been more different, but we found common interests: sports, hanging out at the mall, going to bad Steven Seagal movies,” writes Dan Gelber. Travis Thomas is now in his third year at Tufts School of Dental Medicine.

I first joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters program while a Tufts undergraduate. My roommate, Rich Edlin signed me up to help mentor twin boys from Medford. It was pretty easy. We did entirely ordinary things with the boys—watched football and played basketball or watched basketball and played football.

Somehow doing ordinary things seemed less ordinary. It felt good.

When I returned home to Miami after law school, I joined my local Big Brothers chapter, with hopes of continuing the experience. Big Brothers matched me with a six-year-old gap-toothed boy living in an impoverished Miami neighborhood I knew only as a place to avoid driving through. That’s how I met Travis.

Travis was abandoned by his father at birth, and his mother struggled with substance abuse. He bounced around among relatives, neglected so much that a great aunt eventually took him in and agreed to care for him. She became his only caretaker, and called Big Brothers Big Sisters to give Travis some additional influences in his life.


I liked having a little kid I could boss around; he liked knowing someone who could drive; we both liked having a brother. And I finally had someone to give my hand-me-downs to. Travis looked good in my oversized Tufts Jumbo T-shirts.

I also appreciated getting a view of a world I knew little of. I had an interest in public service, and while I was able to return home after our weekend outings, what Travis confronted all the time was both eye-opening and moving.

Travis’ life wasn’t easy, and his prospects were uncertain. Through the years, I watched as his childhood friends went to jail, or died, or faded into the vortex of the inner city. His aunt—whose home was surrounded by abandoned dwellings that usually hosted crack dealers—did all she could to keep those influences away from him. She also made sure Travis had faith in his life.

But I always held my breath, hoping he would escape the fate of so many others. I had become a federal prosecutor, and in that role had seen my share of people whose lives had jumped the tracks.

Dan Gelber with Travis Thomas at his college graduation. Photo: Courtesy of Dan Gelber

Dan Gelber with Travis Thomas at his college graduation. Photo: Courtesy of Dan Gelber Travis had a work ethic, but lacked a seriousness of purpose, especially about school. I tried to push and prod and even bribe, but it didn’t seem to take.

But we stuck together through the years. When I met Joan, he proudly stood by me at my wedding. He was only 13.

Over the next decade, Travis watched me grow a family and saw the joy it brought me. He saw my vintage Mustang get replaced with a Honda minivan, and Hannah Montana elbow out Steven Seagal. He held each of my infant children, and saw me embrace the responsibility of being a spouse and a parent.

But Travis couldn’t seem to find his own way. He graduated high school, but each time he enrolled in a junior college, he quickly withdrew to return to the Miami streets. Like half the kids in his neighborhood, he developed a life plan based on pursuing a career as a rap star. At best it was a pipe dream. At worst, it would lead him nowhere good.

I was beginning to lose hope. Travis was slipping away.

Then Travis met a girl and fell in love, and things seemed to change. They wanted a family, so he shelved his rap career and asked me for help getting a job. I found him a position working for a friend’s extermination company. Travis was assigned the night shift. After three nights of chasing rodents in the dark he called, told me he’d had enough and asked if he could go back to school, again.

We enrolled him at Miami Dade College with hopes he could earn a two-year degree. This time he didn’t walk away. He soon married his girlfriend, Wilsa, in a beautiful ceremony. I was his best man, beaming in my rented Creamsicle-colored tux.

As Travis and Wilsa prepared for the birth of their child, he became even more serious. He told me he wanted to become a dentist, a profession that had interested him since childhood, when he’d been teased about the large gap between his front teeth.

I worried his goal was totally unrealistic. I even suggested to him that maybe he was aiming too high, and should consider something more attainable. My wife, Joan, really let me have it when she heard I’d tried to tamp down his aspirations.

So we went all in and, more importantly, so did Travis. He studied for every test like it would decide his future—like he would be left chasing rats on the night shift if he failed. He graduated from Miami Dade College with a two-year degree and enrolled at nearby Nova Southeastern University on an academic scholarship. There he sought out health science courses. By now, Travis was a driven student, regularly making the dean’s list and never giving up on his dream of being a dentist.

During all this time he continued to live in the same tiny house he was raised in, sharing it with his elderly aunt and other relatives. His young family made do by living in the dining room, which provided only a smidgen of separation from the angry neighborhood outside.

As he had vowed, Travis took the dental school admission test. I held my breath again. What would happen to him if he fell short? I wished Joan had not convinced me to bless this path.

They gave Travis his scores as he left the testing center. He called me as he walked out. He scored in the 93rd percentile overall, and his organic chemistry score was over 97 percent. He was so proud. I was without words. Joan wept.

Travis applied to dental schools across the country. Friends chipped in unused frequent flyer miles to get him to his interviews, and he borrowed luggage, ties and overcoats to look professional.

Here is how he answered a dental school application that asked if he believed he grew up “disadvantaged”:

I grew up in one of Miami’s poorest neighborhoods. I was abandoned by many who you would think would have nurtured me, and raised by my grandmother’s aunt. I remember, as a young boy, hiding inside my house for days after a drive-by shooting. But through it all, people—sometimes perfect strangers—inspired me to never give up and to always believe in myself. So yes, I did have a disadvantaged life by most definitions, but that life has made me better prepared and more appreciative of the opportunities and blessings I do have.

Dental programs across the country wanted him. Many offered scholarships. I thought staying in Florida made the most sense, believing it would be too difficult for him to start anew in another state.

Once again, Joan disassembled my argument, contending Travis and his family had every right to define their future on their terms. So Travis pulled out my old hand-me-down T-shirts and decided Tufts was where he wanted to be. It wasn’t because of me at all. Rather, it was because after his interview, the dean had pulled him aside, put his hand on Travis’ shoulder, and told him that the school believed in him.

That’s all Travis needed to hear. That’s all he’s ever needed to hear.

At the conclusion of his first year at Tufts School of Dental Medicine, I attended his white coat ceremony, marking his transition to the clinical side of his education. I think I must have got some dust in both eyes. At the end of his second year his grades continue to be exceptional.

Travis recently announced he might become an oral surgeon or a prosthodontist. I believe him.

Dan Gelber, a former Florida state senator, practices law in Miami. At Tufts he was a Truman Scholar.

From the Little Brother: He Never Gave Up on Me

By Travis Thomas

I can remember meeting Dan Gelber for the first time like it was yesterday. I was just six and playing in the street with friends when my Aunt Ruth opened the screen door and yelled Travisss! I rushed home and stationed myself on the couch by the living room window, anxiously watching every car that passed by. Finally one pulled up. It was Dan! He took me for ice cream.

Travis Thomas, D17, says he might want to become an oral surgeon or a prosthodontist. Photo: Kelvin Ma

Travis Thomas says he might want to become an oral surgeon or a prosthodontist. Photo: Kelvin MaAs a kid, I looked forward to spending a Saturday or Sunday with Dan because I knew we would have fun—even if I just went out with him for lunch or a movie, or watched him play pick-up basketball (he needed the moral support). Our outings usually concluded with a trip to the bookstore and a few words of wisdom.

Dan never missed the opportunity to sermonize about reading and education. Public service is huge in his family, and he shared its importance with me, whether that meant I tagged along to a festival for children battling cancer or helped him distribute gifts to other kids. I remember the time I got two garbage bags filled with toys, only to find out he expected me to keep just one toy and give the rest away to the kids in my neighborhood (Dan was a star on my block!).

As I grew older, though, Dan’s influence seemed to reach me less and less. I was no longer the adorable six-year-old Dan took for ice cream. Like most of my friends, I sported a gold grill, had a hip-hop swag and knew all of the drug dealers on my block. Clearly, I was going in a different direction. Maybe I had lost faith in myself and figured I wasn’t worthy, but I began to let go of the person I had called my big brother for more than a decade. Dan was starting his own family, and once I turned 18, I decided our relationship would end.

Dan would have none of it. He continued to remain a fixture in my life.

No matter what I thought of myself, Dan let me know he believed in me. Whatever doubts I had about myself, Dan had none. Eventually all those bookstore visits and sermons started to sink in. I met my wife, and we had our son—and for the first time I believed that maybe I could control my future.

Since my father didn’t raise me, I looked to Dan for guidance. I saw his honesty, his drive, his humility and most of all his love for his family. And when I decided to return to college for the third time, his family supported me in every way. There was no way I was letting them down! His wife, Joan, became one of my big supporters, and when I mentioned becoming a dentist to her, she urged me to “go for it.” And that’s when I realized she was smarter than Dan.

Dan didn’t have to volunteer to spend his time with me. He could have said coming into my neighborhood was too risky. Or he could have simply given up on me when I had given up on myself. But he didn’t. That is why I am paying it forward by caring for my own half-brother, who is in a situation nearly identical to the one that I was once in.

I know that I am succeeding in school because I work hard. But I also know that I would not be here if I didn’t have a big brother who taught me to believe in myself.

Dan, your little brother is going to be a dentist! Remember to floss.

Have You Considered?

Several friends have used medical marijuana for some serious conditions. They felt it really helped them get through difficult times. When I saw this photo essay in WebMD, I knew I wanted to post it in DigiDame. Let’s know the facts as we get older. This could become an option for many seniors. Thank you!

A Unique Gift Idea

The Home Shopping Network Features the Kodak’s 360 Degree Camera for the holidays. Steve Greenberg of the Today Show and Game Show, “What The Heck Is That!?,” was picked to showcase this innovative product.


Give Miami Day. If you want contribute let me know




For some reason I will remember this film forever. A good life lesson. Sophia Loren Makes Her Return to Film: ‘I’m a Perfectionist



I love the way some folks think Giuliani was an actor in “Borat.” We got to see the real him. Trump picks Giuliani to keep him in the White House. I wouldn’t let him water my plants.

Meet Maria Bakalova, the Breakout Star of the ‘Borat’ Sequel



Find The Panda

You Can Learn A Lot From A Mouse

See TV personality Steve Greenberg and Editorial Consultant Lois Whitman-Hess of zoom podcast, “Lying on the Beach,” interview David Chesky, an American pianist, composer, producer , arranger, and co-founder of the independent, audiophile label Chesky Records. He is also co-founder and CEO of HDtracks, an online music store that sells high-resolution digital music.

David Chesky has won Independent Music Awards and received Grammy Award nominations. He has written jazz tunes, orchestral and chamber music, opera, ballet, and a rap symphony.

We are talking to David today because he composed an opera for children that teaches about the absurdity of war and acceptance of cultural diversity while exposing them to classical music. It’s called “The Mice War.” David also turned the opera into an animated movie and a soon to be produced children’s book.

“The Mice War” is about industrious Blue Mice that live in the North and the passive Red Mice that live on an Island way in the south.

The Blue Mice need to make more money so they decide they need to have a war.

The reason for the war?

The Blue Mice eat blue cheese and the Red Mice eat yellow cheese.

What would happen if the Red Mice came and made the Blue Mice eat yellow Cheese?

Let’s find out.

Welcome David.

Phony and Phones

Congratulations Savannah Guthrie! You grilled Trump like he has never been grilled before. He was squirming like a kid who didn’t want to take his medicine. It was a pleasure to watch.

Biden was filled with substance at his town hall. He was articulate, kind, filled with ideas and promise. He talked to the audience like they were friends. They loved him.


(Shelly Palmer, a well known tech writer and consultant, tells you everything you need to know about the iPhone 12. Eliot and I may buy this unit months from now, but not right away. We always like to wait to see what the reviewers say. One thing we can’t deny, the iPhone 12 is a state of the art machine).

The Opinion

If you’re an iPhone user and you need a new iPhone, the short answer is yes, you should get an iPhone 12. If you can afford it, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, while late to the game, is the best iPhone ever made. As every Apple Fanperson knows, iPhones are not phones; they are fashion accessories. As such, iPhone purchases are not business decisions, but rather lifestyle choices. For full details about the iPhone 12 launch, see The Apple iPhone 12 Event: Everything You Need to Know.

Will I get one? Yes, but only because I’m on Verizon’s “new iPhone every year” plan. I pay a monthly fee for the phone and insurance and get a new phone every year. (Apple has a similar plan.)

But… and this is a huge but… if I wasn’t on the new phone every year plan, I’d have to think long and hard about whether or not to get an iPhone 12 Pro Max over my iPhone 11 Pro Max.


The 5G connectivity is meaningless. The U.S. is still mostly 4G, and even when the 5G indicator lights up, there’s a very good chance that the backhaul (or some part of the network you are connected to) is 4G. In 2020/2021, no phone (Apple or otherwise) will truly benefit from having a 5G radio in it. At the moment, 5G is 95% marketing hype and 5% marketing hype!

The Camera

The deciding factor for me is the camera. The iPhone 12 Pro Max will shoot in Apple ProRAW (the feature speaks for itself). The new iPhones can shoot and edit 4K video in HDR Pro and Dolby Vision HDR formats. If you have the video workflow to take advantage of these features, you know who you are, and you know why you will want a 12 Pro Max.

For developers and people who like to live on the edge of technology, the addition of LiDAR and a few other features put the new flagship iPhone in first position for AR.

The Accessories

I’m not sad about not getting a charger or wired earbuds with the new phone, but Apple’s eco-friendly explanation was disingenuous and insulting. They will reduce the environmental impact of iPhone packaging. That’s great. They will reduce the use of certain raw materials. That’s great. Except… you will need to purchase these accessories from Apple or third-party vendors who will now create individual packaging for each. So, where there used to be one box shipped containing three items, three will be created and shipped to take its place. I call bullshit! Apple wants to sell you a $40 MagSafe charger and some version of their AirPods for your new phone, so they are forcing you to need those accessories to use the devices. (Yes, most people who are likely to purchase an iPhone have a drawer full of chargers that take USB-A cables, but how many people have extra USB-C chargers laying around?) The new iPhones ship with a USB-C to Lightning cable in the new, thinner box.

To Sum Up

No iPhone 11 user “needs” an iPhone 12. At best, the iPhone 12 line offers some iterative feature improvements over the previous generation. However, the iPhone 12 line does offer a single benefit: if you want an iPhone 12, nothing else will do.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.


Shelly Palmer is a business advisor and technology consultant. He helps Fortune 500 companies with digital transformation, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s Top Voice in Technology, he is the co-host of “Think About This with Shelly Palmer & Ross Martin.” He covers tech and business for Good Day New York, writes a weekly column for Adweek, is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC, and writes a popular daily business blog. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.


Eliot took this photo with his iPhone 11 Pro Max. No filter was used to enhance this shot. Pretty amazing I must say.

My Opinion

His name’s on a museum where Trump will speak, but he’s among Cuban Americans for Biden


Calls to #BoycottNBC erupt on Twitter after Trump and Biden town hall appearances scheduled at the same time https://www.newsbreakapp.com/n/0XJ3KxGC?s=i4&pd=0292Kwz5


Trump Pleads With Women: ‘Please Like Me.’ Women Fire Back: ‘No Way.’



What The Heck Is That!?

Here is the 11th episode of “What The Heck Is That!?” The mystery gadget is something every child should have during the pandemic. That is a huge hint.


Steve Greenberg’s gadget game show is doing very well. It’s under consideration for lots of digital opportunities. You get to see this episode before the general public. Panelists are: Oliver Tull, Harry Redlich and the DigiDame.

Enjoy the show! And please “subscribe” and “like” on YouTube. Thank you!!!

“Neuralink” Will Make Us Half Human, Half Computer

“Neuralink” has been the hot topic of the week in the tech industry. I’m sure many of you have heard about it, but if you haven’t, I’m going to tell you something that is absolutely amazing.

Shelly Palmer’s networking group.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and Founder of Space X, is also the Co-Founder of a company called “Neuralink,” located in San Francisco. The company is working on a brain-implant device that he claims will cure everything from blindness to quadriplegia.

Musk recently told the press that the invention is going to achieve human “symbiosis with artificial intelligence. ‘Neuralink’ is stitched by a ‘sewing-machine-like’ robot into a person’s dark matter using thin electrode-studded wires.”

Get ready for this. Musk explains that the “Neuralink” device is implanted in your skull. “You take out a chunk of the skull and put in the “Neuralink.” Electro -threads are inserted very carefully into the brain and then stitched up.”

Did you pass out yet just thinking about it?

Musk claims no one will be able to detect that somebody has it. “It can interface with anything in your brain.”

Many report that “Neuralink” is being made to fix almost anything wrong with the brain. It could restore full eyesight for someone who is blind, to full functionality for a quadriplegic.

Musk will be giving full online demonstrations of “Neuralink” in the coming months. Dates will be announced shortly.

I heard a lot about this during my online Shelly Palmer networking session yesterday. Some of the engineers and scientists questioned our dependency on a machine of this nature. It could possibly control mood swings, memory loss, and all types of personality traits.

No one can predict the ramifications of this invention. Everyone agreed that with Musk’s determination, something major is likely to happen sooner rather than later.

Reading, Writing And Meeting Weirdos

I think Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books&Books, Miami, along with his Zoom guests, author John Grisham and author Carl Hiaason, forgot they were on camera this past Wednesday. It was like a boys night out. Eliot and I had 90 minutes of good laughs.

They started discussing embarrassing things that happen to them on the road during book signings. They miss going to book stores and personally meeting fans.

They talked about no one showing up for book signings, people coming by to say hello and never buying books, and being asked to sign some very strange things.

John said that one time a woman waited on a crowded line for a half hour, walked up to the desk he was sitting at, and asked him to sign her breast. He noticed her tough-looking boyfriend to the side who was just staring at him.

He decided to accommodate. Her breast was rather large so he signed John Grisham and added Jr. because there was plenty of room.

She buttoned up and walked away. Then her boy friend walked up to the desk, looked John right in the eye and unzipped his pants. He took out his penis and said, “sign this.” Without hesitation, John took his magic marker, and made the illusion to sign J.G, because there wasn’t enough room for his whole name. By that time the police showed up and asked John if he wanted to press charges. He said “no” for the gal and “yes” for the guy

John has a new book, “A Time For Mercy” coming out this October and Carl’s book, “Squeeze Me,” was just released. Carl just got engaged. At 68, this will be his third marriage.

Do you believe this nut job is Governor Gavin Newsom’s ex-wife? What was he thinking? Don’t answer that.