Comment on Digesting the Global Food System – SELRS update by John Zylstra        
The production and consumption of food is indeed a complicated diagram. I just read a story about 17 kindergarten children dying in a minibus accident in china. The article said they had 64 people in a nine passenger bus. So safety took a back seat. As safety increases, cost increases, and ghg emissions also increase, since they will need seven buses instead of one. To some extent this also applies to food production.? As we increase safety and capacity, will our costs and ghg emissions increase? Can local food including backyards guarantee a certain supply? or will it always need a surplus backup system? And how does this backup system remain viable?
          Union Bank of India Announces Excellent Results for the Quarter ended June 30, 2017         
Highlights  of  Union Bank of India's Results for the Quarter ended June 30, 2017  

CASA     25.1 per cent YoY
Non Interest Income      `  ` 1414 crore  (up 36 per cent YoY) 
Savings Deposit     27.6 per cent YoY
Operating Profit     ` ` 2057 crore (up 26.5 per cent YoY) 
CASA Share      35.5 per cent 
Net Profit        ` 117 crore (up 7.3 per cent QoQ) 
RAM* Sector      14.8 per cent YoY
CRAR       12.01 per cent 
RAM* Share       55.4 per cent
Tier I      9.24 per cent 

 The growth in Deposits was driven by Savings Deposits, which grew by 27.6 per cent on YoY basis.
 Cost to income ratio improved to 43.79 per cent against 48.28 per cent on YoY basis.

 Capital Adequacy Ratio (Basel III) improved to 12.01 per cent compared to 10.75 per cent a year ago. * (Retail, Agriculture & MSME share in domestic advances) 

Global Business grew by 10.5 per cent to `670971 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `607280 crore as on June 30, 2016. Domestic business grew by 10.0 per cent to `635233 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `577473 crore as on June 30, 2016.  Total deposit of the bank grew from `338727 crore as on June 30, 2016 to `375796 crore as on June 30, 2017 showing growth of 10.9 per cent. 
Financial Results for the Quarter ended June 30, 2017 
CASA deposits grew by 25.1 per cent to `133412 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `106604 crore as on June 30, 2016.   CASA share in total deposits improved to 35.5 per cent as on June 30, 2017 compared to 31.5 per cent as on June 30, 2016. Average CASA ratio also increased by 430 basis points (bps) to 33.5 per cent on YoY basis.  Savings Deposit registered YoY growth of 27.6 per cent.  A total of 8.70 lakh CASA accounts were opened during April-June 2017, out of which 8.38 lakh were Savings Bank Accounts (excl. BSBDA/BSBDS accounts).   The Bank’s Global Advances grew by 9.9 per cent (YoY) to `295175 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `268553 crore as on June 30, 2016.  Due to encouraging growth of 14.8 per cent in RAM (Retail, Agriculture & MSME) sector, Domestic Advances increased by 9.4 per cent from `242935 crore as on June 30, 2016 to `265683 crore as on June 30, 2017. 

Financial Performance for the quarter ended June 2017

Domestic Net Interest Margin (NIM) stood at 2.20 per cent for April -June 2017 as against 2.36 per cent for April -June 2016. Global NIM for April -June 2017 stood at 2.06 per cent as against 2.27 per cent for January-March 2017 quarter. It was 2.28 per cent a year ago.    Yield on funds stood at 6.94 per cent for April -June 2017 as against 7.94 per cent for April-June 2016 and 7.35 per cent for January-March 2017.   Cost of funds stood at 5.03 per cent for April -June 2017 as against 5.82 per cent for April-June 2016 and 5.24 per cent for January-March 2017.  Net Interest Income for April-June 2017 increased by 6.7 per cent to `2243 crore from `2103 crore for April-June 2016. It was `2387 crore during January-March 2017.  Non Interest Income for April-June 2017 stood at `1414 crore, showing increase of 36.0 per cent over April-June 2016.   Operating profit increased by 26.5 per cent to `2057 crore during April-June 2017 over `1626 crore during April-June 2016 and was `2134 crore during January-March 2017.  Net Profit for April-June 2017 sequentially increased to `117 crore from `109 crore in January-March 2017.  Cost to income ratio improved to 43.79 per cent for April -June 2017 from 48.28 per cent for April-June 2016 and it was 44.32 per cent for January-March 2017.  Return on average assets (annualised) stood at 0.10 per cent for April-June 2017 as against 0.17 per cent for April-June 2016 and 0.10 per cent for January-March 2017.  Return on equity (annualised) stood at 2.46 per cent in April -June 2017 as against 3.36 per cent for April -June 2016 and 2.27 per cent for January-March 2017.  Earnings per share (annualised) stood at `6.78 in April -June 2017 as against `9.69 for April -June 2016 and `6.33 for January-March 2017.

Asset Quality
Gross NPA stood at 12.63 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 11.17 per cent as on March 31, 2017 and 10.16 per cent as on June 30, 2016.   Net NPA ratio stood at 7.47 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 6.57 per cent as on March 31, 2017 and 6.16 per cent as on June 30, 2016.  Provision Coverage Ratio stood at 51.13 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 51.41 per cent as on March 31, 2017. It was 49.99 per cent as on June 30, 2016.  

Capital Adequacy

Capital Adequacy ratio of the Bank under Basel III improved to 12.01 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 11.79 per cent as on March 31, 2017 and 10.75 per cent as on June 30, 2016 compared to minimum regulatory requirement of 10.25 per cent.  The Tier I ratio as of June 30, 2017 is 9.24 per cent, within which Common Equity Tier 1 ratio is 7.73 per cent compared to regulatory minimum of 6.75 per cent. 

Digital Initiatives

The Bank has been pioneer in taking various digital initiatives and continuously launched various digital products for enhancing the customer services. Following are some of the key achievements during the quarter:
 66 per cent growth in mobile banking users on YoY basis.  U-Mobile transaction volume doubled from June 2016.  90 per cent growth in number of PoS terminals on YoY basis.  7th largest presence in banking industry and 3rd largest presence amongst all PSU banks within short span of time in Social media.  Trendsetter on Social media channels by taking various initiatives like Live streaming, Digital Education Series – #KyaAapJanteHai etc.   67 per cent share of “transactions through digital channels” in “overall transactions”. 

Financial Inclusion:

Under the Pradhan Manrti Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the the Bank has more than 69 lakh accounts having a balance of `1270 crore.   48.91 lakh Rupay Card issued under PMJDY as on June 30, 2017.

Total enrollment under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Atal Pension Yojana (APJ) increased to 30.1 lakh, 12.8 lakh and 2.21 lakh respectively.  The Bank financed `696 crore in 33433 accounts under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, including an amount of `211 crore to 7964 beneficiaries through a specific scheme for financing of light commercial vehicle during April–June 2017. 


The Bank has 4286 branches as of June 30, 2017 including 4 overseas branches at Hong Kong, DIFC (Dubai), Antwerp (Belgium) and Sydney (Australia). In addition, the Bank has representative offices at Shanghai, Beijing and Abu Dhabi. The Bank also operates in United Kingdom through its wholly owned subsidiary, Union Bank of India (UK) Ltd.   Total number of ATMs stood at 7574 including 1685 talking ATMs as of June 30, 2017. ATM to branch ratio stood at 1.77. 

Awards & Accolades during FY 2017-18 (April-June)

Skoch Award 
Skoch Order of merit Award – Operational Customer Relationship Management (OCRM)
Skoch Financial Technology Award - Unified Payment Interface(UPI)
Skoch Financial Technology Award - Green PIN solution for Debit cards 
Skoch Financial Technology Award - Union Digi Gaon
Skoch Financial Inclusion Award for Financial Inclusion

          Sugar Free launches a web series ‘The Sweet Breakup’ a first of its kind in the food space        

by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 2017: Sugar Free, a name synonymous with sugar substitute, is the single largest leader in India in the category. The brand always thrives on innovation as key for its growth and has introduced many variants in the category for the sweet binging yet calorie conscious Indians. As an extension to its innovation drive, the brand has unveiled a new campaign ‘The Sweet Breakup’, a one-of-a-kind 5-part web-series in the food category. The series is conceptualized and executed by Maxus Content, the content solutions arm of Maxus.
Talking about the campaign Tarun Arora, Chief Operating Officer & Director, Zydus Wellness said, “Our vision for “Sugar Free” is to make it the brand of choice for consumers seeking low / no calorie options to lead a healthier life style. Hence to address the myths attached with the usage of Sugar Free as part of one’s daily culinary needs made us conceptualize ‘The Sweet Break Up’.  This web series demonstrates in an authentic way that you can indulge into your favourite dessert guilt-free without compromising on the taste. The 5- city trail as part of the campaign only reaffirmed that any sweet recreated with Sugar Free tastes the same when made with sugar. I believe this was the first time a dessert truck was going around India and hence there was a lot of excitement amongst people wanting to know what’s cooking !”
Pooja Verma, Head - Content, Entertainment and Sports Partnerships at Maxus said, “Maxus believes that changing traditional behaviour among consumers with content, needs a compelling strategy which is driven by insights and fused with creative thought. Showcasing Sugar Free as more than just a sugar substitute via ‘The Sweet Break-Up’ campaign is a prime example of our focus. Sweets have a strong relationship with celebrations in our country. With that insight in mind, we brought our campaign together on the message that enjoying sweets while breaking up with unhealthy calories is a win-win outcome for every foodie. The creative vehicle to deliver that message is our one-of-a-kind series where Chef Kunal Kapur joins famous foodie-duo Rocky & Mayur, in recreating delicious Indian sweets with Sugar Free. Through this content solution, the brand stands to generate extensive and meaningful conversations with viewers who love their sweets.”

This campaign marks the culinary journey of Sugar Free across 5 cities Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Mumbai, where celebrity chef Kunal Kapur reconstructed 5 different speciality desserts by using Sugar Free products. The brand also had on board the famous foodie duo Rocky and Mayur whose fun banter added to the entertainment element in the web-series. The journey started from Delhi where the chef created the famous Tewari Brother’s Gulaab Jamun followed by Lucknow where Ram Asrey’s famous Malai ki Gilori was made. The truck then headed East to Kolkata where he recreated Balaram Mullick’s Sandesh and then southward to Bangalore where he made a fusion dessert using G Pulla Reddy’s Dharwad Peda and created Dharwad Peda Tiramisu. The final leg of the web series was shot in Mumbai where Chef Kapur added a spin to made Ladu Samrat’s modak and created delicious chocolate modaks. All of these were created using Sugar Free. While the brand has a strong linkage with table top consumptionand pellets as a format, the culinary consumption for powder formats is a gap that needs to be bridged. ‘The Sweet Breakup’ campaign is that step forward by Sugar Free to make consumers aware of the format, its usage and the fact that the taste of the dessert stays as good. What more? One can indulge in sweets now without having to feel guilty.
The Sweet Breakup will be unveiled on-air on 18thAugust
About Zydus Wellness Limited: Zydus Wellness Limited is the Consumer products company from the Zydus Group. Zydus group is a pharma major with flagship organization, Cadila Healthcare Limited, a leading pharmaceutical company with significant global presence apart from India. Zydus Wellness has been a pioneer in various categories it operates in. The company focuses on emerging segments and has its DNA of innovations with “Do good benefits” at the core of its business. Zydus Wellness commands leadership in the sugar substitute market, table spreads and the skin care segments. In the sugar substitute market, Sugar Free is a market leader with a market share of 94% and targets health and fitness seekers apart from diabetics.
Nutralite is a market leader in the Fat Spread category and appeals to consumers looking for healthier alternatives to normal butter. It is cholesterol free, does not contain any hydrogenated fats and is also trans-fat free. Everyuth is a pioneer in facial cleansing space in India. It enjoys leadership in the scrub and Peel off Mask segments and is amongst the top players in the overall facial cleansing category with strong “Naturals” equity Zydus Wellness Limited is listed on NSE and BSE and has manufacturing locations in Gujarat and Sikkim.
About Maxus:  Maxus is a marketing communications consultancy that helps marketers build profitable relationships between consumers and their brands. They combine the disciplines of communications planning and customer relationship marketing to deliver Relationship Media, a next generation model powered by creative media thinking and sophisticated, real-time customer data.

Their services include communications strategy, digital marketing, direct response media, social media, data analytics, media investment management, content & sports marketing, marketing ROI evaluation and CRM. Having a talent team of 2,500 people across 55 markets, they are part of GroupM, the world’s largest media investment management group that serves as the parent company for all of WPP’s media agencies.

          Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) partners with Mumbai Dabbawala Association (MDA)        

Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) partners with Mumbai Dabbawala Association (MDA)

~A culturally enriching and riveting morning hosted by Malaysian Palm Oil Council with the Dabbawalas of Mumbai~

by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 8, 2017 : In April 2017 in conjunction with the visit to India of the Hon. Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato Sri’ Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) signed a MoU with Mumbai Dabbawala Association (MDA). Taking this MoU forward, on the morning of August 8th, MPOC and Mumbai Dabbawalas flagged off an event to create awareness for Malaysian Palm Oil and its benefits.

The event took place at the Lower Parel Bridge, where Dabbawalas wore the T-shirts and topis branded with MPOC message. They then delivered the dabbas carrying a booklet of recipes of dishes that can be cooked in palm oil and the benefits of using palm oil. The Dabbawalas are in a unique position to promote MPOC and raise awareness to the positive nutritional attributes of Malaysian Palm Oil. This becomes particularly useful in Indian cuisine as most dishes are cooked in oil. Substituting for a healthier oil can do no harm, besides besides providing the added bonus of eating delicious food cooked in a healthy oil that is nutritious for the body.

To kick off this event, Dr. Kalyana Sundaram, CEO of MPOC, was present, encouraging the use of palm oil and showing appreciation to our Dabbawalas for their exceptional work. The morning was most enjoyable, entertaining and culturally riveting as some of Maharashtra’s best dancers performed the traditional Lezim Dance, a true delight to have watched! For those unaware of the Lezim Dance, it is a Maharashtrian folk dance performed to the beat of the Dholki, a percussion instrument.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Kalyan Sundaram, CEO, MPOC, said, “It gives me immense pleasure to be here this morning. Dabbawalas have been an integral part of this city and they define what Indians stand for: hardworking, responsible and efficient. They work relentlessly with a smile on their face, be it rain or storm. Malaysian Palm Oil has been a very important part of the Indian diet and with this unique initiative we wish to create awareness for this wonderful oil and its several health benefits. Our association with the Mumbai Dabbawalas allows us to spread the message of healthy cooking to a large number of households and encourages a healthier cooking lifestyle”

Mr. Subhash Talekar, Association Spokesperson of Mumbai Dabbawala Association said “We Dabbawalas unfailingly deliver thousands of dabbas to hungry people daily, they are undoubtedly the best people to directly reach out to households and create awareness about palm oil and the health benefits of using it. This is a very exciting new chapter, and we are glad to be partnering with MPOC.”

India is the world’s largest importer of cooking oils. Palm oil constitutes about two-thirds of India’s steadily increasing vegetable oil import. The price, in comparison to competing oils and the proximity of origin, Malaysia, has made Malayisan Palm Oil a highly preferred oil. Now the Dabawallas have taken it upon themselves, with the help of MPOC, to inform families about the benefits of palm oil and how exquisite food can be cooked in palm oil in alternative to other vegetable oils.

Amongst some of the benefits we came to learn about during the event was that palm oil is rich in natural chemical compounds essential for health and nutrition. It has a rich source of carotenoids that are rich in Vitamin A, a potent natural antioxidant, Vitamins D, E, K, fatty acids, and other important fat-soluble micronutrients that boost the human immune system. The health benefits from using palm oil are tremendous - it reduces chances of Cancer, protects against heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and helps children with Vitamin A deficiency.

The oil is great for cooking; it is of vegetable origin, making it free of cholesterol and apt for vegetarians, vegans, and Jains. Furthermore, the oil has a neutral flavor - you needn’t worry about changing tastes, it does not oxidize easily – making it perfect for frying food, and produces less gummy materials and helps in the cooking area maintaining a non-greasy surface; so, most bakers prefer to use a palm-based margarine for baking goods.

With people now more conscious about their health and food habits, palm oil is definitely the healthier choice to make whilst cooking and a step towards healthier bodies and practices.  What better way to create awareness than directly reaching out to the households through our Dabbawalas.

Note to Editors:
MPOC is a Council under the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities of Malaysia.  Its role is to promote the market expansion of Malaysian palm oil and its products by enhancing the image of palm oil and creating better acceptance of palm oil through awareness of various technological and economic advantages (techno-economic advantages) and environmental sustainability.

The Council has set up a network of ten offices all over the world, mainly in China (Shanghai), India (Mumbai), Pakistan (Lahore), Bangladesh (Dhaka), Middle East (Istanbul and Cairo), Europe (Brussels and Russia), Africa (Durban) and Americas (Washington DC)  to support, promote and venture into new areas for the industry.

The plantation industry, particularly palm oil, is one of the main pillars of the Malaysian economy.  The palm oil sector has contributed significantly towards providing a continuous inflow of export earnings through the export of raw commodity and valued-added products to the global market. In 2016, palm oil contributed USD 9 billion in export earnings for Malaysia and accounted for 33% of the world’s palm oil production and 39% of total palm oil exports.

          Skillsoft and MIT Sloan Management Review Partner To Train Next Generation Business Leaders        

Superior content and Percipio platform help organizations develop the next wave of leaders

 by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai August 08, 2017–Skillsoft, the global leader in corporate learning, has partnered with MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) to curate the journal’s best leadership assets and deliver them to its 40 million users. This key collaboration kicks off a series of new, innovative content partnerships that will empower Skillsoft’s Leadership and Business Skills learners with professional training from the industry’s top experts.

Organizations and their employees can now access this elite catalog of content to enhance professional development, upskill their workforce, and hone individual career paths. Presented through the highly engaging and intuitive Percipio platform, users will be able to access everything from MIT SMR’s general leadership articles, to Frontier articles that focus on the intersection of business management practice with technology, collaborative research reports, as well as webinars and videos. Content will be optimized for all devices and operating systems, and will be accessible via video, audio and written content for varied learner styles and needs.

“Our Leadership content sets us apart from other corporate learning content providers. We provide the most diverse content catalog with an array of learning modalities. More importantly and unique to Skillsoft, we craft thoughtful learning paths and courses for users to follow,” said Bill Donoghue, Executive Chairman of the Skillsoft group. “Our partnership with MIT Sloan Management Review will supplement our own assets and underscore our commitment to building the most respected and up-to-date portfolio of Leadership training available.”

Skillsoft will embed MIT SMR content within its core Business and video collections, and integrate content within its existing Leadership offerings, like Skillsoft Leadership Advantage, Continuous Leadership Journey and Women-in-Action. The partnership between Skillsoft and MIT SMR will provide organizations with engaging, on-demand corporate learning content that will groom, train and inspire management teams through a consumer-like interface (think Netflix or Amazon) that is designed to engage the learner.

“We see a growing need for effective leadership training to address critical skill gaps in today’s organizations and help increase an organization’s ability to develop talent from within,” said Paul Michelman at MIT SMR. “This partnership gives our content a new vehicle for delivery within those organizations that believe training their internal talent is paramount to creating a competitive edge.”

MIT Sloan Management Review is a pre-eminent platform and content leader that bridges the gap between academic research and daily practice. The Review keeps readers in tune with management trends and innovations. MIT SMR articles cover a wide range of topics relevant to management with a focus on areas such as Data & Analytics, Digital, Global, Innovation, Leadership, Marketing, Operations, Social Business, Strategies and Sustainability. For decades, MIT SMR has been a forum for business-management innovators from around the world to present their ideas and research.

About Skillsoft : Skillsoft is the global leader in corporate learning, providing the most engaging learner experience and high-quality content. We are trusted by the world's leading organizations, including 65 percent of the Fortune 500. Our mission is to build beautiful technology and engaging content that drives business impact for today’s modern enterprise. Our 150,000+ multi-modal courses, videos, books and micro-learning modules are accessed more than 130 million times every month, in 160 countries and 29 languages. With 100% secure cloud access, from any device, whenever, wherever.

          Ducati launches Scrambler Café Racer in India at INR 9,32,000         

by Shrutee K/DNS

New Delhi : Ducati India announced the launch of the Scrambler Café Racer at INR 9,32,000 (Ex-showroom, India). The motorcycle is powered by the air and oil-cooled EURO 4-compliant 803 cc twin-cylinder engine. The Desmodue engine delivers 73 hp at 8,250 rpm* and a torque of 67 Nm at 5,750 rpm* and comes with blacktrimmed covers and machined cooling fins.   Sergi Canovas Garriga, Managing Director of Ducati India said, “This motorcycle is a modern interpretation of the legendary Café Racer scene from the 1960s that triggered a motorcycling revolution. It represents the expression of free spirit and is an icon of style for enthusiasts. We’re very confident that with the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer, we will successfully bring the global cultural phenomenon to India as well.”

The bike combines the best of the two worlds – the design language of the Scrambler brand and a sporty riding position. This version features rear-view mirror mounted aluminium clip-on handlebars, Termignoni exhaust with dual tailpipes, black anodized aluminium cover and a dedicated seat featuring a cover for the passenger section. 
This version has cast aluminium 17” wheels with Pirelli DIABLO™ ROSSO II tyres (120/70 ZR 17 at the front and 180/55 ZR17 at the rear). The Ducati Scrambler Café Racer mounts a Brembo braking system featuring Bosch 9.1 MP ABS with a pressure sensor. The Ducati Scrambler Café Racer also features a radial-type front brake pump ensuring true sport bike braking performance.

The Scrambler Café Racer has a dedicated line of accessories and apparel. The Ducati Scrambler Café Racer is now available in a Black Coffee colour with black frame and gold wheels across all Ducati dealerships in Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad & Kochi. 
Ducati Scrambler 
Ducati’s new Scrambler brand re-interprets the values of the Ducati Scrambler, the iconic twowheeler developed in the 1970s in the USA, which quickly became a worldwide success. Anticonformist, accessible and essential, the Ducati Scrambler is a perfect mix of tradition and modernity, a step towards the pure essence of motorcycling: two wheels, wide handlebars, a straightforward engine and endless fun. And, to meet everyone's individual “self-expression” needs the Ducati Scrambler comes in several different versions like the Icon, Classic and Full Throttle. This year two more versions join the Land of Joy: The Scrambler Desert Sled, a version that draws its inspiration from the off-road bikes that, back in the '60s and '70s, made US motorcycling history, and the Café Racer, the Scrambler interpretation of the legendary '60s bikes that triggered a motorcycling revolution

          Wrangler Celebrates 70th anniversary with its Autumn Winter’17 Collection        

by Shrutee K/DNS

This year, Wrangler celebrates its 70th anniversary of producing perennial fashions with a global advertising campaign and a fresh anniversary collection, influenced by their iconic, revolutionary denim and authentic retro looks that took the 1970s by storm.

Wrangler was the definitive denim brand for teenagers back in this style-setting decade, and the anniversary collection has been artfully inspired by the brand’s notable archive finds: reinventing the most popular ’70s styles for today’s spirited youth with a passion for life and all of its adventures.
Trademark Wrangler basics are back and better than ever, as the label taps into’70s imagery for inspiration and relaunch the timeless vintage logo. The collection includes bold, colourful t-shirts featuring variations of the iconic ’70s Wrangler rainbow graphic, and signature staples in vibrant hues with retro seventies cuts. The rainbow symbolises confidence, exuberance and freedom: traits that are intrinsic to the Wrangler’s brand’s persona. Denim comes in authentic stone washes and brighter shades of blue.  Wrangler continues to be renowned and praised for being inspiring, progressive and always in tune with the ever-changing needs of its fashion-forward customers.
 Price Details: Tees: Rs.995/- Onwards & Denims: Rs.2995/- Onwards

Availability: Across all Wrangler stores in India.

About Wrangler
The heritage of Wrangler goes back literally 70 years when the brand first made an appearance. Wrangler was the first modern five-pocket jeans to be test-fitted and endorsed by real-life cowboys. Since then, Wrangler continues to inspire freedom, independence and self-reliance in its wearers.

The brand in India has come a long way, evolving to meet the needs of the ‘urban cowboy’ with a range of fashion apparel that is contemporary, fashionable yet rugged. 

A part of VF Corporation - the world's largest apparel company, Wrangler has found a loyal consumer base in the Indian youth that swear by this unique fashion brand. This stylish denim brand is available at exclusive standalone stores, leading apparel stores and major department stores Log on to

          'Central banks’ seriously misguided attempts to defeat routine consumer price deflation is what fuels the destructive asset bubbles that eventually collapse.' (no replies)        
'..America's pension crisis is a big part of the $400 trillion pension time bomb threatening the global economy and it is deflationary and bond friendly.'

- Leo Kolivakis, America's Corporate Pension Disaster? August 4, 2017

'In order for the Maestro to be right, US inflation expectations have to pick up in a significant way. This won't happen and to understand why, read Gary Shilling's recent comment on three things central bankers don't get about wages.'

- Leo Kolivakis, Is the Maestro Wrong on Bonds? August 2, 2017

'Very recent data confirms slumping household saving ratios in both the US and UK. This was last seen in 2007, just before the bursting debt bubble blew the global economy and financial system to smithereens. The Fed and BoE should surely hang their heads in shame having presided over yet another impending disaster. Why will politicians and the people tolerate this incompetence? Indeed they won’t.'

- Albert (Shades of 2008: UK and US Savings Rate Plunges, Debt Comes Full Circle, August 3, 2017)

'It’s no mystery why central bankers are mystified: Collectively, they are economically illiterate fools engaged in Keynesian and Monetarist group think.


On deck is another round of destructive asset price deflation, brought about by Central banks who cannot see the obvious.'

- Mike “Mish” Shedlock, Central Banks Puzzled as Global Inflation Hits Lowest Level Since 2009: Solving the Puzzle, August 3, 2017

'..history and logic both show that concerns over consumer price deflation are seriously misplaced.

Worse yet, in their attempts to fight routine consumer price deflation, central bankers create very destructive asset bubbles that eventually collapse, setting off what they should fear – asset bubble deflations following a buildup of bank credit on inflated assets.'

- Mike “Mish” Shedlock, Historical Perspective on CPI Deflations: How Damaging are They? March 30, 2015

'BIS Deflation Study

The BIS did a historical study and found routine deflation was not any problem at all.

“Deflation may actually boost output. Lower prices increase real incomes and wealth. And they may also make export goods more competitive,” stated the study.

It’s asset bubble deflation that is damaging. When asset bubbles burst, debt deflation results.

Central banks’ seriously misguided attempts to defeat routine consumer price deflation is what fuels the destructive asset bubbles that eventually collapse.'

- Mike “Mish” Shedlock, How Twisted Minds Function, August 2, 2017


'..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention .. Financial politicians..'

'..the Next 30 Years: “Everything is Deflationary”..'

'..a 30-year bear market..'

          '..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention .. Financial politicians..' (no replies)        
'..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention..'

'This Fed has already engineered the next crisis, just as Greenspan kept rates too low for too long, ignored his regulatory responsibility, and engineered the housing bubble and subprime crisis. If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention. The Trump Fed is going to have to deal with that crisis, but we still have many questions as to what a Trump Fed will actually look like or do.'

John Mauldin (Source, Jun 25, 2017)

'..Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

'Powerful people everywhere routinely make decisions that hurt others. We see it in central bankers, politicians, corporate CEOs, religious groups, universities – any large organization. The old saying is right: Power really does corrupt. And corruption is a barrier to sustainable economic growth. This is more than a political problem; it has a serious economic impact.

Recent psychological research suggests that powerful people behave remarkably like traumatic brain injury victims. Controlled experiments show that, given power over others, people often become impulsive and less sensitive to risk. Most important, test subjects often lose empathy, that is, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.


Powerful people also lose a capacity called “mirroring.” When we observe other people doing something, our brains react as if we were doing the same thing. It’s why, when you watch a sporting event, you may unconsciously mimic a golf swing or the referee’s hand signals. Some portion of your brain thinks you are really there. But when researchers prime test subjects with powerful feelings, their mirroring capacity decreases.

You can see why this is a problem. The Protected-class members of the Federal Open Market Committee must feel quite powerful when they gather in that fancy room to make policy decisions. It’s no wonder they forget how their decisions will affect regular working-class people: Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

- Patrick Watson, The Wedge Goes Deeper, June 30, 2017

'..I now feel that it's highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest..'

'Re-entering the news flow was a jolt, and not in a good way. Looking with fresh eyes at the economic numbers and central bankers’ statements convinced me that we will soon be in deep trouble. I now feel that it's highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest. Just a few months ago, I thought we could avoid a crisis and muddle through. Now I think we’re past that point. The key decision-makers have (1) done nothing, (2) done the wrong thing, or (3) done the right thing too late.

Having realized this, I’m adjusting my research efforts. I believe a major crisis is coming. The questions now are, how severe will it be, and how will we get through it? With the election of President Trump and a Republican Congress, your naïve analyst was hopeful that we would get significant tax reform, in addition to reform of a healthcare system that is simply devastating to so many people and small businesses. I thought maybe we’d see this administration cutting through some bureaucratic red tape quickly. With such reforms in mind I was hopeful we could avoid a recession even if a crisis developed in China or Europe.


One news item I didn’t miss on St. Thomas – and rather wish I had – was Janet Yellen’s reassurance regarding the likelihood of another financial crisis. Here is the full quote.

Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? You know probably that would be going too far, but I do think we’re much safer, and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don’t believe it will be. [emphasis added]

I disagree with almost every word in those two sentences, but my belief is less important than Chair Yellen’s. If she really believes this, then she is oblivious to major instabilities that still riddle the financial system. That’s not good.


Financial politicians (which is what central bankers really are) have a long history of saying the wrong things at the wrong time. Far worse, they simply fail to tell the truth. Former Eurogroup leader Jean-Claude Juncker admitted as much: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie,” he said in the throes of Europe’s 2011 debt crisis.'

- John Mauldin, Prepare for Turbulence, July 9, 2017

'..Market distortions – including valuations, deeply embedded complacency, and Trillions of perceived safe securities – have become only further detached from reality. And the longer all this unstable finance flows freely into the real economy, the deeper the structural maladjustment.'

'This week marks the five-year anniversary of Draghi’s “whatever it takes.” I remember the summer of 2012 as if it were yesterday. From the Bubble analysis perspective, it was a Critical Juncture – for financial markets and risk perceptions, for policy and for the global economy. Italian 10-year yields hit 6.60% on July 24, 2012. On that same day, Spain saw yields surge to 7.62%. Italian banks were in freefall, while European bank stocks (STOXX600) were rapidly approaching 2009 lows. Having risen above 55 in 2011, Deutsche Bank traded at 23.23 on July 25, 2012.

It was my view at the time that the “European” crisis posed a clear and immediate threat to the global financial system. A crisis of confidence in Italian debt (and Spanish and “periphery” debt) risked a crisis of confidence in European banks – and a loss of confidence in European finance risked dismantling the euro monetary regime.

Derivatives markets were in the crosshairs back in 2012. A crisis of confidence in European debt and the euro would surely have tested the derivatives marketplace to the limits. Moreover, with the big European banks having evolved into dominant players in derivatives trading (taking share from U.S. counterparts after the mortgage crisis), counter-party issues were at the brink of becoming a serious global market problem. It’s as well worth mentioning that European banks were major providers of finance for emerging markets.

From the global government finance Bubble perspective, Draghi’s “whatever it takes” was a seminal development. The Bernanke Fed employed QE measures during the 2008 financial crisis to accommodate deleveraging and stabilize dislocated markets. Mario Draghi leapfrogged (helicopter) Bernanke, turning to open-ended QE and other extreme measures to preserve euro monetary integration. No longer would QE be viewed as a temporary crisis management tool. And just completely disregard traditional monetary axiom that central banks should operate as lender of last resort in the event of temporary illiquidity – but must avoid propping up the insolvent. “Whatever it takes” advocates covert bailouts for whomever and whatever a small group of central bankers chooses – illiquid, insolvent, irredeemable or otherwise. Now five years after the first utterance of “whatever it takes,” the Draghi ECB is still pumping out enormous amounts of “money” on a monthly basis (buying sovereigns and corporates) with rates near zero.


Thinking back five years, U.S. markets at the time were incredibly complacent. The risk of crisis in Europe was downplayed: Policymakers had it all under control. Sometime later, the Financial Times - in a fascinating behind-the-scenes exposé - confirmed the gravity of the situation and how frazzled European leaders were at the brink of losing control. Yet central bankers, once again, saved the day – further solidifying their superhero status.

I’m convinced five years of “whatever it takes” took the global government finance Bubble deeper into perilous uncharted territory. Certainly, markets are more complacent than ever, believing central bankers are fully committed to prolonging indefinitely the securities bull market. Meanwhile, leverage, speculative excess and trend-following flows have had an additional five years to accumulate. Market distortions – including valuations, deeply embedded complacency, and Trillions of perceived safe securities – have become only further detached from reality. And the longer all this unstable finance flows freely into the real economy, the deeper the structural maladjustment.'

- Doug Noland, Five Years of Whatever It Takes, July 29, 2017

'..This whole episode is likely to end so badly that future children will learn about it in school and shake their heads in wonder at the rank stupidity of it all, just like many of us did when we learned about the Dutch Tulip mania.'

'While I've written about numerous valuation measures over time, the most reliable ones share a common feature: they focus on identifying "sufficient statistics" for the very, very long-term stream of cash flows that stocks can be expected to deliver into the hands of investors over time. On that front, revenues are typically more robust "sufficient statistics" than current or year-ahead earnings. See Exhaustion Gaps and the Fear of Missing Out for a table showing the relative reliability of a variety of measures. In April 2007, I estimated that an appropriate valuation for the S&P 500 stood about 850, roughly -40% lower than prevailing levels. By the October peak, the prospective market loss to normal valuation had increased to about -46%. As it happened, the subsequent collapse of the housing bubble took the S&P 500 about -55% lower. In late-October 2008, as the market plunge crossed below historically reliable valuation norms, I observed that the S&P 500 had become undervalued on our measures.

Again attempting to “stimulate” the economy from the recession that followed, the Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates to zero in recent years, provoking yet another episode of yield-seeking speculation, where yield-starved investors created demand for virtually every class of securities, in the hope of achieving returns in excess of zero. Meanwhile, Wall Street, suffering from what J.K. Galbraith once called the “extreme brevity of the financial memory,” convinced itself yet again that the whole episode was built on something more solid than quotes on a screen and blotches of ink on paper..


..greater real economic activity was never the likely outcome of all this quantitative easing (indeed, one can show that the path of the economy since the crisis has not been materially different than what one could have projected using wholly non-monetary variables). Rather, Ben Bernanke, in his self-appointed role as Mad Hatter, was convinced that offensively hypervalued financial markets - that encourage the speculative misallocation of capital, imply dismal expected future returns, and create temporary paper profits that ultimately collapse - somehow represent a greater and more desirable form of “wealth” compared with reasonably-valued financial markets that offer attractive expected returns and help to soundly allocate capital. Believing that wealth is embodied by the price of a security rather than its future stream of cash flows, QE has created a world of hypervaluation, zero prospective future returns, and massive downside risks across nearly every conventional asset class.

And so, the Fed created such an enormous pool of zero interest bank reserves that investors would feel pressure to chase stocks, junk debt, anything to get rid of these yield-free hot potatoes. That didn’t stimulate more real, productive investment; it just created more investors who were frustrated with zero returns, because someone had to hold that base money, and in aggregate, all of them had to hold over $4 trillion of the stuff at every moment in time.

When you look objectively at what the Fed actually did, should be obvious how its actions encouraged this bubble. Every time someone would get rid of zero-interest base money by buying a riskier security, the seller would get the base money, and the cycle would continue until every asset was priced to deliver future returns near zero. We’re now at the point where junk yields are among the lowest in history, stock market valuations are so extreme that we estimate zero or negative S&P 500 average annual nominal total returns over the coming 10-12 year horizon, and our estimate of 12-year prospective total returns on a conventional mix of 60% stocks, 30% Treasury bonds, and 10% Treasury bills has never been lower (about 1% annually here). This whole episode is likely to end so badly that future children will learn about it in school and shake their heads in wonder at the rank stupidity of it all, just like many of us did when we learned about the Dutch Tulip mania.

Examine all risk exposures, consider your investment horizon and risk-tolerance carefully, commit to the flexibility toward greater market exposure at points where a material retreat in valuations is joined by early improvement in market action (even if the news happens to be very negative at that point), fasten your protective gear, and expect a little bit of whiplash. Remember that the “catalysts” often become evident after prices move, not before. The completion of this market cycle may or may not be immediate, but with the median stock at easily the most extreme price/revenue ratio in history, and a run-of-the-mill outcome now being market loss on the order of -60%, the contrast between recent stability and likely future volatility could hardly be more striking.'

- John P. Hussman, Ph.D., Hot Potatoes and Dutch Tulips, July 31, 2017


(2017) - '..a deeply systemic debt crisis akin to the aftermath of 1929 .. the stage has now been set..'

(Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..debt is our biggest security threat..'

'..the Next 30 Years: “Everything is Deflationary”..'

          '..the mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens plan to banish diesels from their city centres by 2025.' (no replies)        
'In Germany, for example, Deutsche Post has started building its own electric vans and will soon start selling them to other companies..'

'The clock may be ticking for petrol and diesel-powered cars, but it's vans, trucks and buses that are driving the electric vehicle revolution on the world's roads.

This week the UK government followed France in announcing it would ban the sale of such vehicles by 2040, while the mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens plan to banish diesels from their city centres by 2025.


In Germany, for example, Deutsche Post has started building its own electric vans and will soon start selling them to other companies. Meanwhile, in the US, the city of Los Angeles plans to make its entire bus fleet emissions-free by 2030.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) believes that keeping global temperature rises below 2C by the end of the century will in part depend on the electrification of some 600 million vehicles worldwide.


Frost & Sullivan's Ananth Srinivasan says it it easier for freight fleet owners to justify investment in electric vehicles because "when they look at the cost for miles travelled over, say, two years with an electric van versus one powered by petrol or diesel", the financial benefits are obvious.'

- Chris Baraniuk, Electric trucks and vans cut pollution faster than cars, 28 July 2017


Team Solid: Metal Fuels

' get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025..' - Britain bans gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040

'..wood burning is the single largest source of hazardous particle pollution during winter, creating even more particle pollution than vehicles and industry.'

          ' get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025..' - Britain bans gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040 (no replies)        
'..The Netherlands and Norway previously said they wanted to get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025 and Germany and India announced similar plans ahead of 2030.'

- Chloe Farand, France will 'ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040', July 6, 2017

'..Dirty air has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, among other health issues. The problem is especially pronounced in big cities including London.'

'Britain will ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040 as part of a bid to clean up the country's air.

The decision to phase out the internal combustion engine heralds a new era of low-emission technologies with major implications for the auto industry, society and the environment.

"We can't carry on with diesel and petrol cars," U.K. environment secretary Michael Gove told the BBC on Wednesday. "There is no alternative to embracing new technology."

Gove said the government's air quality plan, which is set to be officially announced later on Wednesday, was needed because gasoline and diesel engines contribute to health problems, "accelerate climate change, do damage to the planet and the next generation."

Roughly 40,000 deaths in Britain each year are attributable to outdoor air pollution, according to a study published last year by the Royal College of Physicians. Dirty air has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, among other health issues. The problem is especially pronounced in big cities including London.

The timeline for ending sales of internal combustion engines mirrors one proposed in early July by France. President Emmanuel Macron has given the auto industry the same deadline to make the switch to cleaner tech.

"We are quite rightly in a position of global leadership when it comes to shaping new technology," Gove said.

- Charles Riley, Britain bans gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040, July 26, 2017


' Ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2030'

'..committed to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.'

(Global) - '..a revolutionary shift to net zero emissions by 2080..'

'Thorium reactor: cleaner, safer and sustainable nuclear energy within sight'

(Fusion Power) - LPP Focus Fusion 1; '..FF-1 results are right now far ahead..'

' develop a series of electric and hybrid aircraft..'

The "CityTree" - 'Air pollution is one of the world's invisible killers.'

          (2017) - '..a deeply systemic debt crisis akin to the aftermath of 1929 .. the stage has now been set..' (no replies)        
'..But after a decade of unprecedented expansion of government debt and central bank Credit, the stage has now been set for a more systemic 1929-like financial dislocation.'

'June 27 – Reuters (William Schomberg, Marc Jones, Jason Lange and Lindsay Dunsmuir): “U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Tuesday that she does not believe that there will be another financial crisis for at least as long as she lives, thanks largely to reforms of the banking system since the 2007-09 crash. ‘Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis?’ Yellen said… ‘You know probably that would be going too far but I do think we're much safer and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don't believe it will be,’ she said.”

While headlines somewhat paraphrased Yellen’s actual comment, “We Will not see Another Crisis in Our Lifetime” is reminiscent of Irving Fisher’s “permanent plateau” just weeks before the great crash of 1929. While on the subject, I never bought into the popular comparison between 2008 and 1929 – and the related notion of 2008 as “the 100-year flood”. The 2008/09 crisis was for the most part a private debt crisis associated with the bursting of a Bubble in mortgage Credit – not dissimilar to previous serial global crises, only larger and somewhat more systemic. It was not, however, a deeply systemic debt crisis akin to the aftermath of 1929, which was characterized by a crisis of confidence in the banking system, the markets and finance more generally, along with a loss of faith in government policy and institutions. But after a decade of unprecedented expansion of government debt and central bank Credit, the stage has now been set for a more systemic 1929-like financial dislocation.

As such, it’s ironic that the Fed has branded the banking system cured and so well capitalized that bankers can now boost dividends, buybacks and, presumably, risk-taking. As conventional central bank thinking goes, a well-capitalized banking system provides a powerful buffer for thwarting the winds of financial crisis. Chair Yellen, apparently, surveys current bank capital levels and extrapolates to systemic stability. Yet the next crisis lurks not with the banks but within the securities and derivatives markets: too much leverage and too much “money” employed in trend-following trading strategies. Too much hedging, speculating and leveraging in derivatives. Market misperceptions and distortions on an epic scale.

Compared to 2008, the leveraged speculating community and the ETF complex are significantly larger and potentially perilous. The derivatives markets are these days acutely more vulnerable to liquidity issues and dislocation. Never have global markets been so dominated by trend-following strategies. It’s a serious issue that asset market performance – stocks, bond, corporate Credit, EM, real estate, etc. – have all become so tightly correlated. There are huge vulnerabilities associated with various markets having become so highly synchronized on a global basis. And in the grand scheme of grossly inflated global securities, asset and derivatives markets, the scope of available bank capital is trivial.

I realize that, at this late stage of the great bull market, such a question sounds hopelessly disconnected. Yet, when markets reverse sharply lower and The Crowd suddenly moves to de-risk, who is left to take the other side of what has become One Gargantuan “Trade”? We’re all familiar with the pat response: “Central banks. They’ll have no choice.” Okay, but I’m more interested in the timing and circumstances.

Central bankers are now signaling their desire to proceed with normalization, along with noting concerns for elevated asset prices. As such, I suspect they will be somewhat more circumspect going forward when it comes to backstopping the markets - than, say, back in 2013 with Bernanke’s “flash crash” or with the China scare of early-2016. Perhaps this might help to explain why the VIX spiked above 15 during Thursday afternoon trading. Even corporate debt markets showed a flash of vulnerability this week.'

- Doug Noland, Weekly Commentary: The Road to Normalization, July 1, 2017

Context (Banking Reform - English/Dutch) '..a truly stable financial and monetary system for the twenty-first century..'

'Unsound Finance gets to the heart of the issue.'

'..Like monetarists, Keynes held no capital theory .. the role time plays..' - Jesús Huerta de Soto

'..Loose financial conditions and record debt issuance..'

'..investors’ fear of missing out is looking increasingly desperate..'

'..a giant passive 'beta' bubble .. This may be the Mother of all beta bubbles..'

'..The same combination prevailed at the 1929, 1972, 1987, 2000, and 2007 market peaks..'

(Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..debt is our biggest security threat..'

          The "CityTree" - 'Air pollution is one of the world's invisible killers.' (no replies)        
'..the "CityTree", a mobile installation which removes pollutants from the air, has been popping up in cities around the world, including Oslo, Paris, Brussels and Hong Kong.'

'(CNN) Air pollution is one of the world's invisible killers.

It causes seven million premature deaths a year, making it the largest single environmental health risk, according to the World Health Organization.

In urban areas, air quality is particularly problematic. More than 80% of people living in areas where pollution is monitored are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits. And given that by 2050 two thirds of the global population will be urban, cleaning up our cities' air is a matter of urgency.

One well-established way to reduce air pollutants is to plant trees, as their leaves catch and absorb harmful particulates.

But planting new trees is not always a viable option.

That's why the "CityTree", a mobile installation which removes pollutants from the air, has been popping up in cities around the world, including Oslo, Paris, Brussels and Hong Kong.

Moss is in the air

Each CityTree is just under 4 meters tall, nearly 3 meters wide and 2.19 meters deep, available in two versions: with or without a bench. A display is included for information or advertising.

Berlin-based Green City Solutions claims its invention has the environmental benefit of up to 275 actual trees.

But the CityTree isn't, in fact, a tree at all -- it's a moss culture.

"Moss cultures have a much larger leaf surface area than any other plant. That means we can capture more pollutants," said Zhengliang Wu, co-founder of Green City Solutions.


So far, around 20 CityTrees have been successfully installed, with each costing about $25,000.


Wu also argued that the CityTree is just one piece of a larger puzzle.

"Our ultimate goal is to incorporate technology from the CityTree into existing buildings," he said.

"We dream of creating a climate infrastructure so we can regulate what kind of air and also what kind of temperature we have in a city." '

- By Chris Giles, This 'tree' has the environmental benefits of a forest, June 8, 2017


' Ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2030'

'..committed to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.'

'The future of shipping is, without a doubt, silent and emission free.'

(Global Infrastructure Upgrade) - Mexico's former president: Global infrastructure needs an upgrade

'Thorium reactor: cleaner, safer and sustainable nuclear energy within sight'

'..reductions in air pollution and lower costs .. moving to low-carbon electricity generation..'

Crowdfunding Focus Fusion (since May 6, 2014) - 'Focus Fusion: Clean Energy For All'

(Fusion Power) - LPP Focus Fusion 1; '..FF-1 results are right now far ahead..'

June, 2017 - 'Renewable sources of energy have generated more electricity than coal and gas in Great Britain..'

          'Nuclear Crisis Group .. preventing .. the use of nuclear weapons.' (no replies)        
'VIENNA — In response to the alarming rise of tensions involving nuclear-armed governments and their allies, the Global Zero movement has formed an international Nuclear Crisis Group dedicated to preventing these flashpoints from escalating to the use of nuclear weapons. The NCG will launch May 5-6 at the United Nations in Vienna at the first preparatory meeting of the 2020 Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference.'

- Global Zero Launches Nuclear Crisis Group To Prevent Nuclear War, May 5, 2017


Vision of Humanity - Global Peace

          '..committed to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.' (no replies)        
'Leaders from the City of Portland and Multnomah County have committed to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.

In an announcement earlier this week, authorities said that their goal was to meet the community's electricity needs with renewables by the year 2035 and to move all remaining energy sources to renewable ones by 2050.


Multnomah County is the most populous county in Oregon. Its Chair, Deborah Kafoury, welcomed the news. "This is a pledge to our children's future,'' she said. "100 percent renewables means a future with cleaner air, a stable climate and more jobs and economic opportunity.''

Portland is among a number of U.S. cities looking to embrace renewables. Over the weekend Chicago's Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, announced that city buildings there were to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.'

- Anmar Frangoul, Portland commits to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, April 12, 2017


(Fusion Power) - LPP Focus Fusion 1; '..FF-1 results are right now far ahead..'

(Fusion Power) - '..LPP has so far has two out of the three necessary ingredients for successful breakeven..'

' Ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2030'

The nuclear retreat - '..the global transition to sustainable 100 percent renewable energy.' - ' Europe by 2050.'

(To Heal) - '..the forces and forms of nature -- clouds, mountains, waves -- in cities of the future.'

(In The Electric Universe) Open Source Infrastructure, beginning of the Enterprise Nervous System (ENS)

          Vision of Humanity - Global Peace (no replies)        
'Economists on Peace aims to stimulate global discussion and shared learning on economic aspects of peace and conflict leading to appropriate action for peace, security and the world economy.'

- An Economists for Peace and Security editorial collaboration

'The need to understand what works in peacebuilding, how to measure its impact and cost-effectiveness is essential to long-term efforts to prevent violence and build peace. Yet, there is much we collectively do not know about peacebuilding, what works and doesn’t work, let alone what activities broadly define it. At a time when the international community’s resources to international development and aid are under strain due to tightened national budgets and stress from humanitarian action, the need to understand and invest in the most cost-effective ways to build long term peace is more crucial than ever.'

- Report: Measuring Peace Building Cost-Effectiveness

Context (Haptopraxeology) - '..We have lost three centuries as a result of ignoring our scholars!'

Global Peace Index

The Book of Peace

Four Ways Peace Research Made an Impact in Nuevo León, Mexico

Gold, Peace, and Prosperity

In The Electric Universe a Future of Peace and Love

'..tell your boss you think the company has a love deficit.' - Hamel

(To Heal)(Reinventing Organizations) - ' about what happening in the space of organizations going Teal.'

(In The Electric Universe) Open Source Infrastructure, beginning of the Enterprise Nervous System (ENS)

          'Open source is now mainstream..' (no replies)        
'Open source is now mainstream. More and more developers, organizations, and enterprises are are understanding the benefits of an open source strategy and getting involved. In fact, The Linux Foundation is on track to reach 1,000 participating organizations in 2017 and aims to bring even more voices into open source technology projects ranging from embedded and automotive to blockchain and cloud.'

- Mike Woster, Global Enterprises Join The Linux Foundation to Accelerate Open Source Development Across Diverse Industries, March 30, 2017


(Open Source) - '..“open innovation.” Companies such as AstraZeneca, Lilly, GSK, Janssen, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi, TransCelerate, and others..'

'..Microsoft, is shifting over to open source for its development.'

          '..the amount of leverage and excess that has accumulated in bond and Credit markets..' (no replies)        
'..the amount of leverage and excess that has accumulated in bond and Credit markets over the past eight years of extreme monetary stimulus.'

'The Fed is not blind. They monitor stock prices and corporate debt issuance; they see residential and commercial real estate market values. Years of ultra-low rates have inflated Bubbles throughout commercial real estate – anything providing a yield – in excess of those going into 2008. Upper-end residential prices are significantly stretched across the country, also surpassing 2007. They see Silicon Valley and a Tech Bubble 2.0, with myriad excesses that in many respects put 1999 to shame. I’ll assume that the Fed is concerned with the amount of leverage and excess that has accumulated in bond and Credit markets over the past eight years of extreme monetary stimulus.


The Fed collapsed fed funds from 6.50% in December 2000 to an extraordinarily low 1.75% by the end of 2001. In the face of an escalating corporate debt crisis, the Fed took the unusual step of cutting rates another 50 bps in November 2002. Alarmingly, corporate Credit was failing to respond to traditional monetary policy measures (despite being aggressively applied). Ford in particular faced severe funding issues, though the entire corporate debt market was confronting liquidity issues. Recall that the S&P500 dropped 23.4% in 2002. The small caps lost 21.6%. The Nasdaq 100 (NDX) sank 37.6%, falling to 795 (having collapsed from a March 2000 high of 4,816). No financial instability?


I revisit history in an attempt at distinguishing reality from misperceptions. Of course the Fed will generally dismiss the consequences of Bubbles. They’re not going to aggressively embark on reflationary policies while espousing the dangers of asset price and speculative Bubbles. Instead, they have painted the “housing Bubble” as some egregious debt mountain aberration. And paraphrasing Kashkari, since today’s stock market has nowhere as much debt as housing had in 2007, there’s little to worry about from a crisis and financial instability perspective.

Well, if only that were the case. Debt is a critical issue, and there’s a whole lot more of it than back in 2008. Yet when it comes to fragility and financial crises, market misperceptions and distortions play fundamental roles. And there’s a reason why each bursting Bubble and resulting policy-induced reflation ensures a more precarious Bubble: Not only does the amount of debt continue to inflate, each increasingly intrusive policy response elicits a greater distorting impact on market perceptions.

I doubt Fed governor Bernanke actually anticipated that the Fed would have to resort to “helicopter money” and the “government printing press” when he introduced such extreme measures in his 2002 speeches. Yet seeing that the Fed was willing to push its monetary experiment in such a radical direction played a momentous role in reversing the 2002 corporate debt crisis, in the process stoking the fledgling mortgage finance Bubble. And the Bernanke Fed surely thought at the time that doubling its balance sheet during the 2008/09 crisis was a one-time response to a once-in-a-lifetime financial dislocation. I’ll assume they were sincere with their 2011 “exit strategy,” yet only a few short years later they’d again double the size of their holdings.


Despite assertions to the contrary, the bursting of the “tech” Bubble unleashed significant financial instability. To orchestrate reflation, the Fed marshaled a major rate collapse, which worked to stoke already robust mortgage Credit growth. The collapse in telecom debt, an unwind of market-based speculative leverage and the rapid slowdown in corporate borrowings was over time more than offset by a rapid expansion in housing debt and the enormous growth in mortgage-related speculative leverage (MBS, ABS, derivatives).


I’ve never felt comfortable that Chinese authorities appreciate the types of risks that have been mounting beneath the surface of their massively expanding Credit system. Global markets seemed attentive a year ago, but have since been swept away by the notion of the all-powerful “China put” conjoining with the steadfast “Fed put.” These types of market perceptions create tremendous inherent fragility.'

- Doug Noland, Discussions on the Fed Put, March 25, 2017

'It’s now an all-too-familiar Bubble Dynamic. The greater the Bubble inflates, the more impervious it becomes to cautious “tightening” measures..'

'The problem today is that years of ultra-loose monetary conditions have ensured everyone is crowded on the same bullish side of the boat. Tipping the vessel at this point will be chaotic, and the Fed clearly doesn’t want to be the instigator. Meanwhile, timid little baby-step increases only ensure more problematic market Bubbles and general financial excess.

It’s now an all-too-familiar Bubble Dynamic. The greater the Bubble inflates, the more impervious it becomes to cautious “tightening” measures. And the longer the accommodative backdrop fuels only more precarious Bubble Dynamics, the more certain it becomes that central bankers will approach monetary tightening timidly. Yellen confirmed to the markets Wednesday that the Fed would remain timid – still focused on some theoretical “neutral rate” and seemingly oblivious to conspicuous financial market excess. The fixation remains on consumer prices that are running just a tad under its 2% target. Meanwhile, runaway securities market inflation is completely disregarded.'

- Doug Noland, Another Missed Opportunity, March 18, 2017

'..In terms of Credit Bubble momentum, it’s notable that Net Worth inflated over $2.0 TN in both Q3 and Q4.'

'The unprecedented amount of system-wide debt is so enormous that the annual percentage gains no longer appear as alarming. Non-Financial Debt expanded 4.7% in 2016, up from 2015’s 4.4%. Total Household Debt expanded 3.6%, with Total Business borrowings up 5.6%. Financial Sector borrowings expanded 2.9% last year, the strongest expansion since 2008.

Securities markets remain the centerpiece of this long reflationary cycle. Total (debt and equities) Securities jumped $1.50 TN during Q4 to a record $80.344 TN, with a one-year rise of $4.80 TN. As a percentage of GDP, Total Securities increased to 426% from the year ago 415%. For comparison, Total Securities peaked at $55.3 TN during Q3 2007, or 379% of GDP. At the previous Q1 2000 cycle peak, Total Securities had reached $36.0 TN, or 359% of GDP.

The Household Balance Sheet also rather conspicuously illuminates Bubble Dynamics. Household Assets surged $6.0 TN during 2016 to a record $107.91 TN ($9.74 TN 2-yr gain). This compares to the peak Q3 2007 level of $81.9 TN and $70.0 TN to end 2008. Q4 alone saw Household Assets inflate $2.192 TN, with Financial Assets up $1.589 TN and real estate gaining $557bn.

With Household Liabilities increasing $473bn over the past year, Household Net Worth (assets minus liabilities) inflated a notable $5.518 TN in 2016 to a record $92.805 TN. As a percentage of GDP, Net Worth rose to a record 492%. For comparison, Household Net Worth-to-GDP ended 1999 at 435% ($43.1 TN) and 2007 at 453% ($66.5 TN). Net Worth fell to a cycle low 378% of GDP ($54.4TN) in Q1 2009. In terms of Credit Bubble momentum, it’s notable that Net Worth inflated over $2.0 TN in both Q3 and Q4.


UBS analysts forecast (above) $3.3 TN of 2017 Chinese Total Social Financing (TSF). And with TSF excluding national government deficit spending, let’s add another $300bn and presume 2017 Chinese system Credit growth of around $3.6 TN. As such, it’s possible that China and the U.S. could combine for Credit growth approaching an Unparalleled $6.0 TN. There are, as well, indications of an uptick in lending in the euro zone, and Credit conditions for the most part remain loose throughout EM. Importantly, the inflationary biases that have gained momentum in asset and securities markets and, increasingly, in consumer prices and corporate profits provide a tailwind for Credit expansion.'

- Doug Noland, Unparalleled Credit and Global Yields, March 10, 2017


'..the S&P 500 is now far more overvalued than in 2000, 2007, or indeed in any prior point in history..'

          (Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..debt is our biggest security threat..' (no replies)        
'Now that he is president, Trump likes to tout the fact he’s listening to America’s generals. Perhaps he needs to talk to General Mike Millen, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Perhaps then he would see that the greatest threat America faces isn’t from China, Russia, or North Korea – it is from the national debt. Until Trump reverses course on military spending, and gets tough on entitlements, his "America First" budget will only make the US worse off.'

- Tho Bishop (Source, March 20, 2017)

'..a crippling national debt..'

'Under a Republican budget resolution, the national debt will explode by a third from an already staggering $19 billion to $29 trillion over the next ten years. Although counterintuitive, Democratic presidents, at least those after World War II, have reduced deficits as a portion of the value of the national economy (GDP) while Republican presidents have increased them — thus accumulating less public debt as a percentage of GDP. Yet neither political party has paid enough attention to this burgeoning national security problem.

National security problem? Yes. General Mike Mullen, while he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s top military man, was enlightened enough about long-term health of American power to realize that it takes continuing infusions of money to acquire the weapons and equipment, personnel, training, maintenance and benefits to create a credible military to adequately defend the country. In addition, all other indices of national power — political, diplomatic and cultural — require money too.

To generate those resources, a strong economy is needed. The number one problem dragging down economic growth rates through the George W. Bush and Barack Obama presidencies was a crippling national debt..'

- Ivan Eland, National debt is our biggest security threat: Column, January 11, 2017


'..World Debt Hits $152 Trillion.'

'Our nation and the world are paying a very heavy price for a failed experiment in Inflationism..' - Doug Noland

'..Global policies since the 2008 crisis have spurred the expansion of speculative finance to multiples of pre-crisis levels..'

'Germany Plans to Cut 2017 Debt Sales .. Balanced-Budget..'

'..monetary knowledge .. of currency reform under difficult conditions you have to go to Carl Menger.'

(Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..The Theory of Money and Credit .. an invaluable guide for ending the business cycles of our own time.'

(Banking Reform - English/Dutch) '..a truly stable financial and monetary system for the twenty-first century..'

          Update (February 11, 2017) - '..ethical standards..' ('.. Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post..') (no replies)        
Update February 11, 2017: 'In an interview on Monday with E&E News, Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post, and from the way his criticisms were portrayed in the Mail on Sunday article.

“The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data,” he said, “but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was.”

Climate Home, a nonprofit site based in London that offers news and analysis, also weighed in on one of the central contentions of Mr. Rose’s article, that the publication of the NOAA paper had "duped” policy makers into adopting the Paris accord. The site contacted representatives to the talks from 10 countries; none said that the paper had any influence.'

- Henry Fountain, No Data Manipulation in 2015 Climate Study, Researchers Say, February 7, 2016

Update February 09, 2017: 'Dr Bates’ main complaint is that Dr Karl and his co-authors did not follow strict procedures required for NOAA’s ‘operational’ data. It is not yet clear whether Dr Karl should have subjected his research data to the same procedures. Dr Karl, who retired from NOAA in August 2016, has not yet had the opportunity to respond fully to Dr Bates’ allegations.'

- LSE: More fake news in ‘The Mail on Sunday’, February 5, 2017 (Wikipedia Bans Daily Mail As 'Unreliable' Source, February 08, 2017))

'..a failure to observe proper ethical standards..'

'Dr John Bates’s disclosures about the manipulation of data behind the ‘Pausebuster’ paper is the biggest scientific scandal since ‘Climategate’ in 2009 when, as this paper reported, thousands of leaked emails revealed scientists were trying to block access to data, and using a ‘trick’ to conceal embarrassing flaws in their claims about global warming.

Both scandals suggest a lack of transparency and, according to Dr Bates, a failure to observe proper ethical standards.

Because of NOAA ’s failure to ‘archive’ data used in the paper, its results can never be verified.

Like Climategate, this scandal is likely to reverberate around the world, and reignite some of science’s most hotly contested debates.'

- Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data, February 4, 2017

'Whatever takes its place, said Dr Bates, ‘there needs to be a fundamental change to the way NOAA deals with data so that people can check and validate scientific results. I’m hoping that this will be a wake-up call to the climate science community – a signal that we have to put in place processes to make sure this kind of crap doesn’t happen again.


Dr Bates said: ‘How ironic it is that there is now this idea that Trump is going to trash climate data, when key decisions were earlier taken by someone whose responsibility it was to maintain its integrity – and failed.’ '

'Dr Bates retired from NOAA at the end of last year after a 40-year career in meteorology and climate science. As recently as 2014, the Obama administration awarded him a special gold medal for his work in setting new, supposedly binding standards ‘to produce and preserve climate data records’.


Less than two years earlier, a blockbuster report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which drew on the work of hundreds of scientists around the world, had found ‘a much smaller increasing trend over the past 15 years 1998-2012 than over the past 30 to 60 years’. Explaining the pause became a key issue for climate science. It was seized on by global warming sceptics, because the level of CO2 in the atmosphere had continued to rise.


In the weeks after the Pausebuster paper was published, Dr Bates conducted a one-man investigation into this. His findings were extraordinary. Not only had Mr Karl and his colleagues failed to follow any of the formal procedures required to approve and archive their data, they had used a ‘highly experimental early run’ of a programme that tried to combine two previously separate sets of records.


Dr Bates revealed that the failure to archive and make available fully documented data not only violated NOAA rules, but also those set down by Science. Before he retired last year, he continued to raise the issue internally. Then came the final bombshell. Dr Bates said: ‘I learned that the computer used to process the software had suffered a complete failure.’

The reason for the failure is unknown, but it means the Pausebuster paper can never be replicated or verified by other scientists.


Whatever takes its place, said Dr Bates, ‘there needs to be a fundamental change to the way NOAA deals with data so that people can check and validate scientific results. I’m hoping that this will be a wake-up call to the climate science community – a signal that we have to put in place processes to make sure this kind of crap doesn’t happen again.

Dr Bates said: ‘How ironic it is that there is now this idea that Trump is going to trash climate data, when key decisions were earlier taken by someone whose responsibility it was to maintain its integrity – and failed.’

NOAA not only failed, but it effectively mounted a cover-up when challenged over its data. After the paper was published, the US House of Representatives Science Committee launched an inquiry into its Pausebuster claims. NOAA refused to comply with subpoenas demanding internal emails from the committee chairman, the Texas Republican Lamar Smith, and falsely claimed that no one had raised concerns about the paper internally.'

- Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data, February 4, 2017

Context '..conduct more meetings on ethics .. Respectful discussion of different points of view should be encouraged.' - John Bates

Climategate: Follow the Money - By Bret Stephens

Those Who Control the Past Control the Future, Climate Data Edition, February 5, 2017

'..Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct..'

'Trees are the best known ‘technology’ to cool our planet'

Focus Fusion - '..So, production reactors by 2020 or so.'

(Earth Defence - Earth Shield) - Faraday - Tesla - 'The Accelerating Winds of Venus.' (Electric Universe - Solar Climate Change)

(The Electric Universe - Earth Defence - Earth Shield) - Electric Fossils and Thundercrabs

(The Electric Universe) - ' systems .. an electric “wind” surrounds and often precedes an electric arc.'

(Thymology - Haptopraxeology) - '..entrepreneurship .. actions he will carry out and estimates the future effect of those actions..'

'...The peer review process is broken...' - '...don't have the "situational awareness"...'

On the Mail on Sunday article on Karl et al., 2015, February 5, 2017

          'We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war.' - Sidney Drell (no replies)        
'..My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

'The harsh rhetoric on both sides increases the danger of miscalculations and mistakes, as do other factors. Close encounters between the military aircraft of the United States and Russia have become routine, creating the potential for an unintended conflict. Many of the nuclear-weapon systems on both sides are aging and obsolete. The personnel who operate those systems often suffer from poor morale and poor training. None of their senior officers has firsthand experience making decisions during an actual nuclear crisis. And today’s command-and-control systems must contend with threats that barely existed during the Cold War: malware, spyware, worms, bugs, viruses, corrupted firmware, logic bombs, Trojan horses, and all the other modern tools of cyber warfare. The greatest danger is posed not by any technological innovation but by a dilemma that has haunted nuclear strategy since the first detonation of an atomic bomb: How do you prevent a nuclear attack while preserving the ability to launch one?


..the Cuban Missile Crisis, when a series of misperceptions, miscalculations, and command-and-control problems almost started an accidental nuclear war—despite the determination of both John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev to avoid one. In perhaps the most dangerous incident, the captain of a Soviet submarine mistakenly believed that his vessel was under attack by U.S. warships and ordered the firing of a torpedo armed with a nuclear warhead. His order was blocked by a fellow officer. Had the torpedo been fired, the United States would have retaliated with nuclear weapons. At the height of the crisis, while leaving the White House on a beautiful fall evening, McNamara had a strong feeling of dread—and for good reason: “I feared I might never live to see another Saturday night.”


The personnel who command, operate, and maintain the Minuteman III have also become grounds for concern. In 2013, the two-star general in charge of the entire Minuteman force was removed from duty after going on a drunken bender during a visit to Russia, behaving inappropriately with young Russian women, asking repeatedly if he could sing with a Beatles cover band at a Mexican restaurant in Moscow, and insulting his military hosts. The following year, almost a hundred Minuteman launch officers were disciplined for cheating on their proficiency exams. In 2015, three launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base, in Montana, were dismissed for using illegal drugs, including ecstasy, cocaine, and amphetamines. That same year, a launch officer at Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota, was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for heading a violent street gang, distributing drugs, sexually assaulting a girl under the age of sixteen, and using psilocybin, a powerful hallucinogen. As the job title implies, launch officers are entrusted with the keys for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles.


..A recent memoir, “Uncommon Cause,” written by General George Lee Butler, reveals that the Pentagon was not telling the truth. Butler was the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, responsible for all of America’s nuclear weapons, during the Administration of President George H. W. Bush.

According to Butler and Franklin Miller, a former director of strategic-forces policy at the Pentagon, launch-on-warning was an essential part of the Single Integrated Operational Plan (siop), the nation’s nuclear-war plan. Land-based missiles like the Minuteman III were aimed at some of the most important targets in the Soviet Union, including its anti-aircraft sites. If the Minuteman missiles were destroyed before liftoff, the siop would go awry, and American bombers might be shot down before reaching their targets. In order to prevail in a nuclear war, the siop had become dependent on getting Minuteman missiles off the ground immediately. Butler’s immersion in the details of the nuclear command-and-control system left him dismayed. “With the possible exception of the Soviet nuclear war plan, [the siop] was the single most absurd and irresponsible document I had ever reviewed in my life,” Butler concluded. “We escaped the Cold War without a nuclear holocaust by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion.” The siop called for the destruction of twelve thousand targets within the Soviet Union. Moscow would be struck by four hundred nuclear weapons; Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, by about forty.

After the end of the Cold War, a Russian surprise attack became extremely unlikely. Nevertheless, hundreds of Minuteman III missiles remained on alert. The Cold War strategy endured because, in theory, it deterred a Russian attack on the missiles. McNamara called the policy “insane,” arguing that “there’s no military requirement for it.” George W. Bush, while running for President in 2000, criticized launch-on-warning, citing the “unacceptable risks of accidental or unauthorized launch.” Barack Obama, while running for President in 2008, promised to take Minuteman missiles off alert, warning that policies like launch-on-warning “increase the risk of catastrophic accidents or miscalculation.” Twenty scientists who have won the Nobel Prize, as well as the Union of Concerned Scientists, have expressed strong opposition to retaining a launch-on-warning capability. It has also been opposed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former Senator Sam Nunn. And yet the Minuteman III missiles still sit in their silos today, armed with warheads, ready to go.

William J. Perry, who served as Secretary of Defense during the Clinton Administration, not only opposes keeping Minuteman III missiles on alert but advocates getting rid of them entirely. “These missiles are some of the most dangerous weapons in the world,” Perry wrote in the Times, this September. For many reasons, he thinks the risk of a nuclear catastrophe is greater today than it was during the Cold War. While serving as an Under-Secretary of Defense in 1980, Perry also received a late-night call about an impending Soviet attack, a false alarm that still haunts him. “A catastrophic nuclear war could have started by accident.”

Bruce Blair, a former Minuteman launch officer, heads the anti-nuclear group Global Zero, teaches at Princeton University, and campaigns against a launch-on-warning policy. Blair has described the stresses that the warning of a Russian attack would put on America’s command-and-control system. American early-warning satellites would detect Russian missiles within three minutes of their launch. Officers at norad would confer for an additional three minutes, checking sensors to decide if an attack was actually occurring. The Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack System collects data from at least two independent information sources, relying on different physical principles, such as ground-based radar and satellite-based infrared sensors. If the norad officials thought that the warning was legitimate, the President of the United States would be contacted. He or she would remove the Black Book from a briefcase carried by a military aide. The Black Book describes nuclear retaliatory options, presented in cartoon-like illustrations that can be quickly understood.


Although the Air Force publicly dismissed the threat of a cyberattack on the nuclear command-and-control system, the incident raised alarm within the Pentagon about the system’s vulnerability. A malfunction that occurred by accident might also be caused deliberately. Those concerns were reinforced by a Defense Science Board report in January, 2013. It found that the Pentagon’s computer networks had been “built on inherently insecure architectures that are composed of, and increasingly using, foreign parts.” Red teams employed by the board were able to disrupt Pentagon systems with “relative ease,” using tools available on the Internet. “The complexity of modern software and hardware makes it difficult, if not impossible, to develop components without flaws or to detect malicious insertions,” the report concluded.

In a recent paper for the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, Andrew Futter, an associate professor at the University of Leicester, suggested that a nuclear command-and-control system might be hacked to gather intelligence about the system, to shut down the system, to spoof it, mislead it, or cause it to take some sort of action—like launching a missile. And, he wrote, there are a variety of ways it might be done.


Strict precautions have been taken to thwart a cyberattack on the U.S. nuclear command-and-control system. Every line of nuclear code has been scrutinized for errors and bugs. The system is “air-gapped,” meaning that its networks are closed: someone can’t just go onto the Internet and tap into a computer at a Minuteman III control center. At least, that’s the theory. Russia, China, and North Korea have sophisticated cyber-warfare programs and techniques. General James Cartwright—the former head of the U.S. Strategic Command who recently pleaded guilty to leaking information about Stuxnet—thinks that it’s reasonable to believe the system has already been penetrated. “You’ve either been hacked, and you’re not admitting it, or you’re being hacked and don’t know it,” Cartwright said last year.

If communications between Minuteman control centers and their missiles are interrupted, the missiles can still be launched by ultra-high-frequency radio signals transmitted by special military aircraft. The ability to launch missiles by radio serves as a backup to the control centers—and also creates an entry point into the network that could be exploited in a cyberattack. The messages sent within the nuclear command-and-control system are highly encrypted. Launch codes are split in two, and no single person is allowed to know both parts. But the complete code is stored in computers—where it could be obtained or corrupted by an insider.

Some of America’s most secret secrets were recently hacked and stolen by a couple of private contractors working inside the N.S.A., Edward Snowden and Harold T. Martin III, both employees of Booz Allen Hamilton. The N.S.A. is responsible for generating and encrypting the nuclear launch codes. And the security of the nuclear command-and-control system is being assured not only by government officials but also by the employees of private firms, including software engineers who work for Boeing, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Lord Des Browne, a former U.K. Minister of Defense, is concerned that even ballistic-missile submarines may be compromised by malware. Browne is now the vice-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit seeking to reduce the danger posed by weapons of mass destruction, where he heads a task force examining the risk of cyberattacks on nuclear command-and-control systems. Browne thinks that the cyber threat is being cavalierly dismissed by many in power. The Royal Navy’s decision to save money by using Windows for Submarines, a version of Windows XP, as the operating system for its ballistic-missile subs seems especially shortsighted. Windows XP was discontinued six years ago, and Microsoft warned that any computer running it after April, 2014, “should not be considered protected as there will be no security updates.” Each of the U.K. subs has eight missiles carrying a total of forty nuclear weapons. “It is shocking to think that my home computer is probably running a newer version of Windows than the U.K.’s military submarines,” Brown said.In 2013, General C. Robert Kehler, the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the risk of cyberattacks on the nuclear command-and-control system. He expressed confidence that the U.S. system was secure. When Senator Bill Nelson asked if somebody could hack into the Russian or Chinese systems and launch a ballistic missile carrying a nuclear warhead, Kehler replied, “Senator, I don’t know . . . I do not know.”

After the debacle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet Union became much more reluctant to provoke a nuclear confrontation with the United States. Its politburo was a committee of conservative old men. Russia’s leadership is quite different today. The current mix of nationalism, xenophobia, and vehement anti-Americanism in Moscow is a far cry from the more staid and secular ideology guiding the Soviet Union in the nineteen-eighties. During the past few years, threats about the use of nuclear weapons have become commonplace in Moscow. Dmitry Kiselyov, a popular newscaster and the Kremlin’s leading propagandist, reminded viewers in 2014 that Russia is “the only country in the world capable of turning the U.S.A. into radioactive dust.” The Kremlin has acknowledged the development of a nuclear torpedo that can travel more than six thousand miles underwater before devastating a coastal city. It has also boasted about a fearsome new missile design. Nicknamed “Satan 2” and deployed with up to sixteen nuclear warheads, the missile will be “capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France,” an official news agency claimed.


Russia’s greatest strategic vulnerability is the lack of a sophisticated and effective early-warning system. The Soviet Union had almost a dozen satellites in orbit that could detect a large-scale American attack. The system began to deteriorate in 1996, when an early-warning satellite had to be retired. Others soon fell out of orbit, and Russia’s last functional early-warning satellite went out of service two years ago. Until a new network of satellites can be placed in orbit, the country must depend on ground-based radar units. Unlike the United States, Russia no longer has two separate means of validating an attack warning. At best, the radar units can spot warheads only minutes before they land. Pavel Podvig, a senior fellow at the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research, believes that Russia does not have a launch-on-warning policy—because its early-warning system is so limited.

For the past nine years, I’ve been immersed in the minutiae of nuclear command and control, trying to understand the actual level of risk. Of all the people whom I’ve met in the nuclear realm, Sidney Drell was one of the most brilliant and impressive. Drell died this week, at the age of ninety. A theoretical physicist with expertise in quantum field theory and quantum chromodynamics, he was for many years the deputy director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator and received the National Medal of Science from Obama, in 2013. Drell was one of the founding members of jason—a group of civilian scientists that advises the government on important technological matters—and for fifty-six years possessed a Q clearance, granting him access to the highest level of classified information. Drell participated in top-secret discussions about nuclear strategy for decades, headed a panel that investigated nuclear-weapon safety for the U.S. Congress in 1990, and worked on technical issues for jason until the end of his life. A few months ago, when I asked for his opinion about launch-on-warning, Drell said, “It’s insane, the worst thing I can think of. You can’t have a worse idea.”

Drell was an undergraduate at Princeton University when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed. Given all the close calls and mistakes in the seventy-one years since then, he considered it a miracle that no other cities have been destroyed by a nuclear weapon—“it is so far beyond my normal optimism.” The prospect of a new cold war—and the return of military strategies that advocate using nuclear weapons on the battlefield—deeply unnerved him. Once the first nuclear weapon detonates, nothing might prevent the conflict from spiralling out of control. “We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war,” he said.


Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin confront a stark choice: begin another nuclear-arms race or reduce the threat of nuclear war. Trump now has a unique opportunity to pursue the latter, despite the bluster and posturing on both sides. His admiration for Putin, regardless of its merits, could provide the basis for meaningful discussions about how to minimize nuclear risks. Last year, General James Mattis, the former Marine chosen by Trump to serve as Secretary of Defense, called for a fundamental reappraisal of American nuclear strategy and questioned the need for land-based missiles. During Senate testimony, Mattis suggested that getting rid of such missiles would “reduce the false-alarm danger.” Contrary to expectations, Republican Presidents have proved much more successful than their Democratic counterparts at nuclear disarmament. President George H. W. Bush cut the size of the American arsenal in half, as did his son, President George W. Bush. And President Ronald Reagan came close to negotiating a treaty with the Soviet Union that would have completely abolished nuclear weapons.

Every technology embodies the values of the age in which it was created. When the atomic bomb was being developed in the mid-nineteen-forties, the destruction of cities and the deliberate targeting of civilians was just another military tactic. It was championed as a means to victory. The Geneva Conventions later classified those practices as war crimes—and yet nuclear weapons have no other real use. They threaten and endanger noncombatants for the sake of deterrence. Conventional weapons can now be employed to destroy every kind of military target, and twenty-first-century warfare puts an emphasis on precision strikes, cyberweapons, and minimizing civilian casualties. As a technology, nuclear weapons have become obsolete. What worries me most isn’t the possibility of a cyberattack, a technical glitch, or a misunderstanding starting a nuclear war sometime next week. My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

- Eric Schlosser, World War Three, By Mistake, December 23, 2016


The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

          '..Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct..' (no replies)        
Update February 11, 2017: '..ethical standards..' ('.. Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post..')

'A new study has shown that a 2015 NOAA paper finding that the Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct.


This paper is another reminder why it is so important to invest in the temperature measurements that are needed to create long-term climate records. We really need uninterrupted measurements that span many years/decades if we want to truly understand the Earth’s changing climate.

..Now let’s move on to solving the problem.'

- New study confirms NOAA finding of faster global warming, January 4, 2017


Focus Fusion - '..So, production reactors by 2020 or so.'

(The Electric Universe) - ' systems .. an electric “wind” surrounds and often precedes an electric arc.'

(Global Infrastructure Upgrade) - Mexico's former president: Global infrastructure needs an upgrade

Sejarah jaringan komputer global ( dunia ), dimulaipada tahun 1969, ketika Departemen Pertahan Amerika, membentuk Defense Advance Research Projects Agency ( DARPA ) yang bertujuan mengadakan riset mengenai ‘cara menghubungkan sejumlah komputer sehingga membentuk jaringan organik’.

Program riset ini kemudian dikenal dengan nama ARPANET ( Advance Research projects Agency Network ). pada tahun 1970, lebih dari 10 komputer telah berhasil dihubungkan ( satu dengan yang lain ), saling berkomunikasi, dan membentuk sebuah jaringan. pada atahun 1972, Roy Tomlinson berhasil menyempurnakan program e-mail yang ia ciptakan setahun yang lalu untuk riset ARPANET.

Program e-mail tersebut begitu mudah dan lansung populer saat itu. pada tahun yang sama, icon [@] diperkenalkan sebagai lambang yang menunjukkan “at” atau “pada”. Tahun 1973, jaringan komputer yang diberi nama ARPANET mulai dikembangkan meluas sampai luar Amerika Serikat. komputer di University College di London merupakan komputer diluar Amerika yang menjadi anggota jaringan ARPANET. pada tahu yang sama pula, dua orang ahli komputer Vinton Cerf dan Bob Khan mempresentasikan sebuah gagasan yang lebih besar yang menjadi cikal bakal pemikiran International Network. ide ini dipresentasikan untuk pertama kalinya di Sussex University.
Hari bersejarah berikutnya terjadi pada tanggal 26 Maret 1976. ketika itu, ratu Inggris berhasil mengirimkan sebuah e-mail dari Royal Signals and Radar Establishment di Malvern. setahun kemudian, lebih dari 100 komputer telah bergabung dalam system ARPANET dan membentuk sebuah jaringan atau Network.
Pada tahun 1979, Tom Truscott, Jim Ellis, dan Steve Bellovin menciptakan Newsgroups pertama yang diberi nama USENET ( User Network ). pada tahun 1981, France Telecommenciptakan sebuah gebrakan baru dengan meluncurkan telepon televisi pertama dunia ( orang dapat saling menelepon sambil berinteraksi denagan Video link ).
seiring dengan bertambahnya komputer yang membentuk jaringan, dibutuhkan sebuah protokol resmi yang dapat diakui dan diterima oleh semua jaringan. untuk itu, pada tahun 1982 dibentuk sebuah komisi Transmission Control Protocol ( TCP ) atau lebih dikenal dengan sebutan Internet Protocol ( IP ) yang kita kenal hingga saat ini. sementara itu, didaratan Eropa muncul sebuah jaringan tandingan yang dikenal dengan Europe Network ( EUNET ) yang meliputi wilayah Belanda, Inggris, Denmark, dan Swedia. Jaringan eunet ini menyediakan jasa e-mail dan newsgroup USENET.

Untuk menyeragamkan alamat jaringan komputer yang sudah ada, pada tahun 1984 diperkenalkan system dengan nama DOMAIN yang lebih dikenal dengan Domain Name System ( DNS ). dengan system DNS, komputer yang tersambung dengan jaringan melebihi 1.000 komputer. pada tahun 1987 diperkirakan komputer yang tersambung ke jaringan tersebut melonjak 10 kali lipat menjadi 10.000 komputer lebih.
Tahun 1988, Jarkko Oikarinen berkebangsaan Finlandia menemukan sekaligus memperkenalkan Internet Relay Chat atau lebih dikenal dengan IRC yang memungkinkan dua orang atau lebih pengguna komputer dapat berinteraksi secara langsung dengan pengiriman pesan ( Chatting ). akibatnya, setahun kemudian jumlah komputer yang saling berhubungan melonjak 10 kali lipat. tak kurang dari 100.000 komputer membentuk sebuah jaringan.pertengahan tahun 1990 merupakan tahun yang paling bersejarah, ketika Tim Berners Lee merancang sebuah programe editor dan browser yang dapat menjelajai komputer yang satu dengan yang lainnya dengan membentuk jaringan. programe inilah yang disebut WWW atau World Wide Web.

Tahun 1992, komputer yang saling tersambung membentuk jaringan sudah melampaui lebih dari stau juta komputer. pada tahun yang sama muncul satu istilah yang beken, yaitu Surfing ( Menjelajah ). tahun 1994, situs-situs Dunia mulai tumbuh dengan subur ( setidaknya, saat itu terdapat 3.000 alamat halaman ) dan bentuk pertama kalinya Virtual Shopping atau e-retail muncul diberbagai situs. Dunia langsung berubah dengan diluncurkannya perusahaan Search Engine Pertama, yaitu Yahoo!. yang dibangun oleh David Filo dan Jerry yang pada bulan April 1994. Netscape Navigator 1.0. diluncurkan dipenghujung tahun 1994.

          G4NP Around the Globe - Zooming in on Action Against Hunger        

Every dollar and minute count to further your cause and focus on your mission. We’re pleased to highlight nonprofits who were able to make greater impact with fewer resources by using Google tools—from G Suite to Google Ad Grants–made available through Google for Nonprofits (G4NP) at no charge.

Varying in size, scope, and timezones, these nonprofits from around the world share one thing in common: utilizing the G4NP suite of tools to help their specific needs. G4NP offers nonprofit organizations across 50 countries access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Ad Grants and more at no cost. This week, we’ll take a look at how the nonprofit Action Against Hunger utilizes these tools to increase productivity, visibility, and donations,  in order to improve lives in  the communities they serve.

Action Against Hunger

In 2016 alone, Action Against Hunger provided nourishment to over 1.5 million starving children(1). In order to save lives with nutritional programs, Action Against Hunger looked to Google for aid—not for food, but for technology. Action Against Hunger now utilizes five Google technologies that have drastically improved their ability to save lives around the globe.

Raising Awareness with Google Ad Grants & Analytics

For major international emergencies, like the Ebola outbreak or the South Sudan famine, Action Against Hunger needs a way to inform people and recommend ways to get involved. With Ad Grants, the nonprofit activates targeted keywords relating to the crises to drive people to their page and empower them to take action. Google Analytics then allows them to track their effectiveness and adjust accordingly to increase engagement and improve their fundraising techniques. With this data-driven strategy and the tools’ ability to optimize campaigns, Action Against Hunger has nearly doubled funding year-over-year. In fact, Ad Grants brought 158,000 people to their website in the past year alone, raising $66,000 which is equal to treating 1,466 hungry children.

Ad Grants brought 158,000 people to their website in the past year alone, raising $66,000 which is equal to treating 1,466 hungry children.

Increasing Productivity with G Suite

When working with a global network and managing hundreds of programs abroad, collaboration and communication are key. After experiencing unnecessary latencies in their operations, Action Against Hunger has since adopted G Suite which streamlined their workflow. The nonprofit is especially fond of Gmail, Hangouts, and Drive where Action Against Hunger employees can message each other quickly, share files securely, and collaborate on Docs in real-time—avoiding duplication of efforts and saving time.

Fundraising with One Today & YouTube

To drive donations and expand awareness to broad audiences, Action Against Hunger uses One Today, a Google app that allows users to easily donate $1 or more towards causes they care about. Campaigning on One Today on World Food Day in 2016,  Action Against Hunger raised more than $1,200 in support of their cause with each dollar going directly helping those in need. Additionally, Action Against Hunger creates and shares content on YouTube to reach their global audience, and is  beginning to use the YouTube donation cards to further increase donations. The large exposure and website referrals from both YouTube and Google+ helped Action Against Hunger raise over $20,000.

Using Google products Action Against Hunger gained extra time and energy to focus on what really matters: feeding the hungry.

To read more about Action Against Hunger’s story and learn how they used Google tools so effectively, visit our Google for Nonprofits Community Stories page. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more inspirational stories about nonprofits using technology to help their cause.

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers products at no charge to qualified nonprofits.

          Unlocking G Suite for Nonprofits: Improve internal workflow and communication        

Whether you have a team of five or 500 a seamless, collaborative workflow is critical in the digital age. Our goal is to make sure that your nonprofit is able to focus on changing the world by using technology to save time -- not waste it. In the digital age though, information sharing can often be complex; your team might not work in the same office, or even the same timezone. Some team members might be in an office with computer access, while others are in the field on mobile devices. Who from your team should be able to access confidential documents?

This brings us to a key question: How do you empower team members to work together towards a common goal, and use technology to enable it?

Great question. We’d like to introduce you to G Suite - (formerly  Google Apps for Work ). G Suite aims to help teams work together in real-time -- no matter where they are in the world.

Today, we’re spotlighting a few nonprofits to share how their teams  are using Google tools and apps to improve workflow and internal communication.

Mercy Beyond Borders - Internal Communication with Sheets & Sites

Mercy Beyond Borders (MBB) is a U.S. nonprofit that aims to forge opportunities for women and girls in extreme poverty to learn, connect, and lead. Utilizing a small office in the U.S. as home base, MBB targets rural areas in Haiti and South Sudan. In both of these areas, cultural norms and poverty prohibit full participation of women. In fact, these areas offer minimal education and opportunities for employment, which often  impedes the development of leadership skills or positions. Mercy Beyond Borders focuses its programs on providing trainings, scholarships, leadership camps, and business loans for women.

To achieve their mission, Mercy Beyond Borders faces the challenge of balancing US-based operations with field work in remote areas like South Sudan and Haiti. Their nonprofit partners range from large organizations to local schools to individuals. So how does Mercy Beyond Borders ensure that all staff, vendors, and partners stay connected and working together in sync?
MBB-trained nurse in South-Sudan village
MBB-trained nurse in South Sudan village. Photo credit: Mercy Beyond Borders

Mercy Beyond Border began using G Suite to streamline its workflow, connecting their team across the globe. Using G Suite, MBB’s team is able to access, share, and collaborate together in real-time. Take a glimpse into how they do it:

  • Track Finances: MBB manages their overseas program budget expenditures in Google Sheets. Using this tool, the domestic office tracks monthly vendor payments in Haiti. This enables the staff to wire more money as needed in order to ensure program success. Additionally, using Sheets enables the team to provide transparency in the organization, clarifying spending and creating a simple overview of total annual expenses. This standardized and collaborative approach to data enables better efficiency and communication between domestic and international offices.

  • Store images: Mercy Beyond Borders regularly takes photos in the field to keep the domestic office up to date on progress and communicate stories to their donors. The team overseas is able to upload the pictures to Google Drive, which allows them to share or retrieve the images at any time.

  • Share Information: It’s imperative that MBB shares frequent updates with the Board of Directors, highlighting current developments, areas for growth, and new opportunities. To keep the Board of Directors apprised of progress, the team created a MBB Board website with Google Sites as a way to provide updates outside of meetings. The site functions as a central hub, where the Board can find all relevant information and resources at their discretion. The website is organized in subsections including internal updates from the Executive Director, background articles on country conditions and descriptions of new partnerships. To take it one step further, MBB also added a comment section for board members to engage in open communication.

“It [G Suite] helps to better connect, engage, and keep Board members up-to-date in between meetings, or  if they are unable to make a meeting (in which case they can view the Meeting Archives page),” said Adrienne Perez.

MyFace - Increasing productivity and improving internal workflow by remote access

Established in 1951, MyFace was founded to address the medical, surgical and psychological needs of those living with facial deformities. The organization offers access to care and treatments --- regardless of the severity of the anomaly, the length of treatment, or the family’s ability to afford care. In America alone, 1 in 650 children is born with an facial cleft. Every year, MyFace helps more than 1,000 patients seek treatment. Of this population, 85% are children, 70% live in poverty, and 95% require long-term care. The costs involved in this are high and verges on insurmountable for low income families. With this in mind, MyFace ensures that all children receive highest quality interdisciplinary and comprehensive reconstructive care by doctors who provide their services pro bono.

As a small nonprofit (their staff of eight including their therapy dog, Bentley), employees are required to perform a variety of different tasks. On any given day, team members might be responsible for website design, grant proposal writing, and marketing strategy. And oftentimes, what one employee starts today is  picked up by another employee tomorrow. Because it’s often all-hands-on-deck, collaboration is particularly key for MyFace.

Our mission of changing faces and transforming lives can be fulfilled with the help of technology from G4NP Carolyn Spector Executive Director MyFace

To address their challenge, MyFace began using Google Drive to centrally store, access, and share information from anywhere at anytime. Drive helped decrease the amount of time that MyFace spends on administrative tasks, like sending documents back and forth or working with out-of-date data or information. Drive’s tools like Docs and Sheets enable the team to collaborate both in and out of office.

MyFace also deals with an overwhelming amount of data and information. The team needs this data to not only be easy to store, retrieve, and share — it needs to be secure, since it contains confidential and personal patient information. G Suite offers that as well, ensuring that all information is kept private and secure. (Want to know more about G Suite security and how safe they really are? Read more about it here).

“Our mission of changing faces and transforming lives can be fulfilled with the help of technology from G4NP because it offers invaluable resources to nonprofits of any size at no cost,” stated Carolyn Spector, Executive Director of MyFace.

MyFace Staff photo
MyFace team. Photo credit: MyFace

Having global teams of different sizes with varying access to technology can make timely communication difficult, if not impossible. While nonprofits like Mercy Beyond Borders and myFace strive to accomplish unique missions, both organizations are passionate about changing the world. And about using the right technology to help. Utilizing tools like G Suite has been key for nonprofits like these in order to improve internal workflow and communications. For Mercy and my Face, making information shared, up-to-date, and secure has been crucial for navigating the Technology Age.

Interested in learning more about the tools available to your nonprofit? Check out our website to see how G4NP can help your nonprofit with real-time, up-to-date communication and data sharing.


To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received free products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers free products to qualified nonprofits.

          A nonprofit's guide to online security: So you want to learn the lingo?        
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web becoming publicly available. For many of us, this is a reminder of just how much the Internet has transformed our daily lives. This rings true for nonprofits too: The Internet has revolutionized the way that nonprofits communicate, fundraise, and recruit volunteers. It has enabled nonprofits like yours to share their mission with a global audience. To raise awareness. And to change the world. 

But the power of the Internet also comes with great responsibility -- namely the need to keep information safe and secure. As a nonprofit, it can be difficult to keep up with online security, especially when terminology seems complicated. Yes, you might have heard of terms like “phishing” or “cookies,” but what do they mean?

Today, you can find the answers to your questions with our quick & easy to guide to online security terminology. In less than five minutes, you’ll be well on the way to helping keep your nonprofit safe on the Internet. 

Let’s get started! Here’s a quick guide to familiarize yourself with common lingo and learn how to distinguish terms that are friends vs foes in the online security realm. 


  • Advanced Fee Fraud (419 scams): A technique which tricks users into sending or paying money to fraudsters on the promise of receiving greater rewards afterwards. It is most commonly associated with Nigeria, and 419 is the section of the Nigerian legal code that covers this fraud.
  • Botnet: A network of computers that are infected with malicious software without users’ knowledge, used to send viruses and spam to other computers.
  • Malware: Malicious software with the purpose of infecting devices and systems, gathering personal information, gaining access to systems or disrupting the operations of the device or systems. Essentially, any software that maliciously alters or compromises the system or device.
  • Phishing / Social Engineering Attack: An attempt by hackers who pose as trustworthy individuals or businesses in order to get your personal information such as usernames, passwords, and financial information.
  • Trojans: Malicious programs posing as or bundled with legitimate ones, which are designed to compromise your system. They are usually installed on computers from opening attachments in scam emails or by visiting infected websites. The term comes from the Trojan Horse in Greek mythology.

How to avoid social engineering attacks


  • [Internet] Cookie: A piece of data from a visited website and stored in the user's web browser in order to remember information that the user has entered or engaged with such as items in a shopping basket on an e-commerce site.
  • Encryption: The process of encoding data, messages, or information, such that only authorized parties can read it.
  • Firewall: A security system used to block hackers, viruses, and other malicious threats to your computer. It does this by acting as a barrier, acting on predetermined rules, which allows trusted traffic but blocks untrusted or non-secure traffic. 
  • HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol): is the protocol for secure communications over a computer network used on the Internet. It essentially provides authentication of the website and the web servers associated with it. 
  • Transport Layer Security (TLS): TLS is a protocol that encrypts and delivers mail securely, both for inbound and outbound mail traffic. It helps prevent eavesdropping between mail servers – keeping your messages private while they're moving between email providers. 
  • Two Factor Authentication / Two Step Verification: A method of using an additional process to verify your identity online. It combines both ‘something you know’ (like a password) and ‘something you have’ (like your phone or security key) — similar to withdrawing money from an ATM/cash machine, where you need both your PIN and your bank card.

That’s a wrap for now! Pass on these tips to your nonprofit partners to stay safe and secure online, so you can focus on what matters most: changing the world. 


To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more at no charge. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

          From LA to Tokyo: YouTube Spaces opens production studios to nonprofits free of charge        
We know that having a physical space to do your work matters, but it’s not just about where you work — it’s about what you create there. So today, we’re announcing special access to YouTube Spaces, YouTube’s global network of production studios, for eligible nonprofits to learn, connect, and create great content for YouTube.

Given that Google was started in a garage, we’re more than familiar with the limits of physical space. As a nonprofit, it can be difficult to find access to great spaces for video production, especially when time, location, and money are constraining factors. As a result, space often becomes limiting, rather than limitless, to producing great content on YouTube.

From LA to London, Tokyo to Mumbai, Berlin to São Paulo, YouTube Spaces empower nonprofits by providing them exclusive access to the best production resources around — all at no cost. All enrolled nonprofits with 1,000 or more subscribers are now eligible to apply for production access at YouTube Spaces.

But we’re also offering more than just physical space. In addition to our state-of-the-art production facilities, YouTube Spaces brings together creatives of all stripes. YouTube Spaces offers nonprofits opportunities to learn new skills through live workshops, as well as collaborate with the YouTube community through events, panels, screenings, and more! 

YouTube Spaces
Don’t know where to begin? Once enrolled in and approved by YouTube for Nonprofits, start with theYouTube Creator Academy. From there, nonprofits can take advantage of the workshops offered by YouTube Spaces to establish a successful foundation on the platform. From lessons on building your channel to learning physical production, these workshops will help your nonprofit define its strategy and engage subscribers. Then, it’s time to get the cameras rolling! 

Get out of your garage, and get ready to create something amazing. After all, spaces are not just about where we we work -- it’s about what we create there.

Find out more about the YouTube Spaces here. 

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Nonprofit must have signed up for the Google for Nonprofits program and be enrolled specifically in the YouTube for Nonprofits product with a YouTube channel that has at least 1,000 subscribers. Qualifying YouTube channels must be free of copyright and terms of use strikes.

          Broadway Unlocked shares five lessons learned from hosting a livestream benefit        
Each year, one in six people in the U.S. will be victims of violent crimes. Two years ago, we became part of the effort to change that, when we began work with Broadway Unlocked. 

Two years ago, we met Jessica Ryan — a woman whose mission is rooted in two seemingly unique spheres: celebrating live theatre and helping survivors of interpersonal violence. Jessica founded the  Broadway Unlocked #giveback concert, a livestream, interactive benefit concert aimed at connecting the two communities and helping raise awareness and donations for the Crime Victims Treatment Center (CVTC). The CVTC, New York State’s largest and most comprehensive hospital-based victim assistance program, provides therapy and services to survivors of assault, abuse and violence. All treatments at CVTC are free.

In an effort to reach a larger audience and expand the nonprofit’s donor base, Broadway Unlocked collaborated with Google for Nonprofits to broadcast the show and spread the message globally in 2016. On February 22, Google for Nonprofits helped bring Broadway to YouTube for the second year in a row with one night of song and social responsibility through the concert. To bring the show beyond NYC, Google Fiber hosted a watch party at the Fiber space with local Kansas City theatre groups and community members. 

This was a Broadway show unlike any other. This was Broadway with a variety of star performers, including Kyle Dean Massey, Carolee Carmello, Ali Stroker, Natalie Weiss, and Collabro. This was Broadway hosted by Google Fiber. Streamed via Google Hangouts on Air. And fueled in part by fundraising through donation cards on YouTube. This was Broadway on the internet -- crowdfunded and broadcast for one night only.

How did Broadway Unlocked make their globally livestreamed and crowdfunded event a success? We’re turning the mic towards Broadway Unlocked to hear what they learned.

5 Lessons Learned from Hosting a Livestream Benefit

  1. Engaging the community is key: Using Hangouts on Air, we were able to pull off a cross-city sing-a-long! Check it out. The video wasn’t flawless, but we successfully transported Broadway beyond the Big Apple.

  2. Global events can help grow engagement and donor base: Putting on an event in different cities is no easy feat. But it's amazingly rewarding to bring like-minded people and groups together to support similar causes. Hangouts and livestream technology made reaching new communities easier to do in one event. And by engaging these communities, we’ve been able to grow a stronger community and ultimately, donor base.

  3. Interactive video adds another dimension of creativity: Using Hangouts allowed us to engage the audience on the other side of the screen, adding a new dimension unique from watching on a passive screen. Our creative team came up with Musical MadLibs, (our new favorite game!), which really shows how we were able to interact with the crowd through video chat.

  4. Google is a gamechanger for nonprofits: YouTube and Google Fiber enabled us to livestream the concert to theatre lovers and supporters in Kansas City and hundreds of people at home that night. This allowed us to increase the viewership of our benefit by 10X more than if we had only shown the concert to the folks at the Greene Space in NYC.

  5. Crowdfunding and donation cards can help you reach your goals: Through crowdfunding using donation cards on YouTube, One Today donations, live fundraising at the concert, and private donations, we raised more than ever before -- an astounding $50,000. This additional funding will hugely impact our ability to provide treatments for victims of domestic violence in tandem with the CVTC.

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate in the nonprofit programs, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

If you are a U.S. nonprofit looking to add donation cards to your YouTube videos, learn more here.

Nonprofits aren't endorsed by YouTube or Google

          Google for Education presents: Google RISE Awards!        

Google for Education just opened applications for the Google RISE Awards, a $10-25k USD grant given to nonprofit organizations globally that give girls and underrepresented students access to computer science through extracurricular outreach programs. In 2015, 37 organizations from 17 countries received RISE Awards for projects ranging from programming clubs in Johannesburg to workshops on CS and music production in San Francisco. 

Learning about CS promotes valuable problem solving skills that students can apply to any field of study. Unfortunately, many students have a negative perception of what CS is and who it’s for. By partnering with nonprofits that are providing students with access and exposure to CS, we hope to change this perception and encourage more students to pursue CS. We’ve been inspired by the creativity and passion we’ve seen from our past RISE awardees, and this year we’re excited to expand the reach of the RISE awards by opening two rounds of funding applications for nonprofit organizations. 

The RISE Awards are now accepting applications through February 19, and more information on the application process is listed on our website. Visit to learn more about Google’s other CS resources, including our CS teacher professional development awards, Computer Science for High School (CS4HS), which is also currently accepting applications for the 2016 year.

          Senior Teaching & Learning Specialist - Coursera        
Mountain View, CA - Teaching & Learning ? Mountain View, CA
Coursera is scaling a global platform to provide universal access to the world?s best education. We?re driven by the passion and mission to let people learn without limits.

At Coursera, the Teaching and Learning team, a passionate
          Compensation and People Analytics Lead - Coursera        
Mountain View, CA - Talent ? Mountain View, CA
Coursera is scaling a global platform to provide universal access to the world?s best education, and we?re driven by the passion and mission to let people learn without limits. To date, we?ve brought over 2000 courses to 27 million learners worldwide,
          A Fifteen-Year Summer Tradition        
Do you have summer traditions you look forward to each year? A summer tradition that we both share has happened in August for the past fifteen years: the Global Leadership Summit. Our church, Central Christian AZ is a satellite host for this huge event. Every year we participate with new anticipation and expectations depending on…
          Kulturarbetares inkomster pÃ¥ Irland ökar        
För tio år sedan drabbade den globala finanskrisen Irland hårt och pengarna till kulturen minskade. Men nu ser det ljusare ut igen och författarnas och konstnärernas inkomster ökar.
          Parah Inilah Efek Global Warming        
          Western Union Partners With Liverpool FC        
The Western Union Company and Liverpool FC have announced a multi-year partnership for the global payment and money transfer service company to become an Official Principal Partner and the Official Money Transfer Partner of the famed football (soccer) club. As the “Official Money Transfer Partner,” the company will use its “global cross-border digital transfer and...
          Six Questions With Steven Anthony, Founder/Managing Partner of Global Sports Management        
Steven Anthony is an accomplished Senior Executive, Entrepreneur and Board Member, with more than fifteen years success across the banking, finance, and hospitality industries. Anthony is a graduate of Dillard University where he received his B.A. in Business Administration & Management and he also holds a Master’s degree from Georgetown University in Real Estate. He and...
          Octagon Launches Global Media Rights Consulting Division Led By Daniel Cohen        
Per a press release from the company, Octagon, the sports and entertainment marketing leader, announces the launch of the agency’s global Media Rights Consulting practice. The new group will provide strategic consultation to major domestic and international rights holders, broadcasters, emerging distribution platforms and the sports investment community. Octagon’s media advisory services will leverage the strength...
          Account Manager        
CA-Orange, Account Manager - Project Team The Company: Transcend Information, Inc. was founded in 1988 by Mr. Chung-Won Shu, Peter, with its headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan. Today, Transcend has become a leading global brand of digital storage, multimedia and industrial products with 14 offices worldwide. Not only do we design, develop, and manufacture all of our own products, but we also market and sell them
          ÐÐºÑƒÐ»Ð¸Ð¹ торнадо 5: Глобальное роение / Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017) WEBRip 1080p         

Категория: Фильмы/HDTV/HD/Blu-Ray/MKV
Размер: 2.56 GB
Траффик: Раздают (отдают): 9,330, Скачивают (качают): 7,366
Добавлен: 2017-08-09 18:15:50
Описание: Информация о фильме
Название: Акулий торнадо 5: Глобальное роение
Оригинальное название: Sharknado 5: Global Swarming
Год выхода: 2017
Жанр: Ужасы, фантастика
Режиссер: Энтони Ферранте
В ролях: Тара Рид, Дольф Лундгрен, Касси Скербо, Оливия Ньютон-Джон, Масьела Луша, Дэн Фоглер, Йен Зиринг, Гилберт Готтфрид, Чаро, Коди Линли

О фильме: Большая часть Америки лежит в руинах, а в это время на остальные континенты обрушивается торнадо, который приносит с собой кровожадных акул. Фин вместе со своей семьёй начинает своё путешествие по миру, чтобы помочь людям выжить.

Выпущено: США
Продолжительность: 01:28:40
Озвучивание: Профессиональный многоголосый [Синема УС]

Формат: MKV
Качество: WEBRip 1080p
Видео: MPEG-4 AVC, 1920x1080, 3751 Кбит/с
Звук: Русский (AC3, 2 ch, 384 Кбит/с)

          ÐÐºÑƒÐ»Ð¸Ð¹ торнадо 5: Глобальное роение / Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017) WEBRip 720p        

Категория: Фильмы/HDTV/HD/Blu-Ray/MKV
Размер: 2.22 GB
Траффик: Раздают (отдают): 6,066, Скачивают (качают): 9,175
Добавлен: 2017-08-09 18:11:07
Описание: Информация о фильме
Название: Акулий торнадо 5: Глобальное роение
Оригинальное название: Sharknado 5: Global Swarming
Год выхода: 2017
Жанр: Ужасы, фантастика
Режиссер: Энтони Ферранте
В ролях: Тара Рид, Дольф Лундгрен, Касси Скербо, Оливия Ньютон-Джон, Масьела Луша, Дэн Фоглер, Йен Зиринг, Гилберт Готтфрид, Чаро, Коди Линли

О фильме: Большая часть Америки лежит в руинах, а в это время на остальные континенты обрушивается торнадо, который приносит с собой кровожадных акул. Фин вместе со своей семьёй начинает своё путешествие по миру, чтобы помочь людям выжить.

Выпущено: США
Продолжительность: 01:28:40
Озвучивание: Профессиональный многоголосый [Синема УС]

Формат: MKV
Качество: WEBRip 720p
Видео: MPEG-4 AVC, 1280x720, 3215 Кбит/с
Звук: Русский (AC3, 2 ch, 384 Кбит/с)

          Review: Skinfood Egg White Pore Mask + Brief update about my life        
Hello readers! As promised I will be reviewing Skinfood Egg White Pore Mask.

One of pet peeves is having visible white heads or black heads on my skin. I am prone to having white heads on my skin. When I stayed up late consecutively, I will start seeing white heads sprouting on below my lower lip, chin area and sides of my lips. I also get paranoid when that happens, because I fear if people can see it when stand close to me. There are lots of products for black heads but not much product are available for specially white heads. I find Skinfood Egg White Pore Mask relatively effective for my white heads treatment.
I can't find any information on this product on skin website. I can only find information on the global website. Perhaps it is not available in Singapore. I am not to sure myself since my sister bought it for me directly from South Korea in July this year.

Here is the description of the product found on the tub, "A pore-refining mask that contains egg white and eliminates pore-clogging impurities", "Egg white is loaded with albumin that consists of amino acids".

The mask is white in colour and has mud pack consistency. It is quite easy to apply as well, It glides smoothly across the skin. I usually apply a thin layer (just enough to cover my skin), as shown below.

After leaving it on fro 10-15 mins, I will wash it with lukewarm water. The main point is washing using lukewarm water. I tried washing with normal temperature water, I feel that there is difference in effectiveness. After washing, I can feeling my skin becoming smoother, lesser white heads bumps. I tried using it when I have occasional break outs too, it aggregate my acne and I felt it help in recovery in some ways too. I pore also tighten around the T-zone after using it. All in all I felt that it is a good product that it easy to use. Now, I incorporate it in my skin care regime. I try to use it once a week. It is not very drying on the skin too, however if you have dry skin, you might want to put on moisturiser after using this mask. Remember to cleanse before using the mask too!

I will rate it 5/5 stars.

Just a brief update about my life, the content of year 4 university modules has been pretty difficult. I didn't do we'll for my midterms as well. I have been feeling that I have no life these days. Sometimes, I wonder if my hard will pay off or not. Do you readers have any quotes to recommend to me? Motivational quotes that give you strength during hard times? If you do, please share with me using the comment section below.

Have a good day.

          Nintendo Wii U gets December 8th release date for Japan: 26,260 yen for basic set, 31,500 yen for premium        

Nintendo Wii U heading to Japan on December 8th 26,260 yen for basic set, 31,500 yen for premium

The Nintendo Wii U arrives on Japanese shores on December 8th starting at 26,260 yen (around $340), Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced this morning via Nintendo Direct's video stream. A presentation later today in New York City starring Nintendo of America prez Reggie Fils-Aime will reveal pricing and release dates for the rest of the world, but you'd be right in guessing it won't be too far from the Japanese launch.

A basic set (only in white) and premium set (only in black) were revealed, with the darker option adding more storage; 32GB, up from 8GB on the cheaper bundle. The Premium set (priced at 31,500 yen, or about $405) consists of the console, GamePad, a charging stand, play stand, and yet another stand for the Wii U itself. Those GamePads will also be available standalone for 13,440 yen, which could see American gamers paying around $173 for the luxury of a spare.

The Wii U pro controllers are priced at 5,040 yen ($65) each, while the Wiimote will continue to be priced at 3,800 yen (around $50), now in a range of colors. Likewise, the nunchucks will come in three color palettes. The GamePad charging stand will also be available to buy separately -- setting you back around 1,870 yen -- around $25. Naturally, there's going to be some international variance in these prices so we'll be updating once we get those global prices cemented.

We've been given a little more detail on the technical specifics too, with the Wii U packing 1GB of its own ("main") memory alongside 1GB for running games. Two titles, New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land will both debut alongside the console -- we're expecting to hear even more software details later today.

Ben Gilbert contributed to this post.%Gallery-165202%%Gallery-165204%

Source: Nintendo Japan

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The biggest global vote ever to have taken place. Millions of people have already voted for their favorite wonder.  Numerous milestones have already been reached on a journey across the Internet, television and the world’s media. The Taj Mahal (1630 A.D.) Agra, India This immense mausoleum was built on the orders of Shah Jahan, the […]
          Burn After Reading        

Who’s Who
What’s What

In the World of CIA Fronts, Partners, Proprietaries & Contractors


The Almost Classified Guide to CIA Front Companies, Proprietaries & Contractors
ISBN: 978-1-365-11196-9

Cool Justice Editor's Note: Following are excerpts from author Madsen's introduction and the body of the work. Additional suggested reading: News story about Madsen's book via the Washington, D.C. based Justice Integrity Project [link at the bottom of this post].


From the Introduction

One of the most pervasive uses of companies as intelligence partners was under the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD. During the Cold War, the CIA, often with the approval of corporate executives, infiltrated their agents to work as journalists in newspapers, radio and television networks, wire services, and magazines. The following pages in this book are rife with examples of this penetration of the Fourth Estate – all too many in the opinion of this journalist. The CIA admitted to at least 400 journalists on the agency’s payroll at the height of MOCKINGBIRD. The CIA traditionally understates its capabilities, especially when its covert activities become publicly known. Moreover, the end of the Cold War did not stop the practice of the CIA in infiltrating the media and slant news reports to its wishes.


An insightful look behind the veils of secrecy into the CIA’s use of fronts, proprietaries, and partners calls into question the purpose of the CIA. Created by President Harry S Truman to serve as a central collector and repository of intelligence, the CIA became much more than that. A few weeks after the United States witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy in the middle of downtown Dallas, Truman penned an op-ed piece that appeared in several newspapers around the country. In it, Truman shared his regret for having created the CIA in 1947:

“I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA . . . For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

"I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue.”


The 21st century’s CIA’s partners are more likely to be found among high-tech companies marketing the latest and greatest mobile applications and data mining programs than among banks, law offices, and advertising agencies. However, in the post-World War II era, the CIA’s top and middle echelons were normally found operating through cover as typewriter-pecking journalists, traveling Madison Avenue admen, corporate lawyers, and chain-smoking oilmen. In the 1970s and 80s, CIA contractors and partners began showing up in the high-tech field, with database, local area networking, and on-line information retrieval systems attracting the most interest by Langley.


As this book went to press, the smart phone game application Pokémon Go fad was sweeping the planet. Unbeknownst to many of the on-line game’s avid fan’s was the connection of the game’s developers to the CIA’s venture capital firm IN-Q-TEL. All users saw their geo-location and other smart phone data being swept up by a CIA partner firm.


Amazon, Inc. [CIA contractor]. Company provides cloud computing services for the CIA. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.

American Historical Society. [CIA partner]. Many society officials were OSS/CIA officers.

American Press Institute. [CIA front]. Operating out of Columbia University, the institute’s director in the 1950s was a CIA officer.

AmeriCares. [CIA partner]. A non-profit organization that is often the “first in” at refugee situations. Founded by tycoon J. Peter Grace, a board chairman of the CIA front, the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) and a trustee of another CIA front, the American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, AmeriCares was involved in funding the Nicaraguan contras. The group has also provided the CIA with recruiting opportunities at mass refugee sites, particularly in Latin America and Asia.

Bechtel Corporation. [CIA contractor]. Bechtel is a large construction company that has included former CIA director Richard Helms, CIA pseudonym “Fletcher M. Knight,” among its executive ranks. Bechtel was active in providing corporate cover for the OSS in the Middle East during World War II. Bechtel has been a consummate service company for various CIA operations, including support for the CIA-inspired coup against the Syrian government in 1949, the Iranian government of Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadeq in 1953, and President Sukarno of Indonesia in 1965. From the 1960s to the 1970s, Bechtel provided cover for CIA agents in Libya under both the regime of King Idris and his successor, Muammar Qaddafi. Sometimes called a “secret arm” of the CIA, Bechtel’s executives included those who would join President Reagan’s Cabinet, including Secretary of State George Schultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

Before World War II, Steve Bechtel formed a military-industrial complex partnership with John McCone. McCone later became the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and later, director of the CIA. The CIA has used Bechtel to provide cover for non-official cover CIA operatives abroad.

Blackstone Investment Group. [CIA front]. With offices in Washington, DC and Moscow, arranged for the purchase of KGB documents following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Among the documents sought by the front company were any related to illegal CIA activities during the Cold War, including the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant. [CIA front]. Opened in 1967 in King’s Cross in Sydney, Australia. Served as a rendezvous point for CIA, Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), and organized crime figures. Its proprietor was Bernie Houghton, a CIA operative with links to Nugan Hand Bank, CIA weapons smuggler Edwin Wilson, and CIA clandestine services officers Theodore Shackley, Rafael Quintero, and Thomas Clines.

Center for Democracy. [CIA front]. Administered under the aegis of Boston University, the center maintained offices in Boston, Washington, DC, Guatemala City, and Strasbourg, France. Involved in CIA operations in eastern Europe, Central America, and Africa.

Colt Patent Firearms Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Hartford, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

Daddario & Burns. [CIA partner]. Headed by former OSS officer Emilio Daddario, a Democratic Representative from Connecticut, the Hartford-based law firm provided services to the CIA.

DC Comics. [CIA partner]. Worked with the International Military Information Group (IMIG), a joint CIA/Pentagon unit at the State Department, to disseminate propaganda comic books, featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, in Serbo-Croatian and Albanian, to youth in the Balkans during the military conflicts in that region.

Disney Corporation. [CIA partner]. CIA agents who were adept at creating front companies and shell corporations in Florida, worked closely with Disney in preparation for the construction of Disney World near Orlando, Florida. OSS veteran “Wild Bill” Donovan and CIA shell company expert Paul Helliwell helped create two fake Florida cities, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, as well as a number of shell corporations, to keep secret the plans for Disney World. This kept land prices low because real estate speculators were unaware of the prospective value of the land in a desolate area of central Florida.

Emory School of Medicine. [CIA partner]. Located in Atlanta, Georgia. Involved in the CIA’s MK-ULTRA behavioral modification project.

Enron Corporation [CIA partner]. Houston-based firm that was used by the CIA to provide commercial cover for its agents around the world. There were at least 20 CIA employees on Enron’s payroll. Andre Le Gallo, a former official of the CIA’s Operations Directorate, went to work as a corporate intelligence officer for Enron.

Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). [CIA front]. Officially established by American Trotskyists, the group was penetrated by CIA operatives. The FPCC New Orleans office was a CIA front that provided cover for the anti-Fidel Castro activities of Lee Harvey Oswald, Clay Shaw, and David Ferrie, among others. The New Orleans FPCC office was located at 544 Camp Street and shared the same building entrance with Guy Banister Associates, Inc., a private detective agency, the address for which was 531 Lafayette Street and around the corner from 544 Camp Street.

In December 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the FPCC ceased all U.S. operations.

General Electric Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Fairfield, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

General Foods Corporation. [CIA partner]. Advertising account at CIA’s Robert Mullen Company handled by an active CIA employee.

Google, Inc. [CIA partner]. Developed as a result of a research grant by the CIA and Pentagon to Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science. The CIA referred to the research as the “google project.”

Greenberg Traurig. [CIA partner]. Washington, DC “connected” law firm.

Guy Banister Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New Orleans private detective agency headed by former FBI agent Guy Banister. The detective agency coordinated the activities of various anti-Castro Cuban groups in New Orleans, including Banister’s own Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean, as well as the Cuban Revolutionary Council, the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, Friends of Democratic Cuba, and the Crusade to Free Cuba Committee.

Banister and Associates shared office space with the CIA’s New Orleans front, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, headed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Hale and Dorr. [CIA partner]. Boston-based law firm that provided cover for CIA’s Independence and Brown Foundations.

Halliburton. [CIA contractor]. Based in Houston, it is the world’s largest oil service company. Recipient of a number of CIA sole-source contracts for services worldwide.

Harper and Row, Inc. [CIA partner]. Manuscripts submitted to the New York publisher that dealt with intelligence matters, particularly CIA operations, were turned over to the CIA for censoring edits before publication.

Hewlett Packard Corporation. [CIA partner]. Sold computers to Iraq for Saddam Hussein’s missile program with the knowledge and approval of the CIA.

Hill & Knowlton. [CIA partner]. Public relations firm that teamed with the CIA on a number of operations. Hill & Knowlton’s numerous offices abroad provided cover for CIA agents. One known Hill & Knowlton office that was a CIA front operation was in Kuala Lumpur.

Kerr-McGee. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating overseas.

Kissinger Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New York-based international consulting firm founded by former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft is a co-owner. The firm provided support to the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation and the Bilderberg Group. Much of the 1982 seed money for Kissinger Associates was provided by Goldman Sachs.

Knight Foundation. [CIA partner]. Also known as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Based in Miami, the foundation provides funding for various CIA-connected media operations in the United States and around the world.

Kroll Inc. [CIA partner]. Founded in 1972 by Jules Kroll, who had links to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence. Based in Manhattan. French domestic law enforcement believed Kroll’s Paris office was a CIA front. Kroll handled the security for the World Trade Center after the 1993 terrorist bombing and continued to be responsible for security up to, during, and after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Kroll employed former FBI assistant director for counter-terrorism John O’Neill, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

Lincoln Savings and Loan. [CIA partner]. Based in Irvine, California and headed by notorious swindler Charles Keating, Jr., involved in laundering funds for the Iran-contra scandal.

Lone Star Cement Corporation. [CIA partner]. Based in Stamford, Connecticut and linked to the Bush family, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad. Involved in the Iran-contra scandal.

Mary Carter Paint Company. [CIA front]. A money-laundering operation for the CIA. Involved in casinos in the Bahamas.

Monsanto. [CIA partner]. The firm contracted with former CIA official Cofer Black’s Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), a subsidiary of the CIA-connected Blackwater USA, later Xe Services, to monitor animal rights groups, anti-genetically modified (GM) food activists, and other groups opposed to Monsanto’s agri-business operations worldwide.

National Enquirer. [CIA partner]. The tabloid’s founder, Generoso (Gene) Pope, Jr., worked for the CIA’s psychological warfare unit and the agency’s Italy branch in 1950. In 1952, Pope acquired The New York Enquirer broadsheet and transformed it into a tabloid, renaming it The National Enquirer. This transformation bore the imprimatur of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program.

Newsweek. [CIA partner]. Magazine reporters and stringers fed information to the CIA. Newsweek’s stringers in southeastern Europe and the Far East were CIA agents. When Newsweek was bought by The Washington Post Company in 1961, cooperation between the magazine and the CIA increased. It was a participant in the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program. Much of the staff of Newsweek was absorbed into a new online publication, The Daily Beast, which continues to disseminate CIA-influenced articles. See Washington Post.

Nieman Foundation. [CIA partner]. Located at Harvard University, the foundation awarded Nieman Fellowships, some on behalf of the CIA, for foreign journalists to study at Harvard. The journalists were subjected to CIA recruitment efforts prior to their returning to their home countries.

Pamela Martin & Associates. [CIA partner], Escort firm run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called “DC Madam.” During her 2008 trial for mail fraud, Palfrey attempted to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act in order to discuss her relationship with the CIA. The U.S. Court refused Palfrey’s request and she was convicted and later said to have committed suicide before her sentencing hearing in Washington, DC. One of her clients was Randall Tobias, the head of the CIA-connected USAID. Another was Louisiana Republican senator David Vitter.

Paris Review. [CIA front]. Literary magazine edited by George Plimpton. Published works by Jack Kerouac and Samuel Beckett. The magazine’s co-founder, Peter Matthiessen, relied on his affiliation with the magazine as his CIA cover.

Quaker Oats Company. [CIA partner]. Worked with the CIA and Atomic Energy Commission to place trace amounts of radiation in breakfast cereal served to boys at the Fernald School for the mentally retarded in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Radio Corporation of America. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Iran, Philippines, Japan, and West Germany. Provided technical assistance to CIA-financed clandestine and propaganda radio stations worldwide, including Radio Free Europe. RCA founder David Sarnoff was a major supporter of CIA operations, including propaganda dissemination around the world. RCA chairman and chief executive officer Thornton F. Bradshaw was active in the operations of the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation.

Reily Coffee Company. [CIA partner]. Also known as William B. Reily Coffee Company and based in New Orleans, this company employed Lee Harvey Oswald and a number of other U.S. government employees, many of whom were suspected CIA officers.

Robert M. Mullen Company. [CIA proprietary]. A Washington, DC public relations firm, it was used as a front for CIA activities. E. Howard Hunt, the CIA agent, worked for Robert Mullen when he was arrested in the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington in 1972. The Senate Watergate Committee reported that “the Mullen and Company has maintained a relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency since its incorporation in 1959. It provided covers for agents in Europe (Stockholm), Latin America (Mexico City), and the Far East (Singapore) at the time of the Watergate break-in.”

Rockefeller Foundation. [CIA partner]. Used by the CIA to direct scholarships and grants to the Third World and Eastern Europe. Rockefeller Foundation money was funneled to the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), created in 1948. The chairman of ACUE was OSS chief William J. Donovan and the vice chairman was Allen Dulles. One of ACUE’s board members was Walter Bedell Smith, the first CIA director.

Summa Corporation. [CIA partner]. Owned by Howard Hughes, Summa is believed to have skimmed gambling profits from the Sands, Desert Inn, Frontier, Silver Slipper, Castaways, and Landmark casinos in Las Vegas and Harold’s Club in Reno for the CIA and the Mafia. Provided financial cover for the CIA’s Glomar Explorer project.

Teneo Intelligence. [CIA partner]. Branch of Teneo Holdings, which is headquartered in New York. Teneo Holdings’s intelligence branch includes former CIA officials. Teneo is closely linked to former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Teneo Intelligence has offices in New York, London, Rome, Brussels, Dubai, Bogota, New Delhi, and Tokyo.

Texas Commerce Bank (TCB). [CIA partner]. Houston-based bank founded by the family of James Baker III. Texas Commerce Bank was used to provide commercial cover for CIA agents. After serving as vice president for Texas Commerce Bank in Caracas from 1977 to 1979, Jeb Bush joined his father’s presidential campaign in 1980. Serving with Bush on the campaign was Robert Gambino, the CIA deputy director of security who gave Bush his orientation brief at Langley in 1977.

Kenneth Lay, the chairman of Enron, which had its own links to the CIA, served on the board of Texas Commerce Bank. Texas Commerce Bank was acquired by Chemical Bank in 1987.

The bank provided major loans to Howard Hughes’s Summa Corporation. See Summa Corporation.

United Fruit Company [CIA partner]. Involved in 1954 CIA overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz government in Guatemala. Published the Latin America Report, a publication that was a CIA front used for clandestine activities. The CIA transferred weapons to United Fruit employees in Guatemala who were involved in undermining the Arbenz government. The joint CIA-United Fruit plan was code named OPERATION FORTUNE. Company provided an airfield in Guatemala for the CIA’s training of Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

U.S. Rubber Company. [CIA partner]. Headquartered in Naugatuck, Connecticut and later called Uniroyal, provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad. Included those operating under the cover of the Dominion Rubber Company of Canada, a subsidiary of U.S. Rubber Company.

U.S. Youth Council (USYC). [CIA front]. Founded in 1945 and based in New York. Some 90 percent of its funds came from the CIA. USYC received funding from the Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs (FYSA), a CIA front. The USYC was composed of American Youth Hostels, Camp Fire Girls, 4-H, American Unitarian Youth, National Catholic Welfare Conference, National Students Assembly, YMCA and YWCA.

Wackenhut. [CIA contractor]. Wackenhut, a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based security firm, stood accused of providing the CIA with specialized services around the world, including Chile, Greece, and El Salvador. Its Venezuelan branch, Wackenhut Venezolana, C.A., was accused in 2002 of involvement in the CIA’s coup against President Hugo Chavez. William Casey served as Wackenhut’s outside counsel before becoming CIA director in 1981.

Wackenhut eventually merged into the global security firm G4S.

Washington Post. [CIA partner]. The Washington Post was part of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD, the agency’s media influence project. Post publisher Phil Graham was a close friend and associate of MOCKINGBIRD chief Frank Wisner, Sr. and CIA director Allen Dulles. Wisner assisted Graham in acquiring The Washington Times-Herald and WTOP radio, creating a sizable CIA-influenced media operation in the nation’s capital.

W. R. Grace. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Latin America. Provided donations to CIA front foundations.

  • News story about Madsen's book via The Justice Integrity Project

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              LA GRAN "UTILIDAD" DE LA OEA...        
    Asamblea General 35 de la OEA.
    Decía en estos días el dictador venezolano Nicolás Maduro que a la OEA no la quiere nadie. ¿Cómo va a ser verdad una frase de tan despreciable personaje? ¡Tiene que estar "equivocado"! ¡La "verdad" únicamente la dice gente inteligente y agradable! Para refutar la frase de Maduro (aunque estaría "refutada" por quien la dice) vamos a mostrar la inmensa utilidad de la OEA.

    En los inicios de la juventud hay un idealismo que raya con la ingenuidad. Todos los recién egresados de colegio vibran por cambiar el mundo. Saben más de la profesión que piensan estudiar los que ya la estudiaron. Una época hermosa con unas ansias de cambiar el mundo más fuertes que las de Putin y las de Obama... Y es aquí donde viene la OEA. Con el ánimo de implantar "valores democráticos" se crean simulaciones de la OEA. Los jóvenes por un instante juegan a cambiar el mundo. Los hombres de corbata y las niñas de sastre. Una elegancia que eleva su "espíritu" a la categoría de aquellos representantes del continente... Sin la OEA ¿A qué jugarían nuestros jóvenes?

    Maduro diría que podrían jugan a un modelo de la "Asamblea Nacional". Más de uno elegiría ser Diosdado Cabello sin lugar a dudas. Pero la Asamblea Nacional Bolivariana es muy aburrida. La mayoría tendrían que gritar que están "rodilla en tierra" con el comandante eterno. La minoría básicamente tendría que gritar que "no existen garantías para la oposición". Lo único es que podría armarse un "bochinche" y liberar aquellas bajas pasiones... Tal vez esa sea una simulación un poco más auténtica del costoso circo de la política. Pero ¿Acaso eso eleva su noble y digno espíritu de nuestra juventud? 

    La diplomacia es el arte, que requiere enorme valentía, de sonreirle a quien en condiciones normales querrías pegarle un puño. No es hipocresía, para nada, por el contrario se requiere una gran valentía para sonreírle a alguien que detestas. Esto es incomprensible por algunas personas sobre todo en Antioquia y la Costa Colombiana.  Sin embargo, en su mayoría la gente en Colombia es "diplomática". En todo caso, más vale una sonrisa falsa que una guerra auténtica...

    Uno de los grandes beneficios conseguidos por la diplomacia es el de la "inmunidad diplomática". Más allá de entrar a analizar tan "valiosa" institución en sus debidas "excepciones" es claro que esto representa un beneficio. La inmunidad diplomática no solamente se presenta para "misiones diplomáticas" ante países, sino para aquellas ante instituciones como la OEA o la ONU.

    En un mundo donde priman principios como "la libertad de circulación" o la no-discriminación por razones de nacionalidad (leáse pasaporte) ¿Cómo se sacarían beneficios adicionales para personas "iguales ante la ley"? ¡Con la inmunidad diplomática! Se trata de una discriminación positiva en razón del pasaporte, de uno especial claro está. Siendo todos iguales ante la ley ¿cómo podríamos encontrar una forma para que a alguien le dijeran "Su Excelencia"? Eso sin contar que eso facilita el tránsito en aeropuertos demorado por medidas proteccionistas (que surgen "precisamente" como formas para facilitar la libertad de circulación y la no-discriminación) como las visas o las aduanas. Sin tantas instituciones internacionales ¿Cómo haría el político para incluir en la lista de su gigantesco número de "amigos" de los beneficios del poder? Ese carrusel de roscas, beneficios y adulación requiere privilegios especiales...

    Hay un tercer beneficio que presenta la OEA. Se trata de una Organización que no escatima en realizar toda serie de eventos, cocteles, tratos especiales, etc. Se trata de la socialización del más alto nivel. En estos eventos como "foro para la erradicación del hambre" se invita a "líderes comprometidos" a "discutirlo" en hoteles del más alto nivel. Se trata de eventos que sus asistentes no solamente no pasen hambre, sino que coman esquisitos manjares. Manjares que los motiven a una "reflexión profunda" para sacar una resolución, declaración, etc., donde se diga que se quiere acabar con el hambre. Â¿Cómo conseguiríamos aquellas "valiosísimas" declaraciones que se dan en eventos del más alto nivel?

    Eso sin contar con que, los organismos internacionales son buenos empleadores. ¿Qué pasaría con empleos como los del Secretario General, despachos, asistentes, adjuntos? No se puede negar que, en un mundo lleno de problemas económicos, se requiere resolver los problemas de empleo. Es "vital" para nuestra economía que haya personas encargadas de manejar varios tipos de sellos y la logística que ello implica. Más aún, por su directa relación con emitir otras de declaraciones acerca de la importancia de acabar con el hambre. Situación que llevará a otras declaraciones sobre tan importante problema... Eso sin contar que las facultades de relaciones internacionales perderían inmensas "ventajas" para el mercadeo de sus programas. ¿Dónde van a trabajar sus egresados? En esta economía global hay que "garantizarles" un empleo...

    Es así como Nicolás Maduro está equivocado. No solamente por ser él quien lo dice, sino por la importancia de la institución que se trata. Sin ella ¿Qué remedarían los jóvenes para cambiar el mundo? ¡Se perderían empleos, se desperdiciarían inmunidades diplomáticas (que podría darle a sus "amigos")! Sin la OEA y las instituciones internacionales ¿cómo podríamos tener un circo donde los payasos cumplan al pie de la letra el protocolo y la etiqueta? Sin ellos no tendríamos quien lograra darnos pan... bueno declaraciones que harán que este aparezca mágicamente...

    Esta mañana me encontré este artículo en el muro de un amigo El artículo por un imperialismo ecológico critica el imperialismo económico, pero su crítica, aunque razonable en algunos puntos, no deja de tener el trasfondo errado de muchos ecologistas: ¡imponer condiciones a los países subdesarrollados para que los ecologistas de los desarrollados sigan contaminando en paz! Pero lo irónico es que The ecologist critica una de las fuentes de generación de energía renovable más bonitas, eficientes y que puede darle a la gente que vive en ese territorio que llaman Colombia fuentes de riqueza. Además, la crítica se hace de manera ligera pasando por alto las consideraciones del International Panel on Climate Change acerca de sus ventajas.  En el punto que acierta es precisamente en los abusos del estado sobre las comunidades, donde vale la pena resaltar que el aprovechamiento del potencial hidroeléctrico no da derecho a expropiar, en favor del que sea. 

    Este escrito consta de varias partes. El primero es que hay una confusión entre inversión extranjera y concesión de monopolios extranjeros, donde los ecologistas aciertan. Y para la aclaración cito a un a un profesor de la Universidad de New York, a Murray Rothbard. Luego, muestro que tras el ecologismo hay también imperialismo, pero uno que suele gustarle a ciertas izquierdas, uno que impone condiciones insoportables a los países pobres, para que los ecologistas nórdicos no tengan cargos de conciencia por prender la calefacción, dado que en las zonas tropicales hay selvas que se beneficiarán de su cariño al planeta. En ella explico que hay una falacia en cuanto a la consideración que hace el artículo de las hidroeléctricas, incluso basándome en el IPCC. Posteriormente, se muestra que las hidroeléctricas además de ser tecnologías que producen energía eficiente sin emisiones de CO2 (no se discute acá el tema de si el cambio climático es originado o no por el hombre) es una oportunidad de ofrecer energía barata. El precio de la energía se relaciona con el crecimiento económico, inclusive una disminución de la demanda de energía puede ser un indicio previo a una crisis económica. La energía eléctrica es clave en la industria y una energía más barata puede disminuir costos. Finalmente, ante un planteamiento del artículo que menciona las pérdidas de energía en transmisión y distribución (o sea los cables que llevan la energía de la planta a su casa) que denuncian a que se deben ¿a las leyes de la física? ¿a viabilidad técnica pero no económica? ¿a ineficiencia? Esto porque consideraban que era más importante disminuir las pérdidas que construir hidroeléctricas. Hasta cierto punto, por física, las pérdidas en transmisión son inevitables, no sé cuál sea el punto. Pero eso no es una excusa para no mejorar la oferta. 

    El imperialismo ecológico es una realidad. Sin embargo, muchos partidos de izquierda al ser ecologistas están convencidos de que no es imperialismo. Ya Hayek denunciaba que existía una imposición de países ricos y contaminados que obligaban a países pobres y selváticos a generar amplias áreas protegidas. Esto genera como dice don Alpiniano en El Tomismo Desdeñado unos beneficios a unas personas que no les corresponden, imponiendo cargas a otros que no las merecen. Sin embargo, luego de que en estos países -como Colombia- nadie puede hacer nada, ni tiene cómo adquirir recursos para explotar sus ventajas ahí sí llegan empresas extranjeras que, haciendo convenios con el gobierno, adquieren los beneficios que los nacionales no han tenido. 

    Hace Murray Rothbard, citado por el instituto Mises Hispano una distinción importante entre la sana inversión extranjera y la alianza de empresas ricas con gobiernos ineptos pobres:

    "Los conservadores norteamericanos insisten en particular en resaltar ante los países retrasados las grandes posibilidades y la importancia de las inversiones privadas procedentes de los países avanzados, y les incitan a crear un clima favorable a las mismas, de modo que no se vean sujetas al instigamiento de los gobernantes. Todo ello es muy cierto, pero, una vez más, a menudo es irreal, dada la situación de estos países. Estos conservadores caen persistentemente en el error de no saber distinguir entre las inversiones exteriores legítimas del mercado libre y las basadas en concesiones monopolistas y en donaciones de vastas extensiones de tierras otorgadas por los Estados subdesarrollados. En la medida en que las inversiones exteriores se basan en monopolios y en agresiones contra el campesinado, en esa misma medida adquiere el capitalismo extranjero las características de los señores feudales y debe ser combatido con los mismos medios"

    En este sentido, estoy de acuerdo con el artículo -y en contra del imperialismo económico- en que el estado confunde inversión extranjera con monopolio extranjero. Y el monopolio es desagradable venga de donde venga, sea el monopolio estatal tan "nacional", como cualquier otro. Por eso, cuando Robledo, senador del Polo, defendía a los arroceros por la imposición ridícula de tener que comprar nuevas semillas estaba promoviendo algo anarcocapitalista y liberal, aunque con argumentos de izquierda. 

    Lo mismo pasa en este caso, si se trata de una inversión privada ¿por qué el estado entra y desaloja campesinos? ¿Por qué expropia? Y por más que la ley diga que la expropiación requiere una indemnización al precio del avalúo comercial, ¿es el avalúo comercial el precio de venta? Hombre, no estoy en momento de calcular las rentas campesinas vs las rentas hidroeléctricas, pero sospecho que las rentas hidroeléctricas son más altas. Ahora, si el campesino no quiere vender al precio que dice el avaluador ¿por qué le quita el estado su tierra bajo la excusa del "bien común" para las rentas particulares? No creo que si la transacción se diera en condiciones de libre mercado los campesinos salieran a protestar. Hay alrededor de un millón de kilómetros de líneas de transmisión eléctrica, y si uno viaja por carretera suele ver vacas o sembrados alrededor. ¿Por qué esos campesinos no protestan? Porque 1. esos terrenos no son expropiados sino que cuentan con servidumbres de paso, 2. Se suelen hacer arreglos de mercado. Hombre, hay casos de casos, pero en general no se ve un descontento generalizado. 

    Pero, no, la herramienta de la expropiación es el arma para el bien común, como en Venezuela que hay mucho "bien común", siendo tan paradisiado que prefieren venirse para Colombia. La expropiación existe pero tiene sus límites. En todo caso, sin estado Â¿quién expropiaría para que se hicieran las vías? 


    Sin embargo, las razones ecológicas que plantean para oponerse a las hidroeléctricas son más bien pobres. En primer lugar, las consideran también causa del calentamiento global. ¿Cómo? No quiero citar el artículo porque me da pereza pero la idea se resume en 1. cortan bosques tropicales que recogen el CO2, 2. son fuentes de Metano. Hombre ¿cómo un artículo que cita el Panel Intergubernamental sobre el Cambio Climático para defender a los campesinos y el agro sale a decir que son más contaminantes? En primer lugar, si uno revisa lo que dice el IPCC en materia de energía hidoeléctrica (sacaron un documento sobre energías alternativas) su resumen -de la IPCC- arranca así: "Hydropower offers significant potential for carbon emissions reductions" Creo que en ese punto "The ecologist" se equivoca. 

    Por otro lado argumenta que las represas (reservoirs) son fuentes de Metano. La verdad, lo que dicen los científicos climáticos es que si bien el metano CH4 es un gas efecto invernadero, su absorción es más rápida que el CO2, una diferencia que va desde unas décadas en el metano, hasta miles de años para el dióxido de carbono. Además, de acuerdo con la siguiente imagen que proviene del último reporte del IPCC parte del CO2 proviene del uso de la tierra
    Francamente, si queremos disminuir TODAS las emisiones humanas de CO2 hay que empezar por dejar de respirar. ¿Y todas las artificiales? Dudo que la energía que utiliza "The ecologist" sea propiamente energía que no emita CO2 -bueno, puede ser nuclear que no les gusta tampoco- pero no es de las "terribles" hidroeléctricas. 

    ¿Qué otra razón puede tener "The ecologist"? ¿Proteger los bosques de los países subdesarrollados? ¿Para qué? ¿Para que haya bosques que puedan chuparse el CO2 que producen sus plantas a carbón, gas, petróleo, etc. a costa de energía más costosa, menor productividad, entre otras, en nuestros países? ¿Para que ellos puedan seguir subsidiando sus industrias a cambio de que las nuestras no puedan competir en sus mercados por el costo de la energía?


    Lago Calima.
    Uno de los embalses en Colombia.
    En un apartado anterior cuestioné el manejo del monopolio estatal con la empresa. El estado es una asociación de políticos corruptos con empresarios ineficientes. Pero tanto la oportunidad a nivel de recursos hídricos que hay en Colombia, la eficiencia energética de las hidroeléctricas, su costo en comparación con las térmicas a base de carbón, gas, gasolina, su posibilidad de cambiar potencia (a diferencia de otras renovables de potencia inestable) y almacenar la energía, entre muchas otras, me hacen tenerle cariño a esta tecnología. Creo que en el punto anterior quedó desvirtuado que las hidroeléctricas tengan impactos a nivel global vía CO2 (lo que hacen es quitar el calmadero de conciencia de los ecologistas ricos que les permite seguir emitiendo CO2 bajo la tranquilidad que los bosques tropicales los recogerán). El metano no me preocupa realmente y creo que es una afirmación que no estaba fundamentada, al fin y al cabo, los embalses no son aguas estancadas. 

    El potencial hidroeléctrico de ese territorio que llaman Colombia es una maravilla. Eso sin contar con el potencial energético de otras tecnologías renovables como las fotovoltaicas por su ubicación terrestre, las mareomotrices, entre otras. Que cualquiera venga y lo explote es necesario, aunque en condiciones de mercado, no monopólicas ni imperialistas. Adicionalmente, la energía hidroeléctrica es más barata. En el siguiente gráfico hay un promedio de los precios mensuales en comparación al porcentaje de generación térmica en Colombia:

    Por puro azar puede observarse con claridad la correlación entre el porcentaje de generación térmica en Colombia y el precio constante (deflactado con IPC) de la energía. Como la gráfica de generación térmica de alguna manera encaja con la hidráulica (la cogeneración y la eólica representan porcentajes insignificantes) podría afirmarse que a mayor generación hidráulica en general menos precio. ¿Por qué se presentan esos baches en la generación? La razón es muy simple, el agua es renovable pero no predecible. Si uno mira las correlaciones de series de ingresos los caudales en dos o tres días tienen altas correlaciones, pero alrededor de dos meses -algo que corroboré con un ex empleado de ISA e ISAGEN- las correlaciones son nulas. 

    Hay incertidumbre en el ingreso del agua. Adicionalmente, en unas ocasiones por década se presenta el fenómeno del niño. El fenómeno del niño genera lluvias en Perú -un país desértico- y trae sequía a un país lluvioso como Colombia. Como el agua escasea hay que producir la energía con un sustituto: las termoeléctricas. El costo de la energía se dispara. En este momento parece que están las condiciones para que se dé el fenómeno del Niño si es que no estamos ya en él. De ese fenómeno se ha venido especulando desde que empecé a investigar este tema en Junio del año pasado (o sea el 2014). Esa especulación posiblemente también influye en los precios, el aumento de la producción térmica y la disminución de la hidroeléctrica porque ante el riesgo de escasez se empieza a guardar el agua. El profesor John Jairo García y otros de EAFIT en un paper al respecto proponía medir las expectativas de aportes al sistema en relación con el precio: 

    "Una variable importante sobre la determinación del precio en el mercado no regulado que debiera incluirse en estudios futuros son las expectativas climatológicas; en la medida en que se espere una disminución del recurso hídrico, generará expectativas de aumentos en el precio.".

    La intuición tras el análisis es muy buena, pero dudo que pueda encontrarse una variable de expectativas climatológicas. Aunque si algo me soprendió de John Jairo era esa capacidad de creatividad econométrica. El caso es que la ventaja de tener un sistema donde el "combustible"que es el agua es variable, permite inferir que, al menos en las condiciones geográficas de los Andes Colombianas, es más barato que el uso de otros combustibles.

    Es así como la construcción de hidroeléctricas -aunque respetando los derechos de propiedad privada- es una necesidad para mantener bajos los precios de la energía. Hay muchos trabajos que buscan predecir el precio de la energía y lo hacen en función de variables hídricas. Pero nada mejor que leer los errores de las predicciones pasadas de los economistas. En este artículo participó mi amigo y profesor de econometría Mauricio Lopera y dice lo siguiente:

    " La coherencia del resultado se corrobora en el mes de enero de 2014, donde se aprecia una caída grande en el precio producto de la entrada en operación de El Quimbo y Sogamoso, las cuales en conjunto aumentan la oferta de electricidad en 1220 MW"
    Mauricio nos insistía mucho que verificáramos que el resultado econométrico coincidiera con la "intuición" económica.  El problema es que las predicciones se equivocan y fuertemente. En el artículo citado, se muestra que los precios caerían en enero de 2014, la razón sería lógica la entrada de hidrosogamoso y quimbo (que es la que menciona The ecologist). Los precios en 2014 en bolsa fueron altísimos, y apenas hoy 16/01/2015 leí que estaban inaugurando la planta de hidrosogamoso. Lo que es cierto es que esas plantas deberían influir en la disminución del precio por el aumento de la oferta, además, de un insumo mucho más barato como "combustible" que el carbón. En eso acertó el trabajo de Mauricio y otros. Pero el cómo o cuánto bajarán los precios no podemos calcularlo con exactitud. 

    Los cables suelen dañar las fotos de paisajes.
    Pero ¿no puede haber buenas fotos de cables de alta tensión?

    El sistema de energía que nace con las leyes 142 y en concreto 143 de 1994 tiene muchas deficiencias. Aunque la L143/94 trataba de dar paso a un modelo más parecido al de un mercado, esa distinción del mercado regulado del consumidor de energía hace que nos saquen un ojo de la cara porque sus precios están muy por encima de los de bolsa; aunque relativamente influidos por ellos como lo mostraba el profesor John Jairo García. El modelo aunque avanza hacia tratar de liberar lo que considera de mercado y regular lo que considera "monopolio natural" se queda corto. Pero realmente si hay algo aburrido es la regulación del sistema de energía, como todas las regulaciones. Hablemos más bien de leyes bonitas, las del "fatum" o de la naturaleza... las humanas dan asco. 

    Quiero enfocarme más en los problemas que mencionaba "The ecologist" y es las "pérdidas" de energía del sistema de transmisión y distribución. Una de las leyes de la física es la ley de la entropía. Básicamente consiste en que aunque la energía no se destruye, solamente se transforma, se degrada a formas de energía más "desordenadas". Básicamente la energía se transforma en "calor", o que es lo mismo que movimiento y vibración molecular. Utilizaremos el término "pérdida" de energía en un sentido amplio, o económico, pero entendiendo que solamente es una transformación no utilizable.  Esta es la razón por la cual no existe una máquina perfecta, sin desgaste y de movimiento absoluto. Por esta razón los relojes de péndulo necesitaban que les dieran "cuerda". 

    De esta manera, por cada 1 KWh (3.600.000 Joules) que produce uno recibe una cantidad menor de energía porque esta se ha "pérdido" transformándose en calor. Esto se debe a que los transformadores -que no entiendo cómo funcionan pero cambian el voltaje- generan pérdidas, la transmisión de energía puede generar calor, en la costa el desgaste de los cables genera pérdidas. Todo esto, como me decía un ex trabajador del sector eso es parte del costo de la energía. Dice textualmente "The ecologist" que se pierde alrededor del 16% de la energía generada:

    "Yet the Government is neglecting simple options to raise power supply - like reducing the high level of losses in transmission and distribution, which run at about 16% of power generation and amount to some 10,000 GWh per year - more than four times the energy production of El Quimbo."
    Pero es que por las leyes de la física: ¡tiene que "perderse" parte de la energía generada! De la energía potencial del agua embalsada el 80%-90% se transmite por medio de la electricidad y el 10%-20% se "pierde" o sea se transforma en "calor". ¡Y es de las más bajas! Las térmicas pierden el 59% de la energía contenida en el combustible, las nucleares el 70%  (CARTA GONZÁLEZ, CALERO PÉREZ, COLMENAR SANTOS, CASTRO GIL, & COLLADO FERNÁNDEZ, 2013, pp. 113-114). Puede que pueda perderse menos bajo un mantenimiento mucho más costoso, o puede que efectivamente pueda perderse menos. El caso es que siempre se va a "perder" algo de la energía. 

    Puede que The Ecologist tenga razón en que se aumente la eficiencia energética. Algo que puede ser inviable o física o económicamente. Pero eso no es razón para impedir que se produzcan plantas de producción de energía eléctrica, es bueno aumentar la oferta por todos los medios. 

    Lo que no puede el gobierno es ordenar que se cree energía, ni que no se degrade una parte en otras formas. Gracias a Dios las leyes de la física son inderogables, imprescriptibles, inembargables, anteriores al ser humano mismo. ¿Puede imaginarse una ley que cree energía? El Congreso de Colombia Decreta "Créase energía a partir de la nada...". Gracias a Dios eso no es posible, no soy capaz de imaginarme la inflación energética lo que produciría, al menos la moneda de la naturaleza es absolutamente neutral. O una ley que diga "Derógase la gravedad", el totazo que se pegarían de cuenta de creer en su validez sería de lo lindo...

    En primer lugar pido perdón al lector por tratar la energía de una forma tan política. Es decir, es demasiado pobre, aunque no más pobre que el Ministro de Minas que confundió potencia con energía, pero ¿quién es uno para cuestionar a los "doctores" Ministros? ¡De pronto ignoro una ley que asimila energía con potencia! En segundo lugar, no es esta, ni más faltaba una defensa al régimen de energía eléctrica Colombiana, tan no lo es, que arranco dándole la razón a los ecologistas en que muchas de esas empresas grandes y concesionadas arrasan con las comunidades. El problema de esas empresas grandes, no es la falta de estado, por el contrario, su exceso, lo que falta es libertad. 

    Lo que sí creo es que en sanas condiciones de mercado y con precios justos a los dueños de las tierras, la construcción de hidroeléctricas es una de las ventajas que tiene este territorio geográficamente llamado Colombia. Es vital empezar a utilizar en este territorio las ventajas que ofrece el desarrollo de miles de tecnologías de energía renovable, como la solar, la mareomotriz, la eólica y la más fuerte la hidroeléctrica. En esta región se podría utilizar un potencial enorme para producir energía barata, renovable y libre de elementos contaminantes. Esta energía se podría exportar. ¿Por qué no hay líneas de transmisión a Panamá y Centro América? ¿Por qué no hay líneas de transmisión al Perú? ¿Imposibilidad logística? ¿No serán más bien los elevados costos regulatorios -que agudizan las barreras de entrada- sumado al monopolio estatal? ¿O el monopolio de la transmisión es "natural"? 

    Casi todas las citas salen de internet así que si no refiero la fuente, está el link. Las formalidades APA o lo que sea me parecen demasiado engorrosas para escribir informalmente. Con el internet debería bastar con el link. El único libro que cito, con todas las normas mamonas para probar su existencia, es:

    CARTA GONZÁLEZ, J. A., CALERO PÉREZ, R., COLMENAR SANTOS, A., CASTRO GIL, A., & COLLADO FERNÁNDEZ, E. (2013). Centrales de energías renovables. Generación eléctrica con energías renovables. (P. E. S.A. Ed. SEGUNDA ed.). Madrid, España.

    Conversando con un amigo de mi hermano quisimos mirar las tendencias sobre el tema del "cambio climático" o "calentamiento global". En primer lugar, quisimos mirar en concreto las mediciones de CO2 por kilotoneladas. El Banco Mundial uno de los mayores promotores de la existencia del cambio climático nos trae una larga serie, de 50 años un número geológicamente MUY relevante, del orden de un 1 y 7 ceros... antes o sea 0,000000011111111 de la edad de la tierra. No sabíamos la "amplia" duración de los periodos geológicos... pero hay buenas noticias, Estados Unidos ha ido disminuyendo su participación en las emisiones globales como lo muestra la siguiente gráfica:
    DATOS: Banco Mundial

    La tendencia es "alentadora". Lo que no nos muestran es que sus emisiones han venido aumentando desde 1960. Tampoco nos dicen que las emisiones Chinas han aumentado su participación en las emisiones globales veamos las emisiones Chinas y Norteamericanas por kilotonelada en el mismo periodo de tiempo:
    DATOS: Banco Mundial
    Y ¿hay alguna correlación entre el aumento de las emisiones chinas con la economía norteamericana? ¿Mano de obra "balata"? El caso es que es alentador ver que en 2009 cuando llegó el ambientalista y "Nobel" Barack Obama, las emisiones disminuyeron... también habrían caído con el petrolero Bush... venían cayendo con el petrolero Bush ¿Perdón? Las crisis bajan las emisiones... ¿Qué? Sí, las crisis bajan las emisiones. Para ponerlo un poco más duro, en nada impactan los políticos al manejo de emisiones... Â¿o si? La razón es simple, si el ciclo implica disminución del consumo pasan dos cosas:
    1. Por vía del consumo: las personas tratan de recortar al máximo sus gastos en políticas austeras. Apagan más la luz. Recordemos que en general la producción de energía norteamericana es del carbón o del petróleo. También la pérdida de empleos genera disminución en el uso de vehículos.
    2. Por vía de las industrias: al ver las crisis las industrias disminuyen la demanda de capital y de producción, no solamente despiden trabajadores sino que utilizan menos las máquinas. Es lo que llaman "hechos estilizados de los ciclos económicos".
    ¿Es cierto esto? Pues algo así se observa en Colombia y Cuba. Por ejemplo, en Cuba la escasa industria hace que sus emisiones no estén al nivel de las colombianas o no hayan crecido lo mismo lo mismo en Colombia, la crisis del 1999 se ve reflejada en las emisiones de CO2:
    FUENTE: Banco Mundial.
    ¿Y la disparada de las emisiones en Colombia? Hasta 2004 la construcción estuvo resentida por la crisis, a partir de 2004 se dispara, también hay minería que puede o debe influir al respecto. Lo que sí es interesante es la economía cubana, el comunismo parece que no hace creer las emisiones. Bueno, pero tienen a EEUU al lado ¿no les afecta sus mediciones? Conclusión, si es así hay que disminuir el crecimiento económico o volvernos una economía comunista -sin carbón o petróleo- para disminuir las emisiones... Es la conclusión absurda y corto placista de los ambientalistas.  
    Hay muchas falencias en estos temas. Uno puede preguntarse ¿son comparables las gráficas? Si uno es estricto no. ¿Cómo miden las emisiones de CO2 en Cuba, Colombia, EEUU y China? Las mediciones son diferentes, si en mi edificio tuviera dos barómetros y los pongo en el mimo lugar es probable que den mediciones diferentes, aproximadas pero diferentes. Lo mismo si los medidores están a las afueras o dentro de las ciudades la cuestión cambia, adicionalmente los vientos pueden llevar la contaminación hacia lugares distintos. Si es en el día en una ciudad costera la brisa del mar puede sesgar el medidor hacia arriba conservando la contaminación en ese punto. Las temperaturas pueden cambiar el proceso de ascenso, la densidad del aire varía con la temperatura, el CO2 también, los procesos de ascenso por convexión variarán de acuerdo con la latitud de la zona, la presión, la densidad del aire, entre muchos otros.
    No es igual la medición en zonas desérticas que no tienen vegetación a zonas con buena vegetación. No es lo mismo medir el CO2 en Cusco, Perú desértico, frío y a 3600 msnm que en Apartadó, Antioquia, Colombia altamente húmedo, caliente, mucha vegetación y prácticamente al nivel del mar (los dos climas más opuestos que conozco). Es así como un medidor de emisiones de CO2 no es comparable realmente de país a país. Que hay cierto nivel de error de país a país es claro... pero ¿cuánto? El "generoso" Banco Mundial que "tanta riqueza nos genera" no nos regala ese dato...
    Es así como estos datos realmente empíricos, tomados de una medición, no son comparables. No estoy criticando el empirismo como tal, estoy criticando el mal manejo que se da a lo empírico. Si no fuera un empirista no sabría que hay diferencias en la medición de diferentes medidores en la misma situación. La idea del laboratorio que se usa en física es excelente, logra aislar diversas variables, pero también tiene su error. ¿Pero un laboratorio multivariable?

              Â¿POR QUÉ SURGE EL DINERO?        

    ¿Por qué surge el dinero? ¿Para qué sirve? ¿Cuál es entonces su verdadera naturaleza? En  SOBRE EL DINERO iniciamos una serie de inquietudes acerca de la naturaleza del dinero. El dinero es algo bueno, muy bueno porque puede cambiarse por cualquier cosa útil, sin embargo, en la actualidad, desconocer su naturaleza genera muchos problemas, en especial la crisis económica que se cierne como una sombra sobre el mundo.


    Es complicado cambiar hamburguesas por casas
    o cosas que
     no le interesen a esta mujer.
    El ser humano primero era nómada y hacía de todo menos vivir bueno. Cada persona, o cada familia más bien, debía protegerse, buscar alimento, refugio, sanarse, pasar la enfermedad, entre otras, solo. Esa situación en términos biológicos era una desventaja notoria. Una desventaja que impedía la supervivencia. ¿Entonces Rousseau se equivoca en lo del buen salvaje? ¡Efectivamente! El buen salvaje solo es incapaz de satisfacer por sí mismo todas sus necesidades lo que reduce notablemente su vida.

    Un día, unas personas inteligentes, se dieron cuenta. Él es bueno para cazar, yo para arar la tierra (bueno realmente no existía el arado), aquel para hacer protectores para el frío. De esa manera si uno hacía una cosa más veloz que otro, y el otro a su vez más veloz que aquel, pues, en vez de que cada uno intente hacer todas sus labores al tiempo ¿no es mejor que el que las hace más rápido lo haga por mí y yo haga por él lo que él no es capaz de hacer más rápido que yo? Así si uno recogía 10 frutas por día y hacía 2 empaques para conservarla al día y el otro producía 10 empaques para conservar el alimento y recogía 2 frutas. ¿Por qué no se dedica uno a hacer empaques para conservación y el otro a recoger frutas? ¡Eso fue lo que hicieron! Ese fue el origen de la economía y de la ciudad y ya lo comprendía Sócrates desde tiempos inmemoriales:

    SÓCRATES: Pues bien la ciudad nace, en mi opinión, por darse la circunstancia de que ninguno de nosotros se basta a sí mismo, sino que necesita de muchas cosas. ¿O crees otra la razón por la cual se fundan las ciudades?

    ADIMANTO: Ninguna otra

    SÓCRATES: Así, pues, cada uno va tomando consigo a tal hombre para satisfacer esta necesidad y a tal otro para aquella; de este modo, al necesitar todos de muchas cosas, vamos reuniendo en una sola vivienda a multitud de personas en calidad de asociados y auxiliares y a esta cohabitación le damos el nombre de ciudad. ¿No es así? (Platón, pág. 55: 369 B).
    Sin embargo, surge un problema. Tenemos en la comunidad una persona que hace chorizos y otra que construye casas. Si el que hace chorizos ofrece un chorizo por la casa, quizás el constructor le conteste "para construir una casa necesito más alimento que un simple chorizo", entonces el que hace chorizos le contestará "me importa un chorizo...", bueno, no le contestará eso. El que hace chorizos seguramente le contestaría que podría darle 100, 1000, los que sean, pero mientras tanto el que construye requerirá comida (además de chorizo), vestidos para protegerse del frío, etc., y con chorizos no podrá intercambiar todas sus necesidades. De la misma manera si recibiera muchos chorizos, es probable que el zapatero sea vegetariano que su medio de pago sean casas o chorizos le importe "un chorizo".

    De esa manera, la ciudad, comunidad, foro, plaza, constituye, de forma "consuetudinaria" un medio de cambio. Es así como originarse de una práctica consuetudinaria y ser medio de cambio son las dos características referentes al dinero.

    ¿Qué implica que sea medio de cambio? Esto quiere decir que es el estándar o lo que mide un determinado intercambio. Es decir, el dinero es algo que puede cambiarse por todas las cosas, por todos los bienes o servicios. Es así como uno vende, pero para tener la libertad de intercambiar lo que quiera, no se vende por dinero porque nos pasaría lo de la isla desierta: ¡no serviría para nada! Con acierto sostuvo Domingo de Soto que se vende para recibir dinero y comprar de lo que falta sin compromiso de tener que recibir del comprador aquello que no necesite: “vendido lo que le sobra de una cosa, compra lo que de otra le falta (…) la compra es el fin de la venta”  (DE SOTO, 1968, pág. 593). El profesor José Alpiniano García Muñoz, en una tesis doctoral recientemente defendida en la Universidad de Navarra, nos aclara esta frase en relación al tema del valor del dinero "En consecuencia, quien vende no tiene como fin el dinero, sino la compra o adquisición de otra cosa que le falta." (GARCÍA MUÑOZ, 2011, pág. 28). La razón de ser del dinero no es otra pues que facilitar los intercambios de cosas realmente necesarias para cada persona. En otro libro del mismo autor se explica con más claridad este punto: "Como se dijo antes, el papel moneda sólo tiene razón de ser en la medida en que, por decirlo gráficamente, represente una cantidad o servicios, esto es, su razón de ser es su valor de cambio objetivo; el dinero vale toda la cantidad de bienes o servicios que puede obtenerse a cambio de él." (GARCÍA-MUÑOZ, 2001, pág. 148).

    Bolívar. Moneda Venezolana.
    El gobierno ha intentado avaluarla mediante sellos,
    pero es la mejor muestra que el valor del dinero
    nace de la costumbre.
    Adicionalmente el dinero se caracteriza por ser consuetudinario ¿Por qué consuetudinario? Porque es una costumbre, las personas se acostumbran a que esa cosa sea la medida que utilizan para intercambiar las cosas. Sin embargo, no faltan en la vida ciertos personajes que se dan el lujo de hacer dinero. Antes el oro y la plata eran los medios de cambio, en la actualidad, los estados se inventan el cuento que el dinero vale porque es hecho por ellos. Es así como surge el cuento del curso forzoso. Es así como si uno se encuentra del lado Colombiano de la frontera con Venezuela entre Villa del Rosario (Norte de Santander) y San Antonio del Táchira  y va a comprarle a un Venezolano tendría que hacerlo en pesos. Sin embargo, es precisamente en zona de frontera donde se observa lo ridícula que es su existencia. El Venezolano podría recibirle en pesos si quisiera, o únicamente recibirle en el tan "revaluado" Bolívar (moneda de Venezuela). Es que Chávez tiene el poder de producir un Bolívar "fuerte". En San Antonio del Táchira es usual que se reciban pesos como intercambio y en Cúcuta que se reciba el tan "revaluado" Bolívar. Adicionalmente, nada obstaría para que recibieran pesos, dólares, dólares canadienses, euros, yens, o tres vacas, un kilo de oro o una libra de sal. En todo caso, se acostumbra a recibir en una moneda determinada, en un "país" (en su sentido geográfico) determinado.

    Un ejemplo de que el dinero se utiliza de forma consuetudinaria es el uso del dólar estadounidense en Ecuador. ¿Por qué si es un billete que únicamente tiene cambio  curso forzoso en los EEUU? Pues porque es una costumbre. Citado por el profesor José Alpiniano, Domingo de Soto, hace ya varios siglos nos decía:  “aunque la moneda no estuviera sellada, tendría el mismo valor en el precio de las cosas”. (DE SOTO, 1968, pág. 585). Es así que si un día en Colombia o en el mundo decidiéramos cambiar nuestro "medio de cambio" por cualquier otro medio de referencia, nadie podría impedirlo...

    Es imposible en Colombia que nos inventemos un medio de cambio diferente al peso, dada nuestra mentalidad legalista y con nuestro arraigado culto al estado. Como diría Fernando González estamos sometidos al "espíritu" de Santander que consideraba que la ley era la causa de la libertad. Sin embargo, en la edad media, al resurgir del comercio, el medio de cambio era bastante escaso y el tránsito inseguro por lo que acudieron a diversas vías como el renacimiento del crédito o el contrato de cambio trayecticio (GARCÍA MUÑOZ, TÍTULOS-VALORES. RÉGIMEN GLOBAL, 2008, pág. 23 y siguientes).

    El dinero -o medio de cambio- nace como una necesidad para facilitar los intercambios estandarizando los precios de las cosas. No proviene del estado su valor o legitimidad, sino que proviene de los individuos que utilizan cierta cosa o documento para hacer sus intercambios. Eso se denota incluso cómo los individuos en momentos de escasez de un determinado medio de cambio inventan o crean figuras para facilitar el intercambio a pesar de ello.




    DE SOTO, D. (1968). De Iustitia et iure (Vol. III). Madrid: Instituto de Estudios Políticos.

    GARCÍA MUÑOZ, J. A. (2011). Derecho y Economía según Tomás de Aquino, Tesis Doctoral. Pamplona, España: Universidad de Navarra. Facultad de Filosofía .

    GARCÍA MUÑOZ, J. A. (2008). TÍTULOS-VALORES. RÉGIMEN GLOBAL. Bogotá D.C, Colombia: Temis S.A.

    GARCÍA-MUÑOZ, J. A. (2001). Derecho Económico de los Contratos.Bogotá: Ediciones Librería del Profesional.

    Platón. La República (Versión en PDF ed.).

              LA INMENSA CANTIDAD DE LO POCO        
    Ver el mundo en un grano de arena,
    y el cielo en una flor silvestre;
    tener el infinito en la palma de la mano
    y la eternidad en una hora.
    (William Blake en PAPPAS, 1996, pág. 50)

    Los seres humanos nos preocupamos tanto por las grandes obras, que las pequeñas acaban destruyendo la posibilidad de llegar a la grandeza. Es una paradoja, pero una paradoja con fuertes fundamentos fácticos que denotan cómo descuidar lo poco, es el más grande de nuestros errores. El presente ensayo partirá de una reflexión metafísica pasando por una económica, pero la intención será trascender hasta, si es posible, una reflexión mística. Partiremos de ser centaveros, con imagen de ambiciosos, para llegar a la gloria infinita... simplemente por el valor de lo pequeño.

    Una breve contemplación matemática.

    Nubes fractales.
    El fractal denota la potencia de esta paradoja,
    la parte se ve en el todo y el todo en la parte.
    Un cálculo elemental para cualquier persona es la suma de 1 + 1. La unidad pareciese una figura simple y carente de todo significado estético y místico. ¿Qué importa el número uno? ¿Uno no más? Sin embargo, cuando se ve el elevado potencial del uno a nivel matemático, su aparente carencia de significado y su falta de estética, le dan a ese número insignificante, nada dentro del infinito, un valor tan elevado que nos lleva a una paradoja: el uno es nada en comparación con el infinito pero el infinito no es nada sin el uno. ¿Cómo puede surgir tal paradoja en una proporción que todos prácticamente consideramos evidente si sabemos un poco de cálculo y de matemáticas? Evidentemente el infinito ha sido un creador de paradojas como la de Zenón (si cada vez recorro la mitad de lo que me falta ¿cuándo llegaré a la meta?) (PAPPAS, 1996, pág. 50) Sin embargo, esta explicación nos la da Pappas en una cita al pie sobre por qué los números naturales son infinitos: "los números de contar o naturales, son potencialmente infinitos ya que a cualquiera de ellos se le puede sumar uno para llegar al siguiente, pero nunca se puede tener el conjunto completo" (PAPPAS, 1996, pág. 52).

    Efectivamente todos los números son "una multitud compuesta de unidades" como decían los pitagóricos y por ello los consideraban la sustancia de todas las cosas (RECAMÁN SANTOS, 2007, pág. 30). Aunque los pitagóricos no consideraban a la unidad (1) como un número, de esta unidad procedían todos los demás que eran la sustancia del universo. "-¿Cuánto es uno y uno y uno y uno y uno y uno y uno? -No lo sé - dijo Alicia-, he perdido la cuenta. -No puedo hacer la suma - dijo la Reina Roja." (CARROL LEWIS [ALICIA EN EL PAÍS DE LAS MARAVILLAS] en RECAMÁN SANTOS, 2007, pág. 109). Efectivamente la suma constante de uno, uno, uno, cada vez va generando un número que ni la Reina Roja podía sumar, ni lo harán los sabios ancianos del rey en un caso que luego se expondrá. 

    Los pitagóricos, aunque erraron en lo que es un número tuvieron otros aciertos pues nadie ha visto un uno volando a menos que -como decía un compañero mío del colegio- estuviera sentado en una hamaca bastante trabado. Esto quiere decir que los números no son el mundo sino simples son abstracciones de intuiciones que nos explican el mundo, los pitagóricos sí acertaron en la magnifica intuición que nos remite al poema del comienzo. Es de unidades que se forman las cosas y de unidades que se suman indefinidamente que crecen indefinidamente y van formando pieza por pieza, una por una, el mundo. ¿Qué es una estrella? ¿Qué es un grano de arena? ¿Pero qué es una estrella y otra, y otra, y otra...? ¡El firmamento! Y ¿qué es un grano de arena y otro, y otro, y otro,...? ¡Una playa! Lo mismo podemos decir de las gotas de agua que conforman el mar, de las hojas, de las células que forman nuestro cuerpo. ¿Qué es un átomo? ¡lo que compone el universo!

    Deteniéndonos un poco en el tema de las células del cuerpo, nuestra vida comenzó con una célula, que se dividió en dos, en cuatro, en ocho, mórula, blástula, etc, especialización, hasta transformar una vida de una célula en millones de ellas. Podríamos entrar en miles de ejemplos místicos, poéticos que nos lleven a trascender en la contemplación pero eso haría que este escrito fuera infinito. Pues al fin y al cabo, así se comporta la naturaleza que los pitagóricos intuían, una sucesión de unidades que forman el todo, la unidad no es nada frente al todo pero el todo no es nada sin la unidad. Por tal motivo pasaremos de una breve contemplación matemática a un análisis económico.

    Del misticismo a la economía.
    El Banquero y Su esposa.
    ¡La diligencia en el cuidado de lo poco!
    Últimamente tengo pegada la frase "cuide los centavos que los pesos se cuidan solos". Esta frase se la escuché a mi papá, que entiendo se la escuchó a un empresario antioqueño ya difunto. La sabiduría de esta frase no va en lo sonoro de la misma sino en que puede corroborarse en la práctica. Si las personas gastáramos al nivel que lo hacemos en cosas de pequeña cantidad, nos quedaríamos asombrados de lo pronto que nos quebraríamos. Pondré un ejemplo sencillo. Si una persona tiene un capital de $2.000 pesos colombianos (alrededor de un dólar estadounidense) es muy probable que si le ofrecen algo cuyo valor es de $2.000 se relaje y cambie su dinero por esa cosa ¡No son más que $2.000! Pero si todo su capital líquido es de $50.000 (alrededor de 25 USD) y le ofrecen algo de $50.000 es mucho más probable que se controle y diga ¡es que son $50.000! Pero únicamente bastaría hacer únicamente 25 veces el ejercicio con los $2.000 para haberse gastado los $50.000 en cosas de $2.000. Haga el ejercicio de ahorrar $500 diarios durante un año y obtendrá una suma de $182.500, hágalo con $1.000, $2.000, etc.

    En un escrito anterior manifesté lo siguiente:

    "De hecho los pobres saben más de finanzas que los ricos. Un rico no sabe cuánto vale un peso porque ese es su día a día, pero una persona pobre sabe verdaderamente cuál es el costo del dinero, el sudor que se requiere para ganar $18.000 (10 Us$ aprox) [Cfr ElAlispruz. En 2010 si se quiere profundizar en el costo del trabajo]. Esto es tan cierto que los modelos financieros exitosos surgieron precisamente de un elevado valor del dinero. Adicionalmente es la razón por la cuál los modelos tecnocráticos e intervencionistas fracasan. (TORO RESTREPO, 2011)"

    ¿Por qué surgen modelos exitosos con un elevado costo del dinero? El valor de una cosa está relacionado con su escasez, entre más escasa más valiosa, por lo tanto el dinero es mucho más valioso cuando hay poco. Mientras escribo esto recuerdo la gloriosa frase de nuestro presidente Juan Manuel Santos "En Colombia se puede vivir con $190.000 mensuales". Lo glorioso no es tanto que no sea posible (personalmente no lo creo) sino que venga de una persona que ni siquiera sabe cuánto cuesta la gasolina porque tiene choferes y no ha tenido la necesidad de montar en bus. Si a uno le entran $190.000 mensuales tiene que ser bastante inteligente para que con esa suma pueda comer, tener un techo, vestirse y transportarse y si alguien nunca ha tenido el reto de vivir con esa miserable suma... ¿lo hará bien? Mi abuelo materno decía que los mejores financieros son los mendigos porque de $100 en $100 no se asuste si se encuentra al mendigo que pide en el semáforo de la 10 en un vuelo a Santa Marta con usted. Es más complicado cuando la liquidez es mucha pero inconstante, creo yo.

    Tributaristas, delincuentes financieros y el valor del dinero.

    La vocazione di San Matteo
    Recordemos que San Mateo
    era un recaudador de impuestos y
    él comprende el mensaje de la fidelidad en lo poco.
    Los tributaristas son personas MUY INTELIGENTES que trabajan para el sector equivocado, el estado. El estado es una forma de robo menos violenta y menos inútil, pero forzada al fin y al cabo. Paréntesis, admiro a los delincuentes financieros, esos que roban un peso de cada cuenta de un banca, que forman pirámides, etc., porque son perversos, pero comprenden lo mismo que los pitagóricos acerca de la sustancia del mundo. Cualquiera se preguntará ¿por qué pongo a los delincuentes financieros con el sector tributario? Porque ambos piensan estrategias para sacar más de la manera más sutil.

    Una de las formas más inteligentes que comprenden el trasfondo del valor del dinero es la invención del Gravamen a los Movimientos Financieros o Cuatro por mil. Si fuera un señor tomando un peso de cada cuenta, diferente del estado, se llamaría Hurto Calificado. El caso es que no estoy anarquista sino que quiero elogiar al creador del 4 X 1000, eh Ave María qué tan inteligente, el problema es ¡por qué te contrató el lado equivocado!

    Mil pesos vienen siendo poco, pero cuatro pesos no son nada. Bueno 4 X 1000 no son nada y ¿qué tal 4000 por millón? ¿Duelen $40.000 al mover 10.000.000? ¿Qué tal $400.000 al mover $100.000.000? Si una empresa mueve al año $1.000 millones de pesos $4.000.000 pueden ser fácilmente la nómina de unos cuantos meses a salario mínimo. Miremos el 4 X 1000 desde otra perspectiva.

    Si yo pago 1 millón de pesos a otra persona a su cuenta, y ésta a su vez mueve todo ese millón pero pagando el 4 X 1000 y así sucesivamente deduciendo el 4 x 1000, en 27 transacciones, totalmente viables en la velocidad de nuestro sistema financiero, ya se habrá perdido alrededor del 10% de ese valor. O sea si hay una cadena de 27 deudores donde cada uno sea acreedor y deudor de 1.000.000, el 27 avo deberá conseguirse alrededor de $100.000 si cada uno ha venido descontando el 4 x 1000. El cuatro por mil tiene el valor de pasar desapercibido, no se siente su impacto sino cuando se empieza a sumar cada uno de esos gravámenes. 

    Si el PIB de 2010 fue de 548. (DANE - DEPARTAMENTO ADMINISTRATIVO NACIONAL DE ESTADÍSTICA, 2011) cifra que confieso no cabe en mi cabeza. Si moviéramos toda esa suma en una transacción serían $2.193,092 millones de pesos. Eso sin contar que son muchas las transacciones lo que implicaría que el recaudo estatal por este impuesto sería gigantesco. 

    Granos de arroz, trigo y hambre en el mundo.

    Hay algunos personajes que trabajan en la ONU que para discutir el problema del hambre en el mundo llegan llenitos luego de haber pagado los mejores hoteles 5 estrellas en New York. La comida debe ser de la mejor calidad y costosa. Ante esa situación cuando empiezan a discutir el tema con barrigas llenas, observan el problema y ven cómo comer un poquito menos sería bastante costoso y para no sufrir el dolor de ver la pobreza que su despilfarro ocasiona proponen matar a los pobres. Efectivamente, la solución es fácil: "seguimos comiendo igual y despilfarrando igual mientras matamos a aquellos que no pueden despilfarrar como nosotros.".

    Sin embargo, el problema del hambre no es de "exceso de población" sino de "desperdicio de comida". Cualquiera dirá que lo hago porque soy pro-vida o porque no creo que el calentamiento global sea ocasionado por el ser humano o como mínimo por la población. Somos 7.000 millones de personas, pero resulta que el número de hormigas ocupa la misma biomasa (o sea pesando TODAS las hormigas de la tierra pesan lo mismo que TODOS los seres humanos) (Chadwick & Moffet, 2011, pág. 86). La fuente del peso de las hormigas, como puede observarse, es la revista National Geographic de mayo de 2011, fuente científica acreditada a nivel mundial.

    Ahora bien, tomando en cuenta la misma revista pero del mes de julio tenemos un dato todavía más perverso y más triste sobre alimentación. Citemos la fuente textual. Refiriéndose frente a cómo alimentar un planeta creciente en su tercera solución plantea:
    "3. Reducir el desperdicio. Aproximadamente la mitad de las cosechas mundiales desaparecen 'entre el campo y el plato', dice Stockholm International Water Institute. El desperdicio, la desviación para fabricar alimentos para animales y el comportamiento del consumidor son factores que llevan a esto.". (TOMANIO, KLEBER, CASSIDY, WELLS, & BUZBY, 2011)
    Según el dato anterior no sería necesario aumentar las cosechas, bastaría que se acabara el desperdicio por el comportamiento desmedido del consumidor. La carencia proviene del derroche y la abundancia de la sobriedad. Cualquier persona pensadora a nivel actual, o sea lectora de periódicos, dirá: "pues que el estado impida el derroche". Sin embargo en ello también está la paradoja de lo poco, eso no lo hará el que tiene mucho poder, sino el pequeño poder de cada persona ante su plato. ¿Cómo entenderlo? Hagamos algunos análisis con gramos...

    ¿Cuánto pesa un gramo de arroz? De acuerdo con una fuente no tan fiable como Yahoo Answers pero en algo creíble, dice que un grano de arroz pesa 1.16 mg. Si cada persona del mundo desperdicia un grano de arroz, algo insignificante, el desperdicio acumulado sería de 8.12 toneladas. No soy nutricionista pero eso beneficiaría la dieta de miles de personas. El punto es ¿cuántos granos de arroz promedio desperdicia cada persona al día? 

    Al respecto de granos y desperdicio partiendo de la unidad hay una sabia leyendo sobre el momento en el que se inventó el ajedrez. El inventor llega ante el rey con el ajedrez y el rey le dice ¿qué puedo darte por esto? El inventor al principio no pidió nada pero ante la insistencia del rey le pidió "ordena que me den un grano de trigo por la primera casilla, dos por la segunda, 4 por la tercera y así sucesivamente hasta completar las 64 casillas." (PERELMAN, 2002, pág. 52). Al rey esto le pareció un insulto al fin y al cabo, sentía que le pedía demasiado poco... unos granitos de trigo no más.

    Pero hagamos el esquema matemático de lo que pedía el inventor del ajedrez:


    Si organizamos la propuesta en una serie encontraremos que sigue la siguiente secuencia:


    Concluyendo que la serie es 1+2^1+...+2^(n-1) por lo tanto por la última casilla recibirá 2^63 granos. 

    Plantación de trigo.
    No es la foto más hermosa pero se
    observa el efecto infinito.
    El caso es que sinteticemos la conclusión. Luego de un largo periodo de demora en el conteo de todos los matemáticos del rey veamos lo que pasó:

    "-Antes de comenzar tu informe [dice el rey], quiero saber si se ha entregado por fin (...) la mísera recompensa que ha solicitado.
    - Precisamente por eso me he atrevido a presentarme tan temprano -contestó el anciano [uno de los sabios del rey]. Hemos calculado escrupulosamente la cantidad total de granos que desea recibir... resulta una cifra tan enorme.
    -Sea cual fuere la cifra -le interrumpió con altivez el rey- mis graneros no empobrecerán. He prometido darle esa recompensa, y por lo tanto, hay que entregársela.
    -Soberano, o depende de tu voluntad cumplir semejante deseo. En todos tus graneros no existe la cantidad de trigo que exige. Tampoco existe en los graneros de todo el reino. Hasta los graneros del mundo entero son insuficientes. Si deseas entregar sin falta la recompensa prometida, ordena que todos los reinos de la Tierra se conviertan en labrantíos, manda desecar los mares y océanos, ordena fundir el hielo y la nieve que cubren los lejanos desiertos del norte. Que todo el espacio sea totalmente sembrado de trigo, y ordena que toda la cosecha obtenida en estos campos sea entregada [a él]. Sólo entonces recibirá su recompensa.
    El rey escuchaba lleno de asombro las palabras del anciano sabio.
    -Dime cuál es esa cifra tan monstruosa -dime reflexionando.
    -¡Oh soberano! Dieciocho trillones cuatrocientos cuarenta y seis mil setecientos cuarenta y cuatro billones setenta y tres mil setecientos nueve millones quinientos cincuenta y un mil seiscientos quince." (PERELMAN, 2002, pág. 55)
    Trascendiendo a lo místico: conclusión.
    Desde la V inicial hasta el último paréntesis este escrito consta de unas 2602 palabras y 12559 letras o signos y faltan unas pocas más. El punto es que una por una en unas 3 horas he llegado a tocar el teclado más de 12.600 veces una por una, palabra por palabra, sumando lentamente, pero sumando. Como estamos en navidad no puedo dejar de hacer el comentario místico, porque es el Espíritu Santo el que me inspira a escribir (yo iba a hacer un ensayo sobre por qué hay que ser sobrio, moralista como siempre y acabé partiendo de lo místico a lo económico) y los errores son míos. Ese Neuma, hálito o soplo quizás trabaja con la inmensa cantidad de lo poco, la paradoja de lo pequeño, la simple paloma que se posa. ¿Acaso nadie ha podido comprender que los vientos y las corrientes de aire son el trasfondo de las tormentas, lluvias e inundaciones? Quizás así sea el Espíritu Santo, sea esa pequeña mariposa del océano índico que con su movimiento preciso y conociendo todas las causas que lo influyen genera un huracán en el Atlántico. 

    Jesús es el ejemplo de esto. La multiplicación de los panes y los peces muestra cómo de unos pocos panes y peces se alimenta a una muchedumbre y lo que sobra se recoge. Aunque evidentemente es un milagro, no es lo milagroso lo que interesa, sino lo mucho que sale de lo poco su sentido o significado me parece más sorprendente, de la inmensa cantidad de lo poco, el infinito no es nada sin la unidad. Muchos son los ejemplos como el grano de mostaza (aunque lo discuten algunos tecnicistas pero al fin y al cabo de muchas semillas pequeñas salen cosas grandes). Todo el mensaje cristiano está en esa paradoja, un Dios que nace en lo poco pero que trae la más grande de las riquezas..., la salvación. hay que leer a Chesterton para mirar ese sentido cristiano como paradoja. 

    En la parábola de los talentos Jesús muestra cómo se confían ciertos bienes a unos trabajadores y aquí sale la frase bíblica que resume el mensaje aquí contenido:

    "Has sido fiel en lo poco, te confiaré lo mucho" (Mt. 25 vs 23)

    Esa es la inmensa, gigantesca, infinita cantidad de lo poco, de la unidad, lo pequeño o cuasi insignificante. Como los pitagóricos el sustento son las unidades (no los números por lo que ya expliqué) pero cada ente, por más insignificante que sea forma el todo. La sumatoria de cosas insignificantes es lo que produce la grandeza, la sorpresa, aquello invaluable. Sospecho que quizás esa es la lógica del Dios de los ejércitos, la adecuada valoración de lo que a los ojos del mundo es insignificante...

    El guayacán y sus flores.
    Un árbol que da tributo al cielo y cae humildemente a la tierra para que persista el ciclo de la belleza

    Chadwick, D. H., & Moffet, M. W. (Mayo de 2011). HERMANDAD DE TEJEDORAS. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (En Español) , 82-95.

    DANE - DEPARTAMENTO ADMINISTRATIVO NACIONAL DE ESTADÍSTICA. (25 de Noviembre de 2011). 'Producto Interno Bruto Departamental, a precios corrientes. '2000 - 2010pr. Miles de millones de pesos. Recuperado el 20 de Diciembre de 2011, de DANE:

    Holmes, N. (Mayo de 2011). Población. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (En Español) .

    PAPPAS, T. (1996). LA MAGIA DE LA MATEMÁTICA. El orden oculto tras la naturaleza y el arte. (M. Rosenberg, Trad.) Madrid, España: Zugarto Ediciones S.A.

    PERELMAN, Y. (2002). Matemáticas recreativas. (F. Blanco, & C. Pérez, Trads.) Bogotá, Colombia: Planeta Colombiana S.A.


    TOMANIO, J., KLEBER, J., CASSIDY, M., WELLS, H., & BUZBY, J. (Julio de 2011). Cómo alimentar un planeta creciente. National Geographic , Sección Hoy (Inpaginado).

    TORO RESTREPO, D. (16 de Febrero de 2011). FINANZAS Y CUESTIÓN SOCIAL. REFLEXIONES SOBRE EL SISTEMA FINANCIERO. Recuperado el 20 de Diciembre de 2011, de EL ALISPRUZ:



    Ilustrasi Sarapan Pagi. Sumber : ini


    Tahukah anda apa manfaat sarapan ?  
    Sarapan merupakan pemenuhan sumber energi kita di pagi hari. Sarapan di pagi hari  dapat meningkatkan konsentrasi otak dan juga menjaga mood kita.

    Sarapan juga sangat baik untuk anak-anak yang sedang dalam masa pertumbuhan.  Dengan memberinya sarapan. kita membantu awal persiapan otak anak kita dalam menerima pelajaran di sekolah, sehingga bisa lebih fokus dalam menerima pelajara.

    7 RESEP SARAPAN YANG HANYA BUTUH WAKTU 10 MENIT  juga bisa menjadi saat kebersamaan yang berharga, saling komunikasi antar anggotanya.


    Citra Property Land / CiproLan menulis 7 resep sarapan praktis bagi para Ibu sibuk yang dapat dibuat sendiri buat orang-orang tercinta di rumah, sebelum memulai hari yang sibuk.  Kenapa untuk sepekan ? Supaya bervariasi, tidak membuat bosan.

    Resep sarapan praktis untuk seminggu ini hanya membutuhkan waktu sekitar 10 menit untuk pembuatannya, namun tetap mempertimbangkan faktor enak & bergizi.

    Yuk, langsung saja kita cek resep 7 RESEP SARAPAN YANG HANYA BUTUH WAKTU 10 MENIT di bawah ini.

    1. Salad Kentang
        Ilustrasi Salad Kentang. Sumber ini

    Kentang bisa menjadi alternatif pengganti karbohidrat di pagi hari selain nasi.

    Bahan               :
    Kentang, Telur, Mentimun, Mintak Zaitun, Mayones, Merica Bubuk, Garam Halus.

    Cara membuat :
    Kukus kentang dan rebus telur.  Setelah keduanya matang, kupas dan potong-potong, tambahkan dengan minyak zaitun (bisa diganti dengan minyak goreng baru), garam halus, merica bubuk, dan mayones.  Salad kentang siap dinikmati

    2. Roti Tawar Mentega
        Ilustrasi Roti Tawar Mentega. Sumber : ini

    Roti juga bisa menjadi alternatif pengganti karbohidrat di pagi hari selain kentang.

    Bahan               :
    Roti tawar, Mentega,

    Cara membuat :
    Olesi salah satu sisi lembaran roti dengan mentega dan mesis, kemudian tekuk membentuk persegi panjang atau segitiga sesuai selera.  Roti Tawar Mentega siap dinikmati.

    3. Roti Panggang Selai

        Ilustrasi Roti Panggang. Sumber : ini

    Resep sarapan roti merupakan resep masakan non-nasi, alternatif asupan karbohidrat.

    Bahan               :
    Roti tawar, Selai.

    Cara membuat :
    Olesi salah satu sisi lembaran roti dengan selai tutup dengan lembar roti lainnya, lalu panggang roti dan tunggu hingga matang.   Roti Panggang siap dinikmati.

    4. Jus Pisang

        Ilustrasi Jus Pisang. Sumber : ini

    Buah pisang kaya akan nutrisi sumber energi yang sangat cocok untuk menjadi pilihan menu sarapan bergizi anda dan keluarga. Jus pisang juga cocok untuk sarapan bagi yang melakukan diet.

    Bahan               :
    Pisang matang (dari jenis pisang untuk buah), air matang / air mineral, gula, es batu.

    Cara membuat :
    Untuk membuat  anda cukup memotong buah pisang lalu diblender bersamaan dengan gula, es batu, dan air matang sampai lembut.  Jus pisang bisa juga divariasi dengan menambahkan susu atau yogurt sesuai selera.  Jus pisang siap untuk dinikmati.

    5. Sandwich Telur

        Ilustrasi Sandwich Telur. Sumber : ini

    Sandwich Telur ini juga merupakan alternatif sarapan berkarbohdrat non- nasi.

    Bahan               :
    Roti (bisa dipilih roti dari gandum buat yang diet), Telur, Keju, Tomat, garam, Merica Bubuk.

    Cara membuat :
    Telur kita dadar, dibumbui sedikit garam dan merica bubuk.  Setelah matang letakkan telur di atas selembar roti, tambahkan irisan buah tomat, dan terakhir letakkan selembar roti sebagai menutup nya.  Sebagai variasi bisa dimakan dengan saos tomat dan saos sambal.  Sandwich Telur siap untuk dinikmati.

    6.  Mufin Telur

        Ilustrasi Mufin Telur. Sumber : ini

    Mufin Telur ini juga merupakan resep non- nasi.  Muffin inggris menjadi pilihan, karena teksturnya mirip sekali dengan roti, dan  pas untuk asupan karbohidrat di pagi hari. 

    Bahan               :
    Muffin inggris, telur, selada.

    Cara membuat :
    Memasak  Mufin Telur sangat mudah.  Caranya kita membuat telur cepok, kemudian setelah matang diletakkan di atas muffin,  tambahkan seada segar.  Sajikan dengan saus tomat atau saus sambal sebagai pendampingnya.  Mufin Telur siap untuk dinikmati.

    7.  Nasi Goreng Sayuran

        Sumber : ini

    Resep Nasi Goreng Sayur ini buat yang dari tadi nungguin "mana ya resep sarapan nasi nya ?"

    Bahan               :
    Nasi, Telur, Udang, Buncis, Jagung Manis, Wortel, Garam Halus, Bawang Putih, Kecap Manis.

    Cara membuat :
    Potong buncis ukuran sedang dan wortel kecil-kecil, sisir jagung manis,  lalu rebus hingga matang.  Keprak bawang putih, tumis dengan minyak goreng secukupnya hingga harum, kemudian masukkan telur hingga matang.  Tambahkan udang, garam, dan aduk-aduk hingga nasi menjadi lebih kering. Tambahkan kecap manis, aduk-aduk hingga rata, lalu angkat.  Nasi Goreng Sayuran siap untuk dinikmati.

    Demikian artikel  Food & Recipe Citra Property Land berjudul RESEP SARAPAN PRAKTIS BAGI PARA IBU SIBUK UNTUK SATU MINGGU.  semoga bermanfaat

              Scotland embark on world first        


    Scotland are continuing their trend of taking international rugby to pastures new. The Autumn Test match against Tonga on Saturday 22 November (kick-off 2.30pm) will be staged at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, home of Kilmarnock FC, it was announced this afternoon.

    It will be globally ground-breaking too, as an international involving a Tier One country is held on an entirely artificial pitch for the first time.

              Mana-esque 'EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap' just released globally on the Play Store        

    One look at EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap and you are instantly transported back to the 90's where Japanese RPGs reigned supreme. This is no surprise of course as the developers behind EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap had a hand in creating some of the most memorable RPGs in history such as Kingdom Hearts, Mother 3, and the Mana series.

    While this 18 minute gameplay trailer should give you a good idea what to expect out of EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap, I would like to highlight some of the more interesting bits about this release below.

    Read More

    Mana-esque 'EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap' just released globally on the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

              [NUEVO PHOTOSHOOT] Taylor Lautner para la Campaña de Bench         

     La Firma Bench tiene nueva campaña....y dicha campaña está protagonizada nada más y nada menos que por Taylor Lautner.... Y las primeras imagenes de su photoshoot (BTS) se ven absolutamente GENIALES

    Como información adicional, el actor estará en Filipinas para promocionar la marca... Así que estad atentos! ^^ 

    Fuente: Circuit Mag vía TL-Life
    Todo Twilight Saga 
              Drawdown Gives Us 100 Uplifting Climate Solutions        

    Drawdown Offers 100 Uplifting Climate Solutions


    Adapted from Mom’s Clean Air Force blog post by Kerry Trueman

    If our current administration’s head-in-the-sand approach to climate change leaves you with a sinking feeling, I’ve got just the book to buoy you: Paul Hawken’s Drawdown.

    Drawdown leapt onto the New York Times top ten bestseller list in its first week of release, validating Hawken’s belief that a positive approach to this potentially overwhelming crisis is the best way to address it. He characterizes global warming not “as an inevitability, but as an invitation to build, innovate, and effect change.”

    The Project Drawdown campaign invites you to join a global community of visionary individuals who’ve got an astonishing range of ideas on how we can tackle our climate crisis, no matter where we live or who governs us.

              LiftnBuddy Profiled in Global Food Safety Resource Centre News for Hand truck Safety        
    LiftnBuddy Profiled in Global Food Safety Resource Centre News for Hand truck Safety
              Armored Warfare – More details on Tanks Reloaded expansion revealed        
    [Play free now] Global publisher (and now the game’s developer) today unveiled more information about the next expansion for its tank MMO Armored Warfare – Tanks Reloaded. Tanks Reloaded, the expansion formerly known as update 0.19, expands upon the game’s genre defining Global Operations mode by adding the large scale and Caucasus-themed map “Barren [&hellip
              The 20 hottest real estate spots in the world        
    It’s safe to say we’re in the midst of a global real estate bull market. According to the Knight Frank Global House Price Index, the value of homes internationally rose by 8.4 percent in 2013, representing the highest annual increase since 1995. “People love property because it has that tangibility that other assets don’t have,”...
              Project Technician/Scientist - Environment - WSP Canada - Lloydminster, SK        
    University degree in environmental science or related discipline. The role will potentially blend field and office duties and will require travel within Alberta...
    From WSP Global Inc. - Mon, 03 Jul 2017 07:48:32 GMT - View all Lloydminster, SK jobs
              Why FamilySearch Is Ending Microfilm Rental & How to Get Genealogy Records Now        
    Guest blog post by Family Tree Magazine Contributing Editor Sunny Jane Morton

    For 80 years, the FamilySearch Family History Library (FHL) has made its enormous stash of microfilmed genealogy records available to researchers through an inexpensive rental service through local FamilySearch Centers.

    That's about to change: FamilySearch has announced that this service will end Aug. 31. Reasons include declining demand for film, dramatic increases in the costs of reproducing films, and the difficulty of supporting aging microfilm technology.

    It’s easy to be dismayed by the news, even when you acknowledge it was bound to happen. Many of us have solved family history mysteries with these microfilmed records. 

    Fortunately, most FamilySearch microfilm is already been digitized and posted on the free FamilySearch website or another genealogy site. That's more than 1.5 million rolls, including the most popular ones. “The remaining [eligible] microfilms should be digitized by the end of 2020," according to the announcement. "All new records from its ongoing global efforts are already using digital camera equipment."

    I've been a grateful user of the film rental program. And the millions of records FamilySearch makes available online for free more than offset offsets this inconvenience to my research.

    But after Aug. 31 and before 2020, what can we do about accessing records that aren't yet digitized? Try these seven ideas:

    1. Keep using the FamilySearch online catalog of the FHL's books and microfilmed records.
    You can order microfilm up through Aug. 31 (click here to see how); you'll get 90 days to view the film. When digitized films are posted at FamilySearch, the item's catalog entry links to the online collection. Even if you don’t find a borrowable item in the catalog, it's useful for identifying records you may be able to access elsewhere (see below). Here are our tips on searching the catalog.

    2. Check other libraries.
    If you find a noncirculating item described in the FamilySearch catalog, click the link to view the catalog record in WorldCat.

    It'll take you to this item's listing in WorldCat, a free catalog of holdings in libraries around the world. You'll see libraries that have the item, and link to their lending policies. You may discover records in other formats, such as digitized, in a book or original manuscript records.

    3. Search for digitized versions of the records.
    Search the web for the names and descriptions of records you've identified in the FamilySearch catalog. You may find digitized versions at free sites such as HathiTrust, Internet Archive, state library websites, and others. Also search the database catalogs on genealogy websites such as, MyHeritage and Findmypast.

    4. Visit a genealogy library such as ...
    5. Use library lookup and photocopy services.
    Some libraries fill requests for lookups and photocopies for a fee. Check the website or call for instructions; usually, you must provide the book or microfilm title and specifics such as a name, date or page number. Firms offering research at the FHL include

    6. Hire a researcher.
    If you need someone to search through records—not just check an index or flip to the page you specify and copy it—consider hiring a researcher by the hour. Many libraries offer in-house research services, or they may supply a list of local researchers.

    7. Find original records.
    It might be easier to access original records, if they exist, than microfilmed versions. Start with the FamilySearch catalog listing. Look for the name of the repository that provided the original records (often under "Author"). Search that repository’s website to see if the records are still there. Another option is to search ArchiveGrid, a catalog of archival items in US repositories. Here's how to use ArchiveGrid.

    FamilySearch's renewed focus on digital efforts means its free online genealogy resources will grow even faster. Watch for my Aug. 21 webinar on the free FamilySearch website, in which I'll share my search tricks for getting the most out of this website.

    Meanwhile, grab my must-have comparison of the "big three" commercial sites, Ancestry, Findmypast and MyHeritage. I'll help you decide which one's right for you.

              Quality of Life report published        
    Environment & Conservation


    The Field Museum is happy to announce the publication of the Pembroke-Hopkins Park Quality of Life Report. Pembroke-Hopkins Park (PHP) is a rural African-American community about an hour south of Chicago. It is rich in biodiversity and culture, and has a long-standing tradition in agriculture. This area is of particular interest because of the high concentration of globally rare black oak savanna which is home to many species in population decline, including henslow’s sparrow, bobolink, and regal fritillary butterfly. Over the years conservation land acquisition has become a pressing issue, along with other concerns such as opportunities for youth and threats to the environment. The Field Museum engaged the community in a process to find out what is important for both the land and the people.

    In spring of 2016, Keller Science Action Center staff trained a team of local facilitators who led residents through a structured process to determine what well-being and sustainability mean within the community. The team used The Field Museum’s approach to help residents draw upon their core values and community strengths to develop recommendations to improve quality of life and access to natural areas. For PHP, this involves strong cultural traditions, healthy social relationships, the ability to meet basic needs, and a fair political system.

    The Quality of Life Report documents the outcomes of this process, and serves as an empowering tool for residents to convey the values, assets, and opportunities for growth in the community. It is available in public spaces such as the local library and school. It will be used as the foundation for sustainability planning in Pembroke lead by residents to help determine a clear future direction. This could not have been possible without the generous support of Science Innovation and Field of Dreams grants.  

              For Small Fabricators, More Insight Is More Upside         
    Rodney Jenkins explains that a small business requires management that is just as well informed as global enterprises achieve.

    read more

              First Omnidirectional Trackless Arc Welding        
    Lincoln Electric has acquired exclusive global license to Helical Robotics proprietary magnetic robotic technology.

    read more

              Showing Abbility Names as emote - still problems when...        
    still problems when moving the minimap iconDate: 2009-11-15 21:01:29ID: 1Error occured in: GlobalCount: 1Message: ..\AddOns\Rollcraft\broker.lua line 162: attempt to index field 'tip' (a nil value)Debug: (tail call): ? : ? Rollcraft\broker.lua:162: OnLeave() ...s\Prat-3.0_Libraries\LibDBIcon-1.0\LibDBIcon-1.0.lua:82: ...s\Prat-3.0_Libraries\LibDBIcon-1.0\LibDBIcon-1.0.lua:79AddOns: Swatter, v3.1.14 (<%codename%>) ACP, v3.2.0.23 Bartender4, v4.4.1 DebugLib, v5.1.DEV.130 flagRSP, v1.0.9 FramesResized, v2.3.2-47 GHI, v0.25 GHM, v0.51 GHR, v1.1 Grid, v1.30200.2009081101 MapNotes, v5.16.30200 MapNotesBrowser, vv1.00.30200 MapNotesIconLib, v1.03.30000 MapNotesIconLibFancy, v MapNotesIconLibLegacy, v MapNotesIconLibNeptunia, v MapNotesIconLibNumbers, v Prat30, v3.2.10 Prat30Libraries, v QuestHelper, v1.2.6 Rollcraft, v.12b SlideBar, v3.1.14 (<%codename%>) Stubby, v5.6.4424 (KangaII) WIM, v3.2.2 WowLua, v32 XLoot, v0.9 XLootMaster, v0.8 BlizRuntimeLib_deDE v3.2.2.30200 <eu> (ck=28f)(Interface: RollCraft | Bug: Showing Abbility Names as emote)
              Showing Abbility Names as emote - #########################...        
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    Luthfiyah Nurlaela A. Pendahuluan Negara dan masyarakat di berbagai belahan dunia, termasuk Indonesia, tengah memasuki dunia tanpa batas (borderless world) sebagai akibat perkembangan teknologi komunikasi, dampak globalisasi komunikasi, dan kesepakatan-kesepakatan internasional. Adanya kesepakatan perdagangan bebas AFTA mulai tahun 2003 dan NAFTA mulai 2020 (untuk negara maju mulai 2010), membuka peluang masuknya tenaga kerja dari luar […]
    Luthfiyah Nurlaela A. Pendahuluan Pengembangan Sumber Daya Manusia (SDM) merupakan kebutuhan yang mendesak dan penting, lebih-lebih bila dikaitkan dengan konteks global, nasional, maupun regional. Dalam konteks global dapat ditegaskan bahwa pada saat ini (abad 21), dunia sedang berada pada abad pengetahuan. Segala sesuatu lebih bertumpu atau berbasis pengetahuan; dan hal-hal yang tidak berbasis pengetahuan akan […]
              Report confirms 2016 was hottest year on Earth — third record-breaking year in a row        
    The annual State of the Climate report attributes the new high to a strong El Nino and long-term global warming.
              Relief On The Runway Announces "Intercontinental Fashion Week"        

    Internationally popular designers give back during New York Fashion Week Runway Show on Friday, September 6, 7-9pm in New York City Global Shopping Bazaar, Saturday, September 7, 12-8pm.

    (PRWeb August 13, 2013)

    Read the full story at

              Westinghouse and Ontario Power Generation Sign Agreement to Service Global Nuclear Markets; MOU Covers Service, Refurbishment, Decommissioning and New Plant Projects        

    Westinghouse Electric Company and Ontario Power Generation, Inc., through its subsidiary, Canadian Nuclear Partners, today announced an agreement that would enable the two companies to work together on a wide range of global nuclear projects.

    (PRWeb April 16, 2014)

    Read the full story at

              Westinghouse Appoints Steve Hamilton as Senior Vice President, Quality, Environment, Health and Safety        

    Westinghouse Electric Company today appointed Steve Hamilton as senior vice president, quality, environment, health and safety, to lead global Westinghouse efforts in continuous improvement, quality compliance and environment, health and safety activities.

    (PRWeb November 05, 2013)

    Read the full story at

              Hand Therapy Massage        
    Special Recommend information on A H1N1 (swine flu)
    As it is known to all, currently we human being are all faced with a big enemy-A/H1N1 flu (swine flu) which has been threatening our life. Now the situation is worsening. As health and medical to AH1N1organ, we shoulder more responsibility to handle outbreak of this emergency.

    In TCM, A/H1N1 belongs to epidemic febrile disease of TCM which is the same as human avian influenza and SARS and similar to A/H1N1 flu syndrome differentiation and treatment of TCM prevention and cure. It is advocated “dispelling wind, reducing fever and dissipating dampness in clinical.

    TCM center will provide latest Special Report Globally on the A/H1N1 flu; and you still can find the Symptoms and Prevention about A/H1N1 flu ; further more, TCM prevention for swine flu provides latest global news; Chinese medicine prevention for A/H1N1 flu ; Chinese herbal medicine and so on.Although there are many therapeutic methods used for hand therapy, only the most common are discussed in this chapter. They include massage, acupuncture, hand bath, qigong and several miscellaneous methods including holding herbs, pressing and kneading the border of second metacarpal bone, arm swinging and other exercises.

    I. Hand Therapy Massage
    In hand therapy massage, stimulation is applied by hand to the regular and extra acupoints or reflective points and reflective areas closely related to various internal organs and tissues in the body. Particular maneuvers are employed to adjust their function, treat diseases, improve life quality, and maintain health. The basic maneuvers of massage include pressing, digitpressing, kneading, pushing, pinching, twisting, rotating, pulling, rubbing, and grinding methods.

    1. Pressing maneuver:
    A vertical pressure is applied by the tip or pad of thumb at the acupoints, reflective areas, and reflective points (Fig. 18).
    Indications: The pressing maneuver is usually applied at the acupoints on a flat area (such as thenar and hypothenar prominence) combined with a kneading maneuver to prevent and treat various chronic diseases and pains and maintain health.
    Principle of manipulation: The thumb should be firmly applied on the skin to produce a steady and persistent pressure in a small area. The pressure should be gradually increased in intensity, and not suddenly applied with a violent action. The frequency and intensity of pressure should be even.

    2. Digit-pressing maneuver:
    A pressure is applied at the acupoints of the hand by the tip of thumb or middle finger; or by the lateral border of tip of little finger supported by thumb and ring finger; or by the knuckle of proximal interphalangeal joint of index finger (Fig. ! 9).
    Indications: The digit-pressing maneuver is usually applied with a heavy pressure at acupoints in a fissure between bones, or in a limited area to treat acute or painful diseases.
    Principle of manipulation: Compared with the pressing maneuver, this maneuver can produce a stronger stimulation in a smaller area. The pressure should be applied at an accurate location without any sliding movement. The intensity of pressure may vary over a wide range.

    3. Kneading maneuver:
    The pad of thumb or middle finger is placed at the acupoint of the hand to receive treatment, and the forearm is actively swung to and fro with the elbow as a fulcrum and the wrist, palm, and finger as a transmitter to produce a gentle rotating and kneading movement to the acupoint with the pad of finger ( Fig. 20).
    Indications: The kneading maneuver is usually applied at acupoints situated superficially over a broad area to produce an adjusting and toning effect for treatment of chronic, deficient, and wasting diseases as well as for maintenance of health and relief of local swelling and pain.
    Principle of manipulation: The pressure applied by the kneading maneuver should be gentle and the movement of finger, hand and arm should be coordinated, rhythmic, and persistent for a longer period of time.

    4. Pushing maneuver:
    The single or multiple finger(s), root of palm, thenar or hypothenar prominence is used to produce an unidirectional linear pushing movement over certain parts of the hand (Fig. 21).
    Indications: The pushing maneuver is usually applied along the longitudinal direction of the hand or over various sides of the fingers, and it may be followed by a rubbing maneuver to maintain health and treat chronic diseases, pain, and soreness due to soft tissue strain or diseases caused by deficiency and cold.
    Principle of manipulation: To apply the pushing maneuver, the pushing force must be steady and strong enough, with the finger or palm placed firm on the skin of the hand. The pushing speed should be slow and even. The direction of the pushing maneuver is along the bones of the hand, and the force of the pushing maneuver may be freely adjusted, but it should be maintained at a fixed depth.

    5. Pinching maneuver:
    The free border or radial corner of the thumb nail or free border of the nails of other fingers is used to apply a vertical, heavy stimulation to the hand acupoints; or the free border of the thumb nail and the free border of the nails of other fingers are used to pinch the acupoint from both sides (Fig. 22).
    Indications: The pinching maneuver is usually applied between metacarpal bones or between metacarpophalangeal joints together with pressing, kneading, and twisting maneuvers (or alternately applied) to treat acute or painful diseases, epilepsy, and neurasthenia.
    Principle of manipulation: This is a maneuver designed to produce a heavy and deep stimulation and response. After the heavy and deep pinching manipulation is held for half a minute, gentle pressing and kneading maneuvers should follow for half a minute to relieve the discomfort produced by the pinching maneuver. This manipulation is repeated a second time. The pinching maneuver may be applied for a shorter duration and with a quicker rhythm. The nail must be steadily applied at the acupoint without any sliding movement to avoid causing injury to the skin.

    6. Twisting maneuver:
    The pads of thumb and index finger are used to hold and twist the injured finger back and forth to promote blood circulation through collaterals and stop pain (Fig. 23).

    More information from TCM and health: Hand Therapy Massage
              Hand Therapy Using Hand Bath        
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    In TCM, A/H1N1 belongs to epidemic febrile disease of TCM which is the same as human avian influenza and SARS and similar to A/H1N1 flu syndrome differentiation and treatment of TCM prevention and cure. It is advocated “dispelling wind, reducing fever and dissipating dampness in clinical.

    TCM center will provide latest Special Report Globally on the A/H1N1 flu; and you still can find the Symptoms and Prevention about A/H1N1 flu ; further more, TCM prevention for swine flu provides latest global news; Chinese medicine prevention for A/H1N1 flu ; Chinese herbal medicine and so on.

    Hand bath is a steaming and washing therapy. The hot steam from an herbal decoction is used to heat the hands which are then soaked in the warm decoction after it gradually cools down. Diseases can be cured by the hot stimulation applied to the meridians and acupoints of the hand and by the gradual absorption of herbs through the skin.

    1. Origin and classification of steaming and washing therapy:

    Steaming and washing therapy originated in ancient times. Among 52 ancient herbal therapy recipes unearthed from the Han Dynasty Mawangdui Tomb, eight were used for steaming and washing therapy. This indicates that steaming and washing therapy has been used by Chinese people to treat diseases for at least 2,000 years. This therapy is also mentioned in classical medical books of the Han (206 B. C.-220) and Jin (265-420) dynasties. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), this method was used to treat carbuncles, cellulitis, skin rashes, dermatitis, frostbite, hand and foot diseases, and gynecological and eye disorders. In the Kin (1115-1234) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties this method was classified as an essential medical therapy. In the Qing Dynasty ( 1644-1911 ), Wu Shangxian, a famous physician of traditional Chinese medicine, divided this therapy into smoking, steaming, shower, sitz bath, and hot ironing. It is a folk treatment used by common people to treat acute sprains, bone injuries, and contusions with a good therapeutic results.
    Steaming and washing therapy can be classified as general and local. Local treatment includes steaming and washing therapy for the hand, foot, and eye, and sitz baths. Hand bath is steaming and washing therapy for the hand.

    2. Function and characteristics of hand bath:

    As demonstrated by the experiments of modern medicine. steaming and washing therapy with hot and moist air can promote the absorption of herbs through the skin, dilate the skin's small blood vessels, promote the circulation of blood and lymph, enhance the phagocytic functions of the reticuloendothelial system, increase the permeability of cellular membranes, and promote metabolism by stimulating the sensitive sensory nerves scattered along the skin. The effective components of herbs used in steaming and washing therapy can directly kill the pathogenic germs on the skin. According to the theory of traditional medicine, the meridians of the hand are closely related to the organs and meridians of the entire body. Therefore, this therapy can clear stagnation in meridians, adjust bodily deficiency and excess, and promote circulation of qi and blood.
    The hand bath is simple, cheap, and easy to learn and practice, with numerous indications and good therapeutic effects, and without any harmful side effects. It is most useful for patients proscribed from taking drugs.

    3. Methods of manipulation:

    1) The proper recipe is selected according to the diseases and the basin, towel and sheets are prepared in use.
    2) The hot decoction of herbs is poured into the basin and the hands and arms are put over the basin. Cover the arms and basin with a sheet to reserve the hot air from quickly escaping away. Some boiled water may be added to the basin to maintain the temperature. After the decoction is cooled down to an adequate temperature, the hands may be soaked and washed in the decoction.
    3) After steaming and bathing, the hands should be dried with a towel and protected from attack of wind and coldness.
    4) The steaming and washing therapy may last for 20-30 minutes, twice a day.

    4. Precautions:

    I) The water used to boil the herbs should be adequate to prepare a decoction of the proper concentration. Aromatic and volatile herbs should be boiled for only 10-15 minutes; and roots, stems and herbs in large clumps should be boiled for 30
    2) The temperature of the decoction for bathing and soaking the hands should be monitored to avoid burning the skin.
    3) These decoctions are not for oral administration.

    More information from TCM and health: Hand Therapy Using Hand Bath
              Hand Therapy Using Hand Qigong        
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    In TCM, A/H1N1 belongs to epidemic febrile disease of TCM which is the same as human avian influenza and SARS and similar to A/H1N1 flu syndrome differentiation and treatment of TCM prevention and cure. It is advocated “dispelling wind, reducing fever and dissipating dampness in clinical.

    TCM center will provide latest Special Report Globally on the A/H1N1 flu; and you still can find the Symptoms and Prevention about A/H1N1 flu ; further more, TCM prevention for swine flu provides latest global news; Chinese medicine prevention for A/H1N1 flu ; Chinese herbal medicine and so on.
    Hand qigong is employed as physical exercises of the hand or the entire body induced by the hand, and is usually accompanied by breathing and mental exercises for treating diseases.

    1. Origin and classification of hand qigong

    Hand qigong is a branch of medical qigong for treatment of diseases and has a long developing history. There were an introduction and case reports mentioned in the medical literature of the Sui (581-618), Tang, Ming (1368-1644), and Qing dynasties.

    Hand qigong can be divided into two types: The pure physical exercise of the hand for treating diseases of the internal organs, and exercises of the entire body induced by the hand with breathing and mental exercises to adjust meridians, qi, and blood throughout the body.

    2. Function and characteristics of hand qigong

    The hand is closely connected to tissues and organs of the entire body through meridians, and there are many sensitive and effective acupoints, such as Hegu (L1 4), Laogong (PC 8) and Shaoshang (LU 11 ) on the hand. Therefore, the physical exercises of the hand and physical exercises of the body induced by the hand with breathing and mental exercises can adjust qi, breath and mental activity, promote circulation of qi and blood through meridians, adjust deficiency and excess in internal organs, and balance yin and yang throughout the body.

    This exercise is simple, practical, easy to learn, and can be practiced by people of all ages at any time and place. It is effective for treating many diseases, especially chronic diseases, without harmful side effects.

    3. Precautions:

    Before doing qigong exercises the practitioner should get rid of mental distractions, maintain a calm mental state, assume a proper posture, and develop a slow and even breath. Then, various types of special hand exercises or physical exercises of the entire body may begin.
    Practical methods of qigong exercises will be discussed in the treatment of different diseases included in the following chapter.

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              Hand Therapy Using Miscellaneous Methods        
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    In TCM, A/H1N1 belongs to epidemic febrile disease of TCM which is the same as human avian influenza and SARS and similar to A/H1N1 flu syndrome differentiation and treatment of TCM prevention and cure. It is advocated “dispelling wind, reducing fever and dissipating dampness in clinical.

    TCM center will provide latest Special Report Globally on the A/H1N1 flu; and you still can find the Symptoms and Prevention about A/H1N1 flu ; further more, TCM prevention for swine flu provides latest global news; Chinese medicine prevention for A/H1N1 flu ; Chinese herbal medicine and so on.

    Besides massage, acupuncture, hand bath, and hand qigong, there are some other therapies applied to or near the hand including holding herbs, pressing and kneading maneuvers applied along the second metacarpal bone, swinging arms, and playing bracelet or ball with the hand.
    1. Holding herb therapy
    As an external treatment herbs, properly selected according to the nature of the disease, are held in the hand as a treatment for various ailments.
    This is an ancient therapy. Herbs that induce sweating and promote digestion are best absorbed through the skin of a hot and moist palm to stimulate the meridians and acupoints of the hand.
    Herbs for particular diseases come in a variety of shapes and patterns such as pills or powders, easy to hold in the hand. Fresh raw herbs are also produced for therapeutic use. Before holding the herbs, the hands should be soaked in hot water for a while. The herbs are then held in the hand until a slight sweating is induced. The herbs should be wrapped in gauze and secured to the palm by bandage for babies and young children.
    This method is used to treat common colds, headache, facial palsy, and indigestion in children.
    Corrosive or allergenic herbs should not be used, and it is contraindicated for patients with ulcers or wounds of the palm.
    2. Pressing and kneading therapy beside the second metacarpal bone
    The pressing and kneading maneuvers are applied at the points on the radial side of the second metacarpal bone for treating various diseases.
    The location, indications, and principles for selecting points have been discussed in Acupuncture for Hand Therapy.
    The pressing and kneading maneuvers are chiefly applied in an area around Hegu (LI 4) acupoint. The Hegu acupoint is an important point used to control pain all over the body and is especially effective for stopping pain of the head and face and in the chest, abdomen, and upper and lower limbs.
    The patient is asked to relax the hand muscles and make a hollow fist with the radial side facing upward. The physician holds the patient's fist by one hand and applies pressure with some kneading movement at a frequency of 150 per minute at Hegu acupoint with the thumb of the other hand to produce a sore, distending, heavy, and numb sensation for three minutes.
    The point should be correctly located; the pressure should be vertically applied to a deep layer, and should be gentle to avoid damaging the skin.

    3. Swinging arm exercise
    This exercise was developed and taught by Mr. Tian Ruifang in Shanghai, 1961. It is a physical exercise, simple and easy to learn and practice and effective for treating certain chronic diseases.
    l) Preparation: Before starting the exercise, the practitioner should be rid of all mental distractions, calm the mind, and fully relax every part of the body and remain this way for 3-5 minutes.
    2) Posture:
    (1) The feet are separated to a distance the width of the shoulders to maintain a natural stance, with the head and body kept erect, the knees naturally and slightly flexed, and the arms freely dangling down (Fig. 34).
    (2) The neck is relaxed, the chin is held slightly backward and the vortex of the head, Baihui (GV 20) acupoint (at midpoint between bilateral tips of ear auricle), is intentionally raised upward.
    (3) The pectoralis major muscles are relaxed and the shoulders are slightly drawn forward to draw in the chest and straighten the back and to produce a counteraction against the intentional upward ascent of the vortex of the head. The qi may move
    downward to Dantian when the chest is drawn in; and the qi may diffuse all over the abdomen when the abdomen is relaxed. After the clear qi is moved upward and the dirty qi is moved downward, a result of "deficiency in upper part and excessiveness in lower part of body" can occur.
    (4) The shoulders are relaxed and sagging to draw in the chest and move the qi downward to Dantian. Otherwise, the qi may move upward, if the shoulders are shrugged.
    (5) The thigh, leg, and foot are all relaxed.
    (6) The muscles all over the body are relaxed with a smiling face and a generally comfortable demeanor.
    (7) The tongue should be naturally flat in the mouth. The mouth and teeth should be lightly closed, because the mouth and tongue may become dry if the mouth is opened; and the practitioner cannot relax the body if the mouth is tightly closed and the teeth gnashed.
    3) Method of performance:
    (1) Both naturally extended arms are moved forward with the shoulder joints as a fulcrum, the fingers are naturally and comfortably extended, the palms are slightly concave and facing forward, and the thumbs are slightly flexed and pointing downward. The hands are moved forward and upward, but not beyond the umbilicus (Fig. 35).
    (2) The shoulders are relaxed and the arms swing freely backward to the initial position, but not beyond the buttocks, with the shape of the palms unchanged (Fig. 36). The forward and backward movement of the arms are continuously repeated.
    (3) The arms are moved back and forth by the relaxed shoulders. The shoulders should not be shrugged and the arms always move parallel. The arms are moved forward by a force conducted from the shoulder and then freely swung backward by gravity, as a repeated movement with arms alternately kept tense and relaxed.
    (4) The palms are slightly concave and the fingers are slightly flexed and separated, because the full extension of tight fingers may interfere with meridians and the free circulation of internal qi.
    (5) The arms should be naturally extended throughout the back and forth movement and the elbows should not be flexed to move the forearms alone.
    (6) The feet are flat on the ground. With increased experience, the practitioner may keep a stance with the toes firmly holding the ground.
    (7) The swinging arm exercise should be carried with the body relaxed, quiet, and natural.
    4) Repetitions, speed, and silent counting:
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    As it is known to all, currently we human being are all faced with a big enemy-A/H1N1 flu (swine flu) which has been threatening our life. Now the situation is worsening. As health and medical organ, we shoulder more responsibility to handle outbreak of this emergency.

    In TCM, A/H1N1 belongs to epidemic febrile disease of TCM which is the same as human avian influenza and SARS and similar to A/H1N1 flu syndrome differentiation and treatment of TCM prevention and cure. It is advocated “dispelling wind, reducing fever and dissipating dampness in clinical.

    TCM center will provide latest Special Report Globally on the A/H1N1 flu; and you still can find the Symptoms and Prevention about A/H1N1 flu ; further more, TCM prevention for swine flu provides latest global news; Chinese medicine prevention for A/H1N1 flu ; Chinese herbal medicine and so on.

    The acupoints for hand therapy include the regular and extra acupoints on the hand. The acupoints on the forearm are also used in hand therapy because they are exposed and convenient to locate for application of acupuncture (the acupoints marked with an asterisk (*) are located on the hand).

    1. Chize (LU 5, on hand Taiyin lung meridian) Location: With elbow slightly flexed, it is on the cubital crease and on the radial border of tendon of brachial biceps muscle (Fig. 1). Function: To suppress adverse ascent of lung qi, tone lung yin, and moisten the lung. Indications: Cough, asthma, hemoptysis, sore throat, chest distension, acute mastitis, arm and elbow pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 1.6 cm, or bleeding therapy with three-edged needle; and moxibustion is permissible.

    2. Kongzui (LU 6, on hand Taiyin lung meridian) Location: With arm extended and palm supine, it is on the connecting line between Chize (LU 5) and Taiyuan (LU 9) and 23.3 cm from Taiyuan (Fig. 1). Function: To suppress adverse ascent of lung qi, clear blood heat, and stop bleeding. Indications: Cough, asthma, hemoptysis, sore throat, aphonia, hemorrhoids, and arm and elbow pain. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 1.6-3.3 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    3. Lieque (LU 7, on hand Taiyin lung meridian) Location: It is proximal to radial styloid process and 5 cm proximal to carpal crease (Fig. 1). Function: To expel pathogen from lungs and adjust Renmai (conceptional vessel). Indications: Cough, asthma, sore throat, hemiplegia, deviation of mouth and eye, migraine, stiff neck, toothache, and hotness in palm. Acupuncture: Oblique insertion of needle toward elbow for 0.7 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    4. Jingqu (LU 8, on hand Taiyin lung meridian) Location: With palm supine, it is 3.3 cm proximal to carpal crease and in a depression between radial styloid process and radial artery (Fig. 1). Function: To control cough and asthma and adjust breath. Indications: Cough, asthma, sore throat, pain and distension in chest, and hotness in palm. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 1 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    5. Taiyuan* (LU 9, on hand Taiyin lung meridian) Location: With palm supine, it is on carpal crease and in a depression on the radial side of radial artery (Fig. 2). Function: To control cough, resolve phlegm, improve body resistance, and expel pathogens. Indications: Cough, asthma, hemoptysis, pain and distension of chest, sore throat, vomiting, abdominal distension, irregular pulse, and hand and wrist pain. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for l cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    6. Yuji* (LU 10, on hand Taiyin lung meridian) Location: With palm supine, it is proximal to the first metacarpophalangeal joint, at the midpoint of metacarpal bone and on the dorsopalmar boundary (Fig. 2). Function: To clear heat in lungs, relieve stagnation in throat, and clear heat in blood. Indications: Cough, hemoptysis, sore throat, elbow spasm, and hotness in palm. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 1.6-3.3 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    7. Shaoshang* (LU 11, on hand Taiyin lung meridian). Location: On the radial side of thumb and 0.3 cm from corner of nail (Fig. 2). Function: To clear heat, open sense organ orifices, restore yang, revive critical patients, relieve stagnation in throat, and control convulsion. Indications: Cough, asthma, sore throat, madness, epilepsy, stroke with coma, febrile diseases, and convulsion in children. Acupuncture: Horizontal insertion of needle toward wrist for 0.6 cm or bleeding therapy with three-edged needle; and moxibustion is permissible.

    8. Shangyang* (LI 1, hand Yangming large intestine meridian) Location: On the radial side of index finger and 0.3 cm from the corner of nail (Fig. 3). Function: To clear heat, resolve swelling, open sense organ orifices, and refresh the mind. Indications: Sore throat, swelling of jaw, toothache, deafness, tinnitus, cough, asthma, stroke with coma, and shoulder pain. Acupuncture: Upward oblique insertion of needle for 0.6 cm or bleeding therapy with three-edged needle; and moxibustion is permissible.

    9. Erjian* (LI 2, on hand Yangming large intestine meridian) Location: With hand slightly clenched, it is on the radial side of second metacarpophalangeal joint and distal to it, and on the dorsopalmar boundary of hand (Fig. 3). Function: To clear heat and resolve swelling. Indications: Sore throat, swelling of jaw, nasal bleeding, toothache, eye pain, deviation of mouth and eye, body heat, and shoulder pain. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 0.6 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    10. Sanjian* (LI 3, on hand Yangming large intestine meridian) Location: With hand slightly clenched, it is on the radial side of index finger and proximal to second metacarpophalangeal joint and capitulum of second metacarpal bone (Fig. 3). Function: To clear heat, resolve swelling, relieve fullness, and stop diarrhea. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 1 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    11. Hegu* (LI 4, on hand Yangming large intestine meridian) Location: Between the first and second metacarpal bone and at the midpoint of second metacarpal bone (Fig. 3). Function: To clear heat, treat exterior syndrome, and improve vision and hearing. Indications: Headache, dizziness, toothache, eye pain, sore throat, swelling of face, deviation of mouth and eye, diseases of nose and ear, fever, hemiplegia, finger spasms, arm pain, amenorr hea, late delivery of baby, skin rashes, and diseases ofstomach and intestines. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 1.6-3.3 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    12. Yangxi* (LI 5, on hand Yangming large intestine meridian) Location: On the radial side of dorsum of wrist and in a depression between tendons of long and short extensor muscles of thumb (Fig. 3). Function: To clear heat, tranquilize the mind, improve vision, and remove stagnation in throat. Indications: Headache, sore throat, red eyes, deafness, tinnitus, toothache, arm and wrist pain, epilepsy, and madness. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 1.3 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    13. Pianli (LI 6, on hand Yangming large intestine meridian) Location: On the connecting line between Yangxi (LI 5) and Quchi (LI 11) acupoints and 10 cm from Yangxi (Fig. 4). Function: To improve vision and hearing. Indications: Nasal bleeding, red eyes, tinnitus, deafness, deviation of mouth and eye, sore throat, edema and pain in shoulder, arm, elbow, and wrist. Acupuncture: Oblique insertion of needle for 1 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    14. Wenliu (LI 7, on hand Yangming large intestine meridian) Location: On the connecting line between Yangxi (El 5) and Quchi (L 11) acupoints and 16.6 cm from Yangxi (Fig. 4). Function: To clear heat, resolve swelling, tranquillize the mind, anti promote transportation in organs. Indications: Headache, facial swelling, nose bleed, sore throat, pain in shoulder and back, epilepsy, and madness. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 1.6 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    15. Xialian (LI 8, on hand Yangming large intestine meridian) Location: On the connecting line between Yangxi (LI 5) and Quchi (LI 11) acupoints and 1.3 cm from Quchi (Fig. 4). Functi,on: To adjust qi and promote transportation in organs. Indications: Headache, dizziness, abdominal pain, acute mastitis, and pain in elbow and arm. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 1.6 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    16. Shanglian (LI 9, on hand Yangming large intestine meridian) Location: On the connecting line between Yangxi (LI 5) and Ouchi (LI 11) acupoints and 10 cm from Quchi (Fig. 4). Function: To adjust qi and promote transportation in organs. Indications: Headache, pain in shoulder and arm, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and hemiplegia. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 1.6-3.3 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    17. Shonsanli (LI 10, on hand Yangming large intestine meridian) Location: On the connecting line between Yangxi (LI 5) and Quchi (LI 11) acupoints and 6.7 cm from Quchi (Fig. 4). Function: To clear heat, improve vision, adjust qi, and promote transportation in organs. Indications: Abdominal distension, diarrhea, eye diseases, toothache, hemiplegia, and hand, arm, and elbow pain. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for i.6-3.3 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    18. Quchi (LI 11, on hand Yangming large intestine meridian) Location: With elbow flexed, it is in a depression on the radial end of cubital crease (Fig. 4). Function: To expel wind pathogen, control itching, clear heat, and resolve swelling. Indications: Febrile diseases, sore throat, toothache, eye pain, skin rashes, skin sores, scabies, diseases of stomach and intestine, epilepsy, madness, disturbance of menstruation, paralysis of upper limb, and shoulder and arm pain. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 3.3-5 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    19. Shaohai (HT 3, on hand Shaoyin heart meridian) Location: With elbow flexed, it is in a depression on the ulnar end of cubital crease (Fig. 5). Function: To tranquilize the mind. Indications: Heart pain, epilepsy, madness, tuberculosis of cervical lymph nodes, hand tremors and spasms, and pain in armpit. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 1.6-3.3 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    20. Lingdao (HT 4, on hand Shaoyin heart meridian) Location: With hand supine, it is on the radial border of ulnar flexor muscle of wrist and 5 cm proximal to carpal crease (Fig. 5). Function: To expand chest and adjust qi. Indications: Heart pain and palpitations, dizziness, vertigo, unreasonable crying and laughing, stiff tongue, aphasia, and wrist and arm spasms. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 1 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    21. Tongli (HT 5, on hand Shaoyin heart meridian) Location: With hand supine, it is on the radial border of ulnar flexor muscle of wrist and 3.3 cm proximal to carpal crease (Fig. 5). Function: To tranquilize the mind, tone yin, and clear heart heat. Indications: Heart palpitations, stiff tongue, aphasia, profuse uterine bleeding, headache, vertigo, and pain on medial and posterior side of shoulder, elbow, and arm. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 1 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    22. Yinxi (HT 6, on hand Shaoyin heart meridian) Location: With hand supine, it is on the radial border of ulnar flexor muscle of wrist and 1.6 cm proximal to carpal crease (Fig. 5). Function: To tranquilize the mind and clear heat in the blood. Indications: Heart pain and palpitations, night sweating, aphasia, and hematemesis. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 1 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.

    23. Shenmen* (HT 7, on hand Shaoyin heart meridian) Location: On the carpal crease and on the radial border of ulnar flexor muscle of wrist (Fig. 6). Function: To improve the body's resistance, expel pathogens, and tranquilize the mind. Indications: Heart pain and palpitations, insomnia, poor memory, unreasonable crying and laughing, epilepsy, madness, headache, vertigo, and hotness in palm. Acupuncture: Vertical insertion of needle for 1 cm; and moxibustion is permissible.
              Hand Therapy Indications, Characteristics, and Precautions        

    Special Recommend information on A H1N1 (swine flu)
    As it is known to all, currently we human being are all faced with a big enemy-A/H1N1 flu (swine flu) which has been threatening our life. Now the situation is worsening. As health and medical organ, we shoulder more responsibility to handle outbreak of this emergency.

    In TCM, A/H1N1 belongs to epidemic febrile disease of TCM which is the same as human avian influenza and SARS and similar to A/H1N1 flu syndrome differentiation and treatment of TCM prevention and cure. It is advocated “dispelling wind, reducing fever and dissipating dampness in clinical.

    TCM center will provide latest Special Report Globally on the A/H1N1 flu; and you still can find the Symptoms and Prevention about A/H1N1 flu ; further more, TCM prevention for swine flu provides latest global news; Chinese medicine prevention for A/H1N1 flu ; Chinese herbal medicine and so on.

    1. Indications: 1) Painful diseases: Neurotic headache, trigeminal neuralgia, toothache, angina pectoris, chest pain, intercostal neuralgia, neuralgia sciatica, and abdominal pain. 2) Chronic diseases: Bronchitis, peptic stomach ulcer, chronic gastroenteritis, diarrhea, diabetes mellitus, rheumatism, soft tissue injury, chronic nephritis, hemiplegia, arthritis, and muscular strain of the waist. 3) Functional diseases: Irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea, functional disturbance of vegetative nervous system, intestinal paralysis, and stomach spasms. 4) Neurological diseases: Neurasthenia, spasm of facial muscles, facial palsy, and neurotic deafness. 5) Inflammatory diseases: Tonsillitis, pharyngitis, stomatitis, rhinitis, bronchitis, periarthritis of shoulder, cholecystitis, nephritis, and arthritis. 6) Acute diseases: High fever with convulsions, acute angina pectoris, acute attack of epilepsy, acute larygopharyngitis, acute conjunctivitis, and acute gastritis.

    2. Characteristics: 1) Holistic principles in the treatment of disease are followed. This includes treating internal diseases with external therapy and treating general diseases with local therapy. 2) Hand therapy is a simple treatment with numerous indications, including common internal diseases, surgical problems, and gynaecological, pediatric, and ENT disorders. 3) This treatment is cheap, convenient and safe. 4) It can be used to treat diseases as well as improve the health of normal people. 5) It can be done by the patients themselves for early diagnosis and treatment. 6) It can produce good therapeutic results without harmful side effect. 7) The techniques of hand therapy can be widely popularized for broad application.

    3. Precautions: 1) Care must be taken in treating pregnant women at early and later stages of pregnancy. 2) It must be used with care in potential surgical conditions such as acute appendicitis with indication of surgical intervention. 3) Hand therapy is prohibited for patients with necrotic, infectious, or pyogenic skin lesions of the hand.

              3. Infobox Vöcklabruck – Greenpeers, Attac, Goa und ÜS        
    3. INFOBOX Vöcklabruck: GREENPEERS ist eine Ausbildung in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Klimabündnis Oberösterreich, bei der Jugendliche sich mit dem Klima- & Umweltschutz auseinandersetzen. Dazu hören wir einen Bericht von Oliver Walenta. ATTAC ist eine weltweite, globalisierungskritische Organisation. Vor kurzem hat sich auch in Vöcklabruck eine Regionalgruppe gegründet. Die Infobox interviewt den Mitinitiator von ATTAC Vöcklabruck, […]
              2016: 122 journalists killed globally, 5 in India        

    New Delhi: As many as 122 journalists and media professionals were killed in 2016 globally, 93 of them in targeted killings and others in natural disasters and accidents, while India witnessed death of five scribes and was eighth on a list topped by Iraq, according to a new report.

    The targeted killings, including murders, bomb attacks and crossfire incidents, span 23 countries in Africa, Asia Pacific, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East and Arab World regions, said International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in its annual report released Friday.

    The IFJ said the number (93 targeted killings) was down from 112 targeted killings in 2015 while Iraq still had the largest number of media killings with 15, ahead of Afghanistan (13) and Mexico (11).

    These were followed by Yemen (8), Guatemala (6), Syria (6), India and Pakistan (5 in both), according to the statistics published by the largest global federation of journalists' trade unions.

    In addition to the 93 targeted killings, 20 Brazilian sports journalists perished in a plane crash over the city of Medellin in Colombia, a country where for the first time in many years no killing was recorded this year, against three in 2015. Nine Russian journalists were killed in a military plane crash.

    Although the 2016 figures for targeted killings of media professionals are down from the previous year's, the IFJ has cautioned against complacency citing reports of rising threats, intimidation and self-censorship as evidence that attacks on freedom of expression remain at critical levels.

    In India, Tarun Mishra, Bureau Chief of Jan Sandesh Times, died on 14 February; Indradev Yadav, Journalist with Taaza TV, on 16 May; Rajdeo Ranjan, Bureau Chief of Dainik Hindustan on 13 May; Kishore Dave, Bureau Chief of Jai Hind on 22 August and Dharmendra Singh, Correspondent of Dainik Bhaskar on 12 November, the report noted.

    In 2015, India had reported targeted killings of six media professionals, including those from news channel Aaj Tak and Hindi daily Dainik Jagaran, the report states.

    Noting that India along with Yemen, Pakistan and Syria form a group which saw little or no change in the numbers of killings from 2015, IFJ President Philippe Leruth said, "Any decrease in violence against journalists and media staff is always welcome but these statistics and the continued deliberate targeting of media workers in many incidents causing loss of life give little room for comfort nor ground for hope to see the end of the current media safety crisis." 

    The IFJ, which claims to represent more than 6,00,000 journalists in 140 countries, has recorded at least 2,297 killings of media professionals in targeted assassinations, cross-fire incidents and bomb attacks till 2015.

    2016: 122 journalists killed globally, 5 in India
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              Tea Party Pennsylvania Bill would give patients more privacy control over health care        
    The bill also seeks to protect the rights of patients to buy health insurance, or make any other arrangements to pay for their own health care.

    New federal legislation seeks to prevent government bureaucrats from interfering in private health care and guarantee patient rights to control health care decisions.

    Republican Congressman Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent, R-15, and Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk are the cosponsors of the Medical Rights Act of 2009 bill, which was introduced Wednesday. The lawmakers co-chair the centrist GOP Tuesday Group.

    "As Congress begins to discuss how best to address America's health care challenges, we must protect the sacrosanct relationship between a patient and a doctor," Dent said. "One of the greatest strengths of our health care system is that Americans can rely on getting the care that they need when they need it."

    The bill prevents the government from rationing private health care and actions that interfere in the doctor-patient relationship, the congressman contends. It also would prevent the federal government from regulating the hiring practices of organizations that provide health care, such as hospitals and clinics.

    The bill protects the rights of patients to buy health insurance, or make any other arrangements to pay for their own health care. Several foreign countries and several current health care reform proposals substantially restrict this right, according to the bill.

    Additionally, the proposed bill would give Americans who get care under government health programs, such as Medicare, the ability to obtain health care outside the program.

    In the U.S., if a Medicare-participating doctor accepts payment for a service that would otherwise be covered under Medicare, the doctor is suspended from participating in the federal health program for the elderly for two years, according to the bill.

    "This substantially restricts the ability of Medicare patients to pay on their own if Medicare decides they are ineligible for a particular service normally covered by the program," according to the bill. "Not many doctors are willing to take that penalty, so this substantially (if indirectly) restricts the right of seniors and the disabled to access the health care of their choice."

    With Congress preparing to debate health care reform this summer, the men warned legislation allowing government involvement in health care decisions could have "dire consequences." They cite other public health programs in Canada and Britain as examples of how government involvement compromises quality.

    Long waits for care elsewhere

    In a news release, the men cited a 2008 Commonwealth Fund International survey that found most Canadians and British adults waited longer than four weeks to see a medical specialist compared with only 26 percent of Americans.

    They also cited long waits for care, based on a Heritage Foundation study that found 43 percent of Canadian patients and 15 percent of British patients received hip replacements within six months, compared with more than 90 percent of American senior citizens.

    About 30 percent of Canadians' health care is paid for through the private sector, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a group of 30 countries that meets regularly to discuss global issues and make economic and social policies.

    The private payments are mostly for services not covered or partially covered by Canada's health program, such as prescription drugs and dentistry, according to the OECD.

    About 65 percent of Canadians have some form of supplementary private health insurance and many receive it through their employers.

    Canada spends less of its gross domestic product on health care (10.4 percent, versus 16 percent in the U.S.) and performs better on two commonly cited health outcome measures - the infant mortality rate and life expectancy.

    A 2007 National Bureau of Economic Research report found the U.S. experienced a higher incidence of chronic health conditions than Canada, but Americans had somewhat better access to treatment for the conditions. Also, a significantly higher percentage of U.S. residents were screened for major forms of cancer.

    The need to ration health care resources in Canada is the reason most Canadians cited for unmet medical needs, where in the U.S., more than half of those surveyed cited health care costs as the reason for unmet needs, the agency found.

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    tea party: tea party protest

    tea party: 4th of july tea party

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              Viviendo como un Hada 6: besos de diciembre, besos azules ...        
    "Mejor que las Navidades-le dijeron a su madre- es prepararse para ellas"

    Margaret Sydney "Los Cinco pimientitos y cómo crecen"

    Queridas mías,
     como cada mes, aunque en esta ocasión suba esta entrada un poco tarde, no puedo faltar a mi cita conmigo misma ... cuando me siento frente al ordenador a recoger  ideas para cada mes parece que el mundo se abre un poco más y se renuevan mis ganas de todo... y si las fiestas abruman un poco...y parece que está todo por hacer... quizá lo mejor sea dedicarnos primero una cosa y después a otra, de uno en uno y punto a punto los días se vuelven brillantes, y cada precioso minuto pasa ante nuestros ojos brillante y puro como los copos de nieve... qué haremos con tantos tantos minutos? He recogido muchas cositas sencillas porque este mes es un mes de jaleo para todas y seguro que si el tiempo se puediese regalar, sería el mas agradecido de los presentes...

    Pero antes de ello quería subir esta Tiara Cupcake ( a la que prefiero llamar Tiara Las hadas del Azúcar) que he hecho esta semana, ya casi no me queda tiempo para coser, y no puedo hacer demasiadas cositas, pero algo es algo no?

     Y ahora sí,

     Alegrías para Diciembre

    1- Adorna de veras tu casa. Propaga la alegría de estas fiestas por toda tu casa con adornos apropiados... plantas de hoja perenne, lucecitas y adornos naturales... no hace falta gastar mucho dinero, la idea es sencilla, cuando haces un esfuerzo especial por crear belleza en tu hogar, estás preparando un escenario, un ambiente de Navidad, hanuca, Solsticio de Invierno o como quiera que lo celebres.

    Puedes hacerlos con ramas...
     o bolitas de tela pintalas o cosidas como esta de Thea and Sami
    Las piñas son fáciles de conseguir, puedes pintar algunas de dorado...

    Puedes hacer guirnaldas de papel, sencillamente haciendo aros:

    o con palomitas y bayas rojas....

    con papel blanco puedes hacer copos de nieve que caeran delicadamente sobre tu cabeza... (tutorial aqui)

    2- que te parece leer poco a poco "canción de Navidad" de Dickens? quiza puedas hacerlo tipo serial si alguien comparte contigo estos maravillosos momentos de lectura!

    3 Organiza tu propio festival de películas clásicas, aquí van algunas propuestas, enrollate en tu manta preferida, y a disfrutar y a llorar a moco tendido!!:

    "De ilusión también se vive" ("Milagro en la calle 34”)

    “Cuento de Navidad” (basado en la novela de Charles Dickens)

    “¡Qué bello es vivir!”

    “Un ángel pasó por Brooklyn”

    4- haz que se cumplan los sueños navideños de un niño que no sea tu hijo.

    5- Comparte tus bendiciones con algun refugio para personas sin hogar, ¿ropa que ya no quieres? quizá algo de comida?

    6-Sigue tu estrella, una noche de diciembre sal y da un paseo bajo la luna, esa luna que ha alumbrado a tantas mujeres antes que a ti durante años, siglos y milenios... contempla las estrellas y elige una que será la tuya...
    Si quieres tenerla de manera oficial puedes comprar una en Global Star Registry

    7-dile adios a todas las cosas que quieres dejar atrás... ¿cómo hacerlo? escribe en un papel cada cosa que NO quieres tener este año que entra, metelos todos en una caja, envuelvela con un paño negro y después tírala al fuego diciendo A PASEO!!!! ahora ya puedes olvidarte de lo malo y comenzar bien limpia de alma!

    8- haz hombrecillos de jengibre, receta CLIC

    9 Prepara tu cuaderno de la Navidad, compra una libreta de espiral con motivos navideños, será tu libro de recuerdos para las navidades (estas y las próximas) empieza por escribir el año y una muestra (o fotocopia ) de las tarjetas que vayas a enviar y una lista de destinatarios... pega trozos de lazo, papel de regalo, cintas , etiquetas y el nombre de las personas que han recibido regalos tuyos... puedes crear composiciones con los restos de papel...
    Guarda invitaciones  de fiestas a las que te hayan invitado y hayas disfrutado ¿que llevabas puesto? como estaba decorada?
    Sin limitarse  a las fiestas a las que asistas puedes recordar momentos especiales que hayas vivido en estas fechas..
    Puedes colocar también fotos que recibas o de revistas... frases que oigas...quizá la letra de algun villancico...
    con los años seguroq ue recurrirás a él para hacer de tus navidades las mejores sobre la Tierra


              How Plastic We've Become        

    Our bodies carry residues of kitchen plastics

    Food for Thought

    In the 1967 film classic The Graduate, a businessman corners Benjamin Braddock at a cocktail party and gives him a bit of career advice. "Just one word…plastics."

    Although Benjamin didn't heed that recommendation, plenty of other young graduates did. Today, the planet is awash in products spawned by the plastics industry. Residues of plastics have become ubiquitous in the environment—and in our bodies.

    A federal government study now reports that bisphenol A (BPA)—the building block of one of the most widely used plastics—laces the bodies of the vast majority of U.S. residents young and old.

    Manufacturers link BPA molecules into long chains, called polymers, to make polycarbonate plastics. All of those clear, brittle plastics used in baby bottles, food ware, and small kitchen appliances (like food-processor bowls) are made from polycarbonates. BPA-based resins also line the interiors of most food, beer, and soft-drink cans. With use and heating, polycarbonates can break down, leaching BPA into the materials they contact. Such as foods.

    And that could be bad if what happens in laboratory animals also happens in people, because studies in rodents show that BPA can trigger a host of harmful changes, from reproductive havoc to impaired blood-sugar control and obesity (SN: 9/29/07, p. 202).

    For the new study, scientists analyzed urine from some 2,500 people who had been recruited between 2003 and 2004 for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Roughly 92 percent of the individuals hosted measurable amounts of BPA, according to a report in the January Environmental Health Perspectives. It's the first study to measure the pollutant in a representative cross-section of the U.S. population.

    Typically, only small traces of BPA turned up, concentrations of a few parts per billion in urine, note chemist Antonia M. Calafat and her colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, with hormone-mimicking agents like BPA, even tiny exposures can have notable impacts.

    Overall, concentrations measured by Calafat's team were substantially higher than those that have triggered disease, birth defects, and more in exposed animals, notes Frederick S. vom Saal, a University of Missouri-Columbia biologist who has been probing the toxicology of BPA for more than 15 years.

    The BPA industry describes things differently. Although Calafat's team reported urine concentrations of BPA, in fact they assayed a breakdown product—the compound by which BPA is excreted, notes Steven G. Hentges of the American Chemistry Council's Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group. As such, he argues, "this does not mean that BPA itself is present in the body or in urine."

    On the other hand, few people have direct exposure to the breakdown product.

    Hentges' group estimates that the daily BPA intake needed to create urine concentrations reported by the CDC scientists should be in the neighborhood of 50 nanograms per kilogram of bodyweight—or one millionth of an amount at which "no adverse effects" were measured in multi-generation animal studies. In other words, Hentges says, this suggests "a very large margin of safety."

    No way, counters vom Saal. If one applies the ratio of BPA intake to excreted values in hosts of published animal studies, concentrations just reported by CDC suggest that the daily intake of most Americans is actually closer to 100 micrograms (µg) per kilogram bodyweight, he says—or some 1,000-fold higher than the industry figure.

    Clearly, there are big differences of opinion and interpretation. And a lot may rest on who's right.

    Globally, chemical manufacturers produce an estimated 2.8 million tons of BPA each year. The material goes into a broad range of products, many used in and around the home. BPA also serves as the basis of dental sealants, which are resins applied to the teeth of children to protect their pearly whites from cavities (SN: 4/6/96, p. 214). The industry, therefore, has a strong economic interest in seeing that the market for BPA-based products doesn't become eroded by public concerns over the chemical.

    And that could happen. About 2 years after a Japanese research team showed that BPA leached out of baby bottles and plastic food ware (see What's Coming Out of Baby's Bottle?), manufacturers of those consumer products voluntarily found BPA substitutes for use in food cans. Some 2 years after that, a different group of Japanese scientists measured concentrations of BPA residues in the urine of college students. About half of the samples came from before the switch, the rest from after the period when BPA was removed from food cans.

    By comparing urine values from the two time periods, the researchers showed that BPA residues were much lower—down by at least 50 percent—after Japanese manufacturers had eliminated BPA from the lining of food cans.

    Concludes vom Saal, in light of the new CDC data and a growing body of animal data implicating even low-dose BPA exposures with the potential to cause harm, "the most logical thing" for the United States to do would be to follow in Japan's footsteps and "get this stuff [BPA] out of our food."

    Kids appear most exposed

    Overall, men tend to have statistically lower concentrations of BPA than women, the NHANES data indicate. But the big difference, Calafat says, traces to age. "Children had higher concentrations than adolescents, and they in turn had higher levels than adults," she told Science News Online.

    This decreasing body burden with older age "is something we have seen with some other nonpersistent chemicals," Calafat notes—such as phthalates, another class of plasticizers.

    The spread between the average BPA concentration that her team measured in children 6 to 11 years old (4.5 µg/liter) and adults (2.5 µg/L) doesn't look like much, but proved reliably different.

    The open question is why adults tended to excrete only 55 percent as much BPA. It could mean children have higher exposures, she posits, or perhaps that they break it down less efficiently. "We really need to do more research to be able to answer that question."

    Among other differences that emerged in the NHANES analysis: urine residues of BPA decreased with increasing household income and varied somewhat with ethnicity (with Mexican-Americans having the lowest average values, blacks the highest, and white's values in between).

    There was also a time-of-day difference, with urine values for any given group tending to be highest in the evening, lowest in the afternoon, and midway between those in the morning. Since BPA's half-life in the body is only about 6 hours, that temporal variation in the chemical's excretion would be consistent with food as a major source of exposure, the CDC scientists note.

    In the current NHANES paper, BPA samples were collected only once from each recruit. However, in a paper due to come out in the February Environmental Health Perspectives, Calafat and colleagues from several other institutions looked at how BPA excretion varied over a 2-year span among 82 individuals—men and women—seen at a fertility clinic in Boston.

    In contrast to the NHANES data, the upcoming report shows that men tended to have somewhat higher BPA concentrations than women. Then again both groups had only about one-quarter the concentration typical of Americans.

    The big difference in the Boston group emerged among the 10 women who ultimately became pregnant. Their BPA excretion increased 33 percent during pregnancy. Owing to the small number of participants in this subset of the study population, the pregnancy-associated change was not statistically significant. However, the researchers report, these are the first data to look for changes during pregnancy and ultimately determining whether some feature of pregnancy—such as a change in diet or metabolism of BPA—really alters body concentrations of the pollutant could be important. It could point to whether the fetus faces an unexpectedly high exposure to the pollutant.

    If it does, the fetus could face a double whammy: Not only would exposures be higher during this period of organ and neural development, but rates of detoxification also would be diminished, vom Saal says.

    Indeed, in a separate study, one due to be published soon in Reproductive Toxicology, his team administered BPA by ingestion or by injection to 3-day-old mice. Either way, the BPA exposure resulted in comparable BPA concentrations in blood.

    What's more, that study found, per unit of BPA delivered, blood values in the newborns were "markedly higher" than other studies have reported for adult rodents exposed to the chemical. And that makes sense, vom Saal says, because the enzyme needed to break BPA down and lead to its excretion is only a tenth as active in babies as in adults. That's true in the mouse, he says, in the rat—and, according to some preliminary data, in humans.

    Vom Saal contends that since studies have shown BPA exhibits potent hormonelike activity in human cells at the parts-per-trillion level, and since the new CDC study finds that most people are continually exposed to concentrations well above the parts-per-trillion ballpark, it's time to reevaluate whether it makes sense to use BPA-based products in and around foods.

    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.

              It's Spud Time        

    The United Nations wants more people to appreciate the potato's potential to fight world hunger

    Food for Thought

    As 2007 winds down, thoughts naturally turn towards what might lie ahead. Meals rich in high-carb tubers, perhaps? That's what the United Nations would like everyone to contemplate throughout 2008, which it is designating the International Year of the Potato.

    Farmers now harvest more than 300 million tons of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) worldwide. That makes it the fourth biggest food crop, trailing only corn, wheat, and rice.

    For 8,000 years, the humble potato has been a staple in the South American Andes, its homeland. Spanish adventurers encountered the New World crop roughly 500 years ago and brought various types back to Europe. Today, potatoes are cultivated not only throughout the Americas, but also from China's uplands to India's subtropical lowlands—even on Ukraine's arid steppes.

    A testament to the potato's Western roots, production of this crop in the States and southward leads the world. Fully 40 percent of the 2006 potato harvest came from North America, with Latin American farmers contributing another 16 percent.

    However, appreciation for this nutritious starch within developing countries outside of the Americas—especially in Asia—has been growing steadily, with production of the crop in those regions climbing some 5 percent annually. Indeed, 2005 marked the first time in recent history that production of potatoes in the developing world exceeded that in developed nations.

    Although most people think of potatoes as a commodity, in fact, more potatoes are processed to make fast foods, snacks, and convenience items than are sold fresh in the market place. Today, China is the leading producer of spuds, followed by the Russian states and India. International trade in potatoes—worth $6 billion annually—has also been growing within developing nations.

    You might then ask why, with all of this pre-existing global interest in potatoes, the UN feels compelled to devote a year of workshops, research contests, and other focused attention on this one particular food. And the reason, the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization argues, is that much of the spud's potential to feed the poor remains untapped.

    For instance, although Asians eat nearly half of the world's potatoes, per capita consumption even in Asia remains modest—just 25 kilograms per year, or roughly 45 percent of U.S. consumption and just 27 percent of what's typical in Europe.

    Even were potatoes to win greater respect for their nutritional attributes and ability to serve as industrial feedstocks, they couldn't necessarily make a big contribution in new regions of the world without significantly more research. The tubers are vulnerable to a host of major diseases—like the one that set off Ireland's 1845 potato famine. Some varieties of potato are especially resistant to particular diseases, but may not grow well in new regions of the world or taste that yummy.

    That's where potato scientists come in. They can identify the climate, soil types, day length, and native diseases with which any new potato crop would have to contend. Then they'll cross lines of wild or cultivated spuds to develop ones with traits that will allow them to thrive outside the Americas. The good news, the UN program notes: "The potato has the richest genetic diversity of any cultivated plant." So there's plenty of potential to tailor a new cultivar to meet the needs of farmers in most places on the globe.

    But the potato's biggest advantage, according to the International Potato Center, based in Lima, Peru, is that it yields more food, more quickly, on less land, and in harsher climates than any other major crop. Up to 85 percent of the plant is edible, compared to only about 50 percent for cereal grains. Moreover, the Center notes, potatoes "are ideally suited to places where land is limited and labor is abundant—conditions in much of the developing world."

    To help get this word out to agricultural agencies in parts of the world not already turned on to spuds, and from them to farmers, the International Potato Center will be sponsoring a March 2008 meeting: Potato Science for the Poor–Challenges for the New Millennium ( Those who attend will have the opportunity to explore the possibility of cooperating to fine tune existing potatoes into higher-yielding varieties.

    The International Potato Center's gene bank safeguards the largest biodiversity of potatoes—7,500 different varieties, of which 1,950 are not cultivated. Research on spuds, especially studies aimed at fostering food security and the alleviation of poverty, have become a focus for the center.

    With all of this talk of potatoes, are you hungry yet? The UN program has so far identified 172,000 web pages containing recipes for using potatoes. Stay tuned, it says: "We will gather the best of them" and share them on the Year of the Potato website.

    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.


    International Year of Potato (IYP) Secretariat

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

    Room C-776

    Viale delle Terme di Caracalla

    00153 Rome


    International Potato Center

    Apartado Postal 1558

    Lima 12,

    Further Reading

    Gorman, J. 2000. Novel sensing system catches the dud spud. Science News 158(Nov. 25):341. Available at [Go to].

    C. Graves, Ed. 2001. The Potato, Treasure of the Andes: From Agriculture to Culture. Lima, Peru: International Potato Center (208 pp). Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2005. Food colorings: Pigments make fruits and veggies extra healthful. Science News 167(Jan. 8):27. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. How carbs can make burgers safer. Science News Online (Dec. 4). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Coming soon—Spud lite. Science News Online (June 19). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2003. How olives might enhance potatoes—and strawberries. Science News Online (May 24). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2002. Acrylamide—From spuds to gingerbread. Science News Online (Dec. 14). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1998. Taters for tots provide an edible vaccine. Science News 153(March 7):149. Available at [Go to]

              Tag! You're It        

    Biologists catch and tag big sawfish in Florida waters

    Food for Thought

    Once a common top predator throughout coastal seas around the globe, sawfish have become remarkably rare. Indeed, today most populations are threatened with extinction. So spotting even one of these animals is reason to rejoice, notes Beau Yeiser of Mote Marine Laboratory in southern Florida. And this week, "we are nothing but giddy," he reports.

    He and colleague Tonya Wiley just returned from a 2-day sawfish-scouting expedition during which they tagged a 7-foot male on Oct. 16. At that size, the strapping youth may be 5 to 7 years old, Yeiser says. He cautions, however, that estimating age is challenging "as we try and piece together the life history of this species. We don't even know its size at maturity yet."

    These animals—essentially flattened sharks with wings—are members of the ray family. Only one species of this fish remains in U.S. waters, mostly off of Florida. Over the first half of the 20th century, this smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) was fished to the brink of extinction—largely by accident.

    Although many cultures eat sawfish—the animals' fins are especially prized in Asia as the featured ingredient in a pricey soup—most of the animals in U.S. waters were landed and destroyed as bycatch, that is, nuisance species hauled in by commercial fishing fleets. The dire status of sawfish globally won these animals protection, last month, under a treaty banning international trade in endangered species (see Hammered Saws).

    So far this year, Yeiser and Wiley have caught just 14 sawfish, most of them less than 4 feet long. Those would still be little kids, considering that these fish are almost a yard long at birth. Then again, the pair had expected only small ones because they've mainly been cruising coastal shallows this year in hopes of running into newborns and youngsters.

    The scientists attach a numbered identification tag to the dorsal fin of every sawfish they catch—and then release the animal.

    But last week's catch was so big that it qualified for a second identifier: a pop-up archival tag, or PAT. These recording devices are so heavy that they're reserved for large sawfish—at least 7-footers. To date, only some dozen of these animals have received PATs. Costing at least $4,000 each, these data-storage systems collect information every minute, for months, on the depth at which its host is swimming, the water temperature, and light levels. The latter information gets plugged into a computer program that roughly gauges the animal's geographic coordinates at any moment.

    Researchers program a PAT to pop off the fish on a particular date. Once it floats to the surface, it sends its stored information in spurts, twice a day, to a satellite. That orbiting relay station then shoots those data back to Earth and the scientists' email addresses.

    Last week's sawfish encounter took place in a southern Florida national wildlife refuge, in very shallow water. Investigated as a possible nursery, Yeiser says "I was expecting any sawfish that I might catch to be perhaps 4 to 5 feet in length." Instead, he found a much older juvenile. "But that's the beauty of this [sawfish] project; you never know what you are going to get when you're scouting a species that has not been studied much!"

    Yeiser named the youth that he tagged last week Raloff. Hmmm—I like the sound of that. Its tag is programmed to pop off on March 15. Stay tuned for an update on my namesake's travels.

    If all goes well, that is.

    A 7- and an 11-foot sawfish each received PATs in May. Although the satellite tags had been programmed to pop off 3 months later, they actually surfaced within just a couple weeks, Yeiser says—and were never recovered.

    So, each time biologists deploy the pricey devices, he says, "we just cross our fingers that they won't pop up early—or get lost in the middle of the Gulf."

    Don't try this yourself

    The sawfish is an endangered species, so federal law forbids its capture—except by researchers who have been granted a waiver. And even they need to release an animal after measuring and tagging it.

    It's against the law to even harass the animals. Still, anglers may inadvertently snag one of the toothy marvels. When that happens, this species "should be released by keeping the fish in the water and cutting the line as close to the hook as possible," according to guidelines issued late last year by the National Marine Fisheries Service in St. Petersburg, Fla. "If it can be done safely, untangle the line if it is wrapped around the saw. Do not handle the animal or attempt to remove any hooks on the saw, except for with a long-handled dehooker," NOAA says.

    Biologists request that any anglers who sight a sawfish report their encounter to the Mote lab. Its scientists are maintaining a database to help them identify important habitat for these endangered animals.

    As interesting as these piscine oddities are, biologists would prefer that the public give the fish a wide berth. The primary reason: Approaching the animals can stress them, chase them from what should be waters safe from predators, or even interfere with their reproduction.

    But there's another reason to steer clear, according to Captain Harvey Lee Hamilton, who charters a fishing boat out of Pineland, Fla. "I've caught plenty of sawfish in my life, and I'll tell you: They're dangerous. I'm still scared to death of them." Their saws—which he terms blades—are edged with dozens of razor-sharp "teeth." The muscular animals slash those saws from side to side to kill prey or defend themselves.

    Says Hamilton: "Those fish get big, with blades that can go to at least 5 foot." And they slash those blades "so fast," he says, "that they could slice your feet off." Indeed, he told Science News Online: "I'd rather fight a shark than a sawfish."

    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.


    Beau Yeiser and Tonya R. Wiley

    Center for Shark Research

    Mote Marine Laboratory

    1600 Ken Thompson Parkway

    Sarasota, FL 34236

    Smalltooth Sawfish Coordinator

    National Marine Fisheries Service

    Southeast Regional Office, Protected Resources Division

    263 13th Avenue South

    St. Petersburg, FL 33071
    Further Reading

    2006. Mote scientists to help eBay identify species in new sawfish ban. Mote Marine Laboratory news release. Jan. 25. Available at [Go to].

    Mote Marine Laboratory. How you can help save the U.S. smalltooth sawfish. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff. J. 2007. Hammered saws. Science News 172(Aug. 11):90-92. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2002. Clipping the fin trade. Science News 162(Oct. 12):232-234. Available at [Go to].

    Sawfish in Peril: Sawfish Education Program. Available at [Go to].

              Dowódca NATO: Finlandia ma kluczowe znaczenie dla stabilności w Europie        

    Generał docenił fińską armię i jej rolę we wspólnych ćwiczeniach z wojskami amerykańskimi. - Kiedy ćwiczymy razem, wspólnie uczymy się od siebie - powiedział Scaparrotti w środę wieczorem podczas spotkania na uniwersytecie w Helsinkach.

    Przypomniał, że w połowie sierpnia amerykańskie i fińskie siły powietrzne będą wspólnie przeprowadzać manewry. W ćwiczeniach weźmie udział sześć myśliwców Hornet z fińskich sił zbrojnych oraz amerykański samolot szturmowy A-10 Warthog ze 175. dywizjonu, który obecnie uczestniczy w manewrach w Estonii.

    Według Scaparrottiego dzięki fińsko-amerykańskiej współpracy można osiągnąć szybszą zdolność reagowania w przyszłości. Generał dodał, że Waszyngton jest gotowy na tym polu zacieśnić współpracę z Helsinkami. Podkreślił przy tym, że Stany Zjednoczone szanują wybór Finlandii, jako kraju nie należącego do sojuszy wojskowych, ale jednocześnie będącego gwarantem stabilności w Europie.

    Dowódca wojsk NATO w Europie odniósł się również do wrześniowych manewrów Rosji i Białorusi Zapad-2017. Powiedział, że nie jest szczególnie nimi zaniepokojony, ale wyraził nadzieję, że Rosja, tak jak mają to w zwyczaju kraje zachodnie, zacznie mówić bardziej otwarcie o swoich manewrach, dzięki czemu nie dojdzie do nieporozumień i złej oceny zamiarów.

    - Rosja chce znów być globalnym mocarstwem i zapewnić sobie wpływy na swoich zachodnich granicach - ocenił Scaparrotti. Odniósł się przy tym do stosowanych przez Rosję praktyk szerzenia dezinformacji oraz zaangażowania politycznego w obronie swoich interesów w innych krajach. Pochwalił jednocześnie fińskie podejście do zwalczania dezinformacji przez edukację, z czego mogą brać przykład inne kraje.

    Amerykański generał w czwartek spotka się z prezydentem Finlandii Saulim Niinisto oraz ministrem obrony tego kraju Jussim Niinisto. Scaparrotti jest dowódcą wojsk NATO w Europie od maja 2016 roku. Wcześniej dowodził siłami USA w Korei Południowej, a także w Iraku, Afganistanie i na Bałkanach.


              KE bierze się za Airbnb. Usługa ma zostać opodatkowana        
    Temat nie jest zupełnie nowy w UE. W czerwcu Parlament Europejski przyjął rezolucję, wzywając KE do stworzenia konkretnych przepisów regulujących usługi oferowane w ramach tzw. gospodarki dzielenia się, typu Airbnb czy Uber. Europosłowie bardziej jednak niż na podatki zwracali uwagę na stronę konsumencką wskazując, że klienci korzystający z usług za pośrednictwem platform powinni być chronieni jak w przypadku każdej innej transakcji.

    Komisja Europejska do tej pory patrzyła przychylnym okiem na usługi tzw. ekonomii dzielenia się. Bruksela nie zdecydowała się na przygotowanie unijnych przepisów, ale w ubiegłym roku wydała wytyczne dla państw członkowskich dotyczące regulacji tego sektora. Według KE innowacyjne usługi ekonomii dzielenia się (ang. sharing economy albo collaborative economy) mogą korzystnie wpłynąć na wzrost gospodarczy i tworzenie miejsc pracy w UE, o ile będą regulowane i rozwijane w odpowiedzialny sposób.

    Szybki rozwój tego sektora związany jest z nowymi technologiami. Najbardziej znanym przykładem jest UberPOP, czyli aplikacja kojarząca ludzi chcących odpłatnie wyświadczyć usługę przewozu oraz jej odbiorców. Inne przykłady to BlaBlaCar, czyli serwis łączący kierowców dysponujących wolnymi miejscami w aucie z osobami szukającymi transportu, albo Airbnb, umożliwiający wynajęcie pokoju, mieszkania czy domu.

    Skala tych usług jest już na tyle duża, że na potencjalne korzyści podatkowe łakomym okiem patrzą ministrowie finansów. W czwartek rzeczniczka KE Venessa Mock poinformowała, że dyskusja w tej sprawie z udziałem KE i szefów resortów finansów państw członkowskich odbędzie się we wrześniu w Tallinie.

    - Podatki są skomplikowane. To temat, który wymaga jednomyślności w UE, dlatego nie możemy wchodzić w nowy obszar taki jak ten bez odpowiedniej refleksji. I teraz zajmujemy się tą refleksją w sprawie najlepszego podejścia do opodatkowania cyfrowej gospodarki - zaznaczyła Mock.

    Zniecierpliwienie obecnym stanem rzeczy wyraził w środę francuski minister finansów Bruno Le Maire, który mówił, że sytuacja podatkowa platform cyfrowych jak Airbnb jest we Francji"nie do zaakceptowania". - Platformy te osiągają dziesiątki milionów euro obrotu, a do budżetu Francji wpływa z tego zaledwie kilkadziesiąt tysięcy euro - powiedział cytowany przez AFP minister.

    Zapowiedział, że we wrześniu Paryż wraz z Berlinem przedstawią inicjatywę w tej sprawie, by problem został rozwiązany na poziomie europejskim. Jak mówił, chciałby, aby francusko-niemiecki projekt stał się propozycją KE, którą mieliby omówić na grudniowym szczycie przywódcy państw UE.

    Platformy, o których mowa, bardzo często mają swoją siedzibę w Irlandii, gdzie mogą liczyć na bardzo niskie podatki.

    Unijny komisarz ds. gospodarczych Pierre Moscovici ocenił w środę, że poziom podatków, jaki we Francji płaci Airbnb, jest "szokujący". Według tamtejszego ministerstwa finansów platforma zapłaciła mniej niż 100 tys. euro podatków w 2016 roku nad Sekwaną, podczas gdy w tym czasie z jej usług skorzystało ponad 10 mln Francuzów.

    Moscovici opowiedział się za tym, by kraje UE raczej uzgodniły wspólną bazę podatkową niż harmonizowały stawkę podatkową, jaką płacą firmy. We Francji jest ona szczególnie wysoka, bo wynosi 33 proc., tymczasem w Irlandii jest to 12,5 proc., choć są przykłady dużych, globalnych firm, które płaciły w tym kraju efektywnie dużo niższą stawkę.

    W ubiegłorocznych wytycznych dla unijnych stolic KE stwierdziła, że zarówno platformy internetowe, jak i osoby świadczące usługi ekonomii dzielenia się powinny płacić podatki na równi z innymi uczestnikami rynku, w tym podatki dochodowe, podatki od działalności gospodarczej oraz VAT. KE zachęcała państwa unijne do upraszczania i wprowadzania jaśniejszych regulacji podatkowych dla tego sektora.

    Według ubiegłorocznych szacunków KE dotyczących 2015 roku, platformy internetowe i usługodawcy w sektorze ekonomii dzielenia się łącznie osiągnęli dochód brutto w wysokości 28 mld euro, dwa razy większy niż rok wcześniej. Co szósty mieszkaniec UE przynajmniej raz korzystał z usług tego sektora, a ponad 5 proc. taką usługę oferowało.


              The future of the Customer Relationship        

    Customer relations are in transformation! Pre-sales, sales & after sales are changing at high speed. Companies need to figure out the current customer journey, the role of self service, their data strategy and much more. In April 2014 I conducted a global study on the future of customer relationships in collaboration with data collection company SSI and translation agency No Problem!. The study looks into all aspects of a modern customer relation. This deck describes the highlights of the study.
              The Self Service Economy        

    Consumers want to be in control.The service expectations are increasing day by day. The only solution to meet consumer expectations is a self service solution. The majority of consumers is ready for self service. This report contains the summary of a global research project in which we mapped this trend.
              Social media around the world 2011        

    Free research report of a global social media study. Results cover 35 countries. More than 9000 people participated.
              Human Suffering and Humanitarian Emergencies [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | Humanitarian emergencies are not simply brute facts, appealing directly to our emotions or our moral sensibilities. They are one of the important ways in which perceptions of human life, sympathy for suffering, and responses to social upheaval have come to be organized in recent decades. Like nations and business corporations, they are creatures of social imaginaries, but no less materially influential for that. They are shaped by a history of changing ideas about the human; moral responsibility for strangers; structures of chance and causality; and the imperative and capacity for effective action, even at a distance. They reflect the context of the modern era generally and more specific features of the era since the 1970s. And they are embedded in a complex institutionalization of responses. First, grasping human suffering as humanitarian emergencies is made possible by a long history of changes in how we – Westerners especially – construct the categories of the human, the emergency, and moral obligation. Second, though they are influenced by both state politics and economic activity, humanitarian emergencies appear as anomalies outside the putatively normal stable functioning of political and economic systems. Third, emergencies and humanitarian sympathies are produced importantly through large-scale media systems, including especially visual media. Fourth, they have commanded attention especially since the 1970s as responses to an era of market-driven globalization and declining faith in political action. Fifth, they have occasioned a new institutional field of response in which NGOs and voluntary action are pivotal (even though states remain crucial funders), and they are shaped by the way such response organizes both what we see and what happens materially on the ground. Sixth, they reflect a view from relatively ‘core’ locations in the modern world-system on seeming chaos in its periphery, a view often linked at once to a managerial orientation, an idea of charity, and the reassurance of grasping suffering and chaos precisely as distant. The specific historical circumstances that gave rise to humanitarian response are changing, and with them this specific project of cosmopolitan care for distant strangers may be undergoing a deep transformation. Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Professor Calhoun is an American citizen but has deep connections with the United Kingdom. He took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes. He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
              LSE China Lecture Series - What Threatens Global Capitalism Now? [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun | In this lecture LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun, considers the threats, internal and external to global capitalism.
              America and the World - After the Election [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Anne Applebaum, Professor Craig Calhoun, Professor Michael Cox, Gideon Rachman | After a closely fought election, this highly topical LSE public debate will look ahead to Obama’s second administration and assess the challenges it faces at home and how it is likely to address them, as well as how its relationships with Britain, Europe and the rest of the world are likely to develop. Author and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum has taken up the post of Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the School for 2012-13. She is the first woman to ever hold this position. Anne Applebaum is the Director of Political Studies at the Legatum Institute in London, and a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate. After graduating from Yale University, Anne Applebaum was a Marshall Scholar at both the LSE and St. Anthony’s College Oxford. She has also lectured at Yale and Columbia Universities, amongst others. Anne Applebaum’s journalistic work focuses on US and international politics, with a particular focus on economic and political transition. Craig Calhoun is director of LSE. He is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Michael Cox is founding director of LSE IDEAS. `Professor Cox is a well known speaker on global affairs and has lectured in the United States, Australia, Asia, and in the EU. He has spoken on a range of contemporary global issues, though most recently he has focused on the role of the United States in the international system, the rise of Asia, and whether or not the world is now in the midst of a major power shift. Gideon Rachman became chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times in July 2006. He joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist, which included spells as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Washington and Bangkok. He also edited The Economist’s business and Asia sections. His particular interests include American foreign policy, the European Union and globalisation.
              Banking On The Future: The Fall And Rise Of Central Banking [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Howard Davies, David Green | Not long ago, national central banks were endowed with wide-ranging authority, enormous prestige, and a high degree of independence. Today, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, rethinking their functioning and their modus operandi is both natural and needed. Howard Davies and David Green write on this issue with authority, reflecting their practical experience, political sensitivity, and high analytic skills.
              Why Did Nobody Tell Us? Reporting the Global Crash of 2008 [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Alex Brummer, Vince Cable MP; Evan Davis; Gillian Tett; Professor Willem Buiter | This event will discuss the reporting leading up to the global credit crash of 2008. Alex Brummer has been City Editor for the Daily Mail since 2000. He has over thirty years' experience in the media. Vincent Cable is the Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and speaks for his party on issues of Finance, European Economic and Monetary Union and the City. Evan Davis is a presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme. He was the BBC's Economics Editor from 2001-2008.
              The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): George Soros and Howard Davies | In the midst of the worst financial upheaval since the Great Depression, George Soros explores the origins of the crisis and its implications for the future. Soros, whose breadth of experience in financial markets is unrivalled, places the current crisis in the context of decades of study of how individuals and institutions handle the boom and bust cycles that now dominate global economic activity. "This is a once in lifetime moment", says Soros in characterising the scale of financial distress spreading across Wall Street, the London Stock Exchange, and financial centres around the world. This event marks the launch of George Soros new book 'The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means' (PublicAffairs, May 2008).
              Global Financial Regulation: The Essential Guide [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Howard Davies, David Green, John McFall, Sir Steve Robson, Gillian Tett | As international financial markets have become more complex, so has the regulatory system which oversees them. The Basel Committee is just one of a plethora of international bodies and groupings which now set standards for financial activity around the world, in the interests of investor protection and financial stability. These groupings, and their decisions, have a major impact on markets in developed and developing countries, and on competition between financial firms. Yet their workings are shrouded in mystery, and their legitimacy is uncertain. Howard Davies was the first chairman of the UK's Financial Services Authority, the single regulator for the whole of Britain's financial sector. He was a member of the main international regulatory committees for several years, and is now director of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). David Green was head of International Policy at the FSA, after 30 years in the Bank of England, and has been particularly closely associated with the development of the European regulatory system. He now advises the Financial Reporting Council. John McFall MP is Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee of the House of Commons since 2001. He was re-elected to this post in October, 2005. In 1997 John served as a Government Whip and in July 1998 he was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Northern Ireland Office. His portfolio included responsibility for the Department of Education, Community Relations, the Training and Employment Agency and the Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of Economic Affairs. Sir Steve Robson is a former senior UK civil servant, who had responsibility for a wide variety of Treasury matters. His early career included the post of private secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and secondment to ICFC (now 3i). He was also a second permanent secretary of HM Treasury, where he was managing director of the Finance and Regulation Directorate. He is a non-executive director of JP Morgan Cazenove Holdings, RBS, Xstrata Plc, The Financial Reporting Council Limited and Partnerships UK plc, and a member of the Chairman's Advisory Committee of KPMG.
              China's Financial Markets: how they are emerging as a global force [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Howard Davies | Howard Davies, who has advised the Chinese government on financial reform for the last four years, reviews the implications of China's rise for the world's financial markets.
              Cambios en Marvelous        

    Los malos resultados del último año a nivel mundial ( incluso en Japón a pesar de hacer japonesadas ) han hecho que Marvelous, una de las pocas thirds parties que a pesar de sus limitados recursos ha apoyado a Wii a muerte, tenga que hacer cambios drásticos en su seno para que esta vez sí, tengan al menos algo de parné para pagar un stand en el Tokyo Game Show. A nivel europeo se deshacen de su distribuidor oficial, Rising Star Games, y se lo venden a una compañía nipona llamada Intergrow. Nadie sabía que existía excepto los interesados. Bergsala, el distribuidor habiual de Nintendo en Suecia, ya tiene el sello británico GameBride ( ha editado Moon ) a medias con Intergrow, o sea que ahora ambas son copropietarias tanto de GameBridge como de Rising Star. ¿ En qué van a cambiar las cosas ? Según el jefazo de Rising en nada. Ellos continuan con los derechos exclusivos de edición del software 'marvelousiano' en Europa, o sea que más brillo con NMH2 y menos cambios de manos.

    La venta de Rising no es la única medida drástica para seguir al pie del cañón. En un acto de mea culpa honorable ( y de esto los japos entienden un rato y dos también ), se recortarán sueldos. Pero no de los currantes, sino de la cúpula de señores encorbatados. Entre un 15 y un 17% los ejecutivos, directores entre un 25-43% menos y Yasuhiro Wada, cabeza visible de Marvelous y padre de Haverst Moon, la fríolera de un 77%. El pobre hombre tendrá que cultivarse sus propias verduras como en sus juegos para llevar algo de comer a sus hijos. Muy coherente la actitud de rebajar sueldazos a gerifaltes. A fin de cuentas, la calidad de sus juegos ha sido casi intachable, quizás sean otros los motivos de los malos tiempos.

    Fuente (2)

              Central public administration reform discussed with managers of subdivisions within ministries of Moldova        

    The State Chancellery, together with the Centre for Implementation of Reforms, organized a working meeting with the managers of the human resources subdivisions within the ministries, today, in the context of the central public administration reform.


    At the meeting, the reporters of the two organizing institutions reiterated their willingness to offer all the necessary methodological assistance for the proper conduct of the restructuring process of the public authorities.


    The discussions focused on the stages related to the reorganization of ministries. In particular, the managers of the human resources subdivisions defined certain aspects of the procedure for drafting and approving the Regulations, the structure and the staffing of the ministries. At the meeting, the participants also referred to the organization of the competition procedure for the employment of the State Secretaries-General and State Secretaries of Ministries.


    Also, considering that Moldova was included in the Global Study on the intrinsic motivation of civil servants in developing countries, carried out by the UNDP’s support, the participants were familiar with the stages of the questionnaire to be carried out in September – October 2017. The results of the study will allow for the development of the most effective reforming tools as to enhance the motivation and performance of civil servants.

              Reforma administraÅ£iei publice centrale - discutată cu managerii subdiviziunilor resurse umane din cadrul ministerelor        

    Cancelaria de Stat, împreună cu Centrul de Implementare a Reformelor, au organizat astăzi o şedinţă de lucru cu managerii subdiviziunilor resurse umane din cadrul ministerelor, în contextul reformei administraţiei publice centrale.


    În cadrul ședinței, raportorii celor două instituţii organizatoare au reiterat disponibilitatea de a oferi toată asistența metodologică necesară pentru buna desfășurare a procesului de restructurare a autorităţilor publice.


    Discuțiile s-au axat pe etapele conexe procesului de reorganizare a ministerelor. În particular, managerii subdiviziunilor resurse umane au concretizat anumite aspecte privind procedura de elaborare și aprobare a Regulamentelor, structurii şi efectivului-limită a ministerelor. De asemenea, în cadrul reuniunii, participanții s-au referit la organizarea procedurii de concurs pentru angajarea secretarilor generali de stat și a secretarilor de stat ai ministerelor.


    Concomitent, având în vedere că Republica Moldova a fost inclusă în Studiul global privind motivația intrinsecă a funcționarilor publici din țările în curs de dezvoltare, realizat cu suportul UNDP, participanții au fost familiarizați cu etapele chestionării, care urmează a fi realizată în perioada septembrie – octombrie curent. Rezultatele studiului vor permite elaborarea celor mai eficiente instrumente de reformare pentru a spori motivarea și performanța funcționarilor publici. 

              Scienziati senza frontiere         

    Voci, lingue, facce diverse. La globalizzazione della scienza porta i ricercatori in giro per il mondo. Le loro teste sono materia prima preziosa per il paese che li accoglie. Il problema può non essere esplorare i segreti della natura, ma ottenere un permesso di soggiorno. Allora la vita di uno scienziato si fa dura. Ostacoli economici e burocratici: se l'Italia offre questo, il bilancio tra cervelli in entrata e in uscita non sarà a nostro favore. Ne parlano da Trieste ricercatori e studenti stranieri del Centro Internazionale di Fisica Teorica e Stefano Fantoni, direttore della Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati.

    Realizzato da Anna, Andrea e Enrico, studenti del I anno del Master in Comunicazione della Scienza della Sissa

              RE: Not Good Pricing At All        
    and based on your adept and saavy business acumen, this is why you too run a multi billion global corporation? Apple knows their pricing and their market. First the arugment was if they made a headless imac, i'd buy it. delivered. Then it was but it doesnt run windows. delivered. then it was it was, now if theyd just put an intel chip in it, delivered. now its well it could be cheaper and needs to have this this this and this and this before me and others like would buy it. I have a better idea; get a job, dump or get off the pot and just get one. if not, ok, but read the article and move on. i tire so much of people that know more than the beleagured apple thats been slowly dying and going out of business and making missteps against MS and others since 1990.
              Global, Local, Social: ATypI Barcelona 2014 (Part 2)        
    With Typographic Dialogues, the theme of their 58th conference, ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale) invited type and design aficionados from all over the world to Barcelona. The presentations on day 2 concentrated primarily on education. While in part 1 of my review you can discover some of the more technical talks given at BAU Design School […]
              Global, Local, Social: ATypI Barcelona 2014 (Part 1)        
    The 58th annual conference by the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) from September 17 to 21, 2014, was held in Barcelona – for the third time in the history of ATypI, after 1972 and 1995. It was a great experience. With this year’s theme, Typographic Dialogues, ATypI invited students and professionals to participate in a delightful […]

    Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, presented research on transnational and multicultural European film at the 71st Annual South Central Modern Languages Association Conference in Austin, Texas, on October 20, 2014. Showcasing her curricular innovations in the German program at the 39th conference of the Coalition of Women in German in Shawnee on Delaware, PA, October 23-26, 2014, she spoke on "Teaching German in the Anthropocene" on the Pedagogy Panel titled Sustainability as Feminist Practice. Her poster presentation "Innovations in a Small German Program" highlighted the impact of an ACS Blended Learning Grant in the development of our new short-term embedded study abroad program for student-athletes: Global Players: Leadership, Football, Intercultural Learning, first implemented this summer. Berroth also organized and chaired the session "Feminist Embodiment and Empowerment," and, as Chair of the 2014 WIG Dissertation Prize Committee, introduced and honored this year's winner.


    Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, presented a poster titled "Global Players: Leadership – Football –Intercultural Perspectives" at the 15th annual Texas Foreign Language Education Conference, TexFLEC, that took place on February 14 & 15, 2014, at the University of Texas, Austin. The poster outlined the process and components of a summer experience in Germany that integrates athletic competition with intercultural learning. The conference topic, Shaping the Future of Foreign/Second Language Education to Cross Cultural Boundaries: Integrating Theory and Practice provided opportunities for engaging discussions of the innovative collaboration between our Football and German programs at Southwestern. At the conference, Dr. Berroth also contributed to discussions on addressing foreign language anxiety, best practices on using technologies in second language culture learning, and from her perspective of teaching FYS, on teaching writing for international students.

              The Art Of The Summer Garden 2009        
    A Photo-Journal Feature
    written and photographed by
    Ginger Van Hook

    Features Beverly Hills Artist

    Local Beverly Hills Artist Creates Art
    From Her Garden
    Launching a new project called

    A local artist and resident of Beverly Hills turned her garden into an art form by creating a project called “Plant It Forward”. Linda Kunik, an artist and alumna from Otis College of Art and Design has initiated a project to enhance her artistic community as well as inspire local artists to do the same. “Plant It Forward” is about establishing community while reconnecting with the earth, a vision which includes artists bartering for vegetables either by working in the garden or helping in the documentation of the garden’s delights by photographing, videotaping and or journaling about the experience. Ms. Kunik believes trading services for food in these tough economic times makes sense because while cultivating the soil, a group of artists will also cultivate friendships and nourish the community. The foundation of Linda Kunik’s work is to get back to the roots of sustainable agriculture. “Plant It Forward” does exactly what it says. The seeds are planted now and the fruits of this labor go forward to feed people who take from the harvest the inspiration to plant their own gardens.

    “…My vision is for everyone to have their own garden, large or small and if that is not possible, to raise enough awareness for the people to shop locally and support their local Farmer’s Markets…” Ms. Kunik states as she points to the five large gardens she created in the back yard of her home, replacing flowerbeds and lawns in order to plant vegetables, herbs and fruit trees. Kunik wanted to give back to her community, raise awareness of the need for personal gardens and utilize the artistic medium to make her statement. “My work has always referenced the land. From my early days as a watercolorist painting landscapes to later works making paintings of deforestation or global warming; the beauty and fragility of the earth has been a recurring theme. Combining my agricultural practice with my art-making seems to be an natural evolution.”

    The prospect of jumping into an artistic adventure to produce homegrown fruits and vegetables with a group of fellow artists was contagious. Thus the enthusiasm carried this labor of love into the summer as Ms. Kunik worked with a group of artists to bring in soil, create raised beds and began to fill them with the seeds of tomatoes, carrots, spinach, lettuce, corn, and a variety of herbs, citrus fruits and assorted vegetables. Some of the artists participating in Plant It Forward include Juna Amano (Painting & Sculpture), Marissa Magdalena (Installation, Performance and Drawing), Ofunne Obiamawe (Photographer), Suzanne Oshinsky (Videographer), Michiko Smith (Painting), Whitney Stolich (Photographer) and Ginger Van Hook (Photographer) as well as the new artists joining every week.

    It is the zenith of summer now and already some of the tomatoes have ripened looking fat, juicy and red. In recent weeks, there have already been harvests of endive lettuce, carrots and radishes. The important element in the formation of this garden is the artistic component of Ms. Kunik’s vision. The raised beds and gardens are shaped into asymmetrical forms with a walking path between them. Large Sunflowers adorn the corners of each of the vegetable beds and the aromas of fresh tomatoes and rosemary mixes with the fragrances of roses and lavender permeating the air in her back yard.

    Linda Kunik has written a blog about her work and continues to support the arts by highlighting the artistry of organic gardening in photography and painting. She also founded a community artist forum called the O Salon. The O Salon is where artists network and take part in conceptual critique as well as share information about each other’s works. Ms. Kunik is involved in a number of professional organizations including the Los Angeles Art Association, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Docent Council and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

    Linda Kunik photographed beside her painting
    Exhibition at Gallery 825 in Los Angeles, California, 2008
    (Photo by Ginger Van Hook)

    Plant It Forward-the starving artist project

    Additional artists websites and blogs:

    • Juna Amano (Painting & Sculpture)

    • Marissa Magdalena (Installation, Performance and Drawing)

    • Ofunne Obiamawe (Photographer)

    • Suzanne Oshinsky (Videographer)

    • Michiko Smith (Painting)

    • Whitney Stolich (Photographer)

    • Ginger Van Hook (Photographer)

    • Luke Van Hook (Painting)

    "Plant It Forward" : The week of June 07, 2009

    "Plant It Forward" : The week of July 01, 2009

    "Plant It Forward" : The week of July 08, 2009

    "Plant It Forward" : The week of July 15, 2009

    "Plant It Forward" : The week of July 22, 2009

    "Plant It Forward" : The week of July 29, 2009

    "Plant It Forward" : The week of August 5, 2009

    Artist, Linda Kunik planted a garden to share with fellow artists.

    "Plant It Forward" : The day of August 08, 2009


    "Plant It Forward" : The Week of August 12, 2009

    "Plant It Forward" : Week of August 19, 2009

              The Art of Lovin' Animals --- Featured Group of Artists Inspired by Their Beloved Pets.        
    "Enilde And Our Children" Oil on Panel 42" x 60"
    Painting by Luke Van Hook, 2003
    Painting and Photograph copyright by Luke and Ginger E. Van Hook, 2004
    Courtesy of the Van Hook Collection

    The Art of Lovin' Animals
    Features a group of artists inspired,
    motivated or influenced by their beloved pets
    and appear in this blog in the following order:

    Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom,
    Monrovia Association of Fine Arts supporters
    (KidsArt Studio, PaintNPlay Art Studios, Tyson & Tillman Skate Dogs)
    Family Dog and Cat Hospital in Monrovia, California (displays animal artwork).
    Ginger Van Hook, Luke Van Hook,
    Alex in Welderland, Elena Wolek, and Zareh.

    Additionally as part of the "Art of Lovin' Animals"
    there is a special book and movie review of
    John Grogan's book "Marley and Me", and the recent hit movie
    starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson

    Written by Enilde G. Van Hook with special thanks to all participating artists!

    Do you remember your first pet? I do. I even have a picture of how much bigger my cats’ paws were than my two feet put together at the age of three. My mother, tells me I had a yellow duck, a small dog and a large yellow tabby cat that owned me as a child.
    These three pets were protective, possessive and they were my first companions as I ventured out, for the first time, into my wild back yard of dirt and weeds. I was born in Rosario Argentina and to me now as an adult, my backyard is still my world. I live in Los Angeles, California but the romance of the Argentinean Pampas is not lost on me. From the pictures of my past, I gathered that my Belgian Grandfather, Francisco, ran a plant nursery in Buenos Aires and that my father, Luis, grew up to be an inventor in America. But the most unique connection I have to my past is my relationship with animals. I’ve had a pet at almost every age as I grew up. The importance of this type of companionship has not been explored enough in the art world, at least, this is my opinion. This is the reason I am blogging about the subject of the art and inspiration of lovin’ pets. I hope to instigate discussion, if not compassion. I hope to motivate an artistic response to my thoughts as well. You may have a completely different experience, so I personally encourage you to post your comments after you read this entry.
    This is what I asked myself for the subject of the essay for Ginger's Art Journal. What is the relationship of animals and pets to the art world? How involved are animals throughout the art strata? How much inspiration is gathered from the love of a pet? Can that even be measured? Does the love of a pet inspire political causes? Activism? How does one explain the pangs of loneliness from the loss of a pet? Does the death of a pet make an artist create more art? Does the gift of a new life of a pet inspire hope and renewal in artists? How do artists express their love and affection for the four-legged critters of our earth? How do animals, pets, pet trees, pet rocks or pets of any kind affect the process of making art?
    There are a number of artists that I have followed for a period of time to investigate the questions that will make up this entry. Studying the work of a number of local artists from the Los Angeles and surrounding areas that work with pets in their art practice, I will present some of their unique stories with photos. The artists, in alphabetical order, include Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom, Ginger Van Hook and Luke Van Hook, Alexandra from Alex in Welderland, Lena Wolek and Zareh. Additionally, the art of lovin’ animals has made a seamless transition from the literary art into the film arts so I will discuss one of my favorite books by John Grogan named “Marley and Me” as it compares to its latest movie version of “Marley and Me” starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson which opened in December for Christmas Day.
    The method selected to choose these artists was random. I began my animal photographic study in 2006. Through my daily practice of studying the arts, I have come across people who were “in my back yard” and came to connect with me in a special way. I didn’t set out to write a story about animals. I merely went about my daily routine of photographing people and artwork that caught my “eye” because I was at the right place at the right time. Believing that the universe has a special plan for me, I allowed this story to evolve of its own volition. What I discovered both surprised me and opened me up. What I mean by this is that I was surprised to discover that artists who had pets had a great deal in common with other artists who had pets. Most people know and understand the history that reveals how the Egyptians revered cats and how the dog is considered “man’s best friend”. While it was common to have general conversations about how great it was to have pets and create pet portraits, I rarely came across artists that spoke to the deeper underlying significance in the arts about this specifically. While doing this research, I came across the most extreme case of worshiping our pets. The act of cloning has been in the news ever since the cloning of “Dolly” the sheep, but did you know that now there is a company that has launched itself into a commercial venture to clone man’s best friend? I discovered this and lots more so enjoy the new year in 2009 with a renewed commitment to your beloved pet. This is an ongoing story so don’t feel left out if your best friend isn’t included in this entry. I’m still reviewing artwork and pet portraits,
    feel free to send me an email about your animal story and I’ll include it in the followup stories!


    Fine Arts Painter

    Joshua Elias, Exhibition, DCA Fine Arts
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Winston and Lucille read art literature on the couch and
    wait for Joshua Elias to become inspired to feed them.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    Paintings by Joshua Elias
    Art in the making at the Brewery Artist Colony
    Los Angeles, California, 2008
    Studio visit by Ginger Van Hook
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook
    Artist brushes belonging to Joshua Elias
    The instruments by which Joshua Elias creates the canvas of weather and inspiration.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    DCA Fine Arts Gallery, Joshua Elias with Mathew Heller and his girlfriend
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook 2007
    Joshua Elias, Exhibition at DCA Fine Arts Gallery
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Joshua Elias with his cats Winston and Lucille
    in his studio at the Brewery Arts Complex in Los Angeles, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008

    Joshua Elias
    Artist Statement

    Art has become about large quantities of Resin, masquerading as Content. The focus has been on Process, confusing it with Content. Enough. I wish to focus on Content. Story and Vibration lead the way for me to paint.

    I work in oil because of the depth and movement that it allows for me, as a medium. I focus on Landscapes that are rearranged. Traveling spirits act as guides, to the movement of a particular painting. The influence of Moorish architecture and its many doorways offers and allows entryways into paintings.

    At present we are in a period of Time where there seems to be long standing fights over Space, Time Religion, Money, Ideology, and Relationships. Enough. The one thing we do all share is Weather. Through the action of Creating our own environment, our own personal Weather, the Repositioning of Weather can illuminate and allow for more Creation to happen, more of a Life Force to shine and to take shape.

    ï¿_ Joshua Elias

    Courtesy of the DCA website

    Fine Arts Painter, Collage Artist, Actor and Performer
    Simone Gad, Artist, Solo Show, L2Kontemporary Gallery
    February 2008 Chinatown, Los Angeles, California,
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Selfportrait with Max and Bella/Autoportrait avec Max et Bella
    Private collection, photo courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005
    Gad/Rin-Tin-Tin Collection Long Beach Museum of Art
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Picture Holocaust Clowns - Pinups 127, Gad and Poodle
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Selfportrait with Cat and Jesus
    Private collection, Courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Hommage a Ma Mere 2005 Painting Collage
    Copyright and Collection- Simone Gad
    Courtesy Simone Gad-Artist
    Photograph by Antonio Garcia

    Autoportrait avec Kashmir, painting collage 2005/06
    Courtesy Simone Gad- Artist and L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California. Copyright Simone Gad

    Portrait of Bella, the Brindle cat, acting secretary for Artist, Simone Gad
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Bella the Brindle Cat, (on the Marilyn and JFK Installation)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of
    Jesse Bonderman and Simone Gad,

    Bella, the Brindle Cat #2 (Marilyn Installation)
    Photo courtesy of Jessie Bonderman and Simone Gad

    Portrait of Simone Gad, Artist with companion, Bella.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Portrait of Bella
    The Brindle cat, Artist assistant, model
    and loyal companion to Simone Gad.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Max and Bella pose for pictures in the window of Simone Gad's artist studio
    Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Simone Gad poses with one of her paintings of Chinatown
    during her solo show at L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Enilde Van Hook writer's notes: I met Simone Gad at an exhibition of her work in Chinatown in the spring of 2008. The L2Kontemporary Gallery is a unique gallery located at 990 N. Hill Street #205 in Downtown Los Angeles (90012), California. I received an email from ArtScene, a wonderful source of local Art Events that is produced by the staff of Coagula Art Journal. Special thanks to Michael Salerno and Mat Gleason, because somewhere in the announcement, I read that Simone Gad was a Belgium-born artist and this led me to want to meet her to talk about the art in Belgium, where my grandfather had been born. Once I attended her exhibit and got a chance to meet Simone, I realized there was a distinct cultural connection we had through our reverence to the animals. She used images of her cats to make intriguing and poignant self-portraits and insightful photographic collages.
    I have followed Simone Gad’s work into 2009 and you will enjoy visiting her site through the L2Kontemporary Gallery located in Chinatown in Los Angeles: Follow these links to get to know a renaissance artist, a versatile film and TV actress, a woman of many talents and an artist who has a great deal of compassion to show for her animal friends: visit the online gallery site at to view her solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume which may be viewed at by writing in her name or by writing in Simone Gad’s name.
    Special thanks to the L2Kontemporary Gallery for cooperating with my interview! ( and and phone: 323-225-1288)

    Simone Gad
    Artist Statement and Biography: 2009

    I've been showing in museums and galleries for 40 years-am a 6 times grants recipient, including a CRA Grant 1986, the Woman's Building 1985/6, New Orleans Contemporary Museum of Art 1984, the Gottlieb Foundation-NYC/Painting Medical Emergency Grant, Change Inc-Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Grant-both in 2002 for painting and medical emergency, and Artist Fellowship Foundation Grant in 2007-NYC. I am included in the Archives of the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian-Washington, DC, and will also be included in the Lyn Kienholz Encyclopedia of Los Angeles Artists who have shown between 1944 and 1979. In Los Angeles, I am represented by L2kontemporary Gallery-Chinatown, Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco, and am showing in Spain. I am also in the traveling museum exhibition-Your Documents Please thru 2010 in Japan/Europe/Mexico curated by Daniel Georges of Brooklyn, NY. I was born in Brussels, Belgium to holocaust survivor parents, from Poland. We came to the US in the early 1950's and settled in Boyle Heights/E.L.A, after arriving at Ellis Island. My mother got me into show-biz at the age of 4 upon our immigration. I grew up in the entertainment field as a young actress-have been working professionally in film, tv, commercials and theatre ever since. Have always had a dual career-.visual/performance artist and actor. George Herms and Wallace Berman were my first mentors. Al Hansen was my mentor from 1972 to 1995 when he passed away in Koln, Germany.

    My cats Max and Bella Bettina Kashmir are my inspiration for many of my painting collages-have been so for many years. I've always been inspired by my cats and dogs that I've had since I arrived to this country from War torn Europe. My father got me my first dog-Teddy Queeny when I was a child living on Folsom Street-We had just returned from a movie on Brooklyn Avenue when we saw the puppies on our way home. I was allowed to have one-and I was so happy. But my mother hated animals and wouldn't let me keep my pet with me in my bedroom and it cried all night. I was heartbroken when I got home from Nursery School the following day and found that my dog was gone. My mom told me she had sent it to New Jersey to live with my Tante Sally. I wasn't allowed to have any animals after that. Years later I visited my aunt and asked her if she had taken care of my Teddy Queeny and she told me she never did-she never got the dog-didn't know what I was talking about. I realized that my mother had lied to me and had possibly killed my beloved doggie. I had moved to Topanga Canyon for a while in the late 1960's-that's where I got to know Wallace Berman and George Herms. I was given a miniature sheppard-who I named Lady. She was my constant companion and I adored her. She was run over by a couple of friends who were staying with me one night. I found her bleeding from her mouth by the driveway. She died in my arms and I could feel her spirit leave her body. We buried her the next morning. I was devastated for years. A friend of mine gave me a dash-hound and I took it home to be with me when I left Topanga and stayed with my parents for a while. I named her Wiggle Butts because she had this habit of wiggling her behind when she walked. I was not allowed to keep her-once again-so I called a friend and had her drive from The Canyon to pick Wiggles up and take care of her for me. When I left my parents and got an apartment, I got a cat-Nathaniel-my very first cat-who was with me for 15 years until he passed away. It was then that I started to incorporate animal objects into my collages-in the mid 1970's.

    copyright Simone Gad 2009 to view Simone Gad’s solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume-you may also get it on by writing in her name or by writing in Simone Gad’s name-



    Focus One Gallery in Monrovia, California. Sponsored by M.A.F.A.,
    the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts and Focus One Community Credit Union.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2006

    Betty Glass celebrates Christmas with Lulu at home in 2008.
    Lulu, wearing her new holiday sweater,
    pokes her nose into the gift bag
    to see if she likes what Santa has brought her.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty Glass and James Glass.
    Turtle Painting, Watercolor Artwork by Betty Glass reminiscent of her pet turtles.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Trojan Horses, Watercolor painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Hummy, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee and Sugar, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    memorializing the life of her beloved friends.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee (5-17-80 --- 4-20-94)
    the larger white and orange Brittany on the right,
    and Sugar (7-20-90 --- 12-24-04)
    the smaller Brittany on the left.
    "Beloved Friends and Forever in our hearts!"
    Loyal Friends, Inspiration and Companions
    to Artist, Betty Glass and her family.
    (Special thanks to husband, James Glass
    for his technical computer assistance
    with digital photography formating of Betty Glass Artwork.)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass

    Enilde Van Hook, Writer's Notes:
    I met Betty Glass through the Monrovia Association of Fine arts in 2006. We were showing together at the Focus One Gallery on Huntington Drive in Monrovia, California. When Betty came into the gallery, she was toting her adorable poodle named Lulu. I was charmed immediately and I just had to have a photo of this beautiful female pooch with a twinkle in her eye and the gumption to come into an art gallery where only humans gathered. This little poodle had no clue there was any difference between her and her owner, and she acted like she was looking at the art just like everyone else. At the time, I considered this a very cultured poodle and I told Betty so. Betty giggled and let me take her snapshot with Lulu and then we did not see each other again until we had another show together, also at Focus One Gallery two years later in December of 2008. When I saw Betty this time, I saw the connection of her artwork and the love of her animals come through her work and later, she agreed to participate in the interview for my blog. You may enjoy Betty Glass's artwork by visiting her website at

    Betty H. Glass
    Artist Statement about Animal Art

    Through art we communicate our feelings and thoughts.
    Our art reflects what experiences in life have influenced us.
    I have had a lifetime of pets
    ranging from goldfish, parakeets, and turtles and, of course,
    the loyal dog—always your friend even when the sky seems to be falling.
    I am still sketching and painting animals, birds, and fish.
    The softness of their fur, the texture of their feathers and fins,
    the variations of color are very appealing to me,
    because color is part of my artistic signature.
    Sometimes they are presented in a realistic fashion.

    Other times I use animals in a more stylized way—
    using their shapes as patterns, semi-abstracting them and their background.
    For example, my painting Trojan Horses shows flattened stylized figures of horses.
    Hopefully artistically pleasing and calling to mind ancient Greece.

    Artists Kenneth H. Ober and Renee A. Fox both graduates of Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles participated in and were instrumental in organizing the very first Inglewood Artist Artwalk and Open Studios in October of 2007.  One may visit their website by clicking                
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2007

    Renee Fox poses in front of one of her paintings exhibited in the Gallery 825 in Los Angeles, located at 825 La Cienega, hosted by the Los Angeles Art Association (LAAA) in conjunction with the 90th Anniversary Celebration for Otis College of Art and Design. 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2008

    Kenneth H. Ober, graduate of Otis College of Art and Design, Artist and Painter participating in the Inglewood Artwalk Open Studios Tour November 8th, 2008.

    Kate Harding participated in the very first Inglewood Artwalk Open Studios Tour on October 13th, 2007. Kate Harding was born in Martinsville, Indiana. Before she was old enough to start school, she would draw while her mother painted realistic wildlife and landscape paintings. While in kindergarten, in 1986, Harding became the youngest person to ever hold a U.S. Patent, when she won The Weekly Reader National Invention Contest. Her invention, the "Mud-Puddle Spotter", took her to New York City for the first time, where she was on Late Nights with David Letterman.  After High School,  Harding moved to New York City to study fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, but after a year and a half of fashion classes, found herself painting in her dorm room into the early hours of the morning. Taking the hint, she changed her major to fine art and received her Associate degree from FIT in 2001, then moved to Los Angeles to attend Otis College of Art and Design, receiving her bachelor of Fine Art Degree in Fine Arts in 2003.  Currently she is an artist practicing in Inglewood. 
    The First Annual Inglewood Artist Artwalk and Open Studios Tour October 13, 2007  drew a number of participating artists and residents to view the studios and the artists studio spaces. Pictured from left to right are visiting artist Luke Van Hook, Mrs. Anderson, Sean Anderson and Isis and Sebastian, friends of Sean's. In the Anderson studios the artwork reflected paintings by both of the Anderson brothers, Benjamin and Sean.  Work from these two artists may be viewed by visiting and  Art by Luke Van Hook may be visited by clicking on
    Artist Benjamin Anderson is pictured with his wife and child to be (October 2007). Benjamin stated that the latest addition of art they were blessed with was a baby boy they named Luke Anderson. Benjamin Anderson is currently participating in the Inglewood Artist Open Studios Tour on November 8th, 2008.  Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2007

    Sean Anderson, posing by his artwork, Inglewood Artist Artwalk Open Studios, 2007. 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Benjamin and Sean Anderson, Inglewood Open Studios Tour, October 13, 2007.

    Benjamin Anderson poses in front of one of his original paintings, October 13, 2007, Inglewood Artist Open Studios, First Annual.  
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2007

    INGLEWOOD ARTISTS OPEN STUDIO second annual show!

    It’s time for another open studios in Inglewood on Saturday the 8th of November.

    THERE ARE quite a few more artists involved this year, 
    so IT should be a good opportunity to have a behind the scenes look into some great artists…
    (and possibly get some very affordable deals for the holidays)

    To see the blog go to:

    Inglewood Open Studios : 15 locations around Inglewood

    Saturday November 8th, 2-7pm

    Locations throughout Inglewood – see on-line map:

    Contact: Renée A. Fox


    Participating artists:

    Ben Anderson, Kavin Buck, Ericka Chapman, Rob Faucette, Renée A. Fox, Todd Gray, Cindi Gunadi, Ulysses Jenkins, Elisa Johns, Michael Massenburg, Gale McCall, Christopher Lawrence Mercier, Willie Middlebrook, Kenneth H. Ober, Claudia Parducci, Joan Robey, Dustin Shuler, Kyungmi Shin, Stanley Smith, May Sun, MonaLisa Whitaker, Edward Ewell.

    Inglewood Open Studios is an all day event in which artists, with studios in Inglewood, will open their working spaces to the public. Recent work of these artists will be on view. Although Inglewood is not known for art, it has a sizable and vibrant artist community. There are also public art treasures throughout the city, such as Helen Lundeberg's 1940 mural "The History of Transportation", a detail of which is being used as the image for the 2008 Open Studios. Maps to Inglewood public art locations will be available at all participating studios.

    Conceptually and materially diverse, these artists have the most common thread of proximity, however, they are also joined by the sense of a supportive community. Inglewood artists are professionals, teachers, business owners and students. A few are alumni of Otis College of Art & Design, whose modern campus is, like Inglewood, in the "Airport Area", but located in neighboring Westchester. Inglewood boasts a variety of commercial spaces amidst residential areas, perfect for artists, some of which can be seen on November 8th.

    On Saturday, November 8th from 2pm-7pm, more than twenty artists will open their studios throughout the neighborhood. Maps, like the one attached, will be available at all sites, showing numbers of the locations of all studios open for the event. Each studio will display a large number on the outside of their building, to make them easy to find. Street parking is readily available throughout the city although visitors are urged to pay attention to street parking signs.

    Drawing composed by Los Angeles Artist Steven Bankhead for his show at Circus Gallery 
    April 5th - May 10th 2008 titled  "Battery" visit: 323-96208506

    Writer and Photographer Ginger Van Hook photographed beside her husband, Artist and Painter, Luke Van Hook, August 2008 for Luke Van Hook's show "Circle in the Square" exhibition at the Brand Library Art Gallery August 2nd, 2008.  Ginger and Luke Van Hook plan to attend the Inglewood Artists Second Annual Artwalk and Open Studios Tour November 8th, 2008.  Both Luke and Ginger Van Hook work in their Inglewood Studio in 
    Los Angeles County, California. Visit them online at and as well as 
    Photo courtesy of  Peter Bolten, 2008

    Artists practicing and working in Inglewood have opportunities to buy supplies close by at 

    (A business run by artists for artists)
     1111 and 1115 North La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, California 90302-1212 
    business phone: 310-677-3775

              Komentar na Piramide i njihova povezanost sa Svemirom, komentirao/la Vesna        
    Od nikuda pocela sam da razmisljam o piramide razmischljala sam o svetu o globalnom idejom kako to sve funkcionische i stigla sam do zakljuchak ljudi su zivot ulagali za izgradnje te piramide da bi umrli unutra koja je poenta zivot je skola ako krenemo iz to vreme zamislite zivota bez sve ovo dokle smo sad ...poceli smo sa guranje kamena da bi umreli ispod njega ali .. polako se javlja ta zavist ..kako neko ostavio svoj trag u svoje vreme i ostavili smo kamenja da bi gurali svoj kamen pod kome bi umreli da nas svi po nesto ne zaborave ...poceli smo gajati ideja o zavisti i tako pocelo sve ...sami smo to odabrali i sta je ishod od toga ...poceli smo deliti se niz jedan filter nacije drugi filter vere..mnogo filtri smo prosli do ovog statusa da smo sad ovakvo opstestvo analiziranje psiha coveka me zanima iskreno al ovo je neko moje razmischlanje sta sam ja naucila od te piramide da eto to nas razvilo svest o zavist i mi smo samim time tako nastavili .. svako gradi svoju piramidu ustvari u svoju potsvest tezi kon uspeha a to je to vrh svoju piramidu ottamo proizlazi i sve ovo zlo jer svako gura svoje al neko ko nema sila koncentracija motivacija on jednostavno se otkaze od ta ideja da gura svoje kamenje pa jednostavno ima vise slobodno vreme i radi ta zavist zasto bi neko bio uporan da nosi taj tovar jednostavno potrosi zivot smischlajuci sopke kako bi sprecio neko da napravi svoje ... treba svako da gura svoje kamenje stim sto neko vec ima nasledeni sistem od familiju oni mu kazu kako najlakse da gura svoje kamenje da bi gradio svoju piramidu to je metafora o bogate familije sa izgradeno ime i postovanje i oni uce svoje deca kako najlakse napraviti svoju lichnost postenom radom ili one sa veci kapitalom kako da to produze I olaksa svojim naslednicima ...nismo mi svesni da jos zivimo u taj sistem jer mislimo da svet se promenio od tada ..nije se nista promenilo nisto samo kako prodje vreme mi evoluiramo i umesto kamenje uz pomochi resurse koje oduvek su oko nama mi kombiniramo ih i izmisljamo stvari kako bi lakse stigli do svoj uticaj u opstestvo koje smo sami sozdali mi smo samo poceli sve analizirati istrazivati kao mozaik kad vidis malo iz daljine slika dobije smisla i svako na svoju ruku kreira svoje ideje kako bi stekao tu najvecu grobnicu zapisanu u vremenu ...
              Putting gender equality at the heart of the New Urban Agenda        
    UN Women at Habitat III In the early 1990s, just over 42 per cent of people were living in urban areas. Today, more than 54 per cent of the global population are urban dwellers and in 2030, that percentage is expected to rise to 60 per cent [1]. Sustainable development must ensure a roadmap for [...]
              7 Tips - How to Choose a Great Blogger Blog Topic        
    Have you chosen a blog topic that is right for you? Lots of people start their Blogger Blogspot blogs without giving much thought to their selection of blog topic. Or the angle on the topic they want to explore. If you want your blog to stand out from the crowd make sure you consider your blog topic carefully.

    How to Choose A Good Blog Topic - 7 tips for Begniner and Newbie bloggers and anyone who wants to build a successful blogger blogA good blog topic can make or break a blog. Like some partners some blogs and their owners just don't fit no matter which way you look at it. Make sure before you spend 3 to 6 months of slog to develop your blog that you haven't placed your ladder against the wrong wall.

    Here are a few tips that will get you thinking about your Blogger Blogspot blog topic and how important it is to choose the right one for you.

    1. Choose a blog topic that you are passionate about
    You are going to be writing content about this blog topic for 365 days of the year for at least 2-5 years. For that to work successfully you have to have some passion otherwise the tedium will wear you down.

    Conversely if you are really passionate about a topic that passion will shine through in your blog and like a big magnet attract others.

    2. Choose a blog topic that interests you not just interests others
    Yes you can make money writing about making money but if you aren't interested in money you have a problem. The topic itself may be viable commercially but readers will soon figure out you are in it for the money not the fun. Make sure you are genuinely interested in your blog topic and not just choosing it because it seems to be a hot topic. Don't forget readers are going to want new and fresh content and will not stick around if you are not up to providing it.

    Know Your Audience - Choose a Blog Topic that will have a global audience3. Choose a blog topic that has potential for readership
    If you choose a more unusual blog topic then you may find you are the only one interested in it. However if you have very little competition you will be able to quickly carve out a niche for your blog. Research your market. Check out forums. Identify if there actually is a gap waiting to be filled. If there are a lot of others writing about the same topic can the market sustain another blog or will it be a hard slog to get traffic. Know your audience.

    Attracting visitors and maintaining readership are important factors in ensuring that your blog will generate a steady income stream. If monetization is important to you check your blog's potential for adding relevant ads and affiliate marketing.

    4. Know your subject area
    How well do you know the subject matter of your chosen blog topic? Readers will quickly assess your knowledge of your blog topic and will expect you to deliver the goods.

    If you are passionate but not very knowledgable how will you find the information you need to create new material? Creating content is time consuming and it requires good research skills. Have you got access to the kind of information you are going to need?

    As a general rule don't choose a topic you know very little about or you may find yourself floundering once you have exhausted your own ideas.

    5. What's your angle? Identify your angle when choosing a blog topic
    Knowing your subject is one thing but finding a fresh angle is something else. If you want to create a blog in a subject area that is already heavily populated with other blogs you are likely to be more successful if you can find a good angle that has yet to be exploited. Most information isn't new it is just repackaged. How will you pitch your blog? Check out other blogs and identify what aspects might not be so well covered. Make a list of these and ask yourself if any of these areas has enough scope to sustain a blog by itself.

    6. Choose a blog topic with a medium to long shelf life
    Your blog topic might be great but will readers be interested in it a year or two down the track? This is particularly true for technology based blogs where products come and go and change happens at a rapid rate. Rethink your idea if your topic may not have long term sustainability. Ask yourself if there is a way to reframe it so that it will be more ongoing rather than of short duration.

    7. Clearly define the parameters of your blog topic
    Do you know what the parameters of your blog topic are? What you will cover and what you won't? If you don't know what the limits of your blog are others won't know either.

    Think carefully about your blog topic and define the parametersIt pays to carefully define these or you run the risk of trying to cover everything and losing your audience because they have no idea what your blog is about. Often the most successful blogs are those that focus on a specialist subject and stick within those guidelines.

    Jot down now what your blog actually covers. Include your material and your audience in this. For instance, is your blog for everyone or is it focussed on beginners only like this blog? Deciding this early on will make it easy to pitch your articles in a particular way. If you have no clarity you may find you write good material but it is not pitched to the right audience.

    If you have lots of ideas for a blog topic you will need to crystallize these. Jotting down advantages and disadvantages will help you sort the wheat from the chaff. You may find you have several good ideas but select only one of these to concentrate on. Once things are up and running with your first venture you might decide to get cracking on the second idea but prioritize to start with.

    Remember that laying the groundwork now will prevent disappointment further down the track. Your idea has a much greater chance of being successful if you spend some time getting clear about what you want from your blog and what you want to achieve. Even if your idea needs a lot of refining the exercise is a great opportunity to put some planning in place and planning your blog as in most things in life is one of the cornerstones of success.

    This article has focused on how to choose a great blog topic for a Blogger Blogspot blog. I have discussed 7 tips to help Blogspot bloggers especially those new to blogging choose a blog topic that will fit with their knowledge base and interests. Finding a good fit with your blog topic is one of the keys to success and worth taking the time to consider carefully. Any thoughts or ideas about this article. Please share them.

    Click here to get The Blog Profits Blueprint

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              Global Voices: Autism in girls is often under the radar        
    When it comes to autism, early intervention is best. At the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain in White Plains, N.Y., children under the age of three work on language and communication skills, and increase co-operative play. “We get […]
              Global Voices: Innovative solutions to global refugee crisis        
    Prospects seem grim for the world’s 22 million refugees. The United States and Europe are slamming doors. Kenya is forcing Somalis in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, to go home — even if it’s not safe to return. Uganda […]
              Global Voices: Culinary diplomacy builds bonds between countries        
    For many, food means more than sustenance. Social media feeds are flooded with culinary trends and Unicorn Frappuccinos while cookbooks draw on history. Food is art. Food is community. Food is joy and cultural identity. Increasingly, food is also state […]
              Global Voices: Why Canada should do business with Africa        
    Nola Kianza is a man on a mission. The founder and CEO of the Canadian Council on Africa is travelling across Canada, meeting politicians and fellow businessmen to deliver a message: “Africa is not just about aid. Africa is the […]
              Global Voices: Toronto school builds bridge to reconciliation        
    Singing O Canada is a morning ritual familiar to every Canadian student. But at one Toronto school, they’ve added another tradition. Recently, Craig and former Prime Minister Paul Martin visited Eastview Public School in Scarborough, Ont. They were ushered into […]
              Global Voices: What’s your gift to Canada?        
    As Canada Day approaches, there is a lingering question for many. What does 150 years of Canada mean and how do we properly mark it? This anniversary is about more than giant rubber ducks, a travelling red couch, and red-and-white […]
              Global Voices: Accessibility more than an afterthought        
    Chris Pratt knew he’d made a mistake. The Guardians of the Galaxy star shared a video on social media, asking his followers to ignore the subtitles and turn up the volume. He didn’t realize how insulting that was for the […]
              Global Voices: New fathers at high risk for baby blues        
    Craig and Marc Kielburger With newborn twin daughters, sleep was a rare occurrence for our friend Kevin.* But as mornings became harder, it wasn’t just new-parent fatigue. Kevin felt listless. He stopped attending meetings of the local historical recreation society, […]
              interview with guenter schlienz        

    Guenter Schlienz (Stuttgart, Germany) is known for his vast catalogue of tape & cdr releases on different great labels around the world – Sacred Phrases, SicSic, Goldtimers, Constellation Tatsu, etc. He is the man behind wonderful Cosmic Winnetou label, releasing all kinds of experimental/drone/ambient artists — maybe not as frequently as we'd like, but each time pleasing the taste of any tape music geek. Creating his minimalist compositions by means of d.i.y modular synths, tape loops and field recordings, Guenter achieves the serenity of classic ambient works, while keeping the vibe of 70s kosmische musik (think Cluster or Harmonia) and sometimes reaches the territories of academic minimalism, exploring the sound as ding an sich, inspiring the listener to invent its own narrative. Being part of Navel band since mid 90s, Guenter's place in music world has a long, but still almost unknown story which continues nowadays with further explorations of all kinds of ambient music.


    Pied Paper: First of all, I'm curious about how it all started for you — ambient music, synth building, tape releases, etc. I know that you were involved in many other projects before, call you tell a bit about them too?

    GS: phew, where did it all started… definitely many many moons ago. was active mid till end 90s in some heavy stoner psychedelic rock band. was the guy responsible for producing some "far out sounds" with his guitar and some delay pedal. so there already was this drone element in what i did. but far from recognizing it as this for myself. bit later during the same decade i did a session with a guy who did guitar and singing for another noise rock outfit. we just fiddled around with our guitars and with every pedal we could get our hands on. we recorded our very first session with some broken 4track and quite liked the results. after presenting the finished cdr people came back and reported "this is quite cool drone music". so yep, that's how we learned the name of this style. and after having the name we were able to dig deeper and learned names like Stars of the Lid, Flying Saucer Attack, Brian Eno etc pp. this guitar drone project of us is called Navel and we are still recording and doing live shows.

    beginning of the 00's i quit doing this rock band stuff, so there was plenty time to do some other things. after getting introduced to all this amazing kraut and kosmische musik (during a navel live show in france by an english man, but that's another story) there was the idea to do some kind of electronic music solo. so i needed an instrument, and after bit of research i discovered that the schematics for some modular synthesizer would be something i could manage with the training in electronics i already had. so i started soldering, first quite simple filters, later more and more sophisticated modules.

    the tapes, yep, fast forward to the end of last decade. stumbled over this tape scene thing by accident via the internet (god bless it). those days i was pretty frustrated and bored by the music all the labels and magazines i knew presented, so this occurred to me like a big relief. yes. so many people and projects and bands and labels are doing fantastic stuff, exactly the music i love, right at the moment, and sell it for very low money to people all around the world. yes! couldn't belief my eyes. that the favorite medium of all those labels and projects were cassettes don't really bothered me (of course i had this "ugh? on tape? strange…" moment like everybody else i guess), because i never really stopped using this media since my early childhood days.

    I like to dramatize a bit some things some times, but this discovery of the tape label scene kind of saved my artistic live. it gave me so much energy and confirmation and countless hours of joy during listening sessions that i got the feeling that i have to give something back. hence i started my own tape label.

    Pied Paper: Your music sounds almost academic sometimes, especially works as Organ Studies, Loop Studies and Furniture Sounds — which, as I understand is a homage to Eric Satie. But your name is strongly associated with "underground tape scene", as we call it. Did you ever thought about making your music open for the interpretations, to write it down on a paper maybe, letting the others perform it?

    GS: huh, not sure if i my music sounds bit like academic music. for sure i'm quite interested in this genre, mean contemporary composers with "classical" musical education composing pieces for concert halls and operas and stuff. like their approach to their art through quite rigid concepts, their huge knowledge about musical structures and about music of many centuries and cultures. perhaps you see my enthusiasm for their rigidness shining through my stuff? that would be a compliment for sure, at least in my opinion. and of course, if there would be a small ensemble crazy enough to perform it, i would love to write a score for them (though not sure if i would like to conduct it). but i guess your name must be some lou reed or some other in the same league to be honored like this. actually i'm pretty sure that many of those academic contemporary composers would be happily release their stuff on tape if they would only know this special scene around it.

    Pied Paper: It's clear that ambient music is a wide field for interpretation, same sound can be perceived in different ways depending on the artwork, liner notes, track titles, etc. Can you tell something about your own perception of your music? Does it have some stories within, or it's just abstract form which everyone can fill with its own meaning?

    as you see in the answer of the last question i like some kind of concept around the music. and if this concept even gets its visual equal with the artwork i'm more than happy. so of course, there is a story in every piece. but hey, its music, its a form of art, so who am i to dictate what some listener and spectator wants to see in it? isn't it the very meaning of any art, that the consumer of it knits his very personal meaning to it?

    actually i am not able to describe what i hear in my music anyway. for me the answer to this question would lead to some kind of poem, some painting, some huge novel, some dance or any other arty abstraction. in none of the mentioned techniques 'm very good at, so please, listen to the music.

    Pied Paper: Imagine a situation when you someone asks you to create music with specific mood, theme, etc. — like for a movie scene or something — would it be easy for you? What you enjoy more - improvisation or composition?

    already did this, i mean creating some music for a specific use (to earn some money), and hey, that is pretty hard work (and hard earned money)! to create some music without some customers needs to be satisfied, just the personal ones, isn't really easy to do as well, but much more gratifying for the soul. its an privilege to be able to do this, and i have a (pretty time consuming) bread and butter job to create the circumstances to fulfill it.

    can't really separate those strategies during my performances, both live and during my recording sessions. its always a mixture of plan and being ready to include some coincidences respectively enlightenments. actually my believe is, gained through many observations and talks about such things, that nearly every work in which i am interested in is created this way.

    Pied Paper: I know that you enjoy recording outdoor, do you have any specific set-up for this?

    not really specific, the equipment just have to have some possibility to work battery driven. luckily my modulars fall into this category. just to improve the handling of such adventure i have build my modulars as small and compact as possible, and since a couple of months a work on some modules who will be included into some water proofed case.

    Pied Paper: Probably you've noticed that releases of first wave of cassette drone/ambient in 2009-11 was mostly lo-fi and many of same artists still doing tapes nowadays came to much cleared and well-produced sound - is that natural growth or trying to be more "mainstream"?

    yes, i'm aware of this development as well. i think it just was some other group of people with bit different background which had been running those labels you' mention. In those early days of the reemerging of this medium the leading actors had had mostly a background in the noise scene. hence the tape as favorite medium, hence the cheap and ugly aesthetics of the chosen instruments. these different (don't like to ad some other evaluative adjective) sounding tapes of lately are from people without this background, they just take over the torch and work with it out of their musical socialization. so in my opinion it is either "natural growth", this sounds like some kind of improvement who isn't any need for, nor a try to reach broader audiences. the good stuff of recently is produced by people who are just as true to their own style as their ancestors had been, and therefore it is as important and equal beautiful as the old stuff.

    Pied Paper: As a label owner, can you tell how many demos you receive? Which kind of styles you receive most? I'm asking because it seems that ambient/psych/drone music isn't that popular anymore - I see tons of vaporwave/webpunk tapes at new-born labels, while such imprints as Stunned, Tranquility tapes, Goldtimers are long gone (or maybe it's just old man's talk, huh).

    yes, and i'm very happy about it, i receive quite a lot of demos. always love to get some new sounds for my ears. mostly the artists are very good informed about the style of the music i usually release and about the aesthetics i'm interested in. perhaps you are right, there are less people out there which do their own style of ambient/psych/drone as perhaps eight years ago, but i'm not sure about that. and as i stated in the last paragraph i think those vaporwave labels and the like took the torch of the cassette celebration and run with it their own way. and this is a good thing. who needs the 16th or whatever version of the emeralds (insert here the name of your favorite release of those years)? isn't this exactly what have happened with pop and rock music and what makes this stuff sometimes unbearable to listen to?

    Pied Paper: And what are your plans for the Cosmic Winnetou in the foreseeable future?

    prepare my next batch right now which will be released in a couple of weeks. but after this 13th cosmic winnetou bundle of cassettes i will need a hiatus, unfortunately. i love to do the label work, but it is very time consuming. have lots of projects for this year, music and private stuff, so i have to pull the brakes to this project for this year. but really looking forward to restart the tape label with new ideas and energies end of this year.

    Pied Paper: Do you ever think about future of music? Is it possible to invent something new, or we are doomed to retro-mania, returning to same tunes from different angles?

    of course there will some day somebody release some music which haven't been heard before and will blow all of us completely into the void. don't know which day this will happen, but i'm pretty sure someday it will. just look around, not only the music is stuck into retro mode. clothing, hair style, performing arts, pictorial arts, industrial design, i think that in our days nearly every form of artefacts are done with quite old ideas, just a few new kind of tools here and there. the whole mood, you can call it "zeitgeist" if you like, is like "let's try to preserve what we have", not "perhaps this is a better idea for the future, let's work on it". in my opinion everything is linked together somehow, and we have this retro mania since the 90s, starting with this global change of the modus vivendi. but nothing is forever, so i'm sure this will change someday. these thoughts are just my 50cents about a very complex question. but yeah, i think about this, and love to exchange ideas about this kind of topic.

    Pied Paper: Humans already sent some music with space probes - which titles would you choose for such mission? I know you won't choose Wagner, huh :)

    really nice question, this is. indeed already thought about that, and i think the nasa did a quite good job with the "golden record" for the voyager mission. very good selection which shows how wonderfully diverse sounds humans are able to produce, and each and all of them aim at the listeners heart. but always wondered if it would be perhaps a good idea to send some field recordings of this strange planet into the void, and f so, which i would chose.

    some people laughing, some people fighting, a mother singing her baby to sleep, the audience at a soccer game, a sundown at the shore of a calm sea with waves and cicades and everything? what else?

    Pied Paper: Okay, that's it — you can send high fives here or add something if needed! Thank you!

    hey, high five to you and many thanks for those questions! took my a while to type the answers, because you found some topics and ideas i love to share my thoughts on it. and of course many thanks for your support!

    perhaps i would like to ad a big "thank you" to all the readers of those lines, time is precious and i'm happy that you waste it reading them. and a big "thank you" to all the people who listen to my music and perhaps even bought the cassettes and cds and vinyls with my music on it. to know that somebody out there cares about my music means a lot to me. hugs.

    selected albums:
    guenter's bandcamp
    sterne uber der stadt
    organ studies
    tape studies

              lunaria / tvvin_pinez_m4all        

    lunaria ~ all is dream (sounds of the dawn, 2016)

    Second tape release at Sounds of The Dawn brings to the world a new masterpiece in the new age genre - an it's only a debut album, recorded by Daniel - a member of our blog's team. Listening to this tape is an immersion into the state of heightened sensitivity, when everything becomes brighter and clearer. It may sound as a cliche when it comes to ambient new age music, but I'm too assured in the fact that actually any music can do that if it has sincerity. There are nothing supernatural about the impact which music can do on our minds and we don't need scientific proofs for that - just an open-minded listening, which leaves analysis and criticism beyond the perception. Blissful tones of this music is a soft contradiction to the modern pop-music with its aggressive production. One may call it escapism, but then one should ask himself - where are you escaping when listening to radio hits? What is real? Which reality is true and everlasting, and which is just temporary construct of humanity's greed? Nature is all around us, but we mostly ignore it, building our own realities, first concrete and metal, then virtual... But when I go with this though further, while bathing in the crystal clear melodies and chimes of Lunaria, I realise that answer is already here - literally. On the tape cover. It says "all is dream" and duality of the meaning of the word "dream" makes the answer even clearer. There is no escapism. Global civilization, the Humankind, even Cyberspace - everything is Nature, part of our planet's evolutionary process. And this whole process is just a part of universal dream. Who dreams it? We all do, and by doing that we can make all kinds of things... And we do them, many different things, not always pleasant - saying "what the difference?". But when someone makes music like this, when someone listens to it and it makes one's dream a bit brighter and lucid - I can be only happy. And it makes a difference.

    listen ~ buy tape ~ buy cd

    tvvin_pinez_m4all ~ 植物波 [ p l a n t w a v e ] (adhesive sounds, 2016)

    Colorful, growing plants are the key to livening up any interior décor. 

    During the course of last year or two vaporwave has become much more structured genre, than it was at the beginning. To tell the truth, it was more like a joke, than a "real music" and some people still think that way. But even superficial acquaintance with everything vapowave-themed on Bandcamp brings so many sub-genres and variations, that no joke can have. Being 100% product of postmodernism, this music recycles long-forgotten tunes, giving them another perspective in the massive retromania, which overfilled music market nowadays. And by doing that, vaporwave shifts the perception towards images and situations that actually never existed. If you old enough to remember early 90s, you can feel the similarity in atmosphere and aesthetics, but there are still too many differences, which makes vaporwave-induced nostalgia no more than a postmodernist trick. And it tells a lot about the way we remember, think and perceive. Take this tape - typical, I'd even say classical vapowave album full of slowed disco tunes, ambient passages and late 80s new age reminiscences - but still none of these things in sum. It reminds me making collages of old magazines - you can put together some random parts from your mom's old knitting magazine, modern National Geographic and some last year's newspaper. Of course, you get some new picture, but what is more important - this picture transcends time, it brings everything in present moment, making it joyful. So what's the difference between music for plants, recorded by 80's new age artists and this tape? Only time - which is just an instrument for the artist, a way to make perspective, to give us a hint on our own head interior. Do you have any living plants there? I bet they'll love this tape, because it sounds damn chill and relaxing.

    listen ~ support

              rest easy, volume 1 by australian newborn label hi tide        

    hi tide (various artists) ~ rest easy, volume 1

    Volume 1 of our 'Rest Easy' compilation series showcases eight relaxing tracks made by musicians living across the continent of Australia. Digital timbres are blended with field recordings and analogue tones, structured by circadian rhythms and fluid compositional trails to create a soothing, contemplative journey suited to long walks, kayaking and other easygoing activities; enjoy in loungerooms, libraries, hotsprings, bathhouses and anyplace easily softened by the sounds of the Ambient. hi tide

    What do you need when the summer sun hides beneath the clouds? What do you want, when you sit by your window, watching rivers of the sky falling on the ground, making trees hum and asphalt wet? Yes, that's right, it's music! Something calm and warm, something so relaxing, that you will go up to the sky with the air, reaching the highest clouds to see the sun over them. Same sun that shine right now somewhere over the places you've never been, over the oceans you never touched, over the mountains you never climbed... Maybe right now it shines over Australia, where dozens of people read same blogs you enjoy, drink same kind of tea, seeing same dreams when sun goes down. There are many things which are universal, and probably music is the most universal (if I may say so) of them. Sharing their visions of life and their dreams, a group of highly talented artists joined for this compilation, which gives a very nice perspective on the present ambient music scene in Australia. Of course, we live in the global world now, we meet each other here, in the web – but there is always something special about such selections. I'd call it "a taste" of a place (and time!), which can be translated only by such lucid medium as music. Something you won't see in the tourist brochure or read in Wikipedia. I'm sure, Australians know things about relaxing but there is definitely something more about this compilation than just global laziness we all share. If I'll try explaining it further, magic will be gone. So just press the link already! And relax ~_~
    listen ~ download ~ support

    ps: Any money given for this album will be donated directly to Bush Heritage Australia, a conservation organisation protecting millions of hectares of ecologically important land and working in close partnership with traditional landowners.

              88th Academy Awards        
    Note 1: This is the fourth consecutive year when I am doing this. Hopefully this one will be much more readable compared to my previous attempts. Hopefully. (prev: 87th, 86th, 85th) This year, I also wrote a story with the tag-lines of the Oscar-nominated movies.

    Note 2: I suspect the ratings for this year's Oscars are going to be very low. I mean, outside of #OscarsSoWhite, Studios and producers need to freakin' make the movies available for viewing online (or in theaters)! I will pay money to watch these movies BEFORE the Oscars goddamit! Events are successful when people talk about it. And to talk about it, people need context. What should we talk about instead of the movies themselves, Clooney's tux, JLaw's stumble, host's fumble, and hot cleavages?

    This is one of those years when I am not particularly attached to any movie that has been nominated. Atleast not for the big awards. But this year's Animated and Documentary nominations are a bunch of powerhouses compared to any year in recent history for these categories. It beats me why Inside Out didn't get a Best Picture nod. This just might have been a year when a Pixar movie, or any animated movie for that matter, won the top prize. Instead, we get Oscar-bait movies such as Room, Bridge of Spies, or even The Revenant. Mad Max getting in there is quite a surprise, not so much in retrospect. And yet, the top prize this year remains wide open, probable front-runners being Spotlight, The Revenant, and The Big Short, with the race getting more interesting than the movies themselves.

    Emily Blunt's omission from Supporting Actress and Villeneuve's from Director (yep, I loved Sicario!) seems a little strange, but Villeneuve's time will come. His every successive movie gets better than the last! And Quentin, what did you do? He is forgiven though for getting too indulgent, considering that he might be nearing the end of his filmography. I hope though that I get to see him, among others, getting a Directing Oscar some day. Some day.

    Right then.

    Category / PickNomineesVishesh TippaniHit / Miss
    Motion Picture


    The Big Short


    Bridge of Spies

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Martian

    The Revenant


    The Big Short: After The Wolf of Wall Street's rollercoaster ride, this seemed like pony carousel. I mean, we get it. Financial meltdown happened, and no-one responsible went to jail. Bravo! Selena Gomez explaining Collateralized Debt Obligations was cute though. Heh.

    Brooklyn: It gets a lot of things right. Saoirse Ronan is an absolute delight to watch on screen, with a well-deserved Actress nomination for her. And the way the movie transports you to the 50s is incredible, effortlessly shattering a lot of things we take for granted today. And we are not talking about an ancient era, just 60-70 years ago. Brooklyn also does not resort to evil-looking people to further the plot in a way Titanic did, and in a way that makes the protagonists' struggles relatable, real, and very palatable - in a way that triggers a "Life is such," response rather than "They deserved this".
    "I'd forgotten what this town is like. What were you planning to do, Miss Kelly?" 

    Bridge of Spies: This is the "America is the best country in the World" movie for this year. Although both Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance nailed it with chiselled performances. Coen brothers wrote this, perhaps it would have been a much better movie if they directed it as well.
    "Aren't you worried?"
    "Would it help?"

    Mad Max: Fury Road: This movie was an adrenalin-induced delight without end. Stunning camera work, absurdist humour, and louder than loudest everything, so much that one literally felt exhausted after the movie did not give any breathing space during.

    The Martian: Someone please explain to me why Inside Out is not in this category, and why The Martian isn't in the Best Animated movie category instead? What is the line between special effects and animation? Considering the state of the art for motion capture and 3D rendering techniques, maybe it's time we do away with the distinction. Anyway, The Martian falls flat compared to Gravity, or even Interstellar. Maybe it was just an excuse to rescue Matt Damon... again.

    The Revenant: A lot of people, including the Academy, seem to be particularly fond of Iñárritu. I find his movies boring, the technical brilliance notwithstanding. Birdman was perhaps Iñárritu's most enjoyable movie, and I didn't want Birdman to win (Boyhood... sigh). If The Revenant wins this one, of which there is a more than significant chance, it will be several firsts, perhaps the most interesting one being successive wins by the same Director. Sure looks like Leo's year though.

    Room: This was a hit or miss and all over the place. Some scenes were striking, in particular the one towards the end where Brie Larson goes back to the Room. Jacob Tremblay was spectacular until he was inside the room, and made his escape. After that it seemed like the director just didn't give a shit anymore.
    "There's so much of "place" in the world."

    Spotlight: This is my favourite movie from this category. Tense, crisp, great characters, performances, writing, Spotlight ranks high up there.
    "We got two stories here: a story about degenerate clergy, and a story about a bunch of lawyers turning child abuse into a cottage industry. Which story do you want us to write? Because we're writing one of them."
    Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

    Adam McKay, The Big Short

    George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

    Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

    Lenny Abrahamson, Room

    Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
    As much as I loved Spotlight, I am not sure if Tom McCarthy's time has come for a directing Oscar. The race mostly seems between Iñárritu and Miller, both of whom are really fine directors. If Iñárritu pulls this one off, back-to-back Director Oscars would be a tremendous feat.

    Although, if I had my way, Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman (directors of Anomalisa),  Andrew Haigh (director of 45 years), would have found a spot here. And when-o-when will Denis Villeneuve's (Sicario) time come?
    Writing (Original)


    Bridge of Spies

    Ex Machina

    Inside Out


    Straight Outta Compton
    Bridge of Spies is probably in here because... Coen brothers. Perhaps the movie would have been significantly better had they directed it as well.

    Ex Machina had some really smart writing as well, reminded me of "Her" in a lot of ways.
    Ava: "What will happen to me if I fail your test?"

    I loved the fact that Inside Out got nominated for this, if not for Best Picture. They really got me from the moment the "train of thought" arrives. As cheesy as that is, really made me chuckle.
    "Take her to the moon for me."

    And as much as Tarantino would like to say "I truly believe in the material" for The Hateful Eight, he needs to sit on the bench for this one.

    Spotlight though, crisp, taut, engaging from start to finish truly deserves this one.
    "If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them."
    Writing (Adapted)

    The Big Short

    The Big Short



    The Martian

    The Big Short is a no-brainer for this. I haven't read the book so I do not know how it reads, but this is one of those examples of an "adaptation", from a non-fiction, that would have truly meant a LOT of work.

    Aaron Sorkin could have been slipped in here (for Steve Jobs), again adapting a non-fiction. Plus, in my opinion, his approach with the source material was remarkable and creative. With all the different sorts of issues Steve Jobs ran into during production, Sorkin was probably the only one who did the cleanest job for this movie.

    Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

    FINALLY, LEO! Boy am I waiting for his acceptance speech! SIXTH nomination, and what a journey! A story of survival, revenge, and life is also possibly the most fitting way he could have won this one!

    But this doesn't go without mentioning the other quite remarkable performances in this category. Trumbo felt a lot like Argo, even besides the 'Hollywood making a movie about Hollywood thing' and John Goodman's huge (literally) presence. And I love this "genre" (if you may) too - Sunset Bldv., Chaplin, The Artist, to name a few.

    Michael Fassbender did a fine job and literally saved the movie, but the most striking performance for me from this movie would definitely be that of Winslet's.

    There are some roles where it is unimaginable for anyone else doing them except for Eddie Redmayne (you know, the kind of feeling we get quite often for Benedict Cumberbatch). I doubt anyone else would have been able to do Theory of Everything or The Danish Girl.

    Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

    Prediction: Brie Larson
    Cate Blanchett, Carol

    Brie Larson, Room

    Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

    Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

    Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
    Brie Larson seems sealed for this category. She isn't on my top 3 out of these 5, so I will be a little bummed about this one.

    I am conflicted between Charlotte Rampling and Saoirse Ronan for my top spot. 45 years is a stunning film, and deserved much more than the solitary nomination it received, but Charlotte is really the heart and soul of the film. After Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) lost to JLaw, I would be too pleased to see Charlotte win this one, for a movie that has too many similarities to Amour.

    I wouldn't mind Saoirse winning this one either. Her nuanced performance in Brooklyn left you yearning for more.
    Supporting Actor

    Christian Bale, The Big Short

    Prediction: Sylvester Stallone
    Christian Bale, The Big Short

    Tom Hardy, The Revenant

    Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

    Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

    Sylvester Stallone, Creed
    The one thing that I loved about The Big Short was Christian Bale's performance. In the very limited time that he occupies the screen, every freakin' scene is fireworks. He would be my pick for this one, but Sylvester Stallone makes for a great Oscar story, so yeah... Mark Rylance.
    Supporting Actress

    Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

    Prediction: Alicia Vikander
    Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

    Rooney Mara, Carol

    Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

    Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

    Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
    It's a shame that Alicia Vikander got nominated for The Danish Girl instead of Ex Machina. I am nuts about Alicia Vikander, she is what I would call "vanilla" beautiful. I know she is beautiful, I don't know why, and I find it hard to be able to figure it out. It's like she only registers when she's in front of me, but poof as soon as she's not, enigmatic almost. I think it was a stroke of casting brilliance to cast her in Ex Machina, a role which hinged significantly on this quality of hers in my opinion. You know, artificial... but not really, feels real... but can't put a finger on why.

    But between her performance in The Danish Girl, and Kate Winslet's in Steve Jobs, my vote definitely goes to Kate. Them glasses. Sigh. And a performance that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Fassbender's as Jobs, that's really something.
    Animated Movie


    Prediction: Inside Out

    Boy & The World

    Inside Out

    Shaun The Sheep Movie

    When Marnie Was There
    What a collection of movies in this category! This is a collection which is missing The Peanuts Movie and The Good Dinosaur - movies which in any other year would have made the nomination cut and might even have won!

    I want to especially talk about three movie here, Anomalisa, Inside Out, and Boy & The World, although Shaun The Sheep and When Marnie Was There are brilliant movies in their own right.

    Anomalisa is one of those movies that leave you going "How on Earth did they pull this off on screen?!" The stillness of this movie, the calm, the poise, the detail - both in the little things and the not-so-little things - is astounding. I could write at length about this movie, but anyone who has spent any time travelling to a smaller city in the US (especially to the mid-west) will get all intricate details they have managed to so gloriously capture. The absolutely shocking sex scene, the long takes, the movie playing almost in real time... Anomalisa is an anomaly done right when it comes to pushing the boundaries of what can be done on animation.

    Talking about pushing the boundaries of animated films, Boy & The World is gorgeous! Such raw beauty, it is a spectacle to behold. Lovingly crafted hand-drawn animation, the colors, the playfulness, the airiness, the fireworks-y sparkle, the dazzle, every still of the film could be a framed painting in an art gallery. This is how, I wish, The Peanuts Movie had been made. HAND-DRAWN! I hope we get to see more of Alê Abreu's work.

    Inside Out is almost surely going to win this one. Don't get me wrong, it is a great film, perhaps one of Pixar's top 3, if not the best. But it is going to win it for the wrong reasons. Animation has very little to do with what makes Inside Out a great film, which is why it was much better off getting a Best Film nod, along with the Writing nod that it deservedly received.


    Prediction: The Revenant 

    The Hateful Eight

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Revenant

    The Hateful Eight is on this list because... 70mm, Ben Hur lenses, yada yada yada. It's not the tooling that maketh a genius. Nope. But okay Quentin, you were indulging yourself, you are allowed to do that, of course.

    It will be a big surprise if The Revenant does not win this one. The cinematography, after all, is one of the biggest reasons why it has been getting oh-so-much love. But, have you seen Sicario! Especially the one scene where they perform the extraction from Mexico, sent a chill down my spine. That is a scene in the same league as the car scene from Children of Men.

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Big Short

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Revenant


    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    If there is one award that Mad Max truly deserves, it's got to be this one. How do you even cut this movie?! Hit!
    Production Design

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    Bridge of Spies

    The Danish Girl

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Martian

    The Revenant

    Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

    Bridge of Spies


    The Hateful Eight


    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    The Hateful Eight, again, is here because... Morricone. This is probably Academy's last chance to give a real Oscar to Ennio Morricone rather than the honorary one they had to give him a few years ago.

    Sicario and Star Wars (obviously) truly deserve a special mention though.
    Visual Effects

    The Revenant

    Ex Machina

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Martian

    The Revenant

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    This category is really losing its significance extremely fast. It is too hard to tell what's special effects and what's not, considering almost every movie undergoes huge transformation during post-production. Ex Machina.

    Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight For Freedom

    Prediction: Amy

    Cartel Land

    The Look of Silence

    What Happened, Miss Simone?

    Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight For  Freedom
    Just like the Animated Feature Film category, this was another powerhouse collection of films. I wouldn't mind Amy winning this one, Asif Kapadia is an accomplished director, his Senna ranks amongst my favorite movies. And, to be fair, Amy is an amazing movie, except, I didn't care a lot about the subject matter.

    Winter on Fire, on the other hand, is a movie extremely relevant in today's day and age, and has managed to put together some really spine-chilling footage and beautifully. It also managed to give a first-hand glimpse into a country that we (I) know so little about, and around events that are being played out right now on the global political arena.

    Total: 13 / 15

              NCR’s Innovative Restaurant Solutions on Display at National Restaurant Association Tradeshow in Chicago        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/05/19, Duluth, GA United States - Global technology company to demonstrate solutions that help restaurants transform their operations and build connected experiences -
              NCR Brings Silver® Tablet POS System to Australian Shores        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/04/05, Sydney, Australia - NCR Corporation, a global leader in omni-channel solutions, has launched the NCR Silver family of point-of-sale (POS) solutions to Australian retail, service and restaurant merchants - /
              NCR and Zebra Technologies Work Together to Provide Store Transformation Solutions        
    PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/01/13, Duluth, GA United States - NCR Corporation and Zebra Technologies Corporation expanded their global strategic relationship in two key areas of NCR’s Store Transformation portfolio to provide truly visionary and frictionless customer service to shoppers in-store [NASDAQ: ZBRA]
              Stokke Milan by Reactor Retail, Milan – Italy        
    The store is designed by Norwegian based Reactor Retail in close cooperation with Stokke. Milan represents an important milestone and market for the Stokke® brand, as the global international capital of design.
              Online Writing Workshops from Teeny Tiny Press on        
    Study poetry writing from the comfort of your home with an affordable 100 online writing workshop. Participants write four poems over the course of a month-long class. Instructor Amanda Laughtland is an experienced online teacher and a published poet.
    Year Established:
    Number of Programs/Year:
    Program Length: Four weeks
    Group Size or S:T Ratio: 12 students max
    Program Focus: Poetry
    Faculty: Amanda Laughtland holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. She s the author of Postcards to Box 464 and several chapbooks.
    Costs: 50 for a four-week class.
    U.S. Locations:
    Global Locations: Internet
    Months: January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
    Click for more information:
    Rachel Seewald-Phan

    A year after being instituted as a new degree program by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, East Central University’s Master in Management program is a smashing success.

    At least in the eyes of Rachel Seewald-Phan, who is the first graduate of the program, the former Norman resident went straight into the MiM program after earning her bachelor’s degree and ended up completing her master’s degree in just one year.

    “It was such an amazing experience and learning process that helped me grow as a student and an individual,” said Seewald-Phan. “Because of the MiM program, I was able to relocate to a state where I had no connections and land a job in a little under a month after moving there.”

    Now a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, she is extremely grateful for the program.

    “When the opportunity to enroll in the program was presented, I was somewhat hesitant since my undergraduate degree was in mass communication and public relations and I do not have a heavy business background,” she said. “However, I can honestly say that this was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The faculty involved in the MiM program are very helpful in working to make sure the students understand the material. They truly want to see everyone succeed.”

    Seewald-Phan is now client services manager at Lenox Wealth Management in Cincinnati.

    “I love my job and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the MiM program and all the wonderful people in the Stonecipher School of Business,” said Seewald-Phan.

    The MiM program is designed to help those with a bachelor’s degree develop management skills. This includes students who received their degrees in non-business fields.

    “There are many who have earned their first degrees and have been placed in positions of managers, but have not been given the knowledge and skills needed to be in successful managerial positions,” said Wendell Godwin, dean of ECU’s Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business. “Additionally, current students, who are skilled practitioners of the subject matter of their first degrees, had their potential to advance to managerial positions limited due to a lack of knowledge and skills in business.”

    Objectives of the program are to:

    1. Provide an innovative, high-level, focused program in response to employers’ needs for managerial-level employees with a sound knowledge of business theory and practices.
    2. Improve student opportunities to either gain employment or increase their chance of a level promotion at their current employer by offering a degree that is suitable for current and potential entry-level managers whose degree was not in a business field.
    3. Work with local employers to utilize this degree as part of personal development plans for current and future front-line managers.
    4. Provide a unique program for those in ECU’s service area and region who are seeking to complement their non-business degree with a business graduate degree that can be completed in 12 months.

    The curriculum consists of 30 hours derived from such courses as managerial accounting, employment labor and law, economics for managers, finance for managers, research methods for managerial decision making, foundations of management, leadership and organizational behavior, strategic management and marketing management. Three more credit hours will also come from one of the following: managing in the global economy, special topics in management, internship in management and individual study in management.

    Godwin anticipates 50 students to be enrolled in the program this fall.

    “The student feedback is that what you learn in the classroom on a Tuesday can be applied on the job on Wednesday,” Godwin said. “It is more application-focused instead of theory-focused.”

    For more information on ECU’s Master in Management program go online to or call Dr. Charlie Jones at 580-559-5269.



    For Immediate Release: 

    Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                    East Central University Communications and Marketing

                                  580-559-5650 or 405-812-1428 (cell)

              Treating Opioid Dependence With Injectable Extended-Release Naltrexone (XR-NTX): Who Will Respond?        
    imageObjectives: Once-monthly intramuscular extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) has demonstrated efficacy for the prevention of relapse in opioid dependence, providing an alternative to agonist or partial agonist maintenance (ie, methadone and buprenorphine). The question remains, for whom is this unique treatment most efficacious and can patient-treatment matching factors be identified? Methods: A moderator analysis was conducted on a previously reported 24-week, placebo-controlled, multisite, randomized controlled trial of XR-NTX (n = 126) versus placebo (n = 124) among recently detoxified opioid-dependent adults in Russia, which showed XR-NTX superior to placebo in proportion of opioid abstinent weeks. The moderator analysis examined a dichotomous indicator of good clinical response—achieving at least 90% of weeks abstinent over the 24-week trial. A series of logistic regression models were fit for this outcome as functions of treatment (XR-NTX vs placebo), each baseline moderator variable, and their interactions. The 25 baseline variables included demographics, clinical severity (Addiction Severity Index, SF-36, and Clinical Global Impression-Severity), functioning (EQ-5D), craving, and HIV serostatus (HIV+). Results: More XR-NTX patients achieved 90% abstinence (64/126, 51%) versus placebo (39/124, 31%; P = 0.002). There were no significant interactions between baseline variables and treatment. There was a significant main effect of Clinical Global Impression-Severity score (P = 0.02), such that higher severity score was associated with a lower rate of Good Clinical Response. Conclusions: The absence of significant baseline by treatment interactions indicates that no patient-treatment matching variables could be identified. This suggests that XR-NTX was effective in promoting abstinence from opioids across a range of demographic and severity characteristics.
              You’ll now get Netflix recommendations from people on the other side of the world        

    Netflix has just announced it’s rolling out a new, global approach to content that no longer restricts recommendations to people in your country who might have terrible taste. It’s now using data from people across the world to recommend movies and TV shows based on what kinds of things you like, rather than limiting it to what’s hot nearby. Personal taste beats local taste, the company said. Netflix’s Carlos Gomez-Uribe, VP of personalization algorithms (of course), explained that as well as helping users in new countries find content they like, it’ll also help people in big markets with weird interests find better things to…

    This story continues at The Next Web

    Or just read more coverage about: Netflix
              Semana Nacional do Trânsito 2011        

    Para lembrar a Semana Nacional do Trânsito, o CFC Shaloon em parceria com a RBS TV realizou uma blitz educativa no centro da cidade de Uruguaiana - RS.

    Este ano a Semana do Trânsito divulgou a Década da Ação.

    O que é a Década?

          Plano de ações lançado pela Comissão Global para a Segurança no Trânsito da Organização das Nações Unidas. Todos os países membros estão convocados para implantarem medidas imediatas de educação e prevenção contra a violência no trânsito.


    Reduzir em 50% os índices de mortalidade no trânsito por meio da integração multissetorial e comprometimento das autoridades de todas as esferas de poder e a efetiva participação da sociedade.


    Fortalecimento da gestão da segurança no trânsito.
    Infraestrutura viária adequada.
    Segurança veicular.
    Comportamento e segurança dos usuários.
    Atendimento ao trauma, assistência pré-hospitalar, hospitalar e à reabilitação.

    Confira as fotos:

              Violência Contra Mulher        


    Falar sobre a violência contra mulher, parece um assunto batido. Não é a toa que este assunto tem sido tão abordado. Os números continuam afirmando que a violência existe e muito forte em nossa sociedade. "Segundo a ONU, 7 em cada 10 mulheres no mundo já foram ou serão violentadas em algum momento da vida." Este número deveria assustar a maioria das pessoas, mas não é o que acontece. Somente uma reeducação social seria capaz de transformar este cenário. Em muitas sociedades os homens, ainda são vistos como seres humanos de qualidade superior, possuem direitos e liberdades não concedidos às mulheres.

    Isso nos parece distante, falando do Brasil. Um país jovem e aparentemente tão livre. Nossa realidade não está longe desses números. O machismo está enraizado de tal forma que as mães e mulheres contribuem para essa cultura e nem percebem.

    A situação fica clara quando observamos a criação dos filhos, as meninas são responsáveis pelos assuntos domésticos, diferente dos meninos que não são cobrados neste sentido. Na adolescência fica ainda mais evidente. Os homens são incentivados à prática do sexo, já o sexo feminino é sempre reprimido.

    Quando o assunto é violência sexual, o cenário é ainda pior. A sociedade julga as mulheres por se vestir de forma sensual, como se fossem culpadas pelo crime. Precisamos entender, que independente do acontecimento, o ser humano precisa respeitar o NÃO quando ele é dito, mesmo que seja na última hora. Nós seres humanos, somos RACIONAIS. O que nos diferencia dos animais é exatamente essa capacidade de raciocinar e não agir por impulso ou instinto.

    Ainda temos um longo caminho a percorrer. É fundamental reconstruir uma cultura de respeito aos direitos humanos das mulheres e repensar nos papéis estabelecidos dos gêneros.

    Atualização em 13/02/2017 


    No mês de fevereiro de 2017. Vladimir Putin, então presidente da Rússia sancionou a lei que assegura aos maridos russos o direito de bater em suas mulheres uma vez por ano, com penas atenuadas. As penas graves que eram aplicadas a toda agressão doméstica, agora só servirão para quem provocar fraturas em ossos. Um verdadeiro retrocesso para nossa sociedade global. 


              ã€æœ€æ–°ç™¼è¡Œ/搶先聽】 Free        
    【專輯】 Free
    【藝人】 Mondtraüme
    【音樂類型】 西洋歌曲,電子/舞曲
    【發行日期】 2016-11-04
    ... (更多專輯資訊)
    1. Free | 06:05
    2. Free | 04:54
    3. Still Beating | 06:52
    4. Still Beating | 05:52
    5. Free | 06:07

              ã€æœ€æ–°ç™¼è¡Œ/搶先聽】 Still Beating - EP        
    【專輯】 Still Beating - EP
    【藝人】 Mondtraüme
    【音樂類型】 電子/舞曲
    【發行日期】 2014-12-15
    ... (更多專輯資訊)
    1. Still Beating | 05:11
    2. Far from Pain (Aesthetische Club Mix) | 05:22
    3. A Sea of Distance (Rotersand Remix) | 05:56
    4. A Sea of Distance (Avarice in Audio Remix) | 04:05
    5. Far from Pain (Nórdik Quanten Selbstmord Mix) | 07:01

              ã€æœ€æ–°ç™¼è¡Œ/搶先聽】 Empty        
    【專輯】 Empty
    【藝人】 Mondtraüme
    【音樂類型】 電子/舞曲
    【發行日期】 2014-04-19
    ... (更多專輯資訊)
    1. Life Is Short | 05:09
    2. Parasite | 04:06
    3. Pyschodrug | 05:03
    4. Broken Wings | 04:32
    5. Empty | 04:14
    6. Far from Pain | 05:12
    7. Forbidden Paradise | 05:34
    8. Echoes of the Past | 04:25
    9. Fragile | 05:02
    10. Plastic Girl | 05:01
    11. New Life | 05:09
    12. A Sea of Distance | 04:54

              ã€æœ€æ–°ç™¼è¡Œ/搶先聽】 Empty (Deluxe Edition)        
    【專輯】 Empty (Deluxe Edition)
    【藝人】 Mondtraüme
    【音樂類型】 西洋歌曲,電子/舞曲
    【發行日期】 2014-04-19
    ... (更多專輯資訊)
    1. Life Is Short | 05:09
    2. Parasite | 04:06
    3. Pyschodrug | 05:03
    4. Broken Wings | 04:32
    5. Empty | 04:25
    6. Far from Pain | 05:12
    7. Forbidden Paradise | 05:34
    8. Echoes of the Past | 04:25
    9. Fragile | 05:02
    10. Plastic Girl | 05:01
    11. New Life | 05:09
    12. A Sea of Distance | 04:54
    13. Life Is Short | 03:49
    14. Broken Wings | 04:22
    15. Parasite | 04:41
    16. Plastic Girl | 06:18
    17. Parasite | 05:20
    18. Life Is Short | 04:27
    19. Parasite | 03:14
    20. Broken Wings | 04:14
    21. Pyschodrug | 06:26
    22. Plastic Girl | 05:31
    23. Life Is Short | 05:04
    24. Far from Pain | 05:10
    25. Parasite | 04:17
    26. Broken Wings | 04:06
    27. Parasite | 04:11

              5 años de luchas y seguimos ¡A las Plazas!        
    Texto original del manifiesto de la web DRY: #15M #GlobalDebout . Manifiesto  de la plataforma Democracia real ¡YA! con el que hacemos memoria de los  5 años de luchas del 15M, describimos las acciones que se están desarrollando para re-evolucionar el estado español y … Sigue leyendo
              15 de mayo 2016 #globaldebout        
    Gente de Europa, gente del mundo: El 15 de mayo de 2011, después de otra protesta contra políticos , banqueros y contra las radicales medidas de austeridad que sufrió España, un pequeño grupo de personas decidió que una manifestación no … Sigue leyendo
              Sorcerian Remake Spellbound For iPhone        

    Sorcerian for iPhone will be released in Japanese soon with a global English launch planned for a later date.

    Read Sorcerian Remake Spellbound For iPhone on Siliconera!

              Jane’s Walk-Portland        
    Jane’s Walk is a global movement of citizen led walking tours. The tours focus on the legacy of Jane Jacobs by getting neighbors to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with each other. The University of Louisville’s Planning Student Organization recently more »
              La presentazione di "Università futura" a Harvard        
    Martedì 28 febbraio ho avuto il piacere di presentare alcuni dei punti principali di "Università futura" a Harvard, nel contesto dei "luncheon talk" del Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Il titolo dell'incontro era "Five Global Challenges and the Role of University". Al mio fianco, il prof. Charles Nesson, fondatore del Berkman Center; "Università futura" è dedicato a lui (oltre che al prof. Angelo Raffaele Meo).

              Offer - sbc global email (1-8668661752) signin customer support number. - USA        
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              British Ambassador Gave a Public Lecture at UNJA        
    Mendalo—The arrival of British ambassador to Indonesia, ASEAN and Timor Leste, Moazzam Malik, at third floor of rectorat building in senate room was welcomed by the students of Jambi University on Monday (13/3). The coming of Moazzam Malik to UNJA was scheduled to give a public lecture to students of Jambi university with theme: “Forest Fire Prevention Efforts by the Government of Jambi Province in Correlation to Global Climate Change”. The event was also attended by Jambi Governor, H. Zumi Zola Zulkifli, S.TP., M.A. In his description, Moazzam said that the forest in Indonesia was one of the biggest forests in the world and it has been the lung of the world. He reiterated that we should safeguard our forest and he also stated that his government would cooperate with the Indonesian government to prevent the side effects of climate changes. He said Indonesia has the best potency to become future country in Asian region even in the world because Indonesia is the fourth biggest population country in the world or its population reaches 250 millions. In his view, there are three contributing factors that make Indonesia a big country, that is, economic regulation system, infrastructure and human resources which made the most important part of advancement of a country.  “We invited students at Jambi University to come to study overseas especially in England. We provided many scholarship schemes, and I saw students in this university were smart and eager to see future,” he commented. On the other hand, the Rector of Jambi University, Prof. H. Johni Najwan, S.H., M.H., Ph.D stated that the coming of British Ambassador to UNJA was expected to give hope to UNJA in this matter was scholarship cooperation. He greatly hoped that there would be a student exchange program with universities in England. Besides that,...

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               Building and sustaining collaboration in cross sector e-learning development         
    Timmons, Stephen and Wharrad, Heather and Vezyridis, Paraskevas and Randle, Jacqueline and Lymn, Joanne and Bath-Hextall, Fiona (2010) Building and sustaining collaboration in cross sector e-learning development. In: Interprofessional e-learning and collaborative work: practices and technologies. IGI Global, Hershey, pp. 166-175. ISBN 9781615208890
              Aplikasi MyTeksi banyak membantu pengguna        
    Sebut je Teksi K.L berapa ramai yang mengeluh,pasti akan ada pelbagai rungutan daripada pengguna. Tetapi hari ini seiring dengan peningkatan Teknologi yang berkembang seiring dengan peningkatan telefon pintar sebuah syarikat tampil dengan menyediakan perkhidmatan tempahan teksi melalui telefon pintar.

    Menggunakan aplikasi tempahan teksi, pengguna tidak lagi perlu menunggu lama, ini kerana aplikasi ini lebih banyak membantu pengguna untuk mendapatkan perkhidmatan dengan lebih pantas dan kadar yang sepatutnya mengikut meter.

    Aplikasi yang dinamakan MyTeksi ini turut dilengkapi dengan sistem penentu kedudukan global (GPS) dan itu merupakan yang pertama seumpamanya di negara ini dengan ini pengguna yang telah membuat tempahan teksi dapat mengetahui berapa lama masa yang diambil oleh pemandu untuk sampai.

    Aplikasi ini dapat diperolehi melalui App Store untuk pengguna iPhone dan Google Play untuk pengguna Android.

              Freeride World Tour athlete wants you to visit his home nestled among Norway’s beautiful fjords        

    Freeride World Tour athlete Wille Lindberg didn’t realize how much his life would change when he first arrived in Jondal, Norway in May 2016. “I was a bit tired of [competing],” recalls Lindberg, a Lange and Dynastar sponsored athlete with multiple podium appearances during his five years on the global circuit, “I wanted to approach […]

    The post Freeride World Tour athlete wants you to visit his home nestled among Norway’s beautiful fjords appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.

              Event in Vienna Marking International Anti-corruption Day        
    Marking International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December), the inaugural Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Anti-Corruption Excellence Award was presented in Vienna to recognize significant global efforts to combat corruption. At a ceremony attended by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar; Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; and Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), awards were presented in four categories: innovation, research, youth creativity and lifetime achievement. The Award was established by the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption Center (ROLACC) based in Doha, Qatar.

    Secretry-General Ban (shown on screens) speaking during the award ceremony.
              Event in Vienna Marking International Anti-corruption Day        
    Marking International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December), the inaugural Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Anti-Corruption Excellence Award was presented in Vienna to recognize significant global efforts to combat corruption. At a ceremony attended by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar; Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; and Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC, awards were presented in four categories: innovation, research, youth creativity and lifetime achievement. The Award was established by the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption Center (ROLACC) based in Doha, Qatar.

    The the Amir of Qatar (centre) and Secretary-General Ban (centre right) with the award recipients during the ceremony.
              Event in Vienna Marking International Anti-corruption Day        
    Marking International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December), the inaugural Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Anti-Corruption Excellence Award was presented in Vienna to recognize significant global efforts to combat corruption. At a ceremony attended by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar; Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; and Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC, awards were presented in four categories: innovation, research, youth creativity and lifetime achievement. The Award was established by the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption Center (ROLACC) based in Doha, Qatar.

    The Secretary-General (centre left) and the Amir of Qatar (centre right) during the award ceremony. Also pictured: Mr. Ban’s wife, Yoo Soon-taek (second from left) and Mr. Fedotov (third from right).
              Event in Vienna Marking International Anti-corruption Day        
    Marking International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December), the inaugural Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Anti-Corruption Excellence Award was presented in Vienna to recognize significant global efforts to combat corruption. At a ceremony attended by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar; Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; and Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC, awards were presented in four categories: innovation, research, youth creativity and lifetime achievement. The Award was established by the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption Center (ROLACC) based in Doha, Qatar.

    The Secretry-General speaking during the award ceremony.
              Event in Vienna Marking International Anti-corruption Day        
    Marking International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December), the inaugural Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Anti-Corruption Excellence Award was presented in Vienna to recognize significant global efforts to combat corruption. At a ceremony attended by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar; Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; and Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC, awards were presented in four categories: innovation, research, youth creativity and lifetime achievement. The Award was established by the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption Center (ROLACC) based in Doha, Qatar.

    The Secretary-General presenting one of the awards, as the Amir of Qatar looks on.
              Baaziz @ dimanche 20 novembre 2016, 11:57        
    Suite aux derniers classements de US news (, l'idée de fusion des universités au Maroc peut être une solution pour grimper dans les rangs. L'exemple de l'actuelle Université Mohammed V (fusion de 2 universités précédentes, Agdal et Souissi) en est un exemple. L'université Mohamed V a occupé le rang 15 en Afrique. Ce sont toujours les Universités anglophones qui enregistrent les meilleurs classements. Lire l'article du 13 Novembre 2016 'Les world rankings, un gage d’excellence pour les universités', lien: La nouvelle gouvernance des universités semble donner ses premiers fruits. Pour la première fois de son histoire le nom d’une université marocaine figure dans le classement mondial de l’US News and World Report Global Ranking. Et c’est l’Université Mohammed V qui a pu réaliser ce sacre en se plaçant première au Maroc et au Maghreb, 15e en Afrique et 866e dans le monde.
               Lineages of a British international political economy         
    Clift, Ben and Rosamond, Ben (2009) Lineages of a British international political economy. In: Blyth, Mark, (ed.) Routledge handbook of International Political Economy (IPE) IPE as a global conversation. London ; New York: Routledge, pp. 95-111. ISBN 9780415771269
               Disciplinarity and the political economy of transformation: the epistemological politics of globalization studies         
    Rosamond, Ben. (2006) Disciplinarity and the political economy of transformation: the epistemological politics of globalization studies. Review of International Political Economy, Vol.13 (No.3). pp. 516-532. ISSN 0969-2290
               Globalization, the ambivalence of European integration and the possibilities for a post-disciplinary EU studies         
    Rosamond, Ben. (2005) Globalization, the ambivalence of European integration and the possibilities for a post-disciplinary EU studies. Innovation , Vol.18 (No.1). pp. 23-43. ISSN 1351-1610
               Regions in comparative perspective         
    Breslin, Shaun, Higgott, Richard A. and Rosamond, Ben (2002) Regions in comparative perspective. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation. Working papers (University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation) (No.107).
               Europe: regional laboratory for a global polity?         
    Jørgensen, Knud Erik and Rosamond, Ben (2001) Europe: regional laboratory for a global polity? Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation. Working papers (University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation) (No.71/).
               Europeanization and discourses of globalization: narratives of external structural context in the European Commission         
    Rosamond, Ben (2000) Europeanization and discourses of globalization: narratives of external structural context in the European Commission. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation. Working papers (University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation) (No.51/).
              Clinical Data Specialist (Especialista de Datos Clínicos)        
    MSD - Bogotá DC - Clinical Data Specialist (Especialista de Datos Clínicos)-CLI006233 Descripción Descripción: MSD es un líder global de la salud con un portafolio diverso de medicamentos de venta con receta, vacunas y productos de salud animal. Hoy estamos construyendo una nueva clase de co...
              10:23 announces global homeopathic ‘overdose’ challenge        
    In the latest move in their campaign against the quackery of homeopathy, 10:23 have announced their plans for next year: a global “overdose” of homeopathic products, scheduled for February. This will follow up the original overdose event from last year, which saw around 400 people take part in a somewhat spontaneous worldwide ‘overdose’, intended to ...
              Still feel unhappy with the Turnbull Government's policies on underground, land surface and marine waters? So you should        

    “Dead zones are hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas in the world's oceans and large lakes, caused by "excessive nutrient pollution from human activities coupled with other factors that deplete the oxygen required to support most marine life in bottom and near-bottom water.” [US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration]

    Every Northern Hemisphere Spring this dead zone occurs in the Gulf of Mexico and increases in size over time.

    It is only one of more than 400 hypoxic areas world-wide which were mapped in 2008.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), Andrew H. Altieri et al, 2017, Tropical dead zones and mass mortalities on coral reefs:

    Oxygen-starved coastal waters are rapidly increasing in prevalence worldwide. However, little is known about the impacts of these “dead zones” in tropical ecosystems or their potential threat to coral reefs. We document the deleterious effects of such an anoxic event on coral habitat and biodiversity, and show that the risk of dead-zone events to reefs worldwide likely has been seriously underestimated. Awareness of, and research on, reef hypoxia is needed to address the threat posed by dead zones to coral reefs.

    Degradation of coastal water quality in the form of low dissolved oxygen levels (hypoxia) can harm biodiversity, ecosystem function, and human wellbeing. Extreme hypoxic conditions along the coast, leading to what are often referred to as “dead zones,” are known primarily from temperate regions. However, little is known about the potential threat of hypoxia in the tropics, even though the known risk factors, including eutrophication and elevated temperatures, are common. Here we document an unprecedented hypoxic event on the Caribbean coast of Panama and assess the risk of dead zones to coral reefs worldwide. The event caused coral bleaching and massive mortality of corals and other reef-associated organisms, but observed shifts in community structure combined with laboratory experiments revealed that not all coral species are equally sensitive to hypoxia. Analyses of global databases showed that coral reefs are associated with more than half of the known tropical dead zones worldwide, with >10% of all coral reefs at elevated risk for hypoxia based on local and global risk factors. Hypoxic events in the tropics and associated mortality events have likely been underreported, perhaps by an order of magnitude, because of the lack of local scientific capacity for their detection. Monitoring and management plans for coral reef resilience should incorporate the growing threat of coastal hypoxia and include support for increased detection and research capacity.

    Anyone still in favour of allowing an expansion of coal mining in the Galilee Basin, Queensland?

    Anyone still comfortable with the amount of agricultural/industrial run-off into the Great Barrier Reef, marine protected areas and Australian coastal waters, which is allowed under state and federal policies?

    It’s not just our rivers and aquifers which are suffering from political inaction and vested interest greed.


    The Australian Government’s OzCoasts website states:

    A reduction in dissolved oxygen concentrations is amongst the most important effects of eutrophication on aquatic organisms [4]. Hypoxia can cause direct mortality, reduced growth rates and altered behaviour and distributions of fish [4] and other organisms. In addition, bottom-water hypoxia can interact with elevated water temperatures at the surface to produce a "temperature-oxygen squeeze" effect, which can greatly reduce the amount of summer habitat available for some species [12]. Eggs and larvae of fish (and crustaceans) may be particularly susceptible to this effect because these life history stages are less able to avoid unfavourable conditions, and because they live in near shore areas, such as estuaries, where too-high water temperatures and too-low oxygen conditions often occur [5]. Changes in fish assemblages and crustaceans in response to hypoxia and & anoxia can render these organisms more susceptible to fishing pressure, and can increase the abundance of non-targeted species in by-catch [4].

    Dissolved oxygen status also influences the uptake or release of nutrients from sediment. When oxygen is depleted, the nitrification pathway is blocked, and efficiencies may be lowered. As a consequence, more nutrients (e.g. nitrogen and phosphorous) are released from the sediment in bio-available forms [7]. These nutrients help to sustain algal blooms, and therefore continue the supply organic matter to the sediments [7]. With organic matter (energy) diverted from invertebrate consumption to microbial decomposition, the natural pattern of energy flow is altered, and pelagic and opportunistic species are favoured [8]. Indeed, an increased ratio of planktivore:demersal fish biomass is an important effect of eutrophication [11]. Low bottom water oxygen concentrations are also conducive to the build-up of toxic compounds such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia gas, which can also be harmful to benthic organisms and fish. Even short-lived anoxic events can cause the mass mortality of fish and benthic organisms [10].

    Overall, anoxic and hypoxic events can cause large reductions in the abundance, diversity and harvest of fish in affected waters [4], and can contribute to an overall loss of bio-diversity[9]. However, the extent to which bottom water anoxia causes declines in overall fish production depends on a balanced between the negative and positive and effects of eutrophication in the full spectrum of habitats within the system [4]……

    Major research institutions, universities and government (local and State) agencies gather oxygen data for specific research studies. Some information on anoxic and hypoxic events in Australian coastal waterways was compiled during the National Land & Water Resources Audit. In most cases, no data was available. However, localised or short-lived periods of hypoxia were reported in the Derwent and Huon estuaries (TAS) and in the Tuggerah Lakes (NSW). Prolonged and extensive anoxia is experienced in the Gippsland Lakes.


    Anoxia is an extreme form of hypoxia.

              Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 launched in 9.7 and 8-inch screen sizes        
    Samsung has launched two new Galaxy S2 tablets featuring 8-inch and 9.7-inch displays. Both the tablets will be available in global markets starting August. The device is claimed to be the...

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              Dombeck receives Ansel Adams Award for leadership in protecting National Forests        

    WASHINGTON — Former U.S. Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck will receive the Ansel Adams Award from The Wilderness Society Thursday night for his major role in protecting the national forests.

    "Mike was a game-changer,” said William H. Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society. “He restored balance to the management of our 155 national forests, making clean water, recreation, and fish and wildlife priorities, as the law requires. He was the main architect of the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which prevented logging and road building across 58.5 million acres of our national forests. It was the capstone of a quarter century of sterling public service with federal land management agencies.”

    A native of Wisconsin with a Ph.D. in fisheries biology, Dombeck served three years as acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management before President Clinton appointed him Forest Service chief in 1997. No other person has lead both of this nation’s largest land management agencies.

    Since leaving the government in 2001, Dombeck has been a University of Wisconsin System Fellow and a professor of global conservation at the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He also directs the Smith Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Conservation Biology.

    “Mike was, in my view, the most independent chief that the Forest Service has had since Gifford Pinchot himself,” said Dr. Jerry Franklin, a University of Washington professor often described as “the father of modern forestry.” Pinchot was the first chief, serving from 1898 to 1910. “Mike broke out of the mold and did really innovative things. He did that by design and force of will,” said Franklin, a long-time member of The Wilderness Society’s Governing Council.

    “As our country grows, we continue to chip away at our wild places, losing acre by acre, day after day,” said Dombeck. “Protecting the remaining roadless areas of our national forests is perhaps this nation’s last opportunity to keep our few remaining wild places intact.

    “They are important habitats and anchor points for native plants and animals in the face of a changing climate. These remote areas provide some of the last best hunting and fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities with at least a measure of solitude. In today’s fast-paced society, these are the places where future generations might experience the land as their forefathers did. It has been a privilege for me to have a career working with people who care deeply about the health of the land. They are the ones who have earned this award.”

    The award that Dombeck will receive is named for the celebrated photographer who, until his death, was an outspoken advocate for safeguarding the nation’s natural heritage. “It is noteworthy that Mike is the third winner from Wisconsin,” Meadows pointed out. The award was presented to Congressman David Obey (D) in 2000 and to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson in 1990. Nelson served the state as a governor and U.S. Senator and spent the final 24 years of his life as counselor of The Wilderness Society.

    Other winners of the Ansel Adams Award include former Congressman Mo Udall (D-NM), former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, President Jimmy Carter, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME), Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT), and former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus.

    The Wilderness Society is the leading public-lands conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 500,000 members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 110 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.

    For a hi-res photo of Dombeck, contact

    May 18, 2010

              Osborne's attempt to discredit Robin Hood Tax is a bit rich        
    George Osborne has complained to his fellow European finance ministers that they're wasting time debating a financial transaction tax because he believes pensioners will pay for it rather than bankers.

    Good to see our Chancellor fighting the cause for pensioners. He's always got their interests at heart. Like when he changed the rate of indexation from RPI to CPI costing pensioners on average between £2,250 and £2,500 per year and wiping off £75 billion off the value of private sector pensions. Not to mention the millions of public sector workers his government are currently seeking to make work longer and pay more for less pension.

    It is somewhat galling therefore that he seeks to reject a progressive tax that would raise £30bn to fight poverty by painting himself as some kind of defender of pensioners.

    He doesn't see the point of discussing it as it will not be unilaterally agreed. He ignores a report by Bill Gates that cites that the tax would work even if it wasn't agreed by all countries. He ignores faith leaders such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Pope and Desmond Tutu, and he ignores a global movement of more than 220 million people who are calling for it to help the world's poor and allow the banks to atone for creating the current financial crisis.

    France, Germany and Brazil among others can hold their heads up high in the knowledge that their government's back this tax. I for one am ashamed that my government doesn't just not support it, but out-rightly seeks to disingenuously undermine it.

    Again, Osborne is out to protect the interests of the wealthy few rather than the millions suffering from poverty.

    The Robin Hood Tax campaign does a good job of refuting Osborne's bias against the tax on their website.

              Ed Balls calls for growth but criticises pension strikes        
    Good to see Ed Balls offering a message of hope at today’s Labour Party conference as an alternative to the Tories’ message of doom. Pity he chose to undermine the unions strategy for defending their members’ pensions.
    He was at his best when taking on the Tory belief of “private always good, public always” and challenging the government to take up an alternative economic strategy, talking up measures that would promote growth instead of their over-reliance on austerity.
    It was particularly interesting to hear how he chose to attack Osborne and Cameron’s economic strategy on the international front:

    “Confronted with the biggest most urgent global challenge of our age, all they can do is urge other countries to pile austerity on austerity too… ignoring the lessons of history and the evidence here in Britain, and across the world, that austerity just isn't working. That is not just a failure of leadership – it is a complete abdication of responsibility too.”
    The lessons in history he no doubt alludes to are how, during a time of an even worse national debt, the Labour Party was able to introduce the welfare state, NHS, state pensions, and comprehensive education.
    Balls could have gone further on these reasons for Labour to be proud. Unfortunately, on the subject of pensions, he chose to criticise the unions for standing up to the government’s (as he put it) “confrontational and unfair” pension changes. He reiterated the party’s leadership’s belief that the decision to strike would be walking into a trap and that “there is nothing George Osborne would like better than a strike this autumn to divert attention from his failing economic plan.”
    He said that under Labour pensions contributions and retirement ages would be going up anyway. Why? Was he inviting us to question – whose side are you on Ed? Are you really looking out for the ordinary working people you spoke of today that are struggling to make ends meet who need hope of a better way? You must realise many of these people are the same people you’re criticising for having the audacity for taking a stand against having their pension rights torn up.
    Public sector pensions were made more affordable under the last Labour government. Surely that’s something he could be claiming credit for rather than saying he’d cut them as well!
    It’s good to see the Labour Party going on the offensive against the Tory austerity measures and calling for the immediate need for growth. However, the party’s leaders need to realise, if strikes do go ahead in November and they fail to support the workers, many of these traditional Labour supporters may never forgive them.

              Bill Gates backs Robin Hood Tax        
    Philanthropists don't always go heavy on calling for taxation but campaigners calling for a financial transaction tax received a huge boost today after Bill Gates backed the idea.

    Gates will present a report to the G20 when they meet in Cannes this November to recommend that a Robin Hood Tax would raise substantial revenue for aid and development.

    A critical part of his findings as far as the UK government are concerned is that he says such a tax would work whether it was implemented unilaterally or by a small number of countries.

    As Larry Elliott points out in today's Guardian this blows a hole in George Osborne's theory that the levy would need to be globally agreed to be workable.

    This has been our government's main excuse against backing other leading European countries calls for the tax. Gates's report should make it harder for Osborne to wriggle out of it now. Let's hope so - hundreds of billions of dollars a year could be raised from it.
              Video Vancouver: Canuck and I        
    Meet Canuck – a wild crow who formed an unlikely bond with his human friend, Shawn. The mischievous crow has captured the hearts of Vancouverites and garnered global attention through his antics. TELUS STORYHIVE supports compelling, original stories told by filmmakers from BC and Alberta by providing production funding, training and exposure to new audiences.
              Competitive Dialogue and Negotiated Procedures: A Practical Guide – 2nd edition - by Michael Burnett with Martin Oder        

    Since the first edition of the book the use of Competitive Dialogue has been influenced by both changes on how public contracts are awarded arising from the 2014 Public Procurement Directives and the continuing impact of the global financial crisis on award procedures for PPP projects at a time when private finance is increasingly seen as central to the modernisation of European infrastructure. Yet objective advice for decision makers about how to award complex contracts, however they are financed, remains hard to find.

    Cutting through the jargon and misconceptions, this book is an independent guide for all those in Europe facing the challenge of awarding complex contracts effectively to secure value for money for the public sector.

    The continuing experience of the authors is that good practice in the application of Competitive Dialogue and Negotiated Procedures will often be very similar. Thus in this second edition the scope of the book includes consideration of Negotiated Procedures.

    Written from a public sector perspective, the book has two main audiences. i.e.:

    • European decision makers from the legislative and judicial branch of government responsible for creating and implementing an appropriate legal framework at EU level for Competitive Dialogue and Negotiated Procedures.
    • Politicians, public officials and their professional advisers in the EU currently facing choices about when and how to use Competitive Dialogue and Negotiated Procedures in a way which maximises legal certainty and the likelihood of achieving value for money.

    The book both explains the legal framework for the application of Competitive Dialogue and Negotiated Procedures and gives practical guidance for all stages of the award procedure on how best to exercise the choices available within the legal framework.

    It also sets out an agenda for future use of Competitive Dialogue and Negotiated Procedures after the 2014 Public Procurement Directives, with actions at EU and national level.

    The stakes in terms of the need to modernise Europe’s transport, energy and digital infrastructure and the effective implementation of key European policies, such as compliance with environmental legislation and the completion of the Internal Market, at an affordable cost remain too high for it to fail.

    This book is exclusively available in the seminar Competitive Dialogue and Negotiated Procedures Master Class

              Auf der Suche nach Exzellenz in der kommunalen öffentlichen Verwaltung – Sieben Wege zum Erfolg - by Julia Bosse, Alexander Heichlinger, Emanuele Padovani, Jan Ole Vanebo        

    Ein gut funktionierender kommunaler öffentlicher Sektor ist die Grundlage für Wohlstand und Wachstum. Derzeit sind Städte mit erheblichen Zwängen und Herausforderungen konfrontiert, zum Beispiel mit dem demographischen Wandel, einer kulturell zunehmend vielfältigen Bevölkerung, den Auswirkungen neuer Technologien, sozialer Polarisierung und Segregation, Zersiedelung und drohenden Schäden der städtischen Ökosysteme. Zudem stellen die Schwierigkeiten des Wirtschaftssystems für viele Gemeinden aufgrund der Globalisierungsdynamik der Ökonomien eine Realität dar. Dadurch wird das vielen in der Kommunalpolitik Tätigen bekannte Problem, „mit weniger mehr erreichen“ zu müssen, verschärft.

    In diesem Buch werden sieben europäische Städte untersucht, verglichen und einander gegenübergestellt, die erfolgreich kreative und exzellente Lösungen umgesetzt haben: Bilbao (ES), Birmingham (UK), Mannheim (DE), Mailand (IT), Tallinn (EE), Tampere (FI), und Trondheim (NO). Dazu wird sowohl ein solider wissenschaftlicher Vergleich als auch eine eher praktische Untersuchung der einzelnen Fälle („das Making-of“ ) vorgenommen. Schließlich werden sieben Schritte vorgestellt, die zu Exzellenz führen.

    Für jeden Fall werden zunächst der Hintergrund, die Strategieentwicklung, der „Weg“, das Verwaltungskontrollsystem und die Finanzverwaltung, die Ergebnisse und die Innovationskraft (wichtige Triebkräfte und Voraussetzungen) untersucht. Diese Erfolgsgeschichten aus verschiedenen Bereichen der kommunalen öffentlichen Verwaltung - von umfassenden wirtschaftlichen Veränderungsprozessen vor Ort zu kleineren Bottom-up-Projekten - sollen anderen Städten als Beispiel dafür dienen, dass es unterschiedliche Wege zu intelligenten Lösungen gibt. Was offen bleibt, ist die Frage, ob sie bereit sind, diese Herausforderung anzunehmen.

    Auch auf Englisch und auf Spanisch erhältlich.

              En busca de la excelencia en la gestión pública local - Siete caminos al éxito - by Julia Bosse, Alexander Heichlinger, Emanuele Padovani, Jan Ole Vanebo        
    El buen funcionamiento del sector público local es clave para la prosperidad y el crecimiento económico. Actualmente, las ciudades se enfrentan a numerosos retos como el cambio demográfico, la creciente diversidad cultural,  el progreso tecnológico, la desigualdad y segregación social, la expansión urbana y la creciente presión sobre los ecosistemas urbanos. Además, muchos sistemas locales atraviesan dificultades económicas como consecuencia de la globalización. Esto agrava el ya conocido problema al que se enfrentan los administradores locales de "hacer más con menos".

    Este libro analiza y compara siete ciudades europeas – Bilbao (ES), Birmingham (UK), Mannheim (DE), Milán (IT), Tallin (EE), Tampere (FI), y Trondheim (NO) – que deben su éxito a la adopción de medidas innovadoras y de excelencia. Con este fin, se combina un riguroso método de análisis  con un estudio práctico de los casos (el "Making of..."). Por último, describe los siete pasos para alcanzar la excelencia en la gestión pública local.

    Cada caso analiza los antecedentes, desarrollo de estrategias, el camino al éxito, los sistemas de control de gestión y económico, los resultados obtenidos y el poder de innovación (los principales factores de éxito). Las historias de éxito se centran en diferentes áreas de la gestión pública local – desde procesos integrales de cambio a proyectos a pequeña escala – con el objetivo de demostrar a otras ciudades que existen numerosas soluciones. Lo único que queda por saber es: ¿se atreverán a hacerlo?

    Disponible en inglés y en alemán

              In Search of Local Public Management Excellence - Seven Journeys to Success - by Julia Bosse, Alexander Heichlinger, Emanuele Padovani, Jan Ole Vanebo        

    A well-functioning local public sector is the cornerstone for prosperity and growth. Cities are being confronted by significant pressures and challenges, such as demographic change, an increasingly culturally diverse population, the impact of new technologies, social polarisation and segregation, urban sprawl, and environmental threats to the urban ecosystems. More importantly, the difficulties of the economic system are a reality for many local communities due to the dynamics of globalisation of economies. This exacerbates the well-known problem faced by local policymakers and managers of ‘doing more with less’.

    This book seeks to examine, compare and contrast seven European cities – Bilbao (ES), Birmingham (UK), Mannheim (DE), Milan (IT), Tallinn (EE), Tampere (FI), and Trondheim (NO) – which have proven their success in adopting creative and excellent solutions. This is done by combining a solid scientific approach of comparison, with a more practical examination of the cases (‘...the making of…’). It concludes by presenting seven steps leading to excellence.

    Each case is first analysed in terms of background, strategy development, ‘journey’, management control system and financial management, results, and innovation power (key drivers and enablers). These success stories from different areas of local public management – from comprehensive local business-change processes, to smaller and bottom-up projects – aim to show other cities that various routes to smart solutions are possible. The only thing left to find out is: are they ready to take on the challenge?

    Also available in Spanish and German

              Comentário sobre Esquecemos as palavras de Jesus e o mundo se encheu de ódio, afirma evangelista Billy Graham por Florentino Pedro Junior        
    Artigo PALAVRAS DE UM EVANGÉLICO QUE E "ADORADOR DE DEUS," NÃO RELIGIOSO! Quando uma pessoa, desiludida por o engano do mundo, deseja ter um encontro com Deus, para onde é que ela (e) se dirige primeiro?Para uma Igreja Cristã! Por quê? Porque ela (e) crê que ali o Senhor Jesus esta presente! Mas, se nessa Igreja tanto os pastores quanto os membros não resplandecerem a imagem do Senhor Jesus, como aquela pessoa será salva? E bem verdade que aqueles que pensam que podem matar a comunhão com o Senhor Jesus do lado de fora da Igreja não têm a mínima idéia do prejuízo que estão causando a si mesmo. Esta fora do convívio da Igreja é o mesmo que tentar criar peixes fora d’água. Mas também é verdade que a Igreja tem a obrigação de manifestar a glória do Senhor Jesus Cristo,conforme ele mesmo disse:”vos sois o sal da terra; ora, se o sal vier a ser insípido,como lhe restaurar o sabor? Para nada mas presta se não para,lançada fora pisado pelos homens (Mateus 5:13) O Sal tem duas funções: Dar sabor e conservar. O pastor tem a responsabilidade não só de manifestar a presença de Deus no mundo, como testemunho do Senhor Jesus, mas também se conservar imune ao pecado, sendo um cristão cristalino, já que o pecado não tem domínio sobre ele: Porque o pecado não terá domínio sobre vós. Pois não estais debaixo da Lei, e sim da graça (Romanos 6:14). A Bíblia nos ensina a termos cuidado com os julgamentos a respeito ao nosso próximo... Jesus disse: ”Eu não julgo. A palavra que vos tenha ensinado estais vos julgará no último dia”(João 12:47-48).Jesus queria nos ensinar sobre relacionamento. Quem tem condições reais de nos julgar é o Senhor Jesus! Temos que ter bom relacionamento com o próximo orar por todos,por que só o Senhor conhece o coração do Homem.O Ser humano julga pelo que vê pela aparência. O Senhor, contudo, disse a Samuel: "Não considere sua aparência nem sua altura, pois eu o rejeitei. O Senhor não vê como o homem: o homem vê a aparência, mas o Senhor vê o coração". (I Samuel 16: 17), mas o Senhor pelo que estão no coração do indivíduo. Se o Homem utilizasse mais do AMOR que o Senhor colocou em seus corações evitaria muitas animosidades, ovelhas saindo da Igreja sem que os seus lideres se preocupe por que saiu ou se afastou, ou estiver enfermos, hospitalizados por dias ou quem sabe, por anos sem que os seus lideres vim esse a compará-los com oração,com visitação.As Igrejas hoje prega-se muito amor, e desconhecem o que dizer AMOR, que diz e: Sentimento que predispõe alguém a desejar o bem de outrem,sentimento de dedicação absoluta de um ser a outro. O Ser humano sempre tem tendência de ir para o mais forte ou mais fraco, porque sempre julga na base da emoção, interesse, aparência ou amizade. É assim que saem muitos ver-editos, eu conheço este; e nada sei sobre aquele ,e assim por diante.É por isso que a Bíblia diz: “Enganoso e o coração do Homem quem o conhecerá, a resposta surge logo: só Deus”! (Jeremias 17: 9) E isso mesmo meus amados, só o Senhor conhece o seu interior, você não sabe como se portará diante de alguma situações inesperada destas que muitas ocasiões você pensa que está preparado, mais na hora de tomar atitude,surge reações que lhe surpreende,você não conhecia que tal reação poderia ter vindo do seu interior.Você não se conhece amado Pastor(a)! Como poderia então julgar o próximo? Fundamentado em passagens sobre a vida dele? Mas que passagens? As que lhe mostram, as que os seus olhos ressaltam? Sua experiência? Sua formação acadêmica? Seu diploma de filosofia, teologia, psicologia e por ai segue uma imensa lista. Nada disso nos permite conheceremos o coração do ser humano. E pedimos ao Senhor que tenha misericórdia de nos! “Jesus falou: Sem mim “NADA” podeis fazer (João 15:5) sabe o que significa “NADA” no grego, Hebraico, aramaico ou mesmo no Latim? É NADA MESMO! NADA? Nossa vida tem que estar no Senhor, por que em qualquer circunstância possamos contar com sua proteção.Pois o maior inimigo(ao contrario do que dizem por ai que e o maligno,a ele se expulsa em nome e no sangue de JESUS! Por que o Senhor já o venceu, e ele sai),que temos somos nos mesmos! Ensinamento de Jesus: Entra no teu quarto...”na tua vida te examina!(Mateus 6:6), ama ao teu próximo “como a ti mesmo...! (Mateus 22:37-39 ) Em outras palavras,estão tentando encobrir os seus maus hábitos com obras,iludino a si mesmo. A igreja de Efésios manifestava um trabalho quantitativo,e não qualitativo. A quantidade de serviço apresentada pelo seu responsável não tinha qualidade,porque lhe faltava o primeiro “amor.” Por mais intensas que sejam as tarefas na Igreja, “ não tiver “amor”,nada serei “( I coríntios 13:2)e Senhor Jesus foi bastante claro:tenho,porem, contra ti que abandonaste o teu primeiro amor(Apocalipse 2:4).AMOR- O Deus da bíblia,diferente do deus dos estóicos, tem como marca vital o amor e não a “apatheia” ou seja,a incapacidade de sentir.Plutarco disse que quem envolve Deus nas necessidades humanas, não poupa sua majestade nem sustenta a dignidade e a grandeza de sua excelência.Clemente de Alexandria, porém,declarou que Deus é rico em compaixão.Deus,sim, e a mor(Jó 3:16-1 jô 4:7-10); ele da repouso e proteção (Dt 33:12), alegria e suprimento(At.14:17). E o amor de Deus, que transcendente o sentimento, pode ser provado pela entrega sacrificial de Jesus para morrer na cruz em nosso lugar a fim de nos salvar (RM 5:8; EF 2:4-5) Não consigo identificar-me como o determinismo teológico que impera na maioria das Igrejas Evangélicashá um fatalismo disfarçado que enxergar cada mínimo detalhe da existência como parte da província. Minha peregrinação Cristã esta há muito, marcada por rompimentos. O primeiro rachei com a Igreja Católica, onde nasci, fui batizado para casar, casei. Em premonitórias inquietações não aceitava dogmas. “Não podia aceitar” panelinhas “com a sua opinião prontas. Decidimos sair do Catolicismo. Aportei na Igreja Evangélica Batista. “Antes como trabalhava em uma Empresa do Órgão Federal de fiscalização” fui designado para fiscalizar a 1º Igreja Batista do Iguatemi, hoje e a Igreja Mundial,na véspera de carnaval data 14/02/1998, onde aceitei Jesus.Junto com a minha família fomos numa Igreja no barrio que onde moravas, enfronhei em muitas atividades, membro ativo,freqüente a escola dominical,trabalhei na reforma,fui líder dos Cultos dos Homens,participamos de eventos no acampamentos de casais,fizemos tudo o que pude dentro daquela dia 11/12/1998 fui batizado ou melhor, desci as águas no Recanto da Benção em Lauro de Freitas. No cúmulo da vontade de servir o homem e a Jesus. Migramos para outra Igreja Batista que teríamos mudado pra outro barrio, que com o tempo fui consagrado a Obreiro e depois líder de obreiro da Igreja Batista. As decepções não foram suficientes para azedar a minha alma, sequer fortes para roubar a minha vontade de caminhar ao lado de gente humana que ama o próximo. Sinto-me estranhamente atraído à beleza da vida.Não cesso de procurar mentores Vejo-me incapaz de tolerar que o Evangélico se transforme em negócio e o nome de Deus vire marca que vende bem. Não posso aceitar, passivamente, que tentem converter os cristãos em consumidores e a igreja, em balcão de serviços religiosos. Entendo que o movimento evangélico nacional se apequenou. Não consegue vencer a tentação de lucrar com empresa. Recuso-me a continuar esmurrando as pontas de facas de uma religião que se molda à babilônia. (Artigo do Pastor da Igreja Betesda autor de vários livros- Ricardo Godim Uma das parábolas mais conhecidas de Jesus é a chamada ”Parábolas do Bom samaritano” (Lucas 10:25-37).Só para recordar: um doutor da Lei queria saber do mestre o que é necessário fazer para se alcançar a vida eterna.Em resposta, Jesus fez com que ele mesmo recordasse os dois grandes mandamentos da Lei de Deus: O Amor a Deus, de todo o coração e com todos as forças, e o amor ao próximo, como a si mesmo.Quando ouviu que devia cumpri-los para, então,viver plenamente, o doutor da Lei,querendo justificar-se,voltou com nova questão:“E quem e o meu próximo? Graças a essa pergunta,temos a tal “parábola do bom samaritano,” criada por Jesus.Antes de tudo, uma observação: a “Parábola era e é um tradicional método de vida, ensinam uma verdade. Na parábola em questão, um homem da Samaria, movido de compaixão, atendeu um homem ferido na estrada. Antes dele, dois outros haviam passado indiferentes por aquele lugar. Depois de ter feito no próprio local os curativos possíveis, o samaritano levou-o para uma hospedaria, completou os curativos e, no dia seguinte, antes de partir, pagou antecipadamente ao hospedeiro a continuação do tratamento. E acrescentou: trata dele e, quanto gastares a mais, na volta te pagarei. ”contada à parábola, foi à vez de Jesus fazer uma pergunta ao doutor da Lei: “Qual desses três parece ter sido o próximo daquele que caiu nas mãos dos ladrões?”respondeu o doutor:” Aquele que usou de misericórdia para com ele.”Então,Jesus lhe disse: vai e fazei tu o mesmo! “vai e fazei tu o mesmo!”Nessa orientação resume-se a doutrina social da Igreja uma doutrina que tem quatro pilares, mas só fala de três. 1- Direito Humano. O ser humano – cada ser humano! Tem um valor inestimável. O homem é a única criatura que Deus quis por si mesma. Por isso, deve ser sempre visto como um fim e nunca como um meio; considerado sempre como sujeito,não como objeto e, menos ainda,como um produto comercial. Dessa visão cristã do ser humano, nascem algumas perguntas: que papel tem os mais francos em nossa sociedade? Os mais incapazes? Os anciãos? Os não nascidos? Os portadores de doenças crônicas? 2- Solidariedade. Cada pessoa tem direito de ser defendida pela sociedade. Quando se trata de uma pessoa que, sozinha, não consegue se reerguer, maior é o direito que tem de receber a atenção de todos – inclusive do Estado. Diante dos desafios de nossa sociedade, há necessidade de respostas criativas. No inicio do cristianismo, os Cristãos punham tudo em comum, procurando ajudar-se mutuamente; na idade media, surgiram ordens religiosas voltadas a pratica da caridade; em séculos recentes, nasceram instituições voltadas para crianças abandonadas, para idosos sem proteção, para doentes sem amparo etc. E hoje? ...Num mundo que se globaliza no campo econômico, devemos defender a globalização da solidariedade. 3- Santidade. Num mundo em que os problemas sociais se multiplicam, a obra que temos pela frente e desproporcional às nossas forças. ”Sem mim, nada podeis, a firmou Jesus. Por isso, precisamos começar por nos mesmos, esforçando-nos por refletir os atos e a imagem de Cristo. Eles não devem substituir o contato pessoal, pois a comunicação é, antes de tudo, relação entre pessoas para criar comunhão, pois Homem é um ser relacional e a comunicação é essencial em sua vida. Mais importante que os meios usados são o comunicador e a mensagem que ele transmite. “Aliás, “este é o sentido da palavra comunicação que vem do Latim” communis” e significa comunidade. Não devemos, pois, nos isolar das pessoas que estão ao nosso lado, nem querer construir um mundo paralelo, diferente daquele em que vivemos. É claro que na qualidade de evangélicos ou líderes espiritual (Pastor) (Pastora) etc. etc. Não pode eximir de visitar suas ovelhas, que por motivos qualquer, que venham afastar-se das igrejas por qualquer motivo injustificável. Hoje os lideres espirituais das Igrejas evangélicas, que não são todos, "contumaz" em não visitar as suas ovelhas perincipalmente por se afastarem por motivos de estado de gravidez, gestação ou se ele ou ela não contribuir com as ofertas ou com os dízimos. E sabido que na qualidade de lideres sabem que oferta e que não oferta, que dizimam e que não dizimam. Os membros que dizimarem os valores excessivos estes terrarão o maior cuidados e atenção dos lideres Espirituais. Se por quaisquer motivos estes membros não marcar a sua presença nos cultos, e imediatamente e procurado no dia seguinte para saber os motivos da sua ausência informando-lhes que fez muita falta nos cultos ou na reunião com se chamada em outras denominações. Veja também como Deus vai novamente conquistar seu povo que dele se tinha afastado Oséias 2,14, em que Deus atrai seu povo para si,o leva ao deserto e lhe fala ao coração. Recebemos uma graduação e especificação na busca de Deus pelos que dele se afastam. Se na da Ovelha perdida é a alegria de Deus por encontrar uma ovelha que se perdeu(qualquer um/uma do rebanho),na da Dracma perdida é alegria pela menor das moedas que é encontrada(pelo ser humano considerado como menor ou mais pequeno=pecador)e na do filho pródigo a alegria e a festa por um filho(alguém que é da sua família),que se arrepende e retorna. Que Deus nos ajude para que saibamos nos deixar iluminar por sua Palavra e por sua Luz e que quando por necessário também for à procura daqueles que estão afastados dele, do seu caminho, da justiça, da paz, da fraternidade e do amor que unem e são a expressão da verdadeira vida cristã. Não há mais tempo para a igreja evangélica brasileira ficar displicente quanto à sua capacitação Bíblicos-teológico-pratica. Os desafios, externos e internos, conforme alguns exemplos expostos são cada vez maiores e mais freqüentes. São, na verdade, ameaças sutis que, num futuro próximo, podem comprometer a relevância das comunidades de fé. É necessário, portanto, um retorno contundente do corpo de Cristo à palavra de Deus. E exatamente neste ponto que tanto a hermenêutica quanto a exegese Bíblia torna-se ferramentas verdadeiramente indispensável. Muitas heresias que infelizmente grassam em denominações também rotuladas de “evangélicas” procedem exatamente de interpretações equivocadas da própria Bíblia. Tenho dito que a Bíblia, embora seja a verdadeira palavra de Deus, pode ser comparada ao veneno de uma víbora: dose exata é remédio, entretanto,quando aplicada fora da medida definida pelo eterno,pode se tornar veneno letal. A mesma Bíblia que levanta alguns tem sido empregada erroneamente e tem derrubado outros; a mesma luz que arrancou milhares de vidas das trevas,quando empregada indevidamente,é capaz de lançar no lago de fogo outro tanto ainda mais expressivo.Por quê? Devido ao seu mau uso! É preciso, então que este retorno à palavra de Deus seja seguido de cuidado especial com a interpretação e aplicação da Bíblia,pois assim ela será fonte de bênção na vida dos seres Humanos.O evangélico não é um livro ocioso.Sua mensagem permeia Céu e Terra urgente que a divina pregação de Jesus realize,mesmo nos territórios em que ela fincou raízes,sua extraordinária missão: civilizar a civilização humana com a vivência do novo mandamento do Cristo: “amai-vos como eu vos amei. Somente assim poderes ser conhecidos como meu discípulo”( Boa nova segundo João 13: 34 e obra da paciência.Já dizia o filósofo que a mais difícil fronteira a ser suplantada e a do cérebro humano.Inclusive nas nações crestais.Mas o ânimo e a vontade de avançar vem do próprio Cristo,que atestou: “Eu venci o mundo! (Evangelho consoante João 16:33). Salvador, 05 de julho de 2011 Florentino Pedro Júnior Adorador de Deus
              Taking the Pulse of European Public Administrations - key Findings of the European Public Sector Award 2009 - by Marga Pröhl, Alexander Heichlinger, Peter Ehn, Melanie Pissarius, Michael Burnett, Anita Rode, Tony Bass, Herma Kuperus        

    During the last 15-20 years the public sector has faced a number of challenges connected to changing socio-economic, environmental and political factors, including among others:

    • Demographic changes such as an ageing population, a diminishing working population and increased immigration;
    • Environmental changes, such as climate changes and shortage of space;
    • Urbanisation including pressure on metropolitan areas, commuting and citizens’ demand for housing;
    • Globalisation, internationalisation and Europeanisation;
    • Diminishing “social capital”, including participation in elections and mistrust towards public administration and public services;
    • The emergence of complex social issues, arising from social fragmentation, not susceptible to single agency action and/or one dimensional responses;
    • Less willingness to increase resources to the public sector, despite higher demands and expectations of citizens for better services.

    These issues are strong drivers for change in Europe’s public administrations and generally cut across traditional boundaries of government departments, and in some cases of the responsibilities of different levels of government; this presents challenges to public administrations in the way they deliver their public services. Consequently, a number of profound reforms have taken place and continue to do so at all levels of public administration. The (ultimate) purpose of the different reforms is to make governments more responsive to society’s changing needs and demands.

              Corporate Responsibility Practitioner Roundup: Kohler        

    While in Detroit for Sustainable Brands, CR Magazine spoke with Robert Zimmerman, director of WaSH (water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) products for Kohler. Rob leads Kohler’s efforts to develop water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) products and services for underserved markets globally. CRMag: As a practitioner, how does telling the Corporate Responsibility (CR) story feel different from […]

    The post Corporate Responsibility Practitioner Roundup: Kohler appeared first on CR Magazine.

              Venezuela is Socialism's Last Nail in the Coffin        

    From a so-called “economic miracle” to a human rights disaster, Venezuela has followed in the footsteps of literally every single socialist or communist country ever with its country in complete collapse. Crime is on the rise, the people are starving, protests are going all throughout the country, and unconfirmed rumors are coming out that President Nicolas Maduro is considering leaving.

    In the never ending desire to achieve an impossible utopia, Venezuela is living in a nightmare that may serve as the best evidence against government mismanagement.

    To be blunt, the people are starving. Roughly 75 percent of the country lost 19 pounds in 2016. This actually coincides with reports that Venezuelans were looking for food in the trash.

    It is not just food that Venezuelans seem to be running out of at the moment. The country is lacking medicine, toilet paper, and even goods for religious sacraments as well. All sorts of goods are disappearing from the country faster and faster.

    Meanwhile, their economy is in complete shambles. At the start of the year, inflation had hit 800 percent while their GDP had shrunk by 19 percent. To make matters worse, 2016 marked its third year of recession.

    Of course, the elite of the country have not seemed to notice the problems their citizens are facing. Accusations fly of the leaders of Venezuela living luxurious lifestyles despite the recession. Unsurprisingly, reports have the daughter of Venezuela’s last President Hugo Chavez at a networth of $4.2 billion.

    So the big question is: why is Venezuela falling apart? The simplest answer is government mismanagement as it started taking over the economy. Under the watch of Socialists Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro, the socialist leadership in the country has greatly increased its influence in economic affairs, resulting in decreased investment, business failures, and scarcity.

    Over the past decade and a half, the Venezuelan government has nationalized multiple industries, including oil, agriculture, finance, steel, electricity, and telecommunications. Unsurprisingly, this led to significant ruin in the various industries it controlled, especially oil. Case in point, the Chavez regime largely underfunded the investment necessary to bring about increased oil production.

    Large portions of oil revenues were transferred to generous social programs but there was lackluster reinvestment to make sure that more oil was produced to keep revenue flowing. As a result, oil production starting dropping consistently after 2007 which saw a major decline in revenue (and helped lead to the debt that caused hyper inflation). Additionally, Chavez demanded more money from oil companies investing in the country and the ones that refused saw their assets seized. With such a clear lack of respect for human rights, it should come as no surprise that foreign investment has been on the decline recently in the country which is also hurting business and revenue.

    To make matters worse, many workers were fired and replaced with government loyalists. In one case, a company that had never created an oil well was hired to create several since it had ties to the government. The lack of experienced workers unsurprisingly has also added to the decline of the oil industry that was a huge part of the government’s revenue.

    Just about every industry the government has touched has fallen apart. Steel production was reduced by 70 percent after it was nationalized, food production has been on the decline while the government redistributed farmland for the production of food the land was not suited for, and the Venezuelan government is instituting blackouts to reduce consumption to reduce electricity use due to decreased supply. Overall, it seems Venezuela is in the process of running its economy into the ground.

    Venezuela has also added newer regulations and laws to improve the economic situation of its country that had the opposite effect. Case in point, the minimum wage was increased recently by 50 percent despite the fact overall wages still decreased by 17 percent. Other reports have increased labor protections actually hurting business while price controls that were implemented to reduce profits and keep prices low also helped to reduce food productions which also helped cause the food crisis. With all this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the number of businesses in Venezuela has gone down from 800,000 in 1998 to 230,000 in 2016, a decline of 570,000.

    It is important to remember though that none of this should even be looked at as being done as a love for the people from the state. As was noted by a former education minister, the goal of the people reforms is “‘not to take the people out of poverty so they become middle class and then turn into escuálidos’ (a derogatory term to denote opposition members).” Translation: it’s not for their benefit but to create a dependent class of supporters.

    For more evidence of how the government does not care about its people, look no further than its human rights records. The Maduro government has been seizing power by stacking the courts with supportive justices and then met the protests against that with violent crackdowns on dissenters. Meanwhile, accusations of sham elections are now flying in the wake of an election referendum to give him the power to rewrite the country’s constitution. In the end, the increase in power has come to the detriment of the people backed by phony promises.

    As is always the case, the promise of helping the people through government intervention completely falls apart. Just like with China and Russia, the result is always economic ruin with the well connected few reaping the benefits. Unfortunately, the US is not free from these mistakes as states like Connecticut or cities like Seattle implementing their own interventions in the economy that results in disaster. If the US wants to head down the path same economic path as Venezuela that leads to destruction and corruption, it will inevitably end there.

    Premessa: è un forte senso di chiusura allo stomaco che mi fa scrivere... e non è tutta questione di fame.

    Il succo è che dovrei cercarmi un lavoretto: prendere un poco di soldi potrebbe darmi un minimo di senso di concretezza, ma anche solo un senso. Potrebbe rendermi autonomo dai miei, dagli annessi sensi di colpa per la vita a sbafo che faccio qui, visto che i miei studi procedono lentissimi (procedono?).

    Con quei soldi potrei poi risolvere un altro problema: la casa. Un monolocale, ad esempio, potrebbe essere tra le soluzioni contemplabili per il settembre prossimo. Il fatto è che non ne posso proprio più della vita in doppia e in appartamento con sconosciuti. Sarà un mio limite, ma non mi ci trovo bene (dopo quattro anni posso proprio dire che è così).

    Ma lavoretto + monolocale + autonomia dai miei è di gran lunga una formula improponibile... Se volessi un monolocale le mie spese aumenterebbero vertiginosamente, e più che un lavoretto mi ci vorrebbero 1000 euro al mese...
    Senza contare che se anche trovassi un lavoro serio (ne avrei voglia?) poi smetterei definitivamente di studiare.

    Ma anche qui: perché non studio? perché ho esami del cazzo (4-5 saranno gli esami davvero impegnativi, gli altri non lo sono proprio) e non riesco a darli?
    Il senso di studiare cose interessanti ma inutili a trovarti un lavoro forse fa la sua parte... Lo smarrimento nel pensare a cosa fare dopo la triennale in storia è brutto. Specialistica in storia, geografia, qualcosa sul giornalismo?
    Poi sì, non ho più voglia di studiare. Ma se non studio che mi invento?

    Ripenso a quando scelsi di iscrivermi a storia... L'idea di iscrivermi ad informatica mi sfiorò solo per pochissimo, quella di restare in casa anche per meno.
    Oggi rifarei le stesse scelte?

    Per Bologna sì, ad occhi chiusi... informatica pure oggi mi perplime, ma magari sarebbe stato più saggio. O forse no, ormai è tardi.
    Chissà se c'è richiesta di storici-informatici nel mondo del lavoro :)

    Ascoltando Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros, Global a go-go
              MERCADO MOTOCICLÍSTICO 2006-2007        
    Nº273 ANECRA Setembro 2008
    Literalmente na cauda da Europa, Portugal parece dar sinais de por lá querer continuar no que ao sentido figurado da expressão concerne. O mercado motociclístico, ainda que palidamente a recuperar, não é – de todo – excepção.

    O ano de ouro deste sector aconteceu em 1999. Com mais de dezanove mil motos matriculadas, nunca mais a história se repetiu. Hoje, quase uma década depois, os sintomas vaticinam que a façanha não torne a acontecer, pelo menos a breve trecho. Em 2002 e 2003 as quedas ocorreram, inclusivamente, a compassos de dois dígitos percentuais. Em 2006 o ciclo inverteu-se timidamente, com uma recuperação de 2%. Entre outros contributos, essa recuperação também sucedeu por força da entrada de novos concorrentes no mercado, oriundos do eixo China-Coreia, que com os seus produtos finais de baixo custo conseguiram não só penetrar no nosso mercado, mas, inclusive, expandi-lo minimamente. A nível europeu, por comparação no mesmo período, o nosso país manteve-se à margem da tendência verificada. Onde todos os outros aumentaram, nós reduzimos. Portugal, envolto num cinzentismo conjuntural, continua o cenário perfeito para o fracasso dos mais vulneráveis.

    Este segmento reflecte, ainda que aparentemente, uma tendência diametralmente oposta à vigente no mercado em que está inserido. Parece ter crescido para o dobro de um ano para o outro. É certo que a entrada de fabricantes como a Keeway e a Kymco funcionou como dinamizador comercial, por via da introdução de novos modelos com preços de venda e manutenção muito competitivos, o que, em consequência, fez com que os fabricantes tradicionais e conceituados se vissem compelidos a reorganizar o seu portfolio em articulação com o modus operandi das suas estruturas no terreno. Porém, não estaria esta análise enviesada se não fosse o facto de, até meados de 2006, não haver a obrigatoriedade de registo de matrículas na antiga DGV (agora IMTT) para motos de cilindrada inferior a 50cc. Como era prática corrente, as matrículas até então eram emitidas pelas câmaras municipais, passando, desde essa data, a ser emitidas a nível central. Portanto, a análise de 2006 para 2007 é prejudicada em cerca de seis meses, que foram aqueles em que se venderam motos (ainda com os registos camarários) mas que agora não entram nas estatísticas. Já a análise de 2005 para 2006 seria absurda, pois representaria a transição do nada para o tudo…

    A Keeway resulta numa aposta ganha. Apresenta taxas de crescimento anuais que só são possíveis porque a marca é nova no mercado. Ou seja, a montante, no seu negócio, tudo estava ainda por fazer. Deste modo, tanto a política de preços como a divulgação e promoção dos seus produtos nos fóruns próprios levaram a que rapidamente atingisse o primeiro lugar das vendas com o popular modelo Uricane 50. Perante os factos, somos levados a concluir que os produtos orientais não só chegaram, como também conquistaram o mercado nacional. Esta é, aliás, uma tendência de fundo noutros sectores da nossa economia global.

    O motociclista português está todos os anos um ano mais velho. Não há “sangue novo” a entrar no sistema. O parque mantém-se estável, e com a falta de incentivos (ou com a criação de novos entraves) o “mundo das motos” já não seduz como seduziu em tempos. Uma tímida recuperação será o comentário mais fiel aos números apurados. Já 2006 havia sido um ano de ligeiras melhorias, porém, ambos, encontram-se muito distantes das mais de dezanove mil unidades matriculadas em 1999, o ano de ouro por excelência.

    O modelo campeão de vendas foi a Hornet 600 da Honda, seguido da Yamaha FZ6 e da Suzuki GSXR 1000.

    A preferência dos motociclistas lusos recai, maioritariamente, sobre modelos utilitários ou desportivos. As trail, cruisers e scooters constituem nichos num mercado já de si pequeno. Apesar dos circunstancialismos, o segmento das cruisers parece ter ainda bastante potencial. A atenção do público já se manifesta de forma diferente em relação a estas motos. Os motivos poderão ser de vária ordem, desde a crescente afluência destes modelos aos bike shows (o que suscita alguma curiosidade e admiração), à exibição de programas de tv sobre transformação deste género de motos, passando também pela aposta consistente da Harley-Davidson no marketing institucional e de produto.

    Outro caso que se vai verificando com relativa frequência é o de motociclistas acidentados em motos desportivas que reequacionam o seu percurso, e optam por permanecer nas “duas rodas” aos comandos de “montadas” menos nervosas. É aí que as trail e as cruiser os poderão atrair.

    Por seu turno, para deslocações citadinas, a versatilidade, a economia e a comodidade oferecidas pelas scooters de pequena e média cilindrada, são trunfos de peso para angariar novos adeptos, nesta era em que os custos do quilómetro percorrido e do minuto de estacionamento atingem máximos históricos.

    MOTO4 & ATV
    No segmento dos quadriciclos, a Yamaha, líder por excelência e tradição, foi pela primeira vez destronada. A Suzuki com o seu LTR 450 apoderou-se do primeiro lugar. A razão, segundo o próprio importador, prende-se com o facto de até 2007 a marca não possuir oferta direccionada a este segmento. Uma vez que ela foi disponibilizada, a liderança impôs-se naturalmente. Tanto mais que o segundo modelo no pódio surge sob a mesma insígnia, tratando-se do LTZ 400. A Yamaha aparece em terceiro lugar com o YFM 300.

    Todos os distritos, sem excepção, contribuíram para o aumento de quase dez mil unidades face a 2005. Continuamos a constatar uma predominância de motos no litoral, especialmente mais a norte (excepção feita, claro está, para o distrito de Lisboa, que é o maior concentrador do país). Faro, continua a ser a recordista de motos per capita, com apenas 42 habitantes para cada moto. Em termos absolutos, o Porto supera em dobro as motos de Faro, mas como tem mais do quádruplo da população, a relação final dos habitantes com as motos revela-se, em termos relativos, de menor expressão.

    O mercado europeu, tal como o português, bateu no fundo em 2002. A diferença é que o primeiro, daí em diante, tem sabido recuperar, ao passo que o segundo não. Países como a França, Itália, Reino Unido e Alemanha, historicamente conhecidos pela sua tradição nas duas rodas, não servirão de ponto de comparação. Já a Grécia, Hungria, Lituânia servem na perfeição para estabelecermos analogias que ilustram bem a nossa falta de estratégia e desapego do sector. Actualmente, com percursos de venda ascendentes, estas economias reclamam para si os benefícios (em sentido lato) que um maior parque motociclístico lhes traz. Neste caso, em termos estritamente económicos, o fomento das vendas traduz-se também – e necessariamente – na defesa do tecido empresarial de serviços de reparação e manutenção, o qual é determinante para a independência e autonomia de muitas famílias que dele retiram o seu sustento, contribuindo para os cofres do Estado, em vez de o sobrecarregarem.

    Com as cartas na mesa, as conclusões afiguram-se claras. A China massifica a sua oferta assente, com predominância, no baixo custo em detrimento dos altos padrões de qualidade ou inovação; o mercado português continua mergulhado numa crise e, tanto a nível político como empresarial, não há quem promova medidas de apoio estratégicas. Este problema, a jusante, agravará ainda mais a debilidade do sector e acentuará a distância que nos separa dos restantes modelos sociais e de gestão europeus, que muitas vezes nos orgulhamos de referir, sobretudo quando nos faltam os verdadeiros argumentos para sustentar a riqueza de uma ideia. Ainda assim, com os juros a aumentar, o desemprego em ascensão, a inflação a subir, a carga fiscal a subtrair uma importante fatia do rendimento de singulares e colectivos que pagam impostos, as taxas e emolumentos em serviços do Estado a sofrerem actualizações substanciais, a especulação dos combustíveis, as portagens onerosas em vias de comunicação com investimentos já amortizados (e com custos de exploração comedidos face ao encaixe de proveitos), as obras públicas de interesse questionável, e os salários a reflectirem perda efectiva de poder de compra, ainda assim, dizia eu, o mercado, nestes dois últimos anos, deu mostras de querer espevitar. Citando o reputado economista Dr. João César das Neves a propósito do atraso de Portugal face aos restantes países europeus: «O que este povo não faria se tivesse uma estratégia certa?».
    © Todos os direitos do texto estão reservados para REVISTA ANECRA, uma publicação da ANECRA. Contacto para adquirir edições já publicadas: +351 21 392 90 30.
    © General Moto, by Hélder Dias da Silva 2008

              VESPA - RIGOR, CHARME E SEDUÇÃO        
    Nº207 MOTOCICLISMO Julho 2009
    É fácil encontrar uma Vespa, com três ou quatro décadas, restaurada e pronta a andar. Bem mais difícil, é dar de caras com uma antiguidade dessas e percebê-la ainda melhor, mais requintada, que o próprio original.

    Há, no entanto, quem o ouse e – indiscutivelmente – o consiga. As Vespa que hoje trazemos ao prelo, são veículos do mais puro luxo. Não que tenham diamantes incrustados nas jantes, cabos revestidos a ouro, selins de veludo púrpura, ou comandos em madrepérola assentes numa base de raiz de nogueira. Nada disso. São simples, funcionais, e rejeitam qualquer rococó escusado de altar-mor. Existe, contudo, algo que as distingue das demais, quer em termos estéticos, quer em termos mecânicos. O Sr. Luciano Igreja, minhoto há muito apaixonado pelas Vespa, dedica-se à sua recuperação com esmero e minúcia tais, que se reflectem de forma evidente no resultado final. Das suas mãos, saem veículos que se superam a si próprios quando novos, acabados de sair da fábrica. Estes, porém, saíram da Ciclo Igreja (a sua oficina), sob o olhar omnipresente – quiçá de inveja – da classicíssima Sé de Braga.

    O processo de restauro tanto pode partir de sua iniciativa, como por solicitação de clientes. Muitas vezes, o Sr. Luciano, movido pelo fascínio que nutre por estes insectos com motor, compra as motos no mercado de usados (fazendo uso de contactos que tem, ou da internet), e se o modelo lhe agradar não há distância que o detenha. A Vespa laranja (que vemos nas fotos) veio do Ribatejo, onde a encontrou esquecida algures. As mais das vezes, são clientes que lhe aparecem à porta com as Vespa a “cair de podre” para que a sua habilidade e destreza lhes devolvam o ar jovial de outrora. O cliente tipo situa-se na faixa etária acima dos quarenta anos, e fará desta moto um uso tipicamente recreativo, pese embora muito ocasional. São, maioritariamente, pessoas que cresceram com as Vespa por perto, tendo, inclusivamente, sido proprietárias de alguma numa qualquer fase da vida, e agora, com maior disponibilidade financeira, entregam-se a este pequeno luxo de pagar por um elixir da eterna juventude estética e mecânica.

    A cadência dos trabalhos é aquela que os recursos impõem. O Sr. Luciano está a restaurar, em média, uma Vespa por mês. Este trabalho é absolutamente meticuloso, e quando feito por mãos experientes e dedicadas – como as suas – o resultado salta à vista. «Comecei a reparar e a recuperar as Vespa, as Sachs, as Lambretta, as Casal, e outras, vai para mais de 40 anos», esclarece. «Sei de cor todas as peças do motor», acrescenta. De todas, a sua predilecção recai mesmo sobre as Vespa, como nos explica: «A Vespa é mais suave, tem melhor condução e menos atritos dinâmicos e mecânicos». Sobre o inflacionamento no preço dos modelos vintage, a sua justificação é, também, assertiva e lógica: «Trata-se de uma moto mítica. Por onde quer que passe chama a atenção, pois o design não sai de moda. Depois, são muito resistentes e fiáveis.».

    Desde componentes internos do motor, até aos parafusos mais pequenos, tudo é substituído. «Do velho se faz novo», sublinha. O propósito é o de, no primeiro caso, eliminar ou prevenir avarias, e, no segundo caso, de realçar a estética do veículo. Por exemplo, os parafusos e porcas de ferro originais, são sempre substituídos por equivalentes em aço inoxidável com acabamento cromado. Como nos descreve: «o chassis vai ao jacto de areia, para que com a tinta fora, seja possível encontrar os podres. Caso assim não fosse, por debaixo da tinta velha o material continuaria deteriorado, e passados alguns anos seria necessário intervir outra vez na moto. Depois segue para o chapeiro, para então regressar ao jacto de areia, e só no fim intervém o pintor. E, claro, não se faz pintura a pincel, como muitas vezes se vê», elucida. Na mecânica, o motor é todo revisto com componentes novos (pistão, biela, cruzeta das velocidades, rolamentos, vedantes, juntas, discos de embraiagem, etc.), veios de suspensão, amortecedores e cabos são igualmente substituídos, independentemente do seu estado. Em suma, e como adianta: «As peças de desgaste são todas trocadas. Só assim posso dar dois anos de garantia global pelo restauro».

    As peças provêem maioritariamente de fornecedores originais Vespa, mas há casos mais específicos onde o abastecimento é feito junto de agentes com peças testadas e compatíveis. O investimento em stock é, actualmente, de cerca de 250 mil euros. Tudo em prol de respostas rápidas e eficazes aos seus clientes.

    Em termos mecânicos, o restauro é sempre fiel ao original. Não há tentativas de alterar esta ou aquela prestação. Contudo, no que respeita à estética, as considerações são diferentes, como avança: «Gosto de as pôr superiores ao que eram. Por exemplo, as tampas de motor são todas polidas e cromadas. Nenhuma moto era assim de origem…as tampas era pintadas…mas cromadas causam logo outro impacto…».

    Prémios conquistados vão sendo alguns, tanto em motos suas como de clientes. Mas esta não é uma condição estratégica da sua actividade. Prefere empenhar-se na qualidade, recatadamente, afastado que está (por opção) dos grandes eventos do sector. No entanto, à entrada do exíguo escritório, está, bem visível, o troféu de melhor restauro conquistado no II Encontro de Barcelos, em 14-08-2005, organizado pelo Vespa Clube do Minho.

    Quando lhe perguntámos se as Vespa algumas vez o desiludiram, a resposta foi disparada a direito, desvendando planos para o futuro: «Sim, a partir da década de noventa. É só plástico…O gozo está em trabalhar e conduzir estas. Por isso, até já tenho um projecto para fazer um side-car numa que estou agora a recuperar».

    Quanto a valores, estes restauros nunca ficarão por menos de três mil euros. Para mais e não para menos. Tudo depende do modelo e ano da moto, bem como da sua condição presente. Casos mais complicados (que também os há) poderão ascender aos seis mil e quinhentos euros. Mas, nestas coisas, como noutras da vida, quando as coisas se fazem com gosto, o preço é o que menos importa. Neste caso, junta-se o gosto de quem as tem ao de quem as restaura, e o assunto está resolvido.
    Em jeito de alerta, para quem não esteja familiarizado com os restauros das Vespa, aqui fica uma síntese de alguns erros muito comuns nas recuperações que por aí se fazem: furos para instalação de retrovisor, frisos de pisa-pés instalados fora das medidas (o primeiro deve estar no extremo da plataforma), varões de plástico em vez de ferro ou alumínio, furos à vista de acessórios retirados, bancos estofados em vez de terem as capas originais e pinturas a pincel.
    © Todos os direitos do texto estão reservados para MOTOCICLISMO, uma publicação da MOTORPRESS LISBOA. Contacto para adquirir edições já publicadas: +351 21 415 45 50.
    © General Moto, by Hélder Dias da Silva 2008

              ESTILO VINTAGE        
    Nº207 MOTOCICLISMO Julho 2008
    Uma vida inteira de dedicação às motos antigas (especialmente as inglesas) foi o mote para uma conversa com José Ferreira, o conhecido coleccionador e requisitado especialista técnico da zona de Sintra.

    O gosto, esse, veio-lhe quase desde o berço, quando via o seu pai sair de casa de motorizada. Porém, a necessidade cedo o obrigou a aguçar o engenho e a arte para conseguir remediar os percalços que o seu primeiro ciclomotor lhe reservava – uma Zundapp de 1961. Anos depois, já a trabalhar, chegou-lhe às mãos uma V5. Mais tarde, tirou a carta de condução e quando saiu da tropa adquiriu a sua primeira “bifa”: uma Royal Enfield 250. Hoje, lembrar-se de todas as motos que já teve é um autêntico desafio para a memória. Começaram por ser meros meios de transporte, contudo, posteriormente, a dedicação à causa apurou-se e com ela surgiu a colecção e a competição. Não foi só de recordações que falámos hoje – mas também. Pelo meio ferrou-se a brasa do descontentamento nos olhos do presente e atreveram-se alguns palpites e sugestões para o futuro.

    MOTOCICLISMO: Foi lhe complicado aprender este ofício?
    José Ferreira: Na verdade, quando comecei a reparar as minhas motos, sempre tive pessoas que me explicavam como fazer as coisas. Isso é importantíssimo. Depois, como não tinha dinheiro para pô-las na oficina, não tinha outro remédio se não desenrascar-me.

    M: Havia algum “guru” em especial?
    JF: Para mim, o Manelito da Quinta do Conde é o maior mago das motos antigas. Se há pessoas que nasceram para isto, ele é uma delas com certeza. É uma pessoa que não nega ajuda a ninguém, é muito prestável. Até o João Santos da Suzuki foi “pupilo” dele. Ele formou vários mecânicos que estão hoje aí.

    M: É preciso ser-se abonado financeiramente para se ser proprietário de uma clássica?
    JF: Nos carros talvez, mas nas motos não. Há de tudo e para todas as bolsas. Acontece é que, por vezes, há trabalhos que financeiramente não compensam como investimento, porque pode-se ir buscar uma moto lá fora exactamente igual, já recuperada, e mais barata. Nesses casos, às vezes, o valor estimativo (por se tratarem de motos de família) suplanta o valor de mercado, e por isso se ouvem falar de restauros muito onerosos.

    M: As peças que usa são compradas novas ou são recuperadas de motos desmanteladas?
    JF: Havendo novo à venda é preferível. As usadas só como último recurso, e mesmo assim não convém que sejam para componentes mecânicos vitais ao funcionamento da moto.

    M: Nos seus restauros tenta ir para além do original, melhorando-o?
    JF: Aliás, às vezes nem dá para saber ao certo como era o original. Há modelos Norton da mesma série que vêm com pormenores diferentes umas das outras. Por isso, sempre que possível tento encontrar a solução que melhor se adequa ao modelo e à utilização a dar. Por exemplo: tento manter os parafusos originais nos apertos ao quadro, mas todos os outros substituo por parafusos em inox. Não enferrujam e dão um aspecto mais limpinho à máquina.

    M: Que motos clássicas mais se vêem por aí a circular?
    JF: As Norton 500 S2, monocilíndricas, as 88, as AJS e as Matchless.

    M: Onde reside o encanto das inglesas?
    JF: Os ingleses construíram muitas motos. Tinham muitas marcas, muita produção. Logo, acabaram por vender bastante, o que ajudou a disseminar esta atracção nostálgica. Depois, para a época, eram até bastante engenhosos. Chegaram a produzir motos nos anos 20 com travagem combinada. Os italianos, também têm o seu lugar na história, pela tecnologia que aplicavam, mas como eram menos fabricantes, venderam em menor quantidade. Depois, havia aquele mito de que as italianas partiam o motor com mais facilidade quando chegavam ao redline. Assim, apesar de as inglesas pingarem óleo, as pessoas preferiam uma inglesa, até porque era mais fácil mandá-las vir para Portugal, pois havia muita oferta. As BMW eram muito rigorosas mecanicamente, mas transmitiam menor emoção a quem as conduzia. Creio que o encanto reside nesta conjugação de factores.

    M: Qual é a sua preferência pessoal?
    JF: São as Triumph, pelas garantias mecânicas que sempre demonstraram face à concorrência.

    M: Que principais dificuldades encontra no dia-a-dia da restauração?
    JF: A qualidade de alguns materiais, mesmo daqueles que se mandam vir de Inglaterra. Com a globalização muita produção foi mobilizada para o Oriente à conta da mão-de-obra barata. Acontece que o rigor passou a ser bastante sofrível. Dou-lhe exemplos: farolins que não aconchegam, interruptores que não comutam, etc. As cromagens nacionais bem feitas são, também, cada vez mais difíceis de encontrar.

    M: O tempo de espera pelo material é demorado?
    JF: Entre uma semana a quatro meses.

    M: Houve até agora algum restauro que lhe pusesse os nervos em franja pela dificuldade?
    JF: Não. A Norton Internacional do João Paulo Fragoso foi complicada. O material de chapa foi difícil de encontrar, e a mecânica também tem que se lhe diga, mas com calma lá se conseguiu. Sei agora de uma em que o indivíduo teve de mandar fazer a árvore-de-cames em Inglaterra. Lá está, para as Triumph é mais fácil obter material genuíno. Nos trabalhos mais difíceis conto também com a ajuda do Luís Teixeira, e da literatura que fui adquirindo.

    M: Que opinião tem acerca das futuras inspecções das motos?
    JF: Neste país quando é para sacar dinheiro, os governantes avançam logo. E quando não são eles a lucrar, alguém o há-de fazer. Senão, veja-se o exemplo dos automóveis: a gente cruza-se todos os dias na estrada com carros que de certeza absoluta nunca passaram por uma inspecção, no entanto eles estão aí e com os documentos em dia. Nestas motos antigas, a maior parte delas reconstruídas, ou as coisas se fazem com real conhecimento da matéria, ou então vão é arranjar maneira de metade delas serem encostadas, e as outras, para andarem legais, terão de passar na tal inspecção sabe-se lá como…

    M: Na sua opinião, quais deveriam ser as prioridades da FNM para o dossiê clássicas?
    JF: Há dois anos, numa reunião da FNM, o Campos Costa teve uma ideia que a meu ver seria bastante louvável: era a criação de um núcleo para a protecção e salvaguarda das motos antigas enquanto património. Em muitos países as motos antigas são consideradas património de interesse público. Aqui em Portugal, se alguém quiser legalizar um veículo desses comprado no estrangeiro, os entraves burocráticos e técnicos são os mesmos como se fosse um veículo moderno. Já me aconteceu ir a uma inspecção de ruído para atribuir a matrícula a uma moto de 1954, e os parâmetros de avaliação serem os mesmos, como se fosse uma moto actual, construída com toda a tecnologia que hoje conhecemos. Claro que os barulhos internos do motor (que são normais naquela moto) excediam o limite permitido, apesar de os escapes estarem abafadíssimos. O mais absurdo é que nesse dia estava lá um indivíduo com uma BMW de 1936, com três velocidades, e foi-lhe exigido (tal como a todos os outros) que num dado espaço acelerasse em segunda até aos 60km/h. É caricato! Nem sei se essa moto em terceira, a descer, e com o vento por trás, alguma vez conseguiria chegar aos 60km/h… Bom, daí que a ideia do Campos Costa, para proteger este espólio, tenha sido muito bem acolhida no seio da comunidade. Na verdade, estas motos antigas são autênticas peças de arte. Logo se vê como vai ficar.

    M: Que outras boas práticas poderiam ser implementadas no nosso país?
    JF: Às vezes há motos a apodrecer em palheiros, com os documentos em nome de alguém que já não se sabe quem é ou, simplesmente, sem qualquer documentação. Em Espanha, por exemplo, consegue-se registar uma moto dessas. É-lhe atribuída uma matrícula de transição pelo período de um ano, findo o qual, não havendo reclamações, passa a definitiva.

    M: Que modelos actuais poderão ser clássicos daqui a uma vintena de anos?
    JF: A primeira condição é a de serem sucessos comerciais, depois têm de ter uma certa mística. A Yamaha R1 tem condições, a Honda CBR 1000 também, bem como a Suzuki GSXR 1000. Depois, poderemos ter nas naked a Speed Triple como eventual candidata. Uma scooter cinquentinha que poderá vingar como clássica é a Target da Yamaha. Não passaram ainda muitos anos por ela, mas já deixou saudades. Dentro das cruiser, eu diria que qualquer Harley-Davidson será um clássico. Aceito que os japoneses façam motos tecnicamente melhores, mais fiáveis, mais bonitas e mais baratas neste segmento, mas a Harley-Davidson é a original, e essa é uma herança que vale muito. O resto será sempre uma imitação.
    © Todos os direitos do texto estão reservados para MOTOCICLISMO, uma publicação da MOTORPRESS LISBOA. Contacto para adquirir edições já publicadas: +351 21 415 45 50.
    © General Moto, by Hélder Dias da Silva 2008

              MERCADO MOTOCICLÍSTICO        
    Nº262 ANECRA Maio 2007
    Nº67 MOTO REPORT Julho 2007 (com autorização)
    O mercado dos motociclos, quando encarado sobre uma perspectiva global, surge como um aliado natural de toda a indústria automóvel e não como um concorrente desse mesmo sector. Veja-se o caso dos fabricantes que constroem, simultaneamente, carros e motos. O exemplo é auto-explicativo. Do ponto de vista do consumidor, estes dois produtos finais (o automóvel e o motociclo) são, na maioria das vezes, bens complementares. Hoje em dia, as necessidades profissionais, familiares e recreativas podem, perfeitamente, apelar à coexistência pacífica destes dois tipos de veículos. O que nos confirma de sobremaneira a conclusão antecipada de início. Perante esta constatação de facto, optámos por efectuar uma análise ao mercado desde 1999 (o ano do “boom” nas vendas) até ao ano transacto. Convidamo-lo, então, a tomar o pulso a este ramo de actividade, que já conheceu melhores dias, mas que, com uma aposta consciente de todos os seus intervenientes (directos e indirectos), poderá recuperar o ritmo outrora alcançado. Assim todos saibam investir, promover, gerir, legislar, fiscalizar e apoiar.

    Situação Económica Nacional
    A Economia Internacional lida, actualmente, com a escalada do preço do petróleo nos mercados internacionais. Uma situação que vem sendo recorrente desde a década passada. Em rigor, questões por resolver, como sejam a do Iraque ou a da ameaça – algo dissimulada, porém omnipresente – do Irão ou, até mesmo, da Coreia, continuam a ter repercussões nefastas na economia global. Os barões da indústria de extracção e transformação do crude encontram nestes pretextos - mais até do que na própria escassez do produto - excelentes formas de exercer especulação, com consequências a nível mundial e que todos nós percepcionamos diariamente. Por outro lado, a concorrência de economias em crescimento, como sejam a chinesa ou a dos países do leste europeu, faz-se sentir veementemente. Estes países são – devido a conjunturas várias – altamente competitivos e, nos últimos anos, têm penetrado com eficácia e também com eficiência nos domínios da cultura, da sociedade e, principalmente, da economia europeia. A União Europeia (UE) apresenta uma subida constante do PIB, com excepção feita a 2005, e esta tendência de crescimento cimentou-se num efectivo aumento do consumo privado, coadjuvado pela redução drástica da despesa pública. A taxa de inflação ficou-se pelos 2,2%, em 2005, e, no mesmo ano, o desemprego atingiu os 8,6%. Por contraponto, os EUA apresentam 3,4% e 5,1%, respectivamente. O PIB americano manifesta tendência análoga à europeia, ocorrendo, inclusivamente, o mesmo fenómeno de redução da despesa pública e reforço do consumo privado. A Economia Nacional tem demonstrado grande dificuldade em resistir à negativa conjuntura internacional. Por ser pequena e aberta, torna-se naturalmente permeável ao contexto externo. Deste modo, o PIB, no período em análise, apresentou um crescimento global de cerca de 20%. Contudo, o investimento exibiu um decréscimo significativo (a rondar os 5%). O consumo, esse sim, aumentou avidamente, sendo que a taxa de crescimento se cifrou nos 25% para o sector privado e nos 30% para o sector público. Perante estes indicadores, é possível inferir que o recurso à banca foi o agente eleito para acelerar o consumo, já que o investimento decresceu e o PIB não acompanhou a evolução da despesa. Portugal continua também com as importações a terem um peso superior ao das exportações, sendo que 2003 foi o ano onde a diferença mais se esbateu. Já o Investimento no Estrangeiro conheceu uma drástica diminuição (para menos de metade). Igual tendência para o desinvestimento tem acontecido em relação às decisões do estrangeiro em investir em Portugal. Todavia, a taxa de decréscimo ficou-se pelos 10% O saldo da Balança Corrente é negativo, com agravamento desde 2003. A Dívida Pública apresenta um crescimento sustentado, a par da Taxa de Desemprego. E o mercado de trabalho é precisamente um reflexo de tudo o que para trás foi enunciado. Para clarificar este ponto, refira-se que o número de desempregados, em 2005, era o dobro do que havia em 2000. Evidentemente que este fenómeno, para além do flagelo social que dissemina, gera também uma sobrecarga ao nível da despesa pública por via do dispêndio de verbas por parte da Segurança Social. O que, em abono da verdade, contribui negativamente para cumprir o Pacto de Estabilidade e Crescimento. Já a Inflação apresenta oscilações entre o crescimento e o seu inverso. Até 2002 a tendência foi para o aumento do indicador, e daí para cá veio paulatinamente a reduzir, estimando-se que para 2006 o valor a apurar comute a orientação. Conclui-se, portanto, que as reformas levadas a cabo pelo Governo com o intuito de conter os custos, e que passam por uma racionalização da despesa pública, levarão o seu tempo a produzir os efeitos esperados. Até lá, Portugal é um país deprimido, envolto num pessimismo generalizado, e profundamente descrente da tão desejada retoma.

    Evolução das Vendas de MOTOCICLOS em Portugal
    O ano de 1999 permanece, até à data, como um marco muito positivo em termos de vendas de motos. Desde então, o número de matrículas novas tem vindo a decrescer. Esta tendência manteve-se até 2003, sendo que, no ano seguinte, ocorreu uma tímida recuperação. Os anos de 2006 e 2005 foram sinónimo de altos e baixos, respectivamente, sendo que, e em suma, os últimos três anos apresentam valores muito próximos. O mês de Janeiro de 2007 destaca-se o do seu homólogo do ano anterior, com vendas totais superiores em 50%. A KEEWAY é o construtor que mais cresceu. Analisando os recordistas de vendas em Portugal, constatamos que, de entre os 10 primeiros, quatro fabricantes são europeus, outros tantos são nipónicos (historicamente as marcas mais comercializadas), um é norte-americano e outro é coreano. Neste ponto, surge um dos sinais mais evidentes: o emergente mercado de exportações do eixo Coreia - China. De um ano para o outro, a KEEWAY passou de nove para 490 motos, e, só em Janeiro de 2007, vendeu quase 25% do volume atingido em 2006. Esta categoria está relacionada com as motos, ainda que tangencialmente. Vejamos o que nos diz o n.º4 do artigo 107º do Código da Estrada: «Quadriciclo é o veículo dotado de quatro rodas, classificando-se em: Ligeiro: veículo com velocidade máxima, em patamar e por construção, não superior a 45 km/h, cuja massa sem carga não exceda 350 Kg, excluída a massa das baterias no veículo eléctrico e com motor de cilindrada não superior a 50 cm3, no caso de motor de ignição comandada, ou cuja potência máxima não seja superior a 4 KW, no caso de outros motores de combustão interna ou de motor eléctrico; Pesado: veículo com motor de potência não superior a 15 KW e cuja massa sem carga, excluída a massa das baterias no caso de veículos eléctricos, não exceda 400 kg ou 550 kg, consoante se destine, respectivamente, ao transporte de passageiros ou de mercadorias.» Nesta classificação cabem os veículos de quatro rodas, que em tudo se assemelham a um automóvel, mas que podem ser conduzidos sem carta de condução – os “microcars” –, mas também os “moto4” que são parte integrante do catálogo de construtores de motos. Com esse fito, ao analisarmos a evolução de matrículas novas constatamos que a evolução é positiva até 2001, voltando-o novamente a ser depois de 2004. Aliás, note-se bem que de 2005 para 2006 o salto é de quase 36%. Indo de encontro ao detalhe dos registos, deparamo-nos com duas realidades que se aproximam. Se por um lado, os sete principais fornecedores de quadricilos são construtores de motos (logo são os “quads” a dominar esta categoria), quem, de facto, tem incrementado a taxa de crescimento das vendas é a indústria de quadriciclos “com capota”. O que desvirtua, em parte, este estudo, já que, em última instância, são viaturas com naturezas completamente distintas. Todavia, é claramente uma pista a ser seguida com toda a atenção.

    Distribuição do parque Segurado de MOTOCICLOS por Distritos
    Segundo os valores reportados pelas Seguradoras ao Instituto de Seguros de Portugal (Ministério das Finanças), esta contabilização manifesta tendência crescente, ainda que ligeira. Esta análise não manifesta, pois, correlação directa com as anteriormente apresentadas uma vez que:
    • Apenas são considerados os veículos com matrícula;
    • Apenas são considerados os veículos com seguro (código da empresa de seguro correcto);
    • Apenas são considerados os registos com data válida (AAAA-MM-DD);
    • Apenas são considerados os registos com data de início de seguro;
    • Nas circunstâncias em que existe mais do que um registo da mesma matrícula, apenas é considerado aquele cuja data de início é a mais recente (desde que inferior à data a que a informação se reporta);
    • Um registo apenas é considerado se a respectiva apólice se encontra em vigor na data a que diz respeito;
    • Todos os registos que se encontrem nas condições descritas, mas que não tenham devidamente preenchido o código de concelho e/ou o código de categoria. O ISP optou por considerá-los nas categorias “Desconhecido” e “Outros” respectivamente.

    Com a tabela seguinte podemos aquilatar a dispersão geográfica dos motociclos em Portugal. Há, logicamente, uma forte concentração junto dos grandes perímetros urbanos, sendo mais reduzida à medida que nos aproximamos de zonas eminentemente rurais. Porém, uma curiosidade: Faro é o distrito com mais motos por cada cem mil habitantes. O que lhe confere autoridade moral/nacional para realizar a maior concentração de motos da Europa. O distrito com menos motos per capita é Castelo Branco, logo seguido do Porto. Lisboa apresenta uma correspondência com a média verificada.

    Evolução do Mercado Europeu
    Na União Europeia (Europa dos 15), em sete anos, venderam-se perto de 8,5 milhões de motos, sendo que 2000 foi o melhor ano comercial. Em 2002, os valores bateram no fundo da tabela (tal como em Portugal), e daí para cá a evolução tem sido positiva. Ainda não estão disponíveis os dados 2006, mas crê-se que a tendência se terá mantido. Para a República Checa, Estónia e Lituânia, as taxas de crescimento são de três dígitos. Para os restantes países, os dados são esparsos e, por isso mesmo, inconclusivos. Refira-se, no entanto, que o primeiro deles aplica aos motociclos as menores cargas fiscais de toda a Europa, tendo inclusive, prémios de seguros com custos extremamente reduzidos (cerca de 10€). Não admira, pois, que se assista ao despontar da democratização deste produto naquele mercado. Em termos absolutos, a UE apresenta um conjunto de seis países que, por razões demográficas, mas também sócio-culturais, lideram o ranking de vendas de motociclos na região: Itália, Alemanha, França, Reino Unido, Espanha e Grécia. Excepção feita à Alemanha e à vizinha Espanha, todos os outros apresentaram evolução positiva entre o início e o fim do período em análise. Comparando a tendência da UE com Portugal, o auge das vendas ocorreu em 2000 (e não em 1999 como cá), tendo o volume global decrescido continuamente até 2002. A inversão de tendências acontece precisamente neste ponto. A partir de 2003, a UE inicia a recuperação e Portugal permanece em queda, abandonando a orientação do conjunto; circunstância que se deverá verificar até 2006 (apesar de, como já mencionado, os dados oficiais ainda não estarem disponíveis). A extinção da nossa indústria de motociclos, a própria mutação dos interesses pessoais dos consumidores, a falta de incentivos fiscais para aquisição e obtenção de licença de condução, e os sucessivos aumentos do IVA serão, genericamente, as razões que conduziram Portugal a este cenário marginal, quando comparado com o que acontece no restante continente europeu. Refira-se igualmente como causas as restrições legislativas, o desacompanhamento e despromoção do conceito e seus benefícios a nível institucional (poder político) e a insensibilidade das seguradoras, a par com as políticas comerciais brandas e pouco efectivas de fabricantes e importadores.

    Perante a realidade em apreço, dois aspectos se nos afiguram evidentes: o sector está em crise e a China está a conquistar quota de mercado. A aposta chinesa não é na inovação nem na qualidade, mas, antes, na melhor relação qualidade/preço. Os seus produtos destinam-se ao segmento das motos de baixa cilindrada, onde a simplicidade mecânica e a estética parcimoniosa, aliadas a uma economia de escala com mão-de-obra barata, permitem reduzir drasticamente os custos de produção a favor de um preço final muito competitivo. Por outro lado, estes dados mostram-nos que no nosso país há uma vastíssima carteira de clientes interessada em motos com baixo custo de aquisição e manutenção. São as pessoas que necessitam de moto para, diariamente, se deslocarem dentro das cidades (onde o aumento da mobilidade e a poupança financeira são benefícios efectivos e imediatos). Ou que, a ser na província, as pessoas mais não precisam do que um veículo com motor até 250cc, para pequenos trajectos ao longo desse “Portugal Rural”. No fundo, esse é o nosso mercado tradicional.
    Sempre existiu, desde a época das fábricas de motorizadas no norte do país até aos nossos dias a adopção de medidas de incentivo – como aquela preconizada na directiva comunitária 125cc/Carta B, onde condutores de automóveis ligeiros estariam habilitados a conduzir motociclos até 125cc – poderiam deflagrar uma definitiva retoma do sector. Até porque, uma observação mais atenta do quotidiano revela-nos que não está a acontecer uma renovação da classe motociclista. Na prática, este grupo está, todos os anos, um ano mais velho. Não há uma nova geração a entrar no meio. Com a crise que se alastra no ramo, não são só os departamentos comerciais de revendedores e concessionários de motos que acabam por ser afectados. É-o toda uma indústria, desde os fabricantes de acessórios, vestuário e componentes mecânicos até aos serviços técnicos – quase sempre dependentes de um concessionário oficial ou revendedor. Quanto menor o número de unidades comercializadas, menor será o número de intervenções de reparação e manutenção a serem requisitadas. Pelo que, a não inversão da tendência de queda, irá deixar lentamente uma marca incómoda nos tecidos económico e social, pois não é só o plano macro-económico que perde o contributo deste sector, mas a própria micro-economia é posta à prova, seja através de mão-de-obra excedentária, ou de crédito malparado, ou até mesmo de processos de falência e contencioso. Sob um outro prisma, com a escalada do preço do petróleo, e com a necessidade de reduzir as emissões poluentes para a atmosfera, a utilização de motos como meio de transporte, sobretudo em centros urbanos, seria – à semelhança do que acontece pela Europa fora – uma opção natural com benefícios colectivos, longe de serem, de todo, despiciendos.
    © Todos os direitos do texto estão reservados para REVISTA ANECRA, uma publicação da ANECRA. Contacto para adquirir edições já publicadas: +351 21 392 90 30.
    © General Moto, by Hélder Dias da Silva 2008

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              La universidad sigue doliente 90 años después...        
    La universidad sigue doliente 90 años después

    Por Sara Plaza y Edgardo Civallero

    En Chile, profesores y estudiantes de enseñanza secundaria y universitaria convocaron hace días una huelga indefinida en protesta por el proyecto de ley de Educación del Gobierno.

    En las universidades españolas han tenido lugar diversos actos de protesta en contra del Espacio Europeo de Educación Superior (EEES, más conocido como Bolonia, la ciudad donde tuvo lugar la declaración). Sus detractores opinan que ayudará a privatizar y mercantilizar la universidad pública, a degradar los títulos, a subordinar el conocimiento a los intereses del mercado, y a hacer de la universidad una escuela de formación profesional donde primen las enseñanzas prácticas sobre la reflexión, el debate, la crítica, la investigación y la discusión.

    El Congreso Regional de Educación Superior celebrado en mayo de 2008 en Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, por el Instituto Internacional para la Educación Superior en América Latina y el Caribe (Iesalc/Unesco) limita la participación de miles de investigadores, no recoge las actuales problemáticas ni plantea nuevas ideas, y excluye una gran parte del pensamiento latinoamericano. A la vez, asume el papel que durante tiempo criticó al Banco Mundial, convirtiéndose así en un mercado donde se silenció a la comunidad educativa con documentos estériles –elaborados por economistas en su mayoría– y se repitieron hasta la saciedad términos neoliberales como eficiencia, eficacia, calidad, acceso y equidad, competitividad, innovación, pertinencia, financiamiento, gestión, gobernabilidad, acreditación de programas, evaluación...

    Éstas son informaciones aparecidas en distintos medios de comunicación durante los últimos días. Curiosamente, leemos estas denuncias –expresadas por distintos actores de la comunidad educativa– cuando se está celebrando el 90º aniversario de la Reforma Universitaria que tuvo lugar a partir de los reclamos de los estudiantes de la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC), Argentina. Éstos, al ver que no eran escuchados, irrumpieron en la Asamblea Universitaria que elegía nuevo rector el 15 de junio de 1918 y se declararon en huelga indefinida, a la que se adhirieron estudiantes y obreros de todo el país. El día 21 de ese mes apareció en "La Gaceta Universitaria" el Manifiesto Liminar de la Reforma escrito por Deodoro Roca y firmado por los dirigentes de la Federación Universitaria de Córdoba. Durante el mes de julio se clausuró la universidad –que ya había sido intervenida en abril, por orden del entonces presidente Hipólito Yrigoyen, al incrementarse las protestas estudiantiles–, el rector elegido por la asociación clerical Corda Frates renunció al cargo y el gobierno intervino la UNC, reformándose sus estatutos, renovándose la plantilla docente y siendo introducidos muchos de los reclamos de los estudiantes.

    Entre las denuncias que vertía el Manifiesto podemos encontrar algunas de las que se lanzan hoy a los actuales modelos universitarios a uno y otro lado del Atlántico:

    "Las universidades han llegado a ser así fiel reflejo de estas sociedades decadentes que se empeñan en ofrecer el triste espectáculo de una inmovilidad senil. (...) Nuestro régimen universitario –aun el más reciente– es anacrónico. Está fundado sobre una especie del derecho divino: el derecho divino del profesorado universitario. Se crea a sí mismo. En él nace y en él muere. Mantiene un alejamiento olímpico. (...) Los gastados resortes de la autoridad que emana de la fuerza no se avienen con lo que reclaman el sentido y el concepto moderno de las universidades. El chasquido del látigo sólo puede rubricar el silencio de los inconscientes o de los cobardes. (...) La juventud universitaria de Córdoba afirma que jamás hizo cuestión de nombres, ni de empleados. Se levantó contra un régimen administrativo, contra un método docente, contra un concepto de autoridad. Las funciones públicas se ejercitaban en beneficio de determinadas camarillas. No se reformaban planes ni reglamentos por temor de que alguien en los cambios pudiera perder su empleo. La consigna de ‘hoy para ti y mañana para mí' corría de boca en boca y asumía la preeminencia de estatuto universitario. Los métodos docentes estaban viciados de un estrecho dogmatismo, contribuyendo a mantener a la universidad apartada de la ciencia y de las disciplinas modernas. Las lecciones, encerradas en la repetición de viejos textos, amparaban el espíritu de rutina y de sumisión."

    La universidad argentina a la que se refería Deodoro Roca hace 90 años estaba atada "a la antigua dominación monárquica y monástica". La universidad española a la que actualmente los estudiantes visten con pancartas que dicen "NO a Bolonia" parece dolerse de los intereses mercantiles transnacionales que quieren sujetarla, a los que tampoco ha sido ajeno el Congreso Internacional de Educación Superior celebrado en Cartagena. En 1918 el sentimiento religioso que inspiraba la Compañía de Jesús – "[c]uriosa religión que enseña a menospreciar el honor y deprimir la personalidad. Religión para vencidos o esclavos", escribía Roca– amordazaba aquella universidad. En el momento actual son las tesis del Banco Mundial derivadas de la teoría del capital humano (manifestando que "el estado no debe invertir en educación superior" porque "la inversión en educación superior es regresiva") y la resolución de la Organización Mundial del Comercio (esa que afirma que la educación superior es un bien negociable) las que coaccionan la libre expresión de la comunidad universitaria.

    No parece que hayamos avanzado mucho si en el lugar que ocupaban los religiosos de entonces se encuentran ubicados los economistas de hoy. Quizás no esté de más recordar los principios reformistas de 1918 para impulsar y discutir las leyes educativas de 2008. Entonces se pedía la autonomía de las universidades respecto de los gobiernos. Hoy habría que añadir también respecto de los mercados, las empresas, la OMC, el BM... Sigue siendo deseable que el gobierno de las universidades quede en manos de sus principales actores, es decir, los claustros de profesores, los estudiantes y los graduados. Habría que seguir defendiendo la gratuidad de la enseñanza pública. Y también la extensión universitaria: el hecho de que la universidad, su comunidad y sus conocimientos no se alejen de los problemas y debates sociales sino que intervengan en ellos. Sin duda es fundamental mantener la libertad de cátedra y renovar periódicamente los cargos docentes. Y sigue siendo necesario que la docencia esté en estrecha relación con la investigación. Si entonces ya se proponía una unidad latinoamericana, ¿por qué no discutir hoy el Espacio Europeo de Educación Superior sin confundir convergencia con una única forma de pensar, hacer y decir las cosas, sin excluir la diversidad, reconociendo las dificultades, las presiones, los errores y los desaciertos para compartir y debatir nuevas propuestas?

    El mercantilismo que afecta a todas las facetas de nuestra vida en esta enorme "aldea global" –que cada vez parece menos "unificada" y más "colonizada"– no deja de lado la producción, uso y disfrute de los conocimientos. Así como presiona deliberadamente en la educación (un factor estratégico en el crecimiento, desarrollo y progreso de los pueblos) también lo hace en la gestión de la información. Nuestras bibliotecas y centros de documentación ofrecen pruebas palpables de la aplicación de "estrategias de gestión", "medidas de calidad y eficacia" y un sinnúmero de técnicas y herramientas que sólo buscan convertir a las unidades de conocimiento en negocios de los cuales obtener pingues beneficios. La cultura mercantilista se filtra en todos los rincones: mientras las leyes de copyright golpean duramente la circulación y uso de documentos y software, se alzan los debates por las políticas de "cobro de tasas" en bibliotecas. Al mismo tiempo la brecha digital se abre, los roles sociales de los profesionales de las bibliotecas se difuminan o esfuman, el analfabetismo informativo crece... La bibliotecología –al igual que la educación– se ve bombardeada por un nuevo modelo, cuyos defensores ni dan tregua, ni ofrecen caminos intermedios ni adaptaciones, ni oyen razones. Parece una batalla sin cuartel en la que los perjudicados son los de siempre.

    En 1918, la Reforma de Córdoba se extendió a través de Latinoamérica, y fueron muchas las subsiguientes protestas estudiantiles que, usando el texto cordobés de Deodoro Roca como base, lograron cambios en varios sistemas universitarios nacionales. Hoy... ¿quiénes darán el nuevo ejemplo, tanto en la educación como en otros ámbitos? ¿Quiénes alzarán la bandera de la libertad de pensamiento y acción? ¿Quiénes se rebelarán contra los nuevos yugos que intentan colocarnos?


              El calentamiento global y nosotros        
    El calentamiento global y nosotros

    Evaluando nuestra responsabilidad ambiental y profesional

    Por Elaine Harger
    Traducido por Sara Plaza

    Mientras iba conduciendo por las Montañas Rocosas en Montana el verano pasado, se me rompió el corazón al ver un montón de árboles de color óxido esparcidos entre los bosques de un verde imponente habitualmente. En algunos lugares parecía que entre un 20 y un 30 % de ellos estuvieran muertos, y de hecho lo están – asesinados por un escarabajo cuyo único depredador es el frío extremo de los inviernos de Montana, ellos mismos enfrentados a la amenaza de verse extinguidos debido al calentamiento global.

    ¿Qué tiene que ver la muerte de los pinares con la bibliotecología? ¿Es el calentamiento global una "cuestión bibliotecaria"? Muchos bibliotecarios opinan que la provisión de libros, programación y otro tipo de información relacionada con temas medioambientales es suficiente para cumplir con las obligaciones de la bibliotecología. Algunos consideran que necesitamos equilibrar la crisis medioambiental con fuentes que nieguen la responsabilidad humana en ella. Sin embargo, me he dado cuenta de que el calentamiento global está en el corazón de nuestras preocupaciones profesionales de varias formas.

    Hace poco, participando en un grupo de discusión del Northwest Earth Institute, denominado: Changing CO2urse, calculé mi perfil de CO2. La producción media de emisiones de CO2 por persona en los Estados Unidos es de 122 libras [una libra equivale a 454 gramos]. Alrededor de 65 libras están bajo el control de cada individuo, mientras que las otras 57 libras es la parte proporcional que le corresponde a cada persona de las emisiones producidas por los negocios, las industrias, los generadores eléctricos y los sistemas de transporte que constituyen parte de nuestra sociedad actual.

    Comparativamente, la media diaria de las emisiones de CO2 por personas en el resto del mundo es de 24 libras. Y, según parece, los ecosistemas terrestres pueden procesar completamente solo 9 libras de CO2 por día por persona.

    Para calcular nuestro perfil personal de carbono, recogemos las facturas de gas de nuestros vehículos y las de nuestros servicios públicos, y contabilizamos el número de viajes en avión que realizamos al año.

    Mi producción de CO2 alcanza las 34 libras por día, más baja que la media norteamericana, en primer lugar porque voy caminando al trabajo y utilizo mi coche lo menos posible.

    Esta información planteaba una cuestión profunda y desencadenó un periodo de total desmoralización surgida al contemplar sus implicaciones: ¿Cómo puedo reducir mi producción personal de CO2 de 34 + 57 = 91 libras por día a 9? Lo que me permitió salir de mis sentimientos absolutamente derrotistas fue darme cuenta de lo siguiente:

    – En primer lugar, yo personalmente no tengo la responsabilidad de reducir 57 de esas libras: es una tarea que corresponde a toda la sociedad, incluida la bibliotecología.
    – Segundo, cualquier reducción de mis 34 libras personales tendría que incluir mis viajes en avión a los congresos profesionales, que normalmente son los únicos vuelos que realizo.
    – Tercero, formo parte de la tercera generación de productores de CO2. La mayoría de mis antecesores vivieron bien produciendo mucho menos de 9 libras de CO2 por día.
    – Cuarto, la tarea de convertir nuestras vidas de destructoras de la tierra en sostenedoras de la misma está llena de aventura y es tan prometedora como cualquiera de las tareas que ha encarado siempre la humanidad. Todo lo que necesitamos es reactivar algo de ese espíritu humano tan positivo de poder hacerlo, y la bibliotecología puede ayudar enormemente a ello.

    Para quienes comienzan, podéis organizar en vuestra biblioteca una proyección del documental del año 2006, Who Killed the Electric Car?, y preguntarle a la audiencia que imaginen cada estación de gas albergando baterías recargables de energía solar en lugar de gasolina.

    Patrocinar y participar en los grupos de discusión del Northwest Earth Institute, de manera que vuestra comunidad pueda explorar las posibilidades de crear relaciones sostenibles con vuestra región bio–región.

    Viajar por el mundo a través de los libros en lugar de hacerlo como turistas escupiendo CO2.

    Y por último, vamos a repensar los congresos del ALA [Asociación Estadounidense de Bibliotecas]. Dar a los encuentros de invierno y anuales del ALA un toque "verde" no consiste en discutir si los centros de convenciones reciclan o no el papel. Necesitamos repensar la necesidad real de estos encuentros nacionales porque no son sostenibles dadas las actuales condiciones.

    Elaine Harger es bibliotecaria de la Mount Si High School en Snoqualmie, Washington, y miembro del consejo del ALA.
    American Libraries / April 2008 / On my Mind / Opinion


              La voz no se les devuelve escribiéndoles el guión        
    La voz no se les devuelve escribiéndoles el guión

    Por Sara Plaza

    Hace un par de meses proyectaron en el Cineclub Municipal "Hugo del Carril" de Córdoba (Argentina) "Invisibles: Una sola mirada y cinco historias", película–documental producida por Javier Bardem y dirigida por Mariano Barroso, Isabel Coixet, Javier Corcuera, Fernando León de Aranoa y Wim Wenders, recientemente galardonada con el premio Goya 2008 a mejor documental. En la reseña que apareció en el número 55 de abril de 2008 del boletín "Metrópolis" que edita el propio Cineclub, podía leerse lo siguiente:

    INVISIBLES es una historia de historias. Un acercamiento a aquellas personas que residen en nuestro olvido. Un deseo de dar voz a varios de los que se quedaron mudos por la indiferencia. Y un humilde homenajea esas otras personas que nunca apartaron su mirada de ellos. Pero sobre todo es la voluntad de cinco directores por hacer visibles a sus verdaderos y únicos protagonistas, a aquellos que creemos y preferimos seguir creyendo invisibles.

    Particularmente, no me gustó esta presentación. Últimamente desconfío bastante de la tan manoseada expresión "dar voz a los que no tienen voz". Primero por artificiosa, segundo por engañosa. Creo que es una afirmación de gran doblez y expresa lo opuesto de lo que finalmente se hace. Para empezar no creo que las personas del mal llamado y peor entendido "Tercer Mundo" sean mudas, y tampoco estoy de acuerdo con que escribiéndoles un guión se les devuelva la voz. Por el contrario, muchos de los diálogos y monólogos que aparecen en la película sólo permiten al "Primer Mundo" escuchar lo que está dispuesto a oír.

    Así sobre la industria cinematográfica estadounidense, el crítico de cine, Carlos Boyero escribía hace un par de meses (EL PAÍS, 26 de abril de 2008):

    "Hace tiempo que Hollywood se toma un poquito más en serio el tercer mundo y las ancestrales e interminables putadas que éste tiene que padecer. Lo hace lleno de buena intenciones, con esforzado tono crítico hacia los desastres que han perpetuado sus colonizadores, pero sin descuidar jamás los filones que engordan la taquilla, las sagradas convenciones y el transparente o subterráneo happy end".

    Y en una entrevista publicada en el mismo medio unas semanas después (10 de mayo de 2008), el director de cine independiente norteamericano, John Seyles, se sonreía ante una etiqueta, "independiente", que ahora parece que gusta en Hollywood:

    "Es una falacia que se han inventado los grandes estudios para ahorrar dinero. Crean divisiones más pequeñas en las que producen películas más baratas, a las que llaman independientes, y con esa excusa pueden pagar menos a actores y directores. Pero si luego deciden entrar en la carrera por el oscar, se gastan cuarenta millones de dólares en publicidad".

    Jesús Carrión, del Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalización (ODG) que mantiene vínculos con la Universidad Politécnica de Barcelona, opinaba en un artículo (EL PAÍS, 17 de mayo de 2008) no sobre cine sino sobre el activismo accionarial de algunas ONGs, que "[e]l peligro es que las grandes empresas utilicen a las ONGs para legitimarse" y afirmaba que, en su opinión, los programas de Responsabilidad Social Corporativa de las multinacionales españolas:

    "Hacen pequeños donativos y tienen gran capacidad mediática para rentabilizarlos como publicidad mientras siguen adelante con programas que destrozan comunidades y territorios".

    El escritor uruguayo, Eduardo Galeano, en su último libro "Espejos: Una historia casi universal", bajo la entrada "Americanos" se pregunta:

    "Cuenta la historia oficial que Vasco Núñez de Balboa fue el primer hombre que vio, desde una cumbre de Panamá, los dos océanos. Los que allí vivían, ¿eran ciegos?

    ¿Quiénes pusieron sus primeros nombres al maíz y a la papa y al tomate y al chocolate y a las montañas y a los ríos de América? ¿Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizarro? Los que allí vivían, ¿eran mudos?

    Lo escucharon los peregrinos de Mayflower: Dios decía que América era la tierra era la Tierra Prometida. Los que allí vivían, ¿eran sordos?

    Después, los nietos de aquellos peregrinos del norte se apoderaron del nombre y de todo lo demás. Ahora, americanos son ellos. Los que vivimos en las otras Américas, ¿qué somos?".

    Curiosamente, en el diario EL PAÍS del sábado 24 de mayo de 2008, el suplemento literario "Babelia" llevaba por título:

    Reinventar América
    La feria del Libro de Madrid da voz a los nuevos narradores del otro lado del Atlántico

    Ahí estaba nuevamente el "Primer Mundo" escribiendo el guión para el "Tercero" al que sigue creyendo mudo, ciego y sordo y del que sigue hablando con un profundo desconocimiento porque, como anoté al principio, jamás escucha lo que no desea oír.
    Mi sorpresa fue descubrir que hay lugares en el "Primer Mundo" que tampoco han podido explicarse a sí mismos. Así lo expresaba la escritora Simonetta Agnello en una entrevista (EL PAÍS el 17 de mayo de 2008):

    "La tragedia es que hay mucho escrito sobre Sicilia, pero la inmensa mayoría ha sido por extranjeros, no por sicilianos. Tiene que haber una razón".

    ¿Tendrá que ver con un "Primer Mundo" que para seguir haciéndose el sordo insiste en considerar mudo al "Tercero"?


              Â¿De manera que la tolerancia no era tan buena?        
    ¿De manera que la tolerancia no era tan buena?

    Por Sara Plaza

    No lo era y no lo es. Digamos que no del todo, que no tanto, que quiso pero no pudo, que lo intentó pero no le salió bien. Y en esas estamos, hablando de aceptación del otro, de reconocer la diferencia, de valorarla incluso. Pero de ahí no pasamos. Una nota folklórica en nuestros sistemas homogéneos, globales e insípidos. Un punto de color en la gris estandarización de nuestras maneras y usos, de nuestras costumbres. Un leve matiz que aclare u oscurezca ese tono pastel sin estridencias en el que estamos inmersos. Que parezca que todo está bien. No importa si en realidad está todo mal. Da lo mismo si tenemos intención de mejorarlo siquiera.

    Hace unas semanas, leía en el diario unas líneas del escritor peruano Iván Thays en las que aconsejaba:

    Desterremos la palabra "tolerancia", muy del agrado de estos escritores dispuestos a tolerar con buen humor a los que consideran minorías hegemónicas o excluidas, y propongamos a cambio "pluralidad". Y en vez de pelearnos por estar falsamente unidos en torno a una obligación, hagámoslo por defender la diferencia de los demás.

    Sus reflexiones tenían que ver con la tremenda bronca que se había organizado meses atrás entre escritores peruanos "hegemónicos" y "excluidos", o "criollos" y "andinos", para ver quiénes de ellos, representaban más y mejor a la literatura de su país. Pero me parecen igualmente atinadas para referirse a otros campos, no sólo al literario. Precisamente, porque como también indicaba en ese mismo medio el autor limeño:

    Basta leer cualquier biografía de escritores, cualquier historia de una época, para enterarse de peleas y más peleas. Cambian los actores, cambian los argumentos, cambia todo y lo que sea, cambia la calidad literaria y la calidad humana, pero no cambia el instinto de enfrentamiento y la necesitad de derrotar (con argumentos o sin ellos) al otro.

    ¿Acaso será necesario tolerar primero para derrotar después? ¿Será la tolerancia el primer paso hacia la victoria? Digamos, me acerco, tomo confianza, y ¡zas! lo hago añicos después. Pero, eso sí, con una sonrisa.

    En esas estaba, analizando con humor todas y cada una de las acepciones que mi diccionario propone de la palabra "tolerancia", y decidiendo si me parecía peor "la diferencia que se consiente" o la "disposición a admitir en los demás una manera de ser, de obrar o de pensar distinta a la propia, especialmente en cuestiones y prácticas religiosas" –deseché la de "capacidad del organismo para soportar dosis cada vez más elevadas de una droga"–, cuando retrocediendo unas páginas me encontré con las poco esclarecedoras explicaciones sobre "pluralidad". Y me quedé pensando si la "calidad de ser más de uno" era mejor que "la acción de tolerar", para lo cual tuve que buscar "tolerar": soportar con indulgencia en los demás [una cosa que desaprobamos]. Francamente, en caso duda los diccionarios aclaran tan poco como los curas. Y si no pregúntenselo a Ramón, uno de los personajes de la novela de Mario Benedetti, "Gracias por el fuego":

    No tengo ningún pecado, dije en el confesionario. Hijo, no hay que ser tan soberbio, ¿acaso no tienes alguna mirada pecaminosa para las niñas de tu colegio? A partir de ese momento me propuse perder mi soberbia. No me había fijado en las chiquilinas. Pero al día siguiente hice todo lo posible por mirarlas pecaminosamente. Hoy sí tengo un pecado, dije el domingo en el confesionario. Este cura era más viejo y me miró desconfiado. ¿Cuál? Miré pecaminosamente a las chiquilinas de mi colegio. Yo rebosaba satisfacción porque había vencido mi soberbia. No hay que ser soberbio, dijo entonces el cura más viejo, nunca te enorgullezcas de ser pecaminoso. Recé de apuro los treinta padrenuestros y me fui corriendo. Abrí el diccionario en la palabra pecaminoso: perteneciente o relativo al pecado o al pecador. Un poco más arriba estaba la palabra pecado: hecho, dicho, deseo, pensamiento u omisión contra la ley de Dios y sus preceptos. Sí, claro, yo había mirado a las chiquilinas con omisión.

    Todavía sonriendo, compartí mis hallazgos con Edgardo (lo de la lectura silenciosa nunca me gustó y suelo comentar cada línea con quienes me rodean, mostrando muy poco respeto, debo confesarlo, hacia su propia concentración en otros menesteres), y me senté después a hacerles partícipes de ellos también a ustedes. Hasta ahora yo había escuchado eso de "la caridad mal entendida", y Edgardo y yo hemos alargado muchas sobremesas discutiendo sobre la pluralidad cultural, la multiculturalidad, la transculturalidad pero nunca me había puesto a pensar en otro montón de términos –y las acciones, habilidades, capacidades, etc. asociadas a ellos– tan poco acertados para hablar de cómo deberían ser las cosas, y que, sin embargo, definen maravillosamente el enorme listado de las que están como están y no son como deberían.

    El poder de nombrar es extraordinario, pero no estoy tratando de sugerir que haya que poner más cuidado en el decir que en el hacer, tal vez el mismo. Tenemos que estar atentos a la intencionalidad de nuestras palabras. Importa mucho, muchísimo. Y ser conscientes de su fuerza quizás nos ayude a emplearlas mejor a saber qué estamos diciendo y por qué lo estamos diciendo. No obstante, hay mucho más en las palabras que su intencionalidad pues encierran nuestros pensamientos, por más que no los sintamos prisioneros.

    Permítanme terminar con algunas más de Ramón, en el ya citado libro de Benedetti:

    Ya no llueve más. Pero no refrescó. A Gustavo el Viejo lo arrincona todas las veces que quiere. Para eso usa y abusa de su elegante prepotencia. Anoche quiso obligarlo a que fundamentara su actitud política. Luego, de a poco, con sonrisas, con ironías, con chistes, con retruécanos, incluso con algunos argumentos, lo fue desanimando hasta dejarlo mudo y resentido. Sentí de pronto un gran cariño por Gustavo, no el de siempre, no el manso afecto de saberlo mi hijo, sino uno activo, renovado, militante. El Viejo está inseguro, pero despliega una gran seguridad. Gustavo está seguro, pero no sabe explicar su propia seguridad. El Viejo es un veterano, un campeón de la polémica, un experto en sus tretas. En ese sentido, el pobre Gustavo es un lactante. Sin embargo, como quisiera apostar por él. En el núcleo de su inexperiencia hay una convicción.


              Ukraiński pilot perfekcyjnie uratował samolot. Oskarżyli go o “separatyzm” (WIDEO)        
    Bohater czy “wróg narodu”? W czasie gdy cały świat zachwyca się wyczynem ukraińskiego pilota Aleksandra Akopowa, który uratował życie 121 pasażerów i 6-ciu członków załogi mistrzowsko lądując tureckim Airbusem uszkodzonym przez burzę gradową, w jego rodzinnym kraju oskarżono go właśnie, że jest… separatystą. Przypomnijmy, że samolot tureckich linii Atlasglobal ze Stambułu do Charkowa, za sterami ...
              Solar irrigation cooperative to solve groundwater crisis        
    News this week
    A solar water pump (Source: Sehgal Foundation)

    India's groundwater crisis: Gujarat's solar irrigation cooperative embarks on a solution

    The world's first Solar Pump Irrigators’ Cooperative Enterprise (SPICE) has been formed in Dhundi village in Gujarat's Kheda district. Members of the enterprise have not only made a switch from diesel to solar pumps but are also selling power to the local electricity utility, thereby creating a parallel revenue stream. The project has been initiated and partly funded by IWMI-Tata Water Policy Program. By December 2016, the six members had together earned more than Rs 1,60,000 from the sale of surplus energy to the local power utility.

    Storage capacity of Karnataka reservoirs lost to siltation

    With the accumulation of silt in Karnataka's 11 major reservoirs, nearly 10 percent of the storage capacity, that can annually cater to at least five cities as large as Bengaluru, is being lost. The loss of storage is primarily in the reservoirs of north Karnataka. The worst affected is the Tungabhadra dam which witnesses nearly 17 days of overflow due to high siltation levels. To tackle the issue, a proposal to construct a dam that will hold 30 tmcft of Tungabhadra water is made. 

    Wetland panel formed in Gujarat

    The Gujarat government has finally formed a 23-member state wetlands conservation authority under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules. Apart from government officials, the committee has representatives of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Bhaskaracharya Institute For Space Applications and Geo-Informatics (BISAG) among others. The aim of the committee is to examine wetlands, review conservation activities and make suggestions to the central government and financial agencies for various conservation projects.

    Centre adopts two villages along the Ganga river

    The Ministry of Drinking Water And Sanitation, in collaboration with Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA), has adopted two villages along the bank of Ganga river to make them model Ganga villages. The two villages are Veerpur Khurd in Dehradun and Mala in Pauri Garhwal. With the help of various stakeholders and ministries involved, these two villages will be provided with solid and liquid waste management facilities, drainage systems and groundwater recharge. 

    Odisha blames Chhattisgarh for providing wrong information on water

    The Odisha government has blamed the neighbouring Chhattisgarh government for giving wrong information on the flow of water to Hirakud reservoir in the downstream of the Mahanadi river. As per the claims, the latter is operating the gates at Kalma barrage in an improper manner to intentionally restrict the water flow to Hirakud. The matter will be taken up with the Central Water Commission to ensure the free flow of water in Mahanadi river through Odisha.  

    This is a roundup of important news from May 29 - June 5, 2017. Also read the policy matters this week.